Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Is it Relationship or Religion? What about Responsibility?

I saw this article this morning and was deeply convicted, not only for myself but for the Christian community in general. Then later today, there was a post on the 106.9 The Light Facebook page. I read the comments and was shocked that everyone seemed to have the idea the article was a debate over relationship vs. religion. I think we are missing the point. The issue with this article isn't about the debate of relationship or religion. z
We need to look deeper. Don't we need to KNOW what we believe in? YES, our walk and salvation is about a relationship with Christ... but then what? Aren't we called to share the gospel? How can we share what we do not know? How can we be CHRIST-LIKE if we aren't studying CHRIST. Why do you believe what you believe?
Another point, how can we be in battle if we don't know the enemy? The first rule of warfare is to know the enemy. "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood (man), but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places"- Ephesians 6:12. We are in spiritual warfare! Our battle isn't against the OTHER religions, it is about the Satan who is confusing the lost with their teachings.
The prior verse says, "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." We SHOULD know the facts... and not just basic facts like were in the survey in this article. How can we reach the lost if we don't know the facts and history behind our own belief? The study showed that the highest scores were among atheists, agnostics, and even mormons. Why do you think so many people are turning to these beliefs? Because they can support why they believe what they believe!
I am passionate about this. God convicted my heart deeply today when I read this study. And, I was deeply saddened by the undertone established with the statement that agnostics and atheists did best and the study showed the more educated you were, the better you did. Christians should not be ignorant (uninformed). It seemed to me to  lead that if you are educated you should know better than believing in God. I know it didn't say that... but think about it.
Guys, this isn't a debate about relationship or religion... it is about responsibility! Christ entrusted us with His calling to preach the gospel to the world so that none may perish. We need to KNOW the Word and we need to KNOW the enemy. 

It needs to start with me. God help me be the woman He needs me to be. Help me to study and write the Word of God on my heart and help me KNOW what I believe!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Give Us This Day.. Our Daily Bread

What is your daily bread? Are you asking God to provide your food and shelter? What about the bread of life? Listen as we talk about a new way to look at this portion of the Lord's Prayer.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I Am

Who is God in your life? He is the I am. Bringing me back to the names of God. Watch this and be blessed at the knowledge of who God really is!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

PJ Party: Your WIll Be Done

When you pray, do you approach prayer with seeking God's will? Jesus gave us the example of the Lord's prayer for a reason. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done..... Are you seeking God's will in your prayers? Or maybe your own? Join us as we share about this principle in our prayer lives.

Trying it a different way tonight... YouTube just isn't processing it right. Hope it works!

Technical Difficulties...

Ok PJ Partiers... we are having some technical difficulties... stay tuned for the SHINE PJ party! Sorry for the delay!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

PJ Party: Names of God

Ah... I am late getting to the party!! Nothing unusual! You would think that I could do better virtually. Learn how knowing the names of God can enhance your prayer life. I hope you all will share how knowing specific names of God help you in your prayer life as well.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

OMG...New Thoughts on Old Habits

In this age of BRB, TTYL, and OMG we like to shorten any phrase we can to make it quicker and easier to express what we are truly wanting to say. But are we even thinking about what we are really saying with even our abbreviations? This week in our Prayer Journey we are talking about the first line of The Lord's Prayer... "Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name."

Hallowed. We talked earlier that "hallowed" means to honor as holy, to be greatly revered or respected. As I was praying this morning, God nudged my heart about an old habit of mine and gave me some new thoughts on it. I am a computer buff! I love to IM, Facebok, and text to communicate with friends. I am quick to type BRB, TTYL and yes, OMG! But is OMG keeping God's name hollowed? Am I honoring God as holy by spitting out OMG, saying "gosh", or even "gee wiz"?

I have to say I never really gave much thought to those sayings, because I knew in my heart I wasn't trying to "take God's name in vain." But today, God really pricked my heart as to whether or not I was keeping His name hallowed.

You know we hear the verse I quoted all the time in reference to God's name. But I found a new verse today that set in the conviction of my old habit in an entirely new way. Psalm 139:20 says, "For they speak against You wickedly;Your enemies take Your name in vain." Oh my! I do not want to be an enemy of God. Do you?

Here is my thought for today as we learn more about prayer and learning who God is. If I am saying OMG.. even in texts, am I really and truly holding God's name as hallowed? And if using God's name in vain makes me an "enemy" of God... then how effective are my prayers? Ouch!

This is not going to be an easy habit to break, but I want to honor God and keep His name hallowed not just with my speech, but with my texting, IMing, and messaging as well. Our Father which art in heaven, help us keep your name hallowed today!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Hallowed Be Thy Name

"Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed by thy name." What does hallowed mean and how does it apply to our relationship to God. Let's start off the week learning about God and His holiness. Hallowed means to honor as holy, greatly revered or respected. Are you honoring God as holy? Is He greatly revered and respected? What are you doing to show Him your reverence? Are you holy?

In Leviticus 20:7-8, the Lord says: "Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the Lord your God. Keep my decrees and follow them. I am the Lord, who makes you holy." To consecrate means to dedicate formally to a divine purpose. Do you realize you have a divine purpose? The only way to accomplish that purpose is to be holy (morally and spiritually excellent).

How in the world can we as mere humans be excellent? Lord knows as hard as I try I miserably fail at being excellent, especially when it comes to the battle between the flesh and the spirit. So how can this be accomplished? Go back to that verse and read it again. "Keep my decrees and follow them." The first step to holiness is obedience. Are you being obedient?

Even with obedience, we all struggle with the feeling of being LESS than holy. I know "HOLY" is not a word I would ever use to describe myself. No matter how hard I try, I just seem to fall short in that category. There are times I just kill myself working so hard at being "morally and spiritually excellent". I ware myself out trying.

But... maybe what I need to do (maybe you as well), is take a look at this verse in Leviticus. Read the very last section of that scripture. "I am the Lord, WHO MAKES YOU HOLY." You see, holiness is not something we attain on our own. Yes, we are to be obedient. Yes, we are to revere and respect God. But HOLINESS comes straight from God. It isn't an accomplishment we can attain on our own. It is a GIFT from God. HE makes ME (and you) holy!! Isn't that just exciting?

Let's put the first part of our study on prayer to work today. "Our Father, which art in heaven, HALLOWED be they name." Respect and revere God today by letting Him have His place and CONTROL in your life today. Be obedient and let HIM make you holy today. The way to let Him make you holy is to let Him have His way.

Our first step in prayer, is complete surrender to God. Are you letting God take control of your life today? Lord, I respect and honor you. The best way for me to honor you today is to let you control my life. Make me holy, make me morally and spiritually excellent today.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Time for a PJ Party!!!

Ok Ladies (and Gents if you are watching)...it is time for our Saturday Night PJ Party! Join us over the next few weeks as we go on our Prayer Journey: PJ! Be sure to leave comments, share insights, as we grow closer to each other and God. We can't wait to hear from you as we party together on this prayer journey.

Getting to the Root

Who would have thought that pulling one little tooth could have caused this much pain?!?! It kind of reminds me of one bad apple can ruin the whole bushel. What are the rotten areas lingering in your life? Do you have decay in just one "little" area? Be careful, it can infect your entire being...

As embarrassing as it is to admit, I had a tooth that broke off cause it was so decayed. The dentist had to go in and remove it, even cut pieces away from the bone. Why? Because the tooth had begun to fuse with the bone and be part of it. There was so much blood and decay, he had to go in 2 days later and remove the hidden leftovers. There is still one piece he didn't get... not because he couldn't, but because it was so close to my sinuses, there was risk of putting a hole in my sinuses if he tried to get it out. And that, would take much longer and be much more painful to heal. Man, this one little tooth has messed with my whole body.

You see. My bad tooth was a result of braces left on too long and unattended. I had neglected regular visits to the dentist because of finances. Eventually what was supposed to shape and retrain my teeth, ended up being a place for remaining particles of the junk I ate, to congregate. By the time I removed my braces, (yes I removed them), the damage was done. My tooth was already on its way to decay. Years went by, I left the decay unattended. The tooth eventually became too weak. It was annoying! I could feel the sharp edges where the rotten parts were eating away the smooth tooth and creating sharp edges.

Once the tooth broke, it was too late for there to be a clean removal. I tried my hardest to remove the tooth myself to avoid the expense of a dentist... but it was too late. I had to go have the dentist remove the roots. My roots had grown to my jaw bone. He had to drill the tooth away from the bone. As I said before, one piece was so deep it had to be left. There was so much blood and decay, there was no way to see all the pieces until after I had a little time to heal. Then I had to go back, open the wound and have the remaining pieces, the additional decay removed...talking about pain!!!

Let's think of that from a spiritual perspective. I wonder if I even need to explain. Are you seeing it already? When we neglect the things in life that are supposed to be helpful, we are like that bracket that instead of shaping and correcting the problem, created a place for the bad particles to collect. Then, hmm.. we try to take things into our own hands. Let's see... we haven't been having our prayer and study time, someone hurts us.. and instead of going to God, we try to ignore it. The more we ignore it, the more it builds up. Then, we try to take care of it ourselves. Remove it.

Are there things building up in your life? Have you neglected your spiritual life so long, you are starting to decay spiritually? Have you tried to fix things on your own, only to find that there is still a root of sin or bitterness left causing infection to the rest of your body? Are there pieces of hurt, resentment, so deep that digging them out would put a hole in something that would take so much longer to heal? Maybe you have just been in one place so long, you are starting to fuse with it? Even if you aren't supposed to? Are you getting to the root?

Let God be your spiritual dentist. Let Him remove the decay from your life. God is a caring "dentist" he knows that you may not be able for Him to dig it all out at once. He knows that the pain, the the blood from the wound, makes it hard to remove everything at once. He has an open door policy, once He starts a work, He is always willing to finish it... AS LONG AS YOU LET HIM!

Here is the thing... don't be like I was with my tooth. Don't wait too long! Don't let other things take precedence. Don't wait till the decay effects other parts of your body. See.. if I had been to the dentist when this first started, he could have cleaned out the cavity and filled it. I wouldn't have had to lose my tooth. What are your spiritual "cavities" today? Let the Dentist scrape away the empty cavities of your life and become your "filling".  Be proactive spiritually. Make regular visits to the Dentist. Brush your life with daily cleaning, floss the crevices to get the hidden particles that can damage you, rinse your mouth with the control of the Holy Spirit. Don't let your roots decay! I can tell you, the pain is much worse when you let things go, rather than handing them over to God and letting Him fill your life.

Brush up with God today!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What's in Your Mouth?

What's in your mouth? Are you chewing on the right things today? Who are you letting feed you today? Read on as we share about letting God be the one to fill our mouths with His best...

I was praying about what God wanted me to post today. Honestly, I don't FEEL like being much of an encouragement today. I don't even FEEL very "Christian" today. I just want to gripe, complain, and pull the covers over my head so I don't see the things that need to be done. I am late for work, my mouth hurts from a dental procedure I had... OOPS! See?!?! There I go with the complaining!

While praying, God asked me, "What do YOU need today?" Now that is a thought, if I am in need of something from God today, maybe someone else might need that exact same thing today. My answer, "I just need some encouragement God!"

HE IS SO FAITHFUL! While praying over words to share today, God directed me to open my Bible. Right there, highlighted in yellow were these words in Jeremiah 1:5-9:

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."

 "Ah, Sovereign LORD," I said, "I do not know how to speak; I am only a child."

 But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a child.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the LORD.

Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, "Now, I have put my words in your mouth.

All we have to do is just ask God to place His words in our mouth. I look over even this morning and the words I used with my kids. Were they edifying? Did they build up? What am I professing? Is it victory? Or is it complaints?

What's in your mouth today? Are you claiming the power in being set apart by God before you were even formed in your mother's womb? There is power in words! Let that power be directly placed in your mouth by God today!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Change Just Means You Aren't Running Around With a Flat Tire

We don't seem to be creatures who welcome change. I don't know what it is about us, but we tend to like the predictability of the normal, expected, the usual. It is easier to plan when you know the routine. There is security in knowing what will come next. Even when things are always going wrong, there is stability in things remaining that way... cause it is familiar.

I started writing this post to talk about some of the changes that I hope to implement for SHINE and all the sudden, God started turning in the direction of speaking o this matter of change. You see, I know from experience how easy it is to get into a rut and run around on a "flat." Some call it "victim mentality" other's call it a "string of bad luck" and then there is the one popular in my family, "family curse." No matter what you call it, so many of us have this tendency to get comfortable in our negative circumstances that we can't make the changes necessary to bring success back into our lives.

I know, I know... many of you may argue that what I am saying is insane. There is no way that anyone in their right mind would want to run around with the proverbial "flat".. or is there? Sometimes the attention that comes from staying in the same rut, is more satisfying than the upheaval of making the needed change. Running around with a flat brings much more attention than a vehicle with a new set of tires... and it gets more sympathy too.

What am I saying? Sometimes change is good. Sometimes it is the needed accountability to make a difference in life. If you are running around with a flat tire, then you have an excuse for not completing your journey, but when you have new tires, full or air, then there are NO excuses for not getting to your destination.

So, it is time for some changes. No more excuses for not trying! It's time to fill up our tires and get moving on this journey. God doesn't get any glory from those of us sitting on the side of the road looking for someone to "pump us up". His glory comes when we let HIM be the air in our tires and wheels to our journey.

And oh, about those changes. Guess I will save that for another post. Enjoy the journey today my dear sisters!