What’s the Next Step?

Ask God…to lead the way. So…what’s the next step? Where is He leading you? Don’t we all wish sometimes we could know what the next 10 years of our life would look like?

“They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid.” (Mark 10:32a NIV)

Is Jesus leading the way in your life? It says that some were astonished and some were afraid. Are you astonished or afraid right now in your own life? Can you say to yourself and to God “I don’t know what the next step is God. But, I will follow!” What is next Lord? I want You God to lead the way! Jesus was on His way to His death on the cross. He knew what was ahead of Him and was even telling the Disciples. He walked right into the “next” in His life! Death on a Cross! He walked right through to the other side of death which was LIFE! Eternal life for you and for me!

He knows what is ahead of you too! Give us your courage Lord! If it is suffering Lord, I pray you will LEAD us through it Lord and help us not be afraid. If it is joy, I pray you will lead us through it and help us Lord to stand astonished and in awe of your glory!

Sometimes, we get fearful of the unknown. Not knowing what lies before us. It was especially hard after going through a divorce. I didn’t know what my life was going to be like. I had been married the last 23 years of my life. That was more than half of my life. All of my adult life. Then I found myself single again. With 2 kids. It was at that time in my life that the concept that God was not only my Father, but that God could be my husband. I was totally dependent on Him. I didn’t have anybody else that I could really depend on. He became my husband! He became my EVERYTHING!!

I love the song that is out right now by Chris Tomlin, called “Whom Shall I Fear”. The chorus says:
“Whom shall I fear,
I know Who goes before me
I know Who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side.”

This is so true for a follower of Jesus because God does go before us and is leading the way and He is standing behind us ready to catch us when we fall. He is ALWAYS by my side! Even when we are afraid of what the next step is, or the unknown future; God is there leading us and walking through it with us!

We sometimes decide in our own minds what we want to happen and try to plan it all out. But is it God’s plans for you? Don’t let yourself get ahead of God. Let Him lead you and then watch in astonishment all the wonders and glories that He has prepared for you!

“For your Maker is your husband— the Lord Almighty is his name— the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.” (Isaiah 54:5 NIV)

“The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1 NIV)

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV)

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Hypocrites in the Church

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Ask God…to help you everyday to walk the walk. Are you for real? Are you who you are when you are out in public the same person that you are when nobody is watching?
Christians have so many times been given the title of “Hypocrite”, of being fake. Are you saying one thing and living a different way? We cannot go to Church on Sunday and act all “Christ like” and then on Monday go back into the workplace or back into school and be a jerk to someone or use bad language. You can’t be lying to your friends and family and cheating on taxes or tests, or on your spouse or boyfriend and then ask God to bless your day. This is what gives not only you a bad name but gives Christ a bad name.

Living for Christ is a 24 hr/7 days a week lifestyle! Unfortunately some people that say they are Christians really may have never TRULY surrendered their life to Jesus. So…if they haven’t truly given their life to Jesus, they haven’t been changed from the inside out and they don’t know any better. They are just trying to act the part instead of it being a real life change. We can’t judge those people, we need to pray for them that God changes them. If they are in Church and are hearing God’s Word then maybe God will change their hearts. There are hypocrites in Church but at least they are in Church! Don’t let those people deter you from being what God wants you to be. All we really need to be concerned with is how we are reflecting the name of Jesus! Are you exalting and glorifying His name by your words and actions? Don’t point your finger at others because when you do there are three fingers pointing back at you. Whew…. Help us Lord to clean up our own backyards!!

So…ask yourself are you the same today as you were yesterday. Have you clothed yourself with the attributes of Christ? Have you sat at the feet of Jesus today? Are you listening to what He is saying to you? We are not called to be perfect but we are called to be Christlike. We have to fill ourselves up daily with more of Him so there is less of us.

I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be giving my precious Lord a bad name. I want people to know how good and kind and loving He is. You may be the only Jesus that someone sees today. How are they going to see Him?

“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:5-10, 12-14, 17 NIV)

Look on the Bright Side!

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Ask God…to help you look on the brighter side of life. With the time changing I don’t know about you but I feel like I am waking up in the middle of the night. I dragged myself out of bed this morning after a restless night of even trying to get to sleep. You wouldn’t think that an hour change would make such a big difference but it does. So we have a choice. We can let the lack of sleep cause us to be all grouchy and mean and be ugly to the ones we love OR we can look on the bright side!!

What does the bright side look like? Well…because we have gone into Daylight Savings time we now have longer days and more sunshine to get to enjoy. When you get home in the evenings you can enjoy the outdoors and possibly take an evening walk. Maybe you now get to enjoy the beautiful sunrise in the mornings. The trees and the flowers will start blooming soon. Spring and Summer are coming! With Spring and Summer right around the corner there are more opportunities, including more family time, travel and vacation time. Get out and meet your neighbors! Take a Mission trip! Life is full of opportunities. The world is beautiful! Make the best of every day!

So the choice is yours. You can be grouchy and ugly or you can put a smile on your face and enjoy the day!! Look for opportunities to bless someone and brighten up their day!!

“This is the day which the L ORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalms 118:24 NASB)

I Have The Scars To Prove It

Ask God…what HE wants you to do? We think sometimes we’ve got it all figured out and really we don’t even have a clue. Our agenda, our plan, our future, our kids, our house, our car. Our? Really? NONE of it belongs to us. God allows us to to manage them sure, but ultimately they ALL belong to Him!

I woke up one morning in February 1986 and went to the Dr to find out that I had Breast Cancer. I was only 24 and this was a major shock. I remember feeling so helpless one minute and then the next I was ready to face whatever….whatever was next. Fast forward a year and I had been through 5 pretty major surgeries and a whole lot pain and numerous doctor’s appointments. Every day I would wake up and thank God that He chose to let me live another day. I prayed to God but I had never asked for forgiveness and asked Christ to be my Savior. I thought I was a Christian but if I had died I didn’t know Jesus and I would not have gone to Heaven. God gave me each of those days and continued to draw me close to Him and since then my life has changed tremendously!! How often do you wake up and thank God for giving you yet another day to live?
He chose me and eventually I chose to surrender my life to Him! My life is His! I don’t know what tomorrow will bring and neither do you! We may be here today and gone tomorrow. How will you choose to live the agenda, the future, the day God has given you? What does God want you to do with your life? He has a plan for you but it ALL belongs to Him!! I am thankful that God has given me each and every morning since those days in 1986 to LIVE LIFE! I want to live it well!

I can look back now to 27 years ago and know why God allowed cancer in my life at such a young age. It was my bottom and the end of my old life and the start of a new life! God loves you! What does He want YOU to do? It all belongs to Him!!

“How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:14, 15 NLT)

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