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Mar 6, 2017

God Focus

Photo Credit Casie Steele @ http://steeleapeek.blogspot.com

There you are not being focused. You can't help it. It is as though it is totally out of your control. You start out focused and ready to spend time with God and then before you know it there is a distraction. Sometimes it's the phone, often it's a pet or a child, it could even be the door bell. It's a campaign to keep you from spending time with Jesus. 

That's not the only issue. Besides the typical distraction, you have an attraction to distraction. There are apps, email, text messages, phones, to do's and all the have to's that fill your time. It's very easy to find no time left for God. He won't compete with the distractions in your life. He deserves and desires your full attention. Are you ready to devote time to Him? Not just the last few minutes at the end of the day when you finally think of Him but rather quality time set aside for you to be with Him? 

Start today. Establish a distraction free zone where you can shut out the world and focus on Jesus. Be one with Christ in prayer and reflection. Seek him throughout the day in interactions with others and in nature. Focus on Christ and be blessed.

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.Luke 9:23

Feb 27, 2017

Tolerance


Tolerance. It is a word that is used in excess of late. The dictionary defines tolerance this way -"the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with". Tolerance should not be confused with acceptance. Acceptance is defined as ""the action or process of being received as adequate or suitable, typically to be admitted into a group". The difference between tolerance and acceptance seems to be confused or misunderstood by many. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. Loving someone does not mean you agree with the way they choose to live or what they do or stand for. You may not accept their lifestyle as one you agree with or believe it's in line with what Jesus would desire from a follower of his. Still, you can be tolerant and love them because you understand that each person is free to make their own choices and is accountable to God. You are tolerant and not judging but that does not mean you accept their believe or choice.

 Jesus is not always tolerant. He cares about truth. Sin is sin and tolerance of sin does not change that. Jesus was clear on the way to live as a follower of his. The next time you hear about tolerance stop and consider what is being requested. Are you being asked to pretend sin is not sin? Are you being asked to love knowing we are all sinners? Are you being asked to accept a belief or lifestyle that you disagree with as acceptable? Is what you are hearing in alignment with what Jesus would say is the way?   

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it”. Matthew 7:13-14

Feb 5, 2017

Hope in Christ



Hope. Some describe it as optimistic expectation. Others refer to it as wishing or dreaming. It's been said that hope is not a plan and that it is not something you should base your life on. On the contrary, as followers of Jesus Christ we know that hope is strong and that our hope is in Him.

Hope in Christ allows the heart to move forward and beat another day. Hope is powerful. It motivates, mobilizes and transcends. With hope in Christ you can face the world in confidence knowing that God is in control and all is well.

The world may beat at your soul and cause you to be dishearten, concerned or wondering if you can make it through what is before you. Do not give in to the thought of being less than hopeful. Pause. Take a breath. Focus your mind, heart and soul on Jesus. Tell him what is going on and then listen. Be still. Trust Him. Thank Him. Then get up and go on, one step and then another in full and unshaken confidence that Jesus Christ is leading you and has your best interest in mind. He is the God of hope and in Him you are blessed.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Jan 15, 2017

Jesus Matters


What really matters anyway?  Family, friends, health, travel, work or business, and God could be potential responses to this questions. The real answer lies in the details of your life. Stop and consider how you spend your time. If you count up the hours in a day or week and list how they were spent you will quickly find the answer to what matters in your life. 

In the New Testament we are provided several examples when the answer to, "what really matters anyway?", is clearly not Jesus. Perhaps your life demonstrates otherwise. These examples are provided to point out what could get in the way of Jesus in your life.

- In Matthew 19:20-22, a young rich man asks Jesus what he needs to do to follow him. Jesus instructed the man to sell his possession and give them to the poor and then follow Jesus. The rich man determined he could not do this and let his wealth keep him from following Jesus. Perhaps you too find that your need to provide for your family absorbs you with no time left for God.

 In Luke 10:38-42, we learn that Martha let busyness and distraction keep her from hearing the word of God and being in the presence of Jesus, even as he was right there with her in the flesh! How much more easily is it for you to be distracted from Jesus and the Word with all the distractions in your life?

We learn in all four Gospels about the way Peter denied Jesus, just as Jesus had told him he would. Fear, embarrassment and not wanting to be different and singled out, Peter denied Christ three times. This may be something you have experienced in your own life that keeps you from sharing, acknowledging and fully living in Christ.

Let these examples open your eyes, heart and mind to just a few ways that the enemy may deter you from following Jesus and having Him be what really matters in your life. Stay steady in prayer and guard your time so that Jesus is not an after thought or add on to your life, but rather the essence of all your are.

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." Matthew 16:24

Dec 31, 2016

New Year in Christ


10, 9, 8, 7 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1....you are off and on the way. It's a New Year's! As is customary there will be resolutions claimed, promises proclaimed and plans laid out for the year. Change, new direction, re-establishing relationships, and the ever popular return to fitness, will lead the list. Humans feel more in control setting a path as the old year fades away to the future. Most best laid plans for the New Year pursued in your human strength quickly fall by the wayside, tattered and disposed in exchange for what real life brings. 

Perhaps this year can be different. Maybe for once you can relinquish "control" to God and follow the path He points you to. His plan are perfect in comparison and hold so much more. If you can, you may be surprised at the blessings awaiting you. So many others before you trusted Him in complete faith and were totally awe struck when they followed Him. Abraham, David, Esther, Ruth, Mary and Paul, to name a few, all found God's path to hold more blessings than any they could have set. Perhaps this year you can too. May this New Year lead you to a closeness in Jesus that brings you peace, health, grace, love and sets you on a journey for the most blessed year ever.

Happy New Year!

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways ny ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9