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.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

MAYBE IT'S TIME TO REALLY PRAY?!

This is the third attempt to get this message out as I feel Satan did not want it out as previous two writings were not saved and both disappeared into cyber space. So once again I am attempting to recapture my thoughts although not the same as two first drafts. God has a plan. So here goes once more. The past two days' devotions have been about the state of our nation after the recent Supreme Court decision. Many I had talked to have been distraught, worried, angry, disappointed, felt betrayed and were scared of the future. Let's face it, many here in America have had  it way too good and many even in the church want nothing to do with 'politics'. I have had a couple Christians ask to not receive my devotions when I start talking about our nation and what is going on. First of all I am not mentioning a political party but am mentioning that the enemy has captivated human subjects to destroy the greatest nation on earth. There are those in 'holy huddles' who do not call Congress, get concerned about immorality, and think the church has no business speaking up for things blatantly against God's word that are being accepted by our own Government today. We have ignored God and his word so perhaps this a 'shaking' of sorts to wake us up. The Bible says in Galatians 6:7 "Do not be deceived. God can not be mocked. Whatever a man sows, that will he reap."  Let's say you see evil in the community around you and do nothing. So deal with it. Little by little in tiny 'baby steps' we cave in and are destroyed. We can not keep saying " God bless America" then live a sinful lifestyle lying, killing, deceiving, and hurting others. No matter what anyone says this is in fact a Christian nation. Look at the monuments in our nation's Capitol with scripture verses on them and our money that says "In God We Trust". We have God given freedom. Evil forces would like to take away this freedom and little by little while we live in our cushy homes going about our daily lives, a tyrannical leadership is trying to turn America into a country we will not want to live in or will not recognize. This is spiritual warfare. We are not to hate an evil ruler but to pray for him or her. We are told in 2 Chronicles 7:14 " 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." Do you take America for granted? Do you stop to thank the Lord for your daily blessings? Do you speak up against evils in society or are you desensitized by them? Do you pray for your leaders? Do you try to please Him in what you say and do?Above all do you pray? In Luke 18:1 it reminds us to "pray and NEVER give up". Luke 12:19-20 in talking to the rich fool "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy. Eat, drink, and be merry. You fool this very night your very soul will be required of you." Do you coast through life not bothered by the government trying to control everything you do? That is not the Founding Fathers intent. People have flocked to this great nation because of what we have to offer. Hard workers can go far. We have freedom and independence and with a creative mind you can go far. Think of East Germany and the Communistic regimes with total dominance over them. We here in this great nation are on the brink of financial and moral collapse. When you do not listen to God and follow His word what can you expect? It is not too late. God can save us and he can change hearts. When people have it good they tend to not need God. Satan would love nothing better than to destroy our country. We as a body of believers need to get out of our pews and start doing something. Above all, pray? PRAYER: Lord Jesus there is good and evil in our world. When we 'fall asleep' and become complacent evil can trick us and dominate us. We know Lord you can save us but we also know we need to make time for you in our day. You are high and lifted up Lord and I thank you for your word which gives comfort. In Jesus name. Amen.

Friday, June 29, 2012

WHO ME? WORRY?

Yesterday, 28 July 2012, was a day when most freedom loving Americans ended up in despair and worry when 5 Supreme Court justices, to include one conservative, decided the government knew more than the private sector and voted to uphold the encroaching 2700 page healthcare takeover bill. It is an oppressive law passed amidst lies, deceit, trickery and bribery. 'We The People' spoke up loud and clear yet were ignored as the government tried to take a major step in controlling our lives by controlling our healthcare. Sad to say many became fearful and worried. I was traveling, and when this decision was flashed over the televisions at the airport, I watched as deplaning passengers saw the news and most appeared in stunned disbelief. Most expected it to be struck down. One friend told me she was really worried. I told her and a gentleman on the plane that God was still in charge and had a plan in all this. Kings are not in charge. Dictators are not in charge. Presidents are not in charge. Judges are not in charge. Tyrants are not in charge. It is God who sits on the throne and gets the final say! Maybe this is what he allowed to happen to get our attention, who knows. If this law is not overturned,and this decision will be fought, doctors will be controlled by the government, insurance by the government, health care will be limited and rationed, taxes will go up to pay or it and on it goes. It is enough to give you an ulcer or headache if you allow it to. This  bill was never about free healthcare but about domination, destruction, and control of the American people and the economy. What happened to limited government? This current situation can get one frightened as we know what happens when governments get too much power. We need to be daily praying and seeking God. God is working behind the  scenes in all this chaos. He is not fretting, but knows we will make it. God knows the big picture. We may be angry, scared, and feel powerless but we are not. We still have prayer and God on our side. The Bible says in Romans 8:31 "If God be for us who can be against us."  Another verse of hope is in Psalm 56:11 which says "I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? I am not afraid of what mere mortals can do to me."  Don't lose hope. Have courage because the end of the story has not happened yet.  Your  worries will get you no where so let them go. In Matthew 6:27 says "which of you by worrying can add a single cubit to his life?" it is useless. Focus on God and His goodness instead. Psalm 27:13 reminds us "I am still confident of this, I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." PRAYER: Father help me trust in you and not fear a mere man. I know you delight in goodness and not evil so when freedoms you have given me are crushed and I am  oppressed it makes you sad.  Father God help me to be serious about praying for my country and it's leaders. Get rid of the oppressors who want to dominate us. Change their hearts from evil to good. Thank you that I have no fear because you are in fact walking beside me. In Jesus name. Amen. Further study: Psalm 37

Thursday, June 28, 2012

COMPLACENCY 101



 Freedoms of all sorts are being threatened in our wonderful nation today. You name the freedom and there is a plot of sorts or talk about the government running it and controlling us. When we sit back in our cushy homes, driving our fancy cars, eating out in nice restaurants, going out to plays and movies, and shopping at the mall it is hard to possibly fathom this could happen. But it can. Think of the Germany of World War 2. Enough said.

 Freedom is a gift from God. Even the freedom to worship God and read our Bibles out in the open is taken for granted I am sad to say. In many nations Christians have to smuggle the word of God in and risk death for saying the name of Jesus. You say, "that can't happen here" oh but it can. Especially those who enjoy the freedom to go to church each week should not be silent. You can speak up in love to your representative and voice your opinion and concern. On some college campuses today Christian clubs are being banned and the students First Amendment rights are being violated. You do not just sit there and expect someone else to call or write the letter. There is a saying "evil happens when good men do nothing."

 Other examples would be trying to get questionable pornographic magazines off the shelves of stores or at least require them to be behind the counter so innocent eyes do not gaze upon the nudity on the cover. Speak up when a hotel chain decides to not carry the Holy Bible which Gideon's places at no charge. Let your voice be heard when unacceptable things are on prime time television. Call a billboard company to protest a inappropriate billboard. I am sure you can think of many more examples.Sad to say many seem to get to the point immorality does not even seem to phase them. Seemingly we are so used to the junk on TV, in magazines, and at the movies that we become hypnotized and desensitized. It is time for all of us to wake up.I do not know if this verse applies or not but I still think it is good. I 'accidentally' came across it in my quiet time. In Isaiah 3:12 it says " O my people! Can't you see what fools your rulers are? Weak as women! Foolish as little children playing king. True leaders? No misleaders! Leading you down the garden path to destruction." Look to the Lord and look to him only.

 The latest buzzword is 'tolerance'. We are supposed to tolerate things that are against our beliefs but yet others seemingly want us to put up with things that go against what the Bible teaches. The latest push to normalize homosexual and lesbian behavior and marriage goes totally against the Bible. Yet this push to accept it and even force some ministers to marry same sex couples or be sued, is afoot. According to my Bible God never intended for two men to get married or two women. Others say" well they love each other so why not?" What is next, normalizing pedophilia? When Christians speak up, those on the opposing side throw around the word 'hate' and claim we hate those engaged in certain lifestyles. There is not hatred but there is immense concern. Keep in mind what Romans 3:23 says and that is " all have sinned and fallen short of God's glory." That  is right, all of us!! We are to show love and grace in all situations. And be careful to think you will never slip and fall so to speak because we are all born with a sin nature.

The point is, do not say getting involved or speaking up is someone elses job. It is sad when people become lethargic in a sense and just coast through life with hardly a care when things are not going that well around them. Many Christians simply go to church and get in their holy social circles and do nothing more. The world around them is in a moral free fall and crumbling yet  it apparently  does not bother them.

Proverbs 14:34 says "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people." The trouble is we have justified sin and not heeded what is in God's word. Where are you at today? Are you concerned about America? Do you spend time in God's word and know the truth? Do you speak up against evils in society? Are you praying for this nation and its' leaders? It is time for all of us to wake up and not be sucked into a immoral cesspool. Satan is having a hey day when evil is so readily accepted and condoned in this nation. It is time for all Christians to do their part.

1 Peter 1:13-16 says "Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober,   set your hope   on the grace to be brought to you   when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.   As obedient   children, do not conform   to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.   But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;   for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy."

PRAYER: Lord Jesus help me not turn my head and ignore evils in society. Help me speak up in love to combat what is wrong and against your word. Help me not just be a Sunday Christian but to lead a life pleasing to you being Christlike in all I say and do. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Click on link to worship the Lord in song.
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

KEEP BEING NICE EVEN WHEN YOU DON'T FEEL LIKE IT




Has anyone ever been mean and nasty to you? Could be a friend, a stranger, a family member, someone you work with, a passing rude motorist, or perhaps a boss. You humanly just get so angry you feel justified wanting to tell them off. First of all if you don't gain some self control and you end up spouting off to your employer you could likely be fired. It is best in all situations to hold your tongue. What good will getting your way or getting the last word do anyway? Do you want to stoop to the level of the person hurting you with mean words or actions or rise above it? This takes practice but to maintain the peace that Christ wants you to have it is best to overlook an offense.

 The scenario of lawsuits comes to mind. Let's say someone did something to you or a family member and you want to get back at them. You decide to hire an attorney and seek damages. Isn't it best just to let things go? I know of someone who could have pursued a defamation of character lawsuit to get back at their reputation being damaged but chose the 'high road' of letting it go. "But what they did to me is not right" you might say. "They killed my family member because of bad driving and I want them to suffer" is a common response. Why not let it go and let God heal and try to forgive? "But wait, they stole my idea and got the credit" you might say. Once again what will you really achieve other than more anger and bitterness by trying to get even and settle the score. Best to let it go.

 In an argument someone has to be the one to end it. Why keep just trying to get the last word?

James 1:19-20 are two great verses to commit to memory. They say "My dear brothers take note of this, everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry. For man's anger does not bring about the the righteousness life God desires."

Seek to be a peacemaker. Your life and those people around you will be better off because of you seeking peace instead of chaos. John 14:27 says "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."

PRAYER: Lord give me the strength I need to overlook an offense, be kind to mean people and to seek peace and harmony instead. Give me the ability to love those who are unlovable and to walk in peace. In Jesus name. Amen.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

WATCH THAT MOUTH!!!!


How many of us  haven't uttered something once at least that we wished we could retract? Once the mouth opens the words are 'out there' and can not be erased. Our mouth can be used for good or for evil. Even well meaning Christians may get caught up in a judging, condemning, or gossip trap and think nothing at all wrong with it. Do you really think the Lord is pleased when we say 'so and so' makes you sick or you do not like them? We are to try to get along and love all people. Even the so called 'creeps' who make fun of Christians are to be loved. What right do we have condemning and fault finding? Let offenses go. Release jealously as well as it can cause bad comments. When you say you can not stand someone or the way they look that is hateful and judgmental. After all, God is the creator of all things so if you make a comment that someone is ugly you are basically condemning God's handiwork.

The Bible speaks about not wishing  ill on enemies and praying for them. It is hard to hate and belittle someone when praying for them. This means ex spouses, friends who have hurt you, a boss or co worker, government officials who act like dictators, perhaps a vindictive neighbor, maybe a rude store clerk or telemarketer who has interrupted your supper.Try to let your speech and conduct be like Jesus. Feed your mind positive things from God's word and there is little room to put hateful thoughts in your brain. Colossians 4:6 says "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."

Both 1 John 2:9 and 1 John 4:20 talk about 'hating' your brother. Brother meaning not just your family but a total stranger. The first verse here referred to says "Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother the truth is not in him." The second scripture reference says "If anyone says he loves God yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother who he has seen, how can he love God who he has not seen?"  Matthew 5:44 tells us to "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." Proverbs 24:17 is pretty straight forward when it says "Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice."

Do you have a critical spirit or know someone who does? The saying goes "If you can not say something good do not say anything at all." If you are tempted to put someone down, say something ugly, or make fun of a person stop yourself and ask if Jesus would be pleased. Ask God to transform your speech to please him.

PRAYER:Lord Jesus I often say some things I later regret or catch myself maybe being critical of someone. Help me Lord to try to pray for those who are unlovable or hurtful. You do not want us to show hatred or return evil for evil. Lord give me a pure heart and let my speech bring glory to you. In Jesus Na

Monday, June 25, 2012

TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY


Another title for this devotion could be 'God Allows Do-Overs' . A week or so ago I was having an absolutely awesome morning. All green lights while driving, sunny outside, anticipating the arrival of my son and his then fiancee, now wife, when I lost my car keys. For several hours after that I had gone on with life and made alternate back up plans. I tried to put this problem out of my mind so as not to wreck the day of my arriving son and his future wife. A dear friend rescued me and saved the day til I was able to locate my keys. This got me to thinking about 'not sweating the small stuff' or trying to let things go that are overwhelming you in life. We sometimes make big fires out of a tiny little spark when we overreact to something and act like it is the end of the world.

When you are in the midst of chaos besides trying to calm down, take a deep breath and thank God for the day. Give the situation, whatever it is, over to him. It is frustrating when life throws a curve ball at you or a seemingly little issue flares up into a gigantic one. The best advice to myself and to others when an anxious spirit creeps in threatening to overwhelm you and spoil your day is to sit back and say "Lord I know this too shall pass. Help me Lord to trust you that things will in fact work out." Then try as best as you can to move on to something else and commit that issue bothering you to the Lord.

The verses I want to leave with you today are Isaiah 26:3 which simply states "You will keep in perfect peace  those whose minds are steadfast,because they trust  in you." Basically in a nutshell this means to keep your thoughts on God and not your problem. Depending on what the problem is sometimes it can be challenging. God can and will see you through  and as the famous movie line from 'Gone With The Wind' says "Tomorrow is another day". Finally Isaiah 43:18 says "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past." Now go 'seize the day' and give your concerns to the Lord.

PRAYER: Father many times things in life throw us off course and can tend to get us upset or worried. Lord the human reaction is to 'freak out' but you want our reaction to be trusting you with our problems and going on about life. Help me Lord to be able to do this each and every day when I feel powerless or hopeless. I want to look to you for my strength at all times. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

EVERY DAY IS A GOOD DAY WITH JESUS

 
Do you ever catch yourself complaining and saying it is a lousy day? First if you are reading this in and live in America you have much to be joyful about because currently we still have most of our God given freedoms. Many take them for granted. Think about the things you can do and places you can go with total freedom. It is astounding. Next, more than likely you have adequate food on your table and are not going hungry. Also don't you have a job? It may not be perfect but you have an income and are taking care of yourself and your family? If you are blessed to be able to stay home to raise children many do not have that luxury so give thanks. Do you drive a car? Maybe it is a clunker but it gets you there right? So really all in all your life isn't that bad and each day is a gift from God and does not have to be bad. It is in your attitude.
Philippians 2:5 reminds us that " your attitude should be the same as in Jesus Christ." Further in Philippians 2:14 it says " Do everything without complaining or arguing." Try to get rid of wrong thoughts. If you are thinking negative thoughts try to get rid of bad thinking and replace it with good thoughts. When you start to slip into negativity stop and think of something you are thankful for. Another good verse also found in Philippians is 4:11 which says " I am not saying this because I am in need for I have learned in whatever state I am in to be content."
So whether it is oversleeping and being late to a meeting, losing your luggage at the airport, having a scary medical report, or perhaps having a friend treat you ugly, you have to rise above your situation and know 'this too shall pass' and trust God is at work for your good. Forget your problem, give it to God, and pursue a peaceful spirit in the midst of chaos.
PRAYER: This is your day Lord and no matter what happens today help me keep a good attitude through it all. Forgive me when I have worried and been frustrated and did not trust you to see me through a particular problem. I know with you I can have peace and less frustration. My desire is to seek peace no matter what. In Jesus name.Amen.
Click on link for an awesome song:

Saturday, June 23, 2012

IN PAIN? RUN TO GOD


 The type of pain I am referring to here is deep emotional pain or sadness. You just feel awful and like there is no end to what you are going through. Many, sadly,  end up taking their own life as they feel hopeless. Whatever it is, there is nothing worth killing yourself over. I ache for the family members of those who have chosen this way of escape. I can not even begin to imagine their immense grief or guilt.

 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 says "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, The Father of compassion, and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds in Christ." There is always a brighter day coming and a rainbow on the horizon, so to speak. The enemy, Satan,is the one who wants you to dwell on your problem and feel like there is no hope.

 Don't let go. Hang on to Jesus. He is your hope,your comfort, your strong tower and your refuge. He cares about you. Proverbs 18:10 says "The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run to it and are safe."   Are you able to let go of your hurt and pain and let God work in your life? He is waiting. Call on Him.

PRAYER: Lord if ever I am afraid I will run to you and trust you to help me through trying times. Help me Lord to resist attempts of the enemy to take my eyes off the cross and put them onto my problem. You are mighty to save and I praise your name. In Jesus name. Amen.

Click on link and worship God.
http://youtu.be/wAYCIRN0jYo

Friday, June 22, 2012

HERE COMES THE BRIDE!!




Today I am excited as I become a mother in law to an awesome young lady about 5 p.m. today. Weddings are an exciting time. Much anticipation, many prayers, lots of hopes and dreams for the future. I thought what better subject area on the day of my son's wedding than to write about the marriage vows and marriage in a Christian's life.

Marriage is not just a beautiful bride and wonderful wedding but it is about life together, dying to self, learning to live with another person, and commitment. It is not just the lovey dovey mushy stuff although that is very nice and all couples should work on keeping the 'love fire'  of passion alive and burning brightly. When you get married it is not just about you. You learn to give and take.  You learn patience. You learn to forgive and forget. You learn you do not always have to get the last word. You learn to not be selfish. You learn to listen with your ears and your heart. You learn respect. You learn to help each other.

The honeymoon does not have to end. Staying in God's word as a couple and as an individual is vitally important for within it's pages is much wisdom on living together and being Christlike. The husband needs to take seriously about being the spiritual head of the household and nurture his wife with the word of God. Many couples  recite their vows and the clergyman reads a few Bible verses speaking about lifelong commitment. Those vows taken before God and man need to be taken  seriously. God should not be left at the altar of the wedding ceremony but should be the center of the marriage.

1 Corinthians 13 which is known as the 'love chapter' is often read in weddings. I will excerpt a few key verses now. Verses 4 thru 7 say "Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy. It does not boast. It is not proud. It is not self seeking. It is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."  In Ephesians 5:22-33 are found the verses husbands and wives need to read about their responsibilities as a Christian spouse. Take some time and read these few verses. Matthew 19:4-6 says "Haven't you read at the beginning God made them male and female and for this reason He said "A man shall leave his father and his mother and be united to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together let no man separate."

As my son and my new 'daughter' start their journey through life together I am excited about how God will work in their marriage and in their lives.

PRAYER: Lord I thank you for the beauty of marriage. Not everyone will get married but for those who do let us remember to keep Christ alive in the marriage. In Jesus name. Amen.

Click on link to enjoy an appropriate song:
http://youtu.be/aZbhrO4IEtI

Thursday, June 21, 2012

CLOSED DOORS



Sometimes in life things do not happen the way you want them to. You do not get a certain promotion. You are not accepted to a specific school. You decide to change majors and schools. You have to move and say goodbye to good friends. You are running late and almost miss a meeting after being stuck in traffic. Your girlfriend or boyfriend breaks up with you. You are given probation or laid off at work. Seemingly bad things have a way of turning out for the good. A familiar verse is Romans 8:28 which says "All things work together for the good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose."

Things can happen for a reason and you my not understand now but you will see the 'big picture' later. If you are following the Lord He is directing your steps. You should be praying about all decisions you make. Back in the military when I was a member of Officers' Christian Fellowship they would have what was called a 'Pray and Plan' when it was time to decide what to study next in Bible study. You have to trust that God is truly directing your steps.

Proverbs 16:9 says "Man may plan his own way but it is God who directs his steps."  Revelation 3:7 says "These are the words of the one who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open."

You won't be in a valley forever but soon  be on the mountain top. Probably everyone reading this can think of something seemingly awful that happened in your life but later on was a stepping stone of sorts to get you where you are today. I know I can!

So give thanks in all situations as it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 because God is working behind the scenes. Only trust Him.

PRAYER: Lord I thank you for all the different situations in my life. There are good times and there are bad but you  are in control. Help me learn to trust you better and commit my plans to you. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

BIRTHDAYS ARE SPECIAL!!


 Birthdays are special no matter how 'young' you are. They are not something to dread but milestones of life to look forward to. This week our family celebrates two. Today is my younger sons' birthday and tomorrow is his fiancees' birthday. (Their wedding is Friday). Lots going on here. But anyway a birthday is a special  event. A time to reflect on the past year and time to look to the future.


When you are twenty you dread hitting thirty. Get out the hair color and cover those gray hairs. Then the Big 4-0 is around the corner and out come the 'Over The Hill' jokes and gag gifts. Next is fifty years old. The half century mark. All of a sudden those people you thought were 'old' when you were a teen are no longer old. "Fifty is the new 40" people say. Then you hit 60! Oh my! Beauty counters sell spot remover cream, wrinkle cream and  then there is a booming business by plastic surgeons to help stretch the face and neck back to their youthful appearance. Time to get to the gym and get back some muscle tone. Next is 70. "Wait just a minute! I'm not a senior citizen. That is when you are eighty!"  If you are really blessed you move on to 80 years old and should be proud of it. Especially if still in good health that is tremendous. If you are active that is great! You do not need to stop living and sit in a rocking chair. Go do something fun and exciting. Keep your mind alive. Go get a job or volunteer. Who tells you that it is time to just sit around? Wow and to be 90 now that is superb! There are stories to be told from these blessed individuals. Respect them and learn from them. Finally there are more people living to 100. Now Willard Scott can read your name on the Today Show and you can get a Presidential Greeting if you want one.

Society, in America at least, seems to coddle to the young and sort of put the elders on a shelf of sorts. This is an atrocity. When you reach a certain age if you want a job, go get one!

Psalm 90:10 says "The length of our days is seventy years, or eighty, if we have the strength, yet their span is it trouble and sorrow yet they quickly pass and we fly away." When we are living it seems we live forever but as you start to get older you feel as if time is flying by. James 4:13-15 reminds us "Now listen you who say today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business, and make money. Why you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for awhile and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say "if it is the Lord's will we will live and do this or that." Proverbs 16:31 says "Gray hair is a crown of wisdom. It is attained by a righteous life."

We have no clue how long we will live or how we will die. Live life to the fullest and  do not sit around pondering how or when you will die. Only God knows the day or the hour. Do not be angry with Him if a baby or young person dies. Praise Him for the life they did have. An infant may go to be with Jesus right when it is born and I have friends this has happened to and it takes some prayer and time to get over as there is no explanation. Don't blame God just rejoice in His perfect plan and for the promise of heaven to those who accept Him.

Be happy today and every day to be alive. Start this day by saying Psalm 118:24 which says "This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!"

PRAYER: Lord Jesus I thank you for each year of life you have given me and the opportunities I have to contribute as well as learn from others. Help me always thank  you and not start putting myself down when I reach a certain age.help me always respect those who are in their  golden years.  Help me be an encouragement to those who are older who feel like life is over for them. Help me Lord stay motivated and active. Help me meet needs around me. Thank you for every birthday you have blessed me with. In Jesus name. Amen.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

HUMILITY...THE GREATEST VIRTUE


Are you able to let your virtues speak for themselves, as a former Army boss of mine used to say? In the military especially is a great place to develop humility because you are serving your country not to expect a pat on the back but a good supervisor will remember to put people in for necessary commendations anyway. Many deserve their medals who have survived combat situations no ordinary person could even imagine.

 No one really likes to be around those who brag. Bragging sometimes is a way to maybe prove something to someone or elevate yourself. Now there may be 'proud moms' who share things but still it is best to let people find out things on their own without tooting a horn. This could even apply to the Christian community where you 'tell others' of your service or things you did. It is more fun and rewarding when people note things themselves and give you a compliment. Sometimes inferiority complexes may cause people to feel a  need to point things out  to others. Whatever the case, allow God to control your talk to include feeling a need to boast.
The following are a few scriptures about being humble:

Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore,as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.
 Matthew 23:12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and who's humbles himself will. Be exalted.
John 3:30. He must increase but I must decrease.
James 4:7 Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will exalt you.
2 Corinthians 10:17 Let he who boasts boast in the Lord.
Jeremiah 9:23. Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the  rich man boast in his riches.
Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.
Psalm 147:6 The Lord lifts up the humble, he casts the wicked to the ground.
 Matthew 6:6 But when you pray go into your room, close the door, and pray unto your Father who is unseen and then your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
Matthew 6:3 But when you give to the needy , do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.

Think of the famous people you hear about that seem to start to get puffed up and forget the 'little people' who helped make them well known and wealthy. Often fame goes to a person's head and they may start feeling better than others. When you receive a certain degree, sure you worked hard and deserve it, but let others praise you, not yourself. I am sure you can think of other examples as well.
As a believer too we might accidentally 'share' about a good deed with a friend and do it not meaning to brag or might 'share' about a good prayer time you have had. I myself have felt convicted after I 'shared' maybe about 'prayer walking' not doing it to get someones praise but then after they say "that is awesome" I start wishing I had kept it between me and God. Your best reward is from God someday anyway. If you have messed up, do not worry, we all probably have. The thing is to be aware of maybe telling people too many things and let your praise and reward come from the Lord.

If you say " I am a humble person" maybe you aren't. Something  to ponder. Ask God if there is anything you are doing or saying that would appear boastful and ask Him to take away your desire to tell others everything.

 PRAYER: Lord forgive me for times I have done a good deed and shared it 'innocently' with others. Help me when I do something not to feel a need to tell people. Also help me be humble when I receive accolades from others. Help me remember to always give you the praise and glory! In Jesus name. Amen.

Monday, June 18, 2012

EMPTY BOTTLES


One day while cleaning house I found several empty bottles in the bathroom,garage,and kitchen that had not been thrown out. It is easy to get sidetracked and forget to toss these in the trash or recycling. Say you are washing your hair and the shampoo bottle is empty and you forget to put in in the trash can. Honest mistake.

This scenario got me to thinking about how sin in our lives can linger like empty bottles. We continue to practice or engage in a sinful lifestyle knowing it is wrong and knowing we need to stop but yet these sins hang around like empty bottles needing to be tossed out. The sin we hang on to clutters our lives like bottles clutter shelves where they are left. We have to let go of them and throw them away before we have an organized home. Sin has to be let go in order to walk with the Lord and have victory.

You have to realize you are sinning then repent of it and get away from it. Hebrews 12:1 says "therefore since we are surrounded by so great a crowd of witnesses let us throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles us and let us run  with perseverance the race set out for us."

What are you dabbling in that you know displeases the Lord? What area of your life needs some work in order to achieve holiness? Do you spend time daily getting to know God through His word? It is when we study The Bible that we realize what the Lord requires of us.
I will close with Malachi 3:6 which says "He has showed you, O man, what is good and what does the Lord requires of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God."

PRAYER: Lord it is my desire to get rid of things in my life that separate me from you. This could be as simple as judging some one or thinking wrong thoughts or even 'innocent' gossip. Lord I am sorry for not spending more time with you. I know my life is not perfect and I know I need you to guide me so I can resist the attempts of Satan to get me off track. Help me Lord as I seek you each day. In Jesus name. Amen.

Click on link for another great song of praise.
http://youtu.be/eNhz8BMTqsk

Sunday, June 17, 2012

DAD WE APPRECIATE YOU


Today we celebrate the gift and blessing of our dads. Some like to be called 'Father', some 'pop' , some go by 'daddy', a few go by 'pa' but we call him simply 'Dad'. Even though Mother's deserve all the applause on their special day if it were not for dads there would be no moms to celebrate and vice versa. My dad passed away in 1992 but many of you still have your dads. Some may not see 'eye to eye' with them or blame them for being too harsh, controlling, or domineering in their life. Regardless, you have lots to be thankful for because, let's face it,without your dad you would  not be here. Many are from broken homes where a dad left a single mom behind and you perhaps harbor bitterness. There are some, like Bible teacher Joyce Meyer, who were raped multiple times by her biological dad but was able to forgive him in his old age before he died. Maybe you were given up for adoption because your dad was a. 'deadbeat' or did not care for you properly.There are dads who become alcoholics and are not around for their children. Not all fathers want to be fathers and accidentally become one whether single or married. To those of you who chose to do the right thing and be a dad to your child, I applaud you.So basically not everyone out there has warm fuzzy feelings for their dads. But the good ones who do so much are are to be commended.

Some women who have never worked outside the home may not understand what pressure the men have at work and knowing they are the 'bread winners'. Be sure to be appreciative of this. Imagine having all the responsibility of the home on your shoulders. Some single moms understand what I am saying.

Sons and daughters out there who have living fathers, do something special for them today. Sit and think of all the things your dad did for you. My husband knew our sons liked to ice skate so he made sure wherever we moved with the military there was a 'sheet of ice' as those in the skating community call it, in the city or town where we were headed. He has been a good provider and often not appreciated enough. He loves our sons and would do anything for them. He did not spoil them and gave them the discipline they needed to grow up and be a good member of society. He paid their bills, provided tuition for schools and college, clothed them, housed them, helped them see their dreams come true and took us on nice vacations. Stop for a moment and think what your dad did or what  your husband did for your children if you are a mom reading this.



If you are a dad keep on keeping on and do the right thing. Don't beat yourself up when work caused you to not be there. In the military this is very common. Make the most of the time you do have with your children. If they are small and at home don't just plop in front of TV with them but do family time things such as games and sports where you can interact. Above all dad you are responsible for the spiritual life of your children.

Hebrews 12:7-11 in speaking of discipline which is a key thing you need to do to raises well adjusted children and it says " Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline —then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.  Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live!  They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.  No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." In Ephesians 6:4 it says " Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."

Society today and back in the beginning of the feminist movement of late 60's and early 70's started to belittle man and take away his God given role as head of the home. Not saying that a lady can not be a corporate president, Army officer, and the list goes on,but the way God designed it there could only be one leader. Remember Eve was taken from Adam's rib. Man is not supposed to trample or 'lord over' the woman but treat her with kindness and respect. A couple works together ideally in agreement to raise their children with hopefully the most important eternal aspect being their spiritual side. This does not just mean go to church one day a week and that is that. But it means to teach your children in the home to love the Lord.

Deuteronomy 6:5-9 reminds us "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates."

Today celebrate dad. If he was not perfect try to forgive him and let your anger go. If your relationship is not good pray for God to restore and heal it. Take time today to tell your dad he is special and thank him for what he means to you.

PRAYER: Father I thank you for my dad who has done so much for me. Father in general I thank you for fathers and pray for those who may be grieving or hurting today because of past wounds. Help those with pain give it to you. Help those dads who are alive today to feel the love of their children. Help those with living dads remember God's command in Exodus 20 to honor them. In Jesus Name. Amen.

NOTE: Go buy a copy of the DVD 'Courageous' which is about fathers. You will not be disappointed. http://www.courageousthemovie.com/

Click on link to enjoy the song from the movie Courageous.
http://youtu.be/Uyc-M_Xv5TI





Saturday, June 16, 2012

FEAR OR FAITH?????


The world we live in today sure seems to try to get people fearful. Take the nightly news for instance. Stories of murders, rapes, thefts, and  break-ins seem to dominate the news. Nothing seems to be good. Our prime time television shows on the three major networks no longer are happy go lucky and fun like they used to be. To see shows like 'I Love Lucy' or 'Green Acres'  or 'Batman' you have to go to the TV Land network or something similar.  Most all the shows have murders, autopsies, crime, and the insinuation of illicit sex to mention just a few scenarios or if they are comedies they are cutting edge  attempting to be politically correct.  The daytime talk shows are a bunch of people sitting around making meaningless chatter and often gossiping and putting down people. Then we have a host of reality shows which the public seems to thrive on. Girls trying to get dates or a husband, obese people trying to get thin, people trying to get famous or rich and on it goes. But all in all the days of everyone in the family sitting down in front of the G rated TV set are long gone. Fear seems to dominate the culture we are in. Can this ever be turned around you might ask?


First and foremost we have let God go in our society. If you are guided by the word of God your actions and behavior should indicate that. When you are a believer you should let your life speak loud and clear through your actions that you follow Christ. If you constantly feed on horror movies or slasher films how can that create a peaceful spirit? You may like these kind of movies and think they are perfectly harmless but they are feeding on your fear nature. You can open the door to evil in many ways. What you put into your brain can even affect you in your sleep habits. Have you ever watched a bad movie or TV show then had a nightmare?

Now I am not saying just go watch 'Mary Poppins' and the 'Sound of Music'.There are many good decent things out there without the cursing, slashing,sex scenes, and killing and in the 60's there seemed to be a good deal more. Slowly the culture started to change and it was not for the better. I almost feel it started when prayer was taken out of school(1963) or so it seems to correlate with that. You can not remove God and remain righteous.

What does God's word have to say about this? Philippians 4:8 is a favorite of mine and a good memorization verse and it says " Finally brothers and sisters, whatsoever things are true, whatever is noble, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think on these things."  Colossians 3:2 reminds us to "Set your mind on things above not on things on earthly things."  Note that word 'set'. When your pour concrete you have to wait til it is 'set' before you walk on it. When you make jello you can not eat it til it 'sets'. So that word means to 'fix' in a way. 'Fix' your mind and keep it there. Dwell on good thoughts. To do that you have to make an effort to be careful what you allow into your mind. Remember as a believer Christ lives inside of you and what you subject yourself too you also subject our heavenly father too if you think about it that way.

Many places in scripture it talks about not fearing. Do a word search in your Bible sometime. In Isaiah 41:10 it says " So do not fear for I am with you.Do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."  That is an awesome promise from God. So whatever it is you are fearing be it bad news you dwell on, wondering when and how you will die, whether you will get cancer, wondering if you will lose your job or you add to the list ,trust in God and believe He has a wonderful plan for your life. Lean on Him for peace and security in good times and bad.

I will end with a verse on peace. John 14:27 says " Peace I give you my peace I leave you. I do not give you as the world gives. do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

PRAYER: Your love Lord casts out fear. Help me father as I seek to make your word and prayer a part of my daily life. Help me Lord resist attempts from the enemy to try to get me distracted with other activities and forget to give you quality time in my day. I know when I feed my mind  more on your word I will have more faith and less fear. In Jesus name. Amen.

Friday, June 15, 2012

GRADUATES REJOICE AND SEEK HIS WAYS



This time of year in both May and June, depending on the part of the country you reside in, is when many high school and college graduates walk the aisle of a gymnasium, auditorium,  or arena somewhere to receive that long awaited diploma. A huge milestone in life has been reached for them as well as their parents. At the military academies the new officers throw their caps high in the air. Quite a celebration it truly is.

I thought what better time to write about plans for the future, wisdom, and running a race to win. A common Bible verse you often see around this time of year is Jeremiah 29:11 which says " 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."

Also this is a excellent time to bring up wisdom because those leaving the comfort of the nest of their families are going to need an extra dose of that. Hopefully they will not be too stunned by life outside their parents home. Proverbs 4:7 tells us "Wisdom is the principle thing, therefore get wisdom and in all thy getting get understanding."  James 3:17 says "But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without hypocrisy."

 As Christian parents it is our prayer that our children do not leave their faith and start questioning God's word, but sadly, many do. That is where we hang on the promise found in Proverbs 22:6 which reminds us "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old will not depart from it."  A good memory verse for those leaving home is Proverbs 3:5-6 and it says "Trust in the Lord with all thy heart, lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight."

Life is exciting. There is a saying I heard once that says we as parents have to give our children both 'roots' and 'wings' meaning you don't want to stifle an adult child but you need to let them make their own decisions with them knowing home is always there. Encourage them to be independent of mom and dad and trouble can be avoided down the road.

In closing, 1 Corinthians 9:24 says "Do you not know in a race that all runners run but only one gets the prize? Run  in such a way to get the prize." Encourage your children and those you may mentor to keep their eyes on Jesus no matter what and He will crown their efforts with success.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for the Bible which is our guide through life here on earth and later in heaven. Father we pray our children will seek your face and run their race to win. Give them wisdom, courage, and perseverance always. In Jesus name. Amen.

 NOTE: For over 16 years since my sons were in junior high I have been privileged to be a part of a unique and awesome prayer ministry called Moms in Prayer(formerly Moms in Touch) where we pray for the children and schools they attend up through college, career and the military. Check it out at www.momsinprayer.org











Thursday, June 14, 2012

WAVE THE FLAG

Today in these United States is Flag Day. At one time this may have been given more attention but you do not hear much about it now. On August 3,1949 then President Truman made June 14 the official Flag Day by official Congressional proclamation, although it originated in 1885 when a school teacher in Wisconsin selected the date because this was date 'Stars and Stripes' song was written.

 Seems like people get patriotic in a national tragedy. The clearest example that comes to mind was the aftermath of 911. If you did not already own an American flag you could hardly buy one. Stores sold out their supplies. This made some angry but I would say all Americans should already own a flag. Flags flew from antennas of cars, flag ribbon magnets appeared, and you could hardly pass someone who did not have something patriotic on their vehicle.

Here we are  11 years later and have gotten back into complacency. Multiple flags are not waving in the breeze everywhere. Sure you see them at school and government buildings but why wait till a Federal holiday to get out 'old glory'.

We are extremely blessed with freedom here in the United  States and evil forces will always be at work trying to chip away at those freedoms and put us under bondage. This is going on right now in America. Many fought and died in multiple wars to secure liberty and justice for all and the freedom to do as we please  and that flag of ours represents freedom and sacrifice of many. Today there are people who do not even stand up when the national anthem is played and unlike when I was a small child, I understand that in some public schools, they no longer say the Pledge of Allegiance. This breaks my heart and I hope it breaks yours. Children are being reprogrammed to not love the country and to not want to keep it great. Parents have to instill this in their young ones.

The Bible says in Galatians 5:1 " It was for freedom that Christ set us free. Stand firm then and do not allow yourselves to be entangled by a yoke of bondage."  Some read this blog from other nations and that thrills this writers heart. Know that we in America are blessed to be the land of opportunity but we are because we have not ignored God. Psalm 33:12 says "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for His inheritance." This nation was founded 'one nation under God'. Those colors on that flag should make you stop and think of the wonderful blessings we enjoy because this nation has put Him first in the past. Lately God's name means nothing to some politicians. Many flippantly placed their hand on the Holy Bible and promised to defend the country against enemies both foreign and domestic but lied and it meant nothing to them or so it seems. We can not ignore God in America and remain thriving.

2 Chronicles 7:14 reminds us " 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 forgive their sin and heal their land." Churches naming the name of Jesus need to wake up and get serious about preaching God's word and not just trying to make people feel good.

Where are you today? Is it time for you to renew your commitment to Him? Do you love this country or do you take it for granted? All that we have can be taken from us. We need to wake up and be in prayer.

PRAYER: Father I love my country and I think of those who gave their life so we might enjoy the freedoms we do. Lord help me be more involved in keeping America free. It is not just someone else's job. Lead me and guide me to speak the truth in love. In Jesus name. Amen.

Click on link for a wonderful patriotic song .
http://youtu.be/gOvA-Hn4_ZM




Wednesday, June 13, 2012

CELEBRATE JESUS!!



There are many celebrations in our lifetime. Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, graduations, baptisms, promotions, new jobs and the birth of a baby are a few that come to mind. All these celebrations are wonderful in and of themselves, but the ultimate celebration is celebrating our Lord Jesus Christ not just on special 'Holy days' or on Christmas, but each and every day is the Lord's day.

In Psalm 118:24 it reminds us "This is the day the Lord has made we shall rejoice and be glad in it!"   Do you feel joyful right now or like rejoicing? Many times we let circumstances dictate how we feel. Our faith in Jesus is not based on feelings so we can overcome any bad feeling and capture out thoughts to the obedience of Christ so we can be full of joy.  1 Peter 1:8 says "Though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with inexpressible and glorious  joy."

Maybe you got up today and had a disagreement at home or work. Perhaps there was a misunderstanding with a friend. Whatever happens you have to control the urge to sink into a pit of worry and despair. You have to do what you can do to make amends but then you need  to move on and focus on 'things above'. The Bible says in Philippians  4:8 that "whatever is true, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything be excellent or praiseworthy, think on these things."

So in other words to be able to rejoice in the Lord and praise his name you have to control wrong thinking and focus on God and His word.  Do not allow people or situations to defeat you and be joy robbers.

"Rejoice in the Lord always again I say rejoice!"(Philippians 4:4).

PRAYER: Lord I choose to lift up your name daily and stay focused on praising you. When things in life get me down and try to defeat me help me remember to run to the cross. In Jesus name. Amen!
Click noon link for awesome song of praise:
http://youtu.be/XV15GBkgJgs

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

DON'T CONDEMN AND JUDGE! PRAY!



Recently one of my favorite pastors was in the news for a alleged incident involving a family matter. I choose to not elaborate as  to not cause further 'Christian gossip'. If you do not know who I am referring to it does not matter for the purpose of this devotion. Ministers of the gospel are put up on a pedestal of sorts and held to a certain standard but they too are human and they too can have their problems. When something happens and they are well known and it makes the news atheists and others rejoice and are glad especially when their ministry is reaching millions worldwide with the saving message of Jesus Christ. Satan loves to take advantage of it as well. We are as brothers and sisters in Christ not to join in and start fault finding and condemning but we are called to pray for this servant of God who obviously knows they did something wrong and is hurting inside.

We are just as wrong when we start flapping our tongues and talking about something. James 1:26 says "Anyone  who says he is religious but can not control his tongue, you are fooling yourself,and your religion is worthless."   This goes for when we hear about movie stars such as Lindsay Lohan or Brittney Spears for instance who have numerous issues in their life. They do not need our scowling and finger pointing but these young ladies are struggling in their life and need people to pray for them. When you join in the talk around 'the water cooler' you should act like a follower of Christ and that would not include being a gossip would it?

Galatians 5:1 says "Brothers if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself or you too could be tempted." In other words we are all capable of committing sins of all kinds whether we have accepted Christ or not. The entire chapter of Matthew 7:1-5 is about judging and it says "Do not judge or you too will be judged.For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged,and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brothers eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother 'let me take the speck of  out of your eye ' when all the time you have a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite! First take  the plank out of your own eye and the you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."

 Are you able to love all people? Are you able to leave the judging to God? Do you think it is right to gossip even if you think it is innocent say 'like at church'? Start today to love like Jesus loves and to pray for those who are hurting instead of condemning them. Pray for those lost and leading a life going in the opposite of what Jesus wants them too. This could be a world leader, a government official, a family member, a friend, a teacher, a co worker, and the list goes on. It is hard to condemn someone when you are lifting them up in prayer.

 I will end with this Bible verse from Matthew 5:44 that tells us to " Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."   Psalm 19:4 says "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart,be acceptable in your sight, oh Lord my strength and my redeemer."

 PRAYER: Lord in the world we live in it is easy to be  caught up in condemnation and 'innocent' gossip. I know this displeases you. Let my words be pleasing to you and let me show love to those who hurt or who have gone astray. In Jesus name. Amen.

Monday, June 11, 2012

FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS



Everything we own seems to come with instructions, rules, or regulations. You have to follow guidelines to get something to operate properly. On medicines, for instance, you receive a prescribed amount and in order to treat your condition and to get well, it is essential you follow the doctor's orders. A new cellular phone or mobile device  comes with a booklet of almost 135 pages these days in order to learn all the functions and capabilities to operate it. When you buy a new automobile, it too, comes with an owner's guide found in the glove compartment in order to learn how to operate all the items in your car. If you bake a cake you need to do what the recipe says or no one will want to eat it. There are proper measurements and cooking times that are key in turning out an edible product. So you see most everything in life has a 'manual' of sorts to tell you how the item works and what to do to troubleshoot when things not working as they should.

Life too has an instruction manual given to us by God and it is called the Holy Bible. It is our guidebook through this life we are leading and if you follow it, and ask Jesus into your heart as well, you will have eternal life with him in heaven once your time here on earth is over.

This guidebook is owned by many as it is the best selling book of all time but many who own it are ignorant of what is contained within its' pages. Some churches do not encourage reading it or studying it and many who attend church each Sunday do not even carry their Bibles as they probably think they get what they need from the priest or minister.

It is a tool of sorts to keep us on the right road of life, to show us how to be more Christlike, and to help us see what pitfalls to avoid. Reading it does not mean you will have a perfect life but you will be better equipped to handle the struggles and trials that are sure to come in your life."Where do I begin" you might ask. The book of Psalms is good, or Proverbs or I often suggest starting with the Four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John which contain so much vital to living a victorious Christian life. Proverbs is neat in that it has 31 Chapters and most months contain 31 days so you could read one chapter a day.

The Christian life is not boring and it does not mean you have to wear a long skirt and a bun in your hair for  women or a black suit and tie for men. It is essential though that you get into the word of God to grow in Christ. Don't let it gather dust or worse yet, don't have to wonder where you put it. It should be on table next to you and you can even get a Gideon's  pocket testament to carry daily.
2 Timothy 2:15 tells us "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.". Psalm 119:105 tells us "Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a lamp unto my path."

Why not start today and get into the word of God? Find a good growing dynamic church to attend that is growing in Christ and make up your mind you will grow in Christ and not let the enemy, Satan, take you off the path God has for you.  John 17:17 says "Sanctify them with the truth. Thy word is truth." Finally Hebrews 4:12 tells us "For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any double edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Fall in love with Jesus and His word today. It is your instruction manual through life.

PRAYER: Father forgive me for rushing through my day and forgetting to 'hide your word' in my heart. I know Satan will try to distract me and help me think of excuses of why it is not necessary to know the word of God. When I get complacent Lord wake me up. I want to grow and learn more of what pleases you and to live my life accordingly. In Jesus name. Amen.

Click on link to listen to awesome song of praise:
http://youtu.be/trUI1wtIIFk
















Sunday, June 10, 2012

SUNDAY: OH NO NOT AGAIN!



Is this how you feel when Sunday rolls around? Do you feel no excitement about going to church  to worship and maybe even just stay home?  "Too many hypocrites" you may say. "I feel funny" is another good excuse. "I would rather do something fun on Sunday after a long work week".  "I worship in God's creation of nature" is another one I heard several years ago.There are many more excuses. Certainly you do not want to go to simply 'punch a religious obligation ticket' if you think that going is your key to heaven. But it sure could not hurt to go and open your heart and mind to the message and maybe find out what you are missing.

First make sure you find a dynamic church actively preaching God's word and one that encourages you to go beyond Sunday and get into a daily quiet time during your week. You want to find a loving church that is full of grace and truth and not judgment and condemnation. Above all one that preaches God's word without apology.

The Bible says in Exodus 20:8 to "Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy". Other places in God's word mention honoring the 'Lord's Day'. Isaiah 58:13-14 tells us " If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight, and the Lord's holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way,and not doing as  you please, or speaking idle words, then you find joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob. The mouth of the Lord has spoken."

How do you spend the time you should be honoring the Lord in a house of worship? It is something to think about. If you have no desire for this fellowship and worship time examine your heart and ask yourself if you really have a personal relationship with Him and if He really is Lord of your life. Maybe you are already growing in Christ in a dynamic church but beware of feeling really good like you have 'arrived' as in Luke 18:12 it says "I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get". Read the rest of that chapter but basically don't get all haughty.

Now as a disclaimer we do not want to get so legalistic that we say you can not go to church Saturday night in place of Sunday. You are there, that is what counts. For many this fits their schedules better.

Where are you today? Do you want to worship Jesus? Maybe it has been a few years since you have attended any worship. Make up your mind that you want it to be part of your lifestyle just as getting up and going to work is. But go beyond Sunday and seek more of Jesus. If you have not asked Jesus to be Lord of your life why not do that today. Say " Lord Jesus forgive me for sinning against you and forgive me Lord for not wanting to worship you. Come into my heart today and transform me into your likeness. Give me a passion for you."

Hebrews 10:25 says "Let us not forsake the assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as I see the day drawing near."

Let me end with a scripture I would hope is every one's prayer found in Psalm 122:1 and it says"I was glad when they said to me, Let us Go into the house of the Lord!"

PRAYER: Lord Jesus forgive me for times when I just made excuses about going to church. Forgive me for not wanting more of you in my life. Today Lord I will seek you with my whole heart. Lead me to a spirit filled Bible teaching church where I can worship with others.i. In Jesus name. Amen.

Click on link for a awesome song of praise:
http://youtu.be/6Jo3y_XoHHQ

Saturday, June 9, 2012

NOW GO AND SIN NO MORE


Lately I have been writing lots about sin. In these United States it seems laws are made  protecting and encouraging some sorts of sin. This is very disheartening and must break God's heart.  Some churches are afraid to even preach about sins and would rather stay neutral in this moral culture war we are in. Preachers, rabbi's, and priests who claim to be walking with the Lord need to have strength and courage to confront these issues and not cave in and brush them under the carpet. They need to speak the truth. And if a particular political party or leader is identifying with sinful activities a believer should ask themselves should they really identify themselves with them just because their family has always voted a certain way. Vote as if God were standing next to you at the polling place.

There are more sins other than just the obvious ones of abortion and same sex marriage which currently are in the political arena. There is no such thing as the 'worst sin'. Murder, lying, gossip, gluttony, adultery, sodomy, stealing,dishonesty,  sex outside marriage, divorce, lust, cursing,thinking wrong thoughts,  deception, and many more things separate you from God. The good news is God can forgive and forget your sins if you truly repent and go and sin no more.

In John 8:11 when speaking to the woman caught in adultery Jesus said "..Neither do I condemn you now Go and sin no more." If you are truly remorseful and come to Him and pray, He forgives you. Psalm 103:12 says " As far as the East is from the West, so far has he removed our transgressions from us." It is Satan who tries to condemn you and make you feel that what you have done could never be forgiven. Satan is a liar and will try to get you to dwell on past mistakes and not God's forgiveness and grace.

We all are sinners saved by grace. God loves you and he wants you to lead a life pleasing to Him. Today search your heart and ask yourself if anything in your life goes against the teachings in the Bible. Further ask yourself "If Jesus was here would I engage in this activity?" This might change allot of what you do.

PRAYER: Lord thank you that you are a God who listens, cares, and forgives. Thank you that you love me no matter what I have done. Father it is my desire to please you in all things. In Jesus name. Amen.

Disclaimer: Occasionally You Tube attachs ads to their songs and does not care that they are inappropriate for Christian songs. I apologize for any ads that may be on that are offensive. Simply click 'skip ad' and enjoy the worship song. Satan is trying to get into even these song attachments.

Click on link for another awesome praise song.
http://youtu.be/a7QQGPv1Ikc

Friday, June 8, 2012

DAILY SEEK HIM


What is keeping you from a closer walk with the Lord? Do you feel you have gone too far and there is just no way he is going to forgive you because of the worst sin ever? Do you think Christians are phony or 'religious' and you want nothing to do with them? Maybe you like to sleep in on Sunday or go to the lake? Perhaps you feel like you do not want to dress up and feel if you don't you will be judged? Whatever the reason that is keeping you away from Him and His house of worship he is still loving you and still waiting for you.

Humans are the ones who have made up lots of the 'religious' and 'legalistic' rules that many churches adhere too. On the other hand there are also churches out there afraid to tell the truth in God's word about sin too. Romans 3:23 reminds us "We ALL have sinned and fallen short of God's glory."  Yes that is right, all of us have been 'bad eggs' at one time or another. Jesus forgives us of our sins but then again says in John 8:11 when talking to the woman caught in adultery "....Go and sin no more."

Psalm 105:4 says " Look to the Lord and His strength. Seek His face continually." Jeremiah 29:13 says " You will seek me and you will find me when you seek me with your heart." Matthew 7:7 further says "Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened unto you."

What is keeping you from seeking after God? May I suggest you open your Bible and read the book of John in the New Testament and try to read a chapter a day and see if you do not feel closer to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

PRAYER: Lord I want to seek you each day and get into the word of God. Help me not be distracted by other things and forget until it is time for bed. I know the enemy will try to get me to make excuses Lord so give me the strength to persevere and seek you with my whole heart. In Jesus name. Amen.

Click on link for awesome worship song to start your day.
 http://youtu.be/GR7726x4LD4

Thursday, June 7, 2012

LOVE, FORGIVE, REPEAT!


Are there people in your life who rub you the wrong way and you just would rather not be around them? The Bible is pretty clear when it says in John 13:34-35  "A new command I give you that you love one another. As I have loved you so you must love one another. By this everyone will know you are my disciples if you love one another."   There may be some pretty mean, cantankerous, and vicious people in your life. Maybe they are bosses, co workers, even so called friends. But not everyone is controlled by the Holy Spirit and sometimes there are those who claim to be Christians but you sure can not tell it by their actions or words. They key with all types of people is to love people with the 'love of Jesus'. When you are hurt by someone you also have to purpose in your heart to let it go and move on. Even if a person who hurt you does not know it, or does, but does not apologize, you have to still choose to forgive and not try to get the last word.


When it comes to forgiveness the Bible says in Matthew 18:21-22 "then Peter came to Jesus and asked "Lord how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered and said "Not seven times but seventy times seven."  In other words if you say you are a Christian, give up your 'right' to get back. Now this does not mean sometimes that you  may possibly need to be confront the individual. Some prayer may be in order. In the meantime regardless of everything else learn to  love and forgive and move on.

 Being hateful and unforgiving is sinful and separates you from the Lord.
1 John 4:20 reminds us "Anyone who says he loves God but hates his brother he is a liar. Anyone who cannot love his brother who he has seen can not love God who he has not seen."

Are you able to love and forgive and keep doing it over and over and over again? That is what God wants and that is what keeps you close to Him. Remember according to Matthew 5:44 it says "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." Try it, you might like it and notice a heart change in your life as a result of a changed attitude.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for your word which gives me strength to get through each day. Thank you for your love for me no matter what. Help me to learn to love like you love. Give me strength to love those who are hurting me or hard to love. In Jesus name. Amen.

Click on link and worship the Lord in song:
http://youtu.be/38EVco7eba0

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

PEOPLE CAN WOUND! GOD CAN HEAL!



How many of us have been hurt by a family member, co worker or a friend? If you have not consider yourself blessed. Depending on how you were raised it may not bother you but it is really painful to be rejected especially when you can not understand why. Many when confronted may say there is a 'personality conflict'. With the new era of communication in social media now we can be hurt and rejected in a new way and it is called being 'defriended' or 'unfriended'. Not even sure if those words are in a modern dictionary but if not they should be. If it was a formerly close friend who did this and they want nothing to do with you there is nothing you can do but pray and move on and try to not let it ruin your day. Do not lash back with mean or harsh words as that only widens the breach that exists. There might even be a valid reason for it if you do not jump to conclusions. But for those friends who no longer want to be a friend, you have to let go and 'shake the dust from your feet' so to speak. Concentrate now more on those who appreciate you and let go of those who wounded you.

Now if it is a family member, you want to try at all costs to heal this relationship. I know of a family with two feuding brothers and neither wants to give in and make amends and move on. It has gone on now for a couple years if memory serves me right. If it is a marital conflict, get counseling because it says in God's word in Malachi 2:6 that he 'hates divorce'. Not trying to guilt any readers out there who are divorced as sometimes there are Biblical reasons for it. But if it is just saying you are 'incompatible', try to work things out and stay together if no one is in danger. God can heal and he can forgive. Let Him.

In relation to those who have rejected you, in 1 Peter 3:9 it reminds us "Do not repay evil for evil or insult for insult, but with blessing,because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing."  Kind of hard to not give someone 'a piece of your mind' and fight back. Be still. Give it to God. Let Him transform your hurt and anger.  Try to learn to sincerely pray for those who have hurt you. Matthew 5:44 says "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."

Dwelling on past hurts only gives Satan a victory. Be powerful and not pitiful and you will overcome this.

PRAYER: Father in heaven help me to resist being ugly to anyone who has hurt me. Help me answer with kindness when I am hurt. Give me your strength to go on when  rejected. In Jesus name. Amen.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

WATER NEEDED HERE



How many of us have had plants and flowers die because we forgot to water them? I know I have. Water is essential to life. Recently a few tomato plants we forgot about got neglected and wilted. I quickly put water on them hoping for them to spring back to life. They did spring  back after a few hours.

Just as water is needed to have living things grow, to include we humans, we also need God's word, the Bible,  if we expect our spirits to 'grow'. You can not know about Jesus and how to live a victorious Christian life unless you open it up once in a while and study it. You can go to church every day but if you do not pick up God's word and study it how will you know how to live your life for Christ? You need that 'instruction manual' to keep you on God's highway so to speak.

There is a saying I once heard that said "going into church won't make you into a Christian anymore than going into a garage will make you into a car". Think about that. There is not  some magic that happens when you walk in the door of the church. You have to give your heart to Jesus and begin to grow in Christ by reading the word of God and  perhaps finding a local Bible study to attend as well as  a good Bible based church where God's word comes alive and where the church is growing, not stagnating.

John 4:13-14 says "Jesus answered "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. But whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed the water I give him will become a spring of water welling up into eternal life."   Isaiah 58:11 says "The Lord will guide you always. He will satisfy your needs in a sun scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." In Matthew 5:6 it says "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled."

How about you? Are you thirsty for Jesus? If not why not? Examine your heart today. Maybe it is time to commit yourself to the Lord or give your heart to Him for the first time. He is waiting. Why not ask Him to be Lord of your life today?

 Let your prayer be like David's words in Psalm 63:1 which says "O God you are my God. Earnestly I seek you, my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you in a dry weary land where there is no water."

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for your word which brings life like water to my weary soul. Forgive me when I have ignored its' valuable lessons and neglected to read it. I know it is only by knowing it that I can resist and defeat the enemy, Satan. In Jesus name. Amen.

Click on link for praise song:
http://youtu.be/Ve720TWDZdg














Monday, June 4, 2012

PURSUE GOD

Are you running after God or away from Him? Do your actions indicate you love Him or are you just simply a person who is 'churched' but little else? On the other end of the spectrum are you a 'spiritual snob' looking down secretly on others who don't seem to be connected like you are? Watch out with haughtiness and thinking you have 'arrived'. Matthew 23:12 reminds us "For whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted".

Run after Him full steam ahead. The cares of the world will seem to melt away if you 'get into Jesus' so to speak. In Matthew 6:33 it commands us to "seek first the kingdom of God". Do you do that or do you simply identify with a church saying you're a member of 'such and such church'? Many people join churches as it seems the 'Christian' or socially accepted thing to do but do you love the Lord? Church membership is a man made concept and is no guarantee of heavenly admission upon your death. Let Christ be the center of your activities or in other words when you make your 'to do' list each day be sure to put at the top of it 'time with God'.

When you identify with Christ by calling yourself a Christian you should want to live a live pleasing to Him and be 'fruitful'. Seek peace, holiness, purity, a passion for things of the Lord, and commit the things you do to Him. Do all things for the glory of God it says in 1 Corinthians 10:31 and stay away from things you know take you away from Him. Pray daily and read your Bible. Start with Psalms, Proverbs, or the book of John. Ask God to open your heart and mind to what he wants you to learn.

1 Peter 3:10-12 says to us "For whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good, he must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil." Also in 1 Timothy 6:11 it says "But you man of God, flee from all of this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness."

What are you pursuing more than God? Fame and fortune perhaps? What or who is taking first place in your life?

PRAYER:Lord I know it is easy to squeeze you out of my day or to not pray at all times or read my Bible. Forgive me for the times I have only acknowledged you on Sunday. Fill me with your spirit and your joy and take away the desires for things that do not line up with your teachings in the Bible. In Jesus name. Amen.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

STAY DELIGHTED



What delights you? Your girlfriend or boyfriend? Your spouse or fiancee?

The definition of delight is great enjoyment or pleasure. Things can delight, events, or even people can bring immense joy. But what about Jesus? Does He bring any delight when his name comes to mind or do you just yawn and say "Don't go getting religious on me now"?
What things in your life are truly important to you? Maybe a nap or good night's sleep is up there on the list after a long hard day. Maybe it is a hobby, television, movies, or playing a certain sport. Do maybe naps, hobbies, work, and friends bring you more joy than Jesus?

We are not supposed to place anything above God as sometimes we could end up almost worshipping that person or thing. Take a celebrity or rock star for instance. Perhaps you are fortunate enough to have attended a concert of a famous singer and all the people in the audience are screaming and sometimes almost feinting depending on who is on stage. Do you get that excited about Jesus or are you ashamed to praise Him with your hands lifted high in the air.

Maybe the problem is that you are 'religious' but never really asked Jesus into your heart and you do not really pray to him or think about Him much until Sunday rolls around and sometimes not even then.

In the Old Testament in Exodus 20:3 it reminds us "You shall have no other God's before me." In Exodus 15:11 it says " Who among the gods is like you, O Lord? Who is like you majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?"  Meditate on that for awhile. He works wonders, he raises the dead, he heals, he sets free, he is the Lord God Almighty, maker of heaven and earth!
Psalm 37:4 says "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."  Maybe what you need is a fresh start with God. Perhaps you were turned off by legalistic churches which talked about more of what you could not do rather than God's love, forgiveness and grace. Maybe church seemed too formal and you felt you did not have the right clothes to attend. Maybe you felt judgmental eyes staring at you or the message was so formal you could not understand it. 
 Perhaps it is time to reexamine your life and start a new church that is alive for Christ and will love you no matter what you wear or what you have done. For some it is hard because you say "Well my mama went there, I was baptized here as a baby or youth, my family has always gone here" and on the excuses go. You do not get into heaven on your grandmothers' coattails or because of a certain church membership or denomination.

So where is your heart today? Do you love Jesus with all your heart? Do you want to live for Him and start delighting in Him? Today, right where you are say "Lord Jesus I want you to come live in my heart. I know I am a sinner saved by grace. I want to live for you and serve you."

You can start today renewing your excitement for Jesus and truly put Him  first or you can keep putting it off. Job 22:26 says "Surely you will find delight in the Almighty and lift up your face to God.". Why not turn  off your TV and turn onto Jesus.

PRAYER: Lord I want my delight to always be in you. I confess at times other things have taken first place. I want to change that now Lord and let you live in me as I seek to be more Christlike. In Jesus name. Amen.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

CRACKS IN THE PAVEMENT


Another story idea came to me while I was pulling weeds from cracks in our driveway before these nasty things had a chance to totally destroy our asphalt driveway. Weeds are like that. They choke plants. Some have thorns on them and stick you when you are innocently reaching for say, a strawberry. Weeds choke out life and cause destruction.They are so powerful they can break through concrete, brick, and asphalt.
Satan and his destructive powers are like that. Good news!! God is more powerful. Just like I spray weed killer to get rid of pesky weeds, the word of God is our 'Satanic weed killer' so to speak. You 'cover' yourself and your family with the word of God so you are protected from the onslaught of the enemies tricks to bring you down.
In the Bible weeds are referred to when mentioning the word of God. It says in Matthew 13:18-23 the following "Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: when  anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown."
What in your life is choking out the word of God so it can not bear fruit in your life?
PRAYER: Father I want to get rid of those 'weeds' in my life that choke out your word for your word is truth and the way to have a victorious life. I resist Satan and he has to flee. In Jesus name. Amen.

















Friday, June 1, 2012

STOP COMPARING


The 'grass is always greener' or is it? How many of us have ever been envious of someone elses seemingly perfect life? Maybe jealous of a title a person has,their education, perhaps  their home, their wealth, their success, or perhaps their family life. We don't know the whole story. Not everything that is perfect looks perfect. Even if it is, are we able  to rejoice with those who rejoice and not be envious or jealous of them? The Bible says to be content. It also says to not covet or desire people's things. And it mentions jealously too. There is much within its' pages about focusing just on getting rich too. Can you truly rejoice with those who rejoice?

Why do some folks feel they have to prove things? Many of you reading this from these United States are considered wealthy compared to many nations. Most of us have a vehicle to drive. Usually there is plenty of food on the table and so much sometimes we often gorge ourselves and get overweight. This nation in most areas is blessed with clean running water which we often waste by taking showers too long or leaving it running longer than we should. Almost everyone in America can see a doctor when they need to without a long wait. American women spend a phenomenal amount of money on beauty supplies which could be used to feed  starving people. Not attempting to guilt anyone and not saying go without makeup, just simply making a point. We are blessed with vacation time and go to nice places. I could go on but the point being, stop and count your blessings and thank God for them instead of trying to keep up with others or not being satisfied.

What does God's word say about this? In Matthew 6:24 it says "No one can serve two masters.  Either you will hate one and love the other, or you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."   This does not say wealth is wrong but if you have an abundance it is not supposed to dominate your life.  Proverbs 23:5 says "Cast but a glance at riches and they are gone for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle." Proverbs 27:24 tells us "For riches do not endure forever and a crown is not secure for all generations."   In Hebrews 13:5 it says "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, never will I leave you or forsake you." In 1 Timothy 6:8 it reminds us "But if we have food and clothing we will be content with that." Philippians 4:11 also goes on to say about contentment "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." 2 Corinthians 10:5 says "We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise."

We should really only strive to be like God who is the only one to imitate or seek to be like.Romans 12:15 says to "Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep." Are you able to do this when someone gets a promotion and you don't or when a friend gets accepted to a certain college and you don't? Exodus 20:17 is the last of the Ten Commandments and it mentions not coveting your neighbors things. Take a moment and read over all these commandments. It is good to review them every now and then.

So how do things stack up for you? If the 'rug of success and prosperity' were yanked out from underneath you could you still praise God even when others around you carried on as normal seemingly having no problems? I will leave you with Matthew 6:33 which says " Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His  righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you."

PRAYER: Father forgive me when I have complained or not been happy with what I have in life. I realize I am truly blessed. Thank you for working in my life. Help me learn to rejoice with others when good happens to them. In Jesus name. Amen.