Saturday, November 30, 2013

Does He Have Our Attention?

When I start to stir in the morning, my cat can instantly tell. She is on me in seconds, meowing and looking for attention. Even after petting her for a few minutes, she still follows me, meowing, and walking 4 inches in front of me in an attempt to stop me. Even after I give her a can of tasty *gag* meat, she will still come find me.


She is just looking for love.

Do you ever think of your relationship with God this way? You would think that His only role is the one who takes care of us. But any relationship is two-sided. I wonder how many times a day, God is just trying to get our attention, and we are more focused on getting our coffee.

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me." Revelations 3:20

We can spend time with Jesus any time we want, but can He spend time with us, whenever He wants?


Friday, November 29, 2013

"The Father's Command"

I will no longer talk much with you: for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.

But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence. John 14:30-31

I personally believe that this is one of the most significant statements that Jesus ever made. He is explaining that He knows that Satan, the ruler of the world is coming. He then says that, he, the enemy has nothing in Him. Nothing, no hidden sin, no hidden agenda. No hidden desire, nothing.  He is saying that there is nothing in Him that will respond to anything the enemy has to offer and that there is no way for Satan to have any power over Him. With this statement He is declaring that He knows the enemy is coming with his own plan to destroy Him but that He is allowing what is about to take place for a purpose and its not because the enemy is stronger but out of His love for the Father. He is submitted to the Father's Command and has purposed to surrender to it.

What He is explaining to the disciples here is that, what is about to take place isn't  an accident or because the enemy is stronger but because it is all a part of the Father's plan! 

"Not my will but thy will be done!"

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Manna and Quail for Thanksgiving

"So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, 'At evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against Lord. For what are we, that you grumble against us?' And Moses said, 'When the Lord gives you in the evening meat to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the Lord has heard your grumbling that you grumble against him-what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the Lord.'" Exodus 16:6-8

It's easy to see the mistake here. The Israelites were grumbling about not having enough food. They missed having overflowing amounts of meat and bread like they did in Egypt. The food they were barely surviving on now was nothing compared to the delicacies they had in Egypt.

But the big mistake was that they grumbled against God. God who provided the perfect amount of manna and quail, every single day, for forty years, for a growing nation.

We don't grumble about just our food, family, and jobs, we grumble against our God who blessed us with all those things.

Today, ask God to help you be thankful, for everything, everyday. He has provided so much for us. Whether you are having some extravagant feast today, or what feels like the same manna and quail you've had for forty years, thank God for providing for you.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

"Hearts Ablaze"

And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said to one to another, 'Did not our hearts burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?' Luke 24:30-32

"Did our hearts not burn within us?" What an awesome experience! To have Jesus show up and explain or rather 'open up' the scriptures to them. The result, their hearts ablaze as the revelations from the scriptures brought them understanding. What a way to have our passion for God ignited!

You and I as His disciples have the same opportunity each and every day to have our hearts set ablaze and our passion to serve Him ignited as we come to Him each day. It is His heart to reveal Himself to us. As soon as they understood who it was that walked and talked with them He disappeared. They immediately turned around and went back to Jerusalem with a hearts ablaze to tell about all that had happened!

"His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones. Jeremiah 20:9 If you have never experienced having your heart set ablaze as He opens His word to you then please, before the day ends ask, seek, knock, and receive! Then, get ready, because you will have a passion to share Him like never before!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Wallow or Live?

"'Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.' Then Eli answered, 'Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him.' And she said, "Let your servant find favor in your eyes.' Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad. They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord; then they went back to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her. And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, 'I have asked for him from the Lord.'" 1 Samuel 1:16-20

The Bible says that in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son. She had gone through some seriously miserable streaks while waiting. Hannah wanted a baby. Her heart had longed for a baby for a long time. She even promised God that the child would be His servant from youth. But it wasn't time yet.

We all have a longing, a heart's desire, but all the petitions in the world will not bring them to pass before it is God's time.

My Pastor spoke a little about Hannah this past Sunday, and he said that Hannah got up, ate, and went about her life.

It's been my experience that when I wallow about what I want, need, or desire, things just feel so much worse. When I give it into God's hands, and go on with life, things get better. And ironically, or not, it seems to become God's timing.

I'm not saying this because it sounds good. I have personally lived through seasons like this, and let me tell you, it's terribly hard! But I can honestly tell you that the heartache it takes getting there is overwhelmed by the joy of God's gift.

Whatever the journey my friends, don't be consumed by wallowing. Give it to God and live. "Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4


Monday, November 25, 2013

"A Dime A Dozen"

I have a list of names for you. Think about it. Do you know who they are and what big event they took part in? Shammua, Shaphat, Igal, Hoshea, Palti, Gaddiel, Gaddi, Sethur, Nahbi, and Geuel.
They were chosen by name because they were leaders, heads of the people of Israel and they were given a very special assignment. Have you figured it out yet. I'll give you the last two names and make it easy for you to KNOW what they did or rather didn't do. Joshua and Caleb.

See, now you know what they are known for. God had Moses send out twelve men to spy out the land of Canaan. The men in the list above were the ten men who came back from their assignment and gave a bad report. Don't you love that even though they were outnumbered ten to two the two men that made their stand for God are the two names that are remembered today. People that don't believe in the power of God to equip and to enable us to overcome are 'a dime a dozen.' There will always be lots of people that don't believe. There will always be those who would speak words of doubt and fear into our lives and circumstances. There will always be those who say "We are not able," in order to stop us from accomplishing the assignments God sends our way.

The thing is, those people don't impact the world for God! We need to be pointing at the fruit not the giants! You and I as believers need to be declaring as loud as we can, and as often as we can the words of Joshua and Caleb, "Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it." Numbers 13:30, "Do not fear. He is with us!" Numbers 14:9 Why? So that we too can be remembered throughout history? No! So that God can be known in all the earth!

All Your works shall praise You, O Lord, And Your saints shall bless You. They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom, And talk of Your power, To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, And the glorious majesty of His kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And Your dominion endures throughout all generations. Psalm 145:10-13

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Certainty of God's Promise

"And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise. For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek." Hebrews 6:15-20

God made a promise to all of us. He promised that we would be with Him. In a place so holy, so beyond anything we could imagine. He laid the foundation of this promise with Abraham, and He fulfilled it with Jesus.

God took the finality of an oath, and His inability to lie, to confirm this for us, the heirs of the promise. In all the craziness of the world and things that could happen, we have a lifeline. We have the promise of God. We have a hope that goes beyond a child-like desire for ice cream, and into a holy place. The place where Jesus resides now. It's a holy connection. It's God saying, "You're mine."

In moments of despair, in moments of weakness, in moments of fear, He would have us hold onto His hope. In my Bible, this section is titled, "The Certainty of God's Promise."

Saturday, November 23, 2013

"Hers To Give"

...a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. And she broke the flask and poured it on his head. But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, "Why was this fragrant  oil wasted?"  For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor." And they criticized her sharply. Mark 14:3-5

I'll get right to it with this question, "What alabaster flask do you have to give?"  According to the  footnotes in my Bible this alabaster flask and the costly oil was worth 300 days wages. She came. She broke it and she poured it over His head. She knew what it was worth and still she brought it with the purpose of anointing Him with it. It was obviously important enough to her to do since she knew how others would view her. She knew there was a risk of indignant men who would criticize her. Still she came and anointed him. Still she brought this valuable gift to give to Him after all, it was hers, and hers alone to give!

Jesus told those that were being critical, "Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint my body for burial."

So I would remind you that it isn't about what others think or about what others would criticize you for. If you have an alabaster flask that you would like to bring to Him don't be afraid to! If your not sure, remember Jesus called it 'a good work.'  Do you have a gift that you could use or give to Bless Him? If so, I'll ask again, "What alabaster flask do you have to give?"

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Ultimate High Priest

"Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin."
Hebrews 4:14-15

The pharisees, high priests, and religious leaders in that age were, "white washed tombs." They pretended to be completely righteous. They looked down their long noises at the people around them, and judged them for their struggles.

A new high priest has been chosen. And He does not judge us for our failures. He sympathizes with us because He lived through it, too. He shows us compassion. He understands. He has never pretended that we are simply awful for dealing with temptations. He gets it. And that's the really awesome thing.

Jesus has never been filled with anger, hatred, or arrogance because of our struggles. I hope you've never imagined Him ready and waiting to launch fire balls at you. He has always been filled with love and sympathy for us, because He has been there. He knows what it's like. Because of His example, He is truly able to help us overcome any doubt, fear, and temptation.

We are so blessed, because we have the ultimate High Priest Who can relate to us, rather than ignore us! That's pretty awesome!


"As Motivational Speeches Go"

And because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them; and He brought you out of Egypt with His Presence, with His mighty power, driving out from before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in, to give their land as an inheritance, as it is this day. Therefore know this day, and consider it in your heart, that The Lord Himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other. You shall therefore keep His statutes and His commandments which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which the Lord your God is giving you for all time. Deuteronomy 4:37-40

As I was reading today I came upon this highly motivational speech given by Moses. It spoke to me because I had just seen them quoating all these different Presidents on a news show this week and it hit me that as far as speeches go none would compare with the Moses gave in Deutoronomy chapters 4 & 5. In my Bible its titled 'A Call To Obedience.'

Please take time to read it 'this day, and consider it in your heart.' Personally it has fanned the flame to choose to declare Him Lord of all that pertains to me and mine and that it will be well with me and with those that come after me for all time.

Lord let these words that motivated your people in times past bring a renewed passion in the hearts of your people today that we might shake the complacency from our relationship with you and instead get a renewed hunger for face to face with you!

The Lord did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, those who are here today, all of us who are alive. The Lord talked with you face to face on the mountains from the midst of the fire. Deuteronmy 5:3-4

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Heal Our Aching Feet!

"My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word!" Psalm 119:25

One of the awesome things about God, is that when we've had a bad day, we can go to Him. The kind of day where we feel beaten down, dumped on, and broken is the kind of day God can make great. We are so blessed to be able to take our fragile emotional state into His healing presence.

Another awesome thing about God, is that it doesn't have to stop there. Long unending days. Throbbing feet. Splintering headaches. Aching backs. We can take that to God.

I don't mean the traditional, "Father, heal my body," attitude. I mean the upfront, "God, I've had a long day. My back hurts. My feet feel like I've been walking on hot coals. And my eyeballs feel like they are going to pop out of my head. Father, revive my body- it hurts!"

His Word says, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases." Psalm 103:3-4

Don't forget that He specializes in every type of healing. Spiritual, emotional, physical, and mundane.

Father, heal our aching feet!


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

"Best Name Ever"

"And they called them and commanded them not to speak at all or teach in the name of Jesus." Acts 4:18

Interesting that such an amazing miracle would cause this response, this judgement by the religous rulers of the day. They themselves admitted the validity of the miracle in both verse 14 "And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it." and in verse 16 "What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it."

While they couldn't deny the miracle they definitely wanted to silence it as much as possible! In verse 17 they come to this conclusion: 'But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severly threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name." Their problem wasn't with the miracle itself the name in which it had been done.

Peter and John had the right response despite the threat against them. "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard." Peter and John were being threatened because they had come across this man who had been lame for forty years and had spoken these words to him, "Silver and gold I do not have but what I do have I give you, 'In the name of Jesus rise up and walk."

The words that had them in trouble - "In the name of Jesus."  We too live in a day when the name of Jesus will get you in trouble with the leaders of the day. Try saying the name of Jesus in a public school today. You too will be "severely threatened." and told not to, "speak nor teach in the name of Jesus!"

Thank you LORD that I teach in a Christian School where I am allowed to not only speak and teach your name but I have the privilege of being able to offer The best name ever, Jesus, to those in need!

My prayer for you and I as believers in today's world is simply the same one that Peter and John prayed after they were released: "Now Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness we may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus." Amen


Monday, November 18, 2013

Toward All

"Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and the renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior." Titus 3:1-6

The first sentence is our directive as followers of the Most High. Submissive, obedient, ready for every good work, no fighting, be gentle, and show perfect courtesy toward all people. This is the example we are supposed to be setting.

Then next sentence describes what we once were and still are. How so many people lives still are. Foolish, disobedient, walking down the wrong paths because our passions and pleasures told us to go that way, and angry all the time, truly hating everything.

The last sentence describes how we are saved. By our Savior, Who gave up all to save us. Not because we accomplished anything special, but because of His great mercy for us.

Remember that we were once foolish, but He saved us, so now we will gently remind others of His way, and sometimes others will remind us when we stumble like fools. We need to remember to show mercy to other fools because we are not so different from them. God shows us mercy on a daily basis. Mercy and patience toward all. That's what we need.

This should be on a stone tablet that we read daily.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

"Just That Simple"

And the patriarchs, becoming envious, sold Joseph into Egypt. But God was with him and delivered him out of all his troubles, and gave him favor and wisdom in the presence of Pharaoh, king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house. Acts 7:9-10

I was reading in the book of Acts today and was reading through Stephen's rundown of the history of events and this verse jumped out at me. His telling of the events made it all sound so simple. They became envious and they then sold him into Egypt. In reality for Joseph it was a catastrophic event that had to be pretty devastating to deal with if it were not for the little word that comes next. The word, but. "But God was with him." Can you imagine having to go through what Joseph went through without God? I know I can't! God was not only with him through it all but He delivered him out of all his troubles, gave him favor and wisdom as well as making him governor.

You and I need to know that as a child of God, no matter the situation, No matter the devastation in or around our life, God is with us to deliver us! He will give us favor and wisdom to handle things! Stephen's rundown made it all sound so simple because of this simple truth, "God is with us!" We  need to always remember that in the midst of hard times, "God is with us to deliver us." It really is just that simple. Grab a hold of, "God is with you." and you will come through your time of devastation having experienced His favor and wisdom in your life.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Follow His Spirit

"At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he made and sent forth a raven. It went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth. Then he sent forth a dove from him, to see if  the waters had subsided from the face of the ground. But the dove found no place to set her foot, and she returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face  of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took her and brought her into the ark with him." Genesis 7:6-9

Ravens are known for their carnivorous side. Their diet is mostly meat. It's no surprise that a raven would be able to survive in the aftermath of the flood with the remains. The earth had not yet healed as there was still death and desolation everywhere.

"He waited another seven days, and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark. And the dove came back to him in the evening, and behold, in her mouth was a freshly plucked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth. Then he waited another seven days and sent forth the dove, and she did not return to him anymore." Genesis 7:10-12

When the dove came back with the olive leaf, Noah knew that the earth was alive again. After that, the dove did not return to him anymore. There was no reason for her to come back.The ark wasn't necessary anymore.

Noah saw the signs. Noah understood that it was time to come out of their sanctuary.

I'm not so sure I would have. I read this and realized I would have been worried about the dove. Maybe something happened. Maybe it died in a mudslide. Maybe it starved. Maybe the earth wasn't ready. Maybe I wasn't ready.

There are times when we need to stay were it is safe, and there are times when we need to leave what we know is safe, and go where God takes us. Instead of being afraid, we should follow His Spirit.


Friday, November 15, 2013

"The Generation To Come"

I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word. Deal bountifully with Your servant, that I may live and keep Your word. Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law. Psalm 119:16-18

The wondrous thing that He showed me today is found in  Psalm 102:18. It says, "This will be written for the generation to come, that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord." No, this verse  isn't painting a picture of water being heaped to make a path through the sea, the sun standing still, or even a battle being won with a water pitcher, light, and a shout, but it is still declaring something wondrous! You and I have His Word before us for a reason. We get to know Him!

In Habakkuk 2:2  it says, "Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it."We get to have a better understanding of Him because He had people write it down for us. We get to read about Him every day and see ALL the wondrous things He has done for us. He had it written for us so that we could know Him.

I don't know about you but I delight myself in His Word every day. Not because I have to but because I love getting to know Him. I love all the wondrous things He reveals to me as I look to Him to make my path clear. I delight myself in His Word and I praise Him every day because every day my love for Him grows deeper as He reveals more of Himself to me through His word.

Thank you Lord for your Word in my Life. Thanks you for seeing me generations down the line and writing it down for me. Lord, open my eyes and help me to see more of you every day.


Thursday, November 14, 2013


"At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion's mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen." 2 Timothy 4:16-18

Paul briefly shares a time when everyone abandoned him. Everyone except God. God stood by him and strengthened him. He rescued Paul.

This isn't a new concept. You see this all throughout scripture. Daniel was not devoured by the lions when he took a stand for God. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were not burnt to a crisp because Jesus came and stood in their midst, protecting them from the fiery furnace. Jesus walked by angry mobs without being stoned to death. David went against a lion, a bear, and then the ferocious Goliath without being ripped apart, limb by limb. It stands to reason that God will not let His people flounder when they stand for Him. He is going to take their hand and strengthen them for anything and everything.

Why do we see this so many times in the Bible? Why do we need to be reminded of it so often? It's so easy to read these testimonies and think, "That's a hero of faith, I want to be like him or her one day."
A hero of faith is made by standing for God and knowing no matter what the outcome, He's got your back. A hero of faith is made by trusting God's promises. A hero of faith is made by believing He will make the way for you to fulfill your calling. A hero of faith is made by standing and letting God handle the rest.

God does all the work. He is the true Hero, and His heroes of faith are made by us being His willing servants.

P.S. Even the little girl who eats lunch all alone, because she told her friends she believes in and loves Jesus, is a hero of faith.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

"One Cool Customer"

 "Be strong and courageous that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do to all according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:6-9

I don't know about you but for me; in my mind, the word courage means 'stepping up and getting it done no matter what.' In verse 2 God speaks to Joshua and tells him that Moses is dead and that it is now the time for him to step up and to lead the people across the Jordan; to divide the inheritance that He swore to their fathers. He is telling Joshua its time to step up and get it done. To stay focused on His Word, His promise.

He said, " Be strong and courageous THAT you may observe to do." If we are strong and courageous it means seeing and doing His Word in our lives. With that comes being prosperous and having good success because He is with us. Being strong and courageous means stepping up and doing all that He says to do.

We choose to be strong and courageous every time we look to His Word instead of looking to the left or to the right. We choose to be strong and courageous every time we look to His Word and trust Him to bring His Word to pass in our lives instead of being afraid and dismayed.

In his message this past Sunday my pastor called Peter "One cool customer" as he made the observation from Acts 12:6 that Peter was asleep, chained between two guards. Herod had just killed James and because it pleased the people and he had Peter arrested and delivered to four squads of soldiers. It was the night before he planned to bring Peter before the people and presumably do the same to Peter. Peter wasn't looking to the left or right trying to find a way out. He wasn't busy being afraid or dismayed, worrying and stressing about what would happen the next day. He was asleep trusting God to be with him no matter what.

The thing is you and I have the same opportunity to be 'Cool Customers.' He doesn't play favorites. Your name doesn't have to be Joshua or Peter before He prospers your way with good success. We just need enough strength and courage to meditate on His Word enough THAT we observe to do it! It is then that we trust Him to be with us wherever we go. It is then that we understand being strong and courageous simply means stepping up or rather, stepping into His plan.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Fan Your Raging Flame

"For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." 2 Timothy 1:6-7

Paul was writing his second letter to Timothy, and he comments on Timothy's sincere faith. His grandmother, Lois, and his mother, Eunice, had the same faith that now dwelt in Timothy. Paul continuously thanked God for him.

Because of Timothy's sincere faith, Paul gave him a piece of advice: use his gifts and let them grow.

Think about what Jesus said, "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house." Matthew 5:14-15

Timothy's light was bright, but a candle can only be so bright. Paul told him to fan his candlelight into a raging flame. If you don't tend to a flame, it will eventually die out.

Use your gifts. Spend time with God, and develop them. God has given each of us a talent, and it may not be as obvious as those who sing, make blankets, or speak in public, but they will never be obvious if we hide them under a basket. Don't let fear, self-doubt, and the critic's opinions stop you any more. Use your gifts and let them shine for God.

"This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine."


Monday, November 11, 2013

"The News Spread And She Believed"

... and she said to the men: "I know that the Lord has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you.....And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any courage in anyone because of you, for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath." Joshua 2:9-11

By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace. Hebrews 11:31

Rahab picked her side! She hid the spies for one reason. She had heard and believed the report of the things that God had done on behalf of His people to provide for them and to give them the land. She had determined the outcome of the upcoming battle based on the news that had come their way.  She knew who would win and proclaimed, "for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath." If someone who didn't know God could determine the outcome and know who would win the battle, how much more should you and I as believers who have read to the end of the book be declaring His goodness and His sovereignty in our life.

After all, He is the Lord our God and we are His people!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Animal Panic

Then the Lord said to Noah, 'Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation. Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and his mate, and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and his mate, and seven pairs of the birds of the heavens also, male and female, to keep their offspring alive on the face of all the earth. For in seven days I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground.' And Noah did all that the Lord had commanded him. Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters came upon the earth." Genesis 7:1-6

You know, if I had been Noah, I would have been like, "Okay. No problem, God. I'm sure I can get all the animals together in 7 or 8 years-wait a second! Did He say 7 days?! How am I supposed to get that many animals on this floating box in 7 days?" I would have been freaking out, believing that it couldn't be done.

Ignoring all the awesome stuff God had already accomplished, in preparation for this.

I decided to look up how many animals could have been on the Ark. I saw estimates from 2,000 to 50,000, and 16,000 more then once. Whatever number is correct, it's a lot of animals. I, personally, think that God spoke to all those animals, and told them to go to Noah.

Unlike me, Noah didn't appear to be in a panic because He knew God was preparing a way. God provided all the lumber and the tools for him to build the ark, and the food for his family and thousands of animals to eat. God was not going to stop there. Before Noah even knew, God's hand was on the situation.

We need to remember that even though the situation looks impossible to us, God is guiding the situation. He always provides a way for His will to be done.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

"Today's Practical Application"

In Luke 7:36-50 We see how a Pharisee invited Jesus for dinner. A woman of reputation came uninvited to the place where Jesus sat. The Word says that...she stood at His feet weeping; she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil...

The Pharisee who invited Him them made comments about her reputation and the fact that Jesus was letting her touch Him. Jesus answered by saying, "Simon, I have something to say to you." And he said, "Teacher, say it."  Jesus then proceeds to tell a story about two debtors being forgiven their debt. and He then asks Simon a question which he answers correctly; "The one whom he forgave more."

Jesus then looks at the woman and compares her actions against Simon's actions since He had entered his house. This is where He gets personal with Simon. This is where the practical application of the story needs to take place in Simon's life. He lets him know that He was a guest in his home and hadn't been treated as such while the woman of reputation had only shown her love and gratitude. She had come with the purpose of blessing Him. We know this because the Word tells us that when she heard where Jesus was she brought the alabaster flask of oil with her. It was her intention to anoint Him with it.  It was her gift to Him to show her gratitude and her love for Him.

While there are a lot of lessons to take from this account the thing that really gave me pause today was His comparison as He was speaking to Simon. "You gave me no water to wash my feet, but she washed my feet with her tears...You gave me no kiss, but she has not ceased to kiss my feet... You did not anoint my head with oil, but this woman has anointed my feet with fragrant oil..." This is where the practical application needs to come, Not just for Simon, but for us as well!

Have we, like Simon, invited Him into our lives and then forgotten to show Him what He means to us?
Have we Blessed, Thanked, Praised, and or Adored Him yet today?

Friday, November 8, 2013

We, the Previously Prophesied

"This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscious. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith." 1 Timothy 1:18-19

When I was reading this, I stopped and asked my husband, "Did you ever realize that Timothy had prophesies spoken over him?" He says, "No, but that doesn't surprise me."

"But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: 'Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.'" Isaiah 43:1

God has called each and everyone one of us by name. He has spoken words over our lives. Some of His people are paying attention, and heard some of these things, which they then share with us.

But if you're thinking you've never had a prophesy spoken over you, don't feel left out.There have always been prophecies spoken over us. The first being when God said, "I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine."

That right there, is our sword for warfare. Remembering that God has prophesied grand things over us, starting with us belonging to Him, will hold us to faith and good conscience. By keeping this very basic truth at the center of our hearts, we will always be going strong, and wreck free.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

"Fresh Start"

Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:23

"His mercies are new every morning."  A phrase that keeps coming to mind a lot lately. His kindness is so very present in my life and I love that this verse is such an awesome promise not only for today but for all the tomorrows to come. "New every morning" means that every day He is bent towards me to bless me with is mercy. His kindness.

Don't you love that with Him each day is a fresh start. A new opportunity to not only be blessed by Him but to bless Him and to "Praise Him, for His mercies endure forever." Psalm 136   Every morning is a new opportunity to serve Him as we yield to His will and allow His mercy and kindness to flow throughout this day into the lives of those around us.

Every day He gives us a new, fresh opportunity to know His love and mercies in our life and to proclaim, "Great is His faithfulness!"

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Loving My God-Family

Have you ever been really mad at someone? I mean borderline despising this person. Constantly grumbling about them, making faces behind their back, and wishing you could "accidentally" step on their toes?

Have you ever felt this way towards another brother or sister in Christ?

"We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers..." 2 Thessalonians 1:3a

The beginning of this verse says it all.

At some point, we are all going to mess up, and someone will be upset with us. And there are times we will be very upset with them. We are human.

However, our human condition has never given us the right to stop loving our neighbor.I don't want to be wishing my brother in Christ ill, just because he is being a pain. Response #1 is so easy-hold a grudge. Response #2 takes more practice-give thanks for him, her, or them. Tell God thank you for putting that person in your life. As time goes by, it will be easier for us to stop being mad at them, and start thanking God for them.

"The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." Mark 12:31

Monday, November 4, 2013

"A Crown Of Seaweed And The Stench Of Fish Innards"

"The waters encompassed me, even to my soul; The deep closed around me; Weeds wrapped around my head." Jonah 2:5

Now there is a quote from a person that I would least like to be! I always talk about my favorites, so today I was thinking about who I would most like not to be like. I thought of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego. After all neither a fiery furnace and or a lion's den sound very pleasant to me. The thing is, I can't really pick them because they were in those situations because of their stand for God. I can't say I don't want to stand for him! This brought me to Jonah who was in his situation because he refused to be obedient or as scripture puts it, "He fled from the presence of the Lord." Jonah 1:10 So, I decided he was my least favorite and that he was in the worst spot ever. He ended up trapped in the belly of a big fish, with his head wrapped in seaweed because he ran from God's presence. I was thinking about how awful that place must have been! The darkness, the smell, the seaweed, etc. I would definitely prefer the cartoon versions with the lit candle than the reality of how bad it must have really been. As I was contemplating this fact, God brought to mind someone else whose state was even worse. Worse not because Jonah's situation wasn't bad but because Jonah at least knew the presence of God and he knew how to get help in his situation. He knew how to repent and to turn back to God!

This other guy, his was a tough place with no hope. Not even repentance! We don't know his name just that he was rich, clothed in fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day until he died. Then he uses these words to describe his situation, "Have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame." He is then informed that there is a great gulf fixed that prevents any relief to his suffering. Luke 16:19-31

So I have decided that between between Jonah or this man who learned too late about repentance and the comfort of the presence of God that I VERY MUCH prefer a crown of seaweed and the stench of fish innards then eternity with regrets and no hope. How about you?

Brotherly Love

"Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more." 1Thessalonians 4:9-10

1) Paul is writing this church a letter, and comes to brotherly love, and he tells them that they are doing an awesome job in that area. He doesn't need to give them any instruction.

Why is my first thought about that, that this church was really special? They must have really had their act together because no one is like that today. This shouldn't be abnormal for us. People on the outside, looking into our churches shouldn't see a varying degree of Godly love for each other.

2) God taught them how to operate in brotherly love.

Are we open to God teaching us how to love our neighbor? That doesn't come easily. Jealousy, anger, lying, and quick, hot tempers are easier to operate in our lives. They are normal. This church learned from God, and His response tends to be a little nicer than slapping someone upside the head.

3) Paul's only piece of advice, was that they focus on working in love more and more.

Are we I've-done-my-good-deed-for-the-week Christians? Acting in love is a daily, minute by minute choice. Paul urged them to choose Godly love more and more. To stop and actually think, "I'm going to respond like Jesus would."

Remember this isn't special behavior. Ask God to teach you His brand of love. And choose to walk in His love.


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Dry Ground

"And Moses said to the people, 'Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.' The Lord said to Moses, 'Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward. Lift up you staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go through the sea on dry ground.'" Exodus 14:13-16

"Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left." Exodus 14:21-22

The red sea was parted, and the people of Israel crossed over on dry ground. Dry.

When use to read this, I use to have an image of my mom's driveway after a heavy rain. Wet, soggy, muddy, rocky. Puddles everywhere, and a small stream where there was once a road. A mess, but one we could get through.

God didn't say, "Oh, I parted the sea, and made it a wall on either side of them. I have to concentrate so the cloud preventing the Egyptians from following them doesn't dissipate. They can deal with some mud and puddles." No! The Word says they crossed over on dry ground. This wasn't some half-baked plan. God gave the best for His people and when He said dry ground, goodness, He meant dry ground!

God will do the same for us. Whether it's physical, emotional, spiritual, or symbolic dry ground, God will do the same for us. He will take care of His people, and give them the best.


Friday, November 1, 2013

Mobs, Sleep deprivation, and Time

As some of you know, I am a newlywed. When my husband and I went back to work after our honeymoon, we were in for a real shock. My husband was sent to overnights without any warning. We had been on the same schedule and the same sleep pattern. It had been easy to spend time together, and we didn't expect that to change.

Things got busy. In the midst of that, we became very aware that we need to make time in our busy, long, sleepy schedules. Because we love each other and we want that time together.

"But now even more the report about him (Jesus) went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray." Luke 5:15-16

Even when Jesus was being mobbed by crowds who needed healing, He knew that He still needed His time with the Father. He would go to quiet, empty places and pray. He did this because He loved God, and wanted that time with Him. This wasn't out of obligation, but a real desire to be with God.

When our lives are crazy with mobs, sleep deprivation, work, and life in general, do we make that time to be with God? Is it because we feel guilty, or because we want to be in His presence?