Saturday, April 14, 2012

Raising Support for Thrive Rescue Home in Thailand

Our goal today is to build support for Thrive Rescue Home, a mission that is committed to combatting the sex slave trade with young girls in Thailand.

We will be tweeting all day re oppression of the poor and dispossessed and our responsibility as Christians toward them.

I am beginning a personal commitment and crusade against the exploitation of young girls worldwide. It all starts with you and me. This is a long and challenging fight, but it has to begin with someone, somewhere.

I pray all our chatters on #MKBiblechat will join with me—not JUST financially—in prayer and study and support to combat this tragic evil.

IT MUST NOT STAND. Together we believe we CAN change the world. Wilberforce did it in 18th century England: destroyed the slave trade. Let us stand together in obedience.

We are raising support for direct help to the orphanage and to be able to send monthly gifts of Bible Memory Coins to the girls. The way to give is to pledge by DM or tweet what you want to give & we will send paypal request by email. God bless you as you pray about this great evil we must do all in our power to stamp out. My email is
Thanks and God bless.

@BibleMemCoins & #MKBiblechat

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Renewing Your Mind, Day 7

Guest blog by Jill Scifres of @odditblue on twitter.
Ever had a thought you wish you could forget? Of course, we all have. We’ve all been plagued with thoughts we wish would leave our heads and never return. It seems the more we try to forget them and despise those thoughts, the more they come back over and over. Vicious circle.
 But how to get rid of these unwanted thoughts? What if we could somehow fill our mind with other things until the unwanted thoughts had no room to fly around in there and distract us? Is there a way to make our minds new again? Romans 12:2 says, “And do not imitate this world, but be transformed by the renovation of your minds, and you shall distinguish what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God.” Renovation of our minds… that sounds wonderful to me! Now, how to renew our minds… how to change our thinking?

To change or renew our minds, we don’t need to try to just not think the thoughts we don’t want in our heads. This only makes them all the more prominent. We need to find new thoughts instead. Let’s look at our minds in simple terms. Our mind is very much like a sponge. Sponges soak up things inside and hold them there. If I take a sponge that is dry and pour dish soap over it, the sponge will become saturated with dish soap. Afterward, I can hold the sponge under running water and squeeze it, and suds will come out of it. In fact, I can hold it there a long time running water, squeezing and repeating over and over and it takes a very long time before I can squeeze it and have no more suds coming out of that sponge. It is saturated in what I poured into it the first time. The thoughts we introduce to our minds are like that dish soap. Whatever goes in our minds is going to come out in our lives and linger in our thoughts, and it will take a whole lot of water to wash away what we don’t want in there.

In Ephesians 5 the Bible speaks of cleansing by the washing with water through the word. This tells us the word of God can be cleansing to our lives like water. The best way to immerse ourselves in the word of God is to do more than just read through it lightly. We need to really dive right in, begin to seriously study and soak up the words and ideas getting these deep into our minds and thoughts. We should keep on thinking about each scripture, mulling over what we’ve read again and again. We must learn how to meditate on what we’ve read. Joshua 1:8 says to us “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it…” Meditation is also mentioned again in Psalm 1:2 “But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.”

Our minds are also a lot like the soil. In Mark chapter four, Jesus spoke in a parable of one who planted the word like seeds into different kinds of ground. Some ground was soft and receptive, some was hard and stony and some was full of weeds. Each type of ground made a difference in how the seeds, or the words, were received. Ground that is full of weeds will choke out new seeds and keep them from growing. Stony ground is either too hard to let the seeds sink in, or it is too rocky to let the seeds mature enough to produce anything. Only soft soil that is good will allow the seeds to bear fruit from what was planted. I heard a pastor talking about how to change our hearts and minds to be more receptive, he said, "You just plow on into the Word and it will change you." He means, you begin reading and studying and really getting into the Bible, and it will change your thoughts. Plow into God's Word. Let the words you read "seed your mind." Let what you read sink in and take hold in your thoughts.
Next, you let what you've read and studied begin to grow in your thoughts. It will happen. Keep reading and you'll see God's word will begin to pop into mind when you experience little things in your day. When it is planted in you, His word will begin to grow inside and bring about change. You'll notice your thoughts begin to change and all the old thoughts will begin to come to mind less and less the more you keep reading and digging into the Bible every day.
So come on! Are you ready for a mind that has been renovated? I know I am. Let's go!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Now I Have a Stick

We have probably all heard the phrase: your attitude determines your altitude.
Great truth for life lies in those simple words. And the following story from my family life is a great illustration.

When my son was about 5 years old and we were playing in a park, he was having a blast with a balloon attached to a stick. Young children can get great joy out of the simplest little things. He had a wide grin on his young face and was galloping about the park waving the stick/balloon.

Unfortunately, there was an evil little bush in the park which had grown some thorns on it. You can probably guess what happened next. My son Trevor swung the balloon into the thorns and a loud ‘Pop!” was heard. Bye bye fun stick balloon.
A tear slowly made its way down Trevor’s cheek, and a sad look enveloped his little face. But you could see him struggling with it, and after a minute or two, a wide grin broke out, and he said, “Now I have a stick!” And he continued playing joyfully running all over the park pretending the stick was a sword (typical little boy).

My wife and I have never forgotten this (when he is President one day, we will title his biography “Now I Have a Stick”) story. It reminds us the importance of our attitude over our circumstances. Truly our attitude does determine our attitude. Below I quote a well-known statement by Chuck Swindoll:

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do…The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it... we are in charge of our Attitudes.      –Chuck Swindoll

Now, you too can have a stick!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Renewing Your Mind, Day 6

This guest blog is by Brian of @BassmanBrian on twitter.

What do we let occupy our minds? How do we decide what to spend time on? How do these decisions impact our physical, emotional, and spiritual lives? How is the mind of a Christian different from that of a non-believer? These are just a few of the many questions I will review from the perspective of the Christian.

When we think of what we let occupy our minds, there are really at least two key questions. One is intentional; what do we think about? This is easier to examine. We simply need to evaluate what we voluntarily expose ourselves to; what do we deliberately think about, things of the world or things of God? The other is unintentional; what are we mentally scarred by? In this case the chances of our lives, the temptations introduced by others and the things we see and hear that we don’t really go looking for impact us. People we surround ourselves with contribute in a large way in this case.

We all have a different level of worldliness we can expose ourselves to and have it not be a problem. How do we spend our time also has a consequence here, as part of the larger stewardship question regarding the valuable gifts of time, talent, and treasure that He gives to us. If we choose to spend time on watching a sporting event as opposed to worshipping God in some way, there will be at the minimum a mental impact difference.

      I believe the results of these decisions are immense . Let us view prayer as an example. When we pray, there is the obvious benefit of asking for His intercession in our lives. However, there are more benefits, chief among them being our increased attention on God as a result of prayer. We will be thinking about our Lord more; it is hard to imagine that not having a positive impact on us. This may seem more important to you if you are of the Catholic, Arminian, or Wesleyan persuasion, since in those faith systems there is more of a focus on good works, holiness and sanctification. These things don’t save us, but they can contribute strongly to our discipleship, rewards or treasures in heaven, and well as how others see us as we hopefully walk with Him in a faithful Biblical way.

The mind of a Christian is different in a vital and substantial way. The message of The Cross is foolishness to the nonbeliever. If we are saved we are promised the Holy Spirit will dwell within us. In 2 Cor:16 we are told we have the mind of Christ. This can be fairly shocking to people. What does it mean? We could have a book length discussion on this, but I believe this really entails having an eternal kingdom oriented mindset, in a humble, obedient, compassionate and loving way.

What about the Romans verse on renewing our minds? What does this really say to us? I believe this is about making changes in our thoughts, which come about because of our circumcised hearts, to not be those who fast in a self centered way as shown in
Zech 7:4-6, but rather be those whose lives are as committed to Christ as possible, in a genuine loving way towards Him, in full appreciation and thankfulness of what He, our triune God, has done for us. It is not enough to be opposed to the ways of the world. Rather we should be looking to Him, as only a believer can. In a nutshell, our minds will be having thoughts that an unsaved person would be incapable of having. These thoughts are a gift from Him.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Flying Upside Down

A guest blog by Cheri Douglas...

About those folks who just won’t listen to IT…

Won’t accept IT …

Or just can’t seem to hear IT…

And the folks who live or work with them and need them to get IT!

What is the Flying Upside Down metaphor all about, and how does it relate to life and our relationships with the people in our lives and the Lord? Well, it is a flying metaphor…OBVIOUSLY!! And, before I go any further, let me apologize in advance to the flyers or pilots among you. I have found through research and picking brains of friends and my husband, Jeff, that flying offers us a powerful metaphor for some of the most important things in life. However, I am not a pilot. So, my metaphoric connections to some of the points here could lack some academics for those among you who know more than I do about aeronautics. And that’s probably anyone who knows anything about aeronautics.

So, please forgive my loose academic connections to your field. But, I hope you will gain value and enjoyment from my insights into human relations. That’s my field!

As you may or may not know, the history of flight is sprinkled with numerous accounts of tragic endings to flights by pilots who placed themselves on a collision course with disaster by flying upside. This happens when a pilot becomes disoriented from physical reality and believes that he or she is flying right-side-up, when they were, in fact, flying upside-down. Deluded by their own disorientation with reality, and no apparent means of getting a reality check, they intended to pull the nose of their plane up and instead, dive tragically into the Earth below.

This is a sad and grim scenario, to be sure. So what is a metaphor and what is the lesson here? A metaphor is something that symbolizes and parallels another situation to which we can relate. The metaphor increases our clarity about our situation and teaches us something profound as we relate our reality to the metaphor. Our lesson here, in a nutshell, is that we can be flying our lives upside down too. We can be on a collision course with disaster and feel just great about it….even proud. But, we are flying blindly, and just like pilots, if we do not take in information to give us a reality check we are very likely to make the wrong move and meet with some kind of life disaster.

For the most part, I am not talking about physical disasters, which threaten physical life like those that face pilots. I am talking about disasters of the human spirit, which kill relationships and human God given potential. People get themselves onto this collision course with disaster by protecting themselves from input that might suggest needed change.

In the pilot’s situation, there are gauges and/or the horizon and stars to give them input for continuous course-corrections. But they become disoriented in the dark or dense clouds without gauges giving them feedback.

In life we sometimes protect ourselves from feedback that might serve as a reality check for self-corrections. Some people develop self-concepts of perfection that become like armor against any incoming information to the contrary. They seemingly will choose the collision course with disaster over hearing that they might need to change. The individuals go on the immediate defense at the first sign of even gentle criticism. Essentially, their personality becomes a closed system, with little or nothing of value given or received.

Whether in families, among friends, or in the workplace this defensive protection of the ego is one of the most toxic of all relationship problems. And, it is a common problem, driven by continuous self-talk that creates anxiety, which maintains the lies and resists the truth.

Most all of our behaviors were thoughts first. So keeping good healthy thoughts going throughout internal computers is just as important to our personalities and clean healthy food is to our bodies. We live in a fallen world where that is difficult and we are inundated with negatives and fears. So how do we get unstuck if the wrong thoughts have been running too long?

Our Father in Heaven is our creator, lifter, and perfecter of our souls. He sent Jesus and the Holy Spirit to transform our lives. Jesus told us He came to testify to the truth, and demonstrated He loved us more than life itself. Our faith in Him is transforming and lifts even the most insecure person into the glow of His acceptance. Accepting and seeking after Jesus is the pathway to personal growth and truth. Pray! Read his Word! Memorize transforming scriptures. And Praise His Holy Name!!

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Romans 12:2
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. And the God of all grace will be with you.

You can connect with Cheri on Twitter: @CheriDouglas or on her blog: 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Renewing Your Mind, Day 4

This post is by guest blogger Sara Lowe of @SaraLowe927 on twitter. see her websites below.     

Many Christians struggle with anger, impure thoughts, unbelief and other conflicts in their minds. Conflicting thoughts will come as long as we are on this earth, but what do we do with them? How may we change so that they become less and less of a problem?

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2 (NASB)

Transfigure, transform, and change are the powerful meanings of the original Greek word for transformed in the verse above.

It is the same word used for Christ’s transformation on the Mount of Transfiguration when he shone with the brightness of his divinity.

So, this is not a weak word! This is a powerful word. We may be assured that this power can and will work in our lives.

We will be transformed how? By the renewing of our mind. For what purpose? To know the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

We are not going to shine like our Lord and Savor on that glory-filled mountain. But we are going to participate in the wisdom, the kingdom and the purpose of the Lord. What a promise!

Look at the next key word in the verse from Romans: renewal. It means a renovation, a complete change for the better. Imagine that old shack in the neighborhood torn down and replaced with a lovely new home. That’s renovation.

Notice that the Romans verse says ‘be transformed.’ Uh-oh. That means the responsibility falls on me to be involved. God does His part but I must do mine. You must do yours.

Loving the Lord, following His commands, and leaning on the Holy Spirit as counselor and guide will result in a mental renaissance. What specific disciplines will aid us?

  • Reading the Bible in a thoughtful, quiet way, safe from the busyness of the world. Talk to the Lord and listen for Him to speak to your heart.
  • Memorizing Scripture so that your mind has tools.
  • Learning Scriptures specific to your problem.

The Bible is going to be one of the most powerful tools you have.

Wise Christians encourage us that ‘garbage in, garbage out’ holds true when it comes to some entertainment choices today. Our culture has become death-obsessed (all the vampire stories) vulgar and choked with sex and violence. Consider if some of your choices need to change.

Choices in whether we make our minds a garden or a patch of weeds are key also. Do we linger on pessimistic, negative or sinful thoughts or do we follow the admonition here:

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:8-9 (NIV)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Renewing Your Mind, Day 3

Today's guest post is by Marie of @spreadingjoy

Many Christians get so busy in service that we tend to forget the very wise instruction that we receive from Jesus in Mark 6:31 to get alone and rest. This isn’t just for the physical rest that we need; it is also for renewal and refreshment of our heart, body, soul and mind.

There are so many things that we can do to simply renew our minds, but my heart loves to quietly sit and dwell on the goodness of the Lord. I love doing this anywhere, but every single chance I get; I go to the ocean to renew.

There I can get a tiny picture of just how great our God is and dwell on how much He loves me. I will sit for hours and gaze at the vastness of it all and allow my mind to simply dwell on the blessings that I’ve been given. I try to keep all negative items out and ponder on the majesty that surrounds me.

We are sometimes "guilted" into thinking that we are simply wasting time, but this is not true. Some kind of daily renewal is needed. Staying in the Word of God, singing praises and giving thanks are all wonderful ways to renew the mind, refresh the heart and recharge the spirit…especially if it has been trampled on in recent days.

This is simple and effective – don’t let guilt keep you from renewing yourself daily.

Follow Marie on twitter and "join" her blogsite. She has a great and needed ministry.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Renewing Your Mind, Day 2

This post is by Christine Smith of She is a leading light on twitter @LifeVerse

Several years ago I was dissatisfied with my thoughts and relationships and I made a conscious decision to renew my mind. It happened on September 11,2001 as I was 9 months pregnant and watched many Americans die on live television. What grabbed my attention more than the horrific anger towards Americans was the way we united as a country and helped one another. After the 9/11 attacks we started caring more about our neighbors and we no longer lived isolated lives of self-interest.

I became aware that Americans needed to depend on one another rather than compete with one another. Instead of cussing at the driver who goes too slow I started to see the driver who was going the speed limit, or the elderly man driving his bride in a car as old as their wedding vows. I realized that these people, my neighbors, were also the ones helping families recover from the terrorist attack. I started noticing people assisting those affected by hurricanes, tornados, wildfires and natural disasters. What became clear to me is that they united in love and cared for one another. They were not divided by race, wealth, education or accomplishment. They stopped competing and started loving.

When I saw the hand of God in the midst of this I realized that I too wanted to love my neighbors. I had been absent from church, absent from reading my bible and hiding in self. God placed it in my heart for a renewed mind focused on His will, not mine.

At first I went to the most obvious place to renew my mind: church. I went to the church of my childhood and then started exploring new churches until I found one I connected with. I participated in small group bible study and found encouraging women who prayed over me during a family illness. Women I did not know, sharing the love of Christ with me. What captivated me most were their eyes: as I looked into the eyes of these women I saw something I did not have. It seemed to me as if their eyes glowed or sparkled, and I craved to have “the look of Christ” in my own blue eyes.

Seeking God I found Him in my bible, in my new Christian friends and in my new mind. Over time I replaced negative and toxic thoughts with love and peace from knowing God. I released myself from the bondage of shame and claimed the crown of Jesus as my attire. I recognized that I’m an heiress to a massive Kingdom in heaven and I stopped seeing myself as a victim on this side of eternity. With my renewed mind…I saw Christ in me.

Every human on this planet has the choice to renew their mind and mend their hearts through Jesus. God allows us the free will to know Him, or to turn away and hide. When Satan tempts us to sin and covers us with shame, many of us give up on God and ourselves and seek a prodigal journey. At some point you will have a life experience or a series of events where you pay attention and hear the whisper of God say “Come home to Me. I still love you and you are mine.” Make it a journey to come home and know Him- you will be blessed with a renewed mind. My life verse is Luke 10:27 NIV “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Jesus.

Christine runs the #1 Women's Bible Studies on the internet. Hope you will visit her site and also 'follow' her on twitter.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Renewing Your Mind

Today our guest blogger is Brittany Hudson. You can reach her on twitter at @WidowedWalk or her blog>

“Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is –His good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12: 12 NIV

What does it mean to renew the mind? We spend time putting things into our mind to improve it, don’t we? We go to school, read books, we stimulate our thoughts by engaging in conversation with our friends and colleagues, and we attend classes and trainings, all in an effort to come away a better person than when we went in. We have our thoughts and our opinions that have been carefully crafted over the years. We know where we stand on the issues at hand and what right and wrong is. Don’t we?

How to go about attaining knowledge is a well-worn pattern in this world. We pay good money; thousands of dollars to have a person with at least a master’s degree if not a PHD tell us what the truth is about what we want to know. If your science professor told you that E=MC2 why would you challenge him?

According to the bible, worldly knowledge can be a stumbling block to achieving godly wisdom. You have to admit, there are some rather unscientific recordings in there. If you ask most people if it would be possible for a day to be extended by a day simply by praying for it, the answer would flatly be “no”. But Joshua did as recorded in Joshua 10:12-15. He prayed and it happened. No mathematical formula for that one.

In order to renew our minds it is going to take some effort, some pain, letting go of old ideas instead of clinging to aging beliefs. For you to “re”new something, it figuratively means to make new again. The question you may be asking is “why would I want to?” According to the scripture, you need to in order to know what God’s will is. How does one make this happen? In Colossians 3:2 we are called to “set our minds on things above, not on earthly things”. The things that would set your mind on the things of above can only be found in the bible. 1Thessalonians 2:13 says “And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us (meaning the disciples), you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God…”

Want to know what God thinks and what His will is? His own word is clear, seek His word in the bible and pray for His direction according to it.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Have been thinking about the lack of true and deep humility in my own life so I went and listened to a John MacArthur sermon on the beatitude in Matthew: Blessed are the poor in spirit....

The classic Psalm on repentance and a humble spirit is found in Psalm 51, written by David after his tragic sin with Bathsheba. (It would do your spirit good to read this once a week in your devotions).

Particularly Psalm 51:17 "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise."

Look up "broken" and "contrite" in a dictionary and think about it for a while. Does this describe you and your attitude to God and others? I had to answer, "sometimes."

For further understanding see Isaiah 66:2 and Psalm 34;18.

MacArthur listed 7 test questions to tell you if you are humble. Here they are:

1. Are you weaned from obsession with your self--self love?
2. Are you lost in the wonders and beauty of Christ?
3. Do you never complain about your situation?
4. Do you see only the excellencies in others and weaknesses in yourself?
5. Do you spend much time in prayer?
6. Do you take Christ on His terms and not yours?
7. Are you constantly overwhelmed with gratitude to God?

This is not an exhaustive list, but it is certainly an informative one for your devotional time and time of self examination. Hope you will give it some time in prayer and quiet.
"Be still and know that I am God."

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dead Sea Christians

How many of you know why the Dead Sea over in Israel is called 'The DEAD Sea'?

Nothing grows in it. No fish or wildlife. And for a very simple reason: there is a river that flows into it and feeds it, but there is no outlet--no river running out of it. So it stagnates.

Perfect illlustration of some Christians I know (and unfortunately it fits me too often). I have a couple friends (they are brothers) who are at church every time the doors open-- choir practice, bible study, prayer meeting, church plays, sunday school, church service, etc. Am I criticizing them for this?

Sort of.... the problem is how "self"-ish it tends to be. All that good stuff flowing in but nothing going out. When I invited them to a homeless ministry my wife and I are involved in to help out, they were too busy with "church". Just seems a bit pharisaical to me.

What is the message of James? "Be DOERS of the word, and not hearers only." We all need to evaluate our use of time and make sure we are serving in the way we as Christians are called to serve, not just becoming theological swellheads.

Jesus didn't say, "I was ignorant, and you enlightened me" or "I was theologically a little off, and you corrected me" but rather "I was hungry, thirsty, naked and in prison".

"Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me, and know my thoughts, and see if there be any wicked way in me." Psalm 139:23-24

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Quiet Time

"Be still and know that I am God." Isaiah 46:10

"We have all heard the saying, Sometimes you have to stop and smell the roses. " But how often do we really do this? Are we just too busy being busy? Too busy even for God?

Be honest, I can't read your mind: how often do you sit down and just listen to God? LISTEN. Not pray, or ask for His help, or even pray for others. Just quietly listen for His still, small voice.  Ask Him what His will is for you this day? Or just "commune" with Him.

Isaiah also says, "In quietness and in confidence will be your strength."

This "quiet time" with God is where all our spiritual strength and fortitude comes from, yet we neglect it regularly.

I love this:

I'd dare to make mistakes next time, I'd relax, I would limber up. Would be sillier than I have been on this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers, I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would have more actual problems, but fewer imaginary ones. You see, I'm one of those people who live sensibly and sanely hour after hour, and day after day. Oh, I've had my moments, and if I had it to do over again, I'd have more of them. In fact, I'd try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I've been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat and a parachute. If I had to do it again, I'd travel lighter than I have. If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances, I would ride merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies. I had my life to live over, I would laugh more, love more and tell them. What would you do?

We spend so much time preparing to live the Christian life, studying, going to church, "doing" things (most often very good things) but do we ever take the time to simply enjoy God. Meditate on who He is and His great love for us, and what it will be like to spend eternity in His presence, His immediate presence.

I think we would come  back from quiet sessions in His presence with a renewed ability to handle all our lives busy-ness and challenges.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Living a Joyous Life

"The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart." (Ps. 19:8).
"The joy of the Lord is my strength." (Nehemiah 9:10)

What brings you joy? Your answer will reveal much about your priorities and the direction your life is heading spiritually.
The psalmist wrote, "How blessed [happy] is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers". Psalm 1:1-3
That psalmist knew that true joy and happiness come from knowing God and abiding in His Word. That was David's confidence when he wrote, "The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart" (Ps. 19:8). "Precepts" in this verse speaks of divine principles and guidelines for character and conduct. God created you and knows how you must live to give glory to Him. And He revealed in His Word every precept you must know to do so.
Every divine precept is "right." It shows you the path that is right and true. What a wonderful confidence that is! While many around you may be discouraged or despondent because of their lack of direction and purpose, God's Word is a lamp to your feet and a light to your path (
Ps. 119:105).

It guides you through the difficult mazes of life and gives your life eternal significance.
Don't live simply for your own pleasures. Your life has a high and holy purpose, and each day can be filled with joy as you see that purpose unfold.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Focus of Holiness

“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”  Colossians 3:1-2
We all know we should do this and most of us are probably familiar with the passage in Colossians. But how in our everyday lives are we to practice this?
I have always both enjoyed and learned from stories and parables that teach me lessons from Scriptural principles. I read this one about 40 years ago and what follows is my paraphrase from memory.
In an ancient eastern kingdom the monarch had become a Christian and was learning the principles from the Bible on how to both live the Christian life and rule in a way pleasing to God. One of his most faithful servants had become a Christian through the king’s example, but he was struggling mightily with sin and the difficulty of leading a holy life.
He came to the king one morning to ask how he could better live the Christian life, how to become holy. In answer the king did the following:
He had the servant fill a silver goblet to the very brim with oil. Handing it to his servant, he commanded an officer of his guard to follow him with a drawn sword.
Now it is necessary to the story to know that a carnival was going on in the streets of this great city, a weeklong mardi gras. There were singers and fools and animals throughout the streets.
The king handed the goblet filled with oil to his servant and said, “I want you to walk through the city and come back to the palace without spilling a drop. If you spill a single drop, my guard will immediately cut off your head.”
The terrified servant yet trusted his king and began walking. After hours and hours he successfully made it back to the palace with no loss of his head.
The king said to him, “So tell me about the carnival…did you enjoy it?”
“What carnival?” answered the servant, “I saw no carnival. I was concentrating on the goblet.”
The king immediately said, “Concentrate and focus on God in the same way, and you will lead a holy life.”
This is the task of the Christian:  to set and keep our mind on Christ. For if we “turn our eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face…the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His wonder and grace.”

Probably the absolute best passage of scripture you can memorize to remind you of this need to focus on the Lord and His word is Psalm 1, just 6 verses. I would encourage you to do so.
”The look saves, but the gaze sanctifies…”