Order your copy today!(all profits from sale of the book go to the International Justice Mission(www.ijm.org) Click the book!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

When Life Gives You Lemons...Make Lemonade

Ever find yourself drowning in a sour pit of lemon juice? Everything in your life going wrong? Can't seem to find your way out? Well take heart my friend! Life is guaranteed to give us lemons...but with a little sugar those lemons can turn into sweet tasting lemonade.

The sugar I'm talking about is God Himself. He's the sweetener that makes life lemons into our lemonade. Apart from Him we are settling for that sour juice. In the gospel of John, Jesus tells of his sweetness and power, He says "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) In the context of lemonade, we can say Yes, In this world you'll be surrounded by many lemons...but take heart...I have come to make the lemonade!

We can see this relationship in John 10:10 as well when Jesus tells us, "The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life."(NLT) Translated to the lemon theory it goes something like this...The lemons purpose is to make our life sour but the sugar added will make a rich and satisfying drink.

The lemons in our lives come in many forms, but ultimately they are Satan's way of turning us away from our relationship with God. God knows exactly what we are going through and He is right there in it with us. He can take even the worst possible situation and make something good come from it. Romans 8:28 says this quite clearly,"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

When we face life's lemons with the attitude that God will work good in all circumstances, when we choose to look for God's purposes in our trials, when we choose to believe God wholeheartedly, then sugar is poured into our sour juice pit and we are then swimming and drinking that sweet refreshing lemonade only He can make out of our lives. And boy is that good!

An example that is very appropriate to this theme is about a little girl named Alexandra Scott. She was diagnosed with cancer, and made up her mind that she wanted to raise money in order to help doctors find a cure for children with cancer. With the help of her brother, she set up a lemonade stand in her front lawn. Despite her declining health she kept her stand going, thus inspiring thousands of others to take up her cause. Since her death in 2004 at the age of 8, Alex's Lemonade Stand foundation has raised millions of dollars towards finding a cure for childhood cancer.

Apart from raising money, Alex has left us with a beautiful example of how we can turn our own life's lemons into lemonade.

Can you think of any lemons in your life that God is waiting for you to make lemonade out of?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Save The Date! Free Seminar

Well known author, speaker, and counselor, Leslie Vernick, will be presenting a free 2-session seminar for men and women on Friday evening, March 19th at 7pm at Faith Church in Allentown. She will be speaking from two of her books, Lord, I Just Want to Be Happy and How to Live Right When Your Life Goes Wrong featuring The TRUTH Principle.

The Truth Principle
Do you struggle to live out God's truth from your heart? Many Christians know more truth than they actually apply. Leslie offers a unique 5-step process called The TRUTH Principle that will help you:

· Respond to difficult situations without losing your temper or your faith.
· Break free from internal lies in order to fully embrace Gods' truth.
· Develop the discipline to take your desires from dreams to reality.

Lord, I Just Want to Be Happy
It's not the new circumstances we often pray for that move us toward lasting happiness, but rather something entirely different. Drawing on her own struggles and those of people she has counseled, and using scriptural insights in fresh ways, Leslie offers practical and simple steps to help you:

· Recognize and change habits that, day by day, keep you from experiencing happiness.
· Develop the skills that will enable you to let go of negative and painful emotions quicker.
· Transform difficult circumstances so you can live with gratitude, joy, and purpose.

Leslie will be doing a video shoot during these presentations and welcomes community participation. Please post this information in your church bulletin and announce it from the pulpit. If you'd like to receive a publicity flyer via email that can be posted at your church, please contact our office at (610) 298-2842.

by author and counselor
Leslie Vernick

Friday, March 19, 2010
7:00 pm at
Faith Church
6528 Hamilton Blvd.
Allentown, PA 18106
For more information
610-298-2842 or www.faithefc.com

To register for this free event, please call our office at 610-298-2842 or email us at leslie@leslievernick.com Christ Centered Counseling PO Box 784 Fogelsville, PA 18051

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sorry Charley

"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12:11

"Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent." Rev. 3:19

This is my Grand dog Charley. As you can see he's gotten himself in a bit of a mess! I love Charley. He is an energetic, fun loving, always ready to play and please puppy. He loves to be around people and he comforts them with his big brown eyes and is always ready to snuggle on your lap(even though he's really NOT a lap dog). Sometimes He gets a little carried away in his joy, as in this picture. These soft white rolls seemed like the perfect toy for him, they looked harmless enough. He thought he'd just check them out and before he knew it he had unrolled, tossed about, tore up and thoroughly examined each roll. He was feeling pretty good about himself, satisfied, till his master walked in the room with a serious look on his face. There he was, sitting in the middle of a big mess. Charley looked around, "how did this happen?" He wondered. All he wanted to do was have a little fun, but it had gotten out of control. Humbled, Charley did the only thing he could. He sat there, giving the sorriest look he knew how and watched as his master cleaned up his mess.

Isn't this the way things go in our own lives with God sometimes? We want to please Him and are enthusiastic in our efforts. We look for ways to serve Him, we are happiest when we make him happy, yet sometimes there are things that look so good to us, seem harmless enough, like parties, staying up late, busyness, gossipping, computer games etc...and we think a little indulgence in such seemingly harmless things couldn't possibly do any harm, but before we know what has happened, we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of our own big mess. Then God walks in, looks around, and loves us. He helps us sort out and clean up our messes just like Charley's Master did for Him. Oh sure, there may be some consequences to face, but why do you think that is? Because God loves us too much to leave us sitting in our messes and he doesn't want to see us in that place again, and because we love God and want to please him we will hopefully learn from our experience and try not to do it again.

Just as we still love Charley in spite of the messes he makes, God loves us in spite of our messes.
God has promised us His eternal care, He is a committed God, He is a faithful God and when He disciplines us, it is because He loves us and wants us to have the optimal benefits of being his children. So if you are in a mess right now, self imposed or otherwise, take heart! Fall on your knees and cry out to God! tell him your problem and repent. He will help you to clean it up and lift you out it. God wants to be the greatest object of our affection and enjoyment. He wants us to find our ultimate joy and contentment in Him. When we come to Him with a contrite spirit, He will always lead us back to Him. Thank You God!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Book Review: Thin Places by Mary DeMuth

I have the honor today to post a review of "Thin Places", a memoir by Mary DeMuth. Mary has written numerous books, both fiction and non fiction. All have been wonderful reads, showing God's amazing love and grace over our lives along with His incredible redeeming power. In telling her story, she brings testimony that Jesus is always near to us, even in the most horrific of circumstances and is unfathomably able to heal up even the deepest of scars left behind.

Thin Places takes this theme, and chronicles it through her own life experiences in a real, personal and powerful way. Her own walk with God becomes the catalyst for determining these defining moments, that she describes as: "snatches of holy ground, tucked into the corners of our world, where if we pay close attention, we might just catch a glimpse of eternity. They are snatches of time, moments really when we sense God intersecting our world in tangible, unmistakable ways. They are aha moments, beautiful realizations, when the Son of God bursts through the hazy fog of our monotony and shines on us afresh. ( Taken from ch. 1 Thin Places)

Mary takes everything from her very traumatic to her everyday experiences that she has journeyed through and in a hopeful, endearing way brings us along to those places where God has met her. This is a book that will encourage the reader to look for God's hand and grab hold. It reveals His strength and provision over our lives, it will leave you with a deeper awareness of the very workings of God as you travel through this world with Him, and an appreciation and realization that you are never alone.

I hope you will pick up a copy and be inspired to look for those thin places in your own life. I pray you will be as blessed as I was with Mary's very real, sometimes raw, descriptive writings in her newest book "Thin Places"

About the Author:
Mary DeMuth, Author and speaker, Mary DeMuth helps people turn their trials to triumph. Her books include Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God; Building the Christian Family You Never Had; Watching the Tree Limbs; Wishing on Dandelions; Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture and the first two books in the Defiance, Texas Trilogy: Daisy Chain and A Slow Burn.National media regularly seek Mary’s candid ability to connect with their listeners. Her radio appearances include FamilyLife Today, Moody Midday Connection, Point of View and U.S.A. Radio Network and is frequently featured on Chuck Colson’s BreakPoint. She has published articles in In Touch, HomeLife, Writer’s Digest and The Writer.Mary lives with her husband Patrick and their three children in Texas.
Learn more about Mary at http://marydemuth.com/.

Your can purchase the book at Amozon.com :

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Eyes on the Unshakable

"...When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.” This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain. Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. For our God is a devouring fire.(Hebrews 12:26-29)

Passionately I will worship God.
Singing His praises all day
Hiding His word in my heart
Coming before Him to pray.
Delighting in His commands
Loving Him in all I do and say.
Trusting God for all my needs
Walking in His way
Obediently I'll follow
And in His presence I will stay.

Fix your eyes on Jesus...especially knowing that the things of this world will pass away. Do not let any obstacle keep you from God's presence...He is the source of your strength continually call Him to mind...He helps replaces all feelings of dread with His perspective and peace of resting in His strong arms. Unceasingly "consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." (Hebrews 12:3)

Lord, help us stand firm in Your strength, resolve and power. As none of us are immune from the things of this shakable world. Increase our faith and willingness to place our complete trust in you and Your unshakable Kingdom. You alone are worthy of all our love and praise, may we worship You with the Holy fear and awe that you are due. For Your glory, Amen.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Freedom and Victory

"that I may walk before the LORD in the land of the living." Psalm 116:9

Entangled by the toils, temptations, and troubles of daily living, not to mention those lies we believe from the past, the stress of finances, wayward children, troubled marriages, financial difficulties, mood disorders, jam packed days, sleepless nights, caring for elderly parents, and the list goes on... have a tendency to hold us captive and hinder our walking in freedom with God, keeping us from the person God intends us to be. God has a predestined plan for each of us to carry out in His kingdom here on earth.

So how do we throw all these things off so we can run the race set out for us?(Hebrews 12:1-12) How do we grab hold our freedom offered us as followers of Christ? We need to know him. We need to spend time in his presence,we need to become fully dependent upon him and live out of the strength He provides. We need to become aware of our weaknesses and quickly repent of our sins, becoming willing and thankful for the discipline he brings to our lives. We need to be in constant communion with Him. Placing our full faith in His word. When this way of living becomes our goal and our passion, we make room for Gods power to work in us and through us. The chaos in our lives will no doubt still be there, but our perspective in reacting and dealing with it changes. We can see it as a way to bring glory to our great God through our response to it. We know that God will bring us through it.

What if you were entering into a game or a business deal or trying to earn your degree for your career and you already knew you were guaranteed to achieve a victory...how would that change the way you approached the project? Do you feel a sense of relief at your impending victory? All You have to do is show up with a willing obedient heart. This is how we as followers of Jesus Christ need to proceed, so that we may walk before the Lord in the land of the living.

When we make it a priority to walk hand in hand with God through the labyrinth of life, we have the promise not to get lost, but navigate through it successfully; but as soon as we let go(because He never will) we lose our footing and our focus. Letting go is the only thing that will trip us up and throw us of course. In letting go we jeopardize the victory. We will eventually make it out and our salvation will be intact, but God offers us so much more, we don't need to just squeak by, when God offers freedom, celebration and abundant life! God's hand is always extended and always close. Will you take hold of it today, so that you may walk with your head held high before the Lord in this world full of trouble and temptation? Will you give Him the emphasis rather than your troubles? He is there and He is waiting. Grab His hand and hold on! Your very life depends on it!

Lord, Thank You for the freedom You offer all who come to You. May we choose You as the strength in our lives, continually coming to You for restoration and refuge. May our walk on this earth be pleasing to You, bringing honor and glory to Your name. Lord I ask You to make Your presence unmistakable for all those lost in the labyrinth of life at this time, that they will reach out their hand to You, admitting their need for You in their life. For it is in You aloneLord, where the victory lies. Thank You for securing this victory for us! Humbly in Your Name I pray,Amen.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. " Hebrews 12:1-3

I have been greatly inspired recently by a book that I read, called The Heavenly Man. It is a book about a Chinese mans life and journey to bring the message of salvation to the Chinese people, in spite of the great risk involved in spreading the message. You see, China does not allow freedom to express your own beliefs, you must be part of their registered church. So to stand against the government in the name of Christianity is a serious crime. Those who stand firm in their faith are arrested, imprisoned and tortured and many times killed. This man endured with joy, as Jesus did for us, the sheer torture inflicted upon him for the sake of God's Kingdom plans.

This is the kind of book that really makes you stop and think about our own measure of faith, the reason we are here and our purpose in Gods plan...Our God is truly a Sovereign God, who wants and deserves first place in our lives at all times. When we fix our eyes on Him and seek to do his will, great things happen in the Kingdom. We realize how blessed and privileged we are to be used by his power. With this in mind, take heart! Any trial we suffer can be counted as joy when we understand that it has come so that we may bear witness to others, the the saving power of our God.

As Christians we need to remember the great sacrifice Jesus made for us and that it is nothing less that an honor for us to bear that same suffering for his name. God's Word says we are to share in Christ sufferings. So rejoice! When trials come, you have the power, through God to be a witness in leading others to the saving grace of our great God! Blessed be His name!
Lord, I want to pray for all my brothers and sisters in the faith, that we may stand firm in our beliefs and conviction in living for You. Please strengthen and bless those who are actively suffering for Your name right now. Please continue to give them the power to endure the torture inflicted upon them. I pray that You continue to bring them upon our hearts and minds so as to pray for them, as they have the honor to be true witnesses of Your Holy power. I pray that Your message be delivered to all those who are in desperate need to hear it and that you continue opening the doors in which to spread the gospel to every nation. Please Lord, prepare our hearts and the hearts of those who will be hearing about You for the first time. Thank you Lord for wanting to know us and for wanting us to know You. Amen.