Season of joy

Originally posted on Mustard Seed Budget:

joy ChristmasWhy is Christmas joyous? Because Christ came to forgive us our sins, to die carrying out own death sentence so that we might be freed from it. The problem of sin, which dogged humanity from the beginning of time, was finally solved.

Picture source: animationguildblog at blogspot

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Blessings to everyone who reads this..

 

 

 

Posted in Anxiety, Christmas, Facebook, Faith, Fear, Grace, Hope, Inspirational, KLOVE, Love, Mercy, Peace, Pinterest, Sandi McCravy, Sandi McCravy, Sandra Brooks McCravy, Sandra McCravy, Strength, Stress, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gold, frankincense and more

Originally posted on Mustard Seed Budget:

Gold Frankincense and MoreAfter being a Christian for more than 35 years, I can’t really remember anyone ever say this: I need to give more.

No, through more than three decades of rubbing elbows with Christians, most often I hear people brag about how much they have already given. Usually, they compare themselves to others and point out how superior their giving us.

When someone gives quietly (without blowing the trumpet in announcement of his gift, as Jesus said), it inspires me to give.

When someone brags (and usually there’s an undertone of bitterness, as in: they wasted my gift), it’s completely uninspiring.

This Christmas, give without bragging and bitterness. Give God gold, frankincense and more.

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5 Things That Cause Us to Drift Spiritually

  • By Chris Russell Pastor, Veritas Church
  • 2014 11 Nov

5 Things That Cause Us to Drift Spiritually

Several years ago a friend of mine took his wife and kids to the ocean for a week of R&R. While they were there, they purchased a small, inflatable boat for recreational use on the beach. One day the wife jumped in the boat and launched out into the water to just lie back and soak in some sunshine. After what seemed like a short span of time, she opened her eyes and realized that she was several hundred yards away from the shore. In a panic, she screamed for help.

Only one person on the shore seemed to hear her call, and that was her husband. When he realized her predicament, he immediately attempted to swim out to rescue her. That did not turn out well, because he was soon in need of being rescued as well!

Fortunately the lifeguard was doing his job well that day, and he was successful in rescuing the husband and the wife. By the time he was able to get to the wife in the raft, they were nearly a half mile from the shore.

As I have thought about that experience over the years, it has often made me think about how Christians often drift away from the Lord spiritually. It really doesn’t take much time at all to drift so far from the shore spiritually that one can scarcely even see the land anymore.

As a pastor for the past couple decades, I have noted several key things that tend to cause Christians to drift away from God. Here are five of them:

 1)  An Out-of-Control Schedule.

Ephesians 5:16
Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

One of Satan’s greatest weapons against our generation seems to be his ability to make good people busier than ever before. We so often sacrifice the best things in life by spending time doing things that are just “pretty good.”

If you desire to walk closely with God, you will absolutely, necessarily have to begin by taking a close look at your calendar. It is likely that you are currently doing too much. And it is also likely that your overly hectic schedule is affecting your relationship with God. So take out your pruning shears and begin to cut out any activities you can that will allow you to focus more time on your relationship with your Creator.

2)  Misplaced Affections

1 John 2:15
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Be careful not to set your heart on things that really don’t matter. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen good people lured away from church life because they have fallen in love with things or activities that have no eternal merit. For example, children’s sports can certainly be a thrilling activity for your kids to pursue. But if those sports begin to adversely affect the spiritual involvement and development of your family, then pull the plug immediately.

3)  Discouragement

During the past couple decades that I have served as a pastor, I have often watched Satan using his weapon of discouragement to drag people away from spiritual activities. I have seen it many more times than I can number.

When the trials of life cause a person to become discouraged, he often begins focusing on those problems and takes his eyes off of Christ. It reminds me of when Peter walked on the water. He did great until he took his eyes off of Jesus and began looking at the waves beneath him and the clouds above him.

It is important for you to know that when life’s clouds grow dark and your trials become fierce, that is the time to run TO Jesus and not FROM Him.

4)  Abundance

1 Timothy 6:10
For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

We Americans are so fat with our own prosperity that we often make wealth our god and not the true King of heaven. This has also been a recurring theme throughout the entire Bible. People struggle, God blesses them, they become prosperous, and then they depart from God. Ironic, isn’t it?

The chances are great that you probably do not feel like you are prosperous. But the reality is that nearly all Americans are extremely blessed and have more abundance than the vast majority of the population of the planet. If you are an American, you are most likely already a “One-Percenter” (wealthier than 99% of the world’s population).

People of abundance often choose recreation over worship. Why go to church if you could be out golfing, boating, camping, or going to movies or sporting events?

Satan wants us to be prosperous, because our prosperity and abundance often lure us away from our Creator.

5)  Parasitic Sins

Hebrews 12:1
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

Many people begin to drift away from God, because they have sins in their lives that cause them to feel guilt when they show up at church. And they feel reluctant to pray or read their Bible when they know they have these issues in their lives.

Recently, I stumbled upon the most revolting video I’ve ever seen (through my Facebook news feed). The video showed an eye surgeon removing a parasite from a human eye. I won’t go into detail. That brief description alone is enough to send chills down the spines of many. All I can say is that the video was even worse than what you’re thinking right now!

When I watched that video, it dawned on me that many people have sins in their lives that are damaging them just like parasites in one’s body. And those sins will almost certainly affect your spiritual vision.

The solution here is not to run/drift from God. The key is to confess your sin to God who will restore you and make you whole again (1 John 1:9)!

How have you done in your journey with God over the past year or the past few months? Have you drifted? Now is the time to return. Call out to God before you are so far from the shore than you lose all sense of spiritual direction.


For more, visit Sensible Faith.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Amazing Grace, Anxiety, Brooks Family, Brooks Family of Walton County, Christmas, Facebook, Faith, Grace, Hope, Inspirational, Mercy, Peace, Pinterest, Sandi McCravy, Sandi McCravy, Sandra Brooks McCravy, Sandra McCravy, Strength, Stress, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Message from Beth Moore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Amazing Grace, Anxiety, Brooks Family, Brooks Family of Walton County, Duggar Family, Facebook, Faith, Fear, Grace, Hope, Inspirational, KLOVE, Love, Mercy, Peace, Pinterest, Sandi McCravy, Sandi McCravy, Sandra Brooks McCravy, Sandra McCravy, Strength, Stress, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Apathy is not the answer

Sandra Brooks McCravy:

Great Post! Thank you Mustard Seed Budget!

Originally posted on Mustard Seed Budget:

apathy

Turning off your emotions, just because you’ve been disillusioned, solves nothing. We are emotional beings. To try to NOT feel is probably not going to work. There are those who grow bitter, who grow cynical, who numb the pain with drugs, alcohol or another form of hedonism.

Only Jesus will heal your heart.

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Tim Hawkins video for Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald (so funny!)

Tim Hawkins, you are so funny!  This is a great video and tribute to Jessa and Ben.

 

God Bless you and give you peace,

Sandra Brooks McCravy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Amazing Grace, Anxiety, Brooks Family, Brooks Family of Walton County, Duggar Family, Facebook, Faith, Fear, Grace, Hope, Inspirational, KLOVE, Love, Mercy, Music, Peace, Pinterest, Praise Pictures, Sandi McCravy, Sandi McCravy, Sandra Brooks McCravy, Sandra McCravy, Strength, Stress, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

No DIY (for salvation)

Originally posted on Mustard Seed Budget:

DIYYou can’t “do it yourself” when it  comes to earning Heaven. Only what Jesus did suffices to earn your entrance. He lived perfectly according to the law. After he passed sinless on the earth, He took our punishment upon Himself. If you have received Jesus, believing in Him, you possess salvation.

Many have tried to earn salvation. Some whip themselves. Some make huge charitable donations. Others become suicide bombers. It’s all pointless.

It’s good to do good things and bad to do bad things, but all are irrelevant is you are trying to “do it yourself,” to impress God enough that He lets you in. We are saved by grace, not by works.

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Trust

Originally posted on Belle Cagas:

Entrust everything to the Lord because He is ABLE and CAPABLE to handle all our doubts, worries, and fears.

He will always DIRECT OUR PATHS to righteousness.

Anything that the Lord tells us to do is always towards righteousness – and for us to stretch our faith to make sure that we walking in the way of righteousness.

// Lord, if I am still holding back in trusting in You, show me the way how to trust in You fully – not to hold back – especially anything that has to do with fear.  Forgive me for being unforgiving.  Help me to see things the way You do.  Guide me Oh Lord to the appropriate ways to apply Your Word.  Help me to not be driven by fear but by the love that You have already given and implanted in my heart.  Remove anything that is not of You Lord…

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You are strong

Sandra Brooks McCravy:

What a great way to start my day!

Originally posted on The Persistent Platypus:

Remember, you are STRONG and can get through anything! On the other side of struggle is strength!

Have a wonderful day, my friends!

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