Friday, February 26, 2010

Relationship With God

"The Lord wanted something more than an obedience-in-exchange-for-blessing business arrangement. He wanted a relationship, and relationships require intimacy and trust in equal portion." (Swindoll)  

It is the most amazing gift that I am blessed with, and I am so thankful to have a personal relationship with a God that I have never met or cannot see. But I can hear His voice and feel His presence, and trust that He has planned my day and will give me the strength to endure it. I desire continuous communication with Him all day, and rather than devoting myself to selfish religious or business deeds, I must instead trust Him and follow His path and His will.

"God looks for hearts that are humble and seeking a relationship with Him, willing to respond in obedience to His guidance." (Burke). 

We are declared righteous not by earning or deserving it or by our good deeds, but by responding to God's grace given to us, and by believing and trusting God to fulfill His promises in our days of sin and difficulty. Because sin and difficulty surround us daily! But rather than trying to maintain control over our lives, we must abandon ourselves to His will.    

"When one receives God's grace through faith he or she is considered righteous and treated as such despite his or her current behavior. Contrary to the most common misunderstanding of God's expectations of humankind, we cannot be declared righteous through obedience to His law." (Swindoll)

My relationship with God is more profound than any other! I believe that above all else, God's desire is to establish a personal link and connection with me. He has opened the door and invited me in, and I feel so BLESSED that I have entered! I hear His voice, and feel a very special bond and association to Him. I look forward to trusting Him in every step forward and to enjoy the journey in His presence!

"My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:2-3)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Good Morning Lord

The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the wear. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught. Isaiah (50:4)

I had to pause in my reading of the book of Isaiah, and capture my thoughts of praise on two verses that spoke to me. Early mornings have always been "my" time; a time in which I want to start my day off praising the Lord and thanking Him for all of His blessings in my life. It is the time I set aside to read my bible and devotionals, and  stay in touch with my friends and family via e-mail.

This year has started out as a truly amazing year for me as I have found an amazing church (after searching for two years), begun some very spiritual reading, and have new found fellowship with family and friends. It has been a turning point for me, and I am learning and maturing like never before! I desire to yield and  listen to God's words of instruction for my life; He speaks encouraging words to me continuously.
My struggle is showing this attitude of grace and love throughout the day when temptations, difficult relationships, and obstacles get in the way; to "sustain the wear"...refine me Lord!... I want moment-by-moment connection with God, so that I can fulfill my desire to be the "peace maker", share the good news and be the ultimate, optimistic wife, mother and friend no matter what the situation.

I catch myself reacting to and saying things that are not His will, and am making it a priority in my life to listen to God's promptings and take risks like never before so that I can encourage, care, and speak the truth in love to all those I come in contact with....all day! 

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God Reigns." (Isaiah 52:7)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Self Righteous or God Righteous?

In my study and reflection on God's righteousness, I understand that "being righteous" does not mean living by the law or your good deeds, it is by being obedient to God. Self righteousness is an attitude of hypocrisy that is hard to see in ourselves. But God is opening my eyes! It is a trait that I am earnestly working on in my life right now, and in fact is my mission statement. In the past my motives have certainly reflected this attitude! When I do good works, favors, or share my gifts, I desire appreciation, honor, and reciprocation. Or when I hurt someone by my words or actions, rather than apologizing and asking for forgiveness I try to justify my actions to myself and God, and go back to the individual with kind words and often humor to make atonement in our relationship.

"This is a self-portrait. Have you seen yourself? If not, maybe you have not asked God to show you what He sees. It is not a pretty sight. But He is compassionate and merciful, and gives us a way out through His cleansing blood. Do not try to whitewash your sins with words; do not try to put the blame on someone else. Own your own sin. This is the one way you can be cleansed of it. Self righteous is one of the most difficult sins to recognize since it is a matter of attitude rather than action. It is complacency in it's worse form because it involves regarding ourselves as more virtuous than others despite the reality of a deficient spiritual condition."  (from

Good deeds do not qualify men for greatness in the kingdom of God. Our good deeds and accomplishments as humans on earth do not make us righteous. We tend to want approval and acknowledgment for our gifts, good qualities, and successfulness. We tend to boast and believe we are the one's God will bless. Self righteous people are the hardest people in the world to reach! Ouch; is that me?!

"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by it's deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24)

"The standard of righteousness has never been anything less than moral perfection, which no mere mortal can ever achieve. Therefore, our only hope is to be declared righteous by the gracious gift of God. We receive this gift through faith in Jesus Christ, who took our punishment on our behalf, thus satisfying the heavenly court's requirement that justice be served." (Swindoll)

"I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord , for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ." (Philippians 3:8-9) 

With love, honor, and respect for God, I pray I will present my love and gifts with an attitude of "God Righteousness" instead of "Self Righteousness", and put aside in thoughtful prayer, all my hurt feelings from lack of human recognition.   

"Salvation is not a reward for good behavior. Instead, salvation is:
  • a transfer of righteousness from Jesus Christ's account to ours
  • a gift of grace motivated by God's goodness, not ours
  • a display of God's love for us, not ours for Him" (Swindoll)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Redeem Me!

In my constant search for daily happiness, well-being, and harmony, there are always daily challenges and temptations that get in the way. I have learned far too many times in the past that the further away I am from communicating with God, and when placing other people or things in front of my relationship with Him...I am self-serving and lost to the joy I am longing for. For too many years I have temporarily strayed from my Father, and become "cold". Thankfully He always rescues me and brings me back! He redeems me! And I think I finally get it! Being "on fire" for God and living my life in accordance to His will, provides me with more daily satisfaction that any earthly material thing possibly can.

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." (Romans 3:23)

"All of humankind has been enslaved to sin by virtue of our moral debt. The law of God demands payment in order for us to be considered "righteous" or "just", but we are hopelessly unable to pay enough out of our own goodness. We need a redeemer. We need someone to pay our debt for us. And according to the gospel, we have such a redeemer in Jesus Christ, who paid it in full." (Swindoll)

As long as I am constantly seeking His word and striving to be obedient to Him, knowing that I battle constant setbacks, I know that I can depend on Him for redemption. I believe that God restores my relationship with Him, and we remain united.

"In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding." (Ephesians 1:7)

Upon fully understanding that I am freed by His redemption and everlasting love, I realize that I am under His Lordship; I am dependent and owned by Him. I must continue on my daily path to mature and grow spiritually and allow His will to be my will.

"The greatest blessing that we can obtain is the blessing of redemption through Jesus Christ. The ultimate blessing for the Christian is the completion of our redemption through Christ." (Cunningham)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love On Valentine's Day


I am loved! "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassion's never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, 'The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him'". Lamentations 3:22-24

I love this verse, because every morning when I wake I feel God's love, and express my love for Him. There is no greater feeling than knowing I am loved by my heavenly Father. Although I can't physically feel or touch God, it's a love I can feel deep inside my heart and soul. "Earthly love is only of the here and now, but the love from above has the future in mind." (Kendall)

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen nor touched, but are felt in the heart" (Helen Keller)

The gift of love is the greatest gift of all. Sharing love with others is a high priority on my "to do" list. How much better does it make people feel than to know they are loved? Love is grace renewed, and it is the number one thing that Jesus has instructed Christians to do.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." (I Corinthians 13:4-7)

Let me share the love God has so generously given to me, and let it shine out from my heart and touch everyone I meet today!

"Jesus made it clear that what matters most to God, second only to staying in loving connection to Him, is how we love people. Believe it or not, where we need to "see" God's power the most is not in miraculous provision, or even in breaking harmful addictions. We need His power most to break a much more harmful, powerful addiction-the addiction to self. Only with God's moment-by-moment help can we learn to be other-centered." (Burke)

Friday, February 12, 2010

My Sin

"Every choice to do wrong harms someone; if not right away, inevitably, and if not directly, indirectly. At some level, all of humanity suffers. And far from glorifying God, sin grieves Him-as an affront to His character, all that He is and everything He desires. Sin separates the Creator from the creation He loves so dearly." (Swindoll)

I have reacted negatively to two people this week (one in which is very dear to me), and I am immediately so disappointed in myself because of my deep desire to show love and kindness to everyone! Although I immediately try to turn it around and correct my behavior, I am guilty of trying to justify my actions to myself and God. Now I have made myself feel even worse!

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up, according to their needs, so that it may benefit those who listen." (Ephesians 4:29)

"Receiving God's grace begins with a most unnatural choice for natural humanity: we must admit our helplessness and accept His supernatural intervention. Daily." (Swindoll) "You overcome temptation by catching the first subtle lie as it tries to detour you from the path that leads to life. If we stay connected, bringing every thought to God's Spirit, who lives inside every believer, He will guide us into truth. The secret is in catching the first thought." :} (John Burke)

I am so thankful for a God who opens my eyes and responds with loving forgiveness to my sinful character! So today is a new day :}, and I pray that I seek God first in every word spoken and every action I perform. Although I know that my day cannot be without sin, my choice is to be a humble follower of Christ throughout every minute of the day before me.

"God has placed the goodness of each person on a scale opposite His own perfection and no one-not even the best amoung us -has been, or can be, good enough." (Swindoll)

Monday, February 8, 2010


Lord, fill me with your grace today. I don't want to be an impostor for your love; I want to be completely honest and truthful in my desire to know you.

I do not want to put on a show for you Lord; I want to be true-faced and full of grace.

I am not an actor; I want my actions to be inspired by you. Thank you for adopting me into your kingdom. I am not worthy for your love, or even for the love of others. My love can never compare to Yours, but I want to get as close to it as possible.

I want to know you better than I know myself. I want you to encompass every crevice of my mind, body, and spirit.

You know my heart, and if I trust and love you more, others will know mine. I'm not here to please you through deeds alone; I am not here to put on a show. I am here because you created me so, I am here to perform Your will.

I trust you, and I am longing to trust You more. I am here to love you, and desire to love you more.

Only you have the power to fix me, broken as I am. Only you can deem me worthy of Your praise, no one else on this earth can.

Let me live only for you, let me dismiss those who are un-true, and pray that they too will become true-faced.

Written by my daughter...Lyndsay :}