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Saturday, December 31, 2016

On The Fast Track

There's a roller coaster ride at one of our favorite amusement parks, Hersheypark, that is advertised like this:

STORM RUNNER
This one-of-a-kind coaster will launch you from 0-72 mph in 2 seconds flat. 18 stories straight up, straight down. And that's just the beginning. You'll fly through a 135 foot cobra loop, barrel rolls, and a dramatic flying snake dive. The first hydraulic launch coaster to feature inversion.

https://youtu.be/KkaQcGdG7Oc

It's fast and it's furious. No slow climb up with an anticipated drop. No easing into it. It's sit down, buckle up, and away you go as the wind hits your face and the force pulls you back.

God can take us on similar "coasters" in our Christian walk with Him. He may take us into a season of our lives where we feel like we are suddenly thrust from 0 to 72mph in 2 seconds. We especially feel it if we are coming out of a season of winter where things have been quiet and at rest under His "snow".

But we don't have to be alarmed when this happens. He will never put us on a 'coaster' we have not been prepared for, and one that He won't personally accompany us on. He will be our buckle that straps us in, and the force that drives us forward. Grace and Power work brilliantly together in an accelerated season as He redeems the time!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Responsive, Not Strong

And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.
‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭36:26‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/ezk.36.26.nlt

The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭32:8-9‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/psa.32.8-9.nlt

He takes no pleasure in the strength of a horse or in human might. No, the LORD’s delight is in those who fear him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love.
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭147:10-11‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/psa.147.10-11.nlt

So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.
‭‭Zechariah‬ ‭4:6‬ ‭NIV‬‬
http://bible.com/111/zec.4.6.niv
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Is God looking for STRONG, QUALIFIED men and women? No. Our strength and qualifications are inconsequential when God does the IMPOSSIBLE through us. Consider the first disciples. Consider the early church and the Book of Acts. They had a Message and they had the Spirit of God. Rather than look to your qualifications, look at how God is making you a willing vessel and giving you a responsive heart to carry His Message to the world!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

I don't do selfies very often. I'm usually the one driving my kids crazy saying "Smile!" But, this year, I wanted to send a special thanks to all those who join me each day as I read the Word and spend time with God. Yes, I literally sit on my sofa everyday to talk to Him and share with you on my Facebook Page. It really is SOFA CHATS! What a blessing!  May you remember all that God has done in 2016... taking the bad with the good because it is all part of the beautiful masterpiece He is creating us to be! May 2017 be full of wonder, full of faith and full of Jesus. Love you all! ❤😘💕


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Man-made?

How important it is for us to read the Bible for ourselves to find out what it REALLY says. Otherwise we may end up like the Pharisees who would "ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition" and "teach man-made ideas as commands from God." Man-made ideas make us religious. The commands of God bring us closer to our Heavenly Father. 
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One day some Pharisees and teachers of religious law arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus. They noticed that some of his disciples failed to follow the Jewish ritual of hand washing before eating. (The Jews, especially the Pharisees, do not eat until they have poured water over their cupped hands, as required by their ancient traditions. Similarly, they don’t eat anything from the market until they immerse their hands in water. This is but one of many traditions they have clung to—such as their ceremonial washing of cups, pitchers, and kettles. ) 

So the Pharisees and teachers of religious law asked him, “Why don’t your disciples follow our age-old tradition? They eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony.” 

Jesus replied, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, 

'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’ 

For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.” 

Then he said, “You skillfully sidestep God’s law in order to hold on to your own tradition. For instance, Moses gave you this law from God: ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’ In this way, you let them disregard their needy parents. And so you cancel the word of God in order to hand down your own tradition. And this is only one example among many others.” 

Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. “All of you listen,” he said, “and try to understand. It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart."

Then Jesus went into a house to get away from the crowd, and his disciples asked him what he meant by the parable he had just used. “Don’t you understand either?” he asked. “Can’t you see that the food you put into your body cannot defile you? Food doesn’t go into your heart, but only passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer.” (By saying this, he declared that every kind of food is acceptable in God’s eyes.) 

And then he added, “It is what comes from inside that defiles you. For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.”

‭‭Mark‬ ‭7:1-23‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/mrk.7.1-23.nlt

Monday, December 12, 2016

Can You See?

I thought I knew what darkness was...

My family and I went on a little day trip a couple years ago where we were allowed to travel deep into a real Pennsylvania coal mine. It used to be fully functioning, but is now just used as a tourist attraction. We walked the dimly lit corridors with our guide as he explained what daily life for the miners used to be. It was completely fascinating, especially for me, because this was actually my grandfather's profession years ago.

There are several things that stood out to me on that tour. But, one of the biggest moments is when the guide announced that he would be shutting off all the lights for a moment. He explained that the workers did not have such a luxury and worked all day in complete darkness with just the light from their work hats to guide them.

"One, two, three!" the guide said loudly, as he suddenly shut down every light in the mine. 

PITCH BLACK

I thought I knew what darkness was until this moment. We literally could see NOTHING. Not the person next to us, not the walls, the floor or even our own hands. It actually made us a little nervous and we were quite happy when the guide turned the lights back on. Phew.

The Bible talks about darkness. Not a physical darkness, but a spiritual one. It explains that without Jesus, who is the LIGHT of the world, we are ALL in darkness. This means we literally 'see' and spiritually understand NOTHING. We are blind. We may feel our way around in the dark and think we understand, but in reality we 'see' as much as someone who is in a deep, dark coal mine with no light.

So the question for us today is this:
Can you see?


There's a simple way to find out. If you have Jesus, you can see.

Jesus said He is the Light of the World, as well as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Just as He was able to heal a man from physical blindness, He can also heal us from spiritual blindness. If we come to Him and ask for His forgiveness and surrender our hearts to Him, He will come in and make His home in our hearts and 'turn the lights on' inside of us! And that Light is Himself! God doesn't want anyone to walk in darkness. There is nothing that would make Him happier than to show Himself to you.

The people who walk in darkness will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine...
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His government and its peace will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven's Armies will make this happen! 
Isaiah 9:2,6-7 NLT







As It Is In Heaven

your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
Matthew 6:10 NIV
http://bible.com/111/mat.6.10.niv

There's no such thing as being too bold in prayer. Jesus told us directly that we can confidently come before God our Father and talk to Him. He encourages us not just to whine about our needs, but to boldly ask our Father to change things here on earth-- to make heaven's reality, earth's reality. Nothing is impossible in heaven. There is no need in heaven. There is no sickness in heaven...

Ask, seek, and knock today. Boldly pray for what would be impossible here, but not impossible for God!!