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.

Friday, July 31, 2015

The Forest Fire

Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. James 3:5-6< On a recent vacation to Yellowstone National Park it was pointed out that forest fires helped with the regrowth of the forest and were essential in the big scheme of things. Forest fires and grass fires occur nearly every summer but similar to the ruination which happened after Mt St Helens 1980 eruption,years later the ground is beautiful and lush. The forest fire rages and kills but in the aftermath beautiful growth occurs. Our tongue is similar to a huge forest fire but unlike the flames leaving destruction in their wake and later blooming again,the 'fire' that spews forth from our mouths often destroys and hurts those we speak to. It may take years to be able to repair a relationship that you have destroyed with thoughtless words. This is one 'fire' that needs to be tamed and kept under control before it rages forth and hurts someone we are close to. Do you have problems controlling your tongue? Many people do so if you do admit it to God and ask for His help. Do not be afraid to ask forgiveness to those you have hurt with your words. If you have been hurt by another and even if they never asked for forgiveness do not harbor bitterness and choose to forgive. It is what God would want of His children. PRAYER: Forgive me Lord for the times I have become offended when someone hurt me. Help me learn to forgive and forget. Also help me Lord not start 'forest fires' with my words and stop and think before I speak if there is any doubt to what I am saying being hurtful. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Hard Work Pays

The lazy do not roast any game, but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt. Proverbs 12:27 I am fortunate to live in the United States of America which has so much diverse natural beauty. Recently I returned from a trip to Idaho and Wyoming, two Western states filled with things of awe and wonder. The Oregon Trail passes through Boise and it made me ponder the hard work and courage of those brave men and  women who ventured West over the Mississippi to discover more of this great nation. Hearty souls they were facing dangers, peril,  and the unknown. It was allot of immensely hard work similar to the Founders of this great nation and the early Pilgrims. Religious freedom was the initial impetus to come to this great land. When we have everything given to us and don't have to work laziness sets in. That was never God's plan and many scripture verses allude to that fact. We are to help those in need but those in need are not to just sit back and expect to not lift a finger towards helping pull themselves out of poverty. Similar to why in the national parks we are asked to not feed the bears. If we do they tend to rely on tourist handouts and will not go hunting for food on their own. The pioneers knew they would have to toil and face danger but they were willing to for freedom and a better life. In life do we allow others to give us handouts or do we work hard to get what we want? This could be both physically and spiritually. Once you hear a message on Sunday do you study it or do you forget until the following Sunday and just go about daily business? Don't get lazy about physical work and do not become complacent about your walk with the Lord either. PRAYER: I need to remember to study hard and grow in my walk with you. Also help me never be lazy about working to make a better life. Help me remember the example of the brave settlers of this great land. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Ticks And Other Pests


But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. Isaiah 59:2

When you go to the woods or are around pets and their sleeping areas, it is necessary to be on the lookout for ticks. One surprised me recently as I was doing computer work. I quickly got rid of it and checked myself for more.

This incident made me think of sin and how it 'sucks' the life right out of us. There are two choices,  the first being follow the world and popular culture or to follow God. Everyone has sin and there is no worst sin category even though some like to think there must be. Sin is doing something you know displeases God and separates you from Him. Besides the word of God, only your heart can convict you. Satan is at his best deceiving many to think they are politically correct. The question is are they God correct?

Do you choose the worlds' ways which often lead to destruction or do you choose the narrow pathway to God?

PRAYER: Keep me from being blinded by the deceit, schemes, and trickery of Satan. He is working all over trying to pervert the truth. Help me and those in my family keep our eyes open to truth. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Peace In Unsettled Times



“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

Many people today fear we are in the last days. Our leaders negotiate with terrorists and shun our biggest friend Israel. What is wrong with that picture? Don't run for the hills, this is not about politics, but is about maintaining peace when humanly you have much to supposedly fear. Bank collapse. Moral collapse. Collapse of freedom. Guess what? Last time I checked God is still on the throne. The puny plans of mere men are nothing compared to the miracles of this Big God. 

What should you be doing right now? First use your voice to speak the truth in love. Note I said to do it "in love" as forcing your opinion on someone only makes them angry. The Holy Spirit is the one who changes people. We never will. Believe me, yours truly knows all too well. Next and probably most important is to keep praying. Third is to purposely pray for your enemies and those the government to become Christians if they aren't already and pray for the truth to win out. Finally relax. We serve a big God and He has it all under control. Don't catch yourself getting angry so much but stay involved in the freedom process and keep knowing God will work things out when it is His time. 

Now go out in this chaotic world and spread some peace and love today. 

PRAYER: I confess to you my fears of wondering what has happened to America. I start to fear the worst and then I realize you are bigger, much bigger,than all that is going on. You see the big picture. Help me to trust in you and relax. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Training Ground


To answer before listening-- that is folly and shame.Proverbs 18:13

How foolish to decide things without the facts. When we rush to judgment on something or make a decision before laying all the details out, big trouble could lie ahead. It sure is hard to wait. If we don't though misstakes can be made. I am trying to learn this lesson on my journey to get published. I will think I have found the perfect self publisher then something changes my opinion. In my rush to get my book into print I certainly do not want to do it any way but God's way. 

My training ground of sorts is waiting on God. Learning to be still. Learning to slow down. Learning to not jump to conclusions. Learning to have peace in the midst of chaos. This takes self control only given by the Holy Spirit.

Does God have you in a training ground to help you learn a spiritual lesson? Maybe it is an office where you need to learn to love your co workers. Perhaps it is with friends and rejection. Maybe it is learning to be content with what you have and not compare. Think on this for a moment and what is it you need to learn and sit at God's feet while you do?

PRAYER: I thank you Lord for the things you teach me in my day to day existence. When things fall apart maybe it is time I am still and figure out what it is I need to learn. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

More Than Sunday


But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. Hebrews 3:13

Going to church is a good thing. The Sabbath day is to be honored and kept but not in the legalistic sense of "let's do this" and then go about the rest of the week without any part of God in your life. It strikes me that only the Holy Spirit can do the "spiritual surgery" to help change a person's heart. Seeds of kindness and love  can be planted along the way by believers.  Ultimately, loving Jesus is supposed to be a 24/7 operation each day and not just reserved for one single hour each Sunday. 

Maybe the people that need to hear this message are not even reading this devotion because devotions are not their thing. So if you know people in your life you pray for that the 'spiritual light' will come on in their life keep on praying and trusting God will take care of them. Beware of acting superior to anyone that is not loving Jesus with all their heart. Our job is to love and not judge. 

In the meantime get excited about Jesus around the clock. Feed your spirit with songs, and tunes, and spiritual songs and lift up your voice in praise to Him. 

PRAYER: Your goodness is awesome Lord. I love to worship where the spirit of God is alive and the truth is preached. Use me Lord as your witness in the community I am in the rest of the week. I resist the enemy and he has to flee. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Annoyances

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Recently I was in another coffee shop attempting to write when a girl answered her cell phone and instead of removing herself to chat,  carried on a very loud personal conversation right there. After that she started blowing her nose super loud. I said to myself "Ok Becky time to keep focusing on love, forgiveness, and patience." There are many rude people in the world and the cell phone has caused much more rudeness. It is how we choose to deal with this and respond that matters. 

God puts up with lots from us. Thank goodness for His mercy and His grace. We are not by any means perfect creatures but are to learn and grow to try to be more like Him. The saying 'WWJD' which became popular a few years back,  really does make us think about "What Would Jesus Do?" In certain not so perfect situations in life ask yourself that questions before you boil over and are sorry for your actions or feelings. 

Why not try to emulate Christ in tough situations you encounter today? Things may annoy you but then did you ever think you could annoy others too. Remember to show God's grace to others. 

PRAYER: Lord you are good and I am so grateful for your love and grace. Help me Lord to remember to show grace to those around me as we never know what they are going through. Above all help me not judge others as I am not walking in their shoes. In Jesus' name. Amen.



Friday, July 24, 2015

Weed Your Garden


The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. Matthew
 13:22

I love fresh vegetables and the sight of a pretty garden neatly kept. Driving past rows of corn planted by area farmers is also nice. Picking blueberries at a local farm is a fun activity walking through the rows of neatly groomed trees. When I lived in Arizona I enjoyed seeing rows of orange trees in groves. I myself am not the best gardener because I am lazy about pulling weeds. A few days ago I was weeding trying to unearth a couple lost watermelon vines. I had to search for the green beans my husband took the time to plant. In both cases I found them finally.

What if we let our spiritual garden get clogged up with weeds and did not do anything about it? Sin can overwhelm. The world can throw things at us and confuse our walk with the Lord. We can start doubting the truth found in the Bible. But if we 'weeded' our gardens by reading the Bible daily, studying it, and praying we would have a fruit bearing life. 

Don't let the weeds of life choke out the word of God in your life. Spend some time getting to know Him better by opening up the word of God. Satan flees when we pursue the Lord. 

PRAYER: Help me as I seek to get rid of weeds and thorns in my life. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Wishing and Hoping



And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5

Back in the 60's there was a catchy tune called 'Wishing and Hoping' that played on top 40's radio stations. I loved listening and singing along. Wishing and hoping are a good thing to do and we should never lose hope, ever. 

To hope is to know that God has a plan and He has not forgotten you or your loved ones. When you are in the waiting room of hoping for a miracle or a change in something keep on your knees in prayer and also pick up your Bible and study verses on hope. Keep it alive always.

What is it you are wishing and hoping for today? Have you talked to God yet today? Take some time right where you are and pray and ask God to give you the strength and patience you need as you trust Him with the areas in life you are waiting for change. He has a plan.

PRAYER: Thanks Lord for being our hope in a world of confusion and lies. Thanks that I know you hear  my prayers. I trust you to work in your time to take care of a situation in my life. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Stop Trying To Figure Things Out. Trust God.


Trust in the Lord with all your heart, in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

 I used to always be trying to figure out things on my own and thus caused enormous worry and stress. One day the light came on, so to speak,  and I realized no amount of me sitting trying to wonder why things were the way they were was going to change a situation. Things happen, period. Trying to second guess situations is a waste of productive time. 

The verse for today says allot. Trust totally in the Lord. Do it with your whole heart. No halfway dedication. Do not try to figure things out on your own and make judgments yourself. In every aspect of your life submit to Him. This means every area, no holding back. When you do this not only will you have more mental peace but clarity as well. God will guide you and make the way. 

When you apply these two verses from Proverbs from your life you will know and be assured God has the controls and He does not need you as His assistant. 

PRAYER: Thanks for the peace I have Lord after I totally trust you to run my life and that of my family members. Worry, speculation, manipulation and all the rest have no place in my life. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Lost Signal

Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory." Psalm 50:15

It is so frustrating to be watching television controlled by satellite during a storm especially if a favorite show. Eventually a message scrolls across the screen, "Lost signal. Attempting to acquire signal." With our mobile devices when talking if you drive into a remote location without a cell tower your signal can also be lost. The good news is when talking with God in prayer our signal is never lost or broken. 

Prayer is not just supposed to be done at meals and bedtime but it is an ongoing conversation with our Heavenly Father. He wants to hear from you. Don't treat Him like a genie in a bottle but know He cares for our deepest hurts and loves to hear from you. You can talk to Him in a storm and the signal is always there. You can talk to Him going through a tunnel on the highway and He  will hear you. 

Make prayer a daily habit and really share your heart with the Lord. Get real and pray and don't forget to thank Him for the answers. 

PRAYER: Lord I thank you for hearing my heart and listening when I cry out to you. I know I need to confess my sins to you too so you hear my prayers as 1 John 1:9 tells me that. I want to grow to be closer to you and I know the way to do it is through a prayer life that is deep and personal. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, July 20, 2015

One Small Step For Man, With God


Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
On this date in 1969 astronaut Neil Armstrong first set foot on the moon and uttered the famous phrase "That's one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind." Truly I remember the event well broadcast right into our living rooms. Mankind had come along way and still continues too.  

Men and women were created uniquely by God with the abilities to be creative and intelligent. He has gifted different people with different skills. God puts within us all a dream and for some it was going to the moon. Living in America many of those dreams of exploration and experimentation lead to great discoveries and inventions. But we can not continue on our present course of acting like God doesn't exist and rewriting his laws to make what we do acceptable. We have been able to achieve so much because God blessed this God fearing land because we acknowledged Him. Now in some places you can get arrested for speaking up for the cause of Christ.

While you think about the wonderful inventions and things this country has provided in addition to manned space flight, don't ever forget that it would not have been possible without the help of the Almighty. He alone gives the abilities and talents to do mighty things. We just need to remember to give Him the glory. 

PRAYER: Your creation is awe inspiring.i am thankful for the wonderful way we have been able to see the splendor of your creation due to astronauts orbiting the Earth. Thank you for giving these talents to individuals to provide so much to us. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Storms Are Temporary

O God, have pity, for I am trusting you! I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until this storm is past. Psalm 57:1

I am not afraid of storms but many people are. Storms don't last forever. Many times after a storm a beautiful rainbow appears in the sky and brings a sense of peace and hope.

There are many 'storms' in life too. Some of those 'storms' may bring fear. Terminal illnesses. Bankruptcy. Fear of tyranny in the government. Loss of source of income. Loss of a dwelling due to fire or some other disaster. Issues with a spouse, friend, or other family member that create problems and stress. Rejection. It is how we handle these type of 'storms' that matters.

When the storms of life press in on you is your reaction to panic or can you fully trust God to help see you through till rainbows appear again?

PRAYER: Lord I want to completely let you have any storms that come into my life and guide me through them. Give me the ability to react in the proper way and to above all always to be in prayer and not worry. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Can You Just Be Still?


He says "Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations.I will be exalted in the Earth." Psalm 46:10

I am affectionately called The Energizer Bunny by several friends and even have one on my keychain. This does not bother me because I am thankful to have abundant energy. At times though it can cause me to respond to something too quickly when maybe I should have just waited. Everyone has a different personality that God created within us. Even though. I m all over the place at times, I still have moments of stillness.

       One of my favorite activities which I need to do more of are having 'days alone with God' also known as 'DAWG' days. This is a wonderful time to put down the phone and go to the throne so to speak. Scheduling this day or a few hours is beneficial to your spiritual upkeep. Getting away someplace safe and free of distractions, and giving God quality time. 

Is there something you could get away with God and pray about?  Why not schedule your own DAWG day soon?

PRAYER: Lord I love you and I love being able to be still in your presence. Help me prioritize my days and my month so I can occasionally have a DAWG day with you. In Jesus' name.Amen.

Click link for a song of praise: 
http://youtu.be/Aq8P5i9U7-g

Friday, July 17, 2015

22, 32, 42, 52, 62, 72, 82, 92, 102?


Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. Isaiah 46:4

The older I get the more I realize it is a blessing and not a curse,  like the advertising media makes us feel. I remember when I had 'spot free' skin and could see without the use of glasses. I also can remember when I was 24 referring to the office secretary as the 'old lady secretary' (behind her back of course) when in effect she was probably about 45. Years sure have a way of changing how you think about things. 

I am not ashamed of my age. Each year is a blessing to be thankful for. There is a reason you are here on this Earth. If you happen to be in the category of a 'mature citizen' do not get in the mindset of thinking you have nothing else you can do and all hope is lost. Do not feel you can not apply for a job and take the attitude "I will never be hired as I am too old" or in fact you will get what you say. Keep dreaming. Keep hoping. Keep looking up. Whether young or old do my quit and do not give up. The word retirement is not found in the Bible by the way, but is a modern day concept, so do not let the world mold you into being a quitter and thinking you have no value. Let your speech be positive too. 

Go out today no matter what your age and shine for Jesus! 

PRAYER: This is the day you have made and I will seek to be a positive influence in the world around me. In Jesus' name. Amen.



Thursday, July 16, 2015

Watch Your Words


 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. Ephesians 4:29
There is a saying in the Navy, "Loose lips sink ships" and "loose lips end relationships" too if you do not think before you speak, text, or email. For those of us who like to talk, yeah that would be yours truly, we have to be careful to not let emotions rule what we say. It is best to really think before you speak. It is so easy to start arguments if you do not. Ask yourself if what you are about to say or write will be necessary or have value. If not then skip it.
The word of God is filled with a host of scriptures on talking and our mouth. Do a word study in your Bible and you will see what I mean. If only that tongue of ours could be tamed things would be so much better. (See James chapter 3). Have you hurt someone with your words because you did not think first or let your emotions rule you? If this is an area you have trouble with take some time out and just look up verses and end with prayer asking God to take control of your speech and give you self control.
Words bring joy, peace, and love or if misused can create a rift and wound someone. Use yours today to bring joy to someone.
 PRAYER: Forgive me for the many times I did not control my tongue and rattled off stuff and hurt someone. Help me never be seen as a gossip or someone who meddles and creates trouble. Let my words be few unless they are kind. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

No More Mourning

  
"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Revelation 21:4

Death is not a fun thing for we humans here left behind. We grieve the unexplainable loss of babies, children, teens, young mothers and any death at all for that matter. No one likes to say goodbye and know they can not longer humanly talk with their loved ones. War takes soldiers. Old age takes our grandparents. So many things happen in life to have it cut short. The thing is for the believer it is not a sad thing but is a 'home going'.  Once they have left earth they are present with the Lord.(See 2 Corinthians 5:8). 

Only God knows a person's heart. Once a person has asked Jesus into their heart they will be in heaven with Him when their time on this earth is over. Children and babies will be there with Him as they have not reached the age of asking Christ to be Lord of their life. Heaven will be glorious and no man could even begin to describe how awesome it is. Even Hollywood can not fathom how wonderful it is.

Just imagine what awaits you in the heavenly kingdom and don't fear death unless that is that you don't know Jesus as savior. Now is the time to make sure He is Lord of your life. 

PRAYER: I look forward to your heavenly kingdom when I leave this temporary home. While I am here use me Lord for your purposes to spread your love and joy to others. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Nothing Is Impossible With God

Jesus looked at them and said "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26

There is no hope. But God. We are at the point of no return. But God. How will we get through this? But God. God sees the big picture and His ways are better than our ways or what we wish could happen. Breakthrough's and miracles still happen. Yes, seemingly bad things can happen to good people still and I do not know why that is. I do not that God loves you and He does work things out good or bad. Only believe. 

What is it you are facing or dealing with? A bad medical diagnosis? A painful divorce? Loss of a child? Maybe you are pretty mad at God for not making every thing just peachy for you. Keep on praying and keep on standing strong in your faith. Our enemy Satan loves to capitalize on Christians going through problems. Sometimes the bad junk has a way of opening the door to good things ahead. As we patiently endure and stay grounded in Christ He can do the impossible. 

My friend keep pressing on and knowing God has you in the palm of His hand. 

PRAYER: Lord show me how to minister to those enduring difficult situations in their life. Help me to not give up on prayer as I know you hear us. Strengthen us for the battles ahead. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, July 13, 2015

So Many Magazines

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23
As I sat thumbing through a Christian magazine at a busy chain bookstore, I noticed the variety and amount of magazines on just about every topic you could imagine. Many filled with good stories, homemaking tips, exercise routines, vacation ideas and much more. I also thought about how much of all that stuff doesn't really matter. Whatever your interest, sinful or otherwise, you can usually buy a copy of a magazine that interests you here in America.

What is it you dwell on most of the time? Do you spend more time focusing on things that do not matter in the big scheme of things for eternity? I am not saying reading magazines is wrong but when you do are you also filling your mind with things that will build you up and matter or things that take you further away from the Lord. We have to be conscience to what things we allow to come into our mind and heart. 

Just make sure you have balance to your life. A friend of mine in Iowa had the word 'Balance' as her personalized license plate and it is very true. Magazines in themselves even moral ones are not bad but make sure you are giving things of the Lord equal time.

PRAYER: Help me Lord as I seek to put balance in my life when it comes to media. I know Lord I need to give you time daily and I want to do things to grow closer to you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Love, Be Kind, Forgive

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 John 4:8
I used to have a hard time telling my friends I loved them. Not sure why but now it is done easily. It is simple to love when love is returned but difficult to do when you know the other person may not like you. Also it sometimes is hard to love an individual who is a tyrant, bully,  or just plain evil and mean. But the Bible tells us to love. 
An exercise in love would be to pray for your enemies and those who do evil and even curse you. It tells us that in Matthew 5:44. It is hard as I well know. Somehow when you do this you feel better. Maybe a hard relationship at work. Perhaps tension in a relationship married or otherwise. God has a way of setting you free when you are able to love, show kindness, and forgive. 

Whether you feel like it or not in your quiet time think of those people hard to love or those you need to forgive and release to God. 

PRAYER: Thank you for the power to love through you and in turn share kindness. It is hard so give me your strength. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Didn't See It Coming

But the day of the Lord will come  like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. 2 Peter 3:10

Often times we may be taken by surprise by something or blindsided. Even though we knew the consequence of our actions perhaps they were not taken into account. One example is not saving for the future then ending up with no money expecting the government to bail us out. A person who disregards the guidance for morals found in the Bible and does his or her own thing may end up with a disease, a pregnancy, or death. Warnings are for our own good. 

Scripture warns us of consequences of not following Jesus yet many may brush it off. The world can not continue to ignore the commands of God and not have repercussions. Back when I was growing up the Ten Commandments were not banned. Many schools had them clearly posted for all to see. Satan works through people to eradicate any mention of God's word in society. Without moral guidance it is easier for him to lure unsuspecting victims into his trap. 

Don't be caught unaware of what is to come. God has warned us. If this were to be your last day are you ready to meet Him and know you would be in heaven? It will happen suddenly so my advice is to make peace with God and ask Him to be your Lord and savior. 

PRAYER: I am not unaware of the fact that one day you will come back and those who know you will go to meet you in heaven. Father I pray you will use me Lord to impact the world around me and help me to let my light shine always. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Watch Out For The Bears!


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

This summer I plan to visit Yellowstone National Park for the first time. I am so excited. This park is teeming with abundant wildlife. Wild means just that, wild. Not tame. Not used to people encroaching upon their space. Tourists, bikers, hikers, and campers need to proceed with caution and follow the rules in the event of a grizzly bear encounter or some other creature such as a bison. They are not cute comic characters but can do major damage to someone who gets in their way. 

Satan is a big huge ugly bear in our world. He is out there and tries to appear like a harmless teddy bear enticing unsuspecting people that the life they are leading is not so bad, or what they are engaging in is their right, so it is okay. He is a master of deceit and trickery and lures the innocent into his trap. He tries to get others to change the word of God to make it more accepting of their sins. As long as we are on this Earth we have to be alert to the schemes of the enemy and resist him firm in our faith and belief in God and truth. 

Have you allowed the enemy to capture you and draw you away from Jesus? Are you still pursuing Christ or does He seem boring to you? Do you love Jesus or just church? Just some questions to ponder. Go out and stand strong and do not allow Satan to cause you to believe his lies. 

PRAYER: Sometimes Lord I find myself wandering on a path that could lead to destruction. I pray that I always look up and resist attempts by Satan to make me believe lies or hate others. I pray for those I know who may be caught in his trap. Deliver them from evil. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Don't Cave In To False Beliefs


 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. Colossians 2:8

The modern culture we live in is becoming less and less a moral Christ centered culture. Instead it has become one of tolerance for almost anything but what Christians believe. Our grandparents may not recognize today's world if they were to be alive today.  The Bible has been made to be old fashioned and not for today.  Sunday of yesteryear was a day for church and not much else except maybe a fun activity such as eating out or a movie. Sometimes when we hear the phrase "You've come a long way baby" it is not necessarily a good thing.

How do you know what to listen to and what to reject? The word of God is a standard for all things. Modernistic churches are even picking and choosing what is right and wrong. Just because the word 'church' is mentioned does not mean Christ and His teachings are part of it. Beware my friend. Today we are in a battle of good and evil, Satan and God. Pray the above verse for yourself and for your family. Pray for God to make you alert to the schemes of the enemy present in our world today. 

Who are you going to believe?

PRAYER: I need you in my life each and every day. Help me be able to discern wrong 'voices' and teaching and stay fixed on your truth. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Rejected....Again!


He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Isaiah 53:3
The new social media world has created yet another disheartening problem. Besides overconsumption of free time spent on computers and other devices, the hurt of realizing a friend has rejected you by unfriending you or won't accept your friend request. I hate that word unfriend. Would Jesus unfriend people? Why do good people turn on us or want us to leave them alone? 

Speaking of being rejected, Jesus was insulted, rejected, betrayed, talked about behind His back yet He still loved and forgave. Aren't we to be emulating Him and do likewise? I can not even imagine the type of pain and rejection He went through. His emotions were like ours. Everyone likes to be loved and included. He is no exception.

Are you rejecting Jesus today? You say you attend church. That is not the question. Do you truly adore Jesus and give Him time each day or is a few minutes on Sunday enough?  What if friends treated you like that and avoided you? It would hurt wouldn't it? Why not make it a point to give Jesus time with you daily by praying and reading the Bible. 

PRAYER: I am sorry Lord for the times you have wanted to spend time with me each day and I ran out of the house with barely a thought of the kingdom of God. Forgive me. Help me say no to distractions that keep me from quality time daily with you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Thoughts To Ponder

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. Romans 10:17

I do not know how many of you may journal or jot down things you like to remember in a small notebook or maybe in some cases the palm of your hand, but I do. Some of the thoughts I recently jotted down were "think straight, chill out,calm down, Godly thoughts, judging must stop, get a clear head, stop acting on impulse." Maybe you can identify with some of those or have made your own list of things to work on in your own life. 

It is good to set goals in your walk with the Lord. None of us are perfect and we all fall short of God's glory as it says in Romans 3:23. Nobody has all the answers. Preachers and priests aren't always the ones with all the knowledge either. Each of us is responsible for growing in Christ on our own and a good start is making sure you devote time to being alone with God. I find the best time is morning. Be still. Open the word and read it perhaps starting in the book of John. Ask God to reveal to you areas of your life you need to work on.

Our journey with the Lord is a daily one. There will be ups and there will be downs. Always remember to not attack people but to pray for them. All of us have our own issues and God died for all our sins. So your job is to work on yourself and look to Jesus. 

PRAYER: May my life make a difference in the lives of those around me. May I never cause anyone to stumble or go astray. Let my thoughts and actions bring glory to you and you alone. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Blossoms And Thorns


Do not be deceived. God can not be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Galatians 6:7
As I picked green beans in my garden recently I was getting poked by thorns from weeds which had intermingled with the vegetables. I had not weeded the garden and consequently weeds with thorns sprung up. This gave me an idea for a devotion as many things in everyday life do.

Lush green beans represent your life as a believer. The weeds and thorns represent Satan and sin that comes in to trap us and choke the spirit out of us. If we allow sin to control our life we won't produce spiritual fruit. As we try to navigate through life still not getting sinful things from our life we can get pricked with thorns. 

God is good and His garden does not have weeds, overgrown brush, and things that stick us. "Weed" your spiritual garden of anything that could choke your Christian life out of you. Read the Bible for it is like the food that helps growth occur. Now go bloom for Jesus. 

PRAYER: I want to bloom for you Lord. Help me be aware of weeds of sin that try to choke the spiritual life out of me. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Forgive And Forgive Some More


See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. Hebrews 12:15

With the recent slaughter of 9 innocent church goers in South Carolina one thing that is missing are the lawyers who usually pop their  heads in to try to create lawsuits and bitterness. Not one time have I heard of any one hating but only praying for those who hearts are hardened.  This young man hated people of a different color. I never could understand that but I feel hatred is learned. It can be the other way too with the black race hating the white race. The news and people in our government have been race baiting to a certain extent instead of trying to bring folks together in this tragedy.

I for one think it is awesome to hear of people being unified and prayerful regardless of their skin color. What good is bitterness? Who does it help? Better to just forget, forgive, and move on. Starting arguments does not lift up the name of Jesus nor is it an example of Christ centered love. Seeking revenge is not the answer. 

Is there a person in your life you need to forgive? Do it today and let go of hate and bitterness. 

PRAYER: I choose to love and to let go of things in the past I harbored that stirred up anger. Help me Lord love even those who don't love me. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Prayer Warriors

How could one man chase a thousand,or two put ten thousand to flight,unless their Rock had sold them,unless the Lord had given them up?Deuteronomy 32:30

Happy 239th Birthday America! Many sacrifices were made to get to the point of having this many years as a free democracy. Freedom is always under fire and presently under fire by some of our own leaders elected to serve the people. Power and control can become intoxicating such as in Germany with Hitler, many were mesmerized, yet blinded, to evil in their midst. This is why it is vital to not take freedom for granted and to stay on your knees praying for God to watch over us and this life we cherish and hold dear.

Our founding Fathers were men of prayer. Our First President George Washington, was a man of prayer. When I say prayer I mean to God our Heavenly Father. It is He who has blessed this great nation because we followed Him and revered Him. Lately we see Christians being scorned even by those in Washington. Deeply held convictions often times are under jeopardy because the laws the government forces upon us. It brings joy to my heart when I hear of many newly elected true believers who are not ashamed to profess their belief in the halls of Congress.

Our battle is not against flesh and blood but against evil spiritually dark forces trying to destroy this great land. This evil loves to deceive and trick. Be on your guard and stay in the word. Your 'war room' is the place you go pray. There you can do battle against the enemy and help reclaim this nation as 'One Nation Under God.' 

PRAYER: Today Lord I pray for the eyes of deceived people to wake up. I pray for all the freedoms we enjoy to stay intact. I pray for the power grabbers in our government to be reigned in. I pray for changed hearts. I pray for godly men and women to have high places of authority. In Jesus' name.Amen.

Link to 'War Room' movie:
Warroomthemovie.com coming 28 August to a theater near you. 

Click link for a familiar song of worship:

Friday, July 3, 2015

Playing With Fire

But if you fail to keep your word, then you will have sinned against the LORD, and you may be sure that your sin will find you out. Numbers 32:23

How many of you growing up heard your parents utter the saying "if you play with fire, you'll get burned? " This could literally mean if you were playing around in a campfire you could burn yourself or with matches. It is a deeper warning too that if you are toying with areas of life that are out of bounds in God's big scheme of things, eventually it will backfire on you or in other words you will get burned. 

You can run but you can not hide. You lie you must lie again to cover up the first lie. Cheating is wrong. Lying is wrong. Adultery is wrong. Many many more things are written in the Bible that we are told to stay away from. The enemy is tricky and will disguise sin as politically correct or every one else is doing it.  Sometimes sinful governments who don't apply God's teaching will make laws condoning sin and saying they are okay. Who you listen is what matters. Do you follow God and His word or do you follow the ways of this sinful world which eventually will pass away?

We are in a war of good and evil, right versus wrong. Do not despair or lose hope because we know the end of the story and God indeed will have victory and is in control. If you have friends of family who are caught up in the world and its' ways more than God's just keep praying for them. 

PRAYER: Lord you are good all the time and all the sin going on in a formerly Christian nation does not surprise you. I thank you that you love mankind but are hurt by its' sinful nature. Help my light shine forth in the darkness around me and help the truth set people free. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Keep Shining!

         The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5

When you enter a dark room what is the first thing you do? Hopefully your answer was turn on the light. Believers are to be like salt and light in the world around us. We have seen lately how dark it can get for believers even here in the United States. It is much worse in countries which have eradicated Christ or any mention of Him from the country. God is light and Satan is dark. Light always overcomes darkness. 

Wherever you go you are to be a beaming light for Jesus. Don't walk around like a sour puss and be negative all the time but try to set an example in actions and words and let His love flow out of you to others. I once heard we believers may be the only 'Bible' anyone ever 'reads'. Keeping this in mind as our responsibility is huge in representing the kingdom. 

If you have been feeling a little beat up lately and hopeless, don't put out your light. Keep shining on and on for Jesus and the light will eventually totally eradicate  the darkness in the evil world.

PRAYER: Help me shine like a 'sunbeam' for you Lord. Even on bad days help me to call on you for help to keep shining and shining. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Sunrise, Sunset.

"But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Matthew 24:36

When visiting the grave of a young friend recently I walked around and looked at a few other  graves. On one the tombstone read "Sunrise" for the birthdate and "Sunset" for the date of death. That is fitting as when we are born it is a new beginning and when we pass on the sun has set on our life. 
Are you making good use of the time in between sunrise and sunset? No one knows the time they will die. It could be today, tomorrow, or years from now. Live each day well and make it count for the kingdom. The earth we live on is so very temporary. We are supposed to be here to serve and glorify God. We do this as a mother, a father, a sibling,a co worker, a friend,an employee, and as a total stranger. Our light is to shine forth in the darkness of this present age to shine Christ's love to others. 

Are you living for the Lord in this present age or just here occupying space? When I say "living for the Lord" I do not mean just attending church but truly making Him Lord of your life. Give it some thought. What changes do you need to make to really give God the time He deserves everyday? 

PRAYER: At times Lord I have gotten consumed in my own little world and forget to even give you any quality time. Help me arrange my schedule so I never shut you out. In Jesus' name. Amen.