Tuesday, May 26, 2020

May 26

I’ve never seen more friendly birds than those that are on Clearwater beach. They don’t move out of your way when you walk by, and they seem to have little fear of humans. My daughter and I were sitting on the beach watching my grandson play by the water's edge, and out of the blue, a cormorant waddled over to him, and was so close that he could have reached out and grabbed him. Why did that bird feel safe, even my dogs are a bit scared of him? I was amazed, and had never seen anything like it. These birds must not watch the news, where everyone is taught to fear. It’s a sad day when a wild bird is less fearful of humans than humans are of other humans. We are to love one another, and greet one another with a holy kiss; now if I don’t know you, you better not kiss me, but I might hug you upon introduction, at least I would have, before this pandemic. Now I see people who are walking for exercise, wearing masks, and avoiding people by walking around them by 10 or 15 feet, and not even acting friendly about it! Are we becoming antisocial? That’s what the enemy wants, for us to fear one another! I’m with the bird, greet others without fear, or social awkwardness, and for goodness sakes, be friendly, even though you aren’t in close proximity; we still represent Jesus, make sure he shines through.

Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. 2 Corinthians 13:11-12

Monday, May 25, 2020

May 25

There are false prophets, and evangelicals, who have been sent to lead gullible people in the wrong direction. I have encountered the followers of one such minister, who teaches in our area. I’ve watched as families from all over the United States, and beyond, come at his call while he offers them free things such as education, housing, bills paid, and so on. This one poor, and desperate family, who had moved to our area because of him, came into the place I worked, looking for help. It seemed as though this evangelist hadn’t held up his end of the bargain, and sent them out into the community to seek help on their own. In addition to that, because our business is home rentals, we had several of his people rent from us, of which none were able to continue to pay as required by their lease. These same people had quit their jobs, being drawn away from security, to follow this evangelist. Don’t think you won’t be held accountable for following someone like this; God has given you every opportunity to do your own research to see if a church leader is sent from him. I looked into this evangelist’s teachings, and found that he had twisted some scripture to suit himself; I washed my hands of him! Please, don’t let anyone lead you in the wrong direction; do your research.

for it was said to me by the word of the LORD, ‘You shall neither eat bread nor drink water there, nor return by the way that you came.’” And he said to him, “I also am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the LORD, saying, ‘Bring him back with you into your house that he may eat bread and drink water.’” But he lied to him. 1 Kings 13:17-18... And after he had eaten bread and drunk, he saddled the donkey for the prophet whom he had brought back. And as he went away a lion met him on the road and killed him. And his body was thrown in the road, and the donkey stood beside it; the lion also stood beside the body. 1 Kings 13:23-24

Sunday, May 24, 2020

May 24

The people who fought and died for our American freedom are brought into memory on this Memorial weekend. Many faced the battlefield to save us from tyranny, but more and more it seems that we’ve forgotten their sacrifice, because the freedom we love is slipping away, one law at a time. Why is it so easy to forget all that God has done for us through these great warriors? 

Did you know that God appeared to Solomon twice? God had given him wisdom, and riches beyond anyone, and yet he forgot, and turned away from him, and built high places for other gods. How are we any different than Solomon? God has given us freedom through those who fought for us, and yet here we are, forgetting their sacrifice and allowing our local officials to rule over us. I hope God uses this tragedy to shake out those who are evil among us, so we make better decisions on who we elect in the future. Don’t let this weekend slip away without honoring those who have fought and died for us. Keep their memory in the forefront of your mind so we may keep the freedom we love. 

And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods. But he did not keep what the LORD commanded. 1 Kings 11:9-10

Saturday, May 23, 2020

May 23

As I was reading in 1 Kings 10, a few things peeked my curiosity. This chapter covers some of King Solomon’s riches; what he had built was incredible! His throne was made of ivory, and overlaid with gold! It had six steps leading up to it with lions on each step. It was beautifully detailed and intricately designed.

The fleet of Hiram brought Solomon many things, and with them was “almug” wood for supports. Almug, according to Strong, was probably sandalwood! Not only was the temple and Solomon’s home beautiful, but they had the scent of an earthy musk with woody undertones. One of the descriptions of the sandalwood tree, said it was small, but these beams were not small, and the Bible says, “No such almug wood has come or been seen to this day.” 

God had given Solomon wisdom beyond anyone; if he created such beauty with man’s wisdom, how much more beautiful, and fragrant will the Kingdom of Heaven be? We must not worry about our eternity, because what we see now is so bland compared to what we have to look forward to. Live for Jesus now, then live with Jesus in his kingdom for eternity!

And the king made of the almug wood supports for the house of the LORD and for the king's house, also lyres and harps for the singers. No such almug wood has come or been seen to this day. 1 Kings 10:12

The king also made a great ivory throne and overlaid it with the finest gold. 1 Kings 10:18

Friday, May 22, 2020

May 22

Sunrise might be my favorite time of day. My eyes are usually a little sleepy, but to see the rays of the sun peaking just above the horizon, and the blaze of God’s design, bringing light upon the earth, gives me a sense of awe. How great is it that God chose to give us another day, and how could anyone deny his existence when they see such an incredible sight? I guess if they deny his existence, they can do what they please without consequences. Oh, what a sad day it will be when they encounter the Truth! I imagine the day that Jesus comes to gather the saints will be like a sunrise; that’s as close as my imagination can get to how incredible it will be. Whisked away at the angels call and the trumpet sound, we will be removed from the earth, and chaos will ensue; the worldly will be left alone in their sin, and the Antichrist will come to deceive them more. Anyone who survives that time, and comes to follow Jesus, will be tormented, and will loathe the sunrise, and be martyred for their faith. Those of us who believe now, will not see that day! 

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

Thursday, May 21, 2020

May 21

How fortunate are we that God chose to give color to our eyesight? What more will our eyes see when we enter the gates of Heaven? We don’t know what he is holding back from us. One thing I know is that Paul had gotten a glimpse of Heaven. We don’t know if he was in the body or out, but we do know that he poured his soul into his teachings, which comes with warning as well as wonder. What did he see that we have yet to see? He abandons his care for his life and focused on bringing others to know the Lord; he was more about meeting our spiritual needs, and less about our physical needs. There is life living among us that we don’t see. I believe we may have seen it at one point, when we were young and untainted by our physical sight. When I’m holding my newest grand baby, I can see him look away from me and smile, as if someone else has caught his eye. Jesus tells us that every child has a guardian angel; do babies see theirs? For us, our greatest hope is for the next phase of our life, and dwelling in the house of the Lord, and seeing with our own eyes all the wonders that God saved for those who love him.

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Philippians 1:21-24

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.  Matthew 18:10

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

May 20

One of my favorite pastimes is walking on the beach; for a couple of reasons, one, it’s great exercise, and two, I can get tanned on all sides without rotating. On my walk down the beach, I noticed a blue heron standing in a swimming pool, I suppose he thought he was going to catch a meal. On my way back, I saw that he had moved from the pool to the beach, my guess is that he didn’t have any luck fishing in the pool. We have choices to make, do we continue to beat our heads against the wall teaching or witnessing to unbelievers who refuse our Savior, or do we move on to where the prospects are better? It took the heron a minute to figure out that there were no fish in that pool, and after not getting any bites, he moved on. Sometimes we need to cast our nets on the other side of the boat, or maybe even change ponds. Take your cues from the Holy Spirit, and move on to where the prospects are more plentiful, when you find that those whom you are witnessing to, are not ripe for the Lord.

He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. John 21:6

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

May 19

Are you happy? We were never promised happiness, however, because of the peace given to us by Jesus, I can truly say that his peace gives me contentment which leads to my happiness. The storms of life will roar around us, and things of this world will fall apart, but we are not of this world! We have been appointed ambassadors to bring the knowledge of Jesus to an otherwise chaotic place. We are to show unbelievers our peace, so they see that we are not rattled by the circumstances surrounding us, and that our peace comes from somewhere beyond us. If you continue to show others you are fearful, how are you any different from them? Stop promoting tragedy on your social media! Start promoting Jesus. Show others that you have confidence in the One who saved you. Jesus was never overwhelmed by the things going on around him, nor should we; if you are, pray, and ask for his peace. If you ask, and it goes away, ask again, and again, until it sticks.

All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20

Monday, May 18, 2020

May 18

As a treat, I had two of my grandsons over to play together. It may have been a treat for them, but Namaw was worn out after two hours! One thing about these two, they are full of energy, but are loving to me and Pawpaw, and to one another. The precious hugs, and cuddles made the mayhem worth it. In a matter of seconds, we had nearly an entire box of crayons spilled, and a cup of ice water poured onto the floor! I clean up the water while the older one picked up the crayons. Though it was a chore, it was delightful to have them, and watch them interact together. In this world, we are unsure what tomorrow will bring; will it bring a blessing or a curse? So today, I choose to be thankful for the little things that bring joy into my heart, and focus less on what’s wrong and more on what’s right. Will you join me in an attitude change today? Let us focus our day on something positive, and offer thanks to the Lord.

Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers. Proverbs 17:6

Sunday, May 17, 2020

May 17

Tamar was raped by her half-brother Amnon. Absalom, who was Tamar’s full brother, avenged her rape by killing her rapist, their half-brother. She was devastated, and never recovered, and lived in Absalom’s home. Tamar, Absalom, and Amnon were all King David’s children. The king did not rule on Tamar’s rape, but mourned over Amnon’s death. Did he excuse Amnon since he violated Bathsheba’s marriage, and therefore felt unable to make a sound ruling? Probably. Tamar was left with the guilt, and the scars of being raped. Such a heinous act, but death was too good for him! This is why justice is so important. King David should have handled this better.

Our judicial system must stay in place, with balanced judges, who can make fair and unbiased decisions. We the people must fight for this! Do not leave the judges blank on your ballot! Do a little background research, check their Facebook, Twitter, and their websites, to make sure you agree with their thoughts on issues. Use the power of your vote to install the best representatives possible.

Absalom answered Joab, “Behold, I sent word to you, ‘Come here, that I may send you to the king, to ask, “Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me to be there still.” Now therefore let me go into the presence of the king, and if there is guilt in me, let him put me to death.’” 2 Samuel 14:34

Saturday, May 16, 2020

May 16

Over the past few days, I’ve been cleaning out closets. There is so much excess, that I couldn’t possibly need all of it. It was full of useless items that have created clutter. Of course, as I pilfered through the mess, I came across photos that stir my memories; my children when they were younger, school pictures, and our rambling adventures from our vacations, and other times spent together. You see, among the clutter and useless items, are precious memories, even among the items that have become too much; it’s what you do with them that matters the most. It is so important that we clean up our memory, and refine it with the fire of the Holy Spirit. We need to look at our past as stepping stones that got us where we are, whether that is good or bad. Many people have gone through trauma that has led to disaster within their heart, and need for God to use his refining fire to reclaim it for his good. No matter how heinous the crime against you, remember that this world never changes, and the enemy uses the same tools over and over again. You didn’t go through what you went through to let it go to waste; use it to help someone else, let them see that healing is possible with Jesus. Clean out the closet of your heart, and let Jesus show you the good that can come from your experience. 

For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried. You brought us into the net; you laid a crushing burden on our backs; you let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance. Psalms 66:10-12

Friday, May 15, 2020

May 15

Can you imagine getting a call from the king for you to come before him so he could show you the kindness of God? God’s kindness is the pinnacle of kindness, and with that kindness, God had King David restore to Mephibosheth all that his grandfather, King Saul, had owned, appointed servants to work the land for him, and gave him a place at the king's table. Mephibosheth was crippled, and now he would never have to worry about where his next meal would come from. King David did this to honor Jonathan, Mephibosheth’s father, who had died in battle, and to fulfill the covenant he had with him. 

Be patient in your waiting; God has heard your prayers and is aligning things so that those prayers may be answered. Write down those prayers so you don’t forget about them, and can give God all the glory he deserves when he shows you godly kindness.

"And the king said, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, that I may show the kindness of God to him?” Ziba said to the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in his feet.”" 2 Samuel 9:3

Thursday, May 14, 2020

May 14

And just like that, things change! We make plans, but the Lord establishes our steps. For as long as I can remember, my mother has been a hairdresser, my hairdresser! After this coronavirus shut down, she decided that it was time for her to retire. I know a lot of people are disappointed; she is truly an artist, and her skills go beyond hair. This new lifestyle is going to be quite a transition for her, but believe me, she will find things to do; she doesn’t sit still for very long. When you are an artist, you are usually creative in other areas; she is a gardener, painter, flutist, pianist, and the list goes on. She never stopped doing those things, but now she will have a little more time to enjoy them. I’m so blessed to have her, and now I will be able to spend a little more time with her. God truly knows what the heart needs, and he blessed me with an amazing mother to guide and direct my path. Happy retirement mom!!

Would you join me in praying for my mother today? Pray that she would continue with good health for many years to come, and that she would do well with her transition into retirement. 

The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

May 13

Have you ever watched a clock with hands as the seconds tick away the time? It is amazing how quickly it changes. I’m reminded of this because I have two clocks in my living area, and when it’s quiet, I can hear time dying, never to be recovered again. The older I get, the more I realize how precious time is, and it disappears with every tick of the clock. However, each of our personal time span is different, and our clock may tick faster or slower than others because we are not the ones who set the alarm to tell when time is up; it is God. Life is not about things, it’s about a relationship with God through our Savior, Jesus. Many will not realize this until they begin to see the end, if they get that opportunity. If you set your heart on God, time won’t matter anymore; and if you truly believe that all things happen in God’s timing, then you will leave anxiety with the being who created it, the enemy. Place your trust in God’s hands, and you will live a peaceful life, even when the world is tumultuous.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

May 12

We judge people so severely without knowing what’s going on in their heart. Remember the story of King David bringing the ark of the covenant into the City of David? Scripture says he danced before the Lord with all his might; he was a happy man! However, Michal, the daughter that Saul gave to David as a wife when he paid a brides price, was embarrassed by the way he acted and lashed out at him. It made me angry at her for being unkind to the king we all love.

There is a backstory that is forgotten because we read chapter by chapter, and don’t put the storyline together; at least that’s my experience. Out of anger for David, Saul gave Michal to another man after she had become David’s wife, but David never forgot about her, and asked the King of Israel, Ish-bosheth, to return Michal to him as part of a covenant between them. Ish-bosheth took her away from her husband, all while her husband followed her sobbing, and returned her to David.

Her anger towards David for dancing in the street nearly naked may have had little to do with the dancing, and more to do with her circumstances. She had probably never forgiven David for upending her life. It wasn’t her fault that her dad the king, had given her away to another man, and it wasn’t her fault the Ish-bosheth took her away from that husband. My heart breaks for her now that I know the rest of the story. Some people are just nasty because they’re nasty, but some have suffered; all the more reason to be kind to others, even when they lash out.

As the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, and she despised him in her heart. 2 Samuel 6:16

Monday, May 11, 2020

May 11

The Christian and secular world are always in turmoil when Bible scholars, and translators try to correct inaccuracies found in some translations of the Bible. Unless you read Greek or Hebrew, you are getting a translation. Today’s versions are not a re-translation of other older versions, but a new, and probably a more accurate version of the original manuscripts, and more understandable to us in the current language we speak.

The reason I mention this is because as I read the story of David and Goliath, I wonder why Saul speaks as if he doesn’t know David at all. The order of the story would place David in his home playing the lyre the help him calm his angry mind. Saul was a little crazy because the Spirit of the Lord had left him, and that could be why he didn’t recognize him after he killed Goliath. According to the scholars that I follow, if you placed the story of David working in Saul’s home playing the lyre (1 Samuel 16:14-23) between Joshua 18:9 and Joshua 18:10, then it would make more sense as to why Saul didn’t recognize David after he killed Goliath. In doing that, it would disrupt the whole world, and that’s most likely where Samuel put it, so it must stay there; but that’s probably why it reads the way it does. This is not up for debate, just me thinking out loud. Your Bible is not wrong, and you have all you need to make a good decision about following Jesus.

And Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, young man?” And David answered, “I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.” 1 Samuel 17:58

Sunday, May 10, 2020

May 10

We, as Christians, don’t fully understand how much God is for us, and how he fights the evil that comes against us. I think it behooves us to refrain from becoming overzealous when going after our own because they are still chosen. We are imperfect as humans, and sometimes we get it wrong, but God is still for us. We may suffer the consequences for our behavior, but we are forgiven in the eyes of God because of our Savior Jesus. There are ministers and denominations that I don’t agree with, but other than making corrections to their misunderstandings by showing proper backing in the scriptures, we should not pursue to kill, but to correct. 

King David, even though Saul had pursued him to kill him, he didn’t commend the one who killed Saul, but had him killed. Saul was still chosen, even though he did evil. During the time when there were two kingdoms, Israel and Judah, Rechab and Baanah killed Ish-bosheth, the son of Saul, king of Israel, and brought the head to King David. Though they thought they had done a good thing, David considered it evil, and called Ish-bosheth a righteous man, and had Rechab and Baanah killed. Let us not slay one another, but wait for the recompense of the wicked to be brought about by God.

when one told me, ‘Behold, Saul is dead,’ and thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and killed him at Ziklag, which was the reward I gave him for his news. How much more, when wicked men have killed a righteous man in his own house on his bed, shall I not now require his blood at your hand and destroy you from the earth?” 2 Samuel 4:10-11

Saturday, May 9, 2020

May 9

You will be rejected; it’s more about who you are, and less about how you are. David had taken up residence among the Philistines, and was headed out to help them in a battle against Israel. Even though he had been kind to Achish, the commanders of the Philistine army made him send David and his men away, and wouldn’t allow them to fight with them in case David decided to turn on them. I’m sure this was God orchestrated, because David shouldn’t have been readied to fight against Israel. God had saved David from becoming a stench among his own people. When you feel the sting of rejection, analyze it carefully, which is what we all do anyway, but look at it through the eyes of God. What is he protecting you from? Is it designed to push you forward into other pursuits? Is this rejection saving you from future heartache? Don’t look at it with a “woe is me” attitude; even though it still hurts, know that because you are chosen by God, he is protecting you and guiding you for his purposes. David was to become King, and had he killed even one Israelite, his future would have been ruined. Without God protecting David, our future would have been destroyed, because David was the set up for our own future King, Jesus!

And Achish answered David and said, “I know that you are as blameless in my sight as an angel of God. Nevertheless, the commanders of the Philistines have said, ‘He shall not go up with us to the battle.’ 1 Samuel 29:9

Friday, May 8, 2020

May 8

Is it a setup? Many times the Bible mentions that we should stay away from fortune tellers, astrology, tarot cards, palm readings, and other such influencers. What do you think happens when we delve into such as this? Do they really tell us what is going to happen in our lives, or is it a setup to put into motion the devil's plan? 

Saul was so afraid to fight against the Philistines; he inquired of God to see what he should do, but got no answer. Saul knew the ways of the righteous, because he had gotten all the psychics and mediums out of the land; but when he didn’t hear back from the Lord, he decided to seek the services of a medium and conjure up Samuel who had died, and it worked! However, we have to ask, was it Samuel or was it the devil in disguise? Bible scholars have differing opinions about this, but when you thresh it out with the help of other portions of scripture, you get a good answer. When God tells us not to seek out psychics or mediums, there is a reason; it opens us up to demonic influences. Remember, Paul told us that the devil will disguise himself as an angel of light. After hearing what the medium told him, he lost all hope, because, “Samuel” said that tomorrow he and his sons would be with him. During the battle with the Philistines, he killed himself, because he had been injured and didn’t want to be killed by the uncircumcised. Would he have lived? Who knows, but his sons and his armor bearer died that day too. 

The lesson: don’t read astrology, seek the services of a psychic, have your palm read, get a tarot card reading, or any other such things; they are products of the devil and may influence you in his ways, and send you down a path of destruction.

Moreover, the LORD will give Israel also with you into the hand of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons shall be with me. The LORD will give the army of Israel also into the hand of the Philistines.” 1 Samuel 28:19

Thursday, May 7, 2020

May 7

At the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak, and before wearing a mask had become popular, I began making masks for my neighbors, and my family. One such receiver of my gift, made me a little regretful of my compassion for them. After giving these people special PPEs, and kindly leaving it at their door, I get a call complaining that it didn’t fit, and that it was too small. This same design had fit every person that I had given it to, and this person’s head wasn’t any bigger. I hurried and made another one, extending the length, only to find out that they had put it on upside down. It made me think of the saying, “no good deed goes unpunished”! Even though these same people continue to be harsh, I will reach out to them, as the Holy Spirit leads.

David had a few regretful moments, one of them for guarding Nabal’s shepherds, and keeping them safe while they were in the wilderness. After this kindness, David sent his men to get food from Nabal, but he turned them away, and treated them harshly. Thankfully, Nabal’s wife Abigail, heard what he had done, and gathered food for David and his men. After Abigail told Nabal what she had done to save them, he had heart failure, and died ten days later. The Lord had avenged David and his men, then he made Abigail his wife. 

The lesson: if you have been treated badly, don’t take the matter into your own hands, the Lord will avenge you.

When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed be the LORD who has avenged the insult I received at the hand of Nabal, and has kept back his servant from wrongdoing. The LORD has returned the evil of Nabal on his own head.” Then David sent and spoke to Abigail, to take her as his wife. 1 Samuel 25:39