WELCOME

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

Friday, May 31, 2013

Pet Peeve

One of my pet peeves is listening to everyone zip up their Bibles and start packing up their stuff before the preacher is done speaking.
There comes a point when the preacher says, "if anyone is outside of Christ..." Zip, ziiiiiip, shuffle, squirm and we're done listening.
Do you not realize that at this very moment someone may be raging a great spiritual battle inside themselves? Not to mention that it is just plain rude to the speaker to stop listening before he is done speaking.
"But, I'm already a Christian. I know what he's going to say," 
Really?!?
Sometimes important things need to be said over and over again. Sometimes we need to be reminded.
But by closing our ears and not listening we act like insolent teenagers that know it all. God would not be pleased with that behavior.
Please let's be concerned and caring of other listeners, let's be respectful and attentive to the speaker, but mostly let's be reverent to The Lord, God.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Jesus can Heal

Cutting oneself is not a new trend. As a matter of fact the Bible says there is nothing new under the sun. 
I was reading Mark chapter 5 about a man that had a demon, in fact many demons, verse 5 says that this man cut himself.
When we live a life that is not obedient to God we open ourselves to many forms of evil.
There are so many forms and ways that we harm ourselves, cutting is just one way.
But Jesus is the solution. He has overcome evil and because of His victorious sacrifice, we can be victorious over the sinfulness in our lives.
Read the events of this entire story. 
How fascinating to see what Jesus did for this man that was so full of sinfulness. He can do it for you too. He wants to.
After Jesus cleansed him, the man wanted to travel with Jesus, but Jesus said Go home, tell your friends and family what's been done for you.
Yes, tell people. That's how the love and mercy of Jesus is spread.
Are you telling others what Jesus has done for you? Can you share this hope with someone who needs is waiting?

Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones. 
As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. And he did not permit him but said to him, "Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you." And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled. (Mark 5:5, 18-20 ESV)


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Being Critical.

When our Church was built quite a few years ago.,Our members built it. We were so lucky to have men and women skilled to do all the different jobs required to do the job properly. We had a few skilled carpenters , a great electrician , a plumber, drywallers, and a few coffee drinkers that bossed the job. Ha,ha,ha. The Wills Mt. Church of Christ turned out very good. But we hit some rough spots along the way. A couple of men gave up their weekends and did some dry wall sanding and finishing, and there were a few dissatisfied with their work and while they were being critical of this work they were overheard by one of the men that did the work. Feelings got hurt and there was some bitterness. But you know being grounded inThe Word of God our leaders and our Evangelist were able to give this dilemma a quick fix. We are all human and we all sin. A few touch ups and of course apologies and hugs and all came out good in the end. You see, the members of The Lords Body must work together as one. Being critical of one another can cause many problems. Whispers and gossip can get out of control...... Lord, help us to show more love for one another . Help us to be less critical of one another. Help us to go to one another and fix our differences before they get beyond repair. Help us to do all things according to Your Holy Word. Thank You for always being there for us. Help us to strive daily to be like JESUS and to let our light shine for Him. In Jesus Name Amen.

Whisper Campaigns

Have you ever been upset by something that was said or done at church or by a Christian brother or sister?
I think I would be safe in saying that we probably all have been. 
I have been witness to disgruntled members that start "whisper campaigns" throughout the congregation. 
They are upset and then proceed to upset others, build armies in their favor, or try to justify their own thoughts and feelings. 
These campaigns can greatly harm a church, not to mention that they are unscriptural. They are cowardly, and born of Satan.
The Bible is very clear as to handle this type of thing. We just need to make sure we practice doing it in the proper order. 
By following God's Word in every aspect of our lives, we will be living in accordance to His will. 
We say that we don't want to go to our brother or sister because we don't want to hurt their feelings or because we don't like conflict. But by going around talking to others about what's bothering you will eventually either cause hurt feelings and distrust or turn into a bigger conflict or just bring more people into a situation where they don't need to be thereby perhaps causing them to sin as well.
Follow the Lord's guide in this:
"If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. (Matthew 18:15-17 ESV)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day.

Lord, Thank you for all the blessings You give us daily. Thank you for Jesus and what He did for us.Thank you for all the men and women who have fought for our freedom,gave their lives and for those that continue to serve our country to keep us free. I pray for the families that have lost loved ones and now have members serving our country. Lord, help us to turn from our wicked ways , forgive us of our sins, and if it be Your will heal our land. Thank You for loving us, for watching us,and for hearing and answering our prayers...In Jesus Name ,Amen.

Stop Twiddling

A few years ago I bought a Contemporary English Version Bible. I like to use different versions when I am studying or preparing lessons. 
I found it to be very simple and easy to understand and for the most part it seemed to follow the original Hebrew and Greek languages.
While reading in Proverbs one day I came across a verse that read, Sleep a little, Doze a little, fold your hands and twiddle your thumbs. Proverbs 24:33 as a matter of fact it's there twice, it is also found in Proverbs 6:10.
I could hardly believe my eyes. The Bible is telling me to twiddle my thumbs! But then I read the next verse...."Suddenly poverty hits and everything is gone." 
Yes, now here is a great example for reading and using everything in the context in which it is intended. We would not want to be twiddling our thumbs and saying, "well, the Bible tells me to in Proverbs 24:33." Not only is that dangerous to your welfare it is misleading to others.
Read and study your Bible. Use the scripture in the way and manner that they are intended. Remember, Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15 NIV)
As you read and study the Word you will grow in The Lord and be pleasing to Him.

You may have seen this picture on your Facebook stream. It is from Miracle gro plant food. I liked the picture and adapted it for this lesson.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Prayer for today.

What a Beautiful Lords Day . Take a deep breath. You are alive, and Jesus loves you. We were getting ready to leave for Church and as I look out the windows of our truck it made me so sad to see all the fellow truckers that don't make an effort to Worship their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Many of them don't even know Jesus I'm sure. My prayer today is for all those that don't know Jesus and for those that put worldly pleasures ahead of God.......Father God, thank You for all the daily blessings you give us. Thank You for all Your beautiful creation. Thank You for Jesus.. Lord ,Be with all those that don't know You,and for all those that know You but put other things first. Help us to let our light shine for Jesus and to be soul winners for you. In Jesus Name Amen.

Red hair

The last few days We have been having some fun poking fun at some friends. The wife had dyed her hair red ( which I am quite partial to,) the husband agreed to this, but then decided that he preferred her natural color.
She was enjoying the look and feel of the red hair.
He asked her to dye it back to brown. 
Of course every woman wants to be attractive to her husband so she did dye it back to brown but not before asking everyone on Facebook what their opinions were. Plenty of people got in on the good natured "picking."
It was all fun and no one was hurt. And hair color is pretty trivial anyway. The color of your hair, the color of your skin, the size or shape of your body, none of that defines you. It only describes you. Even your background and how you were raised or your past isn't who you are.
No, who you are comes from the many choices and decisions that you make and live by each day. Your background may influence those choices. 
Where does your influence come from?
Mine comes from God, from His word, from His faithfulness, through His people and is born out of my love for Him.
God doesn't really care what you look like on the outside, He is looking at your heart. And He sees all kinds of possibilities in you.
Remember God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

But the Lord told him, “Samuel, don't think Eliab is the one just because he's tall and handsome. He isn't the one I've chosen. People judge others by what they look like, but I judge people by what is in their hearts.” (1 Samuel 16:7 CEV)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Friends

"You look like you lost your best friend." Have you ever heard those words said? What is meant by that saying?
Well, I think that is easy to understand. We all have friends. They are important to us. We know having someone by our side in life makes everything seem better. So when or if we lose our best friend we carry a sense of grief and sadness and also a heaviness in our soul.
God knew we would need friends. We are created to be social, to fellowship. 
It is great to have friends to encourage us, share our burdens, spend time with, talk us out of doing stupid things, talk us into doing good things. We need friends.
Thank you, Lord, for giving us our friends. Help us to be a good friend too. 
How sweet it is to hear the voice of a friend. I cherish my friends. I recognize the gift that they are to me. 
The sweet smell of incense can make you feel good, but true friendship is better still. (Proverbs 27:9 CEV)



Friday, May 24, 2013

The Rock

I want to paint a picture in your head. I need your full attention. 
Are you ready?

Imagine yourself in the sea, clinging to a big, slippery, rock. The rock because of constant ebb and flow of the water, is smooth with no hand holds and it is cold and wet.
The water is splashing up against you. It sometimes goes over your head and then sucks back away from you.
Although the water feels cool, the sun is hot! 
Your arms are tired from holding on. But if you leave go you will certainly perish.
So you hang on! And you hope!
Soon because of the hot sun, the rock feels cool and good.
You shake the tiredness from your arms one at a time. Yes, your arms are weary but you are so happy for the rock. 
You are still hoping for a boat, you want to be saved . But for now you have the rock.

Why am I telling you this story? Well let's use it as a lesson. 
The sea is the trials and uncertainties of this life. 
That rock is your faith. 
The boat is Heaven.
For you to get to Heaven you have to hold on to your faith no matter what comes against you. Sometimes your faith seems like it might not be enough. Sometimes your faith seems harder than just letting go. But if you do that there is absolutely no hope of getting in the boat.

Hold on, hang tight!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

From a friend

This is so very true.

Depression/anxiety

I sometimes suffer from depression and/or anxiety. Although I now believe that I have had this even as a child, I was not diagnosed until 25 years of age. 
It is an invisible illness. Most people would not be able to see that you have it even while in the midst of the worst of it.
But it can be just as debilitating as any other illness.
And too many people suffer in silence because it is such a misunderstood illness. People that do not have it many times cannot understand that it is a physical illness as well as affecting you mentally, emotionally and even spiritually. 
It wears you out physically. You really get fatigued while going through it. A lot of the time you won't eat or you don't eat right so your immune system fails and you get sick.
I do not know what causes it, but I have learned some of the things that could trigger it in me. There are many medicines that can help. Talking with a therapist can also help. There are coping skills. 
It usually affects smart people and influential people, people most others would consider strong,  but it  knows no social or economic or cultural barriers.  Here is a list of some of the symptoms that I get.
Anxiety/depression symptoms:
Nervous/jumpy
Startles easily
Heart feels strange,  like to close the speaker at a concert
Ears throb, like hearing a heartbeat 
Creeping up my neck
Function normally, but no recollection of performing tasks
No concentration
Extreme lack of patience with others
Desire to be normal to the point of OCD
Sweaty
Quiet
Bad dreams
Tired
No excitement or interest in anything
Isolation
Doesn't want to be alone
Feels alone in crowds
Panics in stores or theaters or restaurants (cannot stand or wait in lines)
Loses confidence in your abilities
No sexual desire
Crying bouts
Hates loud noises
Does not want to be touched
Does not want anyone too close to you 

It is very hard and embarrassing to admit to and I usually don't ever want to talk about or even want people to know that I have it. That is because of the reactions and comments by those that don't understand it.
I once had a very well known and highly respected evangelist tell me to "quit ruining things for your family." Other well meaning but ignorant people will say things like, 
Just get over it!
Why don't you  pray about it?
Well, what's bothering you?
It's all in your mind, Quit thinking that way!

Really?!? Does anyone think that I want to bring affliction to my family? And nobody wants it to end as much as I do, but I can't just "turn it off" or I surely would. And I have spent more time in prayer over this than any can imagine. 
I honestly am not just trying to get attention. I could think of more creative and less painful ways to do that.
Look, I don't want your pity. I don't know why I am writing this and putting it out there. I guess I just want you to know me and understand me better. I am not using it as an excuse to get out of doing things, Or to manipulate anyone else. The guilt of that would make the anxiety worse for me. Maybe I just want everyone to know and understand that we all have burdens, we all have issues, we all have needs, we all have concerns. Each of us have loads that we must carry through this life. 
Even the people that seem the strongest, even the people that appear the happiest, even the people that look like they have it all, we all have our burdens and problems. 
We need each other. We need The Lord.
Pray for me, please. I am praying for you. 








Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Iron sharpens iron

"My friend would never hurt me. They are always looking out for me and protecting my feelings."
Would you say that you believe this is a true sentiment?
Living in this world, each of us get our share of hurts and hard feelings. We get beat around by life. We fall on rough circumstances, but our friends are to be our soft spot, our comforters. Right?
Can you take criticism from your friend without getting hurt? Are you thin skinned? How do you react when someone sees a fault in you?
This verse today tells us that as iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. 
An axe or a knife or scissors that aren't sharp really aren't any good. They cannot effectively do that job that they were intended to do. 
As a child I used to watch my dad put on safety googles and use his grinding wheel to sharpen knives and scissors and saw blades for our neighbors. As he would hold the tools against the turning wheel, it would make a horrible grating noise. And sparks would fly off the tools and land on my dads arms and face. And then he would stop grinding and take the knife and shave the hair off his arm. Then he would either smile in satisfaction or go back to grinding some more.
Every once in a great while he would have to tell the neighbor that his tool was no good, it would not take on an edge. It would have to be replaced.
I remember asking my dad if the sparks hurt when they hit him. He told me that mostly they didn't, but occasionally it did.
You see as Christians we need to be keeping each other sharp. If we aren't sharp then we are no good for the job in which God intends for us. We do not want to be the tool that has to be thrown away. 
And although we may spark when someone grinds at our shortcomings and our faults, the edge we will have will definitely give us an edge in this world.
I want a true friend that keeps me sharp. I can take it. I am quality stuff. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Plugged In

Get plugged in
When we left home to do this job our biggest fear was that we would be disconnected from the church. We were worried that we would miss out on the benefits of being part of that unity that bonds us and helps as to grow as a group as well as individually.
But God has taught us, or I should say, reminded us that ALL Christians are that body. All congregations make up that body.
Jesus is the head of the body. He is our command center, our guide, our example, our roots, our foundation. 
And by assembling together with others we can get encouraged and be an encouragement, we can build each other up and strengthen each other. 
Being unified as one body in Christ means that no matter our geography we can still  be connected. We are still in the body of Christ.
What body are you a part of if you are not meeting together? You are missing out on all the joys and benefits of unity. 
We are all one. As we stand together, unified, we will not be tossed around by the waves of this world. We will not be blown away by false doctrine and evil forces. We are strong as a group with Jesus as our anchor.
Get plugged in.
Eph. 4:11-16

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Why I Find A Place to Worship Each Week

Why do I find a church to attend each Sunday

 I am the church And I need to get together with others  and remember the Lord. 
We hear God's word proclaimed, that Word keeps us built up and able to face the struggles that we face on this world.
It also helps us know false teaching when we hear it.
Being with the church also helps us to feel connected not only to Christ but with each other.
Each week while taking communion I picture many faces of people we have met in our travels and I am thankful that because of Jesus I know these wonderful people. 
It also gives us an opportunity to work and serve the Lord.
 I want to be pleasing to the Lord.
He has been so good to me. I can never do enough for Him. I want to be pleasing to The Lord.
I get refueled for the week there. 
I get inspired by other believers and my faithfulness inspires them as well. Hebrews 10:25 tells us to gather together and encourage each other. 



Friday, May 17, 2013

Your Past

I once heard someone say, "When satan reminds you of your past, remind him of his future."
Good advice.
We all have a past. We have all said or done things that we wish we're not said or done. But maybe some of those things moved us along to where we are now.
Many people in the Bible had "pasts" or behaved in ways that were less than ideal, yet God used them and became very well known.
What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
And though our sins were as scarlet, we can be white as snow.
Our sins are then as far away as east is from the west. Leave them there. Don't listen to the deceiver.
Even now, as Christians, we sometimes fail. Maybe even in big ways. And then satan tries to convince us that we are not worthy to have the love and forgiveness of God. But remember that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. And God is not willing for any to perish.
Who are listening to? God saying, "I love you, come to Me" or the deceiver telling you, "it is no use?" I choose to listen to the voice of God. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Captive thoughts

Ever had a romantic someone whisper in your ear?
You get the shivers, and the warm fuzzies all at the same time. What an awesome feeling that usually leads somewhere. Ok, enough, you get the picture.
Anyway, what is it that he is whispering? Why does he whisper? In your ear? Is he trying to "seduce" you? Perhaps trying to convince you that he has something good in mind?
The serpent talked to Eve and convinced her that he had something good in mind.
Satan is known as the deceiver, the father of lies. 
 (He)  does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44 NASB)
What is he whispering in your ear? Is he telling you that you will never succeed? Is he telling you that you are no good? Is he telling you that you will never be well? Maybe he is telling you that if God really cared for you everything would be easier , or that God wants you to suffer like all good Christians do. 
I don't know what lies he is telling you, but I know that he is. I know that because he does it to all of us. He whispers in my ear all the time. he tries to rob me of my confidence. He tries to cause me to worry and be anxious. 
Most of the time  he tells us what we want to hear. He even will twist God's own Word to try to deceive us.
Don't listen to him ! Tell him to get behind you. Enlist the help of your friends to pray for you. Read and study the Bible so that he can't use it against you. Pray! Resist! Stand firm!
Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.  (James 4:7, 8a,NASB)
Do not allow him to control your thoughts. Take your (own) thoughts captive. 
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, (2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV)
I am praying for you. 

On the winning team

Have you ever watched a team of young players at a ball game? They play their hearts out and they are losing, but then their coach gives them a "peptalk" and then their playing improves. And then things really turn around and everything seems to go right and before long they are winning.
Did their skills suddenly improve? No! They just needed someone to encourage them and they needed to believe it could be done.
Where do you get what it takes to overcome defeat?
We have our faith, the faith we share with other Christians. We have encouragement and hope and the knowledge that we can overcome defeat.
Are you in need of a "peptalk?" Do you need reminded that you have what it takes?
Maybe you can be the coach and encourage someone else.
Turn back to the Bible, your gameplan. Study it, and put yourself in the game.
Be an overcomer!


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Love is the Greatest

Love
What a great thing it is. What makes love so great?
God, Who is Love created a beautiful, perfect world. He created humans because Of His love and He wanted fellowship and relationship.
When the humans messed it up, God still loved us and made a way for atonement.
Throughout many eras of rejecting Him and His love, He still loved man.
So much so that He gave His own Son to die in our place because of our sin. He is not willing for anyone to die in their sin.
He gave us a plan for salvation:
Hear and Believe the word, So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17 NASB)
Repent of our sin, I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. (Luke 13:3 NASB)
Confess Him as Lord, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. (Romans 10:9, 10 NASB)
Be Immersed,  Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; (Romans 6:4-6 NASB)
And then remain faithful to Him until your natural death,  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:58 NASB)
Love is the greatest because once we get to Heaven we will no longer need Faith because we will KNOW and SEE. And we will no longer need Hope because our hope will have been realized. But Love remains! There will be love in Heaven, true, unadulterated love . God like love.
Love is Great! 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Sing to The Lord

God is good. He is worthy of all praise.
Aren't you glad He is God. 
Every once in a while I question His methods or His plans. Sometimes I think I get things all solved in my head and then pray in that direction. Unconsciously trying to convince Him to do things my way. 
But, thank goodness, He is Lord and His will is done. 
He is wonderful. His plans are grand. His ways are right and true. 
Lord, I pray that I stay out of your way. I want to be your instrument, not your obstacle. 

O sing to the Lord a new song, For He has done wonderful things,  Let the rivers clap their hands, Let the mountains sing together for joy  Psalm 98:1a, 8

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Non-mothers Day

This is a rerun from last year.

Today is Mother's Day. Mothers everywhere are being loved and honored as they should be, but I want to talk about a different group today.
I want to talk about those that have empty arms. The women who would love to be called "Mama" but will never hear it.
I wish I could say something that might offer you comfort. I wish God would reveal why some have children that they don't want, why many abort their littlest blessings and why so many arms ache to have one and do not. 
I do not understand. I cannot give answers.
But what I can offer you is love. It seems so little. It seems just a pittance. 
However, in 1 Corinthians 13:13 says this, But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. 
Why is love the greatest of these? Because in your situation I can't give you faith (but I can encourage you to hold on) and I can't offer you any hope, but I can love you. I can claim (or adopt) you. I can feel with you. I can pray for and with you. I do love you. I do love you! I love you!
I know this day is hard for you. I know you are sad and empty and have so much unanswered. 
But God is God. He has the answers. He is bigger than anything we think or know. Trust Him for your strength and comfort. And for just a moment let me be His instrument to let you know, you are not  forgotten. You are not overlooked. You are not less of a woman. You are a child of the Most High God. And I love you.