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Friday, December 2, 2011

When was the last time you raked your yard?

Today, I was feeling rather ambitious and decided to rake the back yard.  Mind you by back yard is more of a hard incline than a yard so it hasn't been raked much. As far as I know, it never has been in the 5 years we have lived here.  Sad, I know.  Would you want to rake a uphill?

As I began raking, I could smell the decay of rotting pine straw.  Underneath all the pine straw, fallen branches, and twigs was the darkest soil - rich and fertile.  Also as I raked, I noticed the roughness and dangerousness of the terrain.  My kids have been playing on this mountainous like rise without fear.  They could have been hurt by something hiding under the compost of straw, leaves, pine cones, and branches.

It makes me wonder what is hiding under the leaves and straw of our lives.  Is there something dangerous hiding that could cause hurt and pain to another?  Is there something undealt with in our lives that could be a potential danger to our loved ones and those we minister to?

My raking the yard showed me that underneath the surface of our lives, we have treacherous terrain.  As we navigate through life, things of this world pile up on us. People wound us and we move on thinking we are okay, but we have just buried the problem without dealing with it.  The wounds cause our hearts to become rough and buckled.  We react to others in a snappy, rude, judgmental, critical attitude.  Things may look harmless when covered by layers upon layers of trash and spiritual masks.  Deep down there are wounds and scars that we have not allowed God to heal. We pitch fits to get our way and bully others into submitting to our desires.  We point fingers at where they are missing the mark, but never seeing where we ourselves have gotten off track.

How after, we criticize others for their reactions or their lives don't measure up to our standards.  The Word should be the standard for their lives and our own. It is not our place to say one person is not able to be used of the Lord because we don't agree with their walk.  We are to work out our OWN salvation with fear and trembling (see Philippians 2:12).  We as Christians should take a good look at our own lives and hearts.  It's easy to sit back on the pew Sunday after Sunday, Wednesday after Wednesday and see the faults in others without first removing the debris from our own lives.  The Bible says in Matthew 7:3, "Why do you stare from without at the very small particle that is in your brother's eye but do not become aware of and consider the beam of timber that is in your own eye?" (AMP)

Hear the words of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7,
"Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or rude. Love isn't selfish or quick tempered. It doesn't keep a record of wrongs that others do. Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil. Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting."

The Amplified states verse 5 like this: 
"It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God's love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]."
Did you catch that?  Love is "not self-seeking".  When we criticize another based on our own standards, we are being self-seeking.  If we are truly walking in love, then we will see through the eyes of love and see the second thing I saw in my yard.

The second thing I found while raking was rich soil underneath the pine straw. The rich soil of our lives in contrast to the terrain is the Word we have allowed to soak deep within us.  That good part of our lives that is so hidden by outward displays.  The outward is all most people ever see.  It's easy to find fault when all you see is life's debris on a person. After all is swept away, we can really see what a person really is.  There is an inward work going on in each and every one of us.  We must be willing to be raked over by the Holy Ghost so that those things that should not be in our lives to be removed.  There is fertile ground in each of us.  What we plant there is up to us.  Plant good things in each other and you will reap the good in yourself.  Philippians 2:3 states, " Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves". (KJV) 

All of this from raking my back yard.  God works in mysterious ways.  This one thing I take away from my outside activity, we will only be able to help others when we first rake our own yard.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

DramaticElegance: the first

DramaticElegance: the first: {via pinterest } i can hardly believe that today is the first of December. each time a new month comes around, i sit back and ponder ...

A Lesson In Faith As Taught By A Four Year Old

I have always tried my best to teach my children, even though they are still very young, the power of faith in God and prayer.  I never really know how much it sinks in after all they are 2 years old and 4 years old. My oldest, James, is very literal when it comes to what you tell him as well as very flamboyant.  This little jewel has all the makings of a powerful man of God.  There have been many times he has told me something that God told him.  It blows my mind that most adults can't even hear God and a four year old can already distinguish His voice.

On Sunday, my oldest had just entered the children's church room at our church and politely told his teacher that the devil was in the room and they needed to pray so he would leave.  Well, of course, the teacher did just as James asked.  His teacher told me that they had the best time in children's church after they all had prayed. But the story doesn't end there...

Tuesday, I woke up with a headache on the verge of being a migraine.  Every little noise was piercing to my head.  Well, James decides to start bouncing on the bed telling me to get up because it was "morning time".  I had to ask him to stop because it was really starting to make me nauseous. His little response was, "You no feel good?"  I told him my head was hurting and asked him to pray.  This was where it gets so sweet.  He comes over and put his hands on my belly and starting praying this little prayer, "God is our Healer. Jesus will heal you by 10 o'clock this morning.  Amen."

He then runs off to play.  I dragged myself out of bed and told my husband what James had said.  He was just as amazed as I was that this little child had faith enough in God to believe for a healing and even went as far as to be bold enough to put a time on it.  By 10 o'clock, I was completely pain and symptom FREE!

My child knew more about the power of faith that I could have ever imagined.  Somehow, all of those lessons and praying over him had sunk deep within his little spirit.  He embodied Hebrews 11:1 which states, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen". (KJV) He knows enough about God to know that he can have the things he prays for.  If we all could have such faith.  His substance of things hoped for was my healing, the evidence is what he had heard me teach him about God and Jesus.  Proverbs 22:6 states, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." (KJV)

Hebrews 11:6 says, "But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him."(KJV)

Hear the words of Jesus as stated in Mark 10:15, "Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive and accept and welcome the kingdom of God like a little child [does] positively shall not enter it at all." (AMP)

If only we would become as little children and believe God at His word, how much better would this world be.

Monday, November 28, 2011

This Week's Featured Shop

This week's featured Etsy shop is Make It Special Mosaics:

Meet Rose Gutierrez, owner & creative genius of Make It Special Mosaics:

My desire to create unique mosaic art brings me immeasurable joy and pleasure. I am extremely blessed by the Lord for this gift and for the inspiration He brings to me each day.

It is with hope that something I have designed will find its way into your home, office or as a gift for someone special. Custom designs are my specialty. Feel free to contact me with any ideas and I will work with you to Make It Special!! It’s a pleasure to share my art with you.