Thursday, December 31, 2020

December 31

If you have not sought baptism, get it done. By doing so, you are openly professing your faith in Jesus. John baptized Jesus at the beginning of his ministry; after that, his disciples began water baptisms to all who became his followers. It may seem like a ritual, but it is an essential part of your calling into the kingdom of God. Three things are imperative to being a follower of Christ; first being converted by accepting Jesus as your savior, second, baptism representing death to your former life and the resurrection to a new life, and third being communion, symbolic of the eating of his body and the drinking of his blood, which should be done often along with confession. Now is the time if you haven’t done these things already. Start the new year on solid ground, and reaffirm your commitment to God.

As a way to thwart the plans of the enemy, I recommend that every Christian take communion tomorrow because communion requires confession, and we all need to lay our sins at the foot of the cross to get our country back on a firm foundation. 

Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. John 3:5

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

December 30

 One of the very first verses I memorized as a child was John 3:16; even non-believers can quote it, though it may have no meaning to them. If you dig deeper in scripture, you will find that God doesn’t play games when it comes to the eternal life offered through Jesus. Eternal life begins when you accept Jesus as your savior from your sin and condemnation; it’s not only an after-death experience. Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be born of water and Spirit to enter the kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit is necessary, and we receive it as a gift upon our faith in Jesus. Those without Jesus and his gift are already dead, and the wrath of God remains on them. Jesus is the only way to have life now and beyond. The teachings you hear saying that there are other ways into heaven are only lies; bits of misinformation given by the enemy to draw people away from Jesus. If you are unsure about your eternity, then I’m sure you are missing Jesus. Pray now for God to strengthen your faith and accept Jesus as your savior with your whole heart, unwavering and without a doubt. If you feel drawn to Jesus, it is because of the Holy Spirit; he will help you maintain your faith.

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. John 3:36

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

December 29

If you follow conservative news, you will know that God is exposing much of the evil in the United States. It is almost too much for our minds to grasp. This evil isn’t one-sided and crosses party lines, and shows that most politicians are involved. There are a few who are good, but you can probably count them on your fingers. Many who once held in their hands the value of Jesus have turned their back on him for earthly gain. They had to walk away from the light and slip into the darkness to keep their cover. 

I prayed a long time ago for God to show us the filth and evil; God is undoubtedly answering that prayer! Be careful what you ask for; God might give it to you. I don’t think any of us knew how deep the swamp was or how long it would take to drain it. I’m not sure if that’s even possible anymore with all the up-and-coming dirty politicians whose hearts intend to get the big bucks while the American people have to work for their pay. I think we all need to start praying for God to give us a way to repair the damage. I’m not sure if we will like the answer to that prayer either, but something needs to happen to turn this country around so that we move closer to the Lord.

For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” John 3:20-21

Monday, December 28, 2020

December 28

Our neighbors got together for an after Christmas white elephant gift exchange. If you don’t know what it is, Wikipedia explains it this way:

“The goal of a white elephant gift exchange is to entertain party-goers rather than to gain a genuinely valuable or highly sought-after item. The term white elephant refers to an extravagant, impractical gift that cannot be easily disposed of.”

The funny thing is that the neighbor who hosted the event ended up going home with the most hideous gift, a water fountain of purple and orange flowers. My husband and I didn’t fare much better though, he got a set of monogrammed Christmas dishtowels with an “M,” and I got a Santa candle that will probably look like Quasimodo if I ever decide to light it. Oh, the things we do for entertainment! I expect that most of these gifts will end up in the trash or stuffed in a closet somewhere so it’s forgotten. 

There is one gift that this season brought that everyone should give away, and that’s Jesus. Once you’ve received this gift, you must give it away; it’s life-changing and life-giving. Won’t you make it a goal of the new year to give Jesus to as many as you can? You will receive joy in return and treasures in heaven. It’s worth it!

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Sunday, December 27, 2020

December 27

Did you know that your baptism was symbolic of death? You died to your sins, and yourself; it was the first death. I wonder why some still live as if they’ve never died? One of my friends posted this yesterday:

When James Calvert went out to cannibal Fiji with the message of the Gospel, the captain of the ship dissuaded him, "You will risk your life and all those with you by going among such savages." He replied, "We died before we came here."

Doesn’t that make you think? When you die to yourself, it should change your perspective. The second death should have no hold on you because you’ve already died, and yet we still live in fear of death. If you live in fear of a tiny organism that you can’t see but have heard and seen what it does to humans, why can’t you take to heart what Jesus has done? He has saved me from death so many times, and I’m sure you have a testimony of his greatness that you need to bring back out as a reminder of what he has done for you. Stop living in fear; you’ve already died.

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

Saturday, December 26, 2020

December 26

Absolam set up his government to overtake the House of David. David was a mighty man of God, and Absolam will face defeat at the end of the story; even though it comes at a price and his very own people will die in the process, David will return to rule. All the people who bowed to Absolam will once again be subject to David. What a sad time for David to see his flesh come out against him to divide his kingdom and try to rule it. Even though Absolam convinced many that his ways were better than David’s, he was defeated before the battle even began when his hair got stuck in a tree and hung there for all to see. David didn’t want Absolam killed, but all who went into battle against him felt no remorse and slaughter him because his whole body was exposed, making him an easy target. Even though David was able to return to his kingdom, he was still heartbroken over the death of Absolam and the betrayal of the rest of the kingdom for following him. That day, the sun went down on the evil king who set out to rule unlawfully, and they all grieved because the only good that came from it was the exposure of the treasonous.

Then the king arose and took his seat in the gate. And the people were all told, “Behold, the king is sitting in the gate.” And all the people came before the king. Now Israel had fled every man to his own home. 2 Samuel 19:8

Friday, December 25, 2020

December 25

Is your soul anxious or overwhelmed with turmoil? Do you long for peace without worrying about what will happen to you? We are all touched with anxiety occasionally, even those who are at peace with God. If you are at a loss or feeling desperate continually without any relief, you need a check-up to find out what’s causing your desperation. Among all the wonder we hold so dearly this time of celebrating our Christ's birth, there is a somewhat frightening promise, especially if you are dealing with a mental challenge. Observe the following verse.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Luke 2:14

Your check-up should start with an evaluation of your life to see if you’ve made Jesus your ultimate King. If you’ve read your Bible at all, you will know that the way to please God is to accept His Son as your very own; in him, you will find peace, even in desperate times. That verse alone can cause fear, especially if you’re going through a trial of sorts, but have no fear if your soul is calmed by speaking his name. When I’m troubled, I reach out to Jesus by calling his name, and my peace returns to me. Know this; God is pleased with you if you love his son Jesus.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

December 24

For those of you who love glitter and sparkle, today is for you, and if you are an unbeliever, it may be your day to change. I’ve been studying in the book of Luke for a while, and I tend to get stuck on verses that catch my attention. Here’s the verse of the day for me:

While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. Luke 24:4

These were angels from Heaven telling Jesus’s followers, the women, the good news that he had risen. The word dazzling dazzles me! The King James says shining, and other verses describe it as a brilliant white. I can picture this as being glittery, mother-of-pearl sparkles. Their clothing was kingdom apparel! What we see here on earth is nothing like we will see in Heaven. I love beautiful things. I love my home to look good, my clothing to look good, my yard, and everything perfectly groomed. I could never live in hell or any other dark and dreary place. Jesus is the picture of perfection; though perfectionism can become a sin if you dwell on it too much, the perfectionism of the heart is the desired quality of a Christ-follower. If you want beauty and perfection, you have no choice; Jesus is the only way to achieve that goal. He will cleanse your heart and make you a perfect being in the eyes of God. Wrap yourself in Jesus today so that you will become a picture of ideal beauty.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

December 23

The court of public opinion can be murderous, especially if you are the one who opposes the public’s ideas. Look at what’s going on right now as we speak against the opinion the outlaws want us to have. They tell us what they want us to believe and crucify us for pointing out their lies. Look at the propaganda machine and see how it’s working against the truth. If you follow only secular media, you are not getting the facts because they feed you a string of misinformation that will only leave you dumbfounded when the truth comes out. This behavior is nothing new and has been found in every country that communist have overtaken; some people went to the grave still believing their lies, even after they took everything they worked so hard to achieve. This behavior is happening worldwide right now, a sinister plan that the enemy has so cunningly devised to place us all together under one dictatorship of whomever he decides to appoint. Starvation may be in our future if his plan succeeds, and we may never be able to speak the name of Jesus in public again without facing persecution. Our country may be the last hope for those worldwide watching the situation unfolding in the United States. The world is praying with us. As the media crucifies our president and a hostile takeover set into action, we will watch as the enemy's plans become thwarted. Don’t stop praying! God hears our cries for justice and the resurrection of the truth. 

But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed. So Pilate decided that their demand should be granted. He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus over to their will. Luke 23:23-25

Remember, they crucified Jesus, but he resurrected!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

December 22

If Peter, who was with Jesus and saw all of his miracles, could deny him three times within an evening, how many times have you denied him in your lifetime? God help us all, we have received our salvation and still deny him daily as we are unable to refrain from sin. We are unworthy of his mercy, yet he loves us and forgives us of our weakness. What an awesome God we serve who, even in our sin, has given us a way to heal our iniquities. Jesus forgave Peter and even fed him breakfast after he rose from the dead; however, he also commanded him to feed his sheep. He has forgiven you much; be willing to help others receive that same forgiveness and feed Jesus’s sheep.

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31-32

He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. John 21:17

Monday, December 21, 2020

December 21

Every year, my father-in-law has my daughter do his Christmas shopping, and every year he waits until the last minute to call her. He is careful not to leave anyone out but doesn’t keep up with all the new family members; she has an extensive list, and he’s confident she won’t forget anyone. Why he waits until the last minute, we haven’t a clue. By the time she gets to the stores, the shelves are nearly empty, and finding the perfect gift for the people on his list becomes challenging. Not only that, but he wants her to wrap them all! He provides the money, but she is in charge of collecting the gifts and responsible for the way they are presented to the family. She does this each year without complaint, at least not within his hearing, and completes the task out of love for him and the family. This analogy is similar to what we do as disciples when presenting the gift of Jesus. He gives us a task and the ability, but it’s up to us to package it in an attractive way to his children, so they accept his gift with delight.

There have been years that some of the family doesn’t show up to visit him on Christmas Day, and the gifts have sat there unopened. His ways can be infuriating. However, after reconciliation of hurt feelings, the gifts that he still has after years are presented to those family members. He never took those gifts away out of anger, even though his family broke his heart. So, remember, those people you are angry with, or maybe even detest because they’ve rejected our Father, he still loves them and is calling them to accept his gift of Jesus.

God, our Father, presents the gift of redemption to everyone. He can take all of the guilt, sorrow, and humiliation that has been collected over the years and exchange it for freedom, and all that is needed is to trust in the gift of his Son, Jesus. Jesus is the way to bear with the things of this world until he brings us home to be with him. Continue to fight to help the lost souls of this world accept the gift of Jesus; he has commissioned you for such a time as this. 

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Sunday, December 20, 2020

December 20

When I was walking on the beach yesterday, God’s voice became clear. I began seeing a seashell called a sailor's ear; they are a delicate clam that is pure white. Their name made me realize that I needed to listen. The next thing I began seeing is sea stars or starfish. I picked up a dead one to keep; I saw where a star had been, someone else had picked it up; then I found a live one that I placed back in the water. There are scriptures that mention both ears and stars; it was a lightbulb moment. Revelation 2 and 3 mentions seven stars representing the seven churches, saying, “He who has ears, let him hear.” Observe what God showed me:

The dead sea star represents a dead church, which I would associate with a cult or one whose parishioners follow a false prophet. 

The missing sea star represents those who give the impression that they are saved but are missing the truth; those people are pew fillers.

The living sea star represents those who are being saved. The star that I put back in the water was barely alive, but its little feet were still moving. That star represents us, those who Jesus covered with living water; we are still alive. 

There is a list of rewards for conquering and holding on until the end. Though you may face adversity for believing in Jesus, the reward for pushing through to the end will be worth it. Hold on, and let no one take your crown!

To the one who conquers:

I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. Rev 2:7

will not be hurt by the second death. Rev 2:11

I will give some of the hidden manna Rev 2:17

I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone. Rev 2:17

I will give authority over the nations, Rev 2:26

will be clothed thus in white garments Rev 3:5

I will never blot his name out of the book of life Rev 3:5

I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Rev 3:12 

I will grant him to sit with me on my throne. Rev 3:21

These are partial verses. Read both chapters for context.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

December 19

My husband and I got new bicycles. These aren’t just any old bikes; they are e-bikes, electric, battery-powered, and can excel to 25 miles per hour! We began seeing them a while back on Little Gasparilla's beaches and realized that they might be something fun to experience, so as a Christmas gift to ourselves, we purchased two of them. Oh my! They are so much fun! The air right now is a little crisp to be powering through it, but we forgot about the cold chill the moment we began to pedal, or not; it’s not necessary to pedal! We expect to have endless fun on our new Christmas gift and may never ride a regular bicycle again.

You can compare this experience to having access to the Holy Spirit. On the regular bicycle, you must push forward to propel yourself; it can be exhausting and challenging on the body and not as much fun; it’s like living without the Holy Spirit. Once you try the electric bicycle or e-bike, it’s like having the Holy Spirit; everything changes, life is no longer boring, you are propelled forward by a force that is beyond anything you could imagine, and your purpose in life becomes more apparent. Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit as a gift; someone to help us stay connected to him, and if appropriately accessed, he will propel us forward at lightning-fast speeds; we only need to trust in his power.

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. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. John 14:16-18

Friday, December 18, 2020

December 18

Jesus was not passive! When he describes himself in a parable as a ruler, he denotes that he is a severe man, taking what he did not deposit and reaping what he did not sow. Not only that, but he expects us, his servants, to conduct business until he comes back. Jesus is in the business of people and wants our help to bring them to salvation. He knows he has enemies that hate him, but what he describes as being done to them is something we don’t think about, and it’s quite disturbing. If we love our fellow humans and don’t want to see them slaughtered, then we need to get busy and use whatever ability we have to tell others how to become saved. Those who do nothing will face the same condemnation! The business of Jesus is not a game! When he commanded us to go into the world and make disciples of all nations, you better believe he means business. I’m not telling you this to frighten you, and your part may be small, but some of you are supposed to play a more significant role and need to engage. Go and read this parable in Luke 19:11-27, and decide which one you are, and pray you’re not the third one; however, if you are the third one, it’s not too late to start investing.

‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.’” Luke 19:26-27

Thursday, December 17, 2020

December 17

I’ve gone before judges more than I’ve ever wanted, but in most cases, I’ve been vindicated, but not every judge is good. I have friends whose son was given a raw deal and ended up in prison; the judge was unrighteous and thought he was ruining this young man's life, but he didn’t; he grew closer to God while there. God always wins. Because our judicial system seems to be failing, I make it a point to investigate every judge that asks for my vote; it’s a lot of work because they don’t want you to know where they stand on critical issues, so they hide their bias. Never skip that part of your ballot so that we don’t end up standing before unfair judges. 

The one thing we can count on is that God is a righteous judge, and he sees what’s going on. I know everyone is crying foul right now, but know this, we WILL be vindicated! We are the elect, and Jesus promises justice for us.

And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Luke 18:7-8

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

December 16

Did you know that most birds of prey look behind them before they attack? Not the eagle! They hone in, never looking back. The bald eagle, which we have here in the United States, is known to carry the heaviest load; interesting, isn’t it? The Word of God is incredible! It can easily be understood on the surface, with the Holy Spirit's help, but its meaning can be quite deep, and a greater understanding of the symbolism is required. Explaining it might be difficult, but I’m going to try.

In Luke 17, a Pharisee asks Jesus when the kingdom of God would come, and he explained that you wouldn’t see it coming and that it’s already here. Further, into the text, he explains it to be like in Noah’s day, everyone going about as if nothing were happening. Then Jesus says it will be like Lot’s day, when he was leaving Sodom and Gomorrah, God told them not to look back! However, his wife did, and she became an example for all to see. 

When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are not to look back and long for the mortal life that we left behind. We are to be like eagles, warriors charging forth, slicing through the air and the plans of the enemy, leaving our dead bodies behind. I think the key to this scripture is that we leave our own mortal bodies behind. Any Bible scholars who want to challenge my thoughts on this subject, please chime in, but I feel like I understand this portion of scripture better than ever before. Is this scripture really about the rapture, or is it about leaving our former way of life? Food for thought. 

Remember Lot's wife. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. 37  And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together. Luke 17:32-34 & 37 KJV

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

December 15

God is not a genie in a bottle, but he does answer our prayers and knows our desires even if we don’t vocalize them. For years my daughters and I have been going to the Henry B. Plant Museum during their Victorian Christmas Stroll. It’s not a big deal, but it’s something nice we do as a tradition. In one portion of the museum, there is a beautiful staircase, and I’ve always wondered what was at the top of it; the museum has it blocked off so you can’t use it. This year I went twice, first with one of my daughters, and yesterday with my mother, who had never been. We wanted to explore a little more, and because the school is being taught virtually, there were no students; the old Henry B. Plant Hotel that houses the museum is home to the University of Tampa. A nice gentleman who works for the museum told us that we could go through any open door, so that’s what we did. We perused through four levels of this five-level hotel made into a university, and to my surprise, we got to see what was above the beautiful staircase in the museum. It wasn’t what I expected; I was hoping for old dusty relics from a bygone era, but no, it was just more classrooms and offices. I’m happy though, I’ve had my curiosity quenched, and I’m grateful that God heard my request and answered my prayer.

God hears our cries for help; he knows our hearts and our desire for good to prevail. I don’t know what will become of this current chaos, but know this; God can change evil into good; wait for it. 

And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. Luke 17:1-2

Monday, December 14, 2020

December 14

I can’t tell you how important it is to work out your faith now. Many people are reading my posts, who are BINO (believers in name only), and need to work out their unbelief with fear and trembling. These people think they are safe, but they are no better than the Pharisees who killed the prophets of old, praising Jesus with their mouth, but living a life opposite of a true believer. 

Things in this world are rapidly changing, and tomorrow is not promised. Do not live your life for someone else! Do not base your beliefs on someone else’s experience with the “church.” They will not be there to help you when you pass from this life to eternity. Ultimately, what happens to you in the afterworld is up to you alone. If your family passed on and ended up in hell, is that where you want to go? 

There is a story in Luke 16 that Jesus tells about a rich man who ended up in hell and a poor man who had also died but ended up in heaven. He used to lay at the rich man's gate and desired to be fed with what fell from his table. He asked Abraham if Lazarus could go back from the dead and warn his brothers to change their ways, so they didn’t end up where he was, in a dry and hot place, but Abraham told him that it wasn’t allowed. 

When you die, you die alone unless you have Jesus, and he will judge everything you did. One of the differences between a Christ-follower and one who rejects him is their eternal resting place, either with Jesus or separated from him. Ask God if you are truly saved, and listen carefully to what he says; then repent, accept Jesus, and turn away from sin. 

He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”  Luke 16:31

Sunday, December 13, 2020

December 13

Not everyone knows who God is; some have their eyes hidden to whom God has not revealed himself. What’s unique about that is, he chose to reveal himself to you; that’s why you know him. 

Every year I use the same ornaments to decorate my Christmas tree; I might buy a couple of new ones because I like to collect them. This year I decorated two homes, so I divided my decorations and brought all my beachy ornaments to the beach along with three small tinsel trees that I usually put in the dining room. I’ve never decorated them because they are pretty by themselves, but since they will be my only trees at the beach, I decided to decorate them. To my surprise, the ornaments that I’ve always used, which seemed to disappear on my green tree, suddenly popped and are more beautiful than I ever imagined. Seeing them against the backdrop of the tinsel trees changed them and uncovered their beauty. 

God is like my ornaments hidden in the green tree; he has always been there but hidden in plain sight, and only revealed when he decides to open your eyes to see his magnificence. I hope you feel incredibly blessed; not everyone gets the privilege of knowing God; he chose you, and that’s an incredible honor.

Then turning to the disciples he said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.” Luke 10:23-24

Saturday, December 12, 2020

December 12

I had a dream that I was eating dinner with people I didn’t know. The conversation wasn’t going well, so I decided to share the truth about Jesus with them. In the dream, I spoke loud enough for everyone in the room to hear, but the people at my table rejected the message; however, a person that overheard the conversation accepted Jesus. 

Rejection hurts. Imagine giving your child everything they want, loving them with all your heart, only to have them reject you, turn their back, and laugh in your face. Imagine how God feels. The message of the cross is harsh, and when someone wants to go their own way and do everything that feels good to them, they are probably at odds with its truth. No matter how harsh the message seems, we must continue to get the word out. You will be rejected just as Jesus was. Take a chance, and don’t take the outcome personally.

But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town. Luke 10:11-12

Friday, December 11, 2020

December 11

God’s Word is comforting because he cares about you; that’s why you turn to it when you are feeling insecure or hopeless. 

My neighbor has a new Labrador puppy. She is sweet and loving, but she’s still a puppy. When my neighbor leaves to go to school, the puppy cries for her, howling and whimpering; it’s the saddest thing I’ve ever heard. My heart breaks, and all I want to do is comfort her, but I can’t because walls and doors block my way. 

Jesus sent his disciples into towns before him to preach and prepare the people for his arrival. Their job was probably to help soften the message they were about to hear, open doors, and tear down walls that might block them from being consoled by his message. 

He’s coming back and has sent us into the world to prepare the people of today; only now we must give them the entire message because his return will bring distress on those who don’t believe. People need to know Jesus for a soothing message like we receive through the scriptures. You can hear their cries, just listen to the news for a few minutes; it’s heartbreaking.

Don’t worry about the puppy; she’s just spoiled and settles down after a bit of time passes. 

Do your best to open doors and break down walls standing between others and Jesus; he has sent us out before his return to help save the lost and bring a comforting message.

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. Luke 10:1

FYI - the King James Version says 70. Half of the transcripts say 70, and half say 72; don’t get too caught up in the number, it’s the message that’s important right now.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

December 10

A couple of days ago, my husband mentioned that he would like to live in a high rise. That’s something I’ve never thought about but seems interesting. We only have a short time on this earth, so if you have a way of living out your interest, you should try it. This morning, before I jumped into God’s word, I got caught up in looking at skyline condos. I’m not saying we’re going to do something like that, but it’s fun to look and dream. 

Do you ever feel anxious and unsettled? It’s not a bad thing. There's a good reason for it; it’s your position as a Christ-follower. Though you may feel happy and joyful, there is still a longing for more. That longing will never quail while living apart from Jesus; though he is always with us in our hearts, we still long for his physical presence, and we continue to search for it while here on earth. 

Jesus told us in his Word that there is a price for following him; he has no place to lay his head. Your feelings of being unsettled may be because you’ve left all your hindrances and burdens behind and are carrying your cross. Leaving everything behind to follow Jesus is what makes you fit for the kingdom.

And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Luke 9:58

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

December 9

The restrictions put in place due to the pandemic have been quite aggravating. However, I’ve had one experience that made the regulations quite pleasant. My daughter and I, along with my grandsons, decided to continue our tradition of going to the H.B. Plant Museum, Victorian Christmas Stroll. This year we had to buy our tickets in advance and show up at the appointed time. Little did we know that we would have the whole museum to ourselves except a few volunteers. Wandering through the halls, taking in a past era, and reminiscing about what it would have been like to live in those days, was a great way to spend the afternoon. The best part was that it was the children’s first time there, and we got to experience it with fresh eyes. Traditions are great, but new experiences are even better, especially seeing it through a child's eyes. 

I understand why Jesus told us to come to him as children; their hearts are full of wonder; children question everything! Why this? Why that? How come? If you don’t examine why you follow certain traditions, you are bound to repeat past mistakes. Do yourself a favor and ask why, especially when it comes to church practices and rules. Know the reason and find out if it’s backed up biblically, but go a step further if you’re given a verse and make sure it’s in context, which is something you should do for every verse you hear or see. Many people are led astray by a verse taken out of context or a restriction placed without sound doctrine backing it. Question everything and never lose your sense of wonder when it comes to the things of God.

and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

December 8

Jesus came into the Gerasenes region, healed the man with Legions of demons, and the people drove him out. Just like today's pharmaceutical industry, they didn’t like people being healed of their infirmaries because it causes them to be good citizens, and it keeps them from pocketing billions. In the biblical instance, the demons came out of the man and went into the pigs who ran off the cliff; income lost! 

Then there were the people of Galilee who were like today’s Christians, who welcomed Jesus with open arms and were ready to hear his message of life and love. They were so excited to be near him that they pressed in close, so close that when the woman with the issue of blood touched the edge of his garment, he felt power leave him; no one knew she was the one. She wasn’t supposed to be among the people because her illness kept her separated from others because of Mosaic law. For years she spent money on doctors with no relief, and in an instant, she received healing because of her faith in Jesus. 

When Jesus healed the demon-possessed man, the profits went over the cliff. When he healed the woman, the doctors profiting from her also lost their income. These instances give us a clear picture of why so many people hate Christians; it’s about profit and loss.

And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. Luke 8:43-44

Monday, December 7, 2020

December 7

We are eternal beings; maybe not in our body after it dies, but our spirit lives on. Once God awakens us at conception, we live forever. Some of us will live in our bodies until a ripe old age, and others will go into eternity as youngsters. Our bodies are like a lit candle; it burns for a while, but when it’s flame is blown out, it becomes cold. As humans, our flame burns on after our time is up, and depending upon the decisions we make while alive in the body, we live in eternity, whether it is heaven or hell. 

When Jairus’s daughter was on her death bed, he came to Jesus and begged for him to go to his home and heal her, but before he could make it to her, she died. Jesus told the people around her that she was not dead; they laughed at him, knowing full well she was dead. Jesus was not wrong, nor was he kidding; there was no life in her body, but her spirit was alive. He brought both her spirit and body back together, and she lived on in her body. 

My friends, do not be fearful of death; you will live on. It will be like taking a vacation, and your companion for the trip is Jesus. You will return home again, but enjoy the journey until it’s time to return with Jesus as ruler. 

And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat. Luke 8:55

Sunday, December 6, 2020

December 6

Demon possession is real and is mentioned often in the Bible. The most famous story is about the man who lived among the tombs and was overtaken by Legions, a whole pack of demons who disable the man to the point that he ran around naked. We see this type of behavior today; those possessed may not run around naked, but they certainly show their emotions outwardly, where it’s easy to see that they are deranged.

Satan doesn’t hide in a closet anymore; he’s right out there for all to see and is flaunted by those who follow him. Jesus healed the man in the story but sent the demons into the pigs as they asked him, but the pigs drowned in the lake after running off a cliff. It doesn’t say where the demons went after that, but I guess that they ended up where they had asked him not to send them, the abyss, which is a prison for fallen spirits. 

I know of people who have filled themselves up with so much of Jesus that the evil spirits that were overtaking them are slowly disappearing one by one, and the freedom they feel is evident by their trust in God. This naked, insane man came into his right mind, sat at the feet of Jesus, filling himself with good, rather than obsessing over evil. If we set our minds on things above rather than the things of this world, our minds would be free, and the enemy couldn’t live there anymore.

Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. Luke 8:35

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

Saturday, December 5, 2020

December 5

Our community is having its annual Christmas party tonight. Our usual way of doing it is for some of our homeowners to volunteer to host, and we walk from house to house, enjoying the spread of food that each host prepares. We hold it early in December, so it kicks off the season and pushes us to get our homes decorated for the holidays. This year, because of COVID, we had to think outside the box and come up with the idea that would still get us into the holiday spirit and keep us mindful of our vulnerable guests. My neighbors came up with an idea; we close one street, set out tables and chairs for food and comfort, light it up with Christmas decorations, and party in the street. 

Things change, but we must continue to live as pleasant a life as possible. Rather than grumble and complain about our year being uprooted and overtaken by a virus, we branch out and find other ways to enjoy one another. Fear can paralyze a human spirit, but rather than die in our homes a lonely death, we find other ways to carefully keep in contact with others. This season may look different than the past, but that shouldn’t stop us from celebrating Jesus. We must be flexible, so we don’t break. 

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. Philippians 4:11

Friday, December 4, 2020

December 4

I try to be sensitive to issues in my life that might be subliminal messages from God. Over the past two weeks, I have suffered three different gashes in my fingertips. The first was a burn from a hot glue gun; the second happened on Thanksgiving day where I nearly cut off the end, and the third was just yesterday where I sliced my finger with the food processor blade. It didn’t hit me until last night that I had three issues going on with my fingertips; they all still hurt. What is God trying to bring to my attention? I found the answer, and it fits for the time. 

So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”  Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” John 20:25-27

The answer to our questions about what is going on is right here in scripture. In my post yesterday about me questioning God, he didn’t dismiss my concerns. He knew my question was coming because my fingertip issue started two weeks ago! How good is God for answering me, even though my questioning was pointing my finger at him? Was the pain worth it? YES! Anytime we hear God’s voice, and it brings clarity, whatever we had to go through to get there, is worth it. 

Many times he has me go through such as this because he knows I’ll bring a message to his followers. Through these scriptures, he is saying, “Peace be with you... Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Let’s not be doubting Thomas just because we can’t see God moving. 

Thursday, December 3, 2020

December 3

In this time of crisis, whether it’s COVID or the unresolved presidential election, there may be a falling away of believers. We are people of faith and do not rely on the things of man, but those whose roots are shallow may experience a lack of belief that God has things under his control. We must remember that what the enemy intends for evil, God can turn it for his good and the benefit of his people. I thought my roots ran deep, but even I am questioning God about our current path; God forgive me for my lack of faith. Why would so many prophetic people predict a second term only to be humiliated? Why would he subject his people to the harassment that we will experience at the hands of the evil government that we are slated to accept? We can already see what is coming by looking at the states that have closed churches and allowed death clinics and liquor stores to stay open. I am still hopeful that God’s plan includes an overturning of the current results and that we will remain a Christian country for a little while longer. Please don’t stop praying; it’s not over yet. I can see a great revival coming, but we must hold on tight to our faith in God. 

And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away. Luke 8:13

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

December 2

When Jesus enters your church, are you like Mary or Simon? Simon invited Jesus to dine with him; this is not Simon, his apostle, this Simon is a Pharisee. 

And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. Luke 7:37-38

Jesus knew who she was, but Simon thought, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” Many church people act like this, especially when someone new walks into their church. “We’ve seen you; we know who you are, and you think you can come into our church and mingle with the saints?” No one has ever said those words, but their coldness, the cutting eyes, and lack of welcome speak loudly. Let it never be said of your church that you acted like Simon upon a guest entering your home; he treated Mary and Jesus poorly. What if Jesus walked in covered by the skin of someone else? You know what I’m talking about; you’ve been that person and understand how it feels to be rejected by a church. Do your best to treat others with love and kindness; they may not deserve it, but who are you to decide what they deserve. Our lives are a test, and you don’t want to fail.

“Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Luke 7:44-46