10.16.14

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 14:6

Mary, the mother of Jesus, is amazing.  She is amazing because of God.  God gave her the strength to live a life full of indescribable joy and indescribable heartache.  None of us can comprehend the courage she needed.  No one can comprehend being the parent of God.  However, Mary is not God, she is not Jesus, you cannot get to Heaven by praying to Mary.  Jesus Himself tells us that He is the only way.  THE ONLY WAY.  Please know that while Mary should be honored, she should not be an idol and she cannot be a replacement for Jesus.  He is the WAY…follow HIM and He will make your paths straight.  

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Spiritual Warfare

I love Christmas!  Obviously first and foremost I love Christmas because of what it is.  Christmas is nothing less than the birth of my Lord and Savior.  Without His perfect and precious birth, we would be nothing.  Without His life begun, He could not have laid down His life for my sins and there would be no hope in this world.  We are nothing, there is nothing, there would be nothing to have faith in or hope for…without Him we would all be sentenced to eternal death.  Not only did He do all of that for me and you, but He has showered me with blessings of life, love, family, food, shelter…and on and on.   I also love Christmas because, as you all know by now, I adore being with family and friends.  I enjoy gathering around sharing food and fun memories while making new memories.  It is a special time filled with traditions.

The enemy does not love Christmas.  In fact, He knows that we are saved because of the birth of Jesus Christ.  I think that is why there is so much pain at Christmas sometimes.  He attacks people at their weakest at a time when they are praising the One who saved them.  He attacks and tries to turn their vulnerability into a reason to distrust God.  This is when we need God the most!  He will not let us falter, He will not let us down, He does walk through every joy and every sorrow with us.

Hanging the ornaments on our Christmas tree each year is bittersweet.  There are ornaments that were meant for Joshua.  There are ornaments from people that are no longer here…that died too young.  There are bitter memories along with sweet ones.  My parents just attended a funeral of a great man who was attacked by cancer.  His family knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is celebrating Christmas with his Savior this year, but each Christmas will have a scar as they remember the husband, father, brother and friend that they lost.  My friend just was served divorce papers this week, a friend who has done nothing but try to save her marriage as her spouse has thrown it away.  Another friend is facing her third Christmas without her husband at home.  Life is tough and it seems to get harder at the times when we think we should be untouchable. Satan may attack, he may even win a few battles, but we know that the Lord is the ultimate victor.  We know the end and He has already won.  Don’t lose hope, don’t lose faith, put your trust in the One who is with you each step of the way.  Celebrate Christmas and have joy in the Lord!

5.28.13

“Know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

Acts 4:10-12

5.27.13

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

John 15:13 NLT

 

Many thanks and true appreciation to the men and women who fight for our country, our freedoms and our protection.  Blessings to each one of them and the families who stand so strong and fight the fight at home.  Our heroes are amazing!

Choosing Joy and Begging For Mercy

The past week I have been grumpy.  And not just a little…I have not been a pleasant person to be around.  I let people get under my skin.  I am not one to enjoy drama, rudeness or intentionally hurting someone’s feelings.  I am not one to think it is ok to forget common courtesies…letting people know of a change of plans, doing what you say you are going to do, basic politeness.  I am someone who actually listens to people when they talk…something I fear is going by the wayside.  So…I get frustrated when people don’t seem to extend the same courtesies, do thrive on drama and attention, don’t listen.  (sigh).  I think the listening thing hits especially hard because I am with little people all day long who are still learning that listening is what you are supposed to do.  Plus, I am not one to drone on … I am generally pretty quiet.  So when I do talk…to an adult…I just want to be heard.

Anyway, my first problem (my problem, yes me) is that I let this little stuff bother me.  People all around me are going through HUGE life crises or at least life changing events, people around the world are suffering and dying, and I am concerned that someone didn’t listen to me…wow!  Can someone say selfish?

My second problem is, while people legitimately irritated me over the past week (in the secular world view) I still failed to choose joy.  I let myself be effected and in turn effect others who didn’t want to see my grumpiness.  Surely, surely, surely I was not a pleasing follower of Christ and that is and should always be my first priority.  How many people didn’t/don’t pay Christ with common courtesy, on top of all else they/we did/do to Him, and in His last breaths He was concerned and prayed for them and us.

My third problem is that being grumpy is exhausting and not fun!  It made me miserable and those around me and then I felt guilty and it was just bad all around.  If those people in my life want to choose drama and attention, my response to them should not be grumpiness, but pity.  How sad if someone needs to be that self centered.  How sad to want to feel miserable all the time.

And yet, I felt miserable for foolish things.  And I AM NO BETTER!  I am sure I drive people crazy, say things I shouldn’t, am selfish at times and just generally don’t act like others think I should.

So in my grumpiness I learned, I need to get closer to Christ, be more like Him, be kind to others, be respectful without being a doormat, and generally not let silly things change who I am.

I CHOOSE JOY!

And I beg God to forgive me for being selfish, judgmental and down right yucky!