FarmgirlCyn on Repentance

I wanted to share with you a comment from Cindy at FarmgirlCyn about repentance.
Repentance is the first step towards salvation.  We often say “Half a gospel is no gospel at all.”  I think the “half Christians that Pastor Ellis is referring to are the ones to whom Jesus might be saying, “Depart from Me, I NEVER KNEW YOU.”  Those folks believe they are Christ followers.  They do all sorts of things in His name…who else do we know that would presume to use His name except for those who think they are believers?

Law and grace…they go hand in hand.  The Law being the tutor that leads men to Christ to begin with. (via conviction by the Holy Spirit).
Be sure to check out Cindy’s blog.  Not only is she a woman who loves God with all her heart, mind, soul and strength, but she is an excellent cook and shares many a recipe and what’s going on in her life.  Thank you Cindy!
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Thoughts & Reflections on Fear, Worry and Anxiety

Yesterday I felt worried upon hearing and reflecting about some sad and bad news.  Last night before bed, I read Ana Dagarin’s post at “Ramble On” for Five Minute Friday, and I’ve been meditating on something she said about fear...here’s what I jotted down. 
Fear crowds out faith
Anxiety leaves no room for peace
Worry takes away the option to trust God
Self-focus obscures my ability to see God
Fear is a sin
Anxiety steals peace from my heart and mind  
Worry is a waste of time
Self-focus is boring
Lord, I take comfort in knowing that nothing takes You by surprise.
You are never anxious.
You don’t wring Your hands in worry.
There is not a path worn out before Your throne as You pace back and forth with worry
You alone know the future
You have perfect vision, un-obscured by sin
You will make wrong things right
Justice will be served in Your perfect timing
Evil and sin will be punished
All things are under Your control and firmly held in Your grasp
I can only be fearful, anxious and worried when I take my eyes off of God.
Despite reading God’s word each day and praying, I’ve felt like lately there has been silence from God.  Here are some thoughts and reflections of why I’m silent towards someone.  I’m not saying this is why God seems silent, but perhaps I need to ask the Lord why I feel as though He seems silent to me. 
I’m silent when someone isn’t listening.
I don’t want to waste my time and words on someone who doesn’t seem to care or pay attention to what I have to say.
I’m silent when I feel hurt by someone.
Lord are You quiet because I haven’t obeyed Your last instructions to me?  Please help me to obey, just follow through and not make excuses but make the time, not find the time, to do what You are calling me to do.
Perhaps I have too many other voices and noise competing for my attention.  Help me to listen clearly and incline my ear towards You Lord Jesus.

Five Minute Friday – Beyond Comprehension

I’ve been thinking about salvation, repentance and grace lately. 
When I drive home I’ll often listen to Pastor Brian Brodersen who is currently teaching through the book of Romans.  He said something that really struck me the other day.  The only difference between the person who is saved and unsaved is the grace of God. 
How true!  As a Christian, the only thing I have to boast in is Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  I have been saved by God’s grace through faith, its God’s work alone that saved me.  Because of Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death on the cross as payment in full for my sin, I have been forgiven by God the Father. 
What an outrageous plan…beyond human comprehension.  The Righteous for the unrighteous, the Just for the unjust, the Holy One for the sinful. 
I received and email from a gentleman I know via my blog, Pastor and Evangelist Jim Allis.  He has blessed me by sending some of his audio posts and we’ve exchanged emails.  He said something in his most recent email captured the importance of preaching the gospel message accurately. 
“Yes repentance is essential for a genuine conversion experience.  I fear there are many half Christians around if there could be such a description given where repentance is forgotten.  It is so clear in scripture. What must I do to be saved?” Repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.”  Some are preaching sometimes a soft gospel which is no gospel again.”
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, 10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4:8-12
 
Good golly…my Five Minute post is on time!  Head on over to Lisa Jo Baker’sTales from a Gypsy Mama and join in the Five Minute Friday writing challenge.  Head on over and read the writings of many gifted individuals while you are there. 

Quiet Morn Reflections

Each morning for months now I’ve been praying about a disquieting situation.  My prayers have remained the same and yet it seems as though nothing has changed.  How long will it continue to be this way Lord?
Then suddenly the Lord has answered my prayer.  Unexpectedly and in a manner that I did not anticipate. 
I’m both relieved and saddened.  But now is the time to remain faithful and continue in prayer as the Lord works out His plan.
This is a good reminder to me to be faithful in prayer, not grow discouraged or disheartened when there seems to be no answer.  I need to be mindful that the Lord’s timing is often different than mine and His plans are always better. 

Five Minute Friday – Only Through Stories

One of the downsides of marrying late in life is that you may not get to know your in-laws.  That’s the case for both Chris and me and we often feel the loss of not knowing them in person, but only through stories.
Actually, Chris was able to meet my mother Gayle when she was in her late stages of Alzheimer’s.  He met her for the first time on Easter Sunday 2008.  It was one of those awkward times you get with Alzheimer’s because she had a mouthful of food that she refused to swallow, nor would she spit it out.  With her mouthful of food she walked arm in arm with Chris back to her room. 
She sat on her sofa, next to Chris and to my amazement answered questions Chris asked her about her stuffed dog.  She even gave him a bite of her brownie.  She seemed to take to Chris right away.  But within a matter of days, Gayle was hospitalized for pneumonia and within a few weeks she was dead. 
In the ensuing months Chris and I were engaged and married.  Things would happen that would remind me of Gayle and I would tell Chris another Gayle story, of which there were many.
Stories like how she used to hide her used Depends in the closet, or when she would sit down on the floor and refuse to get up, or of the many hospital visits.  One of the most memorable was when she tried to “escape to Vegas” by climbing over the wall, only to hit her head and get an ugly gash on her forehead that needed stiches. 
One story that comes up regularly is the logic I had to use with Gayle to get her to do something she didn’t want to do.  I would tell Gayle, “You don’t have to want to do this, you cannot want to all you like, but you still have to do it.”  There was something crazy about that, but it worked.  She was satisfied that I knew she didn’t want to do it. 
I think both Chris and I feel a loss because we didn’t get to know each other’s parents and I often wonder what our lives would be like if we had that opportunity.

My Five Minute Friday,I mean Saturday submission is a day late again…but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to participate in The Gypsy Mama’s Five Minute Friday.  Head on over and read the writings of many gifted individuals while you are there.  Perhaps you too would like to try your hand at writing for five minutes and see what comes out.

The Defeated Foe

DEFEAT
Front and center!
I want a full report on your subject
Well most evil one
I am happy, excuse that vile word, to report success
In keeping this man down and defeated
I’ve been surprised at how easily he’s swayed
It doesn’t take much
To keep him from reading the Bible each day
Anything from fatigue to busyness
Or little distraction from an aptly timed phone call will do
To keep him from reading the Enemy’s wretched Book
Well done…that’s a must
If he reads it daily
He may actually begin to believe it and live it
It’s critical to cut off the lines of communication with the Enemy
I find he’s easily satisfied with talking to a friend
Instead of praying to his heavenly Father
I don’t even have to work at this one
It comes naturally…thanks to that good old sin nature
It’s a wonder what little grumbling and complaining will do
One of my favorites is when he thinks he can get through the day
On his own strength and relying on his own wisdom
What a joke! 
Well done…it’s imperative that he never knows the truth
That the battle has already been won
That he already has the victory in Christ
Defeat, we may never see him in the Lake of Fire with us
But we can make sure his life here on earth
Is a miserable and defeated existence
Carry on wretched one
Our time is growing short
Excellent work in rendering your foe ineffective and defeated
by Susan Wachtel
July 6, 2012