Friday, July 29
|Credit: Brush Border by two peas in a bucket.|
Missions- It's so Hot!!!!!
But most believers think it's not.
Why is that? I am convinced it is because they get no warm and fuzzy feelings from being committed to missions because of selfishness. Think about it. Missions requires thinking of others, being committed and denying self. Talk about missions to someone or a group of believers and watch their eyes begin to glaze over. Heads turn and yawns start arising!!!! But missions really are Hot!!! You can't be lukewarm when you get involved in missions. You have to be on fire for the LORD and be willing to serve in any way that is needed. No selfish pride can get in the way of serving God and others because it's not about you. It's about Jesus and about others coming to know Him.
The REAL TRUTH about the HOTNESSS of MISSIONS
If you want to grow in your walk with the LORD in ways you have never grown before, missions is the place to do that. It's the place to be if you really want to see Him at work. But I am convinced many in the church today have come to inwardly think of missions as too much of a commitment that will take time away from their so called "good life." Inwardly, they fear they aren't equipped and therefore haven't arrived to being able to get involved in missions. But that's not biblical. That's selfish. The thought is focused on self and not at all on God. Another reason believers aren't involved in missions is because they aren't burdened for non-believers. They think it's hopeless and why bother to get involved or pray. Missions isn't easy. Many times you don't SEE the results. But we are still supposed to sow seeds of truth over non-believers hearts around us. Last, I think believers procrastinate. They know they should get involved in missions but fall into the line of thinking that they will do it 'tomorrow.' When in reality, there is no better time to get involved than today.
God is able to Help YOU
2 Timothy 2:21 says, "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." I love the phrase, "in all things at all times" because that tells me that no matter where I am God will help me abound in good works for Him. There is no place beyond His reach and nothing I do for Him that He won't help me with.
God Has Work for YOU to DO
2 Timothy 2:21 says,"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." God has work for believers to do. Somewhere along the way we think we just need to go to church and come home. Scripture tells us He has works for us to do which he has prepared in advance. When we say "no" to missions and service we are forfeiting a God given plan and blessing.
TEST Your HOTNESS FOR MISSIONS
- When was the last time you prayed for missions across the world?
- Is there a missionary you know serving in an area of the nation or world? If so, do you pray for him or her continually? Do you open your home to missionaries?
- Do you know what missions your church is supporting? Do you support them? How do you support them?
- Have you made getting involved in missions in your church a priority in your life? In your family? Or is missions something you know you should do but haven't gotten around to it yet?
- Do you know someone who doesn't know Jesus? Do you pray for them? Have you reached out to them through building a relationship with them?
Getting involved in missions requires a willingness to be used by God and a commitment to seeing it through. You could send money or follow through by helping a mission by providing for a need they may have. It may be physically going on a mission trip for a week or even long term. It could be sending a non-believer a birthday card or inviting them over for dinner. There are always opportunities for missions all around you.
We were made for missions. God made believers to be able to "go and tell."
Pray for a desire to get involved in missions.
Get involved in Missions.
Be willing to serve and willing to pray.
And watch your walk with God GROW!!!!!!!
Thursday, July 28
Free Art Friday begins Tonight Thursday July 28th starting at 7pm and
Run until Friday July 29th at 4pm.
You must be a follower of Joy Treasure to win this painting. See the sidebars on how to join the JT Blog.
Simply Leave your name in the comment Box Under this post and your name will be drawn by My son on Friday afternoon (July 28th( Winner will be posted Friday evening at 9pm July 28th.
Wednesday, July 27
I want to have the same attitude as Jesus. Don't you? The bible says Jesus was the same, yesterday and forever. I so desire to be the same person at home that I am at church and outside the home. This is the greatest test of a woman of the Faith-to have an attitude that is the same day in and day out.
It can be easy for women to live by their emotions or whatever emotion they "feel" for the day. Choosing emotions over truth can end up ruling their attitude which in turn affects everyone around them. Emotions can rule the atmosphere of the home, parenting, and marriage. The phrase, "if momma ain't happy, ain't no one happy" became a popular phrase for a reason! And it wasn't because momma was happy!!!! As a woman, we have great influence over our homes whether we are single or are married. How we live at home reveals who we really are. Who are you at home?
What kind of emotions ruin a woman's attitude at home?
There are many. We will uncover some of them throughout the upcoming "Just for Women Wednesdays." Today we'll focus on envy.
When a woman envies another woman, she may envy the other woman's children, husband, relationship with the LORD, job, home, clothes, style, hair, good fortune, popularity or talent etc. When a woman chooses to become envious she actually invites envy to come in make itself welcome inside her heart. The more she envies another, the less she stays focused on Christ and in turn her attitude turns inward toward selfishness instead of humility. Then selfishness is ruling her thoughts instead of truth.
James 3:16 says, "For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice." A woman who becomes envious of another woman lets envy distract her from being focused on God's purpose for her life. She doesn't mean to let those thoughts come in and cause chaos within her mind and heart but it happens when envy isn'g taken captive and brought to the feet of Jesus. Envy causes confusion and disorder within the mind and slows a person down from doing all God has planned for them to do. People stumble because of envy and in turn get mired in the "I wish I had's...." I love what the great theologian Matthew Henry said,
"He who thinks well, or he who talks well, is not wise in the sense of the Scripture, if he does not live and act well." (Source: http://bible.cc/james/3-16.htm)
The quote above describes what I am trying to convey in today's post. How are you living? How are you acting? Who are you at home? Are you nice outside of the home but when you are at home thoughts of envy are eating you up inside? It's not enough to talk or know a lot. It's about living internally the same as you would externally. Envy affects who you are at home because it changes your focus. It changes your attitude at home because your focus is on what you don't have and not on what you "do" have. Opportunities are all around you at home to minister to each family member or friend who visits. Bring your envy to God. Don't let it rule your heart. Time is better spent on the truth of God than on thoughts of another sinful person that has something you don't have.
Tuesday, July 26
Rest, a divine design created by God Himself, is a heavenly refreshment we need in our daily lives. Often times, we overlook the fact that God rested after He finished creation (Genesis 2:1-3). The truth is we overlook the importance that God Himself rested. God, who never needs anything and is self-sufficient, rested. Let that truth sink into your mind and heart. God rested.
What about you? Do you make time for rest or are you constantly running on all cylinders burning the candle at both ends? Do you make time for rest or does something have to happen to you for you to stop and be still? No one can sustain a busy lifestyle without making time for rest. Sooner or later the body or the calendar will scream, "Give me a break!!!"
When I find myself neglecting the need for rest, there are four questions I ask myself. I want to share them with you today. I pray they encourage you!
"Am I making time to stop, be still and reflect on my heart?"
Rest in the Hebrew means, "cessation from motion." It is physically being still. Everyone needs to take time to reflect on their heart. When I ignore the need to make time to be still and reflect on my heart, I continue in busyness which leads to craziness. If no time is made for reflection, chaos sooner or later will take over my heart and I am no good for anything. I have nothing to give for the LORD to others because I am not taking time for rest. Without a time of reflection and being still the heart becomes restless and continues to spiral out of control. Jesus made time to be still and took time to retreat. Many of us know Jesus rested, but we will do well to refocus our mind to remember how he directed the disciples to rest. "And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat" (Mark 6:31 ESV). I have been in that very place where there hasn't been enough time to eat. It's not a good place to be. If this describes your life at present stop and be still. No one else can make you stop. You have to see the need and make it a priority. Ask yourself, "Am I making time to retreat and reflect upon my heart and life?"
"Am I re-charging myself spiritually?
It's impossible to recharge your heart unless discipline and submission are involved. Discipline keeps rest a continual practice while submission acknowledges Christ as to whom rest is found. Both lay the foundation for having a heart that is recharged. When I am still, the only thing that will re-energize my heart unlike anything else is a healthy serving of the bread of life! No movie, magazine, or secular book will recharge my soul like the Word of God. Feeding on biblical truth sheds light on my life. And rest is something Jesus invites us to accept when we come to Him. He made a promise saying, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). Rest is not something Jesus flippantly throws around. He invites us to enter into His rest and gives a promise that if we come to Him, we will find it.
"Am I saying, "no" to things and protecting time for rest?"
It's hard to say it, but it has to be practiced. It's OK to say, "no." If you find yourself saying "yes" to too many things, it becomes easier to accept more things and jam pack your schedule which in turn creates more chaos. The issue for many people who have a difficult time saying "no" to things is something to carefully examine. What is the root cause for you to feel like you have to say "yes?" Do you not want to hurt others feelings? Do you feel like someone will misinterpret your "no" answer and think you don't want to help them or spend time with them? Truth is, we can't do everything for everyone and please everyone. "No" has to be a part of our vocabulary. Saying "no" and being able to resist the temptation to please others instead of pleasing God will lead a person to continue on the crazy spectrum toward chaos and toward a feeling of restlessness. It's OK to say "no."
"Am I taking time to just clear my mind and do nothing?"
Yep. That's what I said, "Do nothing." There are times I take a break from blogging, face book and my cell phone. These are good times of quiet reflection. Too many times when we relax, we go and do something. Sometimes even people need vacations from a vacation!! One thing I am learning and God continues to show me is that it is OK to do nothing. Especially on a Sunday afternoon. Making time with my family and enjoying their company is what I am talking about. Sometimes your brain needs a break from schedules and plans. It needs time to refuel and just relax. I used to think relaxing meant "doing something" besides working. But I have found the best days are the ones where there is no agenda, no plans, and no place to be. These days are the ones that help to refuel me the most. Because I like to write, paint, sing, play the piano, taking time for rest is hard for me. I am a doer. I like to always be doing something, creating something, pondering something. But even taking a break from these things, the things I truly enjoy, can prove to help these hobbies become even greater. It's OK to make time to do nothing.
I find people are either on two sides of the spectrum. But God calls us to be disciplined. To come to Him through submission and let Him give us rest. Where are you on the rest spectrum?
Examine your heart. Be honest about where you are on the rest spectrum and ask God to help you become balanced when it comes to rest. Too far to the left is chaos and too far too the right is rest gone bad-laziness. The heart will benefit from a balanced view on rest and the determination to make it a priority in life.
Monday, July 25
Friday, July 22
Pastor James McDonald has a great discussion in the link above. Alcohol is continually a hot topic question among Christians today. Would love to hear some discussion about it!
My StoryI am so thankful for my parents talking to me about alcohol when I was in middle school.
They didn't just talk to me about it.
They practiced what they preached.
Alcohol was never in my home. Never used on vacations. Never used period.
My parents proved to me by their consistent example from abstaining from drinking and having alcohol in the home that it WAS possible to live a full and fun life without having to reach for a beer or wine cooler to chill out. For that, I will be forever grateful.
The COST Abstaining from alcohol cost me popularity in high school. It labeled me as a, "holy roller." It kept many people from befriending me. As an adult, in the business world, it caused others to label me, "different" or cause some to quietly in the mind consider me a "religious fanatic." Ever want to immediately alienate yourself from a crowd- deny a drink in front of others and watch people scatter away like ants. I knew it cost me and I never cared. I was confident in my beliefs and why I held to them. I never felt like I had to explain or make a scene. But asking for a diet coke at dinner instead a glass of wine makes it quite obvious to everyone around the table that you aren't a social drinker.
Abstaining from alcohol changed the way I dated. It closed many doors through the years. I'll never forget the time as a single adult I wanted this fellow to ask me out on a date so bad. The one time when he did call to ask me out on a first date was to a wine tasting!!! Yep, for real! I kindly thanked him and declined right then. He never called me back. Imagine that! Abstaining from alcohol was one of the main qualities I was looking for in a husband. One of the discussions my husband first talked about before we dated was that we both didn't drink alcohol. When we became engaged we addressed the fact that we never wanted to have its presence in our home. It never has.
Some Good Thoughts about AlcoholI love what Dr. Billy Graham had to say in one of his books. This explains my belief. He said, "I don't drink because I believe one drink leads to another and then another. I don't want any spirit to have a hold of me other than the Holy Spirit." This has become my answer when asked specifically why I don't drink by other believers. As the product of alcoholic grandfathers both my parents were quite aware of one drink leading to another. That was one of the reasons why they were so strong in preaching to me as a young teen to avoid alcohol's seduction. But they knew that something happened to a person when they let one drink lead to another drink. Their personality changed. Both their father's personality changed while under its influence. They would talk different and act different than what they normally would behave. For a child, that makes a lifelong lasting impression.
I don't mind people having differing opinions from me about drinking. Believe me, there ARE varying opinions. I don't try to get into debates about why to not drink or convince believers to not drink. Because scripture never says not to drink. People drank wine in the bible. Jesus drank wine! But I don't drink because I believe drinking alcohol hinders my witness and could cause me to not guard my witness to others.You could argue with me that gossiping, malice toward others, a bad temper and lying could hinder out witness too. YES I agree. They ALL do. But just like I try to keep myself from falling into those temptations that would hinder my witness, I believe alcohol falls in line with them for me as well.
Alcohol and Parenting
For my son, I will teach him my beliefs and pray he holds to the same. But even more, I will show him by example. Think about it. If a parent says, "don't drink" to their teen in high school but their teen sees them drinking a glass of wine at home or at a restaurant, what is their teen to think? It's conflicting to them. They hear their parent "say" one thing and "do" another. More than likely the message the teen hears is that its OK to drink and will be more likely to try alcohol when away from the family. I believe if you truly don't want your children to drink then words aren't enough. Actions tell the true belief.
I am not telling anyone what to "do" or "not do." I am simply sharing with you how I came to that belief and how I have been able to hold to it. The debate over whether or not to drink or not drink is one between you and God .If you are struggling over the question, seek scripture and talk to other believers. Seek out pastors beliefs and pray for God to give you clarity.
Just like Pastor McDonald shares how alcohol is the elephant in the room when it comes to believers, I too think that parents must have to take a stand and be able to openly share it with their children. To not talk about it to their teens is to let their teens fall prey to pressure. It is to send them out into battle without any weapons. Teaching our children before they are presented with the situation makes it easier for them to stand strong and stay confident in a world that is trying to bring them down.
Decide your belief.
Take a stand as a family.
Openly talk about it to your children.
They will be glad you did.
Thursday, July 21
It's back! Free Art Friday is back! Must be a follower of Joy Treasure to be eligible for the painting. Check out the blog on how to join by reading the sidebars. Also can follow under Facebook by clicking on "Follow on Facebook" blue box at the left hand sidebar.
To enter Free Art Friday, leave your name in the comment box and follow its promptings. Winner will be chosen by my son picking out names!!!! He is honest I promise! And a good helper I might add!
Free Art Friday begins today Thursday July 21st at 4pm and runs to Friday July 22nd at 4pm. Winner will be announced Friday evening of July 22nd.
The painting: The words: Christ Follower- 8X10 in size Mixed Media.
Wednesday, July 20
It occurred to me recently that idols don't necessarily look bad.
In fact, they look really good.
Precious to be exact.
That's why uncovering idols can be difficult for us to uncover inside our heart. Because the idols we cherish can be the things we hold dearest to our hearts like our family or our home. We love our family. They are precious to us. And the home we live in becomes even more precious because that's where memories are established. So the home and material possessions we hold dearest to our hearts can even keep our heart from treasuring Jesus. Gulp. That's a hard one to swallow.
The reason it's so easy to place "good things" before Jesus is because they are good! Most of us think of idol worship as depicted in the bible where pagans set up an altar to worship a deaf, mute idol. As followers of Christ, we would never do that, but we actually do that when we place all our energy, all our desire, all our confidence, and all our worth to worship the good things in our life. This thought pierced my heart when I considered how I can place my affection toward "good things of life" before adoring my LORD. Even these, no matter how good they are, are not supposed to take the place of my LORD.
Idolatry is simply anything or object we adore before adoring God. It's placing our heart's devotion toward other things besides being devoted first to God. Maybe you worship your kids or the things you get to do through your kids. Maybe you worship your husband or your boyfriend. Maybe you worship your home or your vacation getaway. Maybe its your hobbie, or sport, or your appearance. Perhaps its your job or a skill you have mastered. What is it that you are worshipping and adoring more than God?
Just because believers aren't worshipping fertility or nature gods or any other kind of god doesn't mean we don't fall into worshipping idols.We do. The problem is we can't see it sometimes because what we worship doesn't look bad. Be careful and examine who your affections run toward. Ask God to give you eyes to see and a desire to love Him and know Him more. When we place the good things before God, we miss knowing Him more and serving Him. We miss being able to love Him with our, "whole heart" (Deuteronomy 6:5).
The bible says God is a, "jealous God" (Exodus 20:5).
Isaiah 42:8 says,"I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.
It's time to uncover those idols that are "good things" and place them back where they belong- after God not before Him.