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Waiting For Power

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Holy-Spirit

I hope that you have enjoyed this week of Vacation Bible School for grown-ups.

If you are just joining us, you can read the posts from earlier in the week – How Great Is My Faith?, The Result of Great Forgiveness, A Spiritual Rebirth, and The Importance Of Sharing Our Faith.

Today is our last day of VBS with the kids. It has been an exhausting, rewarding, challenging, and blessed week. I am so thankful to God for the opportunity for our community to come together to teach and encourage these children in their faith. I pray that you, too, have been blessed by what you have read here this week.

Today’s lesson comes from Acts 1:1-11. Our focus is that more than just telling others about Christ with our mouths; we need to show His love to others with our lives. Continue reading →

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The Importance of Sharing Our Faith

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6

The Result of Great Forgiveness

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cross-in-sky

This week we are looking at the idea that Vacation Bible School isn’t just for kids.

While the program is catered to them, specifically, I believe that God has just as much to teach us. Here is how I put it yesterday:  “While I don’t usually stumble upon brand new information while preparing to teach VBS, I am always humbled by the fact that though my head may know all of this stuff, my heart needs to ponder it yet again.” If you missed that post, you can read it here – How Great Is My Faith?

While yesterday’s subject was faith, today’s subject is LOVE.

My Bible titles Luke Chapter 7 as “A Sinful Woman Forgiven”. The lesson of this story is simple, yet profound: the result of great forgiveness is great love. Continue reading →

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How Great Is My Faith?

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spoon-mustard-seeds

Vacation Bible School isn’t just for kids.

As I was preparing for my 9th VBS this week, I was once again reminded that every year I start out with the perspective that I will be teaching the children about God. Each year, I am reminded that while I may be teaching the kids about God, God is teaching me more about Him.

I take many weeks to read the Scriptures, the material, to plan, and to pray. Every time, I am reminded that I need these lessons just as much as the kids do. There will be some children who will hear these truths for the first time. There will be others who know the stories, but their faith will be strengthened.

While I don’t usually stumble upon brand new information while preparing to teach VBS, I am always humbled by the fact that though my head may know all of this stuff, my heart needs to ponder it yet again. Continue reading →

4

Hang In There!

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Bible-and-cup

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” ~Ephesians 6:10 (NKJV)

Charles Haddon Spurgeon was a 19th century Baptist preacher in England. He had the ability to take one or two verses of Scripture and expound on them at great length. He was called the “Prince of Preachers” for this very reason, I suspect. I have heard that he was able to sit at his desk on Saturday evening and write out his sermon for the next day. I have read a number of those sermons, and I can tell you that they are quite eloquent and meaningful. I am not so gifted.

Nevertheless, since I have sort of appointed myself your spiritual encourager, I thought this one verse was chocked full of encouragement that could keep you going. While I admit that the title to today’s morning offering is not very spiritual, you can identify with it, I hope. Continue reading →

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I Am Not A Gentile

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not-a-gentile

I had just had one of those precious moments with God. You know, the kind where He whispers something to your spirit? A few familiar words where He reminds you of something so simple, but so profound that you will never be the same?

I had just had one of those moments and I was moved to tears not because He revealed something to me that I didn’t already know, but because He allowed me to experience it to the depths of my soul. I was living in a moment where He was changing me with His love and I was in awe because I was aware of the work He was doing in me and for me in that very moment. Continue reading →

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More Than Enough

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more-than-enough

 You are faithful, You are Savior

You are more than enough

The lyrics above are part of the song More Than Enough by the Newsboys.

Today, I would like us to ponder the question, Is Jesus really more than enough for us? Theologically speaking, He is more than enough. What I want to consider today is what our hearts and our minds think about the sufficiency of Christ.

Continue reading →

2

Help Is Near

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Bible-and-cup

“The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.” ~Psalm 145:18 (NKJV)

Every Sunday morning in our fellowship, before we begin our worship time, I ask the question: “How may I pray for you this morning?” I do this primarily because the standard question always seems to be, “what are your prayer requests?”

There is, in my mind, a thought that we ought to approach God in prayer with something specific in mind. I say this because I believe, too often, we are just “slinging our prayers toward heaven” in hopes of God hearing and taking pity on us. I am convinced that it’s more about how we ask rather than what we ask. Continue reading →

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Only A Mountain

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mountains

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know how I feel about Christian music. Click here to read my Musings On Music.

This is a song I reach for when I am feeling particularly overwhelmed about any situation that feels too big for me in that moment. While listening to a song certainly doesn’t solve all of my problems, move mountains, or make all of the stress and fear go away, it does change my perspective. Continue reading →

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9 Ways to Speak (or not) Love Into Your Marriage

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Husband & Wife Holding Hands

In honor of my in-law’s 43rd wedding anniversary today, I’d like to share one of my favorite tips on cultivating a blessed marriage.

It’s a simple idea, but one that takes great effort.

Our marriage has experienced its fair share of highs and lows over the past 21 years. One thing we have learned is the power of our words. If you missed my recent guest post Guarding Our Words, you can read that here.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue” ~Proverbs 18:21 (NKJV)

My husband and I have created a daily habit of praising one another with our words. Too often, we do the opposite with our words when one of us is out of sorts, but that’s to be expected when two imperfect people attempt to do life together. In those times, hopefully one of us will respond to the other in grace, patience, and love. Usually, that is enough to change the entire course of a conversation that is headed in a downward spiral.

Too often, however, the second doesn’t choose to answer the first very kindly as feathers have been ruffled. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that that doesn’t go well. We don’t honor each other, or God, when we allow our words to take us down that path.

This is the difficult thing about relationships. We know how we are supposed to speak to one another, but when feelings are hurt, the mouth is much harder to control. In an effort to cultivate and maintain an honoring marriage, we have instilled a few guidelines that we follow regardless of how emotional we get. Continue reading →

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How to Not Let the Past Dictate the Future

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chains

I am so thankful that I am a new me. I don’t like everything about the old me.

This isn’t a post where I get bragging rights. I’m not here to boast about how together I am.

In fact, I wrote recently about how we must be careful not to fall into the comparison trap. If you missed that post, you can read it here – Grace, Not Perfection.

You see, I have this wonderful friend who has, on occasion, lamented about how he wishes he had come to faith in Jesus Christ earlier in his life as it would have saved him some grief. I try to remind him that our pasts have made us who we are in the present.

We all have regrets about who we were and the things we have done, but we need to remember that it is the present that dictates how we are affected by our past. Continue reading →

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I’ve Been Singing The Wrong Lyrics

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heart puzzleHave you ever had someone tell you that you were singing the song wrong?

I wanted to write about one of my favorite EVER lines in a song. I looked up the lyrics and the site had it incorrect, so I checked another site.

Would you believe that one was in error as well? I went straight to the source and discovered that I, in fact, had been singing the wrong lyrics for years.

It takes courage to say what I am about to say. I like mine just as much. Continue reading →

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Character and Courage

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Bible-and-cup

“Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the LORD.” ~Psalm 31:24

The message one recent Sunday morning was about the faith of two characters from Hebrews chapter 11. My first example was Joshua. In order to provide the proper context of the message dealing with the faith of Joshua, I took the people back to Joshua chapter 1. If you are familiar with the passage, you know the clarion call of God was for him to be courageous in the face of his difficult assignment. Continue reading →

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Our God Reigns

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Bible-and-cup

Psalm 97

As I am sure you have experienced from time to time, life can be quite unpredictable. Actually, I am glad that it is. Why? Because, given our penchant for worrying over the least little things, we would be a basket case by the time the predicted event came to pass. It is enough to know that things will happen that I am not prepared for. Many come to me in the form of testing.

So, how do we cope? I am convinced that the psalmist had the right idea. Believers have only to look to God for the answers to life’s challenges. Hope in the life of the believer is not some warm and fuzzy feeling, but a reality from God. Continue reading →

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God Is So Much Bigger

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god-is-bigger

Our God is so much bigger than…

Cancer, and car accidents, and babies who don’t make it.

He is so much bigger than…

Broken hearts, broken homes, and broken marriages.

He can heal the pain…

Of moms who die too young or dads that never cared.

He can conquer…

Every form of abuse, neglect, loneliness, and fear.

He will carry us through…

Storms, trials, pain, persecutions, and loss. Continue reading →

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Wrestling with God

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wrestling-with-god

The 32nd chapter of Genesis, among other things, tells the story of Jacob wrestling with God. That story has always intrigued me. As with many Old Testament stories, I often ponder not only their significance in Scripture, but what application they may have in my own life.If you’ve read the story, you know that after their little wrestling match, God changed Jacob’s name to Israel. 

We cannot meet God and remain unchanged.

Continue reading →

4

Setbacks in the Walk of Faith

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Bible-and-cup

“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”                              ~2 Chronicles 15:7(NIV)

You’ve heard the old adage, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, and try again.” But, like much sound advice, we seldom remember it when it can be the most advantageous to us. Continue reading →

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Quotes to Live By…The Lessons Corrie Ten Boom Taught Us

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heart-door

Born on April 15, 1892, Cornelia “Corrie” ten Boom was a Dutch Christian, who along with her father and other family members, helped many Jews escape the Nazi Holocast during WWII. She was imprisoned for her acts of courage, self-sacrifice, and love. You can read her incredible story of hardships and forgiveness in her book, also made into a movie, The Hiding Place. Corrie passed away April 15, 1983, but she left behind a legacy. Here are some of my favorite quotes and the Scripture verses they bring to mind.

Continue reading →

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Is This a Test?

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Pen & Paper

In the last few weeks, there have been several financial needs that have all seemed to occur one right after the other. You know the expression, “When it rains, it pours.”

I can hear my Pastor’s voice in my head. He says that when he finds himself in this type of situation, he asks God,Is this a test?”

My best girlfriend tells me that when people ask her what I am like, her reply is, “She’s just like me, except that she’s an overachiever.” I was surprised when she told me this because I don’t see myself as an overachiever at all. Over the years I have seen how I can have those tendencies at times, but when it comes to the thought that God may be testing me, I can tell you I want to obtain major overachiever status on that one! There are three reasons I feel this way. Continue reading →

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Cast My Cares

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Boy Fishing

“…casting all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you.” ~1 Peter 5:7

I love this verse and the song, “Cast My Cares” by Tim Timmons. Let’s look at a few of his lyrics and then, together, we will dig into the implications these truths have in our lives.

In the middle of the night when worry finds me
In the middle of the fight when strength is gone
In the middle of a fire when fear is closing in
You are, You are my song
You’re my hope when hope is gone
I will cast my cares on You for You’re mighty
I will cast my cares on You cause You’re good
I will cast my cares on You cause You love me
God of glory, You are able, through your power, to be faithful
God of mercy, every moment, You are near to me

Continue reading →

4

Abiding in Christ’s Love

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Bible-and-cupJohn 15:9-17

It occurred to me this morning that this word “love” too often, I think, rolls off our tongues in order to help us describe a multitude of things, circumstances, and relationships. I wonder if the word has not lost its true definition, and, in so doing, lost its impact. Continue reading →

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The Key To Happiness

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“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn, or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” ~Denis Waitley

keys

My Grandmother has gone to be with Jesus, but her memory is cherished by those she has left behind. The lessons that she taught us continue to live on.

One of the most important things she said, in my opinion, is the statement, “happiness is not having what you want, it’s wanting what you have.” (Rabbi Hyman Schachtel.)

So many people are discontent these days. We’re constantly striving for more, hungering for the latest and greatest, and trying, at all costs, to keep up with the Jones’. We covet what others have, we’re jealous when others find success, and we tend to believe that the grass is greener on the other side.

But…

Continue reading →

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