We Need To Bow Down

Originally posted on Thoughts From The Porch:

bowing before God

” I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like fire; brilliant light surrounding him. Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of glory of the LORD. When I saw it, I feel facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.” Ezekiel 1:27-28

the-glory-of-god-in-christ-jesus-271x300

This description of what Ezekiel is experiencing in the presence of the LORD just gives me chills.  I can only imagine what Ezekiel was thinking and feeling at this moment of time.  The study notes in my Life Application Bible say this; The glory of the LORD appeared like fire and brilliant light to Ezekiel. Ezekiel fell facedown, overwhelmed by the contrast between God’s holiness and his own sinfulnessinsignificance.”

it's in the waiting

In one of the Beth Moore studies that I participated in with my…

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We’re Here!

April:

So many times in life, we forget that God is in control. In our effort to get to where God wants us to be we take the wheel in attempt to get to the destination he has set for us. As a result, we arrive but not at the intended destination.

Originally posted on Thoughts From The Porch:

family vacation

We’re Here!

washington dc

We’re here!  Were the words my father spoke to the security guard standing out in the Nation’s Capital drive area. You see, my family was on vacation to see the sites of Washington, DC and to visit with my aunt. After many long hours of riding and my brother begging my dad to stop and talk to a sign from time to time (the fast food drive-thru), we arrived in DC at the peak of rush hour!

Stuck in the round about

It was like a scene from European Vacation

As my dad tried to navigate through the metro area of DC, he was quick to learn that streets and lanes change to accommodate the traffic. After many u-turns and barely missing a few flower beds, Dad thought he had reached a parking area or at least where he could find some sort of direction. Thus,  pulling up to our Nation’s Capital and…

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Pray Without Ceasing

bless our nation

 

Over the weeks, we have been inundated with news of Christians being persecuted.  From time to time I will post a “Random” thought on Facebook. It is out of  hearing and reading the current events as they are that prompted me to write the following a couple of weeks ago. 

what is on your mind

As I go through Facebook, I see many post about the current situation of our World and  persecution of Christians. It really upsets me to see this taking place in our world. What concerns me most is the fact that our founding fathers founded this country on and with Godly principles.

It seems that today there is little tolerance for Christian values to be shared and practiced without offending someone. Yet, we are to respect other religious beliefs without question.

children praying in school

I remember as a child in elementary school where we had devotional, prayer and the pledge before we started our day. Yes, it was in a public school. I remember where my dad would be asked to lead the invocation at the beginning of sporting events which not long after I graduated this was removed from sporting venues.

prayer before football game

From what I am seeing on television and what I am seeing posted on Facebook, we are at a place where we better wake up and take a stand. We as a people need to get back on our knees and pray for our country and our world. Most of all, we need to pray for leadership that will show honor and respect for what this country was founded on.

Sam the Eagle

I very rarely speak out on political issues on Facebook. I tend to keep my thoughts to myself. Yet, this afternoon, after seeing one article after another on what is going on in our world I felt the need to say something.

 

As the cliché goes; “if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” Let’s take a stand and bring this country and its leaders back to its Godly foundation.

” Never stop praying.” 1 Thessalonians  5:17

My we pray without ceasing!

pray for America

One

April:

Originally written and posted August, 2014

Originally posted on Thoughts From The Porch:

I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.

So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything but

only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the

man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded 

according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers;

you are God’s field, God’s building.

1 Corinthians 3:6-9

The Power of One

ONE is a powerful number. I can think of many things that started with one.  One  person stepped out in faith.   One person responding to a yearning in their heart.  One person wanting to make a dream come true.  One person listening to the voice of God. Yet, at  the end of the day,  the outcome was more than one. 

Janine Stang

This morning as I was watching the Today Show they did an interview with Janine Stange. As of this evening, she will have…

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Standing On The Promises

Young woman reading bible

My Lesson in Discernment:

In the Wednesday night bible study that I attend, we are in the midst of a Kelly Minter study, What Love Is…the Letters of 1,2,3 John.  This study is a true eye opener of how important it is for us to stay in the WORD and truly KNOW our Lord and Savior. In days such as we live in, there is much deception going on.  As Christians, we need to  be even more in tuned to God’s voice and his principles.

One of the lessons in this week’s study is on testing the spirits, In other words, know how to discern what is ordained by God versus adding and/or taking away from the true word of God. Also, there are those who are twisting scripture to suit the moment they are in and/or to justify their actions.

As I continued with this lesson, God revealed to me a lesson I learned the Spring of my Freshman year in college. There was this  handsome young man whom I began to admire and date. He was very much a gentleman. His family was very loving and kind. Just being with him, one would think I had met my true prince charming. Yet, there was a stumbling block. He was of the Mormon faith.

When my parents found out I was dating him, they thought he was a very nice guy. Yet, when they found out he was Mormon, great concern arose. Of course I was the typical college Freshman who knew it all and was not going to listen to what my parents had to say on the issue. Not only my parents were concerned but dear friends were concerned as well. You see, though I had claimed Christ as my Lord and Savior, God was about to open my eyes to real truths versus man-made truths.

During this time period, Mom and Dad allowed me to continue to date this young man. I even went to Temple with him a couple of times. A very different experience from any other I have ever had in any other denominational church.  The catch was if I went to his church he had to go to worship with me. In other words, though he was trying to influence me with his faith, I could also be an influence on him. Thus, this was my first lesson on the importance of why God says it is important for a couple to be evenly yoked.

Seeking God’s Truth

Challenges Ahead

As this dating relationship continued, I sought counsel.  There were days when I spent my afternoons talking with the campus chaplain. I spent many hours with my choral director whom was a very strong Christian and Christian mentor.  One day while in her office, Judye shot straight with me. Her words were; “April, you are a strong Christian young lady. God has wonderful things planned for you. He has a mate that he is grooming for you.”   She also stated; “God is using you right now. This is your opportunity to be His witness. I can tell this young man has been influenced by you.  Don’t give up but don’t give in. Take it one day at a time. Be true to yourself, be true to God.  Then, she quoted this scripture to me;

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart

and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways submit to him and he will make

your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

After that conversation with my choral director, I began to search the scriptures even more. I spent hours in the library educating myself on different belief systems. I prayed like I had never prayed before. There were walks I took by myself on campus just talking to God and asking for his direction.

Listening to God’s Voice

over hearing

The Spring semester came to a close. I would be leaving college to go to Lake Junaluska, NC to work on summer staff. Lake Junaluska is a Methodist Conference center in the Smoky Mountains. A place where I had attended many youth conferences and a place where my family vacationed from time to time.  The evening came when I told this young man I would be leaving and more less “enjoy your summer.”  Later that evening, I prayed. I poured my heart out to God. My prayer was something like this:  God, I know you have someone out there who will love me. He will exemplify Christian values. He will be strong in faith. He will love me unconditionally. And, most of all he walks in the truth of your Word. He stands on your promises.”   As I fell asleep that night, I had a dream. In this dream, I was in the lobby of my dorm sitting and somewhat distraught/confused. While sitting there, someone comes up and sits beside me. This person places his arms around me and says; “not to worry. I will take care of you.” It was the most peaceful moment and my heart was more at peace than it had been in a while.

How God Answered My Prayer

Cross at Lake Junaluska, NC

A few days later, I was at Lake Junaluska moving into my summer residence. Not long after my parents had left, this young man by the name of Jim came by my room. He introduced himself and asked if my roommate and I needed help with anything. We told him we were pretty settled in and on his way he went to help others who were moving in. After he left, I got butterflies in my stomach. I told myself to shake it off and move on. Yet, the next day as I was going through the buffet line at orientation, I saw Jim walk into the room to get in line. It was at that moment that voice that told me that he would take care of me was telling me; “there is your Godly man. He is the one you are to experience life with and walk with you on your faith journey.” “But, don’t push the relationship. Let me set the pace.” I obeyed that voice and I am glad I did.

I didn’t run across the room and begin to flirt with Jim. Instead, I simply continued on with what I was doing with my new-found girl friends. In time, the opportunity would come where Jim and I would officially meet outside of his brief hello at the door when I first moved into my room.

The Rest of the Story

Later in the evening, we were having staff orientation. In this orientation, we were playing a get acquainted game where when the music stopped you had to get back to back with someone. Once back to back to someone, you had to turn around and tell them something about yourself. Each time it was something like where you were from or if you could be any animal what would it be and the list goes on. Yet, the last round of the game the music stopped and I found myself back to back with Jim. The leaders told us to turn around but this time there was no question to be answered. Instead, we were told to look directly into the eyes of the person we were with and not to say a   word for two minutes.  The purpose of this was to bring a point home to us summer staffers. The point was we were to see inside the hearts of the people we would be serving over the summer just as Jesus  sees the hearts of others.   Needless to say, it was at that moment I knew that Jim was the guy  God had planned for me.

Reflection

reflecting back

Whew! Over the last couple of days, I have reflected on this chain of events. I see God’s hand in it all. As I reflect, I am thankful for the people who God had placed in my life to guide me and keep me on the right path. I am thankful that I was raised in a biblically based faith and home. I am thankful that my eyes were opened to the fact  that there are people out there who can make something sound so good and so right and yet be so wrong. I am thankful that God showed me how important it is to discern and ask him for guidance/wisdom.

He makes all things beautiful

I share this testimony because in today’s world there is so much out there. You can google just about anything on the web and get multiple answers pro and con of what you are looking for.  There are people out there that are twisting scripture to make their wrongs seem to be right.  However, when it comes to salvation and God there is only one place where the real truths can be found  of how to live. The place where we find real truth is in the bible. There is only one way to enter the Kingdom of God and it is through his SON who came and died for our sins. In the Gospel of John, Jesus clearly states; “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. ” John 14:6

 Each one of us are going to encounter false teachings. Since Jim and I have been married, we have been faced with such teachings.  Yet, as we journey together we know we must trust in the LORD.  We choose to not lean on our own understanding but to stand on the promises of God.

jeremiah 29

May you stand on the promises of God and lean NOT into your own understanding but trust God’s leading.  

Time to Stop and Enjoy the Snow

Snow Days 2015

Snow Days 2015

For the last two days, Facebook has been inundated with pictures such as the one taken of my back yard. We are in the midst of Winter Storm 2015.  As I posted this picture with a couple more on Facebook, I received comments such as “how beautiful!”  My thoughts were “right…..just wait and see what it will look like in a few days.”

Snow is beautiful when it first falls and covers the ground. Yet, as the hours and days go by, you don’t see the beauty of the snow, but it is gradually becomes a brown/black slush due to cars commuting, and snow removal equipment coming through every so often.

Yesterday, as I took some pictures of the snow for friends and family to see back home, I was reminded of our Father. I was reminded of how he sent His Son to die so that my sins would be cleansed as white as snow. Thus, the snow reminding me of Jesus’ cleansing blood.

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD.

Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they

are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

Isaiah 1:18 

Regarding the black slush that is to come with the snow, it  reminds me of our faith journey. When we become Christians, we are not promised a Rose Parade. There are going to be times where we are going to experience some sort of slush in our lives. The difference in being a believer and a non-believer is that when we receive Christ into our hearts, we are in a community  of believers that will walk with us and pray for us. We also have Jesus who is with us on every step of the journey.

But is we walk in the light, as he is in the light we will have fellowship with one another,

and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”

1 John 1:7

The quietness and stillness of the snow is a gentle reminder of God wanting to us to sit in his presence for a while. He is saying to us; be still.”  This is a wonderful time to reflect on how God has blessed us and to share what is on our hearts. It is a time to be quiet and listen to that small still voice.

 He says, “Be still and know that I am God;

Psalm 46:10

Up until yesterday, this Georgia peach has never really liked the snow. Yet, as I looked out my window and as I took pictures, I realized it was time to stop and enjoy the snow (from indoors that is).

 et

Good Night John Boy

Originally posted on Thoughts From The Porch:

The Waltons

The Waltons a television show of the past that Hallmark has brought back. Stories of a simpler time, reminders of what it meant to really live on faith and lean on God. The most memorable character outside the famous Baldwin sisters was John Boy. John Boy was the writer in the family who would sit in front of his bedroom window writing about his family as he watched them carry on with daily living. This family stood together in the test of trials and they celebrated the joys and triumphs of life.

God, the creator of  our great big world. As He created each living thing, He would smile and say “it is good.” He, too, writes from His window as He looks down at his family carrying on with their daily activities. Yet, the times aren’t simple as in the times of The Waltons.  People aren’t loving each other…

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