Monday, August 31, 2009

Reminders of Love fm Daily Bread devotion

Read John 19:1-7, 16-18

After the US entered WW2 in 1941, Estelle tried to talk her boyfriend Sidney out of joining the Army. But he enlisted and began his training April of the following year. For the next 3 years he wrote her love letters - 525 in all. Then in March 1945, she learend that her beloved fiance had been killed in combat.

Althouth Estelle did eventually marry, the memories of her first love lived in her heart. To honor that love, she publisehd a book of Sidney's wartime correspondence more than 60 years later.

Like those letters, the Lord has left us with reminders of His love - the Scriptures. He says: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you" (Jer. 31:3). "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love" (John 15:9). The Bible also tells us that "Christ...loved the church and gave Himself for her" (Eph 5:25). "[Jesus] gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us" (Titus 2:14). "God is love" (1 John 4:8).

Read God's Word often and be reminded that Jesus loves you and died for you. - Anne Cetas

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Storm Watching - Turning Point Devotion

My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.2 Corinthians 12 :9

A woman was once asked what one of her favorite childhood memories was, and without hesitation she responded by saying, "Being woken up out of a sound sleep by my dad to sit at our bay window and watch the lightning crawl across the sky during a big thunderstorm." Watching storms was fascinating for her because she was in a safe, familiar place.

When storms arise in our life, it is comforting to have those around us who are familiar and safe—a spouse, children, or close friends. But when we are alone and facing uncertainty, we must remind ourselves that God controls not only the wind and the waves created by nature, but those created by life as well. We are never truly alone and facing the elements by ourselves; God will always walk through the storm with us.

During the uncertain and frightening storms of life, let us do as the Psalmist "…in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by" (Psalm 57:1).

Monday, August 24, 2009

Fully Convinced - Turning Point Devotion

Let your heart retain my words; keep my commands, and live.Proverbs 4:4

In his book, Shepherding a Child's Heart, Dr. Tedd Tripp clearly defines obedience for parents so they understand when and how to discipline their children in a godly way. He states that, "It means more than a child doing what he is told. It means doing what he is told without challenge, without excuse, without delay" (p.134).

When God is guiding us in His direction, oftentimes we get distracted by the little things that seem more important to us at the moment. Just as a child believes putting one more piece of a puzzle into its place is of the utmost importance before getting up to obey, we often consider our immediate desires a higher priority than promptly obeying when we hear God's voice beckoning us toward His way.

Imagine the kind of life we would experience if we were to follow God without challenge, without excuse, and without delay. Those things which seemed so important to us would fade, and we would begin to see what the Lord can do when we are not just almost persuaded but fully convinced that His way is better than our way.

To be successful in God's work is to fall in line with His will and to do it His way.Henrietta C. Mears

OUCH, this one hurt today!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Our God is Merciful

This is from Turning Point today: But You have lovingly delivered my soul from the pit of corruption, for You have cast all my sins behind Your back.Isaiah 38:17

There was a king who suffered much grief over his rebellious subjects. But one day a group of these rebels surrendered their arms, bowed at his feet, and begged him for mercy. He pardoned each one. One of the king's friends later said to him, "Did you not say that every rebel should die?" "Yes," said the king, "but I see no rebels here."

The Bible tells us, "There is none righteous, no not one," and we all deserve to die for that unrighteousness (Romans 3 :10). But God, in His perfect mercy, chose to allow His Son to take our place and die for us so that when He looks at us, He no longer sees the sin ; He only sees His precious Son, our Savior.

As imperfect children of God, we can be very hard on ourselves when we make a mistake and sin or struggle with a particular issue. But let us take comfort in knowing that because of Jesus' sacrifice, while we see our shortcomings, God sees the child He loves.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cards For Heroes

woohoo - 100 cards for heroes, 5 any-hero cards and 1 specific hero card. Met my goal a day early. I think I like making the cards more than scrapping photos!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

More cards for CardsForHeroes

My fav so far is the hearts - altho I'd like them better with
glitter. I'll have to make some for my own collection.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Fires or Floods?? Turning Point Devotion

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. Isaiah 43:2

Anyone who has seen a rampaging river or a burning house knows the terror of flood and flame. The destructive power of fire and water is dreadful to see. Yet these are the dramatic images Isaiah uses to describe our own trials and troubles in life.

The Lord hasn't promised to keep us out of hardship, but He has given us two great promises to sustain us when we're in it: He will be with us, and our troubles will not overwhelm us. I will be with you… They shall not overflow you. Remember how the Lord brought the Israelites through the waters of the Red Sea in Exodus 14, and how He stood with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed- Nego in the fiery furnace of Daniel 3? If a problem is pressing down on you today, claim Isaiah 43:2. Picture the Lord as though He were really beside you, for He is. Trust Him to keep you from being swept away or consumed by your circumstances, for He has promised that His grace is sufficient.

When through fiery trials, thy pathway shall lie, my grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply. John Keith

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Lord, Change My Attitude - 7/8

Replace a doubting attitude...with an attitude of faith.

Doubt is a lack of confidence or assurance that God will keep His promises. Doubt involves a settled and persistent choice to live with uncertainty. Such doubt is dangerous. It's destructive and completely detrimental to any kind of relationship with God. I mean, if you don't have confidence that God will keep His promises, what do you have?

Faith is important and doubt is so detrimental that God places regular tests of faith in front of His children. These are not intended for our failure, but for our success. The Israelites failed the test {in Deut 1} because they wouldn't trust God. {V26,32: Yet you were not willing to go up, but rebeled against the command of the Lord your God...But for all this, you did not trust the Lord your God.}

Am I going to trust God? Or I am not going to trust God?

When you're bumped, you spill what you're full of. If you're filled with faith, that's what comes out. If you're filled with doubt, that's what comes out.

God doesn't test your faith so He can know how much is there - He already knows. He tests your faith so that you can know how much is there and see it grow. Either we get closer to Him and more filled with faith, or we get further away from Him and more filled with doubt. In those critical moments, you make a crucial choice: Either you let your faith grow and flourish, or you choose doubt. {NOTE: choose doubt or choose faith - our decision}

God will go a long way in revealing Himself to a person who honestly wants answers.

Christians are sometimes genuinely puzzled, asking,"why do I find it so hard to trust God? God's been faithful to me. God's provided for me. He's done a lo tof good things in my life!" I find the reason usually is this: Instead of talking often about God's grace and recalling His miracles and thinking about all that He has done, people choose to focus on the obstacles, and they welcome doubt.

When surrounded by doubters, doubting comes easily. Those primary relationships with other believers are foundational to faith.

Why does doubting come so easily? Doubting is contagious, doubting is passive, douting satisfies our tendency towards self-protection, doubters are easier to find than friends of faith.

Doubting takes over when you do nothing. Faith requires doing something. You have to get focused and active to be filled with faith. Doubt never stands still. It's always sliding somewhere worse. It's a short journey from the doubt to despair.

I have never trusted God and regretted it. But I can think of many times when I have chosen doubt and missed incredible opportunities to prove the faithfulness of God.

Only when faith replaces doubt in the life of a believer can the joy of knowing God become a reality.

We may decide to change during a crisis, but we actually change mement-by-moment in the process of living. Every decision we make contributes in some way to the pattern of thinking that becomes your attitude.

Faith finds itself founded on a person - the creator God of the universe. Faithis active confidence in the God who has revealed Himself.

My faith, my active confidence in God, is the thing that I hold on to while I wait to see how the Lord is going to answer what I've brought before Him.

Faith is believing the Word of God and acting upon it, no matter how I feel, because God promises a good result. I believe in a God who wrote a trustworthy Book.

Do I act upon what I say I believe?

As you pursue the answer to the longings of your heart, faith determines where and to whom you turn.

God is true to His Word and can be trusted to meet all of our needs if, by faith, we choose obedience and refuse to be guided by emotion.

Faith, however, is not part of the Christian life; it's the whole thing.

Genuine believers trust God and exercise active confidence in God. Every good ting that God wants to bring to our lives comes through faith.

I John 5:4: This is the victory that has overcome the world OUR FAITH.

Pick up your hopes and lay them before the Lord. God is the One whom we're trusting. Faith is the victory that overcomes the world. There is no other way.

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing the Word of God. As the Word of God is sown increasingly into our lives, we find our faith growing and flourishing.

If you want your faith to grow, confess your faith.

Choose to live your life in such a way that God has to come through for you. Make decisions that will cultivate and build your faith during tough times.

You may wonder, "But during those tough times, can I hang in there?" and "Can Jesus sustain me in faith?" Remember Jesus' admonishing words, "If You can?" All things are possible to him who believes (Mark 9:23).

{This was a tough couple of chapters for me. I didn't think doubt was issue for me - but it is. I don't live in faith like I'm called to. I believe God - I trust Him. But do I live it? I'll be reviewing these chapters again.}

Friday, August 7, 2009

Gadgets and containers

I love gadgets and containers! Sometimes I buy something and hope I'll find a use for it. I know, it is probably some kind of sickness :P

I found these Craft Mates at Joann Fabrics (while looking for ATC cards that they didn't have). So I bought 4 thinking I won't ever use them all - wish I had bought more!

I sorted my dew drops by color - something my good friend Pati did and I laughed about it. I bet she's laughing now :O

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Some of my cards

I am really enjoying making cards to send to our soldiers (so they can use them to write home). Here are a few that I've done lately.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Change my Attitude - 5&6

Sorry, I got behind. Still reading (trying to stay current with Wed. night church). These two chapters are on Replacing a Critical Attitude with ... An Attitude of Love.

Before I go on, I must say that the the Contentment chapter has really moved me. I'm so excited to live in contentment. God has been so very good to me. If I never receive another blessing, He's already given me so much. Because my Father is so incredibly awesome, I know He has so much more in store for me ... even if it is nothing more on this earth - heaven, eternity is waiting :)

Okay, on with the attitudes...

A continuously critical attitude toard those around me will consume all that is healthy and joy-producing in my life. {This is so true. I've seen it evidenced in my own life and in other critical people. I pray that each morning that I will not be critical. Correcting when necessary but not critical.}

Two people can look at the very same circumstance and experience it entirely differently basd upon the attitude they choose -the patterns of thinking that they have formed over a long period of time.

Criticism is dwelling on the perceived faults of another with no view to their good.

The question: Is it wrong if I talk with someone about someone else. The answer: It's only wrong if my intention is not to help the friend in whom I observe the fault. It's not a critical conversation when the goal is trying to help. {Remember the Word tells us that if we see someone sinning, we are to confront him, then take two or three witnesses... You can't find other witnesses if you don't talk to someone about it. But to talk about it for the sake of talking about it - that's wrong.} If you are not clear about your motives in sharing the situation with a third party, then you're probably practicing gossip and not a genuine, helpful spirit.

Criticism is sin. Criticism ruins our fellowship with God. It doesn't destroy our relationship with God, but criticism changes our capacity to sense His love and presence. God pays attention to the way we treat each other.

Our critical attitude hurts us. If we choose to sin, we choose to suffer. {wow - how simple and how true. I never thought about it in such simplistic terms but this is so very true.}

A critical attitude destroys our fellowship with others. If a person's heart is to criticize - if their heart is to find fault - there is absolutely nothing that can satisfy them. People can become critical of others because they're living in defeat themselves. Oswald Chambers wrote, "Beware of anything that puts you in the place of the superior person." Anything that makes you feel superior is not conducive to your spiritual life. People, including you and me, often utter careless, thoughtless words that strike others like a slap in the face. {I need to stop a minute and apologize to a lot of people. I'm sorry for the times I've made you feel small so I could feel good about myself. I realize that it not only hurts you but it hurts me and more importantly our Father. I'm terribly sorry.}

I challenge you to have a righteous, gracious attitude toward the church of Christ and toward the servants of Christ. The momentary relief you may get from criticizing other Christians is not worth the damage you will pass on to your family. And the critical attitude festering in your heart is not worth the damage you will do to your relationship with God. To restore God's blessing, we need to confess and forsake this wilderness attitude, and replace it with a Promised Land attitude.

Agape means a selfless love, giving love, you-before-me love. It describes love as an act of the will; a choice I make.

1 Cor 13:1 - If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels... There is no evidence in Scripture of an angelic language - they always spoke the language of men. Paul is saying that if we could be the most eloquent speaker or the most eloquent being - if we could be like angelic messengers and speak so clearly and plainly for God that it made a difference in people's lives, but didn't love the people to whom we were talking to, people wouldn't hear the message over the ringing in their ears.

No matter how clearly you understand God's truth or how capable you are of bringing truth to bear upon a person's life, if you don't love the person you're talking to, if you don't have a broken heart for the people that you're trying to share truth with, you are wasting your time. Your words are just like a clanging in their ears. We find that our effort creates destruction in their lives instead of good things. When we present the truth aggressively or with a critical attitude, they are irritated by what we say rather than blessed and uplifted. We're like clanging cymbals.

People care how we say it as much as what we say. Love is a balance between affection and truth. "Love does not act unbecomingly." It's not rude. Love is gracious.

Get your own pain behind you, so that you're really coming only for the good of the person that you're going to.

Love is waits for people to change. Love is looks for ways to express acceptance topeople that we might otherwise choose to be targets for our criticism.

Displace a critical spirit with an attitude of love! Move toward those people who are hurting you and inuring you and, in the power of God's Spirit and in the fullness that only He can give, love those people! {Wow, what a challenge. A totally different way than this world teaches.}

Love finds itself saying on a regular basis, "That's not what she meant." It believes the best about the other person. When Jesus said, "Judge not lest you be judged," He was specifically dealing with motives. Of course, we have to judge actions. What we're not to judge are motives. We don't know why people do what they do.

The love taught in 1 Cor 13 is the kind of love that unbelievers will wake up and watch becuase they have never seen it before. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John13:35

{what an awesome challenge. more than a challenge - a call to change our lives.}