Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Whispers of Rest: Book Review!

Hello again everyone! I know it's been awhile a new blog post has appeared from me (since Christmas Day to be exact) but I'm back.  I've found my writing voice again.  I'm kicking off this new season with a book review from the lovely Bonnie Gray.  I read her book Finding Spiritual Whitespace and reviewed it a few years ago.  As always with her style, she is showing/instructing readers how to find that space for God to speak into your life.  This new book, Whispers of Rest is unique because it is a 40-day journey.  Each day there is a Scripture reading, prayer prompt, and journal prompt.  I find journaling a great release of my feelings.  I'm not very vocally articulate of my feelings because most of the times my natural reactions are instant anger.  Only after a while of thinking and reflecting am I able to process the true feelings underneath.  The journal prompts allow you do this!! 

Bonnie has left such great nuggets of Truth in each "Day" (chapter) of the book.  I'm going to share one of my favorites from the very first day:

"Jesus wants you to say YES to surrendering your heart, rather than putting your safety into executing a plan"

If you know me at all (or even followed me for awhile) you know that I loveeee plans.  I mean I am a teacher after all so I do make plans every day.  Actually through teaching and through God I have learned that my plans may not always be the best ones, in fact rarely in my life are they the best because I can't see the whole picture.  I'm not sovereign like God.  In teaching, sometimes you have to adapt to add in extra review days or standardized testing.  

When it comes to my spiritual life, slowly and surely I am learning and trusting that surrendering my heart to Jesus is the best action I can take.  I mean my heart is in the safest place on Earth.  It's in the hands that hold the whole world and it's in the hands that were nailed to the cross to take my punishment.  Why wouldn't I surrender it?! 

Since I started reading Whispers of Rest, I am truly starting to feel my soul become revitalized waking up, ready to share what I have learned the past few years that I've been silent.  Join me in the rest that we all crave!! Order the book here: http://thebonniegray.com/whispersofrest/.  There are lots of free bonuses for ordering.  In addition there will be a Summer Book Club starting up!! Let me know if you are in!! 

Hope you enjoy!!

In His Love,

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Jesus's Birthday: He is our Savior!!

Image result for luke 2:11 
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, The Lord.  
Luke 2:11

Today is it.  We celebrate Jesus and the greatest gift every given.  Despite all the chaos and stress, Christmas comes and goes.  For me it feels like just another day but it's not.  It's a time to stop and reflect.  The way I make the most of it is where I put my focus.  It could be on hosting dinner, finding the perfect gift, attending a record number of church services or it could be on Jesus.  I will never give or receive any better and greater gift than that baby born to a virgin in a barn 2000+ years ago.  He is the True Reason for our celebration.  God has out-gifted us all. 

Jesus was born to die for us.  He is the Perfect Lamb of God to pay the price for all of our sins.  He is the Messiah, the long awaited one.  He fulfilled many scripture prophecies that night He was born.  All of Heaven was waiting and rejoicing.  Angels were crowding in to see their Creator born on Earth.  What a sight that would've been to be a shepherd when the heavenly hosts were praising God.  We will see that one day :)

Is Jesus the One you have been waiting for in your life?  Is He your personal Savior?  Run to Him because He is waiting with open arms in love to receive you.  How will you praise Him for saving each one of us?  What words of worship will you offer Him on this Christmas Day?

Merry Christmas and Enjoy the Day with your family celebrating our Lord!!!

In His Love,

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve: Jesus is with us, Emmanuel

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son, and will call Him Immanuel. 
Isaiah 7:14

It's been 27 days since I started this journey of blogging during Advent.  Today is THE day before THE BIG DAY.  Tomorrow we celebrate Jesus' birth, but today is the last day to prepare our hearts and we really should be celebrating each and every day.  The second to last name for Jesus is Emmanuel or Immanuel (Greek vs. Hebrew spelling).  This name is so wonderful because it means "God with us".  

Jesus came down from Heaven to dwell among, literally the Greek word for dwelling is ἐσκήνωσεν and means tabernacled among us!  The original reason that God had the Israelites build the Tabernacle was so He could dwell among the people.  Then Jesus comes down to dwell among the people and teach them.  

However, Jesus didn't leave us when He ascended to Heaven after His resurrection.  He is always with us.  We are never alone in any circumstances.  Sometimes I feel as if I am alone when no other humans are around or can understand my situation.  Jesus is there for me and has gone through the same feelings and temptations that we face every day. 

Jesus fulfilled the original intent of the Tabernacle.  He came and dwelled with us in human flesh and then returned to Heaven.  The Holy Spirit was sent down so that we can have God in us not just with us.  Therefore, the Holy Spirit dwells within us, closer than any relationship with God prior to Jesus.  

Our relationship with God is even more intimate than Moses and God because Jesus has fully cleansed.  With this cleansing we can now come so close to God that He can live inside of us!!  Does this change your view on the celebration tomorrow?  Will you take some time tomorrow to give thanks and just rest in the awe of God's amazing love?

With His Love,

Friday, December 23, 2016

27th Day of Advent: Jesus is the Living One


"I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!"
Revelation 1:18 

When Jesus died on the cross, the whole world shook (Matthew 27:54), it certainly wasn't the death of an ordinary human.  He was the only unique One that is both Human and God.  Therefore, although He died a real death and bled real blood, only His body died.  His Spirit did not die because He is also the eternal God.  Three days after His death, His body rose from the tomb and was made new.  This is a foreshadow of what will happen to our bodies one day :) 

Anyways, Jesus is ALIVE and living in Heaven.  John saw Him there during the visions he saw that he recorded in the book of Revelation.  He is not dead.  He is working in our lives and in this world.  We just may not see Him due to our lack of faith or belief that He doesn't care. 

How is God alive in your life?  Does the Holy Spirit inside of you make you feel more alive?  I know that when He came to live in, I felt more alive, like my life was significant and worthy.  He can do that for you too!  All you have to do is ask :) 

In His Love,

Thursday, December 22, 2016

26th Day of Advent: Jesus is the Redeemer

"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us."
Galatians 3:13a
Why do we need a Redeemer? That might be a question that someone might ask you.  I wouldn't have been able to answer that question without all the bible studies I have done.  I was raised going to church occasionally but not participating in Sunday School or Youth Group so I didn't have a foundation of understanding Christianity.  I started from scratch.  Now that I have studied parts of both the Old Testament and New Testament, I am beginning to understand Jesus' role as Redeemer.  

It all begins with Adam and Eve in the Garden.  When they brought sin into the world the also brought death.  "For the wages of sin is death." Romans 6:23 We all deserve death because we can't live up to the perfect standards that God requires.  He is holy and cannot be near sin.  That is why He instructed Moses with the careful precautions and specifics when the Israelite built the tabernacle.  God couldn't be near the sinful people unless a sacrifice, death, was made to cover the sins.

Therefore Christ made that sacrifice to redeem us back to God the Father.  Merriam-Webster defines redeem as "making something better or more acceptable."  Jesus is making us more acceptable in the eyes of God.  Because Jesus died for us, He took that curse of death from us and now we can live freely.  Jesus paid that price and brought us back to being able to have a relationship with God like Adam and Eve experienced before they ate the apple. 

How has being redeemed and set right with God changed your life?  In what way do you thank Jesus for redeeming you: Pledging your whole heart and life to him? Praising Him daily? Think of the magnitude of this gift and respond!! In your prayer time today, what words of worship can you offer to show your gratitude for redemption?

With His Love,