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.

Monday, September 30, 2013

WORDS, GLORIOUS WORDS!!


Oh that wonderful little mouth. It can be a source of joy or anguish. The words that come out of it can make or break someone's heart and make or break someone's day. That is why the Bible says so much about our words. They can lift up or tear down. They can make a person feel good or make them feel belittled and terrible.

How are you words? Do you gossip? Do you lie? Do you nag? Do you complain? Do you curse? Do you say hurtful things to others? Are your words hopeful and encouraging or do they bring despair and misery? These are just some things to think about.

Your words are extremely powerful. Let's say all you do is sit around and talk about your aches and pains or bad things that might happen. If you do this on a regular basis you get in the habit of starting to feel less than hopeful. There is a verse in Romans 4:17 that speaks of 'calling things as not as though they were' or in other words step out and believe in faith that healing will come or a situation will change instead of filling your mind with doubts, despair, discouragement, and fear all the time. Just do it! Have yourself a little praise fest. Start praising God and lifting your hands up in praise to Him and tell Him how great and mighty He is and the things you are in despair over tend to go away.


I have said in previous writings that bad thoughts are not from God but are Satan. Satan does not give hope but God does. Satan does not restore but God does. Satan does not set the captive free, but God does. Satan does not bring joy, but God does. Only through the power of your believing and speaking positive will you start to transform your words each and every day that come out of your mouth. A friend of mine caught me saying something about not being able to do something cause of my ACL tear and she said "remember Becky, those ladies prayed for you and you are healed!' I needed that gentle reminder.

Today really think about what you say. Are you positive and cheerful or negative and discouraging? Jesus wants you to be joyful. He is not wanting you in torment. He wants you to speak positive. If you want to say something tell Satan to leave you alone and stop tormenting you and putting doubts in your head that cause you to speak in a despairing manner. Have hope my friend! Jesus is Lord!

As I was getting ready to write this devotion I passed a billboard for a local church that had Romans 12:12 and I thought it would be great to end this devotion with. 'Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.'
PRAYER: Lord thank you that when I tend to forget to be positive you are there or me to lift me up. Help me Lord not be a pit dweller and constantly be thinking negative but help me to start being positive and speaking positive. It is the enemy who wants me to feel doom and gloom ,not you. I choose to look up, not down. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Click link to worship the Lord in song.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

OH WELL!!


 Exasperation is what I felt after writing a new devotion and have it entirely disappear. I know that the enemy probably does not like that I write about Jesus and he can do his thing to frustrate me. Especially when the devotion was completely from scratch and no drafts were available. I refused to have a meltdown. What good will it to to get frantic and worry? None. It will not bring the writing magically back. So what to do? Pray and move on.

We all have patience tests in life but for a writer, losing your work is a real test. I guess I need to ask God to help me recall what I wrote and start again. I am not sure what happened but for me to keep dwelling on it will achieve nothing. What is done is done. I can pray and let it go. All of a sudden I have a brand new topic and that is what I am writing right now.

So whatever has happened to you in your life that is beyond your control as well, has to be let go. You can not just sit and mull over something out of your hands.

This whole ordeal makes me think of the topic of peace once again. Imagine for a moment that you are a victim of a tornado ripping your house to shreds and scattering your belongings for miles. There is nothing you can do. As with one tornado victim I spoke with day or two after the 27 April 2011 F5 tornado ripped her home off its' foundation and placed in the middle of the street and then it collapsed,"I just want to find my drivers license". A few days later her neighbor whose home was barely touched told me she indeed had some how found it in this mess.Life mattered and material possessions were of little concern except maybe drivers licenses, birth certificates, and photographs.

You let go and let God. You give Him your concerns. In the big scheme of things my lost writing is frustrating but is really no big deal. 1 Peter 5:7(NIV) says 'Cast all your anxiety on Him for He cares for you.' Indeed He does care. Pray and leave it with Him. Losing things and having material you have worked on disappear into cyber space is annoying but in order to have peace you have to move on.

John 14:27(NIV) 'Peace I leave you, my peace I give you.I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not let them be afraid.'
PRAYER: Lord thanks for the ability to forget and move on when I am frustrated about losing things especially when there is nothing I can do. I cast my cares on you Lord and ask you to work in my heart to not let me be burdened by earthly issues that do not really matter. In Jesus' name.Amen.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

BAD REVIEWS


 For actors in live plays either locally or on the Broadway or Off Broadway, stage reviews from critics can make a performance or break it. Likewise for a Hollywood movie if a critic happens to not like the movie, even if you thought it was wonderful, that too can kill it at the box office.

Let's see, if we had a review of our life would it be a good one bringing glory to God or just so so? Do you attract or repel people away? Do the things you say and do bring honor and glory to God or do you wish you could take them back? Have you acted foolishly and then are very ashamed of yourself? Are you salt and light or are you hot sauce and darkness?

There will come a time when this life on Earth will be over. Romans 14:12(NIV) says 'It is written: "'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.'" In the military they have this ceremony called "Pass and Review" where units will be marching and pass the General's location so he or she can review them. We as believers should always be ready to "pass and review" past God because in fact He knows all you do anyway. Do you suppose right now He is pleased with your life or sad that you have either forgotten Him or strayed from the faith? Maybe you are away from the Lord right now believing lies of the enemy. You may in fact be deceived and not even realize it. There may be some of you reading this having family members who have gone astray but you continue to pray that they will be back one day. Keep believing and keep praying. There is always hope!

You will always be a better person if you put Jesus first and live for Him. This is not to say struggles will not come but it is how you handle these hard times that count. You go through trials to make you stronger.

If Jesus were to come back today would He be able to say "well done thy good and faithful servant"(Matthew 25:21)?

PRAYER: Lord I want to be your servant. Sometimes I just serve myself. I know we do not get into heaven by our good works like some churches may teach but it is because of a heart change and asking you to be Lord and Savior. Even sometimes when I know what to do I do otherwise Lord and for that I ask your forgiveness. I ask you to be Lord of my life. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, September 27, 2013

OH WE GOT TROUBLE!!


 We may indeed have trouble in our world but we do not need to focus on it and dwell on it all the time. I am sure all of us have people we know who continually dwell on doom and gloom. Why not make a practice of trying to say positive things. Try this. "Thank you Lord for my home. Thanks for my friends. Thanks for food to eat. Thanks for having money to spend even if I think I do not have enough. Thanks Lord for my Bible. Thanks Lord for good health and for healing me. Thanks Lord for beautiful flowers and the gift of nature." You get the idea so now try it.
If each and every morning it is your habit to wake up and flip on the morning news then rest assured your mind will be filled with troubles. Likewise if you reach for the morning newspaper before having quiet time with Jesus that too is a solution for bringing you down. Not that these two sources do not occasionally have cheery things in them but the point being if you want to be content, peaceful and not live in constant dread and fear your focus has to be on "above".
Phillipians 4:8(NIV) says 'Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right,whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things." Whatever your mind dwells on usually is what controls you. Scared of the end of the earth what is happening in the world? Give that care to Jesus. There does not have to be trouble in your heart. Even with the craziness happening around you it is possible to be at peace and set an example for Christ.
PRAYER: Thanks Lord for your perfect peace. I know I need not fear the terror around me and in this world. You are in control and I trust you no matter what the situation looks like right now. Help my unbelief at times. In Jesus name. Amen.
Assignment: Read Psalm 91
Click link below for a great praise song to lift your spirits.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

HAVE HOPE


Do you believe in impossibilities? Do you believe in miracles? I do! There is always reason for hope. When something in life has you discouraged stop thinking about it and start praising God. Yes, praise and worship God. It is easy to slump into despair and sadness over things in life but God is the God of hope, not despair.

Our enemy, Satan, the devil, whatever you call him, is a liar, thief, and joy robber. Many, even within the church, make fun of others talking about Satan. On Halloween unsuspecting parents often dress their little ones, even infants, in devil costumes. Satan is no joke. He is real. He probably loves it when folks treat him like a comic character. The thing is when we consistently sit and fret and have a doomsday outlook guess who is happy? You got it! Satan. Defeat Him. Speak positive words. When you feel doubts and fears coming on pick up your Bible and start reading the Psalms and quote scriptures to him such as this one in Matthew 16:23 'Get thee behind me Satan".


So many people seem to feel less than hopeful over our world situation, perhaps a sick relative, a broken relationship, an economic problem, an answer to prayer that has not come. Hang on and do not lose hope. Make yourself intentionally think and speak positive. Do you know a friend or family member who seems less than hopeful, then pray for them.

There is a verse I love in Romans 4:17 which simply says "........Speaking things as not as though they were". Simply said that means to thank God ahead of time for your prayers being answered. Instead of being a worrier and constantly down in the dumps, pick up your "armor of God" and be a prayer "warrior"!
PRAYER: Lord I will not give the enemy an opportunity to drag me own into the pit of lost hope. I know with you there is always hope. Help me Lord adjust my attitude to walk more like a child of God and spread hope to others.in Jesus' name. Amen.
Click link for awesome song of worship.
http://youtu.be/6_KXsMCJgBQ


Note: Need a dose of Hope? Pick up a copy of the newly released Zondervan book, "Hopelifter Creative Ways to Spread Hope When Life Hurts" by Kathe Wunnenberg.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

DO WE ALL LIE?


The answer according to the host of The Nat Geo Channel "Brain Games" show is yes. But what he failed to mention in his explanation is we are born with a sin nature. He could perform series of tests to prove his theory but never once mentioned what the Bible says about lying.

Unfortunately many high up U.S. government officials have been caught in blatant lies even though they took an oath to be honest. The laying of the hand on the Holy Bible to some means very little or nothing at all. Lying becomes so common place it is okay and socially acceptable. The thing is it is WRONG for anyone who says they are a Christian to purposely lie. It is far better to tell the truth then to have to make up stories over and over. In Numbers 32:23 it is said, "be sure your sins will find you out" and truly they will. An oath or vow becomes meaningless if all you do is lie.

Lying is not only a mouth problem but a heart problem. God can deliver you from a lying tongue. A "white lie" is also still a LIE. I have heard government officials say they "misspoke". Ah yes that sounds so much more acceptable than admitting they lied. No harm done, right? Wrong! A "half truth" is another buzz word for not saying LIE.

What does the word of God say about lying?
Psalm 40:4 'Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.'
Psalms 63:11 '..the mouth of them that speaks lies shall be stopped.'
Proverbs 12:22 'Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but they that deal truly, are His delight.'
Proverbs 19:9 'A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaks lies shall perish.'
Proverbs 6:16-19 'These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.'

There are many more scriptures on lying and liars. Basically don't do it! Satan is the father of lies it says in John 8:44. Satan is so deceitful and can and does trick believers. Be on your guard and keep grounded in the word of God. Do not be taken captive by lying spirits that try to deceive you and bring you down.

PRAYER: Lord I know the enemy Satan is roaming around trying to deceive many. He is a cunning trickster for sure but I will not abandon the truth found in God's word. Forgive me for any lies I have ever told. It pleases you to have total truth. That is what my goal is with your help. Even when it is hard help me tell the truth. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

LET'S THINK ABOUT LOVE A MOMENT

 
Love is not just reserved for Valentine's Day and anniversaries. It is more than a feeling. What is love? If you were to write an essay on love what would you say? What do you think God would say? It is much more than being "in love" with a soul mate.
Many are familiar with 1 Corinthians 13 which is often called "The Love Chapter" in the Bible. If you are having trouble understanding what true love is take a moment and go get your Bible and read this chapter.
If everyone would show true love to their family,friends, neighbors, co workers and strangers our world would have fewer problems. Why can't we? Because man was born with a selfish sin nature that's why. Until your heart is truly transformed with the love of Jesus it will be hard to unconditionally love others.
In Luke 6:31 it says 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you'. Are you doing this? Further in Luke 6:35 it says 'But love your enemies and do good to them and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.Then your reward will be great and you will be the sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.'
To truly be able to love like Jesus loved should be our ultimate goal as a child of God. We are not to hate. 1 John 4:20 says 'Whoever claims to love God but hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother or sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen.'
John 13:35 is a good verse to conclude with and it says 'By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you have love one for another.'
PRAYER: Lord today I choose to love on purpose. Even when love is rejected, help me Lord to persevere. Thank you Lord that you love me unconditionally when I do not deserve it so help me to do the same with those around me each day. In Jesus' name.Amen.

Monday, September 23, 2013

DISCONNECT AND REIGNITE


The world we live in of 2013, at least in the United States, needs to take a disconnect and decompress break at times. When computers run slow we freak out. When the satellite dish gets interrupted by a storm we wish for cable. If power causes things to "go down" we are beside ourselves. Look around you and observe people. How many people are humped over and have their faces stuck in their mobile device? How many drivers do you pass and see their scary addictive behavior of texting and driving? It is kind of nice to get away from all this. One of my favorite old commercials is one where a guy is in the wilderness trying to park his truck somewhere where there is not a cell phone signal. As the saying goes for one cell phone company, "More bars in more places' we sometimes need "less bars in less places and therefore more relaxed and happy faces".
The pace of life requires us to be intentional about setting aside peaceful quiet times. My favorite thing to do is go up to my favorite state park nearby and relax, pray and end with a hike. No mobile devices just me, the birds, the sky, a squirrel or two, and God.
Has anyone reading this lost their zeal for spiritual things? You just do not feel close to God or Jesus anymore or maybe never did? Church may be a drudgery for you. God wants you to have joy in your life. Maybe it is time to "reignite" the fire or passion for Jesus or light it for the first time.
To get excited about Jesus you need to make sure your heart is pure and that you are regularly reading his word. Satan does all in his power to get so many distractions around us in order to squeeze out any time for Jesus. We are so caught up in things we think are important when in effect the only thing really important is what we are doing down here for eternity. Our time on this earth is relatively short in the big scheme of things.
James 4:8 says 'Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.' To come near you need to humble yourselves before God and be sincere in seeking Him. Hebrews 3:15(NIV) says 'As has just been said: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion."'
My friend do you want to be able to hear from God and be able to have a calm peaceful spirit? You can. Start your day each and every day with prayer, which is simply just talking to God. Make time for Him each and every day some way. Get alone and get quiet whenever you are able to help you "reignite" that passion for things of the Lord.
PRAYER: Thank you Lord that you hear my prayers. At times I am so rushed that I just forget about you. I know that hurts you and makes you sad Lord.I know you have a wonderful plan for me yet at times I just ignore you. Help me as I diligently try to seek your face daily and resist the temptations the enemy throws at me to forget about you. In Jesus' name. Amen.
 
Click link and enjoy a wonderful worship song.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

HURRY UP, WILL YOU!!



Patience is a fruit of the Holy Spirit that is very important to try to cultivate, with God's help, in your life. I often have heard if we pray for patience to look out as many "tests" will come. Seems like in order to learn certain things we need much practice in order to master them. For instance,I am a runner and when I used to run in races on a regular basis, it took a dedicated regimen of training. I could not expect to run in a 10 K race and not become injured if I did not properly train.
Likewise training in patience is sorely needed if we are to ever be able to sit and be still without become agitated.


Galatians 5:22-23(NIV) says 'But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance(patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Against such things there is no law. Without patience it is hard to let some of the other fruits of the Spirit "grow" in your life.

Do you have a hard time cultivating this in your life? Be honest with yourself. Do you become easily agitated when things don't happen NOW?

Ephesians 4:1-3 says to us 'I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in it manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.'

My friends if you know you need to work on this area, do not be afraid to pray and ask for God to help you. Your life for the Lord can be so much more peaceful when you are able to get a hold on this and continue working on perfecting it each and every day of your life.

PRAYER:Lord at times it is hard to wait. To wait on test results from school or the doctor, to wait to find out if I get hired for a job, and a myriad of other waiting scenarios. I know Lord with your help I can master this in my life. In Jesus' name. Amen.
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Saturday, September 21, 2013

FORGET ABOUT IT

Are you guilty of not being able to let things go? Say someone has hurt or offended you and you just can not seem to let it go and keep thinking about it constantly. God wants you to forgive you know? He would say "forget about it" as harboring hurt only causes bitterness and does not really help you "walk with the Lord" when you can not forget about an offense. Offense is like poison to our souls.
Not only should we forget but also forgive. Ouch! Yes you read right, totally let it go by forgiving even when the person may not have asked for forgiveness. "Hey Becky I may be able to forget but no way am I going to forgive." If you don't you will never be whole spiritually if you harbor things in your heart. Your heart needs to be clean before God.
Let's see what the Bible has to say. Hebrews 12:15 says 'Looking diligently less any man fail of the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.' Think of a root and how sometimes they are hard to yank out of the ground. Some weeds root systems are quite intricate and take much effort to get out of the ground. If you do not remove them though they can choke the good things growing around them. Same with bitterness. It is a "choker". In Isaiah 43:18-19 it says 'Forget the former things. Do not dwell on the past.See I am doing a new thing. Now it springs up, do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."
So there is a verse on being bitter and another on letting the past go. Often times that is what it takes. Get your mind on something else. Think on good things. Matthew 6:14-15 says 'For if you forgive men when thy sin against you then your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins your heavenly Father will not forgive you.'
Even the experts at the world renowned Mayo Clinic say it is good for your health overall to let go of grudges. Doctors know and so does God's word.
What is your choice? Pray and ask God to help you be a forgetter and forgiver and be at peace, or dwell on things and let roots of offense and bitterness grow?
PRAYER: Today Lord I choose to let go of any offenses that I have harbored. I ask Lord you help bring to mind anything I need to let go that I may have harbored. Help me forgive when necessary. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, September 20, 2013

MY SHOES AND MY STEPS

This past week I actually sat down and watched the 2014 Miss America Pageant on TV something I had not done for years. It was very interesting. There were many "firsts". The first female solider, first contestant with only one arm, first talent competition where a contestant tore her ACL in practice and wore brace even in swimsuit competition the rest of the time. This was also the return to The famed Boardwalk in Atlantic City as well the first time in nine years as it had been in Las Vegas. Oh yes and the first tattoo.
This is also the first time I ever heard of a "shoe parade". I only saw clips of it but thought it was neat how each contestant in was in the back of a convertible and lifted up her leg to show her fancy choice of shoes that I think was to describe her personality or something to that effect. The female soldier donned her camouflage and Army boots which was cool. There were many very high heels. A couple contestants wore ice skates. This just gave me a idea for a devotion.
If you were to put on some shoes to describe yourself what would choose? If you could only select one kind. Think about that. For me it would be hiking boots. But just think about your footwear and how it is important and how in some countries people may not have shoes. With the shoes you wear are you "walking" for the Lord?
We are to put on those shoes and do the work of the Lord wherever we go. Sometimes it may be to a place we did not plan. That reminds me of a verse found in Proverbs 16:9 which reads ' A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure. ' More about those "steps" later.
In Ephesians 6:15(KJV) in listing the "fruits" of the spirit and how we are to "dress" ourselves each day it says "And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace." Think about if you are "spiritually clothed" and then read the entire chapter of Ephesians 6. Are you "walking", in whatever type shoe you wear, for the Lord?
You can put those "shoes" on as well and "prayer walk" certain places you go and "claim" them for Jesus or cover the area in prayer as you walk. Every step you take you can pray for "barriers" to be broken and "walls" to come down. You do not pray out loud so you could do this any time you are walking.


Psalm 37:23 is a good verse to end with. It says 'The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him.' Do you delight in Jesus? Put those shoes on and go out and walk for the Lord.

PRAYER: Help the steps I take and the places I go in life bring glory to you. Thank you that you order my steps. No matter if barefoot or with shoes on help me choose to walk for you. In Jesus name. Amen.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

PRAY, PRAY, AND PRAY SOME MORE!!


Feel like giving up and quitting? Wondering why God does not hear your prayers? Starting to just give up on the whole "church thing" thinking God does not care and why should I bother with going to church and praying anyway? Friend, God does care for you and it is the enemy Satan who puts the thoughts in your mind that he does not. Satan's trick is to get you to blame God for everything bad in life. Satan is the destroyer and thief, not God! God is the God of Hope and Love.
First off going to church does not a Christian make. Many people feel that is all there is to it. Find a church that is vibrant and alive and you can go and grow in Christ not just one to check the block off. Do not necessarily go to the denomination you are 'used to' as it is not about a denomination anyway but it is about being closer to Jesus. Next, keep on praying and keep on believing. Prayer does indeed change things and bring peace of heart and mind. In the midst of the struggles of life God is indeed there. He does not abandon you.
Luke 18:1 is one of my favorite verses and it simply says to "Pray and not give up". Are you able to do that? Jesus loves you my friend. Stop what you are doing now and "talk" to Him in prayer.
PRAYER: Father I thank you for being my guide, protector, the lifter of my head. I thank you that when the enemy comes in to drag me down you are there to lift me up. I thank you that you are a 24/7 on duty God who I can always pray to around the clock. Forigve me for any doubts I have ever had. I trust in you. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Click on link and be assured that God does love you and hear your prayers.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

IDENTITY THEFT


The world we live in unfortuantely is full of sinners. Some of these sinners like to steal people's identity. Hopefully none of you reading this have had your identity stolen. I have been the victim of my debit card being duplicated and used. Not fun!
Remember that if you name the name of Jesus your true identity is in Jesus. We are to be like Him in what we say and do. Ephesians 2:10(NIV) says 'For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.'
Satan, the great liar and deceiver, will try to convince you in your mind that you have messed up so no way are you Christlike. You tell Satan that you are set free by the blood of Jesus and God is a forgiving God and you live for Him. Do not let the power of the devil's deception make you feel that you are not identified with Christ.
Acts 17:28(NIV) reminds us 'in Christ we live and move and have our being.' If you have asked Jesus into your heart then you are identifying with Him. He is your Father and you are His child. John 10:28-29(NIV) is a favorite and it says ' I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand."
Have you asked Jesus to be your Lord and savior? Do you identify with Him? One final verse I will leave you with today. Galatians 2:20 says "My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.'
PRAYER: Today Lord I am grateful to say I get my identity in you and Satan can not steal it. I praise your name Lord for in you I indeed live and move and have my being. Thanks for all you have done for me. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Click on link and worship the Lord with this awesome song.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

BE NICE REGARDLESS


 There is a Bible verse I love and try to live by with God's help and
that is James 1:20(NIV) and it says 'because human anger does not
produce the righteousness God desires.' Isn't that the truth? My next
favorite one is Proverbs 15:1(NIV) which says 'A gentle answer turns
away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger.'

Satan is the great divider. He loves causing strife, bitterness,
confusion, misunderstandings, conceit, verbal fights, and physical
fights in all sorts of relationships. If true followers of Christ
really practiced what the Bible said there would be allot fewer
lawsuits, divorces, sibling fights, family divisions, problems at
work, hurt feelings, misunderstandings and marital spats.

If you know how to respond to harsh words or treatment then do it
regardless. Be the "bigger person" and show God's love to mean
spirited people. Try your best to pray for them.

Luke 6:28(NIV) says 'bless those who curse you, pray for those who
mistreat you.' That might seem like a "tall order" when you are
really hurt inside. Think about Jesus up on that cross. He did not
deserve the horrible death he died but yet he said "Father forgive
them for they know not what they do."(Luke 23:34). Another verse I
love and it is good to "sear" into your brain is Romans 12:21(NIV)
which says 'Do not be overcome with evil but overcome evil with good.'

You may be a very compliant, controlled, gentle person and in your
good nature never get hurt or upset but for the rest of us out there
it is my prayer you will keep looking up to Jesus!

PRAYER: Help me Lord to hold my tongue when I would rather get into a
debate over something that is unnecessary. Help me Lord I need your
strength to imitate you. In Jesus' name. Amen

Monday, September 16, 2013

THE F WORD


Made you look! I am doing a new respectful use of the F word by thinking of all the wonderful clean uplifting F words. Don't wait for society to think of them. The real F word has become slang and almost accepted in society. It should not be said by anyone as it is so crass, crude, and vulgar. But society has stooped to desensitizing the populace little by little to the point that sometimes we forget what is wrong and right and bad or good. Cursing becomes normal. Let's start a new normal.

The good "F words" are Faith, freedom, fun, fearless, forgiveness,first, and friend to name just a few. I challenge you to think of more.

We have "faith" in God and trust that He is watching over us and hears our prayers.

"Freedom" is a gift from God and only Satan or his demonic powers try to keep us in bondage.

"Fun" is the word to describe what a life lived for Christ is. Once again our enemy the devil will try to make you feel like the life lived for Christ is boring and you can't do anything.

"Fearless" meaning we have no reason to fear what is around the bend as God is in control and He wants you to cast your cares on Him.

"Forgiveness" is what Christ does for us. If you sincerely repent of your sins he offers forgiveness. We too are to forgive others and not hold grudges.
 
"First" is what God should be in your life.

"Friends" are so important. Jesus is our best friend or should be. When our youngest son was just a wee little boy he would always tell us he loved us "one less than God". From the mouth of babes.

So you see all there are many wonderful words starting with the letter F found in the
Bible. Our speech needs to be gracious as if seasoned with salt it says in Colossians 4:6(NIV).

The Bible uses another F word for the time Jesus died on the cross His
last words in John 19:30 were "It is finished! " Now we who are alive
wait for His return.

Is Jesus your friend? Do you have faith? Are you free in Christ? Do
you realize God will forgive your sins? Do you realize you have
mouthing to fear? Do you know a life lived for Jesus is fun!

If you do not know Him why not ask Him into your heart today? He is your Friend that sticks closer than a brother.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for providing all good things. Thank you Father
for forgiving me when I mess up. I choose this day to not enjoy the
sins of this world but to have fun in the body of Christ. In you I put
my trust. In Jesus name. Amen.

NOTE: For the past 8 days I had been on vacation and when I post my email and blogs I do not have my "Address Book" stored in my IPAD so if any of you missed my devotion during this time and care to read it you can check it out at "www.godslemonadestand.blogspot.com". Thanks again for choosing to start your day with the words God gives me to write.




 
 
 
   

 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

FOR THE BEAUTY OF THIS EARTH




My husband and I just are returning from a week long trip to
Fairbanks, Alaska. We had dreamed of this trip for five years now and feel very blessed to be able to go.

Talk about magnificent scenery! Alaska has it!
Think about the state  you live in. There is something beautiful in
every state. Not every state is like Maine, Florida, Washington, Hawaii,
Arizona, California, Oregon, Utah or Alaska, but all states are God's beautiful
 handiwork.

I have some foreign readers as well and they too are
blessed with lovely countries. All creation is God's. Rivers, streams, minerals in the Earth, vegetation, mountains, birds, fish, animals, sunrises, sunsets, rain, snow, a cool breeze. He did it all. We are not to worship nature and the things He created but we are to give Him thanks. He gave us all this to enjoy and take care of.

You can see and feel God's majesty in the power of a storm or by the
crashing waves of the ocean. You can see his handiwork in a tiny
newborn baby. It says in Psalm 138:13 that "he knit us together in our
mother's womb."

When the April 27,2013 tornado outbreak hit our area I was on my back
porch looking up at the ominous dark clouds moving quickly overhead.
My reaction was not one of fear but I lifted my hands up in prayer and
song telling God how glorious He was. I prayed that the funnels
touching down around us would miss us. They did. God is mighty indeed.
Praise him in the good and the not so good.

Psalm 19:1 says 'The heavens declare the glory of God; and the
firmament shows his handiwork".

If you are having a bad day why not stop what you are doing and make a
list of all the marvelous creations and wonders of God. I doubt you
will stay grumpy much longer. Take time to look around and sing His
praises.

PRAYER: Lord you alone are worthy of our highest praise. You have done
so much for us. First, just thank you that I was born in the first
place. Birth is such a miracle! Thank you for all of your creation. It
is marvelous indeed. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Click on link and enjoy a song of praise:
http://youtu.be/XYBehBWgGPY


Saturday, September 14, 2013

MOUTH PROBLEM?


Do you have a "mouth problem"? In other words do you ever gossip, complain, share a confidence, argue, belittle, strike back verbally, brag, interrupt people, lie, judge others, curse, condemn, have angry outbursts, or call people names?  Those are just a few of the afflictions of the mouth. What is a person to do in order to gain control of their mouth? That "24 Hour Rule" I wrote about previously is one helpful way. Let's say you are mad or hurt and just want to tell someone off. If you pray first then ask God for strength to not spout off your anger may subside. The next day you may not feel the same way.

Ephesians 4:26(NIV) is a good verse for married couples or anyone for that matter. It says 'In your anger do not sin and do not let the sun go down on your anger.' Remember the real enemy that causes strife is Satan, not the person, as Satan is in the job of dividing not uniting. Do all you can to make peace before your head hits the pillow at night even if the other party refuses to. Give up "your right" to be mad. It may take some practice. 

Another superb verse taken from the same chapter of Ephesians verse number 29 says 'Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth but only what is helpful in building up others according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.'  Do the things that come out of your mouth benefit others or tear them down? Just something to think about.

Oh yes and then there is lying, even a "white lie" or "half truth". In my childhood I remember hearing people say "Liar liar pants on fire."  And who could forget Pinocchio, the Disney cartoon character, whose nose grew each time he lied. I am glad that does not really happen or there would be many long noses out there. Lies are never hidden from God that is why it says in
Proverbs 6:17(KJV) in referring to things God hates 'A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood.'

I challenge you to do a word search in the Bible about the mouth, your words, and the tongue. There is so much out there in Proverbs and James especially you will stay busy looking them up. 
Do you best, with God's help, to be alert to what you say with your mouth. Ask God to help you and to reveal areas to you that maybe you were not aware of. Now go into the world around you and let your mouth make someone days perhaps by a word of kindness.

PRAYER: Forgive me Father when I have not been careful with my words either directly or through email or a letter. I choose Lord to be careful and alert to when my mouth starts to get me into trouble. I need your help Lord to get control. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, September 13, 2013

PLAN C


When plan A is out of the question and plan B falls through then what
do you do? Despair? Cry? Wring your hands? Fret? Worry? Fall to
pieces? Run away? Drink? Scream? No, you go to God in prayer and start
"Plan C" as I call it.

Be courageous, Christlike, calm, contented, contained, calling on God, creative( think of things to do to help others), contemplating good, cheery(smiling sometimes can help), and covered in prayer. Those are a list of good "C's" to incorporate into your life not only during hard unpredictable times but at all times.

The enemy, Satan, wants you to fall to pieces and give up. He wants to capture your thoughts and make you doubt God. The key is to stay focused on the Cross of Jesus Christ and give Him praise and glory.

In the movie  "Facing The Giants" the football coach, played by Alex Kendrick, in talking to his team said "We praise Him when we win and we praise Him when we lose." Human nature says get mad, fearful, and lose control. God's nature is just the opposite. Have peace and have self control. It is what you will need to get you through a difficult situation. Keep praying and do not give up on God. He has not given up on you!

'I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart. And the peace that I give is the peace the world can not give. So don't be troubled or afraid.' John 14:27

'The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my savior. My God is my rock in whom I find protection. He is my shield the power that saves me, and my place of safety.' Psalm 18:2

PRAYER: Father I know in life at times things happen we can not predict. When they do help me have your strength to press on and endure the "road" ahead of me. Keep me singing your praises. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

COBWEBS




When do you think of cobwebs? Perhaps for those who celebrate
Halloween that is when. Maybe if you walk in an abandoned building and
walk into one. It could be when you are in a room of your home, not
just an attic, but say your living room and look up and there is that
web. Maybe it was not noticed when you did housecleaning or perhaps
you have not had sufficient time to really clean or just plain did
not see it.

These cobwebs gave me an idea for a devotion. Some people use the
expression "they must have cobwebs in their brain" when someone messes
up. In our walk with Christ maybe cobwebs form on our Bible or in our
head because we have not meditated enough on God 's word. The thing about cobwebs is you can knock them down with a broom but alas the next day they are there again. Another illustration of cobwebs would be the traps of sin set by Satan to "capture" us in his web.

If you do not do what is necessary to get rid of sin in your life those cobwebs reappear and sometimes even bigger! You say that one little sin will not hurt anyone. No matter what it is, lying, cheating, stealing, when you are tempted by the enemy and cave in it takes you further away from the Lord. The enemy can deceive you with lies on top of lies so much to the point you might start actually believing them. We are seeing lots of that in today's culture redefining marriage.

Romans 3:23 reminds us 'All have sinned and fallen short of God's glory.' No one is sinless but sin can be alluring and captivating. That is the way Satan likes it. Sin seems harmful but once you are into it, it may be hard to escape the "sinful cobwebs" of life. 

There is hope. You can turn and repent of your sins and run to God. Get involved in a good church that preaches the word. If friends are dragging you away from the truth find new friends and pray for the old ones. Start reading your Bible. Go to a good Christian counselor if you need help or a trusted Godly friend. Above all pray! Your life can be restored, renewed, and set free to serve Jesus with an undivided heart. Maybe it is a family member who needs to escape Satan's web of deceit. Keep praying for them and do not lose hope. (See Luke 18:1).

Let me end with 2 Timothy 2:22(NIRV) which says "Run away from evil things young people long for. Try hard to do what is right. Have faith, love, and peace. Do these things together with those who call on the Lord with a pure heart.'

PRAYER: Lord I thank you for being my help not only in good times but also in times when I have been caught in a web of sin. I need you 24/7 and I know you care an can set  me free from the lies of the enemy. Give me your strength to persevere. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

REVIVAL COULD HAVE HAPPENED








12 years ago on this day in the United States the worst attack on our
soil occurred when a terrorism attack took down the World Trade Center and put a gaping hole in the side of the Pentagon in Washington, DC. Thousands of lives were lost that day. For months afterward it seemed like the goodness of our populace came out. People were nice. Good deeds were done. Many returned to church. But slowly the American flags came down off car windows and homes and life returned to the same day to day things. Patriotism no longer was in style. Terror was in the forefront of the news. New rules were in place at airports and federal buildings. Life did not really return to normal. 

What we needed to do then is get serious about how this nation is falling further from her Christian roots. A country can not succeed when it starts removing God and when it's moral compass sort of goes tilt. When man tries to be more powerful than God look out. Remember the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11:1-9. Take a moment and read it. These people sort of got "too big for their britches" so to speak. We are not God and we are not to act like it.

Deuteronomy 8:18 reminds us '
But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.'  When people become arrogant and haughty look out as God may humble you. 

Today we need revival. We need prayer. We need salvation. We need to repent or turn from our sins and confess them to God. Let me end with a familiar verse to some which is 2 Chronicles 7:14 which says 'if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.'

PRAYER: Lord God we need healing and we need a change in heart in our land. Too many are going their own way without any regard to you. We cry out to you Lord for people to repent and follow you. Forgive us for our arrogance. In Jesus' name. Amen. 










Suggested reading: The Harbinger

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

QUIETNESS









A couple weeks ago there was a day when the gym at Redstone Arsenal I go to was unusually quiet and uncrowded. Perhaps furlough Friday affected it, the cloudy skies outside, or  summer vacation. Never the less,it was rather nice for a change. Just the sound of weights clanging and elliptical trainers whirling. Sometimes we just need a break from commotion and noise.

Made me think about how important it is for Christians to have a private quiet time with God to keep their spirits alive and refreshed. A person can not hear from God in the clutter of everyday life and constant talking in the background. You need to try to make an intentional quiet time with the Lord. For those readers who may reside in a city such as New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago it may be  a challenge to find a quiet spot. Sometimes even listening to Christian TV or radio you need to turn them off momentarily and be still and listen to God. Read His manual, The Bible.

"How do I do this" you might ask. My  first suggestion is at home before you leave. If you are single and have roommates that too may be a challenge. If this is a desire of your heart and your passion you will find a way. The prayer ministry Moms In Prayer International (www.momsinprayer.org) has something called a DAWG day or "day alone with God".  I love my DAWG days. My favorite place to go is up on the mountain at Monte Sano State Park in nearby Huntsville. You can really focus outside in God's creation. This DAWG day may not last all day but could even be an hour or two as your schedule permits. 

Psalm 46:10(NIV) is one of my absolute favorite verses. Commit it to memory if you can.
'Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted above the nations. I will be exalted above the earth.' This verse is also a great verse to regain peace if you have lost it through fears and worries.

Mark 1:35(NIV) says 'Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went off to a solitary place where he prayed.'  Young mothers could have a prayer time with their children or when napping get alone to pray and study God's word.

Today is the day to decide if this is important enough to let it become a daily habit.

PRAYER: Lord I thank you for stillness, for peace, and for quiet. I thank you for the Bible. Forgive me Lord when all other activities seem more important than you. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Monday, September 9, 2013

THIS IS THE BIG ONE!!!




Birthdays are a blessing! Another year of life God has blessed you
with. Seems like there are birthdays people classify as "the big one".
Let's see would that be the 30th birthday? Turning 40? Surely it must
be the half century mark? No it is that stepping stone of 60? Of course
the big one has got to be 70? You see the point.

Humans put these milestones out there and card companies take advantage of getting
older. Friend, getting older is nothing to be ashamed of. For whatever
reason some people will not tell people their age. Maybe ashamed of
it. Not really sure. Something from a person's past which maybe made
them fear and dread being another year older. What is the alternative?
Dying right? A good thing for believers as then you are transported instantly to your heavenly home with Jesus! 

We do all we can to stay young. I even do. But there is a time to be proud of how many years you have under your belt and not hide it. What is going to happen anyway if people find out your true age? It will not matter. Your friends will still like you.

2 Corinthians 4:16(ESV) says 'Though we do not lose heart. Though our outer self  is wasting away our inner self is being renewed day by day.' 

Proverbs 20:29(ESV) says 'The glory of young men is their strength but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.'  I admire people who have gone gray and do not hide it. I have a few friends like this and they look absolutely beautiful and/or handsome.

Titus 2:2-4(NIV) says 'Teach the older men to be temperate,worthy of respect, self controlled, sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to slanderers or addicted to too much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children.'  See ladies we have a job to do! 

Psalm 92:12-14(ESV) says 'The righteous flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord. They flourish in the courts of our God.They still bear fruit in old age. They are ever full of sap and green.' 

Today is another day God haas given you to work for Him before it is your time to enter His kingdom. Do not fear getting another year older. Be happy and content as you have much to contribute to those around you. I challenge you if you have not told someone your age due to whatever reason, let someone know and give God the glory. 

PRAYER: Lord God I thank you for each year of life you have blessed me with. I thank you for people of all ages that are in my life. Both young and old h ave things to contribute. W need not fear getting older but rejoice. In Jesus' name. Amen.  

Sunday, September 8, 2013

DO YOU FEEL JOYFUL?





Many go through life sad, depressed, angry, hurt, revengeful, bitter, lonesome, tired and just plain unhappy. The best kind of happiness and feeling is the "joy of The Lord" inside of you. You can experience this kind of joy even in the midst of pain, sorrow, and grief. 

Sometimes you might have to talk out loud to the devil and say "devil leave me alone as I am a child of God. You may try to get me angry at God and so desperate that you cause me to lose hope. Devil I will always have hope cause I have Jesus living inside of me. Leave my family alone too. They belong to Jesus." When you say that you do feel better. 

After just having moved to Iowa in 1993 I was feeling a bit down but had to stay "up" for the sake of my two grade school children. I had this "God friend" Linda who was only in my life for three short years but she impacted me in many ways. She is the one that told me to shout at the devil and throw scripture promises at him. One particular verse she gave me was 2 Peter 5:10(NIV) and it says 'And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.'  Meditate on that verse awhile. It is a promise. 

Do you want joy unspeakable? Do you want to get up each day looking forward to it? Do you believe God is working? 

Romans 15:13 is my prayer for any readers who do not feel joy today or any day. It says 'Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.' 

PRAYER: I know Lord I can have the joy of the Lord. I will not allow people or circumstances to be joy robbers. I will pray for those who have hurt me. Thank you for your joy! In Jesus' name. Amen. 
Click link and praise God in song.