Saturday, April 4, 2020

April 4

To the followers of Christ: Be strong and courageous! After Moses died, God came to Joshua, maybe in a dream or a vision, and commanded him to go in, and take over the promised land. Three times in his call to him, he tells him to be strong and courageous; and a fourth time he tells him to be strong and very courageous. God assured him that he was with him. There are situations we find ourselves in that require courage, unchartered lands that we enter, where fear overtakes us; maybe we are dealing with some type of illness, financial issue, new business venture, or something where the order of the day is courage. No matter what you are going through, know that because you are hidden in Christ, God is with you, and you need not be afraid. Our fear should be in God alone; what can mere man do to us! Face your challenges head on, knowing that God goes with you in every situation. Stand tall, and fight as if the Lord’s army was behind you; here’s the good news, it is!

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Friday, April 3, 2020

April 3

After making a mask for myself, and for Richard, I decided to make them for my family. Unfortunately, my family is still waiting because I’ve depleted my supply of elastic and bias tape, and the stores are out of it! The process has slowed; now I must make the bias tape which is time, and fabric consuming. I’m in the process of redesigning the patten to accommodate my lack of supplies. Though I have faith that God is protecting my family, I must still do my part to avoid infection. Sin is like this disease, and Jesus is like the mask; Jesus will protect you from the harmful effects of sin, but you must put him on like the mask in order to be protected. He is the barrier between you and sin! If you keep exposing yourself to sin, you will eventually suffer the consequences for your actions, just like you will suffer the consequences of going unprotected against this virus. Put on a mask, and never leave the house without Jesus; he is your protection against sin!

"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." 1 Corinthians 10:13

Thursday, April 2, 2020

April 2

Two yards. That’s how far apart we are told to stay away from one another. We have not been told to hate, or to be impolite. We were not told to stop smiling, or chatting. If you are wearing a mask for protection, let others see you smize. Smize is a word made up by supermodel Tyra Banks, and is now in the dictionary; it means to smile with your eyes. We must distance ourselves to stay safe, to keep others safe, and to stop the spread of disease. You could imagine Jesus stretching out his arms; that would be about the distance we should stay from one another, though I don’t know how tall he was, or how long his arms were. With that visual, is he keeping us apart, or linking us together? We still need others, but we don’t have to touch them, let Jesus touch them for us. Just because we are going through a rough time for our generation, doesn’t mean we stop showing the love of Jesus. As you visualize Jesus standing between you and your fellow man, remember how much love he has for them, and pour some of that love out on his behalf. One kind word, smile, or smize, could be all they need to feel the warmth of Jesus’s love. If you must go out for necessities, spread the love of Jesus, not the disease.

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another." John 13:34

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

April 1

When I took my dogs out early this morning, we almost got blown away by the wind! I could see that the waves were crashing against the shore in a tumult, washing anything out that came near. The clouds that were rushing past, were dark, and the air felt cool. I began to see the bright light as the sun began to make its appearance, almost parting the clouds; it’s as if God were saying, “look, even though everyone is in a panic, I’m still here, lighting up the world.” God has not forsaken those of us who love him, and keep his commands. He is our fierce protection against the evil of this world. Rest in him my dear friends, and don’t allow the fear of this epidemic to defeat you. Do what you must do to keep yourself safe, and remember the One who is in control, has you wrapped in his arms. This too, we will overcome, and we will praise the Lord for his faithfulness to his children.

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:3-5

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

March 31

There is such a heaviness surrounding us, that to feel the presence of the Lord seems distant. I’m not sure if it’s something I have failed to confess, or if the world is so distraught over the sadness of losing their fellow humans, that it is having an impact on my hearing his voice. I’ve been reading through Deuteronomy, and the Law of Moses is very heavy and full of curses, that, in itself is enough to depress a person. But, to add on top of that the current world affairs, and the situation with disease, makes it harder to write an uplifting message. 

There is good news in all of this, Jesus! He is our light at the end of the tunnel. He is our hope when all seems hopeless. He gives us something to look forward to if the world fails. He gives us strength to make it another day. He is our reward! Because of him, life is worth living, even during a hardship. Lift your eyes toward heaven, don’t look back to this evil world, you will only become dismayed. Our only hope is in Jesus, look to him, and be refreshed.

looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. Hebrews 12:2-3

Monday, March 30, 2020

March 30

Being stuck at home makes me appreciate my love for gardening. The areas I have planted, the smell of jasmine, and gardenia, make me thankful for the time I spent digging and working the ground. The flowers are the exciting payoff for the time I spent doing what I love.

One of my friends from my hometown mentioned that she had helped a man pray to accept Jesus as his Savior; her time spent in God’s word, and in prayer, gave her the confidence to know when to pick that beautiful fruit. She was able to harvest a soul because his co-workers had invested time in prayer for him, but it took her confidence in the Holy Spirit to go beyond her comfort zone, and risk rejection. Fortunately, we can’t take credit for the salvation any more than we can take the blame for the rejection. 

Make it a point to begin digging into God’s Word. The more time you spend, the more confidence you will have in his power to guide you to bring others to know Jesus; after all, that is our mission.

Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. John 4:35-36

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