Tuesday, December 16, 2014

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

What is the Reason For Christmas?

We had the privilege of hearing Dr. Don Stewart Sunday night at our church and he spoke about Christmas.  He shared the story of the Magi and what we can learn from that story.  These men knew what a privilege it was to be able to worship Jesus.  They knew the price it would cost to travel to see Him.  They knew what to expect.  They knew how important Jesus was to the world.  

So what is the reason for Christmas?  

One thing Dr. Stewart shared was it was because of sin that we celebrate Christmas.  It was because of sin that Jesus came to this earth to save us.  
It was that sin that forever changed our relationship with God.  
It was that sin that separated us from God.  
It was my sin, it was your sin.  But…

             there is good news!  
We have a gift that is like no other gift that you will get this Christmas~

This gift cannot be bought by money or good works.  

This gift is eternal.

This gift will not break or rot or even get eaten up by moths.

This gift was freely given by someone who loves you more than your mom and dad.

This gift can change your life forever.

This gift if from God and it an eternal life with Jesus Christ our Lord!

So today, give the gift that will last a lifetime~  Share the love of Jesus with someone so they know what it means to have Jesus as Lord of their life.  Share the good news that Jesus Christ is Lord.  Share what He has done for you.  

Prayer: Father, Thank You for Christmas!  Thank you for people who know the REAL meaning of Christmas!  Thank you that I can share this gift with others.  In Jesus Name I Pray.  Amen

Sunday, December 14, 2014

My Prayer

This was my journal entry last night that I wanted to share, in case other mothers out there are struggling with the same thing.  Even if you don't have children, you may still struggle with these thoughts with family and friends in your life.

I am struggling tonight~

Struggling with so many thoughts~
     Am I a good mommy?

     Am I a good wife?

     Do I make the right decisions for my family?  

     What kind of legacy am I leaving?  

The discussion I had with my children tonight was probably too deep for this eight year old brains to even grasp.  (Sometimes I don't know when to stop and make it simple.  Do you struggle with this?)  My desire for my children today is - I want them to desire Jesus more than anything in this world!  But how do you explain that to them when they are being taught by so many outside influences to want the things in this world.  They want the next toy that can entertain them.  Or they want the latest fashion.  And I am reminded of a question that I really don't want to answer.  Why?  Because I know the answer.  The answer is a swift kick in my booty.  So what is the question, you may be asking yourself.

Am I investing time in my children?  Of course you say.  You are a good mommy.  I see you with your children and they love you.  But Am I really investing "quality" time in my children?  Am I teaching them what it truly means to follow Jesus?  Am I teaching them by example?  Am I spending time reading God's word with them?

And the raw reality is NO.

That Hurts MY Heart!

Yes, I spend time with my children but I must admit that it is not always quality time.  I am just there...  I am doing activities with them but sometimes they are not things that are pouring God's word into them or teaching them about the important things in this life.

If I want my children to desire Jesus more than anything in this world,
    it is my responsibility to teach them what it means to truly follow Jesus.
           It is my responsibility to spend time with them daily reading His word.

Tonight, we talked about hearing Your voice.  Noah asked me "how do you know God is talking to you?'  I told him that the more time you spend in prayer, reading His word and talking with Him, you will begin to hear God's voice and know it is God speaking to you.  I explained that he knows my voice because he spends time with me daily.  He has heard mommy's voice from the time he was in my womb, so he knows it is me that is speaking to him.  Of course he went on to say "but I don't hear His voice out loud like I do yours."  I assured him that he will know when God is speaking to him.

I want the best for my children and my family, and I know that a relationship with Jesus is what is best for them.  But I also know that I can't make them have these same desires or have a relationship with Jesus.  My prayer Father is that You will use me in my children's life to teach them about you and trust that you will do the rest.

These same thoughts of "am I investing time in my children", I also have for my husband.  Am I really investing in our marriage?  Am I showing my husband that I honor and respect him? Do we spend time communicating about our day?  Do we communicate our needs and desires to one another?  These are questions we all should ask ourselves and evaluate our priorities.  I can recall a conversation I had with my youth group a little over 10 years ago about priorities.  I remember telling them that God should be first in their parent's life, then their spouse and then came the children.  They looked at my like I had lost my mind.  But if you are to have a healthy biblical centered marriage, this should be your model as well.  God should be the most important person in your life.  Your spouse should be second and if you have children, they should be third.  Anything else like other family members, work, or friends should not be in those first three positions in your life.  You may disagree with me and that is okay but God's word shares about this very thing.  Evaluate your life this morning and see what is taking priority in your life.  Are you investing time in your relationship with Jesus?  Are your investing in your marriage?  Are you investing in your children?

My prayer this morning is ~
     for my children to walk with Jesus daily,
     for them to know Him in only a way that an 8 year old can know Him,
     that they will be content with where they are and what they have,
     that Josh and I will invest quality time with them daily,
     that Josh and I will continue to invest in our marriage,
     and that I would be content in my own life, so that I can lead by example.

What is your prayer this morning for your life, for your spouse and for your children?  I would love to hear from you.  Let us all join each other in prayer for our priorities to be refocused on where they should be.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Did you move?

As I sit on the 8th floor of a friends condo in orange beach, I am reminded of how BIG this world really is and what a small part I am in it.  Think about it…

The ocean looks like it goes on forever when you are standing at the shore.  The amount of water that is before me and the creatures that make their home there are beyond my comprehension.  The tiny grains of sand that join together to make vast, beautiful beaches were created by the same creator that made you and me.  Just like the waters in the ocean, the creatures living beneath and the sands - we move.  


Why, does the waters move? 
Why, do the creatures move?  
Why, do the grains of sand move?  

God created all the things to move- to bring forth life, to create bodies of land.  But why did you move?  

You might be wondering where I am going with this but stay with me.  When I speak about moving, I am not talking about moving to the next town or to another job.  I am speaking about moving to or away from God.  God never moves.  He is the same from the beginning.  So looking back over this past year can you answer the question of “did you move?”  as it pertains to your relationship with God?  I think we can all say yes we did move.  If you did not move then you have been stagnate in your relationship.  We must be in a perpetual range of motion when it comes to our daily walk.  We must be firmly established, as Paul writes, and “not moved away from the hope of the gospel.” 

                      God’s love has not changed.  

                                                     He has not moved.  
                                                                            He is right where you left Him.  

He is waiting for you to come back to your first love.  But rest assured He will welcome you back with open arms, no matter how long you have been away.  

Cling to His promises.  

Colossians 1:21-23
21And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach-23if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister. “

Prayer: Father, Thank you for the little reminders that we can find in Your creation.  Thank you for reminding me to stand firm in my relationship with you.  Thank you that even if I move away from You, that You will welcome me back with open arms.  Help me to take those first steps back to you.  In Jesus Name, I Pray.  Amen.  

Monday, December 1, 2014

Is it well with your soul?

Colossians 1:15-20

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 19 For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

Wow, Can you believe we are in December already?  Reflecting back over the last 11 months, think about all that has happened in your life.  Maybe tears begin to well-up in your eyes because of the loss of loved ones or a huge smile creeps across you face because of the precious memories that were created this year.  When we take time to reflect over our day, week or year we are able to step back and see many things.  I do not ask you to reflect over the last year to bring sadness to you but for you to take time to see where Christ was in all of it.  

All things were created by Him.  All things are held together by Him.  All the fullness dwell in Him.  This may be hard for you to grasp because of the sadness you feel in your heart but I know that He was with you during those days of hurt, sadness, loneliness, even those day of anger.  How do I know this truth?  Because His word says He will never leave us nor forsake us and I know this because I experienced it in my own life.  

When you are finally at a point in your walk with Christ that you can reflect back over your life and see even in the midst of the pain that God was right there with you, preparing you for the plans He has for you today, you can firmly say, “It is Well With My Soul.”  I leave you with the story behind a very well known hymn.

It is Well with My Soul, the Song and the Story
Composer Horatio Spafford, It is Well with My Soul

HoratioSpafford (1828-1888) was a wealthy Chicago lawyer with a thriving legal practice, a beautiful home, a wife, four daughters and a son. He was also a devout Christian and faithful student of the Scriptures. His circle of friends included Dwight L. Moody, Ira Sankey and various other well-known Christians of the day.

At the very height of his financial and professional success, Horatio and his wife Anna suffered the tragic loss of their young son. Shortly thereafter on October 8, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed almost every real estate investment that Spafford had.

In 1873, Spafford scheduled a boat trip to Europe in order to give his wife and daughters a much needed vacation and time to recover from the tragedy. He also went to join Moody and Sankey on an evangelistic campaign in England. Spafford sent his wife and daughters ahead of him while he remained in Chicago to take care of some unexpected last minute business. Several days later he received notice that his family's ship had encountered a collision. All four of his daughters drowned; only his wife had survived.

With a heavy heart, Spafford boarded a boat that would take him to his grieving Anna in England. It was on this trip that he penned those now famous words, When sorrow like sea billows roll; it is well, it is well with my soul.

Philip Bliss (1838-1876), composer of many songs including Hold the Fort, Let the Lower Lights be Burning, and Jesus Loves Even Me, was so impressed with Spafford's life and the words of his hymn that he composed a beautiful piece of music to accompany the lyrics. The song was published by Bliss and Sankey, in 1876.

For more than a century, the tragic story of one man has given hope to countless thousands who have lifted their voices to sing, It Is Well With My Soul. 

It Is Well With My Soul

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

It is well (it is well),
with my soul (with my soul),
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.


My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to His cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!


For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

And Lord haste the day, when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.


Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7) 

Prayer: Father, today I pray that I will be able to say It is Well With My Soul.  No matter what is going on around me today, help me to see where you are and where you have been in my life.  Help me to share your truths today to the lost world around me.  In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen.