December 7, 2007

Fibromyalgia Flair up brings Thankfulness

Posted in fibromyalgia, THOUGHTS tagged , , , , , , at 6:30 pm by graceabounds

It seems that my fibromyalgia is flairing up again. It has been going on about two weeks and everyday feels a little worse. Laying in bed last night I was trying to fall asleep and in my heart was determined to not be frustrated by the pain. I thought I am thankful for the pain in my legs because I still have them and the ability to go where I need to go, I am thankful for the pain in my back because I am able to feel and have control over my body, I am thankful for the pain in my feet because I have feeling and mobility I am still able to serve God and others and tell of His great love for them. I am thankful that although there is pain in my hands I am able to show love through service. I am thankful that despite my headaches I am clearheaded enough to remember the GREAT PRICE CHRIST PAID FOR ME and the priceless gift of salvation. I am thankful that He enables me to be thankful.

In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

December 6, 2007

Christian Disciplines- The “What to Do’s”

Posted in DEVOTIONS, THOUGHTS tagged , , , , , , at 10:39 pm by graceabounds

Christian disciplines are the “what to do’s”.  If you are like me, then you like to know what is expected and how to go about doing that.  I like list and checking them off.  Let’s learn what these disciplines are and begin to check them off; beginning a new lifestyle.   Christian disciplines are area’s that will guide us to grow closer to the Lord.  Disciple and discipline are words that are very similar.  As we are Disciples of Christ, we become disciplined and obedient to His calling.  These areas of Christian disciplines will enhance your walk with the Lord. They are better than any self help book or self-remedy.  In fact, putting these disciplines in our lives is showing that we are no longer living for self, but for Christ. Since we are set free, we should want to do things that will draw us to Him. 

BIBLE STUDY 

My prayer is that after you read this you will have a hunger for God’s Word. Often, new believers are terrified of reading the Bible.  They believe it is too hard; they think of it almost as a different language.  In addition to their fears they believe it is boring, unimportant, and outdated.  The list could go on and on.  I don’t want to fuel these beliefs but rather help you to see what you are missing. Let’s get to the good stuff.  If you only knew what you possess in your Bible, it may change your thinking and your life.  Read this passage below: 

John 1:1-14 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

 From this section of passage we learned that Jesus was the Word, and that the Word was God.  Let’s look deeper into who Jesus was. 

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

 Here he said he was the way, the TRUTH, and the life. In this next verse Jesus is praying to God before He is betrayed.  

John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth 

Jesus was praying to God that the Word of God would sanctify, which means to set apart and make holy.  He calls the Word truth.  Let’s gather all we have learned.  The Word is Jesus and the Word is God and the Word is truth.  Jesus is truth and He is the Word so He is then God.  We have God, Jesus, Truth, and the Word all in one!  Isn’t that exciting?  I am very excited as I write this.  In front of me, in my Bible (the Word) I have Jesus.  I can at anytime come to Him as I read.  I can turn to Him and His guidance, truth, and what He has for me at anytime.  Isn’t that enough reason to read your Bible?  If you knew that tomorrow Jesus was coming to your house, you’d go crazy with excitement.  Well, He is there right now waiting to speak to you.  Are you ready to listen? 

Psalm 118:89Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens. 

Isaiah 40:8The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. Scripture, the word of God, tells us there is power in it and it’ll endure forever. 

Hebrews 4:12-13 12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. 

The Bible is alive, just as God is alive!  It isn’t out dated or out of touch.  It is so powerful it can cut through to our motives and thoughts.  The word of God has the same power as when he made creation.

Psalm 33:6 KJV, “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.”

Wow, doesn’t that just stir your heart?  Aren’t you ready to begin reading your Bible, having time with God alone allowing that power into your life?  It just gets me all excited just telling you this! 

Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. 

God’s Word is directional.  It will guide you and help you as you go about your day to day life. Here’s a little food for thought. Do you ever forget to eat? Do you miss a meal because you were too busy? I rarely miss a meal due to my hypoglycemia.  If I go without eating I get shaky, lightheaded, and cranky. It is the same with Bible study.

 John 4:34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.” 

We now know that reading God’s Word is His will. We should be like Jesus; where we desire to do His will more than eating food or the other fleshly pleasures.  I am not saying we should never eat or have pleasure.  My point is we hardly deprive ourselves of nourishment nor should we deprive ourselves of our spiritual food.

Matthew 5:6 says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

Proverbs 8:7,” I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.” 

I have a friend whose view on Bible study drastically changed her life.  Reading her Bible use to be a chore, she did it because she knew that is was what God had commanded.  While doing a Beth Moore Bible study, she saw how Beth Moore was excited about the Word of God. Beth said that if you don’t have something, you ask for it.  If you want to desire God’s word, then you ask for it.  Needless to say, she asked for it. That was over two years ago.  The growth in her is almost immeasurable.  She lives to do her Bible study and walk with God.  She is happier and more content with her life than before. We, too, can experience that same intensity and blessings from God’s Word. Don’t you want to hunger and thirst for Him and His Word? Seek Him with all that you have.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.  Take a few minutes and re-think your previous list of reasons keeping you from reading your Bible. 

December 2, 2007

LEARNING TO FOLLOW

Posted in DEVOTIONS, THOUGHTS tagged , , , , , at 6:51 pm by graceabounds

I have often heard that sheep are extremely dumb. I can speak for myself and say I have made some really dumb mistakes.  Just as sheep look towards the shepherd for protection, nourishment, and guidance we should also keep our eyes fixed on the good shepherd. Psalm 23 is a beautiful Psalm which teaches us the benefits of following a shepherd.

Psalm 23 

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

This is symbolic of the Christian walk.  Isn’t it comforting to know we don’t have to worry, want, and struggle?  If the Lord is your shepherd you will not want.  If your eyes are focused on Him you will have everything you need. However, nowhere does it say life will be easy. But we are told that we can rest in Him.  The world is a tough place and life gets hard but we can always find rest in God. 

Look again at verse four.   Hard times will come, but we don’t have to fear; He will comfort us.  Charles H. Spurgeon says in the Treasury of David this, “…it is not “the valley of death,” but “the valley of the shadow of death,” for death in its substance has been removed, and only the shadow of it remains.  Some one has said that when there is a shadow there must be light somewhere, and so there is.  Death stands by the side of the highway in which we have to travel, and the light of heaven shining upon him throws a shadow across our path; let us then rejoice that there is light beyond.  Nobody is afraid of a shadow, for a shadow cannot stop a man’s pathway even for a moment.  The shadow of a dog cannot bite; the shadow of a sword cannot kill; the shadow of death cannot destroy us.”[1]   Jesus, our Savior, not only came to save us from sin, but from the effects of sin.  As you know, our world is at times cruel, hard, and painful to bear.  These are the effects of sin.  We have great news!   

Luke 4:18“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 

Despite everything, we have Him to bring our hurts, sadness, weariness, depression, broken lives, crushed dreams, and struggles.

Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”  That sounds like me at times.  I am often in need of healing.  Right now, you can allow Him to heal you emotionally. Is there any pain that you are holding on to? Or do you feel your problems are too big or small for God? Now is a great time to turn them over to Him.  He is waiting to hear from us and to begin to work afresh and anew in your life- we must turn it over to Him.


[1] Charles H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, Volume I p. 355

December 1, 2007

A LOST WORLD

Posted in DEVOTIONS, missions, THOUGHTS tagged , , , , , , , , at 8:32 pm by graceabounds

It amazes me at how comfortable we as Christians get in our everyday lives. We do our daily routine and take care of the necessities. Some of us even read our Bible daily and live out our faith. Yet, there is one major issue we are missing! What could be missing? Ah, the most important thing after loving and following God is loving others. We all in our prideful states become puffed up and say I love people. We begin to justify how we love others and how we have held our tongue instead of giving them the piece of our mind we wanted to. We as Christians are content to love people at a distance. Yet, I know that myself and many other Christians are missing the mark!

Do we really love others? When is the last time you actually shared with someone your faith? When is the last time you supported a missionary on the field struggling to accomplish the great commission? When is the last time you thought if I don’t share with this personwhat Christ has done and tell them how to be saved they will spend ETERNITY IN HELL and away from God. Why are we so content to live out our daily lives not being obedient to God?

Everyday as a Christian that passes we are closer to Heaven while the opposite is true for those who don’t know Christ. Every second that passes is a step closer to Hell for them. Won’t you reach out and tell someone that God loves them. Why not share with someone today that simple fact. As we share this the simple truth that God does love them it will open up doors to share the gospel. If we are actively seeking ways to be a witness God will actively place people in your life to share the good news of Christ with them.

Lets be active today in others ETERNITY!

November 30, 2007

Beauty and the ongoing Rat Race to achieve it

Posted in THOUGHTS tagged , , , , at 8:11 pm by graceabounds

I heard last night that they found a way to reduce the signs of aging in mice and they are excited that they may be able to find the gene in humans and reduce aging. I want to know when they find the gene that reduces aging what next will we as a society deem ugly, unuseful, or less valuable because of looks. I am just as guilty about judging others based on the way they look but as I grow closer to the Lord and deeper in my faith I know that God truly created us all beautiful and special whether or not we have wrinkles, crocked teeth, or flawless beauty. The Creator sees us all as something worthy of making!

ASSURANCE Of Eternal Life

Posted in DEVOTIONS, THOUGHTS tagged , , , , , at 7:11 pm by graceabounds

Once you have accepted Christ you can know for sure that you are saved. And rest in that if you truly came to accept Him, then you can’t loose it. God’s Word tells us that we have security. 

John 10:28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.  

It states that because you have put your faith in Christ, you are now safely in His hands.  Nothing can cause you to lose your salvation. He doesn’t give the gift of salvation and then decide he wants to take it back because you sinned. You didn’t earn it by being good and you can’t lose it by sinning. If you are continually sinning and not repentant then maybe you should weigh if you actually ever trusted Christ as your Savior, and if you were ready to make Him Lord over you life. Our faith in Him should bring change in us. At times, especially as new Christians, we can be fooled into thinking that there are other ways to get to heaven.  We hear of so many religions that believe in heaven.  Yet, we have to weigh their beliefs against what God says.  Let’s take a deeper look. 

Acts 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. 

If we believe that Jesus saved us, then we have to believe His Word (the Bible).  We can’t hide the truth; there is no other way to Heaven or God but through Jesus.  It is impossible to get there by other means or else Christ wouldn’t have needed to die and take the shame for us.  He would have saved Himself and allowed us to find another way. Often, you hear that someone believes in Jesus and that is enough for them. 

Luke 4:33-34 33 And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, 34 Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God.

Here the demon is proclaiming that Jesus is God.  We know that demons (Satan’s angels) won’t be able to enter into heaven; therefore just believing that Jesus is who He says He is isn’t enough.   You have to accept what He’s done and turn from the sins you use to love.  Another belief is that if we are good enough or do enough good things, then we can get to heaven.  People believe that if their good out weighs the major bad things they’ve done then, they will be able to go to heaven. They believe God would not be so cruel as to not allow them in when He sees the good they’ve done. Review the scripture below as we think about these beliefs. 

Galatians 2:16yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. 

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast 

Verse nine points out that if we could get to Heaven by works then it’d be something we did, not Christ. 

We remember there is no one without sin.  Look at this example. One little sin (God sees all sin as sin) we will use a lie for example, will keep you out of heaven.  Why?  If you have a white shirt and get one speck of grease on it, is it clean (or perfect)?  No, you would throw it out; it is the same with us. We can’t do anything to get to heaven by our own works, because we still have sin (stains). And Jesus takes care of the stain of sin that we can’t take care of through his death on a cross meant for us and overcoming death and paying the price for mine and your sins!

A BEAUTIFUL PICTURE

Posted in DEVOTIONS tagged , , , at 5:13 am by graceabounds

Can you think of the most beautiful thing you have ever seen. Please don’t rush ahead; really think of something that is breath taking. One of the most memorable things I have ever seen is the Grand Canyon. Yet, I don’t believe it holds anything compared to when a person accepts Christ as their personal Savior; that is truly the most beautiful thing. They are ripped out of the clutches of Death and Hell and put safely in the hands of the Almighty GOD. Art and beauty are common in our society. We get soft and mushy for a love story, and as Christians we have the most beautiful love story in Jesus.  

Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned. 

Romans 5:8 But God shows his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  

Sin is now a part of humanity; every person is born into sin. In return, there is no picture more beautiful than that of what Christ has done for us. Death in and of itself doesn’t mean much to us in America.  We are very accustomed to seeing it in our TV, games, and media and yet in Christ’s death there is beauty.  I encourage you to read of Jesus’ death and resurrection in John 19-20.  

1 John 3:5You know that He appeared to take away our sins, and in him there is no sin. 

2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Jesus lived a sinless life. Sin is a word used to express that we have missed the mark of God’s original plan. We sin anytime we go against God’s instructions for our lives. Jesus had to take our sins away so we could be restored to God. 

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God                

We have missed God’s mark since Adam and Eve. God is perfect without any wrong doings. So for us to have a relationship with Him, we must also be perfect through Christ’s holiness. Before sin, we had access to God; now through salvation we have access to Him again.   

1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 

Why did Christ suffer for our sins? Out of love for us He paid the price so that we could be brought back to God. When the angels of heaven rebelled against God, He made Hell for Satan and his angels.  When sin entered the world, man was no longer able to enter Heaven because we aren’t blameless. In and of ourselves we can’t do that, so Christ did it for us. When we accept Him and His gift we are saved; saved from Hell. 

Matthew 13:42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth 

Mark 9:47-48 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 48 where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched. 

By chance, there may be some readers who aren’t saved or aren’t sure if they are.  It says Romans 3:23 that all have sinned. Let’s review some scripture dealing with how to become a Christian. 

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  

Romans 10:9-10 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 

Luke 13:3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 

The first step in your walk with God is realizing we have sin in our lives; which we can’t deal with ourselves.  We needed a way back to God, which Jesus supplied as He was the perfect sacrifice.  After acknowledging our sin, we must believe that Jesus was perfect, without sin, and that He died on the cross to take our place.  Yet, when He died He came back to life three days later.  Through this we now have access to God.  If we repent, turn from our sins, and confess that Jesus is Lord, we will be saved.  If you would like to accept Jesus and to follow after Him; and in return have eternal life with God, I urge you to pray this prayer and believe it in your heart. This prayer isn’t magic; these words are just a reflection of your heart. This is where you realize that you need Him. Lord,I know that I am a sinner, and I want to spend eternity in heaven with You.  I realize that because of my sins, I can’t do it on my own.  Thank You for sending Jesus to die in my place.  I believe that He died and rose again for me. I want to follow You and turn from my sins. Thank You for saving me, and I accept you into my heart and my life.  In Jesus, Name Amen. Welcome to the family!  The next step is confession call someone and let them know about this decision it can be a pastor, family member, or friend.  I encourage you to find a Bible believing church where you can grow and follow Christ.

November 29, 2007

A WHOLE NEW WORLD- My first blog!

Posted in THOUGHTS tagged , , , at 1:06 pm by graceabounds

A whole new world has opened up for me. I am new to this blogging world although I have loved to write for many years. I don’t know how I could have been totally ignorant of blogging and my preconceived notions. I am excited to now be a part and able to have my thoughts and writings out there for myself and others. Now, if I could figure out how to get people to read this!