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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thursday Thirteen Header Compliments of Goofy Girl

Thirteen Things That Will Give You Strength

1. Knowing that the Lord is your strength. (Exodus 15:2)

2. Allowing the Lord to lead you. (Exodus 15:13)

3. Remembering that the Lord called you. (Deuteronomy 3:28)

4. Praying to the only One who can renew your strength (Judges 16:28)

5. Remembering that God can not lie and His promises won't fail (I Samuel 15:29)

6. Trusting in the perfect will of God (II Samuel 22:33)

7. Remembering that God will sustain you (I Kings 19:8)

8. Seeking the Lord continually (I Chronicles 16:11)

9. Rejoicing in the what the Lord has done for you (Nehemiah 8:10)

10. Trusting in the wisdom of God (Job 12:13)

11. Loving the Lord (Psalm 18:1)

12. Remembering the salvation of the Lord (Psalm 28:8)

13. Trusting in God and not the things of this world (Psalm 33:17)

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Wednesday's Word

Today's word is something I get convicted about A LOT. Today's word is "endure."

Actual meaning: To carry on through, despite hardships

Meaning to me: To bear with patience anything that I face knowing that God is with me and that He will never leave me

You may ask why I'm convicted about this word. I'm not the best at enduring, at least not with patience. I'm learning little by little I think, but there are times when I fall flat on my face. There are a lot of good reasons to endure.

First off, endurance shows love. I Corinthians 13:7 says, "{LOVE} Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, ENDURETH all things."
Paul is going through a list of the characteristics of love (the actual word love is found in an earlier verse, but I added it in here since I only shared this verse.)
But it says here that love endureth all things. We all know this to be true because we take a whole lot from a family member that we really love. My brother and I used to tear each other up when we were younger, but an hour after the fight, we still loved each other. No matter how many times I scratched him or how many times he bit me, we still loved each other. Why? Because we didn't allow the hurtful things between us overcome our love for each other.
We are to have the same kind of enduring love for everyone. Though we don't understand the habits of the crack addict on the street, we are still supposed to love them. Why? Because God loves them, and we are to be a reflection of His love to those around us.
Yes, our love is to be an enduring kind of love. A love that can't be overcome by the wrongs of this world.
Secondly, endurance shows strength. Look at this verse from II Timothy 2:3, "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."
I don't know about you, but I admire soldiers. I admire their courage to stand in battle. I admire their willingness to stand for a cause. When I think of a soldier, I think of strength. Physical and mental strength. Jesus wants us to have spiritual strength. Just as a soldier will endure anything in a battle, even unto death, we are to learn to endure the fiery darts that the devil will throw at us in the spiritual battles we face everyday.
We find this strength to endure by talking to Him in prayer and reading His Word everyday. We find this strength in our relationship with Him.
Lastly, endurance makes me think of eternity. Here's a verse from I Peter 1:25, "But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you."
God has made us promises in His Word. He has promised that if we endure, we will be saved. He has promised eternal happiness to those that bear the sufferings of this life. His promises are eternal. His Word will endure forever. So we can hold onto his promises for all of eternity.
I want to learn to endure things. I want to show God's love to those around me. I want to be strong when I face the temptations of the devil. And I want to rest in the fact that I serve an eternal God who is with me every step of the way!

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tuesday Toss Up - The One Where God Understands

If you haven't seen GiBee's post today, please go over and see it and let her know you are praying for this family. Her post made me think of a song, and I'm going to use that song as today's toss up. Let me know what you think of these words and if they bring you comfort! Come on, I want to hear your thoughts!

Tears Are a Language

Often you wonder why,
Tears come into your eyes,
And burdens seem to be much more than you can stand,
But God is standing near,
He sees your falling tears,
Tears are a language, God understands

He sees the tears of a broken hearted soul,
He sees your tears, and He hears them when they fall.
God weeps along with man,
And He takes him by the hand.
Tears are a language, God understands.

When grief has left you low,
It causes tears to flow.
And things have not turned out the way that you have planned,
But God won't forget you.
His promises are true.
Tears are a language God understands.

Okay people, let me see those comments! Have a great Tuesday!

**Updated to add: This song was recorded by "The Greenes" when Amy Lambert sang with them. I'm not sure who wrote the song. I've heard it all of my life. Hope this helps anyone looking for it!

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Sunday, June 25, 2006

Blessed Beyond Measure

Well, I'm doing my post late Sunday night rather than early Monday morning because I have tomorrow off of work and I plan on sleeping in. I know, I know this is a very lazy thing to do, but I got up very early this morning, and today was my birthday so cut me a bit of slack!
Actually, I just wanted to do a post about how blessed I am! I have seen instance after instance this weekend of how God is blessing my life.
Blessing one came from my niece. She has gotten into a habit of "talking to God." She has to be outdoors when she does this. No one really knows why, but she'll go to the corner of her front porch and look up at the sky and talk to God. Well, yesterday she was talking to God, and she looked up and said, "God, I don't feel so good."
My sister shared this with us, and I admit I got a good laugh out of it, but it also reminded me about how God wants us to come to Him like a child. He wants to know just how we feel. He doesn't want us to hold anything back. He wants to know when we "don't feel so good." He wants to know our joys and our sorrows.
Today, I'm sharing some of my joys because I don't want to hold back!
So, blessing number 2. GiBee She truly has been a blessing to me. Her posts uplift me, and she made a special effort to blog on a Sunday and threw me a cyber party for my 24th birthday! Her thoughtfulness truly blessed me! Thanks, GiBee (and all of you who celebrated with me!)
Blessing number 3. I got to spend the day doing what I love. Yes, that meant I had to get up at 4:45 this morning. And yes, I admit I was sleepy, but I love going and singing for God's glory, there's no better way I could spend my birthday.
Which brings me to blessing 4. Two people got saved today at the church we sang at. There are two people in Henderson, NC who now share a birthday with me!That is what its all about. That's why we go. To proclaim Jesus' name to the lost. I'd get up at 4:45 every day if I could see people saved!
And finally blessing number 5. God has blessed me with one more year. He has allowed me to do things this last year for Him, and I know He is guiding me, and I look forward to what He has in store!
Take some time today to count a few of your blessings. Whether they seem large or small, they all come from above! And there's nothing more wonderful than thinking about a Savior that loves you enough to take part in your everyday life!

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Friday, June 23, 2006

Cell Phone Vs. The Bible

I don't have a lot of time today, so I'm posting something I got in an e-mail today that really hit close to home! Hope you enjoy!

Cell Phone vs. Bible

I wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell

What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?

What if we turned back to go get it if we for got it?

What if we flipped through it several times a day?

What if we used it to receive messages from the text?

What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it?

What if we gave it to kids as gifts?

What if we used it as we traveled?

What if we used it in case of an emergency?

This is something to make you go...hmmm..where is my Bible?

Oh, and one more thing. Unlike our cell phone, we don't ever have to worry
about our bible being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill!

And a verse for the day to go along with the e-mail: Psalms 119:16 - I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.

Have a great weekend!!

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Reasons I Love Jesus
1. Because He first loved me (I John 4:19)
2. Because He made me (Psalm 139:14)
3. Because He understands what I'm going through (Hebrews 4:15)
4. Because He never leaves my side (Matthew 28:20)
5. Because He grieves with His children (John 11:35)
6. Because I can go to Him with any problem (I Peter 5:7)
7. Because He died for my sins (Romans 5:6)
8. Because He rose again to defeat death, hell and the grave (I Corinthians 15:4)
9. Because He is coming back for me one day (Acts 1:11)
10. Because He gives me joy (I Peter 1:8)
11. Because He gives me peace (Philippians 4:7)
12. Because He forgives me when I fail Him (I John 1:9)
13. Because He always has been, and He always will be just what He says (Revelation 1:8)
There are many more reasons that I love Him, but these are thirteen that came to mind!!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Wednesday's Word

Okay, today's word is my response to yesterday's toss-up. Today's word is "Eternity."

Actual meaning: Time without beginning or end; infinite time

Meaning to me: How long we are promised to live with Christ once we accept Him or how long those who don't accept Him will spend apart from Him

Yesterday's quote made me really think. As Susanne said, I don't think he meant that we should hole ourselves up at church 24/7. I think she hit the nail on the head when she said we should have "A mindset of thinking of things in an eternal light."
Mike quoted the old saying, "He's so heavenly minded he's of no earthly good."
I don't know what to think of that quote. See, if we aren't heavenly minded how can we be of earthly good?
Philippians 4:8 says, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
That's my idea of being heavenly minded. If Christians don't have the mind of Christ, how can we expect to show Him to the lost and dying world around us?
I think Mike's quote is referring to those who only think about heaven in a selfish light. They think I want to go to heaven, but they don't think about taking anyone with them. You can't be of "earthly good" if you aren't trying to do good on earth. If you are only thinking of your own soul, you won't have any influence on anyone around you.
I went to high school with a guy who said, "I'm going to heaven, not hell. That's all that matters. I don't have to do anything else."
Those are the words of someone who is "no earthly good" in my opinion.
Paul was the perfect example of being heavenly minded if you ask me. He wanted to go to heaven. He ran to the chopping block when he was martyred. But he loved those who were left behind. He knew they needed him. (Philippians 1:23-24)
He had eternity constantly on his mind. He knew that heaven was a real place. He also knew that hell was a real place, and he knew that every soul would spend eternity in one or the other. His goal was to win as many people to Christ so that they would go to heaven. He was heavenly minded.
I want to be heavenly minded. I want to have the mind and the heart of Christ. I want to win souls for Christ so that I might be of some "earthly good."
Because eternity lasts a long, long time!

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Tuesday Toss Up - The One About Heavenly Thinking

It's Tuesday again, and this week I want you to look at this quote and give me your thoughts on it, short or long. Just tell me what comes to your heart when you read it!

“If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.”-C.S. Lewis

Looking forward to reading your thoughts!!

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Monday, June 19, 2006

A Bunny in the City

Okay, I know that the title probably has you wondering. But I have a point, so stay with me here!
See, I was driving downtown just a minute ago, and I saw a bunny in the city. That's right a cute little rabbit was hopping down the sidewalk, and he finally hopped over into the tiny patch of grass between the sidewalk and a parking lot. When I saw him, my first thought was, you don't belong there.
Bunnies don't really belong in the city where there is hardly any grass, and they are constantly in danger of being hit by a car, and they are overtowered by huge buildings.
Bunnies belong in the country where there are fields that spread out for acres on end, where they can have bunny families and hop around with no fear of danger.
I kind of feel like that bunny I saw today. See, I don't belong either. Why? Because this isn't really my home. I have an eternal home waiting for me in heaven. A home where I'll live with Jesus for eternity.
As I look around at how dangerous this world has become and how absolutely sickening some of the things I see going on are, it comforts me to remember that I'm not home yet. I'm just passing through this world to my final home.
So if you're feeling kind of like a bunny in the city, look up because Christ will soon return to take us where we belong! (I Corinthians 15:52)

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Friday, June 16, 2006

A Tribute to My Dad

Well, it's Father's Day weekend. Is it really that late in June already? Man, time flies! Anyway, I'd like to take some time to honor my dad. See, my dad is truly responsible for the person I've become today. (Well 50% him, 50% my mom)
See, he shaped my life. He taught me about Jesus. He not only taught me with his words. He taught me with his actions. I saw him taking time for devotions. I saw him getting up every Sunday to go to church and then going back on Sunday night and Wednesday night. I saw him helping others out. I saw him sharing Christ with those around him.
I'm so thankful for the home where I was brought up. I'm grateful that God gave me an earthly father that showed me my Heavenly Father!
Thanks Daddy for all that you do and thanks for the life you live!

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things The Preachers Have Said in Our Revival This Week
1. Every person needs a spiritual birth. (Though Nicodemus was a religious leader who tried to live a good life, Jesus still told him in John 3 that he had to be born again.)
2. Every person needs a spiritual church. (A spiritual church is a place you can get your soul fed, not just a place you go to socialize. When the troubles of life come, you will want a spiritual church to pray for you.)
3. Every person needs a spiritual outlook. (Proverbs 29:18 says, "Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he." We all need a vision for God's work in this lost and dying world.)
4. At Calvary we find forgiveness for our sins. (Romans 3:23 says that all have sinned, but John 3:16 says that God gave us His only Son so that we might all be saved.)
5. At Calvary we find peace for our souls. (Every person is seeking peace. Some seek it in a bottle, some seek it in money, but nothing satisfies except for Christ. Only God can fill that God shaped hole in a life.)
6. At Calvary we find new life. (When we are saved we become "new creatures" II Corinthians 5:17.)
7. At Calvary we find hope for the future (Jesus promised eternal life to all that believe on Him)
8. A fault is a weakness that will lead to sin. (A chink in our armour if you will. The devil will try to seek out your weaknesses and use them to make you fall into sin)
9. Sin will bring destruction. (Romans 6:23)
10. Jesus has given us all the instructions that we need to overcome our weaknesses so that we might not fall into sin. (II Peter 1:10)
11. We can overcome our faults by confessing them to older Christians who will pray with us and show us things in God's Word to help strengthen us. (James 5:16)
12. We can overcome our faults by helping others strengthen themselves (Galatians 6:1 - If you are trying to help someone else you will be watching your life more closely because you will not want to be a stumblingblock to that person)
13. We can overcome our faults by getting into God's Word and finding verses that pertain to our areas of weakness. (Just as Jesus overcame temptation with Scripture so can we.)
This revival is really helping me. I hope some of the things I've heard this week can help you as well!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Wednesday's Word

Today's word is my response to yesterday's toss-up. Today's word is "laborer."

Actual meaning: someone who works with their hands; someone engaged in manual labor

Meaning to me: One who is active in the work of the Lord

Let's take a look back at those verses we read from Matthew chapter 9 yesterday:
36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; 38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
Jesus was talking to His disciples about the need for labourers. There are multitudes of people out there who are walking around like a sheep with no shepherd. If you read this post by kpjara yesterday, you saw that a sheep must be guided to their food or their water source. They will never find it on their own.
That's what Jesus is saying. We are to be like shepherds to this world. We are to go out and find those lost sheep. If we don't find them, Satan will, and he will lead them to watering holes like drugs and alcohol.
The thing is that many don't want to be a worker for the Lord. Many just want to enjoy His blessings and ignore the things that need to be done.
I can't count the number of churches I've been to where the pastor does everything. The pastor leads the music, the pastor plays the piano, the pastor drives the church van, the pastor goes out on visitation, the pastor sits with people at the hospital. Sure a pastor should do some of this, but it isn't just his job. His job is to preach and teach so that we might grow in Christ and be called into a work of our own.
It isn't enough to sit on a church pew and enjoy a sermon. There is a great work. A work that Jesus had a heart for. As I said earlier in the week, we are to have a heart like Christ. A heart that cares for the lost, wandering souls in this world.
So I challenge you today to work. Get off the pew and become a laborer for Christ!

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Tuesday Toss Up - The One About Working

Well, here we go again. It's Tuesday Toss-up time. Take a look at the verses and the chorus below and leave your thoughts about them in the comment section. Short or long. I want to hear from you!

Matthew 9:36-38, "36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; 38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest."

My house is full, but my field is empty,
Who will go and work for me today?
It seems my children all want to stay around my table,
But no one wants to work in my field.

Okay, think about these and comment away!

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Monday, June 12, 2006

Always Follow God's Heart

When I was a little girl one of my favorite movies was Thumbelina. It was the cutest movie where a little girl no bigger than a thumb met a fairy prince and after a lot of struggles ended up marrying him. On her journey to marry her prince, she met a bird named Jocamo. He was one of the funniest parts of the movie, and he loved to sing.
One of the songs he sang was called, "Always Follow Your Heart." That's pretty common advice in this day and age. We hear, "Just do what your gut tells you." "Just do what makes you feel good."
The thing is that every person's flesh is telling them something different. See, we're selfish beings, and if we "follow our hearts" we're gonna do what's best f0r us regardless of what that means for the other guy.
Some people are pretty decent. When they follow their heart, they don't break laws or anything, but others follow their hearts to robbery. Or rape. Or murder.
See man's heart is deceitful and wicked. (Jeremiah 17:9) And if you continue to think for yourself in your flesh, the selfishness of your heart will eventually show itself. (Matthew 12:34)
We are to die to ourselves. We are to follow Christ. We are to seek His will above all else. We are to follow His heart. Because His heart is one of love. His heart is one that seeks the lost so that they might be saved. His heart was pierced for you and me. That's the kind of heart we should want.
So have you had that heart transplant? Have you given up your stony, selfish heart for the new Christlike heart that Christ wants to give you? (Ezekiel 11:19) If not, do it today. It's the best decision you'll ever make!

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Friday, June 09, 2006

Doors Everywhere

Well, as the title of this post may imply I've seen doors everywhere lately or more correctly, I've been stopped by doors everywhere lately.
First, I was trying to get into my house on Wednesday night, and the key was being stubborn, so I couldn't get into the door for like 5 minutes. (I was honestly starting to get a complex that my parents had changed the locks on me! But finally the key worked!)
Then the door at work didn't want to work, even though I had my card key! Paranoia set in that they had fired me or something!
Then, the real kicker came yesterday. I was driving through downtown Greensboro when I came to a red light. There in front of me was a stack of about five doors. When the light turned green there was no way to go. I had to sit there and wait as this lady who had been hauling doors in her pickup truck picked up the doors.
I admit, I was frustrated by these occurrences. Why? I can only say impatience. I mean there wasn't anything lifechanging happening in my house that I had to get inside for quickly. The work on my desk would still be there even if I had to wait all day to get inside. And the restraunt I was going to at lunch yesterday was still there even though I had to wait through the red light twice.
What I'm trying to say is that we rush through life. We don't take the time to think about others. As I was sitting through that second light yesterday, God hit my heart, and I was convicted. See, I didn't like sitting through that light, but how embarrassing must it have been for that woman to hold up traffic in downtown because something fell out of her truck. My look of frustration sure didn't help her any. So I turned up the radio and sang along and decided to smile.
See, I couldn't change the circumstances. Not at all, but I could change my attitude about the situation. As Christians we are to show the attitude of contentment. Some things are going to be hard (a whole lot harder than sitting through a red light twice), but we still have God with us regardless of the struggle we are facing.

Check out this verse, Philippians 4:11, "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."

This is a verse in Paul's letter to the believers at Philippi. Paul said that he had learned to be content in whatever state he was in. Sounds easy enough, huh?

Well, here's a few things Paul went through from II Corinthians 11:24-28, "24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches."

So Paul was beaten with rods, stoned almost to death, was in three shipwrecks, faced hunger and danger, and on top of all that he had to take care of all the churches of believers.
And this guy said he was content in every state. Now, I don't know about you, but I've never been beaten for my beliefs. I've never been on a sinking ship while in the service of the Lord.
What I'm saying is this, I need to learn a little more contentment. I need to realize that sometimes God is going to put a locked door in my way. Sometimes He's gonna make me wait a while to get into that door, and sometimes He's gonna send me a different way entirely. But if I have God with me, I can be content.
How about you? Are you content today, or are you trying to ram down the door that God has locked?

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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Verses About God's Protection
1. Psalm 27:1, "The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
2. II Samuel 22:3, "The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence."
3. Psalm 46:1, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
4. Isaiah 25:4, "For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall."
5. Hebrews 6:18, "That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:"
6. Matthew 8:26, "And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm."
7. Proverbs 18:10, "The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe."
8. Psalm 18:2, "The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. "
9. John 10:11, " I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep."
10. Psalm 4:8, " I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety."
11. Psalm 71:3, "Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress."
12. Psalm 18:30, " As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him."
13. Psalm 46:11, "The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge."
Isn't is awesome that we have a God who we can trust to protect us even in these perilous times in which we are living?

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Wednesday's Word

Well the middle of the week has come, and it's time again for Wednesday's Word. This weeks word is something that has been on my mind lately. The word today is "Lukewarm"

Actual meaning: Lacking conviction or enthusiasm; indifferent

Meaning to me: A Christian who is only willing to stand for Christ when it is convenient to him or her, one who is easily swayed by the things of the world

This word is one that has always been important to me as a Christian. I don't want to be lukewarm. A lukewarm person makes Christ sick (Revelation 3:16), so I want to be on fire for Christ. To be on fire for Christ means that I may not always be popular with the world. After all Jesus said that if they persecuted Him, they would persecute those who stood for Him. (John 15:20)
We ARE to show Christ's love to others. That is clearly taught in God's Word. After all Jesus ate with sinners. He didn't shun them. However, He also didn't condone their sin. When He was asked about His motives, He laid it on the line. He told them why He had come. He came to save the lost. (Matthew 18:11, Luke 19:10) In order to save the lost, He had to tell them that they had to be born again. (John 3)
He didn't hide the truth simply because He was afraid of losing friends.
He called sin what it was. He called a fool a fool. Now Jesus wasn't a hateful, judgemental person. We're talking about our Savior, the one who died for us.
The one we are supposed to pattern our lives after.
So I think that we shouldn't condone sin just to win friends. After all, our churches aren't social clubs, they are places for Christians to fellowship. They are places for us to learn how to win the lost. They are places where we are to repent of the sins in our lives.
You may think I'm being harsh. That isn't my intent, but I'm not ashamed of the Gospel. I'm not ashamed to say that I am a sinner. But I'm a forgiven sinner. A forgiven sinner on the way to heaven. And I'm not to ashamed to say that believing in Christ is the only way to heaven.
He is my Savior. You can either love me or hate me for that statement. But I'm going to stand for Christ because He is the one who died for me!
How about you?

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Tuesday Toss Up - The One About Living the Life

Okay, well since Gibee's idea is such a great one, I'm gonna do another Tuesday Toss Up this week.

Take a look at the quote below and leave your comments about what it means to you, long or short. Oh, and don't forget to check back and see what everyone else thinks!

“The preaching that this world needs most is the sermons in shoes that are walking with Jesus Christ.”- D. L. Moody

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Monday, June 05, 2006

God Means It For Good

Have you ever had a verse just hit you in the face? I mean, you've heard it and read it hundreds of times, but suddenly it hits you in a new light? Well, that happened to me yesterday.
It happened while I was listening to a preacher at the church we were singing at.
The verse was Genesis 50:20, "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive."
Joseph is talking to his brothers here, and I got to thinking about Joseph's life. I mean, he went from the loving protection of his father's house to the world of slavery. But it wasn't like he was kidnapped and sold into slavery. No, his own brothers sold him. The people he thought he could depend on. The people who were supposed to love him the most.
So, he went down to Egypt in shackles. But did he let his situation turn him away from God? No, he remained faithful and true. When Potiphar's wife tried to tempt Joseph, he would not sin against God and sleep with her.
For his obedience, he was rewarded with the anger of Potiphar's wife. She devised a plan and lied about Joseph to her husband. Potiphar had Joseph thrown in jail because his wife had told him that Joseph tried to rape her.
So here's Joseph sitting in prison. He's done nothing wrong, but he's despised by those who loved him. He's been called a liar by those who once trusted him most.
But you know the rest of the story. God used Pharoah's dream to bring Joseph out of prison. Joseph went from being a prisoner to being Pharoah's second man.
He saved thousands of people from starving to death. Including his own family. You know, those brothers who had hated him? The ones who had sold him into slavery.
He could've refused to sell them food. He could've made them pay for their wrongs, but he chose the road of forgiveness instead.
Why? Because he saw that God had used their wrong for the good of many. I'm sure when they sold him into slavery they never thought he'd rule over them one day, but God knew all along. And Joseph had trusted God through every trial.
So if you're facing something today, remember that God has a perfect plan for you. Even when you feel all alone. Even when you feel that everyone has left your side. God can use the hardest trials for His good. You just have to keep trusting in Him.
Don't allow bitterness about your situation take over and rule you. If you do, you may just miss the greatest blessing God has for you.

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Friday, June 02, 2006

Blurry Vision

Last Friday I went to get my eyes checked. This is something I hadn't done since high school, and though I knew I needed to go, I'd been putting it off. Well, I've been able to tell that my vision was getting worse, and I have to get my liscense renewed by June 25, so the time had come.
So I made the appointment and went. Well, since it had been so long since my last appointment, they had to dilate my eyes. Not fun. I had to wear sunglasses everywhere (inside and out) just to be able to halfway see. And things were still blurry.
It made me think. See having my eyes dilated was something that was good for me, but it had results I didn't particularly care for. I mean, I like being able to see where I'm going.
But sometimes my walk with God is just like that. God will do something in my life that I don't understand. I won't be able to see the road ahead, and my vision of the future will get a little blurry. But God wants what is best for me. He'll never lead me astray.
So even when things get a little blurry. I have to trust Him. He will fulfill His perfect plans, if I follow His will. (Romans 8:28)
So trust Him today. Even if you can't see what's ahead, He can, and He wants the very best for you.
**UPDATED TO ADD: Yes, I ended up with contacts to those that asked. Apparently I was right in my assessment that my vision wasn't so great!!

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things About a Rainbow
I'm going with the same theme I went with yesterday. This is actually what I taught on last night.
1. There are seven colors in a rainbow. Seven is God's number of perfection.
2. As I said yesterday, a rainbow signifies God's promises. So God's promises are perfect.
3. The color red represents love. God fulfilled the promise of His love when He sent His only Son to die for our sins.
4. Scarlet is a name for red. Our sins are like scarlet, but when we accept Jesus' gift of love, we are made as white as snow.
5. Orange is representative of praise. We can rejoice in the fact that God will keep His promises.
6. Yellow symbolizes joy. God promised us joy unspeakable and full of glory.
7. Green represents life. We have been promised abundant life through Christ.
8. Blue represents truth. We can rest in the fact that God's promises are true.
9. Indigo symbolizes something precious. We can rest in God's promise to care for us because we are precious to Him.
10. Violet represents repentance. God has promised that when we repent of our sins, He will forgive us for our sins.
11. Red and yellow make orange. If you have accepted Jesus's love and have a heart full of joy, you will live a life of praise.
12. Yellow and blue make green. If you have accepted God's truth and have a heart full of joy, you will have a life you never imagined.
13. Blue and violet make indigo. If you know the truth, and you repent of your sins, you will realize just how precious you are to God.
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