Welcome to God's Lemonade Stand

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

Thursday, February 28, 2013

LOVE MONTH NEARING AN END BUT .......


 .....Not the love. Valentines' Day 2013 may have come and gone but
love and kindness should be ongoing throughout the year. Being nice
and showing love is not just for February but should be the other 364
days of the year. Why should we need a holiday to show love, respect,
friendship, and kindness to our significant other or those around us?

1 John 4:7(NIV) says 'dear friends let us love one another, for love
comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows
God.' Do you have that kind of love for those you come in contact
with? It is easy to hate and hold grudges but love should be your aim.

Love can lift you from a pit of despair. Let's review 1 Corinthians
13:4-8(NIV) which makes it pretty simple. It says 'Love is patient,
love is kind. It does not envy. It does not boast. It is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self seeking, it is not easily
angered and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in
evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always
trusts,always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where
there are prophecies they will cease. Where there are tongues they
will be stilled. Where there is knowledge it will pass away.'

There you have it. Why not try to sear those verses in your heart and
follow them for a wonderful loving life? Now go and love with the love of Jesus!

PRAYER:Lord you love us with an everlasting unconditional love. Your
mercy is forever. Lord I want to show unconditional love to others
also. Help me as I walk the path of love I should be staying on. In
Jesus' name. Amen.

Click on link for a powerful praise song.
http://youtu.be/IoezWBPGRAc

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

YOU BE THE JUDGE!!! NOT !!

Oh it is so very easy to find fault or judge someone without knowing
their story. For instance you see a home with Christmas lights still
up in March and you assume they are lazy. First of all there could be
someone very ill living there or maybe a family member could not come home in December due to military service and they are celebrating late. You just do not know so better not to
judge. Judging,assuming, jumping to conclusions. All things we should try to avoid doing.

Matthew 7:1-5(NIV) 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 brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.' One version of the Bible calls the plank in your eye a "Telephone Pole". I love that illustration. What do we get from judging someone? We do not know their story, their background so to speak. We all have some "issues" in our life. No one is perfect.
It is best to follow the simple rule maybe your parents taught you and that is if you do not have anything good to say do not say anything at all.

PRAYER: Lord it is so easy to be critical. I am not perfect. Help me to not condemn others but to show love, kindness, and understanding. You are not pleased with me when I get critical. Help me Lord to be kind and love one another. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

PROBLEMS OR PROMISES?


What are you thinking on? Are you worried about your health, your job,
your finances ? Why not start meditating on God's word and REALLY
trusting Him and do not let Satan capture your thought life. Bad
thoughts, fear, worry all come from the enemy.

Remember in John 14:27(NIV) it says 'Peace I leave with you; my peace
I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your
hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.' Does being scared or worried
do one bit of good? The answer of course is NO. So why can't we let go
and let God? Does your worry change the situation? Once again the
answer of course is NO.

Proverbs 3:5-6(NIV) is one of my absolute favorite scriptures and it
says 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own
understanding and in all your ways submit to Him and He will make
your paths straight.' There is that word "Trust".

Psalm 119:165(NIV) says 'Great peace have they who love your law, and
nothing can make them stumble.' The law meaning the Bible. This is
why it is so important to keep the word of God an essential part of
every day life. The world has enough junk to throw at us to frighten
us. Tune out the bad stuff. For instance turn off the news if it makes
your fearful. Put on some Christian praise music which helps to lift
your burdens. This is why I often attach an appropriate worship song
to my devotions.

Refuse to allow the enemy, Satan,to put worry and fear in your head.
Cast off works of darkness and let Jesus' light shine out. When you
are praising Jesus it is often very hard to worry.

So which is it going to be? Will you mediate on God's promises or will
you cave in to doubt, fear and your problems?

PRAYER: Lord I love the word of God. I know if I make an effort each
day to not forget to get in to the word I will have lots less worry
weighing me down. Help me resist the enemies attacks on my thought
life. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Click on link below for a wonderful song to add to this devotion.
http://youtu.be/XkljgA5SQc8

Monday, February 25, 2013

JUST BE NICE, OK?


Things happen in life and often times we are hurt or something happens
and people refuse to forgive us. Hate and bitterness can build up and
a wall is built that can never be penetrated. Forgiveness is what
Jesus wants. He does not want people hating each other, avoiding each
other, and refusing to talk. That, my friend, would be Satan's goal, to
have hate and unforgiveness and division continue. God is all for
peace, love, joy, restoration, and forgiveness.

Take a look for a moment at the scripture found in Ephesians
4:31-32(NIV) which says '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 God n
Christ Jesus forgave you.' Does it "speak" to you? Basically it is
saying to me that I need to give up my "right" to hold a grudge and
let hurt boil into anger.

It is the enemy, Satan, who causes turmoil, division, and mental
torture. Those are not from God. God's way is peace and reconciliation.
If you have done all you can with some people to work things out and
in your own mind you have forgiven them, then you have to move on and
"shake the dust from your feet" (See Matthew 10:14).

If the conflict happens to be in marriage between husband and wife,
obviously counseling is in order since God wants families to heal
and be made whole. If you are reading this and have been in a divorce
God does provide forgiveness and second chances. I am not here to condemn you.

What are some things you would find hard to forgive? Guess what? God
wants you to forgive. Matthew 18:21-22(NIV) says '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, “I tell
you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.' It does not say
forgive this but not that. It just says FORGIVE. Gods forgives us and
sometimes we certainly don't deserve it.

So now, go into your day, shining the light of Jesus' and being kind
to others, strangers included. God loves you and He wants you to love
people "through Him". Go now, be nice!

PRAYER: This is the day Lord you have made. I rejoice and thank you for
another day of life. Help me use this day to be kind and show me who I
need to forgive . I choose to let go of hurt and pain and live for you
Lord. Use me in your kingdom. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Click on link and praise God in song.
http://youtu.be/DtmA3ji8RkY

Sunday, February 24, 2013

CAPS AND CATS



My title has nothing to do really with either cats or caps except that
that a few weeks ago I found myself needing to practice what I preach
because I was missing a favorite winter cap and our outdoor cat went
missing. Well hallelujah, both were found a couple days later. This
gave me an idea for a title which might be eye catching in order to
maybe once again drive home the point of worry.

People seem to get attached to their "stuff". Why is our "stuff" so
important? What makes us stress out when we misplace things? Wouldn't
it be better to practice peace and realizing all the fretting and
worry is achieving nothing at all? Does worrying bring your lost set
of car keys back any sooner or your lost debit card? Of course not. So
what is the cure for this constant worry?

Matthew 6:27(NIV) says 'Which of you by worrying can add a single hour
to his life?' The answer? None of us! Verse 28 continues by saying
'And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field
grow? They do not labor or spin.' Verse 30 says 'If that is how God
clothes the grass of the field, which is here today then thrown into
the fire,will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?'

The most important thing to do is to pray and let it go. It does take
practice because it is hard sometimes to "discipline" your mind to
stop thinking about something. That key word is "discipline". And how
do we "discipline" our mind? The answer is by keeping your mind on
things "above" and the best way to do this is to stay in God's word,
the Bible.

Colossians 3:15(NIV) says 'Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart
and be thankful.' Get your mind off your problem, pray, and trust
God.

PRAYER: I wish I could stop worrying Lord. I know you are watching
over me and I realize fretting and worry does nothing more than keeps
my mind from peace and thoughts of you Lord. Lord with your help I
choose to cast my cares and concerns on you and to worry less. In
Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

KEEP SEEKING CHRIST!!


Are you seeking after Christ or are you just a casual "take Jesus off
the shelf on Sunday" kind of Christian? Maybe you wait till there is a
crisis then cry out to Him?

We are "in this world" but are not to be "of this world". Take a
moment and read Romans 12:2 in the New Testament. Do your thoughts
often turn to Jesus or are you consumed with worry? Do you go to
church one hour each week then sort of put Jesus
back on the shelf for 6 days?

Psalm 119:92-95(NIV) says 'If your law had not been my delight I would
have perished in my affliction. I will never forget thy precepts, for
by them you have preserved my life.Save me for I am yours;I have
sought out your precepts. The wicked are waiting to destroy me,but I
will ponder your statutes.'

I challenge you to love Jesus with all your heart. Make Him truly
first. Don't just say it.
Jeremiah 29:13(NIV) You will seek me and find me when you seek me with
all your heart.

PRAYER:Lord Jesus I truly want you to be first. I get so busy
sometimes and forget that you should always be first place. Help me
not judge others who do the Sunday one hour thing, but keep my nose in
my own business. Lord God I know it is important to combat the lies of
the world by staying in your word and spending time with you. If
people want to call me a 'Jesus freak' so be it. I will proudly wear
the title. Thanks again for hearing my prayer. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Click on the link below and truly worship God in song:
http://youtu.be/vvcd0iD6SfE

Friday, February 22, 2013

LESS SAID THE BETTER


Have you ever heard the phrase 'the less said the better?' Many times
that is so very true. Also the phrase 'leave well enough alone' or
'don't add fuel to the fire' ? Very wise advice. The last few days we
have been dealing with words that wound or words that build up, or
spoken on impulse. Thinking before speaking is a very important thing
to do.

Words should build up not tear into someone. If you claim to be a
believer then it is critical you learn to gain control of the tongue.
Take a moment and review James chapter 3. In Matthew 12:36-37(NKJV) we
are warned about what happens if we say bad things. It says 'But I
tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give
an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you
will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.'

Do you have a problem with careless words? Don't you feel your speech
should bring glory to the Lord? The mouth can be deadly or it can be
life giving. It is how you choose to use it. Granted none of us are
perfect but if we strive to be holy in all areas of life and live like
Jesus then we need to get a grip on this.

'But what if someone says something ugly to me' you might proclaim.
That still gives you no right to be harsh back. Remember the verse
found in Romans 12:17(NIV) which says 'do not repay evil for evil. Be
careful to do right in the eyes of everybody.' If you are angry try
to make peace. There is a verse found in Ephesians 4:26( NLT) which
says 'And don’t sin by letting anger control you.Don’t let the sun go
down while you are still angry.'

'But wait' you might say. 'The person really hurt me so I feel I have
the right to get back.' So what, in fact ,would Jesus do? I think you
know the answer.

Your mission, and I hope you accept it wholeheartedly, is to seek to
only let kind, pure, edifying words come forth from your mouth. Stay
in the word of God and it makes it a bit easier.

PRAYER: Thank you for loving me Lord and for forgiving me when I say
things I should not. I choose to be holy in all areas of my life but I
need your help to do it. Thanks for putting loving friends and family
in my life. Help me be careful to never hurt them with words. In
Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

24 HOURS..THE WAITING GAME


Why is it many people hate to wait? We wait in line for tickets to a
movie. We have to wait for test results. If you live in a big city you
might have to wait on the bus, a cab, or the subway. We have to be
patient for many things in life. It is necessary to wait to build up
enough savings to buy a new car or a house. Being hasty or in a rush
often times can cause trouble. We have to wait as it is part of life.

Recently in my blogs I have dealt with words and our speech. In the
Bible there is much to be found about the result of speaking in haste
or with impatience. Proverbs 29:20(NIV) says 'Do you see a man who
speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than him.' No one I
know of likes to be called foolish or a fool. It is a derogatory term
yet here in the pages of scripture it says speaking in haste is
foolish! James 1:19(NIV) reminds us 'My dear brothers take note of
this. Let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get
angry.' Think about that for a moment. That anger needs to be tamed
to as it says in Ecclesiastes 7:9(NIV) 'Do not be quickly provoked in
your spirit as anger rests in the bosom of fools.' In Proverbs
14:29(NIV) it says 'A patient man has great understanding but a quick
tempered man displays folly.'
Have you ever been guilty at spewing forth words either face to face
or by email or texts that are not well thought out and can cause hurt,
misunderstanding or anger? It certainly is never intentional. We just
do not know how our words are going to be received. So this is where
today's title comes from. Recently a dear friend told me you should
wait at least 24 hours before sending a letter or an email as you may
not feel the same way tomorrow as when you wrote it therefore allowing
you time to process your emotions and have a calmer spirit. I think
that is excellent advice!

What about you? Are you impulsive and have you ever spewed a word or
two forth on email, snail mail, or a text then wish you hadn't? It
may be hard to wait but patience is one of the fruits of the spirit
mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23. Take a moment and read it.

Impulsive, hasty with words, a fool? Maybe it is time to really ask
God to help you control what you say and how you say it. In the
meantime why not work on showing love to all those you come in contact
with.

Psalm 19:14(NIV) 'Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my
heart be acceptable in your sight oh Lord my strength and my
redeemer.'

PRAYER: Lord I want to glorify and bring honor to you in all that I
say and do. Forgive me for the times I have been foolish with my words
and maybe hurt someone. Father it is my desire to let what comes from
my mouth be an example and not a hindrance. Help me Lord. In Jesus'
name. Amen.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

M AND M(AKA MOUTH AND MIND)



Those two M and M's in our lives can at times create lots of trouble
for us. If we say the wrong words we can hurt someone or destroy a
relationship. If we allow our minds to focus on the wrong things we
can also be deceived by Satan into believing lies. These two M and M's
need God's intervention to help you with self control of both what you
say and what you think.


The mind is a battleground of sorts for the enemy Satan. He can get
you to imagine things, concur up scenarios, worry, fret,reason, or
have self pity. To combat this, it is essential to keep your mind on
things "above". You may recall the favorite Bible verse of mine I use
lots and that is Philippians 4:8(NIV) which says 'whatever is
true,whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever
is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or
praiseworthy, think on these things.' Letting your mind dwell on bad
junk or worrying unnecessarily not only robs you of peace but keeps
you from being productive for the Lord. The enemy can captivate you by
causing your mind to dwell on wrong things.

Now as for that mouth, nothing unholy should be coming out of it. Do
you gossip, argue, belittle, lie, or curse? These are a few examples
of bad junk that proceeds from our mouth. James 3:11-12(NIV) says 'Can
both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My
brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs?
Neither can a salt spring bring forth fresh water.' Likewise our mouth
should not curse at someone then bless them. If your tongue is a
problem pray and surrender that area to your life. God can help you
have kind and pure speech if you are serious.

It is so easy to offend someone with words we say. Perhaps something
is said in innocence and totally taken out of context. And that mind
too can get us into some real wrong thinking predicaments. The cure
and your assignment is to dwell on the word of God each and every day.
Start reading the Bible daily. Read the book of John, Romans, or
Proverbs to start out. Ask God to open your mind to the good things He
has for you to learn. With The Lord's help your M and M's can be under
God's control.

PRAYER: Lord it is my desire to have a pure mind and speech that
glorifies you. At times I know I have hurt someone by words so please
forgive me. Help me lead a life pleasing to you and being kind to
those around me. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

CARVE AND CRAVE


I came up with this title quite by accident or really it was another
"God thing." I was thinking of how important it was to set aside time
each day for Jesus and to really desire to do it. Whatever in life is
important to you will get put at the top of your list of things to do.
Is "spend time alone with God" on there anywhere? Why not take a
moment or two now and look at your daily schedule and see what you
need to do to readjust things and "CARVE" out crucial time with Jesus.
You do want to grow in Christ don't you? There are The Ten
Commandments found in Exodus Chapter 20 but there is another
"commandment" found in Deuteronomy 6:5(NIV) which says 'Love the Lord
your God with all your heart, your soul, and your strength.' Do you?
Can you? Do you CRAVE this?

Think about your life for a moment. Do you pray daily and love
spending time with the Lord? Perhaps you are the person who just goes
to church to "check a block" for the week, an obligation, nothing
more. Maybe at the start of the year last month you had good
intentions to get closer to God but other things got in the way.
Perhaps now is the time to start loving Jesus and giving Him quality
time every day of the week.

PRAYER: Lord I do know there have been times when I go through my busy
day hardly stopping to even think of you. Forgive me. I know I make
excuses at times and let other more important activities squeeze you
out. Lord I want that holy passion back in my life. Forgive me for
ever putting you second or ignoring you altogether. In Jesus' name.
Amen.
Click on the links below to hear two awesome songs of worship.
http://youtu.be/JiD0_Krgbo4

http://youtu.be/6Jo3y_XoHHQ

Monday, February 18, 2013

CARELESS WORDS....OR WHOOPS DID I SAY THAT?


How many of you have never made a mistake with your mouth? More
specifically, the words that just seem to come out sometimes. Today in
this instant high tech society sometimes those "words" come in the
form of either an email or a text message. Once you hit the send
button, whoops, there it goes. Sometimes messages are not received
the same way through this method. But still sometimes words can come
out even face to face that are misunderstood and cause lots of pain.
If only we could tame this area, especially here during the "month of
love".

James 3:1-12(NIV) is worth putting down here in it's entirety. 'Not
many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you
know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in
many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect,
able to keep their whole body in check.When we put bits into the
mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal.
Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven
by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the
pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body,
but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire
by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the
parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course
of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of
animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have
been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a
restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our
Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made
in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My
brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and
salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a
fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt
spring produce fresh water.' You can see where this is going right?
That little tongue is sure one hard thing to control if we do not
engage our brain first and not act on impulse or out of raw emotion.

If you have been on the receiving end of misspoken or hurtful words
try to do what Jesus would want you to and extend forgiveness. James
1:19-20(NIV)says 'My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this:
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become
angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God
desires.' Why is it some people just do not feel like forgiving and
trying to understand?

If you are married, it is vital you try to be careful with that mouth.
Wives don't nag, husbands don't be harsh. There you have it. Words
can make us or break us. Try to memorize this verse in Ephesians
4:29(ESV) which says 'Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouth
but only that which is good for building up, as it fits the occasion,
that it may give grace to those that hear.' If you have messed up and
hurt someone be big enough to ask for forgiveness then ask for God's
help to fix that area of your life.

Psalm 19:14(KIV) says 'Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of
my heart be acceptable in your sight oh Lord my strength and my
redeemer.'

PRAYER: Lord Jesus I need your help to control what I say. I ask you
Lord to help me forgive this who have hurt me with their words and
help me ask forgiveness if I have been the one doing the hurting. In
Jesus' name. Amen.

NOTE: Today we celebrate Presidents' Day and let me leave you with a
quote from the 16th President of the United States Abraham Lincoln "We
the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts,
not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert
the Constitution." Now those are some REAL WORDS we can take to heart
on this special day for those of us who value freedom.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A HEART FOR GIVING


Here in this month of thinking about hearts and love we come to the
issue of giving. Giving gifts to the one we love is easy. When you
love someone you want to give them nice things. God gave His only Son
so that we might have life. That in fact was the ultimate gift of
love!

When you think of giving what comes to mind? For some it may be
money. I think of giving an offering or a tithe. The Bible says lots
about giving. In churches when a message on giving is preached often
people bristle and say 'there he goes begging for money again.' News
flash! It all belongs to God anyway. We are to be good stewards of
what is entrusted to us.

In the book of Luke 6:38(NIV) it says 'Give and it shall be given to
you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will
be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be
measured unto you.' Luke 11:11(NIV) says 'Which of you fathers, if
your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?' It is like
the story of the Prodigal son found in Luke 15:11-32. As you may
recall this son had left home and squandered all his father had given
him living an immoral life style. When he was destitute he returned to
his father's home only to be received warmly and treated like royalty.
The father rejoiced because this son had been "lost" but had returned
home.

When you give money to help others does it make you feel good? 1 John
3:17(NIV) reminds us 'if anyone has material possessions and sees his
brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in
Him?' So you see there that giving is in fact equated with love. We
have come full circle then.

Today and every day show love to those around. Speak in a kind manner.
If you are blessed don't be stingy but learn to share from the
abundance God has given you. Remember what it says in Matthew
6:21(NIV) 'For where your treasure is there will your heart be also.'

PRAYER: Lord I am grateful for all you have blessed me with. Help me
be alert to those around me who have legitimate needs and try to
assist when necessary. I realize the money is really yours as you
alone give us the power to get wealth. Money is not bad but being too
attached to it can be a hindrance. Help me learn to be generous. In
Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

DETOURS,DEAD ENDS, U TURNS, OBSTACLES AHEAD


 In life at times we face setbacks. Perhaps things are going well then
out of nowhere something happens to change everything. Maybe it is
being laid off, a job loss, an illness, or some tragedy. Regardless
there are things sometime in life that may seem initially bad and
disruptive on the surface but God can use all things for His purposes.

Life may throw you a series of tests and trials. It is through these
harder times that we grow the most if we do not cave in to the enemy
and allow him to make you overwhelmed and defeated. Even in death
there can be purposes achieved although we never want to tell someone
who is grieving that God can use this.

James 1:2-3(NIV) says 'Consider it all joy my brother, whenever you
face trials of many kinds for you know the testing of your faith
develops perseverance.' Often when traveling and encountering a
detour sign your initial reaction may be something like 'Just great.
Now I am going to be late!' That sign in fact is out there to warn
you and to guide you, to perhaps make you slow down. There is a reason
even though it may not seem so at the time. A barrier on a road under
construction may keep you from an unnecessary road hazard and thus a
possible accident.

The next time some apparent "test" comes into your life ask God what
He wants you to learn from it. He initially is equipping us to be
stronger for his heavenly kingdom. I think back on my military
training and even though we were yelled at, made to march a good deal,
and endure things like gas chambers, jumping walls, swinging on ropes
and a host of other things, it was to help shape us for our duties
ahead. It had a reason.

What are you facing today? Can you trust God to see you through it? I
will leave you with a final verse of hope found in Deuteronomy
31:6(NIV) which says 'Be strong and courageous, be not afraid or
terrified because of them for the Lord your God goes with you, he will
never leave you nor forsake you.'

PRAYER: Lord Jesus thank you for getting me through the rough road
bumps that occasionally happen in life. I know you can work through
all situations to bring good. Help me stay focus on you and not my
problems. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, February 15, 2013

STAR STRUCK


Several years ago I thought I had to find out what all the celebrities
were doing. Why I have no idea. I did not read the "tabloids" that are
found at the grocery store check out lines, but the alternate
"acceptable" one. I do have a collection of autographed celebrity
photos. It is sort of a hobby I began several years ago in honor of
my dad who had died. He had a collection of political photos. But
pretty much my celebrity magazine days are behind me, not that I am
not tempted to delve into all the Hollywood news.

A few days ago while waiting at the Army Pharmacy for my prescription
I saw a well known celebrity magazine on the table next to me with
actress Drew Barrymore holding her newborn baby on the cover. For just
a moment I was enticed and started to pick it up, but then I stopped
myself. I had not yet spent my quality time with The Lord reading His
word that day, yet I was going to fill my head with meaningless
celebrity news. It convicted me. You may love these magazines, and I
am not here to stand in judgment, but for me it was a matter of
spiritual discipline and watching what went into my head. Would I fill
my mind with stupid things that did not matter in the big scheme of
things or fill it with God's word? It still tempts me but like any
temptation we have to resist and ask for God's help.

Do you know who the biggest celebrity of all time is? Of course, it is
Jesus. Yet he does not insist on a plush suite at a five star hotel or
a red carpet to walk on. He is humble. He was born in a manger or in
other words a little stall with hay. Recall if you will the account of
Him washing his Disciples feet in John 13:1-17. So many of us are
sensitive about our feet. Can you imagine what it was like to have
Jesus wash dirty feet? We do not need a backstage pass to have access
to Him. He is your 24/7 God. Remember the story of the taxpayer
Zaccheaus found in Luke 19:1-10? He knew Jesus was passing by and was
so short he climbed up in a tree to get a glimpse of Him. Jesus saw
him and stopped and told him to come down as he was going to his house
today. Wow, how cool is that? Many of us would start worrying about
our piles and our dust bunnies. I guarantee you Jesus does not care
about those. He cares for you!

Stop for just a moment and think of all he has done for you. It is
mind boggling. He should be first place in your life not an after
thought. As a matter of fact it says in Psalm 22:3(KJV) 'thou art Holy
and inhabits the praise of His Israel.' We should sing praises to the
most high God. Psalm 9:2(NIV) says' I will be glad and rejoice in
you,I will sing praise to your name, O most high.'

Is Jesus more important to you than what the Kardashians are doing? I
certainly hope so. Start today and make daily Bible reading a habit in
your morning routine. Let the words within its' pages have a positive
impact in your life. He truly is the greatest celebrity of all time.

PRAYER: Father forgive me when I give more importance to someone
because of their worldly fame than to you who is the King of Kings and
Lord of lords. Lord Jesus I thank you for all you have done in my life
that often I forget to tell you. Thanks for guiding me each and every
day of my life. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Click on link to hear a wonderful praise song.
http://youtu.be/0xwzItqYmII

Further Reading: Psalm chapter 50

Thursday, February 14, 2013

LOVE IS PRETTY IMPORTANT



Today is the big day of love. Some think it was created by a card company to sell more cards but whatever the case it is a day for an opportunity to show that someone special your love. Love is indeed what makes the world go around.

Let me go over 1 Corinthians 13:4-7(NIV)
'Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.'
Think about those words for a while. This does not have to necessarily be in a romantic relationship but love in general for friends and others around you on a daily basis.
It is so easy to hate and to be angry. Effortless as a matter of fact. Love should be the aim of every Christian, especially in marriage relationships to always be thinking what you can do for the other person, not just on Valentine's Day. When something starts to make you angry note that anger is not from God. Ask God to restore you to a love relationship and renew your mind getting bad, bitter thoughts out.
Is there someone you need to show special love to not just today but every day of the year? 1 John 4:8(NIV) says 'Whoever does not love, does not know God. For God is love.'
PRAYER: Father I thank you for your gift of love. Thank you for giving me love for those around me even when they hurt or offend me. Help me learn to love like you would and move on and not hold grudges. Let my love shine so Jesus' is seen through me. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

ARE YOU LISTENING?


No I am not writing about the old Verizon spokesman whose famous line
was 'Can you hear me now' but I am wanting to know do you
listen,really listen to those around you? I would have to say I do
not always do such a good job of it having been blamed in college for
being spacey. But listening and showing you care are very important,
especially for the believer. If this is an area you are weak in it is
important to learn to focus and not let the distractions around you
cause you to not tune in to the person talking to you.

I have great news. I know someone who always listens and always cares!
His name is Jesus! Jeremiah 33:3(NIV) says 'Call to me and I will
answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things that you not
know.' God wants us to listen to Him and He listens to us when we
pray.

Proverbs 4:10(NIV) says 'Listen my son,accept what I say, and the
years of your life will be many.' In other words you "listen" to Him
by reading His word, the Bible, and He "speaks" to you through it's
pages. In Proverbs 1:8(NIV) we are told 'Listen, my son to your
father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching.' Why
do you suppose that is? Maybe it is because their rules and things are
for your own good but when you rebel and go your own way you suffer
the consequences. Proverbs 19:27(NIV) says 'Stop listening to
instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.'

When you listen to wrong voices you may take the wrong path that will
lead to trouble and heartache. Staying in God's word and learning what
it says within it's pages will guide you and help you to discern wrong
from right, evil from good. Do the right thing. Listen to God!

PRAYER: Lord God I thank you for the words in the Bible that are my
guide. Help me be alert to the still small voice and tune out
distractions that may keep me from you Lord. In Jesus' name. Amen.
 
 
 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

HEART CHECKUP


How is your heart? I am not speaking of your physical heart, but how
is your spiritual heart? Is it turned onto things of the spirit of God
or is it cold, hard hearted, and deceitful?

The Bible says in Proverbs 4:23( NIV) 'above all else guard your
heart, for out of it flow the issues of life.' Further in Matthew
6:20-21(NIV) says 'But store up for it yourselves treasures in heaven
where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break
through and steal. For where your treasure is there will your heart be
also.' Now that verse makes lots of sense. If you are in love, your
heart is "sold out" to your beloved. You want to be with them and want
to do nice things for them. In a similar way, a heart "sold out" to
Jesus can not get enough of His word or praising Him. A person who has
a heart for God wants to spend time with Him and please Him.

Do you need a heart check up? Is your heart growing cold and hard
towards things of the spirit? Would you rather spend more time doing
worldly things than spend time with God? Have you given your heart to
Jesus? Does He live within your heart? Sin can cause a heart to be
hardened and separated from God.

Jeremiah 17:9-10(NIV) says 'The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure. Who can understand it? I the Lord search the heart
and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their
conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.' What does God find
out about you from your heart? Is it storing up anger, revenge, hate,
bitterness, jealousy, or is it filled with peace, joy, mercy and
forgiveness?

If you do not know and you want Jesus to come live in your heart just
say this simple prayer that follows. Lord Jesus I love you. Forgive me
Lord for my sins. I want to live a life pleasing to you and serve
you. Come into my heart Lord Jesus and transform my cold hard heart
into one conformed to your image.

Let me close with a great Bible verse about the heart from Psalm
51:10(NIV) and it could also be a prayer. It says 'Create in me a
clean heart oh God and renew a right spirit within me.' Ask God and
He will come into your heart.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus I want you to be in my heart. I do not want to live
a life to make Satan happy but I want to make you happy. Search me oh
God and cleanse me from any unrighteousness in my life. In Jesus'
name. Amen.

Click link below for a wonderful song to go along with this writing.
http://youtu.be/KjifPOBLowk

Monday, February 11, 2013

SNACK TIME


This past week I was enjoying watching one of my favorite Christian
Bible teachers, Joyce Meyer, on TV and she asked her audience if they
were committed to Christ or if going to church on Sunday was more like
"snack time" and nothing more. What an excellent illustration! What
about you do you simply go through the Sunday motions to enjoy a one
hour "snack time" or are you serious about your relationship with
Jesus?

Many of us still are sucking on a baby bottle and not spiritually
mature. Going to church is great but there is more to growing to be
more like Christ. It takes some effort and some time. When you are in
school you don't expect A's if you do not study and get serious.
Similarly the Bible is not a coffee table decoration but should be
used.

Scripture says in Hebrews 5:12-14 'In fact, though by this time you
ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary
truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!
Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted
with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the
mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish
good from evil.'

Are you on milk or just snacking or digging into the "meat" of God's word?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus often I spend more time doing things that do not
bring me closer to you. I purpose in my heart to study the word and
make it a daily part of my life. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Click on link below to worship the Lord in song. Speaking of
worship,in Huntsville, AL tonight is the Rockin Worship Road Show
which I plan to attend. It is a wonderful time with several wonderful
well known Christian artists lifting up the name of the Lord in song.
Check the link to see if it is coming to a city near you.
http://therockandworshiproadshow.com/
Here is a worship song to lift you up today:
http://youtu.be/6vvUf8nrSZA

Sunday, February 10, 2013

GET THEM BACK!! NOT!!


Has anyone ever hurt you so bad that it is all you can do humanly to
not keep the battle going? First of all we have to realize we can not
control people or their emotions or reactions. It hurts to be rejected
or made fun of by someone especially if we are close to them. Human
nature says 'Get them back' but God's nature says 'Not'.

This is a battle of the mind and it involves unconditional love to the
utmost. Since this is the month of love why not bring up letting hurts
go, not harboring resentment, and just moving on? It is very hard to
be betrayed by a friend for instance or to have co workers talk behind
your back. Maybe someone shared something personal you asked to be
held in confidence. Whatever the scenarios, you only give Satan more
ground and keep him happy when you choose to keep resentment over
something in your heart. Ponder that for a while.

Romans 12:17 (NIV) says 'to not repay evil for evil' so why do we
think we should? Some may say, 'I will never forgive them' but what
happened to kindness, grace, love, mercy, and being like Jesus? Jesus
of all people was scorned by many. He never uttered a harsh word and
wants us to pray. In Matthew 5:44(NIV) it says 'But I tell you, love
your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.' Proverbs
19:11(NIV) says ' A man's wisdom gives him patience. It is to a man's
glory to overlook an offense.' Get your mind on something else. Make
yourself pray for whoever it is that hurt you. Do not try to keep
reasoning things out and figuring them out, just move on and give it
to God.

PRAYER: Lord it hurts to be rejected. You know that feeling more than
anyone. Father give me your ability to focus on you and not past
hurts. In Jesus' name. Amem.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

STAY OUT OF THE MUD



As a child you may have enjoyed jumping in mud puddles or even running
where there was lots of mud. This may be more of a "boy thing" than
for girls, but making mud pies and playing in the dirt was fun for
those who did it but not the moms who did the laundry. When I hike a
few days after a rain there is often mud you have to avoid or you may
slip and fall, particularly when ascending or descending the trail.
Mud can make a huge mess of things. But then along come the water
hoses to clean everything up. Jesus is like our water hose to clean
off the sinful "mud of life".

Sin is like mud. It may be fun to play around in but after a while you
are covered and unclean and really no one would want you to come sit
on their living room couch. Sin can be fun but it has a sinister side.
Initially the fun may be there even when you know you are unclean and
have to get cleaned up again to go anywhere.

Are there sins in your life you find that captivate you? There are not
big sins and little sins, there is just sin. Some may have much worse
outcomes for those participating but to God it is sin. In Hebrews
11:26 (NIV) it speaks of there being pleasure in sin for a season.
Romans 3:23(NIV) reminds us ' We have all sinned and fallen short of
the glory of God'.

Do not think just because you asked Jesus to be Lord of your life you
will no longer be tempted to do what is evil in the site of the Lord.
Temptations come. Satan is tricky. He makes things look good and
appealing just like he did with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden
with the forbidden fruit they were told not to eat. Satan was cunning
and said 'you shall not surely die'. (See Genesis 3:4).

Sin is like sheep in wolves  clothing. It is a trap and a snare. The
devil is a liar, deceiver, and full of evil. Scripture speaks of him
coming as an "angel of light" or in other words you would not really
believe it was him. He will trick many. What we need to do is to
exercise our senses and stay in the word so we can recognize evil when
it rears it's ugly head. Hebrews 5:14(NIV) says 'But solid food is for
the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish
good from evil.'

Satan is kingpin of evil in this world. We are in a battle of good and
evil. Staying close to God and running from evil is the best way to
stay out of it. We are in spiritual warfare for our very souls. Satan
is always trying to get us to follow him into the "mud puddles" of
life. He wants you to saturate yourself with his kind of fun and
forget the Lord and forget God's word which can and does keep you on
the right path when you read, study and follow what is in its' pages.
My challenge to you today is to commit to read God's word every day.
Train yourself in godliness and be able to recognize the attacks of
the enemy and run far and fast the other direction.

PRAYER: Dear Lord I am so grateful to live in a nation where at the
present time we are free to read our Bible and have it out in the open
and not get arrested. We know Satan is working overtime to try to
destroy the godly nation of the United States. Use me Lord as you see
fit in your kingdom work to spread the word and be a light in the
darkness. Help me stay out of the "mud puddles" of life. In Jesus'
name. Amen.

Friday, February 8, 2013

WARNINGS


On a recent hike at a nearby state park there are dangerous cliffs and
warning signs are posted. Some read "Stay On Marked Trails".
Another says "Caution: High Bluffs". When I lived in Arizona, out in
the desert where it was mostly dry, an occasional downpour, called a
monsoon, would cause otherwise dry riverbeds to flood. Caution signs
would read "Flash Flood Area". In Northern Arizona, at the Grand
Canyon ,warning signs reminded tourists "Do Not Cross Barriers" . I hear an average of
five tourists a year plunge to their death by not heeding this warning
in order to step across the barrier for a better picture.
God provides many warnings in His word, the Holy Bible, if only we
would realize they are for our own good. Sin is very tempting. Satan
makes it that way. In Exodus 20 are ten "warnings" referred to as The
Ten Commandments. If you follow them you should be able to stay out of
trouble. We are warned about not having a "mouth problem" or in other
words talking too much and saying the wrong things. (See Proverbs
10:19). .

We are warned about the wrong kind of friends in 1 Corinthians
15:33(NIV). Proverbs 23:29-35 warns us about the dangers of too much
alcohol. Proverbs 6(Read it) warns about the dangers of "loose women"
and staying on the right path. Proverbs 1:10(NIV) warns against those
who knowingly sin when it says 'My son if sinners entice you, do not
follow them.' These are just a sampling of the many warnings within
the pages of the Bible.

If you listen to God He will keep you safe. John 15:7( NIV) tells us
'If you abide in me and my word abides in you, you can ask whatever
you wish and it will be done to you.'

Who are you following? Are you listening to the warnings of the still
small voice inside of you? Isaiah 30:21(NIV) says 'whether you turn to
the right or to the left , your ears will hear a voice behind you
saying, This is the way, Walk in it.'

Start today to make up your mind you will tune out Satan and tune into
God and live for Him.

PRAYER: Father I thank you that you are my Abba father, Daddy. Just
like an earthly daddy gives warnings to protect us from harm, you too
provide those through scripture. Forgive me when I have allowed Satan
to tempt me and lead me off the path of righteousness. In Jesus' name.
Amen.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

HOW IS YOUR HEART?


By this I do not mean do you have physical heart problems but how is
your heart attitude? Humans have either a good heart or an evil heart.
The heart can be loving or hateful. It can be filled with joy or
sorrow. So how is your heart?
There are many scriptures in the Bible speaking of the heart. We speak
of giving our heart to Jesus when we accept Him or "ask Him into your
heart" or in other words ask Him to come into your heart and transform
you to be more Christlike.

We see evil in our society and these evil individuals no doubt have an
evil heart and are listening to Satan more than God. They thrive on
hurting God's children and bringing evil into the world. That is why
it is so very crucial for those who name the name of Jesus to make
sure Jesus is truly in your heart. Do you have a heart to serve Him
and live for Him or are you more infatuated with things in this world?

Luke 6:45(NIV) says 'the good man brings good things out of the good
stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of
the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart
his mouth speaks.' Proverbs 4:23(NIV) tells us 'Above all else, guard
your heart for out of it flow the issues of life.'

Matthew 6:21(NIV) says 'Where your treasure is there will your heart
be also'. A friend of mine once said she prayed her child's spouse
would love God, more than his or her spouse, as putting God first is
the key to a right heart and showing ultimate love to those around
you.

Where are you today? Is it time for a "heart check up" or a "heart transplant"?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus you are first in my heart. I want your love to flow
through me to others. Give me a servants heart in all my
relationships. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Click on the two links below to help start your morning off with some
wonderful praise and worship songs:
http://youtu.be/JiD0_Krgbo4

http://youtu.be/CEtsHWFE6-w

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A NOTE TO REMEMBER


A few days ago while taking a walk in a park I looked down and saw a
scrap of paper and was going to be a good citizen to pick it up and
throw it in a trash can. Being curious, I first glanced at this little
note and it simply said "nice butt. Look but don't touch". Now I hope
I have not offended anyone reading this but I found it rather comical
that maybe some young man had been out there on the walking path and
had a reminder to himself in order to not let temptation get the best
of him. Since I was on the "love month" I decided to use this as a
opportunity to speak of what love was not. Was this one of those "God
things"? Who knows.

Love is not lusting after someone. This little reminder I found that
was written on a post it note was probably someone dealing with a
temptation or an addiction perhaps. It is hard to say, but in the
Bible in Matthew 5:28(NIV) it says 'But I tell you whoever looks at a
woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his
heart.' Adult magazines should be treated like poison to include the
type that make a homosexual man lust after other men, which is totally
not okay either. This is a real problem and unfortunately Christians
are not exempt so need to be on their guard. If you suffer from this
problem ask God to help you. Get into Christian counseling or find a
trusted accountability partner to confide in. There are filters for
your computer such as "Covenant Eyes" which would be a good investment
for someone with this temptation that is so strong they can not
control it.

The enemy can have a hey day in 2013 with quick access to online porn,
adult movie channels in hotel rooms, adult magazines and even more
acceptable magazines such as "Sports Illustrated Annual Swimsuit"
issue which still has nudity inside it's pages. If you subscribe to
"Sports Illustrated" for your preteen and teen children or husband my
recommendation would be to keep an eye out for this issue. Satan puts
all types of "eye candy" out there to lead people astray. You do not
hear that much about women and these sort of problems, but they aren't
exempt. 1 Peter 5:8(NIV) says 'Be self controlled and alert because
your enemy the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking
someone to devour.'Satan is constantly scheming of ways to destroy
Christians and this lust issue is a big one. Just look at TV today and
the movies. "Plugged In Online" is a good resource for seeking good
entertainment choices for the family.

Amos 5:14(NLT) says 'Do what is good and run from evil, that you may
live! Then the Lord God Almighty will truly be your helper just as you
have claimed He is!'. In Proverbs 5:18(NIV) speaking to men it says
'May your fountain be blessed and may you rejoice in the wife of your
youth.' Plainly put, love your wife and keep your eyes from
wandering.Run from anything that is evil before Satan snares you in
its' trap.

Let me end with this verse from 1 Corinthians 10:13(NIV) which says
'No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is
faithful and He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.
But when you are tempted He will also provide a way of out so you can
stand up under it.' God is able to help so just call on Him.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus you created all things and among those are the
beauty of mankind. Help me Lord stay away from TV shows, movies,
books, magazines or anything that would entice lust within me. I can
do all things with your help. In Jesus name. Amen.