Thursday, April 12, 2018

Deny Yourself

Luke 9:23 (NIV)

23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

What? Deny myself! That sounds like something I’m not into right now in my life, and I don’t think I want that on my list of things to do. I mean, come on. I want to sit on the couch all day and eat Bon Bons, drink coffee and watch my shows. OK, I’ll throw in a glass of water because it’s good for me.

This year I will be turning 65 yrs old. Wow, that is old. In my book if I’ve lived this long I shouldn’t deny myself anything. Hummm, not sure God agrees with my train of thought.

Does He really want me to be mean to myself? For some reason when I think of denying myself, it translates a negative feeling. But should it really be like that. 

Denying myself should make me feel better if I put it into the right context. God wants us to be good to ourselves. “Love your neighbor as you love yourself”, we’ve all heard that before. Sitting on the couch eating Bon Bons is not good for me. It’s not healthy living. A treat is one thing, but not a way of life. Not getting up for hours is not a good thing; our bodies were made to move.

Putting this into context is important for us to deepen our relationship with God. Deny yourself a TV show or computer games for reading your Bible. This would give you Biblical education and a closer relationship with God. What could be wrong with that? Go for a walk and talk with God and observe your surroundings that He gave you. Healthy activity for your body, mind and soul. 

So if you are like me and think of denying yourself as punishment, let me challenge you to take a different look at it when it comes to your relationship with God.

May God Bless

Thursday, April 5, 2018

The Church Lady

Wonder what popped into your mind when you read the title? When I hear the term “church lady” I think of Dana Carvey’s character on Saturday Night Live. That character cracks me up.

Really, when I think about a “church lady”, I picture an older woman, very serious looking – almost stern and of course she would be wearing a strand of pearls. Her collar would be buttoned up tight and her dress would be something matronly looking. Funny isn’t it what images we come up with certain words and phrases.

Going to services in our congregation I see all kinds of church ladies. Ladies with all different colors and lengths of hair, stylish clothing, all different ages and different sizes, and they all have one thing in common, their willingness to meet together and worship God. Each one of them is different in their own way.

Let’s look at some of the women in the Bible:

Eve – the mother of all living persons 
Woman at the well – sinful but searching 
Mary Magdalene – a follower of Jesus 
Esther – a queen 
Ruth – a beloved mother-in-law 
Jael – an ordinary woman who would kill 
Deborah – a warrior princess 

Which one of these women would you be able to pick out of a crowd? Maybe Esther, if she was decked out in her royal dress and crown or Deborah, covered in warrior garb.

I’m amazed as I get to know someone and their story about how they came to find Christ. As a new Christian I felt everyone was spiritually purer than I could be.

At some point and time we are all at the beginning of becoming a “church lady”.

So as you go through your week, think where you began your journey and what kind of “church lady” you are. Stop and say a special prayer this week for all the women in the church who are trying their best to be like Christ in their own special way with the gifts that God has given them.

May God Bless