Thursday, February 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Katie!!!!

Laughing with Papa

Beloved dolly

More toys!

Reading Grandpa and Grandma's card

Can't forget the presents....!

Good stuff!


Grandma and puppy - what more could one want?


Sorry these are backwards - she woke up to a houseful of people!

Cowgirl Tough?

Well, even tough cowgirls still need their dog...

She was so upset at me for making her sit there so Lydia could take these pics - look closely and you can see a tear in her right cheek!

Ahhhhh..... Thanks Lydia for the AMAZING photo job!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Will His Work Be Finished?

I've been studying the subject of prayer, so I'm going through John 17 verse by verse. Today was on verses 18-19 and was just praying that the Lord would teach me. Oh how I was humbled!

18. "As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

Why was Christ sent to the world? Definitely for a very specific purpose! Part of that was dying, but he was also sent to make His Father known to the world. He was sent to minister to the poor and the sick, he was sent to teach His disciples, and the list goes on and on. Christ tells His Father that He has sent us into the world, just as His Father sent Him. Other scriptures confirm that Christ sent us to this world to continue His ministry until He returns. The question is will His work be finished when He arrives? Christians in this day and in this country are not continuing Christ's work. They are following their own selfish desires, and living their lives for their own pleasure. We can't count on their help, so the job is up to us! If Christ's work is to be finished when He returns, we must each use every moment of our lives to continue the work that He sent us to do. My goal is to not only do my part, but to fill in every possible gap left by others. I can't do it all myself, but nothing is impossible with God. He will give me strength to do His work that I could never have of myself alone. If we are willing to do what He has asked, He will provide the way. Will we be found faithful?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Free to Sin, or Free From Sin?

I hear more and more people saying that we have "freedom in Christ" or we should not be "in bondage" or the most rampant, "that's legalistic". These could be true, but from my observation, they are used when excusing some particular "thing" that that particular person wants to do or be engaged in. What is "freedom in Christ"? It is freedom from spiritual bondage to habitual sin. Oh, you say, but we're no longer under the law, we're under grace, and grace covers all our sin. True, true, but let's look at Romans 6...
1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
This explains so clearly what our lives are to be like! If we are truly allowing Christ to be Lord of our lives, we will NOT live in sin! Look at the last verse posted - " have your fruit unto holiness..." Where is the fruit unto holiness in today's Christianity? You have to look awfully hard to find any at all! I keep seeing people whom I once looked at with high regard and respect for their Christian testimony, now justifying all kinds of things that the Bible does not specifically prohibit, yet gives dire warnings against. They walk the line seeing how close the can get to sin without actually sinning. What happens then? You guessed it - they fall in! Christ has called us to follow in His footsteps. I've heard it explained that for Christians, there should not be a line, but a gap. May I challenge that with the idea that Christians are to be walking a line as well? The difference is that while some may walk the horizontal line between sin and um, can I use the word"unsin" (if it's that close to sin it's definitely not righteous), Christians are to be walking a vertical line, ever upward, closer and closer to their precious Saviour.
Oh, but I'm forgetting that extra special verse that gives us liscense aren't I? 1 Corinthians 10:23 "All things are lawful for me....." Mhm, what does it say next? "...but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not." Paul sums it up a little later 31 " Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 32. Give none offense, neither to the Jews, not to the Gentiles, not to the church of God. 33. Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many that they might be saved." If you want to say that all things are lawful for you, maybe you should check to see if that particular thing you want to do glorifies God! Notice that we are to do "all" to the glory of God. Another question you might ask is whether that particular thing could possibly cause offense to someone or cause them to stumble! I know a person, no names. I remember her asking prayer in church for some friends who had been in a car accident. I was a little kid when I heard this, so I don't remember all the details. What I do remember is that the people in the accident had been drinking, most of them were hurt badly, and there was at least one death involved. This lady was sobbing as she asked prayer, and I clearly remember her stating that she was overwhelmed with guilt because before she got saved she used to go out drinking with them. That same lady, who still claims to be a Christian is now justifying her "right" to drink. What has happened to us as Christians???? We get saved and are thrilled that Christ has taken away our sin. After a while we grow complacent, and it's just not as big a deal as it used to be.
Christ continually asks us to give of ourselves to Him, and we refuse. The truth is that we're afraid He's going to "put us in bondage"! What He wants to do is make you more free than you ever imagined possible! Ok, that's good enough to say, but where's the reality? Most of the people we know that claim to be really holy are legalistic jerks. For many of us we have to look into history to see anyone who really displayed true Christian freedom, and even at that, there's no way we would want to live the life that they did, because it couldn't be "fun". Or there would be too much stuff we couldn't have or do. Or worse yet, I would have to give up many of my pet "things", whatever that may be. If we could only understand the glory that God has stored up for us if we'll be willing to follow in His footsteps! We think that there could be no joy in being completely set apart for Christ and yet, the joy that he gives us when we are, could never even come close to comparing with what we call "joy" in our worldly pursuits. It is time that we gave up our lives to His calling.
Funny how we're always searching for "the will of God" - did you know that He's shown you His will? His will is for us to give every part of ourselves to His control, and allow Him to steer our ship - without giving Him advice on His course, I might add! His will is for us to be His hands and feet to those in need, all the while giving Him the honor and glory due to His name. You can read this post and maybe even think it's good, but unless you're willing to give over every part of your life to the God who saved you, you'll never be any different. You'll continue paddling around in a life of lukewarm water that God will spew out of His mouth. How do I know? Because this has been the story of my life. Only when I fell on my face, cried out and asked Him to be in charge of every aspect of my being has He given me this peace and joy that I write about. May He do the same for you!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I know I don't usually post much text, but I'm just brimming with what God has shown me this morning. I was doing some serious soul searching and praying that God would reveal himself to me. I started looking up a few verses on prayer, and God just started hitting me with each one. The first one was I Samuel 12:23 " Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way." I knew that I didn't pray like I should, but I never, ever realized that it was a SIN not to!!!!! If each of us saw ceasing to pray as a sin and confessed it to God every time we failed would it change our pattern of praying? I hope so!!!!! The next verse I came across was Psalm 55:17 "Evening and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice." That means praying at least 3 times a day, and no, thanking the Lord for you food at mealtimes doesn't count! (that is, unless you use that time to cry out to the Lord aloud, but from my experience, mealtime prayers are a trite ritual) Also, David cried aloud to the Lord. Even in our personal prayer time, how many of us really cry out to God? I've always had plenty of things to pray for, but this morning I was to the point of crying out to my heavenly Father to change me; to make me like Him; to help me believe not only that He can, but that He WILL!
David believed with every ounce of his being that God would hear his prayer. Why don't we? Ah, it's the fear that maybe there is something in the way that might be hindering, but we're not sure what. Oh, but maybe what I'm praying for isn't God's will. Well, I've learned something in the last couple days, I'm making sure (through prayer) that there's nothing between my soul and the Savior, and then choosing to ask for one thing that I know is in alignment with His will, and now I've made a decision to believe. I believe with all my heart that God will do as I asked. I don't know when, or exactly how He's going to go about it, but I am confident that He has begun a good work in me, and that my request will part of His performing that until the day of Jesus Christ!