My Savior

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As I take on this challenge of posting daily, today I wanted to focus on something for which I am grateful. It is my number one priority in life that I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I am so thankful He died for everyone and especially for me. He came to this earth as a man and died as a man for mine and your sins. Doing so, allowed me to have a Savior from this world. Through Him dying on the cross, and rising again three days later, allows me to live for eternity. His sacrifice on the cross gives me forgiveness from the sins I have committed and my future sins. I am very thankful for His sacrifice.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

(John 3:16, NIV)

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Challenge Accepted!

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As I have begun posting more on my blog, I have decided to take on a new challenge. I have recently learned that many bloggers take time to post daily in the month of November. I want my readers to be aware that I will begin posting daily for the rest of the month of November. (After November, I will go back to once or twice weekly.)

Please feel free to follow my blog. If you would like to receive these directly, you may become a follower. My posts will then be sent to you via email.

I am challenging myself with this commitment praying that I will be able to follow through with it completely. I pray it blesses each of you who read it.

Forgiveness for a Nation

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This is a follow-up from my previous post about Jonah. He gets swallowed by a big fish for over 3 days for not going to Nineveh like God told him to do. During this time, he repented to God for not following Him. God allows the big fish to spit Jonah out onto dry ground.

Jonah heads to Nineveh to tell what God is planning to do to their country. (He’s planning to overturn it.) Nineveh in return repented of their wickedness.

Jonah 2:10 (NIV)

“When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.”

Thinking of Nineveh made me consider two things: our country and
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)

“If my people, who are called by name, will humble themselves and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Our country needs to repent. We were originally founded upon “In God We Trust.” However, by the standards of many, one would not think we are trusting upon God, our Creator. Our society is in a “me” (selfish) mentality and not thinking and doing what is true in God’s Word. Our culture has begun to allow things in our lives because it is best for “me.”

The only way we will see revival come to our country is for us to pray for it. A Sunday school teacher in our church recently said, “If we as Christians do not pray repentance for our nation, no one else will.” That has stuck with me since I heard it. Even if we have repented of our own sins, we still need to repent for our country. Just maybe as the people of Nineveh thought, just maybe, God will look toward us and poor out His blessings upon us.

Jonah 2: 8b-9 (NIV)

“…Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”

Don’t RUN!!!

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Jonah 1:1-3 NIV

1The word of The Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: ”
2″Go to the great city of Ninevah and preach against it, because it’s wickedness has come upon me.” 3But Jonah ran away from The Lord and headed for Tarshish.

God told Jonah to got to Ninevah and give a message to the people. Ninevah was a wicked town. The country was an enemy with Jonah’s home country of Israel. Jonah ran in a different direction than what God told him to do. Can you imagine how he felt? What would his friends, family, and even his own country think of him if he went to Ninevah? He had no desire to go there.

What if God is calling YOU to do something that doesn’t seem normal? What if your friends, family, and maybe even your country think you are crazy?! Would you do it, or would you run as far away as you can?

Jonah was given a message to take to the Ninevites. In the end, this was to save them of their wickedness, but Jonah did not want to think of their spirituality. We as Christians are to reach out and spread the message of the Good news of Jesus Christ. We are to do this no matter a person’s background, culture, religion, or what kind of a person whether good or bad that they are.

I think missionaries who go all in for God are in a similar place in life as Jonah. Some may have ran but others go all in not caring what others think. Some missionaries may have family or friends not wanting them to go off to a far away country. We have to do what Jesus Christ asks of us to do in life. It can’t depend upon what others think of us or what they feel we should do. Yes, seek wisdom from godly counsel, but ultimately if God is calling you to witness to someone or to do something, you better do it. While continuing to read Jonah Chapter 1, we know in the end that Jonah was in a massive storm and swallowed by a big fish. (Read the next post to find out what happened to Jonah.) I would rather do God’s will then to find out what would happen to me if I didn’t do it.

If God is calling you to do something, that is part of the purpose He has set out for you to do. Don’t Run!!!

Another year older!?

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Have you ever dreaded a birthday and becoming another year older??? The birthday I turned 25, I dreaded it up until the day. Then, it passed and I had to “look forward” to turning the big 30…. Before the day approached I had many (especially my younger husband) remind me (daily) of the day. I couldn’t believe I was actually 30. It didn’t feel right to have been married and have two kids (one being age 5).

I had a goal that I wanted to accomplish of running in a 5K for my 30th birthday. This was a big accomplishment for me being that I am a heart patient. I had always been taught not to go too far past my limitations. During that year, my husband began to help me reach past all of that. I focused upon God each day that I ran. He gave me the strength to push farther than I had ever imagined. I did finish the 5K and ran most of it like I had wanted to do. It made my 30th birthday complete.

Now, last weekend, I turned 31. Up to the day, I was beginning to dread it again. However, God began to deal with me about my birthday… I needed to celebrate the life He has given me. As people began to tease me (all in fun), I began to be proud of turning 31!

Recently, I had my yearly heart check-up and found out that my heart is not working properly like it should be. I had to have some tests ran to check it all out. It really got me to thinking. I’m even more thankful for God touching my life and the doctors that He gives knowledge to. The Lord has allowed this congenital heart defect girl to survive 31 years of life. Since then, my tests showed that everything is looking ok right now and I don’t have to go back for another year to see the doctor! God has been so good to me through it all!

Here’s what I have learned: we do not know our future and when the day will come that our time on earth is done. We also do not know when Christ will come back for The Church. We must be ready every day to meet Him.

Birthdays are something to celebrate. I hear middle aged and older people (and even myself) say “it’s just another day.” Well, I want it to be a celebration! I think every year for every individual no matter how young or old needs to look at birthdays as another year to: learn more about Christ, love others, and follow through with the Purpose you are created for in life.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

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.

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My husband and I celebrating my 31st Birthday.

Peace in the Storms of Life

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Philippians 4:6-7

6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Do you need Peace in your life? Is something troubling you? I have been there and needed peace in my life. When we have trials of many kinds, we just need peace to be there with us. I’m not talking about a peace that everything will all be wonderful, but a peace that God is right there with you no matter what occurs within the circumstance.

When I was 17, I was told I needed to have open heart surgery. I felt as if my world came crashing down upon me. I was to go to church camp within a few days of hearing this news. I was also to start my senior year of high school within less than 2 months. I’ll never forget hearing those words and trying to sleep that evening. I cried in my mother’s arms for a long time. I knew “some day” I would need surgery, but why now?! Why at this moment in my life where I am getting ready for my last year in high school and preparing for college?! This didn’t seem fair or right.

We began scheduling the surgery and I went on to church camp. That week while I was there, I had three of my closest spiritual leaders in my life lay hands on me and pray for me. (My future husband was standing behind me praying for me, too.) After they prayed over my heart, I had a complete Peace come over me. This is a peace that only I can TRY to explain because there really is no way to completely understand it. It was God’s presence upon my life. I can tell you for a fact, this peace stayed with me from that moment until the morning of my surgery. My flesh began to kick in for a few minutes leading up to the surgery but other than that I had a peace. It was a peace that yes I was having open heart surgery but God was there beside me. I didn’t have to be anxious or worried about what could happen because I had such a peace in my life.

Yesterday, over 13 years later, I needed that same kind of peace. Things didn’t go as planned and as I began to get a little anxious I prayed asking God for his peace in my life just as in Philippians Chapter 4. God gave me that peace again. His presence of Peace made everything go so much better for me. I’m so thankful for a loving caring God to send His Peace in the midst of our storms.

If you need His Peace in your life today, begin to call out to Him. I encourage you to memorize and post this Scripture from Philippians where you can see it all the time. May His Peace come upon you just like He has done for me. All you have to do is ask Him for His Peace.

1 John 5:14-15

14This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask — we know that we have what we asked of him.

got trials?

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James 1:2-3

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

Today are you struggling with a trial in your life? Maybe you just don’t understand why things keep coming at you or why you can’t get a break in life. If this is you, I want to encourage you today. God isn’t finished with you yet. He still has a purpose for your life. If you are serving Christ and living for Him, this is just the continuing process of the testimony He has for you. Push on. Do not give up!!! Have Faith in Jesus! He has everything in His timing. God’s got this!!! Whatever “this” may be in your life. It might be a healing, a miracle, or a financial, emotional, or a spiritual need, etc. Your trial may seem trivial to one person and huge to another. It does not matter. God knows what it means to you. Pursue Him harder than ever before. Your faith will grow and your walk with The Lord will grow. Keep on keepin’ on.
If you do not have a spiritual walk with The Lord Jesus Christ, ask Him to be Lord of your life. No, life may not become perfect right at that moment but His presence in your life will help you through life’s trials. I don’t know where I would be today if it were not for the presence of Christ living inside of me. Life can be hard and hard times do come, but I know I have my God walking through life’s journey with me.

Jesus,
I plead your blood upon my friends who read this today. Lord, I ask that you would touch their needs today. Touch them spiritually, emotionally, financially, and physically. Show us your presence and love in our lives today.
Amen.

James 1:12

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.