Today, I’d like to share with you someone who has a common love of mine for Gatlinburg, Tn. Cjwagner24 has dedicated his whole blog to all things G’burg. He will tell you about local happenings, opinions about the area, beautiful sceneries you need to see and wonderful places you need to eat. I have really enjoyed discovering his blog, and I believe you will, too.
I have a question for you…
Do you live in the salt marshes of Christianity or in the River of God’s glory?
You can be a Christian and not experience the fullness of His glory. You can live a good, “saved” life, following His commandments, yet, never comprehend His overflowing joy and complete peace. You can go to church every Sunday, work the nurseries on Wednesdays, pledge your loyalties to every youth and world missions project and still miss out on all He has for you.
Although, I have to ask, “Why?” … Why would we ever want to live beneath His potential for our lives? Why would we ever be “okay” with second best or just comfortable with less than His best? Why would we ever settle for something He knows we don’t need or even detests?
Yet, so many of us do just that! We choose to live in the salt marches of Christianity, and we completely bypass the river of God’s glory. Sometimes, it’s fear that holds us back, or maybe it’s those past pains that blind us from the reality of His promises.
Often, it’s schedules and agendas which consume every moment and spin us out of control, shielding us from the clarity of truth. Too many times, it is the sin of our past, our present, or the contemplation of sin in our future, which binds us to the salt marshes and refuses to let us venture beyond what we’ve always seen, heard and thought to be truth.
It is time to break free. It is time to live in His fullness rather than the anemia of our fears and failures. It is time to move out, beyond the norm, and step into the river of His glory.
You will find He is waiting there just for you.
*Note: I do not own nor possess any part of this video. This is from a simple google search to YouTube.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
This Scripture came up today in my Youverse app, and even though, I’ve read it many times before, it seemed to settle in a little deeper this time. Have you ever had that happen? You’re re-reading a scripture that you’ve read for years, but that next time, it’s like reading it for the very first time all over again, because God seems to speak to your heart in that very moment.
That’s how it was today. I’ve been doing this bible study on the power of our words, and it has really been strengthening my faith, challenging my flesh and transforming my words. This past week, we were studying the lesson on gentle words and memorizing the Scripture in Provers 15:1, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” …You would know, the one week when the stress loads of life are heavy on our boys and me, schedules are tight, tension is heightened, and words are short and snappy every day, that this is our memory verse and the lesson I’ve got to study and share with the class! …geez! Talk about feeling like a hypocrite! 😑
Regardless of the feelings, I kept studying, and God kept convicting my heart, reshaping my responses and working the repentance out of my mouth. By the day class time rolled around, I had made my mistakes and my confesssions and worked out a plan for us all to do things better this coming week. Amazing how, sometimes, we have learn how to “adult better” alongside our children. 😉… I guess, if we were perfect, we’d be in heaven already; so, I’m all for the learning.
What struck me about this verse in Galatians is how, too often, we realize those sins of which we need to repent, we ask for forgiveness, and we think we’ve move beyond them; yet, somewhere along the way, we find ourselves trapped again by the very things that tripped us up in the beginning! How does that even happen?
Thinking over this, I was led to another well known scripture in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” The devil is always seeking to destroy us. His search for our weak spots, and his schemes to bring us down never stop! He is relentless in His strategy to take us out!
However, I believe, our daily struggle to crucify our flesh (or die to selfishness) and feed our spirit (or live more like Christ) isn’t always so relentless. We get distracted by the cares of this world. We become negligent in the studying of His Word and in the seeking of His face. We allow “the little foxes to spoil the vine,” so to speak, and the battle (for our freedom from sin) becomes lost as we stop being vigilant in our fight. We start lowering our shield of faith and raising our selfish ambitions and outlooks. We start laying down our sword of the spirit to rather pick up those things from which we have been freed, as we become more “me” focused and so much less “Christ” focused. Before too long, we find ourselves ensnared with the very things He freed us from years before.
This is not what Jesus plans for us! This is not what He desires. Let us fight this good fight of faith. Let us not return to those sins for which He died. Let us live freely in the freedom (from sin) He has given us, and let us finish this race well! … There is a generation, of both young people and young Christians, coming behind us. They need for us to remain free and to finish well. Then, we might be able to share our story with them on how it’s done and allow our legacy of faith to be passed on. Live free today!
The atmosphere is great! With the brick walls, barrel-high top tables and the big American flag along one wall, it has a genuine American feel. The food is incredible with choices of burgers, steak, chicken and even pizza. The sweet tea is true Southern style, and there are plenty of brew choices, if that is your style. The staff was great, always helpful and knowledgeable of the menu. We will definitely be returning again and again!
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
Praise Him in the heights!
Praise Him, all His angels;
Praise Him, all His hosts!
Praise Him, sun and moon;
Praise Him, all you stars of light!
Praise Him, you heavens of heavens,
And you waters above the heavens!
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For He commanded and they were created.
He also established them forever and ever;
He made a decree which shall not pass away.
Praise the Lord from the earth,
You great sea creatures and all the depths;
Fire and hail, snow and clouds;
Stormy wind, fulfilling His word;
Mountains and all hills;
Fruitful trees and all cedars;
Beasts and all cattle;
Creeping things and flying fowl;
Kings of the earth and all peoples;
Princes and all judges of the earth;
Both young men and maidens;
Old men and children.
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For His name alone is exalted;
His glory is above the earth and heaven.
And He has exalted the horn of His people,
The praise of all His saints—
Of the children of Israel,
A people near to Him.
Praise the Lord!
He is so very good. He deserves our praise!
It’s Friday, which means it’s time for another Friday’s Friends! I am so blessed to be able to share with you these new blogs each week. I do hope you are enjoying them and are able to find new “friends” within our blogging community.
Today, I’d like to share with you a very special blogger who touches my heart each time I read her posts. Coffee Cup Mama writes as if she’s talking to me at the kitchen table, sitting with a warm cup of coffee, just chatting for a spell. I have so enjoyed reading her story, and I believe you will, too. This story, in particular, really hits home with me, and I am blessed that she chose to share it. I hope it will minister to many more with whom find a common bond of heartache and strength in faith.
I do hope you will head on over to Coffee Cup Mama and enjoy a little time with her. I believe you will leave feeling a little lighter. 😉
Sending out a word of encouragement to so many who are struggling through some of the toughest seasons in life… 💗
Yesterday, we went to visit someone whose spouse is dying of cancer and then prayed with a lady whose mom is in the final hours of her life. A few moments later, we spoke with a set of parents whose 30-something daughter was admitted into the hospital with an aneurysm one month ago and who is, currently, knocking at death’s door.
Today, I read of a husband who is living in the house with his wife who desires a divorce, and I thought of a wife who faced the choice to stay and ignore, attempt to pick up the shards, or simply walk away from years of holy matrimony. Tonight, I read stories of children with leukemia struggling to thrive and more who deliberately survive day to day with debilitating diseases and conditions. There’s so many who need to be reached.
I read my Bible. I pray, and I…
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Sometimes, we just don’t have the answers; however, I know a God who does, and sometimes, He just holds me through all the questions, doubts and pain. He reminds me that I am His, and He is still God. ❤
Why do mothers get cancer?
Why do fathers die tragically?
Why do friends hate and kill?
Why do the innocent suffer?
Sometimes, my heart asks the hard questions, the kind of questions that don’t have easy answers to find. Sometimes, my mind scrambles to understand why evil can be so prevalent in a world in which God made and in people whom God created. Sometimes, life just seems unfair, unruly and undesirable.
Often, I wonder why innocent children are taught to carry guns and strap bombs on themselves to kill people of another religion and race. Often, I wonder why this one is healed of sickness and disease and another says goodbye. Often, I wonder why one family can be so blessed and another can be left so desolate.
In all of this questioning, I have found some answers to be true…
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Location: Blue Ridge, Georgia
If you’re looking for a great Southern style cuisine, this is the place to be! I haven’t had country cooking like this, at a restaurant, in Y-E-A-R-S! Most places who claim to have “home-style” or “Southern style” cooking, have food that tastes more like it was dumped out of a can and overcooked with too much sugar and butter. However, these guys know how to do it right.
The atmosphere starts on the outside, as it looks like an old Antebellum home, and the inside is just as quaint, as if you just stepped into grandma’s house. The wait staff is friendly, and the food is even better. They bring homemade biscuits and apple butter to the table first. Listen, I’m not a crazy huge fan of apple butter, but I like it; however, this is the real deal! This stuff is delicious, and it’s available for sale, too!
We ordered the appetizer combo of fried pickles and fried green tomatoes. Oh. My. Goodness. These were incredible! The pickles got a little too greasy on the bottom, but they had just the right amount of breading and that irresistible yumminess that makes you want to finish it all, despite the grease! Lol. The fried green tomatoes had a breading just like a skillet pan-fried chicken, and each one was of the perfect firmness and thickness.
Our son ordered the chicken tenders, and these were big chunks of white meat, fried with the same goodness as the fried green tomatoes. My husband got the chopped steak, complete with mushrooms and gravy, with sides of red skinned mashed potatoes and green beans. I ordered the veggie plate, complete with green beans, fried okra, hash brown casserole and spiced apples. Oh. My! Everything was just scrumptious!! The green beans were the perfect Southern style with not too much bacon or ham flavor, and the hash brown casserole was made with sour cream (or cream cheese?) and all this Cheesy goodness. It was the perfect mixture of awesomeness.
I cannot rave at how wonderful this whole meal was. I only wish we had had room for dessert, but we were so full from the food, we couldn’t even eat it all. We have been to Blue Ridge many times, but we had never eaten here before; however, we now have a new favorite! Here is the website for you to find their location and menu.
As I visited with my ailing relative today, I was reminded again of how sweet heaven will be when we are all there together. There will be no more sickness and no more pain. Our loved ones will never die, and we will never worry about crises, heartaches, destruction or even the threats of such. We will say no more goodbyes, and the trivial things of this world will have all been lost.
If I had but one piece of advice to give, it would be this: No matter what you seek in this life, all things will eventually fade away, only those things which are eternal will remain. Never allow the temporary pleasures to blind you from the eternal treasures. Live for those who matter, and let all the rest simply fade with the time of life’s journey. Recognize and acknowledge your reality. Cherish the ins of value, and make sure you are both ready for the other side; so together, you might worship your King in eternity…