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?  


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