(Words & music by Patti Hawkins, Nettleton, MS)
Saturday, April 23, 2011
(Words & music by Patti Hawkins, Nettleton, MS)
Friday, April 22, 2011
Last week Cindy over at Letters From Midlife had a giveaway in conjunction with "National Letter Writing Month" in which she was giving away a set of her beautiful handmade note cards. I left a comment...mostly because I just like to comment!...but had little hope of being the winner. Imagine my surprise this week when checking my email I found a letter from Cindy saying that I WON !
I have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of the notecards and today when my husband brought the mail in, there they were right on top of the stack of papers! They are much more beautiful in real life than the picture I took of them shows. I can't wait to send them to some of my friends. That was the condition that Cindy gave before we even left a comment on her blog: that we would promise to USE the cards if we won them and not just put them in a drawer to gather dust!
Back in 1978 I became a winner of something that changed my life forever. I became a Christian. Not because I deserved Christ's love and forgiveness nor the eternal life He gave me. But just because He showed His love and mercy to me. And in return I responded to what He offered and I took His gift of eternal life.
Now I want to spend my life telling others how God loves them and that He died and was raised from the dead so that they can be forgiven and live with Him forever. Just as I don't want to "waste" these beautiful cards Cindy has so freely given to me, I don't want to "waste" the Christian life that God has freely given me!
I hope that all of you, my friends, have a wonderful weekend thinking about our Risen Saviour!
He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. (Matthew 28:6)
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
We have a digital thermometer on our kitchen wall that shows both the temperature inside and the temperature outside. One day last week I looked at it and noticed that it read 71 degrees....both inside and out. It's not very often that both numbers are the same.
It made me wonder about myself. How often am I the same on the inside as I am on the outside? Sometimes I can act cool and calm on the outside but yet be at the boiling point inside! Sometimes I can "do" all the right things outwardly as a Christian but yet not have the right attitude in my heart. Jesus talked to a crowd of people once who were notorious for doing this. He called them hypocrites and gave them a reprimand in Matthew 23:27....Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Well, ewwwww! Who wants to be like that? I don't! And yet, I'm sure that more times than I would like to admit I probably fall into that category.
I want to say as David did in Psalm 51: 6-10..."Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me."
I want truth and wisdom in my innermost parts. I want God to wash me whiter than snow. (I know I'm saved once and for all but still I need that daily "washing of the Word") Just as I need to take a daily shower to keep the outside of me clean, I need that daily cleaning from God to keep a right spirit inside!
"Lord, help me to be more like You....inside and out! Amen."
Thursday, April 7, 2011
At least every other morning when I go to make my coffee I find there is a spider's web between the top of my coffee maker and the cabinet above. I take a cloth and wipe the web away and look for the spider who's responsible. I have emptied the cabinet of the glasses and cups that reside there. Still I have not seen the Elusive Spider. But he's there! I know he's there because I see his workmanship in the web he weaves. Sometimes I wonder why he picks this spot over and over. Maybe it's the warmth of the coffee pot or the sunshine that always comes in this window in the early morning. Whatever it is, he's hooked on it.
As I went about the task of tearing down and cleaning up the spider's web a few days ago I began to think about spiritual "cob webs" in my life. The Bible talks about the sins that "easily beset us"....meaning that each of us has some sin that is hard to get rid of. A sin that, like the spider's web in my kitchen, keeps coming back over and over even though we try to tear it down religiously!
Each of us may have a different sin that is so hard for us to give up. To those around us it may show up LARGE...perhaps in the form of some kind of addiction. Or to others it may be invisible....and yet be something that keeps us torn up inside all the time. Whether it is big or small, it will keep us from totally serving God in the way we should. And Satan is the Elusive Spider that keeps coming back day after day and spinning a web of deceit and lies and temptations in our lives. On our own we can't get rid of these spiritual "cob webs" but we have a Mighty God that can!
So don't give up! If you have a "besetting sin" that seems to constantly weave it's web around your soul, be assured that there is a Power that can break those bonds! The Power that brought Jesus out of the grave is the same Power available to us today! What an awesome God we serve!
"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith...." - Hebrews 12:1-2
I'll keep looking for the the Elusive Spider in my kitchen but until I find him I'll just keep tearing down his web and cleaning up after him. And we need to do the same in our spiritual lives. It may seem hopeless sometimes but don't give up friends! We may not conquer our besetting sin tomorrow but just keep looking for the source of the cob webs and asking God to help you clean up the mess left behind.
I found a verse in Zephaniah 3:17 earlier this month that just made me smile with happiness. It tells some ways that God expresses His great love for us. Read it for yourself and see: "The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing."
I hope you have a wonderful day resting in the knowledge that God is with you, He is mighty, He will save you, He will rejoice over you, you can rest in His love, and He is so happy about you it makes Him sing! Wow!