Saturday, February 20, 2021

February 20

We finally get a weekend away, and it’s chilly! Hopefully, it warms up a little so that I can enjoy the beach today. Driving over the Howard Franklin Bridge, crossing Tampa Bay, we noticed that one side of the bay was choppy with high waves while the other side seemed calm, almost like smooth glass. The bridge was creating a buffer to block the wind from one side, quieting the sea and making it a safe harbor. I wouldn’t want to be in a boat during stormy weather, but if a storm comes up while navigating through an inland waterway, it’s nice to find a place of repose. 

We are all living through a storm right now, a brutal and unstable time in the history of the world, but we have Jesus! He is our bridge, the windbreak that keeps our water peaceful. If you feel you are navigating through the rough water, and the sea is tossing you around and about to overtake your boat, make your way toward Jesus, seek refuge in his cove to shelter you from the madness. When you hide in Jesus, the violent storm can’t touch you.

And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” Mark 4:39-41

Friday, February 19, 2021

February 19

Amid the turmoil, God gives blessings. I spent the day with my mom, and we went to Marie Selby Gardens in Sarasota. We couldn’t have asked for a better day! It was a sunny day, and the gardens were overflowing with flowers. The color was magnificent and eye-popping. The warm breeze from the intercoastal sent wafts of floral fragrance throughout the garden. Around every corner, we were captivated by the more picturesque beauty of unusual yet elegant plant life. 

God knew that a pattern of despair brought on by governmental disgust needed broken, so he gave us a reprieve from the insanity and sent us out to enjoy the wonders of his creation and give us insight into what he has in store for our future. Take a moment, turn off the television, put down your devices, go outside, break away from the madness, and partake in all that God has to offer.

And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Matthew 6:27-29

Thursday, February 18, 2021

February 18

Have you ever consider that your actions might cause someone to be left behind? It is a dreadful thought. Unfortunately, we are not perfect; only Jesus bears the responsibility of being perfect. However, we must do our best to represent him, but there are times that our human nature works against us and leaves us feeling ashamed. Confess, and repent, and pray for that person if the Holy Spirit brings to mind your sin against them; if possible, seek forgiveness. There are times you may not know you’ve hurt someone, a harsh word, a misunderstanding, or maybe they are easily offended; whatever the case may be, try your best to make Jesus proud of you. This world is a minefield, with traps of sin around every corner; we must do our best to avoid such mines and walk upright in Jesus. Pray that your every step is pleasing to the LORD, that no one takes offense by your words or actions, and that you don’t become a stumbling block.

So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man. Acts 24:16

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

February 17

Don’t lose hope; our God is amazing and can turn our world around in an instant! We may be in the tunnel right now, but there is a bright light at the end, and that light is Jesus. There is too much evil for him to turn away from us now; eventually, he will answer our prayers. Just like Sodom and Gomorrah, where Abraham prayed that if even ten righteous persons were there, God wouldn’t destroy it, I would say that there are a few more than that, and if he answered Abraham, I expect that he will answer us. We must pray in one accord that Satan would be held back for a time and his evil minions exposed and destroyed before our eyes. This job is not for one man, it is only God who can accomplish such a monumental task as this, and until God’s people recognize this, he will keep us in a holding pattern. Turn your eyes toward God, worship him, and praise his holy name. Let your voice be heard in heaven, thanking him for what he has done and what he is about to do.

In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:4-5

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

February 16

Because I’m on our association's board, I usually get calls about maintenance issues. I don’t mind, but sometimes I wish I was living freely without the responsibility. We have a management company, but I understand it’s easier to get in touch with me because I’m right next door. 

I got a call yesterday about our emblem being off our gate. I think someone thought it was brass and tried to steal it and got deterred by a visitor or homeowner coming in the gate, but I’m not sure; that’s just a guess. Thankfully, there are others who care, one who called me to say he would bolt it back on. 

Here’s my analogy of the situation: our neighbors are like people around us who have an idea about God but have limited knowledge, and the management company is like God. It’s easier to ask a Christian to pray for their situation because they are not sure if God will answer them, but they know a Christian has direct access. It’s also possible to get better results if more than one person calls! Make sure you pray for those who ask, it’s their first step of faith, and maybe one day they will trust God enough to communicate with him themselves.

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 1 Timothy 2:1-2

Monday, February 15, 2021

February 15

How much longer do we have to live in freedom? The current administration, voted in by constituents who are like them, have evil intentions, and are planning to bring on the end by instituting the new world order. Many past presidents have mentioned it and have been accessories to the nefarious plan. You and I will not have to deal with this evil madness much longer if they are allowed to continue on their current trajectory; the whole world will be slaves to it. However, those of us who God chose from the beginning will be ushered into heaven with Jesus as he calls his own to be with him. The problem with that is, our loved ones, many of whom have not put their trust in him, will be left behind and will have to choose whether to take the mark of the beast, which will lead them to hell, or choose Jesus and be tortured and die of starvation. They will have to turn to Jesus and will have to fear God more than man. This end is very real, and it’s happening in our lifetime! Did you ever think you would be living in such a time? I’ve always known that I wouldn’t die, but I thought that was my eternal life attitude, giving me hope; but it turns out that we may be living through the rapture. I hope you’re ready because it’s closer than you think. I’m sorry to be so “matter of fact” this morning, but our world is so much more depraved than I ever thought I would witness. Please encourage the people you love to draw close to Jesus; he’s our only hope.

So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. Acts 10:34-35

Sunday, February 14, 2021

February 14

Have you ever read Alice in Wonderland? Yesterday, I decided to read the book since I’d never watched any of the movies. It’s about a little girl who fell asleep in her sister's lap while they were enjoying the warm summer outdoors, and she began to dream. She fell into a hole while following a white rabbit. From there, she met all kinds of critters. Every time she would eat or drink something, she would either shrink or grow to suit her surroundings. And so she told her story of her crazy adventure. In the end, her sister explained how Alice’s environment had contributed to her dream and had made up the cast of characters she had seen. 

I find it incredible how God works. This morning I began reading Acts 10, and guess what it’s about? Peter’s dream with all the critters in a sheet! How do they relate? I don't’ know! In Peter’s dream, God told him to kill and eat, showing him that nothing is unclean. God made it clear to him that we, as Gentiles, were also called to know him, and thus began our way to salvation in Jesus. Some dreams have deep meaning, like Peter’s, but others are just ramblings like Alice’s. If I had the desire to decode it, it probably has a deeper meaning, but that’s for another day. 

The point of my message today is that God may want you to start writing down your dreams; sometimes, they are him trying to tell you something. Pay attention. If you don’t understand them, ask him to help you or put someone in your path that can help you decode it. Do you remember how Acts 2:17-18 tells us that in the end, people will have prophetic dreams and visions? You could be one of those people.

And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has made clean, do not call common.” Acts 10:15