EACH DAY IS PERFECT! …September 30, 2015

Each day that I’m given, each day that goes by,

Every moment I live under His watchful eye.

His eyes to and fro, see throughout the land [II Chron 16:9]

And I know that I’m safe in His mighty hand.

How much more perfect could any day be?

I live in His love, He judges not me [John 3:18]

I never can know, what a day it will bring [Prov. 27:1]

But I thank Him for life, and the new song I sing!  [Ps 33:3]

Now my day isn’t lived, in chance or unknown,

I take comfort each day,  that the Lord’s on His throne.

No matter what course, I choose any hour,

All things are upheld, by the word of His power [ Heb. 1:3]

Day by day as I walk, I have nothing to fear.

For His mercies are great, every time I draw near [II Sam 24:14, Heb. 4:16]

I can face all of life, each challenge I see,

Because grace upon grace, He pours out on me!  [John 1:16]

How much more perfect could any day be?

I live in His love, He judges not me [John 3:18]

I never can know, what a day it will bring [Prov. 27:1]

But I thank Him for life, and the new song I sing!  [Ps 33:3]

By:  Lee Pierce

HIS VERY OWN…September 29, 2015

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.  John 14:1-3

Today, I share another poem with you from an inherited book.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did, and come to realize just how much God loves you!  It’s amazing!-anita

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Amazing grace that God in ages past

Should choose a wretch like me to be the one

That He should lift up from the pit,

And mold into the image of His Son.

Before foundations of the earth were laid;

Before He made the skies and seas and land

Or hung the stars in galaxies on high,

He my redemption had already planned.

And now I am an heir with God, the Son,

The Sacrificial Lamb for sinners slain;

In Heav’n He intercedes, my great High Priest,

And in my heart He shall forever reign.

His very own, I evermore shall be

By His great grace from chains of sin set free.

O matchless love, O love divine, I’ll be

His very own throughout eternity!

By:  Olga J. Weiss

I REMEMBERED YOU! …September 28, 2015

I’ve wandered far away from God,

Now I’m coming home;

The paths of sin too long I’ve trod,

Lord, I’m coming home.

Coming home, coming home, Nevermore to roam,

Open wide Thine arms of love, Lord, I’m coming home.-William J. Kirkpatrick

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I’ve had enough! I’m done!  I’m through!

There’s nothing left to live for…

Then I remembered YOU.

I’d been that way, once before…long ago;

But YOU came to my aid, and vanquished the foe.

I lived in YOUR blessings, and basked in YOUR light,

Momentarily forgetting that I’d crawled through the night…

Alone in the darkness, with nothing but fear;

‘Till I found the hem of YOUR garment,

And knew YOU were there!

YOU reached YOUR hand down,

And drew me close to YOUR side…

YOU said, “I forgive you…”

I remember, I cried!

But as I sit here alone in deep despair…

I can’t figure out how I ended up back here!

Surely, it wasn’t a conscious choice I had made…

Not knowing everything…the price YOU had paid,

To free me from this…and yet, here I was again…

Back in the dark…deep in my sin!

With my back half turned, I stare through the dark,

I see YOU still standing there…

YOUR arms open wide, softly saying, “Come back!

…You know I still care!”

I’m crawling no more…I stand to my feet.

I run towards the LIGHT…to my JESUS, so sweet!

I’m drawn once again, so close to HIS side.

It all becomes clear now…HE’S my shelter…my guide!

No longer in darkness, will I choose to roam;

I see JESUS waiting, and I call to HIM…

“I’m coming home!”

By:  Anita Mondragon January 2005

coming home

Message Notes for Sept. 27, LOVE GOD LOVE PEOPLE

Matthew 20:1 (NIV)

The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard

20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

3 “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went.

“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6 About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’

7 “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.

“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’

8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’

9 “The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’

13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

Trying to love God and love others is an often frustrating and fruitless endeavor. When we accept love and accept grace and know God’s embrace as a reality, the natural reaction is to love. But it’s God’s filling us to overflowing more than it is our choice to pour out to others.

Jesus loves me this I know.

Psalm 68:5 (ESV) Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.

The Body of Christ
27 Now here is what I am trying to say: All of you together are the one body of Christ, and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it. 28 Here is a list of some of the parts he has placed in his Church, which is his body:

Apostles,

Prophets—those who preach God’s Word,

Teachers,

Those who do miracles,

Those who have the gift of healing;

Those who can help others,

Those who can get others to work together,

Those who speak in languages they have never learned.

29 Is everyone an apostle? Of course not. Is everyone a preacher? No. Are all teachers? Does everyone have the power to do miracles? 30 Can everyone heal the sick? Of course not. Does God give all of us the ability to speak in languages we’ve never learned? Can just anyone understand and translate what those are saying who have that gift of foreign speech? 31 No, but try your best to have the more important of these gifts.

First, however, let me tell you about something else that is better than any of them!

God is able to create something out of nothing

God is able from these stones to raise up children.. Matthew 3:9
Isaiah 61:3 NLT

To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.

God is able to make all grace abound to you

God is able to make all grace abound to you… having all-sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8

God is able to deliver

God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand… Daniel 3:17

God is able to give you strength to rise above trials

God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it… 1 Corinthians 10:13

God  is able to save

He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them… Hebrews 7:25

God is able to build you up in Grace

I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified… Acts 20:32

God is able to exceed your expectation… He is able to do exceedingly above all you can ask of imagine

The Lord is able to give you much more than this… 2 Chronicles 25:9

God is able to keep you from falling

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy… Jude 1:24

God is able to Guard the good word in you, good deposit in you… to keep you from error

I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. Follow the pattern of he sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within… 2 Timothy 1:12-14

God is able to fulfill His promises

fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised… Romans 4:21

God is able to comfort those who are afflicted

Who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God… 2 Corinthians 1:4

Ephesians 3:20

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.

I am completely persuaded that God is Able

The more we let God’s love wash over us, the more of the light of Jesus shines through us.

A FISHING LESSON…September 25, 2015

Today’s Reading: 1 Peter 5:1-9
“Resist [the devil], standing firm in the faith.” —1 Peter 5:9

 

Todays post is from Our Daily Bread.  Mike saw it on Facebook, and, as he is an avid fisherman, took immediate interest.   After reading it, he saw the valuable worth in passing it along. -anita
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I was fishing quietly on the clear, still waters of Piatt Lake, casting next to a lush weedbed. I watched a large smallmouth bass sneak out of the thick vegetation to investigate. He approached the tempting night crawler on the end of my line, stared at it, and backed into the weeds. This happened several times until he spotted the hook. Then he whipped his tail and disappeared into his lair, never to come out again.
Satan dangles temptation, like a fishhook, right in front of us. It looks tasty. It promises gratification. But Satan’s power ends there. He cannot force us to take the hook. His power stops at the edge of our will—at our decision point. When we are warned by the Holy Spirit and decide to say no, Satan can do no more. James says he runs away (4:7).
As believers, we can receive great comfort from the words of the apostle Peter, who himself experienced great temptation (Matt. 26:33-35). In later life he wrote, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion . . . . Resist him, standing firm in the faith” (1 Peter 5:8-9).
Just as that big old bass ignored my hook, we can in God’s strength successfully resist Satan’s most enticing tactics!
By-  Dave Egner
Father in heaven, thank You for the promise of Your help when we are tempted and for the truth that Satan’s power is limited.

Fishing-FB

OVERCOMING YOUR FEAR…September 24, 2015

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:13 For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” —Isaiah 41:10,13

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When fear tries to overtake you…try these 10 key elements to overcome it.

  1.  Name it.  Call it out for what it is…admit that it is Fear
  2. Study it.  Know your enemy; for fear is truly your enemy and will destroy you if you permit it to do so
  3. Expose it.  Admit that you have fear, and ask your friends to pray for you.  Don’t isolate yourself.
  4. Permit it.  Sometimes, symptoms help you cope.  Tell yourself, “This will pass.”
  5. Fight it with Faith!  Read Romans 10:17
  6. Outsmart it.  Change your thinking.  Instead of dwelling on your fear, distract your mind.  Read your Bible!
  7. Confront it!  Face your fears.  Jesus said, “Fear not!”
  8. Diffuse it! Think on things that are lovely…create new neural pathways.  It will become less harmful…less potent.  Read Philippians 4:8.  Meditate on the things listed there.
  9. Disarm it!  Nothing is going to harm you.  It’s just fear again, raising its ugly head.  Nothing can touch you without God’s permission!
  10. Declare your victory!  Share your victories.  Be bold, and give your Testimony.  Tell others how God has pulled you through this time!

Fear comes to stop us…to halt us in our tracks.  Search yourself.  What is God trying to take you to?  What is your fear trying to keep you from?  It’s the next level God has for you…a new blessing!  Seize it!  Don’t let fear keep you from it!

COURAGE IS NOT BEING JUST BRAVE, IT IS OVERCOMING YOUR FEAR!

By:  Mike Mondragon

Fear not

ANYTHING GOES…September 23, 2015

 “Jesus answered, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  John 14:6

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Remember that old song, “If it’s your thing…do what you wanna do…”?  When that song came out, that was a new idea…now, it seems to be the ‘norm’.

Now days, if you can THINK it…it’s ok to SAY it.  If you SAY it…you might as well DO it; and if you believe it enough to DO it… well…you might as well BE it!

ANYTHING GOES!

There are no boundaries anymore; no right or wrong…no black or white.  No absolutes it seems.

When you tell people today that something is the truth, they respond with phrases like:  “Truth is different to everyone.”  “What’s truth for me, isn’t necessarily truth for someone else.”  Or, like Pilate, they ask the disturbing question, “What is truth?”.

Why can’t we as Believers be like the world in this regard?  Why can’t I be more bold?  When we think Godly things, WHY shouldn’t we SAY them?  And, if we SAY them, WHY don’t we DO them?  And, if we believe enough to DO them…WHY can’t we just go ahead and BE what we SAY?!  After all, we as Believers, have the TRUTH!

The truth is, there are many absolutes.  Just to name a few:  The law of gravity…what goes up, must come down…Play with fire…and you WILL get burnt!  But the MOST IMPORTANT TRUTH is this: JESUS SAID, “I AM THE WAY…I AM THE TRUTH…I AM THE LIFE”!

You can get by in this life pretending to have your own truth…but if you miss what Jesus said, eternity for you will be excruciatingly painful, and slow…without end!

JESUS IS THE WAY

JESUS IS THE TRUTH

JESUS IS THE LIFE

                                     DON’T MISS THAT!

By:  Anita Mondragon September 2015

THEOLOGY OF A TEN-YEAR OLD… September 22, 2015

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”  Matthew 5:16

Saw this on Facebook, and loved it!  Enjoy! -anita

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A ten-year old little girl was asked by another classmate, “What is it like to be a Christian?”  The little girl replied, “It’s like being a pumpkin.  God picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off you.  Then He cuts open the top, and scoops out all the yucky stuff.  He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, and greed, etc., and then He carves you a new smiling face, and puts HIS light inside of you to shine for all the world to see.”

By:  Author Unknown

THE LAST CHAPTERS…September 21, 2015

“Even when you are old, I will be the same.  Even when your hair has turned gray, I will take care of you.  I made you and will take care of you.  I will carry you and save you.”  Isaiah 46:4

This predicament I seem to be in, has been on my mind for a few years now.  When your parents have died, and all your aunts and uncles have joined them, you realize how frail life can be.

Then the ravages of time start catching up with YOU…it seems that Miss Clairol, and Max Factor have become two of your best friends!  You dye your hair now because you have to…not because you want a ‘new’ look!  You try to cover up the new wrinkles that appear every day.  You realize your youth has faded.  What’s that old song…”The Old Gray Mare, she ain’t what she used to be….?  Growing old can be frightening, to say the least!

The “Golden Years” aren’t all they’re cracked up to be!  Oh yes, age has it’s perks…senior discounts, experience, wisdom… But the body fails, and you are no longer able to do what you did before.  Your mind, on the other hand, tends to forget that from time to time; you need something in a bottom cupboard, and without thinking, go to your knees…very slowly, I might add.  Then, you find what you were searching for, and start to rise, but it takes longer than you thought it would, and tends to be quite painful!

That’s when you remember…you aren’t 20 anymore!…Or even 30, 40, or 50.  YIKES!  Where did time go?  I remember when I thought I would never reach the age of 30…and now, here I am, pushing 70.

Some people give up at this stage of the game.  Their health has waned…their minds seem to wander at times, and when their mind does work well…their body can’t keep up; so they quit, and give in to the inevitable.

But this is where we need to step up our game!  (I’m preaching to myself…)

In his book, He Still Moves Stones, Max Lucado says:  “Your last chapters can be your best.  Your final song can be your greatest.  It could be that all of your life has prepared you for a grand exit.  God’s oldest have always been among His choicest!”

He also said:  “As we get older, our vision should improve.  Not our vision of earth, but our vision of Heaven!”

So to us that seem to be fading…let’s take ‘growing old’ in stride, and enjoy the ‘perks’.  Let’s die like a shooting star, and ‘go out’ in a blaze of glory…God’s Glory.

By:  Anita Mondragon 2015

Message for Sept. 20. 2015 – “FAITH IN A FAITHLESS WORLD” by Michael Mondragon

FAITH IN A FAITHLESS WORLD

God is Faithful! Where are we? Do we measure up??

The topic of faith is important in all religious systems. But what exactly is faith?  I think the biblical definition comes from Hebrews 11:1

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

It is simply believing in something that you cannot see.  There are many passages throughout the Biblical text that deal with faith and faithfulness.  We know that a characteristic of God is that He is faithful.  We are called to be faithful and people of faith.

Scripture That Shows God’s Faithfulness

Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God  who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,

Psalms 36:5  Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.

Psalms 89:8 O LORD God of hosts, who is mighty as you are, O LORD, with your faithfulness all around you?

Psalms 119:90 your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast.

God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Lamentations 3:22-23 the steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Romans 3:3 what if some were unfaithful?  Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God?

1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 Corinthians 10:9 We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents,

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.  God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.

Hebrews 10:23  Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

Bible Verses That Define Faith

Psalms 91:4 He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.

Hebrews 11:1 now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

The Faith of the Christian Believer: (You and Me!)

Psalms 40:10 I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation.

Proverbs 28:20 a faithful man will abound with blessings, but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.

Matthew 25:21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’

Luke 16:10 One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.

1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.

2 Timothy 2:13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself.

The Bible clearly shows that faith is not just a one-time decision to follow Christ (which is certainly important and has eternal consequences) but we are called to increase in faith.  Faith has been described like a muscle.  A muscle in our body will atrophy (wither and weaken) if it is not used.  If you have ever had a cast on an arm or leg for a few weeks you know what I mean.  Just from not using the muscle it withers away and is almost useless.  Our faith is the same way.  We need to use our faith and to grow like Christ and increase our faith.  Pray to God for him to increase your faith in Him today.

Stretch out your faith muscles. Let go of some of the fears and faithlessness you have been holding on to. Trust him with your money. Let him have your children, your spouse, your will… He will not let you down.

Praise Him!