Thursday, February 24, 2011
God's Love Changes Everything
Micca Monda Campbell
"Go now and leave your life of sin."
John 8:11b (NIV)
In the story of the adulteress woman found in John 8:1-11, we can see clearly that Christ's love is greater than sin.
It must have been an unruly scene until Jesus stepped into the situation. Caught in the very act by the Pharisees, the woman's fate hung in the balance. I imagine that the adulteress woman felt unbearable loneliness and fear as she lay naked in the streets at the mercy of those whose desire was to stone her to death.
Sin does that. It separates us from God, causing us to experience isolation and fear. This is a sure sign we need to search our souls and confess our sins so that we can have peace and enjoy Christ's sweet presence again.
On the other hand, it's not a sign that God's love is absent.
For years, I held on to my mixed bag of emotions blaming God and others for my troubles. I was alone, afraid, and angry, but not by my choice I reasoned. I was this way because others gave up on me, I insisted. And Christ—well, if He really cared then why didn't He free me from the pain that haunted me day and night?
Over time, I opened my eyes to the real problem. Instead of looking at myself, my eyes were always on someone else. When I finally did take a good long look at myself, I realized I was a child of God who had stomped my foot, crossed my arms, and turned my back on Him for not letting me have my way. Holding the Lord at arm's length only prolonged the healing of my wounds. In that honest moment with myself, I let go of my anger and fear and re-opened my heart to God.
Broken before the Lord, I asked for His forgiveness. I surrendered anew to His plan for my life. What was God's response? It was pure grace. I got up from my knees a new person. I was no longer afraid or angry—just filled with Christ's love and peace.
The adulteress woman also found indescribable love when she came face to face with her sin and her Savior. Publicly caught in the act of adultery, she must have felt shame and brokenness. But feeling broken is actually a good emotional place to be when we need to reach out for Christ's love and forgiveness.
All eyes were on Jesus as the Pharisees waited with rocks in hand to see if Christ would condemn and punish her. Jesus said, "Let any one of you that is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her" (vs. 7b). I picture the woman, hardly believing her ears, staring deep into the Savior's eyes. First with great terror, but then knowing by His gentle eyes that no matter what happened next, she could face it.
She must have felt relief when she heard the rocks drop to the ground and the scattering of feet. Then, "Jesus asked her, 'Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?' 'No one, sir,' she said. 'Then neither do I condemn you,' Jesus declared. 'Go now and leave your life of sin.'" (vs. 10-11)
Jesus gave this woman what every heart needs—love and forgiveness. Don't misunderstand. The woman was guilty and, according to the laws of the day, should have been put to death. However, instead of condemning her Jesus chose to save her.
He chose to save us all by dying on the cross as payment for our sins. Do you need forgiveness today? The Bible offers this promise: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1John 1:9).
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
What is my marvelous calling?
- You are called to create a biblical family-its Gods design for filling the world with his followers.
26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Genesis 1: 26-28
- We are created to further his kingdom, passing on the purposes of God. We need to teach our children that God made them for a purpose……
- You are called to teach and obey his Word-it is Gods design for not being deceived by the world.
You need to build influence with your children. You can’t do that with stuff, it takes time, attention, loving them, and laughing with them. Its sooooo easy to be tired and so many reasons to be tired. Jesus was a servant king, who lived with, ate with and instructed his diciples. We must be the parent who becomes the flesh of Christ. Invest moments with them, build one brick at a time…….
For me this is hard, I spend so much time educating them that I forget that I also need to do other things with them on a regular basics. I think well I just spent all morning doing school anit that enough? But its not…….
God designed your heart to fulfill a role-your mom heart matters to women who need a model of hope and inspiration.
Hardships are God parenting you……
The world Needs a testimony of Godly womanhood. When you build a Godly home, its not just for your home but for the community.
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Titus 2: 3-5
When a woman grasps her importance, she can influence the world. Who qualifies you? GOD does……
The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands….Proverbs 14:1
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Why does your Mom Heart matter?
Every child hopes they have a mommy that loves them. We are a picture of God to our children.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12: 1-2
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world- to the times, cultural, way everyone else does things etc……..SO many women just go with the times instead of the word of GOD. Well so and so does it and that seems ok, or so and so can do this and they are ok. We have to Fix our eyes on Jesus…….not other women……..
When you love your children, you are teaching them God’s love…..Jesus invested his personal life into his diciples and we too need to invest into the lives of our children that we have been blessed to raise…..
My Favorite thing Sally said is this, God made you their mother not anyone else, NO ONE is better qualified to love, teach, discipline, or care for you children than YOU! I love this. When you feel “why Lord” I can’t do this, he says YES YOU can, through ME!
3His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
10Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 peter 1:3-11
He knows us, and he knows our children and what they needed in a mother. Just that knowledge alone and trusting God at his word is Powerful!
~God designed your heart for an eternal purpose-your mom heart matters to God’s heart.
~God designed your heart to influence future generations-your mom heart matters to them and their children.
Being thoroughly alive,
What nurtures YOUR soul?
How can you make your quiet place more beautiful?
Make the Ordinary sacred.
Traditions: what is special about us, what do WE do?
Keep wonder alive, enjoy the world God created.
Stop trying to be this or that, but just be filled with GOD……Keep your child's Heart if you see your loosing it, do all you can to get it back.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
Do not seek righteousness according to your child’s behavior, we are already righteous in God’s eyes. We already have it! (Praise God for that uh?)
So many times we tend to think highly of ourselves if our children do good, and low of ourselves and embarrassed when they misbehave. Yes we need to train them and pray for them, they need to learn to own their own walk with the Lord.
God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that God's righteousness might come about in us. 2 Corinthians 5:21
I serve GOD not man……
Do not struggle with what’s expected on the outside, Expectations can weigh you down……Don’t try to appear a certain way on the outside……
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
A Recipe for Relationships
Micca Monda Campbell
"... he loved him as he loved himself."
1 Samuel 20:17b (NIV)
My mother use to tell me to count myself lucky if I had just one "close friend." That's because close life-long relationships are hard to come by.
So many people today are looking for meaningful relationships, yet so few actually find them. We are becoming an increasingly private society, and it seems fewer people than ever have life-long intimate friendships. Still, the desire for this kind of relationship is not only sought after, but necessary.
Women are naturally drawn to other women. In fact, a girl's first experience with heartache may have been over a lost "best friend" rather than a "boy friend." Women value friendships. When they are lost, we grieve; not just over the friendship itself, but also for the secrets shared, the trust given and the acceptance enjoyed. If betrayed, the pain runs deep causing us to wonder if intimate friendships are really possible.
When I think of a biblical example of real friendship, the story of David and Jonathan, found in 1 Samuel 19, always comes to mind.
Jonathan, son of King Saul, was David's closest friend. But his father, the king, despised David because he was growing in popularity and because God had anointed David to be king. These facts enraged King Saul, so much that he commanded his aids and Jonathan to assassinate David. But Jonathan loved David, therefore betrayal was impossible.
Love isn't the only fruit of true friendship. A real relationship consists of sacrifice too.
Jonathan stripped himself of the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his armor, his sword, his bow, and his belt. Jonathan was the potential heir to his father's throne, but we see him sacrificing his future for his best friend as he literally gave David his place as king.
You and I can learn from this action that true friendship means a willingness to sacrifice for each other in love. It's the ability to put another's needs, desires, and wishes above our own.
Loyalty is also a mark of true friendship. We're told that Jonathan went to his father and spoke well of David. Jonathan also stood up to his dad and essentially said, "Dad, you're wrong about David. He hasn't done any wrong to you; in fact, everything he's done has helped you." A true friend is a loyal defense before others, one who won't talk about you when you're not around. True friends stick up for each other.
Finally, intimate friends give each other complete freedom to be themselves. In an intimate friendship, you don't have to explain why you do what you do. You're just free to do it.
When Jonathan gave David the news that things were troubled in the palace and that his dad was going to kill him, the two were forced to say goodbye. The text tells us that they wept together.
When your heart is broken, you can bleed all over a friend like this and she'll understand. She won't try to dismiss your misery or tell you to straighten up. Intimate friends let each other hurt and they weep together. If your friend needs to talk it through, you will listen. Intimate friends don't bale; they stay. They allow you to be yourself no matter what "self" looks like in that moment.
If you're looking for a godly recipe for relationships, look no further. Mix together love, sacrifice, loyalty, and freedom and you can create an intimate friendship that lasts a lifetime
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
Just the Right Words
BY : Renee Swope
"A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver."
Proverbs 25:11 (NIV)
Has someone ever spoken words that helped you see something valuable or unique about yourself that you had never seen before?
That's what happened between Jill and Leanne. They met when Jill was coaching a basketball team and Leanne's 13-year-old daughter, Shelby, was on her team. Years later, when she was in high school, Shelby got seriously injured and Jill reached out to her with encouragement, prayers and notes that spoke just the words Shelby needed to hear.
One day, Leanne sent a letter thanking Jill for the difference she was making in her daughter's life. She described the great qualities she saw in Jill and called her a "bright light" that shined in many lives, including theirs.
Leanne didn't know that months later Jill would go home to an empty apartment one night plagued with doubts, questioning her purpose in life. Battling clinical depression and living under the weight of feeling worthless, Jill contemplated suicide. That night as she pondered her fate, Jill opened her journal to write and a note fell out. As Jill opened the note, she read Leanne's words again.
God used Leanne's words to show Jill she did have a purpose and that life was worth living. Just the right words at just the right time.
When another woman speaks encouragement into our hearts, the course of our lives can be changed forever. And when we believe in someone else, God uses us to build confidence and security in a heart that may have otherwise been paralyzed by doubt and insecurity.
I'll never forget my friend Janet thanking me for words I'd penned from my heart to hers in a thank you card. To me it was only a thank you, but it was more to her. God touched her heart deeply through something I said. And in response, she encouraged me to write more than notes. Her prayers and confidence inspired this insecure young mom to eventually write a Bible study.
God used that tiny Bible study, written over 10 years ago, to uncover His plans and develop the future writer in me. He used a woman who believed in me more than I believed in myself to help me take the first step.
Just the right words at just the right time.
Perhaps you need to hear them today. If so, let God speak them over you through His promises:
· For you are a chosen [woman], you are a royal priest, a holy [daughter]. God's very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)
· "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine....you are precious and honored in my sight, and I love you."
Isaiah 43:1, 4 (NIV)
· For [you] are God's masterpiece. He has created [you] anew in Christ Jesus, so [you] can do the good things he planned for [you] long ago. Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
· In all these things [you] are more than conqueror through him who loved [you]. Romans 8:37 (NIV)
Just the right words at just the right time.
Let God's promises settle into those places in your heart that need for encouragement today. And then ask Jesus how you might share them. Perhaps there is someone in your life who needs them now more than ever.
Monday, February 07, 2011
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
A prayer of David.
1 Hear me, LORD, and answer me,
for I am poor and needy.
2 Guard my life, for I am faithful to you;
save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; 3 have mercy on me, Lord,
for I call to you all day long.
4 Bring joy to your servant, Lord,
for I put my trust in you.
5 You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
abounding in love to all who call to you.
6 Hear my prayer, LORD;
listen to my cry for mercy.
7 When I am in distress, I call to you,
because you answer me.
8 Among the gods there is none like you, Lord;
no deeds can compare with yours.
9 All the nations you have made
will come and worship before you, Lord;
they will bring glory to your name.
10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds;
you alone are God.
11 Teach me your way, LORD,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered me from the depths,
from the realm of the dead.
14 Arrogant foes are attacking me, O God;
ruthless people are trying to kill me—
they have no regard for you.
15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and have mercy on me;
show your strength in behalf of your servant;
save me, because I serve you
just as my mother did.
17 Give me a sign of your goodness,
that my enemies may see it and be put to shame,
for you, LORD, have helped me and comforted me.