What Qualifies Us?

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What can we do in ourselves to become worthy? What work can we do to justify His love and favor? What is it that makes us deserving of our call, gifts and talents?

There is only one thing that can ever give us worth, favor, love and make us sure of our callings-surrendering to Jesus. we have to throw up our hands and say, “Lord, It’s not in me alone, I can’t do it. All my righteousness is just dirty rags. All my attempts, in my own strength, is just wood, hay and stubble. I need you.”

He alone makes us right with God. He alone gives us worth. Because He first loved up. Because He created us with a plan for our future, our calling is sure. It’s His plan, His finished work, His redemption, that makes us successful in our calling. He doesn’t make mistakes-ever. If He called you-He’ll equip you and you are the right person for the job.

It seems, more and more, as we draw closer to the final curtain, that there are two mindsets. One is that as long as we look like a Christian and talk like a Christian, we can “play church” without any kind of real commitment to Christ. Without investing in our relationship with Him, fellow believers or those who need our help. The other mind set seems to be a lack of security in our calling. A belief that we aren’t good enough, smart enough, strong enough, etc. to do what God asks or to fulfill our call. Time is too short for either of these ungodly thoughts.

We have to stop playing games. We need to do what God has called His church to do. Use those gifts and talents to further His kingdom. We need to admit our need for Him and the authority He has given us. It’s time to recognize that it isn’t anything we can do that qualifies us. It is Him. Period. It is His love, strength, forgiveness, and redemption. He made us worthy. Our worth is in Him.

God sees us as worthy because of the work of Jesus. God looks at us with love and pride. Then He looks at those who don’t know Him with love and compassion. He longs for them-those lost sheep. Our jobs are to stop looking at ourselves, negatively or too highly, and look at them. See their need for a savior. If we are so caught up in our own inadequacies and failings, we won’t ever step out and help those that are lost and dying. If we look on them with contempt, we won’t reach out, we will leave them in the dark and never bring them into the light.

No, my flesh is not worthy. But my spirit is His and my souls is being redeemed. If God can use murderers, adulterers, harlots, stubborn-uneducated fisherman, tax-collectors, liars and even a donkey, He can (and will) use me. If I let Him. No more excuses! This isn’t a “dress rehearsal”, this is the real deal. Get your focus off yourself and fix your eyes on Jesus. He’ll bypass your faults and our greatest so-called-strengths, and He’ll use us to save a lost and dying world. Pretty awesome isn’t it?

Book Review for “Dispencia-Vol. 1” -Children’s Christian Fiction

http://www.amazon.com/Dispencia-Vol-I-Elliot-Chandler-ebook/dp/B00BK3ESNQ/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_i

Dispencia is a Christian allegory. Great kids book. Fun and full of talking animals and funny characters. Will be reading book 2. I think that it was a little cheesy, but kids will love it. I give 4 stars for kids. Three for adults and older teens.

Changin the Way We Think

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There are two kinds of thoughts. Godly and ungodly. We, as Christians need to make sure that our thought patterns are Godly. Proverbs 23:7a says, “For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

We can’t trust our senses. They lie, and mislead. They may at times give us “facts” but they don’t always give us “TRUTH.”

We can’t trust what we see. For example, Elijah’s servant saw a great army surrounding them. God and Elijah saw the army of the Lord there to defend them. The disciples saw 5 loaves and 2 little fish. Jesus saw a feast, enough to feed 5,000 men plus women and children.

We can’t trust what we can hear. The woman with the issue of blood had heard nothing but bad news from the doctors and had spent every penny she had to hear it. But the TRUTH was that Jesus came to bring healing to her. The Israelites believed the bad report of the 10 spies. Only Joshua and Caleb believed the Lord’s report and were able to pass into the promised land.

Facts-versus-TRUTH. There is a huge difference between facts and TRUTH. Don’t ever get the two confused. The fact was that Elijah was surrounded by an army. But he TRUTH was that there were more warrior for them than were against them.

Satan used ‘facts’ against Jesus. He could have given everything over to Jesus, as he promised on the temple mount, legally Satan owned it all. But the TRUTH was that by doing it God’s way, Jesus not only got it all for Himself, but for us as well. God’s plan is always better than Satan’s schemes.

We can’t let what others say, good or bad, carry more weight than what God says. There are millions of people who have bought into the lies that we all go to heaven, that there is no hell, that there are many roads to heaven, and even that we evolved out of some primordial slime and when we die we become fertilizer for the next evolutionary change. That this life is all there is.

In John 8:44, Jesus tells the religious leaders that Satan is “The father of lies.” In Verse 47 He goes on to say to those stiff-necked, hard-hearted people, “Whoever is of God, listens to God-those who belong to God hear the words of God. This is the reason you do not listen [to them, to me] because you do not belong to and are not of God or in harmony with God.” (AMP)

Jesus spent countless hours trying to dispel the lies that had come into the minds of God’s people. They believed that sickness, accidents and death at the hands of Rome were all due to sin. That they were all some type of divine punishment. They believed that they were the only one’s God loved, that they were better than any other nation because they “have Abraham as our Father.” Their mindset was to love their brother but hate their enemy. That their works earned them God’s favor and kept them righteous. All lies.

We need to line up our thinking with God’s word. Not out of context, not adding to or taking away from. Simple truth. God isn’t trying to trick us. He isn’t hiding from us, or trying to mislead us. Ask Him to show you His TRUTH and the Holy Spirit will lead and guide you there.

John 10:1-5 The Message Bible
“Let me set this before you as plainly as I can. If a person climbs over the fence of a sheep pen instead of going through he gate, you know he’s up to no good-a sheep rustler! The shepherd walked right up to the gate. The gatekeeper opens the gate to him and the sheep recognize his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he gets them all out, he leads them and they follow because they are familiar with his voice. They won’t follow a stranger’s voice but will scatter because they aren’t used to the sound of it.”

Know His voice!

Philippians 2:5-8 “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

Have the mind of Christ.

Book Review for “Saving Sailor”- Chrisitan Fiction

http://www.amazon.com/Saving-Sailor-Novel-Renee-Riva-ebook/dp/B005MTBJ40/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_i

This is one of the best books I have read this year. I loved it. If possible I would give it 6 stars. A charming book about a ten year old girl who spends the summers on an island with her quirky family and some fun characters. It made me remember some of our own shenanigans when I was young. Will definitely be reading the rest of AJ’s story. New favorite author. Great for kids and up. Good Christian moral story, told in a non-preachy real life way. I had a hard time laughing quietly while reading in bed, so as not to wake my hardworking husband! So many funny parts, but still some serious things as well. Good lessons on life and fun reminiscing.

Where is Your Treasure?

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“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Luke 12:25-34

We are God’s treasure. He sold everything (laid down His life) to purchase the Pearl of Great Price (you and me.) He is the Good Shepherd who leaves the flock safe in the mountains, to go and search for the one lost little sheep. The very one who wondered off looking for something different, that greener pasture.
Where is your treasure? What is your treasure? Is it your fine education, your forty foot yacht, your modern day castle, or the latest technological toy? Or maybe it is the recognition you get on your job, or for doing your “good works?” Is your treasure something shameful that you don’t want anyone to know about? Is it simply money and possessions? What will you give for your treasure? What sacrifice are you willing to make? Your marriage, your kids, or your relationship with God?

When Jesus created everything-He created an order and a balance. God loves us and wants to give us good things. But our lives must have balance and order. First our desire should be for Him. Everything else comes after. Our greatest treasure should be Him. A passionate relationship with Him is the greatest thing we could ever hope to attain. When we do that, He adds all the other stuff to us-giving it freely.
When we hold back from Him or give our hearts over to other people and things, before Him, we lose. The sacrifices we make to keep those tarnished so-called-treasures, ends up being too much. We end up selling our soul and hurting so many others in the process. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).

Let’s get practical. The holiday season is fast approaching us. Thanksgiving-a time to thank God for all he had provided for us, a day spent with family sharing how thankful we are for each other. And quickly following that day comes Christmas. Christmas is a day set aside to remember a loving God who humbled Himself and came to us in the form of a mortal man. A Father who sent us gifts to make our lives better, the gift of life to a dying world. So we in turn give gifts to others in remembrance.

Sounds lovely doesn’t it? But for most people those days are not all “thankfulness” and “peace on earth.” They are stress and overspending, loneliness and depression. Some feel they have little to be thankful for, and some have little to eat while we all feast away. Many look at the expensive unnecessary toy, gadgets, clothes and merchandise (junk), displayed as the next-best-greatest-thing that will bring happiness, love, satisfaction, ease and envy. But it is all only stuff!

We are so shallow…and dare I say it? Foolish. Things may make us happy for a season, but most of the time they disappoint-or something newer and better comes along and we look at what we have with disdain. Who cares if the shoes I am wearing are five years old and not “in style?” Or if the phone I just paid extra for last spring, because the free one was too plain, is now obsolete? How many apps can one person use? We are calling wood, hay and stubble treasure! How disappointing that must be to the Father. We step over the homeless man who smell makes our eyes water, to hurry into the mall to purchase that sale item that is supposed to represent God’s gift to mankind. Seriously?

Ask Him what we can do to celebrate these special days. He’ll give you something wonderful (hard) to do. Like put away the charge card and only buy what you can pay for. Maybe invite someone to share your family only meal with. Maybe it will just be bringing some food, not your leftover things sitting in the back of your cupboard, to the local food pantry. This one is a favorite of mine; make some shoeboxes for “Operation Christmas Child.” All of these things build treasure in heaven, if our motivation is to please God and help others. Attend a Christmas Eve service. Not to show off your new clothes and jewelry, but to praise Him for who He is, to sit in His presence with a thankful heart.

We have Him! Is there anything that can compare to that? He is our treasure. Don’t you want to give Him to others? He’s the only treasure worth seeking. But He’s a treasure not to hide, or horde. He is to be shared. “Freely we have received, freely we give.”

Book Review for “Outside”-YA Dystopian Fiction

http://www.amazon.com/OUTSIDE-post-apocalyptic-novel-Outside-Series-ebook/dp/B005DLQC0I/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_i

I was given a copy of “Outside” by the author, Shalini Boland, in exchange for an honest review. This is a YA Dystopian book, which I tend to like. She understands teens, and the intricacies of family and relationships. The story is set in England and enjoyed the difference in the way they talk compared to our American lingo. Great main characters. I give it 5 stars. I can recommend this book for teens and up.