Life Support

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“So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.” Romans 12:5 (KJV)

Today after church a man we all held dear was in a car accident with his wife and friend. This friend had decided to come back to church with him, a week after he was saved. At the age of 76 he gave his heart to God.

Before church was out the pastor had us pray with his new friend, almost with a sense of urgency. I figured as a new christian of course that would make sense. Little did we know what was about to occur.

I got a text from a friend stating that the two men were in an accident and being rushed to hospital in serious condition. His friend made it….he didn’t. He was being kept alive by life support, until all his friends and family could come.

Life support is a measure that keeps your organs going, when you are unable to breathe or fight any longer. He died not long after being taken off life support.

His wife and friend may have made it out okay, but now they need the body of Christ to be their life support. When you feel unable to cope with the demands of life, that’s when the body of Christ rushes in. Like red blood cells rush to the site of an injury, or an ambulance rushes to the scene of a tragedy.

“That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.” 1 Corinthians 12:25-26 (KJV) 

The body of Christ is the best form of life support there is. The kind that knows how to pray with you, hold you up, rejoice with you, and mourn with you. The bible says that when one part of the body hurts, the whole body feels it. When your arm is broken, it affects the way the rest of the body functions. We all need one another to make it.

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25 (KJV)

When one part of your body isn’t being fed with oxygen rich red blood cells it will die off quickly. Without the body of Christ we can quickly become discouraged when life throws us off course. We need one another to be successful and hold one another up when needed. Every part of the body is unique, and cannot survive without the other.

“Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved.” Acts 27:31 (KJV)

Stay in the life boat (Jesus – the body of Christ), and you will make it to your destination. This life is just a blip on the map of what is to come. And whatever heartache or tragedy we come across along the way, know that it is nothing that Jesus didn’t already overcome through his death on the cross. His blood is our healing, our red cross in the moment of need. And there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God. So let’s bind together in prayer for the rest of our Journey together. We may have to say goodbye to some along the way, but that isn’t the end. That just means they have gone before us….their work on earth is done, and the reward of retirement has come.

 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:28 (KJV)

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Smoke and Mirrors

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Shared from pinterest

“Then the Lord spoke to the man in linen clothing and said, “Go between the whirling wheels beneath the cherubim, and take a handful of burning coals and scatter them over the city.” He did this as I watched.” – Ezekiel 10:32 (NLT)

 I had a dream that I was trapped in a room full of smoke and I could not escape. Like a scene out of a movie, where a person is waiting to be rescued from a house fire, or being trapped in a smoky room when smoking in public places was allowed.

The phrase ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ basically means that sometimes things aren’t always as they seem to be. The devil uses this as a form of artful deception. If you were standing in a cloud of smoke, it could certainly limit your vision, causing you to grab onto whatever you can find to guide you to safety. Perhaps my dream/vision was pointing out that sometimes the things of this world can appear in shades of gray, luring us into a perceived pleasurable experience, or haven of safety, but deceiving us to reality and the truth.

There are many people being led in all sorts of directions, so it’s up to us to readily share the truths and the grace God has gifted us with. For example, Hinduism believes in Karma. “Cause and effect.” Basically you create your own destiny based on your deeds, so if you do something good, then you deserve good. If you do something bad, well you made your bed lie in it. Not that justice isn’t a fair thing, it is and should be had. But what about the people that fail, yet look for forgiveness, and want to change their lives. Is there no hope? The bible teaches, that God’s grace is freely given. You need not do anything to deserve it, you simply have to ask for it. Jesus took on all of our sins and wrongful deeds, so that we may be freely forgiven. We don’t have to earn God’s love and forgiveness. Religion says – do this, take these steps, and you will be saved. Jesus says:

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” – Ephesians 2:8 (NIV)

The enemy is a liar and a very creative deceitful one. Making us think things are fine on the surface. There is so much hurt in this world, people that need the Love of God to rescue them. How would anyone know the Love of God unless we provide it to them? They believe the lies, that their lives are worthless, or that life is too short so live it up and then die. God’s word tells us that this life is just a blip on our journey, pick up the book again and read to the end.

When we see non-believers, who are so successful and never seem to struggle, we as Christians think gosh how unfair is that? They go about sinning all they please and never get so much as a hand slap. The enemy is not going to bother with someone who is living the way he wants them to live, and God gives us free-will to do as we please. We get to choose rightful living, or living any old way we please, but there are repercussions. These people are walking right into one of the enemy’s most famous traps, thinking they are free and there are no consequences.  But, the truth is that our lives are not our own, and there is an eternity to think about. One with God, or without. That’s why the Christian life isn’t necessarily the easiest, but it’s worth it.

In Ezekiel the Lord spoke to the man, and told him to take a handful of coals and scatter them in the city. To me the coals represent the word of God. We must keep the message burning. God appeared many times in the bible in a cloud of smoke. I can only imagine that it was because we are unable to see God fully, but we can certainly know his presence. Like a protective covering. Yet, God is never unclear in His words. His word never changes.

Perhaps the lord showed up in a cloud of smoke, to not only show me that I was covered by his divine protection, but to reiterate to me the fact that I need to keep the word moving, before it’s too late.

“Then the Lord will provide shade for Mount Zion
and all who assemble there.
He will provide a canopy of cloud during the day
and smoke and flaming fire at night,
covering the glorious land.” Isaiah 4:5

 This is the year of the lord’s restoration. The restoration of his word, his promises for your life, and divine protection from the things of this world. It’s waning worse, not better. But as people of the Lord we know that He holds our tomorrow. For the people that do not know him, we need to spread the good news so that others may know the same hope. If you have turned away from God, and want to turn back there has never been a better time than now. God is waiting with open arms ready to shelter you from the storms you face, and deliver you from clouds of confusion, giving you a pathway to the beautiful life he intended for his children to have. God Bless.

 

 

 

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Unshaken

happy-sis

This devotional I wrote last January for an online publication called, Happy Sis. The magazine issue was called, Overcoming Fear. I decided to share this devotional again because we all have something to gain from it. I encourage you to go to the website and check out all that it has to offer, even freebies! Click Here To Visit Happy Sis!

Unshaken

“Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday.” – Psalm 91:6

I hate to sleep in a room that is too warm.  I decided to open my window one night to let some fresh air in.  My dog likes to sleep right beside me and she seemed not to mind the fresh air.  Sometime around 3:00 am I was awoken out of a dead sleep to a deep snarling sound, followed by a super loud cat scream.  Tingles immediately went up my spine and a shot of adrenaline pumped through me, I was literally numb.   It’s very rare to have cougars in this area of Ontario, but I was sure that there was a cougar right outside my window.  It was chilling……  I had spotted one about a few months prior around the train tracks, so I knew that’s what it was.

I looked over at my little dog that surprisingly was still sleeping soundly right next to me.  I thought how in the world she slept through this, is insane!  It sounded like a caged cat fight outside. She normally is a very barky little dog, and wakens to everything.  Very overprotective of me and her home; however, somehow she was in such a position that she felt safe and – unshaken.

This is how I long to be with my God.  No matter what is happening around me, I want to be steadfast, unshaken.  (1 Corinthians 15:58)

There are many things in life that can cause us to fear; and it’s not to say we will never feel fear it’s completely normal.  The difference in a Christians walk with God is that we have the ability to overcome it through Him.  We have a God that is bigger than any mountain of fear we face.  There is nothing to hard for God.

“I am the LORD, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me?” – Jeremiah 32:27

Jesus says that in this life we will endure hardships, but to take heart for He has already overcome anything in this life that we will face.

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

Therefore we can tell that mountain to move in faith, and it will move.  (Mark 11:23)  The devil loves nothing more than to cause us to fear, but fear is not from God.  (2 Timothy 1:7) Resist the devil and he will flee.  (James 4:7)

I’m not saying to go out and attempt to fight the cougar, we must use wisdom.  But know that God is always with you through anything.

“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” – Isaiah 43:2

I did not immediately jump up in fight mode, I simply lay there and prayed the name of Jesus, until the fear passed, then I went back to sleep.  Sometimes it’s a mind over matter thing.  The saying, “If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter,” is such a true statement.

The things we give power to in our lives will have power.  Fear is only powerful if you allow it to be.  The devil has no control at all, unless we give it to him.  If we keep our eyes on the Lord through any storm, we can’t sink.  A child will look to their father or mother when they are afraid, and in that Love all fear passes away.  Perfect love casteth out fear.  (1 John 4:18)

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” – 1 John 4:4

“No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.”  – Romans 8:37

“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

James bond always had the famous saying, “Shaken not Stirred.”  In my story, the line reads, “I may be stirred, but I will not be shaken!”  In Jesus name.

“He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.”  – Psalm 62:6

 

 

 

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This Old House

old-church-house

Photo credit: Pinterest

 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.” – 2 Corinthians 5:1 (NIV)

I got married in August of last year and moved to a house about a half hour away from where I lived. It was not my first choice, since it was so far out, but also because I knew this house was old and needed a lot work. I judged it because of its imperfections much like a person looks in the mirror and judges their flaws.

It wasn’t until I dared to stop looking and dwelling on the negative aspects of things, and tried to take on a different perspective, that I saw the bigger picture. A blessing in disguise so to speak. I started reading Home and Garden, and House Beautiful magazines, and saw transformations that people had done. I was in awe. I now have something to look forward to, as I fix one thing at a time, I gain about a thousand victories. “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” my husband will often say. Just think if everything we ever got in life was new and without problems…. it’s a beautiful thought; however, we would miss out on the joys of being able to re-create, and see miracles.

Jesus is constantly working on us as well. Our Christian walk is exactly that – a walk. We may not see the bigger picture right now, but we will one day. “Count your trials as blessings.” (James 1:2) We would never know victory without some struggle to obtain it.

We are born into a world of sin and multitude of imperfections, problems, and bad situations. They inevitably creep into our lives. But, it’s what we do with them that makes a world of difference. What do you do when the world throws you a lemon?

“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?” – John 14:2 (NIV)

Jesus prepared a better place for us, so we know that this is not forever. But we can learn to have joy and find blessings in everyday life by reading his word and being positive. I realized after I had moved in, that I really had all of my prayers answered. I specifically asked for a place with three rooms, two bathrooms, a yard for the dogs, maybe even a pool? It’s a far drive to get here, but when I get here, I call it home. Maybe not forever, but for now it’s a far cry from where I was. I simply had to open my mind and trust God, that He would lead me exactly where I was meant to go. Usually we only struggle because we are constantly fighting against God instead of trusting Him to provide and lead.

We renewed the insurance on the house this year amongst other things, and realized that the house was worth more burned down. It was a sad fact, nevertheless, I continue to see the possibilities of what could be, and keep faith that God is in control.

“Problems are only opportunities in work clothes.” – Henry J. Kaiser

Jesus sees past our flaws and imperfections, into what could be. An artist takes an old blank canvas, or something old and turns it into a masterpiece. Not without mistakes along the way, but consistently perfecting it until the day He is finished. He refines us like gold and silver. (Malachi 3:3)

“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” – Hebrews 12:2

We are the ones that have limited vision. So, I continue to work on this old house, room by room. As I write this I see imperfections that I have overlooked, yet I leave them as a reminder to myself of what was, what is, and what could be. Sometimes there is beauty in imperfections, it leaves behind a mark of character, and growth.

“Out with the old and in with the new,” is a common phrase used in New Years Resolutions. I dare you to take on a project – find something old, and make it new, and while you do it, give praise to God for taking your life, a life destined to sin and destruction, and making it something new and beautiful – Beauty for Ashes.

I have a bad habit of throwing things out when they become old because it just seems like a lot of work to keep. Not that it’s a bad thing to simplify your home and throw things out, but sometimes things are worth keeping. I now learn to either give some things away to someone in need, or repurpose them for the greater good. Aren’t you glad God didn’t toss you out because of your sin and imperfections? He had a different plan, that plan was Jesus. (John 3:16)

Happy New Year!

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Broken Records

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Ever notice how some people feel the need to blast the music they are listening to.  I drove by someone who was blaring their music so loud… I cant ever understand it.  Can u not hear it good enough for yourself?  Or is the message behind the song so urgent that you need to force it on the rest of us?

The bible says to travail and pray without ceasing.  (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) But be assured that God is not deaf to your cries.  He knows our hearts cry before we utter a single word.  I often hear from my fiance, i’m not a mind reader! As in, “Be specific.”  Or sometimes I feel the need to harass him like a broken record to the point of exhaustion, before he will get my point, or understand my need.

In our relationships on earth we often times find ourselves tumult-ed when dealing with the common issue of communication.  God is by far the best communicator of all…but most importantly, He knows how to listen.  Sometimes God wants us to be specific and shout out our prayers, and other times He wants us to simply listen.  Something I often forget to do myself.

Sometimes it helps to practice thankfulness while we wait for the answer.  This shows we have faith in God, and we are thankful for all of things He has already done in our lives, while we wait for things we know He will do.   Also, when we worship amidst the storms, we find that  healing has already come; it is the greatest tool we have, especially when the enemy comes against us and tries our faith.  It is a demonstration that no matter what we go through in life, there is a peace that God grants us, that passes all understanding.   Paul and Silas worshiped so loud in prison that EVERYONE heard, and all were saved from their prisons in life.  You never know who you will affect in this life….sometimes broken records are the ones that leave the most impact, that one word that you hear over and over, will never leave your mind.  And it will be there in your time of need.

Rejoice evermore.  Pray without ceasing.  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Like a mother that isn’t deaf to a child.  God isn’t deaf to our cries.  He wants to give his people good things and see us happy.   He will not withhold good things from those he loves.  (Psalm 84:11) He will also not leave you in the situation you are either.  If you are unhappy or fearful in your situation, God has a way out for you!  Pray and trust him to lead you out of the wilderness!

If a sinner gives a loaf of bread to their children, how much more will God give?

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.  “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead?  Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.” – Matthew 7:7-11

Some mothers will say, “oh let them cry it out its the self soothing method.” This has some truth to it.  We know that if we consistently run every time a child acts out we teach them that if they cry and complain we will act upon that, and so it becomes a bad behavior.  A bad coping mechanism.  But in the genuine cries of the heart, God hears.  I even believe He cries with us.  Jesus is close to the broken in spirit.  (Psalm 34:18)

God may not always become tangible in word or action to us, but u can rest assured that God will give u peace in your time of waiting, and that He has an answer, and a plan for everything you face.  Simply have faith.  Without faith it is impossible to please God.  (Hebrews 11:6)

Sometimes we feel we need to do the unthinkable to earn Gods grace or prove that we are worthy.  Because Jesus died for us sinners while we were still lost, this indicates that we simply need to accept Jesus invitation, and receive his unmerited grace.   He loves us unconditionally.

In Genesis 22, Abraham was about to sacrifice his son Issac before He realized that God would never make him do that.  Still Abraham trusted God with everything!  It may have been one of the hardest tests anyone could have gone through, but ultimately God showed up to Abraham and showed him who He really is!  He cares about every detail of our lives.  Not only did He save Abraham’s son, He multiplied His son’s.  Jesus had already paid the debt, to spare our lives.   John 3:16 is one of the most popular verses I hear spoken, and for good reason!  It is a summary of the entire Gospel, and the mission statement of every Christian.  It’s even included in some country songs I’ve heard recently.  So at the risk of sounding like a broken record:

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

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Vienna waits for you

We all have a calling in life; one that is God given.  From the beginning of time we were born with a vision. God knew us while we were still in the womb.  (Jeremiah 1:5)

We all work toward creating careers that we love, that will help us make a living; however, there is a true difference between work, and your vocation.

An artisan is a skilled tradesman.  They use their hands to create.  When the work of your hand is guided by the father, learned from the father, and anointed by the father, you can never go wrong.

I like to think that I am an artisan of the word of God; a pencil in the hand of God, writing letters to the world.

Everything we do in life identifies us with SOMETHING.  Our jobs, the clothes we wear, the food we like to eat, the music we listen to.  We all worship something.

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31

We sometimes choose to do certain things because we have to, and sometimes we want to. But what if we chose based on what God purposed for us?

I love to write.  I love getting my thoughts down on paper, and then sharing it with others.  I love expressing view points in artistic ways, and inspiring through words.  But you can also be an artisan of the word by living it.  When your life is a representation of the word, it speaks measures to others without even mimicking a single syllable or striking a keyboard, or singing a note.  Joy exudes from the child of God because of the spirit of God in you.

Pinocchio was created by his master.  He was given life and abilities.  He was created for a purpose.  We have freewill and aren’t guided by puppet masters or strings; however, we can ask God to guide us by His Holy Spirit.

We must never forget our true vocation in life.  God calls us to spread the gospel and to be fishers of men; to recruit others for the kingdom of God.  For the Kingdom of God is calling near.  There is always a work to be done!  You are never too young or old to realize your dreams.

Bill Joel wrote, in regards to the song Vienna, “So I go to visit my father in Vienna, I’m walking around this town and I see this old lady. She must have been about 90 years old and she is sweeping the street. I say to my father, “What’s this nice old lady doing sweeping the street?” He says, “She’s got a job, she feels useful, she’s happy, she’s making the street clean, she’s not put out to pasture.” We treat old people in this country pretty badly. We put them in rest homes, we kinda kick them under the rug and make believe they don’t exist. They [the people in Vienna] don’t feel like that. In a lot of these older places in the world, they value their older people and their older people feel they can still be a part of the community and I thought, “This is a terrific idea – that old people are useful – and that means I don’t have to worry so much about getting old because I can still have a use in this world in my old age.” I thought, “Vienna waits for you…”

At the end of the day each man who works and labors receives a reward.  At the end of our journey, there is a reward waiting for us.  We were not meant to just live and die; we all have a purpose and vocation to fill.  If it takes me until I’m 100 years old to do what God purposed for me, to feel alive then I will strive toward the prize.   “When will you realize Vienna waits for you.”

 

 

“There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” –  Albert Einstein

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Acts of God

“David found favor with God and asked for the privilege of building a permanent Temple for the God of Jacob.  But it was Solomon who actually built it. However, the Most High doesn’t live in temples made by human hands. As the prophet says, ‘Heaven is my throne,and the earth is my footstool.  Could you build me a temple as good as that?’ asks the LORD.  ‘Could you build me such a resting place?  Didn’t my hands make both heaven and earth?’ – Acts 7:46-50

I awaken every morning, make a coffee, say a prayer and turn on the weather network.  I like to keep up with the news, and prepare myself for the day ahead.

A commercial popped up on the weather network about nature.  A dialogue between nature and humans.  It basically speaks about how nature doesn’t need us, we need nature.

In my mind it was almost like dialogue between God and humans.  God created all things, provides for us, and is all powerful.  He doesn’t need us to create or provide for Him, or help Him.  Just as nature will evolve whether we choose to respect it or not. God didn’t ask us to save the earth, but He did ask us to care for what He’s given us. It’s far from the Eden He purposed for us in the beginning, but we have eternity to look forward to.

The earth and all that is in it, will eventually dissipate, regardless of our efforts.  We see it every day, as the end time nears.  But the word of the Lord will last forever. Sometimes when we get ourselves into messes we try to move God’s hand, instead of having faith and using wisdom.  Trusting God to move the mountains when they need moved.

When a storm hits it would naturally be wise to run for shelter.  God gives us wisdom in our dealings on earth, and we certainly should use it.  If I see a tornado on the weather network, I’m going to plan accordingly.

We can’t plan for storms but we can change how we view them, and how we react to them.  Many insurance policies state, “Acts of God.”  While we have no real insurance on this earth, we have security in knowing that God is a loving father, who takes care of His children, and Jesus went on to prepare a better place for us.   No matter what storms we have to face on this earth, we NEED God.

No matter how many times we find ourselves in messy situations, there’s nothing too big for God to clean up.  Like a car that consistently needs washing, so do the children of God.  1 John 1:1 states that Jesus blood cleanses us from all sin.  It’s not just a one time event.  Jesus died on the cross one time for all sins, past, present and future.  As we walk through this world we are bound to fall on tough times, but just keep your eyes on the one that Loves you.

When God gives us the privilege of doing a work for Him on this earth, it is because He loves us and wants to show us His glory at work through us.  In essence we are taking part in true, “Acts of God.”  To take care of what He entrusted to us.  We are the pencil in God’s hand, the vehicle through which he wishes to operate.   When we take care of our environment we do so out of respect for what God created, not because we are somehow a God over it, or that we need to save it.  Nature really doesn’t need us, we need it – to eat, to grow, a place to live.  God didn’t need us when He created us, He created us purely out of love.  But we do need God to be successful in this life.

“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” – Matthew 24:35

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