Thursday, November 13, 2014

Keep Your Armor On~God Can Handle This

Ephesians 6:13(MSG)
Be prepared.  You're up against far more than you can handle on your own.  Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet.

Last night's prayer service at our church was beautiful.  There is certainly something to be said about the children of God gathering together in one accord.  Making the conscious decision to brave the cold weather and worship the King of Kings must earn a person some sort of extra jewel in their crown...right?  Not really...I'm just joshing you :).  

Keep Your Armor On~God Can Handle This
But seriously, it is such a privilege to be able to come before the Lord without fear and in the spiritual freedom of worship.  Our pastor, David Lindell reminded us of that. I'm never sorry that I've gone to the House of God. Generally, when I leave, I'm walking away with a stronger resolve to fight the good fight;  a deeper commitment to put Christ and the cross before me and the world behind turning back. (Okay...those aren't my words...that's from a song we sang during worship...but it's so true!  If you want to hear the whole song entitled: Christ Is Enough-Hillsong click here.)  

Before the concentrated prayer time last evening, we studied Ephesians 6:10-13.  These verses are a strong reminder that as we take up our shield and put on our armor to fight the enemy, we should leave it on. There isn't a time when we take it off and then put it back on.  It needs to be on all the time, because we never know when the darts of Satan might be trying to strike us.  What a great picture of the need to stay in His Word and live out the acknowledgement that He is ever near to us!  He is our rock....our fortress....our shelter.  I've already prayed for you as you're reading this....that God will make Himself undeniably real to you today! 

Almighty Father,
You are so good to have provided us with protection from Satan and his demonic parade. Help me to leave the armor in place, so that I am safeguarded and shielded from the fiery darts that are flung my way.  Thank you for supplying Your strength and covering for the battles we each face on a daily basis. 
In Christ's name,

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

My Dog Lucy

Psalm 119:85(MSG)
The arrogant godless try to throw me off track, ignorant as they are of God and His ways.

It doesn't take much to throw me off track these days.  I don't know if it's my age or what.  I mean let's be candid, I am pushing 50 years on this planet....that's 350 years for a dog!  Holy smokes!  That's half a century!! Perhaps another contributing factor could be the extraordinarily large amount of information that is available to me at the swipe of a screen. I suppose it could be a combination of both, but it's definitely a constant battle for me to stay on task and I don't think it's got anything to do with the "arrogant godless" this time.  

Here's the real deal. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that we are living in a world that is too busy.  Good grief, the things I can do now that weren't provided even a mere ten years ago is mind boggling!  I can check e-mails while I'm brushing my teeth.  It's not uncommon for me to look at the weather radar while I'm cooking dinner.  I frequently find myself reviewing all of the latest news events as I'm sitting in the car line waiting to pick my daughter up from school.  Oh yes, and there's Twitter, Facebook, Google+, blogs, etc....etc. Great. Or is it? 

I'm not sure what the answer is there, but I am sure of one thing.  When I do derail and inadvertently switch tracks, I usually end up falling behind on what I had intended to accomplish.  When that happens, my stress level goes way up. When my stress and anxiety go "God ways" and certainly my God awareness go down.  Uh-oh... 

Did you know looking into a loving dog's eyes will increase
 endorphin (neurotransmitters that decrease stress)
 release in your body?  This is case
you don't have one of these at home and need
a little stress reduction today.
This is a picture of my dog, Lucy.  She is a beautiful cockapoo who brings so much joy into our home.  I am a firm believer in the stress relieving capabilities of a friendly pet. No surprise there, as they are one of God's biggest blessings to us humans!  You may not agree with that, but this is my blog, so I get to freely voice my opinions :).  Anyway, as awesome as she is, if I multiply that times infinity, my answer will still not compare to the stress relief that I find at the foot of the cross as I look into the eyes of my Savior.  He is certainly the biggest stress reducer of them all.  I hope you'll agree with that one!

Thank you that I am created to be known by You.  I am so grateful that I don't have to hide from You.  You know when I sit and when I rise.  You discern my thoughts from afar.  You know, Oh God, a word before it is even on my tongue.  What freedom to know Your loving eyes are upon me.  What comfort to acknowledge that we don't have to live under the burden of stress or fear because of Your sacrifice.  (Psalm 139)
Oh...and thank You for these beautiful creatures that you have given us to enjoy.

In Christ's Name,