Monday, December 20, 2010

A Chance Meeting?

So much to do and so little time! That is my new motto! Saturday was no different for me. I was trying to get through my busy day when I remembered I had forgotten to buy balloons for a going away party I was throwing for a friend. I decided I would go to a store on Church street in Concord to pick them up. If I left early enough, I could stop off at Music and More (A local music store also located on Church street) and pick up three Christmas presents that I needed to pick up this weekend. So I hurried and got dressed just in time to leave my home an hour before the party was to start. Plenty of time to get there and do what needed to be done.

As I was pulling out of my driveway, I kept hearing a small voice in my mind telling me to go to the guitar shop located on Union street in downtown, historic Concord. I brushed it off telling myself that it would be much more expensive and was not on the way. However, before I turned on church street, I felt like I really needed to go to Union street. The urge was so strong that I found myself making the left and driving in the opposite direction of the Church street music store. As I thought about it, I felt like maybe God was telling me I would save some money or find the perfect gift on Union street; so I settled it in my mind and was soon parking in the rear of the shops on Union street.

Hopping out of my car; anyone could see I was on a mission as I headed toward the Union Street sidewalks... anyone except, that is, for one individual. As I was scurrying, I heard someone yelling, "hey lady. Hey You! Lady!" My first reaction, I admit, was not pleasant. I stopped dead in my tracks and thought to myself, "I know she 'ain't' talking to me." As I turned toward the voice, I made eye contact with a lady, every bit of six feet tall, dressed in rags and holding a plastic bag and a large tin can. She immediately cast her gaze down at the brick sidewalk and mumbled in my direction, "thank you for stopping."

I walked up to her thinking to myself, "I sure hope I have a dollar or two on me. This lady is obviously begging money." I stood in front of her listening for a little while as she told me about her life and all that she had been through. Her eyes were empty and her voice harsh. Then she handed me her North Carolina ID card. "I want you to know I am telling the truth," she said. As she fumbled through some papers from a doctor's office. I read through it as she talked. She was HIV positive and had Hepatitis C. She had been raped three times in the last few years of living on the street. One of these encounters, she stated, had produced (she handed me a picture) what she described as her world. The picture was of a little boy whom shared her facial features. She said she was out there that day just trying to get the money up to buy him a present for Christmas. He was in the custody of the state; but, she was going to get to see him Christmas day.

At that I felt led to stop her story. I asked her if I could pray for her. She started crying and asked me why would I want to do that? "Because God loves you," I said. I stood there for quite some time telling her about the love of The Father and how important she was to Him. Through the tears she was crying, I saw hope in her eyes for the first time since she had been standing there. After we prayed, she started to walk away with a smile on her face. She turned one last time and looked at me again asking one simple question, "He really loves me?" "Yes," I said then I stopped her and handed her the only money I had. See, as we were talking, she had even forgotten to ask for the one thing she had been seeking that morning. I like to think it is because she had found what her heart was truly searching for.

All smiles, I walked into the music store and paid more than I should have for what I bought. But in the end, I am reminded it is not about me anyway.

Spread His love today.

1 John 3:1 "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him."

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Secret to Success; in 120 Words or Less

Growing up, I can't tell you the number of times I have heard the expression, "well life didn't come with an instruction manual." I used to think to myself, if life did come with a manual, you would truly spend your lifetime trying to read it as it would be so incredibly long. As I was reading in my Bible this morning, my mind skipped across a passage and I had to stop and read it again and again. It was just a few verses; honestly less than maybe 120 words (depending on what version you are reading). It was an outline for success in all life's decisions... Proverbs 3:5-12.

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to Him,
and He will make your paths straight.

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD and shun evil.
8 This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.

9 Honor the LORD with your wealth,
with the first fruits of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine.

11 My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline,
and do not resent his rebuke,
12 because the LORD disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.

To break it down: 1). Trust in God and not in yourself 2). Submit to Him all your ways 3). Humble yourself 4). Honor God 5).stay clear of all evil 6). Tithe from all your first fruits 7). Accept rebuke for what it is (discipline from the One who loves you).

7 simple keys to success.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dear, Sweet Little Boy. . .Did You Know

So I was reading the book of Matthew today, and I had so many questions...

Dear child,
Did You Know?
When they came from strange lands bringing gifts,
did You know?
When the shepherds came to worship,
did You know?
When Your parents fled by night,
did You know?
As Rachel wept for her children,
did You know?
When God called You out of Egypt,
did You know?
As the voice called in the desert preparing the way,
did You know?
As You called them from the sea,
did You know?
As Your great light dawned for all to see,
did You know?
As You healed the crowds from Jordan,
did You know?
As they marvelled at Your teachings,
did You know?
As she touched the hem of Your garment,
did You know?
As you woke them from eternal sleep,
did You know?
When You prayed in the garden,
did You know?
When he betrayed You with a kiss on the cheek,
did You know?
As they slapped You in the face,
did You know,
As You bled from their whip,
did You know?
As they nailed Your hands and feet,
did You know?
When they hung You on the tree,
did You know,
As Your body breathed its last,
did You know?
When they pierced Your heart,
did You know?
As they laid You in the tomb,
did You know?
Did You know me?

The response? Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Monday, October 25, 2010

It's Raining, it's Pouring... I Am Anything But Snoring

In a world that never "sleeps" I am starting to feel like I do not either. So much on my mind as of late and I simply am not able to keep up with the constant changes. My mind is blurry from being in overdrive and I pray without ceasing. . .

And then He answers me with a simple word. . . rest.

Psalm 62:1 "My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him."
Psalm 91:1 "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty."
Isaiah 32:18 "My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest."

God intends for us to rest in Him. He tells us repeatedly to cast our cares upon Him. It is not just a coincidence that EVERY book in the Bible has at least one verse dealing with worry/anxiety.

He knew we would have troubles; however, He never intended for us to deal with these burdens alone.

It's raining; it's pouring, the old man is snoring... because he gets that God is in control.

God, take this cup from me as Your word says You will. Take these cares and bless this life in Jesus name.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

"You shall not misuse the name of the Lord, your God..." Exodus 20:7

Written across our minds and seared into the hearts of Christian children are the Ten Commandments.... As a child, I remember all too well the consequences of stating anything that remotely sounded close to speaking a profanity involving our Lord's name. Let's just say Dawn dish detergent does not wet my palate.

It is easy to recognize when one is taking the Lord's name in vain... We all know the words that have been stricken from our vocabularies. I however, am of the belief that we as Christians frequently take His name in vain without saying a word.

Ezekiel 36:20-23 (NKJV)
When they came to the nations, wherever they went, they profaned My holy name—when they said of them, ‘These are the people of the LORD, and yet they have gone out of His land.’ But I had concern for My holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations wherever they went.
“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went. And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the LORD,” says the Lord GOD, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes."

Not by speaking, but by their actions, the Israelites profaned the name of the Most High God.

Daily we take the name if our Savior in vain. We take His name in vain when we alter the Word to cover our sins; when we use His namesake to further our selfish desires; when we show up for church for every Sunday and fail to be His Word throughout the week; when we let our anger overtake us and fail to be the example of love to the nations (and well, burn Korans). . .

God my prayer today is that, as Your child, I bear Your name well. Help me to love and devote my days to lifting Your name higher. Teach me Your purpose in lieu of my plans..... Help me to not take Your Name in vain.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Shine On

It just leaves me in awe at how the smallest ray of light can pierce through the darkest room.

I love my home. It was built in the 60's and it sits on a hill overlooking the Edgewood Historic District in my city. Huge oak and pine trees surround it and I feel so cozy here. The only drawback is, with all the trees, there is simply not a lot of natural lighting. Not a problem, unless you have to get up in the middle of the night for a glass of water and your dogs have left their toys laying in the middle of the floor.

Since my surgery, I have to be very careful not to fall. So the before mentioned can be a bit of a problem. Recently, my dad replaced a burned out bulb in a tiny light above my kitchen sink. Before I go to bed at night, I always turn this light on; because, no matter how tiny this light is, it seems to cut through the darkness and shine through my entire home... 1577 square feet of home.

This past month has been pretty dark for me. Major surgery, damaged nerves (that I am told may never heal), talks of foreclosure from my bank, pain that seems to never end, and no chance of returning to work any time soon. Did I mention it can get pretty lonely when you live alone and can't drive or leave your home for more than about 4 hours at a time....Even if I could drive, I cannot walk for any long distances or sit/ride for periods of time greater than about 20 minutes. But when I open my eyes, I see flickers of light all around me.

Jesus said in John 8:12 "... "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

But Jesus no longer has a body of flesh... No, we are called to be the body of Christ... and this past month, I have seen His heart shining bright. His light shines in my mother who basically moved in to take care of me; my father, who has been making small repairs to my home and car and checking on me daily; my friends in their visits/cards/flowers and a number of other things that they have done to let me know I am in their thoughts.... a man from my church who has maintained the upkeep on my yard; the youth of my church who haven't stopped praying for me.... a dear friend from church who used the only free time she had that week to come and clean my best friend Jess who makes me laugh till I cry... everyday for the last 5 weeks I have not failed to be blessed by the heart of Christ; too many things to list. With all of this light surrounding me, I can't see the darkness.

God, I thank you that I am not walking in the dark. Thank you God that no matter how dark the day, when I open my eyes I see your light shining. Thank you for giving me the Light of Life.

I am back :)

Just wanted to thank you all for your prayers! I have had surgery and am in recovery.... I have so much to write about now; and, well.... lots of time on my hands since I am not yet able to leave my house without assistance. So, happy reading everyone!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Pleasure in Pain

Jeremiah 15:18 "Why is my pain unending and my wound grievous and incurable? Will you be to me like a deceptive brook, like a spring that fails?" I, like many others can definitely relate to that.

For almost two years now I have dealt with chronic pain in my sacroiliac joint; which has led to pain in my lower back, and most recently caused sciatica. The pain does not cease. Some days, getting out of bed was a chore. I would have to set my alarm earlier than normal just to be sure that I could get out of bed in time to make it to work. Medical doctors were quick to treat the symptom, offering shots and pain pills. I don't even like the thoughts of either. So I tried natural remedies, physical therapy, and chiropractors. The latter of these seemed to help the most. But nothing has cured or stopped my pain.

I began reading the story of Job again. Here is a man who knew pain. He suffered great emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual pain. No one understood his plight. I can relate to that too.... Wow how many times have I been asked if I was harboring deep bitterness, hiding sins, or simply lacking faith. I have been told by so many well meaning Christians, "You are healed so you need to just walk in faith." Really? That would be great.... if only I could walk.

So, I pray. And I press on. Trying to deal with this as gracefully as possible. Some days that is simple enough; then there are days when there is no hiding my pain. Through it all I have held to the truth... God can and will heal, in His time. But after reading in the book of Job, I realize that it is really not important. There is something else so much more important than my healing.

After loosing his wealth, children, wife, and his health, Job then realizes his friends were gone as well. They came to visit him and "comfort" him in his time of need... by rebuking him and telling him to repent for whatever wrong he has committed. Wow, I am so glad my friends are not like his. But his response to them got my attention.

He didn't relent on speaking out on his innocence... and he went a little further. He mentioned his pain, then spoke on a more important matter. What does his pain matter? There is so much more to the book of Job then patience and pain....

Job 9:32-33

32 "He is not a man like me that I might answer him,
that we might confront each other in court.
33 If only there were someone to arbitrate between us,
to lay his hand upon us both,

No, He is not like a man. He is mighty and perfect in every way. Job and his "friends" continued their conversation until, finally, God spoke. But, rather than answering Job's questions or addressing his concerns, God quickly pointed out Who He was, and still is. . . He questioned Job.

Job 38:3-9
3 Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
4 "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
6 On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone-
7 while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?
8 "Who shut up the sea behind doors
when it burst forth from the womb,
9 when I made the clouds its garment
and wrapped it in thick darkness....

This got me to thinking... What is more important? My situations, or having a relationship with the One Who knows all, makes all, and takes care of all. . . My pain cowers in the shadows of my relationship with God. I am blessed! And just like in Job 6:10, "Then I would still have this consolation— my joy in unrelenting pain—that I had not denied the words of the Holy One......" I have that consolation as well.

God I thank you that I know and am known by you.... Lord thank you so much that I do have an intercessor (Job 9:33) with you arbitrating on my behalf. I am blessed to see what matters in this life... and that is You.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Any Suggetions?

Blog is about to celebrate its first year and almost 13000 hits!!! YAY! I am getting ready to start blogging on some topics near and dear to my heart over the next few weeks. . . Any comments/suggestions on things you would like to know more about? Let me know either post a comment or send me an email =

Sunday, April 11, 2010

If I could become a Women of Faith speaker, what would I talk about?

If I could become a Women of Faith speaker,
I would speak on a topic so near and dear to the Father's heart. . . I am worth it to Him; and so are you!

In a world where image is everything, how do I look? Every day I see images thrown at me of this world's opinion of beauty. Do I fit the mold? Am I pretty? Acceptance is everything. . .will I be rejected? Am I good enough? I know that 1 Peter 3:3-4 tells me " should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight" What does that look like and does God see me as beautiful? Will He love me?

The Word of God tells me in Psalm 139:14 that I was fearfully and wonderfully made and in 1 Samuel 12:22 I read that the Lord was pleased to make me His own (For the sake of His great name the LORD will not reject His people, because the LORD was pleased to make you His own). Ephesians 2:10 states that I am the workmanship of God....

As a daughter of Christ (Galatians 4:7 ~ So you are no longer a slave, but a son/daughter; and since you are a son/daughter, God has made you also an heir) this means everything to me. A daughter fearfully and wonderfully fashioned in the image of a loving God ~ Genesis 1:27 "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created Him; male and female He created them".

I am a woman; I am a daughter. I was made in the image of the Father. A beautiful being loved by God (John 15:9). A daughter set apart from this world and its standards (John 15:19). A daughter chosen to be the salt of the earth. . .to be a city on a hill. A child of God chosen to be free from this world and its standards (Galatians 5:13).

I know that I am what I am by the grace of God (1 Corinthians 15:10). I am God's child (1 John 3:1). When the Father looks at me He sees His image. A former slave who has been redeemed and not only adopted into His family; but also given the wisdom, righteousness, and holiness of Christ (1 Corinthians 1:30-31).

When He looks at me, He looks at me with love. He sees His workmanship and is pleased to call me His. Even at my lowest, He can look upon me with love and see the beauty of His image in my heart. Through His eyes there is no condemnation (Romans 8:1). . . And He loves me. Loves me enough to sacrifice His only son so that He can be near me. . .so that He can have a relationship with me (John 3:16). He paid the ultimate price. I am so beautiful and wonderful to Him that He would choose to suffer rather than spend eternity without me. . .and so are you.

He says, through Christ, You are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) and part of a royal priesthood of believers (1 Peter 2:9). You are set apart as am I. Daughters created in the image of a mighty and loving God.

Lord I pray that all may know You and see themselves as You do:

You are my strength when I am weak
Yours alone is the love I seek
To touch Your heart in Heaven from where I stand
To walk with You and hold your hand
To be guided by Your shining light
To see myself as in Your sight
To love the beauty of my soul
Assured that You have made me whole.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

He Calls Me His Child

Your love washes over me
Like a gentle rain;
Your grace has set me free
From all of my pain.

My eyes forever behold
the beauty of Your face
My heart is now bold,
basking in Your grace.

How amazing is the touch,
From Your mighty hand.
I no longer need a crutch,
By Your power I can stand.

Stand upon this Holy rock
Where I will embrace Your love.
For my heart you did unlock,
When you called me from above.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I Like My Eggs Sunny~Side Up

OK, Random title. You should be used to that with me. I kinda think it fits my mood right now.

Things are changing. It is so easy on this roller coaster called life to get too involved in the ups and the downs... It makes you loose track of what is important in your life... it can make you forget who you are and how you came to be.

Just a reminder. We are all made unique.
Psalm 139: 13-14 "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

We should all have these verses etched into the very cells making up our hearts! Psalm 139 speaks about how God knows everything about who we are. He created my inmost being.

Psalm 139:1-17
O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.
You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

God knows what I am going to say before I say it! Psalm 139 says He perceives our thoughts from afar! He knows when we rise and when we sleep. . .and yet He loves us. He created us. He made us unique.

He knows my favorite color is green. He knows I like to shoot guns and tinker with old cars. He knows my favorite drink is Caribou Coffee with heavy cream and splenda. He knows I prefer dresses and high heels to anything else I have to wear. No matter where I am in life, He sees me. No matter what my situation, He is aware. He knows I like my eggs sunny-side up. These are characteristics that make me who I am and He isn't wanting to change those things.

God search my heart! Remind me that I am an individual; fearfully and wonderfully made. Help me to see Your fingerprints on my very DNA. Help me to understand that my differences were instilled in me for a glorious reason and it is ok for me to be unique!

Friday, March 12, 2010

This Kiss

I love the way Faith Hill describes a kiss in her song "This Kiss"

"It's the way you love me
It's a feeling like this
It's centripetal motion
It's perpetual bliss
It's that pivotal moment
It's, ah subliminal
This kiss, this kiss, it's criminal
This kiss, this kiss"

In our society, as in most, a kiss is (or should be) a very intimate act of endearment. One kisses another to show their love. If only for a second, two mouths embrace; caressing as skin reaches out to skin. It is thought , some 2000 years before the birth of my Jesus, that males and females, in an act to symbolize spiritual union, would bring their faces close to each other.
Why a kiss? A kiss satisfies a hunger that wells deep within the human body. A desire to touch and embrace… A longing for human contact. This longing dates back to the beginning of time. Genesis 2:18, “The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."

Song of Solomon (Song of Songs) Chapter 1:2

"(Beloved )Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—
for your love is more delightful than wine."

As beautiful as a kiss between a man and a woman in love can be; it pales when compared to a kiss from an almighty God. I am His. The thought of His kiss, His face coming close to mine, forming a union uncompared propels my heart forward. . . It is the reason my heart beats. God that my desire for you would be strengthened. . . Help me to see Your kisses, everyday.

Leave your comment below = what are some God kisses you have received lately?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

It's Not What You Know; It's WHO You Know

Connections are an important part of everyday life. Today, the right connection can help you land the "big breaks" you are hoping for. I know all to well that it takes knowing the right person in order to have the best outcome for any given situation (i.e. the right job, the best deal on a car, waiting in line at a sold out event...). As a Christian, your life should center around one connection. . .One unmistakably important connection.

In the 1940's Ira Stanphill, a music instructor and song writer, didn't seem to know much about life. His wife left him, his world started to fall apart, and he sank quickly into a deep depression. He didn't know what to do. His life skills had not prepared him for life's setbacks.

Hebrews Chapter 11:1 "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

Ira hoped for a better life. Like so many of us he had tried to work out the problems in his life through the knowledge he has. He hoped his circumstances would turn around; however, he knew he couldn't rely on his own knowledge. With all the uncertainty in his life, it is amazing that he was able to put his faith into anything. . .let alone a God he had never seen. But He did. He left his problems with the One he knew would have the answers. When he did, peace flowed over him like a melody, and he was able to pen the following song:

I know Who Holds Tomorrow

I don't know about tomorrow;
I just live from day to day.
I don't borrow from its sunshine
For its skies may turn to grey.
I don't worry o'er the future,
For I know what Jesus said.
And today I'll walk beside Him,
For He knows what is ahead.

Many things about tomorrow
I don't seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.

Every step is getting brighter
As the golden stairs I climb;
Every burden's getting lighter,
Every cloud is silver-lined.
There the sun is always shining,
There no tear will dim the eye;
At the ending of the rainbow
Where the mountains touch the sky.

I don't know about tomorrow;
It may bring me poverty.
But the one who feeds the sparrow,
Is the one who stands by me.
And the path that is my portion
May be through the flame or flood;
But His presence goes before me
And I'm covered with His blood.

Just like Ira, I don't know about tomorrow; but I do know Who holds it.... and I know Him who holds me. I know that His plans are not to harm me; but rather to prosper me. I hold fast to Romans 8:18 that through my faith in Him, His glory will be revealed in me.

1 Peter 1:6-9
"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls."

I know Who holds tomorrow! I love Who holds tomorrow! I trust Who holds tomorrow. It is Who I know. . . AND don't forget He knows you and me ~ Psalm 139.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

What's It Gonna Cost Me?

A selfless good deed done with the intention of helping others. . . That is a sacrifice.
There are so many examples of sacrifice throughout the Bible. Matthew 26:6-9 tells the story of a woman who poured out a very expensive jar of oil onto the head of Jesus. The oil was so pricey it could take a years wages to purchase. The disciples were appalled at this "waste" as they saw it; however, Jesus praised her sacrifice. He understood her motives.

He also understood, a true sacrifice comes at a price. For the young woman in Matthew 26, she sacrificed a years wages and endured the ridicule of the pharisees. Her sacrifice was performed with the intention of preparing The Son of Man for His burial.

If you read Chapter 26 closely, there is also an example of one giving up something; however, this was clearly for self-interest. The Pharisees and Sadducee of this era thought Jesus to be a menace intent on stirring up the people into a revolt. Under the pretense of sacrifice, Judas betrayed or gave Jesus up for crucifixion. Did he have the interest of the Jewish People in mind? Not at all. He was interested in the thirty pieces of silver awarded to him for his misdeed.

Sacrifice is about giving away something precious, at a cost to the giver, to benefit others. Jesus understood the true meaning of sacrifice. Matthew 26:36-46 depicts a struggle in the Garden of Gethsemane. His heart was troubled as He cried out to the Father to "take this Cup; yet not my will but thine be done(Matthew 26:39)." Jesus understood sacrifice. He knew that, in order to free mankind from the bondage of sin and restore their relationship with God, a ransom must be paid. I think He struggled knowing that not only would His death be painful; but it would also, for three days, separate Him from the men and women that He had come to love and adore. Despite knowing this, He chose to give freely. He chose to offer His life for the benefit of a people whom He loves. What really makes this sacrifice so special is knowing He lived His entire life knowing how it would end. He came to this world understanding that He was here to pay a ransom for you and me. . .

He paid the price. He offered Himself as a living sacrifice to pay a debt that we created. It was the ultimate price of love. He surrendered His all, so that we, one
day, could be all with Him.

We have a hard time offering a few dollars each week in the offering plate. Giving assistance to others seems too much of a 'sacrifice' to so many of us. Yet we so often forget our purpose on this Earth is not to fulfill our interest; but that of the Father. Today I challenge you, give away something at a price to benefit someone else...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Identity Theft ~ Has This Happened to You?

As a child, the youngest of three, I was always known as my brothers' little sister. When my oldest brother passed, I was nineteen. I soon found myself searching for who I was. I quickly met and married a young man named Robbie; and, for a short time, I was known as his wife. Our divorce was not so bad for the simple fact that I was, and for a few more years would be known as officer Bekah.

Just over three years ago, the Spirit led me out of law enforcement and into new home sales for one of the nations top builders. I made a name for myself very quickly and produced many sales. I was a little shocked when, after three years, God told me to quit my job.... huh? In this economy? But I quit. I have been unemployed since September of 2009.

A few weeks ago, I was praying to God and I asked Him a very specific question. "Why have you taken away all that I am? After the death of my brother, my divorce, and career changes, I do not know who I am anymore."

God always answers :o).

2 Corinthians 5:17 ~ "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"

Romans 8:16 ~ "The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children."

John 1:12-13 ~ "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent,nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. . ."

Who am I? By all appearances, I am a young, white, American, female whose name is Rebekah Lynne. . . But my identity is so much more.

I am a child of God. It is who I am. It is who I chose to be. It is whom He wanted me to be when He chose to call me His own. It is my identity; it can never change. No one can take it away from me.

God explained to me that He had not taken away who I was; He simply cleared out the messes in my life so that He could show me who I am. He gives me my identity.