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.

Friday, August 31, 2012

LOST?



We all lose things don't we? Keys, drivers license, wallet, important papers. It is hard not to sometimes. There was a TV show on a couple years ago entitled simply 'Lost', about survivors from a plane crash trying to find their way back home out of a jungle. Hansel and Gretel were lost and dropped crumbs in hopes of finding their way back home. Losing things and being lost happens in life. We may get lost on a trip driving as we take a wrong turn. Even with a GPS or map it sometimes does not help. Sometimes we just can not find our way.

The Bible mentions the word lost  many times. There are lost coins, lost sheep, parable of lost son. Do you know Jesus as your Lord and  Saviour  or do you often times feel like you are wandering around with no purpose? In Jeremiah 50:6 it says "My people have been lost sheep, their shepherds have led them astray and caused them to roam on the mountains. They wandered over mountain and hill and forgot their own resting place." Have you let other more 'important' activities keep you away from the Lord? Are you wandering in the wilderness without turning to God to help you find your way?

The good news is you can find your way with Jesus and the word of God as your compass in life. Isaiah 53:6 says " we all like sheep have gone astray , each of us has turned to his own way, but the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all."

God can give you direction in life if only you will turn to him. It says in John 14:6 that "I am the way, the truth, yes and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me."  Jesus can ChriDirection,direct your paths and keep you from being lost. Psalm 119:105 says "Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path."

There is no need to wander lost in life and have no direction. Jesus can be that true light to help you find your way out of the wilderness you am encounter in your journey. Turn to him for guidance.

Let me leave you with two of my favorite Bible verses found in Proverbs 3:5-6. "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to thy own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight."
PRAYER: Lord thank you for guiding me along the path of life. I know when I turn to my own way without you I can make wrong turns in life. I want to use your word as my 'map' to guide me on my journey. In Jesus name.Amen.

Click on link for awesome song of worship.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

BE A LIVING BREATHING SERMON




Do you show by your  actions that you love the Lord? I did not say do you have a fish on your car, a big cross around your neck, or a Jesus bumper sticker but do you truly show that you are a follower of Christ. All the Christian bumper stickers in the world won't amount to anything unless you show love to those around you.

Are you kind, generous, happy, respectful, grateful, unselfish, and loving? I did not ask if your went to a certain church or were a member of a church but can you get outside your 'Holy  huddle' and show Jesus' love to those maybe who make you feel uncomfortable or who are not just like you?  Can you stop judging, condemning, and pointing the finger long enough to pray for those people who maybe aren't like you or who do not like you?Can you forgive?

Matthew 5:46 says "If you love those who love you what reward  will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?"  Are you able to show love for those who may be different than you let's say covered with tattoos or body piercing as one example. Remember the Bible says in Matthew 7:1 " Judge not that you be not judged." Have you ever been guilty  of saying "I can not stand her" or " he makes me sick?"  Aren't comments such as those a bit on the unloving, unkind, and unchristian side? I would think so. Do you think Jesus sat around with His disciples and said "He makes me sick" or "I can't stand him?" Probably not. Sure he was displeased with actions but not by the people.

Do you realize you reap what you sow? It says that in Galatians 6:7. Look it up in the New Testament right after the four gospels, Acts, Romans, and 1st and 2nd Corinthians there are the books you can find by saying the acronym 'Gentiles Eat Pork Chops' or 'General Electric Power Company' which are Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians. Each of those small,but valuable books of the Bible, is packed with so much wisdom. Why not take about 30 minutes and read them all one day.

Let me leave you with this. Once I heard someone say "You may be the only Bible some people ever read."  This simply means that some people who are 'unchurched' or could care less about 'religious' things may see you and you can reflect the love of Jesus. But if you are complaining, calling people names, gossiping and not showing joy you are not a good example for Him. Just some food for thought for your day. Be blessed to be a blessing.

PRAYER: Lord I choose to walk in a manner that brings glory to you and helps show Christian love and is a good witness Convict me if I ever start to name call or gripe and help me instead learn to sing praises. Forgive me for ever speaking ugly about anyone. In Jesus name. Amen.

Click on link below for an awesome song of praise.
http://youtu.be/qrOywJnLj7Y

Note: Dated my devotion wrong yesterday. It should have been Wednesday 29 August 2012. Maybe no one noticed but I caught it too late.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

DOWN IN THE DUMPS??TRY GOD.



There are probably times when all of us have had a down kind of day. Circumstances in life, illnesses, and various problems can tend to get our focus off positive things and onto gloom and doom. In many cases a person who is unable to escape from this may need to seek professional help. But many times we are just not focused on happy or positive things. Dwelling on the past has got to stop. Give your worries over to the Lord. If you think about it, much of what you worry about you have no control over anyway so why not get in the practice of being a Bible dweller and not a worry pit dweller.

 Probably everyone has had that kind of day. If things are not going like you want in life and you pray you may wonder why God has not heard. All I know is to stay above the pity pits and gloominess a person has to make a purposeful effort to stay focused on the promises in God's word. It is the enemy, Satan, who wants you to feel all alone and hurt. Don't give the devil a foothold in your life. Stay above the gloom by focusing on God. Read the verses below out loud and see if you do not feel better.

Luke 1:37 Nothing is impossible with God.
Romans 8:28 And we know all things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.
1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your cares on God for He cares for you.
Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength. A very present help in time of trouble.
Psalm 27:10 Even  if my father and mother forsake me, you Lord hold me close.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
Psalm 56:4  In God whose word I trust. I will not be afraid what mortal man can do to me.

When you have this feeling coming on you don't just run and sit in front of the TV as it may add to the despair by what you view on it. Try reading some of the verses above out loud and then spending some time talking to God. It is the best cure I know.

PRAYER: Lord thank you for your word that gives me hope,freedom,strength,and guidance. I love your word Lord and I know the times I find myself gloomy I need to fix my eyes and thoughts on the promises in your word. In Jesus name. Amen.

Click on link below to worship the Lord in song.
http://youtu.be/0ZFN8TBfgNU

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

LOVE CAN SET YOU FREE


 I am not talking about romantic love in this devotion but love for those around you on a daily basis. Are you able to truly love like Jesus would love? This means  not saying harsh things to friends and family. This also means putting others before yourself. It means loving when you do not feel like it. Can you forget the mistakes of others? Are you able to let things go, move on,and forgive? It means giving up your 'right' to get back at others. It means loving people who do not show love back.

 Most people are familiar with 'the love chapter' in the Bible which is 1 Corinthians 13. Take a moment and get your Bible and read it. If married couples would adhere to what it says there would a lot fewer quarrels in marriages and probably less lawyers getting rich off splitting up families. I know people who don't quarrel so it is possible. Try to please God and not try to win every disagreement. In verse 5 it says "Love does not keep a record of wrongs."  Imagine  that would you!! Never trying to prove you are right and just letting things go to keep peace. With God it is possible to do that. Maybe if that is your weak area in some relationship you could ask for God's strength to not record every wrong deed done to you. Doing that only makes you angry and bitter and certainly does nothing to fill up your 'love bank'.

Mark 12:30-31 says "Love the lord your God with all your heart with all your soul with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this. Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these."

Try something. Go walking in a mall and silently as you pass shoppers say to yourself "I love you and I love you and you too". Instead of judging people as they pass you, try sharing God's love. Try smiling. The smile is sort of a universal language of love.


 Try to show love to someone today. Be kind to your spouse, perhaps do something extra nice. Do something special for a friend. Whatever it is remember to be a representative of Jesus in all you say and do.

 PRAYER: Father forgive me if I have had times it is difficult to show love and kindness. I know you are sad when I do not love like you love. I want to do that. Thanks for forgiving me when I mess up. In Jesus name. Amen

Monday, August 27, 2012

STOP THINKING NEGATIVE. LOOK UP!


Have you ever noticed how it is easier to complain, gossip, gripe, and basically have a negative mindset than to be positive and uplifting? The  world is filled with hate, bickering, lawsuits, confusion, revenge, fear, misunderstandings, and division but we as believers are to shine the light of Jesus into the darkness and change the negative to positive. But if we are chiming in right along then we do not make much impact.

Sure there are times things make you upset,  but it is reacting in a calm fashion and not exploding that will not only keep you peaceful but will resolve the matters more effectively.

To be able to do this you must be intentional about not being conformed to the things in the world that tend to plant bad thoughts in your head. Try to have the mind of Christ. Let me give you the Bible verse I have used numerous times in these devotions and that is Romans 12:2 which says "Do not conform anymore to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and prove what the will of the Lord is. His good, pefect, and pleasing will."  To do this your mind needs to be focused on God's thoughts to those of the world.  Philippians  4:8 reminds us "Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think on these things." Commit this scripture to memory. It will help you stay happy, joyful, and positive in a world of negativity around you.

Let me end with Psalm 34:14 which says "Turn from evil and do good. Seek peace and pursue it."

PRAYER: Father I thank you that I can choose to be positive and peaceful in a world filled with fear and chaos. When I start to despair and the enemy tries to get me to succumb to the ways of the world help me remember I can turn to you. In Jesus name. Amen

Sunday, August 26, 2012

HOW IS YOUR FRUIT?


Are you bearing fruit for the kingdom of God or do you have a bunch of scraggly dead branches and wilted blooms hanging on you? Think about during the drought, for those of us in America living in drought stricken areas, how the corn crop looks. Pretty dried out and basically producing no crop. As a believer, are we like that corn which is dried out and not flourishing due to lack of rain? Our 'lack of rain' would be not saturating ourselves with the word of God on a regular basis. Do not just wait till Sunday to get 'watered' but 'water' yourself daily.

 Galatians 5:22-23 says "But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Against such things there is no law."

To develop those 'fruits' in our life we have to read and put into practice the word of God on a regular basis. Ask yourself if your life displays those 'fruits' in a good way or do you need some pruning ,which often hurts,  in order to drop the dead branches and old fruit and let the new fruit bloom and flourish?  Get rid of those things in your life which are causing your 'fruit' to not blossom.

 Do it today. Make it a deliberate action to let good fruit grow in your life 'cutting off' those things keeping you from living a dynamic Christian life.

PRAYER: Lord thank you that I can decide to flourish for you I need to cut off things in my life that I  know separate me from you and nourish the things in my life that draw me closer to you. In Jesus name. Amen

Saturday, August 25, 2012

THE PRIZE


 Who doesn't like to win a prize? I know I do! I am always signing up for contests. Lots of people tell me I am lucky but I say "no I am blessed" because over the years I have won everything from flowers, movie tickets, tickets to amusement parks, concert tickets, American Express gift card, ice show tickets, sunglasses, flying lessons(which I transferred to my son who is a commercial pilot now), inflatable goal posts, a gold watch, door prizes at coffees and Bunco, and most recently an IPOD Touch which became an instant birthday gift to my younger son!!
 These early prizes and rewards are great but do not compare anything to what awaits those who have made Jesus Lord of their life. James 1:12 says "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, for where has stood  the test, he will receive the crown of lifer hat God has promised to those that love him." Wow we get to be like royalty!!  A crown is special. It is the best reward of your life. Better than a Grammy, better than an Oscar, better than a Tony!! They do not compare with the reward of being with Jesus in eternity!
 Where are you today? Have you asked Jesus to be Lord of your life and are your walking with Him daily? If not, why not stop right now and say "Lord Jesus I need you in my life. I want to live for you and serve you. Forgive me for doing my own thing and sinning against you. Come into my heart right now. "
The journey ahead is marvelous. Not always a joy ride because trials will come into your life Hang on to Jesus and He will see you through.  Isaiah 43:2 reminds us "When you pass through the waters I will be with you, and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire you will not be burned. The flames will not set you ablaze."  Look to Jesus  for your strength when the world seems to be caving in around you. He indeed will see you through!!
 PRAYER: Father in heaven thank you for being my best prize ever. I do not need earthly rewards and pats on the back I need you in my life Lord. Shine your light through me. In Jesus name. Amen.

Friday, August 24, 2012

GET CONTROL OF THAT MOUTH AND THE WORDS YOU SAY




The character Steve Urkel played by actor Jaleel White on The TV show 'Family Matters' used to utter the phrase "Did I do that?"  In our own lives we could probably utter the phrase "Did I say that" because many a time the old mouth seems to pop open before we think of what we are saying. Consequently you can get into real trouble if  you are not careful. Embarrassment, hurt, pain,  and misunderstandings can all occur after misspoken words.

The entire chapter of James 3, which I have mentioned numerous times, concerns the dangers of the tongue. We can go on needlessly chattering not even paying attention to whom our words might affect. I always think James 1:19 is an excellent verse to memorize and to use in all types of relationships but especially marriages. It says "My dear brothers take note of this. Let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." That should be your assignment for today and everyday and more friendships and marriages  would remain intact and not fractured.

Quarrels can occur as a result of words spoken that should not have. For instance in Proverbs 27:15 speaking specifically to the ladies it says "A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day." So see ladies if we can not gain control of that mouth and try to pick fights then we sound like a dripping water faucet. Proverbs 21:9 also says "Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife." Ouch! Don't be a drip and don't cause people to run live in a corner okay?

 But men you are not off the hook. Men are not to be bitter to their wives or children. Colossians 3:19 reminds them by saying "Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them." When you are harsh do others think you are a Christian. And with children it reminds men in Ephesians 6:4 to not exasperate your children.

Ephesians 4:29 is an excellent memory verse about our words. It says "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." If only we could do this on a daily basis. Before you talk about somebody stop and ask yourself if Jesus would approve if he were with you because he is with you. What do you gain by belittling someone anyway? Aren't we supposed to be showing love instead?

Let me just give you a few more verses on words for you to think about in your spare time.

Proverbs 25:11 A  word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
Proverbs 10:19 When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
Proverbs 18:7   A fool's mouth is his undoing, and his lips are a snare to his soul.
Proverbs 10:14 Wise men store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.
Proverbs 12:13 An evil man is trapped by his sinful talk, but a righteous man escapes trouble.
Proverbs 13:3 He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.
Ecclesiastes 10:12 Words from a wise man's mouth are gracious, but a fool is consumed by his own lips.
Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

There you have it. Do your own search in the Bible for more valuable verses on controlling what we say. Do not be hasty and really ask God to help you think before you accidentally say something you will regret later. Let the words coming from your mouth build up not tear down.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus I thank you for the gift of being able to talk. I need to be careful not to use my mouth against people but use it to say nice things and to praise you. Thank you for the gift of speech. I want mine to only bring glory to you. In Jesus Name. Amen.


Sorry this is late. I am travelling this week.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

BEEN HURT? GIVE IT TO GOD.



Bitterness,resentment,hatred, lies, false accusations, damaged reputations, loss of a job, broken friendships, betrayals. Lots can happen to make a person angry, hurt, bitter, hopeless, and feeling washed up.

 Let's say someone refuses to forgive you for something. Humanly, anger builds up and  you may be hurt and want them to suffer but that is not God's ideal. James 1:19-20 reminds us "This you know my beloved brethren. Let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness God desires." Anger causes you to sometimes say and do things you will regret later. Try to respond to being hurt in a loving way. To continually 'stir the pot' so to speak, does nothing but keep contempt alive. Perhaps the other individual who has caused the pain humanly deserves to be told off. Will that really resolve things? More importantly, is that how Jesus would want you to act?Probably not.

No one likes to be hurt emotionally by someone especially if it is a close friend, spouse, or other family member. Satan is  the one who causes this type of division. His specialty is dividing families and causing fights. If we could only direct our energies at fighting against him and not people how much better life would be.

Hebrews 12:14-15 says "Pursue peace with all men and holiness without which no man shall see God.Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the glory of God, lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble and by this many be defiled."

PRAYER: Lord I love you and I want to be at peace with all those people you have placed in my life. Help me be careful what I say and how I react. Forgive me for the times maybe I have created hurt in someones life and maybe was unaware of it. My desire is to blow off bad things and focus on joy. In Jesus name. Amen.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

BROKEN NOT DESTROYED



 In life sometimes bad stuff happens to us, a friend or a family member. Especially if you are following the Lord you may not understand why He did not stop it . You may be confused as you prayed and still this bad stuff occurs. The good news is God redeems, heals, and sets the captives free. His purposes are beyond what we can sometimes understand.

 The enemy, Satan, wants Christians to get down in the dumps  and feel there is no hope. There is always hope and the story is not over yet. Bible teacher Joyce Meyer says to say "I believe God is working" and to say this out loud even when in does not seem like it. Keep on holding onto hope. There is always hope with God. To have an attitude like God does not care or why isn't He working is putting God on your time table.

There may be those reading this but say "Yeah Becky that is fine and good but you have not lost a child to cancer, a wreck, or at birth." That is true that I can not identify with that sort of pain and misery but I do know the Lord didn't cause those things but He does have a way to use all things. It is beyond my understanding and the grief of that has to be pretty severe. Just keep looking to Jesus and share your pain with Him.

 Isaiah 54:17 reminds us "No weapon formed against you shall prosper and every  tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn.This is the heritage of the servants of the  Lord, and their righteousness is of me says the Lord."

 Are you able to rejoice when you do not feel up to it? Trying to have joy in all circumstances truly comes from the Lord.

Where are you today? Can you praise God in the storms of life?

PRAYER:: Lord you are good all the time and all the time you are good. In life things happen. No one expects to go through life without some sort of heartbreak. I know Lord you love me and have a plan for my life. Give me the strength to praise you in good times and not so good times. In Jesus name amen.

Click on link below to worship the Lord in song.
http://youtu.be/2KsfwvpcQhY

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

ARE YOU IMITATING GOD?



Are you a Sunday Christian only or do you try to be like Him the other 6 days? Do you feel all you need to go to heaven is one hour on Sunday or join a church? Do you think people who get 'too serious' about God are sort of freaky?Maybe you are more religious than in a relationship with Jesus. Many people think the one day a week is just fine. To do more is sort of weird or goes overboard a bit. Really? Do you let problems get to you similar to those people who do not even read their Bible? I am sad to say there are believers who rarely ever pick up their Bible. If you live in a home with one, preaching to them is going to turn them more against it. The Holy Spirit has to work on them, not you! Just keep praying and be patient and walk with love in your house. In Psalm 101:2 it reminds us " I will be careful to lead a blameless life--when will you come to me? I will walk in my house with blameless heart." Let God handle the details of your loved ones or friends as you continue to show love to them and keep praying.

Do you gossip, lie, cheat, backbite, fault find, speak harshly, refuse to forgive, and curse? Do you honestly think if Jesus were standing in the room with you that some of the things you did or said you would continue to do? Probably not. Why is it so hard to grasp that living the life dedicated to pleasing Jesus is something we are to be serious about? When you do not feed your mind and spirit a diet of God's word other than listening to watch the preacher or priest tells you on Sunday how can you possibly expect to be equipped for the battles, trials, and temptations that come your way? Your carnal nature will react negatively to things if you do not hide God's word in your  heart.

Are you an imitator of Jesus? Be honest. Ephesians 4:25-5:2 says "Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body .“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."

So do you imitate God? There are no qualifiers here such as "well you do not know what they did to me". "Well his sin is despicable and I have a right to react that way." "He had it coming." Do these statements sound like imitations of our Lord? No they do not. Start today each day getting into the word of God and responding with love, kindness and grace even to those who seemingly do not deserve it. That is what Jesus would do.

PRAYER: Father I am not the judge of other people. It is my job to try to love like you love and be kind to others. I am not supposed to be kind to those if they are acting good but all people. Forgive me if I have ever been hateful, crude, cruel, or mean to someone. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Monday, August 20, 2012

OUR WONDERFUL GOD


God almighty! Creator of heaven and earth. The Alpha and the Omega. The everlasting one. Jehovah Jirah. Our provider. The names of God are many and he is indeed king of kings and Lord of Lords. He is greater than any human leader and controls the universe. Nothing is too difficult for him. He allows things sometimes for a reason, even bad stuff. He loves us with an everlasting love.

Get alone sometime and turn off the noise boxes in your life such as your radio, phones, televisions and just spend time alone with God. Go to a park free of chattering voices. Just spend time meditating on the goodness of God and what he has done for you. Sometimes the commotion that seems nonstop in our busy lives tends to drown out God. You can be in church singing praise songs like you are just going through the motions. No impact, no change, no excitement about Jesus.  It is time to love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and strength.

Do you realize just how wonderful God is? Take a look at the stars at night. Watch the thunderstorms roll in. Marvel at the flowers and the birds. He has made it all. He made us for His purposes.

Psalm 100:5 says "For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations."
1 Chronicles 16:34 says "Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." Psalm 108:4 says "For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies."

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for your goodness and mercy and your wonderful creation. At times I do not take enough time to just sit and reflect on how great and awesome you are. Thank you for creating me and placing me just where you have me. Help me shine for you. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Click link below for a song of worship and praise.
http://youtu.be/1saX9_Nmg5k

Sunday, August 19, 2012

FAMILY IS FOREVER



In the movie 'Dolphin Tale' one of the main characters gave his nephew a token of his love before he went off to war and it was inscribed with the words "Family Is Forever'. Your family is there or should be when the world runs out on you. Too many families are fractured in today's world. Wedding vows seem to be meaningless to many. The traditional family is indeed the backbone of our society.

When a family member suffers all should want to help. I know of a family where two siblings had a quarrel a few years ago and neither one would budge to restore their relationship. To this day they have not spoken. When the family unit breaks down it affects all members. If you are the product of a divorce I am not trying to condemn you because God can and does forgive and redeem and heal. He is indeed the God of a second chance. When a member of the body hurts all members should hurt. Do not point the finger and condemn.

If you are reading this today pray for the unity of your own family unit. Pray that you will always do what it takes to keep things working properly. Above all keep Christ in the center. If you are a married couple and one spouse claims to know Jesus but yet does not read his or her Bible and seemingly acts like the rest of the world after Sunday do not preach to them, simply pray.

Parents out there, if you have a child who has messed up or is a prodigal, love them and pray for them. God is not through with them yet. If you have messed up and hurt someone ask forgiveness. Harboring resentment and hatred only keeps the argument going. Be the bigger person and seek to restore a relationship if one is broken.

Be devoted to your family and your spouse. It is okay to be independent and have your own interests but you should also try to find things that you like to do together. Some couples are already very uniquely matched in their interests so this is not hard to do. Be thankful if you are and nurture that time together for intimacy and building a strong married life. Romans 12:10 says "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves." Treat others like you want to be treated. Go out of your way to show kindness. If you are spoken to harshly do not retaliate but respond with love.

 If you are a part of an estranged family and maybe you have been the one not willing to budge, then pray and ask for courage to confront this to mend a broken relationship. Some family members can in fact be downright mean and try to bring dissension in the ranks, so to speak. That type of person would indeed be hard to embrace and love. Just keep praying. Try to love them. Perhaps this person has told lies to try to break the family apart or pit one against the other and you have just about had enough. Continue to pray for them. The more you pray the less you want to hate. Romans 12:21 reminds us to "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." That is a good thing to remember. When someone talks sarcastically or hateful to you try to ignore it and speak in love. Hard to do humanly but not with God's help.

 Leave and cleave is the key for marriages. If you are a parent let the children alone once they are married. Do not try to tell them what to do. Do not run to mommy or daddy but seek advice of your spouse. Genesis 2:24 says "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." Leave and cleave that is the key. If you are a child living in the same town as your parents keep this in mind. Meddling families are not a good thing. If your marriage needs help go seek Christian counseling.

Today I write this in honor of my husband of 35 years who affectionately introduces me as his first wife Becky.Today is his birthday. Marriages and families today are under fire more than ever so appreciate and love your family. Remember the vows you took. If you are newlyweds maybe it is good to make it a practice to read your vows each month on the date of your anniversary.  Joel 2:25 reminds us this about God and it says "And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten." Things aren't over if you have messed up. Keep on looking to Jesus. And if you are flourishing as a family keep it that way by looking to Jesus in all things. Keep him in the center. Keep in the word of God.

PRAYER: Lord God thank you for family. Thanks for the family you gave me. Thankyou Lord for problems for through them we learn to be strong. God I ask that you take care of my family and help grow them more and more into your image and  help me always love no matter what. In Jesus Name. Amen.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

HANG ON! KEEP PRAYING!



What are you believing God for? A wayward child, a healing, a restored relationship, emotional stability, freedom from an addiction, healed marriage, a financial miracle? God loves you and he cares about you. Sometimes it seems we pray and pray and pray more. Why isn't God listening? Why doesn't he care? Why don't I see change? What is going on Lord? Discouragement sets in and maybe you feel like giving up. That is what the enemy wants.

Bible teacher Joyce Meyer said to say "I believe God is working." He is you know! Do you believe what it says in Luke 18:1 that "we should pray and never give up?"  We should in fact keep on keeping on and once you pray do not sit there wringing your hands in desperation or letting Satan lie to you and condemn you making you feel there is not any hope.

 Remember it says in 2 Chronicles 20:15 that "the battle is not ours but God's." Stand in the gap for your loved one or whoever it is who you are praying for. Ezekiel 22:30 says " I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none." Don't let that be the case with you. Be that person when no one else prays that will keep on lifting up the prayers. There is one thing to remember. Make sure your own life is on track. For instance Psalm 66:18 says "If I regard sin in my heart the Lord will not hear me."

God is not finished with you or with the subject of your prayers. Trust Him to work in  his time, not yours.

PRAYER: Lord I thank you that you hear my prayer and that you love me and care about me. Help me to let go and let you do your work and stop fretting. I trust you for the outcome. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Click on link below to enjoy a wonderful song of praise to start your day.
http://youtu.be/9DlrpTUENSI

Note: moms and grandmas out there. The new school year is upon us and Moms in Prayer International prayer groups are starting up worldwide. To find a group praying for your childs' school to include college/career/military go to www.momsinprayer.org The ministry recently changed its' name from Moms in Touch to Moms in Prayer. Never doubt the power of a praying mom.

Friday, August 17, 2012

TRANSFORMED OR CONFORMED?



In the book of Romans Chapter 12 verse 2 it says " Do not be conformed anymore to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind so then you may be able to test and approve what God's will is. His good, pleasing, and perfect will."  What  does this mean exactly for someone who says they are a Christian?

 First of all we know the world and America is getting less and less Christian friendly. Christians who take a Biblical stand against a sinful act are called 'hateful' when in fact no one said anything about hate. All they do is stand up for what the believe in the Bible. Society is trying to get sinful behaviors accepted. This has been a topic of mine previously but bears repeating. The more and more you accept sin and immorality the less it bothers you what is happening. You get desensitized. The more you stay in the true word of God and study it the more the more will know the standards of right and wrong and good and evil in the Bible.

Satan hates the Bible because it has power to change and transform lives. There is that word 'transform' which means change. If you start taking God's word into your heart by reading it on a daily basis you can not help but be changed. The problem  is many Christians are just Sunday church goers with no active spiritual life beyond the doors of their church on Sunday. How can you know about God if you do not get into his word? How can you  know how to dance unless you are dedicated to dance class? You get the idea. Practice and study are what it takes.

 When the Holy Spirit does truly come into your heart you will desire his word and want to devour it. That at least was my experience back in 1975 when I rededicated my life to Christ. The word has the power to make you into a 'nonconformist' so to speak. Who will be left to speak out against the atrocities of a sin filled life and sin filled nation if we all conform to the standards set by our world?
1 Peter 3:15  says "Instead you must worship Christ  as Lord of your life and if someone asks you about your Christian hope be ready to explain it." Set your standards as godly standards but not in a self righteous way. Be a light in the world to make people around you want what you have.

 How about you? Do you conform too much to the pattern of the world? Each person needs to examine their heart and ask themselves if they appear too much like the world and less like Jesus.

 PRAYER: Father I thank you for the Bible which is the word of truth. Help me Lord not make excuses for why I am too busy to read it each day. Forgive me for the times I have been too absorbed into the culture and pattern of this world. Give me your strength to make a difference for you wherever you place me. In Jesus name.Amen.

Click on link for a great song of praise.
http://youtu.be/8vNPcmLzlvI

Thursday, August 16, 2012

PRAISE THEN CRITICIZE??



Are you guilty of going to church and worshipping God and praising him in song then when you get out of church you return to your 'old self' that of maybe gossiping, backbiting others, being critical, or judging? Did the message you heard in church even sink in or were you simply there doing your 'duty' to God to keep one of the Ten Commandments?

 Going to church should help transform you but if you are simply there out of some duty or because it was what your mom and dad taught you to do then what good is it really? Perhaps it is time to get serious about loving Jesus with all your heart. The Bible says in Mark 12:30 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength." When you love the Lord you love people too. Think about that.

If you name the name of Jesus you should not hide your light and you should not just go to church but get to know Jesus. Spend time with him daily. Pray, read the Bible, perhaps even find a Bible study during the week to attend. If you are going there should be a change in your life. Don't walk outside on Sunday after church and put back on your old ragged stained garments of sin but look up and rejoice. Get to know what Christian love is and try to shine for Jesus every day everywhere you are. If you have wronged someone go ask forgiveness.

Above all let what comes out of your mouth reflect the goodness and glory of the Lord. Hate, criticism and gossip do not fall into that category.

 Psalm 19:14 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 I thank you that I get to go to church. There are no armed guards saying we cannot go in and no one has confiscated my Bible. Forgive me Lord if I have ever been guilty of acting holy in church then like a 'little devil' the rest of the week. I represent you and I want to do it well. In Jesus name.Amen!
 Click on link for awesome song of praise.
http://youtu.be/qaHmiFaX_pk

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

PITY PARTIES AREN'T COOL


 Have you ever had a day where you woke up and started thinking about your problems before you started praising Jesus? I know I have. To stay joyful in the Lord you have to have right thinking. It is a spiritual discipline I have mentioned numerous times in my blog. We all slip up every now and then and let the enemy try to get us in a 'poor me' slump where you don't think of Jesus or his glory at all! When this happened to me recently I wanted to go back to bed but knew that was the enemy keeping me from my time alone with God. What better thing to do than keep a Christian devotion blogger feeling down, right?  It had not happened in quite a while and thankfully I snapped out of it with God's help.

Later that same day while driving through nearby Madison,Alabama where I used to live, I drove past a cemetery and a lady, probably in her mid thirties I am guessing, was sitting on a small plastic chair hanging over a fresh grave. It got me to thinking about who had died. My first thought was her child. But never the less witnessing this snapped me back to reality and my problems, tiny in the big scope of what this lady was probably dealing with. I turned around and parked across the street where she did not see me, said a prayer for her, and watched her from a distance as  a  thunderstorm approached. I wanted to drive over and give her my rain jacket but decided not to as she probably wanted solitude.

Sometimes we may think we are the only ones feeling down or gloomy when in actuality there are many people facing horrendous situations on a daily basis. Take a person incarcerated in prison for instance. Do you think they wake up with much hope?

Anyway the point being is two fold. First don't always be into self and your own problems. When you think of others or help others you can't help having joy. The second thing is to be careful what you think about. Like I said you can become disciplined in your thought patterns and God's word is the best way to do it. So start today and when you feel yourself feeling worthless,self condemning, pitiful, or sense a feeling of rejection cry out to Jesus who is able to lift you out of your pit. Next get the Bible out and start reading the book of John or Psalms. You will feel better.

Psalm 40:1-3 says "I waited patiently for the Lord to help me and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the more. He set my feet on solid ground, and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed.They will put their trust in the Lord." Finally Psalm 16:8 says " I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand I shall not be moved."

PRAYER: Lord when I feel myself sinking into self pity help me remember all I have to be grateful for. I praise your name for simply having the gift of life. Thank you that you put me on earth to serve you. Help me always let my light shine.in Jesus name. Amen.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

THE WRONG DIRECTION


Which way in life are you headed? Do you know for a fact if you were hit by a semi and killed today or died of a heart attack or something else tragic like that that you would be in heaven? How do you know? Because you were baptized as a baby? Because you joined a church? Because you are a member of a certain exclusive denomination? Because you attended Vacation Bible School?
The direction in life to go is to follow Jesus. He did not make up a bunch of man made rules of do's and don'ts to keep you out of his kingdom although some churches make you feel that way.The main thing is have you asked him to be Lord of your life? Have you? You should want to be baptized as an outward sign of an inward change but it is not what saves you alone.

Several years ago a lady at a particular church we attended at the time which believed in infant baptism asked me if I knew if a little 2 year old that had died had been baptized. I had met the child and his mom once at a birthday party. They were both tragically murdered. Anyway I told her "no" as the family attended a church where babies were dedicated. She then said "oh that is so sad" and I politely said " God does not send babies to hell". Let's say you are at a Billy Graham crusade and walked forward to give your life to Christ at the altar call at the end of his message. There is no baptismal pool there at the crusade. Then let's say you are killed on the way home before having a chance to follow your decision by being baptized. God isn't going to say "Sorry. Can't come in my kingdom. You forgot to be baptized."

The way to heaven is to live for Jesus and to ask him to be Lord of your life. Once you do this you should hunger and thirst for knowing Him better. This does not mean magically everything in life is going to be okay because struggles and heartaches are part of life. But it does mean you will be able to go through things with a better attitude.

John 14:6 says "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me." John 10:9 says "I am the gate, whoever enters in through me will be saved. He will come in and go out and find pasture." John 11:25 says "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me shall live even though he dies." Matthew 7:7 says "Ask and it will be given to you. seek and you shall find. Knock and the door will be opened unto you." Romans 10:13 says "Call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." Revelation 3:20 says " Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears the door and answers, I will come in to him..." Romans 10:9 says "Then if you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart, you will be saved."

There you have it. Pretty simple. Not meaning to step on any denominations rules but all we have to do is say "Lord Jesus I am a sinner. I want to be saved. Come into my heart today and change me Lord. Thank you for hearing my prayer."

So what direction in life are you headed? Did you take a wrong turn or detour somewhere and need to get back on the right road leading to Jesus? He is  waiting to let you back in you have left Him or if you are unsure you were saved in the first place. Why not do it today?

Let me leave you with one final verse which is 2 Corinthians 5:17 and it simply says "Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. The old is gone,the new has come!"

PRAYER: Lord Jesus I thank you for the free gift of salvation. I thank you Lord that I can come to you and cry out and you hear me. I want to always go in the right direction. Lead me Lord and help me avoid pitfalls that will take me away from you. In Jesus name. Amen.

Monday, August 13, 2012

THE JEALOUSY MONSTER



 Jealousy and envy of others is an infection in society. The Bible tells us  in Romans 12:15 to "Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep" yet how many people can rejoice when someone gets a position they are envious of? This past week at the Olympics I was very disheartened by two American runners who were envious of one of their teammate who did not even medal but who was getting all the press attention. I found it very sad they would react this way. Why not just let it go?

Are you ever jealous of the success of others? Actually God has given each person gifts and talents and if you are in the position and have one the world looks up to stay humble. There is nothing worse than people arrogantly tooting their own horn.

Lately in these United States there has been lots of class warfare tactics going on trying to get the poor and middle class people jealous of those who have wealth. First of all everyone can achieve greatness and money if they work hard. People who have worked hard should not be forced because of jealously to give their money away to help those not working or who choose not to work. But unfortunately this has been a tactic this past couple years by our government. The Bible clearly states in 2 Thessalonians 3:10 that "If a man does not work he should not eat." People who depend on others to take care of them become lazy and think everyone owes them everything. This is wrong.  Remember what the late President John F Kennedy said "Ask not what your country can do for you but ask what you can do for your country." Basically though I am not saying do not donate food to shelters and things like that, but am saying the government should back off when it comes to trying to seaprate the classes of people.

We are told in the Ten Commandments found in Exodus Chapter 20 to "not covet your neighbors home, his wife, his possessions" yet how many see a huge home and wish they had it not knowing if those that own them really can even afford it? Or say your friend gets a boat or fancy new car and you envy them. In Hebrews 13:5 it reminds us to be "Content with what we have." Are you content? Remember we are all going to die one day and the saying goes "I have never seen a U Haul at a funeral."

In Proverbs 23:5 it 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." James 4:1 says "What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you?" Once again be happy for others and be thankful.

The Bible is full of stories of jealousy such as Cain and Able, Joseph and his brothers, and Jacob and Esau to name a view. Jealousy causes bitterness, anger, hate, stealing, murder, lying and is not what God desires.

Are you able to share the joy when another prospers or succeeds? If not ask God to heal that area of your heart that is not of him and learn to rejoice and be glad.

PRAYER: Father thank you for all you have given me. Thank you for my gifts and abilities. Help me not to compare myself to others and become discontent or angry. Forgive me when I have not praised someone who deserved it. Help me learn Lord to be more like you in all areas of my life. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

TRAINING ROUTINE



With the Summer Olympics games just about behind  us I thought of the immense amount of training these athletes have to do to get to the games in the first place and then hopefully onto the medal podium. Each athlete has to be dedicated to getting up and not just running for one hour and hitting the gym but they do their workouts and training several hours a day. I love to figure skate and have not done it much lately but when we lived in Iowa the skating director there had been one of the 3 men on the US Winter Olympic Figure Skating Team in 1984 along with Scott Hamilton and Brian Boitano. His name is Mark Cockerell. He  had serious skaters coming to train with him. These young children were serious about trying to 'make it' and some even drove a few hours to train with him. The money, the time, the commitment, and the training are all important keys to having a chance at going further than your hometown. We have also visited the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs where athletes go to train. It is a former military base  now turned into a training center and is open for tours for the public. You can see the dedication of these athletes.



Just as an athlete has to be disciplined to get in shape by watching what they eat, getting rest, and working out so too if you expect to have a strong walk with the Lord you can not just go to church one hour on Sunday and open the Bible when the pastor says to and then leave it collecting dust on a table at home all week long. Why is it though than many seemingly do this? Loving Jesus and being moral takes more than one hour on Sunday. Similar to an athlete you too have to train yourself to godliness. The Bible even speaks of this.

2 Timothy 2:15 reminds us "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." Just like students in school have to study to pass their exams we as believers need to study the Bible to know how to cope with things that happen in life and how to be more like Jesus in what we say and do. Just imagine you get a board  game and have not a clue how to play it. If you do not read the directions you will not play it. You have to know what to do. In life we have to know how to resist the attacks of our enemy Satan. Satan loves the kind of believers who feel Sunday is enough. He has them in his corner in a way. There is no desire to learn about Jesus and they feel smug in their daily life of goodness without so much as cracking open a Bible but then problems and struggles arise and they have not a clue in how to gain strength to get through it. Your source of empowerment is the word of God. Do not wait til a tragedy to get into it. Start each day by opening the Bible and reading. If you don't know where to start begin in the book of John.

Run your race to win by keeping in the word of God. It takes daily discipline. Put it on your daily 'to do' calendar and put it at top of list. Make this serious time with God. Do not put him down on list if you have time left over. He should be your first priority. And speaking of discipline Hebrews 12:11 says "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." Titus 2:12 says "training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age." The Bible is our training manual. It is our guidebook. It should never be put on a shelf or you should never have to go search for it. 1 Corinthians 9:24 says "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize."

So as the Olympics winds down and you have marvelled at the athletes feats of these athletes think about how powerful for God you could be if only you daily got into his work and trained for godliness.

PRAYER: Lord thank you for the Bible. We are blessed in America to open it freely without arrest as in some nations it is illegal. Evil does not like the goodness of God or his word and would like to snuff it out. Help me Lord to read and study it daily to strengthen my walk with you. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

RIGHT TALKING CURES WORRY



I sure bring up talking and the mouth many times in my devotions. That is because our mouth can either help us or hurt us and we need to get it under the control of the Holy Spirit.. It is a daily process. In James chapter 3 it says "No man can tame the tongue."   Isn't that the  truth? Take some time and read that entire chapter.

Positive confessions spoken out loud help cure worry. If you tune in to God the cares of the world seem to fade. What good does sitting around speculating about what might happen going to do? Answer. Nothing. So what is the alternative? Speaking God's word out loud and letting it get own in your spirit. I guarantee you if you do this you will feel better. No matter what the situation, turn it over to God.

Here are just a few good positive scriptures to read out loud.You may not be where you can speak out loud and if not still read them but later when alone read them out loud.

I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.  See 2 Corinthians 5:21
I am the head and not the tail. See  Deuteronomy 28:13
My children shall rise up and call me blessed(for moms)  See Proverbs 31:28
I am precious in God's sight.  See  Isaiah 43:4
I will run and not be weary. See Isaiah 40:31
I will resist Satan and he has to flee. See James 4:7
God has a plan for my life. See Jeremiah 29:11
 My children will not depart from the godly training they received. See Proverbs 22:6
 I can do all things through him who gives me strength. See Philippians 4:13
 No weapon formed against me shall prosper. See Isaiah 54:17
 I will give God my worries as he cares for me. See 1 Peter 5:7
 He is my shelter in a storm. See Isaiah 25:4
 God is my help in times of trouble. See  Psalm 46:1
 God will direct my path. See Proverbs 3:5-6
 I am not afraid because God is with me. See Psalm 23
 Not afraid of what mere man can do to me. Psalm 118:6

There that should help you for the day and for the week. Saying things out loud helps. Try it.  When you know that you know that you know that God is in control and say so what reason do you have to keep worrying?

PRAYER: Father I want to lean on you for freedom from doubt and worry. Help me not listen to wrong or negative messages but to fill my head with good and positive thoughts and Bible verses. I am thankful you are in control. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Friday, August 10, 2012

WEEDS OF LIFE




As I was running a trail the other day for my daily exercise, I came upon an area that had not been mowed followed by a fence where vines were growing all over it. These vines  were not a flower someone had intentionally planted, but instead were a pesky weed disguised with pretty green leaves to look nice and harmless. If this vine was allowed to grow it would choke out other things that were intended to be there and even be hard to remove from the fence as it twisted itself around it. Even at my home a similar vine started growing up around the air conditioning unit at the side of our home and as I was removing it before it got worse noted it started to grow into the little switch box next to the unit. Good thing I noticed that when I did so we did not have a real problem on our hands.

Sin can be like those weeds. You take control of it now before it takes control of you. It sometimes comes disguised in nice packages, and similar to the vine. If it is  not 'nipped in the bud', will choke out things around it. Sin is very tricky and deceitful. In Hebrews 11:25 it  mentions there being "pleasure in sin for a season."  Las Vegas proudly calls itself 'sin city' because of all the prostitution and gambling that goes on there no doubt. They have nice things in the city but people are drawn to and enticed by the lure of wealth, gambling, lusting, drinking too much, illicit sex among other things not to mention the flashing lights and glamour.

Sin does not have to come packaged with a street full of neon signs but it is every day things like lying, stealing, cheating, gossiping, judging,lack of forgiveness, coveting, gluttony. People seem to fixate on 'major sins' which supposedly are things like murder, adultery, divorce, homosexuality but the Bible says in Romans 3:23 that "we all have sinned and fallen short of God's glory." God does not have a classification for sins only humans do that with their judging of others.

That day I saw those vines I thought about how some people seem to not want to forgive people. I know of a family where  two siblings have not spoken in several years. The sin of not forgiving is rampant there. Neither one has made a move to restore this relationship. Like the weed on the fence if this attitude continues it will choke their relationship. This makes God sad. He is the God of love, grace, mercy and He wants us to be like Him.

Ask yourself today if you have any weeds of sin choking out something in your life. Let me leave you with this verse from Colossians 3:14 which simply says "And over all these virtues put on love ,which binds them all together in perfect unity."

PRAYER: Lord show me if I have anything in my life not pleasing to you. Each day help me not make excuses why I can not open your word and get strength to live the day ahead. Thank you Lord for loving me even when I messed up. In Jesus name. Amen.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

SURVIVALISTS


 Recently I was looking at a magazine article about survivalists or as they are know to some, 'dooms dayers' . They had a pretty elaborate bunch of items  gathered for the 'latter days' when and if a major attack were to occur. This included tools, canned food, flashlights, fuel, water, gas masks, knife, in some cases a rifle, cleaning supplies and on the list goes. Back in the 60's during the 'Bay of Pigs' and Cuban Missile Crisis, some  people in the United States built bomb shelters as a precaution in their backyards in fear of an attack by their very extremely close communist neighbor Cuba.

 As Christians are we supposed to join in and be fearful and worried or relax and know God is in control? It never hurts to possibly have some things on hand. Here in the Southeast US where I live we are in tornado country and  we have a storm shelter built under our bedroom floor. We have a Flashlight, weather radio, and water there. It is good to take some precautions but how fearful do you need to get.

Being from the north I always get a chuckle in the Southern winters when flurries are predicted and the news reporters say to go get bread and milk. Not sure why those two things, but it just makes me laugh a bit. In Philippians 4:19 it says " My God will supply all your needs through his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

 I often wonder if the survivalists have packed a Bible in with all their life sustaining devices. The Bible would be the greatest 'tool' ever giving comfort.  The word of God would help alleviate worry and fear if it were read and followed.

It says in Amos 8:11 that  in the last days there will be a famine for the word of God. Imagine looking and not being able to find a Bible anywhere!! Hard to imagine but evil hates the word of God and would love to alleviate it everywhere. This is not far fetched at all.
It further says in .Psalm 37::25 "I was young and now I am old but i have never seen the righteous forsaken or their seed begging bread." That is a real scripture of comfort! Right now much of America is in a drought. When there is no rain there are no crops. If no crops then grocery store shelves can get empty. Remember to praise God daily for the rain, the farmers who grow food, for freedom, and for not going hungry and above all for the word of God we freely in this country can read wihtout being arrested.

Just remember it is through the word of God you find your hope and strength. Jeremiah 15:16 says "Your words are what sustain me. They bring me great joy and are my hearts delight, for I bear your name oh Lord God Almighty

PRAYER: Lord thank you that you are our hiding place and a shelter in the storms of life. Thank you that I need not fear for you are with me. In Jesus name. Amen.

Clcil on link to worship the Lord with a mighty song of praise.
http://youtu.be/MtAmlO4cdhc

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

SAY GOOD THINGS!!


In watching the Olympics this past couple of weeks one thing I notice that seems to be a pattern with sportscasters or newscasters in general, is when someone messes up, such as falling over a hurdle, having the bar on the pole vault fall, falling off a fault, or going the wrong way on the uneven bars they just keep showing the mistake over and over and over again. I say "enough already" but even the news seems to get better ratings when all they do is bring gloomy heart wrenching news into our living rooms.

 No one wants to constantly be reminded of their mistakes. If you have a child you do want to correct and discipline them so they do not end up being brats or unruly in society, but you do not need to harp on them constantly about  their errors such as a grade card for instance. Let's say they do not get an A but get a C in one thing but got perhaps B's in all the other things. Do not berate them over the C. Instead praise them for the good grades.  Dads out there trying to grow their sons into men do not have to put them down to do it kind of like a tough guy thing. A verse that goes along with that is Ephesians 6:4 which says "Fathers do not exasperate your children but bring them up in the nature and admonition of the Lord." Bosses do not publicly ridicule an employee either and humiliate them. That just is not cool. Those are just some examples.

Ephesians 4:29 reminds us to "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only that which is helpful for building others up according to their  needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

The point is to try to stay upbeat, merciful, and positive as much as possible. To learn to do this stay immersed in God's word and do a word search on words, speech, mercy, grace and you will find a host of wonderful scriptures to guide you on how to stay positive. Do not purposely watch something that is going to put bad things into your head. Purpose to plant 'good seeds' in your head instead. Memorize this verse from Philippians 4:8 which says " Finally brothers and sisters, whatever  is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is true, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think on these things."

So my friend start today to let God have control of your tongue. Make it a point to not say something unless it will build up and not tear down. Above all if you mess up be sure to say you're sorry and do not allow to division to set in. With God's help and reading his word you can take control of this area of your life.

Psalm 19:14 reminds us "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 you have given me a mouth to speak with so help me to use it to build up and praise and not tear down, belittle and criticize. Forgive me for the times I have lost control of my tongue. I purposes to stay positive in a negative world.  In Jesus name. Amen.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

STAND IN FAITH!!


Do  you have faith?Even a tiny bit?Faith Is important in many areas of life. First let me define faith. According to Webster's it means loyalty, fidelity to ones' promises, belief and trust and loyalty to God, and having a strong belief.

You have faith when you get in an elevator that it will not plunge to the ground. You have faith in the floor of a building that it will not cave in. If you are married you have faith in the love and loyalty of your spouse to you only. In the Bible it says in Hebrews 11:1 that "now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen."  You have faith that when you pray God hears your prayers. You have faith that when you die if you asked Jesus into your heart you will be in heaven with him for eternity.

2 Corinthians 5:7 says "we live by faith, not by sight." In Hebrews 11:7 speaking of Noah it said "By faith, Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith." Most everyone has heard the story of Noah and seen Hollywood's portrayal of it in 'Evan Almighty' but just imagine being spoken to by God and trying to get those close to you to believe you. It would take an immense amount of faith.

Hebrews 10:23 says "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." Also in Matthew 17:20 it says "He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." A good faith verse I like is Romans 4:17 says "As it is written: "I have made you a father of many nations.  He is our father  in the sight of God, in whom he believed--the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were." The last part is the part I like when it says "call things as not as though they were." Stop being a dooms day thinker. Say out loud, "Lord I do not know how you are going to deliver _______but I know you will". (Fill in a name in the blank).

 I heard a saying once that said "Believe receive,doubt,do without."  That is good to remember when it comes to faith.What are you believing for today?

 PRAYER: Lord I trust you for the areas in my life that sometimes I do not understand why they are happening. I believe that you are in control and have an awesome plan for my life. Help me to demonstrate that faith to those around me. In Jesus name. Amen.

Monday, August 6, 2012

STORMY LIFE??


As I sit writing this devotion today there are storms outside which a good deal of America needs right now. Storms in life come to all of us. It is how we deal with these times that matters. When you become a Christian that does not mean your life is going to be a bed of roses or your family is all going to be perfect by human standards. In James 1:3 it says "because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." We at times have to look beyond the 'storm' and look for the 'rainbow'. All storms will end. You have to ask God what it is he wants you to learn from the storm you are experiencing.


What storms are going on in your life right now? Maybe you are just getting over a storm. If you know of someone going through a hard time be there for them. Be an encouragement and a comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:4 says "who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."

Sometimes when we go through things maybe God is allowing it so somewhere down the road you will have the ability to help someone else endure a hard time. When you go through a trial it is not pleasant but it helps to strengthen you. Romans 5:3-5 reminds us "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."

The storm may be a prodigal child, a divorce, a lost job, being hurt by a friend, addiction to drugs or alcohol, being sued, a health issue, loss of property, bankruptcy, a death, to name a few. Whatever it is God can get your through it. Isaiah 43:2 is a great verse of hope for those suffering through some issue in their life and it says "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze."

God will not allow you to be alone. He is the one to turn to. Do not turn to a horoscope, a fortune teller, or some other means to get comfort and advice. Run to him. Pray to him. He alone can strengthen you and get you to the glorious rainbow waiting for you.


PRAYER: Father God there are times things happen I do not understand. There have been times I have caved in and been fretful or even angry at wondering why something has to happen the way it does. Lord I give you my life or that of a family member in a struggle and I ask for understanding and strength to go through this storm and know there is a rainbow waiting and everything is going to be okay. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Click on link below to worship the Lord in song:
http://youtu.be/uHdcyue0bSw

Sunday, August 5, 2012

FRIENDS MATTER



I often write in a local coffee shop and see folks like myself on their computers. Others are reading the paper or a book. Some people are meeting business associates. Yet others are meeting for job interviews. Then my all time favorite that brings a smile to my face are those there who are friends getting together meeting to chat and catch up! Last week one day as I wrote I saw a young woman outside on her phone who later came inside and gave a hug to an elderly woman perhaps waiting on her. It was so refreshing to see the generations visiting with each other.

As a military member and now a military wife most of my close friends end up being like family. Everywhere we have lived I have had friends who are 'locals' or 'civilians' in addition to my military 'family'.  In a few cases the locals with relatives in the area were not that interested in making a close friendship which I find sad, probably as they were busy with their family in the area.( Now there have been exceptions a few of which are in my prayer group with me now.) The point is friendships are worth the investment of time.

For anyone who has ever been 'shelved' by a formerly close friend it is very puzzling, it hurts and is hard to get through. Even when you try to get back into the persons' life they ignore your attempts or show little interest. The point is if this has happened to you to forgive these people and try to move on. Concentrate on those friends who do want to be in your life. Do not wait for a friend to make the first move. The saying goes, "if you want to be a friend you have to show yourself friendly."

There are always ways to make new friends too. You can volunteer. Perhaps visit a nursing home. Maybe start up a conversation at the gym you go to. In  Bible study make the effort and invite someone to have coffee. There are even meet up groups here in my area where people meet up who share common interests such as hiking, knitting, biking, etc.  

Make an effort to connect with former friends in the area too and drop a note to a friend out of the area. Treat your friend like you would want to be treated. Love like Jesus loves and forgive them for their shortcomings as we all have them Don't hold anger or bitterness in your heart for past failures. If you say you love Jesus then act like it.

The Bible mentions lots about friendships. Proverbs 18:24 says "A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother."  Today thank the Lord for the friends in your life, past, present, and future. I am not talking about racking up Facebook friends but true friends you are willing to invest time and energy in. When you go about your day smile at those around you. To some that may be the closest they come to feeling the love of a friend all day. Maybe sit down today and write a letter to a friend you have not seen in a while. Try a real letter with a stamp or better yet pick up the phone.Above all when with your friend put your phone away or turn it off and give your friend your undivided attention. A novel idea in this age where we feel we have to be connected or else the world falls apart.

What can you do today to be a friend?

PRAYER: Lord I love my friends. Each person in my life is there for a reason. Help me show love to friends near and far and forgive those who have hurt me whether they know it or not. In Jesus name. Amen!

Click on link below and be blessed:
http://youtu.be/oOCJAVlESEo







Saturday, August 4, 2012

SNEAK ATTACK






Usually attacks against a country by another are total surprises. Take Pearl Harbor for instance or the attacks on the World Trade Center. No one really expected these things to happen. Some evil things happen and are very subtle and catch even countries like the USA by surprise. 

Thorns remind me of evil in how you do not see them when you are weeding your garden and a lovely innocent looking plant has them and before you know it, ouch, you have just been pricked by one. That is how the enemy works on people. He makes things look good. He lies and deceives. Satan in  scripture in 2 Corinthians 11:14 is referred to as an 'angel of light'.

The enemy is like that. He works through his subjects,  whom he has already deceived, to lie to and  trick even more innocent people. It is like Adolph Hitler who wanted total control of his people and killed the ones he did not like and dominated the rest. Do not hate the person but hate the devil and the evil in the world.
 
We in this country need to be careful. We need to pray for those leaders who seem to be wanting total control. Many people do not believe it as they are deceived themselves. Currently we are in a battle of good and evil. This is intense spiritual warfare. Look around you. Many freedoms are being threatened yet many do not seem to believe it. It is not a political thing or a Republican or Democrat thing but it is about the freedom to worship God and keep this nation as it was founded based on principles in God's word. Why is it others can voice their anti Christian opinion but believers and people of faith are mocked and ridiculed?
 
Psalm 33:11 could not be any clearer and it says "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance". My problem is how a person can say "God Bless America" then condone and make a law it is okay to kill God's creation in the womb or force a Christian medical professional to kill a baby when it is against his conscience? How can a person vote for someone who thinks nothing about that ,is beyond my understanding. When a leader stands up and declares we are no longer a Christian nation it makes you wonder why we might be having a severe drought. Something to ponder.

Recently  a U.S. Christian corporate executive had the courage to stand up for traditional marriage and has been called hateful. Since when is believing God's word hateful? No one said this man hated anyone! He simply stated his convictions under The First Amendment which he is entitled to.

Many well meaning people do not see the attacks on our rights taking place but they are in fact being trampled upon and threatened on a daily basis. Evil likes it when the people are unaware and they can run over us. Things like taking away freedoms are very subtle and before you know it tyranny and domination are the order of the day. Many here in the USA laugh at the notion that we, the supreme power, could ever be dominated and even by our own leadership.

When it comes to religious freedom, even some college campuses are being told their Bible clubs can not meet on campus. This is real. I am not making this up. Little by little little things are taking place taking freedom away from people and putting it into the hands of government.
 
We are to pray for our leaders and those in authority. We know God is in control and ultimately knows the 'big picture' so we need to trust him but we also do not want to be ignorant of Satan's schemes to destroy one of the greatest nations on earth. We became great because our founders kept God first. Little by little ungodliness crept into places of high power and men and women were allowed to be in office who named the name of the Lord but that is all they did. Perhaps they mentioned a denomination they belonged to but never said the word Christian. Some in public office today are even atheist! God's name is an offense and stumbling block to many. Christians are called intolerant and hateful yet those who say that, are intolerant of us!
 
If you name the name of Jesus you should believe and follow what is in God's word. None of us are perfect by any means but there is right and there is wrong and there is good and there is evil. 1 John 4:1 says "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world."
 
Some have asked that I not get 'political' or they did not want to read my blog anymore. God is political. He cares about our country. Much is written about kings and those in authority right in his word. We know there is a force of good and evil and we know Satan has the power to be cunning and trick many. We have to be alert.2 Corinthians 2:11 says "in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes." 

One thing to keep in mind in all this is we are not to hate or be mad at someone but to pray for them. Ephesians 6:12 reminds us "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
 
Proverbs 29:2 says "When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan."  When there is unrighteousness going on Christians need to speak up or suffer the consequences. Proverbs 28:15 says "Like a roaring lion or a charging bear is a wicked man ruling over a helpless people." Ecclesiastes 10:6 says "Fools are put in many high positions, while the rich occupy the low ones."
 
Let me leave you with one final scripture found in Proverbs 14:34 and it says " Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people."  Do not look to a man to save you or the government to save you but look to Jesus who is in control of all!
 
PRAYER: Lord Jesus help me to not be deceived by trickery and evil in the world around me. Keep my eyes open and help me speak out in love against any evils I see in my world around me. Help me Lord remember to pray for those who lead us. In Jesus Name. Amen.
 
NOTE: Excellent website to check out which is nothing to do with government but is independent is www.presidentialprayerteam.org . 

Friday, August 3, 2012

MY GOLD MEDAL


If you had to say what your gold medal would be in what would you say? Comically I could say mine would be the sport of 'Jumping to Conclusions'. Now this is a funny  illustration but may make you think about this area.

Is there  some little habit you have that you know is not really taking you higher and perhaps needs God's help to remove from your life? Perhaps there is an area of your life you have not totally surrendered to the Lord that is getting in the way of you being all God wants you to be? Maybe it is gossip. How about worry? Do you act ashamed of Jesus and your faith around certain people or are you authentic with everyone? Do you have a problem with honesty and integrity? What about judging others? Maybe it is lust? Is there a lack of love in your life? Maybe a revengeful spirit? Whatever it is, it is maybe time to surrender your 'gold medal winning performance' in that area of struggle to the Lord and let him reshape you into what He wants you to be.

Romans 12:1-2 is one of my favorite verses and it says "Therefore I urge you brethren in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices , holy and pleasing to God, this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any  longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is, His good, perfect, pleasing will."

Whatever it is that is dominating your life that is keeping you from being more like Christ,God is ready to transform you if only you will ask.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus I know at times I act like someone who does not fully trust you when I display worry, fear, anger or start to be dishonest in some area. Father it is my goal to be shaped into your image in all areas of my life. I surrender to you today the area of (fill in the blank). In Jesus name. Amen.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

OLYMPIANS! NOW THERE IS DEDICATION!



We in the world are now enjoying the summer Olympics from London and  in awe of the athletic feats of these dedicated athletes. For an athlete to even get picked for the team and then to reach the podium for one of three medals takes a life of hard work, sacrifice, discipline and dedication. You do not become world class by doing something half way.It takes  dedication!
Athletes on a minor scale have to stay fit for the sports they enjoy . You can not just sit on a couch  for months and months then expect to get up and go complete a 10k race. It just will not happen. Discipline and dedication are the keys.

If only we could be as dedicated and devoted to our Bibles and knowledge of Jesus as we were to other things we like whether it is sports, working out, a hobby, or your job. Just think if you were to have a passion for Christ and want to know him better there would be no stopping for winning the gold medal of sorts in your spiritual life. You would be able to better cope with struggles that are bound to come your way.

1 Corinthians 9:24 says "do you not know that in a race all runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. "  I like to run and used to run in lots of races and would always focus on what was ahead of me and not the people behind me. Keep looking towards the finish line of life and not turning around and rehashing the past. Stay focused on Jesus.

Let me leave you  with a verse from Isaiah 40:31 which says " they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary they shall walk and not faint."

PRAYER: Lord Jesus I want to be trained in Godliness and not be a flabby Christian. Help me to utilize the  tools at my disposal, such as my Bible to learn more about you and how to live a Christian life. I know Satan will get me to make excuses for not picking it up daily but I resist him in The name of Jesus as he has no power over me. In Jesus name. Amen.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

MESS UP LATELY?


Everyone has times in life when they mess up or make errors. Errors on paper or errors in judgement or errors that separate you from God. There is not one single person that has not made mistakes. This past week I for one made a few errors in writing my blog and three kind friends let me know. No one is perfect except God.


Why do we point the finger and talk about certain people and their sins? A reminder, Romans 3:23 says "We have all sinned and fallen short of God's glory." "Well yeah but so and so is a prostitute or committed adultery and that is way worse". Yes it is bad but it is not worse or beyond God's healing and forgiveness.

Matthew 7:3 tells us "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" Instead of condemnation, those who you think are doing the 'worst sins' in your estimation, need love and prayer. Also something to remember and memorize in the Bible is 1 Corinthians 6:11 "And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God".

Stop for a minute and meditate on the goodness of God and how we do not deserve  his love at times because of how we act or treat others. Is Sunday the only time you even think about Jesus? You should let the love of Christ dwell in your hearts and help to change your life 24 hours a day 7 days a week. We are all capable of sinning and messing up.


The next time you think you are so great and someone else has messed up worse remember it says in Ephesians 2:8 "By grace you have been saved -through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God". Just thank the Lord he is there willing, ready and able to forgive you and cleanse you if you only ask Him. 1 John 1:9 says "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness". Keep in mind when you point at someone to find fault the other fingers on your hand are pointing back in your direction.

PRAYER: Lord I thank you that you can redeem and restore. Father help me to not be guilty of thinking I am so wonderful and others are worse sinners. Help me to pray for others and to remember any of us is capable of slipping up. That is what the enemy wants us to do. It is wrong to judge others so help me to keep a tight rein on my tongue and to only use my words for blessing not judging. In Jesus Name. Amen .

Click on link before to worship the Lord in song:
http://youtu.be/66zqQBxhUDA