Stop and look around

I wonder how often we stop and just take a look at our surroundings. It is so easy to just get on the go and get involved with this good thing and that good thing and before long, we are so wrapped up and intertwined in things that we do not have a moment to just stop and observe. I wrote a while back about what happened when I stopped to observe the condition of my house – it was pretty junky and in need of a deep clean. But, our spiritual lives and get that way too.

We spend time at this study and that study just taking in knowledge. We read this good book and that good book and store it all up for a rainy day or for that conversation that arises where we can share what we know.

But the problem with this is that there is no active change in us while we are gathering. Think of it this way – if all we ever did was gather food and never cooked it and never ate it, we would still be hungry. Some of us gather spiritual knowledge and never partake of it for our own lives.

There is nothing wrong with gathering knowledge. But joy is in the application of what we have learned. It is in that application of that knowledge that we have a true experience with God. That’s where we develop intimacy with Him.

So, on this day, when I look out my window and see the rain coming down, replenishing this drought-laden city, I rejoice at the hand of the almighty. He knows just how to send everything in its time. I rejoice and think of God because I’ve taken time, particularly this past week, to get to know Him a little better. I’m beginning to apply His word to my life in a brand new way.

It is my prayer today that you will stop and look around at your surrounds. Take it in for what it is. And, then dig deep into a rewarding fellowship with our God. It’s worth the effort!

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Battle-ready

The war is raging. I’m not talking about the US involvement in Iraq – although the peace in Baghdad has been replaced with increased violence. I’m talking about a spiritual war. The spiritual war rages on. To see it, we have to look at the events of our times through the lens of the Holy Scripture.

Ephesians 6 tells us that we are in a war. We are battling the rulers of darkness. But, we do not have to fall – instead, these Scriptures record the keys to success. As Christians, we can defeat the adversary and stand against his attacks by putting on the whole armor of God.

I find that is where we mess up. Sometimes, we run out to attack the enemy with no battle gear. The result? We come back wounded. Sometimes, we run out to do battle with only one piece or two pieces of our battle gear on. The result? We come back wounded in the area we neglected to protect. So, you see where I am going.

God has provided for us everything that we need to stand against the fiery darts of our adversary. We have access to everything. But, we have to put it on. The war is a certainty. Our putting on our proper gear so that we are prepared is not guaranteed. We have to do better. We have to be the example for this sin-obsessed world.

When we put on the whole armor of God, we are able to stand. We are able to accurately use the sword – which is the Word of God and we are able to pray confidently knowing that the battle has already been won.

This is indeed a praying time. One has only to watch television to come to this conclusion. It is my prayer that as this war rages, that we, as Christians, will come to the place where we never leave home without our spiritual battle gear.

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Trust = Peace

What’s on your mind this morning? Is it the Lord or some other thing?

For the past week, I’ve gone to bed in prayer thinking about a certain situation. I’ve woken up in prayer to God about that same situation. And, while this would normally cause me much discomfort and anxiety, I have a certain peace about it. The ability to take all of my cares and concerns to the Lord comforts me. He cares about my every detail – and yours too.

Trusting in God floods me with peace. I’m not in this situation by myself. He is there too. His love and care for me is eternal. That’s pretty amazing. I know this because I ran across it in Isaiah.

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.” – Isaiah 26:3-4

I hope that you find comfort in that passage of Scripture. I know that I have.

Blessings,
Sanya

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Keep on Trusting

My pastor recently preached a sermon entitled “The Upside of Being Down.” It was as if that sermon was preached with my situation in mind. God has a way of speaking directly to your situation. I received that word of faith that Sunday morning and have determined to keep myself stayed on trusting in the Lord. Sometimes it is a lot easier to give up on God and return to our normal state of depending on ourselves which leads to worry and confusion. But, I am reminded early this morning to rely solely on the Lord. It does not much matter what the circumstances look like. It does matter that God is still in control. So, I trust Him this morning.

Whenever I get a little shaky and want to resort back to my normal state of trying to understand and analyze everything, I encourage myself with Scripture. I would like to share a few verses with you this morning. It is my prayer that you will be encouraged and reminded that there is nothing impossible with the Lord. He has a good plan for your life. If you stay connected to Him, even through the tough times, everything will be alright. It will all work out for your good.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

“”Ah Sovereign Lord, You have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you…” Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” – Jeremiah 32:17,26-27

“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” – Psalm 37:7

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The Choice is Yours

Have you been watching the news lately? It seems like there is an onslaught of high profile figures being caught with their pants down…. There was even a special on television that spoke about the women of the night – professional escorts and prostitutes. We are seeing the results of a sinful – lust-filled society.

If you flip the channel, we see game-show contestants willing to nationally air their laundry at their family members’ expense. The sought-after prize – money. We are seeing the results of a sinful – greed-filled society.

Flip the channel again. We see advertisements for food – all you can eat buffets for just one low price. And the next commercial is one for a quick-fix weight-loss program – yours for just one small fee if you call within the next 10 minutes. Gluttony anyone?

Our televisions, radios, newspapers and magazines are filled with the seven deadly sins: pride, envy, anger, sloth, greed, gluttony and lust. Our society embraces and promotes living lives filled with all of this stuff. None of which is what God desires for us.

Thus, we are faced with a choice. As in all things, there is a decision that must be made. Will we continue to trudge along with society – embracing these things that God tells us to avoid or will we dare to be different. Will we dare to serve God and be holy? Will we then embrace consecration and allow the Lord to use us to positively impact a morally weak and sinful society?

That’s a personal choice. We have to decide if we will be filled with the seven deadly sins or if we will embrace the fruit of the Spirit. Will we turn:

Pride to kindness
Envy to joy
Anger to gentleness
Sloth to Faith
Greed to peace and goodness
Gluttony to Self-control
Lust to Patience and Self-Control (from Randy Rowlands’ Book, The Sins We Love)

With the aid of the Holy Spirit, you can do these things. Without the help of the Holy Spirit, you will find yourself always trying and always failing. But with Him, you can do all things.

Dare to be different from mainstream. Embrace the truth of the Bible. So, what choice will you make?

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Is Sin Dead?

So, how did you spend your Easter? I spent much of my time in worship services and that was just fine by me.

On Thursday afternoon, I had an opportunity to get my car serviced. While I was waiting for the work to be done, I came across an article in USA Today that spoke on the subject of Good Friday and its meaning today. One pertinent thing that was mentioned was that we are not going to recognize the significance of Good Friday if we don’t first recognize our own sin. As a Christian, this article explained some of the frustration that I feel when trying to explain some of the choices that I’ve made in my life since becoming a Christian. What is more important, it has given me that much more “fire in my belly” to move forward in the things of God.

I hope that you will trot on over to USA Today and take a look at this article. Read it in its entirety. You will have spent your time well. To read the article, click here.

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God IS Involved!

Hello Bloggy Friends!

Today is a great day! I’m alive. Yesterday, was a great day as well. I saw the hand of God move purposefully and directly in my life. Let me tell you what happened! It was awesome!

I had a presentation to make at my job. I didn’t want to make the presentation for various reasons. I took my plee to God and He worked every single detail of my presentation out on my behalf. He did it all! To God be the glory! He is soooo very worthy! He didn’t remove the trial but He gave me everything that I needed to endure it.

And, that’s my testimony this morning. I wish you could have been there to see God moving on people and causing them to respond with favor towards me. It was excellent! Excellent! Excellent! I know that God is real and that He moves! He answered my prayers and the prayers of those that I asked to pray for me. What favor! What love!

I’m still thinking about it today. He causes everything to work out for our good. It’s a Romans 8:28 kind of experience.

Anyway, I’m running behind schedule but since I didn’t post yesterday, I wanted to get back on track and let you know that God is yet alive and very active in the affairs of His children.

God ahead and fully trust Him. Put your hope in Him. He cares for you!

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A House of Prayer

When Jesus came into Jerusalem, He got straight to work. He did not bask in the fanfare of the cheers of Hosanna from the great multitude. Instead, He went to the temple. It was time for a cleansing!

Jesus went into the temple and “cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves, and said unto them, ‘It is written, MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED THE HOUSE OF PRAYER; but ye have made it a den of thieves.'” (Matthew 21:12-13)

Reading over this passage reminded me of just how HOLY our places of worship really are. I know that we like to gather there and catch up with one another – we love to fellowship with each other. But, Jesus says here that the temple is the house of PRAYER.

When we ENTER our local places of worship, do we pray? What’s the first thing that we do when we walk in? Are we looking around for our favorite seat or looking for someone that we need to do business with? It seems to me the suggestion here is that prayer should be what we are about when we enter our places of worship. And, while it may seem ridiculous to ask this next question, I’m going to do it anyway. While we are there, do we pray? Is prayer a part of your worship experience. I know that prayer happens, but the question is – do you pray? Do you pray for the preacher? Do you pray for yourself? Do you pray for your loved ones while you are in your place of worship.

Does it not make you stop and think about your actions just two days ago (presuming you attend church on Sunday)? I think we could all stand to have a bit more reverence for the things of God. So, let us all work towards that end. It’s something to PRAY about!

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Palm Sunday


As Christians, we have now entered into our most sacred week – Holy Week, the annual celebration of the events that lead up to Resurrection Sunday (Easter). There is a certain stirring in my soul.

I begin this week excited – just as those that experienced this week were. Yesterday was Palm Sunday. And, although we did not wave palm branches around and create a processional, I still vividly see in my minds eye what it must have been like. My Jesus, riding into town on a donkey to the excited cheers and cries from the onlookers. In my mind, I am there amidst the crowd celebrating Him. Hosanna!

Palm Sunday is personally special to me. I gave my life to Christ on a Palm Sunday. So, each year that rolls around, I celebrate Palm Sunday with a little extra zeal. I thank God for the events that unfolded during Holy Week so many years ago. It still resonates with me today.

What about you? What does Palm Sunday mean to you?

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Depend on God

It’s Friday! And, I must admit that it has been a very difficult week for me. But the interesting thing is, through it all, I’ve talked to God at every step and told Him exactly what I was going through. He made it alright for me. In my spirit I had peace.

Well, the enemy was none too pleased with that. So, yesterday, I was suddenly ill to the point where I had to leave work. That was an issue because I have a deadline that I’m working towards. Yesterday was not good timing for illness. But, once again, I ran to the Lord and told Him my concerns and the time constraints that I was working under. He told me to rest, so I rested. Then, I took care of everything that I had previously scheduled. And, as I kept talking to the Lord, I felt better. Last night, even though I stayed up late to get to a good stopping point for the evening with my deadline, I was not sleepy while doing the work and this morning, I feel refreshed on just a few hours of sleep.

So, you see where I am going. Our every dependence should be on God. I don’t know what kind of week you have had. But, I can assure you of this, when you lean wholly on God, He can make even the worst of weeks smell like fresh cut roses to your soul.

Have a great weekend!

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