Standing up for God

Loudspeaker, Man, Boy, Holding, Speaking

Happy, wonderful Monday! When thinking about all the things we feel strongly about, I realize we will do just about anything for those we love, causes we think are valuable, people that are needy and for the Lord! We have so many ways we can do it, too, what with social media and all. We can stand up, voice our opinion and defend what we hold dear, can’t we?

Know what? God is dear and precious and true. He is worth standing up for! But what does that mean? What does the Bible say about it?

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 1 Peter 3:15-16 NIV

Standing up for God means representing Him with reverence, gentleness, respect and a clear conscience. I admit, because I love Him so much, I may have been a little too exuberant in my opinions on social media at first. But, I reasoned, I was standing up for things HE stands for! I meant well, but I had some learning to do!

It is great to stand for Him, but speaking for Him must be taken very seriously and done in love. Peter is saying, in the verses above, to be so above reproach that others will be ashamed that they slander our good behavior. It should be that others, if they speak maliciously, (and they will at times), are doing so against our GOOD behavior. Since God is the only one good, we have a high standard of behavior, don’t we?

It makes sense…do we want others to read or hear our words and walk away thinking Christians are high and mighty and opinionated? Or…do we want them to see and hear the love and truth of God in our gentle but sincere approach? Maybe, just maybe, our gentleness will point them to God being the one who is high and mighty:) Maybe, they will see the hope we have!

If we are representing God, we must be diligent about speaking in a way that is worthy of God. How we talk about God to others tells them a whole lot about us, but also who we follow and why we do so:)

Let’s talk about God today and let others hear His love, our love and our hope!

Love you all, my sisters and brothers in Christ!

Christina

Right and Wrong and the Liar

Happy Thursday! Here is today’s devotion, a poem , possible song.

I couldn’t sleep so I wrote this poem in the wee hours this morning, with my cousin’s words and theme.

Jim Dalton …here ya go. Thanks for asking me to do this with you!

Right and Wrong and the Liar

What Satan says is right, is always wrong.
Each time he lies to you, don’t play along. The best thing you can do Is tell him what is true.
Though you are often weak, your God is strong.

Through each and every day, we have to pray.
Our God will make our temptor go away.
The enemy may knock , but lean on God your rock.
And tell the liar , “This is not your day.”

As humans we will sin, forgiveness need.
That’s why Jesus died upon the tree.
His gift that never ends is the cure for all our sin.
If we but choose to let him live within.

We have a choice to make of wrong or right.
We can run to sin or run to light.
We must remember this, so truth we never miss,
God’s Word is what will always win the fight!

So, as my life is drawing to a close,
I’m heaven-bound because of who I chose .
My Jesus is to me, the only thing I need.
The enemy and liar has no hold on me.

Optional chorus?…
Enemy, you’re wrong, but I won’t fear. Jesus tells the truth straight in my ear.
So go ahead and give me your best shot. Cuz God is everything that you are not.

It’s about two in the morning, but I just had to work on this. Hope it makes sense and honors God, and my cousin’s words.

Love you all. Have a great day, not listening to you-know-who’s lies!

Love you , cousin Jim Dalton! Love your heart!

Christina

Did You See My Story?

Phone, Screen, Social Media, Instagram

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

My daughter was telling me something exciting she did recently. I had no clue what she was talking about. “When did you do that?” I asked. She said, “I thought you knew already. Didn’t you see my story?” She was referring to her “Story” on social media which I had not seen. She assumed I saw it while on facebook.

It shocked me that I may not know what was going on with her life if I do not purposely read her story. We are very close so it threw me. I really should make an effort to have more communication with her and check out her story.

You know who else has a story that we need to keep up with? Jesus! He has a story that we all need to see and read daily. We need to know what He did and why. He died for us because He loves us and loves God most. Others need to know, too!

We need to ask them, “Hey, did you see Jesus’ story?”

What if Jesus asked US personally…”Did you see my story?” Could we say, “Yes, and I read it every day!” Wouldn’t He love that, because it means we know we NEED Him every single day? Wouldn’t it penetrate your heart, my heart like no other story, every time?

Unlike our stories, His story is a story that isn’t about a day He did something fun, or did for Himself. It is about a day that changed history and changes our history. He gave absolutely all He had for all of us. His story actually gives us a new story! We can be redeemed! All this talk of stories makes me think…

Even though it was very, very long ago, His story, unlike ours on social media, does not need to be updated daily!(The truth never changes but becomes more precious!)

There is no other day that He needs to post what He did because He cold not have done any more than He did! (I wonder how it feels to do absolutely everything you can possibly do for God!)

His story is the one that we need to share more than any other! (It is the only story that transforms a person’s heart and future, by the power of God)

It is time to ask everyone I know, “Have you seen His story?” And proceed to tell them what a great story it is and how it changed YOUR life story!

God wrote everyone’s story, even Jesus’ story…

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

With the love of the Father to all. May you find comfort and joy and fulfillment in Jesus’ story and God’s story for your life too. That’s a whole other story!

Christina

There is Still Hope!

Resurrection, Crosses, Crucifixion

“The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” Psalm 147:11

Sometimes the devil tries to get us down and makes us lose hope. So what can we do? Tell Him to go ahead!

“What?” you say? Let me explain…

Do you remember that famous line, “Go ahead, make my day?” It was in the movie, Sudden Impact, with Clint Eastwood. Eastwood played a cop and was holding a gun to someone’s head, daring the ‘bad guy” to try anything.

(“Go ahead, make my day” 1983 film Sudden Impact. In 2005….Wikipedia)

I was doing my personal devotions a few days ago and was honestly looking for some hope and I found it in God’s Word. (as always!) It made me want to say to the enemy, “Go ahead, make my day.” I wanted to dare Him to make a move, because I knew, with God in control, I/we would win.

See, I was strong because I trusted God’s strength, not my own, after reading God’s Word. Though the enemy tried, He could not keep me down. He could not because I have God on my side! He cannot win over God’s power, which can make the enemy flee!

Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. James 4:7

Something that does take my joy at times…The news! As it comes on my phone and I read it, I get very negative. Doesn’t it seem at times that we are living in a crazy movie? Doesn’t it seem like things we know and love are being changed or fought over? People are divided along political lines. It seems like our country has more problems than ever. I guess I feel like things are going downhill, way too fast!

But, as long as we have God, we have hope!

Thank the Lord that our hope is not based on our temporary home and life here! The enemy can not take away our eternity and our Good News, as long as we lean on the Lord’s resources!

Remember what Paul said…

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Here are some things we can say to the enemy:

1. “Go ahead, make my day.”

2. “I have the power of God to use against you.

3. I choose not to despair but to trust my loving God for hope and a future.

4. You can try, but you cannot destroy me. I have God on my side! You cannot beat God!”

5. I am a warrior. God is my commanding officer. Watch out!

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:11

I hope you are able to have hope today, even if your life is not so comfy or smooth. Just know that you can have a future of hope that is perfect!

Have a great and powerful and hopeful day in the Lord!

Christina

The Need for Greed

Dollars, Currency, Money, Us Dollars, Franklin

Does anyone else feel this way? Yesterday, I was in Walmart and school supplies were front and center. I was so excited! I wanted to make a beeline for them, but I knew I shouldn’t. It took everything I had not to veer in that direction! New notebooks! Gotta have one,lol! I have always loved to write and loved office supplies, so this time of year has always been like Christmas to me. Don’t I need new index cards and sticky notes and definitely a few new notebooks? May as well add to the cart a few colored pens and pretty notepads too! Oh, and a new planner!

My husband was probably shocked that I didn’t even look at them, lol! He would also be shocked to know how hard that was for me. I didn’t voice it to him because I felt so silly. I have several new notebooks waiting to be used and my desk has everything I need in it. The allure of things I did not need was so powerful though!

I started to think…what other things are alluring to me that I do not need? Why am I so drawn to some things that I have to fight the attraction? What does the Bible say about this?

The following is just my brain and how I processed this, how I “talked myself off the ledge.”

1 It is okay to be attracted to things, as long as we can separate that from what we really need. Though I may want new notebooks, I do not NEED them. Being practical usually helps me get over a buying challenge. The opposite of need is perhaps GREED?

Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” Luke 12:15 NIV

2. More important than buying what I DON”T need is to realize some people cannot buy what they DO need. They may not be able to buy school supplies and have to depend on the kindness of agencies and others for their needs. That thought keeps me in my place…and makes me want to buy notebooks and give them away. That would be fun! The Bible says we are responsible for others’ burdens…

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 NIV

3. Things that I find alluring are not necessarily bad, in moderation. Like ice cream, for example. I rarely have it.Though it is very alluring to me, it adds pounds that I do not need! The problem with allure of unnecessary things…the allure has a tendency to grow.

GREED grows!

I have never known myself or anyone else to only want ONE of things they love. I have never met someone who, if they had the money, didn’t want LOTS of clothes or cars or shoes. We all like buying things. But, you know what? The more we buy, the more we want. Greed grows.

 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4 NIV

This is definitely an area I used to struggle with. Now, since I know what God expects, I do my best to keep possessions and greed at bay. What helps? God’s Word, God’s Word, God’s Word. I am nothing at all without it and He is everything!

He does not want us to get caught up in abundance of things. One thing we can be okay in getting an abundance of? Getting more of God’s Word, collecting and possessing His truths:)

Love to all. Have a great day in the Lord!

Christina

The Vessel

Here is a poem/prayer to Jesus. He wants to fill us with His love, so we can pour Him out in love to others. That is what I want also, to be less me, and more Him.

Dear Jesus,
I think this prayer’s overdue
to tell you of my love to you,
ask you for right things to do.

May my life a mission be,
serving others so they see
a vessel sold out all to Thee.

Make me thine and thine alone,
Fill this vessel from your throne.
Pour me out to friends unknown.

Show me opportunity.
Let me give my all to Thee
By treating others lovingly.

© 2021 Christina Crute

I hope you have a blessed day today, being a blessing to others! Love you all with the love of Jesus:)

Christina

A Dove’s Love

Mourning doves

 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:16 NIV

I do not know doves very well so when I complained to my husband about the constant hooting of an owl near our home, he replied, “That is not an owl. There are doves in our yard every day.” What? Doves sound like owls? Well, to me they do.

My husband also informed me that they usually mate for life. Well, since I am a sucker for love, I had a newfound respect for the paired-up love birds! They “coo” to each other! How sweet! Some of them mourn their mate for a very long time after they die, which is sad, but meaningful too. It speaks volumes about their attachment.

That the Holy Spirit came in the form of a dove means so much. The Holy Spirit descended from heaven as God expressed His pleasure in His Son, Jesus. Did you ever realize that, at the moment Jesus was baptized, God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus were all together, all present in the same event playing out in the water? Wow. It moves me that all three of them were in accord, united in a heavenly purpose.How special!

A dove was also a major part of Noah’s story. The dove was released from the ark and it found land and brought back an olive leaf. It was a sign that God saved Noah and his family from the flood. There was plant life outside the ark!

When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. Genesis 8:11 NIV

So when you see a dove or two, as the case may be, think of the Holy Spirit descending from Heaven as God was pleased with His Son. Think of God’s promise to Noah to save him and His family from the flood. Also think of Noah’s obedience to God in building the Ark in preparation for the flood to come. Think of a dove’s love!

A dove’s love can remind us of these ABC’s…

Ask Jesus to wash our sins away and confess that we need His love and forgiveness.

Be so obedient, that God will say He is well-pleased with us.

Celebrate that the Holy Spirit descends like a dove and guides all we do.

Doves will now remind me that we have a team of loving experts to coach us all along life’s way…The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all in one accord, attached to the events of our lives. They all love us so:)

Christina

God is There

black phone with line hanging from the sky vintage black phone with line hanging from the sky. Conceptual photography talking to someone from above god talking stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 NIV

When you have a problem that you need help with, you may call family members or respected friends for advice. Because they love you and want you to successfully get through the trial, they will share their experience, in hopes of saying something that will be helpful to you.

Of course, we need to call on God first if we are unsure of what to do. Although unsure of answers to our problems, we can be sure He has the answers. We know God loves us and wants our best, so we look forward to what He will say.

But guess what! There is someone who gives advice without you asking! This enemy who talks to you, uninvited and invisible is Satan. He is sneaky about it, though. He will tell you the opposite of the truth. He lies.

Unlike those that love you, he tells you what will ruin you. Why? He does not love you and he does not love that you love God. It is not easy to tell sometimes when he is whispering lies in your ear, so it is important to pray always. God will protect us from the enemy if we just ask. It’s like this…

The enemy will do whatever it takes to bring you down and God will do whatever it takes to lift you up.

Here is a short poem to remind us that God is always there for you, no matter what lies the enemy is telling you.

When life is hard and you think God’s not there,

The enemy tells you He just doesn’t care.

He tells you those lies to make you despair

But just call on God. He meets you in prayer.

With love from our awesome Father to you, have a day full of God’s abundant love!

Christina Crute

Thank You, Father

Woman, Praying, Believing, God, Person

Do you, like me, ever get overwhelmed with joy because of how much God loves you? He didn’t have to send His Son to save us, but He did! Why? Because of His love. He is God and can do whatever He wants. And He did what He wanted… He did it because He wants you and me to live forever with Him and bring all of our friends too! Every day He shows us He loves us. He talks and listens to us. Day-to-day, His mercies never fail. He offers us eternal life but also helps us in our temporary earthly life, every single day! Sometimes only a poem helps to express my thanks.

Hear me Father, if You may.

Thank You so much for this day.

Thank You that I get to say,

“You are mine in every way.”

Now that I’ve begun to pray,

You have something to convey?

Let me hear You, God, I pray.

I do hear You! I hear You say,

“I’m Your Father, so today

Let me guide You in your way.

Yes, I’m yours in every way

And you are mine, my piece of clay.”

Words cannot begin to say

All that’s in my heart today,

Thank You Lord. I am Your clay.

I’ll honor You, Your will obey.

©2021 Christina Crute

With love from our awesome Father,

Christina

Stay Close to Me

Mom, Daughter, Afro, Hairstyle, Parent

The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made.18The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.19He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. Psalm 145:18-19 NIV

How many moms, including myself, have said to their children, when going somewhere with them…”Stay close to me?” Children have a way of wandering off if not watched, so to keep them from coming to harm, we often tell them that, or “Stay where I can see you.” Do they always obey? Nope! Once, when my daughter, Jessie, was about six or seven years old, she wandered off in a J.C. Penney store. Her sister, Kellie, and I hollered and searched for her, but a few minutes went by with no sighting of Jessie. Oh, the panic I felt! Just a few days earlier some babies had been snatched in a department store in a nice area. My mind ran straight to that scenario!

Suddenly, I heard, “MOMMY!!” Across the sales floor, a scared little girl-voice screamed for her mother. What a smart girl too. She had climbed on top of a clothing display so she could find me easier! Standing atop a rack of clothes, she announced to me, and everyone else, that she was lost! I was so relieved and proud at the same time! Needless to say, I scolded her. It was only after we got home that I told her that she did a smart thing with a bad situation.

She and her sister were gymnasts so they naturally climbed, jumped on, ran around, flipped over or cart-wheeled on everything! I was more grateful than ever that she did what came natural to her. She climbed up on top of something!

This story is not just a story to me. It is a lesson and reflection of our relationship with Jesus. He wants us to stay close to Him and not wander off, but do we always obey? Nope! As His children, we are curious and want to see what’s around the next corner or aisle. Plus we want to be independent and strong and brave with our own strength. When we get too far away, we realize we are unsafe and need His help. We cry, “Father!” We even climb on top of our problems, meaning we put ourselves in a position where we can see Him better. Letting go of our pride, we announce to Him. “I want to find You!”

And you know what? He already knew where we were, even though we thought we were all alone. He does not love us less because we wandered. In fact, I think He is proud of us for turning around and looking for Him, knowing we need Him. He always hears His children’s cries and answers as a loving Father does, saying, “I am here with you.”

Here is a verse for encouragement, which we all need, don’t we? David tells us this:

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles. Psalm 34:17

I think the Lord is awesome! I hope you think so too! Have a great day:)

Christina