Saturday, April 14, 2018

April 14

My shade garden is nearly finished! Some areas of the soil were easy to dig, but other areas were filled with roots and building materials that had been buried. On the surface everything looked fine, but once I stuck a shovel in it, I began to run into obstacles that prevented any further penetration. Sometimes I had to cut off the roots and remove the pieces of concrete just so my new plants could grow. When the Holy Spirit tries to plant new things in the garden of your heart, what are the obstacles that He is running into? Is there a root of bitterness stopping forgiveness? Are there old wounds that are festering? Maybe you have guilt over something you’ve done that makes you feel ashamed. Rejection is a hurt that most all of us have. All of these things can make it nearly impossible to have peace. When you sell something, you don’t get to keep it and the money too; Jesus paid a huge price for all of these things, why haven’t you handed them over to Him. 

Freedom from the past is something that I’m very passionate about because I’ve cleaned up my garden, removed the roots and debris and I feel good! Once you get a taste of freedom, you never want to go back to that way of life. The devil likes to keep you in bondage, stop making him laugh! Take back what is rightfully yours! Call out your obstacles and tell them to “leave in Jesus name!” Then ask the Holy Spirit to fill that empty space and plant a beautiful garden.

The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:35-36

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

Friday, April 13, 2018

April 13

There is a section of scripture in Romans that’s called “Marks of a true Christian,” chapter 12:9-21. It sheds light on how one should act. There’s one in particular that draws me in every time; probably because my fleshly nature is a little vindictive. Romans 12:20  To the contrary, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head." If someone has been completely nasty to me, you can bet that I’m going overboard to be kind to them, and maybe I’ll offer them a cold drink or a sandwich. I can just see those coals sizzling and burning a hole in their head. It’s a great visual, isn’t it? This verse is also found in Proverbs! When a verse is repeated from the Old Testament to the New Testament, you know God means business! The point of this is to show your strength as a believer to overpower evil with kindness. It takes more strength to withhold retribution than it does to cut loose with retaliation. So, the next time someone comes after you, repeat these words “hot burning coals, hot burning coals,” then do your best to be kind.

If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink, for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you. Proverbs 25:21-22

Thursday, April 12, 2018

April 12

I talk about gardening all the time, it’s something I love to do, even though it can sometimes be backbreaking labor, the results make me happy. My new yard is completely shade covered, which means that I have to get creative when choosing plants. I have found some amazing plants, with beautiful color. When I think about God walking in the Garden of Eden, I picture Him walking in a shaded garden, so of course there would be beauty there too! If God created plants for every type of environment, don’t you think He created different types of people for every type of situation and environment? We each have unique personalities that are suited for specific careers and assignments from the Almighty. Mark Twain said “The law of work seems unfair, but nothing can change it; the more enjoyment you get out of your work, the more money you will make.” I say take that a step further and find a way to serve Jesus through what you love to do; the reward is much greater and can be very satisfying. 

Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Romans 12:11

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

April 11

Don’t you want to know what God’s plan is? I’m so impatient and feel like I need to know now! That’s not how this works. He starts grooming us for His service at a very young age. Little by little He guides us, giving us glimpses into the future, but never enough for us to think we are the ones in charge. He uses our personalities to distract us from seeing what is coming so we will stay on His course. If we know what is going to happen, we might become fearful and run the other way or try to do it in our own power instead of waiting for His power. I think that He gives us busy work and keeps us focused on handling the physical details while He handles the rest of it. Don’t get discouraged in the waiting; what He has for us is beyond what you could ever imagine. We are victorious when the pieces begin to fall into place and when we give credit to Him through our praise and worship!

For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Romans 8:24-25

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

April 10

So this idea was tossed out to have a beach day with the girls. I got this bright idea, and took it a little further and said “maybe we could stay overnight.” What was I thinking! I figured that nothing would pan out and the whole thing would fall apart anyway. I didn’t really want to do it because it would take too much planning, the obstacles were deep and wide. Then in January my Pastor tells me the we have too much on the schedule for the month of April. My first thought was “great, let's take off the beach weekend.” Then he said “I think we should keep that one!” Are you kidding me! I think he may have regretted saying that too! Then people began to hear about it, so there is no turning back now! I found a place to go, no obstacle there. Had a way to get there and had a vague plan for what we would do once we got there. Who’s in charge of this anyway? I don’t want to do it! Who’s steering this boat! It was God! It was beautifully orchestrated by the Holy Spirit and was awesome!

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Psalm 32:8

Monday, April 9, 2018

April 9

He anoints my head with oil, my cup overflows! I had a friend tell me that she repeats Psalms 23 for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Now that’s feasting on the Word! She told me about others who had done the same thing and had their lives completely turn around, and they attributed it to this Psalm. So, I decided to try it. I haven’t gotten in the habit of doing it three times a day yet, but it’s part of my morning routine. So much of what we do as Christians is geared towards keeping people out of Hell, but Jesus taught us how to live here on earth. Psalms 23 gives us a guideline! Though we don’t like to admit it, the truth is that when evil was cast out of Heaven, they were sent here! We walk in the valley of the shadow of death, but He is with us with weapons in hand! We feast in front of the enemy, a meal prepared by God and it ticks him off! If you’re not feasting on the Word you need to sit down at the table! You may not be excused until you eat!

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Psalms 23:4-5

Sunday, April 8, 2018

April 8

Is your unbelief making a way for fear to overtake you? There are many things that Satan uses to hold us captive, but the biggest thing is fear. I wish I was immune to fear, but every time the Lord changes things up, I must deal with it. What is my main fear? Being inconvenienced. I want to do what I want to do and I don’t want anyone else giving me things to do! I know there’s a lot in those words, but God is helping me to overcome it by completely inconveniencing me! I really just like to curl up in my happy place and watch the world go by, but He won’t allow me to do that. He knows what’s best for me and because I stepped out, I found JOY, unspeakable JOY! JOY that brought me to my knees. So much JOY that I couldn’t contain my tears. Was it easy? Heck no! Was it worth it? A resounding Yes! It didn’t happen overnight, but it was worth the wait. You can have this too. Put on your armor, step out in faith, and conquer your fear.

Speaking of Abraham: No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was "counted to him as righteousness." Romans 4:20-22