Tuesday, June 23, 2009

His Grace Sustains...

"You and I may indeed find ourselves overwhelmed at times – at the end of our rope and beyond.But we will never fall farther than the palm of His hand.
And where He has called us, His grace will sustain us."

~Joni Earekson Tada~

I was thinking this morning that I just couldn't get caught up and thoughts of being overwhelmed set in. Living with chronic illnesses can feel like your feet are stuck in the mud and every step can be an effort. That's where I am at and I fee like I have been for weeks..ever since the tea. Wait, maybe since Christmas. I manage to keep on top of things, but I want to do more...I want to reorganize the entire house, spring clean..it would be summer clean at this point, read, study, socialize, be more involved, have unlimited energy for my grand girles, answer emails promptly, ride my bike....Sounds of discontent are echoing, I hear them. The thing of it is..I didn't feel completely this way yesterday. So, it's the fatigue talking and maybe a few whispers of the enemy.

This quote says, where God has called us His grace will sustain us. I know I am where I am suppose to be, doing what I am suppose to be doing...His grace is enough and tomorrow will be another grace filled day.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."
2 Corinthians 12:9

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Reflections Of You...

The last three posts have been from a message I gave at our Woman's Tea, entitled, Reflections Of Beauty. It's not the enire message but parts of what I spoke on. It's been edited just because it was too much for a blog post. Today's, post is.... Reflections Of You.

James 1:23-25 “ For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.”

Some of you might have mirrors that magnify bigger than a normal mirror. I Have one that magnifies 8x’s larger. It’s really cruel to do that to myself. I see things on my face I can’t see with a regular mirror. I see things that were not there yesterday.
I’m one of those women that just can’t go without make up. Every flaw flashes like a neon light. If my husband comes home and I have make up on he wants to know where we’re going or did I go somewhere today. He calls it a miracle transformation when I put make up on.

We look in a mirror to see how we look on the outside. When we look in the mirror of God’s word it shows us how we look on the inside. It’s easier to cover up the flaws on the outside with a little makeup. When God shows us the flaws on the inside, it’s a work that can only be done from within. It too, is called a miracle transformation.

Even though, God’s word reveals to us the flaws in our hearts and our character; He lovingly shows us how to change. Even when I knew God was relentless in showing me my need for change….I was not condemned but lovingly convicted. It’s God’s kindness that leads us to repentance. Intimacy with God brings about change.

Many times we as women compare ourselves with each other. Satan wants us to compare..he wants us to think other women are better. He will taunt us to compare, envy and covet what another woman has. He especially wants us to think we can’t have that love relationship with God that others do….

He wants us to think something is wrong with us and it’s not attainable for us. But I am here to tell you that each one of us can have all we want in our relationship with the Lord. God is not a respecter of persons but the enemy wants you to think that. We all have the same opportunities to be intimate with God. It’s our choice.

Jeremiah 29:13 says…
“If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”

If we look in the mirror of God’s word not only will we find him but we will find ourselves. We are daughters of the Most High God; we are daughters of the King!!To God each one of us is uniquely beautiful. He fashioned and formed us to have a beautiful face that will reflect His love, beautiful hands that will help others, beautiful eyes to see his beauty that surrounds us and beautiful lips to tell of God and His love for us. I am not talking about physical attributes.

This is how God sees us. Your hands maybe calloused and wrinkled from years of hard work..but God see the beauty of those hands in all that they did for others in His name.

We may not see ourselves that way, but God does. We at times compare ourselves to the world’s standard of beauty so we don’t see the beauty God created in us. The beauty of “beauty idols” will soon be forgotten. God will work wonders in our lives to perfect the beauty he desires to see in us.
That kind of beauty will radiate to others and change lives. When God’s work is complete our
character will show off the beauty marks to all those who know us and love us.

Joni Earekson Tada says, “I will find in every person that facet of the Lord’s loveliness that only he or she can uniquely reflect.”

My reflection will always be me. Oh, when I look in the mirror over time, my physical reflection will change… there will be more wrinkles and the shape of my face could change, hopefully thinner…. my hair color probably isn’t going to change. I don’t want any physical reflection; I want the refection of Jesus. It’s the trials and circumstances of my life, the valleys and the mountain tops…that God will use to bring about that unique reflection.

It took me many years to figure out that God made me unique. That he made my personality just for me. There is such freedom in being who God made you to be, rather than who you think you should be..or be like. Never being happy with yourself and always wanting to be like someone else...Is a form of bondage.

By God’s transforming grace we can reflect beauty in our lives. Each day as we walk in the Spirit our faces will increasingly reflect the beauty of Jesus. When we have Jesus living inside of us nothing can dim the beauty that shines from within.

The circumstances and trails of our lives past and present do not need to tarnish our reflections. They can, but they don’t need too. I am not minimizing what those circumstances have been or are presently. We each have our own stories to tell.

It’s our choice what we want to reflect. We can choose to reflect all of our hardships and trials or we can choose to reflect the Jesus in us. Each one of the circumstances in our lives was designed to bring about that perfect luster that only God can accomplish through the buffering and polishing of His Holy Spirit.

You are Daughter's of the Most High God. You are His precious treasure hand made to reflect beauty. You have a unique beauty that the Father has only given you to reflect. The choice is yours in whom you want to reflect….Ourselves or Jesus?

It is my desire this morning that when you leave today that you will feel special to the Lord and see how just how beautiful you are. You are his chosen daughter to live right here and now to reflect His beauty to a world in chaos and to each other……Because we as women need each other.

So as we close this morning with our hearts hopefully challenged to be a reflection of beauty, a reflection of Jesus Himself.. Let me leave you with these few words….

May the Jesus in me, see the Jesus in you!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Reflections In My World...

These are just a few thoughts from the second point in my message, Reflections of Beauty....Refections..In My world.

"For we are a fragrance of Christ to God,
among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing."
2 Corinthians 2:14

Before my allergies took over and I could no longer wear any fragrances,I always wore the same cologne. You could smell it ever so faintly in my closet and bedroom. When Hannah my grand daughter was a baby, my son in law would sniff her and say to her, "You smell like Gramma, have you been with Gramma today"

So, it is with us, the world will know we have been with Jesus. Amongst the stench and decay of this fallen world our fragrance will be as evident as our reflection.

Many of you are in very hard places right now. There is such uncertainly in our world around us and there are crisis' and trials in our personal lives. Some days it is difficult tot look through spiritual eyes and see that all of this is going according to God's plan. Life hurts and at times is very painful. Even though our world can be a hard place to live right now, it's not impossible. We know God to be sovereign, control in all things.

One of the greatest affirmations of faith is found in; Habakkuk 3:17-18
"Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior."

I will rejoice in the Lord!

This is the kind of reflection that a world gone mad with chaos and change needs to see from us as Christian women. We could read that Scripture this way in our world today.

Even though my health is failing, the checkbook is empty, the 401K is gone, the house is in forecloser and there seems to be no hope on the horizon....I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful on God my Savior!

As believers the more we suffer the more God comforts. For those that don’t know Jesus, where does their comfort come from? That’s where we come in...we comfort them with the same comfort God has given us.

Charles Swindoll says, “Our Father is preparing us to meet the deep inner needs of others by bringing us through the dark places first.”

He is bring us through those dark places first..why? So we can take someone, believer or unbeliever, by the hand and help them come through to the other side of whatever their crisis or circumstances are. And when we are showing compassion and comfort we are pointing them to Jesus by our reflections of Him and our sweet fragrances.

We are not here at this time in history to sink in the pool of self pity in our hard times. For such a time as this, we are here to show our children, friends and all whom God puts in our path how to live through adversity, illnesses, and whatever other loss you may have experienced or are experiencing presently.

Corrie ten Boom said,
"Every experience that God gives us, every person he puts in our lives, is the perfect preparation for the future only he can see."

It's not just non Christians that need to see this reflection of Christ in our lives., we need to see it in each other. We need to see how another woman goes through the hardships of her life and that gives us hope and encouragement to go through hard times of our own.We are encouraged by each other's reflection's!

We have to be careful that we don't show people crooked patterns in life. They need to see us walk upright and not wavering. We can't let crooked patterns be our example to the world. When we are willing God will strategically place us somewhere to be a blessing.

Are we being that example for others to follow? Do we reflect Christ and show others straight paths rather than crooked ones? Do we give off the fragrance of Jesus in a world filled with the stench and decay of a fallen world ?
Our refection might be the one thing that would draw another person into the arms of Jesus during what we think to be the last days. Something in our refection could be the one thing that influences someone’s first thoughts of Christ.

It may be the one thing that would cause them to even be thinking of Him in the first place. We need to be an example to each other; it gives us strength to go on.

"As in water face reflects face,
so the heart of woman reflects woman."
Proverbs 27:19

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Reflections Of The Heart...

These are just a few thoughts from the first part of my message at our tea, Reflections Of Beauty. There were three points and the next few days I'll share just tidbits of what was shared.

"You shall love the LORD your
God with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength."
Mark 12:30

Our lives mirror the condition of our hearts. The most evident refection of our beauty will come from a heart that is totally God's. Scripture and experience tell us that it is up to us, what level of intimacy we will have with God. The intimacy we have this very moment is exactly what we have chosen to have. We have to ask ourselves if it is discipline or intimacy that motivates us to have quiet times with the Lord. Is it a hunger and a thirst for intimacy with Him?

We reflect whom we are closest too. If we spend time with the Lord we will reflect Him, if we don't, what beauty will we reflect? We will reflect ourselves. It takes work to look good on the outside, but it takes relationship to reflect beauty on the inside.

Nothing can muddy up the reflection of our hearts more than unforgiveness, unconfessed sin, disobedience and pride. We are never more beautiful than when we are obedient to what God asks of us to do. On the other hand, we are never more unattractive than when we are disobedient and prideful. Both of these issues are matters of the heart.

J.Oswald Sanders says, " There are times when we would want to know a deeper intimacy, but when it comes right down to the point, we are not prepared to pay the price."

The choice is ours...will we choose to reflect ourselves or will we choose intimacy with God and reflect Him?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Do They See Jesus In Me?

I wanted to share this song with you this morning. This was our theme song for our tea. Our guest music artist was Mary Naman..she did a fantastic job singing this song.. This is the original artist singing but I wanted you to hear it. Be blessed!

Reflections Of Beauty...

Saturday, we had our Women's Ministry Tea. It was entitled, Reflections of Beauty. It was such a lovely day and we really felt that God's Spirit was hovering over as we worshiped and the Word was taught.

Every part of the morning was bathed in prayer and you could see God's hand in every detail.

For those of you that had prayed for me, thank you so much. I felt every single one as I wrote my message and as I gave the presentation.

For the next few days I would like to post some of my thoughts from my teaching, but today, I must get my home back in order. I remember when I taught on a regular basis when I was done studying and when the message was given, all I wanted to do was get back into my routine and get my house clean again. So, a little bit of tidying here and there and I'll be ready to post some of my thoughts.

It was a glorious day! To God be the Glory!