Sunday, March 29, 2020

March 29

Beside my new home is a public, bayside park with tennis courts, a walk path, and mangroves. Of course, me being a sea shell collector, found a path through the mangroves out  into the water during low-tide, to see what I could find. As a rule, I seem to find more shells on the bayside. The water was only ankle deep, so my fear of sharks was dismissed, until I heard some splashing, and saw movement near me. Of course, I quickly moved away from the sound to observe it from a distance. That’s when I noticed that it was just a very large fish, a snook.

Later that evening, as I was walking my dogs, I saw what I thought was a dog off its leash, walking down the sidewalk; I became fearful when I noticed that it was a coyote, and quickly gather them up to protect them.

There is good in this world, like the fish, and there is evil, like the coyote. The key to living a life without fear, it to trust in the one who created it all. 

I form light and create darkness; I make well-being and create calamity; I am the LORD, who does all these things. Isaiah 45:7

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalms 23:4

Saturday, March 28, 2020

March 28

Do you like to watch mixed martial arts (MMA)? Even though it can sometimes be bloody, it's also quite exciting. In this sport, there is no mercy. A fighter could have their opponent's arm in a position to break it, and that's exactly what they are going to do. It is merciless! There is only one thing that they can do, and it's what could save their arm, and it is to tap out. It makes you cringe when you think that pride is getting in the way of them receiving mercy. When they can no longer take the pain, you'll see them give up and tap their challenger; then the fight is over. But, what if the underdog fails to tap? They will be shown no mercy, and it will be a long time before they can fight again because of that broken arm. As Christians, we are always to show mercy. How do you show someone mercy? Show them Jesus or they will face judgment where there will be no mercy. Doing this will allow them to tap out!

For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:13

Excerpt from Jesus Will Meet You In The River Swamp: A Devotional For The Followers of Christ - March 28

Friday, March 27, 2020

March 27

Stay at home! For an introvert, this is a welcomed relief, but to an extrovert, it’s like being held captive in your own home. With all the people who are terribly sick, and hearing of many passing away, it’s the least we can do to prevent the further spread of the Coronavirus, and other diseases. We will all be healthier for it. Passover and Easter are coming, use this as a time of rest, and renewal, but also as a time to worship our Creator, who will ultimately be the one who sends protection for you against such disease. If you get it, pray for a mild case, consider that as your protection too. We may all have a bit of of obsessive-compulsively when this is all over, as we become mindful of the surfaces we touch, and the people we come in contact with. Remember, the Lord said that we are to follow the law of the land, and I expect that you will follow God’s word. Pray over the entrances of your home, windows, and doorways, anoint them with oil, so that no plague will enter your home. Read Psalms 91 out loud inside your home, so the devil will flee from you. 

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. Romans 13:1-2

Thursday, March 26, 2020

March 26

Over the past few days, we have been moving, painting, decorating, and settling into our new home. Though it is exciting, it is also exhausting. Thankfully, I was encouraged by the Holy Spirit to hunt and gather the things I needed for this transition more than two months ago, or I would have had to wait because of the current situation with this virus. Now, more than ever, it is important for us to tune into his voice so we stay out of trouble. If you get a feeling that you shouldn’t go here, or should stay away from there, don’t go, it may be a warning; no one wants to become ill. If you get a desire to get certain things accomplished, do not neglect that feeling. The Holy Spirit is soft spoken, and will nudge you, but won’t force you. 

As an example; we were supposed to have cable installed, but were never given a time. When the technician didn’t show up early in the day, my husband knew something was wrong. Sure enough, our order had been canceled by mistake. If he hadn’t called to get a time, we would still be looking at a blank television screen. Jesus told us that he would give us a Helper to be with us, make sure you are listening carefully to him.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. John 14:16-17

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

March 25

My view is a little different this morning; I’m getting a bit of a late start and the noise of traffic is breaking my usual peaceful surroundings. But God, in his amazing love, is still giving me tidbits of his creation to enjoy. Over the sound of traffic, I can still hear the seagulls laughing as they look for their morning bite to eat, and I saw a flock of pelicans changing locations to increase their chances of finding their next big catch. The light glistening off the water, and the sun reflecting the sand on the beach, remind me of how great God is. Wherever you find yourself today, be grateful for the reminders of God’s love for you. How can we complain when he’s giving us rest?  Let him work out the details of things to come; he loves us and will never fail us or let us down. 

"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— " Ephesians 2:4-5

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

March 24

What is grace? It is free and unmerited favor. Look at the order of things God has set in place to bring you to where you are now. If you're currently going through a hardship, it will pass, and you will see that it was by God's grace that you managed to get through it. I know that it's not easy to look back, and just like everyone, there are some things in my life that I would rather forget too. But, even in those difficult times, I can see a silver lining and a piece of the plan God had for my future. When King David was just a shepherd, he didn't know that the difficulties in his life would lead to him becoming a great King, but he used every trial as a testimony. What are the things that led to your salvation, and how is He using you now? Everything you have gone through is your testimony of God's grace, and He will use it to help bring others to salvation. So, don't forget to share your testimony.

"Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you." And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him. Luke 8:39

From Jesus Will Meet You In The River Swamp - March 24

Monday, March 23, 2020

March 23

Don’t be afraid. Never have we seen a time where we couldn’t gather to worship, or a time when we couldn’t enjoy one another’s company. I see revival coming! When the enemy blocks believers from meeting together as a community, the desire for God becomes stronger. Because we are commissioned to go into the world, we must seek other ways to reach the unsaved. Now is the time, there is a harvest coming, and workers are in short supply. People who wouldn’t otherwise reach out to God, suddenly fear his retribution, and are seeking his forgiveness. The world is turning to him, and asking for his help, in the hope that he will hear them and intervene. God turns his face away from the sinner, and their only way to communicate with him is through those of us hidden in Christ. Just as a reminder, we are all sinners, but as Christ followers, we can reach out to God because he sees Jesus covering us. You were placed on this earth for such a time as this. Help those who are afraid by intervening on their behalf; also pray for their salvation.

"We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him." John 9:31 

Saturday, March 21, 2020

March 21

We are used to having everything at our fingertips, places to be entertained, food readily available, and natural resources open for our pleasure; now that our stores are rationing products, and many things are closed, it’s a little disconcerting. Is this such a terrible thing? Not necessarily. I got a text from one of my neighbors that they are gathering in the driveways for cocktail hour, but of course at a “social distance.” Wouldn’t you know it, they planned something fun while I’m out of town! What a great way to get to know your neighbors! Take a look at the things you can do and the people you can enjoy when you are not bogged down by all the running around. Meet your neighbors, talk to your family, slow down and enjoy what God gave you. People all over the world are learning how to entertain themselves in this time of uncertainty. It’s a good time to read all those books that have been gathering dust, see a new movie that’s being released on television for the first time, or maybe open up your Bible and read what God has to say first hand. His promises are good, and he is faithful; doesn’t it ease your mind, and soothe your soul to know that?

For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes. For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. 2 Corinthians 1:19-20

Friday, March 20, 2020

March 20

There is nothing new under the sun. People before us have gone through this and lived, though some may have passed on, the world continued, and we are a product of that continuation. We must not become overly obsessed with false narratives. We must not make this situation worse than it is, by fretting over what may or may not come to pass. We don’t know if this is an evil, sinister plan, or whether it is God reminding us that he alone is God. All we can do is pray that an end is near, and the world resumes, but is awakened. My hope is that those who are lost, or those who have walked away from God find their way back to him, and obey his voice; if they seek him with all their heart and soul, they will find him.

But from there you will seek the LORD your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in tribulation, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, you will return to the LORD your God and obey his voice. Deuteronomy 4:29-30

Thursday, March 19, 2020

March 19

Our tendency is to worry about the unknown, but we are not like the unsaved, we have a Holy God who has us in the clutches of his hands. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? He does! Take this time to reflect upon the good he has done for you, count your blessings. Trust that he will see us through this trial; act like children, who trust their parents to care for them without a clue of what is going on. He is our Father, and will do what is best for us. Though the enemy has plans for our destruction; he only rules over us if we allow him to. This too will pass, but the good it brings will be beyond anything we could hope for or even imagine. God is our best ally in times of trouble; trust him!

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:6-7

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

March 18

CANCELLED!! Everything is cancelled. Restaurants are closed, theme parks are closed, gatherings are cancelled, you name it, and it has been cancelled. Is God forcing a Sabbath rest? Though one president said we are not, we are a Christian nation, founded on the principles of the Bible. If God forced the Jews to rest, is he forcing us to rest? Other nations are also being forced to rest; if the world is involved, maybe it’s a sign that God is fed-up with the antics of the people, and is doing something about it. It’s almost like he pressed a reset button, and all the world had to take notice. Take notice: the schools in Florida will be closed until beyond Passover, and most schools internationally are doing the same thing! Hmm. My fellow believers, pay attention, get right with God, our time on this earth may be cut short; only God knows, but out of an abundance of caution, we should always be prepared for what may come next. If Jesus kept the Passover, why don’t we? He was the Lamb that was slain, once for all. We should, in the very least, honor Jesus during this time.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

March 17

The place that I sit and study gives me a good vantage point to see my dining room table. Because it’s spring, we have been leaving the doors open for some fresh air; the weather has been beautiful. Now, it may only be a glare, but from here it looks like the dust has settled on the table. After looking at it for a couple of days, I believe it may be time to clean it off. It’s part of living; there is a big dust-up, we open our door, and the dust comes in; we can’t see it until it begins to settle. Once it settles, we can clean it up. When the world panics over the dust, stay calm; it’s not worth getting anxious over, we will wipe it up after it settles down.

"He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the LORD's, and on them he has set the world." 1 Samuel 2:8

Monday, March 16, 2020

March 16

Peace, be still. My husband and I have learned to not get ahead of God. There are things we cannot do unless God has approved it; it will be done in his timing alone, and not before. We are beginning to see some old prayers being answered, though we would have loved to have had them answered years ago, that’s not what God intended for us. He had to work within others so that everything would fall into place as he sees fit. I’m sure a blessing awaits because of our patience, and trust in him. Don’t get anxious, and step out without God’s approval. How do you know that God approved? You won’t have to force it, it falls into place easily. If you force it, it will fall apart. Because we trust in him, we must also wait on him. 

When the Israelites would get ahead of God, and try to do things on their own, they were taken out, he didn’t play any games with them. The ones who rose up in insurrection against him were killed, either by plague or by other means. 

Be patient. What God has for you is better than anything you can get on your own. Peace, be still; wait on God.

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Sunday, March 15, 2020

March 15

Roads are not shut down. Truckers are still trucking. This rush to hoard all the supplies, and waste your tax refund, are ridiculous. You have fallen prey to the enemy if you are reacting in the same manner as the world. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think you should be kissing someone with a virus, or should go unprotected, but to stop living is over the top. 

"for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control."  2 Timothy 1:7

The King James Version says "but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." If your church closed today, I’m sure they are doing what they think is sound, and cautious, but we are not part of this world, we are ambassadors here, and are not subject to the ways of the enemy. 

I’m going to church! We need to be there for the people who are scared that don’t have Jesus. We may see a bountiful harvest of those fearing hell; I want to be a part of this harvest, how about you?

Saturday, March 14, 2020

March 14

When we moved some of our things from Little Gasparilla, we came home with more than we had packed. Although the island is paradise, it is a hot bed for scorpions, and one of those creatures came home with us, and I found it inside my house! I freaked out, and he ended up taking a flume ride down the sewer pipes.

I can’t make this stuff up, I’m not that good. I’m slowly reading through the Old Testament, and studying it briefly as I go, with no particular reading plan. Today, it speaks of the people complaining about leaving Egypt again, with me not being in their shoes, I wondered why they complained so much. The land that they were passing through had scorpions and serpents, with a burning sting. I may have complained too. However, because of their complaints, and unbelief, God allowed those fiery serpents to kill the people. Moses prayed, and God told him to make the image of a fiery serpent and whoever looked at it would live. 

Today, if you’re complaining about services being interrupted, no sports, becoming anxious, overreacting, or discontent with the interruption of your happy life, you better stop now! There is salvation in a troubled time, but you have to look to Jesus, he is the only way to get to our happy place; all other ways lead to a dead end. You don’t want to end up dead in the desert just before entering the promised land, do you?

Then the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you. Pray to the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” Numbers 21:6-8

Friday, March 13, 2020

March 13

We are different. We do not fear as the world fears. We do not worry because we have the peace given to us by Jesus. During a plague that broke out in the camp of the Israelites, Moses instructed Aaron to take a censer full of fire, and incense, and go among the people to stop the plague. Aaron stood between the dead and the people who were still alive; his offering was accepted by God, and the plague stopped. Isn’t this our job as believers, to stand between the people and God, and make and offering before the Lord, as his royal priesthood? We do not have to offer a censer full of fire and incense, because Jesus is a pleasing aroma to the Father, and his one time offering has covered all of our iniquities, but we must pray to him, that he intercedes on our behalf, for the people who are suffering. If we freak out like everyone else, aren’t we showing the world our lack of faith in God? For the sake of those watching you, especially those of you who are worriers, put on the full armor of God, and become the warrior that God intended you to be, and offer prayer for those who may be affected by sickness. Stand in the gap!!

So Aaron took it as Moses said and ran into the midst of the assembly. And behold, the plague had already begun among the people. And he put on the incense and made atonement for the people. And he stood between the dead and the living, and the plague was stopped. Numbers 16:47-48

Thursday, March 12, 2020

March 12

How soon do we forget how great God is? God takes us out of Egypt without a scratch, does miracles in the desert, but when things get scary, we shrink back, as he tells us to move forward to conquer the land. “Didn’t you see those giants Lord? We can’t overcome them!” Where is Caleb when we come up against the whispers of the enemy? Today, I am your Caleb! Do not hesitate, move in and conquer the land that God has set before you. 

One interesting thing I noticed as I was reading the account of the spies sent into the promised land, they were all leaders of their tribes. Instead of being strong and courageous, they were scared, even though God was the one who told them to go. When you feel weak, and can not do it on your own, give it to God, and let him be your strength. Just imagine the doors that will be opened because God is the one delivering you. Besides, you don’t want God giving your promise to someone else, do you?

Listen to this: But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.” Numbers 13:30

Don’t listen to this: Then the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are.” Numbers 13:31

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

March 11

Gossiping doesn’t seem like such a big deal, and hardly seems like a sin. What harm can it do when it’s spoken of in private? The truth is, it’s not in private; God hears every word, and to speak disparagingly about any of his beloveds, is like spitting in his face. How much do you really know about a person and their plight, that you should make a judgement upon them through negative talk? Why is someone else the topic of your conversation? Shouldn’t you be more concerned with your own issues? 

Miriam spoke to Aaron about Moses in a negative way because of who he chose to marry, and God heard her! She may have also been a bit jealous of his personal relationship with God, because he met him face to face, and not in dreams and visions as with others. God called Miriam, Aaron, and Moses together and confronted them; he also admonished Aaron, who was the hearer, but Miriam was given leprosy and had to be quarantined for seven days outside of the camp. God embarrassed her because of her loose tongue. This is a very good lesson against gossip, we would all do well to heed God’s warning.

And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them, and he departed. When the cloud removed from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, like snow. And Aaron turned toward Miriam, and behold, she was leprous. Numbers 12:9-10

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

March 10

There are times we just want peace, so we try to stay under the radar, hoping not to be noticed by Satan, so he doesn’t bring on trials and tribulation. Unfortunately, that doesn’t last, because when you stay in the word, and do your part in the kingdom of God, you can’t stay under the radar, it’s impossible. Realizing that God is in control, and the devil is under the control of God, you must contend with whatever stirs up the atmosphere, and realize that our peace comes from knowing Jesus, and the trials of this world are only temporary. Stand strong in Jesus, because our weakness is what gives him strength. Give up and turn everything over to him, and watch as he handles your situation. Whether the outcome seems good or bad, know that the big picture, the things we don’t see happening, will be as he wants it. Remember, say, “your will be done.” Stay in continuous contact with him; as anxiety begins to creep in, turn to him and ask him to calm your nerves, and he will return your peace. Things happen for a reason, even though we don’t understand why. Remember, God is in control, and our peace lies with Jesus.

"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”" John 16:33

Monday, March 9, 2020

March 9

I’m taking a break from writing about the Old Testament today; mostly because I need to remind myself that I am hidden in Jesus. My fear of God is growing because I know that he never changes, and his reaction to sin is humanly destructive. I’m reminded that if I truly love him, I will obey his commands, but I’m not sure if I always do!  

If you are at a point that you are trembling in fear, remember Jesus; we are safe from God’s wrath because of him. We are dearly loved by God because of Jesus; we are his friend, he is our Father, though also our King. We can walk with confidence, knowing that we are safe, and that he has snatched us from the fire. Above all things in heaven and on earth, he loves us. Rest in confidence knowing this is true.

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6-8

Sunday, March 8, 2020

March 8

Take every thought captive! Have you ever had a bad thought and received immediate discipline for having it? I was grilling some steaks, and was annoyed at a few things going on around me, and a thought passed through my head that I shouldn’t have had. Just as soon as I had the thought, I grabbed the top of the grill cover, instead of the handle, and burned my hand! It was very painful, but as soon as it happened, I knew why. The thought was unloving. When you are set apart by God, which we who are redeemed are, his standard for you is set higher, so all of your actions, and thoughts are closely monitored by him. 

The Levites were set apart as a holy priesthood, and were set up to camp around the tabernacle as guards. They didn’t have to go to war, but were to protect God’s holy sanctuary. His standard for them was set higher. When two of Aarons sons introduced strange fire before God, they were killed immediately. Thankfully, I merely received a slap on the hand for introducing such a thought into my temple, which houses the Holy Spirit. Mind your thoughts, and actions because your body is a temple.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19

Friday, March 6, 2020

March 6

Focus! How do you focus when there are so many distractions that draw you away from your intentions? I made it through a few chapters of Leviticus, thankfully I’m nearing the end of it, but I became distracted and began thinking about other things; I stopped where I was, so maybe tomorrow I will be able to pay more attention. Could that be the answer? Why beat yourself up for not being able to focus? Maybe you’ve gotten what you needed, and have given the Lord all you have for the moment, and it’s time to move on. I would say that a few minutes of your whole attention upon the Lord, is better than hours of distracted time, where you are mixing your quiet time with your everyday things. 

Many of you struggle with the issue of distraction. What I normally do is start first thing in the morning, before anyone is awake, get my coffee, pray, and go straight into God’s Word. Today, I broke my own rules and decided to look at my email, and I got completely off-track. This was a good lesson for me to stay on task, and not start anything else until I’ve given my time to the Lord. You know yourself better than anyone, so set your own rules, just as I have, and try not to break them.

"And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed." Mark 1:35

Thursday, March 5, 2020

March 5

When you get to hold a newborn baby, something beautiful flourishes within you. The sweet noises, the tiny hand that wraps around your finger, and the delight in your heart that wells up within you, means there is something good in this world. The love and the passion of the parents, and the siblings bind them together to become a family forever. Who is this new life? What are they bringing into this world that we can’t live without? For now, it’s just love, but soon we will be able to see their traits blossom, and God’s purpose for them will be exposed for all to see. So unselfish is the love of a mother and father who chooses life, which shouldn’t be a choice at all. God planted a seed, and he expects for it to live and grow, that is his plan, and they have a purpose. Will this new child have a heart for Jesus? He surely will! If you begin to teach your children to trust the Lord, as if there is no other way, they may run off and sow a few oats, but they will return to their first love, the one who loves them the most, Jesus. Teach your children and grandchildren about our amazing Creator, and tell them of the sacrifice that he made, and of the love he has for us. One day they too will commit their life to him, and follow him wherever he leads. 

"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

March 4

March forth! Keep moving! Don’t get stuck in the past! We are a product of our past; our mannerisms, personality, and heart, are shaped by our experiences. May it never be said of me that I have become the vile person that sin has caused. Believe me, we have all experienced hatefulness, rejection, and harm that was caused by others. I always try to remember that the person causing the pain are also in pain, and a product of their experiences. Who hurt them so badly that they must lash out at those around them? It is up to me to get beyond my past, and also to not allow the feelings of others to reflect upon me; their feelings belong to them - this is when you need a Teflon shield to protect you from letting negativity penetrate to your heart. Cry out to Jesus; he is your protection. It is Satan’s goal to keep you offended and in the chains of rejection, don’t let him win.

There is a lot of hand washing going on right now because of sickness and disease; cleanse your heart from the filth of others, just like you’re cleaning your hands; don’t let someone’s emotional disease infect you.

"Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life."  Proverbs 4:23

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

March 3

My elderly neighbor locked herself out of her house. She had gone out to get her early morning paper, and somehow locked the door behind her. She was beyond frustrated, and in a bit of a panic. I brought her into my home and gave her a cup of coffee while my husband tried to break into her house. What would you do? If you’re a decent person, you would do your best to help her, just as we did. If we hadn’t helped, she would have gone to someone else, and who knows what kind of help she would have received. 

Now, imagine your friend being locked out of the Kingdom of Heaven, and they came to you for help, but you were too busy to lend a hand, or give them guidance. You can guarantee that they will seek help somewhere else, but what they may find could be of a different spirit, and lead them in the wrong direction. People don’t know that the answer to their problems is Jesus, and will seek help anywhere they can find it. Be the one who leads them to Jesus, who is the keys to the kingdom.

Just as my husband was about to break her lock, another good neighbor came over with a key. You may not know all the answers, but be a part of the process of giving hope.

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

Monday, March 2, 2020

March 2

And now we hear about a disease that is going to kill us all, and many have already died in China. Who really trusts a communist nation to tell the truth? How much do we believe the news today, with so much false information, it’s easy to become cynical. Many people have already panicked, causing Wall Street and other world trading to be impacted. Our lives are threatened every day, do we go into hiding because of the danger? No, we continue to live, and if it’s our time, we will move on to much better things and be in the presence of Jesus. Let me remind you of what fear is: False Evidence Appearing Real! The things they are telling us to do the prevent the spread of this illness, are things we should be doing anyway; wash your hands and don’t touch your face until you do! Now I’m not saying that a Christian won’t get sick, because we all have times when we do, but we are promised a divine protection - if reports are true, this disease resembles what the Bible calls a plague. I will accept God’s promise as my own and pray it over my family, and I suggest you do the same.

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. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. Psalms 91:9-11

Sunday, March 1, 2020

March 1

We get one extra day every four years, and what do I do? Taxes! I wish it was easy, and could press a button and have everything fall into place, ready for the accountant. Unfortunately, my record keeping is not good enough to do that, so I must painstakingly compile our income and expenses one by one. I’m still not done! Though I have everything compiled, my accountant has a book, about two inches thick, for me to fill in the blanks! If only I had that button. We try to be as accurate as possible to avoid an audit by the IRS! 

One day, we will be held accountable for the things we have done. Thankfully, most of us are hidden in Christ, and our sins are covered. However, there are those who are not fully consecrated to the Lord, and have made a half-hearted commitment to him, if this is you, I fear for you. Are you lukewarm? Riding the middle of the road? Get in, or get out! Let your yeses mean yes, and your noes mean no. There will be no half-hearted souls in heaven, only those who are fully committed to Jesus. Just like being accountable to the government for your income and expenses, you will be accountable to Jesus for your failings, and accomplishments.

“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. Revelation 3:15-16

Saturday, February 29, 2020

February 29

Growing up in cattle country, you learn the value of livestock, especially coming from a long line of cattlemen. The county fair was always the best part of the year; as a 4-H’er, and then as I got older, a member of the FFA, it was then that I got to display all of my hard work from the year before. Each year my dad would help me choose a steer from a herd, and then we would train it on a lead, and I would feed it over the course of several months, fattening it up for the fair. Then at fair time, I would bring my steer to compete with others who were doing the same thing; it would then be judged to see if it was good enough to win a prize. I did well, even winning Grand Champion one year! After the competition, it would be put up for sale, and then slaughtered for its meat. After many years of showing steers, and then selling them, I was able to buy my first car. 

Reading about the required sacrifices for the prescribed offerings for sin, and guilt, it’s easy to see how hefty the price was for the Israelites. Because they had to give up a perfectly good bull as an offering for their sin, I imagine they tried very hard to tow-the-line, and refrain from sinning. When you look at it like this, you can see how valuable Jesus is to all of us. Most people couldn’t have afforded to be a sinner. I hope this helps you understand the value of Jesus’s sacrifice for us. 

And he shall bring to the priest as his compensation to the LORD a ram without blemish out of the flock, or its equivalent, for a guilt offering. And the priest shall make atonement for him before the LORD, and he shall be forgiven for any of the things that one may do and thereby become guilty.” Leviticus 6:6-7

Friday, February 28, 2020

February 28

Nearly every year, I will take a short trip to downtown Tampa, to visit the Henry B. Plant museum. It’s a historical hotel that now houses the University of Tampa. Each time I visit, it reminds me that I need to visit the Belleview-Biltmore, which was also built by H.B. Plant. We were in the Clearwater area, and just happened to drive by it. It’s a guarded area, but the security guard was kind enough to let us in so I could go and browse around the old building. It made me sad to see that the owners hadn’t preserved the look by building the new condos to match the old architecture. On to bigger and better things; out with the old and in with the new. The nostalgia takes me back to a bygone era.

I’m now reading in the book of Leviticus; I’m going to try and stick it out to the end, but all the slaughtering, and splashing of the blood is a little nauseating. It’s good to be reminded of the past, but thankfully Jesus put that bygone era to rest, never to come back in style. Reading all the requirements makes me so thankful to have Jesus as an offering for our sin. I’m also quite thankful for the air conditioning that the Biltmore didn’t have back in the day. Some things were meant to be left in the past.

He shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. Then he shall kill the bull before the LORD, and Aaron's sons the priests shall bring the blood and throw the blood against the sides of the altar that is at the entrance of the tent of meeting. Leviticus 1:4-5

Thursday, February 27, 2020

February 27

Rest until God moves you. We get anxious while waiting for things to happen that we’ve prayed for. Sometimes we wait and wait, and still nothing happens. This is when things get difficult; if we are not careful, we will begin to move when God hasn’t released us. When we go out on our own, without God, our path becomes foggy, and hard to maneuver, we become hurt, sometimes physically, and sometimes financially. It will cause setbacks, and may prolong his answer. Unlike the Israelites, we don’t have a pillar of cloud by day, or fire by night to guide us, or tell us when to move. However, we do have the Holy Spirit in residence, he will give us clues, and make our pathway clear. I’ve learned that when I try to fit a square peg into a round hole by force, it doesn’t fit right; that’s when I know I’m moving without his guidance. Learn to pickup on his clues; he speaks to all of us in a language we understand, all we have to do is tune in.

Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out till the day that it was taken up. Exodus 40:36-37

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

February 26

Have you ever suddenly noticed something that was right before your eyes all along, but now it stands out for some reason? I was sitting on the beach early in the morning, and a sea grape leaf caught my eye. I had never noticed that the veins running through it were red! It’s such an insignificant thing, but it makes the leaves more striking. I feel the same way reading Exodus. All the details of the furnishings, and garments, and the tent walls, seem like insignificant things, and it made me wonder why God was telling us all this. Surprisingly, I’ve found a verse in each chapter that stands out, and points to the character of God. 

When the high priest went in to meet with the Lord, he would wear a turban that had an inscription that read, “Holy to the LORD.” Holy means “set apart to God.” 1 Peter 1:16 says, “since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” If you’re feeling insignificant, remember that you are set apart “to” God. You may not feel holy, but you are holy because of the One you trust, Jesus. You are hidden within him, and because he is holy, you are holy.

They made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, and wrote on it an inscription, like the engraving of a signet, “Holy to the LORD.” Exodus 39:30

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

February 25

Moses went into great detail concerning each and every feature in the construction of the temple, and all its furnishings. Nothing was left to the imagination because God had given him a perfectly laid out plan, even down to the detail of the cleansing basin; it was made out of reflective brass, given to Moses by the women who ministered at the entry of the tent of meetings. It seems that the temple was quite important to God, being it was where he was going to meet with the priest on behalf of the people. The priest had to be perfectly clean, and pure to enter, or he would end up dead on the floor; whoever went into the temple had to be holy and consecrated to the Lord.

Do you think the importance of the temple has disappeared? It hasn’t, but the Priest we trust is holier than any other who came before him, and he goes before God on our behalf so that we do not die on the floor of the temple while looking for redemption. Remember that our bodies are now the temple. Make a concerted effort to live clean for the sake of our Lord Jesus, and the Holy Spirit that resides within you. Look at your reflection, and see if it resembles Jesus. If it doesn’t, ask the Holy Spirit to help you modify your life to become a reflection of Him.

"He made the basin of bronze and its stand of bronze, from the mirrors of the ministering women who ministered in the entrance of the tent of meeting." Exodus 38:8 

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Monday, February 24, 2020

February 24

I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but flowers are most fragrant first thing in the morning. Not only that, but the birds are most active, and sing their hearts out, right before daybreak. It’s as if they wake up praising the Lord with their offering. Several days ago, I mentioned the orchids in the mangrove whose scent would draw you in. Several months back, I took a cutting from that very plant, not even knowing that it was scented. Fast forward, and that very cutting bloomed, and is providing a fragrant aroma as I sit and worship the Lord early in the morning.

One very interesting thing that I’ve noticed, is that as the sun begins to light up the sky, its scent get stronger. I thought that maybe it was just me, but it has happened each day that I’ve had it by my side. One of the flowers has a petal that has browned, but even in its gimpy state, it manages to produce a fragrant offering to the Lord. It goes to show that you should praise the Lord even when you’re in the valley, in pain, or have a hard time lifting your head. Whether you are healthy or sick, wake up praising the Lord.  

"He made the holy anointing oil also, and the pure fragrant incense, blended as by the perfumer." Exodus 37:29

"For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing," 2 Corinthians 2:15

Sunday, February 23, 2020

NEW BOOK!!!



My new book has finally been released!!

The Peace River Flows: A Daily Devotional for the Followers of Christ https://www.amazon.com/dp/1098022750/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_XOQuEbTHZES9K



February 23

Like a lot of people, I love to decorate! When there is the task of fitting a home or office with decor, I’m on it! I don’t pay full price, and look for bargains wherever I can find them. Marshall’s, TJ Max, and Home Goods, are my stores of choice, and I will travel to other areas just to pilfer through their merchandise for the perfect piece to add to the beautiful surroundings. If I had lived in the days of Moses, I would have been part of the process of decorating the tabernacle, probably one of the women who were weavers of the finest linens.

When I started reading Exodus 35 which is all about gathering the materials needed to build the tabernacle, I wondered what kind of lesson I could find in it because it seemed to be only about furnishings. After scouring it for a minute, I realized that to build the church, the people willingly came together, made contributions out of love, to insure that the church had everything it needed. Because they contributed out of love, there was an abundance, and Moses had to announce that they stop! Isn’t that incredible? When your church asks you to give, over your tithe, search your heart, and give out of love, like the Israelites did.

"And they came, everyone whose heart stirred him, and everyone whose spirit moved him, and brought the LORD's contribution to be used for the tent of meeting, and for all its service, and for the holy garments." Exodus 35:21

Saturday, February 22, 2020

February 22

In the center of the State of Florida, most will find that the dialect is very southern, and can be hard to understand if your own dialect is of the northern variety. When I moved to the Tampa area more than thirty years ago, people thought I was from Louisiana, or from somewhere in the Deep South.

After the debacle at the base of Mt. Sinai, with the golden calf worship, it seems that Moses began speaking to the Israelites himself, rather than through Aaron. It makes me wonder if after meeting with God on the mountain, Moses got over his fear of speaking, and no longer worried what the Israelites thought. Did Moses truly have a speech problem, or was it merely a dialect difference? He was brought up by the Egyptians, so he may have still been learning the language of Israel.

When God has a job for you, he equips you with the ability to carry it out. If you feel inadequate, just go slowly until you get some momentum, but if the Holy Spirit comes on you with all power, nothing will stop you! When fear sets in, remember Moses; also remember Peter who preached to over 3000, and was just a country boy who liked to fish.

Afterward all the people of Israel came near, and he commanded them all that the LORD had spoken with him in Mount Sinai. Exodus 34:32

Friday, February 21, 2020

February 21

Every morning at the crack of dawn, I take my dogs to do their business. They go running out the door as if they needed to clear the area of varmints. I never thought much of it until this morning when Rudy began making a racket like he had found something. I go running to see what was going on, and see that he had treed an opossum! My tiny terrier thought he was a big dog, unafraid of that hissing creature. You could say that Rudy was an angel driving out the inhabitants of the land, making it safe for God’s child, me, to settle there. 

God commanded Moses to move the people from Sinai, and promised to clear the land of its inhabitants, but he was still angry about them worshipping other God’s, so he said he wouldn’t go with them because he might consume them. This upset the people, and they mourned. This straightened out their attitude because every morning when Moses went into the Tent of Meetings to meet with God, they would stand at the door of their tent and worship him. One of the names of God is Jealousy, so you can bet when you continue to care about worldly things over God, he will not forget it. Check yourself daily, and make sure you are putting God first in everything you do. Include him in all of your decisions, take him with you wherever you go.

I will send an angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; but I will not go up among you, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people.” Exodus 33:2-3

And when all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise up and worship, each at his tent door. Exodus 33:10

Thursday, February 20, 2020

February 20

My car was in and out of the shop for a loud vibrating noise. It had sat at the dealership for over two weeks, with the mechanic only driving it home once. Finally, they called to tell me they couldn’t find the problem, and wanted me to take a ride with a specialist so I could point it out. It didn’t make a sound while he was in the car with me. As I sat in the parking lot before leaving, programming directions to my next stop, it started making the noise. I quickly got their attention, and they discovered the problem. Parts were ordered, and hopefully, the repair will take care of the issue. 

Are you dealing with feelings that you can’t seem to find an answer for? Ask yourself these questions: Is there something causing me to have fear? Am I feeling rejected, but not recognizing it? Am I stressing because I feel like God isn’t going to answer my prayer? Is trauma from my past creeping in, and causing me pain? The main causes of heart issues are fear, rejection, unbelief, and trauma. Ask the Holy Spirit to take you for a ride to help you get to the bottom of it, then confess, repent, and pray. Just like finding the problem for my car, you have to get to the root of it before finding a solution.

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