Tuesday, August 20, 2019

August 20

I have a friend who doesn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus. He has a neighbor who professes to be a Christian. My friends water went out so he attached his hose to the neighbors water supply. The water comes from a well, so there is no charge for the water, except for the electricity that it uses, and that is minimal. Yes, my friend should have asked, but he didn’t, and the neighbor was distraught over his audacity. Now, my friend is without water, until his own pump is repaired. I’m sure he must have had a good reason for not wanting to share, but by his actions, he has tarnished the image of Christ. What’s worse is my friend knows the neighbor professes Jesus. Why would anyone want to be a Christ-follower when those who follow Him still act worldly? Think about how your actions affect others. Love your neighbor!

Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. 1 Peter 2:12

Monday, August 19, 2019

August 19

Aren’t you afraid? I’m not talking about the fear of man, what can he do? He can only take your body and has no control of your eternity.  If there is any fear, it should be what we are doing to ourselves by not believing that the Almighty God is who He says He is. We have made the opinions of others, and how we appear, more important than following the Word of the Lord. We have a fear of not fitting in, and seek to impress the world so we may be looked upon in a different light. We see this all the time, especially in social media, where a person will make sure their BMW, or other fancy vehicle is displayed in their pictures. I’ve even seen it where someone will show other people’s wealth in photos, just to make others think it is theirs! Why in the world would you care? We are heir to the kingdom of God! There is nothing higher than that. Earthly wealth will disappear, or someone else gets it when you die. Study the Lord, learn of His attributes, and seek to please Him.

So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:6

Sunday, August 18, 2019

August 18

Are you striving over disappointments or rejection? Go to a place where you can find peace in the living God, the God of our salvation. It is only through Him that all of our burdens are lifted, but it is up to us to unload the heavy weight; release it to Him and walk away. Stop stressing over the things you cannot control. You have done your best, and have kept from sin, and yet the outcome has still not gone your way; there is a reason, you are not in control, God is! Wait on Him, have faith that all things will work out in His timing, and not before. Trust in Him, and be patient as He works out the details of what is to come. 

If this sounds like you, you're not alone, I am also dealing with disappointment. I have a plan and have done my part, but cannot go on to the next adventure until God makes His move. I know things will work out, but it is in His timing. Waiting is hard, but what else can we do?

"Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!" Psalms 27:14

Saturday, August 17, 2019

August 17

Back in July, I mentioned that I had gone to the Caladium Festival in Lake Placid. While I was there I bought three bags of caladium bulbs. I could tell they were ready to sprout, so I hurried and planted them. One by one they began to break through the ground like a sleepy child stretching out its arms awaking the beauty that was coiled up within it. There must be something supernatural about the soil in which the living seed was planted, because after only seventeen days, my caladiums are bursting with color and beauty. When you’re planting the seeds of God’s Word, the ground may or may not be ready, but you are to plant the seed anyway. The seed may fall onto rocky ground, or possibly get choked out by thorns, but that’s not for us to decide, we are to spread the seeds of salvation through Jesus, just as He commanded. It’s He who determines whether they receive it or not. 

Today, we are seeing very vocal believers falling away, getting choked out by the thorns of riches. Don’t be alarmed by this, Jesus said it would happen. Those are the ones getting tangled in the wiry thorns of fame and fortune. If you want an explanation of what’s going on, read Matthew 13:1-23. Jesus taught the parable, and gave an explanation.

As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” Matthew 13;22-23

Friday, August 16, 2019

August 16

Have you ever became desperate to hear from the Lord? You think you’re not hearing Him, but it’s usually because the noise around you is drowning out His voice. A couple of years ago, I went on a retreat, and was required to take a chair, a Bible, and a notepad into the woods. I was given a few verses to look up, and some tasks to complete, and when I finished, it was as if I had tuned into a new frequency, giving me the ability the hear the Lord more clearly. It wasn’t the task, it was the commitment of time given to the Lord, it was being alone, and away from the busyness, with nothing on the agenda but to sit and listen to what God had to say. It’s amazing how He can speak to you through His creation. He created everything for a reason, not only for our comfort, and for our need, but I believe there is wisdom to be found within it. Look how Jesus used parables to teach the disciples, and He used the things around them as tools. Get away for a few hours to sit with the Lord, you’ll be amazed at the things He will reveal. 

And the hand of the LORD was upon me there. And he said to me, “Arise, go out into the valley, and there I will speak with you.” Ezekiel 3:22

Thursday, August 15, 2019

August 12

Even though you have been cleared of all charges, you remain in chains. The enemy’s power over you is so strong, you don’t know how to be free. You replay in your mind, over and over again the reasons for your captivity, because no other being could possibly release you from the consequences of your heinous acts, not even Jesus. You say you know Him, but you do not rely on Him completely, and feel that you haven’t suffered enough for the crimes you committed against Him. When will you fully believe that your sins are forgiven? He did not come to torment you for your past transgressions, He came to relieve you of them, so you will become a powerful and useful tool for His cause, and so you will live your best life while you are in this world. Reach down deep, and clear yourself of the charges, and turn away from the power of darkness to the power of Jesus. Give up the guilt and use the scars of your past to help release others from their imprisonment. You say you want peace, well, this is how you get it.

to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ Acts 26:18

August 15

We are not Ezekiel, who was sent to the people of Israel to warn them of their wickedness, but we do have a mandate to follow. We may want to shrink back and let the world go by and continue in their evil ways, and let them deal with the consequences of their own actions, but if we don’t warn them, we could be held responsible, and their blood could be on our hands. The world we live in is detestable, and the vulgar and profane acts of evil are not even hidden anymore; corruption is practiced openly for all to see. If you really believe in the Almighty, your confidence in His protection will help carry you through. I’m not saying you should become a news channel, but I am saying that you are responsible for those you come in contact with, your family, and your friends. Give them a warning about their actions, if they continue in their ungodly ways, leave them to the wrath of the Almighty; then you can be sure that you’ve done all you could do. 

If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul. Ezekiel 3:18-19

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

August 14

Most days I just live my life in a usual manner, then the next day, God helps me turn it into a message. However, this day, as I was walking on the beach, I began to notice a pattern to what I was seeing. I found fishing bobbers, and a very large lure, and then more bobbers! Then I remembered the previous day, where I had found the buoys from crab traps. I also noticed that I was seeing a lot of soles of shoes. What does all of this mean? For one thing, there was a lot of trash on the beach that I wasn’t prepared to pick up! But, what is the significance of what I was seeing?

*Bobbers and lures are fishing equipment, we are to be fishers of men.

*The buoys were loosed from their traps, meaning the traps are lost forever.

*The soles of the shoes are now separated from their shoe.

My interpretation: The tools for fishing were lost at sea, and are now trash. Those buoys on shore mean the traps are now lost forever, and what was trapped will now die at the bottom of the sea; those are the people who will never know Jesus. The soles that were separated from their shoe, are the lost souls, never to be recovered.

Time is short, people die without knowing Jesus, and His return is near. Act before it’s too late. Use your gifts/tools to bring others to Jesus before those souls are lost forever. He has made you fishers of men, go fishing!

And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  Matthew 4:19

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

August 13

After spending a long day on the beach, then relaxing by the pool for a time, I came back in to find that dinner was being prepared. It’s not usual that someone other than myself prepare a meal; what can I say, I’m a pretty good cook, and no one cares to challenge me. However, on this day, I found a delicious meal, perfectly created, with an enticing aroma filling the air, and Richard, my husband, was responsible! If you aren’t allowed time for rest, God will divide your time, and carve out a portion for you. When you are married or have a family, your time is not your own, and the demands of a spouse or children will sometimes wreak havoc on your body and weigh you down mentally. But God, in His great love for us, will set aside a time for our rest, and will stop the world from moving when we need a break. Are you getting a break? Pay attention, you may be resting without recognizing it. Remember to thank God for giving you that time, and thank anyone else who may have helped.

And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. Mark 6:31

Sunday, August 11, 2019

August 11

We’ve all been dealt a few blows, but who are we to complain. Most would say, “if I had more money, things would be better.” Yes, maybe some things would be better, but that brings on other troubles. Rich or poor, you will always have issues; the form of them may be different, but issues still. That’s why God’s way is the best way, He does not see you as rich or poor in the material sense, but in the ways of your heart. If you do not show love and compassion, you are poor in heart. If you do not know Jesus, you are poor in heart. We know the Way, our path is clear, and it runs straight to Jesus; this makes us rich, even though we may be financially poor, our Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and we are heirs. Your goal should be to trust God in all things, He has already written the outcome, and you can’t change it by anything you do, but you may delay it by trying to control it. Relinquish control, do your part as he guides you, sit back and watch the magic happen, as God’s outcome is better than anything you could ask, hope for, or imagine!

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

Saturday, August 10, 2019

August 10

It’s always a great day when you find out that a new soul has been brought into this world, and will be marked for the Kingdom of Heaven. You might say “how do you know he will go to heaven?” It will be the only way he knows, because he will be brought up living, and breathing the Lord Jesus. Our family is so pleased to find out that we have another boy being knitted together in his mother’s womb. It was quite exciting to find out his gender; according to the scientific test, the Y chromosome is present, making our new baby a male. Isn’t it incredible how far this new generation has veered from the truth? If the Y chromosome is found, a boy is being formed, if all that is found is X then a girl is being formed. There is not even a question in science about gender. Science proves God’s intention. People may want to live in a fantasy world by pretending to be the opposite of what they are, but they are just lying to themselves. We will continue to believe the truth, and our new baby boy will be taught the truth rather than the lies created by the enemy. God created one man and one woman; there is no mention of anything in between. Know the truth and live by God’s word alone.

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

Friday, August 9, 2019

August 9

I have a former neighbor that loves bromeliads as much as I do, maybe more, because she has them all over her yard. As I passed her home one day, I noticed she had piled some of her bromeliads out by the road to share with passersby. I couldn’t help myself, I had to stop and take a portion. She has been blessed with an abundance, her cup was overflowing with a bountiful harvest; so much that she couldn’t help but to be generous, even to those she doesn’t know. What she shared was the best of what she had; they were beautiful and in full bloom! As disciples, this is our lot; we are to share the blessing of a clean slate that was afforded to us by Jesus. Let others know that they don’t have to live overwhelmed by their past sin, and that Jesus will wipe their slate clean too, they just have to believe in Him. Share your best blessing; your cup is overflowing, let it spill out onto others.

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:16

Thursday, August 8, 2019

August 8

There are days when I feel weak, and other days that I feel strong. Those days of weakness are the days that the Holy Spirit swoops in and takes over if I let Him. I’m having one of those weak days where I can’t find the words to encourage you. He reminded me that my mission is to train believers to break bonds and live free, so here is a quick lesson in how you can help me accomplish my mission. Recognize that some of the root causes of your imprisonment are fear, unbelief, trauma, and rejection. You can probably trace all of your mental/heart issues back to one, or all of these! The key to overcoming them is to be honest with yourself, trace it back to where it began, confess - ask for forgiveness, or give forgiveness (though you’ve already been forgiven, it helps to say it), repent - change your ways. Jesus has made us whole, but because of our chains, we continue to look for ways to heal. You’ve been healed, you just have to accept it.

When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” John 5:6

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

August 7

How can you read the book of Acts and not believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit? When I was growing up, there was no mention of that type of baptism; but some grew up in a charismatic church where all the emphasis was on it, and pressure to perform was the norm. I understand that there are those who want the outward signs of the Holy Spirit baptism so badly that they mimic those who have received it in order to appear more spiritual in their congregation, but they are only lying to themselves, because the signs, or fruits of the Spirit are not evident within them. In the Old Testament, when the Holy Spirit came upon Saul, he prophesied, and in the New Testament, they spoke in tongues and prophesied, so there was, and still are outward signs of His existence within you. Whether you speak in tongues, prophesy, or have whatever gift you’ve been given, you will definitely exhibit the fruits of the Spirit, which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. You should strictly examine yourself for these things, because a tree will be known by its fruit.

And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. Acts 19:4-6

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

August 6

Do you ever hear noises that you can’t figure out? I kept hearing a grinding noise that sounded like someone was using an electric sander, so I went outside to see if I could hear where it was coming from, and didn’t hear it anymore. Then it started again, so I went outside again, I heard nothing. I decided to look out the front window and noticed that someone was in my neighbor’s driveway, so I expect that what I was hearing was a vacuum cleaner, and that the car was the cleaning lady’s. It can be the same way when hearing God’s voice. We hear it either through the scriptures, dreams or visuals, through nature, sermons, or other ways; God is not limited in how He communicates, we are the ones limited in our hearing and understanding. Just like me confirming that my neighbor had a cleaning lady at her house, God will give you confirmation that it is His voice that you are hearing, so listen carefully.

And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, Acts 18:9

Monday, August 5, 2019

August 5

I’m just like any other girl, I don’t want to admit that I’m getting older. Because of that, I kept my hair dyed to my youthful color of brown. As I began to get too much gray, it became harder and harder to keep up with the coloring because of the extreme contrast that showed up within a week or so. I decided that blonde would be easier to maintain, but then I grew tired of it, it was just too much and didn’t look natural. For over a year I have left my hair untouched, and I am happier than ever about the beautiful color the Lord has given me. All those years of dying my hair was comparable to me fighting the Lord as He was trying to refine me, and now I’ve surrendered. He takes all of us through the refiner's fire to remove the dross and purify us from the harm that we’ve taken on from all the damage caused by our sin, and the pain from the hurt caused by others. He teaches us along the way, and we become wiser. Do you think that God made us this way on purpose? As the pigment grows out, and silver or light gold appears upon our heads, we age but also mature in the Lord. Maybe your gray hair is a gift, and a sign showing your maturity in Him.

Happy Birthday to the one I’m growing old with, my husband Richard. 

Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life. Proverbs 16:31

Sunday, August 4, 2019

August 4

How do you put everything together in your mind? We read bits and pieces of God’s Word daily, but forget what we read four days ago, and it takes remembering and understanding all of it for us to know God fully. I want a full understanding, but fear that complete understanding could mean my demise, because we cannot fully understand everything about God until it is revealed, and revelation may mean death. He is an infinite God and until we are brought into infinity, and break free from this body and the limits of our mind, we can’t possibly know Him completely. It is the Holy Spirit that helps you, so today, pray for Him to open up your heart to reveal as much about God as you can bear and still live. Ask Him to free your mind of the things that cause you to be limited in your thinking of Him. If we break through what is limiting us, maybe more of His power will be unveiled.

The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple. Psalms 119:130

Saturday, August 3, 2019

August 3

Maybe it’s my age, or maybe just my personality, but I try to find out and overcome the lies that we’ve all been taught to believe. I’m especially interested in the lies that have been spread by the pharmaceutical companies and the food industry, so they can sell their drugs and the food that we shouldn’t eat. Many of them pay for the research and then cherry-pick the results so they can bend it in the direction they want it to go. One example is the study of cholesterol and heart disease. They found out that high cholesterol is not associated with heart disease, and the guy who did the study many years ago only used a small portion of the information from his findings in his report. His study should have shown that there was no association, but for some reason he decided to swing the results in a different direction. Now, if your total cholesterol is over 200, your doctor puts you on a statin! They’ve lowered that number over the years to try and keep selling that drug. Pretty soon they will have the whole United States taking a statin. 

Why am I telling you this? Because the enemy is the source of lies! If you think someone came up with this idea all by themselves, you're wrong, his fingerprints are all over it. This lie causes worry, anxiety, and turns us to puting chemicals in our bodies that we don’t need. Your doctor is not a god, just human. If they want you to take a medication that you don’t know about, do your own research, dig deep because you only get this one body, and you want it to be as healthy as possible. You may want to pray for the Holy Spirit to expose the lies you’ve been believing.

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44

Friday, August 2, 2019

August 2

This is my third month of reading through the entire book of Psalms in a month, and it just dawned on me that the Lord is teaching me how to pray and communicate with Him. I can just hear Jesus say, “you knucklehead, how long does it take for you to learn?” I’m sure that’s why he continually repeats Himself throughout the Bible, He knows that some of us are very dense. A lot of times I will rebuke the enemy in the middle of my prayer to God; then wonder if it was appropriate for me to do that. I got confirmation that it is okay, King David did it! Here’s the thing, open your mouth and pray, God already knows our heart. If the wicked are assailing you, or coming after you in any way, cry out to the Lord, and ask Him to rebuke their evil ways! David did it and he was a man after God’s own heart. Use prayer instead of vengeance, let God sort out the details because He is a just God, can see the full picture, and will fight for you. 

Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the LORD has heard the sound of my weeping. The LORD has heard my plea; the LORD accepts my prayer. All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled; they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment. Psalms 6:8-10

Thursday, August 1, 2019

August 1

As many know, Florida is the lightning capital of the United States. We had a tremendous storm roll through, which seemed normal, until a strike near our home knocked out our cable, and caught the cable box on fire! It was so quick, that all we saw was the strike. Not only did it catch our box on fire, but it knocked out part of the power to our house! For normal people this would have caused a major disruption in their way of living, but I am married to a very talented man, who jumped right into action. The cable is fried, and we will have to wait for the repair person to fix it, but he figured out the problem with the electricity, and made his way to Home Depot to get a replacement for a breaker that was ruined. The good news, nothing was hurt that couldn’t be repaired and we are still alive today to tell about it. 

In many places in the Bible, Jesus is described as lightning. His return will be like lightning, He will shine bright, but in that moment there will be rejoicing and suffering all at the same time. Isn’t it funny that in my house, it was the cable entertainment that was destroyed? 🤔It may be a living prophecy.

Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge— no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. Psalms 91:9-10

For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. Luke 17:24

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

July 31

Try as you may to turn the Word of God into something that makes your sin not a sin, but you will not succeed. You may say that God would not put undue burden upon you and give you a desire for something He considers immoral, and that’s true, but the desires you have come from a tainted, sinful world, not God. The reason you stay in the mess you are in is because you haven’t given your whole life over to Jesus, including the sin you cherish. Your desire for Jesus must be stronger and more powerful than anything else within you. So, if you keep “messing up” doing the same thing that’s causing you trouble, allow God to redeem it! Turn it over to Him, and let Him handle it by removing it from your life. It’s only through His power that you will overcome, and be released from the talons of the enemy. If anyone tells you that you can keep on sinning or continuing in an immoral lifestyle, and that it’s okay with Jesus, they’re wrong! The chances of Jesus saying “I never knew you,” are quite high, and you may need salvation.

For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements: that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.” Acts 15:28-29

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

July 30

One of the things I like to pick up on the beach is sea glass. To me, it looks like sugar coated candy, and makes a beautiful addition to my seashells. I have friends who are artist and use it to make beautiful jewelry. If you ever find one of these frosted beauties, just know that even though it’s just a piece of broken glass, it has been tumbled in the ocean for many years, and its rough and cutting edge has become smoothed. The similarities between us and a broken piece of glass are remarkable. Before Christ, we were broken and thrown away, but He saw the beauty in our brokenness, and picked us up and began refining us with His Word. It is a long process of tumbling in the currents, and can take twenty to forty years for glass to become smooth and get a frosted appearance; those of us who are collectors know this and regard them as precious. Just like pure gold, we are being refined, and are precious in the sight of God.

And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’” Zechariah 13:9

Monday, July 29, 2019

July 29

This is the time of year for the Caladium Festival in Lake Placid, Florida. I had never been, so I wanted to see what it was about. It’s nearly two hours from us, but we did it anyway. We stopped on the way to pick up my mother, because plants are her thing too. None of us knew what to expect, in my minds eye, I thought there would be fields overflowing with caladiums, rows and rows, but that’s not the case. It was just like any other festival, with craft venders, artists, a car show, and a few farmers with their caladiums and bulbs. We drove two hours and spent about twenty minutes there. I did get some bulbs, and have already planted them, I’ll be having a show of my own soon. The point of me telling you this is, we never know what to expect when we venture into something new, especially when we’re stepping out for Jesus. What’s in our minds eye, is never what unfolds, but we still step forward out of obedience. Step out and do something new for Jesus today! Let Him guide you into your next adventure. 

If you like caladiums, I planted forty five “Tapestry” plants that will be bursting from the ground soon. I planted the bulbs (seeds) and will reap a harvest that will be a feast for the eyes!

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

Sunday, July 28, 2019

July 28

Just because you’ve made a mistake, doesn’t mean you can’t return to the arms of a forgiving Father. We try to follow the precepts of God, but because of our human nature, we sometimes fail Him and follow the ways of the world. Feeling ashamed of our behavior, we continue in the lifestyle that brought us to sin, because we feel that we’ve become tainted and unworthy. The arms of God are opened wide, and He rejoices when His beloveds confess their sin and return home to Him. Don’t spend too much time sojourning in the world, remember how powerful our God is and the correction we may endure because of His love for us. Remember how frightening it is when a child runs into the road, or attempts to touch a flame? Remember your reaction? Out of love you correct their behavior, which for any good parent, is probably a spanking; they aren’t permanently hurt, it’s just a sting, but they never forget it, and don’t attempt to run into the road again. If you are a true believer, you are thankful for His love and appreciate His correction. Stop running from Him and come back home.

And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. Luke 15:20

Saturday, July 27, 2019

July 27

We don’t often hear harsh words coming from the pulpit these days. Seldom will a preacher be bold enough to tell the truth without regard for the feelings of the listener, but that wasn’t so with the early church. Paul and Barnabas were preaching on the Sabbath, and people began to gather, but the devout Jews became jealous of the crowd, and spoke against what they were saying. Paul and Barnabas held nothing back, and with no fear of retaliation blasted them, telling them, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles.” How many times do we want to say something like that to the stiff necked people of this world? “Since you don’t think you deserve eternal life, we will take God’s word elsewhere!” They ended up having to shake the dust off their feet and leave that town, but what a way to go out! We have to be so careful with our words these days, but if the Holy Spirit takes over, let Him have His moment, the way Paul and Barnabas did.

And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. Acts 13:46

Friday, July 26, 2019

July 26

I’ve been commissioned by the Lord to bring healing to the servants of Jesus. There is physical healing, but there is also mental healing, which is my portion. My goal is to help you be so in tune with Jesus that the mental anguish that you deal with daily will diminish because of your relationship with Him. There are some important steps to take to become whole, and they may sound easy, but accomplishing them may be more challenging. The first step is to acknowledge Jesus as your Savior from the consequences of your sin. Though it’s rare, some people only need this step to become completely healed. This happens because of their gratefulness to Him because their sin was much. If you don’t acknowledge that you’re completely healed at salvation, then you have to grow your trust in Him. This happens when you begin to see His hand working things out for you, and seeing answered prayers. Next, you will rebuke the enemy, and take each sin and hurt, one by one and send them to the foot of the cross so they can be buried with the rest of the sins of the world. You are no longer responsible for any of it! Give it to Jesus and be done with it.

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

Thursday, July 25, 2019

July 25

How do you deal with the noise and distractions in your life? I get up extra early to avoid being bothered, but it doesn’t always work out for me, someone always manages to call or text early, waking up the house, then I have to try and find a place to hide, just to get this devotional written by my own deadline. You must be willing to submit to doing whatever it takes to open the door for God to use you. If, like me, that means you have to get up early, then that’s what you need to do. Whatever the case, you are most useful to God if you are devoted to studying, and knowing the truths of His Word. A good example is Paul, he knew God’s word inside and out, even though he used it against the Christians in the beginning, but as soon as he realized the scriptures connection to Jesus, he became the most efficient at bringing others into the faith. Not only was Paul a great preacher, but he wrote most of the New Testament. Whatever your excuse is for not being devoted to Jesus and the study of His Word, it’s not good enough. Find time away from the noise to devote yourself to the scriptures.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

July 24

It was a rainy beach day. Showers would come and go, but I was antsy and wanted to take in the gulf’s sweeping vista, so I headed out while it was clear. I was enjoying the view when it began to change. The cloud overhead had become dark and dismal. I started to chance it and see if it would pass, but then I let wisdom take over, knowing that lightning could strike at any moment, and I was sitting under an umbrella that was made of metal. I put the umbrella down and folded my chairs so they wouldn’t blow away, and headed back inside. As I’m walking on the path back, it began to drizzle, but the drops were spaced out enough that I didn’t get wet. When I got back, it was like the bottom fell out! I got in just in time. Then I began to think about the people who were still sitting on the beach when I left, and the kids that were still playing in the waves! There was plenty of warning, the clouds were black and the wind was blowing, yet they stayed. How much warning is it going to take before people realize that this world is not a game, and God will not be mocked? The signs of Jesus emanate return are clear, yet the unsaved walk around without a care, as if we lie. Woe to those who do not heed the warnings, and seek the shelter of the most High while it’s still safe. God is loving, but He’s also just. Those who choose Him now will be saved, but those who don’t will wish they had come in before the storm hit.

“And now, O sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it. Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors. For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the LORD, but he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death.” Proverbs 8:32-36

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

July 23

Several years ago I had an encounter. I had broken my leg and was still recovering when I needed to be at a closing in Tampa. I was still in a lot of pain, and walking with crutches was difficult for me. I drove through the parking lot looking for a space that was close to the entrance to no avail. I found my way into the parking garage, and it was nearly empty, but was too far for me to walk. I got out of the car and looked over the wall to try and figure out a way to get closer, and what seemed like out of nowhere, a guard appeared, and gave me instructions to park in the delivery area, which was right by the door. Then, as suddenly as he appeared, he disappeared! My heart began racing because I knew I had just encountered a holy being, and angel sent by God to help me. It took me a minute to get it together and realize what had just happened, but I did as I was told and went and parked near the door.

Peter had been jailed and the disciples were praying fervently for him to be released. God sent an angel to help him, his chains fell off, and he was given instructions to get dressed. Then, the angel led him past the guards and out of the jail. 

Your answered prayer may require your participation.

And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. Acts 12:8-9

Monday, July 22, 2019

July 22

Preparing to go on vacation is a daunting task. You have to remember everything you might need or want while you are away. Can you imagine being sent on a journey where you had to forget everything that you were leaving behind, and take only the clothes on your back, no planning or preparation, just go? As part of their training, Jesus sent the disciples out to do what He had taught them to do, preaching, teaching, and healing, but allowed them to take nothing with them for their journey, they were to rely on the kindness of strangers for their food and lodging. This is how He wants us to be! We are to put our trust in Him, leave everything behind, including regrets, disappointments, hurts, and anything else that might hinder us from following Him fully and unencumbered. Make today the day that you put your past behind you, and turn your whole life over to the One who created you, and trust Him for the rest of your journey.

And he said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics. Luke 9:3

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

Sunday, July 21, 2019

July 21

Working in the yard, even though it’s hot and humid, makes me happy. I think it’s the transformation that I like the most. I created these beautiful hedges, and love how they highlight the rest of the plants in the flower bed. They were looking so good, but if I don’t trim them back, they will grow out of control. So, I must put up with them looking choppy for a few weeks, until the new growth fills them in. This pruning process is similar to how God works on us. He keeps us in check, so we don’t grow out of control in a bad way. He prunes off the dead, pulls out the weedy vines that we are entangled in, and cleans around our base so our roots get watered. No one likes pruning, but it is necessary to help you become who God intended you to be. If we don’t allow Him to clean us up, we’ll keep growing in the wrong direction, and not blossoming into the image of Jesus. Submit to God’s grooming, and let Him clean up your sin, and bad habits, so that you become the image of purity that He desires you to be.

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

Saturday, July 20, 2019

July 20

The disciples underwent three years of training with Jesus. He taught them the ways of God in an unencumbered way, cleaning up the law to reveal the truth, and began training His disciples in that truth. Later on, after the death and resurrection of Jesus, Paul comes along, knows the Law of Moses, and becomes a Christ follower. The Jews hated him more than any of the others because of his incredible conversion, and because he was much more zealous and successful at bringing the gospel, so they came after him more fiercely. He left for Arabia because they were after him. His brilliance did not eliminate him from needing training, and as soon as he could, he came back to Damascus and spent three years there. Here’s the thing, you have to train to become proficient in God’s word. My own Bible training was for three years, but I continue to dig in and learn as much as I can about the ways of Jesus. This is why it’s important that you are involved in Bible study through your church. You must know the Word in order to teach it. 

And he spoke and disputed against the Hellenists. But they were seeking to kill him. And when the brothers learned this, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus. Acts 9:29-30

nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days. Galatians 1:17-18

Friday, July 19, 2019

July 19

I’ve been reading the Psalms everyday as a part of my daily Bible reading. They have made me realize that it’s okay to complain to God. It’s okay to bring the names of our enemies before Him and ask for help. It’s okay to recognize that His enemies are also our enemies. When we know that He is our only hope, then it is He that we should always run to for deliverance. He is our source. He is the one who produces the living water that runs from the temple. He is the one who routes our enemy. He is the one from whom all blessings flow. It is up to us to make Him the beginning, the middle, and the end of our day. Talk to Him, bring all your complaints, and praises to Him. Involve Him in your whole day, and your whole life. The more you seek Him, the more you see His hand at work. Don’t neglect Him by dismissing His involvement in your daily life. He is there for you, always!

You make us an object of contention for our neighbors, and our enemies laugh among themselves. Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved! Psalms 80:6-7

Thursday, July 18, 2019

July 18

It was late, and the grocery store was about to close, but I needed cheese for sandwiches for the next day, so I couldn’t wait. There was only one cashier opened and the line was getting long. The store sent another cashier over to help alleviate the stress on the one. I hurried over and got in the other line. There was another man that was ahead of me in the original line, so while I was trying to get him to go first, another guy tried to go around me! I was obviously next, because I was already there! I didn’t let the rude person ahead of me because he was being forceful and almost ran over me! His momma didn’t raise him right! I set my things down on the conveyor belt, and asked the other guy again if he wanted to go ahead of us, but he chose not to. What happened to being polite? Is common courtesy dead? God help the people of the “me first” generation. I’m sure he was drunk or high, but I made him wait. Sometimes we must wait, and though the wait may seem long, the timing is perfect and unfolds as planned. As for the rude guy, I’m sure God has a plan to straighten him out, in the meantime, he got a little dose of me trying to even things up.

"Moreover, wine is a traitor, an arrogant man who is never at rest. His greed is as wide as Sheol; like death he has never enough. He gathers for himself all nations and collects as his own all peoples.” Habakkuk 2:5