Inclusive Or Exclusive

 

God’s Word is very clear about this subject.  Just as God includes everyone we are to do the same.  It does not matter whether we are male/female, rich/poor, educated, beautiful, young/old …

Look at James 2.  It’s really clear on the issue.  We are to welcome and love everyone who enters our ‘meeting’.  We are to be inclusive, not exclusive.

God loves us all the same.  So, if we’re truly trying to become more like Him, then, we are going to stop the favoritism game.  There’s a great song out right now by Mandisa, We All Bleed The Same, that says it all.  “…if we’re going to shout, let love be the cry.”

And so, in response to all he has done for us, let us outdo each other in being helpful and kind to each other and in doing good. (Hebrews 10:24) 

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Sharing this post with many other awesome bloggers at  5-Minute Friday.

Words of Grace – Book Review

This is certainly not just another devotional.  It’s better than that.  It’s full of thoughtful, inspiring articles that drew me closer to my God.  It led me to a deeper level of thought on what the Word is trying to say.

Best of all, I can pick it up or put it down at any point.  Meaning, it’s not dated so I didn’t feel pressured to read a certain part on a certain day.  I can open it anywhere and read something important about my walk with Jesus any time I want.

It is thoughtfully divided into three categories.  Who God is, how He works in our lives, and how we are to respond to Him.

Here are a few quotes that really spoke to me:

  • “In the realm of morality and money, family and friends, work and play, God has a will and a way for us to live.”  (pg. 13)
  • “What is the message of Good News? God’s favor is on all mankind.” (pg. 25)
  • “We must know, feel, and acknowledge our sin before we will turn to Christ for salvation.  We must turn to Christ for salvation before we will have freedom from our sin.” (pg. 51)
  • Regarding the truth of Romans 8:1 – “You don’t have to justify yourself to others.  Imagine relating to others without being defensive.  You are not condemned, and no one can condemn you before God, so when you interact with others you can focus on truth, love, and edification.” (pg. 87)

I had only one drawback as I read through.  Scott Patty is a deep thinker and with that came sentence structure that was sometimes difficult to read.  But then, that forced me to think more deeply on God’s Word.

I’m sure I’ll be keeping this devotional in my book basket for months/years to come.

What a blessing!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Broadman and Holman Publishers.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

20 Ways To Practice Lifestyle Evangelism

 

Are you looking for creative ways to show Whose you are?  Here are a few I’ve used.  Add your suggestions in the comments.

Wear a piece of jewelry that invites discussion.

Take a glass of something cold to your neighbor, or the person doing lawn work, etc.

Visit someone in a hospital or nursing home that doesn’t get visitors.

Call to say I’m thinking of you.

Volunteer!

Invite the person who is sitting alone (in church, in a restaurant) to sit with you.

When someone’s name pops into your mind send them an ‘I’m thinking of you’  note.

Follow through when you’ve said you would do something.  If you said I’ll call, then call.

Don’t hesitate to pray anywhere and anytime you’re asked. 

Be sincere in your compliments.  People can always tell when you’re ‘just sayin’.

Ask someone you don’t know (while at the doctors, grocery, or other public places) if you can pray for them.  Do it right there.

Hand write notes to a new member, someone who is ill, recently baptized, …

Choose a missionary to stay in touch with.

Give rides to those who don’t have a way to get to the doctor, grocery store, …

Use your craftiness to help others.  Crochet an afghan, quilt a lapgan, embroider a favorite Bible verse, …

Prayer-walk your neighborhood.  Pray for every home even if you don’t know the person living there.

When you get ready to get rid of your Christmas, Birthday, Anniversary cards put them in a box and keep them in your ‘prayer spot’.  Take one out each day and pray for that person.  Let them know you prayed with a call or a card/note.

Keep a Jar of Joys.  Put little slips of paper in it that tell about good things that have happened through the year. Go through it at the end of the year and give thanks for the joy and delight God has put in your life.

Invite someone who may be all alone to family dinners like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter…

Take a picture frame that you aren’t using.  Put a sheet of blank paper behind the glass.  Write the names of those you want to pray for regularly.  Hang it in a place you see every day.  Mine is above my home/office desk.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

The Kremlin Conspiracy – – Book Review

Intrigue and lies at the upper levels of world leadership…  Men and women killed senselessly…  Life choices…  God’s presence…

I don’t usually like books of this genre.  But The Kremlin Conspiracy had me from the first chapter.  With well-developed characters and a storyline that simply doesn’t slow down, I couldn’t wait to turn the pages.  From the mountains of Colorado to Russia’s Red Square the action continually transports one into the lives of the characters.

Political upheaval is caused by two presidents, a world apart.  One weak and inexperienced, the other over-confident and mentally unbalanced, put the world on edge with the threat of nuclear war.

This quote from The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky sums up the motive behind the story.  “Above all, don’t lie to yourself.  The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and he loses all respect for himself and for others – and having no respect he ceases to love.”

If you like fast moving, action-packed reading, you’ll love this book!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Weekend Wanderings

Here are a few of my favorites from this weeks posts.  Enjoy!

THE DAY GOD GAVE ME MORE THAN I COULD HANDLE  God will give us more than we can handle because He wants us to remember that we are never in it alone.

HOW TO RESPOND TO THE GROWN-UP MEAN GIRL   Bullies and ‘mean girls’ are all around us.  Yes, but how should we respond?  Jennifer has the answer.

SECRETS, STRUGGLES AND THE SCANDALOUS LOVE OF GOD    These words of Holley’s are ones that we should always keep in mind, “Whatever we did yesterday, whatever we’re battling today, whatever we may face tomorrow, the love of God for us and the grace of God toward us will never, ever change.”

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

Who Are The Other People?

My thoughts and ponderings on this word led me to who are the ‘other’ people in our society?  In a social climate that prides itself on equality, we have certain ‘other’ people that are not counted among the equal.  People of color, any color actually, white, black, olive, pink… women, elderly, poor, rich, educated, homeless.  Every one of us fits in an ‘other’ category.

When I looked up the definition here’s what it said: used to refer to a person or thing that is different or distinct from one already mentioned or known about.  

What, then, does God say about it?

And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.  Luke 6:31 (I can still hear my mother’s voice… Do unto others as you would have them do to you.)

Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others.  Philippians 2:4 (I don’t think this verse would even be necessary if we would stop being all about ourselves.)

So, isn’t it time to start making the ‘other’ people in our lives more important than we are?

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

I’m sharing this with a group of writers who set aside 5 minutes each week to write about one word.  Why don’t you join us?  Five Minute Friday

Wisdom Whispers Review

I am delighted to be part of the Launch Team for Wisdom Whispers.  It is thought-provoking and easy to read.  It gave me much new insight into one of God’s chosen.

Sarah writes in such a way that the words get into your mind and heart.  Wisdom (and understanding) grows with each days lesson.

I have a new appreciation of King Solomon and his writings thanks to Wisdom Whispers. As I completed each day of this study I was struck with how much he was like a real person, with real struggles, just like me. Even though Solomon was incredibly blessed by God he fell into the trap of great riches and power not recognizing his blessings were from God and not of his own making. This resulted in life choices that changed him from a devoted man of God to a contriving man of the world. (i.e., 700 wives of whom many were princesses of other realms married for political purposes.)

Whether you go through this study alone or invite a group of people into your home you will find the time spent in this segment of God’s word worth it.

I hope you’ll check it out.  IT’S FREE! You won’t regret it!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

 

10 Questions – The Essentials for a Spiritually Healthy Life – Book Review

Do you read book introductions?  I do.  I knew from those words that this book would have a powerful impact on my life and becoming more like Jesus.

Have you ever encountered a book that sings unparalleled truth and understanding into your soul?  Yes, sings.  Beautiful, harmonic sounds of God’s voice impacting my thoughts.

For most of my life I have known that the Old and New Testament complement one another.  Some may want to think that the Old Testament books no longer apply to “modern” life,  that it’s boring, outdated, and no longer relevant.  Not so!  Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” (Matthew 5:17-18)

Hugh Taylor, (a religious Jew, by the way), in 10 Questions, writes words of truth that help the modern Believer understand the laws and precepts set down in the first five books of the Bible.  You will find this book insightful and life-changing. Not only if you know Jesus words in the Gospels and what He was teaching us through them but if you’re just starting your Christian walk.  It all works together!

 

 

Favorite Quotes from 10 Questions:

If we are aware of God, then we are in God’s presence.  Being conscious of God in our lives and working on establishing a personal relationship with God constitute being in the presence of God. pp.27

God is waiting for us.  All we have to do is approach… Each of us, no matter how spiritually sick we become, has a standing appointment to see the most powerful force in the universe one on one, whenever we want. pp. 35

It doesn’t matter who we are in life.  We are all equal before God and we are all standing before God… Whatever we do, for good or bad, is done in God’s presence.  God sees all. pp. 43

Whatever you need to do in your life, The Bible is telling us to get busy and do it now.  pp. 133

If you trust in God to give you the income and possessions you need, that you can handle, and no more, then you can begin to be satisfied with what you have. pp 140

And so much more…

I highly recommend reading and applying this book.  I will be doing that by writing many of the insights in my journaling Bible so that they are available when I am reading, studying, and worshipping.

What a blessing!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from BookCrash/Capture Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

God’s Breath

all-scripture

Can you imagine placing your hands on any page of your Bible and feeling His very breath on the page?   That is exactly what this verse is saying (to me).  This is how I see it – – if I can’t see Him face to face until I enter heaven then I’ll settle (hardly the right word) for experiencing His breath in the words I’m reading.

Think about the words of this beautiful chorus from the song “Ancient Words” by Lynn DeShazo.

Ancient words ever true, changing me and changing you; We have come with open hearts, oh, let the ancient words impart.

Friends, family, sisters, and brothers in Christ there is nothing more important than knowing God’s word.  In every action and situation of our lives we can draw on the Word and know without question it was written for that very purpose.

God did not leave us alone on this earth.  He is still breathing every word, in every verse, on every page of our Bibles.

Holy words long preserved for our walk in this world, they resound with God’s own heart; Oh, let the ancient words impart.

Ah, Lord, God thank You for every word, every phrase, every letter of Your Word.  Heavenly Father place a real hunger in our hearts to know Your words and use them for our lives.  Let us not only read them but let us use them.  Put teachers in our lives to help us understand them.  Drench us with the Holy Spirit as we read and learn how to apply them.  Make it so in Jesus name!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Take a Closer Look

Can you imagine this world if we all thought of others first.

Wordsmith's Desk

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To see yourself in someone else’s shoes is the beginning of compassion.

The old man or woman who walks so slowly in front of you.

Is it anyone you know…

take a closer look, for someday that will be you.

Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31

~

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