Thursday, September 29, 2011

Jesus is the HERO of my story!

As I was doing a Beth Moore bible study this morning, God led me off on a study of my own.  I had no idea what it was going to be about or why it was happening, but I just went with it! I'm not exactly sure how I got from the book of Daniel to the book of Isaiah, but I took great comfort in the forty third chapter.  One verse that really stuck out was this,

I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, 
for my own sake, and remembers you sin no more."  
 Isaiah 43:25

Isn't is great God loves us that much?? He doesn't even remember our past sins!! More on this in a moment.

In my Beth Moore study she talked about what God's desire for my life is.  What is God's desire for us...John 15:8,16 says, (v8) "to be my disciples." (v.16) "You did not chose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go out and bear fruit..."  It's humbling knowing GOD CHOSE ME! He gave me specific gifts to do his work.  One is definite-- he gave me a singing voice.  I know He can give  more than one gift, and I know there's more to me than just what is it?? I've been praying for several weeks now trying to figure out what it is, and what am I supposed to do with it. After reading these verses in John I knew God wanted to share something with me.  I started digging deep and he revealed to me I have the gift of showing mercy!! It has always come so easy to me...growing up I often thought maybe I was too soft; after all most people around me where not so willing to show mercy. 
  • Mercy-- compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one's power; compassion, pity, or benevolence; Have mercy on the poor sinner.
I can't share personal stories with out permission of the other party, but one thing I would like to share (what I think compassion should look like) is Osama Bin Laden.  On 9-11 there people in the Middle East standing in the streets singing and dancing over lives lost.  What's equally heartbreaking to me, though, is the night I heard Osama Bin Laden was dead the things I heard on TV and was reading on facebook.  I was glad to hear they got him (dead or alive) because it needed to be done.   War is ugly and even God says it's necessary at times.  But here is a man who didn't know God and had just lost his life.  I was cheerless... We are to mourn as God does, for his people, even the lost.

Now back to our God who doesn't remember our sins.  If you ask for forgiveness you not only receive it, but he remembers it no more!  It comes easy for me forgive and forget. Yes, even forget.  I was really put to the test a couple of years ago.  Even though it took a long time (longer for me than usual) I was able to forgive and ask for forgiveness.  I really have to stop and think about the whole situation to remember details, but I choose not to.  Some say that's foolish and I could get burned again.  I say we are to be just like Jesus and we are to forgive as many times as it takes.  If I harbor resentment from the past it would make it hard to forgive in the future.  Also, I think if we are to be like Jesus- we should forget just as God does.  He tells us in Isaiah 43:18 "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past."
I don't write this to toot my own horn or to brag, but to encourage you. Forgiveness sometimes is a slow doesn't have to be- it's a chose.  Don't let Satan have a stronghold on your life by holding on to bitterness. If you want mercy you have to show it.  I leave you with this last verse:

"This is how my heavenly Fater will treat each of you
unless you forgive your brother from your heart."
Matthew 18:35 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Thriving on parched land

Those that live in Texas know, but we have been months with no after day with over 100 degree temperatures. A few days ago this very tolerant moss rose plant was wilted and dying; It thrives in sunny hot locations where the soil is poor. Even though mine was wilting, it was still green but no flowers. Then, finally Saturday night, it poured down on this thirsty land! The next morning I could barely tell it had rained. Here it is a few days later and it's producing lots of bold color!

I wonder, how many of us are parched and drying up? Or growing, but not producing anything beautiful.  It's only when you're reading and studying God's word daily that you are going to flourish! Over the last couple of years, I've learned that it all begins with prayer.  If I'm studying and not praying it doesn't quite work out for me.  I still end up feeling lost and confused-- very much like this moss grass before the rain.  I would catch myself wondering why my life wasn't going according to plan.  HA! Who's plan?? Well, mine of course. 

One thing that I've come to realize (I've heard all my life, but it's finally it home) is God has a kingdom agenda!  And I'm usually way off the path He has planned out for me. When I'm doing both is when He grants me wisdom and understanding;  That's when I'm able to have boldness and color!

We live in a broken world-- our lands are parched. Satan wants to hold us in captivity-- often times you don't even know it's Satan.  Our culture tells us "Yes, Yes, Yes! Because you deserve it! Use credit and pay it back later!" If you're not building up your faith by praying and studying, you will stay in bondage. Don't become brainwashed by the world and culture!  But, be intentional and very deliberate!!  Practice a little restraint with me this week. I'm not drinking Dr. Pepper, or over eating, or buying unnecessary things. I'm going to watch less TV.  I AM going to show restraint and focus more on God because of it! And let me tell ya, not having Dr. Pepper (just because I can) has been the biggest challenge for me!

As I close out this blog, I'm going to pray for you! That (for even just one of my readers) these words written will spark a flame in your soul. That you'll be intentional in spending one-on-one time with the Lord. That as you learn, God will reveal his plan for your life! That he will put a blaze of passion on your heart and you'll know exactly what to do!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sweet brother time...


That's all I have to say about that...