Welcome to God's Lemonade Stand

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

Saturday, November 30, 2013

RAINBOW AT 35,000 FEET


While flying back to Huntsville recently about ready to land in Dallas, I glanced out my window and there at 35,000 feet was a partial rainbow. I had some things on my mind that were troubling me and this rainbow sort of made me forget things and remember to trust God. Three months ago returning from Phoenix I also saw one. Even at that altitude God has ways of getting our focus back on Him. In the Bible the rainbow was a sign that God would never bring a flood again to cause all flesh to die. (See Genesis 9:13-16).

I write devotions to give others hope but I have to also remember to keep my focus on things above too, meaning up to heaven, and not be dwelling on early issues that really do not matter that much. Any of us, even a minister of the gospel for instance, are subject to becoming sad or forlorn if we do not intentionally stay in the word of God.

Psalm 25:5(NIV) says 'Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.'

Do you need hope and encouragement today? Do you need the joy of the Lord? Continue reading in Psalms and I guarantee you will be lifted up.

PRAYER: I am so very thankful Lord when I can count on the word of God to lift me up when I have found myself in a pit of despair. Thank you for your word which is true and guides me always. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, November 29, 2013

BLACK FRIDAY, SAYS WHO?



Here in the United States, today is the major shopping day before Christmas. Some camp out in lines for days in front of stores which are offering a super sale on limited qualities of supposedly "must have" items. It is nice to be excited about Christmas and shopping but do we lose the true meaning of Christmas when we try desperately to get a good bargain or a must have item? Just some food for thought.

According to my search sources The Philadelphia Police Department first coined the term in 1966 because of the mayhem, confusion, and accidents on this day caused by a surge of shoppers. Years later merchants did not like the negative connotation of the original meaning so decided to make it have a positive meaning as "being in the black" a term used by accountants to indicate profit. Although as crazy as it sounds, fights still break out and there have even been deaths. What a way to welcome in the season of the Saviors birth.

Why not try to start this season having peace on Earth and good will to men? A novel idea wouldn't you say? Do not think you have to keep up with the "world's" standards, for after all we are celebrating the birth of the King, a child in a manger. Try to make this time of year different if you have been caught up in chaos and confusion.

Do not focus so much on needs and wants but try with God's help to make things different this year.

Hebrews 13:5(NIV)'Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has a said"Never will I leave you or forsake you."'

PRAYER: I am excited about Christmas, not for the sake of getting gifts but for the love of helping others. Forgive me Lord if II have lost my focus at this time of year. Help me not be greedy. Help the love of Jesus shine through me to others. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

GIVE THANKS ALL THE TIME!


"What on Earth do I have to be thankful for?" This could be the comment from someone who might have lost their child prematurely, a parent died, those whose job was terminated right before Christmas season or a person who has been given a diagnosis of a terminal illness. Even in dire sad times such as those, there is a reason to be thankful. God has not deserted you. He loves you. He has a plan.

This Thanksgiving Day why not stop and remember just why we celebrate this holiday here in America. It's Christian roots are often overshadowed with turkey decorations in lieu of the pilgrims.

In November 1620 some 100 Pilgrims from England landed near Cape Cod, Massachusetts in search of religious freedom in the New World. That is why we celebrate this day each year in November. It indeed is special. Many new things awaited these brave and hearty souls. They paved the way for what we enjoy today. Freedom of any kind is special. That is why we fight so hard to keep it!

Today stop what you are doing and think of just exactly what you are thankful for. Do not just watch parades and football and gobble down tons of food but sincerely make this a day of thanks.

Some readers are not from America but indeed we all have reason to give thanks.

1 Chronicles 16:34 says 'Give thanks to the Lord for He is good for His love endures forever.'

PRAYER: I thank you Lord for this day and every day you have given me. Help me Lord to show an attitude of gratitude every day not just on Thanksgiving. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Below is a link from the Internet about the history of Thanksgiving. Take time to read it sometime today.
http://www.history.com/topics/pilgrims
Click link for a song of worship.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

ON A MISSION FOR PEACE


I do not live in Manhattan, Boston, LA, Chicago, or any other number of huge metropolitan areas but I still find myself occasionally needing to break away and get rid of the "clutter" of life that can often distract me and weigh me down. Things such as constant noise, people everywhere, too much technology, too many emails, too many wrong phone numbers. I am not intending on becoming a grinch by any means because I indeed am a people person. My point is all of us need time to sit back and be quiet and still and "recharge". On the other hand there are those in our world yearning for someone to talk to or wishing they had a car or means to get out and about.


For those of you reading who need to get away and "recharge" the first thing I need to say is the best way to start off each and every day is to take time for God. Write Him first in your busy schedule. Perhaps lunchtime on a park bench somewhere or seated in your car works for you. Whatever, make sure time with God is not squeezed out.
Isaiah 30:15(NIV) says 'This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy one of Israel says, "In repentance and rest is your salvation and in quietness and trust is your strength but you would have none of it."' 1 Peter 3:4(NLT) says 'You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.'


Let's all try to let our aim in life be to maintain peace in all circumstances. To achieve this you need to get alone with God for His strength.

PRAYER: Today I choose peace and quiet. I choose to be intentional about getting alone and being still and spending time with you. Show me ways to do this Father. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

OUR PRECIOUS FRIENDS


Yesterday morning upon awakening I checked my text messages and received one from son Matt letting me know one of my dear friends had died Sunday from multiple myloma. I had only found out she was sick on November 10th. This precious friend I had not seen since 1996 when our family visited them in Colorado. Now she is with Jesus and she was not even 60 yet. Just goes to show you how brief life is. Treasure your friends. Tell them you love them. If you are close make time for them. Keep in touch by letters and cards, not just email forwards.Pick up the phone and call. Ask forgiveness if you hurt them.

This particular friend Luana, I knew when our children were all pre schoolers back in Ilinois She too was a military wife. We shared many happy times over General Foods International Coffee "celebrating the moments of our lives". After 1990 we did not stay in touch as well as the military moved both of our families but I always held a fond place in my heart for her. Their family was always one of the 'special ones' to us though. I am saddened as they deal with unexpected grief but rejoicing she is in heaven.
No one likes to say goodbye forever to a loved one or friend. It hurts. Grief hurts. But for the believer there is joy in knowing we will be reunited in heaven one day. None of us expects to die young but sometimes it does happen. God has a way of healing hurts and wounds we feel but sometimes it takes time.
Matthew 5:4(NIV) says 'Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted."
Romans 8:18(NIV) says 'For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.'
Phillipians 1:22-24(ESV) says 'But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.'
Psalm 116:15(NIV) says 'Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful servants.'
PRAYER: Lord Jesus I pray for those who are hurting from the recent death of a family member or friend. I pray for friends to surround those hurting and be there with a hug and a prayer. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Click on link for song in Luana Killam memory.

Monday, November 25, 2013

IRRITATIONS OF LIFE



Call them what you like. Annoyances, pet peeves, distractions, but most everyone at one time or another has experienced something in life that rubs them the wrong way. What are we as believers to do about this? Are we to be "like the world" and simply spout off, get agitated, or become "righteously indignant" or do we hold our tongue and pray? Yes we all have feelings and emotions but it is that fruit of the spirit called "self control" that we need to learn to develop in our life if things or people irritate you to the point you do not feel "Christian". I must admit I have spoken up in a kind way a couple times at a movie theater when the people behind me insisted on talking instead of watching the movie.

Many times it is better to overlook something than to cause a confrontation. Proverbs 19:11(NIV) reminds us 'A person's wisdom yields patience, it is to one's glory to overlook an offense.' Our mouth comes into play here as well as our emotions often cause us to not think and say things we regret later. Proverbs 14:29(NIV) says 'Whoever is patient has great understanding but one who is quick tempered displays folly.'

Do you choose to be foolish or wise?

PRAYER: I want to be able to be a shining light for you Jesus wherever I go. To do this I need to control my thoughts, my emotions, and my mouth. Give me the self control needed to live a life pleasing to you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

PASSED YOUR TEST YET?


 I was at the airport waiting for my husband who was returning from a trip. My car had been doing fine but now at 7:40 p.m. it decides not to start. What a great welcome home for a weary traveler. Ah ha Isaid. Another "test" to see how we both handle this inconvenience.

Many things happen in life that get us "off our game", so to speak.Things are going smoothly then a problem occurs. No matter what happens it is necessary to stay calm. My sister used to tell me that things would keep happening till I mastered the skill to deal with the problem. The key is to keep your cool and ask God to help you.

In these inconvenient situations it is necessary to have peace and patience. James 1:2-3(NIV) says 'Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds, for you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance.' "You want me to be joyful when I misplace my car keys when late to an appointment, when I have a flat tire?"

We all should be wanting to grow more like Christ so getting a few tests here and there is good to help strengthen you. God can and will see you through. Don't blow the opportunity by becoming agitated.

PRAYER: Each and every day opportunities come my way Lord to be a witness for you. When a problem occurs help me to exhibit Christ like behavior knowing you will see my through. In Jesus' name. Amen

Saturday, November 23, 2013

TAKEN FOR GRANTED


Have you ever felt used or taken for granted? When you take a spouse for granted you could start to not doing continual nice loving things for them. You could take your mobility for granted and one day be in an accident or get arthritis and become unable to move. We could take our Bibles for granted and one day be told by our government they are being confiscated. Some foreign readers may be in countries where Christianity is grounds for death or imprisonment.
Sometimes we may take being a Christian for granted. We are a "Christian in name only". That is all fine and good to say you love the Lord and live for Him but do you really truly? Perhaps you were raised in a home that went to church, Vacation Bible school, got baptized, and all the right things. Somehow though you have lost your zeal or desire to spend time with God. Things of this world captivated you and took you away from Him. You may say, "Sunday is my only day to have fun and get things done" and I do understand that as many professions that is so very true. Many even have to work on Sunday. But on the days you are home do you desire to sit down and have quiet time alone with the Lord or do other things become more important? Only you can answer this. 
Our time on this Earth is so temporary in the big scheme of things. A hundred years from this day no one will even remember our name unless we are famous. Life is so fleeting. What are you doing to be closer to the Lord?
Joshua 24:15( NIV) says 'But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you choose for yourselves this day who you will serve whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household we will serve the Lord.'
Who or what is your god?

PRAYER: Today Lord I need to say I am sorry for times I have allowed this world and it's enticements to become more important than you. I know you want me to want to spend time with you daily. I choose to not allow the world to force me to ignore you anymore. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Click link for an awesome praise song to start your weekend.

Friday, November 22, 2013

BLESSINGS OF GROWING OLDER


 So many people seem to dread birthdays. Those days that send you over 30, over 40, over 50, over 60 and so on. Each and every day is a gift from our creator.

Seems like the "growing younger" market is thriving. People striving to regain or recapture youth. I am not condemning this as I have done it too. There are commercials touting a miracle cream to take away spots and wrinkles modeled on television by a "twenty something" girl who will not see this occur for years. Why not embrace where God has you in life and look for ways to prosper and grow right where you are? Stop thinking you are too old for trying new things. You should want to keep working for the Lord and seeking to do things for his kingdom and making an impact in the world. It is good though to keep "God's temple", your body, in shape to be able to enjoy the years He gives you though.

Job 12:12 tells us 'Wisdom is with aged men and with long life is understanding.' I don't know about you but I kind of like having advanced wisdom. Older people can sort of get left behind and sadly made the butt of jokes but we are to love, honor,and respect them. You can indeed learn lots from those who have "gone before you".

2 Corinthians 4:16 is a superb verse of hope and cheer. It says 'Therefore we do not lose heart, for though our outer man is perishing, our inner man is being renewed day by day.'

Embrace where you are in life. Do not succumb to depression because you have another birthday but celebrate another day to live for Jesus and make an impact in this world.

PRAYER: I am so thankful Lord for each and every day of life you have given me. Forgive me if I start thinking I am washed up. I know at any age there is always hope. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Dedicated to our firstborn son Matthew Miller who celebrates his 31st birthday today.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

FOR PREACHERS ONLY?


People have kidded me in the past because of my passion for the things of the Lord and my writing and saying "you need to be a pastor" or something to that effect. Why is it to live for the Lord and write stuff about Him appears odd to some? It is as if others feel I have some special "hotline" to God. I do not. My passion is, and has been, to write devotions and share the love of Jesus with others far and wide. You do not need a theological degree to do this. All of us who love Jesus should be getting into his word and sharing his love with those we come into contact with daily.2 Timothy 4:2(NKJV) says "Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.'

There have been times I have been at a gathering where if a priest or preacher was in the crowd they were called upon in an "unofficial capacity" to offer a prayer. Anyone who names the name of Jesus is qualified to say a prayer. Prayer is simply talking to God. That's it. Pretty simple. Depending on what religion you were raised in you may be afraid to do this. "Religion" often gets in the way of a true relationship with Christ.

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!’

Be sure to know that you know when you are done here on Earth you will be with Jesus. Cry out to Him today!

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for the gift of eternal life with you which is promised to those who call upon your name. Help me concentrate on living for you here and not judging others. Forgive me when I have missed the mark and done my own thing ignoring you. I choose to walk with you Lord. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

THE TRANSFORMER



There is a child's toy called "transformers" that can be switched around to make it look like a weapon of sorts. Movies have been made depicting these too.

As I type this devotion a few days early before the day it goes out I am at the airport and a sign right smack dab in front of me is an advertisement for a local Christ based college and it says "Transforming Lives". Indeed the presence of Christ does indeed help transform a person.

In the Bible the transformation is being referred to is how we change from the inside out when Christ comes into our lives. Romans 12:2(KJV) says 'And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.'
How about you? Are you more conformed to this world and it's culture and ways or are you transformed into the likeness and actions of Christ? Maybe it is hard for people to even know by your actions and speech that you identify with Christ. Perhaps it is time for your own spiritual transformation.

2 Corinthians 5:17(KJV) 'Behold if anyone is in Christ he has become a new creature: old things are passed away and behold all things become new.'

PRAYER: I want to be conformed to your image and be an example for you Lord. Forgive me when I have allowed the world to try to mold me into an image not fit for the kingdom of God. I want to live for you Lord. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Postscript note: As I get ready to post this devotion I was shocked to learn that yesterday in Lynchburg, VA at the largest Christian University, Liberty University, a student was shot and killed in an off campus female dorm by a security officer. Things like this do not happen at schools like this or they shouldn't. It goes to show you that evil is everywhere and problems exist even in the minds of those supposedly transformed. That is why it is ever so important to study the word of God and live for Him. In Memory of Joshua Hathaway of Lubbock, Texas.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

FOCUS STRAIGHT AHEAD AND UP


 
As I was driving leaving the Army post the other day I looked in my rear view mirror and noticed the car behind me was right on my bumper. This is a big pet peeve of mine and I am trying to gain victory over it.
This made me think about distractions of sin in our own lives. When we focus on problems in our life or the life of a family member we can become so annoyed and worried that we take our eyes off Jesus. When you take your eyes off the savior then fear sets in. Don't look down, right, left, or behind you but stay focused straight ahead on God's plan for your life.
A gymnast on a balance beam has to have strict concentration when walking across the beam. If not they could tumble to the floor before often with injuries as a result. Likewise there may be "storms" brewing all around you but to not be fearful you have to trust Jesus.
Satan has many schemes to get your focus off God and make you crumble and weak in your faith. Keep pressing on my friend.
'Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith,who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.' Hebrews 12:1-2(ESV).
PRAYER: Another day is dawning. A day for me to go out into this world looking up and straight ahead to you and not worrying what is behind me or to the left or right. I thank you father that you are guiding me every step of the way as long as I trust in you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, November 18, 2013

WHOA! WATCH THAT MOUTH.




In the book of James Chapter 3:8(NIV) it says 'but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil full of deadly poison.'  The entire chapter of James 3 deals with problems with the tongue or basically the mouth and what we say. 

I have dealt with this many times previously in my writings because indeed it is hard to tame the tongue. We say something and then go "why did I say that? I could kick myself."  Tongue control requires much discipline. You may think you are just fine. You do not cuss, lie, gossip, and think you pretty much have it under control. But do you really? What about talking about people innocently such as commenting on someone's appearance maybe saying they are too fat, you don't like their hair, or the clothes they have are ugly? Who are we to judge anyway? 

Ephesians 4:29(NIV) is an excellent verse to memorize. It says 'Do not let any Unwholesome talk come out of your mouths but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.'  Talking bad about others does not solve anything and only has you standing in judgment over one of God's creatures. That is something we need not do. If this is your weakness just remember the saying "if you do not have anything good to say then don't say anything at all."

PRAYER: If I am not careful Lord I can find myself being critical of another. I know deep down this is not right. You did not create my mouth to criticize others with but you created it to praise you and encourage others and show love. Help me Lord as I choose good words to build up and help me not murmur about others. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL ABOUT CONSCIENCE?


We all have a conscience. You know that "little voice" in your head that gives you convictions and tells you what is right and wrong? For just a moment let me focus on this as it has been in the news concerning the new healthcare law and abortion debate. Did you know that God gave us a conscience? Yes it is true. We know what is right or wrong and good or bad because this "little voice" sort of tells us. Unfortunately our current USA President does not think a Christian should be entitled to his or her conscience. It is God who gave it to us. Galatians 5:1(NIV) says 'It was for freedom that Christ set us free. Stand firm then and do not allow yourselves to be burdened by a yoke of slavery.' 
Medical Doctors used to be protected by a "conscience clause" to keep them from doing procedures that opposed their religious beliefs but under the new, deceitfully named the "Patient Affordable Health Care Act", the right of conscience for both doctors, nurses, and Christian businesses,  churches and  Christian people will slowly be taken away. Yes I am not joking!! This is not on mainstream news but it is true! Our religious convictions are under fire, that is why there have been so many lawsuits by Christian groups to get it stopped. Our very freedoms are being threatened. Freedom and conscience are from God, not the government. 
Typical of the government,  much is hidden within this health care legislation that no one knew about and many lies are still being told but as insurance is being cancelled and promises are broken, people are finding out.The government was in such a hurry to control the medical industry and the people, they did all they could to shove this monstrosity through regardless of what "We The People" thought. 
Back in 2010 when the big fight between "We the People" and 535 leaders on the "Hill" ,"We The People"  were ignored. Then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said 'we have to pass the bill so we can read it and find out what is in it." Say what?  In the Bible is clearly says in Proverbs 18:13(KJV)' he that answers a matter before he hears it is folly and shame to him.'  You do not sign contracts without first reading them, so our government should have to do the same. 
What about all the "good" Catholics in Congress and in the Senate, who voted to go ahead and approve it knowing abortion, which their church opposes, was in it?  This is a very  sad time in America indeed. Remember abortion is taking a innocent babies life. 
Concerning the conscience, Acts 24:16 clearly states "So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man." So we Americans who love God and follow the Bible teaching and have the God given right to have our convictions, are told by our government that that right no longer exists. Hobby Lobby has paid a huge price for standing up for righteousness and their beliefs, something like fines of over a million dollars per day if I am not mistaken. 
This is not a fantasy but is happening here in America. People bury their heads and do not want to know the truth. This is not a Democrat thing or Republican thing but we are talking about a government takeover of the people's rights given to them in the Bible and in our Constitution!! (You can not blame that on George Bush).No matter what anyone says, The United States was founded on Biblical Christianity. When you try to remove God and the Bible, chaos and evil are the result. We in this country are in the midst of spiritual warfare.
God will protect His followers but we are marching slowly but surely into the hands of a tyrannical government trying to control everything we do and even what we believe apparently. We need to use our Bibles more, the sword of the Spirit(see Ephesians 6:17),  and keep the television news off. Psalm 91:5(NIV) says 'You will not fear the terror of the night or the arrow that flies by day.'
The major media will not report the whole story anymore. The ones that do are threatened by the government to shut them down through something called a "Fairness Act". This is an unending onslaught against all that Christians stand for and free speech guaranteed by our First Amendment. Never before in my lifetime have we been under so much attack by our own government that is supposed to be "limited" and to protect it's citizens. I am speaking up for our freedom, which is given to us by God. We have our freedoms now to worship but how long will that last? There has been talk of taking away the tax deduction for charitable contributions as well. Many are unaware of this as evil forces like to keep the masses ignorant. They sneak in and do their dirty work when no one notices or is too busy to care. What happens if they approve gay marriage nationwide and a Christian minister refuses to perform a ceremony as it is against his beliefs? Probably prison time. This is religious persecution. 
Speaker Kitty Werthmann, who I have been fortunate to hear speak, tells Americans of her time in Austria under the Nazi regime and warns America that things happening now in America are very similar to those days before Germany was taken over by Nazi's and Hitler. Why are we too busy to care or too endeared to a party or a race of people to believe it? As for violence and taking away peoples right to own guns according to the Second Amendment, well might I add that guns are not the issue, but the human heart and mind are the issue. Why didn't the leaders in the Senate scream at the video game or movie industry or irresponsible parents who think it is okay to let their children feed their minds with this garbage? Does anyone happen to see the correlation to the problems in America to taking prayer out of the schools in 1963? No, it is automatically blamed on a gun, instead of what shapes the human mind. Philippians 4:8( NIV) tells us '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 on these things.'
  Jesus is Lord of lords and he rules from on high. Trust Him but stand up for the truth or fall for lies. There is a saying by Sir Edmund Burke that simply says 'Evil triumphs when good men donothing.' I urge you to make it a daily practice to pray and read the word of God. Do not keep watching news if it is making fearful or angry. Romans 8:31(NIV) says 'If God be for us who can be against us.'  Go out in peace and know God is on our side. Keep praying!
PRAYER: Lord Jesus I know there is spiritual warfare going on now in this world. Evil is being confused with good. Wrong is being confused with what is right. Lord God I know you rule from on high and it is not your desire that anyone die but that all come to repentance. I choose to walk in the spirit keeping my mind on heavenly thoughts which is the best cure for anger and hate. Use me Lord to share your love with others. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Might I urge you to take a peek at the Presidential Prayer Team website. Click on the link I have provided and check it out. After all, the Bible does tell us to pray for our leaders.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

FRIEND OF SINNERS?

Jesus is, are you? Guess what? We are all sinners! "Oh but no way my sin is not nearly as bad as so and so. Do you know what they did?" Hey God does not like that self righteous attitude either. There aren't good sins and worse sins. It is all sin.

There are people that think homosexuality is the ultimate sin or murder or adultery. Show me where in the Bible it says that?  Instead of condemning those caught in these "worse" sins we need to stop judging and start praying. Isaiah 64:6(NIV) says ' All of us have become like one who is unclean,and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags, we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.'

Romans 3:23(NIV) reminds each of us when we start to look down on others 'for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.'

Take a moment and clean yourself up. I do not mean to take a bath but mentally stop and think and confess those things to God that keep you from being closer to Him. Do not worry or condemn others. Point the finger at yourself for just a moment. 

1 John 1:9(NIV) 'If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.'

PRAYER: Father each day I need to come to you in my quiet time and cleanse myself from the things I have said or dense that have not pleased you. I need to focus on working on myself and not trying to fix everyone else. Help me to pray and not judge.I am thankful you forgive us and forget our sins. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

PAYDAY


Today for many people it is payday, the middle of the month and  time to collect your wages for your work for the past 15 days.  There is a real payday coming not based on getting wages for work but getting a crown of life after you have been on this earth, lived for Christ , and enter God's heavenly kingdom. 

This "payday" will be more than we can imagine. Better than the best bonus check you could receive. Better than the ultimate bonus. Even better than a millionaire's riches. No one can even imagine what this day or the heavenly kingdom will be like.

1 Corinthians 2:9(ASV) says 'but as it is written, Things which eye saw not, and ear heard not, And which entered not into the heart of man, Whatsoever things God prepared for them that love him.'  As vivid as the imagination is of Hollywood movie script writers, producers, directors and everyone else responsible for creating unbelievable scenes for motion pictures, well this verse attests to the fact that not even in their minds could they ever dream up what awaits those who have trusted Jesus and asked them into their hearts prior to their death.

Matthew 7:21-23(NIV) says ''Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

Romans 10:13(NIV) says 'All those who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.' Are you ready for your "spiritual payday?"

PRAYER: Today and every day Lord I want to be doing things that will draw me closer to you and not take me away from you. I realize the enemy Satan is our there with his bag of tricks and lies trying to deceive me and my loved ones. Keep me alert to the tricks of the enemy. I look forward to my heavenly payday when my time on this earth is over. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

YOUR WAY OR GOD'S WAY




Are you more concerned with going your own way and doing your own thing or trying to make sure things you do please the Lord or are God's way? 

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.' What are His ways do you suppose? Perhaps things that are good, pure, perfect,kind, uplifting,wholesome, encouraging, good, and awe inspiring. 

To know God is to know His ways. 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!’' His way is to not make it a practice and habit to sin. 

To know God's ways you have to get into the word of God. You have to commit to daily time with Him, praying and reading the Bible. The more you saturate yourself with the things of Christ the more deeply you will know and understand God.

PRAYER: My hearts  desire is to know you more and to do things pleasing unto you. It is also to run the race set before me looking to you to guide me. Help me Lord on this journey. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

YOU WILL NEVER EVER WALK ALONE!!

               
It was a very early morning recently when I was at Starbucks and the song "You'll Never Walk Alone" was playing over the sound system in the store. Between this wonderful praise song,jazz music, and broadway tunes they played, it was an awesome morning for writing and praising Jesus. It is hard to sit still and not praise God when you hear this tune being played. I wanted to lift my hands in the air right there in the coffee shop.
I love to worship Jesus with awesome praise songs and often include them for my readers to enjoy. These melodies can help lift your spirit and give you hope when you are feeling lonely and rejected or lost in a sea of worry and confusion. Half the experience of going to church on Sunday for me is being able to really truly worship God with awesome praise music. The kind that makes you want to shout.
You know the Lord is always with you similar to the "Footprints" poem most are familiar with. Wherever you are God is there. "You can not flee from His presence" it says in Psalm 139:7. Take time to read the entire chapter. It is short and will bless you I guarantee it.
Hebrews 13:5-6(NIV) says 'Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,“Never will I leave you never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”'
There you have it. Now go about your day with full confidence you Lord and savior is walking with you.
PRAYER: Thank you for another day of life. I know you are with me and walk beside me. Help me to never doubt your awesome power and majesty. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Click link and worship the Lord in song.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!


 Do you have love for others in your heart? Loving others is sacrificing sometimes what you want to do to out the other person first. It could be a spouse, friend, family member, or a complete stranger. You show love through your words and your actions.

Love is speaking a kind word to someone be it a friend or stranger. Love is being a friend to someone who is hurting. Love is lending a helping hand to those in need. Love is putting another before yourself. Love is not getting even. Love is sharing. Love is finding a way to cheer up someone and make their day better. Love is overlooking faults. Love is being kind.

When people think of you do you think they think of you as someone who would represent love? What can you do today to show God's love to someone? It can be as simple as a smile. Yes our mouth is also not just to communicate with, eat, sing, and kiss but it works to smile and make someone happy too.

1 John 4:7(NIV) says 'Dear friends let us love one another for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.' Do you know God? I do not mean do you go to church each week or you are a member of a certain church but do you truly feel you have asked Jesus to be Lord of your life? Once you do it is easier to truly love people and even those who may rub you the wrong way. This does not mean you will not slip up but each day try to love like God would love.

PRAYER: I want to love like you love Father. I want to speak kindness to those around me. I want to be able to forgive and forget. I know this is all a part of having love in my heart. Help me Lord as I seek to love more and judge less. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, November 11, 2013

READY FOR BATTLE?


Today is the day set aside in these United States to honor and pay tribute to each and every military veteran who ever served in the Armed Forces whether in peace time or in combat and regardless if they served 1 year or over twenty to achieve retired status. Those who defend our country often have paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Today because of all battles or in peace we say thanks. The saying goes "Freedom is not free" or "If you enjoy your freedom thanks a vet."

Battles have been fought since the beginning of time. Not all are military ones but the biggest battle of all is the battle of spiritual warfare going on each and every day when Satan tries to trick us and drag us into his pit getting us to believe his lies, trickery,and deceit. Sadly he has gathered many into his trap to do his work for him. We must not condemn these "blind" people but instead must pray for them.

There is indeed a battle of good versus evil. Ever since the serpent deceived Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden a war has been raging for our souls.

Ephesians 6:10-13(NIV) says 'Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm." Look up Ephesians 6 and read the entire chapter.

In the meantime you can not afford to not be "armed" against Satan. You do this by reading God's word daily. Make it more important than the morning newspaper. It is your shield. Make it your priority today to get ready for battle.


PRAYER: Thank you Lord for being my shield and the lifter of my head and keeping me ready for the battle ahead. I love you Word Lord so help me not ignore picking it up daily and getting strng for the day ahead. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

LAY DOWN REVENGE AND HATE



 Has someone hurt you and you are so mad you can hardly contain yourself? You just want to get back at them and give them a "taste of their own medicine" but I ask you, is that God's way?

We live in a culture obsessed with getting back at others. You have probably heard the catchy "jingles" on radio or television here in the United States for lawyers who encourage people to get a check for their pain and suffering.

I challenge you to find ways to love the unlovable. Those who lie, cheat, steal, deceive, and hurt us. Pray for them and pray for your attitude towards people who fit these categories. Holding hate in your heart and not being able to forgive is just what the devil ordered. It is not from God. Seeking to "get back" at others is not good for anyone.

Matthew 5:44(NIV) is an excellent verse to commit to memory. 'But I tell you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.' Romans 12:21(NIV) also should be memorized. 'Do not be overcome with evil but overcome evil with good.'

Who do you need to love with "the love of Jesus today?"

PRAYER: Help me to give up my right for getting back at those who have hurt me. Help me learn to let things go and move on and forgive. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

BE PREPARED


 Shock is the only word I can use to describe the feeling I had when I heard a man a few years younger than me, apparently in good health, died Sunday, November 3rd. This was a man who lived here in the Huntsville area but whom I never got the pleasure of meeting. He had a heart and a passion like me, for God and country. He also shared my devotions with many of his friends who I also have never met. My husband and I kept saying we needed to stop by and say hello but never did. Now we can't. We have to wait till we get into heaven someday.

Jason was an encourager. He said kind things about my writing and this meant lots coming from a stranger who I felt like I knew. We just never know when God is going to call us home. No more tears, no more pain, no more heartaches of this world down here. Jason is free of that now even though dying in your fifties is way too young or so it seems.

As friends and family we are left behind with the whys. Why him? Why now? Family and friends can be comforted with memories.

If you were to die today from sickness, car wreck, accident, stroke, heart attack, choking on food at lunch, or many other things are you sure you would be with Jesus in heaven? You can be sure. Say this simple prayer "Jesus I love you. Forgive me for the things I have done wrong. Forgive me for ignoring you and going my own way. I want to know I will be in heaven with you for eternity. Come into my heart today and save me. " That's it. Pretty simple.

Psalm 116:15(NIV) says 'Precious in the site of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants.'

PRAYER: Lord Jesus be with the many people who have recently lost a loved one or friend. Death hurts. We are never ready to let people go especially when they are so young and promising. Lord comfort the families of not only Jason but others going through grief and pain right now. In Jesus' name. Amen.


IN MEMORY OF JASON KLONOWSKI, HARVEST, AL
Note: I wrote this Monday, November 4 upon being informed
he was found dead. The death since then has been ruled a homicide.
Please keep friends and family in your prayers.

Friday, November 8, 2013

DON'T GIVE UP...PRAY ON!


 "Keep on keeping on" as the saying goes. What is it you are believing God for? Prayer is an essential tool for the Christian. It is our way daily of communicating with God and letting Him hear our heart. When all else fails, pray.

Luke 18:1(NIV) reminds us to "pray and NEVER give up". Never means never. Discouragement may come. The enemy messes with your mind and gives you wrong fearful thoughts. Reject those thoughts of fear and replace them with faith. 2 Corinthians 5:7( NIV) says 'We walk by faith not by sight.' Even though you may feel a situation is never going to be any different, hang on dear friend.

What has got you down today? Now is the time to look up and praise God. Start praising Him daily and see if your problems don't start to diminish. The enemy has to flee in when you praise God.


Start today and make up your mind you will have right thinking. Purposely reject wrong fearful thoughts that come from the enemy Satan. He wants you to be worried and fretful as then you become powerless against him. 2 Corinthians 10:5(NIV) says ' We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and take captive every thought to the obedience of Christ.'

Go be powerful and look to God!

PRAYER: I can do all things through you Lord and I have your power to defeat wrong thinking that is causing me to pray then turn around and worry. I reject wrong thinking right now and with your help will walk by faith. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Click link and lift up your hands and praise God!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

1, 2, 3 .....BREATHE



Do you ever catch yourself just getting out of control and rushed or hyper? Things may not be going your way. Maybe you are stuck in traffic and are late getting somewhere. You could be at the grocery store behind someone with 100 coupons to redeem(seriously). Could be your Internet connection is too slow for your liking. Let's say you are in line at a "fast food" drive thru which is anything but fast. Regardless of your situation these are opportunities to learn patience. One, two, three, now breathe. It does not pay to raise your blood pressure over minor inconveniences of life. 

Patience. What a virtue to work towards. Having patience will help life in general go much smoother and cause lots less headaches. Do you consider yourself a patient person or do the scenarios above describe you? 

Proverbs 14:29(NIV) says 'A patient man has great understanding but a quick tempered man observes folly.' When impatience starts rearing its' ugly head it can create angry words and even fights. Best to ask God to help you overlook some things. You will be better off for it in the long run. 

PRAYER: it is my desire to go through my life with patience. Seems at times it is very difficult to do this. I need your help Lord to conquer the urge to get rushed and do things stupid. Help me Lord. In Jesus' name. Amen. 


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

WHO HATES WHO ANYWAY?


The word "hate" is being thrown around lots today in political circles and sometimes "religious" circles. If you speak out against something you do not believe in such as homosexuals getting married then you are classified by some as one who hates. If you speak out against the new healthcare law because of how it was rammed down our throats then some say you are hateful and do not care that all people should get medical care. If you think a business owner has the right to hire who he or she wants and yet a transgender or cross dressing individual applies for a job and are not hired them obviously you must hate them.

First of all HATE is a very strong word. People who hold a certain opinion and express it are not people who hate unless they say the word hate. Hate means hate. Webster's describes it as "intense hostility". A person of faith who holds the Bible to be the infallible word of God and simply expresses an opinion is not a hater. We disagree, that is all.

Hatred is often followed by acts of anger and rage. We as believers are on the defensive today all over the world. Some can openly express their religious beliefs and in the United States the First Amendment has guaranteed it. Right now that is not the case when lawmakers refuse to abide by it.

Christians need to stand up and be heard in the public square. There is a saying that "evil triumphs when good men do nothing."(Sir Edmund Burke) Deceptive spirits are causing people to believe lies. Scripture is being changed to suit the needs of the time. The Bible is not to be changed. Hebrews 13:8(NIV) says 'Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, yes and forever."

1 Peter 5:8(ASV) says 'Be sober, be watchful: your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.' Whose voice are you listening to?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus help me be protected from deceptive spirits that try to get me to believe the lies of the enemy. Lord Jesus help me be diligent to show myself approved as a workmen that does not need to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth as it says in 2 Timothy 2:15(NIV). Lord help me to show your true love to all I meet. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

LESS THAN HONEST

 
Lately in our news we have heard the terms thrown around "less than honest", "not 100% truthful" or "misspoke " in regards to the public not being told the whole truth in regards to the new healthcare law. These terms sugarcoat the sin of lying. A lie, is a lie, is a lie. You can say to make it sound better " less than honest" but it is still a lie. Satan is the original liar and Father of lies it says in John 8:44.
Lying or being "less than honest" seems to have been made acceptable in our modern world. It is not more acceptable to God. You can be forgiven for being a liar if you sincerely repent and turn from this sin. Yes folks "being less than honest" is in fact a sin.
The Bible has much to say about lying. The first place most people run into it is in the Ten Commandments in Exodus Chapter 20 verse 16. In Proverbs 6:16-19 (NIV) it says 'There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness we who pours out lies, and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.'
Revelation 21:8(ASV) is pretty clear when it says 'But for the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, their part shall be in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death.' A lake of fire. Ouch. No my friend, lying is wrong. If this is your habit ask God to help you purge it from your life.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus I want to be truthful in all areas of my life. I do not want to stretch the truth, tell "white lies" or any thing that is not true. The truth is what you want. I clearly know from your word what happens to those who make it a practice to lie and I ask you to forgive me of any time I have been "less than truthful" which is lying. Help our leaders who take an oath on the Bible start to take it seriously. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, November 4, 2013

WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL!

 I believe it was the late maestro and television star Lawrence Welk, who many in my generation probably remember on television, would often say in his familiar accent "Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful" when referring to the music of his orchestra or the voices of the talented singers on his show. You don't find a decent show like his on anymore except in re-runs.
 I loved when he said it because it made you feel good. Life is wonderful. Many going through trials, hardships, tribulations and hurting right now may not agree with me. Truly though we have much to say "wonderful, wonderful, wonderful" about if you would take time from complaining, worrying, and busyness to stop and think on that a while.
 Get a piece of paper and make a list of all the wonderful things in your life. Things you can give God thanks for. It could even bad things that led you into good things.
1 Thessalonians 5:18(NIV) reminds us 'give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.' This verse means what it says, ALL circumstances. Can you do that?
Psalm 139:14(NIV) says 'I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful.I know that full well.' Right now stop what you are doing and think on the wonders of God. It will do you good.
 PRAYER: This earth and all that is in it is wonderful Lord. You indeed have given us much more than we deserve. Just watching wildlife and plants bloom I am in awe of your creation. Seeing a newborn baby and knowing how you knit it together in the mother's womb. What a miracle indeed. Thank you Lord. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

"CHURCH" HOME OR CHRIST VALUED HOME?


What type of legacy are you leaving when it comes to your walk with the Lord in your own home? Is Christ really important and the center or do you just say that He is? Is church all you do?
Maybe your passion is Jesus but no one else's is. One thing you do not want to do is try to be "Holy Spirit junior" a phrase coined by Bible teacher Joyce Meyer. "Shoving Jesus down someone's throat" is sure to backfire. You have to pray and leave the results to God.
You may be blessed to be in a home where you can really tell the Lord takes center stage. If so rejoice. Then again you may yearn for your husband to be the spiritual leader and grow in Christ but have not experienced that yet. Keep praying and do not bring it up just leave it to God. Never compare to others as know one really knows the whole story of what it is really like at a person's home who appears righteous on the surface.
There is a verse I love in the Old Testament in Deuteronomy 6:6-7(ESV) says ' And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.' Teach your children the importance of quiet time and reading God's word. Make it common place in your home.
What do you treasure? What do you value? What will people say about you when you are gone? Matthew 6:21 says 'For where your treasure is there will your heart be also.'
PRAYER: Today I choose to start on the right track if I have not already making your truly first place in my life. Keep me from self righteousness as I seek to live for you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

SPRING AHEAD, FALL BACK


 Not only is it that time we Americans in most states change our clocks but also the time we as believers need to remember to "spring ahead" into new opportunities and "fall back" out of the old ones holding you back from having a closer walk with the Lord. Similar to the new year when resolutions are made this could be a time to drop off old bad habits, or fall out of them, and spring into a new you and new promises and hopes.

What in your life do you need to let go of or what new things do you need to embrace? What a perfect opportunity to do this. As you "wind back" your clock "wind back" problems in your life. Give them to God and let them go. What is it you have been meaning to do? Why not spring ahead and go for it?

Isaiah 43:18(ESV) says 'Remember not the former things nor consider the things of old.'

Wouldn't you like a fresh start? Commit starting NOW to repent of sins holding you back and trust God to make new brand new. He restores, forgives, redeems, and sets free so why not let Him?

PRAYER: Wow Lord I get an opportunity to let things go. I can remember as I set my clock back tonight to set forth on a new journey with you allowing you to make all things new. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, November 1, 2013

YOUR WORDS...WHAT DO THEY SAY ABOUT YOU?


Our mouth can sure get us into much trouble if we are not cautious. It is so easy to speak without thinking how our words will affect the listener. Words can build up or they can tear down. They can create chaos or bring peace. That is probably why so much is said in God's word about our mouth, our tongue, and the words we utter. Sometimes we just need to stop and slow down and not be so in a hurry to talk.
Are you careful what you say? Once a word is spoken it can not be taken back. How many of us have probably said " Oh I wish I had not said that?"

Here are a few Bible verses about what we say to maybe help you on your journey to get control of the tongue.
Ecclesiastes 5:2(NIV) ' Do not be quick with your mouth. Do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on Earth, so let your words be few.'

Proverbs 10:19(NIV) 'Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues.'

James 3:2(NIV) 'We all stumble in many ways.Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.'

Proverbs 13:3 (NIV) 'Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but tho who speak rashly will come to ruin.'

Make it a point today and every day to ask God to help you and guide you with the words you say to make sure they are pleasant and encouraging to those who hear.

PRAYER: Each day is a challenge to be able to think before I speak Lord. Whether to friends, family, or perfect strangers help me to be honorable with my mouth and not let it cause pain to others. In Jesus' name. Amen.