Christian growth · Christian Life · Christian love · Dates · Family life · Husband · Love · Marriage · tongue · Uncategorized

Win the Argument

 

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My husband and I have been arguing again. You know how that goes. It’s over a topic we’ve discussed before – serving one another. The conversation went something like this:

Me – Let me do that for you.

Him – No, I already took care of it, but thank you.

Me – I can never seem to find a way to serve you: you always beat me to it! You do so much more for me than I do you.

Him – Hon, that’s not true! You do so much for me. Goodness, I couldn’t do what I do on a day without you!

Continue reading “Win the Argument”

Christian Life · entertaining · hospitality · Hostess Goals

Serve the Gospel

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Wow.  I love being a hostess and having people in my home!  It’s just a blessing to throw open the door and invite them in.  I love sharing what I have cooked or baked.  It’s also fun to just share a steaming cup of coffee in ceramic mugs.  It’s fun setting out my pretty dishes, linen napkins and basket full of silverware so everyone can help themselves to a casual buffet-style meal. I also love setting the table for a sit-down brunch or dinner.  Either way, bowls full of steaming hot foods are shared while the conversation pours out easier than the full pitcher of tea.

Southerners are typically noted for entertaining.  We have books written on the subject and even magazines overflowing with recipes and tips for success, but for a follower of Christ, if one ingredient is missing we will have served that food in vain.  As a child of the Lord Jesus Christ, we must share the Gospel.  It must be as natural a part of our conversation as adding the bananas to the Banana Pudding.  Oh yes, it’s that important. Let me share why.

First, our home is really the easiest place in which to share the Gospel – the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.  We’re on our own comfortable turf.  We have control over the conversation topic and we can steer that subject matter in a causal way to the Theme of Themes.

Secondly, the Gospel should flow from a believer’s heart in a way that serves others.  Because Christ served in humility by dying on the cross, we learn to serve others by sharing with them the Truth that will do far more for them than our fried chicken or Coconut Cake.

Lastly, our ultimate goal in opening our home must come from a heart that desires to bring every person who walks in our door to an understanding that Christ loves them and offers eternal life through a relationship with Him. The conversation may be brief, but it should be even more important than making sure everyone’s glasses stay full.

How to do that?

  • Look for an opportunity to share your own testimony of how you were saved.
  • Ask gentle questions .
    • How do you see God at work in your life right now?
    • Do you have any spiritual beliefs?
    • Do you believe in a heaven and hell?
    • How do you think a person goes to heaven?
  • Share with your guests something the Lord has taught you in His Word.
  • Open the door for them to return to do a Bible study with you.

This conversation should be as natural as you offering another biscuit.  Make it part of the table talk as you’re enjoying dessert and coffee. The more we do it, the easier it will become.

Even if your guests are all believers, share the Word together.  Ask what God is teaching them, what burdens they are bearing and how you can pray for them, then do it before they leave your home.

I’ve failed miserably at this over the years, but the Lord has been awakening in my heart the need to serve the Gospel each time my doors open to a guest.  It’s the most important Theme of any social gathering in my kitchen and I pray it is in yours, too.

How do you share the Gospel in your home?

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Christian Life · fellowship with God · joy

Sing Your Song

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Years ago one of my girls sent me a text message from their college dorm room. It read –

“I’m so ready to be done with dorm life! Someone is singing at the top of their lungs in the shower!”

Not everyone is a morning person who can sing first thing in the morning. Though I’d consider myself a morning person, I need about an hour of quiet before I’m ready for sounds above a whisper. However, whoever the girl in the shower was, she had a song in her heart first thing in the morning!

Proverbs 29:6 says,

“In the transgression of an evil man there is a snare:
but the righteous doth sing and rejoice.” 

The implication of that verse is that if there is sin in our hearts we will lose our song. Because we’re caught in the snare of our transgression, there’s no reason to rejoice. Is there a song in your heart at this moment? Do people irritate you quickly? Is there a nagging restlessness within you? I’m not asking if you’re a morning person, I’m talking about the majority of the day – are you singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord?

Obviously if a person hasn’t asked Christ to be their Savior, there’s still a void in their life and there’s no song. But if you’re God’s child because you’ve received Christ, there should be singing and rejoicing. Even in the midst of trials the song is there. It’s quiet, but it’s there.

If you’re song is gone, look for the reason. Sin is probably at the door. Confess it. Call it what God calls it. Don’t smooth it over. God knows what it is, so name it.

Was it worry?
Criticism?
Lying?

Repent of it and know the joy that comes from having it out of your heart, and then replaced by the sweet song of the redeemed!

Sing your song…but if it’s early, you might want to sing it softly. 🙂

Christian Life · eternal · Heaven

He’s Coming! How Will He Find Us?

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When my husband and I were dating, we lived several hours apart and the loneliness for him was prevalent every day!  But then an occasional weekend would come up that would allow him to be able to travel home to visit with me for a day and half, and my heart would literally be in my throat as I waited and watched for his Chevy Impala to come barreling down the lane to my home!

I kept my eyes peeled out the window, but only after I had prepared myself to greet him.  I made sure I was cleaned up  and ready for his arrival.  I also straightened up the living room for his visit.  I knew he was on his way, and I had to have everything ready!

Because of my faith in Jesus Christ, I have a promise that Christ is coming again to take His children to heaven.  Christ made the promise the He would return again.  We’re waiting for the shout, the voice and the trump of God.  We also know that no one knows when He will return.  He is coming like a thief in the night.  So what does that mean for us as His followers?  It means we must be ready.  We won’t have time when He comes to go get ourselves clean and fit to meet Him.

I heard a story this week that I’ll share not word for word, but you’ll get the point.  There was a family who learned that their son was coming home.  He’d been gone a long time and the family was anxiously expecting his return.  But on the day of his arrival, the family was found squabbling and fighting.  It seems that they were having a disagreement about how the son was coming – one said by plane, another by train, and someone else said he was bringing others with him.  When he returned, he found them in this quarreling state.  Is that how we want the Lord to find us when He comes?  Will all our trivialities really matter on that Day?  I hardly think so.

So, how will He find us if He were to come in fifteen minutes?

  • Will we have clean hearts?
  • Will we be doing His work at that moment?
  • Will we have others that are going to heaven with us because we shared the Gospel with them?
  • Will we be happy to see Him?

Or

  • Will we be squabbling over the things that others are doing that we don’t like?
  • Will we have bitter spirits?
  • Will we hang our heads because we got busy doing Satan’s work instead of Christ’s?

I John 3:2,3 says,

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

Just like I got cleaned up when I knew my boyfriend was going to be coming, if we have the assurance of salvation, God’s Word says we’ll be making sure we’re clean.  Not because we’re afraid we won’t go to heaven, but because we ARE His child and we know He’s on His way!  We don’t want to be ashamed at His coming.

Friend, are you indeed God’s child?  Have you taken Christ as your Savior because you realize you are a sinner separated from a holy God?  All you need to do is receive the gift of eternal life through the person of Christ.  Tell Him you know you’re a sinner and that  you want to receive His gift of salvation that He purchased through His death, on the cross.

Are you looking for Christ to return today?  He could come…oh I pray He will come today!

Will I be ready and clean?  Will you?

Lovingly,

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Christian Life · Entertainment · Social media

A Healthy Balance of Entertainment

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For the last 50 days or so, I have been putting my meals into My Fitness Pal – an online calorie counter. I type in the foods I’m eating at each meal, and it tells me how many calories and nutrients are in each food.  If I go over the “allotted” carbs, sugars or sodium, for example, it will tell me what number I was supposed to stay under.  It keeps me from eating that extra snack I might be hungry for or the dessert that is tempting me. It’s really a good thing because it keeps me eating what is good, and it keeps it in healthy portions.  

In another part of my appetites, I enjoy a good fictional book. I love a funny Andy Griffith Episode.  I have several You Tube Channels that I watch.  I have Instagram and Facebook accounts.  At times these “outlets” can overwhelm me…

if I let them.

If I don’t keep a check on them.

My heart’s inclination would be to “munch away” on Insta-stories,” or be lured by the fancies of my entertainment.  It’s up to me to reign it in so that I may fill my heart with more that is edifying and will push me closer to the Lord.

The Spirit of God guides my entertainment like My Fitness Pal guides my food.  You see, if I allow the worldly to outweigh that which would edify, my emotions will be flighty. My temperament is unpredictable.  My decisions are based on feelings instead of Truth.  Oh, how I need God’s Spirit to lead me to His Word so that I will be spiritually healthy! When I tip the scale and absorb more of the world’s philosophy than God’s thoughts, I’m asking for trouble.  I pray for the Lord to

Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation;
on thee do I wait all the day.
Psalm 25:5

When I listen to the guidance of My Fitness Pal, I smile when I look at the scales.  On a much higher plane, when I listen to God’s Spirit tugging at my heart to binge less on the world, I smile when I see the results of godly thinking and actions replacing my fleshly ones.  I don’t always win this battle, but it’s one I want to keep fighting!

Do you find yourself devouring more of the world’s thinking than you do spiritual nourishment?  Ask the Lord to help you have a healthy balance; it’s a prayer He will answer!

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Christian Life · fellowship with God · forgiveness

The Danger of Drifting

Rafts aren’t the only thing that can drift – so can a boat. I came across this article in People Magazine . You won’t believe the terror two teenage boys experienced when their boat drifted. Read on:
On Sunday morning, April 24, Troy Driscoll, 15, and his best friend, Josh Long, 17, both high school students from North Charleston, S.C., paddled out from Sullivans Island near their home for a day of fishing in a 15-ft. boat. Had they listened to the radio, they would have heard that bad weather was approaching.
Josh Long – We wanted to put the boat between the beach and a sand bar, but we weren’t out 20 minutes when the riptide pulled us out. We tried to put the anchor down, but it wouldn’t catch. We just drifted farther and farther away. Hours went by. We tried to wave people down, but nobody saw us. The last thing I saw was the towers on shore that lead cargo ships in. By dark we couldn’t see a thing. The next morning there was no land in sight. All we could do was pray.
By 10 p.m., when the boys—who left Josh’s cell phone in his truck at a dock and had no radio or emergency equipment—hadn’t returned, their frantic parents called the Coast Guard.

Eddie Long, Josh’s father – It was the hardest night of my life, walking that beach, knowing that my son and Troy were out there somewhere. It was cold, and the waves picked up.
Josh – We were soaking wet, clinging to each other, trying to keep warm. We’d doze off, but the waves kept crashing into the boat, washing over us, so we couldn’t ever get to sleep.

Troy Driscoll – During the day it got so hot, we took a couple of dips to cool off. But then the sharks came around, and we didn’t go in the water anymore.
Josh – Far from shore, the water turns clear, like blue Gatorade. Troy begged me, “Please, let me drink just a little.” I said, “If you drink it, you’ll die.” Then one day it began to drizzle. I had my mouth wide open to catch drops, but it didn’t rain hard enough. I started licking the water from the deck.
Troy – Josh woke up screaming that we were at the store and had to buy some Mountain Dew. I was like, “Bro, we’re out in the middle of the water, and there’s no Mountain Dew.” I was so hungry I ate a jellyfish and waited overnight to see if it would kill me. It didn’t. They’re slimy, gushy things, but I ate about 100 of them.
Josh – Troy was so hungry he wanted to cut off a finger and eat it. At one point, he said, “Please, help me get out of here or kill me.” I said, “I can’t do that.”
The Coast Guard searched the ocean using boats, helicopters, airplanes and the help of recreational boaters. But at sunset on Tuesday, April 26, after 2½ days had passed with no sign of the boys, the rescue mission became a recovery operation.
Eddie Long – They told us that in a week to 10 days, the bodies would become gaseous and rise to the surface. I went out on the bridge with binoculars, but I didn’t go out on a boat. If there was a body, I didn’t want to remember my son that way. By Saturday, April 30, seven days after they set out, the boys were drifting seven miles off Cape Fear and 111 miles from where they had launched.

Josh – Something about Saturday morning was different. When the sun came up, it was a beautiful color. I saw a rainbow off to the left, and there were dolphins playing all around the boat. Later that day two fishermen spotted something distant in the water.

Ben Degutis, 70 – At first, I didn’t know what it was. As we got closer, I could see people waving, and holy mackerel, it was two young guys in this tiny boat. One was yelling, “Thank God!”
Eddie Long – I was outside and heard a commotion. They gave me the phone, and Josh said, “I miss you, Daddy.”
Tony Driscoll, Troy’s dad – When I finally saw Troy, it was like him being born all over again. The joy in my heart was that huge.

During their ordeal Long lost 30 lbs. and Driscoll was hospitalized for three days for second-degree burns on his face and feet.
Driscoll – I’ll go out again fishing, for sure—in a boat with two motors.

Long – While we were out there we dreamed about the biggest sundae you could imagine—the ultimate sundae. Troy and I are going to meet at an ice cream place and have that sundae.
Boats aren’t the only thing that can drift – so can people. In my years as a believer and follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, I have seen many people do the very same thing in their spiritual lives that Troy and Josh did in their boat. Out of a love for God, believers get in their boat and go to church, serve the Lord, have their daily devotions, testify in prayer meeting, share the Gospel with an unbeliever, and attend Bible study. Everything is okay – they are safe near the shore with anchor firmly in place.
Then one day, ignoring the warnings they’ve heard, they begin to drift – they miss a service here and there. Then Bible study or prayer meeting seems like a huge interruption in their already busy week, so they stop attending. They begin to eat things they would never have thought of eating – slimy television shows that promote immorality, homosexuality, drinking, and many other unbiblical “jellyfish.” Things that are harmful look appealing and they begin to “drink” of its waters, all the while the sharks are circling their boat. Like the saltwater, bitterness may be a poison they drink. One sip of unforgiveness keeps them coming back for more. They have now drifted to Cape Fear!
Praise the Lord, though, the Holy Spirit sees them in their drifted state, and He sends believers who care to fish near enough to their drifted place to spot them. They don’t leave them there – they come to them with a warm coat (God’s love), nourishing food (the Word of God), and balm for their wounds (forgiveness of our God).  I John 1:9 is claimed and obeyed. Soon, they’re feeling better, feet planted solidly on the ground with the wisdom to keep anchor so they’ll drift no more.
Not everyone who drifts out in the ocean is rescued. It’s not that the Lord isn’t showing them the Light from the lighthouse, but because they are unwilling to admit that they are indeed drifting. If this post has offended you, let me say, dear Friend, it’s probably because you are drifting. “Great peace have they which love thy law, and nothing shall offend them.” Psalm 119:165

 

Drifting takes place a little at a time. If you can still detect the shoreline, row back home before you find yourself in dangerous waters. There’s a huge Sunday to enjoy with others who will rejoice at your tender heart and your safe return!

Isaiah 43:1,2 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

Because I care,
Christian Life · Motherhood · Prayer

How To Pray in the Busy Season of Life

When Susanna Wesley, the mother of ten children wanted to pray, she simply pulled her apron over her head.  Her family knew that when they saw her with her head covered they were not to disturb her.  I’d say she was serious about prayer!  She took whatever measures needed to find the time to talk to the Lord.

We’re all busy women, but in certain seasons, especially when children are home, it can be difficult to find the uninterrupted time to really pray.  I’d like to suggest a way for you to have this time with God if you’re in this busy season of life.  I’m going to share a few suggestions in the following video.  I trust it will challenge you to implement these ideas into your day.

Is there one suggestion that was shared that you could implement?

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