Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sentence Tuesday

We can't stop people from judging us, 
but we can live a life that won't instigate it. -Elaine Millar

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Lyrical Friday - Murdered Son

Happy Friday! In our fast paced society, simlpicity is a lost art. Today's post is simple truth and simple worship. God bless YOU!
Murdered Son, John Mark Mcmillan

Listen while you read!
You set us up above all the stars
You set us on a high place by where You are
While we were dead You made us Your friends

And scattered our debt upon the wind
Glory to one, God's murdered son
Who paid for my resurrection

Once from the dust, once from the grave
Daughters and sons, from the ashes You've raised
And hidden our faults even from Your own face
And scattered our debt upon the waves

Glory to the one who, who overcame in death
Glory to the one who paid for my offenses
Glory to the one

Once from the dust, once from the grave
Daughters and sons, from the ashes You've raised
And hidden our faults even from Your own face
And scattered our debt upon the waves
And scattered our debt upon the waves

Thursday, September 13, 2012

who enjoys stinky perfume?

Better to have wisdom than weapons of war,
    but one sinner can destroy much that is good.
As dead flies cause even a bottle of perfume to stink,
    so a little foolishness spoils great wisdom and honor.
Ecclesiastes 9:18-10:1

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I own perfumes, lotions, candles, incense, oils, air freshener, and even scented pens. I purchase cleaning products based first on their effectiveness and secondly, on their scent. When I get fragrance samples in the mail, I cut the strips and put them in my Bible, books and drawers. Baking and cooking create such delicious smells that it can almost be hypnotizing. I am an aroma fanatic. And because I am, I can easily go from one extreme to the other, from heart shaped pupils to the transfiguration of my eyes to deadly X over each one. Let's face it, a wide range of scented items can be easily labeled, "the stench of death!" And we cannot overlook the unforgiving smell of anything spoiled; food, bin of garbage, perfume or a sweat-saturated shoe.
Scents do matter. 
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.  2 Corinthians 2:14-15
Did you catch that? Christ diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge through us. Other words for diffuse are: radiate, scatter, sprinkle, deposit, bestow, and disperse. Replace the word diffuses, with these words. 
Christ _________ the fragrance of His knowledge through ME. 
This is a great responsibility, because if a little foolishness spoils great wisdom and honor, it is the knowledge of Christ that is spoiled before a watching world. A little of one thing can spoil a lot of good.
A few years ago, I received a birthday card from a lady at church who I rarely interacted with. She wrote, "Raquel, you are the fragrance of Christ. When you leave my presence, the fragrance of Christ remains." I have not forgotten that. God showed me that I am filled with the fragrance of Christ when I spend time in His presence, when I apply His word to my life and love His people. It is my daily prayer, that I may be the fragrance of Christ to those around me... not a Pepe Le'Pew who repels people. Let's be real, who enjoys stinky perfume? No one.
Challenge. Discern whether your actions/words are foolish or wise. 
Let's be a people who purpose to be the fragrance of Christ by forsaking foolishness. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sentence Tuesday

Let not the opinions of man interfere 
with the directions given to you by God. -Jarrid Wilson

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Monday, September 10, 2012

Flames from James

For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the PROPHETS who spoke in the name of the Lord. We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about JOB, a man of great e n d u r a n c e. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy
James 5:10-11
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Friday, September 7, 2012

Lyrical Friday - Overcome

Happy Friday to You! 
Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome. the world. John 16:31-33
This portion of scripture has been one of great comfort in my life, many times. It is often quoted to those who are in the midst of tribulation and sort of blurted out without giving much thought to it. These words, spoken by Jesus, are so heavy in worth. Jesus has overcome this world: tribulation, hunger, thirst, sleep deprivation, loneliness, poverty, humiliation, betrayal, slander, demonic manifestations, temptation, and the greatest of these, sin and death. Do you hear the treasures of this verse being rattled? All that we are going through, and all that we have yet to walk in to, Christ has overcome. And because He has overcome we can take refuge in His comfort, delight in His hope, glory in His praises and rest in His promises. 
I pray that you may be anchored in this truth today, tomorrow and forever. You are in Christ, a new creation, you no longer have to fear as the world does, but you can be of good cheer in the midst of tribulation. Because Christ was not alone when he walked this earth as a man, neither are you. The Father is with you. He loves you and He cares for you. What matters to you, matters to God; no matter how big or however small the matter may be. He is for you, not against you. Trust Him with your life and as you do, you too will overcome this world. 
Overcome, Jeremy Camp 

Seated above, enthroned in the Father's loveDestined to die, poured out for all mankindGod's only son perfect and spotless oneHe never sinned, but suffered as if He did2All authority, every victory is YoursAll authority, every victory is Yours2CHORUS:Savior, worthy of honor and glory,Worthy of all our praise, You overcameJesus, awesome in power forever,Awesome and great is Your name, You overcame2Power in hand speaking the Father's planYou're sending us out, light in this broken land2We will overcome by the blood of the Lamband the word of our testimony, everyone overcome

Thursday, September 6, 2012

the heart

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)
Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23 (NKJV)
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)
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We hear the phrase “follow your heart” almost daily from people in society. The Bible actually says that we are to guard our heart, not follow it. Why? Because when we follow our hearts we are basically just following our feelings. And friend, we are often misguided by our feelings.

Our feelings, aka the “heart”, can lead us into situations simply because it feels right especially when an old boyfriend enters the picture. Our heart can cause us to make decisions that are not thought through completely when that budget-busting pair of boots is just screamin' our ever-lovin' names.
The Hebrew word for "wellspring" in the verse above is towtsa'ah. And in its simplest term means "goings out, going forth." Meaning that basically what is in our heart is where our life will lead. With that being said, we must guard our hearts. We must allow God to overwhelm our hearts with his love and guidance.
I have really taken this to heart and am making sure that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, I am guarding my heart. I am the one in charge of my heart not the other way around. I don't let my heart dictate my choices on a consistent basis. Sometimes it leads me to reach out to a hurting friend. And I follow it in some instances, but making this a daily practice will only yield pain and disappointment.
Let's guard our hearts from this day forward.
Action Steps
Do you find yourself following your heart on a regular basis? If so, what is the usual outcome? When it comes to making decisions in our lives and honoring God and the people around us, consider getting all of the facts and weighing your choices based upon more information than just “following your heart.”
written by: Cindy Beall

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

thanking God for YOU!

Being a youth leader to senior students has to been one of the most difficult tasks. I grow attached to my girls, build a bond and then they leave. Some go away for college while others stay home, but all drift into new seasons... away from "Momma Hen" aka Me. At the end of each school year, I enter the mourning zone. They go from being my "little girls" to now independent young women. In a sense, I am losing my children. I cry, yes, in secret. And I pray hard for them, as a parent whose child is grown up and has moved on. In an ideal word, I would protect them, instruct them always and be right next them to comfort them. But, that is God's role not mine. It's hard.
I cherish the few that have chosen to keep me close.
I treasure these friendships and the bond, that with time, has grown stronger.
she likes her toast! 

And so, I dedicate this post to Aimee. She has been attending Berklee College of Music in Boston for the past two and a half years. Through ups, downs, distance and time, I have learned to trust God with her life. And He has never failed her, therefore, He has never failed me or her parents. We have made it a tradition to have breakfast together before she heads back to Boston for a new semester. These breakfast dates are so sweet. Would you join me in praying for her next semester? If you have a journal or a sheet of paper, write her name down, Aimee, and whenever you see it, pray for her. Thank you so much!!!
playing for me a song she wrote. amazing song!
Hey Aimee, I thank God for YOU!
I thank God that I can show up in public looking like a bum, accidentaly wearing mistmatched earrings, acting like a crazy woman and you still love me and long to share time with me... even play for me a few of your songs. I love you!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Saturday, September 1, 2012

15 Days in the Word with John Piper

I'm not one to read daily devotionals, I rather read the word and hear teachings. But I recently sampled '15 Days in the Word with John Piper' on my YouVersion app. I loved it and signed up! I am currently on day 6 of 15. Here is an excerpt from today's devo.

Day 6
"Do not think you are getting no good from the Bible, merely because you do not see that good day by day. The greatest effects are by no means those which make the most noise, and are most easily observed. The greatest effects are often silent, quiet, and hard to detect at the time they are being produced. Think of the influence of the moon upon the earth, and of the air upon the human lungs. Remember how silently the dew falls, and how imperceptibly the grass grows. There may be far more doing than you think in your soul by your Bible-reading." -J.C.Ryle

So lets give heed to Mr. Ryle and never grow weary of the slow, steady, growth that comes from the daily, disciplined, increasing, love affair with reading the Bible. -John Piper

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