Welcome to God's Lemonade Stand

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

Thursday, October 31, 2013

I LOVE CELEBRATING


 Life is worth celebrating. All kinds of occasions. Births, baptism, graduation, weddings, anniversaries, and yes birthdays no matter how "young" you are. Today I am celebrating a milestone birthday. I was born in 1953 so do the math. I am not ashamed. Life is a celebration. God has blessed me with sixty beautiful years. And you know what they say "60 is the new 40".
Do you like to celebrate? Parties are fun. Getting together with friends and family and enjoying good food and good times. Gifts are nice too. But did you know what the greatest gift of all is? It was the birth of Jesus Christ. 'God so loved the world that He gave us His only son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but should have eternal life.' (John 3:16)
It is going to be one tremendous celebration for Christians when we arrive in heaven. Also when one sinner repents it says "the angels rejoice". Luke 15:10(NIV) says 'In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
I have been to the funeral of Christians who chose to not make it into a sad affair, but instead to turn it into a celebration of a life well lived. It is really a neat thing to see family and friends gathered to celebrate the life of the believer who has now entered heaven. We down here are left with memories and feel a great loss, but sooner or later all of us are going to die. No matter how much some people want to try to stay here, perhaps try to be frozen like in the movie "Forever Young" we have to face it. Death will come to all of us.
Are you ready to meet Jesus if today were the last day you would spend on earth? On Halloween death is sort of mocked and made light of. Death is real. Hell is real. There are not a bunch of zombies running around trying to spook people. Joking and dressing up may be fun on this day but making sure you know Jesus is vitally important. It is my hope when each of you die your families will be able to celebrate the fact you most assuredly have gone on to meet Jesus and have one gigantic homegoing party!!
PRAYER: Thanks Lord for the promise of heaven and eternal life. Help me to be a witness to those who do not know you and share your love with them. Even as we joke about scaring people on Halloween let us not forget that hell is not a joking matter. It is real and is forever. Help me to take that seriously and help others who do not know you come into a relationship with you Lord. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Click link to enjoy a song of Celebration.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

GOD, WHEN?


What are you waiting for in life? You pray, you wait. Nothing seems to happen. You cry out "God just when will you get me out of this mess?" Sometimes in life God wants us to grow to be more like Him and that often requires patience while we wait. Maybe you feel you just can not hold on any longer. It could be a situation you are waiting for in your life or a breakthrough in the life of a loved one. Regardless how you feel God has not abandoned you.


James 5:7(NIV) is similar to the topic I wrote about yesterday. It says 'Be patient then brothers and sisters until the Lord's coming.See how the farmer waits for the land to yield it's valuable crop patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.'
Can you trust God has a plan and sit back and keep praying and relax? His timetable is not the same as ours.

Isaiah 55:8(KJV) says 'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.' Keep going to God in pray and in the meantime do not forget to praise Him for who He is and thank Him for the answers to prayer as well.

PRAYER: Dear Lord I ask for you to help me as I wait on you and wait on answers to prayers. I know you are doing a perfect work and I need to trust you and not be afraid. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

HARVEST TIME



Fall is here in most parts of America and other places in the world. Here in my locale there are beautiful changing colors. Harvest is a time when farmers "harvest" their crops as well.

In this world there is a spiritual harvest waiting too. Souls that do not know Jesus as their savior, ripe for the "picking". Being a certain denomination is not the key to heaven nor is the act of baptism. Many people are thinking simply joining a church is all they need to do. Sad to say there may be many surprises in heaven.

It is our job as believers to share Jesus' love and how to know Him with those we come in contact with daily. This does not mean we have to go preach on a street corner but we should be ready to give an answer for the reason of hope that is in us. 1 Peter 3:15(ESV) says 'but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.'

Also to remember to not be ashamed. Mark 8:38(NIV) reminds us 'If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
Luke 10:3(NIV) says 'Go! I am sending you out as lambs among wolves.'

Matthew 9:37-38 (HCSB) says 'Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest."' John 4:35 further says the "fields are ripe for the harvest.' 

Are you doing your part to help others come to know Jesus? Could you maybe be one of those harvest workers? 

PRAYER: Here it is the fall season but it is always the "harvest" season in your kingdom. I am one of your workers to help gather more people for the heavenly kingdom. That is a huge responsibility. Help me not neglect sharing your love and how to know you with others I may come in contact with each day. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

GOD OF THE POSSIBLE


Nothing is impossible with God! Do you believe that? That wandering child who wants nothing to do with God will come back and can come back. Do you believe this? God is Able to do all things.
It is so easy to dwell on bad things and lies of the enemy. As a believer we have to make ourselves think on what is good and perfect. God can change a seemingly unchangeable situation. Each and every day you need to wake up filled with hope not despair.

Matthew 19:26(NIV) tells us ‘Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Another great verse of hope is found in Ephesians 3:20(NIV) says ‘Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.’ Check that word immeasurably more. Don’t put limits on God. A few years ago I heard this saying “Believe receive and doubt do without.” Think on that for just a moment.
Whatever it is you are praying for and believing for a miracle keep on praying. Do not stop. God works in your heart as he works in the hearts of those you are praying for. Do not take matters in your own hands but have faith. Hebrews 11:1(NIV) reminds us ‘Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

PRAYER: Lord at times I feel hopeless like a prayer I am praying is not being heard. I know that you hear me and love me. Help me Lord to keep running the race to win and holding on to hope which does not disappoint. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

ROOTED OR WILTED?



Are your "roots" deep in the soil of God's word or when the first storm comes into your life do you wilt and blow away with the wind? Think about plants in a garden. The ones that get proper care in the form of water and fertilizer will usually have deep roots and grow healthy and strong. Those that get neglected will cease to become thriving plants and may even die before producing fruit.

In your spiritual life do you neglect reading the word of God? Do you feel Sunday is enough to suffice and get you through the week ahead? Has being called a Christian become mundane and more of a "title" more than something you really are?

As I sit writing this devotion I am in a coffee shop that plays Christian praise and worship music. It is lifting my spirit just being in here. I want to raise my hands and sing.

Do you seek more of God or have you become satisfied and are wilting on the vine of life? It is necessary to feed on the word of God on a regular basis to stay strong.

Psalm119:11(NIV) says 'I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.' How can you be armed for the battles coming your way without the word of God to make you strong? Start today and grow in grace and truth by feeding daily on His word.

PRAYER: Lord I do thank you for giving us your Holy word as our guidebook for life. Without it I am weak and become fearful. I choose to stay strong and grow strong by feeding on it daily. In Jesus' name.Amen.
Click link for a powerful song of worship.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

BROKEN, SHATTERED, FRACTURED


Does my title describe how you feel at times? Do you ever feel there is no way out or some prayer is falling on deaf ears? First of all God is not deaf but his ways are not our ways it says in Isaiah 55:8-9.

Instead of brokeness why not shoot for the goal of wholeness, being mended, healed, set free, and forgiven.

Just recently I heard from a friend that a neighbor of hers had cancer and was blaming God. Why do people automatically blame God and get mad at Him? Why not be mad at the destroyer, liar, deceiver, thief known as Satan? It is so easy to think God can just wave a magic wand and all things will be happy. Trials and struggles believe it or not do make you stronger.

God can indeed use our brokenness to get us closer to Him. Remember that Jesus Christ suffered the ultimate form of brokenness on the cross when he was crucified. Isaiah 53:5(NKJV) says 'But He was wounded for our transgressions,bruised for our iniquities, The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.'

When you are going through trials of any kind it is hurtful and no fun. Seem times you just feel you can not go on and things are never going to change. Those thoughts come from the enemy who likes to destroy our good thought life and positive attitude. In 1 Peter 1:7(KJV) we are told 'That the trial of your faith being much more precious than that of gold that perishes, though be tried by fire,might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.' James 1:2-4(NIV) says 'Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its' work so that you may be mature and complete,not lacking anything.'

God is the great mender,healer, and deliverer. Cry out to Him today.he will see you through.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord that you will with me through the hard times of life. I realize that many of these trials are meant to conform me more to your image. Give me strength to hang on and not give up. In Jesus' name.Amen.
Note: There is a new magazine published here in my local area of Huntsville, Alabama which you may want to check out. https://www.shatteredmagazine.net/


Click link for a song of worship.

Friday, October 25, 2013

FOCUS ON GOD NOT YOUR PROBLEMS

 
How many people have problems? Big ones or small ones, it does not matter. What is the normal human reaction to dealing with problems? Perhaps worry and fears or the overwhelming concern it will never end?
The solution to peace in the midst of problems is to pray and give God those concerns. Often there are times in life when those seemingly major problems looming over you are like a dark cloud. A few years pass and they seem to be quite small. You might say "I don't know why I acted like I did." Don't be too hard on yourself because all of us, if we admit it, have let little things grow into huge "mountains" because in many instances we forgot to totally surrender them to the Lord.

Look to Jesus and keep your gaze straight ahead. Matthew 14:28-38(HCSB) says ' "Lord, if it’s You,” Peter answered Him, “command me to come to You on the water.” "Come!” He said. And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid. And beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me!” God was there all along and Peter did not sink but started to when he took His eyes off Jesus and focused instead on the huge stormy sea.
Are you focusing on the storms of this life and not on God? Today ask God to help you trust Him in good times and not so good times. He will see you through whatever it is if you can only trust Him.
PRAYER: There have been times when I have become overwhelmed by a certain situation in life. When I try to manipulate and control it only makes matters worse. When I entertain worry, I also get no peace. Lord it is my desire to give you the controls and trust you. Help me give up worrying and controlling and give it to you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

BAD NEWS......BUT GOD!


There seemingly is a great deal of fear in many parts of the world today. I know here in these United States citizens are concerned about a government that is out of control and no longer listens to them and fears dictatorship on the horizon. "But we have a Constitution, that will never happen" the uninformed will utter. But this fear is real and is frightening many people. Our balance of power and system of checks and balances is no longer valid it seems.
There is a verse in God's word which I love. Psalm 118:11(NLT) says 'The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?' We know it is not people we are necessarily supposed to be angry with but realize we are in the midst of spiritual warfare. A battle of good versus evil. Satan is having a hey day. He is using people as his pawns to do his evil works and many deceived are falling right smack dab into the enemies trap.
There is so much deception today. People hear something and believe it is true. Only God's word is true, yet today it is being misused and twisted to justify sinful behavior. Hebrews 13:6 also reiterates the same thing as Psalm 118:6 by saying '......what can mere mortals do to me.'
We truly need to not fear and realize God is indeed still on the throne. He is King of kings and Lord of Lords. God has a plan behind all the chaos that is going on. Sometimes He let's humans have their own way and suffer a bit. We choose to not listen, to not acknowledge Him, not keep His word first, well then see what happens. Isaiah 55:8-9(KJV) says 'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.' God is still God and is still over the entire universe. No king, prince, czar, ruler, dictator, or president controls Him.
Psalm 93:4(NIV) says 'Mightier than the thunder of great waters and mightier than the breakers of the sea, the Lord on high is mighty.' Meditate on that verse for just a moment. There are things we need to do as well. 2 Chronicles 7:14 should be a very familiar scripture to those who have been praying for America to return to its' Christian roots. '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.' Are we truly doing this? Are we taking so much for granted and so busy with our daily lives that we even bother?
Hard times may in fact be on the horizon. Just remember who indeed is on the throne. Psalm 95:3(NIV) says 'The Lord is a great God a great King above all gods.' There are those who live in countries where Christians are persecuted and have to read their Bible in secret or risk death. We need to cry out to God and repent and ask Him to bring revival.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus thank you for being in control. I realize when we do not listen to you sometimes we suffer the consequences. Lord I ask that you open the eyes of the blind and end the curse that is overtaking the United States. Bring revival to this great land. Turn evil men and women's hearts to you. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Please check out the following website where you can post prayers and read others prayers:

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

FEAR NOT



Today's world in the United States of America for many is full of fear of the unknown. We know and believe God is in fact in control and sometimes that includes letting bad situations play themselves out. Fear of a depression, fear of healthcare system collapsing, fear of financial ruin, fear of Communism, fear of homelessness, fear of losing a job, fear of bankruptcy, fear of the unknown. There are many who do not see these things and perhaps are not fearful.

Where does fear originate from? The answer is not God. Satan is the author of all the bad stuff. The evil in the world are from him. In John 10:10(HCSB) it says 'A thief comes only to kill, steal, and destroy. I came that they might have life and have it in abundance.' When we are not tuned into God it is easy to be led astray and believe lies of the enemy. Satan is a liar. He is evil. He is meaning to get us in his trap.

Some good news is found in Isaiah 41:10 (NIV). '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.' You may have noticed I have referred to that verse in many devotions. It is good to try to commit that to memory. If you feel yourself becoming fearful you can read this verse out loud. Do not allow the enemy to get you in his trap.

Today start the day by saying "Thank you for this day. I will trust you Lord and not be afraid."

PRAYER: Lord there are many times I get anxious about things going on around me. I need to stay in your word and on my knees in prayer. You will protect us Lord and I have faith in you. Help me not to fear. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Assignment: Read Psalm 91
Click link below and listen to the words of the song.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

HELP! HELP! HELP!



Have you ever frantically cried out to Jesus to save you or a loved one or help you? I know I have. The two incidents that come to mind are when I was in a roll over accident and the car tumbled only once thankfully, and then slid on the roof through the grass in the ditch as I cried out "help me Jesus, help me Jesus" and He did. Another time I was in Hawaii snorkeling alone in Hanauma Bay, as my sister was on business and could not join me that day. When you snorkel you should do three things. Have a buddy, wear a life jacket just in case, and observe rip current warning flags on the shore. I was so busy taking underwater pictures I did not realize I had been carried out beyond the people on shore in the current. Here I was in deep water and no people. I was extremely frightened. I screamed out "Help me Jesus, Help me Jesus" and out of nowhere, I kid you not, a young couple appeared and asked if I was okay. I said I was and without them even touching me I had strength to get to shore. I do not know where they went but I am pretty sure they were angels.

So have you cried out to God to help you or help a family member who is struggling with an issue in their life? Perhaps you have cried out in desperation for a family member to be set free from an addiction. Maybe they are caught up in deceptive lies of the enemy and are so blinded they do not think they need help so you cry out on their behalf. I know in Moms in Prayer International there are moms all over the world crying out for the lives of their children. Even Christian moms do not have perfect kids sometimes and go through struggles. These others moms in these groups help you lift up your child in prayer.

Psalm 54:4(NIV) says 'Surely God is my help. The Lord is the one who sustains me.' Psalm 30:10 says 'Hear Lord and be merciful to me, be my help.'. Psalm 118:7 says 'The Lord is with me. He is my helper. I look in triumph on my enemies.' If you do a word search on your computer you can find many verses where it shows God being your helper. He indeed is the ultimate helper.

What is weighing on your heart today? Go to the Lord in prayer. He will sustain you and help you.

PRAYER: Lord I thank you for the many times in life you have been my help to get me over the hump of a worried and anxious spirit. You have physically helped me as well and for that I give thanks. I know I have no earthly control over situations in my life or that of my family but I can and do pray. I thank you for hearing my prayers and giving me peace and being my helper. In Jesus' name. Amen.

For more information on Moms in Prayer go to www.momsinprayer.org

Click link to worship God in song.

Monday, October 21, 2013

WHAT IF........BUT GOD!


 Fear. We all have experienced it. I am not referring to fear of snakes, heights, storms, and falling but fear of the unknown,perhaps even fear of death, even for believers. Other types of fears are fearing your children will be in some sort of accident. Fearing for your own life when there is bad weather and you are in a plane at 35,000 feet. Fearing your children will get into the wrong crowd and go downhill and forget God. You could make yourself a "nut case" so to speak by conjuring up all sorts of scenarios.

Mothers are the good worriers out there and can make themselves fearful if they do not get refocused on something else. Not being able to let your adult children grow up and constantly checking up on them daily is really not a good thing for the parent child relationship. Fearing you left the iron on and your house will burn down after you have left for vacation. Fear of war. Fearing a democratic government will turn into a communistic one. Fearing your doors are unlocked at home and someone is going to walk in and steal your earthly possessions. Fearing you will get cancer. Fearing bankruptcy. Fearing your car will break down on a dark country road at night. Can anyone identify with any of these examples? Perhaps you can add to the list.

What makes us fear? Human nature for one. What can we do to get out of this cycle of worrying and being fearful? You need to replace fear with faith. Trust in a loving God to take are of you and your family. Sitting in a constant state of panic will not only make you continually, needlessly stressed out and perhaps sick but it indicates you do not have much faith in God to do what He says.

Isaiah 41:10(ESV) says 'fear not for I am with you. Be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.' That my friend is a promise from the Almighty God. One of the best ways to combat always being fearful is to listen to uplifting praise and worship music. Oftentimes I include a song at the end of a devotion for everyone to take time to listen to. Today is no exception. You will find a link to click at the bottom of this devotion. Take time to listen.

Romans 8:31 reminds us 'If God be for us who can be against us?' Do not allow the enemy, Satan, to intimidate you and drag you down into his pit of fear. When you are fearful you have a hard time praising Jesus and I can just see the enemy sitting there saying "ha ha,I got them." Psalm 27:1 says 'The Lord is my light and my salvation in whom shall I fear. The Lord is the stronghold of my life in whom shall I be afraid?' Psalm 23:4, often recited at funerals, is really for everyday life. It says ' Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me.'


We are approaching the Halloween season where some people love being scared. If you have to celebrate Halloween why not do a new twist and make it fun and a harvest celebration instead of attempting to scare people, especially small children? Just my thought for what it is worth.

So my friend. You can choose to have freedom over fears. You can choose to be lifted up and set free from the enemies attempts to keep you anxious. Why not purpose in your heart to get a grasp on the fear that entangles and ensnares you and run to Jesus.

Hebrews 12:1(ESV) is an awesome verse to end with and sort of a "word picture". 'Therefore since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses let us also lay aside every weight and sin that clings so closely and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.'

PRAYER: I indeed need you every hour of my life Lord. I can let the cares of the world cause me to be fearful. I want to live a life free from the cares,worries, and fears of this world. I want to make Satan mad that he can not make me get fearful. I choose faith instead. If I start to tremble help me run to God and remember the verses in this devotion. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Click link and praise God with your whole heart.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

WHAT IS A THIEF?




People who steal are called thieves. Some thieves acts are so bad they go to jail or prison if they are caught. Stealing is wrong. Remember in Exodus 20:15(HCSB) it says 'Do not steal'. Pretty straight forward I would say. 

Some people steal and probably do not even think of it as stealing. A few examples would be the obvious one of cheating on income taxes. Maybe you take an ink pen home from work? Do you ever make personal copies on the office copier without permission? There of course are obvious actions you see on the nightly news each evening such as shoplifting, bank robberies, car jacking, breaking and entering. But your "stealing" does not have to be huge to still be classified as stealing. These actions at an office rob your boss of supplies. Maybe you "steal" by playing computer games on the office computer. Not trying to guilt anyone but to make you reflect on your actions and your honesty. In writing stealing another's work and taking credit is wrong. (See the Hollywood movie "The Words")

When a person becomes dependent  on the government to provide for them and feels entitled to money, that is a form of stealing. Others work hard to get money then are taxed outrageously to pay for those who should be out working themselves. Expecting others to give you everything when you make no effort for it at all if you are physically capable is wrong. Even in the Bible it says in 2 Thessalonians 3:10(NIV)  'For even when we were with you, you gave this rule, The one who is unwilling to work' should not eat.'
In the forest when there are "do not feed the bears" signs not only is it for your own protection, but if you feed wildlife they may not work to get their own food. Same with people. If everything is handed to them by the government then why would they bother working? Some feel things are owed to them. So if people make no effort to help themselves it is a form of stealing from those who do. This is not to say people with legitimate needs should not be cared for but many agencies and churches do a great job of that.

Make every effort to lead a life that is honorable before God and man. Be willing to help others and share but be on guard that none of your actions could be interpreted as stealing.  Ask God to help you be above reproach in all you say and do. 

PRAYER: Father forgive me if I have ever "stolen" something innocently and not realized it. Help me to live a life pleasing to you in all areas. I want to be honorable and full of integrity. Guide my actions that they may line up with the word of God. In Jesus' name. Amen. 




Saturday, October 19, 2013

PRAYED ALREADY? THEN TRUST GOD




How many reading this may say a prayer and supposedly "cast" your cares and concerns on God like it says to do in 1 Peter 5:7 but immediately start fretting and trying to take the controls again. Why is this? Why can't we "fully rely on God" or F.R.O.G? Why bother praying if you just then in the next breath start to panic? There are lots of "whys" there aren't there? 

Do you believe God loves you? Do you believe He is in control? Don't you know He sees the big picture? Seemingly bad things many times have an ultimate good purpose, but you have to sit back, relax, be patient, and trust God.

One of my all time favorite Bible verses is Romans 8:28(NIV) which says 'And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.' So the question is do you love God? Really? Do you "talk" to Him daily in prayer and maybe sometimes several times a day? Do you love spending time with Him in order to get your day started off in a dynamic way? Do you try to please Him in what you say and do? Have you asked Him to be Lord of your life and asked Him into your heart? 

You can have that perfect peace and you can know God. Joining a church does not mean that you "know" God and have a "ticket" to heaven. Matthew 7:21-23(NKJV) says '“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!’

Why not say this simple prayer and ask Jesus into your heart today and then start an exciting daily journey of walking with Him? "Lord Jesus I need you. Forgive me of ignoring you and doing things my own way. Forgive me of my sins. I want you to come into my heart and live in me."  Romans 10:9-10 says 'that is you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart,you will be saved.With the heart man believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.'  Why not trust Him today? 

PRAYER: I need you every hour of each day Lord. Many say you are a "crutch" well if so then you are the best "crutch" ever who I rely on daily to help me in all facets of life. I choose to live for you and I need you to stay on the right path of life. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

NEVER STOP PRAYING



What is on your heart today? What prayer needs are you crying out to God for? Do not ever give up! There will be skeptics who tell you God does not care or if He does why does He let little children die and why doesn't he simply heal everything. That is something I can not really answer but I do know that God indeed cares and He is not the one who makes bad stuff happen.

Prayer is our lifeline to God. If it were not so powerful why then do anti God forces continually try to eradicate it from society? Unfortunately they were successful in not allowing school children to pray back in 1963 but that does not mean people are not praying. 

Luke 18:1 is a favorite verse of mine and it simply says to 'Pray and never give up'.  As the famous slogan for Nike says "Just do it." Indeed we must 'keep doing it' and doing it some more. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says to 'pray without ceasing.' That means do not stop! Perhaps you are a parent in despair over a wayward child and keep praying and praying and praying some more. Do not worry my friend. God is indeed at work in their lives. Just keep believing. 

Have you ever tried praying scripture over a situation? For some excellent helps on this check out www.momsinprayer.org. Moms in Prayer is a ministry I have been a part of for almost 18 years now. It is vital to my prayer life. Isaiah 55:11 says ' So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.' God's word is powerful. Cherish it. Read your Bible. Memorize some favorite verses. It is your weapon against the forces of darkness in our world. Satan shudders at the name of Jesus. 

PRAYER: I love you Jesus. I hate evil. I know you hear my prayers. Help me to keep on keeping on and to remember to encourage others to continue in prayer as well. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I LOVE JESUS, HOW ABOUT YOU?


The Christian singer Carman has a song where the the lyrics say "I love Jesus yes I do, I love Jesus, how about you?" Do you love Jesus?

The word love is thrown around so flippantly at times. There is the love between man and wife which should be eternal, deep, truthful, permanent with Christ as the center. There is the love of friends where it is loyal, kind, and faithful. A person can say they love a certain food, sports team, college, vacation destination, or pet. We love our family, or should.

Love is kind, truthful, forgiving, honest, merciful, loyal, genuine, friendly, kind, and above all unconditional. Think of that word unconditional. It means "without conditions". God loves us unconditionally so we too need to love others in the same manner.

1 John 4:20 says 'whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or a sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love of God who they have not seen.'

When you love someone you want to please them above yourself. You give before you take. This is why the question is "do you really love Jesus" do you like to please Him by your thoughts, words, and actions? 1 John 1:6 says 'if. Claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.' So are you a liar or a lover? Start today to show the love of God to all tho you come into contact each and every day but give God your true love.

PRAYER: I love you Lord. I love your word The Bible. I love the promise of a heavenly kingdom. I thank you for helping me show love to all people even when they might not show it back. Love always wins out. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Click link below to listen to the song I mentioned above by Carman.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I'M WAITING


A few days ago two cute stray dogs showed up on my back porch. They were friendly and clung together like two little buddies. Out in the country where I live there are not "leash laws" like I was used to being a former urbanite city and town dweller. Anyway these two just hung around waiting to be loved on and ultimately fed. Being the soft hearted person that I am I gave them some cat food. One dog was a lab mix and the other a beagle mix. Both just laid side by side on the porch in anticipation. As they waited they drifted off into nap time.

Sort of reminded me of how Jesus is waiting for us each day to spend time with Him. He waits and does not pester. Like the dogs wagging their tails showing they were friendly Jesus too is sitting and waiting to be loved on by us His children. He waits, and waits some more and yet keeps waiting. We may throw him a "bone" to make him temporarily happy and to have Him settle down till we have time. He is not going anywhere. He waits, waits, and continues to be patient. He is not angry but is sad. Like a loyal pet, He wants attention and affection.

Are you too busy to be bothered? Is your "to do" list so crammed full of the duties of your daily activities that you forget to spend time with Jesus? He is not condemning you for ignoring Him but He sure wants His "children" to want to spend time in His presence and get to know Him. Just like a friend, there is no way to know them well unless you make an effort to go and do things together.

Why not make a daily appointment with the one who loves you more than anything? Each day make Him the most important thing on your list and see what happens. You'll probably end up with more time.

Hebrews 3:15(NIV) says 'As has just been said, "Today if you hear His voice harden not your heart as you did in the rebellion."'
Do you desire to spend time with the Lord? If not ask yourself why not? If you do not know where to begin just talk to Him. Sit down without the television blaring or radio playing and just talk to Him. Perhaps read a chapter in Psalms and just begin your day with Him as your first appointment. What do you think?

PRAYER: Father I am delighted to spend time in your presence. Forgive me because there are times I get distracted and let other things squeeze you out. I know you are sad and Satan is glad. I choose to out you daily on my high priority list. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Click link to worship God in song.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

STANDING ON THE PROMISES OF GOD


When you are depressed or in despair over something how do you react? Do you simply give up and worry or do you get out your Bible and look up verses to give you renewed strength and hope? That is what God's word does you know. You can claim promises in scripture and pray scripture over a situation. But first you have to know the word. To know it is necesssary to make it more than a coffee table ornament. It is meant to be used, and yes you can even underline things as you go.

What if some day your government made your Bible illegal? It could happen. There are many countries where a person can be jailed or executed for their Christian faith. If it were to be taken from you do you have any verses committed to memory that you could cling to each day? Do not think I am crazy or this is a fairy tale as many nations can not have God's word. There may be some readers from some of those countries. There are people in the United States, maybe some who even say they are Christians, who barely pick up their Bible except maybe on Sunday out of obligation. How many communist regimes do you know where the Bible is outlawed and Christians need to go "underground" to hold church and Bible studies or the consequences could be dire?

Why not commit today to start hiding the word of God in your heart? Do not take God for granted. Do not take your Bible for granted!

Each day write on your calendar "time with God" and do not allow "more important" things to squeeze out that time. What is more important than spending time with the King of kings? Learn to "stand on the promises" of God so you can have victory over Satan who works overtime to get you to stumble and turn your back on Jesus.
I am going to list a few verses with promises below. Do you think you can memorize some in the next few months? Do not allow the "tyranny of the urgent" to put God aside till Sunday. Busy people often shut God and church out of their lives entirely. Many have been hurt or do not trust God to help them.
2 Peter 1:4 'He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.'
Jeremiah 1:12 'God is watching over His Word to perform it.'
Isaiah 55:11 'so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.'
Do a word search on promises of God then claim them and speak them out for yourself. Do not allow the enemy to drag you into his pit. Stay strong and stand strong on God's promises.
PRAYER; Lord Jesus you have hundreds of promises in the Bible.I love the truth and I love your word. I need not fear for you are with me. Thanks for bringing hope through the Word of God. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Click on link below for a wonderful praise song.
http://youtu.be/FaUTv1pXRyU

Monday, October 14, 2013

DO YOU HIDE GOD'S WORD IN YOUR HEART?



What does it mean to "hide God's word in your heart"? Basically it is knowing enough scripture by memory that you are able to draw from your memory banks and pull it up in a time of need. In order to accomplish this you have to first be reading and studying the scriptures. Simply picking it up and following along with the preacher on Sunday will not really sear it in your memory banks. 

We may find ourselves one day in the future without our Bibles. There are readers to this devotion from several different countries according to the "traffic" statistics on blogspot. Some may even read this from a country where God's word is already banned and can get you killed, arrested and jailed. Why do people hate it so much? I will tell you why. Because the Bible stands for truth and freedom. Satan's evil henchmen roam around trying to take freedom away and trying to control people. The Bible is a threat to them so their idea is to ban it. 

Have we not already seen in this country groups trying to get prayer stopped at football games or before city council meetings? Religious conscience rights here in the United States are being disregarded in the Presidents' new health care law. Never mind you object to certain things like abortion,but you are forced to support a government run and controlled health care system that could care less about a persons right of conscience or freedoms. Forcing a military chaplain to perform a homosexual marriage ceremony is just plain wrong as well. 

In 1963 prayer, and thus  the standard for right and wrong and morality, was removed from the public schools. There are legal cases today where groups are trying to get rid of anything about the Bible on college campuses.

Back to hiding God's word in your heart. If someday evil forces come at gunpoint and confiscate your Bible would you know enough of it to write down some in a notebook to give you comfort? Not just the familiar John 3:16,but more? Psalm 119:11(NIV) says 'I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.' Psalm 37:31 says 'The law of their God is in their hearts; their feet do not slip.' Psalm 119:97 says 'O how I love your law it is my meditation all the day.' 

If you are a parent of a small infant, start now getting God's word into their heart. Grandparents you can do this as well.  It is much more important than nursery rhymes. It will go into their little hearts. Many parents stand up in front of churches dedicating or baptizing their babies promising to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord but how many do not?  Oh yes Sunday school and church but nothing at home. 2 Timothy 3:15(KJV) says 'and that from a child thou hast known the Holy scriptures which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.' 

Today say yes to God's word and read it daily so when and if a crisis occurs you will stand strong and be able to have comfort and comfort others. 

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for my Bible. Forgive me for ignoring you and it at times. I am not on this Earth for my own pleasure but I was created by you to serve you and to share the love of Christ with others. Help me Lord as I seek to get the word of God in my heart in case some day someone takes it away from me. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

WHAT IS YOUR PASSWORD?



This world we live in today is a world of passwords for almost anything over the phone or online. Recently I ended up being "hacked" and lost the passwords I had created for Facebook and email. To anyone this has happened to it is not only frustrating but is scary as well wondering if someone has your private information. 

I have good news! God does not require a password for us to communicate with Him. He is only a prayer away. We do not need a special status in life,a pass code,a secret knock,a certain amount of money, a special key,or a password to gain access to the throne of grace. 

Matthew 11:8(NIV) says 'Come to me all you who are weak and burdened and I will give you rest.'  You might have to get yourself away from things distracting you or keeping you from prayer  and a good quiet time. This time alone with God is a time you should take daily to refresh yourself and get some of God's word in your heart. 

Jeremiah 33:3(NIV) says 'Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.' God is your Father in heaven. He wants to hear from you. Don't wait til you are in a crisis situation but "talk" to Him daily. 

Start by praising Him for who he is. Then confess your sins to Him. Next thank Him for answers to prayer and finally intercede for yourself and others. He is not judging you or condemning you. He wants all people to come to know Him as Lord and savior. No matter what you have done he is ready to forgive and set you free. So go on and pray to Him today. 

PRAYER: I am so glad you are an around the clock God. I don't have to call tech support if I lose my connection as I am always connected. I choose to start talking to you more Lord. You are knocking on my hearts door so I need to answer. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

YOUR THOUGHT LIFE


 What are you thinking about right this minute? Before you sat down to read this devotion what was on your mind? Were they good thoughts or impure thoughts? Our mind has to be trained to be Christlike. It has to be disciplined to "feed" it with good input and not garbage. Whatever we put in our minds is often the kind of person we are.

For instance, a constant "diet" of R rated movies full of cursing and crude humor may produce a mind and conscience seared like a hard heart. The more you take in the less it bothers you. Perhaps you get to a point where you feel it is normal.

A person who feeds their mind on pornography is also going to send their mind into a pit of destruction. When you know certain things are wrong you need to be disciplined to run the other way. Flee evil.


Many forces in the world today make sin and crude language seem common place. You watch television to a constant stream of "bleeps". What happened to pure speech and a clean heart?

Philippians 4:8(NIV) is a good verse to memorize. It says 'Finally brothers, 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.' Meditate on that scripture then ask God to help you discipline your mind for the kingdom of God.
PRAYER: Forgive me Lord when I allow wrong thoughts or impure thoughts into my mind. Help me Lord to keep my mind meditating on the word of God to counteract the attempts of the evil one to get me distracted and using my mind in the wrong way. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, October 11, 2013

GOD'S EXTREME MAKEOVERS


Recently I had the awesome privilege of attending the Moms in Prayer Southeast Regional Retreat in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina at the Billy Graham Conference Center near Asheville. The event director in speaking one day said something to the effect that "God was a God of extreme makeovers" so I thought, "what an awesome title" for a devotion. God really is in the business of doing some miraculous jobs on some people who absolutely could not stand him or mocked Him.
Think of conversion experiences of drug addicts, alcoholics, prostitutes, Rap artists, Satan worshippers, Muslims and those who do not believe in Jesus like Christians do or may even hate us, thieves, homosexuals who turned their backs on God to try to justify their lifestyle, those living in sin with boyfriend or girlfriend, compulsive liars, and a host of all sorts of things. First let me point out that we are not to judge and assume just because someone looks a certain way or acts a certain way that they do not know Jesus. But think of in the Bible when evil Saul became Paul. Now that indeed was an extreme makeoever wouldn't you say?Read Acts Chapter 9 when you get a free moment.
During the Watergate scandal in 1973 several people went to jail to include the late Charles Colson who was a mastermind of this plot. .In 1974, he served seven months in the prison in as the first member of the Nixon administration to be incarcerated for Watergate-related charges. Even the worst possible person has hope of being redeemed and set free. After being in prison he turned his heart to God and later founded Prison Fellowship International. Pretty miraculous I would say.Even the serial killer and rapist Ted Bundy accepted Christ before being put to death in the electric chair in 1989.
Even the worst and most vile person has a chance for redemption and salvation. 2 Peter 3:9(NIV) reminds us 'The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.' We are not to hate others or wish them evil either, God loves and we need to love and forgive too.
Where are you at today? You may not have this story of being set free from things like pornography or drugs but have you asked Jesus to be Lord of your life. He is the great transformer of life.2 Corinthians 5:17(NIV) says 'Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!' Do you want to have that perfect peace of being forgiven and knowing that when you die you will be in heaven? Then say this simple prayer. "Lord Jesus I ask you to forgive me of ___________ and set me free. I would like you to come into my heart today and change it. I want to live for you and serve you. Thanks for letting me be your child.Amen."
PRAYER: Lord Jesus I know that I am not perfect. Keep me from wrongly judging others. Help me to show your love for all of mankind. I remember we are all sinners and it is only by the grace of God I am where I am. In Jesus name. Amen.
Click link and praise God in song.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

DO YOU LOVE THE WORD OF GOD? REALLY?


What if some day your government made your Bible illegal? It could happen. There are many countries where a person can be jailed or executed for their Christian faith.  If it were to be taken from you do you have any verses committed to memory that you could cling to each day? Do not think I am crazy or this is a fairy tale as many nations can not have God's word.

I may have some readers from some of those countries. There are those in the United States, maybe some who even say they are Christians, who barely pick up their Bible except maybe on Sunday out of obligation. This should not be happening, the enemy can sure distract a person and get them to make all sorts of excuses. Oh we are so very busy but who gets last dibs? Jesus. 

At a conference I was at recently it was brought up that the word "busy" could be an acronym for "Being Under Satan's Yoke". Now that may put it in a different light. We are so busy, busy, busy doing so many things that do not even matter for eternity. 

Why not commit today to start "hiding" the word of God in your heart? Do not  take God for granted.  Each day write on your calendar "time with God" and do not allow "more important" things to squeeze out that time. What is more important than spending time with the King of kings? Keep the TV turned off and "turn on to" God for a change. 

I am going to list a few verses below. Why not try to commit them to memory in the next month or so? Do not allow the "tyranny of the urgent" to put God aside till Sunday. 

Psalm 118:24 This is the day the Lord has made, we shall rejoice and be glad in it. 

Psalm 122:1 I was glad when they said to me let us  go unto the house of the Lord.

Hebrews 4:12 The word of God is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and of spirit,of joints and of marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 

Hebrews 3:15 Today if you hear His voice do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion. 

Psalm 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. 

Take time and keep looking more verses up. Go to the book of John in the New Testament and have fun getting to know Jesus.

PRAYER: Your word is where I get my strength Lord. I know the enemy loves it when I am too busy for you but it makes you sad. I need your word to stay strong for the battles of life. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

BE CALM! GOD IS STILL GOD!

Are you worried? Are you fretful? Do you think the world is coming to end soon? Are you not trusting God to help you or help situations?
First of all remember that God is still on the throne. He has not abandoned you. He loves and cares for His children who call Him Lord. 2 Chronicles 16:9(NASB) says 'For the eyes of the Lord move to and for throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose hearts are completely His. You have acted foolishly in this. Indeed now you shall surely have wars.' I have loved that verse since a family friend of ours since my childhood wrote it on my birthday card many years ago. It just stuck with me.
God has a plan. He is not up in heaven worried that some dictator is going to dethrone Him, after all He is the Alpha and Omega, the King of kings and Lord of lords. 2 Peter 3:9(NIV) says 'The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.' He does not like His people and those that love Him to be oppressed. There is freedom in Christ. Freedom to live a life without fear.
Many people who call themselves Christians can not seem to let go of worry. It almost possesses them. In order to have that calm assurance of Jesus taking care of you and knowing the "bigger picture" you just have to have faith and trust Him. Your ultimate home if you have asked Jesus to be Lord over your life is of course your heavenly mansion. No more concerns up there. No more fretting. Simply being in awe of God's majesty and glory.
Are you not able to let some things go? I recommend finding a good scripture verse to cling to and keep with you if you start to be overcome with anxiety.
Proverbs 3:5-6(NIV) is one of my favorites. It says 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and He will direct your paths.' For a believer death is the ultimate prize. No more heartache, weeping, worries, troubles, sickness but just pure joy in the presence of God.
Whatever is taking away your peace take it to God in prayer and leave it there. Once again let me remind you it is Satan that wants to make you a worrier. Stop now and be a "warrior" for Christ.

PRAYER: Thank you for another day to sing your praises and make an impact in the world around me. Forgive me when I keep worrying as that shows I must not trust you to work. I need patience to be able live day by day. I refuse to allow the enemy to steal my peace and joy. In Jesus' name.Amen.
Click link below and listen to a wonderful song to give you peace. Why not lift your arms in the air and praise Him?http://youtu.be/MtbN5N8I8Hk

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

KINDNESS BRINGS UNITY AND REPENTANCE


There is a verse in Romans 2:4 which says '...kindness leads to repentance.' That is oh so very true! Being kind to others whether you agree with them, their lifestyle choices, or a host of other things, not only brings unity and peace, but it leads to repentance by sinners. Guess what? All of us are sinners! In Romans 3:23(NIV) says 'we all have sinned and fallen short of God's glory.' All means all.

Human nature tends to label and classify "bad sins" versus "not as bad sins". All sin is sin whether it is murder, lying,rape,fornication, gluttony, homosexuality, abortion, stealing, or cheating. No matter what, Jesus forgives and forgets. It says in Psalm 103:12(NIV) 'As far as the East is from the West, so far He has removed our transgressions from us.' It is "religious" people that are the finger pointers and think they are right. That is very prideful. All people need kindness and the love of others in an unconditional way if they ever expect to be drawn to a relationship with Christ. Eating too much at a church potluck could perhaps get you in the gluttony category.
Don't be finger pointing at others and treating them like they are not worth anything because everyone has a chance to come to Jesus. By harping on someone and trying to change them yourself is the wrong way to have positive change. The Holy Spirit is responsible for convicting and turning from sin.

First take care of your own sins before you condemn others. John 8:11(NLT) says to the woman about to be stoned by committing adultery "...Go and sin no more." Read all of John chapter 8 when you get a moment.

Kindness is the way to reach out to others that we don't like particularly or don't understand or those who have hurt or are hurting us. Some examples would be those with body piercing, tattoos, vulgar language, mentally ill, those people collecting money fraudulently at exit ramps, the drunk, the drug addict, prostitutes, those in the middle east who do not like Christians and want to "kill the infidel", those who push for homosexual marriage, those who want to kill babies in the womb, tyrants in public office, and I am sure you can add to this list.

So today your job is to put Jesus on the throne and leave Him there. Confess to Him any sins that keep you from fully having a life in Christ. Lift up those in prayer that are on the list above that you might be able to love others with Jesus' love.

PRAYER: It is so easy to judge others and when I do this I know you are not pleased with me. Teach me how to pray for others some of which may not even like me. Help me also to remember I am far from perfect. In Jesus' name.Amen.

Click on link for an awesome song of praise and worship.
http://youtu.be/ipwEtvWL_3c