It’s Not About Me!

A friend, named Cheryl Lutz, posted this on her blog the other day, and as I read it this morning, I was reminded of the fact that this is how God wants each of us to live our lives. I pray that you enjoy it, and it touches your heart, as much as it has mine.

It's Not About Me!.

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Sharing our testimony for God’s glory

I absolutely love it when hubby picks up our evening devotional, Morning and Evening, by Charles Spurgeon.

He began to read, “I have yet to speak on God’s behalf” from Job 36:2, and I knew this reading would be exactly what I need.

We should not desire to be known by others for our virtue or for our zeal. But at the same time, it is a sin to always try to hide that which God has bestowed upon us for the good of others. A Christian is not be to a village in a valley, but a city set upon a hill. He is not to be a candle under a bushel, but a candle in a candlestick, giving light to all. (See Matthew 5:14-15) Retirement may be lovely in its season, and to hide one’s self in modest, but the hiding of Christ in us can never be justified. The keeping back of truth which is precious to us is a sin against others and an offense against God. If you are of a nervous temperament and retiring disposition, take care that you do not indulge in this trembling tendency too much, lest you become useless to the Church. In the name of Him who was not ashamed of you, decide to ignore your feelings. Tell others what Christ has told you. If you cannot speak with the sound of a trumpet, use the still, small voice. If the pulpit is not your platform, if the press does not carry your words say with Peter and John, “Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I unto thee” (Acts 3:6). Talk to the Samaritan woman by the well if you cannot preach a sermon on the mountaintop. Utter the praises of Jesus in the house, if not in the temple; in the field, if not in the city; in your own household, if you cannot speak in the middle of the great family of man. From the hidden springs within let sweetly flowing streams of testimony flow forth, giving drink to every passer-by. Do not hide your talent. To speak for God will be refreshing for ourselves, cheering to saints, useful to sinners, and honoring to the Savior.

This devotional seemed to impart words I hadn’t considered in quite some time, yet I’m so thankful for the reminder that sharing my testimony doesn’t mean keeping silent and hiding out of fear. Instead, it means that wherever God directs my steps I’m to share the testimony that He has blessed my life beyond measure.

What about you? Do you boldly proclaim God’s praises in your house, in the field, in the city, or on the mountaintop? Speaking for myself, this devotional is a true wake-up call and a feast for my soul.

How can truth set us free?

Ephesians 1:3-9 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance to his pleasure and will-to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 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. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ. More

Trials and Joy

Re-posted from InTouch, by Dr. Charles Stanley, September 16, 2014

My pastor is currently preaching from the book of James and Dr. Stanley’s message today is a perfect reminder that through out our lives we all suffer under a variety of difficult trials and hardships. But, if we consider that those times of suffering can be used as a catalyst to help us be mindful that the Lord uses them to mold us into what His desire is for our lives, they’re so much easier to bear.

Trials and Joy

James 1:2-4,12

“Consider it all joy . . . when you encounter various trials” (James 1:2)—what a preposterous statement! How can that make sense when joy and trials don’t fit together? But James is presenting a divine vantage point, not a human one. There are some surprising benefits in suffering, which aren’t easy to discern.

First of all, we need to understand that these verses are not telling us to be happy in our pain, but rather to rejoice in the blessings that accompany suffering. The word consider is an accounting term that means “to evaluate.” When we look at hardships from God’s perspective and place the proper value on them, we can rejoice in the beneficial outcome, even while experiencing pain. Humanly speaking, trials hurt; but from the Lord’s point of view, they help.

The only way to rejoice during trials is to understand what God wants them to accomplish. Regardless of the difficulty’s source, we can know that the Lord wants to use it to test our faith and thereby produce endurance and spiritual maturity. In every trial, He has hidden a precious character gem, but whether we receive it depends upon our response. Those who want to be transformed into the image of Christ can rejoice in the many benefits that accompany suffering.

How about you? Does your hunger to know the Lord and be transformed by Him exceed your dread of suffering? None of us want to experience pain, but since it’s an unavoidable reality in this fallen world, why not respond in a way that produces eternal benefit? Let’s not waste our suffering.

Book Launch Invitation & two reader comments…

 

Made New Book Launch flyer

…I laughed, I cried, my heart and soul ached for all that you went through and I felt boundless joy reading about how your relationship with Christ has evolved and is continuing to grow daily. When you asked questions, you asked the hard questions that require soul searching for answers. Thank you for doing that as I don’t think we ask enough hard questions in this present age. Thank you so much for obeying God and telling your story. This book has the potential to help so many people who are hurting because of choices they have made. ~ Patty

I spent the weekend with you and your friend, Judy!! What a journey – what courage – what a faithful God to bring you to this place!! It has given me such insight into who you are and how God has brought you here – for such a time as this. I found myself in parts of your story – the me I had forgotten even existed. Your journey was a tough one, but look at the victory!! Amazing grace, no doubt about it. ~ Cathy

Lord, Let my voice be Your Voice!

THE PRICE HE PAID FOR ALL OUR SIN, PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE

Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. Psalm 34:5
Here I am Lord, Send Me!
Let my voice be Your Voice!
Pete and I moved to Woodstock, Georgia on June 1, 2012. After weeks of unpacking and getting settled into our new home we decided ‘ok, it’s time to spend some time on our new deck and begin enjoying this wonderful piece of heaven the Lord has blessed us with’.
I don’t know about you but when we move to a new home Pete and I always look forward to spending quiet time with each other, and with the Lord, especially after weeks of stress that comes with change of address notifications, scheduling garbage pickups, hanging pictures, organizing closets, new driver’s licenses and tags, etc.
When we moved from our home in Anderson, South Carolina it was hard to imagine being blessed by another wonderful outdoor environment. We had so much enjoyment out of the beautiful yard we were leaving. We had our favorite trees, seasons, and even favorite flowers and bushes! We discussed what our next home would be like and prayed that God would lead us to a place where we would enjoy many hours of intimacy with Him in a deeper and more profound way.
So, one day in mid-July, we decided it’s time to start enjoying this new place. The first person we encountered was a woman, who was quite amusing by the way, probably mid-60’s, carrying a walking stick so she would be able to fight off any ferocious animal that crossed her path. She was wearing a rather large brimmed straw hat, white sweater with blue stripes, fuschia pink shorts, and a pair of walking boots. After a few seconds she soon disappeared on up the street.
A hummingbird landed on a dead branch just above us as if to say, “Hmm, this is a sight. I’ve never seen them here before”.
We like to call this ‘sitting on the porch growing old together’ and one of God’s many blessings in growing and forming more intimate relationships.
Of the hundreds of trees near our home, just across the cul-de-sac is a majestic Georgia pine tree with the straightest and widest trunk I believe I’ve ever seen. It seems as if it’s standing guard over the home behind it. It has a huge crown that is so prideful as it reaches halfway down the entire length. It seems as if it’s standing guard and protecting the home. As if to say, “You have to come past me to get into this home”.
Then, over in the side of our yard is another pine tree that looks as if it’s had a hard life and barely hanging on to the ground with its shallow roots. You know, like a Charlie Brown tree. It’s weak, leaning over, several broken off branches toward the middle and just a few pine needles left on the branches up toward the top. It looks as if it just wants to give up. If you want to refer to it in the secular way you would say that the ‘forces of nature’ are taking it down.
So, which one of these trees describe you? Are you like the straight tree? The one that stands mighty and reaches straight up toward God for direction, or are you like the tree that’s had a rough road being pulled in various directions or down the wrong roads through out your life?
Our spiritual reality is one that is we’re all in as a worse state than the crooked tree, on this side of Heaven. But, because of Jesus’ shed blood for each of us, we are able to stand straight, trusting Him to guide our path and carry us through life, until we meet him face to face in glory. In Jesus, our intercessor, we are able to accomplish this.
Jesus is the MIGHTY and STRAIGHT tree! He is our defender and protector. In Him we must trust to guide us through this life.
This is the way we should live our lives. God is Number One when we look at what eternity means. Ultimately, every thing in our lives and on the Earth that He created points back to God. It’s being ‘eternal-minded’. That’s a deep thought. But, he wants us to see him in this way. Does God mean this much to you? That’s when you know in your heart that you’re his, even in all of your sinfulness.
In Romans 7:25, the Apostle Paul cries out “What a wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?”
But, we have a promise that is so profound that we need to claim it as children belonging to the Lord, v. 26, “Thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ our Lord!” He is the ONLY one who can deliver us out of the pit of bondage to sin.

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