Is it time for a change of your name?

As you read through your Bible you find that names were changed by God. In Genesis 17:5 You read that God change Abram to Abraham and in verse 15 Sarai becomes Sarah. Jacob becomes Israel, Simon becomes Peter, and Saul becomes Paul are just a few names that were changed by God.

So why the name change? When a woman marries a man she then takes on his family name which identifies her as his wife. Think about that we are called the bride of Christ. Who we were before we came into the knowledge and relationship with Jesus is now a part of our past. That is who we used to be, but now we are made new by Jesus.                 2 Corinthians 5:17  (NKJV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.                                       Isaiah 43:18 “Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past.
Ezekiel 36:26″Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

Most of us still identify with the person we were and still hold onto the traits of the person we were before we received Christ Jesus as our Savior and repented of our sins. When we repented, we turned from our sinful way of living and turned to Jesus, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father but through Him.

I can try to change my behavior on my own, but this is nothing more than what is called behavior modification. My actions have changed but the desire to do the things I once did is still there. There are two things that I need, but not limited to, and they are (1) The heart of Christ Jesus.  James 4:8  – Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse [your] hands, [ye] sinners; and purify [your] hearts, [ye] double minded. 1 Samuel 16:7  – But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for [the LORD seeth] not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. (2) I need the mind of Christ. For how I think and see things are not how God sees or thinks. Isaiah 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

I have to make the decision to submit to God and allow Him to transform me into the creation He wants me to be so that I can better share the love of Jesus and testify what God has done for me through His Son Jesus. How He changed my life in ways that I never could on my own.

Questions;

If God changed your name today, what do you think He would change it to?

What part of the old you are you holding onto? (like an old pair of jeans that do not fit anymore but you hold onto because one day they might fit again)

 

 

 

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Would you die for your enemy? Lessons of love /January 8, 2018

It is written, ‘No one has greater love than this—that one lays down his life for his friends.’ John 15:13.

Now think about this; ‘Would you die to save the life of your enemy?’

Many would easily give up their life to save their child, their spouse, family members,  friends, and some would do so for a stranger they see in danger. To give up your life for someone who hates you, who despises you, who wants you to you to feel pain, have your life destroyed and even wants you dead, could you sacrifice your life for these people? Would you want to? If we were to be honest our first response is a big fat ‘NO!’.

Yet as I have meditated on the sacrifice our Heavenly Father gave, when He sent His Son to pay the price for our sins and the fact that Jesus did not have to do this but that He loves us as much as our Father does, He surrendered His life. Before He was crucified, He was mocked, ridiculed,attacked, falsely accused beaten and spit upon.then crucified still being mocked, and what were His words? “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.’ How much mercy and love He had not only for those who loved and followed Him, but He loved those who were His enemy. He died for to save the lives of those who were and are His enemy. We have all sinned. Those of us who have not only acknowledged our sins and repented, we have also received Christ Jesus as our Savior and Lord. Through His sacrifice we have been adopted into His family and have become children of God, but before this we too were His enemy.

Can we love others as He loves us, or do we continue to only those who love us, and that we feel are worthy of our love?

Is there anything you can do today to show love to someone who has made it clear that they hate you?

Love for Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor’ and ‘hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be like your Father in heaven, since he causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Even the tax collectors do the same, don’t they? 47 And if you only greet your brothers, what more do you do? Even the Gentiles do the same, don’t they? 48 So then, be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48 (NET Bible)

A thought and a question continues 9/15/17

It does not take much to open the door without realizing that you have let the enemy in, and once he is in he is difficult to evict. I however have made the decision to kick him out and guard that door window and any other way he could come in. I remember living in a mobile home in the country and my daughter told me we had a rat in the kitchen. I told her it was probably a mouse but when I turned to look it was a possum! It was difficult to chase him out but when we finally got him out I yelled “I am not Ellie May and animals are not allowed in”. Later I found that it had eaten a hole in the wall behind my refrigerator and had a nest with its’ babies living there. Once we rid ourselves of these creatures I found the hole in which they had made to move in. I not only covered it up but bought steel wool and placed in in any place I thought they might try to make their way back in. I kept a watch out to make sure they did not return and thankfully they did not, but then a wood pecker decided to make its’ home in my bedroom wall. How I found this out was every morning I would be woken up by a knocking on what I thought was my door. I would get up open the door and no one was there. This went on for a number of days. Now I lived in the country and neighbors were not close. I never heard or saw a car drive away and I knew if it was a child playing ding dong ditch I would still see them. So every morning I became more and more annoyed. One morning I saw things going by my bedroom window making me believe that someone was on my roof throwing things down. So I storm out run around to the back of my home in time to see a woodpeckers head sticking out of the outside wall of my bedroom tossing out pink insulation. Once again I felt like Ellie May, but unlike her these were not welcome guests. Until I was able to have new siding put up, I would go to bed at night and bang on the wall and yell at the bird, “How do you like being woken up?” So why am I bringing up this old story? Well with this continued journey to get my thoughts right with God I was reminded of this time in my life. If I did not work at riding myself of these unwanted guests they would have made my home theirs and they would outnumber me and I would never had gotten them out and I would have been the one who would have to leave. It took effort and in order for me to train my brain to think on what is right I will have to put in the work and keep putting in the work. Every time I slack off  and let my guard down and even welcome these unwanted guests in it will be harder for me to get rid of them. If I catch them early it will be easier for me to deal with and rid myself of this poisonous way of thinking. I am thankful for those of you who have already left encouraging comments yesterday, including scripture on my first post regarding this topic. So I will fight the good fight and even if I stumble I will get back up.

Todays Question; What are some things that we do that allow the enemy to come into our thoughts?

Scripture to meditate on

1 Peter 5:8-9 (ESV)  Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.

Matthew 12:29 (NKJV)  Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.

Matthew 12:43-45 (NKJV) “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. 44 Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. 45 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”

Psalm 94:19 When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.

2 Corinthians 10:5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ

Prayer;

Father, 

I submit myself to your will. Asking for your help in taking every thought captive and riding myself of that which is offensive to you. I am choosing to focus on Your goodness and mercy. Thinking of ways that I can please and honor You. Thank you for loving  and forging me. Alone I could do nothing but with Jesus all things are possible. Thank You Lord Jesus I need you this and everyday of my life. Amen

A thought and a question… 9/14/2017

I have been trying this year to get my thought life in order. Yet no matter how hard I try sometime during a day I have entertained some negative thought. Too often more than one is entertained. Then I vent over my frustrations and aggravations. So here I am thinking on the negative and being negative. This is not good at all. Scripture tells me that I am to take every thought captive. It does not say to entertain every thought. (2 Corinthians 10:5 (NKJV)  casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,) So what should I keep my thoughts focused on? Scripture answers this question as well.  (Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)  Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.)

Step one – Take every thought captive and submit it to Christ.

Step two – Choose to think about what is pure and true, and what ever glorifies Jesus.

Sounds easy doesn’t it? Yet we all know this is not an easy task. It is actually a battle we must wage everyday and keep ourselves in check.

Now while all of these thoughts rolled around my little head I thought of this – If I am to keep my thoughts in check, should this not include my conversations? Thinking upon this question I wondered when was the last time I had a conversation with anyone that did not include complaining, judgment (myself or the other party in the conversation), whining or anything that was negative. To be honest I cannot think of any conversation other than with the cashier at the grocery store. So I wondered would it be possible to have only positive conversations ( this includes both people talking)? I wonder if it would be possible for me to not only speak positively but only entertain positive conversations for even a day, and if I could do this could I make it three days? I laughed and thought I would have to not speak at all. This however is not something that is actually funny. So I am challenging myself to see if I can make it three days only speaking to others in a positive and life giving manner. God help me! Ephesians 4:29 (NKJV)  Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

Question: Could you for three days have only positive conversations?

A Tree Falls

Okay it was not the whole tree that fell today but a large portion of tree did fall into our playground today. I actually heard a loud crack light lightning than a woosh as I watched it fall. I am thankful that all the children who live here in the apartments were not home but at school today. This however has lead me to a few thoughts. Here is the first of those.

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Thankfully when this large branch fell no one was hurt and no property damage was done.

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It missed the cars parked next to the playground.

No children were on the playground and it even missed the jungle gym and slide.

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As I thought about how thankful I was that no one was hurt I began to think about what happens when a brother or sister in Christ falls. Yes they are hurt and much damage is done to their life but how does their falling effect those who are near to them? Does anyone truly care or do they just receive judgment and condemnation from those who had said they loved them? Are they left alone to their destruction or does someone come and help pick them back up and begin to put back the pieces?

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Here you can see our handyman Sam cutting the branches and clearing the debris.

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Putting the branches in a pile after cutting them.IMG_0006 (2).JPG

This man came on his time off to help clear up a mess. It will take a couple or more days to finish the work but he will get it done because he cares about us and our safety.

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Sam is more than our handyman here, he is a brother in Christ Jesus. He is one if he sees someone down he comes and helps them up. He does not leave them lying on the ground. He sees a problem and he does not ignore it he does what he can to fix what needs fixing. Being a handyman suits him. Those  of us who know him count themselves blessed. He loves Jesus and the love of Christ flows through him.

So what if you or me falls who will be there to pick us up? If we fall how does this effect those who are close to us.? How many get hurt by our falling? Who will care? The unfortunate part of life is we will occasionally stumble and even fall. Sometimes we can keep the damage minimal and are the only ones who get hurt. To get back up we may need to be trimmed back. Cut some things loose so we can lift ourselves back up. Other times we will need help and God may send us someone like Sam. People who love Jesus and when they see someone down they go to them and help mend them and get them back on their feet and on the right path, like the parable Jesus told us about the Samaritan.

Parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) – Bible Gateway

25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]

28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Footnotes:

  1. Luke 10:27 Deut. 6:5
  2. Luke 10:27 Lev. 19:18
  3. Luke 10:35 A denarius was the usual daily wage of a day laborer (see Matt. 20:2).

 

The Blue Sky Tag

Reflection of Des tagged me in this so I am sharing it with you. Here is the link to the post I was tagged in;

https://reflectionofdes.com/2017/03/21/the-blue-sky-tag/

Rules

  1. Give 11 questions
  2. Tag 11 people
  3. Answer the 11 questions given to you

Answers to Des questions;

  1. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Thank Jesus for the day and then grumble that I have to get up.
  2. Do you believe there are still good people in this world? Yes I believe there are good people they are just getting harder to find.
  3. What’s your favorite ice cream? I have to choose just one? Ice cream is my favorite.
  4. What will be your next vacation? Vacation? What is that?
  5. Have you ever done something you regret? Unfortunately I do have regrets for both things I have done and things I didn’t do.
  6. What’s your favorite tv show? Last Man Standing, even though it is a comedy they always seem to teach some kind of lesson and they are not afraid to quote scripture and speak the name of Jesus.
  7. What’s the last dream you had? I dreamed I was having a conversation with a friend but woke up just before they answered a question and it was so real it left me a little confused when I woke up. Like being in one place and then finding yourself immediately somewhere else.
  8. Do you believe in karma? I believe every action has a consequence.
  9. What’s one memory from your childhood you won’t forget? My mother on a picnic table at night because a frog came into our camp.
  10. Have you ever had a bad experience with someone on WordPress? No I haven’t.
  11. Did you enjoy my questions? Yes.

Bloggers I tag

  1. Vincent S Artale Jr, Talmidimblogging
  2. Ufuomaee, Grace and Truth
  3. atimetoshare.me
  4. kimberlyharding, Soul Healing Art
  5. Gadol Elohai: Father’s Service, Son’s work, Spirit’s
  6. francesrogers
  7. thechickengrandma
  8. SLIMJIM
  9. roberthansen1317
  10. Wally Fry
  11. stopandpraytv

Questions for the people I tagged

  1. Who is number one in your life?
  2. What is a memory that brings you joy?
  3. Have you been baptized?
  4. What is your favorite band or singer?
  5. What is your favorite scripture?
  6. Are you still friends with people from your childhood?
  7. How do blow off steam?
  8. Do you enjoy nature?
  9. Where is your happy place?
  10. Who was the last person who made you smiled?
  11. Did you like my questions?

Tag you are it 🙂