Saturday, January 28, 2017

January 28

Have you ever considered all the ways that God shows His love for you? I'm sure that I couldn't possibly cover the magnitude of His love in just a few short sentences, but even just a reminder could make the difference between having a good day or having a bad day. God loves you so much that He made a plan to help you make it through your daily life without regret by giving the Ten Commandments. Then, because He knew that your sin nature would sometimes overcome you, He gave you Jesus so you wouldn't have to carry that burden any longer. All along God has been concerned with your mental health and wants nothing to stop your communion with Him. Those two things are just the beginning!  Because of His love for you, He gave you Jesus! He is your greatest gift from God. He is the reason you will never die even though your body may give you up, your spirit will live.

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

Friday, January 27, 2017

January 27

As a gardener, I love to have many kinds of plants in my yard. There is one that blooms profusely year round here in Florida called the bougainvillea. It is such a beautiful plant and it comes in many colors. However, admiring it from afar is probably best, since it is equipped with very long, sharp thorns. Sin is the same way; its appearance is beautiful and draws us in for a closer look, causing us to become captivated. The closer we get to it the harder it is to keep our hands to ourselves so we reach out and touch it. As soon as we touch it, BAM, it almost jumps out and pins you with its thorns. Now you're caught in the thicket and unable to get out without getting poked and scratched. Sin not only separates us from God, but it also causes us great pain. There is no escaping it without causing damage. We are all susceptible to it so we must be vigilant and avoid it at all cost.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Galatians 5:16

Thursday, January 26, 2017

January 26

I know I reference my little dog Rudy a lot, but he's just so darn cute! He's the perfect picture of unconditional love as is most of our beloved pets. We can learn so much from them if we would just pay a little attention to their behavior. He's only about six pounds, but is a ball of crazy energy. Every time I come home, he gets so overwhelmed to see me that he falls all over himself, his tail is wagging so hard that his whole body moves. He yelps, and cries with excitement just because I've returned. For some of us, our pets are like our children; we should greet God the way our pets greet us, just like Rudy greets me. We are not God's pets, we are His children, but as His children, we should feel so honored to belong to Him that we should be overjoyed, excited, and overwhelmed with passion for Him that we fall all over ourselves because of who He is. After all, He's our creator and our Savior. 

Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD! Psalms 150:1-6

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

January 25

I was so excited to be on the beach after a storm just so I could be the first out to gather those beautiful seashell treasures. To my disappointment, very few shells came ashore where I was at. No need to get upset about it because I find wonderful, large shells without a storm. The gulf was still raging two days later, so it was washing them out as quickly as they washed up. What I did find is this: I could hold my head up, look around and enjoy the beauty of the beach, soak up some sun, and breathe in some wonderful salty air. This is not about making lemonade out of lemons, it's about finding the blessings God has waiting for you in all situations. A bad day at the beach is better than a good day... well, you fill in the blank. Just stay aware of what God is doing around you, and look for blessings in everyday situations. I did find a couple of crab trap floats which are fun to collect too.

For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. John 1:16

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

January 24

My husband and I frequent a barrier island off the gulf coast of Florida. We were spending some time there, but decided to leave before a storm hit and spend the night on the mainland. It's a cozy little place but is only accessible by boat. We returned the next day and headed back over to the island. Once we got into the bay we started to feel like the disciples on the Sea of Galilee. The wind was whipping and the water was rough and our tiny little boat began to get tossed around. We were half way to the island before we thought that this may have been a bad idea. We made it, but not before getting drenched! During the storm on the Sea of Galilee the disciples were frightened even though Jesus was in the boat with them. He asked them, "where is your faith?" When things get rough and you feel like you're being tossed around like a tiny boat on a big sea, remember that Jesus is in your boat.

He said to them, "Where is your faith?" And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, "Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?" Luke 8:25

Monday, January 23, 2017

January 23

I get up very early in the morning. It's very quiet that time of day. My father gets up with me and we sit quietly together as we contemplate the day ahead. He's very soft spoken unless he gets mad and then all hell breaks loose. His mornings with me are peaceful and I feel protected and loved. I have his full attention and can lay my heart out and know that he will comfort and console me over whatever issue I'm dealing with. He listens to all my babble when no one else will and won't cut me off mid sentence. I love that he gives me all the attention that I want, even though others may need him more. As the day gets underway, we both get busy and my thoughts turn to handle issues and general everyday things that take my attention away from him, but he never leaves my side. If you don't have a relationship with our Heavenly Father like this, then you need to spend more time with Him. 

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. Psalms 63:1

Sunday, January 22, 2017

January 22

I was at a fundraising dinner and part of the program included a silent auction. I love silent auctions! There was a book that covered all the native plants found on Little Gasparilla Island. I really wanted that book so I placed a bid and then kept my eye on it. For almost an hour no one outbid me. Then it happened, someone placed a bid under me. I bumped the bid by a couple of dollars and then left it alone. To my disappointment someone had outbid me and I left empty handed. I get back home and our friends pulled up in the yard with the book. They were bidding against me so they could give it to me as a gift. I was absolutely thrilled. Is there is something that you've waited for and thought it was lost? Maybe God wants to give you a blessing. As we wait for Jesus' return we must be patient; His return will be the ultimate gift and an amazing surprise!

But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Romans 8:25