Thursday, December 31, 2009

A New Focus for the New Year

Another year has come and gone, and I assume many of us are thinking about what goals we have accomplished in the past year, and what goals still need to be met. We try and try at each new year to improve ourselves, which can be a good thing; but, should that be our main focus as each new year rolls around?

I often hear about New Year resolutions from those who want to quit smoking or start eating more healthy. I hear from those who want to attend church more often, or read their Bible on a regular basis. All of these goals will seemingly make their lives more meaningful, or more worth living; and it is definitely a good thing to want to improve ourselves in those ways. However, we don’t really need to wait until the beginning of each year to make those changes, do we? Those changes can be done at any time of the year.

So, here’s my suggestion for this year.... Instead of focusing on what the new year can do for us, maybe it would be better if we all focused on what we can do for others. How can YOU make a difference in this world? How can YOU minister to (or help) other people? Maybe changing your bad habits will help someone else. If that is the case, then great! The main point I am trying to make here is that, as James 4:14 says, we are only here on this earth for a little while. So, with that in mind, how can YOU make our time here on Earth a little better? If we all made plans and goals to minister to other people in some way, then I think that would be one kind of resolution that would definitely make our lives more meaningful and more pleasing to God.

So, how are YOU going to spend your time on Earth this year?

James 4:14 - Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are {just} a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. (NAS)

Have a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

GUEST BLOGGER: Carolyn McIntosh

For as long as I’ve been alive, I've heard my mother (today's guest blogger) confidently share her faith with me and my brother and sister. I know for a fact how life has not always been easy for her and my dad; but, she has never ceased to cling to the promises God has shown her through His Word.

One thing I specifically remember is a necklace my mother wore, containing a tiny little mustard seed on the inside of a clear ball. This necklace is based on Matthew 17:20, and I remember mom explaining to us kids how our faith can move mountains if we only believe.

Matt 17:20 – “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." (NIV)

These mountains are not necessarily physical mountains. They can be mountains of illness, mountains of financial need, mountains of overwhelming discouragement, and the list goes on....

Personally, these past few months have had their share of difficulties and discouragements for me and my family. Because of that, I am now wearing my own mustard seed necklace (thanks to a Christmas gift from my husband's parents). I will wear this necklace as a reminder of the hope I have in the Lord, and will someday share my faith with my own kids, the same way my own mother shared with me.

I recently asked my mother to write down, in her own words, what faith means to her. This is what she said.... (Thanks for sharing, Mom! I love you!)....

What is Faith to Me?
By:  Carolyn L. McIntosh

I think of the words to a song, “Faith is just believing what God says He will do. He will never fail you, His promises are true.”

Faith is trusting in Jesus alone as the one who died for my and your sins. Believe He was buried and rose again from the grave. He promised He would forgive us if we believe in Him and ask His forgiveness.

Faith is believing, if we have the faith of a mustard seed, we can move mountains (Matthew 17:20). God has moved many mountains for me and my family - both physically and financially. Why? Because He promised to supply all our needs. Not our wants, but our needs.

I have a prayer journal and have had it for about 40 years. I encourage you to do the same. Then, occasionally go back and read how God was faithful to you, in good and hard times, sometimes even giving you some of your wants. That’s how good God is!

God is faithful to us. We need to be faithful to Him. Believe His Word (His promises), read it and obey it. Cling to His promises every day and, if you are His child, believe His promises are true for you - because He said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Blessings

A Message from God
(Based on Luke 2:8-14)

Specially chosen shepherds,
were watching their flocks in the night.
They were people with no social standing.
Yet, important in God’s eyes.

Bright lights engulfed the darkness
as angels appeared in the field.
With peace and reassurance,
a message from God was revealed.

“A savior has been born!”
The angels declared the news.
They encouraged the shepherds to find Him,
praising God before they withdrew.

“Glory to God in the highest,”
The heavenly angels proclaimed.
“Peace on earth, good will toward men.”
They praised His holy name.

-Victoria L. Stankus

A quote from Charles Spurgeon: 
"We venture to assert, that if there be any day in the year, of which we may be pretty sure that it was not the day on which the Savior was born, it is the 25th of December... Regarding NOT the day, let us, nevertheless, give thanks to God for the gift of His dear Son."

May you be blessed this Christmas as you remember the birth of our Lord!

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Rebecca is a sweet young lady we attended church with while living in Petersburg, IL. She can be rather quiet, however, it is evident she has a love for the Lord and a desire to serve Him. Rebecca recently sent me this encouraging thought and wanted me to share it with all of you:

One thing most people may not know about me is that I have a habit of worrying. I know when I am worrying because I feel uneasy and weighed down. In fact, at one point, I think it made me sick.
But, recently I came up with an acronym for the word "worry". When I think of the first two letters of "worry", I think of the phrase: "Worthless Obsession." When you think about it, isn't that really what it is? We sometimes worry about things, and sometimes we are concerned. I have learned that there is a difference.
When you worry, you are only turning the thought over and over in your mind and making no real progress toward solving your problem. I like to think of concern as being aware of your problem but trusting God with it completely. On that note, I also thought of an acronym for "trust" which is: "Total Reliance Upon my Savior Today." 
I think it is important to note, however, that when one has a habit of being anxious and worried, it is not something you just "get over", it's something you work through, and it is something I continue to face on almost a daily basis, but I keep going and I know that if I allow the Lord to help me with it, I can overcome this nasty habit!

-Rebecca Cade


Matt 6:34 - Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (NIV)