Birthday Message 2018

It’s my Birthday! God has allowed me to see another year! I have joined the 50 club!  I Am Grateful!

If you know me well, you know that I love to gift gifts – so my 50th birthday gift to you is to share 18 things I learned in my own life or in dealing with others that I will carry into 2018.

  1. I’m not responsible for anyone’s actions but my own.
  2. Better to preserve a relationship than to hold on to my right to be right.
  3. Failures are not optional; they WILL happen. Learn from them and move on.
  4. Family … be grateful for the and show them love/support every chance you get. They won’t be around forever.
  5. Not Santa Claus or M&Ms that can walk and talk – but … Stupid people – they do exist! 🙂
  6. Don’t let misunderstandings fester. Work it out.
  7. Take care of your body. Do what the doctor says. Eat Well. Exercise.
  8. Learn something new.
  9. Expect miracles.
  10. Be you! Find out your life purpose and pursue it.
  11. Invest in friendships that matter.
  12. Practice Sabbath. Rest and reflect. Enter God’s presence. Quiet your spirit so that you can hear His Spirit.
  13. Love.
  14. Face fears. Facing down fears gives you super powers!
  15. “No” is not a bad word!
  16. Pay attention to your money. Manage your debt and be intentional about your giving.
  17. Love Jesus more this year that you did last year.
  18. If you’re married, your spouse is your true ‘linkedin’ partner. Walk instep. Trust. Adore. Be grateful.

OK 50 — Let’s do this!!

but just as it is written,“Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,And which have not entered the heart of man,All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”

1 Corinthians 2:9

Contentment in Him

1Timothy6At this ‘most wonderful time of the year’, America is marked by extreme consumerism and materialism. But is that who we really are? American is noted around the world as being gluttonous at Christmas, but is that who we really are? The pundits say that we all spend much more than we can afford at this time of year, but is that who we really are?

When Lloyd and I were young parents and young marrieds, our resources were almost nothing (they are not much more now, but we know how to manage better!) – when Christmas came, we would buy our children so many presents that you almost couldn’t see the bottom of the tree; it was ridiculous! One year when the kids were 3, 7 and 11 we realized that they could care less about the gifts after just a few days. They were quite content with the one favorite toy AND with being together AND being doted on by their parents.

As Christ followers we are that same way. Our souls are truly satisfied in communion with our King, but our flesh deceives us into thinking that we must have more than that. We fill our lives with the comforts of this world – a bigger house than we need; a car with bells and whistles we’ll never use; people that make us feel important; relationships that help us pretend we’re not lonely; positions that make us feel meaningful — and yet at the end of the day, when we lay on the pillow – we find we are still in discontent.

Our enemy, the Devil, wants us to believe that we have to have it all! Well, the truth is – we do have it ALL! As followers of Christ, we are adopted into the family of God; we are joint heirs with Christ; we have the indwelling Holy Spirit of Promise within us! I would say we have all that ‘and a bag of chips’! We have it all! We have given Lordship of our lives over to a benevolent and loving King who ensures that we have all that we need and much of what we want. He only asks that we love Him and be devoted to serve Him. And truly, if you really think about it, when we are living in service to Him we tend to be quite contented.

Yes! It is good to want your circumstance to improve, but it is a powerful thing to know that just living according to His will for you will cause your heart to be content. Things will go out of style; beauty fades; people fail you; situations change — but God, He remains the same!

Paul challenges us to be content no matter the situation, and encourages us that God will give us the strength to walk in this contentment; Jesus admonishes us to seek God’s kingdom and rest in knowing that God will provide all other things that we seek; In Hebrews we are reminded that He is ours and will not leave us or forsake us; in Romans we are reminded that He will work our circumstances out for our good and His glory.

As the year ends many of our most popular print media outlets remind us of notable people that we lost during the year; the most notable people of the year; the most beautiful people of the year; the worst people of the year; etc. I watch as people read the magazines in the check out line (trying not to act interested); and they are captivated by the lives of these success stories; and success stories gone wrong! But my eye catches the front cover of one of the magazines – and I begin to wonder if these stars/celebrities/notables are happy and satisfied in their lives. I wonder if they, with all that they do have, have the One thing that matters in life. I wonder if who we see, who they allow us to see, is who they really are.

Do not be deceived! It is not riches or popularity that will satisfy your need to feel fulfilled or your need to feel that your life has value.  Satisfaction will come when you decide that He is enough and then take the step to live a life in humble submission to a King who can and will keep every promise He ever made to you! He satisfies! He is satisfying! He will satisfy! I am a living witness!

But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.

1 Timothy‬ ‭6‬:‭6‬

He’s Got It … Keep Your Hands Off!!

Trust And ObeyI love reading through the history of God’s people throughout the Bible.  Witnessing from the hands of those God ordained to pen it what our fleshly weakness looks like; what human faith can accomplish; and the enormous grace that God extends to us.  I think my favorite thing to read is what Our Father has been willing to do for us!

The truth is that there is no issue that can arise in our lives that God is not aware of and from which He cannot bring victory … when we are COMPLETELY COMMITTED to
Him!

Nothing is impossible when our trust is in Him!! But when we rely upon ourselves – our knowledge; our own strength; our connections; when we use effort and plotting on our own inventiveness – ANYTHING: we can be assured that we will bring disaster and ruin into our circumstance!

Just look at King Asa.  After committing himself to God’s ways he experienced peace and prosperity; but once all was well, he decided he had it under control and in took “the silver and gold out of the treasuries of the LORD’s temple and of his own palace” and sent it to a heathen leader to make a treaty that was not even necessary, because He was living under the beauty of a covenant with God Almighty!  God’s response through the man of God, “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand.  For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.”  (The story can be found in 2 Chronicles 16)

My brothers and sisters, read your word and learn from the downfalls of others.  Trust In Him Completely!  Trust and don’t waver. Trust His strength. Trust His word. Trust His promises. He cannot fail!

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:28‬ 

I am a Citizen of Heaven!

Phil 3 20It makes my heart heavy to see believers separated over the world’s political stances.

We, who are Christ followers, have only one King and Ruler. He’s neither Democrat nor is He Republican – He is Holy, Righteous, Unchanging! He Is All!We have pledged allegiance to Him and everything that we need comes from His hand! We are His children and citizens of His kingdom!

If we believe that we are citizens of heaven, then we should carry ourselves in a way that reflects that high honor. What does that look like? Speaking and acting like sons and daughters of the most high!

  • It looks like exhibiting love and grace and speaking His Word in a way that reflect that we KNOW it. Living in a way that reflects our contentment in all things because we KNOW that He is in control of every situation or difficulty.
  • Being overjoyed when someone comes to know and except the truth of The Gospel.
  • Not fretting over whats happening in the world today or keeping our minds on the things of this world , but looking with hope toward His return.
  • Caring for others, especially those in the Body of Christ.
  • Extending love and grace that the world cannot understand.
  • Praying daily that His will be done AND when He carries out His will rejoicing in it whether it is what we desired or not!

We belong to Him! Let’s not let this world or the enemy make us believe something else!

 

Philippians 3:20  But our citizenship is in heaven…

 

A Little more about satisfaction

philippians-4-13God is more knowledgeable about us than we are about ourselves. He knows that the temptation to fall into line with the world’s systems are too much for us to bear alone. He does not leave us to our own devices, but will work within us to teach us to be satisfied – to give us hearts that are content.

As you start this New Year, I encourage you not to cry over the things that you did not accomplish; the stuff that you did not get; the relationship that ended; the project that you did not complete. Ask the Lord to help you to accept that all that happened in 2014 was what He had for you in 2014 — and then walk into 2015 with a new attitude that says “I am beginning again!”

Paul said that he could be content in any situation because Christ within him gave Him the strength. You have access to that same resurrection power! Ask the Holy Spirit today to teach you the way to be satisfied/content with what is over and done with and ask Him to teach you the new lessons you’ll need in the coming days to move ahead.

God’s plan for you in 2015 are perfect – tailor made for you! There is nothing that He intends for you to have that you cannot not have. There is nothing He intends for you to accomplish that you cannot accomplish. There is no good thing that He will withhold from you. What God has destined for your life is for your life.

You are a part of God’s great plan to redeem this world and reconcile it to Himself. Get in the game in 2015 – realize that there is something that God created you to do that no other person can accomplish. Know this — when you identify that purpose; you will know satisfaction in a way that you have never known it before!

Happy New Year! Be New! Be Changed! Be All HIS!!

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)