Grace: There is No Sweeter Word

Grace No Sweeter Word

Grace: Without It, We Would All Be Lost

The acronym for today is GRACE. I have two for this one. One came from my pastor at Faith Lutheran and the other comes from Celebrate Recovery. Let’s look at them respectively. Grace is receiving unmerited favor.
God’s    
Riches  
At         
Christ’s  
Expense
You see grace is receiving that which we did not deserve. Through Christ’s death and resurrection, we have received God’s unmerited favor. It is like a man going before a judge and having his fees paid for without asking for help.
God’s gift
We are justified by His grace as a gift. (Romans 3:24)
Received by our faith
 For by grace you have been saved through faith. (Ephesians 2:8a) 
 Accepted by God’s Love
God loved us while we were still sinning. (Romans 5:8)
Christ paid the price
 In Him, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace (Ephesians 1:7)
Everlasting Gift
And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)
Grace is so amazing in that there is nothing we can do to add to or take away from it. It is a gift freely given. Christ paid a debt we could not pay and died a death we deserved. It is so simple but yet so many have a hard time accepting it. 

For you

Furthermore, Christ continues to make a difference in my life and I desire for others to know what I know about Jesus. I encourage you to spend time this Easter contemplating on what He did for you. On March 28th here in the Austin area, you are invited to see the Easter Passion Play at Manor High School click on the link, Easter Triumph Passion Play.
Here is something that I think that you will enjoy Acappella Singing of Amazing Grace.
Related link, if you like acronyms: H.A.R.D.
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Thankful Thursday

Oh Give Thanks to the Lord!
I did a search for the phrase ‘give thanks’ on Bible Gateway. It gave me 73 results. I particularly like
1 Chronicles 16:34, 
“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever. 
King David was a very thankful servant of God. The Psalms are full of thanksgiving to the Lord. Last year when I studied the Servants of God, I learned a lot about David before he became King. He had a terribly rough time under King Saul and many times David’s life was threatened. Yet, David did not fail to give thanks to God.
The prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah instructed the people of Israel to give thanks to the Lord.
 Isaiah 12:1-2, 
 You will say in that day:
“I will give thanks to you, O Lord,
    for though you were angry with me,
your anger turned away,
    that you might comfort me.

“Behold, God is my salvation;
    I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the Lord God is my strength and my song,
    and he has become my salvation.”
 Jeremiah 33:10-11
“Thus says the Lord: In this place of which you say, ‘It is a waste without man or beast,’ in the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without man or inhabitant or beast, there shall be heard again 11 the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voices of those who sing, as they bring thank offerings to the house of the Lord:
“‘Give thanks to the Lord of hosts,
    for the Lord is good,
    for His steadfast love endures forever!’
For I will restore the fortunes of the land as at first, says the Lord

Daniel gave thanks to the Lord after God revealed to him in a dream the mystery of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. 
Daniel 2:20-23, 
“…To you, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for you have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we asked of you, for you have made known to us the king’s matter.”
For me personally, something has changed in me for the better when I began to look at my hardships with thanksgiving in my heart to God. I read it somewhere that ‘you will not often find a strong person who has had an easy life.’ I am thankful for my scars because they have helped me to become stronger person for them. God has a purpose in all that happens in our lives. 
Hebrews 12:10,
For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness.
My challenge to you is to offer thanks to God for whatever He has brought you through and for what He is bringing you through now. An attitude of gratitude is life changing as well as an uplifting perspective to all that we go through in life. I invite you to leave a comment about what you are thankful for.

My disclaimer: I know that every believer’s relationship to God is different and unique. You may not have the same experiences and that is okay. I am sharing because I want to bring Him the glory for what He is doing in me and impart to you what I have learned from His word.
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Conflict Resolution Acronym

Conflict

Think of H.A.R.D. When It Comes to Conflict Resolution

This is one of my favorites from Bible Study Fellowship days. Personal conflict was something that I often dreaded. I actually had an opportunity to put this into practice.
Honest – Be honest with the person(s) that you are wanting to talk to.
Appropriate – There is no need to make a scene. Find the right time and place.
Respectful – Keep in mind that each person has the right to be treated with respect.
Direct – Do not beat around the bush. Get to the point promptly.

What Does the Bible Say?

Matthew 18:15-17 is a passage that, in my experience, is often abused and not explained nor modeled. There was a sermon on this very passage at my church by Pastor Ted Doering sometime ago that I found to be quite helpful. The passage reads as follows from the ESV, If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”
Therefore, we are to make every attempt to reconcile our differences. Yet, if someone refuses to be reconciled we ought to treat the individual as we would an unbeliever thus not giving up on that person but continuing to extend grace and mercy in order to win the person back. This is what the sermon taught me. As a result, one can learn to resolve a conflict.

Personally, I want to learn to resolve a conflict.

For me, it is a challenge to be direct because I want to please people. I want them to like me. Yet, I have come to learn that it is better to be direct and leave the rest to God. I am to do my best, to be honest, appropriate, respectful, and direct with others. Either I keep a friend or part agreeably.
Yet, I should not neglect prayer because it gets my heart in the right frame of being in order to do this with someone who matters to me. I have had the opportunity to put this acronym into practice and I am thankful for having learned this. Hence, some of my relationships have improved.
With whom could you use to put this into practice? Does this person matter to you? Would you prayerfully consider acting on this?
My disclaimer: I know that every believer’s relationship to God is different and unique. You may not have the same experiences and that is okay. I am sharing because I want to bring Him the glory for what He is doing in me and impart to you what I have learned from His Word.
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Counting My Blessings and Giving Thanks to God.

Give Thanks Unto the Lord!
Psalm 86:12,“I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.”
Last week, I had a procedure done which required prep and anesthesia. I am thankful for the friends that prayed for me and those who called or texted me to see how I was doing. It is a joy to know how many people cared about me.
I am thankful for the women in my core group at Community Bible Study. They are a wonderfully diverse group and each one is a beautiful woman of God. I am blessed to have young babies in our group and each one is a unique gift from God to their families. I am thankful for my core leader who perseveres in her own struggles to be with us each week. 

I am thankful for the scars I have acquired along my way for they shaped me into who God wants me to be. I am forever grateful for the difficult people in my life because I have learned that God uses them to help me grow stronger in certain areas of my life. I am thankful for all of my life experiences, good and bad.
An attitude of gratitude goes a long way to uplift one’s spirit and put things in the right perspective. What can you give thanks to God for in your life?

Psalm 106:1,Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!”
My disclaimer: I know that every believer’s relationship to God is different and unique. You may not have the same experiences and that is okay. I am sharing because I want to bring Him the glory for what He is doing in me and impart to you what I have learned from His word.
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God’s Cell Phone?

God's Cell Phone

What if God Had a Cell Phone?

Many years ago, a dear friend of mine introduced me to her father who gave me this verse to think on Jeremiah 33:3, Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know’ (NIV). This would later lead me to contemplate on what God’s cell phone number could be using two words, Cry & Call. There are a number of scriptures that refer to crying out to God or calling on his name.

Psalm 145:18-19,
“The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
  he also hears their cry and saves them.” (ESV)

Psalm 57:2
“I cry out to God Most High,  to God who fulfills his purpose for me.” (ESV)

Psalm 3:4,
“I call out to the Lord,and he answers me from his holy mountain.” (NIV)

Psalm 18:3,6,
“I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies.”

“In my distress I called upon the Lord;
to my God I cried for help.

From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.” (ESV)

God's Cell Phone Number

What might that number look like?

When you use numbers from the phone to replace the letters you get 279-2255.  Mind you, this is not a for real number but just something to consider to help you to remember that when you cry or call out to Him in truth He fulfills the desire of those who fear Him and will answer their cries.
Proverbs 1:20 -30 gives good reason why God does not answer when people cry out to Him.
What great and unsearchable things has God revealed to you when you call to Him?

My disclaimer: I know that every believer’s relationship to God is different and unique. You may not have the same experiences and that is okay. I am sharing because I want to bring Him the glory for what He is doing in me and impart to you what I have learned from His word.

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Peanut Butter Puddle Cookie with a Poodle Story

A Story about a cookie and a poodle

Something funny happened while I was in Las Vegas visiting family. My brother  & I went to lunch at Layer’s Bakery where they have a peanut butter puddle cookie. There was a gentleman with his beautiful black poodle. I wrote this little story based on our experience there. For you see, I very much like Dr. Seuss.
PB Cookie Story

Peanut Butter Puddle With a Poodle Story

While I was in Las Vegas my brother, Mike, and I went to Layer’s Bakery and there I saw a peanut butter puddle cookie. I thought to myself wouldn’t it be nice to eat a peanut butter puddle with a poodle. 
As we were leaving we stepped out onto the patio, where there was a gentleman eating his hot dog with his beautiful black standard poodle. I kid you not! I said to the gentleman, “You should go in and get yourself a peanut butter puddle to eat with your poodle.” He looked at me as if I was crazy and that was okay because I did not care for I was not from there.
So if you are ever in Henderson, Nevada, and have the opportunity to go to Layer’s Bakery, be sure to take your poodle with you and get yourself a peanut butter puddle to eat with you poodle while standing in a puddle. The End.
Therefore, I do so hope that I made you smile for this was something that only God could  have orchestrated for He knows how much I like to read Dr. Seuss. I so much enjoyed that day I spent with my brother for we both got silly. God loves us with an everlasting love and if we stop and look we kind find His love even in the smallest of things like a peanut butter puddle and a poodle.
Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.

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Acronym Saturday #1

For today, I thought that I would make Saturday an acronym day, so here it is.
Keep
It 
Simple
Sam (I refrain from using stupid.)

God’s plan of salvation is just that simple. He calls us to look to the cross. John 3:14-15, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life.” There are times when we make it harder than what it really is. John 3:14 is one of my favorite verses because it is so simple; look to the cross.

Do you have an acronym that you would like to share? 

My disclaimer: I know that every believer’s relationship to God is different and unique. You may not have the same experiences and that is okay. I am sharing because I want to bring Him the glory for what He is doing in me.

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Treasures Are Gifts from God!

Treasures

Treasures are from God Above.

I thought that today I would focus on the treasures that God has given me as I put Him first and how I look at things differently. In every situation, there is something to be thankful for and to consider as a gift from God. For instance, when I left Las Vegas God had brought snow to the mountain tops and instead of complaining for the colder temps I thought what a send off for the mountains were beautiful. Another of His gifts was the pleasure of sitting with Jamilia from Australia. You see, my older son has a fascination with Australia. She was returning to Perth, Australia, after a 5-week journey to Trinidad and back. Only God could have done that knowing what a treasure this would be. I have her picture to treasure.

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (ESV)
God does not change! Just today talking with a new friend and a treasure, J.R., I realized how amazing that is. God’s love, mercy, grace, and compassion never change. Think about this for a moment! We would not still be here if God changed. He is the only being that does not change. Think how many times that you change your mind in a day let alone a week. If God was like this we would all be dead.

What treasures can you find to give God thanks for today? Give Him thanks for being unchangeable! Count your blessings. Go and tell someone. It is good to share. An attitude of gratitude will lift your spirit. Therefore, rejoice in the Lord, again I say rejoice! Praise the Lord now and forever!

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