thankful for my umbrella….

hearts(source)

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.

Why I can’t watch ‘Hunger Games’…

Ok, before you get all hot headed, know that this isn’t necessarily a movie review…because I haven’t seen the movie.This is just me telling you why I cant see the new blockbuster movie, Hunger Games.

I will say that I have read many reviews on the movie, and honestly there are MANY positive reviews out there, in fact,  I think there are more positive reviews than negative ones.  Even Focus on the Family has put out a list of questions for parents to discuss with their children after viewing the movie.

But … several years ago, God placed a verse on my heart and I try (and yes, fail soo many times) to live out that sweet command that our gracious Lord gave me, each day.

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things

The last part of the next verse says, ‘..these do, and the God of peace will be with you.’

People, I need God’s peace. I do not need to be ‘entertained’ by something I don’t believe in. I, personally, can’t go from my morning prayer time to an afternoon movie that doesnt line up with my daily walk with Jesus.  He has told me to think on things that are pure, lovely and just.

Now understand something….this also includes tv shows and music I find myself listening to.  I want Him to fill every part of my life….and mind….

No, I’m not trying to be a super-christian. I am just trying to live a life of peace and a life filled with joy and sometimes I have to tune out some areas so I can faithfully walk with God.

Christ wants us to be set apart from the world, so we can be a light to others that are living in spiritual darkness. Being “in” the world also means we can enjoy the things of the world, such as the beautiful creation God has given us, but we are not to immerse ourselves in what the world values.

Everyday is a new chance for me to start over and try to live a life worthy of His calling.  And as Joyce Meyer says, “I’m not where I want to be, but thank God I’m not where I used to be!”

(You can read a great article from her ministry page HERE.)

So now I hope you can see that I am trying struggling DAILY to be all that God would want me to be.

Remember WWJD?  It’s something to think about….

walking in the storm

How fitting! It seems that most of us are walking through our own personal storms and I want to give a quote from “Streams in the Desert” devotional book by L.B. Cowen..

“Faith grows during storms.  These are just four little words, but what significance they have to someone who has endured life-threatening storms!

Faith is that God given ability that, when exercised, brings the unseen into plain view.  It deals with the supernatural and makes impossible things possible.  And yes, it rows during storms–that is, it grows through disturbances in the spiritual atmosphere.  Storms are caused by conflicts between physical elements, and the storms of the spiritual world are conflicts with supernatural, hostile elements.  And it is in this atmosphere of conflict that faith finds its most fertile soil and grows most rapidly to maturity.

The strongest trees are found not in the thick shelter of the forest but out in the open, where winds from every direction bear down upon them.  The fierce winds bend and twist them until they become giant in stature.  These are the trees that tool-makers seek for handles for their tools, because of the wood’s great strength.

It is the same in the spiritual world.  Remember, when you see a person of great spiritual stature, the road you must travel to walk with him is not one where the sun always shines and wildflowers always bloom.  Instead, the way is a steep, rocky, and narrow path, where the winds of hell will try to knock you off your feet, and where sharp rocks will cut you, prickly thorns will scratch your face, and poisonous snakes with slither and hiss all around you.

The path of faith is one of sorrow and joy, suffering and healing comfort, tears and smiles, trials and victories, conflicts and triumphs, and also hardships, dangers, beatings, persecutions, misunderstanding, trouble, and distress.  Yet “in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37)

I love these words. If you are going through “something” today….stand strong.  He is with you and He loves you and He wants you to accept His sacrifice and mercy.  I am talking to YOU.