Chosen

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a special possession, that you may declare the praises of him that called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9 NIV

“You will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.” Exodus 19:6 NIV

We have been chosen by God before time began. Before we were ever formed we were called out to be his chosen people. Not everyone is chosen. We are called to be the sons and daughters of Christ. We are called to serve our king.

We are to be the image of Christ. To be Jesus hands and feet to our communities.

We must accept this gift he has given us. It was given freely by Christ as he suffered and died on the cross to give us the chance to be made right with God. We have been given free will to choose for ourselves who we will serve.

Once we have chosen to serve the Lord we need to begin every day with that commitment. We live every day in this world but this is not our true home. It is with Christ in heaven. Each day we need to choose him. To follow his ways and serve him with our whole being.

As part of the special needs community it is very important to be chosen and accepted and loved. I had the privilege to go to camp all last week up in Williams, Arizona. Along with sixty or so other handicapped individuals we got to spend the week with Special Touch Ministries..

It is a wonderful environment for all ages. All different physical and emotional needs. We are loved on and accepted for who we are. We learn who we can be in Christ.

We are called to be priests. Jesus no longer lives on this earth. The only way people can see Jesus is through his children, his priests. We are very special to him. He is with us the whole way and will help us.

For me personally I learned that God has called me to be an encourager. The words I speak are not mine but God’s words spoken through me. This is one reason why I started this blog. I always had a desire to help people. I am a fixer. I like telling people how to fix themselves.

I had many opportunities to speak to people at camp and show his will for them. It was great but it was him not me talking. I am just willing to be used by God. He is not physically walking on earth but we are. The only way for others to see God is through us as we serve as his priests.

He has brought us out of our past of darkness and sin and given us light a future, eternal life with him. We have so much to be thankful for. His Glory and Mercy and his greatness is so manifest in our lives. The more we give the more he gives.

Peace wonderful peace.

Many people accept the gift of eternal life. And then go about life on their own doing whatever they want. Theirs is a wasted life and they don’t know all they are missing. I was one of those people for forty some years before I really got to know Jesus Christ and make him my personal friend and King.

My life has changed drastically and I never want to go back. Life is not about me but about Jesus Christ in me the hope of glory. He has made my life complete. Come join me.

Child of God

“ Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12 NIV

“…so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life.” John 3:14 NIV

The great and mighty God. Creator of heaven and earth, everything that ever was or will be wants to be our father. The most perfect dad that ever was has given us the opportunity to be his child. He is a perfect father who will never let us down.

Some people may not have had an earthly father or one that was very dependable. But this father is not limited by Earth. Nothing is impossible for God. His will will be done in your life and you can take that to the bank.

All we have to do is believe that he is. The one who died to set us free and rose from the grave to ascend into heaven to prepare a place for us. Eternal life with him. This is ours and it is free. Nothing we will ever do will make him love us any less or any more.

We can do great things for him and bring others to him. Feed the sick and hungry. Be almost perfect or we can be bad doing all kinds of awful things. He still loves us.

With him he makes the impossible possible to us in our lives.

We need to come to him just like any father. Love him and respect him. Obey him. Share our lives with him. Get to know him personally. He is not just the ‘Man upstairs ‘, he is Daddy. He wants to be there for you, and with you always. Holding your hand.

It wasn’t till I was actually almost fifty that I realized that. I lived my whole life knowing of God. I knew he was there but was doing life pretty much on my own. My way and didn’t think much about him except Sunday’s. What a waste of time.

I can now say I know him intimately and it has made such a difference in my life. I have more joy, I rarely get mad or upset. I have eternal hope. I am full of peace. No fear.

I could not have said that years ago. I still have trials and hard things to deal with in my life but I have someone to always lean on. Someone to help me through them.

I didn’t have to do a thing to get him to love me. I do lots of things now for him just because I love him and love being close to my him, my dad.

In His Presence

In Isaiah 55:6 “Seek the Lord while he may be found, call on him while he is near” and in Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be filled,” we are given very important wisdom for a full life. Throughout life we all strive for peace, joy and acceptance. We go to great lengths to get this. God tells us that in His presence is fullness of joy.

That sounds so simple. Can’t be that simple, right? What is the meaning of life and how can we be satisfied and fulfilled.

I was born into a wonderful Christian home. Before I was ever born God had a plan for me. He had a call on my life and knew just how it would play out.

When I was just five I came to know the Lord one day in kindergarten. When I was a teen I went to church camp and was filled with the Holy Spirit.

My life was blessed even though I thought it was normal. My dad always told me how important it was to be at church whenever the doors were open and i was from birth. I always tried to be good and do what I was told. I went to vacation Bible school each summer and won prizes for learning all the books of the Bible, memorizing scripture, and knowing different Bible characters.

I always did great because my dad had us read the children’s story Bible during dinner time. Heck I knew all the stories and all the characters. I still struggled with doing all I should. I always forgot to pray and after I got married I tried to read my Bible regularly but life was just so busy, husband, kids, job, and living life seemed enough.

It wasn’t till I was 45 and had a severe stroke that I finally had plenty of time on my hands. Laying flat on my back, unable to move or speak, God had my attention. What was going on. I was calm and not really worried because I knew God was in control but it was hard.

A friend came to see me and offered to read the Bible to me. That made a huge impact on me. When I could I vowed to start reading my Bible every day, I had the time. I haven’t missed many days since. Missed days tend to be bad days so I remember to do it first thing.

Struggling to live in a nursing home I learned so much about God and his ways. I had a Chaplain that was on fire for the Lord, telling us all about Jesus changing her life and always doing things, miracles, for her like he was her best friend. I wanted more.

I started reading every book about God I could get my hands on. We would take trips to Savers and I would bye books for $2.00 and many. I had so many trials in my life but I wanted more of Him. After a perfectly tuff time where I had been in the hospital for a while and was unable to read my Bible I committed to praying every day to get more of God.

The more I got, the happier I felt, and the more I wanted. I would sit and listen to praise music out on the back patio where I was alone. I also prayed a lot and sang hymns out there. It felt good. I had no trouble doing this I just loved doing it.

That’s when I started going to the church. Man it felt so good and I was hooked.

Just to be around people who believed like me and loved me. Singing in church was so alive with passion. They talked about going to camp for a whole week. So I tried it. That was the closest I think you could get to heaven here on earth.

I mean here I am with only Christian brothers and sisters, in the mountains, for a whole week, doing and being with God 24/7. Awesome.

These things have made me so happy. I truly am happier than ever before in my life. Jesus now is my very best friend and some day I’ll go to be with him forever. But right now I just want to be in his presence.

The happiest place I’ve ever known.

Forever

“When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.” Mark 13:7. NIV

We have been hearing these things for years, but the end is sooner than we think. It may be twenty more years or tomorrow. It will come though so where will you be? Where will you spend eternity? This life we live in is really very short. It all depends on how we live this life as to where we will end up.

“By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35. NIV

“If you love me, keep my commands”. John 14: 15. NIV

It is easy to love God but not always easy to love others. It is not a request though. God has commanded us to love him as well as those who hate us. If we love Him, we will keep his commands. Boy we are extremely lucky we live in this day and age because back when Moses was in charge there were so many more commands to keep. You could hardly breathe without screwing up.

Now that Jesus has redeemed us it is so much easier, but our actions are so important. Imagine with me for a minute that the doctor just told you that you only have 24 hours left to live. How will you spend that next 24 hours? Where you will end up for eternity is in the balance.

We watched Scrooge for years turn from the Scrooge he was to the loving person he was meant to be. Yet we never really take it to heart. Every action we make has long lasting consequences. This life is but a blink of the eye compared to 10,000 years in eternity.

Back to my imagining. Would we not take seriously our actions for 24 hours? Do we obey his commandments or do we really need his forgiveness. All sin and all need forgiveness from those sins. One sin is not any worse or less than others. That little white lie is as bad as murder. Sin is sin.

Am I close enough to God. Is my relationship as good with him as I can make it. Many of these same questions would be going through your mind. We need to spend every day with him as if it will be our last, because it may. Nobody knows if they will wake up tomorrow or if we will be in a tragic accident.

We need to spend time with him every day. Get to know him just as a loving father and close friend. The more we know him, the author of love, the more we will be like him and be full of love. Love for him and all men. He will help us to love even the unlovely.

Then we can know for sure that we may close our eyes in this life, but when we open them again we will be in heaven. Spending forever in his presence. In that perfect place where no sorrow or pain exists. Only joy and peace forever.

His Family

I have a beautiful Pandora bracelet that my daughters got me several years ago. I always have it on. Over the years I have added charms for all of my daughters, their husbands and their children. It means so very much to me.

Each charm is special. I have different color beads for some of my grandkids, each one represents someone very dear to me. I have a coffee cup from my youngest daughter because she knows how important my coffee is. The one for my middle son-in-law has turquoise. He is a native Arizonan like his parents and proud of it.

My daughter designs and makes jewelry. She made me a little replica of our towns courthouse. Each charm and each person has so much meaning to me when I look at them. I see family when I look at each charm.

God sees all his children in the same way. We are his pride and joy that he delights in. He sees us as very special and unique charms. No two alike. He can remember each one over thousands of years and all over the world.

Today he took one of his charms home to be with him as my roommate past from this life to the next and I had to smile for she waited so long for this day.

He smiles as he thinks about each. Some thoughts he has:

Angels rejoice over us, demons flee from us. James 4:7

God dances over us with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

We are the righteousness of Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:21

We have an abundance for every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8

We were predestined by God for success. Romans 8:28-30

We are placed and seated with him, a king and priest, part of a chosen generation, a peculiar people. 1 Peter 2:9

We are blessed coming in and going out. Deuteronomy 28:13

We are equipped with the full armor of God. Ephesians 6:13

Just a few of the things he has said about his children. Rest in the confidence we have that he cares for us. We are all very greatly loved.

Fear Not

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. “. Isaiah 41:10. NIV

Fear Not. This is harder to do than it sounds. I have learned over my fifty-nine years that there really is nothing to fear when you know who you are in, Christ. All my life I struggled to read God’s word making excuses because life always seemed hectic. Being a good wife and raising three daughters to be Godly women always seemed more than enough.

When I had my stroke at the age of 45 I suddenly had all the time in the world. I knew only that God was in control and he was good. I had a friend come to visit me that offered to read the Bible to me. I remembered how much comfort it brought and decided to read every day.

That was in 2005 and I may have missed only a few days since. They were always rough days so I learned not to forget. I put it first. Through it I learned more of my fathers love and righteousness. He became so real to me.

I learned that there is no need to fear. My God is right there always holding my hand. I used to fear the pain of dying or being hurt badly but when I had my stroke I almost died but I felt great peace. I knew I had to be strong for my family. I also knew He was able to help me in my weakness.

One day at a time I got my life back and through many trials since I have seen his had on my life. I no longer worry, he’s got it. I don’t need to have the answers but I know who does. I know he loves me and is working everything out for my best. Not what I see is best but what he knows is best.

He created this whole universe and has kept it going for thousands of years. He knows what he’s doing far better than me. He knows everything happening before it happens. My God can do the impossible and has more times than I know.

I have a picture of my granddaughter that shows how I feel.

She is walking alone in the woods this summer on her vacation. Her dad said it first but it really resonated with me as I looked at it.

She is one lone little girl heading out against a dark and often scary forest but she walks without fear she is strong, headstrong, she can take on anything. I feel the same way now. I know I am not in control but I know who is and that makes me strong.

I have learned so much about the one in control and trust him with my life and when it’s through I’ll be with him forever and can’t wait so what should I fear.

To Obey

“If you love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15 NIV

The first and greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all you are. If we truly love him we will show it by our actions. It is said they will know us by our love. Which is the part of us that comes from his spirit living in us. But keeping his commandments takes more work.

Which commandments was he referring to? All of them and there are many. The only way to do this is to read his word and put it to memory. Without knowing the Bible it is hard to know what to keep doing. There are so many. They even give us ways that we will be blessed by doing them.

For instance some are ‘long life’, ‘health’, ‘blessings’, and ‘strong bones’ just to mention a few common ones. These are things that will help us have a long and happy life.Because God is the only one who knows what is really best for us, he has given us the keys not rules to a long and blessed life.

So many people see these as laws or rules we have to keep. What a drag to be a Christian, they say. They see these things through their carnal minds as hindrances to fun. But really they keep us safe, healthy, blessed and happy. We need to be so glad he is on our side. He’s got our back, so to speak.

Well back when Moses was leading the Israelites through the wilderness he gave them many specific commandments. These were harder to follow to the letter. Many of these made no real sense to the people. They were there so the people could realize how holy he is and how we should hold him in great honor.

He also had so many for us to do just out of trust. There was really no way we could keep all of these commandments. We needed a savior and so he sent his one and only son to be the perfect spotless lamb once and for all. I am so glad I live after Christ made the ultimate sacrifice for us. We now live under grace and have it so much easier.

“I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

Now when we come to know the truth we have keys to help us have the full and abundant life he has promised us. So enjoy reading his word and following the way to be blessed.