Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wednesday Worship -- Because of Jesus

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. ~~John 14:6 NIV

Engrafted by His Grace--

Monday, April 27, 2009

Who Am I?

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. ~~Psalm 139:13-14 NIV
I've wondered who I really am. Have you wondered who you truly are?

Our Creator knit us together in our mother's womb; making us His handiwork. He knows who He created us to be.

Today in Henderson, NV, at CLASSeminars Personality Training Workshop, I'm learning more about God's handiwork in His people. Each of us are unique, however, we display basic personality traits. I hope to learn more about how the Lord created me and each one of us.

I'm passionate about learning this and sharing it with others. The Lord used the understanding of the personalities to bring a healing in my home that my husband and I sought for years. Eldon and I started to understand each other. We started to understand our children and how God created us. Now we work to build each other up in the way God created us to be.

After I receive this instruction and training this week, Lord willing, I plan to become a Certified Personality Trainer to share this liberating information with couples, families, churches and businesses.

Are you still wondering who you are? A wonderful child of the Most High God, wonderfully and fearfully made.

Engrafted by His Grace--

Friday, April 24, 2009

Productive Mom

Now I see how to organize my home so I can be more productive.

Engrafted by His Grace--

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wednesday Worship -- Free

My friends, you were chosen to be free. So don't use your freedom as an excuse to do anything you want. Use it as an opportunity to serve each other with love. ~~ Galatians 5:12 CEV

Engrafted by His Grace--

Monday, April 20, 2009

Stand Alone

Although baseball is a team sport, there comes a time during the game the player must stand alone. In the batter box, the player is alone. No one else can make decisions for him. He can look at the coach for guidance, but when the pitch is thrown the batter has to make his own choice—to swing or not to swing. He is standing alone.

Coast to Coast Athletics taught four fundamental truths that apply to playing baseball. The second of the truths presented was stand alone. When it comes to maintaining integrity, often it requires standing alone, not following the crowd.

In Judges 6, Gideon faced that choice. When the angel of the Lord met with Gideon, Gideon wanted to offer sacrifices to the Lord. He did and when it was received Gideon knew he was in the presence of the Lord. Then Gideon received his instructions.

That night the Lord said to Gideon, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one that is seven years old. Pull down your father’s altar to Baal, and cut down the Asherah pole standing beside it. Then build an altar to the Lord your God here on this hilltop sanctuary, laying the stones carefully. Sacrifice the bull as a burnt offering on the altar, using as fuel the wood of the Asherah pole you cut down.” ~~Judges 6:25-26 NLT

Gideon received his guidance from the Lord just as a batter receives instruction from the coach. Now like a batter alone in the batter’s box, Gideon had to make a choice. Either follow the instruction or allow the fear what his father and the people would say or do to him stop him.

So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the Lord had commanded. But he did it at night because he was afraid of the other members of his father’s household and the people of the town. ~~Judges 6:27 NLT

So Gideon followed the instruction received. He alone made the choice, and then enlisted the help of his servants. Some choices are not easy to follow. Sometimes the batter has to make a choice to swing the bat as instructed. Sometimes the coach will ask the player to make a choice he doesn’t want to follow. Either way, he must stand alone.

As believers in Christ we are part of a team, yet we face times when we must make a decision alone. Rest assured—we have our guidance from the Lord. But as we stand alone we must make the choice to follow our Lord. Our family and friends may not make the same choice. But do we follow them or Christ? Do we eat that cookie or not? When we feel the nudge to call someone, do we make the call or not? When prompted to give to a particular ministry, do we give or rationalize how we can better use our money?

If we follow the directions of the Lord, He will never fail us. Stand alone and follow Christ!

Engrafted by His Grace--

Friday, April 17, 2009

Positive Proclamation

A little boy was overheard talking to himself as he strutted through the backyard, wearing his baseball cap and toting a ball and bat, "I'm the greatest hitter in the world," he announced.

Then, he tossed the ball into the air, swung at it, and missed.

"Strike One!" he yelled. Undaunted, he picked up the ball and said again,

"I'm the greatest hitter in the world!"

He tossed the ball into the air. When it came down he swung again and missed.

"Strike Two!" he cried.

The boy then paused a moment to examine his bat and ball carefully.

He spit on his hands and rubbed them together. He straightened his cap and said once more,

"I'm the greatest hitter in the world!"

Again he tossed the ball up in the air and swung at it. He missed.

"Strike Three!"

"Wow!" he exclaimed. "I'm the greatest pitcher in the world.

(Summary of KennyRogers "Baseball Song--The Greatest)

Engrafted by His Grace--

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wednesday Worship

Worshiping the Lord in song lifts the spirit. Give God the glory and praise Him with the Newsboys in "He Reigns."

Engrafted by His Grace--

Monday, April 13, 2009

Bear the Pain

In the last inning of the second game of the double-header, we were down by two runs and had one out. There was a runner on first base. Chase came up to the plate to bat. His hit drove the ball on the ground right toward the short-stop who rushed it, tossed it to second and second threw to first for a double play ending the game. Our team lost 10-6. It was the first defeat our team experienced after five wins in a row. Chase felt the pain of defeat on his shoulders.

In Coast to Coast Athletics, they taught four fundamental truths to apply to baseball. The first moral truth is to bear the pain. As players, they must be willing to experience pain—whether emotional or physical. Chase felt emotional pain that night.

Last week Chase experienced physical pain in his opening game of the Little League season. From his position of second base, he caught a fly ball. As the ball entered his glove, he put his right hand in front of the glove and the ball hyper-extended his thumb causing bruising and swelling. This caused him to sit out for a few days.

As Christians, our lives have both physical pain and emotional pain. We can be doing all the right things and still experience pain in our walk as believers. The apostles were no strangers to pain after the Pentecost in Acts.

. . . and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. Acts 5:40-41 ESV

The apostles experienced physical pain from boldly proclaiming the gospel. And on top of it, they rejoiced for being considered worthy of suffering! How often do we rejoice in our suffering?

While experiencing the pain, the Lord can work on us to improve us if we allow Him. After the final out of the game, Chase has worked more on his batting skills. He is in the learning process. Also after the pain of putting his hand in front of the glove while catching the ball has made him more alert to his positions. We learn from pain as it sears the lesson into our memory.

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. ~~1 Peter 5:10 ESV

God promises to “restore, confirm, strengthen and establish” us if will bear the pain. If we quit, then we won’t grow. Chase endured his pain and maintains his passion for the sport of baseball. As believers in Christ, let our passion to serve Him be so great, we willingly bear the pain and rejoice.

Engrafted by His Grace--

Saturday, April 11, 2009

I'm Alive Because of Jesus Christ

The only reason I am alive and can testify of Christ today is because of the blood that was shed, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I live because He lives. This song resonates frequently in my head as I remember why I'm alive.

Please take a few minutes to listen. Thank God for Jesus for He's the reason we're alive. Take some time to pray for those who don't know Him that they will come to know Him so they too can live.

Engrafted by His Grace--

Friday, April 10, 2009

Reflect on Christ

On this Friday, let's reflect on what Christ did for us on Calvary.

Isaiah 53 (The Message)
1 Who believes what we've heard and seen? Who would have thought God's saving power would look like this?

2-6The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling,
a scrubby plant in a parched field.
There was nothing attractive about him,
nothing to cause us to take a second look.
He was looked down on and passed over,
a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.
One look at him and people turned away.
We looked down on him, thought he was scum.
But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—
our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought he brought it on himself,
that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him,
that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
Through his bruises we get healed.
We're all like sheep who've wandered off and gotten lost.
We've all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we've done wrong,
on him, on him.

7-9He was beaten, he was tortured,
but he didn't say a word.
Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered
and like a sheep being sheared,
he took it all in silence.
Justice miscarried, and he was led off—
and did anyone really know what was happening?
He died without a thought for his own welfare,
beaten bloody for the sins of my people.
They buried him with the wicked,
threw him in a grave with a rich man,
Even though he'd never hurt a soul
or said one word that wasn't true.

10Still, it's what God had in mind all along,
to crush him with pain.
The plan was that he give himself as an offering for sin
so that he'd see life come from it—life, life, and more life.
And God's plan will deeply prosper through him.

11-12Out of that terrible travail of soul,
he'll see that it's worth it and be glad he did it.
Through what he experienced, my righteous one, my servant,
will make many "righteous ones,"
as he himself carries the burden of their sins.
Therefore I'll reward him extravagantly—
the best of everything, the highest honors—
Because he looked death in the face and didn't flinch,
because he embraced the company of the lowest.
He took on his own shoulders the sin of the many,
he took up the cause of all the black sheep.

Engrafted by His Grace--

Monday, April 6, 2009

Just Wait

We must wait for answers to come. Sometimes we receive answer right away other times we just have to wait. I admit--waiting can be hard. I want to know the result, the outcome--NOW.

Naomi traveled to a foreign land with her husband to seek provisions. In that land her husband died. Her sons married local women and then later her two sons also died. When Naomi started to return to her homeland, both her daughters-in-law wanted to go with her. Naomi, feeling bitter from her tragedies, told them to return to the house of their fathers. She could not do any more for them. Orpah returned to her land, but Ruth stayed with Naomi.

When they arrived, Ruth went out to the fields to glean grain. Boaz, the owner of the field took notice of Ruth. He told her to stay in his fields as he instructed his servants not to touch her and to allow her to drink water from his vessels. Boaz heard Ruth was faithful to her mother-in-law leaving her own father and mother as well as her native land to live a life in an unknown land. He even fed her bread and wine until she was full. She had leftovers to take home to her mother-in-law.

When she arrived home, Naomi asked Ruth how her day went. When Ruth told her, she remembered that Boaz was a kinsman redeemer. Naomi instructed Ruth what to do next. Ruth followed the instructions she received sleeping at the feet of Boaz on the threshing floor. When Boaz stirred around in the night, he was startled to find a woman at his feet. When he asked who she was, she informed him that he was her redeemer. Apparently, he had done some checking around already. He knew he was in line, but there was someone before him who had the legal right to be the redeemer. He told her this matter and then sent her on her way before anyone would see her there.

Ruth then informed Naomi of the situation. Naomi told Ruth:

"Wait, my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out, for the man will not rest but will settle the matter today." ~~ Ruth 3:18 ESV

Ruth had to wait. Not knowing the answer. She knew Boaz. She had been treated kindly by him finding favor in his eyes. Do you really think she wanted another redeemer? I don’t think so. I wonder if Ruth paced the floor in her home and if Naomi told her to sit still or to calm down. Did she fret or worry about the decision at all? She had to wait.

In the meantime while Ruth waited, Boaz went to the city gate to take care of the legal matters. The first in line redeemer declined his right to purchase the property and redeem Ruth. Once the matters where handled in appropriate fashion, Boaz became Ruth’s redeemer. Then they were married.

What would have happened if Ruth did not wait? What if she had gone herself to the other redeemer attempting to take matters into her own hands? But she did not.

Ruth waited and then Ruth was blessed. Sometimes we have to just wait on the Lord to work through other people.

Engrafted by His Grace--

Friday, April 3, 2009

Extreme Approval Addiction

Personally, I like to receive approval. It's part of my personality. But a few days ago my very loving husband pointed out that perhaps I've taken my desire for approval into the addiction realm. He showed me after overhearing a conversation that went like this:

"Hey, girlfriend. What cha doin'?"


"Are you my girlfriend?"


"Am I doing good?"

"Meow." [Translates to "you're the best."]

So is training the cat to respond to me in the affirmative an approval addiction problem? It seems sweet as sugar.

Engrafted by His Grace--