Monday, June 29, 2015

God Knows What We Need

"When God places people in your life who are in need, He is aware of what they lack, and He knows He has given you the resources to meet those needs."*

These were the first words I read this morning after I had just poured out my fears and anxieties about welcoming a baby into our home, again.  With each child we bring I tend to get more anxious about my ability to provide for them and have the energy and time to manage a house with 4 kids.  I think ahead of the moment and tend to feel anxious over things that haven't even happened, nor do I know will happen.  I usually have to hand over my thoughts a million times and trust that God is in control.  

He came to my rescue, again, with these perfect words to calm my fears and remind me that whatever situation He puts me in He also provides a way to succeed and even lead those in my path closer to a relationship with him.  God knows what we need whether we are the providers in a situation or we are the ones needing help.  He follows us every day knowing our weakness' and strengths putting us in situations that either provide us with the things we lack, or where we can share the things we have.  Everything falls under His provision!  Today He gave me renewed strength and hope!  I am so blessed to get to talk with Him and feel His presence in my life every moment I choose to put my trust in Him.  Friends, if you are facing uncertainty........pour your hearts out to God.  Give him all your doubts and fears and wait for His answer.  Listen for His encouragement and provision in your situation and trust that everything will be okay.

Dear God, thank you for giving me peace this morning; for talking to me through my devotions and showing that you are listening to my cries for help.  You are my rock and I will count on you to keep me grounded and at peace with your will.  In Jesus' Name.....Amen    

(Pg. 181, June 29th entry of Experiencing God Day By Day)

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sunday Scripture

"For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the hearts." Hebrews 4:12

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Sing Along Saturday

Sometimes our cries for God's help are better than a Hallelujah.  We pour out our miseries.....God just hears a melody........

Nothing I can say will compare to the words of this song and so I leave you with these beautiful words sung by Amy Grant.

Go ahead take your fears and frustrations to God and cry out to him in your desperation.  He loves to hear His children in need cry out for him......He dreams to save you from your pain and show you His amazing love and provision.  

Friday, June 26, 2015

But Do You Know Jesus?

John 3:16-18 MSG  “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.

A few days ago I blogged about going to Niagra Falls, and how I felt overwhelmed by God's power and tender love. I am still smiling about that experience and peek back at my pictures frequently to see the beauty and relive the moments in his majestic presence.

It was so easy to believe in God when you experience him in nature. However, as I praised and prayed this week, I had to wonder how many people believe in God, but do not know his son in a personal relationship. As Christians, our faith is not in God alone. Even satan believes in God, but that will not save his soul. We place our lives in the hands of God's one and only son, Jesus Christ. We are forgiven and made righteous before God because of Jesus' death and resurrection. Jesus is our Savior, our Redeemer and friend.  As we study the scriptures, it is Jesus that shows us the way to the Father. It is also His Spirit within us that convicts and directs us in our lives. We believe in a triune God- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is through a real relationship with Jesus- talking together, crying together, learning the intimate details of one another, responding to His commands in love- that we work out our salvation.

I'm not sure where you are today in your faith walk, Dear Friend, but belief in God alone is not enough. He longs for you to have a relationship with him through his son, Jesus Christ. If you need encouragement or support, please email us. We would love to pray with you and support you in your journey.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Through Suffering

Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.
2 Corinthians 4:10

Our moments of suffering and difficulty are the times when we can show Jesus in us.  When we hide those sufferings and keep our pain and trials hidden,  no one can see God's ability to bring forth healing and restoration.  When we always pretend that things are okay and try to keep up a picture perfect life then no one will see God working in our life.  It is when we share in Jesus' suffering by admitting our fears and hurts; through our weakness people can see the power of God that gets us through our painful circumstance. When they know we can't stand on our own they will wonder what helps us stand.   From our weak body people around us can see Jesus' body rise and give us hope, strength and the energy to stand tall.  When they know that our bodies are fragile and weak then they will see Jesus holding us together.  Friends, don't be afraid of weakness.  Don't shy away from sharing your pain and struggles.  Instead, embrace them.  Let God show you were you are weak and be glad to share in the sufferings of Christ in order to presence of Jesus in you.

Dear God thank you for being my rock and my source of all hope.  You give me strength when I am weak and you are always faithful to help me.  When I suffer let it be with great hope in you that I can share that suffering with the world.  Give me boldness to admit my weakness and let your light shine when I am tired and unable to go any further.  Let people see Jesus in me.  Amen

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

God's Mighty Power


Proclaim the power of God, whose majesty is over Israel, whose power is in the heavens.
You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God! Psalm 68:34-35

In a recent trip to Niagra Falls, I stood in awe of our amazing God. We stood at the side of the river and listened to the roar of the water as it crashed over the edge. We literally had to shout at one another as the water roared. It was incredible and made me smile instantly thinking about hearing God's mighty voice and that the sound of this fall was nothing compared to the magnified thunder of his voice! Yet, right next to this mighty fall, tender flowers bloomed and called out to the gentle nature of a loving God.
We proceeded to go down to the base of the falls. Decked out in our yellow ponchos we headed down the path to stand beneath the waterfall. The water was a mist at first, but the closer we got to the base of the fall the more the wind picked up. Not that it was a windy day, but the rush of the water created a forceful, mighty wind. Then we arrived at the base! I stood facing away from the fall and let the freezing cold water crash against my back. I had to brace myself against its force. It pounded against my back threatening to knock me down. I couldn't stop smiling! I was getting just a tiny glimpse of the power of MY GOD! 
Why do I worry? Why do I doubt? My God is mighty. He has already provided me with a path of righteousness though his son's death and resurrection. He has already gone before me and will not leave me abandoned. My God is mighty in power! 

Forgive me for doubting your power. Forgive me for doubting your love and care for me. Help me to never forget this day. Help me to live in a holy fear of you, responding to your call and direction for my life! Amen

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

God First

But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Matthew 6:33

A God First person does just this, or at least tries.  He or she chooses to seek God first thing in the morning for prayer and to start the day off acknowledging that he or she is not in control.  When something unexpected happens a God First person will go to God's Word for guidance and say a prayer for help.  As the day progresses and things are going well, a God First man or woman will take time to thank God for the blessings in his or her life.  When he or she has a break in the day they might take more time to study God's Word and find ways to apply it to their life.  Putting God first in your life will bring you blessings and wisdom and guidance that only comes from God.  Putting Him first says you trust Him with your whole life and you believe that life without Him is not worth living.  Wanting to know God more and apply His principles and commands to your everyday life is what it takes to be a God First mom, dad, sister, brother, spouse or friend. 

Dear God, I want to live my life God First.  I want to spend every day in your presence seeking you first above the world and living by your Word instead of what the world would suggest.  Help me to be a devoted God First Friend who not only puts you first in my life but encourages others to do the same.  I offer my will to you and ask you to guide me today into your presence, and will for my life.  
In Jesus' Name   Amen    

Monday, June 22, 2015

My lover is mine, and I am his.

This past week I had the privilege of spending some time with several couples that I didn't know well or maybe even at all as Jeff and I embarked on a motorcycle trip out east. This trip taught me several lessons about myself, but one in particular that I want to share with you.

In past years I would have gone on a trip and maybe not thought about God at all or possibly thought that maybe I should say something about Him to the others on the trip but not actually do it. But this year was different. In talking to one sweet gal in particular, I felt compelled to tell her about God and how he would help her with changing a situation she had shared with me. I couldn't hold it back, it just came out as naturally as talking about my family. I didn't worry about how she would receive it, I just shared his faithfulness in helping me change things in my own life. We spent much time on the trip talking about God and even shared devotional time together. I was so blessed by my time with her and thankful that God allowed me to be a part of such a sweet sharing.

What I learned is that God is a part of me! I truly abide in him. No more longing for a real relationship with him, no more striving to be who he wants me to be. I now know that I know, that I know, that he is my God and I am his. My thoughts for him all week never changed even though I was in a different setting and my schedule was interrupted. I gave thanks and praised. I lifted others in prayer and shared His love. My devotional time wasn't sacrificed because of the situation around me. And it all came naturally because his Spirit abides in me. Lord, I ask that you always keep my heart close to you!

My lover is mine, and I am his. Song of Solomon 2:16

Dear GFF,
I want you to have an intimate relationship with Christ. I want you to know without a shadow of a doubt that you are his and he is yours! I want you to abide in him as he abides in the Father.
And it all begins with a decision to dig deep into his word. Don't take others' at their word. Get in your Bible and ask God to show his character to you. Ask Jesus to reveal his love and wisdom to you.  Be honest with him, open your heart to his healing and truth. And don't stop till you know that you know that you know He's your God!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sunday Scripture

Happy Father's Day!

Children are fortunate when they have a father who is honest and does what is right.
Proverbs 20:7

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sing Along Saturday

I am so moved by Casting Crown's song Broken Together. It is a song about marriage. The couple  marriage has struggled. They are not where they thought they would be at this point in their lives. Tough times have come upon them, dreams have faded, and they are in a battle against each other. As the song moves on, the husband's request is that he and his wife just be broken before God together. That they each own their part of the struggle. The overall message is that only God can change their minds. Minds renewed by the love, grace, and gentle convictions of a Savior!

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2a

Give it a listen  Broken Together

Dear Lord,
I pray today for you hand to work in my own marriage. Bring healing to the broken places. Help me to commit to your work and will. Show me how to be responsible and not all about my rights. God, place your mighty right hand upon my marriage that it will be to your honor and glory. Amen

Friday, June 19, 2015

Pray For Patience

But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control.  There is no law against such things as these.
Galatians 5:22-23

I had a friend mention to me yesterday that she has been told to never pray for patience.  I smiled as I read her text and thought about the many times I have heard that statement.  I'm sure you have either said it yourself, or heard someone tell you to never pray for patience, but the more I think about it, it's a virtue we all need in life.  Patience is a fruit of the Spirit.  As we grow and mature in our faith we should possess these fruits and they should be a part of who we are in all circumstances.  It is a goal to have all of these fruits someday by going through troubles that grow us into a more Christ-like character.  Praying for patience will bring us trials to grow us in patience, and as scary as it might seem, we can't shy away from that.  If we call ourselves Christians we should desire to be like Christ and that might mean learning patience.  It might mean we have to go through trials and endure some tough circumstances before can possess patience.

My daughter broke her leg one week ago.  She had to miss the rest of volleyball camp, has to sit out the rest of softball season and is facing dropping out of 4h because of that unfortunate incident.  While I ask God to teach her patience in all of this I know it will come with pain and frustration in her life.  Learning patience is never easy and might possibly be the hardest thing to learn for some people.  It is never easy to be placed in a position of waiting on the things you desire or having to say no to the things you love.  But in all of the waiting God has something way more special for us all to learn.  He has a gift to give us in the end that will draw us closer to being like Jesus, and when we put all things aside, that should really be all we want and need in life.

Friend, if you are impatient then start praying for patience today.  Don't be afraid of the trial that waits because God will never give you something that He can't help you grow from and turn into something much greater.  Don't be afraid of being more like Christ, but embrace your chance to grow! Dear God give us love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control.  We desire to be more like you and we trust that your ways are higher than our own.  We will not be afraid but stand in awe of the power you hold and the strength that you provide.  Grow us and make us holy.  In Jesus' Name...........Amen        

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Value of a Woman

Magazine ads. Television commercials. Posters. Books. Store fronts. All boasting sensual, beautiful women. I am heartsick at the devalued role women play in our society today. I am so broken over the use of women's pictures and their physical beauty to sell products, entice eroticism, and gratify selfish sensual desires. Girlfriends, we were created for more than that!

We are created in the image of God himself. Genesis 1:27 says, "So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." We were created to bring delight to our Father... "God saw all that he had made and it was very good." Genesis 1:31

God saw that Adam was alone in the world. For all the other creatures God had created companions, but Adam had no helper. Adam saw this too as he looked at and named all the other animals. (Genesis 2:19-25) God created woman from Adam's rib. She was taken from his side and placed at his side as an equal, a helper. Not a servant, not an inferior, not a tool for satisfaction. She was an 'ezer.' Ezer is the Biblical term for helpmeet, or helpmate.

Girls, we are valuable, cherished, and honored children of our heavenly Father. Let us seek to live as he created us. Let us have courage to speak up for those being abused and misled by the media.

Join me to pray for revival beginning in our homes, our communities, and our world. Pray for the reality of God's view of women to be reclaimed. Pray for Christian men to speak up in the protection of women and for their hearts to view women as God designed. Pray that marriages are renewed and rebuilt on God's foundational truth. Pray for courage to speak up for God's design for marriage. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Then God commanded, "Let the earth produce all kinds of animal life: domestic and wild, large and small" - and it was done.  So God made them all, and he was pleased with what he saw.

This is a picture of our cat, Hazel.  We got her about a year ago to help keep the mice out of our garage and away from our house.  Since she came to live with us she has slowly won our hearts and somehow ends up snuggling on our couch as much as she is outside hunting for mice.  She is a sweet girl who loves people and we are happy to have here.  As you can see she is feeding her babies in this picture because I obviously did not get her to the vet in time to have her spayed.  I wasn't so sure about her having babies and what kind of mess that would become but as I watched her yesterday turn from a kitten to a mother I was reminded of the amazing power in God's Spoken Word.  On the sixth day God created all the animals that roam the ground and he did it with just a spoken command.  All the complexity we find in the animals, He was able to bring to life just by speaking!  As I witnessed my cat clean her babies and begin to feed them instantly I was in awe of the instincts she had and I couldn't get over how God made her to be able to handle this with such ease.  I am a mother myself, and I have experienced this miracle of feeling a baby growing inside me, given birth and bonding with my children through nursing.  I'm ashamed to say that if it isn't something we are a part of every day we tend to take it all for granted.  As much as I did not want to deal with the "mess" of baby kittens and a nursing cat, God blessed me with a huge reminder in all the "mess".  He showed me His great power and the control over even the slightest details in all of life.  AND THE DETAIL!.........there is so much detail that we couldn't even imagine, and it in every situation it is ALL taken care of!   So far there is no mess with this birthing process...........I come to find out that mama cat takes care of all that and she has stayed calm through the whole thing.  She still comes out from under the stairs to snuggle and will let us handle her babies without being too protective.  God once again has shown me all He is capable of and I can't stop smiling :)  All that He brought to life and into existence in a short 6 days baffles my mind!  All because He spoke a few words.  Thank you God for speaking me into existence and having all the details of my life taken care of!  Thank you for making me so complex and loving me with a love that is unmatched and impossible to fully grasp!  Amen and Amen!   

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

First Be Loved

"We, though, are going to love- love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love.
 He loved us first." 1 John 4:19 MSG

I am completely convinced that until we know how much we are loved by God, we cannot really love one another. I am feeling frustrated lately with the misuse of the word love. We say we love one another, yet we cut one another down, selfishly take from one another, and compete to have more or appear better than the one we supposedly love. That is not God's love

God loved us first. He is the example of love. And until we open up to him and receive his love, we will not truly know love. We will offer the best love we know, but we will not offer real love because real love comes from God. We have to know his character, accept that his word is truth, and respond to his love by offering that love to others. 

GFF's I can't tell you enough how important it is to get an accountability partner and get serious about finding God. You have to go into your Bible wanting him. Ask him to reveal his love to you. Search for scriptures about his love. Read how he loved those that are mentioned in the Bible and apply those same truths to your life. 

For example, Hosea goes out and brings his wife back to himself time and again even though she is prostituting herself to others. God's message to us is that he will continue loving us even after we have gone off and sinned time and again. He is faithful. His love never ends! He will forgive you each time you sin. Once we know his faithfulness, once we've received his forgiveness, he wants us to love others with that same faithfulness and forgiveness. 

Another example is this: God says that he will never leave or forsake us. (Deuteronomy 31:8). You have to recite this scripture in your head until you believe it in your heart. Then you offer that same kind of love to others by never walking out on them. 

How loved do you feel by God today? Are you confident in his love? If so, you will be confident in yourself. You will know that your body, your job, or your past don't determine your worth. If you truly know you are loved by God, you will be so in love with him you won't be able to stop talking about him. You will feel compelled to help those in need and share his love with them. You will stop being critical of others because you know the depth of your own sin and the mercy and grace you are wrapped in by your loving Father. And in response you will have grace and mercy on others.

Dear Lord,
It is my prayer today that you will speak your love directly to my GFFs' hearts. Draw the heart of these precious friends to your heart. Help them know you personally. Give my GFFs the courage to step out and admit their sins so they can receive your forgiveness and healing. Help these dear GFFs to know your love greatly. Amen

Monday, June 15, 2015

Seek God Continually

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14

Making the choice to change and repent form our sinful ways takes more than just acknowledging our wrong doing and talking about how we need to do better, or act differently.   True repentance is a 360 degree turn and is maintained by seeking God continually.  God knew that His people would get caught in sinful behavior.  He created us and understands the flaws we possess!  He knows the difficulties we face living in a broken world with little moral standards.  In 2 Chronicles God wrote the blueprint for our survival.   The map that will lead us back to him every time we get on the wrong path.  First, we must humble ourselves by revealing our sin to God and even to a trusted friend, someone who will hold us accountable, and encourage the change we desire.   Second, we must pray asking God for forgiveness.  Third, He tells us to seek Him continually (study His word, look for Him in all situations, keep His commands close in our minds at all times).  And last, we must turn away from sin, especially the sin that tripped us up.  We can't skip any steps in this 360 degree turn.  We must complete the whole journey with God to fully experience a restored life.  But the work is worth the pay off when we come out of it with a deeper understanding of God and ourselves.  It will give us a new perspective and strength to face more of life challenges that await.  Every time we sin, it is this blueprint that we must turn to, to bring us back to God.  Won't you try it today?


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sunday Scripture

"Do not be deceived; God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life." Galatians 6:7-8

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Be Changed (Day 2)

"Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which was corrupted by lust and deception. Instead let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God- truly righteous and holy." Ephesians 4:21-24

Yesterday we looked at the first steps of becoming like God- righteous and holy. We looked at the part we are responsible for in our faith- hearing, learning, and responding to the message with action.

Today we will look at the part or our transformation that God does by his Spirit. As we grow in knowledge and understanding of Jesus, we have to allow God to move the message from our head to our heart. He does this through the promptings and workings of the Holy Spirit. God places his Spirit within us to speak his word into our very being. This is one of the very mysteries of God. I can't explain for you how He does it, I just know he does because I hear and feel him myself within my own heart. When we are moved by the Spirit, the changes come from within us. Where originally we were making a decision in our own mind about what to do and when to do it. Now, a transformation is taking place, and we are responding to God through the movement of His Spirit within us.

For far to long I lived in an incomplete faith. I heard, learned and acted according to the knowledge in my head.  However, it wasn't until I took God's message and made it personal that I was able to respond to the Spirit because the Spirit functions from within my heart changing my desires, convicting me of sin, and helping me sustain the changes by strengthening my convictions and offering me the wisdom of God. 

The process is cyclical. We continue to hear, learn, act, and be moved by the Spirit on our newfound understanding. Don't get short circuited. Continue reading, hearing, and acting. Ask God to help you recognize the Spirit's work within you so that you are ready to receive and respond to His desires.

 This passage calls us to change. It calls us to know your word so that we can respond to it and allow your Spirit to work within us. Help us to remain faithful to reading, learning and doing all that you ask of us. We ask a special prayer today that we become more aware of the Spirit's promptings and desires for us.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Be Changed (Day 1)

"Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which was corrupted by lust and deception. Instead let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God- truly righteous and holy." Ephesians 4:21-24

As we look through the above scripture we see a process.  In order to really know God and know his love, we have to complete all the steps in the process. We have to hear, learn and act on what we know. Then we let the Spirit work within us to make changes that we cannot make on our own; we have to have changes made within us that only can be made by the very hand of God in order to be truly transformed. 

Hearing involves both auditory and reading of God's word. We are exposed to his word by others' messages, testimonials, and encouragement. We take in the word of God! 

Next we are called to learn the truth. Learning involves more than just hearing. I can hear a message and walk away totally forgetting what I heard. Learning involves memorization and seeking understanding. We take the stories and lives of the people in scripture and break them down to know the message that God wants us to hear... the message of his love, grace, and mercy. Learning is an internalization of the Word.

Finally, we have to act on what we know. If we know scripture tells us that cursing is offensive to God, we have to stop doing it. If we have learned that gossip breaks the heart of God then we have to make a conscious effort to stop gossiping. As we hear and read the Word we will know that God wants us to care for the hungry. So we must make changes in our life to reach out to those who are both physically and spiritually hungry. We have to 'throw off' the sin of our former life. 'Throwing off' is an action. Real faith acts on what it knows!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Don't Throw Away Your Confident Trust

Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord, no matter what happens.  Remember the great reward it brings you!
Hebrews 10:35

Sometimes things just don't go our way.  No matter how hard we pray, and regardless of the time we put into trying to make it right, God's plan just doesn't go as we would like.  Our answers don't come soon enough, or the direction of our circumstances takes a drastic turn in the wrong direction causing our faith to falter.  We begin to panic, or maybe it's more of a slow change that occurs as we patiently wait for God's rescue.  I have this certain subject that has been the topic of prayer for too many years now and as I continue to pray for it there are moments when I almost throw away my confident trust in God to heal and fix the issue.  As I sat praying this morning God gently brought to my attention the negativity I sometimes express in His ability to help, and of course His wisdom was shared with me as I opened my morning devotion that included the above scripture.  I am reminded that no matter what happens I cannot lose my confidence in God's ability to rescue.  Even when He takes longer than I want I can't throw away my hope that He will show up at just the right time.  I am losing blessings when I do this and my prayers certainly won't be heard if I'm just throwing them out there and not expecting God to hear me and answer.  

Dear God, I am so sorry for showing this negativity towards you.  It's not that I don't trust you but more that I am tired of waiting on you.  This weariness was not meant for me to carry alone.  Take my life and fill me with patience and complete trust in you.  Please forgive me for taking lightly the work you have done so far.......the things I may not even see.  Forgive me for trying to throw away my confident trust in you.  Please fill me, once again, with your amazing grace and show me the promises you have for me and my friends who love you and trust in you.         

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I Need a Little Help Here!

Earlier this week, my oldest grandson, Brody, crawled up on the barstool to get himself a treat as I visited with a few other women in the kitchen. I had no idea what he was up to until I heard this small soft voice saying, "Awmaw, Awmaw!" (That's Brody's backwards language for Mawmaw- me, the Grandma!) I turned only to realize that this little 2 year old was dangling from the counter by his belly. His foot was searching wildly for the chair that was at one time beneath him. And as any good grandma would do, I raced to... my phone to take a picture! I saw God written all over this moment and knew He would hold him safe enough just for one quick picture! Just a side note: The original look on his face was panic and concern until he saw my phone held in the photo taking position. Then, as any adorable 2 year old would do, he paused to smile for the camera!

Brody went out on his own with no one watching or around to help him. As he tried to reach his treasure, he crawled up onto the counter, and he came back down unable to find the chair. I love that even in his little child heart he had the wisdom to cry out for help! He wasn't too proud to ask or too embarrassed to admit that he had made a mistake. He openly cried out for help and knew he could trust me to be there!

God First Friends started with 2 women having the need for a little help! It is the purpose of this blog ministry to encourage you too to reach out to another friend and support each other as you seek the love and joy of Jesus Christ, our own treasure!

Ecclesiastes 4:9     Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor; If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

One With God

When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my father, and you are in me, and I am in you.
John 14:20

Picture it.......Jesus is in God, you are in Jesus, and Jesus is in you.  Everyone knows that Jesus and God are one but do we take it further and always recognize that we are one with Jesus and God?  Why, when things get difficult, do we ever worry?  Jesus lives in us!  We can never be alone!  He is in us, we are in him and together we are in God.  Even when things are the worst they could possibly be, we have the upper hand, always. 

Friends, I know you have all heard it before.  We have the same power that Jesus had all those years ago when he could stand up to opposition and have confidence in the power God provided him.  He could speak the truth in love, deny temptations from satan, oppose sins yet love the sinners, endure name calling and lies which all led up to being beaten, spit on and hung on a cross.  Jesus had the power to heal the sick and convince the sinners to follow him.  When we think of Jesus we think of a strong man, a loving man, someone who believed in God and trusted Him for all of his needs.  Jesus was compassion, caring and sharing.  He had best friends just like us, his feet got dirty just like ours and the same power that drove him to the cross and raised him into heaven is the same power that gets us out of our messes.  It is the same power that heals our sick child, changes our spouses heart, makes us stand up to opposition, find a new job, say goodbye to someone we love.  

Claim your power today!  Don't let it sit idle in your heart for one more moment.  Really believe the words written above......words spoken straight from Jesus' mouth........He is in us and we are in Him.  Let the Spirit take control of your life.  Stop worrying and working so hard!  God will never be anywhere but right where you are, so relax and let Him do some of the work.

Dear God, this message is so powerful.  I pray that my friends can see this is part of who they are and that they can claim your power within them.  Help me to stop worrying and trying to fix things and let me rest in this great power that lives within me.  Touch me in a way that will encourage me to continue, everyday, being strong and confident in the power I hold.  In Jesus' Name    amen  

Monday, June 8, 2015

Walk with the Faithful

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on it day and night. Psalm 1:1-2

This psalm enlightens us to the way of the faithful. As Christians we need to surround ourselves with people who build us up in the Lord. A true friend encourages us to dig deeper into God's word. A true friend encourages us to remain faithful. As a faithful follower we long for God's word to penetrate the dark and lonely places of our hearts. We need friendships that hold us accountable to God's Word. Faithful friends breed faithful friends! Faithful friends are joyful because their steps are led by a grace-filled God! 

A mocker is someone who does not fear the Lord. A mocker does not acknowledge that the Lord is a just God of consequence. However, sin is not taken lightly by our God. Therefore, friendships with mockers can cause us to lose sight of the importance of God's law. When we insist on walking with sinners, we run the risk of becoming numb to the things of God. Constant exposure to sin leads us to indifference which is the mocking of God's laws. It's a subtle change, yet leads to a downward spiral. 

As we build friendships let's look for those that will build us up in the Lord. Perhaps you already have these kinds of friends. Or perhaps you need to ask God to bring a friend into your life that holds you accountable, shares God's word with you, and who is faithful to your God! Choose your friends wisely, for your life, in the Lord, depends on it!

Dear Father,
I thank you Lord for the GFF's in my life and ask your blessing upon our friendships. I pray that each of our GFF's has a God First Friend. Bring into their lives a friend that is also seeking to live according to your word and your will. Bless them with faithful friends.  Amen and amen

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Sunday Scripture

When I discovered your words, I devoured them. 
They are my joy and my heart's delight,
for I bear your name,
O Lord God of Heaven's Armies.
Jeremiah 15:16

Friday, June 5, 2015

Follow His Commands

Remember that I have commanded you to be determined and confident!  Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I, the Lord your God am with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9

The Lord's commands aren't to be taken lightly.  Just as we might give orders to our children, or a boss would pass out commands to his employers, God has given us many commands to follow and abide by.  Some of the obvious......Do not steal, Do not murder, Do not have false Gods......those are easier to follow because they are God's 10 Commandments......the Law by which we stand as Christians.  But what about all the other commands given in the bible?  Did God really mean for us to follow everything He said?  In my opinion.......absolutely.  The Bile is God's Words to us.  It is His wisdom passed down to us.  Every story of bravery, failure, love, forgiveness, and hope was placed in His book so that one day His children could have all the knowledge and advice they could ever need. He planned for us all to live by the Bible........seeking the answers to our deepest needs and finding wisdom for our greatest questions, right there in the pages of this timeless book!  

So as God told Joshua to be determined and confident, when you read those words in the Bible, He is telling you to be determined and confident.  What do you have going on right now that has you doubting?  Follow God's command and be determined!  Seek your answers from God, make your decision and stand firm in His ability to help you.  Be certain that God will lead you through, placing your trust in not be afraid!  Fear and doubt........they are sin.  Don't give in to satan's attempts to scare you.  Don't listen to the world telling you that cancer will kill you, being a single mom is too hard, giving up your addictions would be impossible or that you don't deserve forgiveness.  Today, listen to God's commands and let them lead your decisions and give you peace.  Follow His commands and see how faithful He is to stand by you and fight your battles.   Be confident and determined!  Whatever your trial, you have an even bigger God, going with you wherever you go.   

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Don't Get Distracted

"You will seek and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13

I spoke with a group of middle school students this week about searching for God. We talked about how he wants us to search his Word to know him better. And we also talked about God's promise that if we search with our whole heart, we will find him and not be disappointed! I love that promise!

In order to help the kids understand serious searching, I hid some money and wanted them to search for it. They were all anxious to look until I said it was a penny and a quarter. They looked at me with the most disappointed faces. "Seriously?" was the word no on was saying, but that every face radiated! I laughed and said, I also hid a five-dollar bill. Now they were tuned in! We searched for awhile, but when no one found it we had to stop due to time. I told them they would have all week to continue looking and that the person who found it could keep it! They all cheered and couldn't wait to get started. We took a break and went outside. When we gathered again, I thought for sure they would keep searching, but no one did. They grabbed basketballs, sat with friends, and ate snacks. I couldn't believe it. There was a treasure, and they totally forgot!

I felt God nudge me and say, "You're the same at times!" How many times do I intend to sit down at my desk to study his word, but I get distracted by the laundry or a phone call? Wasn't it just last week that I intended to call and encourage a friend, but I ended up distracted by a rest in the sunshine?

Walking with God takes intentional thinking and planning. He says we must be serious! The enemy however is the king of earthly distraction. We must be alert and focused in order to find all that God has for us! Be diligent my friend! Determine that you want his love and a relationship with him more than anything else, and the go for it! Don't get distracted!  Continue seeking him and you will not be disappointed!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Be An Instrument

But can the axe boast greater power than the person who uses it?  Is the saw greater than the person who saws?  Can a rod strike unless a hand moves it?  Can a wooden can walk by itself?
Isaiah 10:15

My son hit his second home run over the fence last night.  It is such a proud moment watching my kids succeed in the things they love.  When they are in their element, showing confidence and are clearly having fun, it makes my heart happy.  But as a mom it is also my responsibility to show my children that the talent they have doesn't come from them just being awesome.  In my own life I have to remind myself daily that the blogs I write are not my own, and my ability to raise foster kids and say goodbye is not in my own strength.  We are all just tools being used by a Big Hand.  God gives us each special ability, and uses that to further His Kingdom.  When we start to work alone there will always be failure and break down, but if we stop and acknowledge the source or our ability and strength there will be great rewards.  God can use any one of us as at any time He pleases as long as we are willing and can admit that He is the hand that controls us.  I admit there have been many times in my life when things get rolling and I forget to give God credit.  Just like a bat can't hit the ball by itself, we can't love the hurting, help the needy, and feed the hungry without God controlling us and living through us.  Today as you do things and help people remember to thank God for your strengths and abilities.  Don't ever forget that you are an instrument in the hands of the Master.  

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Promises of God

I began looking in the Bible for God's promises. As I read through these promises, I began thinking how others have made me promises and then left me disappointed. But God is not like man. His promises are true and cannot be broken. If he says it, he means it!

When have you been disappointed? Perhaps it was something small like going to an event that got rained out. Maybe a friend had to change plans at the last minute and left you with nothing to do. Perhaps bigger disappointments have come your way like losing a job that had been promised to you or a family member moving away when they said they'd be there for you forever. Some disappointments leave us radically heart broken like a spouse breaking their marital promise and leaving us for another or the betrayal of a friend who had promised never to leave our side. Sometimes we are disappointed so often that we have a hard time believing that God isn't going to disappoint us like everyone else does. This is when we need to meditate on His promises and allow his words to coat our hearts with their healing balm. Learn to trust him!

Here are a few of God's promises to us:

God will never disappoint us.
"When you come looking for me, you'll find me. "Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I'll make sure you won't be disappointed." God's Decree." Jeremiah 29:13

God has a plan for our future and for our good.
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

God will supply our needs. 
"And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." 
Philippians 4:19

No one can take us from God. He also promises eternal life! 
"I will give them eternal life, and they will never perish. And no one will snatch them out of my hand." John 10:28

God will never leave your side!
"I will never leave you nor forsake you." Joshua 1:5b

There are literally thousands of God's promises in the scriptures. Get in there. Dig around and see what he has for you!

Monday, June 1, 2015

God Isn't Found In Man Made Temples

He is the God who made the world and everything in it.  Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn't live in man made temples
Acts 17:24

I have made the mistake of searching for God in man made things.  When I was lonely I searched for Him by seeking new friends, when I was scared I tried to find Him by seeking worldly answers.  When I thought I was unloveable I didn't bother seeking Him because I wasn't worthy of His love.  When was hungry I filled up on junk food.  I have sought after God my whole life in places that He would never be found.  I even searched in church by making myself busy helping, and volunteering only to be worn out and left to be lonely all over again.  My problem was that I was searching all things man made and God doesn't live in man made "temples".  

Have you looked in the wrong places searching for God?  Have you tried to fill up on all the wrong things in pursuit of Him?  My suggestion to you is to review where you have looked and if reading the bible is not on your list then pick one up today!  The bible is God's living word and it is our gift directly from Him.  It isn't man made, but God breathed, and it is the only safe place to really find Him and get to know Him.  He can also be found in nature, and the beautiful miracles that He provides us with everyday, but to really get to know Who God is we have to read His Word.  Stop searching in all the wrong places, among all the man made things this world has to offer you, and start seeking God right from His Word.