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

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

Fake News

Fake news, we have all heard the term. It is everywhere.The trouble is that when you hear something often enough, it becomes gospel truth. I love the quote “A lie can fly half way around the world while the truth is still putting on its boots.”Lies certainly do fly quickly in the modern world of the internet and social media. The trouble is that fake news spreads like a contagious illness regardless of the truthfulness of the content.

I think that Christians are just a susceptible to fake news as anyone else. There are many false doctrines out there that are taken as gospel truth. This can get dangerous very quickly as it is a proven fact that we tend to pay attention to beliefs that we already hold. We seek people who hold like minded beliefs. Even when new information is presented that contradicts the beliefs that we are holding, we resist that information and double down on proving we are right instead of searching for the real truth.

This should concern us for a couple of reasons. People usually practice resistance to anything that goes against what they currently believe are much less likely to listen to what we have to share. Realize that those we are to share with are often taking in what we are sharing with a doubting heart.

 Second, we have to make darn sure that the news we are sharing is not fake news.

When it comes to fake news versus the truth of God, we have an enemy that is a master deceiver. Satan is the ultimate liar and the father of all lies. Make no mistake, every false religion, every cult, every misguided philosophy and every thought that is opposed to God, is authored by Satan himself.

 Satan has but one goal, to destroy that which is of God..

 

Our message should be about the faith and hope we have in Jesus Christ. Our message should proclaim the great love our Savior has for us.

Just as we are working to share the good news of what Jesus did for us, Satan is working to spread fake news.

We must become unstoppable crusaders for the truth. God is the source of all truth. God is our foundation in a world run afoul with the lies of Satan.

This means we go the extra mile and we must spent as much time communing with God and in the Word of God as it takes to make sure we know the news we are championing is based on true Godly foundations.

The real truth, the absolute truth of God must be boldly proclaimed and preached by us, His crusaders.

 Lets get out there and spread some Good News!


Dottie

Stripping Away The Dirt

Stripping away the dirt.When things get stressful I head to my workroom and start refurbishing something. The piece of furniture that diverted my attention this time was an antique table that was in my grandparents house when I was growing up.

If only the table could talk. It would tell of family dinners, and weekly card games with the neighbors. It served as a solid surface to write letters to family members spread across the country. When us kids were visiting, the table would be a work surface for cookie baking, holiday crafts and any number of other things my grandparents could think of to keep us kids busy.

I cleaned decades of caked on dirt off that table. I sanded layers and layers of built up varnish and polyurethane coating that was applied to protect the table from us kids. At long last the table stood naked and completely void of any covering. It stood in the middle of the room looking just as it had when the carpenter built it all those years ago.

I then started with bare wood to make the old table something new and beautiful.

Isn’t that what God does for us. He strips off the built up gunk we have covered ourselves with over the years. He sands and chisels the stuff that has grown hard and is hidden in hard to reach places.He works slowly and methodically until we stand before Him as He created us.

He makes us new, whole and spotless.

I don’t know about you but I am thankful that God loves me enough to refurbish me and bring me back to perfection!

Dottie

…………and so I ride

FREE AT LAST I read about an English minister who liked to say that he ministers to the lost, the least, the lonely and the last. I have felt like all those things at times. Sometimes all at once, sometimes one or the other. If I were to be honest at least one of those things is usually with me most of the time. Doesn’t it seem like we are deposited in this lost and lonely place and then forgotten about. We wonder how God could have so easily forgotten our address and phone number. But that is Satan inspired thinking. Of course he wants us to think we are helplessly and hopelessly lost and forgotten. The truth is, according to John 10:10 that although Satan does come to steal, kill and destroy Jesus came to give us life and give it to us abundantly. Praise God that He sent His son to heal the broken hearted (me), to liberate me from my prison, He came to restore my sight so that I can see the truth of what God offers me. Holy Father help me to look up to you before I look around my world. Remind me what the world is versus what you offer and help me make the right choices. Dottie

Another Problem, the same deceiver

Another problem-The same deceiver
Satan is so very good at deceiving us. He will use anything he can but one of his favorite ways to bring us down is to use our own minds against us.
I love God, I am heavy. Nothing about those two things has changed very much for very long. I struggle with both at times but at the end of the day, both remain with me.
These struggles, God and weight,seem to come together in certain ways. Satan loves to plant a little seed in my mind and watch as I take that seed, give it all the water and food it needs to go from seed to full blown vegetative bush that bears rotten fruit.
Let me give you an example. I have let my weight be a deterrent to sharing the Word of God. In my mind a good evangelist has to be thin. To be an overweight evangelist seems counter productive. I may be talking to someone about the joy of what Jesus has done for me but in my mind I am thinking that this person is never going to listen to me because what this person is looking at (an overweight me) proves that I talk the talk but do not walk the walk. My mind is throwing out erroneous thinking at a break neck pace. She must not believe in what she is telling me, has she never heard that self-control is a virtue, did she miss that one in her bible reading?
Oh Satan is good, don’t forget he can use everything available to him to fight for what he wants, even scripture. He will distort your thinking. Believe it because he is doing it every day.
He has used Romans 12:1 in that way in my life. I pounded the part of the scripture that told me to take my everyday habits, sleeping, eating working (emphasis on eating for this purpose) and use it as an offering to God beecause embracing what God does for me is the best thing I can do for him.
All it brought was shame because I could not seem to get my eating under control and my weight climbed and climbed. How could I offer to God my eating habits when they were in deplorable condition?
Somehow I never saw the second half to that verse. I had blinders on and you can bet those blinders were manufactured by Satan.
I completely disregarded that sound advice that followed. It says to look up before we look around. We are told to quit conforming to the things of the world we live in. God will tell us what He wants from us if we look for it. Most importantly, He wants us to fix our attention on Him and let His healing change us from the inside out, not the other way around. This scripture also offers the biggest blast of fresh air and good news to those of us who hate ourselves from the outside in. We are reminded that God brings out the best in us.
Scripture does speak clearly to us about honoring our bodies and how wonderfully we are made. It is a beautiful verse.
Psalm 139:13-16
Let’s take a minute to read this. “Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out’ you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God- you are breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration- what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body’ You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth’ all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I had even lived one day.
So tell me, are we taking God’s word for who we are or are we applying social conventions for what society thinks should be the proper size and what we should weigh?
I know it is hard to undo the detrimental thinking that has ingrained itself in our minds since childhood. However, society buys into the lies that Satan peppers our path with. Society not only buys in to his lies, they have made it big business.
Satan says- You are fat, you are worthless and every word you say is tinged by those things.
God says- You are marvelously made. I know you inside and out because I made you. I will bring out the best in you……………if you let me.
Digging deeper into Psalm 139: 13-16
In our mother’s womb what was formed first, our inside or our outside? __________________________How and why is this significant in your life? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
We often berate ourselves for how we look on the outside and what the scale says. Take the part of the scripture that says “I am marvelously made” and thoughtfully, slowly, methodically and truthfully name each part of your body and why it is a marvelous and miraculous creation of God’s hand. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
What does it mean to you personally that God knows you inside and out and knows every bone in your body?______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Why do you think it was important enough to mention in scripture that God did not throw us together in assembly line fashion but rather created us “bit by bit from nothing into something” ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
“Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth’ all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I had even lived one day.” Taking all that you have just worked through about the way in which you were created, name your book. __________________________________________
Dottie