Alone

Genesis 2:18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”

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I just finished a seminary course on Genesis.  It never ceases to amaze me how I learn something new every time I do a deep study in God’s word.  There is so much in Genesis, the first book of the bible.  It is the beginning of the world and the beginning of life.

One of my favorite parts is the creation of Adam and Eve.  I love how The Lord said “It is not good for the man be alone.” And then, because He is God, He did something about it, He created Eve.  Not only did He create her, but He created her to be his helper and He made her just right for Adam.

God wants us to be with the right person.  The one He has planned for us.  I think we all know someone who got ahead of God and married the wrong person.  Some of those marriages ended in divorce, some are still married and still struggling and some turned it around and have great marriages.

If you are single or single again I want to encourage you to wait and pray for the right person that God has created for you.  If you are in a bad marriage I want to give you hope that God can turn it around.

You see I was saved when I was 13 years old.  I knew and loved the Lord very much for about the next 5 years.  When I turned 18 and became FREE from my parents, I decided to try all the things I did not try as a teenager at home.  I drank, I smoked, and hold on I even tried pot.  I went to night clubs, disco’s, and danced the night away.  In other words, I fell away from the Lord.  I no longer listened to the voice of God and I certainly did not obey his word.

During that time, I meet my husband, who was not a Christian.  We got married and started our life together.  We got pregnant really quick and boy was that a wake up call for me.  As a Christian, I knew that I had to get my life together because I had a baby on the way. The problem was we were living a sinful life.  But you see my husband was not a Christian and not only that he was an alcoholic. Neither of these were really a surprise to me.  My husband did not even want to get married in a church and I said ok.  I knew he drank a lot but so did I, it too was ok.

The rub came when I decided to clean up my act and he did not want to clean up his.  We struggled for the next 2 years, almost divorcing.  THEN GOD.  After separating,  my husband went to a church and accepted Jesus into his heart.  At first I thought it was just to get me to come home, but it was real.

God turned my marriage around, and delivered my husband from alcohol.  Many years later he was called into the ministry and has been a pastor now for close to 25 years.  The beginning of our life was soooooo hard.  It was hard because I was a Christian and I knew I should have married a Christian.  I knew that I was not living the life that God had planned for me.  Looking back, had I simply got my husband in church or told him the salvation story before we were married our life could have been different.

I had a very wise pastor who told me not to give up on my husband.  He told me not to live in a dangerous situation but also not to stop praying for him and not to stop praying for my marriage.  I took his advice and it worked.

If you are looking for that person that God has for you, focus on being the best Christian you can be and keeping your relationship with Christ strong.  THEN WAIT.  DON’T SETTLE.  Set standards that you know God wants you to have for your future mate and don’t date anyone who doesn’t meet the standards.  WHY?  Because you just may fall in love and marry the wrong person.

If you are in that bad marriage, don’t give up.  Don’t live in a bad situation.  Pray every day for your spouse and your marriage.  Get close to God and be the best daughter to God that you can be.  Read the word often and seek out wise counsel.  Cry, get mad, then get serious about saving your marriage.  If God can change my husband and restore my marriage, He can do the same for you.

If you are in a good marriage, be an encourager to a young couple, a single woman or a teenager who may begin to date soon.  We serve a big God who said, “It is not good for man to be alone”.  That means He has someone out there for you.  Just wait for the right one!

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.

 

Still Under Construction

Isaiah 64:8 But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.
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I love this old song, He’s Still Working on Me by songwriter, Joel Hemphill
 
He’s still working on me
To make me what I need to be
It took him just a week to make the moon and stars
The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars
How loving and patient He must be
‘Cause He’s still workin’ on me
 
There really ought to be a sign upon my heart
Don’t judge him yet, there’s an unfinished part
But I’ll be better just according to His plan
Fashioned by the Master’s loving hands
 
In the mirror of His word
Reflections that I see
Makes me wonder why He never gave up on me
But He loves me as I am and helps me when I pray
Remember He’s the potter, I’m the clay
 
I just wanted to remind you today that God is still working on me and on you. None of us are perfect, no not one. Every day we will get better according to His plan because He loves us.
 
Don’t give up on yourself. Don’t stop trying and trust The Lord with all your heart, soul and mind. I know you can do whatever God has called you to do and He has great plans for you. Pray, read His word and fellowship with other believers. Create a great network of brothers and sisters who can cheer you on and have honest conversations with you. I can’t wait to see the finished product of YOU!

Waiting with Hope

Have you prayed for someone you love that you are still waiting for God to answer? Then this song from John Waller should inspire you to patiently wait upon the Lord.
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
31 Yet, the strength of those who wait with hope in the Lord will be renewed. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and won’t become weary. They will walk and won’t grow tired. This is promise from God that you can count on.

Pass Comfort On

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2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

I love this scripture. God will comfort us and then he wants us to pass it on. There was a movie that came out in 2000 called Pay It Forward. If you have never watched it I encourage you to have a family movie night with popcorn and pizza to watch it soon.

In the movie a social studies teacher gives an assignment to his junior high class to think of an idea to change the world for the better, then put it into action. One of the students, decided to create a plan for “paying forward” favors He not only affects the life of his struggling single mother, but he sets in motion an unprecedented wave of human kindness which, unbeknownst to him, blossomed into a national phenomenon.

I know another story, this one true, of 12 men, the disciples, who followed Jesus and His way of loving others, sharing the good news about salvation and their own personal stories of how Jesus changed them, who also created a national phenomenon and the WORLD changed.

There are a few truths in this scripture that I want to encourage you with today. Verse 3 begins with “Praise be the God of Comfort.” I am sure everyone reading this scripture has been through some tough times in your life that God got you through. If you are hurting this morning, go to Him and talk to Him, cry, shout, beg…but whatever you do, go to Him. Start by Praising God for getting you through the past trials and asking him to help you with you this one. He is with you and He loves you. He will help you get through whatever you are dealing with. Maybe you are trying to stop an addiction. Maybe your child is dealing with depression or self-harm. Maybe you are struggling with a friendship, finances, your marriage, your job and/or insert your trial. GOD CAN COMFORT YOU. He is with you always and he will get you through whatever you are struggling with.

Now, for those who have gotten through a struggle, Praise God this morning. Ask Him to lead you to someone who needs to hear your story of success. Ask God to give you courage to share your story to encourage someone else. Maybe you are a private person and you don’t want anyone to know your story. PRAY. Ask God to give you the courage to not worry about the situation and what people will think about it but to help you focus on the story of God getting you through it.

The last verse of todays scripture ends with “who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” Help to comfort someone today because God got you through your trouble to do just that. Like the movie Pay Forward and the disciples, let’s set in motion an unprecedented wave of human kindness which, will blossom into a national phenomenon and change the world for Christ. Whatever your trial today, know that I am praying for each of you who are in my group.

Waiting For The Mail

 

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On Tuesday, my husband and I picked up our grandchildren, that live in our home town, to take them to dance and karate. As soon as I walked into the door my 4-year-old grandchild meet me to let me know that he had mailed me a letter. I was a little surprised because he nor I had ever sent mail to each other. After his big announcement he ran off to play. I confirmed with his mother that he had indeed put something into an envelope for me that she then addressed and put a stamp on it. She did not know what was inside the envelope but he had told her that he had written me a letter. I found myself getting a little excited wondering what he had decided was so important that had to be mailed to me. His mother had tried to convince him that he did not need to mail it because I would be there to pick him up on Tuesday, then he could just give it to me personally, but he would hear nothing of it. As a matter of fact once he put the letter in the mail box he kept a watch out for the mailman to be sure it was picked up for delivery. When his mother noticed that he was waiting she informed him that the mailman had already picked up the mail for that day and told him his letter would not go out until the following day. His mother said he was so distraught over the news that she loaded him and his baby sister into the car to track the mailman down in the neighborhood so he could mail his letter that day. Now I must admit that I was a little excited about this surprise letter. I could barely get it off my mind and found myself just as excited the next morning when I woke up. When I went home for lunch I kept watching for the mail to be delivered and really hoped that it would come before I had to go back to work. Lunch came and went too fast because no mail was delivered. On the way back to the office I scanned my neighborhood for the mailman. I spotted the mailman and ask my husband to stop her to get our mail. I know he thought I was crazy but he did as I ask. As he handed me the mail I quickly looked at the names on each envelope and there it was addressed to Mimi. Now I must tell you that the drawings on the back of the envelope was enough to make me cry but when I opened the envelop up, pulled out a picture of a colored rabbit with his words wishing me a happy Easter it was all I could do not cry a river. How silly, you may say?!? How wonderful I say. The really funny thing is that when I got the letter I made sure to call him to tell him how wonderful it was. Being 4, the letter was the past and he was happy I had gotten it but had no desire to spend any time talking about it. That was yesterday and he had things to talk about that happened today. Maybe he has the spiritual gift of encouragement or just maybe he just loves his Mimi. Either way, MY letter was wonderful. Thank you Nicholas for my letter and for inspiring me. I pray that you and I may add that much excitement to someone elses day today and everyday.