It is GOD who BLESSES and TRANSFORMS...

This is a blog for women who:

(1) Desire to be transformed by JESUS' LOVE, HOLINESS, AND GRACE; (2) Believe that GOD'S WORD is the true Spirit food for HIS HOLY SPIRIT who lives within us; (3) Submit to GOD and walk this journey of life with HIM transforming us more and more into HIS likeness.

It's a blog about the POWER OF TRANSFORMED LIVES. Let's begin with yours and mine and pass it on... 1 + 1 + 1...

Since God's Holy Spirit lives inside a christian, let's choose to be nurtured and transformed by feasting daily on Holy Spirit food - God's Word - The Holy Bible..

Once in a while I take a hiatus from writing, but I have begun again on Easter Sunday 2013. Usually, there will be multiple blog postings each week. You are invited to use it as part of your daily quiet time. Topics may run for several months at a time. The current topic is posted over on the right side bar. Each week, I will try to connect to a song or two that goes with our current topic.

Each day of the week follows a special format: Sunday in the Son; Meditation Monday; GratiTuesday; Women in the Word Wednesday; Transforming Thursday; Family Fellowship Friday; and, Ketchup and Mustard Saturday.

There's a whole lot here! Take your time to browse. Please come back and visit often. Welcome!

Because of Jesus, we can be family,

Patti



TRANSFORMED MOMS:MOMS TRANSFORMED

Romans 12:1-2 "Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."

Monday, March 30, 2009

YOU ARE GOD ALONE...YOU ARE GOOD ALL THE TIME



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Kimball Matkins...
  • a friend to so many who read this blog
  • an ultra encourager
  • an elder, deacon, unofficial youth minister, Bible school teacher
  • on the board of a christian academy
  • York College director of financial aid
  • always wanting to stretch, grow, improve

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Kimball lost his battle a few days ago with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). Thank you, God, for putting him in our lives!


Kimball (1955-2009) loved people to know that he believed that no matter what the circumstances, GIGATTAATTGIG! Kimball lost his first wife, Debbie, seven months after finding out that she had cancer in 1999. Left with two young adult children, Kimball eventually remarried Melinda and became a father to her three young boys. Then, in 2006 Kimball was diagnosed with ALS. Despite his weakened state, he was a constant source of encouragement to family, church, friends, co-workers, and to those who heard him speak in church and college assemblies. Kimball will long be remembered for his joyful spirit, his love of hugs, his willingness to serve others, and his passion for God. Last year, speaking at a chapel assembly at York College where, he said, “It’s not about you”. He reminded the students about God’s purpose for their lives even when it looks like He’s not there. And as he said on a daily basis, “God is good… all the time.”
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I find it extremely inspirational that this friend of mine and Steve's, who we have known since 1975, lived by the words: God Is Good All The Time And All The Time God Is Good. Kimball headed HOME within 24 hours after I started the new blog: http://GIGATTAATTGIG.blogspot.com
His life will remain a testimony to just that!

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Hebrews 12:1-3
"Do you see what this means —
all these pioneers who blazed the way,
all these veterans cheering us on?
It means we'd better get on with it.
Strip down, start running — and never quit!
No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins.
Keep your eyes on Jesus,
who both began and finished this race we're in.
Study how He did it.
Because He never lost sight of where He was headed —
that exhilarating finish in and with God —
He could put up with anything along the way:
  • cross,
  • shame,
  • whatever.

And now He's there, in the place of honor,

right alongside God.

When you find yourselves flagging in your faith,

go over that story again, item by item,

that long litany of hostility He plowed through.

That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!"

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(from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.)

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You may see more about Kimball at http://www.york.edu/ (Finishing the Race!_

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YOU ARE GOD ALONE...PECULIAR...

MEDITATION MONDAY
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What an inspirational theme song! YOU ARE GOD ALONE!
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Yesterday morning I was so very encouraged. I love how the Holy Spirit works to tie Bible classes with sermons, with songs, with communion thoughts when none of them were orchestrated by human design. It happened again yesterday!
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Our two preachers/ministers, Dan Cooper and my husband, Steve, have been doing a follow-up series to the movie FIREPROOF after our congregation viewed the movie. Yesterday, Steve's topic was BREAKING FREE.
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As I listened to Steve speak, my mind went to some verses that I had learned as a child. One of them:

Titus 2:13-14

"...our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Who gave Himself for us,
that He might redeem us from all iniquity,
and purify unto Himself a peculiar people,
zealous of good works.
These things speak, and exhort,

and rebuke with all authority.
Let no man despise thee."
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The thought of God wanting me to be "peculiar" while letting "no man despise me" was quite alot for a young christian to think about. I think I focused, then, on those two parts so much that I missed the rest of the message, as a young christian. Yet, there we sat yesterday morning openly talking about purity and lust. Now, I would venture to say that most people would think that was pretty peculiar!
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I will refrain from showing you the peculiar pictures that Steve started his lesson with - pictures of PARASITES! Ugh! They were gross! Pinworms alone can produce 200,000 eggs a day. In the movie, FIREPROOF, the main star Caleb has parasites eating away at him... particularly the parasite of lust... pornography....
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Steve challenged us to break free from the parasites that we have in our lives. He used several scriptures, but the one I would like for us to meditate on here is Hebrews 12:1-3:
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Therefore, since we have
so great a cloud of witnesses
surrounding us,
let us also lay aside every encumbrance,
and the sin which so easily entangles us,
and let us run with endurance the race
that is set before us,
fixing our eyes on Jesus,
the Author and Perfecter of faith,
who for the joy set before Him
endured the cross,
despising the shame,
and has sat down at the right hand
of the throne of God.
For consider Him who has endured
such hostility by sinners against Himself,
so that you may not grow weary and lose heart."
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MEDITATION THOUGHTS:

We can be "entangled" by parasites like gambling, drugs, alcohol, pornography, food, shopping... anything that takes our focus away from what's important. When we are "entangled" it is because we have a great desire or lust for those things. Yet, we can also crave or lust after good things! The word lust (epithumia) is used three times in the New Testament as “good desire”: Luke 22:15, Philippians 1:23, and I Thessalonians 2:17.
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Jesus told us in His 4th Be-attitude,
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“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst
for RIGHTEOUSNESS, for they will be satisfied!”
Then, in the 6th Be-Attitude, He says,
“Blessed are the PURE IN HEART,
for they shall see God.”
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Hebrews 12:1-3 tells us,
1. That there are a “cloud of witnesses” who have finished this journey of life victoriously… they are watching….cheering us on…
2. To get rid of the parasites that are weighing us down…encumbering and entangling us…
3. To run the race in the journey of life with perseverance… endurance
4. To fix our eyes on Jesus, the author of our faith….

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What if we broke away from bad lust and pursued holiness via good lust. Consider keeping your head in this cloud:



NOTE: Last week, Steve and I had a friend who joined that "great cloud of witnesses". Please come back tomorrow to learn a little more about why our friend was connected with GIGATTAATTGIG!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

YOU ARE GOD ALONE

SUNDAY IN THE SON

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I used to own a business that sold christian products to christian bookstores, gift shops, and other stores. It was not uncommon for gift shop and store owners to ask me if my products could just have God on them "and take off that Jesus stuff!" Excuse me! Jesus is God! He got crucified for claiming it! He says that we will be persecuted when we claim it and follow Him!

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"My sheep listen to My voice;

I know them, and they follow Me.

I give them eternal life,

and they shall never perish;

no one can snatch them out of My hand.

My Father, Who has given them to Me,

is greater than all;

no one can snatch them out of My Father's hand.

I and the Father are ONE."


Again the Jews picked up stones to stone Him..."

John 10:27-32

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"Blessed are those who are persecuted

because of righteousness,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Matthew 5:10

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YOU ARE GOD ALONE lyrics

Sung by: Phillips, Craig, and Dean

1.

You are not a god created by human hands

You are not a god dependant on any mortal man

You are not a god in need of anything we can give

By Your plan, that’s just the way it is

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SING VERSE ONE AGAIN

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CHORUS:

You are God alone

From before time began

You were on Your throne

You are God alone

And right now

In the good times and bad

You are on Your throne

You are God alone

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2.

You’re the only God

Whose power none can contend

You’re the only God

Whose name and praise will never end

You’re the only God

Who’s worthy of everything we can give

You are God

And that’s just the way it is

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SING CHORUS AGAIN

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BRIDGE:

Unchangeable

Unshakable

Unstoppable

That’s what You are

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SING BRIDGE AGAIN

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SING CHORUS AGAIN

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SING BRIDGE AGAIN

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

EAST TO WEST - IT'S A TEST

Do we really believe what Jesus said about being blessed? He talked about the attitudes of the heart that lead to blessings...living the blessed life. Are you ready to put on this t-shirt and have it be a mantra for you? Maybe your answer is that this series of posts, over the last few months, has helped you to see what Jesus is talking about. Great! Then, I invite you to join me in the journey. Maybe you're just joining us and you're curious. Great! Come back and join us each day. There are also many posts, on this blog since last summer, that address this idea of THE BLESSED LIFE...
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I'm sure each one of us would love to also have this be stamped on our hearts:
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We shared a little this week about Jesus' 7th be-attitude, which is all part of this transformation process: BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS, FOR THEY SHALL BE CALLED THE SONS (DAUGHTERS) OF GOD.
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What I have seen over and over again, is that when people can't figure something out in their life OR things are just way too hard OR tragedy strikes, then they decide "there must not be a God".
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I hear God's name used alot in conversations. One person will say how they've had something go wrong in their life and use God's name in vain as an expletive. Then, the person responding will affirm that person by using more expletives.
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I am here to say that, "Life is hard, but God is good." I wish that I would have understood more at an earlier age the concept of "life is a journey...a test...". It's a trust walk! It's a faith journey! It's a time for each person to get to:
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KNOW PEACE...KNOW JESUS
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That's why two weeks ago I started the Facebook group, GIGATTAATTGIG.
That's why this week I started the blog:
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Thanks for stopping by on this KETCHUP AND MUSTARD SATURDAY! I loved the meal together. Enjoy the drink as you go next door to visit my new blog!

http://GIGATTAATTGIG.blogspot.com

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Friday, March 27, 2009

EAST TO WEST...I LOVE YOU BEST!


Today I would like to share three things that, if you are not doing, will enhance the peacemaking in your family.
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1. LOOK ME IN THE EYE! This amazing tree certainly gave me a shock, once I realized that there were eyes staring out at me. Actually, I want this tree to be a reminder to you of something that is VERY IMPORTANT in your family dynamic.




Take time to look each other in the eyes. Teach these practices /courtesies to your children:

  • When you are having a discussion, give eye contact.
  • When you need someone's attention, make sure you have made eye contact before you start talking.
  • When you are disciplining your child, make sure there is eye contact..."Look at me, please!"
  • When two siblings are arguing, sit them down, knee to knee and eye to eye and give them alternate "one minute times to talk"... lovingly insist that the knees and eyes continue to meet.

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Do you know what happens? There are more people who feel listened to, affirmed, and loved. Often, being proactive in making eye contact will be the best way to "keep the peace." The "eyes" have it...BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS!!!

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2. HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE ME? When your children are little, be sure and play this "one minute manager" game often:

  • Mommy says, "Let's play the HOW MUCH game!"
  • Child says, "How much do you love me? As far as the north (up) is from the south (down)?" stretching arms up and down.
  • Mommy answers, "No! I love you more than from the east (right) to the west (left)!" stretching arms way out from right to left and then ending up in a bear hug with the child.

Purpose: Teachable moments can follow this activity after you and your child embrace. You can then talk and/or hold him/her.

  • Start early teaching the child about the great love of Jesus...that He stretched His arms out "as far as the east is from the west" and died for us.
  • Talking about Directional concepts are some of the most difficult for children to learn. You will forever be thankful that your child understands north, south, east, west, AND WHO created it all!

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3. HELD! When we're at our weakest, we need a peacemaker who gives more than a handshake...we need to be held... Before watching this video, please go to the playlist and scroll down to the last song, HELD, by Natalie Grant. Listen to her tell why she wrote this song...then watch the video.

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No peace? No Jesus! Know peace? Know Jesus!

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BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS,

FOR THEY SHALL BE CALLED THE SONS OF GOD!

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HELD by Natalie Grant
Two months is too little ... They let him go
They had no sudden healing ... To think that providence
Would take a child from his mother...While she prays, is appalling
Who told us we'd be rescued ... What has changed and
Why should we be saved from nightmares
We're asking why this happens to us
Who have died to live, it's unfair
This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was when everything fell -We'd be held
This hand is bitterness ... We want to taste it and
Let the hatred numb our sorrows
The wise hand opens slowly
To lilies of the valley and tomorrow
This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was when everything fell
We'd be held
If hope is born of suffering ... If this is only the beginning
Can we not wait, for one hour ... Watching for our savior
This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was when everything fell
We'd be held
[Repeat Chorus]
This is what it means to be held
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

EAST TO WEST - BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS...









TRANSFORMING THURSDAY
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Jesus begins His "Sermon on the Mount" by explaining what "The Blessed Life" looks like. This life is for those who make a decision that they want to improve...to change...to transform...
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I have some one and two word descriptions that I use to remind me what this transformation looks like. Here they are from be-attitude #1 through #7:
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  1. Selfless
  2. Sinner to sinless
  3. Submissive

  4. Satisfied with righteousness

  5. Empathy, not sympathy
  6. Spiritual
  7. Extending salvation
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There are many other conversations that we could have about Jesus' be-attitudes, but for today, please think about the pictures and the seven words above and how they build on each other. When I get to Be-attitude #7: "Blessed are the peacemakers...", it makes me think of a little saying that I have seen several times:
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NO JESUS?

NO PEACE!

KNOW JESUS?

KNOW PEACE!
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If we make every effort to live Be-attitudes 1-6, then Be-attitude 7 comes much easier. Jesus is the Prince of Peace and is described by many names that articulate the peace process. We would do well for many of these names to be descriptions of us as we pursue peace

  • Advocate
  • Branch
  • Counselor
  • Desired of all nations
  • Eternal Life
  • Faithful
  • God and Savior
  • High Priest
  • Immanuel ('God with us")
  • Just One
  • King over the whole earth
  • Lamb
  • Mediator...

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EAST TO WEST...GIVING EVERYTHING TO BE A PEACEMAKER...


"Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God."
Matthew 5:9

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"Then Jesus said to his disciples,
"If anyone would come after me,
he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for me will find it."
Matthew 16:24-26
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"Who will rescue me from this body of death?
Thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ our Lord! "
Romans 7:24-25
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Jesus came to the earth to make peace between us and His father. He offered to do whatever it took to rescue us from a hopeless state of affairs. Shouldn't we in turn sacrifice our time, money, talents, and even our lives to bring eternal peace to the lives of others?
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Today, join me in memorizing one of the scriptures from the WORD of GOD that are written above and watch this inspirational video clip as we think about BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

EAST TO WEST...JESUS GIVES US A STORY TO TELL...


Yesterday, I posted late in the day about the different "AHA MOMENTS" that many experienced as a result of the women's retreat at Cape May this weekend entitled TOO BLESSED TO BE STRESSED (a study of the be-attitudes). I am so grateful that Jesus gives us stories to tell via "Aha Moments" and "Personal Testimonies". If you have not had an opportunity to read the "Aha's!" that I posted yesterday, please take time to do so by scrolling down to the post below. You will be grateful that you did.
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We ended the retreat by sharing our cardboard testimonies. It was powerful! Although we did not capture it on video. You can find the video that we watched beforehand at www.rhchurch.org or you can just google CARDBOARD TESTIMONIES and be inspired by many different shared videos.
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I am grateful that IN CHRIST we have powerful stories to tell!
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GIGATTAATTGIG!

Monday, March 23, 2009

EAST TO WEST...WE SHARED WHAT WE LEARNED BEST...

MEDITATION MONDAY
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I so wanted to post earlier in the day but my teaching job needed my focus until now. What a wonderful, inspiring women's retreat I was a part of this weekend at Cape May, NJ. Before we left yesterday, we did two things. One I'll share with you today and one tomorrow.
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Our weekend theme was "Too Blessed to Be Stressed ", a study of the Be-attitudes. We each wrote an "Aha! Moment or Thought" at the end of each session and then I collected written ones and many came up to me afterwards and said, "Here's one more AHA!" Since we are also talking about the be-attitudes on this blog, I think it would be appropriate to share some of the "Aha's!" that were given to me. If you were not at the retreat and you would like me to expound on any of these, then just leave a comment as to which one(s). Enjoy meditating on one or all of them:
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BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT...
  • AHA 1: "It's all about Jesus, not about us!"
  • AHA 2: "My poor in spirit needed force feeding!"
  • AHA 3: "It takes me pouring myself out at Jesus feet."

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BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO MOURN...

  • AHA 1: "Mourning applies to my sin...my comfort is God's forgiveness..."
  • AHA 2: "I am guilty of not taking sin seriously. I don't mourn over it like I should. I'm too quick to gloss over or excuse sin in my life and others."
  • AHA 3: "Never connected mourning to mourning over (ours and others) sin. I love this perspective. Do we really hate sin enough to really mourn over it? Valuable reminder..."

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BLESSED ARE THE MEEK...

  • AHA 1: "The thought of helplessness...not anymore!" (Meek does not mean weak!)
  • AHA 2: "I am stressed when I focus on the physical and I am blessed when I focus on the spiritual. I need to keep my focus on God and let Him be in control!"
  • AHA 3: "Even though I always knew that 'God is in control'...It has been made much clearer that 'God IS in control!'"

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BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HUNGER AND THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS...

  • AHA 1: "How long do I go without spiritual food? Can my family tell?"
  • AHA 2: "If you hunger and thirst...you are looking desperately to be filled."
  • AHA 3: "I want to crave to be around righteousness...my church family, God's word, Bible study, devotionals..."

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BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFUL...

  • AHA 1: "Mercy is not sympathy, it's empathy!"
  • AHA 2: "I need to reach out to our families with special needs more!"
  • AHA 3: "To be known is to be loved; to be loved is to be known!" (warts and all!)
  • AHA 4: "Love covers a multitude of sins!"

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BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART...

  • AHA 1: "Purity is so important to God!"
  • AHA 2: "How do we become pure? I think of struggling with food related health issues. I had to go back to whole foods...foods that were (as my son says) 'the way God made them.' He's 8 and he can explain purity!"
  • AHA 3: "What comes out of the mouth comes from the heart...understanding the unity of the two helps me understand the awesomeness of Jesus!"
  • AHA 4: "I need a heart transplant! Jesus' heart...not mine!"

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BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS...

  • AHA 1: "I've never thought of the different sides of peacemaking!"
  • AHA 2: "Give a cup of water or a bowl of chicken soup in Jesus' name!"
  • AHA 3: "Just like Jesus was the wounded healer, we can help people make their peace..."

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BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO ARE PERSECUTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS SAKE...

  • AHA 1: "Without testing, there is no testimony!"
  • AHA 2: "We are the body of Christ but often the persecution comes from inside the body just like a cancer."
  • AHA 3: "Wisdom to know whether or not it's the right thing that I am standing for OR to know to say, "It's not right! It's not wrong! It's just different!"

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BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO REJOICE WHEN PERSECUTED AND LIED ABOUT...

  • AHA 1: "Without testing, there is no testimony!"
  • AHA 2: "I thought that I was a spiritual person until I realized that when my life doesn't go my way I curse before I count my blessings!" (What do you do when you get squeezed?)
  • AHA 3: "Smiling, singing, suffering servant slave!"
  • AHA 4: "2 Chronicles 20 - God told the people to sing and He would fight the battle."

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OTHER AHA'S OVER ALL THE BEATTITUDES AND "SALT" AND "LIGHT" VERSES FOLLOWING:

  • AHA 1: "I have not been seeing the 'big brother Jesus' traits in my family members. I am going to start looking for them and claiming those qualities about them."
  • AHA 2: "I need to listen to God more. After I do that, everything will be better...seek the kingdom first..."
  • AHA 3: "Continue to allow Jesus to transform me through the be-attitudes...then I will be salt and light..."
  • AHA 4: "Christians don't grow fruit...the Holy Spirit does!"
  • AHA 5: "Although we are different with different needs, we each have something to contribute that can be beneficial spiritually."
  • AHA 6: "I must keep praying and never give up!"
  • AHA 7: "We have to keep working through our stresses, keep putting one foot before the other."
  • AHA 8: "Count your blessings, not your troubles!"

Sunday, March 22, 2009

EAST TO WEST

SUNDAY IN THE SON

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Scripture tells us that "...all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." True peace comes only from being in relationship with God. Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace! It is through Him and Him alone that we can be reconciled to God and be accepted as if we have never sinned.
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I sit here at Cape May, NJ at the tip of South Jersey, the southernmost tip of the peninsula. We are where the Delaware River meets the Atlantic Ocean. Yesterday evening, the sun set in the west as some looked out over the Delaware River. This morning, I will look to the east out of my hotel room window as the sun peeks up over the waves of the Atlantic. I will once again marvel at the vastness of territory that the sun shines on in a 24 hour period - from the east to the west.
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Then, I remember the Prince of Peace...my LORD and SAVIOR...my big brother... Jesus Christ knows quite well just how far the east is from the west...how far His forgiveness extends...from one nail scarred hand to the other...
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BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS,
FOR THEY WILL BE CALLED SONS OF GOD...
Matthew 5:9
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East To West lyrics

Here I am, Lord, and I'm drowning
in your sea of forgetfulness
The chains of yesterday surround me
I yearn for peace and rest
I don't want to end up where You found me
And it echoes in my mind, keeps me awake tonight...
I know You've cast my sin
as far as the east is from the west.
And I stand before You now as though I've never sinned
But today I feel like I'm just one mistake away
from You leaving me this way
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Jesus, can You show me
just how far the east is from the west
'cause I can't bear to see the man I've been
come rising up in me again
In the arms of Your mercy I find rest
'cause You know just how far the east is from the west
From one scarred hand to the other
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I start the day, the war begins,
endless reminding of my sin
Time and time again
Your truth is drowned out by the storm I'm in
Today I feel like I'm just one mistake away
from You leaving me this way
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I know You've washed me white,
turned my darkness into light
I need Your peace to get me through,
to get me through this night
I can't live by what I feel,
but by the truth Your word reveals
I'm not holding on to You,
but You're holding on to me
You're holding on to me
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Jesus, You know
just how far the east is from the west
I don't have to see the man I've been
come rising up in me again
In the arms of Your mercy I find rest
'cause You know just how far the east is from the west
From one scarred hand to the other
One scarred hand to the other
From one scarred hand to the other
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Saturday, March 21, 2009

TOO BLESSED TO BE STRESSED?!?!?!?!!!!


Welcome to a really big
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Ketchup and Mustard Saturday!


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It's time for some January through March
CATCH-UP and MUST DO!
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Today and tomorrow I am speaking at a women's retreat at the La Mer Beachfront Inn, Cape May, NJ (just look at the bottom point of the peninsula triangle of New Jersey to find us). Pray for us, as we pray for you, and let's spend some time together talking about all the beatitudes (which I prefer to spell 'be-attitudes').
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Jesus took the form of a baby and came to live on the earth. During the short 33 years that He lived on this planet, he did a lot of teaching. God, the Father...God, the Son...and God, the Holy Spirit had designed earth to be a blessing to all involved. Over the years, mankind had a lot of difficulty understanding how to lead a life of blessing. So, one day, Jesus taught His disciples about what a blessed life would look like. Many scholars believe that this is the place where Christ's Sermon on the Mount happened.
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The remainder of this post will be a summary of what we've covered so far this year on this blog and a peak at where we are going as we continue to discuss the Sermon on the Mount....specifically the Be-attitudes.

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1.
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BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT FOR THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN...

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At some point, each of us must learn that "life is not all about me...it's about God..." We change from selfish to SELFLESS.
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2.
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BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO MOURN, FOR THEY SHALL BE COMFORTED...





We mourn...we cry out...we weep...we wail... We are convicted as to how wrong (sinful) we have been and we know we must change. We are so sorry about our condition and the condition of our world. We confess that Jesus is LORD and that we want to live with Him.
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At some point, we must change from sinful to SINLESS..each of us must confess Jesus...trust and obey Him...because He is the only reason anyone will be saved.
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3.
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BLESSED ARE THE MEEK, FOR THEY SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH...
My July 26, 2008 post was about this horse and it's blood line...strong, powerful, "wild" horses who were made gentle under their master's control and then became champions. Meek does not mean weak but "power under control" as these six white horses display. Just like the horses, we must change from stubborn to SUBMISSIVE .
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4.
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BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HUNGER AND THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS, FOR THEY SHALL BE FILLED.
Seeking to learn, to be taught and trained is necessary for understanding and growth in righteous living. We must daily seek God, in order to be SATISFIED.
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5.
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BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFUL, FOR THEY SHALL BE COMFORTED...
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When Jesus reached out to the Samaritan woman at the well it was because He extended her mercy and grace. In so doing, He gave her hope. He did not just have sympathy but EMPATHY. We must do the same. Play this video to find out what the woman at the well might have said or thought.
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6.
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BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART, FOR THEY SHALL SEE GOD...



It takes time growing as a christian. God says that He does not look on us like others do. Man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the spiritual heart. Our hearts must become single focused...on God. We have a heart transplant...a transformation from worldly to SPIRITUAL.

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7.
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BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS, FOR THEY WILL BE CALLED SONS OF GOD...
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We reach out to others , teaching them how to make peace with their God. . We want others to have a right relationship with God. We go from being saved to sharing SALVATION with others. Play this video to view the gospel story!





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8.
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BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO ARE PERSECUTED BECAUSE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, FOR THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. .
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9.
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REJOICE AND BE GLAD, BECAUSE GREAT IS YOUR REWARD IN HEAVEN...
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This past week on my FB email, I got this note from my prayer warrior friend who articulates the last two Beattitudes well.
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"I awakened quite early this morning...your family...on my mind. At first I pleaded with God, asking Him to deliver...from this suffering. There are times when intercession seems so labored; this was such a time.
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God then brought to mind scripture from II Chronicles 20 which I read over the weekend. I am struck by the fact that on the verge of battle King Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and praise Him " for the splendor of His holiness." As the men began to sing God intervened and won a great victory for Judah.
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Alone in my bed this morning I began to sing unto the Lord and worship Him. These precious words are from verse 12, "For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you." And, in verse 15 we read this, "Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's."
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Thank you, Missy! The Holy Spirit just keeps working through you.
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Please join me the next six weeks as we complete Be-attitudes 7, 8, and 9. I hope you see your life being blessed as you attempt to flesh out these teachings.
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Friday, March 20, 2009

SLOW FADE? PROTECT OUR FAMILIES...

FAMILY FELLOWSHIP FRIDAY

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God is holy! He hates sin! Yet, it's all around us. We must encourage purity in our families...teach it to our children.

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"Blessed are the pure in heart,

for they shall see God..."

Matthew 5:8

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We are in a huge spiritual battle. Of course, there is nothing than satan wants more than the souls of our children. Yet, the lures and bait are everywhere. I teach at a University...I see it and here it. I supervise student teachers in the schools...I see it and hear it. I live life in and around the community...yes, unholiness and impurity of spirit are rampant. My heart aches for our young people in this information bombarded age. How do we protect our families? Here are a few things that I would like to submit to you. If you have others, please leave a comment and let us know.

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  1. Fix our eyes on Jesus...teach and model His love...

  2. Put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6)

  3. Build strong relationships within the family unit filled with intimacy (IN-TO-ME-SEE)

  4. Teach holiness and purity in the home from a very early age.

  5. Buy a TV Guardian filter www.tvguardian.com

  6. Buy the Bsafe program for computers for internet protection from pornography and other horrible influences www.bsafehome.com

  7. Set other strong controls on TV's and computers such as time limits and cable settings...

  8. Watch movies like FIREPROOF together and discuss some of the teachings and quotes..."Fireproof doesn't mean that a fire will never come but when it comes you will be able to withstand it."

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I'm praying for you!

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Spend lots of time in quality FAMILY FELLOWSHIP!




Thursday, March 19, 2009

SLOW FADE? NO! I'M IN THE LIGHT...I'M IN CHRIST...


TRANSFORMING THURSDAY

Grrrrrr....I stood in light...sunlight...sunshine... It's my spring break and I'm trying to get alot done...you know...spring cleaning, organization, phoning, paying, faxing, blogging, preparing, praying, waiting, praying, waiting...
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It seems that whatever the theme on this blog is for the week...God teaches me something about it the hard way. It seems whatever I am asked to teach...God gives me a lesson about the topic the hard way.
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  • This week's blog theme: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."
  • This week's lesson preparations: Four lessons that I am to present as the speaker for the Collingswood church of Christ, Collingswood, NJ ladies retreat this weekend: "Too Blessed to be Stressed!"
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Oh, sigh! I knew my refrigerator, my white ceramic tile floor, sink, and stove needed some extra TLC. Tuesday night I got most of it finished. In fact, I also reorganized the front closet while I was at it. I was feeling pretty good!
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Yesterday morning I did mountains of laundry, made phone calls to Jessica's doctors, worked on some things for this weekend...time was going by way too quickly...
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By mid-afternoon, I ran down to change one last load of laundry and then headed to the kitchen to get something to drink. I was horrified at what I saw. The new found sun was streaming in my westward kitchen window. All I could see was dirt! What? I had worked so hard the night before! Instead of everything looking nice and shiny, it seemed dingy and in need of even more TLC!
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For the next two hours, I scrubbed...I hosed down...I polished... Then I looked at the clock...I was late to tutor Brianna! I could only think about how much I still needed to get done. I could spend the rest of my spring break just on this room! The sunlight had brought alot of unexpected stress to my plans. In fact, it is now obvious that there is no amount of cleaning that is going to make my kitchen perfect.
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Jesus began each beatitude in His sermon on the mount with "Blessed are..." This week we are talking about "Blessed are the pure in heart..." I think of the sun shining on my kitchen and I can transfer the concept to Jesus' life on earth outshining mine to such a degree that He exposes all my impurities. Thinking about that for very long can leave me feeling pretty stressed!
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Yet, if I choose to ponder scripture OR count my blessings...my thoughts are TRANSFORMED! I really need to remember that IN CHRIST, I am way too blessed to be stressed! The next time anxiety, worry, or negative self talk begin to raise their ugly heads, I will count my blessings IN CHRIST! It's TRANSFORMING! You see, He has no condemning words for me because in His eyes I am already spotless...pure. Thank You, Jesus!
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Romans 8:1
"There is therefore now
no condemnation
for those who are in Christ Jesus."
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AND
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Titus 2:11-14
"...our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus;
who gave Himself for us,
that He might redeem us
from every lawless deed
and purify for Himself a people
for His own possession,
zealous for good deeds."
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AND
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Phil 4:4-20
"Rejoice in the Lord always;
again I will say, rejoice!
Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men.
The Lord is near.
Be anxious for nothing,
but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God,
which surpasses all comprehension,
shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren,
whatever is true,
whatever is honorable,
whatever is right,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is of good repute,
if there is any excellence
and if anything worthy of praise,
let your mind dwell on these things...
...for I have learned to be content
in whatever circumstances I am...
...I can do all things
through Him who strengthens me....
...And my God shall supply all your needs
according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever.
Amen."
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AND
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1 John 1:5-7
"And this is the message we have heard from Him
and announce to you,
that God is light,
and in Him there is no darkness at all.
If we say that we have fellowship with Him
and yet walk in the darkness,
we lie and do not practice the truth;
but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light,
we have fellowship with one another,
and the blood of Jesus His Son
cleanses us from all sin."
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Two transforming questions:
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Are you walking IN THE LIGHT?
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Are you IN CHRIST?
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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

SLOW FADE? ...NOT WHEN WE LIVE BY AND ARE LED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD...

WOMEN IN THE WORD WEDNESDAY

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Today's scripture is challenging, encouraging, thought provoking, and goes perfectly with our theme of the week: BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART...I ask you to re-read these verses several times today and then come back tomorrow as we use them as discussion on TRANSFORMING THURSDAY.
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Galatians 5:14-26
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"The entire law is summed up in a single command: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
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So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

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The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

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But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit..."

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

SLOW FADE? DOESN'T HAVE TO BE...LOVE IS A DECISION...


I watched the movie FIREPROOF last night for the fourth time. The first time I watched it was last fall when it came out in theaters. The second and third times were when our church had two showings of it last weekend. Then, last night Steve, Jessica, and I rented it on Comcast for $4.99 for 24 hours. If I had time today, I'd have a group over to watch it again. Bottom line... relationships DO NOT have to be in a SLOW FADE like our theme song this week from the movie talks about.
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I am thankful that God has made it so that LOVE IS A DECISION. Whatever is happening in anyone's home right now...in anyone's life...a decision can be made to NOT fade out of the picture but to ask for forgiveness and make a decision to love God's way. Is it hard? Of course! Anything of value takes work and sacrifice!
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In my Sunday post, I shared a video clip and the words to Slow Fade. Yesterday, I posted some thoughts for meditation on what love is. I invite you to read/watch/listen to those two posts as well as the video clip below that I also posted a week ago with the movie's theme song, While I'm Waiting. I encourage everyone to take the LOVE DARE challenge, get the LOVE DARE book that they used in FIREPROOF, and do the LOVE DARE to your spouse.
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I am so grateful that God gives us hope for renewal, for pure hearts, and for love as we wait on Him.
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"BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART,
FOR THEY SHALL SEE GOD!"
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GIGATTAATTGIG!
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Monday, March 16, 2009

IT'S A SLOW FADE...3:16...

MEDITATION MONDAY
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Today is 3 / 16!
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All the world needs to know
what christians know about 3 /16:
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In the Bible, God's word to mankind,
John 3:16 says,
"For God so loved the world
that He gave His one and only Son,
that whoever believes in Him
shall not perish but have eternal life."
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When Jesus lived in the flesh, on the earth, His life style demonstrated the LOVE OF GOD. His teachings emphasized BLESSING. God BLESSES us. God wants to BLESS us. God wants us to understand how to lead a BLESSED LIFE. Over the last few months, on this blog, I have discussed Jesus' "Sermon on the Mount". It begins with Jesus articulating attitudes of the heart of those who would lead a BLESSED LIFE:
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"Blessed are the PURE IN HEART,
For they shall see GOD."
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I am not one to believe everything that I read... I am usually pretty skeptical about the latest research... Yet, from my listening to people over the last few years and being immersed in ministry, I believe that it could be possible what I read last week: "...over 70% of men and 30% of women in the USA are addicted to pornography..." In the same article, it also said that first exposure to pornography is usually in early elementary school...
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My friend, there is a spiritual battle taking place over your soul and the souls of your family. Satan does not want you to believe in God or to see God! He does not want people to understand the love of God. One of his tactics is to draw people into a false love. He desperately wants to keep christians from being pure in heart.
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I pray that you are protecting yourself, your husband, and your children from the horrible cancer of pornography. I have many dear friends who have messed up their lives and those of others because of this sin. These friends lost their ability, over a period of time, to "see God" and His goodness and love. They are or were living in a world of deception and fantasy as they focused on their own selfish pleasures. It was a SLOW FADE!
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Over the last few weeks and the next month, we at the Pitman church of Christ are focusing on "fireproofing" relationships via a series of sermons, lessons, discussions, and "Love Dares" that started with two showings of the FIREPROOF movie starring Kurt Cameron as Caleb Holt. If you have not seen it, I beg you for the sake of you and your family to rent the DVD and watch it. I have now seen it three times and plan to watch it again multiple times as well as buy a copy of it for each of our four adult children.
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Our theme songs from last week and this week are from that movie: "While I'm Waiting" and "It's a Slow Fade". You can listen to them on the playlist OR you can go to the Sunday posts from these two weeks and watch the Youtube videos of the songs.
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Of course, all of this is cause for meditation and prayer. Yet, as we continue our study of the Beatitudes this week, I leave you with some "Patti Paraphrases" from the movie, Steve's sermon yesterday morning, our life group discussion last night, and the scriptures at the top of this post to meditate on:
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PATTI PARAPHRASES:
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MOVIE:
Caleb's dad tells him that...
God's standards are so high, that to Him...

"Hatred is murder!"

"Lust is adultery!"

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Caleb's dad continues by telling Caleb that true love is a decision. You choose to love other people whether they deserve it or not. "The cross was offensive to me until I came to it...Jesus changed my life!....Son, you can not give what you do not have!"

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He went on to say that the bad news is that people sin, are selfish, lie, deceive, murder, abuse, lust...

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SERMON AND LIFE GROUP DISCUSSION:

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God's love takes a decision. We must choose to love unconditionally! There is a chapter in the Bible that is often referred to as "The Love Chapter": I Corinthians 13. I have it typed, in part, below. Then read it and substitute God's name in place of love. Then, read it again and, substitute your name in place of love. It can be life changing.

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1 Corinthians 13:4-8

"Love is patient, love is kind.

It does not envy,

it does not boast,

it is not proud.

It is not rude,

it is not self-seeking,

it is not easily angered,

it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil

but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects,

always trusts,

always hopes,

always perseveres.
Love never fails."

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"GOD is patient, GOD is kind.
GOD does not envy,
GOD does not boast,
GOD is not proud.
GOD is not rude,
GOD is not self-seeking,
GOD is not easily angered,
GOD keeps no record of wrongs.
GOD does not delight in evil
GOD rejoices with the truth.
GOD always protects,
GOD always trusts,
GOD always hopes,
GOD always perseveres.

GOD never fails."

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"_______ is patient,

_______ is kind.
________does not envy,
________does not boast,

_________ is not proud.
_______ is not rude,
_________ is not self-seeking,
____________is not easily angered,
___________ keeps no record of wrongs.
___________ does not delight in evil
___________ rejoices with the truth.
_________ always protects,

_________always trusts,
___________always hopes,
___________always perseveres.

_____________never fails."

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2010 Pitman WOMEN REACHING OUT IN FAITH RETREAT - Cape May, NJ

TRANSFORMED MOM, LISA, REQUESTED PRAYERS FOR HER HUBBY: FULLY RESTORED! FULLY HEALED!