Here Comes the Holidays!

Here Comes the Holidays…

“A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance…” Ecclesiastes 3:4

The Holiday Season is now upon us and with it comes various preparations, traditions, routines, programs, traveling, card sending, letter writing, shopping, purchases, wrappings, decorating, cooking and baking, gatherings and feastings, giving and receiving, clean up and pick up, returns, and exhaustion…Ahh…a time to laugh and a time to weep…:)

The Holidays bring into our lives times of laughter, excitement, and merriment…But, they can also remind us of the more lonely and sadder times within our lives…Not everyone gets to travel. Not every family gathers to feast. Not everyone has the time, health, nor money to shop until they drop. Not every family can purchase and decorate a tree…And, some children may not find that special gift on Christmas morn…And, many families each year are separated by the winds and distant miles of “service unto our country.” And, some are even sadly reflecting upon the recent loss of a loved one…A time to mourn.

Thus, we enter into a season that requires the need for “balance.” We must be careful to “balance” our lives, our purses, our taste buds, our emotions, and our energies during the upcoming days and weeks ahead…

As a child, I could not wait until the holidays to get to spend time at my grandparents’ homes with all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins…To me, that is one of the more valued reasons of the holiday season as well as being thankful and grateful for all that God has provided and done in our lives…But, even I had to accept that our family could not always “gather” as it once had…We live in a different time and mindset than we did back in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s when gathering together with the family had more meaning and opportunities…Today, emails, texts, and Facebook have taken over traditional gatherings around the table or sitting in front of the fireplace with loved ones…But, don’t get me wrong…I’m very thankful to be able to see pictures and hear from family members whom I cannot be with in person…So, I, too, must be careful to keep my own emotions in check and in balance…Keeping focused on the truer and real meaning of the Holidays…A Time to slow down, stop, reflect, and be Thankful to our Creator for all of our Blessings

This Holiday Season I wish everyone a time of “balance” as they carry out and conduct their own traditions and customs…But, most importantly, I wish everyone “JESUS” into their hearts and lives. For Jesus is the Reason for the Season…. Christmas is ALL about JESUS; a time to celebrate the greatest birth on Earth; the greatest display of God’s Love towards sinful man…

This season, let’s not allow “all” the others activities and wishes in our lives to rob us of the true meaning of the Season…A time to reflect upon Elohim God, Mighty Owner of Earth; Jehovah God the Great I Am; Emmanuel God being interpreted, “God is With Us…” And, if God be for us, who can be against us.” Now, that’s something to truly celebrate!! A time to dance…
Amen…

For me, the Holidays and “EVERYDAY” are a summary of John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that HE gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting Life, for God sent not His son into the world to condemn it, but that the world through Him might be saved.” Hallelujah, Amen! Thank you Jesus for this Holiday Season…For Without You where would I be?….

And, on that note…Happy Forthcoming Holiday Season!

Remember, God Loves You!
Lin T Rollins, Author

A Month of Thanksgiving

A Month of Thanksgiving…

Like so many others on Facebook, I, too, joined in on writing about “something” or “someone” that I am thankful. For day one, November 1st, I wrote that I am thankful for God and the Gift of Life. Too many times we forget that “life” itself is a very precious gift.

I think of the countless number of babies who die before they even get to take their first breath; either by natural cause or sadly by the hands of a mother who chose to abort her pregnancy. I have two siblings who died before birth and one grand baby. All were the victims of spontaneous miscarriages during the first trimester. I can recall the grief that my mother felt after losing two babies. As a result of the two miscarriages, she was not able to bear anymore children, so I am an only child. But, one day I will joyously meet face to face my two siblings who have been living this entire time with Jesus.

And, I have one precious grand baby living in Heaven who will one day meet her two earthly sisters as well. One day, the Family Circle of Life will never again be broken. No more miscarriages or deaths of tiny, innocent babies. This is why “life” for those of us who have been blessed to be physically born should never, never be taken for granted; no matter our circumstances.

Life is a gift and one that should be honored and respected. And, one very good way to honor and respect our lives is to Honor and Respect the ONE who gave us life; God. A few weeks ago I was at the doctor’s office for a check-up. While I was waiting for the doctor to come in I intently looked at a poster of a human body with all of its many bones, organs, muscles, veins, and arteries; quite a complex sight to say the least. I thought to myself how can anyone not believe in God? How can anyone believe that man just “evolved” from some sort of particle or other species of life? No; no, my friend, the human body is very cleverly and intelligently designed…each part working together to make a whole body. There is absolutely no way under the sun that “life” just happened!

The ONLY explanation for the complex and multifaceted design of a human being is found in the Bible in the book of Genesis, chapter one, “In the beginning, God…” For me, that settles it all! Life itself is a precious and well-designed plan directly spoken, made, and formed by God. And, since I didn’t have to do one thing to receive it; it is a Gift!

Life is the finest gift anyone can ever possess. And, what makes this “first” physical life so fine, valuable, and important? Because, it gives me and any one else the opportunity to Trust God as our personal Savior through Jesus Christ to inherit eternal Life! (John 3:16)…As a result, my life is a life that will keep on keeping on even after I leave this present walk of life…Oh, what a Gift of Life is mine!

I pray that you treasure and value this Gift of Life as well and that you have trusted in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior; so that your life in HIM will never end…Amen…

Remember, God Loves You!
Lin T Rollins, Author

Time to Smell the Roses…

Time to Smell the Roses

Question: Which do you spend most of your time smelling? Roses? Or, the disgusting odors of life?”

Face it…Life happens, and when it does it can bring about some of the most disgusting odors a person can imagine. I have come to the conclusion that many people have been sadly “conditioned” to spend most of their days and nights smelling the disgusting odors of life rather than the nicer, more pleasant aromas of life. There’s a really good point I want to make in this blog but it might get a little stinky along the way! Hold your nose if you must, but I believe it will be worth the effort!

God designed man and beast alike to digest and eliminate those things that enter into the body; both liquids and solids. However, the discarded waste can carry with it intolerable, lingering and disgusting odors. No one actually prefers to stay around disgusting, lingering, stinking odors, but unfortunately they tend to occur or happen each and every day of our lives…either of our own makings, or of someone else’s. I think you get the picture.

Life as we know it can become a metaphor to such occurrences…Sometimes, life just stinks…we can’t help it…it just happens…The sad thing is that life, at times, can stink so much, and what seems like for so long, that we become accustomed to the odor and we just start living in it…Other people can smell it, but we have become so immune to its disgusting smell that it becomes a part of who we are. The odor settles on our clothes and into our garments…Everywhere we go the intolerable odor goes with us…People begin to notice it…They back off…They shy away…They eventually stop coming around…We are eventually left alone and really don’t understand why. Because, we simply do not notice or recognize the odor any longer that surrounds us. It has become a part of our life; who we are…How truly sad when this happens.

Life’s odors come in a variety of shapes and sizes…Misery; defeat; anger; depression; bitterness; unforgiveness; hate; malice; resentment; jealousies, unreal expectations, perfection, disappointments; set-backs; sickness and diseases; losses; financial disasters; divorce; miscarriages; wayward children; estranged relationships; unexpected change of directions within our lives; or days when it simply rains on our planned picnics or parades…Life, as we know it, can stink…Life happens.

But, don’t forget…God designed mankind to get “rid” of those things that enter “into” our lives; even those things that can and often do bring harm into our lives. Face it, if we don’t get rid of the digested liquids and solid foods that we ingest into our mouths, we will eventually, and very quickly at times, die…The same is true when “life’s odors” linger in our lives…they can make us very sick, toxic, and eventually die…Depression, and all of its ugly “cousins,” is one of life’s odors that can poison our minds and bodies to the point of death. Oh, the awful and terrible odor of depression, anxiety, fears, concerns, and worries…

What are we to do? The answer is quite simple, but it does take “effort” on our part…We learn to use God’s AIR FRESHENERS to rid our lives of the lingering odors that have occurred; some from our own makings and some from others. Just like the many fragrances we can purchase at the store to spruce up our homes, God has provided different fragrances as well to spruce up our lives…The fragrances of “Gratefulness,” “Forgiveness,” “Understanding,” “Kindness,” “Respect and Honor,” “Love,” “Joy,” and “Peace that Passes All Understanding” (One of my favorite aromas!) are available to us…God’s Word is filled with fragrances that can and will eliminate those old nasty odors of life that spoil our days and nights and keep us from “smelling the roses” of life!

It’s your choice…You can continue living in the lingering odors of “life” as it happens or grab a can of God’s Air Freshener and Spray, Spray, Spray until the odors are all gone…Just remember one very important point…As long as we live in this life we will encounter odors of all sorts and natures, but it’s our choice if we wish to hang around those toxic odors too long or spray them away with God’s unique and patented design Holy Air Fresheners manufactured and shipped to us straight from Heaven’s Door!!!

There’s a huge market today that uses “aroma therapy” to reduce all kinds of stresses and promote relaxation…As the Bible teaches, “There’s nothing new under the sun.” (Ecc. 3)…God has known from the beginning of time that toxic odors can and will foul up our lives and turn them into sewage drains…No one wants to live next to a sewage drain! The Old Testament is filled with examples of God’s people offering sacrifices of, “Sweet smelling Savors,” unto God…I don’t know about you, but I have some de-odorizing to do in my own life…It’s time to get rid of the toxic odors and fill my life with God’s Holy Air Fresheners…Yes; It’s Time to Smell the Roses!

Remember, God Loves You!
Lin T Rollins, Author

A Grateful Heart…

A Grateful Heart…

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (I Thessalonians 5:18 KJV)

One definition for the word, Grateful, is to possess a thankful disposition toward one for whom favor has been shown. Well, favor has certainly been shown towards mankind by our Creator God. Therefore, it would stand to reason that we, as recipients, should possess a heart of “Gratefulness.” However, sadly, I feel that too many “Believers,” followers of Christ Jesus, fail to possess and maintain a heart of committed “Gratefulness.” I realize that it’s not always easy to be “thankful” for everything within our lives, especially when mixed with painful, harmful, and hurtful things…But, God teaches us to “Give Thanks in All Things for this is God’s Will in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Possessing and maintaining a “Grateful” heart requires Faith in believing that God is working all things (both good and bad) for the “good” of those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28). Not that all things are “good,” but that God, in his time, will work all things for the “good” of His purpose and plan for our lives. That’s not always easy to accept; especially when tragedy strikes. But, I have seen people who have been able to climb above their circumstances to Praise God in the midst of all kinds of major trials, defeat, persecutions, and pain…A heart of “gratefulness.” Too many times a lack of “gratefulness” leads to feelings of depression and victimization. Without a grateful heart a person can start feeling way too sorry for themselves and the circumstances they may be facing at the time. Only a “grateful” heart can bring one’s mind out of self-centeredness; even in the midst of turmoil. Possessing a “grateful” heart is like showers of rain on a desert land…It brings refreshing waters into our lives. If we really want to walk in Joy and Peace with God we must learn to protect and guard our hearts against all kinds of wrongful deeds, bitterness, hate, malice, and unforgivness. One of the best weapons or tools for Spiritual warfare against such attacks is to be “Grateful” unto God for the amazing favor He has shown in His Love for us through His Son, Jesus Christ…Today, I encourage you to seek out a “grateful” heart…Realizing that without God none of us would have one single thing in this life; or even life itself…I am grateful for a grateful heart towards my loving Savior. Amen.

Remember, God Loves You.
Lin T Rollins, Author

God’s Peace…

God’s Peace
Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)

There is a formula to finding daily peace; and it’s not always easy to follow. It requires Faith; and sometimes even Greater Faith. But, without Faith, it is impossible to please God. The Bible teaches us to carry “everything” to God in prayer by Faith; not just some things, but everything. Also, as we pray, there is an attitude of “thanksgiving” (gratefulness) that we are to possess as we present our petitions to God.

Using the above formula, it appears that there are three things that will rob a Christian of God’s Peace that passes all understanding…Lack of Faith, Lack of Prayer, and Lack of Thanksgiving. The Bible teaches, “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (or doubting). For he that wavers (doubts) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” Oh, how I can attest to the fact that when my faith is weak and doubts it feels as if I am on a roller coaster of waves! But, the Bible teaches, “We are to walk (live) by faith not by sight. (2 Cor. 5:7). The Spiritual realm of life is the exact opposite of the physical realm. In the physical world we walk by sight, but in the Spiritual realm we walk by Faith; “The substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things NOT yet seen.” (Hebrews 11:1). By Faith, we know that “all things work together for the good of those who Love the Lord.” (Romans 8:28) Not that ALL things are good, but by Faith we know that “all” things are working out within our lives according to God’s purpose and plan.

The next part of the formula is Prayer. The Bible teaches us to, “Pray without ceasing.” (I Thessalonians 5:17). Prayer is simply communication with God. Instead of talking out our problems, needs, and concerns to everyone else, we talk to God about them on a regular, continuous, daily basis. As the old Gospel hymns declares, “Sweet Hour of Prayer.” We may live in a technology-driven society, but there’s never been a greater source of communication than Prayer!

Finally, our formula for Peace teaches us to maintain a heart of “Thanksgiving.” A thankful heart is a grateful and humble heart that places God on the throne of our lives instead of selfish or self-centered motives.
As I get older, I want to guard the Peace of God within my life even greater. Just this past week, I had some developments occur that immediately tried to rob me of Peace. After a day or two being filled with anxieties, the Holy Spirit reminded me of God’s Peace that passes “all” understanding. After I examined my heart, I realized that I was lacking in Faith, Prayer, and Thanksgiving. Once, I entered into my prayer-closet and poured out my heart before God, His Peace took over. Ah, Wonderful Peace! The issue is not resolved, but God is in control and He will bring it to pass according to His will and purpose. Now, I can face the day in God’s Peace.

Author’s Note: Today’s blog is copied from a weekly newspaper article that I write for The Dallas New Era located in Dallas, Georgia.

Remember, God Loves You,
Lin T Rollins, Author

New Mercy…

New Mercy….

Because of the LORD’s great Love we are not consumed,
for his Compassions never fail. They are new every morning;
Great is your Faithfulness. Lamentations 3: 22-23.

Have you ever really sat down and pondered the overwhelmingly unmerited, unwarranted, and abundant amount of God’s rich and gracious MERCY (God’s great love and compassion) that HE extends upon our lives each day? If so, it staggers the imagination, heart, and mind. The Bible teaches us that His Mercies are NEW every morning….New; brand New…never before used…right off the shelf of God’s own heart each and every new morning! An ever abundant new supply every day!
Most of God’s mercy directed towards us goes totaling unnoticed by common man. It’s much like involuntary functions of our body. We don’t always focus upon the beats of our heart or the breaths of our lungs…But, oh, how we could not survive without them! Let our heart skip a beat or we suddenly gasp for breath and we are immediately reminded of their significance and importance in our lives.

God’s mercy is like that, too. When we suddenly feel as if we are not surrounded by it, we panic. We become fearful and afraid of what might happen to us. Yet, on most days we walk around not even noticing how MERCY is walking right beside us each step of the way. God’s love and mercy have saved both you; you and me. And, His favor is upon our lives….It’s not GOD who walks away forgetting to shower us with His Mercy in times of troubles and despair…It is us who walks away forgetting that we ARE showered with His mercy continually; no matter our circumstances or situation! Mercy is new each morning!

Today, mercy is upon me much like air circulating within and through my lungs. And, it is upon you as well if you are a child of God’s. As a matter of fact, the entire world, approximately 6.5 billion, whether it believes in or doesn’t believe in God or in His existence, enjoys the blessings and benefits from God’s Mercy each and every day…Life as we know it would not, and could not, exist without or outside of God’s daily Mercy…

Let us never fail to recognize God’s new mercy upon our lives each day. Let us never forget to be grateful and thankful for our FAITHFUL, LOVING, COMPASSIONATE GOD who loves us with HIS new mercy each morning…Oh, how loving our God truly is…Let’s Praise HIM for HIS daily, new MERCY!

Remember, God Loves You!
Lin T Rollins, Author

Joseph’s Prison…

Joseph’s Prison…

In the book of Genesis, chapter thirty-nine, we learn that Joseph was taken “DOWN” to Egypt where he was sold as a slave to Potiphar, a captain in Pharoah’s mighty army.

Joseph was Jacob’s 11th son; the first son born unto Jacob by his beloved wife Rachel.  Because Jacob loved Rachel better than he loved his other wife and concubines, he loved and favored his son, Joseph, more than his other ten sons.  Scripture also teaches us that Rachel birthed a younger son unto Jacob as well; Benjamin (Genesis 46:19).  Thus, the Twelve Tribes of Jacob (Israel) were established.

Joseph was known as a “Dreamer.” And, he loved sharing his dreams with his older half-brothers.  Although, they did not receive his dreams nor his “favored” life so well. In one dream, he told how his brothers would one day bow down to him.  This, of course, angered his older half-brothers. So, they decided to get “even” with their “dreaming” younger brother!

As opportunity presented itself one day, as the brothers were out hunting, the older boys took hold of Joseph and lowered him into a nearby “pit.”  While discussing what to do next, something went terribly wrong…A group of traveling merchants on their way to Egypt saw Joseph in the pit.  So, they pulled Joseph up from the pit and took him with them.  When they arrived at the market place in Egypt, they sold Joseph into slavery…His buyer was none other than Potiphar.

As the story unfolds, we find that during Joseph’s enslaved years of service to Potiphar, that Potiphar’s wife became attracted to Joseph and tempted him to commit an affair with her.  However, Joseph, being filled with godly, moral character and goodness, refused. As a result, the now “rejected,” scorned wife immediately accused Joseph of trying to seduce her.  So, she screamed out for prison guards.  Joseph was immediately arrested and thrown into prison where he remained for many, many years for a crime he did not commit.

Figuratively speaking, have you ever felt as if you were thrown into “prison” for a crime you did not commit?  Have you ever felt you were being unfairly mistreated?  Wrongly judged?  Misunderstood?  Falsely accused?  Falsely represented?  Rejected? Betrayed?  Or,  Wronged? ….  I know I certainly have!  Even though our circumstances may be quite different from Joseph’s, at one time or another we have all been cast into our own custom-made, “Joseph’s Prison.”

Even with today’s modern-day jail systems, no one wishes to be in “prison.”  The first thing a prisoner learns about prison life is that their individual RIGHTS have been revoked and their lives are now dictated by guards and prison officials.  Prisoners are stripped of their freedoms until released and pardoned.  At times, that’s exactly how it feels when a Christian is suffering through one of life’s many trials.  It’s seem that Satan and his group of demons have stripped us of our RIGHTS and freedoms!  We feel helpless and even somewhat hopeless at times as the “trial” washes day-after-day across our lives much like pounding waves upon the sea-shore.

However, the one thing that simply amazes me about Joseph’s situation and circumstances, as well as the character of Joseph, is his persistent FAITH in God.  He knew that no matter his circumstances, NOTHING could separate him from the LOVE of his natural father, Jacob, nor the LOVE of his Heavenly Father, God.  Almost like Job, Joseph stood the test.

Possibly, in Joseph’s upbringing, Jacob had read the story of Job to his sons helping to empower their FAITH and to build a stronger more sustaining HOPE in God.  As a result, Joseph APPLIED the teachings of God’s unfailing LOVE into his own personal circumstances that eventually brought forth amazing results!!  Amen…Do I hear a PRAISE in the house!! Oh, yea!

Nonetheless, possessing such an amazing “sustaining” Faith is not always an easy thing to do; especially for people like myself who struggle with the ideologies of “unconditional” love.  When you were “raised” or “brought up” on receiving “love” or supportive “acclamations” based upon performance, or “performance-based,” it takes a life time to fully accept and understand God’s amazing, unconditional Love.  The very first song I ever wrote, at the age of twelve, is called, “God’s Love.”  “God’s Love has found a new home. God’s Love has found a new home. I opened up my heart and let God come in. God’s Love has found a new home.”    Even at the young, tender age of twelve, I knew first-hand that there was something completely new and different about God’s love than any other type of love I had ever experienced thus far in life.

So, let me ask you this question:  Is it possible, even today, for a Christian to be imprisoned within a spiritual battle and still maintain, sense, trust, and have faith and hope in God’s unconditional Love no matter the circumstances; as both Job and Joseph?  You decide…

This morning, as I pondered the above question, I began to think about how some people place their sense of “value” and “self-worth” upon external conditions. If they are surrounded by people whom they love and trust as well as love and trust them back, they feel “valued” and their self-worth soars.  Happy. Happy. Happy.  However, when the opposite presents itself and they are surrounded by people who are not so “in love” with them or their ways, they plummet down the mountainside into a pattern of low self-esteem and no-worth-value; whatsoever….It just shouldn’t be this way; especially for the Believer!!

Of course, some people, no matter their outward circumstances or situations seem to be able to maintain a well-balanced sense of “value” and “self-worth” no matter what… They find their “self-worth” from an internal component, hopefully based upon the Love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  For these people they do NOT value themselves based upon “eyes,” “ears,” “actions,” and “reactions” of others. They do not allow their self-value to become distorted based upon the feelings or accolades orf others…A well-balanced life of moderation!

Sadly and unfortunately, the first group of “responders” tend to bounce back and forth much like a bowie between feeling good about themselves and feelings of inadequacies; like being on a continuous see-saw…One day “up” and the next day “down.”  Their self-worth “freedoms” have been taken away much like being in a “prison.” Inner feelings of self-worth are based upon external conditions… Sad and tragic.

Joseph is a good example for ALL of us to follow…His self-worth and self-value were not based upon his external circumstances but his relationship with his FATHER; God.  It mattered not that he had been thrown into the pit by his brothers, kidnapped by traveling salesmen, and eventually sent away to ROT within the prison walls of life for a crime he did not commit….His heart remained secured…He was his Father’s son and that’s all that mattered to him…And, when time and opportunity finally came into Joseph’s life to prove that point; he did just that…He fully demonstrated his LOVE back to both his Heavenly Father and his earthly father…As through Joseph, Israel and all of their families were saved during a very dark and barren time in the history of Jacob and his twelve sons.  Oh, thanks be unto God for Joseph’s faith, hope, strength, and unconditional Love for the Father!

Today, you may be pacing back and forth inside your own mental prison.  Please don’t fret; take courage and keep the Faith, For God So love you that he gave his only begotten Son to die for you (John 3:16).  He also promises that He will never leave nor forsake you though the waters rage and the tempest roar.  He, GOD, is the Great Comforter who will be with you and me until the end.  He is Alpha and Omega the Almighty God and HIS LOVE is higher and far, far exceeds our every thought and imagination….So, Christian, Lift Up Thy Head, our promised Redemption draweth nigh….Amen.

Remember, God DOES LOVE YOU!

Lin T Rollins, Author

@copyright by Lin T Rollins 2012