Thursday, September 26, 2013

I'm Only Human

How many times have you heard someone say, “I’m only human”? There are even songs written about it. Why do we say, “I’m ONLY human”? What I observe from my experience, that statement usually follows some action or word that we deem inappropriate. It’s a good excuse. After all, we are finite. We are not God. We are flesh and blood. What does it really mean to be human? First of all, we were created by God; created in His image. The most wonderful thing about being “human” is the fact that we have been given Freedom to choose. Most animals for instance, act out of instinct. We are fascinated to see many species that migrate hundreds of miles to give birth or lay eggs in the place designated by instinct to bring forth new life. Living in the Northwest, watching the huge gaggles of geese fly north or south depending on the season and the weather is an awesome sight, always accompanied by their loud honking. We humans on the other hand, do not operate on instinct but on choice. The greatest of these choices is Faith. Do we choose to believe God is? Do we choose to believe the Good News of the Gospel? “Without faith it is impossible to please God. He who comes to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of  them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6. It’s our choice. Do we believe Jesus Christ died on the Cross and rose again in three days? Do we believe we are forgiven?  It’s our choice. Oh, I agree that we have a lot of help from God to believe. He is the Author and Finisher of our Faith. If you read the Bible, you find out what privileges being a “human” Believer hold. We are given the “right to become His children”. We are “more than conquerors”. We are “joint heirs with Christ”. We will “rule and reign with Him”. We have been given the power to “say no” to ungodliness. We have been “delivered from the Kingdom of Darkness”. We have been “brought into the Kingdom of Light”. We have been “set free from the law of sin and death”. I could go on and on with all we have been given by the One who created us. I want to focus now on Titus Chapter 2, verses 11&12. God’s Grace, we are told in these verses, teaches us to say “NO” to the things for which we need to say “NO”. His Grace, “Unmerited Favor” and “Operational Power” is available to ALL of us ALL the time! “We’ve got the POWER, THE RIGHT AND THE PRIVILEGE” to be “HUMAN”.  “In our weakness, He is made strong”. So the next time you are tempted to say, “I’m only Human”, take a moment to think about what you are saying. Are you saying,” I can’t help but do those things or think those things I ought not”? Or are you saying, “I CAN do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me”. It should bring joy to our hearts to admit we are human. The synonym for human should be Winner or Victor! With God the Father, Jesus the Son and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, we cannot lose!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

WHAT DO YOU WANT OUT OF LIFE?

What do you want out of life right now? Romans 14:17 says “The Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating or drinking but of Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Spirit.” When we think of the Kingdom of God, we often think of the future i.e. Heaven. There is so much talk of God’s Love and Grace and Forgiveness all of which are amazingly valid. However, as it goes with the human race, we tend to let the pendulum swing way to one side or the other. We sing the little song, “Heaven is a wonderful place, filled with Glory and Grace. I wanna see my Savior’s face. Heaven is a wonderful place.” We can’t wait to get there. But, what about the here and now? We eat, we drink, we live. How? Is our attitude one of “I can live however I want because His Grace and Love forgive me”? Most of us who call ourselves Believers would say “’Heavens’ no”! Yet, in fact, how are we living? What are we allowing into our lives because we believe such? I have one of my first Bibles around the house somewhere and there is a note taped inside the cover. It goes something like this: “Anything that robs you of your closeness to Him, no matter how big or how small, to YOU it is sin.” Yes, God loves us, obviously! But, he is still a Father.  I have a friend who wrote this song years ago. One of the lines are, “I have a Father who watches over me. He kinda makes me tow the line but he also makes me free.” Freedom ironically comes from towing the line; line being the precepts of the Lord. Line upon line, precept upon precept we live. We literally live life to the fullest. Not with a life of self-gratification but of a life focused on building up the treasures that are eternal in value, the things of Righteousness, Peace and Joy. It is not humanly possible to exist without the desire for self-gratification. It is only possible as we walk and live according to the Spirit of God. Jude 17-22 with emphasis on verse 20: “But, you dear Friends, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” I want to make it clear. There is nothing wrong with self-gratitude, loving yourself and appreciating who you are. For those of you who understand my meaning, you deserve the last piece of pie on the plate. You have to love and forgive yourself to love and forgive others. I want the following verse ever before my spiritual eyes, “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. But, I have come that you might have life and life more abundantly.” Spoken by Jesus. I want to spur others on to be alert and watch out for the “thieves” who will rob you of the things of the Kingdom. I want to inherit the Kingdom now and for Eternity.
 
 


Sunday, June 2, 2013

TOTAL PILLOW

I have trouble with my neck and have a terrible time coming up with a pillow that works for me. Well, recently I went to a local garage sale and low and behold, in a FREE box, there was a brand new TOTAL PILLOW. That is the one that was advertised on TV some time back that is scalloped around the edges and is shaped like a donut. I knew it was a "gift". It worked great! I used it in the bed and I used it in the recliner. I was so excited over this crazy little pillow. You can relate if you have ever had neck trouble! One evening while watching TV I noticed my foot rest on my chair was hung up on something. I kept trying to force it into place and it wouldn't go. Further investigation proved that my little pillow was hung up in the mechanism of the chair and I had torn a big hole in it. All the little beads were falling out on the floor. Needless to say, I was not happy. I have learned by my experience that nothing is quite the same when you have to sew it; glue it; tape it, etc. So, after a few seconds of grieving, I threw my "gift" into the garbage can. The giftedness of my little pillow continued beyond that point. I got to thinking about where we are when we come to the Lord and how we get sometimes even after walking with him for a considerable season. We get caught up in the trials of this life and the attacks of the enemy or our own unwise choices and we end up with a big hole in our heart. When God, our Creator looked upon us in the beginning, He said, "It is very good." Not just good, but very good. Philippians 1:6 says, "Being confident of this,He who began a good work in you will continue it  until the day of Jesus Christ..." In Psalm 139 we learn that he actually formed us in our mother's womb. God will NEVER look at us and say... "I guess I just have to throw that one in the trash." He is our Healer; our Deliverer. Nothing is too difficult for Him to fix. You may have been led to believe, as I was growing up, that you are stupid and you will never amount to anything. You may be believing the lie that you can't do anything right and that God is "having to put up with you". We are not junk. We are never broken beyond repair. We who believe are children of God and our Heavenly Father would never throw his children away. Some of the horror stories you hear of what earthly parents do to their children is unbelievably true. But, God is not an earthly parent. He is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. That is hard for some to fathom because of the depth of their injuries. I, for one, have been healed from much. Jesus can be the center of what the Native Americans call the medicine wheel. We can be healed Spiritually, Emotionally, Physically, and Culturally. Don't allow yourself to be lied to any longer. You are not and will never be a "throw away". You are a highly valued, strongly loved, Child of the Living God... so valued that Jesus ran in front of all that was coming to bring death and gave His own life so that you and I can live abundantly, free and forever!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Generational Faith

A few days ago, I had the privilege of speaking to a fantastic group of Ladies. They were members of MOPS (Mother's of Preschoolers). It was a joy to share my heart with them. I spoke on the importance of generational faith or passing your faith down to your children. The message was focused on the value of being a mother and the main Scripture was II Timothy 1:5. Paul told Timothy, "I have been reminded of your sincere faith which first lived in your Grandmother Lois and in your Mother Eunice and I am persuaded now lives in you also." Obviously, faith is not only passed down through the female gender of a family. There are many, many Scriptures that instruct a father to do the same. I shared a little of my own testimony of not growing up in an environment that lent to that inheritance. This does not mean that there was not some degree of "belief" in my parents. It just was not really spoken of or practiced. Therefore, for the most part, I was on my own to discover my faith. When I say "on my own", I grew to know that I wasn't ever truly on my own. Jesus was always there. The truth of God is alive and no matter how small the expression or word spoken, there is lasting power and life. When I was 19 years old, I gave birth to my second child, a son. He had serious problems with his lungs and was only able to survive for about 48 hours. Even now, as a parent, grandparent, great grandparent, I can still see my Dad speaking these words to me, "We know where he is" as we were leaving the little graveside service. I knew he meant Heaven. My Dad rarely spoke of the "Good Lord". My upbringing was pretty void of spiritual things. But when he did speak, as he did that sad day, he brought a sense of peace and hope to my downtrodden heart. It is never too late to pass Faith along to your children and anyone else you may encounter through this life. II Corinthians tell us that, "If any man (woman) be in Christ he is a new creation. Old things are passed away, behold, all things have become new". Proverbs 18:21 tells us that "Life and Death are in the Power of the Tongue...". I am grateful that I have been able to pass my Faith along to my children and now to my grandchildren and my greatgrandchildren. Even a small word can have an enormous impact in the hearts of the recipients. So, as I told the MOPS ladies: "Be real and do  your best knowing your best is only accomplished through Jesus. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13 These are difficult days and it is critical that our children have a strong foundation of Truth to stand on in a world permeated with confusion. To save them from falling into the abyss of instability this life can bring, we can throw them the lifeline of security that comes from knowing Jesus and His Word and holding on!