Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sticks and Stones.....

 

 LIE



                                                                         TRUTH

Proverbs 18:21 

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

Ephesians 4:29 

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Matthew 15:18 

But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.

Proverbs 12:18 

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Matthew 12:36 

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,

Proverbs 16:24 

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.

Proverbs 13:3 

Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.

Matthew 12:37

For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Proverbs 15:1 

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Proverbs 21:23

Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.


SO the saying goes "sticks and stones may break my bones; but words will never hurt me"  But how many times have WORDS not only hurt you but they have literally tore you down?  Words may not MEAN to hurt someone but it also has to do with the TIMING of the words as well. 

For those of you who suffer with any kind of physical pain you will agree with me that it tears you down emotionally, physically and mentally!!!  I am exhausted from the pain I have endured however I know that it is in God's timing that my FULL healing will come! I am reminded however of his many blessings and how I would much rather be limited as to what I can do than to be stuck in BED.... 

I want to bring God glory in all of this but some how FAIL to do this with in the closest family members.  I am not sure if it is another attack from the enemy that has me believing that or if it is really true.   The other day I was extremely broken. I have felt weak in all areas and did not feel as if i had any more room to have a "life lesson" thrown my way.  Apparently the opposite was true and I felt as if I had been beaten down even further.  WORDS were used and it left me feeling hurt, broken, alone and unloved! FRANKLY, I haven't felt this way in quite some time! I cried, and cried! I cried about the situation, I cried because of the pain ,and I cried because somehow I wasn't trying HARD enough to work through the situation that God has put before me!!! I don't want sympathy and I do not want focus to be brought on me.  (I one point in my life I LOVED and CRAVED for that kind of attention) but that is NOT ME any MORE!! I am still trying to figure out the lesson that has been laid before me... The frustrating part in all of this is that I want to grow and learn but I'm not exactly sure WHAT IT IS I'M SUPPOSED TO LEARN???!!!! I try not to let words affect me.. But truth be told that destroy ME!! Interesting enough I found MANY scriptures in the bible about the affect of words...  It is not only what you say but when you say it.  Sometimes the best thing is to not say anything at all... Maybe this is the lesson I am to learn? Do I use my words wisely or do I use them to hurt those around me that I love.  This also includes judging others.  We all have our struggles and battles that we are fighting. I do know that we need to extend a lot of grace. It is easier said than done.  If I were to use what I am saying than by rights I need to extend the same grace!! 
 







Thursday, June 13, 2013

Weakness is all I have to offer!!



     I never thought a 12 hour day would be a "short day"  but I am so glad we are home by 730 p.m. tonight.  The camp made it through the first Mini Camp yesterday and the little overnighter kids came first thing this morning!
     The best part of working "behind the scenes" is watching all the counselors interact with the each and every kid.  One of the counselors tonight came into the office to mention that God had already answered a prayer but not in the way he expected!!
     That is how God works... Gods ways are NOT our ways, His thoughts are NOT our thoughts.. and His timing is definitely NOT our timing! I admired the sensitivity and the vulnerability this counselor displayed... As the counselor left the office my advice was to allow the emotions to be used as an example.  That we never know who may need what we have to offer no matter what it is!!  At that, the counselor thanked me, smiled and left! Oh,  how wonderful it is to be able to encourage and uplift the counselors which is a role I've taken on not voluntarily but can see how I find great joy in it.
     Thinking of my own advice; It is too easy to hide how we truly feel.  But what if my weakness; despite thinking I have nothing left to give, is all that is needed?
     In our weakness and vulnerability is when God can use us the most; this is when we trust and rely on His strength to carry us through. The purpose is to develop character that produces HOPE....
I have really struggled lately... I feel very weak! Last year I was overjoyed and super excited when camp first started. This year I feel as if God has different plans. But.... I'm not sure what exactly the plans are. Don't get me wrong I am thrilled to see the excitement on the kids and watch the transformation that goes on in the lives of campers and counselors. But I am expecting great things.. We get in such a habit of wanting things NOW! Sometimes the answers don't always come when we hope they will. But on the other hand the answer to our problems isn't necessarily what God is looking for!  God wants our hearts and if that means we have to go through a season of waiting for Him to get it, well then that is what we will go through. 
My prayer is to have a spiritual renewal and vision. I am clinging on to his promises right now, having nothing more than weakness to offer!!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Temptation Part 1

Matthew 4:1-11
New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’[b]
Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
    and they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’[c]
Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’[d]
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’[e]
11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

Jesus’ temptations follow three patterns that are common to all men. The first temptation concerns the lusts of the flesh (Matthew 4:3-4). Our Lord is hungry and the devil tempts Him to convert stones into bread, but He replies with Scripture, quoting Deuteronomy 8:3. The second temptation concerns the pride of life (Matthew 4:5-7), and here the devil uses a verse of Scripture (Psalm 91:11-12), but the Lord replies again with Scripture to the contrary (Deuteronomy 6:16), stating that it is wrong for Him to abuse His own powers. The third temptation concerns the lusts of the eyes (Matthew 4:8-10), and if any quick route to the Messiahship could be attained, bypassing the passion and crucifixion for which He had originally come, this was the way. The devil already had control over the kingdoms of the world (Ephesians 2:2) but was now ready to give everything to Christ in return for His allegiance. But the mere thought almost causes the Lord’s divine nature to shudder at such a concept and He replies sharply, “You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only” (Deuteronomy 6:13).

Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-temptations.html#ixzz2VexSaCAp



There are many temptations that we sadly fall into because our flesh is naturally weak, but we have a God who will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear; He will provide a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13). We can therefore be victorious and then will thank the Lord for deliverance from temptation. Jesus’ experience in the desert helps us to see these common temptations that keep us from serving God effectively. Furthermore, we learn from Jesus’ response to the temptations exactly how we are to respond—with Scripture. The forces of evil come to us with a myriad of temptations, but all have the same three things at their core: lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. We can only recognize and combat these temptations by saturating our hearts and minds with the Truth. The armour of a Christian solider in the spiritual battle of life includes only one offensive weapon, the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17). Knowing the Bible intimately will put the Sword in our hands and enable us to be victorious over temptations.  http://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-temptations.html#ixzz2Vexcazcr
 
Our Lord’s human nature enables Him to sympathize with our own weaknesses, just as He was subjected to weakness, too. More importantly, we have a High Priest who is able to intercede on our behalf and provide the grace of forgiveness.
 
One of Satan's biggest tricks is to try and confuse you about who you are, and whose you are.
Satan will wait until you are at your weakest point in life and then come to you with questions about your life... your calling... and your ability to do for God the Father.

You must know that you have been given the power to become a son of God... Just as Jesus was his son in whom God was WELL PLEASED.

Deut 8:2-3: “Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands"

We all go through wilderness experiences in our Christian walk. It can be very exhausting and draining. It deprives us of all the comforts that we may usually enjoy. It tests the deepest secrets and convictions of our heart to test what lies in our heart. We may have just gone through the greatest highs of our walk with God. Next, we find ourselves in the spiritual turmoil
 or wilderness. During these times of testing, we need to put our complete trust in the Lord
 

Three Temptations of Jesus Christ:

  • It seems that Satan had quite faulty logic! The first two temptations of Jesus were about proving Jesus being the ‘Son of God’.
    • “If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread”.
    • “If You are the Son of God, throw yourself down…”
  • Son of God does not need bread to live on or need to worry about injury!
  • Satan insisted on proofs about Jesus’ divinity, but Jesus reminded him of his humanity.
  • Jesus had experienced God’s voice at his baptism. “This is my Son, whom I love, with him, I am well pleased. (Mat 3:17) The Devil came and first attacked this very claim. He tried to create doubts about God’s voice.
  • All of Jesus’ answers started with “It is Written”! He may be saying, that “God’s word is final, and I do not need to test it or prove it.”
  • We are often confronted with similar situations. And Devil comes and whispers in our ears, he creates doubts about God’s promises – “Does he really care about you? Is he really listening to your prayers?” We need to remember that ‘It is written’, God has promised us and his Words are final and sufficient.

Q. How did Jesus answer to Satan’s temptations?

First Temptation:

  • “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
  • Jesus referred to Deut 8:2-3. Jesus pointed out that life is not just about the physical needs, there is more to it.
  • We have botj physical and spiritual needs. And only God can satisfy our spiritual hunger. (Beatitudes: Bless of those who hunger and thirst for righteousness)
  • What is the source of your life? What is the place of God’s Word in your life? Is it just one of the things that you do or read or is it the source of your life?

Second Temptation:

  • Second time, Satan came up with even better idea.
  • He took Jesus to the Holy city, Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the Temple. Satan asked Jesus to throw himself down. If the Angels protected him from being striking against stones, now not only him (Devil), but all people in the temple will also be convinced that He is the Son of God. (Great plan, isn’t it!)
  • The Devil, this time, used the word of God to prove his point.
  • The Devil knows the Word of God, he can use it, twist it, misinterpret it and present it in such a way which is contrary to the will of God.
  • Today, we see many people being fallen away by misinterpretation of the Word of God. The key aspect of Satan’s argument was and is the use of the word of God out of context.
  • The second temptation at its core, is about testing God and testing His Words.
  • Rightly so, Jesus reminded Satan, that “It is also written, do not put the Lord your God to the test.”

Third Temptation:

  • The final temptation brought the innermost desire of Satan, “to become God”. He wants to be worshiped as God. He burns with the desire of being like God. And He offers the biggest lie to all who follows him, that they can be also God. (Gen 3:4)
  • How often have we seen Rulers, Kings or Emperors of the mighty kingdoms at their peak, want to be worshiped as ‘God’! Unfortunately, it can only lead to self-destruction.
  • Satan showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the World and their splendor. In those days, Roman Empire rules the majority of known world. Their power and glory were incomparable. But it fell eventually and now we see nothing but the ruins.
  • Jesus however, promises ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ (Mat 4:17), he does not offer temporary kingdom but Eternal Kingdom.
  • The Devil’s proposal was a direct breaking of the first commandment. “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them..” (Exodus 20:3-4)
  • Jesus in his reply, quoted the first commandment. (By this time, Jesus would have said, “enough, you are crossing the line!”)
  • He commanded Satan to go away. and Satan immediately left him!
In all three answers, Jesus insisted on the ‘written’ word of God. Today, we have so much resources available related to the ‘Word of God’, that sometimes we are distracted from ‘the Word’. There is no alternative to the study and meditation of the Word of God daily. If Jesus learnt and used the God’s word, how much more do we should!
 
 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Promise!!!




This blog will be short and sweet and to the point.. some of you will like this!!

  1.  Pray for strength and endurance for these long days 
  2. Pray that the love of Christ will shine through us and all of the staff here at camp
  3. Pray that there will be no room for Satan has we do the will of God
  4. Pray that we will grow spiritually and we will fully trust in God
  5. Pray that we will be able to handle the responsibilities and priorities 
  6. Pray for our family; during this time of long days we often get overwhelmed, tired & frustrated with each other
  7. Pray that we will be able to extend grace to those around us and that those around us will give us grace

This week we have transitioned into the long days as many of you know.
We are going through staff training this week as we prepare for our first week of Summer camp June 9th.
As I was reading my bible yesterday in our staff devotions (which I will share a lot of the summer) this verse came to mind, Joshua 1:9.  I was feeling afraid for this summer.  I was already feeling inadequate and wanting to give up! Every time we pour everything we have into something; Mike and I seem to suffer.   We stop communicating and often times when we do communicate it comes across the wrong way.  I feel attacked, unloved and unappreciated.  I start to feel as if it isn't worth going through because at what point do i continue to suffer and sacrifice?????


 God gave up everything for us.. At one point, while still in the garden he even asked God to take this cup from him. But it wasn't the plan of God.  When we go through rough times especially when we feel as if we are at the end of our rope; we must remember to feel blessed and thankful that when Jesus himself was at the end of his rope, he didn't give up!

Instead he leaves us with a promise!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Tug-Of-War

 



Right now I feel as if my days are filled with the endless battle and challenge of the game "Tug-of-War" 
 

As we transition from ending school, study group, Co-op, finishing paper work to Family Camp & now summer camp; I simply need reminded that this is where we are right now.  As everyone else is preparing for the lazy part of summer, we are gearing up for the hardest part of our ministry. Transition leaves us feeling pulled in all different directions at times!! Adjusting to the long days and work load is exhausting,  Juggling commitments as I'm trying to learn my new role, struggling to find the balance... Also, feeling sad as I make this transition of putting what we have been called to do first and for most over the beautiful friendships, knowing we have so little time with them. 
But God knows my heart.. He knows that it's in my weakness he is strong...
"Lord, help me to feel your indescribable joy that you often let me experience.  Help me to have a new depth of spiritual understanding and vision, help me to trust you"!!