Braving

Matthew 4:1-25

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple …

Braving the Wilderness……………… I don’t know about the wilderness geographically but I’ve definitely wondered through my own personal wildernesses.  Never like Jesus was in Matthew, never have I been led to a wilderness, alone and hungry for 40 days and 40 nights.   My own have been varied, varied in length and varied in circumstance but all were filled with temptation brought to me by the tempter himself.  Some of those temptations did not win over my soul but others did.  And the Spirit continues to help me with braving the wilderness.

I was reading/audio the book by Brene’ Brown called “Braving”.  I found the acronym she uses for Braving has a very applicable process.

B – Boundaries – Have respect, expect respect, say no, be willing to ask

R – Reliability – Do what you say you will do

A – Accountability – Accept responsibility for self and make yourself open to others

V – Vault – Confidentiality, be a safe place, don’t share things that are not yours to share

I – Integrity –  Practice values, stand for courage over comfort

N – Non-judgmental – I can ask. You can ask. Talk it through.

G – Generosity – extend understanding

These words will help us weather any wilderness that we find ourselves in.  Make it personal.  We can not expect this behavior from others if we don’t practice ourselves. To have Trust we must be Braving.

Does the acronym Braving encourage application that is clearly spelled out in the bible?

Yes!

Galatians 6:5

For each will have to bear his own load.

Luke 16:10-12

“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?

Galatians 6:1-5

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.

Romans 14:12

So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.

Proverbs 11:13

Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.

Proverbs 20:7

The righteous who walks in his integrity— blessed are his children after him!

Proverbs 12:22

Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.

Matthew 7:1-5

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

2 Corinthians 9:6

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

 

Braving the Wilderness can be hard.  I pray that this will help you walk braver.  Listen to the Spirit and follow the words of the Lord.

Help me Lord was each day braver.  Amen!

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When Fall Comes

When Fall comes and everything is dying, withering away to nothing, turning many shades of brown and the days get shorter, I feel like I’m doing the same.

Why is it? I’ve heard people talk about being more irritable, sadder, less energy during the fall and winter months but I never really understood.  But now, now that I’m becoming more aware of me, my being, my feelings, I’m realizing that I fit into that category too.  This change has a name, I didn’t know that, it’s called appropriately “SAD”, Seasonal Affective Disorder.  Click the link if you are interested in knowing more Seasonal Affective Disorder – Web MD .

I’ve always been able to push through the moods.  Which for me meant “doing more”.  But as I age, I’ve not got the energy to do more.

1 Peter 5:7

Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

And if the changes in the seasons weren’t enough, let’s throw in some life struggles to add to the sadness.  We all have them, you know, life struggles.  They don’t go away just because the seasons change.  I’m learning though.

Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I’ve learned that it’s okay to acknowledge my feelings.  If I’m filled with sorrow I don’t hold it in.  I allow myself to feel them.  If I bottle it up and don’t acknowledge them, then I can never move past.

John 11:35

Jesus wept.

Ecclesiastes 3:4

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

Just as the seasons change and darkened days become brighter, my sadness also changes to rejoicing.  Instead of relying on myself, my own will, to push through those seasons, I go to my sweet Jesus to fill my heart.

Proverbs 15:13

A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.

He is always there with me through the Holy Spirit.  To comfort me, to guide down the path of each season.  To lead me when I’m too weary.  To help me!

1 John 4:16

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

I trust in Him.  The one and only that has each and every season planned out for me.  I don’t have to push through it alone.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Thank you Lord for loving me.  Thank you for sending your son to save me from my sin.  Thank you for giving me the Holy Spirit to walk this path with.  I ask  you that you will continue to fill me with strength and courage to get up! Lord please be with my family.  Be with my children as they are walking their own paths.  I pray that their hearts will be softened to you and allow you to guide their steps.  Amen!

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Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving, this word could mean many things to many people. We could immediately think about the original Thanksgiving meal. This holiday feast dates back to 1621, when the Pilgrims and Indians gathered at Plymouth for their autumn harvest celebration, now called “Thanksgiving”. Your minds may go straight to the food, the feast on the table, drawing your every taste bud to a mouth watering turkey with all the trimmings. Some sweet potato casserole with nutty crunchy goodness on top, which is my favorite, yummy home grown green beans simmered in bacon grease, mac and cheese dripping in cheese and grand-maw’s famous yeast rolls. Or you may skip right over the main course and your mind goes to the counter full of scrumptious desserts calling your name. You may even day dream of a lazy day in your jammies, watching football and parades.

Where ever the mind takes you when thinking of “Thanksgiving”, there is only 1 place our hearts should take us. To the foot of the Cross!

Mark 8:34    And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me”.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Several years ago I read a book that pushed me over the edge of gratitude. As Ann Voskamp states,

Gratitude is not only a response to God in good times – it’s ultimately the very will of God in hard times. Gratitude isn’t only a celebration when good things happen. It’s a declaration that God is good no matter what happens.

and

We give thanks to God not because of how we feel, but because of Who He is.

Colossians 2:7 Rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

Life can be challenging!   I can say that with an emphatic “Amen”!   I choose to face each new day and even face my past with Thanksgiving.  Not because I’m all that!  But because Jesus is!  I can tell you without even the smallest of hesitation that HE’s Got This!  Whether “this” is Good or Hard!  So what lives in my heart, not in my belly, in my home, on the field or in the world, is Jesus.  He is my celebration each day and I will shout from the mountain tops my love and thanksgiving for Him.

A Morning Prayer of Thanksgiving

A 21st Century Worship Resource

by The Rev. Dr. LaGretta Bjorn

Loving God, Creator of all that has been, all that is, and all that is to come;
You made us human and gave us hearts to love you and follow you.

We thank you for the many blessings you have given us over this past year.

God, we thank you for all of the blessings you have given us throughout our lives:
Food to eat,
Clothes to wear,
Shelter from the storm,
People who love us unconditionally.

We thank you for their love because we recognize that their love for us is a reflection of your love.
We acknowledge that there are times in our lives when we, ourselves, feel unloved and unlovable.
Give us the grace to love others, even when they are difficult.

We trust in your faithfulness to carry us over the rough places of life.
We trust in your love to walk with us through the difficulties of our days.
We trust in your promise of life everlasting and put all of our hope in you.

We thank you for Jesus.
We thank you that he died so that we might have eternal life.

Forgive us for our sins:
The things you asked us to do and we failed to do
As well as the things you told us not to do but we did anyway.

We are sorry and we ask that you will strengthen us
So that we will always follow you.

We pray that your Holy Spirit will be felt by people who are in pain in mind, body or spirit.
elp them to know that you are with them
and you are able to carry them through their trials.

Bless our church family.
Bless our community.
Bless our nation.
Bless our world.

Enable us to live so that your will might be made manifest in the world around us. We ask all these things in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior who taught us to pray as he taught his disciples.

Lord, I pray that I will remember each new dawn that You are my Joy.  I pray that I will always seek out the celebration of Thanksgiving with every new adventure.  I pray that when dealing with past, I will live only in the Grace that You have given to me.  I ask that You will wrap Your loving arms around those of this world who are hurting, those who may not know of Your Love and those even who have rejected You but are still searching in their hearts for You.  I ask You to be with my family.  To bring peace and love to their homes and fill their hearts with Joy.  I am grateful to be called daughter, wife, mom, friend and Lollie.  Amen!

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Why do I write?

Revelation 1:19 Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this.

I started small! It was when Facebook just started and I had a lot on my heart.  I would get a daily devotional each day and usually I would use a scripture from that devotional.  I would share the scripture and then write how it was speaking to me that day.

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

It started out as a few sentences from the heart and then progressed into more lengthy insights.   I wrote because that was my time with God.  My time to dwell on what He was saying to me and make it pertinent in my life.   I also found that it touched the lives of some of my friends who would take a moment to read what I had written.  I did that almost every day for several years.  Then it was suggested to me to start a blog. That was a compliment to think that what I had to say may be pertinent in the lives of others but also it was a scary thought.  My personal FB page was one thing, surely my friends would be kind but to put my self out there to the world was a whole other ball game. But I did it.  That’s been a little over 2 years ago and I’ve remained steady in my writing.  I will say though that I’ve had times when I would question, “Why do I write?”.

Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

And I keep coming back to the same reason………. it’s my time for God to speak to me.  But now, I have the added motivation that God through me will also speak to you.  The bible is full of letters that were written to others all for varied reasons.  Some were to encourage, to warn, to rebuke, to teach,  sharing trials and rejoices.  Paul was one of many writers of these letters and was a great verbal warrior for Christ.  Can I be a verbal warrior for Christ?  Can I share my experiences, encourage, warn, sometimes maybe rebuke, teach and rejoice with you?  I hope I can!  I absolutely am not a scholar of all things bible.  I do not claim that!  But I am a scholar on how the God breathed scripture has changed my life.  How when I’ve been hopeless, he has brought me hope.   When I’ve been anguished, he has brought me peace.  When I’ve been in pain, he has brought me healing.  When I’ve not known which way to turn, he has brought me direction.  So although I may not have all the answers you want concerning the bible, God and Jesus,  I can assuredly tell you that He is My Savior and Friend and He is Yours Too.

So, if you’re trying to find a way to connect with Him.  Write!  Read!  Write!  Let Him talk with you through His words.  Then share them with someone!

Lord, I pray that I will continue to hear you speak to me.  I pray that you will guide me through your words that are written and help me understand the meaning of those words .  Make me brave enough to share them so that others may have the same hope, peace,healing and direction as you have given me. Amen!

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Mistakes

A “Mistake”, some would argue what warrants being called a “mistake”.  Whether an action is intentional or unintentional, all actions have effects on the individual doing the action and most of the time on others.

mis·take
noun:   an action or judgment that is misguided or wrong.
verb:   be wrong about.
I was watching one of my favorite night shows, “NCIS” and heard this statement.

“Even extraordinary people make mistakes, it’s a given. It’s our response to those mistakes that define us”.

I’m sure that there are many of you who have heard a quote similar to this. But for some reason, today, it stood out to me.  I have made plenty of mistakes and some have had minor consequences and some have had great ones.   And I have also experienced the consequences of other’s mistakes.  Regretfully some of those mistakes have had profound effects on me.  And this is where I come to the above quote.  I have chosen to respond to those effects graciously.  My own mistakes and the mistakes of others.  That is how I’m defined.

James 4:17

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Everyone makes mistakes, everyone has at one point or another made poor choices and everyone can be forgiven and cleansed but we only have 1 way of doing that so our mistakes do not define us.  And that way is through Christ.  Asking for forgiveness from Him, acknowledging our wrong doings, changing our behaviors and making amends to those our mistakes may have harmed.  If we continue to live with our mistakes buried inside, they will not hide away.  They will overtake us, consume us like a fire burning deep within.  They will show themselves in our future actions.  Christ does not want us to live with these mistakes, he wants us to let them go. Invite Him in!

2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

Lord, I thank You so for your promises to me and my life.  I thank you for your forgiveness for those choices/mistakes I have made.  I pray Lord that those who have been harmed by my mistakes will be healed.  I ask you to be with me as I continue to heal from the mistakes of others.  I ask you to help me be gracious and forgiving.  I pray for those who are carrying around mistakes/burdens and have not reached out to you for forgiveness yet.  I pray they will. Amen!

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The Value of Me

The Value of Me, is there any value?  Where does it come from?    What our name is, where we live, what we look like or who we’re married to.  A number of things can give us a false value. I have found my value in all these things but this value comes with a big price.  It is not lasting!

Ephesians 2:4-9

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, …

I knew of God and I knew of His love for me.  I knew that it surpassed any love that others could possibly have.  I knew that he made me and I knew that he forgave me.  I knew that he would always be with me.  What I didn’t know is that this gift of love, mercy and grace was a open door to loving myself.   Something that I didn’t realize I could do.  Because of many things from my past.   I was not taught that I had value.  Only Jesus Christ taught me that.

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

God gave me life.  Jesus gave me redemption. And the Holy Spirit has given me direction. Through the trials of our lives, we must find our strength to stand firm.  My strength came from Jesus.   I was lost in a world of delusion, putting my faith in things that were not real, trusting in people that didn’t have my back, believed in my own delusions rather than trusting and leaning in God’s truths.  When the going gets tough, I kept on going and ran right into the arms of Jesus.

Galatians 2:20

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Today I live in Christ not myself, not others and not in delusions.  I live in the truths that he has given me.  I am guided by the examples that Jesus has given me and I am allowing the Holy Spirit to walk with me through life.  My value is found in HIM!  This value is providing me with strength that I have never had before.  Strength to not be fearful, to not allow others to over power me, to not live in shame of my past and not hide away when faced with opposition.  Strength that has provided me with Hope,  has given me courage to stand firm on, has given me freedom from my past and willingness to face it head on and has given me strength to show opposition love, compassion, grace and forgiveness.  I now have Value in Me because Christ is who lives in me. 

 Only words of gratitude do I have for You Lord. Amen!

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A Way Out

Our current sermon series at church is called “Casting Shadows”.  The basis for the series is talking about living in the shadows/darkness and how that keeps us separated from God.

I understand that life. I have lived in my share of shadows.

There are many ways that we can be living in the shadows and there are many shadows that pull at us from all directions, as the picture shows.  It can start at a very young age, where we are in the shadows of our parents and their authority, which can stem from fear or shame.  Or it can come at us from our peers in school or our careers, because of the desire to fit in or your drive to climb the ladder.  The shadows can overcome us from an abusive or over bearing spouse.  Regardless of the source, the shadows have the same hold on us.  From sexual impurities, alcohol, drugs, gossip or anything else that doesn’t come from God, these shadows can hold us down and strangle us with tight ropes around our soul.   But as we were reminded yesterday morning in church, there is ….

A Way Out

Proverbs 4:25-27 Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.  Do not turn to the right or the left;  keep your foot from evil. 

 Proverbs 4 – FULL CHAPTER CLICK HERE 

Jesus is our way out.  He came to this earth, to show us a way.  He died on the cross and suffered great pain for us to be free of the shadows/darkness.  Guiding us straight into the light.  And Yes, He is not here with us in person but He gave us the Holy Spirit to walk with us daily to keep us on that path, fixing our gaze, steadfast and guiding our feet away from evil.

We have no excuses because He has removed them all.

Below is the link to yesterdays sermon, which was lead by our youth.  The same youth that wrote the series for our church community.  The same youth that are themselves breaking free from their own shadows and following in the steps of Jesus.  I invite you to watch the sermon/lesson and if you are interested  you can watch all the previous sermons.

“Casting Shadows” sermon series @ Calvary Christian Church

Lord thank You for breaking me free from the shadows of my life.  I pray Lord that I will fix my eyes on You and avoid living in the dark.  I pray for those who are living in the shadows of their lives.  The pain associated with it and redemption from the past that got them there.  I pray that You Lord will wrap Your arms tightly around us.  Amen!

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Appointed

Disappointed before Anointed and Anointed before Appointed

Let me tell you, I have experienced a lot of disappointment in my life.  The world will do that to you.  For years I simply thought that was a way of life and no way to avoid it.  Something that just happens and you have to endure it. But then I started walking a little closer with my Lord and experiencing the gift of anointment.

An anointment is the application of oil in a religious ceremony. You don’t anoint your pasta with olive oil, anointment is usually performed by a religious leader on a person being blessed. You’re most likely to come across the noun anointment in a religious text or discussion.  ref: Vocabulary.com

No HE didn’t come down from heaven and rub oil over my head but the anointment that came from HIM was poured over my soul.

1 John 2:20  But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.
1 John 2:27  But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.
2 Corinthians 1:21  And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us,

I started seeing and paying closer attention to Him and His blessings, moving farther away from dwelling on the disappointments.  I began utilizing the greatest blessing of Jesus through the Holy Spirit.

Isaiah 61:1  The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

So no more bondage to disappointment, I am being freed from the disappointments of life.  This is also freeing me to love others better.

John 15:16   You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
Ephesians 1:3-4  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love
Deuteronomy 14:2  For you are a people holy to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.

He chose me, can you believe it?  Nothing special to the world but spectacular to Him!  He chose me and has appointed me to walk on His path and carry out His will.

To be appointed is to be given a task or job. ref: Vocabulary.com

I am so excited for my eternal appointment.  As I walk this earth awaiting the most important meeting of my life.

With this God appointed future I must follow in His steps.  I must reach out to those who do not know Him and are still living the life of disappointment.  I must walk beside those who are seeking His guidance and encourage them through their path.  I must love as He has loved me.  I must not stop and allow my worldly self to get in the way.  I must pull my strength from Him and Him alone.  I must continue to trust as I remember my past to see how far He has brought me.  I must continue down the path of my appointment, knowing He is with me all the way.

Lord, I trust You and I have seen You work in me.  I draw my courage from You and I let You wipe away the fear of my mind.  I will walk as You walk with me.  Amen!

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It is Well with My Soul

It’s is well with my soul.  Just saying it, relaxes me.  How do we find that place where we can truly say, It is well with my soul?

So, “In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From His temple he heard my voice, and my cry to Him reached his ears.” Ps 18:6

The last couple of years have been an extremely emotional time for me.  You would have thought after living through a divorce, hard marriage, a sick child and a rebellious child that I would know how to find that place easily.  But it seems that this world/Satan doesn’t give up easily, wanting to drag me into the darkness of anxiety.

And I cry out to Him, “To you, o Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust” Ps 25:1-2

It has been proven to me in a big way, that even during the times of my divorce, hard marriage, sick child and a rebellious child that God was working in my life to put me where I am today.  He has allowed me to be in certain situations that were going to grow me emotionally and spiritually.  I didn’t realize that he was intimately working at the time but now that I look back he definitely was.  He knew what I needed now even then.  He knew the pain that I was going to be facing now and has taught me how to find the strength to endure through smaller/less painful situations.  He knew what I was going to have to face 2 years ago and at the perfect timing he brought my birth father back into my life, after 49 years, to fill a void and make the pain easier to bear.   He knew the things that I needed to learn so that I would be open to allowing this man, a stranger, enter my life, who would ultimately be a blessing to me and my family. HE KNEW ALL that I needed.

And I remember, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”  Ps 27:14

So now I have found that place, where even in the pain, disappointment and sorrow, I can say, “It is well with my Soul”.

And my faith grows, “He restores my soul.  He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. “ Ps 23:3

I pray that yours will grow also and you can say, “It is well with my soul”

Click here “It is well with my Soul” by Matt Redman

Lord, You have always been with me and showed me your grace and love.  You have always known me and my needs, carrying me through my days.  You have been faithful to me and I am grateful for You.  I trust that you will continue to show your goodness to me and my family.  Keeping us safe.  I pray Lord that I will continue to walk down your path for my life and I pray that I will be willing to say “YES” to your calling for my life.  I pray Lord for those who know you but may still be walking in that darkness, unable to have peace in their soul.  I pray for those who do not know you yet and I pray for those that  you are preparing to put in their path.  Amen!

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Live even in Death

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.   It’s our choice.  Do we live this life as if we were dead?  Thinking with evil minds and acting with a dark heart? We don’t have to be literally dead in body to be dead in soul.  Our thoughts and our words will control our actions.  What sort of things do we let into our minds, things of evil or things of a spiritual nature.  I was with some friends and we got on a topic of a  “Slenderman”.  I had never heard of it.   Unbelievable!  Well, actually not.  This world has been over come with “self”.  Desiring control, excitement, mystery, power and any other word that would describe our self interest.  We must start somewhere, someone has to be the first in line, we can’t wait around for the other person to step up and show the world the way to Christ.  We (You and Me) have been chosen to head up the team of warriors of Christ and lead this world back to Him.  But we can’t do that if we’re living death in this life, living for self and exhibiting hatred instead of love.  We have all the power we need.  Not our power but His, our Saviors.  Let’s take that first step together.  Showing the world that it’s better to live life in this life.  A life of love and gratitude.  If we choose Him, we will eat the fruits of Life even in Death.

Dear Lord father, I am so thankful to You for sending Your Son to us.  Giving us a living example of how to live life.  I pray that I will look to Him to show me how to love those around me,  how to love myself but not live for myself and how to have a grateful heart even in the darkest times.  Because of Your sacrifice and His, we have Hope for today and eternity with You.  I pray Lord that as I walk this life today, I will release myself to You and speak only with love and humility.  I pray Lord that Your saving grace will be over my family and friends.  I pray that they will choose to live this life with You and rid themselves of the darkness of this world.  Amen!

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