5 Tactics Satan Uses to Invade Your Church

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Twenty years ago, when the Lord led me to start the Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry, I left the business world to go into full-time lay ministry. It was a delightful surprise to discover people would donate their time without expecting payment in return. I expected it to be easy leading Christian team members who would all agree and serve willingly and peacefully.

It was a crushing blow realizing that Christians don’t all agree and get along peacefully, and many of the same divisive issues I encountered in the business world, prevail in the church. I had much to learn and pray about as a ministry leader, and it still disturbs me. The enemy tried to invade and destroy Woman to Woman Mentoring, but praise God it’s still going strong in thousands of churches around the world today. But I had to learn how to identify the divisive tactics of the enemy and how to fight against him. I went straight to the armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-18, where versus 10-12 instruct Christians to . . .

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Ephesians 6:17 says the only weapon we have against Satan’s invasion is God’s Word, the Bible, the Sword of the Spirit. So it’s no surprise that Satan has managed to remove the Bible from schools, and recently, some pastors have devalued God’s Word saying it’s outdated and irrelevant to today’s culture. Yet, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb. 13:8).

Since the beginning of time in the Garden of Eden, Satan’s sole purpose has been to destroy God’s kingdom on earth and overtake the world with evil, and his tactical invasion is succeeding, not just in the world, but also in the church. Satan has methodically and effectively:

  • Changed God’s definition of marriage. Certain denominations embrace gay marriage and gay clergy, and it’s dividing their churches.
  • Legalized the killing of unborn babies and selling their body parts—many of whom might have been Christian leaders, presidents, pastors, evangelists, parents, had the cure for cancer, and loud voices in the wilderness.
  • Removed God, prayer, and Bibles from schools.
  • Eliminated God from the public square.

And what has the church done to stop any of this? Very little.

Instead of the church influencing culture, the culture is influencing the church.

So is it any wonder that in this current election battle, we see Satan zeroing in for a strategic blow: destroying unity in the church body and causing bitter divisions among evangelicals and conservative Christians.In Forsaken God?: Remembering the Goodness of God Our Culture Has Forgotten, I warn of Satan’s impending invasion of the church if believers, who comprise God’s church, don’t take a firm stand against the devil’s schemes (Eph. 6:18):

Satan won’t like you making a concerted effort to remember God. Satan wants you to forget God’s goodness. Let that sink in a minute. If you forget God and his role in your life, then Satan has you just where he wants you. Satan’s target is believers. He doesn’t care about those who love the world because he already has them in his grip. He focuses on luring believers to love something else more than they love God. Satan wants to break God’s heart. Unfortunately, he seems to be succeeding in many areas. If he can get believers to look to the world’s ways, and forget God’s ways, Satan smirks.

Five Tactics Satan Uses to Destroy Churches by Invading Holiness with Worldliness.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” —John 10:10

Secularism

In a Washington Post article, Michelle Boorestein quoted Pastor Rick Scarborough, who has spent 20 years trying to politically mobilize evangelical voters: “Evangelicals are so divided….It’s because we are living in a growing age of secularism that is forcing itself on people who hold traditional values . . . . Some frame the split as Christian pragmatists vs. Christian idealists.”

No one, not even Satan, can “force” secularism or pragmatism on people who hold traditional values. It’s a choice.

Satan is hijacking high-profile liberal pastors and several mainline denominations who expound that: the Bible isn’t inerrant or relevant, God is a myth, Jesus is a legend, and the church needs to catch up with the culture. Culture never trumps Scripture. Even if you’ve been a member for years of one of these denominations or churches that now succumbs to this unbiblical, satanical teaching—run—leave immediately, and take your family with you.*

These “liberals” defiantly ignore Jesus’s warning that Christians are in the world, but not of the world. And Jesus didn’t come to conform to the culture; he came to reform the culture.*

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. —Romans 12:2

Selfishness

The center of all divisiveness is selfishness and pride. We want things our way, the way we think is right. The church often doesn’t agree on what Christ wants for His church.

Adults in churches usually divide into groups such as seniors, empty nesters, young adults, singles, marrieds, which is fine for small groups or Bible studies; but when those groups think more about their own wants and needs than what’s best for the church and the future of the church, it’s selfish. The church laments that they’re losing the youth, but are they willing to make the selfless effort to save them?

The church is failing to reach out to the next generation with a message relevant to the world they live in today; but the secular world is ready and waiting for them. The next generation is falling away from the church in droves or erroneously choosing a pseudo-gospel of compromise and feel-good theology. Today, even children from Bible-believing homes may not have the tools or fortitude to equip them to face a liberal world drifting away from the God of the Bible.*

Many churches don’t want to change the way they’ve always done things. Selfish pride is at the root of arguments, dissension, hurt feelings, gossip, complaining, refusal to change . . . and God hates pride, which means that Satan loves it.

For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.—1 John 2:16

Sin

How many in congregations today are living a sinful life without feeling any pangs of remorse because the church isn’t confronting them? How many pastors are afraid of retaliation if they call homosexuality, living together, adultery, abortion, lying, or cheating a sin? Satan is the father of sin and he has done well when the church cowers in fear of being called judgmental, haters, prejudiced. Why did Jesus have to endure the painful cross for forgiveness of our sins, if the church now refuses to call sin, a sin?

Jesus loves all people, but he hates sin—that’s why he went to the cross. Not so we could keep on sinning, but because, “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23). If a church doesn’t understand how to love the sinner without embracing the sin, it may either abandon the sinner, or avoid confronting the sin and thus condone it.

Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!Matthew 18:7

Scandal

Many pastors, church leaders, and prominent Christians succumb to moral or financial failures. Churches don’t always have, or enforce, a system of accountability and mentoring at every level of leadership. Or some church staff may think they’re safe and above needing such protective measures, and that’s right where Satan wants them with a target on their back.

When one of these Christian leaders, or someone in their family falls, the media, and many Christians and fellow pastors, are quick to voice opinions and denounce them publically. The church may not respond biblically, which is why nonbelievers characterize Christians as the only group that “eats its own.”

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.—Galatians 6:1

Social Acceptance

Many voices are screaming louder than the church, which in its attempt to be culturally relevant, may widen the road that Jesus said is narrow. Political correctness and ideological inclusiveness, overshadows biblical truthfulness. The church should only seek the exclusive acceptance of, and answer to, the Head of the Church—Jesus Christ.

If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.—John 15:19

Sensationalism

Cultural Christianity creates an entertainment church, emphasizing popular people more than Holy God. Churches try the latest trend rather than leading from the Holy Spirit. Parishioners often want a pastor who doesn’t challenge them. Concert-style worship can detract from the purpose of musical worship—inviting in the Holy Spirit and drawing close to God, an atmosphere Satan hates. But Satan loves it when earplugs accompany the bulletin, little children plug their ears, and only those on stage sing because the music is so loud parishioners can’t hear themselves or each other.

Many churches today are dark inside, pitch black with a few strobe lights. Bible verses project on a screen because it’s too dark to read a Bible, so many people don’t even take a Bible to church. Oh how Satan loves that because he knows they’ve put down their swords—the Word of God.

Repeatedly, the Bible tells us to come out of the dark and into the light. Underground churches have to meet in the dark, and maybe only have one Bible to share with everyone; but we own Bibles and we can still lift the blinds, throw open the windows, and let the Son shine in so others can see us coming back to the heart of worship.

For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. —Eph. 5:8-9 NLT

What Should the Church do to Combat Satan’s Divisive Tactics?

Believers must agree to stand together united as the Christian church—led by Christ and based on biblical truths—and fight Satan using prayer and the Sword of the Spirit—the World of God—as our battle plan and strong fortress.

But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. —Jude 1:17-21

Otherwise, If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand” (Mark 3:25). “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought” (1 Cor. 1:10).

How do you see Satan using these tactics in your church?

*Excerpts from Forsaken God?: Remembering the Goodness of God Our Culture Has Forgotten

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Grandparents Changing the Culture

A Million praying grandparentsIn the Generation to Generation section of Forsaken God?: Remembering the Goodness of God Our Culture Has Forgotten, I stress that the most important task for parents and grandparents is to pass down to future generations the goodness of our Great God, and help their children and grandchildren enjoy a personal relationship with Jesus.

Lillian Penner, National Prayer Director for Christian Grandparenting Network (CGN,) and an endorser of Forsaken God?, shares my passion for mentoring the next generation. Lillian has a dream of A Million Praying Grandparents committing to pray intentionally and regularly for grandchildren and their parents. I asked Lillian to share her dream/passion with you because I believe you share my concern for our grandchildren and children growing up in a broken world that has forsaken and forgotten God.

I joined the Million Praying Grandparents as a grandparent who prays Scripture daily for our eleven grandchildren. It’s part of my morning quiet time, and I have seen God do amazing things, which I write about in Grammie’s Corner in my monthly online newsletter. This month you can read how 7-year old Sienna surprised Grampa and me when she announced that she wanted us to pray with her to accept Jesus into her heart. That blessing was the answer to many morning prayers.

Sienna and KatelynI learned about praying God’s will by praying Scripture for Sienna’s mommy. I share more about this way of praying in Praying for Your Prodigal Daughter.

MESSAGE FROM LILLIAN PENNER

In a movement to unite grandparents to pray intentionally for the next generation, Christian Grandparenting Network is launching a globale prayer campaign for 2016: A Million Praying Grandparents. Can you imagine the impact of one million or more grandparents praying for their grandchildren?

The Mission Field

The mission of CGN is the mobilization of grandparents throughout the world to commit to pray daily for their grandchildren and their grandchildren’s parents. In Christian Living Today, Editor, Randy Swanson, wrote:

The role of Grandparenting is becoming more important than anyone would ever have imagined. The rescue of our culture may well rest on the shoulders of today’s grandparents.”

Perhaps at no time in history has the call been more urgent for intentional prayer.

If you grasp the urgency of our time, then I urge you to join the Million Praying Grandparents movement, linking arms in prayer for the next generation.

Our grandchildren are our primary mission field.

Sign Up Today to Be a Praying Grandparent

If you’re as worried as I am about the world our grandchildren are inheriting, I urge you to sign up for the Million Praying Grandparents Movement. By joining, you are declaring your commitment to pray regularly for your grandchildren.

In appreciation for making such a culture-changing commitment, you will receive a free printable copy of a Million Praying Grandparents Prayer Resource to guide in using God’s Word to pray for your grandchildren.

Now you must make a decision:

For the sake of the hearts, minds and souls of your grandchildren, will you say, “YES I will join the Million Praying Grandparents movement?”

Go to the Million Praying Grandparents website and follow the instructions to sign up!

Please also share the vision of a Million Praying Grandparents united in prayer for their grandchildren with your friends and family.

Together we can influence the next generation to know Christ and follow Him wholeheartedly! Together we can change the culture and a world that has forgotten and forsaken God. Don’t let that be your grandchildren’s future.

Excerpt from Forsaken God?: Remembering the Goodness of God Our Culture Has Forgotten.

Steve Green wrote a song with the chorus, “Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful.” Someday we’ll all just be a memory, but let’s make sure that memory is a good one. In your sphere of influence, starting with your own family and church family, “tell them” all you’ve seen God do and his unchanging truths. Influence the next generations to love and obey God with born-again, Holy Spirit filled hearts.

I pray my [Janet’s] legacy to my children and grandchildren will be—Mom/Grammie was a woman who loved Jesus and lived what she believed.

If you’re a grandparent, you’ll want to join this movement of a Million Praying Grandparents.

If you’re a parent, you’ll want to forward this blog to your children’s grandparents.

If you receive this blog my email, please comment here.

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Lillian Penner is the author of Grandparenting with a Purpose: Effective Ways to Pray for Your Grandchildren and is the National Prayer Coordinator for Christian Grandparenting Network. An avid blogger, Lillian will break into smiles if you ask about her twelve grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She and her husband, John, live in Portland, Oregon, where they are active in church ministries.

Visit Lillian

Burnout or Balance?

stress relaxToday’s guest blogger is a fiction author friend of mine, DiAnn Mills. She has some great tips for us today on how to live a balanced life without burning out. If you want to do a Bible study on this topic you might enjoy my Face to Face with Priscilla and Aquila: Balancing Life and Ministry. Be sure to check at the end of her post for her offer of a copy of her new release, Deadlock. Just leave a comment to enter the drawing. I couldn’t put it down!

Burnout or Balance? By DiAnn Mills

Recently I took an honest evaluation of myself, and I didn’t like what I discovered. Exhaustion pelted my mind and body. Did I mention cranky? Looked older? Felt worse? I rose earlier in the morning and hit the pillow later at night. I cancelled breakfast meetings with friends and attended a writer’s conference where I failed to make all the necessary connections. Still the work piled up, and I wasn’t enjoying what I’d previously loved.

In short, my professional life had spiraled downward into a pitiful heap, and I needed to find a solution.

Some of you may be feeling the same way. No matter how we spend our days, burnout is a painful disorder, but I have an antidote. I found twelve ways to help me be the woman God intended, and I’m sure they will help you too.

Twelve Ways to Fight Burnout!

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  1. Everything begins with prayer. Every dream. Every decision. Every dilemma.
  2. Read Ephesians 4:1-7 and write down your purpose. This is your ministry, God’s calling on your life. It’s rich and beautiful and uniquely you.
  3. Thank God for everything placed in your path: the good, the bad, the victories, and the challenges. Repeat these events aloud every morning. I use a “Thankful” journal. If you doubt the value of this practice, check out Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts. You can also follow her marvelous wisdom on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AnnVoskamp. [Note from Janet: I suggest a Thankful Journal and quote Ann Voskamp in my new book coming out in March, Forsaken God: Remembering the Goodness of God Our Culture Has Forgotten.]
  4. Record what you enjoy about being you. Be passionate! Living every moment for God should fill us with unspeakable joy and allow us to worship Him in a personal way. If our lives are empty, then we are on the road to burnout. Examine what does bring joy and pray for God to open a window of hope for you.
  5. Take time to rest. A woman can’t focus if she’s in sleep-deficit mode. If possible, take a few naps and crawl into bed earlier.
  6. Listen to soothing music.
  7. Follow a healthy diet and commit to exercise. Remember the temple we’re supposed to take care of? Satisfaction does its best job when our bodies are being fed the right stuff and it’s in good shape. If this is a problem area, ask God for help and to lead you to an accountability partner. [Note from Janet: Read my Love Your Body blogs the last Monday of the Month.]
  8. Dont forget loved onesfamily and friends. When we’re too busy, we forget about people. Our role on earth is not about how much work we’ve done or a completed check list. We’re to touch lives with the love of Christ.
  9. Discern what is stopping you from being productive in your ministry. A wise woman told me there are many wonderful God-projects in the world, but that didn’t mean God intended for me to get involved with all of them. Practice saying no and feeling good about it. Guilt doesn’t come from God.
  10. Eradicate all those negative influences stopping you from smiling. These can be unhealthy habits or relationships.
  11. Do you need cooperation and support from your family? Call a meeting and pour out your heart. So what if you shed a few tears? We earn our title of drama queen honestly.
  12. Establish a schedule that works for you and stick to it. An accountability partner ensures you’re working toward your goals and accomplishing the purpose for which you were created.

Add Balance with Prayer and Study of Gods Word

sparrowThis list wont stop the down days or the mistakes made when we dont take care of ourselves. But it will help when burnout overwhelms us. When a woman achieves body and soul balance, love and creativity flow like a winding river.

peaceHow are you balancing the purpose God gave you?

Leave a comment for a random drawing of a personalized copy of my new romantic suspense novel Deadlock, released by Tyndale Publishing.

If you receive this post be email, leave a comment.

Deadlock - largeDiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firew and she speaks and teaches writing workshops around the country. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

DiAnn would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at my website.

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How to Have a Date with Jesus

FullSizeRender-1 (2)Be My Valentine!

I know I don’t have to remind you that this Saturday is Valentine’s Day! A day we set aside for showing that special someone how much they mean to us. It can also be a difficult time for someone who doesn’t have an object of his or her affection to dote on or be the recipient of doting … but it doesn’t need to be a sad day for those who know Jesus as their First Love!

My First Prayer Garden

 Almost twenty years ago, the revelation hit me that even though I was happily married after being single for 17 years, my husband was not first in my love life, Jesus was. And shouldn’t I approach my special time with Jesus each day with the same attitude I would lavish on my earthly love, Dave. So I set about finding a special place to spend with my First Love every day and I called it my prayer garden. At this time, we were living in sunny Southern California so I could have my quiet time outside almost every day. I’ll share with you in a moment how I’ve carried on this date with Jesus in my new home of Idaho. Here is the story that I wrote in 2001 of how I initially created the special “date” atmosphere in California.

Thinking of Jesus as the lover of my soul and the One I love above all others, gave me the idea of creating a romantic atmosphere for my daily “Quiet Time” with Jesus. It needed all the touches of a special date. First, it must be quiet and free of interruptions, so that meant outside. Since my backyard is all cement, I arranged colorful potted plants in a shaded alcove of the patio and hung a humming bird feeder. I placed a chair for Jesus and a chair for me with a small table in the center for a romantic fragrant candle. I later added wind chimes, and my son-in-law made a waterfall. Walla I had a Prayer Garden.

 

My Prayer Garden

My Prayer Garden

My Date Bag with Jesus is always Packed

Then I pack a ‘date bag’ with my Bible, a journal, devotional, highlighters, pens, Post-it notes, current Bible Study, and oh yes, a lighter for the candle. One trip back into the house for something I forgot could be a major distraction. prayer garden 1

My “Date Bag” with Jesus

First thing every morning, I grab my cup of coffee, my date bag, a blanket or sweater if it is chilly, and head out for my date with Jesus in our Prayer Garden. Here is a major key to intimate time with my First Love—I shut the door to ALL interruptions. The answering machine gets the phone, and the family knows I am having my Jesus date when the Do Not Disturb sign is out.

When our date is finished, I repack my date bag and put it back in the same spot every time by the patio door so it is ready for tomorrow’s big date. If the weather is not good, Jesus and I curl up together on the couch, and I play soft instrumental worship music in the background.

To keep romance exciting, it’s good to vary the activities on dates, so I constantly add freshness to my Quiet Time with variety. Each Christmas, I pick out a new devotional for the coming year. I select one with an area for journaling love letters to the Lord. I start my Quiet Time date by praying the armor of God from Ephesians 6:10-18 and would never think of going into my day without this spiritual protection. I alternate working on my small group Bible studies or one I am doing for fun. Some years I read completely through the Bible, and other times, I leisurely enjoy the Scriptures.

At the end of our date, I sit back close my eyes and linger in conversational prayer, letting my First Love talk to me. He always whispers words of love and endearment as He reveals His plans, visions, and goals for us. Often, there are answers to prayers and questions, and many times, we just share a sweet silence. Like any wonderful date, I hate for it to end, but I know my First Love will be waiting eagerly for our special date tomorrow.

Idaho Quiet Times

Now that we live in Idaho with its four seasons, my Quiet Time locations change with the season: when the weather is nice, I’m out on the deck and when it’s snowing or cold I have a quiet time area right outside my office with a beautiful view out the window. I still have my Quiet Time bag packed and ready to go depending on where I’m having my date with Jesus. It’s my most favorite part of the day!

View from deck quiet times.

View from deck quiet times.

Indoors Quiet Time

Indoors Quiet Time

 

 

View from Indoor Quiet Time!Indoor Quiet Time View

How about you? Tell me about your dates with Jesus. Leave a comment below, or if you receive my blogs by email click and leave a comment.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day! Here is a poem I wrote about my California Prayer Garden. Enjoy!

OUR PRAYER GARDEN

You wanted to meet me early in the morning

          In a place that was special to just you and me.

My heart was willing, and I had such a yearning

          To talk and be in your presence daily.


I began to arise just after the sun came up,

          And searched for a place where we could meet.

It had to be quiet where no one would interrupt,

          For the time that we shared would be so sweet.

 

I moved from room to room,

          As I tried to find the aura,

For you and me to just commune

          Every day at the same hour.

 

As we began to spend our time,

          I felt you nudging as I would pray:

“Our get-togethers need fresh air and sunshine.

          Let’s be amongst the beauty of the day.”

 

Of course, it was there all along.

          The table, the patio, the view–

I had all the makings for a Prayer Garden,

          But flowers were sadly very few.

 

A “green thumb” I have never been,

          But I knew this was the spot for us.

And it would not be a Prayer Garden,

          Without the ferns, oleanders and hibiscus.

 

A shopping trip to the nursery was fun,

          Even though I didn’t know what to buy.

Some flowers wanted shade and others liked sun,

          So I just bought what caught my eye.

 

Soon my garden was worthy of comment.

          The flower beds were colorful and in full blossom,

And the array of potted plants carpeted the cement.

          The transformation was truly awesome.

 

One final touch called out to me,

          Wind chimes to catch Your breath in the breeze.

A hummingbird feeder for quiet company,

          In the place where we will meet when ‘er You please.

Jesus, I know now why you sought a garden

          When you went to pray alone that night.

Amongst Your creation God’s presence is sovereign,              

          You just know God’s plans will turn out right.

Janet Thompson 7/17/96

 

Time to Sit with You

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Photo: Thanks to Mountain West Bank for presenting 2014 Winter Garden aGlow. We are glowing nightly in all weather.  Get advance tickets in all Treasure Valley Mountain West Bank locations.

I wrote this poem in 2004 as our Christmas card and it seems like an appropriate time to share it with all of you. About this time in December. we can begin to feel heavy laden with all our “to dos” and forget why we’re even doing any of them. I hope the thoughts I share with you here will help you stop for a moment and give the Lord the best gift of all–your time.

“Time To Sit With You”

Lord, so many things to do,

No time to sit with you.

There’s presents to buy,

And I must bake a pie!

But isn’t it all about Me?

What’s closed your eyes to see.

The purpose of Christmas day,

Isn’t how much you pay?

Lord, each year we hear that said,

Yet, still it comes with dread.

Anticipating all to do,

No time to sit with You!

This is MY day.

Don’t I have a say

In how you spend your time?

Remember, you are chosen…Mine!

But Lord, relatives will soon be here,

And the lawn Santa still needs reindeer!

There is so much to do,

Still no time to sit with You.

Relax and enjoy Me this season,

Let your activities have a reason.

This is My Birthday celebration,

And all I want is your attention.

Oh, Lord, we’ll make it all about You.

Do You think we should have fondue?

We’ll read the Christmas Story,

And give You all the glory.

Sit down and read My Word.

Your craziness is absurd.

Come spend some time with me,

Forget the Christmas tree.

Oh, Lord the cookies are all baked,

I have such a headache.

I know I need to pray,

But I’ve had such a day!

Lives are waiting to be saved.

Did you hear Me when you prayed?

It is certainly no wonder

Your world is all asunder.

No, God, I didn’t hear a word,

I was busy stuffing the bird.

I want to just slow down,

But I feel I’m losing ground.

You’ve made it all about you,

And all your parties too.

My message to the lost,

Overshadowed by homemade cranberry sauce.

Lord, that’s not true,

You know I do love You.

It’s just I feel a call,

To make this the best Christmas of all!

You’re wasting your time.

Do you think you could top Mine?

I had a virgin birth,

As my entrance to earth.

Oh, Lord, I’m beginning to see,

How You want to use me.

Telling Your story to all who will listen,

Is the true Christmas mission.

Spending time with Me,

Is the only way to flee

The world’s strangling control

On your time and very soul.

Oh, Lord, Your music softly plays,

As the candle glow displays,

The beauty of time spent

With our Gift heaven sent.

You’ll go against the flow

Taking time to help a lost soul.

But when the day has come to end,

You’ll have the joy of a new friend.

Oh, Lord, forgive me please.

Help me put down my car keys.

It really is so true,

There’s ALWAYS time to sit with You.

Our prayer for you our friends and family is that you focus your life on only those things that will have Kingdom value.  It’s the only legacy worth leaving.  We love you all,

Janet & Dave

PS: The picture is from the Winter Garden Aglow at the Boise Botanic Gardens! It looks like a miniature Christmas Village, but it’s REAL. We’ve lived here for three Christmases and never gone. This year, we’re making the time to go and enjoy the beauty. What, or who, are you making time for this year?

A New Way to R.E.A.D. Your Bible

I’m reading the Bible in a year, along with many of my friends and family. We’re using www.YouVersion.com where you can choose different reading plans. I’m reading the Bible chronologically, something I’ve always wanted to do. Interesting that after reading about Noah and the Ark, you go straight to Job!

Pastor Brian Smith, Crouch Community Church, also suggested a way to respond as well as read the Bible, which I’ve found very helpful. First pray, then go to the day’s reading and READ:

Record a Promise
Enjoy the Person (God, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit)
Admit a Practice (that offends God)
Discover a Precept (a command we are to do.

Try this with Matthew 8:16-20:
R–God is with me always (v. 20)
E–Jesus has all authority (v. 18)
A–Sin (v. 17 doubt)
D–We are to go into the world and share the Good News! (vv. 19-20)

I’d love to hear from any of you reading the Bible in a year and trying READ, or share what’s working for you!
Happy New Year,
Janet