I think one of the things Christians, especially new Christians struggle the most is condemnation. We live in the world of “forgive and not forget” and we have the tendency to look at God in the same light.
I have said many times that understanding God’s mercy was hard for me. How could he forgive the things I had done when his Word said that those things were against his will? Then I discovered Grace. That favor that God gives us that covers all our sins. That which brings to life the sacrifice of the cross.
Even after salvation we are not perfect, and there are times when we life in this fear of when will be the day when he will say enough, you’ve crossed the line of unforgiveness. But lucky for us that day will not arrive. As long as we repent we will be covered once again by the blood of the lamb, because Jesus died for ALL our sins. The ones we did and the ones to be done.
1 Peter 1:18-20
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.
Let’s Praise God for that!
I was having a conversation with a friend regarding leadership. My friend’s point of view was that because he was in a particular position, he would consult those “under” him, but that the last word would always be his. After all, that’s what his position entitled him to do.
The conversation was funny to me because humbling yourself through leadership is more than taking others into consideration. It’s about service. Being a leader it is about asking those who you are responsible for, as much as you are willing to do.
Leadership is not a title, accolades or a position. The truth is that the higher the position, the higher the responsibility.
Actually the Word of God tells us in
Matthew 23:11 “The greatest among you must be a servant.”
Leadership is not about being served but about serving others. The truth is that we have all been called for leadership. I know that doesn’t sound true to everyone, but it is true. As a believer, wherever you go you are to be salt of the earth. If you are light and salt, it means that others are looking or asking what you do to guide themselves to Christ. So know that even if you do not hold a particular position at work, church or your community, you are still called to be a leader.
So how do you know how to be the right kind of leader? The bible gives us a simple guide:
“Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.” Philippians 2:5-8 MSG
A lot to think about. Until next time, be blessed
Tag for The Road Home
“This book certainly held my interest straight through to the very emotional ending. ”Mary Anne Benedetto
I had the opportunity to meet the bravest 11-year-old. She has gone through a real terrible experience. She went through one of a little girls worse nightmare and a parent’s worse nightmare, she had been sexually abused by her grandfather. This brave girl now speaks up against trying to encourage other children to speak up. Let’s hear from Breann herself.
“My greatest fear happened last year, in 2012, over Spring Break. We went to Michigan to visit my grandparents. While we were there, on Saturday night, my grandfather sexually assaulted me.
On Sunday, while my grandfather was giving a speech in church, I was wondering if what happened to me was a dream. I found out later, that it was real when it happened a second time on Monday night.
On Tuesday morning, my mom came and sat down next to me. I told her, ‘I think someone touched me inappropriately.’ My dad confronted my grandfather, and my grandfather confessed and said he did sexually assault me.
We left immediately because of what happened. My father told me, ‘Breann, you’re my hero. If you hadn’t told us what had happened, it could’ve happened to Brooklyn or Morgan or Alexis. You saved your sisters.’
I told my dad, ‘You’re my hero, too.’ My greatest fear was telling my parents about what happened, but when I did, it wasn’t so bad. It wasn’t so bad because, at first I was scared to tell my parents but I felt I needed to trust my parents and tell someone so they could help me.
It was my greatest fear because I didn’t want to get my grandfather in trouble, but I knew that he needed to be held responsible for his actions. I hope this encourages other children to tell your parents or an adult they trust about something that happened, no matter how bad the situation may be.”
Thank you Breann for being so brave. Now, as hard as being able to tell her parents and confront her abuser, Breann was brave enough to speak up. It is quite empowering when victims of abuse of all ages are afraid to do what this 11-year-old has done. If you are a victim of abuse or know of someone who is, follow Breann’s example and speak up.
You can support Breann by sharing her cause on the link bellow
You can also support this organization who is creating awareness about child abuse by supporting the event Volley for Voice.Www.voicetoday.org/volley
Genesis 50:20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
“This book certainly held my interest straight through to the very emotional ending. ”Mary Anne Benedetto
When my dog was a puppy, I used to let her walk to the door, place the leash on her right by the door, open the door, she would walk by herself until she was at the end of the driveway and wait for me until I closed the door behind me. She never took off or ran away. One morning I was distracted and I opened the door but I never put on the leash. It was a total accident. I quickly realized what I had done, but hoping she would be use to the routine, I tried to act just as normal to see if she would wait at the end of the driveway like she did every morning. She walked halfway to the driveway, she looked back at me like saying “something is missing”, she quickly noticed what it was and took off running wagging her tail. It was playtime!
After that day I made sure that I had the leash on her before opening the door. Somehow even though she was lose, the leash was her indicator not to keep on running. Today when I walk her I sometimes let the leash go while I pick up after her and she doesn’t take off, she stays right by my side. I’m not sure that if the leash was not on her she would do the same. It got me thinking. As fast as she is, if she realized that she is free once I place the leash on the ground she could easily take off and give me a good time chasing her.
How many times in our lives we have been freed from a situation and we continue to carry it just like if we were still in chains? I love my dog and of course, aside that its the law that I walk her on a leash for her own protection, but the leashes in our lives are not always good restraints and those are the ones that I’m talking about.
It really got me thinking, of the times that I’ve prolonged with the leashes of shame, condemnation, or pride being stuck when I have been forgiven, delivered, and set free. Sometimes we are so accustomed to the leash, that we don’t even try to run anymore.
I think it’s a good day to remember that who the Son sets free is free indeed. It’s time to enjoy that freedom, starting right now!
I would recommend this book for anyone who would like some common sense and light added to their life. C. Cunningham
Great for meditations and daily devotions. N. Thames
By Ada Brownell
Recently a Christian astronomer spoke at our church. He has a giant telescope and goes out on his driveway in the middle of the night and takes pictures of what he sees. His photos of the universe have been published by some of the most prestigious scientific journals in the world, including those of the National Space and Aeronautics Administration.
Dr. Richard Hammer is a chemistry professor at Evangel University, and his work with astronomy began as a hobby. Now he’s teaching astronomy as well.
After showing slide after slide of the sun, moon, stars and planets spreading endlessly across the sky, he showed us several awesome photos and pointed out how earth is only a little speck humankind can see through the windshield of our technology.
He reminded us David asked, “What is man that God is mindful of him?” (Psalm 8:4).
A whole universe, with galaxy after galaxy, and God chose this wad of whirling dirt moving at just the right speed with the correct amount of gravity and oxygen as the place to form a man and woman—His creation. We all know those humans rebelled and didn’t believe if they ate of the forbidden tree that they would die. After all, the serpent laughed and said, “You won’t die.” But not long afterward, they stood beside a dead son and then they died.
The last slide I remember Hammer showing was a photo of bloody hands, representing the nail-scarred hands of Jesus coming to deliver humankind from sin and death, and I couldn’t help but remember we are only a speck in the universe.
That night after we returned home I read 1 John 3: 1-3: “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are the children of God and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.”
John says it all.
© March 30, 2011
ADA BROWNELL spent 17 years as a newspaper reporter, mostly at The Pueblo Chieftain in Pueblo, CO. She has sold approximately 275 articles and fiction stories to 45 Christian magazines and wrote one story on assignment for US Magazine. Her new book Swallowed by Life is available at http://amzn.com/1466200936
I received this story in one of those chain e-mails that we all get. I rarely read
those, but this one really caught my attention and decided to share it with all of you. The author is unknown and may we all be coffee…
You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.
A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.
Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire.
Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.
In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see.”
“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.
Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.
Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma the daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?”
Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity…. boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its insides became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.
“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?
Now think of this: Which am I?
Am I the carrot
that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?
Am I the egg
that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?
Am I like the coffee bean?
The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?
May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.
The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything… they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past . You can’t go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.
When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so at the end, you’re the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.
May we all be COFFEE!!!!!!
Look at the picture above. It is one of our favorite mental pictures. It is very easy for us to assign responsibility to others when things go wrong, but do we think what our part in the process was? If we look at the hand, there’s one finger pointing outward and three inward. If you’re doing the pointing there are three fingers pointing at you.
Some things are out of our control in life; I’m not negating that…but it’s not as many as we tend to think.
Have you heard yourself say things like: this person makes me feel (angry, upset, irritable) or made me (eat, scream, nag, throw something)…unless the person has a weapon and threatening your safety. Was is truly this person’s fault or did you allow yourself into the behavior or emotion? We also blame the circumstances around our lives. Most time we created those circumstances as well.
Sometimes we forget to take accountability for our own actions because it’s easier to blame others or the circumstances. The denial of our responsibility falsely releases us from having to address it or work on fixing it. By placing the responsibility outside of us, we convince ourselves that the answer is out of our hands, not realizing that is inside that fist, hidden behind those three fingers that are pointing at us.
Stepping out of that denial is not an easy thing. It makes us see ourselves for who we really are. It also finally addresses the issue that we need to work on, that’s true freedom!
So I just invite you to stop and think; every time there’s a situation in your life and you are ready to blame someone else; ask yourself, what part did you play for things to happen?
Did you enjoy this post? This is one of the lessons included in my book Growth Lessons , get your copy today! Do you already have the ebook and want my autograph…submit your request on kindlegraph and i’ll be honored to process it.
Have you ever been in a situation where everything that could possibly go wrong does? and then you think, well…what else could happen? and it does. A pastor friend of mine used to tell me the bigger the attack, the bigger the upcoming blessing. So after you’ve fought your own battles and are finally coming out for air; the enemy comes and goes after a loved one. He thinks, “Gotcha! Now there’s nothing you can do!”
I’m here to tell you that we’ve all felt that way, that sense of impotence in front of a situation where we feel like we are so ill equip to handle or help the ones we love. God always provides a way and if nothing else there’s always something you can do:
“Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) It is so hard to be cheerful when things are rough, but we need to remember that there’s nothing…NOTHING bigger than God. We should pray for that mountain in front of us to move. We should pray for wisdom in the decisions to make in the middle of the storm. We should pray for the pain of our loved one to subside. We should pray for peace in our heart and those who are hurting. How many of us are where we are because someone prayed non stop for our lives? It’s time to pay it forward.
We need to trust that God will do his part, even if the end result is not what we want. We do know that everything in his hand will turn out for our good. Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us to “Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight”
Once you have prayed and with your trust in God you have to release your cares unto him. Oh this is a hard one for me!! How many times I’ve asked the Lord, “ Ok, I prayed and I trust you but what do you want me to do?” and he responds…Nothing! Oh, he knows that drives me nuts, but he’s right. He’s God and I’m not. But if I trust I have to remember that all I have to do is “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” Psalms 55:22
If you have a particular prayer request, please let me know. You are not alone and I will love to pray with you…
I hope your day is blessed…
Join Naty Matos and 9 of her author friends at Women’s Literary Cafe’s Christian Book Launch, December 13-15. Ten authors will discount their eBooks to just 99 cents. Buy 3 get 1 FREE!
We are so blessed here at The Rising Muse. Recently we’ve had great Christian authors who have agreed to pay us a visit and share their stories with us. Today is no exception. We are glad to have Linda Yezak, enjoy this enlightening article!
God and the Garden Lizard
I pulled out of Mom’s driveway the other day for another trek to visit her in the hospital. The car was in motion and well on its way when a garden lizard scrambled to the driver’s side window and peeked in at me. Whether he was as surprised to see me as I was to see him was hard to tell. Reptiles aren’t the most emotive of God’s creatures.
But I felt so sorry for him. Can you imagine how huge the car must’ve been to him? And it was moving! He had no idea where we were going or whether he’d be safe. He only knew the wind was flapping his tail around, and he couldn’t get away from it. Finally settling in the rearview-mirror housing, he swiveled his head between me and the lizard in the mirror that wore the same expression of fear only another reptile would recognize.
Apparently uncomfortable with his companion in the mirror, he crawled out of my sight, only to return later to cling to the silver window frame. From there, he kept his green nose to the wind as though determined to meet his fate head-on. He didn’t know there was a vacant lot around the corner, didn’t understand what was happening when the car stopped and the critter inside it came out. And certainly didn’t understand when that same critter trapped him and put her hand on his body.
While any bug large enough to cast a shadow will send me into a screaming retreat, I’ve never been afraid of snakes, frogs, or lizards. So I caught him fearlessly and walked him to the edge of the lot. How odd that he seemed to trust me–he never once tried to jump from my hand, even when I lowered him to the grass. I had to nudge him.
As I watched him disappear among the weeds, feeling the warm fuzzies for a cold-blooded animal, I considered the wonderful lesson he taught me: When you’re in for the ride of your life, stick your nose in the wind and trust your Driver.
Linda Yezak (pronounced like “yes” and “sick” thrown together with a “z”), lives with her husband and three cats in a forest in Texas, where tall tales abound and exaggeration is an art form. She is a two-time finalist in ACFW’s Genesis Contest, in 2008 for Give the Lady a Ride, a contemporary western comedy romance published by Port Yonder Press, and in 2010 for The Cat Lady’s Secret, a Women’s Fiction comedy-drama. She has been published in Christian Romance and Vibrant Nation e-zines, has served as a judge in several national and local writing contests, and is currently a freelance editor and a volunteer editor for Port Yonder Press.
Join Linda Yezak and 8 of her author friends at Women’s Literary Cafe’s Christian Book Launch, December 13-15. Ten authors will discount their eBooks to just 99 cents. Buy 3 get 1 FREE!
Remember, just a few hours left for the 99 hours 99 cent event. Click on the green icon on the left side of this page to take advantage of this great opportunity to obtain your Inspirational/Christian eBooks for you and your loved ones for just 99 cents.
After eating a week’s worth of food in one sitting, remembering why you don’t call your Aunt Molly the rest of the year and standing in the cold outside pushing through the crowd to get a towel for 99 cents, it’s time to settled down and refocus. Yes it was fun or stressful but was it really what it was all about?
If you didn’t have the opportunity between pies, turkey and the sales, you have another chance today to just stop for five and a half minutes and understand how blessed we are.
Author Kristen Lamb said on her blog on Wednesday about the things she was thankful for and I wanted to share those because it really places things in perspective.
“I am thankful for all the laundry I have to do, because it means I have clothes to wear.
I am thankful for the dishes that need washing, because it means I didn’t go hungry.
I am thankful for the big electric bill, because it means my home has lights and heat.
I am thankful for the sheets that need to be changed, because it means I own a bed.
I am thankful for all the reading I have to do, because it means that I am literate.
I am thankful for the car that needs an oil change because it means I don’t have to walk miles and miles to get what I need.
I am thankful for that parking space waaaaayyyy out in the back, because it means I don’t have to park in a handicapped space. I can walk.
I am thankful for the garage that needs to be cleaned out, because it means I am blessed with plenty.
I am thankful for the chores to be done, because it means I have family who love me enough to travel to see me.
I am thankful for the litter-box that needs cleaning and the dog blankets that need washing because it means I have pets who love me unconditionally.
I am thankful for the split ends I have, because it means I haven’t lost all my hair to chemo.
I am thankful for the Christmas cards I need to send, because they could as easily be funeral announcements.
I am thankful for the traffic snarls that catch me, because the body the firemen pulled out of the fatality accident could have been me.
I am thankful for the gutters I need to clean, because it means that I have a home.
I am thankful for all the Christmas shopping I have to do, because it means I am not alone.
I am thankful for my less than perfect thighs. It means I didn’t lose my legs in a car accident or to an IED.
I am thankful that I sometimes have doubts and confusion about my future and my purpose when I think of the lives cut short before they ever had a future.
I am thankful for the government I like to gripe about, because I don’t fear going to prison or being shot if I disagree with my country’s leadership.
I am thankful for my freedom and the amazing men and women who put their lives on the line to protect it.”
So sit with me and enjoy this video that also places in perspective the things we need to be grateful for and sometimes take for granted.
May this so called Black Friday shines the light of God in you. As a token of my gratitude to all my readers I’m giving away two copies of my new book Growth Lessons. So if you comment on this page, post this link on your Facebook page or tweet (#99centevent #blackfriday Growth Lessons @NatyCMatos http://tinyurl.com/3pzxopg RT & you could win free copy #book #giveaway) I’ll put your name in a hat and you can win the copy of the book.
If you tweet more than once, your name will go in as many times as you tweet it! The same with the Facebook postings. The winner will be announced on Monday here at The Rising Muse, so you have all weekend to increase your chances.
Enjoy your family and be safe
God bless you!