One big pile of limbs and what it means for us

pile of twigs and limbs

                                                     What debris is in our lives?

Just yesterday a tree trimmer took a huge crane and cut off a big bunch of limbs … I mean a BIG bunch of limbs. They very carefully cut them up into smaller pieces and placed them on the road, ready for the next crew to pick up the huge load.

As I looked at that huge pile of limbs, I thought about the things we sometimes let into our lives, the stuff that just keeps accumulating for days and weeks and years. What limbs? What debris? What excess?

Self is probably at the core of it – fear, selfishness, greed, pride, control, looking to things to comfort us instead of God. We (I) pile up the approval of others to sustain me instead of seeking God’s approval. I also look to food for comfort, which caused me to gain three pounds this week. Not good. Some of that I had no control over, but some of it … Of course, I could also put all the focus on that and get my mind off of walking with the Lord, one day at a time, by faith, walking in His grace and love.

We can accumulate things, people, control, feelings, positions of power and leadership, pride, knowledge, or any number of things that we just don’t need … but to what end? No, instead we need to just settle in to a deep, quiet relationship with Jesus – one where we sit down at His feet. I don’t think we can get too much of that.

If you are in the trimming / pruning stage of life, rest assured that the end of the pruning is a vessel thats fit for growth and for bearing fruit. May that be true for all of us.

Is it time for a trim?  

What do we do when we are waiting for something to happen at some future time? Maybe it will happen? When will it happen? What will it look like? Will it be the way we think it will be? What do you do when you don’t know? Sometimes we just don’t have access to the playbook.

waiting


Here are some scriptures that talk about waiting:

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Psalms 130:5-6 “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.”

Psalms 27:13-14 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!
Psalms 37:34 Wait for the LORD and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on when the wicked are cut off.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.

 

Read more: https://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/20-encouraging-bible-scriptures-on-waiting/#ixzz5zA6MnjAr

overcoming

Dealing with a tough subject – Suicide prevention and resources

This is national suicide prevention week. With that in mind, here is a list of resources to prevent this tragedy. These can be found at the link below from the Facebook page for “For Like Minds”

“Please share this page using the links on the left hand side.”

https://www.facebook.com/forlikeminds/posts/479437022636282?notif_id=1568068168117105&notif_t=page_highlights

Acknowledgements

This writer would like to acknowledge the following:

Jesus / Us / Eternity

Jesus is Lord
Jesus is the Savior of all who believe
Jesus died for my sins, and the sins of the whole world

We are not God. We are humans – frail, fallible, needing a Savior
We need Jesus all the time, and He is always there. Always.
We are forgiven, clean, redeemed, bought with the precious blood of our savior, Jesus Christ.

Eternity with Jesus will be worth the wait. No more pain. No more tears.
Eternity has been bought and paid for by Jesus at the cross.
Eternity is assured for those who are in Christ.

Thank you, Jesus, for dying for our sins, so we could be with You forever.

 

 

The air conditioner problem was both internal and external. How is that like us?

Outdoor air conditioner

                              Air conditioner

Yesterday our air conditioner started making an awful rattling noise. We noticed it in the morning and ignored it. By afternoon it was worse. We knew we needed to call a repairman. It was strange that the air conditioner was cooling good but is still sounded awful and smelled bad.

So what was the problem? The first problem the technician noticed is some insulation that was loose. It was getting sucked into the fan. We all thought this was an easy fix until the repairman noticed that the fan was off-kilter. It was out of balance. As a result, it damaged the bearings of the motor. So now we had a big problem. 

Today, two different repairmen came and put in the new fan and new motor. That new motor was so quiet we could hardly hear it running. The repairmen left and we waited for the new parts to work and to cool our house down. It was around 76 degrees when they left. So we waited, and waited, and waited, and the house kept getting hotter (83 degrees.) I reported the problem and soon found out the last piece of the puzzle. The reason the house was not cooling is that the outside unit was turned off. The repairman yesterday turned it off to keep the unit from coming on while he was doing his investigation.

So here’s how this applies to our lives.

The problem with the air conditioner started when something was loose and got sucked in. This happens to us, too, when we let sin creep into our lives. That may come from our not turning away when someone is not dressed decently or when they use foul language on TV, or even in person, or from other sources of temptation. At some point, we need to resist the evil around us and build a wall or protection around our heart, mind, and spirit. We need to keep the junk from settling into our heart. 

The other problem was that there was power on the inside unit (compare to Jesus in our heart), but no power to the outside unit. Sometimes we don’t apply the power we have in us by way of the Spirit and the power of the Word of God. We don’t do anything with it. We don’t act on the word.

So what do we need to do?

Application points:
1.) Keep junk, including bad attitudes and unforgiveness, from entering into your heart.

2.) Lay all that stuff aside and look to Jesus. We need to let Him in.

3.) Keep seeking the presence, the peace, and the power of God. His power is always there. We need to make ourselves available to it.

Hebrews 12: 1 – Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

Reflections on worship service this morning –
“Come Just as You Are”

Come Just as You Are

                                                                         Powerful moments in worship this morning


The invitation this morning at church tied several things from the worship service together. It was a powerful service that emphasized our need for Jesus and His willingness to receive us. The song Karen and I did interpretive movement to was “People Need the Lord” and the sermon was on asking the Lord these questions – “What do you want from me? What do you want me to do, Lord?” For the rich young ruler, it was to give up his property and possessions. For some, it might be to give up our time, our talent, our energy, or our strength to serve Him.

The point of the message was that Jesus deserves our heart-felt commitment to Him since He willingly gave Himself for us at the cross. I will remind us all that He did all this for us out of love. Let’s let our response to Him be done the same way. “We love Him because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)

where to find strength

Joshua – Be Strong and Courageous Todd Phillips
SESSION 1 FIGHTING ON THEIR KNEES

Where To Find Strength

When in Chaos

This world is so messed up. Many Christians say we are living in end times. But, you look through history that has been said many times by many important leaders in the Christian world. My only concern is to live for Jesus today and to be prepared for when He does come again. For me at least, studying the signs of the end times does not teach me how to live for Him today, to be used by Him to reach others. What I want to know about is how to find His power to be set apart from the world for Him.

Seeing as the last series I wrote from was all about suffering. Where we learned God is in control of the good and the bad I thought it would be good to move on to a series on strength. How do we find power that can only come from the Lord?

We start out with an act of submission. What do you imagine when you see someone on their knees? I can picture a man on their knees with others pointing guns at them. They are being forced into submission, give up their power to these men that have the power to kill them.

Where to find strength

Now, God does have the power to take our lives. But God is not about scaring us into submission like that. He wants us to submit of our own free will. To chose Him and submit to His will for us. I remember when my husband and I separated back in 2007, I was devastated and fell to my knees praying to God. I was angry, hurt and confused. I had no where to turn and finally said, “ok, God I give in! I submit to You, only You can get me through this.” I have to admit that my selfishness, fear, controlling nature took many more years for Him to break but when God did enough in and around me it did finally break.

Where to find strength

That deep submission to God and His ways is where I finally found His power to face anything that comes at me. Now I and my husband were allowed to buy a home that is a fixer upper. We have financial burdens that before my full submission would have me a ball of anxiety. I may not be physically falling to my knees, but I do know who to talk to when my anxiety wants to rear its ugly head. I stop everything I am doing and speak to God, even if it is just a few words sending my fears to Him. Letting Him know I cannot do this alone I need Him to show and do it for me. So, where to find to find might is by giving up our own power to replace it with His might.

where to find strength
Our new home

where to find strength Outside sources

How to Find Strength in the Strength of God | Desiring God

Sep 2, 2014  “Whoever serves, [let him serve] as one who serves by the strength that … has made and Jesus has bought with his blood (2 Corinthians 1:20).

20+ Bible Verses About Strength – Powerful Scripture Quotes …

Oct 30, 2018  The Bible is filled with encouraging verses about finding strength through God’s power. You are strong in the storm when you rely on Jesus!

Bible Verses about Finding Strength in Jesus Christ …

Sep 4, 2017  Bible verses offer solace during personal conflicts, give hope when life feels bleak, and give us strength in difficult times. Learn how to find …

Personal Strength through the Atonement of Jesus Christ

Personal Strength through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. By Elder Richard G. Scott. Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Through the Atonement of Jesus …

20 Incredible Bible Verses about God’s Strength

Dec 1, 2017  I have learn to trust God I need you Jesus to give me the strength to keep following Jesus n just to keep guideing me to him I want to live for …

Bible Verses About Having Strength During Hard Times

Jun 19, 2019  These 40+ bible verses about strength during hard times will help to encourage and … will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

37 Encouraging Bible Verses About God’s Strength – Life, Hope …

His strength and renewal can help us face our fears and do the impossible. … “ But Jesuslooked at them and said to them, ‘With men this is impossible, but with  …

Strength | Awed by Jesus Christ

“Power” comes from the Latin, potis, meaning, “to be able” and “strength, vigor and control”. Men seek power to in an attempt to control other men (political, …

12 Prayers For Strength – Find Comfort and Hope

Aug 4, 2015  Lord Jesus, give me the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting my teeth but the glory-strength God gives.

Kentucky Baptist family finds strength in Jesus during tragic week …

Apr 13, 2019  ASHLAND, Ky. (KT) – Her oldest son was lifeless on a hospital gurney in the trauma room as doctors tried desperately to figure out how to save …

Locked out and unable to succeed is the enemy’s plan, not God’s

unable to succeed

For some reason yesterday I was having strange issues with this website. I was able to view what was on it, but I was not able to add a post or make any other changes to the site. I suspect it is because I changed the theme (the layout) of the website, so that put a wrinkle on being able to log in. I tried logging in with Google and couldn’t remember my password. After three times it locked me out and told me to “try again in a few minutes.” I decided to wait until today, and as you can tell by this post, the problem has been resolved. 

As I reflected on this frustration and just kind of lingered and stewed in it for a little bit (as we all do sometimes) I realized something amazing and cool. God never locks us out. Our sin might, but our access to God through Jesus is not restricted at all. We are granted full access by the King of Kings to the throne room of almighty God. Wow!

Our log in my might be “Lord I need you” and the password is “Jesus”

Praise the Lord and pass the praise. Thank you, Jesus, for granting us access to this throne of grace.

 

Jesus the Great High Priest
15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way that we are, yet was without sin. 16Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

P.S. Check out the share buttons on the left. This is part of the site makeover.

How Do You Serve The Lord With Gladness?

Serve The Lord With Gladness

Yesterday was Sunday and the discussion in my family centered on prayer, and asking the Jesus for things. We watched Kerry Shook message on the tv together. He was talking about the need to pray for things we want. How if we do not ask for we will not get. That started me thinking, what about when God says no? We ask but He says no. That led to a little study we did together on serve the Lord with gladness.

serve the Lord with gladness

You see in my family we are, and have been asking for many years, for a home for my husband our son and I. We have our ideas on how this could happen we ask the God for it every day. But, in the little study we did taught us something about how to ask. It brought out our motivation for what we ask for.

Are we asking for a home to make us comfortable, or are we asking for a home that will serve the Lord? One idea we have is to add on to my in laws home and my husband and I live with them. But is this to make things easier on each of us, or is it to serve the Lord? What is our motivation behind it, and how will we handle it if He says no?

serve the Lord with gladness

What if the Lord wants my husband and I to serve Him in an area a little less comfortable? This brings to mind the safety of our youngest son who is 12. But, in worrying about that, is that trusting the Lord? This brings to mind the article I read this morning by Danny Gold. He wrote about
“the movement converting El Salvador’s gang members into born-again Christians.” (Danny Gold)

Could you imagine God calling you serve Him in some of the most dangerous places in the world? To be associating with people who live with death every day? That is what Danny Gold’s article is about. How Pastors associate with gangs in El Salvador, even live among them. Would you be willing to risk your life for the Lord, the lives of your children? Could you find joy in that?

serve the lord with gladness

white flowers with the words Serve the Lord with Gladness: Come before His presence with singing. Psalms 100:2

White flowers with the words serve the Lord with gladness: come before His presence with singing. Psalms 100:2
serve the Lord with gladness

With my husbands and my background, our life experiences we may be asked by the Lord to associate dangerous people. I cannot deny that. God surrounded us with a loving supportive family but the fact is still there, our past actions. Those actions lead us to having a history that many dangerous characters share. But, God lead us out of that history, redeemed us and now could God lead us to an area to help others find a way out? Would I feel safe, would I find joy in living among, associating, friending people with such histories?

I think it all hinges on how much I trust the Lord. Do I trust that no matter the bad things that could, or would happen He would take care of us. Just how uncomfortable am I willing to be to serve Him? Can I trust Him to keep my child safe? Or, could the experience my child lives through while serving the Lord be needed? Be needed for my child to build His testimony in the Lord?

serve the Lord with gladness

How about you? How uncomfortable are you willing to be in order to serve the Lord? How far are you willing to go for the Lord? Have you ever thought about it? We are asked to build our treasures in heaven, not here on earth. Is what you are doing now today accomplishing that?

Outside sources

“Working For Jesus” – Focus Online

How many hours will you work in your lifetime? Studies indicate[i] that the average person will spend between eighty to ninety thousand hours at work. Research …
Are You Working For Jesus Christ? | Beginning And End

Sep 24, 2017  Are you serving Jesus Christ in your every day life? Do you work in ministry to share the Gospel? Why every Christian should work for the …
What Does the Bible Say About Working For God?

Bible verses about Working For God. … For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should …
WORK FOR JESUS

Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit. 1. Volume 23. Tell someone today how much you love Jesus Christ. 1. WORK FOR JESUS. NO. 1338. A SERMON. DELIVERED …
Three Exemplary Jesus Practices about Money and Work

Sep 12, 2012  “Jesus regards our attitudes about money as very important in the formation of our character.” In this selected chapter excerpt from his latest …
Doing the Works of Jesus and Greater Works | Desiring God

Apr 21, 2012  God equips his people with everything we need to serve him. And we will do even greater works than Jesus himself.
There’s a Work for Jesus | Hymnary.org

Authoritative information about the hymn text There’s a Work for Jesus, with lyrics and MIDI files.
Lesson 14: Your Walk And Your Work For Christ (1 Timothy 4:11-16 …

Apr 12, 2013  If we all would learn this simple but profound principle, that our walk with Christ is the necessary basis for our work for Christ, we would avoid …
Jesus’ 10 Principles for Working – an Overview on Faith and Work …

In this video, New Testament scholar Sean McDonough gives an overview of how Christians should approach their work, based on 10 sayings of Jesus.
Jesus at Work « Biola Magazine

For Jesus‘ family to work in a trade indicates they were part of what we’d call the lower middle-income class of that day. Furthermore, tradition suggests that his …

The Amazing Exchange of Grace for Sin

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.”

There is a lot of irony in the words above. Think about it. At one point I was lost, but not any more. Now I am found, like a lost sheep that the shepherd has rescued from the attack of the enemy. Even more ironic is to go from being blind to now being able to see. This is a total transformation.


But what caused this transformation? Was it our abilities? No. We didn’t make ourselves be found. We didn’t come looking for us. We didn’t just suddenly figure out, “Hey, I can see if I just make up my mind to do so. After all, its all about me and my abilities. Maybe I could even say “You know, I never was blind in the first place.” Well, we could say that, but that wouldn’t make any sense.


No, dear reader, the transformation was made at God’s initiative when He sent Jesus to die for our sins, in our place, as our substitute. It is all about grace. It is all about God. It is all about Jesus.

May God help us all to realize the incredible gift of grace and of eternal life, brought to you by the blood of God’s son, Jesus Christ. Thank you, Jesus, for grace.

grace for sin

Jesus was numbered with the transgressors sin

Eph. 2:8-9 – “For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourself. It is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.”