Saturday, July 25, 2009

Change Your Mind - Daily Bread Devotion

I know this blog is supposed to be my thoughts, but when I read these devotions, they move me and I hope they will move others too!

Read Acts 26:12-23 - Paul is standing before King Agrippa giving his testimony.

One of my favorite Peanuts comic strips features Charlie Brown saying to Snoopy, "I hear you're writing a book on theology. I hope you have a good title." Snoopy responds, "I have the perfect title: Has It Ever Occurred To You That You Might Be Wrong?"

Snoopy's title reminds us that our understanding of God and what He requires of us is sometimes twisted. Because our wrong b eliefs lead to wrong behavior, we need to "repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance" (Acts 26:20).

The Greek word translated "repent" is metanoeo, which means "change your mind." As Paul indicated, repentance does not mean just nodding in polite agreement with God, and continuing the same way we were going. When we turn our thoughts toward God - when we truly agree with him about what is right - our behavior will follow. Like a car, we go in the direction we are pointed. So, when we truly turn our minds and hearts toward God, our actions change accordingly.

Instead of going happily along, assuming that our choices are right, we need to regularly stop and ask ourselves Snoopy's question. As Paul taught, it is only when we are willing to admit being wrong that we can be certain of being right with God. Julie Ackerman Link

I've learned over the last couple years to make sure what I believe is backed-up in the Bible. I may have been taught wrong and never checked it out. So know, if you want me to believe a spiritual point, be sure you can back it up in the Word and be sure to use Scriptures in context - because I will check :)

The Lord is good and is mercy is everlasting. Have a great day and a great weekend.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Illegal Arms - from Turning Point devotion

Then his hand, which he stretched out toward him, withered….1 Kings 13:4b

In the book, Touching Incidents and Remarkable Answers to Prayer, Reverend S. B. Shaw reported on a minister who felt impressed to visit an older couple and pray for them. The conviction grew too strong to ignore, so he drove to their house, knocked on the door, knelt down, and prayed earnestly for their protection from violence of any kind. He specifically prayed that if any hand should be raised against them, it would be paralyzed.

Some months later this pastor was visiting a prison. One of the inmates asked to speak to him. This man had gone to the couple's house to steal a sum of money he knew was there. He had crept into the house and, as the minister prayed, raised his gun to fire his pistol.

The prisoner pointed to his right arm, hanging lifeless by his side. "It was paralyzed on the spot," he said, "and I have never moved it since."

God knows how to answer prayer; He knows how to deliver us from our adversaries. And when He prompts us to pray, it's a matter to be taken seriously.

There is no substitute for prayer. Praise is excellent, and good works are noble, but prayer is indispensible. James H. Potts

: I was praying on my way to work this morning and just as I finished mentioning my brothers and started to pray for my nieces and nephews, my phone rang - I ignored it because I didn't recognize the number. When I listened to my voice mail later it was my brother asking that I pray for his daughter. WOW - then I come in a read this devotion.

Listen when the Holy Spirit speaks.

Years ago, I was prompted by the Holy Spirit to send a card to someone. I didn't do it. Months later I found out this person was having surgery during that time and was feeling low. What a difference I could have made had I listened and obeyed.

Listen when the Holy Spirit speaks. You may be the one who changes a life!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


A page I did for a challenge in my Scrapbookers group. I'm so thankful for Brad being in my life and knowing that I can count on him forever.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


From the Turning Point devotion: Two Kinds of Forgiveness
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Matthew 6:12

Reading God's Word can produce questions. For instance, Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:7 that we have forgiveness of sins through the blood of Christ. But Jesus said that forgiveness is dependent on our forgiving others of their sins (Matthew 6:14-15). So, is forgiveness conditional or unconditional?

Both! The forgiveness Paul wrote about allows us to be reconciled to God for eternity, the forgiveness made possible when Christ took our sins upon Himself and we placed our faith in Him. But there is another kind of forgiveness—the kind that restores daily fellowship between individuals and between a Christian and God. Jesus taught His disciples to ask God for forgiveness for their daily sins while they were forgiving others of their sins. He took it a step farther by saying that if we are not willing to embrace those who have sinned against us and restore fellowship with them, we should not expect God to do for us what we are unwilling to do for others. One kind of forgiveness results in salvation while the other restores fellowship.
If you are saved by the blood of Christ, make sure you are not separated from God and others by failing to forgive.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Cards for Troops

Please join me in making cards for our troops. Use either link to on my blog to get more info.

Lord, change my attitude - 4

Replacing covetousness with contentment. This chapter really opened my eyes. Keep in mind the formula - Godliness + contentment = great gain.

A consistent attitude of contentment can bring lasting joy and lead you out of the wilderness of covetousness. Contentment is a satisfaction with God's sufficient provision. SATISFIED. You don't need anything else. However, we must never be content with WHO we are, only with WHAT we have. Godliness deals with who I am; contentment deals with what I have.

Absolute: 2+2=4 (no questions). Absolute: law of gravity. Absolute: only one gas we can breath. We don't question these equations. We don't use our feelings to decide if they are right or wrong. We should look at this equation the same way: godliness+contentment=great gain. All of these equations absolutely work because they come from the Creator and Designer of the universe. A road isn't right because you choose it; it's right if it's God's road. There is only one way that leads to eternal life. Jesus. The one Book God gave us gives us this absolute formula: godliness+contentment=great gain.

Steps to true contentment:
1. Look to eternity. I Tim 6:7 - For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. All the material gain on this earth is simply gain on this earth. It will not translate into wealth for eternity. Many ask this question when a person dies: How much did he leave? The answer is: EVERYTHING. Store up treasures in heaven where moth and rust cannot eat them.

2. Let enough be enough. I Tim 6:8 - If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. When we expect to be satisfied with the basics (food and clothing/shelter), God will often surprise us with treats! If we demand 31 flavors, we forfeit contentment, and our heart becomes like a wilderness.

3. Learn by example. John D Rockfeller was asked how much is enough - just one dollar more. He also said, "I have made millions, but they have brought me no happiness." Cornelius Vanderbilt said, "The care of millions is too great a load. There is no pleasure in it." John Jacob Astor, who acquired immense wealth in his lifetime, said, "I am the most miserable man on earth." Henry Ford said at the end of his life, "I was happier as a boy working in a mechanic's shop, though we had nothing." I Tim 6:9 - but those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare. The word want is from a Greek work that means, not a momentary emotional desire, but a settled desire born of reason.

Understand that money is not evil - it is a commodity. It is no more evil than chocolate chip cookies. The problem is the love of money. Loving it, wanting it, living for it. Believing that mney will make you happy.

I love this: We have so many options in life. Contentment is choosing to be satisfied in what I do have and not expending my best energies pressing of more.

Action steps toward contentment:
1. Seek it. Seek contentment as a lifestyle, as a choice. Make it your aim tocome to the place where you really believe that more does not equal happier.
2. Say it. Cultivate the capacity to say, "I have enough."
3. Settle it. I would challenge yhou to choose lifestyle. Don't let your income dictate your lifestyle.

One of the things James Macdonald said in the video and then in the book that really put it in perspective for me: One grain of sand represents life on this earth and all the rest of the grains of sand on all the beaches in all the world represent time in eternity. We're here grinding this one grain of said, our time on earth, to get everything out of it. But too often we ignore all the rest God has in store for us. To be content, focus on eternity. Let enough be enough here on earth.

Contentment brings blessings.

I love to read fiction - stories. I've never been one to read for instruction. But this book is incredible. It is written in a way that is easy to read and understand. It follows the video we are watching on Wednesday very closely so I get a double dose each week!

If you are not content and reaping the blessings of contentment - get this book and read it. I paid $5 on for it (including shipping). Or I'll be happy to lend you one of the copies I have (I bought Brad one to read too) when we are done with them.

Have a great day today.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Lord, change my attitude - 3

Covetousness, rampant in the Western world and in the evangelical church, blocks the flow of God's fullness in our lives.

Covetous is: wanting wrong things, wanting right things for wrong reasons, wanting right things at the wrong time, wanting right things but wanting them in wrong amounts.

More of anything other than God will never fill that longing for fulfillment He has placed within you and me.

Covetous becomes sin when we yield. When we obey the covetous demands of our old nature and yield, we have gone from attitude sin to action sin. When we yield, we've ignored the warning signs.

When we dwell on desire, yielding is only a matter of time. You create rationalization in order to get the thing you want. Covetousness inflates the desire while it ignores the danger.

At the root of covetousness is a rejection of God's sufficiency. God has provided for our basic needs. The question is, will we be grateful and satisfied with God and His provision for us? Or will we covet more and better and different?

God, I just want You. All Your joy and peace and fullness and friendship, and that's enough for me.

Nothing is essential but God. Beware of begging God for nonessentials. In time you may hate what you had to have.

Those who choose murmuring as their lifestyle will spend their lifetimes in the wilderness, and covetousness is part of murmuring. God puts people in a wilderness existence when they want things other than Him.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Lord, Change My Attitude, Chapter 2

Replacing the complaining with an attitude of gratitude.

Thankfulness is the attitude that perfectly displaces my sinful tendency to complain and thereby release joy and blessing into my life.

The story of the ten lepers shows ten guys healed and only one guy turning back to thank Jesus. The amazing part is that the one who turned back was a Samaritan - a person who had natural animosity toward Jews. This story shows that no one has an excuse for ungratefulness. EVERYONE can make the CHOICE to give thanks and acknowledge the goodness and the grace of God.

Only when we recognize God as our gracious provider do we comprehend our need for God and begin to express faith in Him. All of the good things that God wants to bring into your life sprout in the soil of thankfulness. The kind of life-changing heart attitude that God desires is much deeper than surface verbal gratitude. Genuine gratitude requires that we get past obligation and somehow show that we deeply appreciate what we've received.

Here is a tough one to embrace: Eph 5:18,20 - this is the thankfulness that trusts God and thus is grateful for the bad things, even the things you wouldn't choose. Wow! Being grateful for even those things that are hard, unpleasant, down-right hurtful.

In spite of all that I see worthy of complaint, there is far more that I can choose to focus on that is worthy of thankfulness.

Choose to be thankful - moment by moment.

There is a great exercise at the end of this chapter (I challenge too). Every night before you go to bed, right down 5 things that you are thankful for and every morning when you get up, read over your list. It'll change your dreams and your day!!

I'll start for tonight - God's love, Brad, David, my sisters, my job - as I continue, I will get more specific!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Lord, Change My Attitude

On Wednesday night at church we are doing this study by James MacDonald. I bought the book and just finished Chapter 1 (well, I'm almost finished with it). Here are some excerpts:

Replace a complaining attitude - Chapter 1
Read Numbers 11:1-3. Complaining is an attitude choice that if left unchecked will wither my capacity to experience joy and genuine thankfulness.

When we express resentment over circumstances that are beyond our control and about which we are doing nothing, we are complaining. God hears it, hates it, and pushes everyone who persists in it toward the wilderness. Remember that those who choose complaining as their lifestyle will spend their lifetime in the wilderness.

I loved this statement: Until we embrace as fact the idea that we choose our attitudes, we will never be able to choose differently, and life will always be like a wilderness. By admitting you made the choice, you put yourself in a position to make a different choice next time.

God is directly affected when He hears our complaining and our wrong attitudes, because complaining questions God's sovereignty!

These sentences opened my eyes: Every one of us has a measure of adversity, and God Himself is the one who measured it out. And for that reason, every person has something in his or her life that God doesn't want to hear complaints about. You are forfeiting the grace that could help you through that trial by complaining about it. That very adversity that you so often complain about is the thing God wants to use to keep your heart close to His. In His grace, He grants adversity to bring us close to Him.

The bad thing isn't our adversity; it's our response. They (the Israelites) were longing for things that God was not willing to give them.

God hears our complaining (whether verbal or in our hearts) and He hates it! It breaks His heart. It's a slap to His face. It insults His grace. And He is angry.

I'm excited about the change in my life.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Birthday USA

Happy 4th of July. Our freedom was bought with a high price - the price of many new Americans' lives. They gladly sacrificed their lives for us. Appreciate it.

My Dad served his country and fought in Korea, my step-Dad served and fought in Viet Nam, and I have relatives who fought in the Revolutionary War. Now, I'm preparing for my Son to serve his country. The price is high.

America, land that I love. I remember when I was flying home from Germany (after living there for 2 years. As we approached JFK airport in NY, I saw the American flag flying and it brought tears to my eyes. I was home.

Father, thank you for the privilege to live in America. Show me how I should keep my country as a Christian nation.

Happy Birthday Americans! Stay safe.

What's going on in our country?

I have avoided the news because it can be so depressing. As I listen to Fox News, I'm truly concerned for the future.

Can't people see that we don't want national healthcare? In Canada, you will wait up to 6 weeks to get chemo for cancer - my then you could be terminal. This is not good. Do we need a fix in the US? Yes, but national healthcare is not the answer. Besides, those of you for it...your Congress won't be subject to it - they know it is a raw deal - just like social security. Why do you think they have their own retirement program.

WAKE UP, PEOPLE. Many people in government are in it for themselves and not for you.

What to do? I don't know.