Should Christians Celebrate Halloween? – Matthew 5:14-16

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween? Matthew 5:14-16

This time of year Christian circles are abuzz with one thing, “Should Christians celebrate Halloween?” This question seems to come from the uncertainty of what this holiday actually is and what it means to those who celebrate it. For some people, it’s a dark and mysterious day filled with ancient pagan rituals. For others it’s just a day of harmless fun for the kids, playing dress up and trick-or-treating for candy.

The church as a whole remains divided on the issue. Some churches choose to celebrate fall or harvest, while some ignore this holiday altogether. Either way, there is a lot of passion on both sides over what is right or wrong in the eyes of God.

Since Halloween is a secular holiday, it is best to take it with a grain of salt and not lose sight of what really matters. When we find ourselves at odds as the body of Christ, the wise choice is always to turn to the Bible for guidance and understanding.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16 #BibleVersesClick To Tweet

You are the light of the world. A city on the hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
                                                                              Matthew 5:14-16

The darkness of the world runs deep. And during this dark season, it seems to surround us even more. But in the darkness, there is a light.

Jesus was very clear…Christians are the light of the world! The city on the hill and a shining beacon of hope for an unsaved world. We stand above the fray pointing the way to Jesus. We are the reflection of a living Christ and His radiant light shines in us for all to see. It cannot be overshadowed or hidden from view. The light of Jesus should burn so bright in us that people can’t help but be amazed by it. But if we don’t let the light shine in the first place, how can they see the glory of the risen Savior?

The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.
                                                                              Luke 11:34-36

Bright and shiny objects have a tendency to distract us from the goal of Jesus. When we see them, we don’t see Him and our body is “full of darkness”. But when we focus our “eye” on Jesus, then we can truly see what is important and be a “shining lamp” that dispels the darkness and leads to the path of salvation.

The world and Christians are opposites in every way, just as darkness and light are also opposites. In sharp contrast to the world’s darkness, we are the bright light that shines for the glory of God.

Whether you choose to celebrate Halloween this year or not, one thing is certain… we as Christians are called to be light in a dark world. May we fix our eyes on Jesus and let our light so shine before men.

I encourage you to seek the radiant light of Christ in your life. And to reflect His light to the rest of the world as the shining beacon of hope that you are. May God bless you this coming holiday season!

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2 Older Comments.

Robin

10/18/2017 07:52:37 am

Thank you for sharing! I’ve always struggled with this holiday. Your words are a bright light to reminds us to be the salt-seasoning of the world!

Connie from Master’s Hand Collection

10/18/2017 09:00:58 am

Hi Robin! Thank you for your kind words today. May God bless you this holiday season!

By |2019-08-12T19:17:33-05:00October 23rd, 2018|Halloween|4 Comments

Does the Devil Know Your Name? -Acts 19:15

Does the Devil Know Your Name? Acts 19:15

But also some of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to name over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, “I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.”                    

And the evil spirit answered and said to them, “I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?”

  Acts 19:13;15

The devil may seem like a strange topic for us to study. In our society, you just don’t talk about Satan and his demons. If you do, people will point at you and call you crazy. That being said, the devil and his demons are very real and they are out to take down Christians any way they can. So there is an important lesson for us to take away from this verse.

The words spoken by the evil spirit are very interesting. And they lead us to three very important conclusions.

First, the demon says he recognizes Jesus.

Satan and his demons where once angels and had direct access to God. (Revelation 12:9) They don’t dispute the fact that Jesus is the Son of God because they know it is true. They know exactly who Jesus is and what He has done for humanity.

Second, the demon knows about Paul.

Paul was on fire for Jesus! Everywhere he went he was preaching the gospel and winning people to the kingdom of God. The devil and his demons were very aware of this. If we back up a bit and look at Acts 19:11-12 we can see what Paul was doing that made the demons aware of him.

And God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and diseases left them and the evil spirits went out.

Paul was traveling through Ephesus and God was allowing him to perform miracles and cast out evil spirits because of his faith in the Lord Jesus. When we think of the city of Ephesus, we usually think of the inspiring book of Ephesians. But during Biblical times, Ephesus was known as a place full of false magicians and wizards who would use incantations. When the people of Ephesus saw the miracles that Paul was able to perform in the name of Jesus they started talking about it and word caught on about what he was doing. Some men (the exorcists in verse 13) decided that they would do the same thing for their own purposes, probably to make money. But they had a problem, they didn’t know Jesus. And because they didn’t know Jesus, they couldn’t perform the same miracles that Paul did. They just didn’t understand that God had the power, not Paul.

Third, the evil spirit asks, “Who are you?”

This is the part I would like for us to focus on because it pertains to us too. These men didn’t have a good answer ready for the evil spirit when they were asked, “Who are you?” But as Christians we do! We know Jesus! That’s who we are!

So, back to the question, “Does the devil know your name?” I’m confident that he knows mine! He loves to come around and torment me with my past mistakes. He likes to put doubt in my mind and tell me that I’m no good. And he likes to distract me from the things God would have me to do. Growing up I was afraid of Satan. Isn’t that what we’re taught? Satan is the bad guy and we’re supposed to fear him. But over the years I’ve developed a new outlook. I think Satan should fear me! Like Paul, I’m on fire for Jesus and I hope you are too! My goal in life is to lift the name of Jesus high so that everyone will know Him as their Savior. That might get me brownie points in heaven but it puts a target on my back with Satan and his demons. But that’s okay with me because no matter what Satan does to me I will always belong to Jesus. And I know that I am forgiven for those things in my past and I will be with Jesus in heaven someday.

Let’s be clear, Satan is actively seeking to destroy us. (1 Peter 5:8) If he can’t destroy us, then he’ll try to cause us to become ineffective Christians. As long as we don’t tell other people about Jesus or do the good works of the church, Satan will leave us alone. But as soon as we decide that we are going to live for Jesus one hundred percent you can bet that he will know our name. Satan has many tricks up his sleeve and he will use every one of them to try to hurt us. He knows exactly which buttons to push. For some of us, it’s doubt, or illness, or reminding us of our past failures and sins. For others, like myself, it’s distraction. No matter which devious trick he pulls, you can always count on Satan to knock you down and kick you in the teeth when you least expect it. That’s what he does best and he relishes in seeing Christians suffer.

But Jesus is greater than any enemy we face. (1 John 4:4) Satan and his demons are no match for Him. Jesus is already victorious over the powers of darkness! And because we are saved, we share in that victory. As believers, we don’t need to fear the devil because Jesus has already defeated him. There is nothing that Satan can do to us that will ever change the fact that we belong to Jesus, and he knows it. That’s why he should fear us!

Christians are called to be outspoken about our faith in Jesus Christ. If we speak up and show up for Jesus, the world will hate us just as they hated Him. And the devil will hate us too. But really, what does it matter if someone as small and insignificant as Satan hates us? Jesus is the Son of God, our Redeemer and the Savior of the world. Satan cowers in fear and hides at the name of Jesus, the name above all names.

So, does the devil know my name? What would I say if I was asked this question today? My answer would simply be this, “I’m the girl that knows Jesus by heart and I’m the girl He died for!” That answer alone is enough to send the devil and all of his demons running scared.

What would your answer be? Does the devil know your name? Let me know in the comments below.

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By |2019-08-12T15:48:42-05:00October 16th, 2018|Christian Life, Halloween|9 Comments

Monday Motivation – Nehemiah 9:5

What immediately comes to mind when you read this Bible verse about God’s name? Is there a time when God did something amazing in your life? I’m sure that like me, you can think of quite a few of those moments. So today for some Monday Motivation, let’s look back and remember all that God has done for us and bless His glorious name! Please leave a comment below and share what God has done in your life. I love to “hear” from you!

Blessed be Your glorious name Nehemiah 9:5

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Jesus No Other Name – Acts 4:12

Jesus No Other Name Acts 4:12

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What’s the one thing you can’t live without? This question was asked of me not long ago. I know I’m supposed to say a toothbrush or something like that, but I gave it a lot of thought, and the answer became very clear to me, salvation.

Because without salvation there would be no hope, and without hope, there would be no future of an afterlife in heaven.

How can we receive salvation and the hope for a future that comes with it? Acts 4:12 makes it very clear that salvation comes from no other name than Jesus.

Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
                                                                                       Acts 4:12

Jesus is the door that we must enter through if we want to receive the free gift of God’s grace and it is only through the blood of Jesus that we are saved. Jesus, Himself, said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” John 14:6.

If we want to get to heaven, faith in Jesus is the one and only way to get there. But salvation is so much deeper than just getting to heaven. It is the beginning of an ongoing and lasting relationship with the one true Savior of the world, Jesus.

Jesus is the door that we must enter through if we want to receive the free gift of God’s grace and it is only through the blood of Jesus that we are saved.Click To Tweet

Because of this relationship, we can turn to Jesus in any circumstance. When life gets difficult, He is our refuge against the storm, protecting us from the wind and rain. When life is going well, He is our champion, cheering us on toward the goal He has set for us.

Jesus is always there. He is always faithful. Even when we are not.

I’m not perfect. I make mistakes and I don’t always do everything right. That’s why I need a Savior. Even though I don’t deserve it, God sent His Son to save me. Because of my faith in His Son, God has given me His grace and forgiveness of sins. He has made a way for me to spend eternity with Him. He did it because of His great love for me.

Jesus is always there. He is always faithful. Even when we are not.Click To Tweet

I’m so grateful for all that God has done. And I’m so thankful for a loving Savior who wants to have a real and meaningful relationship with me. Salvation comes from no other name than Jesus. And it is definitely the one thing I can’t live without.

For those of you who are already saved, today I pray that you will be encouraged and comforted by the name of Jesus!

For those of you who don’t know Jesus as your Savior, I pray that you will see the love that Jesus has for you. And I pray that you will find the hope in Him that is waiting for you.

To find out what it means to be “saved” and about how Accepting Jesus as your Savior will change your life, click on the Accepting Jesus tab at the top of this page.

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2 Older Comments.

there

12/6/2017 12:07:18 pm

Connie, your art work intrigues me. Are you a deaf interpreter?

I came up with another answer to your question. But by the end you had me convinced that Salvation is was better than my answer.

Connie from Master’s Hand Collection

12/6/2017 01:55:07 pm

Hi!
Thank you for your encouraging words. I’m not a deaf interpreter but I grew up in a church that had a deaf ministry and my childhood best friend had parents who were deaf. Sign Language has always fascinated me. My goal in creating this artwork is to share with other Christians how important it is to share the gospel with the deaf community. They are a very overlooked group of people and they need Jesus too. Thanks again and God bless!
P.S. What was your answer? What is it that you can’t live without?

By |2019-08-12T12:30:08-05:00October 2nd, 2018|Jesus|2 Comments

Monday Motivation – Psalm 27:13

We all have times when it seems like all is lost and nothing good will ever happen again. But the goodness of God is always with us. In the good times, He is our champion, pushing forward to bigger and better things. In the bad times, He is our confidant and comforter, reminding us of happier memories and giving us the strength to keep going. So, if you are experiencing a downtime, don’t despair. Look up and see the goodness of God all around you. Blessings!

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Monday Motivation – Jeremiah 29:13

Do you feel like the world is against you? Are you in need of a little Monday Motivation? This Bible verse about seeking God offers us a promise to get through these moments. If we earnestly search for God with our whole heart we will find Him. What better encouragement could there possibly be than this amazing truth! May you seek Him and find Him today!

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Monday Motivation – Psalm 16:11

This Bible verse about God’s hand is Messianic in nature. When David wrote it, he was speaking of his difficult situation, on the run and in hiding. But the promise of this verse was fulfilled through the death and resurrection of our Savior. It’s an amazing picture of the sacrifice Jesus made for every one of us. May you see God’s hand and the fulfillment of His promise in your life today!

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Monday Motivation – Psalm 18:35

In this fast paced world we live in, it can seem like we are fighting a battle every day. But this Bible verse about God’s hand gives us confidence in our Heavenly Father’s protection. When the world is against us, God holds us up with His right hand, Jesus.

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Monday Motivation – Isaiah 49:16

Does it seem like God has left you all alone to face the troubles of life by yourself? This Bible verse about God’s hand is a promise from Him. He has not forgotten you or abandoned you. In fact God has inscribed you in the palm of His hand.  Be encouraged, you are safe and secure in His protective hand.

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Monday Motivation – Psalm 63:8

We all long to see God’s hand in our life. And to feel the safety that He provides. This Bible verse about God’s hand speaks to that need. When we are weak God’s hand holds us up. When we are scared He gives a safe place of refuge. No matter what we are going through, God’s hand provides. May you see His hand in your life today!

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Living Water – John 4:10

Living Water John 4:10

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Is the summer heat making you feel thirsty, tired or maybe even a little burnout? Are you yearning for a cool drink of Living Water?

It seems like summer has flown by fast, but August is just beginning. And that means soaring temperatures are still in the forecast, at least for a little while longer. So, as the mercury continues to rise, we look for ways to keep the heat at bay. We know the drill…stay inside with the AC on when possible, wear sunscreen when we go outside, and most importantly drink plenty of water. If we don’t, we just might find ourselves lacking the proper hydration and in need of some serious refreshment.

August is also the time when our thoughts turn to all of the obligations the coming fall season will bring. Our lives are about to heat up with the new school year, work, family and friends, church activities and so much more. Honestly, it’s a lot to handle. With each new thing we add to our list, we pour a little more water out of our figurative cup. Before we know it, we’re caught in the day to day feeling spiritually dehydrated with a cup that has run completely dry. We feel depleted and crave spiritual refreshment. Or as the psalmist so beautifully puts it…

 

My soul longs for You like a thirsty land.  Psalm 143:6

and

 As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You,       O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.  Psalm 42:1

These two verses speak so eloquently to the craving of a thirsty soul, searching for what will restore and renew. So, the question becomes, how can we fill ourselves with Living Water every day? The good news is, we don’t have to look far to find it. Here are three tips to stave off spiritual thirst when life gets too hot.

 

#1 Go directly to the Source.

“If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” 

“Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again;  but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

                                                          John 4:10; 13-14

Close to where I live, there is a quaint little town called Eureka Springs. It’s a beautiful place located in the majestic Ozark Mountains. It began as place of refuge for the sick. People in Victorian times believed that the many natural springs in the area had healing properties and would go directly to the water source to be healed. Today, the springs are still flowing, they can’t be stopped. And people still flock to the town to bathe in their natural waters.

This is how I see Jesus, He is the source of living water in our lives. He has the power to heal whatever ails us. And He is like one of these natural springs. An unending flow of living water springing up and a force of nature that cannot be stopped. The deep spiritual thirst inside of us can only be quenched by knowing Him. So, He offers us the gift of living water which is eternal life. And it’s not just a little drip every now and then, through Him we have an unlimited amount of living water springing up directly from the source and flowing through us.

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#2 Draw from the wells of salvation.

Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

                                                            Isaiah 12:3

 

Digging a well is no small feat. You’ve got to get in there and dig down, deeper and deeper until you find the water shelf where the fresh water lies. But once you hit pay dirt, the well is there for you to draw from every day.

When our lives become like a barren wasteland, we thirst for the joy of our salvation. And sometimes we have to dig deep to find it. But the wells of salvation have already been dug for us, all we have to do is draw the water from them.

#3 Drink the Water.

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

                                                          John 7:37-38

Our physical bodies need drinking water every day to survive. Without it we become thirsty and parched. Then, we get cranky and cotton mouthed. Eventually, we will die. That kind of thirst is a terrible thing. And in the middle of a crisis like that nothing could possibly taste better than a tall, ice cold glass of water.

As much as our bodies need water to survive, our spiritual selves need living water every day to flourish. Without it we will wither away. But we don’t have to thirst because our belief in the Son of the living God creates rivers of living water that flow out of our hearts. Faith is the key to keeping our cups full. In the midst of our thirst, Jesus calls out to us, “come to Me and drink.” There is no need to thirst or want. He is there ready to pour living water into our empty cup and fill it full to the brim, renewing our spirits and refreshing our minds.

I truly hope and pray that you will be blessed by these scriptures as you drink the Living Water of Jesus. Have a happy and safe rest of the summer!

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By |2019-08-12T15:30:46-05:00August 1st, 2018|Christian Life, Jesus|6 Comments

Saved By Grace -Ephesians 2:8

Saved By Grace Ephesians 2:8

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and not of yourselves: it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

                                      Ephesians 2:8-10

Grace is the free gift of God given to us because we believe in His Son. As Christians, we know that faith in Jesus is the only thing that saves.

But sometimes we get caught up in doing the work of the church. It seems there are an unlimited number of opportunities to serve. Bible studies, potluck dinners, children’s church, choir, clothing giveaways, the list goes on and on. It’s enough to make your head spin! With all of that work, it’s easy to feel that we are earning our salvation. But no matter what we do, we can never earn our salvation and we most definitely cannot outwork what Jesus did for us on the cross!

Even though good works don’t save us, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do them. This verse in Ephesians says that we are “created in Christ Jesus for good works” and James 2:17 states that “faith without works is dead”. So if we can’t work our way to salvation, what does that mean? Faith and works go together. You can’t have one and not the other. If we have the Holy Spirit within us, then good works should come naturally for us. Faith in Jesus Christ is what gives us salvation, but works are the fruit of our faith.

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Because of what Jesus has done for us, we should have a desire in our hearts to do good works. We have an opportunity every day to make a huge impact on someone’s life through our faith and our works. When they see us, they should see the Holy Spirit in us. Our good works should be a light so bright that they can’t help but see Jesus!

James goes on to speak of Abraham’s willingness to follow God’s instruction to sacrifice Isaac. “Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?” (James 2:22) The footnote in my New King James Study Bible says “Faith produces works; and works makes faith perfect.” Just like Abraham, our faith will be made perfect by our willingness to follow God’s instructions in our lives and through our good works.

Honestly, knowing that I can’t work my way into heaven takes a lot of pressure off. I don’t have to push myself to exhaustion working until I drop or pretend that I’m perfect, knowing that I’m not. I can just be still and know that God is in control, listen for His instructions, and follow His will. And I can rest assured that God has given me the free gift of grace and salvation because I have faith in His Son.

We will never be able to live up to the selfless example that Jesus set for us on the cross. But we can show God’s grace to an unsaved world through our faith in Jesus and our love of doing good works in His name. So when we get caught up in the busy day to day work of the church, let’s remember where our salvation truly comes from and give credit to the Savior of our souls! Let’s thank God that we have been saved by grace.

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Monday Motivation – Deep Calls to Deep Psalm 42:7

Would you like to fully grasp the meaning of deep calls to deep? It is a longing from deep inside of us to understand what is deep inside of God. To be close to Him and have a real fellowship with the One true God.

There will be times when it seems like the waves are taking us down and we’re sinking fast under the weight of life’s demands. But God’s promises are still true. He will never leave us or forsake us. He is still there, lifting us up and keeping our heads above water. So, if you feel like you are drowning, stand firm on the promises of God. As you ponder the meaning of this verse I encourage you to go deeper and let God’s love pour over you like a waterfall. He is calling you deeper.

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Monday Motivation – Hebrews 12:2

Do you wonder… Why did Jesus die on the cross? The simple answer is, He died for you! You are the reason Jesus endured the agony of the cross. He died because He loves you and He wants to spend eternity with you. So, focus your eyes on Jesus and trust in Him. He has already done the hard part. All we have to do is believe. If you still have questions about what it means to accept Jesus as your Savior, click on the picture below and it will take you to a page that will get you started. Blessings to you!

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Summer is Near… – Matthew 24:32

Summer Is Near, parable of the fig tree, Matthew 24:32

I fully intended to write a lighthearted blog post this week about the carefree days of summer. All of the fun activities we look forward to all winter long while we’re stuck inside, swimming, hiking, boating, grilling. But Jesus just wouldn’t let me do it. The longer I tried to write that post, the more He pulled at my heart. When I started this blog a few years ago, I worried that I wouldn’t know what to say or that my words wouldn’t be good enough. I compared my writing to all of those other blogs out there whose writers have beautiful, flowery words that I don’t have. I spent a lot of time praying about how I should approach writing this blog and God’s answer was very clear to me. He said, “You don’t need flowery words, you need honesty.” His words set me free and I began writing with a new found confidence. I will always write the truth about God’s word even when honesty is hard. His truth isn’t carefree, it’s straightforward and in your face. We all have times when we don’t want to hear the truth because it holds a mirror up to us that isn’t always pretty. But the truth is what we need to hear and it is what God has asked me to write. So with that, I mind, I yield to His plan for this blog post.

The Parable of the Fig Tree

People often ask, ”Why did Jesus teach in parables”? And the answer is simply this, we can all relate to these parables. After two thousand years, the meaning is still the same. No matter where we come from or what stage in life we are in, the story is something we can all understand.

Jesus Christ is coming back! And the Parable of the Fig Tree is a call to all Christians to be ready when He does. Just like we would prepare ourselves for a summer vacation by booking a flight and packing our bags, there are things we can do to prepare for the second coming of Jesus:

#1 Recognize the Signs.

Now learn the parable of the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
                                                               Matthew 24:32-34

When we see the leaves budding on the trees and the flowers blooming, we know that summer is just around the corner. If we are familiar with Scripture and know what to look for, we will recognize the signs that Jesus is just around the corner too. We should be immersing ourselves in God’s word every day. And when we do that, the signs that the coming of Jesus is near should be as plain to us as the coming of summer.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. Matthew 24:32-34 #Summer #BibleVerses Click To Tweet

#2 Watch.

Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.
                                                               Matthew 24:42-43

We should always have an eager expectation that Jesus could come back at any moment. And that expectation should be reflected in our lives. If we knew that someone was getting ready to break into our house and take everything we have worked so hard for, we wouldn’t just go to bed and pretend that the thief wasn’t coming. We would be sitting up all night waiting, ready to catch him in the act. This is the kind of eager expectation we should feel for the second coming of Jesus. We should be sitting up waiting for Him to come through the door like a thief in the night. It’s easy to become complacent and forget that He is coming soon. We get caught up in other things that seem so important at the time. But we can take this time to refocus and start watching for Him to come back because it could happen at any moment. While we’re watching and waiting for Jesus, we should be telling other people about Him, so that they could be saved too.

#3 Be Ready.

Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
                                                               Matthew 24:44  

We don’t know when Jesus is coming back. It could be today, or it could be years from now. It doesn’t matter when it happens, just that we are ready for Him when He comes. What will He see when He gets here? Will He be pleased by how we are living our lives? Are there things that we need to change to make our lives acceptable to Him? These are the questions that I am asking myself today.

Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Matthew 24:44 #Summer #BibleStudyClick To Tweet

This blog post is about my heart and mind as much as it’s about yours. Today God hit me with a hard truth. Am I ready to see Jesus coming? What do I need to change in my life? I know that I need to be better prepared… to understand the Bible fully, to be ready to answer any question about my faith and to be watchful of His return. I pray that you will take the time to become prepared for Jesus to come back and that God will bless you greatly for it. Be well friends, and God bless you!

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By |2019-08-12T19:54:13-05:00June 20th, 2018|Jesus, Summer|1 Comment

Monday Motivation – Hebrews 12:1

Have you ever gone on a walk with ankle weights on? Do you remember the relief of taking them off when the walk was over? The burden of sin weights us down just like those ankle weights. And sin separates us from God keeps us from doing all that He has for us. In this Bible verse from Hebrews 12:1, the Apostle Paul tells us that we can set down the weight of our sin. Then and only then will we be able to run the race of the Christian life. So, drop the weight of your sin at the Savior’s feet and run fast friends. Keep your eyes on Jesus!

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By |2018-06-16T13:27:34-05:00June 18th, 2018|Monday Motivation|2 Comments

A Random Text – Habakkuk 3:17-19

A Random Text Habakkuk 3:17-19

The day wasn’t turning out the way I had planned. My to-do list was getting longer not shorter. I felt stressed and overwhelmed. Then, a dear friend sent me a random text in the middle of the day. She asked me to read Habakkuk 3. I immediately sent her a text back and said “OK”, with a smiley face emoji. But I had no intention of reading it, at least not right then. Maybe later when everything else was done. I was right in the middle of a project and I wanted to get it finished.

But God pulled on my heart strings and whispered, “You need to read it”.
I answered, “Okay, I’ll read it later tonight when things calm down”.
God whispered to my heart again, “You need to read it now”.

I sighed as I resigned myself to God’s plan for the day, grabbed my Bible and started to read…

Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines:
Though the labor of the olive may fail’
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls-
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills.
                                           Habakkuk 3:17-19

Wow! I felt like I had been struck by lightning! All of these years later, Habakkuk can still cut straight to the point. It’s easy to praise God and find joy in our salvation when things are going great in our lives. It’s so much harder when life isn’t going our way. But no matter what situation we are in, God knows what we need even when we don’t.

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Habakkuk knew that his people would soon face hard times. They were going to be without the basic necessities they needed to survive. There would be no food and no water to sustain them. But Habakkuk had confidence that if they put their trust in God, He would see them through.

If Habakkuk could find joy in God under such dire circumstances, then surely I can too. There’s an old saying that we all know, “Into every life a little rain must fall”. Well, when it feels like it’s pouring outside, instead of feeling defeated I’m going to praise God. He is the one who gives me strength to get through the difficult times. So this is my promise to Him for all that He has done for me.

Even though the bills are piling up, and it seems that there will never be enough money to pay them all…

I will praise You!

Even though my house is filthy, company’s coming over and there’s not enough time to clean…

I will praise You!

Even though my health may be failing and I feel weak…

I will praise You!

Even though I’ve lost a loved one and my heart is broken…

I will praise You!

I’m so grateful that I have a friend who would point me to God during difficult times. Even though there’s no way she could’ve known what was going on in my life that day or that I needed these words spoken into my heart, she followed God’s lead and sent me the text. But God did knew everything that was happening. And He used a seemingly random text to take away all of the stress and overwhelm I felt that day. He replaced it with a song in my heart and praise on my lips. God is good! And He is worthy of our praise! So, that’s how a random text taught me to praise God! I pray that it will do the same for you!

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By |2019-08-12T20:00:17-05:00June 13th, 2018|Christian Life, Faith|2 Comments

How to Weather Life’s Storms – Isaiah 4:6

How to Weather Life's Storms - Isaiah 4:6

And there will be shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection from the storm and rain.

                                                                 Isaiah 4:6

Every spring I wait with great anticipation for my irises to bloom. I look forward to seeing them sprout up, as they emerge from their winter slumber. They belonged to my Granny, who I loved and admired so much. And they remind me of how her laughter could fill the room or how her homemade chicken and dumplings were the best around. My heart is full of these memories and so many more. And I always feel like celebrating when that first iris opens! But this year was a little different, the irises decided to appear on a cloudy, stormy day. The sky was gray and the wind was whipping around. Later, I found out that a nearby town was hit by a devastating tornado. The trees were uprooted and homes destroyed, it was a mess! It’s not surprising to have tornadoes here in Arkansas and Oklahoma because we have a lot of them, but this one was unexpected.

Life is like that too, you just never know when a storm will be brewing. In fact, if you’re not currently right smack in the middle of one of life’s storms, you can bet that one is just over the horizon and headed your way. So today I’d like to talk about how to weather life’s storms.

There is a purpose to life’s storms

There are three kinds of iris in my flower bed. Most of them are yellow with large blooms. Then there’s the tiny blossoms of the small purple irises. But my favorites are the huge white ones. I only have a few of them, but with their giant flowers, they’re showstoppers! What makes them so unique is that they have a special kind of beauty, one you have to really look hard to see. From afar they are completely white, but if you look closer you can see a faint hint of lavender peeking out from the center.

Finding the beauty in life’s storms can be just as difficult. You have to really look close to see it. But the beauty is not in the struggle, it’s in the fact that there is a purpose to life’s storms. God has something He wants to teach us and He has put us in the eye of the storm for a reason.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

                                                                Romans 8:28

Sometimes it’s hard to understand how God could cause all things, good and bad to work out in our favor. But because we have been called according to God’s purpose, He promises that He will. Even if we can’t see it now, we can have confidence in God’s ability to use this storm to bring about good in our lives. So I encourage you to look closely at the storm you are facing and discover what God’s purpose for it is.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 #BibleVerses Click To Tweet

God is our shelter from the storm

Every year there is at least one tornado that destroys a neighboring city. In the aftermath of the storm, the only thing left standing in a house is the bathtub. That’s why we have storm shelters in this part of the country. If you don’t live in the Midwest, you may not be familiar with storm shelters. They’re big metal boxes with a door that slides shut and they’re buried underground to protect us from the tornadoes. In addition to the shelters, we also have tornado sirens. They’re loud, really loud! When the wind picks up and they go off, that’s our cue to run to the storm shelter and hunker down until the storm passes by.

In the midst of life’s storms God is our shelter. He’s the One we run to for protection when life becomes too much. David knew this very well when he was hiding from Saul and wrote these words.

Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, For my soul takes refuge in Thee: And in the shadow of Thy wings I will take refuge, Until the destruction passes by.

                                                            Psalm 57:1

What a comfort it is to know that God, the Creator of the universe is our shelter in the storm! He is always there, ready to cover us with His grace. As the storm rages on around you, run to Him and take refuge under His wings until the destruction has passed you by.

Keep looking to Jesus in life’s storms

When one of life’s storms hits us, it may feel like we are being tossed around by the wind and rain with no end in sight. Peter must have felt this way too during the storm on the Sea of Galilee.

And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately, Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

                                                           Matthew 14: 29-30

I’m sure we all know this story pretty well, but sometimes it’s nice to be reminded to keep looking to Jesus.

Peter started out with his eyes firmly fixed on Jesus and his heart was in the right place. But then he stepped out onto the water and became scared and distracted by the storm raging around him. When he took his eyes off of Jesus, he began to sink. So he cried out to Jesus to save him. The Bible says that immediately Jesus reached out His hand to help Peter. There was no waiting and no begging, just immediate assistance from the Savior.

It’s so easy to be distracted in the storm. Just like Peter we start out with our heart in the right place and our eyes on Jesus. Then something happens and we look away. We began to sink. And we cry out for Jesus to save us. So He does and we turn our gaze to Him again until the next time a storm hits and we start the process all over again. Jesus is always there with us in the middle of our storm. And He is always willing to reach out His hand and pull us out of the water. Thank you, Jesus!

Luckily for us, storms don’t last forever. They blow in suddenly and leave just as quickly. My irises may have been a little beaten down when the storm was over, but their beauty was still intact. And life’s storms may spin us around like a tornado, but when they’re over, we’ll be just like those irises, standing tall with our beauty intact.

Jesus promised us that in this world we would have tribulation. So, there is no doubt that storms are sure to come our way. But with God’s help we can learn how to weather life’s storms. Be well and keep looking to Jesus!

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By |2020-04-13T14:51:55-05:00May 16th, 2018|Christian Life|6 Comments

Monday Motivation – 2 Corinthians 5:21

Looking for some Monday Motivation to start out the week? Here’s an uplifting Bible verse about the righteousness of Jesus that is sure to inspire! Jesus lived a life free of sin so that He could become the sacrifice we needed. Because of His selfless sacrifice, we are forgiven and declared righteous in the eyes of God. Praise Jesus! 🙂

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By |2019-08-12T20:07:39-05:00May 14th, 2018|Jesus, Monday Motivation|0 Comments

Jesus is our Firm Foundation – Matthew 7:24-27

Jesus is our Firm Foundation - Matthew 7:24-27

My family lives in an old farmhouse. We love it’s character and charm. But as much as we love our house, the truth is older homes need more care and maintenance.

Recently we decided it was time to replace the window in our laundry room. We had overlooked it for a long time while we focused on other projects around the house. But that window suddenly became a priority when I began to smell a musty odor while doing the laundry.

It seemed like a pretty straight forward repair. Just take the old window out and put the new one in. We thought it would take a day or a weekend at most. But when we got the darn thing out we realized that our little project had suddenly become a major renovation. We had put off the repair for far too long and the damage was extensive. The entire exterior wall would need to come down so it could be reframed and rebuilt. It was a huge undertaking!

Once the wall was finally down, we could see exactly where the problem had started. The foundation of the wall, the 2×4 footer board, was completely rotted and had been reduced to sawdust. I could see straight through the board on either side! It was a pitiful sight and really it’s a wonder that that the wall didn’t fall down all by itself.

I felt like I was on one of those house flipping shows where nothing goes right. It was a hopeless feeling standing there staring at a huge gaping opening into our house. And to be perfectly honest the idea of sleeping in a house with one wall missing was a little bit scary. But until the foundation of the wall was rebuilt we couldn’t close up the rest of the wall and feel safe in our own home.

We had neglected our laundry room wall to the point that it was built on sand.  And as I stood there contemplating the deteriorated wall and the huge gaping hole that had become our house, I was reminded of these words of Jesus.

Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.

                                                                                                                                                   Matthew 7:24-27

Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock... Matt 7:24 #bibleverseClick To Tweet

Just like our laundry room wall, sometimes our lives need to be rebuilt too. It’s easy to become distracted by everything we have to do. And it’s easy to veer off the path God has for us. We keep going and going until one day we realize we’ve neglected our relationship with Jesus and somehow we’ve built our spiritual house on sand. We didn’t mean for it to happen, it just did.

But if you find that you have built your house on sinking sand, don’t be discouraged. We’ve all been there. And we’ve all had to rebuild our house from time to time, (myself included).

So how can we rebuild our home on the rock instead of sand? Jesus said that those who hear His words and do them will be like the wise man that built his house on the rock. That means if we put our faith in Jesus, pray, read the Bible and then actually follow through and do what He says, we will be founded on the rock.

It sounds simple and really it is, but I know that hopeless feeling of being in a place you never intended to be and thinking that there is no way out. I have been in the sinking sand of life, in a house of my own making. But I want to encourage you…Don’t be afraid to turn around and go back to the basics.

Jesus is our firm foundation! He is our rock! When we build our foundation on the truth of Jesus and who He is, then we are on unshakable ground. When the storms of life rage all around us we will not fall down. He will keep us from sinking. Because there is no storm too great and no circumstance too big for Jesus to overcome.

I read a bit of wisdom recently that I would like to share with you. It has so much simple truth within it, it took me by surprise.

Don’t be in crisis, be in Christ!

Wow! That really blew me away! It seems that we all live in a state of crisis. But we don’t have to. When the storms of life threaten to knock us down, we can put a stop to the crisis by building our house on the rock right now. We don’t even have to wait for the mortgage to go through, our house has already been bought and paid for by the blood of Christ.  We can simply be in Him!

With that I will leave you with one last thought…

From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

                                                Psalm 61:2

If your heart is overwhelmed, cry out to God and allow yourself to be lead to the Rock. No matter what you are going through right now, Jesus will be your firm foundation and your unshakable ground. May God bless you as you stand on the rock that is higher!

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By |2020-03-18T18:55:47-05:00May 2nd, 2018|Jesus|4 Comments