Monday, November 29, 2010

Advent For Us

I was born into a Christian family and was raised as a Christian, yet I had never really celebrated Advent. In a quest to study God's Word and to seek out what He would have me do for my family I really felt we needed to celebrate Advent. This would help keep Christ at the center of our Christmas. I didn't know alot about Advent so I researched and studied. I decided to share just a little of what I learned.

Advent means "coming" or "arrival". The focus of the entire season is a celebration of the birth of Jesus the Christ in His first advent. We are also anticipating His return in His second advent. Is that hope, however faint at times, and that God, however distant He sometimes seems, which brings the world the anticipation of a king who will rule with truth and justice and righteousnes over his people and in his creation.

Part of the expectation also anticipates a judgement on sin and a calling of the world to accountability before God. We long for God to come and set the world right! Yet, as the prophet Amos warned, the expectation of a coming judgement at the "day of the Lord" may not be the day of light that we might want, because the penetrating light of God's judgement on sin will shine just as brightly on God's people.

We anticipate the coming of the Messiah. We long for redemption, not of a personal nature but of the redemption of the world. Anticipating for the Messiah to come a second time to save us from the evil in this world! Romans 8:18-25 says this clearly how we are eager for Christ to come again and save us from this evil.

Tonight before bed we read from a special book for Advent. We lit the first candle on our advent wreath which symbolizes expectation, hope and the prophecies that were fulfilled over 2,000 years ago! We sang "Away In A Manager" together and reflected upon how we can keep Christ at the center of our Christmas this year.

"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined." (Isaiah 9:2)

"For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6)

Let us all start this season off with personal reflection on how we represent our Christ child to a dying world. May we live each day with the great anticipation that He will come again! And may we be ever mindful of the Day of Judgement that is coming!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Devotional Thoughts for today...

I just wanted to share with you some passages of scripture that I read this morning. They really spoke to my heart. I am finding more and more that when I seek Him and seek to hear Him.. He does speak to me in that ever so still, small voice.

"Help Lord, for the godly are no more; the faithful have vanished from among men. Everyone lies to his neighbor; their flattering lips speak deception. May the Lord cut off all flattering lips and every boastful tongue that says, We will triumph with our tongues; we own our lips -- who is our master? Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the need, I will now arise says the Lord, I will protect them from those who malign them. And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver refined in the furnace of clay, purified seven times. O Lord, you will keep us safe and protect us from such people forever. The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men." Psalm 12

Proverbs 12:16, "A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult."

For those of you who have been following my blog you will probably understand why these verses mean so much to me. I feel like I have really gone through a refining process these past few months. And while I know I have much more refining to be done, I find comfort in these verses in Psalms which seem to offer me the hope that God will protect me now. I felt lonely to like the beginning of this passage. I wondered where are the godly men/women are. This scripture passage just spoke volumes to me. And Proverbs 12:16 is something I am praying over myself daily.

"Lord, please help me to be a prudent person. Help me to overlook insults. Help me to be a light in a very dark world. And help me never to forget that I have not arrived but am a work in progress. Amen!"

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Locusts

So, I have been doing lots of thinking and lots of praying and God brought a verse to mind that I just had to share. It reminded me of what I have been going through, those things recently and even all the things in my past. It was an encouragement to me and I wanted to share it with others.

Joel 2:25, "Then I will make up to you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust, My great army which I sent among you." (New American Standard Bible)

Wow, so I have felt like there have been alot of "locusts" in my life. I have certainly had my share of the creeping locust (the type that doesn't say much but is criticizing you from a distance), the stripping locust (the ones who have literally stripped my heart at times of all the forgiveness I can muster) and the gnawing locust (those who you repeatedly try to embrace but instead they just attempt to gnaw holes in your heart and your character).. I dont know.. call me crazy.. but I really felt like this verse spoke to me in my season that I am in. I feel now like God is restoring those years little by little. I am being surrounded by wonderful, authentic, Christian friends and I couldn't be more thankful. I am digging deeper in study of His word and I am on my knees more than ever. God is truly restoring those years for me. He is showing me His grace, His faithfulness and His forgiveness more every day and He is empowering me to share that same grace and forgiveness with others. Thank you Lord!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Loneliness of The Christian

I am amazed at how God brings people, circumstances or "words" into our lives at just the right moment. I was reading a fellow bloggers page this morning and came across a passage from a book by A.W. Tozer that really spoke to my heart in light of all the troubling relationship issues I have had recently. Here it is:


The loneliness of the Christian results from his walk with God in an
ungodly world, a walk that must often take him away from the fellowship of good Christians as well as from that of the unregenerate world. His God-given instincts cry out for companionship with others of his kind, others who can understand his longings, his aspirations, his absorption in the love of Christ; and because within his circle of friends there are so few who share his inner experiences he is forced to walk alone.

The unsatisfied longings of the prophets for human understanding caused them to cry out in their complaint, and even our Lord Himself suffered in the same way. The man [or woman] who has passed on into the divine Presence in actual inner experience will not find many who understand him. He finds few who care to talk about that which is the supreme object of his interest, so he is often silent and preoccupied in the midst of noisy religious shoptalk. For this he earns the reputation of being dull and over-serious, so he is avoided and the gulf between him and society widens.

He searches for friends upon whose garments he can detect the smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia out of the ivory palaces, and finding few or none he, like Mary of old, keeps these things in his heart. It is this very loneliness that throws him back upon God. His inability to find human companionship drives him to seek in God what he can find nowhere else.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


So it has been a terribly rough week already and its just Tuesday. I dont know what God is trying to do but whatever it is.. it sure is painful. I lost two very dear friends back in August.. lost as in the cyber dumped me after literally years of friendship. I was so hurt, so devastated by this that I was sure there could be no good in it. Yet I was pleasantly surprised to see how God showed me I needed to rely on Him more and that He was all I needed. I started changing in a positive way and God blessed me with new, godly Christian ladies whom I might have never met if things had not happened between those two friends and I.

So I thought for sure I had learned my lesson good and well. I totally depended on God now as my only true friend (I thought). However, yesterday I received the most hateful, accusatory email from a "friend" that anyone could receive. We are in the process of foreclosure and had to file bankruptcy in September (for those of you who dont know). My husband a day a week of work for over a year due to the economy and we literally sunk financially. We are very careful with our money and have no cable TV, no Internet (I use someone elses)... but still we could no longer keep up. Anyway this "friend" who just came back from a missions trip with his church said that he could no longer be our friend cause he wanted to surround himself with True Christian friends which we were obviously not because of filing bankruptcy and being in foreclosure. He then proceeded to accuse us of maxing out our cards (which we did not!) on "wants" and not "needs". He said my posts on my facebook about being thankful for God's blessings made him sick cause I was trying to show everyone how I had so much more than everyone else. I was so devastated when I read this email that there were tears streaming down my face. I couldn't believe what I was reading! He then blocked me from communication with him as well as his wife and told us never to contact them again. I just couldnt understand what God was possibly trying to teach me this time around. I will tell you one thing.. I am seriously contemplating no longer calling myself a Christian but a Christ-Follower. These people who are claiming to be Christians are certainly the furthest thing from Christ I have ever encountered. I am by no means perfect and I make mistakes daily, but God severely discipline me if I should ever say such hateful things to someone. I wonder what God would do if he came back to earth and saw people who represented Him acting this way. It makes me wonder about church and organized religion. I mean this guy just came back from a missions trip! How much more "in tune" with God could he have been and then to spew such filth from his mouth? Are we not all part of Gods family? Why do we treat each other this way? I certainly dont know that answers to these questions. There are so many things spinning through my head right now. I am trying to walk in forgiveness, which is so much easier said than done. One thing I have discovered positive out of this whole situation. I was concerned that my son was being influenced in a negative way by this couple's older children. No child is perfect and certainly not mine.. but I didn't like the deviant behavior and the disrespect that I saw from these childrens and I was wondering how to protect my children without offending them. Well this truly solved my problems. So maybe this was God's way of protecting my family. I surely dont know His plan, but I believe that all things work together for good. I am just praying these "lessons" are soon over with and that God will bring Christ honoring people into my life and into my childrens life that will encourage us and not tear us down.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


As Thanksgiving approaches I am reminded daily of just how much I have to be grateful for. For those of you who follow my blog, I have reached my 30 faces in 30 days for which I am very grateful. I am going tonight to my meeting where I will receive all of my awards, recognition and prizes. These material things are not what inspired me to perservere.. it was saying that I was going to do something and seeing it through until completion. I wanted to be diligent and my diligence was rewarded.

I am so very grateful for two wonderful little boys that God has blessed me with, a husband who loves and cherishes me and loves the Lord, a healthy family, a roof over my head, food on my table, warm clothing, toys for the children,indoor plumbing, running hot water, a bed to sleep in, phones to be able to communiate with others, parents, inlaws, sisters, brother, a good church, caring friends and most importantly my salvation. There is so much I have to be grateful for. The operational definition of gratefulness is this -- Making known to God and others in what ways they have benefited my life. 1 Corinthians 4:7 says, "For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?" 1 Timothy 6:6-8 says, "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing we will be content with that." Hebrews 13:5 says, "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." These are just a few verses on thankfulness/gratefulness in the Bible. Just living in a country where we are free to worship the Lord is something to be grateful for. It is so easy to get caught up in the spirit of materialism in this country. We have come to confuse our wants with our needs.

Lets remember all the things we are thankful for this holiday season.. and not just during this season, but all year round. An attitude of gratitde creates blessings!