Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Front of the Line Passes



I don't know about you, but I love it when you can get the opportunity to bypass long lines. People who know me well, know that I despise standing in line for any long length of time, especially if I can determine other ways to eliminate the lines. Like standing in line at a check stand at a store, while employees can see the need, but act like they can't or won't do anything and instead spend time talking about things. I hate waiting in lines at amusement parks too and try as much as I can to avoid going when I know it will be busy, even waiting for lunches and dinners and go when I know places won't be busy.

Traffic is another issue, I can maintain a patience there I didn't use to have before, but I still get upset when people would rather look at issues on the freeways on the other side of the road rather than continue to pay attention to where they are going to avoid causing one of this side.

The best option, I love now, is options to avoid standing in long lines.

For the most part, these require spending a little bit of extra money to avoid the long lines.

This has recently upset my father because I will choose to avoid long lines at the gas stations like AM/PM for cheaper gas, and instead opt for a little higher price per gallon at the gas station right across the street from them. I tried to explain to my dad, that opting to spend a $1.50 overall for the difference in the price of gas is worth it to me, to not have to wait in long lines. He argues I'm supporting the big oil companies instead, but honestly my time has value.

I love getting front of the line passes at amusement parks as well, because like I said before, my time has a value.

We only get 86,400 seconds in the day.

We have to use them all because we can't save them and use them tomorrow. So our time contains value.

It's what we choose to spend it on that determines a lot in our lives.

I find I can manage my time at places like Disneyland or Universal Studios by taking advantage of those perks like Fast Passes and Front of the Line passes. But you have to make sure you get them early because often times they run out and you can't get them any longer.

Which brings me to the point of this blog post.

Following our lives here on Earth, we will die.

One of two things will happen after that and where you put your faith at while you were here during your time on Earth determines what will happen to you at that point.

Believers, we get that all important and coveted Heavenly Front of the Line Pass. No waiting to get to Heaven. The Bible states that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord in 2 Corinthians 5:8. So now waiting line at the pearly gates to see if you get in or not. Nope, front of the line all the way.

The cost on our end?  NOTHING. Jesus paid the price for our faith in what He can here to accomplish. To restore the broken relationship when sin entered the world, thus giving us, as believers, the front of the line pass.

When we die, we get to bypass the Great White Throne judgment the rest of the world is subject to. Oh we will be judged on what we did with our lives here, but the consequences for those choices is covered by the blood of Jesus. He paid for all our sins, past, present and future. That is paid for when we confess and repent from our sins. Jesus merely walks up to God and says, "I got this one. They are forgiven and now they get to go to heaven! Paid in full!"

But for everyone else, when they die, they go to a place of waiting until the end when they will all be judged. See the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16: 19-31. This is that time, when all those who feel they led a great life doing good things for others will earn them a coveted pass into heaven. But since the wages of sin, is death, and without Jesus's payment of blood to cover that cost, they will be cast into the lake of fire forever. It will definitely not be that party place where all your other friends are hanging out, like I remember people joking about in high school.

This is the one place, you don't want to end up. Trust me, this is where you want the Front of the Line pass. Where our last breath here, is our first breath in Heaven in the presence of our Savior Jesus Christ along with our loved ones who have gone before us as believers. Never to be separated from them again.

So the choice for those of you that are still struggling with your eternal destiny is simple.

Jesus = Heaven for all eternity.

No Jesus = Hell and eternal torment for all eternity.

The choice is really up to you. What will you choose?

Choosing Jesus is a simple as saying the Sinner's prayer listed at the top of this page. Saying it like you mean it and closing it with a heart sold out for Him alone is it. It's a freewill gift. You don't have to do anything more to get your Front of the Line Pass to Heaven. I hope to see you all there!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

God Answers Our Prayers



For quite some time, I have been emailing back and forth with a self proclaimed atheist. Why he reached out to me via my personal email or how he obtained my email address has to be completely a God thing in my opinion. We first encountered one another on a friend's Facebook page with the discussion of religion and whether God truly exists or not. My poor friend had to eventually delete the post when the thread simply grew too long for the "debate" to continue.

Now for the last thirty days, I have tried in vain to remain calm and pass along the message I felt God wanted me to convey, despite the numerous name callings laced with profanity, that all Christians believe is the fairy tale book of the Bible. I attempted to find out just where his issue was with the labels of "Christians" or anything that referred to referencing the Bible as our source for the true.

The "debate" continued despite my repeated attempts to remind him that I was more than willing to carry on our "conversations" as long as they remained civil. I'm not sure now, looking back, that he was able to do just that. He repeatedly insulted me with profanity, referencing my lack of intelligence to respond to him without using the Bible as my source, and continued his assault. I continued to pray for him, that God will intervene in some way, and hopefully He has.

With each email, I could gain some small tidbits of what he issues were. He hated that at the end of life, it's going to be a choice between heaven or hell. He refuses to believe that either of these places exists and believes we will all just come to the ends of our lives and simply be buried to become a worm buffet. He believes in the science of the world and got to the point of arguing about the science behind the creation resulting from a band of light that ushered the world into that "big bang" theory most like to default to. I pointed out that from the very beginning the first part of creation according the Genesis was the reference to God creating light as the first part of God's creation of the world on the first day. "Let there be light!"

He had an issue with that one. Why? Because I referenced the Bible and the theory behind my beliefs in a creator and intelligent design. At some point he actually admitted that if he wrote the Bible, it would simply say it was created, people lived, the end. At least I got him to admit in a "Creator" which he later tried to dispute.

I explained that no one at the end of their life will wind up in heaven or hell because of God's judgment but due to our own choices when given free will. If we fail to accept the sacrifices God provided when He sent His only Son, Jesus to die for our sins, was raised on the third day, and now sits at the right hand of God waiting for the precise moment when God will simply have enough of sin running rampant on the world and unleash the final judgment on the earth after the rapture of the believers. I told him that no one winds up in hell without their own decision. He didn't like that.

Just yesterday, the final email was laced with more hate that I thought possible and I questioned why God would allow these conversations to continue. I prayed for a decisive answer before blocking any further email attempts. During a lunch with my husband I opened up to him what I was struggling with. I shared I didn't want to get to heaven and have God ask me why I simply gave up. I told him I need God to tell me what to do about this. I explained the name calling didn't bother me, because none of the things are true. I know the enemy is simply using him to get at my faith and I should be able to defend what I believe. Knowing that persecution is a sign, I'm doing something right. Any outside influence from friends of his, simply advised me to end our conversations. For some reason, it didn't sit well in my spirit that I could simply "block" or "unfriend" someone simply because our conversations weren't going anywhere and I was watching someone send themselves to hell without any further intervention.

I continued to pray for wisdom and answers.

In fact one of his emails stated I was mentally unfit because I believe I " heard" from God. No matter of explanation was enough for him. He wasn't budging on his beliefs.

During my morning devotion today, God answered me.

Want to know what He said?

And no, for those of you that want to know if I "heard" the voice of God audibly, the answer is no.

Here is what my morning devotion said,

"Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned." Titus 3:10-11 (NIV).

I even love the Message's version, "Warn a quarrelsome person once or twice, but then be done with him. It’s obvious that such a person is out of line, rebellious against God. By persisting in divisiveness he cuts himself off."

Can you believe that? Yes, God provided me with the exact words I needed to "hear" from Him.

So this one is closed on my end.

I will continue to pray for a individual known as MJ and if you want to add him to your prayers, please pray for revelation and for someone to come along in his life that will truly show him that God is as real as the Bible I hold in my hands.

For now, I will go on my "fairy-tale" beliefs according to some and I love that fact that I am sold out as crazy for Jesus in my body, mind and soul. I love the Lord with all my being and I can't wait for the day when I spend an eternity in Heaven, a very real place, for all eternity.  

Friday, October 24, 2014

Do You Validate?




I just wonder if any of you when you pull into a parking garage actually stop somewhere just to get your parking ticket validated? I mean sometimes they will validate the whole time you are there, but most times it's only for a specified time. I saw the cutest YouTube video that a friend sent me! You really should see it! It's called "Validation" and you can search for it on You Tube! It's about people that stop in a parking garage, and seek out the validation person to have their parking tickets validated so their parking will be FREE!

What they get when they arrive is "validation". They receive the most sincerest compliments from the person who marks their tickets, but only after he provides them with just the right compliments they need for the day.

I find this so true, especially being a stay at home mom and sometimes wife whose hubby is gone for weeks at a time. He is usually home for a couple days and then leaves for another 3-5 week stint. Let's just say I could use some validation. My kids need rides to school, sports activities, the malls, friends house, church, youth group, last minute things at the store. Can you relate?

Well it's amazing how much a sincere compliment can completely change your attitude and change your day. Too often though we put some faith in wanting those compliments from people, when the only person who will give them to you all day long without waiting is God. "I am with you always." Jesus promises in Matthew 28:20. God's compliments are not only sincere but they are filled with love, joy and hope. It's because God always sees the best in us, believes in us not matter how many times we fail and will never forsake us no matter how many times we push him aside.

Tonight we shared a dinner with hubby while he was passing through town and we were discussing just how important it is to let people know honestly what you think of them. Just the good however! At least for now. I was explaining how I took the time today to send along a quick email to my home school teacher to thank her for supporting me, always being quick to respond to my issues as a home school parent, and just glad that we have her when I hear from my friends that they don't like their kids teachers. I took the time not only to write it but to be sincere in my compliments.

A few minutes later I received the nicest email of thanks from her saying just how important that email came at a really difficult time in her day and just by reading it, it changed her day. Sincerity in it's purest form. Today at dinner, my oldest daughter was telling us how irritating our waitress was because she would ask if we needed anything, and we would tell her we were OK, she would thank us. Caitlyn said why does she say thank you so much, and I informed her that she was displaying good manners in how she was responding to us, her customers.

By the end of dinner, Caitlyn expressed that our waitress really went out of her way to make sure our drinks were always filled, if we needed more bread, took away all our empty plates when we were finished and genuinely cared about us. We discussed that perhaps someone should know about her outstanding service, since too often you don't get that kind of attention anymore. My hubby did stop on our way out and asked to speak with the manager to let her know just how good our waitress Vanessa was! She said she would be heading back to talk to her since she was going that way.

It is now our families goal to validate someone each day in a genuine and sincere manner. We are hoping it will make a difference in their day and bring a true smile to their face and a bounce in their step.

I feel we all need to feel validated every day in some small way, we know that some days we just need to feel like we count, and I pray that each of you that reads this post will be encouraged by the Holy Spirit each day that God created you and has kept you right where you are because you are serving His special purpose! Nothing happens that doesn't filter through His hands and without His knowledge. You mean everything to God! Your ticket is now validated!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

How Hard Has Your Heart Become?



Last night at church was a time for both reflection and if I must say, a bit of conviction. We were asked if we have ever been hurt before, and I can honestly say, I think that everyone had raised their hand, mine included. I mean who hasn't. Even as believers when we face the pain of rejection from a friend or even a family member, we have a tendency to harden our hearts. We put up those walls to ensure that no one will hurt us like that again.

We can see evidence even in the lives of believers. We find ourselves becoming a bit hardened ourselves when our efforts to reach the lost come back void. When after all those attempts at sharing the gospel message is rejected again and again. Just what will it take to reach those people.

Compassion for one.

Compassion defined simply put is love in action.

God has called every single one of us as believers to be an active participant. Not simply to walk away when the going gets tough. In fact we are challenged not to leave when it's hard, but to leave when it's easy instead.

I mean you can see countless times where we, as believers in Jesus, can grow hard. When we pass that homeless person who is still sitting at that same corner with the same sign asking for money. You have a firm belief they are just faking it to make a quick buck and not get a real job.

Oh what about those noisy neighbors that refuse to turn the music down, clean up their yards, or simply be a part of the community. Why even reach out yet again? All of our efforts have failed this far.

Or what about the person who keeps emailing you, leaving negative comments on your Facebook page, Twitter or Blog telling you what a joke your faith in Christ is? Why even engage that person?

Because God has called us to.

I love the quote from G. Campbell Morgan which states it pretty clear,
“Organized Christianity that fails to make a disturbance is dead.”

So what does that mean for us?

It means we need to get out of our comfort zone and spread compassion to our friends and family. It means we need to help others. There are so many hurting people who have thrown up their hands in frustration simply believing that we care for possessions, our position and protection more than we do people.

And you know what, they are right!

We have do have a heart for God in order to love people. Our mission trip in our lives is to serve Christ wherever we are. We don't have to travel to another country. We can get to our neighbors, our coworkers, our family, our community and share compassion with them.

How many of your coworkers are having a difficult time in their marriages, their relationships with their children, their addictions, their finances, and we have no clue? How many young teens are struggling just to find one person who cares anymore about them? How can we help?

That is simply all they are looking for.

Someone to help.

Perhaps it's buying a coworker coffee today, or taking them to lunch. Visiting your neighbor and bringing them cookies. Helping to fill a friend or family member's gas tank when they are struggling to make ends meet. If you are able, how about helping to pay a person's bill or bills for the month? What about simply volunteering more to help out where you can?

What a difference we would make in the lives of unbelievers if we simply stepped outside ourselves and putting all we have into the hands of Jesus and allowing Him to work through us.

How about if you join what God is doing right now.

Wherever you are....be all there.

Use what you have to help someone else.

Stop making every excuse and make every effort instead.

I challenge you today, to make a difference to someone today whomever God puts in your path. Reach out, even if its uncomfortable. See what a difference it will make. They might not even share what that impact has had, but God knows and that is good enough for us. He sees it!

Jesus said, “You’ve observed how godless rulers throw their weight around, how quickly a little power goes to their heads. It’s not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for the many who are held hostage.” Matthew 20:25-28 (The Message.) 

Dear Jesus,
Thank You for an amazing message in church last night. Often times we forget our true mission as believers, to take the Good News into all the world and share not only our testimony but what having You in our lives has done to change us. Help us to look around and not be so hardened by what we see. Help us to have softened hearts and to break them in ways we can see those people sitting right next to us at work, or in our neighborhoods or schools that are so broken and in need of help. I ask that you provide us with divine insight to know just how to help them. Let us be more compassionate to where people are in their lives. They may be experiencing brokenness in their marriages, their relationships with their children, facing overcoming an unexpected illness or an addiction, or simply trying to make ends meet to pay their bills this month. Let us reach out to our neighbors today, whomever that may be. Let us offer to buy them lunch, fill their gas tanks, go for coffee or simply if we are able to help pay their bills. Help us to not miss the opportunities you have placed in our laps today, Father, but to extend Your helping hand to show others the love you have for them today. In Jesus Name ~ AMEN

Friday, August 22, 2014

Time to Throw Out the Red Pen!



After days of researching information from the local library, I have put my finishing touches on my essay and it was ready to hand in. I always prided myself on my ability to write and write well. With this latest assignment from my English teacher, I had to dig deeper than a simple narrative from one of my favorite memories, or to step beyond the ability to debate the merits of some injustice in the world. I had to research information on the topic for my research paper. If you remember before the days of the internet and computers, this involved using encyclopedias, magazines, and books from the library. It was using a card catalog and manually going on a treasure hunt to find the elusive book you needed for your paper. Often times, that book was missing when you went to find it.

Probably checked out by someone else, or simply misplaced for the time being. So I had to go back and look up other books I might be able to use. There was a requirement to find at least three sources and list them on your cite works page and to make sure you didn't copy down things unless you were using them as a quote. Once the researching was complete, then you had to compile all that information into about 4 or 5 pages of what you wanted to say. I remember mine was on the Bermuda Triangle and the mystery surrounding it. I thought I had a real winner, even claiming I wanted to be one of those people that were "taken" in hopes of explaining what was really happening.

But turning in the paper was only adding more stress to what I was feeling. I had hoped for a decent grade and one that was not filled with the dreaded red pen. If you have been in a public school setting, you can probably remember those "red pen" papers. They were graded in red pen and often included hints or suggestions on how to correct your paper, from spelling and punctuation errors, to how to start a decent paragraph and included the one we still dread today, the perfect thesis statement.

I did get my paper back and was pleased by my grade, but it was still marred by those red pen corrections on it. Oh how I would have loved to get a paper back with nothing on it but a perfect A and nothing more. But then again wouldn't we all?

Life is filled with those daily papers we are required to submit. It might be running our kids to school, paying bills, heading to work in rush hour traffic, or even caring for someone who is sick and can't help themselves. Each of us every single day has an opportunity to see how we can manage through our day in hopes not necessarily for a perfect paper, but at least one with less red pen marks than we did before.

In a world where lately every where you look you can find "red pen" marks. Whether it is some crisis happening in a country far from ours, from school shootings, or what our current president is doing to help in any situation, why a celebrity who has virtually everything he could want, takes his own life without explanation; why people begin rioting and arguing in cities of what injustice they feel the police are handing out, and it seems like the more we plug in, the more "red pen" marks there are to see.

I believe we need to be the ones to make the world a better place by finding ways we can eliminate those red pen marks in life. We need to step outside our own doors and try to be better neighbors. We need to realize that there are people hurting all around us and all they are searching for is validation that they mean something to anyone. We need to find ways to make this day better by making better choices instead of looking how we can play the blame game alongside everyone else. Choose your side. Take a stand.

We need to unite more and divide less.

We need to realize that people count, not what they may do that may cause us to judge them without knowing all the facts. If you trust the media in any form, to provide that for you, You are sadlybeing led astray.  News sells and they know it. So they will make sure you see only what they want you to see. But every day people are writing different stories that the media never shares. Stories that would show us that the world we live in isn't so bad after all.

I think we need to change our perspectives, open our eyes and change our focus. Lets start focusing on the good instead of the bad, and I guarantee you, we WILL find it.

There are people all around the world looking to make a difference. One that breeds an environment of love and not hate. One that offers joy instead of despair. One that helps instead of hurts. If you truly look hard enough you can find it.

I challenge everyone who reads this to share ONE thing you did to throw out the red pen in the world. Leave a comment below so we can help change people's mind sets about what is happening around us. I know we won't make this world a peaceful place, but perhaps we can shift our minds on things above instead of the evil in the world today. If only for today.

Like Chuck Swindoll so eloquently shared in his devotional this morning, "But I've got a hunch that when the score is added up one day as we stand before our Lord, many of us will wish we'd played a lot more Risk . . . and a lot less Trivial Pursuit." What are you willing to "Risk" today?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Learning to rely on auto pilot!



I'm sure you have heard of auto pilot, the device on planes that allow pilots to walk away from the controls once the plane is steady and level. But I am thinking of another auto pilot. The one that happens but we never think about it.

Today I had to make a run for cat food. My cats aren't able to tolerate grain in their food, it makes them vomit pretty severely, so when they run out, it requires a trip to the pet store not something simple like Target or the grocery store. So I discovered late last night, we were out. The poor things would be letting me know in their obnoxious helpful ways that they were hungry.



So this morning I headed out to the first pet store hoping they would have what I needed. I found the first brand I needed and grabbed a couple of cans of their favorite food as well since it was on sale, but failed to find the exact brand I needed. Yes my cats are picky, creatures of habit and will turn up their nose at anything but what they love. A real pain if you ask me, but I am sucker for what they love.

So that meant that I would need to head a bit further out and go to another pet store about 20 minutes further, but I knew they carried that brand. So to kill some time, I do what my brother usually does and calls me when he is driving to check in and to pass time. Before I knew it I was pulling up at the store, grabbing a shopping cart and locating that brand of cat food. Sure enough, they had it and after paying for it, I resumed my call with my brother for the ride home.

When I got there and unloaded everything and finished my call, I realized, I got home, but don't really remember the drive. I know I stopped at all required red lights, stop signs and kept to the speed limit with using my bluetooth headset, (yes, I like being a safe driver while using my phone), but it dawned on me, I never really remember making all those required turns to make my way home.



Almost like I was on auto pilot.

How many times have you done that before whenever your driving home from some place you've been before and sat back and thought about it. Do you remember your drive home?

No, more than likely, because our brain takes over for us, because it remembers what we need to do without thinking about it!

You know there is going to be a spiritual note behind it all right?

Yes! Definitely, I got it when I was sitting down reading my latest novel, In Perfect Time by Sarah Sundin, who is a complete master at WWII romance stories. I kept running across the word auto pilot and God nudged me to share this message with you. I wasn't sure what to write so God sat me down and I began writing and low and behold you have what you are reading right now.



That the Holy Spirit is a lot like the auto pilot in our lives. As long as we are smooth and level, we go about our day in so many ways, never thinking about some of the choices we make, words we say or routines we go through because we are walking along the narrow road with God.

It's when we try and take back control and do things in our own manner, that we are headed for turbulence. We don't realize the consequences of what we say or do at times, and then are completely shocked by the results asking "where was God in the midst of that"

The answer is simple, we walked away to handle things on our own and in our own power instead of simply letting go and letting God take control of our lives. To go on auto pilot as it were. To help us make the right choices without thinking about it, to say the right things when they need to be said, to encourage someone through the low points of their life and most of all to be able to call up God's Word in a heart beat or to know right where to find it in the Bible.

God truly does know what He doing and the more we can stand beside Him and let Him lead, the easier our flight will be. I'd rather have God be my pilot than co-pilot any day of the week and the more time I spend with Him, the easier my day goes.



So the next time, you find yourself struggling through life, take a step back and ask yourself, just how far you have moved away from God?

Odds are, you know just the right way to get back on target, just don't wait too long before you do!

Proverbs 3:6 " In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight!"

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Restoring Factory Settings



I had the amazing opportunity last night to talk to my dad over the phone for quite awhile actually. We have restored our relationship after not speaking for almost 17 years. Looking back some might say we were both at fault for being at odds for so many years and all that time is lost and can never be regained. I would beg to differ.

I remember something Greg Laurie, pastor at Harvest Church in Riverside, was teaching on, about two differences in sin. A lesser sin and a greater sin. Huh?

Yes, you read that right. There are various forms of things we can do that are sinful, but there are two degrees of how severe they are, one lesser and the other greater.

Meaning you can lie as a believer and lie as an unbeliever. So which sin is greater?

Most would say they are the same, but they aren't.

The believer is held to a high standard because they know better. They are one of God's chosen so they know what they are doing is wrong, while an unbeliever is still undecided about his faith in God. So for us, we are held to a greater measuring stick.

Interesting right? So how does that apply to me and my father?

I found God and my salvation in Jesus Christ when I was 21. Between the those years and where I am now, there is an awful lot of space in between. I fell away but never lost my salvation in God. I was a lost prodigal trying to make my way in the world, trying to do things on my own, but never understanding my true need for God in my life. I can remember those ebbs and flows in my life where I would be completely on fire for God, and then fall away again. Much like the person who is on a walk, and instead of moving forward, falls and refuses to get back up. I didn't lose ground, I just didn't gain ground on those times. My salvation was secure I just wasn't growing in my faith, my relationship with God or my spiritual knowledge.

So when I refused to speak and restore the relationship with my dad, yes we were both at fault, but me, more so than my father. Being a Christian, I am held to a higher accountability than he was. I could make every single excuse in the book, but until I realized I was called to do the right thing and make amends, even if he flat out refused to accept my forgiveness and apology, I was still doing the right thing. (Thanks to Mikey Tribbie for making me realize what I needed to do as a believer!)

So when I called him that first time, on his birthday, he was shocked I'm sure. But I was forever grateful I called. See we don't know when our time here on earth is up, but I know one thing for sure, I want to make sure when I get to Heaven, I have the right answers for what I did with my life for Jesus.

For the last couple of decades, I've done some things for God's glory, but in my opinion, not enough. I need to be a living, breathing example of the power at work of God living in my life, so others can see and be transformed and want that same thing in their own lives.

One day, this world will end and God will restore it when He comes back to judge everyone. Until that time, we have two choices. If you are born once, you will die twice and if you are born twice, you will die once. The choice is yours.

What does this mean?

If you are born once, meaning your physical body being born when you are a baby, and when you die twice, you will physically die and you will face a spiritual death away from God and Heaven.

However, if you are born twice, mean physical body born when you are a baby and then a spiritual rebirth when you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior (the ONLY WAY to heaven by the way!), when you die it will only be your physical body, your spiritual one will live forever in Heaven and with God and the rest of the unbelievers. The choice is simple, the choice is yours and yours alone to make.

No one can do it for you. I hope you make the decision today to be born twice and to die once. I would love to spend an eternity with you as part of the heavenly family. Are you ready to make that commitment?

Here's all you need to do, but it has to be with a sincere heart, meaning you are handing your life, your messes over to God and you're tired of doing things your way. But the great news is that starting today, God will do a factory reset on your life (much like those factory resets on your computer,) and starting today, YOU will be a NEW creation and have an eternal destiny that doesn't involve fire, and torment forever and ever. Here's all you need to do! Pray this prayer!

Lord Jesus,

I know I'm a sinner, but I thank You for dying on the cross for my sins and rising again from the dead. I'm sorry for my sin, Lord, and I turn from it now, and I put my faith in You. To be my Savior, my Lord, my God and my Friend. Thank You, for loving me, and calling me, and accepting me, In Jesus Name, AMEN!!!

That's it? Well, yes and no! You are NOW a new creation and there are some things you need to do to help you on your spiritual walk to become stronger in your faith. Remember what I shared before about being on a walk? You are just beginning yours, you don't want to stop your forward progress, so I have 4 tips for you to make sure you don't fall down and stay down.

1. Begin praying to God. Talk to Him just like you would a friend. He's anxious to hear from you. In fact, He's been watching you this entire time and can't wait to hear your thoughts on everything happening in your life.

2. Read your Bible. If you don't have one, get one! (like Woody would say from Toy Story!) It helps you know more about Jesus, God and what has been happening since the beginning of creation right to the very end of the world. Not sure where to start, begin in the book of John.

3. Find a church! It's like a vitamin B-12 shot and helps keeps you motivated, learning and growing, plus you meet some great people there who are now, part of your new family. And it's growing every day.

4. Tell people. Tell others about your decision today to give your life to God. In fact, I'd love to hear from you so please email me at Stevenkat27@gmail.com and I'd love to pray for you and encourage you in your new walk.