This is going to be about one of my favorite Bible verses and a personal testimony. When I was 15 years old, this verse helped to turn my life around. As a teenager, I was doing some things I knew a Christian person should not be doing. I won't go into detail about the things I was doing, but I always had this little nagging voice in my mind telling me that what I was doing was wrong. However, I wanted to do these things so I would try to find ways to justify doing it. I would tell myself that the Bible didn't specifically say not to do this particular thing. But then one summer I was at church youth camp and my pastor was speaking to us. He asked us if we knew a reason why we shouldn't do these kinds of things. And then he told us the reason why and he used this Bible verse to explain it. The verse was Colossians 3:17 -- And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father by him. As soon as he read that verse, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and showed me that I could not do the things I was doing in the name of the Lord. At that moment I changed and I had a desire to stop sinning and to let Jesus be the Lord of my life. The Bible is powerful and can speak God's word to us when nothing else can.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control... Galations 5:22-23
If you are looking at two trees that are bearing fruit, an apple tree and an orange tree, can you tell just by looking at them which one is the apple tree and which is the orange tree? Of course you can, because you know what apples and oranges look like. The evidence that a tree is an apple tree is that the fruit growing there are apples. The evidence that a tree is an orange tree is that the fruit growing on it are oranges. In the same way, if you are a Christian, people should be able to look at your life and recognize that you are a believer because of the fruit your life bears -- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Not too long ago, someone described me as a "happy person". Hopefully, what they thought was happiness, was actually the joy that can only come from being in Christ. Being happy is dependent on circumstances around us, but joy is something God-given and it doesn't go away when life throws us difficult situations. What kind of fruit does your life bear?
Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. Luke 6:44 ...for out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45b
What a great week it's been having A Plea for Purging and Jake at my house! It used to bother me that I am not a neat freak about my house, and I wished that I cared more about having a perfectly clean house all the time. But no matter how much I wanted to be that way, it just isn't in my nature to get all upset when the house gets messy. And now I have come to realize that God had a purpose in creating me the way He made me. It was by divine design that things can be messy and it doesn't bother me. God already knew that I was going to be having a bunch of guys staying at my house from time to time, and if I had been a neat freak, I wouldn't have been able to handle the sleeping bags laying around the floor, the luggage sitting around, unmade beds, laptops and cell phones plugged in everywhere, and towels hanging around. What I always thought was a flaw in my personality, I now see as a gift from my Creator for the purpose of doing what He created me to do. It has been a blessing to me and my husband having these guys stay at our house.
Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Romans 12:13
There's a band at my house. Three of them have been here since Wednesday, and the rest of them came in Friday night. They eat a lot. We keep on having to go to the grocery store to stock up on more milk, sweet tea, and food. The drummer is playing his drums..............in the house. The guitar players are playing electric guitars in the garage and they have really big speakers that carry sound throughout the neighborhood. I wonder when the cops are going to show up at the door. We probably won't even hear them knock. The ones who weren't busy yesterday watched TV the whole afternoon and night -- the same show the whole day. The merch guy uses my computer pretty much anytime he's awake. My daughter came yesterday so she's sleeping on an air mattress in our room since her room has been taken. The band will be here for a few more days.
This is my life and I love it. I wouldn't have it any other way.
A few days ago I was reading the Bible and once again, something it said just jumped out at me and struck me in a way it never has before. "Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed..." This was in the book of Romans and it was talking about how Abraham believed and had faith in something God told him would happen, even when it looked humanly and physically impossible! Abraham and his wife were well beyond the child-bearing age and Sarah had not been able to have a baby yet. He was 100 and she was 90. In my mind, there's no way this couple would be having a baby. But God told Abraham that he would be the father of many nations and his descendants would be as many as the stars in the sky. Abraham didn't weaken in his faith and he believed that God had the power to do what he said he promised. And it happened -- Sarah gave birth in her old age and that was the beginning of the Jewish nation. God keeps his promises.
Do you sometimes have situations in your life that look completely hopeless? Remember Abraham's faith and belief in God's promise even when it didn't seem possible. Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed. If God has promised us something in his Word, we need to have faith that he is able to keep his promise. I don't think this means that because we want something to be a certain way that it will happen just because we say we have faith. But I think it means that if God promised something in scripture, it will happen and we just have to have faith in his promises. Do you have any personal experiences where something looked hopeless, but God kept his promises?
...who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, "So shall your descendants be." And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah's womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore "it was accounted to him for righteousness." Romans 4:18-22
I'm not sure if it's because Mother's Day is approaching or what, but today I am having one of those days when I think about my kids and miss the days when they were little. I talked to Aaron on the phone a few nights ago. He was so excited because he had driven the van through the night in Arizona and he saw a real live mountain lion in the wild. He said he first saw some elk and just a few minutes later he went around a curve and right in the middle of the road was a cougar. Then it ran off and up into the mountains. Aaron said he yelled and woke up all the other guys, but it all happened so fast they didn't get to see the cougar. But he was so happy the rest of the night just because he saw that animal!
As my son told me this story with all his enthusiasm, I was transported back in time. I was no longer listening to a 25 year old man with tattoos and earrings who plays the drums in a heavy metal band, but I was listening to (and seeing in my mind) a precious little boy who used to sit in the recliner with his Daddy while looking at the National Geographic Mammals book. That precious little boy spent many hours looking at those animal pictures and soaking up every bit of knowledge he could possibly get. He always loved learning and experiencing new things. Which is probably why he enjoys what he's doing right now. He is constantly seeing new places, meeting new people and experiencing life the way most of us never get to. But when I look at Aaron now, I still see my cute little boy with the active imagination, the love for learning and the charismatic personality that he's always had. I thank God for the memories I have -- my children may be far away from home and far from being little children anymore, but I will always have my memories.
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105
Wow, that title sounds really vain! Honestly I don't like that phrase, it's all about me. But, I took this personality quiz that I found on Kay's blog and here is what it said about me...
You seem to be far from having a Type A personality. Your attitude to life is more of the "smell the roses" kind. You know how and when to relax. The hostile, aggressive and competitive part of you surfaces rarely. You are easy to be around, and people tend to feel relaxed and comfortable in your presence. It's a very healthy attitude towards life. Just make sure you don't miss important opportunities because of being too cool and relaxed. Picking up a challenge and competing a little bit for your place in the sun can add some spice to your life.
I am pretty satisfied with that result! I just couldn't handle being a Type A personality. And I really do stop and smell the roses. During our walks, my husband and I pass this one house that has a sweet dog that's a lab, and they also have some beautiful roses planted right next to the sidewalk, so we stop and pet the dog and smell the roses! The downside of my personality is that I do sometimes miss important opportunities simply because of my procrastination and forgetfulness.
Here's the link to the quiz if you'd like to try it out! (I hope my sister who reads my blog will take it and let me know her results.)
When I put the title of this post, I realized that I might get some hits from people searching for a singing group called the Temptations. But this isn't about a singing group, it's about sin and temptation. One thing my pastor always says about being a Christian and sinning is this.....I sin all I want to sin, in fact, I sin more than I want to sin. What he's really saying is that as a Christian he doesn't want to sin at all, but being human it happens sometimes and it happens a lot more than he wants it to. I can relate to that every time I hear him say it. I wish that I could live a perfect life and never do anything wrong but the fact is that I sin much too often. We are all tempted by different things. But the encouraging news is that the Bible says that God will not allow us to be tempted by more than we can handle, and that he will provide a way to escape the temptation so that it doesn't turn into sin. Being tempted is not sin, but what we do with that temptation is what's important. God gives us a way to escape the temptation, but the choice is ours at that point -- we either take the escape route or we go ahead and sin. I'm just thankful to know that whatever it is that tempts me is not going to be bigger than what I can handle. And if I end up sinning rather than escaping, then it's my own fault and my own choice and I will have to live with the consequences.
Another encouraging thing the Bible says is that Jesus is not a high priest who doesn't understand or sympathize with our weaknesses, but he does understand because he was tempted in all the same ways as we are. The difference is that Jesus never yielded to the temptation and he never sinned. But it's comforting to know that he understands what we are going through.
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are -- yet was without sin. Hebrews 4:15
I've wondered why sometimes bloggers just seem to disappear and don't post on their blogs for weeks at a time. I think I'm beginning to find out. I seem to have less and less time for blogging lately. Sometimes other things in life become more important and you just have to get your priorities in line. Maybe I can get back on track soon!
I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, and an aunt. I have a degree in music education with piano emphasis, but I work in an office totally unrelated to my education. I am a Christian who is completely sincere in my faith. I have decided to start a blog just as a hobby.