Monday, November 30, 2015

Prayer for Wisdom

How can a young person live a clean life?
By carefully reading the map of your Word.
I'm single minded in pursuit of you;
don't let me miss the road signs you've posted.
I've banked your promises in the vault of my heart
so I won't sin myself bankrupt.
Be blessed, God;
train me in your ways of wise living.
I'll transfer to my lips all the counsel that comes from your mouth;
I delight far more in what you tell me about living
than in gathering a pile of riches.
I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you,
I attentively watch how you've done it.
I relish everything you've told me of life,
I won't forget a word of it.
Psalm 119:9-16 MSG

I'm still searching for wisdom and I feel like this psalmist begging for God to show me the way.  I search for His words in devotions, from the mouths of wise counsel, and in my bible studies.  I want to be like Jesus!  I want to be wise and listen to God's voice in my life.  I want to know His thoughts and direction in my circumstances.  But it's not just knowing what He says, no, that's not enough.  Dear God, I need the strength and the courage to do what You say.  I need to be strong in the hard times and trust that you will be my shelter and that you will work all things out for my good because I love You.  I put you first in my mind, I seek your wisdom to help me.  Lord give me the strength to say yes to You in all situations and to follow Your wise counsel.  Make me bold and courageous.  Give me renewed strenght and hope.  God I will trust in You as my life and the lives of many depend on You.  Amen


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sunday Scripture

Jesus said, "The first in importance is, 'Listen, Israel:  
The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.'  
And here is the second:
'Love others as well as you love yourself.'  There is no other commandment that ranks with these.
Mark 12: 29-31 MSG

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Live Out Your Thanksgiving

My counsel for you is simple and straightforward; Just go ahead with what you've been given.  You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him.  You're deeply rooted in him.  You're well constructed upon him.  You know your way around the faith.  Now do what you've been taught.  School's out; quit studying the subject and start living it!  
And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.
Colossians 2:6-7 MSG

How do we ever give back to God?  As we look back on all the things we have been blessed with in this life how do we give Him a proper thanksgiving?  Is there anything that we can do to show God how much we love Him and how much we appreciate His love for us?  Nothing can match what we have been given, that's for sure.  But God isn't looking for an equal return on what He has given us.  He is just looking for a changed life.  A life that is thankful will act on His word and live out His commands.  This scripture isn't necessarily telling us to stop studying God's word but it is telling us to get out of our chair and do something with it.  It is telling us to live the Jesus life instead of sitting on all the great things we know.  It is encouraging us to use what God has taught us through our trials, our joys, our bible studies and our wise counsel.  To give God His proper thanksgiving we need only to start living what we know and what He has given us.  Seems simple enough!

We are so thankful for you who read our blog daily or just visit from time to time.  Our passion is God, and we love to write, so we are thankful for this opportunity to share with you all.  Enjoy this day, or long weekend, thinking on all the things you are thankful for and how you can start living in a way that shares those things with others.    

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Faith Without Deeds is Dead

Dear friends, do you think you'll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, "Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!" and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup- where does that get you? Isn't it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense? James 2:14-17

James is a book full of wisdom. It contains simple Godly truths that apply to our everyday living. In this passage, James tells us that our faith and the deeds must work together. There is to be a seamlessness between what we believe and what we do. James also says that faith without deeds is a dead faith. Oh, Lord I pray that my faith is alive and active!

There are so many needs around us and sometimes the hard part is knowing where it's best to invest our time, money and resources. God's heart is clear throughout scripture, and to have a heart like God's we need to care for widows and orphans in their distress (James 1:27). We must care for the poor. And still we are accountable to make disciples. As Christians we look for the needs around us asking God to lead us through his Holy Spirit to those needs that we are to meet. 

As we walk with the Lord longer and grow deeper in relationship with him, We begin to get excited for opportunities to share his love. Taking meals, sending encouraging texts and cards, attending fundraising for ministries, and meeting people at their point of need will excite us and spur us on to greater deeds because we want them to see and know his love. Ask Him to open your heart and eyes to see the needs before you.

Dear Father,
Soften our hearts to the needs around us. Let us not just talk of our faith, but help us to live it out as your son showed us in his time on this earth. Lord, teach us to listen intently for your Spirit's prompting and to immediately respond in faith and love! 
In your precious and holy name we pray,

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Accept It!

Each one of these people of faith died not yet having in hand what was promised, but still believing.  How did they do it?  They saw it way off in the distance, waved their greeting, and accepted the fact that they were transients in this world.  People who live this way make it plain that they are looking for their true home.  If they were homesick for the old country, they could have gone back any time they wanted.  But they were after a far better country than that - heaven country.  
You can see why God is so proud of them, and has a City waiting for them.
Hebrews 11:13-16 MSG

This world is not our home.  God has many promises for us.  His Word is full of the ways in which He will provide for our needs.  When we are hungry we will be fed, when we are sick we will be healed, when we are sad we will find joy, and when we are lost we will be found.  He tells us to lay our worry at Jesus' feet and to not be afaid even in the most frightening places.  God promises so much to us, but it's not always that His promise will take away the hurt and trouble......His promise is to help us through it.  

One promise we can count on, as believers of Jesus Christ, is that one day we will go to heaven.  One day in heaven all of these other promises will be ours for keeps, we will be healthy, we will never go hungry, we will never be sad and we will never be lost or alone.  Once we can truly accept this fact, as the prophets who were praised in Hebrews 11, we can live in our present situation and keep going forward.  When we can't see a worldy end to our sorrow, our illness, or our difficult  situation, there is always heaven beyond.  We can always choose to believe God's promises and claim them knowing that this world is not our home.  Knowing and believing that some day we will be free from whatever fear holds us back, whatever pain slows us down, whatever situation tears us up......there will always be heaven!  Noah, Abraham and Sara, Isaac, Joseph, Moses, David.......the list could go on.......all of these people that have gone before us, they accepted the fact that they were transients in this world.  They saw heaven before them and they kept going forward in search of their prize.  

In my own life I look back on my old life and sometimes think that it would be easier, maybe more fun, or less painful but I can't ignore the life that I am promised in the end.  I could go back anytime I want but I have this promise of Heaven that just keeps pulling me forward.  I have this promise of protection and provision that draws me ahead.  I don't want to second guess God's plan for my life anymore.  I don't want to look back at my old life for one more second!  I want to keep doing God's work no matter how hard it gets and no matter if I see the harvest or not I want to have faith that keeps me going in all circumstances.  

For some they will see great and marvelous works.  They will harvest huge blessings in this life on earth and for others it will not be so.  But we continue on because we have accepted that this world is not our home and for that we are truly blessed beyond measure!  We live for eternity!  We continue each day to see Jesus' face in heaven!

I could go on and on but I've run out of time.  There are so many more - Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, the prophets......
Through acts of faith, they toppled kingdoms, made justice work, took the promises for themselves.  They were protected from lions, fires, and sword thrusts, turned disadvantage to advantage, won battles, routed alien armies.  Women received their loved ones back from the dead.  There were those who, under torture, refused to give in and go free, preferring something better: resurrection.  Others braved abuse and whips, and, yes, chains and dungeons.  We have stories of those who were stoned, sawed in two, murdered in cold blood; stories of vagrants wandering the earth in animal skins, homeless, friendless, powerless - the world didn't deserve them! - making their way as best they could on the cruel edges of the world.
Hebrews 11:32-38 MSG  

Monday, November 23, 2015

She Did What She Could

But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why are you giving her a hard time? She has just done something wonderfully significant for me. You will have the poor with you every day for the rest of your lives. Whenever you feel like it, you can do something for them. Not so with me. She did what she could when she couldshe pre-anointed my body for burial. And you can be sure that wherever in the whole world the Message is preached, what she just did is going to be talked about admiringly.”     Mark 14:6-9

Today is geared toward those in professions as teachers, but can so relate to any GFF. If you are at a point in your life where you have more questions than answers, more worries than peace, and feel you just can't do any more in the situation then this will speak to you.

As teachers, it’s that time of year when we know our students well. We know their needs, their quirks, and their strengths. We have a glimpse at their home lives and insight into why things are the way they are for these little ones. We are puzzled by their behaviors and seek answers to why learning is so difficult for some.

We make plans to meet with parents, spend extra time with students, reward the positives, and discipline the negative. Yet, our hearts are overwhelmed because we know our time is limited and despite all we give we cannot ‘fix’ all the problems for these children. We long for that one thing that will make it all better. We exhaust ourselves trying to change that which we cannot change.

Remember the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet? She did not worry over what she couldn’t do. She simply did what she could. She gave her best to Jesus, and he was so blessed by her gift. What situation do you face today where you can rest knowing you've done what you could? There is a time to work and a time to rest. Seek God's wisdom. Give your best efforts and then rest knowing God is pleased with what you have done and what you are doing at this time in your relationships and in your work.

We are passionate about the people and situations in our lives. We seek your wisdom and guidance. Help us to do what we can without worrying about what we cannot do. Let our lives and our work be a blessing to you.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sunday Scripture

But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, 
my glory, and the One who lifts my head.
Psalm 3:3 NASB

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Sing A Long Saturday

Feeling weak and tired? Wondering if you have the strength for another day? Listen to Same Power by Jeremy Camp today. As I hear this song, I just have to raise my arms and praise God, ready to move the mountains before me with HIS POWER that is within me by his Holy Spirit!!

Click here to hear Same Power by Jeremy Camp
                                                             "Same Power"

I can see 
Waters raging at my feet 
I can feel 
The breath of those surrounding me 
I can hear 
The sound of nations rising up 
We will not be overtaken 
We will not be overcome 

I can walk 
Down this dark and painful road 
I can face 
Every fear of the unknown 
I can hear 
All God’s children singing out 
We will not be overtaken 
We will not be overcome

The same power that rose Jesus from the grave 
The same power that commands the dead to wake 
Lives in us, lives in us 
The same power that moves mountains when He speaks 
The same power that can calm a raging sea 
Lives in us, lives in us 
He lives in us, lives in us

We have hope 
That His promises are true 
In His strength 
There is nothing we can’t do 
Yes, we know 
There are greater things in store 
We will not be overtaken 
We will not be overcome 

Greater is He that is living in me 
He’s conquered our enemy 
No power of darkness 
No weapon prevails 
We stand here in victory

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Sing His Praises

I'm thanking you, God, from a full heart,
I'm writing the book on your wonders.
I'm whistling, laughing, and jumping for joy;
I'm singing your song, High God.
Psalm 9:1-2

Read this verse again! Sing his praises. God has saved you from your own sin. He has provided a way for you to spend eternity with him even though on your own you do not deserve to live with a holy, righteous God. He loves you beyond measure. Did you hear that... you are loved. Dear friend, you are loved. You are forgiven. Your past, your present do not define you. You are defined by the God who made you. You are defined by Jesus' blood on the cross for your sin. 
Whistle, sing, shout, jump for you today. You are His! Rejoice today! Turn up the praise music and SING HIS PRAISES!!

The Truth Will Set You Free

Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.
John 8:32 NIV

"I am being held captive by some circumstances in my life right now.  These things are, at times, consuming my thoughts and taking over my feelings.  I have some issues that need resolved and I don't know exactly what God wants me to do about them.  I trust that He has all the answers and, in fact, He has been faithful to reassure me of His presence in my life and encourage me to keep moving forward."  

Does this scenario sound at all familiar?  Do you ever just cry out for God to make your way so crystal clear?  Are you dealing with decisions and problems that seem out of your control and you just don't know how to approach them?  What is worrying you?  What is confusing you?  How can you overcome your chains and find freedom? 

I have some questions and today, for the first time, I realize that these questions I seek to answer......the wisdom I so desperately need, is the only thing that will set me free from my chains.  Jesus said it Himself, "the truth will set you free" and so I am seeking God's truth in the things that hold me down.  I am devoting my quiet time to studying what God says about the things that I am struggling with.  The only answer I will be sure of is the answer that comes from God.  I don't want to mess this up and I don't want to disobey God's calling so I will seek the truth to set myself free from the confusion and chaos in my life.  I will let my difficulties draw me closer to God instead of the opposite.  I will allow my discomfort to take me deeper.  I will seek God's truth and so be set free!  Won't you join me?

Dear God, give me Your wisdom.  Lead me to the write place in Your Word that will teach me and set me free.  Give me your advice and lead me in my day.  My peace comes from You and knowing Your truth.  Let my chains be broken and give me new freedom to make the choices that follow your laws.

All he does is just and good and all his commandments are trustworthy.
Psalm 111:7

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Pointing Others to God During Difficult Times

As all the men of Judah stood before the Lord with their little ones, wives and children,
2 Chronicles 20:13

I love this story of King Jehosephat facing a huge battle that, without the help of God, would be impossible to win.  I love how desperate he was when he heard the news that three large armies were on their way to attack his people.  He ordered the people of Judah to fast and  begged the Lord for guidance (2 Chron. 20:3) He stood before his community and cried out to the Lord as He prayed, "O Lord, God of our ancestors, you alone are the God who is in heaven.  You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth.  You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against you!" (2 Chron 20:6)  

The thought of all of this gives me chills.  Jehosephat chose God above all other resources and possibilities.  He was in charge of leading a many people to chosing God first.  In this moment of worry and threat he lead his people to believe God was in charge and that God was capable of saving them even though the enemy was fast approaching.  It makes me think of my problems and especially the ones that include more people than just myself.  I have a godly responsibility to point to God as my saving source and strength.  In my moments of fear I have two choices......God or man.  I can look to man for answers or look to God.  God may very well lead me to man, but going to Him first will give us peace and guidance in our situations.  And it wasn't just a few people in the community that he had influence on.  In the scripture above it states: "all the men of Judah stood before the Lord with their little ones, wives and children"  King Jehosephat in his confidence and faith led a whole community into believing that God was the only answer to their problem.  

If we continue the story we can see that they were so sure in God that they led their army with singing and praising because they were so thankful for the battle they were sure to win by God's hands.  I am encouraged to see the results of a good and faithful believer.  I want my life to mirror that of this moment in Jehosephat's carreer when he pointed people from the worry and devestation to trusting in the One God who had the power to save them.  I wish to do this in my fear and hard times.  I want to gather all of my littles and friends and their families and pray to God for the things we need.  I want to be able to share a belief so concrete that it doesn't matter what I am standing up against, I can be confident in God's ability to save me in what ever way He sees fit.  

In preparation I will pray to Him and spend time with Him and trust in His Words to me through wise counsel and the bible.  And I will count on my accountability partner to keep my mind on right thinking.  Yes, it's true......I am not always positive.  I am not always putting God first, especially when my mind wanders and allows satan to discourage or attack me.  I have a friend who can see that on my face, who can hear that in my voice and understand that because she herself has been there too.  I can't express the importance of an accountability partner to get us through life's ups and downs!  It's just so darn essential!!

Think upon your life.  What can you do to be more like King Jehosephat?  Pray on it, ask God to show you and be willing to change.  Grab hold of your faith and flourish!  Grab hold of your faith and share it with the men, their little ones, wives and children :)  

reading from 2 Chronicles 20                 

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Lord Thrills Me!

You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done.   (Psalm 92:4)

 As we focus on giving thanks, let us just praise God this week for His Salvation! If everything else in the world is wrong, God is still right and His salvation through Christ is enough! 
Why not start a thankful list and have your family add to it!
Instead of seeing the negative, focus on your own, your family's, and your friends' strengths and give thanks for them.
 Change your focus. It's all a matter of perspective and you have the choice- think positively! You are saved-- because of no other reason, it's a great day!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Sing Along Saturday

God is a good good Father!  The song chosen today is one that I heard recently at a concert and singing along with the words on the screen really touched my heart.  Just proclaiming over and over that it's Who He is and that the love we recieve is because of who we are.  It's really so simple.  God's love is amazing and it's available to all just because of who we are.  The words simple, and gentle were made to calm a heart and refocus a mind.  I hope you appreciate it as much as I do.  It has gotten me through a tough week of so many unknowns but the one and only thing I can truly count on in my crazy unexpected life it that I have a good good Father in my good good God.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Don't Be Double Minded

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.   James 1:6-8

Doubt. That small voice in your mind that puts things you once felt sure of into question. That voice that tells you God can do it, but makes you wonder, "How or when will he?' 

Doubt has plagued me for so much of my life. I've had to retrain my brain to respond differently when doubt sets in. I've had to replace the doubt with scripture and turn my thoughts to the past where I've seen God work in amazing and beautiful ways. I may not know how God will work out a situation, but I must constantly choose to trust that he will.

James tells us that doubt is double-mindedness, and that we shouldn't expect to receive anything from God when we doubt. I believe this is because we are serving 2 gods (ourself and the need to control) instead of 1 Capital G God, who is faithful to hear our prayers! Wavering in our faith is exhausting because we are tossing back and forth like the rolling winds of the sea. 

If you ask God, then make a decision that He will answer. It's a choice to believe and not doubt. Doubt is a lack of trust in God.

I heard it explained this way this week... If a man were pushing a wheelbarrow over Niagra Falls on a tightrope, you might have faith that he could do it. But to really trust him you'd have to be willing to ride in the wheelbarrow.

You may have faith that God will act. But trusting is leaving it at his feet and going on with life as if he's already answered! 

Dear Lord,
I do not want to doubt. Help me in my unbelief.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Commit Your Fears To God

Those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful creator and continue to do good.  
1 Peter 4:19

Suffering is painful and sometimes long.  It can be due to our own choices, other people's choices, nature or illness.  God doesn't like the hurt and distress we experience through suffering but He will always allow us to go through it when He knows the positive change it can produce in our life and the lives around us.  With God's perspective we can see when bad things end up having good outcomes, although, in the moment our eyes are sometimes blurred by our fear and grief.  Stepping back we can see that the hardest things in life force us to rely on something bigger and bring us blessings that come with a stronger understanding and relationship with God.  With Jesus we have a hope that outweighs the pain and the hurt.  When desperate our trust rises to overcome our fear and we begin to feal stronger and at peace.  Often during a stressfull situation these feelings of trust and fear will battle moment by moment and it's difficult to keep our eyes on God.  Our big world tells us to worry and give up but our Bigger God tells us to give it up.  Our God says let go, hand it all over to Him and never give in to your fear and panic.  Don't give up on God but give your worry to God.  Commit your everything, your whole world and all the people in it, to your faithful creator who knows what to do in all circumstances.  Fix your eyes on the One who is faithful and never changing.  Focus on His power in your life and continue to do the good things He calls you to.  

Dear God, be with all who are suffering today.  Help them to find their peace through trusting in You.  Open their eyes to your healing power and the hope that comes from Jesus Christ.  Give them the strength to commit to You and hand over their hurt, disappointment, fear and pain.  Teach them the things only You can through their questions and discomfort and show up Big in their life.  God we don't like suffering, we want it to end quickly.  Give us patience while You work and give us strength for each day.  In Jesus' Healing Name   Amen        

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

God deserves the Credit

I give you all the credit, God-
you got me out of that mess,
you didn't let my foes gloat.

God, my God, I yelled for help
and you put me together.
God, you pulled me out of the grave, 
gave me another chance at life
when I was down-and-out.

All you saints! Sing your hearts out to God!
Thank him to his face!
He gets angry once in a while, but across 
a lifetime there is only love.

The nights of crying  your eyes out 
give way to laughter.
His anger is for a moment, 
but his grace will be for as long

Psalm 30:1-3

David is giving God the credit for his rescue. He had been sick and had cried out to God for healing. How ever he also alludes to the fact that he had sinned against God and felt the wrath of His anger, perhaps through the illness itself. David is thanking God for his healing and for God's discipline which saved him from an eternal pit far from God's presence. David asks all the saints to praise God together with him for what He's done!

I can so relate to David! I've spent many a night crying out for healing, not physical, but emotional and relational. I also know that much of my emotional pain came from choices that did not align to God's will for my life. At the time I thought I had a better plan, and God's anger was felt. My choices had not only earthly consequences, but consequences with God!

However, God in his tender love, disciplined me to listen to his will and to trust in his sovereign plan. He is also bringing healing to my body and relationships. And I give him the credit for what he's done for me!

We can be confident that in his love, God will allow us to reap the consequences of our choices. But when we truly turn from our sin and cry out for reconciliation with God, he is waiting to respond. 
So, today I ask you to praise God with me for the healing he has brought and continues to bring in my life. And also for the discipline to walk in his will!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Refusing To Let The World Corrupt You

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means carrying for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
James 1:27

This one sentence changed my life for ever.  This bit of information, or warning, given by James is what has taught me the most about life, myself and the most amazing power and love that God has for us all.  But today as I read it I also am learning that I still have so far to go.  Yes, I invite foster children into my home and I try my hardest to love them and care for them just like I do my own children.  Some days it is very easy, and others it's the hardest thing I've ever tried to navigate.  There are children who have brought me so much joy and then there are children who have brought me difficulties and heart ache.  I have had to learn to trust in God as my source of strength and comfort sometimes minute by minute.  Unfortunately, I will admit there are times that I have probabably given up too soon and there was a time when I just wanted to stop because the hurt was too much.  Through all of my ups and downs, God has had to show me His most amazing peace when there were times I thought I might just die saying good bye.  

I realize all of these feelings are normal.  All of the struggles come with some kind of emotion and all of the joys will leave me missing certain children.  This calling will not always end well or bring me happiness and an easy road just because I am willing.  No, the truth is, there are very hard emotions that come with fostering.  Ugly emotions that I'm not proud to admit I can produce.  I have gone through grief and all the stages that exist through losing a child.  I have felt relief when a child has left my home and I have struggled multiple times to remember that hurt causes hurt, and the things some children do come directly from the pain they have experienced and the ways in which they have adapted just to stay alive.  

I am not perfect, which brings me to the reason for this blog.  James mentions, in this scripture above, to care for widows and orphans, and in the same breath he tells us not to let the world corrupt us.  So to be pure and genuine in God's sight we should care for those who need help and not be corrupted by the world.  I let the first part of this scripture change my life but I never gave the second part much deep thought, until I recently caught myself falling into a trap.  When we are helping others, whether it be fostering, adopting, taking care of widows or anyone in need, we are putting our lives aside to put another's needs first.  James knew that puting other's first was of God and not of this world.  What is the one thing this world tells us today through technology, self help books, commercials and a whole slew of exercise and diet fads?  The world, the part that satan rules, is all about helping ourselves.  Now I won't completely condem exercise and diet, it is very important to care for ourselves since as christians we are the body of Christ and we are His temple.  My bigger concern is that the exercise and diet become our gods and we spend more time on that than we do helping others and growing in relationship with God.  (But this could be a blog in itself)  

The trap I see myself falling into is when I take my eyes off of Jesus and I start to look at the world.  I start to see how "easy" other people have it.  I start to wish I had more personal time, less stress, more time with just my own kids.  I let the world tell me I deserve a vacation, I deserve a break, I deserve an easy life, or my marriage will struggle.  I start to believe the lies that I can't do this hard life.  I hope by now you are seeing where I am going with this........James knew that by putting our lives aside and helping others it would only be a matter of time until we would start letting the world corrupt us.  He knew it would be difficult and cause us confusion and distress.  He was warning us that if we lived for others we would get tired and look for answers in the wrong places.  When we start taking our eyes off of Jesus and look around at the world, we start to stumble.  Friends, I am the queen of stumbling!!  I fall daily but I refuse to stay down.  I know we all want to get this life right!  Don't let the world corrupt you when you are doing what you know deep down is from God, because I guarantee that when God lays something on your heart satan is going to try to stop you with his lies and corrupt ways.  Keep your focus on Jesus!  Don't do it alone!  Ask friends to help keep your focus on Jesus, write this scripture on your heart and post it to every wall you look at!  

Dear God, I can't live out the first command in this scripture without taking seriously the warning that follows.  James knew that I could not give myself away without satan trying to get me off track with his enticing lies.  Help me to keep my eyes firmly on You.  Amen

Monday, November 9, 2015

Praise Him

“Love GOD, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you, 
love him with all you’ve got!”
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭6:5‬ ‭MSG‬‬

God is madly in love with you! He sent his one and only son as a sacrifice for your sin. He loves you more than you can believe. He has a plan for your life and longs to share this life with you. Do you respond to his love with enthusiasm? Do you go all out in your love for him? 

While sitting at an NFL game I realized how much people gave applause and accolades to the players as they performed their assigned tasks on the field. The crowd went wild as plays unfolded and the scoreboard lit up with winning numbers. Those in the crowd poured out their delight without holding back! Together they became one in applause and happiness. This continued for 3 1/2 hours. 

It made me wonder why we, the church, aren't offering God hours of praise and accolades as a corporate bod ? Why do we hold back? Today I challenge you to just praise God all day! His goodness never fails! He's always making the big play and aligning good things to happen in your life. He is the perfect playmaker! Praise him for who he is! 

Love him with all you've got! .....and His crowd goes wild! 

Friday, November 6, 2015

The Lord Stood With Me

The first time I was brought before the judge, no one came with me.  Everyone abandoned me.  May it not be counted against them.  But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength so that I might preach the Good News in its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear.  And he rescued me from certain death.
2 Timothy 4:16-17

We all can relate to having at least one special friend who we can count on.  I cannot imagine going through suffering and condemnation without at least one of my girls by my side.  I honestly can say, if I were Paul, I would struggle not being angry with my friends who left me hanging.  I don't know if I could just brush it off and pray for them.  I would be sad and so hurt that it would be hard to understand.  As I grow in Christ my desire is to be so sure of Jesus' place in my life that I don't have to worry who is with me or against me.  I want to be so secure in God and know that I know that I know that God is standing with me in every moment giving me strength.  I am so blessed with the special friends I have and I know that they are gifts straight from God, friends who will stand by me and cry with me and lead me out of pits and darkness, but if they ever leave or forsake me I know that I have a God that still stands with me.  I am never alone.  I am never forgotten.  It's who I am!  Deeply loved and protected and forgiven.  

Father I thank you for your unconditional love for me.  I thank you for my faithful friends who have not let me down.  When I start to doubt who I am grab me and pull me close to You.  Give me the strength to face my battles today and make it possible for me to be certain in who I am in in You.  No matter who is with me or against me remind me that you are right beside me.  In Jesus' Name     Amen

Thursday, November 5, 2015

He Already Knows

God met me more than halfway, he freed me from my anxious fears. Look at him, hive him your warmest smile. Never hide your feelings from him. Psalm 34:4-5

Fear is a powerful emotion. It stops you in your tracks. It grabs you tightly and doesn't easily let go, seemingly tightening its grip with every breath you take. Fear can be debilitating. 

Yet. throughout scripture, God tells us not to fear or worry. It is not until we look God in the face and see the depth of his love for us that we can relax in peace and security. It's when we surrender our fear and act in faith that we overcome!

Focus on verse 5 which says, "Never hide your feelings from him." Unlike humans who often misunderstand us or seem to devalue our feelings, God cares about every little one. He already knows our feelings, yet longs for us to come, sit in his lap and share our hearts. Whether we are right or wrong, sad or happy, afraid or at peace, he wants to hear it from your very mouth. So dear friend, whatever emotion you are facing this moment, know that your God wants to share it with you! Look into his face, give him your warmest smile and offer it up!

Your love for me is overwhelming. It settles my worried heart and doubles my joy. I thank you that you want to share the intimate details of my life. Help me to open up and give you the depths of my heart.
In your loving name I pray,