Friday, February 15, 2019

February 15

We finally got all of our paperwork to the tax man. What a relief! Now the agony of waiting for the final result. I’m very thankful to have what I have, but sometimes the stress from it is overwhelming. One good thing is, now that it has been put on the shoulders of our accountant, I can relax and move on to other things. I’ve now been set free, and am no longer a slave to this task. It feels so good to be free from it! So what do I do now that it’s over? How do I live now that I’m free? The burden has been lifted. Do I go back and question everything I turned over to the accountant or do I get on with my new life of freedom? Can you see where I’m going with this? Once you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, you were set free from your sin. You are free! Stop looking back and rehashing your past! Take steps forward and pursue the good things Jesus has set you up to receive! 

Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? Galatians 4:8-9

Thursday, February 14, 2019

February 14

For once the secular world got it right with a holiday that focuses on love. Don’t get me wrong, I loath such silliness that makes a single person feel less than, or cause a married person to feel crushed because their spouse doesn’t show love in the way of gifts and cards. Though my heart goes out to those who feel left out today, I think it may help to focus on the One who is the best love giver of all, Jesus. I know you can’t see Him, or feel His physical touch, but there is something sweet and loving about reaching out to Him on such a day as this. Embrace everything He has already given you, and be thankful for the gifts that He has prepared for your future. Reach out and love Him today, that’s all He wants from you anyway. Use today to worship Him and show Him how special He is to you. Happy Valentines Day!

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

February 13

Children can be so sweet and loving when they are babies. However, they soon grow and get a mind of their own and begin using it as a powerful tool. Smart parents find ways to get them under control, because if they don’t, their child could get hurt by their own actions. We had four children who were very close in age, and me, being a brilliant mom, found a way to instill discipline; I created a paddle! The paddle didn’t have to come out very often, because the threat of it was enough to keep them in line. As a grandmother, I wouldn’t dream of bringing out the paddle for my grands. When they come to my house they are free, though the law is still helpful, they are not under that law in my household. Even though they are free under my watch, they are still expected to behave. So in a sense, when the grandchildren are at my house, it’s like being under the covering of Jesus, full of grace and freedom.

Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. Galatians 3:21

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

February 12

I spent a good part of my day at Moffitt Cancer Center, while a dear friend had surgery. I am very impressed with that facility. While we sat there waiting with the other families, the hospital did many things to interact with those who were full of hope and expectation. They invited us to a seminar on how the prevent infection, they kept everyone up to date on how the surgery was going, and even had a guy come in to play the guitar to help lighten the mood. How nice is it that they not only care for their patients, but also care for those who love them? I love that they model themselves after the Holy Spirit, though I’m sure it wasn’t intentional being we live in such a liberal society. No matter how far away from God this world gets, the world will always pick up on His character, it can’t help it, He created them too. Just remember, as sinister, and disgusting as our surroundings become, there is still good in it, even if it’s just you and me.

The goodness of God is that which disposes Him to be kind, cordial, benevolent, and full of good will toward men. He is tenderhearted and of quick sympathy, and His unfailing attitude toward all moral beings is open, frank, and friendly.  (Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27

Monday, February 11, 2019

February 11

Do you have a friend? I’m not talking about any friend, but one who prays? I knew that I had this friend, but never knew how powerful her prayers were. I was struggling, and I opened up my notes and began typing. I do this because I feel like sometimes the Holy Spirit takes over my fingertips. I had just written the words “Father, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit, what do you want me to do? I’ve had enough, I give up. I cry for mercy. Please help me!,” and suddenly my friend’s message popped up on the screen! She said, “Teresa, I don't know your need and I don't need to know. Just know that I am standing in the gap for you. Love ya sister.” And bam, just like that God sent His messenger! I had cried out, He heard me, and moved into action! I felt overwhelmed that He love me enough to have His servant reach out to me. Folks, if you haven’t bought into this idea that God is real, I would say that you are truly missing out. My heart breaks for those who don’t believe.

What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, Philippians 1:18-19

Sunday, February 10, 2019

February 10

Did you know that God will orchestrate a break in a relationship if He needs you to move? I’m not talking about your marriage! I was a part of a large church who employed some of the best pastors around, and had an enormous following. But God, through a weakness of the lead pastor, broke that church into many churches. Hearts were broken. None of these great men of God, let it be known that they were hurt, but what human heart could bear under such circumstances. Those same broken hearts went on to start their own churches, or they became pastors of even greater churches. It didn’t feel that God was doing it, it felt like evil had come to disrupt; but God in all of His wisdom, used mans weakness for His glory. I write this to say, God will thrust you in the direction He wants you to go, and will use whatever means necessary, even if it breaks your heart.

The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will. Proverbs 21:1

Biblical example: 1 Samuel 29

Saturday, February 9, 2019

February 9

It’s tax season, and it’s the first year I’ve had trouble getting everything together. Our house is hectic, which makes this task that I normally don’t mind, into a chore, and I’d rather be doing something else, anything else! The unrelenting pressure has me overwhelmed. So, today’s message is to me. In my distress, I cry out to the LORD! He is on my side! What can man do to me? He can’t kill my soul! The Lord will not let me fail. The plans of the earth will not take me down, I am saved, and will live on into eternity. 

Just writing out these words has brought me back from the depth of despair. My reality is not that harsh, and getting my taxes ready is not going to kill me. Even though I’m in the Word daily, there are times that I need counsel too. Thankfully, I am loved, and the LORD sees fit to come to my rescue. The lesson: reach out to Him who holds your life in His hands, and He will relieve your stress.

Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free. The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?... I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the LORD helped me. Psalms 118:5-6 & 13

Friday, February 8, 2019

February 8

Way back, nearly twenty-seven years ago, I did a study called Master Life. I dug deep into God’s word, memorized scripture, and began growing closer to the Lord. One of the studies led us to Galatians, and a memory verse that I’ve never forgotten. It took many years later to finally understand its meaning because it was being  taught in a church that was not entirely free. This is a reminder, because sometimes we forget how free we are. Even Peter, the guy who walked on the water, had to be reminded! He would act one way with the gentiles, then switch back to the law when he was with the Jews. Paul wasn’t having that, and gave Peter a stern warning about being two-faced. This is just a reminder for you not to revert back to the religion from your past. So many of them are very strict and condemning. Jesus died to set you free from the law, and you have been justified by your faith in Him.

For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:18-20

Thursday, February 7, 2019

February 7

We’ve had a very hectic start to the month. Four of our tenants moved out, causing four homes to need refurbishment. That’s a lot of work! Today is the seventh, and they are all completely done and already rented! When you have the favor of the Lord behind you, things get done quickly! We’ve learned to never underestimate the power of the Almighty. His power is concentrated behind those who love, and trust in Him. Don’t get me wrong, you still have to work, and be diligent in your efforts, but when you know that you are powerless without Him, your work, though still hard, will be rewarded. So if you are freaking out about your workload, just stop, take a deep breath, and say, “I trust you Lord.” Believe that He has everything under control, then rest assured of His help. It’s also important that we give Him credit, be thankful, and praise Him. 

Let your work be shown to your servants, and your glorious power to their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands! Psalms 90:16-17

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

February 6

As a grandparent, there is something special about being able to read the Bible to your grandchild, explain their dreams, and wage war on their behalf. Do yourself, and your family a favor, and become knowledgeable in God’s Word so that you are proficient in the fight. There are prayers we must pray, praise we should offer up, evil that must be removed, and a battle that must be taken up on their behalf. We must teach them to armor up, because the devil knows the call on their life, even if you don’t, and he will do whatever it takes to impede their progression. There are people around them that won’t help in their advancement, that have been specifically placed in their lives by the enemy as a stumbling block, watch for them, and give warning. We must be mindful of the plans of the enemy, and pour as much of the Lord’s promises into them as you can to help them know their worth. More of God and less of the enemy.

This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 1 Timothy 1:18

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

February 5

By order of our insurance company, we had to remove some limbs that were hanging over our house. The issue for me is, I’ve created this beautiful shade loving garden, and to take those limbs away will bring more sunlight into that space. I’ve seen this happen once before at my previous house. Our yard was similarly tree covered, until late one night a humongous branch fell, making me think it was time for the rapture! After removing the debris, the area became full sun, causing all my plants to wither. They never got used to the bright light and looked sad most of the time. We all know people who are so accustomed to the shade that when they are exposed to the light of Jesus, they run. They don’t want to hear it, they fight against you, and they try to cover you with their shade. Believe me, when Jesus appears, and the darkness is removed, all of those shady people will wither. Our job is to pray that one day they will tolerate the Son, and flourish in His light!

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Ephesians 5:11-14

Monday, February 4, 2019

February 4

It’s moving day for my daughter, and the last thing she has to do is empty the refrigerator. What do you keep and what do you throw out when the place you are going has limited space? She got up early and began sorting through everything, and only saved what was necessary. For most people, moving is a time to de-clutter, but for some it is a time to reminisce about the past, and to save that cherished plastic cup, left over from a former adventure, and ensure it survives the trauma of being sorted into the pile headed to the trash. Moving day is getting close for those of us who are in Christ. It’s not too late, the moving truck hasn’t pulled away yet, there is still time, but not much. Soon, Jesus will call to His cherished, the ones called by His name, and we will be whisked away to an amazing party waiting for our arrival. While you still have time, make your reservation. It’s a party that you don’t want to miss! There is a bouncer at the door, but all you have to do is accept Jesus as your Savior, believe that He died and rose again to cleanse you of your sins. Guess what? This is your formal invitation to join us!

And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”Revelation 19:9 

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Galatians 1:3-5

Sunday, February 3, 2019

February 3

My sugar free diet has me feeling better than ever, yet, there is something lingering that I can’t put my finger on that has me spiritually concerned. It’s like my computer when it’s running slow because there are windows opened in the background, or like having a two year old and things get really quiet; they’ve either fallen asleep, or they’re up to something. I have spiritual gifts that usually give me a heads-up about the movement of evil near me, but right now, I don’t see anything. My thoughts are that either God is doing something, or the enemy is regrouping for an attack. He obviously has things rolling in his direction for this country, with all the sinful madness going on right now. So, here’s what you do in a situation like mine, you engage with the Lord. You draw closer to Him. He is your covering, even when you’re not sure what’s going on. He will either protect you or rejoice with you. There is no better place to be than resting in the comforting arms of the Lord. Stay connected with Him, whether times are good or bad.

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. For you bless the righteous, O LORD; you cover him with favor as with a shield. Psalms 5:11-12

Saturday, February 2, 2019

February 2

The Greek word ‘meno’ is used eleven times in John 15. It means ‘abide.’ Ten of those times, Jesus was telling His disciples to abide in Him. Abide means to remain at home, stay where you are, don’t wander off! Hmm... I wonder if He wants us to stick with Him? I have a three year old grandson, and he is quite a handful! You cannot take your eyes off of him for a second, because he will wander off. At that point, he is no longer under our protective cover. What happens to a mom when she can’t see her little one? She panics and starts screaming for them. We are adults, we can understand what it means to ‘abide,’ and you can bet we understand that command! If you move out from under His protective cover, your consequences will be yours to deal with. He will call to you to try and bring you back to Him, but you have to be listening. When He tells us to abide in Him, that’s exactly what we need to do!

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. John 15:4

Friday, February 1, 2019

February 1

There are going to be times when we disappoint ourselves. The key to dealing with it is to find out where things went wrong. Were our expectations set too high, or are we doing something that’s causing the problem? For instance, I’d been following a diet plan that cuts out all sugar and anything that turns into sugar in my body. I was doing pretty well, and had lost eleven pounds, but within a twenty-four hour period, I gained back almost five pounds! I stayed well within the parameters that I had set, so what went wrong? What I realized is that I had added something back to my diet that causes me inflammation! I will never eat another peanut again! Now that I know that peanuts are not my friend, I will do whatever it takes to avoid them. We never want to sabotage our own advancement. Compare this to areas of your life where you may not be seeing fruit, and survey your actions to see if you need to prune an unproductive limb.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. John 15:1-2 

Thursday, January 31, 2019

January 31

When I graduated from the Bible Training Centre for Pastors, we were required to come up with a mission statement. My mission is, “Training believers to break bonds and live free.” Not only is this my mission, but if you read your Bible, you will realize that it was also the desire of Jesus and His disciples. Break the chains that bind you to this world, and begin living a whole life, bound only to Jesus. The problem with that mission is, I can only tell you so much. You can’t read a devotional and become free, you have to want it, and you have to take the steps to free yourself from your own prison. The only way to know what it means to be free is to have a relationship with the Lord; and the only way to know Him is to read His love letters to you, trust Him, and keep your communication open with Him. Today, ask the Lord to show you where you are still bound, He’ll show you. Then ask Him to help you become free from that bondage.

For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. Galatians 5:17

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

January 30

You can love people without accepting their sin. Jesus loved people, but He called out their sin and told them to stop. Sin leads to brokenness. True love will not allow you to stay in a broken state, but will encourage you to improve yourself, and will help you align with the precepts of God. True love sees what’s broken inside of you, and gives you guidance to help you mend. Jesus is the cure for the pain caused by sin! When you became a Christian, all of your sins were washed away, but somehow you tend to linger in the past, and keep rehashing the pain it caused. If you knew how good it felt to let all of that go, you would search for it and not stop until you found that freedom. You can’t do it alone. It takes the help of the Holy Spirit revealing your area of captivity, and then guiding you in prayer to release it to Jesus. He took all of that burden off of you, but sometimes you keep trying to carry it yourself. Just let Him take it, He’s stronger than you are. 

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

January 29

No weapon formed against me shall prosper! I’m so glad to put 2018 in my rear view mirror! It seemed as though the whole year was tainted by one little gnat that kept buzzing around my head. The outcome wasn’t great, but the consequences were not that bad. The gnat was able to live for another day and may come back to try and do some damage again, however, knowing who I am and knowing who my Father is, that enemy won’t be able to hurt me beyond what God allows. That gnat is not my enemy! My enemy prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour! But, those who align with him will suffer the same fate, and we already know what happens to him. Look past your problems, remember your memorial stones, the things where God has shown you that He’s with you, and have faith that He will get you through this hard time too. 

no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD and their vindication from me, declares the LORD.” Isaiah 54:17

Monday, January 28, 2019

January 28

To those who identify as Christians: Do we follow the will of men, or do we obey the commands of the Lord? Far be it from me to allow man to dictate and rule over me, and cause me to bring sin before the Father. In all things we should desire what is right in the eyes of the Lord, and turn our backs on sin. The sin of this world runs rampant. What is bad is looked upon as good, and what is good is looked upon as bad. We are living in a mixed up world where the good things that God has set before us are frowned upon, mocked, and regarded as evil. Woe to all who call evil good, the fiery pit of Hell is waiting for you. These are the days that the Lord has warned us about. Here is another warning: stop the madness, repent and turn from your sin and the acceptance of evil, or you will suffer the same consequences as those who commit the act. Calling yourself a Christ follower and accepting evil as good, shows that you do not have the Holy Spirit! No Holy Spirit, no salvation. These words will fall to the ground of those who are already dead.

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5:20

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 2 Timothy 3:12-13

Sunday, January 27, 2019

January 27

Lessons learned from our girls shooting day: 
1. Most of the girls had zero knowledge about guns, and needed the help of the men, not all, but most. Ladies, our Christian brothers are an important part of our world, don’t neglect to acknowledge that truth.
2. You can’t be afraid to choose, and pick up your weapon of war, don’t leave it sitting on the table, the enemy will devour you. 
3. Don’t just choose the easiest weapon to use, step out of your comfort zone and pick up something with some kick! 
4. We need one another when our weapons of war fail. 
5. A revolver is more reliable than an automatic. 
6. The fellowship is so much sweeter than the activity. 
7. The main lesson is that no weapon alone will help you when the enemy is coming after you. You need the big gun for that! One that won’t jam in an emergency situation. We need the help of our God, who can move heaven and earth in defense of His kingdom. We can put on all of our armor, but it will do us no good if we forget that all important piece of equipment, the Holy Spirit! 

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:10-11