|Posted on April 8, 2016 at 2:55 AM||comments (23)|
God Likes Coffee
Coffee is the most consumed beverage in the world, aside from water. Some of us just absolutely cannot go without our morning coffee. Coffee lovers know what I’m talking about. There is no way you will forget your coffee in the morning. You may forget your handbag, your house keys, and yes maybe even your beloved phone…but you will never forget your coffee! One survey says approximately 150 million Americans drinks coffee daily, and independent coffee shops equal $12 billion in annual sales.
As I was writing this article I smiled to myself. God is smart, I thought. More than He is smart He is wise. He must have looked down through the ages and seen the millions of coffee drinkers who cannot go a day without that precious cup. He wants to be a part of our daily lives, and to be even more important to us than coffee. He says…I will sup with you! Revelations 3:20. Just imagine 150 million Americans making God a part of their ‘first thing in the morning’. That’s a game changer! America and the rest of the coffee loving world would never be the same.
“I will sup with you if you will allow me to.” Imagine sitting down to a cup of coffee with God! Oh! We all know how coffee makes us feel, but not many people have gotten a taste of how God makes you feel. The presence of God brings more joy than any cup of coffee ever could. It brings more fulfillment, break, or bring to nothing strong holds, and lights His predestined path for us. Close your eyes with me and imagine God and coffee in the morning! A brilliant combination! An excellent start to a successful day!
I guarantee you if you invite God to the table you will close every deal, and success is inevitable. God is interested in supping with you, He likes coffee. Every morning as you pour that cup of coffee, think about the creator’s plea for an invite. He tells us that He is at the door knocking.
‘I want to have coffee with you.’ All you need to do now is open the door and reply, come in God…sup with me!
|Posted on July 28, 2014 at 9:30 AM||comments (0)|
When I seek the Lord in prayer, there are times that I am left feeling wanting more of Him still. It reminds me of King David when he said,"...Do not stand at a distance, my God," in Psalm 38:21. I realize that I need to worship Him and remember the work of His hand in my life, as well as the world! We serve a God that has no equal! There is no other God and no one compares to His might and glory.
In my humanness, though, there are times I long for a more tangible relationship with my Creator. "Blessed are those that believe and have not seen," said our Savior (John 20:29). "Yes, Lord, I believe," is my reply. I had such a prayer today. I poured my heart out; my desire to know that His hand is upon my head. Still feeling a deep longing to have Him consume every part of my being, I turned to Scripture. God in His mercy, allowed me to read Psalm 139 again. Through hungry eyes and spirit, I read:
"You go before me and follow me. YOU PLACE YOUR HAND OF BLESSING ON MY HEAD. (emphasis added) Such knowledge is too wonderful for me to understand!" -Psalm 139:5-6
This brought the whole Psalm to life for me again. I reread it and soaked in the love of God, refilling, reenergizing, and rediscovering.
Go ahead and read it, even if you've read it before. Meditate on it, verse by verse.
When we go about our day, good or bad, we tend to be oblivious to God's omnipresence and omnipotence. Yet, He is there. He knows everything we do, while we do and say it. Have you ever stopped in the middle of something to consider this magnificent truth? Beloved of God, do you know the God you serve? Do you know how specifically, and intricately you were designed in His image? Do you know how special you are, that the Creator of the universe knew you, planned you, and loved you before you were born?
His hand is upon your head.
This truth certainly was worth pondering. Such knowledge truly is too wonderful for us to understand. I can see myself in my mind's eye, bowing before my Heavenly Father, coming to His feet out of reverence and love, like a little girl who can't get enough of her Daddy, her hero, her first love. That hand upon my head is worth more than any other accomplishment, experience, or lack. His hand is upon my head. What a humbling truth. What an awesome truth.
We can never escape from His Spirit, the Psalm says. Wherever we go, He is there. Wherever we are, His Hand will guide us and His strength will support us. Get this, beloved: even in the darkness. We've all known darkness. We can rest assured that He is there. Not necessarily to deliver us from it, but to walk us through it.
We have reason to worship Him, to rejoice in His love for us. We wake up with Him, go about our day with Him, and lie down to sleep while still in His sight. His love is magnificent and unlike any other.
What will we do with this rediscovery of God's love? Let's resolve to meditate on it and be filled with His love. This perfect love, which casts out fear (1 John 4:18), will cause us to live and work boldly for Christ, depending on His mighty power that works within us (Colossians 1:29). Remember whose you are. You are more than a conqueror through Christ, our Lord.
Our response? "Search me, O God, and know my heart...point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life." -Psalm 139:23-24
Rest in Him today. His hand is upon your head.
|Posted on July 21, 2014 at 11:20 AM||comments (2)|
We tread, moving forward, though at times, we don't know how. "Does anyone even care?" we wonder. "Do I even care?"
While the reality of our issues are valid reasons to feel helpless as our world crumbles, the need to set up camp there is not.
It is not an easy issue for me to talk about; It never has been. I've had my share of battles. Emotional wellness is essential in our daily walk with God and our families. The good thing about our walk with God is that even in our emotional struggles, God is able and willing to carry us through. With our families, co-workers, and friends, though, it can be more challenging. We may try to hide in our schedules, functioning as normal. But inside, we cry; we scream; we are annoyed; we want to run. Far away. Solitude makes a beautiful symphony, but we can barely get two minutes of it, it seems. "Lord, where are you?" we wonder. And He's there. We hope for what we already have. Rather strange of us, I think.
Which do you perceive to be the toughest trial in your life? Are you going through it now? Hold fast. Are you tired and overwhelmed? Lonely as we may feel, we are most definitely not alone. Yet, sometimes others aren't enough. We still want to run. Out of who-knows-where we find just a bit more strength to function in our day, only to retire to our bedrooms at night and fall apart to weep, or maybe not. I know there have been times when I'm so overwhelmed, and yet, I am numb and cannot cry. How can this be?
The solution doesn't depend on knowing what to do because we do know. It is a matter of doing it. It is not a sign of weakness to surrender, if it is to the One who holds this world together. It is a sign of humility and faith. I find that when I raise my hands and worship in true adoration, I find peace and that strength that for so long eluded me.
I must be insane, then. Albert Einstein said the meaning of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. Sadly, this is what I have done. This is what many of us have done. We, being more than conquerors though Christ Jesus, our Lord, choose to set up camp in our trials, instead of taking God's extended hand to walk through. This is what I've learned:
When you want to run or can no longer stand, kneel. Pray. Worship. Repent. Surrender.
He won't turn away a broken spirit.
|Posted on July 14, 2014 at 11:25 AM||comments (2)|
Time Waits Not
Being in God's presence during morning devotions or worship time can leave us feeling empowered and ready to tackle our next challenge.We've seen and/or heard that saying that tells us to be the kind of woman that when our feet hit the floor each morning, Satan says, "Uh-oh, she's up!" Unfortunately, we don't always wake up feeling that way. Our Bible study might feel stale and shallow, and we may feel frustrated in our efforts to serve God.
I've been struggling to get up in the morning for the past few days. I'm a night owl and also a morning person; you can see the problem here, I'm sure. The problem these days is the heat, though. I've had trouble sleeping and feel exhausted by morning. A lack of sleep (and other worries) can be the culprit for a less than stellar day. I didn't wake up wondering who in the world I could bless; I didn't wake up singing God praises; I didn't spend as much time with the kids as I would have liked. I stretched the house cleaning time way too long and gave God and family what seemed to be left over crumbs of myself. Not much of a threat, this Christian woman, right? "Satan need not worry when my feet hit the floor," I thought. "Tomorrow. Tomorrow will be a better day. I better shape up."
In reality, we're all aware tomorrow may never come. Yet we count on it and use it as an excuse to not do something today. We can become guilty of the very thing we lecture our own children about: making excuses and procrastinating. Yet, time waits not.
The boldness of Christ's apostles is admirable, but it shouldn't be foreign to us believers. We can be bold and see the urgency in making the most of our time as they did, making the Gospel known, and beginning in our own homes.
I, for one, am glad the Apostle Paul's boldness didn't depend on his circumstances. We wouldn't have all those wonderful letters that make up a significant part of the Bible! He continued in his mission to make Jesus known. His imprisonment didn't stop him.
What's stopping us?
Did we skip mealtime prayer? Do we care? Think once or twice won't matter? A busy schedule, whether we're dragging through the day or not, is not an excuse to not model gratitude toward God. It goes beyond our personal comfort; we are teaching our children something. Every waking moment in their presence is an opportunity to do so.
Time waits not. The "once or twice" will turn into days and weeks, and before we know it, our children's Bible study- outside of the church walls- is practically nonexistent. Slowly, yet steadily, we're getting somewhere; may it be closer to the Lord. In regards to our family's devotion to God, we do have a choice. One day the kids will be grown and on their own, and we won't have the same control we do now in their lives.
Be bold in the influence God has given you right now. Don't compromise with laziness, fatigue, or indifference.
What is boldness? Like a lot of other things in life, it can mean something different to different people. Being bold might mean:
- Praying with our spouse.
- Waking up earlier to spend private time with God.
- Offering to pray with someone, even if it's in public.
- Beginning your ministry outside of your home.
- Standing firm, and not compromising in your faith, even if it means standing alone.
- Sharing the Gospel, at the risk of being portrayed as a "fanatic."
- Allowing our children to see us praying (I prefer private prayer, so I struggle with this).
- Expressing concern - in love - to someone that may be following ungodly footsteps.
- Looking for a different church, if we notice any significant unbiblical practices or teachings.
- Opening our homes for a Bible study group and fellowship.
- It would be wise for us to have a family meeting of some sort and establish ground rules for godly living, in and outside of the home. We can hold each other accountable and encourage each other to stay within God's set boundaries.
We can show our children what godly submission to our husbands means by not disrespecting them, and allowing them to make final decisions that are aligned with God's Word. We mustn't be afraid of the word, "submission." It doesn't speak of inferiority, but of love and respect of God's established family roles.
Eve's role as Adam's helper was not exclusive to procreation; it was for a lifestyle of partnership in honoring God through family and work. It is serious business to run a godly home and we have neither room, nor time for slacking. Only grace, praise God. Let's run our homes with purpose.
Do something bold today. Our faith, our reason to rejoice at the hope we have in Christ, should be enough motivation. You may hesitate; you may fear. Be bold anyway. What does that mean to you?
Will you begin family devotion/worship time?
Will you begin a new ministry adventure?
Will you put yourself second to live out God's plan for you?
As the day begins with us, we must realize it might end without us. Let us make good use of it. We must decide to be bold in our faith and with those gifts God gave us - the things that we are passionate about, such as talents, time, and resources. Time waits not.
|Posted on July 7, 2014 at 9:45 AM||comments (0)|
Through the Valley
As much as we know the Truth that sets us free, it is normal for us to give in to a moment of grief, frustration, or any sort of pain. Yes, we are still human. We don't mean to stay there, most of the time. It just takes a little longer to shake it off because in our weakness, we think of nothing but our situation, instead of our answer. Sometimes there seems to be no answer; not one that satisfies at the time.
In any situation, Jesus reigns. We believe that. This valley moment, wide, deep, and long as it may seem, still doesn't compare to God's grace, His goodness, or wisdom in allowing us to go through it. I know that doesn't always bring us comfort when we feel as if we've come to the end of ourselves. Don't allow yourself to feel as if you've failed Him. We've all failed; that's exactly why we need our Savior, remember?
I believe - and I speak from experience - that in those moments of despair we are allowed to cut ourselves some slack. Not in an attempt to excuse our unbelief, but simply to rest in Him. As you are passing through the valley, consider King David and his psalms. In a single psalm and prayer he was able to go from despair, asking God when He would answer him, to praising Him for His awesomeness, glory, and mercy! No, he wasn't bipolar; the situation hadn't changed, but King David knew so well the One that reigns from everlasting to everlasting!
I must admit there have been times when I am so overwhelmed and cannot bring myself to pray or worship. Yet, I manage to say, "Lord, I love you. Please help me..." Then I remember that only He is perfect and that simple little prayer still said I trust Him. I must go through the valley. But I go with Him. I won't let go. If I'm hanging on for dear life by what seems to be only a little thread, then praise God; I'm still holding on!
We may not be too fond of our human nature, but alas, we are a work in progress. The valley is part of the journey. Our God is part of everything. He sees your tears; He sees your frustrations, fears, and your unwillingness to come to Him sometimes, but He is there. We need not feel alone.
Consider the day you come face to face with Him. (It is highly doubtful we would want to do anything but bask in His glory and worship Him, but consider this anyway.) What is the life you would have wanted to leave behind? The legacy, the impact on His Kingdom? We don't know when that day will come for us. But we have this very moment. We have this day. This moment in time, as you are passing through the valley, realize that you are being molded and refined; pruned, perhaps. Not only can you still serve Him in the valley, but He is willing to use that very valley to shape you into the very person He wants for a specific purpose in His Kingdom. Yes, we were born for such a time as this!
Let us ask for His wisdom and strength. Small and shaky as our steps may be, we are moving forward. Everything in our lives should speak of our desire to honor our Creator. We have a chance still, while there is still breath in our lungs, to leave that legacy behind. We must work toward that, not for the pride of having accomplished anything, but for the joy of knowing we served God with all we had.
Look up from the depths of your valley. Break up camp and keep moving. That grace that sustains you won't run out on you, for the source is everlasting.