Are We Really Putting God First?


I recently thought about putting God first. I thought about it while reading this verse- “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End”. That verse is Revelation 22:13.

It says he is the first and the last, but do we actually put him first in our daily lives? I will admit, I don’t always put him first. For me, it’s easy to forget. I try, but I just don’t always.

So, I would like you to please take the time and answer the few questions below. And, don’t forget to be honest! We’re all friends here!

1. Is there anything in your daily life you can name that makes God get pushed back in obeying him?

2. Are there any ways you know that can help you remember to put him first?

Thanks and I really look forward to hearing your replies!

~Lilian

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God’s Power still lives


God is more powerful than any of you can ever Imagine. He can conquer everything. And he is on your side!
1Corinthians 15:1-4
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
Friends, I want to share with you something I’ve already talked about often. This something is what my entire life is based on and is your base too, if you have believed. This something is your salvation, and I want you to remember it so that my message is not useless. I have told you only that which God has given me, which is this: Jesus gave himself so that we can be saved, he died for our sins, he was buried, and then he defied all the powers of hell, sin, and death, and he rose up from the grave clearing our sins away forever.
I want to share with you today a testimony of God’s power, a power that saved us and continues saving us. This testimony is a testimony for those who have loved christ and one for those who don’t know him yet. God has a power beyond comparison. For centuries man was a slave to sin and death, no one could break that curse. But God came down and he broke it by dying, he broke it by giving himself up. So. Ya, cool, I’m already saved, so why on earth should I care? So, here’s my answer. You have grown up since the day you were born, surrounded by sin. Sin has been pelting you and will pelt as it pelts you right now. God offered you this life vest as you are drowning in sin. Now, what would happen if you decided that you would loosen the straps a bit. Inevitably you would start drowning in sin again, you still would make it through, but the ride will shake you really hard. In the same way the gospel is like a life vest, you put it on, but sin still bombards you. You’ve got to tighten the straps again. Well, can you do that? No, once you start flailing you can’t tighten the vest. But, God in his power still can, he can forgive your sins.
I said I wanted to share a testimony of power, and yes I will. I want to remind you that the God who saved you when you were swamped in sin, fighting him, can still tighten your vest after he put it on. I sin often, yup, I’m still in a world of sin, and each time I sin Satan slips this tag of despair in. “See, you can’t beat sin, ha! got you” And every time that tag comes God slips in the arm of divine power. His word shows me that he has killed my sin and that he can kill every new sin just like he did the old ones. He tells me through his word that when I feel like I’m drowning he’s still there, floating me. God’s power is infinite. I want to remind you that you never need to give up, your fight agains sin is not hopeless. Why? Jesus has RISEN! He is still alive, and he will help you conquer sin.
Don’t give up.
DKS

Bands To Break Bonds


I recently did an interview with the founder of “Bands To Break Bonds”, Alice N. Here are the questions I asked Alice-

1. What is bands to break bonds about?

Bands to Break Bonds is about changing the world through the music we listen to.

2. How did it get started?

I’ve always been interested in being involved with music in one way or another, and God laid a burden on my heart for enslaved children about three years ago. About a year ago, God planted a seed in my heart for this organization–“What if,” I wondered, “musicians used their prominence and their talent to help free slaves? And what if people who loved music could go to a website to find out which bands used music for good?” This organization is the fruit of that idea.

3. What does it do?

Bands to Break Bonds provides fans with a list of “Music Heroes”–musicians who are actively fighting human trafficking. Through our email fanblasts, we also tell the fans how they can help support and partner with those bands in the fight against human trafficking.

4. Where do you plan to go with it?

I hope to go wherever God wants the organization to go. Right now, I think it would be wonderful to have a great team of Music Heroes registered with Bands to Break Bonds and a loyal fanbase receiving fanblasts, all helping to free slaves. It’ll be a community of people committed to a freer, safer world.

If you would like to find out more on “Bands To Break Bonds”, you can head over to their site, http://www.bandstobreakbonds.org/index.html

~Lili

More than empty words


Today I want to share a story about me. Something that happened recently. Many times life throws us curveballs and we miss them. Totally. This devo is really about prayer and the power of it. Probably the most underestimated and least used of God’s tools. Why? Satan hates it, it is so powerful that if every professed christian was fervent about it, Satans power would be completely gone.
Matthew 6:5-13 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
So, the story. I was involved in a robotics competition last saturday. It was something I kinda looked forward to and had spent alot of time getting ready for. Thursday I spent at least four hours getting out robot ready. We were having problems with it but there was one problem we did not have. Falling off the table we run the competition on. Friday same thing. By friday night our robot could do the competition effortlessly. There were no problems to solve. I’ve done the competion four years and this was my third year at nationals. And honestly it was the most ready I’ve ever been for any competition. Our robot was arguably the best robot there. The odds were in our favor. We set up for competition and everything was perfect. It seemed as nothing could go wrong. Well, I was wrong. When the official run came, it we fell off the table, no precident, no prior hint, no warning, nothing. Actually, it should humanly not have happened. But, it did. We finished sixth where we should have been at least second probably first.
So you may ask what does this have to do with prayer. Alot actually. By the way I did not tell you this to make you feel sorry or anything, please don’t. God works in marvelous ways. He tought me something again, what really matters. Prayer is something that should be with us at all times. It is our lense for this world along with the bible. Nothing is quite like it. The most amazing part of the day was this. When we read devotions in the morning our verse reminded us of the heavenly, it said we run the christian race not for an earthly prize bot an imperishable onr. On the way home from one of my bro’s soccer games, I heard a sermon on work ethic. I left the competition totally dissapointed and by the time I started praying and talking to God my heart was as soft as mozerrella cheese. Never underestimate prayer. For days I’d prayed that God would do something to get closer to hime, and God answered. When you pray, what do you pray for, that God would give you victory? Help you on your exams? Give you good friends? What?!?!
There is a human tendency (I’m human) to pray for selfish things, to pray with empty words, to seek self glorification in prayer. But Jesus commands us to defy these bad tendencies. Let me translate some of this passage into our modern vernacular(language, for those of you who don’t like old english) : )
Dear God, you are holy, there is none like you, you made the atoms the earth the sun the stars, you mad me and love me. You sent your son to die for me. God because I tend to forget you, help me to live for your kingdom, give me strength to obey you just as your angels obey you, give me spiritual strength and food for my soul in this spiritual desert of a coulture, forgive my sins today as you did on the cross, keep me safe from tempations on the internet, keep me away from bad influences and gaurd my heart. Amen
Do you pray for God to forgive your sins, or hide them? Do you pray for protection from sin, or for pleasure? Do you pray for your will to be done, or God’s? Do you mean what you pray, or do you just say it? God does not care if you talk to him in formal english and fancy language, he wants you to talk your heart out to him. He wants YOU, not your pride. He wants to destroy your sin not cover it up. He wants to get you to know him. He wants you to find peace and pleasure in him. Do you talk to God like he’s just and old man that could care less about you, or do you talk to him as friend, ruler, savior, king, champion, future mate, eternal love? God wants YOU! He doesn’t need you, no you need him, and prayer is the way to get him, prayer is the way you get to know him, prayer is the way he becomes significant to you. DO YOU PRAY? and if you do, do you do it out of duty or out of love?
dks

Who am I?


Who am I? That is a question we ought to ask ourselves regularly. I would almost suggest, daily.
Psa 51:9-12 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
David realized something, his heart was his real problem. As a king he had great influence and power, he was able to cover up sin with his wealth and money, he basically had the run of the mill. He could look good to his people, but he realized that God saw him as he really was, and that thought scared him. I am who I am in secret, that is what David realized. I am the person who I really am when I am alone with limitless internet. I am who I really am when there is not a eye to behold what I do. I am the person I really am on my phone, and on facebook. When we are ‘goody two shoes’ every time someone is watching, then you get your reward, but let me tell you, it’s not a heavenly one. Since the rise of technology, e-mailing, texting, facebook, twitter………. No one has had a hard time developing a split identity. Never before has it been easier to cover sin in a flurry of activity. And yes this may just sound like spiritual re-hash. But, then again, God never changes does he? Have you ever realized that the ‘cool’ christians are very ‘spiritually minded’ when the pastor is around, and laugh at the crudest jokes when he’s not around? Everywhere I look around me at church I see a group of young people casted to fit a mold they don’t like, I see a group of people that look like angels. Then they graduate…. but what is the authorities’ reaction when teens don’t fit the mold? “Oh, we need to get them back into the mold” Have you realized that it’s really hard to turn a caterpillar into a butterfly? It doesn’t work. You have to wait, and all the shoving in the world won’t help. In the same way we must wait on God. And yet we must strive to truly be christians ourselves. We need to strive to be christians when all the pleasures of this world are holding us back. When cloth is soaked in water the water permeates the entire cloth, unless there is scotch gurad. The problem is that spiritual scotch-guard is coating many christian hearts. So, what do we do? Fix ourselves first! An unlit torch can’s start a fire! We need to stop feeling good about ourselves and break down weaping before God. The scotch-guard of sin needs to be removed before we can soak in God’s grace. Until we ask forgiveness and stop looking forward to indulging our sinful pleasures we can’t serve God. The best thing a man can do is love God, the second best thing he can do is to hate himself.
So who are you really? Permeated by God and a realization of your own sin, or repelling God’s love and feeling good about yourself?
dks

My First Shower Nearly Killed Me, A Clip From Do Hard Things


 

I still remember my first shower. It was a horrible experience. I was eight years old and all I had ever known was baths. Baths were neat and tidy ordeals where the water flowed in from below my head and – provided I didn’t splash too much – stayed below my head.

I found showers to be an entirely different beast. The water, rather than flowing as a solid stream that was easily visible and avoidable, sprayed out as nearly invisible and unavoidable droplets that seemed to have a magnetic attraction to my eyes.

I did not ask to be promoted from Junior Bath Taker to Junior Shower Taker, but my parents had set the date for my graduation and protesting made little difference. It didn’t help that my twin brother Alex loved showers and had taken one earlier that week.

Before I could draft my formal petition, let alone get anyone to sign it, I found myself staring up at the dreadful shower head just as a brave soul stares down the barrel of his executioner’s gun.

However, once the trigger was pulled and the shower head began rumbling and hissing, my courage melted away, and I was screaming before the first drop hit me.

You see, in my mind there was no moral difference between making your child take a shower and stripping that same child naked and locking him out of the house during a thunderstorm. It was abandonment. I wasn’t a Water Nymph. I wasn’t a shower person. I was a bath person and I was happy that way.

The funny thing is that this morning, nearly ten years later, I took a shower and didn’t think twice about it. I even purposefully let the water spray on my face! It is incredible that what then seemed to be an impossible hurdle is now part of my everyday routines.

~Brett Harris, Do Hard Things

I encourage you to read the book and become a member of their forums, which can be found www.therebelution.com

Please leave a comment if you have questions or comments about the site or join the site. We would love to know!

Also, just so you know, the picture of the girl above is not the author.:)

~CTL

P.S. The pic came from here-http://www.therebelution.com/about/

G.G.G.


No, I am not stuttering and I am not going to speak baby language. Thank you very much. (not)
Psalms 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Psalms 31:19 Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!
Psalms 65:4 Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple!
Psalms 145:7 They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
God’s great goodness. Have any of you ever tasted it? Seen it? Felt it? Looked over it? Missed it? God’s goodness is one of those things that are matchless. Something that I can never forget. Once I tasted it my world changed and the things of this world tasted like cardboard, baloney, junk. It’s like eating a stale piece of bread after tasting your favorite food. But what do I mean by God’s great goodness, particularly as of right now I am not talking about your house or your food or anything like that. No, I’m talking about something different. God’s spiritual goodness, his joy, his peace, his forgiveness. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, I can’t explain it to you. I’m not into the second salvation thing at all but, when one is a christian spiritual things happen more. Harmony and peace in God become more than just a catch phrase, they are real. Like, real, real. They no longer are what your pastor talks about on sunday, but they are what you experience Monday-Sunday. I want to share a part of song called ” Come thou fount of every blessing ” Read it as your own prayer, from your heart to God’s.
Oh to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

I am a debtor. Please say this hymn verse out loud, like I just did, so that people can hear you, show some courage. And think each line thru, and think of God.

In debt

dks