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.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

ALL I NEED

Have you ever done a spiritual fast? This is where you give up something, most likely food, and concentrate on praying and usually for a specific reason? Fasting is about denying yourself and focusing on spiritual purposes. When we fast we are not to tell people so they will think we are 'oh so wonderful and spiritual' but we are to do it in secret. 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." To 'die daily' do not mean literal death but dying to the pleasures of this world we think we need. To die is to put off always putting  'self'  on the throne. It is also thinking of others more than yourself. Self can be a real problem for trying to get closer to God. Matthew 16:24 says "Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."

Perhaps you are good at making excuses of why you can not do a certain thing. Is there something going on in your life that needs serious prayer right now? Perhaps a wayward child? Maybe it is being able to let go of a hurt or forgiving someone? Maybe issues at work? Perhaps a health issue? Maybe some marriage problems? Whatever it is, have you considered the discipline of fasting? I am not promising you an instant answer to prayer, but this is one way to get serious about being close to God and giving him your concerns .

When some outsiders think of 'Christians' or 'church people' they may think of people who like to go to allot of potluck suppers because you are always hearing of that. The sin of gluttony is not mentioned much in sermons now is it? But to 'fast' we need to let our stomach growl a bit and do not think we  have to eat just because it is lunch time. When you feel the urge to eat, then pray. Of course some people need to check with their doctors if they have a medical condition that would cause a problem.

In Mark 9:29 it says "He told them, "This kind can come out only by prayer and fasting." This means you may need to get serious about the praying to the point of denying yourself the pleasure of keeping your tummy full. Half the time we are hungry we do not really need to eat anyway but it is out of habit. When you feel you just can not stand it and have to eat, stop a minute and do a word picture in your head of the little children you always see in Africa with bloated bellies and only mush of some sort to eat then think how much you really need that hamburger. Give it up and go pray. We are pretty blessed here in this country and many could stand to miss a few meals anyway. We are blessed to not have to eat a bowl of cornmeal each day washing it down with dirty diseased water from a polluted river .

There have been fasting movements for the country and for others reasons .You may have something going on in your life or a family members life you want to spend quality time in prayer about and fasting is a good way to do this. If you are free to get away somewhere for a couple hours and concentrate on praying for whatever the issue is that is ideal. If you work full time you may not have that luxury. If you do this at home, take your phone off the hook, turn off the TV and concentrate on worshipping God. Do not get distracted by lots of other things like your housework and such, but focus on God during this time.

Why not pray about this and consider trying a fast? The verse in 2 Chronicles 7:14 which is often prayed in relation to the state of our nation and it says "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." I have heard the word 'humble' means to fast. Deny yourself and your needs and truly concentrate on prayer and on God.

Matthew 6:16 reminds us concerning fasting that "When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full." They were basically trying to prove how wonderful they were by doing this. There is no need for this. It is between you and God.

Pray about this and seek the Lord and listen for His answer. Do you feel there is something you could fast about in your life?

PRAYER: Lord I want to be closer to you. I know there are things in my life going on that I need to be in serious prayer over. Give me the ability to do a spiritual fast if this is what you want me to do. Help me to not boast to anyone if I do decide to do this. I thank you Lord for loving me and hearing my prayers. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Click on link below to worship God through song.
http://youtu.be/a_tdG9yM93A

Monday, January 30, 2012

AFRAID?

Does fear have its' grip on you? Do you worry about your tomorrow's? Do you fret over your children or grandchildren who are either small or grown? Do you have a fear of flying or trying new things? Maybe you have a fear of what your boss will do at work or fear of being fired or laid off? What is paralyzing you and making you not be able to relax? A fear of dying troubles many people. Fear of surgery plagues  many because of the unknown. Fear will not get you any closer to God but take you away from Him because it shows you are not trusting God to fully take care of you. Fear is the opposite of faith. It can disable you if you let it get its' grip on you. You have to fight fear. There is a saying "Do it afraid". Sometimes that is what we have to do. Psalm 188:6 tells us "The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"

2 Timothy 1:7 says "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." When you are fearful your mind is all over the place. You conjure up scenarios in your head and imagine things that may not even happen. You think you know but you are just speculating. Let's say a person is scared of what their boss is going to say or do and worry they may lose their job. They hear of many downsized companies and start to worry. Worry,by the way, goes hand in hand with that 'fear monster' and in order to maintain a peaceful spirit we have to try to get both under control. It is not easy. Say the 2 Timothy 1:7 verse above OUT LOUD. Get it into your heart and spirit.

Can you give your cares, fears, and worries to God and not take them back? Can you trust that God has a plan and no worrying or being afraid will change anything? It is basically useless but is so easy to be caught up in. Maintaining a peaceful spirit no matter what is in fact a discipline to be practiced. 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."

By staying in the word and listening to positive uplifting Christian music we can at least alleviate some of it. 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."

Matthew 8:23-27 shows how we should try to be and it says "Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” For anyone who has been on whitewater or in huge ocean swells it can be scary. Thank goodness for the expert river guides to take us down the rivers and the ship captains to sail through rough waters.Also it can be a little scary up in a plane in turbulent rough air but the pilots are highly trained to fly in all sorts of weather.  Like Jesus, when his disciples started to get fearful he just simply slept. Can you 'just sleep' during these times? Jesus says in Matthew 14:27 "but Jesus spoke to them at once and said Don't be afraid. Take courage. I am here." Take courage friend. Jesus is with you!

PRAYER: Lord I need you in my heart and in my thoughts. I want to learn to relax and not use valuable time being afraid of the 'what ifs' of life. Lord I want to be more like you. I give you my fears of the world I am in and do not want to keep taking them back. I need your help to do this. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Note: Click on link below to enjoy a worship song to sooth your spirit. Be blessed!
http://youtu.be/4bD_90W6WIc

Sunday, January 29, 2012

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

Whatever we do in life takes practice to get good at. For those striving to be in a marathon or the Olympics they have to train daily. Someone who wants to be a medical doctor has to study years and years and then still it is called 'practicing medicine' because they are always learning. To master cooking a chef goes to culinary school to learn the skills of the trade and has to keep at it to master it. A cake decorator works on decorating cakes over and over til they  look professional. I have made baskets before and it takes weaving them over and over before you would get good enough to sell them in a gift shop. A pilot is first a student then at times becomes an instructor and eventually a co pilot before assuming command of the aircraft as Captain. He or she has to train under many difficult circumstances to master aviation skills. In the military, troops train by leaping walls, running, crawling under barbed wire, firing weapons and all sorts of other things to get ready for battle and to become disciplined. A police officer has to train to stay physically fit in order to go after criminals.

A Christian is practicing daily too. Going through things in life that can make him more Christlike. The Christian walk is not without trouble. Jesus said in his word  in John 16:33 "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."  In James 1:2-4 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. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." 1 Peter 1:7 says "so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ." In Psalm 66:10 it says "For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver."

It is going through things that we get stronger and often times the things we go through help prepare us for helping others get through hard times. We are not supposed to be comfortable Christians with no problems. Strength comes from work. In a gymnasium you  work out and lift weights in order to get stronger. At first it is hard but it gets easier as progress is made. A potter takes a lump of clay and in order to form a new pot tosses the clay around and smacks it over and over til they get the finished beautiful results. Isaiah 64:8 says "Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand." These things we go through are a practice of sorts for preparing for God's heavenly kingdom.

So as we go on our journey through life do not despair when trouble comes your way. Look at it as an opportunity to grow and become more like Jesus. Ask the Lord what He wants you to learn from the trial you are enduring. After all He suffered and died so that we might have life and have it more abundantly!

PRAYER: Father thank you that you help get me through the bad things of life and prepare for the good things. Help me to learn to give thanks in all circumstances as it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18. Forgive me when I have complained and not trusted you to see me through whatever it is that I think is so bad in my life.I trust in you Lord .In Jesus Name. Amen!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

ASSUMPTIONS, EXPECTATIONS, OBSESSIONS, SPECULATIONS

This devotion could be called the 'ions'. These four things listed in the title can really get us into trouble with people. Assuming, jumping to conclusions when we do not know the facts. Expecting something to be a certain way or like a norm of life and it turns out different can devastate some or burst their bubble. Obsessing over something you can not do anything about is sort of wasted energy. And finally speculating on why things happen the way they do.

These four things can be controlled once we get our mind under the control of the Holy Spirit. If we continually seek to think on 'things above' we will have little time to waste on unnecessary thoughts that drag us down and often make us blurt out things we do not mean. The verse in 2 Corinthians 10:5 says to "..take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ." To do this it must be purposeful and takes discipline. There is that dreaded word again, discipline. Controlling out thoughts is extremely important as that is the doorway Satan can enter to drag us down into his little pit of destruction. We as children of God are not going to allow that to happen.

Today if you are plagued with these four 'ions' of life make up your mind you will not allow thoughts to come in that will dominate and cause you to worry, assume, expect or obsess over something. It will take practice and self control. Keep your mind on the word of God. Cast down wrong thoughts and even speak out loud, "get behind me Satan. I am not allowing you to make me dwell on unnecessary things."

Philippians  4:8 is a verse have used many times in my writing and it is a good one to commit to memory and especially useful in controlling these 'ions'. It 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." Verse nine goes on to say what then will happen. "whatever you  have learned, heard, or received from me, put into practice, And the God of peace will be with you."

 It won't happen overnight. You have to want to receive victory in this area and ask for Gods'  help to help you overcome these problem areas.

 PRAYER: Lord I desire to have right thinking and to get bad thoughts out of my head. I know by keeping my mind focused on 'things above' I can have victory and win this battle. In Jesus name. Amen.

Friday, January 27, 2012

KEEP LOOKING UP

Some days it is just hard to stay focused and positive. You start out with good intentions then something happens to throw you off your game, so to speak. So how do you react when things do not go as planned? Do you worry, fret, pace the floor, or do you think to actually give the situation to God and say "Hey Lord I need you in good times and not so good times." Does praying come to mind? The Lord wants to 'talk' to you daily by you coming to Him in prayer. Don't just wait until there is a crisis but call out to Him each and every day. Jeremiah 33:3 is often referred to as 'God's telephone number' and it simply says "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."

Matthew 6:33 says "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.". Do you 'look up' to the heavenly father and call out to Him in prayer? Seek his face, seek his face continually.

Looking up is a good thing. Look to the heavens. There was a cute Jody call in the Army we sang while running in formation and one verse went "What's the use of looking down, Ain't no discharge on the ground.Am I right or wrong? You're right! Correct me if I'm wrong. you're right!" When you look down you will trip and fall or walk into something .Keep your eyes focused above.

Hebrews 12:1-2 says "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Just keep focused on the prize, the goal, of knowing Jesus better!

It is so easy to get caught up in things we have no control over and Satan would love it if you would waste valuable time pondering and fretting. Let Jesus have the wheel  and let Him be your guide. Call on Him today. Keep looking up  and let God control your life.

PRAYER: Father I thank you that you do not want me to bear my own burdens. You want me to call on you and give you my cares. I thank  you Lord for being in control of my life. Help me learn to trust you and seek your face. In Jesus Name. Amen .

Click on link to listen to 2 wonderful worship songs. Be blessed. Happy Friday!
http://youtu.be/-X4Q-yFB-NQ

http://youtu.be/iv68ruS6DVE

Thursday, January 26, 2012

SHUSH! SHHH! WATCH THAT MOUTH!

Oh my goodness to be able to control what randomly pops out of our mouth. A continual struggle for many. Sometimes the best things said are nothing at all. You have heard "the less said the better?" There is allot of wisdom in that statement. Sometimes talking too much, saying the wrong thing, or being misunderstood leads to confusion, heartache and anguish. Practice silence sometimes and really think before engaging the mouth. Ask yourself "will what I say bring joy or sorrow? Is what I plan to say necessary? Is what I am saying gossip or truthful? Am I breaking a confidence by saying what I am about to say?" Spouting off is really not a good thing to do. Let your words bring joy, encouragement, happiness, help, and not crush someones spirit. Be Christlike in all you say and do. Don't let your mouth be a one man wrecking crew leaving destruction in its' path. Practice speaking with grace and kindness.

To help you with the battle of the mouth here are a few Bible verses to commit to memory as you seek to become more like Christ with not only your actions but your words. Ephesians 4:29 says "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Do not just keep babbling on like a running stream. Be careful in what you say. Even when it comes to praying, the Bible has something to say about words and it says "And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words." Ecclesiastes 5:2 warns us "Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few." Colossians 4:6 says "Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person."

In contrast try to seek to watch what you say and emulate Jesus who was perfect. Proverbs 30:5 says "Every word of God is flawless;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him." Imagine that! Flawless! Tame that tongue. Get it under control. Make it a point to let good things come out and not hurtful, boastful, arrogant, cursing or harsh words.

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight oh Lord my strength and my redeemer."(Psalms 19:14). James 1:19 also is one to memorize and live by and it says "My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." Run to Jesus. He can help you so let Him.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus help me as I struggle in the area of the mouth. I seek to say only kind words and want to learn to always respond to everyone with grace. If my tongue is hurting others convict me and help me to say I am sorry to anyone I have hurt by my careless words. Help me not lead a double life with the words of my mouth. I know I am a witness for you Lord so strengthen me to get this area of speech under your control. In Jesus Name. Amen

Click link below to enjoy a praise song that goes along with this devotion.
http://youtu.be/9u-13JeJhCg

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

PROSPERITY, PEACE, PROTECTION:HOW LONG WILL WE HAVE THEM?

Right now in this wonderful nation we enjoy an immense amount of blessing like no other country in the world. We are in a spiritual warfare battle now where I feel the enemy is trying to take this great nation out. Many have become complacent and seem to not think we could 'fall' and lose the blessings of God.
In my lifetime I have seen the end of prayer in the classroom, the taking down of the Ten Commandments, the confusion and misinterpretation of separation of church and state, the killing of babies being legalized and encouraged  by our own government, and most recently trying to say the homosexual lifestyle is perfectly okay.  If we continue to change what is the definition of right and wrong to suit our own political and social needs God will remove the blessings of peace, prosperity and protection from us we currently enjoy. We are not just in a  physical fight but in a spiritual battle  as well as I mentioned above.

Psalm 33:12 says "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance". Our nation has been turning its' back on God. Romans 1:18-32 gives a warning of what will occur when we allow this to happen. Take a moment and read it.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 says "The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  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." The enemy, Satan, does not like anything where the name of Jesus is lifted up. This nation was indeed founded upon God but little by little Christian values are being eroded and citizens are believing lies planted in their head about the history of this great land.

We have a chance to save this great nation and the religious freedoms we had from it's founding. Even the church state thing was misinterpreted and to this day is still being used against the church. It was meant to protect the church from the government intrusion. The enemy is coy and sly. The more you hear things they more you are convinced they are true.

It is time for Americans to get on their knees and cry out to God to save this land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 clearly states "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." Commit that verse to memory and think about what it is saying. Humbling yourself could be fasting. Many churches in the month of January nationwide are in a fasting movement. In that verse it says to 'turn from your wicked ways". First people have to realize what they are doing is wicked as many are fooled by the enemy. Colossians 2:8 says "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ."

We need to commit to pray for leaders eyes to be opened to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to pray for those believing lies to be set free from the veil of darkness. People are in spiritual darkness. No nor knows day or hour of when Jesus will return. This has been a favored nation. All of us need to be on our knees praying and take this seriously. Look around you. Wake up. It is not a good thing when people start changing the Bible to justify sin. Ignoring God and kicking him out of life by taking meaningless oaths on a Bible is totally wrong and deceitful. It is time to get serious about following God's word and keeping this nation free and enjoying liberties only God can provide.
PRAYER: Father we yearn to be a Holy nation again. Many have turned to their own ways. Help those in leadership in our government put God truly first. Remove those from office who will not acknowledge you or who take false oaths. We look for Godly men and women who truly look to you for guidance. Help us be alert to  liars and deceivers out there. Let us ears to hear. Wake  people up. Help us listen to your voice Lord. In Jesus name.Amen. 

Note: Click on link below and enjoy a song to go along with this devotion.
http://youtu.be/13yY9sXFKB8

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

LIFE IS SHORT

One month ago a friend's 58 year old husband died unexpectedly. We just never know when it is 'our time'. We live as if we will go on forever. Many people live like there are no tomorrows. Luke 12:20 says "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?' The Bible says in James 4:14 "Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away." Picture that! A vapor, like steam, that just floats away. What are you doing in this life to make a difference and are you leaving a legacy that others will be able to see you loved the Lord? Death is a part of life. We all seem to expect we will live to be 80 or 90 but we do not know. Live fully and make each day count!

My friend Barb went to be with the Lord back in the early 90's at the young age of 44 after a short bout with cancer. In her obituary it had this verse from Philippians 1:22-24 and it says "Now if I live on in the flesh, this means fruitful work for me; and I don’t know which one I should choose. I am pressured by both. I have the desire to depart and be with Christ—which is far better but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you." She left a true legacy.

The minute you are born you begin to die. It is true. One day we will all stand before God. Atheists do not think so but as the 60's TV character Gomer Pyle used to say "Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!" It is true.  2 Corinthians 4:16 says "Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day." There is a heaven and there is a hell.

Psalm 39:6 says "Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro: He bustles about, but only in vain; he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it." We build big homes, buy all the fancy things we think we need to be happy, but in the end none of it goes with us to the cemetery. As I heard once, there are no U Hauls following the hearse to the graveyard. What are you doing to leave a lasting legacy? If you are a parent are you instilling God's word into the hearts of your children?

Who are you building your foundation on?  Do you know if you died today you would go to heaven?  Hell is for those who reject Jesus Christ. The lake of fire is a real place. It is a place where God is not there and you will be in constant torment separated from God forever. There is hope and there is forgiveness. 2 Peter 3:9 says "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."

Do you know if you died today you would go to heaven? I mean do you really know? Church membership is not the key to heaven. Being in a certain denomination is not the way to eternal life. Simply being baptized as a baby is not enough. You have to ask Jesus to be Lord of you life and live for Him. Say "Jesus come into my life. Forgive me for not living for you. I want to live for you and serve you Lord. Come into my heart today and save me." You can pray that prayer now and let Jesus be Lord of your life.

John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." Jesus does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked but he wants all men to repent and turn to Him. Ezekiel 33:11 says "Say to them, 'As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?"  Jesus died so that all men might have eternal life.

Where are you today? Do not take a chance. We do not know when we will breathe our last breath. Turn to Jesus today. He is waiting and wants to be Lord of your life. Proverbs 27:1 says "Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth".
Start living like today may be your last. If you do not have the assurance you will enter heaven upon your death why not say that prayer today?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus I thank you for preparing a wonderful place for us after our time here on Earth is over. Father help those skeptics who can not seem to grasp that hell is real. Some reading this may not believe or we may know of someone who claims there is no God. Forgive those people and turn their hearts to you Lord. Help me Lord keep my heart turned to you and live for the kingdom of God each and every day. In Jesus Name. Amen.


Click on link to enjoy a wonderful praise song.
http://youtu.be/5wWDhl_nICc

Book suggestion:
First of course is the Bible but after that is "I Don't Have Enough Faith to be An Atheist" .

Monday, January 23, 2012

STOP FREAKING OUT

What is going on in your life that makes you just not be able to calm down and trust God? You know God does care for you and wants you to rest in Him. It is hard sometimes to remember that when things happen and we feel like we want to take the controls away from God and arrange things our own way. God's plan for our life is better than anything we could fabricate. Why not trust Him with situations and stop 'freaking out'?

The Bible says  in Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God." Can you be still no matter what life throws at you? It takes practice. God is more than able to handle situations that come your way.

Take a moment and read Psalm 112. Verse 6 in particular tells us "surely the righteous will never be shaken." Constant worry will not do anything. Sitting on 'pins and needles' wondering the 'what ifs' of life and speculating about terrible tragedies and accidents is not going to get you closer to God. Release your fears to God. There is no reason to lose control and 'freak out' as God knows the future. Getting yourself mentally frustrated worrying isn't good for anyone.


PRAYER: Father I give you my life and this day and every day help me to relax and let you do the controlling and for me to stop sorrying so much. Each and every day I need the strength only you can give to trust you with all the details of my life and things going on around me. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Click on link to listen to an awesome praise song
http://youtu.be/hmU-U2i4GU4
YouTube - Videos from this email

Sunday, January 22, 2012

VALUABLE LESSONS TO BE LEARNED

 I saw a church sign recently that read 'Lost Battles Teach Valuable Lessons'. Oh how true that is. When we are at our lowest point sometimes is when we learn the greatest lessons of life. Trouble has a way of teaching us things. The best lessons of life sometimes are learned when we have to get on our knees in prayer. Things are going along great then something bad happens. Life takes a U Turn as the saying goes. Do we fall apart or do we 'get up little soldier' and keep going?

When you fall in a mud puddle you do not just stay there and get all dirty and wet but you get up out of the muck and go wash off. Same thing in life. Things happen and sometimes they are very hurtful but as in the Army they call it 'lessons learned', in life too it is a valuable teacher. When we are at our lowest point is sometimes when we reach out to God the most, or at least it should be that way. Also in the military it is called 'foxhole religion' but unlike in foxhole religion where it is a passing prayer "Oh Lord Get me out of this and I will serve you forever"  when bad things happen, if we run to God and get into the word and learn, then we do get stronger for what we have gone through.

 Sonia Lee, a singer out of Nashville who I heard perform at Nashville's famed  Bluebird Cafe a few years ago has a wonderful song called "Trouble Is The Best Teacher I Know" and there was a time in my life where that song helped me get through some rough times. Trouble is truly a teacher. If we did not ever have a problem how would we learn and get stronger? Think of the palm tree that weathers hurricane force winds yet still bends with the winds and remains standing. We too get beat around at times but we lean on the Lord and He alone is our strength and comforter when we have nothing else. For some that is literal. For instance the prisoner who has no one else to talk to.

My blog is called God's Lemonade Stand meaning it is a way to bring refreshment to weary souls but the other kind of lemonade you hear about in Christian circles is God making lemonade out of the 'lemons' of life.  Those lemons need doctored up a bit before they are sweet enough to enjoy as a beverage. God does heal our hurts and calm our weary hearts. He will see you through. Trust him. Time is a healer.

When problems in life overwhelm us go to the rock, meaning Jesus. Get into his word as it is only through the word of God that comfort can come. Psalm 92:19 says "When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul." Isaiah 66:13 says "As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem."

PRAYER: Father I need you today and every day. I do not need to wait til overwhelmed with the issues of life but I need you in good times and bad. Thank you for the hope and comfort only you give. I look to you as my strength father. I will not worry when problems come because you are bigger than any of life's problems. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Click on link to listen to a wonderful praise song. I have included two today since it is Sunday for you to enjoy and worship the Lord with.
http://youtu.be/JmVxRl5bc4Y

http://youtu.be/cIvDCV4e318

Saturday, January 21, 2012

STAY JOYFUL NO MATTER WHAT

That is a pretty tall order you might say to stay joyful regardless of what is happening around me. Joyful when my car breaks down? Joyful when I get  bad news? Joyful when someone dies? Joyful when a friend betrays me? Joyful when I run out of money and all the bills aren't paid yet? Joyful when I lose a piece of heirloom jewelry? Joyful when I lose my job? Joyful when my spouse wants a divorce? Joyful when there is a bad medical report?

It is hard to always be happy but we can maintain our joy through changing circumstances.  The joy I am speaking about comes from deep within and is not dependent upon circumstances. God loves you and it is through Him we can have true joy no matter what storms of life are brewing around us.

We can have joy from the Lord  above. He alone can sustain you when you feel like the world is running out on you. This is not saying you are glad these things happened. Who would be? You are sad and hurt but God can still see you through and give you joy through bad times.

In Nehemiah 8:10 it says "the joy of the Lord is your strength". Only through Christ can you have the ability to stand up joyfully during hard times. Christ alone can see you through. 'Through', meaning you are not stuck there. When Job went through the ultimate test of losing it all(Read the book of Job) he said in Job 13:15 "Though he slay me yet will I trust Him". How many of us could do that? It is only with God's help that we can maintain peace and joy through trying circumstances of life.

So hang on to Jesus my friend no matter what is going on in your life. Try to smile and think of good things instead of focusing on the bad. This too shall pass and your life can be whole and healed.

James 1:2-4 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. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything". Praise God in good times and bad.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for being with me in good times and bad. I desire for my light to shine for you no matter what is happening in my life. Give me your strength to get through difficult times and to maintain your joy. In Jesus name. Amen!

Click on link for an awesome praise and worship song:
http://youtu.be/NLhb3qUA3uc

Friday, January 20, 2012

AFRAID? WORRIED? WHAT NEXT??

Does fear have its' grip on you? Do you worry about your tomorrow's? Do you fret over your children who are either small or grown?You hear stories of tragedies and worry that it will happen to them. It is hard to just trust God and relax. Being afraid would go hand in hand with worry. Moms, I know, are pretty good at worry. We try not to be, but it still happens. We have to discipline our minds to give situations we have no control over to God. It is the enemy who puts condemning wrong thoughts in your head. Bad scary fearful thoughts are for sure not from our heavenly father. You just have to try to get a grip on this area and truly give it over to God. Worry and fear will change nothing and only make you mentally and physically sick. You have said your prayers of protection and end them with something like "I thank you Lord that you love my children more than I do and I thank you for watching over them. I thank you that nothing happens to them that you are not aware of. I ask you Lord to keep them with right friends and in good places. Keep them from the paths of life they should not take. Help them to be safe in their activities and help me Lord to trust you that they will be safe.Amen". Or if it is worry over something else  same thing applies. Say "I thank you Lord that I am not afraid of what mere man can do to me. I thank you for loving me and watching over me and give you glory for all the wonderful things in my life." Now try to let go. You know that 'casting part' again mentioned in 1 Peter 5:7 where it says "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."

Another worry is being concerned we said the wrong thing to someone and offended them, when in fact we probably did not. We probably are jumping to conclusions and assuming things and imagining things. That alone can create unnecessary worry. What if they don't like me? Where do these thoughts come from? Perhaps wanting to be liked or approved of. But we have to give those to Jesus too.We can not take back spoken words and fretting over them once again is only going to take away your peace.

Now for the worry part, it could also include worry about the future, which once again is out of our hands. Give God your concerns and let it go. You may not have children but there still may be plenty you fret over. Why do we do this? How do we stop? Some worry even filters into the realm of what people are thinking about a certain thing? Who cares? God is God and He loves you and it does not matter what someone else thinks about something. Let them think, let them judge. It does not matter. What matters is are you giving the Lord your worries and fears or trying to bear them all yourself? By carrying these are you getting anywhere really? Choose right now today to let God have these. Start each day saying something like "I do not know what is coming my way but I can not sit around Lord and worry about things that may or may not happen. That shows  lack of trust in you and your provision for my future or for that of my children. Thank you for the plan you are working out in my life in your time or their life in your time. Keep me patient while I wait for things and give me the strength Lord to rely on you and let go of senseless concerns which only drag me down

Are you able to 'cast' or 'throw' your cares on God and let them go? It is a discipline. Think about the useless task of worry and how it does not accomplish anything except rob you of a peaceful spirit. Start today to truly let God take your fears and if they come back into your head say "get thee behind me Satan. I reject that fear in the name of Jesus!"  Our worries will not change anything. Commit to memory this verse as well. Isaiah 26:3 says "You will keep in perfect peace those whose mind is stayed on you." Let go and let God! Above all keep praying!

PRAYER: Father I truly want to stop worrying. It is so easy to just fret and wonder about things .I need my mind focused on things of the spirit and not things of the flesh .It is the flesh that causes fears. I desire to look to you and cast off fear and worry. Help me do this Lord. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

HOLD THAT TONGUE!!

Do you sometimes feel you just want to give someone a piece of your mind? You feel angry for being wronged in some way perhaps be it by a stranger, friend or family member? You feel it is your 'right' to get that last word and consequently maybe have won the 'battle'. But really is it a good thing to keep the fire of arguments going by spouting off to someone? Even in anger over some minor issue if we are not careful and do not 'engage our brain' first we may end up regretting what we say or even, in this electronic age, what we text or email to someone. Be careful and let your words be few. Do not make assumptions about things or jump to conclusions then say something that you will regret later. It is so easy to just talk that is why we have to be ever so careful to think, think, think before we 'babble' on.

Do you have a tongue problem? Do you feel you want or need to get the last word in to prove your point? Getting anger under control is part of controlling what randomly pops out of our mouth. If we can learn to live in peace with everyone then we are less likely to just spew forth unnecessary words from our mouth.

Learn to have self control. Overlook an offense. Do not feel you have to 'talk last'.  Walk away from a potential conflict situation. Pray for whoever it is that is starting to stoke fires to get 'tongue battles' going. Ecclesiastes 5:2 says "Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few." In James 1:19 there is an awesome scripture which should be memorized by newlyweds and followed and it says "This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger." There would be allot less legal battles between people if this verse was followed. Give up your right to be angry and move on. Turn the other cheek. Walk away.

Proverbs 16:32 says "Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city." Proverbs 17:27 says "A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered." Ecclesiastes 7:9 says "Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools". Pursue a peaceful spirit and get the urge to retaliate under control. Psalm 34:14 says "Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it."

Proverbs 10:19 says "When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise." Do you want to be wise or a fool? God can help you maintain peace so let Him.

PRAYER: Lord I want to be careful what I say. Even when I have been hurt or offended help me to know it is not your desire for me to be arguing back and forth or trying to hurt the person who hurt me. Help my Lord instead pray for the person who hurt me. Thanks that I have the ability to do this with your help. In Jesus Name. Amen. 

Click on link below to enjoy a wonderful worship song. Play it while you are reading this.
http://youtu.be/12z4dvc2kjo

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

LIFE ON A 3 BY 5 CARD

How many of us have to do lists? I know I do. I also keep a prayer list for my family on 3 by 5 blank index cards. I keep them in my car on the dash board and try to pick them up daily to remind myself to pray for my husband, my sons, my sons fiancee, and friends and other family. It is a helpful reminder to do this daily.
These 'three by five cards' could have favorite Bible verses on it. Perhaps prayer requests or people you need to pray for. Many of us who have had to ever be up in front of a group speaking have kept reminders for what we had to remember to say on these cards as well. Our life is run by these cards. Shopping lists and other helpful reminders can be jotted down to stir our memory.

What would you put on your 3 by 5 card? Is there someone you need to remember to pray for? This is an excellent tool to have with you and maybe even keep in your pants pocket where it is easily accessible. Perhaps besides the dollar bills in your wallet so you see it when you pull out money. Some folks may have a habit of jotting reminders down on their 'palm pilot' aka the real palm of their non writing hand. Helpful and right there in front of you until you go to bathroom and wash the ink away. That 3 by 5 card is a good ministry tool to keep handy to be able to remember who you need to remember in prayer on a regular basis or for a critical need.

Why not start this 3 by 5 card  habit today? If you have trouble getting a certain Bible verse into your head write it down on a card and look at it periodically to remind you of God's promises. Let me give you one or two to start your card collection.

Proverbs 3:5-6 has always been a favorite of mine and it says "Trust in the Lord with all your heart lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths". What a great verse of hope to start your day with! Next how about the all familiar John 3:16 which many already have known since a child but which pro football player Tim Tebow has brought to the forefront. It says "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Do you know if you died today you would be in heaven with Jesus? If not why not stop now and say a prayer and ask Him to come into your heart and control your life. He is waiting. Why not ask Him to be Lord of your life today?

PRAYER: Father thank you for the ability you give us to remember things. Thanks for the promises in the word of God. Help me remember to jot some down to carry with me throughout my day to remind me to read the Bible and remind me to pray for others. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

IMPULSIVE? TRY WAITING.

Are you impulsive? Sometimes it is hard not to be. Do you think over purchases you make while at the local mall shopping or do you just buy, buy, buy with no thought of money or if you need an item? Do you say things without thinking and later regret it or feel stupid? Not waiting and just acting under impulse can backfire in a big way. When it comes to shopping ask yourself "want or need" and you may leave lots on the shelf. When it is your mouth ask yourself is what I am about to say going to help or hurt and is it necessary? Oddly enough even while focusing on this topic to write about I got impulsive a couple times and just sort of sat back and laughed. It is so hard sometimes to learn to wait.

Maybe stop and pray before we do things. Say "God give me wisdom as I shop today" or say "Lord I need your help to control what comes out of my mouth. Give me your strength." He cares about every little detail of your life so why not ask Him?

What does the Bible say about waiting? Perhaps one of the most well known verses about waiting is Isaiah 40:31 which says "but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."

Somehow waiting for anything is hard. Waiting for news of an event. Waiting for grades. Waiting to find out if you got a job you applied for. Waiting to see if you are approved for a loan. Waiting to see if you got a scholarship. Waiting for a baby to be born. Waiting for the day of your marriage. Waiting for it to stop snowing so you can get out of the house is one people up north can relate to. Waiting for your flight to arrive so you can leave. Waiting in traffic. There are many types of waiting. Acting under impulse and getting angry while in the waiting process is just not a good thing to do.

If you could not wait for a baby to be born and wanted the OB doctors to take the child out early and give it to you, just think how silly that would be. God is not done with the process of forming and knitting the child together in the mother's womb and obviously, barring a miracle from God himself, the child born early, because of impatience of parents,  would not survive. If you are baking a cake and can not wait til it is done and open the oven door it will fall and besides that be all mushy and unfit for human consumption. If you are running a race and can not wait to get to the finish line and cheat and take a short cut you will be disqualified.Surfers have to wait to catch the perfect wave.  So you see the many examples of why we need to develop the habit of learning to wait. Don't rush things. Do not get impulsive with your tongue while you wait. And do not think you have to go shop just because there is a sale.

Waiting and not being impulsive truly take spiritual discipline. There is that word again. Discipline. Why do things have to be so hard? Why can't things be easier? Nothing good happens easy or overnight. Micah 7:7 says it well "But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me." Psalm 141:3 is a good verse to end with and it simply says "Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord, Keep watch over the door of my lips."

PRAYER: Lord help me to wait for your perfect timing in all areas of life. I know being impulsive with words or actions is not a good thing so I need your help and strength to overcome this weakness. Guide me Lord. Thanks ahead of time for helping me. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Click on link below to listen to a song dealing with waiting.
http://youtu.be/Bb7TSGptd3Y

Monday, January 16, 2012

CAPTURING THOUGHTS

Do you let your mind wander on  needless things? Do you worry, speculate, reason, and play the 'what if' game? The mind has to be gotten under control to have a life walking victoriously with Jesus Christ.  The enemy loves to come in and get you confused, make you believe lies, get you worried, perhaps allow your mind to have pity parties and just a gamut of other things. We have to get our thoughts under control. How do you do that? You intentionally focus on things above or in other words, think about 'heavenly' things. 

Philippians  4:8 says "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." By concentrating on good things it takes your mind off fears, concerns, worries, and a host of thoughts that can drag us down. In 2 Corinthians 10:5 it 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." this is intentional. You decide to purposefully get your mind off the junk that is dragging you down and focus on good positive things. It truly is a spiritual discipline and has to be done so Satan does not capture those thoughts instead.

In Colossians 2:8 it says not to " let others spoil your faith and joy with their philosophies, their wrong and shallow answers built on men's thoughts and ideas, instead of on what Christ has said." You can do it! Start today, January 16th making up your mind that when wrong thoughts come in to take you off course you can say something like "I reject that thought in the name of Jesus."  You can also say out loud "Get behind me Satan. I only believe God's truth."

Romans 8:6 says "The mind of the sinful man is death but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace."  Finally Romans 12:2 is a good verse to memorize and it says " Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will."


PRAYER: Lord I purpose this day to focus on you and your word and when the enemy tries to get me thinking wrong thoughts I will tell him to leave me alone. I know I have to keep my mind renewed with the word of God daily. Help me get things out of the way in my schedule that prevent me from spending time in the word of God. In Jesus name. Amen!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

FALL IN LOVE WITH JESUS

The Bible says  in Mark 12:30 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' How many of us really do love Him this much? When you love your boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse or fiancee you want to be with them and spend time with them. You want to get to know them better. You can not stay away from them. You feel joy in their presence. Do you feel this way about the Lord? This same command is called the 11th commandment and is repeated in Deuteronomy 6:5.

Is Jesus first place in your life or just an afterthought or something you barely squeeze in? Do you want to get to know Him better through his word and fellowship? Did you love Him once but something happened and that love grew cold? Perhaps life got too busy and you decided you did not have time anymore to fit Him in your schedule. There were things you would rather do than sit down and read a devotion book or make time for worship on Saturday or Sunday. Even if you can not go to church there are good teachings on line or on a CD you can get.

Maybe 2012 is the time you need to make Jesus a priority in your life once again. He is waiting knocking on the door of your heart. Why not let Him come in? Revelation 3:20 says "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 that person, and they with me."

PRAYER: Father I am sorry I have not shown love to you and wanted to read your word. I know I need to spend time with you to ward off the attacks of the enemy. I know you love me even when I ignore you like I have been. I want to make you my number one priority in 2012. Help any roadblocks keeping me from doing that move out of the way. In Jesus Name. Amen. 

Click on link to worship the Lord in song.
http://youtu.be/Da9zUx6VRdg

Saturday, January 14, 2012

ZIPPY THE LIPPY

" I can' t believe I said that!" How many of us have a problem controlling what seemingly 'pops' out of our mouth? The mouth can really be a source of real trouble if not controlled. The fruit of the spirit of 'self control' in Galatians 5:23 really needs to come into play with the out of control mouth. Scripture has many verses about the mouth and control of the tongue. I have written about it many times. "No man can tame the tongue" it says in James Chapter 3. Read this chapter when you get a moment.

 There are numerous references to 'what we say' in the Bible. It is so easy to talk and not think. Engaging the brain would be the first order of business. Words can be good and uplifting or can hurt someone terribly. 'Be careful little mouth what you say' is the popular Sunday School song that we need to think about before we just let something random pop out of our mouth. Colossians 4:6 says to "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." Learn to speak kindly just as if Jesus were in the room because news flash, He is !!

Gossip is a huge problem for many and sometimes disguised as a 'prayer request or concern'. Oh really? Little children who have not yet learned to be disciplined, like we adults are 'supposed' to be, may have trouble with tattling on each other. Hopefully as we mature into adulthood we can let this one go but sometimes not. Some people like to get others in trouble by spilling the beans on them.

Lying is another horrible thing that mouth can do but we as believers should know better and if you have a problem with this ask for God to help you. Scripture says in Proverbs 6:16-17 that "God hates a lying tongue". Perhaps we need to let some folks in Washington DC in on this one who took an oath to follow the Constitution and placed their hand on a Bible. Oaths mean very little to some people. Even marriages where an oath is taken before God means little when a couple starts having problems. When you break your oath  you are lying because you made a promise "for better or for worse, in sickness and health til death we do part." That is a promise and breaking a promise is lying.

Meddling or being nosey is another 'mouth' problem we need to control. Also knowing when to speak and when to be silent is a true discipline. Our mouths can really bring chaos if not careful and cause great heartache. Much more can be written on talking when you should learn to be silent. Stay tuned!

Matthew 12:36 says "But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken". Have you been loose with your lips lately? In the US Navy there is a saying "Loose Lips Sink Ships" meaning just what it says. If you say the wrong thing to a person who tells someone it could get back to the enemy and voila, an attack occurs. In the military there is something where not even all military people on active duty need to know everything. It is a 'need to know' theory of sorts. I remember once when on active duty asking my husband, who was also on active duty, about someplace his  unit was being deployed to. He said he could not tell me as I did not have a 'need to know'. Many civilians could benefit from that same mentality and we would not be prying into everyone's business all the time. One good example is how parents need to back off from controlling their adult children and trying to know everything especially when they are married. Your job is over raising your children and their lives begin without you and they will let you know when you need to be included. Not following this can hurt the relationships of children and their parents. One more example of meddling would be spending too much time on Facebook delving into the lives of your 'friends' to find out what is 'going on'. Does it matter really? Think about that one.

So there you have it. Be careful to think before you say something. Try to be calm and not angry and do not jump to conclusions and say things  you may regret later. Sometimes the less said the better. God can help you if you are weak in the 'running off at the mouth' area. Just call on Him. Proverbs 29:11 says "A fool utters all his mind: but a wise man keeps it in till afterwards."

PRAYER: Lord I sometimes blurt things out or send an email that I am sorry about later. Forgive me if I have ever hurt anyone or caused trouble because of this. Help me to concentrate on being Christlike in my speech and to think before I start to talk. Help me learn to be kind and not harsh. Help me also to learn to respond with grace to those who may be harsh with me. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Friday, January 13, 2012

STOP THE NOISE

Can you unplug from life for a while? All the technology we have today seems to prevent us from getting away and alone where it is quiet or we feel compelled to 'stay connected' less someone can not find us for 5 minutes. Oh horrors! I love the commercial on TV where a group of men are out on a hiking trip or outdoor trip of some sort and they intentionally keep driving deeper into the wilderness until they lose their cell phone signal. Now granted many people have a job that requires them to stay connected. A doctor for instance. In the good old days the Doctor was the only person who wore a pager that I can think of. Now it seems our generation has been made to believe we have to be able to be reached at all times. What will happen if you can not be reached? Or what if I miss a call? Maybe they will call back?

The point is we need to be able to get alone and sit quietly if we ever expect to hear the still small voice of God. This includes turning off even your Christian radio station in your car to have perfect silence. Your brain can not just keep all the noise clutter and not want to just scream sometimes. This is why I recommend when you are able,to do a DAWG Day,which stands for Day Alone With God. "Oh that is nice for you but I work 12 hour days weeks on end. How I am expected to squeeze in time alone with God?" Granted some out there will need to be a little creative on this one but if your cell phone is on your hip like a medical life saving device and you can not get away from it you may be suffering a slight bit of electronic gadget addiction. It is a real thing. This day does not have to be a whole day but can be as little as three hours. I did one yesterday out in a nearby state park. It is a time for prayer and reading your Bible and reflection without the clutter of the world's noise all around you.

Children today need to be taught to purposely sit and learn how to be still. Parents there is your challenge. Take those children out in nature and listen to birds without the phone attached to your belt loop. Take it for safety but turn it off til you need it. A  novel idea isn't it? Phones can be rude too when you talk to one person when you are with another person or carry on a conversation while a clerk tries to wait on you. Cell phones are extremely rude in movie theaters and at plays and concerts. Be polite. Have some courtesy.

Basically attempt in 2012 to start this year unplugging a little bit and see if you do not feel more calm and relaxed. It will be hard since our society is so geared up to laptops, phones, notebooks and all the other gadgets. But try it. Try to sit at Jesus feet and hear from Him. Let the phone ring. It is okay. You can call back.

How will you ever get to know Jesus and be still with Him if you do not make it intentional? The scriptures said that Jesus went away to a quiet place to pray ( See  Mark 1:35).Maybe this was  much more easy in His day with no electricity running everything. But I think if he had an electronic device He would not carry it all the time. Sort of comical to think of Jesus with a Smartphone huh?

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." Do you want His perfect peace? You can achieve it. Psalm 46:10 says "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Isaiah 26:3 tells us "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you." Is your mind on Christ? Try getting it there today. Start your day with the quietness of a home without noise in the background and take a moment to pray and read a bit of God's word. There is no set requirement for how much to read. Start today with the book of John and read it each day and see if your life isn't changed. Or at work on your lunch break get outside to a bench or just take a short walk. If it is cold where you live do not use that as an excuse but bundle up and get going.

I will leave you with one final verse and it is Philippians 4:7 and it reads "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."


PRAYER: Lord I want to hear your voice. I want to know you better. I need your help to unplug from the electronic world I am caught up in. Give me the ability to not always think I have to be on the phone or computer. Help me Lord to learn to sit at your feet with a non electronic copy of the Holy Bible. In Jesus Name. Amen




Click on link to enjoy yet another worship song by Sonic Flood.
http://youtu.be/JekX4mLQ56M

Thursday, January 12, 2012

GOD'S ANGELS ALL AROUND US

Many of you reading this,I am sure, have been confronted with the uncomfortable feeling of encountering what the world would call a 'bum' or a needy person who looks so down and out it makes you almost feel guilty for having success and wealth. Yes indeed most of us are wealthy to lots of street people. Many on the street may be  mentally ill but many are there due to trying times in their life. Not all people under bridges want to be there.

Most of us do not want to involve ourselves in the lives of these human beings. "Do not give them money they will use it it for booze" is the common thing you hear. Recently while visiting my mom in Kentucky I was in the public library trying to use Wi Fi and as I sat there using my computer while my mom read the newspapers, a very pitiful man was seated across from me.I mean he just sat. No books, no papers, just sat.  Not sure if he needed money or was just depressed and hanging out. Lots of homeless hang out at public libraries I understand. Do you dare embarrass them when they are not begging by saying " here take this ten dollar bill?" We know we can not invite them all into our warm cushy homes but how do you help? Some folks are afraid to help and try to avoid them. What should you do and how can you help? Well I missed my chance that day as while I sat and pondered what to do he left. So what would you do? What does God say to do? Even while updating this story here at a local Starbucks a gentleman came in who started talking out loud and singing out loud.  It was strange I admit and there were stares. He appeared mentally ill and lonely which is sad. He is still God's creation.

First the thought came to me on both occasions that these individuals could have been one of God's angels sent as a 'test' of sorts to see how we react to them. Hebrews 13:2 says "Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! " James 2:15-17 says "Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." Matthew 25:44 says "They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

The thinking today by many is that the wealth should be 'redistributed' for it is not 'fair' for some to have much and others to be destitute. No where in the Bible is taking people's money away from them to help others justified or even mentioned. Christians should want to be generous and help and there are many charities in this country to help those going through a hard time. It is not the governments place to confiscate wealth. We for sure need to help someone if we feel led in our hearts. That still small voice inside may be speaking to you. Now ladies need to be careful as to not put themselves in a dangerous situation of course. Be careful not to think more highly of yourself than you ought it says in Romans 12:3. We never know if we will end up in need. Treat all people with respect.

When you have the love of Christ inside of you, you should want to help those who are having a hard time. So where is your heart today? Do you share with those less fortunate? If you do no need to brag about it. God knows and he will reward you. Keep an eye out for how you can show God's love in a hurting world.

PRAYER: Open the eyes of my heart to the needs of the hurting around me and help me not be stingy with those in need. Give me one pure and Holy passion to serve you Lord through being kind to others. In Jesus name. Amen.

Note: Worship the Lord now in song by clicking on the link below.
http://youtu.be/tDP12eYxSpE

Also read 2 Corinthians 8 about encouraging giving generously.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

WHAT IS KEEPING YOU FROM JESUS?

Could you care less about the things of the Lord? You say you are 'born again' but yet there is no desire to do much of anything but live in a secular world by being a 'nice and good person'? What is the cure for this?

To grow in Christ and get to know Him you have to spend time in fellowship and the Bible. Many people do not want to go to church because they say it is either too religious, 'church people' are hypocrites, or the excuse "I am only off one day a week and I do not intend to waste that day in church". Ouch. That last one really hurts. I know what the people mean who say this but it is sad that they have not found a church that loves Jesus enough to get them excited about wanting to go and brings them the joy of the Lord.

Many non denominational churches even accommodate people by adding a Saturday night service. I do not think that a huge lightening bolt is going to strike you down if you decide to worship on Saturday night because it fits your schedule better. Many may be way too legalistic and feel that the only time to go to church is the standard hour of 11 in the morning on Sunday. And when they go, they sit in the same seat and you better not try to take that seat or look out!! What if a visitor comes in and sits there? The point is the 'Holy Huddle' mentality scares many away. Don't be so quick to judge because we do not know what is in a person's heart.

 For those of you out there who have moved allot and have been faced with looking for a church home it can, in fact, be very intimidating. Do not be afraid to go outside the denomination you are used to. Just make sure it is a Bible believing church. Sometimes it is not fun going into smaller churches where cliques may exist and your presence is more evident and no one comes up to say hi. In a huge church you blend in more. Several years ago our family  visited a church where on the sign outside  it said 'The Friendly Church' and do you know the only time anyone was friendly was when they were forced to get up and shake our hand. No kidding. This type of stuff is part of why some people want nothing to do with a church.

So how do we fix this problem? First the desire for the Lord and the commitment to make the Sabbath Day important has got to be there. This does not mean you have to spend the entire day in church but at least make the effort to have fellowship with other believers one day a week. Next when you hear a good message from the pastor, priest or rabbi it can give you something to think about during the week. Many churches encourage you to bring your Bibles and take notes. I personally find note taking an excellent way to be able to remember what you have been taught. If you were in a college or high school class and there was a lecture and you did not take notes how would you be able to be successful on the upcoming tests? Same thing applies with the message. Take some notes for it is there that you start to have the word go into your brain so to speak. If you can not attend at all perhaps get some good teaching CD's to listen to in order to keep your spirit fed.

Matthew 5:6 says "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." If you do not hunger for the things of the Lord ask God to help restore the excitement of Jesus to you. Perhaps you need to recommit your life to the Lord and make an effort to live a life pleasing to Him. Being a Christian is not boring. It is not drudgery. If you feel this way that is because you may not be in the right church or have not asked Jesus to be Lord of your life in the first place. That is the first order of business.

Hebrews 10:25 says "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Romans 13:12 says "The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light." If you do not stay connected to the 'vine' which is Jesus Christ and stay in His word, The Bible, then eventually your fire will die out and you will whither away. The enemy loves it when people make excuses about not attending church. The more he can get you to stay home and go do something else the better his chances of getting you to believe a lie and putting out your 'spiritual fire'. Do you want this to happen?

Church alone does not guarantee you admission into heaven. In fact there are probably many in churches who will not go to heaven even though they think they are 'good'. It is more than being 'good'. Matthew 7:22 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?"  Mark 13:36 says "If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping" referring to Jesus return. He is coming back. Are you ready to meet Him? When he says to you, "do you love me" how will you answer Him and how will you be able to prove it? Something to think about I would say.

Luke 21:34 says "Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap."  Revelation 3:16 should wake you up if no other verse does and it says "So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth" Where is your heart today? Run to Jesus. He is waiting!

PRAYER: Lord God I have not always been faithful to stay in fellowship. Also I have neglected reading your word on a daily basis. Lead me to a church where the word of God is alive and being preached in an uncompromising way. Wake me up from my spiritual stupor and wake any of my family members up who are in this same stupor of not making you a priority in life. Help them love you with all their heart and want to serve you. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Click on link and prepare to worship the Lord.
http://youtu.be/iN_DMuahD5o

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

TROUBLED WORLD

This blog is read sometimes by people in other countries, so I hear, but the majority are here in the United States and here in the United States we are in trouble. The very foundations this nation was founded upon are being challenged and our Constitution is being ignored by those who swore an oath on a Bible to uphold and defend it. Lying is pretty normal for some but it is wrong. This is not about a political party but is about the survival of these free United States of America. Many have buried their head in the sand and choose to ignore what is happening. If people become lethargic and too busy to care that is when destruction will occur. This is a spiritual battle for control of a free nation that always used to put the Ten Commandments and the Bible first. Not so any more. Sin is being normalized by laws being enacted. Many are being made to believe lies about the founding of this great land. Desensitization to sin is occurring in a huge way.  Many churches even are afraid to speak up and speak out against the sin going on. We are in our 'Holy Huddle Social Clubs'.  We know God is in control and has the final say but that is no reason to become complacent and not speak up against injustice and evil. If we don't, one day we may wake up to find ourselves living under tyranny and no longer in the free land we love. Some say "Don't bother me with politics". Praying is the best thing to do but also speaking up in love.

The Bible says in Psalm 46:1 that "God is our refuge and strength a very present help in times of trouble."  Proverbs 6:16-19 sort of sums of the evil going on in a nutshell. It says " these are the six things the Lord hates, yes seven are an abomination to Him. A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood. A heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren." We are not to hate evil men but to pray for them. Pray hard and never give up. In Luke 18:1 it says "men ought to pray and never give up."

Proverbs 24:17-18 says " do not gloat when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the Lord see it and it displease Him, and He turn away His wrath from Him." Part  of the battle is to learn to sincerely pray for those who hurt us. It is very difficult to do when we see so much evil going on to hurt America but we have to ask God to change our heart and continue to pray. Matthew 5:44 says "but I tell you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."

I will leave you with this verse and say it out loud and take it to heart. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says "if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land."

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for the freedoms we have enjoyed in the USA. We have been a blessed nation. We need men and women to wake up and get on their knees in prayer. Lord send us leaders who know and love you. Open up the eyes of those deceived by the enemy to the schemes of the devil to take this great Christian nation down. Open the eyes of Christians to not be tricked by the enemy. Open the hearts of Christians to not be too busy to care and stay informed. Lord we lift up those in leadership who are doing evil and making laws protecting and condoning sin. We ask for you to convict their hearts of what they are doing and have them repent. Save our land. We need God back in America again. In Jesus name. Amen.

Note: click on link below and enjoy a wonderful praise and worship song.
http://youtu.be/wutmEjdbedE

Monday, January 9, 2012

IN GODS' LIKENESS

Does your life reflect the Lord Jesus Christ? If someone were to see you right now would they be able to tell in any way that you loved the Lord? A simple gesture of showing God's love is to smile. How many folks do you see around you day in and day out that simple are frowning? Sure they may have problems but maybe they just are sort of depressed and just need a smile. Something simple as that can lift someones spirits.

Do you act holy as the Lord is holy? Not  'holier than thou' but do you radiate the love of God in what you say and do? Is your speech pure and kind? Do your actions reflect that of a Christlike person? It is something to ponder for a while. Do you just go to church and seemingly appear righteous for one hour on Sunday then turn into an entirely different person the rest of the week? Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts and help guide you. Let your thinking be transformed to be able to think like Jesus thinks. 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." When you make it a point to try to think like Christ it helps to be more in His image and represent the kingdom of God. Romans 12:1-2 is one of my favorites and it says "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Let God transform you more into His image.

1 Peter 1:16 says "Be holy for I am holy." Once again it does not say 'holier than thou." Be careful not to think you have 'arrived' and are such a wonderful Christian example and start looking down on others. Ask God to keep you humble. Don't judge others because you do not know the whole story. For instance, those who are not in church on Sunday. We are not to be legalistic about worship and simply go to punch the Sunday ticket, but you should examine your heart and want to go. The scriptures do say in Exodus 20:8 to "remember the Sabbath Day and Keep it holy" but once again some people have valid reasons for not being able to be in church such as work. It is not our place to condemn. Each of us is on our own journey and  hopefully it includes wanting to be more like Christ.

Do you desire a closer walk with the Lord or are you satisfied and think being a member of your church 'social club' will get you through the gates of heaven? Do you want to be more Christlike? If not why not? As we begin this New Year why not purpose in your heart to get closer to God and radiate His love to others around the clock? Being a child of God is not just one hour on Sunday.

PRAYER: Lord give me your heart for others and a desire for you. I am sorry for just going to church on Sunday or maybe not even going at all. I need you in my life and want my life to reflect you. In Jesus name. Amen.

Note:Click on link below to listen to a wonderful worship song.
http://youtu.be/uor3TPX0of8

Sunday, January 8, 2012

BEAR ONE ANOTHER'S BURDENS

When you have a problem do you try to keep it to yourself or do you find a trusted friend to share things with? Do you bear your struggles alone? The reason for counselors is that it helps to talk to someone when issues arise in your life. No one should shoulder problems himself. I read a devotion the other day from CMDA(Christian Medical Dental Association)  that said most people when asked how they were doing always replied "fine". What if we were to be honest and say something to the effect "well my dog is sick, my car is in shop, my mom is in hospital with kidney failure, my best friend is mad at me and on it goes"? You get the point. Most of us would not do that but it is such a pat answer to simply say "Fine" and probably not truthful in many peoples cases. I have heard another reply I love too and it is when asked this question to say "If I were any better I would be twins". Love it!

In Galatians 6:2 it says "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." Can you do this? Can you help another by easing their pain and struggle somewhat? Sometimes just a shoulder to cry on is all someone really needs.Romans 15:1 says "We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves." We all may be in need of help someday. Just like in the case of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37)where he stopped to give assistance, everyone at one time or another needs a helping hand. If you can assist a friend in need, do it. Sometimes people just need to talk. Can you be the listening ear for a friend who has a problem or who is hurting? Romans 12:15 tells us to "weep with those who weep". Galatians 5:14 says "The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." A sign of love is being there for someone in their time of need. Do not be in too big a hurry in life you do not stop to care for your brothers and sisters who are needing a boost. Sometimes when you hurt helping others even helps alleviate your sadness. Give it a try!

PRAYER: Lord thank you for giving me the means to be able to reach out and help someone in need. Make me sensitive to those who are hurting and show me creative ways I can be a help to those in my path that may just need someone to listen to them. Help me to stop and not rush around so much I am not available to help. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY

Are we tied to our things? Our collections? Special photos perhaps? Maybe a voice mail you are saving or a text from your children or significant other? What happens when these things are lost or destroyed? Do you fall apart or go on with life? Basically falling apart does not help as we have no control over the situation. Just as in the tornado's here in the Southeast on 27 April, families lost nearly everything. Not being willing to part with things or having to save every last thing may qualify you to not only be on 'Hoarders' TV show but really is not a good thing. It is best to downsize and simplify your life and have less chaos and confusion as a result of 'stuff'. It says in scripture in 1 Corinthians 14:33 that "God is not the author of confusion" and perhaps this could mean the confusion surrounding the tons of things we think we can not live without? Something to think about. The more we have the more headaches we incur usually. How many things do we really need and how many collections are important?

Let's say you buy something you can not afford anyway, then only use it maybe one time. A good example is a boat. If boating is not your 'passion' you probably are not going to use it that much. You may have wanted one cause it looked fun or maybe someone else had one you were trying to keep up with? Maybe you can not stand not having a certain article of clothing and you buy it and it really does not make you happier and just adds to clutter in your closet. You save things you think you can not do without. How many of us think we have to buy each movie we really like and how many times do you watch it? Thus the DVDs and old VHS tapes pile up.

Maybe a good trip to thrift store is in order. I recently threw out many VHS tapes I had made back in the 80's of shows I thought I would watch again. They were sitting in the attic in boxes waiting for my family to have to go through when I died some day. Why not rid yourself of 'sentimental things'  you do not need now? "Wait it may be worth something" you say. I am not saying to trash your school yearbooks and photos or your valuable Barbie doll or GI Joe collection but to ask yourself what you really do not need to have.
Why do we feel compelled to save old magazines and newspapers for instance? Why do you have to save every book you ever read?  Now is the time with the new year to get your life in order both on spiritual level and a level of organization. Be a good steward of things God has blessed you with and share things you have too much of. You know someone who needs a coat and you have way too many coats? Give it to them. I think the scriptures even say that. Hebrews 13:16 for instance says "Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God." So many things we just seemingly do not want to get rid of for whatever reason. I for one do not want to be a candidate to be on the show 'Hoarders' I mentioned  in an earlier paragraph. Philippians 2:4 says "Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others." Do you have something extra you can share with someone in need? Even something hard to give up perhaps? That would even be more of a sacrifice.

Start today to end the 'sentimental junk journey' and to see what valuable treasures you have that you could share with others. Do not give someone your old junk as you would not want old junk either. But if you have things still in good shape just sitting around go help someone. Call a charity to see if they need a donation. Do you have extra furniture? There may be a family who needs it who just can not afford things.

1 John 3:17 says"But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?"
Do what you can today to help simplify your life and to add to the life of another. You will both feel good.

PRAYER: Lord help me see what I have that I do not need that could help someone else out. Help me not be selfish if I know of someone who needs something and I have the means to help them. Give me a sharing heart. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Friday, January 6, 2012

DEALING WITH MEAN PEOPLE

We are told as Christians to love one another but in life along comes someone who treats you mean mostly on a verbal basis. It could be a friend, co-worker or the worse and most shocking of all, a family member. Being ugly to anyone is uncalled for and those who are victims need to learn to keep praying for these people as they are obviously dealing with deeper more hidden issues and are just using you as a person to take all their anger out on.Sort of 'target practice' or a verbal punching bag of sorts.  Many of these people refuse to admit fault and think they are justified talking ugly. God is not pleased with any form of bad speech or bad behavior. If this is within the family, counseling needs to be sought. If it is among friends you can try to talk but sometimes the friend is unwilling to make amends and thinks they are totally justified. What happened to 'love one another'? Verbal abuse is never right to anyone. It needs to be dealt with and nipped in the bud. At work, a superior may mistreat a junior employee as being higher up in the chain so to speak. If it is severe, a grievance could be filed, but if it is just rudeness and ugliness you need to learn to bite your tongue and keep praying for this person. Hate is not the answer. Quitting is not the answer either. We too need to not be verbal abusee's, so to speak, to people such as phone workers. Treat all people with respsect.

James 1:26 states it pretty clearly when it says "If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless." Have you ever run into anyone who claims to know Christ but yet cusses and takes His name in vain? It is pretty disheartening. But that mouth seems to be hard to control for lots of people. That is still no excuse. If you are dealing with a 'mean person' in your life turn them over to God and ask Him to do a work in their hearts. Nothing we can do or say will help. In fact it may worsen things. It is better to do the soft answer turns away wrath routine. (See Proverbs 15:1). There is a saying that 'hurting people hurt people'. Once again no excuse but Matthew 5:44 says "But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,". In Luke 6:28 it says "bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." Very hard to do. Human nature wants to start an arguing match or gesturing behind their backs. This is not God's way. God wants you to show love and forgive these 'mean people' even when they do not ask for forgiveness. Forgive them in your heart. Proverbs 17:9 says "He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends."

Sometimes people talking ugly may not be reading God's word. They may claim to know God but only attend church on Sunday but live like they want the rest of the week. You may live with a person like this which would be hard to take. Nothing we can do to change that but it does say in Ephesians 4:29 "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." If someone claims to know Christ they need to be starting to get into the word to practice some of these scriptures. Perhaps you are a person who can not stop saying ugly words or curses. You know it is wrong. Ask God to deliver you from this and start looking up verses on clean and pure speech. If someone in your life is doing it give them over to the Lord. Let the Holy Spirit convict their hearts.  If you are the mean one you need to get a grip and go to the Lord and ask for His help.

So start today to ask God to help you love anyone in your life who is rubbing you the wrong way or being unkind to you. We do not know why people feel justified in swearing and mistreating others. Some of it could be something from their past they need to deal with. In the meantime as a Christian learn to do the right thing and just answer someone with kindness and show love. Proverbs 10:12 says "Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs."  Even if you are angry that a telemarketer is bothering you, still be kind and realize that is someone's child on the other end. I have been a phone worker before and people can be nasty.

If you are a young couple reading this just starting off married life together purpose in your heart to never go to bed angry. Also make James 1:19 your marriage motto. I often write it on a newlyweds card and it says "My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." If you have hurt someone ask forgiveness and if you are a victim of this just pray for the person to seek help and ask forgiveness. Only God can mend a hurt heart. He can do the changing. Remember the childhood song which said "Be careful little mouth what you say"? Well we all need to learn to do that. Start today. New year, new you.

PRAYER: Lord I want to represent you well here on Earth whether it is at home, out in the market place or at work. Things happen and people get angry. Help me to not say harsh words to others and if spoken to harshly help me respond with grace to these people who are like sandpaper. I know it breaks your heart to hear family members hurt other family members with unkind words in the one place they are supposed to show love. Father help anyone dealing with any of these struggles come to you and humble themselves Lord and ask forgiveness and seek your face. Help victims of harsh words learn to love regardless. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Note: I have included a song to lift your spirits today. Click on link and praise the Lord!
http://youtu.be/othYj8jWSwc

Thursday, January 5, 2012

DECLARATIONS FOR 2012

This week I have been dealing lots with the New Year. With the New Year brings new hopes, new dreams, new opportunities. The chance to forget mistakes and move on to a new hopeful future. A time to change wrong attitudes and make amends with folks who may have been a thorn in your side, so to speak. A time for new challenges. It is always a wonderful chance to start change in a positive way. I was thinking we should make a list of declarations that we say out loud daily to start the year and the particular day on a positive note. Some I came up with are as follows:(Go ahead say them out loud if you are somewhere you can do this.) You can probably add to this list to make it a little more personal too. Here goes!

I will have a bright future.
I am not too old to try new things.
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.(Philippians 4:13)
I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.(2 Corinthians 5:21)
I will not be defeated.
I refuse to be cast down and depressed.
I will not believe the enemies lies.(John 8:44)
I am blessed.
I can be a blessing.
I have favor in Christ.
I have victory in Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57)
I am seated with God in the heavenlies. (Ephesians 2:6)
I will resist the devil and he has to flee. (James 4:7)
I am the head and not the tail.(Deuteronomy 28:13)
I will not give the devil a foothold. (Ephesians 4:27)
I will maintain peace no matter what.(John 14:27)
I have the joy of the Lord.(Psalm 28:7)
I will forgive people even when they have not asked  to be forgiven.
I am a child of God and am special as God does not make junk.
I am set free from sins of my past.(Psalm 103:12)
I will not compare myself to others as you made me special and have a unique purpose for my life.
I know Lord you can open doors no man can shut.(Revelation 3:8)
I will not get sucked into the worlds ways of thinking(Romans 12:1-2)
I have hope in you.

Try starting your day each day reading a scripture from God's word and saying these things above out loud.Look up the verses above as well. The enemy seeks to destroy you and will do everything in his power to get you down on yourself and feeling like your life is not important. Whether you are highly educated or just a high school graduate God has a purpose and a plan for you on this earth. Go where he sends you with boldness and do not compare yourself to someone else no matter  how easy it is to do. Do not think you are not important because you are ''just' this or 'just' that. And for those of you in high places as the world sees it who are in important places stay humble and stay grounded. Know God has you where you are to serve Him and 'plant seeds' for Him. Never start thinking you are better than people or look out. (See Isaiah 2:17).

So dear friends go out into your day and thank God for each and every day he has given you to make an impact on the corner of the world He has placed you in.

Ephesians 3:20 was a verse I had hanging on my apartment wall back when I was single living in California and it has always been a favorite. It 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". Go make a difference in your world today! You are special to God!

PRAYER: Lord thank you for another day of life. Thanks for a brand new year to try new things and share your love with those around me. Thank you for where you have me in life. Help me to not ever get down on myself and think I do not matter as I know that is a lie from Satan. To God be the Glory. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Note: Enjoy the praise and worship song I have attached by Rush of Fools. Click on link to listen.
http://youtu.be/b-oZbBS_OhM

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

PIT STOPS FROM GOD

Has anything ever happened in your life and you get  upset and wonder why God isn't answering your prayers? Sometimes He has a different plan than what your plan is and perhaps tells you in a round about way it is time to take a 'pit stop' for a while. For anyone who has watched a NASCAR race on TV you see the race cars can not continue forever. They have to eventually pull into the 'pit' so the crew can hurriedly check them out and get them on the road again. This 'servicing' is necessary to keep them running and operating at their peak performance. Sometimes things happen in life and we wonder why. Then  on down the road we understand why. The answers are not always right before our face. Sometimes something seemingly bad turns out to be just what was needed to get you on the path God had for you.

Isaiah 55:18 says "for my thoughts are not your thoughts and neither are your ways my ways says the Lord." Jeremiah 29:11 is familiar to many and it says " for I know the plans I have for you says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Proverbs 3:5-6 says " trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths." Matthew 6:33 tells us to " seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto us."

Are you putting God first? Do you start the day with prayer and reading His word?  If we keep ignoring Him how do we expect to know the path He wants us to stay on?

Isaiah 43:19 says "behold I am  doing a new thing! Now it springs up. Do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." What a wonderful verse for hope and promise.
Where are you at today? Do you believe God has  a wonderful plan for your life if only you will trust Him and follow Him?  Proverbs 16:9 says "God can plan His way but only God can order his steps".  Whatever is happening in your life today whether good or bad trust God to get you through and look to him for guidance. Man can plan his way but God orders his steps.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for guiding my steps and picking me up when I fall. Forgive me when I have gone my own way or been mad when things seemingly went sour. You know the 'big picture' and as the saying goes ' the end of the story is not written yet.' You have a plan for my life and help me not compare myself to someone else and want what they have.  Thank you for where you have me in my life today. in Jesus name. Amen.