Sabtu, 30 Juli 2011

Focus




Focus
Bayless Conley


In Philippians 3:13, Paul says,


Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.


The phrase I want to direct you to today is Paul's statement, One thing I do. These are echoes of words King David spoke when he said, "One thing I desire," and Jesus, who said to the rich young ruler, "There is one thing you lack."


Then there is the blind man, who had been blind from birth, whom Jesus healed. When he was questioned, he said, "There is one thing I know: I was blind, now I see." One thing I do; one thing I desire; one thing you lack; one thing I know.


Each of these statements points to a vital thing needed if you are to grow in your spiritual life: FOCUS.


The problem with many people is they are far too scattered. They are trying to do everything and be everything. They try to be a jack-of-all-trades and end up being a master of none.


If that describes you today, let me ask you a question: What is the one main thing that should be the focus of your life?


I have a very gifted friend who drives me crazy. We can spend an hour in the car; and, in that hour, he has shared 21 new ideas with me. He is trying to be so many things and do so many things that he is not as effective as he could be at anything!


My question to you is this: If you died and stood before God today, what is the one thing He is going to ask you about? Paul said, "One thing I do." What is that one thing for you?








Your Virtual Reality—Newness of Life!
Pastor Adrian Rogers

“We are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:4


I was in an airport one day looking for something to pass the time. I saw a virtual reality motorcycle ride. I sat down and buckled my seat belt as instructed. The screen came on and I couldn’t believe it. I felt like I was riding a motorcycle, but I was just sitting in a room!


Sometimes our mind tells us something is true when it’s not true. Other times when something is true, we fail to believe that it is true!


How critical it is for us to focus on the truth! Jesus died for you. He lives for you. You died with Him. You live for Him. Day by day, you need to take those facts and turn them into faith.


Tell yourself this truth today. Write it down. Post it all around you! You are buried with Him. You rose with Him. You can walk in newness of life!

 
For more from Love Worth Finding and Pastor Adrian Rogers, please visit www.lwf.org.

Jumat, 29 Juli 2011

In His Eyes



In His Eyes
Mary Southerland


Today’s Truth
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:14-15, NIV).


Friend to Friend
God can set you free to be all He created you to be. A healthy self-image is not rooted in pride and it does not exalt self above others. Success comes when we learn to accept God’s evaluation instead of our own and when we give Him permission to make us what He created to be. Yesterday, we examined the first two steps we can take to understand who we are in His eyes. Today, we will look at four more steps.


Step three: Be yourself.
We should always be looking for something new to learn, an area where we can grow and changes that need to be made. Sit down with your mate or close friend and ask for a realistic evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses. Constantly search for gifts and abilities on which you can work. Don’t be afraid of change. It is a sign of life and growth. Change what needs to be changed, accept what you cannot change and quit whining about it! Don’t waste another minute trying to be someone you were never created to be. Stop questioning God’s design for your life. When an old man from the mountains of North Carolina was asked how he created such extraordinary wooden carvings of dogs, he replied, “Well, I just take my knife and a piece of wood and carve away everything that doesn’t look like a dog.” Learning to see your self through the eyes of God is like “carving away” everything that is not part of the original design – God’s plan – and then learning how to accept what remains.


Step four: Guard your mind.
We are bombarded on all sides by the media, family and friends, co-workers and even enemies who have a certain identity they want to assign to us. We have a choice. No one makes us feel inferior without our permission. We will become what we allow our heart and mind to dwell on. An old adage says it well: “You can’t keep a bird from flying over your head but you can keep it from building a nest in your hair.” It is impossible to avoid destructive thinking entirely. We will be tempted. We will have negative thoughts and temptations, but we do not have to allow them to dwell in our minds. God has given us a “garbage disposal” for the mind.


Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.”


We once lived in Miami, Florida, a place where ships come from all over world. However, before a ship is allowed to dock, an inspection team goes aboard with one assignment. Find every bit of contamination on board that ship. If contamination of any kind is found, the ship must be quarantined until it is cleaned up and inspected again. The ship is then allowed to dock. We need to control our thought life in the same way.


Step five: Control your tongue.
Our words either build up or tear down. Scripture tells us not to curse others because they are made in the image of God. So are we. As a mom, I constantly warned our children about the danger of critical words. I wanted them to learn how to encourage others with their words as well as have a healthy picture of who they are. One day, while standing in front my bathroom mirror, I began berating myself for something I had done. I didn’t see our son who was quietly standing in our bedroom door where he could hear every word I said. “Mom, who are you talking to?” he asked. I sheepishly replied, “I was talking to myself.” He thought for a moment and then offered a convicting observation, “Boy, if I talked like that, I’d be in big trouble!” I was immediately reminded of the words in Psalm 141:3: “Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.”


Words are like seeds. What we plant will grow. If we sow destructive, critical words, we will reap a life that is negative and critical, but if we sow words of truth, we will reap a life of peace and purpose, knowing who we are in His eyes.


Step six: Be Patient
Weeds spring up overnight but it takes years for a mighty oak to grow. Today, you can take the first step toward gaining a new perspective of who you are in Christ. Our Father says it this way in Philippians 1:6, “And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns.”


Let’s Pray
Lord, I want to know You more and learn to see myself as You see me. Please help me recognize and guard against anything or anyone who would chip away at Your truth working in my life. I believe You love me and cherish me as Your daughter. Help me to walk in that value and worth and then lead others to do the same. I praise You for validating my very existence as part of Your heart’s plan. I love You, Father.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen.


Now It’s Your Turn
Here is your assignment for the week. Read Psalm 139 at least one time every day. In your journal, write each verse in your own words. At the end of the week, set aside time to celebrate who you are in Christ. Have a praise party – just you and God – or invite a few girlfriends to join you in celebrating how special you are to Him.


More From The Girlfriends
I pray that these devotions have helped you catch a new glimpse of just how precious you are to God. If you were never wanted or planned by human heart and mind, rest assured that you were wanted and planned by God Himself. He is with you and for you, girlfriend. He believes in you and has a plan that will prosper you and give you hope. Turn to Him. Trust Him. You are special in His eyes.

Looking for a Bible Study that is both practical and powerful? Check out Mary’s E-Book Bible Studies here.  Each one includes a study guide that you can download for your personal use or for a small group study.


Be sure to check out Mary’s weekly Online Bible Study: Stress Management 101. Enroll now and have access to all 2011 lessons. Need a friend? Connect with Mary on Facebook or through email.




Stellar Kart - Something Holy


 
You Are Not a Speck—You Are Cherished!

Pastor Adrian Rogers




“. . . the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Matthew 10:30


 
The Lord sees you. He knows all about you. And I guarantee you on the authority of the Word of God, that He loves you.


This is amazing when you realize that we are just specks on a globe that’s about the size of a grain of sand or less compared to the size of the universe.


There’s no more reason that the Lord of Glory should be interested in us then we should be interested in an ant floating on a piece of cheesecake in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. And yet our Lord looks down and He sees us as cherished individuals that He loves one by one.


The great God that runs the universe is concerned about you as though that were His only goal.


When was the last time you counted the hairs on your head? Can you trust a God who has them numbered?


For more from Love Worth Finding and Pastor Adrian Rogers, please visit www.lwf.org.








Kamis, 28 Juli 2011

Flame-Kissed Flavor

Grilled Chicken with Lemon & Oregano



1 of 30

Marinated, rubbed, glazed, and dipped: Chicken on the grill will never be the same again. Bringing together flavors from around the world, like Jamaican jerk seasoning, tahini sauce, hoisin glaze, and chimichurri dipping sauce, these chicken recipes will keep grilling interesting all season long.



Favorite Food Gawker Find...




As much as I love a whole roast chicken any time of the year, grilled chicken is a must in the summer. Many recipes direct you to grill chicken pieces separately, but by taking a few extra steps, this whole chicken method will ensure that the entire chicken is moist and juicy. There will not be any dried-out chicken breasts or underdone chicken legs and thighs to pop your grilled chicken yummy balloon....







The Minimalist: Grilled Corn, Mexican Style

The New York Times

Lord, Bless My Online Friends...Amen!






How Sharp Is Your Ax?
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman
07-28-2011


"If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed but skill will bring success" (Eccl 10:10).


Manufacturing companies live and die by the ability of its designers, engineers, and staff to bring new products to market quickly. Yet for many organizations, a team's capacity to turn promising ideas into new revenue is diminished because of fragmented business processes, a geographically dispersed workforce, and a lack of standards across the supply chain according to an industry expert on innovation in technology.


We live in an information age where the level of knowledge is increasing at warp speed. The way you did things two years ago may not be the same way you do it today. The knowledge you have two years ago may not be adequate to compete in the global marketplace today. Businesses have gone bankrupt because they were not willing to change with the times. Have you seen a Polaroid camera lately? Do you know someone over sixty years old who chose not to learn about computers? The world passes by such people because they are unwilling to "sharpen their ax."


God calls every workplace believer to model four key attributes: 1) Excellence, 2) Ethics and Integrity, 3) Extravagant Love and Service, and 4) Signs and Wonders.


The first quality of a Christian worker should be excellence. Excellence does not just mean the way we do our jobs, but it also means staying abreast of how we do our jobs. God desires to reveal His innovations in His creation. You will not compete in the marketplace today unless you make a commitment to stay abreast of innovation. This too is good stewardship.


How is your "workplace ax"? Does it need sharpening? What are the areas in your working life that need to be sharpened? What innovation is needed to insure that you will be the "head, not the tail" in your workplace calling? Begin today to evaluate action steps you may need to take to have a very sharp "ax".





Today's Prayer

 

Thank you for all of the special people you have placed in my life to complete me. Thank you for my few friends who are truly friends, for my soul mate, for my Christian brothers and sisters. I pray now for those who do not have a special person to complete their lives.

Please send the right person along who can be the one to offer encouragement, friendship, loving guidance, unconditional love, and to just be there. I pray that a bond of Christian love with develop and that both people will be uplifted.

Please forgive me for not always letting my special people know how much they mean, and help me to show them their importance in my life. I praise you and thank you for always being there for me, too, and for your promise to never leave nor forsake me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

 
Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.



Dear God,


Rabu, 27 Juli 2011

Tubby little Cubby


All stuffed with fluff
He's Winnie the Pooh
Winnie the Pooh
Willy Nilly Silly Old Bear.

I took Jack on a little date (Daddy was in L.A. for work) to dinner and his first movie in the theater! On our way to dinner he exclaimed, "I'm your little date!" to which I replied, "Your my favorite little date!" We had such a fun time! We went to our favorite little Italian restaurant, Arrivederci, where we met up with some of the fam for some gnocchi (mmmm) before the movie!


An outing with this little boy is never complete without some seriously funny moments! He is super regular....yes...in that way.  And hardly a dinner passes that he doesn't leave the table for a little while to go potty. So, like clockwork, he needed to go while we were at the restaurant.  I took him to the bathroom, and when we came out, everyone else was already on their way (walking) over to the theater. So I grabbed my things and we left too.  I was walking along, talking and talking, apparently too caught up in the conversation to realize that Jack was saying, "My pants, my pants, my pants..."  It finally registered in my brain what he was saying and I looking down to see his pants....around his ankles!  He was waddling along saying, "My pants, my pants" as they slipped down to his feet!! It may have been the funniest thing ever. I laughed so hard as I pulled up his pants and we continued on our way to the movie :-)

With Junior Mints in hand (and mouth), the previews started and Jack couldn't believe how big the screen was! His eyes were as big as saucers! He looked a little startled at how loud it was too! [He has always been a little sensitive to noise]. For most of the movie he sat on my lap and Bella sat on her mommy's lap next to us, but towards the very end, they both decided they wanted to sit back in their own seats.  Then I looked over, and this is what I saw!


They cuddled up together and Jack had his arm around her!  They are such sweet little friends. They could not be any cuter! I died, and had to take a couple pics [sorry-other people in theater]. 

Winnie the Pooh was adorable, but time with my boy...
that is priceless!

Selasa, 26 Juli 2011

Cute Crafts to Make as Gifts


Easy Sew Apron



Cookbook Organizer






Decorative Tea Towels

 
 

1 of 35

Delight friends and family with personalized gifts handmade
with crafting techniques and supplies...

After These Things...



After These Things....
From the Heart of Dr. Jack Van Impe

Revelation 19:1-9


Chapter 19 is exhilarating because it begins with a heavenly host singing an Alleluia chorus, and this is a Hebrew word meaning "praise Jehovah" or "praise the Lord." Chapter 19 contains the only mention of the term in the New Testament, and we will find it four different times in the following six verses.


Verse 1: And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:


John says, after these things. After what things? After the destruction of religious and political Babylon. Then what? Then he hears the tremendous sound of a multitude conducting a praise and testimony meeting in heaven. Probably led by the martyred saints of the Tribulation hour (chapter 7, verse 9), this group eventually includes all the redeemed in glory. They are rejoicing because (1) evil has run its course; (2) the Tribulation hour is concluding; (3) Christ is preparing to return with His saints; (4) the armies of the world are about to be demolished; (5) swords will then be remade into plowshares and spears into pruninghooks (see Isaiah 2:4); and (6) Christ will soon establish His millennial kingdom upon the earth. Such "good news" would make anyone shout, "Amen! Praise the Lord!"


The reason this praise is directed to One whose attributes are: (1) salvation, (2) glory, (3) honour, and (4) power is revealed in the next verse.


Verse 2: For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.


Verse 3: And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.


The refrain is repeated as God's people acknowledge the fact that Babylon's doom is eternal. Never again will religious or political alliances bring men into bondage. Never again will man be duped, deluded, and destroyed through pompous ceremonialism. No, Babylon's smoke ascends up for the ages of ages-forever and forever!


Verse 4: And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshiped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.


At this point the twenty-four elders (those we observed casting their trophies or crowns at Jesus' feet following the Rapture and Judgment Seat of Christ in chapter 4) join the praise session. The world system that so harassed and persecuted them has finally been judged. The four beasts (identified as cherubim and seraphim in chapter 4) also lend their voices in glorifying God. They are rejoicing over the fact that they did not follow Lucifer, the head angel, as so many of their group did when he rebelled against the Almighty (see Isaiah 14:12-14). Now they are eternally secure, whereas the fallen angels are everlastingly damned.


Verse 5: And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.


This voice is undoubtedly an angel encouraging the heavenly host to continue the praise session. He is the celestial cheerleader at one of heaven's most momentous and climactic hours.


Verse 6: And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.


This is the final chorus as all heaven joins together in song. The multitudinous voices resound so loudly that the roar is likened to the sound of many waters and mighty thunderings. Why not? The prayer of the ages, Thy kingdom come, uttered by millions upon millions through the centuries, is about to be answered. Thus, the exclamation: [Praise Jehovah!] for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.


Verse 7: Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.


Verse 8: And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.


At the hour of Christ's return to earth with His bride (the Church), His honeymoon is launched for 1,000 years. These verses are further proof that the Rapture is a pre-Tribulational event. The marriage of the Lamb takes place in heaven, not on earth. The Bride prepares herself at the Judgment Seat of Christ (which also takes place in heaven) before the wedding. These are time-consuming events. Then she returns with her lover-the Lord Jesus Christ-from heaven.


The Saviour is the Bridegroom because He is the Lamb of God, taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29). The marriage partners at this glorious event include the Lamb (Christ) and His bride (the Church). Question: Where have they been during the Tribulation hour depicted in chapters 6 through 18? The answer: Heaven! You see, the Church was raptured in Revelation 4:1 and has not been mentioned again until this point-the time of preparation for the wedding.


During the seven years that earth dwellers suffered judgment from heaven, the Bride was being investigated in heaven, for 2 Corinthians 5:10 states: We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Second Corinthians 11:2 continues: For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. For many who were unfaithful to Christ during the engagement period (their years of service upon earth), this will be a time of humiliation (see 1 John 2:28).


Since we are then betrothed or engaged to Christ from the time of our conversion until the moment of the Rapture, God commands that we live consistently holy lives (see 1 Peter 1 :16). Then, immediately after we are called home in the "twinkling of an eye," the pre-marital examination concerning our faithfulness as His sweetheart begins. Today's signs definitely indicate that the hour is near. Our next appointment has been scheduled. How heartbreaking the report should the Bridegroom say, "I have discovered a problem." Child of God-don't be among the losers-live victoriously!


In preparation for the marriage ceremony itself, every believer will be attired in the wedding garment he made upon earth. The material will be composed of the good works remaining after the Judgment Seat has occurred. Someone may ask, "Doesn't the Bible teach that believers are clothed in the righteousness of Christ?" Definitely (see 2 Corinthians 5:21). This is how one becomes a Christian in the first place. However, the word righteousness in the original Greek of verse 8 is not singular-(righteousness based upon Christ's work) but plural-(righteousnesses based upon the believer's life and deeds upon earth). At the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10), every work-good or bad-will be investigated. Then those works will be placed in the fires of testing (see 1 Corinthians 3:13). At that time if any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss : but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire (1 Corinthians 3:14, 15).


The two texts just referenced describe the preparation of the bride of Christ (all Christians) for the wedding (the marriage of the Lamb). Clearly, the wedding gown is composed of the believers' righteousnesses (good works) performed on earth in honor of the lover of her soul. When this great moment arrives-undoubtedly soon, yes, perhaps today-what will you have? What will your wedding garment picture? Oh, I plead with you to live for Christ. Give Him your very best and all that you have. If you do, your rewards will be great, your joy complete, and your heavenly entrance abundant (see 2 Peter 1:11).


Verse 9: And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.


This verse discloses the fact that the marriage of the Lamb will include a reception with many guests invited. Please note that the Bride and the Bridegroom are never guests. They are the ones for whom the ceremony is performed. Who, then, are those in attendance at the Marriage Supper? The guests include all believers up to Pentecost as well as the Tribulation saints. John-the disciple Jesus loved (see John 19:26) and the one who wrote the Book of Revelation-said, He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled (John 3:29). No wonder our text states: Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.


The bride is composed of all believers who become members of the body of Christ from the Day of Pentecost until the Rapture. Now we find that the guests are those who trusted in the Lord either prior to Pentecost or following the Rapture. Since the marriage takes place in heaven, and the Old Testament and Tribulation believers are part of the earthly group, their only hope of participating in this event of the ages is that the wedding reception and Marriage Supper take place on earth. This is exactly what happens.


The fact that the marriage takes place in heaven and the supper occurs on earth is beautifully portrayed by the parable of the ten virgins: Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh (Matthew 25:113).


Notice that verse 6 of the above text states: Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. The reason the emphasis is on the Bridegroom instead of the Bride is because the Lord Jesus is all in all. Even John says, Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come (Revelation 19:7). Believers-members of the Bride-ought always to remember that the glory is His. He redeemed us. We would be nothing were it not for Jesus. These texts, then, explain the marriage, the supper, the guests, and the location.

Please visit our web site to view past issues of Jack Van Impe Ministries Newsletter.


 
 
Jack Van Impe Television Show
 July 24, 2011

Senin, 25 Juli 2011

Moving. and being Moved.

Moving stinks. Can I get an amen?


In the last week we 

cleaned/purged/packed/moved/stored/unpacked/organized & reorganized 

until we were blue in the face. And still...boxes remain. 

I didn't feel like we had too much stuff- until I had to fit all of it into boxes and a 10x13 storage room! It is amazing how much stuff we accumulate, and then don't really need/use, but still can't really get rid of.  

The process has been utterly exhausting, and has left me feeling, at times, like a nomad.  

But this is just a season.

We decided to move in with my in laws for a time while Sean is in these beginning stages of starting his new business.  He has such an incredible vision for it, and one we both feel that the Lord has given him, and has directed for this time.  Luckily for me, my in laws are amazing.  I have heard stories about in laws that might make you shutter.  Mine are awesome.  They are so loving and generous, just absolutely sweet, wonderful people.

But it is still an adjustment.

Obviously, we are a family of 4 that is used to our little family unit, our routine; and they are used to theirs. I think we are all beginning to adjust though.  Jack is happy as a clam. He has lots of room to play, a beautiful backyard to run around in [and Lord knows that boys needs to run!] and he loves having his Grandma and Grandpa around to play with him! Claire has made her transition into her crib, but is massively teething- so the sleeping situation has been rough.  I am trying to navigate my way around a kitchen that is stocked with things that aren't mine, but other than that, we are starting to feel settled.

July is always a busy month for us anyway- we have 6 birthdays, lots of other events and usually our trip to Hume Lake squeezed in there too. [We leave Saturday, and I cannot wait! A week of sitting by the lake, milkshake in hand...yes please!]

Other than that, I have been reading in Deuteronomy lately and there is a theme that keeps popping up: fearing the Lord.  This is something that the Lord has really been teaching me lately.  Even though I "grew up" in the church and went through Christian school, this was never really taught, which is baffling because it is so fundamental, and so vital to our relationship with the Lord and to our understanding of blessings that the Lord has in store for us.

 The Israelites turned from the Lord countless times; forgetting what He had done for them and for their fathers before them, and neglecting to fear the Almighty God who graciously and lovingly chose them.  If we want to experience the tremendous blessings that God has for us, we should be moved by our fear of the Lord into an attitude obedience to Him.  Obey Him because we fear Him? That doesn't sound like a loving, gracious God...you say.  But just as a child must respect the authority of his parents, in part because of a fear of their position and power and influence over life; so should we honor and respect and fear the power that Almighty God has in our lives.  I believe it is something that is so lacking in our society today, which is why we are so able to justify bad behavior.  If we as believers, are committed to seeking God, we will only find ourselves more firmly planted- face down in awe and reverence before the One who delivers us from the desert and into the promised land of abundant blessing.

Source: etsy.com via Mandy on Pinterest


"And now O Israel what does the Lord ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in al His ways, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord's commands and decrees that I am giving you today."
Deuteronomy 10:12-13

Come As You Are




Failing Doesn’t Make You a Failure
Sharon Jaynes



Today’s Truth
Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers (Luke 22:31-32 NIV emphasis added).


Friend To Friend
I’m so glad Jesus picked Peter to be one of His disciples. Time and time again we see him with his foot in his mouth, his pride in his pocket, and his temper on his sleeve. Satan knew Peter was going to have a big impact on the formation of the Christian Church, and he tried many times to get him off course. During the last supper, Jesus warned Peter that he was about to be tested…”Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers,” (Luke 22:31-32 emphasis added).


Peter puffed out his chest, lifted his head and said, “I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”


I imagine Jesus thought, Sure you are, buddy.


Just a few hours later, the sifting began. As Peter stood by the fire just outside where Jesus was being beaten and tried, a little servant girl asked if he was one of Jesus’ followers.


“Woman, I don’t know him,” he said.


Then again…


“Man, I am not (one of his disciples)!” Peter replied.


And again…


“Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!”


And just as the third denial slipped past Peter’s lips, the rooster crowed to remind him of Jesus’ words, “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.”


Peter went outside and wept bitterly.


Jesus knew that Peter was going to deny him, and yet, before he even fell from grace, Jesus was picking him up. Yes, Peter was absolutely crushed at his weakness in denying Jesus three times. But then, the ray of God’s love reminded him of Jesus’ words… “When you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”


After Jesus’ resurrection, three times Jesus asked, “Peter, do you love me?” After each of Peter’s affirmations, Jesus said, “Feed my lambs…take care of my sheep…feed my sheep.” Peter did exactly what Jesus asked and spent the rest of his life doing just that.


Have you made some mistakes that left you feeling disqualified from serving God? Do you feel like you have been sitting on the bench because of too many technical fouls? Oh dear friend, you are not disqualified. Jesus has not put you on the bench. Just as we have seen with Peter, when we fall, Jesus calls us to repent, reassure Him of our love, and get back in the game to strengthen our brothers and sisters in Christ. Listen closely. Can you hear it? Jesus is whispering…Do you love me…take care of my sheep.


Let’s Pray
Dear Lord, I am so thankful that you loved Peter…and that You love me. I don’t want to sit on the bench when it comes to the game of life. Thank you for forgiving me and putting me back in the game. Help me to have the courage to get back on my feet when I fall, dust the shame off my face, and join the team on the field! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Now It’s Your Turn
What came to your mind when you read … And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:31-32)?


Do you think Jesus knows when, where, and how you are going to fail?


What did he want Peter to do after he had repented?


What does God want you to do after you have repented?


Let’s get real. Were you convicted or motivated by the words of today’s devotion? Let’s chat. www.facebook.com/sharonjaynes.



More From The Girlfriends
We all make mistakes … just different ones. If you would like to learn how to turn your mistakes into ministry, then you’ll want to read Sharon’s book, Your Scars are Beautiful to God: Finding peace and purpose in the hurts of your past. It’s time to get off the bench and back in the game!




 







To Know My Ways
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman

 "That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, 'Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.' So I declared on oath in my anger, 'They shall never enter my rest'" (Heb 3:10-11).


Technology is supposed to make our ability to accomplish things easier and make us more productive. I love the technology gadgets available to us today. In twenty years these will seem as old and archaic as the eight track player. (See, some of you don't know what that is.)


Research reveals that the average person is working much longer hours today because we literally can work from anywhere. Our technology allows us to stay in constant contact with others, which means we are always on call. Unless we intentionally set boundaries, we will never rest from our work.


God got angry with the people of Israel because they did not know His ways. They failed to recognize the boundaries He had set for them that would ensure a spiritual and physically successful life. They chose to disregard His ways. This disobedience led to their inability to enter God's rest.


God's rest means that we can actually do our work and still be refreshed through His Spirit in our inner man. It is the opposite of sweat and toil. It means that the fruit of our work comes as a result of abiding in the vine of His grace and power. Jesus said you can do nothing (worthwhile) unless you are connected to the vine.


In order to do this you and I must do two things. We must understand His ways and we must do His ways. When we follow these two things, we will begin to experience His supernatural rest in all of our endeavors.


Today's Prayer



Dear God, I pray for all those who are reading this devotional e-mail, that You will touch their lives in great and mighty ways. Please draw them closer to You and provide: Comfort on difficult days, Smiles when sadness intrudes, Rainbows to follow the clouds, Laughter to kiss their lips, Sunsets to warm their hearts, Gentle hugs when spirits sag, Friendships to brighten their being, Beauty for their eyes to see, Confidence for when they doubt, Faith so that they can believe, Courage to know themselves, Patience to accept the truth, And love to complete their lives. Thank You God for Your blessings. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.


Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders






Come As You Are


By Pocket Full Of Rocks

Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

Minggu, 24 Juli 2011

Her Past,Your Future.







Shoppers scarf up luxury fashions at 'The Divorcee Sale'

'Her past. Your future' is the slogan of Orange County event where divorced women can dump their unwanted designer 'baggage' and help a good cause — breast cancer research....


The Most Risky Profession - A Church Pastor



It's refreshing news to hear of pastors taking a leave of absence not over sexual or financial misconduct, but over pride. Such was the case with John Piper last year, and this week with C. J. Mahaney...





TAKE AWAY POINTS TO CONSIDER

I am immortal until the will of God for me is accomplished. David Livingston

In the midst of finitude to be at one with the Infinite and in every moment to be eternal is the immortality of religion.  Friedrich Schleiermacher

We cannot resist the conviction that this world is for us only the porch of another and
more magnificent temple of the Creator's majesty.  Frederick William Faber

Pride is the ground in which all other sins grow, and the parent from which all the other sins come. William Barclay

Pride, not only withdraws the heart from God, but lifts it up against God. Thomas Manton

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16

Do not let us fail one another in interest, care, and practical help; but supremely we must not fail one another in prayer.  Michael Baughen






So Close - Jeremy Riddle

 

This song can be found on Jeremy Riddle's "Beautiful Jesus" album.
May I be so close to Jesus. the Eternal One, that I can feel His breath on my cheek.
Forgive me when I don't pay heed to my salvation. 


Psalm 103
1 Praise the LORD, my soul;
all my inmost being,
praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

6 The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.

7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD's love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children's children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.

19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.

20 Praise the LORD,
you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
21 Praise the LORD,
all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the LORD,
all his works everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the LORD, my soul.

Jumat, 22 Juli 2011

From Monkeys To Turtles: Creative Birthday Cakes!




BHG: Creative Birthday Cakes for Kids

1 of 13

From a whimsical monkey cake to a cute robot cake, these creative desserts will make your child's birthday a rollicking celebration






Decorating Tip

"Frosting a cake is easy when you know how. Chill your cake for 45 minutes
to an hour before frosting to firm it up."

Kristen, Food Editor - Betty Crocker Kitchens



Kid's Parties? It's A Piece of Cake!


When you're a kid, every birthday is a big deal! Make it their best birthday ever with a themed party. It's easy as A, B, C with the more than 30 different party ideas here—complete with recipes, amazing cakes and fun suggestions for décor, games and actiivities from Betty Crocker...








Making cakes is easy with our cake baking tips. Learn how to frost layer cakes
 and how to freeze cake. Get tips on storing cakes and baking cakes....







How To Make A Pull Apart Turtle Cake

Calling all slow pokes! Here’s a sweet birthday party for the younger boy or girl who is fond of turtles or has a favorite turtle character on a children’s television show or in a storybook. Our party will truly have everyone you know green with envy. What are you waiting for? Let’s celebrate!