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My story

Mark 5:19,20 -“Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.”

Yesterday in Sunday school, we were discussing sharing your story or telling your testimony. For many, this is the key to bringing them to Christ. They are able to see what He has done in your life when you share it with them. And that is great…

But it made me think, what about me? I grew up in church. I have been going since before I exited my mother’s womb. I have known nothing but getting up and going to church every Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night. I was taught how to study The Word. I was encouraged at home to pray and discuss my life with my Savior. 

Do people want to hear about that? Does that really make that big of an impact on people? Isn’t it way more interesting and awe-inspiring to hear how God changed an addict to one of His saints? 

I discussed this with my husband. When I look at my life, I see God’s faithfulness. I see His hand at work in every area I have ever invited Him to be in and some that I didn’t. I see His guidance and compassion. I see His love during trials and His kindness when I very stubbornly learn a lesson. 

But there is no major change in my life. And I’m okay with that, don’t get me wrong. I just let the devil make me think that my story isn’t important. No one wants to hear about year after year of Sunday school lessons. No one wants to hear about my so-called problems that really don’t amount to a hill of beans. Right?

Wrong. This is the story that God is writing that is called My Life. My Life is different that Your Life, even if we grew up with the exact same principles. We all have a story to tell. Some stories may seem less dramatic than others but they are just as important and can make just as big of an impact. God is still writing my life. That, in and of itself, is amazing. He still cares enough about me to write His story on my heart each and every day. He wants me to live each chapter with gusto and to share the entirety of it with anyone that will listen. 

So this week, don’t let anyone tell you that your story isn’t good enough or interesting enough. Your story is your own. Your story is unique and special. Your story is something that someone needs to hear to be encouraged or maybe it is something that someone needs to hear to bring them to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Tell your story.

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Cooking with my son

Deuteronomy 6:7 – “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”

My son is 14. The time has come to start teaching him to cook. He wasn’t too thrilled at the prospect of cooking, but he is a good kid and did it any way. And guess what? I think he actually enjoyed it. He followed the recipe and made a few blunders, but all in all, he did a very good job and was very proud of himself. 

This whole experience caused me to remember that I need to be diligently teaching my children the principles of the Lord as well. They need to see me studying, praying, applying God’s principles and doing whatever else God has called me to do. They need to see. 

I need to be encouraging their walk with Him. They need to know, understand and appreciate that He is the only One that can be with them throughout everything in their life. 

Educating our children is vitally important. I have been reading in the Old Testament lately about one generation serving God and the next one has straying far from Him. And part of me doesn’t get it. I try very hard not to judge but rather to understand how that can happen. It is hard for me since I grew up in a home that loved the Lord, as did my parents. I can’t imagine my life without Him in it. 

But that is because my family was faithful. They taught me about God, about Jesus and His sacrifice. They taught me right from wrong based on the Word of God. But here is how it keeps on going – I chose to follow Him. 

I can teach my son all day long how to cook and clean and do laundry and any other task necessary for domestic survival, but until he decides he is going to do it, it means nothing. 

The same is true for the teachings of God. I can guide him and teach him and instruct him in the principles of the Lord, but until he takes them and applies them to his own life, they are just hanging out there in the air. 

But regardless of how things may or may not turn out, it is my responsibility to be diligently doing what I know God wants me to do. All I can do is teach and pray. And so, that’s what I do. 

A fourteen year old cooking breakfast for dinner is a big deal. But a fourteen year old living out the principles of God is an even bigger deal. 

Let me encourage you today to be an educator in someone’s life. You may or may not have children, but I can guarantee that there is someone in your life that needs educating. And God put you in their life to teach them about Him. 

Keys

Matthew 16:19a – “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven…”

Keys. We all have them. We have keys to our vehicle, keys to our home, keys to our lock box, keys to work – essentially we have keys to just about everything. In fact, some would even say that there are some that hold the key to your heart.

But what good is a key if it is not used? Really? No good at all.

Keys are used to safeguard something. We obviously want to protect something or someone if we have a key.

Every once in a while, however, we want to use that key to unlock and free something. We want to take a look at that social security card we keep locked away. We want to try on that beautiful piece of jewelry hidden away in a lock box somewhere. We want to go home, so we use our key to get in the door. We need to go somewhere, so we turn the key in the ignition.

I have a super cute key ring that I got in Hawaii. Great memories are associated with that key ring. But the most important thing about this item is the fact that it holds all the keys that I need in my life. I panic when I can’t find my keys. My biggest fear is being away from my husband and locking myself out of my car. That happened before – when the car was running. Bad day. Really cold. Don’t want to remember that day – moving on….

Jesus left us His keys. He has given us power and authority to do His will on this earth. We have a great responsibility associated with these keys. Perhaps that’s the reason we don’t use them very often. People might get offended if we use the keys. The power these keys have might be more than we want to face. See a trend here? Fear. Fear keeps us from using those keys. Fear keeps us from receiving the blessings from those keys. Oh, we like to jingle them around from time to time but do we really want to use them?

Maybe it’s high time we did. Maybe we need to go out on a limb and shake up the tree a bit. Whatever you’d feel the Lord leading you to do about the keys, do it. I promise His blessings will be worth it.

‘Tis the Season

John 13:34-35 – “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

I saw this on social media the other day.

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It really touched my heart that this young woman was willing to stand up and stand out. She was willing to show God’s love in her actions, regardless of the words came out of her mouth.

There has been a big hoop-la about keeping Christ in Christmas. And I totally agree. But just because someone takes it off of their cup doesn’t mean that I can’t celebrate it.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are celebrations of the heart. It is a time to honor and glorify God for the abundant amount of blessings that He has poured down upon us. And if we recognize them as celebrations of the heart, we will be inclined to fulfill the commandment given in these verses. We will find ourself showing love to one another, being kind and doing so with a pure heart. Then, and only then, will others be able to see that we are celebrating those blessings that we certainly do not deserve.

By this time next week, you will probably be like me – fat and happy from the delicious meal the day before. Leftovers will gladly be on the menu and the shopping will begin in full force. But let’s not forget why we celebrate these two very important holidays. And let’s not let those who choose not to see God in everything ruin the spirit of the season with their negativity. Give them some tinsel and kindly say “bless your heart” and mean it. Because truly, these people who would take Christ out of Christmas and blessings out of Thanskgiving, need Jesus in the worst way. And it is our job to show Him to them.