It's All Grace

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

Losing vs. Winning

Something to chew on:  Perspective is everything!

As your life unfolds much differently than you anticipated, remember that there are some things in life you can learn from losing . . . that you may never be able to learn from winning!

God already knows the end of the story no matter how surprised we find ourselves.

Psalm 34:8 “O taste and see that the Lord is good:  blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”

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Present your body

         “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye PRESENT your bodies a LIVING SACRIFICE, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service”.  Romans 12:1

Once we have given our hearts to Jesus Christ, we are beseeched (ask, implore, plead, beg) to present our bodies to the Lord.  It is the least we could do, when we consider what he gave for us.  When we present our bodies, we willingly lay it in the hands of our Lord.  HOWEVER, it is not fully presented until we take our hands completely off of it!  Picture yourself laying lifeless in the arms of Jesus Christ.  That is what  our lives should look like when our bodies are presented.

A LIVING SACRIFICE means that I die completely so that Christ can live.  We need to quit trying and start dying, because the best that we can do is not good enough.

God wants more than just our hearts, he wants our bodies also.  Let Christ live in you daily as you fully & completely present your body a living sacrifice for him!

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Happiness is tied in “nots”

Did you know that unsaved people can enjoy blessings, just like saved people can?

    “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper”.    Psalm 1:1-3

This word blessed means – happy with a glow.  This is more about how he lives, than what he has.  It’s based on what he does “not” do.  This man is happy because he has some “nots” in his life. In the verse above, we see a digression; not walk, not stand, not sit.  How do you end up a scorner?  You don’t have any “nots” tied into your life.

Something to think about: If we go through life, and ALL WE HAVE are positives, and no negatives, there will never be any real charge to get things done.  For example:  If you try to jump start a vehicle with only a positive charge, it won’t help much.  You need the negative side to complete the charge!  The “NOTS” in your life complete the charge.

Tie a “not” today in your life concerning friendships.  When you leave the presence of your friends, are you more excited about your relationship with God, or less excited?

“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”      Proverbs 13:20

What are your “nots”?  Tie some “nots” into your life and you will be blessed!

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Decide Today

What kind of woman do you want to be?  Decide NOW . . .  regardless of your age, because life is not going to get any easier, regardless of where you live.

Where do we get our views of womanhood?  Do we get our view of life from the culture and magazine covers?  Do we allow ourselves to be taught and tutored directly by the worldly woman?  Have we reduced man to nothing more than the price of a loaf of bread as spoken of in Proverbs?

Proverbs 14:1 speaks of the wise woman who BUILDS her house.

As a woman, YOU have a powerful influence where you live – a greater influence than you know!  On your husband, on your children, on your church and on your community, your influence will be for good, evil or nothingness!  You decide.

Are you going to remain neutral, not taking a stand for anything, calling sin – sin, because you want people to love you and to be accepted?  Or do you want to be a woman who has raised her children according to I Timothy 2:15, to walk in faith and in love and restrain themselves to have disciplined lives?

As women, we play a pivotal role in the future of a nation as well.  The Lord has entrusted us with so much, yet we believe the lie, that we are nothing, OR that we are greater than men.  The truth is we are equal in creation yet different in our roles and authority.

Womanhood pivoted in the 1960’s as the feminist movement began and this has drastically changed our homes and world for the worse.

Decide today if you will build your house by doing that which is hard, or if you will plucketh it down with your hands contributing to the downward spiral of disaster.

If you are going to be a woman of God, then the Bible must be your daily bread.  Remember . . . there is no retirement in the middle of war!

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It’s Great to Be Back!

Looking forward to another great year of seeing what all the Lord has in store.  Many things are happening in the world today and encouragement is scarce.  My desire is to be an encouragement to you, a light in a dark place, a voice of hope to those in despair, and possibly a moment of laughter to start or complete your day.

I enjoy hearing your comments.  Please feel free to respond.

 

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Working on Virtue

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In the world today it is difficult to find one with virtue, character, work ethic and integrity. We purposed for the Lord that we would raise our children for HIM.  However, through the years, we have failed more than we have succeeded.

But through God’s daily grace upon our lives, we get back up and keep going.  My purpose for this post is that it might encourage and spur you on to look at life and raising your children with a new perspective.  In all reality, we are raising adults, not children.  Therefore we must teach them to be amazing adults for the Lord instead of allowing them to “do whatever their flesh desires to do”.  Where do we start?  God’s Holy Word.

The Lord impressed upon my heart years ago to teach my daughter to work with her hands.  She has had an egg business, generating customers, working on social skills, counting back change, etc.  She started her own earring business practicing the same skills and now has began making some of the cutest dresses and bows, hoping to reach many who are interested.

Our ultimate goal is that our children will become what the Lord desires for them and they will honor God in all that they do.  (I Corinthians 10:31)

Her dress line can be found on http://www.Etsy.com and search for “Cowgirl Sass” to see some of her dresses.  I have pictured a few so that you can see some of her work.  Pray for us as we continue to raise up adults that will make a difference in today’s world.

Proverbs 31: 8 speaks about being comfortable when old because she was not useless or idle when young.

I Timothy 4:12 speaks about letting no one despise their youth, but be an example to others in all that you do.

“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies”.  Proverbs 31:10

“She seeketh wool, flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.”  Proverbs 31:13

“She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.  She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.” Proverbs 31:18-19

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What’s Cooking?

What type of food do you serve at your homeschool cafeteria? My children’s favorite benefit of homeschooling was the fresh and delicious meals we made together as a family. No canned or prepackaged entrees were allowed. Learning how to cook was a mandatory lesson we incorporated into each child’s curriculum. All the family appreciated the tasty A+ lessons of lasagna, stir-fry, oven-baked pot roast, fresh pies, cakes, breads, and salads.

However, teaching your children how to cook also means making messes. Peeling potatoes, mixing batter for cookies, and measuring spices and ingredients led to many accidents. Learning how to wipe up a spill, clean flour off containers, and wash the extra baking dishes were skills that also needed to be learned before enjoying the benefits. Of course, these skills were never quite as fun as the process of preparing the food. Our children wanted the fun of cooking without the hassle of cleaning up.

Our Christian walk is much the same. We want to sit at God’s table and enjoy the benefits of the Holy Spirit without going through the disciplines of living a holy life. We make a mess of devotions and prayer times and wonder why God is not using us more. We use canned approaches in witnessing and fail to seek God first in prayer.

Is there an area of your life that needs disciplining — reading magazines and books that honor the Lord, making time for devotions and prayer, or maintaining a pure thought life? Share your area of struggle with a trusted friend and make yourself accountable. Find the help you need to stay disciplined and close to the Lord. “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (1 Corinthians 9:25-27).

Lord, show me the areas in my life that fail to honor You. Please, lead me to a Christian friend who will help me stay disciplined in those areas, so my life will glorify You. Thank You for loving me so much and always forgiving me when I fail. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

AOP Homeschooling Devotion

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Our Old Nature

Our old nature is like the pig and the raven, always looking for something unclean on which to feed.

Our new nature is like the sheep and the dove, yearning for that which is clean and holy.  No wonder there are so many struggles in the life of the believer!

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Faith on Fire

Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” 
—John 20:24-25

The resurrection of Jesus was the best possible news the disciples could have received, yet not everyone was immediately on board with the story. Thomas was absent when the Lord made His group appearance on that Sunday evening, and gave a skeptic’s response to the announcement that the other disciples had been with the risen Lord: “But he said to them, ‘Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.’”

Some have been very harsh about Thomas’ reaction. He seems kind of demanding and disrespectful. Who does he think he is? Actually, though his words may strike us as odd, they were not prideful. Thomas wanted to believe, and he wanted his faith to be authentic.

John 20:20 holds an important detail in Jesus’ original appearance:“When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.” Thomas was only asking for what he had missed. He was expressing a willingness to believe based upon the same evidence given to the people around him. His request was not unreasonable. He didn’t want to doubt; he wanted to believe!

Thomas sincerely longed for what the other disciples had experienced. He was gathering the wood and getting a match—he wanted a faith on fire. Thomas named the obstacle and was looking for the reasons he too could stand on authentic faith in Christ. This is the lesson: faith is kindled when you name the obstacle.

Identify the obstacle to faith in your life. I got hurt. I have a question I don’t have an answer for. I’m discouraged. I don’t honestly understand how Christianity can be true. Now bring it before the Lord: “God, thisis the barrier between You and me.” Produce your strong reservations and give God an opportunity to put faith where there’s doubt. Once you have honestly prayed this way, give God time to answer. Wait on Him.

This is not a casual challenge. If you’re a doubter, get on your knees every night before you go to bed and bring your barrier before God. You are expecting Him to provide an answer. Pray every day for thirty days. God did not disappoint Thomas and He will not disappoint your sincere approach. Name the obstacle before God and He will kindle your faith.

Pastor James MacDonald

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Wrestling A Giant?

Have you ever found yourself fighting the wrong enemy (we wrestle not against flesh & blood), wearing the wrong armor (put on the whole armor of God) and carrying around the wrong weapons (the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but spiritual, mighty through God)?

I’ve caught myself fighting everyone around me, clunking around in Saul’s armor, and trying to destroy things with Goliath’s sword!!  How about you?

Get lined out, doing it the way the Lord directs us, and then the Lord will do it for you, in you and through you – giving all the credit to HIM.

 

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