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.

the WHOLE serenity prayer…

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Did you know that there’s more to the Serenity Prayer?

Goodness knows who wrote it, since originally thought to be Protestant theologian, Rienhold Niebuhr.   However, the origin isn’t what this particular post is about.  I’m more interested in the second verse.

Yes!  There is a second verse!  I think the second verse is even more important than the first verse!!  It’s beautiful!!!

God grant me the serenity

To accept the things I cannot change;

Courage to change the things I can;

And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;

Enjoying one moment at a time;

Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

Taking, as He did, this sinful world

As it is, not as I would have it;

Trusting that He will make all things right

If I surrender to His Will;

That I may be reasonably happy in this life

And supremely happy with Him

Forever in the next.

Amen.

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Fear…the dark room where negatives are made…

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Got phobias?

pho-bi-a: a persistent, abnormal or irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid the feared stimulus.

Probably the biggest fear of all is uncertainty and lately it seems we have a lot to fear.

It’s also been said that exposing ourselves to our biggest demons is the best way to move past them……..what do you think?

Check out this list to see what YOU’RE afraid of……

  • Animals?  Zoophobia
  • Ants?  Myrmecophobia
  • Beards?  Pogonophobia
  • Bees?  Apiphobia
  • Birds?  Ornithophobia
  • Blood?  Hematophobia
  • Choking?  Pnigophobia
  • Crossing bridges?  Gephyrophobia
  • Crowds?  Ochlophobia
  • Dirt?  Rupophobia
  • Dreams?  Oneirophobia
  • Flowers?  Anthohobia
  • Flying?  Aerophobia
  • Frogs?  Ranidaphobia
  • Garlic?  Alliumphobia
  • Germs?  Mysophobia
  • Haircuts?  Tonsurphobia
  • Height?  Acrophobia
  • Hospitals?  Nosocomephobia
  • Illness?  Nosemaphobia
  • Insects?  Entomophobia
  • Lakes?  Limnophobia
  • Long words?  Sesquipedalopphobia
  • Men?  Androphobia
  • Money?  Chrometophobia
  • Moths?  Mottephobia
  • Night, darkness?  Nyctophobia
  • Plants?  Batonophobia
  • Shadows?  Sciophobia
  • Snakes?  Ophidiophobia
  • Spiders?  Arachnophobia
  • Sun?  Heliophobia
  • Touch?  Haptophobia
  • Trees?  Dendrophobia
  • Vegetables?  Lachnaophobia
  • Water?  Hydrophobia
  • Women?  Gynophobia
  • Worms?  Scoleciphobia

On the flip side, here’s what the Bible says about fear:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).

“So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’” (Hebrews13:6).

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