Creed? What is it and Why Do I Need It?

Creed

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the dead, and the life everlasting.

This is called the Apostles’ Creed because it contains a summary of their teachings. Where I attend worship we say this most every Sunday. At other times we recite the Nicene Creed and on one Sunday out of the church year we recite the Athanasian Creed which is a much more in depth and a long one. I particularly like the Apostles’ because it is a simple statement of faith. Reciting and memorizing it protects one from false teaching. It explains the trinity being God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit. If you were to attend at my church you would know what we believe without having to ask. There is a certainty here in this statement of faith. The Bible supports this statement.

Why Do I need it?

Because I am a fickle person and my flesh is weak. Without it, I could so easily grow complacent in my faith and lose sight of the fact that I need God. I find reassurance too when it is recited in my church.  We all believe the same and worship in spirit and in truth.

Some may question it or call me foolish but that is their opinion. If according to the naysayers, I am wrong then I have nothing to lose but if I am right in my belief, and I know that I am, then I have everything to gain. I would rather err in believing than to die in unbelief. God has in more ways than I can count proven His love to me. This creed is my statement of faith and nothing can change my heart.

If you wish to know more click this link.

31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

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Defining Moment Has Come!

Where I find my defining moment

What I Have Learned from My Defining Moment.

Over the past couple months, I have been exploring the “how” God is being worshiped in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) in the area that I Live. Today, I reached a defining moment when it comes worship.

The LCMS has a particular order to the way worship service is followed. This what is termed the substance which is not to be changed. What may you ask does this mean? There are a number of things that are a part of the substance such as confession & absolution, the creeds, baptism, Gospel reading, communion and the Lord’s Prayer. This is what comprises a liturgical service. The way or order that these follow is what is termed the form.

‘As long as the substance remains the same, the form may change’ is the way one part of the LCMS looks at worship. I have visited a few churches and seen the various forms that worship has taken. From what I have seen so far there was one service that the form effected the substance. There were a quite few parts of substance that were not present. At two other services, the form was different but the substance was present with only one or more parts absent. My home church, I believe, has found a very good balance where the substance remained and the form was altered so that all parts were present.

My defining moment came when God helped me understand that what is the most important is the condition of my heart. Man judges the outward appearance but God judges the heart. If I am worshiping Him in spirit and in truth at my church then I am where I belong.

My Conclusion

I recognize that where I currently worship is right for me because God’s truth is taught through scripture reading and the creeds and He is worshiped in song. It is through confession and absolution that I admit that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I receive forgiveness of my sins through communion.  I am also able to worship Him in spirit and in truth for who He is. Therefore, I am a Christian who chooses to worship in an LCMS church.

Where are you able to worship God in spirit and in truth? Check out this Related Link: 5 Things I Love about my Church!

(1 John 1:8-9, Acts 4:12, 1 Samuel 16:7, John 4:23-24)

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When I am Troubled I Turn My Eyes To Jesus

There is No Better Place to Turn My Eyes

My dear mom reminded me to turn my eyes to Jesus today. Through the past weekend and into Monday, I was greatly troubled with negative and disturbing thoughts. I was one step away from seeking help on a professional level. There were a couple of my go to verses that helped me. Isaiah 26:3, You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You (ESV). Here I am told that God will keep me in perfect peace when my mind is stayed on Him because I trust Him.

James 4:7, Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. In the Amplified , it reads that So submit to [the authority of] God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him] and he will flee from you (AMP). By first keeping my mind on God then I am to submit to His authority and stand against the devil and he will flee.

Eyes to Jesus

My mom told me that when she is troubled with such thoughts she sings Turn Your Eye Upon Jesus and she reads the 23rd Psalm. This is reassuring because when I do turn my eyes on Jesus my thoughts are restored and my strength is renewed. I do have to admit though that turning to Jesus was not my first reaction to what troubled me. I began to look elsewhere for help.

Forgive me, Heavenly Father for not first turning to You.

Thanks be to God that He does not fail and I have had another opportunity to experience His divine grace and renewed thinking. After all, God’s grace is sufficient for me just as it was for the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9. Jesus is the author and perfecter of my faith. Committing scripture to memory has helped me to renew my mind and to focus on Jesus. To God be the glory!

How has turning your eyes to Jesus helped you?

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Count It All Joy When Facing Trials!

Joy

Joy in All of My Trials, Seriously?

My Conversation with God

 I am not sure about this, God. Let me get this right. You want me to count it as joy when I meet trials of various kinds. This remains a mystery to me. I don’t think it means to be happy about the trials but to be joyful in that the trials serve a purpose, right? Forgive me when I forget to count it as joy and I whine about it instead. Reading a bit further, I see that the trials that I face aim to perfect my faith to be complete and lacking nothing. Lord, help me to see things in a different light and come to understand Your mercy and grace. After all, Your word tells me that You discipline those You love. You also tell me that pruning is necessary. I must admit that I am not so welcoming of the pruning, however, knowing You more I know that You can be trusted. It is well with my soul when I surrender to Your good, pleasing, and perfect will. Lord God, hear my plea that I will do my best to consider it joy as trials come my way. Alleluia, Amen. 
James 1:2-3 is the scripture reference. Trials serve a purpose to smooth out the rough edges in us and grow us to be more like Jesus. God does have my best interest in mind and will not give me more than I can handle. He will enable me to withstand the toughest of trials. The testing of my faith produces steadfastness. Therefore, with God’s help I will strive to count it joy in the face of my trails. His grace is sufficient.
There is a hymn that comes to my mind, It Is Well With My Soul.
Related Link: God’s Message Back
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Sweet Serenity, How is it Attained?

Serenity

How is Serenity Achieved?

Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr

  I am sure that most people are familiar with the first part of the Serenity Prayer.
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
But how many know that there is more to it? The second part is where serenity is truly sought.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.
Amen.

Discussion

It is in asking God to help me live one day at a time and one moment at a time. God helps me to be in the present not dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Accepting hardships as a pathway to peace, now this is another matter. God helps me to understand that the struggles that I go through serve a purpose. No it is not fun nor easy but God has a purpose and a plan for me. 
 
Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is. Jesus did after all tell us that there will be trouble. Yet, He has overcome the world. Now comes trust.  I am to trust in Jesus because He will make all things right if I surrender to His will. By my surrender to His will, I will be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy in the next. Again, there is no greater joy than knowing Jesus.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, may others come to know You more so that they, too, can know serenity. Amen.
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Trusting in Jesus, Easier Said than Done!

Trusting in Jesus

What Does Trusting Jesus Look Like?

I had a dear friend ask me how does one know if he/she is trusting in the Lord. I told her that I would have to explore that some, so I turned to my Bible dictionary and trust means to have confidence in. To trust in the Lord is to place one’s confidence in Him that He is there with you whatever comes your way; having confidence that He will comfort you when you are hurting, give you the strength to stand or the words to say. It is also having confidence that He will keep His promises to never leave nor forsake you. It is taking Him at His word. Therefore, I will be trusting in Him in good and in bad times.

No, we are not promised a rose garden. Jesus said that there will be trouble but to take heart He has overcome the world. The joy of the Lord is our strength. This joy comes from knowing Him intimately and knowing that this world is not our home. Yet, while we are here we are to love and serve Him and let His light shine in us that others can come to know Him, too. There is no greater joy than knowing Him.

  Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.  Isaiah 26:4 ESV

David trusted God to give him the kingdom long before it happened. Noah trusted God when God told him to build the ark and time and again when Noah sent the dove out. Peter trusted Jesus when Peter first stepped out of the boat but when he took his eyes off of Jesus he began to sink. Thus,  David and Noah placed their confidence in God and not in themselves. Peter fell short when withdrew his trust. Therefore, trusting is placing one’s confidence and hope in God and no one else.
 
One of my favorite verses is in James is chapter 1 verse 5 where it tells me that God does not find fault in me when I ask for wisdom, therefore, I do not believe that God will find fault in me if I ask for Him to help me trust Him more. One of my many favorite hymns puts it together so well is Trust and Obey. The link has the lyrics to this simply beautiful hymn.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8 ESV
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No Grumbling Allowed Only Trust

Grumbling? Take It to God.

Philippians 2:14-15; Jeremiah 31:25
I was reading my Jesus Calling for today and yesterday (10/10 and 10/9) about grumbling. There was an interesting fact that if I think that I have reason to grumble. I should take to Him. If I grumble and complain to anyone else it opens the door for deadly sins like self-pity and rage. Yet, by going to Him He will lift it and replace it with His thoughts. He will also put His song in my heart. Wow, what a shift in paradigm this is. God, after all, can handle it better than anyone else could.
For today, I am reminded that I am to live in the present and not to divide my life into things that I can do myself and things that require His help. I am to train my mind to seek His help continually. All I need to do is relax and refresh myself in the light of His presence. This is easy to do when I am in need of Him yet it is a challenge to do so when I am feeling on top of the world. 

Another Way to Look At It.

I saw the movie Inside Out and in it, I learned that all our emotions have a purpose and one cannot remain in one emotion all the time. Sometimes joy comes out of sadness. It is like learning to appreciate the rain in a drought. I have had plenty of days where I was filled with joy and then the next day I felt the opposite. There were uncertainty and sadness. I didn’t like feeling this way. I reminded myself that God remained faithful and that I could not abide in the elevated mood all the time. Maybe my focus on Him had shifted and I needed to be brought back to a place where I would turn to Him. 
From my own experience, when I have trusted Him in every situation (for a time) I have been able to enjoy life more and face each day confidently. Therefore, I need to recognize it better when I have shifted my focus and bring it back to trusting Him more and myself less. I will do my best to take my grumbling before Him and ask for Him to help me to see things differently.
My Prayer: Gracious Lord, I am thankful that not only will You listen to my grumbling but also will give me a change of heart and put Your song in my heart. Forgive me for the times that I lose my focus and rely on myself. When will I learn that You are trustworthy in all things and at all times? Amen. 
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Biblical Basis for Friendship

Friendship

What I Found in God’s Word to Support True Friendship

I looked to the Bible to find wisdom for building a great friendship. I found each of the following verses to encourage and inspire friends on to good deeds. With the Lord’s help, I want to improve upon each of these with each of my friends. One of the biggest things for me is for both of us to be real with each other and to pray for one another. This is the way to acceptance and love for one another. This makes a great basis for friendship. I am blessed to have a number of friends that are special and unique as well as a gift of God to me. To those I call friend, blessings to you and may God give you peace.

Forgiving——Colossians 3:13

Reliable——–Colossians 3:13

Interdependent–Ecclesiastes 4:9

Empathetic—-Romans 12:10

Nurturing—–Ephesians 4:29

Devoted—–1 Corinthians 13:4

Supportive—-Ephesians 4:32

Humble—-Ephesians 4:2

In Harmony—-Ephesians 4:3

Patient——-1 Thessalonians 5:14

A really good example of friendship can be found between David and Jonathan in 1 Samuel 18-20. I, especially, like 1 Samuel 18:14 where Jonathan loves David as his own soul. The two of them make a covenant with one another. Reading further you will find that Jonathan tries to protect David from his father, Saul, who wants to kill David.

Much later in 2 Samuel, I read about Jonathan’s death and in chapter 9 David remembers his covenant with Jonathan and sent for Mephiboseth and restored to him all that was Saul’s. Therefore friendship goes a long way and it runs deep. You can’t find a better example than this.

 

My prayer: Dear God, thank you ever so much for the people in my life that I am blessed to call friend. Grant each of them an extra measure of grace and peace today. Have mercy on them. Amen.

 

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An Attitude of Gratitude Can Bring a Smile to Your Face

Gratitude

Looking for Things to be 

Thankful for in Everyday Life!

Colossians 3:17
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (ESV)
This verse tells us that in whatever we do, in word or deed. This means when I go shopping, going to the doctor’s, cleaning house or just about anything do it in the name of the Lord. It also refers to what I say to my family or the clerk at the store. Therefore, I am to speak as if Jesus were listening which He does. I am to give thanks to God the Father through Him. There are time when I do not always get this right but if I stop and think about it, it is a game changer.

An attitude of gratitude is what separates the believer from the unbeliever. It should also be what attracts others to Jesus. Gratitude is the state of being thankful. So on my trip to see my father last month it was easy to see many things to be thankful for. But upon returning home that I seemed to be challenged to find things to give thanks to God. Now I try to focus on the little things that I can be grateful for and give thanks to God. For His love endures forever.

Developing An Attitude of Gratitude

 1 Thessalonians 5:18
In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (KJV)
 
Gratitude for the simple things in my life brings a smile to my face. I am thankful today for the Christian women in my life. I am thankful for the cancellation at a doctor’s office so I could be seen. I appreciate it when the traffic lights are green. When someone tells me that they were thinking of me when I call makes me smile. God somehow made my time multiply and I was able to get much accomplished before my flight tomorrow. Getting to hold a child even for a little while brightens my day. My husbands calm and collective reasoning to help me work through my emotions to make a right decision. My loving young men who ask how I am doing and give me hugs. Most of all I am forever thankful for the sacrifice that Jesus made so that I may reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him in the next.
What little things in you life that you can be thankful for and give thanks to God? Smile for Jesus died for you!
 
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Air Force Training and Service to My Country

My Air Force Training

My Years of Training in the United States Air Force

 After high school, I went to Air Force Basic Training in San Antonio, Texas, in the summer of 1984. Following basic training, I went to Colorado for Air Force Technical school. I was training to be a munitions system specialist. I would go on to handle, store, inspect, and deliver Aircraft munitions. After training, I went back to Bergstrom AFB and served 2 years there in the Air Force Reserve.
I made an attempt at living at home and commuting to the University of Texas. I majored in electrical engineering, big mistake. Physics class presented me the hardest course. I joined the Air Force ROTC which only made it harder because I had to take 15 to 18 hours a semester. Yet, I had too much fun in the ROTC. I especially enjoyed going to football games. Gradually, my grades started to reflect this and I had to drop out. I made the decision to go full-time active duty.

Going from Reserves to Active Duty

In 1986 after going active duty, I went to Tyndall AFB in Pensacola, Florida. This would be my first active duty assignment. I was a bit of a recluse there and I met my first husband while stationed in Florida in 1987. In August of 1988, I received orders to go to Korea for a remote tour. In February of 1989, I flew home to get married and returned to Korea to finish my tour and change my follow on assignment.
My husband returned to Florida and received his orders for Morbach Air Base, Germany. I distinctly remember putting in for a joint assignment knowing that God would answer this request. God indeed answered because I later received my orders to Hahn Air Base. By September 1989, I was in Germany. I found out that I was pregnant in October 1990. We were in Germany until his death in December 1990. I took a hardship assignment back to Bergstrom AFB.  My son was born in July 1991. I would be there until the base closed in 1992. As of July 15, 1992, I was honorably discharged from the military. God was with me every step of the way. He was my comfort and mainstay.

My Faith in God Sustained Me

It was times like this that I look back and see one set of footprints in the sand and know that Jesus carried me through. If it was not for my faith in Jesus, I am not sure how I would have managed to get through that time in my life. However, I am now blessed with a handsome young man that my son has become. I am grateful for the places and experiences that I went through as well as for all the people I met along the way. I leave you with this verse because God never wastes a hurt.
 
2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
 Related Link: My Story
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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