"We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us."

2 Corinthians 4:7

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

First Things First

By: Jane L. Fryar

Imagine you've moved into a new house or apartment. What would you unpack first? Probably not the Christmas tree ornaments or the shoe polish or the outfit you wore in a wedding a decade ago.

In Matthew 6:31-33, Jesus urges us toward a first-things-first lifestyle. Then he identifies our "first things" for us:

"Seek first (God's) kingdom and his righteousness," our Lord says.

What would it mean to seek God's kingdom first? We see the answer-in perfection-as we reflect on the life of our Lord Jesus: loving God by loving people.

This was no syrupy, soap opera love. This love went way beyond expectations to care for those in need. This love told the truth, never mind the consequences. This love refused to be manipulated. This love took our Lord into uncomfortable situations, and it created unlikely relationships.

What's more, Jesus' love was by no means cheap. In the end, he paid the ultimate price, an unimaginable price. Jesus' love-his love for you and me-cost him his life!

Our Savior died for those times we focus on ourselves rather than on him. He died because we choose to chase after second and third and fourth things. He died for our cowardice in "being nice" when real love would "be honest". He died for the times we've done what was convenient rather than what was best for the other person.

And now, Jesus calls us, his forgiven children, into his own first-things-first lifestyle. We may feel timid about stepping out into that kind of risky, self-giving love. But we can do it, knowing we will never walk alone. He walks right beside us, filling us with peace and leading the way

We can lay aside our worries about every detail, right down to what we'll eat or drink or wear. He promises, "All these things will be given to you as well" (Matthew 6:33). It's an all-inclusive promise by our ever-loving Lord!

Dear Jesus, you love me, and you'll never stop loving me. It's amazing! Be my first thing and my only thing as you teach me to love others...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Comfort ABLE

Are you comfort able? Not comfortable, but comfort-able. Are you ABLE to comfort others?

Years ago I read a book by James Dobson called, "When God Doesn't Make Sense". He suggests that when a person is going through a difficult circumstance allow them to find their own "silver lining". Going up to a person in the thick of their difficulty is not the time to try to help them see the BRIGHT SIDE or quote Romans 8:28 reminding them that God works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. While Romans 8:28 is absolutely true, spoken at the wrong time, can really hurt.

It's difficult to see a person that we love so much HURT so deeply. Many times I am guilty of trying to "fix" the hurt rather than listen to the person who is hurting. Listening seems to come easier for some, but I think there is a reason God gave us two ears and one mouth. Maybe He is trying to say that we should listen a whole lot more than we talk. Now I know you are probably laughing out loud because no one likes to talk more than me. Talking is the way I work though my emotions, but God has been convicting me that I need to talk less and listen more.

I remember going through a difficult time when God used a friend to comfort me and my friend never said a word. I was having some medical issues and I was overcome with fear. As I spewed out all my fears my friend simply put a hand around my shoulder. Not one word, not one question, not one piece of advice. Just listened and kept that arm around my shoulder. I remember feeling comforted as I realized that I was not alone.

So many times I want the "hurting person" to hurry up and get better and I compulsively offer unsolicited advice, cook a meal, buy a gift, or tell a similar personal experience. While these activities are not always bad or the wrong thing to do, sometimes a person just wants to be heard.

As Christians, we know that God is our ultimate source of comfort and He comforts us through His Word & His Spirit; however, He also wants to work through His children to be a physical expression of His comfort. Sometimes we just need someone in the flesh, putting their arm around us!

Paul shares this truth in 2 Corinthians 1:3 &4, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."

The word Paul used for "comfort" comes from the Greek words meaning "call alongside."

Will you answer the call to come alongside another?

Let His Comfort make you ABLE!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fill My Cup!

I can still remember the sweet sound coming from the white radio that sat on my mother's kitchen counter. I had to be four years old or younger because I was at home with my mother while my brother was at school.

The sound was a beautiful woman's voice singing,"Fill my cup Lord, I lift it up Lord. Come and quench the thirsting of my soul." I was intrigued by those words and found myself staring at the radio thinking that those were absolutely the most beautiful words that I had ever heard.

"Fill my cup, I lift it up.....quench me."

While I really did not know what all that meant, and to this day I am still learning, I believe it was then that God's Spirit began wooing me.

Shortly before I entered Kindergarten I knelt beside our brown couch with the family Bible opened up to John 3:16 as my mom read, "For God so loved Cheri....."

I had approached her and told her Jesus was asking to come into my heart and I knew I had sinned and needed forgiveness.

While I did not know the doctrine of Lordship, I knew that Jesus was my boss and I sought to obey Him.

There have been many twists and turns and ups and downs on this journey with Jesus; however, HE HAS NEVER LEFT ME.

There have been times that my cup has seemed completely empty and I have had to confess to Jesus that I have been trying to fill it myself or had emptied it by trying to serve others without coming to Him to be filled.

BUT GOD in His tender love and mercy always welcomes me back as I sing that sweet song I heard long ago, "FILL MY CUP LORD, I LIFT IT UP LORD....Come and quench the thirsting of my soul."

Praise be to God who fills my cup, quenches my thirst and satisfies my soul!


Thursday, August 12, 2010

"SomeTHING out of NoTHING"

I woke up in the middle of the night last night with a lot on my mind. I was talking to the Lord and trying not to cross over into the land of "worry" when the Holy Spirit reminded me of this,

God knows how to make "something" out of "nothing".

With that thought, I went back to sleep with the comfort of the Lord and the anticipation of what He can and will do!

This morning I got up and read Genesis, Chapter 1. How I needed that reminder of our Creator. I started thinking about all the "THINGS" I tend to focus on.

My money.

My home.

My work.

My talents and gifts.

My husband.

My children.....etc. etc.

MY, MY, MY.........and it was as the Lord kept reminding me that,

"In the beginning GOD CREATED."

Who am I to think anyTHING is mine or by my own doing.

Even the ability to be creative was created by HIM.

I don't know about you, but focusing on Him as Creator, brings me a lot of comfort and relieves a lot of stress.

May you delight in knowing that everyTHING is His, under His control and He is the CREATOR of all THINGS.

"For by him all THINGS were created; THINGS in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all THINGS were created by him and for him.
Colossians 1:16

May EveryTHING that has breath praise the Creator!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Trusting Jesus, that is ALL!

Today was one of those days that I woke up with lots of anticipation. James and I were going to one of our local college campuses to pass out Final Exam Survival Kits. God opened an incredible door for us to go on a public campus and pass out items to the students, which also included a gospel tract and information about our church.

I had "fantasies" in my head of how things would be. James and I would have a leisurely breakfast before we had to be at the college.

HOWEVER....things did not turn out as planned. We ended up having to take care of some pressing matters which included coming back to the ranch. Needless to say, I didn' t get that breakfast, but I did get much MORE!

We were both frustrated and so we just prayed out loud as we were driving. Asking God to help us keep our focus, praise Him despite circumstances, and to obey HIM and follow HIS plan regardless of the distractions and the pressing temptation to fall deep into discouragement.

We were able to take care of our business and make it to the college on time. God's presence was with us and He blessed our time on campus. I had also committed to go back tonight to pass out more packets to the night students.

On my way back to the campus I was LEANING on Jesus as I was reflecting on the things that had happened earlier.

All of a sudden a song came to mind and I knew it was the Holy Spirit reminding me of an old Hymn that I learned long ago.

It's called, "Trusting Jesus"

The line of the song that came to my mind was:

"Even when my faith is small, Trusting Jesus that is all."

The song is not saying, "That is all?, That's all you are doing?" It is saying that is enough....it is ALL.

It is ALL we need.

We can trust Him with our ALL, it's ALL His anyway.

Isn't their also a song that says that He is our ALL in ALL?

What that says to me is that regardless of how awful it ALL seems.........He is ALL we need for ALL of it!

ALLways Amazed at His comfort and peace,

PS: I never got that breakfast, but I did get a nice lunch at my hubby's favorite lunch spot,
which makes me happy!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Unfailing Love

This past Sunday, February 14th, my hubby wrote a Sunday School lesson to teach the college students. The title of the lesson was "Unfailing Love". He started the lesson by reading the following......(I had no idea he wrote it until I asked him later who the author was and where he found such a beautiful description of love....He said, "God wrote it on his heart)

It is the subject of films, songs, books, and television. It is sought after, fought over, and longed for likely more than any other thing. It is both blamed for feuds, disagreements, even criminal behavior, and at the same time credited with moving people through compassion to relieve suffering. Nothing generates the sales of flowers, particularly roses , any stronger than this one thing. It is, however, often misunderstood. A man and woman will marry and remain so for their entire lives because of this. In its perfect form, it is the reason God created and the reason He has extended redemption to fallen mankind. It is the reason Jesus was born, the reason he lived, died, and rose again. It is the reason He will return for the redeemed of all ages....LOVE.

Hope you had a blessed Valentine's Day and that you were overwhelmed by the knowledge of His GREAT love for you and that you found comfort in HIS presence as He has wooed you, won you and LOVES you with an INVINCIBLE, INCREDIBLE, UNFAILING LOVE.

God Bless,

Monday, January 4, 2010

A NEW Year!

I love a NEW year! I love the opportunity that the NEW year brings. It's nice to think of 365 NEW days and the opportunities of each day. While many of us like to reflect on the OLD days & while looking back can be good, we can't live there!

NEW,.....don't you like that word? I do.

God uses the word NEW in the Bible quite often. Here are few of the places where the word NEW is found......

"He has put a NEW song in my mouth!" Ps. 40:3a

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a NEW thing! Now it springs up: do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."
Is. 43:18-19

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are NEW every morning; great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22 & 23

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a NEW creation; the old has gone, the NEW has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17

NEW, NEW, NEW...........those are just a few of the scriptures that remind us of the NEWness we have as Children of God.

We can't do anything about the PAST. What is DONE is DONE and we don't get to try something over........Adam and Eve could not say, "Can I go back in the garden and try that again?" and Moses could not say, "Can I get another opportunity with the rock? This time I will not strike it!"

No, we can't undo the past; however, when we respond to God's voice..... He reveals His character, and shows us His ways. He is a God who is willing to leave the 99 to go get the 1 that has gotten off His path. Oh what great LOVE He has for us!

It's never too late to start doing what is right and to start NEW!

Although we may still have to walk back through some of the choices we made while veering off HIS path and choosing our own way, He is with us and will help us!

Let's start NEW today!

"Let's us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us!" Hebrews 12:1

I love you all!

May you experience God's Best this NEW year!