God is Good

“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. For God did not send his son in to the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16&17. NIV

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

These passages speak of the love God has for everyone. He soooo loves us not just when we are good or do what he wants. But everyone and all the time. He does not want anyone ever to perish. He wants to save the whole world. He gave us his one and only son to be born just so he would be condemned to die a horrible humiliating death so nobody else would ever have to die.

That is love. He is a perfect and holy God who can not dwell among sin. They made a way for us to live with them in paradise forever. But they also gave us free will to choose what we want. They have made it very clear what they want. They have given us their words written out for all to discover.

Even if something is Gods will, and it is the very best thing for us, he will not force it on us. It is totally our free will to decide on our own. By doing nothing and making no decision we have decided the answer is no. “I do not want your gift God.” Even though saying yes has made me happier than I can ever imagine. At one time in my life I said yes.

They have given us a gift. Just like every gift you have ever been given it is free. You have to do nothing but accept it. It takes faith to accept it because it is not something we can see or feel. We have to believe we have it. With that gift comes the promise of their help. This is not all us but we have help.

Once we believe we need to practice what we believe and turn away from sin. We are no longer a slave to sin and the way to death but are made new. Many people choose to believe the parts of the Bible that they like. It is historically accurate and has been proven to be true. If it is true it is to be believed. All of it.

If we believe all the good things like how much God knows us and loves us. Knowing our every thought and always wanting what is best for us. Then we ought to believe when he tells us what not to do. Sin is not just wrong it is not good for us if it brings our eternal death. He has warned us time and time again. But this is one thing he doesn’t have control over.

We do though. So nobody can say that a righteous God would not send someone to hell. He doesn’t. We do by not believing and obeying. We have the final say over our actions. We can use any excuse we want but not doing his will puts it on us not him. He is a very loving and just God.

He tells us in his word how to be blessed. He tells us how to live a full and abundant life. How to have fullness of joy. Bubbling over in our lives. He wants what every good father wants for his children. The best. Every good parent will do everything they can to see their children happy, healthy, and safe. They will discipline them and at times say no if what they want is not best for them.

They don’t serve ice cream for breakfast and candy for lunch. If we ate like that we wouldn’t live to see our teens. Running free in the streets is not allowed because it’s not safe. We expect those things even though eating our veggies is a drag we want to be healthy. So we do things we dislike.

Shouldn’t we be glad to do things that bring joy, happiness, and blessings. We want a good happy life? Right.

‘For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.’    2 Timothy 1:7 NIV

I so much hate that people see Christians as weak and powerless. The devil is a liar. People are so deceived and I have been there. I thought at one time that it was all about me and what I could have. It didn’t matter who it might hurt if it was good for me. I was in charge of my destiny.

I had gotten away from God and his ways and focused just on me and my ways. It is not a time I am proud of. But I was blinded by pride. That roaring lion that at some time controls all of us.

We believe the lies in our minds. Lies that tell us we ‘deserve it,’ or worse yet, ‘we don’t deserve it (happiness), ‘we are not getting it’. Lies that make us focus on how bad it is. This makes us just focus more and more on us. What we want or want others to feel sorry for that we don’t have.

People can blame God, say he is not good to us. But the problem is that we have shut him and his ways out. We have not given him a chance. He is good and getting to know him personally and read about all his ways has just let me see all the more blessings and power he longs to give me.

We have been given a good mind. The mind of Christ to be exact. With this mind we have power. All the power to have a full and abundant life. Full of happiness, love, fulfillment and a disciplined life. These are things that all people want or should want.

All that we have been called to do is possible for us if we believe.

By listening to God and obeying his words this power is available to us. My eyes have been so opened and when others are hurting or struggling I see how deceived they have become and it is the lies they believe, or at least a lot of it is. We all have trials to overcome. And we can have power to do just that when our eye is on him.

Lately I have come to see just how blessed I am. I also have been given favor with man. Maybe that’s just because I am a better and more loving person. I love people and will do all I can to help the lives of others. The more I love others the more love I have to give.

It all comes from following the two greatest commandments given to man. First, love the Lord God with all your heart, mind, and soul and love all others more than yourself.

When you are focused on just these two commandments in your life everything else falls into place. You may not be rich or famous but you will be completely satisfied with the life you have and sleep peacefully at the end of the day. What more could you ask for?

‘So do not worry, saying, ‘ What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.’ Matthew 6:31-33 NIV

How to Have the Wow of Jesus in 2019

I was just at lunch and the radio was on while I waited. A song came on by Diamond Rio, “What a Beautiful mess”. As I listened to the words I thought of my relationship with Christ and how exciting it has become. I also got a book for Christmas that says it all. “The Secret Place of Joy,” by Lindell Cooley. They describe the joy I have found and long to share with everyone.

As we begin another new year I encourage you to seek for more that God has for you in your life. The more I get the more addicted I become. It’s so exciting that I just want more. It is so true that the majority of Christians just know about God and try to do the right thing religiously but it’s hard. Very few know that ‘Wow’ available to us.

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” John 15:11 NIV

“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.” Isaiah 55:6 NIV

“…you do not have because you do not ask.” James 4:2 NIV

We have to seek to find it. God will not push on us anything. Even if it is the best thing ever he will wait on us. I spent 50 years of my life living a mediocre Christian life and trying to do it on my own. After my stroke I wanted to know what the reason I was alive for and began reading about God intensively.

I had made so many mistakes, what was I doing wrong. A wonderful Christian woman I knew modeled a dynamic Christian life that I greatly admired. I sought to find out more. She talked about her ‘relationship ‘ so passionately. So in 2013 I vowed to have that kind of relationship too.

To have a good relationship with anyone you need to talk with them and learn more about them. So, I began reading my Bible everyday and prayed about everything. The more I prayed the more I saw prayers answered. This just boosted my faith even more. I began listening to praise music.

One day God opened my eyes, I was sitting in a music program where he sang Christian songs, all of a sudden the words jumped out to my spirit and I felt every word. I began weeping with so much joy. I will never forget that day. I had been praying earnestly for more of God and he came through.

Listening to praise music really boosted my spirit. I stopped watching tv, listening to other music, I watched Christian movies, read Christian books, devotionals, and even found Christian games for my iPad. Not because any of these things are wrong. That may not be for everyone. Just because they brought even more joy.

I began being grateful. I started thanking God for everything. A hot cup of coffee, a beautiful day, friends, a great word on my game words for friends. The word says to pray without ceasing. That was just what I was doing. I begin every morning by talking to God about everything and everyone in my life and all day long I said thank you and whatever was on my mind. Just like a best friend,which he is.

Every good a perfect gift comes from God. The more we ask for the more he gives.

Another important point is our attitude. You can dwell on the one negative thing in your day or spend time being grateful for all the good things in your life.

I have many hard things to face ever since my stroke. My body is far from perfect. I need help with everything. I can’t walk or even stand. My body does what it wants and I don’t have a lot of control anymore. But when I am up in my chair I am fairly independent.

Living in a nursing home has been a real adjustment for me to overcome. I’m not the free independent young gal that I once was but I can always find plenty of positives to dwell on. The more I dwell on them the more joyful I become. It may take me 15 minutes to do something simple but once I’m done I have so much satisfaction in doing it myself.

Going out to church has been so good for me. I have met so many good people that really have enriched my life. No one can have too many friends especially when they are family of God members. My church is online so even if I can’t go I never miss excellent words of truth. But being right among everyone is awesome.

I started tithing a few years back and trying to do all God asks of us. The more I give the more I get a high out of it. I wish I had more to give. It really is better to give than to receive . It feels so good even tips at restaurants. I love to bless others however I can. Just sharing a smile or a hug can be so rewarding. Filling others needs when I can makes me smile.

This coming year enjoy all that God has for you! Start the year with a positive attitude and see all that you can have come to you. Enjoy fully.

Jesus is the Reason

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, And the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called. Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 NIV
“God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth. A town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendent of David. The virgins name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Luke 1:26-28 NIV
Imagine an angel appeared to you. Hard to imagine, right. This was a young girl 13-16 years of age. This would bring fear, questions, “why me, who am I?” For many years her family had told her about God sending a savior to his people. Many people had prophesied of the coming King.
It had taken thousands of years for the timing to be right. He had to find a couple to agree to be the parents of this holy child. It had to be someone special. What would she say? Being pregnant and not being married was punishable by death. Why would he go that route? What would people say?
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “ May your word to me be fulfilled.” Luke 1:38 NIV
She had to feel highly honored, but what would she tell her family, and Joseph. Would they believe her? Still she quickly agreed. She was scared but the Lord would be with her. The baby to be born was prophesied to come from Bethlehem. God caused the great ruler to decide to take a census.
This would get Mary to where she needed to be to give birth. But a stable? God’s ways truly are not ours. After that long dusty trip, nine months pregnant and bouncing around on a mule, a nice hotel and room service was in order. No, he chose to be born in a lowly stable. No clean water, bed or towels.
What a scary, lonely feeling for this poor, young couple. God was with them just as he is with us. It was all planned to go like clockwork even if not our ways his always supersede.
That same night Angels came to some shepherds in a field nearby. They came to share the great news that a savior had been born. What exciting news but also alarming while sitting in that dark lonely field in the middle of night. The heavenly host broke out in praise to God telling of the joyous news to all people. They could not wait to see this miracle themselves. What an exciting time to be alive.
So many prophecies to fulfill but the Lord had been preparing for years. Each detail was accomplished. .His ways may not be ours but they are perfect.

Cast your cares

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am humble and gentle in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
God tells us to cast all our cares on him because He cares for us. How much he cares for us we will never totally understand. Image the best parents in the whole world. Loving, caring, protective, giving, respectful and all good characteristics. That is only 5%, if that, of what our God is.
He is love and he teaches us to love as we should. There is so much love in him that we will never know, but remember this he gave up his right in heaven, that awesome perfect place to leave it and come to earth.
To be born as a helpless little baby to a poor, struggling, very young and inexperienced, couple, born in a stall with dirty animals, with people against him from the very beggining, just so he could die a horrific death beaten beyond recognition, and nailed to a cross with common criminals.
What love he has for each and everyone of us. That says it all.
With his arms open wide he says “ come”. It is a choice. We have been given free will. One of the very dear things he has given us. It sets us above every creature he has created. He has created us in his own image. Able to think, and reason, to discover great and wonderful things about our world and all he has created.
Look at all the knowledge he has given us to create, great inventors and scholars have taken us so far but that is a tiny amount compared to his all knowing and all powerful greatness. He has everything but the most precious thing to him is relationship with us.
He never meant for us to do life on our own. Actually he knows that we can not, at least not if we want his best. We need his help. Oh but we are a proud, proud people. “ I will do it on my own.,” we say. Stubborn and proud. We are a very messed up bunch of misfits. Why does he put up with us.
He knew in the very beginning Eve would eat that apple and that we would separate ourselves from him. He even had a plan to make it possible for us to be restored to a right relationship with him. Where he sees us as perfect again. And as his perfect heirs he wants to give us everything.
Perfect lives full of joy, peace, love. If we will only come to him.He is more than able to help carry are burdens. Give them all to him he loves you. He is not coming to take away from us, as some people assume, but to make our lives better and more fulfilled.
This Christmas season see all he has for you by trusting that perfect love. Cast all of your cares on him. Let him know just what you need.

They will know us by our love

Yesterday was a big day for me. Every year our church does a wonderful Christmas pageant. They have been doing this for forty years. Each year almost a thousand people get involved volunteering and spending months preparing for this big event which goes for two weeks.
So many people, thousands get to see the true meaning of Christmas around the world acted out in song and dance. Also with the help of animals such as large camels in the final scene to flying angels.
Yesterday was dedicated the special needs day and we all got to attend for free. With Sunday class, church, a big pizza party with presents, to the Christmas pageant to top it off, it is a jam packed day of fun. Last night I got in bed exhausted and fell fast asleep. Totally forgot my blog til I woke this morning.
The first thing on my heart this morning was what the guest speaker we had at church yesterday was talking about. It really stuck with me. He said do you believe in Jesus?, or do you Believe Jesus?
Even the demons believe in Jesus but in the end they do no do what God asks. And in the very end a place is prepared for them and it’s not heaven. People can believe there is a God. One who made this wonderful world we live in with unique plants, animals, and different people of every race, and color.
What do you believe in? A God? What God? What do you really believe?
“But someone will say, “you have faith, I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. James 2:18. NIV
They will know we are Christians by our love and good deeds. If Christ really lives in us we will have his love. If that love truly is in us we cannot help but live it in our actions. The more we come together in fellowship the more that love grows and matures. We rub off on each other.
That love we have for each other helps us when times get hard. When trials come it helps to have people who love you and really care for you. That extra hug and kind word can make so much difference.
That’s why people who believe but never attend church or develop strong Christian bonds have such a hard time doing life and dealing with all that comes their way.
They are on their own, even if God is always with us and never leaves it helps to have others who love like him around.

His plans

Everyone is very special to God.  We were all made in his image. That is why we can all live our lives to the fullest. He knew us before we were ever born. He sees the big picture. He is looking through a wide lens. Everything that will make us the best we can be is all planned out.

We have a very important purpose. God knows before anything ever happens how his plan will work best. It would work perfectly if we did everything right. Problem is that we are not perfect. We are all given free will to do as we want. Life is a learning process that lasts till our very last breath.

The people we are around as we grow. The time we were born. Where we were born. Our choices that we make. All these things make us who we are. For every action God has a consequence for us. Good behaviors bring blessings. Bad behaviors will bring more challenges and trials.

God is not surprised by any of these life choices. Good or bad he sees them coming and adjusts our lives with his love and care. Making our lives work out for our best.

He is not just concerned about us but about everyone. Our lives do impact everyone else’s.

Take a family for example. I have one sister and two brothers. I was the first born to my parents. They were good Christians and my grandfather was a Baptist minister. All these things made me who I was and the relationships I had with each member of my family touched each ones lives.

Slowly I was becoming who he made me to be. Trials come to teach us. Just as we go through school from grades kindergarten till we finish High school. These trials are meant to help us grow. They come with tests that we need to pass to move us to the next level.

Some move quickly and others take more time. Molding us and making us just right.

We can trust that God knows just what he is doing. He can keep our life on track just as he keeps billions of other lives on track.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “ plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. “ Jeremiah 29:11   NIV

“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.”  Jeremiah 1:5 NIV

We continue to be special because of every life we touch. It is so easy to say, “ if only this happened”, or “I did this differently.” We might not see our lives as good.

God sees the whole picture though, remember. He is making our lives count.

Lord God,

Please help me to stick with your plans, help me to do your will. To be the best I can be. Make my life make a difference in the lives of others.

Amen