Friday, December 6, 2019

December 6

From a small child, I can remember always loving art. One time when I was in the first or second grade, I made a cat from clay. My teacher was so impressed that she decided to display it in the office where everyone could see it.

Last night, I went with some of my neighbors to a place where you spend a couple of hours painting. They give you step by step instructions, so by the end of the night, you leave with a painting similar to the instructor’s painting. That’s when you realize that not everyone has the ability to take what they see, and use their hand to re-create it. There is a miscommunication between what the eyes see, and the function of the hand. Minor mistakes made part of the way through, caused some to give up, and their painting looked as though a child had painted it. Others were right on point, and gave their painting a personal touch. 

If you’ve followed Jesus for a long time, your ability to understand his instructions, may be more clear. However, if you are new in your faith, or aren’t cultivating your relationship, you will make mistakes, but rather than give up, ask forgiveness and keep going. Like painting, if you don’t like what you see, grab some white paint, cover it up, and start again. Eventually you will become more proficient, and your hand and eye will begin to coordinate.

But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.” Luke 6:49

Thursday, December 5, 2019

December 5

My son was two when we found out that his dad had AIDS. We were devastated at the news. We had suspected a problem when he couldn’t get rid of an infection, so we went together, to another town, and we both had the test. It was anguishing waiting, but the news was worse. It was a torturous disease, and he passed away three years later. There was good news in this, because he turned his life over to Jesus, he now resides with him in heaven. There was also a miracle involved; my son and I were spared. There was no caution taken before we found out; we lived a normal life. There was one point where we were in the car together when he was very sick, and he began to have a seizure, and blood was spewing from his mouth! Needless to say, I am overwhelmingly grateful to God for sparing me and my son, and I have never forgotten, and have praised him for this miracle for more than twenty five years!

If God finds it in his heart to spare your life or heal you of an infirmity, it is your duty to make an offering. Jesus healed a leper, and required that he go and make an offering for his cleansing as required by the law of Moses. You, however, must offer God praise and gratitude as payment. Hasn’t he done a miracle in you by cleansing you of all unrighteousness? Go, and pay tribute to God for his mercy by making him an offering of praise, and never let your lips stop glorifying him.

And he charged him to tell no one, but “go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as Moses commanded, for a proof to them.”  Luke 5:14

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

December 4

One of my favorite portions of scripture is when Jesus stands up in the synagogue and reads from the book of Isaiah.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.” Luke 4:18-19

It was a “mic-drop” moment! He rolled up the scroll and sat down! Then he tells them that scripture has been fulfilled within their hearing. He told them who he was, but all they could say was, “Is not this Joseph's son?” Then, because he chose not to do miracles because of their unbelief, they ran him out of town, and tried to kill him! These were the people in the church! Do we not do this same thing today? As Christians, we must find kindness in our hearts so we avoid treating other believers like this. 

The reason I love this scripture so much is because Jesus isn’t talking about physically setting captives free, or opening the eyes of the blind, though he did; his mission was not about the physical, but the mental, because that’s all you can take with you upon leaving this earth. He wants to set us free from what sin has done to our minds, and see things the way he sees them.

Today, ask Jesus to show you where you are still captive, and to open your eyes where you have been blinded.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

December 3

“Shhhh... Have you heard what they are saying about Jesus and his lineage? I heard that he has a grandmother named Tamar, who disguised herself as a prostitute, and slept with Judah! Then he has a grandmother named Ruth who went onto the threshing floor, where no woman was allowed, to try and seduce Boaz; and his mother was the prostitution Rahab! Not only that, but his grandfather, King David, slept with a married woman, Bathsheba, and killed her husband to cover his mistake; and their son was King Solomon. I don’t know about this Jesus fellow.” 

This is a lesson on gossip. Our King and Savior’s earthly reputation is depicted as a product of both Jew and Greek, and of a family whose character is less than ideal for our sinless sacrifice. When you gossip, you don’t know the plan God has for the person you are speaking of, and whether they will bring about another human who will be a carrier of the message of God. Be careful what you say about one of God’s children, and never let your words trash another human.

This lineage is also found in Luke 3.

and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, Matthew 1:3-6

December 2

Why do we celebrate the birth of Jesus when he has always existed? John 1:1-2 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” There is something special about our eternal God, walking the earth in the flesh, living among us as a human, and experiencing life as we do. Him living and being, showing us that he understands our emotions of joy and pain, and also experiencing physical pain, which gives him credibility, especially when he laid down his life for us. And then, topping that off by lifting himself up out of the grave! In doing all of this, he never sinned. As humans, we know how hard it is not to sin, but, to have Jesus show us how sinful we are and how separated we are from our Holy God, and to offer to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, is beyond incredible. If you don’t know Jesus, now is the time. You do not want to be found outside of God’s will when he calls his followers to be with him. Imagine not having the Christians around as a moral compass by sharing the truth; chaos would ensue, and you would be in the midst of it. Turn your life over to Jesus today, and let him show you the way; you cannot get into heaven without him!

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

Sunday, December 1, 2019

December 1

What does it mean to dwell in the shelter of the Most High? We had a family dinner as an extension of Thanksgiving. As a special treat my nephew brought his little girl, who is one year old. She is precious, and beautiful; and all I wanted to do was squeeze her! Her Grand-Kat (my sister) wasn’t there, so I got to play grandmother to a little girl for the moment. She enjoyed the company of the family, but kept a close eye on her daddy, and made sure she knew where he was. It made her feel safe to know he was near. There was a minute where she didn’t see him; she is well adjusted around family, and didn’t get upset; but when she finally spotted him, she went running into his arms. Our Daddy, the Father in Heaven, is our place of comfort, a place we can run to in times of trouble, and hide from the cares of the world. We can trust Him to protect us from a very real enemy. If you are having a bad day, remember to make your way into the presence of the Lord; he will cover you, and protect you. Run to Daddy, he’s there with open arms.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalms 91:1

Saturday, November 30, 2019

November 30

This devotional may not apply to everyone, but we’ve all experienced the pain of heartbreak, and the forgiveness is the same. I know that many of you are a party to divorce. Today is the day to heal. If the hurt that was caused by it still lingers, it might be time to let it go and forgive. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you have to become friends with your ex, but maybe you should realize that the path you’re on has been corrected by God, and good or bad, it’s where he wants you to be. The truth is, it would do you well to get over the pain, and become an adult that can communicate with your foe from the past. Sometimes the pain runs so deep that the other party is unwilling to give; that’s not your fault, you should forgive anyway, it’s to benefit you, not them. I’ve watched a situation unfold where the ex-spouses were vehemently angry towards one another, and there were small children involved. One of the ex-spouses began praying for God to heal the relationship for the sake of the children. It took some time, but eventually the relationship was patched, and they now enjoy the milestones together; the children are better adjusted because of it. God has a heart for these types of issues, ask him to help, he loves to see you heal.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalms 147:3

Friday, November 29, 2019

November 29

When we bought a foreclosure across the street from my home, it came with all the stuff the former owner left when he passed away. Everything he owned became ours. I’m not sure how he felt about his possessions, but they were meaningless to me, and most ended up at the dump. There were some plants that he seemed to have taken care of, that now have a place on my porch. One of them is a Christmas Cactus. This morning, I decided to check on it to see if it had buds, and to my pleasant surprise it did! I’m looking forward to seeing what color it is when the buds get bigger and open up. One day, when you pass, everything that you hold dear will be in the hands of family members, who don’t care about it, or in the hands of strangers who will probably throw it out. We should never get too attached to our belongings, we don’t get to take them with us. When I moved, I got rid of so many things, and I gave my children first dibs on them, then the rest ended up at the Salvation Army. To my surprise, they didn’t want much of it. It was a lesson for me to just get rid of stuff and not worry about leaving possessions for my children, they don’t want it! If you think your possessions are worth a lot of money, cash out now! 

Do you know what else is worthless garbage that you keep holding onto? Those harsh memories, that haven’t healed to become useful tools! Ask God to heal you so you can become a blessing to someone else, like the Christmas Cactus that will become a blessing to me when it blooms.

Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 12:13-15

Thursday, November 28, 2019

November 28

Happy Thanksgiving! Every day is a day to be thankful, but on this day, we can lift up the name of Jesus together in unison, because our Savior deserves a standing ovation for all he has done for us. I have done some research into my ancestry, and it appears that my forefathers may have come over before the pilgrims to start the crops. I also have a grandfather who was killed in the Jamestown massacre! I’m glad he procreated before his demise. We are all very privileged to live in these United States, and I feel very strongly against those whose intentions are to destroy it. God gave us a place where we can worship him freely, but for every good thing there is an enemy who is against anything that is of God. You will know them by their fruit.; if they are against life, freedom, and justice, they are a product of the enemy. We cannot fall asleep while they rip us apart at the seems. Stand strong, servants of the Most High God, because he will prevail, but we must do our part to protect the freedom fought for by those who came before us and settled this beautiful land.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

November 27

Sometimes we are challenged with the issues of life. How do you handle them? Do you roll over and give up or do you power through? I have my grandson who has pneumonia, and yesterday he was like a limp rag after getting two shots, but not today! Today he’s just like every other two year old, energetic, demanding, and fighting Rudy over the ball! I wish I could bounce back as fast as him! He is a prime example of how we should be after taking our lumps. We need to keep going, and not become defeated in our infirmary. I pray that God gives each of you strength to keep going, even when your body seems to be rejecting you. I know many people who are in pain on a daily basis, which doesn’t seem fair when others are healthy in the body. However, you must remember, we each have issues, even though they aren’t the same as yours, they are just as painful. A prime example is my grandson who seems to be well, but I can still hear gurgling in his lungs. He may feel better today, but he is still very ill. Be strong and courageous. Do not fear because the Lord is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might."  Ephesians 6:10

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

November 26

Every morning, I must decide whether to put Rudy on a leash or let him run to do his business. If I let him run it is always possible that he might run in the wrong direction and I have to go chasing after him. One way is a dead-end for him, but the other way opens to a swamp, but even then he usually doesn’t go as far as the swamp. The best option is the leash, then I can control him, and guide him in the direction I want him to go, which is not very far from the house. I love him, and want him to be free to run, but I also love him enough to try and protect him. The ideal situation would be for me to be able to turn him loose, and have him stay near the house. Do you think God feels the same way about us? We are free to wander into the swamp, and yes, God does chase after us when we go there, but don’t you think it would be more pleasing to him if we stayed close to him? I don’t like getting my feet wet chasing after Rudy, and I would like to beat his butt while chasing him back to safety, even though I don’t. So when you get a wild hair, and decide to go running off into dangerous territory, God is there chasing after you, he sees your every move; there could be consequences involved. My best advice is for you to stay near home, and close to God, where it is safe.

“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. Luke 15:4-5

Monday, November 25, 2019

November 25

My partner in crime, and I decided to take a one-tank-trip to a charming little waterfront town called Gulfport. To our surprise, it was adorable! Plenty of dining, boutiques, a fishing pier, and quaint old homes meticulously refurbished and painted with bright beach colors. This is my kind of town! But with every wonderful thing there is a downside; they have signs and markers indicating that with a hurricane, of category three status, it would put the town underwater by sixteen feet! As old as the homes are, I don’t think they’ve ever experienced one of that magnitude. With every good thing you must expect a downside, even following Jesus. As a follower of Christ, we have been forgiven so much, that the enemy tries to discourage us, and ruin our walk in the sight of others. Hell forbid that we should bring others to Jesus! It should be expected that we will experience some storms along the way, but nothing that comes at us will wipe us out of Heaven. So, do whatever you need to do to reinforce your structure so that it can withstand a Cat 3 hurricane, because the devil will come after you, expecting to wipe you off the map! Pray, have faith, fill your mind with God’s Word, let the Holy Spirit be your guide, and you will stand strong and endure the storms!

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 1 Peter 5:8-9

Sunday, November 24, 2019

November 24

Since I live in the Tampa area, I decided that it might be fun to take a tour of Ybor City. I’ve always loved the area for its old buildings, and its history. It was the Latin Quarter, the hub of the cigar industry, and the melting pot of the Spanish, Cubans, and Italians, who came to Florida in the 1880’s for jobs rolling cigars for Vicente Martinez-Ybor, or one of many cigar manufacturers. All of the different sects worked well together, but they still enjoyed their own culture, so they built clubs, and would meet on Sundays after church, spending the rest of the day together, eating, dancing, and enjoying their time off. 

According to our guide, the Cuban Club is now haunted by a little boy who drowned in the pool that was located on the bottom floor. Jimmy, will sometimes show himself to those who go on the ghost tours. The Bible is very clear that when you die, your soul either goes to heaven or it goes to hell, there is no life in between. However, demons exist, and it is not beyond their ability to make you think there are ghost haunting you from the dead. Jimmy is just a demon who loves to toy with people. What seems like a fun thing to do, may actually open you up to the presence of the demonic. I don’t know about you, but I get enough of that on a daily basis, and I certainly don’t want to make it a part of my fun; so there will be no ghost tours for me in my future! The lesson today, is not to open yourself up to the demonic in any way, even if you think it might be fun.

And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living?  Isaiah 8:19

Saturday, November 23, 2019

November 23

God gave me the opportunity to speak to a young woman who has lived a rough life, and is still in the throws of a less than ideal lifestyle. She was a mother to two children, but had lost custody of them, and they were placed for adoption. My heart goes out to people who’ve had trauma, and live with guilt. To my surprise, she had put her past behind her, and was able to tell her story without tears. She knew of Jesus, so when I shared the gospel with her, it was of no surprise, she knew the drill. All was not lost, I didn’t give up, but offered her my book as a way for her to step into the scriptures gently. I don’t know what will become of her in the future, but I know this, God loves her, and if he loves her, so do I. Our job as Christ-followers, is to love people, help them to understand the truth of who Jesus is, even those who’ve hardened their hearts towards him. If my words only crack the door of her heart a little, and let a tiny ray of light shine in, it could be all the Holy Spirit needs to begin a good work in her. Don’t be afraid to share the love of Jesus. It may not be often, but he will set you up to speak life into someone. You don’t need fancy words, just a heart and a passion for people. A quick prayer, and the Holy Spirit will do the rest. Try it, and see what happens.

"What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice," Philippians 1:18

Friday, November 22, 2019

November 22

I have a friend who attends church every week. She displays her “Christianity” to everyone. She does not live an exemplary life, and is a poor example for Jesus. Should she be rebuked? I’m not sure, because her “Christianity” may be a heritage rather than a submission to Jesus. She reminds me of the Sons of Sceva, who tried to heal people in the name of Jesus, but were wounded and sent running away naked, by a demon. She uses the name of Jesus, but doesn’t truly know him. As nasty as she is, I feel sorry for her because her possessions mean more to her than human kindness. I’m telling you this so you will examine your own life. I write these daily devotionals for this very reason, for people like my friend who feel they are safe from hell, but don’t really know Jesus. As you grow in your love for him, your life changes, and you become more like him; if you are not seeing yourself change for the better, please examine your heart and make sure you are fully committed to him. I will be heartbroken when we meet Jesus in the clouds, and you are not there.

We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. Romans 15:1-2

Thursday, November 21, 2019

November 21

These days, everyone seems to like a checklist. We continually evaluate ourselves to see if we measure-up. Well, I have a surprise for you, a checklist!  Today is evaluation day! The topic: “Marks of a true Christian.” This checklist comes directly from Romans 12:9-21. This is a TRUE/FALSE quiz. 

  1. My love is genuine. I abhor what is evil; I hold fast to what is good. (9)
  2. I love others with brotherly affection and outdo others in showing honor. (10)
  3. I am not slothful in zeal, and I’m fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. (11)
  4. I rejoice in hope, I’m patient in tribulation, and constant in prayer. (12)
  5. I contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. (13)
  6. I bless those who persecute me; I bless and do not curse them. (14)
  7. I rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. (15)
  8. I live in harmony with others. I am not haughty, but associate with the lowly. I’m never wise in my own sight. (16)
  9. I repay no evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. (17)
  10. As it depends on me, I live peaceably with all. (18)
  11. I never avenge myself, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” (19)
  12. If my enemy is hungry, I feed him; if he is thirsty, I give him something to drink. (20)
  13. I am not overcome by evil, but I overcome evil with good (21)

Any false answers to this quiz will require you to repent, reevaluate your walk with the Lord, and prayer for the Holy Spirit to do a work in you. Do you measure up to God’s definition of a true Christian?

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

November 20

Do you ever long for more of Jesus? During a church service, I prayed that God would give me an overwhelming emotional connection to Jesus; specifically, when I think about him for tears to flow. That’s an extraordinary prayer that he has not fulfilled. The answer came as soon as the pastor opened his mouth, he said something to the effect of, “it’s not about emotion.” Thanks a lot preacher-man! God needs us to be in this with our head, but as an emotional human, we connect love with emotion. I’m guilty! I want to feel something extra, but God wants us to know him for more than the emotion. I’ve got the head knowledge, but now I want my head and heart to connect on a deeper level, a more spiritual, and overwhelming level. There is probably something that needs to change within me before he grants this request, a step that I need to take, or growth that needs to happen. Whatever the case, I’ll wait and watch, because the next point in the preachers sermon was, “MY GOD CAN... Even when the first attempt fails.” I’ll take that! Whatever you are praying for today, just know that God can do anything; he is not limited. I’m not sure if this is a smart prayer to pray, but he does, and he won’t give me anything that is not beneficial to me or to the kingdom. I’m okay with that too.

"And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.”" Mark 9:23

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

November 19

Accidents happen. I was in a fender bender where I ran into the back of another car. I was sitting at the light daydreaming, waiting for it to change, when I notice cars moving in my peripheral. To my shock, and surprise, the car in front of me didn’t move. The girl jumped out of her car and cussed me out! In my view it was a bit of an overreaction, but we are all geared differently, so our reactions are different. I remained calm, made sure everyone was okay, and apologized. I finally coaxed her to move to a parking lot, because we were backing up traffic. The officer showed up, and instructed us to exchange information, which we had already done. My calm demeanor diffused her anger, and by the end she was smiling. I don’t blame her for being angry, nobody wants their car crumpled, but if I had gotten angry because of her foul mouth, it could have been a serious mess. 

God’s word teaches us how to respond, and the Holy Spirit helps us to carry it out, but if we are not immersed in his word, we won’t pick up on his mannerisms. When you spend time in the Bible, God molds you into the likeness of Jesus; though you will never be perfect, you will make strides towards the better.

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly. Proverbs 15:1-2

Monday, November 18, 2019

November 18

Are we to ignore the law of God because we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings? Do you rescue someone whose about to jump off a cliff? How can you love someone and let them continue in sin? Are we to ignore a whole segment of the population that feel entitled to be who they want to be even if we know it’s wrong? It is not love to watch someone go against God’s word. Maybe the Holy Spirit sent you to be a light, or an example to the fallen to make them aware of their mistake. Jesus said it many times, “Go and sin no more.” He knew what it was to love. He did not care if he hurt someone’s feelings. The enemy has deceived so many by telling them to leave people alone, and it’s their right to continue in a particular lifestyle. If you think this is okay, then you don’t know the Bible, and you don’t know God! Your idea of love is skewed if you don’t tell them they are wrong. When you sin, you are rejecting God, and you do not truly believe in him. Go ahead and keep believing we should leave others alone and let them be who they want to be, but know this, you will not see them in eternity, or maybe you will. 🤷‍♀️ 

"Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.”"  John 5:14

“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. Ezekiel 3:17-18

Sunday, November 17, 2019

November 17

We are each given a cross to bear. No one has a perfect life, not even the most perfect person to walk the earth, Jesus. He had to deal with the same obstacles we deal with, the same type of people we deal with daily, even calling his disciples dense, because they lacked understanding. Imagine living and knowing you had to face death on a cross! Though you may feel that you are the only one going through a hard time, you are not! Each of us have difficulties that may not be seen, but are hidden away, out of plain sight. For me, I try not to dwell on such things because I don’t want to live a miserable life. I will think about such things while the wound is fresh, but when a new day comes, it’s time to move on. This is what I ask myself when harsh, unexpected things happen, “Will this affect my eternity?” The answer is always and emphatic “NO!” So why am I dwelling on it? Jesus came and gave us a reason to keep living, but also a reason not to fear people, or fear dying. Set your mind on positive things. If it keeps going down a negative path, you must change it immediately to think of something more positive. Make that a practice, and you will begin to change the path your mind takes and become a more positive person.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:7-8

In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me? Psalms 56:10-11

Saturday, November 16, 2019

November 16

I was out walking my dogs, and had a lovely encounter with two of my neighbors. They both read my post, and told me about the impact they have on them, and that the words hit home so many times. I had no idea that they read them! I have a friend who calls such encounters, “a kiss from the King!” Though the words came from the mouths of humans, I see that God used them as vessels to encourage me. I post these daily tidbits in obedience to my call from God, and the encouragement my neighbors offered, was God’s way of showing me a portion of the impact. When God tells us to love our neighbors, he really means the people next door; though he doesn’t limit it to the people next door, he includes them. Here’s the lesson in this: do your work for the Lord out of obedience to him, without recognition, and he will spur you on with sweet kisses of his love. 

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24

Friday, November 15, 2019

November 15

From the age of twenty-one, God, whom I love dearly, thought it was important that I start my new marriage with three children. I raised them until they were grown, and then my husband passed away. I met a new man at the age of thirty-two, and God, whom I love dearly, thought it was important that I start my new marriage with three more children! At that point I had one of my own, and so life began again, with four. As a child, I remember telling God that I only wanted one child, and he answered that prayer, and laughed! God was teaching me how to love like he does. God multiplied my love to extend to a number of grandchildren, and even one great-grandchild! They are scattered, and I don’t see them all. This is an example of how beautiful God’s love is for us. Those children and grandchildren that are seen the most are able to glean important lessons from their well-seasoned elder; it’s comparable to drawing close to God. Those that are at a distance, are not loved any less, but there are important things they could be missing. Though the world may separate us, and send us in different directions, our love is still there. You are loved by our amazing God, and nothing can separate you from his love, in Jesus, but try to draw near to him so you can learn valuable lessons.

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

Thursday, November 14, 2019

November 14

Life is funny, isn’t it? A difficult situation, heartache, or even tragedy, can bring people together who were once foes. I’ve always thought that it was  interesting how families could fight like cats and dogs among one another, but when someone comes against them, watch out, because they will band together in a heart beat! Christians are no different. We are the family of God, The Church. And, yes, we fight among ourselves over the precepts, doctrine, and theology, but no matter what, when the world comes against us, like it is now, we come together as one. Our enemy is not flesh and blood, even though it may seem that way. The flesh that seems to be coming against us, are only tools, and they don’t even know it. They are doing the bidding of Satan, and he will discard them when he’s done with them. However, the warriors who are for us, in the spiritual realm, outnumber those who are against us. So, do not fear when the battle ensues, you may feel you are down for the count, but remain strong, because we have already won; our Savior has overcome death, and the power that raised him from the dead resides in us!

"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." Romans 8:37

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

November 13

There is a bakery in my area that makes sugar free/low carb, delectable treats. Because the holidays are near, my taste buds seem to be craving a little extra. I’m a pretty good cook, and I’m capable of creating my own treats, but there is something wonderful about being able to stop in a store and get them without the wait or the hassle. I went in on a Friday, and all they had was two items left, so I bought them, and inquired as to when they would have more. They said that they bake on Monday, and Tuesday, each week. I returned on Monday, but unfortunately it was a holiday, and they were closed. I returned again on Tuesday, but still no special treats, except this time she informed me that the baker had cheesecake ready for the oven, and other desserts slated to be made. Some of those special treats are predestined to be consumed by me. Now there are other desserts in the case, but they are loaded with sugar, and will not be chosen. Those special treats have no impact on whether I choose them or the one next to them; it is I who choose! If you’re reading this, because it is addressed “To the followers of Christ,” you are a special treat, and you’ve been chosen, justified, and glorified! You did not choose, you were chosen. I hope you feel special today.

Another point to make: you can’t tell by looking at them if they are sugar free/low carb. Sometimes they are labeled, but sometimes they are not, so you must ask!

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. Romans 8:29-30

Monday, November 11, 2019

November 11

The devil will do his best to thwart the plans God has for you. I get so angry when he throws me off course! It’s so easy to fall for his schemes because we are vulnerable to his lies. God sets you on a path, but the enemy comes along and sows seeds of doubt, and dangles something shiny in front of you to send you in a different direction. You will know you are on the wrong path because you keep running into dead-ends. However, when you finally get back on the path, you know it because God sends his welcoming committee, and all heaven rejoices. My husband and I left our church in a nearby town because of the commute, and because we felt like we needed to become more involved in our own community. Months later we were still searching for a church to call home. God had given me insight into where we should be going, but sometimes the enemy will show you something to distort your view. We finally reached our destination, and it couldn’t be more obvious that we had found what we were looking for. The power of the Holy Spirit was so intense that I was in tears for most of the service. I was hungry, and seeking to be fed, and now that I’ve smelled the sugar cooking, all I want to do is eat! 

"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12

Sunday, November 10, 2019

November 10

For my birthday last month, my son bought me tickets to go see Elevation, Hillsong, and Casting Crowns. We had such an incredible time! I was moved to tears seeing a stadium full of Christians praising their hearts out for the glory of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. As we approached the venue, we saw crowds of people trying to make it in; all were happy, peaceful, not pushy, respectful, and ready to get down to the business of what God created us for. It was a slice of what we have in store for us as we live out our eternity with our Savior and God, and I’m not upset about it! We don’t have to wait to give God the praise he deserves, and we don’t have to wait for a gathering of the saints; we can, and must do this daily. Your life is a testament to how good he is, so let the words from your lips show him your appreciation. Set your hearts towards God, for he alone is worthy of our praise. 

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer." Psalms 19:14

Saturday, November 9, 2019

November 9

My husband and I have adopted a sugar-free, low-carb lifestyle, but we still crave sugary treats like pancakes and desserts. There are lots of recipes the help you get past your desire, but they are not always accurate or descriptive, and can lead to lumps or cause them to be watery. I’m a pretty good cook, and know that you mix the dry ingredients, and then the wet ingredients, before mixing them all together, but what do you do with cheese? Anyway, I tried making pancakes without following directions, because they weren’t included, and ended up with major lumps. I had to get the blender out just to get it smooth. The point of this story is that there is an order to things, including our life as a Christ follower. God has given us very serious commands, because he is an orderly God and expects our lives to follow an orderly manner. If you try to mix the things of this world with the things of God, all you get is a bunch of lumps on the head. God is not tolerant of our misbehavior, and we will pay a price for our error. Yes, he is forgiving, but only because of Jesus. If you continually walk in the way of the world, without remorse, you may need to rethink your lifestyle and consider that you may not have the Spirit of God dwelling within you, and that is very serious!

Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. Romans 8:8-9

Friday, November 8, 2019

November 8

Have you ever set out on a journey not realizing how long it would take? Richard had my car, and I had my grandson; I wanted to take him to a park that is close to my house. I loaded up the wagon with all the supplies that I would need for a two year old, and set out on this short journey. My memory did not serve me well, because the park was further away than I had remembered. It was a good thing that I coated him with 50 SPF sunblock, because it was long and hot! I had already started, so it was too late to turn back; besides, I needed to give the little sweetie something to do to work off some of his energy. We finally made it there, played a little while then made our way back. Our journey with Jesus is very similar. You think it will be short, because you accept him as your Savior, not realizing that even though it’s simple, he has plans for you that you never thought about. He takes your journey as a sinner and washes it away, and then begins the process of drying your tears. He covers you with son-block so you won’t get burned, and begins taking you on a walk towards sanctification. Submit to the process, it makes the journey so much easier.

"And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." 1 Corinthians 6:11

Thursday, November 7, 2019

November 7

I can hear my dad using the words, “I reckon,” when he’s contemplating something. I had never thought about it until I saw it used in the King James Version of Romans 8:18. I reckon it means, suppose, reason, conclude, think, or consider. Paul used the Greek word “logizomai,” which translates to reckon, consider, or any of the words above, to help us understand that he had come to the conclusion that our sufferings here on earth are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. We must remember that Paul had seen some things that no one had ever seen, and heard things that cannot be told; so he has the experience to back up his words. Remember, at one time, he was caught up to paradise. Whatever you may suffer as a Christian, just hold on to what you have, it’s only temporary, and according to Paul, it is well worth it! Don’t turn back to a sinful life because it’s an easier road; that easy road will eventually lead to disaster. Keep pressing on toward the upward call; your suffering will lead to glory, and we will finally dwell with our Savior for an eternity and soon forget our worldly challenges.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:18 ESV

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18 KJV

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

November 6

In our business, the first of the month is our busiest time. We must manage move-outs, and move-ins, and handle the accounts receivable, and accounts payable. People that rent from us, owe us debt for the use and maintenance of their home, and it’s the same if you have a mortgage, except you owe the bank, rather than a landlord. That debt must be paid or you will be evicted, and lose your home. Our body is the temporary home of our soul. It’s temporary because sin causes it to deteriorate; that deterioration is the debt we must pay, and eventually we will be evicted because the debt becomes too much. This is why it’s so important to nourish your soul, and maintain it because the Spirit of the living God lives within you. While our soul goes on to eternity, our bodies will be buried for a time, until it is clothed with glory and reunited with the soul at a time chosen by God. You must do what you can to maintain your body, because you have a purpose for the here and now, but you must also maintain your soul by looking to God for spiritual nourishment.

So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. Romans 8:12-13

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

November 5

Richard and I had our two year old grandson stay overnight. We’re getting older, so having a baby around becomes a challenge because our home is not prepared for children. What that means is, we have to have an eyeball on him at all times; until he starts to get into it, we don’t know what might become dangerous. One moment he’s right in front of you then the next moment, he’s headed to a ladder that’s sitting on the porch, which his Pawpaw showed him how to use! I decided that he needed to run free for a bit. He’s always saying “water,” so I thought he might like running through the splash park near our home. Boy was I right! His diaper weighed three pounds before I decided it was time to go. Our grandchildren bring us great joy; they each have something special about their personality that helps you see their potential for good things when they grow up. It’s up to us, working beside their parents to help bring out that potential by encouraging them in their special gift. This one likes the water; he might be the one who likes the beach like his Namaw. We’ll have to keep his lily-white skin covered up though; he’s the whitest grand-baby we have!

"“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children's children—"Deuteronomy 4:9

Monday, November 4, 2019

November 4

There is a point in your life where you have to let go of your past and move on. Yes, people have hurt you, but it’s time to forgive them, not for their sake but for your own. This is one time when it’s okay to be selfish; you need closure, but they aren’t a part of it; this is about you. The pain they’ve caused you, probably doesn’t even bother them, and I doubt if they ever give you a second thought. Time heals most things, but sometimes the pain runs deep, and time doesn’t soften it. That’s when you know this pain is bigger than you can handle. When you’ve done all you can, then it’s time to hand it over to God and ask him for his healing touch. When Jesus was here on earth in the flesh, he tried to teach us how to be free, and leave our cares in his hands. Don’t take lightly what he did for us on the cross, not only did he wash away our sins, but he took upon himself all of our burdens, even the ones we are carrying right now. Today, ask God to heal you so you can move on with your life and live free.

As I finished writing this, I had to pray for myself, realizing that I have some things from my past that I haven’t released. I then asked God how I could tell others to do this when I haven’t even conquered this myself. Then he showed me this portion of scripture where Paul writes: 

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14

Sunday, November 3, 2019

November 3

My family is in the business of providing homes; whether it is a rental, or a purchase, we procure that arrangement. We deal with a variety of people, from all walks of life; from the very poor and needy, to those who seem to have their life in order. In most cases, they are happy when they find that special home, because they have the strong desire to be settled. Their sojourn is over, and they can begin making their new home a place of comfort, and become familiar with their community. The process is very similar to finding a church home that is right for you. You may try a variety of churches, but when you find that special one, you know it. I’ve gone through the process of searching for a church more times than I should, and I love them all because they are family, and because of their relationship with Jesus, but there are some family members you can’t live with, and there are those you can’t get enough of. The point is, find a church home, but even better, find one that you can live and thrive in. Every church has its flaws, just like families do, find one whose flaws you can live with, remembering that Jesus is the center of it all.

And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. Acts 2:42-44

Saturday, November 2, 2019

November 2

Have you ever felt like God was sending you a special message? It has happened to me, but because the message was not clear at the time, it was hard to understand. 

Here’s what happened: I was driving down a street, on my way to pick-up the mail at one of our properties, and this woman, whom I know is a little eccentric, was walking down the middle of the road, blocking me from getting past her. I finally saw an opening and took it. I didn’t disturb her, she’s a little different.

Then after that, I went to Costco and once I had checked out, and headed towards the door with my cart, an old woman, who was walking very slow began blocking me from passing, I finally caught a break and got around her.

After combing through the scriptures, looking for the meaning of this, I began to realize that it was about God’s timing. The prayers that I’m waiting on an answer to, will happen, but only in his timing. The roadblocks, and delays are all a part of his process. Then he assured me that he would give me what I desired within this life, and that he is the kind of Father that gives good gifts. Are you waiting for an answer to prayer? This is a reminder to all of us, that God loves us, and what he is preparing is worth the wait.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7

"who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1:13