Putting God First

Are there things in my life that get more fanfare than God does? I’m definitely guilty of talking about & giving things a higher place above God. There are many things throughout my life that I have put before God.  I know things such as food, sleep, books, tv, school, work, etc have been things that I put above God.  I also know that things such as fandoms, cooking/baking, purchasing things, etc have also been placed above God at times.

Some of these things have been recent & others things in the past, but they are all just things.  God has done more for me than any of these things have ever done. So, why do I put things above God?  I would probably say, because they give satisfaction, at least temporarily.

Now I’m not saying that any of these things are necessarily bad, but when placed above God, they become idols in our lives.  They can end up taking the place of God, which isn’t a good thing.

Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Psalm 37:4 says, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

So, if I put God first & seek after Him & what He wants, then He will give me what my heart desires.  I have always known this, but I don’t always put it into practice or I lose sight of it.  But He knows what I desire & He does give me the desires of my heart.  Some are small desires.  Others are bigger desires.

He also, knows what is good or bad for me.  So He isn’t going to give me something that is bad for me.  Just like a parent, who doesn’t get something for their child, because they know it will only hurt them or not be good for them.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

If part of my heart is with all the things that I want & part of me is seeking God, then I’m not really searching for God.  I’m afraid I won’t get those things.  And really, if I had those things, I would just want more things.  It’s a never-ending cycle.

If I seek Him with all my heart, then I will be satisfied.  He is more than enough.  Only He can truly satisfy me.  There is nothing & no one who can satisfy every part of me.  Only God can do that.  He will never let me down.  I may not always like an answer I get, but even when God says “no”, it is a good thing, because He knows what would happen if He said yes.

The song I have included at the end of the post, to me, is a great representation of what it is like when we let go of all the things we are searching for  & look to God for our satisfaction.

Lord, help me to trust you with my whole heart.  I don’t always do that.  My whole life is yours to do with as you want.  I am not my own.  I was bought at a price (1 Corinthians 6:20).  I need your help to recognize when I’m not seeking you.  Thank you for taking care of me.  Thank you for loving me!  I love you!  I want you to be first in my life & not second to other things.  In Jesus name, Amen!

3 Lessons From Saul’s Conversion

Acts 9:1-19 talks about Saul’s conversion, where Jesus met him on the way to Damascus & Saul was blind for 3 days.  One of Jesus’ followers Ananias followed Jesus’ direction & went to administer healing to Saul.

Lesson 1:  Be prepared for Jesus to challenge preconceived notions/ideas/beliefs.

When we give up our preconceived notions and follow God’s leading, amazing things happen.  Both of these men had preconceived ideas, but put them aside when confronted with Jesus.  Ananias had fears based on Saul persecuting the church & arresting those who followed Jesus.  Saul had preconceived beliefs about those who followed Jesus & that they were heretics against God.  Now Saul was indeed persecuting the church, so it is understandable why someone who follows Jesus might be afraid to go to Saul.  Saul was zealous for his faith as a Jew.  He didn’t want anything that didn’t adhere to his beliefs, so it is easy to see how he got to a place where he was persecuting Christians.

Ananias & Saul were probably both unsure of what was about to happen.

Then Jesus showed up & changed it all.  Ananias went & did what Jesus asked him to do by going to Saul & delivering healing.  Saul went & did what Jesus asked him to do by going into the city & waiting for direction.  Then Saul was healed of his blindness & filled with the Holy Spirit. Saul was baptized immediately.  Amazing!

 

Lesson 2:  Jesus fights hate with love.

Jesus loves His people.  He protects them & takes care of them.  He fought the persecution of Christians by sending Ananias, His warrior.  Jesus didn’t send Ananias in with a physical sword or negative or hateful words.  He sent him in with healing and love.

Saul then turned from His ways and showed love to others.  He stopped persecuting Christians & started following Jesus.  He became an example of what it means to follow Christ.

In Matthew 5:43-44, Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

You never know when someone might turn to Jesus, because they were shown love.

 

Lesson 3:  We are God’s delivery people.

Healing & the Holy Spirit didn’t come from Ananias, it came from God.  Much like a truck driver.  The freight that is in the trailer does not come from the truck driver.  He merely went to pick it up from the sender & took it to the person who is receiving it.  That is what we are.  We are delivering what God wants to give to people.  He uses people to give to others.

Now God is capable of just making needs appear, but that is not how he chose to do things.  He wants us to be his delivery people.

Now we may not always like the people we’re delivering the package to, but as a result of bringing it, amazing things could happen.  Sometimes we see the results immediately like Ananias & the rest of the world did.  Other times we may not see it immediately or at all.  We just need to trust God & that He knows what He is doing.

Power in the Name of Jesus

John 14:13 – And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.

Lord, help me to write your words and what you have to say to me and others about this verse.  You know what we need to know.  I want these to be your words.  You said the words in this verse when you walked this earth as a human being.  Show us what we need to know about it.  In Jesus name, Amen!

There is power in the name of Jesus.  When we pray in His name, His power makes things happen.

There are things about myself that I need to change.  There are situations that need to be dealt with better.  Habits that need to be broken.  Better use of my time in certain areas.  Does that sound familiar to anyone?

When we pray about them and pray in Jesus name, His power is there.  It can break the chains holding us down.  Jesus sets us free.  He alone saves us.

Trying to do all of these things in our own power is so hard, we end up frustrated & giving up.  But when we do things with His power over the situation, it is freeing & easier to do.

Am I saying it will be easy always, no.  we have to keep our eyes on Him, especially in the storm.  If we take our eyes off of Him when things are tough, we tend to get negative & our attitude starts to stink.  If we stay focused on Him, we have a better attitude & stay more postive.  We also weather the storm better when He is in it with us.  He is always with us, but when He is in control, it is oh so much better.

 

Home

What is home?

Since this is Christmas, many are trying to make it home to see family/friends.  Home is generally considered to be where our family is.

This Christmas we are away from some of our family & near others.  I do miss those I cannot see this year, but enjoying the time I get to spend with those I am near.

Home to me is where my husband is & where God has me.  So enjoying that is great.  I enjoy every moment I get to spend with my husband.

Ultimately home is heaven & that is where I belong.  Someday I will be there.  I can’t wait to see what it is like.  The Bible does describe it, but when we see it in person, it will be more amazing than words can describe.  Being in the physical presence of Jesus for eternity will be beyond wonderful.

Love all of you guys!  Many blessing to you!  I hope all of you are getting to be with your families/friends this year.  If you are not, you are in my prayers.  I know that can be difficult.

Merry Christmas!

First of all, I want to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas!  I hope it is filled with great joy for all of you.

We are enjoying our Christmas.  Sleeping in.  I decided to write, since the hubby is still sleeping.

I haven’t had much opportunity to write, due to mandatory overtime at work every week for the last 6 weeks or so.  It feels longer than that.  I have been so tired, it has been hard to think about writing.  But hopefully, that is over soon.  I really enjoy writing & need to start making time for it.  This morning, I woke up and felt rested & had several ideas for writing, so over the next couple of weeks there may be several posts.

Blessings to all of you!

Liebster Award 12/24/2017

liebster.jpgI would like to start off by thanking Gail Loves God for the nomination & congratulations on your own award.

Her blog is incredible.  She has a current series of blogs about Gifts 2017.  I enjoy reading her point of view.

The rules for the Liebster Award are:
1. Acknowledge the blog that gave it to you and display the award
2. Answer the 11 questions that the blogger gives you
3. Give 11 random facts about yourself
4. Nominate 11 blogs and notify them of their nomination
5. Give these blogs 11 questions to answer.

My questions for you are:
1. How did you hear about WordPress?

I was looking for tips on how to start a blog.  I found a really well-written blog that mentioned WordPress & how easy it was to use & gave me more control of my content than a lot of others.  So I made my decision for WordPress.
2. How old were you when you used the computer for the first time?

I don’t remember a specific age, but sometime during elementary.  The earliest thing I remember doing on the computer was playing The Oregon Trail.
3. Is this your first Liebster Award?

Yes
4. Do you know how to cook? What’s your best recipe?

Yes.  cooking is one of my hobbies.  I don’t know that I have a best recipe.  I love to experiment & try different recipes.  I don’t make the same recipe more than once, as a general rule.  So many great recipes, so little time.
5. What season is it where you live?

Winter
6. Do you like Candy Canes?

Not really
7. What’s the first car you’ve ever had?

My first care was a 1991 Chevy S-10
8. DO you have a pet?

Not currently
9. What’s your favorite hymn?

Amazing Grace
10. What year did you get your first cellphone?

I don’t remember a specific year, but it was my early twenties.   So that would make it somewhere around 1996-1999.
11. What’s one of your favorite things about God’s love?

That He is patient with me & never gives up on me.

11 Random Facts About Myself

  1.  I like to read biographies
  2. I’ve had several different types of jobs in my life.  I’ve driven a truck, I’ve been a licensed counselor, I’ve worked at Walmart & a convenience store, I’ve worked in a couple of factories.  I currently work processing enrollments/accounts at a Medicare part D plan & I’m a Tupperware consultant.
  3. I am an introvert.
  4. I’ve been married for 10 yrs.
  5.  My favorite color is purple.
  6. I am a child of God.
  7. I like to play Mario Party with my husband.
  8. I’m 5’2″.
  9. I like to learn historical facts.
  10. I like adult coloring books.
  11. I really like hot chocolate.

My Nominees

  1.  A Clear Window
  2. Sweet Aroma
  3. Matthew Winters (Comeback Pastor)
  4. Brandon J Adams
  5. Amazing Tangled Grace
  6. Running the Race
  7. Lines of Lazarus
  8. Walking in Christ
  9. B is for Blessed
  10. 1 Timothy 4:12 Girl
  11. C.C. Brown

My Questions for the Nominees:

  1.  What is your favorite part about blogging?
  2. What is your favorite item that you own & why?
  3. What is your best life memory?
  4. What is a hobby you enjoy doing (other than blogging)?
  5. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be & why?
  6. What is one thing you would like God to do in your life in 2018?
  7. What is your favorite food?
  8. Do you have a job outside of blogging?  If so, what is it?
  9. What is your favorite thing to read?
  10. What is one thing you are thankful for?
  11. What was your first job?

 

The Battle

This life is a battle between good  & evil (flesh) within ourselves. We want to do good, but don’t do it. Or at least not all the time.

Romans 7:19 – For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing.

I want to be a helpful & caring person, but I don’t always succeed in that. I feel like I fail daily at it. There have been times I have failed to help others & there are times when I have helped others. There are times when I haven’t cared & times when I have cared.  I know that makes me human, but it is frustrating & depressing when I don’t get it right.

When I fail to do or be what I feel that God wants me to do or fail to act in a manner that lines up with the Bible, I feel horrible. I usually start thinking negatively about myself & feel horrible about it for weeks. Even though I have asked for forgiveness & I know God forgives me when I ask.

1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Forgiving myself is the hardest thing to do. Why can’t I stop thinking about it?

I know I need to learn from it & that is probably part of the reason. However, I start hoping I don’t run into that person again or hoping that I’m not in that situation ever again. Fear is also a big reason. I fear that people will hate me or at the very least not want to be around me anymore. That coupled with fear probably being the reason I messed up in the first place. It makes me realize there is too much fear in my life.

The good news is that God continually reminds me that I am more than my mistakes & He can fix anything that I could possibly mess up. I have to continually get back up & keep trying to do better. Keep trying to be more like Christ every day. He is not going to let me do it alone. He is right there with me, helping me become better.  He is helping me change my perspective on a daily basis to become like His perspective.

Because, ultimately this life is not about me, it is about Him & what He has done for me & what He has done for all of us. He died for my sins. He has washed them all away. Past, present, future. He has washed them ALL away.

Strength & Rest

Well, it has been a really long week, with another long week to come. I’ve worked at least 8 hrs of mandatory overtime every week for the last month or so. I’m so exhausted. It is hard for me to wrap my mind around another 8 hrs of overtime this next week.
I’m trying to focus on today & not worry about the coming week. I need to rely on Him for strength, because He is my source of strength.
Isaiah 40:29 – He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
He says to come to Him & He will give us rest.
Matthew 11:28 – “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
So, that is what I plan to do this weekend, REST & enjoy the time I have this weekend.

Peace

Tonight I started feeling anxious, which is probably a combination of several things. I know that I will probably have to work more mandatory overtime this week. There was some news I received on Friday that was a little shocking. I’m not sure what to expect starting this work week.
However, as I sat down tonight & read the Bible, God reminded me to let His peace rule my heart, not to be troubled, & not to be afraid.
Colossians 3:15 – Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
God always knows how to speak to my heart. I know He will keep reminding me of that, as I start & go through the week.
He is amazing & always knows what I am in need of.
Thank you, Lord, for always speaking to my heart so that I hear it. Thank you for your peace that surpasses all understanding. Thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to live in me. Thank you for guidance. Thank you for taking care of all of my needs/wants. Thank you for your love.
I love you, Lord!

Appreciation

I want to start off by saying “Thank you, Lord, for all the appreciation that has been shown to me today.”

It has been a long, but good day.  I haven’t felt this appreciated in a while.  Yesterday was my birthday & I got a lot of Birthday wishes, which was really sweet & thoughtful.  They all brightened my day.  Today God has shown me appreciation from all sides. At work, more than 1 person expressed their appreciation for me.  After work, I went to an appreciation dinner at our church for the volunteers.  I felt so genuinely appreciated & loved.

I have been working so much overtime in the past month.  I’ve been so exhausted.  I’m barely awake as I’m writing this.  It felt good to be appreciated today.

It always feels good to be loved & appreciated, but when I am tired & have worked hard, it’s even better.

Now I don’t have to be constantly told how great I am & I don’t need lots of awards.  But it is nice to be told that I’m doing things right & that I’m valuable.  That is what I feel like God is telling me today.  I am valuable.  Thank you, Lord.

God is so good.  He knows exactly what I need & when I need it.

Luke 12:24 – Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them.  And how much more valuable you are than birds!

To all of you reading this.  You are so valuable to God.  He loves you beyond measure.  You’re worth so much more than you think.