Wednesday, November 23, 2016

What I'm Not Thankful for This Year



Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you will have/are having/had an awesome Thanksgiving!!!

Isn't it amazing how reflective we get this time of year? I feel especially reflective. My daughter's first birthday is this week, so I'm really thinking about the days leading up to her birth. The labor. The surgery. My gorgeous daughter's little face now and then.

And turkey. I didn't get any turkey last year. I want turkey and stuffing this year. Yeah, I'm thinking about that, too.

I'm thinking about how this week five years ago, my husband and I started dating.

I'm also thinking about all the changes of the past year. Good and bad. I'm thinking about my daughter's first steps and the first time she got really sick. I'm thinking about my debut novel releasing. I'm thinking about my husband's new job. I'm thinking about my family.

These events play in my mind's eye. There are a lot of things that I am thankful for. So many blessings, opportunities, and triumph.

And there are a lot of things I'm not thankful. A lot of hurt and heartache. A lot of long days and sleepless nights. A lot of disappointments.

"Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, 'Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.'" Job 1:20-21

I was thinking about Job and how he still blessed God in the good and the bad. I have definitely not done that.

"Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Ephesians 5:20

I have definitely not thanked God in the good and the bad, FOR the good and the bad.

My feelings towards many things this year wouldn't be described as thankful, but Job's words give me some perspective. Because all the things that I'm not thankful for this year could never outweigh the blessings I've been given. Starting with my God.

Give thanks.

Hugs!

V. Joy Palmer

Thursday, November 17, 2016

"His Hearts Cry"



The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying: "Arise and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause you to hear My words."

Then I went down to the potter's house, and there he was, making something at the wheel.

And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.

Then the word of the Lord came to me saying:

"O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?" says the Lord. "Look, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!

"The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it,

"if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it.

"And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it,

"if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.

"Now therefore, speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, 'Thus says the Lord: Behold, I am fashioning a disaster and devising a plan against you. Return now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.' "     Jeremiah 18:1-11

      -----------------------------------------------------

I love that He sent me to the potter's house today for the very same reason that He had sent Jeremiah all those years ago. The Lord sent Jeremiah to the potter's house to observe the potter and his ways for a very special purpose. He wanted Jeremiah to receive a important message. One that He wanted delivered to His people. Remember, His heart is to always take the marred vessel in His hand  and rework it into a different vessel, a vessel of honor, made for His purpose. (Then the word of the Lord came to me saying: "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?" says the Lord. "Look, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!") Jeremiah 18:5-6

He is the potter and we ARE the clay. Are we willing in this day and hour to do the very thing that He sent Jeremiah to the potter's house to do in his day. Are we willing, not only to receive this amazing message of hope for ourselves but are we willing to take it to the nations as well? Are we willing to call His people to a place of repentance? Are we willing to heed the words that He is speaking
and call His people into a place of obedience to truly hear His voice?

Are we willing to use our voice to echo His hearts cry for our generation ... "Return now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good!"

God Bless!


Thursday, September 15, 2016

"Speak To The Wind"

   And He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" So I answered, "O Lord God, You know."
   Again He said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, "O dry bones, hear the word of the  Lord!
   Thus says the Lord God to these bones: "Surely I will cause  breath to enter into you, and you shall live.
    I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord."
   So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone.
   Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.
   Then He said to me, "Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, "Thus says the Lord God, "Come from the four winds, O breath, and breath on these slain, that they may live."
    So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.
   Then He said to me, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, 'Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!"
   Therefore prophesy and say to them, "Thus says the Lord God: "Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
   Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I  have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves.
   I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it," says the Lord. Ezekiel 37:3-14

So, what do you think? Can they? Can the dry bones live? How would you respond if God was asking you and only you about the dry bones of today? Can they live? Can they be revived? I love how Ezekiel answers and is basically acknowledging that it is truly in God's hands. God knows the plans that he has to give His people a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) He even, not only knows, but plans for the dry, dead bones to regain muscle, sinews, and most importantly the breath of life. Like Ezekiel it is our job as His people to speak to the to the wind. We have to be inviting the Holy Spirit to come, to move, to bring life to everything that is causing us or those we love to feel dry, hopeless, and cut off. Instead of speaking words of death we need to be inviting the Spirit of God to bring His breath of life ... No matter how dead it looks in the natural. One  touch from Him is all it takes to raise to bring any army to life! Speak to the Wind.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

"No To The Choke Hold"

Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. Mark 4:18-19

I have to admit to the fact, that of late, 'the cares of this world' have had me in a pretty serious choke hold! I admit it. I'm guilty! Its not that I have walked away or not been spending time with Him because I have. What it is is this ... as a foster parent I have had a couple of kids that have been consuming  so much of my time that I haven't been able to sit down and write. One ate up my daytime hours and the other continues to eat up the night! I found myself writing the blog  at 2:00 in the morning and eventually I just needed sleep!  The next thing I know its been forever since I've had a moment to share the things He has been showing me.

The truth is its just that easy for all of us to get distracted by all the situations in life. Its easy to fall into a "Martha Moment" and forget that the "One Thing" thing necessary is sitting at His feet. How does the Word put it? She was "distracted with much serving." Luke 10:40 I'm guilty! That is what I've been doing. I've made sure to stay in the Word and to have my personal fellowship time with Him, but and here is the thing ... I just stopped making it a priority to share it per His instructions. I know that it was and is His will for me to be sharing His word through this devotional. So, I'm here today saying, "No, to the choke hold! I'm sorry, Lord. Forgive me. Help me to do better in the days ahead as I PURPOSE in my heart to no longer let Your Word be choked out with my 'serving.' Lord, my hearts desire is that Your Word would always and forever be fruitful in both words and deeds each and every day of my life."


Friday, July 8, 2016

"His Sustaining Touch"

I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me. Psalm 3:5

I love this thought or rather this truth! The Lord sustains me and He keeps me in all my ways! According to the Strong's Concordance the word sustained comes from a primitive root meaning to prop (both literally or figuratively): reflex. it means to lean upon or to take hold of (in a favorable or unfavorable sense.) What that means is that as His people we can rest, assured in the knowledge that He has our back!

We can lean on Him as He takes hold of all the things we deal with on a daily basis. It is easy to understand that we can look to Him when we are facing a difficult situation but how often do we acknowledge that He is the one we look to for everything else as well. I think that it is an all to often event for His people to take His "sustaining touch" on our day to day for granted! I think that all to often the thought of our heart is ... I've got this and we forget to even acknowledge that He holds us up in all that we do!

He has a good hold of us and He sustains us as promised ... "See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me." Isaiah 49:16


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

"Her True Token"

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

"By faith." Two words that we can easily see being used when talking about Noah, Enoch, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, David, Moses, Gideon, etc, etc, etc. So how and or why did Rahab 'the harlot' get a mention in this infamous faith chapter? What was that deal breaker moment that established her place as a woman who exhibited faith for all the generations to see?

According to this verse in Hebrews 11 it tells us that it was her faith that caused her and her family to be the only ones saved when the walls of Jericho came down. It also tells us that it was because she received the spies with peace ... so when did her deal breaker moment take place?

Some might think that it goes to the 'deal' she was offered, and took, I might add, to hang the scarlet cord so that she and all who pertained to her might be saved. While this action definitely confirmed her deal it was not the deal breaker moment I'd like to talk about today. What I'd like to draw attention to today is that first moment when she heard the reports about everything that God had done bringing the nation of Israel out of Egypt. She heard. She believed. She believed the reports of what the God of Israel had done and decided to align herself with The God who could do what God had done for His people...

   "So before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof, and 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.
   For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordon, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed.
   And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.
   Now therefore, I beg you, swear to me by the Lord, since I have shown you kindness, that you also will show kindness to my father's house, and give me a true token.
   and spare my father, my mother, my brother's my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death." Joshua 1:8-13

My point being, her deal breaker moment was the moment she heard and believed in her heart that God was The God she would choose to align herself with. That moment when faith to believe took up residence in, not only her heart, but her actions as well. That spark of faith caused her to 'receive the spies in peace' and to receive her 'true token' as a testimony of, not only her faith in God, but His provision and protection for her as well.

As believers we have all had this deal breaker moment. That moment when faith in God takes its place in our hearts and actions because we too have heard and believed the reports about all that He has done to save and provide for us. Rahab, the harlot, received a scarlet cord as her true token and as it hung out her window it declared her connection to the One True God. It declared that she belonged to Him. You and I have a true token given to us when we believe as well ... a blood stain cross. That blood stained cross and the events, the actions, that took place upon it by our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, declares our connection to Him as well. When we take a hold of our 'true token' in faith we too can know that we belong to Him. He becomes our Lord, our Savior, our King and all the protection and provision that goes with belonging to Him is ours to walk in.

Rahab, the harlot, displayed her true token and received all that it promised. Will you and I do the same? Will we share the message of our true token, a blood stained cross. Will we tell the world that we belong to the One who loved us enough to pay the price to save us!
  

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Walk

Paul knew this. He. KNEW. This.

But it was so different to hear it. Unsettling. Worrisome. Even frightening.

His friends, confidants, partners in ministry were worried. Their voices rose as they clamored for his attention, begging him not to go to Jerusalem. A few of them even tugged on his arms.

And a part of him wanted to listen.

He vehemently shook his head and waved his arms. His friends, people who had become family to him, quieted, waiting for him to speak.

The part of him that desperately wanted - needed - to follow the Lord knew different. The desire burned within him. He would go. He would follow the Lord anywhere.

Based on Acts 21:10-14

While we were staying for many days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, "Thus says the Holy Spirit, 'This is how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'" When we heard this, we and the people there urged him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, "What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus." And since he would not be persuaded, we ceased and said, "Let the will of the Lord be done." Acts 21:10-14

A man of God arrived, and told Paul that hard things laid ahead. That if he went to Jerusalem, troubles would come. Understandably, Paul's close friends tried to keep him safe. And I don't think there isn't any one of us who WOULDN'T listen to our friends and loved ones in this position. But the so-called "sensible" path is not always God's path.

Sometimes God walks us through difficult seasons to reap joys in the harvest.

Or as I like to say...

Sometimes we have to walk through mud to get to the bookstore. :)

But the thing is, God doesn't let us walk alone. He doesn't leave us. And He always brings us through it. We are not alone. No matter what we face, and in the Christian's walk, we face a lot of hardships, persecutions, uncertainties, and worries. But instead of giving in to the enemy's fear, give your fear to God. He's got your back and He says, "Let's do this thing."

V. Joy Palmer

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Release Day and Giveaway!!!

IT'S RELEASE DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Isabel “Izze” Vez, bridal consultant extraordinaire, has been helping brides find The Dress for years. She loves nothing more than helping make wedding dreams come true…but sometimes the happy endings grate on her. How many times can a girl discover someone else’s gown without dreaming of the day it’ll be her turn to wear one?

When James Miles Clayton walks into her life, he represents everything Izze can’t handle: change. He’s determined to bring the Ever After Bridal Boutique into the black…and to prove to Izze that she should give him a chance.

But if there’s anything Izze handles worse than change, it’s trust. She may have a few issues—fine, she knows she does. But will they keep getting in the way of any chance of her own Happily Ever After? She wants to trust God to give her those dreams of love and lace, but that’s going to require some…minor alterations.

Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations is available now! This romantic comedy arrives just in time for all the June weddings. I'm so excited and nervous and nauseous and thrilled and awed!

I started writing this story six years ago when I was 18. I had never been on a date, and the guy I liked (who is now my husband) was frustrating me. One day while working, Izze popped into my head. She was spunky in all the ways I was too afraid to show the world. Obsessed with weddings like me, yet frustrated because she also wanted to be in a relationship and get married. I could almost hear "I Need a Hero" playing in my ears as I envisioned this girl. I had started writing dozens of stories before this one, but I had a Daniel moment and purposed in my heart that this was THE ONE I was going to finish.

And I did. After four-ish years, which can be broken down into fourteen months of frustration, fifteen months of dating, one ACFW writers conference, six months of engagement, and thirteen months of marriage.

Truthfully, I wrote about half of this book in the months leading up to my second ACFW conference. After hours and hours of typing, plotting, editing, and re-plotting, I climbed aboard a plan that took me to Missouri. There I meet Roseanna White (who is awesome, by the way!).

A few months and several rejection letters later, I got the best e-mail ever! My first completed manuscript was going to be published! I was so, so blessed. That rarely happens in the publishing world.

So here we are.

All I can think is that I'm so blessed. I hope you guys will do me the extraordinary honor of reading my book. I put so much of my heart into this story, but more importantly, I let God teach me through the ups and downs in the process of dreaming up, writing, and editing this book. I hope it blesses you. I hope you fall in love with Izze and Miles. I hope you can laugh and learn with them. But I hope you fall even more in love with the Great Lover of our souls.

Since this is a very special day, I'm running a very special giveaway. You have not one, not two, but three chances to win!

Two people will each receive a signed copy of  Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations!! Yay!

And the third will receive a signed copy Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations, a $25.00 Starbucks gift card, a journal, a pink scarf, a box of jelly cookies, and two Lindt chocolate bars (dark chocolate with sea salt & dark chocolate with orange)!!! (*There are allergens in the cookies and chocolate. Do not eat without checking the ingredients first!*)




*Important Giveaway Information:*  Unfortunately this giveaway is only open to those who live in the United States of America. I'm so sorry if that means you can't participate. :( I will eat pans of brownies in your honor! Please share this post on Facebook, Twitter, and Google to enter. Also:  The contest will be running from now until 12:00 A.M. July 16, 2016.

Enter here ~~~

a Rafflecopter giveaway

God bless you guys!

V. Joy Palmer

Thursday, June 9, 2016

"The Gate Called Beautiful"



   "And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple;
   who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms.
   And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said "Look at us."
   So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.
   Then Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk."
   And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
   So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them--walking, leaping, and praising God. Acts 3:2-8

According to the Strong's Concordance the word Beautiful means ... "belonging to the right hour or season (timely) i.e. flourishing (beauteous)" and that is what I would like to talk to you about today. This guy spent all his days sitting and waiting for people to show him compassion and give. He spent all his time asking with an expectation that lay below the surface. Expecting but not expecting. I say that because  ... even though he was sitting there begging, asking for alms, (expecting help) he was asking by rote ... and not really expecting. John and Peter had to speak to him and tell him to look at them when they approached. It was only then that his level of expectation jumped to the surface and he really looked at them with a valid expectation to receive.

As I was praying about this message God reminded me that we all have this "right hour" ... this "right moment" where we are at the Beautiful gate waiting for our "right season," This "day of visitation." The question is, will we respond with an expectation to receive or not? Even now we are in this season of visitation and the Holy Spirit is saying, "Look at Us."  I believe that we are even now coming into a day and an hour where we not only can, but need to look at God expecting to receive far above all that we need or have been asking for! Its time that we as His people stop waiting for the right season or the "flourishing" to happen sometime in the future. Today is the day that He is saying to us, His people, that sitting at the Beautiful gate by rote is no longer enough. We  need to be looking to  Him with an expectation to receive because it is His heart that we would receive everything we need to be walking, and leaping, and praising God.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Sign Up to Help Promote V. Joy Palmer's debut novel, Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations!

Guys! So excited! This is the influencer sign up form!!! I'm looking for some more reviewers and influencers, so if you are interested, I'd love to have your help!

Once you fill out this form, you are volunteering to be an influencer. What does an influencer do? Well, that depends on the agreement between author and the influencing individual. Here's what I'm asking my influencers to do:

1. You will receive an e-book copy of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations. Please read Izze and Miles' story and  post a honest review on at least one retailer website - especially Amazon. If you have a blog, that is good, too. It doesn't have to be big and flowery. Simple and short is good, too. If you are looking for suggestions, this is a good example: "Super Awesome!" ;)

In the event you don't like the story, that's okay. We will still be friends. :)  However, please post a review anyways. No review at all is worse than an honest, negative review, especially on Amazon. However, please try to note some positive points in your review.

2. Please try to commit to sharing at least one of my book promo posts on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter on your profile pages once a week for six weeks. Simply share one of the posts from one of my profiles onto yours.

3. Talk the ears off of everyone around you about Izze and Miles. :)

That's all! Pretty simple! If you still want to help, and the ears of those around you remain intact, you are welcome to (but not required to) request a copy for your local library, recommend it for your next book club read, or lend it to a friend.

*IMPORTANT* Unfortunately, everyone may not be able to participate. There is only a limited number of spots available. I wish everyone could participate, but influencers will be selected on a first come basis. If you are not able to participate as an influencer, I hope that you will still buy the book and tell your friends. Also, influencer copies will be primarily e-books. I'm so sorry if that prohibits anyone from participating.

Thank you so much for your help, guys! You are all supremely awesome. I'm sending you hugs, and I will eat pans of brownies in your honor!

Thanks to Google, you can sign up here! You'll see the same instructions on the form.

Thank you! God bless you guys!!!

V. Joy Palmer

P.S. Book cover and description below! ;)




Isabel Izze Vez, bridal consultant extraordinaire, has been helping brides find their perfect wedding gowns for years. All the happy endings are starting to grate on her. How many wedding dresses does Izze have to help other brides find before she actually gets to wear one herself? After experiencing a failed romance several years earlier, Izze begins barraging God: When will it be her turn?

When James Miles Clayton walks into her life, a fragile relationship is formed, but will their rocky start and a misunderstanding at work destroy everything? More importantly, will Izze let go of her shattered dreams, and trust God for a beautiful future?


Friday, June 3, 2016

I Refuse to Accept This!

"This is your fault."

Some people mumbled it. Others said it with their dark, angry eyes. One man had marched up to him, and jabbed a finger into his chest.

His fault.

Were they right? He didn't want to believe it, but could it be true? Was this death laid squarely at his feet?"

"NO!" A voice spoke to him. The Lord. Paul took a deep breath to regain his composure. He would not let the lies of the devil distract him.

Ignoring his instinct to panic, Paul knelt over the young man. Then a calm washed over him like a cooling mist on a hot day. His spirit leapt within him.

Eutychus was alive.

Based on Acts 20:7-12

"On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight. There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered. And a young man named Eutychus, sitting at the window, sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer. And being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. But Paul went down and bent over him, and taking him in his arms, said, 'Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.' And when Paul had gone up and had broken bread and eaten, he conversed with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed. And they took the youth away alive, and were not a little comforted." Acts 20:7-12

So I love how casual Paul is here. I think of The Princess Bride when I read this... He's just like, "Guys, he's not dead. See? Help him get up so we can finish talking."

I know that if I was in this situation, I would have been blaming myself for Eutychus' death. "Oh, no," I'd moan and sob. "It's all my fault!" You don't see Paul take that attitude, and I would be willing to bet that some of the people - people who had just been praising him - were now throwing fiery darts at him. They were probably shouting, whispering, and criticizing him, saying, "This is your fault. He's dead because of you, because you kept droning on and on instead of letting us go home and sleep!"

But Paul didn't let those fiery darts take him down. Not the ones from the people, and not the ones from his own insecurities and doubt. He continued in God's ministry. He did not take responsibility for this lie. It was not his to bear.

I think all of us can relate to this. I know that I can. It's something that's been on my heart. People, even other Christians - will throw darts and jabs from the devil at you. Don't let them take you down. They aren't your responsibility to bear. Jesus took those lies. Your responsibility is to continue in God's will.

Repeat after me, "I REFUSE to accept this lie!"

V. Joy Palmer

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Word Thirst

His eyes drifted shut.

He blinked furiously. Must. Stay. Awake.

Dull light flickered from the lamps in a lazy dance that lulled him deeper and deeper into a trance-like state. It was after midnight, and Paul continued to talk and talk and talk. He desperately wanted to hear what Paul was preaching. He wanted to know God.

An ache formed in his hip and back from trying to balance on the windowsil.

His eyes slide shut again. Maybe if he kept his eyes shut for a few minutes, that stinging feeling from trying to hold them open would go away. Then he would be able to focus.

Just a few more minutes...

Based on Acts 20:7-9

"On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight. There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered. And a young man named Eutychus, sitting at the window, sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer. And being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead." Acts 20:7-9

Paul was a talker. And let's be honest. He was gabbing away here, and while he was droning on and on, people were getting tired. It was past midnight. They were exhausted, and the dim lighting from lamps wasn't helping.

But they stayed.

And a young man named Eutychus was so devoted to hearing this message, that he didn't leave even though he was dead tired - excuse the pun.

Is our thirst for God so strong that we wouldn't, couldn't leave even though we could be watching TV, hanging out with friends, checking things off our to-do list, or sleeping? (As a mom of a baby on a sleep strike, I don't underestimate the severe, deperate need for sleep.) Does our thirst for God outweigh all other things?

I know that I want my thirst for the Word of God to be stronger than anything else in this life. I, we should want to be like all those people - Eutychus included - who stayed.

V. Joy Palmer

Thursday, May 12, 2016

"The Secret Place"


Isaiah 55:2-3

"Listen diligently to Me, and eat what is good.
And let your soul delight itself in abundance.
Incline your ear, and come to Me.
Hear, and your soul shall live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you --
The sure mercies of David.

Psalm 91:1-2

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust."

Psalm 63:1-2

O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.

Psalm 46:10

Be still and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nation's,
I will be exalted in the earth!

Psalm 34:8

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

Psalm 27:8

When You said, "Seek My face,"
My heart said to You,
"Your face, Lord, I will seek."

These are just a few verses that remind me that it is His heart that we as His people need to spend time in His presence. We need to draw close! We must meet with Him in the secret place of His presence!  It is in this place that He speaks! It is in this place that we encounter Him and realize that it is His desire is to share His heart with His people! In case your not convinced ... read the book of Isaiah and highlight every time He says the words, "Listen to me." (For example 46:12, 48:1, 12, 16, 49:1, 51:1,4,7) 

Still not convinced that it is crucial to the life of a believer? There is always, always, always the example of Jesus to consider ... "So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed." Luke 5:16

Sunday, May 8, 2016

"Call Her Blessed"

Image result for happy mothers day

Happy Mother's Day!

My mom and I were talking a couple days ago. I asked her what she wanted for mother's day, and she said she didn't want anything. I pressed her, and she jokingly said a bag of dirt for her flower gardens.

Nothing says "I love you, Mom," like a bag of dirt.

Yeah, right.

But that's a mom for you. They love to bless their children, help them, make life easier for them, and they will love any bizarre gift that comes from the heart.

Because you gave it to them.

I haven't been a mom for very long, but from the moment I knew I was pregnant with my baby girl, there isn't anything I wouldn't have done for her. I would give my life for her, almost did. Since becoming a mom, I have a new appreciation for all that my mother and all the motherly women in my life have done for me. I'm so thankful that they continue to be there for me.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms, stepmoms, mother-in-laws, aunts, birth moms, adoptive moms, and "second" moms out there. You guys are amazing.

"Her children rise up and call her blessed...." Proverbs 31:28a

V. Joy Palmer

Friday, May 6, 2016

We Can't Understand

"O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it." Psalm 139:1-6

I just have a thought today, guys.

We don't understand the magnitude of God's love for us.

More than that. We can't understand the magnitude of God's love for us.

The first five verses in Psalm 139 talks about how well God knows you. When you sit and when you stand. When you go to the grocery store. God knows all your little habits, and how you like your coffee in the afternoon. He knows your thoughts, and what you're going to say before you say it. He knows where you're going in life, and He has awesome plans to help you. His hand is guiding you. He wants to do all this, to know all this. Because He ardently loves you.

And then verse six says this:

"Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it." Psalm 139:6

We don't understand God's love. God tries to convey it in the Bible. He tries to help us understand, but our broken hearts, our limited understanding, and our doubt gets in the way.

"For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39

You have no idea how much God loves you. You don't understand it. I certainly don't understand it! But it's true. He does love you, me, us. So next time you forget, when you feel unloved and unworthy, say this to yourself:

"I have no idea how much God loves me... But He loves me!"

V. Joy Palmer

Monday, May 2, 2016

"We Are Asking!"


Joel 2:23-29

Be glad then, you children of Zion, 
And rejoice in the Lord your God;
For He has given you the former rain faithfully,
And He will cause the rain to come down for you--
The former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.

The threshing floors shall be full of wheat,
And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.

So I will restore to you the years that the 
swarming locust has eaten,
The crawling locust, The consuming locust, 
And the chewing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.

You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame.

Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,
And that I am the Lord your God and there is no other.
My people shall never be put to shame.

"And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and Your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions;

And also on My menservants and on My maidservants 
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.


Zechariah 10:1

Ask the Lord for rain, 
In the time of the latter rain.
The Lord will make flashing clouds; 
He will give them showers of rain,
Grass in the field for everyone.

Lord, with our hearts set on You, we as Your people cry out, "Holy Spirit, come!  Bring the former and latter rain together. O Lord, send Your rain!"

Thursday, April 28, 2016

"All Nations"


Psalm 86:8-10

Among the gods there is none like You, O Lord;
Nor are there any works like Your works.

All nations whom You have made 
Shall come and worship before You, O Lord,
And shall glorify Your name.

For You are great,
And do wondrous things,
You alone are God.


Even now in this very hour there is a call going forth throughout all nations for 'true worshipers who will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and He is looking for a people who will worship Him in spirit and truth.' John 4:23-24



Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Your Most Important Thing

His son. His son. His son.

God wanted his son.

 Abraham stared blankly at his surroundings. His eye made out the golden sun, the blue sky, the crisp green grass, and the regal mountain range fading into the background. He could feel the breeze on his face. He could smell the sheep dung in the distance. Yet he didn't really sense any of it.

How could he do this? How could the Lord Most High ask such a thing of him? How could he give up a piece of himself, his heart, the most important thing in his life.

 He rubbed his tired, bloodshot eyes. Or was that the point?

Based on Genesis 22:1-2

"But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, 'Abraham, Abraham!' And he said, 'Here I am.' He said, 'Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.'" Genesis 22:11-12

I had a whole new respect for Abraham the other day when I read this with my sleeping baby in my arms. I imagined the internal struggle he went through. I kept thinking about giving up your kid, and all the different things that could mean.

I want to hold onto my daughter, or maybe lock her in a tower to keep all to myself. I want to protect her from harm, hurt, and heartache. I can't do that though... I would be keeping her from all the wonderful things God has in store for her... So one day, I have to let go of one of the most important things in my life, and give her back to God.

However, it doesn't matter if you have a kid, an empty nest, or are thirteen-year-old. God wants to know that you will give Him your all. That you will give Him those things you deem most important in life, place Him first, and let Him work His wonders.

 Will you give Him your most important thing?

V. Joy Palmer

Thursday, April 21, 2016

What If?

He kept hearing that word. That one word.

"Go."

The strength and authority behind that one word were like weights on his conscious. They demanded he do what the Lord said. It was the only way to be free. He looked at the floor, as if avoiding the eyes of God.

 "Go." It echoed in his head. In his heart.

Ananias groaned. The last thing he wanted to do was go to Saul, the murderer. He shifted uncomfortably, but the soles of his feet burned with the urge to go and do as the Lord had said.

However, God said he would change. That he was a chosen instrument. And what would happen if he didn't go? What if this was the turning point for Saul, and because Ananias rejected him, he returned to his former ways? Could his disobedience have such a dastardly effect?

Ananias didn't want to wonder about that. He didn't want to be the one to disobey God. So he would go. He would go for God even though he didn't like it. Ananias arose and walked out the door.

Based on Acts 9:10-15

"Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, 'Ananias.' And he said, 'Here I am, Lord.' And the Lord said to him, 'Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.' But Ananias answered, 'Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.' But the Lord said to him, 'Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.'" Acts 9:10-15

I have to give credit where credit is due. This post was inspired by my insightful mother. Thank you, Mom.

Back to the topic on hand. Let's play a game of "What if...?"

What if Ananias didn't go to see Saul? What if he said, "Nope, not happening, Bro," to God? What if he disobeyed God? Would Saul have returned to his prior ways?

No matter what your opinion on this is, stop. Think about this for a moment. Let the full impact hit you. What if?

Here's the thing: God sends us to people who are messed up. Broken. Angry. Rebellious. Those are the people that need Him. What if we took one look at those people, turned up our haughty noses, and disregarded their worth and purpose? What if that person was supposed to be the next Saul/Paul? What if you are the one being disobedient?

My friends, we are called to be like Ananias. We may not like it - Ananias didn't - but we are supposed to minister to those people. They need God, and His plan and love for them is great. So before you do whatever it is you want to do in order to be rid of this person, stop. Ask yourself, "What if?"

V. Joy Palmer

Thursday, April 14, 2016

"Be A Carrier Of His Anointing"

   Then Elisha died, and they buried him. And the raiding bands from Moab invaded the land in the spring of the year.
   So it was, as they were burying a man, that suddenly they spied a band of raiders ; and they put the man in the tomb of Elisha; and when the man was let down and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet. 2 Kings 13:20-21

I had a conversation with one of my young men the other day about this event in 2 Kings. He was asking me, "How this had happened? Did Elisha do it?" I told him, "No. That it was my understanding that it was more a case of 'residual' anointing left on the bones of Elisha that caused the guy to be raised to life."  He then asked, "Why when it worked by accident didn't they bring more dead people to touch the bones so they could be brought to life as well?" In his mind it seemed to be a reasonable expectation to have ...if it worked once why not again? He was definitely puzzled by the fact that people didn't make use of this event/anointing since it had worked on this guy.

Since then the Lord has been speaking to me about this same thing.  Romans 8:11 says, "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you." Just as this man was raised to life because he came into contact with the anointing we to can expect the same thing to happen. The same Spirit that raised Jesus is the same Spirit that we have available to us. SO THE QUESTION IS ... WHY? WHY don't we realized that same anointing is available to us. Jesus promised us that He was sending the Holy Spirit to 'baptize us with power' (Acts 1:5,8)

We, as His disciples have resurrection power available to us because Jesus said so! We need to get that! We, as His people need to not only know that truth but to access it on behalf of the 'lost' or rather those who are dead so that the anointing has the opportunity to raise them to life both spiritually and if necessary in their mortal bodies.

You and I can be those who carry the anointing! Did you notice that it was just a natural outcome that when the dead man came into contact with the anointing left on the bones of Elisha that life, Life was the 'automatic' outcome.

Be a carrier of His anointing! Say, "Yes," to the Holy Spirit and bring life to the world around you!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

When You Answer God's Call

Ananias wondered if the Lord moved and spoke the same way to everyone. Did He have characteristics, a way of nature, a strong yet soft presence, that burned a hole of love into His followers?

Ananias had been praying.

However.

Now the Lord was about to speak.

His vision clouded, and that burning, yet peaceful feeling took up residence in his chest. Swirls of holy light filled his vision, and if he squinted and focused with extreme precision, Ananias thought he could see a face.

"Ananias," the Lord said.

"Here I am, Lord." His desire to serve the Lord was strong. He would do anything for Him, even lay down his own life.

Or so he thought.

Ananias listened in disbelief as the Lord spoke. He didn't want to do that. No, he wouldn't do that. Surely, surely God was not serious. He couldn't do this.

Based on Acts 9:10-13

"Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, 'Ananias.' And he said, 'Here I am, Lord.'" Acts 9:10

So I know I've been stuck in Acts for. a. long. time. But I'm not done yet. Sorry guys. ;)

If you keep reading this section, you see God tell Ananias to go do something that Ananias really does not want to do. At all.

But here's my thing.

We tell God, "Use me. Send me."

Then when He tries to do that, we put up a fight because it's not what we want to do. That's what Ananias did. He pleaded with God, trying to get out of this mission from Him. We can't do that.

When God called Ananias, he answered. He said, "Here I am, Lord." He didn't say, "I'll only answer if I like your plan."

I'll be 100% honest with you guys - I'm so guilty of this. However, I don't want to have just a willing heart. I don't want to argue with God about the aspects of His plan that I find unappealing. I don't want to bless Jesus with my mouth, and disobey Him with my actions. I want to go and do.

So the next time God calls, and you answer, go and do.

V. Joy Palmer

Thursday, April 7, 2016

I'm Back And I've Got Something To Say

Hey everyone! It's V. Joy Palmer. Yup, I'm back.

I had to take a blog break because my edits for my debut novel ( Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations ) arrived, and I had to focus a lot of time on that.

However.

The first round of edits has been turned in, and I've got a thought.

Just a thought.

But an important thought.

One I must share.

I was talking with some of the young ladies in the youth group. I was trying to share with them how special and important they are to God. It's ironic that I was the one trying to share this all important truth with them. Ahem, since I have a hard time remembering this truth myself.

Anyways. As I was talking, one girl said, "I know God has a plan for me," in response.

Which is true. God does have a plan for you. And it's an awesome one.

However. That's not why God created you. It's just a bonus.

God created you because He loves you. He wants you. He wants to hang with you. Chat with you. Spend time WITH YOU! His goal, purpose, and reason for creating you centers around His desire to be with you!

"Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised." Song of Solomon 8:6-7

"For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

These verses are just some of the verses in the Bible that illustrate God's all-consuming, fierce love for us. For me. For you. Yes, you. Stop thinking this doesn't apply to you. This is an important message. One we are all to quick to forget. One we must not forget.

God ordained you from the start of time because He wants to be with you. No other reason. Just His love for you.

V. Joy Palmer

Saturday, March 19, 2016

"A Time For Seeking"

"... you will seek the Lord your God and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul." Deuteronomy 4:29


Hey everyone. Just wanted to let you know that we will be celebrating our 3rd year anniversary this week! It's hard to believe that it has been 3 years! He is so good and we are so blessed to be able to share The Word with you each and every day.

That being said we are taking a few weeks off from writing to really seek the Lord for direction for the coming year. We will be back on Friday, April 1st.

Thank you so much for all your kind words and support.

God Bless!!!

Staff Snack Time Devotions

Sunday, March 13, 2016

"The Heart Of The Almighty"

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:7-8

Every time I think about drawing near to the Almighty I think of Genesis 3:8-9
 
   And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and His wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, "Where are you?"

From the very beginning it was the heart of the Almighty that we would spend time in His presence! So much so that He would come every day to walk with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day. The thing is ... it's still His heart. He still shows up, calling out to us to come and spend time Him. He still longs for us to seek His face. The problem is, we, like Adam spend to much time 'hiding in the trees' or in the weeds as it were. We know He is there waiting, calling out to us and instead of drawing near we all to often run away. WHY? The answer is simple and can be found in our first verse. "... we don't submit to the Almighty and or resist the devil. Which to be perfectly honest can be done rather easily if ???  We draw near to God and He draws near to us!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

"Price Paid"

   I am poured out like water, and My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; it has melted within Me.
   My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death.
   For dogs have surrounded Me; The assembly of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet;
   I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me.
   They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.  Psalm 22:14-18

   Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.
   But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
   All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
   He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth. Isaiah 53:4-7

The price He paid when ... "He poured out His soul unto death, was numbered with the trangressors, bore the sin of many, all so that He could make intercession for the trangressors." Isaiah 53:12

Thank you, Lord, for paying the price for me!
 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

"Who Will Ascend?"

Psalm 24:1-6


The earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness,
   The world and those who dwell therein.

For He has founded it upon the seas,
   And established it upon the waters.

Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
   Or who may stand in His holy place?

He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
   Who has not lifted up His soul to an idol,
        Nor sworn deceitful.

He shall receive blessing from the Lord,
   And righteousness from the God of his salvation.

This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him,
   Who seek Your face.   Selah

I wonder?  Are we that Jacob generation? Are we the generation who will ascend into His presence with and for the sole purpose of seeking His face? Is our face to face time with Him the desire of our hearts and the time of blessing for our souls desire?

I wonder? Are we? Will we be the generation? Will we take the time today to ascend ...And seek His face?

God Bless!!!

Staff of Snack Time Devotions


   

Friday, March 4, 2016

Faking It

An icy chill overcame him, consuming him, burning yet freezing him from the inside out. All the way to his very soul.

He stumbled over his words. "I...adjure you by the name of Jesus...who Paul proclaims." How mighty he sounded! Stuttering like a child facing an army of giants. But that was kind of what he was doing, wasn't it? He looked at his companions, and could tell that they felt the same knee-shaking sensation.

The evil, lilting voice spoke. "Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?"

A shudder moved through his body. His heart was hammering. His mouth was open, but no words came out? Who was he? Who was he to command evil spirits? He just thought he'd try this.... He had seen other people speak the name of Jesus. It had worked for them! So why not him?

And it knew! That evil spirit knew.

He didn't have time to think of anything else. Just then the possessed man lunged forward, colliding with him. Together they fell into a heap on the ground as the deranged man clawed and shrieked at him. He could hear the cries of his comrades. They hadn't fooled him.

Based on Acts 19:13-17

"Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, 'I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.' Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. But the evil spirit answered them, 'Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?' And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled." Acts 19:13-17

This story is kind of rough for me. I have this terrible problem with compassion - I have to much of it. I just feel so bad for those men who, to my innocent way of thinking and hoping, were just trying to help and serve. However, there's another reason this story hits hard. Because it's a hard hitting message.

The enemy knows when we are faking it.

"You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!" James 2:19

The rest of the world may not know when we are faking it. Our friends and family may not know. The church may not be able to stare into our soul. Maybe we don't even know when we are faking it. However, not only does God know ( as if that wasn't bad enough ), the enemy can tell, too. The enemy can tell if we are just repeating mantras and waving our arms. He can tell if we are truly dedicated. The enemy can spot a God-fearing, God-serving, devoted Christian a mile away.

The question is...

What does he see, when he looks at you and me? Does he see someone who's faking it? Or does he see the Lord's secret weapon?

V. Joy Palmer

Thursday, March 3, 2016

"The Final Say"

   Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented."
   And Jesus said to him, "I will come and heal him."
   The centurion answered and said, "Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.
   For I am a man under authority having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, 'Go,' and He goes; and to another, 'Come,' and he comes; and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."
   When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, "Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!"
   "And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.
   But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
   Then Jesus said to the centurion, "Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you." And his servant was healed that same hour. Matthew 8:5-13

As I read through this account of the centurion soldier today I felt led to ask you this question, "Do you, like this centurion, understand that Jesus has the final say? Do you get that He is the ultimate authority and that at His Word every sickness and disease is defeated? If the answer is yes than ...

   At this very hour ... "Go your way; as you have believed, so let it be done for you!"

HIS WORDS not mine and He does get the final say!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

"Reach Out"

I don't seem to be able to get the words from these two verses out of my thoughts today.

  "The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the gospel." Mark 1:15

   "Son, you are always with me and all that I have is yours?" Luke 15:31

The time for us to know and understand that we are His is now. All that pertains to the kingdom is our inheritance in Him and it is ours to walk in, in the same way that the second son could have had his fatted calf anytime he chose to.

The kingdom of God is at hand! That means it is accessible to us. We are His children, His sons and daughters. And as such, all of heaven, in all its power and might and grace and mercy are at hand, ready and available to us because we belong to Him.

Need a healing? Reach out in faith, believing/knowing it's yours to walk in! Need deliverance? Reach out! How about salvation? Reach out, repent, believe ... it's yours! Nothing is to hard for God! All things are possible and the impossible is yours just because your His and its His kingdom!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

"His Outstretched Hand Is Always Enough"

But Simon's wife's mother lay sick with fever, and the told her at once. So He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her. And she served them. Mark 1:30-31

Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, "I am willing, be cleansed." And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. Matthew 8:3

But when the crowd was put outside, He went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. And the report of this went out into all the land. Matthew 9:25-26

Then the Spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, "He is dead." But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and He arose. Mxark 9:26-27

But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!" And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Matthew 14:30-32

And brought Israel from among them,for His mercy endures forever; With a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm, for His mercy endures forever. Psalm 136:11-12

BEHOLD, THE LORD'S HAND IS NOT SHORTENED, THAT IT CANNOT SAVE; NOR HIS EAR HEAVY THAT IT CANNOT HEAR. Isaiah 59:2

Whatever the need, deliverance, sickness, disease, death, and a lack of faith were all dealt with by His touch. Remember the kingdom of heaven is ... at hand!  And He is always within reach!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Always Learning

Apollos smiled at the man he had been talking to and clapped him on the shoulder. He turned to look at the couple that had been patiently waiting in the wings. Apollos studied the short, thin man and the elegant woman beside him. He recognized them. He smiled a greeting. "Hello," he said.

"Hello," the thin man smiled warmly. "I am Aquila, and this is my wife, Priscilla. Could we talk to you?"

"Of course."

Aquila motioned for Apollos to follow them. They navigated threw the throngs of people to a dimly lit, private alcove. Apollos hadn't even known this area existed in the little house.

Aquila started. "You are certainly an eloquent man, and competent in the Scriptures."

"We can tell that you've been instructed in the way of the Lord," Priscilla added. "You speak quite accurately about Jesus."

Apollos beamed, feeling pride in his knowledge of the Lord.

"However," Priscilla continued, then hesitated. The words seemed caught in her throat.

Aquila filled in for his wife. "We must explain the way of God more accurately to you. As fellow Christians, we feel it is our duty to help one another."

Apollos felt chest fallen. Hadn't they just said he was knowledgeable? That he spoke accurately? Why did he need to learn more?

There was a check in his spirit. They were always learning. Was he really so arrogant to think that he had learned all there was to know about God? He almost laughed at the thought. He smiled slightly. "Please, tell me."

Based on Acts 18:24-28

"Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus." Acts 18:24-28

What I saw in this section was a man who was greatly anointed by God. A man who had great understanding of God and His Word. A man who boldly preached God's message.

A man who still had more to learn.

A man who knew that, wasn't offended by that, and learned.

I think we get into this mindset that we will one day know all the things. But we won't. We will always have more to learn. Even our pastors, mentors, and parents have more to learn. We are always learning, always growing. It's laughable to think that we won't be wrong about some things or that we don't need a better understanding of God.
   
"Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning." Proverbs 9:9

Who will you be? Will you be like Apollos, a man who knew he still had so much to learn about God's Word? Or will you be the person who says in their heart, "I already know it all"?
   
"Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance." Proverbs 1:5
V. Joy Palmer

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

If God Wills

"Please stay," the man pleaded.

Paul shook his head. "I'm afraid I can't."

Another man turned his piercing blue eyes onto him. "What are you going to do then? What are your plans since you insist on leaving us?"

Judging by their expressions, Paul didn't think they were going to like the truth. "Whatever God wills."

They all spoke at once. "What?" Some of the Jews sounded quite angry, angry that Paul would leave without a commitment already in place. Others were confused. They wanted him to stay and teach them. Together their roar demanded an answer.

"I go where the Lord wants me to go, when He wants me to go. Sometimes I don't know what He wants me to do, but I trust in His plans for me." Paul met the gaze of each person in the room, sharing in their sorrow, their conviction, their hope. "I will return to you if God wills."

Acts 18:19-21

"And they came to Ephesus, and he left them there, but he himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. When they asked him to stay for a longer period, he declined. But on taking leave of them he said, 'I will return to you if God wills,' and he set sail from Ephesus."
Acts 18:19-21

I liked Paul's response to the uncertainty of the future. He didn't try to plan. He just put it in God's hands. "I will return to you if God wills."

If God wills.

Sometimes the uncertainty we face in this life is overwhelming. Gut-wrenching. Confusing. Sometimes it is all we can do to stay afloat in this sea of uncertainty. We try to plan our steps as best we can, only to have our carefully laid plans be destroyed.

I'm a planner. When my plans are derailed, I despise it with every fiber of my being. But I'm not The Planner. God makes plans for me.

"Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established." Proverbs 16:3

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

So now, my plan is to stop planning. If God wills, then my plans may be apart of His plans. If not, I know the plans He has in store will be even better. I plan to go with His plans.

V. Joy Palmer.

"Your One Of His"

Psalm 103:1-5

Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me,
Bless His holy name!

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:

Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,

Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,

Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

   Now one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.
   So Jesus answered and said, "Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? We're there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?" Luke 17:15-18

I find it interesting that the leper that comes back to praise Him was a Samaritan and the foreigner of the bunch. This is the point that Jesus makes! The others, who weren't foreigners, but considered children of God, took their healing for granted and didn't take the time to appreciate the One who took the time to heal them.

Don't forget to be the one out of ten who takes the time to bless and praise Him for ALL He has done for you. Don't take Him or All His blessings for granted! 

Take the time to bless Him today BECAUSE Your one of His! 
   

Saturday, February 20, 2016

"His Eyes Are On Us"

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerned of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eye of Him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:12-13

I don't know about you but this is one of my favorite verses! I love that the word of God always, always, always speaks to my heart no matter what situation I find myself in. I love that every day, every time I draw near it speaks to me whatever I might need to hear!  It might be a word of encouragement, a message with a call to arms, a promise that offers hope. It might be message that inspires me to keep the faith or even a call to repentance but it always speaks the truth I need at that very moment and today as I was reading through Hebrews I realized the why. 

Why it's possible that the word always seems to know what I need to hear and if you look, the answer can be found in the very next verse. Did you see it? It's because He sees us in the here and now. We are not hidden from His sight ...ever! He knows what we are going through and what we need to hear. HE HAS THE PLAN IN PLACE AND HE SPEAKS TO THE NEED RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW. His Word speaks because He always has eyes on us. 'Out of sight ...out of mind' is not a concept He knows.  We are never alone or out of His sight, NOT EVER, and because He sees ... He speaks!

"...For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerned of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eye of Him to whom we must give account." Hebrews 4:12-13

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Focused On...?

Timothy's feet hurt. Truly hurt. They ached with a pain that Timothy had never experience in his life. Was it even possible to walk when you were in this much pain?

"Where are we going to stay?" Timothy glanced over at Silas.

"I don't know," Silas said, glancing over at him. "I'm trying not to worry about it."

Timothy was trying not to worry about it either.

His stomach groaned.

Great. Now he was worried about his lack of food.

They turned the corner, and stopped in their tracks. Dust billowed around them in a big, tan cloud, but that didn't block out the sight before them.

Paul stood in the middle of a group of people teaching them about Jesus. Someone had brought him a plate of food, but it sat off to the side, ignored. His face was beat red from the heat, but he didn't move to the shade. He was consumed with his task.

Timothy looked at Silas, and was a little relieved to see his own sheepish expression mirrored on Silas' face. Paul was occupied with the Word of God, focused on the important things. God was taking care of him. Maybe they should focus on the same thing instead of worrying.

Based on Acts 18:5

"When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with the word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus." Acts 18:5

I love this verse. I love what it means. Paul was so focused on the word, on serving God, and sharing the Gospel.  When other people arrived, they found Paul occupied with sharing God's word.

Most of us are totally focused. We know how to focus - on everything else! But on God? Do we know how to be totally focused on God?

"Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth." Colossians 3:2

If I had moved to a strange new city, I would be focused on so many things. Where would I live? Where would I get the money to buy food? How will my family adjust to this new place? Where is the nearest bookstore?

What you're focused on when other people show up out of the blue, when you don't know they are watching you, shows a lot about your priorities. Paul's priority was the word. Lived and breathed it. What are you occupied with everyday? Is it God?

"Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth." Colossians 3:2

Occupy yourself with the things and The One above.

V. Joy Palmer