Sunday, October 20, 2019

October 20

I was looking back on pictures of Rudy, my little Bewier Terrior, trying to figure out how old he is. Today is his birthday, and he’s four! It seems like we’ve had him much longer. I wasted so much time looking for the year that it pushed me to posting very late. I went on a wild goose chase just trying to track it down. Sometimes we become distracted and lose our sense of time, and it slips away. There are important things that you need to tend to, and the enemy will do anything he can to move you in a direction away from the Lord’s will. Pay close attention to the things that consume your time. If you are spending an excessive amount of time on worry, or fear, you do well to turn those things into prayer. It will never be a waste of time to talk to God about the things that are the cause for your concern. God doesn’t want us to get bogged down in strife, it’s not helpful to you or to Him. Pull yourself together, and do what seems best in the eyes of the Lord. We are here to please Him, and when we become self-consumed, we aren’t doing Him any good.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:33-34

Saturday, October 19, 2019

October 19

Just like the prophets of old, there are those who have been sent to point out the sins of the day, and encourage the sinners to repent. You will recognize them as unrelenting, and judgmental, but the truth about them is what’s in their heart, and the passion they have for righteousness. Isaiah was one of those sent to try and turn the people back to God. Don’t get mad at those pointing out the truth, or calling out your sin, you may be in the presence of one of God’s prophets. If you continue in a lifestyle forbidden by God, and you claim to be one of his own, you will be called out! You cannot live in sin on Friday and Saturday, and expect to be in the good graces of God on Sunday. When I see this type of behavior, I question whether a person is truly saved? Someone who has repented of their sin, and now follows Jesus, tries to avoid sin or the appearance of sin, at all costs. If the Holy Spirit lives in you, he will make you aware of your wrongdoing, and the pressure felt to live up to his standards will weigh heavy upon you. So, take note when you’re about to do “a thing,” and see if there’s a twinge in your heart reminding you of whom you belong; then don’t do it! You will be known by your fruit. Don’t produce sour, or rotten fruit!

What more was there to do for my vineyard, that I have not done in it? When I looked for it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes? And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. Isaiah 5:4-5

Friday, October 18, 2019

October 18

We sit under the rule of a great and glorious Savior who once walked the earth, then returned to his throne in heaven. Isaiah reveals the beauty of his presence when God allowed him to see a vision of Jesus sitting in the throne room with his robe filling the temple. How wonderful it must have been to be given such an image of him. He then put a hot coal to his lips to cleanse him of his sin, and then commissioned him to tell the world what God wanted him to share. Though our conversion may not resemble that of Isaiah’s, it is similar in that our hearts are pierced when he reveals himself to us, causing us to become undone, so we feel the weight of our sin. It is like Jesus touched our mouth with the hot coal, and made us clean, only our cleansing is seen in the image of his blood washing us of our filth. Don’t be afraid to do what God tells you to do. Though you may feel that your role is not as important as Isaiah’s, I can guarantee you that God’s love for you is not any less. You have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus and are commissioned to tell others about him. Go and tell the world how good he has been to you, so they might have a share in eternity.

And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.” And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” Isaiah 6:7-8

Thursday, October 17, 2019

October 17

I looked at the clock and thought it was 6:15 am, so I got up. After setting my mind on being up, I looked at it again and it was only 5:15 am! It was too late to change my mind, I was already awake. Wake up sleepy heads, it’s now time to live your life. Time keeps on ticking away, and I wonder if I’ve spent it wisely. After reaching the age of 55, I realized how much time I’ve wasted on unimportant things. Cultivating relationships should be our number one priority, especially our relationship with our Savior. How do you cultivate a relationship with someone you can’t see?  The answer: the Holy Spirit. He left us with a connection to him that only those who’ve accepted him get. Through the Holy Spirit, our soul is restored, and he reproves us so we become holy. This process brings us closer to Jesus and makes us want to do what is right in his eyes. As we draw closer to him, we also draw closer to his children, thus relationships are formed, and treasured. Today, focus on what really matters, the bond of love and friendship; it’s the only treasure you can take into Heaven.

"“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."John 15:12

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

October 16

Much of what is spoken of God, by those trying to bring others into the sheepfold of Christ, is his love. Little is made known about his wrath, though the Bible speaks of it more than it does of his love. He has made himself known to everyone through his creation. You cannot look at the intricate details of the creatures of this earth and not see God’s hand. He deserves the utmost respect and genuine love. When he doesn’t get that love, and we reject him, he pours out his wrath. He loves his children, and because we love Jesus, he will take vengeance on our adversaries. Those who continually deny him, spit in his face, and shake their fists at him, can expect his wrath. I’m not trying to make you afraid, you are not subject to his wrath, but you should have a healthy fear of what God can do, he is not to be toyed with. Honor, love, and respect him. If you need to encourage someone in this, take a look at some of the stories in the Old Testament. Those who rejected him were punished. Remember, one of God’s attributes is that he doesn’t change; he was wrathful then, and he is wrathful now.

“Rejoice with him, O heavens; bow down to him, all gods, for he avenges the blood of his children and takes vengeance on his adversaries. He repays those who hate him and cleanses his people's land.” Deuteronomy 32:43

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

October 15

Though it may seem like I’m an open book because of how much of my life I share, the truth is that I’m closed up tighter than a drum. I find it hard to give myself over to others, and reveal my deepest thoughts to someone other than the Lord. It may be because I’m more of a listener than a talker, and most people want to talk about themselves, and that’s okay, I probably wouldn’t say anything anyway, it’s just my nature. I’m thankful that God knows me deeply. He knows things about me that I don’t even know about myself. I may say that I want this or that, but he knows what I really want. He’s able to cut through to the heart, and knows my true desires. If you’re not getting the answer to your prayer, there may be something deeper going on within you that only God knows about. Relax and know that he has everything under control, and that he has your best interest at heart. He will give you the desires of your heart, but he may be the only one who knows what those desires are. Trust him.

Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. Psalms 139:4

Monday, October 14, 2019

October 14

As a part of my ministry, I will sometimes keep people on my social media friends list that are obstinate, and against everything that I hold dear, by that I mean Jesus. There are scoffers and onlookers, there just to cause trouble with me and my friends. My heart breaks for these people, because I know that hell is hot, and I do not wish that on anyone. However, there comes a time when their presence becomes disturbing and I realize that they are the dogs, and pigs that Jesus speaks of in Matthew. As I try to highlight the precious gift of Jesus, and impart pearls of wisdom, they shake their fists at Jesus claiming unbelief. They linger in the background waiting to witness sin, so they can call me or my followers hypocrites, and say “I told you so.” These same people have no idea how merciful Jesus is, and even if we are caught in sin, we are forgiven. However, they are not, and every sin that they commit becomes kindling for their own everlasting fire. The Lord is not to be toyed with, nor are his children, and he will come down hard on anyone who scoffs at or ridicules his followers. I wouldn’t want to be the receiver of his fury. I say all of this so you know that it’s okay to walk away, and shake the dust off, when others make the decision to reject Jesus. Their blood is not on your hands.

"“Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you." Matthew 7:6

Sunday, October 13, 2019

October 13

Do you ever wonder why someone was blessed with good looks and an incredible personality, and you wish you were like them? Sometimes we get overly concerned when others are favorably treated rather than minding our own business, and worrying with ourselves. The same type of thing happened between the disciples. John was favored, and he called himself the one that Jesus loved. During supper, he leaned against Him, and made himself comfortable next to the Lord. John was the only one of the disciples that lived to a ripe old age and didn’t die a martyr's death. He still had to struggle, but the Lord kept him to finish up the scriptures and write the Revelation. Peter may have worried too much about Jesus’s relationship with John, but the Lord made it clear to him that he should only be concerned with himself. Stay in your lane! Don’t envy anyone for what they have. You don’t know the price they had to pay to get it. Keep your eyes on Jesus, and follow him, and let him be the one who deals with them.

"Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”" John 21:22

Saturday, October 12, 2019

October 12

How do we know Jesus came back to life after his burial, and that he wasn’t stolen from the grave? Just because he wasn’t there, doesn’t mean he came back to life. First of all, we have the account of the disciples who saw him after his resurrection. However, if we were to believe the Jewish officials the way they tried to spin it, we would believe that Jesus’s followers had stolen his body away, as most Jews today still believe. What about the cloths lying in the tomb? If his body had been stolen, why would the cloths be in the tomb? Wouldn’t they keep him wrapped? They definitely wouldn’t fold up the face cloth, if it fell off while they removed him, it would be on the floor, certainly not folded. This was to be a sign to them that Jesus was resurrected, and it must have been significant because it ended up on the pages of scripture. Today we have little proof of his existence, only the account of those who knew him personally, the account of historians, and the account of those who were witnesses to seeing him resurrected. So why do we believe? Because God, being God, made a way! The manuscripts were preserved, and the Holy Spirit made it known to our spirit. Besides, how could a story so old still be circulating if it wasn’t being made manifest by God? You only need to believe the truth. 

Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. John 20:6-7

Friday, October 11, 2019

October 11

It sickens me to think that the crimes I commit against God fall upon the back of our perfect Savior. He took my punishment! He was whipped, then nailed to a cross for my sake. Pilate tried to release him, over and over again, because he knew he was innocent, but because he was part of the greater plan, he had no authority, and succumbed to the will of the people. Why do I then turn around and doubt his love for me by not believing that he released me from my punishment by continuing to fret over the things of the past? Why would I turn around and sin again after receiving him? It’s because of unbelief. We block the voice of the Holy Spirit, and come into our own lack of knowledge and reject him all over again. Are we even worthy of his love? He thinks we are. He wouldn’t have bothered going to the cross if he didn’t think we were worthy. Jesus was pronounced innocent in court, but we are guilty and will never have to pay for our crimes because we are hidden in Jesus. God doesn’t see our crimes because they were transferred to Jesus. I will say it over and over again until you get it; stop living in your past! Move on! God has already let it go, and so should you.

Jesus’s innocence:
Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” John 19:4

Our guilt and continued sin:
They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” So he delivered him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus, John 19:15-16

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

October 9

Each word of scripture has a purpose and intentional meaning. To haphazardly speak it or write it out of context is a travesty, and causes you to become a liar; and one verse out of context can cause more harm than good. There are also portions of scripture that seem like meaningless filler, but believe me it isn’t. Take, for instance, the portion of scripture that tells us about Jesus being seized and presented to Annas before he was sent to Caiaphas the high priest; it had to happen that way because it has a symbolic meaning. Why was it important to take him to Annas first, because it didn’t seem to be a necessary step? Here’s why: Dr. John Lightfoot, a well know Bible scholar, believes Annas was the one who inspected all the sacrifices to make sure they had no blemishes, and then send them away bound and approve as ready for the altar. If true, it’s just more evidence that Jesus is who he says he is. It is also proof that every jot and tittle of scripture has importance. The Bible gives necessary information, even if it’s not for you. Some of it may only be important to the Jews, or someone else who will come to believe in Jesus because of the added information. God knows what he’s doing, it’s up to you to believe it.

So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound him. First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people. John 18:12

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

October 8

Have you ever started a project but failed to finish it? I usually finish what I start, but recently I noticed that I had about four projects going that I hadn’t finished. Remember me painting my two white rocking chairs brown? Well, I’ve only finished one of them! That’s now the last of the projects that need to be completed. The good news is, I will probably start another project, but maybe not until I get that chair painted. One project that I don’t plan on completing is working on myself. I’m a work in progress and will continue digging deep to route out anything that hinders my growth in Christ. Know this, you are a good work, worthy of the time and effort it takes to bring you to complete freedom. You are made in God’s image, hidden in Christ, you are perfected because of him, but you don’t believe it, that’s why you still have chains. Do whatever it takes to believe; your freedom is at stake. There’s nothing better than living a life loosed from the burdens of your past. If you continuously seek Jesus, he will reveal himself to you, and you will begin to believe the truth about yourself, and find your freedom.

"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."  Philippians 1:6

Monday, October 7, 2019

October 7

Disappointment is a daily occurrence; we’re not in heaven yet so it’s to be expected. Life is short and we should enjoy it as much as we can until Jesus calls us home, but sometimes we don’t. Solomon says that the day of death is better than the day of birth, and I would agree with that unless you’re already dead, by that I mean an unrepentant sinner. Until that day, we must continue to contend with the devil. Jesus prayed that we be kept from the evil one, I just wish that meant that the evil one had to leave us alone and not toy with us, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. There is some good news, we are just beyond his reach, and are protected from him taking us with him upon his demise. Though Jesus didn’t take us out of this world, we are allowed some pleasure in it; I live for those days and relish in them. Whatever disappointments, hurts, pain, and anxiety you’re dealing with in your life today, just know that better days are ahead of us, and things aren’t always bad. Remember, we have an eternity to live the blissful life when Jesus reclaims us and sets up his kingdom. Until then, hang on to what you have!

I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. John 17:15

Sunday, October 6, 2019

October 6

My husband and I are real estate agents and property owners. The main thrust of our business is property management, which makes us landlords. On occasion, we have tenants that refuse to pay their rent, but also won’t move out. When this happens, we have no choice but to file for an eviction with the court and schedule a date to be seen by the judge. We then go before the judge and try to convince them of our right to payment. Then our tenant, tries to convince them otherwise. After the judge hears both sides, a judgment is made. Did you know that this same process is set up in the spiritual world? When we sin, we have an adversary who brings a case against us in the courts of heaven. We are fortunate to have Jesus as our advocate, and he states our case before the Father; because of his sacrifice and his blood, the case is overturned when we repent. The Holy Spirit is the one who makes us aware by convincing us of our sin. Once we know we’ve sinned, we must repent so payment can be made on our behalf. You will sin, and you must repent, otherwise the enemy continues to have the right to torment you. Search your heart, and repent so that your peace returns to you.

And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. John 16:8-11

Saturday, October 5, 2019

October 5

There is a lot of hatred in the world today, mostly without cause. Lately, it is due to political differences, and the assumption that because you are a certain color, or nationality, you believe a specific way. The upheaval is mostly felt because people are living vicariously through the eyes of those reporting the “news.” The news is not truthful anymore, and you can’t count on it being reported fairly and unbiased, because each station bends it in their own political direction. Some stations are even biased against Christians, and cause hatred towards us because we love Jesus. There is some good news though, if you live and follow the words of Jesus to love others, and love God, you will find that all of that hatred is located right inside that box you’re peering into. Outside of that box, for the most part, you will find people genuinely caring about one another. Use wisdom, and search for the good that dwells within all of us, and don’t let the enemy win!

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. John 15:18

Friday, October 4, 2019

October 4

There are some hibiscus planted near the edge of my yard. They’ve been there for a while and are fully grown. The problem with them is that because they are planted in the shade of the oak trees, they lack sun and seldom bloom. If those plants were on my property, I would probably take them out and plant something shade tolerant. Their lack of bloom makes them nothing more than a hedge plant. As a follower of Jesus, we are planted in the sun, and should bloom and produce fruit, so the truth about him spreads to the world. Did you know that Jesus is the vine and our gardener is the Father? He will prune us and cut off any branches that do not produce fruit. That’s a little scary! Don’t worry! If you love Jesus, you will produce fruit. Some till the garden, some plant the seeds, some water, and others harvest the fruit. All are an important part of the kingdom of God. Remember, just because you are not active in ministry right now, doesn’t mean you are not producing fruit. Maybe you’ve brought up your children to love Jesus, and they are producing fruit. I know that I could quit right now without fear of being pruned because of my children. I don’t want anyone to be frightened, I just want you to know the scripture.

"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 15:2

Thursday, October 3, 2019

October 3

We all have things we like to collect, I have a passion for plants, art, and decorating. All of these things require some amount of work, and toil. I’m currently studying Ecclesiastes, and John. They may not seem to go together, but the words of Jesus are all wisdom! Solomon says that the gathering of stuff, and toiling over it is vain, and Jesus says to store your treasures in heaven. How? It’s about redefining yourself. You can’t take your possessions with you into heaven, unless your possessions are stored in your heart. Jesus doesn’t give to us the way the world gives, his gifts are matters of the heart, and the results are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Rather than toiling over possessions that you can’t take with you, start collecting spiritual gifts. If you want to collect something meaningful that doesn’t rot, toil over the souls of your friends and family, and maybe a few strangers, and gather them into heaven. Those are possessions worth attaining. 

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."  John 14:27

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

October 2

After posting a video yesterday, I began criticizing myself over some of the details, like, why was I looking off, why didn’t I do something with my hair, I need more makeup, and so on. Self talk can be such a downer. Then it hit me, I was criticizing one of God’s magnificent creations! Who am I to be critical of the Father? When you put yourself down, aren’t you also putting down his masterpiece? He created you! Who are you to judge the Almighty? We are created in his image, you wouldn’t tear God apart the way you tear yourself apart, would you? At some point in your life, the enemy whispered lies to you, and you believed him. Make it a part of your mission to praise God for his creation of YOU. You have a purpose, you belong to him, and he deserves credit for creating you. You have to take care of yourself, but let go of the things you cannot change, and praise him for the vessel he has given you. Also, remember that God is the creator of other humans too, don’t hurt them either.

"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

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

October 1

Thank goodness it’s nearing my birthday! I shattered the screen of my iPad! I use my iPad to do all of my writing, and will probably get Richard to buy me a new one as a birthday gift. I can justify this purchase with God, because it helps me move in my spiritual gift. Speaking of spiritual gifts, it just so happens that I’m in the study of John where Jesus promises the gift of the Holy Spirit, imagine that, what a coincidence. The tragedy of my broken screen gives a way for me to bring up the gift of the Holy Spirit. Did you know that this gift, came with an “if?” Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments, and I will ask the Father, and he will give you another helper, to be with you forever.” If you want the Holy Spirit to dwell within you, you have to love Jesus! And if you love him, you will keep his commandments. He makes it easy, but the key is that you must love him. The commandments will fall into place, as you build your love for him. The Spirit is a magnificent gift, and I wouldn’t want to live without him. Love Jesus, and the rest will fall into place.

"Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”"  John 14:21

Monday, September 30, 2019

September 30

When I have guests coming to visit, I become a crazy person, working and cleaning to make my home more presentable. For the most part, I maintain it daily, but the anticipation of guest encourages me to go beyond, and clean things that they probably won’t notice anyway, like the top of the refrigerator and baseboards. I know I’m not the only person that does this, but why? I think it’s so we can relax without worry of being labeled a slob. The thing I notice most when I’m a guest in someone’s home is how they treated me upon arrival. Was I welcomed by them, or were they pre-occupied with preparations? When I have guests over, I have everything completed before their arrival, so they have my full attention, and I’m not off in the kitchen making preparations. I went to a party one time, where the host never greeted me, and I’ve never forgotten it. People are more concerned about how they are treated, and accepted by you. Make it a point to clean up your personality, and put on a friendly face; that’s what people will remember the most about being your guest.

"Greet one another with the kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ."  1 Peter 5:14

Sunday, September 29, 2019

September 29

You are not going to reach your God-given destiny and purpose if you continue to listen to the accusations of the devil. It is very important that we deny Satan power over us, by seeking forgiveness of our past sins, and accepting that forgiveness. Some of our potential is diminished because we are chained to him, and he keeps reminding us of our captivity, and his hold over us. You will continue to be tormented by your past unless you seek the counsel of Jesus, and go before the throne of God to silence your accuser. Until you have dealt with your past sins, the devil will continue to throw them in your face. There is a simple way to find out what the enemy is holding against you; ask God, and he will tell you. Ask, then listen, don’t keep babbling on and on. God will impress upon your heart the areas of your life that need repentance. You may have asked forgiveness for your unknown sins, but the enemy will use whatever he can to throw you off track, and keep you under his power. Ask, listen, seek heartfelt forgiveness, and this will silence your accuser.

"Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy."  Proverbs 28:13

Saturday, September 28, 2019

September 28

I take a bath every night, I can’t sleep with filthy skin, but my dogs are not done for the day and still need to be taken out for a walk. I slide on my flip flops and walk them around the neighborhood right before bedtime; I’m a little selfish because I don’t want them waking me up too early in the morning to go out. Being I’ve already had a bath, I don’t need to take another one, but may need to wash the dust off my feet. Jesus used the symbolic gesture of washing the feet of his disciples as an example for us to follow. If you are saved, baptism is usually the next step as a public profession of your faith, and is symbolic of washing away your sins, and is a ‘one-and-done’ ceremony. The reason it’s a one time thing is we’re clean, however, we still live in the world and will get a little dust on our feet. That dust is sin and we need to repent of that sin, but you don’t need to be baptized again. Confess your sin, and repent daily, because we all get a little dust on our feet, and need Jesus to wash it off.

"Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.”"  John 13:10

Friday, September 27, 2019

September 27

There are times during the month when the tides become unusually high, like during the new moon and the full moon. I’ve noticed that the Holy Spirit works in a similar fashion. Most days you will have normal high and low tides with the Holy Spirit, but then there are times when He fills you to capacity, and even overflow your banks. 

God does things on purpose. For instance, he has holidays and Sabbaths that are set aside for the nation of Israel. The Bible refers to these holidays as feasts. I’ve noticed the flow of the Holy Spirit is stronger during these times, including the weekly Sabbath, Saturday. My writing becomes much more fluid and improved during those times. Though we are not all of the Jewish lineage, we have been grafted in, according to God’s Word. It seems fitting that we, in the very least should acknowledge those feasts. We are coming into the Jewish high holiday season; as an experiment, see if you notice a difference in the power of the Holy Spirit during those holiday feasts.

This year, The Feast of Trumpets spans September 29-October 1

And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation. Leviticus 23:23-24

Thursday, September 26, 2019

September 26

The shift of the light during the fall, brings a perfect glow, especially during the mornings and in the evenings. It filters through the trees and wakes up the day, and then brings it to a close. The shadows shift so that even in Florida, though the heat is oppressive, you can still tell that fall has begun. It may only be a subtle change, but if fall is your season, then any change will do. Just as the earth has seasons, our lives have seasons. As you enter a new season, your view changes, and what was once important, now seems trivial. For instance, when you accepted Jesus as your Savior, you entered a new season. The drinking and rebel rousing become a thing of the past and should no longer bring you pleasure. Within your life in Christ there are also seasons. You begin as a baby and grow to maturity by feeding on God's word. The more mature in Christ you become, the sooner the folly of your youth will fade, and you will set your sight on the good of the future and a more pleasing life following the precepts of God. 

"So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going."  John 12:35

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

September 25

Have you found what you were looking for? You wake up every day, go to work, or go about your business, eat, drink, sleep, then do it again the next day. What’s the point? To stay alive? If so, for what purpose? Life has no point if you’re not living for Jesus. You chase after a dream in your youth, and once you achieve it, you’re too old to enjoy it. The only thing that makes sense is living a life for Jesus. He gives meaning and purpose to those who love him. You might say that when we die while living for Jesus, our goal is achieved, and that is true, however, you should do your best to live your best life while you have it, by serving him. This world is not easy because it is ruled by the enemy, for now, and because of that, around every turn there are new challenges. If you want to live just to live, go ahead and continue without Jesus, but if you want to make a difference in your life, and change the world around you, then you must live for him. 

If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. John 12:26

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

September 24

Back in July I sprained my foot and it swelled up like a balloon, and then turned black and blue. It took me a while before I could get back to normal activity, even then a portion of my foot was still swollen. Now it’s September, and we had one of our grandsons over to spend the night and to go to church with us the next day. We have a car seat, and I was transferring it from the truck to my car on Sunday morning, I lost my balance and fell, twisting it again! I laid on the wet ground, crushing some of my caladiums, writhing in pain. I made myself get up, because no one saw me fall. You may say that this was just an accident, but I say that it was part of the enemy's plan to keep us from attending church, because as I laid on the ground dressed, and ready to go, my first thought was that church might be out of the question. I pushed through, got up, change clothes, and went anyway. The enemy lost. We will be fighting him until the end, but he will not win every battle, and he definitely lost the war in the end. Our best life is yet to come, hang in there until Jesus returns.

Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. John 12:25

Monday, September 23, 2019

September 23

When my son’s father passed away in 1995, I prepared for his funeral. My pastor asked if I wanted the gospel to be presented, and of course my answer was yes. Before he passed, he was quite zealous for Jesus, and was thankful for his salvation. He had lived a rough life, and got caught up in the things of the world, which made his salvation all the more sweeter. He told everyone he knew about Jesus, and when he died, a seed was planted, and a vine began to grow. The funeral was unlike any that I had ever seen, the church was packed to capacity with standing room only! People from all over Florida, and some from out-of-state attended. Then, as expected, the gospel was presented, and we saw the vine produce fruit; hands went up all over the church. It was something that I will never forget. The truth is, that was his second death, because while he lived, he had died to self, and lived for Jesus. When he met Jesus the day of his passing, I know he heard the beautiful words, “well done.” Live your best life and die to self by living for Jesus.

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. John 12:24

Sunday, September 22, 2019

September 22

Mary took a pound of expensive ointment, and poured it over Jesus’s head, and then wiped his feet with her hair. He said that the whole world would be told what she had done. Are you so worried about what you will eat or drink, or what you will wear, that you deny giving the Lord what rightfully belongs to him? Do you steal from him by withholding your tithe? The truth is that you are not robbing God, but yourself, he already owns everything, but he gives you the opportunity to trust him, and receive further blessings because of your faithfulness. Judas was in charge of the moneybag and would help himself to whatever he wanted. When you withhold your tithe, you are just like Judas, a thief. Judas was full of greed, and questioned why Mary’s perfume was not sold and given to the poor. Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.” It is never a waste when you pay your tithe or give an offering. You can look at it like you are anointing Jesus, and should treasure that more than your own material wealth.

But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. John 12:4-6

Saturday, September 21, 2019

September 21

When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he came out of the tomb bound with death clothes. He instructed the people to release him and let him go. The story of Lazarus is much like us coming to know Jesus. Before we knew him we were dead, and bound. Though Jesus has made us alive, many are still bound by the sins that our body of death carried from the tomb, keeping us from moving about freely. When are you going to let go of your past? Your sin and painful past has been removed from you and you are no longer tainted, yet because you haven’t changed your mind about it, you keep carrying around those filthy linen death strips. Whether you realize it or not, others can see them; they are exposed every time you are triggered, or get a painful reminder. Do you know who does that to you? The enemy! It is beneficial to him to keep you bound, because it renders you useless to the Kingdom. If you are living with fear, unbelief, trauma, or rejection, it’s time to let it go. Each time these chains show up and cause you anxiety, confess, repent, and pray. It’s all a matter of changing your mindset.

The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” John 11:44

Friday, September 20, 2019

September 20

Have you ever made a regretful mistake that became hard to repair? I’m sure I have many, but the most recent one almost cost us a good amount of money. I read a count date wrong and found out too late to attend. We scrambled the next day to try and repair the damage. Thankfully, there was a way to hold off judgment for time to regroup. We had two options: 1) accept the final judgment and pay the fine, or 2) do what it takes to get a new court date. We chose option 2, and began the process. It’s nothing major, just a tenant issue, and part of being in real estate. The process is now longer; it would have been less stressful if we had shown up on time, and it would be over with, but now we are paying the consequences for my mistake. We all make mistakes, and sometimes we sin, but in the case of sin, God is the judge, and Jesus stands in as the defendant for those who’ve put their trust in him. Aren’t you glad you have him! It takes the stress off of us and places it firmly in the hands of Jesus. I’m so grateful for him, aren’t you?

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 1 john 2:1

Thursday, September 19, 2019

September 19

I grew up believing “once saved, always saved.” I still believe that, however, I question the salvation of those who go on sinning intentionally. It’s possible that they prayed the sinner's prayer out of fear of hell, and it seemed reasonable to recite it to secure a place in heaven. Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath that was blind from birth, and the only thing that the Pharisees could think about was that Jesus broke the Sabbath! They were not in awe of this amazing miracle. They were so jealous of his ability to captivate the people with his wisdom, and his signs and wonders, that all they wanted to do was to condemn him. But because of this miracle, which no one had performed since the beginning of time, it was obvious that Jesus was sent from God, yet they continued to deny his deity. Their eyes had been opened to who he was, yet they were blind. Now that they know the truth about Jesus and reject the gospel of grace, the guilt of their sin stays with them and they are not forgiven. Watch out that you don’t continue in your sin, because you know the truth about Jesus.

Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains. John 9:41

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

September 18

Jesus is no weakling! He is a mighty warrior, strong, and able to take out the enemy, and has already weakened him and numbered his days. You may need to get a full view rather than the narrow view that most see. I wonder what would happen today if Jesus were to show up in the flesh and begin hurting peoples feelings like he did back when he walked among the Jews. The same thing that happened then, would happen today. Jesus was not afraid to speak his mind, and call out the sinful nature of those around him. I’m sure he would be crucified again. He didn’t hold his tongue, he ripped through the Pharisees, and called them sons of the devil. How many servants, pastors, of Jesus do you think are willing to put their life on the line and call out sin? Most are too worried about offending the people that pay the bills. Offend them! It’s the only way to set them free! Our life is not our own, we have been bought with a price, if you lose your life, remember it’s not yours to lose, you belong to God! If you read John 8:31-59 you will understand. He made the Pharisees so mad that they were ready to stone him right then and there! Jesus is not weak!

but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. John 8:40

Monday, September 16, 2019

September 16

Who argues about helium? My daughters, that’s who! I saw them standing just outside the door at a family gathering. I noticed one doing the bump with her hips, and wondered what in the world she was doing; so I began filming her so she could see herself and her actions. I couldn’t see what her sister was doing, until suddenly I see her pretending to bang her head on the door. It was quite a sight, and gave me a good laugh. Thank goodness it was just family, otherwise people might think we were crazy! Christians are not dull and boring just because we are careful, and try not to sin. We are free from the wages of our sin, free from the fear of the afterlife, and are free to enjoy one another while we are in this dismal world. Stop being so serious about your life and the things of the flesh. Work on your relationships, and matters of the heart, and tighten your connection with the Almighty; these are the treasures for today and the treasures that won’t rust and be destroyed by the end of time. 

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal

Sunday, September 15, 2019

September 15

When a season comes to an end, I tend to get busy cleaning and refreshing. When I bought my house two years ago, it was nearly perfect the way it was, so I hadn’t changed anything on the interior, except to add my furnishings. One of the bedrooms, had a dark paint on the doors and baseboards; it wasn’t terrible, but it also wasn’t my preference, so I set out to cover it up. Believe me, trying to cover the nearly black color with white paint wasn’t easy, and required multiple coats of paint. 

This story reminds me of when Jesus called the Pharisees “whitewashed tombs.” He did not let up on them, and told them exactly what He knew was in their hearts. There are many preachers and churches today, who are full of greed and excess, just like the Pharisees. Be careful that you don’t get caught in their trap, and follow a teaching that cannot be measured by God’s Word. Just like me covering the dark paint with the white paint, it disguises the darkness underneath, but with careful observation, and a heart full of The Holy Spirit, you will be able to discern the truth.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness. Matthew 23:27

Saturday, September 14, 2019

September 14

The place I grew up has a river running through it, and I romped around that swamp as a kid. There is something special about that river, maybe not to an outsider, because it’s full of tannin which makes it dark in color, even then, it brings a peacefulness to its surroundings. I’ve recognized that I was perfectly placed there for a reason, maybe just to give context to this writing, but I think it may be more than that. Is it purely coincidental that the river flows from Lake Hancock, and that Hancock is my maiden name, or a coincidence that the river’s name is Peace River? Maybe, but my family is a peaceful family.

The verses that touches my soul are about rivers of living water flowing from the heart. Jesus is talking about the Holy Spirit when He speaks of living water, it’s not flat like stagnant water, it’s refreshing. Are you refreshing to be around? Does the Holy Spirit flow through you? If you’ve accepted Jesus as Savior, the Spirit is in you. We all have a family history, and good or bad, it has made us who we are. Some may need to overcome their family’s past and start fresh, and that’s why we need to turn our past over to Jesus, and allow His refreshing water to flow through us, spilling out onto everyone around.

Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ John 7:38

Friday, September 13, 2019

September 13

You need to seek God for who He is, not what He can do for you. Jesus, God in the flesh, walked the earth, not only to bring salvation to the sinners, but to direct our attention to God the Father. I’ve been chewing on yesterday’s verse, toiling over it continuously, and I can’t get it out of my head! Jesus said “The flesh is no help at all.” We have to provide for our flesh, feed and clothe it in order to keep living, but our ultimate goal should be to focus on the Provider of all things. It is up to us to learn about God, to know His personality, and His attributes. There are two books that I recommend to help you dig into the scriptures and gain knowledge of the Almighty: 1) The Attributes of God, by Arthur W. Pink, and 2) Knowledge of the Holy, by A. W. Tozer. These books will help you learn to focus your attention on God, and to look at life from a different perspective. 

Where will riches get you in the end? Life is not about gaining material wealth, it’s about gaining the riches of the Kingdom, and you will gain that wealth by getting to know God!

So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I come from. But I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, and him you do not know. I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me.” John 7:28-29

Thursday, September 12, 2019

September 12

It takes food and water to power the body, but what gives life to your soul and spirit? It is the words that come from the mouth of God. Jesus told a crowd that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood, because the flesh is nothing without nourishment for the soul. God reveals things to us in many ways; through the word of a friend, a message from a pastor, circumstances, or other ways, but there is a way to hear it more clearly, and that is through the written Word of God. What you hear through other methods will be confirmed by His Word, but if His Word doesn’t confirm it, it didn’t come from Him. How do we eat His flesh and drink His blood? Scripture! If you want to keep living the way you are, and reaching dead-ends, then ignore God’s Word, but if you want to live your best life, true life, not the life of the flesh, but the life of your soul and spirit, then begin feasting on the words that come straight from God, and quench your thirst with the blood of Jesus. 

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. John 6:63

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

September 11

Yes, Jesus gave us the commission to go and tell the world, but make no mistake, you are not responsible for the world accepting Jesus. He tells us over and over again that it is the Father who draws them. It is natural for us to feel like we need a purpose, and that there must be something for us to do to prove we are worthy, but this is why believing in Jesus is so different than other religions, all He requires is for us to believe in the Him. I’m going to say this and will probably be blasted by the “Pharisees,” but it’s hard work to truly believe that Jesus is God! We say we believe, but do we trust in that truth? Fretting and worrying over your problem is lack of belief. Remember Jesus saying “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?’” We want to believe, but we continually question His plan. There is an upside to this, He knows we are weak. His disciples walked with Him daily and still suffered unbelief. The thing you need most is the strengthening of your faith. How do you do that? “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Get your nose into the Bible daily, and your faith will be strengthened.

Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” John 6:28-29