Christian Life

Sometimes, we hang on for dear life

A few months ago, I thought that my Kindle was lost forever, but I discovered that it was just hanging on for dear life.

My husband and I decided to go out to dinner. I wasn’t in the mood to cook so I was grateful that he suggested going to a restaurant.

It was 5 o’clock, on a dark, January day, and we needed to get our toddler ready. We were hungry and anxious to get to the restaurant. And with all the running around, somewhere between getting the bag replenished and getting our energetic toddler into his car seat, we misplaced the Kindle.

Of course, we didn’t realize it was missing until we got home. Husband stated that he handed it to me and I said, “nope”. We retraced our footsteps and that didn’t help. We tried to solve this mystery.

It was a case of “where in the world is the Kindle”?

Days passed and we continued to search for it. Maybe the toddler hid it? Maybe it was in the car? Or maybe we dropped it in our “parking lot” (that’s what I call our driveway!)?

Let’s fast forward a few days (maybe 2 or 3? I can’t remember now!).

As I was driving with my mom and my rambunctious toddler, I noticed a white, mid-sized vehicle driving close to my car. (That is irritating!) However, I didn’t know what was about to unfold. I questioned, “What is going on with the driver? Is she okay?”

I pull into my driveway, I glance in my rear-view mirror and she is parking in my driveway, too.

I step out of my vehicle, in wonderment and I ask her, “Is everything all right?” She says, “You have a tablet sitting on your window. I’ve tried to get your attention.”

Of course, I laughed. Then, I thanked her. Feeling foolish.

Mystery solved! She found the Kindle.

This is what I believe happened– While my husband was placing our son into his car seat, on the evening we went to dinner, he placed the tablet in the space between the rear window and the trunk. It’s the small space that you have to dig into when it snows. Yup. That small space was what saved the Kindle from meeting its end. Obviously, he forgot to retrieve it.

Then I thought, “Hmm, this Kindle survived our trip to the restaurant, into and unnamed town (has a bad rep) and it didn’t get stolen. It survived my trips to the grocery stores and work and snow showers. And I didn’t notice it sitting against the window.”

This led me to meditate–we can be so distracted by all that is going on in our lives that we aren’t present or “in the moment”. We are surviving, but not functioning at our best.

We tend to worry about every-day-life and we forget what Matthew 6:25-26 says:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”.

Scripture tells us not to worry and that God will take care of our needs. But we don’t do that.

Exhausted from our work week. Drained by all the negativity in the media. Unsure of how we will pay this bill or the next. Tired of the gossip. The teenager doesn’t listen. The spouse doesn’t care anymore. The best friend betrayed me.

Just like the Kindle, we are holding on to dear life and we fail to remember that we aren’t alone. God is still there. Waiting for us to talk to Him.

But, if we cannot slow down, when will we have time to spend with God? How will we hear God’s voice? When will we give Him our worries?

We need to learn to “stop and smell the roses”. We need to learn to trust Jesus with everything. That means our day, our household, our family, our work etc.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Giving all our worries to our Creator is a good thing. He can work on resolving all those problems and working it out all for our own good. He knows best.

“And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Romans 8:27-29; KJV

Distractions and worries are robbing us from living a full life in Christ. God tells us, through His Word, not to worry because He provides for our needs, to trust Him with everything because He will work it out for our own good.

Instead of hanging on for dear life, let’s give God our worries and live purposefully.

Ps. I am happy to report that the Kindle functions. Not at 100%, but it does. Hubby bought me an iPad mini.

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Faith

Unconditional love reproofs, corrects and indoctrinates

The Bible is a God-inspired, collection of books that serves to reprimand, correct and teach us sound doctrine.

Because God loves us unconditionally, He left us an “instruction manual” that tells us how we should live our lives. These are not suggestions, these are commands.

Just like parents set the rules in their households, so does God. We warn our children of the consequences of their actions, we discipline and correct them when they misbehave and we give them various opportunities to rectify their wrongdoings.

Even when they continue to defy us and break our rules, we continue to love them.

God does, too! He continues to love us when we fail Him, when we break His commandments and when we refuse to correct our behavior. What a merciful God we serve?!

And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:15-17; KJV

There are many stories in the Bible that show what the consequences of obedience and disobedience are. We read about God’s mercy, His warnings, His love, and anger, among other things.

For example, David’s fleshly desires caused him to sin. He committed adultery and tried to cover up his sin. The woman conceived and because of sin, the child died. David displeased God. (Read the full story here: 2 Samuel 11 & 2 Samuel 12)

In another example, Abraham and his wife Sarah entered a new town during their travels. Abraham feared that he would be killed because of his wife’s beauty. They decided to lie about their relationship. The King took her as his wife. However, God warned Abimelek, in a dream, that Sarah is a married woman and if he touched her there would be consequences. (Read the full story here: Genesis 20)

There are consequences to our actions.

The Lord sends many warnings before unleashing his judgment; however, many people refuse to listen to God. Through the Word, He calls out our sin, He urges us to make changes to our behavior and He tells us how much he loves us. But people aren’t listening.

Many people refuse to correct their behavior because they believe scripture is “hateful and untrue”, “it is my life and I live like I want to” and “we can’t say that; it’s offensive”, among other thoughts.

Reality is……

God loves us. His mercy abounds. He dislikes sin. He is holy.

“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:” 1 Peter 1:15-17; KJV

He gave us rules to live by and the ability to make our own choices. However, there are eternal consequences to choosing God or rejecting Him. This choice cannot be corrected once we die.

But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:22-23; KJV

It’s your choice to make! Eternal life or death? Which one will you choose?

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Faith

When everything appears to fall apart….

With the elections underway in the United States of America, many of us have mixed feelings about the candidates and the process. We don’t know who to vote for. Who is the real deal? Who speaks truth? Don’t actions speak louder than words?

There is uncertainty in the air. How do we shake off the uneasiness?

As a Christian, I am leaning on God’s guidance and strength. Whoever becomes the President of the United States, was chosen by God, either to bring judgment or to restore America.(That’s not to say that I am not doing research and paying attention. I am and it is important to be impartial. )

Everything appears to fall apart, but God is in control.

Just as the Lord has control over the wind and sea (Mark 4:39-40), he has control over this election. It is an ugly election. Too much “rock throwing” and not enough repentance.

This past year, many events have unfolded that have made people uncomfortable, angry and passionate. The Lord has allowed this to happen. Why?

Mark 4:22 tells us that, “For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.”

Everything that sits in darkness has to come out into the light and only God can make that happen. Ever hear, “God doesn’t like ugly!”?

Sin is ugly. He doesn’t like it. He will expose it and we aren’t going to like it. We don’t have to. God is God and He can do what He desires. Who are we to applaud one sin and condemn another?

Sin is sin. Period.

Where is God in all of this? 

He is sitting on His throne watching us closely. (Oh, yes He is!)

He is waiting for His people to rise up and call on Him.

He is waiting for His people to trust Him.

He is waiting for His people to seek Him and worship Him in Spirit and in truth.

He is right next to each of us, waiting for us to repent and to come to Him with our concerns.

Bottom line: God is tired of sin and unrepentant hearts.

God has been removed from schools, the workplace, the court system and… this one will shock many people– the church! (Did you know that every church isn’t part of God’s church?)

However, there is hope in Him! If we focus on God’s promises, we will gain  perspective and hope. The following scriptures are a reminder that regardless of who becomes President, God is still in control. 

God is going to fight for His people. He will protect us. 

And I commanded Joshua at that time, saying, Thine eyes have seen all that the Lord your God hath done unto these two kings: so shall the Lord do unto all the kingdoms whither thou passest. Ye shall not fear them: for the Lord your God he shall fight for you.” Deuteronomy 3:21-22

God’s will be done, not man’s. 

” After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” Matthew 6:9-13

God will guide us and help us.

“’For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.  Do not be afraid, for I myself will help you,’ declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 41:13-14

Trust in God and only God.

“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” Proverbs 29:25

 

God bless you & yours,

Ivette

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Faith

Do we truly love God?

 

Many people claim to love God, but their actions prove otherwise.

Deuteronomy 6:5 says, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”

Do we really love Him?

We walk throughout life as if God owes us something. He doesn’t owe us a thing! On the contrary, where is the faithfulness of His people?

Many claim to love God, but they never pray, attend services, or read the Bible.

Many claim to love God, but once the going gets tough in this walk, they abandon God.

Many claim to love God, but as soon as they don’t like what the Holy Spirit speaks through an anointed and chosen Servant, they leave the church “offended”, calling it hate.

Many claim to love God, but they walk in disobedience.

Many claim to love God, but instead of helping God’s Ministry move forth, they destroy it with gossip, negative criticism, and they criticize the leader of the church.

Let’s be real. Do we truly love God? Or are we seeking Him because there is a benefit in doing so? Whom have we laid our eyes on? Whom are we serving?

Something to ponder.

 

God bless you and yours,

Ivette

 

Christian Life

Family & “Sunday dinners”

 

It’s not often that my family can get together for a “Sunday dinner”. My sister lives 2,000+ miles away, my dad works evenings and frankly, I am too tired after church service (5 – 6 hours later. Yup.).

Well, my sister is visiting from out-of-town, and she decided to make dinner for the family (yesterday). She desired to have a “sit-down dinner”, which we haven’t had in a while, as a family.

Frankly, a “sit-down” meal doesn’t happen at our house! Normally, my two-year-old runs around the kitchen because he wants to, I stand at the counter trying to swallow my food and chase my son, while the husband is lost in our house. Nice, huh?

This time it was different: my sister set the dinner table with white plates, eating utensils, napkins and wine glasses (for juice or water; we don’t consume alcohol.). The chicken alfredo was ready and we waited on the garlic bread.

After wrestling with the toddler for a bit, we finally got him into his high chair and we sat down at the table. There were six of us. (My dad and brother-in-law were not present as they were both at work. Booo!)

Prior to “digging in”, we prayed and thanked God for our meal and family.

“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” Psalm 100:4

This is important to us, as a family. We value God, His principles and teachings. And I want my son to understand how important God and family are. God is first, then family.

[bctt tweet=””Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6″ username=”inhispurpose7″]

Then we served dinner, chatted for a bit and laughed often. It was a nice change.

For some families, it is a challenge to get everyone together for dinner. Even those living under your own roof!

It’s a challenge for my family, as my husband and I arrive home at different times. And it’s not possible to wait so long to have dinner as a family. I need to feed my toddler (when he decides he is hungry).

Also, I attend services on weeknights and that means that we have to eat quickly and go. Off to Bible Study, prayer night or evangelical service, usually three nights in a week, sometimes less. I need to spend time with my family, too. What kind of Christian am I, if I can’t give my family attention?

“But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” 1 Timothy 5:8

Of course, it doesn’t mean that “sit-down” dinners cannot happen. It is not possible every evening, but I can try to make it happen every Sunday.

Do you have a hard time preparing meals or getting everyone together?

A few things that have worked for me:

  • Use a crockpot
  • Prepare meals the previous day (cook it when you get home and serve an appetizer while you wait.)
  • Cook the meal the morning of and warm it up later
  • Take-out! (I’d like to avoid this one.)
  • We have dinner at the counter (sometimes)

 

What has worked for you and your family? I’d love to hear from you.

God bless you & yours,

Ivette

 

 

 

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