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His way IS Better!

Another lesson from the hay field.

Do you ever just say to yourself, “God, what in the world are You doing? If You would do things this way (uh, my way!) I do believe we’d all come out a little better.” Now, don’t say you’ve never had those thoughts, cause I know you have. As I’ve thought about my day in the hay field with my dad the Lord taught me another lesson.

My dad and I had a system to how we were loading the hay bales onto the trailer. He was on the trailer, several hay bales high, and I was heave-hoeing the bales up to him. Then, he would stack the bales where he wanted them to go. From my vantage point it looked as those he needed to spread them out a little more; it seemed that one side was a little taller than the other. A few times I even questioned him, “don’t you think this end is getting a little too high?” His reply, “No. I know what I’m doing. You just keep ‘em comin’.” “Uh, ok,” I thought to myself, “but when they start falling off on the way home you’re gonna wished you’d a listened to me.” So, on we went row by row; me heave-hoeing the hay bales, him stacking them exactly the way he wanted them to be. When we were done we tied to hay down and away we went.

Can you guess what happened on the way home? I’d like to say that I was right, but, well…I was wrong. Not one of those hay bales was lost. My dad knew exactly what he was doing. He had the plan and I hadn’t a clue. Isn’t that so like God? He calls us to work for Him- a job that He’s been doing for YEARS- and we put on our uniforms then have the gall to start calling the shots when we haven’t a clue what in the world we are doing.

God reminded me that His ways are much higher than mine and His thoughts and plans are much greater than mine. My job is only to work; to heave-hoe my talents, my abilities, my willingness, my “hay bales” up to Him and let Him do with them what He desires because His plan is the best and nothing will be lost when I step out of the way and let all things work according to His desired purpose.
“‘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, NKJV


It WAS NOT My Intention

It was definitely not my intention. My plan was to drive; to stay in the truck and enjoy the cool breeze of the A/C blowing into my face. My skin was already sun burned from the previous day’s swim club adventure, so to be out in it again wasn’t the wisest of choices. I was certainly not dressed for the occasion. Wearing a white tank underneath a cute little jacket, comfy Capri lounge pants, and black flip flops isn’t the usual attire one would choose to wear for an undertaking of this magnitude. BUT, my daddy needed help and when daddy needs help- well, what’s a girl to do? So, I took off my cute little jacket, all my jewelry, and with already crispy skin joined my daddy in the middle of the hay field.

The field was ready to be harvested. The hay have been cut, turned so that it could dry, and made into nice rectangular bales tied off neatly with two twine strings. Rows and rows and rows of hay bales lined the field with just enough room between each row for a vehicle to drive through. “Let’s go to the end of that row over there,” my dad pointed as he surveyed the best place for us to begin, “we’ll pick up where the last people left off.” And so it began; the tedious task of heave-hoeing 50 lbs bales of hay and strategically placing them on the trailer so every bale would fit and stack nicely.

One hundred and thirty something bales of hay were loaded onto the trailer that day. By the time we were done I was disgustingly nasty and smelled of sweat mixed with the scents of stale hay and the tiny bit of what was left of the freesia deodorant I had applied to my underarms MANY hours earlier. Remember my burnt, crispy skin- it was now blistered and it hurt. My white shirt wasn’t so white anymore and was covered and filled with hay. Now, not only were my flip flops black, both of my feet were black from the dust in the field. The day was a success- the task that had been set before us was accomplished.

This day spent helping my daddy happened several weeks ago, but I’ve thought about it many times since then. It was a day full of lessons and I’d like to share one of those lessons with you today.

Our Daddy, has set before each of us a task, a field, if you will, that is ready to be harvested. He has strategically placed within each of our lives “hay bales” that are ready to be picked up and loaded onto the trailer of eternal life. There will be times when we’ll pick up where others have left off, but there will also be those times when we’ll begin our God given task on uncharted land; we’ll be called to start something new and travel down a new path that has yet to be harvested by His workers. Just as the rows of hay bales had exactly enough space for a truck to travel through, God will give us exactly what we need to travel down the paths He has set before us. Yes, the task will be tedious and yes, it will be hard work. It will require that we get our hands dirty, and maybe even our feet a little dusty. But, in the end, when His task has been accomplished and our work on earth is done, it will all have been worth it- even if we do come out a little smelly.

Today, I leave you with the following questions:
Have your surveyed the field God has given you lately?
Who are the “hay bales” God has strategically placed in your life?
When your Daddy calls for your help, are you willing to lay aside your daily comforts and join Him in the heave-hoeing of souls?

“Swing the sickle, for the time of harvest has come;
the crop on earth is ripe.”
Revelation 14:15b, NLT


Psalm Friday

Tell of His Greatness
Psalm Friday
Psalm 22, conclusion

Today we are going to conclude our journey to the cross of Calvary. Before we get started I would like to encourage you to read through Psalm 22 in its entirety. This has been a long, painful journey for us but more so for our Savior. We have seen His broken body hanging before our eyes; we have smelled the stench of His blood as it poured from wounds that covered His beaten body; we have heard Him cry out to God in anguish; and we have watched as the angry mobs mocked Him. Today dear friends, today we will see victory.

Let us praise the Lord together as we sit at the foot of the cross of Calvary, the very cross that brought about our freedom. We have seen Him through the horror of the cross, let us now behold His triumph. The darkness of the cross has passed Him by and the light of the freedom of His people shines brightly on His face.

As the great bulls, roaring lions, and powerful dogs surrounded the cross, Christ called upon His heavenly Father to save Him from their death grip- and God the Father heard His Son’s plea. “You have answered Me.” (Psalm 22:21b, NKJV) The purposed plan for the life of Christ was complete and God answered the petition of His beloved Son in whom He was well pleased.

“I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will
praise You. You who fear the LORD, praise Him! All you descendants of Jacob,
glorify Him, and fear Him, all you offspring of Israel! For He has not despised
nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; nor has He hidden His face from
Him; but when He cried to Him, He heard. My praise shall be of You in the great
assembly; I will pay My vows before those who fear Him. The poor shall eat and
be satisfied; those who seek Him will praise the LORD. Let Your heart live
forever! All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all
the families of the nations shall worship before You. For the kingdom is the
LORD’s, and He rules over the nations. All the prosperous of the earth shall eat
and worship; all those who go down to the dust shall bow before Him, even he who
cannot keep himself alive. A posterity shall serve Him. It will be recounted of
the Lord to the next generation, they will come and declare His righteousness to
a people who will be born, that He has done this.”
Psalm 22:22-31, NKJV

Can you see the change in our Savior’s heart from grief and sorrow to victory and praise? I love so much that you and I are included immediately in His praise. Christ says I will praise You, My heavenly Father, and declare Your great name to my brothers and sisters. Christ will tell of the excellent greatness of the Lord God Almighty to those of us who are joint heirs with Him in the eternal inheritance of the Kingdom of God. Do I hear an AMEN!! He is inviting us to join Him in that praise- You descendants of Jacob, you offspring of Israel, you who are of the seed of Abraham- praise Him, praise Him, praise Him! No longer shall our spirits hunger and thirst, but we shall now be filled with the righteousness and sweetness of the Lord. When we seek Him, we WILL find Him. God will abundantly bless those who belong to Him and our lips will worship Him in praise. Our souls will no longer be bound by the chains of sin and death because His love for us bound Him to the cross of Calvary, paying for our sin debt. We now have the freedom and ability to live forever rejoicing and singing His praises.

All that we have, all that we are, all that we ever will be is only because of God and His great love for us. You righteous people who have been born of God, tell of His greatness; tell of His wonder; tell of His love to the generations to come so that a people yet to be born will praise the Lord.
I pray this journey to the foot of the cross of Calvary has opened all of our eyes to what Christ did for us and re-kindled a passion in our spirits to tell of His greatness. Much love to you all, sweet sisters and brothers.


Do We Care Enough?

“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? If you greet only
your brothers, what more are you doing than others?”
Matthew 5:46-47

As a daughter of the Most High God, I am called to live on love’s highest plane. I am called to see others through the eyes of Jesus, to love them with the love of Jesus, to serve them with the servant’s heart of Jesus. As a professing believer of Jesus Christ, when non-believers or other believers look at me and only see the world in its apathetic, lack of commitment, wavering, it’s-all-about-me attitude, what does that tell them about my Jesus? It tells them that Jesus doesn’t care about them. It tells then that Jesus teetered back and forth on His commitment to His purpose on earth. It tells them that Jesus was all about Himself. If this is the picture others see of Christ after looking at me, then I need to be shot. I mean, come on- how absolutely, totally, completely wrong is this picture of Christ?

Scripture tells us that Jesus cared about those He met everywhere He went. Remember Zacchaeus? The little guy who climbed up in the tree because he wanted to see Jesus when He passed through town (Luke 19:1-10). I’d like to try to give you a clear picture of this whole encounter. Jesus is passing through Jericho on His way to Jerusalem for the Passover. There was probably a large group of people following Him and a large group waiting for Him in town. Some of these people were most likely believers; others were probably just curious as to exactly what this man who called Himself the Son of God was doing. They had, without a doubt, heard of the recent miracle of Lazarus being raised from the dead in a town only about 15 miles away.

Now, look up ahead to that sycamore tree. See the little guy scrambling to get up the tree before Jesus gets there? That would be the man Zacchaeus. He is the chief tax collector- not just the run-of-the-mill tax collector, but the chief, the big dog, the CEO of the Jericho Tax Company, Inc (use your imagination- it’s ok). Being the chief tax collector meant that Zacchaeus probably oversaw a large tax district, managing other tax collectors, making him a wealthy man. Tax collecting was not a very honorable profession. They were regarded, for a lack of a better word, to be thieves. I doubt that many people wanted to just hang with them.
Ok, so we’ve got this little guy who has run ahead of the crowd that’s following Jesus to climb up this sycamore tree because he wanted to see Jesus. Note what Scripture says, “he (Zacchaeus) wanted to see Jesus” (Luke 19:4). It doesn’t say he had a burning question or favor to ask- it just says he wanted to see Jesus. I wonder, was he looking for Jesus with his eyes or his heart? Finally Zacchaeus settled himself, probably on a limb that was hanging over the road. I bet his heart was racing with anticipation as he watched Jesus get closer and closer. I wonder, when did their eyes meet for the first time? Better yet, when did their hearts meet?

Once Jesus reached that sycamore tree with that wee little man hanging onto that limb for dear life, He could have passed right by. I’m sure He had other things to do. He had Passover to get to. There was a crowd of people by His side He could have preached to. But, what did Jesus do? He stopped, looked up in the tree, and told Zacchaeus to hurry up and come down because He had to stay at his house. Why did Jesus do this? Simply because He cared. Scripture says that Zacchaeus hurried down the tree and Jesus received him joyfully. I can just imagine they had a warm embrace and later enjoyed some great fellowship at Zacchaeus’ house.

Jesus cared. He cared enough to stop. He cared enough to speak. He cared enough to accept Zacchaeus in spite of what he was. He cared enough to dine in his home. I wonder, do we care enough to stop in the midst of our busy schedules and look outside the walls of our homes? Do we care enough to step out of our comfort zones and speak to a total stranger? Do we care enough about people and the condition of their heart to accept them no matter what they look like or smell like, how old they are or what their past might be? Do we care enough to invite them into our lives? People come in and out of our churches every Sunday. They come in and out of our places of business. They even come in and out of our lives. Do we care enough to do more than just greet them with a nod of the head or a quick smile? Jesus did- He cared enough about us all even to the point of death.


Arte y Pico Award

Thank you so much to my friend Peggy from Mazes, Messes, Miracles, and Amazing Grace who has blessed me with the Arte y Pico Award. For any of you who paid close attention in Spanish class, you can read more about the origin of this award HERE. The meaning of this award is "Creative Art" and it is awarded to those who are creatively using the talents the Lord has given them to bring Him honor and glory.

I have to tell you that I am truly humbled to receive this award. God has done an amazing work in my life and it is only By His Grace that I am what I am today. My passion, goal, and purpose in life is to honor Him in all that I do and this blog has been one way He has allowed me to that very thing. For as long as He continues to leave this door in my life open it is my prayer that everything typed here will bring my Savior the glory due His name.

In receiving this award I have been asked to pass it on to five other people who have blessed me with their creative gifts. So, without further ado I pass on this award to:

3. Angie at Bring the Rain

Thanks to all of you ladies, my new friends, my sisters in the Lord. You inspire me, challenge me, and encourage me through your words. I pray that you continue to seek after the Lord in all that you do and continue to use the creative gifts He has graciously blessed you with. I love you all!


Psalm Friday

A Savior's View
Psalm Friday
Psalm 22, continued

“Be not far from Me; strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me.
They gape at Me with their mouths, like a raging and roaring lion. I am poured
out like water, and all My bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax; it has
melted within Me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and My tongue clings
to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death. For dogs have surrounded
Me; the congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me. They divide My
garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.”
Psalm 22:11-18,

As we’ve dug deep into Psalm 22, it has been difficult for us to look at our Savior hanging upon the cross of Calvary. Today will be difficult as well, maybe even more so than in times past, because today we are going to look through the eyes of Christ; we are going to see firsthand what it was that He saw; we are going to hear Him describe the condition of His wounded body. Please continue with me on this journey to the foot of the cross, for it was there that His wounded body healed our battered souls.

Have you ever seen the great Bull Fights of Spain? When I first read this passage of Scripture my mind immediately thought about the matador standing in the center of a huge arena waving his red rag in the face of an angry bull. I was interested to know a more about bull fighting so I did a little research. I hope you’ll find this as interesting as I did.

There are different stages of a bull fight or Corrida. Everyone involved in the fight enters the arena and presents himself to the public. During this time the bulls are behind closed doors which surround the arena and they know what is to come; they stomp their feet and snort in anger ready to gore the matador to death. Each matador is required to face two bulls and defeat each of them. The matador starts out using a large rag made of purple and yellow cloth. Banderillas, barbed darts with streamers attached to them that are stuck into the neck and shoulders of the bull, are used during the fight by the matador to wound the attacking bull. In the final stage of the fight the matador uses a muleta, small rag made of red cloth, to entice the angry bull to come near him. This smaller cloth is used to display the fighters great skill and mastery of the animal as the angry bull charges him time and time again before the bulls eminent death. The fight between man and beast ends with the matador killing the bull by his sword.

As Christ hung on the cross clothed in nothing but a crown of thrones and blood drenched, torn flesh the great strong bulls of Bashan, the priests and the elders, the scribes and the Pharisees, rulers and captains, surrounded the cross longing to gore Him to death with their insults and cruelties. They stomped their feet and raised their clinched fists in anger as Christ hung upon the tree. “Be not far from Me, for trouble is near; for there is none to help,” Christ calls out to His Father, “I have nothing left in Me. My strength has been poured out like water from a jar. Every bone in My body is crying out in pain. My heart has melted like wax because of the fierce wrath of God that has come upon Me due to sins of mankind. I am broken; I am bruised; I am torn to pieces. My thirst is so great I cannot even open my mouth. I am surrounded by a great crowd of evil, wicked men. They have pierced My hands and My feet and have beaten me so severely that my skin has been ripped open wide allowing them to count the bones of my body. They stare at me with mouths gaped open and laugh as they gamble for my clothes. Oh, be not far from Me, Lord; for trouble is here.”

The angry bulls stomped their feet, hurled their insults, clothed Christ in garments of purple, speared Him and beat Him. They mocked Him and enticed Him to turn His back on the mission He had been sent to earth to complete. In the end Christ, clothed only in the red blood drenched flesh of His precious body, was surrounded by the bulls. The bulls, the enemy, Satan himself, thought they had won. Yes, Christ’s death was eminent- death had been appointed to Him- BUT, eternal life had the victory. Christ defeated the strong bulls of pride, of sin, of anger, of death and rose victoriously from the grave. When Christ called out, His Father heard and answered.

Do you have a need today? Cry out to your heavenly Father, He will hear and He will answer.


Are you wearing your Daddy's t-shirt?

Last night when my kiddos were getting ready for bed my oldest, Hannah, came bouncing out of her bedroom to the dining room where Chris and I were sitting.

"Uh, dad. Can I sleep in one of your t-shirts tonight?," she asked.

"Sure," he replied, "go look in my drawer and get the one you want."

She quickly ran into our bedroom, opened up Chris' t-shirt drawer, and plundered through it until she found the one she wanted. She then came bouncing, I might add, back into the dining room, proud that she was wearing her daddy's shirt.

Why would a little girl be so excited and proud to be wearing her daddy's t-shirt? Why would she even WANT to wear her daddy's t-shirt in the first place? Does wearing her daddy's t-shirt make Hannah feel safe, comforted, loved? Does his scent relax her into a peaceful rest?

I haven't felt very good today. I met with two friends for Bible Study this morning and then came home, wrapped myself up in one of my nice comfy blankets, and rested on the couch for the rest of the afternoon. As I've laid here (yes, I'm still on the couch) I've thought about Hannah and her daddy's t-shirt more. The Lord has spoken to my heart about this and I would like to share it with you.

God, our Abba, our Daddy, has given us a "t-shirt", of sorts, to wear. The Lord has "clothed us with the with the garments of salvation and arrayed us with the robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10)."

He has placed within the heart's of all believers a desire, a longing for more than life as we know it now; it is a desire for a better country, a heavenly one filled with the majesty of His presence (Hebrews 11:16).

Wearing the garment of His salvation brings safety and perfect rest; it doesn't mean that we won't come against times of trials and tribulations, but it does mean that we can walk through those valleys with confidence because He is with us (Psalm 23:4; Psalm 63:7).

Under the shadow of His wings, held tightly by the strong mighty arms of God Almighty (Psalm 136:12) there is comfort, peace, and security (John 10:29).

Scripture tells us that God anointed Christ with the oil of gladness- gladness meaning righteousness- and because we have believed in Jesus Christ, He has anointed us with that same gladness (Hebrews 1:9). I don't know about you, but I would much rather smell the sweetness of the anointing of the righteousness of my heavenly Father when I lay my head down at night than the sweat of my own filthy rags.

I'm thinking now that this not-so-good feeling I've had all day was so that my heavenly Father could remind me what it means to where His t-shirt. Let's you and I hold our heads high and proudly wear our "Jesus shirts".


Psalm Friday

He had Hope
Psalm Friday
Psalm 22, continued

Looking beyond the angry mobs that surrounded the cross, Jesus Christ raised His eyes toward heaven and had hope. He felt hope, He knew hope, He saw hope. Why? Because He remembered that this very moment had been appointed for Him before the foundations of the world and He knew that His Father, El Shaddai was in control. Jesus had confidence in His Father believing that His plan was best.

“But You are He who took Me out of the womb; You made Me trust (hope) while on
My mother’s breasts. I was cast upon You from birth. From my mother’s womb You
have been my God.” Psalm 22:9-10, NKJV

Into the womb God had place His Son and out of the womb Christ was miraculously born. As hard as it is for our human minds to grasp, from His earliest years, Christ, the God-man, was on mission and literally cast under the protection of His heavenly Father. I imagine in those moments hanging on the very tree He spoke into being Christ recalling scenes of his early life - the poverty of His young, scared mother and father, the manger filled with the baying and neighing of nearby animals, the persecution by Herod, His families flight into Egypt and then their return, the safety which He then enjoyed from persecution in a distant part of the land of Palestine in the little village of Nazareth, the days He stood by the side of Joseph learning from this man who had been chosen to be His earthly father. I can’t help but think He remembered all those times His family sat together around the dinner table belly laughing tears streaming down their faces until their sides hurt.

Now, in this very moment, His side hurt once again, but this time it wasn’t because of laughter, it was due to the pain, that before the foundation of the earth, was meant to be inflicted upon the Son of God so that you and I could be restored into fellowship with God Almighty. Hope made this pain bearable. Confidence in His heavenly Father quieted the insults. Knowing that God had foreordained this moment to take place and that His will was going to be accomplished allowing all mankind the opportunity to once again enjoy intimate fellowship with God comforted the broken heart of our Savior.

Jesus Christ, in the midst of this great storm, had hope; He had trust; He had faith, because His God had been faithful from the very beginning. Are you in the midst of a great storm right now? Dear friend, you can have hope, you can trust in God and you can have faith that He is in control. From the before the foundation of the world He has had a plan. Before we were formed in our mother’s womb, He knew us and set us apart for His good works.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified
(set you apart) you; I ordained (appointed) you a prophet to the nations.”
Jeremiah 1:5, NKJV



My hubby, kiddos, and I enjoyed our July 4th weekend with my husband's family. It was a nice relaxing weekend lounging by the pool, reading some great books, and having someone make my bed for me. Praise His name!

One Saturday we decided to make our way to a nearby town and do a little sight seeing. On the way Hannah, my oldest, and her red-headed grandma (this is how Hannah always references Chris' mom when she talks about her) had a conversation that got me to thinking. It went something like this.

Hannah: "Grandma, how did you and Poppa get here?" Hannah wanted to know how they had gotten to the place where we were staying.

Grandma: "We drove a long way on the interstate. We came all the way from Alabama."

Hannah: "Well, we didn't come from Alabama. We came from North Carolina. I think we came on a different road than you and Poppa did."

Grandma: "No, you didn't come the same way we did because you live in a different place. You came a different way. There are a lot of ways to get to the hotel we are staying at this weekend. There are lots of roads that lead to the hotel."

And on and on the conversation went.

As I sat there thinking through their conversation, my thoughts couldn't help but be drawn to the many people/ religions today that are teaching there are many ways to get to heaven and live eternally in the presence of God Almighty. Some say the more good works you do the better your chances will be. Others teach that in order to get to heaven one must become gods themselves. There are those that hold to the belief that all mankind will go to heaven because a loving God would not allow anyone to go to hell. And, there are those that belief heaven, and hell for that matter, don't even exist so when one dies he goes nowhere. Still, there are others who believe that one must say a cutesie little prayer and bam, you're there.

Based on God's Word there is absolutely NOTHING you and I can do, could do, have done, or plan on doing that will allow us to enter into the presence of God Almighty (Ephesians 2:8-9). Becoming a god? Who in the world, if you really think about it, could attain such greatness, obtain such power, and be as pure and holy as the Lord Himself (Deuteronomy 32:39). Yes, God is a loving God and His desire is that no man go to hell, but He is also a just and righteous God who will not allow the sins of those who have rejected His gift of redemption to go unpunished (Colossians 3:5-6). Jesus clearly taught that there was a place of everlasting fire prepared for Satan, the fallen angels, and all those who have rejected Him (Matthew 25:31-46). Nowhere in Scripture are we told to say a prayer and heaven will be the grand prize.

So, if none of these roads lead to heaven and eternal life in the presence of God Almighty, how does one "get there"? I'm glad you asked. There is ONLY ONE WAY and that ONE WAY IS THROUGH JESUS CHRIST! Jesus said in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through Me." Jesus is the ONLY way to the Father. Well, if Jesus is the only way, what does Jesus' way look like? Read with me here out of Luke 9.

"Then He (Jesus) said to them all, 'If anyone desires to come
after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For
whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My
sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world,
and is himself destroyed or lost? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of
him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His
Father's, and of the holy angels."
Luke 9:23-26, NKJV
Some may not agree with me, but I believe it all boils down to the Lordship of Christ in our lives. The previous passage clearly lays out for us what following Christ into the kingdom of heaven looks like, and for me it's all about Him being Lord of my life and not myself.

First is the denial of oneself. Here, is the denial of the life of sin we once lived in and the denial of our own selfish desires, and instead seeking, with a passion, the desire to please and serve God in all that we say and do.

Second, is the taking up of one's cross DAILY. In Matthew 10:38 Jesus told his disciples that anyone who does not take his cross and follow after Him is not worthy of Him. Taking up one's cross involves a total, full surrender to Christ even to the point of death if that is what we are called to. Jesus goes on to say in verse 39 and Matthew chapter 10, "He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it." Losing our lives for the sake of Christ, whether it be fleshed out in a physical death or our daily surrender of self leads to us finding complete life in Christ.

Lastly following Christ into the kingdom of heaven means simply following Christ. Following Christ is not about us. "It's about our being sick of our sin and our desperation for forgiveness. It is about seeing Christ as the priceless Savior from sin and death and hell, so that we willingly give up as much as it takes" (John MacArthur, Hard to Believe) to follow Him. It's about us following Him through the valleys, through the mountains, through the good times and through the bad times. It's about following Him through the muddy waters that lead to the streams of crystal clear living waters that flow from the throne of God Himself. It's about following Him wherever He leads, whenever He leads, and into whatever He leads because He is Lord and Master of our lives.

My friends, Jesus is the ONLY WAY, PERIOD!!!


Happy Freedom Day!

Grilled hamburgers and hot dogs. Potato salad and homemade ice cream. Ice cold watermelon and a can of Pepsi Cola. Friends and family snuggled together on a big comfy blanket oohing over the beautiful fireworks. None of this would be possible without the sacrifices made by many brave men and women. To our founding fathers, to all those men and women who have so selflessly served our country and fought for our freedom; I stand and applaud you. To my hubby, thank you for being willing to die for this country. To all of you, thank you , thank you, thank you. May God continue to protect you and yours as you serve this land of the free and this home of the brave.

As I've thought about this day of independence, more than just family gatherings and fireworks have come to mind. My mind and heart have been drawn to God's grace and mercy. I've thought about His unconditional love and compassion; His forgiveness and restoration. I've thought about His precious Son, Jesus Christ, who selflessly gave His life for me so that I might have eternal life. How does one say thank you to God? Where does one find the words to adequately tell the Lord that what He did means more than any other gift you've ever been given? The Lord has rescued me from a deep pit of sin, lead me out of many years of wilderness wandering, restored my marriage, blessed me with beautiful children, and allowed me to be a soldier in His army. As long as He continues to give me breath, my lips will shout His praise. As long as I am able, my hands and feet will go and serve wherever He leads.

Because He has set me free and put a new song in my heart, I would like to honor the Lord today by sharing with you my story. It's the story of how my God has lifted me from the pit, broke the chains of bondage, and called me to live my life for Him. Please join me HERE as I share my story.

As you go through this freedom weekend of fun with family and friends, stop to remember that Jesus Christ, the captian of God's army, came to bind up the wounds of those hurting and set the captives free.

"Therefore if the Son makes you free,
you shall be free indeed."
John 8:36