Unrestrained – Unashamed

Are you sold out to Jesus? Do you worship Him with abandon, unrestrained, and unashamed. That’s what God wants from us. He wants us to give Him our all.  The following is an awesome worship song that we should all strive to reach in our worship and praise to God.

“Unrestrained” is a gospel song on Myron Butler & Levi’s 2007 album entitled “Stronger.” No copyright infringement intended.

Weakness…Strength

Struggles, heartaches, hurdles, storms, distress, health problems and obstacles, seem to be the norm these days. But don’t despair, God has not forgotten us, He has given us these unlovely situations to help us grow and mature in Him. If we lean on Him and seek strength and power through Him, we will become better, we will grow in grace. In 2013 don’t give up and don’t give in. When you fall down, get back up again. Look to Jesus because He will never leave you alone, even when it doesn’t feel like He is theretrust-in-the-lord-2.

In 2 Corinthians 12, the writer, Paul, talks about an infirmity that he has. No one knows exactly what the infirmity was, but it caused Paul some stress to the point where sometimes he could not work. He asked the Lord to remove the infirmity three times but God did not. Paul learned that the limitations from his infirmity caused him to depend more on God for his effectiveness in his ministry. He learned that God’s grace was and is always sufficient. We too must learn to depend more and more on God and not our own strength, efforts, and talents.

2 Corinthians 12:6-10 (NIV)

“Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

 

Mary Did You Know

Mary found favor with God and was chosen to bring Jesus into the world to save the world. We must remember Jesus is the only reason for this season that we celebrate. It is not the giving of gifts, the food, family, and friends, but it is only Jesus.  As we enter into our celebrations, let us remember that God gave us the greatest gift ever, His Son, Jesus Christ and Jesus gave the greatest sacrificial gift, His life.

Enjoy this beautiful rendition of Mary Did You Know, by Cee lo Green.

 

 

Enter His Gates

Thanksgiving is not about getting ready to shop for Christmas. It is not about the turkey and the stuffing, or the green beans or the ham or any of those things, but it is about giving thanks for all the blessings the Lord has given us. Most importantly it is about thanking God for giving His only Son Jesus and Jesus giving His life for all who would accept Him into their life.

Psalm 100:4 (KJV) says, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Water

Hey there! All who are thirsty come to the water! Are you penniless? Come anyway—buy and eat! Come, buy your drinks, buy wine and milk. Isaiah 55:1 (The Message)

 There is a great spiritual significance to the word water, as it is mentioned many times throughout scripture from Genesis to Revelation. Water is representative of God’s Word and Spirit. To hunger and thirst after God’s Word is what He desires of us. When we come to him dry and thirsty, He supplies us with spiritual water that forever quenches our thirst and we will never thirst again. The water of God’s Word satisfies the soul.

There are many benefits to drinking from the water of God’s word. Spiritual cleansing is in the water. God’s word tells us that we can be washed clean through the blood of the lamb, Jesus. His Word tells us that we became righteous when He (Christ) died on the cross for our sins.

Water is the prime element of life. Our bodies are primarily made of water (about 75%). Water helps with digestion, elimination, respiration, and maintaining temperature integrity and the strength of all of our bodily structures. Human survival is dependent on water. Our spiritual survival is dependent on drinking from God’s well of water. All who are thirsty come to the water. When we go to the water to quench our thirst we can find, love, healing, deliverance, hope, peace, joy, faith, and sanctification. Let us fill our souls with water of God’s Word and let Him begin the renewal process in us.

Excerpt from:  “Water for the Thirsty Soul” by B. F.  Gilder (Copyright 2012)

Above Image Courtesy of: www.freedigitalphotos.net

Happy or Sad

Image: www.freedigitalphotos.net

What makes you happy and what makes you sad? Have you ever experienced true happiness? Here are a  few steps that can lead to happiness.

  • Love the Lord with all your heart.  Mark 12:30-31 (NKJV) says, “And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” Proverbs 16:20 says, (Amplified) – “He who deals wisely and heeds [God’s] word and counsel shall find good, and whoever leans on, trusts in, and is confident in the Lord—happy, blessed, and fortunate is he.” Ecclesiastes 3:12 (Amplified) – “I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.”
  • Be a giving, caring and unselfish individual. God gave us the greatest gift of all, He gave us His Son, Jesus Christ.
  • Connect with others. Relationships are important. Ecclesiastes 4:12 (Amplified) “And though a man might prevail against him who is alone, two will withstand him. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Take action to strengthen your relationships with family and friends.
  • Have an attitude of gratitude. Be thankful for the sunrise and the sunset. Be thankful for fragrance of the flowers. Be thankful for the beauty that God has created for us to enjoy. Colossians 3:15 (Amplified) “And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].”

Finally, our joy and happiness should come from knowing that we have salvation (we are saved) through Jesus Christ. True happiness can only be found in Godly contentment. Acts 17:28a (Amplified) says, “For in Him we live and move and have our being;…” and for this reason alone our happiness should shine forth like the of sunshine.

Whom have I in heaven but You? And I have no delight or desire on earth besides You.

Psalm 73:25

Christmas and the Volkswagen

This is a memory of a time with my cousin Marilyn who has gone on to be with Lord. This memory always makes me smile when I think about it. Marilyn and I spent a lot of time together when my mom, dad, and I would go to Louisiana to visit family during the Christmas season. Christmas was and is my favorite time of year.  I enjoyed this time of year because it was about, Jesus, family, friends, and love.

This particular Christmas always makes me laugh. Marilyn and I were like sisters, especially after the death of my sister Deborah. Marilyn was about 4 years older than me, but we both thought we were in charge. Sometimes we would argue with one another, but ultimately we would still end up spending all of our time together acting silly, laughing, and having fun. We’d stay up late at night and would reminisce about the good old days.

On Christmas morning, we got up early and were excited about the day ahead. We decided not to get dressed yet since we were going to just run out drop off the gifts and come right back, so we put on robes over our pajama’s and with rollers still in our hair and scarves on our head and slippers on our feet, we gathered all the gifts we had for everyone and piled everything in the blue Volkswagen and proceeded to go my grandmother’s or as we would say up to my grandmother’s house which was about five to ten minutes from where my cousin lived (my grandmother aka mama lived on what they called Upper Third near the levee, that’s why we would say were going up to the house). My grandmother’s home was the meeting place when everyone came home to Louisiana for Christmas or any time of the year for that matter.

So we’re in the car bouncing down the road in the blue VW and now it begins to slow down; Marilyn is able to pull the car over to a safe spot and boom, it just totally stops. She tries to start it again, but it won’t start. I’m looking at are her and she’s looking at me, like what we are going to do. So, we are out here on the side of the road with rollers in our hair, pj’s, robes, and slippers, looking like God knows what trying to figure out what to do (lol), and of course there are no cell phones (still lol). Marilyn ends up walking to a phone booth (yes phone booth) and calls one of our cousins to come to the rescue. We leave her car on the side of the road later to be towed away, and we pile into my other cousins car with all the gifts and we continue to mama’s house, laughing all the way and of course totally embarrassed.

Each Christmas when I would return and spend time with Marilyn and the rest of the family, the story of the blue Volkswagen debacle and our pajama wardrobe was always a point of laughter.

The moral of the story is never leave home in your sleepwear because you never know what might happen. But on a serious note, the real moral of the story is to love your family and friends and make good sweet memories while you have them with you because you never know when they won’t be there anymore. Although Marilyn is gone, she will forever be in my heart and in my memories. May you rest in peace Marilyn we love you.

The picture below is ofMarilyn and my uncle Jerry in March of 2007. She went home to be with the Lord in September of 2011.

“A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.”

Proverbs 17:22 (Amplified)

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