God Is Our Loving, Heavenly Father

God Is Our Loving - Heavenly Father .. not quite the same image we hold of our earthly .. biological dads ..

Luke 15:11-24

Humanity tends to project its own faulty habits onto God. Consider how God’s love is often seen: Many people assume we must barter, plead, or try hard to earn the Lord’s favor. But as the Prodigal Son learned, the Father’s love is unconditional. The wayward boy returned home, not expecting to be loved as before; all he hoped for was a place among the family’s servants. Imagine the son’s delight at his dad’s greeting of a hug and a celebration. The boy’s actions surely didn't merit an outpouring of affection, but Jesus’ parable is all about a Father who doesn't give people what they deserve. A love based on conduct would keep people wondering, Have I done enough? Instead, God cares for you simply because you’re you, and He expects nothing in return.

Consider the Prodigal’s life after his homecoming party. He didn't move into the servants’ quarters and go to work. He was reinstated to his place as the second son of a wealthy man, with all of the privilege that entails. In the same way, believers are the Lord’s cherished children (2 Cor. 6:18). When God looks at His loved ones, He doesn't focus on their past failures, faults, or sins. He sees the heirs to His kingdom—men and women who love Him and desire to spend eternity in His presence.

No matter how far we may wander from the Lord’s perfect will for our lives, we are always welcome back. The Bible teaches that God’s love cannot be lost, regardless of sin or poor decisions (though we may have to live with the consequences). Our Father’s arms are always open.

A Happy New Year and New Beginnings - START NOW

THE WAY .. to renewal .. begins when we declare .. “This is the day thye Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it" …

God has created this as a day of a "new beginning" .. the NEW YEAR is here .. Seize it .. and walk in it  .. toward a New Year of "Total Heart Health"

SPIRITUAL HEART HEALTH ..  Set as your goal that of spending quality personal time with God each day this year - why not just 2 minutes a day ?

Your Friends at www,

My ODE to 2014 - Failure and Forgiveness

O how I fail to keep your law!
I am aware of my sin all the day.

Your commandments I know .. yet I fail to keep them so.
For they are ever in my mind.

I have this insight everytime I face your word.
No teachers, no other testimonies .. your word exposes all my failings.

Maybe I seem to understand more than the aged,
Because I know that your Word and Your precepts are TRUE.

If only I could restrain my mind and my feet from every evil way,
That I may know .. and keep Your WORD.

I run and hide .. and turn aside from Your WORD .. Your Ordinances,
But YOU .. Yourself .. pursue me and teach me .. .

I know in my "knower" ..  Your WORD is a "light" unto my path,
The map and Direction as my way to go .. a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.

Forgive Me Lord .. for being so stubborn and head-strong ..
Forgive Me of my sins .. through The Blood .. you shed for me on Calvary.

Today's Thought For Your Day

A Necessary Lesson I Need To Learn .. How About You?

Psalm 27:14 (NASB) ..
14 Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.

Have you ever wondered why the psalmist coupled the admonition to wait for the Lord with encouragement to be strong and courageous? .. The reason is that sometimes .. delaying .. waiting .. is the hardest thing to do. In fact, practicing patience is one of the most important lessons in God’s School of Obedience .. it’s essential that believers learn to wait upon Him.

Our modern culture .. is in such a hurry .. we gotta have it now! .. do it now! We've been primed to stay in a permanent state of readiness ... yet God says to us .. "take courage" .. be still when the world is rushing past. It takes strength to obey when everything in us hollers, “Go! Go! Go!” .. while God is whispering, “Wait.”

But we are quick to act because we are afraid of missing out on something. Believers who buy into that attitude make a move and then hope the Lord will bless them.

God leaves nothing to chance. He does not place a decision before us with the hope that we’ll make the right choice. That would be irresponsible and out of His character. Our Father is more than willing to show us what to do .. and how to do it .. because Our God is personally interested in our well-being .. But until Our Father makes clear what is the way forward, we've got to pause and wait. Waiting upon God is not passivity .. or laziness. Nor is it an excuse for avoiding responsibility. In fact, the opposite is true: People who seek God’s will are those who pause to pray, search Scripture, and perhaps even fast before taking action. And in the meantime, they are still serving God wherever they can.

Today's Thought  -

Do You Know What a Friend You Have In Jesus?

Many of us know the familiar hymn .. “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” .. right? .. maybe take a moment and listen:

We all consider our Savior a great friend .. if we know Him as "friend" .. but none of us have an exhaustive knowledge of the heights, depths, and breadth of His amazing friendship. Consider just a few of the elements of Jesus’ loving relationship with you.

1. He has committed Himself to you as a friend for life ... In fact, this commitment lasts more than an earthly lifetime; it’s eternal. He will never leave you, no matter what you do. You may suffer some dashed expectations in your lifetime, but the Lord Himself will never disappoint you.

2. He remains open to you at all times ... Jesus will show you as much about Himself as you desire to learn and are able to appreciate. He will never keep from you anything about Himself that you need to know.

3. He renews His loving overtures to you every day .. He knows how to meet your deepest longings, and He re mains sensitive to your wants as well as your needs.

Jesus is an inspiring, comforting listener who hears exactly what you say and always provides the very best for you .. What kind of friend is Jesus? John 15:13 answers that question: “Greater love has no one than this, than one lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus is the kind of friend who willingly laid down His life as payment for your sins .. past, present, and future. Without complaint, He bore all your sorrows and suffering, while pledging never to leave you nor forsake you (John 14:18). Jesus is the friend who sticks closer than a brother (Prov. 18:24) .. the friend who walks by your side through everything.

And because Jesus gave Himself for all people, we His followers should give ourselves completely to Him (2 Cor. 5:14, 15). “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (v. 20).

Who in your circle of influence needs to be reconciled to God? ... Who do you know that needs to find a friend in Jesus?

.. How about this Christmas Season when so many are lonely .. alone .. hurting .. just think about the Name of God - "Jehovah Shammah" .. the "fullness" of God - Our God, Our Father .. and "ever-present" friend ..

The Lord of Our Lives .. Baby Jesus?

The Lord of Our Lives .. Baby Jesus?

This is the scriupture reading that puts me into some inner turmoil .. sometimes wondering about who I am or what kind of life I am leading ..

Luke 6:46-49 .. 46 “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the ]torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”

The term .. the word .. "Lord" ..  should not be used casually. When that word appears in relation to Jesus Christ, it refers to the God who is sovereign over life and all creation. In the Greek, this title for Jesus is kurios .. One who rules the lives of others for their good. In the Old Testament there is another "NAME" used for God .. El Gibbor, The Mighty God - My God who is the ultimate warrior  .. and The Champion .. of ALL BATTLES ..

We use the term Lord in conversations and in our prayers but then contradict its meaning by defying His will and His work in our lives. Our resistance is oftentimes subtle. For example, a believer might qualify his obedience by saying, “I’ll follow the Lord if . . .” or “I want to do what is right, but . . .”Jesus’ question to His followers in Luke 6:46 must have stung their spirits: “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” When we entreat the Lord, we must be prepared to obey Him without resistance or pretense. He is the One who rules over us for our good. So you ask? .. Where is He? .. He sits at the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Heb. 1:3) .. there He is interceding for us as Satan tries to convince us that we are not worth much .. we are always "falling into sin" .. so what's the use?

Jesus Christ offered one sacrifice for all the sins of mankind, then sat down with the Father once He had accomplished it. The Bible makes it perfectly clear that the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). Jesus Christ went to the cross, died the death we deserved, and consequently freed us from the penalty of sin by our faith in Him.

The writer of Hebrews goes on to say that Christ "does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins, and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself" (Heb. 7:27). In the Old Testament, the priests had to make continual sacrifices, but Jesus made only one. And not only was He the priest, but also the sacrifice! He made a tremendously potent sacrifice, for He forever purged our sins .. something the Old Testament sacrifices could never do. When His sacrifice was complete, "He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Heb. 1:3, emphasis added). That is significant because the Old Testament priests never sat down ... there were no seats in the sanctuary because they offered sacrifices day in and day out .. But Jesus offered one sacrifice, finished it, and then went to the Father and sat down. What the Old Testament sacrifices couldn't accomplish Christ's did for all time.

As a result, God exalted Him to His right hand, the seat of honor and rule and rest. But perhaps most important, it is the place where Christ intercedes to the Father on our behalf (Rom 8:34)... Don't ever forget what Jesus accomplished for us .. YOU AND ME .. and what He still does for us: "If anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (1 John 2:1).

Suggestions for this Christmas Season ..  Thank Jesus for His sacrifice on your behalf. Also thank Him for the salvation He has given you and the access you now have to God. We might be remembering His Birth .. we might see pictures of a little "babe" in a manger .. so take that little innocent moment and "ask God" .. ask Baby Jesus .. to help you gain a deeper understanding of Who He Is .. How He wants you to fulfill your life ..

Interested In a Fresh Encounter With God?

Interested In a Fresh Encounter With God

Then by all means .. Read ..  Isaiah 6:1-9

We live in busy times .. and none busier than the holiday season in America. For many Christians, sadly, church is an item on some mental "checklist" .. we tend to think attending a church service or midnight Mass fulfills our  “spiritual duty.” As a result, God seems distant .. way out there and we feel unexcited about God's work in our lives .. and we lack compassion for the unsaved, the hurting people we know .. or those whom come to our mind.

We then, as believers, find it easy to start acting in a worldly manner... caught up in shopping, planning our own lives ..

But Our Heavenly Father desires an intimate relationship with His children. (  )

As in Bible times, God still has personal encounters with His people .. sometimes to comfort .. sometimes to encourage .. at other times to guide .. or convict of sin. ( ) - In today’s passage, the prophet Isaiah wrote of such a meeting with the Lord. His reaction to the holiness of God’s presence was a profound recognition of his own sin: “I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips . . . ; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts” (v. 5).

As the prophet experienced, when God reveals His presence to us, we are likely to be overwhelmed with awe and a sense of our unworthiness. Then, as we humbly respond in repentance or obedience as we see Jesus .. we, too, will know that our sins have been forgiven (v. 7). We cannot manipulate or create divine encounters, but we make them possible by being available to God .. Learning of Him .. Discovering more about Who He is by the power of His Holy Name .. through the reading of His Word.  Are you spending time with the Lord, praying and reading His Word? Or has life become too busy and your spiritual walk too mechanical?

"Ask God" .. today .. right now .. for a more personal encounter. Then expectantly watch for Him.

Looking For Solid Footing On A Slippery Slope?

Seeking An Anchor in the Midst of Your Tempest?

What do you do when the storms of life come all over you? .. covering you in fear, doubt, uncertainty? .. To whom do you turn? Where do you seek comfort and security during tumultuous times?

We all realize that storms will come and go unexpectedly throughout life. Yet even when struggles throw us off balance, the Word of God assures us that we can maintain a steady footing, regardless of the circumstances. How do we do that?
There is an amazing truth in the Bible --- that, once you take hold of it, will keep you steady during even the most trying of situations. That anchor for the storms of life is simply this: Jesus Christ never changes .. He is the "same" .. yesterday .. today .. and forever  !

You might wonder, What is meant by “anchor”? Think about it this way: Every single thing in your life .. career, relationships, finances .. is in a constant state of flux. In fact, you yourself are growing, learning, and developing every day. There is nothing anyone can do to stop this continual change. So, if we try to hold tight to things like resources, friends, abilities, or prestige during times of hardship, we can’t keep from being pulled one way or another. Why? Because we have affixed ourselves to something that is itself moving. We have chosen a foundation that isn't stable.

However, when we fix our hopes in Jesus Christ, we can be sure that the anchor will hold .. nothing is more solid .. He isn't moving, changing, or leaving. Regardless of all the things in life that can morph and shift, He is the same as He always has been. Jesus is the only sure footing in an unstable world ..

And He can keep you steady, too ... ALL YOU NEED DO .. is  "ask" ..




Pregnant? Scared of the Future? Cancer? Facing Uncertainty?

God’s Guidance - Even In the Storms of Our Lives

Isaiah 43:1-3

Life's Storms .. ever experience one? Sure you have .. and they can make our life feel uncertain, we become panicky, scared .. off our course and unsure of our direction - RIGHT?

How about those disciples? .. most were seasoned and experienced fishermen - they were well aware of storms on the Sea of Galilee weren't they? As they headed for Gennesaret the battering gale ( a storm of life ) came upon them and they couldn't gauge their direction or distance from shore... The storm obscured the guiding lights of the sky and at the same time assaulted their senses. Have you ever felt that way?

Let’s think about what the disciples learned that will be able to help us today as we experience a storm in our life.

Jesus’ Sovereignty .. The Lord demonstrated that He was fully in charge of both nature and His followers’ lives. There isn't a single moment when He has less than absolute control of our storms. That night on the Sea of Galilee, the winds blew just so hard and no harder; the waves rose just so high and no higher.

Jesus knows exactly where we are, where we’re headed .. and how fierce our storm is. Remember, the One who died in our place because of love is the One who holds the future .. and He also holds us.

Jesus’ Protective Power. Christ’s ability to protect was evident in this tempest. He watched over the disciples in the boat, and He took care of Peter on the water. But don’t miss an essential lesson: Peter was allowed to sink just enough to recognize his own helplessness so that he would turn to the Lord for rescue. It protects us to remember that each of us is absolutely helpless without Jesus and must turn quickly to Him.

Jesus’ sovereignty and protective presence caused the disciples to worship Him as the Son of God. Are your lips bursting with praise today?


“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me… ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
- Matthew 25


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