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I daily affirm:

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I am a child of the King, I am a joint heir and sibling of Jesus.  My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, whom I have received from God, through Jesus Christ.

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I was created by God, for His purpose.  I believe His will – will be done – in my life!  He will finish what He has started in me.

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I began this life small, dependent, weak, scared, lonely, sinful …

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BUT NOW:

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I am forgiven.

 I am filled with awe, adoration, devotion, praise, worship, glory, peace and joy.  I have faith, strength, perseverance, and patience.

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 I am loved.

I have hope.

I am confident.

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I, am pleasing to God!

We went to a family funeral lately.  The pastor said not to hold it against the guy for the choices he made, like listening to religious programming on the radio instead of going to church.  And, also to not hold it against us because we go!

That has really stuck in my mind, because we seem to be singled out if we do go regularily.  The mentality of “can’t we all just get along”  seems to include everyone except us.

If we are being singled out because of our Love for Jesus, thanks!  No better reason, in my mind.

“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”  2 Timothy 3:12  (NIV)

But even more so, to paraphrase the verses right before that – “You, however, know all about my … persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me, the persecutions I endured.  Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them.”

Yes, The Lord rescued me from all of them!

thanks to tagxedo.com

I’ve been really thinking about bridges lately.  And walls.  Building walls versus building bridges, mostly.

I can see a picture in my mind of a wall.  A solid brick wall, or maybe mud and weeds like the adobe ones we found abandoned in the deserts of Arizona.  Mud and weeds may be more appropriate with my train of thought lately.  Substitute the mud for gossip, and the weeds for lies.  The walls have been built!

The forgiveness given us by Jesus is one of the best gifts ever.  Using Him for a model, we know we must also forgive.  So, we must learn to build bridges of forgiveness, over the walls of lies and gossip.

I want a picture of this thought, a bridge over a wall, to share with others.

Until then, I will feed the hungry.  The muddy and those cleaned by the Blood of Jesus.

Everyone’s welcome, anytime.

Phillipians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength”. This has always been one of my favorite verses. No matter how weak I am, Christ’s strength is there with me, helping. I’ve thought of it often. Sometimes at odd times. Like once when we were carrying a fridge up the crooked steps to our house. I prayed for help carrying my end, and this was one of the few times I didn’t hurt myself helping with a fridge!

Another time this has helped me? I went to the dentist to get my teeth cleaned. If you know me, you know I have developed a great gag reflex. So the thought of teeth cleaning was … was not something I was looking forward to. I repeated the verse to myself constantly, yes, constantly while the cleaning was done. It worked! All things? Yes!

Most people have at least one thing they really don’t want to do, or don’t enjoy. For me, that one thing has always been speaking in front of people. Now, I am reading Bible verses during our Church services. I can and will read the word of God. Skits or testimony, I’m not so sure of yet.

What has my attention, is the fact that the one thing I didn’t want to do, is exactly what God has me doing. I have been blessed. If you have told yourself that you will be open to do whatever God wants you to do, remember that it may be something you are uncomfortable with. Take that “one thing” you don’t relish, and give that to God also. And, always remember, you can do ALL things, through Christ who gives you strength.

We have been praying about hearing more from God. But what is it that we really expect? Lately I was just dozing off, but not yet asleep, still in prayer. I heard an audible voice say “Marilyn, can you hear me?”. I looked around at Jerry who was reading a book. It wasn’t him. Wow. Kinda startled me. 🙂 I have been listening to God for years, but this was the first audible voice I heard. I was warmed by the knowledge that He knows my name. I am now ready for His voice again. I say “here I am”. I am listening.

Today I found a great verse for the day. Perfect for the end / beginning of a year! This is it:

“This is what the LORD says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”- Isaiah 43:16, 18-19

“forget the former things, do not dwell on the past”. Great line, isn’t it? Great state of mind!

Sometimes it is hard to forget, but God says He is doing a new thing! Let’s let Him do a new thing in us!

Happy New Year!

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit, who lives in us.

7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,[a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues.[b] 11All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

Joshua 1:7 (New International Version)
7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.

I know people have their own definition of the word “success”. What is success to you? Would love to hear it?

What is it that makes people clique? or maybe a better question would be, what makes people not clique?

I grew up (a long time ago), I grew up knowing we were all created equally, in God’s image. I knew it was wrong to roll my eyes when someone said something I didn’t want to hear, or said something stupid. I knew it was wrong to make fun of people behind their back. I knew that just because I couldn’t speak as eloquently as others, it didn’t make me worse than them. I know that I still feel uncomfortable talking to some people! I think it’s their problem, not mine.

Now I’m not shifting blame here, I hate it when people do that, but that’s another blog entirely. I think people choose, we all choose, among other things, how to treat others. Hey, you good with strangers? Give em a little food or money, tell them about your friend Jesus? Good. Really Good. But how are you with acquaintances?

I love to listen, really listen to people when I ask “how ya doin?” I only hope you know that about me.

I’ve gone through life telling myself it didn’t matter what other people think. I’ve known that Jesus loves me and that’s good enough. I’ve been taught that indeed, I should care what other people think, since I am a reflection of God. Repeat paragraph …

Welcome to my circle.

I have a backyard that I try to make sure all of God’s animals are safe. I tell the birds and the squirrels that their God is my God.

My children have called me snow white because the birds are not afraid of me. Just last week, a robin landed within a few feet of me, several times, when I was landscaping. It was looking for worms, I think. I do have pictures, but will have to add them another day.

When Jerry and Mark were working on the deck, they heard a noise. They saw a young robin at the window in the shed, trying to get out. Jerry went in slowly and told the bird he was just trying to help and stuck his finger out when he got to the window. The precious bird jumped on his finger and Jerry walked to the door, where the bird flew away. I wish I had a video of that one. 🙂

Recently we have repeatedly seen an animal that we are guessing is a groundhog, or woodchuck. I still need a better picture for verification, but I did get one of his back end, and tail. I think I’ll call him (or her, but we’ll assume he’s a he for now) Woody – woodchuck, and he likes woody areas. Anyway, I saw him again today. His mouth was full of grass, possibly still connected to dirt, we have been moving some around. This clump of grass was probably as big as my hand. Maybe I should tell you how big Woody is? Well, yeah, he’s the size of a big cat, actually a big FAT cat. Plus his tail.

I am a city girl, by birth, not by choice. Not growing up with these, I don’t feel too comfortable around them. Did I forget the part about him possibly building a nest under my new deck? Ahhhhhh

So, yeah, today I told him, (if he’s actually under my deck, cause I’m not looking), I told him his God is my God.

I am SO ready for Heaven on earth where all the animals will get along, with us.

UPDATE:
Turns out he has a tunnel opening under our deck, with the tunnel going under our shed, and then probably into the neighbors back yard, it’s pretty woodsy over there. Jerry said the tunnel’s pretty big. I didn’t look close.

groundhog, or woodchuck?

groundhog, or woodchuck?

Today I was thinking about Jesus. Ah, I could end there and it would be a great blog in itself. 🙂

So, some people who read the davinci code, actually think Jesus was married.

My point of proof up until today has always been, no. Because Jesus is my friend and He would have told me.

But today I got a different viewpoint. We, the church, are the bride of Christ. He is away, preparing a home for us, as the bridegrooms did for the brides in the past. We have to be ready, when He comes back for us. He has not married, yet!

I love hearing Jerry talking about how he first asked Jesus into his heart. For him, it was an instantaneous change.

For me, I grew up with Jesus, and knew Him as a friend.

Either way, we are to the point in our lives that we want to follow Christ. We want to be more like Him. We want to know Him more. No matter if we go left or right, He is with us. That is an awesome feeling. Knowing He is here, with us, always.

I am often reminded of an old song. I never promised you a rose garden, along with the sunshine. There’s gotta be a little rain sometimes.

Such is our life. We have had our share of storms in the past 20 years.

About 13 years ago, we had the chance to buy my Grandparents house. Sentimental old me, I really wanted it. Oh, the memories, fresh bread baking, the family tree on the wall, Grandpa playing cards in the kitchen, falling asleep in his chair, carrying babies feet forward so they could see … but I digress.

Grandmas house burned down the day we were going in to sign the paperwork. Jerry called me at work to tell me, and I said “I wonder what God has in store for us instead”.

Fast forward to today. We have a comfortable new house that was built just for us. Loft for books, a great view, 30 feet of counter space in the kitchen, and lots of equity because we built most of it ourselves. Not by choice.

We bought a house and after 2 years, started renting it out at the recommendation of a friend. We had good and bad renters and finally decided to sell it, contract for deed. The young couple we sold it to had no credit, but after a year of paying us well, Jerry convinced them to try for a loan so they could pay us off. We gave them a letter saying they paid well for that year, and they got the loan. Great? Or not so great. They got the loan and bought a DIFFERENT house with OUR letter of recommendation. Ow.

OK, so now it’s the middle of winter and we have an empty house (we’re still making payments on). We find another couple that have kitchen cabinets for the down payment – supposedly. We never saw the cabinets, and never got any money from them. Four or five months later we got them out and took our house back, with a cut in the main ceiling beam. I don’t think they were that stupid, but that’s another blog.

I thank God in all things!

We got to move back into our old neighborhood. We started praying for it years ago, and I believe God wanted us back.

So we had some bad things happening (this was just a basic few). But through it all we said “thanks God”. No matter what bad is in store for us, God can turn it into good.

Thank Him through all your storms. He is there with you. Faith? Definitely!

In the middle of our church service last Sunday, Pastor Steve asked if anyone had any pains.  (If you know me, you know I almost always do!)  Those of us that had pains raised our hands and we all prayed.  Confirmation was requested and I look forward to hearing how many more were healed.  More, I say, because I was.  Thanks God!

I commented later that every week I come into the church with some kind of ache or pain, and leave pain free.  This is a praise to God, I so enjoy walking into His Church. 

The thing is, I am always doing things that cause me those pains.  If something needs to be done, I can’t, or won’t, sit around and wait for someone else to do it.  And I surely can’t afford to pay anyone. 

More prayer was offered to make the healing last more permanently.  My thoughts were that with my activities, the pains are always different.  So, it’s not really a recurring pain, so much as recurring landscaping.

But, the more I thought about it, the more I thought that God could indeed heal me more permanently.  I have blogged before about finding an exercise that would help my hip to quit going in and out all the time.  (which it sometimes does just standing doing dishes).

So, I come to work on Monday morning and found an email that had a “21 day lose your back pain challenge”.  The thing is, it was sent out Saturday night, before the church service …  and it came from a fellow church member.  We had purchased something from him before for acid reflux for my pregnant daughter, and it worked.  So I’m thinking I’ll give this a try too.  Thing is, I have to pay about $100, but really, if it works, it’ll be worth it. 

With prayer surrounding all of this, I’m feeling pretty confident it will help.  I’ll keep you posted.

UPDATE:
Great news, I can now stand in my kitchen for more than 5 minutes without my hip going out. Thanks God! (and Joe)

Dave was electocuted while trimming a tree.  He’s alive, but at a burn unit.