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He Answers Our Cries


Then you will call and the the Lord will answer.  You will cry, and He will say, “Here I am.”     — Isaiah 58:9

Fear of an uncertain future.  A broken home.  Financial ruin.  Poor health.  Loss of a loved one.  Loneliness.  Anger.  Frustration.  Failure.  Betrayal.  Job loss.  A broken heart.  So many things to bring sorrow and sadness in life.  So many things we don’t understand.  Sadly, I think most can say we have been through at least one of these life obstacles.

No one is exempt from trials in life.  The old question often arises, “Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?”  I don’t know the answer to that question.  But I do know the only man to walk this earth sinless was burdened with trials.  Was it fair that Jesus was persecuted?  Ridiculed?  Betrayed?  Crucified?  Even He was not exempt.  We cannot escape times of trial and suffering.

But we don’t have to do it alone.

The beauty of Christian living is not that we are free from trials, but that we have the Lord God to carry us through them.  When you cry out to Him, He is there ready to give you comfort and peace.  The Bible tells us that all we need do is cry out to Him and He is there.  He will answer.  The God of the universe, who placed all the stars in the sky.  Created the heavens and earth.  Is there for us as we cry out to Him.

If you are in pain today, if your heart is heavy, if you are loaded with burdens and worry, why not cry out to Him?  Pull out your Bible and read God’s promises.  Cry out to Him in prayer.  He is waiting to hear from you. Let Him carry your load.  Let Him ease your troubled heart.  Let Him bring you peace that passes understanding.

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Posted by on January 7, 2012 in Daily Devotions, It's my life.....

 

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It’s NOT an option!


A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.   –Luke 6:45

 

Have you ever had someone say something to you that really stung your heart?

Something that cut you to the core?

How many times have you replayed those words in your head?

Words are powerful.  They can heal.  And they can hurt.

That old saying ……’Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.’

It’s a bunch of bologna!

The words we speak to others can be poison to the soul.  A wound heals, but words inflicted on another can be replayed over and over and over again in someone’s mind.

As I scrolled through my Facebook feed last night, I found profanities.  Vulgarities.  Even threats.  From teens and adults alike!  The Bible tells us that the words that flow from our mouth comes from the overflow of the heart.  It’s a reflection into your soul.

As Christians, we are called and even commanded to be Christ-like.  It’s not an option!  The second greatest commandment is this:

Love

your

neighbor

as

yourself.

–Matthew 22:39

That’s a pretty tall order. But the Bible gives us very real, very specific direction on how to live.  God knows what’s best for us.  And when we follow His guidance, His direction, we cannot fail.

As you go through the day today, be aware of the power of your words.  What does the overflow of your heart look like?  Do walk through your day inflicting wounds to the souls of others?  Do your words reflect Christ-like attitudes or are you making Satan smile with your verbal vomit? Do you love your neighbor?  Or do you gossip about them, tear them down, and belittle?

Today, commit to be an encourager.  An up-lifter.  A light in someone’s day.  Let the words from your mouth be like a blanket to the soul.  Love your neighbor.  Even the ones that are hard to love.

The same way Christ loves us.

 

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Posted by on January 5, 2012 in Daily Devotions

 

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New Year’s Resolve…. only 363 more days to go!


The New Year is here and my life is quickly getting into full swing again.  Along with the New Year comes those nasty little resolutions rearing their ugly head.  Only to remind me that I failed at the last resolutions made.  What a great feeling!

A few years back, I decided to STOP the insanity and completely boycotted New Year’s Resolutions.  I figured this way I could exercise that rebellious nature AND be successful at resolutions because I wouldn’t have any!  And it worked.  I’ve lived in that happy place for a few years now, but my pesky little sister guilted me into a few.  Ok, she didn’t guilt me into them as much as she triple dog dared me into them.  And I fell for it.  Hook, line, and na-nanny-boo-boo.

So here I am, already working my fingers to the bone……trying to live up to these miserable resolutions.  Just hoping and praying to make it a respectable amount of time before crashing from the stress.  Why, oh why, do we need all things new?  I mean, do we really need ‘out with the old’??  I’m old.  Please don’t throw me out!  And what’s wrong with my old ways anyway?? So what if I have thirty minute marathons to find all things lost in this house??  Clean clothes?  Are they REALLY necessary??  Um, well.  Ok.

So here we go……..three.  Count them.  Three resolutions.  If I can accomplish two of three I will be happy as a pig in sunshine.

1.  Read the entire Bible front to back.  Day two is over and so far, so good thanks to that cool app on my iPad that reads it to me.  That does count, right??

2.  Organize every cabinet and closet in this house.  I actually got a head start on this one back before Christmas.  The kitchen is finished.  Maybe the kitchen should have been the whole resolution.  Then I could check it off!

Of course, this is NOT and NEVER will be MY closet.  But it surely is beeeeuuutiful!

3.  Actually see EMPTY hampers in my laundry room EACH day.  This is a big one for me.  Usually I only see empty hampers when I dump them out to sort the clothes.  I’m proud to say.  On day two.  ALL my hampers are empty!  Go me!

Just imagine it EMPTY!

That’s it.

And now that I have a chance to look it over and think over the past day or so, I have decided………………

I can do this!  Resolution Success will be MINE!!!

What are YOUR resolutions???

 

 

 

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Posted by on January 2, 2012 in humor, It's my life.....

 

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Real Love = All of Me


Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” 

—Matthew 22:37

In today’s culture, we are in love with everything.  Love is only a feeling.  And we use it ever-so-loosely.  How many times do we throw around this word?  I love chocolate.  I love blogging.  I love shopping.  I love music.  I love my computer. I love the new picture album I found at Ross yesterday.

It only takes a few minutes scrolling through the Facebook news feed to see how easily, quickly, and carelessly love is ‘experienced.’  People love their new boyfriend/girlfriend they have only known a few weeks.  They love them as long as they feel like it.  As long as being with them makes them feel good, feel happy, feel content.  When the feeling subsides, the love fades, they break up and move on to the next person, falling in love almost instantly…..again.  When the going gets tough, this kind of love runs.

This ‘love’ is not love at all.  The Bible talks of agape love.  It is a verb.  It is action.  It’s more than a feeling.  It is sacrificial love.  I thank God everyday His love for me is not our definition of love.  How quickly I would be tossed to the side if His love was as fleeting as the love we give to so many things.  His love was put into action for us when He gave His son to die for us.  A sacrifice was made for us.  So we would have the opportunity to live eternally with Him.

The Bible calls us to love the Lord with ALL our heart, soul, and mind.  With everything we have.  It does not call us to love God with only a feeling, but with action.  Sacrificial love.

Do you love God?  If so, what kind of love do you have for Him?  Do you love Him with all you have?  Or do you love Him only when you feel like it?  When it’s convenient?  When you need Him?  What do you sacrifice for Him?  Does the love you have for Him translate into action?  What do you DO for God?

He doesn’t want part of you.  He doesn’t want a part-time love.  Only a feel-good love.  He commands us to love Him with ALL our heart, our soul, and our mind.  He wants ALL of you.

This song was written for the singer’s unborn baby that was diagnosed with heart defects.  It so reminds me of how our God loves all of us.  He holds nothing back despite our brokenness, or sin, our lack of faith in Him.  His love is there for those who seek Him, trust Him follow Him.  He is worthy of our love.  We should give Him our all, love Him with reckless abandon.  He is worth every fear, every tear, every trial.  He wants all of us.  What’s holding YOU back from giving Him your all?

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Posted by on November 12, 2011 in Daily Devotions

 

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TGIF………Time to get your CHEER on!


A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.  –Proverbs 17:22

A crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Wow.  Get a mental image of dried up bones.  Humor me.  Surely, they would ache and hurt each time you use them.  I would imagine them to be brittle.  Easily broken.  And although my first reaction to this verse is, “Dramatic much?”, it makes sense.  When your spirit is crushed by the circumstances and heartbreak of life, you hurt, both physically and emotionally.  You do feel as though you will break at any moment.   The emotional state of your soul can literally make you sick. During those times, it’s an utter necessity to keep your eye on God.  Lean on Him.  And know that He is in control and will bring you through.

It’s also important to guard your heart from the poison of other’s bad attitudes.   We all have someone in our life who is negative about everything.  They could be handed a million dollars and still complain because they had to figure out what to do with the money.  No matter what is going on around them, they are grumpy, grouchy, negative, and pessimistic.  These folks have an uncanny ability to rain on anyone’s parade before it even begins.  They are joy-killers.  Choosing to spend time with these folks takes a toll on a cheerful heart.  In fact, it can crush your spirit.  And nobody wants dried up bones!  Just say NO to the Negative Nelly mindset.

After all, Today is FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just that simple sentence puts a smile on my face from ear to ear.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel…and it’s close enough to know it’s NOT a train coming for me.

The end of the week is within my grasp, right there at my fingertips.

I have lived through another week.  I haven’t only survived, but I have conquered!!

Even if your week has been full of disappointment or heartache, you now have the weekend to refresh, renew your spirit, and spend some time worshiping God.  Choose to have a cheerful heart today.  And yes, it is a choice.  It helps you walk a little lighter.  Your steps a little quicker.  Your outlook a little brighter.  It’s nearly impossible to see a half-empty cup when you are in a cheerful mood.  Even in the midst of problems and trials, an attitude of looking forward to brighter days ahead can change the impact of those trials in your life at the moment.  And often, life is so hard, we need to live moment by moment to survive.

So, today, don’t let any Negative Nelly rain on your Friday parade!!  Count your blessings.  Be thankful for what you HAVE been giving instead of focusing on what all is falling apart.   With God at your side, you can be assured, brighter days are ahead!!

Get your cheer on!!

Sing and dance……….Have a Fabulous Friday!!

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Posted by on November 4, 2011 in Daily Devotions

 

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Thrown Away?


I have a huge walk-in closet, the length of my bedroom.  Yet, it is overflowing with clothes, shoes, and purses.  I decided it was time to get rid of some of this junk.  I started with clothes.  I began to toss clothes right and left.  They were useless to me.  I never wore them and probably never would.  So out they went.

Next, I pulled out a few tubs of purses.  Yes, a few tubs.  I LOVE purses.  And although my new stay-at-home mom lifestyle no longer allows for me to buy a new purse each month, I still LOVE purses.  So, I started going through them, one at a time.  I began to search through each one, looking for anything useful or valuable inside.

As I picked up each one, memories began to flood my mind with the things going on in my life at the time I carried this purse.  Even though I knew I would probably get very little use out of these old purses (I rarely re-use a purse), I couldn’t bear to toss them out.  Each had it’s own value in my eyes.  Pockets right where they needed to be.  The perfect straps for carrying.  Beauty in their design.  I just couldn’t do it.  I tried my best to talk myself into it.  After all, as beautiful or useful as they COULD be, they weren’t.   These purses were of no use to me sitting in the closet in a plastic tub.

As I put the tubs back into the closet, I wondered if that is how God sometimes feels about us.  So many times,  I go about my merry way, living my life for me…..of no use to God.  Although I have some great qualities and characteristics,  so often I choose to sit in hiding.  Not being useful to God.

For I have chosen you
      and will not throw you away.
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
      Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
   I will strengthen you and help you.
      I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.  –Isaiah 41:9b-10

The Bible tells us, as believers, we are chosen by God.  He will not throw us away.  He sees the value in our lives and in our hearts even when we don’t.  I believe people get frightened of living for God.  What might they have to give up, what sacrifices might He ask me to make for Him?  They immediately dismiss the idea because it might be hard.  They focus on their fears and failures and forget their value in Christ’s eyes.  They allow Satan to discourage them into believing they are useless.  Hopeless.  Weak.

This is why it is so important to stay in God’s word.  To see what He says.  He will not throw you away.  No matter how useless you may be for His kingdom at the moment.  His love is too great for tossing you out.  He can help you overcome your fears and failures.  He has mighty plans for you to further His kingdom.  He will give you the strength you need to stop listening to Satan’s lies.  But you have to come out of hiding. You have to make a commitment to live for Him.  Walk with Him.  Lean on Him.

Each day as I learn more and more by reading His word, I am amazed at His love for us.  Considering the vast number of people walking this earth, it would be so easy for Him to throw me away.  He doesn’t need me.  He has no reason to love me.  There are plenty of people He can use.  He DOES love me, WANT me, has PLANS for me.  The truth is, he knows the number of hairs on my head.  My name is engraved in the palm of His hand.  If I am that important to Him, loved that much by Him, how can I not want to live for Him? 

What lies has Satan told you that you believe?

Do you live a life useful to God?  Or are you like my old purses, tucked away in my closet, full of beauty and usefulness, but hiding?

God’s love for you is there.  His plan for you is there.  Claim it and cling to it!

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Posted by on November 3, 2011 in Daily Devotions

 

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God is Good…All the time!


Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.—Psalm 107:1

 

November is here.  That means Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  It’s a busy time of year.  It seems our busy-ness just snowballs from here until the start of the new year.  With all the holiday plans atop our normal hectic schedules, it’s very easy to look past what’s important.  We muddle through life, just trying to meet our obligations. We are so busy, we lose sight of our blessings.  We don’t have time to give Him thanks, because if truth be known, when busy-ness sets in, it’s often God who is pushed to the side first.   In fact, for many who proclaim to be Christians, He stays pushed to the side anyway.

We are so accustomed to God’s generosity,  the blessings he gives, we take them for granted.  It’s almost as if we expect him to be good to us, so when He blesses us, we aren’t truly thankful, because somehow, we believe it’s God’s job to be good to us.  That’s what He is supposed to do.   We would try to show other’s God’s goodness, His light, but there just isn’t enough time left at the end of a long day.

How arrogant!  How obnoxious!

Some would say that’s not true.  You do truly appreciate God.  You truly love Him and thank Him for His blessings.  But what do your actions show?  Is there evidence in your life that shows you follow God?  In your daily routine, would people label you as a Christian?  Or is your light hidden beneath a bushel basket?

But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people.You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.  —2 Peter 2:9

I know life is demanding.  And you are already exhausted at the end of the day just trying to survive.  I know, believe me.   I’m right there with you.  But, without Him, I would have nothing.  I wouldn’t have strength and endurance for that busy day.  Without all of His blessings, where would I be?  Without His arms wrapped around me in times of trials, how would I make it?    Although, I don’t thank Him as I should, I neglect to follow Him when I know better, He carries me through.   His love is there, always.

I have to continually remind myself of this….God is first. 

The blessings He pours out on my life.  His kindness, His generosity, His faithfulness to be there for us always….it’s something I do not want to ever do without.

The Bible tells us not only of God’s goodness, but also that He is faithful.  He is loving.  And it never ends.  It endures forever.   As Christians, we are called to show God’s goodness to others.  We have been chosen by him.

He loves us!  He LOVE US!

Grasp that fact!  The God of the universe LOVES you and me! He pours out blessings on our life, even when we aren’t faithful to Him.

Imagine for a moment, that you committed yourself to Him 100%.  Imagine what your life would be like!

Today,  I will be making a list of all the things I am thankful for.  Today, I will go to Him in prayer and praise Him for all He has given me.  Today, I will seek Him.  His direction for my life.  And I will follow.  It’s the least I can do for Him.

Won’t you join me?

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Posted by on November 2, 2011 in Daily Devotions

 

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