Thursday, January 31, 2013

Luke 8:16-25

v. 16 "No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed.  Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light."  When we get the Good News we tend to want to share.  That is part of our job to tell others about Him.  I never used to understand that before studying His word.  I always thought religion was personal and private.  I believe that is not the case the more and more I learn the Word.  We are supposed to be that bright shining light for others to see.  Seek opportunities to be that light in the world. 

v. 17 "For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open."  That verse always confused me, I could never really wrap my brain around it.  Thank God for so many bible versions!  The Easy to Read Version (yes there is such a thing) says this "Everything that is hidden will become clear.  Every secret thing will be made known, and everyone will see it." Ok, I like this version so much better!

v. 18 We are warned to consider carefully how we listen.  Any time there seems to be a warning or a woe, I tend to really pay attention.  I guess it was like putting words in bold, capitals & highlighting to really get people's attention. 

v. 19 Jesus' family had come to see Him and could not get to Him.  Someone told Jesus that His family was there.  Jesus said "My mother and brothers are those who hear God's word and put it into practice."  Isn't that wonderful to think we have such a large family out there!  Satan wants us to think we are all alone.  This is proof that we have a bond that is greater than blood.  There is a catch, those who hear AND put it into practice.  That first part is easy, the second is extremely hard to apply to all areas of your life.  I know, I'm battling every day and failing. 

v. 22-25 Jesus and the disciples got into a boat to cross the lake.  Jesus had fallen asleep and a terrible squall came upon the boat.  A squall is a sudden, violent gust of wind often with rain, snow or sleet.  The disciples woke Jesus up and said "We're going to drown."  Jesus got up to rebuked the wind and raging waters and the storm subsided, then all was calm.  Jesus asked "Where is your faith?"  At this point the disciples had see many miracles.  When we see something happen to another it can be great and amazing.  When we are going through something it is a completely different story.  The storms in life often come on quickly and violently.  We tend to be like the disciples when we do not have steady faith. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Luke 8:1-15

Jesus traveled with His disciples and many women who He had healed.  The women also helped support His ministry financially.  I love the fact that they traveled with Jesus.  In Jewish culture, women were not supposed to learn from rabbi's.  Jesus showed that all barriers had been wiped away and all are welcome at His table.  Unfortunately it has taken the world thousands of years to catch up and in many countries women are still treated as second class citizens today. 

The parable of the four soils is one of my favorites. 

v. 11-15 Jesus describes the means to the parable.  The seed is the word of God. 

  • Seeds that fell on the ground but were trampled on and the birds ate up.  Those are people who hear then the devil comes and takes away the Word from their hearts so that they will not believe. 
  • Some seeds fell on rocky places.  Those are people who receive the Word with joy but they have no roots.  They believe for awhile but in time of testing they fall away. 
  • Some seeds fell among thorns.  Those are people who hear but are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, they do not mature.
  • The last seeds fell on good soil.  Those are people with a noble and good heart, who hear the Word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.
I was mainly the seed that fell on rocky places.  When I received the Word I fell away quickly because I had no roots and stayed that way for a long time.  I am finally at the last and it has taken many years to get here.  The soil has to be good to grow healthy seeds.  Sometimes we surround ourselves with toxic people and find it hard to grow in that environment.  Some we can not avoid yet others we can choose to keep away from.  Look around you to see what types of seeds are in your life.  When the seed is planted it needs care right away.  It must have living water to quench it's thirst and it must get light from the Son in order to grow.  The longer it grows the deeper the roots and when the storms come and the roots are strong the plant will not be brought down.  It will remain stable against all odds.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Song - Jesus Friend of Sinners

I love the band Casting Crowns.  The words in their songs truly hit home.  One of my favorite lines in this song is "Lord I was the lost cause and I was the outcast."  If you don't listen to Christian music I hope you will give it a try.  I'm not a fan of old school gospel but I really love pop/rock Christian music.  I like to listen to or The Message on SiriusXM.

I'm putting in bold the lines that are the most powerful to me.

Jesus Friend of Sinners by Casting Crowns

Jesus Friend of sinners we have strayed so far away
We cut down people in your name but the sword was never ours to swing
Jesus friend of sinners the truth's become so hard to see
The world is on their way to You but they're tripping over me
Always looking around but never looking up I'm so double minded
A plank eyed saint with dirty hands and a heart divided

Oh Jesus friend of sinners
Open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus friend of sinners break our hearts for what breaks yours


Jesus friend of sinners the one who's writing in the sand
Make the righteous turn away and the stones fall from their hands
Help us to remember we are all the least of these
Let the memory of Your mercy bring your people to their knees

Nobody knows what we're for only against when we judge the wounded
What if we put down our signs crossed over the lines and loved like You did

Oh Jesus friend of sinners
Open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus friend of sinners break our hearts for what breaks yours

You love every lost cause; you reach for the outcast
For the leper and the lame; they're the reason that You came
Lord I was the lost cause and I was the outcast
But you died for sinners just like me a grateful leper at Your feet

'Cause You are good, You are good And Your love endures forever
You are good, You are good and Your love endures forever
You are good, You are good and Your love endures forever
You are good, You are good and Your love endures forever

Oh Jesus friend of sinners
Open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus friend of sinners break our hearts for what breaks Yours

And I was the lost cause and I was the outcast
You died for sinners just like me, a grateful leper at Your feet

To hear a sample go to:

Thank you

Thank you to all that take the time to read my blog.  I'm quite amazed to have people in other countries reading what I have to say. You have no idea who I am yet you check out my blog anyway. Let alone people on Facebook from back home in Ohio, my Army days or here in Tennessee.  You are all in my prayers and I hope that I can express my love for God and what He has done for me.  I am not out to change.  When you know who God is it's natural to want to tell others about Him.  So my goal is to share and I hope that you will get to know Him or know Him better.  I am highly unqualified to be writing about God.  I do not have a degree from a Christian college although when you have a great love for something then maybe you are qualified after all. 

I grew up in a broken home.  Maybe many of you can relate to me.  My dad I don't think believed in God for a long time and my mom was an example of someone with great faith even though her situation was not ideal.  Since I did not go to church much I had no idea really about who God was, I assumed I was a Christian but I now know that I was lukewarm at best.  I had no armor to defend against the devil, so when he came calling I fell right in line.  The armor is knowing and applying God's word to your life.

I used to envy those that grew up in church and never seemed to have anything bad happen in their life.  Now I do not think that way.  Maybe if I grew up in church and had not much go wrong in my life then I would be extremely judgmental to others.  I have met many of those Christians.  Obviously there are many people not like that, the weeds will always try to crowd out the flowers.  What the devil means for harm God can use for good.  So if you have had something bad happen in your life you might just be the person who can help another that was in your shoes.  I am more comfortable with those that have shared time in the pit. 

No, this is not my testimony.  For that will come later.  My testimony has some spiritual realm things that might lead you to think I'm not quite stable.  So I will share those when I feel like God wants me to.  Some of my Tennessee girls know some of the stories and they don't think I'm too crazy, hopefully. 

I just wanted to say thanks.  I pray that you will read the bible and study with me no matter where you are in the world or in your belief.  If you like my blog I hope that you will share the link with others because I'm aiming big.  There are many who need His love right now.

Quotes - Spurgeon's Sermon Notes

I really love Spurgeon's Sermon Notes.

 "He will so freely forgive: this may well cause you to bow in the dust before Him."

"A company of those who "love him most" dwelling in any place, would give a tone to the society around them."

"Those who were once far gone in sin ought always to be found in the thick of the battle against sin."

"I have heard say that the depth of a Scotch loch corresponds with the height of the surrounding mountains.  So deep thy sense of obligation for pardoned sin, so high they love to him who has forgiven thee."  C.H.S.

Luke 7:18-50

v. 19 John the Baptist sent men to ask Jesus "Are you the one who was to come or should we expect someone else?"  I think it is natural to doubt, even John doubted.  I think that's ok with God because He gave us the ability to process and reason.  He wants us to think intently and investigate. 

v. 22 Jesus told John's disciples that the blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised and the good news is preached to the poor.  Jesus helped people in their greatest need. 

v. 28 There is no one greater than John yet the one who is least in the Kingdom is greater than he.  John was the last of the old prophets, the ones who would not see Jesus come back from the dead and go on to be with God.  There was a clear divide before Jesus and after He rose from the dead. 

v. 33-34 The Pharisees hated John the Baptist because he fasted and didn't drink wine and they hated Jesus who eat and drank wine.  They didn't like that what they were doing was being exposed so they went to their many man made laws to justify their hatred.  People can justify anything to suit their purpose.  There are those that will not like anything that you do, they constantly are on your case.  Isn't that a relief that you are not here to make them happy! 

v. 36 One of the Pharisees invited Jesus to his home for a meal.  He did not offer Jesus any of the customary things like water for his feet, a kiss of greeting and oil for His head.  He was showing great disrespect to Jesus.  Beware of those that try to lure you in and trip you up. 

v. 37-38 This woman was uninvited to the meal but came anyway.  She wept at Jesus' feet and wiped His feet with her hair.  She poured perfume on his feet.  Perfume then was different than today, while we have many bottles of it and can buy it easily back then it could be as much as a year's salary.  So her pouring this perfume on Jesus' feet was her giving up something great for the greatest thing of all. 

v. 41-42 Jesus told a story about two men who owed a debt, one for a great amount and the other for a lesser amount.  The man forgave the debt for both men.  Jesus asked "Now which one will love him more?"  You see those of us that have been in a pit of darkness that was void of light and were brought out and cleaned up and loved are I believe more thankful than someone that never really was in the pit in the first place.  The bigger the debt forgiven the more thankful you are. 

v. 47 Jesus forgave her sins because of her great faith and love.  Works of the flesh will get you nowhere but having faith like a child and love for Him will get you closer to Him.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Quote - Amy Jones

"When you no longer care about the insignificant you can focus all your energy on the essential."

Luke 7:1-17

Here in the book of Luke, Jesus heals non Jews.  The gospel travels across ethnic, racial, national and religious barriers.  Jesus did not care for artificial divisions, we should follow His lead. 

v. 2 A centurion was a Roman officer in charge of 100 men.  They were men who have been battle tested and trustworthy for the empire. 

v. 3 This Roman officer asked Jesus to heal his servant.  He had faith in what he had heard about Jesus.

v. 6 The Roman officer stated that he wasn't worthy to have Jesus enter his home.  This soldier was not raised a Christian.  The Romans had many gods they worshipped.  How could he have Jesus in his house? 

v. 7 The roman soldier said "Say the word and my servant will be healed."  What amazing faith this man had.  He believed with his whole heart that Jesus could heal just be saying the words. 

v. 8 The soldier was a man of great authority and so he must have recognized Jesus' authority as God.  Not a popular belief for a Roman soldier.  His believe and hope rose above any desire he had to rely on his religion. 

v. 9 Jesus was amazed at the soldiers belief and said "I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel."  I wish there was more about this man in the bible.  Being a man of authority he could have lost his position for asking a Jew for help.  

v. 10 The servant was healed because of the soldier's belief.  There is a beautiful silver thread throughout the bible of God using people that the world would not for His great purpose. 

v. 12-13 Jesus saw a funeral procession and His heart went out to the mother.  She already was a widow and now had lost her only son.  She was someone that was truly alone in the world.  Unless family came to her rescue she might have had to beg for food, her life would have been bleak.  Jesus has compassion that we know nothing about.  We think we do yet we will not truly understand until we are with Him in heaven, only then we might have just a small understanding. 

v. 14-15 Jesus told the young man to get up and the son lived again.  We all are the son, dead to sin.  Jesus came to call us to life.  Jesus has compassion on us and will help if we let Him. 

v. 16 The people said that a great prophet had come to help them.  They were thinking physical healing and overthrowing the Romans.  Do you expect Jesus to follow your agenda? 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Quote - Jim Elliot

"God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him."

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Will you stay in this room for all of your days?

You have come to a room and walk through the door.  It looks like an ordinary room except there are unusual pictures on the wall.  There is a CD playing over and over some negative words that cut like a knife.  Some one asks "Will you stay in this room for all of your days?"  You think, no why would I?  Yet the room is your life, the pictures are your most darkest moments and the CD is playing the words that go through your mind daily.  Many are comfortable in the sadness and will not step out the door, even though the door is always open.  This is the worst kind of prison. 

Break the repetitive chain of negative thoughts and words that someone has told you at some point in your life.  Then it will be easier to let go and move away from here.  Most are from childhood, many are from right now.  Whether it was a parent, sibling, friend, co-worker, etc.  It doesn't matter who, if you look at the fact that we have a real enemy that wishes to destroy maybe you can see past the person.  The closer they are to you, the harder it will be. 

Few will never be in this room, some for only a short time, and others will find a way to settle in with all their stuff since they are going to be here for a lifetime.

What ever path has led you here, choose a different one today.

Do not let someone pen your history, for they will if you let them.

Quote - Amy Jones

"Do not let the bonds of bitterness hold you, for if they broke you would surely win."
~ Amy Jones

Luke 6:43-49

v. 43 "No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit."  Now some can pretend to bear good fruit while being a bad tree although I do not believe they can keep it up for long.  There are many excellent actors in the world that will never win an award.  They deceive many for a very long time yet at some point they trip themselves up.

v. 45 "For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks."  What are you saying during the day?  I know that I say things that I should not say.  I am trying to work on this.  It is very hard when someone pushes your buttons.  It's usually someone that knows you well, family especially.  The mouth is such a small part of our body that can cause the biggest problems.  Like my husband and I say, I'm a WIP (work in progress).  Our speech and actions reveal our true motives. 

v. 46-49 If you are the person who hears the Word and does not put it into practice then you are like the person who builds their house on a foundation of sand.  When the storms of life come then the house will crumble.  Why would you build in the sand?  
  • To save time
  • Avoid hard work
  • Stay with friends who are also in the sand
  • The location seemed too good to be true
  • They think disaster can't happen to them. 
When life is calm, our foundations do not seem to matter as much.  When crisis comes, our foundations are then tested and hopefully found to be strong.

I heard from someone that their friend said "My life if going good, I don't need God."  I thought, how sad.  I tried life without God and I didn't know what I was missing.  You don't wait until you are knee deep in misery to call on Him.  He is always here waiting for us to turn to Him, if only we would.  Just waiting for you.

Build your house on a solid foundation and when the storms come you will be prepared. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Luke 6:27-42

v. 27-30 "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you."  This is one of the hardest things we are asked to do.  The Jews were being told to love the Romans who oppressed them.  This goes against human logic so there is no need to try and figure it out.   I bet many turned away from Jesus when they were asked to do this one thing.  Jesus wasn't saying have affection for your enemies, He was saying be obedient.  Do not let some one's actions rule your response. 

v. 31 "Do to others as you would have them do to you."  Such a well known rule that everyone knows.  Do you feel like God is not there or that He won't help you?  Search your heart and forgive ALL offense, then He can do extraordinary things through you. 

v. 37 "Do not judge, and you will not be judged."  Whatever measure you judge is what you will be judged by.  I have been around some who do nothing but judge others.  Some are mean and others I don't think are trying to be mean but damage it still being done.  I do not like to be around those people because I feel like I'm starting to get surrounded by thorns and I need to get away.  Yes, I have been guilty of this yet I am learning every day and strive to do better than the day before.  I like to be around people who lift me up and make me want to do better. 

v. 40 Make sure you are following the right teachers.  There are many out there who project a religious appearance but who are actually a wolf in sheep's clothing.

v. 41-42 This is such a good example of how out of balanced it is finding fault in others.  I am very visual and thinking that I have a plank in my eye compared to the speck of sawdust in someone else's eye leaves quite the picture.  We also tend to point out people's sin that is the same are ours.  Do not spend all your time criticizing others.  We should be working on our own sins.  Remembering your own "planks" might give you some much needed silence.  The world loves to point out when a Christian is a hypocrite.  A person who tries their best and fails is not a hypocrite.  The dictionary says a hypocrite is a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or beliefs that they do not actually have.  Some synonyms are: deceiver, pretender and Pharisee. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Quote - John Newton

"When I get to heaven, I shall see three wonders there: the first wonder will be to see many people there whom I did not expect to see; the second wonder will be to miss many people whom I did expect to see; and the third and greatest wonder of all will be to find myself there."

Luke 6:17-26

v. 20-22 "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.  Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied.  Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.  Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man."  v. 24-26 "But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.  Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry.  Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep.  Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets."  These verses are part of the Beatitudes (also see Matt. 5).  They describe what it means to follow Jesus.  They show what to expect from the world and from God.  They are also warnings, if you seek wealth at all cost then that might be all you get. 

Many false prophets were praised for predicting prosperity and victory.  We are more than happy to thank people for telling us what we want to hear.  Popularity is no guarantee of the truth.  If you seek someone's approval, you will be let down at some point.  You must be willing to give when others take, to love when others hate, to help when others abuse and to stand when all others around you fall.  

Where do you place your heart?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Quote - Journeys

"The best journeys answer questions that in the beginning you didn't even think to ask"


Friday, January 11, 2013

Luke 6:1-16

v. 1-2 The disciples began to pick some grain to eat as they were traveling through the grain fields and the Pharisees asked "Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?"  Do you ever feel like there are Pharisees watching you and criticizing you for everything you do?  Did they have nothing better to do that to follow Jesus to try to "catch" Him?  You might be doing well and there will always be someone who wants to disrupt your plans.  God's law said farmers should leave the edges of their fields unplowed so travelers and the poor could eat from the bounty (Deu. 23:25).  Harvesting and picking some grain to eat are very different.  The Pharisees had thousands of rules and they were determined to trip up Jesus with as many as they could. 

v. 3-5 Jesus pointed out to the Pharisees that they were only doing what David had done.  So calling Jesus wrong would be calling David wrong as well. 

v. 6-7 Jesus healed a man's hand on the Sabbath.  Apparently you could not do a single thing on the Sabbath per the religious leaders.  Which included healing someone, that was considered practicing medicine.  The Pharisees were more concerned about protecting their laws than freeing a person from painful suffering.  They were focused on what should not be done.  Many churches today focus on what they are against instead of what they are for. 
Are we more concerned with what people are doing than advancing God's kingdom? 
Is our way of being a Christian the only way? 
What about our churches?   
Beware of thinking that your church has all the answers.  No religious system is big enough to contain Christ completely or to fulfill perfectly His desires for the world. 

v. 13-16 Jesus picked the twelve disciples (He had many more disciples, these were His main ones).    Jesus did not pick the upstanding people of the day.  He picked ordinary people, many would have been at the bottom of the list for the religious leaders.  Here are some of the reasons why some would have never been picked by the elite.  I see me in this group, how about you?

Simon Peter - Denied Jesus three times at the end of His life
James (son of Zebedee) - short tempered and judgmental
John - judgmental
Philip - questioning attitude
Bartholomew - initially rejected Jesus because He was from Nazareth
Matthew - he was a despised tax collector
Thomas - doubted that Jesus had risen for the dead
Judas - betrayed Jesus for money, greedy
Paul (Saul of Tarsus) - used to persecute Christians before becoming one (not one of the 12 disciples)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Poem - The Door

The Door

Your journey was long, I have no doubt. 
The road to this door is narrow and steep. 
You see most are in the shallows, they won't go deep.
People pass by this door everyday. 
Although we don't have many visitors come our way.
Thank you for coming to answer the call. 
Many are called but few will be chosen.
  Beware, things are not what they seem. 
If you want to be here, you will have to leave some things outside the door.
We don't allow pride, deceit, hatred or judgment so they will have to wait forever more. 
What works in the world, doesn't here. 
Some of the biggest voices you hear in the world can not come in. 
They are pacing outside the door unable to leave it behind. 
Oh, the things they can't comprehend in their mind.
We have all that you need. 
Peace, rest and food for your soul.
So please come in and put your luggage down. 
You won't be needing those in this town.
Welcome through the door.
Amy Jones

Luke 5:27-36

v. 27 Jesus told a tax collector to "Follow me."  Levi got up and left everything.  Unlike the fishermen who probably didn't make much money, Levi was wealthy enough to give a banquet for Jesus and many of his friends.  What would your answer be if He came to you and asked that you follow Him?  What power in those two small words!  It was not a question or a demand, it was simply a statement. 

v. 30 The Pharisees asked the disciples "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?"  When you find yourself very proud, you tend to look down on everyone else.  The Pharisees made themselves appear good in public doing good deeds and pointing out the sins of others.  They wrapped there sin in respectability.  How offended they must have been that Jesus didn't want to spend time with them and instead spent His time with what they would consider the losers?  The
religious leaders hearts would not turn towards Him.  Jesus seeks out those who's hearts are true.

v. 31 Jesus answered "It is not the healthy who need to doctor, but the sick.  I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."

v. 36-39 Wineskins were goat skin sewed together.  When you put the wine in the skin it would expand so you didn't put new wine in an old wineskin because it would explode.  Like the old wineskin the Pharisees were too rigid and would not accept Jesus.  We need to keep our hearts pliable so we can accept Jesus' life changing message.

There are many Pharisees among us, take care not to be one of them.

Luke 5:12-26

v. 18-19 "Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus.  When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowds, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus."  Here in the US many take Him for granted, there are others in the world that will go to any lengths to know Him.  Those men saw a roadblock and decided to go around it.  They took apart the roof, determined to get this man to Jesus. 

v. 20 When Jesus saw their faith he said "Friend, your sins are forgiven."  Not based on the man himself, but on his friends.  Our faith affects others for better or worse.  We can not make someone a Christian.  Although we can show our faith by our actions, words, and love.  People do not need the crazy people on the street corner preaching that all non believers are going to hell.  People need relationships filled with love, compassion, trust and laughter.

v. 21 The Pharisees were so concerned with the law that they couldn't be joyful for the healing that was going on all around them.  The people were flocking to Jesus and not to them.  They said what Jesus was doing was blasphemy which in Jewish law was punishable by death. (Lev. 24:16)  

v. 22 Jesus knew what they were thinking.  You can hide nothing from God, people fool themselves by hiding things from loved ones all the time.  There is no deep dark corner which God's light can't invade. 

v. 24 Jesus first forgave the man's sins then healed him.  The Greek word aphiemi, translated "forgiven", means to leave or let go, to give up a debt, to send away from oneself.  Forgiveness means that a relationship has been renewed despite a wrong that has been done.  Forgiving does not condone the wrong actions, but it releases the debt from you.

Forgiveness is vital to a relationship with God.  If we can not forgive another how do we expect God to forgive us?  Before you pray ask for forgiveness and forgive those who hurt you.  Not forgiving others is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.  It will eat away at your soul, dig down deep to the roots to try and destroy you.  When you forgive it feels like a weight off your shoulders and it sets you free.  If you forgive then you leave it for God to take care of.  I think He is more than capable of taking care of things for us.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Luke 5:1-11

v. 3 Jesus got into a boat because the people were crowding Him.  Sometimes we need to take a step back to be able to see the entire picture. 
v. 4 Jesus told Simon "Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch."  Do not be afraid to venture out into the depths.  In the shallows we will stay hungry and stagnant but going into the deep will allow for our soul to be filled to overflowing. 
v.5 Simon responded "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything.  But because you say so, I will let down the nets."  The fishermen had been out fishing all night and caught nothing, they were probably exhausted and hungry.  Yet after stating the facts Simon decided to go past that straight into faith. 
v. 6-7 Since they listened to Jesus they received such a massive amount of fish that they had to have others come help out.  The fish weighted the boats down so much that they started to sink.  Jesus showed that He cared for their everyday needs not just eternal ones. 
v. 8 Simon was amazed at what happened and told Jesus to go away because he was a sinful man.  We are never worthy to be working for Him, but that is where God's grace comes in.  Giving us what we do not deserve. 
v. 11 The men left all they knew to follow Jesus.  God requires two things from us: That we recognize our own sinfulness (responsibility) and that we can't save ourselves (to avoid pride).  One will not due, it must be both.  When we know that we need help and that Jesus is the only one who can help us then we will be ready to leave everything to follow Him.

The fishermen took action, they did not tell Jesus to come and talk with them some other time.  So many times God will ask us to do something and we will procrastinate for a time when we want to do it.  When He calls you and you take too much time to think about it, the enemy will move in to try to distract you with the cares of the world.  Then He will only be a distant memory that you once remember on occasion. 

Do not wait, do not put it off.  Although it is never too late, just imagine what He can do through you now if you let Him.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Quote - Happiness

"Happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they already have


Thanks Christy Jordan at, love the quotes you post!

Quote - Billy Graham

Billy Graham says, "Whenever anyone asks me how I can be so certain about who and what God really is, I'm reminded of the story of the little boy flying a kite.  The wind was brisk and large billowing clouds were blowing across the sky.  The kite went up and up until it was entirely hidden by the clouds. "What are you doing?" the man asked the little boy. "I'm flying my kite," he replied.

"Flying your kite?" the man said.  "How can you be so sure, you can't see the kite."  "No" said the little boy, "I can't see it, but every little while I feel a tug, so I know for sure that it's there!"

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Luke 4:31-44 & my hope for shorter posts

I am trying to write shorter posts.  When doing bible study I just keep writing and before I know it I've got two full pages.  I know we are all short on time so I will try to do my best for those that take the time to read my blog.  Thank you for supporting me and my ramblings!

v. 31 Jesus was in the synagogue teaching. v. 33 A man who was possessed by a demon was there insulting Jesus.  Do not think that you are sheltered completely from evil in church.  I have heard terrible stories of those who walked away from the belief just because of some people at church. 

v. 35 Jesus spoke and the demon departed.  Jesus has authority much greater than the demons and they can not stay long where He resides.  We do not see demon possession in this form as much today as back then.  I think the demons have learned to be more stealth in their actions.  Back then they shouted out at Jesus, today they are quite sly.  Many don't seem to know that they are being pulled by strings.  Evil permeates our world, although we need not fear. 

v. 40 Jesus laid hands on all that were sick and healed them.  Jesus could have said a word and all would have been healed right away.  So why did He touch each person there?  I believe He wanted to show that we are to have a personal relationship with Him.  He knew that human touch is important to us.  The most important relationship we will ever have is a one on one with the King. 

v. 41 Why didn't Jesus want the demons telling the people about Him? 
1 Jesus made them silent to show authority over them.
2 He wanted people to believe His words not listen to demons.
3 Jesus would reveal His identity on God's schedule and no other.

v. 42 Jesus went off for alone time with God.  Do not get so busy that you can't find a block of time to spend with Him.  We set out schedules and can make time for prayer and bible study.  I write it on my calendar so that it gets done.  Do we want to get to heaven and have God ask "Why did you not spend even a few minutes with me daily?"  I bet we all have 5 minutes a day for Him. 

I challenge you to find that time to spend with Him each day.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Luke 4:14-30

v. 18-19 Jesus reads from a scroll of the prophet Isaiah (at this point He is very well liked).  v. 21 Jesus told everyone in the synagogue "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."  That must have been astounding to the people listening.  The people had been waiting for Him and when He finally came they didn't see Him!  v. 24 "No prophet is accepted in his hometown."  When you become a Christian those around you will resist the most.  The non believers will want the old you back and some of the believers might think that God couldn't possibly want you.  The people closest to you know your background and your failures.  So instead of many being amazed by your change they hate it.  You might have to go through some terrible days but you may be the only one to plant a seed in someones life.  You never know what impact you might have on someone if you can stick out the hard times. 

v. 25-27 Jesus reminded the people of Elijah during the drought God had him go to a widow in Zarephath.  There were many widows in Israel but God did not want him there.  Also there were many people with leprosy who did not get healed.  Only Naaman the Syrian was healed.  You could drive yourself crazy trying to figure out why some get healed and others don't.  Jesus angered the people because He was saying that God sometimes chose to reach Gentiles rather than Jews. 

v. 28 The people were furious, they tried to throw Jesus off a cliff.  We don't like getting confronted when our holiness is under question.  We should see it as a learning experience that God might want us to grow in our faith.

You may be the only bible that some people read.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Luke 4:1-13

v. 1-2 After Jesus was baptized the Spirit took Him into the desert, where he was tempted for 40 days.  I know by experience of myself and many others that after proclaiming allegiance to Jesus you will be tempted.  The enemy wants nothing more than to get you as far away from God as possible.  Nothing is off limits for the enemy to use again us, he roams around looking for people to devour.  Since the seed that was planted is still new it can be easily pulled out of the ground and left to die.  The enemy knows if he can get you away while young in spirit then you may never return.  Jesus showed us how to deal with enemies in this section.  There are many who think that when you come to God you will not be attacked by the enemy.  Surely if Jesus was tempted and we are way less than Him, we will not be spared from temptation.  (Luke 21:16 "You WILL be betrayed by even parents, brothers, relatives and friends.")  Some are surprised when people close to them betray them after they commit to God.  The enemy knows that using someone close to your heart can greatly damage it beyond repair. Christians do more damage to the Kingdom than anyone else.  I have heard so many stories from people that were hurt by people in church or by "Christian" family members.  God's word is our weapon against evil.  Satan knows God's word well and will twist it to serve his needs.  If you do not continually study the bible then you are a sitting duck.  In order to use God's word we have to have faith in God's promises.  To sharpen your sword you have to be in the word daily.  If you are dealing with doubt (in any area), please realize that you are especially vulnerable to temptation. 

v. 3-12 The first thing the devil said was "If you are the son of God" the devil knew exactly who Jesus was.  The demons all know who He is and it is sad that many of us don't.

The three temptations for Jesus:
  •  Physical need - Jesus had not eaten in 40 days while in the desert so Satan tempted Jesus with turning a rock into bread.  Jesus responded "Man does not live on bread alone."  Jesus could have easily turned the rock into bread.  "The sin was not in the act but in the reason behind it." NIV notes.  The enemy will persuade us to take action for a wrong reason or at a wrong time. 
  • Power - The devil offered Jesus power over the world if only He would bow down to the him.  Jesus knew who had power over the world and said "Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only."  How many would trade God in for power or money, I think too many to count.
  • Tempting God/pride - The devil wanted Jesus to fall and have the angels catch Him.  He  quoted scripture to justify his request.  Many over the years have used scripture twisted in an unnatural form to justify their decisions they make and have caused great heartache in the world.  Jesus responded "Do not put the Lord your God to the test."   That has to do with Deut. 6:16 which says "Do not test God as you did in Massah."  I believe in Massah the people wanted water and were testing God by saying "Is the Lord among us or not?" That struck me as very powerful.  If we believe in the bible then how can we ask is God here?  How offensive that must be to Him.  He is and is everywhere, and that is that! 
v. 13 The devil might leave you alone until an opportune time but I guarantee that he will come again and either at your strongest or weakest moments.  Be on guard always.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Quote - Gandhi

"Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words.
Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior.
Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits.
Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values.
Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny."