May 31, 2009

God sings


When I'm awake He reveals His love because I need it. When I'm asleep, safe in His arms, He sings over me for His own pleasure (Psalm 42:8; Job 35:10; Zephaniah 3:17).

Blessings,
Flowers
Come visit us at warrenfamilylife.com

PHOTO: 3 Day Sleep Training

P.S. Heartfelt thanks to Khris of "From the Heart" for the Lemonade Attitude of Gratitude Award! Also, thank you Mikes of "Your Daily Word" for the One Lovely Blog award. I am honored to be chosen. God bless you both! (See Honorable Mentions in sidebar.)

May 24, 2009

God's gotcha covered, and more!

One of the great truths of Christianity is that the blood of Jesus covers our sin. We are forgiven, and when God looks down on us He sees, not our sin, but the blood of His Son:

Job 14:17
My offenses will be sealed up in a bag; you will cover over my sin.

Psalm 32:1
Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.

Psalm 85:2
You forgave the iniquity of your people and covered all their sins.
In years past, I was grateful for this covering, but my misunderstanding of it gave me a sense of separation from God and made me feel like a filthy worm merely disguised by the Blood. Then God showed me there was more. I was no longer just a "sinner saved by grace." His blood doesn't only cover our sin, it cleanses us.

Psalm 51:7
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

Jeremiah 33:8
I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me.

Ezekiel 36:25
I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.

Zechariah 13:1
On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity. [That fountain is the blood of Christ.]

John 15:3
You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Our sins are not just covered, they have been washed away by the blood of Christ! We are no longer "bad" and "wrong." We are new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17), imperishable (1 Peter 1:23), created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:24). The sacrifice of Jesus (received by faith) has made us good, likable people. (In our new, redeemed nature we are good [washed clean]. We are still responsible for our sin, but not identified by it, see The Two Yous.)

The foundation of self-esteem is first that we are created by God, second that we are loved by God, and third that we are made good in the truest part of ourselves by God. Don't disagree with what God thinks about you! Learn to like the new you!

Blessings,
Flowers
Come visit us at warrenfamilylife.com
PHOTO: Baby Mine Store

May 17, 2009

Face to Face


When we search for God, He is not somewhere far away. When we look for him in the distance we look right past Him! Once we have placed our faith in Christ, He crosses the chasm that once separated us. Now He is right here, face to face with us, closer than the air around us -- even inside us! Thank you, Papa, for talking with us "face to face as a man talks with his friend" (Exodus 33:11).

Blessings,
Flowers
Come visit us at
warrenfamilylife.com

PHOTO: Harvard University Gazette

May 16, 2009

Loss


Have you lost something recently? A number of gifted Christian writers have shared their insights and experience in dealing with this subject, in their personal journeys of living with chronic illness. No matter what your particular situation, I know you will be encouraged if you visit another great blog carnival from Rest Ministries, on the topic of loss. God Nuggets is honored to have been featured in the carnival with the article, "Long Ago and Far Away." I hope you will take a minute to check them out!

Blessings,

Flowers
Come visit us at
warrenfamilylife.com

May 9, 2009

The Problem of the Door

God is our Fortress. That isn't really news.

But think of it this way. God is all-powerful so nothing is strong enough to break through. God is everywhere-present so nothing can get around Him to get to us. God is even inside us and can protect us from ourselves. He will never leave us nor forsake us, so the fortress can never be removed. And finally, nothing can stand against Him or thwart His will (Daniel 4:35; 2 Chronicles 20:6).

Keep these things in mind and look at this Scripture:

Psalm 18:2
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

So, what have we to fear?

We fear the door.


This is my problem. Sometimes God opens a door in the fortress and allows evil in. There is so much good in our lives that we know it isn't very often. Even though I am protected over and over, day after day, that tiny door of suffering makes me afraid to trust the Fortress sometimes. My question to you is:

What do you do with the door?

In your mind and emotions, and with your faith: What do you do with the door? How do you get through the suffering in your life? What do you do with the problem of evil? Romans 8:28 promises that God will only open it for our good. But often I just don't want to go through the bad to get to the good. I'm calling a locksmith!

I would love it if you would leave a comment with your thoughts.

Peace to you,
Flowers
Come visit us at warrenfamilylife.com

PHOTO: Fort Pulaski Door by Rachel Pennington. " Looking up at one of the huge doors into the fort, Savannah, Georgia, USA"

May 6, 2009

The Gospel According to Snoopy


American Heritage defines joy as: "Intense and especially ecstatic or exultant happiness."

Isn't that radical!?! I've heard a lot of teaching about the difference between happiness (bad and fleeting) and joy (good and lasting); teaching that left me confused and, frankly, afraid of either. I'm going to step out and say that I don't believe there is a significant theological difference between joy and happiness. God wants us to have both!

As Christians, with the warnings about sinful pleasure in the Bible (Proverbs 10:23), we get afraid of ANY pleasure. But just like Snoopy here, God wants us to seek pleasure relentlessly and unashamedly -- godly pleasure, that is (Matthew 13:44; Psalm 16:11). For me, maybe it's being out in nature, enjoying time with my doggies, talking to you about God-things, the satisfaction of a job well done, or a just good cup of coffee with my feet up.

Joy is a command with an explanation point (Philippians 4:4). Even Jesus, our example, endured the cross for the joy set before Him (Hebrews 12:2b). Perhaps our greatest joy is found in what we suffer for Christ (1 Peter 4:13). We don't need to be afraid that unashamedly seeking pleasure and satisfaction will lead us astray. It leads us straight into the heart of God, the most satisfying Source of joy!


Ecclesiastes 3:12
I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.

Blessings,
Flowers
Come visit us at warrenfamilylife.com

May 4, 2009

A Parakeet and God's Voice

Many years ago my husband and I were out on the balcony of our condo, looking out onto a beautifully landscaped mini-forest. There were literally hundreds of birds chirping in the trees. They were making quite a racket!

Then suddenly, I noticed a parakeet's familiar squawk among the other birds' noises. I asked Mike if he had heard it, and of course he hadn't. I realized that it was pretty amazing that I had heard it myself and supposed that it was from listening to parakeet voices day in and day out when I lived with a woman who bred them.

I thought it must be the same with God's voice. If we abide in Him (John 15:4) and listen to Him daily, seeking Him in His Word and prayer, eventually we will discern His voice just as I did the parakeet's -- even among a thousand others!



Blessings,
Flowers
Come visit us at warrenfamilylife.com

May 3, 2009

Stop and Steep


Did you know a simple tea bag can help you find deeper passion in your spiritual life? Spiritual passion grows when we learn to commune with God and nurture our love relationship with Him. One of the best ways to nurture that relationship is through the practice of meditation. Meditation is simple to do: If you can brew a cup of tea, you can learn to do it.

The first step is to STOP. Forge some time out of your busyness. It's good to start small -- just five or ten minutes in the beginning. Find somewhere you can be quiet and undistracted for a few minutes -- even a bathroom or closet will do.

Just sit down, open your Bible to a favorite verse, and act like a tea bag: When you find a verse that warms your soul, jump in and STEEP! That's the second step: Be still, and let that Scripture soak into your being like a tea bag steeping in hot water. Look at the verse; then close your eyes and go over the words in your mind . . . then look at the verse again and steep some more . . . then look, then steep again, and so on. Don't hurry. Often the less you read, the better. Set aside ambition and focus on relationship.

The Word of God is living and active, so when you meditate on it you're actually steeping in the presence of the Lord. Allow yourself to sense His presence. When we quiet our souls and open our hearts in this way, God reveals Himself. That's just the way He chooses to work. As the water of the Word seeps in, the flavor of Christ flows out from within us.

Dwight Hill of The Navigators shares, "Over the days, weeks, and months, the appetite for this quiet connection with God will grow to the point where we do not want to live without it. No longer will we feel we are wasting our time. When this happens, the inner chaos, noise, anger, and frustration will begin to give way to inner peace and tranquility."

As you practice this art of communing with God, it's best to find verses that make you feel safe and loved by Him. We need ALL of Scripture, but there is a time and place for everything. The primary purpose in this exercise is to build your love relationship with God, so select verses that help you do that. 1 John 4:19 says "we love because He first loved us." That means the more secure we are in God's infinite love for us, the more our own hearts overflow with love for Him and others. It is in intimate communion with Him that God fans the flame of passion with the breath of His Spirit. And as the light of His love burns in us, our hearts drive us out into the world to be His hands and feet and heart and voice to the lost and the hurting, for His glory.

So let us
Throw back our heads and run with the passion
Through the fields of forgiveness and grace
We carry the eternal flame . . .
We are glowing in the dark . . .
Children of the burning heart


~ Steven Curtis Chapman, "Children of the Burning Heart"



As you brew your next cup of tea, remember to STOP AND STEEP!

Blessings,
Flowers
Come visit us at warrenfamilylife.com
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