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, January 31, 2017

Wickedness Alive And Well



How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! Psalm 1:1

Have you ever known anyone who used to love the Lord so very much then something happened and they wandered away with seemingly no desire for the Lord anymore? When a person starts to allow sinful behavior and thoughts into their life it becomes harder and harder to want to follow Christ. The word of God becomes a turn off to them.

Satan tries so hard to get people off the path God has planned for them. He sticks his claws in them and drags them away. He manipulates their mind to think their desires, thoughts, and actions are okay. He twists things to make them seem okay.  What a person is participating in he or she normally will justify.It is sad to see a brother or sister in the Lord who has gotten off the path.

If you know a person like this continue to lift them to the Lord in prayer. Don't allow yourself to become this way by staying in the word of God. Do it daily. If it is important to walk with the Lord then add this to your daily calendar so it is not left out. Tell Satan he has no authority over your loved ones who he is deceiving. Remember this world is not our home and neither are its' ways. 

PRAYER: Lord Jesus I thank you that you love me and have a perfect plan for my life When times came that I got off the path you drew me back and I thank you. I resist the enemy and he has to flea. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Pondering In Paradise


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

On a recent trip to the Big Island of Hawaii I sat on my balcony late at night and just pondered the word of God. I reflected on the verse above and what it truly meant.It does not take a visit to an island to reflect and ponder but it was good for that purpose in my case.

The popular culture often is unfriendly to the people of God. The world has it's way and God has a totally different way. Many things that the Bible says are sinful are made right in the eyes of the world we live in. Just because everyone does something does not make it right.
We are called to be set apart for Christ not like some weirdo but to be different is that if someone asks you the reason of hope that you have you can boldly answer them such as what is said in 1 Peter 3:15. Never cave in to culture. If you have family members or friends who have lost their way, pray for them, don't nag them. Never act holier than thou as that is a real turn off. Keep shining your light in a dark world. Let Christ be glorified. 
PRAYER: Lord I want to be a light in the world around me. Help me have strength not to be like this world but to be set apart for you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Remote Hotspot Failure



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

Don't you just get annoyed when you have your computer out at a public place or hotel and an error message pops up on the screen?  You sort of have to deal with it and go with the flow. Getting annoyed does nothing to solve the problem. 

Good news awaits you. You will never get a disconnect or error message with our Heavenly Father. He is open 24/7 and ready to hear your prayers. You can chat with Him similar to a friend because no special speech patterns are needed to enter His presence. He hears you and listens in every language on the face of the Earth. 

What is on your heart today? Take time out each and every day to have a chat with the Almighty. He makes time for you so make time for Him. 

PRAYER: I am ever so thankful I don't get a disconnect or busy signal when I reach out to talk to you in prayer Lord. I thank you for caring and hearing me. Nothing is to big to take to you in prayer. And I know all things are possible with God. In Jesus' name. Amen.




Sent from my iPad

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Gray Skies Are Gonna Clear Up!



“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

As I sat in the  Phoenix airport recently  waiting on my flight, the normally overly sunny skies should be shining through the large glass windows. Today it is another story. The 'valley of the sun' as it is called,  is overcast with gray skies. Not to fear, the sun indeed will shine again in this desert community.

In life sometimes you may feel as if there is a huge gray cloud over your head. Maybe everything you do goes wrong. It may be one of those days or worse, one of those weeks. Similarly to the weather eventually changing, so will your situation.

Life has good moments and bad moments and we rejoice in one but learn from the others. Don't let bad moments and gray skies define you. Refuse to allow the enemy to get you in a defeated slump. Hang on as indeed the sun will rise!!

PRAYER: Thank you for the good and bad in life as it is through both that I grow stronger. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Atheism....Why?



"If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” Mark 8:38

On a trip to Boise I saw a car that had a bumper sticker that said "My God can beat up your god." This broke my heart to see someone misled and unbelieving possibly feeling like Heaven was some sort of joke. I pray for individuals who feel this way. 

Even those who 'believe' often may think Sunday is enough or just believing might be adequate. Those feeling this way are missing out on an abundance of blessings by simply naming the name of Jesus only and ending the relationship there. To act ashamed of your beliefs does not make God smile.

Just how serious are you about getting closer to Jesus and God?  If you have friends or family who fit the category of occasional believers continue to pray for them. To get to know Jesus it is necessary to dive into His instruction manual the Bible. Carry a small one with you to work or in your purse, backpack, or briefcase. Then get it out during times when you are just sitting. Fill your mind with God's word. 

PRAYER: I love you Lord and I love your word. Many times I could open it up and read but I waste my time doing secular things which do nothing for my spirit. Help me order my day to make sure you are in it daily and perhaps set an example for someone around how may be observing me. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

FOMO


Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. Revelation 3:20

There are all sorts of phobias. One I heard of recently was called FOMO or 'Fear of Missing Out'. This is a new problem in these 24/7 connected days of Facebook, Instagram, Periscope, texting and Twitter. Why do you have to know what everyone is doing? Relax. Enjoy your day. Life will indeed go on and the world will still keep spinning. 

Do you ever have a 'Fear of Missing Out' what God has for you, never mind your friends Facebook status and updates?  Think of the time you might spend on social media daily and balance that with time spent getting closer to the Lord. Is some tweaking in order for changing things up a bit in that area? 

Maybe you are getting on Facebook to read Christian things like my devotion and others which is terrific. But when done why not put the computer away and get out the paper Bible and start reading the chapter in Psalm that corresponds to what date it is. Today is the 26th so Psalm 26. There you have it. Now go have a blessed day!

PRAYER: Give me a pure and Holy passion to run hard after you Lord. If I catch myself becoming complacent about spending time with you renew my hunger for your word. IN Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The 'People' Version



For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

As I was getting coffee recently the television at the coffee shop was on one of the entertainment channels that lets you know all about the celebrities and what is going on in their lives. Why do we care so much about that? I have been guilty of it but why does it matter? It does not.

Wouldn't it be nice if mankind gave as much time to finding out about the life and ministry of Jesus as they do about famous people? Made me think that perhaps a 'People' version of the scriptures should be printed. Perhaps if it looked like this popular magazine more folks would be intrigued and want to know more. Inquiring minds want to know, so the saying goes.

Have you checked Jesus's status in the Holy Bible today? The word is filled with wisdom and knowledge to help you on your everyday journey. Give it a try. He is the most famous celebrity ever. Get to know Him today.

PRAYER: Lord help me balance the hours you give me each day to not waste time on too many things that don't matter for eternity. Help me to balance entertaining myself with serving you and others. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Your Prayer Line


If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; Psalm 66:18

Many people say they pray. Even people pray who probably don't go to church or even love God that much and that is very admirable. But did you know about the scripture verse above?

In this verse it is basically saying that if you have known sin in your life that is unconfessed the Lord does not hear you. That is why it is so crucial to confess your sins when you pray. You know stuff like gossip, judging, addictions, wrong thoughts. You get the idea. 

Start off 2017 trying to clear your heart of things you may be harboring and go into 2017 full of love ready to pray. 

PRAYER: I thank you that I can go to you in prayer anytime as your prayer line is 24/7. Help me remember those things I may need to confess. Convict my heart. In Jesus' name. Amen.  

Monday, January 23, 2017

Serenity



You will keep perfectly peaceful the one whose mind remains focused on you, because he remains in you. Isaiah 26:3


How does one obtain peace and harmony and just relax? Some may say yoga, an essential oil diffuser, going for a walk. True all those things can assist but the main thing is to get rid of the sources of things that aggravate you. Morning or nightly news? Flip it off. Morning paper?Cancel your subscription.Scary movies? Don't go to them. 

Don't feed your mind with things that upset or worry you. Lets say you watch a show about disasters and worry one is going to happen to you. Instead of a steady diet of depressing news much of which is fabricated to help an agenda, feed your mind on the word of God. 

Start today to make yourself think on positive things and not stuff that drags you down. May I suggest starting to read the book of John in the New Testament. After doing this for a while you will start to notice you are not as mad about stuff. Pray instead. 

PRAYER: I love to have peace Lord. Your peace is the most perfect. I know the enemy will distract me and try to make me think I have to see the news or the world is going to stop if I don't know what is happening. I choose to reorder my time to make your word first. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Refrigerator Prayers



I thank my God every time I remember you. Philippians 1:3

Many churches are doing 21 Days of Prayer right now as the new year is here. As I was doing this one day I thought about how you can pray over your refrigerators. No not pray they won't break down but most folks have some photos on theirs, I know I do, a regular gallery. 

So you begin with praising Jesus for who He is. Then you confess your sins to him to get your heart and mind clear. Next you praise him for what He has done in your life. Finally you can pray over your needs and those of others. As I walk by my refrigerator many of my friends and family adorn it so I just look at it and there is a prayer list. Voila!

You don't have to do this just when it is the designated 21 days of prayer but any time you open the door to get something out. You could also make some sort of an altar in your home where you could keep your Bible, a notebook, maybe a photo or two. I know of someone who has a prayer garden. Be creative. The point is to make prayer a priority in 2017.

PRAYER: Thanks for the many means available to help me learn to pray better or more direct for an issue. Help me make good use of each day in order to 'talk' to you. in Jesus' name. Amen. 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Deliver Us From Evil


'And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.' Matthew 6:13

When you say the Lord's Prayer do you ever stop and break it down and think about what it really means? The statement "deliver us from evil" for instance? 
Evil represents Satan and the despicable things he does. Lies, deceives, kills, steals, destroys. The dictionary defines it is as wicked,bad, wrong, sinful. Sinful, ah there is that word that when Christians speak up against 'evils' in society we are told be tolerant. 
There is good and there is evil. Period. Former President George W Bush on 29 January 2002 referred to countries sponsoring terrorism as the 'axis of evil'. 
Our enemy Satan is real. He will do anything he can to manipulate minds, cause people to have wrong beliefs, and weave his evil web. Often people are captivated or in a trance so to speak over how he accomplishes his evil deeds. I Peter 5:8 warns us he "roams around like a lion seeking whom he may devour." Stay alert!
PRAYER: One way Lord I know to ward off the evil one is to quote scripture at him. Help me Lord to stay in the word of God for it is my most powerful weapon for beating Satan at his game. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Pray For Our Leaders


“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” 1 Tim. 2:1-2

Today we in the United States can witness the new President and Vice President taking the oath of office and being sworn in as the 45th President and Vice President of The United States.  The good thing about America is if we don't like our leaders we can vote them out. Since the start of this young nation there have been enemies within our own country who have tried to dominate, control, bankrupt, and force things upon Americans without 'the consent of the governed' and that was not ever the intent of the Founders. 

If you do not agree with the new President you can at least pray for him. The country the way it was going for 8 years was headed for bankruptcy and many feel it was intentional. Former President Ronald Reagan said “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

Stop what you are doing today and purpose to stay involved in what is happening in Washington, DC and get involved in decisions that may impact your family, your job, the military, and don't assume everything is going smoothly. Stay on top of it. Pray for the media and try to not believe everything you hear. Even the few times a year I write about 'politics' I may be misunderstood. The point is just stop and give thanks for living in America and pray for those who lead us. Don't condemn them. 

PRAYER: I am ever so grateful to know we have Godly men and women in places of authority. Help each of them as they are in an environment often hostile to them. In Jesus' name. Amen. 


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Freedom Is Not For Sissies



Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. – Colossians 3:16

I don't know where I first heard the statement I am using today for my title but it is the truth. This country is a free nation only because of those brave  men and women who fought and died and rallied for freedom sometimes against all odds. Tomorrow is the Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States. Some are elated and others are acting like children and protesting even sad to say on the floor of the US Senate and shamefully at the Golden Globe awards. 

Much misinformation has been disseminated by a media typically not friendly to Christians and conservatives. From the get go this nation was founded and established using God's Holy word. Those who wanted to break free from tyranny and oppression set forth at great cost to them mentally and physically to cross the ocean and establish a democracy here. There have always been forces trying to get their way and force their ideals on this nation and transform and dominate it.  The subject of politics alone opens up a can of worms so to speak and wrecks relationships. 

What I am appealing to each of my readers today to do is to be in prayer for this country. Don't get your news from the media but instead turn off the radio and television and listen to the voice of God through the Holy scriptures. Pray for your enemies and don't wish evil on those you disagree with. Be in prayer for our new President, Vice President and the entire administration, and oh yes,their families too. Now go shine your light in the darkness. 

PRAYER: Lord you have a plan for the United States of America. Thank you for freedom. It came at a great cost. Thanks for the men and women who defend this great land from enemies sometimes within our own borders. May my heart be turned to seek the truth. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

How Is Your Walk?


Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2

Walking in love. Sounds easy enough but is it really? You claim to be a Christian but then you catch yourself calling people idiots, stupid, brain dead, fat, ignorant, and many other not so edifying terms. It takes guts to walk out the love walk. It will mean really trying to love ALL people.

Wait, all people such as those mean to me, bad in laws, an ex spouse, a boss who fired me, co workers who talk behind my back? Yeah ALL people is what it means. Politicians we don't see eye to eye with? Yep, them too, remember the "love your enemies" verse in Matthew 5:44?

So how is your walk? Do you need a little bit of practice?

PRAYER: Father I have been guilty of maybe calling someone stupid or being not so kind to someone who maybe hurt me. Sometimes I may not even personally know the people I feel ill will to. I know you want me to love and love unconditionally. Help me cast off works of darkness that cause me to have wrong thoughts towards others. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, January 16, 2017

He's Got A Plan


"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,  neither are your ways my ways declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8

Do you ever get overly concerned when you hear the doom and gloom stories nightly news? First, turn off the news. Why is it necessary to have a steady diet of bad stuff which is about 75% of it in my estimation. Stay positive and know God is the real master of the universe and if you trust Him then why should you fear?

His ways are bigger than our ways and He knows the big picture so to speak. He is greater than bully governments, terror threats, murders, evil tyrants, and much more. He is King, He is Lord, He Reigns! 

Next time you start wondering about the future and all the stuff going on in the world stop and try to think of at least one good thing. For three years I kept a blessing jar and each day would write one thing down on a slip of paper that was good that day. After a while it helps you start 'looking up' and trusting God more. 

PRAYER: Forgive me Lord for getting all caught up in bad news and starting to worry or fret. I know you are much greater an any mere man. I choose to put my trust in you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

I Want To Go Home Home



In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you. John 14:2

In the movie 'La La Land' the character played by actress Emma Stone in her frustration with not 'making it' in Hollywood said to her boyfriend played by actor Ryan Gosling, that she just wanted to go home. He says "you are home" and her response was "no I mean home home" meaning where her 'roots' were. 

Do you ever feel as a believer that you just want to go 'home home' meaning Heaven? This world is not our real home but only a temporary living space for those who have asked Jesus to be Lord of their life. This is such a temporary stopover for those who place their faith in Jesus. Sometimes the frustrations of life, the pain, the heartache make things just seem awful. God has a plan and if you have accepted Him as savior He uses you for His purposes. 

Keep walking the path daily and being grateful where you are. Praise Him in good times and in bad. A better tomorrow does await you in Heaven. But while here do the work of an evangelist and don't whine. 

PRAYER: Forgive me Lord when I don't trust you with the big picture. Your purposes are greater then my understanding. Help me to shine my light in this dark world until that day you call me home. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Beyond The Glitz And Glamour


But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood,a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9
Many people are mesmerized by Hollywood Stars. They present a certain persona to the public and the people we see on the silver screen are only acting. Similarly models on TV,magazines, and billboards are portrayed as having it all together. The right hair, the right body, the right makeup, the right purse, and oh yes the right clothes. Media in this generation seems to control so much of who we are. 
We are not to idolize actors,actresses, sports legends, entertainers of any sort. God has gifted them with a talent and some have acknowledged that but they are just people. Do you spend more time reading about stars and trying to fit an image sometimes more than you ever devote to things of the Lord? Life needs balance. There is nothing wrong with attending movies 🎥but remember it is not real. 
Sometimes behind the glitz and glamour there may be really hurting people with issues deeply buried. Some of the stars may be hard to love when all they stand for goes against things you believe in or hold dear. Love them with the love of Jesus and pray for them. 
PRAYER: Lord help me as I seek to be conformed to your image and not a make believe image. Help me see just how temporary things here are. I pray for more wholesome movies with a Christian message to be made. Help our teen girls not succumb to the enemies desire to drag them down. In Jesus' name. Amen.
For information on a wonderful ministry that minsters to those in media check out the following website.www.mastermediaintl.org


Friday, January 13, 2017

Crunch Time....Any Time



          "However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen,    not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows." Matthew 24:36

You have probably heard the term 'crunch time' referring to meeting a deadline of sorts. Made me think about all people being in a crunch time scenario of sorts when it comes to Jesus' return. Many people like to mock those who believe in eternal life and choose to think that here on Earth is all there is or somehow people are reincarnated into something else.

Well my friend eternal life or the fires of hell are real indeed. Jesus doesn't force anyone to believe in Him but he does not wish any to go to hell. When no one knows the day or the hour we all should be living as if this could be it, our 'crunch time' of sorts. No one should want to see anyone be condemned to Hell. We are to pray for our enemies and not gloat and wish them evil. 

How are you preparing in these crunch time days? 

PRAYER: Lord Jesus help my life be a witness so that is anyone doesn't even speak to me they would be able to sense Jesus living inside of me. Help me have boldness to share when asked the reason of hope in me. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Honesty Always The Best Policy

Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered, but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall. Proverbs 28:18
Whew. That is all I can say the day I accidentally without knowing dropped about 6 cards out of my purse onto the pavement at a local coffee shop. I was fortunate an honest person found them. A military ID, VA ID, credit card, debit card were among the cards strewn on the ground next to my tailgate. An honest woman brought them in. I am ever grateful to her as once I noticed later they had disappeared I would have panicked.
How is your honest meter? Most reading this I would venture to say are extremely honest but sometimes things could maybe tempt you to not be so honest. Cheating on taxes is one that comes to mind. Getting too much change back at a restaurant. Not being charged for an item at the store and realizing it when you get home. Stealing office supplies. Keeping someone's mail that does not belong to you.
As a believer we are called to be full of integrity and above reproach. Righteousness is not that really hard to do when you follow God's word. If you are raising children let them see you being honest and not corrupt. Each day ask God to help you be holy as He is Holy. Now go make someone's day better.
PRAYER: Lord if I have ever knowingly or unknowingly been dishonest please forgive me. I choose to keep on the path of integrity. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Green Light



Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6

When I get up each day I  grab my coffee and computer to post my daily devotion then  try to discipline myself to not check everyones status on Facebook before I get in to the word of God. If I do, I often don't even get to my Bible. Every time you get onto Facebook you can see everyone else who is on by their 'green light'. So many people connecting online.

My question is simple? Do you give Jesus the 'green light' in the morning as well? Not saying this to condemn or judge but to make you think just how important being closer to God really is for you. 2017 is here and many may have made weight loss resolutions and even said one about 'reading through the Bible' which is admirable but for actually sitting down and spending time with God praying and reading and studying scripture. Often times your faith background may not have emphasized this which is sad. 

Do this. Pray and ask God to give you a true hunger and thirst for the word of God. Purpose in your heart to not allow other distractions to cause you to eliminate reading your Bible. Just as I have suggested at other times, get a notebook and a pen and as you read joy down things you are learning. Don't know where to begin? Today read the book of Psalms with whatever the corresponding date on calendar is. Don't allow other things to be more important than God. If you live with someone who is a church goer but not a Bible reader, do not nag them. Allow the Holy spirit to work in their heart to bring conviction. Now go and praise the name of Jesus!

PRAYER: Lord I want to give you the 'green light' each and every day. I know Satan will try to distract me and get me to do other things and help me to purpose in my heart that 2017 will be different. I will be more disciplined and can do it through you who gives me strength. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Christmas Letter


Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20
Often times the infamous Christmas letter is loaded with oodles of wonderful news about family members. Their successes, their grandchildren, their trips, their job promotions, their awards. But what about those out there not fitting in the category of sending 'good tidings of great joy?'

There are real pain, problems, and issues friends and family face they often hide. A prodigal son. A pregnant unmarried daughter. A child in jail. A son or daughter on drugs. A divorce in the family. Loss of custody of children. A child who walks away from their faith. A child who is in an alternate lifestyle. A son or daughter involved in a cult. I have heard numerous stories and know of several cases.

The good news is God is a God of redemption, love, second chances, and restoration. No one is beyond His reach. It is often the low moments of life that bring people to know Him. Whatever you are believing for keep on praying, believing and never quit. Don't ever point the finger at people or condemn them as you never know when something might touch your family. The key is to pray and to continue praying.

PRAYER: Father God I lift up those people out there today who may be reading this who have friends or family far from you. I pray you touch the hearts of those who have wandered away. Draw them back close to you and set them free. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Party's Over


Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

After Christmas and New Years do you ever feel a great sense of let down? Maybe you are too busy to have time to enter this slump period but for many it is a real thing. It does not have to be.

Focus on joy and the words of the word 'joy' which are Jesus first, others second, yourself last. When you can truly adopt the mindset of others behind first place and serving then you have little time to slump into a pity party for yourself. Kindness and giving do not have to end with the end of Christmas but should continue all the time.

Get beyond your Facebook, your mobile device, your TV set and other things that keep you from engaging one to one with others. Find ways to help people or be present in their lives. Write a real letter to a friend far away. Call your mom. Send a card to someone. Pay for the car behind you in the drive through then keep it a secret from others. Treat a friend to something unexpected. You get the idea. Let Christmas not be over. Share Jesus love around the clock and around the globe.

PRAYER: I am thankful for being able to share your love with others. I choose to not allow the enemy to get me into a pity party mode but instead to stay focused on things above. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Putting Away Christmas



For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:16-17

Yesterday I wrote about putting Jesus away in the attic and why we should not do that. Christmas is more than a tree, decorations, parties, gifts, lights, merriment, food, cookies, and oh yes toy soldiers and Santa Claus. It should never be put away. Every year at this time many of you are busy taking down the tree and carting boxes up to your attic or in storage somewhere.

When you get wrapped up in this time of year for the wrong reasons there can be a huge letdown emotionally when it is all over. The time where we are to celebrate the gift of the Christ child turns into a fiasco and far from the original intent.  Jesus should have a place of prominence all year round and the focus on December 25 should be Him, period.

God so loved this world that He gave us Jesus. Jesus came that we may have life and have it abundantly. He does not force himself on anyone. Just as when he walked the earth in his 33 years and many rejected and mocked him, so too today this happens. Speak up when people ask you the reason for the hope you have within you. Jesus is the way and only way!

PRAYER: I am grateful for Christmas time and love to have family and friends around but help me never forget what this day means and help me to let this feeling live in me the other 364 days. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Jesus In The Attic



"Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6
Christmas 2016 is over. Time to undeck the halls with those boughs of holly and pull staples out of the side of the house holding up the flashing lights. Put the outdoor nativity away. Take down the Christmas 🎄 tree. Back up in the attic it all goes for yet another year until you repeat the same ritual  again in 2017. Jesus in the attic, sounds a bit strange doesn't it?

Jesus does not have to be put away until next year. He should be kept alive in your heart ❤️ every single day and not just for the 'Holy holly holiday'. Many people do keep Jesus in the attic of their hearts and only bring Him out occasionally as you would fine china. The Jesus I know and love wants you to want to be with Him and not make Him a religious experience.

Try this in 2017. Make your New Years resolution to remove Jesus from the attic and put Him in your living room, your bedroom, the den, your workshop, your car, the gym, the kitchen, on the hiking trail and basically every where you go. Start by reading the chapter in Proverbs that corresponds to the date it is so today would be Proverbs 7. The more you read God's word the less time you will want to keep Him in the attic.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus it was never my intent to put you up in the attic and treat you like a simple holiday. Forgive me. I choose in 2017 for things to be different and for me to take seriously my walk with you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Imaginary Friends But Real Problems


Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Children and teens are growing up today in a unique world unknown to their parents. The world is social media, selfies, likes, follows, tweets, snapchat and more. As one of my sons' reminds me, this is not real but sadly for many they count on those likes, comments, and follows or they become sad and depressed. Teens are super connected to being connected but not face to face. A dangerous path to take.
Here is the thing. How do you communicate to your child,grandchild, niece, or nephew that this social media world is not realistic? Also why do we feel compelled to want everyone to 'like' everything? Don't get me wrong, I have been guilty of it but I feel it is a particular issue when it comes to the generations who have grown up not knowing anything but this kind of existence. 
There used to be a saying with the Bell Telephone 'back in the day' that said "Reach Out And Touch Someone" referring to picking up the phone and calling someone. What we really need to encourage in the younger generation is really doing just that! Get out, connect with the world in a real way not just through social media. Make an effort as you start 2017 to purpose to be more connected in a 'real' way in the coming year and help those younger people whose lives you influence to do just the same. Many people really do need to have a hug, a touch, a connection. 
PRAYER: Forgive me Lord for being a stranger to my neighbors or those in my social media world that I really do not truly connect to. Help me Lord to get beyond my mobile device and be real in the world. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Relax It's 2017!


"My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” Psalm 62:1-2
Wow I don't know about you but I love fresh starts! What a better opportunity for a fresh start than at the beginning of a brand new calendar year. "Making a list and checking it twice" does not just refer to the Santa stories, but to the list each of us can make about what they hope to accomplish in 2017.
A clean slate, a fresh break, a recharge in life, new beginnings. I love it! What have you struggled with over the past year? For me it is trying to do those things I write about. LOL. My own therapy and opportunity to 'get it together' and charge on. 
Get your tablet, an actual piece of paper, or a journal and start writing down those things you want to do in 2017. Dream big. Don't sell yourself short. When you make this list hopefully something on it includes spiritual goals. On these spiritual goals make it more specific than just saying "getting closer to God" but how you intend to do this. It is good to have things to look forward to and know that Jesus will guide you and see you through on your journey.
PRAYER: Thanks for yet another year on planet Earth. I am excited for what is in store and want to make sure you use me in your kingdom purposes. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Leave Me Alone Jesus!



When Jesus heard it, He said unto them, “They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Mark 2:17
As a believer when you are in your 'Holy huddle' on Sunday or hanging out with like minded friends everything is peachy keen and just a bed of roses. No challenges so to speak beyond differences in denominational theology. But when you throw yourself out into the 'world' not friendly to God 's people, it is a whole different story.

Scenario number one, an office party where co workers party hardy. You feel like a fish out of water. Scenario number two, you befriend someone who keeps referring to things of the Lord as religion and says they are not much into that. Scenario three, you find yourself wanting to hide your 'light' under a basket when you go out into 'the world' not wanting to be your true self. Scenario number four, friends wanting you to go somewhere that you just do not feel comfortable with.

If you have accepted Jesus as Lord of your life you are called to "be His witness to the uttermost parts of the Earth" it says in Acts 1:8.  You are also called to "not be ashamed" according to Mark 8:38. You are not called to run and hide like Jonah did in the book of Jonah starting with chapter 1. How will others ever know or hear about Jesus unless you are Jesus to them. You are not on Earth to just occupy space. Your mission if you choose to accept is to help win others to Christ!

PRAYER: Give me courage and Holy boldness to let your light shine through me. Help me know what to say when provided the opportunity. Help me remember this is not about getting people to join a church but to ask you into their ❤️ heart to be Lord of their life. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The 'Lite' Bible


Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
Seems like life offers us many choices for shortcuts and easy ways to do things. For instance when losing weight those ads with a magic pill to burn fat seem attractive to many. Sometimes shortcuts can get you into trouble such as when driving and thinking a shorter way is better then you wind up lost. 
Do you ever wish there was a quick way to get your Bible reading done? You have so much to do so let's get on with it right? The 'lite' Bible might be a catchy title which I do not think exists, but is it really a good idea? Even when I write my 'sips' daily it is not with the intent that is all I want the reader to do but to get your day started and get you hungry for more. A bug gulp if you will. 
Does 2017 need to be the year you reevaluate your love and commitment to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords? Do you need to plan your day around Jesus and not the other way around? Don't let Jesus end up being only a shortcut but make Him the priority in your daily activities. 
PRAYER: Lord I have been guilty at times of not spending quality and quantity time with you or have allowed other things that are not even important to squeeze you out such as that all important TV show,checking Facebook statuses, or reading a magazine article. Forgive me Lord and help me search my heart for ways to be closer to you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Orange Jumpsuit


"Do not judge others, and you will not be judged." Matthew 7:1

As I drove into Huntsville one morning I noticed along side the road many young men in Department of Corrections Orange jump suits on litter patrol under the watchful eye of their police escort. Have you ever considered praying for these inmates as you pass by them? 
Those who messed up in a big way but out on good behavior of sorts picking up trash along our highways have feelings too. As a result of bad family upbringing, getting in the wrong crowd, inappropriate impulsive behavior, criminal activity,  DUI, hit and run and other things,  they are now incarcerated in the local jail for a period of time and being semi rehabilitated by doing community service.  That could be your child, your grandchild, your cousin, your friend, your former co worker, your parent or yes even you! 

It is so easy to condemn and judge others. None of us are without fault. When you see these individuals just think about God's grace and be thankful you are not out there with them. Mistakes are made in life and don't be so high and mighty to think you are immune from that orange jumpsuit. I have known people who have worn them and through their trials they grew stronger and learned many lessons and often are drawn closer to God. Just remember when you see a man or woman out there in their orange jumpsuit to pray God would bring them closer to Him and deliver them. 


PRAYER: Lord help me make wise choices and to slow down and think before I act on things. Help me stay honest and full of integrity. In Jesus' name. Amen.  

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Chances



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

Here it is the first day of 2017 and many are ready to let the past year go and move on to what lies ahead. That is what believers are supposed to do. Out with the old and in with the new. 

I always look forward to a new year. A chance to begin again. A chance to make things right. A chance to forgive and forget. A chance to be loving. A chance to right wrongs. A chance to learn new things. A chance to nurture friendships. A chance to KEEP resolutions. A chance to give without expecting anything back. A chance to do something outstanding for someone.  A chance to watch what you say and think. A chance to learn to be grateful. A chance to stop complaining. A chance to love those who don't love you back. Add to this list.

Does ushering  in a new year makes you joyful?  You can look forward with hope expectantly to what God is going to do in your life and the lives of your loved ones. Make up your mind to work on your weak areas and to spend more time with Jesus. Now that should make you smile!

PRAYER: Thanks so much for yet another day of life and a new calendar and new year. You have great things in store for those who love you. Help me Lord be intentional in working for you and putting you first. Truly! In Jesus' name. Amen.