Thursday, June 30, 2016

Epeshians 5:17

Don't act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.
Ephesians 5:17

Dear God, 
I am sorry for acting without thought.  Forgive me for the times I just respond instead of thinking first about your will for me.  Help me to know your desire for me.  Show me the way to go when I am faced with decisions that are difficult to discern.  Give me the strength to slow down and seek you before I act out of emotion.  I must know you before I can ever know what you want from me and so give me time in the day to spend with you.  Like a relationship with a close friend, I want to know what you are thinking about and how you would respond to the situations I encounter.  Show me what you want from me and help me to accomplish it.  I don't want to act thoughtlessly, give me your wisdom and guidance to do what you want me to do.

Something to think about

In what ways do you act thoughtlessly?  What are some ways you can know what God wants you to do? 

Take time this week to pray for God's direction.  Slow down to think about your actions and reactions taking into consideration how you usually respond.  Do you seek God before making decisons?  Do you know God well enough to know what He would want from you?

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

That's A Promise!

Even before the he made the world, god loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.  God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ.  This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.  So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.  He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.
Ephesians 1:4-7

This promise was not written exclusively for the curch in Ephesus.  Paul was sharing this awesome promise with all believers with any background, and it carries through to us.  These words ring true today as some struggle to find worth, or others just can't accept forgiveness for their awful past.  This is for all who battle illness and feel like they will never be whole again or battle addiction that they will never be free of.  This was meant for the people who don't feel special, who don't understand God's amazing love and have forgotten that they didn't choose God but He chose them.  God had great pleasure in choosing each one of us and adopting us into His family of believers.  Don't doubt who you are today.  Don't let Satan's lies convince you that you aren't the most beautiul son or daughter of the King.  He had a plan and that plan was you!  Stop looking back and move forward with His promises!  

Dear God,
Thank you for your plan long ago before time.  Thank you for having everything in your hands, falling into place just as you want.  I praise you for choosing me and loving me so much that you would sacrifice your own child to make me one of yours.  I will never fully understand how you work but I will cherish who I am in You and I will never take for granted the love you have for me.  Thank you for pouring out your grace on my life!  Amen and Amen     

Monday, June 27, 2016

Are You Disciplined?

If you love learning, you love the discipline that goes with it- 
how shortsighted to refuse correction. 
Proverbs 12:1 MSG

Today's passage reminds us that it is essential to grow in discipline. What does that mean? Well it can mean a few things. When we read the Word of God we often find ourselves being convicted by the Spirit to make changes. Conviction is God's discipline. He is correcting us and turning us to a new behavior. It's his gentle nudge to make changes in our lives so that we become more Christlike. 

In addition, discipline means the act of strict training that molds us into a new creation with distinct habits, thoughts, and patterns of living.

Are you disciplined to spend time with the LORD each day? Are you disciplined to implement his Word into your daily life? Does the reading of His Word change the way you think and live? 

Just as an athlete, under the leadership of a trainer or coach,  undergoes strict dietary, exercise, and rest routines by disciplining their mind and body, so a Christian must undergo strict discipline by the Word of God and then in turn discipline their mind and body to obedience to the new way of living.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sunday Scripture

Jesus said to him, "Anyone who starts to plow and then keeps looking back is of no use for the kingdom of God."
Luke 9:62 GNT

Saturday, June 25, 2016


Are you searching today? Are you desperate, wounded, or weary? No matter how long you've walked with Jesus there will always be moments where we feel down. There will be moments when you just need to lay it all at the feet of Jesus. You don't have to go find him or change yourself to be welcomed. He's waiting for you right now. "So, come to him. Let him bear your suffering. You can cast your cares on Him. Let your troubles fall.... RIGHT HERE!"

Listen to Charles Billingsley tell it best through this beautiful song!

Click here to listen!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Saul Rejected as King

Israel had cried out for a king. They longed to be like the surrounding nations. In response, God called upon the prophet Samuel to anoint Saul as King. God had now given Samuel another task- to deliver the following message to Saul:

     This is what the LORD almighty says, 'I will punish the Amaletikets for what they did to Israel    when they waylaid them as they come up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep and donkeys." 1 Samuel 15:3

Three years into his reign, God called upon Saul to lead the Israelite army into battle against the Amalekites. These were an ungodly group of people who had damaged the Israelites as Moses led them from Egypt, and now God was going to punish them for their actions against his people. God's directive was through and clear.

Yet as scripture continues, we see Saul returning to his home, King Agag and a plunder of the finest animals in tow. Samuel confronts Saul who responds with a host of excuses for not doing what God had asked. He tried stating that he had saved the animals as a sacrifice to God. That he caved to the pressure of the soldiers because they were the ones who wanted to plunder the Amalekites. All excuses of pride, ignorance, and selfish gain. Saul had a heart for himself and not for God. And as a result Saul's position as king is rejected. Amid all his excuses, Samuel responds to Saul with the following statement: 

But Samuel replied:
Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD,
To obey is better than a sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is like the sin of divination and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king. 
1 Samuel 15:22-23

Imagine it this way... You've just told your son to clean room. He is to pick up, organize, sweep, dust and make his bed. Later in the morning upon meeting him in the living room where he is kicked back watching tv you ask if he's finished cleaning his room. His delighted response is, "Of course mom!" Your heart rejoices that he's done as you ask. However upon further inspection you find that the room is picked up, but the closet is in total disarray and the dust remains 2" deep on the furniture. Your instant displeasure arrises. He didn't obey because partial obedience is really disobedience.

I am not proud to admit that at times, like Saul, I have partially obeyed God. I have been afraid of completing what he asked of me because of the unknown waiting on the other side. I've compromised his word thinking that I knew better or that perhaps God would be ok with this because he understood my heart. But Friend, I am here to tell you that God's delight is in our complete obedience. He desires our obedience more than any work we could do on this earth for him.

I pray that you will give us the courage to do what you ask 100% of the time. Take us deeper in your love and show us how to act in radical obedience, for this is the offering you desire. Forgive us for the compromises and the acts of disobedience.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Believe Him

I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God's power for us who believe him.  This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God's right hand in the heavenly realms.
Ephesians 1:19-20

Do you believe God?  I'm not asking if you believe in God, for most people that is a yes, I am asking if you believe God.  Do you believe that His word is truth?  Do you believe that the promises found in the bible are for your very life?  When you are searching for answers in the Bible do you believe Him when He says you have the power to move mountains, or that you are safe in under His wings?  

Friends, God is real!  God is alive in the Words of His Good Book!  You have the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead!  Whatever you are facing, know that God has the answers for you!  He wants you to not only believe in Him but BELIEVE HIM!    

Father God thank you for your words of truth that guide me.  Forgive me for all the times I have chosen to not believe you and help me to stay on this path of truth.  Lead me to your wisdom.  Take me to your promises so that I can write them on my heart and bring them with me wherever I go.  You are my strength!  You are my awesome God!  I praise you and thank you right where I am! 
In Jesus' Name   Amen 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Keep Talking To God

I have to admit this time of year tends to wear on me.  I love having my kids home, but I hate how busy my day gets!  I love watching them compete in the sports and activities they love, but I hate missing church on Sundays.  I hate waking up every morning with a to do list a mile long when all I really want to do is spend time with God.  But somehow, too often, the only thing I really want to do is put to the side so that I can tend to everyone else, or rush out the door for a practice or game.  It is hard to keep grounded and focused on God when you have kids that keep you busy!  I can't always have my desk and my bible right in front of me to sit down for quiet time.  I don't always have my journal to write in or my latest books to study and take notes on.  One thing I do have during even the busiest of days is my conversation.  God is always with me and I have turned to Him in different ways this summer.  My prayer isn't so much kneeling and focused, which is really important at times, but it looks more like a quiet conversation with a friend because some days that is all I have!  I don't know if it is right or wrong.  I'm not proud of missing church and I really don't like forfeiting my  quiet time but I do know God's grace is sufficient for me.  I do know that my heart is yearning for Him and when I don't get something wrong I am forgiven and loved in a way I will never truly understand.  I want to encourage you in your walk, that even when it doesn't look "perfect", God doesn't see like we do.  He has a perspective beyond what our eyes can see and He knows us in way that we can never understand.

So I guess today I am just encouraging you all to keep your conversations open with God.  In your busy seasons that may be all you have!  When we get too busy we tend to stop asking God for help and direction.  We start to drift away from Him and can eventually stop talking to Him.  Don't let your life get in the way of the beautiful relationship you have with God!  Some days may look different, but there is always the beauty of conversation!  

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
Colossians 2:6-7  

Friday, June 17, 2016

Good Morning, God!

But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love: for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.
Psalm 59:16

Good morning, Friend!

How did you rise this morning? Did you race out of bed onto the list of tasks to perform? Did you wake worrying about the meetings or activities of the day? 

This morning I had the chance to wake slowly, greeting God in the sunlight and welcoming his warming touch through the window. I had the chance to seek his love, tell him my needs for the day and and lay them expectantly at his feet. It's now after 9:00 and I am still reeling in his love, despite the dirty laundry piles, the dirty diapers, the list of incomplete tasks and the challenges to come.

As simply as saying, "Good morning, God!" and spending time waking in his love, we can go forth into the day with joy and peace knowing he is the keeper of our soul!

Good morning, God!
Thanks for the day ahead. I am so thrilled that you have gone before me preparing divine meetings, beautiful blessings and a host of intimate moments with you. Slow me down so I will notice your hand upon this day. Amen

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Feeding On Trash?

A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash.
Proverbs 15:14 NLT

I am studying all the scripture that speaks of, or describes a fool.  For another day and time I will have that blog written, but today I was stopped by this scripture telling me that the wise seeks wisdom and the fool feeds on trash.  Of course I began thinking of my own life and the things I feed on, like my choice of activities, books, movies and so on.  It's something I haven't really been convicted of nor have I stopped to think on those things I do.  Usually I am running kids here and there, occasionaly I have time to meet with a friend in between grocery visits and athletic events.  I don't get too many movies in and up to a few weeks ago the bible was the only book I had time for.  I have never stopped to think very long on what I am feeding my brain and I absolutely do not think of what I am feeding my stomach, which has lately been concession stand food!  The music I listen to is usually from the christian station or my latest Charles Billingsly CD but when my kids are in the car somehow the station gets turned to country or pop.  I do pay attention to these words and so often want to change the station but even those with not so good stories have a nice ring to them.  I know we are all convicted of different things and what God is asking me to give up is not the same thing He is asking you to give up.  I am not writing today to convict you of the bad things you are feeding on but I am writing to share God's word with you.  His truth is what we should be living on and if we don't know His word then we won't know how to live Christ-like lives.  As much as I am hungry for wisdom and Godly knowledge there is always much room for my improvement and this scripture has made me step back to think of whether I am feeding on Godly things what will grow my relationship with Him as well as the Kingdom or if I am feeding on trash, those things that get me knowwhere in the big picture and that will not bring glory or honor to God.  Unfortunately I have some things to sort out but unlike a fool who despises wise advice (Proverbs 23:9) I absolutely cannot hear this scripture and ignore it.  And I am hoping that some of you will do the same.  Ask God where He wants you to start.  Think on your life and the things you feed on and find one area that God directs you to change.  He isn't looking or perfection but a heart that is willing and a desire to follow.  Maybe you have let a lot go and you are hungry for knowledge but don't know where to start.  Pick up your bible and start reading!  Get to know God and His love for you.  Feed on those things that will draw you closer to God instead of lead you away from Him.  As for me, I'm not sure where I will begin, but I know God will be faithful and gentle His dealings.  He will make all things possible for me as well as give me a way to fulfill His requests and I will learn and grow in the process and maybe teach my children a thing or two along the way.  

God thank you for you word!  You have given me all your instructions and wait patiently for me to read them and write them on my heart.  Help me to evaluate my life and the things that I am feeding on.  I seek your wisdom and I don't want to feed on trash.  Show me where you want me to start and give me the strength to succeed.  I love you and the blessings you give me each day!  You are my God and I sing to you this morning!  Amen and Amen!    

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

No Matter What!

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, 
thought the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
Habakkuk 3:19

In today's passage we see that sometimes God doesn't make sense. Habakuk had been praying for God to make a move. He had waited for God to hear his cry for justice. He waited for God to hear his cry for the wickedness to be stopped. Yet when God answered it seems as though he answered incorrectly. God's answer was to allow Judah to be overtaken by the Babylonians. Judah would face devastation at the hands of the Babylonians. What? The answer to Habakuk's prayer was not what seemed correct. How could the overtaking of his people by an evil country be the best answer? It seemed as though God gave Habakuk a curse instead of a blessing. Yet, in time, the Babylonians came to complete ruin.

The astounding part of this story is Habakuk's reception of God's answer...

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, 
thought the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
Habakkuk 3:19

Habakuk knew that devastation was coming, yet he trusted God and refused to turn from the LORD. Habakuk didn't understand. He didn't know how God would fix this, but he trusted in God's sovereignty. Even when God can't be understood we must know that He is good!

Evil may seem to triumph, but ultimately, God will vindicate His people and bring justice. In the meantime, we must choose to remain faithful, for He is faithful.

What is going on in your life right now that you question? Do you feel as though evil is trumping the good? If so, like Habakuk, choose to remain faithful to your God. Know that he is sovereign and will bring only good and justice. Choose to praise God NO MATTER WHAT!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Be Kind To Yourself

Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.
Colossians 4:6 NLT

I talk to myself.  If you were to follow me around, especially on a day that my children are all at school and I am by myself, you would find me talking quite often.  You might wonder who I am talking to, who I am carrying on long conversations with, and the answer is myself.  Right or wrong I have lots of conversations with myself that include asking myself questions, giving myself comments and answers and telling myself what to do about this or that.  I plan out my day outloud and discuss with myself the best order to do things.  I look back on my many discussons with myself and wonder how many times I have been rude or unloving.  How often have I put myself down or labeled myself with a name I don't deserve?  I don't always talk nicely to myself.  I don't always offer myself grace.  Often my discussions are ugly and unkind and that isn't God's desire for me.      

Friends, it is important that we talk to ourselves the way we would talk to our best friends.  It is important that we treat ourselves with gracious conversation having the right response for our lives, as well as others.  We are precious to God and as much as He wants us loving others, He demands we love ourselves too.  And let's admit we aren't always that loving when we tell ourselves we are fat, stupid, ugly, inadequate, unworthy, and so on.  Gracious conversation with ourselves is just as important as lifting others up.  We must give ourselves the same grace we are willing to offer others.  After all, a positive attitude will better spill out in encouragment and love for others, than when we feel negative and bad about ourselves.  Next time you notice your self-talk pay attention to what you are saying.  If you aren't being kind and gracious then stop that talk immediately!  Love yourself as you do others and start changing the way you talk to yourself today!  

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Sunday Scripture

Know God's Word.  Live out God's truth and commands and cling to His promises.  Hide His Word in your hearts and seek His guidance in all you do..........................

Then we will no longer be immature like children.  We won't be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching.  We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like truth.  Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the Church. 
Ephesians 4:14-15

Saturday, June 11, 2016


Today's song truly fits today's lifestyle. We are so buy. Up and out the door off to the next thing. No margin in our schedules. No time to rest.

If this sounds like your crazy life, listen to Jonny Diaz's song "Just Breathe". It's about Jesus giving us permission to stop, rest at his feet, and just breathe!

Click here to listen to Just Breathe by Jonny Diaz

Friday, June 10, 2016

Share The Good News!

But now you have been united with Christ Jesus.  Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.
Ephesians 2:13

The gentiles were finally invited to join in on the excitment of being one with Christ!  What a privilege it must have been for Paul to share the good news with ALL people that they were loved equally and made righteous through Jesus Christ's death on the cross.  Friends, we have this same opportunity to share our hope and faith.  All are equal and deserve the same chance to know Jesus  and the hope that comes with His Good News!  It doesn't matter what color they are, how much money they make, or if they attend church!  All people everywhere need to know about Jesus!  All people everywhere should be given the opportunity to share in the unity of living in Christ Jesus .  It's time we get excited about sharing the Good News!  It's time we get serious and start loving All people regardless of our outward differences.  We are all equal so let's get united! 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Do you say ,"Thanks?"

“Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.””   Luke‬ ‭17:11-19‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Life is just so busy. Run here. Pick up kids here and deliver them there. Deadlines. Phone calls. Texts. Groceries and dry cleaners. The list goes on and on and yet, Jesus is constantly offering us his grace. He's showering us with his love. God, as our loving Father, is continually providing a new day, forgiveness of sin, blooming flowers, and healed hearts. Do you take time to see His majesty and be thankful?

Who do you identify with in today's lesson? The 9 who went on about business after seeing God's great work, or like the lonely 1, do you stop and say thanks for the blessings that God so generously lavishes on you? Do you remember to say, "Thanks?"

Dear Heavenly Fathet,
Forgive our selfishness when we take your gifts without gratitude. Show us how to slow down and see you. Open our eyes to the works you are doing in and around us. we offer you our thanks and praise, Lord, for all you are and all you've done. Amen

Monday, June 6, 2016

Find God Looking Up

God is so great - higher than the heavens,
 higher than the farthest stars.
Job 22:12

Where do you look when things aren't going your way?  What is your body posture when you are having a bad day?  When the weight of the world is crashing down on you or you are overwhelmed with trouble and fear are you looking for God in the right place?  If you are looking down then you are probably not finding comfort and strength because God cannot be found low.  God is above all your problems and sits high in the heavens waiting for you to lift your head above your loneliness, your depression, your difficulties and your problems.  He wants you to look past your pain and keep your eyes on Him.  No more hanging our heads in sadness and worry, but we are to raise our shoulders and turn our heads upward to the One who is higher than the farthest stars!  Do your day differently today.  Keep your eyes forward and your head up.  Look higher than the heavens, for the God of the universe loves you very much.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Sing Along Saturday

It's another God given day!  Wake up to sing!  There's no better way to start the day than shouting out our thanks and praise.  God's grace has washed us clean and today is a new day to celebrate!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Give As You Are Able

All must give as they are able, according to the blessings given to them by the Lord your God.
Deuteronomy 16:17

This command was directed to the Israelite's as they were getting ready to enter the promised land.  They were instructed to celebrate all God had done for them 3 times a year and during those celebrations they were told to give according to the blessings given them.  Most of us, when we see these words, first think of money and tithing.  We have all heard that we should give 10 percent of our earnings, but have you ever thought that for most of us 10 percent isn't very much?  For many of us we don't give according to what we have been given.  We have many more blessings than money, in fact, some may not have much money but they may have other blessings that are just as important to share with others.  The gifts God gives us are not limited to monetarty and material things.  God gives some of us more compassion than others and so we should be sharing that with others.  God gives some the ability to organize and lead and those gifts can be used for His kingdom as personal use.  There are so many different ways in which we are all blessed and we are encouraged to use those gifts to help others.  According to the gifts we have been given we can all work together to make this community and world a better place to live.  It is our responsibility to use what we have been given to improve our surroundings personally and with others.  All must give as they are able.  I want to encourage you to sit down this week and after prayer and deep thinking make a list of the things you have been blessed with, the gifts you are in abundance of, and then think about what you have done with them lately.   Make a list of the areas you can use your gifts, and the people you could share them with.  Then pray about opportunities, be looking for ways to share God's blessings, be willing to give according to the blessings you have received from the Lord.  I too have much to think about and can't wait to see what God can do with my willing heart.  Please join me!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Conviction vs Condemnation

I hear it in my head every so often. It's subtle, yet beckons until I hear it clearly.  Whispering to me-  threatening my heart to shrink in fear from the images it conjures up in my mind. I have rebuked it time and again. I have replaced its ridiculous nagging with God's Word of truth until it no longer has power over my mind. And still, it returns attempting to steal my joy, push me backwards 3 steps when I've gone ahead 2 in this walk of faith, and attempts to fill me with fear of what isn't even a reality. It is powerful, but it is not the most powerful. It is the subtle voice of condemnation. It tells me I'm no good, I've gone to far, or I've messed up to much and too often. Condemnation threatens my security as a child of God. And condemnation is a lie!

Condemnation is a tactic of the enemy. It is the tiniest of thoughts placed in our minds that tell us we're not good enough, remind us of our past mistakes and threatens a hopeless future because of them. Condemnation makes us feel defeated. Condemnation breaks our heart and our spirit; It tears us down for no good reason.

Conviction on the other hand, is God's discipline. Conviction is an awareness of our error that leads to repentance and reconciliation; It breaks our hearts for the purpose of correction and turning back to God's will and God's ways.

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.. " Romans 8:1

Dear Friend,
I don't know where you've traveled, what sights you've seen, or what mistakes you've made, but I do know that if you have given your life to Jesus Christ, you will not- NO, NOT EVER, be condemned by your Father. He has redeemed you by the blood of Jesus and nothing can ever change that!

Dear Lord,
When the voice of the accuser comes, threatening us to give up or give in, strengthen us to hear your small voice over the lies of the enemy. Enable us, through your spirit, to bring your scripture to mind, thus rebuking the lies and replacing them with truths. We praise you LORD, that you do not condemn us, but forgive and love us instead.
In Christ's Name,