Friday, September 17, 2021

You Can’t Hide Sin From God

We have a tendency to want others to perceive us in a certain way.  For example we often don’t want others to know the struggles we have in our lives with sin. We do our best to cover up these things. As far as other people are concerned we try to “pull the wool over their eyes”, as the old expression goes. 

While we may be able to hide sin from others and live each day as if all is well with us spiritually, the truth is we know better than that. More importantly, God knows better than that. 



There are times we may even try to convince ourselves that everything is fine with us. Sometimes we even try to justify the sin in our lives. The fact is, deep down in our heart we know better. As the above picture shows, it is ridiculous to even think we can hide sin from God. 

There are many Scriptures that deal with sin. One that comes to mind really encapsulates the thoughts in this blog post.

Numbers 32:23 CSB

But if you don't do this, you will certainly sin against the LORD; be sure your sin will catch up with you.

Whether or not others discover your sin, your sin will catch up with you. Don’t even consider the possibility of dabbling in sin. Sin cannot be tamed, outrun or shaken off. No matter how well you think you are hiding sin in your life your sin will catch up with you.

If you have sin in your life there is forgiveness. Isn’t that great to know? Let me share a couple of Scriptures about that.

1 John 1:9 CSB

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


1 John 2:1-2 CSB

[1] My little children, I am writing you these things so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father-Jesus Christ the righteous one. [2] He himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world.

The only one who wins when we attempt to hide sin is the one who tempts us to sin - old smutty-face himself - the devil. 

We should not give the devil a foothold in our lives in any way, shape or form. Give him an inch and he will take a mile. Paul, the apostle, when writing to the church at Ephesus instructed them not to give the devil an opportunity (Ephesians 4:27). Don’t even give him a chance  

If you are a Christian you are on the winning side! God has provided for us everything we need to walk in victory and live a victorious Christian life. Let’s do it.

Until next time...enjoy the journey,


Ray

Thanks for taking your time to read and share this blog. If you know of someone who would be encouraged by this blog, please feel free to forward  a link or use the icons below to repost or forward this blog.

Check out my website at www.rayspellbrink.com





Friday, September 10, 2021

It’s All About What You Are Made Of

Have you ever asked someone how they are doing and they respond, “I’m doing okay under the circumstances”. “Circumstances is defined as “facts or conditions connected with or relevant to an event or action”.

I believe character and integrity is extremely important. I also believe our faith and trust in God is vital to the believer. 

Let’s face it, we all face challenges on our journey through life. How we respond to these challenges - whether they be trials, valleys, heartaches, tempatations or whatever else it may be - will be determined by our character and integrity. The means we use in responding to these things is our faith and trust in God.  



You may very well encounter some things on your journey that will soften your heart to a particular situation or person. On the other hand you may encounter some things that harden you or toughen you up. It’s ironic, as the above saying tells us, the same things that soften us can also toughen us. Both are needful in the life of every believer. 

I encourage you to look for the lessons God has for you when you are facing things you’d rather not face in your life. Don’t throw yourself a pity party and become so eager to get out of the tough times that you overlook and miss the lesson.

Keep your chin up and your focus on Jesus.

Until next time...enjoy the journey,


Ray

Thanks for taking your time to read and share this blog. If you know of someone who would be encouraged by this blog, please feel free to forward  a link or use the icons below to repost or forward this blog.

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Friday, September 3, 2021

Rock Bottom

Have you ever experienced a time in your life when you feel you have hit “rock bottom”? It seems everything you set your hand to do falls apart? Your life is a mess. Maybe you have even asked yourself, “What else could go wrong?”  



I do believe there is often a purpose for these times. None of us likes going through these severe times. I know I have been at this point in my own life in the past. Not a fun time.

Maybe you find yourself at rock bottom now. You feel like you are at the end of your rope. You might be facing serious trials or heartache. You may feel no one understands what you are going through. Perhaps you feel unloved. Maybe you feel you don’t deserve to be loved by anybody - even by God. 

I once heard someone say, “When you get to the end of your rope tie a knot in it hold on tight and swing.” You see, God does love you. You have worth. There is a way out. 

Remember, sometimes God let’s you hit rock bottom so that you realize that He is the Rock at the bottom. Stand on Jesus, the Solid Rock! Build your faith on Him. It’s about a solid relationship with Jesus firsthand foremost. Everything else is secondary. 

Until next time...enjoy the journey,


Ray

Thanks for taking your time to read and share this blog. If you know of someone who would be encouraged by this blog, please feel free to forward  a link or use the icons below to repost or forward this blog.

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Friday, August 27, 2021

Messed Up People

Have you ever crossed paths with someone professing to be a Christian who thinks they are better than others? Yeah, me too.

They don’t want to be bothered with “messed up” people. They are “religious” people who often look down their noses at these “messed up” people. They tend to only want to be around people much like themselves.  

It makes you wonder what Jesus would say about this behavior. Well, actually, we do not have to wonder. Jesus took on this subject head on.




There is a great analogy of this found in a New Testament parable Jesus shared.

Luke 10:25-37 CSB

[25] Then an expert in the law stood up to test him, saying, "Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" [26] "What is written in the law?" he asked him. "How do you read it?" [27] He answered, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind," and "your neighbor as yourself." [28] "You've answered correctly," he told him. "Do this and you will live." [29] But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" [30] Jesus took up the question and said, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him, beat him up, and fled, leaving him half dead. [31] A priest happened to be going down that road. When he saw him, he passed by on the other side. [32] In the same way, a Levite, when he arrived at the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. [33] But a Samaritan on his journey came up to him, and when he saw the man, he had compassion. [34] He went over to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on olive oil and wine. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. [35] The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, 'Take care of him. When I come back I'll reimburse you for whatever extra you spend.' [36] "Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?" [37] "The one who showed mercy to him," he said. Then Jesus told him, "Go and do the same."

Here we see Jesus illustrates this quite simply. The religious leaders crossed over to the other side of the street to avoid having to deal with a “messed up” person. They didn’t want to take the time or put forth the effort to deal with this messy situation. In essence, they did not want to get involved. 

It was the Samaritan who had compassion and stopped to help the distressed man. Keep in mind Samaritans we’re considered “half-breeds” and were looked down upon by the Jews of the day. Yet it was the Samaritan who seen a need, stopped to help plus payed what was considered two months wages to the innkeeper. Upon his departure he told the innkeeper to take care of the man and he would settle up any other expenses when he came back through  

How about us? Do we take time for “messed up” people? If our paths crossed someone in need will we stop and tend to them? Will love them and be Jesus to them? It brings to mind a chorus to a song:

Oh to be His hand extended

Reaching out to the oppressed

Let me touch Him, Let me touch Jesus

So that others may know and be blessed 

  

Until next time...enjoy the journey,


Ray

Thanks for taking your time to read and share this blog. If you know of someone who would be encouraged by this blog, please feel free to forward  a link or use the icons below to repost or forward this blog.

Check out my website at www.rayspellbrink.com

 

 


 




Friday, August 20, 2021

Is It Time To Move Forward?

So often we fail to move forward or even move on to things God has in store for us. As a rule, many people don’t like change. We are comfortable with the way things are. We don’t want to have to step outside of our comfort zone even if we know we should.



It’s very possible God will close doors that we are trying our best to keep open. He wants to move us onto bigger and better things but He knows until the current door closes we won’t budge. The bottom line is the current door must shut if we are going to move forward with God. 

If you find yourself in this situation today allow God to close the current door and move on in Him. The next door - the next opportunity - God has in store for you will amaze you. Everything God does is amazing and will have amazing results if we walk through the door He is opening for us. I know these things to be true as I speak from personal experience.

While the transition may be challenging for those who resist change, the reward and outcome will be worth it all. God knows what He’s doing. Trust Him!

Until next time...enjoy the journey,


Ray

Thanks for taking your time to read and share this blog. If you know of someone who would be encouraged by this blog, please feel free to forward  a link or use the icons below to repost or forward this blog.

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Friday, August 13, 2021

God Has A Plan

I’m a firm believer that God has a plan for every individual. I have believed this for many years  I have shared this with many people.   




I think many of us often have preconceived notions of what that plan looks like God has for us. We attempt to confine God to a box of what we think He wants for us. By doing so we limit God’s ability to fully reveal His plan for us. You see, we can limit what God does in our lives. We see examples of that in the Bible. 

We serve an “outside the box” God. We look for Him to reveal His plan for our lives in conventional ways. We don’t look outside the box. By doing this we can miss God’s leading, will and plan for our lives.


Jeremiah 29:11 CSB

For I know the plans I have for you"-this is the LORD's declaration-"plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.


God knows the plan He has in mind  for each of us. It’s a plan taylor-made for us. God is well aware of our gifts, personality traits and our quirks. In fact He often uses these things to accomplish His plan and purpose in our lives.

It doesn’t matter how young or old you are. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, educated or uneducated, an extrovert or an introvert, have good health or bad health - God has a plan for you!

The plan God has for each of us is for our own well being. His purpose is to give us a purposeful future that is full of hope.

I encourage you to look “outside the box” and see what God has for you. Embrace God’s plan for you. You will find no greater joy than knowing God’s plan and being in the center of His will.


Until next time...enjoy the journey,


Ray

Thanks for taking your time to read and share this blog. If you know of someone who would be encouraged by this blog, please feel free to forward  a link or use the icons below to repost or forward this blog.

Check out my website at www.rayspellbrink.com





Friday, August 6, 2021

Leave The Drama Behind

 We live in a day of division.  Bitterness and anger run rampant among friends, families, co-workers, churches and even countries. We are certainly seeing more than our share of it in the USA. I have never seen a more divided time than what we are experiencing today. It’s heartbreaking and sad to see what is going on and how this division is impacting all those involved.

People and people groups get their feelings hurt far too easily these days. Political correctness is running amuck. It’s crazy! Everywhere you look there is drama. Sometimes it even turns dangerous and deadly.


I do agree with the above. I have never been one to like drama. I don’t like it in families, work places, churches or my country. Frankly, I don’t see the point. I am aware of the old adage, “The squeaky wheel gets the greased”. Many start drama and carry on until they get their way. How sad. What a miserable life they must have.

I learned a long time ago to walk away from drama and the people who start it. I still love and care about these people but I want no part of the lifestyle of drama they have chosen for themselves. 

I choose, rather, to be around people who are a positive influence. People who bring a smile to my face. People who make me laugh. People who are there to lean on when times are tough. You know, people you enjoy being around.

As for the drama queens, I will certainly pray for them that they, too, will be free from their self imposed bondage. If you are one of them, come and walk with me - away from the drama. Life is, indeed, too short to be anything less than happy. 

Until next time...enjoy the journey,


Ray

Thanks for taking your time to read and share this blog. If you know of someone who would be encouraged by this blog, please feel free to forward  a link or use the icons below to repost or forward this blog.

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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Modern Religion Vs The True Gospel

There is much emphasis on numbers these days. This is especially true in churches. Actually, it has been this way in institutional churches for as long as I can remember. It’s all about the numbers. If a group of pastors gather at a meeting or conference it’s going to come up in conversation in short order. “How large is your church?” Or “How many do you have in your church?” I’ve been asked this question every time I attended a pastor’s meeting. 

We like to say numbers are important to the extent that each number represents a soul who will spend eternity in heaven or hell. I agree wholeheartedly with this statement. However, I do not believe I was asked this question, at least in most cases, for such a noble reason. My observation was more along the lines of importance and ego. The more people a particular pastor has in his church the more important he is and the greater his ego. The fewer people you have the less important you are to the work of God.  


I like what AW Tozer said here. I believe he hit the nail on the head. Today’s modern religion has been brought down to mere numbers. Oftentimes in order to get the big numbers it entails a watered-down version of the gospel, worldly music and antics and celebrities. By compromising they can fill a building. 

Preaching and teaching the true gospel to receptive hearts will fill people with God. This is substance for tough times. This will give them victory. This enables them to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. This looks different than the “big worldly churches” that so many flock to. 

I so enjoy the free expression of God’s church in whatever shape or form it takes and wherever it happens. Remember, WE are the church. When we gather, wonderful things happen. It matters not if you gather in a dedicated building, a park, a restaurant, someone’s home or backyard. It’s also important each person gathering has the opportunity to have input should they so desire and be moved by the Holy Spirit to do so. 

I believe, without a doubt, God’s church is an “outside the box” group of believers who love God and love one another. This group of believers desire more of God and to grow in His grace. This group of believers has the true gospel that emphasizes filling others with God. 

Don’t be fooled by modern religion. Don’t become complacent by the modern gospel. Rather, let’s make Jesus the center of all we do. Let’s give Him place to work on us and through us. Let’s put forth the true gospel and see others filled with God. Let’s do it for the glory of God. 

Until next time...enjoy the journey,


Ray

Thanks for taking your time to read and share this blog. If you know of someone who would be encouraged by this blog, please feel free to forward  a link or use the icons below to repost or forward this blog.

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Friday, July 23, 2021

Running People Away From Church



I wonder how many times people attending an institutional church are made to feel unwelcome? Maybe they don’t know all the man-made rules and regulations. Perhaps they say something that’s wrong but they are unaware of it. Maybe it’s the way they dress. They don’t measure up to others’ expectations. 

How many times have you had someone look down their nose at you? I’ve been on the receiving end of this. I had not been saved too long. I was a product of the church bus ministry. I didn’t look right, act right or even smell right. I won’t even mention how I dressed in those days. I grew up poor. We didn’t even have a car. Many saw nothing worthwhile in me. To some I was just a nuisance. Thank God I didn’t allow people to deter me. My faith and hope was in Jesus.

I could have given up. I could have said, why bother? There are many others in institutional churches all over who can relate to me. There are those who have experienced the same things I have - or even worse - where they worship.

“Church folk” are notorious for running people off from church. This is a sad truth. If they don’t repent of this they will have to give account for each person they ran off. 

Another sad truth is some find far more camaraderie and fellowship from the world than they do the church. The world can be far more forgiving than the institutional church with its legalistic ways. 


Sure it would have been good if the man in the above story had turned his phone down before the service began. It was an accident. He simply forgot. He even felt bad about it. Plus the people “beating him up” over it. Was that really called for? I’ve been in church services where phones have gone off. The attitudes of those in that so-called group of church people chased this man away and right into the accepting arms of the world. 

Take a moment to read the “Lesson” again in the story above. Don’t let this be said about you. I pray it is never said about me. 

Until next time...enjoy the journey,


Ray

Thanks for taking your time to read and share this blog. If you know of someone who would be encouraged by this blog, please feel free to forward  a link or use the icons below to repost or forward this blog.

Check out my website at www.rayspellbrink.com


Thursday, July 15, 2021

From One “Bummer” Sheep To Another

      This was posted on a group I belong to  it was verified by several who are shepherds or who work with sheep. There is nothing more for me to add. Please read the story and see the beauty of our relationship with Jesus, the Great Shepherd.

***

    Every once in a while, a ewe will give birth to a lamb and reject it. If the lamb is returned to the ewe, the mother may even kick the poor animal away. Once a ewe rejects one of her lambs, she will never change her mind.

     These little lambs will hang their heads so low that it looks like something is wrong with its neck. Their spirit is broken. These lambs are called “bummer lambs.” 

    Unless the shepherd intervenes, that lamb will die, rejected and alone. So, do you know what the shepherd does? He takes that rejected little one into his home, hand-feeds it and keeps it warm by the fire. He will wrap it up with blankets and hold it to his chest so the “bummer” can hear his heartbeat.

     Once the lamb is strong enough, the shepherd will place it back in the field with the rest of the flock. But that sheep never forgets how the shepherd cared for him when his mother rejected him. 

    When the shepherd calls for the flock, guess who runs to him first? That is right, the “bummer” sheep. He knows his voice intimately. It is not that the bummer lamb is loved more, it just knows intimately the one who loves it. 




      So many of us are “bummer” lambs, rejected and broken. But He is the good Shepherd. He cares for our every need and holds us close to His heart so we can hear His heart beat. We may be broken but we are deeply loved by the Shepherd.

From one bummer sheep to another… I love you! ♥️

Until next time...enjoy the journey,


Ray

Thanks for taking your time to read and share this blog. If you know of someone who would be encouraged by this blog, please feel free to forward  a link or use the icons below to repost or forward this blog.

Check out my website at www.rayspellbrink.com

Friday, July 9, 2021

Six Reasons Why You Should Trust God


 
We often have difficulty trusting God. Sometimes we can trust Him for the little things. We say we trust Him for the things we control in our lives. It’s like we do things that are within our wherewithal and then give God credit for them. Here’s a news flash - God doesn’t need us to “fix” things for Him so He can have the credit. He doesn’t need us to make Him look good.

He simply wants us to trust Him. All we need to do is trust Him! And before you ask, yes it really is that simple. To prove this point let’s go over these “Six Reasons Why You Should Trust God”.

First, God knows you by name. How cool is that? The King of the universe - the God who created all there is knows you by name!   

Isaiah 43:1 CSB
Now this is what the LORD says- the one who created you, Jacob, and the one who formed you, Israel- "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are mine.

Second, God will fight for you. He doesn’t leave you to struggle on your own. He will fight for you if only we learn to let him. That includes keeping quiet at times. 

Exodus 14:14 CSB
The LORD will fight for you, and you must be quiet."

Third, God thinks about you often. He knows where you are. He understands what you are going through.

Psalm 139:17 CSB  

God, how precious your thoughts are to me; how vast their sum is!

Fourth, God has plans for you. I have said for years that God has a plan for each of us whether we are young, old or anywhere in between. Sometimes it’s hard for us to see and understand how God can and will use us. However, rest assured, God has a plan for you - and His plans are good. In fact, they’re the best!

Jeremiah 29:11 CSB 

For I know the plans I have for you"- this is the LORD's declaration - "plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Fifth, God is your refuge - your shelter in the time of storm. The storms of life will definitely come. Even as a Christian you will face these storms. But like the old hymn says, “The Lord’s our Rock in Him we hide, a Shelter in the time of storm”. As a believer, you have assurance God is there for us no matter what comes our way.

Psalm 62:6-8 CSB

[6] He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will not be shaken. [7] My salvation and glory depend on God, my strong rock. My refuge is in God. [8] Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before him. God is our refuge. Selah

Sixth, Jesus is always with you. Once you believe on Jesus He has promised to be with you until the end of the age. I’d say that’s a pretty good promise from a reliable source - Jesus, Himself. What more could a believer ask for?

Matthew 28:20 CSB

…And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."


Now take and reread these reasons why you should trust God. Become familiar with these Bible passages. They will come in handy in the future. Feel free to come back and reread this blog post during those trying and challenging times you face in your life. Learn to trust God more each and every day. Doing so will change your life forever.

    Until next time...enjoy the journey,

    Ray

    Thanks for taking your time to read and share this blog. If you know of someone who would be encouraged by this blog, please feel free to forward  a link or use the icons below to repost or forward this blog.

    Check out my website at www.rayspellbrink.com

    Friday, July 2, 2021

    Jesus Gives A Fresh Start


    My path has crossed people who are discouraged and down on themselves for something done in the past. They have prayed to God and asked for forgiveness. Based on the promises of God they are forgiven!  You see, when you come to Jesus things change. You are forgiven. God removes your sin as far as the east is from the west. We are new creations. How cool is that?

    2 Corinthians 5:17 CSB

    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!

    The problem is we sometimes have a difficult time accepting we are forgiven. We cannot let the past go. Some tend to dwell on the past and become obsessed with what God has forgiven and removed. Why put yourself through that? Is that God’s intent? Is that God’s best? Absolutely not!

    Sometimes we have so-called “friends” like job had who, after he lost all his possessions, his family and even his own health, stood with him to accuse him of sin. Job knew he had not sinned. Hear this, once sin is confessed it is forgiven and forgotten by God. It’s as if you never committed it. The blood of Jesus is powerful!

    There are times, of course, when Satan or one of his demons will throw things up in your face from your past. If it’s under the blood simply rebuke him or those thoughts in the name of Jesus. 

    Refuse to entertain these things from your past. They will bring you down and steal your joy and victory. We know it’s God’s will to live and walk in victory.



     
    Thank God for a fresh start. Because of His love, His mercies are new every morning! Praise God for that! We all need His grace and mercies renewed every morning. We can shout to God, as Jeremiah did, “Great is your faithfulness!”

    Lamentations 3:22-23 CSB
    [22] Because of the LORD's faithful love we do not perish, for his mercies never end. [23] They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness!

    This post seems to go hand in hand with last weeks blog post. If you missed it I encourage you to check it out. God laid these thoughts on my heart three weeks ago so I know they are meant to encourage someone on their journey.

    Keep your head held high. Know who you are in Jesus. Know that you know you are the King’s kid. Do not, by any means, allow the enemy to defeat you in any way. Look to Jesus for that fresh start each day. 
     

    Until next time...enjoy the journey,


    Ray

    Thanks for taking your time to read and share this blog. If you know of someone who would be encouraged by this blog, please feel free to forward  a link or use the icons below to repost or forward this blog.

    Check out my website at www.rayspellbrink.com

    Friday, June 25, 2021

    Sometimes We Just Need To Be Comforted

     


    We don’t always feel like we are on top of the world. There are times when we feel down. Perhaps we lose someone close to us through death. Maybe you are facing challenges in your family or at work. The bottom line is, right or wrong, life’s circumstances can bring us down.

    In the Bible you might recall a man who faced some very serious challenges in life. The man’s name was Job. Job was a righteous man whose life had been abundantly blessed by God. Then came the tough times. In a very short period of time Job lost everything he owned. He next received word each of his children had died. Job even lost his own health. He had three friends and his wife left. These so-called friends told him he must have sinned against God and was being punished. In fact they hounded him about this and wouldn’t let it go. His own wife told him he would be better to curse God and die. He refused to do so  and was willing to accept the bad along with the good God had given him  

    What Job really needed was words of comfort as opposed to words of condemnation. There was no one there willing to offer him these words of comfort. Instead, his “friends” and even his wife judged him on the circumstances he found himself in and condemned him. How sad.

    Even the great prophet of God, Elijah, found himself down and out facing depression. This happened after a great victory. God used Elijah to challenge the prophets of Baal and the prophets of the grove to pray down fire from heaven. God answered Elijah’s prayer and this resulted in a great number of people turning to God. It also resulted with Elijah receiving a death threat from Jezebel. This caused Elijah to run. At this point he was depressed and feeling sorry for himself. God sent an Angel with some wonderful words of comfort. God gently reminded Elijah He was still there and he wasn’t alone. God even provided food and water for Elijah. I would encourage you to read 1 Kings chapters 17-19. 

    Perhaps you have been facing some down time in your life - a period of depression. If you are a Christian, be encouraged! Let me leave you with some Scriptures to meditate on. You should find great comfort in these verses  


    Hebrews 13:5-6 CSB

    [5] Keep your life free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for he himself has said, I will never leave you or abandon you. [6] Therefore, we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?


    1 Corinthians 10:13 CSB
    No temptation has come upon you except what is common to humanity. But God is faithful; he will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to bear it.

    1 Peter 5:7 CSB
    Casting all your cares on him, because he cares about you.

    2 Timothy 1:7 CSB
    For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.

    Hebrews 4:16 CSB
    Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.

    Until next time...enjoy the journey,


    Ray

    Thanks for taking your time to read and share this blog. If you know of someone who would be encouraged by this blog, please feel free to forward  a link or use the icons below to repost or forward this blog.

    Check out my website at www.rayspellbrink.com

    Friday, June 18, 2021

    God Uses Broken Things

     


    In this world, broken things are despised and thrown out. Anything we no longer need or want we simply throw away. Damaged goods are rejected, and that often includes people. The world is full of people with broken hearts, broken spirits and broken relationships. 

    Who among us hasn’t felt broken in some area of life at times? The Bible has some things to say about brokenness.

    Psalm 34:18 CSB

    The LORD is near the brokenhearted; he saves those crushed in spirit.

    God keeps Himself accessible to the broken-hearted and is always on hand to rescue the crushed in spirit. There is something about reaching a breaking point that causes us to seek God more sincerely.

    King David was once a broken man, and he prayed:

    God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me…The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit. You will not despise a broken and humbled heart, God (Psalm 51:10,17 CSB).

    The Believers Bible Commentary puts David’s thoughts from these two verses this way, “Looking back, I realize that the trouble all started in my mind. My thought-life was polluted. I entertained evil thoughts until at last I committed the sins. So now I ask that You create in me a clean mind. I know that if the fountain is clean, the stream flowing from it will be clean as well. Yes, Lord, renew my entire inner self so it will be steadfast in guarding against future outbreaks of sin. I come to You with a broken heart - that is the sacrifice You require. You will not despise this shattered and contrite heart that I bring to You.”

    There are some things in our lives that need to be broken. Things such as pride, self-will, stubbornness, attitudes and sinful habits, for example, all need to be broken and removed from our lives. When we are broken, God responds accordingly.

    Isaiah 57:15 CSB

    For the High and Exalted One, who lives forever, whose name is holy, says this: "I live in a high and holy place, and with the oppressed and lowly of spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and revive the heart of the oppressed.

    The God who dwells in the high and holy place also dwells in the humble and contrite heart. When we humble our hearts to God in genuine brokenness He hears us. He revives us and brings us back to a useful place in Him.

    It’s wonderful to know that God has a history of using broken things as well as broken people. If, like me, you feel there are times in your life you feel broken for one reason or another - have hope. You are never too broken where God can’t find all the pieces and put you back together. You are something special in the eyes, mind and plan of God. He specializes in taking the broken and making something beautiful.

    Until next time...enjoy the journey,


    Ray

    Thanks for taking your time to read and share this blog. If you know of someone who would be encouraged by this blog, please feel free to forward  a link or use the icons below to repost or forward this blog.

    Check out my website at www.rayspellbrink.com

    Friday, June 11, 2021

    Don’t Compare Your Journey With Someone Else’s



    Too often we gage our success or failure on others. We compare ourselves to others in various ways. We look at others and see their career paths, houses, cars, personal belongings and often think we fall short. 

    The mistake we make is in comparing ourselves with others. We each have our own lives that take us on our own journey. There is no true yardstick to measure the journey we are on. 

    I, personally, know folks who have little by way of material goods. They love life and enjoy their journey. On the other hand, I know folks who have everything you can imagine yet they are not truly satisfied with their journey.

    It’s not about possessions. It’s not about things. It’s about the journey, itself. I am on a great journey. I have a wonderful wife who loves me in spite of my idiosyncrasies - and there are many.🙄 I have a wonderful son and daughter-in-law who have given us two wonderful grandchildren. I have a sister who loves and adores her handsome older brother.😉 I have some especially close friends who enrich my life and share my journey. My relationship with Jesus is imperative for my journey. Yes…I do enjoy my journey.

    I want to encourage you not to compare yourself or your journey to others. Live your life. Walk your journey. Live life to the fullest. After all Jesus said, A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance (John 10:10 CSB). 

    Walk in the abundant life God has for you. Don’t allow the thief to steal it away.

    Until next time...enjoy the journey,


    Ray

    Thanks for taking your time to read and share this blog. If you know of someone who would be encouraged by this blog, please feel free to forward  a link or use the icons below to repost or forward this blog.

    Check out my website at www.rayspellbrink.com

    Friday, June 4, 2021

    Don’t Quit!


    Life has a way of becoming discouraging at times. Let’s face it, things happen in this life that sometimes make us want to throw up our hands and quit. It may be family, friends, problems at work or even life situations that bring this sentiment front and center.

    I want you to know that quitting is not the answer. I once heard a sermon where the preacher said, “It’s always too soon to quit!”  I believe this is a good life lesson. It is certainly a good rule to live by. 

    In anything worthwhile in life you will encounter obstacles. There may also be naysayers who say you can’t do it or you should just give up. Don’t give up. Keep pressing on toward your goal.

    There may even be some failures along the way. If I had quit every time I failed or every time something didn’t go as planned I would never had done anything in life. 

    I want to share a very profound statement with you. “The difference between success and failure is determined by what it takes to stop you.” Think about that for a bit.

    I don’t believe anyone sets out to fail. Failure comes when the work is too hard, you get your eyes off the goal, things don’t go as planned and discouragement and disappointment come.

    I say to you today don’t quit! Don’t quit! Don’t quit! This is good advise for both this life as well as your spiritual journey.

    I want to leave you with a poem that has meant a lot to me over the years.

     



    Until next time...enjoy the journey,


    Ray

    Thanks for taking your time to read and share this blog. If you know of someone who would be encouraged by this blog, please feel free to forward  a link or use the icons below to repost or forward this blog.

    Check out my website at www.rayspellbrink.com

    Friday, May 28, 2021

    Friday Funny

    Those of you who know me know that I love humor.  I love to laugh and love to see others laugh. We all could use more laughter in our lives. Even the Bible makes mention of this.

    Proverbs 17:22 CSB

    A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.

    For this reason one of my blog posts a month will be devoted to humor in some way. More than likely it will be the last one of each month. My hope in doing so is to bring a little joy to you and maybe even put a smile on your face.  

    With that said, here is my first Friday Funny...




    A little girl asked her mother, “How did the human race begin?”

     The mother answered, “God made Adam and Eve and they had children, and so all mankind was made.”

    The next day, the little girl asked her dad the same question, “How did the human race begin?”

    The father answered, “Many years ago, there were monkeys from which the human race evolved.”

    The confused girl returned to her mother and said, “Mom, how is it possible that you told me the human race was created by God and dad said they developed from monkeys?”

     The mother answered, “Well, dear, it is very simple. I told you about my side of the family and your father told you about his.”

     

     Until next time...enjoy the journey,


    Ray

    Thanks for taking your time to read and share this blog. If you know of someone who would be encouraged by this blog, please feel free to forward  a link or use the icons below to repost or forward this blog.

    Check out my website at www.rayspellbrink.com

    Friday, May 21, 2021

    Joy Suckers - Things

    In my last blog post I talked about the various people who are joy-suckers in our lives. That is, they can suck the very joy out of our lives. The sad thing is we often give them the straw to do so. If you have not read last week’s blog post I encourage you to go back and read it. 

    This week I want to address the things that suck the joy out of our lives. More than likely each of us has faced one or more of these things in our lives at one time or another. 

    As depicted above I am referencing fear, anxiety, comparison, despair, discontentment, regret, worry, resentment, busyness, denial, shame, anger, frustration, exhaustion, guilt, perfectionism, depression, weariness, failure, loneliness and the list could most likely go on and on. 

    To be honest, I have personally experienced most of these joy-suckers at various points in my life. Some I experienced in my youth and early adulthood. Others I experienced as I grew older. Still others I have experienced in the last few years. Some may call it “the seasons of life” but I reject that outright.

    Based on my experience, there are people and situations in your life that bring these joy-suckers upon you. It often happens without you realizing it. Many of these joy-suckers are intertwined with others. Sometimes you find yourself so deep into or surrounded by these joy-suckers that it becomes your “norm”. 

    I’m here to tell you that these joy-suckers don’t have to be your “norm”. You really do have a choice in this matter. Be determined. Identify the things that are sucking the joy out of your life. Take steps to banish them from your life. Some may be as simple as unlearning a habit. While some you will need to make a conscious effort to remove. Some may even need professional help to shed. The important thing to know is that help is available and you must take the first step.

    Jesus saidA thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance (John 10:10 CSB).

    I encourage you to remove these joy-suckers from your life and walk in the abundant life God has for you. You’ll be glad you did. 

    Until next time...enjoy the journey!


    Ray

    Thanks for taking your time to read and share this blog. If you know of someone who would be encouraged by this blog, please feel free to forward  a link or use the icons below to repost or forward this blog.

    Check out my website at www.rayspellbrink.com

    Friday, May 14, 2021

    Joy Suckers - People

     


    There are people in this life who will cross your path that will suck the very life out of you if given the chance. They can suck the joy right out of you by their words, attitudes and deeds. These people, in general, are not happy people. They lack the joy of the Lord in their lives.

    Nehemiah said, “...Do not grieve, because the joy of the LORD is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:10 CSB). We know there is nothing quite like having the joy of the Lord in our lives. It’s powerful. There is great strength in the joy of the Lord  

    I first heard the term “Joy-Sucker” at a pastors’ meeting in St. Louis over 20 years ago. The proverbial light bulb popped on as the speaker began to talk about people who are joy-suckers. It really resonated with me. I had been dealing with people like this. The challenge was very real.

    Let’s look a little closer at what a joy-sucker is. They are people in life who have opinions about everything - negative opinions, that is. These people will tell you why it can’t be done and generally suck the joy out of every endeavor you set you hand to do. They squash dreams, plant doubt and make us want to run in the opposite direction as fast as we can.

    Dealing with joy-suckers can certainly be challenging. This is especially true if it is a friend or family member. I pretty much dismiss the joy-suckers I encounter on social media. It seems social media is a breeding ground for them. 

    Don’t be an enabler! Don’t give someone the wherewithal to suck the joy and life out of you. Life is too short to walk this path. You control this. Don’t allow it to be done to you. This may entail having some serious conversations with the joy-suckers in your life. It could even come down to severing these toxic relationships in your life.   

    I believe it is equally important that we search inward to see if we have become a joy-sucker. No one needs a joy sucker in their life. I have determined I don’t want to be a joy-sucker myself. I desire to have the joy of the Lord in my life. I want to be an encourager to others. Not a joy-sucker. 

    Until next time...enjoy the journey!


    Ray

    Thanks for taking your time to read and share this blog. If you know of someone who would be encouraged by this blog, please feel free to forward  a link or use the icons below to repost or forward this blog.

    Check out my website at www.rayspellbrink.com

    Friday, May 7, 2021

    Mother’s Are Special


     
    Mothers are special. If there was ever a people group that deserved special recognition along with their own holiday it is mothers.

    Have you ever wondered about the origins of Mother’s Day as we recognize and celebrate it here in the United States?

    Mother’s Day is a holiday in honor of mothers that is celebrated in our time throughout the world. In its modern form the holiday originated in the United States, where it is observed on the second Sunday in May. Many other countries also celebrate the holiday at this time, while some mark the observance at other times of the year. 


    “All that I am or hope to be , I owe to my Angel mother.”

    - Abraham Lincoln 


    Anna  Jarvis of Philadelphia, whose mother had organized women’s groups to promote friendship and health, originated Mother’s Day. On May 12, 1907, she held a memorial service at her late mother’s church in Grafton, West Virginia. Within five years virtually every state was observing the day. In 1914 U.S. President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day a national holiday. Although Jarvis had promoted the wearing of a white carnation as tribute to one’s mother, the custom developed of wearing a red or pink carnation to represent a living mother or a white carnation for a mother who was deceased. Over time the day was expanded to include others, such as grandmothers and aunts who played mothering roles. What had originally been primarily a day of honor became associated with the sending of cards and the giving of gifts. In protest against its commercialization, Jarvis spent the last years of her life trying to abolish the holiday she had brought into being. 


    Mother’s Day Fact - More phone calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year. These holiday chats with mom often cause phone traffic to spike by as much as 37 percent. 

     

    If your mother is still alive you are blessed. When is the last time you had a chat with your mother? How long has it been since you spent some time with her one on one time together with her?


    “A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity. It dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in it’s path.”

    - Agatha Christie 


    I encourage you, today, to put forth that effort to let your mother know she matters and she is important to you. Pick up the phone and call her. Better yet, why not take her out and spend some quality time with her over a meal or even soft drinks? It’s not so much what you do. It’s about taking the time to be with her and letting you know you love and appreciate her.

    Yes, mothers are special. Don’t wait until she’s gone to let your mother know how much she means to you.  

    Until next time...enjoy the journey!


    Ray

    Thanks for taking your time to read and share this blog. If you know of someone who would be encouraged by this blog, please feel free to forward  a link or use the icons below to repost or forward this blog.

    Check out my website at www.rayspellbrink.com