Are the waves crashing your world?

It was a windy, rainy day here in Daytona yesterday . The waves crashed around me. The sand was shifting under my feet as those waves raced themselves back out to sea. In fact the sand was shifting enough that I was no longer feeling sure footed and felt like I would surely topple into the water at any time. But no sooner had the wave rolled in than it gathered itself and rolled right back out. 

It occurs to me that there is some correlation between the ocean and mankind, or in other words, that which God has created. 
In the ocean there is a difference between the tides and the waves. 
The angry and mighty waves that I experienced were created when the wind transferred its energy to the water through friction between the air and the water. A wave can only happen when it’s windy and is only as strong as the wind that created it. A wave is caused by friction and as strong or as weak as the wind that’s blowing. 

The tide on the other hand is a constant force. It is caused by the gravitational interaction between the earth and the moon. It’s gonna happen day in and day out whether the wind blows or not. 
It occurs to me that our lives can be just like that. Ill winds can bring friction to our lives. Those ill winds leave us feeling as if we are standing on shifting sand and ready to topple over. 

However no matter how hard the winds are blowing in our lives and no matter how hard the waves are crashing around us, if we have secured our footing in our Lord Jesus Christ we can rest assured that He is like the tides and is a ceaseless force in our world. 

Never take the ceaseless force and power of our Lord Jesus Christ for granted. He loved us before, He loves us now snd He will love us forever, no matter how strong the waves crash in our world. 


Dottie

My Weakness/His Power/My Victory

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God’s House

God’s Home We were flying to Florida for a family vacation. We were cruising at an altitude of somewhere around 39000 feet. I was thinking to myself, wow God, are you home because I’m at your front door! 

It was cool thinking that I was above the clouds and there was nothing between God and I. 

It took about $500, getting up at 4 am, navigating airport security,enduring airport food, and getting up close and to personal with the person in the next seat on the plane but I made it above the clouds and to God’s front door! 

I’m really glad that God doesn’t require that we go through that when we seek Him! 
“But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 4:29).

Doesn’t say a word about airport security! God isn’t hiding from us, He is just a whisper away. 
But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, ‘May the Lord, who is good, pardon everyone who sets their heart on seeking God—the Lord, the God of their ancestors—even if they are not clean according to the rules of the sanctuary’ And the Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people” (2 Chronicles 30:18-20).

We don’t have to spend our money, get up early, eat bad food or endure smelly people in to close proximity . We just have to say Good morning God, can I come into your home today? He will invite us in, every single time. 

Loving my God and loving my life! 

Dottie

My Weakness/His Power/My Victory

Hypocrite, Are You A Wolf In Sheeps Clothing?

Hypocrites
I saw a post on Facebook the other day that hit me to the core. It was written by a man I know well and respect a lot. In fact this guy and his ex-wife welcomed me into their home at one of the most difficult times in my life, accepted me and helped me through what was going on. Thank you Lloyd and Melissa.  

Then I saw his post on Christians and hypocrisy. It hit me right in the face, ticked me off to no end and stuck with me like a nagging fly that no matter how much I swatted, would not go away. 

I was practicing self righteous anger. However because I knew this guy and knew his heart I had to give his words a fair chance. I had to accept that maybe I was part of the rampant Christian hypocrisy problem he was talking about and not a big enough part of the solution. 
I found two definitions of hypocrite on the internet. One is a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs that they do not actually possess. 

The other says that a hypocrite is someone who feigns some desirable or publicly approved atttude when their private life, opinions or statements directly oppose their public statements or actions. You know, the Sunday morning Christian.

I like the definition I found on Got Questions.Org that says the word hypocrite is derived from the Greek term for actor and literally means “one who wears a mask” That kind of hits it directly on the head doesn’t it?

This behavior is mentioned in the Bible.

Matthew 15:8-9 “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me”

In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”

I had to take an honest look at my life. Am I guilty of putting on a mask before I go out into the world? Are I so entrenched in being seen and gaining the applause of peers that I will do whatever it takes? Am I consistently inconsistent in my Christian walk? Is my identity based on society rather than Christ? 

Do I say one thing then do another? 

If we are honest these are questions that we could all ask ourselves.
As much as we tell ourselves it is not the case, there are Christian wolves in sheeps clothing.   
While we might think that our hypocrisy is not transparent, we would be wrong. 
Will God forgive our hypocrisy? Yes He will. Will those who are watching you here on earth forgive you? Not so much. 

Let me explain that stark comment. 

If you go to God with repentance in your heart, God will forgive you. Cmpletely and unconditionally. However, when you practice hypocracy you have planted a seed for your friends, neighbors and those who are seeking God. Is that the kind of seed that is growing the Kingdom of God? 
This is a hard and heart wrenching subject. I don’t think very many of us wake up and say “I think I will put my mask and sheep suit on on and deceive my fellow man today”. But in many ways that is exactly what we do. Following Christ is not something we can be inconsistently consistent with. Will we make mistakes in our walk with Christ? Of course we will. Will we admit those mistakes, repent of those mistakes and learn from those mistakes? Well if we do that is a good sign we are shedding the mask and putting on the cloak of Christ. 

Keep pressing into Christ. 
Dottie

My Weakness/His Power/My Victory

The Condition Of Your Christian Condition

How’s your heart?

Are you stumbling block for someone else.
I don’t think there is one Christian who, if asked, would say they were a stumbling block to another. We all think of ourselves as encouragers of Christ. 
If we were honest with ourselves however, we would have to admit that there are times that we put what we want before what God wants us to do. Ok, I can hear the “Oh not me, I would never do that” shouts. But think about it. 

A stumbling block does not necessarily have to be a huge cement block sitting conspicuously in the middle of the sidewalk. Nor does a stumbling block have to be for people seeking Christ. You can be a stumbling block for believers or non believers. Both have consequences. 
It can be as simple as differing opinions on a book, music or a movie. If you disagree about a controversial movie,book or music billed as Christian, you see it as pure evil meant to deceive people and someone else sees it completely differently and when asked about the movie you state your case but flatly refuse to hear why they see it differently, you are a stumbling block. But more than that you leave them feeling as if you are judgemental and unbending on your opinions and their opinion is not worthy of being heard. They might walk away feeling like Christianity isn’t all it is billed to be. 
Your opinion may certainly be the right opinion but if you take away another’s right to voice their opinion you lose the opportunity to engage in a meaningful conversation and your lose the possibility of gaining a life for Christ. 
It can be as simple as becoming so focused on making the almighty buck, that we offend others with our zeal for selling just one more car, one more insurance policy or one more whatever it is we are selling and we don’t even give a thought to how it appears to others. 

It can make the person we are dealing with, who knows you are a Christian think that if this is what Christianity looks like, I don’t want any part of it and they come away with a bad taste in their mouth for Christianity. 
It can be as simple as offering an apology and instead of stopping at I’m sorry you follow that with reasons why it wasn’t your fault. That isn’t an apology at all. It is simply manipulation. 
The things we do consciously or unconsciously can make a difference to others rather we realize it or not. If we are seeking to make ourselves feel good rather than going about our business in a way that is pleasing to God, the chances are at least once in awhile, we are that stumbling block. We often don’t know if those we encounter in our daily lives are seeking Christ or not. If they see us engaging in behavior that although not blatantly offensive, makes them think twice about what Christianity is and what Christianity is not, maybe we should be looking a little more closely at what we are doing and how we are doing it. 
We may not even be aware how others perceive what we do. We may not have any idea that what we are doing can be coloring how others look at Christianity and ultimately Jesus. We are certainly not doing anything on purpose that we think would hurt how others see the Christian life. But, It happens nonetheless. We get complacent, we think that our opinions are the right opinions, we forget that others are watching us. You name it I have probably done it! 
As long as the Bible doesn’t forbid it, we are free to enjoy life. However, our freedom to enjoy all that God has given us must always be tempered with love and concern for those around us. 
I don’t think many of us wake up thinking “I will go out and be a stumbling block today”, take the time to make sure we don’t advertantly do just that. 
I am going to close with a quote I read on the internet and that I love. 
“Love always triumphs over liberty. Unity always triumphs over personal rights.” 
1 Corinthians 8:9

9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.

Dottie

Plant A Seed

Mustard Seeds

It’s funny, the mustard seed is the smallest seed there is and with something that small you wonder what can its impact be? However, the mustard seed when planted grows to be a dark and hearty green with a powerful, flavorful impact.

Jesus talks about mustard seeds in the Bible.

31It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of allseeds sown upon the earth. 32But after it is planted, it grows to be larger than all garden plants and puts forth great branches, so that the birds of the air nest in its shade.”…

So now that we have had our mustard seed lesson let’s get to my point.

In life, we often get ourselves into situations where we only want to help. We offer our homes, our resources and mostly we offer ourselves. We meant to do good, we want to do good whether it is for a stranger, family or simply someone we love.

So, we do what we believe is right. We help in whatever form the situation calls for.

Helping in a bad situation often means sacrificing our privacy, our finances, our hearts. We know that going in, in most cases, but we do it anyway. We offer the best we have.

But what happens when it all goes wrong. What happens when the recipient is not grateful and in fact takes advantage of the situation in every way possible? What happens when relationships are torn apart, what happens when finances are strained, what happens when all we meant for good has not turned out like we hoped it would?

Let me tell you what happens. You planted a seed. Satan may try to snatch that seed, or the seed may lay dormant for days, months or years, the seed may lay in the weeds of life for a time while worries of life, deceitfulness of life and our carnal desires take precedence over the tiny seed.

But in the end, you still planted a seed.

Growth can only happen when a seed is planted. That tiny seed can become a giant plant that has flavorful impact! Sometimes all it takes is the small act of planting the tiniest of seeds to have huge impact. Have patience, pray for God to keep that seed alive, even if it is currently dormant. Take joy in the fact that God can take that tiny seed and make it into something that flavors all it is mixed with.

Sow your seeds and even if you perceive what you did for good has turned out disastrous, trust what our God can do with that seed!

I commend you for having the faith to plant the seed in the first place!

 

Dottie

A Silly Story But Is It Your Story

A silly story, but is it your story?
A lawyer had to distribute what was left of an estate to a client’s beneficiary. It was a huge estate, over 100 million dollars were to go to the lucky man. The will stipulated that the lawyer was to try to deliver the remains of the estate for a period of 6 months only and if the man could not be contacted and connected within that time the estate would be forfeited and go to a local non profit charity. 

After going and knocking on the beneficiaries door three times a week for six months and being told to go away as he, the beneficiary was to busy to talk to him, the lawyer was forced to turn the estate over to the non profit. 

The beneficiary lost a vast fortune because he was to busy, afraid, stubborn, etc to answer the knock on his door. 

Yes it is a silly story with just a breath of truth, but is it your story? 


I am willing to bet that there are a lot of us who have heard God knocking on our door and have ignored or reasoned our way out of answering. Anything and everything in our lives take precedence over that small but insistent call on our heart. 

It is not that we are just busy, it is that we are afraid to step out of our nice comfortable box. 

It is knowing that answering that knock could well inconvenience us as we have never been inconvenienced before

It is knowing that we might be asked to pack up our nice comfortable and familiar life and move to surroundings that are totally unfamiliar and very uncomfortable. 

It is knowing that we may be called to leave something or somewhere that we are comfortable when we are A-Ok with where we are and have no desire to leave. 

The fact is that God will call us to leave something in order to make room for a new something that He has prepared for us. He may not give us a clear image of where He is taking us, He may simply say follow me. 
If we never answer the knocking on the door we could well miss out on the blessing of our life.
Before we can move to the greatness that God has prepared there may be an essential ending, if we are prepared for that and if we are trusting God, we simply say, ok. There is a time for departure, even if we don’t know to where the road leads. 
The way we look at it makes all the difference in the world. Take your eyes off the world and lift them heavenward. If we recognize that surrendering to an essential ending helps us to grasp the freedom and completeness that we can only get by following God, then we are wise, truly free and living in the grace and wisdom of God. 
When we tire of the game of tug of war and you are weary of holding onto the old for dear life simply lift one finger, then another, and before you know it, you will feel God taking that burden from you and you will find peace. 
It is quite possible we hear God telling us to move but we can’t seem to figure out where he wants us to move to. Well there is a time for departure even when there is no certain place to go. God will reveal the map to where you are going. He will show you, even if it is one small step at a time. 
Don’t ignore God knocking on your heart. It will probably come at the most inopportune and inconvenient time imaginable. There will be a thousand things that will seem much more important than answering God’s call and most will seem a lot less scary. But don’t lose your inheritance because you ignored the one who took the time to seek you out and knock for entrance. 

Dottie

My Weakness/His Power/My Victory

My Little Prayer Box. Losing control and loving it!

I have been making these wonderful little wooden prayer boxes. They are just simple wooden boxes with a couple of decorations on them. But they are made with the intention of holding our whole lives.

I am pretty good at sharing with people that life is so much easier if we “give it to God”. In theory that sounds wonderful, in reality, it is very difficult to hand over our stuff to our God who we know is there but is none the less, unseen. I pray every day and practice what the Bible teaches me. I try diligently to look upward before I look around the world I am living in, and yet, when times get difficult it is easy to turn to “Dottie” power instead of “Godly” power.

Me, being the kind of person I am, thought it might be beneficial to make a prayer box where I could literally write down my requests, my thanks, my petitions, my joys and my sorrows and stick them in the prayer box. Literally handing God control over all that enters the box and signifying the act of handing it over to God, shutting the lid and knowing when that lid shuts, whatever I have written on my card, just passed from my control, to Gods.

To help remind myself why I need to put stuff in my prayer box and shut the lid, I remember these verses. 


1. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

 Do we really need more that this promise? 
2. “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3

 Put that concern in the box, shut the lid and know that it is now in God’s hands. 
3. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

 I guess it is fitting to tell myself to practice what I preach and to know beyond the shadow of a doubt that God has this, I am not alone no matter what I am facing. 
4. “Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.” John 14:27

 Accept this peace, really accept it, in fact wear it like the cloak it is, gather it tightly around you and let the meaning of God’s peace sink in.
**

Dottie

………..and so I ride