"Because of the LORD'S great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Good Morning!

"I will proclaim the name of the Lord.  Oh, praise the greatness of our God!  He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all His ways are just.  A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he."  Deuteronomy 32:3-4 

These verses are from the Song of Moses.  God knew the Israelites would turn away from Him and break their covenant with Him.  So, he, told Moses to write down this song so that it could be a witness against them when they did turn away.  The Israelites were to learn this song.

I think they are good words for us to learn today as well.  I challenge you to write them down and carry them with you today, read them often and just praise the Lord! 

Praise the Lord because He is GREAT!  He is PERFECT.  He is FAITHFUL.  He does NO WRONG.  Think on these things today and be blessed.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Blessings or Curses?

Good Morning!

Deuteronomy 30:19 says, "This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.  Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.  For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."

God is giving the children of Israel a choice; life or death? blessing or curse?  God is giving them a choice, they get to pick!  You would think that it would be an easy choice for them; blessing? curse?  Really, who would choose to be cursed?  But, we know that they did choose to be cursed.  They chose to follow the ways of the other gods and they turned away from the One True God.  The God of blessings and life.

God has always given his children a choice.  Even in the very beginning Adam and Eve had a choice; to choose to obey God or listen to the serpent.  They had the choice to enjoy all the good things God had for them right there before them.  Or, they could listen to the lies of the devil and choose death.  We all know how that story ended.  Why?  Why is it so easy to turn away from God and His blessings?  We know that His ways are so much better than anything we can imagine yet, we still want to go our own way.  We want to live our own lives the way we want to.

The children of Israel had a choice.  It was very clear and simple; obey God, follow His commands and be blessed or worship the foreign gods, live like you want and be cursed.  God said I will not bless you if you go into Canaan and worship the foreign gods and live like you want and forget all about me and my commands.  God told them that they would be cursed.  He said that they would dry up like the dust of desert and be scattered.

This weekend my sisters and I, along with our mom, got together.  We try to do this once a month.  I have one sister that lives close by but the others live an hour and half away.   It's sometimes hard with our busy schedules but I hope they feel like I do that it's worth the effort. 

Saturday, for some unknown reason I can't remember, we watched my wedding video.  I can't remember how that came up but we thought we get some good laughs out of it.  This February Bruce and I will have been married 26 years.  So, seeing the dresses and hairstyles alone was enough to give us a few laughs.  On the other hand, it was sad to see those that have already gone on to heaven and are no longer with us.  Yet, it ignited some very sweet memories.  For me, one of the sweetest was seeing and hearing my former pastor, Paul W. Martin, who is now preaching in heaven, prayer over Bruce and me.  When I listened to his prayer I was so moved at the "prophecy" in it. 

Bro. Paul very clearly prayed that God would bless us, bless our home, watch over us, keep us, give us health, give us a full measure of this world's blessings in the unseen road of life.  He prayed that the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ would always be in our hearts and home and that we would know that having Him in our home would be a blessing.  But, if we didn't have Him in our hearts that He was under no obligation to bless us or our home.

Those words have come to fruition. God has indeed blessed my home.  He has blessed our life with good health, our marriage, and our children.  Bruce and I had a choice 26 years ago.  We chose life.  We chose to commit our hearts and home to Him and to try to follow Him and obey Him.   It hasn't been easy.  It's been very hard at times.  We listen to His voice and we hold fast to Him.  Never, ever has God failed us or let us down.  He is our Faithful God. 

We are still a work in progress and learning more and more everyday about how to obey Him and follow Him wherever He leads. 

You have a choice, too.  Will you choose life or death?  Blessings or curses? 

May God's grace be with you all.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Do You Remember

Good Morning!

In Deutronomy 26 Moses tells the people, the Israelites, that when they go in and take possession of the land that God is giving them they are to take some of the first fruits and give as a sacrifice before the Lord.  When they go in before the Lord they are to recount to the Lord their journey from slavery to freedom; all that the Lord God had done for them to bring them to this place He promised.  They are to rejoice in all the good things the Lord has given to them.  They are to celebrate!

The Israelites were slaves to the Egyptians.  They were oppressed and beaten down.  We, too, are slaves to sin.  Sin can oppress us and beat us down till we think that death would be better than living.  God heard the cries of the Israelite people.  He freed them from the bondage of slavery and set them free to live in a beautiful land with all that they needed. Now they were to come before him and celebrate!

God has provided a way out of the oppression of slavery for us, too.  We do not have to be a slave to sin bound under the enemies control.  God sent His only loved Son to die for us that we would be free.  All we have to do is follow Christ to be free. 

Do you remember when Jesus set you free?  Every year the Jewish community celebrates Passover.  They remember very reverently what God did for them; how he freed them from Egyptian slavery and brought them to the land He promised. 

Do you remember the day Jesus saved you from slavery?  Do you remember how he came into your life to give you freedom?  Do you remember how Jesus changed your life?  I know He has blessed you.  How are you celebrating your freedom?  Share what Jesus has done for you with someone today.

"The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy"  Psalm 126:3

Be filled with JOY today!

May God's grace be with you all.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Are You Ready?

Good Morning!

Severe storms raged through Alabama last night and many people woke up this morning to much devastation and lost.  PLEASE pray for those today that are facing loss.  Pray for everyone involved in search and rescue and clean-up and repair. 

It's so hard to believe we had tornado in January.  I believe it's a sign of the end of times.  The birth pangs are beginning. (Matthew 24:8)  There will more and more disasters that will continue to remind us that God is still in control and this world will not last forever.

It's times like these, when disaster strikes, that we need to ask ourselves the question, "Am I ready?"  Are you ready to go to heaven?  If you can't answer that question with a definite "yes", then listen carefully.  The Bible says that anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.  If you're not sure about going to heaven, asking God to save you is as easy as ABC - Ask God to forgive your sins, all your sins B - Believe in Jesus Christ who was born of a virgin, lived and performed miracles, died and rose again the third day. C - Confess that Jesus is Lord and live for Him according to His commands and His ways.  The Bible says you can KNOW for sure.  You don't have to wonder about it or doubt.

Dueteronomy 10:12 says, "And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear (revere) the Lord your God to walk in ALL his ways, to LOVE him, to SERVE the Lord your God with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul and to observe the Lord's commands and decrees that I (Moses) am giving you today."

Ask Jesus to come into your heart and then love Him and obey Him.

This world will not last forever.  Heaven is forever.  Hell is forever.  Today you have a choice. 

If you made the choice to follow Christ, share it with me today.

In the words of the Apostle Paul, may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Patience Please

Good Morning!

Happy Friday!  Friday is always a good day to look back on our week and evaluate what we did so we can start all over again next week.  I hope you're able to check off a few things on that "to-do" list.  It always give me great satisfaction and happiness to know that I've accomplished something.  More important than checking things off our to-do list, I hope that you've grown more initimate and closer to Christ this week.  I hope that you're starting your day with Him and are following Him through the rest of it.  I hope that you've seen His glory this week in your life and that God gave you an opportunity to share. 

This morning I'm preparing my Sunday school lesson.  I've mentioned before that we're studying "Love as a Way of Life" by Gary Chapman.  Dr. Chapman characterizes a loving person by exhibiting seven characteristics: kindness, patience, forgiveness, courtesy, humility, generosity, and honesty.  Sounds very similar to the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians.  This is certainly true that if we're filled with the Spirit, as followers of Christ, that we will live out these characteristics.

If you're like me, though, you are always in need of reminders and some good hands-on strategies that help in the process.  I am not a patience person!!  That was very evident to me as I just tried to pay a bill on-line and it won't let me.  I also discovered this week that I am not very patient with receptionists on the other end of the phone in the doctors office.  "Will you hold, please?"  I've been holding......   and the list goes on and on.......

I did though learn something this week.  Patience is not a passive activity.  It's not listening to someone rant and rave and then doing nothing.  Patience is first of all, a deliberate choice.  It's a deliberate thought that we are going to do something and react in a positive way.  When we choose to be patient we listen empathetically with a desire to understand what's going on inside the other person.  We need to calmly enter into a dialogue to understand the other person's thoughts, feelings and behavior.  Get to the root of the problem without flying off the handle. 

Case in point:  Yesterday, well probably today, too,  Ben has a cold and he's really stopped up but his nose is running like a rabbit.  I said something to him about getting snot all over his shirt and he snapped back real quick, "I didn't".  Where the tissue remmants on his shirt came from, we'll never know.  Using the tools I learned this week I very calmly replied, "I know you don't feel good today but you don't have to snap."  I smiled and very loving asked if he wanted another tissue.  What could have added to his already rotten disposition was hopefully thwarted by my understanding how he felt.  He didn't want an argument, he wanted me to show some TLC.  And, really, isn't that what everybody really wants?

In the book of James, he says,
"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow."

Yes, dear sisters, consider it joy when you are faced today with challenges and troubles because God wants you to show others that love covers a multitude of sins.  And, He wants us to grow, grow to be more like Him, grow to be kinder and more patient.  Again, we may be the only Bible some people ever read.

Have a great and awesome weekend.

Love in Christ,

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Got Giants?

Good Morning!

Let's face it, we've all got giants.  You know, those things in our lives that loom over us and rob us of our peace of mind and cast a shadow on our faith.  Giant things like chronic illness, our jobs, our children and our own insecurities that constantly plague us. 

This morning I read in Deuteronomy 9 Moses saying to the people, "Who can stand against the Anakites?  But, be assured today that the Lord your God is the one who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire." 

The Anakites, remember, were the giants that Caleb, Joshua and the other ten saw when they went to scout out the promised land.  The ten were afraid of the giants and their size and didn't think they could go in and take them even though God promised them the land.  Caleb and Joshua on the other hand focused on God and His promises and tried to tell the people that God would take care of the giants and give the land over to them. 

When I was younger and I didn't want to face something I would ignore it and hoped that it would go away.  It never did.  In fact, the problem usually got bigger!  We can't ignore the giants in our life.  We must face them.  Max Lacado says in his book, "Facing Your Giants", "focus first, and most, on God.  The times (King) David did, giants fell.  The days he didn't David did.  Have you fallen and can't get up?

Moses is telling the Israelites to focus on God, not the giants.  God is the one who goes across AHEAD of you.  The same truth is for you and me.  God is the one who goes AHEAD of us.  God will not lead us to a place that He has not already gone ahead of and prepared for us.  Yes, there may be giants in the way but, God promises to devour them like a raging fire.  God is faithful and keeps His promises.

You and I must focus on God and his might.  Today, take your eyes off your problem and focus them on God.  Today, focus on His word and His truth. 

In the words of Helen Lemmel, "Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace."

May you see the glory of God today.

Love in Christ,

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Love the Lord Your God

Good Morning!

Do you remember your first love? Maybe you were in elementary school, Jr. High, High school or even college when that first "crush" appeared. Did your heart beat a little faster when you saw him? Did you hang on his every word? Did it seem like an eternity before you saw him again? Do you remember how he consumed your every thought and that was all you could think about? I remember mine and I'm sure I'll be doing some explaining tonight!

I was reminded of this feeling this morning when I read Deuteronomy 6:5-9 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates"

God says love me with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul and with ALL your strength. Does your heart beat a little faster as your prepare to have your quiet time with Him in anticipation of learning something new about Him? Do you hang on His every word and memorize them? Does God consume all of your thoughts throughout the day? Do you continually think of ways to please Him and make Him happy?

Robert Boyd Munger wrote a very short book called, "My Heart - Christ's Home". He says, "without question one of the most remarkable Christian doctrines is that Jesus Christ himself through the Holy Spirit will actually enter a heart, settle down and be at home there."

We are to love God with ALL our heart because as a follower of Christ that's where Christ lives. What a privilege it is for Christ to make a home in our hearts. What joy we experience when Christ is at home in our heart.

Moses went on to warn the Israelites to "be careful that you do not forget the Lord who brought you out of Egypt". Sometimes the novelty turns into the mundane and I am quick to forget!!! The flames of passion turn to smoldering ashes if we don't fan the flame and tend to it. It's my responsibility to talk about Christ and what He's doing in my life to everyone I meet. It's my responsibility to write down His word and share it. It's my responsibility to obey Him and follow His commands. I must be careful NOT to forget but to remember.

It's not easy to give Christ my whole heart. I know there are some things I think I can handle and I forget to ask God for help. But it's those very things that He wants me to turn over to Him. He wants my whole heart, all of my heart.

Verse 18 says, "do what is right and good in the Lord's sight."

Do what is right and good and LOVE the Lord your God with ALL your HEART. And, as an added bonus you'll find loving others is a whole lot easier!!! :)

Love in Christ,

Monday, January 16, 2012

Be Kind

Good Morning!

I'm so glad it's Monday. I am so ready to get back into my routine. I am a terrible creature of habit. Ask anyone close to me what day I wash my sheets and they can probably tell you. I know this isn't the best way of life. I should always be open to change and the leading of the Holy Spirit. I AM a work in progress; thankful for GRACE.

So, today is Monday, the beginning of the week, the beginning of a NEW week. The beginning of new glorious opportunities to put into practice what God has been showing me and teaching me the last few weeks and days. I'm so thankful that His mercies are new every morning. Every day is an opportunity to start fresh and new and to put the past and all it's mistakes behind us.

In Deuteronomy 4 Moses tells the Israelites to "listen up...listen to the laws I'm about to teach you, keep the commands of the Lord your God, observe them for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the other nations." When I keep God's laws and obey His commands I'm telling others that I'm a follower of Christ and God is honored.

Being a good student isn't always easy. In fact, I don't think it's easy at all. It's hard work and it requires thought and discipline. We have to study. We must do our homework and be prepared because God will test us. God will not waste His time teaching us and then not put it to the test.

That's why I'm always a little leary and a little anxious when I begin studying something new. I know that there will be a test!!! And, again, I'm reminded His mercies are new every morning for me and for you!

Speaking of studying something new, my Sunday school class is doing "Love as a Way of Life" by Gary Chapman. Last week, I learned that kindness is a simple thing to do and very powerful. As obvious as it seems to be kind I discovered that I need to be more "kind". Kindness involves noticing someone else and recognizing their need. It means seeing the value of every person we meet during the day. Kindness also reflects a desire to serve others. This means serving others even when it means sacrifice.

I'm challenging myself this week to notice the needs of others and DO something about it. I'm asking God to open my heart and help me see others as He sees them. I'm reminded of the song, "People Need the Lord". People need us to see the Lord, His grace, His mercy and His love for them by helping them. Sometimes, we are the only bible that people see.

I hope that you'll join me in this challenge. Pray that God will use you to be His hands and feet this week to someone who needs Him.

Love in Christ,

Friday, January 6, 2012

Don't Settle!

In the Old Testament book of Numbers God is getting his people, the Israelites, ready to go to the promise land. Joshua has been commissioned as the new leader and God has given Moses one last assignment; take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites. They fought against Midian, as the Lord commanded Moses and killed every man.
After the victory, the leaders from two of the twelve tribes, Ruben and Gad, came to Moses and said, "if we have found favor in your eyes let this land be given to your servants as our possession. Do not make us cross the Jordan. The Rubenites and Gadites want to stay in Jazer and Gilead. They want to build cities to protect their families and build pens to put their animals in. It was a fertile place. Moses agreed to this only if they would first help the Israelites fight and conquer the land of Canaan.
My first thought after reading these verses is that the Rubenites and Gadites were willing to "settle", no pun intended, for less than what God wanted to give them. God wanted to give them a place filled with blessings overflowing. But instead, they opted for what they could see and what they knew to be safe.
I know sometimes, maybe most times, I'm like the Rubenites and Gadites willing to settle for less than the best God has for me. I'm afraid. I'm afraid that I might fail and someone would see the failure instead of the effort. I'm learning it doesn't matter who sees and what they might think. I am a follower of Christ not other people. It only matters to Jesus. He knows my heart.
I want the promised land, the blessings, the best that God has for me. This only comes when I obey Christ and follow Him. Doing what I know He wants me to do. Doing what I know is right in my heart. Doing what the Bible says to do. It will be hard. It will be difficult. It will be painful. It can be confusing. But, this is where I have to TRUST God and follow Him, stay in His word, pray without ceasing and take one day at a time.
This year is my journey to the Promised Land. I hope that you'll come along with me and sees what mighty things God will do for His kingdom.
I'm trusting Him that it won't be boring.
God Bless you today,

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Rise and Stand

Good Morning!
Yesterday I read a devotional by Christine Wyrtzen and it pretty much summed up what I want to do this year. She used Acts 26:16-18, God's calling on the apostle Paul. "Rise and stand on your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you. I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to
This is my prayer that God will work mightly in my life so that others will see HIM, not me, and turn from the darkness of sin to the light of Christ. I know that this is no easy task. In fact, it will be very hard. In my past fifty years I've finally learned that life is hard especially for a follower of Christ. And, to expect it to be any other way is foolish.
James McDonald encourages us this week in our lesson to "be the salt of the earth". He says, "when you're around, people should taste the difference!"
God gave me an opportunity yesterday to share a little bit about Daniel's transplant. I was able to say that God did indeed give us a miracle. There was no doubt about it. I hope that something I might have said stuck with them.
So, add a little flavor to everything you do today and let God use you to turn someone from darkness to light.
Many blessings,

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Beginning

Good Morning!
2012 is the Year! The title of my blog is based on Lamentations 3:22 "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness."
One of God's greatest attributes is his faithfulness. Even when we are not faithful to Him, He is always faithful to us; His children. In His word, He promises that He will never leave us or forsake us. He is always working everything out for our good even when the circumstances are painful and discouraging.
I want to share what God is doing in my life and the life of my family. My prayer is that this blog will inspire, encourage and motivate others to want a deeper relationship with God and to see for themselves what God is doing in their own life.
Many blessings,