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Knowledge, inspiration, and encouragement from a Christian perspective is my goal. I post a weekly commentary, which could be about world events or the events of my week. Other days I might share stories, recipes, homemaking tips, book reviews, political talk, biblical truth, or other blogs and websites I like. This blog is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.

Friday, February 27, 2009

TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS

How many times has your inner voice been trying to tell you something and you ignore it? Then later you wish that you would have acted on that instinct and done something instead of sitting back. Intuition, a sixth sense, our conscience, there are many names for that inner knowing that we call instinct. Whenever something feels off, there's always a reason for it. But we make excuses and shove the feeling aside because we don't want to face what we have to do to address it.

Sometimes that off feeling means having to confront someone. Sometimes it might mean losing someone who's not good for us. And other times it means making a change we don't want to make. So we tell ourselves that everything is okay and if we give it time things will get better and that uneasy feeling will pass. But if our instincts are right, the feeling only gets stronger and by not addressing the problem, the problem gets worse.

God gave us that inner voice to help us make decisions and even to make changes when it's time to move on. We need to listen to our instincts and we need to act when something doesn't feel right. When we're not sure exactly what to do, God is always there waiting for us to ask. And he uses many different ways to let us know how to handle it. Sometimes he'll close a door. Sometimes he'll open a door. Sometimes he gives us peace about a decision. Sometimes we have no peace and can't go through with it. God speaks to us in many ways, but we won't hear from him unless we set time aside each day to listen.

We can trust our instincts when we're close to God because that inner knowing comes from Him.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

KEEPING IT REAL

Have you ever been around someone who just makes you uncomfortable? She just doesn't seem real. You sense that she's trying to appear a certain way-sophisticated, proper, whatever you want to call it. She's just not genuine, almost not human. And you find yourself keeping your distance because she seems to be analyzing your every move.

In her book, The Life You Long For, Beth Moore says that the number one comment she's heard repeated throughout her ministry is, "Thank you for being real." Beth admits that she's disturbed by that comment. "Why would personal transparency be so exceptional among Christians?" she wonders. Then she offers her priceless wisdom: "People don't need us to act like we always have it together. They need help!"

I'm not sure what women get out of appearing sophisticated and proper, but friendship can't be it. People are drawn to honesty. They feel comfortable around people who are real. People who've made mistakes and admit it. People who struggle and admit it. People who aren't afraid to share their mess ups and don't look down on other people's messes. Like Beth pointed out, the world doesn't need us to be sophisticated and proper, it need us to care about people with compassion and kindness.

All my closest friends have one thing in common-they keep it real. We laugh together, cry together, and struggle together. None of us pretends to have a proper life. We openly admit that sometimes our lives are a mess. We fall apart and pick each other up. I see who my friends really are because they show me who they are. They admit their insecurities. They admit they have fears, doubts, and cellulite. And it makes me want to hug them not back away.

What would happen if women just cut the bull and got real? We'd be dangerous because we'd be stronger. There is strength in numbers, but when we act like we always have it together, there's no one supporting us because who can relate to that? There's no one to pick us up because we don't seem real and in need of help. So we struggle alone in our sophisticated, proper world.

"That bull is keeping us from a profound healing from God because it blinds us to our own needs," says Moore. Putting so much effort into being the best keeps us from really improving our lives and bringing joy to others. When we're not real, we're not alive. We're more robotic than human and we miss the real joys in life. We miss real friendship, real love, and real understanding.

Let this be the year we cut the bull and get real. Instead of putting effort into being the best, being proper and sophisticated, lets put our effort into getting real and helping others. I believe it's one of the keys to a happy life that's blessed by God in so many ways. Keeping it real keeps the blessings coming.

Friday, February 13, 2009

...continued from last blog
EVIDENCE WORTH BELIEVING

Evidence of Jesus


The major world religions recognize Jesus as a historical figure-muslims, jews, buddhists and hindus. No other historical figure receives acclaim in other religions around the world. Historical documents speak of Jesus and countless historians testify to the historical reliability of the life of Jesus as reported in the New Testament. And these historians were not all Christians, some were hostile to Christianity. There are ten non-Christian historians who mention Jesus within 100 years of his life. And the story line about Jesus from these non-Christian sources lines up exactly with the New Testament.

Based on evidence supported by eyewitnesses, archaeology, and outside (non-Christian) sources, the New Testament is a reliable historical document of Jesus and His life. History reports that Jesus lived, was worshipped as God, was crucified, buried, and rose again. The tomb of Buddha is occupied. The tomb of Muhammad is occupied. But the tomb of Jesus is empty because he is the son of an eternal God. When he came to earth, Jesus was God in the form of a man

Jesus' miracles verify His claim to be God. Jesus turned water to wine (John 2:7-10). He walked on water (Matt. 14:25). He made blind men see (John 9:6-11). He made the lame walk (Mark 2:3-12). He multiplied bread to feed a multitude (John 6:11-13). He healed many people of all kinds of sickness (Matt. 9:35). He even raised the dead to life on several occasions (Mark, Luke, and John).

The Old Testament predicted Jesus. There are 191 Old Testament prophecies about the coming of Christ. They were written about 400 years before he was born. Non-Christian writers clearly affirmed that Jesus lived and then died by crucifixion. When he died, history reports that darkness fell and an earthquake occurred. And after Christ rose from the dead, he appeared to over 500 different people. If Jesus is a myth, this myth made quite an impact on a lot of people.
He even split history in two. Think about how we record time. B.C. stands for "before Christ." A.D. stands for "in the year of the Lord." Time is measured before and after Christ's coming to earth. Every time we write a date B.C. or A.D. we acknowledge Jesus Christ.




Wednesday, February 4, 2009

EVIDENCE WORTH BELIEVING PART 2

...continued from last blog
EVIDENCE WORTH BELIEVING

Archaeological Evidence
Archaeology offers compelling support that the Bible is accurate.
Over the years, many biblical civilizations have been discovered such as Babylon, Jericho, and ancient Mesopotamia. Also proven through archaeology are many people mentioned in the bible. The House of David inscription was discovered in 1994, proving that David was a real person in history as the bible records.

One of the most dramatic finds was a collection of tablets that record biblical kings in two categories: those who reigned before the great flood and those who reigned after it. Recent discoveries have confirmed the existence of Abraham, Isacc and Jacob, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and the site of Solomon's temple.

Evidence of Prophecy
A prophecy is a prediction of what will happen in the future. The bible has proven to be completely accurate in predicting future events. For example, the book of Isaiah predicted Cyrus would be the king who would allow the Israelites to return to Jerusalem and rebuild its temple. More than 100 years after that biblical prediction, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon destroyed the temple and the jews living in Jerusalem were killed or taken captive to Babylon. Then in 539 BC the Persians conquered Babylon and Cyrus, a Persian king declared that the jews could return to Jerusalem and rebuild their temple

Many prophecies given in the Old Testament are fulfilled in the New Testament. The Bible is the only book in the world that gives precise specific predictions that were made hundreds of years before their fulfillment. The Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy lists 1,817 predictions from the bible.

Evidence of Preservation
For 3,000 years, the bible has survived relentless, determined opposition. Yet even books written 100 years ago are out of print and nowhere to be found. Countless accounts exist to verify the bible's survival. One amazing account comes from Alexander Duff, a young Scottish missionary who was shipwrecked on his way to India. He brought 800 books on his journey, all of which were lost. When the shipwrecked survivors were safely on shore and sifting through the wreckage, only one book washed ashore. It was Alexander Duff's bible.

With so much proof of God's existence, you can understand why the bible states: The fool says there is no God. Next week I'll conclude with further evidence.