Being a Child

As a child, I remember asking my Momma, ” How old do I have to be to stay up late?” Her answer was, “We will see.” (Which I did not think was an answer!)

Though I had a happy childhood, I so wanted to be a teenager, so I could have a later bedtime, and more allowance. Then, as a young teen I wanted to be an older teen so I could get a job and drive a car.

Then, I wanted to go to college, to be on my own, to become someone with a good degree. After college, I looked forward to getting a great job…

Do you see my pattern of thinking? I was always looking forward to a status I did not have. It is not wrong to want these things at all. However, they have to be under our #1 desire to have what the Lord wants us to have.

And do you know what status Jesus wants us to want, no matter our age? The humble status of a child. That’s what He told the disciples:

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them  and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:1-4 ESV

I do not think the disciples were expecting THAT answer! Just a guess, but they may have asked that, so they would know where they stood. Perhaps they wanted to do better, be better, in His eyes?

That is not a bad thing and there was nothing wrong with their question, because they learned something from it. I, too, learned from Jesus’ response here. It totally makes sense. Though we may have goals and strive to be the best at things….

The best version of us is what Jesus wants us to be!!

So if He wants us to be children, how exactly do we do that? As always, God’s Word tells us what we need to know…

“Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,  ” 1 Peter 5:5-7 ESV

I feel like God is saying, ” Do not exalt yourselves. That’s my job.

Dear Father, You are so good to your children. That is what we want to behave like, Your children. As we follow our goals help us to be humble when we succeed, knowing that we can do nothing without You. We want to please You, so do whatever it takes to keep us humble and we will give You all praise and glory because that is what You deserve. Amen

With love from the Father to you, have a great day! Remember to pray for our hurting country and world and each other:)

Tina

http://www.gloryinthemorning.com

Hold still

Today is a poem day! This is based on an old but very sweet memory of my mother washing my hair in the kitchen sink.

“Hold still, my child” my mama said. “I need to wash your hair.”

The kitchen sink was her salon so I was stationed there.

She soaked my locks, put in shampoo, which gentle hands would spread.

It felt so good, but tickled too, as mama scrubbed my head.

Staying still was always tough and more than once I didn’t.

But Mama’s patience was enough and she would wrap me in it.

The loving parent that she was, reminds me of my Lord

Who takes such pains to care for me with grace I can’t afford.

“Hold still my child” my Savior says. He bends to wash my sin.

Then patiently, he washes clean, the sins that lurk within.

The Savior’s heart, like Mama’s heart, shows through at every turn.

It’s my job to sit real still so He can help me learn.

Dear Jesus, Thank you for your loving heart that washed my sins away. I know it wasn’t easy, but you knew it was what we all needed, so you died on the cross for our sins. Help us to be still so you can work on us better. Do for us what we cannot do without you. Teach us to be more like you. Amen

With love from the Father to you, have a great 1st day of February!

Tina

http://www.gloryinthemorning.com

“Hitting the Mark” in Prayer

Hello friends! After celebrating my first grandchild, Christmas, New Year and getting over a long Covid bout, I am healthy now and ready to write about Jesus again! I sincerely hope and pray your last month has been a healthy one. One note before we talk about prayer…I am so sorry, for those who have commented on my blog posts. I am not able to read your comments. I hope to get that resolved soon, with WordPress’ help.

So…Prayer...That little word is way more than it looks like at first glance. Think about it…prayer is not just a religious word, as some may think, not something you just say when someone is sick or hurting. It is something we are fortunate enough to actually do!

It is an action of love for God and others. (We get to ask God to help others or ourselves.)

It is an actual connection to the one true God! (We get to talk to God anytime!)

It is an enormous privilege which we can easily appreciate.(We get to thank God for His goodness.)

It is a resource we cannot do without. (We get to thank God for all He does for us.)

To get the most out of prayer, we can follow what God’s Word teaches us about prayer. (We get to practice what we read in the Bible.)

These are all undeserved opportunities. God gave them to us because He loves us that much. If we do not understand this, we cannot appreciate it.

It is obvious that David understood the privilege of prayer when he prayed:

“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my

heart be pleasing in your sight,  Lord,

my Rock and my Redeemer.”

Psalm 19:14 NIV

Can’t you just feel his heart here in the words he wrote? Because David cares so much that God sees his pure intentions, he writes that emotional plea at the end of Psalm 19. Because God is so glorious, David can’t help but write songs/psalms about Him. Because he cares so much for God’s laws, he can’t help but pray to God that his words are acceptable.

Earlier, in verses7-10, can you also see and feel David’s heart as he describes God’s laws?

“The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey,  than honey from the honeycomb.” Psalm 19:7-10 (NIV)

There is so much earnestness in his words. That’s why I titled this devotion, “Hitting the Mark.” I am pretty sure I know I do not “hit the mark” all the time, when it comes to prayer, especially when I get busy. It’s worth thinking about whether we slow ourselves down enough to have pure intentions and total earnestness every time we pray. Do we get to the heart of prayer by praying with our whole heart? God will help us do this if we just ask:)

Dear Father, Thank You for giving us access, through prayer, to You and Your love and guidance. Help us to understand the precious gift You have given us. We want to worship and pray with our whole intentional heart that You gave us. Please be with those that are hurting or sick and give us opportunities to pray for and help them by loving them like You would. In your precious name we pray, Amen.

With love from the Father to you, have a great day!

Tina

Living By Faith

For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” Romans 1:17 NIV

As I am still sick with Covid, this will be short, but sweet, I think. There’s a sweet advantage to having Covid. It makes me “be still.” And being still makes me think over this past year and marvel at how God was there every step of the way. Have you done that, too? He is so faithful, isn’t He?

Having time to watch inspiring videos is another plus of being sick. I found some real gems on youtube. I hope you love this song as much as I do. They sing with such purpose, fervor and truth! It might make you sing along:)

We’ve Come This Far By Faith

Dear Father, You are my rock, my reason for faith, my resource for everything. Thank you for your plan, whatever it is, for my life. Teach me and guide me daily to do your will. I totally trust you and love you! Amen

It is my prayer, readers and friends, that you have a wonderful day, a healthier, happier one than yesterday. Trials come, but they will pass. Jesus stays:)

Tina

Forgiveness is a Gift-Part One

Happy Blessed New Year to you all! I am excited about a fresh start, a blank slate of a new year! How about you? Thanks for being here! I appreciate you.

Let’s talk about forgiveness, one of the most vital actions, or gifts, to show love to others.

Forgiveness is a gift? It really is! Over the last month, the Lord has been showing me that when we forgive someone for the hurt or treatment they gave us, we have the option to hand them a gift.

Yes, a gift! Actually we can give them FOUR gifts, so allow me to be cheesy, but seriously intent, with the title of this week’s focus…

Four Gift-Ness

When we forgive someone, it starts with an attitude adjustment on our part. Though it’s natural to feel offended by a wrong done to us, sin also feels natural, so the first gift we give someone who, we think, wronged us, is…

CONSIDERATION. Naturally, we may be tempted to dwell on our “right-ness” and the other person’s “wrong-ness.” If we do that, what good can come from it? What if we take a pause and give the situation consideration instead? What does consideration look like?…

We can ask ourselves questions like…Did they really mean to hurt me? Are they hurting in their own life? How can I act differently than I usually do? Just thinking about these considerations is a gift to the other person, similar to opening a door and deciding to consider walking an alternate path, a better path. Here’s what David, in God’s Word, says about right paths.

I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. Psalm 119:104-105 NIV

Hate, in the verse above, is a strong word, but what a great idea! Instead of hating the person that offended, we can just hate wrong paths for ourselves. Our better option, is to consider taking the path that is lit by God’s Word and His light. Let’s pray:)

Dear Father, Forgiveness is hard for us sometimes, so would You please help us to act right when wronged? Teach us to consider Your way, plan and will above anything else. Help us to give others the loving gift of consideration. We love You, Lord. Amen

Main Idea…Forgiveness starts with the intent to consider the righteous path. It’s like giving the other person a gift they did not earn. (Like Jesus did for us!)

Four Gift-Ness, Part Two is on Tuesday. See you then! With love from the Father to you, have a great Tuesday!

Prayer Tools

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. Romans 8:26

Truth be told, it has been tough for me to learn how to pray, mostly because I am so easily distracted. But good things require good effort, right?

For awhile, it seemed I would never get the “hang” of it. Not until God showed me, in His Word, something special. It is that the Holy Spirit helps us pray. He knows what is in our hearts, even if we have trouble finding the words.

He also showed me that it’s okay that it takes me more than a few minutes of praying to get really focused on Him, listening and worshipping Him. I used to think there was something wrong with me because it took me so long to really feel His presence.

Now, I know that was His way of teaching me to slow down, so that I could get the most out of my time with Him. He knew I needed that:) Why do we, as Christians, sometimes rush our prayers?

THREE THOUGHTS…

ONE… We pray when we need something, so, after we ask, we may feel our prayer is done. That would be true if the purpose of prayer is only to ask Jesus for things. But it’s not.

Prayer is also for inviting Him in our hearts and forgiving our sins It’s about togetherness with Him and communication. It’s about needing Him and honoring Him by prioritizing Him and His will.

TWO… We have much planned for the day, so we may rush our prayers. I know I have done that. But Jesus deserves more than a cursory nod or few words thrown in His direction. We are HIS servants. He is not ours.

What if we reverse our thoughts and HIS plans become more important to us than OUR plans? What if He has an opportunity for us to tell someone about Him today? Isn’t that way more important than my to-do list? Yep!

THREE…It is okay if we need tools to help us pray. Here’s a few ideas:

1. God’s Word is always the best first place to look for help. We can look up verses that can help guide us. God will bless our efforts!

2.An acronym such as this may help… P.R.A.Y.E.R. Pause in His presence. Raise your praise to Him.. Ask for His will. Yield your heart. Earnestly listen. Request help for others. Try making your own acronym based on purposes for prayer.

3. Make a list of what makes a good relationship, and apply those to prayer. Examples…communication, time together, advice and guidance shared, sincere desire to grow the relationship, ability to admit we were wrong, desire to please the other person, etc…

4. Focusing on others, make a list of who to pray for and who to help and who to reach out to. Write down when God answers prayer. Ask God for His guidance in all areas of your life.

These are just my thoughts as I, a still-learning pray-er, try to please God in coming to Him more intentionally. Hope it can be of some help to us both!

With love from the Father to you, have a great day!

Christina

I Pray to the One

 

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:18

Here’s a poem I jotted down about prayer. I am overwhelmed with wonder that we can pray to our Creator and Savior and friend!

I Pray To The One

Totally there because He cares,

Jesus is my best friend.

Thankful I come, to pray to the One

who truly loves without end.

Sometimes I’m late for our prayer date

as I’ve errands to do and such.

Then I realize, its not very wise

to cheat One whom I love so much.

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for being ever present, ever loving. You are the best friend ever. Teach us to be better servants for you. Guide us to know Your will and equip us to do it. We love You. Amen

Thanks for reading! I hope you have a Terrific Wednesdayy! Merry Christmas:) With love from the Father to you…

Christina

Be My Light

I tried so hard to get my flashlight to work. Frustrated at my lack of success, I spouted to my husband, ” I need this to work!” His response? “Did you check the batteries?” (Duh, I thought to myself!) With forced calm I said, “Yes, about ten times.” I gave him the flashlight; he rearranged the batteries and the flashlight worked! The problem was that the batteries weren’t making good contact, but he fixed that problem.

I wish I had not waited so long to ask for help, but I like to do things on my own. When it comes to our relationship with God, we often try to handle things on our own too, don’t we? And when we fail to make things work, we finally come to Him, frustrated. Just like my flashlight, we can not produce light or anything meaningful without God.

We may TRY to work as we were meant to, but without being filled with the right things in the right way, from the right source, we will not work as God meant us to do. We will not produce light. And… what good is a Christian who has no light? Can we shine out Jesus’ love if we are not filled with Him? No.

THREE THOUGHTS:

ONE…We have to receive God’s light (love) to be able to shine it out to others. We do not have the ability to make our own power. We need God’s!

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16

TWO…Light does it’s best work in darkness. We have so many opportunities to shine love and light into our dark world! If that is what we want to produce, He will provide all we need to do that.

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6

THREE…We cannot manufacture the pure, true light of the Lord, but we can receive it. And we can shine it! Doesn’t that make your head spin a bit? It does mine! We are lit by the Lord, once we repent of our sins and ask for Him to live in us. We are children of His light!

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light. Ephesians 5:8

Dear Father, Thank You for Your light in our hearts that You so freely gave us. Please remind us to show it to others by giving us opportunities to do so. You are so good and holy. Help us to be more like You, so others will see, not us, but Your light in a dark world. We love You! Amen

With love from the Father to you, have a great week celebrating our Savior!

Christina

Crazy for Jesus

Good Morning! This will be short and sweet…I hopped out of bed last night to write this poem down. It’s fun when that happens! God’s so good! Have a great Friday and weekend!

Crazy for Jesus

I’m crazy for Jesus and I don’t care who knows

The Savior of the world was dead but now arose

The joy that’s in my heart, I just cannot explain

So always and forever, I’ll praise His Holy name

He made His home in me, forgiving all my sins

Grace I don’t deserve is gushing deep within

I’m crazy for Jesus and I don’t care who knows

Forever and forever, that’s how my song will go…

With love from the Father to you, have a wonderful day singing His praises:)

Tina

The Right Tools

This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. Acts 2:23-24

Did you ever think of Jesus as a tool? I didn’t until the other day. I was reading in Acts that Jesus was a living plan of God’s. God made a very deliberate plan to use Jesus to get the job done that needed doing. And what did Jesus do? Jesus let himself be used, to be a good tool for the master.

Do we do that? See ourselves as a tool for the master? I mean, really, do we get jobs done for God? Are some of us lax about it because we have been a Christian for so long? Are we a tool of God’s brand? Are we known for doing tough jobs and being reliable? Do we do whatever job God has for us?

These are all the questions that poured out of my brain when I read Acts 2. Why so many questions? Because doing a job for God is worth doing right. What good is a tool if it misses it’s intended use? What good am I, if I do not accomplish what God would have me do?

In Isaiah, it was prophesied that God would send Jesus to be a tool for Him. His task?… to take up our pain and endure our suffering! He had a purpose and plan from God. What a seemingly impossible task. But you know what? Love can accomplish amazing things! His grace covered all of our imperfections and sin.

Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:4-5

It would seem like God was punishing Him, Isaiah prophesied. Do you ever feel like you are being punished, when things go badly? I admit to wondering that myself, when going through trials. But… God is a God of love. Anything we go through is to help or teach us or help and teach someone else. We have a loving purpose in us, given by God. What else could be the reason from a loving God?

He wants us all to love fully. If our neighbor is tight on money, it is our job to make them some food, pay a bill or give a gift card. That is called being a good tool. If our other neighbor is not able to mow their yard, it is OUR job to do it or find someone else to do it, if we are not able. My back won’t allow me but I can find a friend to do it! Could you? Would you? Why did I not fully realize this until now?

Maybe it’s because I feel for those that are limited physically, because I am. That’s how God works. He teaches you and me through suffering. What a joy that we can all do a job for God though! I so want to be a helpful tool in “God’s toolbox.” Pretty much, when we stand before God someday, He will separate the tools that did a good job from those of us that did not.

His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ Matthew 25:21

Friends, I am just keeping it real. And, as always, I preach to myself! It is my great hope and desire that we all learn to love better, be one of those “brand name” tools that always get the job done. That’s what we are here for. What a privilege!

DOING things for others is like putting up the BIGGEST BILLBOARD in the world for our Father!

It’s bigger than the biggest billboard! People, so badly,need love, to be seen, to be thought of and considered a friend, to matter. In this dark world, our love shines even brighter than ever. Let’s advertise how loving He is by lighting up the world! Lord, please help us.

Dear Father, You are so good. Thank You for laying all this on my heart today and giving me words. Loving with practical action is something I can do better at. Thank You for being willing to use imperfect me. Please forgive me of my lack of action at times and revive in me a fervor to do ALL I can so others see your love and will want to know more about you. I love You! Amen

With love from the Father to you, have a wonderful day!

Tina