Do You Remember Fun?

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Do you remember having fun

When you were just a little one?

Remember going out to play

For almost all of every day?

Back then a chore was such a pain—

Such a waste of time and brain—

And having fun was easily done

Outside where you could yell and run.

Do you find now you can’t recall

When last you had any fun at all?

If you don’t work all day long,

Every day, you think it’s wrong.

Put maybe your head would not ache today

And your nervousness would go way

If you could relax and go outside

To run and jump and seek and hide

Just like the kid you used to be.

Back when life was fun and free.

O.W.L.

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I’m Trying, But…..

I’m trying, but…

what I want to do,
I don’t do enough of,
and what I don’t want to do,
I do too much of.
I know the rules for a Christian life,
according to the Bible,
and I’m trying; I really am, but…
heaven and eternity seem so far away,
and the rampantly materialistic world
presses in so close
from every direction, every side,
that I get distracted.
Focus, focus, focus!
I need to focus, laser-like
on a simple, God-centered life.
Do I really need
to make that frivolous purchase,
instead of giving the money
to someone who needs it
so much more than I do?
Can I watch that TV show,
read that book, listen to that song
that contains (and promotes!)
even a little bit
of what the Bible forbids,
without being corrupted?
Do I do enough
to love and help and encourage others?
Pride always hovers,
eagerly waiting
to subdue and conquer humility,
so I think too much of myself.
I know the rules;
the Bible makes everything clear.
Forgive me, Lord;
I’m trying, but…

Romans 7:15
Matthew 6:19
Matthew 22:39
Philippians 4:8

By Joanna Fuchs

The Power Of Encouragement

No matter how you may try to avoid it, life happens.  When it does you can find yourself in a place of struggle; in the midst of mistakes and failures; trying to rebuild what you may have lost; or at the very least, finding the strength to just keep going.  Sometimes life can deliver a punch so hard it can take the fight right out of you and you become totally and completely discouraged.

Discouragement is often the gap that separates our expectation from our reality.

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Hebrews 10:23 tells us to hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised…  We know that God will do exactly what He said.  We know if He has given you a promise it will surely come to pass.  However, until the expectation becomes reality there are always people more than willing to use any opportunity they can to plant seeds of negativity.  They will tell you, “You’ll never make it.”  “Do you really think God can use you?”   “You’ll never have a good name.” “You’ll never have your dream.” “It’s not going to work.”  Words.  Words delivered to discourage you.  Words designed to destroy you because discouragement handled incorrectly becomes demise.

Words may be the enemy’s oldest weapon against you, but know God will never fail!

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I don’t know of a greater example of this than the story of Nehemiah.  In short, the Babylonian army had overtaken the people of God.  The city was left in ruins and the temple had been devastated.  But God had promised the people earlier that the Babylonian empire would fall.  When it did they received word they could rebuild the temple of God.  There was only one problem, they had been through so much their hope, finances, resources and willpower were at an all time low.   They were tired.  The kind of tired that sleep doesn’t help.

God, in His faithfulness, knew what they needed and sent them a leader named Nehemiah.  Nehemiah began to encourage them with positive communication.  He created a plan to address the problem so they could regain their momentum. Nehemiah demonstrated the power of encouragement.

If Christ is really in us, then encouragement can surely help us to live out the gospel.When you’ve lost so much, including your willpower and your desire, it’s a crazy feeling.  When you have no fight left, it’s easy to move into survival mode where your normal becomes “numb.”  When you’re in the presence of people trying to keep you down, it’s not easy to get up.  It’s not easy to straighten up when you’ve messed up.  Nevertheless, you’ve come too far, you can’t die now and you’re not at liberty to quit.   You need to know that, and so does someone else.

let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:  not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another:…Hebrews 10:24-25.Nehemiah developed strategies and tools that silenced the voices of those trying to get the people of God to forget who they were and give up.  They are the same strategies and tools we need for one another today.  You may not know what someone else is going through, but encouragement is the key to caring.  It’s the expression that will help somebody to keep going.  It’s exactly what they need to lift their countenance, dry their tears and put their praise back on.  Be intentional.  Look for opportunities to encourage someone else.   is a life changer!

I want to encourage you today in whatever you’re facing to remember that God sees, He knows, and He’s about to send you the help and provision you need to succeed. I pray that He fortifies your strength and reignites your passion for purpose. You’re too close to the finish line to stop now, and in spite of who’s waiting for you to fail, there’s somebody counting on you to win.

-Pastor Sheryl Brady

When My Heart Is Vexed, I Will Complain

 

“O Lord, how canst Thou say Thou lovest me? 
    Me whom thou settest in a barren land, 
    Hungry and thirsty on the burning sand, 
Hungry and thirsty where no waters be 
Nor shadows of date-bearing tree:– 
O Lord, how canst Thou say Thou lovest me?” 

“I came from Edom by as parched a track, 
    As rough a track beneath My bleeding feet. 
    I came from Edom seeking thee, and sweet 
I counted bitterness; I turned not back 
But counted life as death, and trod 
The winepress all alone: and I am God.” 

“Yet, Lord, how canst Thou say Thou lovest me? 
    For Thou art strong to comfort: and could I 
    But comfort one I love, who, like to die, 
Lifts feeble hands and eyes that fail to see 
In one last prayer for comfort–nay, 
I could not stand aside or turn away.” 

“Alas! thou knowest that for thee I died 
    For thee I thirsted with the dying thirst; 
    I, Blessed, for thy sake was counted cursed, 
In sight of men and angels crucified: 
All this and more I bore to prove 
My love, and wilt thou yet mistrust My love?” 

“Lord, I am fain to think Thou lovest me, 
    For Thou art all in all and I am Thine; 
    And lo! Thy love is better than new wine, 
And I am sick of love in loving Thee. 
But dost Thou love me? speak and save, 
For jealousy is cruel as the grave.” 

“Nay, if thy love is not an empty breath 
    My love is as thine own–deep answers deep. 
    Peace, peace: I give to my beloved sleep, 
Not death but sleep, for love is strong as death: 
Take patience; sweet thy sleep shall be, 
Yea, thou shalt wake in Paradise with Me.”

       – Christina G. Rossetti

Love Slave

What do you think of if I say “love slave“? There is a beautiful picture of the real meaning in the book of Deuteronomy in the Old Testament. God was telling the Israelites about the requirements of the Sabbath Year which was every seventh year in their calendar. All debts were to be forgiven and if you had a slave, they were to be set free.

However, what if the slave did not want to go? “And it shall come about if he says to you, ‘I will not go out from you,’ because he loves you and your household, since he fares well with you.” (Deuteronomy 15:16)

If that happened there was a special ceremony marking the slave for the rest of his or her life. “Then you shall take an awl and pierce it through his ear into the door, and he shall be your servant forever.” (Verse 17) The slave would bear an earring that basically said to all: “I chose this; I am a voluntary slave for the sake of love.”

Are you a bond servant of the Lord Jesus Christ? Paul, Peter and James often called themselves such in their greeting when they wrote letters to the churches. Their Jewish audience readily understood the original imagery. They did not want to go free; they wanted to be a love slave of the Lord for life.

Have you called on Jesus to be your Savior? That’s wonderful – you have made the right choice. But have you also called on him to be your Lord and Master? Did you ever say to him; “I will not go out from you”?

Well then, you know what that makes you.