Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Your Enemy

A few weeks ago, I was watching a program on TV, and a pastor was discussing with a few married couples, issues they were having in their relationships.  

The pastor made this comment, "Attack the thing that comes into your marriage that causes problems as if it were an enemy."

The pastor's comment got me thinking.  If I changed the marriage scenario to my Christian walk, the same statement would apply.  

"Attack the thing that comes into your Christian walk that causes problems as if it were an enemy." 

What enemies have you knowingly or unknowingly given a comfortable place to take up residence in your life?  

Could it be the enemy of old wounds that when properly fertilized breeds bitterness? 

So, what are the things in your spiritual walk that need to be identify as an enemy?  

In Roman 8:12-18 in the Living Bible it says... 

So, dear brothers, you have no obligations whatever 
to your old sinful nature 
to do what it begs you to do.
For if you keep on following it 
you are lost and will perish, 
but if through the power of the Holy Spirit 
you crush it and its evil deeds, 
you shall live.

Once you identify your enemy, deal with it accordingly.   Kill your sin before it kills you—it’s your enemy.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Happy Birthday To You

A few weeks ago, grandchild #8 had a birthday.  He turned five and we couldn't be with him for his special day.  So, we did the best we could by calling him through FaceTime.

After spending a few minutes talking about what he hoped to get for his birthday, I said, "We're going to sing Happy Birthday to you."

His face brightened up like a 1,000 watt bulb.

As my husband and I sang,  Happy Birthday, our grandson's smile grew bigger and brighter with each word of the song.

He could not contain his joy as we sang directly to him. He was overwhelmed that he was singled out in recognition of this amazing day.  January 29th is the celebration of his birth, and he knew he was the man of honor.

In Zephaniah 3:17 (NKJV) it is God who sings over us on our amazing rebirth day.

"The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”

The image of my grandson's smiling face is burned in my memory today, as I write this.  I don't believe he could have expressed an ounce more joy.

It may not be your birthday today, and you probably aren't turning five either, but the joy my grandson expressed as we sang to him, I won't soon forget.

I hope my gratitude to my Heavenly Father, as He sings over me, is equally obvious--to Him.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The warm side of the door.

Our church's Bible Study cruise to the Caribbean is ending tomorrow.  The weather here has been warm and toasty--just beautiful.  However, I have not forgotten that less than two weeks ago we were in record breaking freezing cold Michigan.

According to news reports, Michigan hadn't experienced weather this cold for over 25 years.   During the cold, fringed days of January 2019, my family choose to stay inside as much as possible.  We choose the warm side of the door.

On most of those subzero days, I was curled up by the fire place with the heat pumped up to 70, wrapped in a blanket, with fuzzy socks on my feet.  On days like this, I am very mindful that the other side of the door isn't necessarily a warm and friendly place.

However, too often when I shut the door on the world and enter my comfortable home, I to easily forget that not everyone knows about, the warm side of the door.

There is a verse in John 10:9 (ESV) that says this...

"I am the door. 
If anyone enters by me, 
he will be saved 
and will go in and out 
and find pasture."

 I'm out of the country right now, and it's an easy thing for me, with my passport, to go in and out.   When I am in Christ, I have that same freedom.

The warm side of the door is awesome, no question about that, but if we don't go in and out, we'll never find pastures.

Another verse that comes to mind when I think of pastures is...look unto the fields for they are ripe for harvest.

If we stay inside where it is warm and comfortable, we will miss all opportunities that are NOT on the warm side of the door.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

The Best Place

The Best Place

     My kitchen on any given morning is an obstacle course of "me first."

     My son, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren have been living with us for the past 20 months, and many mornings, we all are in the kitchen at the same time.  Oh, and let's not forget the dog.  She loves the kitchen in the morning too.
    Most of the time mornings in my kitchen are a skillful dance of toaster, stove, sink, fridge, coffeemaker, cupboard, table, dishwasher and out the door.  
     But there has been days when there is bumping, pushing, arms snaking around another person to get that coveted item just beyond reach, lots of 'excuse me's,' and pulling out a drawer ever so slowly until the person standing in front of it finally moves.  
     Mornings in my kitchen should be a reminder of the scripture in Mark 9:35 from the Message Bible.
     He sat down and summoned the Twelve. 
“So you want first place? 
Then take the last place. 
Be the servant of all.”
     Jesus reminds all of us in this verse that when we push for our own agenda, it isn't always the best thing to do.  When I push my way through the crowded kitchen, am I being a servant or trying to take first place?
     This whole idea is foreign to the 'me first' American mindset.  How can last place be first place?  Since when, did a servant become better than the master?
     But to the Christian, the words of Jesus should be our motivation.  His actions should guide us.  
     I wonder how Jesus would act in my kitchen on any given morning.  He'd probably stand back and wait His turn without pushing in for first place at the coffee maker, stove or sink.  He'd probably ask, "What can I do to help?"
     And in so doing, He'd have chosen, The Best Place.

*** On Wednesday, February 13th, I won't be able to post on Facebook because I'll be on a cruise in the Caribbean.  Yippee!  I will have a devotional that will be emailed to those who are following me through my website. If you haven't signed up for my weekly devotionals, you can do so by entering your email address at the right-hand side of the screen just above the books for sale. (If you are on a cell phone--scroll to the bottom and choose view web version to see the whole screen.)

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