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."

Sunday, January 31, 2010

THERE IS A FOUNTAIN...

SUNDAY IN THE SON
,
Steve and I finished up speaking today
at a seminar in Huntsville, Alabama called:
THE SILENT KILLER.
.
Pornography is ripping up families
as it darkens the hearts and minds of
daddies, mommies, and children.
.
Yet, there is hope for this sin
and all other sinners in the blood of Jesus...
forgiveness...
new beginnings...
connection...
relationship...
eternal life...
.
Christians aren't perfect my friend...
just forgiven!
.
Please pause the playlist above
and join me in listening to
this week's powerful song / video.
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Friday, January 29, 2010

YOUR LOVE IS AMAZING...FOR YOUR WORLDWIDE FAMILY...

Yes today is FAMILY FELLOWSHIP FRIDAY. Several of you keep checking back here wondering where I am. Let me just say that for the love of God's family, today I have experienced snow, sleet, ice, torrential rain, lost luggage. lack of sleep, fire alarms... You'll just have to check back later to hear more.... GIGATTAATTGIG...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

YOUR LOVE IS AMAZING... FORGIVING...


TRANSFORMING THURSDAY
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The amazing love that I see in Hebrews 12:1-3 screams of our Savior's incredible forgiveness for even His enemies. He chose to see through the eyes of love and forgive as He endured.
.
What is it that makes it so hard to get along with our fellowman? In the community? On the job? In our schools? In our churches? In our families?
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I have been witness to multiple communication and friendship breakdowns over the years. They are usually not pleasant. Grudges... the silent treatment... gossip... backbiting... and even hatred ensue. We yearn to be understood. Why can we not grant the same grace to our "neighbors"? What does Christ mean when He says in His sermon on the mount in Matthew 5,
.

43 "You have heard that it was said,
'You shall love your neighbor,
and hate your enemy.'
44 "But I say to you, love your enemies,
and pray for those who persecute you
45 in order that you may be
sons of your Father who is in heaven;
for He causes His sun to rise
on the evil and the good,
and sends rain
on the righteous and the unrighteous.
46 "For if you love those who love you,
what reward have you?
Do not even the tax-gatherers do the same?
47 "And if you greet your brothers only,
what do you do more than others?
Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
48 "Therefore you are to be perfect (mature),
as your heavenly Father is perfect (mature)."
.
.
Remember what He said a little earlier in His sermon, in the same chapter?
.
23 "Therefore, if you are offering
your gift at the altar
and there remember that your brother
has something against you,
24 leave your gift there
in front of the altar.
First go and be reconciled to your brother;
then come and offer your gift."
.
FORGIVENESS IN STONE:
.
Today as we "fix our eyes on Jesus and consider Him", think about how He chose to love His enemies. It's a lot like the butterfly transformation in the picture above... the process from being bound to being free to fly! That's what happens when we go from hating our enemies to loving our enemies. What was it that Christ said on the cross? "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do!"
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Yesterday, a sister- in- Christ shared this little story with me. I do not know the author. It speaks to us learning to count our blessings and not the offenses against us in order to love and forgive:
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"Two friends were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey, they had an argument and one friend slapped the other one in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand, "Today my best friend slapped me in the face."
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They kept on walking until they found an oasis where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him.
.
After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone, "Today my best friend saved my life."
.
The friend who had slapped and then saved his best friend asked him, "After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone, why?"
.
The friend replied, "When someone hurts us we should write it down in sand, where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. When someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it."
.
Learn to write your hurts in the sand and to carve your benefits in stone."
.
AMAZING LOVE!
.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

YOUR LOVE IS AMAZING...I SEE IT ALL OVER HEBREWS 12:1-3...





WOMEN IN THE WORD WEDNESDAY
.
Hebrews 12:1-3
"Therefore,
since we are surrounded by such a
great cloud of witnesses,
(who LOVE us)

let us throw off everything that hinders
and the sin that so easily entangles, and
let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus,
(who dearly LOVES us)

the author and perfecter of our faith,
(because He LOVES us)

who for the joy set before Him ENDURED the cross,
(because He LOVES us)

scorning its shame, and
(because He LOVES us)

sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
(because He LOVES us)

3 Consider Him
(because He LOVES us)

who endured such opposition from sinful men,
(because He LOVES us)

so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
.





























































Tuesday, January 26, 2010

YOUR LOVE IS AMAZING... THANK YOU FOR REMINDING ME...


I have been called many things in my life. The most common are:



  • Patti

  • Mom

  • Gigi

Most of you who come to this blog know that I also began another blog last year to remind us all that God Is Good All The Time And All The Time God Is Good. Two things this past week have reminded me deeply of the love of God:

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1. Gigi (the name that I am called instead of Grandma) goes to a blog each day posted by our daughter-in-love. Her blog shows the love of a young mother for her child. This past week as Jacqueline sat with Chloe, they read a picture book about God's love. Jordan videoed this special moment... an illustration of God's love for us... click here... and go to her January 15th post... and while you're there, note the love of parents watching their little one learn how to walk, sharing laughs and smores together, connecting with family... Oh, the love!

.

2. A young mother named Shonda, from Washington state, has joined us on this blog this year. I have visited her blog and this past week she posted something that her grandmother had sent her. Oh, how encouraging! I reposted what her grandmother shared with her on my GIGATTAATTGIG BLOG.


.


Know of His love for you today!

Thank You, Father!

Monday, January 25, 2010

YOUR LOVE IS AMAZING... FIRM BENEATH MY FEET...

MEDITATION MONDAY


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Here it is the last full week of January. I entered the new year on this blog encouraging us to FIX OUR EYES ON JESUS. Our weekly themes, to date, have been

  • HOLY
  • FIX YOUR EYES ON JESUS
  • IN CHRIST ALONE, and now
  • YOUR LOVE IS AMAZING!

Our memory verse for the month has encouraged us to:

  • realize that we have a great cloud of witnesses who can testify that God truly is who He says He is
  • get rid of the things that get in the way of our living for Jesus
  • get rid of sin in our lives
  • persevere on God's path that is marked out for us
  • fix our eyes on Jesus (and attitude and endurance)
  • think about the reward
  • keep thinking about Jesus
  • think about how He endured the ridicule and the people who did the ridiculing
  • let all of the above encourage us


This past summer, Carl and Smitty Brecheen were the adult speakers at our VBS. Over the years, every time I hear this man from Texas, I take away many gold nuggets for my life. He's older now... just turned 80... and... very wise. Something hit me hard this last time that I heard him as he sat on his stool in the front of the auditorium teaching us. He said, "God is love and all the rest follows." Think about it...
.
  • What would joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control look like if they were not centered around love being foundational?

So, this week, as we continue to FIX OUR EYES ON JESUS or CONSIDER HIM, let's focus on His love. Our theme song sings, "...your love is steady, unchanging... a mountain firm beneath my feet...". That reminds me of another song, "Jesus, You're My Firm Foundation... I know I can stand secure. Jesus, You're My Firm Foundation... I put my hope in Your Holy Word, I put my hope in Your Holy Word..."

.

Our two preaching ministers, my husband Steve and Dan Cooper, are trading off speaking on Sundays about Building the Church. Since we are in a building program right now, with our new builiding to be completed by the end of the year, they are encouraging us to focus on building up ourselves - The Body Of Christ. Steve's sermon yesterday was on Our Firm Foundation. This is a subject that I would like to pursue further in another week, but for today I'll ask you the question that Steve asked us to ask ourselves: "What is my foundation?"

  • self?
  • significant other and self?
  • people?
  • things?
  • pleasures?
  • philosophy?
  • religion? (observances, moral codes)

.

He challenged us to consider these verses,

1 Corinthians 3:10-12

"...each one should be careful

how he builds.

For no one can lay any foundation

other than the one already laid,

which is Jesus Christ."


.
If God is love and Jesus is God, then
love in all things should be foundational.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

YOUR LOVE IS AMAZING

SUNDAY IN THE SON

.
YOUR LOVE IS AMAZING

.

Phillips, Craig, and Dean

.

Your love is amazing

Steady and unchanging

Your love is a mountain

Firm beneath my feet

Your love is a mystery

How You gently lift me

When I am surrounded

Your love carries me

Your love is surprising

I can feel it rising

All the joy that’s growing

Deep inside of me

And every time I see you

All your goodness shines through

And I can feel this God song rising up in me

.

CHORUS

Hallelujah,

hallelujah,

hallelujah

Your love makes me sing

Hallelujah,

hallelujah,

hallelujah

Your love makes me sing

.

Your love is surprising

I can feel it rising

All the joy that’s growing

Deep inside of me

And every time I see you

All your goodness shines through

And I can feel this God song rising up in me.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

IN CHRIST ALONE...DOWN IN THE VALLEY...

KETCHUP AND MUSTARD SATURDAY
Catch Up and Must Do

I shared the other day about my 3rd and 4th grade Bible class and all their questions. This quarter we're memorizing the 23rd Psalm. We've talked a lot about Jesus being the Good Shepherd... what a shepherd does... who His sheep are... that sheep are very dependent animals... Sheep who fall down, have a very hard time getting up because of their muscle structure. They often lay on their backs and wait for their shepherd to come with the crook of his staff to turn them back over. Understanding characteristics of sheep surely helps us connect more to our relationship with Jesus.
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In Psalm 23:4, we see that the dependence and trust that a sheep has for the shepherd pays off when the dark and difficult times come... the "valley times"...
  • "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."

I have heard it said that during most of a person's christian life, she is either going into a valley, in the middle of one, or coming out of a valley. It is apparent in scripture that there are many trials... battles... valleys. These can be caused by people or circumstances that are beyond our control. Yet, this blog's memory verse for this month reminds us to,

  • "Consider Him, who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

I do know that those valleys serve to make us more like Christ. I know that when we learn to stand alone in Christ it is often because we have found Him as our only solace through very difficult times. When we are IN CHRIST ALONE and DEPEND ON CHRIST ALONE... we are the sheep of THE GOOD SHEPHERD!

.

For more food for thought on why trials come, check out my post for this week at GIGATTAATTGIG!

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Friday, January 22, 2010

IN CHRIST ALONE... HYMNS TEACH AND ENCOURAGE US...


Of all of my childhood memories, some of my very fondest are sitting in Granny's living room with extended family and singing hymns and "Stamps-Baxter songs". Oh, don't get me wrong, I do love contemporary christian music, but it does not have to replace other songs which have a different kind of purpose. Our families and our church families would be well served to pass these songs on to the next generations.
.
Hymns help us take the time to look at a theme from many different angles. Hymns teach us the art of meditation. I'm thinking of hymns from my past that put emphasis on the cross and the deepest convictions of the heart. I'm thinking of songs like The Old Rugged Cross, Amazing Grace, I Come to The Garden Alone, Precious Memories, Nearer Still Nearer, I Serve a Risen Savior, When Peace Like a River, and There is a Fountain. Hymns remind us that we can only approach God through the Blood of Jesus... that's right... IN CHRIST ALONE!
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I believe that each of the hymns above was put on someone's heart by God to pen. Yesterday, was the 123rd anniversary of Alfred Ackley writing the gospel song I Serve a Risen Savior also known as He Lives. I posted about my connection to this song back in December.
.
Is there a hymn to our memory verses? If not, maybe one of us should pen it!
.
Hebrews 12:1-3 "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

Thursday, January 21, 2010

IN CHRIST ALONE...TRANSFORMATION...


TRANSFORMING THURSDAY
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We can't get away from them! At the check out lines in almost every grocery store there is either candy or magazines. One magazine that has caught my attention this month is "O". A headliner on the cover says, "How to Get What You Really Want This Year!" Oh, yeah!??!?!! I'm not sure that magazine will have my answer. I do know that our memory verses for this month do. Can you say them with me?
  • Hebrews 12:1-3
  1. Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
  2. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
  3. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

.

Those verses are just the beginning of an amazingly transforming chapter. The Hebrew writer gives us a reframe on what we might think as negative: endurance... discipline...

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He is helping us to transform our thinking in such a way that we won't be needing to read articles about "How to Get What We Really Want This Year!" Go ahead and read the remainder of Hebrews 12 and then after finishing the chapter, go back and just read those words that are in bold. It may lead you to some transformational thinking!

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4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son." 7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8 If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10 Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. 12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 "Make level paths for your feet," so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed. 14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. 16 See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. 17 Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears. 18 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; 19 to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, 20 because they could not bear what was commanded: "If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned." 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, "I am trembling with fear." 22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. 25 See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, "Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens." 27 The words "once more" indicate the removing of what can be shaken-that is, created things-so that what cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our "God is a consuming fire."
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

IN CHRIST ALONE... THERE IS OPPOSITION...

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Hebrews 12:3
.
"Consider Him
who endured such opposition from sinful men,
so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. "
.
Sunday morning, while teaching my 3rd-4th grade Bible Class, we were finishing up and several of the children had questions... some things that were on their hearts...

  1. We had talked about "priests" that day and I explained that in the Old Testament there were priests, but it was only the High Priest who went into the Holy of Holies. In the New Testament, Jesus said that each christian is a priest and He is the High Priest. Of course, they wanted to talk about why some of their friends opposed that belief today. Some of their friends still believe that they need to confess their sins to an official "priest" while other of their friends do not even believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, so how can He be High Priest.
  2. We also talked about the sadness in Haiti. They had questions about earthquakes, natural catastrophies, and the Voodoo and witchcraft that so many of our Haitian neighbors believe in. They knew that was opposed to what Jesus taught.
  3. Then, they had questions about the devil. They were fascinated by the fact that the word "evil" is in the devil's name and God is three of the letters in the word "good". Of course, that led to a discussion of these directly opposite forces. We talked about the devil being the "father of lies" and God being the "Father of Love" .

Since Sunday on this blog we have focused on IN CHRIST ALONE... CONSIDER HIM... Once in this verse and once in the verse before, the Hebrew writer uses the word ENDURED. .

"Consider Him
who endured such opposition from sinful men,
so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. "

.

In considering Him, we cannot leave out the fact that He ENDURED as well as the type of people who were OPPOSED to Him and really gave Him a hard time. Let's look in the Word for a few minutes to see the kind of stuff He had to put up with:

  • Hebrews 4:15-16 "For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."
  • Matt 12:33-36 Jesus said... "Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. "
  • John 8:44 "You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

IN CHRIST ALONE...MY IDENTITY...



I love all the connections I make on FB. I love it most when there are spiritual connections. Last week, my friend and sister-in-Christ, Jennifer, posted as her status,
  • "Was just having a random thought: one of the things I love about my church is that I don't know what most of the people I worship with do for a living. 3 or 4 years later, I still find myself saying,"Wow, I didn't know he/she did that!" In "the world" that is probably one of the first things you learn about people. In the church, those things are not so important. What a blessing!"

.

I am convinced that when you have a church family who knows the LORD and really grasps what He has done for them, that church family life is remarkably different. At the Pitman church of Christ, we are known for our LOVE and we are transparent enough to say that our identity comes not from what we do or who we are but our identity comes from being IN CHRIST ALONE!!!

.

This week, as we CONSIDER HIM on this blog, I am overwhelmed with gratitude that my identity truly is IN CHRIST. Ephesians 1:3 tells us that we are blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places IN CHRIST. Ephesians chapters one through four tell what this blessed identity looks like:

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  • 1:4 I am CHOSEN IN CHRIST.
  • 1:6 I am GRACED IN CHRIST.
  • 1:7 I am REDEEMED IN CHRIST.
  • 1:7 I am FORGIVEN IN CHRIST.
  • 1:9 I am PURPOSED by the mystery of His will IN CHRIST.
  • 1:11 I have an INHERITANCE IN CHRIST.
  • 1:12 I have HOPE IN CHRIST.
  • 1:13 I have the GOSPEL of truth IN CHRIST.
  • 1:13 I have been SEALED IN CHRIST.
  • 1:15 I have FAITH IN CHRIST.
  • 1:18-23 I have the working of GOD'S STRENGTH IN CHRIST.
  • 2:4-6 I have SALVATION IN CHRIST.
    .
  • 1:10 I have the SUMMING UP OF ALL THINGS IN CHRIST ALONE.

I am so thankful! I know who I am! I know Who I belong to! I know where I am going! My identity is IN CHRIST!!!!

.

How does one get IN CHRIST?

  • Galatians 3:26-29 says, "You are all sons of God through faith IN Christ Jesus, 27 for all of you who were baptized INTO Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one IN Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

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Monday, January 18, 2010

IN CHRIST ALONE...CONSIDER HIM...

MEDITATION MONDAY


Hebrews 12:3 begins with the words "CONSIDER HIM...". That's all the further along I would like to go today on our memory verse. We'll focus on considering Jesus!
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My Sundays are usually a rich day of spiritual connections. Yesterday was no exception. In fact, recently has been no exception! As I considered what our theme for this week would be, I went about my tasks at home of reorganizing after our "summer floods", my first semester back to teaching full time at the university, and Christmas. We are also in the midst of changing up a bedroom. Oh my!
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I've done lots of moving boxes, cleaning, and meditating. I had narrowed our theme for the week down to two things, but the decision was made when I found some unrelated papers stuck in the middle of some things that I was cleaning up. They were handouts from a sermon series that Steve had preached in 2003: IN CHRIST. I suppose you now know what one of my two theme choices was. You got it! Hear the theme song playing in the background? IN CHRIST ALONE!
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When I did an internet search of the word "consider", here are some of the definitions that I found:
  • see: deem to be
  • study: give careful consideration to
  • think about carefully; weigh;
  • think: judge; look upon
  • regard: look at attentively
  • view: look at carefully; study mentally

So, today, here are a few things to CONSIDER as you look at HIM...

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JESUS IS CREATOR...THE WORD... LIFE... LIGHT OF MEN... :

  • Genesis 1:26 "Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness..."
  • John 1:1-5 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it."

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JESUS IS BELIEVABLE... TRUSTWORTHY... FAITHFUL :

  • Genesis 15:6 "Abram believed the LORD, and He credited it to him as righteousness." (As our congregation reads through the Bible in a year, Dan commented in his sermon yesterday morning that he sees this as the most powerful / important verse in the book of Genesis.)
  • John 10:37-38 "But if I do it, even though you do not believe Me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father." (There was evidence then... there is evidence today!)
  • John 14:1-4 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me. 2 In My Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going."
  • Hebrews 11:6 "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him."




JESUS IS THE CHRIST... THE SON OF GOD...
  • Matthew 1:16 ..."and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ."
  • Matt 27:22 "What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?" Pilate asked. They all answered, "Crucify him!"
  • John 20:30-31 "Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name."

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JESUS WAS CRUCIFIED... RESURRECTED... ASCENDED TO HEAVEN... AND NOW INTERCEDES FOR US TO GOD, THE FATHER...

  • Matthew 28:5-6 "The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; He has risen, just as He said. "
  • Acts 1:10-11 ..."two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."
  • Romans 8:34 "Christ Jesus, who died-more than that, who was raised to life-is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us."
  • 2 Timothy 1:9-12 "...but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel."
  • Hebrews 2:9 "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because He suffered death, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. "
JESUS KNOWS OUR HEARTS... AND HE STILL LOVES US...
  • Acts 1:24 "Then they prayed, "Lord, You know everyone's heart."
  • Romans 8:34-39 "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? ... For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

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That was just for starters! Here is a list of 100+ names of Jesus to consider. Each name describes The Man, Our Savior!

  1. Advocate (1 John 2:1)
  2. Almighty (Rev. 1:8; Mt. 28:18)
  3. Alpha and Omega (Rev. 1:8; 22:13)
  4. Amen (Rev. 3:14)
  5. Apostle of our Profession (Heb. 3:1)
  6. Atoning Sacrifice for our Sins (1 John 2:2)
  7. Author of Life (Acts 3:15)
  8. Author and Perfecter of our Faith (Heb. 12:2)
  9. Author of Salvation (Heb. 2:10)
  10. Beginning and End (Rev. 22:13)
  11. Blessed and only Ruler (1 Tim. 6:15)
  12. Bread of God (John 6:33)
  13. Bread of Life (John 6:35; 6:48)
  14. Bridegroom (Mt. 9:15)
  15. Capstone (Acts 4:11; 1 Pet. 2:7)
  16. Chief Cornerstone (Eph. 2:20)
  17. Chief Shepherd (1 Pet. 5:4)
  18. Christ (1 John 2:22)
  19. Creator (John 1:3)
  20. Deliverer (Rom. 11:26)
  21. Eternal Life (1 John 1:2; 5:20)
  22. Faithful and True (Rev. 19:11)
  23. Faithful Witness (Rev. 1:5)
  24. Faithful and True Witness (Rev. 3:14)
  25. First and Last (Rev. 1:17; 2:8; 22:13)
  26. Firstborn From the Dead (Rev. 1:5)
  27. Firstborn over all creation (Col. 1:15)
  28. Gate (John 10:9)
  29. God (John 1:1; 20:28; Heb. 1:8; Rom. 9:5; 2 Pet. 1:1;1 John 5:20; etc.)
  30. Good Shepherd (John 10:11,14)
  31. Great Shepherd (Heb. 13:20)
  32. Great High Priest (Heb. 4:14)
  33. Head of the Church (Eph. 1:22; 4:15; 5:23)
  34. Heir of all things (Heb. 1:2)
  35. High Priest (Heb. 2:17)
  36. Holy and True (Rev. 3:7)
  37. Holy One (Acts 3:14)
  38. Hope (1 Tim. 1:1)
  39. Hope of Glory (Col. 1:27)
  40. Horn of Salvation (Luke 1:69)
  41. I Am (John 8:58)
  42. Image of God (2 Cor. 4:4)
  43. Immanuel (Mt. 1:23)
  44. Judge of the living and the dead (Acts 10:42)
  45. King Eternal (1 Tim. 1:17)
  46. King of Israel (John 1:49)
  47. King of the Jews (Mt. 27:11)
  48. King of kings (1 Tim 6:15; Rev. 19:16)
  49. King of the Ages (Rev. 15:3)
  50. Lamb (Rev. 13:8)
  51. Lamb of God (John 1:29)
  52. Lamb Without Blemish (1 Pet. 1:19)
  53. Last Adam (1 Cor. 15:45)
  54. Life (John 14:6; Col. 3:4)
  55. Light of the World (John 8:12)
  56. Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Rev. 5:5)
  57. Living One (Rev. 1:18)
  58. Living Stone (1 Pet. 2:4)
  59. Lord (2 Pet. 2:20)
  60. Lord of All (Acts 10:36)
  61. Lord of Glory (1 Cor. 2:8)
  62. Lord of lords (Rev. 19:16)
  63. Man from Heaven (1 Cor. 15:48)
  64. Master (Lk. 5:5; 8:24; 9:33)
  65. Mediator of the New Covenant (Heb. 9:15)
  66. Mighty God (Isa. 9:6)
  67. Morning Star (Rev. 22:16)
  68. Offspring of David (Rev. 22:16)
  69. Only Begotten Son of God (John 1:18; 1 John 4:9)
  70. Our Great God and Savior (Titus 2:13)
  71. Our Holiness (1 Cor. 1:30)
  72. Our Husband (2 Cor. 11:2)
  73. Our Protection (2 Thess. 3:3)
  74. Our Redemption (1 Cor. 1:30)
  75. Our Righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30)
  76. Our Sacrificed Passover Lamb (1 Cor. 5:7)
  77. Power of God (1 Cor. 1:24)
  78. Precious Cornerstone (1 Pet. 2:6)
  79. Prophet (Acts 3:22)
  80. Rabbi (Mt. 26:25)
  81. Resurrection and Life (John 11:25)
  82. Righteous Branch (Jer. 23:5)
  83. Righteous One (Acts 7:52; 1 John 2:1)
  84. Rock (1 Cor. 10:4)
  85. Root of David (Rev. 5:5; 22:16)
  86. Ruler of God’s Creation (Rev. 3:14)
  87. Ruler of the Kings of the Earth (Rev. 1:5)
  88. Savior (Eph. 5:23; Titus 1:4; 3:6; 2 Pet. 2:20)
  89. Son of David (Lk. 18:39)
  90. Son of God (John 1:49; Heb. 4:14)
  91. Son of Man (Mt. 8:20)
  92. Son of the Most High God (Lk. 1:32)
  93. Source of Eternal Salvation for all who obey him (Heb. 5:9)
  94. The One Mediator (1 Tim. 2:5)
  95. The Stone the builders rejected (Acts 4:11)
  96. True Bread (John 6:32)
  97. True Light (John 1:9)
  98. True Vine (John 15:1)
  99. Truth (John 1:14; 14:6)
  100. Way (John 14:6)
  101. Wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:24)
  102. Word (John 1:1)
  103. Word of God (Rev. 19:13)
Hebrews 12:3
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"Consider
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Him...."

Sunday, January 17, 2010

IN CHRIST ALONE...




Hebrews 12:3

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"Consider Him

who endured such opposition from sinful men,

so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
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Today, for your consideration, I have the words to our this week's theme song posted below. This version is a little different at the end than the original song. Please follow along with Philllips, Craig, and Dean as they sing it on the playlist right now. Then, afterwards, pause the playlist and you can watch the video with the Newsboys singing it. Be blessed! Be transformed!
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IN CHRIST ALONE MEDLEY lyrics

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm

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What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

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In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save

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‘Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

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There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again

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And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

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In Christ alone I place my trust
And find my glory in the power of the cross
In every victory let it be said of me
My source of strength
My source of hope...
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In Christ alone I place my trust
And find my glory in the power of the cross
In every victory let it be said of me
My source of strength
My source of hope...
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In Christ alone
No guilt in life,
no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life's first cry
to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell,
no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His Hand
'til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.






Saturday, January 16, 2010

FIX YOUR EYES ON JESUS...NO MATTER WHAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES...

KETCHUP AND MUSTARD SATURDAY
Catch Up and Must Do

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On this blog, on Saturdays, we imagine we're sitting across the table from one another enjoying our favorite burgers. Then, I tell you things that I need to "catch up on or must do" that connect or don't connect with the blog's weekly theme. Today, I will remind you to keep practicing our memory verse that is written out below AND I invite you to read my yesterday's post from another one of my blogs... you will see the connection to "fixing your eyes upon Jesus" and be blessed... CLICK HERE!

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Hebrews 12:1-2

Therefore,

since we are surrounded by such a

great cloud of witnesses,

let us throw off everything that hinders and

the sin that so easily entangles,

and let us run with perseverance

the race marked out for us.

2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus,

the author and perfecter of our faith,

who for the joy set before Him

endured the cross, scorning its shame,

and sat down at the right hand

of the throne of God."

Friday, January 15, 2010

FIX YOUR EYES ON JESUS... IN CHRIST ALONE...


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Our oldest, Jordan, was not quite six when our youngest was born. Each of our 4 children were born uniquely different. Once each of us was able to identify our differences IN CHRIST, the differences were highlighted in a very positive and proactive way. As you consider fixing your eyes on Jesus, have your family join you!
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This week, as we have talked about focusing our eyes on Jesus, His faith, the JOY, His endurance, it brought to mind a previous post. In my classes and on this blog, I have repeatedly brought up the concept of our identity being IN CHRIST and blessing our children with their individual identities IN CHRIST. It certainly helps when Daddy and Mommy know who they are IN CHRIST. Consider the words that I post below from my 11-11-08 post.
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Today, I am grateful that my husband and each of our children have made the choice to wear THE NAME OF JESUS, being part of His eternal family.
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STEVE has many characteristics of his big brother Jesus- including
  • PRINCE OF PEACE and
  • GOOD TEACHER...

Steve exemplifies the fruit of the Holy Spirit in his life. Two parts of the Spirit's fruit that he shows strongly are peace and goodness. To know Steve, is to know his multi-faceted love for peace which includes wanting others to be at peace with their Maker. He portrays the goodness of God to all those who sit at his feet...even being known for his oft used phrase: GIGATTAATTGIG..."God is good all the time and all the time God is good!" Thank you, Steve, for wanting to be more like Jesus!

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CRYSTAL has many characteristics of her big brother Jesus-including

  • VINE and
  • GOOD SHEPHERD

Jesus is called The Vine because He connects his family and weaves in and out of their lives...Crystal does that! A good shepherd is someone who watches out for the needs of others within a "flock"...she's done that over and over again with groups of children, teens, and peers. Thank you, Crystal, for wanting to be more like Jesus!

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CALEB has many characteristics of his big brother Jesus- including

  • WORD and
  • CREATOR

One and two word descriptions of Jesus are important to see Who He is and Caleb is very careful to value words and their meanings, pondering over deeper connections. He also has the creativity gene of Jesus to the point that when he is writing songs, poetry, etc. he is at his best. Thank you, Caleb, for wanting to be more like Jesus!

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JESSICA has many characteristics of her big brother Jesus-including

  • MEDIATOR and
  • WONDERFUL COUNSELOR

Even though she says that she doesn't have the "auditory gift", she is a good listener when people come to her with their problems...wonderful! She has a gift of defusing arguments and has defused several over the years within the Sikes' household and on the job. Thank you, Jessica, for wanting to be more like Jesus!

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JORDAN has many characteristics of his big brother Jesus- including

  • LION and
  • LAMB

He is a natural born leader, in the home, church, and workplace, who can be decisive and have a strong opinion while being kind, gentle and compassionate...he is not too proud to be a great follower like a lamb...it's unusual to have those two characteristics in one person. Thank you, Jordan, for wanting to be more like Jesus!

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JESUS, thank you for Who You are! We want to become more and more like You!

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Who do you see JESUS in? Use the list below or a different name for JESUS and leave encouraging notes of gratitude to those in your family who you see JESUS in. .

  • A.....Alpha and Omega - Revelation 22:13
  • .......Author of life – Acts 3:15
  • B.....Beginning and the End - Revelation 22:13
  • C.....Creator –John 1:1-3
  • D.....Deliverer-Romans 11:26
  • E.....Eternal Life-I John 5:13 & 20
  • ........Emmanuel - Matthew 1:23
  • F.....Faithful & True-Revelation 19:11
  • G.....Good Shepherd-John 10:11-14
  • H.....Holy One of God-Mark 1:24
  • ........High Priest forever-Hebrews 6:20
  • I......I AM – John 6-19
  • ..............I AM the Bread of Life
  • ..............I AM the Living Bread
  • ..............I AM from God
  • ..............I AM the Light of the World
  • ..............I AM the Door of the Sheep
  • ..............I AM the Good Shepherd
  • ..............I AM the Son of God
  • ..............I AM the Resurrection and The Life
  • ..............I AM Teacher and LORD
  • ..............I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life
  • ..............I AM the True Vine
  • ..............I AM a King – for this I have been born
  • ..............I AM King of the Jews
  • J.....Judge-2 Timothy 4:1-8
  • K.....King of kings-Revelation 19:16
  • L.....LORD of lords- Revelation 19:16
  • ........Lion and the Lamb - Revelation 5
  • M....Mediator of New Covenant –Hebrews 9:15
  • ........Messiah - John 4:25-26
  • N.....Nazarene -John 19:19
  • O.....Only Begotten Son of God-John 3:18
  • P.....Prince of Peace-Isaiah 9:6
  • Q.....Quieter of the Winds/Waves-Matt. 8:27
  • R.....Righteous One - Acts 22:14-16
  • S......Savior of the World-John 4:42
  • ........Servant – Acts 3:26
  • T.....Teacher-Mark 9-14
  • U.....Unspeakable gift-2 Corinthians 9:15
  • V.....Vine-John 15:5
  • W....Wonderful Counselor-Isaiah 9:6
  • ........Word-I John 1:1-14
  • ........Wisdom of God - I Corinthians 1:24
  • X.....eXact representation of God’s being-Hebrews 1:3
  • Y.....YAHWEH (Which is, Which was, Which is to come-Revelation 1:4)
  • .............(I AM WHO I AM-Exodus 3:14)
  • Z.....Zion Stander-Revelation 14:1
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Philippians 2:4-11 "

...do not merely look out for your own personal interests,

but also for the interests of others.

5 Have this attitude in yourselves

which was also in Christ Jesus,

6 who, although He existed in the form of God,

did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,

7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond servant,

and being made in the likeness of men.

8 And being found in appearance as a man,

He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death,

even death on a cross..

Therefore also God highly exalted Him,

and bestowed on Him the name

which is above every name,

10 that at the name of Jesus

every knee should bow,

of those who are in heaven,

and on earth,

and under the earth,

11 and that every tongue should confess

that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father."





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EYES FIXED ON JESUS!

SINGLE FOCUS!
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IDENTITY IN CHRIST!


Thursday, January 14, 2010

FIX YOUR EYES ON JESUS...CONNECT...HOLY GROUND...


TRANSFORMING THURSDAY
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God is a God of connections! Oh, there are a myriad of them - if you stop to think about it. Just think of the connections in the human body or in friendships. My favorite God connections are the spiritual ones.
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  1. Brain - body connections - As many of you know, I am deeply in to brain based education. I have been taught by some of the best. There is much to be said to how a child learns body movements that connect with thinking: crawling, walking, feeding self, clapping, balancing... I learned last year that one of the first signs of Alzheimer's is a brain - body disconnect. That might happen when a person begins looking down at their feet to walk or ascend/descend stairs. I have a grandaughter who is connecting in the first ways. My sweet mother, is disconnecting in the latter as her Alzheimer's progresses.


  2. Friend / Family connections - I don't go too many days without talking to someone who knows another person who I know. Since joining Facebook, I have re-connected with former college friends, students, youth group members, and other church family. I am amazed to find connections between people who I had no idea existed. Reminds me of the connections we made with other Women of Faith back in September and the two long lost cousins who found each other because they were placed sitting next to each other. (Kat and Willene - second row and second and third from right)!



  3. Spiritual connections - It happens daily... hourly... okay... sometimes by the minute... It happened last night in our Wednesday night ladies class!

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Last night, my dear friend Linda, mistakenly left her class teaching materials at home so we had an impromptu class that was Spirit-led and rich, rich, rich!!! There was sharing about brain-body disconnects and family disconnects that led to spiritual connections. Linda brought up that we often talk about how to keep our focus on Jesus when there is a big battle raging, but what about living in the day to day... the mundane... at home... on the job. She asked us to share. I have taken some things that people said and made them "my own". I am sharing how I plan to use them in transformation.

  1. JESUS CONNECTION: When looking in the mirror each morning, I will ask, "Mirror, mirror on the wall, do you see Jesus in me at all?" Then, I will fix my spritual eyes on His characteristics... because I want to be more like my big brother today as He works in, around, and through me. I will thank Him!

  2. FAITH CONNECTION: Then, I will thank Him for His perfect faith that was responsible for my salvation. I will commit to trusting Him in the little and the big things today because He and He alone is worthy of my complete trust. I will look into my "faith memory bank" and remind myself of a time when God has been faithful to me. I will thank Him!
  3. JOY CONNECTION: Before I leave the mirror, I will smile really big for up to a minute as I consider the "JOY set before Him" . It was His focus. I will choose to thank Him for what I see in the mirror and the opportunity that this new day brings, for I know that JOY springs from a thankful heart! I choose to be thankful in all things today!

  4. ENDURANCE CONNECTION: As I head into my day, I will commit to focus on Jesus with His Faith and Joy to help me ENDURE the challenges set before me.
  5. HOLY CONNECTION: Much like my Lord Jesus as He sat down at the right hand of God, much like the "great cloud of witnesses", much like Moses at the burning bush... I will view my day, my home, my responsibilities as sacred... HOLY... I will take off my shoes and remember that I am "standing on HOLY ground".
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"Therefore,
since we are surrounded
by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders and
the sin that so easily entangles, and
let us run with perseverance
the race marked out before us.
Let us fix our eyes on JESUS,
the author and perfecter of our FAITH,
who for the JOY set before Him
ENDURED the cross,
scorning it's shame, and
sat down at the right hand
of the throne of God."
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Hebrews 12:1-2
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HOLY GROUND!
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  1. JESUS
  2. FAITH
  3. JOY
  4. ENDURE
  5. HOLY

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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!