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I like to begin my mornings with prayer. However, when I tried getting up early to pray, I found myself falling back to sleep! Yet, if I waited until the kids were off to school, a couple of hours had gone by before I could ‘start’ my day with prayer. Sometimes half the day had gone by! So one morning I shared these concerns with God and asked if there was a short prayer that I could pray each morning to start my day that would cover things until I could have my ‘prayer time’ later. He answered immediately with the following prayer. It actually came to me as a song. I’d like to share it with you this morning.
This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. – Psalm 118:24
Oh, Lord, I want to thank you for this a brand new day,
Another chance to shine Your light and love along my way.
Please be with me and guide me, in all I say and do,
Now, I go, and I go with You. Amen
What a night we had at the Charlotte Bobcats game! It was our first time to sit in the lower level. We were 10 rows up behind the basketball goal. It was the first time I actually watched the players and not the jumbo-tron! My husband caught the first of the give-away balls that they were throwing into the stands during a time-out; since we were in the ‘end zone’, we were all given inflatable bam-bam sticks to use to distract the opposing team when they were taking free-throw shots – which was lots of fun; and then in the 4th quarter we had the best time of all. The announcer asked who the next Fan Cam Winner would be and said they were searching the coliseum. As I heard them saying that, I noticed that Rufus, the mascot, had come up to stand with my younger son, 6, who was being held by my husband and the camera was right on them! Sure enough, they were the Fan Cam Winners! They were up on the big tv for all to see and Rufus presented my son with a bag full of Bobcats stuff – including a jersey! Everyone around us was excited for us, and my son looked so cute on the big screen! He was with his dad and his big brother and couldn’t have looked happier or been more excited. Then, just a few minutes later, Rufus returned to give a gift bag to my other son, too. Wasn’t that nice?! That was the absolute best time I’ve ever had at a game, so I couldn’t help but share it with you!
This is a big basketball weekend for us. My younger son’s last game is tomorrow a.m. (instructional level), and my older son will play in the first round of their tournament.
Our weekend is off to a great start! I hope you and your loved ones will have a great weekend, too.
Hello, friends! It’s come to my attention that some of you wanted to post comments but didn’t know what to do.
I’d love to receive your feedback! You can respond with your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions by clicking on ‘comments’, found below the title line of each posting.
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Blessings to all,
I wrote the following poem on Christmas Eve, 2005, but its message is appropriate today.
HE LIVED TO FORGIVE
Tis the day before Christmas as my mind drifts to ponder.I retreat from my busyness and reflect on the wonder
Of the gift that God gave us when He sent us His SonTo offer forgiveness and God’s grace to everyone
Who believes Christ is Savior who took all our sins,And still lives today; through our hearts He enters in.
He brought us salvation from our own sinful waysAnd all that He asks of us today,
Is that we pay it forward, sharing Christ’s love with all,Including those who have wronged us or caused us to fall.
He lived to forgive us, so shouldn’t we do the same?Love and forgive others. Let go of past blame.
Then we will receive the peace and joy Jesus givesAnd the world will be better when through us He lives!
Please let me exclaim through these words that I write,Merry CHRISTmas to ALL and through Him a blessed life. (A joyous Easter to all, and through Him a blessed life.) revision 2-22-07
Ephesians 4:32 “And be ye kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
Again I ask…Do you need to be reconciled with anyone? If so, I encourage you to pray about your situation and then go to them right away.
As I shared in the first part of this message, God put it on my heart to be reconciled with someone I had wrongfully criticized. I didn’t mean to be critical. My intentions were just to share an opposing opinion. However, the truth was that in sharing my opposition with her, I was criticising her, and I was wrong to do so.
I needed to apologize, and she needed to hear it. My words had hurt her. However, being the incredibly faithful person that she is, she had forgiven me long before I offered her my apology and seemed to bear no ill will toward me. Talk about GRACE! I was so humbled by her gracious spirit.
I learned several lessons from this experience. The most important is the power of grace. 1) By offering me forgiveness, she kept herself from being hardened by the side effects of unforgiveness, keeping her heart soft and available for the Lord. It was through the power His Spirit that she could offer me the grace that she did. 2) By receiving the grace of her forgiveness, my heart was touched. She witnessed through her grace. I have even greater admiration, respect, and appreciation for her than I did before, and hope that this will lead to a renewd relationship between us.
Often we teach more by what we don’t say in particular situations, than by what we do; and clearly, actions can speak louder than words. Hers taught in a positive way. Mine led to the need to learn from my mistakes.
And isn’t it awesome how God teaches us the way that He does? There couldn’t be a better time for me to exerience the grace of forgiveness than now, as we observe the Season of Lent and prepare for the celebration of Easter, acknowledging the sacrifice Jesus made when He died to save us from our sins.
I’ll ask it one more time…Do you need to be reconciled with someone? Is that someone God? Do you need to be forgiven? Do you need to offer forgiveness? If so, please pray about it and let God lead you in grace to forgive and to be forgiven.
Dear God, I come before You now, humbled by this experience and blessed by the love, compassion and forgiveness shown to me through Your servant and my sister in Christ. How she reflects the goodness of Christ and honors Him by doing so! Please help me to live more like her. As she graciously forgave me -even before I asked for her forgiveness – may I, also, graciously and uncoditionally forgive others, whether they ask for my forgiveness or not. I offer these things to You for Your glory and ask then in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Matthew 5:23-24 “So if you are standing before the altar in the Temple, offering a sacrifice to God, and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there beside the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.
It’s been on my mind to apologize to someone for criticisms I made in a written message. Then this verse started coming to mind the past couple of days and I realized that I had to give her my apology before I could begin my sacrifice for Lent.
This all began several months ago when I expressed disapproval for remarks that a fellow Christian made. She hadn’t said anything bad. I simply disagreed with her response to something. At the time I felt I’d done the right thing in expressing my opinion. However, later I regretted my actions, acknowledging that she is a very Spirit-filled and Spirit-led person who was acting in accordance with what God had put in her heart. Who was I to question that?! I felt so ashamed of myself.
We have exchanged occasional emails since that time. Being the Godly person that she is, she has never made a reference to my criticisms. In fact, she has been very Christ-like showing me nothing but kindness and grace.
Remembering the words of Matthew above, I ‘left the altar’ tonight and sent a written apology to her knowing that it was time to ‘go and be reconciled’. It feels so good to have done that! Now I can return to the altar with a clear conscience ready to make my sacrifice.
Is there anyone with whom you need to be reconciled? If so, go and be reconciled! Your heart will thank you and Christ will be pleased with you.
If you you’ve raised small children, you can likely recall various times when they’ve insisted on doing things themselves even when it was obvious that some assistance was needed. My younger son is six years old and still insists on doing things himself. Often he struggles and gets frustrated, but is too stubborn – uh, I mean ‘determined’ – to let anyone help him. Sometimes I admire his determination, but other times I end up frustrated because we need to do things the quickest or simplest way at the time and he affects others by refusing help.
It’s very likely that God feels the same way about us at times. All too often we insist on doing things all by ourselves, in our own way, and according to our own timing. We don’t allow ourselves to let others help or make suggestions. We don’t need to! We’re in control! And we certainly don’t need God’s help! We are often in too much of a hurry to give things to God in prayer, so we rush forward with our own limited efforts. In other situations we’re reluctant to pray about situations because we don’t want to admit our needs, and/or we don’t want to have to do things differently if God’s way differs from our own.
I can just imagine God looking down and shaking his head at us the way we shake our heads at others who seem stubborn or too self-reliant for their own good. Just as I long to help my son when he’s struggling needlessly, God longs to help us.
I’ve finally learned that Father really does know best. His way is always better than my way, and He often finds a way to make things happen even when situations seem hopeless or impossible to me. Yes, the Lord IS my helper. Is He yours?
Dear God, Please forgive me for the times I fail to see my need for You. And thank you for always being there, waiting for us to finally give in and seek your help. Lord, I pray that someone who might be struggling with something that’s too much for them to handle will turn to You and prayerfully put their trust in You. You’re always there for me. I’m so thankful that You are indeed my Helper. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.
Welcome little Maya Louanna (sp?), born yesterday to my cousin Matt, his wife Dawn, and their first two children Olivia and Wyatt in Hillsboro, WV. Maya, apparently a very compliant child, arrived on her due date!
May God’s hand of blessing be with you always, Maya. I can’t wait to meet you!
Romans 13:7 “…give respect and honor to those who are in authority.” (NIV)
Today is Presidents’ Day and I’m reminded of my disgust a few days ago when I saw that the Dixie Chicks won a prestigious award for their musical achievements. They were one of my favorite country music groups until they spoke out quite unfavorably about President Bush, going so far as to say they were ashamed to be from the same home state as him. Their comments that day were terribly disrespectful toward the President and the soldiers recently deployed to serve and defend our great nation in the wake of 9/11.
The lead singer of the Dixie Chicks later gave a public and insincere apology. Not long after, when asked if she had any regrets about her remarks against the President and the incidents that followed, she said her only regret was that she had apologized publicly to the President.
The bible doesn’t command us to agree with authority, but the words of Paul tell us that we are to “respect and honor those who are in authority”. On this Presidents Day, I am grateful for President Bush and the Christian witness he bears for all the world to see. I am also grateful for our former presidents who stepped up to serve our country and protect the freedoms we so often take for granted- including the freedoms that allow me to share these thoughts with you.
Dear Lord, Today I thank you for the presidents of our past who served to make the USA a blessed nation. I also thank you for President Bush and his Christian leadership, and ask that you continue to lift and guide him by your Holy Spirit, that we would continue to be a blessed nation. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Blessings to all,
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