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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Gotta Get Your Excercise

I know what you're thinking when you see that title. Excercise? Yuck! But I'm not talking about physical excercise. I'm talking about spiritual excercise.
See, while physical excercise isn't necessarily a bad thing, in the grand scheme of things it "profiteth little" (I Timothy 4:8). The problem nowadays is that too many people are focused on the physical aspect of things, and no one is focused on the spiritual.
People read books on the right diet, the right way to run, the right way to bike, the right gym to join. But no one reads the only Book that can tell you about the right way to live. The ONLY way to live eternally.
And a lack of spiritual excercise in the areas of prayer, praise, study, and sharing God's Word with others has left us spiritually weak. I don't know about you, but I need to excercise more. I want to be strong spiritually. I want to excercise everyday. That way when hard times and temptations come, I'll be strong enough in Christ to stand.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Learned Praise and True Praise

Last night my church had the Enlighteners come to sing. The Enlighteners is two blind ladies who have travelled for the last 34 years sharing God's message through song. They were good vocally, but I was more impressed with their spirit of praise. You could tell they meant every word from their hearts, and they truly loved the God they were singing about.
When I was around 8 or 9 years old, I remember how a boy at our church named Matthew would copy everything that his dad would do. He walked like him, talked like him, everything. But the funniest thing would be that when his dad would say "Amen" Matthew would come behind him with an equally hearty "Amen." And if his dad raised his hand, Matthew would raise his hand as well. It was cute, but it wasn't true worship. It was Matthew mimicking his dad's worship.
Well, last night I believe I saw true worship. See both of these ladies would raise their hands in praise during their songs, and I started thinking about it. That is not something that either of these ladies have ever SEEN anyone else do. They just do it. It is just in their hearts to lift their hands to God in praise.
I pray that my worship will ever be true as well. I don't want my praise to simply be something I do because I see others worshipping. I want it to be something that comes from a heart that loves the Lord.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Is Miss Clairol in the House?

Hi blogging buddies! I am still alive and well. It's just been really hectic both at home and at work. I'm racing to keep up.
Alaena turned 7 months old yesterday. And her two top teeth are working their hardest to make a breakthrough and join her bottom two teeth.
And as teeth are showing up in Alaena's mouth, I have discovered GRAY hairs showing up in my hair. And not just one or two mind you. They are getting a little out of control. And I've seriously considered dying it to cover the gray. Then I think I'm only 26, if I start this now, it could be a huge lifelong expense.
See, God doesn't care if my hair is gray. He made the hair, and He knew it would turn gray. But you know what, He promised to love me and take care of me anyway. If you don't believe me read Isaiah 46:4, "And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you."
See that part that says "even to your hoar hairs I will carry you" ? That means even when I'm old, and there isn't a trace of black left in my hair, He will carry me. He loves me, and He wants to use my life for His purpose.
He wants me to spend my life focused on allowing Him to make my heart a more beautiful place. He doesn't want me to be focused on hunting down and quickly covering each gray hair.
Now, I'm not saying it's evil to dye your hair or try to look pretty on the outside. It just shouldn't be the focus of your life. I don't want to spend my days stressing over the gray hairs that keep seeming to show up all over the place. Because if I did then I would be of no use to anyone else because I'd be completely self-consumed.
So today, I'm going to start looking more into my heart's mirror instead of the bathroom mirror!

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Block Bad, Harness Good

Have you ever felt like your mind was the Devil's dartboard? I sure have. On Sunday we had a wonderful lesson in Sunday School about our thought lives. The thought life plays a very powerful role in what we do because what we think in our hearts is what we are.
That is why Satan tries so hard to throw his "thought darts" at us. He wants us to think about anything but what is pure and lovely and true. He wants to destroy our minds with his poison.
God knows that our minds are a battlefield, so he gave us a weapon to block Satan's attacks. He gave us His Word, and He told us to hide His Word in our hearts (Psalm 119:11). Hiding His Word in our hearts keeps us from sin. Because when we have God's Word in our hearts, our hearts are focused on Him, and when Satan tries to throw a mind dart our way, we recognize it for the spiritual attack that it is.
Another thing we can do when Satan attacks us is to sing a song of praise unto the Lord. This realigns our focus to Christ. Many times Satan attacks when we are alone, either in our car or in our bed at night or wherever. So at times like that we can just burst into song, even if we sing that song to ourselves in our hearts.
My Sunday school teacher said that when she is attacked she often sings the words to "Jesus Loves Me" to herself over and over. Now, it may sound simple and childish, but it REALLY works. Paul even talks about doing this in Colossians 3:16.
So fight today, Child of God. Use the weapons God has given you. Harness every good and pure thought, and block the bad ones through Christ's power!