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.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

THREE CORDS

Recently I attended the wedding of a friend's son where a visual was done I had by never before witnessed at a wedding. Three cords were weaved together. The three cords were symbolic of the husband, the wife and Christ. Christ is supposed to be the center of a marriage and the 'glue' of sorts in what holds things together. A Christian husband is to be the spiritual leader of the home but God is first place. A couple should pray together and have devotions together to have them become closer to God. In the illustration the groom held one end of the three cords while the bride braided them into a rope. A great 'word picture' and something that made a great impression on me.

This illustration of the three cords was taken from Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 and it says "Two are better than one,because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." Think about a rope and how thick it is and almost impossible to cut or tear. It is usually made from 3 cords. 1 cord would break and two would not be very strong. But adding the third one gives much strength and durability. My younger son and his fiancee are both rock climbers and the ropes they use have to be braided good or disaster would result. You have to trust that strong sturdy rope with your life.

In a Christian marriage God gives that  kind of durability. If a couple is reading God's word and follows it, their life as husband and wife will go much smoother. If they pray together, attend church together, perhaps go to  a small group Bible study and have time at home in the word together they will be drawn closer together in the long run. For a marriage to work two should become one, with Christ as the head. If one person in a marriage selfishly tries to get their own way this will cause much anguish in the marriage. Both the man and the woman need to put God first then their spouse for true harmony to exist.

Genesis 2:18-24 in speaking of marriage says "The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals   and all the birds in the sky.   He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called   each living creature,   that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.But for Adam no suitable helper   was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep;   and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib  he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said,“This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh;  he shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.  That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united   to his wife, and they become one flesh."

Marriage between a man and a woman is a very good thing but even more so when God is kept that third strand in the cord and gives 'strength and stability' to the marriage union.

PRAYER: Lord I thank you for the gift of marriage and I thank you for being there with us as we walk through good times and  bad. Help me to always remember to put you first Lord. Forgive me when I do not. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

CLOUDS AND SIN



Recently on a trip to Cincinnati, the aircraft I was flying in climbed through many layers of white puffy clouds as it reached cruising altitude. Even though it was a clear, sunny day with white clouds scattered throughout the sky, when the jet would 'punch through' these clouds it was deceptive. They looked soft and puffy but would cause the aircraft to shake just slightly in a little rough air. Once through these clouds we once again had a smooth flight for the duration of the journey.

This made me think about how sin is kind of like that cloud. It looks pretty, harmless, may feel good and seem right , but it is very deceiving and tricky. The enemy, Satan,is like that. He tricks you and lies to you to get you into his web of deceit. He sort of wraps sin in a pretty package at times and draws you in. You have to stay grounded in God's word and resist his attacks.

In effect we all are sinners.  Romans 3:23 says "We all have sinned and fallen short of God's glory." Jesus died a horrible death on the cross to pay the penalty for your sin past, present, and future.
Proverbs 14:12 says "There is a way that seems right to a man,but in the end it leads to death."  In Hebrews 11:25 it mentions there being "pleasure in sin for a season". Temptations are out there so beware.1 Peter 5:8 says "Be self controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."

James 4:7 says "Submit yourselves therefore to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you."

PRAYER: I know the enemy is constantly at work trying to twist the word of God and make us believe lies. He can even captivate well meaning Christians in order to make them justify their sin.  Father keep me always alert to his tricks and schemes so I am not sucked into his web of trickery. In Jesus name. Amen.

Click on link to listen to a wonderful song:
http://youtu.be/Jbe7OruLk8I

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

DON'T BREAK GOD'S HEART



Do you break God's heart?  Do you continually practice sin and ignore Him and His word? Are you ashamed of Him? If Jesus were to walk in where you are right now would you have to stop what you are doing so as not to be embarrassed? Something to think about isn't it?

I just finished reading a book by Dr. David Jeremiah entitled 'Living With Confidence in a Chaotic World' and on page 228 he has a prayer that goes a follows: "Lord help me to live my life from this moment onward in such a way that I never do anything to hurt You or to break Your heart. Not after what You have done for me."  And oh what He did for us,  experiencing a cruel and painful death on a cross so that we might be saved and he took the punishment for our sins past, present, and future.

In our Moms in Prayer group we sometimes pray for our children the following prayer: "Lord break their heart by what breaks your heart."   When praying we believe God hears and will honor that prayer and we do not lose hope even though we may not see a change or get an answer right away.

Are you doing something that breaks God's heart? If so confess and repent and turn away from the sin that separates you from Him. 1 John 1:9 tells us that "If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and will cleanse us from all unrighteousness."  Now go and do the right thing.

PRAYER: Father in heaven I am sorry when I have done things I know displease you. Forgive me when I put other things before you. In Jesus name. Amen.

Click on link and listen to an awesome praise song:
http://youtu.be/PzIgOG8lKYY

Monday, May 28, 2012

MEMORIAL DAY: A TIME FOR HONOR


 Do you know the saying '"If you love your freedom, thank a Vet?!"  Today in the United States we observe Memorial Day although the official date of Memorial Day is May 30 and modern calendars celebrate it on the final Monday of the month. This is an excellent time for parents with small children to teach them to respect and honor those service members who have paid the ultimate price. We do not enjoy the freedoms we have by accident. Wars were fought and lives were lost in order to keep this land secure. Each of us who enjoys these privileges needs to pause today to reflect on this holiday and it's true meaning.

 Honor seems to be disappearing from our society, which is sad. So we celebrate this day now as yet another 3 day weekend. Malls have sales and swimming pools open. When I was growing up this day was a day held in high regard.My high school band marched to the local cemetery and paid tribute to our fallen military heroes who died in combat. Many use it for honoring all deceased but the real purpose was for honoring those who gave their lives for this country in battle.
How do we celebrate today? Swimming, barbecues, a day at the beach, skiing at the lake, a baseball game, sales at the mall, buying a new car, or The Indy 500? Which of those activities has any thing to do with honoring those soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who gave their lives?

If you get a chance go visit your local cemetery or a veterans memorial, if your town has one. Think about what this day means. So many of us in America seem to live in a complacent 'bubble' of sorts where we do not even realize our very freedoms are being threatened even by our own government. Our war dead did not give their lives so we could come under bondage and tyranny at the hands of our own elected leaders.  It says in God's word "It was for freedom that Christ set us free." (Galatians 5:1).

The Bible says "Greater love hath no man than he lay down his life for his friends."(John 15:13). No one knows this better than a fighting man on the battlefields. So take today and give God thanks for this marvelous nation and for those brave men and women who paid for this freedom with their very lives.

PRAYER: Father this day I thank you for living in America the land of the free and home of the brave. I thank you that this nation was founded one nation under God. Father our freedoms are precious and they are God given. Help no mere man try to lord over us and trample on we citizens and try to put us in bondage and take away our liberty. We are truly blessed indeed. For this young free nation we give you the praise and the glory. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

SATAN THE GREAT DECEIVER

  In this world of ours we are dealing with good and evil, God and the devil. There are lots of attacks going on right now in America against the Judeo Christian values this nation was founded upon. A government official who places their hand on the word of God to take the oath of office is often times making a mockery of it when he or she does not even believe in what it says. What we are in is spiritual warfare for sure.   Often times Satan is looked at as a little red guy with a pitchfork. Even some well meaning Christian parents dress their little children up on Halloween in devil costumes not thinking anything about it. Satan is real. Scripture says in 1 Peter 5:8 that we need to "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." Picture that, a roaring lion like most of us only see in a city zoo. They roar and tear things apart with their teeth and claws. That is how the enemy is described. He hates the children of God and wants us to be destroyed. He is at work overtime trying to get any mention of Jesus Christ out of these United States of America. Guess what? God is not going anywhere cause He is God.   Satan may use people to do his work who are captivated and deceived by Him because they do not know the truth. Proverbs 28:15 says "Like a roaring lion or a charging bear is a wicked man ruling over a helpless people." We need to be praying for evil wicked rulers as they are caught in Satan's grip to destroy and deceive mankind.  Ephesians 6:10-18 reminds us our struggle is not against man when it says "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."   John 10:10 says "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." The enemy Satan is that thief. He is a liar from the get go and has many schemes to trick people. James 4:7 reminds us to "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."   PRAYER: Father I know the enemy is real and would like nothing better than to destroy me and my family. I resist him firm in my faith. He has no hold over me as I am a child of the living king and covered by the blood of Jesus. I thank you for your protection from the fiery darts he tries to throw at me. In Jesus name. Amen.     Note: Once again I have added a link with an appropriate praise song. Be blessed as you listen. http://youtu.be/O4QOuGI3irI

Saturday, May 26, 2012

'SHELVE' SELF

  Do you ever feel sorry for yourself or throw yourself a humongous pity party where only you are in attendance? Usually it is as a result of thinking about yourself and your problems more than God. God made us special but often times we 'beat ourselves up' and do not understand why things are not going our way. It is usually due to the 'self monster' and not totally leaning on God and His word.   The Bible talks about dying to self(1 Corinthians 15:31). Dying to self could even be when we get easily offended and can not let things go. We perhaps are ultra sensitive and take any negative comment as a form of rejection when in fact it was probably not. If you have had bad experiences or been hurt in the past then you would tend to get  your defensives up. Love covers these offenses and love let's things go and moves on in life so as to not cause a breach in a relationship over something petty.   There have been perhaps some broken marriages where 'self' was first and not the spouse. When you marry your spouse, who ideally is your best friend,  they should be first place, after God of course. When you start demanding your own way and do not listen to both sides you can easily get into disagreements which can later turn into full scale battle if you do not stop it now and put God back on the throne. Do not allow anger or self centeredness to take a hold on you.   Phillipians 2:4 is a great verse for not only married couples but also friendships and it says "Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." When you start to assume and speculate things are wrong you start thinking of yourself again. Time to give God first place in your thoughts and you will not have time for the self pity and the chance of taking offense.   Being offended is a stronghold that has to be broken. Satan would love to take advantage of it. It has happened to me and I constantly have to battle it. I am thankful for God's redeeming power and understanding kind friends. If you deal with this being offended easily, ask God to help you conquer it and be set free from this stronghold. Romans 8:1 says "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." In Hebrews 12:15 it says "See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many." Bitterness and offense only lead to pain.   Where are you at today? Are you hurt by someone and can not seem to let it go? Give your hurt, pain, and rejection to God for He truly cares for you and can heal your wounded heart. Find a way to reach out to someone else and you will not be concentrating on yourself so much. Try to stay humble and give others credit where credit is due. Do not always be expecting someone to pat you on the back. And do things for others 'just because'.   PRAYER: Lord forgive me when I have had pity parties and taken offense at minor things. Help me learn to overlook things and keep your love in the forefront. I know Satan likes to divide relationships and cause quarrels and I will not allow him to cause me to be dwelling on my self all the time. Give me your strength to do this Lord. In Jesus name. Amen.   Click on link and it will  help you think more of Jesus than your problems. http://youtu.be/dsiDukXIeVY

Friday, May 25, 2012

DON'T FIXATE, SPECULATE, OR CONTEMPLATE!! MEDITATE!

What is on your mind today? Are you worried about something? The world is full of worriers and it is easy to fall into that trap if not careful. Giving your concerns and cares to the Lord sounds good but can we really, truly do it and make it happen on a regular basis? You can sit around speculating, contemplating, obsessing and fixating over some issue when really the real solution to this is to get on your knees in prayer and talk to God about what is bothering you. Scripture tells us in 1 Peter 5:7 to "Cast all your anxiety on Him for he cares for you". "But you don't get it. Don't you know what is going on? How can I just not think about bad stuff?" Once again you have to set your mind on things above.  Colossians 3:2 reminds us of this when it says "Set your mind on things above not earthly things."  Purpose in your heart to not let your mind 'go there' and to not dwell on bad or wrong thoughts.  Why have a steady 'diet' of bad news and things that bring fear. If the news is getting you fearful turn the channel. Make up your mind to put good and pleasant things into your head. Do not just constantly feed on negative things. Do not believe lies of the enemy trying to get you to  dwell on tragedy and doom. Bad thoughts are not 'God thoughts'.  Put on some praise and worship music to help lift you out of the pit of despair. Refuse to entertain thoughts of fear. Philippians  4:8 is a good verse to commit to memory and it says "whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just,whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and any anything praiseworthy,meditate on these things." Also Matthew 16:23 tells us "Get thee behind me Satan for you are not mindful of the things of God but of the things of men". Start today and let God transform your thinking. The only way you will ever achieve success with this is to stay in God's word daily and meditate on the scriptures. 2 Timothy 2:15 says " Study to show thyself approved, a workman that need not be ashamed and shooter toy handles the word of truth." PRAYER: Father I know how crucial,it is to develop the 'mind of Christ' and I know I can not do this unless I saturate my mind with things of Christ found in the word of God.  Help me daily to stop making excuses about why I do not have time for you Lord. Forgive me. Today I intend to start filling my mind with your word which I find in the Bible. In Jesus name. Amen. Click on link below and worship the Lord in song. http://youtu.be/GsjJmk7tdk4

Thursday, May 24, 2012

MIND TRIP

We think we have it all together and in control of wandering thoughts or concerns of the past then it happens. Our mind starts to go all directions pondering, reasoning, speculating, feeling guilt,  condemning, wondering. Guess what causes that? It is the great destroyer otherwise known as Satan. He wants to get your mind off of Jesus and onto your concerns. We can not let this happen. You have  to gain control of the thoughts that come into head. Romans 12:2 is a superb verse to memorize and it says "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."   Transformation takes a deliberate action of casting off wrong defeating condemning thoughts.   The TV show 'Saturday Night Live' had a sketch several years ago with comic Dana Carvey playing a character called 'Church Lady' who basically blamed everything on Satan by saying "Was it Satan" or "could  it be Satan?" Yes in fact it could be and is because the enemy is the great tormentor, accuser of the brethren, deceiver, destroyer, liar and peace stealer. He can makes mothers feel guilty when their children choose a different path than from which they were raised doubting they were even good mothers.  He can make employees wonder if they chose the right career path when things do not go well. He can put thoughts of hate in your heart towards  those that hurt you. He can make you wonder why your child died when you did everything the Bible said. He can make you dwell on your mistakes of the past. You can not allow this to happen. Capture those wrong thoughts and replace them with God thinking.  John 10:10 says "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."  Satan is that thief and he has not right bothering a child of God and putting garbage into your head. Resist Him!  Another key verse of scripture which is 2 Corinthians 10:5 and  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." Take thoughts captive. Combat the wrong thinking God's thinking which is found in pages of scripture. Proverbs 23:7 reminds us that "how a man thinks in his heart so is he."   What is filling your mind? Is it God's word or the newspaper? God's word or soap operas? God's word or a bad stock report? God's word or movie star magazines? You get the idea. You can not dwell on worldly things too long without starting to have them saturate mind.  Start today to develop the mind of Christ by reading and  knowing his word. PRAYER: Father I purpose this day to start thinking God thoughts are  not the world's thoughts. Forgive me for knowing about world news more than knowing about you. I chooses to discipline myself to start today to read your word and be set free from a mind that is against God. in Jesus name. Amen. Click on link and worship the Lord in song. http://youtu.be/JU4U8_wMdRs

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

HOUSE GUESTS. FRIEND OR FOE?






There are those people out there who love  to entertain and do not mind an unexpected guest dropping by and then there are another group stressed our and worried about their house and their food. Which group do you fall into to?

You may recall the story about Mary and Martha in the Bible in Luke 10:38-42 which says "As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worriedand upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

People are not looking for dust bunnies and things out of place. The best thing is just be hospitable. The difference in hospitality and entertaining, according to my definition, is that hospitality will say "come on in and throw on a hot dog" and entertaining frets for weeks and has to be perfect with nothing in disarray. Almost  everything has to be 100 percent in place and don't forget to get out the fine china. Which place are you more  relaxed in?

Proverbs 15:17 says " Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf where there is and hatred."

Your home is a gift from God. You should be a good steward of it and keep it clean and ideally use it to have both friends and strangers over. Use it for God's glory.

Hebrews 13:2 reminds us "





Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.


PRAYER: Father I give to you any concerns over inviting people not my home. I know you want me to share and to bring people in for comfort and maybe food. Help me to get over any fears of worrying what people think and to find a friend to invite over. In Jesus name. Amen.


Reading  Suggestion: a book I read back in the late 70's should be available through Amazon and it is called ' Open Heart, Open Home' by Karen Burton Mains.



















Tuesday, May 22, 2012

CHILL OUT!


Ever just wanted to speak your mind, get the last word in, or justify your position? We want to win or to be on top but is that always best? Sometimes the best solution is to give it up and let things go. Do not assume your way is always right or the only way and be willing to listen to others and not always try to be in control. This takes slowing down and being humble.
The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 5:7 that we should " Cast all our care on Him for He cares for you."

 Being  frantic is the opposite of being peaceful so you have to purpose in your heart that you will  let God  have  the controls and try to calm down. Fretting only leads to worry and stress. Isaiah 30:15 says " in quietness and confidence is your strength."   When you rush and are concerned you have taken any control away from God. You will not be able to maintain peace. Psalm 46:10 tells us "Be still and know that I am God". Are you able to be still and turn things over to God?

It is your choice. Choose to relax in the presence of God and not let everything get to you or choose to keep worrying and thus never having peace.

PRAYER: Lord I need you in my life at all times. Many times I want to assume control,and become frantic. I know this is not your plan for your children to be scurrying about with unnecessary concerns. I choose to give you my burdens. In Jesus name. Amen!

Click on link for a song of worship and praise. Be blessed.
http://youtu.be/PFZyT2fEK3I

Monday, May 21, 2012

CHURCH ACT


Have you ever given any thought to how many people on Sunday enter the door of the church with phony faces smiling answering the question " How are you" with the standard answer " Oh fine" which maybe is true but really I wonder how many really ache inside? The church is supposed to be a comfort zone of sorts for hurting souls and a place where you can go if you are tired and weary and get strength for your soul. There may be families who have argued up until the time they emerge from their vehicle to enter the sanctuary and once inside out come those smiling faces. Perhaps you are hurting because of a problem in a relationship or you have just heard bad news but you dare not go inside while you are crying, as 'what would someone think'. Also how many I wonder have choked back the tears when really they should have gone to the altar to pray.

Why are we afraid to be honest? Churches are supposed to help us grow in Christ yes, but they are also a place for weary, broken, beat down, hurt, worn out souls who have come to simply to release their burdens and pain and receive help and hope. Church is not just a bunch of people in suits and dresses singing 'Kum Bay ya' but is a 'sanctuary' of rest for the  downtrodden. It is more than a social club.

In Matthew 9:12 it speaks of those coming to Christ and says "It is not the healthy but the sick who need a physician". My but isn't that true? If you are not sick you do not pay to go to a doctor and we are all hurting people in some sense and need Jesus 'The Great Physician' to comfort and heal us.
Some may be afraid to share their hurts in church as many churches may judge or condemn or 'shoot their wounded' so to speak. The body of Christ is supposed to show love, mercy, and forgiveness not condemn and ridicule. You know the verse in John 8:7 where Jesus speaks to the people condemning the woman caught in adultery and he says " Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." If you are in a judgmental church find one that shows God's mercy and hope for the healing.

Romans 3:23 says "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God". All means all. Big sin, little sin, it is all sin to God. You there pointing your finger, try showing Christ's love instead. Smile as you never know how that may brighten a person's day who is carrying a tremendous load. Give your cares to Jesus. He is always there, not judging, ready to listen.

Matthew 11:28 says "Come to me all you who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest".

PRAYER: Lord I thank you for the opportunity to worship weekly and the freedom we enjoy in America to do that. Help me not ever be guilty of judging someone by how they look and to remember there is no dress code  or certain 'look' on Sunday. Help me when I hurt to not be afraid to ask for prayer or help. In Jesus name. Amen.

Click link for a wonderful worship song.
http://youtu.be/SExJ9od-0zQ

Sunday, May 20, 2012

KINDNESS AND GENTLENESS


 Are there people in your life that 'push your buttons' so to speak? Probably the last thing you want to do is love them and be kind to them. Guess what ? That is what Jesus expects of us. Scripture tells us to forgive, love, be kind and basically to 'move on'. You might think that is a pretty tall order especially if someone has hurt you, hurt or killed a family member or friend, sued you, stolen from you and a host of other scenarios. Anger and revenge is not part of God's plan. It will not get you closer to Him.

I recall hearing a story once about a mother who prayed for her son's killer who was in prison and how this supernatural act later helped to lead this young man to the Lord. Taking revenge is not our job. We may feel we deserve a cash settlement when someone has killed or murdered (worst case scenario) but really in the big scheme of things we are to love these people trying to hurt you, with the love only Jesus can give.

What does it take to be kind? In Proverbs 31 the chapter most often referred to as 'The Virtuous Woman'  chapter, there is a verse in Proverbs 31:26 that says "When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness." Further in scripture it says in Ephesians 4:32 that we are to "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Are you able to be kind to everyone in your path? Concerning revenge, Proverbs 19:11 tells us "A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense." Just blow it off. Forget it. Lawyers will not like you very well if you do not want to go after every one that has done something bad to you. Matthew 6:14 reminds us "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you." The person may not even be around you but you can pray and say " God I forgive this person for hurting me".

Being nice when you do not feel like it takes some real discipline. You will be a kinder more peaceful person if you are able to just let things go. When you are treated poorly ,humanly speaking, you hurt and are angry. You need to ask God to give Him His love for people like only He can. Pray for your enemies too. It says that in the Bible in Matthew 5:44.

Kindness is one of the fruits of the spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22. Why not start today to make kindness a priority in your life. Little acts of simple kindness such as opening a door at a store for a stranger, taking a shopping cart back where it belongs or even picking up something in a store aisle you did not even drop. Perhaps motioning for a car to pull out ahead of you. Maybe letting someone go before you in line who has less items than you. But in your home you should be the kindest of all and think of ways to please and show love and kindness to those you love on a daily basis. Make it a priority and your life will be much better.

PRAYER: Father I choose to be kind and loving and not hateful and revengeful. I want to find ways to show kindness to those around me. Make me aware when I can do this. Help me Lord as I seek to know you better through your Holy Scriptures for it is only through daily reading and study I can expect to really be transformed and make kindness a regular part of my life. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

DON'T BE UGLY BACK




Does anyone ever do something mean, disrespectful, or ugly to you and you say to yourself, "I'll show them!?"  Humanly people can really get to us if we let them. But the godly response to someone being mean or ugly is to turn the other cheek and not repay evil for evil. If more people did this there would be a lot less court battles today and fewer broken homes as well. As a believer we are supposed to be different and not be reacting to things like people in the world. You are to be an example for the kingdom no matter where you are.

You can let the most minor things start to get you mad if you let them.Let's say for instance that your husband or wife takes off an article of clothing and inconsiderately just throws it in the middle of the floor. You would think any grown person taught by a half way decent mom would know the socks and other articles of clothes do not go in the middle of the floor, right? You can treat the person like a child and say "pick that up now" , or  "I'm not the maid" or you can simply let it go, pray, and pick it up without saying anything or rubbing it in their face. Pretty hard to do perhaps with an adult that needs to know better. You have a choice to make. Keep the argument going by making an issue of it or just letting it go. I say choose to give it up and move on and pray. Give it to God. Only He can make the other person change. No amount of scolding or nagging will.

Whatever is going on with someone mistreating you sometimes you have to be the bigger more mature person and choose to give it up. You can keep beating this to death, so to speak ,or move on and go get your Bible and read and pray. Of course Satan would love you to keep stoking the flames of an argumentative spirit that wants to be in control and wants to have your own way and sort of be the 'winner' of the little battle.

 If the person being ugly is a spouse, first of all, shame on them, and if a Christian spouse that is worse. You may want to lash back, but for husbands and wives two verses are vitally important the first being Ephesians 4:26 which tells us "In your anger do not sin and do not let the sun go down while you are still angry." Now you may be staying up a while but it is better than sleeping on the seam of the mattress or leaving the room. Also in James 1:19 it gives a bit of wisdom good in marriages and all relationships as well 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." This could apply while shopping if you get mad at an inconsiderate employee or even apply this at your own job.

For those of you applying this in a marriage situation and if you are a 'lone ranger' or in other words maybe the only one in the marriage who attempts to stay close to God  and  your spouse is still being ugly, restrain yourself from wanting to fight just pray to yourself instead and do not repay evil. This is in the Bible in both 1 Peter 3:9 and in Romans 12:17 where it tells us to not return evil. That is human nature to keep fighting and to get the last word but that kind of conduct does not please the Lord but Satan loves it.

So where are you today? Are you able to let things go and move on and move closer to God and away from this offense? I will leave you with this verse out of 1 Peter 3:11 which says " He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it."

PRAYER:Lord I confess to you I sometimes get upset when people are not acting nice and want to pay them back. I know for a believer that is not the correct response but it is to be kind and gracious and speak to others like I would want spoken to. Help me Lord as I seek to lead a life pleasing to you. In Jesus Name. Amen.



Let me leave you with a wonderful song of praise and worship to lift your spirits if you are feeling angry. Click on link below and worship the Lord.
http://youtu.be/Tg1erjHNfCE

Friday, May 18, 2012

OOPS! DID I SAY THAT?(OR GIVE ME SOME DUCT TAPE!)



 How many of us have been guilty of opening our mouth before thinking what we are really saying?  Or another scenario in today's email world of forwarding jokes and news is forwarding something 'newsworthy' before checking out the source? Ouch, now that is so embarrassing to be told you had just started a rumor in cyber space.

My blogging journey has had much to say about the tongue as it just seemed to have its' own mind sometimes. That little member of our body can really cause us much pain and sorrow if we do not think before we speak. It is written about much in the pages of scripture. I will highlight some today. Take time and read James Chapter 3 over and over til it gets into your memory as the entire thing is about the dangers of the 'tongue'.

The following are a few verses dealing with what we say:

Proverbs 21:23 tells us "whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble."

Ephesians 4:29 says " Let no corrupt communication come out of your mouth, but only such that is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those that hear."

Proverbs 12:18 says "There is one whose day words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."

Proverbs 15:1 says " A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."

Psalm 34:13 says " Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit."

James 1:26 says "If anyone thinks he is religious and ones not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless."

Psalm 141:3 says "Set a guard oh Lord, over my mouth, keep watch over the door of my lips."

Ecclesiastes 3:7 says "a time to tear and a time to sew, a time to keep silence and a time to speak."

Psalm 19:14 says " Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy site oh Lord my strength and my redeemer."

James 1:19 says "everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry."

So there you have it. Read these verses over and over. Let them seep down into your very soul. Take what they say seriously. In your day to day interactions at home on the phone with telemarketers or with family members, in the workplace, or in the marketplace let your speech be gracious and reflect Christ. Let what you say bring glory to the Lord. Let your mouth daily  sing praises to the Lord.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for being able to speak and not being mute. Thank you Lord for the gift of vocal chords. What a nice creation is our voice and how wonderful it is to use our tongue to lift you up and not tear people down. Help me remember to do that. Convict me when I have hurt someone with my words and help me gain control over this area. In Jesus name. Amen.

Click on link below and worship the Lord in song.
http://youtu.be/iv68ruS6DVE

Thursday, May 17, 2012

SELF CONTROL...JUST DO IT OKAY?


Does anyone reading this have a self control problem? Let's say for instance in the area of eating. Do you eat too much and then are sorry about it and start to gain weight? Perhaps it is in talking. Is your problem perhaps with your mouth saying something when it would have better been left unsaid. Maybe it is in the area of discipline being able to do tasks you need to do such as cleaning house, finishing a project, doing homework or studies, or just getting to the gym to fit a daily workout in so your 'temple of God' (your body) stays in shape. Perhaps self control is required when driving so you do not into an instance of road rage. Whatever it is self control is vitally important for leading a happy, healthy, productive life.

What does the Bible  have to say about this area? 1 Peter 1:13 tells us "Therefore prepare your minds for action, be self controlled. Set your hope fully on the grace to be given to you when Christ is revealed." 1 Thessalonians 5:6 says " and then not let us be like others who are asleep, but let us be alert and self controlled."  Proverbs 25:28 says "a man without self control is like a city broken into and left without walls." Galatians 5:22-23 says "but the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control, against such things there is no law."  Proverbs 16:32 says "Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty. And he who rules his spirit better than he who takes a city." 1 Peter 4:7 says" the end of all things is at hand, therefore be self controlled and sober minded for the sake of your prayers."

There are many more verses but you get the idea. It is vitally important as a believer to set a good example and to get your self under control for your own good and to be an effective witness for the kingdom of God.

Falling under this same area would be the self control of disciplining yourself to not just squeeze Christ  into your day but to build your day around Him. Why not try it?

 PRAYER: Lord God I thank you for your love for me. When I mess up when I am out of control you are there ready to forgive and give me a second chance. If only humans were the same way. Help me Lord to have self control in every area of my life and give me the strength I need to cope with difficult situations in my life that may cause me to lose control. In Jesus name. Amen.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

INSPIRE OTHERS



The other day I was in a store and saw a garden flag with the message "Live By Inspiring Others To Fly" and it almost sounded like something you would give a school teacher at the end of the year. But really all of us who are in a mentoring role of some sort should be doing just that. By our actions we should  be inspiring others to reach for greatness. I know the 'Boys and Girls Clubs' do this for underprivileged youth and there are some famous success stories of those alumni inspired at their Boys and Girls Club one of which is movie actor Denzel Washington.

 If you are a parent you should each day be trying to instill in your young children the desire to 'reach for the stars' so to speak or to dream big. Do not settle for humdrum and mediocre but go beyond what you think you can. Each of us has a gift to share with the world. We do not have to be famous, rich, well educated or have some fancy title but whatever it is we should want to reach for greatness and do the best we can with the abilities and talents God has gifted us with. God has given us each gifts and we should dream big.

Star Parker is the founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, and she tries to help people get out of the Housing  Projects and off the government dependency on welfare. She knows what she is talking about because she was on what I believe she refers to as  'the government plantation' as a child and knows all people can do better if they try and really want to. You feel better about yourself when you do things yourself and do not think the government has to take care of you. Don't let someone tell you what you can't do but tell them what you can do! Another wonderful story of perseverance and not giving up is the story of  the 30 year old professional bartender who people said was 'too old to play football' but who went to an open tryout and made the Philadelphia Eagles at age 30 in 1976.He was a long shot,  but Vince Papale, proved them wrong. His  story is chronicled in the Hollywood movie 'Invincible'(2006).

Philippians 4:13 is one of my favorite verses and it says "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength" and indeed we can in fact do this. Isaiah 40:31 is a motivational verse and it reads "but those who hope   in the Lord
will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,  they will walk and not be faint."

Are you reaching for high goals or do you just settle for where you are in life? Don't start saying "I am too old". I say "bah humbug" to that. You can do what you want to do if you really want to do it. Do not make excuses.Do not listen to the lies of the enemy who will try to get you discouraged and make you feel unimportant. You are important to God and have a gift to share with others. He has a plan for you. Jeremiah 29:11 is a familiar verse I have referenced before in devotions and it says
"For I know the plans   I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper   you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." There really is a hope and a future for those who look to the Lord for their guidance daily.

1 Corinthians 10:31 reminds us "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." Do you seek to bring glory to the Lord in your daily activities? Do you reach out to others and try to be the salt and light spoken of in the Bible?

Seek to not only to inspire but to motivate and lift up Jesus name in all you do and to reach out to others not so fortunate and make an impact on their lives. This is a sure cure for those feeling unworthy. When you stop pitying yourself you can see there are many hurting people who would like someone to just talk to or someone to help them. Now go out and be inspired and inspire those around you .

PRAYER: Father your love lifts me up and I  know you have a great plan for my life. Help me to seek dreams and never give up. In Jesus name. Amen.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

HELP ME LORD I CAN NOT SHUT MY MOUTH




In the book of James, Chapter 3, it says "no man can tame the tongue" and how true that is. Our mouth and our brain sometimes need to try to work together harder so we stop saying things we will regret later or say something that hurts or causes a misunderstanding. This chapter in James is worth sitting down and reading. It has so much wisdom. If only we could think before we speak of how what we are about to say will affect the hearer and so much less would remain unsaid. So many times we can become impulsive or overreact and wish about fifteen minutes later that we had not spoken. This happens over email as well. You react to something and then it is too late. You only pray the recipient is a merciful kind person and understands people make errors in judgement. I am thankful for forgiveness cause I have sure needed it many times, how about you?

In the Navy they had a saying 'loose lips sink ships' which can apply military wide when a servicemember discloses things to civilians or even others in the military who did not have a 'need to know' and caused great havoc. Be careful what you say and who you say it to. Be the kind of friend that can be trusted with a secret. But do not let these 'secrets' be in the form of gossip as God frowns upon that too. When you speak try to do it with grace and wisdom. You know the saying "If you can not say something good don't say anything at all?" Well how true that is isn't it? If we are quick with our mouth we can ruin and mess up alot of things and end up apologizing all over ourselves for our stupidity and lack of thinking.

Also be careful to not use your mouth for profanity or taking the Lord's name in vain. Your tongue should be a source of good and not evil. What comes out of it should build up not tear down. It should praise others and not belittle them.

Colossians 4:6 says "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."  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 think you always have to get your opinion in or you may regret it later.

Start today to let your speech reflect the glory of God and really try to think about what you are saying before it pops out of your mouth then you will have allot less stress in your life.

Psalm 19:4 says "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer."


PRAYER: Father often times I am hasty with my words without thinking and I need your help to overcome this Lord. Also Lord if I ever say anything unkind about a person forgive me for I am not the judge and am supposed to show love. Give me control over my tongue and help anyone I have hurt forgive me and help me forgive those who have uttered things without thinking and hurt me. In Jesus Name. Amen.


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

Monday, May 14, 2012

HE DIED SO YOU COULD FORGET HIM! NOT!!

How much thought to you give to being a Christian and living for Jesus each day? Does it even cross your mind or do you wait till that one golden hour on Sunday to crack out the Bible and head for your place of worship? Do you even care about Jesus and what he did for you? Do you simply coast through your day to day life without thanking God for all the blessings he has bestowed in your life? If you are blessed to live in the United States do you take your First Amendment rights of Freedom of Religion for granted? Do you think of Jesus only in time of a tragedy such as during 911? Do you treat others like Christ would treat them? Really?

There was a small book 'My Heart, Christs' Home' by Robert Boyd Munger which I saw several years ago about meeting with Jesus in the various rooms of your home. It said if He visited you in your family room, and He is there with you, would you have to put away certain reading material and get the Bible out instead. Would you maybe have to turn the TV channel before He came in the room? Or perhaps put different clothes on? This little book went through each and  every room with similar illustrations. This book makes a good point and that is that the Lord is with you and loves you whether you give Him the time of day or not.

 How easy it is to flip on the television and zone out but make little or no time in your day for God. Look what Jesus did for you! He died so you might live! He paid the ultimate sacrifice. He does not demand you love Him but it says in Matthew 11:28 "Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." He loves you even when totally ignore Him or forget to thank Him for all the blessings in your life. He loves you despite the fact the only prayer you may utter is "Thank you for my food.Amen". If you treated your spouse the way some people treat our Lord and saviour your marriage may not last long. To know Him you need to spend time with Him.

What is stopping you from wanting to be closer to the Lord?

PRAYER: Father forgive me when I have given you little if any time during my busy days. Forgive me for simply checking off my obligation to attend church then living like I want to the rest of the week. Forgive me for not thanking you for all the wonderful things you have done for me. Forgive me for taking my Bible for granted as evil forces always would like to make it illegal. Lord I love you and thank you for what you have done for me. In Jesus name.Amen.

 Click on link for a song of worship and praise.
http://youtu.be/Aq8P5i9U7-g

Sunday, May 13, 2012

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY WORLD!



Today we celebrate Mothers! Some of us, like yours truly, are blessed to still have a living mother. Moms are special and important first of all because of the obvious. They gave us life. Without that we would not be here. Mothers should be honored and respected each day of the year and not just wait till this special holiday to celebrate them.

The most special of all mothers mentioned in the Bible of course is Mary the mother of Jesus. Imagine back in her day being pregnant and unmarried and how the townspeople probably gossiped. Sure we know she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit but the people probably said "Yeah right Mary!" Even today some probably can tend to turn up their noses at those pregnant and unmarried but God can restore and redeem and it is a good thing that life is being carried and not aborted. Marriage of course is the way God intended for children to be raised with a mom and a dad but regardless, each child is a tremendous gift from God who has a special purpose.(See Psalm 139).

Mothers out there your role is a very special one. You get to 'raise leaders for the future' I used to say when someone maybe mocked me for staying home instead of 'using my degree'. My husband honored me with my own 'Stay Home Mom' business card so when asked what I did to stay busy or did I work I could give my card to them. He even wrote me a job description of all the duties I performed and the list was quite extensive and included such things as social coordinator, cook, laundress, business manager, physical trainer, etc. Men out there whose wives have chosen the honorable profession of being at home why not get your wife her own business card?

In addition several years later since I was a military veteran he got together with another of our military couple friends and had a 'mock awards' ceremony where he presented me with a homemade 'Legion of Service' award complete with 'military orders' .  It was so cool. Sometimes when we give up a second income and we choose to stay home and see career women out there who look like their lives are so much more fun,fulfilling, and glamorous, we made need a boost of esteem to keep us going.

Now I am not putting down career women here, as some are probably reading this right now, but I am saying for me this was the best decision I did and I  had the full support of my husband to be a total stay home mom for several years. That does not mean every thing turns out perfect but you are there for them instead of  a stranger. It is pretty important in my humble opinion.

 So take today to say thanks to your mom for all her sacrifices for you and all the things she did to get you where you are today. Some are not fortunate to have moms. Many are from broken homes, they maybe were unwanted and abused, or perhaps their mom is deceased, so if yours is around do something special for her. Another very sad scenario on this day are the moms who have had children die way too young and  I know several. My heart goes out to you and pray God will bring you comfort as only he can.

"Honor your father and your mother that your days may be long upon the earth the Lord thy God has given you." ( Exodus 20:12).  If your mom has hurt you forgive her even if she is not around. You can not have true peace and fellowship with God until you do this.

PRAYER: Thank you for the gift of motherhood. Thank you for our mothers Lord. Comfort those who have never been able to have children and be with those who have lost children. Help we mothers of adults learn to let go and be quiet. Give wisdom to mothers of all ages.  In Jesus name. Amen.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

DON'T WILT

A few days ago there were a couple tomato plants at my home we intended to plant in the garden but we forgot and they looked nearly dead.  They had been totally forgotten and had received no water. Basically they looked pretty far gone. This was seemingly a waste of money to now see them shriveled up and wilting. I immediately dug a couple of  holes in the garden and popped them in the ground giving them a big 'drink of life giving water' . A couple hours went by and they had sprung back to life!! It made me think of how water sustains life in both humans, animals and plants and also how the word of God sustains Christians. The Bible will only keep you from 'wilting' if you actually read it and apply it though. If you go too long without studying God's word, the Bible, you too will get spiritually 'wilted'. You need the 'nourishment' of God's or in other words you need to 'feed' or better yet 'feast' on the word of God. Only through knowledge of the Bible do we know the truth and are able to combat the lies and deception of Satan.   How about you? Are you wilted and almost dead or thriving each day for The kingdom of God? Be honest with yourself. I am not asking if go to church, are a member of a church or are baptized, but do you love Jesus enough to want to get to know him better and seek him daily and not as an afterthought when you fall into bed after giving maybe three to four hours that evening to meaningless television? Being 'religious' does not mean you love and serve Jesus. As a matter of fact sometimes it is a hindrance.    John 15:1-7 says “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you.No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you."  Why not start today making sure nothing else squeezes getting to know Jesus through his word out of your day. You do not want to be wilted do you?  PRAYER: We are so blessed in America to have freedom to worship God openly and read our Bible openly yet many do not even pick it up except maybe on Sunday. Many people live in countries where the Bible can get your killed or arrested. We have it so good yet we ignore you and your word except if in crisis.Lord forgive us for being complacent and and not reading the Bible  which we are blessed to own. In Jesus name Amen.   Click on link and be blessed by a song of worship: http://youtu.be/RNkwbEwA-DY

Friday, May 11, 2012

WE ALL HAVE MESSED UP



Yes it is true. Even the seemingly most perfect individual on earth has messed up in some way one time or another. Remember only Jesus is perfect. You there in your 'holy huddle' thinking you are so wonderful as you trot off to church each week. Do you live for Christ when you exit the church doors or do you start gossiping, judging, backbiting, condemning, fault finding and all the rest? What good did church even do for you other than punch your religious obligation card if you act like a creature of the world when you leave?

We humans can be good at judging. Maybe it makes us feel better about ourselves but all of us have some sort of junk in our lives. No matter what it is God can restore, redeem, and rebuild a broken life. He is the God of restoration and second chances.The story is not over yet . He does not throw you out on a garbage pile and say "Well you did a horrible thing. Shame on you!" That is what Satan wants you to feel. Satan will condemn you and lie to you. But God loves you no matter what. He is standing with his arms open wide and saying "Come child". Matthew 11:28 tells us "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

1 Corinthians 6:11 says "And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." God can heal broken lives and put the pieces back together  no matter what it is you have done. When you are at your lowest point and the world will not show mercy Gods' grace and mercy are there. You are not worthless and God has a plan for your life and He uses both the good and the bad to get you to where he wants you.  So when humans get in your face and judge you just say to yourself "I am redeemed, I am set free, I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus" and finally "No weapon formed against me shall prosper".  (Isaiah 54:17).

PRAYER: Father I thank you for loving me and forgiving me when I have fallen short and messed up. Help me to not listen to the lies of the enemy when he tries to bring condemnation and guilt upon me. Father you have come into my life and set me free and for that I thank you. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Click on link and be blessed with a song of praise and worship.
http://youtu.be/ycknXVDCYQ0

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I CHANGE NOT


I do not know about you but most folks do not like change. Computer programs change and often we are used to things and rebel against this. A major social network site is forcing people to go to their new format. Many, such as myself, hold out til absolute last minute, as fearing having to re-learn things. Film goes away and into the world of digital cameras we are thrust.

Change is probably a good thing though in some ways. Just think had changes not occurred we may be traveling on horses or reading by candlelight.Television shows change, talk show hosts change such as in case of Johnny Carson and now we have Jay Leno. Styles change, thank goodness for that we folks in 70's and 80's can attest to. Friends change depending on where you live and move. Interests change as we grow. Names of businesses change or big well known things such as Sears Tower change name since it is now Willis Tower. Changes can be confusing.

At times change makes us mad and we wonder why can't they leave things the way they were. But if we do not change we never move, grow, and progress. Can you imagine if we still were riding in covered wagons like in cowboy days? Or maybe the idea of no interstates highway say system and all of us would be on dirt roads? So you see sometimes change is a good thing. Now there is also the saying "If it is not broken do not fix it" which has some merit as well.


One thing about God and his word is that He never changes. Hebrews 13:6 says "Jesus Christ is the same today, yesterday and forever." The word of God is the same yesterday,today, yes forever. It does not get edited to suit the culture.

In Malachi 3:6 it says " I am the Lord and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed." Psalm 102:27 says "But You are the same and your years will have no end." James 1:17 tells us "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows."

I do not know about you but I am glad God does not change. Certain people may change and tend to exhibit 'Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde' syndrome where you never know who to expect. I am sure glad our Father in heaven is the same yesterday, today, yes and forever and we do not have to worry what type of personality we will be facing when we pray to him each day.



PRAYER: Father thank you for being a God who never changes. Thank you that we can depend on you and trust you. Thank you for always being there to hear our prayers. Thank you for your word which is power and truth for now and forever. In Jesus name. Amen

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

STAY AMAZED

Have you ever pondered the different inventions that make life wonderful? The telephone for instance and how nice and how awesome and remarkable it is that a voice can travel over airwaves. Or a color picture on television? We thought Polaroid cameras were neat in my high school days when in one minute we could see an instant picture but how about todays digital photos? How cool is all this? A refrigerator that keeps food cold and a freezer that stores ice cream is another marvel. How about flying on a jet that gets you from Los Angeles to New York City in 5 hours?  Even email is such a wonder.  This list is endless. Do you take those marvels invented by mankind for granted? I hope not. God inspired many talented people to create things we could not even imagine hundreds of years ago. God gives the mind to create and discover. It is truly amazing! But what is more amazing? Inventions are pretty terrific but what about the whole of God's creation? This past week on Saturday night we experienced what was called 'the super moon' and people were in awe of its huge size. God is pretty great isn't he? He is the creator of lots of amazing things. Many scientists try to discount God saying how dinosaurs were here roaming the earth billions of years ago and that we came about as a result of 'The Big Bang Theory'. I saw a humorous bumper sticker in my church parking lot recently which read "The Big Bang Theory: God Spoke and Bang It Happened". Now that puts it in a nutshell I would say. If you are ever in the Cincinnati area I urge you to tour the Creation Museum just across the river in Northern Kentucky. This museum literally brings the Bible and Gods' creation to life before your very eyes. Check out www.creationmuseum.org for information. God is the maker of all things. The earth and the fullness thereof it says in Psalm 24:1. It is wonderful to see mountains, seashore, waterfalls, beautiful flowers, chirping birds, newborn babies, exotic animals and even our cute little pets at home. God sure did a terrific job with all of it, but then why wouldn't He as He is God. Genesis 1:1 says " In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." He did and He said "It is good!" and he was right. Stop today to be amazed at the little things around you. PRAYER: Lord you are good and your creation is amazing. Help me never tke for granted the simple joys of life that are all around us. In Jesus name. Amen!  Click on link for an awesome worship song. http://youtu.be/0xwzItqYmII

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

YOU ARE ACCEPTED AND LOVED BY GOD




Do you ever feel like you do not matter and what on earth is your purpose? Do you look at others and they seem to be leading fulfilling lives but yours seems so little and wasted? That is negative thinking first of all and you need to start thinking good and positive and hopeful things. God is not the God of gloominess but is the God of hope. And you need to try to learn to be content and stop wishing for someone elses life. Philippians 4:11 tells us to " ...be content regardless of our circumstances."

Jesus loves you this I know for my Bible tells me so. You may have humans who treat you poorly but it doesn't matter because God loves you. For those people who do not act kind to you try to move on and stay focused on good things and the future and hope you are promised in Jeremiah 29:11. Do not put people on an enemies list but try to love even those who mistreat you. Even the latest thing in our techy world are those who do not want to be a facebook friend with you for whatever reason. Move on and give it to God. That is minor stuff in the big scheme of things anyway.

Just know God did not make a mistake when he created you. Psalm 139:13 says " ...He knit you together in your mother's womb." Picture that. No matter how you were born he knew you were coming. Take time and read all 24 verses in Psalm 139 and be inspired and blessed.

Start today and thank God for where he has you in life. Thank Him for loving you just the way you are. More important stop thinking you have no purpose because you do!!

PRAYER: Lord I thank you for seeing to it that I was born into this world. I thank you for your caring love for me and for your plan for my life. Help me not waste the talents you have given me. Help me remember it is the enemy who tries to get me feeling 'little' but I know to you I am very special. In Jesus name. Amen.

Monday, May 7, 2012

I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME




This is a very familiar verse to many and ranks up there as one of my all time favorites. It has special meaning to me. This is found in Philippians 4:13. When I have had  trouble getting through certain things I claim this verse. 28 years ago in June this was the verse I used as my 'focal point' in the birthing room at Lyster Army Hospital at Ft Rucker, Alabama when I was getting prepared to have precious baby number two. Without drugs to kill pain, I would look at this verse, which I had copied and hung up on the wall, and  would sometimes scream out "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!"  But then I would also scream out, "Drugs, I want drugs" as the pain of natural childbirth was so intense. My husband, not in pain,would say "Read your verse" and I did. The nurses would say "you don't want your baby to be sleepy do you?" So on I marched like a good little trooper claiming this verse and it indeed did help.Seems comical now but I knew God would see my through the pain of childbirth. He can see you through any thing you have to deal with too.

 Whatever it is in life you are going through, Christ can help get you to the other side of the difficulty. There is always light at the end of the tunnel or a rainbow on the horizon. Do not get discouraged because God will be your comfort, strength and deliverer.
In 2 Chronicles 20:12 it says "Oh our God will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast Army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do but our eyes are upon you."  Do you ever feel like that where in desperation you just do not see how things will possibly get better? Some, sad to say, take their own lives,when they feel there is no way out. There is a way out and His name is Jesus.

Psalm 25:15 says "My eyes are ever on the Lord for only he will release my feet from the snare." What is bothering you today or weighing you down? Do you feel God can not possibly love you for what you have done in the past? The good news is God does love you and can set you free and forget your sins and remember them no more. He can give you a life of victory. Maybe after you have emerged from your struggle you can be instrumental in helping others get freedom!


Psalm 103:15 tells us "As far as the East is from the West ,so far has He removed our transgressions from us". Isn't that great news! Go now and walk in victory and God's strength to see you through.

PRAYER: Lord I know no matter what I am going through you ate there to carry me over the hump. When friends run out and don't care you always care. Thank you for freedom in Christ. In Jesus name. Amen!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

THREE MINUTES PER WEEK


How often do you pick up your Bible, open it, and read it? Many people find the Bible is a nice historical book or perhaps a nice coffee table decoration but for  the Bible to be a useful tool it has to be opened, read, and studied. Seemingly many people may only read the Bible a mere 3 minutes each week. By  this I mean that in church when the verses are flashed upon a screen or the minister says to  open your Bible and read, many do at that time, but how many actually continue reading each of the other days and even remember what was read? The mentality is it is something to do only in church. Other than that there is no interest or desire to even open it. Maybe some feel it is intimidating and do not know where to start. It is in the Bible where we have the power to defeat the enemy so we have to get into the word to know how to do this.

Satan would love to distract you and keep you too busy or making excuses for why you don't take time each day to spend time in the Bible. If you start getting serious about getting to know God through his word Satan will shudder. In the word are many ways to defeat him and cast him down. You are no threat to him if you are ignorant of the word and ill equipped to do spiritual warfare.
2 Timothy 2:15 says "Do yourself to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman that needs not be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth."  Psalm 119:11 says "Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against you." Psalm 119:105 reminds us that "your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto thy path."

Without  knowledge of God's word we go into our world weak and powerless to shield ourselves from those fiery darts Satan is sure to fling at us daily. Why not start this week to give God more than 3 minutes? You give the news a half hour, the paper about a half hour, morning shows an hour so why can't you give God quality time? Think about it then make some changes. Your spiritual growth depends on it.

PRAYER: Lord I thank you for the truth in your word that lights my path daily. Forgive for the days I have put other things before you or have not talked to you at all. I purpose to out you first. In Jesus name. Amen.

Click link below to enjoy a great song of worship.
http://youtu.be/F0M0NALW7EM

TODAYS ASSIGNMENT: Read John Chapter 1 in the New Testament

Saturday, May 5, 2012

'STRUGGLERS' AND SINNERS




 Look around you.  Are you visibly able to tell who has just had an abortion, or maybe gone through chemo, been in  jail, or perhaps stolen office supplies? Not really right? 'Sinners' and 'strugglers' are amongst us and we are some of them. Our job is to love people and not judge and condemn. That is how you win people to Christ by having the attitude such as Jesus did in John 8:11 when he told woman caught in act of adultery "Go and sin no more".

There are all sorts of problems going on in people's lives around us we are unaware of. I sit here in a coffee shop writing and look around me and have no idea what people have been through or are going through. Court battles raging, miscarriages, pregnant and unmarried, people being sued, those who have been incarcerated, betrayed and hurting people, lost jobs, death in the family, cheated on a test, addicted to porn, an alcoholic, lied, sick, lonely, hurting, worn out people beat down by the situations of life yet if you ask someone how they are doing the usual answer is "fine". Oh really? Why do we answer like that when you really might feel as if you could burst out in tears?

1 Peter 5:7 tells us to "Cast all your anxiety on Him for He cares for you." It is Satan who tries to get you feeling hopeless and discouraged. When that feeling comes on you think of all the good things there are about your life to be thankful for. Matthew 11:28 reminds us to "Come to me all you who are burdened and heavy laden and I will give you rest." Oh to rest with Christ and to truly give Him your load, how wonderful it would be!

The point is, there is hurt out there all around you so why not try to first of all not think of our own problems for a while and see what you can do to brighten someones day around you? That simple smile will work wonders.

 Just remember everyone has struggled and we all have been sinners. The good news is God can set us free to live a life of freedom in him. All of us have struggled at one time or another and all of us have sinned. It says this in Romans 3:23. Now remember we are not supposed to purposely sin if we know better but God will forgive.  Only blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is not forgiven. James 4:17 says "Anyone then who knows the good  he ought to do and does not do it sins."  Be on your guard about  trying to categorize sin, because there is no such thing. And careful telling others they are wrong as you have three fingers pointing back at yourself.

So as you go about your day today if you are down keep your thoughts on Jesus and also remember there are many around you going through tough times. Go out and be a light in a dark world.

PRAYER: Lord you came to set the captives free. All of us have been through hurt and pain Lord. Thank you for setting me free or how you are going to set me free. I will resist Satan and he has to leave me alone. In Jesus name. Amen.
Click on link to worship the Lord in song.
http://youtu.be/zASHA-9WhHY

Friday, May 4, 2012

GIVE IT UP AND LET IT GO

Have you ever had a situation where a friend hurt you? Perhaps you had a misunderstanding and tried to get back into this persons life but they wanted nothing to do with you. They say they forgave you but do not want to ever hang out with you any more. You are supposed to 'shake the dust from your feet'  but it takes practice cause rejection hurts.   Maybe it was not a friend but a family member or spouse? That kind hurts worse sometimes.  What do you do? Do you keep stoking the argument that is brewing by debating back and forth or do you just simply let it go and move on? I  know what God would do. As hard as it is he would choose to move on, let it go and not try to win the battle so to speak. What good will it do? You need to pray for the person and try to let it go and go on with your life and your day.you may feel rejection but God still loves you.   Misunderstandings occur for  the stupidest reasons sometimes and once some words are 'out there' they can not be taken back and thus the conflicts begin. Oh Satan loves this human stuff of ours we get ourselves into. If only we could wind back the tape so to speak and start over. We sure do learn from our mistakes. If only the person would just hug you and forgive and move on like God wants them to. There is that big 'if only'. The Bible says in Romans 12:21 "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." As much as you may feel angry or hurt it is best to remember you are to love even those who do not love you. It is hard when someone snubs you, talks about you, makes fun of you, blocks you on Facebook or is just plain rude and ugly. Human nature wants to just tell them off. That is not the 'God way' to handle things. Relationship issues are a touchy thing. Luke 6:35 is a good verse to try to memorize for when hard times come and you feel so angry. It says "But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked." It is a process to be able to let hurt go. But love has to do that. Continuing to go on and on and debate things or reason them out in your head will get you nowhere. Maybe some of the folks who hurt you do not even realize it due to their selfish nature or they just do not care. Still you have to forgive and move on. Colossians 3:13 reminds us "Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." So there you have it. Do not nurse a hurt or a grudge but let it go and love people with the love of Jesus. Sometimes that is the only way. PRAYER: Father I know in the past I have nursed hurts and it got me no where. Certainly it did not get me closer to you. I truly want to love those who are unlovable so help me through you do this. In Jesus Name. Amen. Note: Once again I have added a praise song to help you get your morning started off right. Click on link below. http://youtu.be/hjrpfgJs6Tw   For a complete list of devotions go to www.godslemonadestand.blogspot.com

Thursday, May 3, 2012

BLESSED IS THE NATION WHO DOES NOT FORGET GOD




Today in the United States we observe National Day Of Prayer (www.nationaldayofprayer.org). It does not take a rocket scientist to know America is in trouble. For over 235 years we have followed Christian principles as set forth in the Bible.That is why our nation has been so prosperous because we have put Him first. History revisionists are trying to do all they can to plant seeds of doubt in the minds of people telling them another story of how America was founded but it is not true. We are a nation founded on God's word.

 As time went along people who were enemies to the cross of Christ tried to remove anything Christian from our nation. It is unbelievable the level we have sunk to. When prayer was removed from the public schools in  1963 the rest of our immoral slide is history, so to speak. You can not remove God and his word and expect to thrive as a nation. The Bible says in Psalm 33:12    "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He chose for His inheritance." It does not say that 'secular humanism' is our God.

We currently are in need of a great spiritual revival in this land. Satan would love nothing better than to destroy this great nations ideals and freedom we stand for. We live in a free society. We are  free to do what 'we the people' want but lately our government is trying to get 'too big for its britches', so to speak, and is trying to control and dominate the people and almost every facet of our lives.Many do not see it, as they are blinded or too busy to care to see it .We have lived 'dumb, fat, and happy' and never worried we were in danger of anything. There are those who scream "leave me alone and do not involved me in politics." The Bible never said that so I am not sure where people come up with that. We are to pray for this land and its' leaders. This is not a Democrat issue or a Republican issue but an issue all Christians should be on their knees about.

God does not intend for men to control and dominate us. That is what you have in a Communist or Marxist society. What we have here in these United States is rare and beautiful. Men and women fought and died to give us these freedoms. This domineering of the people was not the  Founder's intent either.  Our own Constitution is being used against the people yet nothing is being done about it. Tyrannical governments do not like God or do not like freedom. They want to be 'god' themselves.

Galatians 1:8 says "Let God's curses fall on anyone , including myself, who preaches any other way to be saved than the one we told you about, yes if an angel comes from heaven and preaches any other message let him be forever cursed."  Right now there is actually a secular humanist in Congress who declared today also 'National Day of Reason' to counter our Christian prayers. Unbelievable in this Christian nation this occurred on the floor of the House of Representatives! We need to pray for this man and his misguided followers as they are enemies of the cross of Christ.

 Many who say they are 'not political' so do not bother them with this as they are too busy, will be surprised one day if we are taken over by a dictatorship. This is what National Day of Prayer is all about. It is about thanking God for the freedom we do enjoy and praying it will remain. Right now in America, or at least most of it, we are free to read our Bible and worship as we wish. When I say most of it, it is because on some college campuses nationwide there is a movement to have Christian clubs banned or not talk about Jesus. This is real and it is happening. We can not bury our heads in the proverbial sand. We have to pray and speak up. It is for all of us who value freedom to do so. We all should be 'Paul and Paulette Reveres'. The Freedom From Religion foundation has stuck their heads in nationwide to try to get prayer stopped at City Council meetings and sporitng events.

When a nation founded on Biblical principles and truth starts routinely lying and tricking the people, look out. We know God is in control but sometimes He might allow some of this stuff to occur to wake us up from our slumber, stupor, and mediocrity.

That US Flag does stand for freedom and freedom is very precious. The freedom to go where we want, buy what we want, talk on the phone, watch movies, go to the school we want, worship where we want, choose the doctor we want, buy the car we want, own property, and buy a house where we want to live to name but a few.

2 Chronicles 16:9 says that "For the eyes   of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish   thing, and from now on you will be at war." God is behind the scenes so to speak as He is in control but that is no reason to not pray and not be burdened for our nation. There is a battle between good and evil raging and Satan is out there roaming around trying to trick and deceive people into believing his lies. Psalm 84:10 says "Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked." The wicked are around us trying to remove God, the Bible and trying to get us to fail. We need to be on our knees and pray the name of Jesus will be lifted up and He will rule and reign on this earth and people's hearts will be turned back to Him!

One of my favorite verses says in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that "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." God may allow us to go through some hard times to get our attention. It is time for all of America to wake up and call out to God in prayer.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus I thank you for this nation which is so great because you are on the throne. Mere men may try to come and attempt to oust you but you are not going anywhere because it is your world. Lord God we pray for those men and women seeking to take down America that you will come into their hearts and turn them from evil to good and from the power of Satan to the power of God. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Click on link to enjoy Lee Greenwoods' God Bless The USA.
http://youtu.be/Q65KZIqay4E

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

GOD CAN TURN IT AROUND


 This past week, Watergate henchman and later Redeemed set free Christian, Charles Colson went to be with the Lord. Back during the Watergate scandal in the 70's you would have never thought of this man as leading a worldwide ministry but that is just what he did. He went to prison as a result of his dealings with Watergate but it was there at his lowest point that he saw his need for redemption and setting his life straight and became born again.  Once discharged from Prison he was instrumental in the founding of Prison Fellowship ministries.

 Ted Bundy, convicted rapist and killer of many young women back in the 70's, was an unsuspecting handsome law student, who no woman would have been scared to talk to. Due to his family background and exposure  to pornography  at an early age and later his full blown addiction to hard corn porn, he did not get 'enough' from the magazines and acted out things thus ending up a murderer and rapist. It was on death row in 1989 that Mr. Bundy requested an interview with then Focus on the Family founder and president Dr James Dobson. In this taped interview, later available on a DVD entitled 'Fatal Addiction', he spoke of his sorrow for what he had done and had since become a Christian but he also warned others  of the dangers of dabbling in pornography.

 By these two examples, which are pretty drastic, you can see that God can in fact use cracked and damaged material  to bring people into His kingdom. There are many examples in the Bible of vile people making a turn around as well, Saul to Paul, for instance.

Satan tries to plant lies in your head and say " well you are pretty crooked and wicked and look what you did back in high school or college." These are lies from the pit of hell. The Bible says  in 2 Peter 3:9 that "God does not wish any to perish but all to come to repentance." 1 Corinthians 3:11 reminds us "And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."   It is said "the ground is level at the foot of the cross" or in other words there are not 'degrees' of sin.

Jesus says in John 8:11 speaking to the woman caught in act of adultery "Go and sin no more." He doesn't say " oh my gosh, look what you have done you despicable piece of garbage."   No in fact he says to you and to me "Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest". ( See Matthew 11:28). Are you ready to accept his forgiveness and love?

PRAYER: Lord I am grateful for your undeserved mercy. Thank you for loving me even when I have turned my back on you by my actions. Father I desire to be a vessel used by you. In Jesus name. Amen.

Click on link for a wonderful song.
http://youtu.be/aX7ucgWlusY

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

CHANGE OF PLANS





This past Friday was something else. First I was about hit head on driving Highway 53 coming into Huntsville. Next I stopped for gas at Kroger and my  car would not restart. A kind gentleman tried to jump it with his jumper cables to no avail. So I waited for my insurance company tow truck service and purposed in my heart to get away from the bad attitude that was swiftly coming upon me.

 What could I do in the midst of this 'plan changer' to show Jesus' love there at the gas pump while waiting for a tow? Be kind and smile for one. At first all I wanted to do is cry. Next, try to  relax. I happened to have some fresh picked strawberries from my farm and since I apparently  could not give them to the person they were intended for since I was now 'stuck' , I decided to bless the female gas station attendant. Who knows, maybe she was having a crummy day and needed that. My attitude  stunk at first. I got mad at the driver who almost ran into me then got upset over my dilemma at the gas pump. So I had a decision.  I chose to let go and let God. In other words to 'Practice what I preach'  and so I did. It sure makes you feel better to remain joyful and not get mad at something you have no control over.

What do you do when life throws you a curve ball? All the best plans in the world are made then am unexpected illness comes, death, job loss, mechanical problem or something else happens. The day this occurred to me was the first anniversary of the killer F5 tornadoes in our area and my thoughts drifted to those people whose lives were totally in chaos that day one year ago. Their homes were gone, possessions destroyed or scattered who knows where and worse yet, many lost their lives.They had a 'new kind of normal' so the saying goes.You can choose to rant and rave and get your blood pressure up or you can choose to say "Lord I want to remain peaceful and let Jesus Love shine through me to those I come in contact with."

Jeremiah 29:11 speaks of plans when it says "For I know the plans   I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper   you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future". When it comes to not going crazy when things do not go as planned and choosing to pursue peace instead the Bible says in Isaiah 26:3 "You will keep him in perfect peace,Whose mind is stayed on You,Because he trusts in You". So in other words, trying to purposely not think bad thoughts or "woe is me" thoughts, or "why did this happen" thoughts is the best way to handle this.

Are you able to do this? Everyone has things happen that take us off guard and send life into a a tailspin. It is how we handle them that counts. Choose to look to Jesus for your strength. If you are in a situation similar to mine the other day or worse, say out loud from  Phillipians  4:13 "I can do all things through Him who gives me strength". Yes you can do all things through Christ. Believe it and have a good day!!

PRAYER: Lord help me when trouble comes my way to not act like the rest of the world and pitch a fit but to trust you to see me through my problem. Help me remember when others are watching if I name the name of Jesus I am a witness for you. I want to represent you in a positive light and show peace in the midst of chaos .In Jesus name. Amen.

Click on link below and worship the Lord in song.
http://youtu.be/31FuepQj-eo