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Tag Archives: Sharing Faith in Jesus

God’s Word…Life and Truth

“Holy Splendor”

rose

 “Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor” (Psalm 96:9).

Splendor: great and impressive beauty (Merriam-Webster)

My husband recently surprised me with a dozen red roses.

One of the twelve survived the shock of over-fertilizing.

Underserved, I’m now delighting in its beauty.

 Analogy of Christ’s amazing grace:

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

My Jesus is due all my honor and praise.

His holy splendor is displayed in all the nations.

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV).

Facebook friends: May the Psalms draw you near to God.

Sing a new song to the Lord! Let the whole earth sing to the Lord! Sing to the Lord; praise his name. Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does. Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! He is to be feared above all gods. The gods of other nations are mere idols, but the Lord made the heavens! Honor and majesty surround him; strength and beauty fill his sanctuary.

O nations of the world, recognize the Lord; recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong. Give to the Lord the glory he deserves! Bring your offering and come into his courts. Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor. Let all the earth tremble before him. 10 Tell all the nations, “The Lord reigns!” The world stands firm and cannot be shaken. He will judge all peoples fairly.

11 Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice! Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise! 12 Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy! Let the trees of the forest sing for joy 13 before the Lord, for he is coming! He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with his truth” (Psalm 96 NLT).

 

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Posted by on October 29, 2015 12: 04 pm - in Eternal Life, Joy in Jesus, Psalms, Salvation

 

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God’s Word…Life and Truth

“I Love Jesus!”

Pappy & Max (Grandchild of month)

Pappy & Max (Grandchild of month)

These heartfelt words were spoken by Max, our 4-year-old grandson, who joins us on Tuesdays, along with our other grandchildren.

Eleven years ago I vowed to God, to “boast in the LORD,” so the next generation in our family will come to know Jesus, love Jesus, and serve Jesus.

One way I do this, is to play Christian music.

While sitting at the table coloring and listening to a Christian CD, Max proclaimed, “I love Jesus, Nana.”

Tears filled my eyes as I praised God for His goodness. I said to Max, “I’m so glad you love Jesus. He loves you, too.”

Several days later, Max and Emeree were taking a bath at our house. Instead of watching their cousin’s football game, they had found the dirt on the baseball field more appealing! During bath time, big sister Ella pointed to a picture hanging in our hallway, adjacent to the bathroom. She sked Max and Emeree, “Who’s this?” Max and Emeree shouted, “It’s Jesus!”

I am thankful that Christian music and a picture of Jesus stimulate the hearts and minds of our grandchildren, drawing them close to God.

All of our grandchildren love “Bible-story time” in our home and theirs.

I praise God for the opportunity to share Jesus with Ella, Jack, Max, Julia, Emeree, and Jocelyn.

Facebook friends: May the Psalms draw you near to God.

I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart. Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt his name together” (Psalm 34:1-3 NLT).

 

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2015 3: 00 pm - in Building a Legacy of Faith, Faith At Home, God's Word, Grandparenting

 

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Starfish Moment

Starfish Pic“Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up. As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean. He came closer still and called out “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?” The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.” “I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” asked the somewhat startled wise man. To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.” Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, “But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!” At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, “It made a difference for that one.” ― Loren Eiseley

This story was retold by our mission team director during our recent mission trip to the Dominican Republic. Sheila challenged us to look for our “starfish moment.”

While at the mission work site, Scot approached me and asked if I would go with him to visit a teen’s home.  Esmeralda proudly led us to her humble, yet lovely home. I was overcome with awe as we entered the home and greeted by four women, Esmeralda’s mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-aunt. Three of the women sat in beautifully hand-crafted rocking Rocker 1chairs. I quickly noticed a Bible lying on a shelf and asked Scot to hand it to me.  I had hoped to read Scripture until Scot said, “Isn’t that a Spanish Bible?”  Everyone smiled, and then the ladies all began singing hymns. After basking in the Lord’s presence for several moments, the women took us back outside to see their beautiful tropical garden. They were all extremely proud of a starfish-shaped blossom that had recently bloomed. This was definitely my starfish moment! With a simple invitation to visit her home, Esmeralda made a difference in my life. And out of all the other team members Scot could have asked to join him, he invited me.

This mission trip memory along with so many others will forever remind me of God’s amazing love for me and for each person He has created.

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Four generations

Intentionally Passing Down Your Faith in Christ –

Parents, grandparents, take time to challenge your children/grandchildren to look for God in the everyday moments of life. God makes Himself known to us. “They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God” (Romans 1:19-20 NLT).

Encourage your children to tell about their God-moments (starfish moments) at the end of each day. This will help build their faith in the One True God.

 

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Dominican Republic Mission Trip With Ella — Beginning the Journey

So excited about our upcoming mission trip to the Dominican Republic!  Only six weeks away.

My granddaughter, Ella (11 years), and I will embark on our very first mission trip together. I’ve had a desire to go on a mission trip for some time; and about two years ago, I felt that God was directing me to pursue this opportunity with Ella.

This first blog entry will detail the beginning stages of our journey. (The complete story is written in the Memory Album I made for Ella.)

Nurse Sheila
Nurse Sheila

Two summers ago, Ella and I met an amazing woman named Sheila at children’s camp. Sheila was one of the camp nurses and I was a camp counselor for several children, including Ella. During our time at camp, I was sadly coming to terms that my husband/pastor would be resigning as pastor of the church where we had served for 7 years. Sheila made her way over to our table and began a conversation with me. Not having anyone else to share my sorrow and uncertainty with, I began to tell Sheila of my heartache. I told her that we would be looking for a church to worship at in the near future. Without any hesitation, Sheila extended a loving invitation to visit her church, Living Hope Church of the Nazarene. After putting my mind to rest, I realized that this was the church our daughter attended during her college days.

Sure enough, we visited Living Hope Church, and reconnected with Sheila.  Little did I know at the time, Sheila and her husband, Dan are Work & Witness Coordinators and were planning a mission trip to the Dominican Republic. Wow! I thought this may be one of the reasons God brought us to LHC. Since we were in transition, I didn’t feel the timing was right to join up with Team Xtreme for their 2nd trip to the Dominican. 

A year later, Team Xtreme, the mission team from LHC is planning their 3rd trip to San Juan de la Maguana Dominican Republic, to complete the children’s center, that will feed, educate, provide medical/dental care to 500 kids each week, and serve as their place of worship.  

Ella and I attended the first informational gathering at Sheila’s home, where we saw hundreds of pictures of their past trips to the Dominican and heard the testimonies of those who have gone before. The mission team had ministered love in the Name of Jesus to hundreds of children and worked on the building project. After driving home from the meeting, I asked Ella what she thought about going on the mission trip. She said, “Yes!, but how are we going to raise $14,000 each?” I had to chuckle a little, because the actual cost per person for travel/expense is $1,400. From this point on, we have never looked back. God is on the move, providing for us to take this journey of faith to the Dominican with 28 other devoted followers of Christ (Team Xtreme).

Please join us in prayer, as we prepare our hearts, minds, and bodies, to be Christ’s ambassadors to those who need His love and grace in the Dominican.

Salud!  (Blessings!)

Charmé

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2015 12: 55 pm - in Dominican Republic Mission Trip

 

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Greatest Passion

 Loudest Roar

Passion (from the Latin verb patere meaning to suffer) is a term applied to a very strong feeling about a person or thing. Passion is an intense emotion, compelling enthusiasm or desire for anything. (Wikipedia)

1 often capitalized : the sufferings of Jesus between the night of the Last Supper and his death 2 a plural : the emotions in general b : strong feeling or emotion 3 a : great affection : LOVE b : a strong liking c : an object of desire or deep interest (Merriam-Webster Student Dictionary)

People have a great passion for many things. Just to name a few:

Football – On September 29, 2014, the Kansas City Chiefs fans reclaimed the record for loudest crowd roar at a sports stadium. Chiefs’ fans made enough noise to register a 142.2 dbA reading at Arrowhead Stadium while playing against the New England Patriots.

Vacations & Fitness – (Online Advertisement) Take Your Passion For Fitness on Luxury Adventure Vacations With Reebok Fitness Vacations by Austin Adventures – Two leading brands in the active lifestyle and fitness worlds are teaming up to offer Reebok Fitness Vacations by Austin Adventures. This partnership seems to offer a series of vacations that promote fitness as a way of life. Now you can combine two passions at the same time!

Food – (Quote from chef blogger): “I have a passion for preparing and serving great food. I have a goal of getting a great meal on the table every evening in around 45 minutes.”

Attempting to trick Jesus, a religious “expert” posed the following question.

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment” (Matthew 22:36-38).

I believe this is the greatest passion.

There’s no room to be lukewarm as a Christian. In fact, being lukewarm makes God nauseous.

14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth”  (Revelation 3:14-16).

From the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus promises the following:

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled”(Matthew 5:6).

My life passion (mission):  To intentionally pass down my faith in Christ to my children and grandchildren.  2 Timothy 1:5

So, what’s your greatest passion?

In 2015, why not cultivate a great passion for loving God, in your children and grandchildren.

Challenge for 2015:                               Chiefs%20loud_2

  • Break the record for loving God.

  • Pray fervently and often.

  • Give up a favorite beverage (Starbuck’s, soda, etc.) for a month, and set aside this money for a work and witness trip or other service project.

  • Skip the family vacation one year (or more), and instead, spend this allotted time and money towards serving at a local or global mission.

  • Rather than wasting endless hours on social media / T.V., etc., use this time for personal and family Bible study.

  • Purposefully reach out to your neighbors with kindness and the love of Christ.

  • Intentionally share your faith in Christ with unsaved friends, relatives, coworkers, etc.

  • Use your gifts and talents at your local church. Serve together as a family when applicable.

Have a Happy and Fulfilling New Year….

by living a life of passion for Christ.  

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People Who Enjoy Life…Praise Jesus

 

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“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4).
Praise and gratitude lead to joy.

I originally wrote and shared this devotional/study while working at Focus on the Family (about 20 years ago now).  I think it may be useful in teaching our children/grandchildren to depend fully upon Jesus in all circumstances.

For the Apostle Paul, rejoicing was not a periodic exercise but a perpetual attitude of the heart. His penned words recorded in Philippians 3:1 and 4:4 call Christians to “keep on rejoicing in the Lord.”
Q. Who wants to prevent us from rejoicing in the Lord?
A. Satan, who “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” 1 Peter 5: 8.
But praise be to God, Jesus said “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” John 10:10.
Q. How does Satan try to accomplish his plan, to rob us from joy and abundant life?
A. By creating unhappy circumstances to occur in our lives.
Note: Sometimes we are responsible for our own unhappy circumstances, other times we are not. Either way, it is our choice on how we will respond to these circumstances.
I love the true story of Joni Earekson Tada. Joni was paralyzed from the shoulders down at the tender age of 17, resulting from a diving accident while swimming with some friends. After a lengthy journey of rehabilitation, which included overcoming thoughts of suicide, Joni chose to trust God to fill her and use her fully for His glory, in spite of her disability.
See Joni’s website: http://www.joniearecksontadastory.com/ for inspiration and help for those who suffer from paralyzation. Not just physical paralysis, but emotional and mental. For you see, Satan also attempts to paralyze people through fear.
Definition: Paralyze
1. To affect with paralysis; cause to be paralytic.
2. To make unable to move or act: paralyzed by fear.
3. To impair the progress or functioning of; make inoperative or powerless: strict regulations that paralyze economic activity

Our circumstances are sometimes joyful and other times they are disappointing, discouraging, and sometimes extremely painful.
If we gauge our rejoicing on the ups and downs of our circumstances, we will never fulfill Paul’s command to rejoice continually.
Paul declares that in order to be joyful there is a prerequisite: being or having a thankful heart and attitude, toward God and for others. (Phil. 1:3, 4)
Thankfulness produces joyfulness and joyfulness produces thankfulness.
These two qualities are interdependent or interchangeable. They go hand in hand.
Q. Can we be joyful when our focus is on “grumbling” about our unfortunate circumstance(s)?
In the book, How to Be a Christian and Still Enjoy Life, the author, Fritz Ridenour states:
“We aren’t made happy by what we have but by what we are thankful for.”
Paul learned how to experience thankfulness and joy in all circumstances…and then was able to share this unexplainable joy to others. His letter to the Philippians was written while imprisoned in a Roman jail, with the threat of execution facing him.
Q. How can Paul’s letter to the Philippians encourage us today?
A. First and foremost, I believe:
1. We must all come to terms with the fact that we are all going to face many trials and sufferings throughout our lives.
2. If we enter the trap (of Satan or the world): that our joy is based on our circumstances, we will live sad defeated lives, with little or no hope.
3. But,…if we, like Paul, learn (through God’s Word) that our joy/thanksgiving is based on our relationship with the Lord and His purpose for our lives, and not by the ups and downs of life, then we will experience true and meaningful joy, and an everlasting hope that no one or any circumstance can rob us from.

 Acts 16:25-34

Passing on the joy of salvation to others even in the midst of our sufferings

Paul and Silas responded to their imprisonment with praise, rejoicing, and thankfulness.
Results: They drew attention from the other prisoners. A miracle took place:
1. An earthquake occurred…opening the cell door and unlocking the shackles.
2. The conversion of the jailer and his entire family.
3. Fellow prisoners became charter members of the Philippian Church.
Share personal testimonies of how you have allowed God to use your sufferings for the glory of God and the witness to others.
Pathway to Joy and Thankfulness
Q. How can we (as Christians) develop a pattern in our lives, which emulates Paul’s positive attitude in the midst of negative circumstances?
1. Stay close to other believers. (Phil. 1:4, 5) Paul was not a spiritual lone ranger. He relied on his involvement with other believers to help maintain his joy. He was in partnership with other believers. The Greek word Koinonia – means “to have in common”). I.E.: fellowship through Bible studies, small groups, corporate worship, mentorship
Joy results committing ourselves to others–even at a cost. (Outreach to others!)
2. Be confident in God’s faithfulness. (Phil. 1:6)
It’s easy to have joy when things are going well, but when the bottom falls out, we (the flesh) can feel that God has deserted us, thereby shutting off our joyful praise.
Paul reminds us that God always finishes what He starts. Circumstances are not a barometer to qualify our response to God. We rejoice in the Lord…because no matter what the circumstances look like, God has promised to complete a good work in and through us. (Phil. 1:3-6)
3. Practice forbearance. (Phil. 4:5) “Let your gentleness be evident to all.” “Love does not demand its own way!”
Gentleness means being more content to let another win than to selfishly fight for our own rights. (See Corinthians 6:1-7)
I won’t ask how many of us need growth in this area. Being first to raise my hand!
Paul was so full of praise and gratitude, his life was one big experience of reaching out to others.
4. Pray instead of worrying. (Phil. 4:6-7) A life Scripture for me.
When we learn to let go of our anxieties and thank God for what He will do, we reap the peace of God which transcends all understanding. Endless joy!
5. Think positively.
Q. How often do we miss out on inner joy because we direct all our focus on our problems?
Paul instructs believers to replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts. (Phil. 4:8)
6. Put your faith into practice. (Phil. 4:9)
Believers marked by rejoicing and thanksgiving are busy doing God things—growing, serving, and working out their faith in everyday life or circumstances.
The more involved we become with those around us and in God’s “program” (rather than our own program), the more we will enjoy life.

Conclusion: Pray for God’s help to remove any hindrances that prevent you from receiving His everlasting joy. Be mindful when praying this prayer that God may or may not choose to remove your unfortunate circumstance(s), but He will be faithful to complete your joy even in the midst of it.

Memory Verse:

  “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Time Flies…Don’t Waste Your Life

In the beginning God 2

God always shows up on time. I noticed a fellow blogger’s email in my inbox a few days ago. I try to limit who I follow, to those who have a genuine heart after God, and who share this passion through their unique writing styles. On occasion, for the sake of time or lack of interest in a blog title, I’ll either delete it or simply skip over it until I have time to read it. Oh, am I glad that I took the time to read this one! Not so much for the content of the blogger’s entry (although very insightful of a father child relationship), but rather, the reference to a video of Dr. Ravi Zacharias, author and Christian apologist.

After watching, please take time to evaluate the life you are spending while here on Earth. Then pray and seek God’s wisdom in helping you to live a life that will make an eternal difference for generations to come.

PLEASE TAKE TIME (ABOUT AN HOUR AND A HALF) TO WATCH/LISTEN TO THIS POWERFUL AND TIMELY MESSAGE. (Note: Skip over the introductory part of the video to 5:27)

Dr. Zacharias speaks on “Life’s Toughest Questions” at Highlands Church in Scottsdale, Arizona.  (Recorded live 2011)

(Watch the video HERE, scrub to 5:27)

 

 

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