Welcome to God's Lemonade Stand

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

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Be Calm In Everything?


Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6-7

When things are going great there is often no urgency to go to the Lord in prayer but oh when things go haywire, off one trots to the prayer room. The prayer room should always be a first place in good or bad times.

So the verses for today speak of not being anxious in anything. Does that mean bad medical diagnosis? House deal falls through? Loss of your job? Death in the family? Water pipes burst and flood your home? Prodigal children? The recent terrible floods in Baton Rouge? Yes it does mean everything. Just how do you do that when your world is turned upside down? Practice now in the little things so if you ever have a big thing you would have 'exercised' those faith muscles so to speak. 

Whatever you are facing right now trust God to see you through. 

PRAYER: I confess I like it when there are no major hurdles in my life but yet I know use all things to the good in our lives. Problems are not the end but often the beginning. Help me learn to stay at peace through trials and turmoil. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Self Esteem Or God Esteem


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

As I sat  at a military PX a few weeks back having a book signing, I felt like the Wal Mart greeter. Smiling and saying hi at the table right in front of the entrance to the main store. Many people feel funny making eye contact perhaps due to the fact they are not interested in what you are selling and maybe feel if they look your way it is too late. Anyway this was a good day to practice whether I was having self esteem or God esteem. Let me explain.

The reason I wrote my book was not to become rich and famous. I wrote it because God placed a call on my life through my daily devotions and I wanted to expand the ministry into an affordable small book. This journey means getting out there where I can get in for signings and be at peace whether I sell one,twenty, fifty, or none.  Often when I got my eyes off of why I was there,a Christian sister quickly got me back on track for which I am thankful.

You need to not worry about self so much and know you are working for the Lord and are there because of the mission He gave you. Your mission might not be selling Christian books but ministering to those little children at home, or working in an office, or helping others get well at a hospital. Whatever, know that God has a distinct purpose and you are not there by accident.  Shine your light!

 PRAYER: Thank you for where you have placed me in life. Help me know my journey is not about me but about you and sharing God's love. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Storage Full


You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. Psalm 56:8 

There is a rather comical commercial on TV about people who are getting ready to take that extra special picture on their mobile device only to have message pop up 'Storage Full. Can Not Take Photos' and if it has happened to you you feel like screaming. Back in the 'olden days' we had film in our camera and knew when we were out. Anyway it is a frustration needless to say. 

God's storage is never full. You can pray and pray and pray some more and he always has free space to record all your prayers and cries of your heart. Don't stop crying out to Him. The verse above mentions Him storing our tears in a bottle. I often joked and said mine were no doubt in a water tank. The point is God is there. No disconnects, signal loss, network down messages will ever happen. 

Are you trusting God for something in your life? Don't become discouraged and above all don't skip your quiet time alone with Him. It is easy to make excuses of why you have no time but God sure has time for you. 

PRAYER: I am thankful you are with me at all times. You hear my prayers. I know things are happening even when I don't see them physically. In Jesus' name. Amen.



Sunday, August 28, 2016

Mosquitos


In order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes. 2 Corinthians 2:11
As I sit on my back porch looking out at the countryside and cattle in our field in the early evening, I am often met by pesky mosquitoes who, if I don't wear insect repellant, can insure my time in the outdoors is short lived. I hear them buzz then swoosh, they move in for a bite. Smack, no you don't little bug. 
Sin and Satan can be like annoying insects that swarm and won't leave you alone. The problem is sin doesn't always warn us with buzzing sounds or a first bite. It can sneak up on you. Often disguised as something harmless. But alas sin is not harmless. Depending on what it is, you may experience lifelong repercussions. Forgiveness is available so don't beat yourself up too bad. Just remember when you know what is right or wrong don't choose the wrong way. 
Jesus is the right way and His ways are perfect. No one promises a life free of struggles, but by standing with God and staying daily in the word you have a good shield against sin. 
PRAYER: Help me Lord to stand strong against the tide of sin in this world often made to look good or okay and some even legalized by the government.  Use me Lord to share the truth with those in my circle of influence. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Maintenance Needed


Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Acts 17:11
I was out pulling weeds in my strawberry patch recently when a truck pulled up that said 'Asphalt Maintenance' on the doors. Indeed our driveway has numerous cracks that need attention soon before they get worse. 
Your spiritual life needs maintained on a daily basis too. If you let something go that needs repairs eventually it needs an overhaul. We can let our bodies go physically by not eating right and exercising then when the decision is made to get in shape it takes lots of time. Better to take care of matters when they are not so drastic. 
By getting into God's word, the Bible, daily you make Satan angry because you have put on your armor for the day. You strengthen your inner man by filling up your tank daily with God's word so if a breakdown does occur you are prepared and know better how to address it. Now go read Psalm 37 and have a good day. 
PRAYER: I know what I need to do to stay strong spiritually and that is to soak up God's word daily. Help me discipline myself to read your book more than Facebook. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Let My People Go


It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

Why is it so many nations have dictators, tyrants and kings that are bent on control of the people? Human nature can easily get selfish, egocentric, and power hungry. For the man or woman following Christ they are led by the light and love but many are not followers of Christ and may unknowingly be doing Satan's work to dominate, deceive, lie, trick, kill, and manipulate people. When someone tries to control every aspect of a person's existence they are trying to domineer and take away our choices. 
God is not like that. God is love. God is peace. God wants us to go and be creative and earn money and thrive. He does not want us dependent upon others. God wants us to be kind to our fellow man. He wants us to see a need and meet it. He wants us to pray for our enemies. He wants us to be in prayer for our nation and its' leaders even ones that seem that prayer will never work on. 

When a nation follows God's laws all is well but when they get to thinking they know more than God look out. Do not be fearful of what is going on around us for God indeed is in control. But He wants us to wake up and protect the liberty we have been blessed with and to stay in prayer for our nation. Now go get in your prayer closet for our land and for its' healing and restoration. 

PRAYER: Oh Lord your beautiful. Your face is all I seek. I am ashamed when I have taken freedom for granted. Help me to do my part to help our great land remain free. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Just Get Over It


But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. Matthew 5:39

How many arguments could be alleviated if people would just drop stuff and forget about it. While waiting at an airport recently watching passengers arriving, most were joyful and hugging, but one particular meet up, what appeared to be a mother and son, looked less than cordial. I was sad for whatever caused their cold reunion. It made me think about why people need to let anger go.

Even if someone gives you the cold shoulder doesn't mean you have to reciprocate. We as believers need to be kind, forgiving, and able to be the one to show reconciliation if necessary. Don't drag something out or try to force a person to be kind but take it to the Lord the great healer of all things to include relationships.

So the next time you are confronted by a friend or worse, a family member who is treating you unkindly just be kind to them regardless. Let Jesus do the rest.

PRAYER: Lord I pray if and when I am ever confronted by someone who wants to be ugly to me that you will help me stand strong and not be ugly back. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

All In Or Spectator?



I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26

The Summer Olympics have just concluded for another 4 years. Most of us were mere spectators observing from the comfort of our living rooms. Being a spectator does not require much effort. Basically just sit down. It's the athletes who have had strict and disciplined training to achieve their place on the Olympic team for their country. 

When it comes to your spiritual life are you all in or simply a spectator on the sidelines? Maybe you aren't even a spectator but simply just feel like saying you are a Christian is good enough. Many people stay away from the church for various reasons. Hopefully you reading this  today have an immense love for the Lord to the point you can't wait till Sunday rolls around just to go to church to worship him. Don't make it a chore and if you feel like it is, search your heart and ask the Lord to help restore your love for Him. 

The times we are living in require true Christians to worship Him in spirit and truth. We are in an immense battle for our souls and for the soul of this freedom loving country. It is time to stop just sitting on the sidelines. Get in the game!!

PRAYER: I need you Lord every minute of the day. I choose to walk in your ways. Keep me alert to the dangers of the flesh lurking around trying to gobble me up. Help me run for the heavenly prize. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Click link for a song to get your day on the right foot.
https://youtu.be/I17edLkBDCo

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Home Runs Ahead


14 When times are good, be happy;but when times are bad, consider this:
God has made the one as well as the other.Therefore, no one can discover anything
 about their future.Ecclesiastes 7:14

I love this verse in Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament.  It really says it all in a nutshell. Whether good or bad God has your back. Stuff is going to happen because sin is in our world. The world throws curve balls at us that we have to dodge occasionally and press on for the home runs ahead of us in this life God has blessed us with. 

You have probably heard that trials are a part of life and whether you like it or not they indeed strengthen and teach. If everything came easy there would not be challenges to help grow you. Imagine a child who stays in first grade forever because it is fun and easy. Certainly there is no disputing that but that child will be stuck in a rut never moving beyond and never growing. 

You may prefer the good times of life and rejoice and praise God when you have them but also realize sometimes things may be hard. Continue to rejoice and thank God for helping develop you into the person He wants you to be. 

PRAYER: I love you Lord. I know it is in hard times I learn things so for that I say thanks. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Monday's Can Be Excellent


This is the day the Lord has made;We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
The start of a brand new week doesn't have to bring with it the 60's Carpenters  song lyrics 'rainy days and Monday's always get me down' but instead should be a day of rejoicing for new starts. A day of thanksgiving if you have a job to go to as many are unemployed who seek employment. A day of thanksgiving for the gift of life. A day to let go of hurts and choose a new direction. A day to try something new.
Get up and say "I like Mondays. Thank you Lord. Direct my steps to do your work today." Then just get out and get going. Stop dwelling on negativity. Look for ways you can bring a smile to someone who may be hurting. Stop dreading Monday. Start looking forward to what this day will hold for you.

Each day is a gift from our Lord whether Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Will you choose to embrace each day's issues and rejoice?

PRAYER: Thank you for the beginning of a new week. A time to start new things. A time to purpose to break bad habits. Help me learn to rejoice. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Solutions



If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

When I was driving recently I passed two trucks advertising solutions. One was called 'Outdoor Solutions' and then another called 'Facility Solutions'. There are probably other businesses entitled 'Kitchen Solutions', 'Bathroom Solutions', 'Garage Solutions', 'Parenting Solutions' as we humans are always looking for new ideas and ways to remodel or fix things. How about one called 'Sin Solutions'?Catchy title right? 

What is the solution for the sins of mankind? First having a knowledge of good and evil, right and wrong which can be obtained in a great book called 'The Bible' which happens to be the best selling book of all time. Within it's pages we learn how to defeat Satan and run towards the heavenly prize. It is a great read and one to read and ponder daily. Satan does not want you reading this best seller as his plans don't include freedom from sin. His plans are to stir up evil, deceit,anger, separation, lies, death, destruction,hatred, and to make you feel happy doing some of his schemes. He wants you to think Sunday one hour is okay by the way. He wants you to judge, gossip, and act holier than thou instead of loving, gracious, and peaceful.

What solution do you choose for life? The one that leads to eternal life with Jesus or the one that is a very wide path that humanly seems the cool thing to do but leads to eternal separation from God. The choice is yours. 

PRAYER: Lord Jesus I know the solution to sin is to follow you daily and seek your face. I pray for those I know who may be caught up choosing some other path that seems okay but in the end leads away from you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Tattoo Removal


For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.Hebrews 8:12

Got your attention with this title huh? Well I was browsing through the list of Groupons when I saw one for Tattoo removal. No I do not have any tattoos but I often think of how many times young people get a tattoo to maybe be cool, follow the crowd or perhaps influenced because of not being in their right mind if you know what I mean. So it is good  these removal services are available to them to erase a permanent mistake they may have made. 

This brings me to the topic of sin. Sin is a stain that can be washed as white as snow scripture says. Romans 3:23says "all have sinned and fallen short of God's glory" so none of us is perfect therefore be careful to never get the attitude you are. God can wipe away ours sin and He remembers them no more. Isn't that great?? Satan is the one who wants you to keep bringing them up because he is the great accuser. 

So today go to the Lord and confess to Him that area of your life you know you fell short. It could be gossip,backbiting, hatred,pornography, drunken behavior, lying,stealing, abortion, cheating, dishonor to parents, overeating(gluttony), adultery, judging others, murder, homosexuality, drug addiction, evil thoughts, lust,  and let him have it. Ask Him to help you get on the right track and clean you up. That is His speciality. Only trust Him. 

PRAYER: I am sure glad you forgive us and cleanse us Lord of those sins we commit. When I say I have no sin I am lying. Help me Lord to turn away from sin and evil and run full force into your arms. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Friday, August 19, 2016

Why Does It Take A Puppy To Make People Smile?


Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32

On a recent visit to the doctor,  in the waiting area, a lady had brought in a live animal, a toy poodle. Now mind you, I was curious as to how a canine was allowed in a medical facility but it was probably some sort of emotional support companion so I kept mouth shut. What I did notice was how people who I had observed earlier as bewildered, angry,haggard, downtrodden, changed their whole demeanor when this happy pooch arrived. The friendly little pup had nurses coming out to pet him, patients smiling, and people talking to each other.

God has made all things for his purposes and dogs are a good example of love, service,  trust, loyalty and emotional support. Granted not all dogs fit the bill as being kind and loving but a good majority of them are used for seeing eye dogs, companions, emotional support, and just plain friends. When our lab Sandy was still alive she was ever loyal and faithful.
Why does it take a dog to get people to smile? Why not try to keep the joy of the Lord in your heart. As you sit in a waiting room somewhere often for a good bit of time, don't gripe and scowl, but instead try to imagine a puppy is sitting in the waiting room with you. Better yet just remember that you may be the only example of Christian love someone may encounter that day. That may motivate you. Now go have a blessed day wherever you are. Bow wow.

PRAYER: Jesus I want to be used by you in the world you have placed me. Smiling is one way I can do it. Help me smile at a Muslim I may encounter, a grouchy clerk, perhaps an atheist who comes across my path, and others who may just not joyful. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Run For The Prize



Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 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 9:24-25
The summer Olympics are currently in full swing and whether or not you have been watching the games or not,  it is evident these are athletes who have desired the 'ultimate sports prize' for most of their lives and did what was necessary to achieve their goals. The goal of course is first making the Olympic Team for their country and next to try to medal.

Our goal as a believer is of course to win the heavenly prize of eternal life. Each day we 'run' our life race to focusing on the cross and jump the hurdles that life my set  before us. Our training is not in a physical gymnasium, track, or swimming pool but in the word of God. We train ourselves by reading, studying, and applying God's word to our daily lives.

How are you doing in your race? Are you running and training for the crown??

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for helping me stay encouraged as I continue to run the race for the heavenly prize. Guide me over the obstacles that may come my way. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

B.U.S.Y.


"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:28-29

How would you like to be able to answer someone when they ask "how are you" with something other than the standard answer "busy"? Why does that answer have to be compelled to come out of our mouths? Does it make a person feel worthy in society to prove that by being 'busy' they hold value? Ponder that for a while.

I heard the acronym for the letters that spell the word 'busy' could be 'being under Satan's yoke'. How's that for a way to identify a true meaning of a word. Do you really have to stay constantly busy? I challenge every one reading this to schedule down time in your day. Don't be ashamed or feel like you have to justify why or feel you aren't worthy unless your calendar is packed out. For some reason this culture has even our youngest being constantly busy. Why?

Today when you are making your weekly schedule why not challenge yourself to have time to just sit, walk, listen to birds sing, and just do nothing. Don't feel guilty when you do either. Guilt is not from God.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus I know I have a harder time hearing your voice if my schedule is consistently overloaded. Help me to choose activities wisely for myself and my family and insure quiet time and doing nothing is in there. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Overgrown



The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message, only to have Satan come at once and take it away. The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced. Mark 4:15-19

I am the first to admit I am not the world's best or most avid gardener. My former neighbor Cindy can attest to that fact. I do not take the necessary time to keep the garden weeded and consequently end up choking my vegetables with weeds and thorny vines. I get out there and search for the spinach,kale, peas and melons I planted and can not distinguish them from other stuff. Don't laugh. I did get sweet corn,green beans, cherry tomatoes, and zucchini so all my efforts were not in vain. I vow next year will be different. 

A person's spiritual life can be similar to my overgrown garden. Let's say you know you should spend time in prayer,serious heartfelt prayer,but other things seem so urgent and push it away. Not good. Or you know you need to study the Bible and hide God's Word in your heart daily before you face the onslaught of the world out your front door. Once again in many cases, things of the Lord become like a hobby you occasionally engage in but are not good at and other things less vital squeeze it out. 

Perhaps now is the time to take a good look at your daily schedule and make spending time with the Lord the most important part of your day, not an afterthought. If you live with people who don't crack open the Bible at all, don't judge them or preach to them but simply pray and let God handle it. Now is the time to yank up the earthly overgrowth and let God 's word bloom in your heart. 

PRAYER: I need you each and every day Lord yet many times so many other things crowd you out, and for that I ask forgiveness. I know you yearn for me to spend time with you. I also know if I don't it is easy to start getting sucked into Satan's deceptions. I choose to take a look at my schedule and do things differently. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Soul Food


Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6:35
For the purpose of my writing, Soul Food refers to the spiritual food each of us need each and every day, not just one hour a week. Imagine if you will only getting fed one meal per week. You would get pretty famished wouldn't you? You might become lethargic, grouchy, tired, vitamin deficient, and end up with health problems. I know it is hard enough when you are required to fast for a medical test. And even then not many reading this have probably been truly 'starved' but imagine if you were. 
Many people are spiritually starved although there are those who it does not seem to bother. You eat breakfast, hopefully, then a few hours later lunch, perhaps a few snacks. Then comes supper. I am not sure how many folks would agree to skipping those three basic meals yet there are multitudes of even Christians who daily fail to feed themselves on the word of God, the Bible. Visualize your spirit like a starving child in a Third World nation craving for just a morsel to be thrown to satisfy hunger.
Basically how are you to have a good walk with the Lord if you don't daily pick up the instruction manual? That is your 'soul food' each and every day. Don't go on a diet. Overeating spiritual soul food is terrific. 
PRAYER: I know it says on your word to study to show myself approved a workman that does not need to be ashamed rightfully dividing the word of truth(2 Timothy 2:15) yet there are times I starve myself and eat the world's junk food instead. Forgive me and help me to prioritize my consumption of daily soul food. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Word Of God Transforms



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

Why do you think there is such a movement afoot these days to get rid of the name of Jesus, prayer, Christians, and the Bible? It is because the word of God is powerful and it has the power to change lives, hearts,  and nations. Satan has his workers doing their lying and deceit to try to transform people the other way too. We are not unaware of his schemes, which are many. This is spiritual warfare and we are in the battle.

This is why it is so vitally important to saturate your mind with truth from truthful sources so you don't allow the enemy of your soul to get his claws into you as well. The truth indeed does set you free. Instead of being angry at all those in public office who wield much human power, get angry at Satan. He is the real enemy as he is out to destroy this freedom loving God fearing nation and has tricked subjects into being on his side. Pray for even those you don't agree with.

 Although it is easy to hate, do not. The Bible has told us in Matthew 5:44 to pray for our enemies not to hate them. Now go out each day armed with the word of God which has power to transform IF it is read and applied. 

PRAYER: I know your word is truth and has the power to transform. I pray for those I know who do not care to read the word each day and think being a Christian is just being a nice person. Shine your love through me as I apply what I learn from your word. I thank you for its' transforming power at work in me. In. Jesus' name. Amen. 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Getting Rid Of Junk


Because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:2

How many of you reading this have junk and clutter you know you need to get rid of? Sometimes too much sentimental stuff can end up weighing us down and making our homes look like piles of trash. God gave us the money to buy or rent places to live and we are to be good stewards of our possessions. 

Besides physical clutter in our lives there often can be non spiritual clutter weighing us down and keeping us from being closer to God. Living in the past. Not forgiving self for something God has forgotten. Hanging on to bad habits that take you away from things of the Lord such as too much alcohol, drugs,  pornography, trashy movies, bad reading material, recreation on Sunday in lieu of attending a worship service, office gossip and backbiting. Add to the list. 

Start today to rid yourselves of things in your life that separate you from God or cause you to truly not give Him first place in your life. Allot of worldly clutter can weigh you down and try to control your life. Don't let it. 

PRAYER: I choose to declutter my 'spiritual closet' and make an effort daily to break bad habits and form new ones that draw me closer to you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Don't Puff Yourself Up Too Much



Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips. Proverbs 27:2

When you do a good deed do you try to make sure people know about it or are able to keep it to yourself?  'Self' often wants people to pour praise all over them but truly great people are those who achieve things or do great things but yet do not have to 'toot their own horn' so to speak. It often comes with maturity or realizing each of us has nothing to prove or gain. 

Is much nicer to share the company  of a humble person than a braggart. If you have ever been guilty of boasting about anything God can forgive you and set you free from this need to tell everyone everything great you or someone in your family has done.  If you are a parent, teach your children the value of being humble and putting others before themselves. As the verse above suggests, resist the urge to tell everyone every great thing and sit back and maybe they may do it first. 

When you receive any praise make sure to give the glory and praise to God for seeing you through all things you do in life and giving you your talents and abilities. 

PRAYER: If I have ever been guilty of boasting please forgive me. Help me brag on other people and praise others and not toot my own horn. I desire the humility  In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Staying Positive Through It All


A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 
17:22

Sickness, terminal illnesses, bad news, tragedy, and many other things can legitimately be reasons to be down in the dumps. God designed us with emotions but He did not design us to blame Him for bad stuff or be mad when someone else seems to never have problems. 

Right now I know of several friends and family suffering through things be it illnesses, financial trouble, lawsuits, job loss,  prodigal children, family fights, or the loss of loved ones. Stuff happens in life. We are not in a perfect Utopia but struggles are part of life and believe it or not help shape and develop character. But why? Why me? Why now? 

You may never understand on this side of Heaven all the whys. The main thing is to not abandon God. Atheists would like it if you would as they try to disprove God entirely. Hang on to your faith, your hope, and your prayer. God will see you through. 

PRAYER: My hope is built on you Lord. Each and every day is a reason to give you thanks. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Umbrella


He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Psalm 91:4

A few days ago after several days of drought like conditions here in Northern Alabama and Southern Tennessee it finally rained. Thankfully I carry a spare rain jacket in my car at all times so was prepared. I also have a couple of umbrellas in back of car as a precaution.  I saw many people going in and out of businesses with umbrellas in hand keeping themselves dry from the elements. 

God is our umbrella in life. If you strike out on your own without spiritual protection and covering you are not protected. By praying, reading God's word, and doing things that please Him, your life will go allot better. Step out from under God's umbrella then anything is bound to happen. Your are shielded from ungodly elements or at last protected from them when you allow Him to be your covering. 

Are you ready to step underneath God's umbrella? 

PRAYER: It is so easy to want to run out each day without taking time to have serious prayer or time alone with you. The busyness of the day beckons but help me slow down and realize the most important part of my day is insuring I have my spiritual covering. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

It's All Okay


My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speakand slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. James 1:19-20

So we are getting ready for the last leg of our trip from Boise back to Huntsville when from the flight deck it was announced the ground crew had noticed a low nose gear tire so it had to be changed. It would take about 20 minutes. Groans could be heard throughout the cabin. People get anxious and don't like waiting. But safety is first priority especially when flying at 35,000 feet.

What type of things do you get irritated about that you really have no control over? In every situation it is best to not overreact. Pause, take a breath, pray. Then relax and let God work. Getting mad only agitates others and does nothing to help.

 The next time something unexpected occurs practice this formula and see if you don't handle things a bit better.

Things always work out in the end so sit back, pray, and let God work in the situation.
PRAYER: This is the day you have made Lord and I choose to rejoice and be glad in it no matter what happens. Help me slow down and learn to wait on you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Young At Heart

Praise the Lord, my soul,and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,who satisfies your desires with good things  so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:2-5

When I go to the movies, and my friends can attest that I go lots, I usually get the Kids Meal Combo pack consisting of a small portion of popcorn, candy, and a small drink. After all I am a big kid at heart and love to be young at heart. Note I did not say to be immature but there is nothing wrong with thinking young and doing things to make you feel young. 

As you age, there may be aches and pains and unforeseen surgeries and things associated with aging, but those people falling in the category of getting older, and hey, I guess that is everyone as each day you get older, don't have to let those things define you. Find ways to make your conversation center on things that are joyful and stay away from the negative. When you write your family Christmas letter here in a few months, don't center on all your aches and pains but try to make your letter happy and upbeat. Even if tragedy occurred in your family and sadness, there has to be something joyful in your journey,something to give thanks for!

Your assignment today is to be joyful in the day's journey no matter what happens today. Try to rejoice even when you may not physically be up to it. 

PRAYER: I thank you Lord for the gift of life. No matter what comes my way I know are Lord and you love me. Thank you for everything do for me daily. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Keep Going West


As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations, before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Romans 4:17(KJV)

Many brave men, women, and children in America decided to leave the East and venture over the rugged mountains not knowing what lay ahead risking life and limb to discover the riches of the West. There were those who died along the way. Indians, disease, wild animals, rattle snakes, raging rivers, running out of food, and many other things were obstacles that could have deterred them but they kept going West despite the danger. I for one am glad they did because look at the marvelous beauty of the Western United States. On a recent vacation to Oregon and Idaho I saw the Oregon Trail Museum and marveled at what those before us endured.

In our spiritual life sometimes we may feel like these early pioneers in the 1800's who felt hopeless at times. Maybe you become fearful of what lies ahead. Perhaps have prayed and sought God over a situation that seems to not be changing. You become tried and weary in your journey and just want to throw your hands up and quit trying.

God had a plan for this great land. We are blessed as we have acknowledged God and the Bible as our tools in founding this great land. When man starts to forget this valuable aspect of our founding we will cease to receive God's blessing. Keep believing even when you do not see results. Never allow negativity to mold your beliefs and keep on praying.

PRAYER: I thank you Lord for godly men and women who went before us at the risk of their own lives to settle the Western part of this great nation. I thank you for how you have blessed us. I thank you that I know you hear our prayers and want us to keep pressing on even when things look bleak. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Liar Liar Pants On Fire


"But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." Revelation 21:8


"I can not tell a lie. I chopped down the cherry tree" was the famous childhood quote attributed to our First President George Washington. Lying seems to be pretty common place  these days especially among some politicians but all of us can be caught in it when telling only half truths,  not the whole story, skipping details, being less than truthful, or being sneaky. If each of you is honest, I am sure you can recall a time you lied whether a big lie, white lie, tall tale, fib,  or something unintentional because you did not want someone to think bad of you and left out details. Whatever,  it is all still lying. 

If you ever find yourself on a witness stand in a court of law and knowingly lie after having taken an oath to "tell the truth, the whole truth so help you God" then you have committed perjury, which is pretty serious. Being truthful is a very important trait for a Christian but we, like others, can slip up and God can forgive. Lying is wrong and when you tell one lie usually you  have to tell another to cover up for the first. Just like a teenager lying to their parents about where they drove the family car, all lying is wrong and should be stopped. Satan is the father of lies and loves it when you lie because you are sort of glorying him not God.

Right now ask God to bring to mind anytime you lied and did not confess it. Further ask Him to direct your steps into a truthful  life you will never be ashamed of. Better to get the cards out on the table so to speak than lie and brush things under the carpet. 

PRAYER: Help me Lord as I seek to lead a God honoring truthful life with family, friends, business associates, and strangers. Get rid of anything in me that pulls me away from the truth. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Interruptions.....Go With The Flow!

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Hebrews 13:2
All of you have probably had the time when you would have rather not been interrupted because you were in your own little world but alas you sit next to a chatty person and the rest is history. I am sure I have been that chatty person a time or two. Anyway whether at a coffee shop trying to study or read, on an airplane or public transportation, and other places maybe it is good to be able to talk. 
I feel loneliness is an epidemic and maybe a person sitting alone deep in thought is waiting for someone to say hi. Or maybe the individual that broke into your serene moment needed to talk. You just never know. If you call yourself a believer you should try to go with the flow and be hospitable.
Today look for opportunities to be a light in the darkness. A smile, a kind word, an unexpected gift. Be creative. Pray for the Lord to open opportunities for you to be His witness. 
PRAYER:Forgive me Lord for ever being so into myself that I neglected being kind to a stranger. Use me to bring joy today. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Don't Be Afraid



Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid. Do not lose heart. Isaiah 7:4

I don't know about you, but if you listen to the news it can frighten you. Possible martial law, ISIS attacks, failed coups, police getting shot,  nuclear weapons in Iran, corruption at the highest levels. Humanly you may feel helpless. 

Our God is a big God. He is a patient God. He is neither Republican nor Democrat. He rules and reigns forever and ever and His throne lasts forever. The plans of puny man trying to abolish our God given freedom don't worry Him for He is God. 

Today's verse is meant to bring you peace if you are struggling. Worry, fear, and fret are pointless. Prayer is our weapon. Getting serious about daily prayer and not the "now I lay me down to sleep" kind. We are in a spiritual battle and now is the time to arm yourself for battle. 

PRAYER: I am not afraid of terror for you oh Lord are in the throne. Your word is true. May your people get serious about engaging in spiritual warfare. Help me Lord to encourage the feint hearted. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Be Happy, Have Fun


A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:13
In watching the Republican national convention in July, during the opening part before the speakers began, lively music was being played by a band and many delegates in the audience were rocking and rolling with the music regardless of their age. I would have joined with them had I been there. Don't be afraid to do things because you feel you are too old. Who says? 
Many may have been taught that it is not dignified if a person a certain age or social stature does things but that is man's rule and not God's as far as I know. Doing silly things often is a great stress reliever and can have the side effect of making you smile. Imagine that! Go swing at the park, dance at a wedding, watch silly kids movies, ride a carnival ride, but just relax and be happy. 
Often helping other people is an excellent way to happiness and joy as well. Enjoy your life, be kind to others, and don't forget to laugh. 
PRAYER: Lord you have given us the gift of laughter. For that I say thank you. Thanks for being able to enjoy simple pleasures of life. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

An Army Of One


"When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say. Luke 12:11
It is easy to be a believer when we are in our Holy huddles but when the rubber meets the road and you are isolated and all alone how do you react then? As a believer we are members of God's Army so to speak. You are not alone and God is always with you. 
Throughout your day you encounter many types of people. Some believers and some not. And oh by the way there is not a certain 'look' for a believer so don't fall into the rut of thinking say a person with tattoos or piercings can't be saved. Everyone is different and there are various personalities. So off you march in God's Army to be His witness but you are truly not an Army of One but He is with you every step of the way.
Before you leave the house each day stop and pray and dedicate the day to the Lord. Give Him your burdens, your prayers,your fears. Trust Him to guide you to exactly the people that day who need a little encouragement or joy in their lives. 
PRAYER: I am excited to be in your Army Lord and to be a soldier equipped for daily battle. Help me always to remember to put on my armor daily to be prepared for the skirmishes ahead. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Note: Click link below for an awesome song to get your day started.

Music video by Cedarmont Kids performing I'm In The Lord's Army. (C) 1995 Cedarmont Kids
YOUTUBE.COM

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Monday, August 1, 2016

Frustrations And Blowing Things Off


Peace I leave 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
So here I sit with a nice iced latte at a local coffee shop/grocery store and can not connect to wifi. My day was going to go smoothly and it still can. An hour of listening to piped in grocery store music while I sat with my latte and almonds and created some more devotions, but alas no connection. The Ipad says I am connected but clearly something is wrong. Oh well. 
Do you have days such as that? You wake up expecting everything to fit into a pattern of peace and tranquility when something unexpected throws you off? Sometimes it can be something pretty major but most of the time just minor glitches. So you have a choice. Get upset, scowl, rant, complain or choose to be at peace regardless. For my friends in the business world it can be as simple as being called in by the boss and you start to panic. 
Anger does not always have to be the solution when things don't go as planned. Go with the flow. Flight delayed? Take a breath. Heavy traffic? Just be still. Broken appliances? Relax and then call repairman. Your life is being watched by others so remember to let your light shine in all circumstances. 
PRAYER: Give me the ability to remain peaceful when things don't go as planned during my day. Help me react positively and be a witness for you. In Jesus' name. Amen.