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.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

JESUS...NOT JUST FOR EASTER!


What a joyous day this is for Christians everywhere!! This day is one
of my favorite. I have many happy memories of celebrating Easter. It
is not about egg hunts, pretty clothes, and crowded churches. It is
about a man who came so that we might have life and died a horrible
death on a cross for what? So we could ignore Him for 364 days and
come to church one day a year? So we could do our own thing and
disregard what scriptures say? So we could only cry out to Him in our
desperation? No matter what we have done or how we have treated or
mistreated Him, he is forgiving and wants you to come to Him and accept
Him into your heart. How many humans do you know who could be treated like Jesus was and just turn the other cheek? Not very many probably.

If we name the name of Jesus we are to try to follow in His footsteps and be Christlike and holy. Many times we get caught up in what is popular in the "world" and sort of leave Jesus out of the equation. This is what is happening in America today. Too many of us are complacent about our walk with Him and compromise so many things. Sin is still sin. The Bible has not changed. Hebrews 13:5(NIV) says 'Jesus Christ is the same today, yesterday, and forever.' Proverbs 18:10(ESV) says 'The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous man run into it and are safe.'

The busier we become the less time we have for things that matter. One of our priorities as a believer should be saturating ourselves in Bible teaching. How do you expect to win the battle against Satan unless you are properly "armed" with the promises in the Bible?

Why not try to get excited about Jesus on all the days of the week? He should be first place in a believers life. What do you need to do to make the feeling of Easter last throughout the year?

PRAYER: Lord I confess that at times I have not studied your word enough and may be tricked, deceived, or sucked into one of the schemes of the enemy, Satan. I purpose in my heart to put you and your word first. I know Satan will throw things in my path to distract me but help me resist and run the race to win! In Jesus' name. Amen.

Click link below for a powerful worship song:
http://youtu.be/X_2qG22SPwU

Saturday, March 30, 2013

EVIL FOR EVIL? NOT!!


Here we are one day prior to the celebration of Easter Sunday. I think today of the evil forces in this world that hate Jesus and God and hated him so much back then that they hung him on a cross to die. Even when all this torture was going on what did He do? He wanted us to forgive those soldiers who hammered nails into His hands and feet, put a crown of thorns on Him and treated him so horribly. In Luke 23:34(ESV) it says 'Father forgive them for they know not what they do'.
Evil for evil, no way. God is good, and Satan is evil, the king of evil and lies. He is at work overtime even in the lives of Christians to trick, deceive and lie to them. That is why it is so essential that we saturate ourselves with the truths found only in God's word, The Bible. Do you study it and take time to "know Jesus"?
Do you ever catch yourself saying you do not like someone or even utter the word "hate"? Maybe someone has hurt you, been mean to you, or just treated you poorly. In Matthew 5:43-48(NIV) says 'You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?Are not even the tax collectors doing that?And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.'
Try an experiment. Try actually forgiving people who have wronged you. Even if they are no longer around and you are unable to do it in person. Try just loving for a change. Ask God to transform the hate you may feel into His love for them. Only Satan wants revenge, not God.
Memorize this verse below if you can, found in 1 Peter 3:9(NIV). '
Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.'

When you start to get mad or let your thoughts dwell on being mad, turn it into love instead.

PRAYER: This is the day you have made for us to enjoy and serve you. I know Lord at times I allow the enemy to capture my thoughts and start wrong thinking. I allow hate and anger in when I should instead be allowing your transforming power of love. Help me Lord as I seek to stay on the path of love and forgiveness. In Jesus' name. Amen.
 
Click link before and enjoy this Easter melody.

Friday, March 29, 2013

BUNNY OR THE CROSS?


The celebration of Easter Sunday is upon us in two days. This is the
day people crowd churches who do not normally attend anywhere or at
any time. Somehow these "lily Christians" as an Air Force Chaplain
friend called them, know it is the right thing to do so hurray for
them! Church at Easter is not about bunnies, new clothes, and colorful
eggs. It is about the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Today marks
Good Friday when Christians commemorate the Lord's crucifixion and
death upon The cross. This is a sad day for some but a solemn day
leading up to Easter and Jesus arising from the dead!

Who do you serve? What is important to you? Is Easter just an excuse
for a new dress or suit? Does this Holy day mean a family portrait for
some? Regardless of what you do on this day you can not deny that
Jesus died a cruel death on the cross for you and I? Many choose to
totally ignore Him and go their own way. Even many who claim to be
Christians rarely get into the Bible and study it. "It is boring or
too deep for me" you might say. "Why do I need to know the Bible?" is
another possible response. "Look get off my case because I go to
church don't I?" is another verbal response. Remember it was said
"going into a church won't make you a Christian any more than going
into a garage will make you a car."

For some the only Bible verses they may know by memory are John 3:16
and the 23rd Psalm. The first verse is recited time and time again to
little children in Sunday school. The 23rd Psalm is often read at
funerals and therefore many are familiar with it. Does it go beyond
there? Would you like it to? If you answered "no" then possibly ask
yourself if you truly ever did ask Jesus to be Lord of your life.

Psalm 51:10(ESV) says 'Create in me Oh Lord, a clean heart and renew a
right spirit within me.' Can you make that your prayer today and
every day?

PRAYER: Lord I am thankful for your word, The Holy Bible. I am
thankful in this nation to be able to worship freely. I know many
countries people can not. I ask that you help we in thus nation not
take you or your Holy Word for granted. Forgive me Lord if I have ever
let other things get in the way of knowing you better. In Jesus' name.
Amen.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

DO NOT GET THE LAST WORD

In watching "The Bible" mini series these past few weeks and seeing the actor portraying Jesus always being peaceful even when insults were being hurled at him, it led me to believe we too are supposed to emulate Christ if we claim to be a Christian. How many of us could stand idly by while someone mocked or insulted us? Human nature is to strike back and return insults or defend ourselves. Jesus did nothing to deserve his treatment.
1 Peter 3:9(NIV) says '.
Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.' Perhaps someone has tried to start a shouting match with you. The big thing is to diffuse this type of behavior by keeping calm and peaceful. It usually drives the person "attacking" you crazy as they are trying to start a fight. Just because someone is hurting you is no reason to treat them the same way. Proverbs 20:22(NIV) says 'Do not say I'll pay you back for this wrong but wait for the Lord and He will avenge you .' 1 Peter 2:23(NIV) says 'When they hurled insults at Him , he did not retaliate and when He suffered He made no threats. Instead He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly.'
Think of Easter for just a moment, since it is upon us this coming Sunday. Imagine if you possibly can, experiencing the type of painful torture and mocking that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ endured. Isaiah 53:7 says 'He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its' sharers is silent so he did not open his mouth.' This is only a "God thing" to be able to remain silent in the face of unjust torture and accusations.
Perhaps you are not being hung on a cross like Jesus to suffer a horrible "temporary" death, but your issue is something much smaller. Maybe you were hurt by a spouse with a verbal tongue lashing. This should never occur but if it does stay cool and be Christlike unless you are being threatened physically. Maybe your cruelty is at the hands of a boss. Once again do the right thing and remain calm and Christlike. Did a friend hurt you or betray you? Whatever it is run to Jesus and give up the idea you want to get them back.
Let me leave you with this verse from James 1:20(NIV) which simply says 'For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.' Remember your real enemy is not mere man but Satan.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus during this Easter season we think of you and the awful way your were treated. Lord help me to imitate you in my words and actions if I am ever mistreated by someone. Show me how to love like you with a super natural love. In Jesus name. Amen.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

"SELF" MONSTER


Selfish, self centered, self absorbed? Those are some of the monstrous
members of the "self family". What each of us needs to learn is how
to take "self" off the throne and learn to put others first. Children
may be born into this world and can be extremely self centered as they
know no better. But as we mature we are to learn it is not all about
me. Also we need to learn "self" control in many areas of life so we
can control bad habits that can hurt us and others. In order to tame
this "self monster" you have to "die to self".

The world we live in encourages us to be self absorbed with things
like looking out for number one and things like Facebook which if not
used properly can almost become narcissistic in a sense. This world
tends to get your focus off other people and onto you with different
advertising gimmicks. If not careful it is every easy to fall into
the trap of self importance and "me first." There is a shampoo
commercial that ends by saying "and I'm worth it." That always smacks
of a little ego there. Now I am not saying to hate yourself but to
consciously be thinking of helping others and not just yourself.

Proverbs 27:2 (NIV) is an excellent verse to commit to memory. It says
'Let another praise you and not your own mouth. An outsider and not
your own lips.' It is necessary to constantly be on your guard to
stay humble particularly if you do something the "world" looks up to
or have a "gift" that is special. James 4:10(NIV) says 'Humble
yourselves before the Lord and he will lift you up.'

One cure for taking yourself off the throne of "self" is to practice
putting others before yourself. The acronym J.O.Y. simply means "Jesus
First, Others Second, Yourself Last.' John 3:30(NIV) is another great
verse which says 'He must increase and I must decrease.' Think of ways
you can put others before yourself. I encourage you to stop a moment
and ponder building up and encouraging others around you and not be
thinking of what you want for a change.

In 1 Corinthians15:51(NASB) it says 'I affirm brethren, by the
boasting in you by which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die
daily.' This simply means make an effort each and every day you get up
to put Christ first before your own selfish desires and think of ways
to get self out of the way and put others needs before your own.

Get rid of that old self centered nature and replace it with a God
nature of thinking of serving those close to you and even strangers.
Galatians 5:16(NIV) is a reminder and it says 'May I never boast
except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.'

Where are you today? Do you have any work to do in this area of
"self". Call unto God with a humble heart and He will help you.

PRAYER: This is your day Lord. I thank you for giving me another day
of life. Forgive me when I complain and am not thankful. I have so
much to praise you for. Help me today to be a blessing in somones
life. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Click on link and enjoy the video clip below:
http://youtu.be/3X7jy3ToFRU

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

COPY CAT


 When you were a child did you ever play that game where you copied
everything someone did? It can get very annoying having someone do
this.

There is one person who we are supposed to copy and that is Jesus! 1
Corinthians 4:16(NIV) says 'Therefore I urge you to imitate me.' You
may be able to recall a few years ago when the "What Would Jesus Do"
campaign came about otherwise called "WWJD". A very catchy way to
remind ourselves that if we name Jesus' name we are to be imitating
Him.

Ask yourself a simple question each day and that is 'Is what I am
doing setting an example for Christ and drawing people to Him or
turning them away and causing doubts?' If you claim to know Him then
you should want to be like Him and set a good example.

Psalm19:14(ESV) says 'Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of
my heart be acceptable in your sight O Lord my Rock and my redeemer.'

PRAYER: I choose this day to be a good "copy cat" of you Lord. I want
my life to reflect yours and stay on the path you have set before me.
Help me and give me strength and courage to do this. In Jesus' name.
Amen.

Monday, March 25, 2013

KEEP YOUR THOUGHTS ON GOD

 
This is Easter week. Many people are thinking of pretty clothes, spring, Easter egg hunts, candy, baskets and all those "worldly" things that go along with this religious holiday. On this very Holy week our thoughts should be on God and things of the Lord. What a happy day it was when Jesus rose from the dead after three days in a tomb. We are to be joyous and celebrate His gift to us. When you focus on Christ you tend to get less caught up in the "world" too. This coming Sunday is not about an Easter bonnet, a cantata, a new suit, and an annual visit to church for many,but it's about the risen King who came that we might have life and live it abundantly.

Do you know Him? Do you think about the things of the Lord often or are you caught up in your earthly endeavors? Is Christ a real part of your life or do you just say "hi" to Him one hour each week on Sunday? Do you want to spend more time with Him but look at your Bible and think it is hard to understand or boring? Do you "talk" to Him about decisions in your life?

Philippians 4:8(NIV) says '

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.'

If you are constantly consumed with worldly affairs and stressed about everything you hear on the news then you might not be listening to the voice of God. His goal for us is joy and peace. These can not be achieved by feeding on a diet of "worldly" things.

In Romans 12:2 it mentions not 'being conformed to the pattern of this world but being transformed by the renewing of our mind'.

Why not start today and get your focus off the world and cares and concerns around you. Make it a daily habit to spend time alone reading the Bible and shutting out the chaos around you. Only then will you be able to think like Christ.

Isaiah 26:3(NLT) says '
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!'
Fix your thoughts on Him today.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus the world around me is constantly distracting me with all of its' pleasures. I thank you Lord for being able to get alone and equip myself each day by reading your word. Forgive me when I have put you last or not at all. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Click on link and listen to a wonderful song.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

WARFARE ATTIRE


Do you realize here on Planet Earth we are in a battle between good and evil, God and Satan? As a former member of the US Army I know that soldiers do not go into battle wearing blue jeans and a polo shirt but they are dressed in the proper uniform to protect and camouflage them. There are key pieces of equipment that are required to give them a fighting chance in combat. If these things are not worn they risk injury, capture, or death.

In our Spiritual battle we require special items to ward off and defeat Satan. In Colossians3:14(NIV) it says 'Therefore as God's chosen people dearly and loved,  clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility,  gentleness, and patience.' Note that word "clothe" referring to getting dressed. So we "dress" in a Christlike fashion but we also "dress" for serious battle against the enemy, Satan, who is prowling around like a roaring lion(See 1 Peter 5:8-10).

Ephesians 6:10-17(NIV) says the following 'Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith,with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.'

Now imagine yourself in the morning, "clothing" yourself first them putting on your suit of armor to go out not the world. See where it says your "sword" is the word of God? No soldier would go into battle without his rifle and we believers should not go out into our battleground each day until we are "armed and ready" to take on the enemy. You "arm" yourself by reading your Bible. 

Are you dressed for battle today? Have you picked up your Bible and read it to help strengthen yourself for the battle that rages on in this world against evil forces?  Satan is defeated by using the word of God. Tell him to get behind you(Matthew 16:23) and leave you alone because you are a child of God.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus it is my desire to be fully equipped each and every day to face whatever the "world" throws at me. I know in order to be prepared I need to be guided and strengthened by the words found in the Bible. When the enemy tries to get me too busy to spend time with you I will resist him. When the enemy says "it is more important to watch the morning news" I realize I need to fight Him and stand firm. Help me Lord as I want you in my life early in the morning to start my day of battle correctly. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

JESUS....ONE POWERFUL NAME...ONE MIGHTY MAN


There is power in that name. Jesus! Enemies flee at the mention of His
name. You can defeat or stop the enemy in his tracks with the
utterance of His name. Kings and Kingdoms will pass away and Jesus
name lasts forever. At the name of Jesus every knee should bow and
every tongue confess Jesus is Lord. We are in a spiritual war but we
can defeat the enemy with God's word. It is our sword.

The following are a few Bible verses about the mighty and powerful
name of Jesus. Once again if you can read them out loud try that.
There is no other greater name than the name of Jesus. It can do
powerful things!

And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name
under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts
4:12(ESV)

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that
is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should
bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue
confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 4:9-11(ESV)

And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in
the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you
will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.Acts 2:38 (ESV)

And such were some of you. 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. 1 Corinthians 6:11(ESV)

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government
shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful
Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah
9:6(ESV)

The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are
subject to us in your name!” Luke 10:17(ESV)

When you feel weak Jesus is strong. You need only put your trust in
Him and call on Him. There is supernatural power in His name. There is
power in the name of Jesus.

PRAYER: Lord God thank you for giving us your Son Jesus Christ. His
name is mighty and powerful and we believers can take authority in His
name. Help me not fear as you are with me and His name is over me. In
Jesus' name. Amen.

Click on link for powerful worship song.
http://youtu.be/dBGyLK7RxPw

Friday, March 22, 2013

HIDDEN HURTS


As I sat in church one Sunday watching folks go to the altar for
prayer it struck me how so many people are walking around with hurts
and issues that we will never know about. The ache or wound is hidden
deep inside them. At times you can not tell this by looking at their
faces as some are rather good at concealing what they are going
through.
It may be easy to judge people who we think look or seem different
but then too we do not know their story and we are not to
be the judge. Many people outwardly react to things in different
ways. Judging someones appearance, heart, or actions is not right.
Who made us the judge anyway?

Pain sometimes is hidden deep inside and may even need a professional
Christian counselor to draw out.

I think of the street corner scenario or end of exit ramp where
typically, in most cities, there is someone with a sign that reads
'Will work for food' or something to that affect. Many feel these
people are all scamming us collecting tax free money and taking in
more than an ordinary person would make. If you feel led to give to
someone, that is their problem if they have lied and deceived you.They
will answer to God and your heart was right. Maybe some of them are
legitimate. Only God knows.

How about the young woman selling her body for prostitution. What
awful kind of life would lead a person to do this? We need to be in
prayer for these people and the business owners who misuse them. Maybe
the Hollywood celebrity that is in and out of court for drugs or DUI.
Instead of feeding your mind on it by indulging in gossip magazines,
have you ever considered praying for these people instead? When you
pray for someone you are much less likely to be judging and condemning
them.

Let me leave you with a couple verses from Matthew 22:26-40(NIV) which
says 'Teacher which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus
replied, love The Lord your God with all your heart and with all your
soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest
commandment. And the Second is like it, Love your neighbor as
yourself. All the Law and The Prophets hang on these two
commandments.'

PRAYER: Lord today I choose to pray instead of judge and condemn. All
people are deserving of love. Many wounded are wandering around
without hope. You Lord give that hope. Use me Lord to bring hope to a
hurting person. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Click on link below for a worshipful song:
http://youtu.be/jM8RN8RbZhE

Thursday, March 21, 2013

DOCTOR JESUS


Healing is possible. God has gifted doctors and nurses to be able to
do what is necessary to help heal and restore but He is also still in
the equation. Sometimes He can and will perform miracles. Many may think my
statement to be a bit wacky but it is true. God is God and He performs
miracles even today.
Back in the late 80's when my sons and I visited Tulsa to see my
sister, there were occasions when one of the children got sick and had to see a doctor.
We chose to go to see a doctor at the City of Faith on the campus of
Oral Roberts University. Prior to starting their examination the doctor
would ask if we minded if they could pray. Of course I did not mind .I
thought it was awesome!

Why not get some scriptures about healing seared in your mind. Here
are just a sampling of some. There is a saying "Believe receive, doubt
do without." Psalm 103:1-4(NKJV) says 'Bless the Lord, O my soul; And
all that is within me, bless His holy name!Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with loving
kindness and tender mercies.' Read that out loud if you are someplace
you are able to.

Proverbs 4:20-22(NIV) says 'My son, pay attention to what I say; turn
your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them
within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health
to one’s whole body.'

God does still work miracles. In order to receive blessings you need
to be loving Him and following His word. Psalm 66:18(NIV) says 'If I
had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.' Be
obedient to His word do not just pray and expect answers. He is not
Santa Claus He is God! God is a God of mighty power and He still is
in the healing business. I often like to say the "ultimate healing" is
being transported supernaturally to heaven upon our death as
believers. No more sickness, no more pain. Just pure joy in His
presence in the heavenly kingdom.
Believe today and trust Him and pray to Him. He is a wonderful,
awesome, miracle working God!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus I thank you for being a God of healing. You worked
miracles while you were on the Earth and you still work healing
miracles now. I thank you for being a God of healing. In Jesus' name.
Amen.

Click link below and worship the Lord in all His glory!
http://youtu.be/osXoGDpxTew

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

RECALCULATING! RECALCULATING!


There probably aren't too many of us out there who have not seen the
commercial for a well known insurance company with the character known
as "Mayhem" where in one episode he mimics a GPS device saying
'Recalculating, recalculating.' How many of us in life have to stop
and recalculate things? Changes occur which maybe were unexpected and
we have to "recalculate" our course in life.

In doing these "recalculations" do you include praying about what
steps to take? Philippians 4:6-7(NIV) says 'Do not be anxious about
anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with
thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which
transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in
Christ Jesus.'

That is the ultimate goal to have the "peace of God" in your
decisions. You may have to "recalculate" things along your road of
life, but turn to God in prayer and He will direct you.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus I need you in my every day decision making. Forgive
me if I have been stubborn and tried to leave you out of making
decisions in my life. I seek your peace in my life. I choose to be
guided by your truth in all things. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

2ND BIRTHDAY


Today marks my "second" birthday celebration. I am 38 years old in
Christ today and so is my sister Judy. We both rededicated our lives
to Jesus on this day back in 1975 in Charleston, West Virginia.

Like any birthday, this one is very special because I was "born
again" and started living for God in a new and powerful way. Things
came alive for me. I hungered for the things of God. I finally was
excited to live the Christian life and not just attend church and sing
hymns then go home and do what I wanted. I have had my ups and downs
since and have had times when I was not as close to Him. This
wonderful day was truly a memorable one as I was reborn into a new
life with Him.

Before this day I had gone through the motions of going to church,
being baptized, attending Sunday school and Vacation Bible school and
saying my prayers but when it really took hold in 1975 I was truly
"hungry" for the things of the Lord. Matthew 5:6(NIV) says 'Blessed
are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they will be
filled.'

You can not shove Jesus down someones throat or play "Holy Spirit
Junior" as neither will work. Prayer is the answer. I know I had
family and friends praying for me just like I pray for others today. I
was not a bad person but things of the Lord were on Sunday only
mostly. I had wonderful parents who raised us saying prayers and going
to church and youth group and am forever grateful for that foundation.

Do you hunger for more of God or is Sunday quite enough? Do you need
a spiritual transformation? Do you realize you do not "inherit"
salvation? Each of us needs to ask Jesus into our heart. Just because
you have always gone to the same church or stayed with the same
denomination is not the key to heaven.

2 Corinthians 5:17(ESV) says 'If anyone is in Christ he is a new
creation. The old has passed
away, behold the new has come.' John 3:7(NIV) says 'you must not be
surprised at my saying, you must be born again.'

Is it time for you to examine your own life and decide if Jesus is
really a part? Stop now and pray and ask Jesus to be Lord of your life
today. Today is the day of salvation.

PRAYER: I love you Lord and I want you to be part of my life around
the clock and not just on Sunday. This might mean I have to change
churches so give me courage. I want to seek you like never before. In
Jesus' name. Amen.

Click on link below for a powerful song:
http://youtu.be/60vY1i6CDDs

Book Suggestion:
"Disciples Are Made, Not Born"

Monday, March 18, 2013

EVEN MORE THANKS!


Last Friday I wrote about Thanksgiving and listing all the wonderful
things in our lives we are thankful for and I forgot to list five very
important things. This is always the case when you are thinking of
what you are thankful for. I know in Moms in Prayer each week in our
Four Steps of Prayer (see www.momsinprayer.org) the third step is
"Thanksgiving" where we share in prayer the things God has done for us
and answers to prayers we have prayed in our lives there in the group.
So five more things I thought of the other day at O dark thirty as I
pushed "send" to put my writing out there in cyber world were my
family such as mom,brother, sister, nephews, niece, and many other
relatives still living; my beautiful and wonderful daughter in law and
her absolutely terrific family, the pets in our lives, and the answers
to prayer each and every day we often take for granted. Once again as
I send this out no doubt more will come to mind. That is what we need
to have happen. Be so grateful and thankful for so many things that
you just can not stop praising God for them. So many little "God
things" in your life you may not even notice. It is so awesome how God
orchestrates all the details in our lives and even turns bad things
around.

The assignment for all readers once again is to get out that paper and
pen and go to work writing down all the things in your life you are
thankful for. It is a very good exercise to do and to do daily. The
more we learn to thank the less we learn to complain. I just thought
of another one just now, grocery stores. In America we are so blessed
with an abundance of food.

Ephesians 5:20(NIV) is a good memory verse and it says 'Always give
thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus
Christ'. Try cultivating daily an attitude of gratitude.

PRAYER: Lord first I am thankful for knowing you as my saviour. I
thank you for my Bible and I pray I do not neglect reading it daily.
In Jesus' name. Amen.

Click on link and be blessed.
http://youtu.be/-GPpx9oINsI

Sunday, March 17, 2013

"STUFF" GETS IN THE WAY


I love it when I have gone on vacation and leave my "stuff" behind. I
find that I can truly live without all the "stuff" we think we need on
a day to day basis. Sometimes our "stuff" gets in the way with our
relationship with Jesus. We can put hobbies, sports, vacation and a
host of other things before Him and He totally gets left out of the
equation.

I loved it when we used to camp with our children and some camp
grounds would have church services. In Breckenridge. Colorado they
hold church up on top of one mountain. Copper Mountain, Colorado,
where our son Jon used to work, has church service in an actual chapel
on the premises and even up on the mountain. It is nice to go on
vacation and not forget God. He after all is the one who helps us get
our "stuff" that sometimes gets in the way of being with Him.

He wants to be first place in your life, not in a legalistic way of
punching a ticket so to speak to say "Hey I have been to church today.
Check that block for the week". No He wants you to want to be with
Him. Material things are not bad. Hobbies are not bad. Enjoying sports
is not bad. But when we allow things to squeeze God out and forget
about Him then that is where the problem is. Too many distractions and
things get in the way of having a personal relationship with Him on a
daily basis. And we give Satan a victory when we forget God.

Perhaps it is time to take a look at your life and do some shifting
around of priorities. Maybe you need to find a church that loves Jesus
that you are excited to go to not one you dread getting up and saying
"oh no not again'. Do not give up on God and let the things of this
world and all your "Stuff" squeeze Him out. He is waiting for you to
ask Him to be part of your life. Do it today!

Mark 12:30(NIV) 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with
all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'

PRAYER: Lord I want to truly love you with an over the top sort of
love. I do not just want to enter the doors of a church and "be
religious" for one hour but I want a relationship where I am excited
about being a Christian. Lord help guide me if it means changing
churches or changing myself. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Click link and praise God in song.
http://youtu.be/IdJBYyNsQd0

Saturday, March 16, 2013

READ AND FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTION MANUAL

How many of you out there have ever had the joy of putting together a
swing set? What about learning how to use a new 'communication device'
also known as a phone? Maybe it is putting together some other piece
of equipment. Perhaps it could be as simple as following Lego
instructions, which my sons used to love building. If you
attempt to do many things without reading or following the
instructions you can become quite lost, frustrated, and confused. It
pays to do it the proper way.

Similarly "The Bible" is our instruction manual for life. Within its'
pages you will find commands, wisdom, guidance, truth, laws, and much
more. For those who follow what it says you will be able to defeat
strongholds in your life. Satan loves it when followers of Christ get up and get too rushed to even spend time with Him. Many may think their Sunday "experience" will be sufficient to keep them a "member" of God's kingdom. There may be a total lack of desire for things of the "spirit". Maybe it is all some folks can do to even sit through a one hour service on Sunday. Each of us needs to check our heart attitude and see if you really love the Lord or are just going through "the motions".
Whatever we love and have a passion for we spend time with. You love your spouse so you hang out together. You love a particular hobby or sport so you spend time doing that particular thing. You love your children so you love being with them. Similarly we are "God's children" and He loves it when we "hang out" with Him.
Deuteronomy 6:5(NIV) says 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart,with all your soul, and with all your strength.' Get out that "instruction manual" and start knowing Jesus by spending time with Him. 2 Timothy 3:15(AKJV) says '
Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.'
Why not start today reading your daily instruction book for life?
PRAYER: Lord you are good and kind and loving. Forgive me for not spending quality time with you each and every day. I know Satan rejoices when I get too busy for you. It is through your word I learn how to defeat the enemies strongholds in my life. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Click link below and take time to praise God in song.
http://youtu.be/qaHmiFaX_pk

Friday, March 15, 2013

THANK YOU SO MUCH JESUS!!


When you are down in the dumps and think your situation or trial is
unbearable I challenge you to do this simple exercise. Get a piece of
paper and start listing your blessings and the things you are thankful
for. It is easy to complain and is a bad habit to get into. I have
heard a person has to find seven good things to negate the one
critical thing you may have said.

Here is an idea for saying thanks listed not in any particular order.
I challenge you to make your own list and see if you do not feel
better.

Thank you Lord for freedom.
Thank you Lord for good health.
Thank you Lord for food and clean water.
Thank you Lord for my spouse.
Thank you Lord for my children.
Thank you for where you have me now as I know it is your plan.
Thank you Lord for friends.
Thank you Lord for eyes that see and ears that hear.
Thank you for being able to walk, run, swim,ski, hike.
Thank you for monetary blessings.
Thank you for education.
Thank you for healthcare.
Thank you for the gift of speech.
Thank you for my Bible.
Thank you for your mercy and forgiveness.
Thank you for hearing my prayers.
Thank you for talents and gifts.

1 Thessalonians 5:18(NIV) reminds us 'give thanks in all circumstances
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.' Let Psalm 51:10(ESV)
be your prayer. It simply says 'Create in me a clean heart Oh God and
renew a right spirit within me.' Is your heart clean? Are you walking
with the Lord daily or just wait to visit Him one hour on Sunday? Why
not make that "thanks list" and start letting the Lord "truly" take first place in your life?
PRAYER: Lord Jesus thank you for yet another day you have given me to
make a difference in the world around me. I choose to not complain but
to have an attitude of thanksgiving instead. Satan has no power over
me as I sing your praises. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

COME BACK TO GOD

No matter what you have done God loves you. He died a cruel death on a cross so that we might live. He is the Almighty One, the beginning and the end. His love for us never ends. Even when we ignore Him, take His name in vain, and don't "talk" to Him on a regular basis through prayer He still loves us. His mercies never end.
Have you been away from Him for a while? I did not say 'did you stop going to church' but what is your relationship with Him like? Do you read the Bible and study it? Do you pray other than at meals? Do you love Him and want to please Him?
You can right now stop what you are doing and pray if you have never asked Jesus to come into your heart?Revelation 3:20(NIV) says '
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.'

Have you answered that "knock" and let Jesus come into your heart? We are like sheep in God's pasture. He is our Shepherd. John 10:3(NIV) says '
The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.'

Are you letting Christ lead and "shepherd" you? Maybe it is time to get serious about being His friend and spending time with Him. Do you take the time for your earthly friends? God wants to be your best friend. Get to know Him by getting into the word of God each day. Let me recommend what I have in the past. Leave the TV off, put down the newspaper,and pick up your Bible each day. Start with the book of John first and then check out the Psalms and Proverbs. You will get lots of wisdom and knowledge to help you lead a life pleasing to Him.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus forgive me when I put less important things before you. Many of these things stir up fear and take away peace. Help me Lord to ignore attempts of the enemy to keep me from you each day. My desire is to know you better and "walk" with you each and every day. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Check out this video on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiD0_Krgbo4&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

KEEP LOOKING AHEAD



Remember the story in the Bible about Lot's wife looking behind her and turning into salt? See Genesis 19:26. Scripture tells us in many places to forget what is behind and to "press on" to what is ahead. Looking back does no good. Yesterday is over and tomorrow is ahead of you. 

Philippians 3:13-14(AMP) says ' I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.'  Notice those words, "press on".  We should do just that. When we suffer a set back sometimes we feel like giving up but God wants you to charge on with confidence, faith,and courage. The enemy, Satan, wants to defeat all believers and get them giving up and living in the past.

In life it is good to stay focused ahead of you, not behind. Driving a car requires focus on the road ahead and not look to the back and end up in a collision. Alpine skiing requires looking ahead down the mountain so you will not run into a tree.  When running a race it is necessary to focus on the course and finish line ahead of you. 

Proverbs 4:25(NIV) says 'Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.' Deuteronomy 5:32(NIV) says '
So be careful to do what the LORD your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left.
The past is just that. Learn from it but do not wallor in it. God forgets our sins and He looks ahead to the future so why not try doing the same. Bury mistakes, "shake the dust from your feet" over things you can do nothing about. Commit all that you do to the Lord from here on out. Try to memorize this scripture from Proverbs 3:5-6(NKJV). 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.'

PRAYER: Lord Jesus my desire is to fix my eyes straight ahead on you and run the race to win not allowing Satan to distract me, make me turn around, or get off course. I look to you to light my path ahead of me. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

FALL AND GET BACK UP AGAIN


When you fall you do not just lie there on the ground and wait for
someone to come along and scoop you up but you attempt to get up on
your own and charge on in life. When trouble comes and you possibly
get knocked down or thrown off course you do not sit there and pity
yourself but you keep on going. When you run a race and people pass
you do not stop running but you keep going looking towards the finish
line. When hardship comes you do not cave into it and stop trying but
you have to keep on. Giving up is not an option.

Storms of life and set backs can in fact make you stronger. But if you
let fear defeat you of course you will give up.God is a God of trying
again and of looking ahead to what is in store. He mends the broken
hearted, give strength to the weary, makes the feeble strong. He is
the God of possibilities. Not just for those under 40 but the God who
cares about all people of all ages and nationalities.

Has something in life made you feel worthless or like quitting? Those
feelings of defeat come from Satan ,not God. God gives feelings of
hope and encourages us.

We are in a training ground of sorts here on planet Earth. Those who
name the name of Jesus await their heavenly home some day and this is
preparation for it. Not everything in life that happens will be good
but that does not mean your life is over. James 1:2(NIV) reminds us
'Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face
trials of many kinds'.  Joy, are you kidding me? I am supposed to be
joyful over a job loss, a sickness, an injury, or a host of other
things that happen in life that seem to be automatically placed in the
"bad" category. All I can say is God is there and He uses all things
for His purposes. Verses 3 and 4 of that same chapter in James go on
to say 'because you know that the testing of your faith produces
perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be
mature and complete, not lacking anything.' Praise God in good times
and in bad times. James 5:12 (NIV) says 'Blessed is the one who
perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person
will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who
love him.'

No matter what you are going through, and granted some things are much
worse such as the loss of a child or any death for that matter, God is
the God who is there to comfort and see you through. He does not cause
the trials but He can turn scars into stars so to speak. Hang on
because God can lift you up!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus I thank you for hope. I thank you for a new day. I
thank you for your love for me. I thank you for another day to sing
your praises. When I am tempted to give up help me to keep running my
race to win. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Click on link below for a powerful song of praise.
http://youtu.be/7bQMDvx3db0

Monday, March 11, 2013

PRIDE GOES BEFORE A FALL


This became literal for me in a "action word picture" on my recent
annual snow ski trip. It was one of the times I had been doing my best
skiing. No, I am no where near a Black Diamond level skier, but I
started to master my turns and control. I happened to be in a "Perfect
Turn" refresher class when I took three freak falls, turning, oddly
enough. On the last two falls, my knee popped. I got the idea for this
devotion title while sitting with an ice pack on my knee, pondering
ruining our much anticipated ski vacation. At least it was day two.
Stuff happens. I will be ready for next year.

As I sat there watching out the window at happy skiers boarding chair
lifts for the top of mountain, my thoughts turned to pride. I was not
bragging before my fall except for maybe a couple of pictures on
Facebook(whoops), but was feeling proud of myself for finally feeling
comfortable at higher speeds and possibly ready for a more advanced
lesson when this little mishap occurred. So there I was. Go figure.

In life we may get a little too self assured or self reliant and may
think we do not need God, then Poof. The rug of life throws us a curve
ball to keep us humble and show us our need for God. God did not cause
me to fall and I had not forgotten Him, but perhaps I was being more
overconfident than I needed to be. So there I was sitting with an ice
pack on my knee contemplating getting a refund on my lift ticket and
ski rentals.

Is there something in your life perhaps that has slowed you down and
made you see life from a different perspective? Maybe something
happens to show you you are not in control. I may have been skiing
since 1995 but a simple tumble injured my knee, more specifically completely tore
my ACL and have a partial tear in LCL among other things. So this
season is over since no snow and mountains are anywhere near me. The
good thing is though I am still walking and so therefore have next
year, the year and so on as long as God gives me breath and good
knees.

Things happen for a reason but I need to figure this one out. I am
thankful it was not worse and that Ski Patrol did not have to haul me
off the mountain on a snow machine gurney or in an ambulance.

Is there an area of your life you need to turn over to God? Do you
ever become too proud? Pride literally does go before a fall. Proverbs
16:18(NIV) says 'Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit
before a fall.'

PRAYER: Lord thank you for the talents and abilities you have given
me. Help me remember that you alone give me the abilities I need to do
what I do in work or in play. All these are gifts from you. I thank
you Lord and forgive me if I ever forget to say thanks. In Jesus'
name. Amen.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

TOO BUSY TO CARE

One of the tools in Satan's pathetic war chest is getting Christians too wrapped up in every day worldly activities to have time to care about evil creeping up around them. It is a subtle thing sort of like placing a frog in a pot of cold water and slowly turning up the heat til he is cooked and was totally unaware or unable to save himself.
There is a true battle of good versus evil going on in not only the United States of America but the entire world. Many have chosen to bury their heads in the sand of complacency but this battle is raging on in the meantime. Satan is the chief deceiver who works through earthly subjects to achieve his goal of destroying Christians and anything to do with this Christian nation or right and wrong. We know the end of the story though. Just read the book of Revelation. But still, why would people fall for his puny schemes now?  He comes as an "angel of light" it says in 2 Corinthians 11:14
There is no urgency by many to take a stand for truth and righteousness. Some have bought into the world's lies to take their attention totally off the Creator of the universe. Has your love for Christ grown cold? Do you find some people maybe a little fanatical and overboard on some issues? Do you follow God's word on moral issues like marriage and abortion or have you started to believe the lies the media puts out? 

It is essential to stay grounded in the word of God in order to know the truth. It is the truth that will indeed set you free. You can not expect to grow in Christ and ward off lies if you do not stay in the Bible. Simply going to church  one hour per week is not enough. That is what Satan wants you to believe.

I urge you to make a decision today to get into the word and pray daily and ask God to help you recognize the lies of the enemy. Isaiah 5:2(NIV) says 'Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.'  Proverbs 3:7(NIV) further says 'Be not wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and shun evil.' 

Start today and decide to walk in the truth and resist the enemies attempts to get you to cave in and believe his lies.

PRAYER: Lord I thank you for your word, the Bible, that at times I do not study enough. Forgive me as I want to be strong and ready for spiritual battle in the days ahead. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Note: have been experiencing connectivity issues at home so that is why this devotion has been