Posts Tagged ‘Christian’

The Ultimate Makeover

Monday, July 13th, 2015

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There are a number of televisions shows dealing with makeovers from people to houses. Sometimes they go to great extremes to perfect just that certain look. I enjoy watching these programs but probably could never look that good or have a house that breathtaking.

makeupI am encouraged, though, to know that God is able to do a makeover on us. He changes us from the inside out at the time when we begin our personal relationship with Him. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:172 Corinthians 5:17
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

17 Wherefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old things are passed away; behold, they are become new.

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The key phrase here is “be in Christ”. Of course, it does not mean that we are inside Christ but after we accept Him as our personal Savior and the price He paid for our sins, God no longer sees how imperfect we are. He views us as united to Him.

No matter what we do to our outward appearance nothing changes our “being in Christ”. Our Godly image should reflect His image and “all things should become new”. “It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.1 Corinthians 1:301 Corinthians 1:30
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who was made unto us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption:

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Our greatest makeover should be to “BE IN CHRIST“!

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The Whisper of the Leaves

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

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Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.  Proverbs 1:8Proverbs 1:8
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

8 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, And forsake not the law of thy mother:

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Our mothers are very important to us. Even though you may not be around your mother on a daily basis, her little voice is constantly in your head and heart. She is always with you.

I found this wonderful description of a mother and her impact on her child’s life. It is from an unknown source.

wb051390“Your mother is always with you. She’s the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street. She’s the smell of certain foods you remember, flowers you pick, the fragrance of life itself. She’s the cool hand on your brow when you’re not feeling well. She’s your breath in the air on a cold winter’s day. She is the sound of the rain that lulls you to sleep, the colors of a rainbow; she is Christmas morning. Your mother lives inside your laughter. She’s the place you came from, the first home, and she’s the map you follow with every step you take. She’s your first love, your first friend, even your first enemy, but nothing one earth can separate you – not time, not space . . . not even death.”

My mother has passed away but I feel her influence on my life in everything I say and do. She was gracious and God fearing. Even though she had a physical handicap which limited her mobility, she was an active participant in teaching me to live a Christian life.

Yes, she is the whisper of the leaves as I walk along life’s journey

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May I Be Excused?

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

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Since my husband is a pastor, we have heard various reasons throughout the years as to why people are not able to attend church on Sunday.  We try to accept their reason as stated and know that in the end God will be the judge of their sundry of excuses.  If their excuse is good enough for God, it is good enough for us! We have noticed that the longer a person misses the easier it becomes to find a reason to continue to skip Sunday services.

Some of the reasons given have been very humorous as you can very well guess. How do you alleviate this problem? Aside from actually going to a person’s home and dragging them to church, there is little a pastor can do. To make it possible for everyone to attend church, I found this humorous listing from an unknown source of the special things a church can make available to accommodate a parishioner:

  1. A cot will be placed in the sanctuary for those who say, “Sunday is my only day to sleep.”
  2. Eye drops will be available for those with tired eyes from watching TV too late on Saturday night.
  3. We will have steel helmets for those who say, “The roof would cave in if I came to church.”
  4. Blankets will be furnished for those who think the church is too cold and fans for those who say it is too hot.
  5. Porta-potties will be placed at the end of each pew for those who say the bathrooms aren’t very accessible.
  6. We will have hearing aids for those who say the pastor speaks too softly and cotton for those who say he speaks too loudly.
  7. Score cards for listing hypocrites present.
  8. One hundred TV dinners for those who can’t go to church and cook dinner also.
  9. A selection of trees and grass for those who like to see God in nature.
  10. A putting green near the altar for those who say “Sunday is my day for golf.”
  11. The sanctuary will be decorated with both Christmas poinsettias and Easter lilies for those who have never seen the church without them.

church2What does the Bible have to say in Hebrews 10:25Hebrews 10:25
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as the custom of some is, but exhorting [one another]; and so much the more, as ye see the day drawing nigh.

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? “Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” We are so privileged to have the freedom to join together with fellow Christians to worship and praise God. I love to be encouraged by others and feel their love.

Make a commitment this Sunday to attend the church of your choice.

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My “Bucket List”

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

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Most of us are familiar with the movie The Bucket List which is a 2007 American comedy-drama film.  The main plot follows two terminally ill men on their road trip with a wish list of things to do before they “kick the bucket”. Well, I hope I am not ready to “kick the bucket” yet but one day as I was watching the movie I began to reflect on what a Christian’s “bucket list” should be. What do I want to accomplish before I die? Of course, there are the most common items like taking a trip to a favorite place, spending more time with family, saving money, starting a new hobby, finishing a project etc. The list can go on and on.

checklistBut, what should a Christian’s “bucket list” include? Here are some of the items I have on mine.

  1. Win someone to Christ.
  2. Read my Bible more.
  3. Pray more fervently for my family and friends.
  4. Forgive those who have hurt me.
  5. Use my spiritual gifts.
  6. Express my love and appreciation to others regularly.
  7. Write an e-book on my experiences as a pastor’s wife.

As you can see, my list includes some things that people in the world may consider crazy and already believe I have early dementia. My overall goal before I go to my eternal home is to leave a legacy of faith in God, a commitment of service to others and a love of others as Christ loves me. After all, what I do for Christ is all that really matters in the end.

Deuteronomy  6:5 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”

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Were You There?

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

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A famous African-American spiritual entitled, “Were You There” asks some very thought-provoking questions. This song is based on the following passage of scripture from Acts 2:23-24Acts 2:23-24
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

23 him, being delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye by the hand of lawless men did crucify and slay: 24 whom God raised up, having loosed the pangs of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

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: “This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.  But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.”

First, the song asks if you were there when they crucified my Lord? Jesus was there. Pilate was there. But no, you were not there!

Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree is the second question. Jesus was there suffering and carrying all the burden of our sins. Mary, his mother, was there enduring the grief and pain of seeing her son go through such suffering. But, yet she knew it was prophesied. Jesus’ disciples were there in total disbelief. A condemned thief was there totally believing in God’s mercy. But no, you were not there!

The next question is if you were you there when they laid Him in the tomb. Jesus was still there after experiencing the agony of torture all bloodied and lifeless. His disciple, Joseph, was there, burying Him. Pilate’s centurion guard was there; however, his attempt to guard against Jesus’ escape was unsuccessful. No, you were not there then either!

Finally, the spiritual asks if you were there when He rose up from the grave. Amidst the rumbling earthquake, you were not there but . . . neither was Jesus. Our Savior had risen! 

Hallelujah, the resurrection of Jesus witnesses the immense power of God himself. To believe in the resurrection is to believe in God. No one would be redeemed from sin had Christ not arose from the grave. Why is the resurrection of Jesus Christ important to salvation? It demonstrated that God accepted Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf. It proves that God has the power to raise us from the dead. It guarantees that those who believe in Christ will not remain dead and will be resurrected unto eternal life. We can have that blessed hope. Although we were not physically there, we were there in Jesus’ thoughts and actions. He made the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. The resurrection is the triumphant and glorious victory over the grave for every believer.

HE LIVES!!!

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“Three-Finger Salute”

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

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We are all familiar with a very helpful step when using our computers. I have used this action many times out of frustration. You guessed it. I am talking about “Control/Alt/Delete” or abbreviated “Ctrl/Alt/Del” or better known as the “three-finger salute”. It is a keyboard command that can be used to reboot the computer or more recently to open up the task manager.   It is invoked by pressing the Delete key while holding down the Control and Alt keys. These keys are also sometimes referred to as interrupt keys since they are often used to interrupt the operation of a malfunctioning computer program. The combination of the three keys serves as a real life saver sometimes.

As I recently began to reflect on the use of these keyboard keys, I realized that perhaps this “three-finger salute” could easily apply to my life. I need to learn to demonstrate more self-control. Proverbs 25:28Proverbs 25:28
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

28 He whose spirit is without restraint Is like a city that is broken down and without walls.

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states, “Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.”

The dictionary indicates that self-control is the ability to control one’s emotions, behavior, and desires in order to obtain some reward, or avoid some punishment. We are encouraged in God’s Word to have self-control in every area of our life.

Exercising self-control is a vital asset in looking for alternate solutions for life’s problems. Often we are so inward focused that we forget to look for alternative or interchangeable ways to deal with a situation.

I know there are times in my life when I would actually like to press the delete key to eliminate a situation but that is not possible. The delete key can be most successfully utilized by deleting the frustration or circumstance that is causing the stress or tension in the first place.

So these three keys can serve as a reminder for my own life on a daily basis: Control, alternate and delete!

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Silly Putty®

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

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According to the encyclopedia, Silly Putty® is a toy based on silicone polymers which display unusual physical properties. It bounces, but breaks when given a sharp blow and can also flow like a liquid. It contains a viscoelastic liquid silicone, a type of Non-Newtonian fluid, which makes it act as a viscous liquid over a long time period but as an elastic solid over a short time period. It was originally created by accident during research into potential rubber substitutes for use by the United States in World War II.

We all know it is a popular toy for children. Why do the kids like it? Because it can be rolled, smoothed, stretched and patted to fit into tiny crevices and corners, wadded up, reshaped and used over and over again. It will never wear out. If it is dropped, it bounces right back.

How can my Christian life be similar to a piece of putty?

  1. I must be willing to be used over and over again and never tire of doing God’s work.
  2. I must bounce back from failure, from loss or from disappointment so I can set the example for others who are watching my Christian lifestyle.
  3. I must fit into tiny crevices and corners so I can do whatever God wants me to do.
  4. I must be willing to be broken as I place all of my cares and concerns before God.
  5. I must be “silly” enough to do what God asks me to do even if it sounds “crazy” to others.
  6. I must be willing to flow freely as a liquid so I can touch the hearts of those around me who are hurting.

Romans 9:21Romans 9:21
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

21 Or hath not the potter a right over the clay, from the same lump to make one part a vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?

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states, “Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?” I want the Master potter (God) to take a lump of clay (me) and create a beautiful vessel to be used for His special purpose.

In other words, I want to be Silly Putty® for Christ.

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Blessings and Beyond

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

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The beginning of a new year is a wonderful time to reflect back on the blessings God has given us throughout the previous year as well as to set goals, re-evaluate our priorities and make plans for the future. Our prior year’s calendar is a way to gauge in capsule form our effectiveness and involvement with our family, church and community.

Of course, one of the first things we do is to organize our calendars for the upcoming year. Whether it is a visible calendar placed on a wall, table or desk or some sort of electronic scheduler, we all live by the clock and calendar. In other words, we are constantly looking beyond.

The launch of a new year is a good time to reflect on our personal ministries. A person’s daily activities should always reveal the love of God to others. Not only should we minister to our family but also find ways to be involved in the care and concern of others. In other words, how can I be a blessing? This will assist us in becoming more aware not only of the “blessings” we receive but to see “beyond” to the needs of our fellow man.

God’s blessings to us are innumerable; however, we need to look beyond as to how we can minister to others. Then, as we share through our ministry, we will be truly blessed. Thus . . . blessings and beyond!

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With My God

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

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Psalm 18:28-29Psalm 18:28-29
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

28 For thou wilt light my lamp: Jehovah my God will lighten my darkness. 29 For by thee I run upon a troop; And by my God do I leap over a wall.

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: You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.”

The eventual king of Israel, David, had endured many things including defeating the giant, Goliath, fleeing for his life from the jealous King Saul; hiding in caves and running, running, running over many miles of rugged terrain.

None of this diminished David’s faith in any way. He knew the Lord was continuing to help him. He was assured he could advance against a troop (run through a barricade) and scale (climb) a wall. God was sustaining David and turning his darkness into light.

This passage also gives me hope as I face the giants in life (difficulties) and gives me strength to meet all of my challenges. With my God I can be victorious over everything.  I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!!!

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“Back Row” Christian

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

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When you think of a “back row” Christian what comes to mind? A person who sits on the back row at church? Someone who does not hold any positions in the congregation? An individual who is not actively involved with any ministries of the church?

Although this phrase is commonly used for someone who sits on the back row at church, what comes to my mind is a person who is not totally committed to God. You can still do all the outward things at church that is expected of a member but still be a “back row” Christian.  A Christian’s first dedication should be to God.

Romans 12:1Romans 12:1
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

12 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, [which is] your spiritual service.

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NAS admonishes us: “Therefore, I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” A holy sacrifice is giving our all to God; living it on a day-to-day basis.

It really doesn’t matter where you sit, whether you have an important position or do what others expect you to do. The important thing is to present your body to God as a living and holy sacrifice. It is a challenge to live our lives as sacrifices to God. When we do, we are not the masters of our bodies and minds – God is. All that we do or think must conform to the God’s Word.

Are you a “back row” Christian or truly worshipping God with a holy sacrifice of worship?

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