Tag Archive | Christian

“Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, the young woman who is unmarried and a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel [God with us].” (Isaiah 7:14)

images 3

 Hello. How are you? Last night was the first night of Hanukkah and it is (7) days to Christmas Eve-which means (8) days to Christmas? Can you believe it? This year seemed to have moved at such an incredible speed that it’s seems like a blur. It’s crazy that it went by so fast-especially once next week is over with, people might be thinking about new resolutions for their upcoming year-while leaving some old ones behind.

One of the issues we contend with during the Holidays is the false sense of “urgency” to shop and buy gifts NOW! Oh, it may seem to start slowly and subtly- then it steam rolls us like a train flying off the tracks! Then we become overwhelmed and possibly depressed because it doesn’t seem like we have enough time to get it all done. We act this way in the “name of Christmas”. But, do we truly stop to grasp who the Christ is in Christmas? Do we honestly realize the meaning for what we are celebrating? Do we really believe that “Jesus is the reason for the season?” Or, do we just accept Him as part of the “Holiday décor? Think about it. Do we actually comprehend that God is with us?” “Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted; propose your plan, but it will not stand, for God is with us. (Isaiah 8:10)

For Christians everywhere, the Christmas season is celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the One and Only intercessor between God and mankind; and He was aptly named “God with us”. He is with us even though He physically resides in the heavens. He inhabits the hearts (and lives) of those who already has received Him as LORD and Savior. Moreover, He is here with us and available to those who will call upon His name to accept Him. Immanuel, is with us. He was with us when we were in sin and He is with us when we repented and turned from our sin so He can continually lead us to everlasting life.  We will most likely stumble and fall when life throws it’s curve at us; but, He will still be with us. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

As you look upon the Manger scene during this Holiday season, notice how the God of this universe chose to be born into humanity so He could identify with us. He is omnipresent. He was, is and always be with us.  Just look for the sign and He will reveal Himself to youBEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.” (Matthew 1:23)

As you walk Every Day With Grace, I would like to leave you with the lyrics from Michael Card’s song, “Immanuel”. It beautifully depicts God’s relationship with us this Christmas season and always.

Immanuel By Artist: Michael Card

A sign shall be given a virgin will conceive
A human baby bearing undiminished deity
The glory of the nations a light for all to see
That hope for all who will embrace His warm reality

Immanuel our God is with us
And if God is with us who could stand against us
Our God is with us
Immanuel

For all those who live in the shadow of death
A glorious light has dawned
For all those who stumble in the darkness
Behold your light has come

Immanuel our God is with us
And if God is with us who could stand against us
Our God is with us
Immanuel

So what will be Your answer? Will You hear the call?
Of Him who did not spare His son but gave Him for us all
On earth there is no power there is no depth or height
That could ever separate us from the love of God in Christ

Immanuel our God is with us
And if God is with us who could stand against us
Our God is with us
Immanuel

Immanuel our God is with us
And if God is with us who could stand against us
Our God is with us
Immanuel

 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

images

How is everyone?  My week has been interesting since I moved.  As I stated last week, I am in a transition at this time in my life. In these last few years, God has been removing or stripping certain things from my life.  Some friends, churches-even some family-whether it be through natural causes or not.  There has definitely been a clear “divide” regarding what I perceived as normality, rather “Christian normality” in my life.

In order to understand what I mean, I will go back a little bit to explain. Some years back I had prayed and asked God to help me understand more clearly what it was like to be more like His Son, Jesus.   I wanted my faith in Christ to be real-not hypercritical.  Believe me, I am a real sinner and I have failed God miserably more times than not, but He never gave up on me-especially when I wanted to give up on myself.  It was during this time that I went through a lot of loss and it seemed like my life was only filled with darkness.  I lost my job, my apartment, I had to move home as an adult in my late 30’s, I was surrounded by “friends” who blamed me for my circumstances and some were telling me that I was not living a “love walk” which is why these things were occurring.  I felt lost, misplaced and completely unsure about life. I cried out to God asking if this was all there was? Was there any hope?  No one offered any hope-only despair.  Where was proof of God’s love for me during this time?  I said to God, “I can’t be wrong ALL the time!” SHOW ME WHO YOU ARE!

Then God showed me in His Word: “What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness?  Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar. As it is written: So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge”(Romans 3:3-4).  I think one of reasons I became distressed was because I was allowing others to tell me how God viewed me. The view was based upon their own idols of their hearts and minds. I since then have established a much stronger relationship with God-and this includes hearing His voice and obeying His will.

When I was a new believer, God gave me this Word from the Bible: “Now the Lord had said to Abram: Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran” (Genesis 12:1-4). God has given me this same scripture several times over the years and I have not listened.  Mostly because of my own security (or false security) of me being in charge of my life, fear and unbelief.  In this scripture Abraham was 75 when obeyed-there’s hope for me (and you) yet! I choose the above scripture because we are to trust and acknowledge God with a whole heart in ALL things because He truly is our guiding force in life. It says not to “lean on our own understanding”. Why? Because God’s ways are not our ways and frankly, many times it doesn’t make sense how HE pull things off! “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55: 8-9)

If you are also dealing with changes and transitions in your life, I want to encourage you to know that while we are going through difficulties and it seems like God is very far away, I want you to know that He has not forgotten us. “…but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; (Isaiah 49:15-16) As we maintain our trust in Jesus, He will not only direct our paths in this life, He will also make the paths straight for us to follow. 

As you continue to walk Every Day With Grace, I want to leave you with these words of encouragement:

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life.  And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:25-33)

In His Love,

Melody


“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJ)

I don’t know about you, but, I believe change is in the air and it is making many people crazy! It is definitely in the atmosphere and it feels very unsettling.  I don’t know if it’s because we will have our election next month and the future of our country may bend toward socialism (God forbid!), or  it will go towards what the foundation of this country was built upon.  Either way, change is in the air and many people are anxious.

Keeping this in mind, I, too am trying to change things in my life.  Some things are easier to change and/or replace…some other things… not so much. But I am trying to be proactive and I am choosing to go forward. However, even though my intentions are good, I need to make sure they are godly.  I am so busy (especially in my mind) that I do not want to miss what God may have for me.  I know many decisions are born out of emotion. Emotion is what I think I should do.  When I go before the Lord and pray and ask for His guidance and listen, then I am able to obtain God’s peace.  It’s funny-emotions usually make one act hastily, but, when you enter God’s presence with prayer (which is just talking with God) then one may experience a stillness in spirit, soul and body.  That stillness is God’s peace.  His peace is amazing and it connects you to Him.

I have a couple of friends who are extremely self sufficient, so the thought of waiting on God seems almost silly to them because they are always figuring out what to do in their own circumstances. I was taught to wait on the Lord because you did not want to get ahead of Him.  The problem with that was people would then step in and tell you what they think you should do. I am not saying God can’t speak through somebody, but, it has been my experience that it can turn into a glorification of man’s will and God is not even entered in to the equation of your decision. Just recently I heard the most Godly practical advise from the Late Bob Cooke on Family Radio. He said “first we pray, then we plan, then we obey”. How fabulous was that?  I finally got it and I have been moving forward ever since. God may tell us to go, He may say wait .But the best part is the obedience because if we start to move in a direction that God does not want us to go, He will close that door.  Our responsibility is not to throw open the door once He closes it.  People have to realize that God does say “no”.  No is an answer.  Ever hear your parents or others in your life say no?  God is allowed to say “no” too.  We may not like it but, that’s ok.  I feel a thousand times better knowing God is in control and He has His best interest in my life.

How awesome is it to know that God has thoughts towards us and they are thoughts of good to give us a future and a hope?  Everyone needs hope. Therefore, we put our hope in God because we know He cares for us.  I don’t k now what my future holds; but, I do know God holds my future in His hands.  So, i will continue to pray, to plan, and to obey whatever His will is for me in my future.  I pray that you too will come to know God’s grace everyday for your life.

In His Love,

Melody

 

“If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.” (James 1:26)

Do you ever think about the tongue?  If you do, what do you actually associate with the tongue.  Let’s see, the tongue lets us know if something taste yummy (like ice cream), or (quite frankly) something disgusting.  The doctor looks at our tongue when he/she asks us to “ahh.” Some use their tongue for kissing and some (not just children) just like to stick their tongue at someone as a way to “so there!” or “leave me alone!”  I guess most people take their tongue for granted.

I know what you’re thinking…what an odd topic-and you are right.  It is an odd topic for discussion but, I would guess that most people do not realize that their tongue will contradict their own religion by the way they speak. I believe that the tongue is a tool that leads to hypocrisy and the reason is because many times we say one thing; or imply something, but our actions are contrary to what we said.  It is also true that one’s emotions dictate the words the tongue puts out.  When a person presents themselves as religious, but spits out anger or hurt on others, then their religion (or as I like to say their faith) seems phony.  Everybody has bad days. I’m not talking about that. I am talking about when people are deluded in thinking that their words do not effect anyone.  This is what the above scripture means.  Piety is not holy. I am guilty of this very thing myself.  I am a sinner saved through the grace of my Lord, Jesus Christ.  I am not perfect-but Jesus is.  The people who know me would consider me a “religious” person. However, I know they have seen and heard me when I let that tongue of mine take control and then act completely un-Christlike.  My tongue may be small in my body, but it has big opinions and wants to be heard. In the book of James it says “Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” (James 3:5-6)

When we let the tongue get the better of us, we become automatically become pharisaical.  We appear high and mighty. We take our priceless salvation and make it worthless by our very own words and condemn ourselves.  There have been instances where I thought my heart was with God-but then I opened my mouth and blew my testimony as a Christian.  I do not want to be known as a “Christian terminator” but, I brought that label upon myself and I know it!  I think my biggest disappointment is not what people think of me; it’s what does God think of me as His representative! Thank God, I can always come to Him and repent for my words and actions and He is always faithful to forgive me when I ask.

So the next time you want to spew something foul; or even give an unkind word (even in self defense) take a moment to honestly reflect what is in your mind and reign in the tongue before it breaks free.  It is challenge I am presenting to all of my readers.  I also value the accountability.  Until we meet again, walk everyday with grace that only God can give.

In His Love,

Melody

 

“The LORD has looked down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek after God,” (Psalm14:2)

Do you remember the song “Looking for love in all the wrong places?” That song was such a hit because so many people were able to relate to it. I will take some liberty here and say that I can remember when I was looking for God in all the wrong places.

First, let me start off by saying that I was not raised in any form of religion.  Technically, the background I was born into is 3/4 Jewish and maybe 1/4 Catholic. I probably would have been considered an agnostic. I believed God existed and that was as far as it went. My only “religious” upbringing was watching “The Ten Commandments” by Cecil B. DeMille. I cannot even tell you how shocked I was when I read the story in the Bible for the first time. I was so confused!  That is what happens when we view Godly things from the TV instead of picking up a Bible and reading it ourselves. Anyway, I digress.

I believe most people are looking for God because they are seeking truth in this crazy world we live in. When I started my “search”,  I didn’t realize I was seeking God’s truth.  I thought I was evolving as a person. Let’s see… I went to psychics, astrologers, dream interpreters, I did metal bending and who knows what else.  I had (2) very different close friends at this time.  One, took me to all of the activities I just mentioned and the other was a born-again Christian. I would go to psychics by day and would watch televangelist, Jimmy Swaggort on Sunday nights. (Oh no, my age is showing!)  It seemed that searching for truth was pulling me and my soul in two extreme directions-almost like a tug of war in what I was going to believe in.  I was hearing two very different opinions. One day as my friend and I were driving home after seeing an alleged world renowned psychic, I asked God (2) things: 1) if He was real; and 2) who was telling me the truth?  The friend taking me to visit psychics or, the one watching the televangelist?  I asked God to reveal Himself to me in a personal, private way and He did.  That’s when I was introduced to God the Father, God the Son, and  God the Holy Spirit. I will tell you one very important fact I learned from seeking truth-whether we realize it or not, God is in control of everything in this life. I take comfort knowing that God cares so much for me that He is always looking out for me. His word says so.

There is a scripture that says “Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found of you declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 29;12-14)  I finally knew that I was actually seeking God’s truth because His truth is the only one that matters and His truth does not change with the times. His word also says “I love those who love Me; and those who seek Me will find Me.”(Proverbs 8:17)  So many people think that God is unattainable-when in reality He is looking down from heaven to see who is looking for Him so He can extend His hand to them so they can receive a loving, everlasting relationship.

It is important to realize that God and Jesus are one. In scripture when Jesus was asked who He was, He  answered, “i am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John14:6)  Therefore, the next time you may think God is too far off in the galaxy to hear you, you can “Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.” (Isaiah 55:6). God is always near and always answers when one calls upon His name.

In His Love,

Melody