BOOOOO!!!!

Are you scared?

This is supposed to be the scariest time of the year. I have often wondered why we like to be frightened. Much money is spent on costumes and parties to see who can come up with the most horrific look to scare anyone they encounter.

Let’s stop fooling ourselves into thinking October 31st is all fun and games. There really is evil and horror in the world and it’s getting worse. Oh, I know, there have been periods of time in world history when evil was rampant. Maybe it’s because we have access to world news in a moment, but for us now in a “civilized” world it is scary!!!

The purpose of this LifeWordsToday blog is to offer reminders that we are in this world together, and we endeavor to encourage you to not give up or give in to the world’s ways.

Be aware that there indeed is a devil who fell from God’s heaven with thousands of angels who chose to follow him. They are the demons who obey his commands and are sent to stir up trouble on this earth.

Luke 12:4 & 5 (Jesus’ words)
“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear. Fear him who after killing the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.”

Enough said about him…….

We follow God who has a good plan for each one of us. His love is so awesome and everlasting that He sent His Son Jesus to live among us. Jesus shed His blood and died for the covering of our sins….then arose from the dead. If we acknowledge Him as our personal Savior and follow Him, He will take us to the place He is preparing for those who love Him. What a hope we have in Christ!!!!

While we live in this crazy, mixed-up world, Jesus offers freedom from fear.

Jesus says “Fear not I am with you, even to the end of the age.”

I John 4:1 – 4 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

After the John 3:16 passage we are all familiar with where Jesus is talking to Nicodemus about believing in Him…..Jesus then says……” This is the verdict; Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

S0000….go out, have fun, carve your pumpkins, eat candy…..but CARRY THE LIGHT!!!

(Repost from Oct. 2014)

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WHAT IS TRUTH?

We are soon to take our responsibility as United States Citizens to vote locally and for the President of our United States of America.  This is a serious time and each one of us must be informed of the issues, weigh our decisions carefully, and ask God for wisdom in our choices.  We are listening for TRUTH but all we hear are false promises.

Two thousand years ago the Jewish people under the harsh rule of Rome thought Jesus would be their King.  They hailed Him as their Messiah who would rule them justly and throw over the oppressive Roman government in Israel.  As they discovered in one week….He said His Kingdom was not of this world.  They called Him a blasphemer because He said His Father God sent Him. They wanted to kill Him!

But when Jesus was brought before Pilate to be questioned, Jesus answered him (John 18:36-38) “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not here.

Pilate therefore said to Him, ‘Are You a king then?’  Jesus answered, ‘You say rightly that I am a king.  For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the TRUTH.  Everyone who is of the TRUTH hears My voice.

Pilate said to Him, ‘WHAT IS TRUTH?”

Are you asking the same question today?  We are hearing and believing lies every day.  Satan’s language is lies….that is his native tongue! (John 8:44)

Romans 1:25 says wicked men exchanged the TRUTH of God for a lie.

The only absolute TRUTH is Jesus the Christ, who came from the Father full of grace and TRUTH. (John 1:14)  Jesus speaks the TRUTH.  He is quoted as saying “I tell you the TRUTH” thirty times in Matthew, thirteen times in Mark, eight times in Luke, and thirty seven times in John.

When Jesus was teaching His disciples, He knew He was going to die, raise from the dead and ascent to His Father in heaven.  He told them He was going to leave them…and they were afraid!

He said, (John 14:1-6)  “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.  In my fathers house are many rooms, if it were not so I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.  And where I go you know, and the way you know.  Thomas said to Him ‘Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

That is a promise…..and God does not break His promises!!!

Jesus also said (John 8:32)  “You shall know the TRUTH and the TRUTH shall make you free.”

NOW YOU KNOW WHAT TRUTH IS!!!

Thy Word

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Tiny Nuisance

Last week there was an alarming situation with a huge tree at my Dad’s house!  

The wind was blowing, and there was a loud creaking sound coming from this tree that was over 100 feet tall! My brother was mowing the yard near it and heard this sound, and noticed the trunk twisting and buckling. He could actually see some daylight through it! NOT GOOD! 

Our tree dude rushed over to take a look.  

It needed to come down immediately before it came down on it’s own on top of a car, or even part of the house! 

How in the world did this mighty tree become so frail? It didn’t look that way at a glance. It looked strong and had a full canopy of fresh new spring leaves. What could take down this giant?  

Ants.

black ant isolated on white background, Carpenter ant

 

Black ants over a period of years of tunneling and growing a colony. Little stinking black ants. 

One ant one day, years ago, found a cool little spot to get in by the roots. He brought his friends and they thought this would be a fabulous home! And so the colony grew. One ant poses no threat, but anything in large numbers surely does! The whole root system was rotting on one side, and about three feet of the inside of the bottom of the tree was completely hollowed out. That tree had been conquered from the inside out!

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See the two tiny black ants on the stump?

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Of course, this makes one think about the little things that we let into our minds, our hearts, our lives. The little things that on their own are relatively insignificant, but that left to multiply and colonize, can become huge destructive forces that can eat us alive from the inside!  

One little seed of doubt left to fester. One little negative comment that you allow to sink in. Negative things you say to yourself inside your head about being ineffective, insignificant, or ineffective. One tiny bit of false doctrine that you entertain and open yourself to, that over time grows further from Truth.  

It is like Paul said in the letter to the Galatians. A little yeast indeed works its way through the whole batch of dough!  

“You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom. This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough! I am trusting the Lord to keep you from believing false teachings. God will judge that person, whoever he is, who has been confusing you.” Galatians 5: 7-10 

What tiny thing are you allowing to harbor itself inside you and fester? Seek it out, sequester it and SQUELCH it before it eats you from the inside like that mighty tree!

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Slight Edging It

I am not known for moderation.

Ask anyone who knows me well.

I am an all in or all out type, and it takes a lot of determination for me to balance that. I have worked at it all my life. In a lot of ways this has worked well for me. When I commit to doing something, I do it wilth all I’ve got and do it well. When I have a clear goal, I stick with it and see it through. Nothing can stop me.

However, to be candid, I am really terrible at this with the things that count most. Let’s take my fitness for example. I am intelligent enough to know that my good health is the key to everything else – that I will only be happy and successful and have good relationships if I am in good health. So why do I get into shape and feel great only to slide back down the hill again gradually? I’m either hot or cold. This works for some things in life, but when it comes to proper health habits, it is like a rollercoaster ride. Once I left college and didn’t have a workout schedule set by a coach, I set off to do things my way. Somehow I felt that I could defy the laws of science and be the one who could eat what I wanted to, exercise now and then, and still stay in the same shape I was in. The highest and most twisted form of narcissism, yes? So, for 20 years I have done this up and down thing. (Anyone else out there feel this way?) Then would come the self-loathing and beating myself up. How could I be so intelligent and so stupid at the same time? And on, and on, and on….the cycle.

It’s time to stop. And finally I figured out how. I am a work in progress, but my philosophy is changing on a daily basis. I am finally learning to enjoy the journey.

ONE day at a time. ONE task at a time. ONE step at a time.

Near the end of 2014 I got my hands on a book called “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olson. This book is changing every area of my life. I am in my second read, and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. If you are anything like me, AND want to change, then this book is for you. GET IT NOW.

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The book can basically be summed up by this. So simple. So profound. For some reason, so hard for me to grasp, but by George I think I’ve got it. And, truly a biblical principle.

“Simple daily disciplines – little productive actions, repeated consistently over time – add up to the difference between failure and success. The slight edge is relentless and cuts both ways: simple daily disciplines or simple errors in judgment, repeated consistently over time, make or break you.”

This is not rocket science! It’s not like I didn’t “know” this. But, for some reason, reading the words makes an imprint on the brain and forces you to make a choice. The little things we do every day that are insignificant at the time, add up. It is the philosophy that must be changed. Doing things in large spurts may appear to work, or even work for a time, but in the long-run they do not. It’s just a cycle of highs and lows.

SO, for me, gone are the days of the New Year’s “I’m going to get in better shape” Resolutions that fizzle out. My resolution this year is to change my lifestyle by changing my philosophy. By setting small daily goals rather than high mighty goals for the future. I know that if I do the small seemingly insignificant things every day, that over time I will both end up where I want to be in health, career and life, AND will have learned the value of continuing those habits to remain on the path of my choosing.

My word for 2016 is CONSISTENCY. You are welcome to use this word too if you like. HA. 😉

Whatever your goals for this year and beyond, I wish you the very best! And whatever they are, if you feel stagnant in any way, I promise that if you will get the “Slight Edge” and read it – you WILL begin to move in the direction you want to go.

Here’s to a New Year and a New You!

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GOD SAID……….

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

Cosmos

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!!!

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