thankful for my umbrella….

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As a Christian, I am so very thankful to be under the umbrella of God’s grace and love.  And the best part?

Nothing I ever do can change that……(insert sigh here)

However……and yes, there is a however…at the same time, my behavior will determine whether or not I receive the fullness of His blessings.

What does that mean?  Sometimes we pretend to be the expert about everything.  MY WAY is the right way!  Pride is the sign of a heart that refuses to want what God wants.

2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

When I am under the umbrella of God’s grace, HE is in control.  Everything we need, He gave us the moment we were saved!

Grace implores us to do good works, out of sheer gratitude.  Grace brings us back to Him when we fail because we wanted to do things our own way.  Once you step out from under His umbrella, you are either walking ahead of Him or behind Him and you are out from under His protection.

Are you living in a way that positions you to receive all of His blessings?  Each day we have a choice.  We can acknowledge God and trust Him, or we can step out on our own and follow our own plan.

I choose God.

am I like the other nine?

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Luke 17:11-19

Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.  The as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off.  And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”  So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go show yourselves to the priests.”  And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.  And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks.  And he was a Samaritan.  So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed?  But where are the nine?  Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”  And He said to him, “Arise, go your way.  Your faith has made you well.”

I love to read stories in the Bible because when you are truly reading and seeking Him, amazing truths seem to pop out of the page and right into your lap.

There were ten lepers in the village that Jesus passed through.  They were miserable and wore a horrible disease and they all wanted the same thing….to be healed.  I wonder if they had heard about Jesus performing miracles in other towns and decided to take a chance and cry out for healing.

SIDE NOTE:  Have you ever wanted something so bad and you’ve prayed that God would answer your prayer (the way you wanted it answered) and were actually stunned when He does?  Or did you even notice that HE answered…..not karma, not good luck….but GOD.

What did you do?  Did you drop to your knees and thank Him?  I know that there are so many times (gulp) that I have used God as a genie….or made a silent pact with Him, like, ‘ok…if you do this…then I’ll do this…” 

Thankfully, when I asked God to come into my life, the Holy Spirit set up shop right there inside my heart.  As a believer, I am like a container for God being filled with His goodness and joy and HE should always be first in my life and in my actions.  In Psalm 119:11, David says, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”  

But in this passage of Luke, only one leper gave thanks.  Only one leper looked down as he walked to show himself to the priest and saw healing.  Unbelievable.  The one thing he wanted more than any….he was healed.

But that wasn’t the only miracle.

Can you hear the sadness in Jesus’ voice?  “Were there not ten cleansed?  But where are the nine?  Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 

Jesus saw only one leper return and give thanks and Jesus says one more thing…”Arise, go your way.  Your faith has made you well.”  Ten were healed but one was healed AND forgiven.  Your faith has made you well.

Can you recognize God’s blessings?  Has He healed you of something….disease, finances, job…..have you thanked Him?  I don’t want to be like the other nine lepers….so excited about their healing that they either forgot or said, “That’s okay God, I can take it from here.”

I am thankful for God’s grace.  He doesn’t keep score and no amount of ‘good works’ will make Him love us anymore.  I want to have Him in my heart and on my lips so when I receive His blessings I will immediately be reminded of His love and grace.

beautiful wooden church in Poland…

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There is an old wooden church in Poland that is so beautiful, I can only imagine how hard it is to concentrate on the service! 

This church (Peace Church in Swidnica) had been built by Germans, actually this part of Poland had been German until WW II, when the Oder/Neisse line had been drawn.

Details in  this church are absolutely amazing.

Take a good look.
Use the  pointers at the bottom of the picture to view all the different angles,  up and down and the + sign to zoom         in.

Absolutely beautiful!! Click on link below!

http://zieba.wroclaw.pl/kpg/kps.html

when it’s good NOT to be a fan….

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Heard of this book?  Pastor Kyle Idleman is the author of a book that could  should change your life!  Even Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas, says,Not a Fan is truly a cutting edge message that will challenge even the most obedient Christians to re-look at their relationship with Christ…”

Pastor Kyle asks the question, “Are you a follower of Jesus?” 

Here is what Matthew 7:21-23 says in The Message: 21-23 “Knowing the correct password—saying ‘Master, Master,’ for instance—isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills. I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here.’

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Here is the definition of a fan….

It’s the guy who goes to the football game with no shirt and a painted chest.  He sits in the stands and cheers for his team.  He’s got a signed jersey hanging on his wall at home and multiple bumper stickers on the back of his car.  But he’s never in the game.  He never breaks a sweat or takes a hard hit in the open field.  He knows all about the players and can rattle off their latest stats, but he doesn’t know the players.  He yells and cheers, but nothing is really required of him.  There is no sacrifice he has to make.  And the truth is, as excited as he seems, if the team he’s cheering for starts to let him down and has a few off seasons, his passion will wane pretty quickly.  After several losing seasons you can expect him to jump off the fan wagon and begin cheering for some other team.  He is an enthusiastic admirer.”

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Ouch….pretty convicting, huh?  It’s one of the best books I have read in a long, long time.  As eye opening as Rick Warren’s, Purpose Driven Life.

Don’t confuse your knowledge for devotion.  Good intentions won’t work here, people.

You can find the book HERE or HERE.

You are officially challenged!!

ok to be a follower pink