Striving for Excellence

Many times in my life I’ve been told that I like things done right and that my expectations are quite high. I have to admit that to be true. I’m not perfect. I can’t give out perfection therefore I do not expect perfection, but I do expect to give and to be given the best possible. That may be a high call. But guess what? That’s what we are called to do.

The reality is that we do expect Excellence from everyone around us, including God. When God doesn’t answer our prayers, or if the answer is not what we wanted it to be, we feel some kind of way about it. When we call a customer service line and the answer is not what we feel it should be we are less than pleased. However when someone asks us to step up to the plate and follow our own high  standards and we don’t, then the line of excuses begin. The first thing we say is that we are not perfect. We excuse ourselves saying that the expectations are too high.

Titus 3:8 this is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

We want quality, but we have a sense of entitlement where we “deserve” to be given what we have not worked for.

Be honest with yourself today, are you giving your best in every area? I know I’m not. Are you even attempting to do your best or are you coasting through life? Sometimes I do.

Do you expect what you don’t give? Sometimes I do.

Today I invite you to search your heart and see where your expectations are. Are they realistic? What are you willing to do or stop doing to strive for excellent for the kingdom?

1 Corinthians 12:30-31 (NIV) do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. And yet I will show you the most excellent way.

Thank you God for giving us your best every day. Even when we don’t deserve it and when we don’t give even a portion of our best to you who are deserving of it all.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Until next time, be blessed…

clip_image002

In Growth Lessons, I was reminded of this beautiful truth: Our walk with the Lord is a process of growing up into the image of Christ. P. Yates

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

Advertisements

WF: What if

On my post on Wednesday titled Back to the Future, I talked about living in the land of what if. But the Land of What if is more than holding on to the past or to negativity.

We all have had a crisis of faith, when we don’t know what to believe. Why does God allow certain things to happen?  What if God is not listening to me? What if my sin is unforgivable? What if it’s not God telling me to do this? What if God is not even there?

Even Jesus had a moment where he felt that God was not there.

Matthew 27:45-46 From noon to three, the whole earth was dark. Around midafternoon Jesus groaned out of the depths, crying loudly, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

And there was also a time when Jesus wanted to see if there was another way around God’s plan.

Matthew26:42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done

But see that at the end he still obeyed and allowed God’s will to be done. Although I’m sure it was not easy for him to die on that cross being that he was  innocent, he not only got through it but achieved Victory!

Join me in worshipping the Lord and may he help you with any struggles of your heart.

WF: Worship Friday

Until then, be blessed

clip_image002

In Growth Lessons, I was reminded of this beautiful truth: Our walk with the Lord is a process of growing up into the image of Christ. P. Yates

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

Home for Easter

As you have probably noticed, although some of the great authors from Grace and Faith Connection have done appearances at The Rising Muse, you have not heard much from me. I wish I could tell you that I was finishing my next book for your reading. Yes, I did some of that and the book is not yet ready. That has not been the reason for my absence. Life just got complicated. You can blame my 9-5, you can blame some health issues, but the reality is that at some point I had to be back.

I was born to write, and in these weeks when I was away, rather than resting I was wilting. It is this space that allows me to connect with you, to tell you how God is working in my life. More than my books, this is the place when I can share with you the message of hope. So I saw very fitting to resuscitate this blog on the most important day of our faith, Resurrection Day!

With that I know that life still happens and it’s always complicated, but one thing I’ve learned in my walk with Jesus is that you don’t need a lot of time, you just have to be intentional.

May the Lord Bless you this day and always. May his blessings be upon you. May the light and hope of his resurrection reaches your heart today.

HAPPY RESURRECTION DAY!

THE ROAD HOME $1.99 Only through Easter!

A powerful story of redemption…

clip_image002[1] This book certainly held my interest straight through to the very emotional ending. Mary Anne Benedetto

With the ever-constant presence of her closest friend, Aimee, Desiree slowly makes her way to God and learns the greatness of His power and love. Cynthia

A very engaging story about faith, love, and friendship, and the trials and tribulations that life can bring you. Jersey Gina

Psalm 19 P.5 And the winner is…

First of all you have to forgive me. This has been one of those weeks, but I didn’t forget about you. I’m very glad that you all enjoyed our latest series of studying Psalm 19. If you missed it, I have linked the previous parts at the end of this post so that you can catch up.

We never got to discuss the last few verses, but I know that at this point you get the message of what this psalm is about.  I still want to share those last verses with you for your Friday meditation with a little worship video. (It’s Worship Friday after all, right!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-zJHgaoVa4
 

Psalm 19:12-14

Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults.
Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me.
Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Now to the part you are all waiting for.clip_image002_thumb.png

The winner of a copy of Growth Lessons is…

Marriott Cole

 congratulations

Psalm 19 Part 4

For the past few days we are conducting a study of Psalm 19. Is this your first day finding us? No worries. Here are Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. Well wait for you.

All caught up? Let’s move on… Today we are looking at the following verses:

Psalm 19:9-11

God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold,

   with a lifetime guarantee.

The decisions of God are accurate

   down to the nth degree.

God’s Word is better than a diamond,

   better than a diamond set between emeralds.

You’ll like it better than strawberries in spring,

   better than red, ripe strawberries.

There’s more: God’s Word warns us of danger

   and directs us to hidden treasure.

Otherwise how will we find our way?

   Or know when we play the fool?

Once I turned my life to Christ the Word of God became vital to me. Just as vital as oxygen and food. I had come to the realization that I didn’t know how to do life. If I knew how to do life I would have done it right all along. The bible is more than a book of stories and tales, it’s the instruction manual of how to live and also the live Word of God and one of the ways he communicates with us.

As a woman who loves jewelry and food, it gives me a deeper understanding of what this means.  I once went to an Indian jewelry store and saw something I had never seen. It was 18 and 24 carat gold. As much as I love jewelry it was way too much for me. The color was so intense that it was almost blinding. I spoke with an Indian friend who told me that 24 carat gold is the purest form of gold. Then there are the diamonds, my best friends. I love sparkly things. And it is true, the Word of God is the purest of words and also worth more than any precious jewel. None of my pieces of jewelry have had an impact in my life any closer than the smallest experience closer to God.

Remember to return for the last part of this study. Until then, be blessed

Note: Remember, I encourage you to follow the You Version challenge. If you follow our Bible studies as well and enter a comment in any of our blogs until February 2nd your name will be place in a hat to win a copy of my devotional “Growth Lessons”. I will announce the winner on February 4th 2013. Let’s enjoy this journey of learning the Word of God together.

clip_image002

In Growth Lessons, I was reminded of this beautiful truth: Our walk with the Lord is a process of growing up into the image of Christ. P. Yates

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

Psalm 19 Part 3

We continue the study of Psalm 19. If you missed our 2 previous post Click here for the first one. And Here for the second one. Go catch up, no worries, we’ll wait for you.

Today I’m very excited about the verses we are going to look at. Let’ see which ones they are

Psalm 19:7-8

The revelation of God is whole

   and pulls our lives together.

The signposts of God are clear

   and point out the right road.

The life-maps of God are right,

   showing the way to joy.

The directions of God are plain

   and easy on the eyes.

I have been blessed to have a notion of God all my life, but following him was a different process. At some point in my younger years I thought I knew how life should be lived, how things worked. If you have lived a little longer than me you probably know what the outcome was. I got lost, running into many dead ends and in lots of trouble.

When I finally became a born again Christian I discovered that there was a way to become whole and it was the revelation of God. That I was able to get myself together. That his Word always points us in the right direction and that every time something doesn’t feel right I have to evaluate what I think are the two possibilities: Is this a lesson? or Did I make a wrong turn?

Most of you have read my GPS stories and how stubborn I am to follow it’s directions when I think I know better. I can’t deny that sometimes that is true in my journey with God. But just like my GPS has to prove to me over and over than I’m wrong, God just sits back and I have to realize that he DOES know better than I do, which has helped me trust more in him, his Word and his direction. Hey grandma was right, “ A hard head makes a soft behind.”

We have more to learn, until then be blessed.

Note: Remember, I encourage you to follow the You Version challenge. If you follow our Bible studies as well and enter a comment in any of our blogs until February 2nd your name will be place in a hat to win a copy of my devotional “Growth Lessons”. I will announce the winner on February 4th 2013. Let’s enjoy this journey of learning the Word of God together.

clip_image002

In Growth Lessons, I was reminded of this beautiful truth: Our walk with the Lord is a process of growing up into the image of Christ. P. Yates

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

Psalm 19 Part 2

We are going over Psalm 19. I’m not a preacher, a theologian and aside from going to church, my only official bible classes were two semesters in college. I don’ t claim to have a deep understanding of the scriptures, but this one had a great impact on me when I read it the other day and I wanted to share with you what I saw in it. If you missed the first 4 verses check them out here.

Psalm 19: 4b-6

God makes a huge dome

for the sun—a superdome!

The morning sun’s a new husband

leaping from his honeymoon bed,

The day breaking sun an athlete

racing to the tape.

That’s how God’s Word vaults across the skies

from sunrise to sunset,

Melting ice, scorching deserts,

warming hearts to faith.

The imagery of a dome gives me a sense of covering. In the crazy world that we live in, I need to feel the safety and the protection of my Lord. It is what gives me the strength every morning to do what I’m called to do, the knowledge that I’m under his covering.

I love how this verse talks about the athlete and the newlywed husband. To me it shows God’s love and eagerness to be with us, to wake us each morning to see his creation in action. When I read this I thought, How sad would it be if the Lord wakes up with all this expectations of the things he has planned for me to do today and then I work on my selfishness instead of his plan. I think that’s the other reason why my morning prayers have become so important, because I can surrender my agenda to grab his agenda.

The other day I was listening to the radio and the announcer said, “ If you want to make God laugh, just tell him your plans” It left me thinking, yes I would make him laugh because my plans are usually nonsense compared to his.

Food for thought

Until our next time, be blessed

Note: Remember, I encourage you to follow the You Version challenge. If you follow our Bible studies as well and enter a comment in any of our blogs until February 2nd your name will be place in a hat to win a copy of my devotional “Growth Lessons”. I will announce the winner on February 4th 2013. Let’s enjoy this journey of learning the Word of God together.

 

clip_image002

In Growth Lessons, I was reminded of this beautiful truth: Our walk with the Lord is a process of growing up into the image of Christ. P. Yates

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