GOD Said……

When God created the heavens and the earth, He SPOKE everything into existence. (Genesis 1)

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God spoke audibly to Abraham and Moses, and many other patriarchs of old. He also spoke audibly so everyone present heard Him say, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased,” when Jesus was baptized in the Jordan river.

I have never heard God speak audibly, but I know in my innermost being when He is speaking to me through His Holy Spirit. But, wow…..how awesome it would be to actually hear the voice of God! I think I would crumble into a heap of weakness on the ground.

I know of a family who all came to Christ because their severely handicapped son who could not walk or talk spoke to his father one day. He shouted clearly, “GOD SAID!!!” That so impacted the entire family that they became strong followers of Jesus Christ.

Remember the saying that was so popular a few years ago, “God said it, I believe it, that settles it.” Actually, if God said it, that settles it whether you believe it or not!

When God speaks to you, do you respond with a yes? How does He speak to you? In a still small voice, or a booming loud voice? It doesn’t matter how God speaks to you. What matters is that you have a relationship with Him so that you hear Him and answer yes!!!

My family and I started this blog so that we could impart WORDS of encouragement to you TODAY. When we hear or read words of life from God’s written Word, or from a pastor who is teaching from the Word of God, or we are singing or listening to songs that are building us up in The Faith, then we are receiving Life Words!

Today, I encourage you to know that God is still speaking. His voice keeps everything in nature and our lives in order every second of every minute of every day.

A well-known theologian, A.W. Tozer, in his book The Pursuit of God said, “God is speaking. Not God spoke, but God is speaking. He is, by his nature, continuously articulate. He fills the world with His speaking voice.”

Psalm 19:1-2 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech.”

God is Sovereign, so I trust Him with my life. My prayer for you is that you trust that His Word is Truth, and that His desire is to have a relationship with you through His Son Jesus Christ, so that you recognize His Voice speaking to you.

Thank you,God, for speaking continually!!!

(Repost from April 2014)

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But you promised…

God has given me promises and sometimes I think, “Are they ever going to happen?”

I have been in 2 weddings this year and I just went to a third wedding this past weekend. These weddings have been of very dear friends of mine and I am over the moon excited for each of them to marry the love of their lives. Each couple has put God first and he is at the center of their relationship. It’s a beautiful, yet rare thing to see in this world. But this is how God intended marriage. Marriage is a gift given to us by God to be a representation of his love for the church. We are his bride and he is the bridegroom. Marriage on earth is a taste of what it’s like between us and God.

Marriage is a beautiful thing and something I strongly desire to be apart of. I am single at the moment but I think, dream, and pray for the man I am going to marry.

In 2013, God gave me a vision of my wedding day. I saw myself radiant and I was looking up into the eyes of my husband but I couldn’t see his face. All I could see was myself and light shining brightly all around us.

In 2014, God told me attributes about my husband and what our relationship would represent and told me to pray for him every day.

In 2015, I wrote out everything I want in a husband, prayed over the list and made room for God to add to it. I sealed the list in an envelope. I stopped praying for him every day and only when I thought of it.

In 2016, God gave me a new perspective about marriage and another promise to hold onto. He told me that this marriage will not only be for me and my husband but for so many others around us. This made me look at the bigger picture. It’s not just about me. It’s about so many others. With all of this in store for the marriage I will have one day, I am willing to wait as long as God intends. He has a master plan and sometimes we get stuck on the little things and never take the time to step back and look at the bigger picture. I will continue to pray for my husband.

God gives us promises to keep our focus on him. He tells us what we need to hear at the time to keep us on track. He has a plan behind it all. And I know one day He will cross the paths of my journey and my future husband’s journey and it will be unlike anything I could ever dream or imagine. I tell this to you as an encouragement, especially to all the single ladies and men out there. God knows. He has a plan. Someone of you will be married to someone here on earth. Others of you have a marriage with Christ (this is to all). He is waiting to take your hand and have a relationship with you.

Give God your heart and he will fulfill his promises to you.

The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you an oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in his ways.” Deuteronomy 28:9

You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it—as it is today.” 1 Kings 8:24

(There are over 3,000 promises in the Bible.)

God's Promise                   Marriage

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WHO AM I?

“Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” Exodus 20:7

We all know the Ten Commandments. But how do you interpret this one?

I think many of us are taught that it just means we must be careful not to use the Name of God or Jesus Christ when we are swearing or talking casually. Of course we should be very conscious about how we use His Name in our daily speech and dialogue. We must respect the Highest Name by not misusing it. Totally agreed.

My Pastor was speaking one weekend about this commandment. He made me think of it in a totally different way. I already knew that this commandment held a deeper meaning as my parents had taught me that long ago. However, the way Pastor Steven explained it really resonated with me and changed my perspective forever. Here it goes….

When Moses asked God what His name was, He simply said, “I AM THAT I AM.”

God’s Name is “I AM” – which means He is everything and lacks nothing. When a couple gets married it is customary for the wife to take the name of the husband. As the church we are the Bride of Christ, and therefore we bear his name.

I have always understood that because we represent Christ, we must act accordingly. However, Pastor Steven pointed out something much deeper than that.

Do you have a problem with calling yourself names? Bullying yourself? I have an issue with this, and I’m sure that some of you do too. When I fail at something, sometimes I mutter to myself, “You’re an idiot,” or “What is wrong with you? Why can’t you pull it together? You still have this issue at this stage of life?” Or… “Why are you so stupid?” I put myself down for not being in the best shape I can be in, and for my inconsistencies.

And on and on… you get the picture.

Pastor pointed out this great truth:
If I have taken the Name of Christ as mine, and I call myself by names that He is not, then I am taking His name in vain. Simple.

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His Name is “I AM.” So…. If I say to myself, “I am an idiot,” then I am saying something about myself that is not true. That is, I am saying something about myself that God Himself says I am not.

If I say, “I am insufficient,” but God says of Himself, “I AM sufficient,” and I have taken His name – then I am saying something that is offensive to Him. I am misrepresenting Him and what He has done for me by covering me with His name. I AM TAKING HIS NAME IN VAIN.

WHOA. This weighed heavily on my heart. For the past couple of weeks it has become clear to me just how often I put myself down. Sometimes I say something out loud, but just the things I say to myself about myself inside my head about how I am not good enough or always fall short in some area are frequent. Way too frequent.

This voice of self-doubt. This voice direct from the enemy of my soul. This ungodly voice meant to distract me from representing my God the way I was intended to. This self-insulting habit that holds me back from striving toward my potential.

ENOUGH.

So now what?

Bullying oneself is a habit. Therefore it has to be broken by adopting a new habit in it’s place. I have not yet broken it, but I am working on it. Awareness is the key to starting a new way of thinking. Here is what I am doing.

Some people call these affirmations. Affirmations are great, but they are a bit ego-centric. Perhaps realizing that my name is literally joined with God’s name will make the difference. I am believing it will.

I AM sufficient. (Because God is sufficient and lives in me)

I AM capable. (With God’s help because with Him all things are possible)

I AM beautiful. (Because He made me in His image and He is without imperfection)

What does God say about you versus what you say about yourself? Will you join me in breaking this habit of self-bullying?

WE CAN DO THIS!

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THE BEST GIFT OF ALL

Last night I sang in a vocal group that performed for the local Rotary Club’s Annual Christmas Dinner.  The members brought their families, including children from infants to 18 years of age.  A local Pastor dressed up like Santa and, after a delicious meal and entertainment, arrived with a loud “Ho Ho Ho!!!”  The youngest children were delighted, and each one was called up to receive a gift and get their picture taken with Santa.  This was a fun evening, and we brought in the message of the birth of Christ in our music.

But, with all our busyness at this time of year, it is so important to teach our children that the baby Jesus in the manger grew up to die on a cross and shed his blood for our salvation.

He really was BORN TO DIE.  Whoa…you say…that is a morbid thought.

You see, God had a plan from the beginning of time to reveal Himself in human form by sending His Son into the world as a baby, born of a virgin.  This is one of the mysteries of Sovereign God.  One of Jesus’ names is Immanuel which translated means “God is With Us.”

The God-Man Jesus, who was without sin, shed His blood on a Roman cross to cover all sin before and after his death and resurrection.

Wow….that’s so difficult for our human minds to comprehend!  That’s where faith comes in.  Child-like faith…which is a gift from God.

If you are struggling with the reality of who Jesus is, and that He is more than a baby in a manger, ask God to give you the faith to believe.  Don’t try to “figure it out”…just know that God loves you with unconditional love. Once you realize that great love through Jesus Christ you will never be the same again!  The celebration of Jesus’ birth will give you joy and an inner peace that is unexplainable!

JESUS THE CHRIST IS INDEED THE GREATEST, MOST LASTING GIFT OF ALL!!!

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“The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Romans 6:23

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Reflection Connection

I have a little 800 gallon 12′ x 3′ pool that I set up in the summer-time. It’s not much, but it’s an oasis during the heavy heat of summer in the South.

I lie back and relax on my lounge raft, stare at the Carolina blue sky and dream about having a real pool someday. What will that be like? I’ll be so happy when that day comes. Until then I’ll just bide my time with this silly kiddie pool. I want bigger. I want better. Sigh.

Last weekend I decided to take a selfie lounging in the pool. When I looked at the photo later, I noticed the lovely reflection of the sky, clouds and trees in the water surrounding me. This started me thinking….

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Calm water reflects whatever stands above it. Perfectly. No matter what size the body of water is. A puddle can show a flawless reflection when undisturbed, just as well as a pond or a lake.

Do you ever find yourself wishing for something “bigger?” Thinking that maybe you’ll be a better giver, or a better volunteer, a better friend, a better Christian – once you get more income, that better car, that life you’ve always dreamed of having? Do you bypass being an impact right where you are because you are waiting for something else? Or, do you feel like your position in life isn’t meaningful enough to make a difference?

All lies. None of it’s true.

We should all dream and strive to be better. But many times we miss where we are RIGHT NOW. After all, right now is all that is guaranteed.

As I reflected (ha), I realized how grateful I was for that little private 800 gallon oasis. I realized that is where I am right now in life, and that it is good. Maybe that “real” pool is in my future, and maybe it’s not. But right here, right now, I have this one. And it’s pretty awesome. I stopped longing for something else and made a decision to enjoy the present.

You can be the same reflection of Christ no matter what your current position in life. Whether you are self-employed, one of thousands at a corporation, a stay-at-home Mom who drives the carpool, or standing for hours in the unemployment line – you can still reflect and live the character of Christ.

We are all made in His Image. We all have the same capacity to reflect Him – and we all have the same power and potential to be Christ-like in our daily lives. Our character is worth more than our “position,” and others are watching our reflection.

So, be still and KNOW that He is God. Stop thrashing about, disturbing the waters, distorting the reflection. Be faithful in the little things, so that He can trust you with the bigger things He wants to give you.

Be present. Be still. Be bold. Be grateful for who you are and where you are.

Be the best YOU by reflecting the One who made you YOU.

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”
2 Corinthians 3:18 NAS

This is a repost from September 2014

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