Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Confession #34 - A necessary evil

Today dear sisters was a very difficult day.  Our dog of 14 years, Nicolas, died.  His health has been declining for a long time but after suffering a stroke early this morning we knew it was time to let go.  The process took a toll out on myself and my husband, but it was also very difficult for our 6 year old.  She kept saying, I wish no one ever had to die.

Don't we all?  How many of us who have lost a loved one, would do almost anything to bring them back again.  Personally, the closest I've come to this kind of loss is when my Grandfather died back in 1993.  I never did get to say goodbye.  After staying strong while managing to get myself and my sister packed and on a flight to Tampa, when I saw his body lying in there in the casket I broke down terribly.  I grabbed his jacket and kept screaming, "Grandpa, Grandpa!".  His death wasn't real until I saw him.  That's why I hate viewings. 

Death is a necessary evil.  It plagues all of us from time to time and eventually we will lose to it at the end of our lives as well.  But my question to you today is, Do you know where you'll go after you die?  Can you say with one hundred percent certainty that you will be in Heaven? 

If you think yes because I'm a good person, well, the sad news is no.  The bad news is that we are all sinners and sin leads to death.  If you say yes because I've asked God to forgive me, then still the answer is no.  Just asking God's forgiveness in His eyes isn't enough.  Just being good won't do either.  We are not given the gift of salvation out of our goodness.  Ephesian 2:8-9 says, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast."  Ladies the bible is crystal clear on this fact.  John 14:6, "No one comes to the Father except through me."  We can't earn salvation, we can't just be forgiven and receive it we have to receive the gift God has for us. 

Long before the first Christmas, sin came into this world.  God being holy, required that an atonement, a sacrifice must be made in lieu of sin.  That sacrifice was the death of a perfect lamb, calf, dove, essentially an unblemished or "sinless" animal.  God knew that sin was so rampant that we, his people, would never be capable of enough sacrifice to free us from an everlasting death.  So instead, our loving Heavenly Father sent his perfect, sinless son to be the atonement for us once and for all.  He sent us this beautiful gift, he sent Jesus to us on Christmas morning through the miracle of a virgin birth to later be sacrificed at the hands of evil men for our sins and to save us from death.  John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."  Romans 10:9 tells us "If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."  Yes you will be saved!

If you aren't sure if you're going to heaven, you can be sure today!  You can know with certainty that heaven awaits you my dear sister at your end on this earth just by saying and believing the words of this simple prayer:

"Dear God in heaven, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge to You that I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived; I need your forgiveness.

I believe that your only begotten Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins, and I am now willing to turn from my sin.

You said in Your Holy Word, Romans 10:9 that if we confess the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved.

Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word, right now I am saved.

Thank you Jesus for your unlimited grace which has saved me from my sins. I thank you Jesus that your grace never leads to license, but rather it always leads to repentance. Therefore Lord Jesus transform my life so that I may bring glory and honor to you alone and not to myself.

Thank you Jesus for dying for me and giving me eternal life.
Amen.

Thank you Heavenly Father for loving me so much that you sent your son Jesus.  Thank you to my precious Lord Jesus for enduring the horrible atrocity of the cross, that necessary evil to free from spending an eternity away from you in hell.  I love you Lord.  In Jesus Precious name I pray, Amen!

If you prayed that prayer, please email me at dirtychristianwoman@gmail.com.  I'd love to personally welcome you to the family!!!

God Bless you my dear readers and I wish you all a very Happy Christmas!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Confession #33 - The Slacker....

Okay, as confessions go this is one of the most difficult ones to admit, but here it is..........I'm a slacker.  Those you who know me may find that funny knowing all that I do, but the truth is the only way I can "do" it all, is well, not to.  See, I ingore the important things I'm supposed to be taking care of. 

For example, I let laundry pile up for two to three weeks.  Yup - we do have that many clothes.... I haven't cleaned the master bathroom for quite a while.  Yuck I know, I am embarrased to admit it but it's the truth....  I don't spend any and I mean any time with my husband.  I can't always do homework with my daughter.  I don't water my plants and they die.  I have a tendency to ignore my dogs....the list goes on and on.  I rarley spend time doing things that are just for me, and worst of all, latley I have even been slacking on my relationship with God. 

Between my job, my business, the household finances, food shopping, my home, my family, my pets, volunteering at my daughter's school, the women's ministry, leading a bible study, parent's group, blogging, and serving others, I'm on overload.  Even blogging right now is taking me away from doing other more important things.

In a conversation with my husband last night he suggested that I have poor time management skills.  I agree but I don't think that's all of it.  Mostly I'm just seriously tired and have nothing left to give these so called "important" things....

Slacker is not what I want written in my epitaph, and I certainly don't want to neglect my responsiblities, or more importanly my family, myself and especially my God. But lately, I'm just not living up to the Proverbs 31 potential.  Wish I had a budget for a cleaning person...okay I'm off point.  Getting back...

Life is a delicate balancing act.  Responsiblities on one side, fun and service on the other with God in the middle.  Mine, for right now, looks more like a game of Jenga, one wrong move and CRASH!  Yikes!

While praying God gave me this verse, and it's my plan to pray this every day:

Psalm 119:33-48
"Teach me, O Lord, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end.  Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart.  Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.  Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.  Turn my eyes away from worthless things; perserve my life according to your word.  Fulfill your promise to your servant, so they you may be feared.  Take away the disgrace I dread, for your laws are good.  How I long for your precepts!  Perserve my life in your righteousness.  May your unfailing love come to me, O Lord, your salvation according to your promise; then I will answer the one who taunts me, for I trust in your word.  Do not snatch the word of truth from my mouth, for I have put my hope in your laws.  I will always obey your law, for ever and ever.  I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.  I will speak of your statues before kings and will not be put to shame for I delight in your commands because I love them.  I lift up my hands to your commands, which I love, and I meditate on your decrees."

God has spoken and I heard Him saying that my focus has to be on Him and serving my family, and keeping my eyes away from worthless things.  It's time for me to reevalute priorities.  It's time to focus on getting myself fed and taken care of before I crumble.  I love all the ministries I serve and I have a heart for it all, but it's impossible to give everything my best particularly when I've not getting what I need.  It's time for me to focus on the blessings God has given me, my husband, daughter, house, and pets.  To stop neglecting and piling up my responsiblities before things crumble.

If you too are struggling as I am remember Matthew 11:28-30: "Come to me all you who are wary and burdened, and I will give ou rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

"Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the amazing blessings you have given me.  Please Lord forgive me when I fail to take care of responsiblities and fail to place my family in the proper priority.  Remind me that by serving my family, I am serving you.  Help me to always remember that you come first before it all.  And for my dear sisters-in-Christ who struggle with slacking I pray that you would give them strength and energy, focus, and the determination to rearrange thier priorities too.  In Jesus precious name I pray, AMEN."