Welcome to God's Lemonade Stand

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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

NANNA NANNA BOO BOO

  Everyone is probably familiar with this immature child hood chant that is a way of saying.."Look at me..I am better than you"  or "look at me I did this and you did not."  As a Child of God of any age this is not an appropriate way to behave and is somewhat disrespectful as well. In other words, it is not up there on a list of 'ways to get closer to God'.

 Proverbs 24:17-18 says " Do not rejoice when your enemy stumbles and do not be let your heart be glad when he falls or the Lord will see it and be displeased and turn his anger away from him." This type of attitude implies superiority, and that too is not a great Christian virtue to emulate. Also we may not approve of say,  'a political leader' but we are still not supposed to be wishing him curses and evil but are to be praying for his or her heart to change. Likewise we need to pray for our own heart to not be 'acting ugly'. Prayers will not be answered if you are being mean spirited yet naming the name of the Lord. (See Psalm 66:18). It is as if your 'religion' is in vain.

 Philippians 2:3 says "do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit but in humility think of others as better than yourself." Do you sometimes gloat maybe even only privately and think 'look at me?' The Lord does not approve of that either. No one is perfect. We have all 'stumbled' at one time or another. Do not start feeling like you are better than others. Only God is perfect! Matthew 6:1 says "Be careful to not do your acts of righteousness before men. To be seen by them. If you do you will have no reward from your Father in  heaven." In other words humility is the key.

Matthew 7:1-3 says "Do not judge or you too will be judged." Remember the saying when you point your 'fault finding finger' at someone three others are pointed right back at you. 1 Corinthians 6:1 speaking of those judging sinners "and such were some of you. You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."

Let there be no 'nanna nanna boo boo's' coming out of the mouth of a child of God. Commit to  memory the following verse and it will help you in all you do in life. Ephesians 4:29 which says " Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth but only that which is helpful in building others up according to their needs,that it may benefit those who listen."

PRAYER: Dear Lord may I never be guilty of a haughty spirit. I desire humility. I also want to be kind and respectful and helpful to those persons you place in my path daily. in Jesus name.Amen.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

BEATEN UP BY YOUR FELLOWMAN??

Do you feel like Job in the Bible who seems to have everything go wrong? Has one thing after the other continued to press down on you til you think you can not take it anymore? Have you lost your job? Have friends turned their backs on you? Have you been betrayed by family? Have people told lies about you at work? Have you been wrongly accused of something and are having a hard time proving your innocence? Has there been a death that has left a gaping hole in your heart you feel will never be healed? Are bills piling up but you do not know how you will manage to pay them?

Not everyone has a rosy life. Some people bring on struggles themselves but others have things happen they did nothing to cause.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."  Psalm 66:10 says "For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver." Sometimes we are put in the refiners fire,so to speak, to test us and grow us and shape us into more of a God like character . We know it says in James 1:2-3 it 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." That is what we are striving for. No one likes suffering. But somethings that happen that seem bad ultimately turn out for our good.

Psalm 145:14 gives encouragement to those who feel like they have lost hope. It says "The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. Psalm 37:24 says "though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand." Psalm 57:6 says "They spread a net for my feet--I was bowed down in distress. They dug a pit in my path--but they have fallen into it themselves."  Psalm 108:13 tells us "With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies." Psalm 147:3 says "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."

What is bothering you today? God is for you so who can be against you?(See Romans 8:31). That is all that matters. Hang on. God has a plan!

PRAYER: Lord God help me to trust you and you alone for all that I need in life. When others come against me and hurt me or ridicule me I know you are all that matters.Help me to learn to forgive those who have wronged me. It is love that covers a multitude of sins and love that will win out.I want to focus on your love Lord so I am not sunk into a pity pit or a cavern of despair. Lord I thank you for delivering me. In Jesus Name. Amen.
 
Note: Please take about 4 minutes and listen to the song by clicking link below. It will lift your spirits in a big way. http://youtu.be/cCwAkJQ4-Io

Monday, November 28, 2011

PULLING THE WEEDS

How many of you have a garden? One of the worst chores with a garden is pulling those pesky little weeds. The weeds can get in and choke and ruin the crop you are trying to plant. All the time and effort you spent planting is to no avail if you let the weeds take over.

We can have weeds in our spiritual life too. Things that can get into our life and choke our fruitfulness for the Lord or choke letting the word take root in our lives. We can receive or hear the word of God but sometimes it can go in one ear and right out the next. Why is this? Daydreaming perhaps, but more likely it is the type of 'soil' the word has to adhere to. Mark 4:14-20  says "The farmer sows the word. Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.”

What type of soil is in your life? To have good soil you need to turn over the cares of life to the Lord and trust Him. Give him the problems in your life and let Him handle them. Purify your heart by getting into the word of God on a daily basis. Ask God to take away the things that are distracting you or keeping you from growing in Christ.

PRAYER: Lord I want to have the word of God grow and bloom and produce 'fruit' in my life. I know the fruits of the spirit can not grow if I am allowing the cares of this world to choke them. Help me Lord as I seek to walk with you each and every day. I will resist the enemy and he has to flee. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

BUSY FOR GOD: NOT THE TICKET TO HEAVEN

Many people think working in their church is what God expects of them to get to heaven. You can do all sorts of good 'church things' and be on wonderful 'church committees' but that is not the formula for winning admission into heaven. You can stay so busy you have no time nor energy to minister to those around you. For some people these acts of service seem to be the ticket to life in heaven. Many can not seem to stop filling up their schedules with wonderful Christian activities. You can do so many that you do not do any really well. Then  you are tired and worn out and have no time for the family at home that loves you.

I once heard an acronym for BUSY was 'being under Satan's yoke'. There are religious sects that feel that works save them. Ephesians 2:8-9 says "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast." Sure once you know Jesus as your saviour your heart will change and you will want to do things for people but it is not necessary to be on every church committee or in every Bible study to enter heaven.

2 Timothy 3:4-5 says we are to beware of people who are "treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them." Perhaps this could mean those who are real 'churchy' and 'religious' but do not want to name the name of Jesus or talk too much about Him. Their committees at church will suffice. That is plenty of 'religion' for them. We are to train ourselves to be godly it says in 1 Timothy 4:7, not 'religious'. I often hear people say someone must be going to heaven because they are 'religious'. Being religious is not the way to heaven but knowing Jesus as your saviour is.

Matthew 7:22-23 says "Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ This will surprise many who feel they have done so much. It is not the doing but the believing Jesus and asking Him to be your Lord and saviour.

Where is your heart today? Are you connected to the power source, that being the Lord Jesus Christ? Denominations and church membership do not save you nor do 'works' save you. If you are not sure you can ask Him into your heart right now. Say "Lord Jesus I am a sinner and I need you in my life. I want to live for you and follow you all the days of my life. Come into my heart right now."

PRAYER: Father I love you and do like to do good things for people but I know these works alone do not save me. Transform my heart to be more like yours. Help me shine Jesus light around me wherever I go. In Jesus Name. Amen. 


Note: I saw the following video clip on NRB TV and it sort of puts in a comical way the way some Christians view their entrance into heaven. Click on link below.
http://youtu.be/3P_fsoFkzXA

Saturday, November 26, 2011

MORNING PERSON FOR GOD

Do you consider yourself a morning person or a night person or in my case, both? Do you struggle to wake up and stay up or find yourself sleeping in if you do not have to be up? Mornings are a wonderful time of day. It is nice to stick your head out the front door or window and see the sunrise or see geese in flight or the morning contrails high overhead of a jet passing by.It is just peaceful and the calm before the storm so to speak. 

The Bible even says something about mornings. Psalm 119:62 says "At midnight I shall rise to give thanks to You Because of Your righteous ordinances." Psalm 59:16 says "But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble." Psalm 118:24 says "This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."

One thing about the morning is if you work it out it is a good time for quiet time with the Lord. Many have to rush off to work but you can attempt to orchestrate your day to rise a tiny bit earlier and sit down with a cup of coffee and read a few Bible verses. Proverbs 31:15 when speaking of the virtuous woman says "She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls." Oh to be like that. To make yourself not lay around like a sluggard. Proverbs 21:13 says "Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare." Getting out of bed is associated then with taking charge and seizing the day so to speak.  I know as an athlete and runner the best time for me to run is in the morning. The day is not busy yet and it is a time to discipline yourself to get out and get fit. Likewise this early morning time is ideal for getting spiritually fit. Psalm 57:8 says "Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn." Also in Mark 1:35 it says about Jesus "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed".

What about you? Are you able to get up a tiny bit earlier and spend time with God? Can you keep the mornings shows on TV turned off and tune in to God instead?  It is truly a discipline to be able to do this. There are times I have been tired and did not have something to do and thought of going back to bed but then stayed up and got so much accomplished. Try it. Get up and say "thank you Lord for giving me another day to serve you and share your love in this world."

PRAYER: Father  help me to get up and get going each day. Help me to seize the day and the opportunities that await me to be a blessing in someones life. In Jesus name. Amen.

Click on link to enjoy a wonderful praise song by artist Chris Tomlin to get your day going!
http://youtu.be/QwJV-qVUXuI

Friday, November 25, 2011

RESPOND WITH GRACE

Occasionally  when I am stumped about a subject to write about something happens to give me an idea. Thank you God!!  My idea came this past Sunday when the airline we were to fly on for our upcoming ski trip called to cancel and wanted to book us on next day. Needless to say this was unacceptable and would mess up our entire  trip. When things like  this happen we can choose to 'pop a cork' and explode at the poor agent on the phone, who is only the bearer of this bad news, or we can choose to blow it off and go with the flow. Anger never gets any one anywhere. Whether it is to an innocent defenseless clerk at a store, a waiter or even sad to say some family members and friends who bear the brunt of cutting hurtful remarks at times, anger is just not the way to go. James 1:20 says " The anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God."  Anger hurts people and breaks things.

What does God's word have to say about the way we respond to people? First let me say we should always make believe Jesus is in line behind us or sitting beside us before we go off on a verbal tirade. If we truly were convicted of what we said being offensive and hurtful to our heavenly father then perhaps some of the  'beating up' on people with words would cease.  There is no person on earth who deserves to be talked down to, hurt, and ridiculed.  Remember we are told in the Bible we will give account one day for every careless word we have ever uttered.(See Matthew 12:36).

Ephesians 4:2 says "With all lowliness and gentleness with  long suffering, bearing with one another in love." Get that! It says to do it 'in love'! Screaming and hurling insults are certainly  not loving and I am sure most of us would not talk to Jesus that way. If you think about Jesus being right there with you at all times then it probably brings great pain to Him to hear and see us acting in a less than Christian manner. Verse 7 of this same chapter continues by saying "But to each one of us grace was given, according to the measure of Christ's gift." What is grace? Unmerited favor for one.  It means dignified, polite and decent. When someone hurls insults or hurtful speech at us we can chose to lash back or talk to them peacefully and with love. Believe me, this is difficult to do as human nature wants to get back and get even. This is not God's way. Remember it is Satan who wants us to be in constant fights and turmoil as when we are upset we are not showing the fruits of the spirit. If you call yourself a child of God then you need to practice acting like one. If you are married to someone who talks to you ugly just keep responding in grace as hard as it is. Ask God to help you stay cool, calm, and collected.

If you truly follow God's word and study it daily then you can look up the scriptures on anger and words and there are many. If you are one who abuses people with your words stop now and ask God to help you calm down and show Christian love instead. If you have hurled insults at someone say you are sorry.
Ephesians 4:29 says " Let no unwholesome word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification that it may input grace to the hearers."

Colossians 2:6 says " So as you have received Christ Jesus, walk in Him."  Make believe you are talking to your minister and I am pretty sure the ugliness will end. God is way bigger and important than your minister and he is sad when you hurt others verbally. Be an example whether  at home or in the marketplace.

PRAYER:  Lord help me to be kind to all people. I know sometimes things make us mad but help me Lord to 'take a step back' and think what I am saying. I know hurting others with words is not pleasing to you. Help me always let my speech be seasoned as with salt. In Jesus name. Amen.

Note: Please say a prayer for Denise Carter. She is my friend who originally  got me started doing daily devotions over one year ago. She has been in ICU for over a week with legionnaires pneumonia but thank God is getting better and off her ventilator. Keep her and her family in prayers. She lives here in the Huntsville area. Don't talk about it to other people as that only starts gossip but simply just pray..you and God. Thanks...Love you all. Thanks for reading this blog each day.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

THANKSGIVING IS HERE AGAIN

I love this holiday. It holds lots of fond memories for me. It is not about being a glutton and going away from the table stuffed as much as the turkey is, but it is much more. Today it is a challenge to even find Christian symbols of this important holiday even, sometimes sad to say, in the Christian bookstore. By 'Christian symbols' I am referring to the Pilgrims. Those men and women who bravely made the voyage from England in 1620 seeking to worship God and have freedom from the rule of the king. In 1621 the Indians and the settlers had a feast to celebrate the harvest and to thank God for safely guiding them to the new world. It was not until 1863 that President Lincoln declared it a national holiday to be celebrated each November.

This day to many is nothing more than a huge family reunion,parade viewing, and a day of football followed by a day of Black Friday shopping. No thought of Christ is even mentioned to many.  Why not start a new tradition in your family and have each family member say one thing they are thankful for? It should be about family! This is one of the biggest family get together days during the year. Many miles separate families nowadays and I know being a military wife our extended family had always been our friends through the years who we shared the Thanksgiving feast with when we could not go home.Last years Thanksgiving was special meeting the family of my soon to be daughter in law. This day has always been a fun one. But the real meaning needs never to be forgotten. Merchants seem to rush to celebrate a secular Christmas before Thanksgiving is even over.

No matter what you are doing today stop and give thanks to God for living in freedom if you live in America. We all have something to be thankful for.  Below I have listed several verses from the Bible dealing with being thankful. Read them out loud or as part of your family celebration today. Even if you are reading this from a foreign country you can still pause and give thanks to God above for all good things.

Several verses of Thanksgiving follow:

1 Thessalonians 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 31:19 How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you.

Psalm 95:1-2 Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD;  let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.
Psalm 68:19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.
1 Corinthians 15:57  But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Psalm 107:1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
Psalm 67:4  May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples justly and guide the nations of the earth.
Psalm 100:1  A Psalm for Thanksgiving. Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.
Psalm 145:7  They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
1 Chronicles 16:34  Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!
Colossians 3:17  And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
1 Timothy 4:4  For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.
Psalm 100:4  Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!
Go into this day with a heart full of thanksgiving! When you praise and thank God the enemy shudders and has to flee.

PRAYER: I thank you Lord for this day set aside to thank you for all you have provided for us. Help us not forget to thank you the other 364 days as well.Help me always have a grateful heart. In Jesus Name. Amen.
I have included a link from the History Channel website about Thanksgiving.It takes about 4 minutes to view.
http://youtu.be/wFDSobNnfQs

Also I have included a song of Thanksgiving. Click on link.
http://youtu.be/IBpv-ZzcQD8

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

HEART SURGERY

Do you need heart surgery? Not physical heart surgery but is your heart cold and hard and thoughtless? Have you let Jesus into that heart to change it and make you into a new creature?

The Bible tells us in Matthew 6:21 "where your treasure is there will your heart be also." Also in Ezekiel 36:26 it says in reference to the heart " I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." This does not mean literally God will pluck your old heart out of your chest but it means if you ask Him to come in and take the controls he will change your heart and your outlook on life.

John 3:3 says "In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." Once again not  physical birth but a turning over the controls of your life to Jesus and saying " Lord come into my heart and change me. I want to live for you and serve you. I do not want to just be a Sunday Christian but I want to be sold out to you and you alone." Do you want this kind of relationship with Jesus? 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us once this happens that "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" So you give over the controls to the Lord and  He transforms you as you begin to walk in His ways and cast off works of darkness. When I say darkness, I am not talking about a Satanic cult, but basically things that are not of God that displease him and separate you from Him. Your heart should be convicted to know what these things are once you have asked Jesus to be Lord of your life.

Psalm 51:10 says "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." Is this what you want? Do you want a clean and pure heart? Are you ready to serve the Lord with gladness? Ezekiel 18:31 says "Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel?" God is ready and waiting to give you that new heart if only you will ask Him.

PRAYER: Lord I want you to be in control. I want my heart set apart to serve you. Thank you for being Lord of my life. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Click on link to enjoy a wonderful worship song.
http://youtu.be/hGr8as7pPBE

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

REWARDS FROM HEAVEN

Today my older son has a birthday. If I tell you how old he is you will think I am really old and I am not and do not feel old. But it is a milestone. He is a gift from God!  In God's word children are referred to as a reward. Many parents probably feel strapped by their children or feel like this parenthood thing will never end.Some moms wish they could just have their career back.  There are people who try to have biological babies and never can. Each child is a true gift for God. Children should be given a chance to live in a loving home. Too many babies are aborted for convenience or woman's choice or health issues. The time children are home is relatively short compared to the big scheme of things. I would tell people as a stay home I was raising leaders for the future. If you are a stay home mom never belittle yourself or think you do not matter. Never think you are wasting your education because you are not. The best job ever is to bring those little ones up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. There are no guarantees they won't stray from the path you have taught them but you have God's promises that they will return.(See Proverbs 22:6). We are the parental prayer warriors both when they are babies, growing up and when they are adults.

Psalm 127:3 says "Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him." Do you think about that verse? You could say if you are a parent you got the Blue Ribbon like at a county fair. The best reward yet! I know I feel that way. On this day I thank the Lord for giving us our son Matthew which by the way means "Gift of God" and my other son Jonathan's name means "God's Gracious Gift."

James 1:17 says "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for the gift of Life. Thank you for children. Give us wisdom in raising them to serve you and love you. If they have strayed from your path lovingly lead them back. Help their hearts be broken Lord by what breaks your heart. In Jesus name. Amen. 

Note: link to a movie which was in pre release but will return to theaters Spring 2012 and is all above pro life and pro family.
http://www.octoberbabymovie.net/

Monday, November 21, 2011

ARE YOU SAYING WHAT GOD SAYS YOU ARE?

Do you ever get down on life and on yourself? You have to think and say positive things to counter the lies of the enemy. Satan is our enemy and he will mess with your mind to bring wrong thoughts into it. The only way to get rid of these wrong thoughts and condemnation of the enemy who seeks to destroy you is to counter attack these lies with positive confessions from God's word about who you are.

Say out loud the following:
I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.(2 Corinthians 5:21)
I am the head and not the tail.(Deuteronomy 28:13)
I am an overcomer.(Revelation 12:11)
I am forgiven.(Colossians 3:13)
I am set free.(John 8:36)
I am a child of the King(Ephesians 2:19)
I will fear no evil as God is with me.(Psalm 23:4)
I am loved by God.(1 John 4:7-8)
I am not afraid what mere man can do to me.(Psalm 118:6)
I am created by you for a special purpose.(Jeremiah 29:11)
I am your sheep and  you are my shepherd.(John 10:4)
I am a conqueror because of you Lord.(Romans 8:37)
I am made in your image.(Genesis 1:27)
I can overcome strongholds with your help. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
I am blessed.(Philippians 4:19)
I am redeemed.(Psalm 107:2)
I am God's friend.(John 15:15)
Also say "I will not allow others to bring me down or steal my joy."

Jeremiah 23:29 says "Is not my word like fire," declares the LORD, "and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?" Philippians 4:7-8 says "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, 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." Make a deliberate effort to be focused on good and truth.


The accuser of the brethren is Satan. (See Revelation 12:10). Even well meaning people will not act Christlike at times and the saying goes 'hurting people hurt people." It is really important to stop and think before just always blurting out something. Our mouth can get us into trouble. Why not turn your mouth into a positive tool and speak these positive confessions above out loud to get your day started? Start being on God's side and work together against the enemy.

2 Corinthians 5:10 says "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." In other words you have to purposely decide to get rid of negative thoughts and things that drag you down. The enemy is the one who wants to see you defeated and pitiful. Things like that are not from God. Get up this day and take control of your thoughts by planting good things in your head.

PRAYER: Father I thank you for being Lord of my life. I want to think on good things and not things that bring me doubts and fears. Help me Lord to keep my focus on your and resist attempts from the devil to get me off course. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Worship God by clicking on the following link:
http://youtu.be/HUGZAHztq_s

Sunday, November 20, 2011

TOWER OF STRENGTH

A tower is a symbol of strength and power. In scripture Jesus is referred to as a tower. Proverbs 18:10 says "The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe."  2 Samuel 22:2 continues by saying "He said: "The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer." A tower is part of a fortress at least back in the old Army days. If you visit a coastal fort you will note the towers on four corners which were look out posts of sorts to warn others of impending danger and enemy ships approaching. The tower was a means to watch out for the enemy and stay protected. God is like that. Psalm 61:3 says "For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe". Proverbs 14:26 says "He who fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge."

Who is your protection and fortress? Who do you turn to when things are not going good? Do you know Jesus as your saviour? Is He your tower of strength? Ask him to be Lord of your life today.

PRAYER: Lord I thank you for being my strong tower and my deliver. I thank you for helping me fight the battles in my life and protecting me from attacks from Satan. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Note: I hope you will be able to attend a house of worship today to lift up the name of Jesus and get spiritually strengthened for your week ahead. I have included a song to go along with the devotion today. Turn up speakers and worship the Lord in his holiness. Happy Sunday!


http://youtu.be/lLYnN3rRC1Q

Saturday, November 19, 2011

ATTITUDE CHECK: SMILE, WHY DON'T YOU?

 Many things that seemingly are bad in life could be good if only we would change our attitude. Things are not as bad as they may seem all the time. Jumping to conclusions and assuming the worse can be our greatest downfall. Sometimes a person can tend to get overly emotional and not think things through or wait on the Lord. If only we would call on God and wait on the Lord things would be better. Sometimes if you are consumed with yourself and your problems your attitude about life will be in the pits. I have had times in my own life when my negative thinking has sent me into a pit of despair. You have to rise above that and be thankful for what you have. Do not look at the glass as half empty but look at it as half full.

Can't get a doctor appointment  when you want? At least you can eventually because right now in America we still have good access to health care. Complaining about the car you have and how it is not what you want? Well you at least have a car. Think your legs are ugly and your feet look funny? At least you have legs when some are amputees or can not even walk. Be thankful. Do not like what you are having for supper? Be thankful you have an abundance of food and grocery stores galore in the United States to shop in. Wish you had a bigger house? Be thankful you even have a roof over your head because in many Third world countries they live in shacks with dirt floors. Wish you could live somewhere else? Be grateful for where God has you as He has plans to use you there. Do not like how your  hair looks? The cancer patient would be thankful to simply have hair at all after going through chemotherapy. Wish you would have picked a different major in college? Be grateful you even got to attend college. You hate your job and have trouble getting along with your boss? At least you are employed when many are looking for work just so they can feed their family. It is all about attitude. How is yours?

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says "give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus".  Philippians 2:5 says "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus".

When I was in college my dad ,being an educator, sent me a funny letter. Not sure where he got it so I am unable to give proper credit but I heard it re read on Joyce Meyer television show and it was basically a teenage daughter letter to her parents about keeping things in proper perspective. It went on to say something to the effect of ' the girl had been in a dormitory fire. She had jumped to safety from the second story window to escape flames. A young man picked her up and carried her to safety. They fell in love and are living together. The girl told her parents she knew how they always wanted to be grandparents well , she was expecting! She knew her parents would love her boyfriend and would not mind that his skin color was a different shade than hers." Then she continues " there was no fire, I did not jump out of a building, I am not pregnant, there is not a man of a different race in my life but I am getting a D in Math and a F in Science and wanted you to see these grades in there proper perspective. Your loving daughter Mary". Wow! You can imagine the relief these parents must have felt and now the bad grades did not look quite as drastic in the big scheme of things.

What kind of attitude do you have? Are you self centered and haughty? We should be thankful, humble, kind and positive. No one likes to be around negative, gripey, whiny people. Do you find yourself complaining all the time about your 'lot' in life? Stop for a moment and make a list of all the things you have to be grateful for. You will be amazed.

PRAYER:  Thank you Lord for where you have me in life. Sometimes we do not know why things happen as they do but then we know you have a plan and purpose. Help me not try to squirm out of things but instead ask myself "Lord what am I supposed to be learning from this." Forgive me when I have been less than grateful. In Jesus name. Amen.

Friday, November 18, 2011

MOTHER NATURE, THE MAN UPSTAIRS, THE BIG GUY....SAY WHAT??

Why is it some people are afraid to acknowledge the name Jesus or the presence of God? Instead of the weather man saying an 'act of God' they say 'mother nature'. Not sure that God is a woman since he is referred to as our 'Heavenly Father'. Then there is the one where people say "the man upstairs is watching us" and don't forget about 'the big guy'. Why is it some people have to make a joke out of God's name? Sure we know what they mean but it seems more 'politically correct' to refer to him in these terms to some and perhaps less threatening or 'religious'. But the fact is God is God!

Jesus is Abba Father, the Almighty, the Alpha and Omega. He is  Redeemer, our Defender, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is the Beginning and the End. He is Light and he is Truth. He is Glorious. He is Jehovah Jirah our Provider. He is our Saviour. He is Master over all things.God is Love.God is our Protector. God is Peace. God is Holy. He is the Bright Morning Star. He is Ruler over all the earth. He is the Creator of the universe.He is more than the 'man upstairs'.

Some say they worship God in nature as their excuse for not going to church. Sure God is out there, he is everywhere and that is wonderful, but when you worship Him in nature do you actually talk to Him and sing His praises as you walk through the forest? One of my favorite places to be to be close to God is at this one state park nearby. I go there occasionally for DAWG days called 'Day  Alone With God' but we should not necessarily use going to the woods on Sunday as an excuse for not being in his house of worship with others. It is a convenient excuse to say that you are out in his creation as a way to justify not being in church on Sunday. God is a jealous God. Yes he loves you and he wants you to love Him. Deuteronomy  6:14-15 says "Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land."  Further in Deuteronomy 11:28 it says "But you will be cursed if you reject the commands of the LORD your God and turn away from him and worship gods you have not known before." Are you rejecting God? Something to ponder in your heart. Only you can decide to make Him first place in your life. Just doing 'works' is not putting Him first place but do you truly spend time with Him and want to know Him better?

Philippians 2:10 says "that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth."  Psalm 95:6 says " Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker."  Romans 14:11 says "It is written: "'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.'" Do you ever feel like bowing before the Lord or raising your arms up to heaven to declare his glory and to praise Him?  Ephesians 3:14 says "For this reason I kneel before the Father." Kneeling is an act of honor and respect. We see in foreign countries how people bow to rulers. The ultimate ruler over all is God Almighty. We should be bowing before Him. Revelation 5:13 says "Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!"

Do you feel about God this way? Does He have first place in your life? Do you want Him to? It says in Revelation 3:20 "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." Christ is knocking on your hearts door. He wants first place in your life not just on Sunday but every day of the week.

PRAYER: Lord I want you to be first place in my life. Forgive me when I have treated you like an obligation and have not wanted to spend time with you each day. Forgive me for only thinking about you one hour on Sunday .From this day forward I want you to take complete control of my life and I want to live for you and serve you. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Note: click on link to experience a wonderful worship  song to go along with this devotion. Be blessed.
http://youtu.be/-YYIHIqdSkk

Thursday, November 17, 2011

PEACE ROBBERS

We all want to have peace but many things in life can steal our peace. Having bills but no money to pay them could be one. Having money to pay bills but they get lost in the mail can create tension.  Using overnight package delivery only to find out package never reached the person and no one signed for it makes for nervousness. Missing a deadline for a job or school project can surely cause lack of peace. Worrying about something your adult child is doing that you have no control over can make you on edge. Trying to make it to a movie on time and getting stuck in traffic can cause inner turmoil. Being told by a doctor that you have a life threatening disease can stir up negative emotions. Being pulled over by the police whether at fault or not is sure to rattle your nerves. Waking up late and missing an appointment can create uneasiness. I am sure you could add to this endless list.

The thing is we do not have to react in a bad way to nerve racking situations.  I call this list of things  above 'peace tests' and through trials and problems in life we learn to trust God and turn over the controls to him. That is not to say you will never slip back to your old fretful ways but each time a situation occurs that you have a hard time dealing with call on God to help see you through. He can and He will help you. John 16:33 tells us "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

If you call yourself a Christian others may be watching you to see how you react to certain problems that would normally cause a person to come unglued. For instance, just two days ago at the US Army Commissary a woman got bent out of shape because she got in a line that she thought was express but was too long. She got angry at the man on duty and complained it was his fault. I say, what is the big deal? This whole thing was so minor in the big scheme of things. We have to learn to choose our battles.She tried to get  me to chime in with her rant of anger but I refused to do so. I tried to turn the conversation around and get her off this senseless battle that was going nowhere.

Philippians  4:6-7 says "Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.'

Isaiah 26:3 says "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you." Keeping your mind focused on Christ will help you not be down in some pit of despair and worry. Psalm 119:65 says "Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble." Do you love the 'law' or in other words, do you love the word of God? Is it a priority in your life?

The Bible says in John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." True peace comes only through the Lord Jesus Christ, nothing more nothing less. John 14:1 says "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me."

In order to have and maintain peace especially when there's nothing we can do about certain things we have to 'cast our cares on Him' like it says in 1 Peter 5:7. Are you able to cast or throw your cares on God? Psalm 55:22 says "Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall."

What is your peace robbing challenge today? Turn it over to Jesus for He does care. No need for you to carry that burden on your own anymore.

PRAYER: Lord I need your help on a daily basis to react properly to things that happen in life that could cause me to get mad or get nervous.Problems can overwhelm me but I refuse to let them. I need to lean on you. I want your help to set an example for others who may be watching me and also I need help to maintain peace in order to grow my faith. Strengthen me to handle whatever comes my way. In Jesus name. Amen.

Note: Time for a praise break..click on link and worship the Lord with a song I have included.
http://youtu.be/YYRc0JeQuC0

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

ITCHY EARS

Does preaching turn you off? Do you not like what is in the message? In 2 Timothy 4:3-4 that says "For the time will come when they will not  endure sound doctrine but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers. And they will turn their ears away from the truth and be turned aside to fables."  In other words they will find people who agree with them and even go so far as to change scripture or say it does not apply to situations in the modern world we live in. This is dangerous. To pick and choose and justify your sin by compromising what is said in the Bible is wrong. Hebrews 13:8 tells us "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, yes forever."

A good example of this compromise of the word in todays' world is on the issue of same sex marriage. This is a real  hot button issue but clearly the Bible does not give permission for a man to marry a man or a woman a woman. Matthew 19:15 says "and for this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife and the two will become one flesh."  I did not say it, God did! But if you do not read the Bible or decide parts of it are wrong then of course anything can be right in your opinion. Many enemies of the Bible, Ten Commandments, and prayer have been on the attack in recent years trying to get rid of it and sad to say because of liberal court systems much of our Christian history has been trampled on and disregarded. But God will have the final say. He does not like to be ignored or put up on a shelf. Revival is needed in this land in a big way! Also I am pretty sure God does not like babies being killed in the name of 'choice' or 'women's health' no matter under what situation they were conceived. After all He is the one who formed them in the womb. (Read Psalm 139). We can choose to be Biblically correct or 'politically correct'. We answer to God though not man.


In 2 Timothy 3:4 it mentions men being lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.  Philippians 3:18 says "for many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping,that they are enemies of the cross of Christ. Satan is the great deceiver and he will make many believe lies and convince them they are true. Remember in John 10:10 it says "the thief comes only to kill,steal, and destroy. I came that they might have life and have it more abundantly."

Beware of wolves in sheep's  clothing. Matthew 7:15 says " Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves." Satan himself is referred to as an 'angel of light' in 2 Corinthians 11:14. Be on your guard. The way to know the truth is to daily read God's word which is all TRUE.

The word of God is powerful and sharper than a two edged sword it says in Hebrews 4:12. If you do not want to be fooled into falling into Satan's snare you must know the Bible. In order to know it you have to read it. Do not allow Satan to deceive you. Start your day today with reading from God's word and resist the enemy and he will flee from you.(See James 4:7).

PRAYER: Lord I know the enemy is prowling around trying to destroy and trick Christians and to get us to compromise what we believe. Lord help me each day to make studying your word a priority. Help me recognize the lies and false teaching of the enemy. Protect my family from Satan's snare too. In Jesus name. Amen.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

BE HAPPY

 Do you want to be happy? Who doesn't? No one likes waking up and feeling the blues. But the happiness we seek should be from the Lord and living in His will also. It is not just about a non stop party. Things happen in life and we need to prepare ourselves to learn to be content in all situations and weather the storms of life. There may be pleasure in earthly pursuits but seeking the Lord brings ultimate happiness. Some things we think make us happy are wrong in God's eyes. There is pleasure in sin for a season but then deep down you know certain things are not right.  We are not to compromise what we know to be right. Mental anguish and a lack of peace will always follow those who are knowingly not living for the Lord. The Bible is the standard for right and wrong. Read it so you know true happiness.

Philippians 4:12 says " I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."

Psalm 119:1 says "How  happy are those whose way is blameless, who live according to the law of the LORD!" Have you heard the saying "there is a God shaped hole in all of us?" God did create us and wants us to love him. We may find the pleasures of the world making us happy for a while. But true happiness is found in Christ. The word happy could also mean joy, pleasure, blessing and just feeling content.  We know we can not base everything on feelings. That is dangerous. Feelings come and go.

1 John 2:15-17 tells us "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.  The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever."  Psalm 144:15 says "Happy are the people whose God is the LORD”. Is Jesus Lord of your life? Does he have the controls? Is he your pilot or your co pilot? The saying "God is my co pilot" is catchy but shouldn't he be your pilot, the Captain and in the drivers seat?

Money will  not make you happy. Fame is not going to make you happy. A prestigious job title will not make you happy. Many forms of happiness are very fleeting .All these things are empty compared to knowing and walking with the saviour Jesus Christ.

PRAYER: Lord I want to have happiness in the world but through you. I know when I feel like I have to ' do things' to bring happiness it will only be temporary. Block any things in my life Lord that bring the wrong kind of happiness or are sinful in your eyes. Help me to think of others before myself and find true joy in reaching out of my little world to others around me. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Further Reading: Psalm 34 and Matthew 5:3-11(Take a minute and get into the word of God.)
Click on link below by artist Steven Curtis Chapman to enjoy a worship song to help start your day.
http://youtu.be/PprCvi3fvxs

Monday, November 14, 2011

JESUS!! YAWN!

The title above,sad to say, is how many so called 'Christians' treat Jesus. They go to church on Sunday but do not talk about our Lord and saviour for fear of seeming too 'religious' the rest of the week. Perhaps they have wrongly been taught when growing up that Jesus is just for Sunday and something socially acceptable to do to get 'ahead' in life. Jesus is nice to put on their resume so to speak but let's not get too serious. Then there comes a tragedy and they run to the church or to someone to pray who has a 'hotline' to God.

People get 'religious' in times of heartache and tragedy. Why not let Him into your life all the time and in every area?  Jesus should be the standard for your conduct and choices in life. You should not be a secret service Christian where you do not want anyone to know or you will blow your cover, so to speak. The lives of many of these bored secret Christians  show no difference to the world in that they use no discernment in entertainment selections for instance and see no harm in going to certain questionable movies and partying in bars. Who has been around someone who has claimed to know the Lord but then in a business meeting or social setting has taken the Lord's name in vain? I mean no different at all from their worldly counterpart.

My challenge to bored believers is to fall in love with Jesus. If you are not excited about the things of the Lord maybe you need to be in a church that is what I call 'on fire' for the Lord. Take a spiritual inventory and see if the fruits of the spirit are evident in your life.  Galatians 5:22-26 says "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other."

Do you desire the pleasures of this world more than knowing Jesus? Do you desire the praise of men rather than the praise of God? John 12:43 says "for they loved praise from men more than praise from God".  If so ask the Lord to redirect  your passions to be in line with his word.

PRAYER: Father I want to have a passion for you and live for you. I know I am not to become a monk and never go anywhere but help me judge my activities by things that I could safely have you attend with me as where I am there you are anyway because you live inside of me. Help me to remember this. Give me discernment. In Jesus name. Amen.

Note: click on link for a wonderful worship song by artist Jeff Deyo
http://youtu.be/y3GmSupatEs

Sunday, November 13, 2011

ARE YOU READY?


 
Are you truly ready to meet Jesus and do you know you would be in heaven if you were to die tomorrow? There are many people who think we are living in the last times because of the onslaught of immorality even approved by our own 'once God fearing' government and other signs too. All these people can predict the end of the world and even pin it down to a date but it says in scripture in Matthew 24:36 that "no man knows the day nor the hour". "One man will be in a field plowing and the other be taken" it says in Luke 17:36.
 
The movie series 'Left Behind' is a must see for Christians. Rent it or buy it but see it!! All these scenes from the Rapture and the last days before the anti Christ comes back, known in the movie as Carpathia, are depicted.
 
Ephesians 5:5-6 says "For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient."  Matthew 24:37 says "But just as the days of Noah, so will the coming of The Son of Man be." As you recall Noah was preparing for a flood as people were making fun of Him. But the flood came and life was destroyed. So be ready. Heed the warnings in scripture.
 
Acts 4:14-21 says "Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days, God says,I will pour out my Spirit on all people.Your sons and daughters will prophesy,your young men will see visions,your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women,I will pour out my Spirit in those days,and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below,blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

I heard an awesome sermon preached on this a couple weeks ago and it made you think. You can be in your shelter with all your freeze dried food and be fearing catastrophic events. First of all we are 'not to fear' but to trust that if you do what God wants to you to do and follow Him then you will be okay. You do not have to be fretting and wringing your hands in despair.
 
Have you asked Jesus into your heart? I did not say "Are you a church member" or "are you baptized" but have you asked Jesus to be Lord of your life today? A denomination will not save you. Your grandmother being a certain church member so therefore you are  in the same church will not save you. Just because you attend church will not guarantee you admission to heaven. Say "Father I ask you to forgive me of my sins. I want to live for you and serve you. Come into my heart and take control."
 
PRAYER: Lord I want to live for you and serve you. I know that I need you to be Lord of my life. I know a denomination does not save me. I know church ritual does not save me. I ask you to come into my heart and be Lord of my life. I surrender to you Lord now. In Jesus Name. Amen.
 
Click on link for wonderful worship song"

Saturday, November 12, 2011

GIVE ALL THE TIME



The Christmas season is just around the corner. At this time of year everyone seems to get nice. Toys for Tots, Samaritans Purse Shoe Box ministry and Salvation Army are busy collecting for worthy and needy families. There are 'coat campaigns' here locally to help those who are cold and do not have a coat.WAY FM locally has their "Christmas prayers".  Food banks provide Christmas dinners to families in need. Much much more goes on. It always strikes me as odd that everyone gets nice at Christmas. These needy people are needy the other 364 days too. Whether they are truly needy or mooching off society is not the question. Let God deal with hearts there. We are to give and be kind to others regardless. 

What does the Bible say about giving? When we see scriptures we often think of money but it could mean material things as well. 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." 2 Corinthians 9:7 says "Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." Do you like to give? James 2:15-17 says "Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."

Matthew 25:35-40 says in a nutshell "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
So where is your heart today? Your checkbook should tell the story of your life and how generous you are. Look at yours today and see where your money is going and how much of it goes for 'kingdom purposes'.  It is time to say thanks to the Lord for what we have then find a way to meet another's need whether it is Christmas or not.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for blessing me. Help me to bless others. Show me someone who needs some help and help me meet that need. In Jesus name. Amen.

Friday, November 11, 2011

SERVICE TO OTHERS


 
Today we stop to honor those men and women who at one time or another have served in our nations armed forces. Now Memorial Day in May is when we honor and pay tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this nation by giving their life in combat so we could remain free. But Veterans Day is to honor all those who have served, living or dead. Those who have been in the military we salute you and thank you. 
 
What is this service all about? It is like no other job in that you truly do not know when you will be called upon to go into combat or be put in harms way. This is not just a job, but a privilege to protect and defend this great nation and help keep the freedoms we enjoy. You have seen the bumper sticker I am sure which says 'If you love your freedom thank a Vet!'  A 'civilian' really has no concept of the things soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines go through in their jobs. 

Concerning service in general 1 Peter 4:10 says "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its' various forms. A military member really knows what service is all about. The United States is truly unique. We enjoy freedom like none other. This is due in great part to our military heroes who put their lives on the line without any thanks or fanfare on a regular basis. Even those soldiers who  have been stateside and not in danger on the physical battlefield deserve a big debt of gratitude. Not too long ago as you may recall a terrorist infiltrated the ranks of the military at Fort Hood and killed many of his fellow soldiers. Freedom truly is not free!
 
Galatians 5:1 says " It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery."
 
Today stop your golf game, shopping, movie going, and all other activities and reflect for a moment on those men and women, some of whom may be friends and family members , serving so that you might enjoy the things that you do.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord Jesus for this great United States of America. Thank you to those who feel the call to serve this fine country. Thank you for those who have served in the past no who are serving now. May they feel appreciated by the country they defend and protect. In Jesus name. Amen.
 
Note: enjoy a patriotic song included at link below.
 http://youtu.be/jz0AqemvMxk

this great nation and help keep the freedoms bumper sticker I am sure which says 'If you love your freedom thank a Vet!'  A 'civilian' really has no concept of the things soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines go through in their jobs.  Concerning service in general 1 Peter 4:10 says "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its' various forms. A military member really knows what service is all about. The United States is truly unique. We enjoy freedom like none other. This is due in great part to our military heroes who put their lives on the line without any thanks or fanfare on a regular basis. Even those soldiers who  have been stateside and not in danger on the physical battlefield deserve a big debt of gratitude. Not too long ago as you may recall a terrorist infiltrated the ranks of the military at Fort Hood and killed many of his fellow soldiers. Freedom truly is not free!   Galatians 5:1 says " It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery."   Today stop your golf game, shopping, movie going, and all other activities and reflect for a moment on those men and women, some of whom may be friends and family members , serving so that you might enjoy the things that you do. PRAYER: Thank you Lord Jesus for this great United States of America. Thank you to those who feel the call to serve this fine country. Thank you for those who have served in the past no who are serving now. May they feel appreciated by the country they defend and protect. In Jesus name. Amen.   Note: enjoy a patriotic song included at link below.  http://youtu.be/jz0AqemvMxk SERVICE TO OTHERS   Today we stop to honor those men and women who at one time or another have served in our nations armed forces. Now Memorial Day in May is when we honor and pay tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this nation by giving their life in combat so we could remain free. But Veterans Day is to honor all those who have served, living or dead. Those who have been in the military we salute you and thank you.    What is this service all about? It is like no other job in that you truly do not know when you will be called upon to go into combat or be put in harms way. This is not just a job, but a privilege to protect and defend this great nation and help keep the freedoms we enjoy. You have seen the bumper sticker I am sure which says 'If you love your freedom thank a Vet!'  A 'civilian' really has no concept of the things soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines go through in their jobs.  Concerning service in general 1 Peter 4:10 says "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its' various forms. A military member really knows what service is all about. The United States is truly unique. We enjoy freedom like none other. This is due in great part to our military heroes who put their lives on the line without any thanks or fanfare on a regular basis. Even those soldiers who  have been stateside and not in danger on the physical battlefield deserve a big debt of gratitude. Not too long ago as you may recall a terrorist infiltrated the ranks of the military at Fort Hood and killed many of his fellow soldiers. Freedom truly is not free!   Galatians 5:1 says " It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery."   Today stop your golf game, shopping, movie going, and all other activities and reflect for a moment on those men and women, some of whom may be friends and family members , serving so that you might enjoy the things that you do. PRAYER: Thank you Lord Jesus for this great United States of America. Thank you to those who feel the call to serve this fine country. Thank you for those who have served in the past no who are serving now. May they feel appreciated by the country they defend and protect. In Jesus name. Amen.   Note: enjoy a patriotic song included at link below.  http://youtu.be/jz0AqemvMxk SERVICE TO OTHERS   Today we stop to honor those men and women who at one time or another have served in our nations armed forces. Now Memorial Day in May is when we honor and pay tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this nation by giving their life in combat so we could remain free. But Veterans Day is to honor all those who have served, living or dead. Those who have been in the military we salute you and thank you.    What is this service all about? It is like no other job in that you truly do not know when you will be called upon to go into combat or be put in harms way. This is not just a job, but a privilege to protect and defend this great nation and help keep the freedoms we enjoy. You have seen the bumper sticker I am sure which says 'If you love your freedom thank a Vet!'  A 'civilian' really has no concept of the things soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines go through in their jobs.  Concerning service in general 1 Peter 4:10 says "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its' various forms. A military member really knows what service is all about. The United States is truly unique. We enjoy freedom like none other. This is due in great part to our military heroes who put their lives on the line without any thanks or fanfare on a regular basis. Even those soldiers who  have been stateside and not in danger on the physical battlefield deserve a big debt of gratitude. Not too long ago as you may recall a terrorist infiltrated the ranks of the military at Fort Hood and killed many of his fellow soldiers. Freedom truly is not free!   Galatians 5:1 says " It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery."   Today stop your golf game, shopping, movie going, and all other activities and reflect for a moment on those men and women, some of whom may be friends and family members , serving so that you might enjoy the things that you do. PRAYER: Thank you Lord Jesus for this great United States of America. Thank you to those who feel the call to serve this fine country. Thank you for those who have served in the past no who are serving now. May they feel appreciated by the country they defend and protect. In Jesus name. Amen.   Note: enjoy a patriotic song included at link below.  http://youtu.be/jz0AqemvMxk SERVICE TO OTHERS   Today we stop to honor those men and women who at one time or another have served in our nations armed forces. Now Memorial Day in May is when we honor and pay tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this nation by giving their life in combat so we could remain free. But Veterans Day is to honor all those who have served, living or dead. Those who have been in the military we salute you and thank you.    What is this service all about? It is like no other job in that you truly do not know when you will be called upon to go into combat or be put in harms way. This is not just a job, but a privilege to protect and defend this great nation and help keep the freedoms we enjoy. You have seen the bumper sticker I am sure which says 'If you love your freedom thank a Vet!'  A 'civilian' really has no concept of the things soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines go through in their jobs.  Concerning service in general 1 Peter 4:10 says "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its' various forms. A military member really knows what service is all about. The United States is truly unique. We enjoy freedom like none other. This is due in great part to our military heroes who put their lives on the line without any thanks or fanfare on a regular basis. Even those soldiers who  have been stateside and not in danger on the physical battlefield deserve a big debt of gratitude. Not too long ago as you may recall a terrorist infiltrated the ranks of the military at Fort Hood and killed many of his fellow soldiers. Freedom truly is not free!   Galatians 5:1 says " It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery."   Today stop your golf game, shopping, movie going, and all other activities and reflect for a moment on those men and women, some of whom may be friends and family members , serving so that you might enjoy the things that you do. PRAYER: Thank you Lord Jesus for this great United States of America. Thank you to those who feel the call to serve this fine country. Thank you for those who have served in the past no who are serving now. May they feel appreciated by the country they defend and protect. In Jesus name. Amen.   Note: enjoy a patriotic song included at link below.  http://youtu.be/jz0AqemvMxk SERVICE TO OTHERS   Today we stop to honor those men and women who at one time or another have served in our nations armed forces. Now Memorial Day in May is when we honor and pay tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this nation by giving their life in combat so we could remain free. But Veterans Day is to honor all those who have served, living or dead. Those who have been in the military we salute you and thank you.    What is this service all about? It is like no other job in that you truly do not know when you will be called upon to go into combat or be put in harms way. This is not just a job, but a privilege to protect and defend this great nation and help keep the freedoms we enjoy. You have seen the bumper sticker I am sure which says 'If you love your freedom thank a Vet!'  A 'civilian' really has no concept of the things soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines go through in their jobs.  Concerning service in general 1 Peter 4:10 says "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its' various forms. A military member really knows what service is all about. The United States is truly unique. We enjoy freedom like none other. This is due in great part to our military heroes who put their lives on the line without any thanks or fanfare on a regular basis. Even those soldiers who  have been stateside and not in danger on the physical battlefield deserve a big debt of gratitude. Not too long ago as you may recall a terrorist infiltrated the ranks of the military at Fort Hood and killed many of his fellow soldiers. Freedom truly is not free!   Galatians 5:1 says " It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery."   Today stop your golf game, shopping, movie going, and all other activities and reflect for a moment on those men and women, some of whom may be friends and family members , serving so that you might enjoy the things that you do. PRAYER: Thank you Lord Jesus for this great United States of America. Thank you to those who feel the call to serve this fine country. Thank you for those who have served in the past no who are serving now. May they feel appreciated by the country they defend and protect. In Jesus name. Amen.   Note: enjoy a patriotic song included at link below.  http://youtu.be/jz0AqemvMxk

Thursday, November 10, 2011

SELDOM IS HEARD A DISCOURAGING WORD

These were part of the lyrics from the old song 'Home on The Range' ,not referring to the cooking channel by the way.  Discouragement is rampant in society and in individual lives. To combat being discouraged a person will need a daily dose of joy and happiness to make them ready to meet anything your day can throw at them.

Discouragement can be caused by many things. Job loss, layoffs, loss of life, loss of a friendship, divorce, and money problems to name a few. If you dwell on your problem or situation it is extremely easy to sink into a pit of despair and discouragement. In order to not have this happen focus on good things. I have often heard for every bad thought you have you need to counter it with 7 positive thoughts. So say you are in a real negative mindset then you need to get a sheet of paper and start writing down things to be thankful for. Try it right now or the next time you are down in the dumps.

Joshua 1:9 says " Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

Deuteronomy 31:8 says "The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

To start focusing on positive things you need to train your mind to think on good things. Negative thinking produces negative results. 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." Make up your mind and purpose in your heart to not let your mind wander onto negative thoughts.

Psalm 27:13 says "I remain confident of this:I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living." In other words you may have bad moments but they are not going to last. God promises you will see His goodness if you are following after him.

Today start the day by saying thanks to God for another day He has given to you and just get out and get going! Do not allow the devil a foothold. If you allow the enemy a chance to mess with you then you will be stuck in your wrong thinking again. Gain control of bad thoughts with God's help!

PRAYER: I thank you Lord that I can choose to keep positive things in my head. I know it is Satan who tries to get me to plummet into a pit of despair. I say to him, "get behind me Satan." With your help Lord I can win the battle over negative thinking. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Note: Included a praise song to help you get your mind focused on things above. Click on link and worship Jesus.
http://youtu.be/I17edLkBDCo

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

REPENT..ENOUGH ALREADY!!

Do you want God to work in your life and for Him to hear your prayers? You can not intentionally sin and go against what you know is right. The Bible says we have all sinned and fallen short of God's glory(See Romans 3:23) but the trouble is too many people justify their sin or do not think what they're doing is that bad. Satan will trick them and they reason away any condemning spirits.  They will start to believe a lie.( See Romans 1:18-32).

It is not necessary to make a laundry list of sin but off hand some that come to mind are coveting others things, stealing, homosexual behavior, sleeping around when not married, sleeping around with others when married, murdering, swearing, hatred, gossip, gluttony(watch out for those church potlucks), judging others, lying, and lust. You get the idea. Point that finger of condemnation at someone there are 3 pointing right back at your 'self righteous' self. A haughty spirit comes before a fall it says in Psalm 16:18.

Psalm 66:18 says "If I had cherished sin in my heart,  the Lord would not have listened".  Psalm 119:9 says "How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word."  But how do you live according to the word and realize what you are doing is wrong if you do not have a steady diet of truth from the Bible? It is the best selling book but many just own it but do not open it. Trust me, you can not learn a subject in school without opening your text book and you can not learn God's ways without knowledge of the Bible.Do not white wash or justify your sin. Pick up the Bible and start reading the book of John for starters.

Proverbs 8:13 says "To fear the Lord is to hate evil. I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior, and perverse speech." Do you hate evil or do you know things you are doing are wrong but continue to be involved with bad people or bad activities? In your heart you are convicted but still continue sinning.The Bible tells us we must repent, or turn away, from sin. Are you ready to admit your faults and ask for God's help and run away from sin? The choice is yours but God is knocking on your hearts door won't you let him come in?
 
Matthew 3:2 says "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Romans 2:4 also says "Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance." In other words you do not have to always 'beat someone over the head' with their sin. Show love, grace and mercy to help win people over and help them gain victory and deliverance.
 
Where are you today? Do you need to let go of a sin that is weighing you down? Jesus is there waiting. Just call on Him.

 
PRAYER: Lord I desire to do things to please you and I want to turn away from anything that is leading me away from you. Convict me of my sins and help me run from them and into your arms.   Thank you father that you patiently wait for us to turn away from sin and run to you. Your arms are open wide and you are ready to forgive and forget no matter what. Thank you for mercy. In Jesus name. Amen!

Note: Enjoy this worship song. Click on link and turn up speakers.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

ARE YOU A STAGNANT CHRISTIAN?

You need to grow. You can not stay a baby in Christ. If you are not growing in the Lord you become stagnant and unuseful. You can go to church and warm a seat each Sunday but if you are not doing anything besides a sixty minute punching your ticket session so to speak are you really growing? The answer is no. If you just simply attend church and leave and do nothing the rest of the week that seemingly indicates no passion for the things of the Lord. Maybe it is time to ask yourself if you really do have Jesus living on the inside of you and if you desire getting to know Him more than anything else.


What is stagnant water like? We have probably all seen it. It is usually green and is not flowing. You would never want to drink it or you would get sick. Usually there is crusty stuff on top of it and it is sickening to look at. Do you want to get like that as a Christian where there is nothing flowing out of you? Honestly if you were arrested for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you of this? Think about that for a while. What would you tell the arresting officer to prove you loved the Lord?

Isaiah 26:9 says "My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you. When your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness." Do you 'yearn' for the Lord? Deuteronomy 6:5 says "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." Isaiah 55:6 says "Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near."  You either are passionate for the Lord or do not care less. In Revelation 3:16 it says "So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth." Lukewarm is on the verge of becoming stagnant wouldn't you say?

Has someone led you down the wrong path off the course you were following that drew you close to God? If so perhaps it is time for a friendship inventory. It is easy to believe Satan's lies and his tricks are many. You must study and know the word to know when you are being fooled and lied to by the enemy. To not become stagnant you have to stay connected to the 'water of life' Jesus and read his word. Revelation 2:4 says "Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love." Have you left your first love Jesus? It is time to get the waters flowing again and come back to Him with all your heart.

PRAYER: It is my desire Lord to grow in Christ and never ever become stagnant. Forgive me for times I have not put you first in my day. Lord I want to grow to be more like you and I want to be your 'hands and feet' so to speak in a hurting world. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Click on link below to enjoy an awesome worship song .

http://youtu.be/U8mr839-TVs

THANKS!!

A big thank you goes out to Dechari Cole of Nashville, Tn for designing the new look for my blog. What a huge blessing this was. Thanks again and thank the Lord for putting the idea in her head.

Monday, November 7, 2011

JESUS WILL NEVER 'DEFRIEND' YOU

Friends are great!! It is wonderful to have someone trusted to talk to and hang out with. In this new generation of social networking we have entered a new era and new type of friend. There are people who you 'friend' on the social networking site but then do not really ever hang out with.  

Proverbs 18:24 says "A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 17:17 says "A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity". Ecclesiastes  4:9-10 says "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work; If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up."

Then there are true blue friends who are there whenever you need them. These are not just facebook friends but a friend that sticks closer than a brother. This past week on my birthday paper cards in the regular US mail came pouring in. It was so special to me to be remembered in this way and I thought to myself I have nothing to complain about because I have friends who like me or in the words of actress Sally Field during her second best actress win in the Academy Awards "You like me, you like me, you really really like me." Friends are great. These remembrances made my day and my week! I felt blessed indeed. These were from friends both near and far.

Sometimes people you thought were friends decide they no longer want to hang out with you. They may tell you to read "Boundaries' or say you were a friend in that 'season' of life. They may go on to say they are too busy now and do not  have time for you as they have 'new friends' and do not have time for everyone. I say 'make new friends but keep the old, one is silver but the other gold."

It made me think of Facebook and how we rack up all these names as 'friends' but are they really our friends? For anyone who has ever been defriended or unfriended on this social medium it is very puzzling and hurtful. Facebook should not be taken that seriously. It is nice to post pictures and keep in touch but to be a real friend if you live in the same town you need to invest time in your friends. In a similar way you will never truly get to 'know God' if you do not invest time in reading the Bible and doing things to bring you closer to Him. And I have good news! God will never ever defriend you no matter what!! He does not care what you have done. He loves you unconditionally. Oh that we humans could take his example as we are supposed to and treat our friends and those around us the same way. Wouldn't this be a much better place?

For those of you reading this who are married, your spouse is ideally supposed to be your best friend but sad to say in some marriages the spouses have become almost enemies. God can help restore this 'ultimate friendship' if you ask him too.

What kind of friend are you? Is there someone you need to say you are sorry to because you have hurt them? Is there a friend who wants nothing to do with you anymore who you just have to release to God? Are you making time in your week to get together with a friend? If married, are you still going on dates with your spouse like you did back in your dating single engaged days?

True friends will stand by you. A true friend will accept your apology. A true friend listens. A true friend forgives and forgets. A true friend loves unconditionally.A true friend does not judge you. Is there someone you need to be a friend to today?

On birthdays we seem to find out who our friends are. It is really nice to be remembered. Just remember to show God's love to the friends  you are blessed with and remember also 'a friend in need is a friend indeed'. Do not wait til a birthday to tell those friends you care.

PRAYER: Lord I thank you for the gift of friendship. Lord help me to remember to sow seeds of kindness in to the lives of others in order to grow friendships. Forgive me if I have ever hurt a friend. Forgive me when I was not there for a friend who needed me. Help me be a true friend to those in my life. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Note: once again I have included a link to a wonderful and appropriate worship song. Turn up speakers, click link, and enjoy!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMnMN08sv4k&feature=related

Sunday, November 6, 2011

GO TO YOUR STORM SHELTER

The storms of life will come. All of us have them. They can be in form of death, loss of job, divorce, health problems, betrayal , or a myriad of things. Jesus is the one true 'storm shelter' we need to run to when the storms of life hit. Storms of life always hit. Everyone seems to have one of some sort sometime. They are unavoidable. We go through lots of things in life. Note the word 'through' which indicates you do not stay there but move on 'through' to something else. That word alone brings hope and promise.

Isaiah 43:2 says "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." God will walk with you through the storm. Remember how he protected Daniel in the Lions Den(See Daniel 6:4-27) and Shadrach Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace? (See Daniel 3).He can protect you too. Isaiah 43:5 tells us "Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west."

Deuteronomy 31:6 promises " Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Hang on to the hope that Jesus will be with you and by your side at all times. Remember the footprints illustration where there were two sets of footprints then suddenly only one in the sand? When one set of footprints was in the sand that is where we are told "God carries us". Psalm 23:4 further tells us "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."

The storms of life will come and we do not need to fear, for God is with us seeing us through til the skies become sunny once again.

PRAYER: Lord I know storms will come. Help strengthen me during these times and trust in you. Help me learn from these times so I can help others who may suffer later.In Jesus Name. Amen.

Click on link when you have a chance to listen to the song 'Praise you in the Storm.'
http://youtu.be/uHdcyue0bSw

Saturday, November 5, 2011

POOR PITIFUL ME

 I heard someone once say 'pity parties are pitiful'.  We probably have all thrown ourselves one and believe me no one wants to attend. There are no games, refreshments, or gifts and it is a boring, sad thing. Usually pity parties are thrown with one guest and one guest only and that being the person feeling sorry for themselves.

When you feel yourself slumping into a 'woe is me' mode start lifting up the name of Jesus and praising Him. You heard me right! Start saying "I thank you Lord for my food, clothing and shelter. I thank you Lord for friends. I thank you Lord for my family. I thank you Lord for my job and the money it provides. I thank you Lord for a Bible to read as many countries it is against the law." Those are some ways and I am sure you can add some of your own. Then start thinking of those who are lots worse off than you are. Many people have reasons to slump into pity but they choose to not do so. Take Nick Vujicic who was born without arms and legs. I have a link to his website below. If anyone has a reason to be down in the dumps he should, right? But he chooses instead to go around the world spreading God's love.

Are you on the throne of your life or is God? Who really is first? In the Bible it speaks of dying to self. 1 Corinthians 15:31 says "I die every day--I mean that, brothers--just as surely as I glory over you in Christ Jesus our Lord." Each day get up and say "this is your day Lord. Show me how to be a blessing to someone today." When you praise him it is hard to complain and worry about your own problems. Luke 9:23 says "Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."
If you are constantly feeling left out or hurt maybe it is time to let God be your best friend and not worry about going to pity parties.

PRAYER: Lord my hope and strength are in you although at times the enemy comes in and makes me feel sorry for myself. That is the time I need to take the 'sword of the 'spirit' which is the Bible and defeat the enemies lies with the promises in God's word. Forgive me for ever feeling sorry for myself. I know many are worse off than me. I want to show love to others around me and therefore take my mind off myself. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Click on links below for Life Without Limbs and a wonderful praise song to get you out of any down mood you might be in today. Be blessed!
http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org/

http://youtu.be/uyvoU-e-slw



Friday, November 4, 2011

SPIRITUALLY FLABBY?

Just like our physical muscles need to be exercised to stay strong and toned so we need to exercise our 'spiritual muscles' so we do not become spiritual weaklings. You can not expect to look good physically if you do not take care of yourself by eating right and proper exercise. You can not wish a good physique into being. In similar fashion we can not sleep on the Bible and expect to absorb its knowledge. It takes reading it and studying it to know what is inside. There is a saying that 'going into a church will not make you into a Christian anymore than going into a garage will make you into a car.' Just sitting there is nice. Check that block off for the week. But did you get anything from the message and do you have a desire to open up the Bible the other 6 days? Do you just open your Bible on Sunday when the minister,rabbi, or priest tells you what to read or do you make a quiet time alone with him each day a priority? This is the only way to strengthen those 'spiritual muscles'.

Jeremiah 15:16 says "When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty." Are God's words your delight? Would you rather read the newspaper, magazine, or a book instead of the Bible? You will never become spiritually strong by just attending church one hour per week. Just like you will not have a toned body without fat and flab, unless you make the effort to work out, run, or some other form of cardiovascular exercise. You can not just wish it into existence. It takes effort, time and a change of habits and lifestyle sometimes.

1 Peter 2:2 says "Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation." Do you crave the Bible? 1 Corinthians 3:2 says "I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready". Babes in Christ or spiritually unfit 'flabby Christians' are both conditions you need to improve upon to be strong in the Lord. 2 Timothy 2:15 says "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth."  1 Timothy 4:7 says "Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly." There is that word 'train' indicating putting forth some effort. You will not know the truth until you open up the pages of the Bible.

1 Corinthians 9:24 tells us "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize." Being a runner and one who has run in many races in the past I know you do have to train for the type of race you are going to run if you expect to do well and hope to not get injured. In similar fashion you must train to be strong spiritually by studying God's word, the Bible.

Ephesians 6:10 is a good verse to end on and it says "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power."

PRAYER: Lord I want to be a mature Christian and I want to desire to strengthen my 'spiritual muscles' each and every day. Many excuses may come my way as to why I do not have time for reading the Bible or a devotion but help me realize that the enemy does not want me to go to the 'spiritual gym' but he wants me to be weak and powerless. I with your help Lord will make this a priority in my life. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

PATIENCE NEEDED AND NEEDED NOW!

Patience is something that eludes lots of people. Depending on your personality and temperament it may be hard to get the patience monster under control. Instead of waiting and thinking things through we react to things in the present moment. Sometimes doing this can backfire in a big way. For instance if you do not get your emotions under control and are assuming things, you could spout off to a friend and hurt a relationship due to a misunderstanding. If you blow off steam at work you could get put on probation or fired. In a marriage relationship if you are impatient you could end up in a fight. If we do not stop and think before we speak or react we can really do some things we wish we could take back. Jumping to conclusions is never good for anyone. This writer often has joked that I have the 'gold medal' in the sport of jumping to conclusions. Anyone who wants to take this medal from me is welcome. I will settle for no medal at all.
Learning to be patient and to not overreact does take discipline. It is all a part of controlling our emotions. The Bible speaks of not growing weary. Patience is a fruit of the spirit that needs to be grown into maturity. We do not pick a banana when it is green. It would not be edible at all. Fruits of the spirit have to take time to grow like God wants them to just like the banana takes time to ripen. 1 Thessalonians 5:14 says "And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone." Colossians 3:12 says "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."
Galatians 5:22-23 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." Also in describing love in 1 Corinthians 13 it also mentions patience in verse 4 it says "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud." Impatience can cause hurt, anger, confusion and nothing good really comes from it. You end up digging yourself out of a pit due to the fact you could not just wait and your mouth was your undoing.

Lack of patience causes people to do crazy things in other areas. You are impatient driving so therefore tailgate and  speed. You are impatient at a sporting event or a movie due to long lines so cut in line. Impatience causes more hurt than good. Impatience gets people into real problems so you can see why it is important to work on this area if you need to learn to not be in such a hurry.

If there has been an offense because of lack of patience remember what it says in Ephesians 4:32 and that is "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Get over it, blow it off, or let it fester and continue to cause a root of bitterness.

Lack of patience often results in speaking without thinking things through. If you have the problem of doing this you have to work at looking to God to help you control your emotions and your tongue. The words we say when we are impatient can come back to bite us later and can take time to mend the destructive path they have left. It is like an F5 tornado tearing down everything in its' path. The destruction has been done and it takes time to wait for repairs. Some of the F5 damage leaves death which can never be undone. So you see how vitally important it is to really stop and think things through and not be over reacting to every situation.

Now I do not watch the Simpson's but once when the TV 'happened' to be on to the station they were on several years ago this scenario unfolded. Homer, the main character, was extremely agitated because his boss at the nuclear plant, there in the fictitious town of Springfield, was going to fire him. Homer was so angry. He was in the process of writing a letter and was going to go instantly to his local post office to mail it when his wife Marge chimed in,"Homer you are so angry. Maybe you should sleep on this overnight and you would not be so angry in the morning." That is the one time the Simpson's had something wise to say. Way to go Marge!

Proverbs 10:12 says "Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs." Just remember relationships are what matter. We do not want our impatience to cause problems in with those we love. If something happens and you want to react why not stop and take a breath and pray. If we prayed before we react to things we might get ourselves out of some touchy situations we find ourselves in. Give it a try.
Isaiah 40:31 says "Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary." Today is the day to start your walk towards gaining patience. God can help. Let Him.

PRAYER: Father I need your help in this area. Many times something has happened and I jump to conclusions and react right then when I should have waited and prayed. Impatience causes so much pain and heartache and trouble. Lord I want this fruit of the spirit to grow out of control in my life. I want it to grow and be dominant in my life. I know when we pray for patience people say 'look out' a test is coming. Lord just help me to stop and think before I react to things .In Jesus Name .Amen.

Note: Turn up your speakers and enjoy worshipping the Lord with this awesome praise song sung by Hillsong. Click link to begin.

http://youtu.be/bIr7-yEtrwk

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

WORRIED AND FEARFUL?

Are you not able to stop worrying about stuff? It is pretty easy to dwell on issues and problems in life and to let them literally consume us or 'eat us up' on the inside. There may be things going on with a family member, a friend or at work. Whatever the case and whatever the problem God is your source of strength. He does not want you sitting around moaning, groaning, and worrying trying to reason things out in your head. He wants you to give him your problems.

What has you consumed by fear and worry? The opposite of fear is faith and peace. Isaiah 41:10 says "So do not fear, for I am with you;  do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you;  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Further in 1 Peter 5:7 it says to "Cast all your care on Him for he cares for you."  Cast means to throw out there liking when you cast a fishing line into the water. You want to throw it as far as you can so you have a better chance of getting a fish on your line. So do that with worry. Throw it as far off as you can. The battle we are fighting is a spiritual battle. In 2 Chronicles 20:15 it reminds us "...For the battle is not yours, but God's." Keep that all important fact in mind. You do not have to carry burdens on your own. 

John 14:27 says "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." You can not have peace and worry at the same time. Get your mind on something else. Start praising God out loud for the answers to prayers. Start thanking him for victory even before it happens.

2 Tim 1:7 says "for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." You can control this fear by leaning on the promises of God in his word. But of course you will have fear if you never pick up the Bible and never pray. This is what ideally Satan is hoping for. Satan wants you to think the Bible will not help. He wants you to think prayer won't help. Do not believe him as he is a liar!

Romans 8:15 says "For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."

Who do you trust today? "But wait you do not understand how big my issue is!" Oh yes he does. Luke 1:37 reminds us "For nothing is impossible with God."

PRAYER: Lord I have had times when I have been fearful or worried and could not think about anything else. I know you care about what is happening in my life and I know you hear me. I ask Lord you help me to get into the word each day to combat the lies the enemy throws at me and the doubts and fears he puts in my mind. If I fill my mind up with your word there is little left for worry. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

GOD IS TRULY IN CONTROL

Do you ever feel like you can not just relax because of situations in your life or in the world around us? You might have things going on in your life that are pretty major and just feel like you have prayed but do not see things happening. You want to give up. Or in the world around us we see turmoil, confusion, and fear what is going to happen. You just have to know and believe God is behind the scenes of it all, after all He is God. And because of that you know he has a plan. It is a good thing we really are not in charge or our impatience and impulsiveness would really mess things up. When you do not think He cares or is working, do not give up. He really is working things out and does know the 'big picture'.  We are supposed to pray and never give up. (See Luke 18:1). Isaiah 55:8 says "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD". He really does have a better plan than we could ever work out on our own for our life and the world we live in.  Psalm 40:5 says "Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare." Ephesians 3:20 says "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us." We may think we should work things out but let go and let God work in your life. 2 Corinthians 9:8 says "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."

Now concerning the current state of this great United States and the way we fear freedoms slipping away we first must remember that if we obey God and keep His commandments then He will continue to bless this nation(See Psalm 33:12). If we are breaking the moral laws found in the Bible and trying to keep Him out of everything then we can expect things will go wrong as you can not shut God out and expect to be blessed. Psalm 103:19 says "The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all." He is in charge. Not a president nor not a king. God is God. He gets the final say so. He may allow a man to be in office to accomplish his purposes in the earth. Maybe it has to be someone sometimes to wake us up.

Try to relax and let go and keep praying. Trust God. Keep crying out to Him  but believe he is on the throne ruling over all! Psalm 47:2 says "How awesome is the LORD Most High, the great King over all the earth!" Psalm 47:8 says "God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne." Psalm 115:3 says "Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him."

Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to "Trust in the Lord with ALL our hearts and to lean not to our own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path." Are you trusting Him? Are you worried and fretful and can not let go of worry for the future over problems in your own life or that of the world? Nothing we worry about will change anything. Just  know God is working things out and will not leave us. The story is not over yet.

PRAYER: Lord God often times there are things in life that I seem to not be able to stop worrying about. I know you are not wanting me to worry but you are saying to me 'relax child, I have the controls.' Help me father to be more into the word of God and your promises and to stop giving Satan a foothold by my constant fretting. In Jesus Name.Amen.
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Enjoy the worship song I have included. Click the link.
http://youtu.be/CoxopsRSfdU
Further reading: Psalm 55:8-19 and Deuteronomy 28