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.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

JUDGING:PART TWO


In talking about being judgmental it should also be mentioned not to be condemning those who are not cookie cutter images of yourself. My thoughts drifted to churches who may have a "dress code" and if someone enters who is in jeans or torn shirt, look out!! Don't get me started on tattoos, funny colors of hair, or body piercings. Whether they are right or wrong is not the point. Some of these young people have true hearts for God. Just because they do not look what you think is the norm is  no reason to shut your heart to them. What about grace, mercy, and compassion? Many churches today are reaching thousands because the people feel comfortable coming just as they are. The hymn 'Just As I Am' should hold true. We come with all our imperfections to the cross of Jesus.

Matthew 7:1-2 says “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."  Romans 2:1 says "you therefore have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things." Romans 14:10 says "You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat." 1 Corinthians 4:5 says "Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God."

 Luke 6:37 tells us “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.". Many of us may act like we are better than others. Everyone has messed up at one point or other. God can redeem so let Him. John 8:37 in regards to the crowds condemning the woman caught in act of adultery says "When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.". You get the picture. Don't act so holier than thou. Be able to reach out to those not in your comfort zone for a change. Do not let appearances stop you. 

On a final note certain denominations may feel there way is right and all others are wrong and therefore judge in that respect. Romans 14:5 says "One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind." Colossians 2:16 says "Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day."   God will be the truth revealer.  Do not feel like you have to be setting everyone straight. It Is a big job to play God and we are not supposed to be doing it.

Basically reach out to others. Show Christ's love, compassion, and mercy to those He places in your path each day.

PRAYER:  Father God if I have ever acted superior to others or condemned or judged anyone wrongly please forgive me. Help me to not make ugly comments when a person comes in somewhere and does not look like what I think they should look like. You love all people Lord so help me to learn that same kind of love. In Jesus name. Amen!


Click on the following link when you are able to turn speakers up and listen to this wonderful worship song by Jeremy Riddle entitled "Sweetly Broken" http://youtu.be/fyJuKHvoPGc

Read Romans 14:13-23 in your spare time.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

VANITY TAGS


Vanity tags are fun to read and figure out. Some know vanity tags as simply 'personalized' license plates. Some have messages about the persons hobby, their passions in life, career, fun statement, or many have Christian things on them. Some I have seen recently are FINS, RME FLYR, N2FLYIN, MOMX2, GOD24/7, 3 JOHN 4, NOT ONE, EYEDOC, BURPEE, IHEAL,BACPKN, SKYDIVE, TN FAN, JETGUY, RUT RHO, COOL GAL, CUTYPIE, GRANDMA, SETCX2, PATRIOT, COACH, SEXY1, PAID4, ISELL, RUNR, and JOHN 3 16. These tags help the owner of the vehicle express themselves.

If you drive a car with a Christian tag on it or even a Christian bumper sticker you need to be careful to remember that you are a witness for Jesus so watch how you drive and act when you are in your car. If you show anger, break the law, or cut drivers off, you certainly are not representing the Lord very well.

How do you represent Christ in your daily life outside of your automobile or truck? If you had to hang a sign around your neck what would it say? What are your passions? What is first place in your life?

Matthew 6:19-24 says “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."

Live as if everywhere you go people can tell you live for the Lord and love Jesus. Not in a self righteous way but by being kind to those around you. What sign would others put around your neck? Something to think about.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for each opportunity you give me during my day to show your love to those who you place in my path. It can be a simple smile. I want my passion for you to shine out to others. In Jesus name. Amen! 



Monday, August 29, 2011

WHO MADE YOU THE JUDGE?


Have you ever heard it said when you condemn and point your finger at someone there are 3 fingers pointing back at you? It is not our job to judge other people although how easy a trap to fall into. You can look at someone and form an opinion. Especially if you were raised in a home atmosphere maybe where it was critical or condemning. If you have been, recognize it is wrong.

Have you been around people who constantly make judgmental comments about strangers? I have and it is uncomfortable and I want to just say "will you please stop it!"

Matthew 7:1-5 says “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."  One version says take the telephone pole out of your own eye so you can see toothpick in brothers' eye.

A personal example is  back in the 80's in Illinois at a ladies Bible study, we were having a guest speaker and she was sitting there waiting to speak. I thought to myself 'she is rather young for gray hair' and 'too bad she is heavy as she is so cute.'  Thankfully I kept my thoughts to myself. When she got up to speak she shared that how as a young mom of a toddler she found out she had cancer in her knee and had her leg amputated. Then her hair fell out due to effects of chemo. She said when her hair grew back it was gray but she was thankful to have hair. She was a tiny bit overweight as she now had a artificial leg and it was harder to exercise. How awful I felt that inside my own thoughts I had been forming these judgements of her. This was not right and that day I learned a valuable lesson. We never know what someone has been through in life so do not be critical of them.

It is easy to be critical and condemning  of others. All of us have sin and mistakes in our life. No one is perfect. John 8:7 says " so when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her."
Who made you the judge? Let's leave that job to God, okay. Our job is to love unconditionally from a pure heart and to seek to be more like Jesus.

PRAYER: Lord forgive me when I have judged another person or put them down even if the thoughts are within my own head where no one else hears them. You know my heart and it hurts you when we treat others in a critical way. All humans were made by you. Even those who are in jail should still not be judged by us. We do not know the whole story. I will let you be the judge. In Jesus name, amen.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

24/7 GOD


God is always with us. You may not see Him but He is there. A 24/7 God who cares     about  you. Sometimes when the world feels like it is running out on you or a friend has deserted you God is there. Hebrews 4:13 says "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account." 2 Chronicles 6:19 it says "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 121:4 tells us "Indeed he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps."  Imagine that! Up all the time. Never more than a prayer away! That is good news for us. When you wake up unable to sleep instead of popping a pill, taking a drink of alcohol to relax or turning on the TV, why not open God's word and read for awhile. Your Bible is your 24/7 counseling center.

He is here for us to help us and save us. God is for us so who can be against us. Romans 8:31 says "What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? " Jeremiah 33:3 tells us "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." The shortest verse in the Bible is in John 11:35 and it simply says "Jesus wept."  Jesus says in Hebrews 13:5 that "never will He leave you or forsake you." Believe it and give your cares to Him.

PRAYER: Dear Lord thank you for being a 24/7 'around the clock' God who never closes down for a rest. Thank you for hearing my prayers. In Jesus Name. Amen


Once again I have included an appropriate worship song to help you get your Sunday started off on the right track. Click on link to listen.
 http://youtu.be/sR8rlTIU8_Y





Saturday, August 27, 2011

DON'T BE PUFFED UP

No one likes to be around a bragger. Constantly hearing someone boast is boring and tiring. We have to be on our guard to not fall into this trap. There is a difference in being proud and outright bragging about things. Why do people feel the need to brag? Who are they trying to prove something to? We have all probably been guilty of it one time or other.

Proverbs 27:2 says "Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips." Being a former service member we are used to awards ceremonies where medals are awarded and rightly so. These men and women who receive them, especially in combat situations, are true giants of freedom! They deserve the applause when walking through airports and other places. Awards are nice. But we do not need to tell everyone about our awards. It will not matter. As a former military boss told me once, "Let your virtues speak for themselves."

James 4:6 says " But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”1 Peter 5:6 says "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time." Romans 12:3 says " For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you."

When you get a free moment later today read Deuteronomy chapter 8. It is basically about what happens when we forget God. Remember God is behind all our successes. We are to give Him the glory.  I love it when at the a Super Bowl or Miss America the winner occasionally has raised their hands in the air acknowledging the Lord Jesus Christ. My son used to thank The Lord in the programs of the theatrical plays he was in. God is the one who has given us our talents after all. Try praising others and encouraging them instead of talking  about yourself. It is rather refreshing.

Even doing Christian things we might slip on the 'brag wagon' occasionally and feel like we want to 'share' our good deed. Sometimes depending on the context of the sharing it is OK but not to make yourself look like a saint. For instance, if you are wealthy and give a huge sum of money to a ministry why not do it as a secret. That has happened at my church in Madison, Alabama where an anonymous donor gave a phenomenal amount of money to the building fund. He or she did not need someone to announce it or pat them on the back. When you reach that point you are truly humble. Ephesians 2:8-9 says "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast."

When you start getting pats on back and compliments they can go to your head or you can remember to say, "to God be the glory."  It is easy to get sucked into thinking you are pretty darn special especially perhaps if you are famous, maybe work somewhere  like in New York or LA or the Nations Capitol , go to a fancy school, know important people or  have a  prestigious title. We are all special in God's eyes. Each of us is gifted for God's purposes and not one person is better than the other no matter where they live or what they do. Some gifts stand out more such as the talents of a physician , nuclear physicist or rocket scientist but everyone is important to God.

So where do you stand today? Do you need some practice on being humble? Try your best if you are overlooked at an awards ceremony or volunteer luncheon to let it go. What does it matter in the big scheme of things? To God be the glory!

PRAYER: Father if I have bragged and tried to put myself above others forgive me. Help me to find ways to compliment my fellow man and brag on them and encourage them. Help me learn to show interest in the gifts of others. In Jesus Name. Amen


Friday, August 26, 2011

LANDMINES IN OUR PATH

This country is in the midst of a war overseas. Many lives have been lost and some to these sneaky devices the enemy buries in the ground called 'land mines'. You do not see them til it is too late then as Batman would say 'kapow', a huge explosion occurs and usually someone dies. The enemy is tricky. These devices are where we least suspect them.
 Sin is like a land mine. Something seemingly innocent and subtle can lead us astray and take us off the course God has for us. Wrong choices can have bad consequences. "Landmines' are the temptations we succumb to in our everyday life. Satan will distract you with all sorts of things and in addition will put wrong thoughts in your head to get you confused and worried. Is is vitally important to stay connected to God through His word. You can justify that what you are doing is 'not that bad'. Satan masquerades as an 'angel of light."(See 2 Corinthians 11:14). Anything to throw you off course is a land mine in your spiritual walk.

1 Corinthians 10:13 says "No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it." Satan may be trying to get your off course but God is our ever present help in any situation. Psalm 46:1 says "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble “.
Watch out for the land mines each day that the enemy will throw in your path to get you to stop following Jesus. Money, sex sin, pride can all be landmines of sorts. I heard a pastor on TV last week say three things that bring down pastors would be  the 3 G's which are girls, gold and glory. I think it was Creflo Dollar if I am not mistaken. So for a preacher these temptations are 'land mines' of sorts.

Basically staying in the word of God and in prayer and realizing the enemy is trying to defeat you is the way to combat his attacks and the land mines he puts in your walk with the Lord. We can in fact tell Satan that we are on to him and his tricks and that we are not going to be brought down or defeated. We have the victory in Jesus Christ!

PRAYER: Thank you Father because I can have victory from the enemies attacks by staying in your word. There is no reason I need to sink into a pit of despair as God is my strength and will see me through any situation .Thank you now Father for protecting me and rescuing me from the attacks of the enemy. In Jesus Name. Amen .

Thursday, August 25, 2011

CHILL OUT...GIVE GOD YOUR WORRIES



Seems to me one of the biggest problems most people have is to learn how to stop worrying. I struggle with it I know and most people I know do. Sometimes we may be doing pretty good and we say we have given God the controls and then poof, out of nowhere, a 'test' comes to see how much we have learned to give our problems over to God. It could be a host of things. For the purpose of this writing let's say it is an issue at work. You have been told you need to come talk to the boss. Your mind starts racing. Will I be let go? What have I done wrong? Wonder what he wants to talk to me about? You get the idea. It may be nothing but our mind makes us think of the worse case scenario then the 'what ifs' set in again. In the following paragraph are a few Bible verses that you should try reading out loud and believing in your heart. Once again remember who it is that brings worry upon you. It is not from God I will tell you that. Right then and there you start to lose your peace and composure. Satan wants to get you 'disabled' so you take your eyes off Jesus. Do not allow it to happen. Resist the urge to worry.

Tell Satan to take a hike and tell him you are a child of God covered by the blood of Jesus then read the following verses. Psalm 118:6 says "The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" Romans 8:31 "What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?" In Hebrews 13:6  it says "So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" Psalm 23:4 says "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." Psalm 27:1 says "The LORD is my light and my salvation--whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid?" Psalm 56:4 says "In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me? Psalm 56:11 says "in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" Isaiah 51:12 says "I, even I, am he who comforts you. Who are you that you fear mortal men, the sons of men, who are but grass". Isaiah 26:3 says "You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast,  because they trust in you."  2 Timothy 1:7 says "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." John 16:33 says "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." James 1:3 tells us "For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow."

So no matter if it is a work situation or something like worry about the future in general remember God wants you to cast your cares on Him. (See 1 Peter 5:7). Start praising Jesus and trusting Him to see you through.

PRAYER: Father forgive me when I fret over things I can do nothing about. I want to completely trust you. I know you are in control and have a plan for my life. Help me let go and let you take my problems. In Jesus Name. Amen.

NOTE: Now it is time for some good praise music. Listen to the following song. It is sure to lift your spirits. Enjoy and be blessed!Click on link.

http://youtu.be/OJFPOAPUcBo

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

CUSHY CHRISTIAN OR ARMED FOR BATTLE?


 Do we Christians like to be coddled or are we ready to get into the trenches and help others? Do we just go to church to get 'fed' and feel good or do we take what we learned and go out armed and ready for battle during the week? After all the Bible commands us to "go into all the world". (See Matthew 28:16-20). All of us are missionaries here on earth where God has placed us. We are to be His servants here on earth, His hands and feet, so to speak.
A few weeks ago in church the pastor compared our walk with Christ as either being on a cruise ship or on a battleship. These two ships have different functions. The cruise ship is for having fun. This could be like the 'Sunday Christian' who just goes to church to 'punch his ticket' on Sunday but the rest of the week lives life as usual not being concerned with others or Christian growth. The music is great and makes you feel good but you leave and resume life as usual.

The battleship, on the other hand, is there to fight, defend, and protect us from our enemies. It is aggressive and bold and is on constant lookout for the enemy or other danger. That is how a Christian life should be. We need to be on guard from attacks from the enemy Satan who the Bible says " prowls around like a roaring lamb seeking whom it may destroy."(See 1 Peter 5:8). James 4:7 says to "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

Keep your armor of God on because we in fact are supposed to be on the 'USS Satan Destroyer'. Read Ephesians 6:10-18 for your assignment for today. This passage speaks of the armor of God we are to put on daily to go into battle with our enemy Satan. He is a liar and thief and out to destroy Christians. Be on your guard.

PRAYER: Thank you for the opportunities you give me each and every day to reach out and impact someones life. Maybe just a smile or kind gesture. Give me the strength when an opportunity comes my way to not run the other way but to help in Jesus name. I thank you for where I am in my life and for the opportunities you have given me. Forgive me when I have shirked my responsibilities. In Jesus name. Amen.


Your kids or you will get a kick out of the song below. It is from the Gospel Bill TV show which is still showing in some places on Saturday morning in the US. Also known as Adventures In Dry Gulch.

http://youtu.be/1XZZdPaoNAY

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

BE COOL BOY!


 My title is  a line from a song in the stage play  and movie 'West Side Story' when the Jets and the Sharks gangs were going to rumble and the advice was 'be cool boy.' Do not allow every little thing to bother you. You have to set your mind on good things and good thoughts to stop losing your peace. John 14:27 says "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." Fear, worry, agitation, being emotionally disturbed, the 'what ifs' and a host of other emotions come about when you take your eyes off Jesus. Sometimes we conjure up things in our own minds and try to orchestrate the outcome ourselves. This will not work.
Satan loves it when he can get our focus off God. If we dwell on our problems or potential problems our faith and trust go out the window. It is easy to get mad about things in life. You can choose to have a peaceful spirit or one that is constantly fretting and on edge. Keep yourself focused on good things. Colossians 3:2 says to "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." If you dwell on bad things it will take your peace away. There is enough bad stuff today to think on so it is a discipline to trust God and allow him to take the controls of your life. Commit your thoughts to Him as well. If the news upsets you then turn off the radio or TV and stop looking at the newspaper. It is that simple. Turn on some praise music and focus on God and happiness.

Psalm 55:22 says "Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall." If we constantly want to carry our own burdens we will never achieve or maintain a peaceful heart. When you keep worrying you are telling God in a round about way you do not trust Him to take care of you. He is God of all so I think He can pretty much handle things.

Do not give the upper hand to Satan by caving in to a lack of peace. John 10:10 tells us that "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." The thief as we know is the devil. He steals your peace. He likes to get you upset as when you are you can not have victory. Say out loud "Devil I am not going to listen to your lies! I am a child of God and I have the peace of Christ in my heart." Say it and believe it .


"In this world you will have much tribulation but rejoice for I have overcome the world."(See John 16:33). It is your choice. Think on good things or things that keep you constantly in a tizzy. God wants to be in your heart and your mind. Give him the controls today.

PRAYER: Lord God I want to fully trust you. Many things happen in life that sometimes cause the focus to get shifted. It is easy to start worrying. Give me your perfect peace. In Jesus name. Amen!

It is a great day. Enjoy the following praise song. Click on link below.

http://youtu.be/lo8rcwe0Zm4



Monday, August 22, 2011

HELPING THE POOR


Yesterdays' devotion was primarily dealing with people who choose to not work and suck off the government 'baby bottle' as I call it. Not to be misunderstood there are those people who truly are poor and need our help. God commands us to help if we are able. How selfish to see someone who has a need and we are able to meet it but are too attached to our stuff or our money to part with it to help a person truly in need. Job layoffs, sicknesses, unexpected single parenthood, recent Alabama tornado victims who had no  insurance and a host of other reasons could cause someone to be in dire straits and not be able to meet their bills one month. Sometimes we may have been irresponsible with the money God did bless us with and end up in some situation too. But never the less Psalm 41:1 says "Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor! The LORD rescues them when they are in trouble." Psalm 82:3 says "Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed." Verse four of that same chapter goes on to say "Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked." People will try to take advantage of the poor many ways. One way I see is through the lottery to make them feel they can 'win it all' and escape.

Proverbs 14:21 says "He who despises his neighbor sins, but blessed is he who is kind to the needy." Now we have those men and women we see with the cardboard signs at exit ramps and on street corners. Many believe these people to be phonies posing as poor and out of work to take advantage of the gullible. There are those though who are not begging on a corner but who are walking picking up cans maybe to try to pay for their electricity or some food. If you have given money to a street corner beggar, who if he gets only $10 in one hour makes more than most people, and if your heart said it was OK, then if this person has lied by portraying a poor person then God will deal with him. If you felt you were doing right good for you. God knows our hearts.

The government would like to enable poor people to stay poor. If they keep giving handouts, free cell phones, and all the rest many times a person is not motivated to want to better themselves and the cycle of poverty continues. Our government debt is due in part to too many handouts to many people who are able to earn  a living but choose to not do so. Many simply feel the government owes them something. Third world nations have leaders who have oppressed the people and taken away their freedoms. These people have no opportunity and learn to depend on handouts .In America we know better but some have taken the road to let 'Uncle Sam' provide their needs.

1 John 3:17 says "If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?" Like I said there are truly needy people out there. If God has blessed us we should help them. The government does not need to 'redistribute our wealth' as it is not 'American' for us to have government confiscate our money but we should be able to share a little with charities to help the unfortunate. After all God has given the power to get wealth and it all belongs to Him anyway. Deuteronomy 15:7 says "If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother."

In the United States the poor,I believe, can receive free health care already. They can not be turned away. There are free clinics in many communities. Doctors are not cruel people but are here to heal and help. We are indeed a blessed nation even with the seeming problems we have .

And do not poke fun at poor people either. Some may do that to what they may see as 'hillbillies' or 'rednecks'. Proverbs 17:5 says "Those who mock the poor insult their Maker; those who rejoice at the misfortune of others will be punished." Proverbs 21:13 tells us "If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered."

There you have it. The poor will always be with us.(See Matthew 26:11) We reap what we sow it says in Galatians 6:7. Be kind to others as you never know when you might be on the receiving end. Help your friends if they are in need but reach out to strangers too. If you are blessed financially be thankful because money can make itself wings and fly away. (Proverbs 23:5).

PRAYER: Father hear our prayer. We thank you for the blessings you have given us. Many around us are not so fortunate. Probably all of us know someone who has lost a job at one time or could not pay their bills. Give us generous spirits to help someone who crosses our path who has a true need. Open our hearts to show your love and mercy Lord. In Jesus name. Amen.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

CHARACTER PROBLEM

Recently I heard a great sermon by Creflo Dollar about how it was not the governments responsibility to give hand outs to people and how welfare and assistance perpetuated poverty and keep people lazy. Back in the day people, wanted to work. It was shameful to be on government assistance. Today there is  a system of class warfare going on where the people who do not have things are being made to feel jealous of those who have.  It is not the citizens responsibility to give away their hard earned money to those who sit around and draw welfare and who refuse to lift a hand. Yes the Bible commands we take care of the poor but this does not mean those who are lazy and do not lift a finger to do anything.

Christians ,wake up, and do not get sucked up into enemies entitlement lie. Do not expect the government to give you everything. A head of a house should want to work and work hard to make a decent living for his family. It is sad to rely on government to help you. There are jobs out there if you just look. The government today is trying to keep us dependent on them so they can control us. This is not God's plan. Our government was never meant to be our caretaker. Remember the late President John F Kennedy said "Ask  not what your country can do for you but ask what you can do for your country." Wow things have changed since he said that back in the early 60's. Not for the better I might add.

If you do not work you should not eat. I did not make that up. That is in the Bible.
2 Thessalonians 3:10 says "For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat." Today many do not even do their share paying taxes. The government tries to make rich people seem bad. It is the wealthy who have started the jobs to help those people on welfare get work if they wanted to. We are to submit to our leaders and pay our taxes but leaders are to be leaders and not dictate and dominate. Proverbs 29:18 says "When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful."

Once in this great land we had prayer in school, babies did not get killed in abortion mills, marriage was one man and one woman and the Ten Commandments were posted and followed. What has happened? We have a character problem for sure in the US of A.  Proverbs 28:2 says "When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily. But wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability."

We are not to be takers but givers. The church is the one who should be taking care of the needs of people, not the government. I saw a billboard during the debates over the healthcare takeover fight and it read "A government that controls its' peoples healthcare controls its' people." Pretty frightening concept for a nation of free people. We are still a Christian nation whether our president says so or not, but we have to stand up, speak up and pray to stay that way. Evil forces do not like freedom. They will lie and deceive to trick people and slowly the people succumb to laziness and thus takeover occurs.

The battle is not over. We are still a nation of people who are smart and like to do things for ourselves and create and invent. But the problem is in the heart of man. Hearts need to be turned back to God and transformed. We are not to wish ill on those trying to bring us down but we are to pray for them. Proverbs 24:17-20 says "Do not gloat when your enemy falls;when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice, or the Lord will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from him. Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of the wicked, for the evil man has no future hope, and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out."

Children need to be taught character from an early age. Moms and dads must do their part to raise Christlike citizens with good morals, character and values. We can still be one nation under God. But we have to do our part. We know God is on the throne but also remember to pray. (Read 2 Chronicles 7:14). Proverbs 29:2 says "When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan."

Do not wait for the government to do things for you. God is great and He is on the throne! "Thanks  be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!" (1 Corinthians 15:57).

PRAYER: Lord God thank you for putting within each of us the desire to work and create. Some have gotten lazy and depend on the government when they do not need to. Help us cast off works of darkness and run to the light. Help us reach out and help those truly in need. We bind the enemy from trying to destroy this great land. We know freedom is not free and we thank you for the freedom we enjoy in America. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Note..Happy Sunday! Hope you get to go to church today. But regardless enjoy this wonderful praise and worship song and be blessed to be a blessing. Click on song below.
http://youtu.be/CITjo9QsHaM



Saturday, August 20, 2011

GOD IS WORKING


Do you ever feel God has abandoned you? Maybe you feel alone, confused and afraid. First God is always with you no matter what even though you can not physically see Him. Feelings of discouragement, sadness, displeasure and all other negative feelings to include self imposed pity parties are brought on mainly by taking the focus off Christ and putting them on perceived problems or your self. Satan likes to keep us distracted as then we are not focused on praising Jesus and being thankful for so many things in life. We can get down in the dumps and things in life may be chaotic but God gets you  through all things and works things out for the good. Romans 8:28 says "All things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose."

Deuteronomy 31:8 says to those who are discouraged "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.” The thing is when you start feeling the 'blues' over something or feel like you can not take something any longer, just hang on. There are trials and tests in life and God is always right around the corner.

Psalm 66:16-20 tells us "Come and hear, all who fear God, And I will tell of what He has done for my soul.  I cried to Him with my mouth, And He was extolled with my tongue.  If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear; But certainly God has heard; He has given heed to the voice of my prayer.  Blessed be God, Who has not turned away my prayer, Nor His loving kindness from me."

Many things in life can stress us out and make us want to quit, but hang on, as God has good things for you. The late Evangelist Oral Roberts used to say "Something good is going to happen to you today!" Believe it, and stop letting the enemy put bad thoughts in your head. Fight the urge to think negative. In Hebrews 13:5 it tells us "He will never leave us nor forsake us."

Psalm 62:1-2 says "My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken."  Philippians 2:13 encourages us with these words "for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." 1 Peter 1:6-7 says "In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."

Today harden not your heart from the Lord. He loves you and can get you on the other side of anything bad that is going on in life. Remember your real home is in heaven if you know Jesus as your saviour.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus I thank you for being there. I thank you for your word in the Holy Bible that I can read to gain strength and hope. Help me to get strong in the Lord so I can help keep others strong. Forgive me when I have not 'set my mind on you' and have allowed the cares of this world to overwhelm me. In Jesus name,amen!

Note:Enjoy a wonderful praise and worship song that goes along with this subject. Be blessed! Click on link below. Turn up speakers. If the first link does not work well same song but different video is below that. The song is called 'Overcome'.

http://youtu.be/dRAQ7XCJefQ

http://youtu.be/zJvqQjaz87I


Friday, August 19, 2011

THE DRIPPING FAUCET

A week or so ago I wrote on the 'tongue' seemingly directing most of my comments towards the men in a roundabout way but wanted to clarify that women are not perfect little angles either. We like to talk, talk, talk and some of us more than others. I am not sure of the author,but a male author, who I can not remember at this time, said women have something like 100,000 words a day and men only 25,000 and the man has used his up by 5 p.m. right when he gets home and his wife is ready to talk. Women can tend to be like a 'dripping faucet' if we are not careful and can be blamed for being nags. That is not a very edifying title to have. Much better to be called a princess or queen than a 'drip' huh?

There may be issues with verbal abuse and mostly on male side but women tend to gossip more and have a tendency to be naggers. No one likes to hear that. We call nagging 'reminders', but really step back and think if you would constantly like 'reminders' of everything. It would eventually drive you bonkers. The less said the better sometimes. Things bugging you, instead of 'nagging at the home, take them to the throne'. There is one incident that I recall right off hand where men are naggers and that is in Colossians 3:21 where it tells men "Fathers, do not nag your children. If you are too hard to please, they may want to stop trying." Some versions may use another word. But even men can get harping on an issue and not let it go.

Proverbs 27:15 says "A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike." Ecclesiastes 3:7 says in referring to talking  and a time for things that there is "a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak." Once again we do not have to be talking all the time. Ladies like to talk and sometimes it is hard to not comment on everything. Better to be silent sometimes. Proverbs 21:9 says "It's better to live alone in the corner of an  attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home." See ladies it is important that we let our sweet spirit shine through to our exterior and not be a clanging cymbal or constant drip, drip, drip. Choose your words wisely and speak in a loving tone. Proverbs 19:13 says "A foolish child is a father’s ruin,  and a quarrelsome wife is like the constant dripping of a leaky roof." Just think of the sound of a dripping sink in the distance. It gets pretty annoying at times. For speaking, in general, for both sexes, the Bible says in Ephesians 4:29 "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

Ladies let's attempt to be like the woman in Proverbs 31. Let us seek to be kind, gracious, submissive (I did not say 'less' or a doormat), and joyful. Let us try to be the person people want to be around. I encourage you to think of at least one good thing to say each and every day. If a bad thought comes try to bury it and not let it come out of your mouth. Yes, men are to treat us with honor and respect, but we too, are supposed to respect them and be kind to them. It takes two to tango so to speak.

PRAYER: Lord help me use gentle speech and favorable speech. I want to be kind and cheerful and be the kind of person people like being around. Help me not use my mouth for gossip, backbiting or worse yet, nagging. Help me recognize when I need to be silent. In Jesus Name. Amen.

For further reading: Proverbs 31:10-31 on the excellent wife or woman

Thursday, August 18, 2011

BE CARE! EVIL IS OUT THERE!


Evil is tricky. The devil is tricky. He comes in like an angel of light(See 2 Corinthians 11:14).Satan is a deceiver,a counterfeit,  a manipulator and a liar. He is sort of like the email that says 'do not open unless this is a trusted source'. Sometimes we think the email is trusted and open it only to find out it was a hacker or spam and it fries our hard drive and crashes the computer. Satan is like that. In the world there is good and there is bad. There is light and there is darkness. Light shines out and gets rid of the darkness. Satan is in the dark and tries to drag us down into the dark pit with him. But we are overcomers and do not have to cower to his lies and tricks.

John 16:33 says "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." We are from God and serve God. We do not serve Satan. He is the prince of the power of the air. He may try to torment us now but we know 'the end of the story' according to God's Holy Word. 1 John 4:4 says "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." Say that out loud. Say  "Greater is He who is in me than he that is in the world." Say it over and over and believe it!

Some people say "God is their father" but they do not do what he says or follow him. It is easier to follow the world and its' ways than to be dedicated to living a life pleasing to God. John 8:42-44 says "Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me.  Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies." Those who know God listen to his voice and try to please Him. Just as with earthly fathers we want to obey them and honor them.

Some folks make a mockery of the word 'evil' but it is a real thing and Satan is behind it. We all have sin in our life. It is necessary to confess our sin then to try to not repeat it. Isaiah 59:1-2 says "Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.  But your iniquities have separated  you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you,  so that he will not hear." 

You can overcome evil by doing good. Let's say someone is being ugly and mean spirited to you. Instead of lashing back at them, which is a 'human response', try instead to pray for them and do something good for them. Romans 12:21 says "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

1 Peter 3:9 says "Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing." Through the strength of the Holy Spirit who indwells you if you have asked Jesus into your heart you have the power to walk out of darkness and into the marvelous light of Jesus. You can resist evil and it will flee. Ephesians 6:12 reminds us that we are in a spiritual battle and it reads "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Pray for those who are being used as instruments to bring evil and injustice into the world and pray for the voice of God to never be silenced.

PRAYER: Lord God I want to do what is right in your eyes. Give me the strength to resist the attacks of the enemy who scripture says is 'prowling around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may destroy.' I am a child of God and the enemy has to flee. In Jesus name. Amen.








Wednesday, August 17, 2011

POWER IN JESUS

This week for me has been great. I have been super charged with excellent powerful Bible teaching at 'Word Explosion' and have become energized to go forth into the world and resist the lies of the enemy that are thrown at us daily. Not everyone has a chance to get off to a super conference like I did. Once again I want to add the link to it because it continues through next Monday.
https://www.victory.com/events  It is necessary we stay  'plugged in to' our power source, God's word, in order to have power to defeat the lies of Satan. In the pages of God's word is what we need to fight the spiritual battles of this world.

All of us need a chance to recharge our spiritual batteries. In this world we are bombarded by the enemies lies and it is easy for the church to become dry and dead and fall into the worlds pattern of thinking. We are not put here to just simply occupy space but God has a plan for each of us. The enemy tries to come in and confuse that plan and get you  off course at time but God is calling you back. The Bible is the authority for this world but the enemy has come in and people have gotten into power who have taken God's word and made laws against it. Sin will not have power over us. We have the power in Jesus name to resist the enemy and all his tricks and schemes. We are not measly little weakling but if we have accepted  Christ as saviour the same power that resides in Him is in us.

2 Corinthians 4:13 says "Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak."  Hebrews 1:3 says "The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven."

Joel 2:28 says "And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions." The Holy Spirit is powerful and we have the power of the Holy Spirit living inside of us if we have asked Jesus into our lives. Miracles and wonders still happen today.

There is power in the name of the Lord.

PRAYER: Father God thank you your mighty power which we can call upon to see us through the battles  here on earth. Thank you for being our saviour and Lord. Thank you for your inspired words of power and authority within the scriptures. Forgive me for the times I have not called on that power to deliver me from the attacks of the enemy. In Jesus Name. Amen.



http://youtu.be/F4P9Z9BnKzU












Tuesday, August 16, 2011

JESUS NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES


The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the Bible says(See Proverbs 18:10).Many places in scripture Jesus name is mentioned not just in speaking of Him but talking about what power is behind His name.  At the name of Jesus the devil must flee.(See Matthew 4:10). There is no other name under heaven by which men might be saved. We exalt His name, we glorify His name, we pray in His name, we heal in His name. Obviously His name invokes supernatural power.

 Jesus name means many things too in the Bible. Comforter, redeemer, Holy one, God with us.  I read somewhere in searching that there were over 190 titles or names of Jesus in Scripture. His name is mighty indeed. I ask you do you know Him? Have you given your life to Him?

Philippians 2:10 and 11 says "that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Jesus name is so special we are not to 'take it in vain' it says in the Ten Commandments found in Exodus Chapter 20:7. Today people flippantly use the name of Jesus or God's name in the context with swearing. This breaks my heart and I am sure breaks his as well. His name is to be honored!

Psalm 8:1 says "O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens". Psalm 148:13 says "Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven."

Yes Jesus and His name are indeed special. Isaiah 9:6 often used at Christmas says "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

PRAYER: The name of the Lord is indeed a place of safety for us to run to. I thank you for what your name means and how we can find comfort in your name Lord. Thank you for being comforter, healer, almighty saviour and so much more. Father I pray for those reading this who have not committed their lives to you. I ask you touch their heart and help them know that Jesus is Lord! Also help those who have not asked them into their heart to do so today. In Jesus name. Amen.

Enjoy a powerful praise song by clicking on the link below:

http://youtu.be/T2qm3eD4akM










Monday, August 15, 2011

LET THE WORD CHANGE YOU

Yesterday the devotion subject was about the renewing of our minds. It was pointed out that a good way to do this 'renewal' is to stay in God's word.  This week I have been blessed to be at a powerful worship experience called 'Word Explosion' being held in Tulsa, Oklahoma at Victory Christian Center. We have learned how powerful and mighty the word of God is and how Satan would do anything to get you to not know it or read it.There is power in the mighty word of God.

Last night while starting to write today's devotion I had finished  a good portion of it and guess what? Poof, off it goes from my computer screen,out into cyberspace. I see this as spiritual warfare. The enemy does not want me sharing God's word with my Facebook friends, blogspot friends, and others. It is powerful. Hebrews 4:12 says " the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Too many churches do not encourage getting into the word. Through the word you can have victory over so many problems in your life. To have victory and walk with Jesus you need to do more than just getting out one hour on Sunday, punching your 'church ticket' and thinking, "well that is that for another week".

Proverbs 18:20 says "The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe." Isaiah 55:11 says "so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." There is power when you speak the word of God out loud. Satan has to tremble at the sound of Jesus name.

You can not possibly read the Bible sincerely each day and not have it make an impact on your life. Romans 10:17 says "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ". God's word is relevant for today in any situation or sin you find yourself caught up in. The answers are right there in the uncompromising word of God.Psalm 119:105 says "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path."

Colossians 3:16 says "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God." The word has the power to heal, set free, transform, uplift, and much more. 1 Thessalonians 2:13 says "And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe." The word of God is called the 'sword of the spirit' in Ephesians 6:10-17. It is a piece of the 'armor of God' we should 'put on' daily to combat the attacks from the enemy.

The mighty word of God contains many promises that can set you free and give you hope for your life. It can help you fight the battles in your path and combat the lies the enemy will throw at you. I challenge you this day to start in the Psalms and read a chapter each day if possible. Read it out loud too if you can. Claim God's promises in His word out loud such as Philippians 4:19 which says "My God shall supply all my needs through his riches in glory in Christ Jesus". Say it out loud and believe it. For more on God's promises just go to a search engine like Bing or google and search for 'God's promises".

Choose today to start a habit of learning what the Bible says and having a hunger for His word. It will transform your life.

PRAYER: Lord it is my desire to know your word better and to claim its' promises for my life. When the enemy tries to come and confuse me I can speak your word out loud and tell him to flee in the mighty name of Jesus. I do not have to be weak and scared because your word is where I get my strength. Help me as I seek to lead a life pleasing to you learning the truths in the word of God. In Jesus Name. Amen.


NOTE: I have included a link to the events at Victory Christian Center and a praise and worship song.
https://www.victory.com/events

http://youtu.be/2SLHWFpSlq4

Sunday, August 14, 2011

RENEW YOUR MIND

To renew means to restore or refresh.  To get victory over sin you have to renew your mind and have the mind of Christ. Do you want to have God's thoughts? Do you want to be Holy and walk in victory? Get wrong thinking out by reading the Bible and refresh and renew your mind on His words and His thoughts. Dwelling on bad things will only bring you down. Thinking on right things is a discipline to learn.

Romans 12:1-2 says "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." This world and all of its' glamour and glitter is not our real home. We are only here on a temporary basis. For those who have given their lives to Jesus their real home awaits them in heaven. We are not to necessarily become monks but we are to be thinking good thoughts and focusing on the right things.  There is plenty of bad junk out there to think on. Just turn on your TV. A follower of Christ should not have a desire to be laughing at a bunch of crude things in my opinion. Laughter is fine but it depends on what you are laughing about.

Philippians 4:8 says "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." You can spend one hour each week in church but that is not enough to keep your mind on God's thoughts. If you exit the doors of the church building and decide the remainder of the week to do as you please, thinking nothing about what you learned in church or never even opening God's word, the Bible, you have basically not renewed your mind at all. Instead you have fed your mind all week long on the worlds' junk with no teaching each day from God's word. It is a challenge without being self righteous to live a life each and every day that is pleasing to the Lord. You simply went to church to 'punch your ticket' so to speak.

In Galatians 5:16 it says " So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh." Stay in tune with God's teaching in the Bible. It is a guidebook for your life.  Romans 8:5-6 says "Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace."

Constantly be on guard for Satan's lies and tricks. Stay in the word. Whatever you have problems with study that area.For instance if you have problems with having trouble with your mouth study the Bible for verses on the mouth and dangers of the tongue and bad speech. The key is to pray and stay in the word of God. Try to show more of God's love and do no overreact to bad stuff that gets thrown in your path. Acting 'holier than thou' is not what we are after but seeking to live a life pleasing to the Lord.

Do not believe enemies lies. Many people feel stuck in their sin and addictions. You can be set free. You have to keep mind set on things above and realize and admit certain things in your life are sin and God wants you set free from these things which have a 'strong hold' on your life. The enemy is crafty and full of tricks and deceit. He will lie and make you feel in your mind that you are stuck and can never be set free or God is mad at you. You are not stuck and God is not mad at you! See that mind plays tricks with you.

Do you want to be able to be more conformed to the image of Christ? It starts by picking up the Bible and getting to know the character of Jesus Christ. Your mind is a precious thing. But we should be careful what we allow to go into our brains and thus our thoughts.

Ephesians 4:22-24 tells us "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."

Now go and feed your mind on the things that will build up not tear down and destroy. The mind is powerful so protect it!

PRAYER:  There have been times Lord when I have not always kept my mind pure. I have watched the wrong movies or seen the wrong TV shows and put things into my mind that had no business being there. Forgive me and help me in the future to be more discerning of what I allow inside my head. I want to think your thoughts Lord so I ask for your help to live a life pleasing to you and to keep my mind free from worry, doubts, and the cares of this world. In Jesus Name. Amen!

Suggested reading: Book by Joyce Meyer called 'Battlefield of the Mind.'

Saturday, August 13, 2011

HIDDEN TREASURE


I am not sure where I first heard this story but there was a tale of an old woman who had died and left a family member an old Bible in her will. This made the person receiving it very angry as the woman had great wealth and all they got was this silly Bible. Unknown to this person receiving the Bible, because they failed to look inside and read it, was that tucked inside was the 'earthly treasure' of a check of a huge sum of money  hidden within its' pages not to be found until the real treasure was uncovered in God's word. This reminded me of the movie "The Ultimate Gift" http://www.theultimategift.com/ about a young man who found the 'real treasure' in life was not monetary.

Matthew 6:21 says "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." The real treasure is not in earthly things that rot and decay and rust but it is in an imperishable everlasting gift. Money will not satisfy. Lots of folks say "it sure is kind of nice to have though" but many times it brings false happiness too. Things will not bring happiness. We in America are extremely blessed and even the poorest person here is wealthy in the eyes of the world.

Money in itself is not bad and as Jimmy Stewart's character ,George Bailey said to Clarence Oddbody the Guardian Angel in 'It's A Wonderful Life', "Y-You don't happen to have eight thousand bucks on you?"  Clarence replied "Oh, no, no. We don't use money in heaven." George responds "Oh, that's right, I keep forgetting.Comes in pretty handy down here, bub."  In this movie 'Bailey Building and Loan' had a short fall of $8,000 after his Uncle Billy lost a deposit he was going to make.The evil rival banker in town, Mr. Potter, took advantage of the situation and threatened to have Stewarts' character arrested. George Bailey decided he would be worth more dead than alive due to a life insurance policy that could be cashed in so decided to commit suicide. That is when Clarence the Angel Second Class appeared to save George and let him see how silly it was to kill himself over money. Consequently he showed George what a 'wonderful life' he did have and in turn earned his wings.

Money can put pressure on people. In 1 Timothy 6:10 it says "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." So yes we need it to pay bills but we are not to get in a habit of consuming our lives to be wealthy. God is the one who blesses anyway.  In verse 17 of this same chapter it goes on to say "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."
Do you focus too much on money and making it big in the world? God is going to take care of you. If you have been blessed then do the right thing and help bless others too. Do not be selfish with your blessings. Luke 12:18-21 talking to the rich fool says "And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.  And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’  So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God."

So where your treasure is there is your heart. What is your priority in life?  Make sure you remember who it is who gave you the power to gain wealth and give Him the glory due His name. Just remember what Philippians 4:19 says "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."

PRAYER: Father God I thank you for the many blessings I enjoy. I thank you for having a roof over my head. Forgive me when I have been ungrateful and compared myself to others and wanted more. I thank you Lord for the blessing of just being alive and healthy. I thank you for family and friends. I thank you that you meet my needs. Help me share what I have if I see someone in need. IN Jesus Name, Amen.


HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT: Read Psalm 49

Friday, August 12, 2011

RACE ON!!

We are all in a race. Not a literal running race but the 'race of life' and the prize is eternal life. Are we all going to make it to the finish line? I know from the experience of being a runner, who over the years has competed in lots of races, that when you are running you do not look back. You fix your eyes straight ahead and look towards  your goal which is the finish line. Looking back does nothing but make you aware that there are others gaining on you.  You just keep running, go the distance and stay the course. Your focus is straight ahead. 
 
In the Bible running the race is mentioned in several places. Hebrews 12:1-2 says "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." This is a great illustration. Sin can throw 'weeds' in your path and get you all tangled up and make you trip and fall down. To win a race you have to be persistent and just charge on. Let go of bad stuff and look ahead to the prize. 2 Timothy 4:7 says "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." Once again the race word is mentioned. 1 Timothy 4:7 speaks of training when it says "Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness." In other words, train by staying in God's word.
 
One of my all time favorite verses is Isaiah 40:31 which says "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Think of the strength of an eagle soaring on lofty heights. What a strong bird to represent our country too. When you run for the Lord in the race of life you look to Him for your strength and the ability to finish strong.
 
When in  training for the now defunct Women's Army Corps back in 1975 God actually 'gave' me a verse I did not even know was in the Bible. It helped me get through my rigorous training. It was Psalm 18:29 which reads "For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall." We did tons of running and were trained to jump over walls. This verse was a true gift to encourage me during this time .
 
In Galatians 5:7 there is a verse that deals with not following Jesus. It says "You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?" Who hindered you from obeying the truth and following Jesus? Some have known the truth and have walked in it then they get off course and are not headed for the prize like they used to be. The focus is off Jesus and the wrong road of life is chosen.Lies are believed because the person has taken focus off the truth and becomes deceived. This could be due to a number of factors  from choosing the wrong friends, believing the enemies lies, or perhaps thinking being a Christian is dull and boring and therefore staying away from church. That is why it is so important to find a good Bible believing church that teaches the uncompromising word of God and stay in fellowship with other believers. Reading your Bible daily and praying is of utmost importance to run towards the prize as well. As a follow on to the verse above in Galatians 5:10 it further warns "I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty, whoever he may be."
 
Where are you at today in the race of life? Are you pressing on for the finish line or do you find it too hard and want to give up? Run the race to win. The heavenly reward awaits you! Acts 20:24 sums it up good by saying "However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace." You are either running with and to Jesus or away from Him.
 
PRAYER: Lord my desire is to be more like you and to run my race to win looking only to you for what I need to finish. Help me not stray from the path you have set out for me. I want to keep my eyes fixed on God's finish line. Help me recognize and cast off sins that are slowing me down or weighing me down and run strong towards you Lord. In Jesus Name. Amen.
 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

FACEBOOK VERSUS HIS BOOK

How much time do you spend social networking each day? For many it can be an obsession and addiction. It would not surprise me if there were addiction support groups for this. Especially the younger generation is so 'connected' that they may find it hard not to grab that electronic device
before heading out for the day. Sometimes we need to take a technology break. Just give it a rest and try taking a walk without music blaring in your ears or without the cell phone as your lifeline.

Back to FACEBOOK. It can get to be real time waster stealing time away from more important things like reading The Bible, spending  non electronic  time with friends or enjoying your family. Take a break from Facebook and a break with Jesus. If not careful, Facebook can get to be prying and hurtful.  I mean to get 'defriended'   even the word alone sounds awful. And when it happens it kind of hurts. That is why you need a life beyond this make believe social medium. It is super for connecting with long lost and old friends. I use mine for this daily blog. But if left unchecked it can have you sitting for hours playing Facebook games and getting nothing else done. Do you give as much time to knowing the Lord as to knowing your FACEBOOK friend status for the day? Maybe it is time to look at what you are doing and put this in proper perspective.

It has been fun to connect with friends and family but my point is do you spend more time 'connecting' than you do with the Lord. Just something to ponder. Each person has to search their own heart. Proverbs 18:24 says regarding friends "A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."  

Proverbs 3:5-6 says "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." 

Give the Lord the first part of your day. Try making that a habit before checking the status of your friends on your social network. Jesus is your true friend.

The Bible says In Matthew 6:21 that "where your treasure is there will your heart be also". Be honest and ask yourself if you are spending too much time social networking. I would challenge you to put God above Facebook and when you do use it make sure it brings glory to Him. Just some things to think about and perhaps make some needed adjustments.

PRAYER: I want my first passion and priority to be you Lord.   Forgive me when I waste time on social networking and hardly spend anytime with you. I want that to change. Give me strength to resist spending too much time on the computer. In Jesus Name. Amen!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

LOVE CHECK UP


Today let's look at your 'love walk' and see if it needs to be fine tuned. It it easy for those dating to continually show love and respect and kindness. Somewhere along the line for some couples there may be a love breakdown. This does not have to happen and should not happen.It also is not God's plan. Self can get on the throne and God off the throne and thus arguments occur.  It is the enemy working to try to tear apart families. If a couple looks to God's word and does what it says that love can grow and grow to become stronger through the years. Understanding, kindness and respect are the keys. 

But what if you are doing what the word of God says but your spouse is not? Basically you have to learn that "a soft answer turns away wrath." Proverbs 15:1 says "A  gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare."  Those  just starting out in a relationship have an awesome opportunity. A young couple can start by praying together each day. Not just a "lay me down to sleep prayer" or " bless this food" but sincere prayer together as a couple. Start early listening to God's voice and putting God first. When strife occurs, talk it over, pray and as Barney Fife would say "nip it in the bud".

Let's say you feel anger in your heart. God says to pray for those who have hurt you. That is not enemies idea. Satan wants to keep fueling fire of arguments so recognize that now and do not allow him to cause division. Stay in the Bible, that is the key. Don't let the sun go down on your anger either. Choose to forgive no matter how hard. Find a way to do at least one kind thing for each other daily.Luke 6:38 says "bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." Ephesians 4:26 says ""In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry."

1 Corinthians 13 is often read at weddings and is called the 'love chapter'. Let's take a look at portions of it. Starting with verse 4 it says " love suffers long and is kind, it is not jealous". Verse 5 goes on to say "it is not easily angered and keeps no record of wrongs". Now that one is hard and takes the power of God to do. Human nature wants to lash back and say "don't you see what they did to me?" God does see and it makes Him sad but He will deal with the offender, just keep praying. Take time to read the entire chapter today. Ask God to give you His love for not only a spouse if married but for those in your life that are not so lovable.

So you get the idea. Love can grow deeper and it should. When you recognize strife stop then and there and pray. Do things to grow love as well. Let's call them acts of kindness. Ideas are flowers, wash dishes, an unexpected gift, a kind word. Above all stay in the Bible and ask God to help you walk in love to those around you daily. Your kindness can turn things around.

PRAYER:   Father I believe you are working in my life. Even sometimes when it is hard to love help me do it anyway. I choose to move on and give up my right to be angry. Help me show kindness to those around me daily as that shows God's love as well. In Jesus name. Amen!

NOTE:
08/14/11 Love Worth Fighting For Marriage Event - LIVE
Kirk Cameron w/ Warren BarfieldDecatur, AL


For those who saw the movie 'Fireproof' it was an awesome movie. Currently Kirk Cameron is on the Love Worth Fighting For marriage tour across the US. Here in Huntsville it is this weekend. For info go to
http://www.feedyourfaith.org/tag/love-worth-fighting-for-tour/
This event for those married or getting married or anyone.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

OFF THE DEEP END AND I DON'T MEAN IN A SWIMMING POOL

 Do you ever feel you have lost control? You feel like things are going crazy and you have messed up or, as the saying goes, you feel like you have 'gone off the deep end'? Not in a sense of being crazy and committed to a mental hospital but just to the point you rush through things, rush to judgement, jump to conclusions and often do not think things through and make dopey errors which you later regret? Do you get hopeless and do not know where to turn? We probably have all been there at some point.

If we would just stop and not let our emotions rule us and think before we open our mouths then we would be better off. The topic of our mouth is ever present because as it says in James Chapter 3 "no man can tame the tongue". That is so true. It is quite easy to overreact and assume things and say something or do something you will regret. When we act on impulse  we often get into trouble. Patience is required to keep you from going 'off the deep end'.

God wants us to have peace in the midst of chaos. John 14:27 says "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."  Some times you just need to stop what you are doing and take a 'peace break'. Even the busiest person can make time to sit and talk to God. Take a cleansing breath. Psalm 46:10 says “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” God wants you to rest, reflect, and renew. Do not get yourself in a frenzy. Make time today to be alone with Him.

What is troubling you today? Give it to God. He wants you to have a calm spirit and trust Him.

PRAYER: Today and every day Lord I want to be able to pause and thank you for who you are. I thank you for the good and for the bad as they have formed me and shaped me. Thank you for where you have me in life. I desire to be still at times and learn to reflect on the things you have done for me. Help me today Lord to not let my day make me crazy but to get alone and make time for you. I give you my cares today and ask Lord that you help me let your light shine out to others who may be going through chaos. In Jesus name. Amen.


Turn up your speakers and be blessed with this wonderful song!
http://youtu.be/3tIcfsewDb0

Monday, August 8, 2011

STICKS AND STONES DO BREAK BONES

Words are powerful weapons. There is a saying that 'sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me." I beg to differ. Words can cut through the spirit and soul and cause deep hurt, pain and misunderstanding. Make no mistake about it, ugly words hurt people, crush spirits, offend  and cause friendships and relationships to break up. That powerful little tongue can wreak havoc if  not gotten under control. I do write a good deal on the power of words because  it is so important how we choose our words.

Proverbs 12:18 says "The words of the reckless pierce like swords,  but the tongue of the wise brings healing." I wonder how many marriages could have been saved had there not been harsh words carelessly spoken? Why does that happen? There is no excuse for being cruel and mean spirited especially if you are a Christian. Proverbs 13:3 says "He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin." If you are reading this and you deal with someone who speaks harshly pray for God to convict them of it and in the meantime do not be ugly back. Young men out there who are newlywed husbands treat your wife like a princess and a guest of honor at all times and your life together will be excellent. Think of ways to always praise her and make her feel special. Say one nice thing to her daily. Make it  a habit. Proverbs 18:21 says "The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love to talk will have to eat their own words." Women, you too find a kind word to pass on to the one you love in your life.

Do not use your tongue to gossip, belittle, scream, lie, and curse but use it to bless and encourage  people. If you know you have slipped up and become angry with  your words stop what you are doing and apologize and make things right then and there. Ephesians 4:29 says "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

So yes indeed sticks and stones do hurt people and so does idle speech which flows from the mouth. Be careful little tongue what you say! Now go have a good day, make it a good one, and watch what you say.

PRAYER: Lord I want my speech to be pure and holy and I always want what I say to bring glory to you. Help me to treat those around me, especially my family, with love and respect. Let my words be kind and not harsh and hurtful. Convict me if I have done something I need to ask forgiveness for. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

RANDOM TIDBITS FOR A GOOD DAY

I decided to just list a a bunch of random things that if you did today will probably be much better. Here we go.

Speak positive. Seek peace. Mind your own business.Watch your mouth. Love unconditionally. Forgive and forget.Say you are sorry when you have messed up. Put Jesus first then others.Pray continually. Run after God. Read your Bible. If married, date your spouse. Be a friend. Call your parents if they're still alive.Write an actual love letter to your beloved.  Be kind. Be courteous. Be thankful. Don't fault find. Smile. Do not behave rudely or crudely. Do not seek revenge. Look upon good and pure things.Keep your mind on things 'above'. Remember to go to church. Stop worrying. Stop judging. Stop throwing pity parties as no guests want to attend. Listen more. Talk less. Be holy as Christ is holy. Love your enemies. Do something good to people who do not like to hang around you. Trust God. Do not fear. Let God have your future because He knows the 'big picture'. Follow the Ten Commandments( if you have forgotten them they are in Exodus Chapter 20). Work at all things as if Lord was right there. Do not be lazy. Control your anger. Love always. Encourage someone having a hard day. Let the Lord guide you each day.Stay amazed at God's creation. Believe in miracles.

If you can go through the above list and if you are having trouble having a good day try to follow the advice of the random ideas above. Most are right out of God's word. As a matter of fact in writing this before I had a chance to save this I was commenting on the enemy coming and trying to confuse people and make trouble in your life. Well my computer froze up and I lost lots of what I wrote.  Remember the battles are the Lords. Deuteronomy 31:6 says "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Psalm 118:24 says "This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." 1 Peter 5:8 says "Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour." If you try to stay focused on good things such as above it will be easier to have the strength to face the trials of life when they come.

PRAYER: This day Lord I choose to focus on what to do to be closer to you. Help me get rid of things in my life that do not draw me closer to you. Forgive me for when I have refused to do what I know is right according to your word. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

401K...BAH HUMBUG

Today in light of the financial stress lots of folks in America are going through  I thought it appropriate to remind all out there that God has a plan and He is in control. The government may try to terrorize us and control us but ultimately God is on the throne. Americans these past couple years have been fighting a battle trying to remind the Representatives in our nations' Capitol that they are there to 'represent'  and not to dictate. Thankfully after the last election it got somewhat better but we are still fighting an uphill battle to save our nation from financial default. We know who really is in charge. A 'mere man' can not take this land down on his own.

God may allow certain things too in order to get our attention. Americans have had it quite good for the past couple hundred years. That is why so many  have wanted to move to our shores. We are a unique nation with freedom and many opportunities. Somehow things are changing and apparently those in DC want to control us more.Besides our freedoms we see vanishing in different areas such as health care and banks we see our retirement accounts and stock markets taking major hits. It is worrisome to many who have put so much trust in their riches. We know from history that we can in fact bounce back. Like I said, God is the one really on the throne, not anyone else. Man may try to exalt himself over God or deny Him but in the end God gets the final say.

There are many opinions out there. Some say those in charge are trying to dominate and put us down to size. We see evidence of class warfare tactics such as displayed on a grander scale during WWII in Germany. This is not a democrat thing or a republican thing and it is not a devotion about a man but it is a devotion about trusting in God and not your wealth. Believing what the Bible says and following its' principles.

Psalm 62:10 says " Do not trust in extortion or take pride in stolen goods; though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them." Psalm 73:26 says "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." God is your portion. He will take care of you. Further in Psalm 16:5 it says "LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure." See the word secure. God is our security, not the stock market, not a human man or woman. When we take eyes off of God we start to get worried and wonder what is going to happen to us. Psalm 56:4 says "In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?" See that word 'mere'. No matter what the rank or how  high the office, man to God is called 'mere'. That should make you feel a little bit better.

But you say "I have a family to feed and a mortgage. What am I going to do? What about the college fund?" Once again 1 Peter 5:7 says to "Cast all your care on Him for He cares for you."  "But that won't pay my bills" you say "this casting you speak of". Just trust God and believe He will see you through things. See there is another magic word "through' meaning it will be over sometime.

There is a promise in the Bible that says in Psalm 37:25 " I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread." God will not let us starve. No matter what He is there and He will see us through. 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 who do you trust? God or the stock market and your 401K? Just remember this is not a battle against flesh and blood but against evil forces trying to take out this great nation. Ephesians 6:12 says "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Pray for those in authority over us whether you agree with them or not and keep believing God is in control and He has a plan.

PRAYER: Uncertainty, particularly when it comes to money, is unsettling. Father help us to lean on you and not our checkbooks and savings. We know it could be gone in an instant. Father with the money we do have help us not hoard it but let us use it to bless others while we can. In Jesus Name. Amen.


NOTE:At the bottom of this devotion is a worship song to remind us who is really in control. Turn up your speakers and worship the Lord.




http://youtu.be/HCuaQCr0hws

Today in Houston there is a day of prayer and fasting for the nation at Reliant Stadium and it is being simulcast in places across the land. You can also watch it live streaming ...
http://theresponseusa.com/

Friday, August 5, 2011

DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE STORM

There is a song whose lyrics say "when you walk through a storm hold your head up high and don't be afraid of the storm". Now this does not necessarily mean a literal storm but the occasional storms of life that come and threaten our stability and peace. These storms come in the form of medical diagnosis, lost job, unexpected deaths, unfaithful friends, loss of home, family problems, and a host of other things I am sure you could add to this list.

Matthew 8:23-27 says " Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him.Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown! He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

Isaiah 43:2 says "When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you." Your strength is in the Lord God Almighty and He WILL get you through whatever you are going through. Get rid of wrong thinking.

Do not let the enemy bring worries and fears upon you. Keep your mind focused on Jesus and know He is in control.When you take your eyes off Jesus the storms of life seem to get bigger. You have to remember this too shall pass and soon there will be 'rainbows' again.

PRAYER:  I am glad Lord that I can trust you with the storms that sometimes come in life. I know you love me and you have a wonderful plan for my life. Help me trust you. In Jesus name, amen.

Praise tune included below.

http://youtu.be/uHdcyue0bSw

Thursday, August 4, 2011

STARVED FOR THE BIBLE

Do you hunger for God's word? I would say a good majority of people do not even pick up their Bible in the morning or at night for that matter and have no clue the power within its' pages. I have no proof but it is a good guess. Satan would like to keep it that way. Once we are knowledgeable of the word of God and what is contains Satan will have to flee. He does not want us having the victory and power that is within its' inspired pages.

There are many countries where being a Christian and having the word of God can get you jailed or killed. We have thankfully not reached that point yet in this country.   Do not take your Bible for granted. Many nations are not allowed the Bible. When we have leaders who do not acknowledge the supremacy of the almighty God and in fact make laws against things in the Bible it is a frightening thing. God is not to be mocked. The Bible was the authority for the founding of this great unique nation. Slowly mankind and evil forces who know it's power try to get it removed. They make laws against it and approve things as okay and normal that are clearly sins in the eyes of God.
Government elected leaders need to be starting their day thanking the Lord for the ability to lead. There is more to being a Christian than simply ending a speech with the words 'God bless America!'  Pray for our leaders to turn to Him for guidance. Can you imagine what would happen if the Congress, Senate, Judicial Branch and President started their day on their knees sincerely crying out to God and asking God to make them a serve?? Now that would be power! Our Founding Fathers always referred to the Bible for guidance.


There is a verse in the Old Testament that mentions in latter days there will be a famine for  the word. Amos 8:11 says ""The days are coming," declares the Sovereign LORD, "when I will send a famine through the land--not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD."   Imagine that if you will. The Bible, so readily available now, would not be able to be found. If you have not hidden God's word in your heart you will have no strength or power for these times . Sort of reminds me of the theme of the secular movie 'The Book of Eli' where there was only one copy of 'the book' left and Denzel Washington's character was entrusted with getting it to a place where it could once again be printed.

I love going into a hotel or motel room and opening the bedside table and finding the Gideon's have placed a Bible there. A couple of 'high end' hotels though, which I will not name in this devotion, made a business decision to not place these scriptures in their hotel chains. Very sad because Gideon's gives  them for free. These Bibles help the weary traveler have power and deal with situations in their life. They have power and threaten those who want to do evil.

Psalm 119:11 says "thy word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against thee." Psalm 119:16 further says "I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word." Proverbs 18:10 says "The word of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are safe."

Matthew 5:6 says "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." My hope is you will get hungry for God and His word. Be prepared to know it and draw on it for strength as a famine is coming.

PRAYER: Father God I want more of you in my life. I want the power to live life victoriously and I know it is found in the Bible. Help me Lord as I rearrange my schedule to make room for you in my life so I have power to stand up against the attacks on the enemy. In Jesus name, amen!

When you have time listen to the following praise song by artist Jeff Deyo
http://youtu.be/6Jo3y_XoHHQ
Further reading: Nehemiah 8:1-8

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

THE MISSING CROSS

Yesterday when driving home from all my errands I noticed that a palm branch cross I had had in my car window by the drivers side for almost 4 years was missing. This may seem like no big deal but to me it was a huge deal. This cross symbolized a time in my life I was in turmoil and God sort of 'gave it to me' as a way to have peace. I will explain in a moment. But what had happened is I had my oil changed and somehow someone had removed it from my dashboard whether on purpose or accident I do not know nor does it matter. While sitting at a stop light a little over  an hour later I noticed it was missing. Thankfully the car dealer was still open where I had my oil changed and I told him what happened  and he was able to find it.

Now about the cross and why this particular one was a sign to help me through my struggles. I was going through something a few years back and was coming out of the Redstone Arsenal Family Clinic when I looked down by my car door and there in a puddle next to my car door I found this cross. Some would say just a coincidence but I beg to differ. I saw this as a way God was speaking to me to tell me to not worry that what I was going through would be okay and things would work out. Ever since that day when I found the cross I have kept it on my car dash board on the drivers side. Once before it had been broken at this same dealership and I put it back together but this time it was flat out missing. I mean maybe someone needed it to find peace, who knows.No accusations went out. Maybe the person needed it more than me who knows. I just looked at this occurrence  as an opportunity to write a devotion about it.
We can become attached to things but this cross was very special. First the cross of Jesus is very special. Many people wear them around their necks perhaps as a fashion statement or others because of what they mean. So the cross of Jesus is very special.Many hate the cross and try to get them taken down and destroyed.  Finding this cross in a puddle while I was in turmoil over a situation is just what I needed as a way to hear from God. God can speak to us through people, through His word or through crosses laying in puddles in a parking lot.

The cross is a symbol of salvation. I have heard it said "the ground is level at the foot of the cross" which to me means all of us come to the Cross of Jesus and we are not treated more special because of who we are or what we did or did not do. God is an equal opportunity God. He has mercy and grace to forgive. He is a God of comfort.

Isaiah 43:2 says "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze."

I was so thankful yesterday to have this happen as I think God wanted this story to be told. When I shared it with two people at the car dealer they looked at me funny like 'yeah ,whatever  lady". But I do not apologize for I do in fact feel this was God speaking to me.


PRAYER: I thank you Lord for the little ways you speak to us each day and get our attention. I thank you for the ways you comfort when we are going through a tough spot in life. You are there for us. Father help us look to you for our strength and deliverance. In Jesus Name. Amen.

NOTE: Once again I include below an appropriate praise and worship song for you to listen to when you able.


http://youtu.be/7cEmlYax8sw