Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Lord, Transform My Mind

Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. —Romans 12:2

Last week, my son was getting ready for school and as he was rushing around trying to remember to get his teeth brushed, and shoes on and lunch put into his backpack, it just seemed like he was lost. He turned to me and looked me squarely in the eyes and said (albeit a little grumpily too), "Mom, I'm losing my mind!"  And then he returned to his tasks in the same haphazard fashion.

It made me chuckle but then I thought about it a little.  Aren't we running around this earth doing the same thing?  Aren't we just trying to get things "done" like he was before he missed his bus. Perhaps, we need to stop and pray the verse from Romans 12:2; Lord, renew my mind. Put in a new attitude about life in me.  Put your ideas in my mind - not my ideas.  My ideas always fall short.  Isn't that why I got into the mess I did?  So today, I take a lesson from my son.  We can learn so much from our children.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Our Father's World - from Our Daily Bread

Our Father’s World - from our Daily Bread

When Amanda Benavides was a sophomore at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California, she began to rethink her views on Christian stewardship of the earth. Amanda had grown up thinking that being conscious of the environment had nothing to do with her relationship with Jesus. All this changed when she was challenged to consider the Christian’s role in caring for the planet—especially how that relates to reaching the most needy in the world.
Our stewardship of the beautiful world God gave us, and our care for the people in it, express our reverence for God and is grounded in two biblical principles.
First, the earth belongs to God (Ps. 24:1-2). The psalmist praised the Lord for His creation and His ownership of it. The heavens, the earth, and all that are in it are His. He created it, He is sovereign over it (93:1-2), and He cares for it (Matt. 6:26-30). Second, God delegated the responsibility for the well-being of His earth to us (Gen. 1:26-28). This includes appreciation of and care for both nature (Lev. 25:2-5,11; Prov. 12:10) and people (Rom. 15:2).
This is our Father’s world. Let’s show Him how much we love Him by respecting it and caring for the people who populate it.
The natural world that God has made
Must not be used at whim;
We serve as stewards of His earth,
Responsible to Him. —D. DeHaan

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Do You Truly Believe?

"I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief." Mark 9:24

How solid if your faith? Have you reduced it to outward matters of attending church, singing songs of praise, listening to nice sermons and trying to live a respectable life?

Your faith only becomes reality when the external ceremonies of Christianity become a pulsating and powerful experience in your soul. It becomes a reality when you no longer see yourself as someone defeated by sin because God's Holy Spirit who resides in you, enables you to triumph over all sin.

-- For those in recovery for an addiction (and those who are to overcome other major sins) often go through the exhilarating feeling when we first say enough is enough of our addictions, then accept the Higher power as the key to breaking this addiction. Yes, what an amazing feeling to finally be FREE!!

However, it is so easy to become complacent with our faith and fall back into the trap of relying on ourselves rather than placing our faith in Him. We need to do more than just say yes I am a believer (don't think it's not important though).  But if we are to remain in Him,, we must stay fresh..develop a discipline of meeting with Him in prayer, Bible study, fellowship with other believers to stay positive, share your story with others.

What can you do today to believe?

Friday, March 24, 2017

Love of Money (or any other addiction)

Those who have money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness! Ecclesiates 5:10

Depending on your addiction I want you to reread that scripture verse and substitute in your addiction in the blank.

Need help...

-- Those who have drugs will never have enough. How meaningless to think that a high brings true happiness! Ecclesiates 5:10

-- Those who view pornography will never have enough. How meaningless to think that impurity in thoughts and mind brings true happiness! Ecclesiates 5:10

-- Those who take risks will never have enough. How meaningless to think that a close encounter with death brings true happiness! Ecclesiates 5:10

-- Those who have "  insert here"  will never have enough. How meaningless to think that "  insert here" brings true happiness! Ecclesiates 5:10

I can't fill in the blank for your but I ask you to take a moment and think about how you would fill in those blanks. Happiness is truly something you find within.  It's a state of mind that's not created by things or experiences. If you define your life as such then you will never be happy - as it's never enough. But if you define happiness as a personal relationship with Jesus then you will see that Jesus IS enough.

I'm not saying to live a life of poverty as I don't think that's what scripture says. But within reason is what I believe God is calling us to. I'll give you a personal example. I LOVE to bike. I've been saving slowly for a new bike. I have also made sure to give back as well.  The thing is..I could choose to get a top of the line bike but would it make me any happier? but what if I got something that met my needs - to get out on the road and take care of the body God gave me AND to view the sites and creations of God at the same time giving praise.  Now that would make me happy...and I think God too!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Love is Practical and Sincere

This is how God showed His love among us. He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. 1 John 4:9

Jesus Christ was deeply practical. If you study His life you will note that, along with the profound spirituality of His ministry, He had a truly practical nature. When Jesus raised Jairus's daughter from the dead, He told her parents to give her something to eat.

True love and care requires more than mere words - it calls for action!

Grace For Each Moment
March 23rd

-- What does practical look like in your life? What about mine? Do we just pray for those who are in need or do we give what we have? Do we just send money to shelters and hope that someone else will prepare a meal, or do we dig in and serve?  I don't know what practical love looks like in your life ..  only you can seek Jesus to answer that. But based on the model of Jesus, I know practical means doing. Find one practical thing today to do for someone else...challenge yourself.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Let Your Love Be Selfless

Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.  1 John 3:18

Love in action is more than simply doing good deeds, pure love is profound and unselfish and embraces the faithfulness and noble principals that enrich the heart and mind of a person. It is precious above all things.

Grace For Each Moment
March 22nd

 -- For those who are in the world of addictions, love is a complicated thing. Sometimes addicts think "I love this person because he can always get me my drugs" or a codependent might think "If I do this for my son or daughter they will see how much I love them and they will have to stop using drugs, right?"

Alas, sometimes true love is actually letting go. The author writes later in the devotion about how true love is about sacrifice and sorrow and shows itself as loyalty and faithfulness.  So perhaps true love IS about letting go and just waiting.  I've been on both sides of the fence of this journey and I know how complicated and twisted love is.  BUT, I also know that the love from Jesus is NOT complicated.  In fact, it's the one sure thing that kept me going. Seek the love of Jesus today.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Musical Devotional ~ Lifesong by Casting Crowns

LifeSong by Casting Crowns
Empty hands held high
Such small sacrifice
If not joined with my life
I sing in vain tonight

May the words I say
And the things I do
Make my lifesong sing
Bring a smile to You

Let my lifesong sing to You
Let my lifesong sing to You
I want to sign Your name to the end of this day
Knowing that my heart was true
Let my lifesong sing to You

Lord I give my life
A living sacrifice
To reach a world in need
To be Your hands and feet

So may the words I say
And the things I do
Make my lifesong sing
Bring a smile to You

Let my lifesong sing to You