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Holiday stress got you down?

In the midst of all the holiday hustle and bustle and trying to meet everyone’s expectations, and failing,
we have a decision to love and forgive, to be gracious, to be understanding or we can choose to be mad, bitter, unforgiving, argumentative, seeking our own way. The former will always outweigh the latter. Instead of making it about us and them, it really is between me and God. Let’s do the God-honoring thing.

Love isn’t a feeling it’s a choice!

What is love? Patient , kind, does not envy or boast, not arrogant, or rude, does not insist on its own way, not irritable or resentful, does not rejoice in wrongdoing, rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

We choose! What do you choose?

A great poem that mother Theresa had hanging on her wall in the slums of Calcutta says a mouth full………

“People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”

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G-R-A-C-E

It’s not about what I say, it’s about what He says. It’s not about what I do it’s about what He did. He says “I’ve come that you may have life.” He says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” He gave himself up as a sacrifice so that we could live. What a gift! Gods grace abounds even though I deserve none of it. Because of grace I am……

G- guilt free R – redeemed A – accepted C – cleansed  E – for eternity

At this time of advent when holiday hustle and bustle can get to be overwhelming, let’s focus on the one true gift that is Jesus that was sent to be a sacrifice for me and you, underserved, yet he gave himself as a ransom. And because of this grace I can live guilt free from sin, redeemed by the blood of Jesus, accepted into the kingdom and restored fellowship with God and cleansed for all eternity. All we have to do is accept the gift. Thanks be to God!

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The mirror and the me

Such a great read.

Zoe Been

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It’s Monday morning. It took me way too long to get myself out of bed and now I’m frantically trying to catch up the time by moving around the room as fast as possible. I open my cupboard to discover I have nothing to wear, despite having a closet full of clothing. I try on five outfits. Nothing looks good. So I give up and wear the first one I tried on. I’m now even later.

I try to do something with my hair and quickly realise it’s untameable. I tie it back. It doesn’t look good, so I keep fussing.

My two-year-old son is in the room, calling for me to watch something he’s doing. I mutter the correct responses but don’t actually see what he’s up to. I’m looking in the mirror.

My husband senses my agitation and tells me to stop fussing because I’m beautiful no matter…

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Kiss the wave

“I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me into the Rock of Ages.” Charles Spurgreon

I ran across the incredible quote and it struck me so profoundly. Life is a series of waves; some are small and mellow, others are giant and can seem like we just might drown. The good news is Jesus is riding those waves with us and each crash of the wave pushes us deeper into the Rock.

We can’t avoid the waves and if we look at what each wave is doing to us and in us why would we want to avoid it? I want to be closer to the Rock! I don’t want to be drifting far out in the middle of the ocean aimlessly.
To get closer to the Rock, I have to get ready for some waves! They may be uncomfortable and seem frightening, or they could be exciting and exhilarating.
Thank you Jesus for riding the waves with me and bringing me closer to the Rock of Ages.

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“Thy Word Have I Hid In My Heart

Why do we put precious valuables in safes? Why do we put alarms on our houses? Why do we lock our cars? We do all these things to keep from harm or danger; for protection.

When I make efforts to read scripture and study it, memorize it, I’m hiding His word in my heart. I’m locking it in a safe with a standing guard. We make great efforts to guard our material things, how much more do we guard our hearts?

Who/what are we guarding against? We have 3 enemies of the soul: the world, the flesh, and the devil.

The world –We are instructed not to love the things of this world 1John 2:15. Worldly wisdom is contradictory to heavenly wisdom. When we become Christians we are to leave these worldly idols behind and follow Christ.

The flesh– The bible says, “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” Jeremiah 17:9. Our flesh desires what is contrary to the spirit and the spirit what is contrary to the flesh. Galatians 5:17. It’s in opposition.

The devil– Scripture says, “Stay alert! Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

We know the enemies and we are given a way to protect against this danger. After we have repented and first trusted in Jesus we must continue to guard our hearts lest we fall.
We took the first step when we trusted Jesus and he gave us living water. Now we must continue to hide his word in our hearts by reading what he has revealed in his word and through prayer.

Today and everyday “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23 Lock his word in your heart and make Jesus the standing guard of your life. If God is for us who can be against us!

The Crave. The Experience. The Joy.

I have often thought, why do some people who by outward appearance follow Jesus, not have a strong desire for him–by outward appearance I mean, church goers, religious exercisers of the sorts. I grew up in church. I was a religious exerciser. I had plenty of head knowledge of the things of God, and I am very thankful for that because I believe that was the seed being planted, but this alone is not enough. Like in the parable of the sower, the seed can be planted but if it does not take root it will fall away, it will be choked by the thorns of this world. A seed craves water and sunlight to thrive and grow and not be choked by the weeds. You could give the plant gatorade but it will not grow. You could give a seed many things but there is only one way it will grow.

The crave is in every man. This yearning inside that just won’t stop is in everyone. We crave the only source that will satisfy, and that is Jesus. One way and one truth is not a far fetched thing. Our whole universe is operated around a system of a one way organization; just like plants will not grow properly but through one way. It seems more far fetched that we could all be satisfied by different ways and systems.  We all crave one way through Jesus, but some choose another way, and then another way, and another. The crave is never satisfied and we end up a restless soul. St. Augustine said, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until it rests in you.”

The experience is Jesus. We could know a lot about him, even respect him, even call ourselves followers of his teaching, but have we experienced him? Knowing about him and respecting him, and even following his teachings in and of themselves won’t satisfy. We have to experience him. We do what he says because we love him not because we think thats the moral thing to do. Our desire for him will grow as we experience the person of Jesus. The devil in hell knows more things about God than most people but this does not mean he desires him or loves him. How do we get to experience Jesus? We first experience him when we see ourselves for who we really are, wretched soul, empty, dying, deprived of the One who fulfills. We continue experiencing him when our chief goal is to give all glory to God, and when we continue to ask as the apostle Paul said, “What do I have that I did not receive?” God reveals himself when we let him have his way, and we put to death our own way. There is only one way.

The gift is Joy. We have to fight our carnal desires every day, and with the grace of God enabling us  to fight the good fight, we will know what it means to have fullness of Joy. Jesus warned, “the thief comes only to kill, steal and destroy, but I have come that they may have life and and have it to the full.”John 10:10 What does the enemy want to do? He wants to kill the craving for Jesus, steal the experience, of Jesus and destroy the joy of Jesus. Don’t let him have his way! Fight! Fight! Fight! Put on the armor of God and seek only Him. “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. AMEN!” Philippians 4:19,20