Tuesday, June 18, 2019

June 18

This nation is raging with the ungodly. I am overwhelmed with sorrow thinking that we may be losing the fight against evil in this day. To hear those I once knew as friends, cursing God as if He doesn’t exist, makes me cringe and feel a deep sadness. They don’t know Him, and His Holy Spirit doesn’t dwell within them, they are lost, they are sinners unredeemed. What’s more frightening for them is that some have heard the good news of forgiveness of sins through Jesus, and they’ve rejected Him. When they are prostrate before Him, He will remind them of the times they were told of Him and their rejection of Him, at that point it will be too late and He will sentence them to hell. Our time is very short here on this earth, and during this time we need to do everything possible to bring those we love and care about into the sheepfold, but once you’ve been rejected because of Jesus, shake the dust off and move on, just as He told you. The good news is, we will dwell with Jesus forever, and we win in the end!

And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. John 10:16
And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. Matthew 10:14

Monday, June 17, 2019

June 17

Is your anxiety so high that it causes you to feel like you’re taking on the world when you’re not? I was having a conversation with someone, and they expressed that they couldn’t keep cleaning up after someone who kept making messes. This person felt quite burdened, and overwhelmed. After mulling over this situation, I realized that the burden being felt wasn’t theirs to carry, and in fact they hadn’t done anything to clean up after the person making the mess. In their mind they were doing the work of cleaning when they had only thought about it. If you are feeling anxious about a situation, you might need a reality check. Tell someone your story, preferably someone who is less anxious than you, and have them give you their honest opinion. You may be fretting for no good reason. That overworked feeling was uncalled for. Maybe the same thing is happening to you, and you need to see it more clearly. If you can’t find a knowledgeable human to help you, ask God for clarity.

"Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:34

Sunday, June 16, 2019

June 16

When the water is really clear on the beach, it’s perfect for snorkeling. So I got out my new full face snorkel, looking like an alien, I began looking for sharks teeth. With the water being as clear as it was, I could see things I’d never seen before. I stayed in the shallows so I could filter through the gravel, and there in the gravel was a tiny fish cleaning the broken shells. Then I started noticing some unusual things, almost like a cloud coming over, but it wasn’t, it was a school of new fish that were clear, but all I could make out was an eye. And as suddenly as I saw this, another school of larger fish followed behind them in an eating frenzy. But that’s not all, another larger group was following them! It was an incredible sight, and a little eerie because they were eating each other, was I next?

Here is the comparison: The world is full of enemies, ready to gobble you up, but you have been chosen to be spared and grow in Jesus. Pray for boldness and don’t keep it to yourself. Spread the good news of Jesus, so that those who have also been chosen to be spared may come to know Him early on, before the enemy sinks his teeth into them leaving permanent bite marks.

I pray this for myself today, and you should do the same.
And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, Acts 4:29

Saturday, June 15, 2019

June 15

There are no cars on Little Gasparilla Island, being there is no bridge to get to it, however, there are golf carts and a dirt path that runs the length of the island. There is little reason for it, other than to give you something to do in the evenings, like visit neighbors, deliver building materials, or explore. Our grandson and his momma are staying with us for the weekend, so we took them for a ride to see the sights, and like any child, he wanted to drive. He’s only four so he doesn’t quite reach the peddles, but his Pawpaw allowed him to steer. Let me tell you, it was quite a ride! We ended up in the bushes, and zigzagging all over the road, but that was the only way to teach him how the cart maneuvered, and that it was up to him to tell it where to go with the steering wheel. We were relieved when Pawpaw took over the steering because he knows how it works. 

This is how God teaches us. He sets us on the path, and allows us to do the steering, but when we run into the weeds, He will help us get back on track, headed in the right direction. Sometimes we have to let Jesus take the wheel, because alone we make wrong turns and get off of the path He sets before us.

“Behold, I go forward, but he is not there, and backward, but I do not perceive him; on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him; he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold. My foot has held fast to his steps; I have kept his way and have not turned aside. Job 23:8-11

Friday, June 14, 2019

June 14

Early spring I planted a gardenia bush. It was loaded with blooms, more than I’d ever seen. However, when I transplanted it into the ground, about half of the blooms fell off. What I hadn’t realized is that the gardenia doesn’t like to be transplanted, and will sulk. Some of its leaves turned yellow and fell off, and a lot of the blooms never fully opened. It was sad. With the summer rain, it started producing new growth; it had acclimated to its new environment! But that’s not all! It has started producing new blooms! I can’t explain the overwhelming joy I felt when I saw a freshly opened bloom on this little tree, and then to see little buds all over it put me over the moon! 

In order to grow abundantly, sometimes you have to leave your small pot! You may not know why it’s happening, but God will sometimes move you out of your comfort zone because He knows you will flourish in your new environment. When we look back we can see why. Hang in there if you’re having some growing pains, God is still right there with you!

You visit the earth and water it; you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide their grain, for so you have prepared it. You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth. Psalms 65:9-10

Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. James 5:7

Thursday, June 13, 2019

June 13

Although the legal definition of adultery differs in nearly every legal system, the common theme is sexual relations outside of marriage, in one form or another. Wikipedia

The woman caught in adultery was about to be stoned, but Jesus said to the group, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” Everyone walked away. But what I think we all forget is that he told her, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” He forgave her, but told her not to sin anymore! 

Everyone learned a lesson that day, the scribes and the Pharisees because none of them were without sin, but also the one caught in the sin, the woman. He wanted her to change her behavior.

Tread carefully my friends. We’re all sinners, but don’t get so upset with those who are trying to snatch you from the fire of hell. If you’re a man that wants to dress like a woman, or a woman that wants to dress like a man, you go ahead and do your thing (though the Bible says not to do that either, but the lines are quite blurred with the current styles), but don’t let it cross over into sin by having sexual relations outside of the Biblical definition of marriage, which is between a biological man and a biological woman.

If you’re a Christian and trying to help snatch someone from the fire, make sure you are doing it with love, and not hateful speech.

And then there is this, the reason why it’s important:
He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself. He will get wounds and dishonor, and his disgrace will not be wiped away. Proverbs 6:32-33

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

June 12

Our daughter “in-love,” Hannah, bought a new wagon for our grandson Trey. Inside the box was an advertisement for a red Tesla car for kids. Just like the adult car, it was quite expensive, and of course, he wanted it. He asked everyone to get it for him, but no one complied until he talked to his Pawpaw. Richard searched all over the internet to find him a red car, with no intentions of purchasing a $500 Tesla. He found one, a Mini Cooper, hoping it was in good condition, we drove thirty minutes to check it out. It turned out to be missing parts, and looked as though it had been in many collisions. It wasn’t good enough for our grandson. On our way home, we checked the internet again, and a Dodge Viper became available. We put the address in the GPS and journeyed again. This time the car was in excellent condition, worthy of our sweet grandson. The excitement in his eyes was worth all the trouble. 

Are you waiting for prayers to be answered? Trey doesn’t know the backstory of how we found his car, all he knows is that his Pawpaw got him a car. God also has a backstory to the prayers you’re waiting to have answered. There are things He’s working on right now, but the pieces must fall into place, so wait patiently. Bring all of your request before the Lord, no matter how trivial you think they are, then write them down, and watch the hand of God working in your life.

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. 1 John 5:14-15

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

June 11

Are you telling yourself the truth? There may be passions hidden deep within your heart that are causing you to do what you do. I’m asking myself this as well. I may be causing myself stress by searching for peace in places, and things rather than Jesus. 

My friend sent me a video this morning about a neurologist who went into a coma because of a brain infection. He had a heavenly experience that he attributes to something that goes beyond his brain, because his brain wasn’t functioning at the time. He was a nonbeliever that now believes! 

After watching this, the first thing that came to my mind was, the wisdom from above. Our brains help us function on this earth, but are nothing compared to the wisdom that comes from God, it is pure. 

My point this morning is to find your peace in Jesus, stop searching for places and things outside of Him. His peace is not in a physical place, it is in your heart, and it’s in the wisdom that comes from above that we cannot attain without Jesus and His Holy Spirit. Tap into that heavenly wisdom today and rest in the presence of the Lord.

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. James 3:17

Monday, June 10, 2019

June 10

Imagine living on a barrier island with no bridge. The early morning commute could get very complicated if a storm is looming, or if the heavens break open, and the wind is a torrent. Life would be interesting to say the least. Being perched on the bay side of the island this morning, got me to thinking about the difficulty of full time residency on an island such as Little Gasparilla. As with any other choice in life, you have to give weight to the things that are important to you. If living on or near the beach, and fishing is important to you, then you give weight to that, but if convenience is more important to you, then you give weight to convenience. My point is, we shouldn’t candy-coat the truth. Being a follower of Christ is not easy, and it’s getting more difficult day by day, because of the endless fight against the enemy. However, having peace in our soul, and the promise of daily communion with the Holy Spirit, and an eternity with our Savior, outweighs any tormenting we could face. Is it worth it? It most certainly is!

For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Luke 14:28

Sunday, June 9, 2019

June 9

I spend a lot of time at the beach, it’s the place I love the most. The past couple of times I’ve been, I’ve wanted a visor rather than a hat and I keep forgetting to bring one. I like the look of sun bleached hair and I hate to cover all of it up, but also don’t want to expose my face and get sun damaged skin. Last night as I was walking on the empty beach, a name brand visor washed up at my feet! Is that crazy! I didn’t have a visor on my prayer list, it’s something I should think of before I leave the house, but you can bet that I got a great big smile on my face and thanked God for thinking of me and providing for all my needs. 

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

Today we celebrate Pentecost and the receiving of the gift of the promised Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is real and is within everyone who loves, accepts, and who has given up everything for Jesus. Acknowledge Him today, and every day, He is your companion. 

"Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” John 16:7

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8

Saturday, June 8, 2019

June 8

Everyday we must fight against the naysayers, those who do not believe in our God. They have no faith or trust in the Almighty, and believe He doesn’t exist. They believe in coincidences, and attribute their outcome to happenstance. We know better, and have a myriad of evidence to prove our belief. How can anyone possibly believe there is no god when there is divine proof abounding that points to His existence? Do not let your heart be troubled by them, our God is on His throne, and in His holy temple. He is for us! Stay the course, keep your communication open with Him. He sees you and knows your trouble. Those of us who have been sealed with the promise in Jesus will be vindicated. Pray for them; pray that the Lord would show them who He is, that they be sorrowful for their sins against His beloveds, and accept that Jesus is King forever!

Let him rain coals on the wicked; fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup. For the LORD is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face. Psalms 11:6-7

Friday, June 7, 2019

June 7

Focus! Why can’t I focus? My intentions are good, and I think my heart is right, but when I sit down to pray my thoughts are all over the place. There is no one more important than our loving Father, so why can’t I keep my mind on Him while I pray? Then He reminded me that He wired me that way. One thing I do first thing in the morning, as soon as I can think clearly, is say ‘good morning, Father.’ I’ve acknowledged Him as the keeper of my days. 

If you have dogs, you know how excited they get when you come home. They might wag their tail, or bark a little, but you can see the excitement on their face as you walk in the door. No words are needed, you understand their expression. Doesn’t that do your heart good? Imagine how the Father feels when we greet Him. Believe me, He loves us more than we love our dogs. 

The most important thing is to pray constantly. Don’t be too hard on yourself for your lack of focus because He knows your need and your heart without you ever saying a word.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Thursday, June 6, 2019

June 6

Being a nature lover, and a bird watcher, I was thrilled to see my favorite bird fly over this morning, the Roseate Spoonbill. Just after watching it pass by, and after praising God for blessing me with the beautiful experience, Rudy decided to dart off across the field and chase after a huge Barred Owl that was sitting near the swamp. That owl was about double his size and might have tried to eat him for breakfast, except that he saw me running behind him, and flew off. I give spiritual meaning to physical things, and read them as if the words were in the air. My interpretation of this is: The Lord displays His majesty in beautiful ways, like the spoonbill, but the enemy blends into the background trying to go unseen, like the owl. Keep your nose in God’s word, and your heart prayerful, so you recognize evil when it’s lurking in the shadows. Remember that Jesus is right there with you, ready to fight for you, just as I was ready to defend Rudy if that owl had tried to grab him.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 1 John 4:1-2

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

June 5

What can I do? Many times I find myself concerned about things I have no control over. This morning I’m concerned about the yard work being done. It rained really hard last night and the ground is still wet, and now the lawn mower is probably leaving ruts. The lawn company doesn’t care, they’re just trying to get their work done and move on to the next neighborhood. Yesterday, before the rain, I was concerned about them cutting the grass too short because of the unrelenting heat scorching it. However, it looks like the rainy season has finally begun, and the grass will probably start to grow out of control. Do you see how ridiculous this thought pattern is? I go through the same thing with more important issues, but even then, the pattern is still ridiculous, we have no control over the outcome. God is in control of all things, even the rate the grass grows! Don’t you think He can handle the pressing issue that has consumed you? 

And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you. Psalms 9:10

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

June 4

There is always a crisis waiting around the corner. If this world was as peaceful as Heaven, then why would we need Jesus? God has created a world full of mischief, turmoil, and chaos, so we would learn to stop relying on the world and trust in Him. We need to trust everything to Him, even, and especially the lives of our children and grandchildren. My heart breaks when I see people who have lost the fight against drugs and choose to stay in that defeated position, leaving everything behind, including their children. What will become of those children? Did you know that each of them has a purpose? Even though it seems they have been given a hardship from the beginning, it will be those hardships that will shape who they become. God can use everything we encounter as a powerful tool for the future. It’s true that not every child will be pulled from the wreckage or will choose to trust Jesus, but those that are taught to love the Lord will go on to share a powerful testimony about the goodness of God. 

Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end, and may you establish the righteous— you who test the minds and hearts, O righteous God! Psalms 7:9

Monday, June 3, 2019

June 3

There are times when I find it very hard to write. I’ve started two stories today and neither have lead to a lesson. I don’t get discouraged, I just keep trying until I get it right. I had scheduled Stanley Steemer to clean my carpets between eight and twelve, and low and behold, they came at eight! That really threw me off! I never considered getting up super early this morning to accommodate them because usually I’m last on the list. So, today you are getting the remnants of my struggle. This is similar to being at war with the enemy; he is full of distractions and lies that we need to combat through. If I didn’t keep trying, the enemy would win. David was in a real struggle against the enemy too. Not only did he have to fight depression, he also physically struggled with those who were in pursuit of him. Some of his most beautiful songs were written during his time of struggle. The point is, don’t stop doing what God has called you to do, even if it seems too hard; pray through it! He comes to the rescue of the ones who love Him.

The LORD has heard my plea; the LORD accepts my prayer. All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled; they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment. Psalms 6:9-10

Sunday, June 2, 2019

June 2

If you’ve read any of my blog posts, you know that I love the beach, the salt water, and the sand. Maybe your obsession is golf, fishing, or some other pleasure. Each activity involves some sort of sacrifice. For instance, my love for the beach requires that I love, or tolerate the sand. Who loves sand, it gets everywhere? I also sacrifice sleep because everyone knows that you don’t wait until noon to go to the beach, it’s way too hot for that. What do you give up for Jesus? We are to be a living sacrifice, but what exactly does that mean? Matthew Henry says this: “The spiritual sacrifices which Christians are to offer are their bodies, souls, affections, prayers, praises, alms, and other duties.”

As an example, one of my sacrifices is writing this daily post. I sacrifice sleep, and my time, but really, I love doing it so it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice. Going to church sacrifices the time you could be spending doing other activities. You sacrifice your money to tithe, but you know that you only have it because God gave it to you. You give up sin, and probably the friends who are involved in that sin. The list goes on, but most of these sacrifices involve time. Don’t be selfish, give Jesus your time. He sacrificed His life because of His love for us, sacrifice something for Him.

you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:5

Saturday, June 1, 2019

June 1

When someone graduates from this life, and moves to the feet of Jesus, we mourn for our loss. Though the thought strikes fear from deep within, the kingdom to come is much more desirable than our current situation. That is, unless you haven’t made Jesus the master of your life, then this hot air that we are all feeling is just a taste of what is to come. I don’t like funerals, but I watched my family members laid to rest the matriarch of their family. She had lived a good, and full life all the way to the end, and her accomplishments were praised at the gates of Heaven as she entered. Everyone feels as though they will live forever, and we have every right to feel that way because it’s true, but not everyone will live on to see Heaven. You see, there is only one way into that Kingdom, and that is through Jesus. No matter what you may have been told, the scriptures are clear on this. If you haven’t accepted Jesus as the one true King, and the only one who can save your soul, then it’s time, today, right now. No one knows the day they will take their last breath. Don’t wait until you’re clean, He’s the only one who can cleanse you, and make you whole. Without Him, you will never be clean.

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

Friday, May 31, 2019

May 31

We live among other creatures, seen and unseen, noisy and quiet. The armadillo is one of those creatures. Every now an then, they will make their presence known, sometimes in such a way that you become gripped with fear. They don’t make much noise with their mouth, but will sometimes create such a racket rustling through the woods that you think a bear is coming after you! I watched as a grown man stood on the edge of the mangrove with eyes wide and in fear, stating “there’s something big out there!” I knew it was an armadillo, and I wanted to add to his fear by saying, “maybe it’s a boar, or a coyote, or maybe a panther,” but I was kind and didn’t. The armadillo comes with a full suit of armor, and if you threaten them, they will roll up into a ball. As humans, we don’t come equipped with a suit of armor, but we are offered protection from the unseen, we just need to make use of it. David always seemed to be running from his enemies, but he knew who to turn to for help. He knew he was loved, and protected by the Lord, so he always turned to Him. Don’t live in fear of the unknown, trust in the Lord.

Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the LORD has heard the sound of my weeping. The LORD has heard my plea; the LORD accepts my prayer. Psalms 6:8-9

Thursday, May 30, 2019

May 30

How does it feel to hold a new weapon in your hands? I’ll tell you, it’s exuberant! This weapon I’ve been given is more powerful than anything I’ve ever touched, and it’s been in plain sight all along. Does God trust me enough to allow me to use it? YES! This weapon is a combination of prayer and the Psalms! I’ve used this weapon before, but not bearing in mind the enormity of the power I possessed. God opened my eyes concerning it this morning after making the commitment to write down my prayers, and study the Psalms together. I feel like the kid on the sidelines begging the coach to put me in the game! Am I insane? I like my peace, why would I want to disturb it? The reason, to maintain it. If we want to keep our peace, we have to fight for it. David knew how to pray, and he prayed against his enemies; they were trying to take him out, but they couldn’t because of his trust in the Lord! I’m handing you a weapon today, pick it up and use it and never put it down again! It’s called a “Combo!” Prayer and the Psalms! Here is a portion of one of David’s prayers against his enemies: 

For there is no truth in their mouth; their inmost self is destruction; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue. Make them bear their guilt, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them out, for they have rebelled against you. Psalms 5:9-10