Friday, March 20, 2009

The MOST excellent way!

Hi, sweet reader! Thank you for coming to visit today; whether it was by your design, or by "chance", I'm glad you're here. I want you to take a walk with me, down a Roman road.
We're just going to stroll down this road together; there are some "sights" I want to point out to you. Don't stop reading! Just get to the end of the path with me. :)
It's a beautiful spring day! Can you hear the birds, and feel the breeze - and see the buds on the trees? Look at that beautiful fruit tree that's full of blossoms ahead!
Here's the first thing I want to show you! It's Romans 3:23: "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." That's ALL, my friend. NO ONE can save themselves. We were born into sin.
But that's not the end of the road!
This stop is a two-part stop! Look on this side:
Romans 6:23a "The wages of sin is death..." We all will die a physical death. But we don't have to die in our sin - that is not only a physical ending, but a spiritual ending you need to understand we all DESERVE. There is nothing we can do ourselves that can make us righteous.
But look at THIS side of the stop!
Romans 6:23b "...but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." It's a GIFT!! It's free!! God offers it to you and me, to save us from that sin and from the spiritual death that goes with it. But you do need to receive it.
Let me tell you a story that will illustrate this really well. I used to be the only non-family member of a company. One of the three families involved was REALLY, REALLY disfunctional. I mean, WOW!! So the dad is NOT a nice person at all, but his sons tried SO HARD to get his approval. One year they were feuding badly, but the younger son still wanted to please his dad; he gave him Christmas gifts, came and put them on the dad's desk. THEY SAT IN A CORNER, UNOPENED, all year. The son gave the gifts, but they weren't RECEIVED - the dad ignored them, left them unopened, unused, and neglected.
Let's keep walking! This is a beautiful road!!
Here we are!
Romans 5:8: "God demonstrates His love for us in this: while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us!"
Oh, dear one, do you HEAR that??? God is outside of time; He sees all time at a glance. And while He was looking at our sin - YOUR sin, MY sin - He knew He wanted to give us that precious Gift. Jesus paid the ultimate price for our gift! He died for us, so we could be saved! Eternal life in God's presence. His presence is so sweet here on Earth - I can't WAIT to be able to see Him face-to-face!!!!!! And it's available to YOU - all you have to do is ASK!
Oh, look! It's Romans 10:13!
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Anyone can receive this gift! There's no "I'm not good enough" or "I need to straighten up my act first". God will meet you WHERE YOU ARE!!!! Just ask Him!
Oh, here's the last stop on this road. Isn't it beautiful?
Romans 10:9-10: "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."
Oh, how LOVELY this stop is. Do you see how EASY it is? God hasn't made a lot of hoops to jump through. There's not a physical torture test, or a decathalon to compete in for this prize.
If you've been down this road before, isn't it a sweet place to visit? To be able to thank God for His incredible, awesome GIFT? I hope our walk today reminded you to praise Him for it!!!
If you've never been down this road, and you've heard Him offering you His precious gift today, you might be wondering what the next step is.
Just talk to Him! We call it "praying", but it's really just having a communication session with The Most High. :) He wants us to talk to Him!!! You can simply tell Him something along this line:
Dear God, I know I am a sinner. I know that has kept me separated from You. I ask You to forgive me of my sins; I want to repent (that just means "to turn 180 degrees" from the way you were going), and ask You to help me walk the way You want me to. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins, and that He rose from the dead and is alive today. I ask that You become my Savior, and Lord of my life. Thank You! Amen.
Did you know that when you said that prayer, Heaven threw a party for you?!?!??!?! The angels REJOICE over EACH soul that receives the Gift!!!!
I'd like to rejoice with you, too! Please email me, or leave me a comment, and let me know so I can - and so I can pray for you, too! The next step is to find a good church where you can learn more about the decision you made, and start to grow and learn about this new life!
Praise God, the Maker of Heaven and Earth. Dear one, He rejoices over YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Pastor Barbie Loflin

I just wanted to share our assistant pastor's website with you:

Be prepared. She is an all-out, no-holds-barred teacher/preacher. It's ALL about God. She's incredibly open about everything she teaches. When God reveals something to me through her, it completely takes my breath away and brings me to tears. It's the kind of cutting through that only the Word can bring!

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

I challenge you to go check it out! And if you are able, she has a CD that I've not been blessed to hear YET - but I get to hear her at church, and I KNOW you'd be blessed!!! She's also an author - they're all there for you to check out.

Be ready for the breath of God to stir!!!

He's a BIG, BIG GOD!!!

Can you truly imagine the sight Isaiah saw???? I can't. I yearn to see it with all my heart, but I just can't wrap my mind around how big our God truly is. And I'm so glad I can't!
I don't know about you, but I NEED a big God. I need Him to be bigger than anything that faces me. I need Him to be bigger than the evil that surrounds us. I need Him to be worthy of all glory, honor, power, and worship and adoration I can give Him - and even more.
God IS bigger than everything, dear one. Bigger than whatever's facing you right now. Tell you what. Instead of facing that THING, turn and face GOD. When your eyes and heart are full of Him, you won't be caring about that THING anymore. He'll take care of you. He loves you SO MUCH. He wants you to long for Him, too. You are in His heart, in His hands, in His ever-loving arms.
Be blessed, dear one. I love you, too!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Karna Tagged Me!

Go visit Karna! :)

Here's how it works: The instruction is to go into my photo collection, take the fourth folder and the fourth picture in that folder and explain it. Then tag four more bloggers to do the same.

So, here's my picture!

This is my currently-youngest neice, Michaela, over a year ago - the last time the family came to visit. She's sitting in a patch of sunlight coming in from the sun porch between my studio and the kitchen. She's just eaten breakfast, as you can see. :D She's SUCH a sweet girl!

OK. I can't think of four people to tag, but I'll tag Becky - and if you play along, let me know! :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My Epiphany

Yes, it HAS been a long time. God gave me this post to share with you about two weeks ago, and making myself sit down to do it has not worked. :) So, I'm going to attempt it now. I really have a feeling that someone besides ME needs(needed) this post!

Please go click on the picture above, and read the verse. Let it soak in. Then come back.


Welcome back! Did you HEAR what the verse said?

Well, let me tell you what I heard from God concerning this verse! :)

Haman was doing just fine, having come from the FIRST banquet with the King and Queen of Persia. That is, until he OBSERVED Mordecai.

Now, let's take a look at that word. Here you go, straight from Webster's Online:
1: to conform one's action or practice to (as a law, rite, or condition) : comply with
2: to inspect or take note of as an augury, omen, or presage
3: to celebrate or solemnize (as a ceremony or festival) in a customary or accepted way
4 a: to watch carefully especially with attention to details or behavior for the purpose of arriving at a judgment
b: to make a scientific observation on or of
5: to come to realize or know especially through consideration of noted facts
6: to utter as a remark
intransitive verb
1 a: to take notice
b: to make observations : watch

That 4a is the one that applies here. Haman HATED Mordecai with a PASSION. As most of you reading this know, that hatred fuels the whole book of ESTHER.

Haman had to look with this INTENT at Mordecai, to be ABLE to observe. He took his focus from the joy of being Haman, and started to look at the places he lacked - namely, Mordecai's lack of acknowledgement, in this case. Haman wasn't complete when he looked at Mordecai's contempt for his power.

Dear one, when we take our eyes from where they're supposed to be - fixed on the finish line, on our Lord and Savior - and start to observe our circumstances, not only do we not see the whole picture, we start to judge ourselves, others, and our situation in our own sight. If I start looking at what is - or ISN'T! - going on in my life right now, start taking a look at what seem to be insurmountable obstacles.... Well, let's just say that I would cover MY head, too, and run up, crawl into bed, and NEVER come out.

In MY sight, if I observe the circumstances, I can't go on.

If I keep my sight fixed on God, I cannot observe anything but Him. I can't get distracted and distraught by things beyond my control, that are actually there to help me grow in Him. Good or bad, circumstances are there. They change constantly. GOD DOESN'T. He's bigger than ANY circumstance I am under - or IMAGINE myself to be under. God is sufficient for ALL my needs. He is my Rock, my Strength, my Strong Tower. There is NO OTHER. Period.

Dear one, please let these Scriptures encourage you!

2 Corinthians 4:17 - 18:
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Hebrews 12:1 - 3
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Be blessed, my dear friend. Let us determine together to fix our eyes on Him. All things will pass away, but the Lord endures forever! PRAISE HIM!!! Lift your song to Him, PRAISE HIM, REJOICE ALWAYS. Not only will you lift your song, but your HEART will be lifted. Sometimes praise is a sacrifice, but it is one that God will acknowledge and honor - and you'll be lifted up, too!

I love you. I care about you! I want to share your struggles. I know I've been a bit absent lately; February and March have been super-busy with Stampin' Up!, and I've been doing an AWESOME Bible study on Esther - it's Beth Moore's new one. If you get a chance to take it, DO SO. You WILL NOT be sorry. I knew the story backward and forward, up and down, inside and out. But the life application stuff that's there I never saw for myself. Such good MEAT.

Oh, sweet sister, I want to encourage you SO much. God is so good. His mercies are new, EVERY morning. He is faithful! Let Him love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!