Saturday, February 25, 2012

All Night Long





My friend, Cindy, went to be with Jesus this morning.  As I think about her life, I just wanted to share a music video of a song that really ministered to me when another friend of mine miscarried. We were both expecting girls.  Now I was still pregnant with my daughter while she had to give birth to a stillborn baby girl.  I remember asking, "God, why did  choose to take her baby and not mine?" As this song played on the radio that day, I believe God was singing to me to help me put things into perspective and to truly lean on Him for comfort, healing, and peace.  He knew that music is a language that speaks volumes to me, so He used this song to help me hear His voice.  This past Tuesday night God kept bringing this song back to my mind as I slept.  I actually believe that it played in my head all night long

Not all of my questions were ever answered then, nor will they be now.  My comfort, though, lies in the One who knows all the answers.  So I pray that this song ministers to you with whatever you are dealing with today.  "My Life Is In Your Hands" sung by Kathy Troccoli. Listen to the words.



My Pleasure,
Melanie







Thursday, February 23, 2012

27 Years and Counting!

I couldn't let this day pass without posting one more thought. 

Rick and I have been married for 27 years today!  Happy Anniversary, Sweetheart!  I am more in love with you today than I was the day we said, "I do."  I didn't think it was possible, but I do.  I really do! 

I married a wonderful man, and to see how wonderful, hop on over to my former blog where I wrote a whole post on "The Man I Married".  (www.melanie-livingreal.blogspot.com) 

This is a special anniversary message to my husband. "You're Still the One"

Sweetheart, you are.....

A- admirable                                                                 

B- my Best friend

C- Christlike

D- disciplined

E- energetic

F- faithful

G- a GENIUS! (That's how he describes himself :)

H- handsome

Iintelligent

J- jolly

K- kind

L- a good listener

M- a man after God's own  heart                                                           

N- noble

Oan optimist- NOT!

P- patient

Q- quite cute

R- real

S- selfless  (I really wanted to say "sexy". Sorry, Honey, but you are!)

T- trustworthy                                                                   

U- understanding

V- vibrant smile

W- wonderful

X- EXTREMELY neat

Y- his "YES" is "yes", and his "no" is "no

Z- zealous for God

I love you, Sweetheart!  And it's....

My Pleasure,
Melanie

Never Early, Never Late, Right On Time

I have a good friend that has been fighting for her life since Sunday evening.  "Fighting for life" means something different to me than probably most people.  She is either fighting for life here on earth, or fighting to step over into eternal life.  Either way, nothing we say or do will change God's timing for her.  Although she was taken off of the ventilator last evening at around 6:40 pm, she is still breathing and her heart is still beating this morning.  More evidence that we have no control over life and death.

God has numbered every heartbeat just as He's numbered every hair on our heads.  She will see Him face to face when He is ready for her and not a moment sooner.  The song "In His Time" says that "He makes all things beautiful in His time."  And He will do that for her and for her family when the time is right.

Last night during band rehearsal at church, we were preparing a song, and the words were more powerful to me than ever before.  Most of the time I've thought about the lyrics as just describing salvation, but tonight they took on a new meaning in light of my friend's situation.  The words to the chorus say, "Out of ashes into freedom.  Out of dying into life.  See the joy that's set before us in the blinding cross of Christ."  I couldn't help but think of her as she is passing from this difficult life into life everlasting, so I changed one word in this chorus to say, ..."See the joy that's set before YOU in the blinding cross of Christ!"  As she passes from this life to the next, Jesus is fulfilling His promise of freedom, life and joy. 

When God's time is right, her heart will beat it's last and she will take her final breath here on earth, BUT she will awaken into freedom, life, and joy everlasting with Jesus Christ her Saviour, Lord and King. 

Until then, we wait.

My Pleasure,
Melanie

Monday, February 20, 2012

Think it on Sunday-Write It, Then Post It- The Power of Clean

Our sermon series on "Jesus Is...." continues. "Jesus' Cleansing of the Temple".  John 2:12-25.
These were my thoughts:

The temple was where the Presence of God dwelled in the Old Testament- pre- Jesus.  Once Jesus stepped into time, He became "the temple".  The Jews and Jewish leaders were staring into the face of God and didn't recognize Him.  Emmanuel-God with us- on earth.  His presence was living among them and they didn't even know it. 

Why was the cleansing of the temple such an important account?  What did the temple need to cleansed of?  The business men in the temple were trying to make the sacrifice for sins more convenient so they were selling animals inside the temple walls.  They were also profitting from the sales.  They were trying to make worship EASY, COMFORTABLE, and CONVENIENT.  This is why Jesus was angry. Sacrifice was never easy.  God had designed specific requirements to follow and He always required the shedding of blood from a perfect animal.  Jesus knew the requirement first hand because He came to earth to become THE sacrifice for sins.  His blood would soon flow to meet the ultimate requirement set by His Father to pay for the sins of all mankind-those who had been born before and for those who would be born after. Sacrifice wasn't pretty, nor was it comfortable. 

The people were so busy with their religious activity, that as the presence of God was in their midst, looking at them face to face, they didn't even recognize Him.  Jesus was angry with the moneychangers who were making a profit on the sacrificial animals, as well as, He was angry that the people were seeking an easy way out to satisfy the sacrificial requirements.  The Father's house of prayer had become a den of thieves.  Jesus' righteous anger caused Him to turn over the moneychangers' tables.

As soon as our pastor started preaching, the Spirit took me to the application of the "Cleansing of the Temple".  We who are believers are now the temple of God.  We are post death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and now we house the presence of God inside of us.  He is called the Holy Spirit.  We are what the New Testament calls The Church- God's presence in this world. Though we aren't required to sacrifice animals anymore, that doesn't mean that Christ doesn't require any sacrifice.  The sacrifice required now is the heart.  Our mind, our bodies, and our souls.  Romans 12:1 says, "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in the view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God- this is your spiritual act of worship."  WOW.  This is not easy, comfortable, or convenient, BUT nevertheless required. 

When I started thinking that God's temple is a house of prayer, it really clicked with me. To present the sacrifice that Christ requires, I have to be in a constant attitude of prayer.  Jesus said that His Father's house is to be a house of prayer. "Pray without ceasing", the Scriptures say. To be the temple of God, my mind and my spirit should be in constant communication with God's Spirit.  It is hard work to stay focused on Christ.  He says we are in a battle between the flesh and the spirit.  To choose Christ, I'm required to worship in spirit and in truth.  I'm required to take up my cross daily and be crucified with Christ.  That's not easy without the power of the Holy Spirit.  If I'm not listening and talking to Him without ceasing, then I'm losing the battle and the flesh is winning.  When sin creeps inside the "temple" walls, then the "temple" needs to be cleansed.  The Presence of God and sin do not mix.  Therefore, the "temple" has to be cleansed of sin routinely so as to keep our relationship with Christ maintained. Then we can present the image of Christ to the world that He desires.

What makes Christ angry today is when we harbor sin in His temple- our hearts- and try to please Him through easy, convenient, and comfortable shortcuts.  Through religious activities we think we are meeting the sacrificial requirements.  There are no shortcuts to God's requirements.  Only when I am a living sacrifice will this "temple" be righteous, holy, and pleasing to God!   

Let's ask ourselves these questions:  Aren't we doing the same thing today that the people of Jesus' day were doing?  Isn't the Presence of God right here among us-in His people- and we don't recognize Him?  Is this "temple" (our bodies) a den of thieves or a house of prayer?  What does Jesus need to "turn over" in my life to clean out His temple?

Use Psalm 51 to help prepare your heart for the cleansing.  Allow the Spirit full access to all areas of the temple and to allow the power of clean to flow in and through every nook and crany.  Ask Him to look deep within and then confess any sins that He brings to light in your mind. When a thorough cleansing of the temple is done, go forth and make His presence known! 


My Pleasure,
Melanie