Where is the Love?


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The world can be a cold and hostile place. It is not for the faint of heart and yet, here we are living our lives in the best way we can and, at this time of year, sharing our love and gifts without exemption.

How wonderful the world would be if each day were this way. We get up, get showered (bathed), dressed and fed, hoping that our day will be a good one. There is no guarantee and yet, as Christians we do have the assurance of an inner strength that is unavailable without reaching out to our God, who loves unconditionally.

The Bible is God’s words……..and it gives us clear direction and support……..it is a blueprint for living the right way. Of course, God is invisible – but He is not absent, because He gives us His spirit once we trust Him with our lives.

Colossians 2:5 For though I am absent in the flesh (you cannot see Me), yet I am with you in spirit (in your heart), rejoicing to see your good order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. (NKJV)

These words give me strength and comfort at all times; I agree, it is hard to trust in the wisdom of a person unseen, and yet I believe the contents of the Bible. The advice contained within its pages reassure me at all times, because the words are wise and mean me no harm. They set me upon solid ground in thought, word and deed – and I like that.

May my God of all that is good and kind and loving, bless your celebrations of Christ’s birthday and beyond.

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This Day!


Psalm 55:22 Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.

Make this a day like no other. A day to be thankful for so many good things in life.

a) not living in the southern USA states, where folk are dealing with the aftermath of another hurricane.

b) having a healthy body.

c) blessed with family – even if you don’t spend as much time with them as you would like – you still have family in your life.

d) comfort – shelter – clothing – water to drink – safety – work – income – loving friends and church family………… add your own here…….

Determine, right now, to make a difference today – even a small thing can be big in someone else’s eyes.

Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Prayer: Thank you Lord, for everything: the good empowers me and fills me with joy; the challenging grows my character and perseverance. Amen!

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Eleanor’s Story – A Stolen Childhood is a stage closer to final edit…….

Taking the Right Path


`I am a Christian! I am set apart from non-believers. I am NOT better than, I just have different beliefs!

Psalm 118:8  It is better to trust the Lord than to trust people. ICV)

Life and some people I have met, have taught me it is better to trust in God, than any mortal being.

I do not abuse, nor use or appreciate profane language!
I do not kill, maim or torture, nor do I steal!
I do my best to not worship man-made idols, although in this technological world I do admit to being dependent on certain items!
I respect people, and attempt to live for truth, in truth and for truth!
I love those who choose to not like or love me in return. I acknowledge they are doing the best that they can, with what they know, or perhaps – they just do not find anything about me they are comfortable with.

I believe in the one true God! In Jesus Christ as His Son, who died and rose from death to prove His love for me and He lives eternally.

John 3:16 For God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son. God gave His Son so that whoever believes in Him may not be lost (caught up in worldly pursuits to alleviate their inner needs), but have eternal life. God did not send His Son to judge the world guilty, but to save the world through Him. (ICV)

Choosing God was life-changing for me. Years ago, I had desperate need of something but did not know what it was. I had a huge emptiness inside that nothing satisfied. My life was not good! I had trusted people who were unworthy of my trust, and I was led astray.  God stepped in and put me on a better path. He saved me. He will do the same for you, but you need to let Him know that you want Him to!

Matthew 7:7a  Continue to ask, and God will give to you.  Continue to search, and you will find. (ICV)

Prayer: God – are you really there? I need help and I think you are the only one who can do it. I am struggling: alone and caught up in a lifestyle that I have no control over. Please help me! Show me what the right next step should be. Come in to my life and save me and show me a better way to live. In Jesus Name, Amen.

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Author of:  Eleanor – A Stolen Childhood (in the process of publication)

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Why GOOD Friday?


GOOD FRIDAY mourning!

Good Friday!

I began my day thinking why is today called Good Friday?  After all Jesus was crucified this day, so long ago?

I researched and came up with this as an answer.  I admit to posting the information on FB and www.devotionalchristian.com, and now here.  If I was curious then perhaps somebody else might be asking that question too – so here is what I found out (actually I knew the answer, but this is so much more detailed and may answer your question in a way you understand).

John 3:16  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.  (NKJV)

“Good Friday” is certainly not the only thing we could call this day. In Latin countries, it is called “Holy Friday.” In Germany, it is called “Mourning Friday” or “Friday of Mourning.” Norway refers to it as “Long Friday” (a reference to the length of the day’s services). The Orthodox Churches call it “Holy Friday” and “Great Friday.”

All of these names are instructive and understandable. So how did it come to be called “Good Friday” in English-speaking lands? The reality is that we do not know for sure. After scouring the internet and other sources, there appear to be three plausible alternatives.

1. An archaic meaning of “good” is something akin to “holy.” Thus, it used to mean “Holy Friday.”

2. It was recognized that the evils of that day lead to the greatest good, the salvation of mankind. Thus, despite the bad, the day was truly good.

3. An archaic meaning of “good” is “God,” just as “good-bye” means “God be with you.” Thus, it used to mean “God’s Friday.”

Each of these alternatives is apt and instructive. But perhaps the one most relevant to our culture and times is the middle one. Despite the evil of that day, God evoked the greatest good from it. But by good we do not mean happy or a time of celebration per se. As stated well by Chris Armstrong in Christianity Today:

Of course, the church has always understood that the day commemorated on Good Friday was anything but happy. Sadness, mourning, fasting, and prayer have been its focus since the early centuries of the church. A fourth-century church manual, the Apostolic Constitutions, called Good Friday a “day of mourning, not a day of festive Joy.” Ambrose, the fourth-century archbishop who befriended the notorious sinner Augustine of Hippo before his conversion, called it the “day of bitterness on which we fast.”

Many Christians have historically kept their churches unlit or draped in dark cloths. Processions of penitents have walked in black robes or carried black-robed statues of Christ and the Virgin Mary. And worshippers have walked the “Stations of the Cross,” praying and singing their way past 14 images representing Jesus’ steps along the Via Dolorosa to Golgotha.

Yet, despite—indeed because of—its sadness, Good Friday is truly good. Its sorrow is a godly sorrow. It is like the sadness of the Corinthians who wept over the sharp letter from their dear teacher, Paul, convicted of the sin in their midst. Hearing of their distress, Paul said, “My joy was greater than ever.” Why? Because such godly sorrow “brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret” (2 Cor. 7:10).

For me, the day is a somber, reflective one. I focus on all that Jesus gave up and suffered for his Church. The humiliation, pain, and death are a sacrifice on our behalf. Today, we appreciate the price of that sacrifice. At the same time, however, we should not forget the great good that Jesus’ sacrifice effected. After all, Resurrection Sunday is on the way.

Taken from http://christiancadre.blogspot.ca
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Easter Sunday we celebrate the Resurrection of Christ!  He is Risen, we will proclaim and we will be joyful and celebrate!

The Best Christmas Gift


HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

Ah! Christmas-time is here again. Time for hurried shopping trips. Time for shopping excesses. Time to buy gifts for those we love. Decision after decision!

What can I give my spouse?

What to give the children!

What to give friends and family!

Will it be a new guitar? The latest electronic gadget on which to view, text and listen? Perhaps the latest video game?

It is so easy get ‘caught up’ in the buying frenzy expected of us by retailers.

The very best gift you can give is the story of Jesus! Christmas after all, is the celebration of His birth.

He was born to bring us the gifts of peace, contentment and joy! He wanted and still wants us, to share his unconditional love with others. What greater gift is there?

Gift-giving is a beautiful way of sharing and showing our love with those nearest and dearest to us, but let’s not forget the true meaning of Christmas.

Let us remember to say, “Happy Birthday, Jesus”!

Let us invite and welcome Him into our hearts, minds and spirits.

Let us remember to thank His Father, God for all that He provides for us day by day.

Let us keep Jesus in our hearts all year long, and each successive year of our lives.

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (NIV)

Prayer: Father, when the worldly interpretation of Christmas overwhelms us, help us to not forget You, and Your gift of Jesus to us. May we focus on what is important and beneficial to us and may we grow in faith and love. Amen

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A Christmas Miracle


Today, I feel burdened!  We have a friend who has major health issues.  She and her husband have been estranged for years.  The sadness, I feel, is for her children and the fact that they have not been permitted contact with their mother for many years.  The sadness, is also due to the choices they have each made to not decide for themselves, to contact her.  They are all adults, but have had their minds and hearts hardened due to the ongoing negative comments, made by their father of their mother.

So this posting is to ask you for prayer for this lady! 

It is to ask God for a Christmas miracle for Christina. 

It is for prayer for reconciliation for this family (mother and children). 

It is to ask God for His peace, grace and wisdom to rule supreme in all their hearts and minds.

It is to ask for God’s spirit of love and healing to fill the hearts, minds, bodies and spirits of each member of this family, including the father.

It is to ask for A Christmas Miracle for Christina!

Thank you, and may God bless you as you pray for them.

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Love or Sin?


We all have the freedom of choice and recently, I chose to commit to a writing challenge.  The goal is to write 50,000 words through the month of November – the biggest challenge has been what to write about.

Someone once said to me, “The world is your oyster” – and thinking about that statement made me realize it also applies to my ‘topic’ dilemma!  It’s all very well saying that but ‘what to choose’ – as in a subject to write about is an overwhelming thought. 

Having considered much and deliberated even more – I decided to write about a successful author (fictional) looking back over – what had been a roller-coaster ride of a life for her and for her loved ones.

In developing this idea, it occurred to me that we all encounter ‘roller-coaster’ situations in our lives and often take advice from the wrong sources. 

The bible gives us simple yet very effective advice:  ‘Love Each Other” – imagine the kind of world we would live in if we respected one another, loved one another and did not judge one another? 

Consider this:

1 John 3:7-10  Children, don’t be fooled.  Anyone who does right is good, just like Christ himself.  Anyone who keeps on sinning belongs to the devil.  He has sinned from the beginning, but the Son of God came to destroy all that he has done.  God’s children cannot keep on being sinful.  His life-giving power lives in them and makes them His children, so that they cannot keep on sinning.  You can tell God’s children from the devil’s children, because those who belong to the devil refuse to do right or to love each other.  (CEV)

1 John 4:16b-21  God is love.  If we keep on loving others, we will stay one in our hearts with God, and He will stay one with us.  If we truly love others and live as Christ did in this world, we won’t be worried about the day of judgement.  A real love for others will chase those worries away.  The thought of being punished is what makes us afraid.  It shows that we have not really learned to love.  We love because God loved us first.  But if we say we love God and don’t love each other, we are liars.  We cannot see God.  So how can we love God, if we don’t love the people we (can) see?  The two commandments that God has given us are:  Love God and love each other”.

Sinful folk will not have your best interests at heart!  They will take advantage of you – your situation – your naivete – your weaknesses!  They will laugh at you – will not respect you and will certainly lie if it is to their advantage.  I know this to be fact – because I have encountered such people through my life;  they are very convincing and very manipulative and they will con you out of everything that is good and wholesome in your life.  They will NOT be lovers of God – nor will they believe in Jesus as His Son.  They will scoff at such beliefs; whereas if you choose to take the life-giving, life-saving advice that can be found in the Bible – your life can be immensely changed, for the better.

The Contemporary English Version or The Message are both written in every day language, that can be easily understood.  Try one of them and see for yourself, if you have the inclination – it will be well worth the effort.

 

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The Armour of God


One and Only Creator Lives!

I pray God’s armour and therefore His protection each day, for my husband, my children and their families; for my friends and church family and their loved ones and for myself:  so I can feel assured that each one of us is guarded against the darkness of this world, in which we live. 

It’s easier than we might think, to succumb to a life that is wrong, when we naively trust the people we meet, who convince us that they have our best interests at heart: a safe way to determine if they are trustworthy is to ask if they believe in the One and Only God – a God who cares for each one of us and is forgiving and concerned about us, a God who does not seek retribution or revenge, but only what is good for us.  If they scoff at us and that suggestion – they really are NOT concerned with our well-being.

Even if we are not believers (yet) in God and His Son, Jesus Christ – we can safeguard ourselves (just to be sure) by saying the following – every single day:

Ephesians 6:10-18

I put on the helmet of salvation – please Lord protect my mind – take away impure thoughts, critical thoughts and judgemental thoughts!

I put on the breastplate of righteousness – thankyou, that this covers my heart.  Protect my heart against feelings of anger or resentment or unforgiveness.

I put on the belt of truth.  Lord please expose things that are false.  Help me to live in truth, to speak truth and if need be, to stand for truth!

I put on the shoes of the gospel of peace.  Help me always to be willing to share with others the hope and peace that you have given me within my heart and spirit!

I hold up the sword of the spirit!  The word of truth!  Keep me faithful in reading Your advice in the bible and thank you that the enemy (satan and his spirits of darkness) run when Your Word is spoken!  Let us read it out loud each and every day, if we are in a comfortable place and are able to do this; otherwise let it be in our minds, then at least, we are speaking directly to You.

I hold up the shield of faith.  Thank you that you are my Protector, my Defender and my Friend, please continue to grow my faith and allow all that is good to flourish in my heart and spirit and my life!

Remember that if we truly (really and truly) believe that the one and only God is all-powerful and that Jesus Christ is His one and only Son – crucified – died – buried and rose again for each one of us – then we can be assured that God protects us and will bring us through much!

Keep us faithful in praying!  Amen and Amen!

In God we trust!

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Standing Firm!


Calm amid the Storm

In times of trouble or torment or spiritual attack – or if you need to express yourself but your nearest and dearest refuses to allow you to speak or ‘hear’ you;  STAND FIRM and pray God’s armour upon yourself for protection.

 

The helmet of salvation – and having been made perfect He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him.  Hebrews 5:9

The breastplate of righteousness – He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.  1 Corinthians 1:30

The belt of truth – Jesus said, “I am the Way the Truth and the Life.  No-one comes to the Father except through Me”.  John 14:6

The shield of faith – Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who inspires and perfects our faith, for the sake of the joy which lay before Him, he endured the cross, heedless of its’ shame.  Hebrews 12:2

The shoes of peace – sharing the news “For He is our peace, He came and proclaimed peace far and near.  Ephesians 2:14-18

The sword of the Spirit (God’s Word) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.  Genesis 1:1

Each day, when we put on the full armour of God, we claim His protection in all that we do.  Ephesians 6:11

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Woke Up – Praise the Lord!


Psalm 118:24 – This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (NIV)

Woke up this morning — the sun is shining … the sky is blue with puffy white clouds … nice temperature … the soybeans and corn are growing … the flowers are blooming. Rejoice!

Woke up this morning — the sun is shining … the sky is blue … it’s hot already … the grass is dormant … the flowers are thirsty … we need rain. But, I won’t have to mow this week, I can water the lawn and flowers if I want, and I can turn on the air conditioner for my own comfort. Rejoice!

Woke up this morning — the sun is shining … the sky is blue … it’s hot, hot, hot and very dry … still need rain. But this, too, is a day the Lord has made, and I will rejoice!

Woke up this morning — the sun is shining … the sky is cloudy … the air is humid … autumn comes next when the leaves are beautiful. Rejoice!

Woke up this morning — I’ve got a home, clothes, food to eat, family and friends. Rejoice!

Every day is a gift from God. Some days, it’s easier to rejoice than others, but God, who creates every day, also created us. He is our Father; we are His children. God has promised He is always with us; He loves us; He knows our needs; and He wants us to seek Him out. On those days when it’s hard to rejoice and God seems far away, who do you think has moved?

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (NIV)

Prayer: Dear God, help us to rejoice in each day, drawing ever closer to You. Amen

(Received in an email message – original writer unknown)

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