Hitting the Unlike Button…Beth Farley

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What makes us the object of God’s Favor?

Mocked someone lately? Unjustly judged someone lately? Forgot to forgive lately? Have you caught yourself forgetting to humble yourself before the Lord so that you can be the object of His favor?

Consider the proud Pharisee who thanked God he was unlike the sinning tax collector; now consider yourself, puffed up, thanking God you are not like THAT sinning woman! Yet, that tax collector, deeply became aware of his own insufficient righteousness and cried out, “Lord, have mercy!” Have you cried out for mercy lately?

The tax collector found himself humbled and in need of God’s grace and mercy. He became the object of God’s favor. (Luke 18:13-14 NIV).

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

In order to be the object of Gods favor, we must depend on being rightly related to God, despite our external circumstances. How do we serve when we are riddled with our own sins? Ouch! That one hit home for me. How do you help serve communion when you despise the poor or judge the unwed pregnant woman?

Why do we think it doesn’t matter? Because most often we fail to see our own deep sins and our need to call out to the only one who can ultimately help us; Jesus. When we begin to think like Jesus, we begin to be the object of His favor. When we don’t cast stones or judgement, we begin to bridge over into God’s favor. This is so unlike what the world is telling us. On a side note, what do you think of the unlike button controversy on Facebook? Are we going to cast more judgement? Are we going to cast more un-forgiveness or blatantly mock others?

I ask myself and you to make a commitment to God…Do not partake in anything judgmental, or hit the unlike button without talking to God first.

His message of not blurting-out our dislikes would never fly on Facebook, but it can soar within your heart.

Join us today at livingbygrace as we talk about being the object of God’s favor.

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God’s Drenching Grace

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We are in a state of drought. Our grass is going brown, the fields are drying out and the water levels are way below normal. The weatherman keeps promising us some rain but it continues to miss our area.

Finally, our earth received a drenching rain but was it enough? No, it wasn’t. It was a wonderful reprieve, but we need so much more in order to get out of danger.

I started thinking about God’s grace. I am so thankful that when I am experiencing a spiritual drought in my life, I can always rely on God’s drenching grace. He delivers right away; there’s no need to dry out, wither up and die inside.

Titus: 2:11-14(NIV)  For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

Why is it difficult for us to accept God’s grace?

Grace is mentioned 156 times in the New Testament; so as Christians if we believe in the Bible, then why don’t we believe that it’s offered to us for free? I’m not sure about you, but for myself, I feel I don’t deserve God’s grace when I feel as though I have done something so wrong and am not worthy of forgiveness.

But the truth is … Heavens grace is potentially available to all who care to access it by means of the diving plan of redemption. (Romans 5:1). Grace is NOT earned; if that were the case we would boast about it. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

So how can we tap into God’s grace?

First of all, it’s important to mention here that grace and obedience are not enemies. Paul affirmed that grace is accessed by faith (Romans 5:1-2) and yet, faith is of a loving response to God;. (James 2:21-26). I want to obey God; not man; not those who say they are believers but judge, gossip and hurt me behind my back. I want to obey God and accept His grace when HE points out my sins that need to be confessed.

Do you find yourself stretched to the breaking point today? If you’re trying to escape your gloom and doom and/or sins, please know you can’t escape God. Stay still and feel His drenching Grace. It is sufficient for your every need. He will help you out of any pit you’re feeling swallowed up by. You will find that His power is revealed and made perfect through your weakness. Never be afraid to cry out, confess whatever you feel is wrong with your heart today. You have a choice; accept the pardon that God offers. John 3:16livingbygracepic.jp

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Salvation Combination…Beth Farley

Does Salvation Have a Certain Combination?

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Have you ever had to figure out a combination to your locker, your home alarm or your bike chain? Recently I was given the task of letting myself out but was told to make sure I set the house alarm. Was it 6278 or 6782? Yup, I got it wrong. The alarm went off and the alarm company called him to make sure everything was okay.

Does salvation require a combination?

Some say you have to go to a certain church. Some say you have to follow a certain ritual. Some even say you have to sit in the same pew. All are wrong. There is no combination to salvation. Just three words will do it. “Faith in Jesus.”

Just three simple words with the belief that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross, rose again for your sins…And…it’s a gift. It’s the most important gift you will ever receive. Jesus has saved all of us who believe in Him.

John 14:6

Jesus said to him, I am the way the truth, and the life; no man comes to the Father, but by me.

There is an assurance of Salvation. The Bible states that For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13 ESV

Again, no combination is necessary. We need to simply believe that Jesus is who He is and that He loves us with an everlasting love and will always forgive and save us. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

When cooking gluten-free, I don’t throw around the word “combination” loosely because the exact measurement of certain ingredients is very important for the perfect end result; but this is not so with our salvation. Our faith in Jesus guarantees us the perfect result; a place in heaven, where He awaits seated by the right-hand-of-the-Father. (Acts 2:33)

What combination are you trying to crack to receive salvation? If you are trying everything on your own and excluding God, please turn from your ways and have faith in Jesus. He will bless you with His grace and salvation. Joh 14:6 and Acts 4:12.livingbygracepic.jp

Investing Time

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Do you own something that is old, possibly an heirloom or antique? There are just some things that are incredibly rare and never go out of style. We headed to the ocean when he yelled back to me, “Wait. I want to bring the camera.” I thought he was talking about either a digital camera or his phone. No; it was a Fuji Film 27 exposure 35mm One-Time-Use Camera. I can not tell you the last time I used a disposable camera.  I have to admit, it was fun snapping a few picture and using the old crank winder.  Now, I’ll have to send it in to be developed. Oh the waiting!

As I played around with the old camera I thought about old relationships. I have had the privilege of taking part of rare relationships. I’ve also lost relationships that I thought were priceless but found out differently. I have also been blessed to have long-lasting, precious relationships that I’m very thankful for.

When I  filled up the whole roll with 27 pictures taken, I knew I would have to take the camera to a developing center and get them printed. Unlike the modern digital camera that show the results right then and there, I will have to wait for the results with the Fuji 33mm camera. This is also true about long-lasting valuable relationships. We have to allow the proper amount of time to gain trust. We have to wait for the relationship to almost age in order to become priceless and precious.

I’ve relocated to a new state and am making new relationships. I’m investing time into them because I want them to last. I want them to be healthy precious relationships because we were not created to do life on our own.

“Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

                                                                         Genesis 2:18 ESV

How much value do you place in your relationships? Do you take the time necessary to invest in them?

Join us today and we discuss the value of relationships on Livingbygracelivingbygracepic.jp

A Gift

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Have you ever received a gift that was very special to you? Maybe it was not necessarily because of the price tag, but more the thought that was put into giving the gift.

Recently I’ve received a very precious gift; a gift that has cost me a lot of patience and faith! It’s a very different kind of gift; it’s pure and tender; a gift I’ve been praying for well over a year.

When I was a young girl, my grandfather found a little silver ring. He had it polished up and had my initials engraved inside. I wore that ring everywhere and I was forever loosing it. Once the neighbor boy had it on his pinky finger. He kept telling me that it was his. I instructed him to look inside the band and it would show my initials. Sure enough, they realized it was mine and returned it. This ring has been through marriages, births, miscarriages, divorces, deaths, moves, job changes and all other crazy life events. No matter how many times I’ve lost this precious ring, it has alway shown up. I now wear it on my pinky finger.ring

Like my love for God; He is always with me through my up’s and down’s and even when I feel like I’ve lost Him, He always shows up. With a little prayer and faith, things can change.

As I’ve been praying for this new precious gift to finally arrive in my life, I’ve had to make some discerning choices. I no longer experience my life as a doubtful woman but rather a woman of faith and orderly direction. This new gift is so much better than a piece of jewelry; it’s the gift of love and acceptance for who I am. Thank you God.

If you could receive a gift, what kind of gift would it be?

If you could be a gift to someone, what would that gift be?

Psalm 71:8, “My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long.”livingbygracepic.jpCome join us on livingbygrace.

Lessons Learned From The Ole Sea Nymph

In-Between Emotions

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While I was waiting on God to show me where I was needing to be heading, little did I know that I was being filled with His presence during my in-between juncture.

One of the hardest parts of waiting on God to heal our hearts is allowing Him to shows us how to let go of what is old and familiar and be willing for Him to fill our empty hands once we let it go.

I was so used to being filled with anger and hurt; they became comforting and familiar emotions. They were my safe zone? Been there?

I gazed upon the Ole Sea Nymph aluminum boat and looked at the Johnson 9.9 motor.  I can do this…I Lowered the boat towards the water while observing all of the steps involved in taking it out onto the lake. Situated and ready to start the process, I realized I not only had no gas tank in the boat, but the boat plugs were missing. Pretty important things to have if you want to get a boat out onto the water. Thank God I noticed it before I stepped into the boat; that could have been one huge sunken mess.

I was in-between emotions. My confidence quickly turned into fear with disappointment and deflation right behind.  

Sometimes we have to find other avenues in getting out of the in-between emotions. Sometimes we have to trudge through the anxiety and fear, even though these behaviors have protected us and served us well for a long time.

Not knowing where the gas can was or how to hook up the gas lines, I asked myself, “Am I going to sit here in-between feeling deflated and disappointed or am I going to get out in the water with this boat?” I firmly twisted the boat plugs in, lowered the boat once again, grabbed the oars and paddled out towards the middle of the lake.

Being stuck in-between stinks but, if we evaluate our possibilities we can row from here to there and learn from how we prevailed while being in-between.IMG_1158

2 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us a spirit of timidity

but of power and love and discipline.

 

Gettin Gone…It’s the Simple Pleasures…Beth Farley

 

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As we sat this morning eating our breakfast, I asked, “How’s your truck-tire, aka a donut?” He replied, “Its gettin gone.” I knew what he meant but others might not. He was implying that the donut was delicious and almost done. It’s the simple things in life that gives him pleasure.donut-179983_640

Are you caught up in worldly stuff or materialistic things? Are you needing to simplify?

My client with Alzheimer’s most often indirectly helps me grasp what’s real in life; relationships, fun in the sun, long car rides without a destination in mind and enjoying a meal with friends and family.

So often we get caught up and down-right-lost in the things that really don’t mean anything at all. Job said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised. Job 1:21 NIV

If you’ve thought anything about simplicity, you may have been led to believe it’s a panacea for everything in life. After all, what good can’t come from simplifying? I’ve read numerous articles on how simplifying will promise better relationships, less stress, increased productivity and personal empowerment. Is this true?

Yes, all of those things are true, I’m living it.  Eleven years ago I had to sell my 40 acre farm with all of the furnishings. Then I bought a small home only to find myself selling that a year later. That’s not the end of it though. Several years after that, I sold but yet another home and I gave away all of my furniture, sold items and headed North with nothing but my clothes, a few personal heirlooms and my dignity.

At first I was compelled to constantly and negatively  focus on what I had to give up to feel complete but as soon as I started living my life without that thought and surrendered my feelings to God, I became less resistant to the procedure.

Simplifying helped me to do the following:

1. Focus on what’s important for my body, mind and spirit.
2. Achieve things in small steps by weeding out the bad things.
3. Realize that simplicity takes time but if I was truly ready to invest, I would not stray too far from what my outlined path.
4. Helped me realize that I can focus on a commitment to myself. (I’m worth it)

Simplifying empowered me and brought me joy!

I don’t mourn what I’ve sold or lost. I don’t mourn the things that are not meant to be mine. I don’t worry about all of the things that are not in my control, which are many.

I now find great pleasure in spending time with my client who likes long rides to nowhere, smiles at the sun shining on his face and enjoys making his truck-tire-donuts “gettin gone.”

Needing to give something up? Have you recently simplified? I would like to hear how you’ve achieved this. Please join us on livingbygrace as I host the topic of simplifying.livingbygracepic.jp