Monday, July 6, 2020

July 6

The beach is calling me, but I still have a little bit to accomplish before I can go and spend time there. My patio is almost ready to enjoy. Once we finish with it, my house will be in almost perfect order, with a few exceptions that I can live with for now. I feel that way about myself, I have my house in order with the exception of a few things that I’ve learned to live with. One thing that I would like to overcome is freeing my tongue to speak openly in a public setting. I’m not afraid to be in front of people, but to be released from relying solely on notes. It’s much easier to write than to speak, because I can go back and perfect my writing, but open speaking, doesn’t give that option. If it is God’s will, it will happen, but for now, I’m satisfied with the voice he has given me. We are all a work in progress, don’t be too hard on yourself if you have things you want to accomplish, but aren’t there yet, some things happen with time; smaller experiences lead to bigger experiences. For example, I speak openly as a board member of my neighborhood, and it’s easy. When God is ready, he will release me to speak for him. The same thing can happen for you when your plan and God’s plan, match. Eventually he will release you into your calling. In the meantime, be patient with yourself, and accomplish small things that lead to your goal.

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 3:13-14

Sunday, July 5, 2020

July 5

People who do not believe in our God, will probably not be helpful when it comes to prayer and fasting for our country, but it seems like President Trump should call for a fast to help us get past the issues we are facing. King Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast when they were about to go against the Moabites, Ammonites, and some of the Meunites. This was not a civil war, but a war against invaders. They went out into battle behind their praise team! Judah did not have to lift a finger, God gave them victory, because he was the one who fought for them! Could we receive a victory like this? I don’t see why not, President Trump meets regularly with his Christian advisors, has filled his cabinet with Christians, and seems to be trying to do what’s right in the eyes of the Lord. We need to see a victory in the turmoil affecting our country, so we can return to the peace we once had. Fasting and praying worked for King Jehoshaphat of Judah, and I think it would work for our president. Pray with me today, that the advisors to President Trump would recommend that he declare a fast among the Christians, and that victory over the turmoil would be in the hands of God. Go into the Bible and read 2 Chronicles 20, and see if you agree that this could work.

And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the LORD and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say, “Give thanks to the LORD, for his steadfast love endures forever.” And when they began to sing and praise, the LORD set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed. 2 Chronicles 20:21-22

Saturday, July 4, 2020

July 4

I had such high hopes to show you how patriotic my neighborhood is, however the neighbor beside me decided that she should bring in a Pod on our weekend of celebrating Independence Day, and that messed up my perfect picture. Isn’t that the way it always is? For the first time, I’ve been able to use bunting to decorate, something I’ve wanted to do, but didn’t have a place to display them. Even though my perfect picture is a little skewed, I’m still very happy about my decorations. Not only that, but I started a trend, and many of my neighbors purchased bunting and are displaying their patriotism along with me. It looks like a Norman Rockwell poster, except for the Pod! 

We should never forget what our forefathers did to bring us freedom, they had to fight for it, and now we are living in relative peace. In those days, though they were not perfect men, they sought the Lord, and he allowed our country to prosper, and become the mighty force that it is today. Should we give that up because the enemy has overtaken a good portion of our country? I think not! We must rise up and seek the Lord with all our hearts, and pray once again for independence from those who intend to destroy us. We must not let the evil one receive more power. Pray that men and women of God are elected, and do what is right in his eyes.

The Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded, and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: The LORD is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. 2 Chronicles 15:1-2

Friday, July 3, 2020

July 3

As I sit in the living room of my new home, preparing a message, I’m aware of my surroundings, and the obvious noises. One thing I can’t get used to is the sound of the refrigerator, it makes a lot of racket! I’m relieved when it shuts off, but that’s not very often. It’s a loud humming noise that fills the room. It has a limited time to annoy me because we’ve ordered a new one. It works just fine, with the exception of the in-the-door water dispenser, but that noise is more than my nerves can handle. Could I have ever gotten used to the sound? Maybe, but right now my mind is focusing on it, and it seems to be getting louder, and louder! When I stop dwelling on the sound, and focus my attention on other things, I barely notice it, and it becomes background noise, and a non-issue. With everything going on today, the noise of worldly matters is overwhelming! Not only that, but disruptions in our personal lives may be humming extra loudly, causing us to lose focus on what is most important. When the sound becomes too disturbing, set your mind on other things. Leave the room if it becomes unbearable! Take a break from all of it! Change your mindset. Stop dwelling on the negative, and bring to light the good things.

For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6

Thursday, July 2, 2020

July 2

We have a drop-box for our tenants to use to place their rent money in, and it sits just outside a chain link fence with a gate. As I came upon it to pick up the checks, I saw a woman standing inside the gate taking pictures. I approached her to see if I could help. She explained that she didn’t know how to open the gate. I then gave her a lesson on how to open the gate; she thought she was locked in. I wonder why I encounter such weirdness, but then I’m reminded that there are great lessons to be found in such as this. Sometimes we become trapped by gates that are easily opened, but still can’t figure the way out. When I get anxious about a situation, my mind holds me captive and I begin pacing the fence like a trapped animal. I then get a hold of myself and remember to speak the name of Jesus; though saying his name is not some kind of magic pill or potion, it does have the power to calm you in the situation, and bring you enough peace so you can process your issues. There is something about bringing Jesus into the situation that gives you clarity, and reminds you that because of your trust in him, you need not worry because you have been set free, and he has the situation under his control. The gate is not locked, we just need to let Jesus show us how to open it.

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

July 1

As part of the upgrade of the house we just moved into, we decided to seal the pavers that lead to the front door. Because of the very high humidity, the pavers are still sticky twenty-four hours later! The front door that was our main entry is now blocked, and we have to enter and exit through the garage. God is a front door God! You can only enter into his presence through the front, which is Jesus. Don’t try to enter through the garage, by the way of works, or good deeds, you will be denied entry. However, once you have entered into his presence through Jesus, your heart will explode if you don’t share him; we are compelled, and our heart breaks for those who are tormented by the enemy. Works before Jesus do you no good, like entering through the garage, it’s not allowed; but after Jesus, it becomes a way of life, and is not a burden, but a delight, and you get the glory of walking through the main entrance. Share Jesus with others every time you feel the Holy Spirit nudging you, we want to bring as many as we can, to know salvation through Jesus.

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

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

June 30

After spending a few minutes watching the news, it’s easy to become depressed. The situation in the world today looks bleak. I feel much better when I focus on Jesus, the people around me, my friends, neighbors, and family. Although I wouldn’t want to bury my head in the sand, and ignore worldly events, I can’t concentrate on them, there will always be turmoil in the world. If any good comes from my watching the news, it’s prayer! I couldn’t help but pray for our President, he has taken on the world and seems alone in his fight against evil forces. His faith is weak, and he needs all of us to be praying for his success in this battle between good and evil. We must all put on our armor, and fight against the darkness swirling all around him. I’m warning against centering our lives on this, we need our strength, not to be brought down; we would be playing into the hands of the devil if we allowed the activities of the world to overtake us. If you feel depression coming on at the hand of worldly events, take hold of your thoughts; don’t allow them to spiral out of control. Remember that we are God’s chosen, and he will use us in ways unimaginable, to further the cause of his kingdom. We are here for a season such as this. Keep your eyes on Jesus.

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Monday, June 29, 2020

June 29

Have you ever noticed that even if your whole body is healthy, one little insect bite can irritate you? I have a beautiful Areca palm tree in my back yard. I decided that it needed to be cleaned up, and thinned out so it’s beauty could be seen. Even though I was sweating profusely, I finished it. However, I hadn’t noticed that a red ant, or some other biting insect had gotten on me, and proceeded to bite me on my neck. It stung at the time, but I forgot about it until this morning; now I have a welt in that area, that is painful, and itchy. The rest of my body is doing fine, but because this one area is irritated, I need to tend to it to help it heal. The Church, though it is one body, it has many parts, and like the bite on my neck, we must tend to the parts of the Church that are sick, or hurting, so that the whole body is not affected by its absence. The body cannot function without all of its parts. We each play a role in the body parts of the Church, and must tend to those who are hurting. If they go unattended, their part could fester, and cause the whole body to become sick. If you notice a member suffering, whether physically or mentally, do what you can to help them, tend to them to bring about their healing. We need all of our parts to be healthy for the good of the body.

If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 1 Corinthians 12:26-27

Sunday, June 28, 2020

June 28

The heat of the summer has finally taken over. I love the outdoors, but when it’s hot, I tend to remain inside where it’s cool. It’s 8 am here in Florida, and it’s already 77 degrees Fahrenheit, and expected to get to 98 degrees today. There’s no sense in getting all dolled-up, makeup will just get washed away by the sweat. If this heat is any indication of how it might be in hell, I’ll take my chances with Jesus! Jesus is our ticket to the climate controlled environment of Heaven. This is the requirement: believe that Jesus died to take on the sins of the world, including yours. Though it might seem easy, belief is much harder than you think and requires the assistance of the Holy Spirit. Here are five easy steps according to Paul in the book of Romans:

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God 3:23

For the wages of sin is death 6:23

but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 6:23

if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10:9

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 5:1

I hope that if you don’t know Jesus, today will be the beginning of a new life in him. Won’t you let him save you from an eternity in Hell?

Saturday, June 27, 2020

June 27

As a woman of short stature, I sometimes need a little boost to reach things. As I was adding a picture to my office wall, I stood on a wooden box, rather than take the time to bring the ladder into the house. It was just enough to help me climb onto another piece of furniture to get me where I needed to be to put the nail in the wall. As I was coming down, I stepped too close to the edge of the wooden box, and down I went, and landed on the floor flat on my back, giving me a few bruises, and scrapes. There are rules for safety in the workplace, but at home, you have to use your common sense. If I had just taken a moment to bring the ladder out, I wouldn’t be dealing with the pain caused by the fall. I’m okay, nothing was broken. It’s important that we have the right tools, and follow the rules put in place for our safety; pain and discomfort can be avoided if we simply use them. God has made his rules very clear, and has given us the tools we need to live a better life, but it’s up to us to follow those rules and use his tools. God’s rule book teaches us the things to avoid and helps us know his expectations, so we don’t stumble and fall prey to the enemy, and our own desires. Not only are his rules good for the here and now, it also gives us a passport to the future with him in Heaven. Open up the Bible, learn God’s expectations, and you will be successful in maneuvering through this life, and secure your future.

The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the LORD upholds his hand. Psalms 37:23-24

Friday, June 26, 2020

June 25

As I took the last sip of my coffee, my mouth was filled with coffee grounds. As a young person, I would have spit it out, being turned off by the texture, but as an adult, I look at it as a little extra caffeine to help get my day started. The truth of the matter is that some consider the caffeine in coffee a drug; of course, I don’t, it's just a tasty, warm, and delicious drink to start my day. A little coffee, and a lot of Jesus make for a great day. If it was a drug, do you think the grounds would make a difference? The bigger picture is the cup of coffee, with less emphasis on the grounds. When Jesus admonished the Pharisees, he related their hypocrisy to straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel. They would be careful to tithe on minor things like mint, dill and cumin, but neglect matters of justice, mercy and faithfulness. Much like me worrying about the grounds, but still swallowing the delicious coffee. You can also relate this to what’s going on it today’s society; issues of race, equality, and justice, are just symptoms of a bigger issue, rampant sin, and hearts not given over to God. We cannot repair these issues unless we submit to God, and follow his ways. The world must repent, and return to God; he is our only hope.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel! Matthew 23:23-24

Thursday, June 25, 2020

June 25

I never realized how many potted plants I had until we moved! My patio is now holding all of them along with all of our outdoor furniture, while our yard is being revamped, and it’s a crowded mess. Once it’s finished the plants and furniture will then take their place in the yard, and what seems like a jumbled mess will create a lush atmosphere that will bring joy. We are like my jumbled patio. God is doing a work within us that may seem like a mess, but once he sorts it all out and puts the bits and pieces into their proper place, we will become a useful instrument in his service. This is why we must continue to study his word, use our experiences as stepping stones of improvement, then we will be ready in and out of season to give a reason for our faith, which is music to the ears of God. Our minds are like a blank canvas similar to my back yard; godly knowledge, like the plants that I have accumulated, will create an atmosphere that attracts others to our Savior, like birds to the garden, and give us confidence to teach others about what it means to receive salvation through Jesus. Every moment you spend in God’s word will be worth the effort, and every experience that you have will add to your treasury of knowledge. 

"preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching." 2 Timothy 4:2 

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

June 24

Communication is the key to understanding one another. The enemy has a field day when we begin listening to the wrong people, especially the ones who have devised devious plans. The king of the Ammonites, Nahash, died, and his son took over the kingdom. Nahash had dealt kindly with David before his passing, so David sent people to console his family. He decided to deal kindly with the king’s son, Hanun. After Hanun began listening to his advisors, the new king thought he was being set up for disaster by David. Hanun treated David’s men badly, and sent them away. The Ammonite king had made a terrible mistake by listening to his corrupt advisors, and tried to make it right, but it was too late. They ended up defeated in the battle that ensued. A war was started over miscommunication. We have a real enemy stirring things up to try to defeat us, and he is communicating lies that are being believed. It would be sad if everything we have fought so hard for, fell apart based on corruption and lies. Pray that everything hidden in darkness would be brought out into the light and exposed, and that eyes would see, and ears would be opened to hearing the truth. 

But the princes of the Ammonites said to Hanun, “Do you think, because David has sent comforters to you, that he is honoring your father? Have not his servants come to you to search and to overthrow and to spy out the land?” So Hanun took David's servants and shaved them and cut off their garments in the middle, at their hips, and sent them away; 1 Chronicles 19:3-4

For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.” Luke 8:17-18

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

June 23

 I had an early morning appointment to take my car into the dealership to have a repair. The air conditioner makes a terrible noise! We have been dealing with this same issue for a while; it seems the technicians are having a hard time coming up with a solution. Each time I’ve taken it in, I’ve been confident that they will solve the problem, but here I am again, same problem, different day. As with any problem, there is a process of elimination; you have to eliminate the possible causes, and once you’ve cleared them, your problem should be solved. The technicians will try again, and we will be closer to being free from the noise it makes. Do you see where I’m heading with this? Christians are the same; we have issues with sin, and the first step to changing it is Jesus, but sometimes we are hard headed, and must return to him to help us again, because we didn’t trust him enough to get to the root of our problem. Don’t give up on yourself! Everyone has problems, you are not alone in this. Keep going back to Jesus until you reach a solution. He is merciful, and understands you better than anyone on earth, and is faithful to forgive. As long as you have breath, you are not a lost cause! Go to him now, he is a skilled technician!

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Monday, June 22, 2020

June 22

In this day and age we get a lot of fake news. I’ve noticed that even individuals spread their own fake news. I’m not talking about the political arena, but those who put forth a facade so that everyone thinks that all is well in their household. I saw a dad honored for Father’s Day, that I know is a corrupt individual. This loyal wife has an image to uphold in the community, so she spreads lies to keep the charade going by posting pictures of the smiling faces of their children, and pouring out untruths about what a great dad this man is. Why do we do such as this? What are we trying to prove with this show? A lie is a lie! I’m not saying you should air your dirty laundry, I don’t want to hear about that either, but I also don’t want to be lied to about the state of your marriage or anything else you choose the cover up. It’s better for you to be quiet. Remember Adam and Eve when they ate the fruit, and their eyes were opened to their nakedness? Doing such as this is nothing more than covering up your nakedness. Repent of the lies, and seek God and his help, he is the only one who matters. Spare us of your fake news, we get enough of that!

But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” Genesis 3:9-10

Sunday, June 21, 2020

June 21

After unpacking our belongings and decorating all day, Richard and I were able to relax and enjoy our neighbors for a bit of street BINGO. Since the coronavirus scare, and quarantining, we have been meeting in our driveways each Saturday for a game, or to chat. Anything helps to break the monotony of being alone, and away from people. People need to be around other people, it’s just our nature, God made us that way. Anyone or anything that tries to stop that from happening, will only fail. The most reclusive person needs a little social interaction; even God wanted people around, that’s why he created us. The greatest command is to love God, and the second is to love people; all other commandments fall into place when you follow this. In this day of social distancing, don’t be too distant, stay in contact with other people, it’s too mentally stressing to remain in seclusion. If this was a social experiment, I would say that it was a success; we found out that we need one another. I won’t take my family, friends, and neighbors for granted ever again.

Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Romans 13:8-10

Saturday, June 20, 2020

June 20

Are you struggling? It’s easy when it seems the world has gone mad. Making decisions about your own life and what’s best for you, can be a challenge, especially when there are conflicting ideas from the so called “experts.” How do you know what to do? Do I  listen and fear, or do I dismiss, and subject myself to possible contamination? Do I wear a mask? Do I take the vaccine when it’s available? These are questions we will encounter in today’s society. On one hand, you could come down with the coronavirus, on the other hand, you could subject yourself to further illnesses from a contaminated mask, or from a vaccine that hasn’t been thoroughly tested or know what the potential effects will be in the future. If you haven’t started focusing on, or began listening to the Holy Spirit, now is the time to begin. He is a still, small voice that doesn’t come from fear, or any outside influences, he is the voice of God, guiding you in the right direction. We need to listen to him now more than ever; we can’t depend on our government to guide us in the right direction. We also cannot become a slave to fear. The enemy has sown the seeds of discord, and wants nothing more than for us to fall for his ploy; resist him, and he will flee. Pray, and listen, then pray, and listen again; God will make his voice known to you.

There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. Proverbs 6:16-19

Friday, June 19, 2020

June 19

When we bought new furniture for our vacation home, we decided to go with something light in color. I found the most comfortable, and cozy chenille fabric, that feels like a soft blanket. I’ve never been overly concerned with spills, so when my grandbaby threw-up on it, I just ran and got a rag to clean it, and it wiped right up. Then this morning, I dripped coffee on it, and was sure I had stained it, but it also wiped right up, leaving it clean and pristine. Our goal is to never spill anything on it, but occasionally, mistakes happen, that could cause us to fret over the outcome, but it seems as if this couch might be stain resistant. As a Christ follower, we are spotless, and sparkling clean, but occasionally, mistakes happen, even though we try hard to avoid them. Wipe up the stain with a clean rag by repenting, and it will come right up, leaving us pristine again. We live in a tough world, full of sin, and temptation, and Jesus knows it all too well. He faced temptation too, but resisted. We have his perfection dwelling within, so we are stain resistant because of him. Live your life by listening carefully to the Holy Spirit, and take his way of escape out of sin, but don’t fret if you make a mistake, we are covered by his blood, which makes us white as snow.

"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." 1 Corinthians 10:13 

Thursday, June 18, 2020

June 18

Ethan was a Levite, and served in the house of the Lord. He served beside Herman, the son of Samuel; they worked in the service of song. He was a singer and songwriter and may have helped pen Psalms 88 and 89. I have some of the brightest grandsons, but today, I am going to brag on my newest, Ethan, who is only three months old. What can a child do at three months, he is still a bed baby? Ethan is very vocal, he speaks a language that only God and the angels understand. His vocals are not limited to conversation, he sings along with the television, and gets very excited about his music. The name Ethan is described in today's definition as meaning strong, which also suits him, but I prefer the reference to his name in the Bible, as a singer and songwriter. Will our Ethan be a poet, and pen songs for use in the house of the Lord, just as Ethan in the Bible did? It’s too early to tell, but because he has not been tainted by the world yet, it looks like he is well on his way to becoming everything the Lord has planned. Even after being subjected to the world, his trials will give depth to his songs. Let us hope his name is a prophecy from the Lord. When you find the time, look up the meaning of your name, you may find it mentioned in the Bible like Ethan; see if it resembles your personality.

These are the men whom David put in charge of the service of song in the house of the LORD after the ark rested there. They ministered with song before the tabernacle of the tent of meeting until Solomon built the house of the LORD in Jerusalem, and they performed their service according to their order. 1 Chronicles 6:31-32

On the left hand were their brothers, the sons of Merari: Ethan the son of Kishi, son of Abdi, son of Malluch, 1 Chronicles 6:44

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

June 17

Taking a few days at the beach to let the fumes subside from the refinishing of the floors in my new home, also gives me a break from all the boxes that need to be unpacked. Though I still have that chore hanging over me, being here is a welcomed relief from all the madness of a move. When I return, I will have a fresh new look, and the fun of decorating waiting for me. As most know, you only get out what you put into something; it takes hard work to see a profit. The same holds true for your life as a Christ follower; your salvation doesn’t require you to work to receive it, but once you receive it, you are naturally compelled to work for the cause. Some are meant for large works, an example would be Billy Graham, but others work towards the cause in their daily lives, but you have to have the “want” to accomplish any of it. We are Holy Spirit driven, and we will be prompted to attend a cause when needed. Sometimes a ministry will grow from it, but other times it’s just for the moment. Don’t fret over your purpose; it will grow if need be, but otherwise be ready at a moments notice to share the gospel, whether it’s your testimony, or a passage from the Bible; you will know when it is time.

So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. James 2:17-18