2016 – word for the year – Prepare – for Jesus’ Return

Today is Good Friday for 2016.

The story was started on Christmas Morning.
This is something I try to read every Christmas – and Easter:

Today commemorates the whole focus of Christianity, save one part.
Today commemorates the day that a perfect man took upon himself the cost, the debt, that every man, woman or child incurs by our flesh. I am a sinner.
Romans 3:23(Amplified)

since all have sinned and continually fall short of the glory of God,

No one is able to walk perfectly – because we continue to sin.

Romans 3:10(AMP)

10 As it is written and forever remains written,

“There is none righteous [none that meets God’s standard], not even one.

It has been this way since the beginning of time – we sin.

Romans 5:12 (AMP)

12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, so death spread to all people [no one being able to stop it or escape its power], because they all sinned.

Because God is the creator of everything, and the master of heaven, he makes the rules.
God is so holy that no unrighteousness can appear in his presence.
Because one fell that is now our enemy, and we tend to follow in his steps, there is a price to pay for sin.

Romans 6:23a(AMP)

23 For the wages of sin is death,

And yet, God is so loving, he provided a way to pay for that debt.

Romans 6:23b (AMP)

but the free gift of God [that is, His remarkable, overwhelming gift of grace to believers] is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

That debt is death, and He chose to pay that debt HIMSELF.

Romans 5:8(AMP)

8 But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

He paid a debt He did not Owe.

Randy Matthews from 1972 – Didn’t He

I want to thank Teen Missions for their Romans Road page. There is additional explanation for these points on that webpage, and there is another part of this story, that is Easter Morning.

The Romans Road IS the Preparation for Jesus Coming.
Because He IS coming again – just as He said.

Hebrews 9:28(AMP)

28 so Christ, having been offered once and once for all to bear [as a burden] [a]the sins of many, will appear a second time [when he returns to earth], not to deal with sin, but to bring salvation to those who are eagerly and confidently waiting for Him.

The Open Bible website has compiled verses about Jesus’s Second Coming.

When Jesus returns there is one thing that he will be looking for. And that is faith.

Luke 18:8(AMP)

8 I tell you that He will defend and avenge them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find [this kind of persistent] faith on the earth?”

2 Chron 16:9a(AMP)

9 For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth so that He may support those whose heart is completely His.

It starts at the cross.
The first step to prepare for Jesus’ return is to go to the cross, and be cleanse by the blood of the Lamb – Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 1:17-19

17If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;
18knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,
19but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.…

Make sure that you have confessed your belief in Jesus:
Romans 10:8-10(AMP)

8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word [the message, the basis] of faith which we preach—
9 because if you acknowledge and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord [recognizing His power, authority, and majesty as God], and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For with the heart a person believes [in Christ as Savior] resulting in his justification [that is, being made righteous—being freed of the guilt of sin and made acceptable to God]; and with the mouth he acknowledges and confesses [his faith openly], resulting in and confirming [his] salvation.

And, there is a recipricating act for our gratitude for being saved from the debt of sin:
1 Cor 6:19-20(AMP)

…19Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
20For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

and back to Romans:
Romans 12:1(AMP)

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship.

And how do we live this(with an extra footnote from the Amplified Bible):
John 13:34(AMP)

34 I am giving you a new commandment, that you [a]love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too are to love one another.

Footnotes:

John 13:34 The key to understanding this and other statements about love is to know that this love (the Greek word agape) is not so much a matter of emotion as it is of doing things for the benefit of another person, that is, having an unselfish concern for another and a willingness to seek the best for another.

Jesus wrapped up the 10 commandments into two:
Matthew 22:36-40(AMP)

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 And Jesus replied to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others].’
40 The whole Law and the [writings of the] Prophets depend on these two commandments.”

And this rolls back to Love…Love is patient, Love is kind, Love is not envious nor rude….1 Cor 13.

1 John 4:7-12(AMP)

7 Beloved, let us [unselfishly] [a]love and seek the best for one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves [others] is born of God and knows God [through personal experience].
8 The one who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. [He is the originator of love, and it is an enduring attribute of His nature.]
9 By this the love of God was displayed in us, in that God has sent His [One and] only begotten Son [the One who is truly unique, the only One of His kind] into the world so that we might live through Him.
10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation [that is, the atoning sacrifice, and the satisfying offering] for our sins [fulfilling God’s requirement for justice against sin and placating His wrath].
11 Beloved, if God so loved us [in this incredible way], we also ought to love one another.
12 No one has seen God at any time. But if we love one another [with unselfish concern], God abides in us, and His love [the love that is His essence abides in us and] is completed and perfected in us.

It all starts at the cross.

This is one of the songs that focuses my heart:
As sung on the Voice:

Here is the Old Rugged Cross with Lyrics, if you prefer.

Today is the day that I refresh my focus upon what Jesus did for me, how much he loves me, and how much it cost him to make a way for me to enter into Heaven.
My steps for preparing for Jesus’ return is to remember the cross – but also remember, that Sunday is coming!

Worship with me!
Alan Jackson – Are you washed?

Jesus's Palms

Jesus’s Palms


Thanks for joining me in this journey,
In His hands and under His wings,

~Christi
Ps 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I want to thank Blue Letter Bible and Bible Gateway for the ability to search the Bible online.

“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear.
If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.
If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself.” –
from My Utmost for His highest

I’d love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!
Or choose to LIKE me on facebook, or other social media!
I’d love to stay in touch with you – we are working on email subscriptions…sign up! 
Soon, we will have a gallery for the art I have created by the hand of God.

There are many organizations that support children and families. Here is one that we are blessed to be a part of. Please consider sponsoring a child – the life you change could be your own.

Naomi’s Heart Ministries

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2016 word for the year – Prepare – your marriage

Marriage thoughts in the Valentine’s month. Of Course!
I know it’s trite – February being Valentines month(well, the first half is full price, the second is 50% off!).
Marriage is always 100%.
Sometimes it’s 150% depending on the circumstances, and events.
It never goes on sale, and the cost is never reduced. Everything. It costs everything!

There is only one relationship that merits more effort, more focus, more devotion, and more commitment. That, of course, is your relationship with Jesus Christ. Honestly, I have no idea how someone can make a marriage work without being able to lean upon an omniscient, omnipotent, all compassionate Lord.

I wrote twice so far about marriage:
Marriage tools 1
Marriage tools 2
These will help to fix a broken marriage. These came out of our time at the Smalley Institute’s Marriage Intensive REIGNITE based upon the book DNA of Relationships.

The best idea is to prepare your marriage before you get married, and Jim and I truly did.

  • We went through two premarriage counseling sessions,
  • and we spent the 9 months between engagement and wedding separated by states(Jim was at Purdue, I was working in my hometown).
  • We traded notes from our individual church services,
  • and when we were together, we were attending the fellowship where we met.
  • In fact, we were both baptized in the same river, out back from the Barn!
  • Our first time together was based around being late to a summer retreat, and we both needed to catch up on the Bible Studies.
  • After we caught up, we just continued to do them together.
  • We abstained until marriage(though we were unwise in some necking)
  • We researched marriage traditions, and threw out the occult ones, and made our wedding an evangelistic event, sharing our faith.
  • Once married, We attended churches that were preaching solid Bible,
  • and we did our own Bible Studies.
  • We prayed together nightly, and at every meal, even in public before it was “cool” to do so as Christian.

But shortly after our wedding, I knew something was wrong.
I think Jim did, too. We could not discuss things that were crucial to the running of a partnership. We didn’t realize it then, but we were butting heads and we didn’t know why. It didn’t help that in the first 10 years of our marriage,

  • two parents died(one in the first month),
  • and I was pregnant or nursing 5 babies and two miscarriages from 1981 to 1988.(five babies in 6 years)
  • Then, I had major surgery – and health issues started.
  • STRESS!
  • Jim left Purdue and the degree he was focused upon,
  • worked in various entry level jobs,
  • found a new love(computers),
  • went back to school full time,
  • and of course, there were money issues. Always money issues.

And we still couldn’t communicate!
WHY???

We didn’t know how to prepare our marriage from the beginning – and in the midst of the storms of life, the holes in our marriage ship were not getting the attention they deserved. We were sinking.

We got a hand with Marriage Encounter – we found out that we were really thinking the same thing, but we couldn’t communicate it verbally. Unfortunately, life hit us and we never had the chance to really learn the technique.

Health issues with me, with the children, and money just slipping through our hands, and we were at our wits end.

We were both counseled over and over to leave the other. Again, no help to stay together, no help on how to listen and communicate.

My heart started to change once I realized that Jim spoke a different language(Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman), and that He was a different animal(The treasure Tree, by Gary Smalley and John Trent) Two Sides of Love is the adult version.
Jim read books by Douglas Wilson that affirmed his position in the marriage. But we also got a lot of bad information from errors preached from the pulpit, and our own wounds and personalities.

We are opposites in every way. No matter what test is done on us, other than confirming that Jesus Christ is Lord of our life, we are opposites! I’m not going to list them all here. Let’s just leave it that we’ve been told by pastors that we should never have married! THANKS for the help!

After one particularly hard time, I drew this to ilustrate what was going on in our marriage. We are like onions (thanks Shrek!), and we are under attack.

opposite hearts

opposite hearts

We wanted a marriage based upon our love for Jesus Christ, but our flesh and the attacks of our life were just dragging us down. Our marriage did not have the preparation it needed, and our foundation was badly shaken.

Prepare for your marriage, and prepare your marriage for storms!

  1. base you marriage on the word of God
  2. are you going to follow the word, and not divorce?
    are you going to commit, covenant, before GOD that you will do all in your power to make this work? easy to say on day one, but it’s crucial, and this is the #1 key that has kept Jim and I together!

  3. base your faith on the word of God
  4. Your walk with God is more important than your marriage. and it is most important that you walk with God FOR your marriage.

  5. base your relationship on the word of God
  6. This sounds very obvious, but this is one that we did not do.

    • Love one another as I have loved you!
    • Esteem one another more highly than yourself
    • Submit to one another
    • Love thy neighbor as thy self
    • Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
    • If we live by the Spirit, let is also walk in the Spirit(Gal 5)
    • 1 Corinthians 13
    • Matthew 5, 6, 7
    • Love your enemies (yes, this one applies sometimes!)
  7. Base your communication upon understanding of each other
  8. This is where learn each other’s love languages comes into play.
    This is also where The DNA of relationships, and the Smalley Marriage Intensive comes into play. LEARN HOW TO COMMUNICATE!

  9. Base the fight on KNOWING WHO THE ENEMY IS! AND ISN’T!
  10. There was a reason that you were married. You weren’t in competition. It was you and me against the World! you and me became WE!
    It is the enemy of the saints that prowls around looking for whom he can destroy – to steal, kill and destroy. JOIN FORCES AGAINST HIM!

  11. LOVE ONE ANOTHER
  12. Here is my favorite prayer template for 1 Cor 13

    Love Check up, from Sylvia Gunter, The Father's Business

    Love Check up, from Sylvia Gunter, The Father’s Business

    This booklet has taught me how to check my own heart, and there are many prayers for the family in this booklet.

    Prayer Portions for the Family

    Prayer Portions for the Family

    It is available at The Father’s business for only $7! and no, I don’t get anything for posting this!

  13. Base your focus upon PRAYING for your spouse
  14. That little book has a wonderful set of prayers for your spouse and your children.
    Of course, there are many options for praying for your spouse online now. Just do it.

  15. Base your own walk upon Confessing your own SIN
  16. Oh, this was hard!
    If there is nothing you can think to confess, go through 1 cor 13, or Gal 5 and ask yourself “have I been loving, patient, kind…?”

    • Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God – and he will lift you up in His time!
    • Confess your sins one to another that you may be healed!
    • and then there’s 1 John…how can you say you love God whom you have not seen and you do not love your brother(sister)that you have seen!

    Very difficult to not be humbled when you prepare your heart to pray.

  17. Base your communications upon FORGIVENESS
  18. Matt 6:14-15

    For if you forgive other people when they sin agaisnt you, your HEAVENLY fATHER WILL ALSO FORGIVE YOU. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

    OUCH!! This is an eternal, life and death issue!
    and shouldn’t it be clearly practiced in our homes?

We should be examples to the world.
John 13:34-35

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

February has been a consistently hard month for our marriage. There are reasons, but, I’m not going to share them here!
This February, I learned much about preparing for storms that would attack our security in marriage. I utilized these tools above, as well as some fasting and prayer, as spoken of by Jesus(Matt 17:21), and Isaiah(Is 58:6), to set the captives free.

Honestly, the biggest issues in our marriage has been being captive to our past, our personalities, our family culture, and our love languages. As we’ve worked through issues, we have focused on the Truth. And God promises that the truth shall set us free(John 8:32)!

Enjoy this song by Sanctus Real, and the story behind it!

Me and My Love

Me and My Love

Thanks for joining me in this journey,
In His hands and under His wings,

~Christi
Ps 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I want to thank Blue Letter Bible and Bible Gateway for the ability to search the Bible online.

“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear.
If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.
If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself.” –
from My Utmost for His highest

I’d love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!
Or choose to LIKE me on facebook, or other social media!
I’d love to stay in touch with you – we are working on email subscriptions…sign up! 
Soon, we will have a gallery for the art I have created by the hand of God.

There are many organizations that support children and families. Here is one that we are blessed to be a part of. Please consider sponsoring a child – the life you change could be your own.

Naomi’s Heart Ministries

Posted in Bible Thoughts, MyOneWord | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

2016 Word of the Year – Prepare – Marriage tools 2

I wrote recently about how God is preparing our marriage for, well, whatever. We started repairing our marriage by attending a Smalley Institute Marriage Intensive. I shared some marriage tools in Marriage Tools 1.

I admit, I did not think that this was going to work for us. I was, however, compelled(by my commitment, and by God’s constant reminding) to do my part. We were instructed to pray 1 Cor 13, personalized for the two of us. Like this:

4 Love is patient,
I will love Jim.
I will be patient with Jim

love is kind.
I will be kind to Jim.

It does not envy,
I will not be envious or jealous of Jim.

it does not boast,
I will not boast to Jim.

it is not proud.
I will humble myself before God and with Jim.

And so on….
5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails.

This is the NIV version.
The other versions have some additional twists….like verse 5 in KJV!

5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Here’s CEB:

4 Love is patient, love is kind, it isn’t jealous, it doesn’t brag, it isn’t arrogant,
5 it isn’t rude, it doesn’t seek its own advantage, it isn’t irritable, it doesn’t keep a record of complaints,
6 it isn’t happy with injustice, but it is happy with the truth.
7 Love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails.

Here is the version that will give me the most challenge:
Amplified Version:

4 Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant.
5 It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured.
6 It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail].
7 Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].
8 Love never fails [it never fades nor ends].

I confess, I tried to get out of this assignment by pleading to go back to Galatians 5:22-23. But the Amplified Version really convicted me:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

“the result of His presence within us”
“unselfish concern for others”

Those amplifications of being in the Spirit and love really threw me back to this assignment – praying 1 Cor 13:4-8 over Jim, as I confessed and asked God for grace and mercy to follow His path.

What happened?
I changed.
I have heard so often that if you pray for someone, you will love them more. Yeah yeah yeah! I pray for Jim – and not for him to change. That wasn’t changing me!
This changed me.

Try it.
I dare you!

Praying God’s word is powerful…especially if you are praying it over yourself!
Warning! This could change you forever!

Me and My Love

Me and My Love

Thanks for joining me in this journey,
In His hands and under His wings,

~Christi
Ps 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I want to thank Blue Letter Bible and Bible Gateway for the ability to search the Bible online.

“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear.
If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.
If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself.” –
from My Utmost for His highest

I’d love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!
Or choose to LIKE me on facebook, or other social media!
I’d love to stay in touch with you – we are working on email subscriptions…sign up! 
Soon, we will have a gallery for the art I have created by the hand of God.

There are many organizations that support children and families. Here is one that we are blessed to be a part of. Please consider sponsoring a child – the life you change could be your own.

Naomi’s Heart Ministries

Posted in Bible Thoughts, MyOneWord | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

2016 Word of the Year – Prepare – Marriage tools 1

This year, God has put the word PREPARE upon my heart for meditation.

  • Prepare ye the way of the Lord – as John the Baptist cried out.
  • Prepare for the storm/battle ahead – as in put on the full armor of God, as Paul exhorted the Ephesians.
  • Prepare to give an accounting for your days – as in Teach me to number my days that I may apply my heart to wisdom.

This journey is not mine alone, because I am not alone. I have been married to my husband for almost 36 years(this year). While we will stand alone before the Lord to give an accounting of our lives for Him, we do walk in this life together. What happens to me, effects him, and vice versa.

This past week, we have attended a Marriage Intensive, through the ministry of Michael and Amy Smalley. There is an online course, ReIgnite your Marriage. We decided to take a trip to the Houston, Texas area, and do one in real life. Our coach, Gil Martin, was amazing, and very well versed in the material, as well as the Life handbook, the Bible. I’m not going to tell you that it was easy. I’m not even going to tell you that Jim and I got all of our issues taken care of in this three day, 8 hours a day, session. What I can say is that these principles are based upon the Rock of Jesus Christ, and even basic conflict resolution skills and communication skills, but applied to the person in your life that can most easily get under your skin.

What I can also say is that this is preparation to move forward in our marriage. We’ve been given the tools. We’ve been pointed to the one that loves us enough to die for us, and asks us to live love for each other. By God’s grace, we can learn to move past 36 years of disconnection, and move together in HIS direction.

But that’s not what this blog is about.
As we were working through some of the material, I remembered one of the tools that Jim and I came up with years ago, and it helped us to connect. Why we stopped is probably why everyone stops doing something that works with their spouse – someone got angry, someone got hurt, and neither one knew how to get out of that cycle. While we did use this tool, we were growing together.

I’d like to share this tool with you.
P-R-A-I-S-E

  • First, we purchased a spiral notebook. I picked out some cutsey ones that had hearts on them, somewhere near valentines day.
  • Second, we chose individual colors. My color is blue, and Jim’s is red.
  • Then, we set aside time to meet over breakfast each morning.

P-PRAISE (GOD)

blue – Praise God from whom all blessings flow
I read mine to Jim.

red – Praise God who blesses us with every good thing
Jim reads his to me.
if there are questions, here is where we ask them.
(sometimes this gets even more specific, but this is the idea)

R-REVELATION (WHAT HAS GOD BROUGHT TO YOUR HEART TODAY?)

blue – Ps 15 talks about who shall abide in God’s tabernacle, ending with “He that doeth these things shall not be moved” while Ps 16 starts with “Preserve me O God; for in thee do I put my trust!” Even though the Psalmist was given a list of things with a promise, he knew he had to cry out for grace and help from God!

red – Ps 1 progression. blessed is the man that
walketh not – community circles
standeth not – social circles
sitteth not – at home

A-APPRECIATION (OF YOUR SPOUSE)

blue – thank you for coming to this intensive
red – thank you for giving me time to lie down

I-INFORMATION (SOMETHING THAT WE BOTH NEED TO KNOW)

blue – the spot on my neck is causing some headache pain
I have appointments almost everyday next week
we are meeting our friends sat at 8:30am

red – I have trips in the middle of the week
I have a presentation to prepare for
I need to study to retake a test

S-SUPPLICATION (PRAYER REQUESTS TO SHARE)

blue – healing for our ‘son’ in Ethiopia
prayers for friends dealing with cancer
Faith’s pregnancy and birth and plans

red – healing
tests
travel

E-EXALTATION (A SONG THAT THE LORD LAYS UPON OUR HEARTS)

blue – he that dwelleth in the secret place of the most high
shall abide under the shadow of the almighty…

red – the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and he delights in his way…

Once we have shared back and forth, we then go to prayer together over the prayer requests, and any others. When we are done, we sing praises to God with the songs He laid upon our hearts.

This can take as long as an hour(I don’t think it ever has) and as short as 20 minutes or less.

There are so many way that this connects the two of us, and keeps us on at least a close similar page.

True confession – once Jim started traveling for his job, 3+ years ago, I was inflexible about how we would do PRAISE.
We tried it via email, but I missed the interactive part, and seriously, I wanted the pretty colored pages in the book for remembrance.
Via the phone didn’t work for me, because I really wanted to look into his eyes, and wanted him to look into my eyes!
Jim has worked on setting up video chatting, and really, that didn’t work so well until recently, with technological advances.

In order for this to work, both people need to disconnect from other things, and focus upon each other. That means, no computer, no tv, and no phone unless that is the device for the discussion!

This is just our take on various other versions of how to sit down and talk.

We’ve been to Marriage Encounter – and tried to learn to dialogue – but never got the follow up group, and we just never seemed to figure that out.

In this Smalley Intensive, they talk about LOVE talk.

There are many tools out there to teach conflict resolution, negotiation, communication, and respect. Pick one. Try it.

But understand, you are preparing for battle, and a storm is coming.
You aren’t battling your spouse,
but you are entering into battle with the one that comes to steal, kill and destroy.
Gather up some tools.
Practice.
and be PREPARED!

Me and My Love

Me and My Love

Thanks for joining me in this journey,
In His hands and under His wings,

~Christi
Ps 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I want to thank Blue Letter Bible and Bible Gateway for the ability to search the Bible online.

“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear.
If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.
If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself.” –
from My Utmost for His highest

I’d love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!
Or choose to LIKE me on facebook, or other social media!
I’d love to stay in touch with you – we are working on email subscriptions…sign up! 
Soon, we will have a gallery for the art I have created by the hand of God.

There are many organizations that support children and families. Here is one that we are blessed to be a part of. Please consider sponsoring a child – the life you change could be your own.

Naomi’s Heart Ministries

Posted in Bible Thoughts, MyOneWord | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

2016 Word for the year – PREPARE – today

Ps 90:12 So Teach us therefore to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.

Proverbs is full of verses and passages about wisdom.

This blog meditation is about TODAY

Ps 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. – TODAY

Heb 3:15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation – TODAY

Josh 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve…. – TODAY

There is only one day for us to be concerned with – TODAY

We only have today
yesterday is gone
tomorrow is not here yet,
Today is all we have, that is why it’s called the present!

As believers in christ, it is our responsibility to go to the throne at the end of each day, and put our mistakes, sins, and anything that would hinder our progress under the blood of Jesus. Then, we are to let it go. If we believe that putting things under the blood, by asking forgiveness, and truly repenting – then we should LET IT GO!

As believers in Christ, we are to believe that God has tomorrow in His hand. We cannot do anything to effect tomorrow, except to live today in the most powerful way possible. That is to live by faith – not pulled down by fear and anxiety about tomorrow.

Elisabeth Elliot is quoted as saying that we do not have to worry about tomorrow because God is already there.

Tomorrow has enough evil.

Matthew 6:27

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life

Matthew 6:34

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

My focus needs to be on TODAY.
honestly, tomorrow is not promised – therefore, why do I waste energy worrying about tomorrow?

Choose ye this day….how to serve the Lord.

I was thinking about the 10 virgins that were called to wait for the bridegroom.
apparently, 5 of them took the time to PREPARE by obtaining extra oil. 5 did not. (Matthew 25)

They all fell asleep waiting for the Lord(bridegroom) to come.
they all heard the call – but the foolish were running out of oil.

Here is a lesson I want to dig deeper into someday.
When the foolish asked the wise to share their oil, THE WISE DID NOT DO SO! THEY DID NOT JEOPARDIZE THEIR READINESS FOR THE FOOLISH ONES!

The mercy in me wants to say “but they made a mistake! surely you can share a little!”
The server in my wants to say “it’s our duty to help out the brethern!”
The giver – well, the giver wants to give and give and give until my well has run dry.
Oh, there are parts of me that wants to say “you should have prepared!” or “if you had picked up a jar of oil, instead of the new eye shadow….” or “There is a lesson in this”

Somewhere in here is a truth – one that is not as goody goody and sugar sweet as love love love.
My relationship with Jesus Christ comes before anyone else!
Anything that takes me away from my relationship with Jesus, wears me out, leaves me too empty to stand in battle – that is something that is out to destroy me, or able to destroy me, and I could end up just like the foolish virgins that didn’t prepare!

During Y2K, there were many that were stockpiling things, along with guns to protect their families.
At that time, I stood up in a meeting of Christians, and asked how they were going to deal with starving neighbors coming to them for food. Their response was that they would shoot them. Kill to protect their families’ supplies. I could not swallow this. In fact, I stood up and said, ‘dont worry about yrou neighbors, the mormons have been saving up food so that they can bring in their neighbors and bring them into the flock. Far be it for Christians to serve the hungry and show them Jesus christ!’ Oddly enough, we were not invited back!

This has been my focus, to be PREPARED to help our neighbors when things get rough(and they are going to get rough).

A can of tuna is not the same as oil for my lamp that shines my light, the light of Jesus Christ in my heart. I need to separate the two.

Today, if you hear his voice – harden not your heart!
The oil is the word of God, hidden within my heart, that I would not sin against him.
In times of concentration camps, the word of God strengthened men and women.
Bonhoffer
Ten Booms
a story about men jailed, and each one quoted parts of the book of John, and between them all, they were able to compile the whole book.

Today, if you hear his voice – harden not your heart!
The relationship with Jesus Christ cannot be taken away from those that hold it dear.
During the first century, as Christians were being slaughtered, one man stood and stated that God had not abandoned him, how then could he abandon God in the face of death.
Foxes book of Martyrs tells much about those that gave their lives – and right up until they entered into the rest of the Lord, they were declaring Jesus Christ.
Stephen – the first martyr – preached the Bible from Genesis to the current revelation as he was being stoned.
The relationship, with the Word of God – will keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Actually, that scripture is Philipians 4:7

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

It’s interesting – right before Phil 4:7, Phil 4:6 says this:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Back to Matthew 6:27-34 – focus on today – there’s enough evil in today to deal with. Paul tells us how to ‘not be anxious’ in his letter to the Phillipians – take everything to the Lord in prayer.

How can that bring peace?
Because we have a high priest (Jesus Christ) that knows us well, and has made a way into the throne room for us.
Heb 4:

16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Coming boldly unto the throne of grace requires the relationship with Jesus Christ. That relationship grows through prayer(time with Him) and study of the Word(getting to know Him).

We can do all things through Jesus Christ – including taking on the evils of this day – TODAY.

One other thought about the oil – often oil is a symbolism of the Holy Spirit.
I belive that being filled with the Holy Spirit is a second and separate invitation. Once saved, the Holy Spirit comes and abides with you. When invited in, the Holy spirit abides within, and the power of the Godhead dwells within the believer. Could it be that the foolish virgins were those that walked with Christ, but never asked the Holy Spirit in, in order to be empowered from on high? I would not give up my relationship with the Holy spirit within me for anything. And, if the indwelling of the Holy spirit is the only thing to keep me until the end, I can only offer it to others to go get it, I cannot give of mine to them.

It is the very endwelling of the holy spirit that keeps my heart burning for the Lord, learning of the Lord, and shining a light to the world.

I do like how Christian Apologetics explains the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, with wise counsel and warnings of the possible division.

WISDOM
Whatever way the oil is understood, relationship, word, baptism, it is crucial to understand that preparation is necessary to awaite the bridegroom. To apply my heart to wisdom, I must cherish my relationship with God the Father,through Jesus Christ, and by the Power of the Holy spirit. I must appreciate the importance of His Word to strengthen me to not sin. I must not grieve the Holy Spirit that dwells within, and learn to listen to that still small voice.

TODAY if you hear his voice, harden NOT your hearts!

Lord God, I come into your throne room, asking for grace and mercy that I would make sure that my lamp is full, and that I have reserves to handle whatever comes. I thank you that I only have to deal with today. Yesterday I put under the blood of Jesus, so that I can start new this morning, with your mercies. Tomorrow I put into your hand, and I thank you that you are already there. This is the day that the Lord has made – I will rejoice and be glad in in.

Me and My Love

Me and My Love

Thanks for joining me in this journey,
In His hands and under His wings,

~Christi
Ps 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I want to thank Blue Letter Bible and Bible Gateway for the ability to search the Bible online.

“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear.
If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.
If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself.” –
from My Utmost for His highest

I’d love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!
Or choose to LIKE me on facebook, or other social media!
I’d love to stay in touch with you – we are working on email subscriptions…sign up! 
Soon, we will have a gallery for the art I have created by the hand of God.

There are many organizations that support children and families. Here is one that we are blessed to be a part of. Please consider sponsoring a child – the life you change could be your own.

Naomi’s Heart Ministries

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2016 Word of the Year – Prepare – foundations

Foundations.
What are they?

Webster’s Dictionary says:

Full Definition of foundation
1
: the act of founding

2
: a basis (as a tenet, principle, or axiom) upon which something stands or is supported

3
a : funds given for the permanent support of an institution : endowment
b : an organization or institution established by endowment with provision for future maintenance

4
: an underlying base or support; especially : the whole masonry substructure of a building

5
a : a body or ground upon which something is built up or overlaid
b : a woman’s supporting undergarment : corset
c : a cosmetic usually used as a base for makeup

The Bible has some serious warnings about the importance of foundations:
Psalm 11:3

If the foundation be destroyed, what can the righteous do?


1 Corinthians 3:11

Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid which is Jesus Christ.

Jesus described listening to his words and heeding them as building on a rock – solid foundation:

Luke 6:

…47″Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like:
48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.
49 “But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”

My word PREPARE has brought me to preparing the foundation, and the possibility of repairing the breaches, wherever they may be.

1 Corinthians 3:

10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it.
11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Christ is the foundation stone.
Christ is the stone the builders rejected, and became the cornerstone. (Mt 21:42; Ps 118:22-23)

Foundation to what? Cornerstone for what?
Salvation!
Psalm 118:

…21 I shall give thanks to You, for You have answered me, And You have become my salvation.
22 The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone.
23 This is the LORD’S doing; It is marvelous in our eyes.…

Jesus Christ is the only foundation – for faith and salvation.

1 Peter 2:4

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him—

Jesus isn’t a dead stone, set as a monument – He is risen – He is alive – He is the living cornerstone!

and we are part of that building:
1 Peter 2:5-6

5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual housefn to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
6 For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”

We are to be building upon the foundation!

1 Corinthians 3:

11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,
13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.…

The parables about pruning would also fit here.

We are to be building with Gold, Silver and Precious Stones – things that will endure the fiery trials that will come upon us. James talks about how to make it through fiery trials, but the assumption is that the foundation is already laid, and solid. Psalms and Proverbs talk about obtaining Wisdom rather than gold. Knowledge and understanding is better than silver. The author of 119 talks about how precious is the law of God, more so than any riches.
But before we build, we must have the foundation.

Hebrews 3:6

6 But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.

In this passage of Hebrews, over and over we are warned to harden NOT our hearts –

  • the deceitfulness of sin would harden our hearts.
  • An unbelieving heart turns away from God.
  • Not knowing God’s ways will harden one’s heart.

The cure? – hear His voice – hearken to His voice – obey His commands – do not be dull of hearing.

As I said, I found warnings about the foundation.
Ps 11:3 – IF THE FOUNDATION BE DESTROYED – what can the righteous do?

God sees. God knows. His word is quick and powerful and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit , and of the joints and the marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Heb 4:12)
And in Jesus, we have a high priest that cannot….well, Hebrews says it best:

Hebrews 4:

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 5

12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!
13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.
14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

God provided a way that we could rebuild our foundation, as long as we are building on the solid rock. That will be the next blog!

Me and My Love

Me and My Love

Thanks for joining me in this journey,
In His hands and under His wings,

~Christi
Ps 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I want to thank Blue Letter Bible and Bible Gateway for the ability to search the Bible online.

“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear.
If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.
If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself.” –
from My Utmost for His highest

I’d love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!
Or choose to LIKE me on facebook, or other social media!
I’d love to stay in touch with you – we are working on email subscriptions…sign up! 
Soon, we will have a gallery for the art I have created by the hand of God.

There are many organizations that support children and families. Here is one that we are blessed to be a part of. Please consider sponsoring a child – the life you change could be your own.

Naomi’s Heart Ministries

Posted in Bible Thoughts, MyOneWord | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

2016 Word for the year

I was given a suggestion – one little word. Based upon Ali Edwards’ One Little Word. (scrapbooking focused)

12/26/2015
We have done that in the past, but last year, I was in a mental hospital and wasn’t sure.

This year I’m hearing prepare. Maybe two words, faithfully prepare.

I tend to forget them through the year, until I look back over the year and see God’s hand. I think this year’s leading will be much more obvious as I walk 2016.

12/30/2015
Stewardship would work with the “prepare” for me, as I’m to prepare for coming storms. Stewardship fits in there. Blessed to be a blessing is our giving phrase…which works with stewardship and preparing things so that you are a blessing, not a burden.

Plans, which were supposed to be the focus of this week, and have not been, are the cornerstone of my word preparation…with bible prep being the most important. That’s where I get adding faithful.

I could snag so many of your words(from my friends), probably all of them, and though they have things in common, they mean something different too us as individuals!

Prayer – the war room was timed perfectly for one of my middle of the night needs for encouragement. My prayer life will be changing this year as I practice and prepare for battles, and attack old ones anew. But I wasn’t given the word prayer, this year! That had been my word before. As has faith. Trust. Sounds the same , don’t those two? But they weren’t for me!

Another friend recommended the site My One Word for those that don’t scrapbook.

My word is PREPARE
faithfully prepare

And the first four things I’m to focus upon are
Faith
Foundations
Finances
Food

Here we go!

Me and My Love

Me and My Love

Thanks for joining me in this journey,
In His hands and under His wings,

~Christi
Ps 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I want to thank Blue Letter Bible and Bible Gateway for the ability to search the Bible online.

“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear.
If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.
If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself.” –
from My Utmost for His highest

I’d love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!
Or choose to LIKE me on facebook, or other social media!
I’d love to stay in touch with you – we are working on email subscriptions…sign up! 
Soon, we will have a gallery for the art I have created by the hand of God.

There are many organizations that support children and families. Here is one that we are blessed to be a part of. Please consider sponsoring a child – the life you change could be your own.

Naomi’s Heart Ministries

Posted in Bible Thoughts, MyOneWord | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment