Sunday, December 10, 2017

How are you today -- can I pray for you? Are ya feelin' too blessed to be stressed, or sort of the opposite during these holidays?

Have you been under pressure, you know.. kinda restless or stressed out lately?

I love what God in the Bible has to say about stress -- might want to prayerfully meditate upon these thoughts.
While most major translations of the Bible don’t specifically use the word stress, Scripture does speak to things such as anxiety, worry and trouble and gives us clear answers on how we should deal with them. The dictionary defines stress as “physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension.” Everyone suffers from stress at one time or another. In fact, research indicates that children who live in a stressful home environment are at greater risk to become highly stressed by life’s challenges. Stress can cause us to do things we would not normally do or cause us to shut down completely. Anything that causes stress is called a “stressor.”
Stress can be caused by either processive stressors or systemic stressors. Processive stressors are those that elicit what is called the “fight or flight” reaction. Systemic stressors are our bodies’ automatic physiological responses to stress. Stress takes its toll on all of us to varying degrees, and how we deal with it depends in large part on who we are. It is no wonder that many days we struggle trying to cope with the distresses that come from our jobs, our health or family issues. God has created us and knows that, because of our fallen natures, we can sometimes allow stress to rule our lives.
Many people become stressed because they don’t trust God to provide the basic necessities of life. Jesus said, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” (Matthew 6:25, 27). This passage is a classic example of why we get stressed in the first place—we worry about providing for ourselves and our loved ones. We stress over money because we never seem to feel that we have enough. We worry about making ends meet, often living paycheck to paycheck. Or we become consumed by materialism and, in turn, stressed-out about maintaining our lifestyle. Materialism inevitably leads to stress because, when we seek the world’s goods, we have fallen for the “deceitfulness of wealth” (Mark 4:19), the lie that such things relieve stress and lead to happiness, contentment and joy. They do not.
The starting point for dealing with stress is Jesus Christ. Jesus offers us great encouragement in John 14:1: "Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” We desperately need Him in our lives. We need Him because He is the only one who can give us the strength to cope with the troubles in our lives. Believing in Him does not mean that we will have a trouble-free life or that we will not succumb to stress in our lives. It simply means that a life without Jesus Christ makes coping with stress an impossible and often debilitating task.
Believing leads to trusting. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to “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.” Leaning on “our own understanding” often means adopting the world’s ways of relieving stress—things like alcohol or drugs or mindless entertainment. Instead, we are to trust His Word as our ultimate guide to a stress-reduced life. David says, “I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4). David knew that by seeking the Lord and sharing his troubles with Him that perhaps he would find favor with Him. The Lord in turn answered him and calmed him down.
Perhaps no passage in Scripture better captures how to handle stress than Philippians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” The Lord tells us not to be anxious about anything, but rather to turn everything over to Him in prayer. Lifting our burdens and concerns to a holy and righteous God daily will mitigate or eliminate the stress in our lives. Psalm 55:22 tells us to cast all our cares on Him because He will sustain us and never fail us. Jesus Christ offers peace if we come to Him with our worries and concerns. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27).
Stress of all kinds is a natural part of life (Job 5:7, 14:1; 1 Peter 4:12; 1 Corinthians 10:13). But how we deal with it is up to us. If we choose to try to do it on our own, we face a long, uphill battle that will not end well. The only way we can deal with stress is with Jesus Christ, first by believing in Him. Without believing in Him we are on our own, and success in coping with stress is almost impossible. Second, we need to trust Him and obey Him. We should trust Him to do what is right because His ways are always best for us. Disobedience and sin can produce stress and cut us off from the only means of peace and joy. By obeying His commandments we reap the blessings of true contentment from a loving God. Finally, we need to seek His peace daily by filling our minds with His Word, lifting all things to Him in prayer, and sitting at His feet in awe and reverence. It is only by His grace, mercy and love that the stress in our lives can be managed.

Let God use you to #Fish4peeps

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

You've heard the Story, or have you? The whole Story? The Christmas story really starts with a tree – not a Christmas tree, but a family tree.

Sure, and the fact that the Christmas story starts with a genealogy shows us that it’s a real story that happened in a real place at a real time. Later Jesus hung on a tree for you and me. Didn't stay dead long though. He lives!

"Don’t be afraid!' he said. 'I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.'

Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,

'Glory to God in highest heaven,
and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.'

When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, 'Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.'
They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby lying in the manger." Luke 2 
Welcomed, put off, or outright turned away. Each of us is sorta like an Innkeeper. Each.. decides if there is room for Jesus on the inside. Why wait too long, or reject? He won't See John 1:12-13 and invite Him in. When people are dead, they can choose to turn, trust Christ and awaken! How? God uses people. The church can choose to get close again -- to be revived
Christmas love couple photography emilymoronefotogr...
Revival starts with you and me, starts with a humble choice and prayer. To be biblically revived means to “be restored to original condition.” A good thang! Do you need a personal spiritual revival? #Pray4anAwakening! Do ya need a personal spiritual revival? We all need Christ
Road to Revival, here ya go...
Repeat.. Re-do which leads to
"Look how far you have fallen (GRASP IT)! Turn back to me (admit it and quit it, the wrong-doin's -- repentance) and do the works you did at first (Edify). If you don't repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches (really don't want that happening)." Revelation 2:5 #Emph-mine #SeeContext #Pray4anAwakening2

You can do this.. Revive personally, then revive city-wide, then nationally revive, and then revive globally! God can do it. All peeps won't come to Jesus Christ willingly, but while we can let's influence as many as we can to do that for salvation.

Christmas, the incarnation in Bethlehem.. it wasn't a rags-to-riches kinda story; it is a riches-to-rags kinda story.
Jesus Christ chose to leave heaven's riches and glory for you. He went from being a Sovereign in beautiful splendor to being a practical serving kind of servant for us minus all that. 

He came here with pure love, He became human without ever.. not even for a sec ..ceasing to be God. Sinless! And there was no separation with the Trinity. He left there.. but did not become identical to us, He came here and became identified with us. What does the Bible say of God's great purpose?

"Jesus said to him, 'Today salvation has come to this house, because this man too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.'" Luke 19:9b-10. 

Merry CHRISTmas 2U!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

I like fresh fruit and fresh bread.. so why do holiday fruit cakes taste so hard and horrible? Man, I like other kinda loafs.. all hot and steamy.

Fresh with butter melting on it! Other people bake this bread for me sometimes (I don't know how to or desire to learn).. like during this holiday season.  I still pass on the fruit-loafs if they'll take it (not re-gifting, that's not fair). But think 'bout it.  In so much of this world "basic bread" is a staple of this natural life.  

Think about this. Our greatest need.. any of our needs, they will never exhaust God’s great supply. What's our top one?

Our greatest is for Christ – it is for forgiveness from Him. Free. He's real, He hears and no need is greater than that. The Bible says of Him...

“For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” John 6:33

“I am the bread of life” ~ Jesus (v. 5).

I love to study about and return to the basics in life, cuz life should stay simple not superstitious or religiously-spooky or complicated. I love to work and create. I enjoy it. 
“Those who work their land will have abundant food.” Proverbs 12:11
They’ll have enough bread, but it’s cool that we don’t have to work at all to receive Jesus by faith. Totally free! Sad that so many religious people still work trying to earn His love and acceptance. 
God cares about animals, provides for them and He cares about people like you -- He cares for the poor as well. So when it comes to provision, the message of the Bible is pretty practical.. it is this: Turn and trust Christ – stay tight with Him in honest relationship
Also, it’s this.. let's go work while we can, save what we can, share what we can, and yes, trust God to meet our needs ..while we can. This "Noel season" should remind us of Him and His provision. 

Christmas day is on the way -- yay! Think about the only living and considerate God.. who SO loved and loves us, who saw we had a need and did something about it.  God’s Gift to us if we’ll take hold of it.. yes, His Present if you will in Jesus Christ.. exceeds all other gifts! Christ coming here is rad-celebrate-worthy! God sent us His Son! 

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us." John 1:14
The living word of God sees where we are. And we know that God totally understands the situations we all face, because He made us and sees everything that happens to us. We also know He fully understands because He Himself has been to earth here and experienced life as a human being. Yup, that's Christmas. He “became flesh and made his dwelling among us” as the person of Jesus Christ (John 1:14). Unlike that innkeeper who turned him and his family away.. you can turn, trust in, and ask Him inside now! He'll show up. Free, a bit like warm bread to receive.
Thanks  Lord, danke sehr for caring enough to humble Yourself and come to earth as a human being… as our Bread to sustain.
Check it out in your hard-copy Bible..receiving Him.. or in an online Bible (like in John 1:12-13). 
Remember, Jesus’s earthly life included a wide range of difficulties. 
He felt the searing heat of the sun, the pangs of hunger and an empty stomach, and the uncertainty of homelessness. He suffered here like so many people do. Emotionally, He endured the tension of disagreements, the painful burn of betrayal, and the ongoing threat of personal violence. Many of us in different Lands face personal violence today. Many won't tell you, but persecution and suffering at times.. is a part of the Christian life. 
Jesus also experienced the joys of friendship and family love, as well as the worst problems that we face here on earth. He rejoiced and celebrated with friends too. He still provides hope. You need that today. He is the Wonderful Counselor who patiently listens to our concerns with accurate insight and tender care (Isa. 9:6). He is the One who can say, “I know your name and situation. I’ve been through that before. I understand, I get it.. and I love you! Listen, I am SO there for you today, so let me comfort, provide, help and lead.”

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples. 1 Chronicles 16:8

I know. It get’s hard in life at times. It’s hard to be married sometimes. It’s hard to be single sometimes. And it’s hard to be an on-fire Christian or any temperature of believer at times. Dear God, help us to pause and pray.. as well as praise cuz we love You!
But it’s too early to quit following Jesus -- it’s always too early to bail out on Him. Be encouraged in Jesus. We will win in Him. 


It is a good day to whole-heartedly praise and know Christ well. It’s a good day to pray and make Him well known! Come to Him today.. now is good.. just as you are. Turn from sin and trust Him for forgiveness and abundant life. Is now where you are a good time to pray?
We can praise the Lord in good times, but we can also pray, serve, worship and praise Him during the bad times. Are you giving Him the praise and the glory that He deserves?