Wednesday, April 29, 2009

How modest is your heart?

Have you prayed for someone today?

Proverbs 23:7

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he...

Modesty, as with all behavior, begins in the heart.

Wesley's notes state:

So is he - You are not to judge of him by his words, but by the constant temper of his mind.

Wow, what's the temper of your mind? Are you sincere in your heart? Or are you just a bunch of words.

Let's not start judging others until we examine our own thoughts. I have met many a "Christian" who was dressed modestly but couldn't wait to "bare-it-all" to me through gossip and judgement of others.

If you see something in someone you think needs changing- pray for that person. Don't shame or embarrass them. Jesus had many opportunities to embarrass and shame those who came to Him. He has reasons to shame us every day! But instead of embarrassing the "guilty party," He shows us where the true guilt lies - in our own flesh.

Think of the adulteress woman who was to be stoned in John 8, He quickly gave forgiveness to her and shamed the scribes and Pharisees who condemned her.

Let's all take note of that.

There are many warnings of this line of thought -

"Let him without sin cast the first stone," (John 8:7)

"Take the plank out of your own eye first," (Matt 7:5) and

Prov 3:7"Do not be wise in your own opinions."

What ever you want to change, start in your thoughts. Whatever you think needs changing in another start with prayer for her.

This will give you time to think and pray and consider what you are doing with love as your primary motivation.

While you're dressing your body modestly, do the same with your mind.
Keep your thoughts pure, keep them under control, and you will develop a heart to match it.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found this post useful and may God richly bless you today:)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Open the Floodgates...

Open the floodgates...

Did you ever just need to feel cleansed?

Our Savior can do that -

cleanse you of all unrighteousness. Believe, faith can heal...the truth can set you free...

Are you ready?

Listen to the healing rain -

Father, I know I'm a sinner. I know you gave your Son so that I can be free. I accept Him this day as my Savior. Heal me, comfort me. I am not afraid! Wash me in Heaven's Rain. Amen

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Guidelines for your mouth...

Proverbs 31:26 tells us:

She opens her mouth in wisdom,

And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

I am really enjoying this book by Elizabeth George!

A Woman's High Calling

Sometimes we get so ignorant without even knowing Proverbs 31 women we are closely watched by believers and unbelievers and need to be on our toes to represent our Lord at all times.

So what usually comes out of your mouth??

As Elizabeth George quotes Uncle Ben's Quote book:

A Christian is~

~a mind through which Christ thinks

~a voice through which Christ speaks

~a heart through which Christ loves

~a hand through which Christ helps.

We are to be worthy of our calling as His representatives at all times.

Father, Help us to be godly representatives. Guard our minds, our voices, our hearts, and our hands to work in unity to think, speak, love, and help Christ at all times. Help us to be worthy of this calling. Amen

Coram Deo

"Before The Face of GOD"

I first heard of Coram Deo in the amazing book edited by C.J. Mahaney:


Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.--1John 2:15

Coram Deo literally means "before the face of God".

It carries the notion of our living in the presence of God, under the authority of God and to the honor and glory of God.

It is what each person was designed for by their Creator.

Living "coram Deo" has been best expressed perhaps by the Reformation tradition of the Church.

The Reformers recaptured and championed the great "solas" - sola scriptura (Scripture alone), sola fide (faith alone), sola gratia (grace alone), soli Christo (Christ alone) - soli Deo gloria! (to God alone be glory).

In this very relevant book Mahaney helps us align our lives with God in the areas where most usually try to ignore Him.

in my media - what are you watching?

in my music- what are you listening to?

in my Stuff- what are you idolizing?

in my clothes- what are you wearing?

1John 2:16 warns:

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

In a nutshell - take a look at what is before your eyes (and of coarse the eyes of your family). Would you be doing anything differently if you were sitting next to GOD? Coram Deo - in the face of God - He is always right there and we should never be ignorant of that fact!

The drift toward worldliness may be slow, starting with a dulling of the conscience until you are watching soap operas, listening to gossip radio or music, idolizing your precious time and money, and wearing inappropriate or showy clothing.

The Bible teaches us that the real "monster" is not the TV,the computer, or the mall;

he's US!

Our battle is with the FLESH.

Gal 5:17 Paul confirms this:

For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit,

and the Spirit against the flesh;

for these are in opposition to one another,

so that you may not do the things that you please.

We are warned and need to pray for strength in these area - Daily.

The FEAR (reverent awe) of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom (Prov. 1:7)

and is the best place to start. Living Coram Deo puts us in the right frame of mind - one of reverence.

The person who is unashedly aware that God is sitting right there, front and center, watching everything will properly fear the Lord.

I hope this has inspired you to read more on the subject. Meanwhile take inventory of your inventory.

Coram Deo (before God's face) we will find Grace.

Father, My eyes have coveted, my imagination has trespassed, my time has been squandered, all for useless conformity to this world. Thank you for your Grace that forgives and empowers me to change. Thank you for the Grace that leads me to desire and pursue obedience. Help me to live Coram Deo - in every aspect of my life.

All for Your Glory. Amen

Friday, April 17, 2009

Coffee House Friday

This Winter my husband and I were pleased to be able to attend one of the simulcasts of Focus on the Family's Marriage Conference.
What a joy and a pleasure it was to hear the inspirational words of such prominent speakers as Del Tackett, John Trent, Gary Smalley, Gary Thomas, and one of my favorites - Beth Moore!
The music was supplied by Jeremy Camp and it was just wonderful. This week for Coffee House I would like to share some of his music with you. I hope you are inspired by it:)

(Note: if you cannot access the videos directly click on my blog site or click the link below to go to youtube, just remember to back arrow back here after)

Grab a cup of coffee and have a seat. Relax and enjoy these great gifts of PRAISE...

Beautiful One - Jeremy Camp

Chris Tomlin - Indescribable

Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)

I hope you have enjoyed these beautiful works. Praise the Lord!
Have a great weekend--Elizabeth

The LORD your God in the middle of you is mighty;
he will save, he will rejoice over you with joy;
he will rest in his love,
he will joy over you with singing.
--Zephaniah 3:17

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Gatekeeper..

1Corinthians 3:16-17
Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.

2Chronicles 23:19
He stationed the gatekeepers of the house of the LORD, so that no one would enter who was in any way unclean.

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

What do these 3 passages have in common?
The gatekeeper of 2Chronicles 23, had the job of keeping the unclean out of the Temple - where God dwelled.
In 1Corinthians 3, Paul calls our bodies God's "temples." And let there be no mistake there are plenty of forces at work each day trying to make these temples "unclean." The only difference is you have to be your own gatekeeper.
The location has changed,
the job has switched hands,
BUT the Owner remains the same.

You, the Proverb 31 woman, are the gatekeeper of your home. Philippians 4:8 tells us exactly what we should let into our "temples" - that which is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy.
Guard the hearts and minds of your family.
I leave you with this...Romans 12:9
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.

Father, Help me to resist the temptations of this world. Show me how to watch over my family that we may keep Your temple Holy. Thank you for the Holy Spirit that dwells in me. Change my heart to abhor what is evil and to cling to what is good. Let me be the wife and mother You have called me to be. Let me me the gatekeeper of my home for Your Glory. Amen

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What's your Gift...


What is a Spiritual Gift??

John Piper explains it so:

--a spiritual gift is an expression of faith which aims to strengthen faith. It is activated from faith in us and aims for faith in another. (Piper, 1997)

Another way to put it would be this: A spiritual gift is an ability given by the Holy Spirit to express our faith effectively (in word or deed) for the strengthening of someone else's faith.

WOW! Can he put make things easy or what?!?

Basically, we are all given certain talents from the Holy Spirit. We are to learn what these are, pursue them, encourage their growth, and use to strengthen our faith and instill faith in others.

The best place to start is in the beginning: What's your gift?

Paul speaks of the gifts in various passages in the NT:

Romans 1:11-12 (New International Version)
11I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith.

Romans 12:3-8
By the grace given to me I bid every one among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith which God has assigned him... (v.3). Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith, if service, in our serving; he who teaches in his teaching; he who exhorts in his exhortation; he who contributes in liberality; he who gives aid with zeal; he who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness (vv. 6-8).

1Corinthians 12:4-11
4There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.
7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,[
a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues.[b] 11All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

Repeatedly we see the use of the term unity through diversity. Even though there are only a certain number of gifts, God uses them in innumerable ways through each believer.
Just as we only have so many features
(eyes, ears, nose...)
we are all unique beings.
In this same way He uses these gifts
in unique ways for each believer.

If you have never taken a group or class on Spiritual gifts try these fun web-sites that offer FREE assessments. I took all three to get the best overall assessment. They each have a lot of questions which makes them that much more accurate, plan on about 10-15 minutes each.

This one is from Ken Ellis:

This one is by the Evan. Lutheran Church of America:

This one is from Ephesians Four Ministries:

Keep studying and polishing your gifts.

Thanks for stopping by:) Hope you were encouraged by this. Please feel free to comment on this blog. Thanks--Elizabeth

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

East to West....

This is such a great video, I hope it inspires you today:)

If you receive this by feed and do not see a movie below, click the above access to go directly to my blog page or click the link below:

If you cannot access this above click on this to watch the video:

Father, Thank you that you are with me always. Thank you for showing me just how far the east is from the west. Thank you for washing me clean and making me a part of your eternal family. Let your truth be made know to me today and every day! Amen

Monday, April 13, 2009

The hand of God...

I was a little disappointed this weekend. I am usually very joyful, and happy. But, the somberness of Good Friday and 'Sad' Saturday, may have contributed to my lackluster mood. I was expecting news on Saturday that would have been extremely good for my family. After months of praying, all signs pointed to a favorable outcome.

However, as usual, all the prayers resulted in God's mighty hand coming down with an unexpected decision. (No coincidence that I was able to find this perfect picture). In my heart I know the decision was perfect and will result in all things working together for good...It still was no less disappointing. I was hoping to move this item from my 'ask' list to my 'praise' list.
Every once and awhile, we as Christians, are given opportunities to practice what we daily preach. Therefore, with our children eagerly looking for direction, my husband and I modeled the behavior we would counsel others to have. We were content.

Now Paul tells us in Philippians 4:11:

"Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am." (NASB)

I just love this commentary on these main phrases:
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. I have learned-The I in Greek is emphatical. I leave it to others if they will, to be discontented. I, for my part, have learned, by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, and the dealings of Providence (Heb 5:8), to be content in every state.

content-The Greek, literally expresses "independent of others, and having sufficiency in one's self." But Christianity has raised the term above the haughty self-sufficiency of the heathen Stoic to the contentment of the Christian, whose sufficiency is not in self, but in God (2Co 3:5; 1Ti 6:6, 8; Heb 13:5; compare Jer 2:36; 45:5).

Therefore, we who have so much, must glorify God in our wealth of JOY. We, as Christians, must leave discontent to those who battle to find sufficiency in themselves.
In light of this revelation, I decided to move this item from my 'ask' list to my 'praise' list anyway.
You see, God answered my prayer.
It makes no difference whether I agree or disagree with the answer. What matters is that I got an answer that is 100% for my best interest, from the maker of all Creation. Who am I to be discontent? What a gracious and loving God we have!

Father, Forgive me when I act like a child instead of Your child. Thank you that you give me decisions that are for my good and not my want. Thank you for having a plan and a purpose and helping me to achieve it for Your Glory. Amen

Friday, April 10, 2009

Open your eyes...

Acts 9:18
And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized;

This passage has always intrigued me and God laid it on my heart once again this week while teaching my 9-year-old. She, as only a child can do, looked at me and asked, "What does that mean? How can scales fall from his eyes, gross!"

I was less prepared to answer this question than I thought. It seemed like there should be an obvious answer but, as we all know, the obvious is not always the answer.

Therefore, I consulted the usual scholars, MacArthur, Stanley, Swindoll...nothing. There was no deep, inspiring insight. No 'aha' moment. I was left to my own interpretation - and the Holy Spirit did not let me down:)

Paul was blinded to show his own blindness toward the Christians he was prosecuting. He was very full of himself and all the acts he performed in accordance with the laws he defended so strongly. He was the know-it-all of his day.

And we all know that:
you can think you know it all but later find out that all

you knew was completely wrong.

This is what Paul learned. And this is what we all have the opportunity to change.

As the "scales" fell from Paul's eyes, he saw the world with "new" eyes.
When we accept Jesus as our savior, the HOLY SPIRIT enters us and we, like Paul, are to see things with new eyes.

Father, Thank you for the Holy Spirit to guide and help me. Thank you for your word that I can learn from. Thank you for the questions from a child to help me see you more clearly. Help me to see things today through my new eyes. Amen

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Chosen Few...

John 15:16

"you did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you."

What a great feeling to know that we were "chosen" by God!

We were chosen not only for salvation but for a certain purpose.

If you are a Proverbs 31 woman you have purpose everyday. You may think no one notices, but He notices everything.

When you are feeling unappreciated, think on Him.

When you wonder if this is your purpose, know He has chosen this for you - it is the highest calling to be a godly woman.

When you have a pity party over the laundry thinking "God, why me?" God would answer you: "If not you, than who?"

Rethink it as "Thank God it is me!"

You have the unique opportunity to influence every person in your home. You can choose to show a godly example to your children (even when they don't appreciate it), to be a sexy, loving, affectionate helpmeet to your husband (even when he doesn't appreciate it), a helpful, prayerful woman of the church (even when no one notices it).

All that matters is that HE sees it...

Paul tells us in his letter to the Colossians :

"And whatever you do, do it heartily as to the Lord and not to men, Knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ." (3:23-24)
When you choose something - do it purposefully. How great to be chosen by the All Mighty! Shouldn't that bring forth joy in you every day. A God-chosen purpose every day! Wow!
We are given a great command in Philippians 4:4:
"Rejoice in the Lord, again I will say, rejoice!"

What is your purpose? What were you chosen for? Don't dwell on these thoughts. I can answer that for you. Your purpose is to be a godly woman.
Start today, and start here at Proverbs 31:

"Her children rise up and call her blessed..." (v. 28)
"...the heart of her husband safely trusts her;..." (v. 11)
"She extends her hand to the poor..." (v. 20)

Proverbs 31 has so much to strengthen and encourage us. And I remind you: If not you, than who? Who could God trust with your job that would do it as well?

Father, Thank you for choosing me. Thank you for your special God-given purpose everyday. And thank you for the ability to accomplish this purpose today. Help me to be the godly woman you have chosen for Your purpose.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Do You Hear God's Voice...

I can't tell you the number of times I have prayed to be able to hear God's voice more clearly. I'm sure I'm not alone...

1Samuel 3:1-21 relays the first revelation of God to young Samuel. Samuel lived with Eli, the prophet. But as Eli aged and was close to death, God called on Samuel. Thinking it was Eli calling him, Samuel ran to him and asked what he wanted. Eli said he didn't call him, go back to bed. Well, this happens twice more before Eli perceives that it is God calling Samuel. He tells him to go lay down and when he HE calls you again, say 'Speak Lord, for your servant hears.'(v.10)

How many times have you hoped that God could be heard so clear and so loud? What has changed that He could be heard so clearly by Samuel and not by us?
I truly think we have. We have noisy, busy, distracting lives. Think of what it was like when God revealed himself to Samuel. It was at night so it was dark, the room was quiet, and the boy was not distracted by TV, ipods, or cell phones. He was still.
Verse 19 continues to tell us that "Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground." Maybe we can't understand Him because we can't hear Him. There is too much going on in our lives, too much competing for our attention.

If WE are first, HE can't be.

In 1Kings19 God's revelation to Elijah is written about. In much the same way we are enlightened to God's "style." He was not in the wind, not in the earthquake, not in the fire - but "after the fire a still small voice."

To sum it up, I think we need to know God's word - so we hear who's talking to us. And, we need to be quiet and have quiet more often - so we can hear HIM. And most of all we need to listen and act on what we hear - Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates (Prov 31:31).
Father, Thank you for speaking to me even when I don't hear You. Help me to make those quiet times, just for the two of us. Help me to be silent long enough to hear your still, small voice. Thank you for always making me Your top priority. Constantly remind me that if I am first, You cannot be. Help me start putting You first right her and right now. Amen

More on finding and making that quiet time in the days to come. Thanks for joining me for a minute of encouragement.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What is Truth?

I am writing about what hit me the most during the women's conference this weekend. That was Philippians 4:8:

"...Whatever things are true, ...- meditate on these things."

TRUTH...what is true?

According to Webster it can mean: fidelity, fact, actuality, the body of real things

Paul tells us that if something is true (real), meditate (think)on that - and conversely, what is not true, STOP meditating on it.

There is more to that verse, I'm sure you all know that, but to keep it short, it can be summed up as:

whatever things are true, think on them.

When we decifer what is true we can prioritize our thoughts. And, when we prioritize, as Proverbs 31 women, we can get much more done - with a much better attitude.

I think as moms we tend to overthink, worry, and sometimes blow things out of proportion. Paul is telling us to lighten up, don't waste your time and energy (all of which are in short supply) dwelling on untruth, what might happen, what might be...

The Bible tells us what IS - and it is written by the Great I AM - meditate on that!

Father, I want to meditate only on the your truth today. Guide me to discern what is true and what is a distraction. Help me to lead others to your truth and use my time and energy to further your kingdom, not my own. Thank you for your word -- the IS from the I AM. Amen

Thank you for joining me today on my first post.
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