Sunday, May 22, 2016

Flies and Lies

I hate flies. Somehow they get in - whether through a crevice or a door left open, then they show up with that annoying buzzing. It seems they are attracted to bright lights and food. There was a time that I had a tiny hole in the screen of my window. In what seemed to be instant, one fly multiplied into ten, and I was on a rampage.

I hate flies. To get rid of flies, I have used towels, shoes, and a fly swatter. When I use the wrong tool, I may kill the fly, but more often than not I damage something in the surrounding area. When I use a shoe, I miss. But when I use a fly swatter, I'm so precise it's incredible. There's something about the length of the handle and the lightness of the swatter that makes it so effective. I feel powerful when I'm eradicating these pests with the right tool.

Lies are like flies. Lies get in whether through a subtle thought or a bold-faced lie. Lies buzz around and take on a life of their own. Lies seem to be attracted to our propensity to deny truth and believe a lie. Lies can proliferate until we can no longer discern the truth. Unlike flies, the buzz of a lie may not always be annoying until you recognize it for what it is.'re ugly.'re worthless.

Buzzz.......I'm smart therefore I'm better than all of you.

Buzzz.....It's OK to talk about her.

Buzzz.....Since we're in a relationship, we can do whatever we want and no one needs to know.

Buzzz......I'll buy this dress and wear it with the tags, then return it.

Buzzz......type Amen and send this email to 10 people so that you can be blessed.

The only way to recognize lies is to know the truth, if not any lie can seem plausible. The best source of truth starts with the Bible as it is the ultimate lie swatter! (John 17:17) As a source of truth, it eradicates lies. It's powerful (Psalm 119:89), timeless (Psalm 119: 137,138), consistent, provides discernment (1Thessalonians 5:21), trustworthy (Numbers 23:19) and provides a standard (2 Timothy 3:16).  Using the sword of the word you will feel powerful as you wield it. But use it wisely - be prayerful and wise as you eradicate lies. Study the Word, so that you can recognize the incessant buzzing of a lie and then eliminate it.

The teaching of your word gives light, so even the simple can understand. Psalm 119:130 [NLT]

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23 [NLT]

Lies, like flies, have no power over you. When you recognize a lie for what it is, kill it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Go Back Again

Have you ever felt tired, like you couldn't go on? Have you ever felt like you've done enough and there's nothing more to do? Even if you don't wave the red flag, have you mentally checked out? As a Christian, are you holding on to God's promises but wondering when you will see it play out in your life?

Holding on to a God who makes promises and keeps promises increases our faith.

After Adam and Eve disobeyed God, God spoke to Adam, Eve and the serpent (i.e. the devil).

Then the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all animals, domestic and wild. You will crawl on your belly, groveling in the dust as long as you live.And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” Genesis 3: 14, 15 [NLT]

While speaking to the serpent - God said Eve's offspring will strike Satan's head. In a literal sense, Eve may be wondering,  "What does this mean?" "How will it happen?" "And why did I listen to the serpent?" Because at this point, Eve is now beginning to understand the power of God.

Then He said to the woman, “I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:16 [NLT]

Subsequently, when she has Cain and Abel, she immediately understands what God is talking about because childbirth is not pain-free. But is she wondering how her offspring will rule over Satan's offspring? Perhaps. Raising children, and dealing with your husband can take up all of your time so this probably was not at the forefront of her mind. But then Cain kills Abel and he is cursed (Gen 4:15), and she may have wondered again. She only has one son left and his character is questionable; he is a murderer. Perhaps she remembers what God said of her as he spoke to the serpent.

Because... Adam had sexual relations with his wife again, and she gave birth to another son. She named him Seth, for she said, “God has granted me another son in place of Abel, whom Cain killed.” When Seth grew up, he had a son and named him Enosh. At that time, people first began to worship the Lord by name. Genesis 4:25,26 [NLT]

The promise of bruising the serpent's head would come through Seth. Eve could have lamented about her children's situation and stayed there, but she and Adam had Seth. Eve knew what God said about her offspring. Eve also knew that one of her sons was a murderer. Perhaps she held on to what she heard so long ago because when she had Seth she said God had granted her another son in place of Abel. The birth of Seth happened when Adam was 130 years old.(Genesis 5:3) One hundred and thirty years is a long time to wait for a promise to be fulfilled. The birth of Seth may have been unexpected - but God's words aren't idle. It doesn't matter how long it took, it matters that it was fulfilled.

God's timing runs the spectrum from immediacy to long term which was played out in Eve's life. Childbirth made Eve realize that what God said was true. Knowing this she may have wondered about the timing of everything else that was said. She would never doubt God again.

Don't doubt God. If He said it, He will do it. If He said it about you to someone else, it will happen. However you become aware of what God said about you, believe it. Look at Eve, she believed what God said about her offspring because in Luke we read as part of the genealogy of Jesus: Seth was the son of Adam. Adam was the son of God. Luke 3:38 [NLT]

Though Eve did not live to see it, it was through Seth that her offspring would bruise the serpent's head and would defeat Satan - Jesus came through the lineage of Seth. Don't doubt God and don't give up on God.

Are you holding on to a promise made by God? Keep holding on.

This post is inspired by a message I heard.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Feeling Sexy

Going to the grocery can produce all sorts of feelings, but I'm sure sexy is not the first thing that comes to mind.

When I'm in the grocery store, in particular in the produce section I feel like I'm doing something GOOD for my family.

When I look at the tomatoes, I remember that my husband loves tomatoes, so I look them over carefully to get the best ones. As I move on to the sweet potatoes, I remember that my son and daughter love sweet potatoes, so to appease them I'll get one or two. If they're on sale I might get more. As I pass by the herbs, I think about how rosemary, thyme, scallion and garlic really enhance the flavors of any dish, so I throw these in my cart also. Kale, spinach, and cucumbers go great in smoothies and keep us regular and when we're regular we're happier so in the cart they go. Squash reminds me of how the Little One devoured this when she was a toddler, so I pick up squash. We've figured out our berry tastes - so if blueberries are in season or on sale in the cart they go.

As I finger a fruit or vegetable, I am simultaneously thinking of the family I have created and that has been entrusted to me. When I think of my family, I feel love and loved and this makes me feel sexy.

Fruits and vegetables bring out the most excitement, meats next and junk food brings out the least excitement.

Because grocery shopping can be a chore this feeling doesn't come over me all the time. But when it does, there's a smile on my face, I'm light on my feet, I feel liberated, attractive, happy, confident and beautiful. And if that isn't sexy, I don't know what is.

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. Psalm 139:14 [NLT]

When do you feel sexy?

Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Ultimate Intercession

I woke up yesterday being led to read Jesus' Prayer for his disciples and in turn us. In John 17, Jesus prays for his disciples. Think about that for a second. Praying for someone is an act of love; praying for someone reminds you that you are thought of. For the One who instituted pray, to turn around and pray for his disciples is profound.

When we think of how to pray, we are often pointed to the Lord's prayer, because it seems to display a model of how prayer is done, again coming from the one who instituted prayer.

But when Jesus prayed for us - it was raw, heartfelt, powerful, intimate, it used simple language yet expressed profound thoughts - some of which may be too deep for us to understand,  yet it showed a depth of caring, wisdom, and compassion. While He prayed, he spanned time - he talked about the past the present and the future. Jesus prayed for Himself (v1-5), his disciples (v6-19) and for us (v20-26). 

When someone lets me know that they are praying for me, because of what praying means, I am so dumbfounded, all I can utter is a feeble "thanks," that is not adequate enough to convey the depth of my feelings. But thanks will have to do - because in praying for another you are lifting up their needs and presenting them to God. You can be as raw and emotional as necessary while maintaining the necessary reverence for God. Praying demonstrates a relationship - definitely between you and God, and somewhat between you and the person you are praying for. Praying demonstrates hope and faith. Praying says I know Someone who can help. Praying provides wisdom, guidance and peace. Jesus was about to face the biggest trial of his life, but he had us in mind. He always had us in mind!

I was reminded of this passage because as I pray for others, I want to demonstrate the depth of care Jesus had for his disciples and for us.

My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. John 17:9 [NLT]
Praying is caring.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

A Good Steward

A sampling of coupons available today
I try to be responsible with what I'm entrusted financially, therefore, I am always looking for a sale or ways to save. I have clipped coupons, gone to various stores at different days and times, and am quite familiar with the clearance rack. I'm slowly mastering the art of earning rewards and using them to pay for items. All of this gives me an adrenaline rush.

I recently discovered another mechanism for saving. I became aware of Groupon Coupons, a free service that conveniently rounds up all the current coupons and offers at over 9000 retailers. If you're like me, you've probably purchased a Groupon or two or more.  Groupon Coupons is a newer service offered by the same Groupon company you've always known. Just before you check out it pays to bring out the Groupon App. If you don't see the Coupons option it's because it's under the Nearby menu option. I only mention this because it took me a while to find the coupons option on the mobile app.

I usually get lucky and find nice juniors outfits for the Little One at Kohls and great outfits for myself at Macys.

At this point, you may be pleasantly surprised at the additional savings that are in store for you. If you enjoy saving, and who doesn't check out Groupon Coupons before finalizing your purchase.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post; all opinions expressed are my own.