Google+ Badge

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Having the Mind of Christ

Is my mind filled with the things of God? or do I have a carnal, worldly mind?

One of the greatest purposes of the Holy Spirit is to transform me into the likeness of Christ.  2 Cor 3:18 "As the spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like Him" 

The more I look TO the Lord, the more I will become LIKE Him.  What I think about God determines how my soul is affected by Him.  Those who have a lowly concept of God show no fruit in their lives, yet those who hold a highly exalted and reverential view of God are fruitful.  The greater my idea of God, the deeper my walk with Him will be.  God knows everything about me - where I am, my future.  He thinks about me all the time.  

Does God think about me more than I think about Him? - OUCH

Romans 12:2 "Do not conform to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God"  Be transformed - to completely change form.  The more I invite God into my life, the more I walk with Him, the more my thought life is changed.  Transformation is ongoing, it doesn't stop.  I ask you - has yours stopped?  Mine has - I admit it.  And I write this to confess that I allowed my transformation to stop.  No longer. 

Ephesians 4:22-24 We must live in distinct CONTRAST to the culture around us.  Have I let the world conform me to its ways, or have I transformed to God's way?  Am I spiritually minded or carnally minded?  Rom 8:5-6  Our carnal mind will always be at odds with God.  Every day I must make a decision to turn away from evil and the flesh and seek to be directed by the Holy Spirit.  If we live in the flesh, we CAN NOT please God!  Sin can make our mind clouded and distracted so that is is unclear or confused.  When we make an effort to fill our mind with the things of Christ, our mind will be cleansed.

Lord, I pray you will renew and transform my mind. Cleanse me of all unrighteousness and show me anything in my mind that is not of you.  Help me to bring every though captive in obedience to you (2 Cor 10:5) Teach me to dwell on things that are pure, noble, right, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy (Phil 4:8)  Help me to refuse any thoughts to the contrary.  Lord renew my mind and strengthen my spirit.  Guide me in the way I should go, light my path and me into your Holy presence.  I long to know you more and to love you with a love that endures forever.  Lead me not into temptation and deliver me from evil.  May your peach, which is beyond all understanding, guard my heart and mind thru Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:7)

In Jesus Name I pray - Amen

Friday, May 23, 2014

Lukewarm


 uFor the last month or so, I've been:

    * Disconnected
    * Distant
    * Uninspired
    * Self-centered
    *  Empty
    *  Lukewarm

This life became about me and its not supposed to be about me.  I got bogged down in my "stuff" and took my eyes off of Jesus.  I tried to fix things on my own, make things happen when they weren't ready to happen, and basically tried to take control of my life.  Well, confession time my friends - It didn't work!!


Isaiah 29:13 "these people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me"

Are you lukewarm?

I think God would describe a lukewarm Christian as such:
  "They are not close to me at all.  They talk the God talk, but their hearts and their actions are not anywhere near me"

Wow - how does that hit home?  I think, unfortunately, we are "Normal" Christians.  We aren't much different than those who aren't Christians.  We spend our time and money like normal people do.  We behave like normal people do.  We have the same problems in our marriages and with our kids that normal people do.  We claim to believe in God, but we don't' want to go overboard with this whole "religion" thing.  We don't want to STAND OUT.

Revelation 3:16, God says to the church of Laodicea "Because you are neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm, I am about to spit you out of my mouth!"

Look at your life - are you lukewarm?  God sent HIS ONLY SON to die for us so we could truly live, and yet we simply "squeeze" Jesus into our schedule every now and then thinking it will satisfy Him.   How can we call Christ our Lord and yet live as though He doesn't exist?  In America we don't have to be radical about our faith.  We aren't threatened with death if we believe.  It's almost difficult to serve him genuinely when our lives are so easy!  Identifying ourselves as Christians won't cost us our life here.  There is no sacrifice.  Many of us are lukewarm and we don't' even know it - or worse yet - we know it and DON'T CARE!

There is hope though - Revelation 3:19-22 "Behold I stand at the door and knock..."

God wants in.  All the way in.  He desperately want us to KNOW Him.  If you really KNEW God, you wouldn't be lukewarm.  

Do you want to be foolish enough to sell out to this world, when it won't last?  It's time to get Hot...time to get on fire for the one who gave the greatest sacrifice of all for us.  Doesn't He deserve more from us than what we are giving Him?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Him, not Me

We live in a world where its all about Me.  What can I do for me today? What can I get to make me happier today? 

Tv commericals are telling us to eat this food for satisfaction, to buy this product and it will make us happier, give us more time, make our life more enjoyable.

We live in a world that looks at material things as a way to fill the void that we all have in our hearts.  More stuff will only bring us more debt, more depression, more self doubt. 

We can change how we look with the latest trend in clothes or shoes.

We can buy bigger, better houses than our friends down the street.

We can drive the newest, brightest car.

But at the end of the day, the end of our life, those things are only THINGS.  What defines us, who we truly are, is our heart. 

Jesus didn't create us so we could live our lives for ourselves.  He created us to live our lives for HIM.  Instead of getting up and saying "What can I do for ME today?", how about saying "What can I do for HIM today?".

We don't ask that question often because when we do, we open ourselves up to being used by God...and that can be scary and hard.  God may ask us to do something UNCOMFORTABLE!  We may be asked to give our time, our money, or maybe even some of our possessions.  

Matthew 19:24  "Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."

Is God saying He doesn't want us to be rich? To have nice things? No, not at all.  But what He is saying is that when we IDOLIZE those things, when we hold onto them tightly and focus on those things, when we aren't willing to let go of those things for His purpose and to serve Him, then we have a problem.  A Heart Problem.

Where is your heart today? Are you laying up treasures in Heaven, or are your treasures here on earth?  Do you worry more about what you can get for YOU today, or do you focus on the Kingdom goal?  

Something to think about....

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Weird



Do I want to live a WEIRD life, or a normal one?  

Weird in that I do things differently than the rest of the world.

Weird in that I relax, take time away from electronics, from the things that suck away my time - and spend it on what really matters.

Who am I trying to impress anyway?  People who are worn out, in debt up to their eyeballs, and who work long hours or extra jobs in order to keep up the charade?  People who live in their cars driving from one activity to another and consider that "time with the kids"? People who don't really KNOW their kids because they are too busy to listen to them?

The world we live in is stressed out, maxed out and worn out!   The mentality of this world is MORE MORE MORE.  What we need more of is Jesus.  Time with our families - quality time.  Less STUFF and more Meaning.

Have you ever heard your child say "Come play with me" and you said "Not now, I'm busy - but in a little while"....did that "little while" happen?  Our children are only young once...they are begging for our attention - and not the kind that happens while you are driving them from one practice to another.  They want to know they are important to us - that we listen to them.  Be weird - not normal.  Close the laptop, turn off the TV and play a board game, go outside and play tag or catch.  Normal isn't so great these days.  Weird is awesome.

Want to get more of Jesus?  Do you ever imagine he is like your child saying "Come spend time with me" and you respond "Soon Jesus, after I finish these emails and make a few calls"...and the next thing you know, you've forgotten about Him.   Put down your phones, turn off the TV and spend time with Him.  Lay under the trees and watch the clouds pass by.  Close your eyes and listen to the beautiful symphony playing for you.  Take a hike in the woods and see the wonders he has created.  Sit and close your eyes for 5 minutes and be still.  Let His peace and grace flow through you and quiet the "normalcy" in your spirit.  Let Him awaken the "weirdness" in you.  

I'm weird and I know it.  And I'm ok with it.   I live in a home that is "just enough".  I drive a nice car and am able to put food on the table.  I don't have the best of THINGS, but I have the best thing I could ask for - PEACE.  In a world where people rush to make more, have more, be more, do more - I find peace and comfort in sitting on my porch reading a novel, listening to the breeze, or spending time with my son playing catch or catching a  ball game.  I don't need things to make me happy, I only need Jesus and the comfort of knowing I'm WEIRD!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Thank you Mom



We all have one.  A Mom.  Some of us are one.  May is here - and with it brings Mothers Day.

A day to celebrate the woman who brought you life.  Who allowed her body to change as you grew inside of her - who nurtured you so you could have the best chances at life. 

My mom was a teen mom in a time when it wasn't looked on favorably to be young and pregnant.  She chose life and because of that choice, she is my hero.  If she hadn't, I wouldn't be here.  

My mother has loved me unconditionally my whole life.  We've had our moments - as all children and their mothers do, but her love for me has never faltered.  

When I was a young teen, I fell and broke both of my wrists.  My mother tended to my every need - even the less than flattering ones.  What would I have done without my mom?  She washed my hair, fed me, bathed me, clothed me.  She took care of me and protected me.  A few months later I fell again (yes, call me clutz!!) and severely broke my left ankle.  Distorted and mangled, my mother  stood in prayer for me.  It was a tough time in our life and yet she stood by me the whole way.  

In a time of persecution because of the church we attended, my mom remained strong and steadfast.  She taught me that God loved me and would never leave me.  She taught me that my faith in Him is what will get me through the tough times in life.  She demonstrated her reliance on Him at times when there wasn't enough food to feed my brother and I.  God provided.  Her faith remained strong.  She taught me that life with God can be hard but life without God is worthless.  

My mom did the best she could in a time of our lives when it was hard to imagine what the next day could possibly bring.  Life was hard, but mom made it fun.  She made us laugh.  She never let us know how hard it was on her.  I'm the mom I am today because of her.  I love my children with a love that is unmatched.  Yet, when I think about it, it is to a degree - because its the love my mother taught me.  I grew up in a single parent home...my children have grown up in a single parent home.
My mother sacrificed for my brother and I.  I have sacrificed for my children.  Where did I learn that kind of love? How did I learn to be a mom?  From the best example there is.  My mom. 

Today, I want to say thank you Mom.  Thank you for always loving me, supporting me, encouraging me, accepting me.  I'm so proud of you.  You struggled, you scraped, you spent time on your knees for Mike and I.  You loved us with a love that is stronger than any love I've known on this earth.  I don't' know if I've ever said thank you.  If I've ever told you what you've done for me.  The woman you created me to be - strong, courageous, prayerful, hopeful, loving and sacrificial.  My children couldn't ask for a better role model than you.  Thank you mom for choosing life.  For giving me a chance.  Its the best gift ever!