Saturday, July 7, 2018

July 7

We go from a dry and dusty land to saturation. In the winter you wonder if it’s ever going to rain again and the summer you don’t know when it’s ever going to stop! The winter is too cold and the summer is too hot! Are we ever satisfied? What would we talk about if we didn’t complain about the weather? Not all of life’s situations bring us pleasure, however, we must learn to cope and to find the good in them. For instance, the summer may be hot, but the heat and rain cause the earth to flourish with an abundance of food and beautiful flowers. The winter gives us a break from the heat and lets the earth rest. Though you may be dealing with an uncomfortable situation today, know that seasons change, we need to wait for it. I just finished studying the book of Matthew and within just a few days in time, Jesus was brutally beaten, tortured, and crucified. Sadness and fear overwhelmed His followers at His death. Then three days later He rose from the dead! Just like that things changed and will never be the same again. Be patient in your situation, it will change.

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12

Friday, July 6, 2018

July 6

Why did God need a blood sacrifice? Why did we need to make the choice to follow Jesus? What it amounts to is justice. God is a just God; if you do something wrong, you must pay the price. The only real payment is your life; life is in the blood! Anything and everything we do is to preserve our life! Look at all the people who are making money selling vitamins, promoting gym memberships, doctors and drug makers, eat this and not that! All these things are to promote health and long life and we all want it! The sacrifices made in the Old Testament were a replacement for offering their own blood for their sin. Giving up the animal was a sacrifice because it was a food source and a part of their wealth. However, the animal sacrifices were just a temporary fix - the penalty was not harsh enough and only cleansed until they sinned again. The only justice is our own life! Then I have to think, is my life really good enough to cover my own sin, because I’m far from pure? I’m not sure. One thing that I am sure of is Jesus! He is pure and good enough. He made the sacrifice once and for all - no other sacrifice is needed, not even my own life! However, you are not covered by His blood unless you choose to accept Him as the atonement for your sin. Not only does He cover your sin for the here and now, but He gives us the reward of eternal life and the ability to see God who is so holy that we must be pure to come near Him! Why wouldn’t you want to accept this gift? I hope this makes sense.

Joh 3:16  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Joh 3:17  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Joh 3:18  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

July 5

History is harsh and there is a lot of bad mixed in. Men used other humans against their will! I’ve toured Mount Vernon and found it to be detestable. It brought tears to my eyes seeing the condition that the slaves had to live in. What’s really sad is that their condition was probably better than most. Until I saw it with my own eyes, I never thought of George Washington as a slave owner, only as the father of our country. We owe a great deal of gratitude to those whose blood, sweat, and tears got this country up and running. God used what was bad to bring about what is good. He had a plan all along. Maybe the only way He could get many nations into one was to allow them to be brought here against their will. I wouldn’t have came here on my own. I probably would have quietly worshiped as I pleased behind closed doors rather than get into a crowded ship to come to some unknown land to camp forever. No thank you! No matter how we got here, what we have now is good. I’m very thankful that I don’t have to hide to worship the God I love so much and that I can freely express myself right out in the open. Don’t let history define you, but let it spur you into thankfulness.

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

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

July 4

When I moved into my neighborhood, I wanted to know the interworkings of it, so I volunteered for the homeowners association board. I didn’t know that little had been done to maintain the neighborhood for nearly a year. There was a home that was in a mess from a tree branch falling on it and the homeowner was refusing to make the repairs. One homeowner had been complaining about a drainage issue for quite some time and nothing had been done. So I come in feeling like a hurricane trying to get everything accomplished. It’s just spinning in the gulf right now, but it’s getting ready to hit! This situation reminds me of our heart. We can’t leave it in disrepair and expect to look and feel our best. Eventually what is broken on the inside, will start showing on the outside. You can try to fake it until you make it, but that’s only good for a short time. There is One who will deliver you out of your affliction and is a champion for the broken-hearted, Jesus! Go to Him with your trouble. Seek godly Christian counsel and let them pray with you and offer you encouragement. You aren’t in this alone! God has given us brothers and sisters in Christ, so we can lean on one another during times of trouble. Open up and let us help you carry your burdens. 

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. Psalms 34:18-19. This whole chapter is very uplifting. Go and read aloud!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

July 3

It’s that time of the month where I pay all the bills. I spent a good part of the day with my accounts payable hat on. I couldn’t put that hat on until I had finished my duties as accounts receivable. No money received, no money to pay bills. So the first thing I have to do is to gather the payments and go to the bank and make a deposit. Then pay my bills. I don’t write out any checks until I write out my tithe, I pay God first! He has been too good to me to make Him wait until all my bills are paid, heck I don’t even wait until all the payments are collected before I pay Him! It should be like that with everything in your life. I pay Him with the first part of my day too. My mind is like a sponge first thing in the morning and I can offer Him praise for letting me wake up. God deserves our first and the best of everything we have. It’s the least we can do. Everything we have belongs to Him and all He wants from us is a small sacrifice as appreciation for all He does for us. Make Him your first priority, if for no other reason than the fact the He deserves it!

Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. Proverbs 3:9-10

Monday, July 2, 2018

July 2

I love to eat salmon! I like it best grilled with lemon butter sauce. If it’s on the menu, I’m ordering it! When we went out to dinner Sunday after church, I did just that, ordered the salmon. As I began eating it, I realized they had overcooked it and it had a burnt taste. I sent it back and they cooked me another one. It came out exactly the same, burnt on the bottom. At that point, I lost my appetite. I do not desire the burnt taste. Sin is like burnt fish, you can try to feed it to others, but if they are forgiven of sin themselves, they may reject your offer. The taste of sin is no longer a desire, not only that, but we try to avoid it because of Jesus. If you are toying with sin and foolishness, avoid trying to drag others into your games, and turn from it so you may be forgiven too. 

For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. 1 Peter 3:10-11

Sunday, July 1, 2018

July 1

After heavy rain, Lake Okeechobee and Lake Hancock fill up to overflowing. Lake Hancock is highly polluted and pours out into the Peace River. All of those pollutants then flow downstream and spills out into Charlotte Harbor. Lake Okeechobee is also full of contaminants and runoff from farms that is full of nutrients that overwhelm our ecosystem; it flows into the Caloosahachee River which pours out just south of Charlotte Harbor. We’ve had heavy rains before and the harbor has been full of brown water, but this time the fish kill is quite overwhelming. Not only is there an alarming amount of fish dying, but larger animals like manatees and sea turtles are washing onto the shore. It is a devastation like we’ve never seen. God gave us this land to use and to manage for our food and shelter and when you look at what has happened, we’ve made a mess of both. Our food is dying and the air from the red tide is hard to breathe and the waterways and beaches are full of death. This is a cause and effect of rerouting the water so that it no longer filters through the Everglades. The huge river of grass is not able to do its job and clean our water. I don’t know the answer to this problem, but it would be nice if we found one. All the land I know and love lie on the banks of the Peace River and at its mouth. God help us to heal our land.

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:28