Saturday, July 21, 2018

July 21

Most of my yard is situated in the shade. The trees give a wonderful covering and protection from the harsh rays of the sun. The grass and trees need full sun to thrive, but there are many plants that need the light filtered so they are not burnt by the overpowering sunlight. The area under the shade is more humid because the sun doesn’t dry it out as fast, so my plants like the orchids and bromeliads thrive in this type of environment. These types of plants would dry up and wither in the full sun. We are like the orchids and bromeliads and Jesus is like the trees, our protection from the full sun and mighty power of God. In the Old Testament, God warned Moses that no one has seen His face and lived, so He had Him hide in the cleft of a rock as He passed by. He needed to be shielded from His power. Jesus acts as the shield or covering between us and God. He is our high priest. Like the trees that shade my garden, Jesus filters the light of God’s glory as a protective barrier, and we thrive under His care.

Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. Hebrews 7:25-26

Friday, July 20, 2018

July 20

The neighbor’s dog started barking this morning, and as soon as my dogs heard her, they decided that they needed to chime in. They have no idea what she’s barking about, yet they feel compelled to voice their opinion. It was like dog gossip! Does this sound familiar? We see this a lot in the television news; I especially love when they show clips where the reporters from every station are using the exact same words and phrases. Their credibility is completely diminished and they are nothing more than talking heads. What about you? Do you tell slanderous stories or share gossiping post? The Bible has a lot to say about that! It says - don’t do it! It also says: don’t associate with a gossip, keep your lips from speaking deceit, malign no one, if you don’t bridle your tongue your religion is worthless, and many more. It also called it an abomination to the Lord! You thought it was just innocent conversation, but it turns out that it’s an abomination! If you don’t stoke the fire or add more wood, it will go out.

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29

Thursday, July 19, 2018

July 19

There is a tree in my neighbor's yard that has a huge branch that needs to be removed. It has a cavity in two different places and has been determined by an arborist that it is in imminent danger of falling. The homeowner knows about the limb, but in his uneducated opinion, he thinks it’s strong and will continue to thrive and doesn’t want to remove it. It is not a financial issue for him, it’s aesthetics. I wonder how many of us hang onto habits and sins that are in imminent danger of hurting ourselves or others just because we think it looks good? When we hurt ourselves, it will hurt others. What do you need to give up to help preserve your life? Just like the tree needs to be pruned to help give it a chance to live a long life, we must be willing to let things go that are detrimental to our health and spiritual well being. Do a quick survey of yourself, and ask the Holy Spirit to bring to light any unhealthy issue that you might be hanging onto; then allow Him to prune you.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. John 15:1-2

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

July 18

When exploring different aspects of the Christian life, you must consider that you are going to be a target of attacks. This is especially true if you are heading in the direction God wants you to go. If you’re doing what the enemy wants you to do, he leaves you to handle your own demise. Once you decide to turn away from the way of the enemy, the attacks begin. This also happens during a promotion, when God is moving you to a new level. Like my pastor says “new levels, new devils.” These attacks can come from anywhere, even your most trusted friends. The enemy doesn’t discriminate and will even use another Christian. Remember when Peter rebuked Jesus for saying that He must go the Jerusalem and be killed? Jesus quickly called him out saying “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me.” So don’t think that the only people Satan uses is your enemies. No, he can and will use well meaning people as His mouthpiece to throw you off. Stand strong! If you’re armored-up, you won’t be rattled. Remember that they are your friend, so don’t be too hard on them.

But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Matthew 16:23

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

July 17

I’ve been a hard worker all of my life, but now that I’m older, I’ve decided that getting filthy from head to toe and straining myself to do things in my yard is no longer something I wish to do. That’s why I moved into a townhome complex, so someone else could handle all the things that I was once in charge of. Whether I like it or not, sometimes I have to do that very thing. We are having new sod put in our yard, and the ground needs to be prepared and guess who gets to do it? Yours truly! I worked myself to the point of nearly passing out - it’s just too hot out there! Don’t get me wrong, I love all my plants and doing minor trimming and replacing or adding new ones, but the back breaking labor is no longer one of my desires. As we get older we begin to realize what’s truly important to us and change to do what our heart desires. If you’ve set your eyes on Jesus, His desires become your own. Though we have to work hard in this life, if we set our minds toward Jesus, He will fill a void, our needs will change, and we will become what He wants us to be. Set your eyes on Jesus, He should be our ultimate desire.

A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. 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. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. Psalms 63:1-3

Monday, July 16, 2018

July 16

Sometimes I wonder what God is doing. I look at my situation and have to consider that maybe He’s guiding me into a new direction. So last summer, I didn’t get to spend much time in my island paradise because my husband was building some homes. This year, we’ve been a couple of times only to be run off by the red tide, which makes us both sick. The last time I was out on my paddle board was in January and I was anxious to get out on the water again. I trudged through the mud and dead fish in the mangrove to launch, hoping the water would clear up as I paddled out a little ways. Much to my disappointment, it was just more of the same, a murky cesspool of death. Is God using this to move me? Maybe. I must consider that God has a hand in this and a change may need to be made. You must be observant in the circumstances of your life; Satan may not be the one pulling the strings. God can and will use situations to move you in the direction He’s called you to for His purpose.

It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes. The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces. Psalms 119:71-71

Sunday, July 15, 2018

July 15

My heart breaks for the people who see evil as good and good as evil. Though our earthly life is short, our soul will go on into eternity, and these people are in jeopardy of having their souls live eternally in the flames of hell. It seems to be getting worse. The rebellion against God and everything godly, and anyone who calls God their Father, is at a fever pitch. In a country founded on Christian beliefs and freedom to speak, many dare not mention the name of Jesus publicly without fear of retribution. The reason for this is that they don’t want to feel shame for their sin, so if they make bad behavior out to be good, then their bad behavior will not be looked upon as bad. They are right where the enemy wants them to be, especially if they are celebrated and have a soap box to stand on. Then they can spew their evil thoughts on television and social media in the hopes that good people may hear it and turn away from God. Minds are so twisted now that many don’t know the difference between right and wrong. Stand strong children of God! Don’t fall for the lies of Satan! Jesus is coming soon!

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5:20

I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. Revelation 3:11