Welcome to God's Lemonade Stand

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

Saturday, August 31, 2013

HELP ME!


Help me Lord to love when I feel like hating.
Help me Lord to overlook an offense when I feel offended.
Help me Lord to share when I feel selfish.
Help me Lord to forgive when I feel like lashing back.
Help me Lord to be friendly when I do not feel like it.
Help me Lord to accept others when I feel like judging.
Help me Lord to rejoice when I feel like complaining.
Help me Lord to be happy for others when I feel jealous.
Help me Lord to give thanks when I feel like comparing.
Help me Lord to walk away when someone has hurt me.
Help me Lord to pray when I would prefer worrying.
Help me Lord to hang on when I feel weak and helpless.
Help me Lord to think of others when I feel a pity party coming on.
Help me Lord to keep quiet when I would rather open my mouth.
Help me Lord to be patient when human nature wants things now!
Help me Lord to sing your praises when I would rather gossip and condemn.
Help me Lord to read my Bible when I would rather read a magazine.

God is truly only a prayer away. He wants to hear from you. Talk to Him and share your heart. In Romans 15:30(NIV) it says 'I urge you brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.'

Memorize the following verse. Psalm 46:1(KJV) says 'God is a our refuge and strength a very present help in time of trouble.' God truly is a helping God.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus when I feel overwhelmed by issues in life or struggles within my family I know that there are others out there too with similar problems. Help me Lord to learn to lean on you as you are my helper but also to remember to focus on the needs of others who need help as well. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, August 30, 2013

PEDESTAL FALL

 
Recently I heard the sad story of a popular Youth/College Pastor who
had been arrested for some bizarre antics. Instead of condemnation of this young minister or
talking bad about him because he is from a mega church and you only go
for denominational smaller churches, it is time to pray and love, not
judge him.
Just because a person is a pastor or church worker we sort of expect
the best out of them and put them up on a "spiritual pedestal" that we
think they could never fall from. All if us are capable of sin and the
enemy especially rejoices when he gets a church leader to tumble off
that "pedestal".
Is it not true as a believer we are to be gracious with our mouth
meaning what comes out of it? When you start ridiculing a person or
putting he or she down maybe it is time for a mouth check. We all have faults and slip ups. Just because a person is up in front of people at church does not mean they are not going through a hidden struggle.
Romans 3:10(NASB) reminds us 'There is none righteous no not one.' Isaiah 64:6(NIV) says 'All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.' Romans 3:23(NIV) says 'We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.'
We need to constantly be on our guard against spiritual warfare as Satan is out there loving to destroy the testimony of Christians or bringing trouble their way. Do not "beat up" those who are wounded and judge them, as you never know when you might be in a similar situation.
Matthew 26:41(NIV) reminds us 'Watch and pray so you will not fall into temptation for the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.'

PRAYER: Lord Jesus as the old hymn goes, "I need you every hour" and oh how true that is. When I let down my guard or do not take time each day to spend time with you I am leaving home without my proper spiritual "armor" on then I am vulnerable to attacks of the enemy. Lord show me how to pray for those who are caught up in something that is hurting them or their ministry. In Jesus' name. Amen!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

TRENDING ON GOD'S NETWORK



For those people who are "into" all the social media sites, every now and then a
message is on the screen "trending now on..." Fill in the blank. I
have a great idea. "Trending now on God's network are freedom, love,
hope, redemption,forgiveness, mercy, joy among other things". Wouldn't that be great to see? Instead of getting a dose of all the Hollywood gossip, which does not matter in the big scheme of things, why not see what's up with the things of the Lord?

You connect to His "network" by prayer, Bible reading, and Bible
study. He is always in style and "trending", although many do not
acknowledge Him except on those infamous "mandatory religious
holidays" of Easter and Christmas. There is a whole lot more to our
savior and King and if you want to find out pick up that Bible and let Him be a trend 365 days a year!

Truths are found in the Bible that will free you from bondage and help you have new life in Him. Satan has his bait and traps out trying to capture each one of us. You may be caught in his web of lies and deceit now and not even recognize that you are. The Bible can help you have the power to defeat the enemy.

Pastor Kerry Shook said on a recent television broadcast that "Satan has a BB gun which can not stand up to God's heavy artillery". That is oh so true! Satan just loves to get believers off course and get them involved in sins and say "well the Bible is not up to date. It has to change with the times." The Bible never changes. Sin is sin whether a law is made to protect it or not. Christians are indeed in a battle especially in these United States. It is essential to know the truth and study the word of God. God's word has power to defeat Satan.

Truth becomes lies and lies become truth. Good becomes evil and evil
becomes good. Don't think it can't happen to you as it can. Isaiah 5:20(NIV) says 'Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.Who put darkness for light and light for darkness. Who out bitter for sweet an sweet for bitter.'

Today it is time to take a stand for Jesus and to saturate your life with Him and pray for those people you may know caught up in believing lies of the enemy. Make Jesus your "trend."

PRAYER: Thank you Father that your word never goes out of style. Mankind can try to change it and distort the word but we know it is true. Lord I lift up those people now being deceived into believing lies. Help them out of the darkness. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

WANT TO GO TO THE MISSION FIELD?


 I have often desired to go on an overseas mission trip. Do you realize that right where God has placed us in life, be it at home, an office setting, school, or elsewhere, if you know Jesus then you are a missionary for Him right where you are? In other words you are a representative of Christ, good or bad, and need to shine for Him and help others who need help.

When we go to church weekly it is not supposed to be for the sole purpose of feeling good and getting your spiritual tank filled for another week, but it is supposed to be to grow in Christ and learn how to serve Him throughout the week . Your assignment does not stop on Sunday. There are seven days in each week and each one is filled to opportunities to reach out to people around you.

Do you observe many people taking notes in church? The way to truly retain things is to take notes. Why do you take notes in school? To go back and study and learn so you pass your tests. There are a couple good pastors I love to watch on television and it is exciting to see their congregation eagerly soaking up each word and busily writing in their notepads they brought with them.

The heavenly test is much more important. To simply say you are a certain denomination and perhaps look down your nose at other Christian denominations is very judgmental. Leave the judging to God okay? I find it fun to study God's word. Many people find it boring. Maybe they find the Bible boring. Maybe they never truly asked Jesus to be their Lord and savior.

Mark 16:15(KJV) says 'And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.' Even your actions speak loudly. Are you careful to realize maybe people who know that you are a believer may be watching you to fail?

How are you doing on your personal mission field? Are you equipped to be able to reach out and share Jesus' love when needed? Are there areas of your life you need to have healed before you can really minister for Christ? Are hatred, anger, bitterness, backbiting, revenge, and other emotions getting in the way of you being an effective witness for Him?


Acts 1:8(NIV) is a favorite verse of mine which says 'And you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the Earth.'

Go now and be not afraid. Ask God to use you for Him right where He has you.
PRAYER: Today I hear you voice Lord through the word of God and I know you want me to be a good missionary for you regardless where I am geographically. Help me to not waste opportunities to share about you through my words and actions. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Click on link for an awesome song of worship.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A CUP OF WATER

How many readers can say they have running water and a flush toilet?Probably most. I know here in the United States we are truly blessed. So blessed as a matter of fact we may take many of our blessings for granted.
The Bible says in Mark 9:41 'Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.' For those in Third World Nations, clean water is a big deal. Many die of waterborne diseases from polluted water from filthy rivers and streams. Missionary groups go to these nations and provide water wells. One of these is the ministry of James and Betty Robinson called Life Today. (800-947-LIFE) . I have a friend whose son is a missionary also digging wells in South America. They are truly giving a "cup of water" in Jesus' name.
You may be able to give a cup of water and this provides hope or better yet you may be able to go on a mission trip to physically help. If you can't, what are some other ways you can "give a cup of water" where you are?Helping others. Seeing a need and meeting it. Get involved with Habitat for Humanity or maybe work in a soup kitchen. Helping a friend who is hurting. Comforting the grieving friend. I am sure you can think of a few.
During the 2011 tornadoes that ravished the area of Alabama I live close to, volunteers could literally give hope and a cup of water in Jesus name by physically passing out water and food to both workers doing cleanup and families collecting what possessions were left. It was rewarding getting to help and offer encouragement to many who were very devastated.
Today look around you and see who may be hurting and in need of that "Cup of Water".
PRAYER: Lord Jesus thank you for opportunities that may come my way to help me be your hands and feet and give a cup of water in your name. In Jesus' name. Amen.

For more ways to give hope check out www.hopelifters.com and get a
copy of Kathe Wunnenberg's recently released book entitled "Hopelifter
Creative Ways to Spread Hope When Life Hurts."

Monday, August 26, 2013

SPOON FED?


Are you a spiritual baby? By this I mean do you show up at church on Sunday without even your heavenly "instruction" manual , the Bible, and expect the preacher, priest, or rabbi to "spoon feed" you or are you capable of doing it yourself? Do you require a bottle and baby food or can you eat meat? Something to ponder. If we expect to grow up and become mature we learn to feed ourselves. Why should it be any different with "spiritual food"? Do you want to remain in a high chair or booster seat all your life? Of course not.


In 1 Corinthians 3:2(NIV) we are told the following 'I gave you milk not solid food for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed you are still not ready.' Are you spiritually mature or still sucking a baby bottle? We have to grow up beyond John 3:16 and Psalm 23 which almost all people exposed to church are familiar with. The enemy does his very best to try to get you to stay spiritual babes as then you do not grow into spiritual maturity and have no power to really defeat the onslaught of things that will come your way. If Satan can make you think you really do not need to read a Bible or study it then he has done his job. Remember it says in John 10:10 that he comes to "kill, steal, and destroy." Take a moment and read John Chapter 10.
To be mature you need training and food to grow to stay healthy. In our spiritual walk that training is not just church once a week but it is taking time to study the Bible on your own and also in a small group. Do you desire to grow more Christlike or do you just want to stay ignorant of what God has in store for you in the word of God? It is called the truth and is the way to Eternal Life.

Today I urge you to make an effort to become mature in Christ. Do you desire to be spiritually mature and have the "meat" of His word or are you satisfied being mediocre and being a babe in Christ? My prayer is all of those who read this grow up strengthened by the power that is in the word.


PRAYER: Dear Lord thank you that I have access to a Bible. I often do not give it the priority I should. I know Lord I need more of you in my life. I am aware the enemy tries to throw me off course and wants me to be spiritually starved. I choose to grow up in Christ. In Jesus' name.Amen.
Click on link and worship in song.
Note:If you missed yesterdays' devotion and would like to read it you can access any past devotions at www.godslemonadestand.blogspot.com.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

HEAVEN




 
What is heaven and are you going to go there when you leave this earth some day? How do you know?
 
Many denominations teach many things, but it is the Bible that is our guidebook before leaving this Earth. Heaven is going to be wonderful. So many people assume just because they are a good person that that is all that is necessary to get the keys to get into heaven so to speak.

In 2 Corinthians 5:1-5(NIV) says 'For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling,because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.'

Hollywood may try to depict what their idea is of heaven but it says both Psalm 31:19 and 1 Corinthians 2:9 that basically no one can imagine what God has prepared for those that love Him. Read both verses.

People may say "I am a good person. I go to church. I help people" but the Bible says in Matthew7:21-23(NKJV) 'Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Be sure you are ready. It is not just one denomination that will get in. There will also no doubt be surprises. We are so good at judging righteousness but God is the only judge. Our job is to pray.
 
 When you build a building such as your home there is always a cornerstone. I know when we built the home we are in now we had never built a home before so we dedicated this home to the Lord and placed the scripture from Joshua 24:15 which basically says "as for me and my house we will serve the Lord" and that is a way to remember who blessed us enough to be able to have this home and it is all His anyway. We are only on Earth for a very short while in the big scheme of things. Our home down here is dedicated to God but it is only temporary.
 
Several years ago my minister said something to the effect in 100 years from now no one would really know you. Even if you are famous sometimes people still will not recognize a name. You may have great grandchildren seeing pictures and things like that but everyone who knew you is basically going to be gone too. Hopefully we will be reunited with most in our heavenly kingdom.

Do you know Him and are you certain if you were to die you would be in the wonderful heavenly kingdom? If not say a simple prayer. "Lord Jesus I need you. I ask you to forgive me for ignoring you and doing my own thing. Forgive me for my sins. I want to live a life pleasing to you. I ask you into my heart right who's. Amen."

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for your word, The Bible, for in it I learn about what to do to have eternal life and be with you in heaven. Help me realize my time here on this earth is so fleeting and to live like I will be I eternity tomorrow for I never know. Help me to do my part to share Jesus with family and friends that think church membership or getting baptized is all they need. Father forgive me when I myself have turned my back on the truth. Deliver me into your heavenly kingdom when it is my time. In Jesus' name. Amen.
 
Click on link below and praise the Lord in song.

Note: Strange but true story...today I had already completed this devotion and as I always do was ready to post it this morning. I could not find it in the folder on my computer where I keep my writing, I looked and looked but in the meantime stayed calm. I look at it as spiritual warfare as this one was talking about getting into heaven and of course Satan does not want people to hear about that. Some would say " oh yeah sure. It is just a coincidence." I was able to find a rough draft so rebuilt it from there. To God be The Glory!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

SOMEDAY MAY NEVER COME

Do you ever intend to do something, go somewhere, meet up with a
friend, or perhaps meet a new person? I think we all probably do. I
had good intentions of meeting a beautiful lady who was a member of
our contemporary worship team at church but never got to. She died of
cancer Monday.

I had messaged her through Facebook and mailed her cards during her
ordeal with chemo and the few times she was back in church either up
singing on stage or just in a chair I never went forward to introduce
myself. Now I have to wait till I get to heaven someday. This lady had
a wonderful spirit which came across even on messages. For several
years I watched her up front singing praises to The Lord but never got
to meet her. She is singing with Jesus now and her husband and two
children are left here on earth missing her and I am sure deeply
grieving.

The point of my devotion is do not keep saying stuff and putting it
off as you may not get another chance. That card you intend to send.
That apology you intend to render. That visit you intend to make. That
gift you intend to give. That thank you you intend to say. That love
you intend to show.

I have little notes on my phone from this friend I never met but I am
sure she is delighting to be in the arms of Jesus now. No more tears.
No more pain. No more suffering. No more earthly cares and concerns.
Left behind are people who wonder why she died so young.

Friend you may not get another chance to show kindness or say
something to someone you love. Do not keep putting things off. Be pro
active and initiate things so later on you won't have regrets. We do
not know how long we will be on this Earth. Don't hold grudges and
hatred in your heart but instead make an effort to be loving and forgive people.

Read the Bible and study it. Don't wait for someone else to read it on
Sunday. Get to know about Jesus. Pick up His word and start growing in
Christ right now.

Do you know you would go to heaven if you suddenly died? Are you sure?
You can ask forgiveness of your sins and ask Him into your heart
today. He is only a prayer away.

In Philippians 1:22-23(NIV) it says 'If I am to go on living in the body this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know.I am torn between the two. I desire to depart and be with Christ , which is better by far.'
Do the best you can to serve Christ down here and on Earth and live like today may be your last on Earth. Do not always wait for the other person to initiate the first contact.
PRAYER: Thank You Lord for the opportunities for impacting others lives. Help me Lord not to always think of ways to make myself more comfortable but help me reach out to others and make a difference in their life and they in mine, before it is too late. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Click link below and praise God for who He is today and always!

Friday, August 23, 2013

THE BATTLEFIELD OF LIFE

 
In life we are in a battle of good versus evil, right versus wrong. Life itself presents many challenges and hardships at times, and the enemy would love for Christians to feel defeated and overwhelmed.
We know we are in a spiritual battle with Satan and his demons. He can deceive even well meaning Christians to get mad at God over things. Ephesians 6:12 says that 'we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities against powers against the rulers of darkness of this world; against spiritual wickedness in high places.'
Life comes with joys and with sorrows. It comes with happiness and sadness. It comes with victories and with defeats. We have to pick up that sword of the Spirit which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17) to defeat the enemy and win the battles that comes our way. People living in the flesh, or what is know as carnal life, do not recognize the enemies attacks as they are not spiritually discerning. The enemy has deceived many into believing his lies. But remember the enemy is not the person, but our battle is against Satan.
2 Chronicles 20:1-29 basically says that "the battle is not ours but God's". Take a moment and read those verses found in the Old Testament.
When you are in the midst of your battle to not succumb to fear and worry but keep looking up towards the cross of Jesus Christ. It is through Jesus that we have the power to stand strong and be undefeated.
Psalm 95:1-10 is a good passage of scripture to end with. 'You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you make the Most High your dwelling-- even the LORD, who is my refuge-- then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.'
PRAYER: Lord I do thank you for going to battle for me. I run to you and cry out and you are mighty to save. I need not fear . Strengthen me for the battles ahead. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Click n link for awesome praise song.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

DECEPTION CHOKES THE WORD

This past week as I worked out in our field picking green beans something struck me. No it was not lightening. Ha. There were these beautiful vines with a purple flower on the end but they were wrapping themselves around the beans and our sweet corn thus choking it. It made it hard to walk getting twisted up in them. Occasionally one of them would prick my hand with its' hidden thorns.
Isn't that how Satan operates deceiving the masses with things that look fun and pretty but in the end draw us away from Jesus and choke the Word? We can be lured into a trap that makes it hard to get out. Satan is a great deceiver. Satan likes to "trip" us up and he has fun doing it to believers who have not really picked up the Bible much to study it. It is all fine and good to go to church one hour on Sunday but that alone does not equip you to recognize the attacks on your life by the enemy.

Jesus can deliver you from the darkness and help you walk into His marvelous light! Colossians 2:8 is a great verse to pray for yourself and over your family.'See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.' Where the word "you" appears insert a name of who you are praying for.

When you have time read Matthew 13:1-23 about weeds choking out God's word. The more you know the truth in the word the less you will have a chance being led astray by the subtle tricks of the enemy.

PRAYER: Today as I hear your voice through the word of God I choose to stay on the path that leads me to you. I know it is important to spend time with you daily. Help me Lord to make you a priority each and every day. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Click link and worship the Lord in song and praise His name. Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

BACK TO SCHOOL


 It is that time of year in many parts of the country and perhaps the world. Children of all ages prepare for school. It is exciting for children to see friends again and meet new teachers.

We as Christians should be going to "spiritual school" every day and by that I mean reading and studying God's word. Don't make it a chore or obligation that you think is required to get into heaven, as it is not. Do it because you want to be closer to Christ. There is no way possible you can learn about the character of Christ unless you get into the Bible. Someone once said the word Bible could be turned into an acronym meaning " Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth". Pretty good example of what it truly is!


I can imagine Satan loves it when the different denominations try to claim they are the "one" or the best. He probably also loves when a church goer identifies themselves by their particular denomination and not just say "I am a Christian". Another good one that keeps some away from the truth is when they are captivated by a denomination just because they were raised that way and may not even be growing in Christ but simply punching their weekly ticket for attendance. Christians are those who have asked Jesus into their hearts and follow His commands not just a person who goes to some particular church.

In John 14:6(NIV) it says 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'

Just as students in classrooms around the world strive to please their parents and learn what they need to succeed in life and in their future, by being "spiritually" trained we prepare ourselves to face hardships that will come on Earth and help us become more like Him. 2 Timothy 2:15(KJV) tells us to 'Study to show thyself approved unto God,a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of Truth.'

There are many false religions and counterfeits out there to attempt to lure believers away from the truth. There are many dead churches too.
If you have a loved one that has learned the truth as a child but perhaps strayed from the path he or she was taught, you can gain comfort from several verses one of which is Proverbs 22:6(NIV) which many may be familiar with. It says 'Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.' There are deceptive spirits out there. Also in 2 Timothy 3:15(KJV) says 'And that from a child thou has known the Holy Scriptures which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Jesus Christ.'


2 Timothy 3:5-7(NKJV) gives us a warning. 'Having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts,always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.'

Too many people are just "religious" and cling to a denomination and not to Jesus. Just because their granddaddy and his granddaddy went to a certain church so do they. Perhaps they just go through the motions and quite frankly feel bored. It is okay to change denominations as there will not be separate churches in heaven. If you are not getting fed the word of God and getting excited about Jesus and growing in Christ where you attend perhaps it is time to change churches. It is not about a denomination but about Christ.
Do you want to be a good spiritual student and get excited about learning His word. If you have not done so already ask Him into your heart today. Then go be a student for Jesus!!


PRAYER: Lord Jesus I want to be a "student" of the word and not be one who has to cram for tests some day. I know Lord you are sad when I treat my Bible like a table decoration but do not use it as a spiritual tool daily. Give me wisdom Lord about what church I should attend and keep me away from those who would not follow the truth. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Click link for a powerful worship song.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

HONORABLE MENTION


 Do you consider yourself an honorable person? Honor is a pretty important personality charactistic to have in order to succeed in the world around us. Cheats, liars, and dishonorable people may get ahead for a while but it is those who have honor that will truly shine.

Think of the word honor. At place I like to hike in nearby Huntsville, Alabama, at the entrance to this state park, called Monte Sano, there is an "Honor Box" to place you entrance fee into. If the attendant is off duty they would expect you to do the right thing and place your money in the box and not try to sneak in. Think of another situation which involves honor. Let's say you go to see one movie and pay for only one movie but after it is over you casually sneak into another one. Is that honorable? Is it honorable to keep the change if a clerk gives you too much money back? You can probably add your own scenarios as well.

In the military there is what is called an "Honorable Discharge" where upon having served honorably with nothing bad on your military record you are awarded this certificate to proudly display at home or wherever you choose. The other two discharges will not help in getting you far in life and they are the "General Discharge" and the "Dishonorable Discharge". Honor is pretty important to those serving in the Armed Forces. Also the "Honor Guard" present at military funerals to pay tribute to one who served his or her country honorably.

How many of you have seen a road side stand with home grown produce on it and next to it is a box on the table with a sign that reads "Honor System" to place the money for the vegetables you are buying? Even if a person steals it is God who knows. It does not pay to be less than honorable.

The Bible speaks of honor in many places. One I like is in the Ten Commandments where it says to "Honor your father and your mother" and how important that is. Even into their aging years to hold them in high regard and in high esteem. In wedding vows the couple often repeat they will "love,honor, and cherish as long as they both shall live" but then how many just forget that and end up doing their own thing resulting many times in divorces. If you are married pray for God to give you the ability to do what your vows said.
1 Peter 2:17(NKJV) says to 'Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.' The Bing online dictionary defines honor as personal integrity: strong moral character or strength, and adherence to ethical principles. We see today that many in leadership in the United States do not have strong moral character and it is harder to honor and respect someone like that. We are to keep praying for them. Romans 12:10 says 'Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.'

Honor system, honor box, honorable discharge, honor code, no matter what, honor is very important in the life of a believer and of a respectable citizen. It shows integrity and courage.
Are you an honorable person? Proverbs 21:21(ESV) is a good scripture to end on and it says 'Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor.'
PRAYER: Lord today I choose to show honor to those who it is due. I honor you above all Lord. I thank you Lord for parents that raised me to be honorable. Help me to walk with honor and integrity everywhere I go. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, August 19, 2013

OFFENSE/DEFENSE


Yeah team. Go, fight ,win! No this devotion is not about the start of the football season which for many faithful fans of this sport is one they can hardly wait for. Instead I am referring to the emotions of taking offense or being offended which I could be a spokesperson for. Then there is defense, feeling like you have to constantly defend yourself in front of others or prove your worth or value. Neither one really draws you closer to the Lord.

These two emotions are no fun to experience. To allow another's comment or perception of you to offend you is not what brings the joy of the Lord to your heart. If you are constantly worried what comments people say or feeling, then you are not trusting the Lord and maybe allowing the enemy to get into a weak area and irritate you. If you can not shake this feeling perhaps it is time to get alone with God for a while and study his word on this topic. A "Fast from Wrong Thinking" as Chicago Pastor Gregory Dickow calls it. I find that prayer followed by really praising God and perhaps listening to praise music really helps. At the end of this devotion today I have included a link to a wonderful song of praise.Take a moment and listen to it.


2 Corinthians 12:10(ESV) says 'For the sake of Christ then I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities, for when I am weak then I am string.' Your worth and value does not come from humans but from God. Taking offense is one thing Satan loves to torment the believer with. If you deal with being offended just remember what Romans 8:1(ESV) says. 'There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.'
In life you may continue to receive little "tests" in order to grow in Christ. You can identify what your weak area is and then need these little "tests" in order to try to overcome your weakness and thus grow more Christlike. Do you want to keep being "tested"? I think it was my sister Judy who told me that we keep going through the same things till we learn. I know that is true.


If you feel the emotions of offense or defense coming on and you know in your heart that you do not want to have them then cry out to God. When you are offended you can risk an otherwise healthy relationship due to misunderstanding.
The thing to do is to seek Christ and His face continually. When you dwell on what bothers you then you can get more and more offended and defend yourself even more. None of us are perfect. We seek to be Christlike in what we say and do. Being offended and defending yourself is of the flesh and not of the kingdom of God. We need to recognize that.

Romans 7:18(ESV) is a good place to conclude. It says 'for I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is in my flesh, for I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.' Aren't you glad Jesus can take those things and help you be a brand new person as you seek His face daily?

PRAYER: My hope is in you Lord and you alone. At times my human nature kicks in and then I have to stay close to you even more. Thank you for forgiving me when I mess up. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Click link to hear a wonderful song to start your day!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

THE ARM TELLS THE STORY






While writing one day at a local coffee shop, a friendly lady with a tattoo on her upper arm, walked in and was waiting on her coffee. I am not a tattoo person and it is not for me to judge this issue one way or the other. Anyway she had a beautiful flower and what appeared to be the word "God" on her arm so I proceeded to ask her what it said. I do not remember it exactly but it was something to the effect that "God can get me through anything" or something similar. I gave her a thumbs up. Then I said to myself "Perfect devotion topic".
Christians can put on cross necklaces and take them off. We can have a Christian decal on our car but it can be scraped off if we change our mind. There are many fine Christian  tee shirts or neck ties for men that can be purchased. Once again they can be removed. A tattoo is pretty permanent so the person better be sure what they want before doing it.
When we represent Christ to others we need to be acting Christlike. If you don a Christian garment then better try to be a good witness. Same with the bumper sticker on your vehicle. Watch that speed! But it is rather hard to run away from a permanent skin marking. Other than covering it up with a sweater or jacket, it is there. If you start acting up there it is. I know we all sin and fall short of God's glory as it says in Romans 3:23.
This illustration though I thought was a good one. When you are out and about whether people can "tell" you are a believer or not we still should be acting like his "ambassadors" here on Earth.(2 Corinthians 5:20).  Are you being a good representative for Him or is there an area in your life that need some tweaking?
Colossians 3:17(NIV) reminds us 'whatever you do whether in word or deed , do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.'
PRAYER: Thank you Lord for the opportunity I have each day to show and share your love with those I come in contact with. I love to let your light shine so help me be the best example possible. In Jesus' name. Amen.



Saturday, August 17, 2013

LIONS, TAINTED LETTUCE, TSUNAMI'S, OH MY!



Being afraid of disasters and what "could happen" is probably pretty common with some people. Like in the classic movie "The Wizard of Oz" the late actress Judy Garland who played the main character Dorothy who was on her way to Emerald City going through a scary forest. She chanted "Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!" as a way to possibly take care of her fears. I have to admit when I was a child it was those flying monkeys that scared me.
Turn on your nightly news and no doubt you are inundated with news of murders, wars, rapes, floods, fires, recalled food, failing schools, sex scandals, financial ruin, drought, riots, and on and on the list goes. If a person feeds their mind with nothing besides bad news all the time then what do you suppose they will do? Probably worry and speculate when something is going to happen to them. Certainly they will have a difficult time having peace.


Then there is Hollywood, bless their sweet little hearts. When I was growing up all the television shows were mostly happy and family friendly. Bonanza, My Three Sons, Lassie, Lawrence Welk, The Ed Sullivan Show, No Time For Sergeants, The Lucy Show, Andy Griffith, Gun Smoke, Batman, Donna Reed, Flipper, Mickey Mouse Club, Leave it to Beaver, and The Monkees to name but a few of the choices on only three channels. Many of you reading have no idea what on earth I am talking about. I am talking about decent, wholesome television that taught values and didn't create fear. The movies were basically the same. The slippery slope we have gone down since the 60's continues. Today we have crime dramas, implied sex on television, alternative families, murders, lawyer shows, reality shows and on it goes. Most likely the best viewing will be not the mainstream channels with a very few exceptions.
What do we as a Christian do? We do not act holier than thou, but we really need to ask ourselves if what we are about to watch is suitable if Jesus were your guest. No one needs to have a steady diet of profanity and violence in their heads. The infamous F word has become like slang and some are not even phased by its' use.Even government officials have been caught on open mikes using it.


Do we purposely and intentionally go to things that scare us or do we practice discernment? Some say "It is only a movie". So what do we do?

Let me give you a few verses to ponder. The first is Romans 12:2(NIV) which says '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 is God's will-his good, pleasing, and perfect will.' Next is a verse found in Psalm 101:3(NIV) 'I will set before my eyes no vile thing. The deeds of faithless men I hate, they will not cling to me.' Finally 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.'

We are to be in this world but need to be different in our choices of things based on our walk with the Lord. The whole point is that it is the enemy who wants you fearful of things in your every day life. It is Jesus who brings peace. Turn off the bad news and fearful things around you and turn on to God instead.

PRAYER: Lord forgive me when I have intentionally gone to a movie knowing it was not going to be good for me to see. Convict me Lord when there are things around me that seem popular and I may want to fit in but these things I know deep down in my heart are not right. I want to be your witness and therefore keep me on the right path. In Jesus' name.Amen.

Friday, August 16, 2013

REJOICE OR ENVY?


When a friend of yours does something special such as receiving recognition or they get a promotion at work or are named president or leader of some group, is your first reaction envy or do you rejoice for them? Perhaps you compare yourself and start feeling inadequate. Maybe your jealously is so strong it is difficult to wish them well. Everyone has a different purpose in life. God does not want us looking at others with jealously or resentment. If you feel that way try stopping what you are doing and pray to ask God to strip away any negative wrong emotions you may be harboring.
Satan is the master of mind manipulation trying to come in and get you thinking all sorts of wrong stuff. You may worry, compare, criticize, or just have bad thoughts. Are bad thoughts from our heavenly Father? The answer of course is NO.
So what do we do to combat this? The first thing is to keep yourself grounded in the word of God. Maybe put some nice praise and worship music on in your home or while diving in your car. Try to keep the attitude positive.
Romans 12:15(NLT) says 'Be happy with those who are happy and weep with those who weep.' James 3:14-16(ESV) further says 'But if you have bitter jealously and selfish ambition in your hearts do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealously and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.' Those verses sort of say it all. Rejoice and be glad for others and be thankful for where God has you in life.
PRAYER: Lord help me to be happy for others successes and not be envious or upset. You have given me gifts and abilities and for that I say thank you. Help me to truly rejoice with others over their achievements. Take away any envy. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

NO GUILT TRIP INTENDED

 
Are you able to squeeze time with God into your very busy day? Just five minutes. Can you do that? My intent is not to send you off on a "guilt trip" as the only type of trip fun to take is usually a vacation trip or something fun. Guilt trips are not fun. The point is we have so many obligations and commitments in our busy days. Even those who are not employed for a pay check still contribute to society and especially those busy stay home moms out there. But with all of our busyness it seems I hear that the first thing to get squeezed out or forgotten is spending time reading the Bible. It even happens to "yours truly". Just because I write devotions does not mean I am perfect. Far from it. Time with the Lord has to be intentional. Do not wait to go on a spiritual retreat, although they are wonderful, and I have one coming up in early October in the mountains of North Carolina with Moms in Prayer International. Have a daily "retreat" with the Lord. You might have to be creative. The enemy is going to come up against you as he knows you gain power to defeat him when you study and read God's word.
"But Becky I have to really hustle to get out of the door in the morning. I need to watch the news and check my Facebook status." There you go. Two major things not necessary to do and are taking time from the one thing you really need to do. So many feel Sunday is all they need. Even well meaning church goers and those who claim to be Christians often see no need to dig any deeper than what they are "fed" each Sunday. Many of those people then would not even be reading this devotion. Many are stuck in denominational ruts where maybe they never saw any need to go beyond their one hour on Sunday. Perhaps you live with a person like that. Beating them over the head with the Bible will only drive them further away. The Holy Spirit is the one who needs to touch them. As Bible teacher Joyce Meyer says " Do not be Holy Spirit Junior" as it just will not work. If you do not stay knowledgeable of God's word you can be easily deceived by Satan. He is a liar and the Father of lies it says in John 8:44 and John 10:10 and has tricked many people into believing what they think is true. He is operating at full speed ahead in our world today in case you have not noticed.
Try these tips to start. Get a devotional book that is brief and to the point. (God's Lemonade Stand will hopefully and prayerfully be in book form before the end of 2014). Remove those hindrances from your morning that take you away from "God time" and are not all that important, or in other words the world will still spin if you forget to do them. Things such as checking on friends on Facebook, watching the morning shows, and reading the paper. Put them "after" the Bible and see if you don't feel better and have more time. If you are at work before your day starts open your Bible and read a Psalm or Proverb or sign up to get a daily devotion sent to you at work if your work place allows this on your free time.
Proverbs 18:10(NKJV) says 'The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are safe.' That name is above every other name and it is Jesus Christ. You learn about Him and get closer to Him by reading His word daily and living each day for Him. He is not just a Sunday Jesus. Start today and make Him the first priority of your day.
PRAYER: Thanks Jesus for loving me. Forgive me when I have ignored you and given my time to every other thing but forget about you. I desire to prioritize my day to get strong in you by reading your word The Bible. In Jesus' name.Amen.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

LOVE OF GOD THROUGH OTHERS


 Last week I was in a coffee shop writing when I looked up and a beautiful child who had Down's Syndrome was in the chair next to me. I said hello and she was very friendly pointing to her mother buying her a drink at the counter. When her mom got ready to sit down the child leaned over and gave me a huge hug. I loved it! Then a few moments later when they got ready to leave she once again hugged me. What a great feeling! Many people may find it strange around certain people who do not seem "perfect" in world's eyes but I might ask who of us is perfect anyway?

The love this little girl showed was the kind of love Jesus shows us. Unconditional, arms wide open, smiling. How many of us could stand to learn a lesson from this little girl? Society seems to want to get rid of imperfect people. Who is to say what a person who appears defective can't contribute vitally to society. Everyone is valuable in God's eyes and we are to love like Jesus loves.

This child was such a blessing. It made my day being hugged like that! Are you able to give "hugs" say in the form of a smile as you pass strangers each day? So many people look so grouchy and unhappy and you would be surprised if you shared the love of Jesus through your smile what a difference it may make in their day.

Mark 12:30-31(NIV) reminds us to 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.” Love even those people you find it hard to love. You know who I mean. The person who said something cruel behind your back. Perhaps a co worker who lied about you to get ahead. Maybe even a friend who decided she or he did not like you anymore for whatever reason. God's love is unconditional and so should ours be.

Today why not try to ignore mean people in your life and pray for them. Also try sharing that smile and remembering to love others like Jesus would love.

PRAYER: Father forgive me when I have maybe not been nice to someone who hurt me. Forgive me for not being unconditional with your love inside of me. Today I purpose to start allowing your love to flow through me and mold me and change me. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

HELP ME OUT OF THIS PIT!


When you go about you day to day life do you just think about yourself and your own issues and problems or do you ever look around at people and wonder what is going on in their lives? Are any of them in deep emotional pain due to a loss or hurt in their life? We just never know even sometimes with our own friends and maybe even family if some deep problem is weighing them down. It is sure easy to say "Chin up now. God will we you through this storm."

There are those out there who maybe have had so much hurt or so much loss they can hardly believe in God or prayer anymore. This is just what Satan would like for people to do. Give up on God! Friends I have good news. God is always on duty but in life things happen sometimes due to free will we have no control over. God can turn bad things around for the good if you are willing to humble yourself and let Him.

Is there something going on right now in your life you have no control over? Worry is the easiest thing to do but it brings you the least amount of peace. The more you worry the less you trust God. Worry will not change anything but just make the worrier into an ineffective prayer warrior. This is the time to be lifting up shouts of praise to God and calling on Him in prayer.

Matthew 11:28-30 says 'Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.''

Call on God in prayer right now!

PRAYER:Lord today I am concerned about _____________. I know you have a prefect plan and I ask that you work through this situation as only you can. Help me trust you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, August 12, 2013

JUNIOR MOMENTS ARE GREAT!


Since I am part of a group called "Hopelifters" I need to be spreading hope. That means being positive and joyful and trying to look up and be grateful and not look down in despair and anguish. Some of my readers may not be old enough to ever have used the term "senior moment" and may in fact think 40 is extremely old. It's not. My job today is to spread hope so no longer will we say "senior moment" or put yourself down when you forget some thing okay?

No matter what age you are I am certain you have misplaced keys, forgotten your sunglasses, locked your keys in the car, did not write a compete address on a letter and so on. I am sure we can add to the list.

If you are blessed with say fifty or more years do not keep saying "I am having a senior moment" but try saying "I am having a junior moment" instead. I did it the other day at a post office when I had to mail back a folder that came back to me with one number wrong in the address. Stuff happens okay?


We have the "mind of Christ" and I am pretty sure Christ would not be walking around making himself into a joke or putting himself down. Try to focus on positive things once again. If you are say 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 and beyond you have much to contribute. You are not washed up. Even though our modern world likes to only highlight youthful people in their advertisements unless it is for some product like laxatives we are to be thinking on "things above".

Let me leave you with a verse to memorize. '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.' Philippians 4:8(NIV)

Now go out no matter what your age and make a difference in the world around you.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for each year of life and for the mind you have given me. Help me Lord to not be negative or put myself down but to rejoice and be glad in each and every day of life you have given me to shine for you. In Jesus' name.Amen.

Check out the following website:
Www.hopelifters.org

Sunday, August 11, 2013

WORK IS A BLESSING...SAY WHAT?

A few days ago I heard a lady complaining about her job. Someone asked her how things were going and she replied something to the effect that everything but her work was great. Granted I know there are situations with impossible bosses, bad work conditions, or harsh treatment of employees, but to be able to have employment in this day and age is a blessing. Even probably the greatest job in the world has its' downside.
The attitude we should have as a believer is "how can I impact my workplace for Christ. How can I overlook the hurtful co workers or back biting that may occur." Realize God is instrumental in where you are and ask Him to make you a light in a dark place.
One of my favorite verses about work or life in general is found in Colossians 3:23(NIV) and it says 'Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.' You may have to pray for God to give you the strength and ability to love impossible bosses or co workers. Pray also for a good attitude.
Work is necessary in order to provide for yourself and your family. The Bible says in 2 Thessalonians 3:10(ESV) it says 'For even when we were with you, we would give you this command:If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.' Those who get constant handouts lose the desire to contribute to society and work but think it is the government who needs to take care of them.

Consider your job a blessing. If you are a stay home mom be grateful as you are being able to be a full time leadership developer and impact the next generation. I always hate it to hear stay home moms say they are "just" a mom.

No matter what your job is do it just as if Jesus were right there beside you. Ask Him for opportunities to be a light in a dark world.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus help me whatever I do to be an example for you whether in my home or in the work place. Help me shine your light out into the world around me which desperately needs you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

HEY LOOK AT THE RAINBOW!!


 
A few days ago I was flying back from Phoenix where I had been for the celebration of the newest release from author and friend Kathe Wunnenberg entitled, "Hopelifter Creative Ways To Spread Hope When Life Hurts." (I have a teeny tiny contribution in her wonderful book.) Anyway no sooner than we had taken off and the city was no longer in view the female passenger to my right tapped me on the arm and said "Hey look at that rainbow!" I do not recall ever seeing a rainbow before at this altitude above the clouds. It was pretty awesome! I wish I had taken a picture but my camera was packed away.
Rainbows are a sign of hope and promise. Rainbows are beautiful and they help bring peace and even joy to a tired weary soul. How many of you reading enjoy gazing up into the sky after a rain storm and looking for a rainbow? I love them. The rainbow is a gift from God. Rainbows are simply a beautiful sight to behold.
There is a favorite children's song of mine that was popular when my adult sons were little entitled "Rainbow Connection" sung by none other than the Muppets Kermit the Frog. It is a delightful little tune.Some of you may be humming it now just at the mention of the name.
Here I had been in Phoenix celebrating a book about hope and here was this magnificent handiwork of God right outside my airplane window.
Genesis 9:13-16(NIV) says 'I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Indeed rainbows are a sign of hope.
What are you hoping for today? Have you talked to Jesus yet today? Imagine how lonely you would be if no one ever talked to you. God is waiting to hear you speak to him. Also thank Him for those rainbows in your life!
PRAYER: Lord Jesus thank you for the hope you give us through signs and wonders such as the rainbow. In it's beauty I think of your awesome power and magnificence. Thank you Lord for hearing my prayers. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, August 9, 2013

GOD NEVER IN SPAM FOLDER


In communicating with each other, especially through electronic media, sometimes messages are not received or they may come across the wrong way.

Not so with God. We are always connected to Him and not in His "spam" or junk email folder, if He in fact had one. He waits to hear you and wants you to "talk" to Him.

There may be some who are reading this who see prayer as something only priests, preachers, rabbi's or other knowledgeable people do. My friend, prayer is for everyone. Jeremiah 29:12(NIV) says 'Then you will call on me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you.'


You think maybe your prayers are going into some heavenly "spam" folder because they seem not to be answered or at least not like you think they should be. Trust me when I say God has a plan. Isaiah 55:9(NIV) says 'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'

Are you able to trust God? Can you pray and leave the rest to God? Remember too, to make sure your heart is right with Him as often iniquity may separate you from Him. Psalm 66:18 makes this point when it says 'If I had cherished sin in my heart the Lord would not have listened.'

Call out to Him today as it goes right to His "inbox".

PRAYER: Thank you Lord that you love me and you want me to talk to you in prayer. I am sorry Lord for not trusting you to hear and answer prayers. I realize it is in your time and your way. Give me the strength to wait. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

TRANSFORMED OR CONFORMED?


Sometimes in life, even though you say you love Jesus, you may find yourself angry at people, politicians abusing their power or just having bad thoughts you ought not to be feeling.

God will take care of those who do wrong by persecuting others. Our job is to show love, grace, forgiveness and mercy. Our job is not to judge others. Our job is to remain hopeful and not worried and fretful. Our main job is to always pray. Our job is to be transformed into image of Christ and not conformed to the world and popular culture around us. Our job is to be Christlike.

Romans 12:1-2(NIV) is one of my favorite verses and one of the first I ever memorized. It says '
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conformed 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.' There it is. "Transform not conform". The world's mold of gossiping,lying, cursing,belittling others, judging, and hurting people is easy. But God shares in His word,The Bible,that to be hating and judging is indeed wrong and not becoming for a Christian. We need to do our best with God's help to be a shining light that others will come towards to get out of the "darkness" of their souls.
What is it going to be? Continue being "of the world" or be set apart and transformed for Him?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus it is so easy to slip up and get angry or show hatred. I want to be more and more like you each and everyday. I choose to live by the word of God. Bring conviction when I start to stray. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

YOUR EFFORT OR TRUST GOD?

When you feel God is not working or not working fast enough have you ever taken matters into your own hands? You probably know what the outcome of that will be. Many stories in the Bible of impatient people do not have good endings.
It is so difficult to wait and trust God. We pray, cry out to God, and yet nothing. Perhaps it is time to know God heard you and to try to put your focus somewhere else. Think of ways to help others. Write a letter to someone without access to a computer or without the knowledge of how to even use one. Find a project to get involved in. Volunteer your time somewhere. Pray for the needs of others as well. Clean your house. Go to the gym or out for a walk. These are just some ideas. I heard someone once say "Helping you is helping me" and as a matter of fact I think it might even be a book title. But it is very true. Focus on something else and do not try to play God. Bible teacher Joyce Meyer coined the term "Holy Spirit Junior" which I love and use lots.
Say you are waiting for your prayers to be answered for a family member. Maybe it is your spouse. You can not wait so you open up your mouth and say something you wish you had not. In other words tried to be his or her "Holy Spirit Junior". Not a good idea.
Today try to have your quiet time and lift up your concerns but then know you have given them to the Lord and He cares and He has as a plan. Trust Him.
'Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not unto your own understanding. In all our ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path.' Proverbs 3:5-6(NIV)
PRAYER: Thank you Lord that you hear my prayer. Thank you Lord for helping me to be patient. Forgive me Lord when all I do is worry. You want me to give my cares to you then let go. Help me as I seek to do that. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Note: To insure you receive this email when I happen to be out of town and having computer issues you can sign up for it on my blogspot site at www.godslemonadestand.blogspot.com. Be blessed today!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

COME ON CELEBRATE!


Celebrations are nice. We celebrate promotions, freedom, birthdays, holidays, victories, retirement,graduations,  Baptisms, new jobs, book releases, births, marriages, and even celebrate life at funerals instead of mourning the deceased. Yes we do like to celebrate.

When Jesus returns in all His  glory it will be the biggest and best celebration ever. I can not think of anyone that does not like an occasion to have a party and get together with friends.

Today marks the release of a book I have a very tiny part in but I am still super thrilled. It is a real "God thing" and I am today on my way back from Arizona where this past Sunday we prayed, dedicated,  and celebrated together with the author of the book my friend Kathe Wunnenberg and other contributors to this project. The name of the book is Hopelifter: Creative Ways to Spread Hope When Life Hurts.

I am so excited for her and this new book. It is a real thrill to know you had a teeny tiny little part that made it in. "To God Be The Glory" I say. God is so good.

He has a plan and purpose for each persons life and life indeed is to be celebrated. Just breathing each and every day is reason to celebrate. Being able to  have people who love you is reason to celebrate. Take time today and find something in your life to celebrate.

Psalm 118:24(NIV) says 'This is the day the Lord has made we shall rejoice and be glad in it.' Thank you Jesus!

PRAYER: Father I thank you for the opportunities I have each day to celebrate life and the gift of life. I thank you for the gifts and abilities you have placed within me. Help me never compare myself to someone else or get haughty if I feel what I do is more important. Keep me humble dear Lord. Thank you again Lord for another day to celebrate. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, August 5, 2013

THE BIBLE IS FUNDAMENTAL

We have probably all heard the saying "Reading is Fundamental" which indeed it truly is. Without reading and knowing how to read you can not do too much else in life. The A B C's and teaching children to read from a very young age is critical to good child development.

This idea for this devotion came to me as I sat in the parking lot of the library at Redstone Arsenal. I observed parents and children there for the annual summer reading program. That is a fond memory of mine from childhood and we made certain our sons participated in things like that as well, or just did them at home with me.

Even more crucial is reading the Bible. If you are a parent reading this devotion today with babies or toddlers why not start from a very young age reading to them and read them Bible stories and the actual word of God? If you go to a baby shower why not tuck in a little book for babies and children from your local Christian bookstore? I even had a teddy bear that played the tune  "Jesus Loves Me". Take the opportunity to hide the word of God in the hearts of not only yourself but the younger generation.

2 Timothy 3:15(NIV) says 'And how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.' There is not some "new parent" rule book that says that you only have to read nursery rhymes and things like that to them. I remember this one book we had about Noah's Ark I read to our two sons a great deal and it ended with "I'll never bring a flood again to cause all flesh to die and the symbol of my vow will be a rainbow in the sky." I am not sure if they still remember it, but I sure do!

What is more important? Storing nursery rhymes in your head or storing up God's word in your head. When little ones are in the church nursery what a great opportunity it would be to have the workers reading Bible stories to them. I know there are some that do.

Psalm 119:11(NIV) says 'I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.'
Start today and everyday and make sure the Bible is fundamental in your life and the life of your family. In Jesus' name. Amen.

PRAYER: Father in heaven I thank you for your word which is fundamental to good spiritual health. Every day put the desire within me to read it. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Note: Sorry for lateness of today's post but I am in Arizona and this is first chance I had today with Wi Fi.