Monday, March 30, 2015

My Death Penalty Has Been Paid

I don't know one person that is perfect including myself.  Not one!  I know some pretty good people - some Pastors, leaders in our community, Doctors, grandmothers, grandfathers, teachers, etc. - but none of them are perfect. While I would guess that a lot of my friends, if not all, try to live a perfect life, I see them fall short of perfection.  We all sin at some point.

I believe there is a God that created the world and He is perfect.  He created a perfect world and put people in the world because He wanted a relationship with us.  He gave us free will because He wanted a relationship and friends, and not robots. We humans took that free will and made bad choices.  We brought sin into the perfect world that God had created, and the wages of sin are death. We will all die one day because we are not perfect.  Statically one out of every one person dies - just my observation.

I also believe God is a loving God.  He doesn't want His children, His creations, to die an eternal death separated from Him. He loved us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for us.  Jesus' death paid the price for my sin and for your sin.  My debt has been paid and I'm forever thankful.  I got a get out of jail free card.  I get to go to heaven not because of anything that I have done, but because of everything He has done for me! It is a gift! It is a gift that is offered to everyone, although not everyone accepts the gift. Some people just go on trying to live perfectly.  But no one ever lives perfectly.  Some claim they can, but they are lying.  And, I should mention that lying is a sin.  

This week I will celebrate what the world knows as Easter, and I know it to be the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  I have reason to celebrate.  I was headed for hell, but Jesus Christ saved me.  Jesus was beaten for my sins.  He was punished for my transgressions. It was the punishment I deserved, not Him.  It was me that should have died on that cross, not Him.  I would be thrilled if someone paid a speeding ticket for me, and Jesus paid my death penalty!!! I have reason to celebrate, and celebrate I will.   I want to invite you to come and celebrate with me.

If you live in San Antonio, please come celebrate with us at Community Bible Church. If you don't live in San Antonio, you can still join us. We will be airing our celebration online!  Here's the information:

Community Bible Church
2477 North Loop 1604
San Antonio, Texas 78232

Service Times:

    • Friday, April 3rd at 7pm
    • Saturday, April 4th at 5pm
    • Sunday, April 5th at 9am, 10am, 11am, 11:30 am, 1pm
    • Iglesia CBC Espanol - Sunday, 1pm

Online at

If you would like to accept God's free gift of salvation today, know you can do so by praying to Him and asking for forgiveness of your sins.  Here's an example prayer:

Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner, but I know you died for my sins.  Please forgive me of my sins and help me to live for you.  Please fill me with your Holy Spirit.  Help me to read Your Word, the Bible, and do what it says.  In the precious name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

For additional research and reading:

  • Isaiah 53:4-10
  • Romans 3:23, 3:10-18, 6:23, 5:8, 10:9, 10:13, and 5:1
  • Matthew 24 - 28

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I Messed Up A Gift

He asked me to call my neighbor and it took me three days to pick up the phone and make that call. THREE DAYS to make a phone call.  Really?!?!?!   It wasn't like I was being asked to go to China in a row boat or to speak in front of 100,000 people.  Oh no!!  I was being asked to call my neighbor and check on her.    I was being asked to pick up my portable phone, dial a number, put the phone to my ear, and have a conversation. It was really that easy.  And, if you know me you know I'm all about conversation.  I love chatting with other women. But, I was busy and decided not to not take action.  The problem was, it was God's voice I was ignoring. 

The voice I ignored was that of the Holy Spirit. In Acts 1:4-5, Jesus instructed His Disciples to not leave Jerusalem until they had received a "gift" being sent by the Father.  That "gift" was the Holy Spirit.  The Bible says the Holy Spirit is our Advocate and Teacher. (John 14:26)  It also says that the Holy Spirit helps convict us of our sin, tells us what is truth, and helps us with His future plans for us. (John 16:8, 16:13)  That makes the Holy Spirit such a precious gift to us!  The problem is we don't always listen to the Holy Spirit, and when we chose to ignore Him then we are really ignoring the Gift we've been given.

I have to tell you that once I did make the call, three days late, I found out that my sweet neighbor had hurt her back.  She was now feeling better, but I had missed my chance to help her.  My heart was broken.  I would have loved to have taken her a meal, or simply sat and talked to her.  But I didn't listen.  She could have used my help, and I would have been blessed to have helped.  I had ignore The Gift.  I wonder what else I've missed because I wasn't listening to the Holy Spirit?

What about you?  Is there a time in your life when you've listen to what God was asking you to do and were blessed by it?  Or, is there a time in your life that you ignored what God was asking of you and then reaped the benefit of not listening and obeying?

Lord, help me to be a good listener!  I never want to be someone who does not listen to your instructions, and I never want to be going down the wrong path because I didn't listen! Your Word says you have good plans for me so I know I can trust You with what you say to me and ask of me.  Forgive me for when I have failed.  And please, bless my sweet neighbors today.  In Jesus' Name - Amen.

For more information on the Holy Spirit:
  • Read Acts 1 and 2.  List what these scriptures says about the Holy Spirit?
  • Read the following verses and write them in your own words: John 14:26, John 15:26, John 16:8, John 16:13, Luke 11:13, Ephesians 1:13, Ephesians 4:30, 1 Thessalonians 4;8).
  • Have these verses changed how you view the Holy Spirit?
  • What can you to to improve your listening skills when it comes to the Holy Spirit?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Getting Back Up

I did it.  I busted my behind right there in the middle of the ski school glass coming off of the "magic carpet" ride that brings you back up the hill.  There wasn't anything magical about that carpet ride for me.  I was upside down with my skis in the air.  As if that wasn't bad enough, they also had to stop the entire magic carpet until some precious soul helped me up.  My whole body hurt, but not as much as my pride.  But I knew what I had to do next.  I had to get back up. 

Getting back up is an important thing to remember after you fall.  I mean really - don't we all fall?  The Bible even says that we all fall short of the glory of God. We've all fallen. We've all had bad seasons in our lives.  But we all need to remember to get back up!

Peter was a beloved follower of Jesus, but Peter denied he knew Jesus not once, not twice, but three times.  Peter fell short on his calling to be a Disciple.   But the story didn't end there.  Jesus showed His infinite supply of grace and mercy and called Peter to "feed His sheep".  Jesus still wanted Peter to follow Him, and more than that, He wanted Peter to serve others.  Peter got back up after he fell.

Peter's story of getting back up after a fall has encouraged me.  You can read it for yourself in John 20 and 21.  Here are a few things that God told me about getting back up through Peter's story:

1.  Look for Jesus after a fall.  (John 20:3)  Peter went to find Jesus once he was told by Mary Magdalene that Jesus was alive.  Jesus will never leave us.  We need to remember to look around and see him.  We can do all things through Christ, including getting back up.

2.  Surround yourself with other Believers after a fall.  (John 20:19)  It's important that we not isolate ourselves from other Believers especially when something bad has happened.  Peter met with other Believers and surely they had to encourage each other. We all need encouragement and support from a loving family, and where better to get that than your church family.

3.  Journal what happens so you can see God's victories and help others see God's victories.  (John 20: 30-31)  Praise God the story of Peter's trials were recorded in the Bible.  We can all learn from the our own falls, as well as the falls of others.  Journaling is good for the healing process, and it helps us to remember to get back up.

4.  Take a step back and get some perspective after a fall.  (John 21)  Peter went fishing.  He did something that he was comfortable doing.  We all need a place where we can go and reflect.  Hind sight is 20/20. 

5.   Feed God's sheep after a fall.  (John 21) Jesus told Peter to feed His sheep.  There's much to be learned in that scripture, but I'm reminded this time of the importance of helping others and loving others.  It's hard to think about yourself when you are focused on loving and serving others.

The day after I fell coming off the magic carpet a little girl approached me.  She said, 'Hey, I remember you.  You're the lady that fell yesterday.  Don't worry about that.  I've been where you are."  At first I wanted to slap that little girl.  But, as I thought about her words I realized she was speaking truth.   WE ALL FALL.  I think she was glad to see that I got back up. 

Lord, forgive us when we fall.  Thanks for your infinite grace and mercy.  Help us to remember you are always with us and you will never leave us.  Thanks for the strength that we have in You.  In the precious name of Jesus - Amen.

What has God taught you through a hard season in your life - a season when you have fallen or God has allowed a hard season to mold you?

How should members of The Church treat those that fall? (How did Jesus treat Peter?

For more in depth study:
  • Look up the following verses and write/say them in your own words: Romans 3:23; Psalm 37:23-24; Proverbs 24:17-18; Romans 14:12-13;  2 Peter 1:10; and, Jude 1:24.
  • Do you have a different view of falling short of God's glory given His Word?
  • List what God is teaching your through these scriptures.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Christian Avengers

I love the Avengers.  Of all the movies I’ve ever seen, of all the series I’ve ever watched, truly the Avengers is my favorite.  And it’s NOT because the men are so good-looking!  (Although, I would like to thank Hollywood for that part.  It sure doesn’t hurt the movie that Thor, Ironman, and Captain American are easy on the eyes!)  The part that I love is that each super hero has their own impressive gifts to fight the bad guys, and that is coupled with romance, love, and some downright fun action adventure.  Thor would not be Thor without his hammer.  Captain America would not be Captain American without his patriotic shield.  Ironman would not be Ironman without his computerized super-suit.  These super heroes do not go into battle without their armor.  But, we Christians do.

Ephesians 6 reminds us that we are in a battle in this world, and how we should dress for that battle.

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.  For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.  In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.  Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
(Ephesians 6:10-18 NLT Version)

Jesus told us that we would have struggles in this world because He knew we are broken people that live in a broken world.  Some of those struggles are self-inflicted due to poor decisions. (i.e. ~ I choose to each nachos for supper this past week so therefore I did not lose the weight I was hoping to lose.  Poor decision!)  Some of those struggles are due to the bad decisions of others.  (i.e.~  My child decided to not follow a teacher’s instruction at school one day and therefore I had to have a conversation with the him and the teacher.  His fault, but it impacted me and my time.  I suspect it won’t happen again because I clearly communicated my disappointment if you get my drift!)  And, sometimes the struggles are because we simply live in a broken world. (I have itchy eyes this week because of stinking Mountain Cedar pollen.  The struggle is real y'all!! There will be NO Mountain Cedar pollen in Heaven!!!)
God loves us and knows that we live in a broken world.  We would never send our children into a battle unprepared, and so is the case with our Lord.  He has given us tools to help us in this broken world.

  • The Belt of Truth – Truth helps keep all of our armor in place just like a belt does.  God does not just want us to point to the truth, He wants us to wear it.  Truth comes from the Word of God and is spoken to us by the Holy Spirit.
  • The Breastplate of Righteousness – We are seen as righteous with God because of the Blood of Jesus.  We are to shield our hearts with the knowledge of our righteousness.  Also, since breastplates cover our fronts, we are not to turn our back to our struggles.  We are to face them head on because of our righteous.  We are His children.
  • The Shield of Faith – We constantly have arrows being fired at us from the evil one, but we can put up our Shield of Faith and shoot those arrows down.
  •  The Helmet of Salvation – Our helmets protect our brains from injury.  We need to put on our Helmet of Salvation and protect what goes into our brains.  We should be concerned about what goes into our minds.
  • The Shoes of Peace – Our feet take us where we are to go, and if they are hurting our whole body suffers.  We need to wear peace to keep our whole body from suffering, and we need to not be anxious about anything, but in everything have peace.  God is on our side!
  •   The Sword which is God’s Word – A sword is an offensive weapon.  Knowing God’s Word will help us resist the devil and he will flee.
 In the Avenger movies, Nick Fury is the Colonel that leads the team of Avengers.  Each Avenger receives his direction and encouragement and information from Nick.  Once the Avengers are dressed for battle, it is Nick that gives them the game plan. And so it is with Christians.  Once we put on the Armor of God, we must go to Our Commander in prayer so we will know the game plan.  Prayer is an important piece of the life of a Christian.  We receive our direction, encouragement and information through prayer with our Father.  Without prayer it we are walking into battle each day not knowing the plan.
·       What do you find interesting about the Armor of God?
·       How are you with putting on God’s Armor each and every day?
 Lord, thank you that you have equipped your children for this World.  And thank you that while we will have struggles in this world, we are can be encouraged that You have overcome this world.  Help us Lord as we fight against evil.  In the name of Jesus we ask these things – Amen.