We are the seed of Abraham

We’re not supposed to be this race and that race. We are Americans.”

On this day of 8/28/2013, many people spoke this day. Two former presidents, one talk show host and multi people remembering 50 years ago when one many and many people stood up for the rights of many.

Before Obama addressed the throngs gathered at the Lincoln Memorial, civil rights leaders past and present remembered the decades-long movement to secure equal treatment and rights for African-Americans.

King, Obama said, “gave mighty voice to the quiet hopes of millions,” hailing leaders who braved intimidation and violence in their fight for equal rights.

“Because they kept marching, America changed,” Obama said. “Because they marched, city councils changed and state legislatures changed and Congress changed and, yes, eventually, the White House changed.”

Is this really about a dream one man had? Or is it something much more?

Galatians 3:27-29
Says- for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Once we get past separating ourself’s by finance, color,and status, maybe we can start living the way we were meant to live. Perhaps one man’s dream to bring justice was based on his up-bringing and faith he had in christ. We are all equal. We are the seed of Abraham.

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What good is Faith with no action

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

Lets be wise starting today and put some action to what we believe.

He’s Got You !

Sometimes knowing we aren’t alone gives us the courage to press on. It’s what Joshua needed when he was thrust overnight into leadership after the death of Moses. Up until that time, Joshua had served as assistant. But in his new role, Joshua led the nation of Israel, conquering the land God had promised and leading three separate conquests.

While the Bible doesn’t detail all of Joshua’s emotions during this time, we read of numerous instances where God encouraged Joshua to be “strong and courageous.” God must have known Joshua needed some reassurance.
Perhaps Joshua had doubts. Perhaps his confidence waned. Maybe he even asked questions like, God, are You sure? Shouldn’t You choose someone more qualified?

God didn’t dismiss Joshua’s fears or shame him for having them. Instead He spoke clearly to Joshua, saying, “… I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you” (Joshua 1:5).
I got you, buddy. I got you.

History shows that Joshua took steps of faith and served as a powerful, humble leader, trusting God through war, human frailty and victory.

Maybe God has been asking you to take a leap into deeper faith, or to serve beyond what you think you are capable. He’s asked you to lead. To love like Jesus.

Perhaps you’ve come close, but backed away. Maybe you even dipped your toes in to test the waters.

Questions linger. What does God see in me that I might not see yet? What if I fail? What if I don’t recognize God’s help and miss my opportunity?

God is aware of your fears. And He whispers the same encouragement to you that He spoke to Joshua. I got you.

Managing your Chaos

How do we manage the chaos in our lives? Everyday someone is saying to themselves,

I don’t have it in me to do this one more day…

I don’t have the patience in me for this …

I can’t think straight right now …

I’m not even sure I have love in me right now …

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

This verse says it all. God’s strength is enough. When you are at the end of your rope, just remember who is there with you to help you pull thru it. He will complete what you have started and all you have to do is ask.

I don’t have it in me to do this one more day, I need Your strength.
I don’t have the patience in me for this … I need Your patience.
I can’t think straight right now … I need Your clarity.
I’m not even sure I have love in me right now … I need Your love.

Heavenly Father, although I didn’t know I’d be facing my current challenges, You did. Thank You for offering to step in the gap between my needs and my insufficient reservoir of strength with Your peace, wisdom, strength and love. Help me to lean on You when I feel like things are falling apart. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Take the time to listen

Psalm 17:6 reflects our desire for God to hear us. The psalmist wrote, “I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray.” It reminds me that in the same way I go to God because I want Him to listen and answer me, my child and others come to me because they want me to listen to them. When I stop what I’m doing and listen, it tells them that they, and what they have to say, are important to me.

In our culture of constant contact through technology, it’s easy for our attention to be divided and our focus to shift away from those who are in the room with us.

Although we are physically present, often times we are mentally absent. God showed me the valuable gift we can give our children, spouses, friends, co-workers and even strangers. It’s the gift of listening.

We give it each time we stop what we’re doing and turn our full attention to others when they talk to us. And, it’s a gift God gives to us each time we talk to Him too!

What to do with so many decisions.

According to recent statistics, I made 5,000 decisions today. Seriously?

Well, I made a decision to get out of bed. I made a choice to put on my tennis shoes and run at 6 a.m.
I decided which bills to pay. What to make for dinner. Whether to answer a phone call. Which clothes to wear. I may have made more than 5,000 decisions today!
Some of our everyday choices are random, others weighty, but many of our decisions are choice points. Choice points are seemingly insignificant decisions yet they lead us in one direction or another.
I choose whether to react in anger, or respond with understanding to people.
I choose whether or not to create drama with a friend who hurt my feelings.
I choose time with my Heavenly Father, or push that time to another day … again.
I choose whether or not to say those words that cause my child pain.
I could share my frustration. I could explain that my sleep tank was on empty. I could say nothing, while sighing with a expression. Or I could choose to override my fatigued irritation and be gracious.
I knew it was definitely the leading of the Holy Spirit, just as Scripture promised.

“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:21

Yes, I was exhausted, but I reminded myself what small price to pay for big blessings. Ease and comfort were not readily available to Jesus, and losing a little sleep was nothing in comparison to anything He went through. The Holy Spirit nudged me to recognize that everyone around me was just as tired as I was. He led me in the way to respond.

I wish I could say I handle every choice I have to make that way, but sometimes I fail and gripe, nit-pick, am critical and grouchy. It’s my prayer that I’ll remember how much my choices matter. You see, they don’t just affect me; they affect those within the vicinity of my decisions.

In the 5,000 decisions you make today, take a moment to pause before deciding. Ask the Holy Spirit for His guidance and counsel. And choose to follow as He leads the way.

Loving Well by Lee Eclov

Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:8

Perhaps you’ve heard someone in a failed relationship say, “We always loved each other, but we just couldn’t get along.” They may have loved much, but they didn’t know how to love well.

First Corinthians 13 is great counsel on how to love well in marriage. Loving well is the most essential ingredient for even the most spiritual people. For one thing, loving well brings music to our words (see verse 1). In times of trouble, we can be suspicious of the things our spouse says to us. If our actions don’t show love, words of love will only clang in our hearts. But loving behavior makes even our most mundane conversations melodic.

Similarly, loving well adds muscle to our faith (see verse 2). It doesn’t matter what kinds of obstacles we overcome or what kinds of insights we have; without acting in love toward those closest to us, even the greatest spiritual accomplishments turn to dust.

Finally, loving well brings value to our sacrifices (see verse 3). In marriage, we often sacrifice for our partner, but there can be a point at which we start keeping track of what those efforts cost us. When we love well, even the smallest sacrifices become treasures rather than points scored.

Verses 4–7 are practical reminders for marriage.

Verse 4: When he is thoughtless and inconsistent, “love is patient.” When she hurts you, “love is kind.” When other couples have what you want, love “does not envy.” When you were right and he was wrong, love “does not boast.” When you did a better job than she did, love “is not proud.”

Verse 5: When you know your spouse hates it when you are habitually late, love “does not dishonor others.” When no one thinks of you—your needs, your feelings, your desires or your rights—love “is not self-seeking.” When you’ve had a long day and you’re tired, or when she seems to be taking potshots at you, love “is not easily angered.” When your spouse doesn’t say “I’m sorry” for some offense, love “keeps no record of wrongs.”

Verse 7: When he or she is taking a pounding from the world, your love, like a roof overhead, “protects.” When you’ve been hurt or disappointed or betrayed, love “trusts.” When no one notices how much you care or how often you cry, love “hopes.” And when your love has been abused and questioned, when the door has been slammed in your face, when you’ve been completely ignored, love “perseveres.”

Of course, if we’re honest with one another, we have to admit that none of us measures up to the kind of love described in 1 Corinthians 13. No matter how much we love our spouse, loving well is too hard for us. That is why our relationship with Christ and the infilling of the Holy Spirit are so crucial. The Lord expects us to do our best—to throw our hearts and wills into all aspects of loving well. But when we’ve reached the limit of our ability, stunted by our sinfulness and weakness, we can pray for grace to do better. God can dial down our selfishness, release us from our insecurities and scorekeeping, and refresh our delight in our partner, so that we can begin to know the blessing of loving well.
Lee Eclov