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.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Go Into All The World

He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation." Mark 16:15

United States
196
Russia
21
Poland
19
Germany
11
Portugal
5
Spain
4
Ireland
4
India
3
Ukraine
3
Bahrain
2

The above statistics are copied from my blogger stats site and they represent page views in various countries for my devotion on blogger. Pretty amazing. These are not people signed up to get blogger necessarily but someone in a search ended up looking at my devotion.  Kind of exciting to think people in all these countries got to see what God gave me to write. I don't take this responsibility lightly. 

You as an individual may not have an opportunity to go on a foreign mission trip but you can be a missionary of sorts wherever you are and whatever you do. It is not necessary to be a preacher or priest or theological seminary graduate to share the love of Christ and good news with others. Before personal computers, when I was in college,  you could sign up to get a pen pal from a foreign country. A friend of mine did and recently heard from her and even got to meet her. Yes people wrote actual letters with a stamp. 

People need to hear about Jesus. Don't put on a Christian tee shirt or Christian magnet on your car unless you are prepared to truly shine His love and light to people in your path. There are hurting people everywhere such as a grumpy waitress, irritable bank teller, lonely nursing home resident, those guys and girls in orange jumpsuits picking up trash on the highways nationwide to name a few. What can you do today to improve someone's life? Stop judging and start loving. 

PRAYER: Each day there are opportunities to not just be into myself but to really seek and save the lost. Give me opportunities and give me courage. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Some Indeed Gave All


Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends. John 15:13

Today we in the United States observe Memorial Day, a day set aside to pay respects and tribute to those brave men and women who paid the ultimate price on the battlefields worldwide in order that we can enjoy the freedoms we have here today. Never get to the point you take this freedom for granted or it could be lost. Some of it is trickling away today and we need to be alert and vigilant so the sacrifice these soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines paid was not in vain. 

Our nation has been one blessed by God because we have followed His word. The blessings could easily be removed when we start snubbing God and His words and law. Modern man may think they are just fine without a hope of Heaven but in the end every person will give account to Jesus. 

On this Memorial Day while you are at the lake, cooking out, or whatever you are doing, stop for a moment and give thanks for those who serve today and ask God to watch over them and guide them. Pray for tyranny to be eradicated from this great land before freedom is unrecognizable. If you live near a National Cemetery why not go visit it and pay your respects. 

PRAYER: I am ever so grateful to have the freedom I enjoy in the USA. Lord help us not be lazy about protecting that freedom. Protect us oh Lord from terrorism within our own land and be with those who currently are on active duty and protect them. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Real People, Real Issues


Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? James 2:15-16

How many reading this are prepared to go out into the battlefield of hurting and lost souls when there is a need?  It is quite easy to stay in your Holy huddle comfort zone and not get your hands dirty but alas there are needs to be met and we are called to meet them. 

An acquaintance calls you scared he may have cancer and needs prayer. A neighbor is alone after a death in the family. A widow needs help moving. A family needs money to buy a new refrigerator as theirs broke. A family needs a car temporarily and you have an extra one. A person needs a babysitter for an emergency that came up. Missionaries are in town and need a place to sleep overnight. Or the really harder ones that take true commitment, an orphan needs a family. 

As you think about the meaning of walking with the Lord remember you are not on this earth solo, but you are here to share the love of Christ in tangible ways not just go hide and read your Bible. Something to think about. 

PRAYER: Prepare me Lord to open my heart to legitimate needs around me. Give me selflessness and courage and love. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Stormy Times.....But God.


We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;persecuted, but not destroyed.  2 Corinthians 4:8-9
Storms of life press in on us but God will not let us be overwhelmed. Right now I think of our American society and many things being forced upon us. It is hard to recognize it as a democracy anymore in many respects.Christians are not to run and hide but we are to stay engaged in our society or freedom as we know it will cease to exist. 
Spiritual warfare is for sure in progress. Ephesians 6:12reminds us our struggles are not against flesh and blood even though it would seem so, but instead against evil in high places. Satanic warfare to the max. Yes there indeed is a Satan and for sure He hates Christian nations and what we stand for. He works overtime to confuse and lie to people to get them trapped by his schemes. Don't be caught.
How do you stay on guard and protected? You get into the word of God which is your guide. Within its' pages are verses of comfort and verses to let you know God is always with you. Be strong. We are in a battle but we will not lose.

PRAYER: Lord I confess I become so distraught and discouraged at times when I hear reports of wrong and immoral things being shoved on our country. I will seek you and seek peace and pursue it. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

In The Desert?


How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved him in the desert!Psalm 78:40
I am not sure if any of you have ever lived in the desert. I have two times both being in Phoenix, Arizona. This is not the world's hottest, driest, or sandiest desert, but a desert never the less. 
In the Bible we read of many times in the desert when people complained to God what they were going through. Things like, "why are you leaving us out here to die" and on the complaining went. Many of us in life may have our desert experiences or know of someone going through one whether this person is aware of it or not. 
When things seem dry and you feel like, where is God, you do feel like you are in the middle of a desert. Doesn't God care? Where is he? Why can't He fix this? You may just want things to hurry along and get you to that refreshing spring of healing and peace. A desert experience may be when a person is doing their own thing and it is something God would not be pleased with. So if you are a prayer warrior for this individual, you continue to pray and have faith for God to walk them out of this desert experience and bring them to a spiritual healing oasis. God hears you and he cares. 
PRAYER: Thank you Lord for the good and bad in life for it is in hard times that I grow. Give me courage to press on and not complain. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

You Got Problems? Really?


We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair. 2 Corinthians 4:8
One day yours truly the Christian devotion writer and author was stewing over a glitch in my first ever book. Mind you, most people were raving about the accomplishment of publishing and very few noticed. So I got it fixed by publisher. Not! My editor found two more glitches I failed to catch. One of my best friends told me the book was wonderful. So back to my own advice and lessons I go. 
In the big scheme of things this is not a huge earth shattering problem. It is nothing to lose sleep over. It is not going to send me to jail or anything. It is just inconvenient and embarrassing. Many people around the globe face major issues daily. Lack of fresh water. Dying of diseases. Getting fired or losing a job. Wrecking your car. And a minor issue will pass. Everything in life needs to be kept in perspective. Someone once told me you will always find someone worse off than you and how true that is.
Are the problems you are facing now really so major that you can't rest and have peace? There is also a saying "this too shall pass". I know sometimes we think we are stuck in a problem forever it seems but when it is just a memory we wonder what was the big issue. So give worry a break and trust in God. 
PRAYER: Forgive me when I have not stopped and taken a deep breath and instead get into the worry mode. I know you don't want me to. Give me peace and help me remember to always pray. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Surrender


Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. Romans 6:13

When watching war movies such as the 2015 release of the true story 'Unbroken', as prisoners are captured they put their hands in the air in the form of surrender. When a person lifts their hands to Jesus in praise or worship he or she signifies that they too are surrendering to His Lordship and guidance. How many have sung the song 'I Surrender All' then walk out of church and take back their life and don't follow God the rest of their week? Something to ponder.

Are there areas of your life that you have not totally surrendered to God? Work, play, raising family, your words and thoughts, social activities, social media, making friendships. You can probably think of a few more to add to this list. In the Bing online dictionary the word surrender means "To cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority."

 Today is the day to surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Not just when you feel like it but 24/7. Satan will try to derail your efforts and obedience to Christ but you are not unaware of his schemes to stop him
.
PRAYER: I give you my ambitions,my dreams, my hopes, and my prayers Lord. Your ways are higher than my ways. I trust you Lord for the perfect plan for my life. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

There Is Still Time Before The Holidays


Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

Oh no, it's only May, yet I recently saw an article about remodeling before Christmas. It gets earlier every year and can create great stress and expectations. Here it is not even half way to December 25, yet we are made to feel we better hurry up, like now, or else.

Why not just enjoy life and not get all caught up in making things perfect? That is unless you are throwing a party for the Queen of England or something. There is nothing wrong with planning home improvements, but this ad struck me as funny in that it was specifically for the 'holidays'  known to most as 'Christmas'. So please relax and do not stress right now about decorating and shopping and such.

 Each and every day of your life, wake up and thank God for giving you breath. Then make an effort to go into your day being kind and peaceful. This may be difficult for those of you in the business world but at least give it a try. When your are tempted to put others down or speak ugly, stop. You get the idea. Don't worry about Christmas, just take care of today.

PRAYER: I thank you for another day of life. Things may not always be perfect but I rejoice and know you love me Lord. When I am tempted to complain help me stop instead and give praise for something. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Are We Near The End?


You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. These things must happen, but the end is still to come. Matthew 24:6


I have heard many speculating that they feel the end of the world and the coming of Jesus is very near. Prophecies are being fulfilled, morality has taken a nose dive, people are believing lies over the truth and being deceived. Crazy times for sure. 

Further in Matthew 24:36 it says that "no man knows the hour" so all these people trying to forecast doomsday and saying it is such and such a day have no clue. But for sure, it is closer than yesterday obviously.  When men no longer listen to God, when a nation elects a president that won't defend Christian rights yet promotes rights of illegal immigrants and Muslim rights, something is amuck. It is time to take off the 'political hats' and get serious about praying for revival in this land. 

What are we to do? Certainly not fear and dig a hole under the ground. We are to be engaged in our culture, winning the lost to Christ and doing it in a spirit of love. It is pretty scary when we see that because our government has let unchecked,many people into the country who could in fact be terrorists, that more attacks like 911, Boston, San Bernadino and Fort Hood, Texas could occur. Do not fear but pray and keep on praying. 

PRAYING: Father I feel angry at times when I see what appears to be intentional destruction of this country by a leader who is supposed to help protect and defend us. I pray for him Lord and his heart to be softened and him to turn from evil to good. I also pray to use me how you would to win the lost to Christ. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

But God 2


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

How many of you have prayed and prayed and prayed some more about a certain situation that has not changed? The enemy may make your mind wander and make you feel defeated. These feelings of defeat are not from your Father in Heaven. When things seem impossible just remember 'but God' and you may be able to get a better perspective on things. 

Job searches, medical bills, fear of the future, betrayal, prodigal children, stock market crash, shunned by who you thought were friends, threat of job loss, divorce, the list is endless. Where is God in all this? Many are quick to blame God on all their problems not knowing and realizing that His plan is more perfect than our plan. "Yeah God so why did you let my child die?" then you turn your back on God. This is when you need to embrace Him even more.

Imagine God is holding a rope and you are hanging on to the rope. He does not want you to let go. He loves you so much and you need to believe that and embrace that. Don't ever quit hoping and believing. 

PRAYER: You Lord are my strength and shield and I need you even when Satan tries to get me to turn my back on all things Christian. I look to you and I know your plan is perfect and I need to keep praying. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Dog Eat Dog



Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:6

This phrase which is my title means that people will do anything they have to in order to get ahead primarily in the business world. Lies, back stabbing, betrayal, forgery, and on it goes. Christians are supposed to be above all that but some of you may have been on the receiving end of this and when you discover it you become so hurt and angry. 

How do you react to this? Who do you go run to? You have been a faithful employee, why you? When people lie about you behind your back to exalt themselves they must really be hurting people. As much as you would like to go throw paint on their car, I don't recommend you do so. 

This is the time to show love and ask God what you are to learn from this. Don't stoop to the level of the person hurting you but as hard as it is, pray for them. God will see you through. 

PRAYER: Help me Lord to act Christlike even when my conditions tell me it is okay to be ugly. Shine your light through me in all circumstances I encounter. In Jesus' name. Amen. 


Click link for a song of praise: http://youtu.be/WOUn-Czjsys

Friday, May 20, 2016

Loving Your Enemies


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

Is it possible to truly let go of anger felt when people are mean to you, gossip about you, betray you, refuse to be your friend, won't accept forgiveness, and lie about you?The answer is yes. Granted it won't be easy but it can be done. 

So you say you love your enemies yet you still speak mean about them and the question is then is that really loving them? Only you can answer that. It is necessary and crucial to move beyond hurt, a list of wrongs and try to form new speech patterns. If you catch yourself starting to talk negatively  about a particular individual stop yourself and repent and ask God to help you truly love them. This includes countries and people who even hate America and our way of life. 

The key is to pray and keep praying. It is hard to bash others when your mind is set on Christ. Remember to overcome evil with good as it says in Romans 12:21. Now go on, show God's love!

PRAYER: Wow it is a tall order Lord to truly love some people that are mean or evil. Help me develop a new habit of praying for those who may rub me the wrong way. Touch the hearts of my enemies and let them know the truth. In Jesus' name. Amen. 


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Puny Man



Puny man! Frail as his breath! Don’t ever put your trust in him! Isaiah 2:22
My oh my, how some people think they are fine and dandy without God. Some world leaders act high and mighty and think they are in control. To God, mere men are just puny creatures, especially when their arrogance sets themselves up against the Almighty. Anyone who on earth feels superior is certainly not superior or above the Creator of the universe. 
As a human, have you caught yourself somehow trusting man more than having faith in God? Does your earthly status make you feel more important that you really are? Keep in mind you are created by God for His glory. People can easily forget this when they become exalted humanly. Once they have 'arrived' when they should be praising God, they are puffed up and feel no need for the savior anymore. He is great to cry out to in times of need, but hey,"look what I did" you might say. Who needs Jesus anyway? 

This may describe you or someone you are close to or know of. What you can do is to pray for humility and if you are hurting because a person close to you has rejected their need for a personal relationship with Jesus, just keep praying and believing.

PRAYER: I need you every day Lord. I thank you for the blessings in my life. Help me never envy others and to be at peace where I am on life. If I receive praise may you get the glory. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Humiliation 101

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts. Colossians 3:15

There is a verse in John 10:10 that says "The thief comes only to kill, to steal, and to destroy. I have come that they might have life and have it more abundantly." When you get your eyes off Jesus, even but for a moment,  it can send you into a tailspin. Our enemy loves to get us flustered. I write about not being flustered, but believe me, I have to constantly work on it. As the verse says he kills and steals our joy. 

Recently when I discovered, after the fact,  that the first 350 copies of my newly released book had errors in them, such as missing the all important dedication to my dear husband and the extended biography and photo of yours truly, I went temporarily crazy. It upset me that all these close friends at my book launch party and those who got a copy by Amazon and other online sources, would think I was horrible to not mention my husband.  My older sister helped snap me out of it helping me keep things in perspective as in the big scheme of things this was nothing. But oh for about an hour I was letting Satan mess with me big time. I was humiliated. Humiliation is not a fruit of the spirit at all. It is from the pit of hell. 

I don't know what has happened in your life but when something happens and you don't try to calm yourself and take a deep breath it is easy to overreact beat yourself up. Satan is referred to as 'the accuser of the brethren' in Revelation 12:10.  When you feel yourself fretting over something and beating yourself up stop and realize this is NOT from God. Tell Satan to get behind you then invite Jesus to take his rightful place as Lord of your life.

PRAYER: Forgive me for the times I have had melt downs because I took my eyes off you and forgot to be still and pray first. I know tests will come to teach me and help me to pass these tests with flying colors. In Jesus' name. Amen.

NOTE: my books problem is fixed now so anyone who buys one should in fact get the corrected version. 


Monday, May 16, 2016

Eyes In The Sky


But each one is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires. Then when desire conceives, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is full grown, it gives birth to death. Do not be led astray, my dear brothers and sisters. James 1:14-16
Occasionally I like to relax on my back porch looking off in the distance towards Huntsville International Airport. It is about 30 minutes as the crow flies whatever that means. I have this great app called ATC where I can listen in to the Air Traffic Control towers of many airports. 
These 'eyes on the sky' are crucial in bad weather, limited visibility, emergencies, and just insuring skies stay safe and no planes collide midair. Believers are given eyes on the spiritual skies by reading the word of God and heeding His voice. Going our own way and acting like we know more than our Maker can lead to serious consequences. 
Are you tuned in and paying attention to God?  When you know what is right do you do the opposite anyway? Don't be headed for a crash landing in your life. Deep down when you know what is right why not listen to God and not be enticed by the enemy. 
PRAYER: I choose to listen to your voice and heed your warnings to stay on the course you want me on. Give me strength for any challenges that lie in my path. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Let It Go....Again!

          Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Isaiah 43:18 

Lessons have to be learned and sometimes you have to repeat the same scenario over and over until you do get a grip on it and have victory. Take worrying for instance.Not one little thing is going to change by you constantly being in a state of panic over something is it? 

Learn to stop, be still, talk less, listen more. Take it from one who knows and is still working on improving this area. Like a gardener who prunes his crops until they produce the fruit he wants, so God prunes us till He has what He wants in us. Traits that we have that don't glorify the kingdom or are not a good witness for Him have to be improved upon. 

The best thing you could do is when you feel fret and worry coming on, stop, take a breath, and say "God you are good and you are bigger than any problem. I give this to you" and when you do, move on. May take some practice but why not start today working in that area. Be blessed in your journey. 

PRAYER: I trust you with all situations in my life. I know you are in control. Your plans are greater than my plans. I praise you for looking out for me and accepting me just the way I am. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Get Beyond The Problem



Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
Each day holds new blessings and new surprises, some good and some not so good. If you have the not so good type of surprise sprung on you, it may cause you to want to dwell on it to the point of obsession. What could you have done differently? Who can talk to in order to straighten the ensuing mess?

Certain personality types may react to bad stuff in a more laid  back manner than others. Ask my sister, and you will find out that  I am still working on the trying to brush it off and move on.  The enemy, Satan, is the great master of getting you to hyper dwell on things you can not go back and change. They are done, behind you. Time to go forward and set things right in the future. Learn from errors or problems. 

What can you do you might ask? First let it go, move on, and above all pray. Then pray some more. Stop dwelling on junk that drags you down. Stop digging your hole even deeper. 

PRAYER: When the issues in my life press in on me sometimes I just want to scream and run and fix things. I know only you can fix things Lord. One thing I can do is pray and spend time with you in the Bible not in a constant state of frenzy over things I can not change. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Click link and start your Saturday with a song of worship: https://youtu.be/7x2IpLSfqp8

Friday, May 13, 2016

What Is Tempting You?

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
Chocolate cake? Groupon deals? Clothes on sale you don't need? Getting the last word in an argument or dispute? Maybe it is something far worse. Even though self control is needed for all areas of temptation, eating chocolate cake and the rest of items mentioned won't lead you to a life apart from God, at least not normally.
The enemy is the great tempter. Like a dangling red apple in one of the cartoons trying to entice an innocent victim to take a bite only to discover it is poison. Temptations are around you every day. Temptations to cheat, lie, steal, gossip, be hateful, even when maybe it is only what you think may be minor. Deep down inside some stuff is just plain wrong. Against the rules mind you. 
If you make a point to daily stay in the word of God you are less apt to have behavior that borderlines on tempting you or when you do you are able to stand strong and do the right thing. 
PRAYER: I need you in life daily, 24/7. When things come my way and I am tempted to do something that is wrong in your eyes, give me strength to avoid it and run the other way. If I have done wrong help me get right with you and others by confessing it. In Jesus' name. Amen.



Thursday, May 12, 2016

Watch That Mouth



The mouths of fools are their undoing, and their lips are a snare to their very lives.Proverbs 18:7


The book of James chapter three is right on when it discusses the dangers of our tongue saying no man can tame it. Just when you might think you have got it all together in that department, whoops, you say something unnecessary that is misunderstood and you are back to square one. Maybe something you said, texted, or emailed was perceived the wrong way.

It is very critical that our brains are engaged before we speak but often a person may be in such a hurry to get his or her words out that the thinking part is forgotten. Then it is too late. You have been misunderstood, hurt someone, ended a friendship, caused a fight, or have to apologize all over yourself. Words can also be gossip,cursing, lying, white lies(Still a lie), or judging others to  name a few. 

Indeed the mouth can bring joy and happiness to many or it can drag them down. Why not start today and make it a habit to think before you speak and maybe ask yourself if what you are going to say, text, or email is even necessary in the first place. 

PRAYER: I am very thankful to have a mouth and have the ability to speak. I know of people who can not speak or have trouble doing so. Help me use my mouth to bless others and not to hurt them. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Just Me And God



A heart at peace gives life to the body,but envy rots the bones. Proverbs 14:30

I recently published my first ever devotion book. It was a longtime dream to do this being first put in my heart when I was in my early 20's. I finally got there but not the traditional way with a contract and advance checks but doing it through the self publishing or indy publishing way. Comparing is one big detriment in the publishing world but in any world. Seeing others accomplish something faster or getting a contract and an agent as opposed to the way of stepping out independently with just you and God. 

Do you beat yourself up when you look at what others do and think what you do does not matter? Each person has gifts and abilities. Just because one person went to college or graduate school does not mean God looks at them any different. Our government in the US these past 7 years has tried to instill jealously and envy in the populace by creating a scenario of wealth redistribution making the lower class economically feel jealous of those who prosper. If you do this, stop it. That is NOT from God. 

Be grateful for every blessing God gives you. Stop looking at others and feeling you are somehow less or start to envy the other person. Rejoice with others in their accomplishments and know like it says in 1 Peter 5:6 'Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time."

PRAYER: Lord you are good and your mercies are new every morning it says in scripture and indeed how true that is. Forgive me if I have ever been less than grateful for the things you do in my life. You have wonderful plans for me and I thank you ahead of time for how you work in my life. Use me in the lives of others to accomplish your purposes. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Shine Your Light



Arise, shine, for your light has come,and the glory of the Lord Rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples,but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light,and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Isaiah 60:1-3


Have you ever thought about that maybe just maybe you don't need to be so concerned about all the mess happening in America right now? Seriously. You do need to be praying but not be worrying and building survival shelters. 

Do you believe and trust that God has a plan and His plan often does not include what you as a mere human may think. He uses people too, that you may least suspect to accomplish His purposes. 

What is your job you might ask? It is to shine in the midst of a chaotic world. Each and every day get up and go out with joy and confidence knowing with God things will be okay. 

PRAYER: Each and every day I need you Lord. I need your word to help recharge that spiritual light inside of me. Use me today as I go about doing my daily duties. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Bases Loaded



Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 1 Corinthians 9:25
Baseball season is upon us. Growing up near a Major League Baseball city, Cincinnati, I faithfully followed the Reds in the days of Johnny Bench and Pete Rose. Then later moved to another baseball city,St Louis,  and followed the Cardinals and Ozzie Smith. About 20 years ago I moved to Phoenix and followed the newly formed Diamondbacks and Randy Johnson. Our little city of Huntsville(AL), lost its minor league team about a year ago. I found baseball exciting and while living in Cactus League territory in Arizona I took in a game or two of the Cubs who spring trained in Mesa. 

When you are at a really close game it is super exciting! Bases loaded and you just can't wait to get a home run hitter up to bat and slam one into the stands and four runs are automatically earned. Bases loaded in life could be when everything seems like it is lining up perfectly and things in life fall right into place. It prepares you for the time maybe when the 'strike outs' of life occur and they will occur, sad to say.

You may have heard others say, "Go with the flow" meaning to perhaps not take everything so seriously and bend with the punches. You may strike out occasionally but God wants you to get that home run of life so keep on keeping on my friend. 

PRAYER: When I feel like life is throwing me curve balls and can never get on base, help me to keep hanging in there for eventually things will get better. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Weeds Will Come



The sower went out to sow his seed and as he  sowed, some fell beside the road, and it was trampled under foot and the birds of the air ate it up. "Other seed fell on rocky soil, and as soon as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. "Other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out."Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great." As He said these things, He would call out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."Luke 8:5-8

Ask my husband or my former neighbor, and you will discover I am no gardener. I do not have a green thumb nor do I know much about growing stuff. My husband is the one with the passion and degree in agriculture. But I try. Recently as he was instructing me in the fine art of the proper way to plant different types of seeds I was thinking, " should have put down black plastic to keep the weeds from coming" but alas no black plastic. Weeds will come and weeds will have to be yanked up by the root so my crops will grow and thrive.

In life 'weeds' come as well. In the verse above the 'weeds' or 'thorns' choked the word of God out so it was unfruitful. These 'weeds' or 'thorns' could be problems, unbelief, lack of faith, hanging with the wrong crowd, filling your mind with wrong things, jealousy, hatred, anger, bitterness. If there are any of these in your life it is hard for the word of God to take root less it be choked out by these. 

Do you need to cultivate the soil of your heart and prepare it to be receptive to the word of God? Only you can answer that question truthfully. It is hard to fill your heart with things of the Lord when other idols are choking it out. You be the judge and do what is necessary to 'weed' the garden of your heart to make it fruitful for the Lord. 

PRAYER: I am tired of having weeds in my spiritual garden. Satan loves to keep them coming and I choose to yank them up. A good dose of the word of God daily is like weed killer to strengthen me for each day's journey. Forgive me when I make excuses why I have no time and help me reorder my day around my time with you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Fresh Ideas For The New Year

(Fresh Ideas For The New Year was originally published 3 Jan 16 but inadvertently left off of Blogger. )

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. Philippians 3:13

A new year provides new ways to get a brand new start on life. It is a good breaking point of sorts to start fresh with things you maybe want to change or accomplish.  Perhaps it is cleaning out the attic, losing weight,writing or calling your  parents more, trying a new activity, going back to school.

Whatever it is, why not get alone with God and formulate a plan?  Of course plans are always subject to change, but maybe try to commit to start out and complete a task. This would be a good way to get your spiritual life charged up as well. Not just the "I will read through the entire Bible" although admirable. A fresh start to maybe read your Bible purposefully daily. Join or start a Bible study. Get in a prayer group. Start attending a dynamic church where the word of God is not compromised. Start journaling. Fill your mind with great praise and worship songs instead of listening to other things on the radio. There are many ways you can make a start to grow in Christ.

Take a moment and just think what you could do to get closer to Jesus and God in 2016.

PRAYER: Lord I want to know you more and better. Many excuses always pop up when I try to do something to get closer to you Lord so help me recognize those as attacks from Satan to take me away from you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

As It Was In The Days Of Noah

(As It Was In The Days Of Noah was dated 4 April but somehow I forgot to put it out on blogger that day. So one month later here you go)

But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, Matthew 24:37-38

I have heard lots of speculation recently wondering if we are truly in our last days on this Earth. Is the time ripe for Jesus' glorious return?

Most people know the story of Noah and the Ark and God bringing a flood to destroy the Earth and start over from square one. Only Noah and family and one male and female of each animal species were spared. The people had become so sinful that God destroyed them. We know the Bible says there will never be a flood again but we know the promise of Christ's return and the verse above saying as it was in the days of Noah.

Have we fallen to the level of Sodom morally? Have we ignored God and warnings in scripture? Have we compromised what we know to be the truth? Have you spoken out against evil in society? Have we become numb to sin and wrong around us? We know scripture says in 2 Chronicles 7:14 "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." Are you doing your part in this verse with a promise?

PRAYER: Oh Lord it saddens me how Satan has blinded the minds of so many and how many have compromised what they know to be the truth. We need deliverance. You are on the throne. I pray for anyone I know who is blinded to evil and pray their eyes are opened. In Jesus' name. Amen.

The Fixation



          Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God Hebrews 12:2

What does it mean to fixate on something? Basically it could be almost an obsessive way of continually looking at something or thinking of something. To have a fixation on Jesus is a very good thing. To be fixated on problems is a very bad thing. 

Is there something in life you are fixated on? Job issues? Family matters? Empty nest approaching? How to pay for college? A big final exam on the horizon? How you are going to die?  Point is, this fixation leads to worry and fear. Fixation on Jesus leads to peace and joy. 

Tomorrow when you get up since you are already up today, decide that you will not let negative thoughts enter your head. Be intentional about keeping your mind on Jesus and see if things aren't somewhere more pleasant. 

PRAYER: I choose to get up and get focused on you Lord. Problems are not going to change by worrying about them so I intend to fix my mind on you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Sheep Among Many, Many Wolves



 "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves." Matthew 10:16

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you feel you are the only committed believer? For a college student it could be on the college campuses of many state, private,  or Ivy League schools. To try to 'fit in' a person may do things or believe things they know deep down are not right and not in line with scripture but they are sucked in anyway.  Even when not trying to 'fit in', the teaching at so many institutions of higher learning is trying to get our sons and daughters to conform to a worldview never taught at home. There may be parents reading this who know just what I am talking about. 

The verse above says it all. Sheep among wolves. Imagine a poor innocent little sheep stuck out in the field when all of a sudden a wolf or pack of wolves appears. Only the shepherd can save this little lamb. Only our savior and shepherd, Jesus Christ, can save us. You do not need to despair but need to be on your knees in prayer. And pray for places you know where it seems that outspoken believers may be in the minority. 

It is easy to stay in Holy huddles, as I heard one person call it once, where you never have to be uncomfortable or encounter situations where you might have to speak up in love. You could be the only one and really get scared. It could be at the office, school, sports team, or even in your family. Be bold for Christ but not obnoxious. Jesus is love and we are to be loving. He came to seek and save those who were lost and that is exactly what our job is too. 

PRAYER: My job is not to just feel like a happy Christian all the time but it is to get out there and witness, but as I do help me not be sucked into strange philosophies not of your teaching Lord. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Believe In Miracles


Now Jesus did many miracles other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. John 20:30-31

Do you believe in miracles or do you define the unexplained as luck or good fortune? I am here to tell you God is a saving, miracle working God and he did not just do them in the Bible. They happen today. The recent movie 'Miracles from Heaven' is just one example of the awesome power of God.

Merriam-Webster defines miracle as "an unusual or wonderful event that is believed to be caused by the power of God". Note that word 'believed' because so many skeptics are afraid to admit to God's mighty power still at work today and call it luck, chance, or a coincidence. Not this writer. I almost drowned in a rip current once and know God's hand got me safely to shore. Another kind of miracle is when your car runs out of gas and there 'just happens' to be someone stop by right then and there to help. That is one of mine too.

When you experience the unexplainable, tell others, and also keep and 'God Thing' journal and make notes so years from now you can see how much God has worked in your life and lives of others. To God Be The Glory!

PRAYER: The birth of a baby is one of the best miracles ever. The seasons of the year are miracles. When you get cancer and doctors tell you there is no longer any trace of it. Yes you are a miracle working God. Help me Lord to share your miracles with others in this world. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Vote On!


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

Voting and exercising our Constitutional right to vote for President is fundamental and important. I heard statistics that in the last election for President over 54 million who call themselves evangelical Christians stayed home. This saddens me. Whether our candidate wins or not it is up to us to not quit striving for freedom. Just think about how that many votes could have changed an outcome.

This election cycle I hear talk from well meaning Christians that how could we vote for so and so he is horrible. First off I believe God can, and will use anyone for His purposes. He used the twelve He chose for His disciples. Each of them was not from a stellar background. Then with the other party there are those who have stuck in a certain party only because that is how their family always voted and this too needs to stop in my humble opinion.

 It is up to God fearing men and women who love this country to be on their knees in prayer. Pray for all those candidates. Pray for God's will to de done. Do not speculate why you feel a certain person is the wrong one. Pray for truth to win out and for our country to be rebuilt on values, morals, and the word of God to hold a place of prominence again.

 PRAYER: I love my country Lord. I am saddened when I see us going bankrupt and not caring about freedom anymore. I am saddened at the destruction of the military that is essential to maintaining freedom. The truth and good, will win out in the end. Help all citizens exercise their right to vote and do so with enthusiasm. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Just Gonna Relax A Moment


This is the day the Lord has made;We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
Everyone, regardless of how crazy your day, needs to schedule time to just sit. No noise, no books or papers, no cell phones or laptops. Oh maybe one book...the Bible. 
Point being, for the past three days, I have been taking in the whole feeling of having a long awaited project come to fruition. Pondering I guess one would say. So now I sit and listen to geese squawking out here in the country where I live and the cat purring on my lap as a storm has left the air crisp and cool. Thanks Jesus! Serenity. 
Try this sometime, granted harder to do as a young mom of babies, toddlers, and school children, but your time will come before you know it, trust me. Just sit quietly somewhere safe and don't think of anything. Clear your mind of problems, deadlines, worries and just let God fill your thoughts. Your problems will start to diminish. 
PRAYER: Lord I am thankful to be in a country where I have the freedoms I do to just sit. Many communist regimes in the world control their populaces every move and try to control their thoughts. Thanks for peace, democracy, and freedom. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Click link and just relax and take God in!
https://youtu.be/vWxb6VvPrkE

Monday, May 2, 2016

Good In Fact Does Go Around


         Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21

Back in 2005 when I was hired by Delta Air Lines their motto was 'Good Goes Around'. Think about that for a moment. Good does really indeed go around. If you put a cart back in parking lot at grocery someone else might see your example and also do it. Perhaps you pay for groceries for someone running short on money. Someone may witness this and in fact do it for someone too.

There is enough ugliness, self centeredness and hatred in this world so as a follower of Jesus why not do as he would have done. Have you washed any feet lately? Most of us have not. The point is, be kind and willing to sacrifice your pleasures to help another person. Don't always be thinking of me, myself, and I. 

The point is doing good always negates evil. Satan represents evil and God represents kindness, love, and goodness. Are you ready to do good to someone today?

PRAYER: You are good all the time. I am not. I want to be more and more like you. Do what you need to do to conform me more to your image and less into the world' s image. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Intentional Thinking



But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57

Have you ever gotten off track with your thinking? By this I mean dwelling on negative things or comparing yourself to others. Guess where that originates from? The pit of Hell as it certainly is not God's speciality to drag you down. 

I like, lots of writers, get some ideas from things I have gone through in my own life. When I get victory I like to share it. You have to think uplifting thoughts on purpose. I caught myself one day just in a major self pity thing. Thankfully two great friends were standing by on texts to help uplift me and restore hope. 

What is it you are allowing to torment your mind? Have you talked to God and realize this torture you are putting yourself through with wrong thoughts is from Satan. He has no claim to you. Tell him that then remember the joy of the Lord is your strength! 

PRAYER: I am ever so grateful for the word of God. Of course Satan loves it when we never read it and treat it like a good luck charm. Help me daily gain hope and strength from the word of God. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Click on link for awesome worship song that is sure to lift your spirits:http://youtu.be/cIvDCV4e318