All People Matter!

Hello everyone. I know that it has been a while since I have been on here. My goal is to make weekly posts and be much better about getting my thoughts out to you.

Have you ever wondered if God cares about each and every one of you? Well, the answer is yes! Not only does God care about you, He loves you! This is the very God who loved you so much to shed His blood for you. How much more can one long than by giving His own life for you?

Why am I writing about this? Well, this has been a crazy week. Living in AZ, I have watched discrimination turn its ugly head again this past week. There is a bill that the Governor has to decide to sign or veto this week. The bill, in a nutshell is: It is okay to refuse service (any kind of service) to a person, simply because he/she is gay.

Now, that may seem okay to you. I hope not, but it may. However, not too long ago, people could refuse service to black people. Before that, the Jewish people were refused, etc. Is that what God wants?

I am not here to discuss politics at all. I just want to know….what does God want?

Well, let’s take the most popular verse in the Bible and look at it for one moment. John 3:16 (KJV) “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Let’s look at the very beginning. God loved THE WORLD. Hmmm…..only certain people, or did He really love the world? Well, it goes on to say that he gave His ONLY son so that anyone believing on Him should have eternal life.

Now people may say, “But they aren’t Christian.” My question…how do you know? God states that He is the ONLY judge. So, if He is the only judge, who am I to declare anything on anyone else? Frankly, I’m not.

God sent Jesus to live on earth. While on earth, Jesus visited tax collectors, prostitutes, Pharisees, gamblers, drunks, etc. He went to them. People are so afraid to get out of their comfort box to spread God’s message, but Jesus showed us what to do. He went to the darkened areas of sin, and He loved and witnessed.

We are all sinners. If I am an alcoholic, I should not minister in a bar. But, my friend may be able to do that just fine. We are called to lead the world to Christ. God said that ALL PEOPLE MATTER!

Sin is sin. Judging is also sin. As far as I can tell….every single one of us here is a sinner. My sin looks different than yours, as it should. However, we are to love us all. God gave that commandment in John 13:34-35 (NIV) “A new commandment, I give you; love one another. As I have loved you so you must love one another. All men will know that you are my disciple, if you love one another.”

How does the world know I am a Christian? By my love for one another.

Now…..did I say being gay is a sin? Absolutely not! Alcohol is not a sin. Gay is not a sin. Black is not a sin. Jew is not a sin. Money is not a sin. Do you get my point?
Titles are NEVER sin. Sin is an action, and it does not matter what we look like or how we live. Sin is doing something wrong in the eyes of the Lord….REGARDLESS of who is committing the sin.

So, I will ask that we do as God commands and love one another, for everyone matters to God. God is the only judge of Heaven and Hell. Let’s let Him have His job, and we can have ours. We are to minister. We are not to judge.

Lord,
I pray that we do not go back 40, 60, or more years back into a time where discrimination was prevalent. I pray that the nation will rise up and that YOUR NAME will be proclaimed to all the world. You came to save us all, and you loved us all. May I work daily to have that love in my own life.

In Your name I pray. Amen!

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How clean is the aquarium of your life?

Today, I had the lovely task of cleaning our aquarium.  The fish are healthy and look great, but the aquarium had some algae, mold, and some slime near the filter.  How do my fish look so good amongst that filth?  Better yet, do you know someone who looks like they are great but inside they are filthy?  In today’s society, it is easy to meet people who look a certain way and yet are not that way at all.  Let me give some illustrations.  Please note that the photos are from google.com.  I did not take pictures of my own aquarium.

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or

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I don’t know about you, but I want to look like the top aquarium, but I must admit that sometimes the bottom aquarium comes on in me.  Hey, life happens!  However, it is how you handle life that determines the beauty that is or is not you.

Let’s say the fish represent us.  In both aquariums, the fish look great.  They are swimming and seem unaware of their surroundings.  What if I (a Christian) am affected by algae, fish poop, slime, or mold?  Well, I “may” seem to have my act together, but my life might be shambles.  I “may” have a great home, a decent job, and a happy marriage.  However, I may be battling a disease, have a friend who has turned to foe, etc.  Would these events, or any event in your life, eventually drag you down?  The simple answer is:  YES!  After a while, that negativity that encompasses my thoughts will start to take over my life, including my actions.  Then, that algae and poop may come spewing out of my mouth.

It says in Matthew 15: 17-18 says, “Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.…”.

Interesting, going through the mouth is NOT the problem, but the heart can be.  So, if my heart is a mess, what will happen to me?  Well, my words, my actions, my thoughts, my lifestyle will change and become a muddy, slimy, pit of poop!  That may seem gross, but it is true.  

As a Christian, we NEVER know when we are being watched.  It is important that EVERY aspect of our life reflect our relationship with Jesus Christ.  I can NOT let crud into my heart, because I will spew it out.  I pray everyday to be a blessing, but I can not be a blessing if my heart is in the wrong place.

So, how do I become the clean aquarium?  First, clean up your thoughts.  Phillipians 4: 8-9 says, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you”.

I need to dwell on so many things in order to be a true witness for Christ.  I don’t want to be a good looking fish (follower of Christ) surrounded in a murky and slimy life.  I want to be a good looking fish (follower of Christ) surrounded by cleanliness.  I need clean thoughts, actions, and most importantly, words.

So, how clean is your aquarium?  Do you say or think unpure things?  If so, I encourage you to pray the passage from Phillipians and work on making your aquarium clean.  If your aquarium is clean, then pray that it remains that way.  Don’t let yourself be weighed down by people or things that will add filth.  “If” you work somewhere where murkiness lies, then pray for those in that place, and pray that the light of Christ will shine through you so much so that the enemy does not have a chance of creeping in.

 

May we all be a blessing to others.  I know that I work on having a clean aquarium on a daily basis.  Do you?

In God’s love,

Rebecca

The World is your mission field….not the church!

This has been an interesting week.  I have had a few teachers ask me, “Why do you teach in a pubic school?  Why don’t you work for a church or a private school?”  Then I have had a couple say, “Don’t you think more of your ministry would happen there than here?”  

Well, I have had the please of telling ALL of them that I have taught at Montessori, private, and public.  However, at a private Christian school, they know they will hear the word of the Lord.  Here they don’t know that they are coming into contact with someone who will pray for them and hope to change their life!

Well, I have had a few interesting responses, and that is okay.  However, I am reminded of a sign that I used to see every week as I left a former church back in Illinois.  It said, “You are now entering your mission field.”

That is it in a nutshell.  Missionaries do not go to where saved people are, they go to the unsaved.  In fact, Jesus spent time with the woman at the well (an adulterer).  He had lunch with Zaccheus (a wicked tax collector), and frankly, His apostles had a pretty sketchy past as well.

He took “ordinary” people and made them “extra-ordinary”.  He wants to do that for you and me.  He asks us to be the salt and light unto the world, to seek and save the lost.  He did not die to save the saved, but he died to save the lost.

So, am I saying to not go to church?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!  In fact, we need to go.  As a believer, we need to be fed and nourished so that we can continue to pour out onto others.  We need oil for our lamp to keep us burning.  “Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning.  Give me oil in my lamp I pray.  Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning.  Keep me burning ’til the break of day.”

Or, as another pastor once said, if a log is placed inside a fire, it burns.  That log symbolizes us.  However, we need to keep adding logs to keep us lit.  However, if we remove that log, the flames will die out.  Church is very important.  In fact, it is an act of Obedience to the Lord, our Savior.  We are to go and receive the information to keep us strong, make us strong, and to witness to others.  Then, we are to enter our mission field.

I enjoyed my time in a private Christian school, but I am now in my mission field.  I have several unsaved around me every day.  I am to be the salt and light to all that I see:  teachers and students alike.  By my faith, may they know the Lord.  I may be limited, by law, as to what I can and cannot say, but I do pray in the classroom, I do bless my room daily, and I pray that my life is a shining example so that others will see me and want what I have in my life!

So, what now?  Are you ready to go into the mission field? I pray that as you travel through your week (work, driving, grocery store, etc) that you will be a missionary to all that you see.

In Jesus’s name!

School Daze, School Days!

For many of you, you haven’t even started to think about school yet.  For me, I am a parent, mother, and teacher.  I teach in year round school, and everyone starts tomorrow!

I have just completed my first week back to work.  I have deep cleaned, set up, done lesson plans, ordered materials, etc. and I feel like I am in a school daze.  I hope that other teachers can sympathize with this part.  I have been so busy this last week getting ready, that life at school has been a daze for me.

Tomorrow as my daughter and I head back to School for our School day, I pray that I can enjoy a school day, and I pray that her school daze does not last long so that she can enjoy many School Days to come!

As a mom, I can’t believe how much my baby girl has grown.  I can’t believe her wisdom at such a young age.  As a teacher, I pray that she will respect all in authority and do her best.

What does God say about how we are to treat/teach our children?  Proverbs 13:24 ESV:  “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.”

This does not mean that we are to be harsh with our children, but it does mean that we should love them enough to discipline them.  It is NOT the schools job to raise your child.  It is the schools job to teach your child.  In this day and age, many parents are passing off the role of parent to the teacher.  Yes, the teacher will give discipline from time to time, but we need parents who will teach/train a child in the proper way to go.  This will allow them to be successful in school, at church, with friends, at work, and in life.

As a parent, I don’t want my daughter to grow up in a daze.  I don’t want her to be educated but not know how to function in society.  I pray that she enjoys her School Days and that through them, those days become years of fruitfulness throughout her life.

 

Lord,

As a parent, we pray that our children grow up knowing right from wrong.  We pray that through discipline and instruction, that they will be guided to a fruitful future.  We pray for Days and Days of blessedness instead of Daze of confusion.  Lord, help us to train up our child and come alongside our teachers so that the children of the future get support from BOTH the school and the family.  We pray all these things in Your name!

Amen!

When the rains come down, down, down!

Well, it has been an interesting few days.  I was going to blog yesterday, but the power went of for 6 1/2 hours just after I started.  So…….I had a blog FAIL.  

However, let me tell you about the rain.  

Yesterday started as a normal day, but as the afternoon approached, I could tell we were going to have our first “big” rain of the monsoon season.  For those of you who may have never heard of a monsoon, it is a season of daily rains.  When the season is over, it is “pretty much” dry for the rest of the year.  We live in the Sonoran Desert and treasure the Monsoon Season.  Anyway, we were going to have our first big rain of the year.  Normally, this is not a big deal, as this occurs every year, but yesterday was different.

We saw the dark clouds and thought, no biggie.  It will rain and be over and we’ll go on with our day.  

Well, the rain came in with a fury!  Pretty soon the house was shaking from the 60mph winds outside.  It was pouring in our kitchen, from a cracked window.  We couldn’t even shut the window.  We were struggling with that as the lightning and hail was something from out of this world.  I looked outside and unit was raining buckets.  The house was shaking, the cover tore off our grill, the pool cover flew off, and soon we would know more.  

Then, the power went out.  We sat inside and then crashing sounds happened outside.  We waited it out and when the rains stopped, we headed outside.  My ceramic windchime was broken, but more damaging….pieces of our roof were on the ground.  My first thought was, ” we just had the roof fixed.  Why is this happening?”  

Anyway, we went 6 1/2 hours with no power, and I know more roof repairs were yet to come.  Today we found out our desktop hard drive is down for the count too.  It is what it’s is.

so, what now?  I could be mad at God and tell Him that He knows we can’t afford this, or I could be grateful that we walked away unharmed.  

Is it raining in your life right now?  If so, can you find a blessing in the rain?  When the rain comes, can you find the rainbow?

Lord, many people are going through some storms.  Please let us see the rainbow.  May we count our many blessings one by one!

in Jesus’ name

Rebecca

Lead Me To The Cross where I’ll Stand!

Today I had a blast from the past, musically speaking.  I was driving to get my prescriptions filled, and I had on my favorite station:  KLOVE!

I had been praying to God and asking what I was to talk about today.  God had two songs played on the radio and the words started to come to me.  The first song that played was called, “Lead Me to the Cross” by Hillsong United.  Let me give you the first verse and chorus:  

Savior I come
Quiet my soul remember
Redemptions hill
Where Your blood was spilled
For my ransom
Everything I once held dear
I count it all as lost

Lead me to the cross
Where Your love poured out
Bring me to my knees
Lord I lay me down
Rid me of myself
I belong to You
Lead me, lead me to the cross

Now, just dwell on those words for a few moments while I share a few verses and the chorus of “The Stand” by Hillsong United:

You stood before creation
Eternity in Your hand
And You spoke the earth into motion
My soul now to stand

You stood before my failure
Carried the cross for my shame
My sin weighed upon Your shoulders
My soul now to stand

So what could I say?
And what could I do?
But offer this heart, O God
Completely to You

So I’ll stand, with arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all
So I’ll stand, my soul, Lord, to You surrendered
All I am is Yours

Wow!  Those two songs were played back to back.  Here is what I got from this.  We all need to get to the cross.  In the first song, a couple of lines stood out:  Redemptions hill where Your blood was spilled for my ransom…..There is a Hill called Golgatha (the place of the skull).  Many crucifixions took place here.  It may be gruesome, but around those crosses are skulls.  Many never were buried after their torturous death.  People would go to see the guilt pay their sin with the worse punishment possible.  Yet, here on this hill of death, a man named Jesus (the son of God) went to a cross, was nailed to it and pierced in the side, so his would would flow and wash away our sins. Jesus died the death that you and I were meant to die.  Now, we have the chance to go there and lay at that hill, and we can have His blood poured out on us.  We NEED to have his blood poured out onto us.  It is that act of full surrender that He asks for and that He died for.  We are deserving of Hell, but by the cross, we are given Heaven.  

Once we have received the spilling of His blood on us and feel that amazing love He, literally, poured out for us, then we can stand in awe of the ONE AND ONLY GOD, who would do this for all creation.  

The next song says that:  He stood before creation, eternity in His hands, He spoke the world into motion, my soul now to stand.  Then, he states to God directly:  You stood before my failure carried the cross for my shame, my sin weighed upon Your shoulders, my soul now to stand.  And then the write says:  what should I do and what should I say?  Then the writer says:   I’ll stand, with arms high and heart abandoned, in awe of the One who gave it all. So I’ll stand, my soul, Lord, to You surrendered, all I am is Yours.  

We have been led to the cross, laid down before the cross, and has His blood pour on on us. He paid the ultimate price.  He knew our strengths and our failures, and He carried them to the cross anyway.  There was NOTHING that he didn’t die for, because He died for EVERYTHING!  So, what can I do?  I can stand in awe of the one who gave me life, and I can surrender my soul completely and wholeheartedly to Him.  

Can you believe that is all He asks?  Take a moment and think about the things in your life that “aren’t so good.”  He died for those things.  Lay yourself onto the floor and just surrender to Him, and then simple Stand, Surrender, and Thank Him for all He has done.

I am in complete awe of what God has done and continues to do for me.  Take a moment and be in awe of Him too.

Blessings,

Rebecca

Trials anyone?

Sorry I have been absent the last few days.

Has anyone ever felt a heavy burden and just needed a good cry?  Well, that was and is me right now.  However, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13.

Well, I believe that I CAN and WILL do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  I will overcome the enemy.  I will be a great mother and wife.  I will be the person that God has led me to be.

Many times when we feel super burdened, it is because we have not given that burden to the Lord, and/or the enemy has brought an old enemy back to try to weaken your faith.

Well, guess what.  Jesus wins and Satan loses!  If you are going through a storm right now, lean on Phil. 4:13 stated above.  God will strengthen you and you will get through it.

If you are re-living a burden and are being tossed and torn, remember Phil. 4:13.  God is going to strengthen you and you will get through it stronger than you were before the trial.

There are, always, reasons for everything that happens in our lives.  Give everything over, completely, to God, and He will take care of you, comfort you, and walk with you through your valleys.

I know that many of us have a current trial of some sort in our life.  Don’t let the enemy hold on to it any more.  Give that trial to the Lord and declare your Victory through Christ!

Amen!