Sunday, August 28, 2011

Our Yard Perishes

Aaaw.....the feel of freshly cut lush green grass.  My toes sink into the soft velvety green carpet.  I frolic and my feet sing in delight over the comfortable landing.  Soft brush-like blades grip and tickle as I run across the emerald blanket covering our yard........RRRRRT.  (Insert record stopping noise here.)

Ummm....no, that is only a dream.  If I were to actually "frolic" in our yard (which I really don't do), it would be more like this.....

AaawOUCH....the feel of crunchy dry needle-like blades of grass.  My toes search for comfort among the weeds and dry patches.  My feet long for a place to find a comfortable landing.  Alas, they continue to search.

How we long for nice green lush grass.  We have seeded and seeded, aerated, sprayed, hired professionals, but we just don't know what we are doing and our thumbs are not even a light shade of green.

Our yard perishes for lack of knowledge. 

That is how many Christians are living their lives....their lives are perishing because of a lack of knowledge.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.  Hosea 4:6

The Word of God is our book of knowledge.  In it are the promises of God, how to stand against the enemy, what constitutes sin, what brings life, it explains how God wants us to live and not live.  It is living and breathing, it is God's Words.  When we speak the Word, we are speaking what God says. WOW!

However, many Christians don't know what God's Word says.  As a result, their "yard" is being destroyed.  What does God's Word say about healing, about finances, about prosperity, about relationships, about marriage, about parenting, about sin, about salvation, etc....?

Just like we don't know how to have a lush green weed-free yard because we lack horticulture knowledge, one's life may be dry and full of weeds because they lack spiritual knowledge.  The only way to educate ourselves is through the Word of God.  Jesus is our Living Water.  Jesus will always bring life to a dry and weedy soul. 

Get skillful and godly Wisdom, get understanding; so do not forget and do not turn back from the words of my mouth.  Forsake not Wisdom, and she will keep and defend, and protect you; love her, and she will guard you.  Proverbs 4:5-6

There is another reason for the weeds in our yard.  Since we lacked knowledge, we didn't know we were suppose to treat for crabgrass in the Spring.  So, our yard was looking pretty nice and I was happy.  Yay, a nice yard, then...... boom, crabgrass hit it in July and there was nothing we could do, it was too late.  Now we know.  Wisdom and knowledge would have protected our yard. 

We didn't treat our yard to protect our grass from those weeds and.....

If we don't protect our hearts, weeds will begin to grow.

Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance, for out of it flow the springs of life.  Proverbs 4:23

Sin is like a weed, it infests, it grows, it will take over if it is not dealt with and destroyed.  We must protect our hearts from the infestation of sin.  Again, God's Word will protect our hearts and then we must be mindful to guard our hearts from that which will destroy our lives. 

Just like we must do certain things to prevent weeds in our yards, we must guard our hearts to keep the weeds out of our lives.  The Word of God is our protection, is our source of knowledge, is our weed prevention.

What are you letting into your heart and life that may be like a weed?  Is your "yard" lush and green or dry and weedy?  The time to treat it is now.  Don't let your yard perish due to a lack of knowledge.  Plant the good seeds of God's Word, keep the weeds out by guarding your heart and let Jesus, the Living Water, make your yard green and beautiful. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

All Grown Up

I feel like such a grown up this morning.  Not because I have a job, been married for almost 13 years or because I have 3 kids. 

I feel like a grown up because I am drinking coffee.   

I don't drink coffee everyday.  So, when I do, I always feel so grown up.  : )

Even though I am technically an adult and by all standards would be considered one, my mind sometimes doesn't get the memo. 

Disney World is still the funnest place on earth to me, summer should never end in my opinion, rolling down hills is the best, and I heart bouncy houses.   I am in many ways a child at heart. 

Being childlike is different than being childish.  There is a big difference.

Whoever will humble himself therefore and become like a little child (trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving) is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  Matt 18:4 


God wants us to be childlike.  Children are trusting, love easily, and forgive easily.  They can be fighting over a toy one minute and laughing and playing the next. 

Truly I say to you, whoever does not accept and receive and welcome the kingdom of God like a little child shall not in any way enter it.  Luke 18:17

We must have faith like a child to enter the Kingdom of God!

Children believe easily.  Take Santa Claus for instance.  Children just believe.

Only Jesus is much different than Santa.  (There really is no comparison, but I realize some people think of Jesus like they do Santa.)

With Santa, the more we learn, the more we start figuring out this Santa thing isn't for real. 

With Christ, the more seek the truth, the more evidence we see, and the more we believe.  I have seen and experienced to much for anyone to convince me Jesus isn't real.  I know Him personally, and if you don't, I'd love to introduce you to Him. 

Children are also innocent and have a purity untainted by the dirt ridden depravity of society.  They are not sinless (Heavens no!), but there is an innocence about them.  God wants us to be childlike

Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy and all evil speaking, like newborn babies you should crave (thirst for, earnestly desire) the pure (unadulterated) spiritual milk, that by it you may be nurtured and grow unto completed salvation.    1 Peter 2:2

However, God does not want us to be childish.  We need to crave the Word of God like a baby craves milk to grow.  When we feed on God's Word, we grow into maturity and stop acting childish. 

What is "childish" behavior?  Well, children can be selfish and think only of themselves, lie, whine, complain, are impatient, can be rude, insist on getting their own way, and throw fits when they are not getting their way.  (Not your children, though, I'm talking about those other children.) 

We do not want to be childish.  We need to drink our milk so we can grow up.  Then, God says then we can have meat or solid food.  I think we can also have coffee then too.  : )

For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.  But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.  Hebrews 5:13-14

"By reason of use have their senses exercised."  We grow by continually feeding on the Word of God and doing the Word to exercise our senses. 

1Corinthians 13: 4-8 explains how Christ-like "love" acts towards others.  In many respects, it is the opposite of childish ways.  Studying this passage will change your life! 

A little further down, verse 11 says: 

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; now that I have become a man, I am done with childish ways and have put them aside. 

Some commentary states that this is referring to the spiritual gifts and how we won't completely understand them in this age, therefore we are like children.  That may be the case, I am no theologian.  And there is no doubt that we are like children compared to the knowledge we will have after the return of Jesus. 

However, I also think it may be referring to our maturity level in Christ and how our love walk correlates to our maturity. 

Reading the word---> walking in love ----> growing/maturing in Christ ---> Becoming more like Jesus.

Being more like Jesus is the goal.  This all started with a cup of coffee this morning.  Even though I don't always feel like a grown-up, I do want to be grown up in Christ.  I believe you do too. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Spider Monkey Syndrome

The way to catch a spider monkey (just in case you ever want to catch one) is to put a nut in a bottle.  The spider monkey will excitedly reach into the bottle and clasp his fist tight around the nut.  The spider monkey is then caught because he will be unable to get his closed fist through the neck of the bottle.  The spider monkey is unwilling to risk losing the nut, hence he will not let go to get free.  All he would have to do to be free is to surrender the nut. 

(I must put in a disclaimer at this point in case anyone from PETA is reading this....I am in no way condoning the capture of spider monkeys and I love animals.) 

Surrender....one of the three words the Lord recently gave me.  In case you are just tuning in, the Lord gave me three prophetic words....Deliverance, Surrender, Revelation.

The last few days, the word "surrender" has been hanging in my thoughts.  What does it truly mean to surrender everything to the Lord?  We sing songs like "I Surrender All", but do we really?  

A week ago pressures came pounding around me like waves relentlessly crashing the shores.   I felt like I was a spider monkey trapped, unable to let go of my nut.  There was no way around it.  (Trust me, I tried to find a way around it...there wasn't one.)

I called my mentor, Debbie, for some guidance. (I adore her!)  After she talked to me and prayed with me, the answer was clear.....Surrender.

Merriam-Webster defines Surrender as to give oneself up unto the power of another.

I surrendered, I gave up trying to do it in my own power and realized that I needed to lean on the Lord.  Dependence on God daily brings peace.  Having to depend more on God is not a bad thing. 

And He (the Lord) said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."  Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake.   For when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Cor 12:9-10.

What in your life do you need to surrender?  God's grace is sufficient.  What are you clasping your fist around tightly unwilling to let go?  What is your "nut"? 

Sometimes hardships or hurts in life can cause our fists to be shut tight.  Fear keeps them shut.  Open hands are vulnerable, to open them would mean surrendering our fears, surrendering our heartaches. 

Sometimes hands are shut tightly around our insecurities.  God wants to pry our sweet fingers open and free us. 

Sometimes hands are shut around sin.  I have heard that some people have "Pet demons".  Lord have mercy, why would anyone want to have one of those for a pet!  All it means is that they have areas of sin in their life that they are unwilling to surrender, they actually like that sin.

Do you have something you are holding onto tightly?  Maybe you want to let go, but are not sure how to let go.

I removed his shoulder from the burden; His hands were delivered from the pots.  Psalms 81:6
(I was so excited when I found this verse....isn't it perfect!)

God will remove our burden, we just have to give it to Him.  We will be delivered when we open our hands and surrender whatever we are holding onto. 

Talk to the Lord, surrender the "nut" to Him.  He will free it from your hands.  We cannot hold onto our "nut" if we want freedom.  Open your hand, lay it at the foot of the cross.   Daily surrender and coming to the Lord with open hands will bring freedom.  




 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My Undone Center

I don't have a funny story to tell this morning.  I don't have an eloquent description to start this post.  All I have is my heart, and a raw look into what lies there within. 

I heard a story recently about someone who made a cake and did not let the cake finish baking.  It looked done on the outside, but the inside was still gooey.  After taking the cake out of the oven, the cake that appeared done moments before fell under the pressure of the undone center. 

This is how we are. 

When the pressures of life come, if our center, our core, is not secure in the Word of God, we too will fall under the pressure of an undone center. 

These past couple of weeks I have been under some pressure.  Nothing even huge, just work pressures.  However, mixed with everything else, they overwhelmed me.

Apparently, my center is not done.  These pressures have shook me, revealed pride in me, caused me to try to manipulate situations for my benefit.  No matter what I did and how I tried to change the situations, nothing I tried worked.  I was not getting my way and my flesh was throwing a not-so-holy fit about it!

My flesh cried This isn't fair, this is not what I want, this is more than I can take. 

God says Be Still....

Be still and know that I am God.  Ps. 46: 10

Yesterday I went to the gym to exercise to pound away some stress on the treadmill.  As I ran, the Lord began to speak to me again.  I had woke up yesterday morning with one thought.....PRAISE.  The Lord reminded me all day long that I need to praise.  While on the treadmill, He reminded me why praise was vital in difficult circumstances.

God reminded me of two stories in the Bible where people were faced with difficult circumstances and how they responded. 

One was the Isrealites, they complained about being in the desert, they complained about the food God gave them, they complained about everything.  I always have thought, how could they act like that after all God did for them......yet, I was acting like the Isrealites last week.  (If you want to read more about them, go to Exodus.)

The other one was David.  David was stuck in the desert too, hiding from a man (whom he loved as a Father) who wanted to kill him.  How did David respond?  David praised the Lord, David continually sought the Lord and encouraged himself in the Lord.  David's faith was in the Lord, and His deliverance.  The book of Psalms is full of David's heart cries to God.  David trusted the Lord. 

Cast your burden on the Lord and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.  Psalms 55:22

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear.  
Ps. 46:1-2


I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me, and heard my cry. 
He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
He has put a new song in my mouth--Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the Lord.  Psalms 40:1-3

When we trust in the Lord, He sets our feet upon a rock.  He establishes our steps.  We need to be purposeful to praise.  


The Isrealites wondered around in the wilderness 40 years because of their wrong heart attitudes and unwillingness to trust God. 


David was delivered from the wilderness because he trusted God and praised in the midst of hardship. 


David had faith, the Isrealites did not. 

Without faith it is impossible to please God.  Heb 11:6


God has much to say about unbelief.  It is the reason the Isrealites wondered around in the wilderness for 40 years and did not enter into the promise land.  Unbelief is also the reason why Jesus couldn't do many works in His hometown.  Jesus was limited to what He could do due to the people's unbelief!  If you don't believe me, go to Matt 13:58.  It is serious. 

I still don't like the situation I am in and my flesh would love to run away from it all, but I know God has a plan.  I do trust Him, and I am willing to do whatever it is He wants me to do.  I know He will help me, He is my ever-present help. 

My center still needs baking....God needed to expose my wrong heart attitudes to the surface so I could turn to Him, the only One who can change my heart.  Some of you are going through situations much more difficult than the one I am facing, I know many who are.  This is nothing compared to what others are facing.  I need to allow God to cook my center, to build it up, make it strong so I will not fall when struggles come.  I need a secure, confident center in the Lord to stand on. 

The Lord recently gave me three words, three prophetic words........ 

Deliverance, Surrender, and Revelation.

Revelation leads to Surrender, Surrender leads to Deliverance.  (I'm not sure why the Lord gave them to me backwards, I'll let you know if He tells me.) 

I am in a time of revelation and surrender, and I know it will lead to deliverance.  I hope you still love me after hearing about all my faults.  : )  I felt led my the Lord to share this, so again I trust it is for a reason. 

Dear Lord, I surrender this situation to you.  I know it is too much for me to handle on my own, but thankfully I am not on my own.  Thankfully, You are with me to help me, to guide me.  You know what I need and I ask you to help me.  Be strong where I am weak, help me be efficient.  Take out things I do not need to be doing and help me by Your Holy Spirit know what I need to do.  Help me to love like you do and have a servant's heart.  I desperately need you, Lord God.  Be my ever-present help.  Nothing is too hard for you. This is nothing for you.  I love you, In Jesus Name.  Amen. 






Friday, August 12, 2011

Hallways of Regret

Last weekend, I went to a play at my old high school.  Nineteen years have passed since I last walked those hallways.

Emotions stirred up in me as I opened the once familiar door.  Ahead was a long hall full of past memorabilia with cases of trophies and plaques covering the walls.  Countless basketball, football, track, tennis team pictures from the 1960's to present lined the hallway.  As I walked a few steps, I saw the band room door that had been where I had spend a majority of my high school years.

High school should be some of the funnest times and happiest memories of childhood.  For me, looking back can be painful. God has healed me and redeemed my past, but memories did haunt me as I stood there in that hallway looking in the gym.  Writing this is even difficult because I don't like looking back. There were some fun times, but the bad decisions I made and the people I hurt overshadow the fun times.

I know, I know...don't regret, you wouldn't be the same person you are today if you hadn't made those mistakes.  Maybe not, but I still regret.  I still wish I would have made better choices.  I know I can't go back and change the past, but I wish I could.

Although, going back in time isn't an option, God is so good and He makes all things new.  We just have to choose to follow Him.  His path leads to restoration.

And they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations.  Isaiah 61:4


It doesn't matter if your family has a history of pain, regret, or shame.  When you received the Lord, you entered into a new family.....a family of hope, healing, life, joy, peace.  God wants you to have a beautiful life, and you have the opportunity to change the history of your family for the generations to follow!  How incredible is that! 

Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, and instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion.  

Therefore in their land they shall possess double; everlasting joy shall be theirs.  For I, the Lord, love justice; 

I hate robbery for sacrifice; I will direct their work in truth, and will make with them an everlasting covenant.  

Their descendants shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people.  

All who see them shall acknowledge them, That they are the posterity whom the Lord has blessed.  Isaiah 61: 7-8


The Lord wants to restore our broken past and rebuild our broken dreams.  When the Lord restores, others notice a difference.  We get a beautiful life and God gets the glory. 

Back to the hallways for a moment.  Everyday we are faced with hallways.  We get to choose which hallway we will go down: 

Hallway of Rebellion:  Rebellion leads to regret.  When we do not follow the Lord, when we choose rebellion and to follow our flesh, we will not like the end result.  Our flesh may like it temporarily and we may feel justified in the moment, but the pain of regret will come. 

The whole book of Isaiah is an example of this....the Isrealites rebelled against the Lord and the Lord pleaded with them to return to Him.  Their rebellion led to their captivity.  Sustained rebellion always leads to captivity.

This past week, I struggled with rebellion.  It was in the area of following authority.  My flesh wanted to do one thing, but the Lord kept whispering rebellion leads to regret.  I wish I could say I did the right thing all the time.  I did listen to the Lord eventually, I am so thankful for His mercy. 

Hallway of Righteousness:  Righteousness has a funny ring to it.  It seems unattainable, but it is ours.  Jesus Christ has made us righteous.  We we rebel we are actually rebelling against who we are in Christ.

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God;

For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness.  ( I love that!)

As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 

For as the earth brings forth its bud, As the garden causes things that are sown in it to spring forth, So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.  
Isaiah 61: 10-11


So, if rebellion leads to regret, what does righteousness lead to?

Righteousness leads to reaching.  When we display the character of Christ, when we act like Christ, we draw others to Him.  When we rebel, we damage our witness.

Everyday we have the opportunity to decide which hallway we will go down.  It doesn't matter where we have walked in the past.  Our past does not determine our destiny.  We are not defined by our past mistakes.  We may regret some of them, but that regret can be turned into restoration.  God takes our old ruins and rebuilds them into something beautiful for Him. 

Which hallway will you choose today?  Do you also have a something in your past that you regret?  Will you give it to the Lord?  He gives us comfort for mourning, beauty for ashes, joy for despair, praise instead of a spirit of heaviness.....will you also let Him give you restoration for regret?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Changes

The long wait was over.  The school lists had finally come in the mail.  Last year was a dream year for my son, Joe.  Two of his best friends were in his class last year, and he was hopeful that this year would be the same.  My eyes gazed down the list, I didn't see his friend's names and I knew he would be disappointed.  However, another one of his good friends was in the class, so maybe the news wouldn't be too disappointing.

Upstairs I went to relay the news.  As I told him, tears welled up in his eyes. I tried to emphasize the positive that his other good friend was in his class, but he was full of disappointment.  We talked about trusting the Lord and about making new friends.  Still...tears.

I can relate to my son.  Disappointment is hard, change is hard.  We like things to stay the same.  If we have something good, we think if it changes, then it will not be as good.  However, when God changes things in our lives, it will always be better for us.  We just have to trust Him.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  Romans 8: 28

Last week I said goodbye to two families that our family dearly loves.  One family were our neighbors.  Richard and Cathy were the kind of neighbors everyone wishes to have....kind, helpful, friendly.  We even met at Disney World one time when we were down there at the same time. They are good friends and we will miss them.  The other family we have been friends with for 13 years.  Paul and Sheryl have always been a blessing to us.  They are moving to Japan today!  Some other dear friends, Matt and Megan, are getting ready to move to California. 

I cried saying goodbye to my friends.  My sweet daughter said to me, "Mommy, don't cry, it will be ok."  She is right, but we will miss them. 

In a world where change is inevitable, it is comforting to know there is One who never changes.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.  Hebrews 13:8

You may be going through a situation that is even more life altering such as a loss of a loved one or job loss. Take comfort that our Savior never changes, He is always with us and always there. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Ultimate Multitasker

"Mommy, can you get me some more milk please." " Mommy, can  you please get me some ketcup."  "Mom, may I please have some lemonade." (I added the "please" in there so you would think my kids were always very polite.  They do pretty well, but it would be untruthful for me to say they always say please. ) : )

Above is a typical dialoge that happens at our home about lunch time.  Each question is usually asked back to back by all three kids simultaneously.    Following this series of questioning,  I would probably say in a gentle voice something along the lines of, " Mommy is one person and I am trying the best I can.  I will get it in a minute." 

I can prove evolution is not true just by looking at moms.  If the theory of evolution had any merit, moms would have at least 5 arms by now.  Wala, I have disproved evolution and I am not even a scientist!

We have limits.  Even the most efficient multi-tasker mom cannot do everything all at once.   On the other hand, our God is not bound by those same limits.  HE is the ultimate multitasker!  The other day I wrote about how God is not limited to only blessing one of His children at a time.  God is not limited by time, distance, space, or resources.  His basket He has to draw from is infinite.  There is no end, there is no beginning, there is no here or there.

Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.  Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from Everlasting to everlasting, You are God.  Psalms 90: 1
 

We cannot grasp the concept of omniscience, omnipotence, or omnipresence in our finite minds.   Comprehending who God is and how He can be everywhere at once and do everything at once does not register with us.  How could it when we cannot even get our 3 kids 3 different things all at the same time?  Or have you ever had all your kids trying to speak to you at once!  It is impossible for us to listen to all of them at the same time, yet God can listen to our prayers, our thoughts, and answer us all at the same time!  WOW!  He is amazing! 

God is doing so much around us and we are not even aware of all that He is doing.  When at the women's conference I attended a couple weeks ago, it amazed me to see all God was doing.  He had so many different women working on books, speaking and teaching for Him.    He was at work and that conference was just a miniscle example of all He is doing on the earth.  God wants to use all of us for His purposes and His glory.  It is a big earth and He wants to use you to reach others for Him.   All He needs is a willing and obedient heart.  

O Lord, You have searched me and known me.  
You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.  
You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. 
For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold you know it altogether.  
You have hedged me behind and before, and laid You hand upon me. 
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it. 
Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in sheol, behold, You are there;
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there You had shall lead me.  And Your right hand shall hold me.  Psalms 139: 1-10

The next time you are overwhelmed with your to-do list or wish you had 5 arms, remember our God is greater, He is our ever-present helper.  He is the Ultimate Multitasker!  

Oh Lord, I am so thankful You never leave us.  Thank you, Lord, that nothing is too hard for you.  Thank you for always being with us and always being where we are.  You are always faithful and are well able to care for all of Your children.  You are great, Oh Lord, Your works are marvelous and wonderful.  Thank you for all You do for us and for loving us so much.  We are but vapors, yet, You love us beyond measure.  We praise Your Holy Name, forever. 
 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sweet Rewards

The room was full of anticipation.  It was the last night of Vacation Bible School (a.k.a. Summer Adventure Nights at our church).  This was the night of the big drawing to see who would win the two prizes.  About 150 kids waited with great expectation at the chance to hear their names called out.  The first prize was a night at Zuma, a local video arcade and fun center and the second prize was a 5 lb Hershey bar. 

Pastor Doug reached his hand into the pile of names and drew out a piece of paper.  The room that had been flooded with laughter, shouts, and conversation was now still with quiet hope.  Then, with all eyes wide looking at the paper-filled basket of names, the winner of the HUGE 5 lb candy bar was announced....LUKE MOLITOR.

The room erupted with claps, however, the one most excited was not Luke, but his brother Joe.   Joe leaped out of his seat, fist in the air, face red with joy.  Joe shouted to Luke, "Luke, you won, Luke you won!"   You would have thought he had won!

Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.  Romans 12:15

Just to give you some perspective on this candy bar, it is literally the size of a small child.  It is huge and thick, 5 lbs is quite a bit of chocolate.  Below is a picture of the monster bar. 



(This picture is a picture of Joe with the 5 lb bar he won at Easter time--we didn't take a picture of Luke with his bar.  I just wanted to include this picture so you could see get a picture of this candy monstrosity.)

I wish I could say my child is a saint and he was just happy for Luke.  Joe has admitted that he was partly excited for Luke and partly excited because he knew he would be getting some of the giant chocolate sweetness.  Either way, my heart was blessed to see him happy for his brother. 

It pleases the Lord when we are happy for our brothers and sisters in Christ when they are blessed.  I believe it opens the door in our life for more blessings.  It is similar for us as parents.  If your kids respond well when you give a gift to one of their siblings, doesn't it make your heart glad?  Doesn't it make you also want to bless them as well?

We all need to be like Joe, excited when we see our friends blessed.  Too many times, we compare our blessings with what others have been given. 

My friend, Amy, is the one who told me about Joe's reaction.  Then, she suggested I should write about it.  She said when others are blessed, we can rejoice with them because God is no respector of persons (James 1:9) What God does for one, he can also do for another.  God's blessings never run out!  His candy bar is infinite.  We shouldn't be jealous, but rather, rejoice believing that what God did for one, He can do for us also! 

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will you Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!  Matt 7:11







We need to be sure we are in relationship with the Lord and ask Him for what we need and for our desires.  We need to ask with a pure heart and a willingness to let the Lord say no if it is not best for us.  There are some instances when we can KNOW the Lord's will for us as stated in His Word.  There are other times when we cannot know and we just have to trust in His goodness and faithfulness to give us His best.

Of course, it may not be God's will to give us exactly the same gift He gives someone else.  He will always give us what is best for us.  God knows what will be good for us and what will hurt us.  He doesn't give us anything that will hurt us unless we are relentless about it.  Then, He might.  An example of this is the Isrealites in the bible, He gave into their request for a king because they insisted continually.   It was not God's best for them.  So, be careful about what you are asking God for, it might not be best for you. 


God's plan for us is always for good and never for evil (Jeremiah 29:11).  We can rejoice when others are blessed knowing we serve a good God and He loves us infinitely.  Next time someone you know is blessed, don't be jealous, be glad knowing that you too get to share in the blessings.  Leap out of your seat, with your fist in the air, shouting with joy for your friend.  You too will get some of that giant chocolate sweetness! 
 
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