Saturday, April 29, 2023

April 29, 2023

Johnny Cash wrote a song and released it in 1977 in his album “The Rambler,” called “No Earthly Good.” Part of the lyrics includes, “You’re shinin’ your light, and shine it you should, / But you’re so heavenly minded you’re no earthly good.” As part of my goal for myself and to try and convey in writing to you, we must rebuke the lies of the enemy, and sometimes that means unlearning the things we’ve taken into our heads, including the lyrics to this song. My preacher mentioned this very thing as being a lie in one of his sermons, and it hit home with me; I will sometimes catch myself trying not to seem overly spiritual, and I guarantee you the quote from that song has something to do with it. I always want to be heavenly-minded; eat, drink, sleep, and go throughout my day thinking about Jesus; that is my mission! If I can include him in every aspect of my life, I can guarantee that he will make sure that I shine a light on his kingdom and that I am of earthly good. Removing strongholds is ongoing; anytime you can overcome a lie with the truth is a good day!

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. Philippians 1:21-22

We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:5

Friday, April 28, 2023

April 28, 2023

Because of our business, we must occasionally call upon officials in local government. It takes months of planning, lawyers, and lots of paperwork because of the bureaucracy and hurdles they require. One component that most people leave out of the equation is prayer! When you call upon God and involve him in every step, you can be sure that the outcome is part of his will. What makes it even better is when the actions you take with God’s help are approved, you get no opposition from the community and a unanimous vote in your favor from the county commissioners! Not only that, but the county planners had recommended denial! Thankfully the outcome was what we wanted, but if it hadn’t been, we would know that God had a more excellent plan that we were not privy to see. Sometimes we go about living and forget to include God in the details; he wants us to involve him in the process. Wouldn’t it be great if we became so obsessed with God that we couldn’t tie our shoes without including him? I think a good portion of our anxiety would diminish, and we would be at peace even when everything seems chaotic. Pray and trust God; he always has our best interest at heart.

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

Thursday, April 27, 2023

April 27, 2023

Years ago, Richard and I committed three years to study under Pastor Pierre Chestang as a part of The Bible Training Centre for Pastors and Teachers. During that time, the Lord began opening up my heart to write. As I continued training, I became more confident and courageous and began posting biblical truths. As a part of our graduation, we had to write a mission statement. My mission statement was and still is:

“Training believers to break bonds and live free.”

It wasn’t until this week that I realized that the main point of my mission was to help Christians put on their helmet of salvation. The helmet protects your brain from the forces of evil trying to create strongholds. Until we realize that Jesus paid the price for everything, we will continue to live in bondage. You must put on the whole armor of God every day! The best way to begin the journey to freedom is to return to the beginning of your life and confess every sin that comes to mind; the Holy Spirit will help you remember. It can take weeks, but if you go about it systematically, God will set you free by the end. Yes, Jesus cleaned up all that sin, but acknowledging them will help remove the chains. 

Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, Ephesians 6: 14-17

For graduation, we had to give a short speech and this was mine:

“I've been a follower of Christ since childhood. During the impressionable years before that, the enemy had a plan to convince me that I wasn't good enough. At the time I accepted Christ, I didn't accept His complete cleansing of my life because it was beyond my understanding. Then, in my teen years and on into adulthood, I wandered away from Jesus. During that time away I accumulated strongholds unbecoming of a servant of Christ. After I learned what they were, I decided it was time to break those bonds. Now that I've been set free, I want other Christians to feel that same freedom. BTCP has given me the training I need to bring others to Christ and to help them walk through the deliverance from evil. It has taught me to utilize one of my most precious resources, the Word of God.  When I wield that sword and rightly handle the Word and its truths, strongholds are demolished!”

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

April 26, 2023

After battling white flies, some kind of leaf disease, and finally, worms, I gave up trying to save my embattled squash plants. They nearly stopped producing, and what they did make quickly became full of worms. I ordered new seeds, pulled up the old plants, and replanted them. Florida heat is coming, but I hope to get a good crop before the new plants succumb. And here again, my word of the year, persevere, comes into play. 

When one battle is over, another one begins, so I sleep in my armor! I’ve noticed that when I plant new seeds, the squirrels find them and dig them up, and sometimes they dig near my new seedlings and unearth their tiny roots. Although it’s trying, I don’t cry over the ones I’ve lost, I just plant new seeds, but now I have a plan to protect them. My degree in fashion design finally paid off yesterday; I came up with an idea to save the seeds from those pesky squirrels; tulle! I’m hoping that thin barrier will deter them from digging. The seeds will still get light and water, but they have a better chance of sprouting covered with the frilly coat of armor. I’ll let you know if it works. 

We face a daily spiritual battle; if you don’t take the necessary steps to protect yourself, you too will become weary. Persevere and never give up! Put on the whole armor of God so you can defend yourself from the wiles of the devil.

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:11

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

April 25, 2023

Christ-followers do not engage in worldly matters; we’ve been set apart as representatives of Jesus. If you excuse the craze of drag story time for children as something innocent, you have become part of the problem. This obscene and lewd behavior being pranced in front of children is atrocious, and Christians should separate themselves from involvement. The Bible condemns such behavior from the Old Testament to the New Testament. 

For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Ephesians 5:5

We should also be cautious of calling a man “her” or a woman “him”; you then become part of the lie. Everyone in their heart of hearts knows this is wrong, but patronizes these people not to cause hurt feelings. If you go along with their madness, they may believe they are saved, but clearly, they are not; you’re not helping them one bit by continuing the lie. Agreeing with them is like throwing gas on the flames of hell. Feel sorry for them but tell the truth even if it’s unpopular. 

Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light Ephesians 5:6-8

Monday, April 24, 2023

April 24, 2023

My grandson, who has a very high IQ, shared with me that his mother told him to act smart. I’m guessing she wants him to use his words properly so he doesn’t appear uneducated. That was the perfect response to him because kids tend to do and say ignorant things because they are still learning. He’s only 8, but many say they are Christian, using Christ’s name, but continue to act and say things that make them appear worldly, having never turned away from their former self to begin moving toward sanctification. Like my grandson, whose mother told him to act smart, we should do our best to act holy until the day Jesus appears; we will never be completely holy until we are in his presence, but we should do our best to represent him until that day comes.

to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24

Sunday, April 23, 2023

April 23, 2023

Last year, I planted fruit trees; orange, lemon, lime, pomegranate, guava, mango, mulberry, pecan, and Barbados cherry. I’ve gotten some fruit from a few of them, but they are still small trees that are not very sturdy. I’ve noted their blooms and watched as they add fruit that will be ready later this year. Though it’s a bit disappointing, I understand that because they are still young, the amount of fruit is probably consistent with their size because their branches are not strong enough to hold an abundance; however, they are producing an amount compatible with their size. My goal is to stay on a feeding schedule and boost their fertilizer intake to help them become strong and fight off insects and intruders trying to leach off them; maybe my crop will increase next year. 

Does this story make you think of the fruit you produce? God wrote stories into his creation; we must learn how to read them. If you want to produce fruit, you need to strengthen your armor by feasting on the Word of God, increasing your knowledge and wisdom; only then can you expect to create a generous crop.

that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, Ephesians 3:16