Follow by Email

Friday, June 23, 2017

It's Come In Two Phases

😉😏.
Do you know why there are two testaments in the Bible? We define it simply by saying the Old Testament is the story of life here before Jesus came to earth and the New Testament is the chronicle of Jesus' life, death and the birth of His church that followed. Really, though, there is a lot more to it than that.

Did you know that God hung out here on earth with Adam and Eve? ...Before they messed up and disobeyed Him, I mean. And that happened in Chapter 3! By Chapter 6, man had become so evil that God could take no more. Chapter 6! Not even a nanosecond in the big picture of eternity. Good grief, people! Seriously, man, can you blame Him?

Thank goodness for Noah and his family! The glimmer of hope God needed to carry on. After the flood, God decreed a covenant with man saying never again would He interfere with His original plan for creation. His hope in creating us was that we would choose to follow His will for our lives. Which pretty much boiled down to showing love to our fellow man and acknowledging God as our Creator. The Garden of Eden was supposed to be the norm!

So, I haven't even gotten past Chapter 8 in Genesis yet. I had better stop the play-by-play. The Old Testament is important. It documents the history of the relationship between God and man from the point of creation up to a time when God left us to our own devices... Or, perhaps that should read God left us to our own vices because sin has become so embedded within us, it's not even funny.

Whichever sentence you choose, the world grew darker because of it. The vast majority knowing no different. They just kept on keeping on. And, sadly, at times God was not acknowledged for so long that His own people lost complete sight of Him.

How did we get to that point? From Adam and Eve on, God's chosen, (within which we find the lineage from whom Jesus was born,) had bout after bout of turning from God for one reason or another. This resulted in God taking away His protection for a time. The people would, eventually, wise up and tell God they were sorry. God, the very nature of love, would know when their hearts were sincere, forgive them, and set them on their path again. This happened time after time and there, finally, came a day when God had had enough. He was silent for 400 years.

When God deemed the time was right, Phaseof His plan was put into action. This phase of creation was not an afterthought. They had planned this day's arrival; Jesus was at the ready. Even knowing what was to come, His great love for us superseded all. He was at the ready because we are His passion. He chose to come and live life as a man. He knew every emotion, faced temptation, ↼ Probably to the nth degree! You know who was chomping at the bit from the moment Jesus got here to fell our hero in any way possible! As He grew so did the possibilities! If he could get Him to mess up outright... Can't you just see him shoulders hunched and hands clinched together in evil anticipation... *shudder* Jesus did not kiss that frog. Ever.↼ felt hunger and pain, and still was able to lead a life free from sin. He never displeased His Father. Not once. Because of that fact, He became our sacrifice.


"Every priest stands day after day ministering and offering the same sacrifices time after time, which can never take away sins. But this man, after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. He is now waiting until His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are sanctified."                                                                                 ~Hebrews 10:11-14
I encourage you to read Hebrews Chapter 10, but just those verses are a lot to wrap your head around, huh? We can only imagine the conversations in heaven, but they have them. I wonder if when discussing creation plans, God mentioned that we would be incapable of following His lead. Perhaps, noting if Lucifer (Satan)  had mastered the art of luring His heavenly creations away, what chance did man have to withstand him? He, too, loves us and would not want us to be doomed from the start. But, I can just see Jesus at the ready even then! Smh (shaking my head)... In wonder!

"I can do it, Dad! I will show them the Way! Send me! If I do this for them and they except this gift I offer, they will make it. Send me!

Of course, God knew that Jesus was capable. That He would become a worthy sacrifice to eradicate sin once for all. First from individual lives and then for all creation as He casts Satan into the fiery pit. But this was His Son... What Jesus was willing to endure... Could a Father allow it?

The above conversation is just me thinking as a parent. However it was determined, they gave us a chance to get it right on our own. But I'm sure we proved pretty early on that we weren't going to get it together. We needed help. But could a Father allow it...

Oh, thank you, Father, God, for sending Him. Thank you, Jesus, my brother, for coming! 

I think we are going to leave things there for now. But we'll delve in a little deeper, okay? God not only forgave His people over and over, He tried His best to get us to understand why it's so important to stick with Him. There are lessons for us there, my friend. And the New Testament... Victory! There is victory there to be had. Once for all.

May we pray?

Thank you, Jesus, for what You've done for us. Sin was defeated that day on the cross. Let all who read this and have a decision to make, hear You speaking to their heart of hearts.

May all who read this that do know You as Lord and Savior of their lives, be spurred to action. Sharing your great love with those that need to know. 

You are the bridge. The connection we need to stand right with God. It's in Your name we pray.

Amen

See you next time.
Love,
C

PS
Questions that you have... leave them in the comments.  We will figure out the answer.

*whispering* Or there's the ever quiet Facebook page, if you don't do Google+. 

Photo Attribute: www.earth-association.org 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

And Peter...



Have you ever in your life sworn something to someone and meant it with all your heart, only to break your vow to them almost immediately? So have I. But, Peter… Oh, Peter!

Jesus' time was drawing near. He had gathered the twelve disciples together and was trying to prepare them for things to come. And when these things came to pass, scripture would be fulfilled. One of those things being that, in the very near future, the disciples would flee from him. Peter vowed his unwavering support no matter what was to come. To make matters worse, Jesus predicted that Peter would deny he even knew Him three times that very night before the rooster crowed twice. Peter, again, emphatically, expressed his loyalty, even un
to death .


“Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him
:“Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
                                                  (Luke 22:60-62)

The days following the crucifixion must have been very dark, and filled with sorrow for all who knew and loved Jesus. But, oh, poor Peter! On top of trying to come to terms with what had happened, he had the personal torture of what he had done. 

But then... Halleulajah! Resurrection Day! And the message from Jesus through the angel to be given to the disciples and Peter! Can you imagine the joy that flooded Peter's soul upon hearing the news? Not only was Jesus alive, but He asked for him by name! Even though Peter had denied knowing Him, Jesus included him still! Now, that’s unconditional love! I am so happy for Peter! 

Unconditional love. God is love. And He poured it out on us the day He allowed His one and only Son to take on the sin of the world while He died on that cross. It was the plan. Jesus came to earth and lived as a man. He experienced every emotion and temptation that we do and still lived a perfect life that was pleasing to God. Jesus willingly laid down His life to reconcile us to God. He wants we, who believe, to make sure everyone knows that. He wants none to suffer eternity separated from God. 

Nothing is so bad that it can't be forgiven. Nothing except not realizing you need Jesus to be your link to God. Jesus is the One who loves you most. He knows where you have been, what you have done and loves you still. Yes! Jesus loves you. He died on the cross to give you an opportunity to be forgiven of your sin. Talk to God! Tell Him that you are sorry for the things you have done that displease Him, that you believe Jesus is His Son and you need Him in your life as Lord & Savior. Then, tell someone that’s what you believe. Do you need to do that today? Please, do it today.

Do you want to know more about Jesus? You can read about His life beginning to end. There are four accounts documented in the Bible's New Testament. They are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. My Mom would always tell people they should start with the Book of John because it focuses on Jesus' great love for us. Love is good. ☺ Maybe you should start there, too. 

May we pray?

Father, God,

I can't imagine what it was like for You that day Jesus died. Thank you doesn't seem like enough to say, but it's all I have. That and my vow to live my life for You, knowing that when I mess up, You love me still. That and my unfailing hope that You will touch hearts and open minds to receive the message of salvation. 

I pray for those reading this. If they have not yet accepted Jesus as their savior, I hope you will use something in my words as the catalyst to spur the decision to seek You with all their heart. I know you are waiting for that and will make Yourself known. I pray they believe that Jesus died for the sin of the world and they can be reconciled to You through Him. I pray...

For those who read and are believers, I pray you light a fire in their hearts to spread the Good News of the salvation found in Jesus. Time is rushing head long toward it's end. We know not when, but the world is in such a mess, it is surely crying out to you for relief. Rise us up to be a mighty army for truth.

Jesus, oh, Jesus. Thank you for making us your passion. Your love for us so great that you suffered so, shed your blood, died an excruciating death to become our sacrifice. Your perfect life covering our imperfection, if we but believe. I love you. I hope to help others meet you so they will love you, too.

I praise God for Your Resurrection Day! It is in Your name I pray...

Amen

Happy Easter! Hallelujah! Christ Arose!

Comments welcome here or on Facebook

See you next time! (And I vow that won't be months from now! Sorry about that.)
Love, 
C


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A Perfect Opportunity

 
 
I am going out on a limb here, but I believe God gave Trey Smith a word and that you deserve an opportunity to hear it. Well, it's a lot of words, actually, but you'll be hanging on every one of them before you know it!  If you have not yet made your decision, this may be enough to push you to the brink of realizing the importance of choosing to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. If not now, then it is my prayer for you that as events unfold while President Trump is in office, you remember this documentary. It will be hard to deny Him any longer as you see God's mighty hand at work!  
 
Oh! And Trey Smith appears to be a bit eccentric, but, hey! Aren't we all? He is obviously intelligent. And he does a really great job explaining God in a nutshell. I believe he has been chosen by God for this task to make us aware. A modern day prophet. You will be able to follow him even if you have not studied the Bible. And, yes, I dare to say, prepare to be amazed!
 

"We're about to go for a ride!"    ~Trey Smith
Z

 
 
 
If my people, who are called by my name,
will humble themselves and pray and seek my face
and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin
and will heal their land.
~2 Chronicles 7:14
 
 
 
WOW! Right? As we have done over and over since the beginning of time, God's people are finally realizing they are surrounded by muck and mire. Oh, man! We did it, again! We kissed that frog! In desperation, we looked up and there He was. Waiting patiently. Always hoping His people would return. We prayed in earnest. He heard.
 
I hope we keep praying. Praying for courage to get about the job we are here to do. God gave us this reprieve; not so we can put off Jesus' return and watch America become great again. Not so we can settle in and enjoy our cut of the fat hog once more. (It may have been that frame of mind that let us slip so far off the path!) We have humbled ourselves in prayer, which means we have acknowledged we turned from God and sought His forgiveness.
 
Now, we must get back to our task at hand for we are still living in the last days. God did not give us this reprieve for us, Christians. We were given this reprieve for them.  
 
The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise,
as some understand slowness.
Instead He is patient with you,
 not wanting anyone to perish,
 but everyone to come to repentance.
~2 Peter 3:9
 
We have to get out there!
Show some love! Spread the Word!
 Jesus is coming again and many are not ready! 
 
I hope you watched. I hope you, too, will pray for God's watch care over Donald Trump and this great nation that was founded in His name. Be willing to acknowledge that He is God, Almighty and that we, as a people and individually, have wronged Him by making what He deemed to be wrong acceptable, even if by nothing more than our silence. If this video, tying ancient days to a prophecy pertaining to the here and now, does not cause you to acknowledge the amazing and all knowing power of God, Almighty, please, keep your eyes, your heart, your mind open in these coming days. We have been given a great opportunity. God wants you to be a part of it. 
 
It is time to seize the day! 
 
As always, comments are welcome here and over at the Facebook page. *grinning* You are a very quiet group! But I see the numbers. I know you read. So when the crickets become as overwhelming as the croaking of the frogs... I just try to remember to give a little whistle. And it is not long before I decide to sing!
 
Thank you, Father God, for loving us so much. Thank you for sending a Cyrus! Let us use your coming blessing to spread your word around this lost and dying world.
 
See you next time!
Love,
C

Monday, October 10, 2016

Who's By Your Side?

Who's By Your Side?

Evil is out there and on deception it feeds.
It whispers and beckons
Through the most innocent things.
It seduces enticingly
Telling man he NEEDS more!...
One step...then another
Before you know it, there's war.


Yes, man, oh so quickly,
Into darkness will glide
Oft times, while proclaiming
He has God at his side.


Devastation runs rampant, in all forms it's spread.
By our treatment of others and
By the words we have said.
Or it’s pretty, oh so sparkly!
In our minds breeding greed
For some form of addiction;
We MUST fill the need!

Yes, man, oh so quickly,
Into darkness will glide
Not knowing his yearning is
For God at his side.

For if God is in Heaven, the devil’s real too.
And he’ll stop at nothing.
EVERY life, he’ll pursue.
His demons and minions
Are running amok
Causing hopelessness, poverty,
Wars and distrust.

The lion lays waiting
To devour young minds
To control them forever
Far from God’s loving side.

Always endeavor to fight the good fight
No matter the consequence
We must stand by what’s right!
Turn to God’s Word for guidance,
Seek Him out. That’s right! Pray!
And tell others about Jesus
So they, too, might be saved.

Yes, we’re human, we’ll falter,
But if by His Word, we’ll abide
We will grow through this lifetime
Keeping God at our side.

A few year's ago, our son posted the lyric to a Bob Dylan song called With God On Our Side, they stuck with me, but not in a good way. Something did not ring true. This poem would be my response to Mr. Dylan.

Horrible things happen in this world not because of God, but in spite of him. Who would dare to spite God? There is one who exists for it. His name is Lucifer. Satan. The devil. Be careful. He is cunning. Trying his best to twist what is wrong to look right.

Don't kiss that frog!

Love,
C

 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Thar She Blows!

 
 Spew. Vent. Rant. No matter what you call it, at times we just feel the need to get something off our chests. Irritated by the behavior of someone to the point that you have to express it or explode! Social media seems to be a popular place to blast such thoughts whether it be about friend, family or strangers. Oh my gosh! *I'm rolling my eyes.* Sometimes, I am hard pressed to keep my fingers off the keys. I so want to tell the person that their comment was out of line or TMI or... whatever wisdom I would like to impart pertaining to the ick displayed on my screen. But I don't. Out there in comments land anyway. I have felt compelled to send a private message/novel a time or two. Ultimately, though, I believe that old adage that goes if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all

However... You see it coming, don't you? Will it help to know I have a little grin on my face and not a scowl? ...If no one ever broaches the subject, how is one ever able to see things from a different perspective? In light of that, I'd like to put a couple of things out there.

1.  Please, don't air your family differences for all the world to see. The spouse/significant other blasts, whether cryptic or full blown vicious, are the worst. And, yes, you may have family members or in-laws whose views differ from yours on every topic and their way of handling a situation may clash with yours at every turn. But, come on now, when it's all said and done, you are family. Odds are things are going to get worked out, but those hurtful, negative words you wrote or spoke to everyone who would listen are out there for good.

2.  If you are out in the world and see something someone is doing that is airheaded, rude, shocking, or even down right appalling, I'm curious to know how blasting this stranger is putting a positive spin on things. Perhaps they are having a really bad day or decade for all we know. And the odds grow higher every day that they didn't have the privilege of being raised in a home that taught respect and values. Maybe they are just rotten to the core, but, hey, when it gets right down to it, aren't we all? A bunch of broken people muddling about in the dark, most of which don't have a clue about how to truly light up there life. If you are a believer, why don't you pray for the person right then and there... sure beats throwing up in your mouth a little for heaven's sake!

I rolled my eyes again as I typed that phrase. Not just because it was a super gross moment when it has actually happened to me either! It's the context in which people use it when making a slam that I find most distasteful about the phrase. Blech!

After your public rant, do you really feel better past the rush of "so there!" as you press enter? Did it make a
difference in resolving the situation positively for anyone or did it give others an opportunity to jump on your bandwagon adding a slam or two of their own? Building a sense of camaraderie, but at what cost? There can be a
problem with bandwagons. If the mob mentality (which can spread like wild fire) takes a negative spin, things can get out of control in a hurry! 


By the way, I never expected to find a picture of a crashed bandwagon!* It surprised me there amongst all the happy, come along with us and life will be grand type of images. Something else popped up, too, that wasn't an image at all, but I had the urge to click it. Personally, I think it was divine intervention (Yes, it does really happen.). It tied the negative effect of mob mentality right to this particular bandwagon. It's an article by Zachary K. Perins for Relevant Magazine. <~ You should click it. It's a good read. It made me think about this topic on a much bigger scale!
 
But let's get back to our own little worlds for just a minute. If we need to spew stuff, lets make sure we are expelling large quantities of (something) rapidly and forcibly that builds others up. The clock is ticking! Time's going to reach it's end. Instead of stirring up strife, let's strive to follow Paul's lead when he said,   


And, hey, let's not just think about it.
Let's put it out there on social media and beyond!
 
 
May we pray?
 
Father God,
Thank you for loving us so much. I pray that if there is one reading this that is seeking the truth, that they will bask in the glow of Your love this minute and realize it's from You it comes.
 
And I know basking is good for believers, too, Father God! Fill us up with love so that we can't help but share it with those we meet.  Whether they are lost or just beaten down to the point they feel there really is no hope, remind us to use our words in a way that lets a ray of Your light shine in the darkness.
 
It's because of Your Son, Jesus, that we have this hope. And it is in His name we pray.
Amen
 
I'd be glad to hear your thoughts. You can leave them below or over on the Facebook page.
 
See you next time!
Love,
C


PS I know sometimes we seriously do need to talk about things that are going on in our lives that aren't pretty. Talking with a trusted friend goes a long way in helping us feel relief and keeps a lid on things. Pray up about it, too. I believe that's truly our best recourse.

*Heroe's Destruction http://bucklesw.blogspot.com/2005/08/orton-bros-circus-1916-wrecked.html 

Geyser Picture Courtesy freedigitalphotos.net

Sunday, July 31, 2016

I Need To Practice My Pitch

 
 

 

 
We just finished up Vacation Bible School. It's an outreach for the children in our community that our church has held every summer since... Well, actually, I don't know when we started. I'd say that there is a very strong possibility VBS has been going on here since it became widespread throughout church congregations in 1923. I attended when I was a child and was a teen helper for the preschool class after that. I have not helped every year since, but I can sure account for a lot of them! I helped in the kitchen a couple of years. I taught my first class when our son was four in 1989, began helping out yearly with the preschool class in the late 90's and then started teaching the first grade class. But for the past 10 years or so, I have had the privilege of teaching music. I love it so much! A few years ago, my sister moved back to the state and has dedicated her time each year to help me. We have great fun and are always amazed by how hard the kids work and how much they learn!  We have a total of about an our hour and a half together divided into nightly classes Monday through Thursday nights. Friday night is reserved for Family Night! The children look forward to performing the songs they have worked on all week.  

Music has been a way through which I have always felt a strong connection with God and His Word. I know He can reach out to these young ones in that way, too. Every single year as I prepare, learning first the songs and then motions to accompany them, there is that one song that really speaks to my heart. In it, I find a connection with something I am dealing with in my life. A lesson just for me, right there in the midst of things. *Sharing your look of amazement.* I know, right? God is awesome like that! 

This year's lesson is worthy of sharing with everyone. Part of my job is to prepare the lyrics to be projected for the children to view. A few years ago, we upgraded to a projector and I can now create them with power point. Wheeeeeeee! The slides always go together quickly. The animation and timing each slide to advance with the music takes me a while longer, but it's something I enjoy doing. I usually work on them at night after the girls have gone to bed. I will interject here that I can get a little obsessed with my project at hand at times. My husband gets up around 3:30 (that's AM... 😫 Poor guy.) to get ready to leave for his route and has caught me still working on a project more than once! I know I'm in danger of being busted when I hear the coffee pot kick on. Truth be told, sometimes I have even succumbed to the temptation to slug a cup or two and press on all night. That's usually when I am blogging actually and it's only been a few times. Honest!

One afternoon, the girls were playing so nicely that I took advantage of the sudden free time to sit down in the playroom with them at the PC and start working on animation and timing. Things began to fall apart in the land of imagination about the time I had things roughly in place. As mentioned above, I get a little obsessed at times and couldn't wait to see the finished product. I dangled our

very favorite movie in front of them - Big Hero 6 - and knew I would have 102 precious minutes to get this song in the can! I popped in the dvd and went right back to work.

They were at my elbow in what seemed like minutes. I promised I was nearly finished and asked them to please find something to do for just a few minutes more. They complied and I went back to the task at hand. I was having a bit of trouble getting the last few slides lined up perfectly and to be honest was getting a bit frustrated with that fact. I was so close! A "grrrrrrrrrrr" escaped my lips about the same time Cynthia reappeared at my elbow. She whined, "How much longer? You said it would be just a little while a long time ago!"


I realized then just how much of our day (now turned evening!) I had spent working. I acknowledged that she was right and asked her to be patient just a few minutes longer. I would just try one more little adjustment and maybe that would do it. She immediately bowed her little head and said,  "Oh, please, God, help Charelle do it! Amen." I added a second here and there, then deleted a second here and there. Then announced we were ready to see if it worked. She scrambled up on my lap and I clicked play.


When this slide popped up mid-song, she nearly jumped off my lap in excitement as she exclaimed, "I know who's hands those are! They are God's hands! You are right! He really is bigger than anything!" I explained that was not a real picture of God's hands, but one someone had made because they knew God was big enough to hold the whole world in His hands. By the time that little conversation finished, we were nearing the end of the song and... Success!

"Done deal!" I said feeling quite pleased with myself. "It is? He heard me! God helped you!" Cynthia exclaimed. I immediately deflated a bit remembering her half heard prayer. "Why, yes He did!" I agreed and thanked my sweet girl for praying for help and for reminding me that's what I'm supposed to do when I start to fret. It was then that I felt like God whispered to my spirit. "Silly girl." And I felt a tiny bit sheepish for getting out of sorts. The song I had been working on was Cast My Cares by Finding Favour. Silly me was right! I had not once thought to ask God to help me get it together! About the time this revelation was hitting me, Cynthia asked, "Did we cast our care?" I affirmed that we had indeed thanks to her.

Next I apologized to God straight away for not staying focused enough on the message right in front of me to actually follow through with what they said. Cast all my cares. I could have trusted Him to help with something as minute as timing a slide show. Had I done so, I imagine I would have finished long before!


Are the burdens you carry getting to heavy to bear? I know someone who gave His life so you would not have to be overcome with the weight of the world. He will give you the strength to persevere through the trials and troubles no matter what they are! When you give your life to Jesus, you can live with the confidence of knowing everything is going to turn out all right. 


Can we pray?

Father God,
You are mighty enough to hold the weight of the world in Your hands and more, but still You care so much for each and every one of us. Your unending love gives us hope. And with hope in our hearts, we can endure anything. You are in control of it all. We need not worry or be afraid because there is not one thing too big or too small for You to handle. When we feel stress, anxiety, pain, fear... the list of all things negative in our lives... we can give it to You and You will take care of it.

I'm asking for you to make that known without a doubt to the one who is reading this. If they have not yet found a relationship with You through accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior, I pray today will be the day. And that from this point on, they grow to love and trust You more each day. If they are a believer all ready, I pray you reinforce in them the importance of being able to cast all their cares on You. When we are able to do that, what a witness we are to this lost and dying world. 

Thank You for loving us so much that You sent Your Son, It is in the name of Jesus that I pray because it is through Him that we are reconciled to You.

Amen

Thanks for stopping by. 😏 Feel free to leave a comment below or pop over to the Facebook page and leave one there. That would be great!

See you next time!
Love,
C

Baseball Pitcher Image Coursety of FreeDigitalImage.net
Big Hero 6 Image property of Disney. No rights here!



 





 

 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Walkin' In Those Shoes

 
 

For a time, before Mom would offer correction or voice a concern, she could be heard saying, "Point one finger at you and three back at me." She didn't want the person she was correcting to ever get the impression that she considered herself to be in any way better than they were. It seemed to be in her nature to always consider how best to say something without being hurtful. I hope I got that gene, because some may feel I am going to step on some toes. I have been pondering this subject for awhile now though and think I am supposed to bring it up. And for the record, I am speaking to believers this day.
 

It's not my plan to "preach" on the importance of pointing out someone else's sin. But that word, gently, certainly fits in with my Mom memory, doesn't it? If it's got to be done, that's certainly the best way to broach the subject. But it's the last sentence that I can't get off my mind these past days; especially those first two words. "Watch yourselves," Paul said.
 
It should be a no-brainer that we are to be ready to withstand the temptations of sin. I speak from experience when I say the tighter you are hanging on to the promises of God, the easier it gets to stand strong. By the way, I'm sure that ol' devil gets a special thrill out of tripping us up after we've called someone out! If he can get us to stumble and fall then, he has opportunity to throw doubt into the minds of those we were trying to help. And believe me when I say he will hunker down and prepare to sink in his teeth!  (The prowling lion waiting to devour. ~1 Peter 5:8)   
 
Pardon me for a moment. I must interrupt myself:  Mel Gibson, you have popped into my mind every time I have thought about how to broach this subject of being taken down. Such a great and mighty thing you did for God! For mankind! Ah, the thrill of knowing you were answering His call on your life pulsing through your veins! It is a current flowing like none other, isn't it? It truly became your passion to show us His. Thank you.
 
I have no doubt Satan pulled out all the stops to take you down. It saddened me when troubled days fell upon you. I am sure I was not the only one praying for you during those difficult days. Instead of judging you, some were carrying your burden with you. Or at least trying to ease the weight you carried by lifting you up in prayer. Hoping God would hold you close and reach out to you in no uncertain terms. I still pray for you every time I think of you. The battle is real and as ongoing as we let it be. (Pointing those three fingers back at me! I have done a bit of stumbling along the way.)  I hope those dark days are far behind you. I hope you have reconnected to the living current of the Holy Spirit and are shining ever brighter for those around you to see. It seems the media only wants to feed on the pain and suffering of those in the limelight so no news is good news as far as I'm concerned. ☺
 

 
And now the segue to getting back on track...  😉  I know the odds that Mel Gibson will actually read that are... Oh, I don't know... can odds be zero - zero?  That'd be ok by me because odds don't matter one iota in my book. I don't find them in His either. I do find verse after verse that tells me God loves me and if I put my trust and hope in Him that He will not disappoint. I find verses that tell me of Jesus' great love for us and that if I ask Him to become my Savior, from that point on I will be able to do all things through Him. First and foremost being reconciled to God. When I believe these things with all my heart and see the hard thing through to the end, I am stronger for it. The battle will be easier next time. I have eased on down that road of faith. You can, too. It will get easier to withstand temptation and the bad things that happen in life. And along the way your personal relationship will grow stronger.
 
  
Stronger - Mandisa
 
 
I have no doubt that if God plans for Mel Gibson to read my thoughts, it will end up right in front of him! (Perhaps I could try labeling this post with his name and should he ever google Mel Gibson and frog, maybe? Baha! As if those words will ever come together in a sentence!) But even if that is never the case, I believe God wanted me to say it so somebody who feels they have walked a similar path can read this and realize the same applies. If that is you, I will bear your burden through lifting you up in prayer. Hoping you will feel the powerful surge of reconnection and will shine brighter because of it!  
 
Was I led by God to go ahead and tell Mel my thoughts? I think I must have been, but I won't know for sure until I stand before Him one day. Would some say, "Well, of course not! Why would God deliver some love to him through you?" Yes, I think some would.
 
That thought brings me right back to the topic I was going to post today. And I just laughed out loud when I realized it! God does work in mysterious ways and I am glad He cleared my path! I have been asking how I was supposed to get the point across without  revealing the circumstances that put this thought for a post in my head. I wasn't going to use names, of course, but I live in Small Town, USA. And, of course, we have Facebook... I wasn't sure I could be generic enough, but it was the only thing I could come up with besides the Mel Gibson thing popping in my head and wondering how he's doing and uttering my little hope he's reconnected and standing strong prayer. I didn't think he was actually going to wind up getting a mention! I should have known God had it covered.
 
What? You think God did not inspire these words? Watch yourself! That's really not your call. No matter how long we've been walking with God, we just aren't privy to the big picture. And because w are not to know, we certainly have to be careful not to fall prey to the mindset that how we answer God's call is the way everyone is supposed to answer God's call. He made us unique for a reason, people.  One size does not fit all! There are as many ways to reach out as their are people on this earth because it is God's hope that none should perishHe has a plan in place to give us all a chance for salvation through Jesus. That plan's success has a lot to do with us, Christians. We have been called to run a good race. Don't get tripped up.
 
Instead of doubting if someone is "doing it right" regarding their witness for Christ, try on their shoes for a minute. Better yet, carry his burden until you wear holes in the soles of your shoes instead of expecting him to wear yours. And in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ. You will show and share His love.
 
 

  
Can we pray?
 
Father God,
 
Thank You for loving us no matter what. Thank You for guiding us each one in the way You would have us go. I pray our hearts and minds will be open so we hear you clearly.
 
I ask that you speak to the hearts of those who have taken a fall; draw them ever close. Let them yearn to be a shining example of You and Your ways. Let us, all, yearn for that!
 
Help us remember Your ways are not our ways. You have a plan and we will trust You to carry it out. Help us lift each other up in prayer and help and love one another.  
 
At all times, let us praise your mighty name and rejoice in the knowledge that You are. I ask these things in Jesus name.
 
Amen
 
As always, comments are welcome. Or pop over to the Facebook page and leave one there.
 
See you next time.
Love,
C
 
 
Video (Mandisa - Stronger) Courtesy: Youtube 
Photos courtesy: www.freedigitalimage.net