Monday, December 31, 2012


"Our conduct verifies His presence."  This is the last statement made in the notes of my new Life Application Study Bible I received for Christmas.  It comes from 1 John 1:24, "Those who obey God's commandments remain in fellowship with Him and He with them.  And we know He lives in us because the Spirit He gave us lives in us."

I just love that statement about this verse.  It is so true.  The way we behave, carry ourselves, interact with others, speak to our loved ones and even what we do when we are all alone and no one is watching, verifies His presence in our hearts. 

Sure, as soon as you accept Christ as your Savior, the Holy Spirit takes up camp in your heart.  Done deal.  But, how much you make His presence in your heart known is the true verification of the effect Christ is having in your life.

If Christ is at the forefront, our conduct will show it.  It will be evident to all those around us. 

So think on that statement for a while and remember it next time you want to roll your eyes, or snap at someone in your way, or any of the hundreds of other things we do but always regret later. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Fresh Perspective

I got a new Bible for Christmas!  Woot!  Woot!  I love new Bibles.  I own 4 different ones now that I use frequently.  I think this one might be my favorite though.  It is a NLT Life Application Study Bible and I am just finally sitting down to break it in.  I am praying about doing a year through the Bible ready plan starting next week.  We'll see if I think I can do it.

Anyway, continuing on in 1 John for now and read 2 vs 21 thru the end of chap 2.  I LOVE vs 21.  It states, "Dear friends, if we don't feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence."

Guilt: a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined.

Confidence: full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing.

With forgiveness we have reason to feel guilt.  Thus, we can have full, BOLD confidence in our Lord and Savior.  Doesn't this just make you feel all warm and snuggly inside?  Love it.

Friday, December 21, 2012

He's Always There

He is always there, even if I am not.

The hustle and bustle has got me entangled.  I went from dress rehearsals, to performances, to Christmas concerts then to a big family vacation to Florida.  Can we say stressed?

I failed to meet with Him very often through all of the craziness.  Any quiet moment I had was jammed full of preperations.  Either getting supper ready so that I could leave at 4 pm for dress rehearsal or performances, or packing for the trip, or running errands that needed to be done before we left or anything else.  I am not sure I sat down during the last week and a half for more than 2 minutes and I surely didn't take much time to sit with Him. 

But He was still there.  I could feel Him in the sleepless nights when I worried about how I was going to get it all done or if I was forgetting something.  He brought me the strength I needed to get through the days on only 3 hours of sleep from being up with sick kids or being sick myself.  He calmed my soul when I thought I might explode from the busyness.  He reassured my mind when I started to doubt myself and what in the world I was doing.  He was there.

Now that I look back on the past weeks and the insanity of it all I can see the little things that made His presence known.  It is amazing how He works.  And now that I am finally taking the time to sit with Him and give Him my all just as He never fails to do for me, I can feel His love for me.  I can feel how much He missed this time with me and how much my sould needs it with Him.  It is times like this I wonder how in the world I ever thought I didn't have the time.  It is times like this I realize that if I would make the time for Him, to find that rest in Him that He promises me, maybe things wouldn't seem quite so crazy.   

A Few Cliches

"Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.  This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence." 1 John 3:18-19.

"Actions speak louder than words."  "Its not how you talk the talk, it is how you walk the walk."  These over-used cliches are so very, very true in Christian life and these verses prove that.  It is akin to "faith without works" in James.

I am not sure if there is really any more that needs to be said on these verses.  They are a call to use our hands and feet for Christ.  To stop talking about how "Christian" we are and start proving it.  It doesn't have to be anything huge, although huge things are awesome, but the little things count too.  Showing love to a person a Walmart who looks rushed by letting them go ahead of you.  Putting a dollar or two in the Salvation Army bucket.  Hold back that grumble that wants to come out when someone is rude to you and smiling instead, realizing that everyone messes up now and then. 

It is all about sharing the grace that Christ has given us, even when we don't feel like it.  Especially when we don't feel like it.

Let us love in actions and truth.  How can you share His love today in a way that normally might not think about?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Starting a New Path and Sailing On

Sin is what separates us.  Good from bad.  God from man. 

1 John 3:5 tells us that we know he appeared so that he might take away our sins.  And in him is no sin.  Verse 6 says "No one who lives in him keeps on sinning.  No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him."

To me, this is another one of those verses where the rubber meets the road.  It helps differentiate the true believers from those who just know the story.  It goes back to the pure heart of the matter.

True believers, who have accepted Christ in their lives and hearts and have a real relationship with Him, will show their gratitude for His sacrifice by the way they live their lives.  This doesn't mean we never mess up and have to fess up, but it means after accepting Christ we start a new path in life.  A new mind set.  A new way of making decisions.  One that follows Him first.

To those who just know the story, well, they just keep the story in the back of their minds for when it might come in handy and keep on trucking.  They continue on the same path.  They might bring the story up when it is convenient and attend church because it is what they are supposed to do, but they do not truly know Him. 

Now, so as not to discount the "story-knowers", they have a start.  At least they have not disregarded the story itself.  Having the knowledge of the story and the presence at church, their door is open much wider than those with nothing at all.  God will use the knowledge of the story and hopefully one day they will take the path of true belief as well.  I pray for these people fervently because, while they might think knowing the story is enough, the real connection they are missing is the actual key to eternity.  This false sense of security is the scary part for me as I know and love way too many people in this category. 

However, I am not God, and I do not know the genuine level of their belief, so I am unable to discern their place in heaven.  I am sure there are some that I think are missing the boat that will join me on it and there will also be some that I believe are with me that will be left behind.  Only God knows this.  But God has given us all the task of trying our best to share what He gives us so that we can all set sail together. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

When the Devil Attacks

OK, I'm still a little off my regular routine.  After a fabulous weekend with my family, laughing, eating, opening gifts and sharing germs, I got home on Sunday evening to two sick little girls.  By 1 am, I was the only one left not puking.  Joy.

The hubs and I divided and conquered.  The boys went in the master bedroom and the girls hung out on the couches.  It was a long night.  So, the next day, I spent reading and re-reading my verses on finding my rest in God.  Many of those are going on my "must memorize" list.

Last night, after a very long dress rehearsal, I headed out of the church at 10:20 pm to find that the battery was dead in the car.  Thankful for a set of jumper cables in the trunk and a fabulous co-cast member with a truck that knew how to use them, I was on my way home within 15 minutes.  Twenty minutes after that I was in bed, noticing my tummy didn't feel the greatest.  Two hours later I was over the toilet.  I guess I didn't escape the bug.  So from 1 am to 5 am I was on the couch in an upright fetal position with my stomach feeling like it was having full blown labor contractions (seriously, for about an hour I liken what my stomach felt like to labor with my first 2 kids with no drugs).  It was miserable.  Finally, a little before 5 am I was able to lay down in the fetal position and doze off.  When my husband woke me up at 6:50 am I felt 1,000 times better, with just the 'flu hangover' feeling in my stomach and head. 

Still feeling a bit yucky, I sat down to send a shout-out for prayers on Facebook.  I have been with all of the play cast members for the last two days.  Laughing with them.  Hugging on them.  Singing with them.  There are sure to have been some germs passed.  We also had another one of our child cast members out sick at last nights rehearsal. 

So it begins, every year it seems the devil is against this musical.  Which may seem like a scarey thing to some, but it is quite an uplifting and powerful feeling to those of us involved.  You see, the devil only attacks if he feels threatened; if he is trying to stop the Word of Christ from being spread to those who are normally 'safe' from it.  So, Satan's attacks make us feel like we are doing the right thing.  We are presenting God's Word and love in a way that is outside of the box and will bring people in that normally wouldn't step foot in our church.  It is a powerful thing.

But it is a powerful thing that requires a great amount of prayer and trust.  We have to trust in God that He will use the message of the show to reach those people Satan is trying to protect and we must pray and pray and pray like crazy for God to protect those of us trying to share that message from the attacks of Satan trying to stop it.

So please pray for us.   We really need it. 

Oh, and come see us!!   "Flagpoles, Fueding, and Fudge" a musical in two acts (it runs just over 2 hours including a 10 min intermission) presented at Christ Community Church, 2727 Lincoln Blvd, Beatrice, NE.  Thursday, December 6th, Friday, December 7th and Saturday, December 8th at 7 pm and Sunday, December 9th at 2:30 pm.  Check out this article in our local paper and tomorrow I will have a link to a TV spot we got to do this year as well.

In the meantime, I decided to do some searching on verses to do with standing firm against attacks from the devil.  Here is what I found.
John 16:33
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Ephesians 6:10-17
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

2 Thessalonians 3:3
But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.

2 Timothy 4:18
The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

James 4:7-8
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

1 Peter 5:8-10
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

1 John 3:8
He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work.

1 John 4:4
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.