Two Things Every Dream Needs

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Proverbs 16:9 “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” 

Psalms 37:23-24“The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the one who holds his hand” 

Have you ever known in your heart that the Lord was directing to you do something bigger than you thought you were capable to do?  I have.  Actually I am in the mist of that BIG THING right now.  I went through so many emotions before I said yes.  You see I am a bit of a perfectionist.  Those reading this who know me said, “yes you are” as soon as they read that.  I am also impatient.  Once I commit to something I want to get it done NOW.  I am also a planner.

All of these can be good qualities, however they can also be roadblocks. You see if God has directed you to do something you should allow Him to direct your steps.  When we fall, and we may, we won’t stay down because the scripture says he holds us in his hands. You see He has given us the keys to completing the goal, dream, vision, whatever you may call it, in todays scripture.

In pursing every dream you need two things to successfully allow God to direct your steps and to help you with the fear of falling:  Prayer and Patience.  Ok, so number one comes easy for me because I LOVE TO PRAY.  Maybe it is easy for you too.

The second one is the hardest for me.  Patience.  That’s why I need to pray a lot, to pray that God gives me more patience as WE work towards the prize.  I am not sure how confident you are regarding your dream or calling.  If God has ask you do something, then I suggest that you begin every day with prayer, asking Him to direct your every step, every process, every idea as you move forward.

Don’t give up on your dreams if they don’t happen right away or even if you fall.  If you know in your heart that God has called you to do something then just know that He will get you through to it.  Don’t be afraid.  God has great things for you and I know one thing, He is faithful and just.  Go after your dreams and do it right now.  Take that first step right now.  Comment below and share what your dream is and what you are doing to move forward towards it.

 

Separated

Isaiah 59:2 But your wrongs have separated you from your God, and your sins have made him hide his face so that he doesn’t hear you.

1 Corinthians 15:33  Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”    

Sin not only separates us from God but it separates us from other brothers and sisters in Christ and our church or it should anyway.  Not forever, but until they decide to get back on track with their spiritual life.  Does that mean that we stop loving them, stop praying for them, stop being nice to them?  The answer to all these questions is no.  We can still associate with them but because they have chosen to live a life contrary to what God has asked to do we need to take a break from hanging with them every day.  These are not my words only but God’s words.

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2 Timothy 3:1-5 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of Godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

1 Corinthians 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

2 Thessalonians 3:14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.

We should love them and encourage them, we should pray for them and we should not act like we are better than they are because we are all sinners.  Ask yourself, do they know what they are doing is wrong yet purposefully choose to do it. Remember that God never stops loving them and neither should we.

Romans 8:35-39  35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,“For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Surround yourself with others who love The Lord as you.  My mother always said, birds of a feather flock together.  It is time to find a flock that flies for Jesus.  Together you can soar to heights that you never thought possible.

Are You Swiping God Right or Left?

John 15:5  I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

Have you heard of the mobile phone app Tinder?  Because I work for a pregnancy center I am very well versed on this and many other hook up apps.  These apps are used by Christians, non-christians, young people and middle aged people to find people who want to have a sexual encounter without commitments.  You know…hit it and quit it.

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I think some Christians are playing hit it and quit it with God.  He is popping up to us in our thoughts and circumstances and we are swiping Him left.  Not now God.  You are not what I am looking for.  I don’t have time for you right now. God is swiping you right while you are swiping Him left.

Some of you are swiping God right but with the intention of just hitting it and quitting it.  You want God, but only for that moment or that problem you are trying to fix.  Sometimes it is a swipe left for God and when things are going well it’s a swipe left.  However God is always swiping right for you because He is always there.

God does not want to be a hook up for us.  He wants to be our friend.  He wants to be there to hear the good things that are going on in our lives as well as our challenges.  He wants to know when we are just having a so so day, when we have bombed the day and especially when we have rocked it.  He is following us on every social media out there to keep up on what we are doing because with some of us that is the only way to know what is going on in our lives.

The scripture says: I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. Abiding involves our response to the teaching of Jesus.  Colossians 3:16 tells us that we are to  “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,”

Abiding in Christ means allowing His Word to fill our minds, direct our wills, and transform our affections. In other words, our relationship to Christ is intimately connected to what we do with our Bibles! Then, of course, as Christ’s Word dwells in us and the Spirit fills us, we will begin to pray in a way consistent with the will of God and discover the truth of our Lord’s often misapplied promise: “You will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7b).

How our culture dates and the values and morals used for sex has changed but one thing that is consistent and will always be consistent is God and His love for us.  Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Romans 8:39 (ESV) nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

It is time to make a decision to stop the hit or quit app with God.  I challenge you to dwell Him every day.  To follow Him, read His post, to like his comments and even to retweet them.  God is so good and He loves us like no one else.  He promises us that by abiding in Him will bring us much fruit.  I don’t know about you but I read and see so much junk and depressing information on social media today that I could use some fruit in my life.  Today, make a decision to quit flirting with God and make a commitment for life long relationship.  Maybe you have been having an affair with the world.  Never fear, God doesn’t want He divorce.  Tell Him you are sorry and fall in love with Him again.  God is good and He is good all the time.

 

The Quick Change

Galatians 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

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The Bible says that in this world we will have trouble.  Trials will come our way even though we are Christians.  So why is that when trials come our way we want to hide them, keep them to ourselves and pretend that all is well?  My husband is a pastor and he often talks about the “Sunday morning get ready trials”.  We stress, yell, argue all the way to church, then the moment we pull into the parking lot we turn on our smiles and pretend life is grand. In other words, Christians like to quick change from a life with burdens to a life that is full of rainbows and unicorns.  We want everyone to think our life is just grand.

If God gives us a command to share each others burdens then two things are for sure.  One is that we will have burdens and two is that we should share them.  I grew up in a good home with loving parents, however we grew up being told that “what happens in this house, stays in this house.”  In other words, keep your burdens to yourself.  Some of you reading this know what I mean.

Today families are dealing with burdens such as, a child cutting, a teenager trying to commit suicide, a family member addicted to porn, a loved one struggling with homosexuality, a couple considering divorce, a spouse is having an affair, a child is stealing, alcoholism or drugs or both are ruining a family members life, a child has to take care of a sick parent, and the list goes on.

The thing they all in common is that in some cases no one knows.  In other cases a friend may know but is sworn to secrecy.  WHY?  Pride.  The devil has convinced us that people will judge us, we will be deemed a failure, others will talk about us, feel sorry for us or worse yet will not have anything to do with us.  If God wanted us to bear our own burdens he would have never given us this command he gave us in todays scripture.

I do not know what burden you are bearing today but I challenge you to share it with other Christians, good strong mature ones, and ask them to help you bear your burdens.  They will help you by listening, praying for you and imparting wisdom.  Don’t hide your burdens anymore.  Stop your quick change routine and be real.  Be real with your burdens. Start by sharing them today and begin to heal.

Let It Go

Philippians 3:13-14 Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.

I know all of you are sick of the kids song “Let it go” from the movie frozen BUT…….some of you need to take these specific lyrics to heart…..”Let it go, let it go, Can’t hold it back anymore, Let it go, let it go”. You know what you are holding on to that you need to let go. Hate, resentment, anger, jealously, fear, and the list goes on. Just let it go and then replace it with joy, peace, love and all the other fruits of the spirit.let it go

Lost

Psalm 16:11 You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.
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Have you ever been lost with someone who was stubborn and would not stop to get directions? I know this doesn’t happen as often as it used to due to all the map apps available on our phones today. If you are really young you may not have a clue what I am talking about when I say paper maps. There are many ways to get lost other than driving from one location to the other.
 
Maybe you have been lost on whether to stay at a job or to leave for another one. You could be lost on what to do in a current relationship, end it or keep going. There may be a large decision you need to make that could effect your family and you are lost on how to proceed. Just maybe, on a spiritual level you are lost as to what God wants you to do, where to attend church, whether to volunteer, go on a mission trip, lead a study or share Jesus with a friend or family member.
 
I have good news for you!! Psalm 16:11 tells us that we can stop and ask for directions. It is ok if we do, actually God loves it when we do. As a matter of fact, it is better for us.
 
In years past, when cell phones and apps were not readily available, you would have to read a paper map to get to a new location. It was easier to keep driving, even if you knew you were lost than to stop and ask someone for directions. It took time to stop, get out of the car, walk into a store, possibly wait in line to ask the attendant for clarity of how to get to where you were going and the embarrassment of appearing that you could not read a simple map. It is ironic that the time taken to drive around looking on your own, could have been saved simply by stopping and asking for help. You may have gotten there quicker had you stopped in the first place.
 
Whatever you are “LOST” about, turn to God today and ask for His help. As the scripture says, He will show you the way of LIFE. That means anything and everything you need, He will show you the way. You don’t have to go to bible study after bible study to read about your purpose. You don’t need a psychic to tell you what to do. There is no need to worry about it night and day. Stop right now and go to the Lord. Pray everyday until the Lord shows you the way. If you need help, post below your “LOST” and we will pray with you for God’s direction.

DIY Christian

Ephesians 4:11-16 ESV And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, …

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I am in the process of installing a small section of fence in my yard to keep my new puppy, a big lab, in my back yard.  After making a few calls I quickly discovered that the cost to install a small fence to keep her out of my flower bed is very expensive so I decided to check out DIY fences.

It made me wonder what DIY Christianity would look like.  If there was a Pinterest board or a website for it I think it would look a little like this.

DIY Christianity

  1.  Read the Bible for yourself.  No need to have a Pastor teach you anything.  I am smart enough to read it and understand it on my own.
  2.  Going to church isn’t important. Who needs to GO to church.  I can pick one I like on TV.  I can pick 3 or 4 different ones and watch them anytime I want to, while in my pj’s or cleaning house.
  3. Bible Studies aren’t necessary.  I can buy all kind of Christian book about anything and do my own study.  There is no reason to get dressed, take extra time away from my already busy schedule to meet with people to read and talk about a book together.  Study on a book of the Bible…well refer to number 1.
  4. Church Events are an inconvenience –  My schedule is already busy.  I clean house, cut grass, grocery shop, do laundry and home maintenance all day on Saturday. Sunday is my day to rest and I am too tired after working all week to add anything else to my schedule.
  5.   If I do go to church I don’t commit to just one.  I prefer to visit other churches to keep it interesting – The good news is if I don’t go to the same church each week then I won’t get bored with the same people, same music, or the same preacher.  I won’t be ask to volunteer and I won’t feel like I have to tithe since I don’t use their stuff every week.

Ok so maybe this DIY Christianity is real.  I think there are a lot of Christians that fall into DIY Christianity but that is not what God intended for us.  The scripture today says that he has equipped the saints to teach us and help us grow.  Without going to the same church and sitting under one pastors teaching it is hard to Christians to grow.  Bouncing around and not being committed to a body of believers in a church building allows you to be blown to and fro, which is not of God either.  Find a good church and get involved.  If you are trying DIY Christianity, try the real thing.  It is better than anything you can do on your own.  I PROMISE!

The A, B, C’s of Christian Relationships

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Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 

So this post is an interactive post.  It only works if you participate.  I would like to go through the alphabet and choose a word that is important to good relationships.  If you know of a scripture that works with your word, then list the scripture also.  Don’t get stuck….let’s get to the letter Z.

 

I will start us off with a couple:

A – ACTIONS speak louder than words – 1 John 3:18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

B – Use the BIBLE as your book on marriage and relationships – 2 Timothy 3:16- 17 Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work

– COMMUNICATION, communication, communication – James 1:19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;

D – DEVOTED to each other – Romans 12:10: “Be devoted to one another in love.

Ok friends, what can you add to this list of A, B, C’s for Christian relationships.  Share your knowledge, wisdom and experience.

 

 

Choose Not To Be Offended

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Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control

We live in a world where everyone is offended by someone or something. If we have differing opinions then we are offended. What has happened to healthy discussion and agreeing to disagree.

I love the scripture above regarding the fruits of the spirit. We all have them. They are all in our fruit bowls sitting on the table just waiting for us to choose which ones we will use for that day. Some of us just give them a quick glance as we leave the house, while others arms are spilling over with fruit as we rush off to our jobs.

Even the Bible tells us not argue over foolish things but to be kind. 2 Timothy 2:23-24 ESV Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil.

I think a few key words in this verse is ignorant controversies. I am sure you know someone who is passionate about their cause. As Christians, we must choose our causes wisely and then we must be able to listen to the other side without being offended.

When we become offended we loose our joy. Why would we allow someone else’s cause/passions cause us to be offended? 2 Timothy 2:14 ESV Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers.

I was watching a TV show yesterday where a mediator was helping a couple with their communication issues. The man said he did not argue with his wife. He said that he simply stated his opinion and then his wife went around and around in circles stating hers, never really getting to her point.

As the discussion went on the mediator finally concluded that the real issue was the man wanted his wife to agree with him. When she tried to give her opinion and it was different than his, he would continue to talk about the issue until she gave in and agreed with him.

I choose not to be offended by things that people do or say that is different than what I believe in. As Christians we all the Bible to tell us what is right and wrong. The thing we should remember is that each of us will be accountable for our own words and actions. With that said, I believe we should listen, give our opinion and then exhibit the fruits of the spirit as we conclude our conversation.

Maybe I sound like old 60’s hippy, But I believe the lyrics of the old 60’s song What the World Needs Now is Love, has it right.

What the world needs now is love, sweet love, It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of, What the world needs now is love, sweet love, No not just for some but for everyone.