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, July 31, 2014

The Shelter



For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His  dwelling, He will hide me in the shelter of His sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. Psalm 27:5

When the word 'shelter' is spoken what comes to mind? I think of a shelter house in a park also called 'ramadas' in the Southwest. Also the picture of a mother Eagle sheltering her eaglets under her massive wings is another word picture. A storm shelter is something people here in my area of the country might think of as we have lot of tornadoes.

A shelter is basically a place you go to seek refuge and protection. It could be from the sun, from storms, from your enemies. God is our shelter and He is our strength. Whenever the 'storms of life' threaten you He is there to protect you. All you need to do is call on Him.

Will you let God be your shelter?

PRAYER: I am very thankful you are my ultimate shelter from anything that comes my way. Thanks for watching over me. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Death Will Come



 The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart.The devout are taken away and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk up rightly are taken into peace; they find rest as they lie in death. Isaiah 57:1-2

Recently I have known of about five people who died before the "time" everyone thinks they should pass on. I guess maybe this would be 85 on up. When a baby, child, thirty something or baby boomer dies, we are shocked and especially if they were not ill. I can not imagine the immense grief this causes the family of the deceased. I know several friends this has happened to. Of course we love our family and no one wants anyone to die.

 While we are here on Earth we need to be living for the Lord as you never know when it is your time to die. We either enter heaven with Jesus or enter hell for eternity. It depends on the choice to accept or reject God. This life is only every temporary. James 4:14 says "we are a midst that vanishes" so with that in mind why are we so upset when death comes knocking on our door? As a believer, it is something we should be looking forward to. In the recent movie based on a true story 'Heaven Is For Real' ,a young boy has the true life account of seeing heaven while he was in a coma in the hospital. He said "It was wonderful"!

 Do you have peace that if you died today you would be with Jesus in heaven? If not stop now and ask Jesus to be Lord of your life.

PRAYER: Lord you are good and marvelous and I look forward to being with you in heaven some day. Help prepare my family and friends for when that times comes to rejoice that I am in heaven. I thank you for saving me from my sins. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Coming Attractions



You must also be ready for the Son of Man will come at an hour that you do not expect Him. Luke 12:40

Two things are certain and that is we are born and we will die. No one can escape that. In the 1980's movie 'Forever Young' Mel Gibson plays a military pilot who voluntarily subjects himself to being frozen since his fiancée had been in an accident and was in a coma.  This is not something we normally do although it is talked about today. I say why? Why are people afraid to die and why do we think it will be so wonderful to go on and on and on?

Of course death brings immense sadness but it also brings the promise of eternal life for those who have asked Jesus to be Lord of their life. Being a nice 'church member' and making sure you go to church are admirable but Jesus needs to be part of our life and our desire the rest of the time. Is He your consuming fire? Heaven is going to be wonderful. Not even the best Hollywood script writer is able to recreate it or even imagine it(See 1Corinthians 1:9).

Don't be left behind when Jesus returns. Make sure you are living for Him and He is truly Lord of your life. Don't take a chance with being left out of heaven.

PRAYER: I need you every hour of the day. There have been times I have ignored you and done my own thing. Forgive me Lord. I want you in my life and I want to be with you when you come back for those who have accepted you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Click link to listen to a wonderful song of praise to get your day started:
http://youtu.be/_rR_Rdb1CTE

Monday, July 28, 2014

How Is Your Fruit?



 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. John 15:2

 How is the "fruit" in your life? Your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self control? We have fruit trees in our yard and occasionally if they are not producing fruit they have to be cut back. At times this makes the tree look ugly but the results will be great. Galatians 5:22-23 discusses the fruits of the Spirit. Take a moment and look those verses up.

Is your "fruit" moldy, dried up, tasteless, bitter? If so perhaps it is time to work on fertilizing that fruit with things like prayer and Bible reading. The pruning referred to in the key Bible verse is when trials and situations come into our life to help us develop better healthier fruit.

So how is your fruit?

 PRAYER: I know I can not grow 'good fruit' for the kingdom without certain things occurring to help me grow spiritual fruit. Guide me successfully through these times so I can become more Christlike in what I say and do. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Our God Reigns


The Lord has established His throne in heaven and His kingdom rules over all. Psalm 103:19

Today it seems as if Biblical prophecy is being fulfilled before our very eyes. Read the book of Ezekiel. So much of what is going on in the Middle East and Holy Land is right there in the word of God. Our times are indeed in God's hands. We do not need fear calamity if we know Him as our savior. Certain things are indeed going to happen. Jesus is coming back for His own someday.
Do not let the political situation or the headlines frustrate you too much for we see much of what is happening right there in our Bible. Trust in God. He is our hope.

God indeed does rule over all!

PRAYER: Lord I have perfect peace even in the turmoil around me as I know you are above any earthly leader and you have a plan. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Defender



Surely God is my help.The Lord is the one who sustains me.Let evil recoil on those who slander me. In your faithfulness destroy them. Psalm 54:4-5

Have you ever been threatened with a lawsuit or perhaps bankruptcy? Things like that can tend to shatter your peace and get you wanting to run for the hills. Somehow the fear or the word "lawsuit" tends to make the normal person a little freaked out. Years ago a girl tried to sue me over a fender bender. Believe you me during that time frame, until the case was settled, I completely got into the word of God in a search for verses about God being my defender. I prayed for the young lady who wanted to hurt me. I knew it was an attack from the enemy.

If you are going through troubled times and lawsuits are involved,  know that God is your defender. He goes before you and can and will bring peace in the midst of a storm raging around you. God alone sets the captive free. Trust Him in good and bad times.

Cry out to God and let Him defend you.

PRAYER: Thank you abba father, daddy, for being my strength, hope and defender. In Jesus' name.Amen.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Love People, Period!



He answered, "Love the Lord your of with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself." Luke 10:27

'Love'  is a pretty simple command but how many of us really do it? Love those who hate you. Love those who are different. Love those who don't love Jesus. Love when you don't feel like it. Love indeed, does come from a pure heart. Love is from God.

When we don't show love to those around us we are giving our enemy Satan, more fuel for his tiny little fire. He loves it when there are arguments, contentions, and disagreements. It is easy to fight and bicker but hard to forget self, be humble and show true love to all those you come in contact with.

If you are tempted to argue with someone stop for a moment, say a silent prayer, and show love when you don't feel like or. Love wins in the end.

PRAYER: I know your command is to love one another. I choose to do this even when it is hard. In Jesus' name.Amen.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Unconditional Love...Just Live It!



It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:7

It is so easy to love people when they are nice to us, but when we are mistreated by someone, sometimes even a family member, it is difficult to act Christlike. But guess what? We are supposed to do just that.  Sometimes when I am confronted with a situation that requires unconditional love I think to myself 'be kind Becky and overcome evil with good.' Then there is the standard 'what would Jesus do' response which is often helpful as well. 

Make up your mind that you are going to love like Jesus' loves. If you catch yourself thinking mean or revengeful thoughts pause and pray and ask for God's strength to show His love to those you are dealing with.  This could be co workers, your children, your spouse, a friend, or a total stranger.  

God's way is always the way of love. 

PRAYER: When I feel upset or angry Lord I know you understand but I know you want me to be loving and be a good example and not fuel the fires of meanness. Give me strength. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Our Only Hope




 Paul, an apostle of  Christ Jesus by the command of God, our savior and of Christ Jesus our hope. 1 Timothy 1:1

 His name is Jesus. When the headlines get you discouraged and things look like nothing is going to change, hang on. God really has your back! Don't put your hope in mere men who may have human power such as kings, presidents, the Pope, and other leaders. Only God is our source of hope.

Our world is getting rather crazy right now. I am in the United States and we tend to take peace, freedom, The Constitution, and protection for granted, but presently our borders to the Southwest, are being overrun by thousands of illegals almost intentionally.  Freedom is precious and is only here in America because of the grace of God. When we start to stray, from not only His word, but our Constitution, we are in trouble. Fearful times demand action primarily in the form of prayer. Do not let the headlines scare you precious one.
Today get up with the hope that is only in Jesus and trust Him to see you through and protect you. 

PRAYER: Lord I love you and love how you guide me daily to do what is right. Be with our leaders and help them follow you as well. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Click link and enjoy a song of hope and praise:

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Paid In Full


He was pierced  for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

I am the proud and delighted mother of two grown sons and also have a beautiful "daughter" too. When I was raising my boys it was a privilege to be their mom. It was my God ordained job to build character and teach them responsibility, love for God, and many other things that would carry with them into adult life. It takes money to raise children. We are not to spoil them and shower them with toys they do not need but things like diapers, formula, clothes, medicine add up. I do not regret a thing and they owe us nothing at all. All my husband and I hope to get is love, respect, and satisfaction. And we do, I am thankful to say.

Jesus likewise paid for our sins on the cross. We owe him nothing more but to love Him and accept Him as Lord. So many people almost spit in Jesus' face by taking his name in vain and doing things that are against His word. All of us are sinners,  but to knowingly go against what we know to be right breaks His heart. Like our true parent, Jesus does not kick you out or say "get away from me" but He unconditionally loves you warts and all.

Is there something you need to do to show more love to your heavenly Father?

PRAYER: I cry out to you Abba, daddy. Thanks for loving me and forgiving me for my sins. Thanks for always being there even when I have brought shame to your name. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, July 21, 2014

One Boss



 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 2:5

 How many church denominations are there in the Christian faith and why can't we all just get along? When we arrive in heaven some day we all will be one, finally! I am not sure how there ended up being so many differences within the Christian faith but thank goodness there will not be sections dividing us in heaven. We all basically are serving the same God, Jesus Christ. There is only one of Him. He is not Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, Lutheran and a host of others. So we have one boss so to speak, no disrespect intended.

On Earth we need to be learning to work together towards the common goal of defeating Satan and standing strong in the Lord. Satan is delighted when he can get one denomination feeling superior to others and then not even worrying about fighting spiritual warfare.  Also if the enemy can get us complacent and thinking we should not go to church as it is hypocritical then he wins again. Don't let him. My recommendation is to find a good non denominational church, and many exist in larger communities, and go and check them out. Now denominational readers do not get mad at me. Sometimes people need to go where they feel they are not being judged by a certain "religion".

No one church is better than the other. Our mission is to serve God, love God, get into the Bible, and run from Satan as he is the one causing all the division in the first place.

 PRAYER: I love you Lord and am thankful for the Christian church in the world. I thank you for being able to worship freely, at least here in America. Help me shine your love to helpless others to know you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

To Share Or Not To Share


 Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over shall be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured unto you. Luke 6:38

Recently I bought a container of breath mints that had two openings on the lid. One a small opening said "to share" and the other larger opening said "not to Share". This struck me as funny in a society that tends to be all about me, me ,me. This implies take more for yourself and do not give them away.

 Many places in God's word we are told about sharing and giving to others. Reaping and sowing so to speak. We should not share to get things but we should share because we know as Christians that is the right thing to do.

Is your heart stingy or is it giving? Remember the things we have are all God's anyway. Now go share something.

PRAYER: Help me open my heart to those in need and even to those not in need just because I want to. I pray for people who are recipients of gifts to be grateful for them and realize it is a blessing from God. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Everyone Needs Discipline



A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother.Proverbs 29:15
Recently I was at a concert in a church where a group of grade school age children were left on their own and were running around the front of the auditorium and sitting on the altar rails and no adult supervision was being rendered. Sitting on altar rails is not appropriate or respectful behavior nor is running around in front of people watching a concert. Whoever the adult in charge was, needed to set some guidelines and boundaries. If children do not learn to follow rules now they could indeed become unruly adults and could even end up in detention at school or in jail. Discipline is not a bad thing. 

Discipline is an essential part of life for raising children to be obedient respectful adults. Just as the verse today says, a child with no rules indeed will bring his mom, and his dad, to shame. It is up to parents to teach a child with love and firmness if they want an adult who is a good member of society and a good future spouse. One thing to remember is to not automatically assume a criminal on the side of the road had bad parents because sometimes people get in with the wrong crowd. It is our place to pray and not judge.

Start today and give God thanks for the way you were raised. If you are a young parent make sure not to be afraid to be the one in charge. God wants us to be disciplined and to that discipline add the discipline of reading the Bible and praying daily. 

PRAYER: I love you Lord. I thank you for disciplining me when I need it. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Under Construction


Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16

A few years ago there was a saying "Please be patient. God is not finished with me yet." A few days ago as I ran past a construction site, a big sign on their fence said "Under Construction." When something is being built we often wait with anticipation for what is to come. As a believer I am constantly under construction. I guess when I am finished or when God is finished then I will enter heaven.

 Your life is constantly being built and changed too. I for one am glad we do not stay the same age and do the same things. When you feel all is lost or are facing some challenge in life, know that  if you love Jesus He is there with you and will see you through to what lies beyond. One of the biggest things for being "built" in Christ is knowing that trials help to shape you. It says that in James 1:2-4. Take a moment and read it.

 Go back out in your 'construction zone' and know the 'master builder' is shaping you into just what He wants you to be.

PRAYER: Thank you for working on me and making me just what you need for your kingdom. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Half Full??



Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Philippians 4:8

What kind of person are you? Do you consider the cup half full or half empty? I love Hampton Inn's encouraging words on paper cups, elevator doors and elsewhere throughout the hotel chain. This is what made me think of half full as that is what their drinking cups in rooms said. Their hotel chain has words of encouragement throughout their hotel.

A half full person is more of a positive sort and looks at things in a more promising way than say a half empty one who tends to think the worst of things and be on the doubting negative side. Even when things tend to not look hopeful I want to keep my mind positive and uplifted knowing the story is not over yet. There is always hope.

What do you need to adjust in your life to make you become a half full person?

PRAYER: Today and everyday I want to start out the day being positive and to try to turn conversations around that get negative or condemning. Help me Lord. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Specify



And when you pray, do not keep babbling like the pagans, for they think they will be heard for  their many words. Matthew 6:7

When you pray do you utter general prayers such as "bless all the people" and "bring peace to the world" or are you specific? Praying is simply talking to God. Pretty simple. Nothing elaborate is required. No special vocabulary or voice inflection. A special degree is not necessary. Just the desire to share your heart with God. In our Moms in Prayer group we use a four step formula which is Praise, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Intercession.  First adore God and praise Him. Next confess your sins to Him. Thank Him for the answers you have received then finally bring your requests before Him.

 Do not let Satan make you feel unworthy. Anyone can talk to God, saved or unsaved.Cry out to Him morning, noon, or night. Don't be afraid to be specific and tell Him just what is on your heart. Imagine just sitting on a couch talking to a trusted friend. Well God is more than a trusted friend. He wants to hear from you daily.

 Stop what you are doing right now and say a prayer. If you are in an office you can pray silently. You don't even need to shut your eyes. Our God is waiting for you so call out to Him today.

PRAYER: I know no matter where I am I can pray. Even people in countries who forbid Christianity can still pray. I thank you for the ability to come to you with things on my heart. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Money Has Wings


 Command those who are rich in this present world to not to be arrogant or to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 1 Timothy 6:17

 It is very easy to trust in our money. In these uncertain times or at any time, riches could disappear. Proverbs 23:5 says they could "sprout wings". No one should trust in their wealth. Paydays are nice but a financial default could send everyone's bank account plummeting. Would you be happy if you did not have money to rely on?  Even the poorest person in America is rich compared to many parts of the world. We are blessed then we can bless others.

Many of our grandparents and parents went through The Great Depression beginning in 1929 and those folks can tell you what it is like to do without. We have it so good now. Never take God's blessings for granted, and find ways you can help others not so fortunate. God is the one who gave us the ability to gain wealth and we are to be good stewards of what he entrusts to us.

Take time today to thank God for the abundance He has blessed you with. Never assume it will always be there. Trust in God and He will take care of you.

 PRAYER: Lord you are good and you provide us with so many things. Forgive me if I have ever been stingy with your blessings. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Think Right



Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything be excellent or praiseworthy-think on such things. Philippians 4:8

What you choose to think on can literally control you. If you get up and start worrying over something you have no control over, worry thoughts consume you. If you try to figure things out in your head, that type thinking can control you. Perhaps you obsess over issues and if so then obsessive thoughts control you. Satan is a master of trying to get your thoughts off God and things of the spirit and onto things that take you away from biblical thinking. Do not allow this to happen.

 Wake up and talk to yourself. Quote scriptures. Sing praise songs. Tell the devil he can not control you as you are a child of the living King. Say something like "Satan get away from me. I choose by the mighty power of Jesus to fill my mind with things of God. I will not allow you to drag me into your pit!"  After you do that you should feel better.

Thinking right is a discipline you need to practice daily. Get control of what you allow into your mind and work on having the mind of Christ.

 PRAYER: Lord I choose to keep my thoughts focused on you. Your meditations are my delight. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

To Re-Record Your Message Press 1

The lips of fools bring them strife, and their mouths invite a beating.Proverbs 18:6
           Ouch! Did I say that?There have been so many times when I wish a recorded message
           similar to a phone recording would come on and give me a do over on something I said 
           which I later regretted. This is unfortunately impossible. Once words  are spoken or typed
            on a keyboard it is too late. 

           It is so critical to really not let emotions rule our tongues.This is a skill that need to be
           developed. Many times harsh, mean, misunderstood words can cause broken relationships.
           Words can lift people up or tear them down. Which do your words do?

          Why not start today and purpose to try to not let anything that will displease God come from
          your lips. This includes gossip, lies(even white lies), hate, arguments, cursing, bragging,
           nagging, words that break someone's spirit, meddling, and judgment to name but a few.
           Go out and let your word bless someone.

          PRAYER: Help me Lord to use my words to help others did not hurt them. Forgive me
          when I have hurt you Lord by what came out of my mouth. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Glorifying God?



 Do you not know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's spirit dwells in your midst? 1 Corinthians 3:16

On a daily basis we should be trying to glorify God. This is in your actions, your speech, and even in your thought life. I heard a saying once that said "if you were arrested for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you?" Meditate on that or awhile. It's not saying are you a church member or are you baptized, but are you bringing glory to God on a regular basis.

If you work for a company that wears uniforms, when you go out in public you want to remember you represent this company simply by wearing their uniform. You do not want to bring discredit upon your employer by wrong behavior. Similarly as a believer we have to remind ourselves that we, in fact, are Christ's representative wherever we go.

Are you walking with the Lord and bringing Him glory daily or is there an area of your life that needs some work?
 PRAYER: It is my desire to be conformed completely to your image. Help me remember each day to be a good representative for the kingdom of God. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Divide and Conquer



A person's wisdom yields patience, it is to one's glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11

Before he ran for President, Abraham Lincoln gave a famous speech on 16 June 1858, where he says "a house divided against itself can not stand" referring of course to the division in the country during slavery. The scripture to back this statement up is  found in Mark 3:25.

 A 'house' of any type which is divided can not stand. This may mean the actual home, the government, the school house, a company, or a country. We are seeing major division today in America, being instigated, in part, by our own government to get classes of people on opposite sides of the spectrum, angry at each other. Instead of working to be a nation builder we are seeing quite the opposite. Families can have arguments which literally can cause members to not speak for years or ever again. Angry stockholders can cause companies to disintegrate.

Division is not from God. Satan is the great divider. Why would a loving God want division? He wants unity, love, peace, and harmony. To get people against each other is something Satan specializes in. If arguing parties could understand that we are in a spiritual battle and not one against humans we might be united faster.

PRAYER: Make me a servant of your peace. I choose harmony. I choose to answer others with kindness, not hate. I choose to be united. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Have You Thanked Your Lord Today?



Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name. Psalm 100:4

A few years ago there was a catchy public service commercial with a tune playing with the words "have you hugged your kid today and sent them on their way with love, love, love."  This positive commercial with the catchy song was a way to remember to love on your kids. Unlike today's lawyer commercials whose catchy tunes urge the viewer to "sue, sue,sue" this positive message of love, rang loud and clear.

Along these same lines I want to ask the reader "have you thanked your Lord today?" Oftentimes we get so busy to really stop and take time to be grateful. It is easy to complain but how often do we truly sit and say thanks and praise God for our blessings? For readers in the United States one thing truly to be thankful for is freedom. We just celebrated the 238th birthday of these United States of America. Never take that freedom for granted. It could be lost in a moment.

What else are you truly thankful for? Pause in your busy day and make a list of things you are indeed grateful for.

God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.

PRAYER: Lord you are good and your mercies endure forever. Thanks for the gift of life and of freedom. Thank for friends and family. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Make A Difference



But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope you have, but do this with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15

I am blessed right now, in that I do not face the same type pressures that people who work outside the home do. I know different personalities can clash at work and you always have to be doing your best. Perhaps you are the boss, then it is necessary to treat your employees with fairness, kindness, and respect. Wherever you are, be it in the home taking care of children, free lance writing in a coffee shop, the head of a Fortune 500 company, or a myriad of other jobs, no matter what, you can make a difference in someone's life. Look at your job as a ministry. It isn't necessary to go to the far corners of the Earth to impact someone but right in your corner of the world you can change a life.

Being a Christian at home or in the workplace and even out in public is a big responsibility. Your light of Jesus should be shining brightly. You should be looking for ways to impact the world around you for Christ. It can be as simple as a smile or opening a door. Keep your thought life good as well. By this I mean do not start forming opinions and judging others. Would Christ do this? No He would love all mankind and try to find good things about them.

You never know what people around you are going through. Medical problems, a death in the family, bankruptcy, divorce, job loss, legal battles, wayward children, rejection. A host of issues could be weighing on people. Pray God will allow you to impact someone's life that needs a kind word.

PRAYER: Today Father I thank you for the chance I have to shine Your love into a life around me. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Shhhh!



Because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. James 1:20

I love the 4th of July. Freedom is special and I love to celebrate with friends, family, and fireworks. This year was very special enjoying the time out of town in a nearby city with my sister and brother in law. We had the perfect viewing location on a bluff overlooking where the fireworks would be shot off from. This space was "marked" by us for over four hours. During this time we had fun visiting with one another. About ten minutes before the show a very rude lady squeezed in and stood in front of us and tried to encourage her young daughter to do likewise. Frankly I was fearing for another kind of "fireworks" as we exchanged words, kind but firm.

After this "battle" I said "Becky, you know better. You write about love, peace, forgiveness and look at you." Granted this woman was wrong in what she did and taught her child a very poor lesson, but also I did not need to say a thing. Human anger is natural but has to be controlled. It is a common emotion to be upset when someone pushes themselves in front of you when you have done the right thing by coming early to secure a spot. All in all, it turned out okay and I was not about to let this woman ruin my otherwise perfect day. I came away and did what I needed to do "breathe out" like I had written on earlier in the week.

If you occasionally get angry or upset it is good to get it nipped in the bud and not let it boil over. Meditate on verses on peace and love and let God transform your heart to be like His. And to remember that God wants you to love all people and pray for them.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for loving me warts and all. Every day are new challenges for striving to walk in your footsteps. Convict me when I get out of line. I choose peace. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, July 7, 2014

My Shepherd Is Great!



My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27

Typically at a funeral you may hear the 23rd Psalm read. Take time and get your Bible and read it. There are so many good verses to read at funerals but this one brings comfort to the bereaved family and friends. When I lived in Arizona in 1984-85 at Williams AFB, which was a little ways out of the metropolitan area of Phoenix, there were actual shepherds who managed flocks of sheep. It was fun to see them in action. During the summers in the desert it was too hot for the sheep to handle so the shepherd would gently guide his flock up on the mountain to a higher cooler elevation and return them to the valley in the winter months.The sheep knew their shepherd. We live on a cattle farm and the cows recognize my husbands voice too. 

God is our shepherd. A shepherd can also be one who cares for and guides people such as a pastor.  A bible study leader or prayer group leader would be a shepherd of sorts to their 'flock' under their care and need to periodically tend to their spiritual  needs. A shepherd of sheep guides them by still waters and takes them to green pasture. If we follow Jesus, our shepherd and try to not run way from the flock, he will guide us beside still waters as well. This is not to say there won't be some occasional  problems but He will be your guide and take care of you. 

Are you allowing Jesus to be your guide? Is He truly shepherd of your life? 

PRAYER: My Jesus how I need you. When I get away from doing your will and go my own way I can get into the 'briar patches' of life. Thanks for being my constant shepherd. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Brownie Points....Not My God!



For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
 Have you ever heard of churches that say you are blessed more by God the more works and service you do? Sort of a hierarchy of awards or favors from the Almighty. God is not a "brownie point" God. He loves all of us, saint and sinner the same. Trying to base salvation on works is not in His game-plan. Sure when we sin it breaks His heart but he does not love us any less. Trying to win salvation by doing things and being on committees is not something I see written in my Bible.
 Basically scripture says we need to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved(Acts 16:31). If you want to serve on committees, be a Sunday school teacher, bake cookies for a bazaar, chaperone a youth trip, that is great. Only know that you are  not racking up stars on a wall chart somewhere. Naturally when you ask Jesus into your heart you feel led to serve in certain ways because your life is changed. But doing deeds alone is not the key to heaven.
We pretty much are all the same to God and we all need Him in our life. Have you asked Him to be Lord of your life?
PRAYER: I know Lord that you love me whether I sit in a pew or sing in the choir. I know you love me even when I turn my back on you on Sunday for more fun things. Forgive me Lord. Thanks that you are not a brownie point God. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Breathe In, Breathe Out

Cast all your anxiety on Him for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

Whenever I go to the asthma doctor they ask me to take a deep breath of air and then blow it out. Breathe in, then breathe out. This tests lung capacity. I got to thinking how sometimes we just have to breathe out bad junk of life and pause then breathe in God's life giving power, comfort, and forgiveness. 

Practice for a moment and think of things that may have you bothered or ways you messed up. Make a list if you have to. First of all we are to give our problems to Jesus according to the verse above. Breathe in, relax. Now breathe out and consciously breathe out the bad things you are holding on to. Do it over and over if you have to. After a while you should feel a bit more peaceful. 

Take a moment every day to breathe in God's goodness and breathe out the bad stuff causing you to sin. 

PRAYER: I love you Lord and I know you do not want me hanging on to things that keep me from sweet fellowship with you. I thank you for the opportunity to breathe in your life giving power and forgiveness.  In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Freedom. You Gotta Love It!



It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
Freedom is a gift from God never to be taken for granted. Here in these United States we could become complacent and then be attacked. Remember September 11, 2001 and recent attacks at military bases and the Boston Marathon? 
With freedom comes responsibility. Responsibility to vote first of all. Responsibility to speak up against injustices or lawlessness.  Responsibility to pray for our nation and it's' leaders. 
Remember God has blessed this great nation when we followed Him and were moral. Today we need to stand strong for righteousness and speak up in love when evil tries to creep in. 
Thank God for freedom and oh by the way, Happy Birthday America! 
PRAYER: I love celebrations Lord and July 4th is one of the best. A party for celebrating America's independence. I thank you Lord for all we enjoy. Help us work and pray to protect it. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Global Warning

If he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 2 Peter 2:6

The title for my devotion came after listening to a sermon from pastor Creflo Dollar. It is a catchy play on words for today's global warming fiasco, which is still largely unproven. Instead of worrying about the earth heating up maybe we should worry about our souls going to a place that really heats up. Maybe our concern should be in being the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus and growing to be more like Him.

It is no surprise the devil is working overtime trying to spread his lies. One of the major areas is getting churches to accept same sex marriage. Clearly we know what the Bible says and it is not a changing book but the same today, yesterday, and forever. This is not a devotion bashing gays and there are gay Christians by the way. This is simply about making up our own rules of what is acceptable to God. Galatians 6:7 states "Do not be deceived. God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows that also will he reap."  In the last days times will indeed be troublesome. We are starting to see much of that trouble today. Our enemy wishes we would stop knowing the truth. 

None of us are perfect and God can and does forgive. He died for our past, present, and future sins. Accept Him into your heart today and run the race to the truth. He loves you, warts and all. Why not love Him back today?

PRAYER: Lord you are good. Your love does not hate but is ready with open arms to receive all that would ask you into their heart. Convict me when I am doing something that does not please.you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Devotion to Duty


Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. Colossians 3:23

As a former military member, I know what it means to serve and also am quite aware about what the term 'devotion to duty' means. Recently at a laboratory visit on post, a lab tech demonstrated what devotion to duty was. I asked how many deployments he had under his belt and he responded "two". He further indicated how rewarding it was serving the warriors overseas in a war zone. It was not that taking care of the family back home didn't matter, but his heart was with those troops in harms way daily.

Each of us in life needs to be devoted to the duties we have ascribed to us. Our youngest son just completed 25 years of schooling with the completion of a three year residency in Emergency Medicine. Part of his grad gift from my husband and I were ink pens inscribed with the Bible verse above. It is a reminder of no matter what we do in life whether a simple ditch digger, garbage collector, stay home mom, teacher, doctor, or soldier, to work hard for your earthly bosses like you are working for God, because you in fact are.

Your job is to shine for Jesus and not be a slacker!

 PRAYER: Each day no matter what I am doing help me remember who my real boss is. Help me be honorable in all I say and do, in Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Snared


 My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare. Psalm 25:15

 When you hear the word 'snared' what comes to mind? Right off hand I think of getting a boat snared in seaweed, or a fish tangled up on a line. You would think I was a big fisherman but I am not. Initially what comes to mind for you? Snaring something is getting it captured. The official definition found in Bing dictionary says it is "a device for capturing small animals" so I was not too far off with my fish analogy. A second definition is "a trap for the unwary". It is this definition I want to focus on.

 Satan sets snares for God's people every day. Little subtle tricks and things to lure us into his clutches. Those who already are succumbing to his lies, he pretty much does not focus on as much, as the ones he has to continue to bombard to get us off course. Twisting Bible scripture, making God's followers believe lies is common place. Remember the serpent in the Garden of Eden? He is really good with 'religious' people or those folks in church who follow manmade rules and denominations more than the word of God. People can be tricked into thinking Sunday for one hour is okay or even spending that one hour in 'nature' since God created it, will suffice.

Do you feel snared? In order to get out of the snare Satan has set get into the Bible and get to know it. Then you will be released from the snare.

 PRAYER: I want to keep my eyes and thoughts on you Lord. Help me resist Satan and his attempts to drag me away. In Jesus' name. Amen.