Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘love’

1013464_10151476265100222_833643824_n

Did you know that sin breaks God’s heart?  Jesus dying for our sins did not make sin acceptable to God.  Actually, continuing in known sin, like it’s nothing – not a big deal, after having accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and accepting His death and blood on the cross as payment for your sins, is like stomping all over His cross and saying it was worth little, maybe even nothing to you.

 

You may say, “But D… it’s just so hard on me cause I love to (insert watch that tv show, listen to that music, read that kind of book, talk like that and so on…)______________!!!!!  I just don’t know if I can quit!!!”   God’s Word says differently.  We’re told in 1 Corinthians 10:13  The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.  And God is faithful.  He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand.  When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.  ❤

 

Choosing your sin over the Lord Jesus breaks His heart.  It’s really that simple.  Jesus Himself tells us in John 14:15 “If you love Me, obey my commandments.”   And in 1 John 5:21 we’re warned – “Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.”  Choose Him instead of the world’s sin.  Choose life.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I’m going to share a blog post from Matt McGowen, the Senior Field Coordinator for Make Way Partners.  Please read and then share his blog post with everyone you know and let’s help them get this high school built for these kids!  Thank you in advance for reading it, sharing it, for donating, your prayers, anything  and everything you feel led by God to do for these children.

Battle Cry by guest blogger Matt McGowen 

If you’d like to learn even more about how God is using Kimberly L. Smith and Make Way Partners to bring Hope to many who would otherwise not have much, if any, please see my blog post for the contest to win a FREE copy of Kimberly’s book, “Passport Through Darkness!”  Thank you!  God Bless!

Read Full Post »

If you’ve read any on my blog, or even more so if you’re a friend of mine on Facebook or Twitter, then you know how touched I’ve been by Kimberly L. Smith’s book, “Passport Through Darkness.”   Her book has started to literally change my life.  It’s changing the way I look at everything in life, including the simple things like having running clean water. I’ve always taken running clean water for granted.  It’s been there since birth and I can’t imagine not having something so seemingly simple. But there are those that do not have running water, that do not have clean water, that have to walk miles to get even dirty water.

Because of it’s impact to those who read this book, I want to see as many as possible read it.  God is using Kimberly L. Smith to open eyes to see needs that are there.  Jesus very clearly tells us in Matthew 22: 37-40 that we are to love God with all our heart, all our soul, and all our mind and that equally important is to love our neighbors as ourselves.  We read that in our Bibles, most people know those verses well, but what does it look like in a practical way? Kimberly gives us perfect examples in “Passport Through Darkness” of exactly what that can look like.

So here’s the deal –  Kimberly and her organization Make Way Partners will give away a copy of her incredible book to the person that shares this blog post, and/ or my blog in general,  the most (the particulars of how this will work will be at the end of this post).  You can keep the book you win or you can give it to someone else and change their life, either way you will be helping to make a difference for the Lord.  Listen… The more we share this information, this incredible story of love, the more people will be made aware of the great need that’s out there and the more people will be changed and thereby helped.    I am going to run this contest from the second it’s published until Thanksgiving Day (November 22, 2012).

Contest Rules:  To win you simply need to share, share, and share this post and my blog in general,  everywhere – via email, Facebook, Twitter, word of mouth, and so on… JUST SHARE and when you share, ask each and every person to comment below or to email me at LetsSpeakGently @ gmail . com,  and let me know that you’ve shared it with them.

The person who shares it the most will be the winner and the winner will be announced on my blog on November 22, 2012.  Please come back here to look to see if you’ve won around the time frame of 7:00 pm EST. 

Please, above all else remember – Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. James 1:27   This contest is about sharing a story about what it means to do exactly what this Scripture tells us to do and how doing so not only changes the people being helped, but also how it changes the lives of the helpers.  It’s important – God says so, let’s help others “hear” this story.

Read Full Post »

Have you ever prayed that God would use you?  I started praying this a couple of years ago.  I just had this strong desire to be used by my Creator.  It felt like there was something important missing from my life, like I was missing the point to life itself.

Here in America, most of us are raised hearing about and being groomed for the “American Dream”.  We’re taught that success is getting in to a “good” college and then later landing a dream job and making a lot of money, getting married, buying a house in an affluent neighborhood, driving a certain type of car, having children, and even more recently having the right type of cell phone ( you know… the “smart” kind).  During all of that you’re also to begin storing up money in some time of retirement account so you’ll be able to continue having all the best money can buy even when the time comes that you no longer work.

I didn’t follow along strictly to the above guidelines in my life and for many years felt mostly like a huge disappointment.  I felt like I was less than those that did.  I wondered about that.  Somehow it didn’t seem right that money alone could make us successful or worth greater value as people.  The whole thing felt like a lie to me.

One of my parents believed in God and tried to teach me about Him as best as they knew how, while the other wanted to believe in a made up version that suited the preferred lifestyle.  And even though I’d been off and on raised in churches and knew a few things about Jesus, my teen years were sadly spent far far from Him.  Yet He was never far from me it turns out.

I believe He’s never far from any of us.  We may be running from Him at times, or maybe we’ve spent our whole life running from Him, or even have never known Him at all…. but He knows every single one of us and is with each one until the very day that we die.  He’s always there, waiting on us to “see” Him and take His hand and be led by Him to follow Him into His will.  We just have to choose to do so.

During my adult years Jesus has been right beside me, gently whispering to me to “come home” to Him.  Many times I would faintly hear Him, but then life would crowd out His voice again.  Still, He never once gave up on me.  He’s like that you know.  He never gives up on us.

A few years ago He used a woman, a friend, to show Himself to me through her and I’ve never been the same since.  She quite simply lived in a way that I’d never seen anyone else live.  His love and light shined through her, regardless of her circumstances, and I wanted that same love for myself.  I saw what being close to Jesus could mean and I craved that closeness.  His acceptance and His love.

It’s been a journey, these past few years.  I love the way He doesn’t force Himself on us, but instead is such a gentleman in the truest sense.  He courts us lovingly and waits patiently while we make mistake after mistake, wrong choice after wrong choice.  It seems that every time I think I’ve gotten it figured out, He shows me that I’m so very mistaken all over again and he beckons me closer so I can learn.

He’s now answering my prayer to be used by Him.  It’s a dangerous prayer it turns out.  He will gladly take you up on it if you ask Him.  He’s using other people who have prayed the same thing to show me, and lead, and guide me to where He wants me to be.  It’s an amazing thing to watch unfold over time.  I’m learning more and more, every single day, to be more obedient, to say “Yes, Lord” more quickly, and to see Him outside of the box that He’s put into so often here in America.

I can’t wait to see what He brings into my tomorrows.

“But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.” ~ Jesus ♥ Luke 11:28

Read Full Post »

Recently it was brought up at my church, and also the next day on Facebook, the question of “how do I develop a real relationship with Christ?”

Like any relationship we choose to have, it takes time.  A close friendship doesn’t happen overnight.  It happens slowly, over a period of time, as you get to know each other and as you live life, going through the good and bad times. We’d never dream of walking up to someone and just telling them we’d like to be their new B.F.F., so why would we think having a close, personal relationship with Jesus be any different in terms of how it starts out?

Jesus is totally different in who He is, because He is God. The one and only God who created our world and everything in it and because of that, He can be anywhere and everywhere at the same time.  He literally lives in the body of all of His believers. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a pretty awesome trait for a B.F.F. to have.  If you need Him, He is as “right there” as you could ever ask for a B.F.F. to be!  Not to mention, the most important part of having a relationship with Jesus Christ, which is the fact that He took all the punishment for every single wrong thing you’ve ever done, or thought about doing, and paid the price of that for you.  I’ve never in my life had a friend that would even consider paying the price for my every single wrong doing, never mind wrong thinking.

When you first start a relationship with Jesus, there are many things you can do to build the relationship into a close one.  Anytime you meet a potential friend you want to get to know them, and the same is true for Jesus.  You can do that by reading and studying your Bible.  Really get in there and get to know Him through the Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  A lot of people I’ve talked to prefer reading the New Testament part of the Bible, but once you’ve read the Gospels,  it’s important to read, and study, in the Old Testament so that you can get a better understanding of what Jesus did for you (for us all) on the cross.

People often tend to view the cross as, “Oh yeah… Jesus died for my sins, so now I’m forgiven” and don’t really understand fully, or appreciate fully, exactly what that means.  When you read about the Israelites and all the things that they had to go through to become “right with God”, you’ll begin to have a better understanding and appreciation for what Jesus did for you.

If you have a hard time reading your Bible, it may be time for a new version.  My personal favorite is the New Living Translation (NLT), but other popular versions are the Amplified Bible (AMP), New International Version (NIV), and the New King James Version (NKJV).  There are many other versions out there that you may like, so use a Bible App, such as “YouVersion“, and test them out to see which one suits you the best.  Reading and studying the Bible on a regular basis is extremely important to building up a real relationship with your Savior.

Prayer is the most important part of building your relationship with Jesus.  Prayer is spending time with Him, talking to Him, and listening to Him.  It’s how we can let Him know how very thankful we are for all He did on the cross for us, and all He continues doing for us.  It’s a time when we can bring issues up that we need His help with, and our fears, hopes, questions, dreams, and requests.  It’s also a time when we can simply sit in His presence and allow Him time to “speak” to us.  It may feel a bit strange in the beginning, but in no time at all you’ll begin to treasure this time with the Lord.

Everyone is different, but I prefer to start my day out with Jesus through prayer and reading my Bible.  I feel it helps me to get my day started in the right mindset.  What you’re thinking is very important in the life of a Christian.  In 2 Corinthians 10:5 Paul tells us, “We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.” (NLT)  You must begin to get control of your thoughts in order to mature in a relationship with Jesus.  Our thoughts end up being our actions.  The Bible tells us that, As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7  and in John 15:15,16  Jesus tells us – No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing;  but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.    You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed  you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.  (NLT)

John didn’t mean for us to become orange or apple trees.  In the Bible, when Jesus and the disciples used the metaphors comparing us to fruit bearing trees, they were teaching us that, like an apple tree bears only apples and not cherries, we as Christians should bear good fruit.  In Galatians 5:22 we see that good fruit is listed as being love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Galatians 5:16 tells us, “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives.  Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.”  

As a new Christian, it’s important that you learn all you can about the Lord and what it means to be one of His followers.  James, who was Jesus’ brother, writes in James 4:4-10 ~  You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God?  I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. What do you think the Scriptures mean when they say that the spirit God has placed within us is filled with envy?  But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires.  As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but favors the humble.”  So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Come close to God, and God will come close to you.  Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor. 

When you became a Christian, you became a new person.  2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us ~ This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!  This is such an amazing truth!  You are no longer the old you, but instead are now His, and because of that, you are given a brand new life!

As you learn more about God and His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, you will be in awe of the incredible gift of LOVE that we are given.  God gives us a helper, in the Holy Spirit, who comes to live inside of you when you become a Christian and true follower of Christ.  Ephesians 4:21 – 24 tells us ~ Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God – truly righteous and holy. 

You have a new life, a new nature, and a new best friend forever (B.F.F.) – Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 5:1-2   Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. 

Read Full Post »

Be careful what you say today because the power of life and death are in the tongue (Proverbs 18:21) Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! 20) You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him.  This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Deuteronomy 30: 19, 20

 

34 You offspring of vipers! How can you speak good things when you are evil (wicked)? For out of the fullness (the overflow, the superabundance) of the heart the mouth speaks.

35 The good man from his inner good treasure flings forth good things, and the evil man out of his inner evil storehouse flings forth evil things.

36 But I tell you, on the day of judgment men will have to give account for every idle (inoperative, nonworking) word they speak.

37 For by your words you will be justified and acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned and sentenced.     

Matthew 12:34-37    Amplified Bible (AMP)

Do we pay as much attention to our words as we’re supposed to these days?  I think we can all admit that the honest answer to this question is a definite no.

There are all sorts of opportunities to use words in our lives.  We can chat it up with all kinds of people, whether friends, family, or simply people we encounter in our day-to-day lives.  There are more methods of communication available today than ever before.

And with all this talking that we’re able to do, what are our words doing?  Are they blessings for those around us or are they curses?  Are we blessing or cursing ourselves? Are we using our voices to share love, to teach people about the love of Christ or are we gossiping, perhaps even causing someone to stumble?

What are we accomplishing with our words?

I believe this is something we need to all be more aware of and in more control of in our lives.  Let us all pray for the Lord’s help with this and begin blessing those around us.

Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the mind and healing to the body.  Proverbs 16:24  (AMP)

Read Full Post »

  In June of this year, I had a really rough, emotionally draining, morning. Arguments with my husband (mainly me being upset because he doesn’t do emotional woman very well), issues with the kids, my own health being its usual problem (having Crohn’s Disease, Fibromyalgia, and Crohn’s related Arthritis as well as doctors suspecting Rheumatoid Arthritis), problems with our old house (electrical, plumbing, leaky roof and so on), the realization that the relationship with someone who I thought was my forever best friend was maybe not so forever, never mind so “best” after all; all of this taking its toll on me, building up, increasing the tension inside of me, threatening to explode over the sides with massive waves of tears. The whole rotten mess was leaving me feeling very sorry for myself, extremely sad, the whole “lost and alone” feeling…. Oh and forgotten… yeah… we don’t want to leave him out! Yuck. Yep… yuck to the whole darn thing.

On my way to work, I spent the time in prayer, crying out to God and asking (ok… pitifully begging) Him to please please please show me that He was “there for me”, that He was listening even when others either didn’t care, didn’t know my feelings, were clueless on how to do anything to help, or just plain terrified to come anywhere near me due to it being so obvious that this bomb was about to blow at any second. – I know all you women out there are probably thinking – P M S. Big time. Yes, there was probably a lot of that going on too. –

I got to work and was doing “ok”, all things considered, but was still just super in NEED of God, in NEED of a hug from Him, seriously bad.  The thought crossed my mind to just go to the ladies room and have a little moment alone, where, at least, the other employees or the customers wouldn’t be able to see me, so I could stop the faking of “Yes, everything in my life is going great and I feel great, and there’s nothing more that I want to do other than hear all about how Fluffy is being so bad by peeing on your super expensive carpet and you just KNOW that she knows better and could I please give you some MORE free advice on fixing this terrible terrible dog cause you know good and well you’ve done everything perfectly and therefore all “fault” lies strictly with Fluffy.”  By the way… I’m a professional dog trainer by trade – just in the event you were wondering what was up with the Fluffy rant. 🙂  Well, I ignored the thought and continued to listen to the various Fluffy stories and smiled as if I felt great. Pretending everything is great is really hard on days like that, isn’t it?

Finally, after the thought kept on and on and on bouncing around in my head, I decided that  I would indeed go hide out in the bathroom for a few minutes and when I got in there another thought hit me, strongly – Look at your favorite Bible app, now.  So, I looked at my YouVersion app and the verse of the day was from Isaiah 40.  It was Isaiah 40:26 to be exact, which says: (NLT) Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing. 

To fully understand the importance of that particular verse, you’d need to know that I love the Chris Tomlin song, “Indescribable” and that my favorite part are the lyrics that say: “Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God

I find the very thought that the Lord knows the names of ALL THE STARS to be so loving, so amazing, so… indescribably awesome.  Maybe this is partly because I do good to remember what I did an hour ago? Ha – seriously… isn’t our God totally awesome and amazing and incredible, as well as downright indescribable? Yes, why yes He is.

So, that day, when I read that verse I suddenly felt a bit better, but then……..

I read on……

O Jacob, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles? O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights? Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary.  They will walk and not faint.    Isaiah 40:27-31 (NLT)

I felt so “hugged by God” in that moment.  He saw my immediate need and He gave me exactly what I needed – which wasn’t all of my problems being fixed for me, no… He gave me something even better – the knowledge, heart knowledge, that no matter how bad a day gets, no matter how hard relationships can be, and no matter who hurts me or deserts me, no matter what goes on in my life –

God, the Creator of everything, is right there with me.

Read Full Post »

  I read a book recently.  Normally that’s not anything worth writing about since I adore reading (always have) and read lots and lots of books.  However, over the last couple of years it’s turned into more  like a “I love to buy books and read some of most, but seldom finishing one” thing.  I will literally have anywhere from three to six books that I’m reading at any given time.

I have books all over my house.  I have hardback, paperback, novels, fiction, non-fiction, all sorts of school books for my children (we home-school), Bibles, books about the Bible, a modest collection of books to help me study the Bible, books on my Kindle Fire, books on my iPhone, books on my computer, even books I can listen to while I drive.  I take a book with me absolutely everywhere I go, often even listening to them while in the shower.  No shortage of books to read, just a shortage of time and ability to stay focused on one book long enough to completely read the whole thing.

So, for me to have bought and actually read the whole book in only a matter of days is a really really big deal.

This isn’t an ordinary book though.  It’s a book based on real people, places, and suffering unlike most of us here in America can even begin to imagine and it’s one that, I believe, will totally change the way you look at life.

God tells us in James 1:27 –  Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. (NLT)

In Isaiah 1:17 he says – Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.  (NLT)

We can easily see from these and other verses in the Bible that God obviously wants us to help the orphans and widows and the author of “Passport Through Darkness”, Kimberly L. Smith, along with her husband Milton Smith, are doing just that.  Kimberly has spent years in some of the most dangerous places in the world working to help those in the most need.  She has worked tirelessly in places that other people said were too hard to get to or would be too expensive to do any good.  There is no difficulty or danger too great for this amazing woman, and those that work by her side, to stop them from helping these children that the Lord God remembers and loves.

My intention in writing this isn’t to review her book or to even admire Kimberly Smith, but instead it’s to help, in however small a way, to get the message out to as many as I possibly can that we, especially here in America, need to do more to help the lost and suffering.  I want my little post on my little blog to help inspire those that do read it to get this eye opening, heart wrenching book, “Passport Through Darkness” and not only read it, but also be as changed by it as I have been. Truly, this book will completely wreck you and open your eyes and hearts to the children and the widows, in Africa, but also all over our world.

Do you hear His call?  His call to break out of your comfort zone and break into a life that makes a real difference for those the Bible calls our brothers and sisters.  God doesn’t call heroes to help carry His love, His help, and His Word to those in the most need of it.  No, He calls us – the housewives, the school teachers, the bus drivers, the grocery store managers, the bankers, the executives, the students, the moms, daughters, wives, sons, and husbands and creates, in those that are willing to make that first tiny step, the heroes He needs to change lives.

For more information on Kimberly Smith, Make Way Partners, and how you can help  please visit http://www.makewaypartners.org/director.html . 

You can also visit http://orphansunday.org  and learn about Orphan Sunday (November 4, 2012) and how you and your church, or small group, can help orphans around the world.

Read Full Post »

Image

God’s instruction for believers to love other people is a commandment, not a suggestion. But don’t we, as Christians, often act as if it was something God suggested that we do, maybe on just special occasions or something? You know like – “Hey maybe you guys could be a little nicer to folks around the holidays or something? You know… as long as they don’t inconvenience you or get in your way as you’re out shopping n such…?” I’ve looked around in various translations of the Bible and I’ve yet to find it there, at least not like that. What I have found though is the commandment to love. It’s in John chapter 13 verse 34 – Jesus said to his disciples “So now I am giving you a new commandment. Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.”

We try to tell unbelievers about Jesus. We want them to know Him, to know of His love and how He can change their life, change their very world for the good. Jesus is LOVE, we say. But what good is it to tell people that Jesus is love if we can’t even manage to be polite, nevermind loving, to those who pass through our lives?

We can talk to people all we want, but until we start living out the love we talk about, they’re going to continue to not believe us and think us only foolish. I’m afraid that we hurt a lot more than we help when we say one thing, yet do the exact opposite.

My prayer is that we, the church, will WAKE UP and start a true revival of love in action.

Read Full Post »

I Have Vanished

Mouthpiece for the Missing

Great Dane Gnosis

Great Dane education

Biblical Truth Resources

Reprinting Classic Christian Books!

Wilde About Dogs

Just another WordPress.com weblog

eileenanddogs

What my dogs teach me.

Paws Abilities

Helping people enjoy their dogs.

dogtorbill

“This saying is hard; who can accept it?”

eASYbAKED

a collection of recipes

Graceful Gaines

Life is about the journey not the destination!

Pastor Jack

1 Peter 4:10

%d bloggers like this: