Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Melissa Dilan-Hernandez Scheduled To Attend Pre-Trial



Have you been wondering what's been going on with Melissa Dilan-Hernandez the 30-year old mother of four who had a child with her 17-year old lover?

Well the star-crossed from Dr. Phil's show attended pre-trial on January 17th after the court appointed her an attorney.  She is scheduled to be back in court February 28th. 

I will keep you informed as more information becomes available. 



Monday, February 25, 2013

Academy Awards Style Stunners For Less with David's Bridal


Last night's Oscars red carpet captivated everyone with the most show-stopping looks to come down the biggest runway in Hollywood ­ all of which left watchers at home hungry for their own haute designs. As millions of women will clamor to steal the look of their favorite stars at the show, I wanted to get to you early with some award-winning formal wear lookalikes from David¹s Bridal.

The Nominees

Pretty enough to say I do! Get the stunning aisle style Dior look of Best Actress nominee Jennifer Lawrence with this layered fit and flare Oleg Cassini bridal gown from David¹s Bridal.



 

 
     o Style: CWG482
     o Price: $1,050
     o http://www.davidsbridal.com/Product_Beaded-Layered-Lace-Fit-and-Flare-Gown-CWG482


Mimic Supporting Actress nominee Helen Hunt's beautiful in blue H&M look with this marine-hued strapless gown from David's Bridal.

 

     o   Style: F15429
     o Price: $149
     o   http://www.davidsbridal.com/Product_Strapless-Dress-with-Cuff-Neckline-and-Corset-Back-F15429

Looking to achieve the sizzling silver silhouette of Naomi Watts; Armani gown? Try this Davids Bridal one shoulder glitter mesh gunmetal dress.




   o Style: 55388D
   o Price: $199
       o http://www.davidsbridal.com/Product_Long-One-Shoulder-Glitter-Mesh-Dress-55388D

Red Carpet Hits:

Kerry Washington¹s refreshing pop of coral color in her dazzling Miu Miu gown can be replicated for less with this strapless, beaded gown from David¹s Bridal.



   o Style: 51781
       o Price: $229
       o   http://www.davidsbridal.com/Product_Strapless-Prom-Dress-with-Cut-Glass-Beading-51781

Bridal style on the red carpet was all the rage at the Oscars! Charlize Theron's sleek peplum Dior Haute Couture gown can be easily stolen with this stunning David¹s Bridal Wedding Collection dress.







Ben Affleck¹s leading lady looked effortless in purple. To get her light and airy look, try this strapless, sangria-colored chiffon gown.













     o   Style: F14865
     o   Price: $159

The Purity Priority



Today’s devotional in the Love Expressed series focuses on reflecting the character of Christ in our words, thoughts, and actions. 
Gandhi famously said, “Thoughts become words. Words become actions. Actions become habits. Habits become character. And character becomes your destiny.” 
How do you love God with your entire mind? Do you even think that is possible? God created our minds and gave us this command, so it must be possible.  Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on the earth.  You can choose the way you think, because that is really action in the beginning.
 If you think in the light of what Christ has done and who Christ is, then your actions will automatically flow out of that. A forgiving person, a person with a gentle attitude, a person who reaches out to others, does not act just out of their own thoughts. They are thinking about God, and they are thinking about their neighbor, and they are thinking about life, and they are thinking about themselves, in the light of the cross of Jesus Christ. And out of that there flows a whole new way of life.
Our words play a huge part in our everyday lives.  Our actions speak louder than words, and they should serve as a guide for how to live life.  Our Character summarizes the essence of our walk with Christ being exhibited back to Him and then onto others.
As a Christian you are someone who is a model, a pacesetter; someone who influences others in positive ways according to biblical standards! Modeling Christian virtues, virtues of true spirituality, is crucial to effective ministry in the world.
St. Francis noted this in particular when he suggested that people preach the gospel but “use words if necessary.” His idea is that preaching could be active instead of verbal, and that words were secondary to action, and could be expressed in the common phrase, “practice what you preach.”
“Character is who you are when no one is watching."  But this also applies when the world is watching. Character is the product of daily, hourly actions, and words and thoughts; daily forgiveness, unselfishness, kindnesses, sympathies, charities, sacrifices for the good of others, struggles against temptation, submissiveness under trial. Remember that the deeds you do may be the only sermon some persons will hear today.

Let God's love move you to step out in faith and do what the Spirit leads you to do.  Do it in love.  Do it in faith.  Do it with hope, confidently expecting GOD to keep His Word. 
God's will for your life is not a reflection of your desires, plans, pursuits, ambitions, past successes or failures. Never forget that we are not here merely for our own spiritual benefit. If we are in fact servants, as Christ has called us to be, we will primarily be here for the benefit of others, to see them come to faith in Christ and to see them grow.
Thoughts – Words – Actions – Habits – Character – Destiny…it’s a daily choice.  Ask GOD to give you the supernatural grace to live a holy life. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Two Shall Become One


Today’s devotional in the Love Expressed series focuses on engage with GOD in deeper levels of prayer.  Prayer is a beautiful, as well as essential, way to ask for Our Lord’s help and blessings. Even when God doesn’t answer our prayers as we’d like, He gives us the grace to cope with our problems and tragedies better in any case.
Prayer is a beautiful, as well as essential, way to ask for Our Lord’s help and blessings. Even when GOD doesn’t answer our prayers as we’d like, He gives us the grace to cope with our problems and tragedies better in any case.
Through prayer, you can receive divine guidance, strength, and blessings from Him daily. Prayer can help you draw closer to GOD, receive comfort in troubling times, and know right from wrong.
There is no right way to pray but there are three basic ways in which we pray. 

First, there is vocal prayer.  In vocal prayers you express your love for God and through which you lift up your souls towards GOD. Therefore we must hold in high esteem this kind of prayer and practice it much. We do are also utilizing vocal prayers when we sing the praises of GOD.

The second kind of prayer is mental prayer or meditation. Mental prayer consists in lifting up our mind towards the Good Lord by meditating on GOD’s greatness, His perfections, without speaking our words aloud. You practice this kind of prayer when you submit yourselves to Him, think of Him, forgetting the worries of this world, daily worries, in order to elevate your soul towards God, you practice mental prayer.

There is a third kind of prayer which is essential, and which is the most important, beside vocal and mental prayer: the prayer of the heart.

What is the prayer of the heart? It is that which shows internally love for the Good Lord, without even a particular thought on this or that subject, such as this perfection of God, or that manifestation of the charity of God towards us. But to simply love GOD, to express our love to the Good Lord. It is somewhat like a little child in his mother's arms, like to what he has in his heart for his mommy and daddy. He is happy - he is in his father's arms or his mother's arms. He does not think of anything else. He thinks only of loving his parents. Well, we should have such a natural, profound and constant love for the Good Lord. This prayer is the most pleasing to God because it places us entirely at His disposal. By it, we offer our whole self to God. We offer our body, our will, our time and all that we are to Him Who created us, to Him who awaits us, to give us this heavenly bliss which He has prepared for us.

Ask GOD today to give you boldness to engage with Him in deeper levels of prayer. 



Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Victorious Chariot Of Worship


 
Today’s devotional in the Love Expressed series is about the power of worship.

We are created to worship GOD and live for his glory. There is power in worshipping God.  When you and I come boldly to GOD's throne in worship, He gives us His plans and strategies for our lives here on earth

 You may be asking yourself what exactly is worship?  Worship is an expression of joy, happiness, and jubilation.  To worship GOD means to obey, honor, reverence, respect, praise, and give Him all the glory.

Worship changes our lives and how we see our circumstances.  As you touch GOD with your praise, his Holy Spirit touches you and ministers to you. Worship transports you to lofty divine realms. What­ever situation you are facing in your business, job, stud­ies, marriage, family, etc, choose to worship.

Are you are doing what GOD made you to do? You were created to enjoy the holy and glorious GOD.  It's time to devote ourselves to a greater worship of the Lord.  Choose to worship God today in spirit and in truth.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day Came Early!!


Valentine’s Day came a little early to my home, when this beautiful arrangement of gorgeous red roses and elegant lilies arrived from 1800Flowers in a beautiful red vase.
 
This arrangement was part of the 1-800-Flowers Arrangement of the Month 12 Month Bouquet Club I won last year. I recieve a new beautiful bouquet every month for a year!

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and one of the most common gifts to give and receive is flowers. Roses are the most popular flower to give and receive but you can still be a hero when you send designer bouquets from 1800Flowers to your sweetie.

I absolutely adore 1800-FLOWERS! I have used them many times when sending flowers and not only do they have fantastic customer service, but their the flowers are always stunning, fresh and lovely! I can’t recommend them highly enough.

Disclosure: I received a free product as part of a prize I won last year. I received no monetary compensation and my opinions are my own.

Placing My Worries Before GOD



Before I start writing about today’s devotional I’d like to share something with you that relates to the recent devotional about miracles.  In the activation section of that devotional I was instructed to close my eyes for a moment and think about what I am really hoping for.  I am reminded that GOD awaits my request.
Now let me begin by saying I do not look upon GOD as a genie who awaits my wishes so that he may grant them.  I do understand that our prayers should be filled with adoration and praise in which our only desire is to be in GOD's presence forever.  Sometimes though, there are times when you need to share your troubles with GOD and ask that He help you to navigate through your difficulties.

Every morning I take a long walk and spend part of this walk in prayer and meditation.  I always thank GOD that I am able to walk because I realize that some cannot.  I thank GOD for the big things and the little things and I often ask him to help me to be a better person. 
My mother has been having problems with her sight lately and I have been asking GOD to watch over her.  I hadn’t asked him to heal her because I felt that was a bit presumptuous of me to think that in the big scheme of things my concerns or desires should take precedence in the many things GOD is dealing with.
Over the weekend my mother woke up whimpering like a small child because she couldn’t see.  I felt so bad for her but of course I could do nothing for her.  I live over a thousand miles away so all I could do was pray for her. 
Monday night I tried to call her because I wanted to tell her that this may be only temporary and read to her how the Pope had lost his sight for a short period of time after a stroke.  I felt that by telling her this I would be giving her hope and she would find strength to deal with her situation.  Unfortunately I was unable to get in touch with her that night so I left a quick message and decided I would call her on Tuesday. 
Tuesday morning I went for my morning walk and after saying an Our Father I prayed that GOD would help my mother though this situation but midway through that I asked that GOD help her with her eyesight.  I wasn’t planning to ask GOD that but the words almost took upon them a life of their own. 
Almost immediately I apologized for my hubris and told GOD that I realized I didn’t deserve to ask him for something so important to me and assured him that I knew he wasn’t Santa just waiting to hear my wish list. 
Then this thought came into my head asking the question, what else is troubling me.    You may be surprised to learn that one of the things that was really bothering me was not about finances, my relationship, or anything like that.  As a matter of fact it really had nothing to do with me.
As a daughter of a policeman I always feel especially sad when I hear of the death of an officer.  When I was a little girl I was afraid my father might go to work and not come back.  This was especially true during the DC riots as we watched the devastation on television and it seemed as though the world was on fire. 
Like many others I was very concerned about the Christopher Dorner situation.  Dorner was a fugitive police officer bent on revenge who murdered three people before going on the run.  He threatened ‘asymmetrical warfare’ against Los Angeles police.
I said to GOD that I just wanted this evil to end that I didn’t want anyone else to die.  I told Him that I was worried about those people on his hit list that were living in fear.  I worried for those who might cross his path at the wrong time and wind up as collateral damage. 
I’m so tired of all the violence in the world.  I’m so very tired of hearing about man’s inhumanity to man.  I just wanted the violence to end.
Then almost as soon as I articulated my concerns I realized that riding the world of violence is a tall order so I placed my concerns in GOD’s hands and finished my walk.
I called my mother around 2PM yesterday to talk to her about the Pope.  I wanted to hear what she had to say.  What did she think about this historical event?   I also wanted to tell her my original message about the Pope’s temporary loss of vision years ago.
My sister Debbie answered the phone and the first words out of her mouth were, “Cathy, you are not going to believe this.  Mom woke up this morning around noon and her vision is OK."
I was shocked.  I was thrilled to hear it.  I knew that GOD had given her this blessing but still I was shocked that GOD would answer that selfish prayer of mine.  Trust me I knew this had nothing to do with me and everything to do with GOD.
Mom and I talked for a while and she seemed fascinated with the fact that the Pope had also temporarily lost his sight.  She also wanted to talk about food and all the other things Mom usually likes to talk about. 
When I got off the phone I turned the radio back on to learn that the police had Christopher Dorner pinned down in a cabin in Big Bear.  Dorner exchanged gunfire on Tuesday with San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies and two officers were hurt. 
Once again I felt a bit surprised at the news.  Especially since police had been searching that area the day before with no luck and there was talk that he may have already fled to Mexico.  I knew that this situation would not end well.  I also knew that my prayer joined a chorus of other prayers that this situation would end without any more deaths.

The things that happened were not due to anything I said or did.  These events happened because they were GOD's will.  I do feel humbled, not because my prayers were so particularly powerful or that I had some sort of direct line to GOD that others did not have but because I felt that GOD heard my prayers.  I had allowed my expectations to be far above what I know to be possible except through him and he brought about what I had felt was impossible. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled




Jesus  spoke these words in the Upper Room at a final meal with His disciples in John 14:27 “My peace I give unto you…not as the world gives,” What is the peace that Jesus promises? Some believe that peace is the absence of warfare or conflict, but true peace occurs when Jesus’ presence is on you and within you in the face of the war raging around you. 

Let not your heart be troubled. The storms in your life may be bad, but the peace of God can silence the storms. It can handle every storm you face in life. When you get dressed each day, check to see whether you are wearing the peace of God.

The peace of GOD can keep you calm when spiritual battle is raging all around you. GOD’s power is not limited by the impossibility of your situation.  He knows how to allow your pain to work out the purpose for which he planned.  That is why you should never give up and never surrender.  Your struggles won’t endure, but through Christ, your eternal future will!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI Announces He Will Resign At The End of February


Pope Benedict XVI stunned his closest aids when he announced that he will resign February 28th.  Ratzinger is the first pope to resign his position since Gregory XII in 1415 and the first to have done so voluntarily since Celestine V in 1294.

Joseph Aloisus Ratzinger was ordained as a priest in 1951 and became Pope at the age of 78.  He was theologically conservative in his teaching and his prolific writings defend traditional Catholic doctrine and values.

Prior to his election as Pope in 2005, Ratzinger had hoped to retire—on account of age-related health problems, a long-held desire to have free time to write, and the retirement age for bishops (75)—and submitted his resignation as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith three times, but continued at his post in obedience to the wishes of Pope John Paul II.

Early in his pontificate Benedict XVI predicted a short reign, which led to concerns about his health.  May 2005 the Vatican announced that he had suffered mild stroke. It is important to note that Vatican spokesman, Federico Lombardi, insisted the pope had "no current illness that would influence his decision".

Today, February 11, 2013, the Vatican confirmed Pope Benedict would retire at the end of February. 

Pope Benedict XVI said in his resignation letter: 

“After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.

“I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering.

“However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.”

Sunday, February 10, 2013

An Altar Of Brokenness



Today’s devotional in the Love Expressed series is about deepening your love for GOD and finding freedom in Christ. 

Many people are spiritually stuck and yearn to be free from the guilt, shame, anxiety, fear, abuse and addictions that are suffocating their souls.  Others have accepted a substandard life in Christ, where faith is lived out on Sunday mornings but is largely irrelevant the rest of the week.

Freedom in Christ doesn’t just mean freedom from sin or sickness. No matter how tough things might be for you spiritually right now; I’ve got great news for you!  Your situation is not hopeless because GOD is there for you.  GOD cares about those in physical, emotional, mental or spiritual challenges that you are facing.

Jesus sets us free by the power of His Spirit.  Christ came to heal the brokenhearted and set captives free. When we trust Him as Savior, the chains that keep us from joy are broken.

May the Lord greatly touch your life during this difficult time in your life. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Never Alone

 
Today’s devotional in the Love Expressed series deals with GOD’s presence in our lives even in times of distress and uncertainty. 

We all go through hardships of every kind. There are times when we feel like giving up.  All of us feel this way at times. No one is exempt from trouble and trials. It happens to the best of people.
Remember that GOD can help us when no one else can.  He will never leave you to face your battles alone. Never !  The Lord is always there to give you what you need to make it through your most challenging times.

GOD walks with us, gives us strength, understands our pain and knows how to handle our problems. His love is perfect and unconditional. He will help us if we only ask Him. 

GOD promises, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your GOD. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10) Claim this promise with faith and remember He is here with you right now and forever.

Fernbank Museum Celebrates New Butterfly IMAX(r) Film With Special Butterfly Bash On February 9



In celebration of the new IMAX® film Flight of the Butterflies, Fernbank Museum of Natural History will host a butterfly-inspired adventure day on Saturday, February 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Butterfly Bash will feature live butterflies, crafts, storytelling, and other activities.

One of the many highlights during Fernbank’s Butterfly Bash is a walk-in, live butterfly experience. Visitors will be able to stand among live butterflies as they witness these remarkable insects in action. They’ll also learn how butterflies are able to soar through the sky by participating in a paper butterfly activity. Fernbank educators will offer special activities that reveal the important stages of a butterfly’s life, and explore the differences between moths and butterflies.

Monarchs Across Georgia, which works with teachers, students, families and communities to study monarch butterflies and restore butterfly habitats, will offer several butterfly experiences. Representatives will offer a look at the Mexico Book Project, a literacy effort in partnership with schools near the Mexican overwintering sanctuaries, and Monarch Watch, a citizen science monarch tagging project based on the one Dr. Urquhart began decades ago.

Callaway Gardens will offer suggestions for good butterfly gardening using live plants, and the Atlanta Botanical Garden will provide seed plantings* to help visitors start their own butterfly sanctuary at home.

At noon, Fernbank’s Storyteller-in-Residence Rob Cleveland will treat audiences to special stories about the natural world. And as visitors transform into butterfly experts during their day at the Butterfly Bash, they’ll earn their wings with temporary butterfly tattoos*.

The inspiration for the Butterfly Bash comes from Flight of the Butterflies, a larger-than-life film that immerses audiences in the enchanting world of monarch butterflies. This awe-inspiring story of two unlikely heroes follows the epic 3,000-mile journey of the monarch butterfly and the determined scientist Dr. Fred Urquhart, who spent 40 years trying to discover the mysteries surrounding their migration and secret winter hideaway.

Fernbank’s Butterfly Bash will take place on Saturday, February 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Flight of the Butterflies will show at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. as part of the regular IMAX schedule. The film will continue through May 9, 2013.

Visitors are invited to enjoy the full museum experience, including the Butterfly Bash activities and the Flight of the Butterflies film, with the purchase of Value Pass tickets. Value Pass tickets are $19 for children, $21 for students/seniors, $23 for adults, and $8 for Museum Members. IMAX film tickets ($11-$13) and Museum tickets ($15.50-$17.50) are also available separately.

Tickets and visitor information are available at fernbankmuseum.org and 404.929.6300. Fernbank Museum of Natural History is located at 767 Clifton Road NE in Atlanta.

*Giveaways available while supplies last.

###

Watch the Flight of the Butterflies trailer: http://www.flightofthebutterflies.com/home/

(Fernbank’s presentation is 2D, not 3D.)

Photo courtesy of SK Films.

GOD’s Presence Is The Prize


Today’s devotional in the Love Expressed series is about GOD’s presence in your life. 

How intimate and personal is your relationship with GOD?  You may know GOD but do you have an intimate, personal relationship with Him?

Imagine how different life would be if you were always aware of being in GOD’s  loving presence!  When you become aware of GOD’s pres­ence in your daily life, wor­ries and anx­i­eties will have no place in your mind.   GOD’s close presence becomes y our refuge, glory, and strength.

Get up every day know­ing that GOD is by your side and is always with you and expe­ri­ence the feel­ing of God’s pres­ence in your life. When God makes a promise to you He never breaks it. God makes this promise to you:

“Never will I leave you; never will I for­sake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

You are always in GOD's presence.  He loves you without limits, and wants the best for you.  Make regular time with GOD  a priority.  Give GOD thanks and praise in everything, make Himm part of your life and live like you mean it!      

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Blessed House


 
Today’s devotional in the Love Expressed series is about having a Christ centered home.  In your decisions as a family, do you seek first to listen to God? Does your family put following what God says above all else?
A personal relationship with Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of marriage, giving meaning and purpose to every dimension of living.  Your family values help others know what is important to your family. They shape the way we act, talk, and live.
A meaningful prayer life is essential in maintaining a Christ-centered home. It is impossible to overstate the need for prayer in the fabric of family life. In good times, in hard times, in moments of anxiety, and in periods of praise, share this wonderful privilege of talking directly to our heavenly Father with your family. 
The Bible provides us with an incredible resource! GOD tells us in His Word how to live together in peace and harmony. Everything from handling money to sexual attitudes is discussed in scripture. A family that depends on scripture for solutions to the stresses of living has a distinct advantage over the family with no faith.  
In a Christ centered household, Christ is the Head of this house, the Unseen Guest at every meal, the Silent Listener to every conversation.  Make a place for the presence of GOD in your home by leading prayer and worship with your family.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Song In Your Heart

 
Today’s devotional in the Love Expressed series is about focusing your attention on GOD.
Our default consciousness focuses on the things of this world, its joys and its sorrows.  Indeed we often become so immersed in this life, in our marriages, our families, our jobs, in entertainment, in sports and in our daily concerns that we don't seem all to have God as center of our conscious attention for any significant portion of their our lives.
If you are going to experience the presence of God, then you must give Him your undivided attention. You must throw off everything that hinders and entangling sin. You must devote your best energies toward accomplishing GOD’s purposes.
Focus your attention and affection GOD.  Surround yourself with reminders of His love and truth by listening to music that speaks of God’s goodness.  Keep a prayer journal and track God’s movement in your life.
How is God getting your attention? What is the One Thing you're doing to listen for His still, small voice?  He calls you to live intentionally today.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Crank It Up



Today’s devotional in the Love Expressed series is about personalizing your worship.
Most of us have heard the story of Jesus walking on water. His disciples were in the boat when a strong wind kicked up. Jesus walked on water. Then Peter walked on water. Then Peter sank and Jesus saved him.
They were filled with joy. They were delighted. They had seen Jesus perform miracles before but this was the first time that the bible recounts the disciples worshiping him.   It was the whole hearted internal response with awe and reverence at what they had just witnessed.
Worship is the natural outflow of a mind filled with and renewed by God's truth.  It was never intended to be boring, formal, and cold.  Worship should be personal, a celebration of what God is doing in our lives.
Worship can be an act, spoken words, or songs, in praise and adoration to the Almighty GOD.  We honor GOD when we worship him with our whole heart and spirit.  Worship has a way of magnifying who God is in our life which is why worship is never passive.  Worship requires action; it is not a spectator sport.

Do you passively approach worship? Remember what GOD has blessed you and shown you his love and praise him for it.    

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Bribery

 
Today’s devotional in the Love Expressed series is about your motives for worship.  Do you worship as a requirement to appease GOD?  Do you worship to earn favor?  Are you worshiping him with gratitude for your salvation? 
Until now you have probably only experienced conditional love. Conditional love is based upon what you do. Perform well on the job, on the team, or in the relationship, and you are “loved.”
 
We conclude that because our lives have so many troubles, God is obviously disappointed in us. We think that if we can become someone God would want to be around, we’ll be someone He wants to bless. Such messages are then followed by a formula to get the job done—anything from moral living to having faith.

We don’t have to worship to appease GOD because he has already given us forgiveness, acceptance, love, and the honor of knowing Him.  GOD has cancelled your debts, brought you from the darkness, into the light, and gave you the greatest treasure of all—a relationship with him.
When GOD forgives, He forgives completely. There are no strings attached to His love and mercy. They are freely given, because of who He is, because of His perfect nature and character. There is no earning of His compassion, no deserving on our part. He does not say that we must become perfect before we can share in His redemption and reconciliation.
GOD desires to have a close, intimate relationship with man; in fact, He was willing to pay the highest price possible -- the life of Jesus, His only Son. That sacrifice squared the past, exonerated us in spite of whom and what we are. Christ's death paved the way, broke down the wall of partition, and opened the door to allow free access to our Father in heaven.
Our relationship with GOD is the best relationship we have.  GOD’s promise to love and care for us is fulfilled by his performance of doing so. GOD never turns his back on us. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Perfect Worshiper


Today’s devotional in the Love Expressed Series is about forgiveness and having a grateful heart.
In Luke 7:37-38 we hear the story of a woman in that town who lived a sinful life that learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume.  As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

This woman’s worship of Jesus was at a great cost to her. It cost her expensive vial of perfume, and the humility to kiss, wash, and dry the dirty feet of the Lord Jesus. But there was a higher price than this paid by the woman. In my opinion, the greatest price which she paid was facing the scorn and rejection of the self-righteous Pharisees and other dinner guests at that meal.
What love! What gratitude! What boldness to walk right in where she knew people knew all about her past, but her gratitude forced her to subject herself to their ridicule just so she could see Jesus…so she could honor the One who had changed her life.
When Jesus speaks to the woman in the final verses of our passage, He now makes clear to her the basis for her forgiveness: “Your faith has saved you; go in peace”.
We ought to welcome sinners, if they acknowledge themselves as sinners, and if they seek to be saved from their sins. All too often, sinners are shunned by the church, more than they are sought be it. May we learn from our Lord to be more like Him and less like the Pharisee Simon who judged this woman.

Religious people may have marginalized you; church people may make you uncomfortable, but let me assure you of this—you will find everything you’ve been longing for in life in the arms of Jesus. He will forgive you. He will wipe your tears, and give you a confidence to live the life He has given you with no concern for what others have to say about your past.

 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Promises


Today’s devotional in the Love Expressed series is about GOD’s promises.  
A promise is of no more value than is the ability of the one who makes it to carry through.  It also includes willingness to do so.  The promises of GOD are trustworthy, because the GOD who promised them is faithful!
 The Scriptural promises are words from God, sent to give comfort to those who seek to live as God leads them to live. They weren't given an expiration date, nor are they just for the pious few.
1.  He has promised to supply every need we have. The Bible says: "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus". (Phillipians 4:19). Consider the definiteness of the promise. The word “shall” is too definite for us to ever be let down.  It is not possible for us to have a need that is too great for God to supply What a promise!
2.  God has promised that His grace is sufficient for us. (II Corinthians 12:9). in fact, He has made provision for our salvation by His grace through faith. Read Ephesians 2:8. It is through an obedient faith that we have access into the grace of God according to Romans 5:2.
3.  God has promised that His children will not be overtaken with temptation.( I Corinthians 10:13). GOD will not allow any difficulty to come into our lives that we are not capable of bearing. When you are tried and tempted — don’t lose HOPE. Jesus did not promise that we would never be persecuted, tried, and abused, but He did promise to never leave us, never forsake us, and to bear our burden.
4.  God has promised us victory over death.  We don’t have to worry that our victory over death is a guarantee which might be good for others but not good for you or for me. We don’t have to worry that God has somehow placed “loopholes” in the message of resurrection joy that is ours today, loopholes relieving Him of what He has promised to do for us in Christ, our risen Savior. Not at all! OUR VICTORY OVER DEATH IS 100% GUARANTEED by Christ’s resurrection!  Paul wrote to the Corinthians: "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" (I Corinthians 15:3,4). Later on he adds: "but thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Corinthians 15:57).
5.  God has promised that all things work together for good to those who love and serve Him faithfully (Romans 8:28). It may be difficult for us to see and understand how this is accomplished at times, but God has promised it, and He will deliver.
6.  God has promised that those who believe in Jesus and are baptized for the forgiveness of sins will be saved. (Read Mark 16:16 and Acts 2:38).
7. God has promised His people eternal life (John 10:27,28).  God has PROMISED eternal security to all who BELIEVE on His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
The promises of God are powerful to grasp.  You can stand upon these promises because GOD speaks the truth in all that He does. He lives the truth. He is bound by His truth.  His truth and His fidelity will keep that going where it needs to go.

 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Great Expectations


In today’s devotional in the Love Expressed series we examine the connection between your expectations and worship. 
What are your expectations and what is the gap in your experience?  The questions that we have, the expectations and the gap between them and our experiences are an important matter for us in our development as a community of faith.
Sometimes there is a constant restlessness that stirs within our hearts an indescribable longing for "something".  This is where faith begins.  Faith allows us to see the miraculous.  
Since everything is possible for God, you can experience miracles in your life when you invite God to intervene – even in situations that seem impossible. But too often, people neglect to ask God for miracles in their lives, and end up settling for far less than God’s best for them.
You can always approach God with confidence if you trust in His Son, Jesus Christ. So don’t hesitate to pray about anything, including miracles!
GOD provides answers to those who choose to seek, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find.” (Matthew 7:7)  It could be the reason your Red Sea has yet to be parted is because you have yet to take the first step by asking GOD for your miracle.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Show Me The Ring


Today’s devotional in the Love Expressed series is called Show Me The Ring.
GOD loves us.  That’s an amazing truth, isn’t it?  GOD loved us so much that He sent His Son to do for us what we could not do for ourselves. Jesus came to pay the penalty for our sin on the cross.  This is how great the love of GOD is.
When we accept the free gift of grace, of GOD’s saving grace/love, we are then redeemed, in good standing with GOD, begin our relationship with Him, as His friend, His child.  That’s exciting.
GOD loves us because we are His.  You are his joy.  Let Jesus come into your heart and change you.  Make a decision to broadcast a clear and passionate testimony through your worship.