It's All Grace

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

Taking Shortcuts

“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” Ephesians 4:13.

Life is full of shortcuts. High-priced technology has changed the way we live and made shopping so easy we can get what we want with a simple click of a mouse or a wave of a debit card. Although technological advances have also made homeschooling easier, there is one aspect to teaching our children at home that can’t be fast forwarded — your children’s spiritual growth. Developing biblical values and godly character requires a daily, concentrated effort in building God’s truths precept upon precept. Money simply cannot buy instant access to Christianity or purchase shortcuts in learning God’s lessons in humility, obedience, and submission.

Trying to fast track Christianity has been a problem since the Lord returned to heaven. In Acts 8:13-24, Simon, the ex-magician, thought he could bypass the disciplines of being trained in righteousness. Wanting to impress the crowds and perform miracles like Peter, Simon offered money to find a shortcut to the Holy Spirit’s power. Rebuking him for his fleshly attempts to control God, Peter said, “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God” (Acts 8:20b-21).

What about you? Are you guilty of looking for shortcuts in your spiritual growth? Quick prayers and short devotionals are not enough. Spend time alone with the Lord today in prayer and Bible study and let the Holy Spirit reveal those changes that need to take place in your life. “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection” (Hebrews 6:1a).

Lord, forgive me for being like a child and looking for the easy way out of Your lessons. Help me to walk with You today and not run ahead of the disciplines that teach me Your truths. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

AOP Homeschooling Devotions

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“Someday” Doesn’t Exist

Do you find yourself putting things off to another day?  You know?  Someday I’ll do this or that.  Procrastinating – believing the lie that you’ll get it done later?

Doing the right thing and being the right person doesn’t just fall into your lap!  You must resolve to change some things and go against the culture and your flesh.  This means to restrict yourself from what your flesh desires.

Did you know that “someday” DOES NOT exist?  It never has and it never will.  ALL you have is today!

Daniel was famous for something he did in his old age that he “resolved” to do and be as a teenager!  Daniel was in his 80’s when he was thrown into the lions den.  Apart from God’s protection, Daniel could only stand in courage and strength because at the age of 13, he decided/resolved to follow Christ.

IF you are choosing today to go down the “wrong path” a little way, you will eventually choose the wrong path entirely!

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Is That Sand Under Your Feet?

Have you thought about the 30 years that John the Baptist lived in the desert?  IN the desert was where God was preparing John to meet the Lord face to face!  And we whine because HE leaves US in the desert for a month or two!  God has a purpose in each one of our lives.  The purpose is different, because of what HE has called us to endure.

Sometimes a lot of the wear and tear on our lives is from fighting the circumstances that God has allowed to come into our lives.  Sometimes it’s in the desert where God will give you glimpses of HIS hand and HIS heart that you could not have had anywhere else!

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My Personal Testimony

I’ve been redeemed from the rubble!

I grew up in a Nazarene church and a religious home with wonderful parents who were “good” people and demonstrated a love for each other and us 3 girls.  We had a large family Bible, but I didn’t have a Bible of my own.  My parents would read us stories from the Bible, but didn’t elaborate, “teaching us” what the Bible said to do and not to do – how to live our lives and crucify our flesh.  Maybe they believed some of the same lies that many parents today believe:  That it’s the churches’ responsibility to teach their children, or that we were just “good kids”.   I’ve recently learned after 26 years of being a mom, that if you’ve missed your children’s heart, you’ve missed it all.

At 12 years old I made a profession of faith at church camp after seeing a movie called, “A Thief in the Night”.  I spent a lot of (17) years living in fear of being left behind and knowing that God, heaven and hell was very real.

At age 29, I was invited to a Christian Concert at Council Road Baptist Church in Bethany, Oklahoma, where Al Denson spoke and sang – as The Lord was speaking to my heart and drawing me to Himself.  Al shared a personal heart wrenching story of losing his best friend (who he’d spent years witnessing to) in an airplane crash.

The airplane had lost one of the twin engines and as the airplane was descending rapidly, Al made one last attempt to lead his friend to Christ, to which he denied for the last time!  His friend died and Al was in a coma for over a month.  When Al recovered from the coma, he wrote a song called “Do You Know This Man?”.  He told the story behind the song, set the stage, then sang it.  Afterwards, he asked the congregation, “If you knew you only had 60 seconds left to live, do you KNOW THAT YOU KNOW, in your heart, that you would go to heaven?”  I DID NOT!  I felt like I had a bowling ball in my throat.  I (literally) RAN to the altar weeping and asking The Lord to save me because I knew I was headed to hell and needed a Saviour!  I got up from that altar feeling as if I’d lost 500 pounds!  That day, HE set my feet on a path, burned a desire DEEP within my heart to know Him and to know truth.  I knew that moment, my life radically changed and I was definitely a new creature!  I was so excited about what had happened to me and IN me!

January 14, 1996 I GAVE MY LIFE to Christ asking Him to be my Lord and Saviour.  I had made a mess of the last 29 years, and HE has spent the next 17 years cleaning me up, teaching me HIS ways, HIS character, HIS voice, HIS grace, HIS love and mercy, HIS long suffering, HIS healing power, and HIS redemptive plan for each one of us.  He is now teaching me things that I was not willing to learn before.  I will never be the same.  Praise The Lord!

On this journey, God has given me a heart for “women whose hearts are hurting” and burdened me to teach the younger girls how to stay on the right path – the way of The Lord, so that they can NEVER say, “no one told me”.  I want to be a voice of truth, making disciples who will carry the torch into the future.  I heard it once said, “Our children are a piece of time, that we will send ahead to a place in time that we will never see.”  So, we must teach and share all that we know with a fervency.  I know it was my past, and God’s spirit, that has given me a passion to share what I know and have learned through His Word and His ways.

In September 2002, I had been invited by a friend to attend a Precept Bible Study at First Southern Baptist in Del City, Oklahoma.  We studied Precept Upon Precept, the book of Deuteronomy!  I began to enjoy and understand God’s Word.  It was not only real to me but precious.  I couldn’t get enough of it!  I would find myself sitting for 2 and 3 hours in the mornings, studying and not wanting to put it away.  The Bible began to come to life for me in a way I’d never seen it.  God’s timing in my life had always been perfect, as it was during this time in my life when I had 2 teenagers leave home (in rebellion) within 6 months of each other.  It felt as if someone was driving a stake through my heart.  Yet it was in those days, I sensed God’s presence and drew near to HIM.

God was teaching me (in Deuteronomy) the blessings of obedience vs. disobedience, to “do just as I commanded, don’t veer to the left and don’t veer to the right, but do just as I commanded”.  God taught me to focus on HIM and do what is right, what HE had called me to do, NOT what my kids desired.  It was one of the most difficult moments in my life as a mother, yet looking back it was one of the most intimate times in my life with The Lord, because I began to see HIS character and trust HIS hand, even when what I was experiencing was disastrous and heartbreaking to lose two children to the world!  He began to show me that HE had a will for them apart from me, and that although I had lost them, HE knew right where they were.

If there is ONE thing I have come to know since my salvation, it is that HE is always there and can be trusted as you walk through the fires!

The Lord has given me this blog to share truth with others, be a light, sharing lessons learned as well as paths to be avoided.  I am grateful to God, for the grace HE has poured upon me.  That grace is there for you as well.  All you have to do is ask for it, surrendering your ways, letting HIM lead your life.

He can do a lot more with what you don’t have, than you can do with what you do have!

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God Will Not Drag You

God is not trying to drag you into a “run” . . . He is teaching you to walk with HIM. He didn’t drag the Israelites kicking and screaming. He told them to “move their feet”, teaching them to “walk WITH Him”. He will do the same for you, if you will allow HIM. Exodus 14:13-15

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God is God

God can do what HE says HE can do . . . precisely because HE IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS . . . God cannot lie, nor be in the presence of sin.

God closes doors that NO ONE can open . . . and HE opens doors that NO ONE can close.  Why?  Because God is God, and I am not.  When we KNOW and UNDERSTAND the attributes of God, we find that not only can we trust HIM, but we can rest in knowing that HE is working everything together for our good and for HIS glory!

Many times God gets the greatest glory from our greatest sufferings, because it is THEN in those dark hours that we wave the white flag of surrender realizing that we cannot do it!  Surrendering is a sign of humility that ushers in HIS GRACE.

It is HIS grace that is sufficient to take us through every trial.  To get grace we must ask, acknowledging that we need help!  Humility and surrender brings you in close to God allowing you to sense HIS presence, know HIM intimately, hear HIS voice and walk WITH HIM.  The further away we get from God, the harder it is to hear HIS voice and KNOW HIS ways.

Do you KNOW God and believe that God is who HE SAYS HE IS?  If so, does your life reflect it?

 

 

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