Monday, October 23, 2017

How to be a S.M.A.R.T. Woman of God!

His divine power has given us
everything we need... (2 Peter 1:3)
I'm the first to admit that some technology scares the heck out of me!  I mean there's something quite terrifying (if your birth pre-dates the Digital Age) about a little apparatus, called a smartphone that really IS smarter than you are!

Although it's been several years since I gave up my flip phone begrudgingly; I still struggle with keeping up with the changes and options available to me. My children and grandchildren tell me that if I'd just try them, these new apps would make me more savvy and efficient in my life.  I can't however seem to get past the simple mundane functions I've gotten accustomed to!

It's like that in my Christian life as well!  I don't use nearly enough or efficiently, the options God gives me that could make a radical change in my life spiritually! This was never more evident to me than at a Joyce Meyers conference last weekend! Among the many thought-provoking insights she shared, there was one thing she said that struck a chord: "Everything you need is already downloaded into you by the Holy Spirit when you are saved!"

I think it was the use of the word download that grabbed my attention!  You see, at home I'd been clicking Remind Me Later for a week, putting off a message to install updates that would help my computer run better and more securely!  I wondered... how many times have I said the same thing to the Holy Spirit?  He says: My Friend, time to stop texting and spend some quality time with me.  My response:  Remind Me Later!

Ironically, 2 Peter 1:3 is one of my favorite scriptures.  I think it speaks not only to me but busy Christian women, everywhere.  We say we can't get along without the modern conveniences of smartphones, i pads, e-readers and the like.  Having these items at hand makes us smarter and are essential tools for achieving a successful life!  Really? If you've got the time...let's take a fresh look at this verse:

His divine power has granted to us
all things that pertain to life and godliness,
through the knowledge of him who called
us to his own glory and excellence, (ESV)

I believe God wants us to be smart Christian women but S.M.A.R.T. in Biblical ways! After all as Joyce reminded us. When He saved us, He downloaded us with the Holy Spirit and we get all these wonderful user friendly options:

 S - The ability to take SELFIES from any given angle:  John 16:8-9

M - Unlimited MEMORY no purchase necessary:  John 14:26

A -Convenient APPS for life (prayer, relationships, etc):Romans 8:26
             Galatians 5:22
R - Eliminates ROAMING charges: John 14:17

T -Maximized TALK TIME with clarity and speed: Acts 1:8

Let's Begin to Live Smarter not Harder!


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Monday, October 9, 2017

The Only Thing Worse than Death...

Where, O death, is your victory?
(I Cor. 15:55b) 
It's been a bloody week for America, both nationally and locally!  News media and their pundits are still speculating on the motives behind the Las Vegas Massacre that took place last Sunday!

Grief-stricken families like many of us are shocked and sickened by all the violence we're witnessing.  Yet I've been trying to keep my thoughts on a higher plane. I'm choosing to blog this week about life rather than death.  The Divine rather than the Devil.  

It's not an easy thing to do in our current culture where bad news is aired 24 hours a day.  I must admit that I frequently check out emotionally refusing to watch the news and instead opting to read something inspirational or engulf myself in a silly or romantic movie. (The made-for-TV Hallmark movies are a guilty pleasure!)

Last night however, I settled down to watch a movie I spotted weeks ago on a free HBO preview.  I didn't know a lot about it except that it was snubbed by the critics even though it had some good actors in it.  I put off looking at it because from what I could tell it was about grief, pain, and death!  Surprisingly, after viewing Collateral Beauty, the profound take-away for me was the value of life!

Will Smith, Kate Winslet, and Helen Mirren are all A-List actors who gave outstanding performances. The supporting actors weren't shabby either.  Without giving away the plot I'll just tell you that its about a grieving father who deals with his pain by personifying Time, Love, and Death writing letters to each one and is eventually given the opportunity to speak to them directly.  Sounds a bit too far-fetched and dark?  Bible readers will tell you that there are similar personifications throughout the bible. The Apostle Paul speaks to Death in I Corinthians 15:55 and the Apostle John visualizes Death, as the Pale Rider in Revelation 6:8.

As mysterious and frightening as Death is to many, for Christians we are assured that it should hold no terror for us! (I Thess. 4:14-14; Rev. 14:13; John 11:25-26, Is. 57:1-2: 2 For. 4:17-18). 

 A Wasted Life is Much More Frightening: 

--A Life Consumed with Coveting and Possessing (It's been established that Stephen Paddock the Vegas shooter was a millionaire! He gained some of the world's riches but lost his soul -Mark 8:36

--A Life in Bondage (Drugs, alcohol, food or any other abuses of pleasures) - Eccles. 2:1-9

--A Life without Purpose, Passion or Hope (Violent crimes by and against black youths are increasing each year.  Pew Research compared 2016 deaths with 2015. Up by 900 the total came to 7,881. I have no stats for 2017). The Thief's purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy.  God's purpose is to give life more abundantly - John 10:10

--A Life spent worrying, grieving over loss to the detriment of viable relationships. A life of anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, and hate. - Phil. 4:6-7; I Thess. 4:13; Ephes. 4:22-24

-A Life of paralyzing fear that prohibits you from taking reasonable risks; that conditions you to accept less that God's best, and allows His wondrous gifts in you to lay stagnant or dormant in the midst of unmet needs -  2 Timothy 1:7; Ephes. 5:20; Ephes. 2:10

When one thinks of the Sanctity of Life, this precious gift God has given that allows us in our humanity to commune, relate, and enjoy all things that are good! We need to do so with more appreciation.  WHY WASTE LIFE ON SELFISH AMBITIONS AND UNKINDNESS? (James 4:3) DEATH INDEED WOULD BE PREFERRED!

Even in grief and the complexities of life and death; God provides ethereal beauty and power.   As His children we can endure it all with a depth and hope many will never understand. (2 Peter 1:3)  Don't Waste Your Life, wondering what could have been! Christ came to give you life and that more abundantly!


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