Be STILL & know that He IS God!
Merry Christmas- We love you!
The N. family
I don't have a lot of time this morning, but I want to make my point short and sweet! Just recently, since I've found facebook, I've had the opportunity to get in touch with a bunch of friends that were once pretty dear to me! Just yesterday, one of those friends, was so kind as to ask me, how I was doing in light of all the flooding here in Georgia. She told me she was thinking about me and praying for us...I told her the weather was getting better but I wasn't so sure God was hearing her prayers...Obviously, that wasn't something she was expecting me to say. And I know she felt hurt by that statement. However, that wasn't my intention. My intention is always to speak the truth and most of the time, I've found that's not what people want to hear... See, this girl was one of my friends from my Christian High School. Her Dad was a pastor and she knows the truth of God's word. Now, she is a lesbian and because she is getting LOVED the way she desires, she thinks somehow God should be happy for her and can overlook her sin. My heart breaks for her and I told her that "With GOD ALL things are possible" and that I would not stop praying for her. Our conversation ended on a good note and I know she knows that I truly care about her!!! Anyway, that sparked me to take out my Bible and look up verses on this subject. Does God hear the prayers of sinners or not? I know there have been plenty of times in my life, when I was not close to God and actually had a rebellious heart toward Him. At that time, I felt like anything could've happened to me because I wasn't under his protection. I was out on my own, doing things MY way. I always felt unsettled though, because I knew the truth in my heart. Jesus wanted ALL of me or NONE of me...He never wants luke warm christians but we have to decide when we're ready to surrender to Him. Here are some of the verses I found: (quite a few)
"For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, And his ears unto their supplication: But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. " (1Peter 3:12, KJV) "He (any man) that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, Even his prayer is an abomination." (Proverbs 28:9, KJV)
"When terror strikes you like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you, Then they (people) will call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently but will not find me. " (Proverbs 1:27-28, ASV)
"Because I have called (people) and you refused to listen, have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded. " (Proverbs 1:24, KJV)
"Because they (people) hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD." (Proverbs 1:24, KJV)
""Surely God will not hear an empty cry, neither will the Almighty regard it. " (Job 35:13, ASV)
Thee following verses describe the results of not listening to God and obeying His laws and commandments.
"Because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof. I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you, . . . therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way, and have their fill of their own devices." (Proverbs 1:25-26, 31, ASV)
"Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." (James 4:3, ASV)
"As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice." (Daniel 9:13-14, ASV)
Yet God shows mercy to thousands who call on his name for his ways are right:
"For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. " (Psalms 86:5, ASV)
Let's take a look at King David's example:
"Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou (GOD) wilt answer me. " (Psalms 86:6-7, KJV)
God also says:
"For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. " (Isaiah 66:2, KJV)
How can we tremble at His word and what does that mean? Paul says, "But declared both to them of Damascus first and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the country of Judaea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance. " (Acts 26:20, ASV)
"Works of repentance" means to change our ways to God's ways. When God sees someone who is truly sincere He listens to them and will answer their prayers:
"And Peter said to them, 'Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (through which God helps us). For the promise (of helping us) is for you and your children, and for all those who are far off, as many as the Lord shall call unto Himself.' " (Acts 2:38-39, ASV)
"I am not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. (meaning to change one's life)." (Luke 5:32, ASV)
"Even so, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth." (Luke 15:10, ASV)
And when one changes their life and listens to God and begins to do the things which God requires of us, all for our own good, THEN God hears us and answers us!
Anyone can find themselves at a time in their life where God does not hear them. However, we can be heard and have our prayers answered when we pray in the right frame of mind. We need to become submissive to God and choose his ways which reap good results in our life rather than continue in the wrong ways of living which bring on disastrous results. When we "get right with God" He provides us with confidence, hope and assurance that He will hear and answer our prayers, and provides us the answers and help us to live a better way of life.
"And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. " (1John 5:14-15, ASV)
" Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, that will I do. If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments. " (John 14:11, 13-15, ASV)
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth unto his own flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth unto the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap eternal life. " (Galatians 6:7-8, ASV)
"We know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and do his will, him he heareth. " (John 9:31, ASV)
God loves each and every human being. In the book of Revelation Chapter 3 God says,
"As many as I love I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore and repent. Behold I stand at the door and knock . . . " (Revelation 3:19-20, ASV)
Why is it as soon as we start reading Bible verses, something inside us wants to hurry up and get it over with? Our flesh is turned off to the Word of God- We want to be entertained and not have to deal with truth! But it's strange because we need that truth so desperately...We seek for love in so many places but TRUE love comes from Jesus Christ! His love is pure and not based on any conditions. It washes us and forgives us of all of our sins and no one or nothing else can give that to us!!!
We need to constantly be in prayer everyday, for wisdom, to stand against Satan and his deception! He is the Father of Lies and there is NO TRUTH found in Him... What does it take for you to look at yourself honestly? Are you giving your best to Jesus today? Have you dealt with all the crud in your life and realized there's nothing you can do about it!? Only Jesus can deal with it and forgive it! His Love is Amazing!
One last thing, on Sunday I used some cheap hairspray and it was like 90% water and 10% hairspray- it was pathetic! After a couple sprays, I realized it was not working so I just had to throw it in the trash-even though it was brand new....And I thought, that's how it can be as a christian too. I can call myself a christian or "hairspray" in this case, but if I don't really do the job (live obediently according to the Word of God) then I'm worthless and I might as well be thrown in the trash(like the hairspray)-because I am of no use!!!
The Lord opened my eyes to see that analogy. He wants us to know we are useful when we are living the life He expects us to live accoring to His Word. Apart from Him, we are nothing! The only good in me is Jesus!!!
I wanted to dedicate this blog to my little brother, Chad! Tomorrow is his birthday, so I wanted to take a minute and tell him how much he means to me! It's not very often in life that we find people that we share alot in common with-& I didn't have to go far to "find" him...but I'm soooo glad God chose to give him to me! We have shared an unbelievable past together and both have realized how faithful God has been to us! I can remember how sweet and innocent Chad was as a child. It was like he was so carefree and happy. I always wanted to do my best to love him, set a good example for him, and protect him! As we got older and he kept growing, and growing, and growing....I realized he didn't need too much "protection" from me any more, and it became more like he was my "protector"! Ha!
Chad is the type of brother who always wants to make sure everyone is doing well & he deeply cares and is concerned about his family! I know if I needed anything- he'd be there for me in a second & vice-versa. God has put a passion and sense of purpose inside of Him and when we were younger, things didn't make a whole lot of sense...BUT God made sense of it...and He has used the weak places in our lives to make us Strong. Because when we are weak, He is strong!
Looking back, I can see how being mistreated as a child can make a person angry...And to be honest, for many years my brother & I were angry. Chad had basketball as an outlet-Thank God! and I didn't know what to do with my anger, so I turned it inward....which I found out was called depression. Everyone does their best to live their lives, but when children don't have stable parents to lean back on...it's pretty unsettling for the kids. All parents say their doing their best-but what does that really mean? The only hope we had for a decent future was Jesus Christ!
So what do you do with an Extreme childhood? You go out and make the most of what God has given you- use your height (build), talents, and heart to pursue God's plan for your life. You don't care what anyone else is doing or says or what you "haven't" been given but you give whatever you DO have to help others. You spend countless hours on the phone, speaking to pastors, setting up opportunities to share Christ with teenagers who you know desperately NEED him. You take time to listen and respond to emails from kids who are hurting, just like you were. You become the parent you always wanted to have...You give your children endless opportunities, and get involved in their lives and care about what THEY care about! You don't rely on excuses to say, but "I'm just doing the best I can"....you actually ARE doing the BEST you can, with whatever limited insight you've been given..:-)
As far as the anger goes, it has been a process, but I can see how both of us have grown!!! There is freedom in Jesus Christ and that's why He's been our Only hope! The more time you spend with Him, the less you want any "junk" in your life!
My brother is one of my hero's. And that says a lot because other than Jesus, I don't have too many! There have been a few Key people who have let me down...unfortunately- but He's not one of them! I understand love better, because of the gift God has given me in my brother!
Thanks Chad for being so LOVING! You are Wonderful & I appreciate you to the core!
Your Sis, Wendy
I couldn't resist using this picture today to talk about my topic-"With All Your Heart." I have 3 girls as most of you know...So how could I talk about doing things with all your heart and not include them!? My girls have my heart. I will always do my BEST for them. Plain and Simple. Part of doing my best for them is doing my Best for me! They are watching me every day and doing what I do-like it or not! Yesterday, in fact, Ava Grace (my youngest) was in the backseat watching me and I didn't realize it. But I was acting silly and doing some dance moves to the radio and I looked back and she was copying me! It was the cutest thing and made me feel so special! Every parent has an obligation to their children to do their BEST. If you can think back and remember your own childhood-can you remember thinking-"I wish they would smile more-so I could feel more comfortable? Or I wish they would give ME all of their attention, Or Why are they talking to me like I'm an adult?- These are things that are now in Our control! So am I smiling more at them, talking less about "adult" issues, and giving them 1-on-1 attention? These are the ways-we can say we are actually doing our BEST. There has to be some thought put into it! And then there has to be a change. Anyone can do this but as a Christian-it is so much better than that... We can pray and talk to our heavenly father and He will give us the wisdom and the strength we need to do what we think might be impossible! Colossians 3:23 says, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men." As long as there is breath in our body- we need to be living every minute of every day as our BEST before the Lord. If we can commit to doing this- then our families will change, our health, our hearts, everything will be so much better. Putting Jesus Christ first is what makes the difference. What does your Best look like? Honestly, for me- this is something I struggle with and have always struggled with...I believe I don't do my best because that way, I never have to deal with the rejection of "what if my best wasn't good enough" but at the same time-it has left me empty-b/c I'm really curious what my best is? I think I'm finally at the point where I think I can "handle" doing my best and however it is received- it is received! I know I'm probably pretty old- to just now be figuring this out- but at least I'm still trying! I hope you will do your BEST today! Whatever is pleasing to the Lord and pleasing to You is the BEST. No one ever said life was going to be easy- the important thing is that you never give up! There is always something exciting and new to learn with Jesus! He has so much waiting for you...He gave His BEST, so it is time we give Him, ours. Rom. 12:11-12 says, "NEVER be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, & faithful in prayer." Please meditate on these words and let them sink deep into your spirit!!! They will bring you life!
Do you see what I see? The legs, rear, back, and arms don't look too bad...but what about that stomach?! I'm not trying to make fun in any way- please don't get me wrong...My point today is to talk about extra weight and the fact that it hinders us and slows us down. Hebrews 12:1-2 says "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus." Even though there are people all around us, WE(personally) have to choose to not let anything or anyone cut in on our race. 1 Corinthians 9:24 says, "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize."
Everyday, it's easy to go through the motions of the day and not realize our lives are a RACE. Our race is against Time, basically. What all can we accomplish before we die...How much money can we make, how many movies can we watch, how many people can we help, how many "toys" can we buy, how many places can we travel to, how many races can we win? (You can add your own HOW MANY'S) What is the weight though in your life that is slowing you down? Maybe it is physical weight, but maybe it's fear? There are many things that can slow us down, but the Bible makes it clear and sums it up as SIN... Everyone runs in the race- so don't fool yourself to think that you're not in the race because you are! There's no way you can opt out of this Race.
People with self discipline are usually the happiest people I've known. Their body doesn't control them- they control it! There are a lot of things out of our control- but we do have control when it comes to how we're going to finish! We can choose to run with ENDURANCE (that means not giving up) or we can choose to sit on the sidelines. Even though we've got a number and are in the race, doesn't mean we HAVE to accomplish anything. Do you realize if you are not a christian- than that's the type of life you have? You have a number but your life is not effective. I didn't say your life was not worth anything, but You're just NOT going to win the race. It's not easy letting go of the weight! But if you are being hindered, why wouldn't you want to just let it go? You may not even realize it, but I pray that the Holy Spirit would reveal it to whoever is reading this blog.
We can do such a better job running the race when we've let go of our sin and THEN we can run with endurance. If we hold onto our sin, we will have a much harder time and who knows if we will even be able to finish! We can't see God if we have sin in our life! He is HOLY! He doesn't expect for us to be perfect, but he can expect to be surrounded in Heaven by those who Love him & who have accepted Jesus as our sin offering. Even with all the trophies or medals etc. I've won in this life- The ones I get in heaven are the ones that really matter. Because Jesus Christ is the One WORTH living for and those rewards will last FOREVER! Philippians 3:14 "So I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus"
on a note of giving(that always makes you feel better) how about checking this site out?http://www.compassion.com/sponsor_a_child/default.htm