Monday, August 31, 2009

Claim It!

"I have heard all about you, Lord.
I am filled with awe by your amazing works.
In this time of our deep need,
help us again as you did in years gone by." Habakkuk 3:2 NLT

When I awoke this morning, I didn't feel like praising God for my new day. I wasn't mad at Him or anything, I just felt stressed, I felt troubled. I don't like waking up that way. I usually wake up ready to face whatever the Lord has planned for me--but not today.

It started yesterday. Emotionally I just wasn't on top of my game. I think what was happening was that Satan was using my insecurities to drain me. If that makes any sense. When you are on the right path, doing His work, Satan will attack you. He's sneaky about it but he will do it. He'll use your weak spots so that you'll never notice until it's too late. Have you ever experienced that?

Well, mine is my self-esteem. I don't have any naturally. It's only through Jesus that I have what I have and it can be rocked so easily. Anyway, I was just being attacked and just needed to give it to God. So, there I was this morning, sitting on the bed talking out loud to God, feeling sad and a loser in the Christian walk arena, when something caught my eye. I turn to look out our bedroom window, and there was our dog, Bobby, looking in the window with a smile on his face and his big old tail just a wagging.

I had to laugh. God has such a sense of humor. He can use anything and anyone to do His will. You see, in the morning, when I first get up, I will go out and talk to Bobby and give him a treat biscuit. So, I think, in my process of talking out loud to God, Bobby heard my voice and what was he wanting? His treat.

Aren't we all a little bit like that? We hear our Master's voice and come to the window to see what we'll get? My Master used Bobby and an everyday occurrence to get me out of my funk and to help me see the beauty of the day. It made me laugh and the joy of the day filled my soul.

So today, this verse has special meaning for me because I do stand in awe of my Jesus' awesome works and some of those works are the wondrous changes He's making in me and my life. The faith that He has in me should overshadow any unfaith that I have in me. The same goes for you. God has faith IN you. Grasp it and claim it!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Light is Sweet!

"Light is sweet; how pleasant to see a new day dawning."
Ecclesiastes 11:7 NLT

I have a brother who is going through a very sad divorce. He is torn up and angry at the man his soon to be ex-wife is having an affair with and he is angry at God. How could God let this happen to him? He sees no reason for living.

I told Scott that he needed to remember that God has given us free will. And in this case, his ex-wife has used her free will to make a bad thing happen--NOT God.

Do you find yourself doing that? Do you find that when things are going great and wonderful, we have a tendency to not even think of God. He's not in our forethought. We don't even remember to thank Him for His goodness. But boy, the moment something bad is happening, we are all over God, blaming Him for the bad stuff that is happening. It's not right!

God deserves all of our respect and thankfulness. Good times and bad. His love to us is agape and ours to Him should be the same.

God has given us a light at the end of our dark tunnels--it's Him. He will comfort us, love us, support us. All we have to do is turn our life, our hurt, our tunnel over to Him. He will turn it into a light that is sweet. Isn't that a awesome phrase--"light is sweet"?

Life is worth living--dawns are worth waking up to! Give yours to Jesus!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Trustworthy Saying

"This is a trustworthy saying:
If we die with Him,

we will also live with Him.
If we endure hardship,
we will reign with Him.
If we deny Him,
He will deny us.
If we are unfaithful,
He remains faithful,
for He cannot deny who He is."
2 Timothy 2:11-13 NLT

As you read this, do you feel, like I do, that this is a good one to have memorized? When you are faced with a trail or you are faced with a joy, this little "hymn", which the notes at the bottom of the page says is where this probably originated as, says it all.

It's so short and to the point that it doesn't take much to explain it--but what a world of hope, truth and faithfulness does it hold!

Basically it says that if you have given yourself, your life, your soul, to the Lord--in other words, "died" to self, you are to live with Him eternally.

And if you endure--bear His suffering and suffer for Him with your own life, bear witness through trials, and do this faithfully, as He did for you--you will be rewarded when Jesus returns.

One of the humbling thoughts is this--even if we are NOT faithful, He WILL always be, for He cannot be what He is not. Doesn't just the thought of that make you want to be faithful? And then of course, if we deny Him, He will have to deny us because of the fact that He does not go where He isn't invited.

The main idea is this, through thick and thin, God loves you and wants to have a relationship with you. But it needs to be a true give and take relationship. He is willing to give love unconditionally and be unconditionally faithful but you need to stop denying Him and start embracing Him. Can you do that? Have you done that? Please do that! For yourself--for Him.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

We Also

"We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters." 1 John 3:16 NLT

What does it mean to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters? In some parts of the world Christians are actually dying. I think in our culture it means dying to your right to be right. It may mean dying to your agenda, your time, your money, or expectations. It means dying to a lot things. If you know a brother or sister struggles with an alcohol addiction, it means dying to your right to drink around them. It means dying to vengeance and forgiving someone who harmed you or someone you love. It means dying to your desire to run out of the church and get lunch after service, and making time to listen to a brother in need.

I think we believe that if push came to shove, we would give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. If persecution hits us, we would boldly die for them. But really we are called to die to the little things every day.

The way to give up our lives for each other, is to let the life of Christ Jesus live in us. Have you asked Jesus into your life?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

You Have

"O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever?
How long will you look the other way?
How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul,
with sorrow in my heart every day?
How long will my enemy have the upper hand?
Turn and answer me, O Lord my God!
Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.
Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!”
Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall.

But I trust in your unfailing love.
I will rejoice because you have rescued me.
I will sing to the Lord
because he is good to me."
Psalm 13 NLT

This passage of scripture speaks of living hope in the midst of despair. David describes his pain and sorrow. He even presents a picture of God not caring or being aware of the tribulations facing David. Have you ever felt this way? God where are you? God don't you care? God I'm sinking. I think we all have felt this way.

But David does something remarkable. In the midst of his suffering he claims God's hand of deliverance and help in the present tense. While all hell is breaking loose around him, David sees himself as delivered and secure in the Lord. Now that is faith. I believe that is one of the reasons David was called a man after god's own heart.

Like David, we too can trust in Jesus' love, protection and provision, even before we realize the results.

I pray for you and I today. My prayer for us is that when we face trials and tribulations we will see our fate securely placed in God's hands, even before we are rescued. Maybe we already have been rescued.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Don't be Afraid

"But when Jesus heard what had happened, He said to Jairus, 'Don’t be afraid. Just have faith, and she will be healed.'” Luke 8:50 NLT

Good morning! I was searching for a verse today and the Lord brought me to this one. The reason I stopped was six words of this passage--"Don't be afraid. Just have faith...".

I love it! Those six awesome words are so black & white. There is no gray area here. We don't have to be afraid of our Father. We just have to have faith and be faithful. So many of us feel--and I fall into this trap myself--that we have to appease, up-the-annie, be perfect, whatever it takes, so that our Father will be happy with us. It's what some of us have had to do in order to have our earthly father want to have a relationship with us. Am I right? Is that what you feel? Do you fear God? Fear His disapproval?

But our heavenly Father is so agape that we can't accept it at times. All He wants is to have a honest, healthy relationship with you and all you have to "do" is have faith. But I want to take you a step farther--I feel that in order to have faith, you need to also be faithful. Do you understand what I'm trying to get at? A healthy relationship with anyone is a give and take relationship. God gives us His faith in us as His children, we need to give faith in Him as our Father back to Him.

This is deep and don't be disheartened if it takes you some time to come to grips with the enormity of the concept. Especially if you are one of those who has had to work so hard to have a relationship with your own father. But don't give up. If you have to, find yourself a person you trust and share with them your feeling and ask them to help you work through this. I know you can do this!

Friday, August 21, 2009

You ARE My God!

"O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water.
I have seen you in your sanctuary
and gazed upon your power and glory.
Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
how I praise you!
I will praise you as long as I live,
lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
I will praise you with songs of joy.
I lie awake thinking of you,
meditating on you through the night.
Because you are my helper,
I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
your strong right hand holds me securely.

But those plotting to destroy me will come to ruin.
They will go down into the depths of the earth.
They will die by the sword
and become the food of jackals.
But the king will rejoice in God.
All who trust in him will praise him,
while liars will be silenced."
Psalm 63 NLT

In case you have been noticing, I've trying to end Friday with a thought provoking chapter that you can ponder and mediate upon for the next couple of days. I hope this is working for you.

I love this chapter because if you read it closely and take verse by verse, it reminds me of life. Life that is full of the Lord. He is there for the good times and, as any Father would, protects us and keeps us safe. And we praise Him.

David wrote this to God while he was in the Desert of Judah. He was praising his Father for protecting him from his enemies. We still have our enemies that we are fighting now don't we? And doesn't God protect us today, just as He protected David all those years ago? And don't we have our 'Desert of Judah' from time to time? I don't know about you, but I know I surely do, and those are the times that I feel the hunger and thirst for my Lord, my Father, ever so strong. I relate to David's words. Can you?

And just like a Father, if someone was to come and hurt us or treat us unfairly, our Father would protect us and 'take care' of the offender.

I ask you, read this chapter, at least once a day this weekend and see what is revealed to you and your spirit. And share it with me or someone else you can trust. You will be blessed!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Trouble Planter

"A troublemaker plants seeds of strife;
gossip separates the best of friends."
Proverbs 16:28 NLT

Have you ever come across someone like that? Someone that seems to be determined to make trouble? And not always by being a gossiper, which of course is bad enough. But just by being themselves. They're friendly, happy-go-lucky and then they leave you and you find out after they left you, they've told someone how upset they are. Go figure.

God doesn't want us to be that way. He understands that we have our good days and our bad days, but don't go around making trouble between yourself and another or pitting one person against another person. Your word needs to be your word.

"Kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body." Proverbs 16:24 NLT

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

In the Driver's Seat

"Take control of what I say, O Lord,
and guard my lips.
Don’t let me drift toward evil
or take part in acts of wickedness.
Don’t let me share in the delicacies
of those who do wrong."
Psalm 141:3-4 NLT

I like this prayer. I like it because I can relate to it. I know that apart from God in my life, or should I say, the life of God in me, I can do no good thing. I realize this. I have hit too many walls and have had too many failures. No amount of will power or determination can keep me out of trouble. I have tried to play God too many times, only to fail miserably. Playing God is a job description that I cannot fulfill.

For many years my reason for not wanting to sin was that I feared going to hell. I even felt this way after I was "saved." When I realized that according to the Bible I have been saved, my motive for not wanting to sin changed. It wasn't to get into heaven. I'm there. It's because I love Jesus and want to live in perfect harmony with Him. He paid the penalty for my sin. He gave me a new life. His spirit lives inside of me. I am accepted, loved and holy. I want my life to reflect my "new nature."

What about you? Do you realize who you are in Christ Jesus? It works better--no, it really cannot work at all--until you put Him in the driver's seat of your life.

Hang on! The ride is something else.

Monday, August 17, 2009


"I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.
I will be filled with joy because of you.
I will sing praises to your name, O Most High."
Psalm 9:1-2 NLT

What a GREAT passage to start out our week with, don't you think?! Sometimes we tend to think, "Oh great. Another Monday."

You know what I've been trying to do? And not just on Mondays. I've been trying to remember to praise God for this new day. To thank Him for giving me the gift of another day. Thanking Him for a day full of promise. It's part of my prayer life. I do it as I'm waking or while I'm driving. It puts me in a wonderful frame of mind.

You know it is. A new day IS a gift. A chance to make it whatever you want it to be. You can go into it with drudgery or with praise and thanks giving. You make your day. If you have a bad, poor me, attitude--you will get that--bad, poor me, kind of day.

But if you go into your day with this is going to be a great day!--I'm going to serve the Lord in where the place is that He has me in today. I'm going to bring glory to Him--your day will be full of sunshine.

This doesn't mean that irritating, bad or frustrating things won't happen. But they may not seem so bad if you look at them with a different perspective. Do you understand what I mean?

So I challenge you to try it. To praise Him with ALL your day, with ALL of your heart, body, soul. I bet people will notice the change in your attitude and more importantly, you should too. God is good ALL the time. ALL the time, God is good.

"A glad heart makes a happy face..." Proverbs 15:13 NLT

Friday, August 14, 2009

Being Alive

"I give you thanks, O Lord, with all my heart;
I will sing your praises before the gods.
I bow before your holy Temple as I worship.
I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness;
for your promises are backed
by all the honor of your name.
As soon as I pray, you answer me;
you encourage me by giving me strength.
Every king in all the earth will thank you, Lord,
for all of them will hear your words.
Yes, they will sing about the Lord’s ways,
for the glory of the Lord is very great.
Though the Lord is great, He cares for the humble,
but He keeps His distance from the proud.

Though I am surrounded by troubles,
you will protect me from the anger of my enemies.
You reach out your hand,
and the power of your right hand saves me.
The Lord will work out His plans for my life—
for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever.
Don’t abandon me, for you made me."
Psalm 138 NLT

This weekend, meditate upon this passage. If you read it line by line, and meditate upon the full meaning, your soul will start getting that glowing, warm sensation. Then it will travel into your heart and mind and before you know it--POW--you will become ALIVE with the celebration of who Jesus is and what HE has done for and in your life.

You're going to have a GREAT weekend!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Be Quick!

"Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry." James 1:19 NLT

I kept digging a hole for myself. The more that I tried to explain myself, the more the other person resisted. I started to get a little hot. No, I was getting angry. The Lord brought the above passage from James to my mind.

It's not always easy to be quick to listen. That means you have to stop talking. You have to pay attention, full attention. To people that you don't always relate to or like. But God gives us the ability to do what He commands when we humble ourselves and ask for His help.

Are you digging a hole? Are you getting angry? Try slowing down your jaws and be quick to listen. It works!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Touching Him

"A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding, and she could find no cure. Coming up behind Jesus, she touched the fringe of His robe. Immediately, the bleeding stopped.

'Who touched me?' Jesus asked.

Everyone denied it, and Peter said, 'Master, this whole crowd is pressing up against you.'

But Jesus said, 'Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.' When the woman realized that she could not stay hidden, she began to tremble and fell to her knees in front of Him. The whole crowd heard her explain why she had touched Him and that she had been immediately healed. 'Daughter,' He said to her, 'your faith has made you well. Go in peace.'
Luke 8:43-48 NLT

The crowd was following Jesus. Pressing in from all sides, eager to get a look of the miracle worker. She saw Him. She was an outcast religiously and socially. Because of her physical condition, the woman was "unclean." Anyone she touched would be unclean.

She had spent her life savings on doctors who could not help her. She was helpless. Her last chance was Jesus. He was her only hope. Hidden in the crowd, she planned to touch Him. Just the hem of the Rabbi's robe. No one would notice. He had raised the dead. Perhaps just touching Him would heal her. She sees Him about to pass by. She reaches out and touches His robe. Then something happens that hasn't happened for twelve years. Her bleeding stops. She is healed!

Jesus feels the touch of faith from a needy person. He feels healing power leave His body. He demands to know who touched Him. No one fesses up. The woman knows she is had. Fearful of what Jesus might say or do, she falls on her knees in front of the Lord. She explains why she touched Him, and that she was healed. Did He yell at her, or scold her--for her--an unclean woman touching Him? No, He embraced her with love. He not only told her to go and live her life as a healed woman, but He pronounced peace on her. Perfect peace, well being, spiritually, physically and emotionally. He calls her His "Daughter."

Often we remember Jesus touching people and healing them. But this woman touched Jesus, and by an act of her faith and His love, was restored. The "crowd" pressed in for a look. She reached out to receive love.

The Bible says, that God rewards those who diligently seek Him. We are all unclean before God. It is only His touch on and in our lives, that makes us righteous in His sight.

Are you part of the crowd pressing in for a look? Come on, reach out and touch Jesus just as you are. He will not only heal you but offer you perfect peace, both now and forevermore.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Obstacle or Opportunity?

"So they arrived in the region of the Gerasenes, across the lake from Galilee. As Jesus was climbing out of the boat, a man who was possessed by demons came out to meet him. For a long time he had been homeless and naked, living in a cemetery outside the town." Luke 8:26,27 NLT

Jesus had just calmed the storm that was threatening the very lives of his twelve disciples. He had just reached the shore. He wasn't even out of the boat when he was met by a very violent and out of control person. Not even out of the boat, and met with an obstacle. Or was it?

Jesus immediately confronted the situation, and turned an obstacle into an opportunity. He set the man free from demonic possession, gave him a ministry commission, and a new start on life. Jesus took a potentially volatile obstacle, and turned it into an opportunity for his love, and grace to fill a persons life.

I wonder how many times we see a situation as an obstacle, when God really sees it as an opportunity. Perhaps, it is an offense that has the potential to dived a relationship, family, or Church. The obstacle could be turned into an opportunity for God's love, forgiveness and restoration to take place. Perhaps it is a financial obstacle. Could it be an opportunity for greater faith in God to be manifested? Could it be an opportunity for a miracle?

What obstacle is facing you? Could it really be a great opportunity? With Christ it can!

Friday, August 7, 2009


"Where is another God like you,
who pardons the guilt of the remnant,
overlooking the sins of His special people?
You will not stay angry with your people forever,
because you delight in showing unfailing love.
Once again you will have compassion on us.
You will trample our sins under your feet
and throw them into the depths of the ocean!"
Micah 7:18-19 NLT

Sometimes I like to just leave you with an verse that speaks volumes and then let you pray, mediate and get what the Lord wants you to get out of it.

We serve an awesome God! Like any Father, when we do wrong, He gets angry. But once the anger is over, He forgives us as we confess our sins, tell Him we are sorry and ask for forgiveness.

Let's focus this weekend on the greatness of our Father and all the He is. I humbly praise you Dear Jesus!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Truth Telling

"The Lord detests lying lips,
but He delights in those who tell the truth."
Proverbs 12:22 NLT

This passage is one of those that can bring peace and strife. It's pretty straight forward--God loves us to tell the truth. In fact, it is so important to Him, that it is one of the ten commandments: "Thou shall not lie."

But I get asked and I often ask myself--how much truth? Should we tell the truth if it is going to hurt the other person? What's wrong with a "little" white lie? It keeps the other person hurt-free. It takes care of the situation that is a win-win for everyone. Or is it?

Just like with our children--or even with ourselves--in order to grow or to remember a lesson learned, there sometimes needs to be a little honest pain.

Now, of course, I'm not saying to be heartless and unnecessarily cruel with our tongue and words. But wisely instruct with spiritual honesty, what it is that you feel God is telling you to say.

Check your heart & spirit. Then pray before you speak that He will prepare you and the other person involved, so that the outcome will be what He wanted.

Sometimes it takes real courage to speak the truth. And it is not always pleasant. But if your spirit tells you to do it, then you will have what it takes to get the job done.

Some people make cutting remarks,
but the words of the wise bring healing.
Proverbs 12:18 NLT

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Stormy Weather

"One day Jesus said to his disciples, 'Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.' So they got into a boat and started out. As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap. But soon a fierce storm came down on the lake. The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, 'Master, Master, we’re going to drown' When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves. Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm. Then he asked them, “Where is your faith?'The disciples were terrified and amazed. 'Who is this man?' they asked each other. 'When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!”Luke 8:22-25 NLT

It was Jesus' idea to get into the boat and go to the other side of the lake. He instigated the trip. His disciples simply followed. But as soon as they got going, they were hit with a terrific storm that threaten to drown them.

Have you ever decided to follow Jesus only to be met with a terrific "storm" that comes against you? Perhaps it is the storm of a relationship in turmoil. It could be health, finances, death, illness, crisis or something else. Your doing the right thing by following Jesus, but only to be battered by life's tribulations.

Life with Jesus does not mean life without storms. Jesus has called us to join him on the journey of life. We will be met with difficult storms. But, Jesus is in the boat with us. He can and will see us safely through our storms and into the port of heaven.

What storm are you facing right now? Are you in the boat with Jesus?

Monday, August 3, 2009


"The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 NLT

Did you ever have this experience--you went to school and something was different about you. It could have been your hair, the clothes you were wearing, what you were eating for lunch--whatever. And the kids start making fun of you. How did that make you feel?

There's a woman and she's obviously on the fringes of homelessness. She comes up to you asking for some food. The smell of urine is overwhelming. You back away. Wanting her to get away from you--the last thing you want is for her to hug you. Ugh! You practically throw a jar of peanut butter in her hands. Good! The Christian deed is done and you can leave with a clear conscious--or can you?

Aren't we so blessed that our FATHER is a blind God. Blind to our warts, our shortcomings, our sins? It may be hard to believe, but you know, sometimes YOU stink! Sometimes you aren't always the "Cool" one that you picture yourself to be. But does any of that matters to your FATHER? No. He loves us know matter what.

He loves and desires to hold us and hug us even when we stink of sin. He is honored when we let Him hangout with us even when there is something not quite "normal" about us.

Aren't YOU so blessed that God looks at your heart and not your outward appearance? True beauty is most often missed when we just judge someone on what they appear like on the outside.

Pray that you can find beauty in each person that the LORD brings into your life today, tomorrow and this week. You will be amazed at how much you will see.

"Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." 1 Peter 3:4 NLT