General

No Microwaved Blessings

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Sometimes the hardest thing to accept is that God is NOT always going to answer our prayers in the exact way that we want Him to.

So often we submit our “microwaved prayers” to God, expecting our “microwaved blessings” as a result.  Listing every detail of what we want or think we need.  We want it ‘made to order’ and ready in the exact timing that we select.  

We pray for a new relationship, asking for a specific type man/woman and then the person He brings us is the exact opposite of the image we crafted in our dreams.

We pray for a new job, and the job He blesses us with is something we never thought we would end up doing.

We pray for an opportunity to excel and He blesses us with an opportunity that is less than ideal but comes with a raise.  Yet, we’re still mad because its not as big of a raise that we wanted.

We pray for a new car and someone literally blesses us with one – free of charge – but its not the exact make and model we hoped for.

We send our prayers up like microwaved suggestions to God, telling him how we want it, when we want it, and dictating the specifics of our blessing. 

But He’s been teaching me that His blessings are sometimes going to come in ways I don’t expect, through people I least expect, and at times I’m not even expecting it.  At the end of the day, a blessing is a blessing.  How dare we be ungrateful, impatient and even complain when it comes.  Remember God ALWAYS knows best!  And sometimes He even has jokes lol.

38

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Thanking God today because I’m alive, have an awesome relationship with God, and am at a place in my life where I can truly say I have found peace.  The storms still rage on in everyday life all around me, but in the midst of it all, I am blessed to be able to enjoy the peace that only God can bring.  There are so many things I can complain about, worry about, stress about, get frustrated about and even cry about…..but today I’m a peace.  At peace because l know that I’m a part of God’s plan; that he destined me for a purpose; that He chose me before I was born; that He will never leave me; that He protects and watches over me; that He comforts me; that He guides me; that He listens and actually cares.

So yes, today I’m at peace, celebrating my birthday, because for 38 years my God has carried me through and loves me!

The Lost Art of Discipline

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One of my many pet peeves is when people say they “can’t” do something.  Not because they physically can’t or because something is truly preventing them from doing so, but because they simply won’t and refuse to try.

It bothers me even more so when Christians declare they can’t do something.

Now, most people who know me will tell you that I’m a very disciplined person and that if I set my mind to something or set a goal for myself that more often than not, I will get it done.  However, I will tell you that none of that comes easily or even naturally for me.  All my self-discipline and self-control comes from God.  And the same Spirit that lives in me, lives in every person who professes to know God as Lord and Savior – His Word tells us so.

That being said, he declares that through His Spirit, we have and can exercise self-control/discipline in any aspect of our lives.  So lets stop making excuses! Excuses for not following through on that diet, not going to the gym, not cutting back on drinking or smoking, not spending time with our kids, not saving money, not sticking to our budget, not going to church, etc.

Anything in your life that is physically within in your means to do it, that you want to work on, or get better at – lets set a goal to do so.  Lets ask God to help us exercise more self control and discipline by the power of His Spirit – trust me, you won’t be able to do it alone, even if you tried!

 

Compulsive Planner

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So I’m a compulsive planner – literally.  I write my grocery lists out in order of how they are located in the store (and will even adjust based on the layout of which Walmart I’m going to).  I re-write my to-do lists in the order of how they should be done that day.  I iron clothes for myself and my son a week prior based on events, weather, etc.  I plan out my budget down to the bag of Laffy Taffy’s that I purchase every other Friday from the Dollar Store.  I plan out every moment of my vacations, including tentative naps and lounge time.  I plan out my Children’s Sunday School lessons, down to the amount of time I’ll allow for prayer.  Yea, I know, it’s a little much lol.  And God forbid, “my plan” for the day gets thwarted in any way, shape, or fashion – I’m thrown off completely!  I get anxious, stressed and frustrated!

However, lately I have been learning to be more spontaneous and most of all to allow room for God’s “planning” in my life.  It was in the midst of devotions one morning recently, that God spoke to me and said “you can’t plan everything, you have to leave room for me to work in your life”.  Now we all know that having a plan or making plans is never a bad thing.  However, what we often fail to do is to include God in our plans.

I’m planning to move to a new apartment within the next 3-6 months and that planning process has turned into me planning the next decade of my life!  I didn’t just map out furniture and décor, I’ve started trying to plan where my son will play basketball or ride his bike.  How much will I have free in my budget each month to save towards my next overseas vacation or cruise?  What online courses should I start taking to get a better paying job to be able to move into a house 5 years from now?  What part-time work can I do now for some extra cash?  Should I start a fund for my future grandchildren (mind you, my only son is currently just 10 years old)?  Do I want to go sky-diving for my 40th birthday (3+ years away)?  Where do I want to move to once my son goes off to college?  Do I still want to get that personal trainer certification?

This was all on my “things needed for the move” list! LOL

Ever since I was kid, my mind has always gone a mile a minute and I often think of what feels like thousands of things at once!  I think, and think, and think and think, and then I get anxious, overwhelmed, and eventually a headache of frustration.  I’m just now learning at 36 years old, that I need to do less thinking and planning and more praying and trusting in God.  I keep a pocket bible and devotional handy at work, in my car, in my purse and at home so that no matter where I am, if I ever start to get an onslaught of compulsive anxious thoughts, I go straight to His Word to shift my focus and then once my mind calms down, I immediately start praying.  Sometimes I’ll just keep reading a verse out loud over and over until it sinks in and resonates with my soul.

Through this, God has been teaching me, slowly but surely, to continue planning while surrendering my plans to Him for approval, change or denial based on His Will for my life. The thing is, God’s plan is always the best plan for me, even though I don’t always realize it at first.  After all, God already knows our future and has already mapped out the “ultimate plan” for our lives.  We just need to sit back sometimes and let that plan unfold.

 

 

The “Experience-Driven” Church

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Why do so many Christians today want to “experience” the power of God in their lives, but yet want little to nothing, to do with the source of that very power – the Word of God?

It’s sad that most of us fail to realize just how much power we inhabit and have at our disposal through our relationship with Christ.  And its even sadder that most of us won’t take time to pick up our Bible to begin to really tap into that power.

2-timothy-3-16-17

living-word

A Modernized God?

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“Why do we think that God changes/adapts who He is and how he operates based on the time period, culture, society, or world in which we live?”

Indeed, our methods of conveying Christ will change/enhance especially with technology today….and praise be to God for allowing us countless ways of reaching people all over the world with the gospel message!!!  However, the actual message of salvation, the Word of God, and God Himself has not and will not change!  He does not adapt His Word to suit our “modernized” practices, traditions, ways of life or compromises of sin just because they are “acceptable” today.

jesus the same unchanging God

 

 

 

When We Fall…

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After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.” – Acts 13:22 (NIV)

I love the fact that God called David of all people,  “a man after his own heart”.  In fact, God chose him and appointed him ruler over Israel, because of this.  Why is this relevant/important?  Because God, being God, knowing ALL things including what was to come – chose David and identified him as a “man after his own heart”.  If you don’t know the full story see I Samuel chapter 16 and then II Samuel chapters 11 and 12 for context.

In the story David is chosen by God to be Israel’s new king.  After many successful victories, David ‘falls’.  Long story short, he lusts after a married woman, sleeps with her and gets her pregnant, befriends her husband (one of his own soldiers) and then puts a plan in place to have him killed in battle.  David’s plan succeeds and the other man is reported dead.  Then this ‘man after God’s own heart’ lets the wife mourn briefly, then marries her to ‘cover up the affair’, she has the baby and they continue with day to day life as if nothing has happened!  See you haven’t seen a real Lifetime movie until you’ve read the Bible!

God then sends his servant Nathan to confront David regarding the situation, as well as, to pronounce the punishment that God has set forth, which is not a light one at all:

Samuel 12:7-12 (NIV)

Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul.  I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.  This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’”

After all this, there is no denial, no excuses, no lying, and no running away.  David simply responds as follows:

david

This response, is genuine, basic, straightforward and true.  In his words of confession that “he has sinned against the Lord”, David not only acknowledges his sin, but he shows agreement with God by calling what God has deemed as sin to be sin.  It is this very reason that God seeing David’s heart, and knowing exactly what sin David would commit when he appointed him as king, that God still considered him to be ‘a man after his own heart’.  David wasn’t perfect, Read the rest of this entry »