Friday, December 31, 2021

December 31

If I ramble today, forgive me. I’m a bit anxious about tomorrow, the beginning of 2022. Gasp! In early 2014, I began seeing 222 everywhere, and since then, I have been trying to figure out the meaning. When I started seeing it, I prayed because if it was from the enemy, I wanted him to flee, but if it was from God, he deserved praise; I didn’t know if it was a warning of pending distress or a blessing. If it was a warning, I needed the cover of prayer, and if it was a blessing, I needed to praise the One who was blessing me. I become a bit stressed when I see it because, more often than not, trouble has followed it; not serious trouble, but uncomfortable issues. Maybe God intervenes because of my prayer. One time I saw it, there was a car accident that backed up the traffic for over an hour, and the accident was at mile marker 222! This type of thing happens all the time! I know now that it’s not from the enemy because the 222’s would have stopped already. After all, I pray every time. 

The point of today’s message is to pray for 2022, that it will be a blessing rather than a curse and that God will make good of what the enemy intends for evil. 

For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:21

Thursday, December 30, 2021

December 30

Last evening we decided to go to the lovely little town of Dunedin for dinner. The route guidance took us through the tourist section of Clearwater Beach; we knew better than to go that way because of the overpopulation of that area. It was a nightmare! We got stuck in traffic for over an hour! With all the beautiful beaches in Florida, it seems that the only beach people from out of state hear about is Clearwater. My advice, don’t go there, it’s not worth the hassle. After agonizing in stop-and-go traffic, our nerves were shot, and our anxiety was off the charts; plus, we were hungry! We should have taken the road less traveled, but no, we had to subject ourselves to chaos. 

This scenario is the perfect example of our life in Christ. When you are the elect of Jesus, and you follow him closely, you are on the road less traveled. Most people choose the chaotic route where worldly living keeps them enticed by the draw of sinful desires. We have chosen a more leisurely lifestyle where peacefulness and tranquility draw us closer to Jesus. Christian living is far from boring, but in the end, we will be home with Jesus rather than cast into hell where chaos lives eternally.

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Matthew 7:13-14

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

December 29

We’ve gone out to dinner for the last two nights. That’s usual for us, but we are taking a bit of a vacation before the new year. Much to our surprise, many people have had the same idea; the restaurants were packed both nights. It seems like people are finally going back to work, and life is beginning to feel somewhat normal again. However, living in the last of the last days, you cannot call it normal; it’s anything but ordinary. Those awake can never be lulled back to sleep and can see the coming destruction of those around us if they don’t awaken to the truth. We’ve been under the spell of the devil for far too long; he has infiltrated every aspect of our lives. 

To help you start filtering out the lies, you must resolve to read your Bible daily. Though it doesn’t seem like it would make a difference, I can assure you that feeding your mind wholesome food will enable you to begin seeing the truth.

The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. 1 Peter 4:7

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

December 28

I had to meet a home inspector early Monday morning. On my way there, I encountered a large semi-truck blocking the entire road, so I had to find a different route. Before I got to my destination, the road I chose was blocked by a pickup truck; it looked like someone had forgotten to put it in park, and it rolled into the street; I was able to go around this roadblock. After the second roadblock, I said to myself, if this happens again, I’ll know God is speaking to me, and it happened! The inspection was completed, and I headed back home, only to find that the road to my home was blocked by a tree removal company’s truck, but I could squeeze by. All of this happened within a short period; I can’t make this stuff up!

The big truck represents God and his protection; he blocked that path to protect the person I might encounter on that particular path and possibly me. The other two roads, he allowed me to squeeze by slowly and carefully with his help. It’s no coincidence that I was headed to an inspection; God made me aware that he was inspecting me.

This whole scenario played out within an hour of my passing these roadblocks, and I could see why God completely blocked my interactions with a particular person because I was a little salty about them. However, he did allow two minor interactions with others involved to accomplish his intentions. The lesson, which I learned well, is not to dismiss anything as coincidence when God is at work in your life. The following verse applies to me, but it’s a good lesson for everyone.

Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 1 Peter 3:9

Monday, December 27, 2021

December 27

After I finished writing my devotional yesterday, I took a long walk on the beach. It was still fairly early, so the sun hadn’t made its way over the tops of the high rises lining the shore. Anytime I ask the LORD to teach me something, he is faithful to answer. He drew my attention to the shadows cast by the buildings; it was still cool, so I tried to hurry past the shade so I could feel the sun on my skin. There was a shadow, then sun, and as I continued walking, the pattern repeated. I walked about a mile until I reached a beach park where there were no more buildings; it opened up to the beauty of the full sun. 

When I turned to walk back, nearly the entire beach was drenched in sunlight, but as I drew closer to home, where the beach narrows, three very tall buildings were still casting their shadow, they are all part of the same complex called Ultimar. I can’t make this stuff up! The last building that I pass is called the Finale’, and my building is called The Harbour. 

The walk we take during this lifetime is like walking in the shadow of the buildings, where you have shadowy days and sunny days, good and bad. Those days are nearing the end. The Ultimar represents the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and is the shadow of the Almighty, where it is the ultimate safety. We are nearing the Finale,’ and soon, we will reside in a safe Harbour. Be patient in your adversity; it’s almost over. We can look forward to a thousand years of peace where the LORD Jesus will rule and reign, and his light will shine continuously.

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

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalms 91:1

Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years. Revelation 20:6

Sunday, December 26, 2021

December 26

My daughter overheard someone speaking negatively about me the other day; they had accidentally called her without knowing. Taking into account the nature and character of the person on the other end of the phone, I dismissed it. She only heard a snippet of what they said, but they were disparaging me and said they “didn’t know how I could write a devotional.” So instead of becoming hurt because another person thinks ill of me, it fueled me to do more because I know that the enemy meant it for evil, but God will use it for good. I don't need to mention this incident to them because they spoke out of their character, and their father is the devil, and that’s punishment enough. 

The only reason I’m telling you about it is that you need to know that you will be mischaracterized at the hand of the enemy, but you should never allow it to stop you from doing what God has called you to do and continue trusting the one who judges justly.

When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 1 Peter 2:23

Saturday, December 25, 2021

December 25

Resolve to begin reading your Bible daily over this next year. You don’t have to read it in its entirety, and if you don’t know where to start, start in John. Pray before you read; if you don’t know what to pray, pray the Lord’s Prayer. Taking this simple step of obedience will change your life, honor God, and help you deal with whatever this world tries to throw at you. God needs to hear from you through your prayer, and you need to hear from him through reading your Bible. It’s a simple conversation, a dedication to the One who loves you the most. 

Chew on this verse today; it’s the perfect explanation of why we celebrate Jesus on this special day:

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

Thursday, December 23, 2021

December 23

If you want a picture of what real love is, read Luke 23. This chapter reveals the lengths Jesus went to for our salvation. He endured all different kinds of physical and emotional trauma on our behalf. From his birth to his death and resurrection, his love for us is evident and overwhelmingly powerful; so powerful that it saves us from eternal damnation but also allows us the hope for living in Heaven for our eternity. The Christmas season is drawing to an end; make it a point to remember why we celebrate it. I’ve struggled for years concerning the whole celebration because of its pagan beginnings, but so much good can come from it if we make it about Jesus; it brings joy and festivity to an otherwise bleak time of year. Keep Christ in Christmas; he’s been here since before the foundation of the world so let’s honor him as he deserves.

And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:42-43

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

December 22

Right before Jesus was seized and taken to the cross for our sins, he told his disciples that scripture must be fulfilled about him. It was true then, and it’s true now. I found it interesting that this portion of scripture was included:

And he said to them, “When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.” Luke 22:35-37

Was this written to make the story good, or was this written as instructions to us?  I believe Luke included this scripture for this time in history. Take your money and weapons and do what you must do because what was written about Jesus will be fulfilled, and it’s happening right now. Defend yourself against the power of darkness. Everything he taught was to clear your mind of damage caused by your circumstances, and in this one moment, it changes to the physical. We know by his example that this was a defensive strategy because when Peter cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant, Jesus stopped him from doing any more damage and healed the servant's ear. He wants us to be prepared for whatever trials may be coming; prepare your mind and your body because whether we are ready or not, scripture is amid fulfillment. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

December 21

If you haven’t read Luke 21, you should. Some people are reading through the Book of Luke like an advent to Christmas, so I decided to jump in and catch up on the last few chapters as we approach Christmas Day. Chapter 21 reads like a checklist. With the news and social media controlling the narrative, you may not realize that the prophecy Jesus spoke about in this chapter is happening now; you’ve probably heard bits and pieces of rumors, so it will perk your ears as you read it. Jesus told us about the conspiracies long ago; you may not believe people when they tell you what’s unfolding in the world today or maybe it’s too disturbing, so you would rather pretend it’s not happening; I completely understand that approach, but that creates a problem for the rest of us. Unless the majority of the people wake up to what’s going on, the rulers of darkness will win. This verse consoles me: 

“Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads because your redemption is drawing near.” Luke 21:28

We think we know what freedom is, but we don’t. We will receive our true freedom when Jesus redeems us from this world. Stand strong, mighty warriors! Keep up the fight!

Monday, December 20, 2021

December 20

I’m a residential real estate agent/broker by trade. I’ve been in it many years and have my own company. It has become second nature, except for my latest endeavor to sell an entire townhouse complex. With it being residential, I thought it would be as simple as selling any house, but I was wrong; it’s more commercial than residential, and investors are clamoring for it. The buyers in this market want to know the cap rate. So, I give them the numbers, and they can calculate the rate themselves. I left all that math behind after I got my license; I memorized it long enough to pass the exam!

God has invested a lot in us and expects a return on his investment. If he gives you a little, he expects you to invest what he gave you, so he gets a good return. If he gives you a lot, he expects a lot in return. Take what he has given you and increase it. The more people you tell about Jesus and bring into the kingdom of God, the quicker the increase of God’s investment. Do your part.

If you read Luke 19, The Parable of the Ten Minas, this might become clearer.

‘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

Sunday, December 19, 2021

December 19

Yesterday, every so often, I would hear a banging noise, and I looked out the window but wouldn’t see anything. Finally, I walked outside and saw it; a squirrel had somehow gotten into the bird feeder and couldn’t get out! That smart little thing had figured out how to lift the lid off the top of the feeder to get into it but couldn’t figure out how to get out. What a predicament! The food was so enticing that he couldn’t resist and then became trapped with no way out. 

This scenario is a picture of how sin draws us in, traps us, and offers no way out. The filthy little creature was caught red-handed and sentenced to die if I hadn’t come along and released him. In this story, I acted like Jesus, forgave that little rascal for stealing from the birds I was feeding, and gave him his life back. As a follower of Jesus, we commit to helping him bring others to salvation by releasing them from the trap of sin through faith in him; it’s an act of love and obedience. Play your part, and pass on the knowledge of salvation through Jesus; this world is crying out for him, and we are his representative until he returns.

Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; 1 Peter 1:22-23

Saturday, December 18, 2021

December 18

It’s been an interesting week in the rental business. I don’t think we’ve ever had a week where three refrigerators have broken down all at once. Thankfully, the repairs were minor. Come to think about it, last week, we had to purchase a new refrigerator for our condo because it wasn’t cooling properly. That makes four! When I see things repeated, my ears perk up because God may be speaking to me through my circumstances, so I need to pay attention. A refrigerator can symbolize the heart, even a cold heart. I don’t think it’s about a “cold” heart because there were issues with two of them becoming warm. The other two were leaking onto the floor. I have some digging to do, and if you have some clues to the meaning, feel free to expand. 

The point of telling you this is to learn to pay attention to the things going on around you; there is a reason for everything. We’re not a bowling lane with the bumpers up, keeping us out of the gutter and causing us to bounce off the sides until life is over; everything has meaning. God will speak to you through your circumstances. When you recognize situations repeating, you must become a detective and look for the point. 

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27

Friday, December 17, 2021

December 17

The Book of James was a letter addressed to the Jewish Christians scattered throughout the nations; that’s us! Don’t forget, if you aren’t part of the lineage, the Bible says God has adopted you into his family. I mention this because James says that Elijah was a man with a nature like ours. Isn’t that interesting? I tend to put biblical characters on a pedestal, especially Elijah, because of the miracles attributed to him and because he never died. James reminds us that Elijah’s faith was strong, and when he prayed, God answered his prayers because of that faith. It wasn’t only his faith but his fervent prayer - he prayed with passion. 

So today, I ask you to pray fervently like Elijah; for God to overcome the evil overtaking societies throughout the world. They are taking advantage of the fear they created to oppress the people through tyrannical lockdowns. Though we may not feel like we are the nature of Elijah, the Bible clearly states that we are. Become part of the fight against evil through passionate prayers.

Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. James 5:17

Thursday, December 16, 2021

December 16

The penance for the government officials who have used the money of their constituents to become wealthy will soon come to fruition, and they will find themselves facing the wrath of God. We know who they are. They’ve never worked an honest day in their lives and amassed millions and even billions of dollars off the backs of hard-working people who do not resist them. These people have sold their souls, rejected God, and will pay the price for their greed. God knows who they are, knows their character, and even wrote about them here in James. I am convinced that we will begin to see their pitiful lives crumble before us as God unveils all of their corruption. The swamp he is draining is in every country on earth; a slime pit of disgusting creatures will crawl out only to face his wrath. We, God’s chosen, will watch with our eyes and see the recompense of the wicked, and we will plunder their wealth and live in peace. Our job is to continue to pray that we escape the madness and that anyone who wants a way out will reject Satan and his evil and will seek Jesus for salvation.

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. James 5:1-3

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

December 15

Wow! It’s only ten days until Christmas! I feel like I just decorated my house, and it’s almost time to take it down. Is Christmas ever over for a Christian? I don’t think so. We celebrate Jesus every day, or at least we should; what we miss is the festive decor that comes with Christmas. The truth is, we wouldn’t appreciate it as much if we kept our homes decorated for this holiday every day. It brings a little joy to an otherwise drab time of year, with shorter days and dreary weather. 

Winter is coming; as soon as it hits, the days will slowly become longer, our daylight will return, and then spring will appear. We are in a season, and it will pass soon. Be patient like the farmer who waits for the early and late rains, and prepare your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Whatever difficulty you may be facing right now, remember, it's only a season, and seasons pass quickly. 

Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. James 5:7-8

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

December 14

If ever there was a time in history that we can honestly say we are unsure what tomorrow will bring, it is now. The biblical times we have anticipated seem to be on our doorstep. It may seem like worldly turmoil; I guarantee you it’s more than that. Read Zephaniah when you have time; it’s only three short chapters, but you will see that it’s playing out like a movie. When you read it, remember that we are the children of God because he adopted us into the family through our faith in Jesus. We are the remnant of Judah; that’s good news for us. Think about those who worship Satan; Hollywood, politicians, your average uninformed person, large corporations, and many others. They will face the consequences of God’s wrath, not us, and we will plunder what’s left after God pours out his anger. 

In chapter 1, verse 5, he mentions Milcom, another name for Molech, the idol that followers sacrifice children to; you’ve seen it depicted as a goat/man-like creature with horns. You don’t have to look very hard to find out who worships such evil. Keep your eyes shut if you want to live in bliss, but if you're going to participate in the most exciting time in history, dig into some of the so-called theories; it’s eye-opening, and you won’t be able to shut them again, and that’s a good thing.

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. James 4:13-14

Monday, December 13, 2021

December 13

Have you ever looked into the face of a stranger and had them glare back at you with contempt? I’ve had it happen to me a lot lately. I’m a pretty friendly person, and I smile at people. The media have tried their best to divide us into opposing groups; don’t let it affect you. Though they’ve given me a dirty look and held a straight face without smiling, I still smile at them. It’s then that I know they’ve fallen for the narrative, and I feel sorry for them. I also know they lack salvation because anyone who loves Jesus loves others and shows it. If you’re reading this, you are not that person, but I want you to keep smiling at the people that you know oppose you. It’s your duty, and it shows you genuinely care about people. Maybe they will soften up and smile back, or maybe not; smile anyway! Eventually, they will see the truth, but until that time comes, be Jesus to those who don’t know him.

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:6-7

Sunday, December 12, 2021

December 12

This morning, I was thinking about my wanting to live at the beach. It’s something I’ve desired for as long as I can remember. My prayer was always, “Lord, I want to live on the beach, and I would be happy even if it’s just a shack.” I never expected to ever have a place at the beach, but somehow God worked it out for me. I’ve been at the beach for the past week and never set foot on the sand; in fact, I barely moved off the couch. God knows us more than we know ourselves, and maybe we ask for things we think we want, and he gives us a taste of what we ask to show us we thought wrong. Now I question whether I still have that desire. I’m certainly not ungrateful, and I love getting away for a bit of time, but he has shown me things to make me question my heart. Now, I pray that he shows me the truth about my heart's desires, that which is in me that hasn’t revealed itself. Today, if you haven’t already asked, ask God to help you see the truth about your desires and for him to show you the depths of your heart. I believe you will find true contentment if you listen to him.

You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. James 4:2-3

Saturday, December 11, 2021

December 11

One of my favorite verses is James 3:17: 

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 

Some people thrive on drama and are not at peace within. They spend much of their lives stirring up anxiety in others. Why? To make themselves feel better about their own misery. I try to stay clear of people like that because they interrupt my peace, and they aren’t living in the wisdom from above. When you read this verse, make an assessment of yourself; read each word and ask, “do I exhibit this attribute?” If you’re lacking in any of these areas, consider praying and asking God to help you gain the wisdom that is only available from him. It’s much easier to deal with people if you have attained his wisdom. 

Friday, December 10, 2021

December 10

We had to buy a new refrigerator because the one we had wasn’t cooling well enough. We went to the store and picked one out that wouldn’t break the bank and had it delivered. When it got here, it was damaged. We had to go back to the store and pick out a different one and are now waiting for them to bring the new one today. I watched the delivery guys unloading the dented one, and they were not careful at all; it’s no wonder it was all dented. They looked decent and clean-cut, but their actions told a different story. The trouble with my judgment is that the dents could have happened before they put it on the truck, so I can’t blame them because I didn’t see them take a hammer to the front of it, which is how it looked. 

It’s easy to create a scenario that fits the outcome we see, but that’s not always the truth in a matter. We should be careful to refrain from a snap judgment because we may not have all the facts. Thankfully, I didn’t blame them and kept my mouth shut about the situation. We tend to judge people based on appearances, but God tells us not to do that because, more often than not, we will get it wrong. Think things through carefully without making a judgment. 

So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:12-13

Thursday, December 9, 2021

December 9

When I was walking my dogs the other day, we decided to take a different route. We hadn’t ventured too far off the beaten path. As I stepped over a parking curb, I didn’t see that the terrain had become uneven; the rain had created a hole where the water drips off the pavement, and I stepped right in it! Down I went, and the leash flew out of my hands! I sat there for a minute until the pain in my right foot subsided, but I got up and powered through the walk for my dogs. I sat with my feet up most of the day yesterday, and today, it’s much better. 

The devil is warning me that I’m in his territory and need to remember who rules this world in which we live. I am determined and will not let a fall prohibit me from staying on the road God has set me. Stay faithful to God; show the devil that circumstances will not sway you and that you will continue to work out your faith with fear and trembling. Whether the path is treacherous or smooth, stay on it! It’s narrow and has many obstacles, but remember, God’s plan for us is more excellent than we can imagine, so stay the course.

For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Matthew 7:14

So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. James 2:17

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

December 8

When my kids were growing up, there was a boy their age that lived down the street. They played together as children, and they grew a friendship that is still evident today. He was a head shorter than them throughout their school years, but he had a mouth on him and talked big like he had the power and size of a grown man. As they grew into teenagers and young adults, my youngest son was the one who would hang out with him and run the streets. My son is no angel and can get himself into trouble without any help, but on more than one occasion, he had to defend his friend whose mouth would incite the violence and revenge from someone who couldn’t resist the temptation to smack him down over his loose lips. He’s a grown man, and now his size matches his mouth, but I think he has learned to control it better; at least, it seemed that way the last time I saw him. 

Even though our tongue is small in size, it can set fire to our life like a small fire sets a whole forest ablaze. Don’t praise God one minute and curse a human the next. Bridle your tongue; ask the Holy Spirit for help.

And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. James 3:6

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

December 7

The fog became very thick last night; now the sun has risen, and it’s as if it hasn’t. It’s bright outside, but the big ball of fire is hidden in the mist. I’ve been writing about opening your eyes and heart to the truth about the enemy’s plan; we can’t see it as a whole, but we don’t need to know everything. However, we need to understand that there is a sinister plan, and many people we trust have sold out to him and are pawns in his operation. We may not know every detail, but we need to keep our minds sharp, so we comprehend when he aims to destroy us. Though the Son has risen, the enemy is roaming about trying to keep our minds busy and in a fog, occupied with other things, so we don’t notice when he creeps in to take control. Become vigilant and listen for any clues; he has set traps to ensnare us and is hopeful we will become complacent and let our guard down so he can rush in and trap us. Continue to pray for discernment and the foresight to know when trouble waits on your path. Strengthen your faith and sleep in your armor!

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

Monday, December 6, 2021

December 6

Many people will be awakened to the truth abruptly rather than easing into it over the years. I began waking up when I started a Bible training curriculum through my church. My teacher taught us how to understand and decipher biblical text to reveal the whole meaning of God’s scripture. I began to recognize scripture I had never noticed, and I had read the entire Bible several times at that point. We tend to gravitate towards the scriptures we’ve heard and rush past what seems blurry. Something is wrong when the place you trust neglects to teach the whole truth. There is no such thing as a perfect church; they teach what they know. That’s why you need to know God’s Word by doing research.

There was another step God took me through that helped me gain freedom. It’s a process of ridding yourself of the issues that chain your mind and hold you captive like a slave. If you go to my blog and put the word freedom in the search bar, you will find posts that can help you learn how to loose those chains.

Don’t waste any more time; seek freedom for your mind now, or you may be devastated by the truth. 

I know I’ve already used this verse several times since I started the Book of James, but we need to heed its warning.

Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. James 1:16

Sunday, December 5, 2021

December 5

Shortly after I moved to my current home, back in May, I set up my bird feeders. It was probably June or July when I noticed new baby cardinals begin frequenting the feeder. Now it’s December, and I see them all day long, munching on the fresh seed. I’m not one who believes that cardinals represent dead people visiting. It’s a nice sentiment, but you’re fooling yourself if you believe it. I’m feeding them, so of course, they come into my yard. 

I also live near a lake, and if I began feeding the alligators in that lake, they would come close too and would probably multiply like the birds. However, I have not chosen to feed a large scary animal, but a beautiful and tender one. Whatever you choose to feed will come near you. If you feed your soul the Word of God, the Kingdom of Heaven will come near you, but if you choose to feed it thoughts of sin, the consequence of sin will overtake you. Keep feeding on the Word of God, and it will grow, and your blessings will multiply.

Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. James 1:21

Saturday, December 4, 2021

December 4

For years, refrigerators have been making ice and distributing water without the need for a filter. Now, manufacturers have devised a plan to keep money coming in from the new refrigerators by making them beep and make noise when the filter requires replacement. The obnoxiousness makes you give in and purchase a replacement, so you don’t have to hear it. Think of other money-making schemes that need us to pay to keep things running correctly. 

What about your own body? I know people who’ve been diagnosed with high cholesterol who must go to the doctor at least once a year to get a new prescription for statins. The doctor makes money, the pharmacy makes money, and the manufacturer makes money. Is it really cholesterol that causes heart problems, or could it be the processed food? Are the manufacturers in on this scheme together? Follow the money to the top, and you will see that they are. 

The Bible doesn’t talk about anyone needing continuous medications to stay alive, and they lived much longer than we do. Spend some time in thought instead of allowing others to think for you. We’ve allowed our thinking time to be replaced by television and technology, and we don’t use our brain the way God created it. Put down the mobile device and turn off the tv, and think for yourself for a moment.

Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. 2 Timothy 2:7

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5

Friday, December 3, 2021

December 3

What gives you the most joy? In addition to my family and friends, I get the most satisfaction from gardening, being near the water, and frolicking in nature. I love seeing the birds and other wildlife, the plants and their blooms, and the magnificence of trees and the nature that surrounds them. All of these God’s hand has made and has given them to us to enjoy. In addition, I like to eat, which is also a specialty of God since he created all the food that feeds us. I’m most grateful to him for sending Jesus to give us a way to cleanse us from our sin. So, you see, the most precious things to me are gifts from God. Think about your life and journey deep into your heart and see what is most important to you; I would venture to guess that they are gifts that only God could give you. The rest of it is just a way for us to pass the time until we meet him in the flesh. 

Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. James 1:16-18

Thursday, December 2, 2021

December 2

My grandson, who is not quite two yet, is full of life. I got to watch him for a bit yesterday while his mom ran errands. He had just gotten up from a nap when she dropped him off, so I made him a snack. I turned my back for a few seconds, which happens to be a long time for a toddler, and he managed to get out the door. He was very stealthy. I started calling for him, and he yelled at me from just outside the door; I had shown him the doorbell earlier, and I think he was trying to push the button. Thank goodness he didn’t die under my watch! I learned my lesson. God bless his mom and dad; they are going to run themselves ragged, keeping him alive. 

Do you think God looks at us that way sometimes? We do some foolish things that keep him running. He leaves us on our own for 2 seconds, and we destroy the things he put in place to keep us safe. Don’t blame God for the mess you made of your life; he is there to watch over you, but when you do things outside of the perimeters he set, like the closed door for my grandbaby, life will go sideways very quickly. God placed boundaries in your heart and his Word, don’t venture beyond them!

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. James 1:13-16

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

December 1

Welcome to December! Let’s hope the madness ends with the coming of the new year! I’m not going to hold my breath, though. It may seem trying to traverse all the ills of this day and age, but let me remind you that you were allowed to live during this time in history for a reason, even if it’s only to trust Jesus and hold fast to him. We have much to look forward to, not only the promise of heaven but living our daily lives with the power of the truth on our side. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, though we have prophecy as our guide, we can rest assured that whether we live in the flesh or move on to eternity, joy awaits because we are the beloveds of our King and Savior, and he wants only the best for us. Hold tight to Jesus while he refines us with fire and purifies us with his blood. 

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

November 30

Why do you like the things you like? The clothes you wear, the decor of your home, the things you buy? I’ve never understood why a plastic-covered canvas bag is worth more than a leather bag; does that even make sense? A natural item given to us by God for our use, and we prefer a man-made, manufactured object over the simple beauty of leather. Why? Because the wealthy are carrying it! It makes us lowly peasants want to pursue it even though we cannot afford it. God help us; we’re stupid. God is speaking to me today! I’m guilty! How do we stop the madness? Ask God for wisdom. 

Solomon asked God for discernment between good and evil, and God not only gave him wisdom, but because he asked for such a good thing, he gave him more riches than anyone who has ever lived, and yet, his attire was still not as beautiful as the lilies of the field. If you are pursuing something other than wisdom, stop! Let God give you discernment, and then maybe you won’t care about wealth because you will focus on godly pursuits.

For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits. James 1:11

Monday, November 29, 2021

November 29

“Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.” Today, I selfishly prayed for God to increase my wisdom. Then, I got to thinking, I’ve prayed this prayer before, and he increased it a measure, but then I thought, the world needs wisdom to help debunk the lies spewed everywhere. So, in addition to praying for my own wisdom, I prayed for God to increase the wisdom of the gullible. Once the world wakes up, we can get on with our lives and put the culprits to this ongoing disaster in jail, where they belong. Let’s pray this prayer together today, “LORD, please increase the wisdom of the people so that they won’t fall for the schemes of the devil. Would you please move forward with your plan for Jesus to come and rule and reign? In Jesus's name, Amen.” Pray this prayer in faith, and maybe we can walk away from the new fake mutant scheme unscathed. 

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. James 1:5-6

Sunday, November 28, 2021

November 28

I’ll never forget my broken-hearted five-year-old the day his dad passed away. I didn’t think he understood what was happening until he accidentally broke one of the wise men from the nativity set sitting on the fireplace hearth. He burst into tears and thought he had ruined the whole thing. It still makes me tear up just thinking about it. From that point on, I quit displaying the wise men when I set out a nativity set for Christmas, and, if you think about it, they were not there for the birth of Jesus; it was about a year later. This year, for the first time in 26 years, I decided to display that particular nativity set; I hadn’t even looked at it for all those years. When I noticed the missing wise man, the memories of that day flooded back. That was a rough time in our lives, but I grew in the LORD immensely during that time; I had to rely on him; he was all I had. There was no superhero to swoop in and save the day; it was Jesus who got me through it. Since then, I have grown stronger in my walk, depending on him every step of the way. 

If you are struggling right now, rely on Jesus, he will get you through. You will persevere and learn to depend on him for everything. He’s all we have, but he’s all we need.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. James 1:2-3

Saturday, November 27, 2021

November 27

Have you ever gone to the park in the dark? Thanksgiving night, we got off the couch and went into town to a local park to view their Christmas lights display. The attention to detail was impeccable, and we were mesmerized by the sparkling presentation. I’ve always wanted to venture through this park because the landscaping is incredible and perfectly manicured, but to attend in the dark, well, that was never a thought. However, because of the light exhibit, it felt safe because the park was packed with people; I guess the light drew people in just like bugs. 

It’s the same with people who display the light of Jesus; they draw people in like bugs because we all want to be near his light. If people aren’t attracted to the Jesus in you, you may need to shore up your display, clean off the bulbs by confessing your sin, so his light will shine in you to the joy of those around you. However, you must remember that some abhor the light and prefer darkness; your glow won’t be pleasing to them; shine anyway!

If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:6-7