Welcome to God's Lemonade Stand

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

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Giant Meteor 2016..Just End It Already

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12

One day in Huntsville, Alabama at a stoplight, the car in front of me displayed a bumper sticker, with patriotic colors, with the slogan above. It made me chuckle. No doubt how many people feel in this election year and as things worsen morally. But God has a plan. Don't get hopeless and by all means don't stay home on Election Day in November. 

There is always reason for hope so never despair. The truth does set people free.  Satan has blinded the eyes of many. He has caused division often among family and friends. The truth is made into a lie and a lie into truth. Arguing isn't going to change anything but prayer indeed will. So what are we waiting for? 

I recommend turning off bad news for one. Next get your Bible out and read it. Start with Psalms, Proverbs, the book of John. It is through God's word we have the strength to face the tough times surely ahead. Worry is not the answer but being a warrior for God is. 

PRAYER: Mere man has no power over the mighty hand of God. Help me remember this when world events and people's action seem to be against you Lord. I choose to continue to be on my knees in prayer. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Keep Praying...Don't Despair

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20
Things can happen in life that send us into a tailspin and at times you may be feeling hopeless as if nothing  will ever change. I have been there so I know how you can feel like giving up on prayer. You want things to happen on your time table. God has a plan. Don't rush Him.

When will a break through ever occur? Doesn't God care? Of course He does but He does things His way and in His time.  You don't want to mess things up do you?

Don't listen to nay sayers who think miracles or deliverance never happen. Just keep looking to Jesus and pray.

PRAYER:Sometimes I just feel like not wanting to pray but I know that it  is the enemy trying to bring discouragement. I choose to press on. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Imagine That?

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5

Throughout the ages men and woman with imagination have created and founded many great things. The enemy does not like us to dream and have the gift to create. His mission is to stifle, depress, and discourage us.
Negative thoughts, depression, anxiety, worry, and fear are all things that block our ability to have peace and also an imagination. Think about worry for instance. What good does worry do? You are wasting your time. Why not just wait on God and trust God and not wake up sick to your stomach with anxiety and paralyzed with fear. Worry accomplishes nothing. Prayer accomplishes much. For one thing prayer can give you a sense of peace. 

So you messed up someway. It is done and over and you just have to give things to God and learn from your mistakes. You have creativity and you have a purpose and never let the enemy discourage you. 

PRAYER: I pray any strongholds in my life that the enemy has tried to set up to discourage me are broken. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Oh My Mouth

But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. James 3:8

Is it just me or does anyone else have an occasional problem with speaking before you think? There go the misinterpreted words and then the apologizing begins. Oh if only the tongue could be tamed. 

This area of weakness is exploited by Satan. After all, the enemies job is to "kill, steal, and destroy" it says in John 10:10.  We can beat him at his game but it requires not being impulsive and not everyone has it all together in that category. I know I don't. 

So how do you get control over this area especially if it is a too frequent part of your life. Pray and ask God to help you and then really try to think before you speak. 

PRAYER: Lord Jesus it is so hard to try to be perfect in our words. Help me learn to really watch what I say and think before I speak. Help me ask forgiveness to anyone I have hurt with my words either knowingly or unknowingly.In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Cluttered Thoughts

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8

Our mind can be used for good by God or as a tool in the enemies hands. If you dwell on wrong things then naturally your mind will become fixated on bad stuff. The enemy loves to capture our minds. Believers are not immune to this happening. You have to consciously make a point to dwell on good things such as the verse above indicates.

If you start thinking people don't like you, or you are going to get fired, or even dwell on bad things you see constantly on the news or in not so stellar movies, it can be easy to be a bottom dweller similar to a catfish on the bottom of a river skimming for junk to eat. Your mind gets caught up in this cycle and it is hard to escape. Guess what? You have to escape or the enemy traps you. The Bible says in Isaiah 55:7 "Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon." Where are your thoughts today? 

PRAYER: I thank you Lord for the mind you have given me and its' ability to learn many things. You truly have blessed me. Help me use my mind for good and not let it fall into Satan's clutches. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Power Out...No Problem

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3
Yesterday I had just completed picking up my last item at the Defense Commissary on Redstone Arsenal when the lights went out and everything else electric as well. It was a very busy day and huge lines had formed. Thankfully I only had non perishable dry goods in my small cart. The reactions of many looked perturbed. Why? It is no ones fault. Better to go with the flow. 

No matter if it is a power outage, tailgater, hateful clerk, disrespectful spouse, irritated friend or family member, to keep the peace and maintain joy it is best to just let it go and blow it off. Spouting off only fuels the fire. 

I would not have always been able to do that but you get better the more you practice it. Once again getting mad gives glory to the enemy and not to God. Be cool is a good rule to follow. 

PRAYER: Forgive me Lord when I have opened my mouth and said things I was sorry for later. Help me learn to have self control in all situations and to be a good example of kingdom living. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Get Out Of My Life

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

Social media presents many new challenges. I was thinking of a friend from high school not long ago and went to her Facebook page only to find out I had been unfriended and later blocked. Sort of have to develop thick skin in this new age of rejection on social media. Sort of mean spirited in a way but you can only pray and let it go. As my son tells me, "get a life" and forget it. 

If you are raising children in this social media era, limits should be placed on time in front of the screen be it the tiny screen of a mobile device or on the computer. Let's go ahead and add the TV screen while we're at it. Face to face communication without the rude interruptions of answering your phone or being on a device when you are supposed to be with another person are things dealt with in today's world. Children need to learn how to interact and communicate without electronics screaming at them. We adults need to perhaps take a lesson from less usage. 

Set aside time in your schedule for friends. Go out and walk, hike, go to lunch. Do things to show them they are important. More importantly insure spending time with Jesus' daily is high up on your priority list. 

PRAYER: Help me find ways to be a good communicator with friends and family. Help me have self control to not let mobile devices cut into my time one on one with those I am with. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Hidden Messages

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

There is a term called being 'desensitized' to sin. You may be immersed in a particular culture or mindset for such a long time or have exposed yourself to so much, that it becomes difficult to distinguish evil.

 Recently I viewed a movie which was a very romantic chick flick and fairly clean, some innuendos, but come to find out an underlying subtle message was in this film,  that being assisted suicide was compassionate and perfectly okay and a person had the 'right' to end his life. This message was masked until the end of movie. Maybe the producers were hoping that by being immersed in the love story you would not think the underlying plot was so terrible.

 We live in this world but we are to be set apart and separated from culture. Culture says men can marry men, babies that are inconvenient can be killed, a person who feels trapped in a body as a man can have sex change surgery, people who want to kill us have a right to live here and add to this list.  We hear these things in the news so much we end up numb to evil. We are to love but we are also to run from evil and embrace the truth. The truth is found in the Bible. Read it daily to give you strength to face this opposing world view.

 PRAYER: Give me discernment Lord when the world is tossing all kinds of false messages out there. Help me recognize the truth. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

So What's Wrong With Blue Nail Polish?

Bless the Lord, O my soul,And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle. Psalm 103:2-5

I have several readers who like me, are in the mature citizen category. I don't consider myself old and certainly my spouse would tell you I don't always act like it. Many people are under the impression that when you reach a certain magic age the fun and frivolity needs to cease. Why? Those older persons who continue to enjoy fun things and adventures feel younger inside. I tell people I am 62 going on 29.

Last week I was wearing bright yellow nail polish which was a gift from a dear friend for me to use during book signings since lemons are yellow and in fact this is 'the lemonade stand' right? I am not asking men to start polishing their nails but there may be a man or two out there who wants to feel young say riding a motor cycle, trying some new adventure, sky diving. As long as you are deemed medically and physically fit why not? Now wives out there don't get mad at me. 

God made the Earth and all it contains for our enjoyment and for sustenance as well. The Lord wants us to enjoy our life and not be worried the fun has to stop at 40. Stay healthy because, after all, your body is the Temple of The Holy Spirit. Don't be afraid to dance in life and yes ladies even paint your fingernails blue. 

PRAYER:I am so grateful for the gift of life and the gift of this beautiful Earth. You indeed are good. I am thankful for good health as I know many don't enjoy it. Help me use each day to be a shining example for you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Are You Armed And Ready?

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:13

When soldiers go into battle they are prepared with the proper equipment to fight and to protect them. Similarly police officers have to don the proper protective gear in order to be prepared for stray bullets and other projectiles.

 As a believer each day you may or may not even pick up your Bible. Maybe you are too busy checking your Facebook status or catching up on the morning news. Do you realize spending time in the Bible is your spiritual armor for your day? If I took a poll right now and asked how many read your Bible today how would you respond? Some Christians don't even take a few minutes for what should be the most important part of their day. Shame on us.
Today is you are guilty of not making time to get armed and ready why not do something to change your schedule and really get ready for the Spiritual warfare that is out there on a daily basis. Start by reading Proverbs 21 and Psalm 21. Enjoy your day.

 PRAYER: I confess there are times Facebook has been way more compelling and interesting than the Bible which should take precedence in my life. Give me self control to re order my priorities and make time for you daily. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Serving With Your Gift

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10
I was watching American Ninja Warrior recently and one of the competitors had this verse written on his chest. His brother was a leukemia survivor and he was doing this course for him. When you do things do you mainly do them for yourself or are you consciously thinking of how to better someone else's life?
This serving could even be in the form of teaching someone a skill or sport or leisure activity that they do not currently participate in. Sort of like mentoring children at the Boys and Girls Clubs or serving as a Bible study teacher, leader, or Sunday school teacher. Make time to help someone or at least offer your services. Now those of you reading who have small children, your serving is done right there in your home to those precious little ones for now. Plenty of years lie ahead after they leave the nest. You could perhaps get them involved in projects with you serving others. 
Don't  do things just for your own enjoyment but try to think of others. What gifts do you have that you could use to make the world a better place and share Jesus? 
PRAYER: Forgive me if I get self absorbed and don't reach out to help and serve. Show me a need I can meet and help me put myself on hold while I see if there is a way I can be used to make a difference in a life around me. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Three Cheers For Our Dads

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord. Ephesians 6:4
Without dads there would not be children yet so many time moms are made into the one and only super hero at the exclusion of the all important father. Sure there are dead beat fathers out there but there are neglectful mothers too. 
Fathers play such a vital role in the development of children as well as the nurture of them. A child needs to see the mans input as well as the ladies. God designed it that way. My heart goes out to children who through no fault of their own have been tossed aside or worse yet, aborted. Or those who grew up without a father's love. 
This Father's Day if you have a dad call him, hug him, and be sure to say thanks. Forgive him if he has hurt you. Perhaps your dad is incarcerated. Perhaps he divorced your mom. Keep praying for him. Don't hold a grudge as it only deepens your hurt. Remember your Heavenly Father loves you with a perfect love. If you are a dad raise your children to love and follow Jesus. Let them see you reading the Bible. Be an example of godliness. 
PRAYER: I thank you that we celebrate Father's Day. I thank you for giving me a wonderful dad. For those who hurt today because of father wounds heal them and set them free. In Jesus' name. Amen. 
Further reading: Read Psalm 128

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Dealing With Evil

Be not overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:21

The recent horrific terrorist attack at gay nightclub in Orlando represented not a need for gun control but a need for revival. Evil forces have penetrated our borders and our carrying out attacks to kill.

Evil is real and it lives in the hearts of many who have never surrendered their hearts to Jesus. ISIS are enemies of the cross of Christ. To them Americans,no matter what their lifestyle or what their baggage, are called 'infidels' and their 'holy' book says it is okay to kill us. That my friend isn't from God and is sheer evil. 

The Bible commands us in Matthew 5:44 "But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." Here in America it seems so many can't see the danger. It is hard to pray for those who hate us but give it a try. 

PRAYER: Lord Jesus you are love. Give us strength to show your perfect love. We pray for the mindset of those who come into this country just to kill us. Oh Lord deliver us from evil. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

What In Fact Would Jesus Do?

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

When struggling recently with some issues in my life, my sister pointed out to me that we can not classify sin as this one is worse than that one and then go get in the face of the sinner or person who is hurting us. It is the classic asking yourself "WWJD or what would Jesus do". Would Jesus unfriend people on Facebook? Would Jesus be angry at LGBT rallies and  marches? Would Jesus boycott Target? Would Jesus not vote because he did not like who was running?Add your own scenarios to the list. 

Acting ugly or beating someone over the head with the Bible never won anyone to Jesus that I know of. We all have had struggles in life. No one can say their life is perfect. Sure we all are going to face death one day and we may have friends or family caught up in stuff and our hearts ache but never the less, we are called to pray, not judge and condemn. 

My friend,Jesus is Lord indeed even in these times when the world seems to be going crazy. We have to continue to act like Christians and show love, kindness, and grace. Don't point fingers at others as the other fingers are pointing back at you. Just keep praying. 

PRAYER:Lord there are times and situations I just don't know how to respond to. Sometimes things hurt me and maybe at times I have hurt others. Forgive me if so. Show me how to respond to the sin that so easily entangles the world. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Life Is A Roller Coaster....I Am Glad Because I Like Roller Coasters!!

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds,
 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1:2-3

Ok, I borrowed this title from a friend's email with her permission. It was just too good to not pass up. Indeed I love roller coasters, the scarier the better. I am thankful I don't have medical issues to keep me from enjoying them. But 'roller coasters' in life are not necessarily enjoyable but you just go for the ride. 

Our human nature likes for things to be predictable but not only is that not possible but it would be boring as well. Every day when you get up you just don't know what is around the next bend. A phone call or a knock on the door can change everything. It is how your heart is prepared to receive good or bad news.
A missionary friend of mine once used a rope illustration where God is holding the rope and you are hanging on. Do indeed cling to Jesus and cry out to Him. He can get you through the up and down moments of life.

PRAYER: I never know what each day will have in store. It could be a great day or could hold news I do not want to hear. Help me prepare my heart by staying each day in your word, The Bible, so when I face the unpredictable you will see me through. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Got A Log In Your Eye?

And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.1 Corinthians 6:11
Who hasn't been guilty of passing judgment on someone? Probably all of us have. Judgment over someone being overweight, having tattoos or piercings, the lifestyle a person chooses, people not like us economically, a different denomination and on it goes.

Why be picking all over other people? Does it show God's love? In Matthew 7:33 it says "And why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own?" Picture that a tiny speck of sawdust and here you are trying to yank out a huge log. The point is, don't do it as it is not in our job description to be a judge.

Start the day out and if you catch yourself thinking wrong thoughts about your fellow man, confess them and ask God to transform your mind to His thinking.

PRAYER: I am so sorry when I have elevated myself above others for whatever reason thinking I know it all. I don't know it all and I am not perfect. Transform my thoughts to stop judging my fellow man. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Up Days And Down Days

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9

We all have them. Days we feel on top of the world and days we wish we were already with Jesus. The thing is feelings are a thing that come and go and should not be trusted. Feelings are romanticized in love songs and movies but that is not reality.

Satan would love to capture you on a not so good day and send you into the depths of depression and despair. Don't allow it. In the recent romantic Hollywood movie 'Me Before You',  a young handsome wealthy once thriving athletic quadriplegic decides to end his life on his own terms after a 6 month trial period. True, he probably felt  he had nothing to offer and just had to sit in a power wheel chair all his life but he would have had much to offer. The movie's ending is sad  because a girl loved him and cared for him and tried to get him to change his mind.  His feelings and self pity could not be trusted and it ended up very tragically.

You probably have had days you wish you had stayed in bed or thrown yourself a pity party or two. I know I have. These feelings are not from God. Get up, get going, stop thinking wrong thoughts and be grateful for the gift of life. Never ever consider ending your life as that is not your job.

PRAYER: Father I know I have to keep my mind focused on 'things above'. I have no idea what it is like for those people suffering so bad they want to give up and die. I pray for them. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Note: my heart goes out to those of you reading who have been touched by a family member who committed suicide. Never blame yourself. Seek the Lord and let him be your perfect peace in the storm.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Off The Grid

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3

Nowadays there are people who just want some peace and doing things their way. A term I recently heard on a favorite TV show for these people was 'off gridders'. 

I thought I would borrow the term to also say you can be 'off the grid' technologically speaking and experience peace by disconnecting from all of your devices for awhile. In this day and age though almost everything requires a computer connection, but for the sake of your sanity why not give it a try.

Take a device holiday for a while. If you have youngsters in your home who have their own devices too, you are the adult so go ahead and get theirs for this holiday as well. During this time experience the joys of peace and face to face communication. Loving others and showing kindness as Jesus would want us to  without the aide of your mobile device. During this time you might pray,read a book,  talk a walk, read your Bible. Be creative. Use the time to get closer to God. 

PRAYER: Help me Lord as I seek to carve out time where I can put away my phone, tablets, computers, and all else distracting me and spend this time focusing on you and showing love to others. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Pavement Ends

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16

Often when traversing the country on the nation's highways we see many warning signs. Detour. One Way. No Outlet. Wrong Way. Uneven Pavement. They are ways to let drivers know to be careful and to stay alert. One I encountered recently simply said "Pavement Ends" indicating be prepared for some bumpy roads no doubt. 

It certainly would be beneficial in life if signs told us when things were going to get rough then maybe we could prepare a little bit or psyche ourselves up. Sort of like going up a hill on a roller coaster and anticipating the drop at the top of the hill. But life is not like that. We stay prepared for all sorts of things by studying God's word. How many of you may simply go to church but it seems boring or difficult to get into the Bible?

Start each day with one of the Psalms or a Proverb found in the Old Testament. They are pretty basic and straight forward. You may be able to think of many excuses to get you to crawl back into bed, watch TV, or a host of other things but trust me, making time for Jesus daily has wonderful rewards one of which is peace. Give it a try.

PRAYER: Whatever happens today Lord I want to be prepared. Forgive me for making excuses for why I am too busy for you. Help me to prioritize each day to really make you first place. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Steer Clear Of Politics

Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 2 Timothy 2:16

Politics and Christianity do in fact go hand in hand but we have to be careful how we approach people when dealing with the dreaded subject. Friendships have been lost over political issues and I for one lost one when I stood up for pro life several years ago. We can love people and still disagree with them politically but politics seems to be a hot button issue to avoid in Christian circles.

Only the Holy Spirit can bring conviction on a person about anything. Shoving something down a person's throat never works whether it is politics or religion. Build a relationship with a person and be their friend. Keep from firing off political emails unless you know they are wanting them. Conduct your life with the love of Christ in the center. Take it from someone who has been there done that so to speak. 

Pray for those in authority and pray for future elected officials. Don't stay home on Election Day this fall. We in the United States are blessed with a democracy, at least for now,  so get out there and cast your vote. Stand up for your moral convictions even when the government outlaws morality and is confused. The truth indeed sets people free. 

PRAYER: Lord it is because of you that we have government. Here in the United States our laws were based on Biblical principles yet some have strayed from that. Forgive us Lord for turning our back on you and bring revival to this land. Help me not drive people away with political chatter. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Don't Get Too Nosey

And to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

After reading the verses above many may rethink their Facebook 'stalking' or as the National Enquirer puts it "Enquiring Minds Want To Know...I Want To Know!" The new era of social media has put a new twist on things. Today's children under the age of ten have not grownup knowing anything but electronic devices. It is up to parents who raise them to put limits on things and to stress human interaction and humility.

Just how much is necessary to know? If you have married children, they deserve privacy and respect. Remember the "leave and cleave" verse in Ephesians 5:31? As for Facebook, it is a nice tool to have but as my older son puts it, it is like living vicariously through other people. These tools are great and they are helpful for preaching the word of God "in season and out of season" as it says in 2 Timothy 4:2. 

Don't get to the point in life you have to find out everything about every person be it celebrities or just your friends. All the extra information really doesn't add to the quality of life now does it? 

PRAYER: I thank you Lord for all the ways to communicate these days. I thank you for the blessing of seeing pictures and hearing from friends and family. Help me learn how to use self control in managing social media usage. In Jesus' name.Amen.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Life Is Short

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. James 4:14

Every day we wake up and go about our business in the little corner of the world God has placed us in. We make contacts with people some of which are fleeting and some of which remain close friends. Each person's life makes an impact on all those around him.

Today may in fact be your last day on Earth. Death is nothing to fear if you know Jesus. Death is then to be anticipated with great joy. I love going to funerals that are called 'Celebrations of Life' because the deceased lived a full life and now is at home with his Maker. No more tears, no more pain, no more earthly concerns. A reason to celebrate. Sure we who are left behind have a huge hole in our heart and often the question why now or why so young. That is not for us to know. 

Do you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you will instantly be in Heaven if you were to die in your sleep tonight or be in an accident on the way home from work?  What is stopping you from asking Jesus to truly be Lord of your life? We are only here so very temporarily just keep that in mind. 

PRAYER: The Angels in Heaven rejoice when a believer comes Home. Help me never fear dying but to look forward to Heaven. Help me share Jesus with people who may not be certain they are ready to die. In Jesus' name. Amen.

NOTE: This is dedicated to the memory of Paul Greene, who was an employee of MWR/Pagano Gymnasium and before that the Col Scott Fitness Center at Redstone Arsenal, AL. Every day I would be greeted by "Are you pursuing happiness?" He was excited to be able to come to my upcoming book signing at Redstone PX later this month but will ever get to. His infectious joy will be missed by all. Rest In Peace Paul. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Take That Chill Pill Then Regroup

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
Very rarely do I get frustrated like I did a years ago but it does happen occasionally. A tech support line that couldn't offer help recently challenged my peace. Perhaps you can identify something that tests you and pushes you to wanting to explode. 
Once again it is back to the basics of being at peace and not letting things of this world bother you. When you do, you can end up angry and frustrated which aren't fruits of the Spirit. Being a believer doesn't mean you are never going to get upset but it is learning how to control being upset and then blowing it off. Especially in public remember you are to represent Jesus. Keep that in mind. 
So whatever it is that is bothering you remember that the more you get God's word into your heart the more Christlike your responses are going to be. 
PRAYER: I love you Lord and I am sorry for when I blow it and need to regroup. I choose to not allow problems and manmade things bring me down. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Set Your Mind

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

Different things in life can make you anxious. Recently a friend of mine had a scary medical report and called for prayer. These type things can really get you rattled. Hearing the dreaded possible C word can send anyone into a tizzy. Finding out you need surgery for a condition you were unaware you had. Go ahead and add to the list. 

Our life here is so temporary. We want to be able to leave this Earth free of issues, pain, trials, and problems but that is likely not going to be the case. Stuff happens. It is how you deal with it that matters. James 1:3 talks about the 'testing' of your faith leading to endurance. It is through these trials and tests that we can either learn and grow stronger or totally end up a defeated mess.

So to set your mind you just tell yourself you are not going to allow the enemy to make you fearful or worse yet, mad at God. Yes when things don't go perfectly,  many run from God which is quite sad. This is the time they need Him most. Stay strong and let God see you through.

PRAYER: Lord God I am sorry for times I have not trusted you in the hard times of life and turned my back on you. Help me realize every trial is a chance to grow. I choose to focus on the Cross. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, June 6, 2016

In Disrepair

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Ephesians 6:10
I have lived in the area I reside in now for about 17 years. For me, this is a record since military folks tend to pull up roots every 3-5 years. Before the military the longest place I lived was my hometown of Harrison, Ohio for 8 years. When you live someplace long enough you tend to see businesses open and close. I drove past a place recently that used to be an outdoor grill store and it was overgrown with weeds and needed a facelift.
When you don't tend to something you own, such as your home needing a fresh coat of paint, or waxing and washing your car, they become old and worn looking very fast. Similarly with staying fit and healthy, it does not happen magically but you have to carve out time and make an effort to work out and eat right. 
In your walk with the Lord you can get very complacent thinking punching the Sunday church ticket is all you need. Perhaps you neglect your Bible and do nothing the rest of the week except live life. You can not expect to grow in Christ and be a powerful Christian strengthened for lifes' problems unless you read His word daily and make time for Jesus. If you don't, soon your spiritual life is in disrepair just like the old buildings I mentioned. 
PRAYER: I desire to get to know you deeper Lord. Forgive me for just thinking Sunday would be sufficient. I know living for you is more than a church membership or being in a certain denomination. Help me choose wisely and make time for daily. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Dismount The Superior High Horse

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. Romans 12:3
It is ever so easy to just stay in your comfort zone. When you encounter people who are of a different socioeconomic class than you do you ever start to feel better than them? Maybe you poke fun of a criminal you see on the nightly news. If you do ask God to help you not be puffed up and pray for those people who are probably majorly dysfunctional and hurting a great deal inside. So many have lost hope.
Perhaps you talk bad about people behind their back. Maybe call a person you don't like a derogatory name. The name calling and being on a superior pedestal is just not right for those of us who identify with Christ. What can you do today to change your heart and reach out?  

PRAYER: Forgive me if I have ever harbored wrong thoughts towards people not like me or even people who may have mistreated me. I want to walk in love and I want to be able to be kind to all people. Give me your strength Lord. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Just Be Nice....Try It!

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

 Most people can probably come up with a name or two of someone who has mistreated them, back stabbed them, betrayed them, called them ugly names. Sometimes it is hard to forget about it and anger and hurt wells up. You know in order to move on you have to let it go. There are a few people who have hurt me and mostly are not in my life anymore. Satan wants me to be angry back but that is not the right thing to do.

You are to trudge on, turn the other cheek, and not seek revenge. If it even crosses your mind to retaliate that is not from God.

So move on my friend. Pray for those who have hurt or misused you in any way. Above all show love.

PRAYER: Forgiveness is a trait I want to develop in all situations in my life. Help me to love regardless if someone loves me. In Jesus' name.Amen. 

Friday, June 3, 2016

The Fanatic

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6
Reading the Bible on the steps of the US Capitol, prayer walking, prayer on the Mall in Washington DC, anointing with oil, laying on of hands,and praying in public are all things I have been blessed to do and will continue to do as God gives me the opportunity. I even got assisted once to get up in a tree to see someone pass by at a rally I attended. I felt like Zaccheus. I am not telling you all this in order to puff myself up,but to make the point that there are individuals who can't understand why someone would do any of these things and even those within the Christian Faith who may think we are a bit on the weird or fanatical side. I say, what it wrong with being a fanatic for Jesus?

I thought about titling this devotion the 'Funatic' because of the joy I get in Jesus presence. Not all days are stellar good days. Each of us has our ups and downs in daily life and can't be expected to constantly have a smile on our face but we need to try. I heard someone say once that some believers look like they were baptized in vinegar. 
Being a Christian is more than a Sunday thing for one tiny hour. It should be your entire life. To love the Lord means just that. It does not mean to be in love with a denomination. There are denominations that are hardly recognizable at showing the traits of Jesus. Each of us needs to pray for wisdom and discernment in our walk with the Lord. 

PRAYER: I thank you for the Bible. I thank you for being free to worship you. I thank you for Christian praise and worship music freely on the radio in my country and some others. Help me not hide my joy or enthusiasm but share your love and joy daily. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

All Dolled Up

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:3-4

I am a people person. When I drive I do watch the road, but also when stopped it is amusing at times to observe others patting their hair down, put on lipstick, shave, or a bunch of other primping in which the person hopes to enhance their overall appearance.

 These same folks who primp in front of either a car mirror or at home sometimes for hours, I wondered if they took as much time primping for the Lord,  meaning giving Him time each day to strengthen their spiritual heart by reading the word of God and praying. Do you give your heart the necessary spiritual beauty treatment each day by filling it with good, pure, and spiritual thoughts?

 Maybe there are some bad morning habits you need to break to be able to sit alone and be still with God. This does not mean you can not wear makeup or comb your hair but take inventory of your morning and see how you could change it up to make God a real priority.

PRAYER: I want to look good for you Lord but to not be overly obsessed with everything having to be perfect. Help me Lord to get my spiritual beauty up to par and the rest will follow. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Patience.It Can Be A Tall Order.

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. Hebrews 10:36

Waiting is hard to do. Waiting for an 'overdue' birth past the date the baby was forecast. Waiting for your garden to grow. Waiting for a lost pet to return home. Waiting for a prodigal child. Waiting to see if you get into a certain college or accepted to medical school. Waiting for an answer to prayer.

In the Bible there were many scenarios where God required patience and things got rather messed up when someone jumped ahead and tried to orchestrate things themselves take Abraham and Sarah waiting for a baby God promised even though the mother to be was well past child bearing age. (See Genesis Chapter 12).

What is it you have a hard time waiting on? As hard as it may be, try to be still and allow God to work as He has planned. Don't jump ahead and mess things up. God has a plan.

PRAYER: I pray and pray yet nothing changes Lord. I don't want to jump ahead of what your plan is. Give me strength to be still when I would rather be anxious. In Jesus' name. Amen.