Statement of faith

2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (NIV)

"The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make us like the Son of God. To become like Jesus, we must fill our lives with his Word.
- Warren

Monday, November 21, 2011

Quiet-Time Reflections

Week of: November 21, 2011                         
Sharing by: Pam Crawford

Psalm 100:1-5
“Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations."

Reflecting on history, Thanksgiving was a day set apart to acknowledge and praise God. The settlers of our great land wanted to express their gratitude to a God that was with them every step of the way. It doesn’t appear that this was something they chose to gloss over, they rested in the moment. I imagine their prayers were not hurried on that day because the food would get cold. I imagine they were not thinking about mapping out their strategy to get the next best bargain. They simply gathered as families and they celebrated where they were. When I think about this, I am in awe. These were people who were suffering. Because they sought out a better life for themselves and their families, they were willing to endure through suffering, death and discouragement. They were willing to praise God because they understood that the gain outweighed their pain.  

I have to ask myself, is that how I see it? Is that how you see it? Does the pain of the circumstance outweigh the gain of what God wants us to learn from it? Honestly, it has not always been my attitude. I have definitely bought into the “poor, poor, pitiful Pam mentality," and I am thankful that God is showing me that this is a waste of valuable time. Maybe the alternative would be to adopt the mindset of the early settlers. They seemed to understand that God loved them. They recognized His provisions despite the difficulties in their life. They acknowledged that He was in control and He would guide them along the way. They understood they could be thankful in the mystery of God’s ways. I love that they left this example for us to emulate. Of course it’s up to us to adopt it or not. From the beginning of creation God has given us a choice and free-will still exists. 

This is going to be a very different kind of holiday season for this gal. I intend to take my cares and concerns before God in thanksgiving and praise. Yes, I said “praise.” I now recognize that every trial is an opportunity to grow. Although my circumstances may not change, I can change. I am also going to rest in the simplicity of the life lived back in the days of our settlers. They may not have had much, but they were rich in their relationship with God and others. I am ashamed to share that for so many years I made myself crazy with the preparations of the season. I had so much anxiety that I missed the celebration, and praise was not rolling from my tongue. I always ended up exhausted, physically, mentally, and financially. Because everything had to be perfect, nothing ended up perfect. So, whether we’re enjoying a big holiday meal or a simple bowl of soup, we can celebrate the goodness of our Heavenly Father. It should not matter "what" we have, but rather "who" we have.  Is God the ultimate guest at your celebrations? If not, may I encourage you to invite Him into them this year. He will be a kind, loving, patient, wise, helpful and He'll meet you where you're at. "Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30).


Today’s prayer:  Father, I come before you in Praise and Gratitude. I am thankful to be surrounded by people who touch my life and bring me joy. Watch over and protect them daily. I’m thankful that You have blessed me beyond measure. Help me to encourage and share from what I have received.  Praise You Lord that You live in my heart, may I never be ashamed to share this gift. May I never take for granted your undeserved favor on my life. Your gift of grace is something I desire to celebrate. In Jesus name I offer to you my thanksgiving and praise. Amen.

Additional Scripture Reading: Hebrews 12:28, Psalm 95:2, Phil 4:6

Book Recommendation: Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan

How great should be our gratitude
To God our unseen Friend!
The volume of His gifts to us
We cannot comprehend.
            - Hess

In Christ by grace,

Monday, November 14, 2011

Quiet-Time Reflections

Week of: November 14, 2011                        
Sharing by: Pam Crawford

We would be wise to never underestimate God’s power to speak to us through various different types of resources. As I shared with you last week, I needed a good time-out.  Because I was willing to recognize and heed to this, I believe I have received several unexpected blessings. One in particular came as I read the devotion below. My ears perked up as I honed in on the warning found within this writing. I know it is no coincidence that I took this in as I am working to get “filled back up” in order to serve God to the best of my ability. As I continue my break this week, I pray this might be a blessing to those of you with a heart to help others. Sometimes it is that very tender heart that will experience trauma if we’re not careful to attend to it.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6, NIV
TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria Osteen                              
"Sometimes, it’s easy to get wrapped up in taking care of the people around us. You may find that you’re always giving, taking care of the children, working overtime at the office, or helping that friend who is struggling. And that’s all good. But if you’re not careful, you can end up feeling rundown. That’s why you have to take time every day to get filled back up. Your first priority should be taking care of yourself and making time to get into the presence of Jesus.
Throughout scripture, we see that in God’s presence there is fullness of joy, fullness of peace, and fullness of victory. In His presence, you’re refreshed and restored. That’s why it’s so important to take time every day to read your Bible and meditate on His promises. We have to be diligent to have that quiet time with Him.
Today, take time to get alone with God and just say, “God, I love You today. Thank You for my life, for my family, for the opportunities You’ve given me. Lord, I know every good thing comes from You.” When you live like that, with your heart connected to His, you’ll be refreshed, restored, reenergized and filled up for the journey of life!"
OK, off to get filled. Have a beautiful week ahead.

"Taking care of yourself is not selfish, it's wisdom." - Joyce Meyer
Additional Scripture References:  James 4:7-10, Isaiah 55: 6-7, Romans 8:6-8.

Book Suggestion: A Place of Quiet Rest: by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Quiet-Time Reflections

Week of: November 7, 2011                      
Sharing by: Pam Crawford

What a mistake I made yesterday! As I sat in frustration realizing that it was distraction that kept me from my goal, I concluded I need a good time-out. I have learned that wisdom is often found when we work to correct a mistake. Therefore, please accept my apology as I take a break from writing to get refreshed. Until then, be blessed by two gifts shared with me this week.

“Let us remember each morning, as we launch into the unknown space called life that our lifeline must be attached to God, the giver of life. Let us stay focused, and be attentive as we try to find Him wherever we go and whatever we do. Let us also ask ourselves this question: Am I keeping the main thing the main thing in my life? - Merek

God is a shelter, a refuge available to each of us. 
Psalm 91:1 “He who dwells in the shadow of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”

The power of love and joy, that restores faith and serenity in our troubled world.
By A.J. Russell

Dwell There
“Hidden in a sure place, known only to God and you. So secret that no power on earth can even find it. But, My beloved children, you must dwell therein. No fitful visit, a real abiding. Make it your home. Your dwelling-place.

Over that home shall My Shadow rest, to make it doubly safe, doubly secret. Like brooding mother-bird wings that Shadow rests. How safe, how sure, you must feel there.

When fears assail you, and cares trouble you, then it is because you have ventured out of that protecting Shadow. Then the one, the only thing to do is to creep back into shelter again. So rest. "

Be blessed.

In Christ by grace,