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.

Monday, October 31, 2011

HALLOWEEN...GOOD OR EVIL? RIGHT OR WRONG?

Every Christian has to be convicted in their own heart about whether to celebrate Halloween with all the spooks, goblins, bloody things,monsters, red devils with pitchforks or go with a kinder gentler version of harvest celebrations which many churches choose to do as an alternative. Halloween can be fun for small children to dress up like fairies, princesses, super heroes and such but should a Christian really being getting 'in to' this holiday? My devotion today is not meant to condemn, point fingers or judge but only to make each person think for themselves whether this day should be celebrated like the world does for those who claim to know Jesus.

First off in Psalm 141:4 it says "Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil, to take part in wicked deeds with men who are evildoers; let me not eat of their delicacies". Just because the stores promote celebrating this day and putting up cobwebs and having witches kettles brewing in your front yard should you really toy with this stuff? We are told to be 'in the world' but not 'of the world'. "Do not get so religious on me" you might say. "What is wrong with having a little fun?" someone else might exclaim. Yes you can have fun but do you have to have fun with satanic type things and ghoulish creatures or can you go with more laid back fun for all? The churches have the right ideas with games and 'trunk or treat' as many call it. Some people just think it is fun to be scared out of their wits and can even become a little addicted to it. Halloween is big business in Hollywood too where horror films abound this time of year.

There are places in the Bible where it talks about not to be involved in divination and fortune telling. These areas are sort of borderline a too.I know Christians who read horoscopes. Only God knows your future not a column in the newspaper. Connecting with the dark side or things that could be getting you to be drawn closer to the enemies camp are sort of dangerous. "Oh come on now. That is ridiculous. This is a fun holiday. You are way out of line."  Each person has to have their own conviction on this one .

Proverbs 23:3 says "Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive." Satan comes like an angel of light and in fact it is highly possible he could use this 'innocent holiday' to trip up many in the church who find no harm in going all out and celebrating like the world. But should you? I have heard that sales of decorations for this holiday are second only to Christmas. Amazing. What is the attraction? News reports said over 60% of Americans celebrated this day.

Witchcraft, satanic rituals, evil, death do not sound like what a Christian should really be getting in to. You decide. Many seemingly innocent things are used by Christians which are borderline toying with evil such as Ouija boards, esp games, levitation and innocent slumber party games. We laugh and say no big deal but is it really no big deal?

2 Corinthians 11:14 says "And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light" Matthew 4:10 says "Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'  We know we are in a battle between good and evil and in spiritual warfare so to turn Satan into a innocent comical character would probably truly delight him. A person becomes desensitized perhaps to how evil and conniving he really is. 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."  Colossians 1:13 says about God  "For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves."

Cornfield mazes are cool as long as there are not Satanic things running after you. Having a hayride is a nice way to celebrate. Some churches put on Hallelujah nights where they present a drama of sorts and end with an invitation to accept Jesus. And then there are harvest parties mentioned earlier.

Once again if you choose to celebrate with the traditions of the world I am not here condemning you. This is only to make you think and perhaps decide if you should do that next year. John 15:19 says "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you." There is a saying I heard once that if you were arrested for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you.When Halloween comes into play that in fact could be a factor. If people came up to your door on October 31 would they be able to tell by your displays that you were a believer or would they not have a clue?

Halloween is not really mentioned in the Bible but good and evil are mentioned. So once again this has to be something the individual has to be convicted in their own hearts what to do and do you celebrate or not. If you do, how do you choose to celebrate? Nothing says you have to participate. It is not a law or anything.

So where is your heart today? Do you desire light more than darkness and do you choose to follow the worlds' ways or follow God's ways? Is this 'just' a fun holiday? Colossians 3:17 says "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him."

PRAYER: Lord I know Halloween in itself is not mentioned in your word but I do not want my heart to be drawn to evil. I do not want to chance doing anything that would give Satan a foothold in my life. Give me discernment for what to do about this day without being self righteous or condemning of others. Whatever I do I want to do it all unto the Lord. Whatever I do I want to please you so I need to remember to ask is what I am doing pleasing you Lord. In Jesus Name. Amen.


FURTHER READING: Romans 14:1-9

Sunday, October 30, 2011

WIRELESS

Have you ever purposely turned off your cell phone and not used your computer for awhile? In other words disconnect for the world? I met a group of young moms once who thought their grade school children could not get along without having a cell phone. Does a  6 year old really  need a phone? Well these moms seemed to think they did. One of the best things for children I feel is to raise them without electronic gadgets and video games. One mom told me that was fine back then but now? Good old fashioned board games, toys without batteries and things that make them use their heads never goes out of style.Anyway the point of this devotion is not to bash techy young moms who think their children have to have an Iphone but is to make the point why do we feel we can not just sit and be still and disconnect for a while? It would behoove a young mom to teach her children the beauty of peace and quietness.

Do you have the ability to set yourself free from technology for a short time? I mean really does everyone really need to know on Facebook that you are sitting by a lake enjoying the beautiful day?  Today, just wading through junk email, is enough to drive one crazy. Get alone and away on purpose and leave the technology behind. The best thing is to go somewhere like a quiet park and just enjoy the trees, take a walk and get alone with God. The people who you need to text and talk to can wait for a few hours I think.

As I was preparing this devotion I had no Internet connection or cell phone signal  and that is sort of what gave me the idea initially to write on this subject.  I had gone to an auction with my husband in a remote country location in Western Tennessee and all I heard were the  sounds of auctioneers, an occasional small plane overhead from a nearby airport,  chirping birds, some machinery, and  passing motor vehicles. It was rather pleasant for a change. Try it and you might like it. For young moms reading this it is good to teach your young ones to sit and be still and not always have to have something noisy turned on.
 
One of the best vacations a person could take, because I have done it, is to be somewhere where you are in a cabin without a radio, TV or a phone. You think it would drive you nuts? Just tell someone where you are in case  of a emergency. If you are in a cabin by a babbling brook who wants to hear a beeping cell phone or be on their laptop?

God made so many beautiful things to enjoy. Take a day if you are able and try to get alone with God. If you have children then get them engaged in perhaps reading a book or playing a game. If they are old enough you can get them out on a day hike with you or if in a stroller take a walk in the park. Too cold? Bundle up. They make awesome winter clothes.

By being alone like this you will learn to develop a peacefulness. Isaiah 26:3 says "You will keep in perfect peace  those whose minds are steadfast,  because they trust in you."  In Psalm 46:10 it reads "He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;  I will be exalted among the nations,  I will be exalted in the earth." Isaiah 30:15 says "This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: "Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it."  Psalm 116:7 says "Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you." Isaiah 32:17 says "The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever." Exodus 14:14 says "The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."

Why not take the time and schedule a 'wireless' time on your calendar.Sure in today's world we get used to our gadgets to keep us connected but why not purposely just take a 'wireless break'.  In other words if you are able, although some jobs require you to stay connected, but if you can, take a technology break and get alone with God. You will not be sorry. 

PRAYER: Lord I love to be alone with you and pray.  When I get too busy and distracted by the world and the computer, phone, Ipad, and texts I send out I often run out of time to really give you quality time. Lord give me the ability to disconnect and be still in your presence. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Note: enjoy the worship song below. Click on the link.
http://youtu.be/6iqpqAjUWYo

Saturday, October 29, 2011

STOP TALKING SO MUCH

Does anyone out there have trouble keeping their mouth closed? Do you open it and say things that are inappropriate or not necessary and then just wish you could take it all back? It is an awful feeling to have said something and then say to yourself "maybe I should not have shared that with them". You may 'innocently' share something with a friend about someone else or some issue then realize maybe in fact you should have not said anything. For sure, the mouth gets most people into lots of trouble. James chapter 3 says "no man can tame the tongue". How many times do we wish we could just have a roll of duct tape and the problem would be solved? Better yet, what we need is self control. Those two words have popped up in several devotions lately. The ability with God's help to control yourself. To not be impulsive. To think before you speak. To be careful what you are saying is not 'gossip'.

Proverbs 10:19 says "Don't talk too much. You keep putting your foot in your mouth. Be sensible and turn off the flow!" Ouch now that hits home I am sure with lots of people. It is so easy to just ramble on and talk and then regret it. You may innocently repeat something you had no business sharing. Oh how we wish we could stop talking so much. Really truly try to engage your brain before your mouth.  Truly you have to gain control over the mouth. It has so much power to do good or to do harm.

Once we open our mouth that is that. The words are out there never to be taken back. We can build people up with our words or we can cause great pain and misunderstanding. We can bring joy or we can bring sorrow. We can uplift or tear down. Proverbs 10:14 says "A wise man holds his tongue. Only a fool blurts out everything he knows. That only leads to sorrow and trouble." Lets say you are privy to information only you should know and keep to yourself but you just can not stand it any longer. You blurt this info out to a 'trusted friend'. Even if the trusted friend keeps it to themselves you have done wrong by sharing something you had no business sharing. If this leaks out it can ruin a relationship or hurt someone. But oh how hard it is to just keep quiet. You then start feeling guilty for divulging a confidence someone entrusted to you. This can 'innocently' happen even in prayer groups where a person can share a prayer then that person shares it with others when they really should not have. Even sometimes the initial prayer should not have been said to a group if someone asked you not to. You get the idea. Be trustworthy. Keep your mouth closed and keep a confidence.

Our mouths often times speculate about things 'out loud' and can start rumors because of thinking out loud. Best to keep thoughts to yourself. If you are in a group and this is happening take it upon yourself to drop it right there and no longer bring up to anyone what was shared. Once again self control comes in to play. What good do you gain by repeating something anyway? Proverbs 17:9 says "Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends." This could do with forgetting an action someone did to hurt you but could include speaking something that hurt someone as well.

Proverbs 18:6-7 says "A fool gets into constant fights. His mouth is his undoing. His words endanger him." Do not be afraid of silence. Sometimes thinking you always have to have speaking going on is what can lead to trouble. Just be quiet a while and relax. Proverbs 20:19 says "Do not tell your secrets to a gossip unless you want them broadcast to the world." Better to just really pray and ask God to help you know when to share something and when to remain silent.

Ecclesiastes 3:7 says "a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak." We do not have to say everything we know to everyone we know. Use discernment and wisdom. Above all ask God to guide you and help you and if you need to talk to someone and are not sure you should, then why not just talk to God?

PRAYER: Thank you father for the gift of speaking and being able to talk. Help me to not talk too much and to now betray a confidence or share things I should not. Forgive me if I have done this. Guide my speak so it brings only glory to you and builds up the hearer. I want to only bring glory by the words of my mouth. Help me Lord. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Friday, October 28, 2011

THE BIG BLACK BOOK

Are you scared of the Bible? Do you rarely, if ever, even open it up? Were you baptized as a child and given a Bible but think it is some historic book and have no desire to read it? Is the only Bible you own the big huge coffee table kind? I mean that is better than none at all but is not exactly 'user friendly'.  I heard once that a Bible falling apart was owned by someone who was not. Not saying this to say those who read the Bible more are perfect, but they have a handle on how to get through the trials of life more than say someone who never opens it up at all. The 'coffee table' Bible is a nice decoration, family heirloom and a great dust catcher, but the Bible is not supposed to be a decoration but a well used 'tool' of sorts.

2 Timothy 2:15 says "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn't need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth."  Some versions say study instead of be diligent. If you get a new phone and do not open the instruction manual that comes with it you likely will be unfamiliar with how it operates. Likewise if you do not open the Bible you will not know how to gain victory over attacks from the enemy, Satan, or even recognize them as attacks. The enemy would like to keep it that way and keep you disinterested in the Bible as he knows when you read it you will start to have wisdom, knowledge and power to defeat him. He will do all in his power to distract you, make you too busy, or keep you thinking it is the preacher, rabbi or priests'  job to know it and share it with you, but it is not necessary for you to pick it up and read it. Says who? 

Acts 17:11 says " these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." That is what we have to do if we expect to grow in Christ.  You have to search the scriptures. Matthew 5:6 says " Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,  for they will be filled." What does it mean to hunger? Think about being physically hungry. No one really who is reading this has probably ever been at the point of starvation like the children we see in pictures from Third World countries with swelled bellies and ribs sticking out but we know what it feels like to miss a meal and want something to eat. Do you feel that way when you do not get to read the Bible? Do you miss it? Maybe you do not even know how to read it or where to start. Start in Proverbs in the Old Testament. It has 31 chapters so take one month which normally has 31 days and read a chapter a day. After that start reading the book of John. Pray for God to teach you as you read and clear your mind of distractions.

Many through the years have tried to get rid of the Bible as they know the power that is in it. It is the book of truth. No lies are within its' pages. It is our guidebook for life. The acronym I once heard was B.I.B.L.E. or 'Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth'. John 17:17 says "Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth." Psalm 119:11 says "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you".  To hide the word of God in your heart you have to read and memorize some of it.

Psalm 37:4 says "Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart."  To delight means you are thrilled to be around something or someone. You are delighted or very happy.To delight yourself in the Lord you have to spend time with Him and you spend time with Him by opening up the word to get to know Him better. Psalm 1:1-3 says "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers." There is that word again. Delight! So do you want to be delighted in Jesus? Have you truly asked Him to be Lord of your life? Maybe if you are not hungry for God's word  you  have not accepted Him into your heart. You can do that today.

Say "Lord Jesus I need you. I ask to be forgiven of my sins and I want to live for you and serve you. Come in to my heart right now Jesus.I want you to be Lord of my life.Amen." Find a good church that uses the Bible and teaches the uncompromising word of God. It is not about church membership but about a relationship with Jesus and getting to know him through the Holy Bible. The more you read scripture and hide God's word in your heart the more you will become like Him.

PRAYER: I want to thirst for your word Lord. I do not want to put the newspaper, magazines or novels before the Bible. I want the Bible to be first priority in my life and in my day. Forgive me when I have gone for days and not read it at all. I know when I do this I am giving the enemy, Satan, an opportunity to fill my mind with untruths and get me off the path of truth. I want to start today Lord to begin each day with reading the Bible. Guide me and direct me and keep distractions from me as I seek to do this.  In Jesus Name. Amen.

NOTE: enjoy a wonderful worship song as you start your weekend. Be blessed to be a blessing. Click on link below.
http://youtu.be/hGr8as7pPBE

Thursday, October 27, 2011

TESTING! TESTING! 1,2,3,4

Today I write about the 'tests' that come our way to see just how patient, cool, calm and collected we really claim to be. My test yesterday was in the computer store when a seemingly simple procedure being performed on my Ipad by their tech  went bad. I ended up losing all my photographs and my address book and nearly lost all my writing and other files. It was the classic scenario that a normal reaction would have caused great anger and maybe sent some folks into a rage. I almost did feel like crying. When he was able to restore parts of it I exclaimed "praise the Lord"!

Now I think these items were also on my laptop, but at first I wanted to scream, go crazy, blame someone and freak out.  Since I am a Christian, and had just left our prayer group two hours earlier praying all of us would 'go out into the world' and be an example for Christ,  I did not think it would be very appropriate to cry, yell,and blame, although that is what my human nature wanted to do. I had to sort of laugh when I remembered  this prayer I had prayed. Be prepared after you ask for something like patience in a prayer to have a test come along to see if you really are patient.

Even writing this I lost a bunch of the stuff I had written right into 'thin air' and had to once again recreate it. I was nearly done when poof, I hit a wrong key and lost half my devotion.

There are many things in life that come around to test our faith and our reaction. 1 Peter 1:7 says" these have come so that your faith of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire, may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."  James 1:3 says "and you know the testing of your faith works patience".

Bad stuff does happen in life and unexpected things do happen such as flat tires on a car, a grocery sack full of food bursting open in the parking lot of the store, a long line forming at a store when you are in a hurry and of course the clerk is slowest  in the store. You have something stolen such as your debit card, your bicycle, your purse or wallet, or your laptop. All these things happen and test our reaction. We can choose to react like the 'world' and cuss and get mad or we can choose to silently pray " Lord help me react in a positive way to this bad situation and help it turn out for the good."

Where are you at today on the patience meter of tests and trials? It is a spiritual discipline to learn to form positive reactions  to adverse situations. I have heard it said if you pray for patience look out because tests will come.

PRAYER: Lord I want to be able to react in a positive way when bad things happen. I want to act like a Christian in good times and in not so good times. Forgive me for times in the past when I have acted poorly and not represented Christ very well. I want to be like you in the things I say and do. Please strengthen me and guide me. In Jesus name. Amen!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

MIND CONTROL GOD'S WAY

Got your attention with that title didn't I? To walk a walk with the Lord and stay on the right path we have to have our minds renewed with the word of God daily. You can not continue to 'feed' your mind with the worlds' garbage and expect to live victoriously. Plus sometimes we have wrong thoughts that lead us into thinking things that are not really happening. We imagine people do not like us. We fear the future. We worry about our children going off God's path. We worry about things at work.

Each and every day you have to start your day with prayer, praise and God's word. Do you wake up and the first thing you do is tune into the local news or the syndicated news shows out of New York City? Sure there may be a lot of good things on them but there are things that bring us down when we hear bad news or gossipy type things all the time. You can stay informed other ways by listening to news on the radio for instance. You may have to discipline yourself to keep the television off in the morning if it is distracting you. Maybe it is the newspaper that you put first before God. You may have to choose to not take the paper for a while if you are constantly spending hours in it and not one bit of time studying or meditating on God's word.

You can have 'the mind of Christ' if you fill your mind with good and pleasant things. If you start to get angry or upset about issues of our present day then try giving it over to God and praying. It helps to praise God when we start to slump into a pit of despair or anger. The world situation may get us down today. At the end of this devotion is a wonderful prayer ministry link that prays for the nation.


Rom 12:1-2 is a good verse to commit to memory and it 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." You renew your mind when you put good  things into it. You may have heard the phrase 'garbage in, garbage out' referring to junk we put into our brains. For instance if you have young ones that you are raising for the Lord what an excellent time to build up the spirit of God that lives inside of them. There are many fine Christian books to read to children and even Christian children's TV shows and DVD's. And of course the most important book to train your children's mind with is God's word.

You have to control what you think. It takes discipline. But with God's help you can get this control. In yesterdays devotion I mentioned self control in the aspect of temptation but now you need self control to tame what comes into your mind. It can be done but it takes practice to think right thoughts. 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." Sincerely ask yourself if things you put into your mind daily meet this heavenly criteria.

Proverbs 23:7 says "as a man thinks in his heart so is he" so if you  have wrong thoughts and thinking you have to truly ask for God's help to think the right things. Philippians 2:5 says to "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus". Romans 8:6 says "The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace". Philippians 4:7 says "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Where are you today in the 'mind control' department? God can help you if you only call on Him. Start today and read a Psalm or Proverb each day to start getting your mind back on track if you have been away from the word of God for a while. Be blessed.

PRAYER: I choose to watch what I put into my mind and thoughts Lord. Sometimes it is very hard. Help me resist the enemies attempts to get me worried or fearful. I choose to think on good things and to be guided by the truth. Help me with the self control I need to keep focused on you Lord. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Note if the things in the world today are bothering you and getting you scared or depressed I urge you to check out the link here and read others prayers and post prayers. This site is not related to the White House in any way but it is independent ministry from Scottsdale,AZ.
http://www.presidentialprayerteam.com/

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

TEMPTATIONS

This is not about the 60's Motown Musical artists but instead about temptations we face each and every day in our daily lives. Many temptations abound and they are thrown in our path by the enemy to get us off course.This is not necessarily about being tempted by chocolate or food but many deeper things than that. Although gluttony is listed as wrong in the Bible there are some other temptations that have more severe consequences.

 Some  of these include the temptation to lie. Not saving sex for marriage is a tremendous temptation for many. Wanting to cheat on tests is also not up there on good things to do list. Giving false information or incomplete information on tax forms is one you often hear of that can send you to jail. Speeding in your car is a temptation for many which can cause vehicle accidents and tickets. For some there may be a temptation to steal which too can land you with some time incarcerated in your local 'gray bar motel'. As mentioned previously the temptation in eating too much especially if you know you need to lose weight. Alcohol is not necessarily a sin but drinking alcohol to excess can make you end up doing things you regret(See Proverbs 23:31-35). It is best to not touch alcohol at all if you can resist it. You will save a ton of money and heartaches as well. There are those people who want to stop smoking and tobacco tempts them. The temptation to tell someone off has to be kept under control. To idly sit and watch immoral things on TV or in the movies may be tempting because the ads make it look attractive. We know is not good for us so we have to resist the temptation and choose to turn off the TV or not go to a particular movie. Even just sitting around watching television where people talk about their lives does not really add anything to  your life. It can be a temptation for some to give up these daytime shows and movie star magazines. The reading material we choose that tears down instead of building up can tempt some as well. Many today are addicted to pornography and even some within the church. This can be porn on the Internet, TV, or magazines. You have to run from this sin which so easily destroys the mind and can hurt relationships as well. For many men there is a temptation to go to what the south calls 'Gentlemans' Clubs' otherwise known as strip clubs. We all know this is not a wise thing to do at all. Matthew 5:28 says "But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Nowadays there are even 'gay clubs' which enters into a whole new realm of temptations. The Bible says in the book of Leviticus that a "man should not lie with another man". (See Leviticus 18:22).

Those were just some of the ways people can be tempted. You may be able to add to the list. But let's go over some Bible verses now that deal with temptations. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says " No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure."  James 1:14 says "Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away." So those 'evil desires' have to be controlled and that is where the fruit of the spirit of 'self control' comes in handy. You can not do everything you feel like doing in life or you will get yourself into major trouble. Some of the temptations that lead us off God's path can cause not just spiritual problems but emotional and psychological problems as well and sometimes medical problems in the case of a possible pregnancy from premarital sex or a sexually transmitted disease as well. Just cause you 'feel' like doing something does not mean you have to do it. Control yourself. If you can't, ask God for His help and direction.

Remember Jesus was led into the wilderness by the devil and tempted but never succumbed to sin. Matthew 4:1 says "Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil."

Temptations come when our evil  or wrong desires lead us off the path God has set before us. Sometimes you might have to verbally say out loud "Get thee behind me Satan" when you start to feel yourself slipping into temptations. James 1:13 says "When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone."  You are responsible for your own actions. You can control yourself. It is possible. You first have to know what is right and what is wrong and that is found in the pages of God's word the Bible. You can not erase the things in the Bible you do not like. You will give account for the things in your life you have done wrong.

We all have things that have led us down the wrong path. The thing is we do not want to continue down that path. Change friends if you have to. Stay away from places you know you have hard time resisting. Ask yourself if God were with you would he be pleased by your behavior.

To help you as you seek to walk a walk pleasing of the Lord keep in mind this verse in Galatians 5:22-23 which says "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." There are those words again, self control. Basically stop yourself from doing wrong before the bad stuff has happened. James 4:7 says "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." Ephesians 4:7 says "and do not give the devil a foothold." Just remember what 1 Peter 5:8 says "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." Get that self control in full gear.

Start today and walk a walk pleasing to the Lord asking Him to give you the ability to stay on the path of righteousness and away from those things that tempt you to do wrong.

PRAYER: Father in Heaven I thank you for the things I have learned in the course of my life that have kept me running the good race. Temptations are all around so give me the ability to do what is right and good in your eyes. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Monday, October 24, 2011

DON'T QUIT PRAYING

Something on your mind? Something weighing you down? Is the burden almost too hard to bear alone? You keep praying and crying out to God but it seems nothing is happening? At times like this you need God more than ever. You need to lean on Him as your strength. The enemy likes to drag us into a pit of despair and make us think all  hope is lost. But all hope is never lost. There will be a rainbow and a sunrise tomorrow so to speak. Like the song from the musical 'Annie', where it says 'the sun will come out tomorrrow' and IT WILL!

What is weighing on you today? First and foremost get on your knees and call out to Jesus. Psalm 50:15 says "and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me." Jeremiah 32:7 says "am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?" Luke 18:1 tells us we should "pray and never give up".

God is working in your life. Remember what it says in Romans 8:31 "If God be for us who can be against us?"  When things do not seem like they are happening you have to walk by faith and not by sight and feelings.(See 2 Corinthians 5:7).  Trust God to deliver you and get you out of your valley.

Men may turn their backs on you, All hope may seem lost but that is a lie from the pit of hell. There is always hope with Jesus. It is Satan who brings confusion, doubt, turmoil, fear, anger, bitterness, doubt, wrong thinking and a host of other bad things. Make up your mind whatever happens in your life or the world around you you will not be moved. Keep looking to God and let your roots go down deep in Jesus. Stay in the word of God for it is through the Bible you will find strength for each day. Do not let the things around you determine how you feel.

Keep thinking on good things and positive things and do not let Satan get you off track and make you feel hopeless. God loves you no matter what! Men may fail you but God will never fail you.  All things are possible for those who believe.(See Mark 9:23). Keep your eyes on Jesus.

PRAYER: Lord I pray sometimes but when an answer does not come I get discouraged. Lord help me to hang on to the hope you give and know that things will not stay dark. There will be a new day and a new rainbow and you will take care of me and the situation I am encountering. Father I thank you for the word of God which is my source of strength and hope. Help me put it first in my day and stay on my knees. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Note: once again there is a wonderful worship song appropriate for this devotion to listen to. Take the time to listen and worship God. Click on link below.
http://youtu.be/jX-_wJjfnRo

Sunday, October 23, 2011

GOD IS OUR SHIELD

Think of a shield or a piece of body armor like the soldiers wear or policemen. What is its' function? To protect the person from getting killed basically.

There are numerous verses in the Bible talking about God being a shield to us. Psalm 3:3 says "But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head." Many examples are given of the fiery darts of Satan and how we are to put up our 'shield of faith' to protect us from the enemies attacks. The shield of faith is part of the 'armor of God' mentioned in Ephesians chapter 6 verses 10-17 which says "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  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.  Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."

Satan does throw fiery darts and temptations at us and we have to be alert and know the scriptures to claim to defeat Him. You have to keep up that shield of faith and be on your guard. Psalm 84:11 says "For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless."

Psalm 28:7 says "The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him."  Genesis 15:1 says "After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward." 2 Samuel 22:3 says "my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior--from violent men you save me." God in fact should be your stronghold. He should have a 'strong hold' on your life  not allowing Satan a foothold to  put bad  'strongholds' in  your life which drag you down.

Will you allow God to be your shield? There is so much out in the world trying to distract you and 'take you down' so to speak. There are two forces, God and the devil. You are either walking with the Lord or you are borderline in being sucked into Satan's schemes and trickery. It is only through knowing God's word that we have the power to defeat the enemy. Get up each day and make sure your shield of faith is on so you can resist the attacks the enemy will throw at your throughout the day.

PRAYER: Father I thank you protecting me and I thank you for your word which lights my path and teaches me truth. The enemy will try to get me to believe lies and even tempt me with things I know will take me away from you or displease you. Lord I ask for your strength daily to resist the enemy using your shield of faith. In Jesus Name. Amen.


 Click on link for todays' praise song. Happy Sunday!


http://youtu.be/D9OT4vsZYoo

Saturday, October 22, 2011

THANK YOU LORD

We have so much to thank God for but how often do you really do it? Perhaps at meal time you utter a 'God is great prayer' and 'thank you for this food' but is that the only time you really say thank you to Jesus?

The Moms in Touch prayer ministry which I have been a part of for over 16 years now, has taught me the importance of thanking God for the answer to prayers. Each week we thank the Lord in our prayer time for the answers to our prayers. All of us need to get in the habit of making a list of sorts for all the wonderful things the Lord has done for you. Try it. Get a piece of paper and just start thinking of all the things the Lord has done for you. After a while it will be hard to stay in a pit if you have been feeling 'blue' and down in the dumps.


Here are some common examples you may overlook. Thank you for clean water that comes out of my faucet each day when in many countries they have contaminated water.Thank you for the access to health care we have in America and the wonderful doctors and nurses to care for us. Thank you for cars to drive to get us around, although many do not have cars even in America those who do are blessed. Your car may be a junk heap but if it gets you there praise God. Thank you for farmers who work hard to grow the food that is in the grocery stores for us to buy and eat. Thank you for sunshine and rain. Thank you for the four seasons we have to enjoy. Thank you for friends and family. Thank you for a bed to sleep in at night when in many places people do not have a bed, even in some places in America. Thank you for freedom. So you get the idea. Just sit quietly and think of all the wonderful things the Lord has done for you. And think of the ways he has answered your prayers as well.

1 Corinthians 15:57 says "But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."  Proverbs 21:31 says "The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the LORD." Other verses about thanksgiving and thanking God abound in the pages of the Bible. 2 Corinthians 2:14 says "But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him."  1 Thessalonians 5:18 says "give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." That is right, it says in ALL things. Tall order perhaps but God says to do it. Sometimes things that seem bad at the time lead us to wonderful awesome breakthroughs in our life.

Are you thankful today? If not try doing this 'thanksgiving list' and do it daily. Do not wait til it is the Thanksgiving national holiday to be thankful for the Pilgrims, turkeys and pumpkin pie and the family you are gathered with and the friends around you. Make every day Thanksgiving Day.

PRAYER: Lord I am ever so grateful for the gift of life. I am thankful for the parents who gave me life and raised me. I am thankful for being able to freely wander about in my country. I am thankful to have money to spend to be able to buy things. I ask you Lord to forgive me when I have not said 'thanks' for all you have done for me and acted like a spoiled ungrateful brat. I want to make each day a day of thanks. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Note: Please take time to listen to the following praise song dealing with thanks to God! Click on link and turn up speakers.

http://youtu.be/JwN_2nO5B24

Also  here is a link to the Moms in Touch prayer ministry which has taught me so much about prayer. You do not need to be a mom to benefit from their 'four steps of prayer'. http://www.momsintouch.org/

Friday, October 21, 2011

DELIGHT YOURSELF IN THE LORD

Are you delighted by the Lord? I mean really truly excited to be in his presence and worship Him? As a believer we should want nothing more than to please God and be able to praise and worship him. This does not mean you check yourself into a monastery and do not do anything else but sit in church all day. But this means you truly want to live for the Lord and do things that bring you closer to Him. You go into the world but you are not 'of the world' so to speak.

Psalm 37:4 says "Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart." Job 22:26 says "Surely then you will find delight in the Almighty and will lift up your face to God." Job 27:10 says "Will he find delight in the Almighty? Will he call upon God at all times?"

When cares and worries are weighing you down look to the Lord for your strength and start praising him even in your storm. Psalm 94:19 says "When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul." Isaiah 58:14 says "then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob." The mouth of the LORD has spoken."

Does Jesus bring delight to your soul? Call on Him today and seek His face. He can bring restoration and joy to your soul and cause you to be lifted up above the problems of life.

PRAYER: Dear Lord my delight is in you. My hope is in you. My strength is in you. I trust you Lord with all the problems and situations in life that often times seem hard to handle. Forgive me when I have let the cares of this world weigh me down. I want my delight to be in you all the days of my life. In Jesus name. Amen.

Once again I have included a worship song to bring peace to your weary heart and to hopefully lift your spirits up. Click on link.
http://youtu.be/rg89UOAftXM

Thursday, October 20, 2011

IS GOD ON YOUR 'TO DO' LIST?

 You get up daily and most likely have a 'to do' list. On the top of that list should be 'time with the Lord'? Spending time with God for a person who claims to be a Christian should take first place. Now if you are a young mom with babies and toddlers underfoot it may take some creativity to work in this time. As time goes on though, it thrills a moms' heart when she has trained her child to put God first then happens to see his or her 'to do' list and sees the words 'quiet time' on the top of it. Another 'motherly thrill' is when you see your child getting ready for school and glance in their room and notice them having their time with the Lord. Now that is a true 'smile time' that brings overflowing joy to a moms' heart. Moms of adult children can only pray they still love Jesus this much that He still has first place in their lives.

 There are many things vying for our time and attention today. Especially in this electronic age it is easy to get up and flip on the computer and start 'surfing' and before you know it you have spent a couple hours and doing what? Reading email forwards, purging junk mail, and reading about everyones life on Facebook is fine if it does not get out of hand. Does Facebook, for instance, draw you closer to God? You can use it as a tool to reach out for Christ by posting Bible verses.  It takes discipline to truly spend time doing what is worthy. The computer can be a good tool or it can be abused and the source of wasted time. You can download devotions and go to many fine Christian sites. There are some who think the computer is evil but it has wonderful things on it such as live church services for those unable to attend a church. You can look up Bible verses on Bible Gateway and other sites.

I challenge you to make God first priority in your life. Young moms and those rushing to get out the door to work have to orchestrate their days to make sure their quiet time happens. It may mean getting up earlier.  If you do not read and study God's word it is easy to start believing the enemies lies and getting off God's path. Your love for God will grow cold. You can have a form of Godliness but deny any power. (See 2 Timothy 3:5) . Matthew 7:15 warns about how easy it is to follow the wrong voices when it says "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves." The only way to know false teaching is to know the truth in God's word and the only way to do this is to pick up your Bible and read it daily. 1 Timothy 4:7 says "Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly."

What is keeping you from the loving God the way you used to?

Matthew 6:33 says to "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Try it today. Before grabbing the morning paper or turning on the morning talk shows,which do nothing to bring your closer to God, try picking up the Bible. Do your mind and heart  a favor and fall in love with Jesus!

PRAYER: Father I want to make you first in my day but it is so easy to become distracted by things around my house or getting out the door to go to work. Lord give me the strength to say no to worldly pursuits until I have said yes to God and his word each day. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Click on link below to enjoy a wonderful worship song.
http://youtu.be/I17edLkBDCo

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

FRIEND PROBLEMS?

The Michael W. Smith song "Friends" is awesome, one of my favorites. As Christians we go through life and make all kinds of friends. Some people have more than others if they have moved around a good deal. Not all friends turn out to be true friends. For anyone who has had a friend who does not want to be your friend anymore it can be confusing and painful. Proverbs 18:19 says "An offended brother is more unyielding than a fortified city, and disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel."  Careless words may have been spoken and the person who was wounded wants to wound you back and not end the dispute.This can even happen among family members who are supposed to be friends such as an argument among siblings for instance. The enemy just loves this stuff. Separations and bitterness are some of the best tools in Satan's arsenal. If only Christians could understand this and forgive and forget. Lots of marriages would have been saved too if people just learned to overlook an offense and move on. But alas, self gets in the way and wants its' way. You can say you forgive but if you want nothing to do with the other person what good is that really? Is that really forgiveness? Luke 6:37 says "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven."

Ideally the Lord wants people to love and forgive and put hurts behind them, but our humanness rears its' ugly head and shuts out the other person. This does not seem "Christian" but it does happen sad to say. What happened to forgive and forget?  Only the Holy Spirit can heal this type of problem. Begging someone to forgive you does nothing. In fact it might make them angrier at you. Surrender this to the Lord and forgive that person for hurting you and try as best you can to move on in life.

Some people just do not want to forgive and you can not force anyone to like you or let you back into their 'circle of friends'. This may be more of something that happens to women since we are more social creatures but perhaps some of the male readers may identify with it. It is painful to be rejected especially by someone who used to hang out with you. Many people seem to like to keep the anger fires going but yet can waltz right into church and act as if nothing has happened. Relationships take work. It is usually the mouth that gets people in the trouble in the first place. Commit this verse to memory and try to live by it and see if things do not go better for you. James 1:19 says "My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." If you try to truly live by this regardless of how other people treat you your life will be so much better and you will be closer to God. 

PRAYER: Lord I thank you so very very much for the wonderful true friends you have placed in my life. Some friends may be in our life for a reason or a season. I choose to forgive any friend who has hurt me whether they ask for forgiveness or not. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Note: Enjoy the following song from Michael W Smith. Click on link. 
http://youtu.be/oOCJAVlESEo

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

YOUR ACTIONS TELL WHAT IS IN YOUR HEART

What do you love to do? What are you passionate about? How do your treat people?  Usually what is in your heart is what comes out in your actions and speech. Luke 12:34 says "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." You spend time doing what you love and you hang out with those who mean the most to you. Obviously if married, that should include your spouse and if engaged your fiancee. For friends it should be your special friends. You treat others the way you want to be treated. Luke 6:31 says "Do to others as you would have them do to you."  The Golden Rule of sorts.

Galatians 6:7-9 says "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." So being nice to people in a sincere way has its' rewards.

Who hasn't been to a sporting event in an arena where the crowds get excited and do 'the wave' in a circle through the crowd. You are so excited to be at a game or event and screaming and cheering. Do we get that excited about the people  in our lives? How about Jesus? Are you excited about Him? Do your actions show it or can you hardly wait til that one hour on Sunday is over so you  can assume your other role in life of 'secular human being' who occupies space wherever you go?

When you have the chance would you rather read the daily newspaper or get into God's word and learn some truths? The Bible can build you up and spiritually train you but the daily paper is only full of things to cause anxiety and worry in most cases and what does it matter in the end anyway? Getting to know God, for a Christian, should be where your heart is. If it is not you can ask God to put that hunger for Him in your heart. Don't just be a 1 hour a week Christian. Saturate your life  with the things of Christ that will cause you to let go of the cares of this world and stay focused on Him.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus I want my heart to be totally yours. I do not want to be driven and controlled by situations in the world around me but I want to be equipped and prepared to face each and every day. I know I can do that if I stay in prayer and the word of God. Help me each day to make you the 'first love of my life' by starting the day reading your word and praying .Forgive me when I have gotten so busy I completely shut you out of my day. Help me not be a Sunday Christian. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Included in the link below is an awesome praise and worship song by Christian artist Jeff Deyo. Click on link and get ready to worship the Lord. Be blessed.

http://youtu.be/6Jo3y_XoHHQ

Monday, October 17, 2011

ENVY. STOP IT NOW!!!

ENVY. STOP IT NOW!

There are lots of talks these days about people not feeling they are getting their fair shake and  being jealous of corporations, those who receive bonuses, and millionaires. Envy is wrong. It is right there in God's word we are not to be jealous and desirous of other people's things. Today in America there are a bunch of folks protesting in various cities in the US mad at what they call 'greedy corporations' and millionaires. Everyone has a fair chance in America to become wealthy. We are very blessed to be able to live in a country where we can work hard and be rewarded without our wealth and property being confiscated by a tyrannical government. Wealth in and of itself is not wrong. It is the love of money which is wrong. It amazes me how this 'class warfare' is going on in America at these protests today.
 
Each and every individual who has a dream and works hard can achieve success. There have been some of the poorest people who have risen from the ashes, so to speak, to build up huge companies and have become a success story. America is made up of things like this. It is a shame there are a few loud protesters out there jealous of others' prosperity and yelling loudly 'take it away', 'give it to me'.
 
In the Old Testament Exodus 20:17 warns us "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is your neighbor's."  Psalm 119:36 says "Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness." To covet means to want what someone else has. If you want something why not do it the old fashioned way and work and save? We all have that chance and ability. Not everyone has just inherited their wealth but most have worked extremely hard, gone to school, made sacrifices to achieve their American Dream and it is not right for the government to tell them they do not deserve to keep it. That sounds totally un American in my humble opinion. That does not sound like freedom to me when the wealth of hard workers is being threatened by an abusive government.
 
Proverbs 27:4 says "Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?" Proverbs 14:30 says "A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones." Acts 7:9 recalls the story of Joseph being sold by his brothers when it says "And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him." Envy is absolute hatred of others and what they have. When I saw these protesters sitting there screaming,even here locally in Huntsville this past Saturday,  I thought to myself, 'why aren't they out looking for a job instead of camping out in a park for a month(such as in NYC) leaving litter and such behind?' They want wealth, then get up and be proactive and go search for a job or get a loan and go to school to make life better for yourself. Do not sit around whining about others having more than you.
 
Colossians 3:5 says "Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness (which is idolatry)"  The flesh which is controlled by lusts put there by the enemy, Satan, conjures up things in peoples heads to make them dissatisfied and jealous of others with more than they have. Just because one person has more than you does not mean you take it away from them because it is not fair! Ephesians 5:3 says "For let fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness not be once named among you, as becomes saints."
 
People are often envious of doctors who made good salaries but those doctors studied hard, passed numerous tests, got school loans, sacrificed and were able to achieve this dream by hard work. It was not dropped in their lap. Others go to school for other careers which give them a lucrative reward for their hard work. Do not be jealous but go out and find what you can do to make yourself a success.
 
Now those that have wealth also know it can be gone in an instant too so we are not to place our  hope in riches but in God. Luke 12:15 says "And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses." When you have been blessed with allot remember those in need to share what you have. The government does not need to come force you to give it. That should be in the heart of man.
 
Be grateful for what you have as we truly are blessed beyond compare in America. Do not sit around envying someones' house, car, or job but do what you can to be content with what you have and if there is a dream you have go for it, no matter what your age.
 
PRAYER: Lord thank you for the ability to have success. Thank you for blessing me. Help me to be content with what I have and never be envying the possessions or positions of others. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

SUPER CHRISTIAN...OH REALLY??

Think you are pretty good huh? Got it all together. No real major issues you are dealing with? Well be careful as when we start thinking we are so wonderful, look out! 1 Corinthians 10:12 warns us "So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!"

 Have you really let go of grudges you have against people? Have you really learned to forgive and forget? Can you overlook an offense or do you need to keep a fight going? Do you secretly form opinions of people in your brain? Do you avoid certain people? Do you conjur up things in your head that really aren't happening like for instance, "I do not think so and so likes me"? Do you harbor resentment? Alot of this garbage is there because Satan is alive and well and in a battle for our minds, hearts and souls. Confusion, for instance, is not from God. Lack of peace is not from God. Hatred is not from God. Grudges are not from God. Bitterness is not from God. You get the point. We have to make a conscious effort to stay in the word of God on a daily basis to feed our spirits with good things to fight off the mental attacks of the enemy that try to wage war within us and our souls and against other people.

Leviticus 19:17-18 says "Don't secretly hate your neighbor. If you have something against him, get it out into the open; otherwise you are an accomplice in his guilt. Don't seek revenge or carry a grudge against any of your people. Love your neighbor as yourself. I am God." You have heard it said that "love covers a multitude of sins.(See 1 Peter 4:8) and we know from the 'love chapter' 1 Cornithians 13 what love is. This pertains to love between man and wife or love in general.In verses 4 through 7 of this chapter is says "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."  Proverbs 10:12 says "Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love makes up for all offenses."

So where is your love meter set at? Do you truly love everyone? Can you forgot an offense or do you continue to 'run it into the ground'. You will never truly have peace within yourself til you can stop looking back and look forward to the good things God has in store for those who love Him.

2 Peter 3:17-18 says "Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.  But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen"

PRAYER: Father I know I have held onto hurts and pains and had grudges in my heart. I know this does not please you. I know the enemy wants to destroy me and my witness for you so I ask for your strength each day Lord to wake up with an attitude of love and forgiveness. Even if someone is hateful to me give me the supernatural ability to not lash back or dwell on the hurt but to dwell on you Lord. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

GOD IS GLORIOUS AND ALMIGHTY

God is in control. He is the Master of all things. Even when things look bleak He is behind the scenes changing mens' hearts, working things out. He knows the big picture. He wants us to turn to him. He wants freedom for his people but sometimes allows bad things to wake us up. Galatians  5:1 says "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." We are free in Christ and it is through Christ we have freedom in this great US of A. When we follow God's laws we continue to receive his blessings and this special freedom. Psalm 33:12 says "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance."

 Today people get complacent and then become in bondage to the government who is supposed to serve them. Evil rulers may be allowed in office to 'wake up' the people. God is wanting us to turn to Him and serve Him. We are sort of 'dumb, fat, and happy' in that we take so much for granted. We took prayer in the schools for granted and did not fight for it and it is gone. We throw up our hands and think there is nothing we can do. Or perhaps things are bad and we feel our one little voice or little email or phone call will not matter. If everyone takes that attitude we can become overrun by tyrants. It is through Jesus that we are free. We allow sin to be rampant in our country. The government has approved the killing of many unborn babies since 1973. Marriage is redefined. And on it goes. Yes God is in control but he will not continue to bless these great United States of America if we continue to 'slap him in the face' by allowing so much degradation and immorality to occur.Even our President openly declared "we are not just  a Christian nation." Stand up for what you know is  not right. I knew of a girl who was instrumental in getting a lewd billboard taken down by her letters and phone calls.

This devotion is not about politics but it is about keeping God on the throne and following His ways and acknowledging his glory and majesty!

Isaiah 5:20 says "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter." You can ignore God and his Bible but in the end God has the final say so. Read the book.

Even several Ivy League  Universities founded on Godly principles and primarily to train ministers, now are bastions of anti God philosophy,liberality, and elitism. How did this happen? These were all started during the Colonial period in America. Perhaps a slow leak here and there and students not fighting for keeping Christ at the center and now you have secular universities. The truth is replaced by a lie. Telling people that Yale, Harvard and other  schools were once centered on Christ will cause challenges in lots of social circles. But it is a fact. I included a link below. But as  you know prayer can turn things around.

2 Chronicles 7:14 says "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

Romans 11:33 says "Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing." Psalm 145:3 says "Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom." 


God is indeed over all the universe! He places people in authority but that does not necessarily always mean good people. His plan is bigger than ours and his ways beyond understanding.

          God is on the throne and one day we will behold His glory!!

PRAYER: You are glorious Lord and your ways past finding out. Forgive me Lord for not speaking out against evil. Forgive me for letting God be put on the "back burner." I am very thankful for this wonderful land you have given me to live in and the Godly heritage behind it. I know that when evil comes I must not only pray but speak up against injustice. Help me always discern good from evil and never be tricked by the enemy. In Jesus name. Amen!


Take time to click on link and listen to a wonderful worship song. 
http://youtu.be/CgJ4aobhHJw

Link below is to the history of Ivy League Schools. It might surprise you.
http://www.forerunner.com/forerunner/X0101_Christians_Started_I.html

Friday, October 14, 2011

DON'T SHOOT YOUR WOUNDED

We all are sinners. Sin is sin is sin. Today in the world we are told to accept some sin as an alternate lifestyle or tolerate sin. But sin is still sin. Since we are all sinners though, we are not to act holier than thou and kick certain types of sinners out of the church. We are all wounded in some way but certain "worse sins" may appall some and people in the church may not be able to deal with things and so stick their noses up in the air and want nothing to do with 'certain people.' Jesus would not do this. Remember the woman caught in the act of adultery? He did not throw her into a pit but said " go and sin no more". Many churches are making up their own rules. Yet again other churches are make believing sin does not exist and are afraid to even preach sermons against certain ones to bring conviction on people of their need for a saviour.

In the Bible there are some pretty imperfect people. Many messed up and seemingly today if these types of people came into some churches they would be shunned. What about King David for instance? Yikes!! He seduced and slept with a married woman but was forgiven and used mightily by God. Corrupt Saul became Paul. Change can occur. Satan loves to drive wedges in churches or within Christians and make us seem we are so wonderful and "oh my gosh can you believe so and so and what they did?" Self righteousness is sinful in itself as it sets you up to think highly of yourself and condemn others. 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 measure of faith God has given you." Isaiah 64:6 says "All of us have become like one who is unclean,  and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf,  and like the wind our sins sweep us away." 1 Corinthians 10:12 says "So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!"

Jesus does want us to repent of our sin. Repent means to turn away from. Many are blinded to their sin especially in today's society where you just do not want to offend anyone or speak up. Tolerance is the buzz word. "If they are not hurting you leave them alone" some people exclaim. Like a frog in a pan of water on a stove where the heat is slowly increased and before you know it the frog is cooked and dead, is how we are in the world we live in. Once you compromised your values and convictions it is easier each time to not think something is really all that bad. Look at Sodom and Gomorrah. I think of television when I was growing up and now. The things that are on some commercials would have made people blush at one time but we have been so exposed to garbage that now we have become immune and desensitized to it. Romans 3:23 tells us "we have all sinned and fallen short of God's glory." Just because you are not a murderer does not mean your sin is better to God. I could list sins here right now but may offend lots of my readers. All of us have done something bad at one time or another. Our society is accepting of certain sins now like divorce, fornication, homosexuality, and adultery but they are still in the Bible listed as wrong but the point here being that they are not the worse sins. If you gossip that is just as bad according to God. Do not start thinking " oh I am pretty good."

When folks like this come to be in church, we are not to condone and overlook their sin but we too are not to act like they have no right to sit in the church pew. Each of us needs healing and salvation. God does not wish any to perish it says in 2 Peter 3:9. Everyone needs forgiveness.

So Mr., Miss, and Mrs. Christian watch that attitude you have towards others. Be careful not to get too high and mighty or you too might take a tumble off your holy pedestal and need the help, love and comfort of those around you.  Luke 19:10 reminds us "Jesus Came to Save the Lost." Without Jesus we are all lost. If you have not asked him into your heart do so today. And if you are doing something you know displeases God repent and turn away from it and sin no more. Luke 13:3 says "I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish."

PRAYER: Lord help me to remember to reach out to those who are wounded. You want us to comfort those in pain. Help get rid of any attitude within me that certain sins are worse than others because all sin is bad in God's eyes. He wants us to reach out to Him so He can save us and set us free. Change any attitude in me that looks down on people with sins that the world seems to put in a worse category. Forgive me of any self righteousness I may have. In Jesus name. Amen!
 http://youtu.be/z4wojcSO9Ww

Thursday, October 13, 2011

WHY IS IT SO HARD TO WAIT??

Being patient is a spiritual discipline. Here in this 'instant' society we want things to happen and we want them to happen now. Things do not happen overnight. If you push, pry and nag to find out things or wonder why something is not happening faster than it is then you are going to get yourself all wound up and in some sort of emotional tsunami. Just try to relax and get involved someplace else to take your mind off whatever it is you can not wait for. Hastiness causes words to be spoken that you wish you would not have ever come out of your mouth or makes you do things because you can not be still and wait.(See Psalm 46:10). Taking matters into your own hands is usually a disaster waiting to happen.

The following brief paragraphs are a few examples of things we have to wait on and sometimes do not enjoy very much.
 Patience waiting for a baby to arrive is commonplace for a young married couple especially waiting for a first child. You get a hypothetical due date but then that date comes and goes and no baby. What happened? Did someone miscalculate something?

You do not hear back from a friend in quite a while and start wondering what is wrong when in effect you find out the friend or a family member is sick or dying then your huffy inpatient spirit made you feel stupid.

 You are excited about an interactive display at the store where a demonstrator is telling you how wonderful some  new gadget is, so you succumb to his sales pressure, take the item home, and regret ever buying it. What you should have done is waited and thought about it and most likely you would have left it in the store.

 At times we speak out of impatience and are sorry we did. We can not wait on some action so you 'shoot off' your mouth to someone and are sorry.

The computer is not printing something so you keep hitting the print button repeatedly. Finally you give up and the next day 25 copies of the same page come shooting out of the printer.

 There is a place  you want to reserve for a special function and you can not get them on the phone and you are getting so frustrated.You assume things that may not even be factual about why this place is treating you rudely.Things take time.

 If you are building a house or pouring concrete for  a sidewalk you need to be able to wait for cement to cure and dry or your home or sidewalk will not be stable.

Waiting for an internet signal sometimes is maddening at the local coffee shop or at home.

Raising a child takes patience but in the end yields a wonderful reward.

We call some business and are transferred multiple times or put on hold then disconnected. Now there is an exercise in patience! So you see by these examples that patience is a valuable spiritual discipline to learn and practice.

Why is it so hard to wait? We want things and we want them now! If you have small children it is good to start early instilling in them the value of waiting and not making them think everything in life comes easy or they are 'entitled' to it. Isaiah 40:31 says "But they who wait upon the Lord will get new strength. They will rise up with wings like eagles. They will run and not get tired. They will walk and not become weak." Proverbs 20:21 has something to say about waiting and money and it says "A large gift received at one time in a hurry will not bring good in the end."

 Do not make snap judgements.  Think things through. Pray at all times.  Pray over business decisions, marriage partner decisions, job decisions, major purchases and many other things.

 You have to work hard to get things and not think things should be just dropped into your lap. This too is an area that requires patience in saving for the future and things you want to have. Only through diligent hard work and waiting on God can a person have success. A person does not become a doctor without much study, sacrifice, and hard work .Today in the world people think they should get things without the effort. Things worth anything take effort. We live in a society in America where people do not want to wait or work and think they are 'entitled' to things.Sadly our own government is perpetuating this attitude which is not Biblical might I add.  It takes hard work and patience to build up savings. If you give up, you may think you need government assistance or you just use credit cards because you can not wait. Be patient until you build up the money. Do not fall into the trap today of the 'class warfare' going on in our nation. If you want something go to school, learn a skill and work hard. Do not sit around thinking other people should not have their wealth. In America we all have a chance to succeed. It is so sad becasue this mentality is teaching people to envy those who worked hard, took the time, and did what they did  to gain their wealth. You mature and grow by working hard for something , not being envious of others. Work hard and wait and you will receive a reward.

2 Corinthians 9:6 says "Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously." Work hard at all you do as if you were working for the Lord because you really are. (See Colossians 3:23).

Patience is in fact a fruit of the spirit(See Galatians 5:22). Proverbs 21:5 says "The plans of those who do their best lead only to having all they need, but all who are in a hurry come only to want." Do not be quick and hasty in deciding everything. There are those persons whose jobs often depend on snap decisions such as in the military, medicine or pilots but most people can have time to think through things if it is not some dire emergency. Proverbs 29:20 says "Do you see a man who is quick with his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him."

It truly is a spiritual fruit of the spirit and discipline to be able to wait. Rushing into things only leads to trouble in many instances. Listen to the warnings of God in the Bible and pray. Cast your cares upon him and give him your impatient spirit. Before you decide a matter perhaps sleep on it overnight .It might save you lots of heartache in the end.

PRAYER: Lord it is so very hard to wait at times. We speak before we think and then regret it and end up apologizing. We do things without thinking how they will affect other people. We jump to conclusions and rush to judgment. Lord help me to not be hasty to do anything but slow me down Lord. Help me sit and rest and wait for your timing in all things. In Jesus Name .Amen.
Song included: click link to enjoy this worship song...While I'm Waiting
http://youtu.be/hbRVm0wJVi0

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

GRUDGES: GOOD FOR NO ONE

Has someone or something  hurt you in the past and you just feel so mad you can hardly think straight? You say you do not 'hate' anyone but yet you can not seem to let this hurt or offense go. It is time to move on in life and let God take this off your shoulders and if this person is still in your life do not be ugly to them. Should they ever contact you try to be nice. Show mercy and forgiveness even when you do not feel like it. If you do not think you can do this alone you do not have to. Call on Jesus who is always there ready to help you with your battles. The problem  could be a variety of things such as broken marriages, broken friendships, betrayals,  loss of a job for no apparent reason, stolen ideas at work, being passed over for something you felt deserving of and on the list goes.

Let things go. Move on. Do not look back. Stay positive. Know that you will not be in this rut forever. Let go of disappointments and pain.Focus on something good even if it is hard to. Start praising God even if you do not feel like it. Admit there is nothing you can do alone and God has a plan and will direct your steps. 1 Peter 5:7 says "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."

Ephesians 4:31 says "Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice." Psalm 37:8 says "Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret--it leads only to evil."  Proverbs 3:5-6 says to "trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean  not to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path." Romans 12:17-21 says "Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.  On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;  if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

Release your bitterness over things you do not understand to God. Do not get bitter, upset, confused and angry but ask God to calm your spirit and soul. Ask God for peace. Instead of getting bitter get better. Learn from problems in life and move on and use them to grow more into the person Christ wants you to be. If you have not asked Jesus to be Lord of your life you can do that right now. Don't allow anger and bitterness to get you defeated.

James 1:2-3 says "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." Thank the Lord for the things that happen to help your faith grow.

PRAYER: Lord thank you for family and friends you have in my life. I thank you for situations I have had to go through that have made me aware of my need for you Lord. Forgive me if I have harbored bitterness towards anyone in my heart. I release that to you now. Give me your strength to walk each day victoriously with you. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Note: I have included a link to another wonderful praise song that will help lift your spirits.
http://youtu.be/KuGRaCrg9hE

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

MEDDLE? WHO ME? NOT!!!

Do you like to know everything? Women have a tendency to want to know things. That is probably why talk shows abound on daytime television and movie star magazines fly off bookstore shelves. It is a spiritual discipline to not be nosy and to not think you have to be privy to every tidbit of info that 'comes down the pike' so to speak.

If you have adult children you need to learn to back off and not be snooping into every detail of their life especially if they are married. Facebook does not help as it is tempting to delve in there and see it all and be a 'stalker',  as some children affectionately like to call it. A Wall Street Journal article a while back had a headline that read something like "The Helicopter Moms Are Hovering on Facebook". This is why it is important to probably not put everything out there for all to see. As for Facebook, my rule is to let 'young people' friend me and not other way around. As one of my sons kindly reminded me, "they are my friends mom, not yours". Good point, don't you think?

So what does the Bible have to say about all this?  In this so called mission of 'information seeking' or meddling of sorts, we could have a tendency to  comment on things we see. Better the less said the better. In Proverbs 10:19 it says"when  there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, But he who restrains his lips is wise."  Best to move on. Why do we feel compelled to know it all? You heard the saying from one well known gossip paper which said 'inquiring minds want to know. I want to know!'

James 1:19 might be a good verse to also have in your arsenal if you feel like commenting and it says " My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,". This verse can help out in so many areas of life but can pertain to trying to be nosy as well. Few people enjoy being "put on the witness stand" so to speak.

In the 1963 movie, Alfred Hitchcock's 'The Birds', actor Rod Taylor, said to his characters mother in the film when she was asking(prying) way too many questions about the character played by Tippi  Hedren whom Taylor had taken a liking too, "since when did you get your law degree mother?" In other words, with all due respect 'back off mom'!

Proverbs 17:27 says " A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered." Ecclesiastes 5:3 says " As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words."

The Bible does mention busybodies, which is a person who just likes to snoop. I urge all readers to ask themselves why they really need to know some things. Life will go on without details. 1 Timothy 5:13 refers to busybodies. It is not just women who are nosy, although typically we do like to know more. Just relax and be a friend, be a mom, be a dad and let God orchestrate and direct your conversation.

Psalm 19:14 says "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer."

PRAYER: Lord I desire to be known as one who does not snoop and pry. Help me Lord to let you guide my conversation and may it bring glory and honor to you. In Jesus name. Amen!

Note: Turn up speakers and click on link of following worship song:
http://youtu.be/zUAQdd2ELuE

Monday, October 10, 2011

GOD LOVES YOU, NO MATTER WHAT

No matter  how much you reject God he is waiting for you with arms wide open and calling you back. Today too many people seem to fit God into their little box and some even change scriptures to fit the things they are doing to make it seem that God is okay with their particular sin. God does not like to see us rejecting him or following a lifestyle that shuts him out or erases part of the Bible but He is patiently knocking on your  hearts door waiting for you to let him back in. (See Revelation 3:20).

A few years ago someone came up with the acronym WWJD(what would Jesus do) and really it is a good reminder to use when we are in a situation where we wonder if God would approve or not. Now there are those whose hearts have been seared and deluded and as it says in Romans 1 God gave them over to a reprobate mind.Read Romans Chapter 1 when you have a moment. You can either believe the truth of God or follow Satan. There is no in between. In Revelation 3:16 it says "Because you are lukewarm I will spit you out of my mouth."  Satan can send a strong delusional spirit to blind the minds of people that is why it is so important to follow the truth of God's word.

The Bible does say that "All we like sheep have gone astray." (See Isaiah 53:6). Satan loves it when we go astray and his goal is to keep us captive away from the truth. In Psalm 12:8 it says "The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men." Sounds a bit like our world today. Even well meaning Christians can be tricked and taken off God's path.

1 Peter 5:8 says "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." And that he will. Satan will get you to believe a lie as truth and may even turn some against those who love them. Satan is the master deceiver. John 10:10 says "The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. I came that they might have life and have it more abundantly."

In Moms in Touch prayer ministry we often pray scriptures personalizing them with our childrens' names. Let's say there is a girl named Suzy Q so we pray Colossians 1:9-10 for her. It says "For this reason, since the day we heard about Suzy Q, we have not stopped praying for Suzy Q. We continually ask God to fill Suzy Q with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that Suzy Q may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God." It is powerful when you add a name to pray for in the verses. Try it with your own children's names.

God is waiting for you to come to Him with your whole heart. Turn from your wicked ways and run back to Him. He will not say "I gave you a chance. Get out of my sight!!" Lots of people may do that but not God. Matthew 11:28 says "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." No matter what you have done God is not going to be shocked. Isaiah 64:6 says "All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away."

Come back to Jesus now. 1 Peter 2:25 says "For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls." Return to Jesus now. He is waiting for you to repent and He is waiting to forgive. He loves you so let Him have your heart and be Lord of your life. Stop being sucked into Satans' scheme to tear you down. Call out for Jesus now. He is ready to hear and heal and forgive.

PRAYER: Lord I need you in my life 24/7. I thank you that no matter what has happened you do not care. You are patient not wishing anyone to perish. Father help me resist the enemies lies so he has to flee. Father  I pray this for any family members as well who need to come back to you. Open their ears to hear your truth. Block Satan's lies. In Jesus Name. Amen.



Worship the Lord by listening to this wonderful song by Chris Tomlin..Amazing Grace My Chains Are Gone .Click on link.
http://youtu.be/p8YRapsaRfE

Sunday, October 9, 2011

HONOR YOUR PARENTS

Most of us have parents or were at least born, right? That is a fact. The Bible tells us in Exodus 20:12 to 'honor our fathers and mothers'. What does that mean to show honor? It means to show respect, primarily, and treat with dignity. You may be an adult with elderly parents but your mom and dad, if still alive, deserve your respect and admiration. Maybe your childhood was not all that good. If that is the case, try to find it in your heart to forgive them if you can. But the ones who did a superb job raising you deserve love and kindness and perhaps an occasional thank you.

 Parents who do the right thing teach their children boundaries and discipline and say things like "Play with fire you will get burned' or "don't cross your eyes or they will freeze that way' or 'can't never tried' and a host of other tidbits of wise wisdom we will never forget. Even though many parents have done all the right things there are times children as adults grow up and go their own way and cause heartbreak to many a mom and dad. The parents may 'beat themselves up' so to speak and go through much anguish but each person has a free will. You can make wrong choices or right choices. You can hang out with the wrong friends and be exposed to bad stuff that can get you off course. I think of serial killer Ted Bundy, who was exposed to pornography at age 12 and ended up acting out his fantasies.Scientists tried to explain it away in his DNA but he said it was in huge part as a result of pornography. He accepted Christ and asked forgiveness and requested to be interviewed on tape with Dr James Dobson to share his story before he was executed. Imagine the heartache, guilt and pain of his mom and dad. They did not put porn in his lunchbox. Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, and founder of Samaritans Purse was once a wild rebellious young man but look at him now!! Glory be to God!!

 Parents who thought they were being honored are hurt when a child goes completely against what they have been taught. They feel very dishonored. But the promise in scripture is there to comfort them and give them hope. Proverbs 22:6 says "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." That verse is the hope and comfort of many parents who can not wait til their child 'sees the light' and returns from the enemies camp or their time in the 'wilderness'. These parents need love and hugs, not judgemental stares. No one asks for this stuff to happen so if you look down on folks going through this painful time then look out and watch out as you never know if it could happen to you. We are not to judge but we are to show unconditional love.

Even for those parents who did think they were doing the right thing occasionally have a child who strays off the path to their dismay  and breaks their hearts. You continue to pray, like in the story of the prodigal son(See Luke 15:11-32), that they will return and follow the teachings of God's word again. In God's word it says"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." (See John 8:7). 2 Timothy 3:5 says "and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus."

 Some parents are not honored or respected. One of saddest things for parents is when their children turn their back on the faith and way they were raised. If they get in with the wrong crowd, listen to the wrong voices, date the wrong people it is easy to turn  their back on family and God. Not all seemingly 'perfect' families raise perfect children either and if something does go wrong you want to beat yourself up over it, but God can restore the years the locust has eaten (See Joel 2:25) and bring your child back. You have to believe and have to hang on. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says "Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."

 Recently I heard of a  young lady who was bragging about leaving her faith and following some dictator regime and made a disrespectful comment about her parents on her social networking page. How heart wrenching if they were to see this but I doubt she has 'friended' them. This truly is not honoring to parents who brought you up. Sure we want our children to grow up and think for themselves but part of that thinking is hopefully not taking them away from God and the Bible and believing a delusion spirit and lies of the enemy. We do not want them to be puppets but we want them to love God and follow Him. I think of children who have left their families for cults who have brainwashed them. How painful that must be to endure.

If you are reading this today and know of someone who has gone through this, be their friend and pray for them. Do not judge and condemn as you do not know the whole story and it is not our business anyway. Just know that in 1 Peter 5:8 it says "Satan is prowling around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may destroy'. Just cover your children with the blood of Jesus and say out loud "in Jesus Name, you can not have my children devil as they belong to Jesus and they will come back from the land of the enemy!"

For further reading besides reading the Bible which is the ultimate source of comfort I suggest two books by author and mother Carol Kent who I have had the privilege to meet several years ago. She and her husband went through the unspeakable agony with their son Jason who had never done anything wrong and now is in prison for life. Read her first book "When I Lay My Isaac Down" and a followup book entitled "A New Kind of Normal:Hope Filled Choices When Life Turns Upside Down".

The verse we use in Moms in Touch which is sort of a theme verse is Lamentations 2:19 which says "Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord; lift up your hands toward Him for the life of your children." Be blessed today and go give your folks a hug if they live in same town and if not why not give them a call.

PRAYER: Oh Lord I reach out to those who may be reading this today who feel guilty over a child who has gone their own way and do not know what to do. Comfort their hearts Lord and surround them with friends who will love them not judge or condemn them. Father we thank  you for your saving grace and we thank you that you are there calling out to us and calling out to our children. Soften the hard  hearts and help all those reading to remember to show honor and respect to your mom and dad if they are still living. We thank you for Christian parents who did the right thing! In Jesus Name. Amen.

Note: Turn up your speakers and listen to this wonderful song by Christian artists Third Day..Cry out to Jesus!
http://youtu.be/yLSKSlJ0-2s

Saturday, October 8, 2011

YOUR MONEY OR GOD'S MONEY?

Many people when they go to work say this is "my money"or "my paycheck". Is that really true? Even in some marriages the breadwinner, who in most cases is still the male, may think it is his money but when you say "I do" you have a shared joint life which includes a 'joint' checking account with your wife. She is not to be treated disrespectfully or like a second class citizen and the two should have a plan for how money is spent. It is the source of lots of major conflicts in marriages.  For a man to make a stay home mom feel she is not earning, so therefore, it is not her money too, is wrong. Marriage means equal and a man and a wife. Trust is necessary and commitment. But the point is that the money is really not who earns it but it belongs to God anyway. We are to be good stewards of what God has given us. If we have an abundance too then hopefully you would share with those experiencing a need through no fault of their own.

Deuteronomy 8:18 says "But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today."
1 Samuel 2:7 says " The LORD sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts."  Proverbs 10:22 says "The blessing of the LORD brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it."

Matthew 6:24 says "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."  When God blesses you with money make sure to give him some back. Malachi 3:10 says " Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it."

Luke 6:38 says " Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Enjoy the blessings God has given you but do not keep it all to yourself. Remember it is his anyway. So next time you see a person in need and you give money to them or something to help them through their hard time be sure to give God the glory as it is not your money anyway.

PRAYER:  All I have is yours Lord. Sometimes I tend to forget that. Forgive me when I have used my money for things that would not please you. Help me to not abuse credit cards and give me the ability to not buy things I do not need. Help me have a more generous heart and a cheerful giver heart. In Jesus Name. Amen!

IDEA FOR MY LOCAL READERS: WAY FM RADIO HAS The Drive Thur Difference. Go to their website and down load a letter that you hand the cashier at your local drive thru like Mc Donald's or Arbys and pay for the person behind you. No strings attached. You drive off feeling good and the person behind is blessed. Click link below for more info and bless someone today.
http://wayh.wayfm.com/on-the-way/137-drive-thru-difference.html