Friday, July 29, 2011

You Want Me to Love Who?

LOVE.  The first few things that come to mind are I really love my family, Wow I am in love with my husband, and there are no words to describe the love for your child.  It just is.  But what about the love that we are supposed to have EVERYONE.  Thats a little different case this is a news flash to you we are called as Christ followers to love everyone.  Lucky you it doesn't say you have to be BFF's with everyone! But we are called to love them.  Just in case you were wondering.... YES that includes the person that has popped in your mind that you can't stand with every fiber of you being or that bum on the corner.  It also includes people who have hurt you on purpose or not.  I know it is so much easier to hate, despise, hold grudges, & complain.  Think about Jesus.... when he was carrying that cross or being stoned was he cursing those who persecuted him? Why should we be any different? I'm not saying to bake an apple pie for the people who have hurt you but you can pray for them.

I started praying for the people in my life that I had grudges against or that had really hurt me.  Don't get me wrong it was torture at first! But the strangest thing happened.... if I saw them or someone was talking about them I didn't feel the desire to get that jab in.  I had to fake till I felt it but soon enough the feeling were really there.  I didn't want them to hurt just as much or to punish them.  I didn't want to have tea or anything but I was just over it. I was FREE. Free from anger & bitterness.  Plus my day wasn't ruined from getting all worked up over something.

I think there is too much hate in the world.  Hate for family, hate for our leaders, hate of ourselves.  It just sucks the life out of me to even be around those people.  I have chosen to not spend as much time with them.  But when I do I just love them and hope that they see that in me and it plants a seed in their heart.

"A new command I give you: Love one another.  As I loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."     John 14:34-35

"Be imitators of God, therefore as dearly loved children and live a life of love just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."      Ephesians 5:1-2

"Dear Friends, let us love on another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born from God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."
                                                                                                               1 John 4:7-8

"No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is make complete in us."                                                                                                         1 John 4:12

I could go on and on.  It is crystal clear how important loving is to God!  I know that it won't be easy or happen over night but I hope that you will try and move past the anger or hate that you feel.  And just love.

My Prayer Today:  Heavenly Father please help me to let love show in every action I make.  Please help to cover any bitterness I might have in my heart with you never ending LOVE! It is so hard to be the better person, the person that you desire me to be but I know I can do it with you on my team.  I love you and so grateful for your LOVE for me!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Shine Brightly!

I don't know about you but I have various types of lamps in my home.  I was pretty excited to get this super cute one on sale at hobby lobby.  It had leopard trim and matched perfectly with my comforter. The plan was to put it on my bedside table so I could read at night without the overhead light on.   I got it home put int in its new place ans was thrilled with it.  Well later that night I wanted to put it to use so I got all cozy with my book and turned it on. DUD! There was barely any light.  The lamp shade hid almost any light that the little bulb was producing.  I was really disappointed...wouldn't you be?

I think this is how the LORD feels about our lives.  We all have the potential to shine brightly with his love but we have something hiding the light.   That could all types of things stuff, addiction, bad relationships, selfishness. The list could go on & on.  We are so scared to sort through the junk to find the treasure.  But if you are willing to put in the work you can shine brightly for the LORD!  I used to be so consumed with what people thought about me so I would conform to which ever group I was with at the time.  Well that was the old me... sorry to say that I will probably lose friends over it and the sad thing is that it might even put stress on family relationships.  But I am living my life for the LORD and it isn't about what I want or need anymore.  It is about what I can do for the LORD & how I can shine as bright as possible for him!

" Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."
                                                                                                                   Matthew 5:16

"For this is what the LORD has commanded us : ' I have made you a light for Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth'"                                                       Acts 13:47

Did you catch the word commanded in the verse above?  As Christ followers the LORD does not say : If you feel like it or on a good day.  We are commanded to share His Light with the world.  You all know of people that are not saved or maybe they are but they are not in a relationship with the LORD.  I know of them & I know for sure that If I can help save them I will do whatever it takes.  I will be a LIGHT is this dark world!!

My Prayer Today:  LORD I pray that you will show me any areas in my life that are like that pretty lamp shade & prevent your light from shining to the world.  Help me to make a conscious effort to be your LIGHT in the world so I can share with others your unconditional love, grace & mercy! I Love and so grateful that you accept me as I am and love me!  I pray that I could touch just one person who reads this LORD that their eyes are opened to you.  If so Glory be to YOU!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Servant's Heart

How many times have we been at the grocery store or fast food place and turned down the opportunity to make a donation? Come on.... we all have at one time or another.  The sad thing is that it is usually for a dollar or two.  Why have our minds been programed to only think of me, me, me?  What do you think the world would look like if we always put other people first?  Lately I have really been feeling a pull on my heart to get off my booty and do something BIG! But our Father is Joyful in even the little things we do!

"Share with God's people who are in need. Practice Hospitality."      Romans 12:13

The LORD wants us to serve those in need! Face it there will always people out there that will have more than us. But there will ALWAYS be someone out there that is in desperate need of anything we can give them! I'm not just talking about tithing though that is very important as well.  I am talking about serving people outside of your bubble.... yes that place that makes you uncomfortable.  You have the choice to be a better person. You have a choice to make a difference in someones life!

I challenge you to have a servant's heart and give to a stranger.  Time, money,or food.  You name it. I know things are tight right now but if you would just skip one Starbucks trip or skip your pedi this month you could do it!  And I promise you that the Lord will bless you for it you just have to have faith in Him.  He knows your heart!  I have  a goal to do some incredible things this year.  I have no idea how I am going to accomplish it but I do know that it is what the Lord is telling me to do so he will make it happen.  You just have to be willing to take the focus off your life and put it on someone else's life.   

"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners"   Isaiah 61:1

My Prayer today:  LORD please open my eyes to the needs of the people around me.  Take away any selfishness that I might be feeling... this is how I was born LORD and I need you to reprogram my heart & my brain so that I can serve others.  Show me ways to serve those in need so that I may bring you Glory! Thank you for your grace and love that you give so generously. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Caddy Please!

I don't know how many of you enjoy playing golf but I love to play.   Especially when I can spend time with my dad doing something together that we love.  But golf can be frustrating! Do I use my 3 iron or my 5 wood? Man... if would have just picked the right club or aimed at the right spot I could have really had a spectacular shot.   When the pros are out there on the course playing do you think they just guess at which club will be best? No way! They have a caddy that guides them in the right direction.

A caddy is defined as: the person who carries a players cub & gives insight, advice & moral support.  A GOOD caddy is aware of the challenges and obstacles of the golf course being played, along with the best strategy in playing it.

Now that you know all this if you have your pick would you do it yourself or use the caddy?  I would use the caddy every time!  Our lives are the same & the Lord is our caddy!  Why would we want to guess at all the choices in our lives when we have someone who literally is all-knowing at our disposal.  The Lord wants us to use him it brings him so much Joy to know that we depend on him.

I dare you to spend the next few days starting your day asking the Lord for direction in your life & for His to guide you through your day to day activities.  Why not? He knows who needs your smile, hug, or wave.  If you start living your life by what He wants you will be overwhelmed with blessings and Joy!

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight"     Proverbs 3:5-6

My Prayer today:  Lord I want you on my team! I want you walk me down the path of your choosing.  I hope that I am able to please you & Glorify you with every thought, decision & action that I make today, tomorrow & the rest of my life.  I know that there will be some bumps along the way but I also know that you will be right there to help pick me up and wipe the dirt off my knees.  Thank you for your Eternal Love & Grace!

Monday, July 25, 2011

It is so easy to get caught up in day to day life.  We have so many things to do and so many places to go.  We forget to stop and just take in the awesomeness of God.  Besides, he is the reason we have this life! We take for granted that his is faithful, full of grace, and just IS.  It is so important to make time each day to spend time with our Father.  If a stranger literally saved your life wouldn't  you take the time to get to know them and spend the rest of your life thanking them? Would you have a new outlook on life? As Christ followers we are given a second chance at life & have the opportunity to live it as God intended! It is so easy to fall back into the old routine of living our lives for us & doing what we want to do. Besides, isn't it easier that way? News flash.... no one said this was going to be a breeze.  Our relationship with the Lord is like any other relationship you might have, it takes work.  But we are hardwired to do it.  Don't you know that when you have that empty feeling in your soul.. that loneliness even when you are surrounded by loved ones? That is the Lord crying out for you! That purse, those shoes, a car, or that drink might temporally dull the ache but it always comes back. Only the Lord can fill you completely!

Romans 12:2  "Do not conform any longer 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."

My prayer today:  

Lord, please fill me with your spirit. I desire to live my life in your presence and to be an example to others of the power of your Love.  I want your light to shine so brightly through me that others stop dead in there tracks in awe.... because they will know that it is through Your Glory that I am now the person that you have always known I could be! I love you & am so glad to have you back in my life!