Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Very Unpolitically Correct View of a Wife-Eve


Genesis 2:15-25

 15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
 18 The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
 19 Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
   But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
 23 The man said,
   “This is now bone of my bones
   and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
   for she was taken out of man.”
 24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
 25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
 
Lord, help me to remember that Eve was created to fill a need for Adam that You knew he had. As I meditate on this, I must know that that I was created for my husband. The world would tell me that my husband is created to do my bidding and what ever I desire. This passage today reminds me very clearly, that I was created to be a helper for him. He was not created to be a filler of voids in my life.
Lord, show me how I can be a better helper to my husband. Show me how I can be who You have created me to be, and help me to tune out the world's view of who I am and what I should be.
 
Today:

I will remember that it is NOT all about me.
I will look for ways to better meet my husband's needs.
I will NOT listen to the propaganda that the world is selling concerning what a wife and woman should be.
I will listen to God.
 
Is there anything you need to view differently to be more like the woman God has created you to be?
 
I will chase after the heart of my husband. It was exactly what I was created to do!
 
Chasing After Their Hearts,

Glenda Johnson

Monday, December 27, 2010

Post Holiday Blues? Praise the Lord!

 

It's two days after Christmas. Do you have that sad feeling? All the celebrating is done. Family and friends are leaving to go back home. (Some you may have wished wold have left before they came!)  So what do you do when everything is done and over? When you might feel alone and uncertain? Did you have a conflict over the holidays that is now unresolved and you can't stop thinking about it? 

So again the question what now?

Let's see what David says is his Psalm.

 

Psalm 103

Of David.
 1 Praise the LORD, my soul;
   all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, my soul,
   and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
   and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
   and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
   so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
 6 The LORD works righteousness
   and justice for all the oppressed.
 7 He made known his ways to Moses,
   his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
   slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
   nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
   or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
   so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
   so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
 13 As a father has compassion on his children,
   so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
   he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
   they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
   and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
   the LORD’s love is with those who fear him,
   and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
   and remember to obey his precepts.
 19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
   and his kingdom rules over all.
 20 Praise the LORD, you his angels,
   you mighty ones who do his bidding,
   who obey his word.
21 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts,
   you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the LORD, all his works
   everywhere in his dominion.
   Praise the LORD, my soul. 

We need to praise the Lord!
Even when we have to search to find a reason, Praise the Lord!
Here are just a few reasons David gives: 
He forgives all our sins!
He satisfies our desires with good things!
He renews our youth!
He works righteousness and justice for the oppressed!
He is compassionate and gracious!
He is slow to anger!
He abounds in love!
He is not the accuser!
He will not repay us for what our sins deserve!
His love for me is as high as the heavens are from the earth!
He is a compassionate father!
He understands my limitations because He formed me!
He is ruling on high right now and forever without end!

There is no reason not to praise the Lord!
The way to kick the post holiday blues?

PRAISE THE LORD!

Chasing After Hearts,
Glenda Johnson 


Saturday, December 25, 2010

There's a New Kid In Town


The star, the shepherds, the earthly daddy Joseph, the virgin mother, the Magi, the evil king Herod. All parts of the wonderful thing we call the Christmas story. Today we celebrate the birth of Jesus, The King of Kings, and as John 1 says, the Word became flesh. God put on skin, laid in an animal trough, felt cold, hunger and pain, all out of love.
God so desired to take care of our sin problem, that he moved. He moved into a different home for 33 years.
 John 1:14
 14The Word became flesh and blood,
      and moved into the neighborhood.
   We saw the glory with our own eyes,
      the one-of-a-kind glory,
      like Father, like Son,
   Generous inside and out,
      true from start to finish. 
(The Message)

Jesus moved into our neighborhood. 

What a reason to celebrate! A new neighbor! 

He wants not only to live in our world, our city and our neighborhood this Christmas, but He wants to move into our lives.
Into our hearts.
Into our souls.

That's why He came. Meet your neighbor today. He's generous from the inside out and true from start to finish.

Merry Christmas!

Chasing After Hearts,
Glenda Johnson

Friday, December 24, 2010

Ponder and Treasure


Today is Christmas eve. I am thinking about what that means for me today. 

I will see a client first thing this morning. Yes, I am working on Christmas Eve, but, for my client, it is what meets his needs. 

I get to go shopping! I love the stores on Christmas Eve. I will find the grumpiest person I can in each place I am in, and my goal? To make them smile. It is my Christmas Eve  tradition. 

I will worship tonight with the Body of Christ at a Christmas Eve service. 
My children and grandchildren will gather tonight at my home to spend the night and fellowship for the night and all day tomorrow. 
 As I think on these things, I really ponder what Christmas means to me. I treasure my Lord and my family. 

And I think of Mary. I think of her heart. The heart that chose to love a baby, born of supernatural circumstances. A baby born to save the world.


How can I possibly be loved so much that God sent His Son from heaven to earth?


Everyone has a Father who loves them enough to save them from a hopeless life.


Always with me, never forsaking me, Jesus is protecting and guiding me.


Real love means forgiveness and grace.


Today I must choose to believe and live in Jesus, and choose to share the greatest gift ever, salvation!

Luke 2;19
19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

I will treasure the greatest gift ever given, forgiveness. 
I will treasure grace that is bestowed on me lavishly by God daily. 
I will treasure the relationships within the Body of Christ I have been blessed with.
I will treasure my family (yes, those are all of our stockings) and make sure I point them to the greatest, Jesus! 

These are the things I will ponder and treasure in my heart today. 

Chasing After Their Hearts,
Glenda Johnson

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pain, Tears, and Hope



Christmas time is a time for celebration, joy and merriment. As we walk through this jolly time of year, there are some for whom this is a painful time of year. For those who have lost loved ones, the holidays can be painful. For those who have lost a child, it can be an excruciating holiday. 
I walk this path with many people. You see, 13 years ago today, our baby went to be with Jesus. For many years, Christmas was a source of pain, and sadness. I am thankful that I serve a God that heals hearts, for he has truly healed mine. 
As I read the Christmas story one more time, I see mothers that lost children and were in pain. All because of one man. 
 
He coveted power above all else, including life.


Executed innocent children to protect his position.


Rage and hate filled his heart.


Ordered the Magi to help him, but they chose to listen to God.


During the tragedy, God never missed a tear, but knows that pain is sometimes part of the plan.

Matthew 2:7-18
7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
 9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
 13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
 14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
 16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
 18 “A voice is heard in Ramah,
   weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
   and refusing to be comforted,
   because they are no more.”


There were some mothers in Bethlehem who suffered a great loss. Herod was so far from God, he did not care what pain he caused to those families.

There are still people today who take life without thinking of the consequences to others. Please know that God did not miss it when Herod did it, and God does not miss your pain today.

Psalm 56:8
8You have kept count of my tossings;
    put my tears in your bottle.
    Are they not in your book?

Hold on to Jesus. He came so that we can have hope in spite of the pain! That is why Jesus came to earth, why he was born in that manger. Why you and I can have hope!
Know that you are not alone, the Body of Christ desires to love and comfort you during this time.

If you have never had to walk through the pain of loss, maybe God is calling you to comfort someone who has, so be looking! Keep your eyes and your heart open.

Chasing After Hearts,
Glenda Johnson

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Magi-The Ultimate Gifts For The Ultimate Gift-Giver


It is only two days until Christmas. If you are not done with your shopping, it may be because you are looking for that "perfect"gift for someone who has everything. I am not done because I like Christmas Eve shopping. I like the crowds. I like the excitement of everyone trying to find that one "perfect" thing. 
There were some men who knew exactly what the perfect gifts should look like. Even for the One who truly had EVERYTHING.
These men are often referred to as wise men. 
I believe, in fact, that they were, very wise indeed.
 
Men who were seeking the King of Kings.


Arrived prepared to honor and worship King Jesus.


Gave extravagantly with no thought of anything in return.


Individuals who found Jesus because they were looking for Him, and knew He was coming.

Matthew 2:1-12
 1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
 3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
 6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
   are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
   who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
 7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
 9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

These men brought gifts that have very special meanings.
The gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh were also prophetic, speaking of our Lord's offices of king, priest, and savior. Gold speaks of His kingship; frankincense was a spice used in the priestly duties; and myrrh was an embalming ointment anticipating His death.

Costly gifts for a humble King.
A king who would give the most costly gift to the the entire world, His life.

If you have accepted this extravagant gift, what are you giving back out of thankfulness?
Will the gifts you give this years have any eternal impact on those around you?
The best gift of all, was paid for almost 2000 years ago, and is waiting to be shared by YOU with others this Christmas season.
And there is no need to go to mall to get it.

Give the gift of Jesus this year so someone can receive true joy and the everlasting hope of eternal life!

Chasing After Hearts,
Glenda Johnson

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Joseph-The Husband, The Father, The Man


I am so thankful that God led me to Larry, my husband. I have been blessed with an awesome man who has taken care of me, and been a tremendous father to our children. Larry takes the job of leading our family very seriously. He knows that God will hold him accountable for our family. What a tremendous responsibility. 
Which brings to my mind this morning, Joseph. 
The man, who would be responsible for the raising of the Son of God in his home. As his daddy. The man who was to set an example, for the Son of God. 
What an awesome responsibility. 
What a man.

Just and honorable before God.


Only a simple carpenter, in love with a young girl.

Secretly wanted to handle his problem, instead of public humiliation, out of love.

Engaged to the woman who would give birth to God's son.

Prepared by angel to take Mary as his wife.


He was chosen to be the earthly father of the Son of God. 


Matthew 1:18-25

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
 

I am thankful today for my husband. For all he is called to be by God. While I acknowledge he is not raising the Son of God, I know he has a tremendous responsibility on his shoulders.

Today, I chase after my husband's heart and show love, honor and respect for who he is, and what God has called him to be.

Chasing After Their Hearts,
Glenda Johnson

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Virgin


I have been in the field of medicine for many years. Prior to becoming a preacher, so was my husband. I will never forget the story he tells about the baby he delivered in the emergency room. The mother was 14 years old. She came in with severe abdominal pain. It did not take long for the staff to figure out  the diagnosis. She denied it. Claimed she was a virgin. She had never been with anyone. 
The staff shared with her that there had only been one woman in all history, and her name was Mary, that delivered a baby as a virgin.
And they were right. 

Very pure in heart.
Immanuel's momma.
Readily gave of her entire self, selflessly to be used by God for His purpose.
Gave birth to a child, whom she would watch die, to save her soul.
Indescribable joy was hers from being a humble servant.
No word from God will ever fail, is what she chose to believe. 

Matthew 1:22 
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

Luke 1:38-26
 26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”  29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
 34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
 35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”
 38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

A frightened, God loving, young woman changed her entire life, and the history of the world with twelve words.
“I am the Lord’s servant, may your word to me be fulfilled.”

I will ponder in my heart today, what would be different if I chose to live and believe those words for myself as Mary chose to do. Would my life, my family and the world around me be changed? I must believe that it would.

Chasing After Hearts,

Glenda Johnson

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Shepherds


Growing up, I raised sheep. Spent many hours everyday caring for their needs. They are needy animals! I was often dirty and nasty when I got done and needed to hit the shower right away. I certainly would not go anywhere after being in the sheep pen without cleaning up first. Reading the story of the shepherds outside of Bethlehem, made me think a little. They might have missed the King of Kings had they worried about how they looked or smelled. They might have missed Jesus.

Serenaded by angels with a song of redemption.
Heard the message of the Savior's birth first.
Expressed humble worship for the King of Kings.
Perhaps a bit dirty, or smelly, but chose not to
Hesitate or find an excuse for not running to Jesus.

Elated after finding Jesus, because all was just as they had been told.
Responded immediately to the call of God and told others about Jesus.
Deepened faith , because of what they heard, saw, and chose to believe.
Simple, humble servants, who left all to look for Jesus.

Luke 2:8-20
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 910 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
   and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Real Star


This mornings my thoughts began as I looked out my window. Up in the early morning sky, I see stars. Lots of stars. A few are brighter than others. Some twinkle more that others do, but they all shine and they are all beautiful.
None are like the star from the first Christmas.

Shining with the radiance of God.

The response of joy.

A fulfillment of prophecy for those who were searching.

Reaching down from heaven, a light that STILL leads wise men to the Savior. 


Matthew 2:9-11
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
 
Are you searching for the REAL STAR of this Christmas season? God has done everything so you can find Him
If you are searching, keep looking. The light of the Word will show you the way.
If you have found Him, worship Him, and give Him all the treasures of your life that He deserves!
 
Chasing After Hearts,
Glenda Johnson


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Manger

As I ponder the Christmas story today, I think of the manger. The place where a young mother laid her baby. These are the thoughts that come to my mind as push the animals out of the way and peek into the manger.



Made by man, to hold the maker of man.
Animal feeder holding the bread of life.
No room anywhere in the world for this baby, except here.
Giving a resting place for the One who would be peace and eternal rest.
Entrance into a world for the King of Kings.
Rough edges of a bed that would become the rough edges of the cross.

 
Luke 2:12

"This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

What do you see today?

Chasing After Hearts,
Glenda Johnson

Monday, December 13, 2010

Daily Devo- John 12:43 "Praise Seeker vs Follower"


Why do we do what we do? This was heavy on my heart this morning. As I was preparing to do my daily devo, I can across a friend's blog. This blog spoke deeply to my heart about being a Jesus follower.

 So for today, with permission, I share this friend's blog as my devotion for today.

Just for some background information; Allen Stewart, the author of this blog, is a long time friend. We started going to school together when I was in the fourth grade and we graduated high school together.
We were always great friends, but the one thing about our relationship that is so important, is that Allen led me to Jesus. By the life he lived, and the choices he made, I saw something I needed. For that, I am ETERNALLY grateful!
Today,  Allen has gone on to be a very successful attorney, that practices law with his Jesus shining through in all he does.
So, as we spend time together with Jesus and my friend Allen this morning, keep in mind, whose praise are you seeking?

http://www.allenstewartblog.com/2010/12/praise-from-men/

Chasing After Hearts,
Glenda Johnson

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Daily Devo- Psalm 78:1-7 "What Is Important Today?"



Psalm 78:1-7
1  A maskil by Asaph. Open your ears to my teachings, my people. Turn your ears to the words from my mouth.
2  I will open my mouth to illustrate points. I will explain what has been hidden long ago,
3  things that we have heard and known about, things that our parents have told us.
4  We will not hide them from our children. We will tell the next generation about the LORD'S power and great deeds and the miraculous things he has done.
5  He established written instructions for Jacob's people. He gave his teachings to Israel. He commanded our ancestors to make them known to their children
6  so that the next generation would know them. Children yet to be born would learn them. They will grow up and tell their children
7  to trust God, to remember what he has done, and to obey his commands.

It is Sunday morning. In our home, that means we will go worship Jesus with the Saints in Easton, Md. There is no question in my children's minds about what what we will do today. We serve Jesus as a family, we worship as a family, we strive to make our family's focus Jesus.


The first seven verses of the 78th Psalm talks about teaching our children about the Lord. It is so important that we teach our children who God is and what He has called us to do.

Now lest you think I have always done this perfectly, or do this perfectly now, let me say without reservation that I do not. But I try. It has taken many years , like 28 to be exact, to get our family focused on Jesus.


I had to be fully focused on Jesus before I could begin to lead and teach our children to put Him first in their lives. I had to work on me for years. I have to work on me daily. I have to remember verse 7:
7  to trust God, to remember what he has done, and to obey his commands.


So it is Sunday. You have two choices. You can begin, or continue to , point your children to Jesus, or you can make something else more important. Trust me, I have done both. Jesus is the better choice. It is the only choice today that will have ETERNAL benefits, or consequences. Everything else just lasts for a brief time.


The nice thing is, just because you didn't focus on Jesus yesterday, doesn't mean you can't make a different choice for today. Your children are looking to YOU and my children are looking to ME to show them what God has in store for us all.

Today, chase your children's hearts for God. You will never be sorry you did!

Chasing After Their Hearts,
Glenda Johnson

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Daily Devo- Joshua 24:14-15 "Get Off That Fence!"


Joshua 24:14-15
14 “Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” 

Have you ever sat on a fence? I mean a real fence. One that separates two yards? It is hard to sit there and not fall off. Depending on how the fence in constructed, it is a difficult task to keep your balance. 

When you fall off the fence, you never quite know which side you will end up landing on. Which could be a problem. Especially if there is a ferocious dog on one side. Or a neighbors yard, with a neighbor who doesn't like trespassers. Or a big mud pit with pigs. Get the picture.

Joshua was telling the people of that day, they needed to get off the fence they were sitting on. Choose whom they wanted to serve, because they could not balance on the fence and serve God and the false gods of the land. Make a choice he says. Or you will end up falling off the fence where you don't want to be.

The same thing applies to us today. Do you find yourself sitting on a fence. One foot dangling on the side of the world and the other on the side of the Lord?  You must make a choice. You WILL fall off of that fence, probably because the world will push you down, and you will not like the pit on that side you fall into. You, me, everyone MUST make a choice. We need to make it today. 

Throw away the false gods of this world and serve Jesus. Even if that is not the choice others make. We must serve the Lord. 

By the way, not choosing is a choice. You have chosen the world by default if you don't choose the Lord. 
So, as for me and my household, there will be NO FENCE SITTING! We will serve the Lord.

Chasing After Hearts,
Glenda Johnson

Friday, December 10, 2010

Daily Devo- Isaiah 7: 1-17 "The Timeless Message"

 

Isaiah 7

 1 When Ahaz son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, was king of Judah, King Rezin of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel marched up to fight against Jerusalem, but they could not overpower it.
 2 Now the house of David was told, “Aram has allied itself with Ephraim”; so the hearts of Ahaz and his people were shaken, as the trees of the forest are shaken by the wind.
 3 Then the LORD said to Isaiah, “Go out, you and your son Shear-Jashub, to meet Ahaz at the end of the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Launderer’s Field. 4 Say to him, ‘Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid. Do not lose heart because of these two smoldering stubs of firewood—because of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and of the son of Remaliah. 5 Aram, Ephraim and Remaliah’s son have plotted your ruin, saying, 6 “Let us invade Judah; let us tear it apart and divide it among ourselves, and make the son of Tabeel king over it.” 7 Yet this is what the Sovereign LORD says:
   “‘It will not take place,
   it will not happen,
8 for the head of Aram is Damascus,
   and the head of Damascus is only Rezin.
Within sixty-five years
   Ephraim will be too shattered to be a people.
9 The head of Ephraim is Samaria,
   and the head of Samaria is only Remaliah’s son.
If you do not stand firm in your faith,
   you will not stand at all.’”
 10 Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz, 11 “Ask the LORD your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.”
 12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask; I will not put the LORD to the test.”
 13 Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. 15 He will be eating curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, 16 for before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste. 17 The LORD will bring on you and on your people and on the house of your father a time unlike any since Ephraim broke away from Judah—he will bring the king of Assyria.” 


I was led to this passage this morning, and was very surprised by what I found. I should not have been surprised , but I was. Let me share what I found.
Ahaz was a good king. He was having some trouble with some bad leaders. He was frightened, and struggling to know what to do. 

Ever been there? Trying to do right, and all you get is grief? People attack you, complain, just really wear you down, until you think you might just be unable to go on? Yeah, me too at times. That's where Ahaz is. 


God sees and knows what is going on with Ahaz. God sends Isaiah the prophet with a message for Ahaz. It is the message that surprised me.

This is the message:
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. 

Isaiah brought the message of Jesus! The coming of Jesus! Even approximately 500 years before His birth, Jesus was the message Ahaz needed to hear.

Now a little over 2000 years after His birth, Jesus is still the message we need to to hear! He will always be the message that brings perfect hope and peace all the time.


There is a song that really brings this thought home, it goes like this:

Lord, I lift your name on high Lord
I love to sing your praises
I'm so glad You're in my life
I'm so glad You came to save us

You came from heaven to earth
to show the way
From the earth to the cross
my debt to pay
From the cross to the grave
From the grave to the sky Lord,
I lift your name on high

(Music and words by Rick Founds)

So remember, no matter what you are walking through, the message of the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus has all the answers and reassurances you will ever need!

Chasing After Hearts,
Glenda Johnson

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Daily Devo- A Cardiovascular Workout


Today you might choose to eat a heart healthy diet. One that is low in fat and salt.
Today you may do a cardio workout to strengthen your heart and make healthy.
Today you may take a baby aspirin because your doctor said it was a good preventative measure.

All this is great. They should be done. It helps protect and guard your heart from disease and a possible heart attack.

If this is all you do to guard your heart today, you are missing something huge.

Proverbs 4:20-23
20  My son, pay attention to my words. Open your ears to what I say.
21  Do not lose sight of these things. Keep them deep within your heart
22  because they are life to those who find them and they heal the whole body.
23  Guard your heart more than anything else, because the source of your life flows from it.

We must fill our today with the word of God. If we do not, our heart, our source of life becomes sick and defiled. We then contract "spiritual" heart disease. What does that look like? Mark 7 tell us clearly;

Mark 20: 20-23
 20 He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. 21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”

So today lets guard our hearts. Let this be what fills us:

Philippians 4:8
 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

I want to fight heart disease on EVERY level! Physical and spiritual. Both will require sacrifice. You can't live a full life if either aspect of your heart is diseased

So get up and we both can start chasing after the heart of God. His is the perfect heart. It will be exactly what we want ours to look like!


Chasing After Hearts,

Glenda Johnson

 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

An Important Lesson From Cindy Lou Who


Every Who
Down in Who-ville
Liked Christmas a lot....
But the Grinch
Who lived just north of Who-ville
DID NOT!


Those words begin the well know work of Dr. Seuss "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". For me, it begins a story I have loved since childhood. I love the Grinch. I love the funny looking Whos. I love to watch the excitement over Christmas. And truth be told, the huge Christmas tree in the middle of Who-ville is my dream tree. *sigh*

Then a few years ago the Ron Howard version came to the big screen. And I fell in love all over again. You might be surprised as to why.
Jim Carrey does a fabulous Grinch.
The back story was really well written and answered a lot of unanswered questions.
Faith Hill's music has a powerful message.
But the reason I love this story is Cindy Lou Who.
I love her heart. She looks around and sees things that confuse her.
All the gift buying she finds "superfluous".
 She meets the Grinch. He doesn't quite fit all that has been said about him. He saves her life. She believes there is something good in him.


For those of you that have seen the movie, you know that Cindy spends all her time and effort to reach out to the Grinch. She believes he just misunderstood. He just needs to have some love shown to him. 
I love this. She sees someone that needs love.
She gives it. She gives it even though nothing was returned. She gives love even though the object of her love was seen as unlovable to everyone else. She expected that her love could make a difference in the Grinch's life.
And she was right. The Grinch's heart was changed. It grew. He learned to love. He learned to care. He learned to get rid of the hate and hard feelings he had been harboring for so long. 

That is my favorite part! Watching the Grinch change. Watching Cindy Lou Who look at the Grinch and say,   " Nobody should be alone on Christmas" and the Grinch realizing what it is was like for the first time to receive love. 

Cindy Lou expected a heart change. 

Are there those around you that you believe could never change? Their heart is just too hard? 

This Christmas season, as we gather around our manger scenes to rejoice over the birth of the Savior, remember why He came.

He came to change hearts. 

Be a Cindy Lou Who this year, and EXPECT to see hearts changed by the love of Christ!

Chasing After Hearts,
Glenda Johnson