Saturday, March 26, 2011


No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV

This verse was in my daily devotional from LifeWay. Unfortunately, I just failed in a big way to avoid temptation. I just bought a big bag of M&Ms at the store. This may not be what you consider a sin but I know we are on such a tight budget (our income has been cut almost in half in the last few years) and that this was completely a want and not a need. And I still put them in my basket after deliberating on how bad it would be to go ahead and get them. M&Ms in and of themselves are not the problem. The temptation was buying something I knew I shouldn't. That money should go to something else.

And what makes it worse is that I ran into another friend who stopped to talk. One topic was the M&Ms. So, I had that voice of conscience (God) in my head while standing in the aisle before putting them in my basket and now I'm reminded about it again through conversation before going to the checkout. I had been given an escape, or help if you will, in building my self-control * and I didn't take it. Even knowing I would regret it later.

The notes in state that the Greek word for temptation can also mean testing. So, in essense, I just failed my test. I have been tempted, or tested, before and I know God came to my rescue. Of course the cost was considerably more than the bag of M&Ms. This time it was a digital camera. I was shopping in Costco and the camera I had been looking at was on sale. Not only was it on sale but our bank account was sitting with our income tax refund. I'm not sure how long I walked around that store trying to figure out it this was a test or a gift. In the end, as I was about to go put the camera in my basket, a friend I hadn't seen in ages stopped me, asked if I was done shopping and if so, we should go checkout and get some lunch in the foodcourt. I agreed and was saved from failing my test.

Both times, God presented me with the dilemma and each time, a friend appeared to either give me my answer or to remind me to rethink what I was about to do. I wish I had put the bag away but I didn't, even knowing I was committing a sin--- something God was telling me not to do.

I know this is a lesson and maybe I will heed God's voice in my head next time better than I did this time. Until then, my next dilemma is whether or not to eat the M&Ms. The money spent on gas to take them back to the store (40 miles) would be more than what the candy cost. So... to eat or not to eat, that is the question.

*2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hearing His voice

Have you ever been told that someone heard God speak to them? Sometimes it is through a specific verse in the Bible and sometimes it is through a friend. Or it could be His voice directly to them, whether silently in their head or otherwise.

When you heard that person say God spoke to them, did you envy them? I do… every time. But I also identify with them.

I’ve had those kinds of revelations, myself. I’ve had Bible verses jump out at me as though they were written with me, and only me, in mind. I’ve had those Whisperings in my mind giving me the answer or encouragement I needed. And, I’ve known those were His voice. I so treasure those moments when He chose to speak to me so that I could recognize Him above all else.

I can’t emphasize how much I want that ALL THE TIME!

I guess my fear is that I’m not open to receive His voice as often as He wishes to speak directly to me. I admit that I have struggled as of late to focus and understand the Bible in my (mostly) daily readings. I long to read and discover something new! I get excited at that thought.

The Bible says we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) that His Spirit dwells inside us (1 Corinthians 3:16) and that we are hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).

The Bible also says God answers you even before you call out to Him. He hears you speak before you even utter a sound. (Isaiah 65:24) If this is so, then the fault of my not hearing Him is on me. I’m the disconnect. And even as I recognize this I don’t always know what to do. They say to quiet your mind and you will hear Him. This is difficult to do. I know God has spoken to me through my thoughts but I sometimes struggle to know whether or not it was my voice or His that I heard.

I have heard several times that if the devil can’t get to you through doubts in your faith, he’ll come at you with “stuff”; you will either have no quiet time in your mind or you will be so busy that you have no time for God. I believe this to be true.

I long to have a more direct relationship with Him. Compared to where I was in my walk with Him years ago, I have hope that I will continue to hear Him more and more and one day I will be able to stand before Him and my wish will be true. Until then, I will continue to treasure those moments when I have no doubt I’ve been spoken to.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Unofficial Spokespeople for Christianity

Today’s LifeWay Daily Devotional (“Point to Christ” by Richard Land) spoke on how conversations about Christianity can take a turn away from the true subject at hand. He says, “Those to whom we are seeking to witness often point to the many faults of His followers. We can easily become engaged in a conversation about hypocrisy in the church.”

It seems to me that this is just about the biggest reason people are turned off from Christianity. And, unfortunately, we are all faulty, Christian or not. However, as Christians, we are kind of unofficial spokespeople for God. We don’t ask for this role and most of us will admit that we aren’t the best examples. Mark Hall of Casting Crowns once said, “I have a saved spirit but I still think with a lost brain.”

But this is not the point I want to make here. The point I want to make is that we, as flawed individual Christians, do NOT always reflect what God and Jesus try to get across to us. Yes, the Bible points out so many instances where Godly people did things that weren’t Godly. It also points out to us that sinners can still be used for God’s glory. If anything, this should be something to rejoice about! God knows we sin, will continue to struggle with sin even after we are saved, and He still loves us! We still have a place in Heaven with Him! Isn’t that awesome!

Hopefully, the next time we come up against the argument that all Christians are hypocrites, we can acknowledge with grace and humility that, yes, we are and then point them to the One who wasn’t… the One who was pure, who gave His life so that we may have a place in Heaven. He is what Christianity is all about. Not us. It is never about us. It’s all about Him. No argument about it.

Reference verses on our struggles with sin:
Romans 7:14-25
Galatians 5:16-18
1 Peter 5:8-9

Reference verses on Jesus' sinless-ness: 
Matthew 4: 1-11
Luke 4:1-13
2 Corinthians 5:21
Hebrews 7:23-28

Monday, March 7, 2011

Forgotten Password

Have you ever had a time when you lost a password to a website you really want to access? Well, that's what happened here. I've been trying to figure it out for awhile. I do believe that I may have clicked the "Forgot Your Password" link but I don't remember why I didn't follow through with it. LOL

Well, it is safely written down now and in a safe place. There has been so much happen since we've moved and I'm not sure I can write about it now that a lot of it has had so much time pass between it. So, I believe that I will do as the Flylady says and "Just jump in where I am". :)

Until next time.