Sunday, June 27, 2010

Beauty Routine

"As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him."

1 John 2:27 (NIV)

A few months ago, I decided after almost 30 years to change my skin care. I had only used one specific brand of skin care and it was something that was introduced to me at the tender age of 15. My mother had attended a skin care class and told me if I would use it, she would buy it. Now, let me ask you- what 15 year old is going to say “no” to makeup??? So began my love for this product and I was actually faithful and vigilant in using it daily.

Over the years I have followed a routine of skin care twice daily- when trouble areas have arose- there was a special product to help. If (and now when) wrinkles appeared- there was a product to help. When there was an age spot- there was a product to help. This skin care line seemed to have all their bases covered.

I honestly can’t remember why I decided to switch to something different, maybe out of curiosity- but I stepped out to try something new and see what would happened (if anything) At first I was very impressed with the new product, it seemed to adjust well and handle my problem areas. I was pleased with the results I was getting. Things were looking up and I was a little boastful that I had the courage to step out of my comfort zone.

Stick with me here men because I can feel the eyes rolling and the “what does this have to do with faith…it’s just makeup for crying out loud”. J I ran across one of my old products this week and thought to myself to try it again to see if I could actually notice a difference. BOY DID I! Not that the new products didn’t work, but I found that the old was better for me and my needs. Maybe my skin was just so used to the old routine, I don’t know but it made me think…

Our faith is a daily routine, it is something that we need to vigilantly and faithfully follow. It isn’t something to be “experimented” with. The Bible is God’s ONE True Word. It’s our handbook, our Leader Guide and Compass. I love to read books by bestselling authors such as Max Lucado or Beth Moore. However, these books are not the Bible. They should be an addition- not a substitution for regular Bible study. I find encouragement and insight from Max and Beth, but draw Divine Intervention from studying my Bible.

Studying our Bibles on a faithful schedule helps us with ANY problem area s that may arise. It’s not a superficial solution- it’s the Ultimate Health Treatment. Try it, I can GUARANTEE you’ll love the results!


Father, thank You so much for the privelge of daily walking with You. I praise You that all I have to do it ask and You are there. Being with You daily is what keeps me in Your perfect care and without it, I am truly flawed, inside and out. In Jesus Name- AMEN.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Conscience Stricken

3When the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery. They made her stand in the middle of the court and put the case before Him.
4Teacher, they said, This woman has been caught in the very act of adultery.
5Now Moses in the Law commanded us that such [women--offenders] shall be stoned to death. But what do You say [to do with her--what is Your sentence]?(A)
6This they said to try (test) Him, hoping they might find a charge on which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger.
7However, when they persisted with their question, He raised Himself up and said, Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.
8Then He bent down and went on writing on the ground with His finger.
9They listened to Him, and then they began going out, conscience-stricken, one by one, from the oldest down to the last one of them, till Jesus was left alone, with the woman standing there before Him in the center of the court.
10When Jesus raised Himself up, He said to her, Woman, where are your accusers? Has no man condemned you?
11She answered, No one, Lord! And Jesus said, I do not condemn you either. Go on your way and from now on sin no more.
John 8:3-11 (Amplified Bible)

I chose the Amplified version of this scripture because vs. 9 interprets the scribes and Pharisees actually being “conscience stricken”. The first few times I studied this story, my focus was on the accused woman. I can only imagine the men shoving her into Jesus’ presence, maybe even throwing her down at his feet on the dusty dirty floor. I imagine her with her head hung low, not even being able to look up at Him in shame. I imagine she thought “this is it- I’ve been caught- everyone now knows what I am and I’m going to pay the ultimate price”.
I have done so much to be ashamed of in my life and sometimes the guilt has been so overwhelming… well let’s just say it’s hard to focus on anything but that. I can’t even imagine how much worse I would actually feel if I was physically in front of Him- having to face my sin. But this woman knew that guilt. We live in such a secular world- that when we sin, we sometimes forget Who we will face and answer to. I bow my head when I pray- sometimes it’s out of humility and reverence and sometimes it’s out of guilt and shame. I cannot express how much His Mercy and Grace have and continue to mean to me in my life. Without it I would continue to be lost. But praise God- I am a forgiven child of His!
My second thought while studying this story was that of the scribes and Pharisees- they were the accusers. They were trying to trick Jesus, but got a wake- up call BIG TIME. I relate to the accused woman, but I also relate to these accusers. How many times have I picked up rocks to throw at people? How many times have I played judge and jury? I’ve been guilty of jumping to conclusions, not having the facts and not going to the source. What about the times I have “shared” something I shouldn’t? Whether or not the person knows I said it- God knows it and I’m still discrediting myself and them.
We get so focused on being the victim that we sometimes forget we’re the victimizer too. We play both roles- we all do it. It doesn’t make it right, but we do. How many times have we sat in church and listened to a convicting message only to be thinking to ourselves, “I wish (fill in the blank) was here to hear this!” My point is- WE need to hear it too. We need to be reminded that we are sinners too and God has forgiven us. Forgiveness is hard-period. It’s a work in progress sometimes, but we always need to be working towards that forgiveness so we can, in turn be forgiven.
The next time I pick up a stone (a wrong thought about someone, a negative comment, a dirty look) I will remember Jesus stooping down and writing on the ground- maybe He’ll be writing my sin to remind me to look at myself first before I decide to pick up that stone and prepare to throw it at someone else. I pray that image is engraved on my heart and in my mind- and that you will too.

Father God, thank You so much for forgiveness, for without it, we are all lost. I praise You that You loved us so much, You sent Your Only Son to die for our sins. Help us to always remember the sacrifice You made so that we can have eternal life with You. Help us to put down our rocks and to get on our knees. In Jesus Name- AMEN

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Tune In

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me."

John 10:27

My wonderful husband loves talk radio. Now as most of you know, it wasn't that long ago that it was pretty much limited to an AM radio station. Turn on the TV now and we have channels designated solely to news, commentary and just about anything you can possible think to talk about. He loves to listen to heated debates regarding politics, current events and religion. He travels all day in a vehicle so this is his only link for outside communication most of the day. But his love of talking isn't just limited to the radio, it has now migrated onto the TV when he arrives home.

Please remember above I did call him my "wonderful" husband :) I have a confession- I don't like talk radio or television. To me, it's like remembering as a child trying to tune in an AM channel and only getting static. I would rather listen to completely nothing than to listen to static, even if it's just in the background. I even work in a building that actually pipes in "white noise". It's subtle- you have to really concentrate to hear it, but it's there.

I become really frustrated when I hear these heated discussions- everyone fighting for position, everyone wanting to be heard. People interrupting, raising their voices and pointing their fingers. To me, it just sounds like static. It's hard to distinguish what the point of the discussion is because everyone is talking at the same time or not being allowed to finish their statement.

When I do sit down and listen to the local news or something that's not a debate, I really enjoy it. I can concentrate and really absorb the content. I find myself totally in tune with what the person on the other side is saying. I understand them, hear them clearly and learn something new most of the time.

Are our spiritual lives like this? When we allow ourselves to be too busy, too preoccupied we're not tuned in to what God wants to tell us. Sometimes we're too busy trying to get our point across to listen to what He has to say. We're consumed with our side of the day or the situation. Listen to ME- Hear ME- Tune ME in. It's all about ME.

Let me tell you something that I can say with 110% confidence- I am more tuned in and hear more when I am quiet than when I'm fighting for position to be heard. When we allow His Spirit to just quiet our hearts and minds- His Spirit moves in us and we hear all kinds of none earthly static! It's a Peace- a calming of our spirit. I want to challenge you this week to take time to tune OUT yourself and tune IN God. Find a quiet spot, if only for a few minutes and just stop thinking about everything on your heart and allow Him to tell you about His plans and promises. Ask for His Spirit to just overtake the static- all the worldly distractions and just dwell for a few priceless minutes on Him. You won't be disappointed!

Heavenly Father, I praise you for giving me a voice. I praise you for allowing me to be heard. I praise you for all the times you listen to it being all about ME. Help me to stop, tune in and listen to You. I ask for Your Spirit to lead my heart away from my concerns and bring me to your side where I can be at peace and have complete rest. Thank you so much for the promises I have in You. Thank you for tuning me in and tuning out the static!- In Jesus Name- AMEN