Monthly Archives: February 2014

The Danger of Distraction

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dis·trac·tion
disˈtrakSHən/
noun
1. a thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else.
synonyms: diversion, interruption, disturbance, interference, hindrance

I once heard the statement; “To forget one’s purpose is the commonest form of stupidity.” We don’t all have the same purpose. We don’t all have the same abilities; but we do all get to decide what purpose we will use our abilities for.

We have three big decisions. Who are we going to live our lives with? What are we going to live our lives in? And what are we going to live our lives for? Many people live their lives with no thought of any of these questions.  These questions must be considered when we’re setting our goals.

Success is defined as a progressive realization of a worthwhile predetermined goal. If we never set a goal we may never be distracted but we will not be successful either.

In 2008 my goal became to live my life in Christ. I soon realized I could not live a Christian life with some of the people that were in my life. I’m not talking about friends and family who I see now and again. I’m talking about the closest people to me. The people who I’m to do life with have to have similar goals. Secondly, I realized that I cannot live the Christian life God has planned for me in constant turmoil. My lifestyle had to change . The last question, what are we going to live our life for? The answer to this question has completely changed for me. I spent many years living my life for money. I worked hard, had fun cars, big houses, and full closets. But now…I live my life for Christ. My life purpose is to fulfill Kingdom purposes. To go out and make disciples of all the nations. To have Jesus say “well done my good and faithful one.”

I refuse to get distracted by others disapproval. I refuse to get distracted by lies heaped up by others or by blame. I would not dare give up because someone said I should. I believe the very worst things in life are things that we start and never finish.

II Corinthians 4:8-9 NKJV

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—

What Does My Walk Look Like?

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Matthew 23:13 NKJV

“ But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.

I sincerely want to live in such a way that people look at me and see Jesus. I believe our affections will be demonstrated by our actions. I begin by loving my inner circle but that’s easy. 1st John 4:18 says because God is love we love one another. Therefore if I can’t show love to you I can’t say God this or  God that. You can’t say the right thing if you refuse to do the right thing.

We refuse to love sometimes  because we don’t feel like loving. Truthfully following the ways of God have nothing to do with how you feel but everything to do with taking His Word (the Bible) over your own.

The word love in the Bible is an action word. Not just a spoken word but one shown in our actions. It may be the act of forgiveness or maybe the act of service or maybe it’s just a word to encourage but it is an action.

My thoughts for the day are: mercy triumphs over judgement and your fruit is showing.

Complete Surrender

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Complete Surrender

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Not so long ago someone asked me how I became interested in prison ministry.  I didn’t have an answer at that time.  Or perhaps I did. Perhaps I only thought I should have some well thought out,  eloquently spoken response.

Perhaps it began when I asked God to break my heart for what breakes His. Or was it was when I began to contemplate what consecration really meant. You see I was not  cherished as a child.  Sure, I was loved but not really nurtured as a child should be.  I was a lost and lonely child who became a lost and lonely adolescent who became an empty adult. My heart was a gaping whole needing to be filled. I turned to many things in hopes of fulfillment. But only the love of Christ could change me.

As I look at the faces of the ladies in white I realize I could be any one of them. I am every one of them. Only because I chose to surrender am I no longer in my own prison.

I pray that they see Jesus through me.  I pray that they trust the love and grace that He has for each one of them.  I pray that they would not be satisfied with having a savoir; but be completely captivated by His love.  I pray that they will surrender.

Hate Strife~Love Peace

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Bar Kappara was a Jewish rabbi who lived in the late 2nd century CE, early 3rd century CE. He was from the land of Ceasarea.

Bar  Kappara said,  “Great is peace,  for even those on high require peace,  as is said (Job 25:2) Dominion and fear belong to Him, He makes peace in high places. Now the matter may be argued a fortiori: (a more convincing reason) if those on high-among who their is no hated,  no enemity, no jealousy,  no rivalry,  no grudging eye- require peace,  all the more and more so do human beings. ”

Proverbs 6:16-19 NKJV7

These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.

Abomination-a thing that causes distrust or hatred
Proud- pride
Discord- strife,  disagreements,  dissension

Examples:  unforgiveness, gossip,  control,  manipulation,  hatefulness, bullying, alliances,  flattery, hypocrisy.

James 4:1 NKJV

Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires  for pleasure that war in your members?
~We fight because of our selfish pride,  our feelings and emotions
~we have to learn to give God the last word in our lives.

The Bible speaks alot about strife..Proverbs 17:1, 20:3, 22:10, 26:20-21, Habukkak 1:3, Romans 1:29, 1 Timothy 6:3-5 to name a few. 

The antidote for strife and flesh is love and peace. The Bible speaks of this as well. Meditate on these things. 

Philippians 4:8 NKJV

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are  noble, whatever things are  just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are  lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there  is any virtue and if there  is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

LOVE: John 3:16, 15:13, 14:15, 13:34-35, Mark 10:45, 12:30-31, Matthew 5:43-45, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 1 Peter 4:8

PEACE: John 14:27, Romans 8:6, 14:17-19,  Philippians 4:6-7, Colossians 3:15, 1 Corinthians 14:33, Isaiah 9:6,
2 Thessalonians 3:16, Matthew 11:28-30
                                  

I Want To Know What Love Is

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We each have many types of love relationships — parents, children, spouses, friends. And they’re not always with people; you may love an animal, or a place. Is there a single idea or definition that runs through all the varieties of “love”?

As humans we are conditional people. We love our friends, family, parents, children, spouses, until they are unlovable. We love our pets until they won’t house train. We love a restaurant or particular place until changes and now it’s not quite our taste. The one single definition that runs through all varieties of human love is conditional.

Love is not easy for me. I have to work at loving the unlovable person, place or thing. We want to love better but we are not perfect, no, not one. Even those with a gentle spirit cannot love perfectly.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
(I Corinthians 13:4-7 NKJV)