Monday, January 9, 2017

Christian Characteristics: Honesty



Honest and courageous people
have very little to say
about either their courage
or their honesty.--Hosea Ballou


 Proverbs 3:3 (KJV) Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:

Monday, January 2, 2017

Christian Characteristics: Courage






Psalm 31:24 

Be of good courage
and he shall strengthen your heart,
                                                          all ye that hope in the LORD.




***


Notable Quote:



"It is curious--curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare."--Mark Twain

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christian Characteristics: Humility

The person
 who bears
 and suffers evils
 with meekness
 and silence,
 is the sum
 of a Christian man.
--John Wesley

***

Notable Quote:

1 Peter 5:6 (KJV) Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

Monday, December 19, 2016

Sing a Song

Psalm 66:1-2 (KJV) Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands: Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.


I was asked recently if I know the words to every Christmas carol ever written. Probably not...but I do know a lot of them. Singing has always been a big part of my life.

One of my earliest memories is standing behind the piano bench as my mother played Christmas carols. Her love of music was passed down to me and I developed it into a lifelong passion. Whether I'm performing in a huge production or just humming to myself, I surround myself with music. It's as natural as breathing.

God placed this passion in my soul. It feeds me. I am grateful that He gave me this gift. Others have gifts of leadership, teaching, preaching, and a million other things.

Isn't it just like our Heavenly Father to bless us with a talent that gives us such joy?

***

Notable Quote:

"A musician is not recommended for playing long, but for playing well; it is obeying God willingly, that is accepted; the Lord hates that which is forced, it is rather a tax than an offering. Cain served God grudgingly; he brought his sacrifice, not his heart."--Thomas Watson


Monday, December 12, 2016

This Christmas

How Many Kings, a Christmas carol by Marc Martel and Jason Germain, of Downhere

Follow the star to a place unexpected
Would you believe, after all we've projected,
A child in a manger?
Lowly and small, the weakest of all
Unlikeliest hero, wrapped in his mother's shawl
Just a child
Is this who we've waited for? 'cause
How many kings step down from their thrones?
How many lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least for me?
And how many gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that is torn all apart
How many fathers gave up their sons for me?
Bringing our gifts for the newborn Savior
All that we have, whether costly or meek
Because we believe.
Gold for his honor, and frankincense for his pleasure
And myrrh for the cross he will suffer
Do you believe?
Is this who we've waited for?
All for me
All for you

(This is my new favorite modern Christmas carol.)

Monday, December 5, 2016

It's Not You...It's Him

Proverbs 18:24 (KJV) A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

I have been on this planet for nearly 55 years, and I still haven't figured out this relationship thing. Being close to my husband, daughters, family, friends and church family is vital, but I don't always get it right...or even nearly right.

Have you ever felt like there was a love deficit in your life? For me, I've noticed that is when I've been phoning in my prayer and devotion time. There have been times when I have not been a good friend, or when my big mouth should have stayed shut.

As long as my relationship with Christ is solid and intimate, it seems that my human relationships are better, too. When you're willing to invest the time in truly getting to know Someone, the dividends are peace, contentment and joy.

Human relationships don't always go perfectly, nor do they last forever. If I look to God for His perfect love, He will supply close and Godly friends.

One goal I have for the future is to listen twice as much as I speak...to my friends and my Savior.

***

Notable Quote:
 
James 4:8 (KJV) Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Danger of Complacency

The alarm went off on Sunday morning. As I cracked my eyes open, there was no dawn--only dark, cold, wet. And the wind! It rattled the windows and made the most nimble trees creak. I hit the snooze button once, twice, three times before exiting bed.

Padding around the kitchen in my robe and slippers, I dawdled over feeding the cats and making coffee. Later, I delayed taking a shower, knowing the cold tile awaited.

It was plain--I didn't want to leave the warmth and comfort of my home.

I did make it to church, and as we listened to the pastor deliver the sermon, I whispered to The Hubster, "I'm so glad I'm here."

As winter deepens, most of us will spend more time indoors, away from the cold. When life, and people, are hard, it seems easier to stay safe at home. Shutting ourselves away from the world allows us to "feel" safer. But are we, really?

God did not place us in this world to be comfortable. We are to confront the culture, not isolate ourselves from it. The best way to prepare for the battles we may face is to gather with other Christ followers and pray for strength and guidance.

The Hubster and I supported a missionary for several years who always signed his letters, "content, but not satisfied." That phrase always caused me to ponder its meaning.

It's time to brave the cold--and the culture.

***

Notable Quote:

"Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor."--Benjamin Franklin