Tuesday, July 30, 2013

your way... no way

"... from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth... So, then, stand firm and hold to the teachings... May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your heart and strengthen you in every good deed and word."  2 Thessalonians 2:13,15,16-17

If i let someone affect me, negatively, then satan wins... and we (Jesus and i) are not going to let that happen.  Are you?
Thank You, Jesus!

have a faith-filled day!

Friday, July 26, 2013

By George, we know his name

The angels said...
"You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the the Most High... and His kingdom will never end." Luke 1:31-32,33

From bump to bump we have watched, waited and wondered... what is the due date, what sex is it, what will his name be? And in time, the press reported the answers. Princess Kate and Prince William with honor and joy, shared with the world their son... Prince George.  A family name and one fit for a king.   It reminds me of the beginning of another king.

The most anticipated birth ever happened over 2,000 years ago. There weren't doctors or the press to announce the pregnancy, but angels.   There weren't cameras flashing around, but a bright star in the East that led the Wise men to Him. 

What do these kings have in common?  Family names.  Names reveal who we are and whose we are.  Prince George bears his great-grandfather's name.  And, Jesus carries His Father name. He is Immanuel, which means, "God with us", and Savior.

Best wishes and blessings to both royal families... theirs and ours.  Thank You, Father!  I am so thankful to belong to You.

have a joy-filled day!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

a Mighty Word ~ listen

"He who answers before listening - that is his folly and his shame." Proverbs 18:13

There are many dangers of interrupting someone speaking to you -- one being, missing a compliment they intended to give you.  

Father, help me to listen, before i speak.

have a listening-filled day!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

not your typical garden...

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23

From a distance, my flower bed looks like any other... full and green. Majestic crepe myrtles line the curb and dogwood trees with branches stretch out over the greenery below it. There are beautiful azaleas in my flower bed, but there is much more.

As you get closer, the flower bed takes on an exotic look.It appears tropical with large vibrant leaves.  And the flowers on the plants are not ones you typically see in the flower bed. 

The bold, lush green leaves and yellow flowers are beautiful, yet unique in the front yard.  Not only do i get to enjoy the blooms, but the fruits of the plant too.  For weeks, i've been munching on squash, cucumbers, banana peppers and okra. Due to the abundance of rain, i've experienced a bumper crop of squash.  We've had squash fried, sauteed, in (four) casseroles, souffle and pickled... sweet and dill.  Since we live in town, i put out "squash/veggie alerts" and eager neighbors gladly come and take the excess.  This brings much joy to my squashed-out husband.

What fruits are growing in your garden this year? As my squash can not grow without the rain, neither can we grow the fruit of the Spirit without Christ in our life. I pray love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are growing in your heart with great abundance as you follow His lead. Be sure to share and let His fruit flow over to others in need.  This will fill many with joy!

have a sweet-filled day!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Mighty Word ~ speed

"Everyone should be  
quick to listen
s-l-o-w to speak and 
s-l-o-w to become angry
for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires." James 1:19

Heed the speed... and live your life in peace.

have a gentle-filled day!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Cookie cutter, NOT wanted

"I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14

Anyone with a heart for God knows compassion and love for others is the only answer in this terrified world.  We aren't called to understand others, but we are called to love. I cry knowing the enormous pain so many suffer needlessly from human cruelty. I cry seeing the ridicule, discrimination, and put downs thrown in the faces of people who do not fit the accepted cookie cutter's mold. Who decided what the perfect cookie mold should be?  Surely, not my God!  He has no mold. Look at us  --  He clearly prefers one-of-a-kind masterpieces. We are each uniquely designed by Him to fit perfectly in His perfect plan to help bring all people to Him.

God is not concerned about our happiness or looks but our holiness and heart. 
Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.  

Holiness in honoring God is exemplified by serving and loving our neighbors. And, who is our neighbor? Jesus clearly answers with the Samaritan story... Those we love and those we don't.  He calls us to move out of our uniformed cookie cutter's world and to care for His people... all of them.
Father, we need to genuinely love each other. Help us get pass what we see with our eyes, and see with Your eyes instead. As Your children, we must see people as You do, or we are no better than thieves... stealing the chance to show others Your glory. I pray for our lives be a testimony to Truth and love.  Break our heart for what break Yours.

have a love-filled day!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

a Mighty Word ~ created

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 3:10

Who are you listening to?

Are you being the person others say you are?  Or, are you living as the person God created you to be?  Examine your gifts, talents and heart. God created you for a specific plan and purpose.

Don't let anyone snatch it away from you.

have a good-filled day!

Monday, July 15, 2013

no more clouds!

"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8

What is going on?  This Summer is filled with more clouds and rain than sunshine.  I don't ever remember having such a drab summer. Everyday, it's the same picture... gray, wet and dark. 

This reminds me of other dark seasons in my life. Days when ominous clouds just kept rolling in. 

Clouds of doubt, covering up the truth of who i am in Christ.
Clouds of fear, hiding the belief in God's wonderful plans for me.
Clouds of confusion, masking the truth i am precious to God. 
Clouds of despair, flooding hope for tomorrow.
Clouds of conflict, booming the phrase, "i am unworthy".
Clouds of defeat, lingering in my heart day-after-day.

What or Who can break these clouds of darkness?   God.
On cloudy days, it's easy to feel the beautiful blue sky has disappeared for good.  But when the clouds finally do part, we see the blue sky has not left or failed us. The same is true with God.  No matter how dismal or hard a season, God is still with us.  He has promised to never, never abandon us.  When i look up at the sky, i sometimes feel i can see His face looking down on me.

The clouds will lift; The Son has not left or forsaken us. Thank You, Father, for Your faithfulness, even when i am battling uncertainties.  Because of You, the clouds cannot stay over me forever.

have a Son-filled day!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

how's your dot-to-dot?

"... hide me in the shadow of Your wings from the wicked who assail me... And I -- in righteousness I will see Your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing Your likeness." Psalm 17:8-9,15

Revenge running in his bloodstream led to lashing out with lies and threats. My first reaction -- to strike back with both fists, spitting out vicious names. The shamelessness of ruthless people can easily pull us out of line with Jesus.

When wrong doings knock on our door, we need to remember how Jesus reacted to the lies and wrongful accusations about Him. He not only humbly responded, but kept walking in the Truth of what He knew and of who He was. In an unfair world, it's difficult, but important, to act rightly despite what others say or how they act.

Don't let hardships, discouragements, distractions define who you are.  Draw the line not to follow the negative, but to move on with God in a better, positive direction.  Picture what God wants, and ask Him to help you keep the dots of your life connected to Him.
have a right-filled day!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

a Mighty Word ~ answer

The Lord says...
"He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him."  Psalm 91:15

Thank You, Father, for always taking my call and picking me up when i am down and distressed.  On You i can always depend.  I will praise Your name daily for Your unending faithfulness to me.
How can we possibly not love our God? Who listens to our every beckoning call or whimper?  We are so blessed to be called His children.
have a glory-filled day!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

a Mighty Word ~ praise

"When anxiety was great with me, Your consolation brought joy to my soul." Psalm 94:19

A guaranteed stress buster, reading His Word. It puts our crazy life into perspective and praise in our heart. A must read every day.  Thank You, Father!!

have a praise-filled day!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

people WILL disappoint you

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

He was upset and hurt and needed to talk. What i initially thought was just a single incident, turned into a chain event. He threw-up a lot. His emotional vomit covered years of pent up pain and frustration. In life, we are guaranteed three things: taxes, death and disappoint from people.

Taxes and death, we can't control.  But, we do have some control over disappointment from people... or, at least, in how we allow it to affect us. We need to remember, we all make mistakes. And, when we depend on others for our happiness, disappointment is a guarantee.  People hurt, surprise, anger, mislead, abandon, ridicule, betray... just to name a few.  The worldly ways and expectations set us up for disappointment with our self and others. Who can measure up? How can we possibly rise above it?

If we can remember, God knows and uses everything for our good... 
If we can remember, God cares for our every need... 
If we can remember, God has a greater plan for us, one of hope and a future... 
If we can remember, we are the apple of His eye...
If we can remember, who we are to a perfect God, then disappoint with imperfect people will not matter as much, or at all.

In and through all things, we need to keep our eyes on Jesus.  Look and trust Him with every turn in our life, because our hope in Him will not disappoint.  Guarantee!

have a bless-filled day!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

let freedom ring!

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1

May the bells of freedom be heard everywhere today!

For The One, and the many who died for my freedom, I humbly give thanks. What have I done to deserve such a sacrifice?  Absolutely nothing. 

God, You started it all with the sacrifice of Your Son.  You first determined me worthy to save, before I even spoke Your name.  Such a love I cannot fathom. Grace beyond measure. Mercy deeper than the universe.  I celebrate freedom and peace in You.

And to the many selfless soldiers who have and still do fight protecting my homeland, I salute. 

I am thankful to be a child of God, and I am thankful to be an American. Long live the free and the brave. May His Peace reign in my heart always.

have a thank-filled day!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

are you packed?

"That you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9

Getting ready for a trip is exhausting and unnerving. 
Let's see... shorts, shoes, shirts.  Packing consumes time... pajamas, toiletries.  It requires planning... tennis racket, sunglasses, suntan lotion.  And no matter how many times i check my list, something always gets left at home... snacks, camera, hat.
Isn’t it awesome to know the packing list for our final trip is light, simple and uncomplicated... just give me Jesus!  It only requires trusting our Father... confess and believe.  Our preparation time is spent in peace... just give me Jesus.

When your packing is complete, can you think of anyone who could benefit from your packing knowledge?  Share Him with someone today and lighten their load!

Just give me Jesus, indeed!

Have a Son-filled day!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

my dirty wheel

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." Psalm 51:10

Have you ever seen something every day, but not actually see it?  Several times a day, i am in and out of my car. But yesterday, the sight of my steering wheel shocked me.  It was absolutely, totally nasty.  What was wrong with me?  Why hadn't i noticed it before?  It was embarrassing to think of all the people who had been in my car and seen the dirt i tolerated right at my finger tips.
For sure, the move from clean to filth, didn't happen overnight.  It was a slow, dark change that slid by right under my nose and without a blink of the eye. Was i too busy or too lazy to care?  

What other dirt am i tolerating at my finger tips?  Jealousy, selfishness, anger, loose lips?  Sometimes we simply ignore God's call for discipline when we don't like the work or change that's needed.  This is true for my life, as much as it is my steering wheel.

Father, i don't want to let filth build up in my life.  Open my eyes and heart to wrongful ways and thoughts, and let me be moved to action.  Steer me clear of weak decisions.  I need to lean on You for strength and guidance.  

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

have a pure-filled day!