Friday, December 7, 2012

"True Hope"

"Life is a journey we all must travel through,
The choices we make set the standards for how well we do,
But there is a Hope when we decide to change our course,
One most people don't know about or even understand it's source,
It is in Jesus for all can come to see,
He is awaiting patiently to meet all of your needs,
So, if you are tired of all the false hope the world has to offer,
I suggest trying Jesus, His True Hope is like none other"

Friday, November 30, 2012

"Changes Inside Out"

"Many people miss what's in front of their eyes,
Because they are looking through dark glasses with demise,
The character we stand for was created way back when,
If you've not followed Jesus it was developed by sin,
But there is a change that can take place in you,
It will require you saying a couple words to your Father God to do,
Once you've decided to leave your old life behind,
God made a provision by putting the Holy Spirit inside,
He will guide you through this journey called life,
And He is there to teach you, to comfort you, and avoid strife"

Monday, November 26, 2012

"Encouragement: Sweet As Candy"

I was thinking one day last month about what my "personal" definition of encouragement would be. Well, candy came to mind. I know it sounds funny, but listen to what my thoughts were. Imagine this, you are sitting in front of your fireplace in your favorite chair on a cold day, just getting comfortable. When all of sudden, a thought of your favorite candy races through your mind. So, at that moment, you go grab a couple of pieces that you've had stashed from everyone (so no one would eat them) in your favorite hiding spot. At this point, you get comfy again in your chair. You sit there with your wrapped candy in your hand, thinking to yourself "this is going to be good" (as it's still wrapped).
Now, you begin unwrapping your candy, knowing it's going to be good. It's unwrapped, you put into your mouth and begin to chew, thinking "this is the best candy ever". Now, think about this for a moment, sitting there holding your favorite candy, knowing just how good it's going to taste, is never actually as good as opening it up and putting into your mouth to savor the flavor.

Encouragement is similar, in the fact, we all know what it means. But until we've actually experienced it we don't truly know the full affect of it and appreciate it. There are lots of people in this world just waiting for someone to come along aside them to encourage them. We ALL need it, there is not one person that I know, that hasn't needed encouragement at one point or another. And I'm sure all of you can say the same thing. You know difficult circumstances hit everyone, it's not a matter of if it happens, but rather when it happens. We are all called to build up and encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11-"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.) We never know what kind of impact we can have on another person until we get out of our comfort zone and take the time to encourage someone today. God will give you the strength to carry this out. He is faithful! So you see, when a person has experienced the fullness of encouragement, it can taste like their favorite piece of candy.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

"The Face Without A Reflection (Identity)"

How many of us can say we truly recognize ourselves when we look in the mirror? We get older, our bodies go through changes, yes. But, I am referring to the spiritual side of things. We've all heard that the"eye is the pathway to the soul". We get up every morning, we look into the mirror while we brush our teeth, brush our hair, wash our faces and etc. Only just before we begin the rat race of life. We get off to work, grab some coffee, say hello to our co-workers and we're off!

The Word says we were created in God's own image.(Genesis 1:27-"So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.") When you look in the mirror what do YOU see? Do you see a fleshly, aging body being enslaved to serve another day in the rat race or do you see the perfect creation (salvation/spiritual) God made and intended us to view ourselves as?  Our spirit is eternal and will live forever, but it needs a body to dwell in, so that God's Will can be carried out. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we belong to Him from that moment on. God has a plan (task) for each of us to carry out while we are on this earth. It is up to us to accept it. And if we are truly serving Him and staying in communication with Him (prayer) we will eventually learn what that is.

 It wasn't revealed to me until, I became physically disabled, to KNOW what my purpose was. I'm not saying it was God's will that this happened to me, but I know that He is using my current circumstances for the my good and His purpose (Romans 8:28-"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose"). You all probably know it now, just by reading my post. But it is to encourage others that are going through really difficult times. And it's crazy, although I'm having a difficult time now, I find it peaceful to help others, we are instructed to do so in the Word (1 Thessalonians 5:11-"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing"). You never know who you will meet that day that just needed a little encouragement. And your encouraging words could be the deciding factor needed to change the way they see themselves.

Now, you may not know what God's plans are for you right away, or you might. But sometimes we are given things in stages, once we finish one, we are on to the next. This is part of our maturing process, I'm finding this out. By showing us a little at a time and completing each stage, we are proven trustworthy by God to proceed on to the next step. If God gave us the BIG picture (exam), and we had not studied for it, we would not have a clue how to handle it or what we are doing. We are to draw our strength from the Lord. This process is our schooling, in which I call, "spiritual continual education".  As long as we are on this planet, we will be always be learning and this causes us to grow in our relationship with the Lord. 

So you see, when we look in the mirror, God wants us to see us in His Image; His Creation. The more time we spend with our Heavenly Father, the more we act like Him and LOVE people. Let me say this, it's important to love and care for yourself because this dictates our love and care for others. It's hard to love someone else when you don't love or care for yourself.

Little by little, the more time I spend with God, the better I start to like me and see the potential He created me for. And I can't do this if I'm self-loathing and treating others wrongly. We are called to  sincerely love (action word) unconditionally (1 Corinthians 13:4-7-"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.")

The more time we are willing to spend with our Creator, the more we will want to emulate Him. This resulting in the reflection of the image of our Heavenly Father when we see ourselves. So, I leave you with a thought: How do you view yourself? And others?

Monday, October 29, 2012

"Love Is Doing"

"As believers we must become a servant to all,
When we walk in love we will obey God's call,
Reach out to your brother when he needs your hand for help,
And don't just keep God's Love all for yourself,
When Peter was losing focus on the water and couldn't stand,
Jesus The Messiah held out His hand,
Jesus, Himself was an example to all to see,
That includes everybody, even you and me,
God's Love is an action word we often misunderstand,
Love is not a feeling we make decisions on,
But instead to make a commitment to stand,
We are to be led by faith, even though we cannot see those things,
By Trusting Jesus that He has brought us the Victory,
Loving each other is the Greatest Commandment of all,
We must first love God with all our heart, mind, and soul for us to spiritually grow,
So I close this all by saying do something in love for someone today,
It will create a lasting memory and you will possibly make their day"

Monday, October 22, 2012

"Operation Christmas Child"

"Big Smiles"
Operation Christmas Child only comes once a year,
And that time is coming, coming near,
Let's all pull together and do our best,
God says put your faith into action, and He'll do the rest,
Imagine blessing a child who didn't know it was coming,
As they open their eyes to find out they got something,
Jesus said, "for the least of these, you do unto Me",
The blessing may not come in this world, but eternal rewards you'll see,
The Greatest Gift has yet to be seen,
That each child has the chance to accept Jesus and be redeemed,
So now you see the importance to lend a hand,
And to make a difference for those who cannot stand."

This past Saturday, I had the privilege of being introduced to a project by Samaritan's Purse called Operation Christmas Child". Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has sent boxes to 130 countries and have provided 95 million smiles while doing it.  I was so moved by the testimony of the guest speaker, a Operation Christmas Child recipient, named Renan Perdoma from Honduras. I felt compelled to share it with everyone.

In 1993, Renan was a just a little boy and lived in a town of 800 people. He was one of the first children to receive a Christmas box from the Operation Christmas Child program. I have to tell you, tears rolled down my eyes as he told his story regarding wanting to attend school at the age of 10.
He had never stepped foot in a school before that. And the reason was, his parents couldn't afford the required pencil and notebook needed to enter the school. That's all he needed to attend school was a pencil and notebook. Doesn't seem like much does it? Well, let me give you some background on the house they lived in and how many were in it. There were 10 people living in a dirt floor house. It was a daily struggle for food. So, Renan prayed that somehow he would get to go to school and that God would provide all he needed.

To make a long story, short, he received one of the Operation Christmas Child boxes. And guess what was in it? You guessed it! There was a pencil, and notebook with some other things included.One of the neatest gifts included in the box was a book called The Greatest Journey. This book is a child's discipleship program that millions of children have come to faith in Jesus Christ. There are tens of thousands of trained volunteer teachers around the world that help guide the children as they commit their lives to Christ and learn how important it is for them to share the Good News. Once a
child completes the Greatest Journey Bible Study, they are proudly presented with a personalized certificate as well as a New Testament bible. May I also interject, that both the bible study and bible have been translated into more than 30 different languages.

Did you know love is an action word? God's love involves unselfish service to others, to show it gives evidence that you care. In Romans 12:9-12-"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." God has called all of us to have sincere love helping others to become better people. And this may demand us of our time, money and personal involvement.

Now here's how you can get involved in helping us spread Christ's love to lots of children. All you need is a shoe box, wrapped in Christmas paper. Below you will find a link for the drop-off location near you:

I leave you with one thought; When you send a box, you're not just blessing a child, you're also blessing the country it's going to!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"My Maintenance Inhaler"

A couple of years ago one of my daughters was diagnosed with asthma. The doctor started her on what they called a "maintenance" inhaler twice a day indefinately.  These two puffs twice a day were so important so much to the point where it determined regular breathing or hardly breathing for my baby girl. So, you could imagine what would happen if we "forgot" to give her inhaler to her a couple of times?  We would start seeing my daughter having a difficult time catching her breath, especially in the cold weather.

You see, the maintenance inhaler is just that, it helps maintain a healthy breathing pattern. Well, our spending time with the Lord is much like it in the same way, in that we must maintain a relationship everyday. By doing so, it is much easier to handle the difficulties when they come, and they will come.

It's usually easier, no matter what it is in life, to stay caught up, rather than if you were always playing catch up. Would you agree? I think most of us would.  That's why I choose Jesus to be "My Maintenance Inhaler". He gives me eternal life and helps sustain my spiritual walk by spending time with Him. By seeking Him out, we get close to Him. In James 4:8- it says "Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded."

Just as by not using your maintenance inhaler correctly as prescribed by your doctor, could lead to a deadly situation, and in the same manner we could develop almost a spiritual anorexia in which we could be on the verge of starving our prayer life. 

So let me leave you with one question. Are you showing signs of suffocation because of spiritual anorexia? If so, lets all commit to taking our "puffs" from our maintenance inhaler (Jesus) daily and fatten ourselves up on the Word of God a bit.

Friday, October 12, 2012

"The Greatest Love"

"Jesus, You are truly the Light of my life,
You rescued me and gave me the strength to fight,
You are my everything,
I can't say with words how much to me you mean,
I can show You by giving You my praise,
And by singing aloud with my hands raised,
There is nothing in this world that I love more,
Since I asked You in by opening my heart's door,
Lord, You are there as I draw near,
And faithful to make my path very clear,
You are my Jesus whom I'll always love,
So, any difficulties I face in this life, I'll put You above"

Thursday, October 11, 2012

"Truly Amazing"

"God has shown me the areas where I've been wrong,
Through the teaching of His Word and His Praises in the Psalms,
He is so determined to want us to succeed,
That He will go to the ends of the earth if that's what we need,
He's not a God that He see just one person left,
The Word says coming to the saving knowledge of Grace is for our best,
God is gracious to offer us His Mercy,
Even while we are still dirty,
He offers us a brand-new Hope,
One from Jesus, not the world, will stay afloat,
These rhyming words in this poem are nothing new,
But, the subject matter in God's Word, my life has found to be true."

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

"Your Free Gift"

"The Only way to God is through His Son,
Then your New Beginning has begun,
Jesus left us a Comforter as He ascended to the Father,
And by trusting in Him you would need no other,
The Holy Spirit will help you stay on the straight and narrow,
By following Him, He'll guide the direction of your life's arrow,
You see, God loves and cares for us so,
Not even the most intelligent person could ever know,
God's Ways are not our ways,
And He knows the number of your days,
So seek and find Him while you still can today,
Because waiting until tomorrow may be too late."

Thursday, October 4, 2012

"Don't Waste Time"

"Do we waste the life we've been given,
Or do we answer God's calling and start living,
When we learn to hear God's own voice,
Doing what He says is always our choice,
He makes our hearts to want to serve,
All people even those we think don't deserve,
It's not up to us to judge,
And even more so to hold a grudge,
When we let go, and let God lead,
He will open our eyes so we can see,
I'm saying today is the day to make things right,
The Word of God says do it before ends night."

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

"Invisible Pain"

"The pain I feel you cannot see,
But, it is real inside of me,
You look at me and say "he's all good",
When in reality, you misunderstood,
I look normal until I begin to walk,
If you got to know me better, I'd talk,
The pain inside of me, you have no clue,
But this one thing I know to be true,
Because of what Jesus' Blood did for me,
His death took care of all my needs,
Yes, I still deal with physical pain no eye can see,
But my heart, and my spirit have been set free."

Monday, October 1, 2012

"The Trial Lawyer"

"Peace Comes In The Mourning"

 "Peace comes from enduring the trials of our life,
Although during it feels like being stuck with a knife,
The pain is grueling as we all know,
But in our heart of hearts it must hurt for us to grow,
As God stretches us to our very limits,
All we can think is "when will this end", counting down the minutes,
The time goes by before our own eyes,
We try waiting patiently for God's reply,
And If we wait just a little longer,
God has promised to be faithful and make us stronger."

I believe some of us treat our trials like a relay race. We start as the gun goes off only to carry our problems ourselves, then we hand it off to someone else (tell a friend), then to God. Then we take the baton back from God because He wasn't working quite fast enough or doing it in the way we thought it should be done. Because it's natural for us to feel the need to be in control of the situation.

You know, God has instructed us to give Him our worries various times in His Word (1 Peter 5:7-"Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you."). I wonder how many times we were about to have our prayers answered only to have them be delayed because we couldn't trust God to handle them for us. God never intended for us to go at it alone. We were put on this planet and designed to need someone, not to isolate ourselves from God or people. (1 Corinthians 12:24-26-"while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.")

When we put ourselves in a box, we isolate ourselves from everyone, as to say we don't need anyone. That's not true. We all need someone. We ALL needed a Savior. God knew that, so He sent His Son Jesus. But, we sometimes have a tendency to want to "John Wayne" it, and that wasn't God's plan. I've said this before, God wants the best for us. Is it truly God's best that we go through live alone? With no friends?  I think not!

Satan uses isolation when we are going through a struggle. His plan is to keep us away from the flock (church). The very same people that would stand in the gap for us in prayer. The church is the body of Christ. We are called to be there for one another through the good and the bad (1 Thessalonians 5:10-11-"He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."). Look at it this way, wolves hunt in packs, they draw one sheep, usually a young or a weak one away from the rest of the herd. Then they attack it as a group only to devour it. Satan, plays the same game with God's people. He does it in a patient manner though. It may be through the music we listen too, t.v. computer. Now, none of these things are bad in moderation. But they can all be used as tools to draw us away from spending time with God, family, friends, everybody from the outside world. Then when he's got us there he starts putting thoughts in our heads that shouldn't be there.

And if we allow this for very long without reinforcing our thoughts with the Word of God, you may start believing them. That's the point where Satan has hooked you. And you don't even realize you've been caught. The mind is a battlefield, we must protect it with the artillery of God's Word! You know, Jesus intercedes for us in Romans 8:34-"Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died-more than that, who was raised to life-is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us."
So, Paul says Jesus is interceding for us in Heaven. God has acquitted us and has removed our sin and guilt, so it is Satan, not God, who accuses us. When he does, Jesus, our advocate for our defense, stands at God's right hand to present our case. Now you see, we have a Trial Lawyer, His name is Jesus!

Friday, September 28, 2012

"Go Forth"

"God is wanting us to go beyond our four walls,
When we don't, it may cause our faith to stall,
We are told to go and preach to all on the earth,
And that may include us to go and search,
For many will come to know Jesus by name,
And just as many His name they will not claim,
So let us all wake up to decide,
And put our own personal agenda aside,
For all I want is my Father God to get all the glory,
And that's just what happens at the end of the story."

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"Trusting You"

"This pain I feel is so deep,
It's sometimes very hard to sleep,
So I come to You at night in prayer,
Just hoping You would ease the despair,
I get on my knees,
Saying Lord take the pain away please,
Then I remember I am not alone,
You will always be with me and I'm not on my own,
You promise to carry our heavy burdens we bare,
But only if we trust You enough to cast You our care,
Lord, Your Word puts my mind at rest,
And I trust You to see me through this test."

"Unseen Power"

"My inner being is sometimes leaning on the things of this world,
But knowing if I give in to it my life would be in turmoil,
The Holy Spirit dwells inside of me,
He is there to help meet my needs,
There is no substitution,
For the Power of God's Absolution,
There is no denying the awesome power God brings,
When we're faced with difficulties, He's faithful to take away the sting,
The battle we fight is one we cannot see,
It can only be won, not with words, or shaking fist, but on our knees."

Thursday, September 13, 2012

"The Choice Is Yours"

"The Joy of the Lord is our strength"
And He will go to any length,
To offer us to be totally His,
So we can make His Master List,
He wishes that none should ever perish,
Because there is nothing else higher to cherish,
It's God's Will that we all join Him,
In The place He's prepared for us in the Heavenly Realm,
So, I'm asking will you please come today,
Or have you decided you can do it your way and stay."

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"Peace Comes In The Mourning"

"Peace comes from enduring the trials of our life,
Although during it feels like being stuck with a knife,
The pain is grueling as we all know,
But in our heart of hearts it must hurt for us to grow,
As God stretches us to our very limits,
All we can think is "when will this end", counting down the minutes,
The time goes by before our own eyes,
We try waiting patiently for God's reply,
And If we wait just a little longer,
God has promised to be faithful and make us stronger."

Sunday, September 9, 2012

"The Time Is Now"

"Some of us won't live to see the next light of day,
How much more important is it that we pray,
You can change the course of this roller-coaster ride,
By simply asking Jesus to come alive to you inside,
So get on your knees and repent of your sins,
You'll be forever thankful that you did,
All of Heaven is rejoicing by the decision you have made,
Jesus has your name in the Lamb's Book of Life now to claim."

Friday, September 7, 2012

"It Was Finished"

"Jesus was willing to endure all the pain,
Even though it caused Him heartache and bodily strain,
He walked up the mountain side with an old rugged cross,
While thinking "I'm doing this for all", no matter what the cost,
 When He made it and they put the cross into the ground,
All that could be heard was crying all around,
The soldiers were rolling and bidding for His clothes,
Not realizing who they were crucifying would take away their woes,
As time went on, the sky grew dark,
The crowd got quiet, God was about to make His mark,
Sin was put to death, revoked with three small spikes,
And "It Is Finished" came from the mouth of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Thursday, September 6, 2012

"Family First"

"God has put together a family portrait frame that is very unique,
When we start tearing edges off it becomes incomplete,
It is said, a picture is worth a thousand words,
And if you listen closely, I'll tell you what was heard,
Fading memories come and go fast,
Most are good, some are bad but all unfortunately last,
But I'm here to focus on the family today,
A family stays together always prays,
Fervent prayers go high in the sky,
The hard part is waiting for an answer to draw nigh"

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

"Life Is Short"

Today's post is short and to the point. But, it's one that I woke up thinking about a couple of weeks ago. None of us know the year, the month, the day, the minute, or even the second our time is up. Think about it for a minute. Life is short no matter how many years you live. Don't be deceived into thinking that you have lots of remaining time to live for Christ to enjoy your loved ones, or to do what you know you should.  It's because life is so short, we should live for God while we have the time. Don't waste your life by selecting an inferior purpose that has no lasting value. Live for God- He alone can make your life worthwhile, purposeful and meaningful. Then, no matter when your life ends, you will have full-filled God's plan for you. So I leave you with one thought in James 4:14- "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a while and then vanishes."


"Mercy is something to each other we reserve,
God gives us Grace which we don't deserve,
So who are we to go against the Lord,
When we stop seeking God, we want the world more,
But God is gracious enough to pull us back,
He loves us so much to put us on the right track,
The Holy Spirit convicts us when we are in the wrong,
But He does it so gently with a hand so strong,
So all I am saying is to search your own heart,
And just realize God is in control and He wants you to be a part"

Saturday, September 1, 2012

"The High Road"

"You changed my inner man,
Convincing me You had a better plan,
To live my life as you see fit,
Knowing that the path I was on wasn't it,
It took a disability to open my eyes,
The condition of my spirit I realize,
Is so important to You Heavenly Father,
So that, You granted us the title of sons and daughters,
It is Your desire that we live with You in Heaven,
So if we accept Your Son Jesus, we are no longer at odds but even."

"My Decision"

"The best decision I could have made was to take a hold of Your Hand,
Because of the love You have shown has allowed me to make a stand,
The Truth of God's Word is all that I believe in,
And In my life, I choose not to sin,
I raise my hands up oh so high,
All the way up mountain peaks and into the sky,
For You O'God are faithful to rescue me,
From all of Hell's flames and it's debris,
I am thankful for everything You've done,
You're the only One that can give Eternal Life through His Son,
For I am Blessed for whom I've become,
And in the Name of Jesus I will overcome."

"My Words To You"

"When I'm weary I go back to look at my notes,
So I'm reminded of the words You have spoke,
That You are forever by my side,
Even though it feels like my two worlds collide,
The Holy Spirit has promised me comfort and peace,
To You God my worries and doubt I release,
So here I am being honest to You,
I need Your loving power to get me through."

Friday, August 31, 2012

"A Hopeful Beginning"

"The Power of God is a wonderful thing,
Peace, love and joy is what He will bring,
The Power of Prayer is a powerful thing,
Strife, hurt and confusion, it takes out the sting,
Nothing happens by sitting on our seats,
Expect the situation to change when we get on our knees,
All things in this life will vanish into thin air,
But do not fret, I tell you the truth, nothing will compare,
What you will see will blow your mind,
Just watching all of us stand at Heaven's Gate in line,
And if you don't take heed to His Hand,
All will bow whether they want to by demand."

Thursday, August 30, 2012

"Expect The Unexpected"

"I Am Able"

"I dream of one day to ride a bike,
Then on my list I would take a mile hike,
The next day I'd get into a car,
I would take a long trip with my family, oh so far,
I would put my left foot in front of my right,
I'd run so fast with all of my might,
I would spread my wings as wide as they'd go,
Just where I'd end up only God knows,
I want to jump up as high as I can,
To know God gets all the credit and not man,
I am going to live my life as pleasing to You,
I've decided to be obedient to what You want me to do."

Some of you have asked about what difficulties, or for better words, physical disability I display. I have felt very strongly to share with all of you some of my experiences. Nobody likes conflict! This is safe to say. Most everyone wants to live their lives peacefully. I mean, who wouldn't want too. You can view this two ways. The difficulties we endure can either be a blessing or a curse. We choose the outcome based on our attitude during the trial. I have spoken in detail on previous post about how God sometimes uses struggles in our lives as a "wake up call". He wants to get our attention. And unfortunately for most of us, this is the case. We live in such a "fast-paced" world. And a I need it done now mentality. We are all guilty, including myself, of not slowing down and giving God our best! So, we are mostly content with giving Him our "leftovers" or "crumbs" (a quick prayer here and there) that drop from our tables or we at least hope that will be sufficient for Him. We all live life unexpectedly, if you think about it. We all have things that are edged in stone about our lives like our personalities (God created us). But we don't know things like the security of our income, health issues (I know this one), or even car problems, just name a few. These are all unforeseeable issues we we can't control. We need to realize, life is one BIG puzzle, and everything that happens to us is a piece of the puzzle. We can either choose to allow God to put these pieces together for us in the right place (follow His plan for our life), or we can do it ourselves, maybe never getting the correct pieces in their places (maybe never executing God's plan for their lives). (Jeremiah 29:11-"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future"). When we all face trials they have a tendency to strengthen, mature us and somewhat make us more complete. A lot of times, these trials mold us into what God wants us to be. Anyway, let me get back to my original thought (sufferings). I suffer from a physical disability called Thoracic Degenerative Disc Disease (TDDD). I was diagnosed just over two years ago. There is no surgery or medical procedure available to date to correct this issue. The only option I was given was pain management and that was the best one. But little did I know, God would use this time not to heal my physical body (back), but to start transforming my heart on the inside (Expect the Unexpected). You know, a renewing of my mind and heart. It was during this trial I had my own expectation. I expected to be healed physically. But you know, God is God!  And I know, He sees the bigger picture. I found myself actually hurting worse than I had before. But, what I have found in the midst of MY storm was peace. A  perfect peace that only God, no human could provide. The best way to describe this peace, was a very "calming" peace. I longed for God's Word more and more. I couldn't get enough of it. I felt as if I was being turned inside out (like we do with certain clothing) only to be washed in hot water (growth hurts). The hot water is the significance of making sure the clothes are clean. I'm telling you when we allow God to clean us up, He does a rather thorough job. Last Year, I felt prompted by God to start a blog and call it "No, Pain, No Gain". The thoughts got stronger and stronger for starting this. I couldn't shake the feeling that I needed to do this no matter what kind of pain I was in. The Good News is, little did I know, there I go saying, "little did I know" again. But God did! And He knew He was going to use this blogging instrument to heal my heart, and draw me closer to Him while being an encouragement to others. Especially, those dealing with chronic pain like I do. He started by giving me scriptures to look up (not having a clue what they said). I would sit down to write, and He would give me the words to put on paper, just as if I was dictating a letter for Him (I kind of was). So many times, I would be woken up in the middle of the night to write things down, only to realize I wasn't sure where they would fit in with the post I was currently working on. This happened and continues to happen ALL the time. I'm telling you, God has such a sense of humor. I would go back to bed only to get up and start jotting words down again, in which connected with the words He woke me up earlier to write down.  And before I knew it, I had a newly completed post finished before the one I was currently working on. And without fail, I am usually told to post the last one first. That's crazy in normal thinking. But, I know I serve a BIG GOD! And He is forever looking out for my best interest and the interest of His children (what we need, when we need it). I believe, God is more interested in our spiritual well being, than our physical healing. I'm not saying that our physical hurts are not important to Him, because they are. And He can heal you!  But what I am saying, is it's far more important that our hearts be given to His Son, Jesus so we can live forever with Him. Well, I appreciate you all who taking to time to read my (short) story. However, I do have one more thing to share with you. I woke up thinking about the story of David and Goliath. I believe God gave me a different look at this story. Anyway, here is what I wrote down. WellIt's been almost a year since the "unexpected" happened (kidney stones surgery). We all know that we all go through difficulties everyday.  They sometimes seem all day long. The past 3 years has kind of reminded me of a movie called "Groundhog Day". I think we've all seen this movie one time or another. You know, where the main character gets up and does the same thing over everyday. But, what we seem to forget is that through those similar days there are little incidents that take place to change the course of the next day. Well, that happens to us each day, and those incidents are little "nuggets" that do make a change for the better. Sometimes those little "happenings" can change the course of your life. (2 Corinthians 4:18- "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.")  We can be assured, God does bring us hope during our most darkest days. It's only natural to focus on Goliath (problem) and not the little pebble (solution) that David slew Goliath with. Here me out for a moment, you see everyone was so focused on the BIG problem (Goliath) and how he was going to destroy David. But you know, most of time God works in ways we don't always understand or expect. Who knew, the little shepherd boy named David and his little "nugget" (pebble-solution) would be victorious  over such a huge problem in the natural (our own physical eyes).  I can honestly say God works "best" in things we don't foresee. (2 Corinthians 5:7 "We live by faith, not by sight.")  So I challenge all of you to stop looking at your (Goliath) problems and try to focus on the (David) solution that God is able to deliver you from.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"Upward Battle"

"At times I feel so down,
I don't want to laugh, smile just frown,
It's no surprise I see no way out,
I am even guilty to sometimes doubt,
Not that You Jesus are not able,
But that I always seem to be unstable,
Trusting You is hard when nothing changes,
I'm consistently looking for someone to be blaming,
Then I move past my foreseen thoughts,
Only to find them legitimately not,
I am trying to be in-tune with Your Spirit,
Only to be kept from drowning in the pit,
The deeper I go, the more right you are,
Your Promise to me was to heal my scars,
Just when I'm asking, laid out on the floor,
You are forever faithful to become my Lord." 

"The Right Path"

"Through His Word, God gives us His co-ordinance,
Which provides us with our guidance,
The right way we should act,
This is truly God's facts,
To each life is given a plan,
We have a choice to carry it out to the land,
If you choose to accept your earthly task,
Just know without a doubt your rewards will last,
Jesus paid the price for sin and death forever,
Which allows us to see past this life's endeavors,
One day we will stand before the Almighty King,
Only to realize it's real life and not just a dream."

"Communication With God"

"Difficult circumstances come and go,
When the next one pops up nobody knows,
We've been given One way out,
It's not easy, but is without a doubt,
The quickest way to our knees,
Is to give in and allow the Lord to speak,
Into our hearts everyday,
He creates a clear path in every way,
He wants to talk with us all the time,
And is even willing to supply the dime,
We are so important to Him,
He'll travel lands end to make amends,
He longs for us to open the communication,
Which takes away from the the devil's ammunition."

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"Mindful Things"

"Sifting through all memories past,
Knowing the photographic thoughts would last,
Jesus took away all the pain,
And He did it with just three small stains,
He changed the way we use to think,
By filling our mind and hearts with the Word, the missing link,
We are promised a refreshing every morning,
One that will bring Him ultimate glory,
Instead of focusing on our past and what we remember,
Let us take a look forward and see Him as our Redeemer."

Monday, August 27, 2012


"I'm not the same person that use to live,
The dying of the old man is not a myth,
But I'm here to tell you to make a new start,
It's at that point your heart is the mark,
Your mind is a battlefield where wars are to be won,
Just give your heart to God's One and Only Son,
Jesus will fight your battles for you,
Until you give it up there's nothing He can do,
He's promised we will be renewed,
Only God's Word gives us that clue,
Before accepting Jesus we were sinners,
Because of  His sanctification we became winners."

"Living On The Inside"

"Holy Spirit keep me safe from all deception,
Staying close to You drives away desperation,
Just knowing You are near,
Makes my difficult past disappear,
Living for You is my only choice,
It brings peace to muffle the noise,
I can't live this life without You inside of me,
The washing of Your Word makes me clean,
If we are faithful to stay on Your road,
You promise to carry our load,
You are always there to hold us up in strength,
And when we are thirsty You give us a drink."

Thursday, August 23, 2012


"You stand at the door and knock,
I'm too busy to even look at my watch,
We are always in a hurry to get no where fast,
By not changing our lives the devil dredges up the past,
Satan is always bringing up what we have done,
When all the while God took care of you with His One Son,
So the next time these bad thoughts come to your mind,
Hit rewind on what God did and how far He had His Son climb (on the Cross)."

"Our Weapon"

"The Scriptures are readily available to be learned,
But you must know the Words have to be earned,
By stopping everything in sight,
And diving into it with all your might,
The Words on each page are powerful to read,
But only if we are willing to speak,
God has given us a most awesome tool,
It makes the devil and demons always drool,
With every word God has our back,
He gives us everything so we do not lack"

"Open Eyes"

"The Word of God never idles still,
It's not just a book from the run of the mill,
The Living Words leap right off the pages,
On every line are passages for all of the ages,
Every Word is alive to see,
I'm learning as I open to read's about me,
How awesome my life can be transformed,
By allowing the Holy Spirit to conform,
All the Words I'm speaking to you,
Can be found in this book to be true,
Diving into the Word of God today,
Can save your life from lots of dismay."

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"Looking Up"

"I sit outside looking up at the clouds,
To you O'God I shout out loud,
Wondering why everything seems to be so hard,
All the while knowing you aren't far,
Sometimes I want to jump into the car and drive,
Thinking going fast will make me feel more alive,
Father God I need your everlasting peace,
Every need I have Your Word says You'll meet,
I hold onto the promises you have spoken,
Your Love is like finding a golden token,
All the worries, cares and strife,
Mean nothing to me with you Lord in my life"

"Alone At Night"

"Sitting here reflecting on my life,
When just a couple of days ago I was cut on with a knife,
The doctor came in and said I'd be okay,
While I was enduring my hospital stay,
The pain I feel is all too real,
All I could do was pray God would heal,
Contemplating what next to write,
At the same time moving takes all my might,
I am grateful for what You have done,
My Father in Heaven gave me His Son,
You are so awesome and precious in sight,
Jesus, You're faithful to get me through the painful night"

"Decision....Not Ignored"

"My thoughts of feelings are forever fleeting,
Always leaving me in desperate needing,
The high prizes this world has to offer,
Can never compare to the Crowns of my Father,
Your love is said to always endure,
To mold me, to make me more mature,
The more of this life I am letting go,
Your Word says the better of You I'll know,
So I must come to a choice indeed,
One that I choose to put inside of me,
I have chosen to serve Jesus as my Lord,
This is the decision I could not ignore"

"Dead To Be Alive"

"I spent years not being what you need,
It took me becoming afflicted to take heed,
Although my body is not physically strong in heart,
I've been given a new spirit and start,
I long to spiritually be what you need,
To be that Man of God and take the lead,
Waking every morning with you by my side,
Allows me to take a hard look at my life,
I'm slowly realizing the things I cannot change,
Not me but only the Holy Spirit can arrange,
The best way to get ahead in life is to give it all to You,
It helps take away all my heartache and blue,
I'm a new creation that's what Your Word says,
Which means that my old man that was living is now dead"

Monday, August 6, 2012

"Not On Deaf Ears"

We have all felt that sometimes God doesn't hear our prayers because we don't get an answer. And sometimes the wait can be long...very long. I'm talking trials may last months maybe years. But the truth is, God hears every word that we speak ("For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory"- Isaiah 66:18). I envision God's ears perking up when we start talking to Him. Now, that's just my take on it. We must understand God's time table is usually different than ours. I've experienced what seemed to be "dead silence" when I would sit down to pray. But, God calls us to seek Him ("But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you"-Matthew 6:3) even when we aren't getting the answers we need right away. I, personally have chosen to seek God out and trust Him while waiting for this trial to end, you know, to persevere (2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything"-James 1:2-4). It's hard, but I'm looking down the road, not at my current circumstance. And if this trial doesn't end for me while I'm still on this earth, it will when I get to Heaven ("2 Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, 3 because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life."-2 Corinthians 5:4). Paul is talking about our present bodies making us groan, but when we die we will not be spirits without bodies. We will have new bodies that will be perfect for our everlasting life (I know I took a detour, anyway back on track now). Our Father wants to hear from us. He wants to communicate with us, whether reading His Word or waiting patiently in prayer. Our prayer life should be a revolving door. What I mean is, we shouldn't do all the talking, but also listening. But in the meantime, we can learn how to follow God by meditating on His Word. Meditating simply means spending time reading and thinking about what you have read. Try asking yourself what changes you could make so you're living as God wants. Knowing and meditating on the Word are the first steps toward developing a closer relationship to our Father in Heaven ("but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night"-Psalm 1:2). So, I challenge you to dive into God's Word to get to know Him. You won't be disappointed with what you'll find! There is peace in the Word, it is alive! 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

"Slow To Speak"

You know we are all quick to think that when a person is dealing with pain whether it be physical or emotional, that they somehow deserve it.  We read in Job that his friends treated him the same way. Can we say they jumped the gun? They assumed Job deserved the pain and loss he was experiencing. There was a point where Job was wallowing in self-pity ( as we sometimes do). His friend's were judging him unfairly based on what he was going through at the time (Job 6:14-"A despairing man should have the devotion of his friends, even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty"). Job began to recognize as only a person in pain can do, that simple answers not only fail to relieve pain, they can literally drive a person further from God. If we are not careful, we can find ourselves doing the same thing to people we might not agree with. Is this a good enough reason to treat them unfairly? I think not!  Could we possibly be driving a deeper wedge between them and God? How will anyone experience the True Love of Jesus if we are not showing it? They won't! I believe if we were to be honest with ourselves. We could say we've all done it.  Let me turn your attention to the other side of things for moment. The truth of the matter is, Job's trial was not the pain or loss; it was not being able to understand why God allowed him to suffer at no fault of his. There is a danger if we stay focused on life's injustices and say look what happened to me; how unfair it is!  We may eventually turn to blaming God if we are not careful. We need to remember that life's trials, whether allowed by God or sent by God can be the means for a closer relationship with Him. When facing trials, try asking "What can I learn and how can I grow" rather than "Who did this to me and how can I get out of it"? You see we all become impatient with our sufferings ( I know I do) just like Job did. But, I have good news, Job was eventually restored, as you will be. He finally learned that when nothing else was left, he had God, and that was enough. Through suffering, we learn that God is enough for us in our lives. We must love Him regardless of the blessings or suffering that come to us. Although we may not be able to fully understand the pain we are experiencing at the time, it can truly lead us to rediscovering God! We should show love and compassion by getting on our knees and praying instead of shaking our fist and pointing fingers at those we might not agree with. Not one time in the Word when dealing with those who did not know Him did Jesus react in this manner. He always responded in love! Just as His Father in Heaven instructed Him too (1 Corinthians 13:4-13- "Love is patient and is kind; love doesn't envy. Love doesn’t brag, is not proud, 5 doesn't behave itself inappropriately, doesn’t seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil; 6 doesn't rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will be done away with. Where there are various languages, they will cease. Where there is knowledge, it will be done away with. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; 10 but when that which is complete has come, then that which is partial will be done away with. 11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child. Now that I have become a man, I have put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I was also fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, and love remain—these three. The greatest of these is love"). By the way, we as Christ-Followers (Philippians 4:9-"Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me -- put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you") are also called to love one another regardless of circumstance. So I leave you with one final thought: The next time we find ourselves focusing on someone else's issues, maybe we should be quick to recall issues we've faced in our own lives. We may resign to the realization that everyone goes through difficulties and that God will see us through it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"The Master's Art"

I think we can all say life is brief and full of trouble. Sickness, loneliness, disappointment and death can cause us all to think life is not fair. Truth be known, life isn't fair most of the time. I have experienced this in my own life dealing with a physical disability. As I'm sure all of you have too. But, I also know, that lots of times God uses trials for our own spiritual growth. You know, He wants us to totally rely on Him. It's during these trials that we have the opportunity to become closer to knowing the true face of God and how much He really loves us. We can also be given direction for our lives at this time. God's character goes into the creation of every person. When we start feeling worthless or even begin to hate ourselves, we need to remember that God's Spirit is ready and willing to work within us. There are times when we feel so beaten down that we have nothing left to give. Let me bring something to light for you. Before a sculptor begins chiseling out his foreseen masterpiece it is just an ordinary piece of clay.  However, it doesn't stay that way. The sculptor begins by taking off the rough edges, then proceeds to mold the clay into art unrecognizable to when he first began. You see much like a sculptor God does something similar to us when we choose to follow Him. He wants us to be more like Him. And the only way for this transformation to take place is if we choose to allow Him to work in us. We all have trouble seeing us the way God does. If we are not careful, this kind of thinking could allow the devil to rent space in our heads. And that's not good! Our Father God created us (Psalm 139:13-16-(13) "For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. (14) I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. (15) My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.(16) Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them")  the way He wants us. So I leave you with one thought; don't let anyone or anything hinder the work God is trying to do in you. Because He does KNOW what's best for you! He knew you before you knew yourself! 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"Struggling with Feelings"

Bear with me while I share a momentary feeling, here goes:

Words To God
I'm tired of sitting here in these four walls,
the anger inside me brings out the claws,
Mentally I feel like I'm going insane,
I wake up each morning with my brain feeling drained,
I know Holy Spirit you are here,
the Word says you are near,
You always turn me in the right direction,
and when I'm not I receive your correction,
At times I feel so lonely,
But I know You are changing me slowly,
I'm looking for the light at the end of the tunnel,
at the same time dealing with all my struggles,
I'm clear to what you say,
In the Word You will always stay.

I wrote this poem about a week ago. I was feeling lots of physical pain and somewhat depressed. So, I took out a piece of paper and jotted down the words that I was feeling. The reason I'm going into so much detail in sharing my inner thoughts with all of you is because we all struggle with different types of feelings. Some good, some not so good. But the point is we all struggle.  Did you know a feeling is a mood?  We can't always go based on our feelings at the time. Feelings are temporary! I could feel one way one minute and another way the next. Have you struggled with the feeling "Am I good enough?" I think it safe to say, we all have. Some more than others. I believe I'm in the "more" category. Let's think about this. Is it really that I'm not "good enough" or should we ask ourselves "Do I have what it takes?" Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 1:7- "For God hath not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."  We live in a world that is constantly telling us we can never measure up. But I know different. We need not be afraid to open up to our Father in Heaven. Remember, he created us and knows us better than we know ourselves (Psalms 139:13-16- "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." (14)"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."(15)"My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,(16) your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.")  Because we are followers of Jesus, we have a direct communication with our Father God. When we feel we are drowning in troubles, we can ask God to help us, hold us steady, and protect us.
So, I leave you with one thought: Is it going to be worth it all? I think so based on James 1:12-"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him."

Friday, June 29, 2012

"Life's Directions"

I know one thing we all struggle with in life is what directions to take. Should I do this or should I do that, or I just don't really know what to do. It would be easy for us to become so overwhelmed by the pressures of the world today if we let it. There seems to be so many more distractions that cause us to become confused about what's right and what's wrong. God has a plan for each and every one of us (Psalm 32:8- "I will instruct you and teach you in a way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you"). Not all receive and carry out His plan for them. It depends upon how willing we are to follow Him and be led by the Holy Spirit. You see, we all have a choice whether to live life by God's perfect plan or to try and fulfill our own destiny (Deuteronomy 30:19- "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live").  If we could all just understand God longs to guide us with love and wisdom rather than punishment. He wants what's best for us, He sees what's ahead for us (Proverbs 16:9- "A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps"). We need to remember we are all at our most vulnerable moments when we are going through suffering and pain. We must hold on to our faith even if there is no relief.  Job struggled emotionally, physically, and spiritually while enduring his trial. I, myself, find it very difficult to pray when I'm in severe pain (which is most of the time). But, I'm quickly relieved when I'm reminded of what Paul said, "God's Grace is Sufficient!"  I want you to know, God is capable of rescuing us from suffering, but he may also allow suffering to come for reasons we cannot understand. Our trials and suffering are for His glory (Galatians 6:9- "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not"). God wants us to know Him to receive His blessings and to live a life of peace, purpose, and pardon. So, I leave you with a scripture to ponder on. It is found in Jeremiah 29:13, it says: "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart."

Thursday, June 21, 2012

"Angry Moments"

I'd like to touch on a subject today that's not very popular to talk about. And that subject is anger.  I'm going to go out on a limb to say, we've all struggled (I know I have) with being angry with someone or having someone angry with us. Did you know God created all emotions including anger and worry?  I can certainly see how these two emotions are considered to be the most destructive of all emotions. I believe anger and worry occur when we focus to heavily on our problems. They both demonstrate a lack of faith that God loves us and is in control. Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:26-27 ("In your anger do not sin, Do not let sun go down while you are still angry, (27) and do not give the devil a foothold") that we must deal with our anger immediately so we don't destroy our relationships. And yes, misguided and misused anger can and will destroy relationships. Unfortunately, I have experienced this first hand.  So, being angry is not a sin, the sin comes when we misuse it. Because, at that point we are not walking in love as God has instructed us too. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.") If we nurse our anger, we will give Satan an opportunity to divide us. Are you angry with someone right now? What can you do to resolve your differences? So, I leave you with a challenge today. Go make things right with those you've dishonored by misusing your anger and watch the power of God work to restore your relationship with them.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"True Forgiveness"

Let's think about this next statement for a minute. "True Forgiveness" brings freedom!  It allows us to make a fresh start. I know it's sometimes very difficult for to ask for forgiveness, and just as equally difficult to give it. However, we are instructed in Ephesians 4:32-"And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other just as God in Christ also has forgiven you." We all know to some extent, failure to forgive will bring resentment, anger, and eventually our hearts grow cold toward people and then God. But, I have good news. God has sent the Holy Spirit to us as a Helper. He dwells inside each one of us if we  accept His son Jesus into our hearts. I kind of look at the Holy Spirit as my spiritual compass. If we have treated someone wrong whether we meant it or not, the Holy Spirit will convict, not condemn us (Romans 8:1-"There is therefore now no condemnation to which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit"), to make things right with that person. We serve a good God! And He wants what is BEST for us!  The key to forgiveness is confessing your sin and turning from it (1 John 1:9-"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from unrighteousness").  So, I leave you with a thought: "If you ever have trouble forgiving someone, just remember what Jesus did for you. And you didn't deserve it."

Friday, June 15, 2012

"Love Your Neighbor"

Let me start by saying, I think it's crazy to think we all have it together. I mean, we all have things we are continually working on. Some with physical disabilities, some with mental, and some with both.  When we are not motivated by love, we have a greater chance to become more critical.  At this time, it's easier to stop looking for the good in someone, and start putting more focus on their faults. I believe it's only human nature to do so.  However, we've been given instructions by God in His Word, to pretty much "treat people the way you want to be treated".  A question for thought: Have you focused on others shortcomings instead of their strengths? I know we can all say we have. Let us be reminded in Galatians 5:14-15- "The entire law is summed up in a single command: Love your neighbor as yourself, (15) If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other."  So, I challenge you, when we begin to feel critical of someone, lets step back and take a look at that persons positive qualities.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

"No Pain, No Gain"

I've titled today's blog, "No Pain, No Gain".  The purpose for this is for the past four years I've been in constant chronic pain due to a degenerative disc disease located in the thoracic region of my back.  This experience has been extremely painful both physically and emotionally.  I've dealt with depression because of the severe pain, and anger because of the depression. It seems like a vicious cycle. Not really knowing how to create an avenue to release it all. I used to work out to help relieve the stresses of life. Well, that quickly came to a halt when my health started to deteriorate.  Another area I've struggled in and continue to do so is the mental arena.  It has been a grueling road, but well worth it, knowing that God is glorified through our lives no matter what we go through. We have the choice to move forward and trust Him or we choose to abandon all we've been taught. Well, I have chosen to stand and fight regardless of how I feel. We must remember that God is still in control when we least feel Him.  I have good news, God's grace is sufficient! Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 12:9-"But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ's power may rest on me."  I remind myself of this all the time, sometimes all day long. I leave you with a thought:  We were never intended to live this life alone, but also to rely on our Father in Heaven and realize we are are to edify one another (Ephesians 4:29- "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs that it may benefit those who listen." 

Monday, June 4, 2012

"Brotherly Love (Favoritism is Forbidden)"

Sometime ago, I felt the Lord leading me to look up a Scripture in the book of James. It was the Second Chapter in James to be exact. So, I looked it up, with no clue as to what I would find. To my surprise, it spoke of treating the poor and the rich equally! It says: (James 2:1-9)- "My Brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of Glory with respect of persons." (2) "For if there come unto you assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment." (3) "And you have respect to him who wears the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit you here in a good place (show him partiality); and say to the poor, you stand there, or sit here under my footstool (proclaims a terrible attitude and spirit)." (4) "Are you not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? (5) "Hearken, my beloved Brethren, Has not God chosen the poor of this world rich in Faith, and heirs of the Kingdom which He has promised to them who love Him?" (6) "But you have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgement seats?" (7) "Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by which you are called (those who place their Faith and trust in money)?" (8) "If you fulfill the Royal Law according to the Scripture (Matthew 22:39), You shall love your neighbor as yourself, you do well (show favor to everyone, whether rich or poor)." (9) "But if you have respect to persons, you commit sin and are convinced of the Law as transgressors." (KJV)
I feel this message is timely for today. We have all been guilty of thinking less of someone else, and more highly of ourselves. But, as followers of Christ, we should be walking in love, no matter who the person and what his or her circumstances may be. It's not easy at times, but we are all called to "love our neighbor as we love ourselves" (James 2:8). Let's face it we all make mistakes, have moods, and some days seem impossible to get through with our busy schedules. So, I leave you with one thought: "Are we being fair in the way we treat one another?