My Nickels Worth

Philippians 4:8 "Finally brothers and sisters, keep your thoughts on whatever is right or deserves praise: things that are true, honorable, fair, pure,acceptable, or commendable."

Thursday, March 06, 2008

From the Mountain to the Valley

The following is from 1 Kings 19, most likely you have heard it. I am going to back up to 1 Kings 17:1 where Elijah tells King Ahab that there will not be any rain nor dew for the next few years except at his word. This is because King Ahab, Queen Jezebel and the nation were worshipping other Gods particularly Baal.

Then in 1 Kings 18 Elijah has King Ahab bring the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah to Mount Caramel. Elijah has the prophets of Baal set up an alter with a bull on it to sacrifice. He has them get it all ready, but not set fire to it. Then he tells them to call on the name of their God to see if he answers by setting the sacrifice on fire. For half a day they call out, rant, rave and carry on like mad men trying to get Baal to answer and nothing happens.

Elijah's now takes his turn to see if God will answer by fire. "31 Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD had come, saying, 'Your name shall be Israel.' 32 With the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs [a] of seed. 33 He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, "Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood." 34 "Do it again," he said, and they did it again. "Do it a third time," he ordered, and they did it the third time. 35 The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench. 36 At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: "O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 37 Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again." 38 Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. 39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, "The LORD -he is God! The LORD -he is God!"' 1 Kings 18:31-39

Elijah then has all the false prophets seized and killed. He tells King Ahab, '"Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain.' 42 So Ahab went off to eat and drink, but Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees. 43 'Go and look toward the sea,' he told his servant. And he went up and looked. 'There is nothing there,' he said. Seven times Elijah said, 'Go back.' 44 The seventh time the servant reported, 'A cloud as small as a man's hand is rising from the sea.' So Elijah said, 'Go and tell Ahab, 'Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.' 45 Meanwhile, the sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose, a heavy rain came on and Ahab rode off to Jezreel." 1 Kings 18:41-46

We see in 1 Kings 19 Jezabel wants Elijah killed for killing all her prophets and he has to run for his life. Now Elijah has just experienced two very powerful and emotional victories for the Lord by defeating the prophets of Baal and having the Lord bring rain due to his prayer. Instead of feeling like he was on a mountain, he was physically and emotionally exhausted which made him depressed. Finally Elijah stops running, sits down under a tree, and prays for God to take his life. '"...I have had enough, Lord,' he said. 'Take my life..." 1 Kings 19:4

I have had enough! Have you ever felt that way. I know I sometimes do. Elijah was tired, hungry, and weary of not receiving any rewards for his work. I know as a mother, I often feel that way. What God did to lead Elijah out of this depression was to have him eat and rest and then sent him back to his mission. Most of the time making it to the mountain top is a hard climb requiring much energy. It is imperative to stop from time to time to eat properly and get plenty of rest. I believe that is why God calls for Sunday to be a day of rest. We all need rest from our busy lives. Then we will have the strength to focus on the work God still has for us to do. We may never get rewarded for our work on earth, but God has promised us that we will when we get to heaven. "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9 So the next time you find that you have tumbled off the mountain into the valley, take a break, eat, rest, and start climbing again!

"But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31

Staying on the narrow path - have a blessed week!

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Trouble Comes Even When You are in His Will

How many times have you been where you thought God wanted you to be, yet the storms came anyway? At that time, did you wonder if you had misread what God wanted you to do putting you in the wrong place? I know I have. I believe that is because we have the misconception that being in God's will means everything will be easy. Nothing is further from the truth. In fact, being in God's will means everything will be more difficult. The story of Elijah in 1 Kings 17:1-16 is an example of this. In 1 Kings 17:1 Elijah informs King Ahab that there will be no rain because Israel was worshipping idols again. Then in verse 2 God tells Elijah to go hide because Queen Jezabel is killing all of God's prophets because she is a worshipper of Baal.
Read the following text: 1Kings 17:1-16
"Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe [a] in Gilead, said to Ahab, 'As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.'
2 Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah: 3 "Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. 4 You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there."
5 So he did what the LORD had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. 7 Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. 8 Then the word of the LORD came to him: 9 "Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food." 10 So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, "Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?" 11 As she was going to get it, he called, "And bring me, please, a piece of bread."
12 "As surely as the LORD your God lives," she replied, "I don't have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die."
13 Elijah said to her, "Don't be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small cake of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD gives rain on the land.' "
15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah."
God specifically told Elijah to go hide by the brook and He would provide for him, but the brook dries up. If I was Elijah, I would have most likely complained about that. Then God specifically tells Elijah to go to the widow and she will provide for him. However, when he gets there, she tells him she can't because she doesn't even have food for herself. If I was Elijah I probably would have thought, "Well God, did you give me the wrong address? How can this person with no food for herself feed me?" Even though Elijah was doing exactly what God told him to do it wasn't easy. The fact that Elijah is having to hide in the first place is because He obeyed God. As you can see, you can still have troubled times even when you are in God's will. Obedience to God can not be equated with easiness of task or times. What you can be rest assured of though is that obedience to God will mean peace in your heart. So the next time you see a storm brewing on the horizon, don't automatically assume it is because you are out of God's will. Don't fail to notice though, that God did provide for Elijah miraculously which brings more glory to Him. If the brook hadn't dried up and the widow hadn't ran out of food, then Elijah would not have seen the miracle of the little bit of flour and oil never running out. When the storms roll in look for God's miracles and praise Him for them.
Staying the narrow path - Have a blessed day!

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

A Mother's Prayer

Dear Lord,
Please show me the hypocrisy in myself. Show me what I do that I don't want them to do - so I can stop.
Show me how to be the person I want them to be - when they grow up. For I know, they will do as I do, and not as I say.
As I desire to know You more - I pray they do too.
Help me to train them instead of yell at them.
Remind me to nurture them instead of blowing them off because I am busy.
May kind words and a gentle tone come out of my mouth - so they too will have kind words and a gentle tone.
Let them see in me compassion, gentleness, patience, and kindness as I see those traits in Jesus Christ.
I pray that only truth and righteousness be found in me, so that it will also be found in them. Father, remind me daily to choose to give you full reign over my life, so I will be a reflection of You.
I pray Lord they see my love for them as I see Your love for me.
I will purposely set my feet on Your path of Holiness because I know that two pairs of smaller feet are right behind mine.

You cannot teach your children what you do not know, and you cannot go where you do not want your children to go.

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year's Aspirations

Well it's that time of year again. I can't believe 2007 is nearly gone, it just seems like yesterday that it began. This is the time of year for reflecting on the past year and making resolutions for the upcoming year.

I quit making new year's resolutions a few years ago, because I couldn't keep them. I never lost the weight, I didn't make it on my knees every day to pray, I didn't read my Bible every day, and I wasn't patient with my kids all the time. It was just easier to not make the resolution than deal with the guilt of failure.Our pastor gave a good message on resolutions this morning that made me reevaluate my position. He pointed out the fact that we are all sinners and we all will fail at sometime. None of us can do the right thing all the time, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try. So I am going to make some new year's aspirations this year that I will strive to keep daily, yet knowing that I am going to fail sometimes. Instead of feeling guilty when I fail, I will just get up, dust myself off, and keep moving up the path to get me closer to those aspirations step by step.

Here is a list of my new year's aspirations that will grow my character:
1. I aspire for the life of Jesus to be revealed in me. (2 Corinthians 4:10)
2. I aspire to be thankful all the time, no matter my circumstances. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
3. aspire to treat others the way I would like to be treated, focusing on tone of voice I use to speak to my family. (Matthew 7:12, Luke 6:31)
4. I aspire to be able to hear and follow God's will for my life.

Here is a list of what I need to do to achieve those aspirations:
1. Read or listen to the Bible daily (I like to listen to the dramatized NIV Bible on my ipod) and pray daily.
2. Fill my mind with positive thoughts, (ie. Christian radio, very little television, Christian books etc) and choose to be thankful.
3. Pray daily for kind words, play with my children more, try to see the world from their eyes.
4. Have daily quiet time, and organize my schedule to write more.

I can see I have a lot of work ahead of me this year and I can only achieve these things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13). Whatever your new year's aspirations are pray each day for the Lord to help you to achieve them, because we can do nothing through our own power. In our Sunday School class today someone shared their 2007 resolution was to be more grateful and the way they achieved that was writing down every answered prayer. I like that idea, so I am adding a page to my notebook to keep a record of all answered prayer. May God be with you and bless you in 2008.
Happy New Year!

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

A New Location

Just wanted to let everyone know, that I now have a website that I will posting all my blogs to. Please visit it at .

What are you celebrating this Christmas?

Why 2000 years later do we still celebrate the birth of Jesus? Why is His birth so important? The answer to that is found in the reason for His birth. Jesus, who is fully God, was born to die. You may say, “Well yes, everyone born on earth is going to die.” However, everyone born on earth is not born for the sole purpose of dieing. Jesus’ sole purpose on earth was to die for you and me.

We are all sinners according to Romans 3:23. We will never be “good” enough to get to heaven on our own merit according to Isaiah 64:6. God is a Holy and just God and cannot allow sin into heaven. This poses a problem, since we are all sinners and cannot earn our way into heaven, how shall we get there? That brings us back to why we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Because He, and He alone is how sinful man gets into heaven according to John 14:6.

Through Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross, all of our sins will be forgiven, if we accept Him as our Lord and savior. That’s a big “if” right there. It requires action on our part. According to Ephesians 2:8-9, God, through His grace, provided a way to heaven for us (salvation), through faith in Jesus. This salvation through Christ is a gift to us, we cannot earn it. What are you celebrating this Christmas? Jesus as a babe in a manger, or Jesus as your personal Lord and savior. The only way you can celebrate Jesus as your personal savior is if you have made Him that? Is there a time in your life when you remember making Jesus your personal Lord and savior? Do you remember a time when you admitted to God you were a sinner, you believed Jesus died and rose again for you, and you committed your life to Him? Eternity is a long time for “I think so.” If you don’t know for certain that you are saved through faith in Christ Jesus, right now is the time to “nail” that down.
Romans 10:9-10: "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

Salvation is simple, turn your heart to Christ, pray and ask God to forgive your sins. Tell Him that you believe Jesus died for you and rose again. Tell Him you want to live the rest of your life for Him. Once you do that, truly meaning it, you will never feel the same again. If you do pray on your own to receive Christ, the next step is to find a Bible believing church and make that public by baptism. Then start reading your Bible daily.

It is my prayer that you are celebrating your salvation this season and not just the birth of a babe.
God Bless You and Merry CHRISTmas!

Monday, September 17, 2007

God's Name is Jehovah Shammah

My God is an awesome God with many names, and His names show His character. Jehovah Shammah is the one I want to discuss today. Jehovah Shammah means, "The Lord is there." Simple but wonderful. God is here with me day in day out. Here are just a few thoughts I had about this as I was thinking about it.

Jehovah Shammah...
Before the sun, the moon, the stars, and the earth was created, God was there.
When Adam and Eve at the forbidden fruit, God was there.
When Abraham left his home and the only lifestyle he had ever known to become a nomad, God was there.
When Sarah was barren and couldn't have a baby, God was there.
When Lot was rescued from Sodom and Gommorah, God was there.
When Abraham was about to sacrifice his only son, God was there.
When Jacob tricked Isaac and stole Esau's blessing, God was there.
When the Israelites were trapped between the Red Sea and the Egyptians, God was there.
When David faced Goliath with just a small stone, God was there.
When Christ hung on the cross to save us from our sins, God was there.
When the twin towers fell, God was there.
When hurricane Katrina came ashore, God was there.
When the doctor told me my son had cerebral palsy, God was there (he was the one holding me up).
When my son took his first steps (even though they said he might never), God was there.
When cancer or other illness strikes, God is there.
When you lose a loved one, God is there.
When you lose your job, or can barely make ends meet, God is there.

Jehovah Shammah - praise you for always being "there" no matter where that is for us. No matter the trial or celebration God is always with us.

May God Bless you and your family.

Friday, August 17, 2007

What is Worship Really?

I recently attended a women's conference with Kathy Troccoli as the speaker and Travis Cottrell as the worship leader. It was an awesome conference. I love being in the presence of 800 women who openly and or expressly worship the Lord. Then on Sunday Travis and his band was at our church as well and did an awesome concert of praise and worship music. Honestly it was a let down there after coming from the conference, and not due to the singing or performance - they put their hearts and souls into it. The congregation for the most part stood still, with little or no expression on their faces and occasionally would clap a little (yes, I attend a Baptist church if you haven't figured that out yet).

So how are we supposed to worship the Lord and what is true worship? I believe the answer is different for each person. I personally was not raised in church and do not have any inhibitions. However, I often feel restrained during worship because most people are restrained. When I am in the presence of the Lord, I get so excited that sometimes I want to leap out of my seat and shout hallelujah. For me to truly worship the Lord, it has to be expressive. By this I mean, clapping, raising my hands and my face to Him, my eyes have to be closed as well (not falling down in the aisle or whopping people on the head). My most awesome worship experiences happen when I am in the car alone with praise and worship music blasting. Of course, this probably freaks out the other drivers on the road to see me with both hands in the air and my eyes closed! (Just kidding, I keep my eyes open). I also have awesome worship experiences down on my knees during morning prayer time.

Now others can have true worship experiences without moving a muscle and looking straight forward with a smile on their face. I admire these people, because for me being still means my mind is wandering. In my church, the still worship is most widely used. What is wrong with expressive worship though? I can't find anywhere in the Bible that says, "Thou shalt worship with out movement or expression on thine face." Yes, you should be reverent, which simply means we should honor God. I feel like God is truly honored when we give Him our full attention and our entire heart. For me giving to Him is more active. It was for David in the Bible also. In 2 Samuel 12-16, it says David celebrated with all His might, dancing, and leaping in the streets, praising the Lord.

Here are just a few other verses that refer to worship.
Psalm 134:2 "Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the LORD."
Psalm 149:3 "Let them praise His name with dancing and make music to Him with tambourine and harp."
The following chapter of Psalms I love: Psalm 150
1 Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens.
2 Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness.
3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre,
4 praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute,
5 praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.
6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.
Isn't that awesome, I'd feel like leaping and shouting hallelujah right now.

So my question is, how come people are totally comfortable jumping up and down, shouting, and make pig noises or whatever your mascot is, yet embarrassed to express your love to the Lord.

What is the most awesome gift you could receive? Let's just say it is a red convertible corvette. If my husband led me outside one day with my eyes closed, and when he told me to open them there sat a cherry red, convertible corvette with black leather interior and a big red ribbon on it and he said, "Honey, this is my gift to you just because I love you." I can promise you, the neighbors would see some leaping, shouting and dancing in the street!

Jesus gave us the greatest gift of all when He died on the cross for us, so we could live in heaven for eternity )if we accept Him as our personal saviour), just because He loves us. Yet, are we truly worshipping Him with all our heart?

Friend, don't live life in your comfort zone or any kind of a daze or zone - live it to the fullest praising and worshipping the one true God with all your might (whether that means simply in your heart, or with an outpouring of expression, or simply with a lifted head or hand)!

Have a blessed day.