Archive for September, 2011

Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus…

Friday, September 30th, 2011

Caleb at 9 months old

Imagine how much more Jesus is thrilled when you and I talk to Him. When He calls, we need to answer. Because when He sees us, He sees His own blood that covers our sins. His heart swells with pride. As deeply as I love Caleb and you love your children, Jesus loves us so much more. His Father couldn’t stand the thoughts of us spending an eternity separated from Him. So He did all He could do – gave up His only little boy to die for my sins and yours, thus securing our eternity in heaven. But we must accept that gift. We can’t just believe it happened, we must believe that without Jesus our inadequacies aren’t enough. We must accept Him as our personal Savior – the one who sets us free. Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus.

“God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NCV).

“But God shows his great love for us in this way: Christ died for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8 NCV).

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19).

Happy 20th Birthday, Caleb Scott Cabiness! I love you!!

Hope

Uppercase Face…

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

This morning in Jesus Calling I noticed that Sarah Young, when making the following statement she gave the reference to God’s face an uppercase F…”I always behold you Face to face.” Sarah spent no time on that small point, but I assure you it doesn’t lessen its significance. I want you and Sarah to know that I did NOT miss her intentional reverence of God by the uppercase Face. God gives us direct access to behold Him Face to face, and though He is our bestest friend and He understands us and loves us unconditionally and has provided grace that is greater than our sin, He’s still God. He is sovereign and holy and powerful and omnipotent and omniscient and omnipresent, and the list goes on and on. God is definitely an uppercase God, and we are His lowercase children. That doesn’t make us insignificant, just lowly and needy for a big ole Uppercase God!

Through the Holy Spirit I can now look to Him Face to face. But one day I will stand before this Holy God and I will behold Him – lowercase face to Uppercase Face. And what a day that will be!

“Those who look to Him are radiant, their faces are never covered with shame” (Psalm 34:4).

“For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

Hope

Grace > sin

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Romans 5 is enough to make you wanna shout, throw your hands up and shout! God’s grace is greater than our sins. No matter how big the sin, grace is greater. No matter how dark the sin, grace is greater. No matter how secretive the sin, grace is greater. No matter how multiple the sins, grace is greater. No matter how long you’ve been away from God, His grace is greater. No matter how long you’ve been involved in a particular sin, God’s grace is greater.

All you have to do is confess your sins and God is faithful and just to forgive. Grace > sin. Accept it. It’s all yours.

“Where sin increased, grace increased all the more” (Romans 5:20).

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Hope

Nog!

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Kelly Minter, the author of No Other Gods says that she and her Bible Study partners have named their group NOG – you guessed it, No Other Gods. I’ve decided that I’ll take on that little acronym and repeat it as many times as necessary. When anything or anyone else vies for my time with the Lord, I will say, “Nog!” It comes out to the tune of, “Not!” I am stating aloud affirmation that I will allow No Other Gods in my life. I’ve already had to, “Nog!” Satan this morning.

I recognize this will not be a once a month or once a week or even once a day commitment. I’ll probably have to repeat it multiple times a day as there is so much grasping for my attention, for my time. Worries, cares, anxieties. And as we are learning in our Bible Study, some of the things are not bad. Family, friends, church work. They can be good things, yet they take my worship from the only true God.

Enjoy your day, and if necessary, throw Satan a “Nog!”

“I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God” (Isaiah 45:5).

Ken Carpenter and his family are back in town, along with our Financial Consultant who is raising the funds for movie. I’m looking forward to a great “movie stuff” week!

Hope

I’m clueless…

Monday, September 26th, 2011

I’ve been singing, “Amazed” all day. Here are some of the lyrics…

You dance over me

While I am unaware

You sing all around

But I never hear the sound

God is so into me! He sings to me, He dances over me, He rejoices over my very existence – and I completely miss it. Does He really? Does God love me so much that He rejoices over me? When someone rejoices, they jump up and down and clap with excitement. Does God really do that?! Yes! The scriptures tell us that God rejoices over us, He sings and dances all around us and showers us with so many good things, and we completely miss it. The chirping birds, the beautiful fall leaves, the roaring ocean, the pink skies, the autumn breeze, the fresh winter snow, the spring flowers, the fresh rain showers, the list goes on and on. He is so into me! and I’m clueless.

You dance over me while I am unaware. You sing all around but I never hear the sound. I’m clueless. Please Father, don’t let me miss it. I am so amazed at how much You love me. Don’t let me miss one iota of Your blessings!

“Oh how I’ll rejoice in them! Oh how I’ll delight in doing good things for them!” (Jeremiah 32:41 The Msg)

“The Lord your God is with you; the mighty One will save you. He will rejoice over you. You will rest in his love; he will sing and be joyful about you” (Zephaniah 3:17 NCV).

Hope 

Once again You show me grace…

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

A friend on Twitter who has made some pretty poor decisions over the years posted this morning, “Once again, Jesus, You show me grace.” That brings tears to my eyes to know where the Lord has brought this man and the addictions and affairs he has been set free from. And recently his mother has been at the point of death but the Lord has healed her body and she is doing great. He posted, “Once again, Jesus, You show me grace.”

Wow, I could make my list of “once agains” today. There is so much I don’t deserve – and God gives it to me anyway! And there is so much I do deserve, and God protects me from it. May I wake each morning with the realization that “Once again, Jesus, You show me grace.” And may I always show that same grace to others. I have spent the bulk of this day providing hope to individuals in life crisis. I’ve been on the phone literally for hours sharing the hope we have in Christ in spite of our circumstances. One sweet friend is having marital problems, another finds herself in a broken relationship, her mother has little to do with her, her dad is all she has and she is, in her words, so lonely. These problems are too big for me! I’m so thankful that once again, He shows us all grace.

Don’t miss your “once agains.” You won’t have to look hard to find them. Simply recognize God’s hand on your life and you’ll recognize the grace.

“Out of His fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:16 & 17).

Hope 

Update your status…

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Facebook and Twitter have swept the nation! If done in moderation and used for positive influence, you just can’t beat it. But all things must be done in moderation. Use your status to edify not to tear down. Sometimes I’ll hear from FB friends who say, “Update your status! I want to know what you’re up to.” There are a lot of times I’d like to vent about something or someone, but I know that I will answer for my sphere of influence. So when I update my status, it must glorify the Lord and not tear down. That’s a challenge!

So it is in our every day status of life. You don’t have to be on Facebook to influence others. We’re going to influence those we come in contact with, whether we want to or not! When someone asks you how you’re doing, do they walk away so depressed they want to crawl in a hole? Or do they leave you feeling like they’ve had a shot of encouragement straight to the heart? I pray it’s the latter. Don’t be gloom and doom. Build up, edify, encourage others. Update your status, and make it a positive one today!

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).

 

I apologize for not posting yesterday. I spent the day on the Rick Santorum campaign trail with Alexia Newman until late last night. I am not “into” politics but I rarely say no to Alexia. She’s the First Lady of Spartanburg so you typically do whatever she needs you to do. And I’m so glad I did! I will not use this website to campaign for Santorum or anyone else, but what I will ask each of you to do is do NOT let the media determine who you vote for. Check out every one of the candidates from all parties, know their background, know their knowledge of what America needs in order to get back on our feet and their plan of action, know their track record for getting things done, and know their hearts for America and the family. Without family, we have no America. That’s all I’ll say. If every American will commit to doing their homework and not allowing the media to do their homework, we’ll have a strong country once again. I struggled with whether to say this in my blog, and the Lord has convicted me that He stood up for political matters and made no bones about where He stood. He expects us to do the same.

Hope

Squandering energy…

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have enough energy to be squandering an ounce of it! Today’s Jesus Calling is a beautiful message on the importance of keeping our focus on Christ, viewing things from His perspective, an eternal one. If we will do that then we’ll find we haven’t squandered energy on petty problems, but have a reserve built up for serious ones.

Clay is notorious for challenging me with, ” You’re spending way too much emotional energy on things you can do nothing about.” I hate it when he says that because he’s exactly right! There are a lot of serious, legitimate life-issues that vie for my energy, emotionally and physically. Why in the world do I spend so much time fretting over petty things that either a) have nothing to do with me; or b) I have no control over? Jesus calls us to see things through His perspective. The ole “What would Jesus do?” perspective. To take it even further, would He do anything about whatever is bugging you, or would He simply wipe the dust off His feet and move on to serious things?

Is something zapping you of your energy today because you are worrying about it or trying to control it or looking for answers when the question is not even posed to you? Don’t squander your energy. Save it up – you may need it for something serious soon!

“For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17 & 18).

Hope

Straight for the heart…

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Our ladies are studying Kelly Minter’s Bible Study, No Other Gods. I bowed out (pardon the pun) from teaching this semester with the expectation that we would be filming the movie during the Fall. God had another time schedule, and it is going to be a blessing to sit under Angie Duncan and Di Easler (who willingly filled my slot). They may never let me teach again! The study is spot on, and it hurts! One of the statements that Kelly made in last week’s study is that false gods aim straight for the heart (I’m paraphrasing of course) because out of our heart springs life! Allow me to elaborate with my personal commentary. You might as well allow me because you know I will anyway.

“Back in the day” in Bible times the false gods were golden calves typically. More modern actual gods are Buddha look-a-likes or pendants or statues of some sort. All of these gods aim for the heart. They want your worship. Whatever you worship is where your heart is. But for most of us the false gods in our lives are not statues or calves or goats or sheep. But rather they come in the form of, ummm, say, our children possibly? You may say you’d never worship your child. But anyone or anything that consumes us or takes up all our time and energy and thoughts is our god. Anyone or anything that we give more attention to than we do our relationship with the Lord is our false god. Ouch! Fill in the blank with whatever is your prize possession. Maybe it’s your career, or your health, or your looks, or your “stuff” – house or car or boat or motorcycle, or a relationship or lack thereof. Whatever you cherish to the extreme, allowing it to take a bigger role in your life than the Lord, that is your false god. And you can believe whatever it is aims straight at the heart. If it’s a person they probably have no idea they’re filling God’s spot in your life. It’s a heart thing. And it’s your heart that is taking the beating.

Identify the false god or gods in your life. Because you can bet it or they are aiming straight for the heart – your source of life!

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23).

“Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Exodus 34:14).

Hope

A warm blanket…

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Jesus Calling for Children refers to Jesus as being our warm blanket. Children can relate to warm blankets, and so can I! On a cool day I like nothing more than to curl up on the couch in a warm blanket. Or if I’m sick, the first thing I do is get a warm blanket and wrap up in it. Or if I’m tired, I wrap up tight and go to sleep. Or if I’m having a bad day, nothing is more relaxing that to wrap up in a warm blanket and chill. I can remember when I was going through my divorce and things were very hard and frightening at times for me, I just wanted to wrap up in a warm blanket and go to sleep, forget about all my problems – sleep it off I guess.

Now imagine that Jesus is a warm blanket in all these circumstances. When you’re cold at heart, run to the arms of Jesus and wrap up in His warmth. That’ll melt your cold heart in a minute! Of if you are sick or frightened or tired or disheartened or just plain ole disgusted with life, wrap up in His strong arms and be comforted. And while He has you wrapped in that warm blanket of love, He’s rocking you in His big ole rocking chair, and He’s singing over you! I just adored the thrill of wrapping Caleb up in a warm cozy blanket when he was little and singing to him, and he loved it. That’s exactly what the Lord does for us when we go to Him with our cares. He takes delight in us, and He sings over us.

Stop trying to find comfort in your own strength or in the strength of others. Wrap up in the warm blanket of Jesus’ love, and enjoy the music!

“Your God is present among you, a strong Warrior there to save you. Happy to have you back, he’ll calm you with his love and delight you with his songs” (Zephaniah 3:17 The Msg).

Hope