Friday, February 15, 2019

February 15

We finally got all of our paperwork to the tax man. What a relief! Now the agony of waiting for the final result. I’m very thankful to have what I have, but sometimes the stress from it is overwhelming. One good thing is, now that it has been put on the shoulders of our accountant, I can relax and move on to other things. I’ve now been set free, and am no longer a slave to this task. It feels so good to be free from it! So what do I do now that it’s over? How do I live now that I’m free? The burden has been lifted. Do I go back and question everything I turned over to the accountant or do I get on with my new life of freedom? Can you see where I’m going with this? Once you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, you were set free from your sin. You are free! Stop looking back and rehashing your past! Take steps forward and pursue the good things Jesus has set you up to receive! 

Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? Galatians 4:8-9

Thursday, February 14, 2019

February 14

For once the secular world got it right with a holiday that focuses on love. Don’t get me wrong, I loath such silliness that makes a single person feel less than, or cause a married person to feel crushed because their spouse doesn’t show love in the way of gifts and cards. Though my heart goes out to those who feel left out today, I think it may help to focus on the One who is the best love giver of all, Jesus. I know you can’t see Him, or feel His physical touch, but there is something sweet and loving about reaching out to Him on such a day as this. Embrace everything He has already given you, and be thankful for the gifts that He has prepared for your future. Reach out and love Him today, that’s all He wants from you anyway. Use today to worship Him and show Him how special He is to you. Happy Valentines Day!

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

February 13

Children can be so sweet and loving when they are babies. However, they soon grow and get a mind of their own and begin using it as a powerful tool. Smart parents find ways to get them under control, because if they don’t, their child could get hurt by their own actions. We had four children who were very close in age, and me, being a brilliant mom, found a way to instill discipline; I created a paddle! The paddle didn’t have to come out very often, because the threat of it was enough to keep them in line. As a grandmother, I wouldn’t dream of bringing out the paddle for my grands. When they come to my house they are free, though the law is still helpful, they are not under that law in my household. Even though they are free under my watch, they are still expected to behave. So in a sense, when the grandchildren are at my house, it’s like being under the covering of Jesus, full of grace and freedom.

Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. Galatians 3:21

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

February 12

I spent a good part of my day at Moffitt Cancer Center, while a dear friend had surgery. I am very impressed with that facility. While we sat there waiting with the other families, the hospital did many things to interact with those who were full of hope and expectation. They invited us to a seminar on how the prevent infection, they kept everyone up to date on how the surgery was going, and even had a guy come in to play the guitar to help lighten the mood. How nice is it that they not only care for their patients, but also care for those who love them? I love that they model themselves after the Holy Spirit, though I’m sure it wasn’t intentional being we live in such a liberal society. No matter how far away from God this world gets, the world will always pick up on His character, it can’t help it, He created them too. Just remember, as sinister, and disgusting as our surroundings become, there is still good in it, even if it’s just you and me.

The goodness of God is that which disposes Him to be kind, cordial, benevolent, and full of good will toward men. He is tenderhearted and of quick sympathy, and His unfailing attitude toward all moral beings is open, frank, and friendly.  (Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27

Monday, February 11, 2019

February 11

Do you have a friend? I’m not talking about any friend, but one who prays? I knew that I had this friend, but never knew how powerful her prayers were. I was struggling, and I opened up my notes and began typing. I do this because I feel like sometimes the Holy Spirit takes over my fingertips. I had just written the words “Father, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit, what do you want me to do? I’ve had enough, I give up. I cry for mercy. Please help me!,” and suddenly my friend’s message popped up on the screen! She said, “Teresa, I don't know your need and I don't need to know. Just know that I am standing in the gap for you. Love ya sister.” And bam, just like that God sent His messenger! I had cried out, He heard me, and moved into action! I felt overwhelmed that He love me enough to have His servant reach out to me. Folks, if you haven’t bought into this idea that God is real, I would say that you are truly missing out. My heart breaks for those who don’t believe.

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, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, Philippians 1:18-19

Sunday, February 10, 2019

February 10

Did you know that God will orchestrate a break in a relationship if He needs you to move? I’m not talking about your marriage! I was a part of a large church who employed some of the best pastors around, and had an enormous following. But God, through a weakness of the lead pastor, broke that church into many churches. Hearts were broken. None of these great men of God, let it be known that they were hurt, but what human heart could bear under such circumstances. Those same broken hearts went on to start their own churches, or they became pastors of even greater churches. It didn’t feel that God was doing it, it felt like evil had come to disrupt; but God in all of His wisdom, used mans weakness for His glory. I write this to say, God will thrust you in the direction He wants you to go, and will use whatever means necessary, even if it breaks your heart.

The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will. Proverbs 21:1

Biblical example: 1 Samuel 29

Saturday, February 9, 2019

February 9

It’s tax season, and it’s the first year I’ve had trouble getting everything together. Our house is hectic, which makes this task that I normally don’t mind, into a chore, and I’d rather be doing something else, anything else! The unrelenting pressure has me overwhelmed. So, today’s message is to me. In my distress, I cry out to the LORD! He is on my side! What can man do to me? He can’t kill my soul! The Lord will not let me fail. The plans of the earth will not take me down, I am saved, and will live on into eternity. 

Just writing out these words has brought me back from the depth of despair. My reality is not that harsh, and getting my taxes ready is not going to kill me. Even though I’m in the Word daily, there are times that I need counsel too. Thankfully, I am loved, and the LORD sees fit to come to my rescue. The lesson: reach out to Him who holds your life in His hands, and He will relieve your stress.

Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free. The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?... I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the LORD helped me. Psalms 118:5-6 & 13

Friday, February 8, 2019

February 8

Way back, nearly twenty-seven years ago, I did a study called Master Life. I dug deep into God’s word, memorized scripture, and began growing closer to the Lord. One of the studies led us to Galatians, and a memory verse that I’ve never forgotten. It took many years later to finally understand its meaning because it was being  taught in a church that was not entirely free. This is a reminder, because sometimes we forget how free we are. Even Peter, the guy who walked on the water, had to be reminded! He would act one way with the gentiles, then switch back to the law when he was with the Jews. Paul wasn’t having that, and gave Peter a stern warning about being two-faced. This is just a reminder for you not to revert back to the religion from your past. So many of them are very strict and condemning. Jesus died to set you free from the law, and you have been justified by your faith in Him.

For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:18-20

Thursday, February 7, 2019

February 7

We’ve had a very hectic start to the month. Four of our tenants moved out, causing four homes to need refurbishment. That’s a lot of work! Today is the seventh, and they are all completely done and already rented! When you have the favor of the Lord behind you, things get done quickly! We’ve learned to never underestimate the power of the Almighty. His power is concentrated behind those who love, and trust in Him. Don’t get me wrong, you still have to work, and be diligent in your efforts, but when you know that you are powerless without Him, your work, though still hard, will be rewarded. So if you are freaking out about your workload, just stop, take a deep breath, and say, “I trust you Lord.” Believe that He has everything under control, then rest assured of His help. It’s also important that we give Him credit, be thankful, and praise Him. 

Let your work be shown to your servants, and your glorious power to their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands! Psalms 90:16-17

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

February 6

As a grandparent, there is something special about being able to read the Bible to your grandchild, explain their dreams, and wage war on their behalf. Do yourself, and your family a favor, and become knowledgeable in God’s Word so that you are proficient in the fight. There are prayers we must pray, praise we should offer up, evil that must be removed, and a battle that must be taken up on their behalf. We must teach them to armor up, because the devil knows the call on their life, even if you don’t, and he will do whatever it takes to impede their progression. There are people around them that won’t help in their advancement, that have been specifically placed in their lives by the enemy as a stumbling block, watch for them, and give warning. We must be mindful of the plans of the enemy, and pour as much of the Lord’s promises into them as you can to help them know their worth. More of God and less of the enemy.

This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 1 Timothy 1:18

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

February 5

By order of our insurance company, we had to remove some limbs that were hanging over our house. The issue for me is, I’ve created this beautiful shade loving garden, and to take those limbs away will bring more sunlight into that space. I’ve seen this happen once before at my previous house. Our yard was similarly tree covered, until late one night a humongous branch fell, making me think it was time for the rapture! After removing the debris, the area became full sun, causing all my plants to wither. They never got used to the bright light and looked sad most of the time. We all know people who are so accustomed to the shade that when they are exposed to the light of Jesus, they run. They don’t want to hear it, they fight against you, and they try to cover you with their shade. Believe me, when Jesus appears, and the darkness is removed, all of those shady people will wither. Our job is to pray that one day they will tolerate the Son, and flourish in His light!

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Ephesians 5:11-14

Monday, February 4, 2019

February 4

It’s moving day for my daughter, and the last thing she has to do is empty the refrigerator. What do you keep and what do you throw out when the place you are going has limited space? She got up early and began sorting through everything, and only saved what was necessary. For most people, moving is a time to de-clutter, but for some it is a time to reminisce about the past, and to save that cherished plastic cup, left over from a former adventure, and ensure it survives the trauma of being sorted into the pile headed to the trash. Moving day is getting close for those of us who are in Christ. It’s not too late, the moving truck hasn’t pulled away yet, there is still time, but not much. Soon, Jesus will call to His cherished, the ones called by His name, and we will be whisked away to an amazing party waiting for our arrival. While you still have time, make your reservation. It’s a party that you don’t want to miss! There is a bouncer at the door, but all you have to do is accept Jesus as your Savior, believe that He died and rose again to cleanse you of your sins. Guess what? This is your formal invitation to join us!

And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”Revelation 19:9 

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Galatians 1:3-5

Sunday, February 3, 2019

February 3

My sugar free diet has me feeling better than ever, yet, there is something lingering that I can’t put my finger on that has me spiritually concerned. It’s like my computer when it’s running slow because there are windows opened in the background, or like having a two year old and things get really quiet; they’ve either fallen asleep, or they’re up to something. I have spiritual gifts that usually give me a heads-up about the movement of evil near me, but right now, I don’t see anything. My thoughts are that either God is doing something, or the enemy is regrouping for an attack. He obviously has things rolling in his direction for this country, with all the sinful madness going on right now. So, here’s what you do in a situation like mine, you engage with the Lord. You draw closer to Him. He is your covering, even when you’re not sure what’s going on. He will either protect you or rejoice with you. There is no better place to be than resting in the comforting arms of the Lord. Stay connected with Him, whether times are good or bad.

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. For you bless the righteous, O LORD; you cover him with favor as with a shield. Psalms 5:11-12

Saturday, February 2, 2019

February 2

The Greek word ‘meno’ is used eleven times in John 15. It means ‘abide.’ Ten of those times, Jesus was telling His disciples to abide in Him. Abide means to remain at home, stay where you are, don’t wander off! Hmm... I wonder if He wants us to stick with Him? I have a three year old grandson, and he is quite a handful! You cannot take your eyes off of him for a second, because he will wander off. At that point, he is no longer under our protective cover. What happens to a mom when she can’t see her little one? She panics and starts screaming for them. We are adults, we can understand what it means to ‘abide,’ and you can bet we understand that command! If you move out from under His protective cover, your consequences will be yours to deal with. He will call to you to try and bring you back to Him, but you have to be listening. When He tells us to abide in Him, that’s exactly what we need to do!

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. John 15:4

Friday, February 1, 2019

February 1

There are going to be times when we disappoint ourselves. The key to dealing with it is to find out where things went wrong. Were our expectations set too high, or are we doing something that’s causing the problem? For instance, I’d been following a diet plan that cuts out all sugar and anything that turns into sugar in my body. I was doing pretty well, and had lost eleven pounds, but within a twenty-four hour period, I gained back almost five pounds! I stayed well within the parameters that I had set, so what went wrong? What I realized is that I had added something back to my diet that causes me inflammation! I will never eat another peanut again! Now that I know that peanuts are not my friend, I will do whatever it takes to avoid them. We never want to sabotage our own advancement. Compare this to areas of your life where you may not be seeing fruit, and survey your actions to see if you need to prune an unproductive limb.

“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 

Thursday, January 31, 2019

January 31

When I graduated from the Bible Training Centre for Pastors, we were required to come up with a mission statement. My mission is, “Training believers to break bonds and live free.” Not only is this my mission, but if you read your Bible, you will realize that it was also the desire of Jesus and His disciples. Break the chains that bind you to this world, and begin living a whole life, bound only to Jesus. The problem with that mission is, I can only tell you so much. You can’t read a devotional and become free, you have to want it, and you have to take the steps to free yourself from your own prison. The only way to know what it means to be free is to have a relationship with the Lord; and the only way to know Him is to read His love letters to you, trust Him, and keep your communication open with Him. Today, ask the Lord to show you where you are still bound, He’ll show you. Then ask Him to help you become free from that bondage.

For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. Galatians 5:17

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

January 30

You can love people without accepting their sin. Jesus loved people, but He called out their sin and told them to stop. Sin leads to brokenness. True love will not allow you to stay in a broken state, but will encourage you to improve yourself, and will help you align with the precepts of God. True love sees what’s broken inside of you, and gives you guidance to help you mend. Jesus is the cure for the pain caused by sin! When you became a Christian, all of your sins were washed away, but somehow you tend to linger in the past, and keep rehashing the pain it caused. If you knew how good it felt to let all of that go, you would search for it and not stop until you found that freedom. You can’t do it alone. It takes the help of the Holy Spirit revealing your area of captivity, and then guiding you in prayer to release it to Jesus. He took all of that burden off of you, but sometimes you keep trying to carry it yourself. Just let Him take it, He’s stronger than you are. 

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

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

January 29

No weapon formed against me shall prosper! I’m so glad to put 2018 in my rear view mirror! It seemed as though the whole year was tainted by one little gnat that kept buzzing around my head. The outcome wasn’t great, but the consequences were not that bad. The gnat was able to live for another day and may come back to try and do some damage again, however, knowing who I am and knowing who my Father is, that enemy won’t be able to hurt me beyond what God allows. That gnat is not my enemy! My enemy prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour! But, those who align with him will suffer the same fate, and we already know what happens to him. Look past your problems, remember your memorial stones, the things where God has shown you that He’s with you, and have faith that He will get you through this hard time too. 

no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD and their vindication from me, declares the LORD.” Isaiah 54:17

Monday, January 28, 2019

January 28

To those who identify as Christians: Do we follow the will of men, or do we obey the commands of the Lord? Far be it from me to allow man to dictate and rule over me, and cause me to bring sin before the Father. In all things we should desire what is right in the eyes of the Lord, and turn our backs on sin. The sin of this world runs rampant. What is bad is looked upon as good, and what is good is looked upon as bad. We are living in a mixed up world where the good things that God has set before us are frowned upon, mocked, and regarded as evil. Woe to all who call evil good, the fiery pit of Hell is waiting for you. These are the days that the Lord has warned us about. Here is another warning: stop the madness, repent and turn from your sin and the acceptance of evil, or you will suffer the same consequences as those who commit the act. Calling yourself a Christ follower and accepting evil as good, shows that you do not have the Holy Spirit! No Holy Spirit, no salvation. These words will fall to the ground of those who are already dead.

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

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 2 Timothy 3:12-13

Sunday, January 27, 2019

January 27

Lessons learned from our girls shooting day: 
1. Most of the girls had zero knowledge about guns, and needed the help of the men, not all, but most. Ladies, our Christian brothers are an important part of our world, don’t neglect to acknowledge that truth.
2. You can’t be afraid to choose, and pick up your weapon of war, don’t leave it sitting on the table, the enemy will devour you. 
3. Don’t just choose the easiest weapon to use, step out of your comfort zone and pick up something with some kick! 
4. We need one another when our weapons of war fail. 
5. A revolver is more reliable than an automatic. 
6. The fellowship is so much sweeter than the activity. 
7. The main lesson is that no weapon alone will help you when the enemy is coming after you. You need the big gun for that! One that won’t jam in an emergency situation. We need the help of our God, who can move heaven and earth in defense of His kingdom. We can put on all of our armor, but it will do us no good if we forget that all important piece of equipment, the Holy Spirit! 

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:10-11

Saturday, January 26, 2019

January 26

It’s chilly outside for most of us, and I have plans to be outdoors! Today, I will enjoy spending a little time with my Sister Keepers girls. We will all become pistol packing mommas before lunch! My girls in Plant City aren’t just pretty faces, no, they are die hard lovers of Jesus with a sassy side, who want nothing more than to enjoy all that God has to offer. So, we will enjoy a little target practice. I know that it’s different than what you might think of when you look at the Christian lifestyle of church ladies, but what I want to know is who set that standard! We are going to break every mold, and become what God wants us to be, not what someone else has decided is appropriate and proper. I want to encourage you to examine your life and see if you are living like you do out of tradition, or are you making the most of your life and breaking molds. David was bad to the bone, but had an undying love for the Lord. Maybe you need to change it up a little and slay a few giants too.

And as soon as David returned from the striking down of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand. 1 Samuel 17:57

Friday, January 25, 2019

January 25

And, there is joy in the morning! I think that sometimes the Lord makes us aware that we are just traveling through this world by giving us a glimpse of who we live among. He doesn’t want us to be too comfortable. We need to make the best of our time here, and surround ourselves with other soldiers in the ministry, our sisters and brothers in Christ. Who better to feel our struggles while dealing with the enemy’s attacks than our co-heirs. The older I get, the more I realize what little time we have to make a difference in this world, so don’t get stuck in pitiful misery, use your time wisely. Give the Lord the praise He deserves. Lift up your voice to Him in thankfulness and adoration. He sees us, He knows our struggle. Our joy is found in Him, not in this place.

O LORD my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. O LORD, you have brought up my soul from Sheol; you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit. Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. Psalms 30:2-5

Thursday, January 24, 2019

January 24

After spending time in my favorite place, I came home to heartbreak and disappointment. It was nothing major, but just a reminder that there is a better place than this, and that my ambassadorship here on earth is just temporary. Thank goodness! I do not want to spend eternity in a place like this, and continue to rub elbows with the weak who follow the desires of Satan! This world is becoming more and more undesirable as the Lord prepares for His return. Satan has so many people hoodwinked, and they can’t see beyond the lies. God help us as we endure living among the dead. We may not see changes until we see Jesus on His throne sitting in judgment of the world. Keep following what God has called you to do, and try to make a difference the best you can. Hold on to what you have, He’s coming soon!

And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Revelation 20:13

And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:15

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

January 23

I’ve started this new journey in my life. It began with the 21 day fast that a lot of churches do at the beginning of the year. Many years ago, during this time, I cut out meat for a healthier lifestyle. Believe me, that was a hard one to do, being I come from a long line of cattlemen, and because bacon is my friend!  Now, I’m on a new journey to cut out sugar and other things that add to the production of sugar in my body. Did I mention that I also come from a long line of incredible cooks, and dessert makers! Is there anything left to eat after you cut all of that out? Well, there is much more than I expected. Part of the battle is to keep my weight under control. So, twenty-two days ago, I started my sugar free life. It was all going well until I stepped on the scale today and had only lost the initial eight pounds. I’ve been working hard too! I’m not going to stop though, I feel healthier and more energetic than I’ve felt in a long time.

Doing things God’s way can lead to the same results. You are doing what you are supposed to be doing, praying, trusting, staying in touch with Him through His Word, loving one another, and loving Him. It feels good, even though your situation is still the same. You don’t just stop when you don’t see miracles happening in your life, sometimes it takes patience. Just like with dieting, things are happening behind the scenes that we know nothing about. The point is, keep going! Don’t stop!

"but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."  Isa 40:31

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

January 22

Our Savior is preparing for His return, and some are living as if they have all the time in the world. I had a dream about being a part of a wedding party where thousands of people were coming for an unknown couple. There were only two of us trying to get people in their places. The groom took his place on the stage, but the people were not ready. He waited a while, but it was taking so long that he left. There are people in the church that are good disciples, and there are those who think they are. Examine yourself and your actions, and determine if you need to make some changes. Don’t be like the five virgins who were locked out of the wedding and have Jesus say, “truly I say to you, I do not know you.” It will be your own fault if you’re not prepared. Get over yourself! Be ready for Him! True belief, adoration, and love for Him are great places to start.

And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. Matthew 25:10-13

Monday, January 21, 2019

January 21

I’m no scientist, but I expect that the full moon, and possibly the lunar eclipse from last night may have contributed to the extremely low tide this morning. Grassy areas that are usually covered by water were exposed. A few docks over I heard a boater trying to get their boat out that was beached, it made for a nice wake up call on the early morning bay. When you choose a home built on a sandbar, you have to expect a few unusual situations to pop up now and then. It’s like the road less traveled, it’s not an easy trip, but the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. Jesus is the road less traveled, and we are seeing it more and more as today’s society tries to pass off the heinous and disgusting as moral. You might get stuck on the sandbar occasionally, but while you’re there, take a look around, you might find a few treasures. If you do get stuck, just wait, the tide will change and you will be well on your way once again.

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Matthew 7:13-14

Sunday, January 20, 2019

January 20

In the underbrush of the mangrove, grows an insignificant plant. It seems to thrive in the salty soil, being that it gets swamped by the high tide during the dark moon phase. If I were going to clean up the mangrove and create a lush landscaping, it would be one of the first weeds that I would pull out. However, knowing what I know about it now, I wouldn’t touch it! On occasion, while walking down the boardwalk, an amazing smell wafts through the air. I always look around for the culprit of fragrances, but this is one of those plants that I kept overlooking. One day while walking through, I figured it out. The flowers are small, and barely noticeable. Now that it’s winter, I found out something even more interesting about it, it has brightly colored red berries that look like Christmas bulbs, or a small red pepper. As you consider your significance in the kingdom of God, never underestimate your importance. Keep loving God, and loving people. You might be like this plant in the mangrove underbrush, and have a bigger impact than you think.

As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience. Luke 8:15

Saturday, January 19, 2019

January 19

So many of us need peace! The noise surrounding us can be deafening. Think about the trials you are going through right now, is it just noise? If you didn’t have to listen to the voices screaming at you, would it be easier to go through that trial? In the things that I have dealt with, the chatter around it was what frightened me the most. “The armies are coming, the armies are coming! Prepare for battle!” We become gripped with fear, but when the battle comes, it was only one tiny soldier screaming, and they were easily defeated! The devil tends to hype things up to get us anxious, and full of dread, when all along, if we had listened to God, and trusted in Him, our fears would have been relieved. Today, give some thought to the voices you are hearing. Make a determination whether the voice is God’s, or the enemy’s. Remember, the enemy will stir you into a frenzy causing your peace to be disturbed, but God brings peace to those who love Him.

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock. Isaiah 26:3-4

Thursday, January 17, 2019

January 18

During a long walk on the beach, I asked God to show me something amazing. In my mind, I was thinking He might show me some dolphins frolicking, or a fish frenzy, but God, in His mighty wisdom showed me something else. He said ‘it’s the same, but different.’ What could He possibly mean? I just kept walking. The waves were crashing, the sun was out, and it was an amazingly beautiful day. I had walked to the south end of the island and was turning towards the bay side when I notice that I could no longer hear the sound of crashing waves! The crashing waves were right there! I could see them, but it was suddenly peaceful. It was the same, but different. There were no dancing dolphins, just silence. If you are going through a tumultuous time, and it seems like there is no end in sight, keep walking through it. Our God is mightier than the waves. Take notice of when peace is revealed, you’ll probably walk right into it.

The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their roaring. Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the LORD on high is mighty! Psalms 93:3-4

January 17

As Christians, we have a duty to follow the mandates set by the Bible, and handle our disagreements and concerns with one another His way. He also expects us to obey the authority of those set above us, but they must also treat their subordinates fairly. The order God has set tends to get some people upset. I’m not going to lie, I like to be in charge, but I’m also married, and my husband is head of the house. Ladies, if you don’t want to submit to a man's authority over you, then don’t get married! The order of submission helps us to know who has the last word in a disagreement among ourselves as believers. This is God ordained. If you don’t follow it, then you are out of line, and are disobeying God. We should also note that if you are treated badly, then you will be paid back for the wrong committed against you. In all we do, we are serving Jesus, do everything as unto Him. Don’t shoot the messenger, the order is found throughout the Bible, but today, I’m in Colossians 3:18-25

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

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

January 16

Learning a new lifestyle can be difficult. I’ve tried many times to refrain from eating sugar, but one taste of that delightful delicacy, and I’m hooked on it again. Here I am trying it once more as the new year has rolled around. However, this time seems different, I’m feeling very satisfied with my sugar free food choices. The best part of all is the Holy Spirit's involvement. He has guided me into Colossians, which is a book that is rich and sweet, and full of tasty morsels that I can feast on. I’ve been savoring each verse as if God has replaced my sweet tooth with His precious Word. It can be difficult trying to beat an addiction, but when God takes you there, He is faithful to replace it with something more satisfying, and healthy. Don’t neglect to involve the Lord when you are trying to change your lifestyle. He loves you, and wants you to have the best life you can, and just maybe, He need you to stay healthy to fulfill His plan for your life.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

January 15

Did you know that Jesus is your life? It makes perfect sense. He is our life now and He sustains our life for eternity! Paul said this to the Christians in Colosse to encourage them, and to warn them against sin. So today, I say this to you, Jesus is your life! Make sure you guard your life against sin that so easily creeps in to destroy it. Jesus is your life, don’t subject Him to your folly. Listen to the Holy Spirit when He warns you against such, and take the outs that He gives you so that you don’t sin against Him. It’s much easier to take the wide path that the world travels, but it leads to destruction. It’s much harder to take the narrow path that fewer people travel; it has curves, and branches, and sometimes you need a machete or sword just to get through, but it will be worth it in the end because it leads to eternal life. Hang in there! There’s a clearing up ahead, and you can catch your breath there!

4  When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5  Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
6  On account of these the wrath of God is coming.
7  In these you too once walked, when you were living in them.
8  But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.
9  Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices

10  and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Colossians 3:4-10

Monday, January 14, 2019

January 14

Taking a vacation is always a pleasure, whether it’s local, or far away and exotic. We all utilize, and sometimes, enjoy our exile here on earth. We must remember that we are only here for the job of serving Jesus. Our home is with Him, because when we accepted Him as our Savior, we were crucified with Him, and we no longer live, but it is He that lives in us. Because of this, we should set our minds on heavenly places, in other words, don’t be too comfortable here. We are ambassadors to this world. I have a friend who is suffering, and doesn’t have much time left on this earth because her body is being ravaged by disease. Should we pity her? Only for her suffering. God is calling her home, we should be envious, because the moment she takes her last breath, she will meet the Lord. As Carrie Underwood would say, 🎶”I’m not afraid, because I know, this is my temporary home.”🎶

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:2-3

Sunday, January 13, 2019

January 13

There was a time that I thought I should be able to adhere to the Jewish law of the Old Testament. Jesus said that He didn’t come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it, and He never broke that law. The part I missed was that He had fulfilled it! We are no longer subject to the law, but really we never were; it was set in place for the Jews. Jesus died on the cross to set us free from the religious bondage set by men! Never should we be subjected to religious ordinances set in place to keep us in-line! 

Why do you close your eyes when you pray? Isn’t it something you were taught? In John 17:1, it says that Jesus looked up to Heaven and prayed! He didn’t bow His head and close His eyes! Now if your preacher says bow your head and close your eyes, you probably should, they have their reasons, but if you are doing it because you think it’s biblical, you’re wrong. This is just showing how we are misled by man. You can keep bowing your head and closing your eyes if you want, there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s just an example to get you thinking.

These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh. Colossians 2:23

Saturday, January 12, 2019

January 12

Several years ago I went through a transformation. I had decided that it was time for me to break some chains and get rid of any lies that I was believing. There were some things that were revealed that I wasn’t expecting, it was my beliefs about the church. 

When I was a child, church was very formal. You put on your best suit or dress, polish your shoes, and present yourself perfect before all who would see you. It had become something different than its purpose, and that was, and still is, to worship Jesus. He had become secondary, and not first and foremost, it was human tradition. It was ridged and formal, and God forbid if you lifted your hands in holy submission to Jesus! There were many other legalistic traditions that I had to break free from in order for me to become what God had intended.  

Today, quiet yourself, and ask God what lies you are believing. Then listen closely for His answer. For me, the answer usually comes before I get the question out of my mouth. You will become free from human tradition, and begin to care only about what God thinks.

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. Colossians 2:8

Friday, January 11, 2019

January 11

My three year old grandson, is a bundle of energy. I took him to a walking trail right in the middle of our bustling town. I got him worked up about going by telling him he would be able to run. He told me “running is my exercise!” I took the wagon, but decided to leave it in the car, because I had just given him a snack cake and he was on sugar overload. I thought that he might be able to handle a two mile walk. I was wrong! We got a little over a half a mile into it and he decided that he couldn’t go anymore, and asked me to carry him! I couldn’t say no, I’m the one who foolishly brought him this far! I picked him up and we headed back to the car. I have to admit, it was a pretty good workout! When someone runs out of steam, and can no longer handle their burden, pick it up and help them carry it. There is something fulfilling about helping others. Be a wise counselor and comfort someone today.

Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

Thursday, January 10, 2019

January 10

Over the holidays my laundry piled up! I had clean laundry waiting to be folded and dirty laundry waiting to be washed. My laundry room was a mess! I was dreading it! After I had made it my mission to get it done, I realized that what I was dreading wasn’t so bad. Not only was it easy, it took me no time to tidy it up. I’ve decided to start thinking of my soiled laundry as sin, and try to maintain it daily so that it doesn’t get out of control. It’s so easy to repent our shortcomings, so why are we reluctant to confess it? Maybe it’s because you don’t want to clear things up with the one you sinned against, or that you forget about it. Whatever your reason, stop dreading it and just do it. Confession not only keeps your laundry clean, but it preserves your heart. Wash your laundry and and tidy up your laundry room! You’ll feel so much better.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

January 9

Have you ever wondered, if we are chosen by God for salvation through Jesus, why we need to evangelize? If He has chosen you, you will come to know Him! Peter preached and over three thousand were saved. There is an appointed time and place for salvations to occur. That’s why He gave us the mandate to go throughout all the earth preaching and teaching, He wants us to participate!

Yesterday was our monthly Sister Keepers meeting. We had an agenda, but so does God. I had prayed earlier that day for the Holy Spirit to move so that it was obvious that He was in charge. In true God like fashion, He reminded us of our purpose, and we got to see one of His chosen accept Jesus as her Savior. The Holy Spirit had been working on her, and our ladies were allowed to participate in the celebration of a new creation as He brought her into the inter sanctum. I’m still boiling over with joy today! Get out there and plant some seeds, and eventually you will see the harvest of souls!

Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. Luke 15:7