Saturday, January 14, 2017

January 14

This is the time of year that people throughout Tampa and the State of Florida prepare for the upcoming event called Gasparilla. It is a series of parades that lead up to the opening of the Florida State Fair. The parade krewes gather their costumes and beads, and ready their floats for the public display. It's definitely a fun time if you like that sort of thing. It draws you into the fantasy world of Jose' Gaspar and his search for treasure. As with anything, there is good and bad. The good of this is that each of the krewes sponsor a charity and raise money through fees and membership dues. The bad is that there are days of drinking, public intoxication, and nudity, all in the name of fun. If you decide to get involved in this type of activity, be the example of good and show everyone that you follow Jesus. Make it into an opportunity to spread the gospel instead of debauchery. God can use anything for His glory!

But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. Ephesians 5:3-4

Friday, January 13, 2017

January 13

There are things in the daily news that are cause for us to be concerned. Whether it's local or worldwide, the picture can look quite grim. If we get too caught up in the affairs of the world, we can become depressed or angry. The television drama has become so incendiary that they stop at nothing, just to try and make their point. How is it that we have gotten so far from the greatest commandments? Our world will continue to fall apart unless we get back to loving God and loving people. You cannot love God if you don't love others, they're impossible to separate. We have so little time on this earth to do what God has called us to do that it is ridiculous for us to waste so much of it being divisive or even buying into the divisiveness. We must be more tolerant of others and love them despite their view. If you have any hate in your heart for people, you cannot love God!

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. 2 Corinthians 4:17

Thursday, January 12, 2017

January 12

What motivates you to stay on track for Jesus? Our daily lives can be so rough; we struggle with ourselves and what's going on around us. No one ever said it would be easy following Jesus, but the rewards and those moments that we see His work come to light make it all worth it. I've noticed that when I cry out to Him for help and I feel like I just can't continue on, He offers me a glimmer of hope. One day I was feeling hopeless and just as I finished praying l glanced down at my phone read the words to an old hymn; that gave me peace. I then got out of my car and walked into the grocery store and sitting outside was a sweet young man with an extra chromosome, singing loudly with his headphones on; he made me smile. That's when I realized that God was offering me encouragement to keep going and had reassured me that He had heard me. Make sure you don't miss the rewards while you're lost in despair.

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

January 11

My friends are selling their house and as a real estate agent, they asked me to put it on the market for them. When they mentioned me doing an open house I was reluctant because in the past I've found that they only attract nosy neighbors. I agreed to put the home on caravan which brings agents in to view the home for prospective clients. Thinking that I would be sitting there twiddling my thumbs for three hours, I brought my iPad so I could peruse Facebook while waiting. As God would have it, I never sat down for the whole three hours! My friends love the Lord and their home has been prayed in and prayed over. My favorite comment was from a spiritually discerning woman who said that the home felt peaceful, of course I couldn't wait to tell her why! If God can fill a home with His presence on behalf of His followers, how much more will He fill you with the peace of His presence if you make Him central in your life?

And he said, "My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest." Exodus 33:14

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

January 10

When I was a kid, I remember my mother preserving vegetables by canning them. Tomatoes, pole beans, and pickles are the ones I remember the most. They made such a beautiful display. My favorite was when she preserved guava jelly! What a wonderful tasty treat that was! She would start by selecting the finest fruits and vegetables, then prepare them by cleaning, stemming, pealing, and whatever was needed before filling the jars. This had to be done carefully so that bacteria wouldn't have a chance to grow and possibly make us sick from eating them. Our family would benefit from all the trouble she went through because of the wholesome meals she was able to create. The life of those fruits and vegetables was saved and the process of ripening stopped. This is a good example of how our lives are being kept through Jesus. Aren't you grateful that He chose to preserve your life?

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

Monday, January 9, 2017

January 9

My husband and I are landlords and must deal with housing many different personalities. Occasionally, we will have someone want to break their lease for various reasons; we have rules about that in our lease. Though we have a binding contract with them that is very strict concerning the consequences of breaking a lease, we still have compassion for others. Here lies the problem: if they have been antagonistic, hateful, or are downright mean, there's not much chance our hearts will feel compassion for them. However, if they've always been respectful and kind, there is the probability that they won't face legal or financial repercussions. Imagine what The Lord might do for you if you blessed Him with thankfulness and approached Him with kindness. Don't be demanding or harsh, a loving heart will go a long way with God and He may be more willing to extend His grace to you.

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Psalms 103:1-2

Sunday, January 8, 2017

January 8

Are you making changes in your life as proof of your salvation? If you claim you've received salvation and continue to live the same way you did before, you may have a problem. Our love for Jesus and our gratefulness for what He did for us, makes us want to turn our life around and live for Him. If you've truly accepted Him, your life will reflect Him. Jesus was not aggressive, but He wasn't a pushover either. Jesus did not treat others with disrespect nor was His tone harsh or condescending. If you have unforgiveness in your heart, yet you think you've been forgiven by God, you need to check your salvation. If you pick out the bad parts of a Christian's life, and believe me we are not perfect, and choose that portion to relate to rather than compare yourself to Jesus, you may have a problem. Just because you call yourself a Christian doesn't make you one. It's a change of heart and a change of direction. 

And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses." Mark 11:25