WF: East to West

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!

The Unknown

In a conversation the other day someone said that they got irritated when they didn’t know something. It reminded me of who I was before I actually surrendered my life to Christ and how I can be when I forget who master’s my life. I have a theory, that the unknown affects us due to our need for control. We want to know everything that’s going on around us just to make sure that we will know how to handle it. In that we forget a few things.

· Luke 12:25-26 “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”

· Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34)

· Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

The other part of the unknown is lack of trust. It’s that feeling that tells you that you need to know exactly everything around you, because if you lack information you will be caught with your pants down and end up in trouble. But actually my life experiences have taught me that sometimes ignorance is bliss and I do not need to know everything. There is a reason why God doesn’t reveal everything to us in our time but in his time.

Think about it, as parents, do you tell your kids everything or do you shelter them from certain information until you know that they are prepared to handle it? Our heavenly father does the same with us. But as the bratty children that we can be, we too think we know better than God about what we can or cannot handle.

I’m not a parent, but my 9-5 requires me to manage people. As a manager there are details of the operations that my staff doesn’t need to know. There’s no point in burdening them with certain situations that are for me to deal with, situations that are out of their control and that I will resolve before it affects them. That’s imperfect, knuckleheaded me. Don’t you think that our God, first of all, doesn’t need our help and then that there are things that we don’t need to worry about because it is something that HE will work out. The question is do we really trust Him to come through? With our mouths we usually say yes, but do our actions reflect that level of trust? Just food for thought.

My challenge today is that we really surrender. That we allow God to decide what information we should be privy off and for him to tell us how to handle it. I challenge us to release our need of control, because at the end of the day we truly have none.

Until next time, be blessed.

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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

WF: Lord I need you

If there’s something that we can’t say enough is how much we need God in our lives. We wouldn’t even have a life without him. We wouldn’t have a future if it wasn’t for his Grace and Mercy.

Let’s rest in his bosom, just like a newborn child; in total abandonment and filled with peace. Only in the presence of the Lord we can find happiness .

Be blessed.

WF: Move

I don’t know about you, but this has been one hectic week. I’m not sure if the moon is in the wrong spot but the experience has been   in the category from one of my favorite comedians Bill Engvall, “ Here’s your sign”.

Just to give you some of the highlights

  • I have a new neighbor. I believe it’s just a lady as I haven’t seen any males going into the apartment. I was awakened by  bear sounding noises. Someone snores and it’s quite loud.
  • I was to produce pictures of an event that had not happened.
  • I was questioned about why I had not called someone who had not given me their number.
  • I had an appointment that was cancelled after I had arrived and waited for 30 minutes.
  • *Drumroll* The one that takes the cake. My mother was prescribed a medication that clearly states in the instructions for it not to be prescribed to a person with a condition that she has. (No worries, she’s fine. We will not be going back to that doctor anytime soon)

To all of this, all I have to say is Thank God it’s Friday. In terms of this song, I love the energy it brings and it talks about how to keep moving in this crazy world. So join me in a dance of Praise and Worship for the one who gets us through our brightest days and the dealings of not so bright situations.

Philippians 4:12-13

“I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

Happy Friday

WF: Worship Friday

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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

WF: Give me your eyes

Sometimes we have to be careful what we pray for, because once its received,  it may not be the easiest thing to handle. Sometimes we ask the Lord to be able to see things through his eyes. I just can’t imagine the amount of grief he has over what we have made out of the life he gave us.

At the time I’m writing this, the verdict on the Jodi Arias trial has come down as guilty on premeditated murder. Part of the attraction to this trial has been the gore of the awful way that victim, Travis Alexander, died and all the sexual components to the testimony.

But there’s another case in the courts right now that hasn’t received as much attention and has really pulled every string in my heart. In Philadelphia Dr. Kermit Gosnell is being accused of murder. He is a doctor who practices abortions at a clinic. For the moment lets set aside the usual discussion about abortion. In this case, this man is accused of performing third trimester abortions, which are illegal. The most aggravating fact of this case is the accusation that many babies were actually born alive and that this doctor killed them outside of the womb. Some of the things I can’t get out of my head are the thought that he put scissors into these babies necks in order to kill them. Other babies were beheaded. They even found baby feet in jars at the clinic. One of the mothers died in the hands of this doctor during the procedures.

Unless you live under a rock, you have atleast seen a newborn baby. These babies were full term, so they were about the size of a newborn baby. I just can’t fathom the image in my head or my heart. Who could protect these children when their own mothers took them there to be slaughtered?

I have lost sleep over this issue. It has truly grieved my heart. These are some of the things that we get to experience when we ask God to allow us to see through his eyes. What does it do for me? It makes me very angry, but at the same time, it makes me realize that I can’t sit idle. There’s so much more work for me to do for the kingdom.

Matthew 18:6 But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

We are in a war beloved and we all have a part to play. Let’s keep the prayer that God allow us to see through his eyes so that we can never sit complacent. But more than just grow in awareness of the horrors of this world, let’s do the part that we have been called to do because there are lives depending on it.

Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
WF: Worship Friday

“ For God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” -1 Samuel 16: 7

More pictures and articles are hyperlinked. I chose not to post them due to their graphic nature.

The Little Things

In a busy life, we hope for big changes, but they are not always possible. We want to run away, have a vacation for a month, a massage, a lump sum of money that will clear our debt. We can continue to dream about those things that we would think that will solve every problem of our lives. As we sit by the side of the road waiting for that chance, we see our lives go by without relief

Take a minute every day to enjoy the little things God gives you. At the end of each day you will realize that you have way more than what you ever wished for. A rainy day can just turn into a day of much needed rest. Solitude is not loneliness, but much needed peace that provides time for contemplation. Sometimes I even smile at the innocence of my dog sleeping by my feet while I’m working. Those of you with children could experience the same type of feeling.

What are the little things that fill our life today? A coworker’s comment that makes you laugh in the middle of a crazy working day. The forgotten dollar you find at the end of your pocket.

I think back to how I spent a weekend where finances were tight. I couldn’t go anywhere because I just had enough gas in the tank to get me through the work week. I found that lost dollar in my pocket. My dog was a puppy so I remember going to the kid’s playground and sitting on the swings for quite some time while my dog ran around. With that dollar we walked to a nearby gas station and bought a frozen popsicle. Until this day I smile when I remember how good I felt that weekend.

Let’s be grateful for the little treasures that we have. Let’s pray to God to open our eyes to see those treasures that we take for granted that are more accessible than we care to admit.

Matthew 6:31-33 (MSG)If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

Until next time, be blessed

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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

Come Forth!

I was thinking about how we get complacent in our walk with Christ. It is very easy to live in the routine of Christian Living. You get up, if you are well disciplined you do your prayers and start your daily routine.

Once the day ends once again you do your daily prayers and you go to bed. Some come home tired and stay like zombies watching television for hours until they pass out or they drag themselves to bed and don’t even remember to reflect on the challenges and blessings of the day.

Once a week you go to church, and you pray that the preacher is not too inspired otherwise it’s going to take more time than usual. God forbid there’s a guest speaker, they usually talk even longer.

Have you lost your passion? Have you moved away from your first love, from Jesus?

Why do we lose that passion? We can blame it on many things; the routine, the extra work that your boss has put on your plate, the unruly children, that person at the church who annoys the ever living out of you. If you take a step back, aren’t those just excuses?

God woke you up today and gave you 24 hours out of love. What are you going to do with that time? Wasn’t the whole point of being “saved” and born again to get rid of religion and have a relationship with God?  What areas of your life are dead?

As I was thinking about this, I remember the scriptures regarding Lazarus’s resurrection.

Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying.[a] And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth! (John 11:40-43)

Who or what is your Lazarus? What is keeping you from being once again on fire for the love of Christ? It’s time to remove the stone, believe in the One that God sent and come forth!

Until then, be blessed

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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

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…

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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

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

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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!

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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

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