Sunday, December 28, 2008

Spiritual Year End Review

Hello All, 

 This year has been so fast moving that I lost track of the days since Hurricane Ike disrupted our lives. Finding a new place to live after the damage to the house and becoming accustomed to not working when I was displaced in September has kept my life interesting. I spent a month and a half coughing due to the mold in the house where I lived until recently. 

Now that the end of the year is approaching I am taking time to review the ups and downs of my spiritual walk. Every year the media gives the audience the highlights of the previous year, such as great triumphs, notable people who have died, and great media scoops ( I found this one today). It is in this spirit of review that I encourage all of you to look over the past year to gain insights into your strengths and weaknesses; and plan for the new year. 

Like many of you, I endured some dark days this year. Living on the Gulf Coast; our lives may never be the same since Ike came for a visit. I choose to believe that in my personal life, this has turned out to be a good thing in spite of the many aggravations during those days. 

As I look toward the new year I am making a list that I want to review, and perhaps change my attitude about in the new year. 
They are: 
  1. Do I feel that I was persecuted by the devil or his fallen angels this year? 
  2. Was I overcome, or did I overcome them? 
  3. Did I trust God this year, or did I panic? 
  4. How have I measured up in my relations with my fellow man?(Other People) Am I compassionate? Do I even think of others in my daily life? 
  5. What about my time in conversation with God? (Prayer) Was it productive or did I whine about my problems? 
  6. Have I taken authority over my home...my life? 
  7. Am I thoughtful of the problems of others? Do I pray for them, and help if I am able? 
  8. Do I listen for the voice of the Lord in my daily life? Do I hear his commands? Am I obedient? 
  9. Do I have a repentant spirit? 
  10. Am I willing to change? 
These are the questions that concern me. Each of you have your own interests, and concerns. Make your list personal and give them serious consideration as we move forward to the new year. Plan to make a change in your life.  You will be blessed. 

No matter what has overtaken you this year, and no matter what state you currently find yourself; know this...God is with you every step of the way. His love is everlasting, and His protection will be with you every step you take. Our world is changing daily. Our economy has fluctuated badly, and people are afraid. Take heart and do not be afraid. Israel began bombing Gaza this week and we are moving quickly toward a destiny that was set in motion a millenium ago. No matter what overtakes you, rest assured that God is in control and our very lives are in His hands. 

Jesus put it this way. 
 John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled; You believe in God, believe also in me. 

Matthew 6: 25-31
25 Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? ...
31 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own troubles. 

Take some time to read the entire passage. It will uplift and bless you. 

I urge you to take time to review your spiritual year, and make your New Year's resolution to tighten up your walk with the Lord. He is coming soon. 

Blessings!

Friday, September 26, 2008

After Ike

Hello All,

Hurricane Ike has interferred in our existence in a big way. I hope everyone is well and safe. I also hope your power has been restored. While this has been a trying experience, it is worthy of note that we are all in good health and very little loss of life incurred. Galveston is devastated and our prayers are with everyone who lost everything in this disaster.

Sam and I still do not have power and have become refugees in Round Rock with our son and his wife, Derek and Janice. However, we are anxious to return home when our house is livable again.

God loves every one of you and I know He is watching over all of us during this time.

Blessings!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Do You Have Power With God?



Acts 1: 4-5 NKJV
4
And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
Acts 1: 8
8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

What do you think about having power with God. The thought of having real power and understanding the gift that God gave his life for us to have has been on my mind for many months. It seems to me that God must have wanted us to access this power and use it to bring salvation to as many people as we meet. I started thinking about this a couple of years ago when the story about Peter and John going to the temple and meeting the lame man begging. Without hesitation Peter told him, "I do not have any money, but I will give you what I have. In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." The man was healed and jumped up in that instant.
I met a beggar on the street in Houston one morning while waiting for the bus. As I looked at her the thought came to me...is it possible that I have the power to give health, healing, mental freedom, or something else to this individual? Do I dare step out and boldly offer to give something of my experience to this person?
These are profound questions. If you have been saved for any time at all, you know the lingo. We all claim to have power with God. I am asking you now how much power do you have. Do you believe that you can offer healing, prophecy, wisdom, insight, salvation to a stranger? Why? Why not? Do you believe like I used to believe that these things were for those more closely devoted to prayer and fasting and not for the masses? Do you believe that this power is only for those called to the ministry? What do you believe about this business of power with God?

John 14:12 NKJV
12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

I believe that we have fallen short of our privileges in God. I believe that God has so much more to give every one of us if we will commit ourselves to getting to know him better. God has a plan for your life. What you choose to do with that plan is up to you.

Blessings!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Change...And New Beginnings

Take a good look at the earth. See the earth from the perspective of God. It can be hard to understand how God looks at those of us who walk on His creation! Our God lives in a world that we can only imagine. And He loves every person living on this planet! Take comfort in knowing that no matter what comes your way, God will guide your steps. He will lead you into the uncertain future with a strong hand and your life will be better for it. For those of us who sit at the edge of a new beginning that seems uncertain...I tell you that God will be beside you every step of the way. Trust Him.
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Isaiah 40: 21-31 (NIV)

21
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood since the earth was founded?

22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
and its people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
and spreads them out like a tent to live in.

23 He brings princes to naught
and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.

24 No sooner are they planted,
no sooner are they sown,
no sooner do they take root in the ground,
than he blows on them and they wither,
and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.

25 "To whom will you compare me?
Or who is my equal?" says the Holy One.

26 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one,
and calls them each by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.

27 Why do you say, O Jacob,
and complain, O Israel,
"My way is hidden from the LORD;
my cause is disregarded by my God"?

28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.

29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.

30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;

31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Our lives are continually changing. Sometimes these changes bring hope and wonderful new challenges. Sometimes these changes are hard to bear. There is only one certainty in the world and that God knows and understands every heartache, every pain, every unwanted change that comes to our lives. Trust in the Lord! Praise His Name! When everyone and everything is gone...when you are at the very end of your life...God will be there with you. Hope in the Lord!

Blessings!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Will You Give God Everything?




Psalms 5:17
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

I have always taken solace from the knowledge that God is with me when my heart is broken, when I have failed, or when my burdens seem to be the heaviest. God has never failed to give me exactly what I need at the moment. God is willing to help you, but you must give everything to Him. He needs all the pieces of your puzzle if he is to put your life back together again!

God loves you! My pastor made a point in his sermon that tickled my funny bone and comforted my soul! "It does not matter if everything in your life is going wrong; it does not matter if your kids don't like you, it does not matter if everybody does not like you...God thinks you're the bomb! You're the best in God's eyes! You are special! God loves you!" (Myrick Johnson).

I am so glad that when I go to God, He see accepts me as I am and loves me for my faults and successes. He sees my struggles and loves me through it all! Give all your pieces to the Lord and see what He will do for you.

Blessings!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Are You a Friend of God?


Proverbs 18:24A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

We treasure our friendships and work to maintain good relationships. What about God? Is God your friend? Do you work on keeping your relationship on sound footing? Most of us are so euphoric when we first make the acquaintance of the Lord that we overlook the basic rules of the relationship. Walking around on an emotional high, we forget that God is the other half of the partnership.

Did you know that God has expectations about the relationship you have with him? You already know that God loves you. It is implicit in the sacrifice He made for you through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. And yet, there is so much more available to the believer than the initial acceptance of the invitation to be a part of the body of Christ.

Prayer is the means by which you get to know the Lord. Simply stated, prayer is a conversation with God. While God is interested in your cares and problems, sometimes he would just like to hear you say that you love him. I challenge you...Take 15 minutes of your prayer time and ask for nothing! Simply tell the Lord how much you love and adore him...worship him, and nothing more. You will discover that it is one of the hardest things you will ever do. It is not hard because you don't want to do it. It is hard because you (and I) have gotten into the habit of falling on your knees and unloading all our problems into God's ear. While I know God wants to hear your problems...it must be nice for Him to hear about our hopes, dreams, goals, and our love for Him!

When you feel that your prayers never go higher than the ceiling, it is important to remember that feelings do not count in your relationship with God. How solid is your belief that God is real and loves you? If you truly believe that God listens...then it is possible to pray even when it feels like you are talking to yourself. Absolute trust requires that you talk to God no matter how you feel about the conversation. In time the feeling you are looking for will come. God never changes in that his love is everlasting. However, the range of emotions you experience will continue to change throughout your life. God is more than GOOGLE, and He has all the answers. Be patient, and your answer will come!

Blessings!



Thursday, July 10, 2008

Pride and Worry


Worry is a plague. We try not to worry, but the more we try not to think about something the more we think about it. God wants you to cast your cares on Him. He loves you and will shine a light in the deepest darkness that surrounds your life.

1 Peter 5:6-8 (King James Version)
King James Version (KJV)
Public Domain

6Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

In reading the preceding verses from Peter, I am struck by the discussion. First he talks about humility to God, and then he commands us to cast our cares upon the Lord. The two topics do not seem to go together. Perhaps our pride gets in the way of our humility. It is humbling to admit that we cannot control events in our lives.

Proverbs 16:18-19 (King James Version)
King James Version (KJV)
Public Domain

18Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
19Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.


Pride, humility, and worry...I never grouped these issues together, but it seems that God wants us to take notice of the attributes we develope when we allow pride or worry a place in our hearts. Perhaps God sees our worrying as a symptom of the pride we continue to harbor in a small corner of our hearts.

Meditate on humbling yourself before God while at the same time casting your cares upon Him. You will be blessed, your heart will be lighter, and you will be exalted before God in His time.


Blessings

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Do You Have Time To Fulfill Your Purpose?

Some of us think a lot about our purpose in life, others think very little about it. I ask you...does your life and actions fulfill your purpose? Do you even know what your purpose is? Our world has become a fast paced environment where time zips by without hindrance. I personally feel like the world has become a revolving door that passes before my eyes so fast that years have disappeared into the distance without my knowing it. There was a time when a woman's purpose was clearly defined. She would stay home, raise the children and create a comforting environment for the family. At least, that is what many would have us to believe...My personal experience was a little different. My grandmothers both worked outside the home. In their early years they worked in the fields wth the men. One of my grandmothers worked in a factory and in her own home taking in ironing and baby sitting until well into her last years. My mother raised her children and worked at the same time. She held many jobs and is a shining example of motherhood to her children and grandchildren. The Preacher in Eccliastes offered a wonderful discussion about purpose and timing.
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Ecclesiastes 3
1 To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
2 A time to be born, And a time to die;
A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;
3 A time to kill, And a time to heal;
A time to break down, And a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, And a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to gain, And a time to lose;
A time to keep, And a time to throw away;
7 A time to tear, And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;
8 A time to love, And a time to hate;
A time of war, And a time of peace.
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Stress takes its toll in our lives, effecting our health and our relationships. It is helpful to remember during times of crisis that God is still in control and our lives are in His hands. The first chapter of Eccliastes offers a thought for meditation:
3 What profit has a man from all his labor
In which he toils under the sun?
4 One generation passes away, and another generation comes;
But the earth abides forever.
5 The sun also rises, and the sun goes down,
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One thing is certain...all our stress and heartburnings are really small compared to the greater crises in the world. The earth continues to revolve on its axis, the sun rises and sets every day. This will continue until God decides that it is finished. Nothing we will ever do can change that fact. Take some time to think about your purpose and how you fit into the grand scheme of things in the world. God loves you and me and has a plan for every one of us. His plan and purpose will be better than anything we can devise for ourselves.
Blessings

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Where Are the Intercessors?


Isaiah 59 (KJV)
1Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
2But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

16And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.

19So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.

Isaiah 59 offers a powerful depiction of sin and the ability of God to redeem the lost. It is worth taking the time to read the entire chapter. Our world is falling into sin and deception more with each passing day. Many times our lives are filled with chaos and uncertainty as we approach the future in anxiety and stress. However, God does not want us to live in fear and worry. He wants you and me to trust Him to take care of our future and to also seek justice and salvation for the hurting people around us who desperately need His salvation and comfort.

Prayer is a great weapon against sin. When we pray we touch the throne of God and enlist armies of warriors in our fight to live holy in a sinful world. These warriors go forward to bring peace, conviction, and salvation to those whose names we call in prayer during our dedicated time of intercession. We must learn to trust God and truly believe in the power that our prayers release. To become an intercessor is the greatest position to be occupied by a child of God. Intercession is hard. It is not an easy path and the struggles are many. Intercession is not glamorous; it takes place in your private prayer closet or with other dedicated believers in an old fashioned prayer meeting. But the rewards are many as souls are brought into the kingdom, people are healed and their lives changed forever. Take time today to think about becoming an intercessor.

I wrote the following paragraph in response to a thoughtful email I received last week. Sometimes we succeed in coming up with words that are worth repeating. I really believe in the value of prayer and that prayer works in the life of every believer.
Prayer is a great gift. Through prayer we are lifted up above our problems, distractions, and wounds. Life has a way of wounding the soul and spirit. Having the ability to touch God in prayer gives us hope, comfort, and a sense of our place in the universe. Psalm 46: 1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Take a moment today to indulge yourself with the gift of prayer. You will be blessed and in so doing bless others.

Blessings

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What About Miracles-Signs-and Wonders?

Today I read a blog that I thought was about the mind. It turns out that I wandered into the playground of a group of Atheists who feel absolutely certain they can reason with us and lead us into the path of unbelief. One of the reasons this person gave for not believing in God or Christianity is the so called...fact...that God never answers prayers. Now, you and I know that God does answer prayers...but it is true that sometimes it seems that our prayers go unheard and unanswered. This writer used the verse in John 14 where Jesus said:

13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

It is interesting that this writer used these verses as proof of her unbelief...and proof that Jesus is a liar and the Bible false. I have been thinking a lot about these verses recently and it is undoubtedly true that Jesus plainly stated that He would do anything we ask in His Name. So, how do we reconcile these troubling differences? My first thought is not to doubt. I believe that if Jesus said it, it is the truth. So why do we not receive some requests from the Lord?

I have been giving serious though to this question for several months and do not have a complete understanding of the problem, but I am coming to believe that the problem is one of simple belief. It is easy to say that you believe God and do not doubt in your heart, but if that is so you should be as bold as the Apostle Peter who went to the temple and was interrupted on the way by a lame beggar who wanted his money. Peter did not have any money but he had something that was worth more than money and changed the man's life. I must ask myself if I have the faith to give healing to someone on the spur of the moment like Peter did. Do I believe it is possible that I have the power within me to do this? Jesus said we would receive Power when we were filled with the Holy Spirit. I can only conclude that we are living below the level that God meant for us to live. I do not like having Atheists throw the Word of God in my face to prove their point. I mean to continue on my road of discovery until I find the Power and Might that is promised to every believer in the Book of Acts. I will talk about this topic more later.

Blessings

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Confusion, Chaos, and Understanding

The Grand Canyon in Arizona

The rugged beauty of the Grand Canyon speaks to my soul. It calls to rememberance a favorite passage in Psalms that I turn to when my life is distressed. I turn to the word of God to bring me out of my difficulties.
Psalm 121 (New Life Version) www.biblegateway.com
The Lord - Our Helper
1 I will lift up my eyes to the mountains. Where will my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your feet go out from under you. He Who watches over you will not sleep.
4 Listen, He Who watches over Israel will not close his eyes or sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you. The Lord is your safe cover at your right hand.
6 The sun will not hurt you during the day and the moon will not hurt you during the night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all that is sinful. He will watch over your soul.
8 The Lord will watch over your coming and going, now and forever.

When your life is in chaos, and trouble is on every side, you need a rock to stand on in the middle of the storm. One thing you can be certain of in this life is that trouble will come, problems will arise, and distress will grab you when you least expect it! All of us know there will be times of trouble. It is the way of life. The key to keeping your cool is to make up your mind before the storm comes. I heard a sermon by T.F. Tenney years ago that said it best, "When your life is in chaos, and you don't know where to go; be of good cheer! You just drove up to God's front door".


Gaining perspective is important. Never before has our world been so full of confusion and mixed messages. Just when you think you have it figured out, something comes along to upset your vision and you are back at the starting post! God is able to keep your mind at ease and your fears at rest. He will be your comforter. John 14 is a wonderful chapter. It gives is comfort, peace, enlightenment, and hope all within one chapter of the Bible. Jesus is talking to his disciples and said it like this:

John 14
1Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
19Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.

Take the time to read the entire chapter of John 14. It will be a blessing to you and comfort your soul.

Blessings


Friday, May 30, 2008

Are We Living in Perilous Times?

Image retrieved May 30,2008 from bhmtx.org/hopeforamerica.aspx

II Timothy 3:1-7


1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Timothy gives us a clear and terrifying word picture of the world in the last days. It is terrifying because we clearly see the reality of this world every day of our lives. Our world has become a place where evil is disguised as good, good is made to appear to be evil, and people are quick to judge one another based on their own personal world view of right and wrong. We have no absolutes, and are quickly losing our basic rights. We look for help, but our world leaders can no longer be trusted to place the interests of the people ahead of their own personal ambition, desire for power, or other agenda!
There have been other periods in history when people were certain they were living in the last days, and modern day prophets are loud in predicting the end of the world at every turn. While it is impossible to know if we really are living in the end of days, it is possible to receive comfort as our world turns chaotic before our eyes. In the book of John, Jesus gives us hope.
John 16:33
33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
I am not a prophet and cannot tell you that we are in the last days. However, I can tell you that Timothy's description of the world in the last days is a perfect description of the world in which we live. Whether the Lord comes today or a thousand years from today; there is only one way to keep your sanity in a changing, chaotic world. Make your calling and election sure...II Peter 1:10 10Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
There is no doubt that the world we living in has become a complicated place. Loyalty appears to be a lost concept in our day to day interactions with others on many levels. This makes our relationship to Jesus Christ even more important as we learn to trust and walk by faith every day of our lives. God loves you! No doubt our lives will continue to be complicated and fraught with difficulty but God is faithful and will walk with you every day of your life.
Blessings

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

How Do You Handle Crisis in Your Life?



Life has a way of reaching out to grab you when you least expect it. Your world rocks along on its axis and life is good. Maybe there are issues, but nothing life threatening...and then it happens! A life altering event rocks you back on your heels and makes you sit up and take notice. This event may come in the form of life-threatening illness for you or a loved one. Change can take the form of divorce, death, or loss of your job/career options. It is important to know that when the world around you becomes fluid and you do not see the end from the beginning...that God is in control. You can have comfort, joy, peace, and righteousness in the Holy Ghost.

Sometimes your problems are like this mountain wall. They seem to be immovable and block your path to the future. Sometimes you wonder what will become of you in the future. At times like these it is important to take comfort in the Word of God. He has promised to never leave you, nor forsake you. He will guide your path. He is strong, caring, loving and keeps His promises. He provides a window in the solid wall that is holding you back just like in this desert image.

Things may not turn out in the way that you expect them to turn out, but that does not mean that you will have a total loss. Be patient and wait on the Lord. Dottie Rambo, who was killed in a bus accident last week wrote a song that has given me much comfort through the years. The name of the song is I Go To The Rock. A few lines of this song are:

I go to the rock of my salvation; I go to the Stone that the builder rejected! I go to the mountain, and the mountain stands by me...When the earth all around me is sinking sand; On Christ the solid rock I stand! When I need a shelter, when I need a friend, I go to the rock!

I know I am talking music today, but that is the way I keep my sanity when my life erupts into chaos. Another old song whose author is unknown goes like this:

I don't know about tomorrow, I just live from day to day. I don't borrow from it's sunshine...for it's clouds may turn to gray. I don't worry o'er the future, for I know...what Jesus said. And each day, I'll walk beside Him...for He knows what is ahead.

Many things about tomorrow...I don't even understand. But I know who holds tomorrow...and I know... who holds my hand.

Luke 12 (NKJV)

22 Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on.

23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.

24 Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds?

25 And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

26 If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest?

27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

28 If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?

29 “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind.

30 For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things.

31 But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.

32 “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Blessings

Sunday, May 18, 2008

God Loves You!

This image makes a serious statement. How do you feel about your prayer life? Do you come to God in prayer when you have a need or do you prayer regularly? What about your life? Is it dedicated to God or do you ever think about what you owe to the Lord?

God loves every one of you! He wants to have an active part in your life! His love and mercy knows no boundaries and are from everlasting. Only the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is the unforgivable sin. There is no other sin so great that God will not forgive. The rest of your mistakes will be washed in the blood of the Lamb to be remembered against you no more. This is a promise.

Hebrews 10: 16-17

16This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

17And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

Satan wants to destroy your life. He dislikes the thought that any human will have a relationship with God. His hatred for God is all consuming. He wants to destroy the people that God loves. God loves you. Never forget that! God is reaching for you and wants to draw you close to His heart.

It does not matter what conflict or difficulty Satan brings against you! God is greater and stronger than the devil. God can and will deliver you from any test or temptation in your life. Seek the Lord. He loves you and wants to comfort you. Believe this word. God is Able!


Romans 8:31
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

Trust God.

Blessings

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Does Prayer Work?

What do you think about prayer? Do you receive answers to your prayers? Do you know how to pray? What does the Bible say about prayer?

These are valid questions and may be difficult for some of you to answer. Prayer is a serious issue in my life. I want to pray and receive answers to my prayers. I want to know that God is listening to me. I have no intention of merely going through the motions. Most of us make excuses when God does not answer our prayers in the manner in which we expected to be answered. We say, "God knows best...or it is not the Lord's will for this or that to happen..." The truth is something else again. God does hear our prayers and it is up to us to find out how he wants us to approach him. Think about this for a moment:

John 14: 12-15
12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

The book of John in the New Testament is interesting reading. The 14th chapter gives us insight. Jesus was speaking with his disciples and made a direct statement. (whatever you ask in my name, I will do it) he repeats this two times within two verses. Interestingly enough, the very next verse says, "if ye love me, keep my commandments".

It seems likely that getting answers to prayer is closely tied to keeping the commandments of Jesus Christ. As believers, we have an obligation to seek the truth in the Word of God and live according to the principles laid down by Jesus Christ and passed on to us through his disciples. I believe that we should have our prayers answered. There were no qualifiers in the above statements. I do not believe Jesus Christ has changed his mind in the past two thousand years. Therefore it falls to us to search for answers.

James 5: 16
16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

James was the brother of Jesus Christ and also the pastor of the church at Jerusalem. He understood the message that Jesus Christ brought to the world. Three things leap to my attention as I read his words. (1) Confess your faults one to another (2) pray one for another that you may be healed (3) The effectual fervent prayer gets results.

James was teaching humility, honesty, and love one for another. When you pray for someone else you forget about your own needs and desires. When you pray fervently you forget about your dignity and prostrate yourself before the Lord, no matter what your request. We need to forget about our own needs. This is not easy to do in a world where everything is "all about me," but is necessary if we plan to receive something from the Lord. To receive one's healing as a result of praying for someone else is a very new and interesting concept. It is definitely worth thinking about.
Blessings

Thursday, May 1, 2008

What Do I Do When my Feelings Fail Me?

Feelings are funny things. People are always saying...I feel that...! Or I feel this way...! Unfortunately, feelings do not guarantee clarity in our thoughts. When we are hurting or distressed our emotions and feelings can get the best of us. Sometimes we view God through our feelings. This is particularly noticeable when we have expectations that God for whatever reason has not met. Many people find themselves discouraged during these periods and feel (there is that word again) that God has abandoned them. Or, at the very least, has let them down. There are two problems with this way of thinking. 1) God will never let you down, and 2) Your feelings, your heart is probably leading you astray.

God works on His time schedule. We want to rush Him and hurry Him along to get things done on our schedule. This is a lesson that must be learned. Even those of us who have years of experience trusting God sometimes have problems waiting on the Lord.

Jeremiah 17: 9-10

9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
10I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

These verses point the wickedness of the heart and how you can be deceived by trusting your heart. There is another point. It is interesting that the very next verse explains that the Lord tries the reins of your heart and searches it and rewards every person according to the ways and circumstances his or her work has produced.

God understands us better than we understand ourselves.

Isaiah 40: 28-31

28Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.29He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.30Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:31But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Trust the Lord when your heart is hurting.
When you are feeling lost and abandoned remember to wait on the Lord. You will regain your strength and your heart will once again be light.

Blessings

Saturday, April 26, 2008

What is Spiritual Warfare?

What is spiritual warfare? We hear a lot of talk about it, but what is it? How is it done. Spiritual warfare, to put it simply is doing battle with spiritual forces in prayer and fasting.

Ephesians 6:10-18

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[c] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—

Now these passages make it clear that there are forces that war against the saints of the Most High God. These forces are not imaginary and are not weak. They are patient and it is their intention to wear out the saints through continuous aggravation and problems.
Daniel 7: 25
25And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

This reference in Daniel refers to the Anti-Christ who is to come. However, it is conceivable to believe that our Adversary, the devil, already has plans to wear out the saints of the most High. He does this by bringing difficulties into our life which never seem to end. It is our responsibility as servants of the most High to take on the whole armor of God and stand fast in whatever situation we find ourselves. This is not easy to do. There are times when it seems that God cannot be found. However, that does not mean that He is far away. It means that He is giving us an opportunity to demonstrate our faith and trust that He means exactly what He says, and that we believe deep in our souls that His promises are true and will never fail.

God loves you. He is faithful and just. We must be willing to stand firm in the face of every trial that comes our way. Remember His promises. Not one of them will fail.
God Bless

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

God Loves You

God loves you. He understands the difficulties your life holds.

Hebrews 4:15
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like
as we are, yet without sin. KJV

Hebrews 4:15 (New International Version)

New International Version (NIV)

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society


15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.



Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, came to earth with one purpose. He was born to be the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of the world. He was perfect in every way and yet he took on the sin of the whole world. I know this is a difficult concept to understand. The question arises...why are we sinners? From the moment that Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, the human race has been under the curse of sin.

There is nothing you will ever do to make yourself good enough to escape sin. Overcoming sin is not about becoming good or doing good works. If that were the case many would be ok because many people live good lives. Unfortunately, none of us are good enough, righteous enough, or holy enough within ourselves. There is only one way to overcome sin and that is through a blood sacrifice. The Hebrews served YHWH in the old testament and offered the sacrifice of goats, bulls, and lambs for the different types of sacrifice offerings. Even these offerings were not enough. Their sins were never forgiven. They were postponed for a year when they would return to make new sacrifices and hope they would have another year without sin. These people died without ever receiving the full forgiveness of their sins. When Jesus Christ died he preached to these people and gave them the offer of eternal life. Then and only then was their sin finally forgiven. We are blessed today to have the understanding of who Jesus is and how great the sacrifice he made for us. Come to him today. Repent of your sins, be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and receive the Holy Ghost. You will never regret it and you will never be the same.

Friday, April 18, 2008

What is My Adversary Up To Today?

I have been thinking a lot about my Adversary today. It seems that just when you get a breathing space, he comes at you from another direction. Satan and his fallen angels are busy stirring up trouble for the human race. He has been in my path lately!

1 Peter 5:7-9 (New International Version)

New International Version (NIV)

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society


7Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

8Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

When my enemy targets my life I go to my Friend Jesus Christ. He wants me to cast all my cares on him. He is willing and ready to stand between me and my Adversary.

Father, protect me when my enemy comes against me to destroy my life and my soul. Bring peace to my life and comfort to my heart. You are the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and there is none like you. I love you and adore you, my King. Be with me in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen




Wednesday, April 16, 2008

God is Faithful

I usually read the King James Version of the Bible, but I thought you might like to read Psalms 27 in a new version I discovered called (The Message) on www.biblegateway.com. It is in plain English and seems like someone you might know is talking. God loves you and is steadfast. He will never leave you alone. No matter what heart break you are suffering, God will be right by your side if you let him.


Psalm 27 (The Message)

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson


Psalm 27

A David Psalm
1 Light, space, zest— that's God!
So, with him on my side I'm fearless,
afraid of no one and nothing.

2 When vandal hordes ride down
ready to eat me alive,
Those bullies and toughs
fall flat on their faces.

3 When besieged,
I'm calm as a baby.
When all hell breaks loose,
I'm collected and cool.

4 I'm asking God for one thing,
only one thing:
To live with him in his house
my whole life long.
I'll contemplate his beauty;
I'll study at his feet.

5 That's the only quiet, secure place
in a noisy world,
The perfect getaway,
far from the buzz of traffic.

6 God holds me head and shoulders
above all who try to pull me down.
I'm headed for his place to offer anthems
that will raise the roof!
Already I'm singing God-songs;
I'm making music to God.

7-9 Listen, God, I'm calling at the top of my lungs:
"Be good to me! Answer me!"
When my heart whispered, "Seek God,"
my whole being replied,
"I'm seeking him!"
Don't hide from me now!

9-10 You've always been right there for me;
don't turn your back on me now.
Don't throw me out, don't abandon me;
you've always kept the door open.
My father and mother walked out and left me,
but God took me in.

11-12 Point me down your highway, God;
direct me along a well-lighted street;
show my enemies whose side you're on.
Don't throw me to the dogs,
those liars who are out to get me,
filling the air with their threats.

13-14 I'm sure now I'll see God's goodness
in the exuberant earth.
Stay with God!
Take heart. Don't quit.
I'll say it again:
Stay with God.

____________________________________________________________________

God loves you more than you can imagine. His love never fails. He wants to know you better.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Who is the Restorer of Souls?

We spend a lot of money and time restoring things we have. Some of you would spend everything you have to restore that classic car in your garage. Others restore antiques and re-upholster furniture. Recently I have given a lot of thought to having my soul restored. I have read the 23rd Psalm hundreds of times.

Psalm 23

A Psalm of David.
1 The LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

4 Yea, 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.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD
Forever.

When life gets the best of you and your heart is sore, look to Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, to restore your soul. He will comfort every agony of your heart and lead you in the way to go if you will let him. God can give you a new heart that will be stronger and help you through the dark places in your life. Let him restore your soul!

Praise the Lord, O My Soul!

Psalm 146

1 Praise the LORD. [a]
Praise the LORD, O my soul.

2 I will praise the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

3 Do not put your trust in princes,
in mortal men, who cannot save.

4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.

5 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD his God,

6 the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them—
the LORD, who remains faithful forever.

7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets prisoners free,

8 the LORD gives sight to the blind,
the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down,
the LORD loves the righteous.

9 The LORD watches over the alien
and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

10 The LORD reigns forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the LORD.

New International Version

No help is greater, no love is deeper. There is none greater than the Lord God Almighty. Life and death is in his hand. Learning to worship and praise the Lord is the greatest knowledge. To the born again child of God it is the beginning of wisdom . Always remember that the spirit of the Lord dwells in the praises of his people.

Do you need comfort? Praise him! Do you need strength? Praise him! Do you need a friend? Praise him! Whatever your need you will find in the praises of the Lord. He comes close to those who know him and draw close to him.



Where Do I Get My Strength?

Psalm 121

1I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

2My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.

3He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.

4Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

5The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.

6The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.

7The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.

8The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

When I think of the dark days in my life I always think of this Psalm. In my darkest moments I always knew that the Lord would never leave me nor forsake me. It is a promise. God does not always work things out in the way that we expect him to do, but everything he does is for our betterment. I do not know why God loves us so much. It is more than I can understand. But this one thing I know, He does love you and care for you.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Oh, Those Church People...

After spending time surfing through the blog list on Christianity I discovered that many of you are truly disillusioned with churches. This disillusionment seems to be across the board and no particular denomination has made much of an impression on some of you. I have lived for God for all of my life from the time I was saved when I was ten years old. That does not mean I never made a mistake. It means I have been forgiven many, many times. The truth of the matter is that a lot of churches suffer from legalism, judgmental attitudes, and hypocrisy. This is a reality. However, that is no reason to walk out on God and put your soul in danger. The church (whatever denomination)will not save you, but you cannot do without it.

Know this, there will always be difficult people in your life. If you are honest, there are people who drive you mad on the job as well as in your personal life. You certainly never decided to stop working because your co-workers got on your nerves or hurt your feelings. What you really need is to spend some time alone with the Lord and get to know Him a little better.

There seems to be the belief among some of you that the only reason we Christians serve the Lord is because we fear going to hell. That might have been a motivation in the beginning, but as time passed a love grew in my life that keeps me from leaving my God. Instead of walking away from God, get to know Him. Find out what He is all about. You will discover that He wants to spend time in your presence. He does not charge you for the privilege, either. No matter how many cliques are in your church, God never will ignore you or turn you away.

Now, I am not saying there should be no rules in the church; of course there are! There are rules every where you go. If you do not think so, try ignoring the stop lights, or park illegally! Every thing you do every day is mandated by someone or some thing. It is hypocrisy to pretend that it is only the church that has rules to live by.

If you are longing for something that you cannot quite define...If you are not quite happy...If you are unfulfilled...,let me offer you Jesus Christ. Forget about churches and meet the one that all the arguments are about. Believe me, your life will never be the same. People come and go, churches come and go, fashions come and go, but Jesus Christ will never change.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

There is a life in God that is so blessed, so fulfilled, so intimate, that you will wonder how you ever lived any other way! God Bless!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Yes, I Am a Holy Roller!

I grew up in the days when it was an insult to be called a Holy Roller. Most people could not understand what freedom of worship was all about. Today much of the world has embraced the notion of worshiping God in a more visible and active manner but there are those who cannot understand the concept. Having worshiped in this way all my life, I cannot imagine worshiping in any other way.

Psalms 150: 4
4Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.

Psalm 100

1Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.

2Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

3Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

4Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

5For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

The purpose of worship is to magnify and glorify God. There is no other reason for worship. I am a fan of Jesus Christ. I have no problem getting radical about proclaiming my affection and admiration for the King of Kings. America is a country of fans. People plan their lives around the Super Bowl. They plan tailgate parties, they set aside the entire day with special menus, and some of them decorate their bodies in the chosen colors of the team they love. No one thinks this unusual behavior, and they laugh tolerantly while these people have a great time and display the love for their team. This is team spirit and considered a good thing. Well, I have no problem with watching people have a good time and worship the teams and celebrities they adore. However, as I stated earlier in my post, I am a fan of Jesus Christ. I love him and worship him. So the next time you call me a Holy Roller, remember who I am...a child of the King and proud of it!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The Devil Made Me Do It!

Do you believe in the devil? Is he a real being, a negative entity, or a figment of the imagination of people who would like to blame anything or anyone for their misfortunes? Do you believe in the paranormal?

Lucifer, or Satan, more commonly known as the devil, is described in the Bible as a fallen angel who became proud enough to challenge God. He caused so much trouble in the Heavenlies that war ensued! Michael the Archangel led the Heavenly Hosts in this battle that ended with Lucifer and one-third of the angels who had joined him being cast out of heaven and bound to the earth.

He has been causing trouble for humans ever since. To be honest, I believe that Satan was already on earth when humans appeared. He was definitely on earth during the period when Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden. Many people think that God and the devil are opposites and equal. This is not true!

God created the devil when He created all the angelic beings! Lucifer was one in a crowd until he decided to take control of the Heavenlies to be worshiped as god. He failed and has been trying to get back at God through the millenia since his fall. Unlike God, Satan is not omniscient (all knowing) and cannot be everywhere at the same time. It is highly unlikely that any of us have ever had direct contact with him.

What do you think about the devil? I would love to hear from you.

I Started Life as a Romance Writer!

By way of introduction let me tell you a little bit about myself. I started life as a Regency Romance writer. Historical romance was my thing and I loved it! Along the way I got married, had three kids, and my writing fell by the way side. My life has been backwards all the way. After a lifetime of raising kids, writing poems, journaling, and getting kids through college; I went to work in Healthcare.

I found myself in a nurturing environment like nothing I had ever experienced before. Everyone was studying something! Continuous education was the norm and not the exception. I went to college myself the year I turned 50. Wow! What an experience! Five and a half years later I graduated with a BS in Health Administration. So right in line with my track record I immediately went to work in Research/Regulatory Compliance.

Research is really my thing...I have been doing Family History research for many years. The one thing that has never changed is my faith in God, and the assurance that He is interested in me as an individual. My life has followed many trails. I really do have one Regency Romance to my credit and recently published a book offering insight into Christian Living. Until next time...

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