Monday, April 26, 2010

Sampson.....a mighty man!

This morning we shared with the kids the story of Sampson. In Judges chapter 13 it says an angel appeared to Sampson's mother saying she will bear a son and what she is to do. She told her husband who prayed to God asking that the angel return to teach them how to raise this son, and so the angel returned telling them exactly how to raise this son. Just like as parents we are told how to raise our kids. There are certain things we do to protect them from the world. There are boundaries that we set and rules to abide by that should line up with the Word. We don't have to apologize for keeping the standard set by the Word of God. Sampson grew up pure from so much of the world around him. While people were drinking wine, he did not. While people were doing things that were unclean, he did not. His strength was supernatural because of his obedience. He killed a lion with his bear hands....which we shared with the kids how the lion is the king of the jungle because of its strength and ability. He picked up the gate to a city out of the ground, carried it up a hill and through it over a cliff. This young man was super strong. So, we shall be if we obey the voice of God and walk in purity.

2Pe 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,

2Pe 1:3 as His divine power has given to us all things that [pertain] to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,

2Pe 1:4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption [that is] in the world through lust.

2Pe 1:5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,

2Pe 1:6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,

2Pe 1:7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.

2Pe 1:8 For if these things are yours and abound, [you will be] neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Unfortunately Sampson started to do things that were sin. Some today would say it is because he was so protected by his parents, and not allowed to do some things. That doesn't line up with Scripture. His parents obeyed what they were told and how they should raise their son. In his sin, he was keeping things from his parents, wanting things because "it pleased him", fornicating and ultimately making peace with the enemy. Here this once supernaturally strong man who could kill a lion with his bear hands was now in the hands of the enemy. Just like Satan is said to be a roaring lion walking about seeking whom he may destroy (devour). Sampson who had the strength (through God) to destroy the lion, we (through God) have the power to overcome Satan (the lion). The sin Sampson allowed in his life began to blind him to the point where he was completely blind and without strength. We are the same if we allow sin in our lives. Continuing in 2 Pe 1 verse 9 it says But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. What things? Look at verse 5-7. All this comes in the Divine power given to us. The story of Sampson has a good ending. He had enough Truth in him from his upbringing that he knew who to turn to. In his blindness where he was very weak, he cried out to the Lord asking that his strength return so that he may destroy those that blinded him. The Lord heard his cry and gave him the supernatural strength where he killed them all. We have to eradicate the things in our lives that cause us to be blinded. If you will humble yourself and call out to the Lord for His strength He will give it to you. Sampson died that day too, just like the Lord requires that we die to ourselves in order to live.
Matthew 16:24 If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Romans 8: 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Are you being pro-active or re-active?

Scott and I both read a daily devotion this morning talking about hating this life. The Scripture used was, “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal" (John 12:25).

It moved us both, because lately it seems we have been doing our day to day things only to be frustrated. In the process we have hated things we've said or when we started doing it ourselves instead of trusting God. We both recognized the tendency to re-act to life instead of being pro-active...planning with proper tools for our next step. We desire to be disciplined daily and do what is expected of us as disciples of Christ and parents. In order to accomplish this we need to be pro-active and prepared for anything. We shared that with the kids this morning using illustrations they would understand so that they too can learn from this valuable lesson. The prefix "pro" means before, forward, forth, or prior to. The prefix "re" means with regard to, again, back. We need to have a plan of action spiritually. To seek God in prayer, by reading the Word, by worship, by fellowship, by serving. If we just react to what we know we should be doing then we will become frustrated or worst...spiritually dead. An example Scott used was Haven playing baseball. He said, to be pro-active is to practice every day for the position you want to play and be prepared way in advance. To react is to wait until the day of practice and then expect to play that position since you warmed up. Or with Peyton....he can come home every day and take 15 minutes to go over what they did in school that day, and when the test is given at the end of the week he is prepared. Or he can wait until the night before the test, try and cram for that test and fail. Do we want to live a life of wisdom following the Word and being obedient, or wait until we are older or know more before we step out and do what God has told us to do? You must have a plan and be prepared if you are going to be pro-active. Another example he gave was in big business' they meet with the board to determine what they can do to fix problems or make something better all the time. We need to do the same thing with our spiritual lives. Scripture teaches us to evaluate our lives on a daily basis. We need to ask ourselves, "What do I need to repent of (change the way I think)? Then change it! So, are you going to be pro-active or re-active?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Tomorrow is the first day of SPRING!!

What a beautiful day today! We have had a pretty wet and COLD winter, so tomorrow is a day many of us are looking forward to. It helps when the weather is Spring-like!!

We have been discussing a lot in our morning devotions with the kids. The main focus being Discipline. This morning we talked about self discipline again. Scott grew up riding motocross and of course that trickled down to our kids. The boys currently race and Grace would love to do it if we allowed her. :) It is a family affair on the weekends to load up and travel to a race. On the weekends we don't race there is always a race on TV during the season that we will gather around to watch. The kids all have their favorite pro riders they support. We as a family support Kevin Windham because he and my husband road some together and he is a great rider to be his age. The kids each have different riders that they love. In talking about self discipline Scott used Ryan Dungey as an example. They did a segment on him for TV talking about his training for upcoming races. Racing is an endurance sport. You have to be in great shape and disciplined in order to win. It is 20 laps of pinned throttle and adrenaline. Ryan talked about not having a trainer like most riders do. He trains himself. He talked about days where he doesn't feel like getting out of bed when he needs to train or going to gym. He said he does it because when he is told to do something he does it more than what he was told. In other words, not only does he do what he was told to do, but beyond that. Nobody has to check up on him to see if he is doing it because he is self motivated to win. He does win too. He is a contender for the championship.

We encouraged the kids to have the same attitude in life. To be self disciplined is to say "I am going to do this....even if I don't want to, or don't like it, or it doesn't feel good." To be Christian it is doing it because God says so and it's the right thing to do. Even still you have to be self disciplined. God doesn't do it for you. WE have to do it ourselves. Whatever that may be on a day to day basis. Scott shared with the kids how when he was younger he had a friend Danny who would (on purpose) say something like "you can't jump off that bridge," and just because he said "you can't" Scott would say, "stop the car" to where he would jump off the bridge. The point wasn't stupidity of jumping off a bridge, because that was not using the brains God gave him, but the point of a challenge being made and him taking that challenge. Someone tells you that you can't do something (there are principalities, powers and darkness speaking the same thing to you every day), except the challenge and push to do it. He shared with them to have that attitude with school. This class isn't going to beat me, I will make a good grade. I want to graduate and not have the lowest GPA so I WILL make the grade. The fighting attitude to be self disciplined. I WILL....instead of I can't or I won't. That shows a character of the heart that will help you succeed in life both spiritually and physically. To be self disciplined. To meet the challenges of life and overcome. The alternative is to shrink back and give up. Hebrews 10:38 says Now the just shall live by faith: but if [any man] draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. It is saying...I don't care how big that mountain is or the size of the giants. I am going to go forward!! To shrink or draw back is to say it's too much or I can't handle it. You quit basically. Christ knew how big the Cross was and he pressed on forward meeting that challenge and overcame it. We are to do the same thing. When He dwells in us we have everything it takes to be just like Him. If we find we don't have that quality, then we must be honest with ourselves (why lie) and ask "does He really live in me?" The end of Hebrews 10:38 says that if we draw back the Lord has no pleasure in you. We encouraged the kids to not draw back to press forward and please the Lord. Isn't that what we are here on earth for? What an encouraging word. I hope it encouraged you as it did our family.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

It's been awhile....

I said I was going to post daily and look what happened. It's been months!!! I just happened to be looking at a blog from a business I like and said well I need to at least put something! I am home today (ON SUNDAY) with Haven. I hate that my little man is so sick, but I hate to miss meeting with the Church. I love to fellowship with all the people and hear what the Lord is telling them. I love to hear the testimonies and psalms they bring. I will have to get with them during the week so I am not missing too!! Another thing I love about being relational, is it isn't about ONE's every day!! :)) Well I need to go serve my baby boy. Until next time.....whenever that will be. :)

MUCH love to you all.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Morning devotion with Kids - December 1st

We have been making a practice of having the kids read each day and then share the next morning something that stood out to them from their readings. Grace started off the morning with Matt 12:31 which deals with Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit and the forgiveness of sins. She had looked up in the dictionary where it talked about Blasphemy meant to slander or speak evil against someone or something. I pointed out to her that it can also mean to resist the Holy Spirit. That we can blaspheme the Holy Spirit by resisting his convicting work. That by resisting his drawing our hearts get hard. In fact they can get so hard that we can get to the place where we can't hear the Holy Spirit anymore and He quits drawing us. We discussed where it talks about in John 16 that the Holy Spirit Convicts us of Sin, Righteousness, and Judgement and that if we resist his conviction of these that our hearts will become hardened and our minds become reprobate. This is a dangerous place to be.

Peyton's verse was out of John 9:1-3 dealing with the man that was born blind that Jesus healed. We tied this into the fact that Sin and Hard heartedness cause us to be Blind to God and the convicting work of the Holy Spirit. We also discussed that blindness can come because of no fault of our own, but because of our environment and things that happen around us. This can be because of the way we were raised or things that were taught to us at school, work, etc. We have to be cautious of what influences us because it can make us blind and hardhearted to God's word and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Haven then shared out of John 13:8 where Jesus talked of washing Peter's feet. Haven didn't quite understand this because foot washing is a major deal in america because of our luxuries. We explained to him that this was a humbling thing to do in those days. It was something that servants did for their masters. It took one person bowing before the other. This is what Jesus did for us. He became a servant and bowed himself down to serve us. How unworthy we are of this gift. We need to humble ourselves and allow the Holy Spirit to have its perfect work in us. Allow him to bring us to the cross and completely purge us. May he give us sight to see the things that he wants us to see. May we be filled with a Heavenly vision. One that reaps a reward for our Lord and Savior.

Be Blessed,

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Colossians 3

Colossians 3:1-25

vs.1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God.

The Question is conditional. First, are you risen and alive with Christ, if we are then we must seek Jesus, and the things of Heaven/Eternity.

vs.2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

The word affection means the mind and the thoughts. This action of thought involves your will, desires, and conscience. You must first be risen with Christ (a new creature) before your will, desires, and conscience can enter into the Heavenly things. Unless the heart has been regenerated through the new birth, you will not have the desire for the eternal.

vs. 3 For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

To be risen with Christ, you must first have been crucified with Him. If we have been through the cross with Him, then our lives are washed in His blood, and we are sealed with the Holy Spirit.

vs. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall you also appear with Him in glory.

If we have been crucified and resurrected with Christ, then He has purchased us. We have become His bride, and He is our husbandman and Lord that we must obey and follow. We long for the day we are united with Him.

vs. 5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

Mortify - to put to death, to make powerless, impotent

Romans 8:13 say's for if you live after the flesh, you shall die; but if you through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live.

This is done by the intervention of others. Just as the Jewish leaders intervened (Matt. 26:59) to put to Jesus to death, it is through the Holy Spirit that we put to death the deeds of the Body. There is no greater picture of putting to death the desires of the flesh than Jesus in the garden prior to His crucifixtion. He didn't physically want to die, but through prayer (communion with God), he submitted His will (desires) to God's will and received the power of the Spirit to overcome. Look at Matt. 26:36-46 (vs. 41), Mark 14:32-42 (vs. 38), Luke 22:3-46 (vs. 40,46). His disciples said they would die with Him, but when they needed to mortify their will, they slept instead. As a result, they all fled from Jesus, just like we have done during persecution.

Galations 5:24 say's and they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

If we are Christ's, then we must live and walk in the Spirit (vs. 25). We should produce the fruit spoken of in vs. 22-23.

Verse 5 of Colossians 3 sums up the works or desires of our members (flesh) in one word: IDOLARTRY! We might not build wooden statues to worship, but our idols are the god of self. We are selfish, self serving, and self gratifying. Self must be crucified if we are to be Christ's disciples. We must take up our cross and put self to death. Jesus commanded it. Look at these versus: 1. Matt 10:38-39 2. Matt. 16:24-26 3. Mark 8:34-37 4. Luke 9:23-27 5. Luke 14:26-27 Not only did Jesus command it, but He paved the way by setting the example for us.

Verse 6 For which things sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience 7) In which you also walked some time, when you lived in them.

God's wrath is poured out against the disobedient, those who obey their flesh/members and serve self. If we are Christ's, we shouldn't walk in these anymore.

Verse 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

(3709) Anger - (Orge) to desire eagerly or earnestly (violent passion) wrath, anger as a state of mind. (settled habit of the mind) Aristotle says orge is desire with grief.
(2372) Wrath - (Thumos) a violent motion, or passion of the mind - more passionate and more temporary character of anger & wrath (thumos) is an outburst of (orge) anger.
(2549) Malice - (Kakia) wickness, an evil habit of the mind, while poneria (4189) is the act
(988) Blasphemy- (Blasphemia) The very worst type of slander. Wounding ones reputation by evil reports, evil speaking.
(148) Filthy - vile conversation, filthy communication - to be foul mouthed, shameful words coming out of the mouth.

Here Paul tells us to put off (cast off, put away, lay aside) these evil works and deeds. Each of these deal with the heart of man. The heart must be made new through the power of the Holy Spirit. God promises us a new heart.

Verse 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his deeds;

Paul could be warning them to not tell lies here, but I think he is refering to the lies of a false witness for Christ. It seems to me, that in the context of verses 1-9 that he is saying: Don't say your life is hidden with Christ and that you are walking with Jesus if these evil works are present in your life. Don't try to make each other think you are something that you really aren't. Put to death the old man and his deeds and follow Jesus.

Verse 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him.

He is finishing vs. 9, saying don't say you are a new man in Christ unless you really are, and that you are being formed in His image as a disciple of Christ.

Verse 11 Where there is neith Greek nor Jew, circumcision or uncircumcision, barbarian, seythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

Denomination, nationality, creeds, nor religion matters. What matters is that we are creatures in Christ. That our hearts have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and that we are living obedient to Christ.

Rest of Chapter 3 to come later......

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Morning Devotion with Kids - Thursday, November 5

It's been awhile since our last post, but honestly this was the last thing on my mind. :) We would like to be more consistent in sharing our lives with others. Therefore, my goal is to post every day sharing with you the devotion our family has every morning to start the day.

Today's devotion was on Proverbs 5:1-8 which states:
My son, give attention to my wisdom, Incline your ear to my understanding; That you may observe discretion, And your lips may reserve knowledge. For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, And smoother than oil is her speech; But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death, Her steps lay hold of Sheol. She does not ponder the path of life; Her ways are unstable, she does not know it. Now then, my sons, listen to me, and do not depart from the words of my mouth. Keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house.

Scott asked the kids....what is this talking about? He then shared with them it is talking about the wisdom of God versus the wisdom of this world. The wisdom of God is the Cross of Christ. Where we deny ourselves, die on the cross and follow Him. In following that we have discretion, understanding and knowledge. We have eternal life through Christ Jesus. He asked them to give examples for wisdom of this world. One was popularity. The wisdom of this world would tell you that in order for people to like you you must be attractive. The wisdom of God tells you that what's inside is what makes you beautiful. A converted heart is the most beautiful thing compared to beauty on the outside. The wisdom of this world will lie to you. The Proverb stated her lips drip honey and her speech is smoother than oil. The wisdom of this world will entice you and draw you with smooth words and things that your flesh likes. But in the end...she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. In the end the wisdom of this world brings death. Scott used the illustration of a balance (scales). He put 70 years on one side and eternity on the other. Seventy years because that is the average life span of most people. Some may live longer, but seventy is average. He then would call out wisdom's of this world (it's all about you, your happiness, etc..)...which side do you think was affected? He talked about doing things and then later regretting it. Like overeating. Yeah it tastes great while we're eating, but afterwards you are miserable. Or you do something wrong and you know it's wrong and guilt sets in. You wish you wouldn't have done it.....yeah your flesh wanted to do it, but man I wish I wouldn't have done that. The judgment of sin even starts here. So to say you are going to have seventy years of just pure pleasure and you'll worry about eternity later is foolish. Will either walk in the wisdom of God here...and God give us wisdom not so we can't do a bunch of things, but to keep us from the heart ache. The regret and guilt...ultimately death. Guess what happens during drunkenness, not only do you wake up the next day feeling bad, but your hurt people. You say and do things that cause hurt in peoples heart which causes a separation in relationships. It can get you into other sin too. There are versus that warn us to not follow after the wisdom of this world. The wisdom of this world is all around you saying....get all you can get, be all you can be, enjoy life to the fullest. It is all a lie. We were created to worship God. We were created by Him to walk in communion with Him. We did not come from monkeys or an amoeba....we are created beings, created by a living God who breathed his very breath into us giving us life. If we don't walk and commune with Him there is something that is missing and that is why we go searching for the things of this world...trying to fill a void that he put in us . Only He can fill that void. Giving a place of contentment and peace. That is His wisdom. That is His Word. That is what He's called us to walk in.