FIRST THINGS FIRST

IS GOD YOUR FIRST THOUGHT OR AN AFTERTHOUGHT?

When you have a terrible day at work or at home, what do you do? When the doctor gives you bad news, what do you do? When loneliness or discouragement seems to linger like a dark cloud, what do you do? When someone you love is hurting, what do you do? When you turn on the T.V. or read the headlines and disaster, gloom and tragedy seem to lurk around every corner, what do you do?

The better question for me to ask may be…Who or what do you run to?

Do you drive through your favorite fast food restaurant, or do you order a cookie from Crumbl and have it delivered to your car? (Maybe I’m getting too personal here!) Do you devor that entire chocolate bar or bag of chips? Do you reach for that glass of wine, bottle of beer or other substance to “calm your nerves?” Do you desperately hit that number in your favorites and call that person whoever “that” person may be?

The trouble is, none of the above ways will bring us lasting peace. None will heal a hurting and wounded heart. None of the above can provide anything but temporary relief at best. There is only one source that can make the IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE and that is the FIRST PLACE WE SHOULD ALWAYS GO! 

He heals the sick, raises the dead and gives sight to the blind! His compassion never ends and He is never too busy or preoccupied! He never puts you on hold, or sends you a text or email, He always picks up! He does not leave you with extra pounds around your middle or a hangover! He never tells you to calm down, chill out or stop overreacting or being too dramatic. He sees you, knows you, loves you and understands you before you even speak a word. 

But He does WAIT!  He waits for you to put Him first. For Him to be the one you run to before you make that phone call. For Him to be your source of comfort before you eat that fast food or yummy cookie. For Him to calm your nerves before you take in that substance. 

He waits for you to put Him FIRST and make Him your first thought and not an afterthought!

Jesus tells us to come to Him first and when we do He is ready and waiting and will take our burdens and give us peace/rest!

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”  Matthew 11:28

TRUTH BOMB

WE NEED TO MAKE JESUS OUR FIRST THOUGHT, NOT OUR AFTERTHOUGHT!

Life is tough, it can throw us a curveball at every corner. Just when we think we have fought one battle another seems to rage. One day we wake up and the sun is shining and the songbirds are singing and before that day draws to an end a new battle begins. But Jesus never intended for us to live this life without Him. His desire is not for us to attend church service on Sunday and put Him on a shelf in our lives for the rest of the week!

No! Jesus is to be our first thought, never an afterthought. When we learn the practice of “Putting First Things First,” AKA JESUS, we will experience His power in our lives and we will be at peace and find rest as He makes our burdens light!

Speak Truth Love

Refresh your soul

When you hear the word refresh I’m not sure what picture comes to your mind? But I could venture a guess that it’s something to do with water! A serene lake, a cold and crisp mountain spring, a calm slow moving babbling brook, or maybe the rolling waves of the ocean crashing on the shore and moving back out again and again and again.

We all need a refresh! We all need to feel our souls being washed over by the only refreshment that truly refreshes…The spirit of God!

A refresh of God is not only needed it is essential. And there is only one way to get it, by spending time with Him!

On this first day of a new month instead of reading too many of my words, spend time reading God’s word!

He truly is the only refreshment that will cleanse you, heal you, and set you free from all doubt, worry, fear, anxiety or grief. Our God is a God that refreshes!

Truth Bomb

True refreshment only comes from the Spirit of God!

So on this Truth Bomb Tuesday, this girl of many words is going to share very few. Instead I am going to the only source of true refreshment for my soul, God and His Word!

See you back here next week refreshed and ready to tackle a new month ahead!

Speak Truth Love

Love Challenge, Week 4 

YOU HAVE A LOVE LETTER WAITING FOR YOU!

Have you ever received a “Love Letter?”  Maybe it was written on a piece of paper and passed from one of your friends to you. Maybe your “Secret Admirer” wrote their feelings for you on a card and sent it to you. Maybe they were brave enough to write it, sign it, and leave it in your locker at school. Maybe it was even a valentine especially selected just for you, that they dropped in a valentine bag for you at school. While all of those are sweet and fun to receive when we are young, what about the Love Letters we have received after we have grown up. Have you ever received any of those?

I remember that one of my first was from my Dad while I was in college. Many of you have heard my testimony about my Dad. It is a true blessing of hurt, pain, abandonment, forgiveness, healing and restoration. Some of the most difficult years with my Dad were my years in college. I went to college for six years and received two Bachelor’s Degrees along with one Associates Degree. When I left for college my Dad and I were barely speaking. If he did speak to me, it was to yell at me and tell me that I would amount to no good going the direction I was going. My third year of college I transferred to a Christian College and he was even more adment that I would be a failure. His words, not mine!

As my College career was coming to an end and my graduation loomed, I realized I had a choice to make. I could throw my completion of college and success up in his face or I could forgive him for not believing in me and work toward a healed relationship.

With God’s strength, I did forgive him and invited him to my graduation. He came and gave me a “LOVE LETTER” signed, “YOUR LOVING FATHER!” He never said he was sorry, but tucked inside the pages of a Precious Moments Bible, he wrote that he loved me and was proud of me! I began collecting Precious Moments collectables my first year of college. Realizing he knew that also spoke love to me.

Throughout my years of adulthood I received many “LOVE LETTERS” from my Husband, Mom, Grandparents, Sisters and a couple of true friends. As I became a Mom and my children grew I began receiving LOVE LETTERS from them. I am so very blessed that my children are not only great writers but deep thinkers. The LOVE LETTERS on Birthday and Anniversary cards that they write me are among my most cherished possessions! When my children grew into adulthood and were married, I was blessed again with two new children who care enough to write their feelings in “LOVE LETTERS” to me as well. My most recent, and definitely my sweetest LOVE LETTERS have come from my grandchildren! This Valentine’s Day I received individual cards from all three of my grandchildren that can walk, and a scribble from the one who is still rolling around on the floor! I treasure these LOVE LETTERS and keep each and every one!

I read them frequently, especially when I am having a down day. I remind myself of the LOVE that I have in my life from others.

My Dad has been in heaven now for 10 years. Having my LOVE LETTER from him in my curio cabinet is priceless and a reminder of God’s goodness, grace and redemption!

Our final ‘LOVE CHALLENGE’ of this year’s “LOVEUARY” is to wake up for the next 6 days, the final days of LOVEUARY, and tell God that we love Him!

I’m sure you have received “LOVE LETTERS” in your life as well. Maybe they were not intentionally written as a “LOVE LETTER.” But nonetheless, they expressed that person’s love to you. 

As precious and priceless as all of my LOVE LETTERS are to me, none holds the power of the GREATEST LOVE LETTER EVER WRITTEN. 

This LOVE LETTER can heal the sick, cure the brokenhearted and bring hope to the hopeless! It can forgive, forget and save! It is patient and it is kind. It is never jealous, boastful or proud. It is never rude, and does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice over injustice but rejoices with the truth. It never gives up, never loses faith. It always hopes and endures through every circumstance. IT NEVER RUNS OUT AND IT NEVER FAILS!  (Adapted from I Corinthians 13:4-8).

TRUTH BOMB

GOD WROTE YOU A LOVE LETTER, THE BIBLE!

God has written you a LOVE LETTER, it is called the Bible! It is True and it is all for you!

God loves you and wants you to know it each and every day! So, pick it up and read it and feel the perfect LOVE of God for you.

“Now these three remain: faith, hope and love. BUT THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE.”  
I CORINTHIANS 13:13

Speak Truth Love

LOVE CHALLENGE – Week 3

Am I catching you the day after Valentine’s Day in a chocolate fog? Or possibly are you suffering with an aching stomach today over a delicious dinner that you ate way too much of? Or maybe just maybe you have the addiction I do and you are suffering from what I refer to as; “Pastry Passion Overload!” AKA too many cookies and cupcakes!

All of these “overloads“ can cause us to wish we had not overindulged! But there is one Valentine tradition that we can never get enough of, Love Notes!

When someone cares to send you a note reminding you that you are loved, it can never overindulge!

Because there was a man who lived over 1000 years ago and was committed to sharing the love of Jesus Christ we have what we now know today as, Valentine’s Day!

St. Valentine lived as a Christian priest in Italy in the mid 200s A.D.! The facts that I am about to share about him with you are not a myth or legend they are historically accurate and known. While it is true that there are some facts that are questioned, the fact that I am about to share have been historically proven. While it is also true that Valentine’s Day has morphed into something much different then it’s original intent, it does not change the historical facts!

Valentine lived under Roman law. He was arrested for refusing to pray to a pagan god and for sharing Jesus, AKA, evangelizing pagans. He was put in prison and the judge who held him prisoner was Asterius. Asturias soon became fond of Valentine and curious about his beliefs, but it was not until Asterius’s daughter became blind that he got serious. He spoke to Valentine and said, “If your God is who you say he is then pray to him to heal my daughter.“ 

Valentine did pray to God to heal the daughter of Asterius. God heard Valentine’s prayers and healed the girl. At this occurrence, Asterius believed in Jesus and was baptized along with every member of his household!

Sound familiar? Read Acts 16!

Asterius was so moved by the love that God had shown him and his family that he released Valentine and all the other imprisoned Christians!

Valentine could not stop sharing God‘s great love! He was arrested a second time after continuing to evangelize. Valentine also was marrying Christian couples even though it was illegal under the Roman law! He believed with all of his heart that God wanted them to be able to share in the love that He had created for them!

It was said that Valentine would cut out heart shapes of parchment and give them to the couples he would marry to remind them of their vows and God‘s love for them. Sounds like the first ever Valentine cards to me!

At Valentine’s second arrest he was put under Claudius II. Valentine could not stop sharing the good news of Jesus! Although Claudius II was fond of Valentine, Valentines attempts to convert him were not met with appreciation. Quite the opposite! Claudius II ordered the execution of Valentine! 

On February 14th, 269 AD Valentine was beaten, but when that did not kill him he was thrown outside the gates of the city and beheaded. The church set February 14th as a day to remember him.

Valentine’s Day truly has God’s love at its source!

This is how we know what love is; Jesus Christ lay down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” I John 3:16

Valentine lived out this verse to its fullest! He would not stop sharing the love of God with all of his “ Brothers and sisters!“ He shared the love of God with anyone and everyone that he came in contact with! Even to the point of it causing his own death. 

Like Valentine, let’s take every opportunity, especially on February 14th, when it is so natural and easy to do,  to remind others of God’s love!

LOVE CHALLENGE: WEEK 3

Send someone a “Love Note!” Heart-shaped or non-heart shaped, reminding them that God loves them!

TRUTH BOMB

LIKE ST. VALENTINE, LET’S SHARE GOD’S LOVE AND GOSPEL WITH OTHERS AND NOT WORRY ABOUT THE COST!

Speak Truth Love

LOVE CHALLENGE, WEEK 2

Yes, it is still February, AKA “LOVEUARY.” In case you thought you could close your eyes and all this “lovey dovey” stuff would be over, it’s not! But even if it is not your favorite time of the year, there is good news! You still have time to accept the Love Challenge for the month of February and demonstrate the Love of God to someone!

This week we are going to get “All Shook Up!”  That’s right, I went there…

Elvis Presley blurted out the words loud and clear in one of his most popular songs, ‘All Shook up.’ I can quote every line and verse to that popular song from the 1960’s. Not because Elvis Presley was among my era of singers, but because he was one of my Father’s favorites. My dad had a similar look to Elvis. My dad had jet black hair, a chizled and very handsome face, crystal blue eyes, and an athletic build. True, his voice was no where near the voice of Elvis, but that did not stop him from blurting the words to this song out at the top of his lungs…

“Well, please don’t ask me what’s on my mind

I’m a little mixed up, but I’m feeling fine

When I’m near that girl that I love best

My heart beats so it scares me to death.”

At that point my sister’s and I would jump in and we would all sing the chorus together;

“I’M IN LOVE, I’M ALL SHOOK UP.”

We would laugh and dance around and feel the love of our Father. Those were the good times! 

There were bad times too. There were times when we literally felt “All Shook Up,” as my father would be absent or angry. His exuberant, fun-loving nature could turn on a dime and we would be “All Shook Up.”  

As I grew up, and wisdom and maturity helped me sift through the good and the bad, I realized my father loved me very much. I remember clearly God speaking to me and asking me to have “COMPASSION” on my father. I immediately retorted back to God, “Why me? He’s the father.”  

With complete love and compassion, God reminded me that because He has shown compassion to me, I can show it to others. 

“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills removed, yet my unfailing LOVE

for you WILL NOT BE SHAKEN not my covenant of peace be removed, says the 

Lord, who has COMPASSION on you.”       

                                               Isaiah 54:10

We all get “SHOOK UP” from time to time. Changes, circumstances and even catastrophes can leave us grasping for equilibrium! But hold on friend, because the unshakeable, unfailing compassionate love of our God will never be removed!

Now it’s our turn. Compassion has been shown to us, let’s show it to others!

God helped me show love and compassion to my earthly father through forgiveness. When I took a step back from the pain, and what I believed was the injustice of his treatment toward me, I was able to demonstrate God’s compassion to my dad and love him like Jesus loves me. It was not perfect, but it was good! I love to say that my dad was a good dad, he loved his girls, but my dad was an incredible Papa!  Because my sisters and I demonstrated compassion to my dad, he was forgiven and freed up to LOVE his grandchildren BIG!

LOVE CHALLENGE WEEK TWO:

Demonstrate God’s LOVE through COMPASSION this week to someone who needs it. Not necessarily deserves it, but needs it!

TRUTH BOMB

WHEN WE SHOW GOD’S COMPASSION TO THE WORLD IT GETS ALL SHOOK UP!

It’s time to do some SHAKING friends. The world needs to be All Shook Up with the compassion and love of Jesus!

HAPPY LOVEUARY!

Speak Truth Love

LIKE IT OR NOT IT’S “LOVE” MONTH!

Seriously, it’s the first day of the month dedicated to LOVE! I have recently heard it termed, “LOVEUARY”! It’s February 1st everyone, and like it, LOVE it, or hate it, it’s the month dedicated to LOVE. 

Everything’s coming up roses and hearts! You can feel the commercialism coming at us in every direction. It can stir strong emotions both good and bad. Regardless of our reaction to this month of LOVE, we can use it to celebrate TRUE LOVE, God’s LOVE!  We can actually turn something divinely created by God Himself;  used, misused and abused as it is by the world, into an opportunity to put God’s LOVE on display! We have the opportunity to do this no matter how we are feeling personally or how we feel personally about “LOVEUARY!”

I would like to propose a four week “Love Challenge,” through the month of February.

Each week I will Blog about the LOVE God shares with us and asks us to share with others. Then, I challenge myself and you, to share God’s LOVE with someone different each week of LOVEUARY. How you do it and when you do it is up to you. No one is watching you but God. And He loves you unconditionally, so you cannot fail!

LOVE CHALLENGE WEEK ONE:

Jesus tells His disciples in John 13:35 that it is by the way we love others that the world will know that we love God.

“A NEW COMMAND I GIVE YOU: LOVE ONE ANOTHER. AS I HAVE LOVED YOU, SO YOU MUST LOVE ONE ANOTHER. BY THIS EVERYONE WILL KNOW THAT YOU ARE MY DISCIPLES(FOLLOWERS), IF YOU LOVE ONE ANOTHER.” John 13:34-35

STEP UP TO THE CHALLENGE!

This week write someone, call someone, speak to someone, or do something loving for someone, even or especially if they do not deserve it and you do not feel loving. Love someone with God’s LOVE this week.

When I had been married for only a year, someone shared a great book with me. The title was, ‘Lord of My Rocking Boat.’ It was a wonderful book with great truths that were deep and profound to having good relationships. One of the illustrations stuck with me and has challenged me many times in my life.

“My husband/friend/sibling (you fill in the blank), and I had a pretty strong argument. Unfortunately, it did not end in resolve. We both stated our opinions and walked away unsettled. That afternoon I was getting ready to head home and stopped by the store and bought a bouquet of flowers. I walked through the door and handed them to my spouse/friend/sibling…and said nothing. My spouse/friend/sibling reached out and accepted the bouquet and asked why? I simply stated, “I do love you, but I was not feeling loving toward you, so I practiced a loving act.”

God’s LOVE is genuine and real, it allows us to practice being loving until His love can become genuine within us.

TRUTH BOMB

We have the opportunity to show God’s love to others each and everyday!

It’s February 1st, will you accept the LOVE CHALLENGE with me!

I LOVE you and God does too!

XOXO

Speak Truth Love

THE DOLDRUMS

Do you feel stagnant? Could your life be defined as inactive? Do you feel listless, dull, depressed in your mood and downright low in your spirit? If any or all of these descriptions fit you right now, you could be described as, “in the DOLDRUMS!”

The DOLDRUMS is an actual belt of calm and light baffling winds north of the equator between the northern and southern trade winds in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

It is an actual place where when the northern and southern winds both come through it, it creates a light and calm wind that is basically stagnant and inactive. Ships can literally get stuck!

Do you ever feel STUCK?  I know I do!

Anyone reading my opening paragraph, that truly knows me, would find it hard to believe that it was written by me. I am the “cup half full” gal. I am the, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonde” chick. I am the “sun will come up tomorrow” person. 

So why would I begin my Blog with DOLDRUMS?

Because of TRUTH! I am more driven by TRUTH than I am positivity. TRUTH IS, we all go through the DOLDRUMS at one time or another. Does this make us bad, wrong, negative, sour or faulty in some way? No, this makes us human!

God gives us a beautiful example of an inactive, inoperative, “stagnant” stage when we view the vineyards during their winter season. 

I love riding my bike through the vineyards alongside my husband during all four seasons of the year. We are blessed to live alongside breathtaking trails that wind through the vineyards that pepper the county where we reside. On a recent trail ride I stopped and stared at the stark appearance of the vines. They literally looked dead! I stood and gazed out as far as my eyes could see. Vineyard after vineyard, all the way up to the foot of the mountains was bare. Understanding the state of “rest” the vines were in biologically, hit me spiritually.

Scientists call this normal annual rhythm, “LATENT.”

  “Present but not visible, apparent, or activated; existing as potential.” 

WHAT? Does that excite you like it excites me? That is Hope friends!

I have stagnant, slow, inactive, depressive and downright difficult times that threaten to take me out. Days and sometimes seasons where I feel virtually dead inside. But my God says NO, she is mine, you can’t have her! She is in a DOLDRUM right now, but because of my great love for her, she “exists as potential,” and I have great plans for her!

The DOLDRUMS of our lives do not define us, GOD defines us! We may get stuck and it may feel like the preverbal wind has gone out of our sails. We are stagnant, inactive, depressed, discouraged and stuck. If you are feeling any or all of these, then God has a Word of HOPE for you…

“Don’t throw me out with the trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me. Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my sails.”  Psalm 51:12 (MSG)

You exist for potential! God will not throw you out! He will hold onto you and bring you back for the “gray” that surrounds you now! He will put a “fresh wind in your sails!” 

The DOLDRUMS may come but they also will go. We have potential in Jesus Christ our Lord. We always have HOPE in Him! Just like those vines I passed by, it may look like nothing is happening, but something is happening. They may be in a state of rest or inactivity for a season, but they exist for potential. So do you, my friend!

TRUTH BOMB

EVEN IN THE DOLDRUMS REMEMBER YOU EXIST FOR POTENTIAL IN JESUS CHRIST!

Speak Truth Love

WHAT KIND OF MARKS DO YOU BEAR?

As I begin this new week in January, I find myself asking the question…

“How do I deal with the evil, unjust, persecuted, sad, arrogant, lazy, and downright mean spiritedness of the world I live in?”

Now before you write me off as the greatest pessimist or possibly the most negative person you know, think about it.

Do we not wake up each day and face one or more of the negative, ugly issues I stated above? 

Do we not wake up with a positive attitude and soon have that soured by the memory of a sad event? Hopefully, we push that sad event down and focus on the happy. Then we remember how that friend or colleague unjustly treated us and we find it hard to get ready for the day. We push that down as well and manage to get out the door. We get in line for a much needed cup of caffeine and the arrogant/mean (possibly incredibly sad) person in front of us curses at the barista for taking too long to wait on the person in front of him/her.  We smile at the barista as she takes our order and attempt to bring some kindness into her day. We get to work or to the store or wherever our destination that day took us, and we are frustrated with the lack of dedication our co-workers or the store workers demonstrate. Frankly, we feel virtually abused by their laziness. We return home and turn on the nightly news and we are faced with all kinds of evil. There simply is not another word for it!

The day ends with us throwing our hands up in the air and asking God, “how can this be? How can it change and how can I survive it?”

In our outcry, I believe God whispers the answer. The real question is, do we listen and are we willing to apply the answer to our lives?

When we look at the words “MARK” and “BEAR” side by side, it paints a clearer picture for us.

To “BEAR” is to “Hold up under, to remain firm, to be capable of, and to press or push against.”  It even has the definition of being brave and standing up under the suffering.

When we “BEAR” up under our culture and circumstances, we live out Christ’s commands and we “BEAR” the “MARKS” of a Christ follower!

A “MARK” is something that is visible. It is not hidden or covered up. It is a badge, a brand, a visible sign. It is so utilized that it has left an impression.

In other words, people will see it and notice the difference in our lives!

Truth Bomb

When we live like Christ we bear the marks of our Savior!

Romans 12 says that we will love genuinely, hold fast to what is good, show honor, and respect to others. We will not be lazy, we will serve the Lord with joy and gladness. We will be hope filled, faith filled, and constantly in prayer! We will bless those who persecute us and not curse them. We will rejoice with those who are happy and not be a “wet blanket” in their circumstance. We will live in harmony with others and treat everyone the same. We will seek to forgive anyone that wrongs us and will not hold it against them!

We will not seek revenge but will leave it up to God. We will feed the hungry and give them water to drink.

Overall, we will live out Romans 12:21, and not be overcome by our culture or circumstances…

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”   Romans 12:21

Speak Truth Love

DOES ANYONE NEED A BOOST?

It is the second week of the New Year and I could already use a boost! I could use a boost in energy as I strive to get up earlier and make each day count. I could use a boost in discipline as I sit down to read God’s Word each morning. I could use a boost in perseverance as I commit to daily exercise. I could use a boost in will power as I make better food choices each day. It is only 11 days into the New Year and I could really use a BOOST! How about you?

We are not alone! Human nature cries out for encouragement, affirmation, support, and life giving BOOSTS!

Don’t just take my word for it. Take a look at all of the products on the market with the name or promise of a BOOST. There are sports drinks, there are nutritional drinks, there are engine and car parts that offer higher performance. Everywhere we look we can see the need for a “BOOST!”

There was a man who walked on this earthly soil just like you and I do. He gave great effort in serving God and following Him. Most would agree that he was the strong leader of the twelve disciples of Jesus. His name was Simon. His name was Simon that is, until he received a much needed BOOST!

“And I tell you that you are PETER, and on this ROCK I will build my church, and the gates of Hades, (Hell,) will not overcome it.”  Matthew 16:18

Simon receives one of the greatest BOOSTS of all time! Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter. Peter means ROCK. Jesus goes on to tell him that on this ROCK I will build my church. And guess what Peter, NOTHING will overcome it! Not your discouragement, not your trials, not your doubt, not your grief, not your sadness, not your anger, not your frustration! NOTHING will overcome the work that I will do through your life PETER, NOTHING! NOW THAT IS A BOOST! It was just in the nick of time too.

Jesus gives Peter this incredible BOOST of encouragement and support in verse 16.

In the previous verses of chapter 16 Jesus is walking through the disappointment, discouragement and down right disgust of the culture they are living in. And just in case you think it is the secular culture around them, take a closer look at verses 1-12. Jesus is addressing the spiritual leaders of the day, the Pharisees and the Sadducees. They are attempting to test Jesus and trying to trap Him. Jesus warns the disciples to “watch out and beware of the “leaven of bread,” the false teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Then, after realizing that the religious leaders are not strong in their Faith of Jesus, the surrounding culture is steeped in worship of pagan gods.

Wow, Simon and the other disciples must have felt overwhelmed, discouraged and alone.

Sounds like they need a BOOST. Jesus delivers one to Peter right on time!

“…You are Peter, and on this Rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it!

You will be successful Peter! Discouragement may be all around you, and failures will definitely come, but do not give up! I believe in you! You are a ROCK Peter, and on this Rock, I will build my church and nothing will come against it!

YOU CAN DO THIS PETER!

TRUTH BOMB

JESUS IS THE BOOST WE NEED EVERY DAY TO LIVE THIS LIFE FOR HIM!

What kind of BOOST from God do you need today? What has He asked you to do or overcome? You can only do it in His name and in His strength! If you do it in His name and in His strength, you will not fail!

Speak Truth Love

SO WHAT’S NEW?

It’s a new year! The ball dropped, the calendar turned and it’s now the year 2022. So what’s new? It feels like the last year and the year before that. In 2020 we first heard the word COVID. In 2021 COVID became a household term. As the calendar rolled from 2021 to 2022 the cases of COVID seem to have risen and not subsided. Still it is a NEW YEAR and with it comes the promise of something NEW.

NEW promises something different, something better. It implies something fresh or unused. It even stands in the place of the OLD and creates NEW. By definition it brings HOPE. It holds the promise of replacing despair and pessimism with aspiration and optimism. Oh, how we desperately need the NEW!

Well, I have good news and the answer to the question, “So What’s New?”  

The answer is, YOU ARE!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the NEW creation has come: The old has GONE, The NEW IS HERE!”  II Corinthians 5:17

TRUTH BOMB

EVERYONE WHO IS IN CHRIST JESUS IS MADE NEW!

When we are in Christ Jesus we are NEW! The OLD has passed away, it is GONE!

If you are anything like me, you need reminding of that!  It is so easy to fall back into OLD patterns. We continue to go to church and expect everything to be like it was before. Yet, we expect growth and newness. We open our devotionals for the NEW year and read them with the same old mindset and expect our hearts to be made new. We continue in the same exercise patterns, or lack of, and wonder why our body still aches. We continue to make the wrong food choices yet expect our weight to not fluctuate! And we turn the calendar page over from December 31, 2021, to January 1, 2022 and expect COVID to disappear. When we continue to follow our same “old” path, we can expect the same “old” outcome.

There is a parable told by Jesus that illustrates this point for us;

“No one tears a piece from a NEW garment and puts it on an OLD garment. If he does, he will tear the NEW, and the piece from the NEW will not match the OLD. And no one puts NEW wine into OLD wineskins. If he does, the NEW wine will burst the OLD wineskins and the wine will spill and be destroyed. But NEW wine must be put into fresh wineskins.” Luke 5:36-38

Jesus is teaching us through a parable, an earthly story with a heavenly meaning, that in order for change to occur we must walk in the NEW! It is good to remember the OLD, learn from it, and even expound upon it. But change and growth will only come as we walk in the NEW! The coming of Jesus Christ brings opportunity for repentance, regeneration and new forms of worship.

JESUS IS THE NEW! He has made us NEW through Him! WE ARE NEW CREATIONS IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD!

Yes, we may still be waking up to COVID, to routine schedules and to chaos in our world.

But make no mistake about it, WE ARE NEW CREATIONS IN JESUS and we are being RENEWED daily as we set our minds, hearts and spirits on HIM!

As we begin a NEW year, I am praying that God will give us a NEW focus, one that is committed to embracing the NEW that God Himself puts before us! I am determined to commit to this with you and look forward to diving deep into God’s Word with you each week of this NEW Year. See you back here next week as God reveals more of His Truth to us, His NEW creations!

Speak Truth Love