Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What I learned in 2013

I had  a lot of thoughts about what I wanted today's blog to look like but as I was out walking my little friend Phoenix - God gave me a different story to tell. Sort of a year in review!


I have so much to be thankful for - a wonderful family - husband, children and grandchildren. This year we were blessed with a new addition to our family! God has truly blessed us, sometimes I have to pinch myself.


In 2013...
  • I started this blog not really knowing where to start but here I am. Then I discovered there are a lot of great blogs. You will find some of my favorites listed below.
  • I participated in my first online Bible Study with Proverbs 31 ministries and I'm signed up to participate in another - "Made to Crave". Just follow the link above to sign up & join me. I love the blog hops and the Twitter Parties!
  • I learned how to do "verse mapping" a neat little tool to help you dig deeper into the bible verses and also with your quiet time. Here's on of my verses
  • Then a few of my sister friends from church took on the 31 day blogging challenge! In the picture is my topic for the 31 days.

  • I learned a few new photography techniques
                          Creating Orbs

 
  • I took some pretty neat pictures!




 
  • And some you wish for a do over...but I have discovered these so, so pictures make great ORBS!

 
 
As we get ready to close out 2013 and welcome in 2014 - get ready to soar to new heights on eagles wings! I'm praying for God to do unbelievable and amazing things in this New Year. God is able to do abundantly more than we can ever think or imagine!  I'm believing God in 2014...How great is our God!
 
 
May you be blessed is all of God's amazing blessings and promises. His Word never fails.
 
 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Today I would like to wish everyone reading my blog a very Merry Christmas. As you send time with family and friends, as much as we like to get the gifts and the presents, not to mention the food. God gave us the best gift of all His Son - Jesus Christ (found in the Story of Christmas).

 

As you opening those gift and presents, why not make some create some new, fun Christmas traditions - memories that will last a lifetime. Invest time with the people you love.

Here's some clipart and pictures that have been posted on Facebook and sent to me in text messages. Enjoy!








 



God, thank you for reminding us of the perfect gift - Your Son. The love You've shown us through His Birth. All the glory, honor and praise. Amen




 
 
 
Jesus is the Reason for the Season and there is Christ in Christ-mas!!!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Story of Christmas

 
 
The Christmas story can be found in the New Testament books of Matthew  and Luke
 in the Bible.  Matthew 1:18-25; Matthew 2:1-12; Luke 1:26-38; Luke 2:1-20.  
Isaiah 7:14 - Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (KJV)

Matthew 1:23 - Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (KJV)

The Birth of Jesus:

While Mary was still engaged to Joseph, she miraculously became pregnant through the Holy Spirit, as foretold to her by the angel. When Mary told Joseph she was pregnant, he had every right to feel disgraced. He knew the child was not his own, and Mary's apparent unfaithfulness carried a grave social stigma. Joseph not only had the right to divorce Mary, under Jewish law she could be put to death by stoning.
Although Joseph's initial reaction was to break the engagement, the appropriate thing for a righteous man to do, he treated Mary with extreme kindness. He did not want to cause her further shame, so he decided to act quietly. But God sent an angel to Joseph in a dream to verify Mary's story and reassure him that his marriage to her was God's will. The angel explained that the child within Mary was conceived by the Holy Spirit, that his name would be Jesus and that he was the Messiah, God with us.
When Joseph woke from his dream, he willingly obeyed God and took Mary home to be his wife, in spite of the public humiliation he would face. Perhaps this noble quality is one of the reasons God chose him to be the Messiah's earthly father.
Joseph too must have wondered in awe as he remembered the words found in Isaiah 7:14, "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel." (NIV)
At that time, Caesar Augustus decreed that a census be taken, and every person in the entire Roman world had to go to his own town to register. Joseph, being of the line of  David, was required to go to Bethlehem to register with Mary. While in Bethlehem, Mary gave birth to Jesus. Probably due to the census, the inn was too crowded, and Mary gave birth in a crude stable. She wrapped the baby in cloths and placed him in a manger.


For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. Isaiah  9:6-7
 
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." Luke 2:14
 



Matthew 1:18-25; Matthew 2:1-12; Luke 1:26-38; Luke 2:1-20

·       Matthew & Luke affirm the virgin conception and attributes the conception to the Holy Spirit (Is. 7:14 – The Virgin Birth Prophecy)
o  The prophecy of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ fulfilled
·       Only through the virgin conception could Jesus be both God and man; thus making atonement for sin
·       A woman giving birth to a son is not a miracle; a virgin giving birth to a son is a miracle
·       Mary didn’t question the word of God, she only questioned the method God would use to bring about His word (Luke 1:34)
·       Jesus is the Greek name for Joshua meaning “Jehovah is Salvation.” Joshua was a common name among the Hebrews, for the parents hope their son would be the salvation of Israel
o  His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us
·       Matt 2:9-11 Jesus was a young child in a house not a baby in a stable by the time the wise men reach Him.
·       The gifts from the Magi (Matthew 2:11)
o  Gold symbolized His kingly role
o  Frankincense symbolized His priestly role
o  Myrrh symbolized His sacrificial death (myrrh was used for embalming)




Jesus is the Reason for the Season

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Leadership

12 Dimensions of Leadership


  1. Integrity: Leading through honesty and acceptance of personal responsibility
  2. Self-Renewal: Flexible, responsive leadership that makes good use of experience
  3. Fortitude: Acting with courage and confidence in the face of challenges
  4. Perceiving: Looking beyond current details to the big picture
  5. Judgment: Knowing what needs to be done and accurately anticipating consequences
  6. Performing: Getting results by overcoming barriers to effectiveness
  7. Boldness: An uncompromising approach that involves facing problems head-on
  8. Team Building: Accomplishing results through others by getting them to work together
  9. Collaboration: Sharing rewards and responsibility with others in the group
  10. Inspiring: Energizing, motivating, and encouraging others to pursue leader-defined goals
  11. Serving: Taking cues from followers and providing assistance that others can't get on their own
  12. Enthusiasm: pursuing objectives with passion and optimism, and attracting others to the cause


Develop leaders at all levels

Monday, December 9, 2013

Wait


Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you.  Isaiah 30:18



 

God often DELAYS IN ANSWERING PRAYER. We have several instances of this in sacred Scripture.
Jacob did not get the blessing from the angel until near the dawn of day—he had to wrestle all night for it.

The poor woman of Syrophenicia was answered not a word for a long while.
Paul besought the Lord thrice that “the thorn in the flesh” might be taken from him,

and he received no assurance that it should be taken away,
but instead thereof a promise that God’s grace should be sufficient for him.


If thou hast been knocking at the gate of mercy, and hast received no answer, shall I tell thee why the mighty Maker hath not opened the door and let thee in?

Our Father has reasons peculiar to himself for thus keeping us waiting. Sometimes it is to show his power and his sovereignty,

that men may know that Jehovah has a right to give or to withhold. More frequently the delay is for our profit.

Thou art perhaps kept waiting in order that thy desires may be more fervent. God knows that delay will quicken and increase desire,

and that if he keeps thee waiting thou wilt see thy necessity more clearly,
and wilt seek more earnestly; and that thou wilt prize the mercy all the more for its long tarrying.

 

There may also be something wrong in thee which has need to be removed, before the joy of the Lord is given. Perhaps thy views of the Gospel plan are confused,

or thou mayest be placing some little reliance on thyself, instead of trusting simply and entirely to the Lord Jesus.

Or, God makes thee tarry awhile that he may the more fully display the riches of his grace to thee at last. Thy prayers are all filed in heaven,

and if not immediately answered they are certainly not forgotten, but in a little while shall be fulfilled to thy delight and satisfaction.

Let not despair make thee silent, but continue instant in earnest supplication.

 

 

 

Spurgeon, C. H. (2006). Morning and evening: Daily readings (Complete and unabridged; New modern edition.). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers

Monday, December 2, 2013

Religion vs. Relationship


Religion vs Relationship with Jesus Christ

Religion can be very different than having a Relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Religions are manmade, and are based on trying to get to God through rules and regulations and works. Man made religions all are based on people's efforts at reaching God and being made right with Him through their own efforts. God's plan for man's salvation and for being right with Him is told throughout the Bible, in the Old Testament and the New Testament. God's plan is not based on people's efforts and good works, but is based on His amazing Love and amazing Grace for us; His plan involved His precious Son Jesus paying the price and cost for our sins on the cross. You need to put ALL of your trust and faith in Jesus and in what He did for us on the cross, and not in any religion or in your own efforts. Simply put all of your trust and faith in Jesus, and accept His gift of salvation and eternal life, and experience the joy of having a right RELATIONSHIP of love with God.

Religion (Self Effort, Works)

Goal: reach out to God, try to work your way into heaven

Means: diligent service & works, with hopes of a reward (heaven)

Power: good, honest effort through self-determination

Control: self-motivation and self control

Results: apathy, failure, chronic guilt, eternal separation from God



Salvation through Faith In Jesus Christ (Personal Relationship)

Goal: trust fully in Jesus, then live to please Him

Means: confess sins, repent, yield self to Jesus

Power: the Holy Spirit does God's work in and through us

Control: allow the Holy Spirit to control & direct our lives

Results: love, joy, peace, freedom, power eternal life in heaven,...

"Man's way to reach God is religion; God's way to reach man is Jesus."

"I (Jesus) am the way, the truth, and the life. No one may come to the Father except through me." - John 14:6

"For by grace are you saved, through faith; and this not of your own, it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast." - Ephesians 2:8-9

 

Nice vs. Kind

The nice person is focused on himself – he does nice things in order to be perceived (by others and by himself...