Saturday, March 15, 2014

Books, Books, Books

Books!!  I adore books!  They have been a constant companion to me through the years.  I have been known to hang with them at bookstores, at libraries and at home.  I have even read at red lights.  Oh and maybe while driving but don't hate.  You have probably texted and drove.  And if you haven't good for you!  You are awesome!

Sorry sidetracked.  This post is about books.  I have over the last few years went through a type of dessert in my book reading life.  I don't know what happened but I couldn't read.  Okay, I couldn't consume books like I used to.  I have been known to read 3 or 4 books a week.  Like eating food.. just eat 'um up.  But I have went through a dry spell where I have left books half finished.  Stopped mid read.  It was awful!!  Terrible!!  My identity was wrapped up in being a reader.  I think maybe it came about because of the internet.  At least I'm blaming that.  It couldn't be my age or anything.  Too much reading of blogs, facebook, emails etc.  But the good news.  I think I'm recovering.  I got a smart phone for Christmas and I have Kindle on it.

Kindle is awesome!  It has a ton of free books or you can buy books for it.  So I have finished
3 books in the last 2 weeks and am part way through a fourth one.  It is so handy.  Waiting in line?  Waiting for your hubby to come to the car?  Waiting in line to get the granddaughter from school? During a commercial?  Any where you have a few minutes you can get in some reading.  It rocks.  Also I have the Bible on it so I can read it more.  I highly recommend both.

But I have said all this to tell about these exciting books I have been reading:  Becoming Myself by Stasi Eldridge, When Goodly People do Ungodly Things by Beth Moore, and a Grace Livingston Hill novel..The Enchanted Barn.   Also I'm part way through Why We Eat Our Own by Michael Cheshire.
All are excellent, excellent books!!!

I will share some more about them in another post.  I would encourage women to especially read Becoming Myself.  What a life changing book.  Such healing!  

If you haven't put Kindle on your phone or computer, do.  It's free and might help you read more, which is always a good thing.  

Random thing I heard:  reading 20 minutes a day to a child raises their chances of academic success hugely.  It will make an unbelievable difference in their whole life!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Did You Know God has a Knack?

My friend a while ago had told me about how her and her husband found old furniture and refinished and then sold it.  Restoring, repurposing it.  A little side business.  Well I was talking to her just the other day and we started to discuss their side job.  

She told me, "It is a fun thing to do, hunting down the old piece and restoring it. My husband has a real knack for seeing what can become of something that looks like it ought to be thrown out."   

Something jumped out at me.  It actually brought tears.  This is what God does.  So many of us at times may have looked like we should have been thrown out.  Other people may have looked at the mess we had made of our lives and shook their heads saying we were worthless or useless or hopeless.  We may have even pronounced that verdict on ourselves.  But our amazing heavenly Father had a knack of seeing what could become of us.  I don't know about you but he rescued me.  

Recently our church was collecting Christian books to take to the jail ministry.  A precious couple in our church has faithfully had services at the jail for years.  Many people would look at the people in the jail and see that many of them return over and over.  And they declare them in perhaps different words, something to be thrown out.  But God sees more.

The Bible holds many example: 
 Rahab was a harlot and she got in the lineage of Jesus.  
 David was an adulterer and murdered.  He became a man after God's own heart. 
 Noah got drunk.  But he is known and loved by every child that's heard his story. 
 Peter had a terrible temper and wasn't loyal when it counted. But God used him mightly in the beginnings of the church.  
The Samaritan Woman was divorced numerous times and was living with a man when she met Jesus. And her story of faith is still being told today.  

Jesus is portrayed as a shepherd who leaves his flock of 99 sheep, going out seeking the one lost lamb.  
Are you a lost lamb?  Do you feel worthless?  A mess? A mistake? Do you see no way out?  Do you believe the lies the enemy whispers to you?  The Lord doesn't.  If you will accept His help He will give you beauty for ashes.  He will do like the old song says:  He will make something beautiful of your life.  My friend and her husband take the broken old piece of furniture and they remove the ugly surface and they sand it down.  They apply an oil that coaxes the hidden beauty out of the piece.  Let God do that for you.  His son Jesus died to bring you salvation and healing and beauty.  He loves you right where you are.  He knows what you are to become.  He has a good plan for your life.  A hope and a future. 

Who Does God Say You Are?

If I ran up to you and asked "Who does God say you are?"   What would first come to mind?  Would you feel condemned?  or loved?  Would good things bubble up in your  mind or would your sins bubble up?  The Bible says:  What a man thinks in his heart, so is he (Prov. 23:7a)    A song churches sang back in the 90's said: Whose report do you believe?  I believe the report of the Lord!  

Do we know what God says about us?  Do we know His report about us?  Here are some of the things He says of us:  We are loved!  We are blessed!  We are saved (if you have asked Him to forgive you and be Lord of your life)!  We are his children!  We are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus!  We are growing in Him!  We belong to Him!  We are free! We are beautiful!  We are called beloved!  We are joint heirs with Jesus!  We are overcomers!  We are mighty in Christ!  We are cherished!  We are called Beloved!  We new creatures in Christ! 

We are this and so much more.  And yet we don't walk in this.  We get our eyes on our own little world, our own physical sight not on the big picture. We need to see us through His eyes.  We don't KNOW who we are or who He is.   Let me encourage you today to open your eyes and look up.  Get to know God more through prayer and Bible study.  Then you can know who you are.  Google a search on Who I am in Christ.  And then meditate on these things.  Review, rehearse these truths until they get down inside of you.  And when the enemy of our souls whispers: you are a failure,  you are ugly, you are a loser, you are wrong, you are never going to change, you are always going to be poor,   you are fat, you are whatever sin you struggle with....etc, etc.  When this happens if you have studied and put deep in your heart the truth. Then the Word  inside you will rise up and Shout:  NO NO NO  I Am..... what God says I am.   I can do what God says I can!  Because I belong to Him!  I abide in Him and He abides in me and devil you can move on down the road.  I KNOW who I am.  I am BELOVED, FORGIVEN, HEALED, FREE, BEAUTIFUL, BECOMING, SANCTIFIED, RIGHTEOUS, PEACEFUL, BLESSED BEYOND MEASURE,