Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Power In Your Corner

Good morning, Lord. I am eager to get my day started. It is next to my last day of orientation this week. I have 3 days left next week before I am on the floor. I am thankful to You for this opportunity and am eager to begin.
I received an email from Debra yesterday regarding healing. Healing begins even when we are still in our weakness. Thank You, Lord, for her and for her words of comfort. I realize that healing has begun and I have in faith that You will bring about good from all of this. Thank You, Lord. Amen.

The following comes from The Gift the New Testament for New Believers:

Trusting God to help you overcome your sins and shortcomings sounds so spiritual, doesn't it? Turning everything over to God, letting God handle your problems, giving your burdens to the Lord...Can't argue with the wisdom there.
But when it's just you and your bad temper, or your runaway sex drive, or your weakness for cherry cheesecake, where do you find the strength to say no?
You might not guess it to look at you, but you have available to you--right now--the same kind of power that God " the Messiah by raising Him from the dead" (Ephesians 1:20). And as you begin facing even your toughest challenges with the weapons of prayer, Bible truth, worship, thanksgiving, accountability, and other specific strategies that you'll begin gaining through experience, you'll see sin's deception for what it is, you'll turn your back on habits that have had your number for yeas, and your heart for instant gratification will be changed into a heart that knows where its power lies.

Since old habits don't go away overnight and may continue to be a nagging source of frustration and (at times) failure for many years, where does the victory start coming in? it comes from not underestimating the struggle of Christian living--or the power that God has put in you.

"This is why, since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I never stop giving thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. (I pray) that the God f our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you a spirit of wisdom and a revelation in the knowledge of Him. (I pray) that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the glorious riches o His inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His vast strength." Ephesians 1:15-19

Thank You, O Lord, and amen!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Thank You, Lord, for another beautiful day. Thank You for another safe night and for the awesome power of Your love and forgiveness. I am thankful to be alive and to have the opportunities presented to me.
I miss TJ and my boys. I have felt lonely but not to the same degree as before. I know You are with me and I am comforted. I ask that You would help me to be patient and to live for You alone. Amen.

Today's passages are from Exodus 13:1-22 with the following prayer:
May I be strong and courageous and careful to obey Your word; may I not turn from it to the right or to the left, that I may act wisely wherever I go. (Joshua 1:7)
I ask You, Lord, for wisdom and for a greater skill in all areas of my life. My life is Yours, help me use my skills to glorify You, O Lord.

The following is from The Gift the New Testament for New Believers:

You wouldn't know him. He lived in a small town and preached in a small church, earning a salary so small that he had to take a job at a local clothing factory to provide for his wife and family. Even in stature he was small, not the kind of man who entered a room with an immediate presence. You could have passed him in the mall or waited behind him in line at the grocery store and not have paid him much attention.
But this man with the small life was a giant among men, backing up his Sunday morning words with a long, unassuming list of all week-long actions. Who knows how many times his neighbors had seen him at their door with a sackful of beans and tomatoes from his garden?-- or how many times an elderly widow had heard his mower starting up in her yard?--or how many strangers had literally received the shirt (and possibly even the coat) right off his back?
You wouldn't know. He'd never say.
It takes big people to be truly humble.

Humble people don't tend to attract a lot of attention--not because they feel inferior, but because they know the value of serving people where only God can see it. Want to feel good about your elf when you lie down at night? Think about others through the day.

"When it is in your power, don't withhold good from the one to whom it is due. Don't say to your neighbor, 'Go away! Come back later. I'll give it tomorrow'--when it is there with you. don't plan any harm against your neighbor, for he trusts you and lives near you. Don't accuse anyone without cause, when he has done you no harm. Don't envy a violent man or choose any of his ways; for the devious are detestable to the Lord, but He is a friend to the upright. The Lord's curse is on the household of the wicked, but He blesses the home of the righteous; He mocks those who mock, but gives grace to the humble. The wise will inherit honor, but He holds up fools to dishonor.'" Proverbs 3:27-35

Help me Lord to be humble. Amen.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Moving On

Good morning, Great and Merciful Lord. Thank You for another day, for a job, for warmth and for love... Thank You, Lord, for all things. I awakened this morning much earlier than I had hoped, but it's OK for You are with me.
I am a bit nervous about this morning simply because it has been a while since I have worked. I am looking forward to it, but at the same time I am nervous. My prayers are that You, O Lord, be with me and help me to grow in godly character. Help me to be patient, kind, loving, forgiving, and merciful with all. Amen.

Today's message is from Exodus 11:1-12:51. The Israelites free from Egypt, amen. Thank You, Lord, for freedom. Help me to celebrate and live in a manner which is pleasing to You.
The NT reading is from Acts 14:1-20 with the following prayer:
"You, O Lord, desire mercy, not sacrifice, and the knowledge of You more than burnt offerings. (Hosea 6:6)... Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. (Matthew 5:7)"

The following comes from The Gift the New Testament for New Believers:

Life looks different through the eyes of eternity.
The game can be played without your son getting to start. The dirty laundry won't kill anyone if it's not cleaned until tomorrow. The meeting you're in charge of today won't affect the fate of the nations.
You can relax.
The bedrooms aren't in quite as big a rush to be painted. You can go to bed without having to read the newspaper. You can be thankful your old car is at least good transportation.
You can wait.
The hours you spend listening to the goofballs on radio call-in shows will seem a waste. The urgency of telling people about Jesus will burn in your spirit. The people you haven't told lately how much you love them will be the next phone call you make or the next letter you write.
You can act.
You can be holy. You can be pure. You can be real.
You can live. Oh, boy, how you can live!

They can make you breathe the air down here. They can make you drink the water. But they can't make your heart feel at home anymore. You belong somewhere else. If people say you've got your head in the clouds, tell them not to knock it till they've been there.

"... and that I did not shrink back from proclaiming to you anything that was profitable, or from teaching it to you in public and from house to house. I testified to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus, 'And now I am on my way to Jerusalem, bound in my spirit, not knowing what I will encounter there, except that in town after town the Holy Spirit testifies to me that chains and afflictions are waiting for me. But I count my life of no value to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God's grace.'" Acts 20:22-24

"Our inheritance is as sure as morning. Why are we so reluctant to leave this dingy world? Things really are better further on." Calvin Miller

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Thankfulness and Anticipation

Hello Lord. Here I am again. Words to a song, yes, I know. It was really great seeing TJ again yesterday. I wasn't expecting it, but it was nice. With just a look and a hug he can still make me feel all warm and toasty inside.
He told me he misses me. I wasn't expecting that either. He hugged me and kissed me on the temple. It was a full, two-armed hug and it was great. It was delightful to be back in his arms again. Thank You, Lord, for all You have done and all You have given me. I have opportunities opening up for me which I don't know that I would have been courageous enough to pursue before. My life is changing for the better and I want to share it with him.

Today's Bible study was Exodus 10:1-29. The plague of locusts and of darkness. The things of the world like locusts trying to devour my soul, and the darkness... Oh, the darkness. The feeling of being smothered by blackness. Thank You, O Lord, for bringing me through it, for saving me out of it. Acts 13:13-29 was the NT reading with the following prayer.
"Have mercy on me, O god, have mercy on me, for in You my sou takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of Your wings until destruction passes by. I cry out to You, O God Most High, to You who fulfill Your purpose for me. (Psalm 57:1-2)...O Lord God, O Holy One of Israel, in repentance and rest is our salvation; in quietness and trust is our strength. (Isaiah 30:15)
Thank You, O God, for sending Your son, Jesus, to be my Savior so that I might have eternal life with You.

The following comes from The Gift the New Testament for New Believers:

Through no fault of our own, really, we've become so acclimated to this earth that at times the thought of Christ's return makes us wish He's hold off for a while. We want to see our children marry. We want to take our grandkids out for pizza. We want to see our business flourish, get a home in the country, finally work our way up to a marathon, see the tulips bubs bloom out in the spring, enjoy the only life that we know.
If we only knew.
Christ's coming to earth will be more glorious than anything we've ever experienced--more thrilling than Game Seven of a World Series, more exhilarating than the chill of a mountain spring in summertime, more beautiful than your wife's eyes behind her wedding veil. We will see Him--yes, Him!--Jesus, the Lamb of God, the Lord of glory, the Lover of our souls--face to face, eye to eye, as though He's just been breathless for the day to come when he could hold us in His arms, wrap us in His love, and take us safely home to the glorious place He's made for us. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

Jesus Christ is coming back to earth through a real sky on a real day to take real people to a real paradise. Wouldn't you really like to be here to see that? Just as surely as you believe He lay in a manger, He's going to peel back the sky and call us home.

"We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, concerning those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. Since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in the same way God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep through Jesus. For we say this to you by a revelation from the Lord: We who are still alive at the Lord's coming will certainly have no advantage over those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel's voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words." 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

"Somewhere, somewhen, somehow, we who are worshiping God here will wake up to see Him as He is, face to face." John Bailie

The following passage caught my eye and spoke to me:
"Now we ask you, brothers, to give recognition to those who labor among you and lead you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we exhort you brothers: warn those who are lazy, comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See to it that no one repays evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good for one another and for all.
Rejoice always!
Pray constantly.
Give thanks in everything, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
Don't stifle the Spirit.
Don't despise prophecies, but test all things.
Hold on to what is good.
Stay away from every form of evil." 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22
In this passage, we see the three compartments of the human make-up: the spirit, the soul, and the body. And we see the three persons of the Godhead: the Holy Spirit "sanctifying us", encouraging us to obedience, the Son preparing for His near return, the Father faithfully keeping us ready."

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Going Home... Heaven

Good morning, Lord, and thank You for the rain. Today I make preparations for my first week at work. I will be traveling to NC today to meet with Lori and Terry as they will be keeping Brayden for me this coming week. Bad weather is forecast, so we meet today instead of tomorrow as planned. I will be staying a couple of nights with Peggy, so I can go to church on Sunday. I have missed it so very much. I am looking forward to being back to Worship You, O God!
Last night I spoke with TJ... it was good to be able to just talk to him. I have missed that, very much. I feel, Lord, that I need to let TJ know that I do still love him and that I haven't given up on him... I haven't given up on You and Your ability, O Lord. Give me the grace to grow in godly character, use me as Your instrument. As Samuel says, "Speak Lord for Your servant is listening." I am Yours, thank You Lord.

The following comes from The Gift the New Testament for New Believers.

"You've got your Christian model and your non-Christian model. Those are the only two kinds we carry."
"Well, just looking on the outside, they appear to be pretty similar. What's the difference between the two?"
"You know, you're exactly right. They are very similar. Both have healthy bodies. Both have nice-looking families. Both come equipped with the usual house, car, paying job, microwave, etc."
"Yeah, I see that. But isn't there anything different about them?"
"Well, the Christian model claims to come with more peace of mind and a lot more power. But those who've tried the non-Christian model think it's all in their head. Of course, on the other hand, people have told us that the non-Christian model doesn't seem to hold up as well as the other one. And the warranty is a lot more vague and unreliable. So if I were you, I think I'd go with the other one."
Christians. Built to last.

Heaven is more real than the room you're sitting in. With that in your future, you can stand anything. So even when life scratches you hard enough to break the skin, you have a glorious hope--hope that no defeat is ever final. God's people last forever.

"Then he showed me the river of living water, sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the broad street (of the city). On both sides of the river was the tree of life bearing 12 kinds of fruit, producing its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree are for healing the nations, and there will no longer be any curse. The throne of God and of he Lamb will be in the city, and His servants will serve Him. They will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. Night will no longer exist, and people will not need lamplight or sunlight,because the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign forever and ever." Revelation 22:1-5

Friday, February 27, 2009

Reflections and Grave Misgivings...Victory Over Death

Good morning, Lord. Thank You for another day, for safe passage through another night. Thank You for Your tender mercy.
I have been reflecting on my attitudes toward others and I have been selfish. I need to focus more on the needs of others instead of myself. I ask for Your help, O Lord. Guide me this day, help me to grow into the person You want and created me to be. Amen.

Today's readings came from Psalms and Acts. The first is Psalm 13 and Psalm 14:
"How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? Look on me and answer, O Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, my enemy will say, 'I have overcome him,' and my foes will rejoice when I fall. but I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for He has been good to me." Psalm 13
"The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt, their deeds are vile, there is no one who does good. The Lord looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt, there is no one who does good, not even one. Will evildoers never learn--those who devour my people as men eat bread and who do not call on the Lord? There they are overwhelmed with dread, for God is present in the company of the righteous. You evildoers frustrate the plans f the poor, but the Lord is their refuge. Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When the Lord restores the fortunes of His people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!" Psalm 14

The following is a prayer of thanksgiving:
"I will sing of Your mercies, Lord, forever; with my mouth I will make Your faithfulness known through all generations. I will declare that Your loving-kindness will be built up forever, that You will establish Your faithfulness in the heavens. And the heavens will praise Your wonders, O Lord. Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the holy ones For who in the heavens can be compared with You? who is like You among the children of the mighty? You are greatly feared in the council of the holy ones and more awesome than all who surround You. O Lord God of hosts, who is like You, O mighty Lord? Your faithfulness also surrounds You." Psalm 89:1-2, 5-8.

The New Testament passage is Acts 12:1-19a and the following is the prayer associated with it.
"Your loving-kindness, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, Your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains; Your judgements are like the great deep. O Lord, Your preserve people and beasts. How priceless is Your loving-kindness, O God! Both the high and low among people find refuge in the shadow of Your wings. For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light." Psalm 36:5-7, 9

The following comes from The Gift the New Testament for New Believers:

Michael was just eight. Barely tall enough to stretch to the top of the red stick that cleared him to ride the big roller coaster. We'd been pumping him all day: "You sure you want to go? It's really scary."
His words said yes. His eyes said he wasn't so sure.
He handed over his ball cap to Mom for safekeeping and took his place with Dad in the turnstiles. Inch by inch, they worked closer and closer, his laugh getting more nervous, his feet and hands a constant fidget.
Before long, the fear was all over his face. "We can go back, son. It's all right." But with a stiff shake of his head, they were locked into the air. his face was white. His knuckles clenched. Fro the longest 45 seconds of his young life, he clung somewhere between guts and glory--holding his breath through every dip, closing his eyes on the ratchety inclines, until it jerked to a halt back at the station, his odyssey complete...the fear gone. "That wasn't so bad. Thanks for taking me, Dad."
Death must be like that. It's not so bad. Thanks for taking us, Dad.

Of all the things you can be thankful to god for, what about the freedom of knowing that death is but a door, that your reward is waiting--just on the other side? The devil can scream and holler and stamp his feet all he want to. He can't have this little soul.

"'Then they will hand you over to persecution, and they will kill you. You will be hated by all nations because of My name. Then many will take offense, betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will multiply, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endure to the end, this one will be delivered. This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world as a testimony to all nations. And then the end will come.'" Matthew 24:9-14

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Amazed and Open Handed

Hello, Lord. I am blogging late as I made a trip to TN and back today. Thank You for the beautiful day and for the safe trip. I admired Your handiwork on the trip and was continually amazed. You are an awesome God!
Today I did my Bible study prior to my appointment this afternoon. I did it in the van and was touched by the readings in the Daily Reading and Prayer Bible. The prayer following the Exodus passage regarding the plague of frogs. Here it is as a reminder: "I believe that it is through your Grace, Lord Jesus, that I am saved. (Acts 15:11)...Jesus, I trusted in You when I heard the word of truth, the gospel of salvation. Having believed, I was sealed in You with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is a deposit guaranteeing my inheritance until the redemption of those who are the Father's possession, to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14)"
Then the New Testament reading was Acts 11:1-30 with the prayer following about relationships with others. Here it is as a reminder: "A virtuous wife is the crown of her husband, but she who causes shame is like decay in his bones. (Proverbs 12:4)...Who can find a virtuous wife? She is worth far more than jewels. The hart of her husband trusts in her so that he has no lack of gain. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. (Proverbs 31:10-12) "
Lord, that is what I want, to be a good, virtuous wife to TJ. I know only You can reconcile our marriage and I ask You for that. Renew our love and devotion to each other, allow our marriage to be a living testament of the work You can do. It is in Your hands, O Lord.

The following comes from The Gift the New Testament for New Believers:

You haven't lived until you've looked into the impoverished eyes of a homeless person and offered him the sack lunch you'd made for yourself that morning. You haven't lived until you've sensed God stirring you to give one hundred dollars to a young couple in your church and heard them tell you how hard they'd been praying for that exact amount. You haven't lived until you've learned that giving is a privilege, giving is contagious.
Giving is fun.
Just take the 10 percent (the tithe) that God asks you to invest in your church. Most people feel good about tossing a five or a few ones in the offering plate--as though they were giving God a tip. But how can you feel satisfied tossing your Master a bone after all He's faithfully done for you--after He' been keeping you up in clothes, your breakfast cereal in the pantry, your heart beating like a drum sixty times a minute. It's not a chore to pour as much as possible back into His kingdom so that others can enjoy the same things you do. it's an honor. It's a joy. Try it. You'll see.

One of the most powerful lifestyles you can adopt is the freedom of letting God's blessings flow through you into the lives of others. When you hold on too tightly to what's yours, you miss the whole point of why God gave it to you.

"A slacker's craving will kill him because his hands refuse to work. He is filled with craving all day long, but the righteous give and don't hold back." Proverbs 21:25-26