Pout

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Complain if you must, but don’t lash out. Keep your mouth shut, and let your heart do the talking. Build your case before God and wait for his verdict. Psalm 4:4 (The Message)

Just typing the word “pout” brings an image  to mind of my children that makes my eyes roll. I don’t know about you, but I have some good “pouters”! In fact, often times I need to include myself in that category.

Friends, don’t complain about each other. A far greater complaint could be lodged against you, you know. The Judge is standing just around the corner. James 5:9 (The Message)

Sometimes, when we see how God has answered the prayers of those around us, how He seems to be so present in all they do or when you hear about how someone has remarkably figured out a way to have a quiet time EVERY DAY with God it is easy to let our human tendencies take over and pout.

When we hear someone’s story or testimony about how God is working or has worked in their life and blessed them it can be easy to fall into the trap of jealously or resentment. We wonder why we can’t experience God this way and why He seems to be leaving us out when it comes to blessings.

We don’t want to just hear others talk about how God has blessed them – we want to experience it for ourselves. We desire to bask in His love, His greatness, His miracles, His glory, His unfailing love and the blessings He has promised us.

The closer you are to someone and the more you know about them, the more you notice them. Think about it. . . When you bought the car you are driving, did you think everyone else went out and bought the same one or did you think that you notice that type of car more now because you drive one? It is the same with God. The more you know Him, His character and His ways the more you see Him at work in your everyday life. He is involved in every intricate detail of your life and wants you to see Him and seek Him daily.

It can be difficult to resist, but don’t pout! If you aren’t spending the time with God that you feel like you should, ask forgiveness, forgive yourself and put a new plan into action. Pray that God will multiply your time and help you put Him in your schedule. If you are angry or resentful because you feel like others who don’t spend as much time with the Lord are more blessed than you, put in on the altar. God can take it! He can take your anger, your pain, your resentment and whatever else you are holding back. Put yourself out there, trust the Lord, get on your knees before Him and take a risk. Get it off your chest and into the Light and watch as God begins to work in your life.

You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family. Matthew 5:9 (The Message)

Long Story

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My son hopped in the car after preschool and pronounced, “We learned about respect today in chapel.”  “What did you learn about it?”, I asked.  “Well, it’s a long story”, he replied.

I could not have said it better myself. Teaching, guiding and directing our children about God is not something we will ever be able to cross off the list. It’s a long story that we should never stop telling them or others. We are called to do so and we can’t let this responsibility fall to the side or leave for someone else to do.

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, Deuteronomy 11:18-20

We are to live, share, teach and constantly think about the Words of the Lord and share them with our children. This takes time, thought, work, study and love. Love for the Lord and love for our children and others. It is easy to let this job/responsibility get lost in the busyness of life.

My Godchild called me this weekend to ask some questions about God. She wanted to know if God was magic. She couldn’t understand how He was able to live in her heart, her mom’s heart and lots of others people’s heart’s unless there were hundreds of God’s. A lot of important things happened for her to find out the answers. First, she asked these questions which shows her heart for God (and that she is listening in school). Second, her parents helped her find some answers. Third, I responded with scripture and her parents followed through with more discussion.

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. Deuteronomy 4:9

It’s a long story! Have you missed an opportunity to share the Lord with a child? I encourage you to look for an opportunity every day this week to share a thought or Word about God with a child. It may be your own children, grandchildren, the kids standing with their mom in the grocery store line behind you, neighbors, children in your Sunday School class. God will open the doors and give you the opportunity if you are willing to tell the story and plant the seed.

Did you see that?

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“Did you see me do that?”, my son asked his friend as he ran off the basketball court.  “Why don’t you watch me just in case I do something amazing!” My son didn’t want his friend to miss anything amazing he might do on the basketball court.

I wonder how many times God whispers, “Did you see that? I’m right here. Did you notice?”

Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.” Joshua 3:5

There are many reasons why we miss out all together on God’s amazing works. Not watching or paying close attention is the easy answer, but there are other ways that make us miss out. Anger and fear are two of the biggest culprits when it comes to blocking the view of our Lord and Savior’s amazing plans. Fear and anger reap destruction. They ruin friendships, destroy marriages, divide families and churches. Fear and anger can paralyze us and keep us from making the right choices.

I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4

Is there something going on in your life or a circumstance you are angry or afraid about? Is there a big change happening that you don’t understand and don’t like? Have you dug in your heals, resisted and complained without taking it to God in prayer and asking Him what His will is? Do you have the courage to follow God and ask Him to give you the courage it takes to step out of your comfort zone? When we step out of our comfort zone, God does His best work.

It comes down to some personal decisions. Some personal and tough questions! Do we want to be a part of His amazing plan? Are we willing to sacrifice, as He did for us, in order to further His kingdom. Are we willing to put ourselves aside and see what God has in mind? Are we willing to try something new for His kingdom’s sake? It isn’t always comfortable or easy and it isn’t always what comes naturally, but it’s an amazing feeling to be a part of God’s work. Is stepping out of your comfort zone and embracing change or offering forgiveness worth bringing others to Christ? Sometimes, that is what God calls us to do just for that reason.

Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. John 7:17

I pray that whatever anger or fear we are holding on to today dissolves with each tear that falls and every word we lift up to our Heavenly Father so that Satan does not have his way with us. When I was growing up, before every overnight trip my mom would always say, “Remember your morals, values and where you come from.” In other words, don’t get caught up in the moment and make a mistake that you will regret.  Remember: You are a child of God! Keep your eyes on the Light of the world. He is doing some amazing things. Will you join Him?

to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ Acts 26:18

Download Complete

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I was explaining to my daughter that we didn’t have a particular item she was requesting.  “Can’t you just get it from the Internet?”, she pleaded.  Oh, yes!  My daughter, at only six years old, already understands and appreciates the wonders of technology.  It is amazing.  We can upgrade to a new version of software, order food, books, toys, music or anything else your heart desires without even leaving your home.

However, there are still a few things we can’t get from the Internet.  We can’t stick our finger in the computer and download a relationship with God.  We can’t  order one either.  It takes effort, study and discipline to get to know Him.

“And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.” 1 Chronicles 28:9

We have to find the time to spend with our Lord and Savior.  Without His direction we will meander through life missing out on His plan, His opportunities and feeling the peace of His forgiveness.  As I was putting my daughter to bed last night, she said, “Mommy, I love you so much; I can’t even explain how much.”  It was a special moment.  As a mom, I crave to hear those words from my children.  Especially as they get older.

It is the same with our Father in Heaven.  He adores us!  Hard to imagine with the way we act and the things we do sometimes, but He does.  He desires time with us and wants us to seek and enjoy time alone with Him.  He wants us to get to know Him through His word, prayer and quiet time so that He can grow us in ways we never imagined.  The more we know Him the more we trust Him, seek Him and are blessed by Him.

“O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1