Thursday, August 25, 2011

Back to School God's Way

I always looked forward to buying my children the back to school supplies. There is something about the new freshly sharpened pencils and the clean, white paper that just says, "Fresh start",. A new beginning. I'm not sure if the kids in school feel this way. I wanted to write a note of encouragement to them and to us all.
l. God is your most important teacher in your life.
Psalm 32: 8 says, "I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you." God is speaking here. What a privilege and honor, to have the most capable, intelligent, best teacher and instructor we could possibly have for our life. Yes, listen to your earthly teachers God has given you this year and learn from them. Make sure, above all that you listen to your heavenly Father for His teaching and guidance in your life.
2. Commit your work to the Lord.
Proverbs 16:3 says, " Commit your works to the LORD and your plans will be established."
I challenge you this year, if you have never done this to pray over your work. Whatever homework, term paper, or test coming up, pray and ask the Lord to help you. Ask Him to help you as you study. Ask Him to help you do your best in all of your work and see how this year turns out.
3. God goes with you to school.
I have seen many posts about how God has been kicked out of schools. In a way that is true. But in another way it isn't. Yes, they have taken prayer out of school. But they can't stop you from praying to yourself. If you are a Christian student you take the Lord with you everywhere you go! Psalm 139:7 states, " Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? No matter where you go as a Christian, you cannot get away from God. He is with you wherever you go. He is there to guide you, counsel you, fellowship with you all day. Don't forget about Him while you are at school.
A. Represent Him well.
Because of point number three, you need to represent the Lord at school. If you say that you are a Christian, act like it! Because the Lord goes with you everywhere, you should be sensitive to His Holy Spirit within you. Ask yourself a few questions.
1. If I say this, use this language, will it be pleasing to the Lord?
2. If I speak this way to someone will it build them up, or tear them down?
4. Give it your best.
When our kids were young we drummed this into their little heads. Whatever you do in school, all we ask is you do your best. Do your best in your school work, for the Lord. A great scripture to remember is, " Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men." Colossians 3: 23. Forget about pleasing Mom, forget about pleasing your teacher! No, you read that right! Let me put it this way. If you do your best in your work and do it as unto the Lord, you WILL please your teacher, and your parents! Notice this verse says "whatever you do...". This means notes, school work, whatever you are doing in this stage of your life. For a young person, that means your school work and being a good student.
I would like to close by saying a prayer for you students for this coming year.
Dear Lord, I pray that this year the students will remember that you are their teacher and guide. I pray that they would realize on a daily basis that you go with them. You will never leave them or forsake them. I pray that they will represent you well at their school. That other students and even their teacher would be drawn to you because of these student's lives. Lord, help them to commit their work to you in every assignment they would ask for your help. Help them to do their work as unto You Lord. Help them to have a successful school year, but success found in and through You. Thank you Lord for who You are, and all that you will do in these student's lives this school year. In Jesus name I pray.
I am so excited for you. Now, go back to school... God's way!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

God is speaking... are you listening?

Yesterday Virginia experienced a 5.8 magnitude earthquake. People from surrounding areas felt the movement of the earth. My husband Steve said it shook his chair, and office. I called my family in VA and my sister said her chair was shaking. Even without any real significant damage this has a way of "shaking" us up.
As I was thinking about the earthquake and the impending hurricane that may be headed our way in N.C.,I began to think about some scriptures that I think are becoming very significant for our time.
Haggai 2: 6 says, "For thus says the LORD of hosts,'Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land." In Luke 21:11 it also says, " and there will be great earthquakes, in various places, plagues and famines, and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven." There is a terrible famine right now in Somalia. People are fleeing to Kenya to try to get food. There are huge refugee tent camps now in Kenya for these people that are literally starving to death. This scripture is being fulfilled right now.
These are signs that the birth pains are coming for the End times. I believe that we can be terrified during these times, or God can use it to wake us up. If your world was "shaken" yesterday and you are fine, God is giving you grace. He is giving you another chance to get right with Him. So many people want to say, "Oh, God is not fair!" God is more than fair! He is giving warning, after warning. If people do not heed His warnings it should not be God that gets the blame! God is fulfilling what He said that He would do in Scripture. God always keeps His promises and His Word.
If you are a Christian in name only, it is time to get right with God! God is gracious and merciful, always abounding in love. He will be faithful and just to forgive you of your sins as it says in I John 1:9 if you confess and turn from your sin and back to Him.
If you are not a Christian, time is running out for you to have that chance. Please turn to Him and place your faith and trust in Him and receive Him as your Lord and Saviour today. Today is the day for your salvation. Do not put it off. We are not promised tomorrow, and you need only to look around at these signs being fulfilled. Read your newspaper and see the events that are taking place. The riots in the UK and the uprisings in the Middle East. Matt. 24:12 says, "Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold." People are breaking the law, and it is causing those of us on T.V. that watch it to become numb to it. We are being conditioned to except this as the norm. We yawn, and say, " Oh well, that's just how the world is today." Ho, hum... PEOPLE WE NEED TO WAKE UP!
Awake from your slumber people! God is speaking to you. The God of the universe, that created the world and all that is in it including you, is trying to communicate to you! Are you listening? Are you on good terms with Him? Did you speak to Him this morning or at all yet today?
Listen, He is speaking... in the earth as it trembles.
Listen, He is speaking... in the sea as it roars.
Even in judgement, there is still good news for His people. Joel 3:16 says, The Lord roars from Zion and utters His voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth tremble. But the Lord is a refuge for His people..." Even when the earth shakes and the seas roar all around us. We can be sure that if we belong to Him, He is a refuge for us. I thank the Lord for this.
Listen, He is speaking in the still small voice.
Are you listening? Do you hear Him? Listen... while you still have time.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

How to stay married for 30 years or longer

Steve and I recently celebrated our 30Th wedding anniversary on August 8Th. Also, I recently had a manicure done and the lady asked me, " How long have you been married?" I told her 30 years, and she said, "How do you stay married to someone for that long?" So, I decided that I would try to put the answer to her into words for anyone to read that may be interested.
l. Love is the biggest ingredient of course. You stay with your mate because you love them and you want to be with them. In fact, you couldn't imagine living your life without them! Along with this would be respect. You should show each other respect. This is a two sided coin described in the Scripture. Eph. 5:28 says, " So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself." Eph. 5: 33 says, "... and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband. Show each other the respect and love like you did when you first got married. There are several ways to keep your love renewed.
a. Don't forget to touch. Keep on hugging and kissing y'all! Enough said.
b.We go on a weekly date. We have gone to lunch together every Friday since our children were little. This is a standing date that we look forward to each week.
c.. We are courteous to one another. ( Consider each other's feelings, treat each other with the kind of courtesy you would at least give to a friend, such as saying please, thank you, good morning, good night, and always kiss each other good night.)
d. We keep no record of wrongs. The Bible speaks about this in I Corinthians 13: 5 "... does not take into account a wrong suffered." Don't bring back up things that happened in ancient history. Let it remain ancient history and in the past.
e. Don't always have to have your own way. Don't be selfish! You don't always have to have everything your own way, always have to be right, or always have to have the last word! Your marriage is asking for trouble if this is describing you! Again, I Cor. 13:4"... seeks not it's own way."
f. Be free with your "I'm sorries". If you have a problem in your marriage that is your fault and you never apologize, this causes resentments to build up. It is like building an invisible brick wall one brick at a time. Until you just cannot be heard when you speak. Your mate may soon begin to treat you like you are invisible!
g. Keep the lines of communication open. Keep on talking to each other! Steve and I have coffee together every morning outside, where there is no T.V., no phone, no distractions, and we just talk about different things, i.e. plans for the day, politics, the church, all different subjects. You need to practice talking, and don't just talk about the children.
h. R& R. This does not stand for rest and relaxation ( although that does not hurt either) This stands for reminisce and remember the good old days! Think back and remember why you fell in love with your spouse in the first place! What was it that drew you to this person? What were the qualities that you admired in your mate? Remember all of the fun things that you have done together. Be nostalgic!
2. Keep Christ in the center of your marriage. This is the most important thing. Steve and I are not a two stranded rope, but our marriage is a three stranded rope, with Christ in the center. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, " Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly (easily) broken." When Christ is at the center of your marriage, He will strengthen it. Rely on Him to help you.
I would love to lead you in a prayer of commitment that you could pray for your marriage:
O Lord, we want to grow in spiritual intimacy in our marriage. We commit ourselves to spend regular time together in Your Word and in prayer. Help us to be faithful in this commitment, and show us how to be accountable to one another to do it. Help me to pray for my mate even when I am angry with him. Help me to be loving and respectful of my spouse. Make us a strong, three- stranded rope that will never break. We ask this in the strong name of Jesus, Amen!

Monday, August 1, 2011

God's Laser Level

A few days ago I went to church to put up a Bible verse on our wall in our Sunday School class. This was the kind that the verse is written out and you rub the words onto the wall. There were some important tools that I needed to be able to put this up successfully. The most important tool that I used was the laser light leveler. As I was using this level, I would get the bubble in the middle to make sure that the verse would be on the wall straight. Looking with my eye, the verse looked very crooked to me. I am not a handyman, (or handy woman), but I do know that you are supposed to trust the level. I did just that. I trusted what the level was telling me, and I put the verse up according to the levels' instruction. Then when I stepped back and looked at it, guess what? It was straight! The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said, "This is a good lesson for you. Do not trust in your own feelings, and what your eyes see. Trust in Me instead. I will not lead you in the wrong way. In fact, I am never wrong about anything!"
Two wonderful verses that go along with this is, " Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3: 5-6 (NASB)
Had I trusted in my own eyes, and my own judgement looking at the verse I was putting up, it would have been put up crooked on the wall. There is a wonderful lesson in this. Trust the Lord instead of your own judgements. He sees the whole picture. He knows everything. He knows what is best for you. He is the best laser level so to speak ( He was also a carpenter). Leave it in His hands because He knows how best to handle your life. Do not trust your own eyes, they may lead you in a crooked path.