As promised!

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No matter how tight the budget, there are just certain things a woman with naturally curly hair can’t go without. One of those things is a good conditioner. Because of that, I have used a particular Aveda product for years. Recently, I went to restock and the sales woman asked me, “Do you use this a lot? What is it you like about it?” It took me a minute to collect my thoughts. I had never really thought about it. It works well with my hair so I just keep using it. As I began to explain all of that, I stopped mid sentence and said, “I like it because it does what it says it will do!”

For this is what the LORD says— he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited—he says: “I am the LORD, and there is no other. Isaiah 45:18

Has someone ever asked you about your faith, how it’s so strong, why you believe in something you can’t see or touch? Did it take you a minute to collect your thoughts and put into words what your faith is. How it exists and what it’s made of? Just for a moment, take a minute to reflect on these questions and your answer. As we begin 2012 I pray we will all be ready to share our faith and be a light in this world.

Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, LORD. Psalm 89:15

God does what He says He will do. His promises have been kept for centuries. His faithfulness never broken. Believe this with your whole heart as we end another Christmas season and start a new year.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8

 

Hydrated?

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As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng. Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:1-5

“You need to drink more water” everyone tells me. I really do. I just get busy and forget. Plus, who has time to run to the restroom ten times a day? Although, we know our bodies can’t survive without it and it’s good for our health to stay hydrated.

“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. Jeremiah 2:13

Our souls have the same condition. They thirst to be satisfied by Our creator. The One who placed this strong thirst for Him in our souls. So, why do we always settle for less? Why do we settle for the temporary when we can tap into the our God’s never-ending reservoir? We are all guilty of it. We look to the things of this world to bring us happiness. The new purse, computer upgrade, a bigger flat screen, larger house, newer car. They do bring temporary happiness and it isn’t wrong to have these things unless we are seeking them to satisfy our happiness. A satisfied and long-lasting happiness can only comes from one place.

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6:35

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14

God is our refreshing water. The ultimate “satisfier”. No one, and certainly no thing, can quench our thirst for happiness and satisfaction, but Him.  . . . . . . . Are you hydrated?

An (in)spired deal

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The Christmas season is full of surprises, packages and excitement. When I arrived home from a family dinner, this package from Day Spring was on the porch. I was so excited, I threw everything down and opened it right away.  As the author of a few devotionals – it’s obvious I LOVE a devotional. Especially a Christmas one. This table top devotional not only focuses on God’s promises fulfilled, it also includes a daily reflection question to (in)courage (pardon the pun) to share God’s promises with those around you this Christmas season.

In the first few hours after receiving it, I moved it four different places. Trying to determine where I would see it, use it and share it more. First by the kitchen sink. No, it might get wet. This is something I can get out every December 1st. Second, the bedroom. No, it’s to beautiful not to share. It’s like a Christmas decoration it’s so beautiful. Third, the counter top. No way! The kids will surely spill milk or splatter apple sauce on it. I want it to last at least one December. Then, finally . . . the table by our front door. Where the sun shines in on it like a spotlight from above highlighting the scriptures that remind me of all God has promised and secured when He sent His son Jesus to live and die on this earth – for me and for you. In the room with our nativity scene and Christmas tree. The room where every visitor enters and will see the words of truth and hope. Yes! This is the perfect spot.

I’m a visual person. I have reminders of God and His love all around my home. It helps me keep my focus on Him daily. This is a wonderful addition to my collection. I am thankful that Day Spring and sent me this to review and share with you. I appreciate being able to share my opinions about this product. My only complaint is that they don’t have one of these for every month of the year!

You can visit the (in)courage website to see this item and many other amazing and faith inspired gifts at http://www.incourage.me/category/deals or clicking the link here – (in)courage.com.

In December, when you spend $25 you get free shipping with the coupon code SHIP25.

 

 

 

 

Broken & Contrite

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“I don’t want to tell you! I don’t want to tell you!”, my son exclaimed through tears. He had been a little grumpy since I picked him up from school, so I inquired if anything had happened in his day he needed to talk about. Apparently, he had been called out by his teacher during class and was feeling very guilty about it.

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.  For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Psalm 51:1-3

Our sinful nature is always before us. It’s a constant wrestling match. A battle of the wills. Good vs. Evil. It gets tiring and overwhelming. It sneaks up on us. That’s why we sometimes fall. We make the wrong choice. We lose sight of our God for just a minute and chaos can ensue. As I studied Psalm 51 this week, I was reminded of David’s fall. The night he lost the wrestling match, called for Bathsheba, another man’s wife and threw himself at her. David wrote Psalm 51 after he committed adultery with Bathsheba, found she was pregnant and had her husband killed in battle.

He cries out to the Lord for forgiveness, mercy and compassion (v 1-2). He begs to be cleansed and for God to create in him a pure heart (v. 10-11). But, what really grabbed me were verses 16 and 17.

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. Psalm 51:16-17

The only sacrifice God wants us to make are our broken spirit and our broken and contrite heart. When we are able to feel sorrow for our sins and show remorse for our shortcomings God rejoices. It’s in our weaknesses that God is able to do His best work. It’s fertile ground for Him to sow His seeds of love, patience, kindness. It’s in our broken and contrite hearts that He feels most welcome. Look at these other scriptures that reference God’s desire to dwell among the weak, broken and contrite!

Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the LORD. “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word. Isaiah 66:2

For this is what the high and exalted One says— he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. Isaiah 57:15

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

I encourage you to look up more references in your study time today. I pray these words from God penetrate our hearts and we are able to accept that our broken, contrite, hearts and flesh are something to be celebrated. For without it, our love for Christ and those around us would never mature.