Monday, December 30, 2013

Best New Year's Resolution

You've got mail.

My 1st choice would have been to have an actual card waiting in your mailbox for you! 

Open this mailbox.  Do you see the envelope addressed to you? Open it.  

The front of the card read:  HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU    

Look inside the card.  It reads: 

      I am convinced an amazing 2014 awaits you!  

To start the New Year, here is the best 
New Year's Resolution for you!

You stop for a moment & think...."What could the best New Year's Resolution be?!"  You choose to continue to read.  The card reads:  

THE BEST NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION FOR YOU IS                A FRESH START!  

A fresh start, you think?  Is it possible?  Yes, it's possible.  You can choose to move on from your 2013 and begin anew.

A fresh start is not so much about your resolution(s) to be a better you.  No, it is something more significant than becoming more disciplined in an area of your life or even setting goals. This fresh start reaches beyond what you can imagine!  This fresh start happens in the innermost part of your being - the real you.  It is in Him that lies the fresh start of change...a new life!  It is radical!  A whole new way of seeing and hearing.

Jesus answered...I tell you, that unless a person is born again (anew, from above) he cannot (know, be acquainted with, and experience) the kingdom of God.  John 3:2-4

A fresh start is a new start or a starting over.  A new life can be real to you if you will choose to turn and believe in Him. 

Acknowledge that you know Jesus died on the cross to take away your sins, so you could come back into a right relationship with Him.  Ask Him to forgive your sin of self-will and let Him have 1st place in your life's events.  He is waiting to show you the marvelous things only you can do.    

Everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. 1 Corinithians 15:21-23

Resolution #1:  ...one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.  Philippians 3:13-14 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The most wonderful time of the year!

Can you hear the song....telling us why it's the most wonderful time of the year?  

There'll be parties for hosting
Marshmallows for toasting
And caroling out in the snow
There'll be scary ghost stories
And tales of the glories 
Of Christmases long, long ago
It's the most wonderful time of the year

Is this what makes it oh so wonderful?  

Could this most wonderful time truly be because we secretly hope there 'is' something more for us?

Do you know why it's the most important time of the year?  Not based on a song, but a real inward understanding.  This understanding is founded in His truth that says we CAN expect to see a good future.

I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

What sets this season apart from the rest of the year?  Yes, it is about the spirit of giving we feel & put into action for those we care about. 

Beyond the extension of our love to one another in gift-giving, it is about a hope that is extended toward us.  A hope that is certain. A hope that is an anchor for our soul. It is strong and secure.  It is founded on the indescribable gift (Jesus) that was given to each of us by way of the cross.  Death on the cross to pay our sin debt, that we could be forgiven of our sins and brought back into relationship with God.

I have come into the world to be a light. No one who believes in Me will stay in darkness. John 12:46 NIRV


We can hope & put our confidence in Him because this is His very character.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8 NIRV


Today, don't let yourself be hardened in heart to this truth of hope...the expectation of good that awaits your life - It's your choice to know & follow Him. 

 
Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.  
Hebrews 3:15 NIV

You don't have to wait until Christmas day to receive this gift.  His gift is too wonderful for words!  

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!  2 Corinthians 9:15 NIV

May you sing Joy to the World, with countless others who have received His gift.
    
Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room...
Isaac Watts, 1719

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Charlie Brown:  Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?

Linus:  Sure Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about 



As a child, each Christmas-time brought the excitement about santa visiting with 'just' what I had hoped for, getting lots of presents from Dad & Mom & watching my favorite Christmas cartoons:  Santa Claus is Coming to Town and A Charlie Brown Christmas.   

Like Charlie Brown, for many years I didn't have a clue to what Christmas was all about.  Allow me to admit that I was age 24 before I finally knew the answer to what Christmas truly meant.  It has radically changed my life and I would like to tell you about this...just in case you haven't found the answer yet. 

The true meaning of Christmas is the birth of Jesus Christ and the 'what' this means to us.     

Linus had it right in his monologue when he spoke straight from God's Word: 

I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.  The Savior has been born today. Luke 2:10-11 NLT

Good news....to ALL people...a Savior was born.  A Savior being the One who would deliver us from sin so we could make the choice to receive His gift and come back into a relationship to God.  

God is showing us His great love for us.  This baby in the manger, this Savior who was born, who sacrificed His life on the cross for the sin of mankind, was buried and after 3 days was resurrected!   He did this for you - He had you in mind.

But what is a Savior & why do we need a Savior? The Bible tells us that we have all sinned.  As a result of our sin, the only just punishment for our sin is separation from a Holy God. 

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 6:23 NIV

That is why we need a Savior!  Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8 NKJV

Jesus' resurrection from the dead proved that His death was sufficient to pay the penalty for our sins. That is why Jesus is the one and only Savior.

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.  Acts 4:12 NIV

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  John 14:6 NIV

Is Jesus your Savior? True Christianity is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Believing & trusting in Jesus & making the choice to turn from your sins (repentance) is the way back into right relationship.

No one is justified by their good works. The only way to be saved is to make your choice to accept Jesus as your Savior, trusting in His death as the payment for your sins.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16 NIV  

Today can be a NEW LIFE, a new beginning for you by knowing HIM as the greatest gift.  The thing about a gift is, you have to receive it!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Talk about real POWER

I asked my good friend Martina to tell her, 'God got ahold of me' story!
Martina says....Have you ever thought what life would have been like had you not found Christ in your life?  Or perhaps if you don't know Him yet & wonder how this could positively affect your life!  

Thank you for letting me tell you my story. 


In my younger years, I was constantly put down, made fun of, told mean things to...until I started to rebel.  Though I grew up knowing who God was & having a love for God, I never really understood the depth of His love until I decided to give my life to Christ.  

I see now how God spared my life many times...from bullets, to misplaced objects on dark freeways, being hurt & betrayed by many, being suicidal & depressed, from alcoholism, a life of partying, several alcohol poisonings, to being diagnosed with an incurable kidney disease.


I thought I had my whole life going on, but when you're a 20-21 year old, you don't expect to be diagnosed with a disease.  When I was told about this, my world came crumbling down.  Though I was a social butterfly, inside I lived a very depressed life, turning to alcohol, partying, interacting with the wrong crowds & guys. 


After being diagnosed with the illness & subsequently being bedridden, I literally began to loose it.  I would stare at the walls everyday & sneak out whenever I could.  During this time, one day I decided to bring lunch to my sister at work (though I myself only weighing 83 lbs.).  I was tired of telling people what I was going through and honestly, I began to have such hatred in my heart for people & life that I literally saw things in black & white - I did not see colors whatsoever. 


This particular day, my sister’s co-worker, who knew what was going on in my life, asked me if I believed Christ could heal me. After being told by doctors that there was no hope, I began to believe.  It was this day that I decided to give my life to Christ.  This lady spoke things to me that only God could know...that my heart was shattered into little pieces & how God wanted to heal me from a broken heart.  I was in tears as she prayed for my kidneys.  I felt my left kidney moving on the inside.  I left that day seeing the world in color for the first time, seeing how beautiful the trees, cars, people were! 


During the time I was bedridden, I began to study the Bible and prayer over 8 hours a day for years, until one day I heard God say that the pastor had a word for me that day.  Though doubt began to arise, I quickly corrected myself saying that if it was from God, then I received it.   It came to pass, at the end of the service, the pastor said, “This is the third time that this comes to me & I can’t keep silent anymore.  Someone here is getting healed of a kidney disease.”  That day, I received my healing & even told my doctor who immediately (nicely) doubted that I was healed.


I held onto my healing scriptures for 2 years, believing & not giving up.  One day my lab results came back normal and needless to say, my doctor was speechless, remembering what I told him. 


For many years I walked in my healing, until I got into an ungodly relationship.  I chose  to compromise my walk with Christ and backslid for 7 years, from happiness & at the same time an emptiness because I was no longer walking with Christ.  I chose to follow my own dreams  I was accepted into nursing school, but, during the physical, I found out I was having kidney failure once again and this time decreasing very rapidly & things took the turn for the worse.  I was down to 10% kidney function & needed to have my transplant ASAP.  It took a process of 9 months to have the transplant.  During these 9 months, I truly thought I was going to die 3 times, as I felt my spirit lifting, so weak leaning against my bed because I didn’t have the strength to get in my bed after throwing up so many times, asking the Lord if He had something for me to do still, not to let me go.  But if He didn’t...that I was tired of fighting & to let me go home.  But God was not done with me & He is not done with you either! 


Though a long journey, it has been a journey full of faith, hope, standing on the Word & having a relationship with Him.  Today, I say thank you to a wonderful brother because I now have a healthy kidney.  I am full of His joy again!


This day is set apart to honor our Lord. So don’t be sad. The joy of the Lord makes you strong.  Nehemiah 8:10 NIRV  

I know this Word as He has delivered me from alcoholism, partying, flirting, smoking & cussing.  Now I’m forgiven, healed & filled with His love, His word, His strength, His wisdom, have wonderful friends & an amazing fiancĂ©e.  I am still a work in progress.


God is very real!  Ask Him to come into your heart & see what He will do in your life.  It is an incredible life & journey growing with the Lord!  Sure storms will arise, but you will learn that you can walk on the stormy waters & have the peace that surpasses our own understanding.


And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:7 RSV


He has already paid the price for our sins on the cross.  He truly loves you & will never leave you nor forsake you, but has sent a helper, His Holy Spirit.


But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things...  John 14:26 NKJV

Jesus Christ is real!  Allow Him to touch your life today.  When you begin this new & amazing relationship with Him, and get into His Word, your life will never be the same again!  


Thank you for reading what He has done to change a life forever :)  I know you have a story, or WILL have your own story too! 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A special connection

A conversation with a friend got me stirred to write about a special connection.

My friend told me he knew of a friend who described herself as 'not really a Christian, believed she had a special connection to God & that everyone went to heaven.'  That sure was a read-full of words, to me!

She certainly made a bold statement in her claim to a special connection to God!  A special connection



Do you know someone who truly believes that there are only the select few who have this special connection to God?  



In their time of need, they feel they know just who to call upon for prayer because God will surely hear their prayer - the person with a special connection.

Do you have this special connection?  Are you dependent on the true connection? 

If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.  John 15:7 AMP

Websters 1828 dictionary:  a connection between virtue & happiness, a connection between parent & child, master & servant, husband & wife; between motives & actions, & between actions & their consequences.  In short, the word is applicable to almost every thing that has a dependence on or relation to another thing.


It appears to me that some folks do not understand what being a Christian means, according to the Bible...but I'm not going there in this blog.  Based on the words spoken by this particular girl mentioned above, it is evident she was not speaking from a relationship with the One & only true God.

The starting point to knowing this special connection is found in 'whosoever will.'   Whoever desires to KNOW Him!  He awaits to know you.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow Me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for My sake, you will save it.  And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?  Matthew 16:2-26 NLT  
The question is, do you desire to know the truth, the true connection to the One who knows all things?  Don't miss what awaits you!

Thomas said to Him, Lord, we do not know where You are going, so how can we know the way?  Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me.  John 14:5-6 AMP

Today, do YOU have a special connection?  


New web @ www.simplewithsyd.com

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Could it really be that simple?

TURN & SEE....
                                                   Photo by:  Jiuck  


Come out from behind the foggy haze, the veil of uncertainty. Life can be a clear and precise experience.  Do you want to see a clear view of real life?

And the Lord said to Moses, Make a fiery serpent [of bronze] and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.  


And Moses made a serpent of bronze and put it on a pole, and if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked to the serpent of bronze attentively, expectantly, with a steady and absorbing gaze], he lives. Numbers 21:8-9 AMP

I am fascinated that the Old Testament (of the Bible) is a foreshadow of the New Testament.  I sure didn't get this at the beginning of my journey.  It's a shadow of what was to come.  

We see it plainly in the story of the fiery serpent that needed to be put on a pole for healing.  Do you want to look on LIFE?  Every day we are given choices.  How wonderful is that!  We get to choose what way we will go in our lives.  The choice is yours to turn and look!  See and consider your choices.  

And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life.

For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.  John 3:14-17 NLT

To truly live is to RECEIVE His life.  Life is found in Jesus Christ, the son of God who died on the cross, the perfect sacrifice, to take away our sins. Today, will you look to Jesus and turn (make the choice to go His way) from your selfish ways (repent), and receive the new life in Him.  

Turn and see, look and live.  It is the life we were always intended for!

Friday, November 15, 2013

As I see you


He sees you.

There is only one you and it is only the one you who can do what no other can in this life. 

Sometimes our lives can seem quite insignificant to us & even those around us.  Your life is so important to the Lord, to humanity, as you were born to know Him and to give to others.  Your life matters.  

Today, YOU are being watched!  The most important person is watching you!  Yes you!  Jesus!  The one who says, "As I see you" is watching you and is wanting a specific time to talk you about today, about the future.  Not how others see you but He sees you made perfect in Him.  Maybe you didn't realize it, yet it is still truth.  This Jesus, a personal God, sees YOU!  How significant your are!  

There was a rich man named Zaccheus. He was a leader of those who gathered taxes. Zaccheus wanted to see Jesus but he could not because so many people were there and he was a short man. He ran ahead and got up into a sycamore tree to see Him. Jesus was going by that way.

When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw Zaccheus. He said, “Zaccheus, come down at once. I must stay in your house today.”  At once he came down and was glad to have Jesus come to his house...For the Son of Man came to look for and to save from the punishment of sin those who are lost.”  Luke 19:2-10 NLT

Again, we see Jesus SEEING!  

Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him and said, “See! There is a true Jew. There is nothing false in him.” Nathanael said to Jesus, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip talked to you, I saw you under the fig tree.”  John 1:47-48 NLV

This day, know that you are significant to Jesus who sees you.  Not only does He see where you are in your life, He also wants to speak right to you.  What is required of you?  Only that you would 'turn' so you CAN see Him.

But whenever a person turns [in repentance] to the Lord, the veil is stripped off and taken away.   2 Corinthians 3:15 AMP


Saturday, November 9, 2013

I need YOU :)

I sure would like to know what matters to YOU!  What questions would you like answered, or what things would you like to see me write about, or even what do you plain think about?

I take it as a serious challenge to ask for God's help to understand what He already knows to life's questions.  It is only in knowing Him that I have anything to offer here.


Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual...For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ1 Corinthians 2:12-13 & 16

Is it too bold to say that I believe our individual success is found in serving one another?  We are individually a piece of one another's puzzle of life.

Please post your question/thoughts within the comments (on this blog) or privately from the 'connect' tab on my web @ 

www.simplewithsyd.com

Look forwards to YOUR thoughts! :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

The road to nowhere

My curiosity got the best of me as I thought about what 'the road to nowhere' might mean.  I decided to ask a few people what the road to nowhere meant to them. The consensus is that this is the road a person might take who is going about living life without a goal or vision.  It is a sense of walking aimlessly without real purpose for their life.



I think I can understand why a person might choose to walk this particular road.  Maybe they don't know how to get 'unstuck' to be able to live in the fullness of their life?  I welcome your view! :)

Where there is no understanding of the Word of the Lord, the people do whatever they want to, but happy is he who keeps the law.  Proverbs 29:18 NLV

God is not general but He is specific in purpose.  He created each one of us with a distinct purpose for our life on earth.  When a person does not have a clear direction for their life, they seem somewhat out of control (disorganized in thought process) because they are not aiming for a specific goal.

We can absolutely know we are on the road that IS going some-
where!  God made it simple by giving us only two choices: the narrow way or the wide way.

You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.  Matthew 7:13-14 NLT


The Lord wants to speak to those who believe that He is the way & He is the truth & He is the life (John 14:6).  To choose to turn from our sinful & selfish ways and turn to His ways, in belief, is where we find the ultimate clear vision for our life!

I don’t consider that I have taken hold of it yet. But here is the one thing I do. I forget what is behind me. I push hard toward what is ahead of me.  I move on toward the goal to win the prize. God has appointed me to win it. The heavenly prize is Christ Jesus himself.  Philippians 3:13-14 NIRV

My prayer for you today is that you would turn from your way of trying to live life, and choose to embrace Him (choose life), and in doing so, will find yourself right smack dab on the road to somewhere - both now and eternally.

see new website @ www.simplewithsyd.com

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Are you a grazer?

Last week I walked around this meadow in St. Ives, England a good number of times.  Admittedly, the sheep won me over with their incredible cuteness!  Second to their cuteness, I could not help but notice their continuous grazing.  
Perhaps we can learn a lesson from the behavior of sheep!  I have heard that grazing all day, health-wise, is better than three good sized meals.  Sheep must instinctively know this healthy eating habit since healthy sheep have normal eating and cud-chewing behavior for 85% of the day.  Healthy sheep are almost always hungry!  A lack of appetite is a good signal of a sick sheep.

The sheep got me to thinking not only about a natural appetite but a spiritual appetite as well.  We know our natural appetite is essential to our physical bodies, but God created within us a heart to hunger for something beyond this physical hunger - the spiritual.  

For He satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with good.  Psalm 107:9 AMP

The question we need to each answer is what do we choose to feed the inner longing to know that something greater than ourselves?  We don't have to be left wondering.  Jesus said if we desire and seek after knowing Him & His truth, we will always, always be filled.  Not with temporal food but something that satisfies the deeper hunger in our innermost being!


Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.  Matthew 5:6 NIV
Hunger works the same way in the spiritual realm as it does in the natural. We were created for relationship with God, but it is our choice to enter into this love relationship with Him.

Are you like a sheep grazing in His pasture?  If not, today can be the day you choose to pull up your seat to the banquet table He has prepared for you.  This is the table of relationship with Jesus, who died so you could live.  This is the table of His goodness. 

Know (perceive, recognize, and understand with approval) that the Lord is God! It is He Who has made us, not we ourselves [and we are His]! We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Psalm 100:3 AMP 

Are you hungry...for more?  Don't wait any longer.  By all means, come and taste and see that He IS good!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

a YES!

                                                                   

Hope this quick truth finds a 'YES' place in your life, as you believe in Him! 

What an opportunity I had today when my friend asked for prayer! Opportunity - you think? Yes, a big fat yes, because I know as much as I want the best things to happen for my friend's life, I can do nothing to make it actually happen.  But God!  His promises are true.  What He says can be trusted.  He doesn't waver or forget what He said, as I might do sometimes.  This scrippy came into my heart as I prayed for  my friend - I looked it up to see this truth in the Word                

For as many as are the promises of God, they all find their Yes [answer] in Him [Christ]. For this reason we also utter the Amen (so be it) to God through Him to the glory of God. 
2 Corinthians 1:20 AMP

Though I read many versions of this text, looked up commentaries on this particular scrippy, in the end, I really found nothing about this verse.  It's obvious (I think to most of us...he he) that this verse was not accidentally written in the Word!  

How excited I was to come across a song from a worship leader, Matt Redman, that I believe makes this scrippy come alive in meaning!

Yes and amen to everything that You have planned.
We live to see Your will be done,

And see Your perfect kingdom come on earth, on the earth.

Yes and amen, we´re taking up our cross for You,

Give us the strength to take these dreams and follow through.
We live to see Your will be done,

And see Your perfect kingdom come on earth, on the earth.

All His promises are yes in Him - for His will to be done.  What does this mean for us?  We get to take part in the BIG plan.  Our lives were never intended to be lived for ourself.   We get to live that others may live by shining light to those who are still in darkness. His death on the cross for our sin, His burial and His resurrection from the dead was accomplished that we might know Him, the one and only true God.

Are you in the 'YES' of His word?

Monday, September 30, 2013

THIRSTY?

Does a filling pump ever go dry?  Yes, it certainly can go dry.  The only sure way to tell if the well has run dry is to measure the water level in the well.  If your water level, the inward you (spiritual) was measured, what level might be the reading?  

The good news is it is possible for you to know & experience this never-ending well of water.  Picture dropping your bucket down, low into the waters of the real you, where you can draw from the waters of life, wisdom & joy. Here is a water supply you can always tap into that will never go dry. 

The story of the Samaritan woman at the well is one of my most favorite stories!  I can relate to feeling like one of the 'least likelys' & as though my life didn't have a real meaning.  I'm sure this Samaritan lady felt pretty 'unlikely' to be chosen, in a world of 'likelys'.  There was a reason behind her having had 5 husbands and living with #6 who was not even her hubby!

Jesus spoke to this woman and said, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life."  John 4:13-14 NIV

It is a God-given desire to thirst for something more.  This craving, this thirst, is met when we meet the never-ending source - Him! 

Do you know this well of water and know true life?  Have you been distracted by things that seem to fill you but leave you empty?  Do you 'know Him' the bread of life & the living water?  

It starts from a relationship Jesus wants to have with you.  Jesus showed us the way back to relationship with the Father.  It is through accepting what He did on the cross for you.  If you would repent (turn) from your ways & ask Him to forgive you & come into your life & show you what He has for you, then you can know this well of living water today!  It is in believing in HIm, that you will never thirst.

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.  John 6:35 NIV 

What is the reading of your well? :)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A different kind of SEE

Recently, someone brought up the story of the good samaritan. You know, the person who took the time to help the one in need, as opposed to those who only looked on and walked by.
  

A certain man was going from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him of his clothes and belongings and beat him and went their way, [unconcernedly] leaving him half dead, as it happened.  Now by coincidence a certain priest was going down along that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.  A Levite likewise came down to the place and saw him, and passed by on the other side [of the road].  But a certain Samaritan, as he traveled along, came down to where he was; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity and sympathy [for him] Luke 10:30-33 AMP

It's interesting that all three men SAW the half-dead man on the road they travelled on.  However, both the priest and the Levite were able to find an excuse for passing over on the other side. Here are two men we would think would be examples of charity, showing compassion on this man.  Instead they chose to shut up their compassion.  They both moved away from really seeing. 

The Samaritan did not exhibit an idle compassion.  He didn't pass by saying, "Lord bless him" as he continued on his way. 

Jesus said it is your neighbor that we are to have compassion on. Who is your neighbor?  ALL people.  Jesus was saying we are to love each other as we love ourselves!  How do you love yourself?  Are you looking out for your-self?  To love another as yourself is to do just what you want for yourself, to please yourself.  

Would you consider taking the love of self, and turning it for the love of your fellow man who needs the compassion of Christ that you are able to give.  Give your all that someone else may live. 

Will you choose to SEE the real need of the one you encounter along your path today?  



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

a NO?





I'm not trying to step on toes here, but want to be transparent in letting you know I believe sometimes....God says NO!

Many times I have heard others say that they do not know what God wants them to do.  I may be too simplistic, but this is how I see it. Sometimes, I may not know when God says yes to me, but I definitely know what a NO sounds like. 

I have had this scrippy marked for years - where I understand the NO of God :

And Paul and Silas passed through the territory of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the Word in Asia.  Acts 16:6 AMP 

The Holy Spirit was saying NO don't go there.  But shortly after, Paul has a dream and is told where & what to do!  

Staying in the Word of God is of utmost importance to clearly understand who God is, to be in a love relationship, and ultimately let His life flow through you for the sake of others.  

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.  Romans 12:2 NKJV

Back to the NO!  I used to get so caught up with things like, "Is God saying take this job, move here, go there...."  This can be maddening, right?

Let me make a correlation.  I know my Mom and Dad and how they think about things, their reasoning that seemed to be behind discipline and mostly, I understand their great love me (more clearly as an adult!).  That does not mean that whatever I may have asked for growing up, I received a yes from them.  I certainly can remember the NO's I got over the years!  

Have you experienced this from your parents?  Then why, when we bring it over into the realm of our heavenly Father, it seems a strange thing that He would say NO?  Behind the NO is the blessing to us, because a parent (God) is looking to set us up for the best case scenario for our lives.  To be in a place where we are truly blessed, and in turn, give to others.  

Let me bring to your remembrance that God said "no" to Jesus when he wanted to avoid the cross. Why? To serve us - to save us!

He got down with His face on the ground and prayed. He said,“Father, if it can be done, take away what must happen to Me. Even so, not what I want, but what You want.”  Luke 21:41-42 NLV

Are you at a place in your life where you can say, "Not my will but Your will."  Trust God enough to submit to His will when His answer is NO to your wants and desires.  

Would love to know your thoughts on the matter?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

In search of confidence!


Allow me a moment to brag on Emily, who makes my every visit to her salon a relaxing yet fun and don't-want-it-to-end experience.

During my appointment last week, I asked Emily if she was ever nervous about cutting someone's hair.  She gave me an emphatic no and said she is completely confident in cutting hair.   She told me her confidence comes right behind her salon chair.   

I wanted to know more, so I asked!  She told me that after a bad relationship and trying to rebuild her life, she read an article that challenged her to think of where she felt most confident.  She called it, "a place where nobody could break my smile!"  

Emily is exact in knowing her confidence is found right behind the chair, as well as her time spent with her little girl, Ellee.  She further told me that standing behind her chair, she could talk to anyone as plain as day, tell them anything on her mind & hear what was on their mind too - not thinking twice about the conversation.  No shuddering and no second guessing she said!

God has given each of you a gift.  Use it to help each other. This will show God’s loving-favor. 1 Peter 4:10 NLV

It thrills me to meet someone who knows that place…the place of confidence.  I understand it's their gift from God! I then began to laugh as I pictured Emily carrying around her chair outside of the salon and people asking her, 'Why are you carrying around a chair?"  She would simply say, "Sit down and let's talk!" ha ha

Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ.  
1 Peter 4:11 NLV

Do you recognize a confidence inside of you?  A confidence to be just who God made you to be.  The living gift you can give to others....it comes easy, you love to give your attention to it and where you feel most fulfilled.  It's something you give to others, and in turn, fills you.

Ultimately, true confidence is found in a relationship with the One who knows you best - Jesus!  He died on the cross to pay the penalty of the sin of mankind.  If you want to know Him today, choose to turn from your self-will of doing your life your way, and ask Him to take control and direct your life.

It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.  
Psalm 118:8 NKJV