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.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

YOUR WORDS..ARE THEY A BLESSING OR A CURSE?

 

Have you ever stopped to think about the words that come out of your mouth? Words can bless others or they can curse them. There is a Bible verse that says this should not happen. James 3:10(ESV) says 'From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. Brothers these things should not be so.'
We can offend with our mouths. No one is perfect. Examples are lying, gossip, belittling and arguing. Are you guilty of any of those things? Try to memorize the following passage from Ephesians 4:29-31 which says 'Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others upaccording to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.'
Many reading this may not have a big problem with words but maybe live with a person who is a verbal abuser. If this is the case even when the person claims to know Jesus you simply need pray for them. Only the Holy Spirit can bring conviction. We are not, as Joyce Meyer says, "Holy Spirit Junior", keep reminding yourself of that. If you are spoken to harshly do not return the same type of speech. Be calm. That is the only way to diffuse evil speech. Romans 12:21(NIV) says 'Do not be overcome with evil but overcome evil with good.' Proverbs 15:1(NIV) says 'A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger.' Oh how many marriages could be saved if couples would simply live by God's words. Do not just read them but do them.
Make it your aim to only let what builds up a person come from your mouth. Your assignment is to read James 3 which deals with the dangers of the tongue. Let your life and speech bring glory to God.
PRAYER: Father I know your word speaks much about what comes out of our mouth. Forgive me when I have been hasty with my words and hurt someone or responded in anger. I choose to let you guide me and give me strength. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Click on link below and truly listen to the words of this song.

Monday, April 29, 2013

WHAT'S YOUR STRUGGLE?


 Everyone has experienced some sort of struggle in their life if theyhave lived long enough. When you are in the midst of them they are notfun at all. Have you ever thought of your struggle as a proving groundor training ground? For just a moment think back and I am sure youcan recall going "through" something and it turned out after it was all said and done that the trial made you stronger.

When a person works out a the gym lifting weights at first it is verydifficult and you may want to quit, but you hang in there and yourefforts pay off. Have you ever heard anyone say "nothing good comes easy"? It is true. You have to work hard to achieve earthly success.

Things in life seem to happen. Maybe a bankruptcy, car wreck, failed business, furloughed from work, unexpected illness. Whatever be the situation God is still there. Sometimes he does His best work in hard times. There are many cases in the Bible to prove just that.

1 Peter 4:12-13(NIV) says 'Do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed.

Sometimes God has to take you "through" something to get you "to something".Not sure who originally said that but if you think about it is so very accurate.what are you "going through" today? Perhaps look at it as a training ground for maki you more into Christ image?

PRAYER: This is the day you have made Lord and regardless of my circumstances I choose to rejoice for I know you have a wonderful outcome waiting for me and my loved ones. I know Satan is the author of discouragement and he is the one who tries to get us to blame you. Father forgive me if ever I have blamed you. I choose to keep my eyes n the cross. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Click link for an awesome song of worship:
http://youtu.be/sBWHBrKqMdE

Sunday, April 28, 2013

THANKFUL ALWAYS


 Here in this part of the country it has now been two years yesterday since the devastating killer tornadoes that swept through leaving a path of destruction. It made me think of being thankful for "things". The most important thing I think the survivors of homes that were totally demolished was that they did not need all their "stuff". These individuals were just thankful to have made it out alive since these were F4 and F5 tornadoes. These storms did not pick and choose by age, ethnicity, religion or income level. I was fortunate to have escaped but was able to help some families in the weeks after, clean up their messes and search for photos and mementos and things like their drivers license or birth certificate. At one home I found an ultrasound of a soon to be born baby. What an awesome thing something like this is to the family. They could care less about their material possessions. Surviving a disaster makes people think of earthly treasures in a different light.

What are you thankful for? Food and the farmers who grow it? Maybe freedom? Do you have a car to drive? Give thanks! Perhaps the ability to read your Bible and not have armed guards arrest you for it. Recently I have realized I am very thankful for my mobility since my torn ACL and LCL occurred. Next I am thankful for friends as I have had friends not want to be friends anymore and that hurts lots. I am thankful for a mom who is still alive at age 88! I am very thankful for my husband, my two wonderful sons and my beautiful daughter in law. I also am thankful for her awesome family! I love my sister and brother and give thanks for them. I am thankful for eyes to see and ears to hear although I am not always the best listener.

Get yourself a piece of paper and start listing your blessings. This "exercise" will draw you closer to Godand the more you do it the less you complain. Start even looking outside at the beauty around you that God created for you to enjoy. Sure there is the majesty of the Grand Canyon or Rocky Mountains but everywhere has something beautiful. A few nights ago I gazed up in the vast night sky to see twinkling stars and a full moon. What a glorious sight to behold.

1 Corinthians 10:27(NIV) says 'For the Earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof.' He created the Earth for man. Go back and read Genesis. He created male and female and said be fruitful. Psalm 89:11(NIV) reminds us 'The heavens are yours and yours also the Earth. You founded the world and all that is in it.' We are not to worship the Earth but the creator who made it. Just stop what you are doing and take a breath and get outside and look around you. Stop and ponder all your blessings. I am sure if you give some thought you can have a pretty substantial list.

Now go give thanks, why don"t you. Never take this life for granted as we are never promised tomorrow. Tell people around you that you love them as you never know when God might call you home.

PRAYER: Lord indeed I have much to be thankful for. Often when I get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life I not only forget to be thankful but often take the people in my life for granted. Help me to not do that. You have blessed me with the gift of life first of all and for that I am grateful. In Jesus' name.Amen.


Click on link below and worship God in song:
http://youtu.be/eWYn2k4IaPY

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

LOVE MEANS NEVER HAVING TO SAY YOUR SORRY....HUH!!

 
This may make a great movie line from the seventies but is has no bearing in real life relationships. If you have hurt somone you love, be it a spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend, or friend you need to admit it and go to the person and restore this relationship. Sometimes people mess up and some people have trouble asking forgiveness and saying they are sorry. If you are the one who has been hurt by someone you are close to, you can choose to dwell on it or you can move on. True, it is not right when someone has done something and will not admit they have hurt you, but to dwell on it only causes a huge divide. Eventually if it happens to be in a marriage relationship you may need counseling for this issue as it can not continue to be buried if there is an underlying cause.
If you know you have hurt someone and you claim to be a Christian ask yourself what would Jesus do? We all know the answer to that. He would admit his mistake and seek to heal the relatioship before it was wounded any more. Many fights in marriages could be avoided if the couples truly prayed together and read their Bibles together and would admit it when they were wrong. The real culprit in all arguments and misunderstandings is the enemy Satan trying to divide and destroy because that is his specialty.
Sometimes you may have hurt a friend and they refuse to want to be your friend anymore. You have to move on. Pray for the person. Try to love them regardless of how they feel about you.
Most all types of relationships could be wonderful and happy and strong if people did not always try to get their own way. If all of us who claim to love Jesus and follow Him would stop each day and pick up that instruction manual, otherwise known as the Bible, there would be much less conflict. If husbands would treat their wives like Christ treated the church, there would be a much lower divorce rate. If people would put the other person first all the time and think of nice things to do, that would help as well. If you are just starting out a new marriage, begin the right way and make it a point to not take each other for granted, ever! Read the instruction manual and read it together. Take time and read Ephesians Chapter 6 and 1 Corinthians 13. Choose to love and choose to forgive.
If you are reading this and some type relationship you are in seems to be a one way battle all you can really do is pray. Keep seeking Christ. Keep reading your Bible. Try to control the urge to fight or yell as then Satan has you right where he wants you . Overcome evil with good it says in Romans 12:21. As hard as it is sometimes when you are hurt you have to throw off anger. Just think of this as spiritual warfare. Satan is the author of lies, deception, hate, confusion and every evil work. God is all about love, peace, forgiveness, kindness, gentleness, mercy, self control and grace. Satan is out to kill, steal, and destroy. We have a choice. We can choose to love and forgive or we can choose to be angry, hateful, vindictive and give Satan more power in our lives.
What is your choice today? Joy, love. peace, forgiveness and moving on or hatred, anger and bitterness? Matthew 5:44(NIV) simply says 'But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.' Now just go and do it with God's strength!
PRAYER:Lord Jesus I know you made me to love and show mercy to others. I know in life people may hurt me but I can choose to fight and be angry or I can choose to let it go and move on. I can choose to harbor hate and anger or choose to be kind to those who may want to mistreat me. It is hard, so I need your strength Lord. I know Lord we are in a battle between God and the devil. Fighting is not a fruit of the holy spirit but love is. I choose to love, regardless. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Click on link below for a powerful song to get your weekend started off right.

Friday, April 26, 2013

I'M JUST A WORRIER


 So stop it! I have heard people say they can not stop worrying. Their mom worried, her momma worried and on it goes. Where is worry from? Certainly not a fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Do you think worry brings you closer to God or further away from Him? I am sure all of us have worried at one time or another but the important thing is to not make it a habit. You certainly can not be at peace if you can not stop this bad habit. Does worry change anything? The answer is no. So why worry?
"You don't understand though my son does dangerous things and I get scared.' The thing is that fear needs to be turned into faith and trust. Worry is worthless. It does not stop someone from doing a dangerous activity or being ill. What can you do to stop if you are a worrier?

The solution is to admit you are a worrier and ask God to fill you with peace only He can give. Stop focusing on bad things such as disasters, wrecks, and all the scenarios that will probably never happen. Say out loud "Lord I thank you for taking away my concern and fears. I know it is the enemy trying to make me weak and ineffective for your kingdom. Satan has no power over me so I choose to cast off worry." How do you feel once you say that our loud?

Meditate on God's word as well. Get up each day and say "This is the day The Lord has made I will rejoice and be glad in it!" (Psalm 118:24). Isaiah 26:3(NIV) says 'You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast for they trust in you,' Do you really trust Him to take care of you? If so give him your worries and go on and do something constructive and let God give you peace.

PRAYER: Help me Lord. I want to trust you but at times I am consumed
with fear and worry. I know only Satan rejoices when I get like this.
I give this to you Lord. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

WOULD JESUS GO TO STARBUCKS?



 

I have shocked a few Christian friends I think when they hear I go to Starbucks. They remind me of this chains support for radical anti Christian causes and their dissing of Christians. But today while attempting to write, at yes,,Starbucks, a young girl at the table next to me engaged me in conversation. Basically I could not write at all. At first I was a tad miffed but then remembered that I was here to represent Jesus and be a witness for Him no matter where I was or how inconvenienced I was. So basically that is why I continue to go to Starbucks off and on. I do not think Jesus would just go to church but He would go out where the people were. Where do you find hurting people? Perhaps at Starbucks?


Today this young girl was fascinated  by what I was doing. I gave her my business card and proceeded to try to write. She was relating to me how she had been there for two hours and has no car and was killing time till the rain stopped so she could walk home. During the course of the conversation I found out that she liked vampires. Now that was interesting. She asked me what type writing I did and I told her a Christian blog. She eventually left but before she left she had asked me how I got the ideas of what to write and what was my subject for tomorrow. I never did say the title but maybe I should have.

Never the less, the point being that if we as believers seclude ourselves in "holy huddles" and only go to places deemed "okay" by the Christian world we may never have the opportunity to be a witness for Him and to be "His hands and feet." Now I am not saying it is okay to go to strip clubs. Common sense has to be applied. An interruption may be a God moment to a hurting or lonely person. Keep that in mind as you go about your day and interact with people around you.

Jesus hung out with tax collectors, prostitutes, drunkards, and all sorts of people burdened with a weight of sin. In Matthew9:10-12(NIV) it says 'When Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with Him and His disciples. When the Pharisees saw this they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" On hearing this Jesus said "It is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick."'

Where are you today? Do you only go to places that are "okay" or do you go about your day no matter where you are and shine Jesus light bright?

PRAYER: Lord today I thank you for the opportunities you place in my path to be a witness for you. Help me to stop for a moment dwelling on my own problems and try to reach out and be kind to a hurting person. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

OLD AGE VERSUS YOUTH


Here in the United States it is the "in thing" to be young looking and filled with vitality. Millions of dollars are spent annually on plastic surgery, liposuction, coloring hair, facial spot remover, pills that promise to keep you young and a host of other things. The culture makes it cool to be under fifty. The attitude of "no senior discount for me, thank-you very much" prevails as we do not want to be "old" but guess what. Unless we die early we will all be old. What is so bad about that ?

I can attest to the fact that "I am not old", as I feel 39, but try telling that to the unassuming movie ticket clerk who automatically gives you a senior discount without your asking for one. "No red hat for me" you might say, and yes this writer has said that phrase.

There is nothing wrong with having 59 birthdays. There is nothing wrong with 69 birthdays or 79 birthdays and so on. If you are in one of these categories be happy as The Lord is not finished with you here on Earth yet. You have a purpose no matter what age you happen to be. If you are a youthful reader then respect and learn from those who have been around a wee bit longer.


Do not be afraid of getting old and if you have a dream no matter what your age, Go for it! Retirement is not a concept found in The Bible. Many retire and lead active lives and others sit in rocking chairs. Keep exploring and trying things new.
Psalm103:5(NIV) says 'who satisfied your desires with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.' Psalm 92:14(NIV) says 'they still bear fruit in old age. They shall stay fresh and green.' Have you ever been around people who constantly are talking about stuff they can not do anymore because they are "old" or perhaps this describes you and the way you speak of yourself? Once again the power of words and thoughts comes into play. You may recall Proverbs 23:7 which tells us 'as a man thinks in his heart so is he.'' Do your thoughts keep thinking you are old or do your thoughts say 'I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength?' (Philippians 4:13).

You may look into the mirror and think "When did I turn into my mom or my dad" depending on your gender. Look at the bright side of aging. You are filled with a wealth of wisdom and knowledge. Job 12:12(NIV)says ' Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?' I believe once again when a person who is getting older starts putting themselves down that those feelings come from the enemy who, as I have said before, tries to "disable" Christians so they will stop being effective for the Lord. Do not believe the lies of the enemy.
I like the "Life is Good" motto which says "Do What You Like. Like What You Do" Do you have a dream or goal in your life or have your quit trying and have given up? Every stage of our life is important to God so go for it!


PRAYER: Lord I thank you for renewing my youth like the eagles. I thank you for your thoughts which tell me I am valuable to you regardless of what year I was born in. My hope is in you Lord as I look to a future of wonderful opportunities. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Click on link for a song of praise to get your day off to a good start.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

PLAN B....AGAIN?


We can give the best try possible to plan our course of life or what we will do each day but sometimes our best laid plans fall apart on us. Priorities have to come to the surface. Whether it be a disabled motor vehicle, health issue,laid off from your job, house repair or an unexpected guest, it is necessary to go with the flow and not let yourself get all upset. Being upset only adds to the problem that you now have to face. This problem may not be a problem at all but turn out to be a blessing.

When things such as this occur do you typically fall apart or get flustered and upset? When we are inflexible and things change it can be hard on a person. Relax and know that God is in control.

Having "unscheduled" activities in our day reminds me of a Bible verse I often quote from Jeremiah 29:11(NIV) and it says 'For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord.. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to bring you a hope and a future.' So just maybe "plan B " was God's plan all along? A change of course may be just what is needed to keep you focused on God. God may be working through this new plan to put you on the right course of life.

PRAYER: Father I thank you that to you there is nothing such as a "plan B" for all your plans have an ultimate purpose. Forgive me for complaining at times when this happens. Help me instead be able to say "Lord what am I to learn from this.' In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, April 22, 2013

FEAR MONGERS OR PEACE SEEKERS


 If you are a fearful or worried person then you need to stay away from your news on television. For instance after the Texas explosion the local news people here in the Huntsville area started saying that similar factories that manufacture fertilizer are located here. Now people have something else to worry about. Why do we need to know about all the bad stuff anyway? Want to enjoy your day or evening, then skip the news. Life will go on. You will not be ignorant. You may find a new found peace of mind.

Isaiah 26:3(NIV) says 'He will keep in perfect peace, he whose mind is on him'. Just how do you keep your mind on Him anyway? This past week we also had the Boston Marathon bombings which terrorized people for the entire week till the one who did it was found. Once again we can choose to feed our mind on fear and wonder where the next terrorist will strike in the United States or we can go on with life and give the controls to God.
Isaiah 41:10(NIV) says 'So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.' How do you "not fear" when so many things are going on around you to make you anxious? Stay in the word of God on a daily basis is how! You have to purpose in your heart to spend time focusing on good things and not constantly worrying. Once again the devil has you right where he wants you if you are fretting and concerned over things all the time. Worry is caused by lack of trust in the Saviour to protect you and your loved ones.
Romans 8:31(NIV) says 'What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?' In Deuteronomy 20:1(NIV) it says 'When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you.'
Another really good verse to help combat fear is Deuteronomy 31:6(NIV) which says 'Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."
When we fear, we only give victory to Satan. He has you right where he wants you as fear disables the power of Christ if you constantly dwell on bad things. Psalm 91:5(NLT) reminds you also 'Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day.' You have God on your side. Talk to the evil devil and tell him you are a child of God and you do not fear! Put him in his place.
Psalm 23:4(NIV) is often one you hear at a funeral but it is for everyday life of the living as well. It says 'Even though I walk through the darkest valley,I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.' Do you feel God's comfort? You can if only you will cast your worries and fears on Him as it says in 1 Peter 5:7.
PRAYER: Lord I need you every hour of each day to help guide me through the challenges of this life. I do not need you for one hour on Sunday. Forgive me if I have put you on the "back burner" of life and not come to "talk" to you in prayer more often. I realize there is more to saying you love Jesus than just going into a church building as a matter of fact much much more. I want more of you in my life and less fear. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Click on the link below and worship the Lord and do not fear:

Sunday, April 21, 2013

GOD'S TIMING



Often times in life we are "a day late and a dollar short". Recently I found a job vacancy for a job I know would suit me to a tee! After I talked to the Human Resource office I found out that I missed the deadline by one single day and no more applications were being accepted. Normally I would be bummed out big time but even though the odds are against me, I believe if God wants me there, somehow a door will open and if not then I accept that.

Have you had that happen in your life too? You are waiting for something that is not happening but in the meantime maybe God is teaching you patience and trust in His mighty power.

Proverbs16:9(NIV) says 'In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.' Ultimately things work out and maybe God will take you in a totally different direction. Keep praying and keep doing the work you need to do but know that God has a plan. Proverbs 19:21(NIV) says 'Many are the plans in a person's heart but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.'

Your memory verse for dealing with the plans in your life could be Proverbs 3:5-6(NIV) which says 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways submit to Him Him and He will make your paths straight.'

PRAYER: Lord I thank you for I know you have me right now just where I need to be. Guide my steps and as I submit to your authority and let you be Lord of my life you will open the right doors for me. in Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

I TRUST YOU LORD!!



 Do you trust the Lord or are you constantly fretting, worrying, unable to have peace?
Most the time the things we worry over never happen and even if they did happen what good did your worry do? Did it help you? Did it change the situation? The answer is no. It simply gave Satan a bit of fun knowing he has you, a child of God, upset.

Do you want to win this battle against Satan and relax and let go and Let God so to speak? You can you know. Why can't we pray and then relax and trust Him? What do we have to do to have peace? Perhaps a good dose of scripture or study on peace is in order.

Worry does not help you at all and takes you further way from God. When you constantly feed your mind with things of the world and tragedy and all the "what ifs" of life the you can become so consumed you are ineffective for the Lord. How many "tests" do we need before we can turn over this area to the Lord. Things in life are bound to happen but consistently focusing on things that may happen drags you down. Instead focus on what God can do.

Get up and say 'thank you Lord for putting angels around my children and protecting them. Thank you Lord that you are in control and you love me and my family. I have no need to fear. I trust you Lord.' Psalm 91:5(NIV) says 'You will not fear the terror or night or the arrow that flies by day.' Make the devil mad for a change. Say out loud ' Devil you are not going to steal my peace. I am covered by the blood of Jesus and nothing you can try to do will hurt me or my family. I am standing with Jesus so get behind me now Satan.' Sound fanatical? Try it and see if you do not feel better. Then do a study on peace and try to get up each day and say 'I will not allow fear to entire in my mind today.'

Now go and have a good day and know that Jesus is indeed Lord!

PRAYER: Dear Father God I thank you for your perfect peace and love. I choose today to walk in peace and not in fear and worry. I know when I do this I do not bring glory to you and am not a very good witness for you either. I choose to trust. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, April 19, 2013

SEEDS OF LIFE


When you think of spring what comes to mind? It may depend on where in this big world you live. I think of birds chirping, baby ducklings, bees, tulips, green grass, hummingbirds, and planting a garden. If you visit your neighborhood home improvement store, in the garden department, you will no doubt find a variety of seeds you can purchase. This is a great project for moms of small children to teach them about plants growing.

If you are a Christian you are a different kind of seed planter. We are to be sowing seeds of love wherever we go and witnessing for Jesus as well. 1 Corinthians 3:6(NIV) says 'I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.' Sometimes we may not see the "fruit" from our seed planting but if you do your job others will come along further sowing seeds or "watering" what you planted and eventually the fruit will grow into a blossoming plant. You may not get to see the fruit of your initial labor. Perhaps you have been watering lots of seeded already planted.

Are you sowing good seeds for the kingdom of God or bad ones? Galatians 6:7(NIV) says 'Do not be deceived. God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.' Now go out today and plant and water good seeds for the kingdom of God.


PRAYER: Thank you Lord that I have a vey important job in your kingdom and that is to help plant seeds that later can take root in people and help them come to know you. Help me never be responsible for leading anyone astray. Guard my heart. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

WHY?

 
Why do bad things happen in life and lots of times to very good people? I do not know the exact answer to that but I do know that the Bible says in John 16:33(NIV) 'I have told you these things so that in me you might have peace. In this world you will have trouble but TAKE HEART for I have overcome the world.'
In the aftermath of what appears to be a terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon people wonder "why". No one has that answer but this horrific and unthinkable tragedy will have good stories associated with it too. Many are now fearful and confused and just in a daze over how this event unfolded on of all days in Boston, Tax Day, Patriot Day. The mastermind behind an attack such as this needs our prayers too. Love overcomes evil all the time. Romans 12:21(NIV) says 'Do not be overcome with evil but overcome evil with good.' The solution is not to hate but the solution is to pray. Matthew 5:44(NIV) says 'But I tell you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.'. Proverbs 24:17(NIV) reminds us 'Do not gloat when your enemy falls , when they stumble do not let your heart rejoice.'

When I read that verse above I wonder if God loved Hitler and others tyrants who do so much evil. I guess the answer is yes since he loved sinners. We are all sinners not all to the magnitude of being a dictator and killing people. Pray and ask God to help you pray for evil people.
You can be an overcomer. It is hard to grasp the magnitude of this tragedy on American soil. So what do we do now? Do we not go to things such as Kentucky Derby, Indianapolis 500, Disney World, NASCAR, World Series, or many places large crowds of Americans gather. If you are a runner do you stop going to road races and marathons? We need to continue living life as normal and keep praying.

In the aftermath of a tragedy such was what just occurred in Boston we tend to want to fear or it is easy to perhaps glue ourselves to the television as the tragedy unfolds. I did this during The World Trade Center tragedy. I could not stop watching. It is a discipline to back off from the news and instead pray.

Let me leave you with one simple Bible verse and that is found in Luke 18:1(NIV) which says 'Pray and never give up.'

PRAYER: Lord Jesus in many countries life is filled with terror and destruction. We in the United States have not had too much worry or concern over this until a few years ago. Father give us courage to continue with our life and trust in you and not lead a life of fear. Also give us your love for others even evil people. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

GOOD MORNING AMERICA OR GOOD MORNING JESUS?


 What is your priority as your day begins? Is it a morning talk show or is it talking to Jesus? Does your mind get filled with things that don't really matter like celebrity news or the latest shootings and robberies in your community? What, in fact, really matters to you and what has become a routine of yours upon waking up each day?

There is nothing wrong with wanting to get a cup of coffee and sit down and watch the news but most of the time it is mostly negative and can create fear and worry. Often times it is easier to flip on "Good Morning America" or another of the daytime news shows, than it is to say hello to Jesus in prayer and by reading His word the Holy Bible.

Is it your desire to change your morning habit? Do you desire more of Jesus in your life? This is a topic I write on a good deal because I feel it is critical for having a good "walk" with the Lord each and every day in order to be prepared for the battles in life that are surely to come. Are you seeking after Jesus or running the other way? This is a question only you can answer.

Psalm 105:4(NIV) says 'Look to the Lord and His strength. Seek His face always.' Jeremiah 29:13(NIV) says 'You will seek me and find me when you seek for me with all your heart.' 1 Chronicles 16:11(NIV) tells us to 'Look to the Lord and His strength and seek His face continually.' Pretty straightforward instructions to follow wouldn't you say? Seek the Lord or in other words, go after Him!!

Being close to Jesus involves more than that traditional church hour. Many are sitting in churches each week and have no desire for Jesus but it has become a habit. Perhaps something they were taught was the "right" thing to do so they go each week. If this describes you maybe now is the time to change that and ask Jesus to come into your heart and be Lord of your life. It might even mean changing denominations. It is however the Lord is speaking to your heart.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus I need you every day and every hour of my life. I know at times I can get sucked into the world's way of acting or thinking so help me Lord to stay on the path you have prepared for me. Guide me Lord. In Jesus' name.Amen.


Click on link and worship the Lord in song with this mighty song of praise:
http://youtu.be/AUKejxsh0Fs

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

THE "LIGHTENING BOLT" GOD


 You may have heard someone say something to the effect that if God wants them to do a certain thing that maybe they do not want to, then He will have to hit them with a lightening bolt. God could do that if in fact he wanted to and of course the person would survive to do God's work or live for God or whatever it is God has planned for them.

God can give you a "wake up call" if He has to. He did it in the Bible many times. In Jonah chapter 1 in the Old Testament you may recall the story of Jonah not wanting to go to Nineveh to tell the people if they did not repent God would destroy their city. He ran away from God, which by the way is impossible as He knows where you are and there is no hiding. Read Jonah chapter one right now if you have your Bible handy.

Then there was the account of Daniel in the lions den found in Daniel chapter 6 in the Old Testament. (Read that as well). The evil rulers thought Daniel was killed and when they opened the doors of the den they saw the lions just lying there and Daniel very much alive! God had shut their mouths so they did not harm Daniel. Never doubt the awesome power of our mighty God even when a situation seams hopeless or impossible,

What are you waiting on? Your situation may not be as dire but know that God does care and He is in control and has a plan. Do not lose hope. A wayward child, a new job, a financial miracle, release from a court battle, healing, and a host of other situations can sure drag us down in a pit of despair at times. You cry out to God and He does hear you. Luke 18:1(NIV) says to 'Pray and never give up.' Luke 1:37(NLT) tells us 'Nothing is impossible to God.' Don't put God in a "box" thinking His capabilities are limited and He surely can not do certain things. He is God! The Alpha and The Omega.

Do not "entertain" doubts and fears and "what ifs" in your mind. God can perform miracles so keep believing.

PRAYER: Lord I thank you that nothing is too big or too hard for you. You care and you hear my prayers. I need your help to stay focused and be positive. I know the enemy will get me to fear and worry and with your help I will tell him to get behind me and stay there! I have victory in you! In Jesus' name. Amen.

Click on link and worship the Lord in song.

Monday, April 15, 2013

OWE MAN NOTHING BUT TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER


Tax Day in the USA is once again upon us and many may be rushing to get this done and get to the post office in time so they are not fined. Taxes are a part of life. Unfortunately lately our government has taken advantage of the people's money and tried to get it to use on wasteful programs and immoral programs. Never the less as much as we fight it and continue to fight it we have to faithfully pay what is due even if others cheat. Until something changes in the government we are stuck with this. As a Christian we are obligated. Romans 13:7(NIV) says 'Give to everyone what you owe them. If you owe taxes pay taxes. If revenue then revenue, if respect then respect. If honor then honor.'

More than money we are to love. Romans 13:8(NASB) says 'Owe nothing to anyone but to love one another, for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.' Sometimes it is hard to love evil rulers and leaders who seem to not care about the people that elected them. They use our money only to do wrong things yet we seem powerless. We're still supposed to love them and pray for them.(See link below).

Today do your part to show love to those around you in your smile and in your kind gestures. And the government may irritate you but God is ultimately the one in control so do not worry just keep praying.

PRAYER: Lord thank you that I have money in order to be able to pay taxes. Thank you for the blessings you have heaped upon my life. Help me to remember to love those who I would tend to want to hate. Lord you are Lord of lords and you are in control. Thank you. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Note: Please remember to pray for this country and your leaders go to www.presidentialprayerteam.org as a helpful tool to do this.
Note:The past two days I have experienced some technical difficulties. If you did not receive either days devotion you may find them all online at www.godslemonadestand.blogspot.com

Sunday, April 14, 2013

ARE YOU CONFORMED TO THIS WORLD?

Truly think about that question for a while. Do you let the world squeeze you into what is popular and cool? Do you often go against what you know to be right only to please a crowd or someone? Do you catch yourself doing something you know will not make you closer to the Lord? If Jesus were here to see you right now would what you are doing or believing make Him sad? Remember He is here. These are just some questions to ponder. 

We live in this world but if you name the name of Christ you are to be different and set apart for kingdom work. This does not mean you have to act and dress alike and get self righteous. 1 Peter 3:15(NIV) says 'But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to give a reason for  the hope that you have, but do this with gentleness and respect.'  Do you think people know you are "different" or do you pass by opportunities to speak out for Christ or set an example because of fear or embarrassment? Mark 8:38(NIV) says 'Anyone who is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with His Holy angels.' 

The following verse is good to end on. It was one of the first Bible verses I first  learned when i rededicated my life to Christ back in 1975. See if you can memorize it. Romans 12:2(NIV) 'Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind . Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will.' 

PRAYER: Lord I daily need my mind renewed so I can recognize if I am slipping into the pattens of this world. I know I am sent here to be your ambassador. Give me discernment of right and wrong and good and evil. Help me shine your light and show love to others. In Jesus' name. Amen.

CAN YOU BE STILL?


(Devotion for 13 April 13)

How hard is it to go without your electronic communication devices? Would you be able to go up to the woods and not take your cell phone for instance? Do you constantly have to be in motion? For this writer I definitely have to work on this discipline but it is truly freeing to be alone with no noise. In this hustle and bustle world of ours sometimes it may be challenging to get away and be "still" in God's presence.

If you have been reading this devotion very long you may have read about a "DAWG" Day or "Day Alone With God".  I highly recommend this to everyone. It is so awesome to get alone and talk to God without TV's and radios blaring in the background or distractions taking you in another direction. 

Luke 6:12(NIV) says 'One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray and spent the night praying there.' He was alone talking to His father in heaven. Maybe you feel like saying 'But Becky there was no electricity back then so it was easier for Him plus He is Jesus after all.' Many work full time, but be creative and find a safe place you can go every now and then and make it your praying place. I know someone who has a "prayer garden" at the side of her home in a subdivision. It might even just be sitting in a park in your car. On my last job I only got thirty minutes for lunch and there was a creek behind the building and I often would go back there and sit on the edge of a bridge going over it. A nearby university has a small lake with parking next to it and it was also a good place to go. If you desire to "be still" with God pray and ask Him to help you figure out where to go.

Luke 5:16(NIV) says 'Jesus often withdrew to lonely places to pray.' Are your prayers just at meals or do you spend time talking to him other than that? He wants to "hear" from you in prayer and He would like to daily. What if you had a friend and you barely talked to them or spent time with them.  Wouldn't be much of a relationship now would it? Well this is how believers should be with Jesus. You want to know Him better it takes more than one hour each Sunday. It takes some alone time to pray and study and read the word of God.

Isaiah 30:15(NLT) says

'This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: "Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it.'
Can you do this? Trying being quiet and still and just hearing God's voice through his word. Can you be still? Can you make time to spend with Jesus each and every day? Do you desire this in your life?
Psalm 46:1(NLT) sums it up quite well. 'Be still and now that I am God. I will be borrowed by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.'

PRAYER: My desire Lord is to learn to be still in your presence. My desire is to go daily to my Bible and be still as I read your word. My desire is to have an impact in the world you have placed me in. Guide me and show me the way to go. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, April 12, 2013

CHRISTIANS...A HATE GROUP...SAY WHAT??


Who would have ever imagined our own government trying to classify those who love Jesus and love their country a threat or a hate group? It is absurd, but this is exactly what is occurring subtly here in these United States of America, and many people who are ill informed think I am crazy for even saying such a thing. We may not be in the very "last days " but we indeed are approaching at a much swifter pace. I have been asked to not write about "politics" but guess what? Politics are mentioned in the Bible not in the Democrat or Republican sense but in things like rulers, kings, laws, taxes, morals. It is all in there! The church-state thing is totally been taken out of context and reported over and over again til people believe a lie and distort the facts. The people are supposed to be free to worship without government intrusion not the other way around.
This is how the enemy works when trying to take out one of the most God fearing nations on Earth. He spreads his lies, deceit, and trickery. He can get people to "buy into" his schemes. That is his speciality. God's speciality is truth,love, and overcoming lies. Satan is referred to as the "father of lies" and indeed he truly is. (Read John 10:10).

In our modern day he can even get church goer's to jump on his bandwagon so to speak. We are definitely in a battle of good and evil and right versus wrong. Spiritual warfare is in full swing.
Even something as simple as getting angry is not something from God. Think about that awhile.

Disagreeing with someone on an "issue" does not equate to the very strong word "hate" but today that is what is happening when we as believers speak our religious convictions and are told we are hateful. On the contrary, we are convicted and believe the word of God and feel love for those souls being led astray by the tricks of the enemy. Satan's mission is total destruction and he does work overtime to accomplish what he sets out to do.

God is more powerful than Satan but sometimes it is easier or more "with it" to believe a lie. Many laugh or mock at the notion of Satan, but let me tell you that he is very real and he is out to take you and I down with whatever method he can. That is why it is so very crucial to know the word of God and do not just expect one hour on Sunday to make you okay because it can not. If you go to school and only listen to lectures but do not do the rest of the work at home you more than likely will fail. You see what I mean?

In Ephesians 6:10-20 it speaks of this battle of good and evil. It says 'Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.'

Be a light in this dark world around you. Matthew 5:11-12(NIV) says 'blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and say all manner of evil against you because of me.Rejoice and be glad because great is your reward in heaven. For in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.'

We know the times are tough and we know the enemy is out to tear us to shreds but we also know that God wins in the end.

PRAYER: Father I thank you for loving me and helping me know how to answer people if they should make fun of me on account of you. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Click on link for one awesome song!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

FOUR CROSSES

 
Recently I was driving on a five mile stretch of highway in the nearby countryside close to New Market, Alabama and on this short road there were four "memory" crosses within two miles of each other with a name of a loved one who had tragically died in a vehicular accident. I am not sure if those of you living outside Alabama and Tennessee have these homemade crosses on the roadside but they make you stop and think about your life and about your habits in your car while driving. No doubt these deaths left a huge hole in the hearts of at least four families and possibly more.
Life is very short. Recently one of my favorite actresses from my childhood passed away as a result of Multiple Sclerosis. Having your life is a true gift from God and we are never promised tomorrow. Whatever you do live like it may be your last day. An accident could cut your life shorter than you expected. Perhaps an illness. Also some will just peacefully die in their sleep. A stroke is what caused the death recently of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at the age of 87.
The Bible says we are here today and gone tomorrow. James 4:14(NIV) says '
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.'
Our real mission on this earth as a follower of Jesus Christ is to try to help share His love with others so they might come to know Him. Satan works around the clock with his demons twisting the truth, deceiving,hurting, killing and stealing. In order to get Satan out of your life, why not try getting up daily and first thank God for another day He blessed you with ask Him in pray to help impact the world he has placed you in. You are not here for yourself. Get into His word to hear the truth. Read the Bible daily. It is more than a bookend or coffee table decoration.
I heard somewhere that a Bible that is falling apart if owned by someone who is not. The Bible is to be used. Yes you can even write in it. It is a study manual and guidebook for your life on Earth. How can you have power to defeat Satan if you do nothing but look at it?
Proverbs 27:1(NIV) tell us 'Do not boast about tomorrow for you do not know what tomorrow will bring forth.' That is such a true statement. In Psalm 90:10(NIV) '
Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.'
Enjoy your life and do not sit around wondering how long you will live or how you will die.
Isaiah 57:21(NIV) says '
The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.'
Hopefully all reading this will be around to read them over and over again for many more days. Do you know for certain that if you died today you would be with Jesus? If not why not ask Him in to your heart today. Then open up that "instruction" manual called The Bible and study to be ready.
PRAYER: Lord you are good and your mercies are new every morning. You give me so many wonderful blessings and benefits. It is hard to fathom just how much you truly love me. I want to live like tomorrow may never come. Give me your strength to do this. In Jesus'name.Amen.
Click on link for wonderful song:
http://youtu.be/UGFazR4iCbo
Note:Yesterday, due to technical difficulties, some of you may not have received this blog. If you were one of those and want to read it you can also go to www.godslemonadestand.blogspot.com and there you will find all my blogs for the past 3 years as well. Thanks. Be blessed to be a blessing!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

ARE YOU A VICTIM?



 Victims often times come in all shapes, colors, sizes and ages. There are victims of crimes such as ID theft, robbery,  or are you Satan's victim of trickery, lies, and deceit?  He is a master of tricking his victims into making lies seem like the truth. He works through all sorts of his subjects on earth too in order to get his job done which is to deceive and bring down the Christian and make us fearful and weak.

It stands to reason that weakness and fear don't originate with God. Immoral lifestyles are not from God. Taking the life of innocent pre born baby  is not of God. Anger is not from God. Stealing is not from God. Lying is not from God. So basically things that are good, pure, true and right are from God. When you cave into a lie of Satan, and many "church" people have, then you open yourself up to all sorts of problems. Marriage of two people of the same sex is not from God. The modern world we live in tends to cave into too many issues in society to "tolerate" things. The brother and sister in Christ then is  criminalized, demonized, and victimized by standing up for the truth and the word of God. We are called hateful because we disagree and stand up for the truth.  Who said anything about hating anyone?

In order to not become a victim of Satan it is necessary, yes essential, to read your BIble and study it almost on a daily basis. Satan will keep you busy with other less important things causing you  to try to squeeze out that quiet time you need with the Lord in order to mature in Christ and defeat the enemy.

In the Army, of which I have been a part, you don't just go to battle, but you practice ahead of time by doing emergency deployment readiness exercises so when that time comes you are ready and know what to do. Similarly, we "soldiers" of the Lord need to stay in our training camp in order to defeat the onslaught of attacks daily from Satan.

The Bible says in 2 Timothy 2:15(KJV) to 'study to shew thyself approved a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.'  Do you study your Bible or do you just occasionally pick it up and even worse, just allow the minister or priest to soon feed you from it on Sunday?  That is not enough to be prepared for battle with the enemy and ending up being his victim.  A weight lifter can not get strong unless he or she actually goes to the gym and works out with weights. Similarly a Christian can not become "strong in the Lord" if he or she has little knowledge of how to defeat the enemy with the word of God.

You can take authority in the name of Jesus from bad stuff in your life by claiming the word of God but you have to know where to find the scripture verse dealing with certain things. Maybe the Bible seems boring to you and you have no clue where to begin. As I have suggested before, try beginning in the book of John in the New Testament and read parts of it daily. Romans also in the New Testament is another good chapter to give you strength.

Revelation 3:16(NIV) reminds us that 'So because you are lukewarm and not hot or cold I will spit you out of my mouth.' Wow now that is quite a "word picture" wouldn't you say? I do not know about you but lukewarm stuff is not very pleasing. If we take a bath we want the water to be hot. If you order a cup of coffee it is nice if it is steaming. You get the point.

So why not start today and do not become a victim of Satan's tricks, schemes, and lies. He is only out to destroy you.

PRAYER: Lord I thank you that I have a Bible and sometimes neglect to open it up and study it. Other things get in the way and my priorities get messed up. I desire to get to know you better Lord and I will not allow Satan to make excuses why I should not read the word of God daily. In Jesus' name Amen.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

RIGHTEOUSNESS EXALTS A NATION



When I first moved to Alabama in 1999 there was a billboard on Interstate 65 going northbound almost into Tennessee which read "Righteousness Exalts a Nation,But Sin Is a Reproach to any people". This is actually a Bible verse in Proverbs 14:34. This billboard was on top of one advertising for a strip club.
I drove on past one of numerous X rated billboards advertising more strip clubs, known here in this area in a kinder yet gentler deceiving name of "gentlemans clubs". Kudos to whomever paid for the Christian billboard. It was there for over 11 years till it was replaced by a billboard for an Adult Bookstore in Tennessee. Very sad isn't it? I had hoped the thousands of travellers northbound on I 65 were blessed when they saw the scripture billboard, as I know I was.

Sin is becoming so common place that we are becoming desensitized to it. Today our nation sits on a slippery moral slope and we are about to slide off I am sad to say. Until we in the church who are supposed to know right from wrong, get serious about taking back this nation it will continue to slide. We are reaping what we have sown. In 1963 prayer was removed from the public schools. From then on our nation continued to teeter and falter. No more moral absolutes. Ten years after prayer was put on the chopping block 9 justices in black robes decided to play God and said it was perfectly fine to kill babies in the mother's womb. Calling it women's rights, choice, or reproductive freedom it is still the same. Murder of a baby who God created. How long can we in this country go on dissing God and making up our own rules for right and wrong?Pretty arrogant I would say. We elect leaders who then say 'this is not a Christian nation' and things once seemingly perverse are celebrated. Satan has blinded many to the truth.

Psalm 33:12(NIV) says 'Blessed is nation whose God is the Lord the people He chose to His inheritance.' Don't you imagine God is weeping for His people who have been led astray by Satan? I know He is. Our monuments in the Nation's Capitol testify to this country's founding fathers having a Christian heritage. Great colleges, such as Harvard, were even founded on Christian principles. How far we have allowed the enemy to gain ground because we let unjust people lead us and did not speak up for the truth? We have brought this on due to our complacency.
There is a verse found in Proverbs 29:2 which is very pertinent for today and it says 'When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.'
The Founders even used God's word when writing the Constitution. Satan has his ambassadors too and they want nothing more than to destroy a wonderful God fearing nation that most of it's 237 years has followed God and the truth. We have freedom given to us by God and we are blessed because we have followed God. Those who make a mockery of God will not go unpunished.
Proverbs 11:21(NIV) is our promise from God's word. It says 'Be sure of this. The wicked will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will go free.' I am saying this to say it is not too late to get serious and seek God with all your heart. He is not Democrat or Republican but he hates injustice and lies and His people being trampled on. Jesus is Lord and in the end everyone will know it.
Let me leave you with a good verse to commit to memory and it is 2 Chronicles 7:14(NIV) which says 'If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and heal their land.' Are you ready to get serious about righteousness and saving this nation?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus I know you love righteousness and truth and hate a lying tongue. Father we have many liars mascarading as leaders trying to control the people you want to be free. Help us Lord to speak up in Love and put those people in public office who are true servants and not people who want to control us and lord over us.I pray for those people who seemingly hate your word to come to a knowledge of the truth. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Please listen to this very powerful song about God and America:

Monday, April 8, 2013

BEWARE! WORDS HAVE POWER!

Is your mouth full of blessing or cursing? If you are a parent of a child make sure your words are building them up and not tearing them down. Husbands need to be careful to treat the "wife of their youth" with the highest honor she is deserving of not speaking to her harshly as she is a gift from God. May you never utter angry hateful words to a spouse or anyone else. Remember mean talk does not come from God. If people could control the words they speak there would be lots of lawyers out of work. Get control of that mouth and the words you say.

Before you speak think how it will affect the person on the receiving end. If what you have to say is unkind then better to not say it. James 3:10(NIV) says 'Out of the same mouth come blessing and cursing. Brothers and sisters this should not be.'
If only believers would get serious about their speech. James 1:26(NIV) says 'Those who consider themselves religious but yet do not keep a tight reign on their tongues deceive themselves and their religion is worthless.' We are told in Proverbs 4:23 to "guard our heart for out of it flow the issues of life."
 
Would you rather be around a man or woman of pure speech or one who curses and takes the Lord's name in vain? We are not perfect and God forgives but sometimes I think the modern culture encourages swearing by things in the movies or on television. The "F" word becomes so common place it almost seems acceptable which is scary and sad. Would you talk ugly if you were speaking to our Lord? Of course not!

Ephesians 4:29(NIV) says 'Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Start today trying to be aware of your words and how they affect people. Ask God to help you if you are weak in this area. May the words you say be praises to our God above.
PRAYER: Lord I want my words to bring forth good feelings and praise and not hurt someone. If I have said something inappropriate I ask forgiveness. I choose to start today to let only good things come forth from my mouth. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Click link and listen to a wonderful praise song to get your Monday started right:

Sunday, April 7, 2013

BE THANKFUL AND SAY SO!

Do you consider yourself a thankful person? Does your heart overflow with gratitude? If not it is possible to develop this trait. Do you write thank you notes? Do you thank God for the answer to prayer and praise and thank Him for each and every day He gives you? Thankfulness is a great habit to cultivate. Do not take things for granted ever.
2 Timothy 3:1-7(NIV) says 'But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous,rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God--having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires.' Don't succumb to these "last day" predictions. You don't have to go far without bumping into someone that fits this category. Some of them might be people you are close to. Don't be their Holy Spirit but allow God to bring conviction. It works much better.

Do you have a special person in your life you are thankful for? Each and every day try to show kindness and thanks as you never know how many days you will still have breath. Even if you do not feel like thanking and praising do it anyway. Before you realize it you will start feeling more joyful.

"What do you have you to be thankful for" you may say? Food, clothing, shelter, friends, family, and much much more. Focus on goodness of people and you will have little time to take things for granted.

Just as I have done with other topics I am going to list a few verses of thanks for you to read.

Psalm 69:30(NAS) 'I will praise the name of God with song, and shall magnify Him with Thanksgiving.'
Psalm 100:4(RSV) 'Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise.'
Colossians 3:15(NAS) 'And let the peace of Christ rule in your heats and be thankful.'
1 Corinthians 1:4(NIV) 'I always think God for you because of His grace given you in Christ Jesus.'
Are you able to be thankful today and every day? Satan, of course, does not want you praising God or being in an attitude of thanks because he is out to take you down and make you miserable. You are bought with the blood of Jesus so remind Satan of that next time he tries to get your focus off God and onto defeat and ungratefulness.
PRAYER: This is the day Lord you have made. A rejoicing for another day of life to serve you and be a light in the world you have put me in. I will not allow attacks of the enemy to cause me to be whining all the time. I have much to give thanks for. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Click link for a wonderful song:

Saturday, April 6, 2013

GROUND HOG WRONG BUT GOD ALWAYS RIGHT



Isn't it funny how in February many people rely on a groundhog to predict the weather future? The animal "tea leaves" of sort for meteorologists and others fascinated in predictions. Guess what? This year people wanted to sue "Punxsutawney Phil" for making a mistake.


We can place our trust in so many things other than God. Fortune tellers, Farmers' Almanac, and horoscopes and anything but the Bible. Only God knows the true future. No human can tell you exactly what is going to happen.

Proverbs 27:1(NIV) reminds us 'Do not boast about tomorrow for we do not know what a day will bring.' We need to trust God who holds the future.
Similarly one day Jesus will return and no one can predict that although many have tried. Mark 13:32(NIV) says 'But about the day or the hour no one knows , not even the angels in heaven nor the Son but only the Father.'

Who do you believe?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus I thank you that you know all things and we need not fear as you have things under control. Help me trust in your wisdom found in the Bible and not predictions made by man. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, April 5, 2013

TROUBLED?


 What is troubling you today? Many times we may be overwhelmed by problems or potential problems and can not seem to let our wandering thoughts go. This is where it is critical to practice mind discipline. By this I mean focusing your thoughts intentionally on "things above".

The verse I have written about numerous times in my devotions is Philippians 4:8(NIV) which says 'Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if there be anything excellent or praiseworthy, think on those things.' Make no mistake about it. Wrong thinking can mess up your life. Dwelling on fear,worry, and all the "what if's" of life can make you crazy if you let it. It is your choice. Read and do what God's word, The Bible, says to or be miserable and let Satan take control of your thoughts.
Perhaps fear of world problems has a grip on you. Maybe it is a situation with a family member you wonder will it ever end. It could be you are concerned about your job and can not stop worrying about what you will do if you lose it. Maybe an upcoming medical report or procedure has you concerned. There are many things that could occupy your thought life to get your mind off of God and onto constant turmoil.

You can not have peace if you can not give these up. You have to try. Guess what? God can help with that. You have to make up your mind you will put Him first and get into the word of God.It is your "peace and joy" manual of sorts. It is your guidebook for going through life on this earth.
Psalm 32:7(NIV) says 'You are my hiding place. You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.' Speaking of songs, one of the reasons I frequently include a song with my devotion is because when you are singing praises to God above it is hard to be flustered. Praising God is an awesome prescription for having a good thought life.

Why not begin today to truly let God have your troubles? What is stopping you?

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for being our burden bearer. Nothing I can humanly do will bring peace. Only you Lord bring lasting peace. I cast off the works of darkness that are trying to get me to give up and worry. In Jesus' name. Amen.

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

WHAT IS FIRST? FACEBOOK OR HIS BOOK?

 
Be honest for a moment. When you get up each day and get ready what is more important to you? Do you check your Facebook and see what all your friends and family are doing or do you sit down with a cup of coffee and pick up the Bible and strengthen your spirit with God's word? The 'world' tries to distract you with the things that are not that important in the big scheme of things. Is the morning show going to help you more or is the Bible? Will seeing everyone's pictures on Facebook make your day any better? The things that are most important have to be prioritized. I am not trying to guilt you into not relaxing and enjoying a few worldly pleasures but trying to get you to think for a moment where you spend your time and what you put first.
The Bible says in Matthew 6:21(NIV) 'For where your treasure is there your heart will be also'. Meditate on that scripture for just a moment. Is Jesus your passion or just a passing thought? Do you look forward to spending time with Him each day or would you rather get up and turn on the morning news?
You may have been all excited about God and Jesus this past Sunday on Easter but guess what? Jesus is more than just an "Easter thing". For someone who names the name of Jesus He should be your way of life and a "habit". He is part of your going out and your coming in. He is mighty to save and ready to help you through all of lifes ups and downs. It is not just about church on Sunday but it should be a way of life.
Stop and ask yourself if you need more of Jesus in your life.Only you can answer this question. Do you want more of Jesus in your life or is Sunday enough?
Your assignment today is to read the first chapter of the book of John in the New Testament. After you have done this ask God to give you a passion for His word and getting to know Him better. He can and will transform your life if you ask Him to.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus I need you in my life each and every day. I can not do life without you in it as an active part. At times I have let other things become more important and squeeze you out. Forgive me Lord. I run to you now and ask you to help transform me into your image. In Jesus' name. Amen.
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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

GODLY ENCOUNTERS


 A good prayer to pray for yourself before you head out the door each day would be "Lord use me in someones life today to make a difference." I have to admit my intentions are good but sometimes I forget to pray that. When you do pray this be prepared for whatever encounter you may have. I have had some memorable ones throughout the years.

Last Friday as I wrote in a local coffee shop, a man came in who seemed to be slightly mentally challenged. He struck up a conversation with me and I thought he was saying "I am having an Alabama omelet" when in fact he said "who are you for,.Alabama or Auburn?" Ha ha. Get the hearing aids out Becky. Anyway it was only a brief encounter but I was nice and smiled. You never know how your kindness will affect someone.

There have been times when I felt disturbed by distractions or interruptions when I was trying to get my writing done and then realized "hey Becky you represent Jesus and represent Him to the world around you so be careful and do not repel people."

There may be all sorts of people who need a touch of Jesus' love out there in a gesture as simple as a smile. We all can smile I assume. When you go about your day be open to opportunities to shine Jesus' light out in to the "dark" world around you.

Keep alert throughout your day for how you are a witness for Jesus. If you have a Christian sticker on your car better not be speeding. Perhaps you wear a huge cross around your neck. Then make sure you represent Christ well.

Matthew 5:16(NASB) says 'Let your light shine before men in such a way, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven."

Are you prepared for your Godly encounter?
PRAYER: Lord each day I know there are opportunities to shine your light and express love to those who I come into contact with. I am in a mission field wherever it is you have placed me. There is no need to travel to Africa as hurting needy people are right on my doorstep so to speak. Open my eyes to ways I can shine your light in the world I am in. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

WHO IS THE FOOL NOW?


 Are you a foolish person? Do you know what pleases God but go your own way and do your "own thing"? When I think of a fool the picture of the joker in a deck of cards comes to mind. I do not know about you but I do not want to look like or be like a "joker" or a "fool".

Yesterday's devotion dealt with not being foolish. There are so many scriptures relating to this. Foolish people are easily deceived by Satan. Someone who knows the truth but compromises their values because they have let Satan infiltrate their mind could be classified as foolish. The enemy loves foolish people as they are easily led astray.

Psalms 14:1(KJV) says 'The fool says in his heart, there is no God. They are corrupt. They have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.'
At one time or another we have all probably acted in a foolish fashion. The thing is, we recognize our error and turn from it asking God to help us be wise. Being wise in our own eyes without the Lord's help is utterly foolish.

Do not be foolish. Make time for God and the reading of the Bible each day. Don't just wait till Easter or Christmas to "get religion" but make it your lifestyle. Psalm 10:4(NIV) says 'In his pride the wicked man does not seek him, in all his thoughts there is no room for God.'

Do you have time for God? Would you rather be considered wise or foolish amongst your family and peers? I know my answer and I for one need God to help me daily lead a life pleasing to Him. Do not let your life be controlled by the "lies" of Satan but walk in wisdom letting Jesus be your Lord and savior.
PRAYER: Today Lord I seek your face. I thank you for helping me to stay on the path of wisdom and not the path of a foolish person. Help me remember to pray daily and read your word to get rid of any possibility of a foolish spirit residing inside of me. You are my Lord and I choose daily to hear your voice and walk with you.In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, April 1, 2013

TODAY DON'T BE A FOOL!

Easter has come and gone for another year. It is probably by far my favorite Christian holiday. It is a grand and glorious time of Jesus coming back to life just as he promised He would.
The holiday trailing Easter,unfortunately, has to be April Fool's Day but what better way to transition into talking about how foolish people are for not trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus loves you so very much and that is no fooling! He does not want you to be foolish.
Many places in scripture it speaks of man being foolish or a fool for going against God. Here are just a sampling of some of them.
Proverbs 12:15(NIV) The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.
Matthew 7:28(NIV) But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.
Luke 12:20(NLT) But God said to him, "You fool you will die this very night then who will get all the things you worked for?"

Psalm 14:1The fool says in their heart, there is no God, they are corrupt, they have done abominable works. There is none that does good.
 
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
 
Titus 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.
 
There are something like 65 verses referring to fools. Do you want to be thought of as a fool or a wise and obedient child of God? Fools are often stubborn and deceived by lies from the pit of hell to try to get them to stray from God's side to Satan's side. Which side are you leaning towards today?

PRAYER: Lord I do not want to be a fool for straying from the path of truth and righteousness. I know Satan will "bait" many traps to try to capture me. Help me be wise, not foolish, to his schemes. In Jesus' name. Amen.
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