Posts Tagged With: guest writer

“Back Burner” with Guest Writer Beth Lively

061313_0054_IsThataSire1.jpg 1 Chronicles 7:30-11:47

Mmmmmm…. my Spirit feels nice and filled after this week of feasting on the Word of God prepared by my Beloved friends! I am so amazingly blessed to call you all “friend”. You have no idea how much you all mean to me. Thank you all from the bottom-most place in my heart! We all are eternally grateful for your willingness to contribute to our cause. I pray that God will bless you more tremendously than you ever though possible! And if you ever wish to come back and share the stage here you are more than welcome!

Today’s guest is an artist extraordinaire! She can sing, she can play guitar, she can draw and paint and makes jewelery. She writes poetry and stories too, so I had no idea what to expect from her offering today. She decided to go with a devotional for us. And after having read it I  am positive that you will all love it! (I know I do! Maybe because her message is so similar to mine and therefore quite close to my heart. a DAILY walk with God.) Anyway, I digress, so without further ado, I give you my friend Beth Lively!

*Thunderous round of applause* You know, because this place is ROCKIN! (Can you tell I’m feelin’ frisky today?)

Philippians: 4:6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done.

God intended our lives to be like children at play—happily completing the tasks of our days, our hearts filled with wonder and joy, as we relish the company of loved ones, friends, and coworkers; working hard, satisfied in our labor, comfortable in our careers; fulfilled in our families, our heritage . . . but, often enough . . . we don’t, we aren’t, we are not.

We are guilty of worry; we waste time, sleep, and peace of mind, even to the point of endangering our mental health. We run our minds over worries like gerbils on a metal wheel—over and around, over and around—essentially, stubbornly, attempting to solve this weary world’s troubles and challenges  all by ourselves.  The temptations and tragedies of this world corrupt us as we struggle through the evil imposed by our complicated civilization.

Truly, though, we do not have to be tainted by any of it—not any of it.   By simply, literally, placing God firmly in front, our vision of the world (and ultimately our reaction to it) will change.

Getting closer to God is something we can fix . . . and that will fix everything else!  Keeping God close is easy, but initially takes practice until keeping a prayer, (a running conversation) with God on the back burner of our minds, becomes a hot mug of love, goodness, joy, and hope, ready at hand in our souls, as we meet the challenges and joys of each day.

Devotionals, Stephen’s Ministers, Pastoral Counseling, Bible study, Disciple classes, Christian music, radio talk shows, and phone apps. can help create the habit, and once firmly fixed in our daily routine, (and I do mean daily, because this wicked world is loud, enticing, harsh, discouraging, and can eat up our strength so fast and cunningly we are drowning in negativity before we even realize), will carry us safely above the currents of distress.

Salvation isn’t only about dying and meeting God in Heaven; Jesus saved us here, too—saved us from daily troubles and worries—when He showed us beyond doubt that nothing can separate us from the love (joy) and protection (worry free) of God.

So . . . go fly a kite, catch a fish, jump in a pool, roast a marshmallow for a so’ more, then laugh until your eyes tear up and your tummy hurts . . . and pray for God to take care of the rest!

Categories: 1 Chronicles, 365 Life, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

“Family Affair” with Guest Writer Dalaiah Hepburn

061313_0054_IsThataSire1.jpg 1 Chronicles 4:24-7:29

Dalaiah Hepburn is back with us today! Yay! I am so excited to share her writing with you! Plus, this time she brought me cupcakes mmmmmm……. Those I won’t be sharing with you. 😉 If you would like to visit her TransparenMe blog click here. Or her other blog, Not so Empty Nest Days, click here. Dalaiah thank you so much for coming back today. Let’s all give her a nice round of applause as she takes the stage.

*Thunderous Round of Applause*

I have a big enough family, both on my mom’s side and my dad’s. for whatever reason, I know my dad’s side more than I do my mom’s. I also notice something about my dad’s family. As far as I can tell, they are into children’s work. I don’t know how far back it goes or when this legacy started but its there and my brother, myself and even my kids are showing this trait of desire to work with or for kids, from teacher all the way to advocate. Just like in this genealogy, I’m sure we have some kin we love to be around, some we don’t. Some we flock to, some we duck from and then there are the ones no one can remember how they are kin to us!
Jabez, earlier in the text (v9-10), was one of the family members we would have asked as we saw him walking in the room or backyard, “now how is he related? I see his mama, but who is his daddy?” The other thing we would have noticed about him is that he, “more honorable than his brothers.” But he didn’t notice it. How many times has someone told you how gifted you are in an area and you thank them, though not believing it because of the torment you lived with in another area of life. Ouch!!

This is really a part of the Bible I struggle with. Can I say that out loud and still be looked at the same? I skim the genealogies not so much because I don’t care, but because all I see is and this one begat this one, this one begat this one, this one, this one and two others by his helpmaid. It’s just not as active as Judges 15:4-16!! Now Sampson read like an action packed movie!! But because it is in God’s Word, it’s important. That’s when it began to hit me, quite recently actually. Like right as I was writing this, what’s in the genealogy of Jacob’s sons is family and how different they are yet still blood.

We are actually able to see what Jacob had spoken over his sons and grandsons come forth. In the latter part of chapter 4, we see the family lining up and starting their own family trees, some of great worth, some not so great yet not counted out. In chapter 5, speaks of Reuben’s lineage and how sin can cast you out of the place of honor you were once in (his birthright was as firstborn) but not out all together. We also see others lineage as faithful, as small, as disobedient. In chapter 6, we literally see the birth of the Levites. We see the birth of Aaron, Miriam and Moses (in that order) and the understanding of their portion being the LORD. These were those set apart for Him. Chapter 7 gives no explanation of the omitting of Zebulun and Dan but they are visibly absent. This chapter ends speaking of where Joseph’s sons are…. and the saga continues right up to Jesus!

Whew!! What I pulled out of that is that we all have families we don’t get to choose. Some good, some bad and some…. yeah pray for those ones! But in our lineage, they were family before we knew it. And they left a legacy for us. Our forefathers and patriarchs, or matriarchs in some families, paved the way for a path. What I love about Christ is that when you surrender, this is no longer your path! When the path is filled with addictions, so on and so forth, our life in Christ is what now defines us! On the flip side, there are some whose lineage is success, fame, power, blah blah blah and when they surrender He may call them out of that! Only he knows what your path is in your Jesus journey! Your family cannot make or break you. The biggest thing I pulled away was that this was all BEFORE Christ! These folks had family lines they had to walk out due to the prophetic speaking of Jacob and his “blessings.” Our families don’t have to be that way!
My family is marked with all sorts of generational curses, but once I surrendered, Jesus’ blood covered me and I broke those with His authority! I now speak life and cancel every assignment made by the enemy for my kids! But it doesn’t stop there. Just speaking it isn’t enough! We must walk it out, no matter what!

Have you had a sordid, rough past? That doesn’t make you who you are, HE does! I leave you with this saying that God gave me as I did devotion one day, blessings!

photo

Categories: 1 Chronicles, 365 Life, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

“Shipwrecked” with Guest Writer Mark Trietsch

Word of the DayActs 25:13-28:31

Good morning all! So yesterday I finished the post, Take a Break! And then headed off to church and lo and behold wouldn’t you know it that the message God had waiting there for me to receive was that I should…take a break! Imagine that! LOL. So, just as THE doctor has directed I am taking this week off from posting. I will still be reading all the readings and writing about them, just none of you will ever get to see them. Instead, we will all be blessed to receive offerings from several friends of mine that have so graciously agreed to submit a story, or picture or video, whatever God leads them to share with us.

So without further ado, I present to you today’s guest writer, Mark Trietsch! Let’s give him a warm welcome.

*round of thunderous applause*

At our church Sunday, we had a very interesting guest speaker. His name is Douglas Carmel, (I hope I have his last name spelled correctly), and he is a Christ believing Jew. We have been studying the Passion of the Christ in my Sunday school class of middle-schoolers. So, I had Doug come in to speak to the class, as clearly, he would have more knowledge of Jewish history than I would.

One of the topics I asked Doug to address was the Roman-Jewish relationship. It struck me, the dynamic that presents itself so clearly, in both the case of Jesus and why Paul was sent to Agrippa. Doug explained to the class that the Romans didn’t really have a problem with Christianity, at least early on. They didn’t have a problem, because they didn’t really care. As explained by Doug, the Romans had their own gods, the gods of Olympus, so another religion wasn’t a huge concern for them. They were more interested in taxes. Worship anything you want, just keep the tax money rolling in. Sounds a lot like our government today, but that is another story.

The similarity in both cases is uncanny. The Jewish leaders, who knew the Old Testament, and therefore should have recognized the truth in the ministries of Jesus and Paul wanted them to be shut up by any means possible. This meant appealing to the very Romans, which they themselves hated, to do the dirty work for them. Meanwhile, the Romans, who knew little to nothing about Moses and the prophets, in both cases found the accused guilty of nothing.

Makes me think about how often times it is the people who should know better that are the hardest to reach with the Gospel. People who perhaps went to church as a child, attended vacation Bible school and heard all the stories, yet that is all they are to them, stories, People who can recite the Christmas story front to back, sing about the Silent Night but deny the very words they are singing. They may be the very definition of a “good person”, but ultimately they refuse to live for Jesus. They have head knowledge, but not heart knowledge. I marvel at the stories and testimonies of the drug addict or the alcoholic, with very little going for them, that they will receive the message of Christ openly, while the “normal” person shuts out the truth.

The other main thought I had while reading these chapters was that Paul never lost sight of his goal, his mission. Whether standing before a Roman ruler or an island dweller, Paul continued to present the Gospel message. He never let his circumstances change his mission.

It makes me cringe to think how often I let my daily surroundings determine my mood. If things are going bad at work, does that give me a valid reason to blow up, lose my cool, and act like a loon? Sitting in my living room, the answer is a very clear “of course not”. Yet how often do we let small things take us away from our ultimate mission. How many times do we let work situations, or the behavior of our kids, determine whether we publically show Christ’s love to others today? Or, will we get mad at our temporary hardship and focus on our need, and how we are being “cheated”? Through chains, prison, house arrest and shipwrecks, Paul saw every situation not as reason to throw up his hands and quit, but as a new stage to present the Word of God. Paul looked to make the best of every situation and circumstance.

Makes one want to lower their heads a little. Most likely we will never find ourselves lost at sea, or shipwrecked, or stand in chains before those which could kill us. Yet we can almost look for reasons not to be a witness for Jesus, to decide to “turn it off” if we feel like it. May we strive to be more like Paul, to see the opportunity in whatever God presents us with and to carry our witness for Him wherever we find ourselves.

Categories: 365 Life, Acts, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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