Be an Esther

When you are faced with a problem, what do you do?  Do you wallow in self-pity?  Do you fly off the handle sharing your problem with everyone, seeking advice from whomever is around to give it?  Do you pray about it and seek God’s guidance?

 

Recently, my Sunday School class finished up a study of Esther.  Throughout her journey, Esther was faced with one dilemma after another…..

  • She was being taken care of by a family member.
  • She was unwillingly made part of King Ashasuerus’ harem.
  • She found out Haman plotted to kill the king.
  • She found out Haman plotted to destroy her people.

 

What I found to be so amazing about Esther is that she took her time. She prayed. She gathered up “her people” to have them pray too. At the right time, she took action.

 

Now, I’ll admit, I’m not always quite so Esther-like. Sometimes, I’m more like Haman.  You see, he basically had it all – except Mordecai would not bow to him. This drove him crazy, and Haman took the first bit of advice given to him…..take charge and end the problem.

 

That’s not what God call’s us to do.  God calls us to let Him take charge and work things out for His glory, not ours.  Esther knew that the way she handled each situation would affect her and others as well.  She had the wisdom to pray, to consider, and to rally her people….God’s people.  Now, there is no mention in the book of Esther that God ever told her to do anything, yet we can see His handiwork through the events that took place.  The book of Esther is an amazing example of how we should live: Live knowing we were made for such a time as this. Live a life of prayer. Live knowing God will take care of His people.

 

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Be an Esther

When you are faced with a problem, what do you do?  Do you wallow in self-pity?  Do you fly off the handle sharing your problem with everyone, seeking advice from whomever is around to give it?  Do you pray about it and seek God’s guidance?

Join me at Crosseyed Living to find out how we can be like Esther when problems arise.  Click here to read more.  

Time and Priorities

Last night before I went to bed, I checked to see what time my local channels would be airing the Royal Wedding. The first airing would begin at 3 am.  I’m sure many people set their alarms for the wee hours of the morning to get the first glimpse of Meghan Markle’s dress.

 

Somewhere today, there will be a ballgame.  Sports fans will spend hours getting ready for, driving to, watching, and driving home from this game.

 

This morning, fishermen loaded their boats and hit the water bright and early to catch the big one.

 

In 6 months, shoppers will line sidewalks in the middle of the night to be the first in line to purchase a television, video game, or smartphone.

 

Sunday morning, people everywhere will not go to church because the services start too early, they have too much to do, or it is their only day off and they just want to rest.  These will be the same people that got up early to watch the wedding, dedicated hours to a sporting event, will be fighting sleep as waves rock the boat, and will nudge and push to make that amazing purchase.

 

We put so much time and effort into the things of this world that we fully neglect our relationship with Christ.

 

Back in Eden, Adam and Eve created great distance between us and God.  All He wanted was a relationship with us, but sin got in the way. Adam and Eve were negligent.  Christ came so we would be redeemed, that we may restore that broken relationship.  Yes, when we accept Christ as our Savior, we have the promise of eternal life with Him.  For so many, that’s good enough, so they stop there.  They’ve got eternity taken care of.  But what about today?  What about tomorrow?  What about the time between salvation and eternity?

 

Y’all life happens. It’s hard.  When need Jesus everyday.  We need to grow in our relationship with Him each day.  When trouble comes, and it will, Christ makes it more bearable. If we aren’t growing in Him everyday, if we aren’t in Christian fellowship and studying our bibles, we aren’t preparing for tomorrow.

 

Mark 8:36 asks,  “What good is it for man to gain the world, yet lose his soul?” When our priorities are not Christ-centered, that’s what we are doing.

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We need to make God our priority today.

We need to make prayer a priority today.

We need to make bible study a priority today.

Scripture says that today is the day of salvation; we are not promised tomorrow.

 

So, today is the day to set priorities. Today is the day to make a commitment to put God first.  Start by stop making excuses about why you can’t go to church.  Stop making excuses about why you can’t pray, read your bible, or attend bible study.

 

Make God your priority.

 

Behind the Classroom Door

Is there a special teacher in your life? A teacher that has encouraged you and loved you more than any other?  I am seeking submissions to post here on the blog to honor those who step through the classroom door each day striving to make a difference in the lives of others.

 

Are you a teacher that has been touched by a student during your years in the classroom?  Have you been to the point you’ve wondered, “Is this worth it?” only to have a student prove to you that you are important and the hard work and tears are worth it? I would love to have your stories too.

 

If you have a special teacher that you would like to honor or if you would like to tell us how a student has touched your life, please submit the form below.

 

 

Not Today

Have you noticed that Satan has a way of sneaking up on you?  You’re washing the dishes and these memories from 20 years ago pop into your head out of no where.  Like a ripple effect, more memories rush at you, and you feel sadness, anger, or jealousy welling up inside of you.  But then, you’re like……

 

HOLD UP!  Where in the world did all of this come from???

 

It’s Satan.  He sees the opportunity.  You haven’t been in God’s word the way you should be.  Your prayers have been simple and routine if uttered at all.  You’ve been busy and neglectful in your relationship with Christ. So, Satan sneaks his way in.  He sees this as an opportunity to let doubt creep in.  He sees this an opportunity to put a wedge in between you and those you love. Scripture says the devil prowls around like a lion looking for someone to devour. John 10:10 say he comes to steal, kill, and destroy.  That’s exactly what he will do if we let him.

 

However, in James, we are told to submit ourselves to God and resist Satan who then will flee.  When Satan begins with his devilish schemes, we can be like Christ in Matthew 16:23 and say, “Get behind me Satan!”  We have the promise of peace in Romans, because our God will crush Satan.

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No matter where we are in our walk with Christ, we should always be alert.  Satan is sneaky, yet God is faithful and will defend us. We must put on the full armor of God, so we can stand against the devil’s schemes.  Each day, we must faithfully spend time with the Lord. When we do, we will be able to acknowledge the wiles of Satan more quickly.  Then as we cry out to Jesus and say, “Not today, Satan,” he will turn and run.

Covered in Prayer

When I was in high school, I had found out that one of my friends had asked her Sunday school class to pray for me. I was livid. Pray for me?!?! There was nothing wrong with me, so I couldn’t understand why my friend would be praying for me and asking others to do the same.

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Join me today at Crosseyed Living as I share about prayer.  Click here to read more.

Five Minute Friday: Why?

Why?

 

That’s a questions we all ask at some time or another in our lives.  So often, when things happen, we start pointing fingers.  We blame our government.  We blame our teachers. We blame our parents.  We blame our friends. We blame God.

 

Why?

 

We don’t want to take responsibility for ourselves.

 

I told a student the other day that sometimes we have to stop and examine ourselves, look to see what part we had in a problem. I told her that its tough to do that because we don’t want to see ourselves as imperfect – But we are.

 

We fail miserably in so many ways. Yet, God loves us so very much.

 

Why?

 

Because He is so very good.

 

And I know what you’re doing right now…..you’re asking “Why did He let —- happen?”

 

Friend, I know that God can place his powerful hand in each disastrous moment and stop it.  I won’t pretend to know why He doesn’t.

 

I do know this….

In this life, we are given choices.  The first choice came in Eden.  Eve had a choice, and she didn’t choose God.  Since then, we’ve all had choices…..We’ve had choices to make concerning friendships, relationships, and marriages.  We’ve had choices to make concerning our education. We’ve had choices to make concerning drugs, alcohol, pornography, and gambling.  We have a choice in abortion, infidelity, theft, and integrity.

 

The bottom line…. We have a choice.  We need to consider why we made the choices we did. In the choices that we make, we must choose God.

 

My time is up….I didn’t want to make this a political post, a post about gun control or not. We are free to choose what we believe, and I want to share what I believe……

 

We have a choice in our behaviors. We have a choice in our parenting.  We have choice in our marriages. We have a choice in our work places. As a teacher, I have been blamed and accused for things that have hurt deeply.  I’ve been accused of being a racist just because a black child lied and refused to do work or said nasty things to another student. I’ve been told I wasn’t much of teacher because I didn’t have children of my own.  I’ve been told that being in my class was like being on the front lines of war because I made kids behave in my class. I’ve been told that it was MY job to pack up 10 year old kids each day and make sure they had everything to take home because the parents didn’t have time to teach responsibility and check backpacks.  I’ve been told it was my fault that a child failed a test even though the child never behaved in class or did classwork or homework.  I’ll admit, I’m not a perfect teacher.  I will take responsibility for my actions and I will help and encourage and be there for each and every student from the day they walk into my door until the day I die.  Yet, I ask this…..when does it become the parents’ responsibility to make sure their kids are behaving?  When does it become the parents’ responsibility to teach integrity and kindness and empathy?  When does it become the parents’ responsibility for teaching children right from wrong, teaching them coping skills for those times when life isn’t fair?

 

Until people have a change of heart, no amount of laws will change our world.

Until people have a change of heart, abortion won’t stop.

Until people have a change of heart, children will be abused and killed.

Until people have a change of heart, our world will continue a downward spiral straight to hell.

 

We’ve told God to go away, that we are good enough.  We’ve told Him we don’t need Him (until we do).  We’ve encouraged our husbands to spend their free time drinking with their beer buddies. We’ve encouraged our wives to shop til they drop.  We’ve encouraged our children to work endless hours to get on that ball team or dance team. We’ve spent so much time away from God that we have forgotten how good He really is.

 

To change this world, we must first change ourselves. Our hearts must be right with God.  We must grow each and every day in our relationship with Him.  When we preach the gospel message, all too often we preach only about salvation.  We don’t preach or teach the redemption story of a relationship….a relationship for the here and now that will change us.  Y’all, this life is hard…..Jesus said it would be…..and part of that glorious gospel story is what gets us through this life.  We can’t just trust Jesus for our salvation, we have to trust Him with every thread of our lives.  Nothing is too big or too small for Him.  He wants all of us.

 

Once we are changed, our homes will change. Our communities will change.  You see, when we are right with God, when HE is the CENTER of our lives, our other relationships fall into place.  We become the spouse we were created to be. We become the parents we were created to be.  There becomes a ripple effect.  True lasting change starts with each of us having a strong personal, growing relationship with Christ.

 

So, instead of us asking “Why,” maybe we should ask did we allow God to influence the choices we made.

 

Will you join me in praying for hearts to be changed, for the lost to be saved, for the saved to put Christ first in their lives each and every day?

 

 

In God We Trust

 

For those of us who are military families, uncertainty is just part of life.  We often live a life of “hurry up and wait.”  Uncle Sam could knock on our doors at any time. Military families live with a lot of unknowns, yet it’s important for us not to place our faith in the government, but in Christ alone……….

 

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Yesterday, I was featured at Crosseyed Living.  Check out my post by clicking HERE.

Surrender: Five Minute Friday

All too often, we surrender ourselves to the wrong things.

drugs

alcohol

gambling

sex

technology

food

gossip

greed

bitterness

 

We allow these things to take hold of our lives.  Our days revolve around them.

 

Yet, when we surrender to Christ, He breaks the chains for us. He sets us free.

 

Sadly, we sometimes lose track of God’s blessings, of His providence.  We’ve allowed Him to save our souls, but we don’t surrender our daily struggles to Him.  Satan causes us to doubt God.  Satan tells us we can do it on our own. Satan leads us to believe that God will be mad at us.

 

But remember this….there is nothing on this earth, there is no power in hell that will ever tear us from Christ once we have accepted him as our Lord and Savior.  Nothing.

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Once we surrender to Him, we are His forever.

 

And I have a dear friend that doesn’t believe this.  And girl, if you are reading this, I love you, and I want you to know that you can have that blessed assurance that once you’ve surrendered to Christ, you are His forever.