Wednesday, March 28, 2012

DESIRE

IF WE DISCOVER A DESIRE WITHIN US THAT NOTHING IN THIS WORLD CAN SATISFY, ALSO WE SHOULD BEGIN TO WONDER IF PERHAPS WE WERE CREATED FOR ANOTHER WORLD.

                   C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) Mere Christianity


I was definately made for another world!  My deepest desires cannot be fulfilled here on this planet nor in this universe.  Only once I am home with my heavenly father will I be satisfied.  I can't wait to dance with God in praise.
 

HOW I HAVE TRIED TO SERVE GOD IN A LITTLE WAY

When I became a Christian I was lucky enough to have like minded people around me. As my children grew we became surrounded by multiple populations of different peoples with different religions, thoughts, beliefs, negativity and hope. I started inviting people over for dinner. It began simply by saying blessing before our meal and having a "normal" conversation. More people were invited. Our conversations opened up to all kinds of subjects, including religious beliefs. We now regularly host about 30 people, mostly teenagers, every Friday night at our home. We are Christian, Muslim, Ahtiest, non-committal, gay, promiscuous, holier than thou but we all have one thing in common. We have agreed to be in each other's lives without judgment or criticism. About 150 lives have been impacted by these simple dinners and many have converted to Christianity. The best compliment I ever received was, "You are the funnest, honest Christian to be around". I frown upon adults who don't share their broken pasts with youngsters. If we seem perfect in their eyes they can't understand how they can be imperfect and still loved by Jesus. We must live as Christ would like us to, but we will stumble and stand right back up because because that momentary slip, it was the blood of Jesus we stepped on without respect. When we realize that we stand right back up again and face Jesus with our apologies and comittment to try to get it right again. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

LIFE IS A STAGE

If the world is a stage, please Lord, I'd like to be the janitor who sweeps up after everyone leaves.  Put me behind the scenes with no makeup, no lines to follow, without too many chiefs and not enough indians.

In the beginning was God.

Truth.

A plan.

I need to find the plan God wants for me.  What truth does he want me to find?  Above all, I need to find the God of 1st Corinthians 13.  That God!

Not the God that is plastered on the overhead screen on Sunday morning, not the God who is glued on the back of cars in the shape of a chrome-colored plastic fish, not the God who people use as a scape-goat or a king of their causes.

I want to discover the one who has walked beside me every second of my life waiting for me to turn and say hello without pretending, without a mask, without anything but me.

BILL'S PORCH

I found a great blog.

http://lvharvest.blogspot.com/

Saturday, March 10, 2012

BEING IN THE FRAME OF MIND FOR BIBLE STUDY

Psalm 109:4 / New Century Version (NCV)


4 They attacked me, even though I loved them and prayed for them.

I sat down a few hours ago to share some notes on discipleship I found going through some old bible devotions I had written. Alas, something interrupted me so I now I'm not in the frame of mind to finish typing that new post. It started me to thinking that I was in the perfect frame of mind to share these notes when Satan attacked.  I don't mean physically, but in a way that crept in slowly, through the actions of another person and my reaction to them.  Satan enjoys attacking us in any way he can, so he looks for moments when we let our guards down, and are weak, to strike us.  So as I write that I am not in the frame of mind to share a new post, here I am posting!  However, I am not able to focus on a post when I’m not completely surrendering to God and asking him to guide my hand.  My mind can’t go there right now.  I’m angry, frustrated and fearful.  The person who Satan used to “attack” me is always an easy target.  This person is not saved or guided by God.  So this post is not “God” centered or guided.  This is my anger and frustration talking.  Believe me I’m keeping it under control.  I could write 100 emotional pages full of woe, etc.  So, that’s why I’m going to walk away from the computer and take some quiet time to focus on God and get myself right with Him again before I call it a night and try to get some sleep.  

Monday, March 5, 2012

EVENING PASSED AND MORNING CAME - GENESIS

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.  Psalm 30:5

GENESIS 1:
v. 5  …..  Evening passed, and morning came.  This was the FIRST day.
v. 8  …..  Evening passed, and morning came.  This was the SECOND day.
v. 13  Evening passed and morning came.  This was the THIRD day.
v. 19  Evening passed and morning came.  This was the FOURTH day.
v. 23  Evening passed and morning came.  This was the FIFTH day.
v. 31  God looked at everything he had made, and it was very good.  Evening passed and morning came.  This was the SIXTH day.

David got it right.  He didn’t look at the morning as the beginning of his day.  He thought upon the night as the beginning of his time with God.  If we could just meditate upon God’s word before going to sleep every night I truly believe God will bless our next day.  While we are sleeping he is free to work in our heart and mind to prepare us for accomplishing what needs to get done.  Too many of us think of night as the end of our day.  Actually it is the beginning of our day.  I truly believe if we all took the time to come to God in the evening before bed and pray for the next morning’s tasks and needs, we would see more fully what God can accomplish in us while we are restfully sleeping.  God wants to spend the evening protecting and preparing us for the morning, not just resting from the day we just lived.

God loves us so much, our eternal joy will come in the morning of Christ’s return.  God's love is with us at all times, he never fails us.  We need to see our mornings as the ending of an evening spent with God protecting us and allowing us to rest so we may forge the path he has paved for us. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoezWBPGRAc

Song Title:Your Love Never Fails
Artist / Band:Jesus Culture
Album:Your Love Never Fails

Nothing can separate
Even if I ran away
Your love never fails

I know I still make mistakes
But You have new mercies for me everyday
Your love never fails

Chorus:
You stay the same through the ages
Your love never changes
There maybe pain in the night but joy comes in the morning

And when the oceans rage
I don't have to be afraid
Because I know that You love me
Your love never fails

Verse 2:
The wind is strong and the water's deep
But I'm not alone in these open seas
Cause Your love never fails

The chasm is far too wide
I never thought I'd reach the other side
But Your love never fails

Bridge:
You make all things work together for my good

WORSHIP - WE ARE CALLED TO IT

I co-led a group of 6th grade girls from our church in a small group. Last night’s study was all about worship.  I’m posting it here because I really enjoyed the message.

Read Deut 6:1-9  New Century Version (NCV)
1 These are the commands, rules, and laws that the Lord your God told me to teach you to obey in the land you are crossing the Jordan River to take.2 You, your children, and your grandchildren must respect the Lord your God as long as you live. Obey all his rules and commands I give you so that you will live a long time.3 Listen, Israel, and carefully obey these laws. Then all will go well for you, and you will become a great nation in a fertile land, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has promised you.
4 Listen, people of Israel! The Lord our God is the only Lord.5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.6 Always remember these commands I give you today.7 Teach them to your children, and talk about them when you sit at home and walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.8 Write them down and tie them to your hands as a sign. Tie them on your forehead to remind you,9 and write them on your doors and gates.
What is worship?  Worship is about committing ourselves fully to God and living each day excited to see where he is going to lead us.  It means placing God at the center of our lives.  Other words for worship are devotion, admiration, deep respect, love without question, honor, or reverence

What does God call us to do? Love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.  We need to choose God daily.  Not as a religious duty, but because we want to.  Only then can we begin to see our lives unfold according to God’s plan.

 Read Psalm 138:1-8  New Century Version (NCV)

1 Lord, I will thank you with all my heart;
I will sing to you before the gods.
2 I will bow down facing your holy Temple,
and I will thank you for your love and loyalty.
You have made your name and your word
greater than anything.
3 On the day I called to you, you answered me.
You made me strong and brave.
4 Lord, let all the kings of the earth praise you
when they hear the words you speak.
5 They will sing about what the Lord has done,
because the Lord's glory is great.
6 Though the Lord is supreme,
he takes care of those who are humble,
but he stays away from the proud.
7 Lord, even when I have trouble all around me,
you will keep me alive.
When my enemies are angry,
you will reach down and save me by your power.
8 Lord, you do everything for me.
Lord, your love continues forever.
Do not leave us, whom you made.

So, what is worship?  It’s a lifestyle of honoring God through conversation, every decision and every moment of our lives.  It’s not just a task.
Read Romans 12:1-2  New Century Version (NCV)

1 So brothers and sisters, since God has shown us great mercy, I beg you to offer your lives as a living sacrifice to him. Your offering must be only for God and pleasing to him, which is the spiritual way for you to worship. 2 Do not be shaped by this world; instead be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you; you will know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect.

When can we worship?  We are not limited in the ways or places we can show God how much we love him.  Worship should become a part of who we are, not just what we do.  If we truly want to live a life that pleases God, then we can’t live according to the world’s standards.  We need to change from people who are selfish and materialistic to someone who is focused on pleasing God.  In order for that to happen, we need to make God a part of our daily life, every moment.

Worshiping God doesn’t have to be a big production.  It simply means including him in all the parts of your day and the way you live your life.  Worship doesn’t have to happen in a church or fuel group.  It really takes place in our heart and the choices we make and the lifestyle we lead.

We can worship God by:

Knowing God - reading our bible, growing closer to him, gaining understanding

Making sacrifices – make choices that are pleasing to God, let our heart and character reflect him, letting go of worldly things

Loving others – put others first, help the needy, love our enemies

Waiting on God – take time to listen to God, spend quiet time with God,

Talking to God – pray to God, express our thoughts, needs and our love for him, thank God for what he has given you, seek forgiveness for sin, surrender yourself to God’s will, cry out to God or praise him through song

God has given us so much.  The way we choose to worship him daily can be our expression of gratefulness and love back to him.  There is no formula to the way we worship.  Worship is not about checking things off a to-do list.  It is including God in every corner of our life so that we can experience life to the fullest in the way God intended for us.

Other verses:
John 4:23
Ephesians 5:19-20

Saturday, March 3, 2012

F.R.O.G. FULLY RELY ON GOD NAME CHANGE?

When I started this blog a few years ago it was just for me.  I didn't share the address with anyone or make a big deal out of it.  It was a place for me to voice my opinion and for my kids to see and eventually have a record of my lifetime thoughts on Christianity.  My close friends knew about it.  They understood the name because I've been collecting frogs ever since I met my husband 26 years ago.  Eventually I was asked to allow followers, so I did.  My visits are high so I know people are coming here to read my little glimmers into the bible.  Now, the husband is on the way to being history and I would like very much to disassociate myself with frogs in any way.  I had a collection of frogs I've packed up to give to a teen girl who loves frogs. 

I was told I souldn't change the name of this blog because its what people are accustomed to seeing.  I'd like to find another name, but F.R.O.G. really does describe me, not just my collection.  I do fully rely on God for everything, he is my non-earthly husband.  My Heavenly Father, Husband, Provider, Protector, Comforter, etc.  So, F.R.O.G. it will stay and fully relying on God I will stay.  My husband may have decided to abandon me, but my God never will.

I will pray for a new name to come to me.  Until then, F.R.O.G. it will stay.

CRY OUT TO THE LORD FOR STRENGTH

I cry out to the Lord with my voice; with my voice to the Lord I make my supplication.  Psalm 142:1
I pray quietly each morning and evening in my own space, and sometimes during the day I use my audible voice to pray directly for a  circumstance or need for myself or others.  I'm thinking that when I sing in worship, I am crying out my need to the Lord.  Ever notice that the songs that most likely make us get up and dance and sing out loud are the ones that touch our hearts in some way?  I play K-Love all day in my house and there are times a song moves me to get up and sing and dance, like no one is watching.  I hope there are no hidden cameras in my house, someone is getting a laugh.  But God is rejoicing at each horrible and off key note I sing.

I think that when I verbalize my feelings to God it is a little more like actually having a conversation with him.  I seem to be able to open up more and get to the "reveal" as you will of my issues because I don't have distractions.  Can you audibly speak to someone and still let your mind wander?  Not if you're really interested in what they have to say.  The depth of my heart can only be found when I get down and dirty with God and dig it all out.  Nothing can surprise or shock him, so why not tell it ALL to Him, who loves us unconditionally?  How are we to "cry" silently?  Can we?  Not realistically.  We must cry out to the Lord, audibly, because that's what he is asking us to do.  Why would he ask us to do it if he didn't care for us.  Does he want us to cry out because he wants to know our feelings?  No!  He already knows them; but do we?  Do we really know what we are feeling if we don't spend time figuring it out?  We need clarity and definition so we can be better prepared to make decisions, instead of being confused and fearful and make rash choices that don't honor God. 

So, CRY out to the Lord.  Sing, dance, praise.  Oh, and don't forget he wants us to scream and cry it all out also.  Our mind, body and heart need to get it out so our strength can shine through.