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.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Caution: Changes Ahead!


God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? Numbers 23:19

Here we are at the last day of 2014! Wow, another year gone and a brand new year ahead. Have you made your New Year Resolutions yet? It is always good to make a list of things you want to try to accomplish. Last year I fulfilled a few of mine one of which was finally going tandem skydiving. It is good to have a goal. Mark my word, there will always be new challenges and change in each new year. Nothing stays the same, except God's word,so be prepared.

Changes can be frustrating and catch us off guard. It is how we react that is important. Sometimes they are a challenge of sorts and it is getting through them still praising God in the good and in the not so good is what counts. I learned to deal with change many times being a veteran of the U.S. Military and military wife. Change was part of our lives as we pulled up our roots to move to a new Army post or Air Force Base. We adapted even though initially it was difficult for myself and the children as they grew older.

Change can challenge us too. Ask God to prepare you for whatever comes your way in 2015 whether you consider it good or not. God can use all things for His good and His glory.

PRAYER: Lord help me to learn to praise you no matter what my circumstances as I know you can use all things to grow me up to be more like you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas 24/7 Challenge



Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

Christmas may be over, but who says we have to stop that spirit of giving, loving, sharing and being joyful? Why is it necessary to even put away the nativity scene for that matter? Jesus is alive and we are to act like it and show His love the other 364 days.

I challenge you in 2015 to find ways to be joyful, loving, kind, and giving each and every day. Perhaps to the rude store clerk or disgruntled airline employee. Maybe it is to someone who cuts in front of you at a busy fast food restaurant. It even could be a friend or heaven forbid, a unkind spouse, who is saying hurtful words, which you need to return good for evil. Show kindness even when humanly you would rather 'spout off'. Anger causes fights and fights lead to only hurt feelings and broken relationships. Treat a friend to coffee or lunch. Buy an unexpected gift. Purchase a gift card for a restaurant and give it to a homeless or needy person, not just at Christmas but ALL the time. 

Start today and make up your mind the spirit of the Christmas season will live in your heart year round then go do something about it.

PRAYER: Lord I choose this day forward to be kind. When provoked I will hold my tongue and take my issues to you in prayer instead. Show me how to love even those hard to love people, some who may have hurt me. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, December 29, 2014

My Prayer List Post Christmas


Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

How many of us have been well intentioned when someone asks us to pray for them and if we do not do it right then totally forget? I have to admit I have done this I am ashamed to say.  

Have you ever thought of using the Christmas  cards you receive as a prayer tool. Leave them out just a while and each day select two or three to pray for in your prayer time. Everyone has needs and concerns but only the Lord knows what each person is dealing with. Make Christmas season continue past December 25 by putting those cards to good use. Even better when there is a photo on the card so you put a face with a name.

Remember just as today's very short verse says,we are to pray all the time. You can actually talk to God in prayer even when you are driving your car. I often turn off my radio and just pray at that time in the quiet and comfort of my car.  Whatever you choose, just do not stop praying.

PRAYER: Dear Lord I thank you for every chance I get to pray. I thank you that I happen to live in a country where I can do this in most places. Help me not forget when someone requests prayer. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Unconditional Love



Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:7

Today is a special day for me. It is my 37th wedding anniversary as my husband lovingly introduces me as "his first wife Becky"! This is not to make those in multiple marriages feel bad because sometimes things happen that are out of one parties control as I know from a few people very close to me. I am grateful to have an enduring marriage, not that there have not been challenges. The thing is that when you stand up before a minister, judge,or justice of the peace and become man and wife, you make a solemn vow to love in sickness and in health,in good times and in bad times, forsaking all others,till death do you part. I actually went to a wedding once or twice where these vows of commitment were deleted from the ceremony. Sort of gives the couple an 'out' should they become 'incompatible'. But before God, vows are solemn and not to be entered into lightly or taken lightly.

I know of a few rare couples who tell me they have never had a problems and I say,"Be grateful"! It takes two committed people to make a solemn enduring marriage. What the Bible says should be followed and Christ needs to remain on the throne of the marriage as the centerpiece. At no time should divorce be an option. If a partner in the marriage is wanting to remain kind and the other one is unkind then you have to love with Jesus' love and overlook faults in order to not start arguments. At all times pray and give God any situations in the marriage that need help.

So today I hope to be the start of 37 more years. Wow that is going to make me pretty old but it is something to shoot for.

PRAYER: Dear Lord help me take my vows of marriage seriously. Help me to always out you first and follow Your commands about how to treat my spouse. Guide me in my actions of what I say and do. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Down In The Dumps?


This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
If we dwell all the time on the news, our problems, bills, sicknesses and other such things in depressing categories, it is easy to lose any joy you may have had. I have a suggestion for you. Wake up daily and the first thing just say, "thank you Lord for this wonderful day"!

The author of bad stuff is not the Lord. He indeed can use awful things to draw us closer to Him. Life does have a problem here and there. Death of a family member, bankruptcy, mental illness, suicidal thoughts, loss of income, cancelled medical insurance, bad grades, a car that won't start. These are only a few. But you can choose to dwell on those things or look up to Jesus who can help you overcome anything in your path. Tell Satan to get his stinking hands off you and run your race to win, straight to the cross. 

Today and every day start praising God for the good things and even write them down. Do not allow Satan to keep you from having joy. 

PRAYER: Lord thank you for every thing in life for in the bad I see how much I need you all the time. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Click on link for a song of praise. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Like/Love/Be Kind



Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. James 4:11


There are different personalities. Some may rub us the wrong way but we are still commanded to love one another. Talking ugly about people doesn't make for a loving relationship. This ugliness could be in the form of passing judgment on someone when that is not our job. For instance constantly talking bad about obese people,prisoners, unwed parents, drunks, homosexuals, homeless people, those who talk on their cell phones in public places, or someone we do not see eye to eye with is plain wrong. When we comment on others it makes us sound like we are somehow superior. God is the one who is the judge,not us. Ugly comments about people only make those who say them 'little' and when you claim to know Jesus it does not say much for your 'love meter'. This is not to say something may not be wrong but the point being it is up to us to love, not judge and be unkind. Read Romans 2:4 where it says that "kindness leads to repentance".

So if someone is ugly to you do not be ugly in return but show the love of Jesus to your friends and to your enemies. You will make God smile!

PRAYER: Love is what lifts people from the pit of despair. Use me Lord to show that kind of love to hurting people even in the form of a simple smile. Forgive me if I have ever passed judgement on someone as that is not my responsibility. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Best Gift Ever!


For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

Merry Christmas. The day has arrived. Are we going to be able to enjoy the true meaning of this day or are we too exhausted with all the activities leading up to it that it is time for a nap?

Think about what this day means. The birth of the savior of the world. Born to a young virgin in a manger, or stable in other words. No fancy accommodations or five star service. People  talking  behind her back because she is pregnant and was not married. The towns folk probably loved this gossip. She was the chosen one. Through her the Messiah would be born.

Indeed she was special and gave birth to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The best gift ever indeed.

Is CHRIST or Santa at the center of your celebration today?

PRAYER: I am so thankful for your birth, death, and resurrection. Happy Birthday JESUS! In your name we pray. Amen. 

Click link and praise our Lord in a song of worship!



Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Ho, Ho, Ho!

 

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11

Welcome to the month of December where we are to seek after peace on Earth and good will to men. The month we celebrate the birth of Christ should in fact be centered on that, but outwardly our world shines for Santa Claus more than the savior or so it seems.

This time of merriment leads many a person to look forward to December 26th for then all the baking, parties, gifts buying, card sending, obligations, cleaning, and  visiting will be over. This season is happy and lots of good is done but on the other hand many people are very lonely and that is emphasized this time of year. It becomes popular to visit soup kitchens, nursing homes, and other places where the 'forgotten'  may be. 

It is time to let Christmas spread into the other 364 days on our calendar. Don't work yourself into a frenzy thinking you 'have' to do something cause it is Christmas. Start some new traditions. One thing I did several years ago to make this time of year more peace filled was to do my traditional family photo card as a New Years card and wait till later in January to mail them out. Whatever you decide to do make sure Christ is at the center of this special time of year after all if it were not for Him we would not be celebrating in the first place. Now go and be merry! 

PRAYER: I love your birthday celebration Lord and help me to stop each day during this time of year and spend time with you. Often we are so caught in manmade things we forget why we have this holiday, Forgive me Lord. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Stay Focused And Alert


Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
I am not going to get political, but the United States is in a mess. Appeasing terrorists and dictators makes us a sitting duck for attacks. Yet what to do? Perhaps turn off the news and talk shows and get on your knees and pray. Take off the Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or Tea Party hat and realize God Almighty is the REAL one in charge. 

We can wring our hands worrying Cuba will now attack us or North Korea will drop a bomb. Perhaps ISIS terrorists will come across our unprotected Mexican border. Regardless, once again we are commanded to pray for our leaders whether we agree with them or not. Many opinions are floating around. We have to be on our guard but we have to keep in prayer. 

The enemy, Satan,does not like this free country we live in and works through unknowing subjects to destroy freedom and liberty. It can be so subtle many do not see it coming. I have one word for that. Hitler. Our enemy is prowling around seeking whom he may destroy as it says in 1 Peter 5:8 and it reads as follows "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." In these troubled times wake up and stay alert and stay in the word of God.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus we may be scared when we hear of things going on to make America less safe from our enemies but we know you are indeed control. I trust you Lord and will keep my eyes on you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

NOTE:I urge all readers to use this website as a valuable tool for praying for our leaders whether www agree with them or not. www.presidentialprayerteam.com

Monday, December 22, 2014

World Craziness, But God!




God reigns over the nations. God is seated on His Holy throne. Psalm 47:8

 No matter where you are in the world you can see without God it is a pretty messed up world. Terrorism, killing, lying, stealing, cyber crime, hackers and on and on it goes. It is as if the world is nearing the end times. Satan is behind all this chaos too. He wants us to fear and believe his lies and tricks.

Basically no matter what is happening now, we believers know the 'end of the story'.  Psalm 91:5 tells us "You will not fear the terror of night or the arrow that flies by day."  God is our protector, deliverer, and He rules from this time forth and evermore. Kings and kingdoms of puny dictators will one day have to bow to Jesus. He is not mocked it says in Galatians 6:7.

 But God indeed does have the final word and He will be victorious. Look up, not at your troubles.

 PRAYER: I know Lord you are indeed in control no matter what a situation may look like. I trust you to punish evil doers and we know liars go to the 'lake of fire' unless they repent. Help us remember to pray for our enemies. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Click link to worship the Lord in song.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Mouth Attack



But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil full of deadly poison. James 3:8
How many times has your mouth gotten you into trouble? You maybe gossip, swear, lie, criticize, complain,  say unkind words, or just don't think things through before opening it. I think if all of us are honest we can answer that at some time or other the mouth has gotten us into big trouble. I am not ashamed to say mine has. I constantly am on my guard trying to think before I speak and asking myself is what I am going to say even necessary. This 'talking' can come in form of texting or emails too. Once we say it or type it, it is too late.
We can be misunderstood or misinterpreted too and end up digging ourselves from a hole and apologizing all over ourselves. Why not work towards the goal of being careful what we say. Set a high standard for yourself. "If you can not say something nice" as some moms used to say "then say nothing at all."

Can you tame your tongue? Why not pray and ask God to make you and your mouth an instrument of love. 

PRAYER: Lord I love you and want to be a good representative of you. I know what I say can be misunderstood so please guide me as I speak. In Jesus' name.Amen.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Let Go and Let God Work



"For I know the plans I have for you", says the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11


 Got any control freaks reading today?I know sometimes I have been. You just want your plan to be adhered to or want to be in charge. Perhaps you try to manipulate the outcome of a situation. Trust me, stay out of it. Others will lose their trust in you if you try to orchestrate plans.

When it comes to change in a loved one we have been praying for, our hands are off the controls. God has a plan and we have to realize we can pray but then step aside and let God work.  God's plan is way better than the one we may devise. There may be some pain and problems involved but He is the one in charge and it will work out great in the end.

Waiting for a breakthrough? Let go and give the controls to God.

PRAYER: I trust you have my times in your hands. I need not fear the future as your plan will be fulfilled. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Password Incorrect


'Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not Jeremiah 33:3

Computers were meant to make us have a simpler life but at times they can be very frustrating. Take for instance when you are trying to log on and get error message that your password is incorrect. Either you forgot it or you were hacked. Seeing this message when you are trying to get work done is very frustrating and a big time waster. 

Aren't you glad you don't need a password, special handshake or membership card to have access to God? He is there for you by simply calling on Him. You do not get  the message "Access Denied" because He is an around the clock God ready and waiting to hear from you. Don't just wait until you have a major problem but 'talk' to Him each day.

Our enemy is Satan and he will try to get you busy and distracted with everything else till you have little time for spiritual growth or being alone with God. Give Him your frustrations of life such as lost passwords, missing keys, grief, confusion and let Him heal your wounded spirit. Talk to Him in prayer each and every day. No log in required. 

PRAYER: I know you are waiting each day for me to talk to you in prayer. Many days I get up and am more concerned with my Facebook than 'your book' and for that I ask forgiveness. Give me a desire for more of you and less of the world. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

It IS A Wonderful Life!! Indeed!



The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. Psalm 24:1
One of my favorite movies of the Christmas season is 'It's A Wonderful Life'. In this movie the star, the late Jimmy Stewart, realizes after wishing he were not alive, that in the end he really did have a wonderful life

Most of us have probably seen this classic movie and if you have not, then do so please. The value of 'things' becomes less important. The problems we think we have are really nothing in the big scheme of things. All those things that upset us are nothing compared to what God has blessed us with.

Do you have a roof over your head, food on the table, a car to drive and clothes to wear? Then your  life is pretty wonderful. Do you drink clean water and have a hot shower in the morning? Then your life is petty wonderful.  Do you have friends and family who love you? Then your life is pretty wonderful.

Everything in life will pass. What we do for the Lord is what matters. All your problems will one day be behind you. The trials you have gone through are there to help you grow. Jesus can see you through whatever you are facing. Things are often not as bad as we make them out to be.

Today and every day wake up and thank God for another day of life and the experiences he has in store for you. It is indeed a wonderful life!

PRAYER: I thank you for the plan you have for me. I thank you for where you have me right now. Forgive me for complaining and acting pitiful. Help me act powerful instead and be grateful always. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

New Friends, Old Friends!



One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

If you do not speak up to strangers you may never make friends. I have found this to be true that someone has to make the first move to speak up. For instance, in the locker room at Redstone Arsenal recently I said hi to a young lady and ended up talking fifteen minutes and found out she was new to the post and her husband was active duty. Basically no friends or connections yet. I gave her my card(even if you do not have a job you can have cards made up) and talked to her about Moms in Prayer since I found out she had children at home. I look forward to hopefully hearing from her.

If you feel lonely sometimes you have to take the initiative to be first in calling someone or sending a card.  Don't always wait for others to contact you. There is a saying "Make new friends and keep the old one is silver and the other gold!" That is so true. Don't get cliquish and not include others. Look for hurting or lonely people because they are everywhere. Sometimes a smile is all it takes to brighten someone's day. 

Show God's love wherever you are today. Open a door for someone at a store. Let someone in front of you in line. Pay it forward perhaps in a drive thru. Give an unexpected gift to a friend. Call your mom if she is still alive, or your dad. Send a card to someone. Now go spread friendliness!

PRAYER: Thanks so very much Lord for helping me show your love to others. Thank for helping me love even the unlovable. I choose to be kind and nice and do it because it makes you happy. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Peeping Through The Hole


Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
December 11 was the first day I had to scrape ice off my car windows. If you do not take the time to do this, you will not see the road and obstacles in your path. There is so much out there to avoid. Deer running across the road. A vehicle you did not see. A family pet dashing in front of you.  If your vision is obstructed it could result in a terrible accident which could have been avoided if only you would have taken the time to scrape the ice off those windows.
Similarly if you only 'peep' occasionally at God's word, the Bible, you will not know how to handle trials and tests that you can daily encounter. The enemy will always be throwing you curve balls and trying to trip you up in your spiritual journey. If you 'just' go to church for one hour then he is pretty much winning as to do nothing the rest of the week is to be a spiritual weakling and leave yourself prey to the devil.
Why not start right now and make up your mind you will do more than 'peep' occasionally at God's word and pray for God to give you insight as you read. Do not let Satan make you too busy for growing in Christ.
PRAYER: I choose this day to not just 'peep' at your word but I want to know the truth as the truth will set me free. I will resist attempts by the enemy to make me feel like I can get by without it. In Jesus' name.Amen.



Monday, December 15, 2014

Stinking Thinking


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
This is not my original title but from Bible teacher and author Joyce Meyer. She teaches a good deal on controlling what is in your mind and this title is a vivid word picture of how our mind can become sometimes. I know mine does. If you don't keep occupied enough you can allow wrong thoughts into your head. 

Having an undisciplined mind and allowing wrong thoughts into it will only keep you worried and defeated. You have to purpose in your heart to think on things 'above' and capture wrong thoughts and give them to Jesus. Don't just sit around worrying and making up scenarios in your mind or worrying about others thoughts towards you. Obviously this type of thinking would not be 'from above' but earthly. Thinking like this could allow the enemy to easily get your down in the dumps.

Your job today is to entertain uplifting thoughts that will build up and not tear down. If you catch yourself slipping say out loud "Get behind me Satan". Now go have a positive day!

PRAYER: Help me Lord to think on good things. With you I can and will defeat wrong thinking once and for all. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

No Man Is A Failure Who Has Friends!


One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

My title was taken from the classic Christmas movie, 'It's A Wonderful Life' where in the last scene George Bailey, played by the late actor Jimmy Stewart,  picks up a book left by Clarence his guardian angel and it is signed "Remember no man is a failure who has friends." Isn't that the truth?

We can go through life not making an effort to have friends which would be terrible.  Friends are so very important and that is why it is very hard when a friend betrays you. If this has not happened to you count your blessings. It is confusing and painful but something you need to get beyond. 
The formula for having friends is to be a friend. Don't always wait for someone to call and invite you but reach out to others. Back in 1997 I had been in Arizona one year and we had changed churches. I went to my first Saturday women's  event and prayed God would show me a person to sit by who needed a friend. Unknown to me at the time, my soon to be new friend had also prayed a similar prayer that God would have someone sit beside her. 17 years later we are still friends.  Your best friend ever is Jesus. He will be there even if others won't. 

PRAYER: Thank you for the gift of true friendship. I am grateful for friends past, present, and yes future. Show me how to overlook hurts and focus on friends now and making new ones. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Behind Closed Doors

 

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

Our enemy Satan is very subtle. He works in the shadows to deceive people and plants lie after lie using often unsuspecting human subjects to trick us and take us off course. His mission is to kill, steal, and destroy according to John 10:10. He is not interested in the truth and will try to get even believers caught up and so busy they have little time to study the Bible. It is by reading and the study of God's word we have the weapons to defeat him. 

We can become so interested in doing 'good' that we forget to devour God's word. Sunday worship time is super but it does a person little good if there is no life change and no desire to go beyond that one hour on Sunday. It is the Holy Spirit's job to convict others, not ours, so if you live with a person like this, shhhh,not your job. 

Make sure you are not ignorant of the enemies schemes. Many people get uncomfortable talking about the enemy but he is puny, tricky, and REAL, but God is bigger and more powerful. Run to Him today!

PRAYER: I want to not get caught up in religion and forget to have a relationship with you Lord. I choose to resist the enemy and let him hear me praising you. I will run to you and flee Satan's traps. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Firepower


Jesus said to him, If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes. Mark 9:23

I live in close proximity to a US Army Installation. The US military is the ultimate human protection for our country with its' firepower and boots on the ground. The ultimate firepower for a believer is to believe and pray. Our weapons are spiritual it says in 2 Corinthians 10:4.
"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds."

Note today's verse. It can go hand in hand with another verse Luke 17:6 which says "He replied, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you." Someone once told me a catchy phrase and it was "believe receive and doubt do without". 

Our prayers are mighty. They can destroy strongholds. They can restore a life. They can renew and revive a dead marriage. They can restore a Christian country being destroyed by Satan. Prayer is our firepower as a Christian. With the Bible  and prayer we are ready to defeat the enemy.

Have you "armed" yourself today? 

PRAYER: Thank you Lord that we can fight the battles that lie ahead with prayer and the word of God. I choose to be armed and ready by getting into the word daily. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Pray For Your Enemies

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:44

Do you have enemies? Perhaps an ex spouse? An estranged relative? Maybe a friend who betrayed you or turned their back on you? A hard to please employer? Someone trying to sue you? Whatever you are dealing with you are to not harbor hatred and bitterness in your heart, especially if you call yourself a Christian. If God is love,how does hating or speaking evil of people fit into that? It doesn't.

Someone once told me if you feel tempted to talk about people or judge them to start saying instead, "I love that person,that person, and yes that person too." The author of hate is Satan,the devil. Yes he is real and we are at warfare daily with him. He is out to rob you of joy and cause you to show contempt for others. Don't fall prey to his lousy schemes. Instead wake up and make a point to love people and pray for those who hurt you.

Your assignment today and every day is to love your enemies. Don't get back at them but instead find ways to pray for them and forgive them.

PRAYER: Lord you are good and your goodness is forever. I want to be like you and in order to do this I need to love everyone even those hard to love. Give me your power to do this. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Joy Of The Season


Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy! Psalm 47:1

One day while I ran on nearby Redstone Arsenal I ran past the Bicentennial Chapel where workman in trucks with cherry picker type baskets were decorating a very large Christmas tree out in front of the chapel. As I passed I got a kick out of watching these grown men hanging ornaments and tinsel on the tree. Sure it was their job that day, but I wondered how many of them flashed back to days as a child decorating the family tree at home. Why do we have to grow out of things?When someone says "Act your age" I say "Why?"

This time of year many people are running around giddy and joyful while others are dealing with gloom and pain. There are quite a myriad of emotions around Christmas. Jesus wants us to have joy unspeakable. Only someone truly 'walking' with the Lord can experience this type of joy. It is joy that is there no matter what your circumstances are.

Do you yearn for deep down joy in your heart all year round? No matter what life throws at you with God's joy you can conquer all. Simply ask Jesus to take control of your life and give your heart to Him. It is not religion but it is a 'relationship' with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.He is waiting to hear from you today.

PRAYER: Thank you for your joy this time of year and all through the year. When Satan tries to get me grumbling and angry I will praise your name and be joyful. That will defeat him in an instant. Help me show your joy to others. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Click link to bring joy to heart:
http://youtu.be/tC3SwhJsLqU

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Be Yourself And Relax


Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad. Proverbs 12:25

Many women this time of year can get themselves worked into a frenzy if not careful, myself included. I purpose in my heart each Christmas season to not try to compare myself with what people think we need to do this time of year. I tried one new thing to take pressure off several years ago and that was to send New Years cards instead of the traditional Christmas card. It took an immense amount of stress off of me. Many do not send cards at all and that is fine as well. 
If you are catching yourself starting to cave to all the craziness that can start this time of year  with office parties, mandatories gatherings, work, shopping, baking,  entertaining, and decorating, stop for a moment and breathe. Make this your Mary and Martha moment. You remember the story in Luke 10:38-42 where Jesus was coming to visit and Martha was all hyper and distracted and her sister Mary simply enjoyed the time with Jesus and did not worry about dust bunnies and cooking. That is my modern translation. 
Make it a point to try to carve out some time to sit and be still. Give your cares, concerns, and even your shopping list to the Lord. Do not forget why we are celebrating and keep things in perspective. This is not a big party time but this is a party for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. 
PRAYER: Thank you Lord for being able to celebrate your birth. Every year I end up in a tizzy of sorts and intend to not let that happen with your help. Help me be still and know that you are God as it says in Psalm 46:10. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Memories


Behold, I will do a new thing,Now it shall spring forth;Shall you not know it?I will even make a road in the wilderness, And rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19

I was reflecting the other day about the businesses I had seen come and go in my nearly 15 years living here in the Tennessee Valley. I have never lived in a place long enough due to the military to notice many changes but now I do.

A favorite restaurant Sister Gooch in Madison, Alabama closed several years ago. A coffee  shop called Madison Gallery closed as well. I used to go there each Thursday for a cool cappuccino. A fine eating establishment called Victoria's in Huntsville, Alabama recently shut their doors. It makes me sad because I wonder if it is a business failure or family death or illness. Whistle Stop Cafe which was here in Ardmore and shut its' doors over a year or so ago. Izzy's Bagel Shop later renamed Brewbaker's was a frequent stop to meet up with friends and it too is gone. 

The point being changes are part of life. Sometimes we do not like them but they still happen and there is no way to get them from not happening. We have to be flexible with changes in our own lives to go with the flow and not be upset when things do not go according to an established plan. Sort of keeps life interesting when we have to live day to day. That is what the Lord intends for us to do. He wants us to cherish our memories but not grovel in the past and He has many new exciting things ahead in each of our lives.Our lives are like a vapor anyway and we do not even know if we will be here for tomorrow so it is essential to live for the day at hand. 

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for each day you have given me here on Earth. Sometimes changes occur in my own life or around me and it may be difficult, sad, or  disappointing but help me learn to move on an adapt as I know you have good things in store for those who love you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Note: I wrote this over a week ago but yesterday in church this was the theme and the same Bible verse used. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Feeling So Lonely



For his anger lasts only a moment,but his favor lasts a lifetime;weeping may stay for the night,but rejoicing comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5

This the time of year that people can start to feel lonely. The expectations of having a 'perfect family Christmas' can create stress and also cause unmet expectations. Also those who have recently experienced a loss may be less than merry.The time of year set about to be "merry and bright" can often turn into a sad struggle. Even other times of the year loneliness can abound but this time of year it seems to be on 'steroids' so to speak.

If you are feeling lonely, first of all know that God loves you. Try to not entertain thoughts of doubt, fear, condemnation, comparison and basically do a mental practice of focusing on good and positive thoughts. Even talk out loud to yourself things like the following:

I am a child of God!
Jesus loves me!
Joy comes in the morning!
No weapon formed against me will prosper!
I am the head and not the tail!
You Lord have good plans for me!
I refuse to listen to Satan's lies!

You can probably add a few of your own. Loneliness can be quite disabling though. One of the BEST cures is doing something for someone else and what better time of year is there to do that but this time when giving is overemphasized. My friend, God does not want you to be lonely. Run to Him. Talk to Him in prayer and get busy and get out and find someway to help someone else. I guarantee it will make you feel better. 

PRAYER: I am very grateful for the gift of family and friends and do not take these relationships for granted. Show me how to be a good friend and awesome family member. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Click link below for a song of praise and hope:

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Up To 60% Off


But in keeping with His promise look forward to a new heaven and a new earth where righteousness dwells. 2 Peter 3:13
On Cyber Monday I had big visions of doing some Christmas shopping, but quickly gave up as the email notices I received touting huge discounts turned out in many cases to be a trick to get you to certain websites and then did not get a huge discount after all. 
I am thinking , God is not like that. He makes promises and doesn't say "up to 60% forgiveness offered" but his promises are complete and true and sure.  There are promises of God throughout the Bible we can stand on. It is like the old hymn 'Standing On The Promises' says. We are indeed standing on God's promises. He offers good things to those who love Him and follow Him. No sale needed. No special day to do this on. No gimmicks.

Do you want what God has to offer? Eternal Life. Pretty good deal I would say. By asking Him into your heart to be Lord and savior you can have this promise. Once you do ask Him in though, don't forget about Him. He waits for you to give Him your love and attention each and every day. Now go stand on His promises!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus I love you and I am thankful I can stand on your promises which are true and just. You have good things prepared for those who love you. I can't wait. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Pray Like You Mean It!


And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Matthew 6:7
For whatever reason there are some Christians who don't pray or feel they don't know how. Maybe being raised in a certain church made them feel they had to change their tone of voice or say 'thee' or 'thou' and the whole thing intimidated them. Prayer is simply talking to God. No special degree required. No different speech patterns. It is just pouring out your heart to God.
Maybe you grew up saying only "God is great" prayers or "now I lay me down to sleep" and have never really poured out your heart to God.   Perhaps now you have fallen into a pattern of not praying at all. The devil loves that because through prayer is where you have the power to defeat him. If you have been lulled into complacency when it comes to prayer, now is the time to turn that around. Prayer gives us power to defeat the schemes of the enemy. I know people who have been turned off by prayer saying it does not work. We are to pray and pray some more and never lose heart.
I challenge you to not just pray memorized prayers but pray from your heart. Just talk to God. He hears you and He listens. Make prayer a part of each day.
PRAYER: There have been times I have not gone to you in prayer. Forgive me Lord.  I choose to not rush into my day unarmed. I want your power in my life and with prayer I have it. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Go Forward!



“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." Isaiah 43:18-19

Have you ever attempted to drive your car backwards for any length of time? It would be very stressful  and tiring focusing backwards over your shoulder, trying to maintain a normal speed and staying on the road.

Life should be lived going 'forward' not in reverse. Often times people want to go back to the past and try to 'fix' something but the past is gone, forever. God intends for us to look ahead for the glory which is to come. Looking back serves no useful purpose.

Is there a situation in your life you've been having a hard time forgetting and moving on?  Now is the time to ask God to help you and focus on today. 

PRAYER:  At times Lord it is so hard to forget something. It does me no good to dig up the past. Help me have strength to live for today! In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I Pledge Thee My Troth



When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. Ecclesiastes 5:4

In our wedding vows 37 years ago part of it said "I pledge thee my troth" and we laughed about it as it sounded like I was giving a stable away. But the troth means faithfulness or truthfulness. The word 'pledge' itself means "a solemn binding promise". It is a vow and should not be taken lightly.

Pledges are part of everyday life in America. Take the 'Pledge of Allegiance' for example. It is a serious promise you make when you recite this pledge or promise. Say it to yourself and think what it means. In Christian circles many make a 'pledge' to donate money to a radio station, ministry or a missionary. This pledge should be taken seriously as it is a promise and ministries count on your faithfulness. I will be the first to admit there have been times I forgot and felt ashamed of myself. When I was in college I 'pledged' to a sorority or joined it and pledged to be faithful as a 'sister'. Pledges are important. 

Have you made pledges you have not kept? God can forgive you so do not beat up on yourself but purpose in your heart you will not allow breaking pledges to become a habit. If you  pledge allegiance to America and don't follow it you may be guilty of treason. A pledge is a trust, a promise. If you are committing to something you want to be faithful. This is between you and God. Start today and ask God to help you keep that which you have promised.


PRAYER: Lord Jesus I want to be faithful to my promises and pledges. This is an honorable thing to do and Christian thing to do. Help me not make excuses but to fulfill my pledges. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

That New Car Smell



Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Revelation 2:4

For anyone fortunate and blessed enough to ever have a brand new car right from the factory assembly line, you can attest to that wonderful new car smell. Friends often want to get in to see the car and smell the new smell. Just like with anything new eventually you do not smell it anymore. Perhaps because it is no longer new and we are not  taking care of it like we used to. The smell is intermingled with smells of gym bags, grocery bags, trash, and other odds and ends. You once parked far away from others as to not 'ding' your car doors but after awhile you take the car for granted and park it anywhere.

Relationships with people, be it friends or a spouse, can be this way as well. You treat them kind and put them first when the relationship is in its' infancy or when you are trying to impress but then you sort of slip, maybe not meaning to, and take this blessing for granted. Perhaps you are not treating the person as kind as you used to or making the time for them like you should.

Well Jesus is no exception. Many give their heart to Him but then other priorities get in the way and squeeze Jesus out of their day. Sure you mean well and you still claim to be a Christian but you rarely,if ever, do more than Sunday morningto check that block for the week. If this describes you what are you going to do about it? Jesus wants to be first place, really first,not just saying you love Him and not showing Him. Just like you give your spouse flowers for no reason it is time maybe you give Jesus' the 'flowers' of quality time each day spent with Him.

PRAYER: I love you Lord and I know there are many days I sure do not act like it. Forgive me. Just like a mother would not forget her crying baby,Lord I do not want to forget you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Hardy Har


A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.  Proverbs 17:22
I have a sensitive nature at times and when it comes to people kidding me about being hyper they say things like "Have you had enough coffee?" After awhile I have a good cry then move on with it. God made me 'high energy' and I am thankful but when jokes or cruel comments come I have to blow it off. Those who do it probably thought they were being funny and I need to move on and get over it. Being funny is a good thing as long as it is not at the expense of others.

It is good to laugh and have fun but never to intentionally make fun of people. Laughter  is like medicine for our souls. I think of the movie 'Patch Adams' starring the late Robin Williams, about a doctor who used laughter with his patients to help them heal. A rotten spirit  can make you sick. To laugh and smile is to be lifted up above your problems. A good clean joke is always a good thing.

When you laugh exhibit joy and God loves a joyful heart. Find a person who needs a smile today and be a friend. What usually follows a smile is a chuckle. Do you part to make others happy and joyful in the name of Jesus!

PRAYER: I thank you Lord for the gift of laughter. Help me not tell jokes to belittle others and help me be able to share your joy with others. In Jesus' name. Amen.