To take captive everthing that enters my mouth and to take captive everything that comes out of my mouth so that I can give my mouth to God for His good pleasure

Sunday, March 21, 2010


I've struggled with love over the years. It is a simple subject yet so difficult to put into action. Years ago, I prayed that God would put love into my heart for others. It helped! God gave me a deeper appreciation and respect for others, His church and this world. Eventhough, God gave me a portion of love for others, I still have far more growing to do. This year's challenge has awakened my eyes to the lack of love in my life. I understand the significance of love, the command to love, yet I struggle to humble myself, to put my own desires aside for the good of others. I am selfish and unloving.

There are a few verses that stand out in my mind when I think about love. The first verse comes from 1 Corinthians 13:1-3. It states, "If I can speak in the tongues of men and of angles, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all my possession to the poor, or surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing." What good am I to God, to you, or myself if I have not love? I don't want to be nothing or useless. I am useless and worthless without love.

I feel that there is no way for me to love without the love of God. It isn't natural or easy for me or any person (in my opinion) to love. I believe love is of God and from God. Therefore without God, love is foreign to us, to me. Without God, I can not know anything about love, how to love or to be loved. "We love because he first loved us," 1 John 4:19.

So eventhough nothing about me is loveable or capable of love, God loves me. He loves me first and teaches me about love. "God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us," Romans 5:8." "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us," 1 John 3:16a.

This type of love is unfathomable. I can't comprehend the depth of God's love. Jesus expressed to his disciples before giving up his own life upon the cross that gving one's life for another is the greatest love. He teaches us to lay down our lives, to humble ourselves, our own agendas, needs, desires for others. "My command is this, Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends," John 15:12-13.

I am supposed to love you, all others, as Jesus has loved me! How? I don't know how! Or do I? It begins with God. I must stay with God. I must reside with God. Love derives from God. I can only find love, the love that I can and must share with others, in God. Only if I dwell with God, will I be able to love others.

Why? 1 Peter 4:8, "Above all, love each other deeply because love covers a mulititude of sins." Huh? "Love is patient, love is kind. It doens't envy, it doesn't boast, it is not proud. it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it isn't easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love doesn't delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres," 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love, the love of God, keeps us from sin. God's love prevents sin. If I am loving at its fullness, like God, I will not sin. How great is this love!

Even better, "How great is the love of the Father has lavished on us that we should be called chilren of God," 1 John 3:1.

"How deep the Fathers love for us,
how vast beyond all measure,
that he should give his only son,
to make a wretch his treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss,
the Father turns his face away,
as wounds which mar the chosen one,
bring many sons to glory.
Behold the man upon a cross,
my sin upon his shoulders,
ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held him there,
until it was accomplished,
His dying breath has brought me life,
I know that it is finished.
I will not boast in anything,
no gifts no power no wisdom,
but I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from his reward?
I can not give an answer.
But this I know with all my heart,
His wounds have paid my ransom."
Lyrics by Stuart Towend, 1995.

Friday, March 12, 2010


I am now beginning week 11. The year has not been simple. I have fallen two weeks behind in postings. I struggle to dwell daily in the word of God. I am failing to meditate daily of the weekly words to fuel my mind. Please pray for me as I continue the challenge. Pray for transformation by the end of the year.

I am doing well to avoid the foods on my restriction list. I have had many weak moments but pushed through successfully. Only once have I failed. I ate cake for Michael's brithday. In my defense, I made him two very large and very delicious cakes. My slice was conservative! : ) I;m avoiding certain foods for two more weeks. Then I will allow a week long break before beginning the next series.

I've tried fasting. It is difficult. I haven't completed the number of fasts I set out to complete. Some fasts were food related while others restricted television. I find myself looking for distraction from the weakness in my flesh. However, I think God wants us to feel our weakness so that we can call upon Him and recognize His strength. When I distract myself from the weakened flesh during a fast, I fail to focus on God. So, I need to make adjustments when I fast.

On a good note, I went to the dentist last week for the first time in 7 years! I received a good report on my dental health and made an appoint for six months from now. I am developing a new healthy habit (flossing). I recommend flossing!

Thank you to all my readers. You give me encouragement to be steadfast.


Is there anything pure left in this world? Perhaps this sounds cynical? Hear me out! For something to be pure it must be free from any adulterant, anything that taints, impairs, or infects. Something pure it must be clear, simple, faultless, perfect, and blameless. Being pure means to be genuine, unmingled, unmixed, undiluted, fair, true, immaculate, stainless, and spotless.

By definition, I can assure you, nothing in my life or about my life is pure. Nothing about me is unadulterated or untainted. Just by turning on my television I become subjected to the adulterated/tainted ways of this world. If you don't believe this, turn on your television! Better yet, don't!!! Even if you turned on your television to watch the news, you will find murder and molestation, teft, greed, addiction, and slander. What is so pure about any of these things?

Again, my life isn't pure. It is far from simple, clear, faultless or perfection. Will I ever be considered blameless? As much as I might pretend or wish, I am not blameless. Even my good intentions can damage someone. Perhaps you think this is pessimistic as well. Consider, have you ever offended someone or hurt someone by accident or when trying to do good or to be helpful? It happens. This world is not pure and the effects of sin ripples.

This world is mingled, mixed, diluted, unfair, untrue, stained, and spotted. Why do you think our Lord called Israel to be separated from other nations? He called them to purity: to worship Him alone and to have the pure life that comes only by being fully saturated in God and unmingled with the rest of the world.

Why would God call His people to do the impossible? All people live in this world. Who can be separated from it? Maybe that is the point! We can't be pure! Nothing about our lives or this world is blameless nor can be pure. Only God is pure and makes things blameless.

"And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach-if indeed you continue in faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the Gospel." Colossians 1:21-23

"He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him." Ephesians 1:4

"Do all things without grumbling and disputing; so that yo uwill prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life." Philippians 2:14-16

Notice: before Jesus we (everyone of us) were estranged and opossed to God in mind and behavior. Our desire to do our own thing rather than God's will, separated us from Him and made us unfriendly toward God. Yet what did God do? Did God say to his beloved creation, "Okay, suffer. I didn't want you anyway! Burn."

On the contrary, he continued to love all of us, his very enemies. "He demonstrated his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8 He could not wait until we stopped sinning to bring us back to him as friends and family. It couldn't happen. It is not possible for us to make ourselves pure, blamesless, holy, unspotted, untainted, unadulterated.

If you find yourself to be in midst of this adulterated world, living a life hostile toward God; know that He has done all you need to become blameless and pure before him. You don't have to live as an enemy of God any longer. You don't have to be tainted. You don't have to burn with the ways of this world nor eternally in the next. God doesn't want to throw you into the fire. He wants to keep you.

Christ died for you. Christ died for me. Only Christ can present you and I blameless before God. Only Christ empowers us to to live by faith and steadfast until His return. Only Christ shows us how to be blameless and pure, for he is blameless and pure. For this reason, we must talk to Him daily, study his life so that we can immitate it. We must read the word of God. It is a living word that will teach us to be pure. "The wisdom from above is first pure, then peacable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy." James 3:17

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence and don not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Retore to me the joy of your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit." Psalm 51:10-13

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


How do you know what is true? For all you Lost fans, do you find yourself confused between what and who to believe? I do. I wonder what is true; who or what can be trusted. What will happen to the people on the island? Who is lying? Who is telling the truth? What is good? Where do I put my trust? Perhaps we can ask similar questions about life? What is true? What is real? Who can we trust with our lives? Where do we find answers we can rely upon? How do we know what is true? How do we distinguish the truth from lies? Why is it so easy to get confused?

I looked up true in Webster's dictionary and thesaurus and found the following words: faithful, loyal, constant, certain, in accordance with fact, that agrees with reality, not false, precise, exact, right, correct, valid, sure, dependable, sincere, authentic, pure, genuine. I don't know about you, but I believe most people are looking for what is true. No one wants to be bamboozled, tricked, lied to, deceived.

Lately, I've spent some time identifying lies that I have been guilty of believing. These are the lies that Satan whispers in your head when hungry (physically or spiritually) angry, lonely, or tired. These are the lies Satan has convinced the world as truth and therefore leads me to believe them and get confused. These are the lies that separate me from the ones that I love. It causes resentment, bitterness in heart, pride, greed, vanity. It leads me to "store up treasure" on earth, in the things that will fade away and be destroyed. It leads me to focus on the temporary rather than the eternal. It leads me to believe that I am either entitled to whatever my heart desires or the opposite, unlovable and unworthy of anything. These lies believe in instant gratification. Identifying the lies of Satan helps me to distinguish what is true and where to put my hope.

I want to be certain about where to put my hope. I want the foundation of my life decisions to be dependable. I want to know that in the end, I will be safe and happy. I want to be sure of my future and to trust that he who holds the future is faithful and loyal. The following is my incomplete list of what is true.

  1. God made the heavens, the earth, and all that is in it.
  2. God created me to be in a relationship with Him.
  3. I fail no matter how hard I try to to good.
  4. My failure, sin and selfishness keep me apart from God.
  5. God sent His Son, the Christ, to die so that I would not have to die.
  6. Jesus died because my sin brings about death eternal.
  7. Jesus gave up His life out of love and took up His life out of authority.
  8. Jesus restores the relationship God wants with me.
  9. He provides His Spirit to teach and to guide me.
  10. The resurrection will take place.

I put my trust in God. Why? I believe he is the only hope for me. I trust His word and His promises. I think He is faithful, loyal, dependable, sincere. I believe He can and will give me life eternal. I believe God is the only one who can do these things.

God is the only answer when life gets confusing. The world is full of lies, lies that sound convincing yet leave me empty and alone. Only God offers the full truth and nothing but the truth.

What is true? The ultimate search in life....."seek first His kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find." Matthew 6:33 & 7:7 May the following scriptures inspire you on your quest for what is true.

"For the Lord is right and true, he is faithful in all he does." Psalm 33:4

"Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." John 17:3

"Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long." Psalm 25:5

"All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal." Psalm 119:160

"We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true-even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life." 1 John 5:20

One last thought...ask the Lord to show you what is true. Ask that he open your eyes, your ears, your mind, and your heart. God will prove himself to you! Just ask.