Welcome to God's Lemonade Stand

It is my hope that by reading this daily you will grow in your walk with Christ and be set free from any struggles in your life that are weighing you down. Be blessed to be a blessing.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

LOSING STUFF

It happens to all of us. Where are my sunglasses? There they are on top of our head. Oh no I can not find my  keys! What is that right there in your  hand? LOL. Where is my checkbook? Put it in another purse perhaps? We humans are certainly attached to our 'stuff". When we misplace something or lose it entirely it is easy to become fixated on it or obsess somewhat. Believe me I know. But it does no good. It will not help it magically reappear to stress over it. A friend of mine in Iowa would say ' blow it off". I'm trying. If what is lost has sentimental value it can even be harder to forget about it. Recently  I misplaced a special greeting card I had received for my birthday. It is driving me bonkers as I am not the kind to just lose a card right after I get it or even throw it away. I usually put it on display then a few special ones maybe stick in my Bible.( I am not like the show Hoarders, do not worry. ) Well this one card is no where to be found. It is making me nutty.  Still what good will it do to be driven nutty? Worrying will not bring it back. 1 Timothy  6:8 says 'with food and clothing be content." But what about my other 'stuff'. Does God have a lesson for me to learn in all this? All things we go through should teach us something. I know one thing, Satan likes to use things like this to get us worried, upset, and distracted and to take our focus off the Lord and his goodness for us.

Maybe we are not to place our trust in our things. Matthew 6:28-30 says “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Let's pretend for a moment that an F5 tornado has just struck your home and it is blown to schmithereens( real word but how do you spell it?). No one is hurt, you all get away unscathed with the best gift ever, that being your life. But all your earthly possessions, to include those special greeting cards, pictures, and other things of sentimental value are no where to be found. Perhaps they were blown hundreds of miles away torn to shreds. And it is said that there are no U Hauls following funeral processions to the graveyard. Precious memories that are material are gone but you are saved. Your memories are only in your head. You have to move on. Nothing can be done about it.

Mark 10:21-22 reads, "Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. "  Even if all we have goes away God is still there. But sometimes we think it is hard to part with our 'toys'. I have some friends who are stateside  mobile missionaries who now live in a motor home and have no home base elsewhere so basically they got rid of a ton of things to downsize to that type lifestyle. Could you do it? Could I do it? No attic somewhere with grandma's things in it or high school or college yearbooks. Something to think about.

Our hope is to be in the unshakeable, unchangeable savior Jesus Christ. Psalm 71:5 says "O Lord, you alone are my hope. I've trusted you, O LORD, from childhood." Give God your cares and concerns. Hebrews 13:5 says "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."


PRAYER: Lord help us to not set our hope on our 'things' but on you our only hope. IN Jesus Name. AMen.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

HALLOWEEN:GOOD OR EVIL? TRICK OR TREAT ?

Tomorrow is Halloween also known as 'All Saints Day' or 'All Hallowed Eve'. This holiday is the second biggest money making holiday in the United States according to a story I heard on the news. The first is Christmas but unlike Christmas where we celebrate Jesus birth this holiday we celebrate evil and scaring people. Folks go all out on Halloween lighting, cobwebs on porches, brewing witches kettles in front yard, scarecrows and a host of other decor. Some is innocent in the fact it celebrates the harvest season yet some is sinister in that it depicts evil and scary scenes. Many churches have alternatives to Halloween in the form of 'harvest parties'. Our children did these when they were small. What can I say, mom wanted to plant 'good seeds' in their little brains. Why start on evil scary stuff before I had too. For older children and adults their are alternative to Halloween called Judgment Houses. I have been through a couple of these. They depict a scene where a person ususally loses their life who is not a believer and end with asking the attendee if they know where they will spend eternity.

Sure it is fun to maybe dress up in fun innocent outfits, minus the little Satan costumes, headless bloody creatures and things like that. So is this  a holiday Christians should embrace and celebrate or stay away from? We do not want to act self righteous and act like everything about it is horribly wrong but each person has to decide within their own heart.I mean there can be cool mystery parties or fun costume parties without the evil Satanic aspect.  I for one could not justify this celebration except for the fact I could have a birthday party since I was born on Halloween. Yes it is true. Myself and a cousin in Texas both share that date for a birthday. Trick or treat.

The candy part is fun for kids but not necessarily healthy but still only once a year. Several years ago mean people starting putting needles and glass in apples  and candy had to be scrutinized by parents or X rayed at the police station  before consumption. No longer did children go to strangers homes for their treats. Some Christian families use the opportunity to put a tract in a sack along with candy when they get a ring at their doorbell. A good way to witness, although when I did it one year many threw them down on my lawn.

The being scared part might be ok depending on what you choose to put in your mind to scare you. I prefer to be scared riding a roller coaster. This time of year movie theaters put out many horror, slasher flicks. Once again, do you go to these or stay away? Philippians 4:8 says " whatsoever things are true, noble, right, pure, and admirable and of good report think on these things" and does not say except on Halloween. Once again you decide and you have to be convicted within your own spirit. As for the movies,check the rating, check the content and do not aimlessly subject yourself to something is my gut reaction to  those. There used to be Alfred Hitchock films that were scary but not to the extent of the blood and gore of todays scary films. Once again pray and ask God to show you what to do. You have to be convicted on this one yourself.

It is said Satan worshippers like this holiday above all others to practice their Satan worship and calling up demonic spirits and casting spells. It is their high holy day so to speak. So what is a Christian to do. Does a Christian really have any business 'toying' with quija boards, seances and other seemingly fun, innocent practices? Sorry to take away your Halloween fun. But think about it.

"Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil, to take part in wicked deeds with men who are evildoers; let me not eat of their delicacies." Psalm 141:4.

PRAYER: Lord each  person has to be convicted themselves what they think about this holiday. Guide them into the truth of your word to make their decisions on whether to celebrate it or leave it alone. IN Jesus Name , amen.
 

Friday, October 29, 2010

IT'S NOT WHAT YOU KNOW IT'S WHO YOU KNOW

All of us have heard this phrase, 'it's not what you know it's who you know." Being friends with 'important' or 'famous' people can have its' perks. Perhaps we can 'name drop' to prove we know someone or have met someone. Or this 'important' person may have connections and can get you in to places you would have never otherwise gotten to go say box seats at a game, opear or theater tickets,ride in a limo, invitation to special parties or receptions, first class airplane seats. You get the point. This 'important' person can unlock possibilities to us. Now I am not saying that if we happen to know someone like this that is the only reason people want to be their friend because of what they can get from them. Be on your guard for things like this. As I say someone may be a celebrity but they put their pants on the same way I do, only more expensive pants. LOL.

Jesus does not want us to play favorites with people. To him it is not about being known or who you know. He is not a 'respecter of persons' and nor should we be. We should not feel we are better than someone due to our degrees, economic status, where we have been, or who we know. In God's eyes we are all special to Him.

 "For there is no respect of persons with God," Paul declared (Rom. 2: 11). "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28)

"My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet," have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts."(James 2:1-4)

Do not get to the point where we feel better than others. Watch out. It is easy to do when we look around and tend to start to judge. Maybe you have an important position in a company, work in a big city in a skyscraper, have a special talent others do not possess, enjoy our 'title'. "Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.."(Romans 12:16)

PRAYER: Lord I am blessed. Help me to see that. Help me to never exalt myself over others. Humble me to be able to help those less fortunate. Guard my heart from conceit. Let me show love to all people regardless of their 'status' in life. Forgive me for when I have 'felt better' than others. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

HELP LORD

There are times in our lives when we feel we can not take a certain situation or person anymore. We may pray "Lord please help me and get me out of this situation." In Romans 8:28 which is a familiar verse to a lot of us it reads, "All things work together for the good to those who love the Lord and are called according to his purpose." Perhaps God is allowing this seemingly awful situation in your life to develop your character and grow you as a person. A palm tree is strong and sturdy but has to put up with fierce coastal winds at times yet still under the most adverse of circumstances remains erect. We are like that palm tree. Storms may come but we need to stand strong through the storm and wait for the rainbow on the other side. There will be a rainbow. "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." (Phillipians 4:12).
Prayer: No matter what the situation Lord I pray you will give us strength to endure and get through whatever it is that is weighing us down. Help me run with patience the race that is before me and accept the things in my life as ways to grow me to be more like you Lord. In Jesus name. Amen.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

JUST KEEP RUNNING

I am a runner and back in the day I used to run alot of 5 and 10 K races and once even 10.1 miles at the 101st Airborne Division when I was in the Army. When you are in a race you just keep going. You do not look back to see if people are gaining on you but keep focused on going and crossing the finish line. Runners have to train to be able to compete in races. You can not just show up for a marathon ,for instance ,with no preparation. Not only would you not do well but you would be injured. Athletes train to stay fit.

As Christians we need to 'train' to stay fit as well. And we also need to learn that things do not happen instantly so we keep on keeping on knowing God has a plan.Isaiah 40:31 says, "But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles.  They will run and not grow weary.They will walk and not faint.". That is a super verse to use when you need motivation to keep going in a physical race but great for a spiritual race as well. Think of an eagle, strong, flying high overhead. 

In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 it says, "Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!  All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.  So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified."

Hebrews 12:1-2 reads, " Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.  We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne."

Don't give up whatever is going on. You can do it. God will give you strength. "But the Lord GOD helps me;  therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame" (Isaiah 50:7).

Prayer: Lord whatever I am going through today I know you are there to give me the strength to get through my trial or situation. I will run and not be weary because with you I can do all things. (See Phillipians 4:13, New Testament).

Monday, October 25, 2010

TAKE GOD OUT THE BOX

I was listening to pastor Joel Osteen and he referred to 'keeping God in a box'. I am not sure who originated the term but I have used it and heard it before. We think things should happen a certain way or have a pre-conceived idea of what a "Christian" looks like. Church tradition may keep people stuck in a box because God can work in all kinds of churches.Times change and people change.Let go of the idea of how certain things should be done.Do not get stuck in a denominational rut where you think your church is only right one. When it comes to what Jesus looks like many have differing opinions. My idea is a dark skinned man of middle eastern descent but hey, how do I know. Those who have asked Jesus into their heart will know that answer some day. Do not be narrow minded. Keep seeking God and desiring to know him better. "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death." Phillipians 3:10

Do not get stuck in the  past. Move on. Open your eyes and heart to what God has in store for you.  Isaiah 43:19 says "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." When we pray we often wonder why God did not answer but God may have answered but just not like you had hoped. But He knows best. He is God. He knows what He is doing. Trust Him. "Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think." Ephesians 3:20.

Isaiah 55:9 says " As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts".  Be assured God loves you and has a great plan for you. If you not know him ask him into your heart. Don't wait. Romans 13:11 says, "This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed." (To help you know more about Jesus read the book of John in New Testament.)

PRAYER: Father I pray that if anyone does not know you as their Lord and saviour that they will repent, turn from sin and ask you into their hearts and begin living a new life with you on the throne. In Jesus Name. Amen.

GOD IS THERE..YES HE IS!

Is something going on in your life that you can not seem to stop worrying about?. We are told to cast our cares on God for he cares for us.(1 Peter 5:7) but it is human nature to want to worry. Worry does nothing but keep us in bondage and maybe affect our health and well being too. Worrying does not change anything nor does it add time to our lives to figure it out. (See Luke 12:25). When we worry we are basically telling God we do not trust Him enough to handle the problem.

It is best when faced with a situation to 'go to the throne not the phone'. Not sure who said that but it makes alot of sense. God is waiting to hear from you. Jeremiah 33:3 is often called "God's phone number" and it says "Call to me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things which you do not know."

Psalm 27 is worth reading the whole chapter. It is only 14 verses but verse 7 says "Listen to my pleading,Lord! Be merciful and send help when I need it.!" Also in the chapter it talks about being set on a high rock out of reach of your enemies(vs 5-6). That is a good word picture. I was hiking yesterday where there were rocky bluffs. At one point I just sat on a rocky overhang to meditate and pray and think of the awesomeness of God. How can anyone be an atheist I will never understand. The mountains are his, the roar of the thunder, the seasons, the rain from heaven, the cattle on a thousand hills. It is all his. And he cares and will work out what concerns you. Only trust him.

PRAYER: Lord today I thank you for my freedoms. It is great to live in America. We pray against the forces of evil trying to destroy our God given freedoms.We know Lord though you are there and have a plan. Keep us focused on you. In Jesus Name. Amen

Sunday, October 24, 2010

CONTROL FREAK OR HOLY SPIRIT JUNIOR

Joyce Meyer is one of my favorite Bible teachers. She often talks about not being 'holy spirit junior ' in relationships where we tend to want to 'play God' and manipulate the outcome. It always will backfire. It is another way of being a control freak or wanting to have things your way and figuring you must be right and know what is best. I am pretty sure all of us may have experienced this. We are not happy with spiritual progress of  our husband, for instance,  so we 'plant' Bible verses where he may see them. That is just one example but I am sure you can think of many more. Or maybe we feel someone should see something our way. Once again it is the Holy Spirit's job to bring conviction, not ours. Be able to admit to yourself, I might be wrong. I may in fact not have the answer.

James 4:10 says to "humble yourselves before the Lord and he will lift you up. " Proverbs 11:2 says , "When pride comes then comes shame, but with the humble is wisdom." Instead of trying to force change your own way why not try praying. Colossians 1:9-10 is a good verse to use and personalize by praying it with someones name. I have left the word 'you ' out for you to pray it putting in your name or someone else's.  "For this reason, since the day we heard about ________, we have not stopped praying for ________ and asking God to fill __________ with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that ____________ may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God."

Prayer: Lord this day help us to be guided by your Holy Spirit and submit to you and try to not manipulate and do things our way. Get me out of the way so you can do the work you need to Lord. Use me when necessary for the purposes you have planned. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Friday, October 22, 2010

HAPPY WORDS

Note:(For Saturday..sent early)

Yesterdays devotion was on the power of negative words or not thinking before we blurt something out. Today it is the opposite,saying nice and pleasant things. Your words should be like a honeycomb (Proverbs 16:24). They should bring happiness to the one who  hears you. Be careful to not cut and criticize.   "A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver."(Proverbs 25:11)

Is your speech gracious? (See Ephesians 4:29). Do you talk kind to everyone? Just like negative words have a stinging effect on the listener so too do pleasant words have an uplifting effect.Victims of verbal abuse will tell you it is hurtful, painful and not fun at all.  Words of praise, thanksgiving,comfort, healing, prayer, adulation and adoration, now that is what we need! Think before you speak. How much nicer to receive pleasantries than harshness. "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."(Colossians 4:6)

PRAYER: Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight oh Lord my strength and my redeemer. Amen. (from Psalm 19:14)

HOLD YOUR TONGUE!!

There are so many things in the Bible about the mouth. It  may be one of the greatest subjects that is discussed over and over. Problems with 'the tongue' include gossip, lies, half truths( still lies), nagging, meddling, angry words, opinions when not asked, complaining and profanity. Topics discussed in Proverbs range from  speaking too much, out of turn, or being a 'fool' with your words. One translation of the Bible even says to 'turn off the flow' referring to closing our mouth. (See Proverbs 10:19). Proverbs 10:14 says 'a wise man holds his tongue. Only a fool blurts out everything he knows; that only leads to sorrow and trouble."  Ouch, me a fool??

Think over any time in your life where maybe a hasty word or something unthought out has caused chaos or a misunderstanding. It has happened to me I know. That tongue sure needs to be tamed. When you do not think before you speak, which now days could include sending a hasty email, you can embarrass yourself  causing pain and suffering for yourself and for the recipient and at times a trickle down effect can hurt others. Do not get yourself involved in the affairs of others and always have to put in your two cents. (See Proverbs 11:29 which refers to provoking your family to anger and resentment.) Proverbs 13:17 says "A unreliable messenger can cause a lot of trouble.  Reliable communication permits progress." If you have offended someone be willing to ask forgiveness.

"A gentle answer turns away wrath ,but harsh words cause quarrels.' (Proverbs 15:1). Proverbs 15:28 says " A good man thinks before he speaks,the evil man pours out his evil words without a thought. " Finally Proverbs 18:21 says "Those who love to talk will suffer the consequences. Men have died for saying the wrong thing!"

Whether it is in marriage, a friendship, at work or in the marketplace we need to be careful to think before we blurt out things. (Read James 3).James 1:19 is a verse I often write at the bottom of a wedding card and it says simply, "Let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry." With Gods' help we can.

PRAYER: Lord God I represent you here on this earth. I do not want to do anything to embarrass you by my words or actions. Give me the strength and wisdom to know when to open my mouth and when to keep it closed. In Jesus Name. Amen.

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer." Psalm 19:14

Thursday, October 21, 2010

RELIGION OR RELATIONSHIP

Do you love Jesus? Do you love the things of God so much that you can not wait til church on Sunday? Do you love attending Christian retreats and concerts so you can grow closer to the Lord?Do you love reading God's word? Does Christian music lift your spirit? Do you make time each day for 'alone time' with the Lord even if it is taking a walk at lunch and 'talking' to him? Do the things you do please the Lord? Is your light shining for him or hidden under a basket? Are you being the salt where 'flavor' is needed?

Matthew 5:13-16:You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? ... You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid... Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

We are to be in the world but not of the world.(John 17:14–15 ) Do you put everything else ahead of God? He is to be first place in your life. James 4:8 says "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you doubleminded."

If there are people in your life dragging you away from God ask yourself if they should still be in your life. It could be a person you are dating for instance. We are not to just punch a ticket for Jesus on Sunday. That is not the way to have a relationship with Jesus. To have a relationship with a person  you spend quality time with them. Likewise if you truly want to be close to Jesus you need to spend time with Him as well.

Read that Bible. Dust it off. Start with the Psalms or the book of John.  WIthout Gods word as part of your life you will never know him or grow close to him. Make a decision to make the Bible and Jesus first in your life. 

PRAYER: Lord God help us to order our day so we make sure we have quality time with you. Forgive us for not wanting to read your word. We know the enemy is prowling around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may destroy (1 Peter 5:8).Help us Lord to want to seek you first. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

BE STILL AND WAIT ON GOD

It is good to not always be rushing hither and thither. Not sure if those are real words but they get point across. On this one I am preaching to the choir .In our fast paced society it is easy to burn the candle at both ends. We seem to enjoy telling people, "I am just too busy to do that?" Perhaps you have a problem saying no to seemingly good causes. You overload yourself to the point your quality of life and family life is suffering. It is time to tame the busy monster if he is attacking you. What in your life is not really necessary? This goes for moms of young children too who seem to think their offspring need to be in constant lessons to develop themselves. It is good to let children try things but not dance, softball, horseback riding, golf and art all after school with no days off. You get my point. We are teaching them to be on this endless treadmill too. I challenge each of you to put down the cell phone, turn off the computer, get away from the television and get outside and go explore alone with no technology. Yes it is possible to not be connected to the outside world and it is great. Might be a great time to connect with the Lord too. If you work try it on your lunch break. Why do you think you need to work through lunch?

Satan likes us to be busy because then we get hassled and frazzled and do not normally make time for God in our day. Perfect plan for him to get you away from growing strong in the Lord. Plan your day around the Bible and not the other way around. In Psalm 46:1 it says "Be still and know that I am God." Hmmm, Be still. Sounds really nice to me. In Job 9:25 it says, “My life passes more swiftly than a runner. It flees away without a glimpse of happiness." What are you doing with that life? Are you making it count for God's kingdom?

This past Sundays sermon at Church of the Highlands in Birmingham said when life becomes chaotic we become scattered, reactive, frantic and stressed.(Chris Hodges, pastor).
That is so true. Slow down and smell the roses. Do like the British do and go sip awhile over a 'spot of tea'. "Come to me all you are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:28-29.)

PRAYER: Lord today I ask you show us what in our lives is of no value or dragging us  from the path you have set before us. Help us use discernment when selecting activities. Help us to have the courage to say no to things when our schedule is overwhelming us. You did not intend Lord for us to lead frazzled lives just as at the extreme you did not intend for us to be lazy either. Help us to find balance. In Jesus Name. Amen.

IS YOUR LIGHT SHINING??

What are you doing today? Whose life can you maybe impact? We are all somewhere in life that God has allowed us to be.( See Jeremiah 29:11). If you are the only Christian in your workplace don't complain but seek to be used as God's 'flashlight' shining the love of Jesus in an otherwise dark and lost world. It is nice to be in our little Bible studies where we feel comfortable but the Bible commands us to go 'into the world and preach the gospel' (Mark 16:15) so  in a way we are all called to be missionaries for him.

I often thought of this missionary thing  when I used to be in the military, later married a military man then became a military spouse, of all the places God had allowed us to live and the neighborhoods we eventually ended up in. Some were on post or base and some were out in the 'normal' world aka "The civilian community'. Wherever we were assigned to God wanted us there for his kingdom work too. There is a church in nearby Madison, Alabama where I used to live that has a sign when people are exiting the parking lot and it simply says ,"You are now entering the mission field."

What mission field are you in? Are you letting Gods light shine through you to others? (See Matthew 5:16). Are you setting a good example and being honorable and honest in all that you do? Do you smile and let the love of God pour out on others? But I don't feel like it you may say. Sometimes when we feel down smiling and helping others is just what the doctor ordered so to speak. Remember the childrens Sunday School Song, "This little light of mine I am going to let it shine." Take your candle into the world around you and shine for Jesus.

PRAYER: Lord today open our eyes to opportunities for service around us. Even if we are homemakers serving within our own home. Help us do the best we can as if working for you because WE ARE. In Jesus Name. Amen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiSix6Stilo

Monday, October 18, 2010

HOPE IS FROM GOD

HOPE IS FROM GOD

In the past two years we have seen a world where a lot of people have put their hope in a man who is president. Signs depicting his photo with the word 'Hope' were seen at political rallies,the  inauguration and even still today on bumpers of cars. Hope is never from a person. A person is not the almighty and can not save us or fix us even though their arrogance may think that they can. We are not to trust in man but in God. We get to a point where we worship a person and not see this person as the leader but as  a king. Our hope is in the Lord for this time on and evermore. We are never to put our faith for salvation in a person. The nation who forgets God is in dire trouble. Psalm 9:17 says" The wicked return to the grave, all the nations that forget God. " It is time to wake up and look up. We stand on the brink of losing our freedoms in the United States.This freedom is from God and  many flock here from other lands to get freedom and the American dream. (2 Corinthians 3:17). In Deuteronomy 28 it tells what happens to a nation that forgets God.

Ephesians 3:20 says " Now glory be to God, who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would  ever dare to ask or even dream of-infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes. "

The body of Christ has been asleep too long and has been afraid to speak up. We live in our 'holy huddles' and do not get involved in our world. We are to be roaring lambs and have a positive impact on our society in all aspects of it. Perhaps part of the problem in our nation today is due to churches not wanting to speak out for sin and injustice.It is time to stop slumbering. We are not to be harsh but in a loving way speak out and  get on our knees and repent then to pray to save this great land. This nation was founded on the Bible. It is time to read that Bible and pray and fast for the healing of the United States.(2 Chronicles 2:14). We are in spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:12).

2 Chronicles 16:9 reads, "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. You have done foolishly in this, for from now on you will have wars.”Psalm 33:12 says that 'blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord."
 Look at this crisis as an opportunity to share the love of God with others. God is still in control and he has a plan and purpose. He is still working behind the scenes.


PRAYER: I pray Lord that the things that break your heart Lord will break our hearts. Forgive us for not speaking up when we see something we know is wrong. Forgive us Lord for being complacent. Father God help us stand for the truth in all things. Give us holy boldness. In Jesus Name. Amen!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

JUST DO IT , ok?

JUST DO IT ok??

Are you putting off doing something or need courage for a task at hand? Do you fear rejection or failure? Have you prayed about what you are to do and still a bit uncertain? Feelings of doubt, fear, and rejection are not from God. In Deuteronomy 31:8 it says, "The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you.He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be  afraid, do not be discouraged. " God will go with you if you let him. In Revelation 3:20 it speaks of God "standing at the door and knocking " wanting you to invite him in to be Lord of your life. Have you done this. He can fight your battles, take your confusion, help you through the storms of life. Turn to Him. Talk to Him. Have a blessed Sunday.

PRAYER:
Lord today we thankyou for giving us another day to enjoy this beautiful world you have given us. Lift us up from any pit we are in and help us walk victoriously with you .In Jesus Name. Amen.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

MONEY HAS WINGS

MONEY HAS WINGS

Today in America we are in turmoil. There are threats of takeover and loss of freedom. The money we have saved and count on ,such as 401K's, may be in jeopardy as well as rumors of loss of military retirement pay and even rumors of regular retirement funds being confiscated. This does not sound like the America I grew up in but some communist regime. All we can do is pray and keep praying and try to not worry and trust God. And speak out for freedom as well. There is talk is of the government taking what is ours and 'redistributing' it to those who never worked and paid into the system. The Bible though states that those who do not work should not eat.(2 Thessalonians 3:10). Many today feel entitled to free handouts without lifting a finger. This is not Biblical.

God is in control. It is his money anyway, we are just supposed to be good stewards of it(1 Peter 4:10). It is God who gives the power to get wealth.(See Deuteronomy 8:18). We need to continue to trust in Him and continue to give generously to churches, charities or those in need  that we can help. God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7). Further the Bible says 'give and it shall be given to you good measure pressed down shaken together running over. (Luke 6:38). God is bigger than Wall Street.

1 Samuel 2:7 The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. Ecclesiastes 5:19 Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God. 1 Timothy 6:17 reads, "Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment." Proverbs 23:5 says,"Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle."
So there you have it. There are many other scriptures in the Bible about money and wealth but these should do the trick for helping us at least try to have some peace and not fret.(For further reading see Matthew 6:28-33.)

PRAYER: Lord in these uncertain times help us to not focus on what might happen but to keep in an attitude of prayer trusting you have your hand in all things. We thankyou for the money you have blessed us with. We in this country are richer than most people in other parts of the world yet we complain sometimes about not having things. Lord forgive us and help us be more grateful. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Friday, October 15, 2010

OUR MIND SHOULD NOT BE A TRASHCAN

OUR MIND SHOULD NOT BE A TRASH CAN

Our world,sadly,is a different place than it was back in the 50's and 60's . When prayer was removed from the schools, Ten Commandments removed,when abortion was made legal and now when homosexuality is being seen as normal and another form of love we are in big trouble. Different things are forced upon innocent victims to try to desensitize them. Sex scenes are common place on tv, same sex kissing scenes,ladies wanting babies but no father around, drug usage, alcoholism and the list goes on. Little by little with the breakdown of the family and the removal of God and the word of God from our great and free society we are eroding into an immoral society. If the word of God is put on a shelf and not read and followed then we slip deeper into the pit. (Read Romans 1:18-32). In this passage it mentions in verse 24 that 'God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity,that their bodies may be dishonored among them."

Our mind is shaped by what we see and what we allow into our heads and  hearts. Phillipians 4:8 says "Whatsoever things are true, whatever is honorable,whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. " Also in Psalm 101:3 says "I will set no vile thing before my eyes." But many today do not recognize the list of things above as evil, wrong or bad. Forces have crept slowly into our society that have even fooled Christians. The Bible is clear though. It has a standard for right and wrong and good and evil that never changes. Isaiah 5:20 says "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter."Today ,2010, we are seeing massive confusion over what is good and what is evil. Stay in the word of God on a daily basis to keep your mind renewed (Romans 12:1-2) and you will have a standard to guide you. Satan of course will do everything in his power to get the Bible away from us as it is a powerful tool to keep us on the right track and defeat the enemies lies.

PRAYER: Lord God keep us on the right track. Make us hunger and thirst for your righteousness. Convict us of anything in our lives we are doing that does not please you. Help us to run to you. In Jesus name, Amen!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

STORMS

STORMS

When you are flying in a plane and see approaching storm clouds the pilot usually comes on the intercom and tells you to keep your seatbelts fastened because of 'bumpy or unstable air'. Even though these poofy white clouds look so soft and beautiful at times going inside or above or around them can cause the plane to shake or bounce a little bit. A little scary for many who do not like flying and somewhat unnerving for even those of us who do. But storms are part of life. I have a journal that says 'without rain there would not be rainbows' and 'when it storms you are bound to get a little muddy."

Storms of life can come in all forms. The unexpected phone call bringing bad news, financial problems, home foreclosures, sicknesses and diseases, job layoffs, getting fired, misunderstandings with friends, death of a friend or family member, or perhaps a bad medical diagnosis. They are there and they are part of life. It is how we deal with them to get us up and beyond these 'storm clouds' and back to smooth sailing.

Think about all that happened to Job and his family yet Job still praised God.(See Job 1:1-2:10)Psalms 34: 17-19 says "The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken." Hebrews 4:14-16 reads "Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."
Cling to God during the storms of life. Keep praising him even though you may not feel like it. When we are beaten down or depressed it is pretty hard to sing praises but that is what we need to do to get beyond it. God can change you and perfect you as you go through the storms of life if you can only trust him.(Read Psalm 56).
PRAYER: Lord God my heart trusts in you today. Let me be a witness today to those who are suffering or hurting. Guide me through each days' little storms so I can be more like you. Develop me and teach me what you want me to know during these storms of life.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

DID I SAY THAT?

DID I SAY THAT??
 
For those of you old enough to remember the TV show Family Matters with a character named Steve Erkel he used to say "Did I do that?" Well I could say to myself all the time, "Did I say that?" Open mouth insert foot.The mouth seems to be the area in the Bible where there are the most verses to help us try to deal with our out of control mouth, especially in Proverbs. Maybe allot of you have mastered not opening your  mouth and saying wrong things but I sure have not. We can train ourselves to not just open up our mouth and blurt things out. In this electronic era the mouthpiece could be the email we type up and hurriedly send off without thinking.
 
Now some of you reading this may say, "I sure know someone who needs to read this." Well newsflash, the Holy Spirit has to do the conviction ,not us! Just keep praying.(Luke 18:1).Ephesians 4:29 says "Do not let ANY unwholesome words come out of your mouth BUT only those that are helpful." Back into the book of James which contains the infamous "Danger of the Tongue" chapter (James 3) is a verse in Chapter 1 verse 19 which reads,"Everyone should be quick to listen,slow to speak and slow to become angry." This would be a powerful verse to put on the bottom of a wedding card when you give a gift. My oh my if only we could seriously practice this. Our  human side wants to win and wants to lash back. God wants us to remain peaceful and not always get the last word. As a friend in Iowa used to say to me,'Blow it off' !
 
When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.(Proverbs 10:19). One final note is in the Bible it says we will have to account for every word we have ever uttered.(Matthew12:37). Do you blurt things out? Do you hurt people with your words? Do you gossip? Do you tell 'white lies' which are still lies? Today make it a day to purpose in your heart to be careful about what you say.
 
PRAYER: Lord God it is so easy to just talk and not think about what we are saying. Help us Lord to be  more like you in all that we say and all that we do. In Jesus name, amen!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

PLEASE BE PATIENT

PLEASE BE PATIENT

I used to have a boss in the Army who told me 'patience was virtue'. We can sometimes get ourselves into embarrassing situations by not being patient. Been there done that got the tee shirt. ( My AZ writer friends can recall my Readers' Digest story. Enough said.)
Patience comes in form of waiting and knowing God is in control. When we rush into things or jump to conclusions(I have gold medal in this sport..LOL) we sometimes stop God who is working in all things. Manipulation is not really desired. We need to be still and wait.

Let's go over a few verses in the Bible that deal with patience. Psalm 37:7-9 says,"Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper—it only leads to harm. For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land." Now I could stop right there. That says allot.Psalm 40:1 says "I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry." In Proverbs 15:8 it reads, "A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel."

People have told me we should not pray for patience or we will have a trial. (James 1:3) but it seems everyone I talk to wishes they had more patience. It just takes practice. We are all on a journey.

For further reading and study: Colossians 3:12-13;Isaiah 40:31;Romans 12:12;Galatians 6:9;I THessalonians 5:14

Prayer: Father today we ask that you search our hearts and help us with anything in our lives that is causing us to want to take things in our own hands. Help us wait on you and your perfect timing.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Lean On God

Lean On God

When you lean on a wall you expect it will  hold you. Most of the time it will. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Proverbs 3:5-6 where it says "Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and lean not to your own understanding and in all thy ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths. " Do you lean on God? Do you fully trust the Lord will keep you and sustain you? Let Him have your cares.(See 1 Peter 5:7). Trying to keep ourselves uplifted will never work without the help of the Lord. People may think it does but you can not leave God out of your life. He is there to help you and sustain you. Call on him. (See Jeremiah 33:3). I love the fact that I know and can trust that I can 'lean on God' to get my through things in my life. Do you have the kind of peace where you know God will get your through? If not why not give Him first place in your life and heart today and start living for him. 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.' (Revelation 3:20).Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. " (John 14:6)

Prayer: Lord Jesus for any reading this today I pray if they do not know you as their saviour and Lord that they ask you to enter their hearts and live a life for you. Give us your strength to get through whatever in life comes our way. Thanks for being  our hope of glory. IN Jesus Name. Amen!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

IT IS SUNDAY BUT MONDAY IS COMING

It's Sunday but Monday is coming!!

Another Sunday, the Sabbath Day. A day to spend time in fellowship with other Christians at whatever Bible believing church you choose to worship in. Exodus 20:8 tells us "To remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy." This does not mean you can not do anything else but you should want to be in God's House worshipping on this day and letting your spirit grow and finding out more about how to walk with the Lord. We need this to grow strong in the Lord. Some may go to church on a Saturday night instead. It is all good. THe key is to try to make it a positive desired habit to go each week. Being a member of a church is not the ticket to heaven.

But are we to just give God a mere 60 minutes each week then put our Bibles on the shelf? No, but sadly that is what many well meaning Christians do. Somehow going to church one day seems to check the block for the week. But how are we to defeat the enemy and know more about Jesus if we just do something 60 minutes in one week. If you are not sure what to do and you find the Bible hard to understand try for 31 days, one month is all, to read a chapter of Proverbs a day. There are 31 chapters and 31 days in most months .I wish you well on your journey to know more about our Lord.

Prayer: Lord this day is yours but so is every other day of the week. We thank you for giving us the gift of time. Help us to want to seek you daily to get to know you better. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen!

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Potter

THE POTTER
 
In life sometimes we go through allot of crud. We wonder why on earth sometimes we have to endure the things we do. 'Stand tall little trooper', the well meaning bystander may say, when inside you hurt and want to get on with life. For the Christian these trials help us grow stronger in the end and more like Jesus ( See James 1:3). We are like clay in the potters hand. The potter is Jesus. He is molding and shaping us into His image through the things in life we go through.
On a potters wheel the potter is trying to get his clay pot just right and has to occasionally smack it around , tear off a piece or two, reform it and fire it. Imagine for a moment you are the clay. You are being smacked around and re-formed. "Ouch stop that! That hurts!" But afterwards this wonderfully beautiful pot is ready to enjoy. Just like us after we have gone through the refiners fire are shaped more into the image of Christ. (Read Isaiah  64:8;Romans 9:21;Zechariah 13:9;Job 23:10;Isaiah 43:2).
 
Prayer: Lord Jesus for anyone going through trials right now help them endure knowing that you have a plan for each of our lives. Give us strength to endure whatever comes our way. In Jesus name. Amen!

DO YOU HAVE JOY?

DO YOU HAVE JOY

Do you truly have joy and if not why not? Don't let others control your joy or be joy robbers. Truly get up each day and say to yourself, "Self, today I am going to have a good day. I am NOT going to let external things rob me of my joy!" Psalm 118:24  says" This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."

The other day on a Christian radio station ,of all things, I heard one of the female DJ's complaining about what was so great about water. She said," I hate water." Oh my gosh. Water is a gift from God! I am thinking to myself here is a lady who is supposed to be helping people wake up to Jesus joyfully  and she is complaining about one of God's best gifts to us, the gift of life giving water. I wanted to call the station but I held off. Water is something to celebrate and here a female Christian radio DJ was dissing it. Unbelievable!

"Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete".(John 16:24). 'Though you have not seen him, you love him. And even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy.' (1 Peter 1:8) In Nehemiah 8:10 it says 'the joy of the Lord is your strength.' Do you have joy? When you help others before yourself you can receive this joy. Helping others always seems to make one feel better. The acronym for joy could be Jesus First, Others Second, Yourself Last. Try it and see if you do not feel more joy in your day.

PRAYER:
Lord God today I ask that you let your joy radiate throughout us so that others can see Jesus through us. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Loose Lips Sink Ships

Loose Lips Sink Ships

There is much to be said about the danger of the tongue. Believe me this area is a constant battle for yours truly. The Bible is loaded with wisdom on control of the tongue. Perhaps one of the most popular is James 3 where it mentions the tongue being like a fire that can set a whole forest ablaze. Think about how gossip can ruin people. Or maybe a cruel word to someone that breaks their spirit. Perhaps a hasty response to something before thinking about how you will respond because feelings overrule common sense. You get the point. The mouth can really get us in to trouble and ruin relationships among friends, family and co workers. So it is a constant challenge to say the right thing and learn to keep our mouth closed when we should. In Ecclesiastes 5:3 it refers to being a 'blabbermouth'. I have not heard that term in a while but think about it. Blabbering all over the place for what reason? What good does it do to the hearer? Not much. Who does it edify to blabber? No one. Who does it hurt? Everyone.
Nagging, whining, complaining, gossip, lies, hate filled speech, hurtful comments and you can probably add some to the list.  Proverbs has many verses about the danger of speaking the wrong thing or too much. Proverbs 20:19 says "Don't tell your secrets to a gossip unless you want them broadcast to the world." Proverbs 18:2 "A rebel does not care about the facts, all he wants to do is yell." Proverbs 18:6-7 " A fool gets into constant fights. His mouth is his undoing.His words endanger him."Proverbs 15:1 "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger." This list of verses in Proverbs is very long. Check it out in your free time. So I ask you, do your words build up or tear down? Do they bring together or cause division?

PRAYER: Lord today let my words be few if they are not pleasant to those who listen to me. Help me Lord talk less and listen more. Give me the ability to wait before I react to something. I need your help in this area Lord. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Welcome to my world

After returning from an awesome writers retreat in the mountains of Arizona this past weekend I have decided to put my daily devotions into blog format to share with more people. Stay tuned tomorrow for the first one. I have written 72 up to this point. The title 'God's Lemonade Stand' reflects to the reader that they can come to get refreshment for a few moments while reading my post. (God gave me the title.)  My prayer is those who read will be touched, helped, inspired and possibly a life or two changed as a result. I will get better at this blogging thing and soon have some decorations on here as well. See you tomorrow.

Welcome to my world

I am a devotion writer and every day you can log in to see what tidbit of information I have added. I am just starting so nothing today yet.