It's All Grace

Amazing things can happen when you allow the Lord to work in your life.

God Is Bigger

God’s bigger than what you DON’T have.

You have no control over what you don’t have, but God can do more with what you don’t have than you can do with what you DO have.

Advertisements
Leave a comment »

Squirrel Harbor

IMG_5548

When things die, as well as come to life, it is a time of harvest!

Around here, we know that Fall has arrived when the acorns fall off the trees, hit our metal roof, and roll down bombing the deck!  As this event begins to unfold, it is an all day entourage of squirrel soldiers preparing for the harvest that has begun!

Are you sleeping through the events that are unfolding in this day and age?  Sleeping when there is work to be done is condemned, creates slothfulness and poverty.

“He that gathereth in summer is a wise son:  But he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame”.  Proverbs 10:5   When the harvest is gathered, many will be awakened and it will be too late!

As I hear these squirrels running and scampering up and down the deck, I am reminded of many things that are still yet to come.  Are you ready for the Lord’s return when He comes to gather up His children?  Are you ready for the judgment of God when you will stand before HIM to give an account of your life?

2 Comments »

Do Your Manners Match Up?

Very few people will listen to your message, if your manners don’t match your message.

What message are you sending to those you come into contact with daily? Be it family, friends, strangers or lost people?

Are you considerate, respectful, encouraging, serving, selfless, seeking others needs above your own, listening without interrupting, etc.?  Are your daily actions different than those who seek to serve self, dishonoring, cruel, and the list goes on.

If you desire that others hear the message you bring, start with your actions – they will speak much louder than anything you can say with your mouth.

Leave a comment »

Recognizing Giants

Can you recognize the giant of “selective memory”?  Even the children of Israel could remember “how it was” in Egypt, but could NOT remember the miracles God did for them “DAILY”!

How about the giant of “perception”?  Israel took 40 years to travel what could have taken them 11 days had their perspective been different.  40 years in the dessert was a result of what they perceived!

Can you recognize the giant of “murmuring” in your life?  Israel murmured and complained about everything – what God DID do as well as what God DIDN’T do!  This kept them from truly seeing the goodness of the Lord.

Can you recognize the giant of “depression, discouragement & despair” in your life?  Do you have a “woe is me” attitude or outlook on all that occurs in your life?  Do you view your glass as 1/2 empty opposed to 1/2 full?  We all get down and discouraged at times, but we must choose NOT TO STAY THERE.  Anything that hinders you from being close to the Lord, is a GIANT!

If you are NOT able to recognize your giants, you will never be able to put them to death.

 

Leave a comment »

Holy or Happy?

For the most part, people marry because they have the mindset that the other person will “make them happy”.  However, nothing could be further from the truth – spiritually.

Possibly the most difficult station in life, a woman or man could choose, is to be a husband or a wife.  So, when it comes to marriage, remember there isn’t anything else to marry but another sinner.  To say you have a “difficult marriage” is redundant.

God uses the other spouse to grow and stretch us beyond what we can fathom.  It is marriage that will or will not create a picture of Christ to a lost and dying world.  Perhaps God created marriage to make us holy more than happy.

Think about it!

2 Comments »

Face – To – Face

Exodus 33:11 is a picture of intimacy.  When something comes between two friends, it is awkward to be face-to-face.

A wife can describe a disagreement she has with her husband that results in laying down at night turning her face to the wall and her back towards her husband.  It doesn’t take a therapist to know there’s a problem in that relationship.  The intimacy has been broken.

You may have seen the same principle at work in children.  When your child does something wrong.  Where is the last place in the world he wants to look?  IN YOUR EYES.  Holding his little face in your hands, you say sternly, “Look in Mommy’s eyes!”  But he avoids looking in your face.  Why?  Because something has come between the two of you, and the fellowship has been broken.

If you have walked with God for any length of time, you know what it is to have a breach in the relationship — to find it difficult to look HIM “in the eyes”.  Get back into HIS presence, to find out what has caused the breach, and to reestablish fellowship.  Then you can once again look into HIS face without shame or fear.

Moses was a man who yearned for a deeper, more intimate fellowship with God.  In one of his intimate conversations with God, Moses pled, “If You are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know You.”  Exodus 33:13  Moses didn’t just want to know more ABOUT God.  He wanted to KNOW God.

Do you find yourself in any of these places?  Find your way back to intimacy with God.

 

Leave a comment »

Choose the Right Entrance

Matthew 7:13-14  “Enter ye in at the strait gate:  for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

The gate is wide and stands open.  You may go in this gate with all your lusts about you; it gives no checks to appetites or passions.  It is a broad way and there are many paths

The way to eternal life is narrow.  We are not in heaven as soon as we enter through the strait gate.  Self must be denied and corruptions mortified.  Daily temptations resisted; duties must be done as we will go through trials and sufferings.

We go through gates of many kinds.  However, some are more like turnstiles.  You know, like at airports and amusement parks?  Most of the time, they are one-way.  You go in and you don’t back out.

Jesus tells us to “enter by the narrow gate”.  He also speaks about the way being hard is the way that leads to life.   Going through a narrow gate in itself is uncomfortable, and now He tells us the way will also be hard.  Expect it.

There is also a wide gate. Many will go through this gate because it is easy.  It won’t require much of us.  We won’t feel uncomfortable and rarely ever make a sacrifice.  We will always be accepted by others.  All you need to do is say a prayer, admire Jesus, and say you believe in love.  It’s lazy and lets you move along with the current.  It’s what we do naturally.  But what does Jesus say it leads to?  Death.  Eternal death.

I had a friend one time who made a “profession of faith” and when things began to get difficult…I mean really hard…she told me, “If this is what Christianity is all about, YOU CAN HAVE IT!  I DON’T WANT ANY PART OF IT!”  After gasping at what she had said, I was stunned then sickened as I immediately thought to myself, “have I given her the wrong image of Christ?”  Since then, I have come to realize that there are people everywhere who want a ticket to heaven…but they want the easy road.

Many Christians think that trusting Jesus as their Savior makes life easy, and now that they have Christ, there will be nothing but smooth sailing.  That’s not what Jesus has told us – yet the contrary.  We will be constricted.  We will need to believe things we cannot see.  We will have to forgive those who hurt us, and be kind to those who really irritate us.  We will have to say no to some things that others are free to do.  We will be mocked, made fun of, and slandered.  We will standout and be very different at times when we wish we could just blend in with the crowd.  We may even lose our life.

What do we get as Christians?  Well, everything.  Even through all the difficulties we will encounter we can live with joy and peace.  We will have courage when others would cave in fear.  And best of all, we have the promise from One that cannot lie.  We have the hope of life eternal in His very presence.  I would say that’s worth some discomfort.

You have to choose:  narrow or wide?

Leave a comment »

Wringing Your Hands

We fret — We worry — We strive  — We wrangle — We manipulate — We scheme — We are frustrated — We are anxious — We are troubled — We wring our hands in despair.  Sometimes we panic.  Why?  Because, we do not trust, obey and pray.  We do not really believe that God can do what He says He can.  We do not really trust Him.

You have probably seen when a toddler will jump with excitement from the edge of a table top into his fathers arms?  Some may be reluctant and some may leap with enthusiasm grinning ear to ear.  Why is that?  It’s because he trusts that his father loves him and will catch him, keeping him from harms way.  This trust comes from seeing an established pattern.  We can learn a lot from this “picture” of trust.

Some of you know someone you TRUST more than anyone in this world.  Think for a minute, who that person might be.  How do you KNOW that you trust them?  What would you trust them with?  When you begin to answer these questions, realize that there is a reason that you trust them — it is because you really “KNOW” them.

When you are asked “as a believer in Jesus Christ”, “Do you really KNOW the Lord in this way that you would TRUST Him with your life?”  Can you answer yes to that question?  Many times we don’t trust God, because we don’t truly KNOW Him.

There are Christians who are truly saved, yet don’t really KNOW the Savior.  Get in the Word and read about the ONE who died on the cross for you so that you might have abundant life.  I pray that you fall in love with Him, as you walk through the “love letter” He has written down for you in the scriptures.

Leave a comment »

Are You Falling or Flying?

How many times do we miss opportunities to see the Hand of God working in our lives?  He provides opportunities (both good and bad) that we may see His character and how HE has our best interest at heart.

When God leads you to the edge of the cliff, trust HIM fully and let go.  Only one of two things will happen.  Either He will catch you when you fall, or HE will teach you how to fly.

What are you waiting for?

Leave a comment »

If I Had Known

Looking back over your homeschooling experiences, what would you do differently? Enjoy these reflections gleaned from other homeschooling parents just like you:

  • If I had known that teaching my children would be so much fun, I would have started homeschooling sooner.
  • If I had known my children were going to grow as fast as older women said they would, I would have treasured our time together even more.
  • If I had known that my son was going to become an archeologist and dig in the dirt for a profession, I would have never worried about removing the stains when washing his clothes.
  • If I had known that all my children would go on to receive college degrees, I would have never second guessed my curriculum choices and teaching abilities.
  • If I had known how unimportant it was to keep a spotless house, I would have gone to bed on time instead of spending countless hours cleaning, organizing, and tidying up for the next day.
  • If I had known how living on one income would build a solid faith in God, I would have gladly lived with less without all the complaining.
  • If I could only experience the thrill of one job to last an entire lifetime, I would homeschool my children all over again.

Whatever lessons you’ve learned from homeschooling so far, you’re incredibly blessed to teach your children. Praise God for the wonderful opportunity to be both your child’s parent and teacher! “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11).

AOP Homeschooling Devotions

Leave a comment »