Wednesday, November 20, 2019

November 20

Do you ever long for more of Jesus? During a church service, I prayed that God would give me an overwhelming emotional connection to Jesus; specifically, when I think about him for tears to flow. That’s an extraordinary prayer that he has not fulfilled. The answer came as soon as the pastor opened his mouth, he said something to the effect of, “it’s not about emotion.” Thanks a lot preacher-man! God needs us to be in this with our head, but as an emotional human, we connect love with emotion. I’m guilty! I want to feel something extra, but God wants us to know him for more than the emotion. I’ve got the head knowledge, but now I want my head and heart to connect on a deeper level, a more spiritual, and overwhelming level. There is probably something that needs to change within me before he grants this request, a step that I need to take, or growth that needs to happen. Whatever the case, I’ll wait and watch, because the next point in the preachers sermon was, “MY GOD CAN... Even when the first attempt fails.” I’ll take that! Whatever you are praying for today, just know that God can do anything; he is not limited. I’m not sure if this is a smart prayer to pray, but he does, and he won’t give me anything that is not beneficial to me or to the kingdom. I’m okay with that too.

"And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.”" Mark 9:23

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

November 19

Accidents happen. I was in a fender bender where I ran into the back of another car. I was sitting at the light daydreaming, waiting for it to change, when I notice cars moving in my peripheral. To my shock, and surprise, the car in front of me didn’t move. The girl jumped out of her car and cussed me out! In my view it was a bit of an overreaction, but we are all geared differently, so our reactions are different. I remained calm, made sure everyone was okay, and apologized. I finally coaxed her to move to a parking lot, because we were backing up traffic. The officer showed up, and instructed us to exchange information, which we had already done. My calm demeanor diffused her anger, and by the end she was smiling. I don’t blame her for being angry, nobody wants their car crumpled, but if I had gotten angry because of her foul mouth, it could have been a serious mess. 

God’s word teaches us how to respond, and the Holy Spirit helps us to carry it out, but if we are not immersed in his word, we won’t pick up on his mannerisms. When you spend time in the Bible, God molds you into the likeness of Jesus; though you will never be perfect, you will make strides towards the better.

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly. Proverbs 15:1-2

Monday, November 18, 2019

November 18

Are we to ignore the law of God because we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings? Do you rescue someone whose about to jump off a cliff? How can you love someone and let them continue in sin? Are we to ignore a whole segment of the population that feel entitled to be who they want to be even if we know it’s wrong? It is not love to watch someone go against God’s word. Maybe the Holy Spirit sent you to be a light, or an example to the fallen to make them aware of their mistake. Jesus said it many times, “Go and sin no more.” He knew what it was to love. He did not care if he hurt someone’s feelings. The enemy has deceived so many by telling them to leave people alone, and it’s their right to continue in a particular lifestyle. If you think this is okay, then you don’t know the Bible, and you don’t know God! Your idea of love is skewed if you don’t tell them they are wrong. When you sin, you are rejecting God, and you do not truly believe in him. Go ahead and keep believing we should leave others alone and let them be who they want to be, but know this, you will not see them in eternity, or maybe you will. 🤷‍♀️ 

"Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.”"  John 5:14

“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. Ezekiel 3:17-18

Sunday, November 17, 2019

November 17

We are each given a cross to bear. No one has a perfect life, not even the most perfect person to walk the earth, Jesus. He had to deal with the same obstacles we deal with, the same type of people we deal with daily, even calling his disciples dense, because they lacked understanding. Imagine living and knowing you had to face death on a cross! Though you may feel that you are the only one going through a hard time, you are not! Each of us have difficulties that may not be seen, but are hidden away, out of plain sight. For me, I try not to dwell on such things because I don’t want to live a miserable life. I will think about such things while the wound is fresh, but when a new day comes, it’s time to move on. This is what I ask myself when harsh, unexpected things happen, “Will this affect my eternity?” The answer is always and emphatic “NO!” So why am I dwelling on it? Jesus came and gave us a reason to keep living, but also a reason not to fear people, or fear dying. Set your mind on positive things. If it keeps going down a negative path, you must change it immediately to think of something more positive. Make that a practice, and you will begin to change the path your mind takes and become a more positive person.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:7-8

In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me? Psalms 56:10-11

Saturday, November 16, 2019

November 16

I was out walking my dogs, and had a lovely encounter with two of my neighbors. They both read my post, and told me about the impact they have on them, and that the words hit home so many times. I had no idea that they read them! I have a friend who calls such encounters, “a kiss from the King!” Though the words came from the mouths of humans, I see that God used them as vessels to encourage me. I post these daily tidbits in obedience to my call from God, and the encouragement my neighbors offered, was God’s way of showing me a portion of the impact. When God tells us to love our neighbors, he really means the people next door; though he doesn’t limit it to the people next door, he includes them. Here’s the lesson in this: do your work for the Lord out of obedience to him, without recognition, and he will spur you on with sweet kisses of his love. 

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24

Friday, November 15, 2019

November 15

From the age of twenty-one, God, whom I love dearly, thought it was important that I start my new marriage with three children. I raised them until they were grown, and then my husband passed away. I met a new man at the age of thirty-two, and God, whom I love dearly, thought it was important that I start my new marriage with three more children! At that point I had one of my own, and so life began again, with four. As a child, I remember telling God that I only wanted one child, and he answered that prayer, and laughed! God was teaching me how to love like he does. God multiplied my love to extend to a number of grandchildren, and even one great-grandchild! They are scattered, and I don’t see them all. This is an example of how beautiful God’s love is for us. Those children and grandchildren that are seen the most are able to glean important lessons from their well-seasoned elder; it’s comparable to drawing close to God. Those that are at a distance, are not loved any less, but there are important things they could be missing. Though the world may separate us, and send us in different directions, our love is still there. You are loved by our amazing God, and nothing can separate you from his love, in Jesus, but try to draw near to him so you can learn valuable lessons.

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

Thursday, November 14, 2019

November 14

Life is funny, isn’t it? A difficult situation, heartache, or even tragedy, can bring people together who were once foes. I’ve always thought that it was  interesting how families could fight like cats and dogs among one another, but when someone comes against them, watch out, because they will band together in a heart beat! Christians are no different. We are the family of God, The Church. And, yes, we fight among ourselves over the precepts, doctrine, and theology, but no matter what, when the world comes against us, like it is now, we come together as one. Our enemy is not flesh and blood, even though it may seem that way. The flesh that seems to be coming against us, are only tools, and they don’t even know it. They are doing the bidding of Satan, and he will discard them when he’s done with them. However, the warriors who are for us, in the spiritual realm, outnumber those who are against us. So, do not fear when the battle ensues, you may feel you are down for the count, but remain strong, because we have already won; our Savior has overcome death, and the power that raised him from the dead resides in us!

"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." Romans 8:37

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

November 13

There is a bakery in my area that makes sugar free/low carb, delectable treats. Because the holidays are near, my taste buds seem to be craving a little extra. I’m a pretty good cook, and I’m capable of creating my own treats, but there is something wonderful about being able to stop in a store and get them without the wait or the hassle. I went in on a Friday, and all they had was two items left, so I bought them, and inquired as to when they would have more. They said that they bake on Monday, and Tuesday, each week. I returned on Monday, but unfortunately it was a holiday, and they were closed. I returned again on Tuesday, but still no special treats, except this time she informed me that the baker had cheesecake ready for the oven, and other desserts slated to be made. Some of those special treats are predestined to be consumed by me. Now there are other desserts in the case, but they are loaded with sugar, and will not be chosen. Those special treats have no impact on whether I choose them or the one next to them; it is I who choose! If you’re reading this, because it is addressed “To the followers of Christ,” you are a special treat, and you’ve been chosen, justified, and glorified! You did not choose, you were chosen. I hope you feel special today.

Another point to make: you can’t tell by looking at them if they are sugar free/low carb. Sometimes they are labeled, but sometimes they are not, so you must ask!

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. Romans 8:29-30

Monday, November 11, 2019

November 11

The devil will do his best to thwart the plans God has for you. I get so angry when he throws me off course! It’s so easy to fall for his schemes because we are vulnerable to his lies. God sets you on a path, but the enemy comes along and sows seeds of doubt, and dangles something shiny in front of you to send you in a different direction. You will know you are on the wrong path because you keep running into dead-ends. However, when you finally get back on the path, you know it because God sends his welcoming committee, and all heaven rejoices. My husband and I left our church in a nearby town because of the commute, and because we felt like we needed to become more involved in our own community. Months later we were still searching for a church to call home. God had given me insight into where we should be going, but sometimes the enemy will show you something to distort your view. We finally reached our destination, and it couldn’t be more obvious that we had found what we were looking for. The power of the Holy Spirit was so intense that I was in tears for most of the service. I was hungry, and seeking to be fed, and now that I’ve smelled the sugar cooking, all I want to do is eat! 

"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12

Sunday, November 10, 2019

November 10

For my birthday last month, my son bought me tickets to go see Elevation, Hillsong, and Casting Crowns. We had such an incredible time! I was moved to tears seeing a stadium full of Christians praising their hearts out for the glory of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. As we approached the venue, we saw crowds of people trying to make it in; all were happy, peaceful, not pushy, respectful, and ready to get down to the business of what God created us for. It was a slice of what we have in store for us as we live out our eternity with our Savior and God, and I’m not upset about it! We don’t have to wait to give God the praise he deserves, and we don’t have to wait for a gathering of the saints; we can, and must do this daily. Your life is a testament to how good he is, so let the words from your lips show him your appreciation. Set your hearts towards God, for he alone is worthy of our praise. 

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer." Psalms 19:14

Saturday, November 9, 2019

November 9

My husband and I have adopted a sugar-free, low-carb lifestyle, but we still crave sugary treats like pancakes and desserts. There are lots of recipes the help you get past your desire, but they are not always accurate or descriptive, and can lead to lumps or cause them to be watery. I’m a pretty good cook, and know that you mix the dry ingredients, and then the wet ingredients, before mixing them all together, but what do you do with cheese? Anyway, I tried making pancakes without following directions, because they weren’t included, and ended up with major lumps. I had to get the blender out just to get it smooth. The point of this story is that there is an order to things, including our life as a Christ follower. God has given us very serious commands, because he is an orderly God and expects our lives to follow an orderly manner. If you try to mix the things of this world with the things of God, all you get is a bunch of lumps on the head. God is not tolerant of our misbehavior, and we will pay a price for our error. Yes, he is forgiving, but only because of Jesus. If you continually walk in the way of the world, without remorse, you may need to rethink your lifestyle and consider that you may not have the Spirit of God dwelling within you, and that is very serious!

Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. Romans 8:8-9

Friday, November 8, 2019

November 8

Have you ever set out on a journey not realizing how long it would take? Richard had my car, and I had my grandson; I wanted to take him to a park that is close to my house. I loaded up the wagon with all the supplies that I would need for a two year old, and set out on this short journey. My memory did not serve me well, because the park was further away than I had remembered. It was a good thing that I coated him with 50 SPF sunblock, because it was long and hot! I had already started, so it was too late to turn back; besides, I needed to give the little sweetie something to do to work off some of his energy. We finally made it there, played a little while then made our way back. Our journey with Jesus is very similar. You think it will be short, because you accept him as your Savior, not realizing that even though it’s simple, he has plans for you that you never thought about. He takes your journey as a sinner and washes it away, and then begins the process of drying your tears. He covers you with son-block so you won’t get burned, and begins taking you on a walk towards sanctification. Submit to the process, it makes the journey so much easier.

"And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." 1 Corinthians 6:11

Thursday, November 7, 2019

November 7

I can hear my dad using the words, “I reckon,” when he’s contemplating something. I had never thought about it until I saw it used in the King James Version of Romans 8:18. I reckon it means, suppose, reason, conclude, think, or consider. Paul used the Greek word “logizomai,” which translates to reckon, consider, or any of the words above, to help us understand that he had come to the conclusion that our sufferings here on earth are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. We must remember that Paul had seen some things that no one had ever seen, and heard things that cannot be told; so he has the experience to back up his words. Remember, at one time, he was caught up to paradise. Whatever you may suffer as a Christian, just hold on to what you have, it’s only temporary, and according to Paul, it is well worth it! Don’t turn back to a sinful life because it’s an easier road; that easy road will eventually lead to disaster. Keep pressing on toward the upward call; your suffering will lead to glory, and we will finally dwell with our Savior for an eternity and soon forget our worldly challenges.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:18 ESV

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18 KJV

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

November 6

In our business, the first of the month is our busiest time. We must manage move-outs, and move-ins, and handle the accounts receivable, and accounts payable. People that rent from us, owe us debt for the use and maintenance of their home, and it’s the same if you have a mortgage, except you owe the bank, rather than a landlord. That debt must be paid or you will be evicted, and lose your home. Our body is the temporary home of our soul. It’s temporary because sin causes it to deteriorate; that deterioration is the debt we must pay, and eventually we will be evicted because the debt becomes too much. This is why it’s so important to nourish your soul, and maintain it because the Spirit of the living God lives within you. While our soul goes on to eternity, our bodies will be buried for a time, until it is clothed with glory and reunited with the soul at a time chosen by God. You must do what you can to maintain your body, because you have a purpose for the here and now, but you must also maintain your soul by looking to God for spiritual nourishment.

So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. Romans 8:12-13

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

November 5

Richard and I had our two year old grandson stay overnight. We’re getting older, so having a baby around becomes a challenge because our home is not prepared for children. What that means is, we have to have an eyeball on him at all times; until he starts to get into it, we don’t know what might become dangerous. One moment he’s right in front of you then the next moment, he’s headed to a ladder that’s sitting on the porch, which his Pawpaw showed him how to use! I decided that he needed to run free for a bit. He’s always saying “water,” so I thought he might like running through the splash park near our home. Boy was I right! His diaper weighed three pounds before I decided it was time to go. Our grandchildren bring us great joy; they each have something special about their personality that helps you see their potential for good things when they grow up. It’s up to us, working beside their parents to help bring out that potential by encouraging them in their special gift. This one likes the water; he might be the one who likes the beach like his Namaw. We’ll have to keep his lily-white skin covered up though; he’s the whitest grand-baby we have!

"“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children's children—"Deuteronomy 4:9

Monday, November 4, 2019

November 4

There is a point in your life where you have to let go of your past and move on. Yes, people have hurt you, but it’s time to forgive them, not for their sake but for your own. This is one time when it’s okay to be selfish; you need closure, but they aren’t a part of it; this is about you. The pain they’ve caused you, probably doesn’t even bother them, and I doubt if they ever give you a second thought. Time heals most things, but sometimes the pain runs deep, and time doesn’t soften it. That’s when you know this pain is bigger than you can handle. When you’ve done all you can, then it’s time to hand it over to God and ask him for his healing touch. When Jesus was here on earth in the flesh, he tried to teach us how to be free, and leave our cares in his hands. Don’t take lightly what he did for us on the cross, not only did he wash away our sins, but he took upon himself all of our burdens, even the ones we are carrying right now. Today, ask God to heal you so you can move on with your life and live free.

As I finished writing this, I had to pray for myself, realizing that I have some things from my past that I haven’t released. I then asked God how I could tell others to do this when I haven’t even conquered this myself. Then he showed me this portion of scripture where Paul writes: 

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14

Sunday, November 3, 2019

November 3

My family is in the business of providing homes; whether it is a rental, or a purchase, we procure that arrangement. We deal with a variety of people, from all walks of life; from the very poor and needy, to those who seem to have their life in order. In most cases, they are happy when they find that special home, because they have the strong desire to be settled. Their sojourn is over, and they can begin making their new home a place of comfort, and become familiar with their community. The process is very similar to finding a church home that is right for you. You may try a variety of churches, but when you find that special one, you know it. I’ve gone through the process of searching for a church more times than I should, and I love them all because they are family, and because of their relationship with Jesus, but there are some family members you can’t live with, and there are those you can’t get enough of. The point is, find a church home, but even better, find one that you can live and thrive in. Every church has its flaws, just like families do, find one whose flaws you can live with, remembering that Jesus is the center of it all.

And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. Acts 2:42-44

Saturday, November 2, 2019

November 2

Have you ever felt like God was sending you a special message? It has happened to me, but because the message was not clear at the time, it was hard to understand. 

Here’s what happened: I was driving down a street, on my way to pick-up the mail at one of our properties, and this woman, whom I know is a little eccentric, was walking down the middle of the road, blocking me from getting past her. I finally saw an opening and took it. I didn’t disturb her, she’s a little different.

Then after that, I went to Costco and once I had checked out, and headed towards the door with my cart, an old woman, who was walking very slow began blocking me from passing, I finally caught a break and got around her.

After combing through the scriptures, looking for the meaning of this, I began to realize that it was about God’s timing. The prayers that I’m waiting on an answer to, will happen, but only in his timing. The roadblocks, and delays are all a part of his process. Then he assured me that he would give me what I desired within this life, and that he is the kind of Father that gives good gifts. Are you waiting for an answer to prayer? This is a reminder to all of us, that God loves us, and what he is preparing is worth the wait.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7

"who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1:13

Friday, November 1, 2019

November 1

Even though the atmosphere was lovely, after a trip, it’s nice to come home. The familiar faces of your neighbors greeting you upon your return is welcoming.  It’s fun to get away, but there’s nothing like the comfort you create in your own home; you know you can count on it being just the way you like it. Jesus is our comfortable home. He is our beacon of light in this troubled world. We can go to him and find peace, and comfort from our sojourning. He’s familiar, because he never changes; he was the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. In this world, there will be trouble, but we can count on Jesus being the stronghold that keeps us safe, because he has overcome the world. As you face the challenges of your day, and go about your business, remember that you have a peaceful home to come back to, even if your earthly home lacks peace, close your eyes and find comfort in the arms of Jesus. He is familiar, and stable, and the picture of what we desire to come home to. 

"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”"  John 16:33

Thursday, October 31, 2019

October 31

When you ask a question, do you stop and listen for the answer, or do you ask just to hear yourself talk? I’m guilty of this, especially in my prayer time. If you need the right answer, look for it in the scriptures. God gave many examples of how he feels about things and the direction we should take. Jesus told stories in the New Testament to teach his disciples about life issues, look for your answer there. In all that he did, he was teaching us about the Father, and how everything we do should be to the glory of the Almighty. Life can be complicated at times, but through each of our trials, we have Jesus walking with us, and giving us hope. Spend some time in God’s Word; he has all the answers, if you listen.

"So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ."  Romans 10:17