Monday, June 30, 2014

God Grace You!

We often use the phrase "God bless you!" after someone sneezes.  Perhaps saying, "God GRACE you!" is just as fitting. 

God GRACES us in the morning, noon time, evening and at night!  God GRACES us on the left, right and center!  God GRACES us in the past, present and future! GRACE is above me, beneath me and all over me! 

It is the GRACE of God that helps us to come before God with confidence in our hearts. All our deeds, including what we have done or have not done for God and to one another, do not dictate God’s acceptance of us.

We get to be in relationship with God not because of our sincerity, morality, genealogy or our generosity.  It is by the GRACE of God alone.

It is the God of GRACE Who sent Jesus Christ Who came to us and gave His life for us, even while we were sinners, indifferent and helpless. "Salvation" is not a result of good things we’ve done. It is a gift.

We can’t earn it or take credit for it. We just receive what God has done, in faith.

Saved people get to do good works, because of the graciousness of God's presence, strength, mercy and love.

Only IN and THROUGH the God of GRACE alone do we stand completely covered.  May our prayer today be...

"Lord, we acknowledge your GRACE that awakens us to your love, enables us to love others and sustains us in that love. None of us can boast or take credit for what You have done or continue to do for us, in us and through us. By Your GRACE, oh God, may we extend the same unmerited favor, love and mercy we have received from You to our neighbors."

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Keeping Confidences

This is a great read from Chuck Swindoll!
June 22, 2014
Can you keep a secret?
Can you? Be honest, now. When privileged information passes through one of the gates of your senses, does it remain within the walls of your mind? Or is it only a matter of time before a leak occurs? When the grapevine requests your attention from time to time, do you refuse to help it climb higher, or do you encourage its rapid growth, fertilizing it by your wagging, unguarded tongue? When someone says, "Now this is confidential," do you respect their trust or ignore it . . . either instantly or ultimately?
The longer I live, the more I realize the scarcity of people who can be fully trusted with confidential information. The longer I live, the more I value those rare souls who fall into that category! As a matter of fact, if I were asked to list the essential characteristics that should be found in any member of a church staff or officer on a church board . . . the ability to maintain confidences would rank very near the top. No leader deserves the respect of the people if he or she cannot restrain information that is shared in private.
Our minds might be compared to a cemetery, filled with graves that refuse to be opened. The information, no matter how juicy or dry, must rest in peace in its coffin, sealed in silence beneath the epitaph "Shared in confidence—Kept in confidence."
You and I wouldn't give a plugged nickel for a doctor who ran off at the mouth. The same applies to a minister or an attorney or a counselor or a judge or a teacher or a secretary . . . or a close, trusted friend for that matter. No business ever grows and remains strong unless those in leadership are people of confidence. No school maintains public respect without an administration and faculty committed to the mutual guarding of one another's worlds. When leaks occur, it is often a sign of character weakness, and action is usually taken to discover the person who has allowed his or her mental coffin to be exhumed and examined.
Information is powerful. The person who receives it and dispenses it bit by bit often does it so that others might be impressed because he or she is "in the know." Few things are more satisfying to the old ego than having others stare wide-eyed, drop open the jaw, and say, "My, I didn't know that!" or "Why, that's hard to believe!" or "How in the world did you find that out?"
Solomon writes strong and wise words concerning this subject in Proverbs. Listen to his counsel:
Wise men store up knowledge,
But with the mouth of the foolish, ruin is at hand. (10:14)
When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable,
But he who restrains his lips is wise. (10:19)
He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets,
But he who is trustworthy conceals a matter. (11:13)
The one who guards his mouth preserves his life;
The one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. (13:3)
He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets,
Therefore do not associate with a gossip. (20:19)
Like a bad tooth and an unsteady foot
Is confidence in a faithless man in time of trouble.
Like a city that is broken into and without walls
Is a man who has no control over his spirit. (25:28)
From now on, let's establish four practical ground rules:
  1. Whatever you're told in confidence, do not repeat.
  2. Whenever you're tempted to talk, do not yield.
  3. Whenever you're discussing people, do not gossip.
  4. However you're prone to disagree, do not slander.
Honestly now, can you keep a secret? Prove it.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

10 Incredible Tips from Hart Ramsey

Here are some incredible tips from Hart Ramsey:

1. The best way to end strife is to refuse to participate in it. Tit for tat is so juvenile. Let your response be a simple smile.

2. Practice speaking well of people who speak ill of you. It confuses talebearers. Say something complimentary & let them run & tell dat.

3. It takes at least two prideful people to keep a beef going. Glorify The Lord with your silence. Let Him respond for you.

4. Being a peace seeker doesn't make you any weaker. It takes strength to be the bigger person. And GOD will make it up to you.

5. Could it be that GOD allowed this situation so that you could prove your maturity? Suppose this is your passage to promotion.

6. Keeping your heart free from offense & hatred is more important that getting even or defending yourself. Peace is priceless.

7. In every conflict there's an opportunity for growth & an open door to learn more about Jesus. Don't miss it trying to get even.

8. Your heart is your most valuable asset. Protect it! When someone breaks it, give it to The Lord so He can repair & upgrade it.

9. Don't automatically believe it when you hear that someone spoke ill of you. Pray. Then approach them with questions, not accusations.

10. Don't let anyone pull you into a useless war of words or a meaningless conflict. Your life has purpose. You don't have time to fight.