Tag Archive | Prayer

All Things Work Together for Good….!!

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All things work together for good…..

We have heard it time and time again…. so many times in fact that we might have lost its real value.   I see and hear people almost use it so much it just becomes a cliche’ …. or a feel good mechanism…Not that Scripture is a crutch like some claim…. but the Power… that is attached to such Scripture becomes watered down.

I …. am guilty of that as well….. until… Last night!!

As some of you might know… My Mom just passed away the 13th of December from a Heart Attack.  I knew in my heart that this would probably be our last CHRISTmas with her…. but …. I never thought of her leaving us BEFORE CHRISTmas Day.   She loved CHRISTmas and always wanted it to be special for as many friends and family we had left.
Needless to say…. THIS CHRISTmas was very different without her.

Last night…. I ran to the AT&T store … planning to deactivate her phone I had on my plan and also looking into an upgrade on my phone.
When I got there they told me they couldn’t do it there, but I just needed to call 611 and it would only take a few minutes.    After SEVERAL minutes talking to the sales people (kind of like a car salesman)  I finally wheeled and dealed myself into a new phone… and hopefully a better plan that wont break the bank….. Guess we will find out for certain when I get the phone bill.

I left with many mixed emotions.    Finality of another piece of my heart that connected my Mom and me…. even through a phone….was now disconnected.   Was excited on the other hand about the new phone I got…. but anxious …wondering if I did the right thing or not!    Kevin…. my salesman… reminded me on the way out the door to call 611 to deactivate my Moms phone so as I pulled into the parking lot of Neighborhood Market to get a few groceries before heading home…. I connected to…. Charlotte!

Charlotte…. the rep on the line with me from AT&T…. was very pleasant when she answered the phone with the usual “how can I assist you today”?
I told her my Mom had passed away about 2 weeks ago and that I needed to deactivate her phone from my account.  Of course she extended her deepest sympathies with the usual… “I can take care of that for you Ma’am” and proceeded to ask for all the verification information to make sure I was who I said I was.

When all was said and done…. with the assurance there was no disconnecting fees and it would be taken care of today…. she once again offered her condolences on the loss of my Mom…. when I said…. I really knew this was probably our last CHRISTmas with her…. but thought we we have her at least for this one…. and then…. I said… but I know where she is now and I WILL see her again.|

That is when she said… she had had many losses this year herself and she wished she could have that sureness of things going to be ok.    I then began witnessing to her…. over the phone!   Although the exact conversation is all jumbled in my head at this time…. mainly because I was in total Awe of what was taking place in the parking lot of the grocery store….It went something like….

Oh girl….. I dont know how anyone could make it with out My Jesus.    He is who has given me hope through this and so many other trials in my life.   By knowing Him…. and receiving Him as your Savior… you are guaranteed a life in Heaven.

She said…. she has never delved into that kind of thing before…. she said… well… I guess I believe what you are saying but it is foreign to me….religion and things.

I told her it wasnt a “religion” but a relationship with Jesus.    I asked her her name… and she told me it was Charlotte…. I said Charlotte… I want you to do me a favor…. tonight… when you are driving home… and your car is quiet…. I want you to remember this conversation…. with a Lady named Teresa.    I want you to talk to God.   Tell Him… you want to know if what this lady on the phone is real.   If YOU are real!    And if so…. show me.   Then.. I told her to watch over the next few weeks as God reveals Himself to her!!…. because …. HE WILL!!

I told her I wanted to hear how it came out… but she wasnt allowed to keep any information from phone calls and I told her to try to find me on Facebook.   But I told her… no matter if I ever hear how God showed her how much He loves her or not…. I will believe that someday…. I will see her face in Heaven.

She thanked me for my kindness and a renewed hope in her heart as we said our goodbyes and her…. “if I can assist you with anything else….” pleasantries.  I told her I would be praying for her… and I have…. several times since we hung up!

How awesome was that!!!   My trip through the Neighborhood Market was a blur.   I was flying about 5 feet off the ground… thanking God for allowing me to be His vessel for a soul who had been hurting and needed to hear about a God who loved her… a Jesus who died for her… and a Heavenly home to gain!

ALL things DO work together for good…..!!!

Romans 8:28 (AMP)

And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.

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Grading on a Curve

aid1391226-728px-Curve-Grades-Step-1-Version-2[1]Do you remember when we were in school…. how absolutely relieved we were when we found out the teacher would be grading on the curve on some of our tests?    We were Especially glad on those hard ones or the ones we just didn’t study for!!  For some reason, those teachers would have pity on us and decide they would slip us a break …. and level the playing field by taking the highest achiever’s grade and using it as the “A” point …then….they would adjust everyone’s grade accordingly.  They lowered the standards so to speak so each of us would look better on paper.   Even though we didn’t take the time to study…. we still have a grade that would make our Parents proud…. instead of a big fat “F”… we now have a C…. or B … or sometimes even an A!!   On paper…. we look pretty good!

I was thinking about this while I was driving to work one morning.   I wasn’t quite sure why that particular thing crossed my mind since I haven’t been in school for a long…. long time…. and my youngest son has been out of High School for 3 years now….. but then of course…..the analogy came.   This is what I felt God was saying to me …..
….. many people think I am like that.   They think I am like those teachers in school….they think I am grading on a curve!!

Have you ever said…. or heard someone else say something like…..

“Well… Look at Joe over there….  he claims to be a Christian but did you hear him cussing out that Referee?   …….. At least I don’t do that!”
or……
“I am a very good Christian woman…. I may have a drink once in awhile …. when I’m at home ….just to unwind a bit…… but at least I’m not like Sally over there who acts like she doesn’t and still sits on the front row of church!”
or……
“Hey…. at least I go to church on most Sunday’s and not only on special Holidays like Mr. Whats-his-name over there!”
or……

Ok… I know you have gotten the picture I am trying to paint.   I won’t keep going because there are so many more…. “at least I don’ts or do’s” …. floating around out there that we could go on for a long time.

Now… just think… if God was like one of those teachers that graded on a curve, and the only one we had to measure up to was the best scoring Christian we know…..we would all be looking pretty dog gone good.    If God would just level the playing field by lowering the standard and taking the best Christian “scorer” and using them as the “A” grade, it would make things so much easier for us.  How awesome would that be!!!  Now …..we wouldn’t even have to read, let alone study the Word.  We could “skip” church and do those fun things we want or even just sleep in on Sundays…… We would only have to Pray or Praise a fraction of the time and as long as we put forth a little effort … we could possibly be catapulted to the head of the class.   When we look at our Christian grade card now… instead of seeing that big fat “F” … we now are pleased to see an A or B!   See…. We’re not so bad after all!   God must be so proud of us!  Well done though good and faithful servant?!?!?!

Isn’t that what many of us think though?

THIS however…. is NOT what God does.   He has not lowered His standard so we can all have an easy “A”  in Christianity…..but He has raised the standard by telling us we are to strive to be like Jesus….. Not…. Joe…. Sally… or Mr. Whats-his-name!   Yet…. many of us are still “hoping”  He will have pity on us and use those “less than perfect” Christians to grade us on our walk when we get to Heaven.
My Bible says in 1st John 2:6   whoever says he lives in Christ [that is, whoever says he has accepted Him as God and Savior] ought [as a moral obligation] to walk and conduct himself just as He walked and conducted Himself.
God sat the standard with Jesus.   His walk …. His conduct…. is the standard in which we are graded on.   He … was perfect and blameless.   He… is the “A” point… and we are all going to have to do some work to pull our grades up as Christians.   Work… as in reading and studying Gods Word so we can know what Jesus did in order to become more like Him.   Work…. as in Praying to Him to get direction as well as our needs met.   Work… as in Praising Him for Who He is and for What He has done and is doing in our lives. Work…. as in developing a relationship with Him!

Jesus didn’t “fit in” to the way the world thought or did things.  He didn’t even fit in to the way the “religious” people thought or did things!   He stood out!   He was different.   He Loved those the world shunned.   He called evil…. evil!   He taught Truth!   He lived a life that was Holy!  He didn’t do what the world did or go where the world went.  He kept the Sabbath day.    He Prayed to His Heavenly Father.   He healed the sick.   He didn’t condemn the world… but brought Light and Hope!   He gave His life…. for US!!
He… is our Standard!

Now before we get down on ourselves and condemnation tries to sneak in…. God knows we could never meet such perfection while still in this world.   He doesn’t expect us to be perfect in and of ourselves…. but … through the blood of Jesus we have been given Mercy… and Grace.
Phillipians 3:12  Not that I have already obtained it [this goal of being Christlike] or have already been made perfect, but I actively press on so that I may take hold of that [perfection] for which Christ Jesus took hold of me and made me His own.
The problem is… many of us are taking advantage of Mercy and Grace and using it as a “get out of jail free” card so we can slide in on someone else’s work!  But that simply isn’t Biblical.

We all will stand independently before God someday and give an account of what we did or did not do.

The Bible says in 2nd Corinthians 5:10
For we [believers will be called to account and] must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be repaid for what has been done in the body, whether good or bad [that is, each will be held responsible for his actions, purposes, goals, motives—the use or misuse of his time, opportunities and abilities].

We won’t be able to throw around the names of others to justify our actions ….. It will only be you …. and God!   You will be “graded” on your performance alone.   I am sure He will show you and me what we did… or didn’t do …. good or bad…. right… or wrong.   There no doubt will be tears!   Tears of missed opportunities…. and also of out right rebellion to His Word.   Then, I believe Jesus will step in on our behalf  to remind God of the Blood He shed for this very moment…. to cover those sins and to make us pure in Gods eyes…. and that… is when He wipes away every tear!
Revelation 21:4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be death; there will no longer be sorrow and anguish, or crying, or pain; for the former order of things has passed away.”

but….. there is one more Scripture that NO one wants to ever hear…..

Matthew 7:21-23
 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to Me on that day [when I judge them], ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, and driven out demons in Your name, and done many miracles in Your name?’   And then I will declare to them publicly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me [you are banished from My presence], you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].’

Those are words I wish never to hear!!!  I believe God is sounding many wake up calls for us to get our priorities in line…..to make the necessary adjustments in our lives and to always be prepared for what is in front of us.   Always ready.  The time is short.  Shorter today than yesterday!  Don’t assume you will pass!   Don’t take your salvation for granted!   Don’t compare your walk with the person next to you! Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today!   Jesus IS coming….. and He not only wants you to be in Heaven with Him… but He wants you to be a vessel to bring others with you to Heaven.   Follow His Standard…. !

and on that judgement day……. our diploma will read …..‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’ Matthew 25:23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grace… yep… that is what we call the free and unmerited favor of God.   Grace keeps us from getting what we deserve but….that is

E……Is For Endings…… Lesson 3

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The Letter “E” is our next lesson in the series of T.E.A.R.S.

A few words that could draw a tear are:
Endings….. Emptiness…. Embarrassment…… Enemies…. Enduring…. Evil…. Eviction…..Exasperation….. Excluded…. Edification…. Encouragement…. Exonerated ….

The word Emotions itself begins with “E”
Happy Emotions…. Sad Emotions… Excited…..Mad…
Emotions can grab us out of no where sometimes… and how we “react” to them can vary.   Me?…. well I seem to have an abundance of tears in reserve and it certainly
doesn’t take much for the floodgates to open and flow freely.

Endings ….however…. is the E word I felt God wanted me to use.      If…. there is a beginning … there will always be…. an ending!
Example…. movies.   I really don’t like to got to watch a movie in a theater very much….. oh… I like the atmosphere…. the fullness of the surround sound that seems to go all through you…. and of course… movie popcorn with extra butter!!!   What I don’t like about it,  is it really doesn’t matter if it is a love story… action film… or a cartoon…. I almost ALWAYS cry at some point in the movie!  And if it is one of those real tear jerkers… you can only imagine what I look like when the lights come on when you don’t even leave the house to get the mail without Mascara and Eyeliner.   If you still don’t get the picture…. lest just say…. “it ain’t pretty!”

I remember when my son was younger, his favorite movie was Air Bud.   We must have watched that movie a 100 times…. and yet…. EVERYTIME he yelled at Buddy to go away….. and then threw the ball so he could run back to the boat…. leaving that sad little dog just watching …. wondering why he was left…. I BAWLED….. even though… I KNEW in 5 minutes he would come strolling in on the basketball court.  And then lets not forget the ones that had really sad endings…. like My Girl…. or The Green Mile!   Lets just say… I was glad I was home… behind closed doors and windows and next to the Kleenex and makeup remover!

Embryo    (Because Babies doesn’t start with the Letter “E”)
New born babies make me cry too!!   There is just something about those sweet little things that just touch my heart and apparently my heart is attached directly to those darn tear ducts!
Their beginning…. will begin to set off a continues stream of beginnings…. and …. endings.

As Mommas…. we are totally wrapped up in those little ones’ life!   When they are happy…. we are happy…. when they are sad…. we are sad…. when they cry… yep…. we cry!
When they go off to school…. Kindergarten…. we cry…. for their beginning…. but at our ending of those precious toddler years.

When they graduate from High School…. We cry…. at their beginning of being an adult…. but at our ending of our nurturing role as a parent.

Then they get married…. we cry…. at their beginning of a new role in the adult world of husband and or wife…. but the ending of being the only woman possessing their heart.

….. and when they have their first baby….. we cry…. at the beginning of their parental status…. and the ending of yet another closed chapter in ours.
Beginnings…. and …. endings… bring lots of tears!

Another ending for some of us has to do with Divorce.    Our beautiful…. happy ever after dream beginning…. ended in a ugly…. night mare ending.  I shed many tears during the nearly 2 years of struggling to keep my marriage from ending in a statistic.  I prayed…. confessed…. believed…. and tried to be who I thought he wanted me to be, only to find out that once I was there….. it was never satisfactory to him and to me…. well… I had almost forgotten who I really was.    So…. I filed for divorce…. and now… I found myself… “Estranged”…. “Empty” and “Exhausted”!

But …. God never left me.  He walked me through ever step.  Even when I felt like I was a complete failure and was a disappointment to Him… He would remind me through things like a song on the radio…. words from my child….or even a TV show.    I remember when I was having a super bad night… and Touched By An Angel was on.  Andrew (the death Angel) was preparing to take a woman home who was dying in an alley.   The camera panned to his face and as he was telling her… he was looking me in the eye and said… God wants me to tell you… He loves you very much and He is not disappointed in you!!   Oh my!!!   God touched my heart …. which we recently concluded has a direct connection to my tear ducts … in a big way!

And of course…. Life…. if life has a beginning…. Life has and ending…. which we call …. death.
Not all of us may go through some of the previous “endings” I have talked about …. but everyone of us will at some point in our life …. experience the ending of life of someone we love.

Our family had a streak of deaths for awhile in the ’90s.   One of those was my dad.   My dad… suffered with prostate cancer for almost 2 years and the last few days were extremely hard.  The last day of his life seemed to be the longest for all of us… as he experienced many hours of extreme pain…then some kind of a seizure….. followed by a stroke…. and then he slipped into a coma before he took his last breath.

The tears I shed…. was for the ending of his life…. a life cut way too short … in a very cruel… cruel way!   A life… that would no longer be there to share in all of the joys…sorrows…. the beginnings and endings with the rest of us.   But…. our ending…. was only his …. beginning!!   You see… just a few months before he died… he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior!!    So his beautiful beginning of everlasting life with our Heavenly Father…. ended…. his pain … his sorrow… and his suffering!

Ecclesiastes 7:8 AMP
Better is the end of a thing than the beginning of it.

Revelation 21:4
God will wipe away every tear from their eyes and death shall be no more, neither shall there be anguish (sorrow and mourning) nor grief nor pain anymore, for the old conditions and the former order of things have passed away.

Isaiah 25:8
He will swallow up  death (in victory; He will abolish death forever) and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; and the reproach of His people He will take away from off all the earth; for the Lord has spoken it.

 

 

Why Pray?

 

 

The question why pray has come up in our Bible studies. Especially when God is supposed to be in control. God told me this morning that there is always casualties in war. And we are in a spiritual battle with the real enemy and we need to pray for wisdom to fight that battle

Last Supper Thoughts

How many times have we had a situation in our life….a problem that we need an answer to and we take it to God in Prayer…. asking for an answer?
THAT is what we need to do of course.
Does God answer?
Of Course He does!!

The problem is ….we are not paying attention when He does answer.   We are either wallowing in our own self-pity….. or too busy with other things to listen…. really…. LISTEN to
what He tells us!

Just like the Disciples at the Last Supper.    Jesus said…. there was one that would betray Him….and of course the Disciples all asked Him who it was.    Jesus told them…. it is he who I will
give this piece of bread to after I have dipped it!

THE ANSWER…..!!!!

How did they miss THAT???
You would think they would be watching every move He made with that piece of bread….. and yet… they still didnt get the answer to their question!

How many times do we miss the obvious like the Disciples did with Judas?

When we pray…. we need to EXPECT Him to answer…and watch…and listen… because He will ALWAYS answer us.!

John 13:21
After Jesus had said these things, He was troubled (disturbed, agitated) in spirit and said, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, one of you will deliver Me up [one of you will be false to Me and betray Me]!
22 The disciples kept looking at one another, puzzled as to whom He could mean.
23 One of His disciples, whom Jesus loved [whom He esteemed and delighted in], was reclining [next to Him] on Jesus’ bosom.
24 So Simon Peter motioned to him to ask of whom He was speaking.
25 Then leaning back against Jesus’ breast, he asked Him, Lord, who is it?
26 Jesus answered, It is the one to whom I am going to give this morsel (bit) of food after I have dipped it. So when He had dipped the morsel of bread [into the dish], He gave it to Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son.
27 Then after [he had taken] the bit of food, Satan entered into and took possession of [Judas]. Jesus said to him, What you are going to do, do more swiftly than you seem to intend and make quick work of it.
28 But nobody reclining at the table knew why He spoke to him or what He meant by telling him this.
29 Some thought that, since Judas had the money box (the purse), Jesus was telling him, Buy what we need for the Festival, or that he should give something to the poor.