New Soul

I want a new soul – a soul that is more kind, more compassionate, and more obedient to God.  The opinion that others have of me pales compared to the opinion that God has of me.  I want to hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant – enter into your rest.”

What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?  – Matthew 16:26

What good is a new year, a new beginning, if we don’t have a change?  Consider that the change does not have to be physical.  Yes, that’s what we see in each other – but what about a change of soul?  I know you probably don’t think much about your soul…  that invisible part of you; but what if I told you it’s well worth taking some time this year to ask your Heavenly Father what He would like to see changed in you.  There’s always room for improvement – in all of us!

A new soul…  a heart and mind like that of Christ Jesus, our Lord!  What does that look like?  It looks like moving forward in truth and right living, at whatever pace you can.  It looks like doing your very best in the face of difficulties that could slow you down.

Since New Year’s Day I’ve read and heard so many people teaching us how to be successful either financially or in our appearance.  It’s amazing how often we see these articles or hear these advertisements – but we don’t see or hear anyone emphasizing the importance of maintaining a happy and healthy soul.  Is any amount of money worth losing your soul?  Can a person lose all the weight they need to lose and still have an unhealthy soul?  Of course!

There is not a job, profession, time not spent in prayer, time not spent reading your Bible – that is worth it!  There are a gazillion ways to be successful here on earth, but be careful – because some of those methods involve the exchange of your soul.  I know, you are rolling your eyes and calling me crazy – but I’m right.

I know this is really long…  but take some time and take a look at this:

Oh I really like this!  

There is one way to be successful as God’s child.  Read your Bible and pray.  Does that mean you can’t have the best of both worlds?  According to God’s Word, it’s nearly impossible for a RICH man to make it to Heaven.  It likens a camel going through the eye of a needle.  Have you ever seen a camel go through the eye of a needle?  Yeah…  neither have I.  

Once we dedicate our lives to the cause of Christ, our priorities change.  We are not interested in the same things as those who are only after earthly successes.  We want different outcomes in life.  That’s why Christians are sometimes said to live IN the world without being a part OF the world.

The soul may be the most quiet part of you, but it’s not good to ignore what your soul needs.  Your soul longs for Christ and His love, peace and merciful salvation.  Let His amazing grace be your goal in this new year!

I invite you to take a look at this sermon on Philippians 2 from Darick Jones.  I worked with his mom, Pam, for several years.  Darick makes some good points here and I know I plan to glean and grow – hope you will too.  🙂

http://www.fbcclearwater.org/sermons-2/

GOOD FRIDAY

TL GOOD FRIDAY

How did we go from waving palm branches and shouting Hosanna – to this???

You know, usually when I hear a phrase used several times in the span of a few days, it more than likely means that the LORD wants me to use it in my writing.

In the past few days I have heard the phrase “YOU KNOW THE PEOPLE ARE FICKLE” used on separate occasions in completely different venues.

It really does seem that if someone jumps off a cliff, others are, unfortunately, bound to follow.  People can be with you and stand behind you and say they will be there until the bitter end…  until they aren’t.

Now, I’m not trying to say that any of this took Christ by surprise – I mean, there’s a reason he rode into the city on a donkey instead of a pretty white horse.  He knew what was coming – all of it – every painful bit of it.

Remember His plea to the Father at the Garden of Gethsemane?  That is the most heart wrenching prayer, evidenced by the sweat drops of blood.  The human side – the side that felt pain and emotion…  He was not wanting to endure it – understandably.  The divine part understood the plan and understood that fallen man needed a perfect sacrifice to atone for their sins.  But understanding it and going through with it…  you have to admit – is two completely different things.

Man was in serious trouble, but God is good.  He sent Jesus to the world – as a tiny baby.  He was part human and part divine because His Father is God Almighty.  Jesus the divine understood instinctively what His mission was.  Jesus the human struggled – just as any of us would have.  Don’t say you wouldn’t.

Why did Jesus go through with it – Jesus the human side, that is?  Because He loves us so much He willingly gave His life – don’t tell me anyone took it – He willingly sacrificed His life on a painful, unbelievably painful road…  for everyone.  For me and for you.

I don’t understand how anyone can dismiss that or ignore it.  I heard Bill Mahr say that all religion is stupid and they hand you a problem and then tell you how to solve it.

Well…  we were all born with a big problem – it’s called sin.  And no, nobody’s perfect – but Jesus was, and it is His sacrifice on Calvary’s cruel cross that allows us to have a relationship with God – through Christ, God’s Son.

God refuses to give up, and we who are enlisted to be fellow-workers with God know that the only reason we continue is that death did not have the last word; that Good Friday was not the end of the story.  – Archbishop Desmond Tutu

For today I have the freedom to talk about it.  For today my religious freedom is protected – I think.  I’m sure we will all find out when our religious freedoms are not protected.  I sure hope we Christians wake up soon and begin to defend this thing called religious freedom – or it could be too late – hmm…  then what?

Christians have walked down the “live and let live” road – and that’s okay to a certain extent.  But we’re at a crossroads now.  If we keep standing still, we’re gonna get flattened.  I want to keep my first amendment right that affords me religious freedom.  It’s being whittled away – wow – whittled…  there’s an old farm word.  Yep, just a little ol’ farm girl from Kansas – hoping the rest of the Christians in the world wake up soon.

The best way to be missed when you’re gone is to stand for something when you’re here.  – Seth Godin

Because…  YOU KNOW THE PEOPLE ARE FICKLE…  it’s not COOL to want religious freedom these days – but guess what?  I’m not going to jump off that cliff with the rest of the crowd.

I want to be free to talk about Jesus in the United States of America, don’t you?  🙂

 

 

NATIONAL RESPECT DAY

TL 9-18 NATIONAL RESPECT DAY

9-18 DON'T GO SAYIN' DAT

Most people in my generation have, or more than likely had, a sock monkey. Most of those sock monkeys were made by our grandmothers, am I right? My granny LaVella made my sock monkey, but I am sad to say it went by the wayside at some point. I guess I just grew up and lost track of it. This guy hasn’t lost track of his sock monkeys – take a look at this collection!

In these days of uncertainty, why is it we look back on the days that seemed so much better, safer and more secure? Those days filled with simple joys and simple, homemade toys – like sock monkeys? Well, it’s easy to long for something you used to know because it made you feel better than you feel now.

Security is a funny thing. We take it for granted until it’s taken away. When I was a very small child, my sock monkey went everywhere with me. At some point, apparently something else became a better form of security for me and sock monkey went by the wayside.

I know my faith will never be replaced with anything better. My security in this life is found in my Savior, Jesus Christ. The last time I checked, no one else willingly died just for me – but He did. God loved the world so much He sent Christ, His only begotten Son, to die just for us.

He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. – 1 John 2:2

Have you ever wondered about that word… propitiation? I used to like to say it just because I thought it sounded really cool and theological (I know, GEEK, right?) – but have you ever actually looked it up?

Propitiation: an atoning sacrifice. Christ is the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Wow. The only reason I can make heaven my home is because He chose to die for me – to be an atoning sacrifice – for me. Nothing I have done, am doing, or will ever do is enough. It’s about Christ – period. I am safe and secure in Him. ❤

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (22)

I'LL POINT TO HIM

Go somewhere alone to watch this video. Read the words carefully and let God’s Holy Spirit speak to your heart.

This old hymn, “Just As I Am” simply expresses the truth that we have no plea except that Christ shed His precious blood for us. Once you realize the sacrifice He made on the cross on your behalf, it forces you to make a choice. If you choose to do nothing, you are making a choice to reject the Savior and His life-giving sacrifice on Calvary.

So many people have asked me, “Aren’t you scared?” It’s almost funny because usually they ask it in a whispered tone, as if they could keep God from finding out about their insecurities. God can read your mind so there’s no need to whisper in His presence. Nothing is hidden from Him. He knows all of your fears.

Am I scared? Well, I admit for a while I had a somewhat messed up theology in my mind. I used to go around thinking that every time I did the slightest little thing wrong, I needed to quickly drop to my knees and repent. Now, there are times we have to do that, don’t misunderstand or misquote me. But it’s not a matter of God striking you down with a bolt of lightning if you step out of line. It’s a matter of intent. God knows the intent behind the action, and if you mean well. Sometimes we go along thinking we’re doing things we should but we make a mistake. That’s not the same thing as willful sin. It’s when you wilfully sin you need to quickly drop to your knees in sincere repentance, then make a U-turn.

I always want the lines of communication open between my Lord and I. It’s not worth it to have that line be obstructed because of willful sin in my life. Besides, how can I grow in Christ if I allow sin to become a priority in my daily life? I can’t.

Christ is either Lord of all or He’s not Lord at all. When I die and stand before Him to be judged, I will point to Jesus and plea His blood before God. It’s as simple as that. Being a Christian does not automatically make you perfect, it does, however give you the sweet assurance that you have Christ in your heart and life. I want Him there. I want the sin out of my life and I want Christ in my life. ❤