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Devotion

Turn it over! Rest in the Lord

(Psalm 46:10) “Be still and know that I am God.”

 

Is life overwhelming you?  Then go to God in prayer and turn it all over to Him!  (Psalm 55:22) “Cast you cares upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.”  Sometimes you just need to accept when things are too much for you and all out of control that you need to just turn everything over to God!  Hand it all over to the Creator!

Just like the words of an old Kenny Rogers song, “you have to know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em.”   You have to know when you can do something acting in faith and know when it is just too much that it will take God to clean up your mess.  It is a big act of faith when you throw up your hands and say “Lord, help” and give it all over to Him; trusting Him to take care of it.  (Proverbs 3:5-6) “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

Step back and ask yourself, who is in control of everything?”   Who Created all thing?    Who knows all things, who knows the end from the beginning?   Who is the One who allows things you’re your life if they will teach you something or draw something out of you or blocks it if it will not?   “Who is our God and who is our Savior?     Who watches over our going and our coming?

Then step back and examine your problems and ask yourself, if God who created the earth and everything in it and provided for our salvation, then is my problem too big for Him?   No!  (Numbers 11:23) “Is the Lord’s arm too short?”  Trust in the One, your Heavenly Father to always love you, protect you and deliver you.

Cast it all into His loving arms and trust Him to take care of your problems.  (Psalm 121:5-8) “The Lord watches over you– the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.  The Lord will keep you from all harm– He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over you coming and going both now and forevermore.”  Cast all your cares into His hands and He will comfort you and heal your heart.  (Romans 8:31) “What, then, shall we say in response to this?  If God is for us, who can be against us?”  As long as you are a child of God, you should ‘fear no evil,’ because our God is a God of love, but He is also strong and powerful.

(I John 4:4) “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

Learn how to rest in His faithful loving arms, and joy will overwhelm your heart because you know WHOSE you are and you know you will come through victoriously!

 

“He will bring forth your righteousness like the dawn, your justice like the noonday sun. Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him: fret not yourself because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass.”   Psalm 37:6-7

 

 

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Devotion

Who is Really Controlling You?

      (II Peter 2:19) “For a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.” 

  

In growing into spiritual maturity God will let you go through trials that will weed out the impurities left on your heart before your were saved.  (Matthew 15:13) “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots.”   Little by little you will grow closer and closer to God and as you grow, the fruit of the Spirit will grow, and you will die more and more to the flesh; this is God’s way of purifying you so your mind will agree with the change of heart by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.    In letting God purify you—you are also learning how to be led by the Spirit.  (Galatians 5:24-25) “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

This is day to day dying to self.  (Luke 9:23) “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”  (Philippians 1:21) “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”  If you ever want to be used mightily in your daily life for God, you need to remember it is for His glory and not your own and you must let the Holy Spirit lead you; not your mind, will and emotions.  This is submitting to the Lordship of Christ.  Your flesh and your mind may want to something contrary to the Spirit, but it is your choice to obey it or God.  (I Corinthians 2:15) “The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.”  You are doing God’s will and it is for His purpose and glory and He already knows the outcome; therefore, He already knows the process and steps He wants to take to achieve it.  The purification process is also known as sanctification.  (I Thessalonians 5:23) “May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.  May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

When you accept Jesus Christ, you must love, trust and obey Him.  As you do this, God will lead you and guide you and supply all your needs.  As you start to go through the “weeding out process” it will not be easy; so you must stay close to the Lord in prayer and in reading the Word so you will draw from His strength.  He will help you walk according to the Spirit and not according to the world.  You can’t live according to the world and be a child of God.  (I John 2:15-16) “Do not love the world or anything in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For everything in the world– the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world.”  You cannot be a Christian and live according to the way God wants you to, a way pleasing to Him, and live according to the lusts and desires of the world.  (I Corinthians 10:21-22) “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s Table and the table of demons.  Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy?  Are we stronger than He?”

God tells us that when we receive Jesus Christ you are to be holy.  Living a holy life keeps you from falling into temptations that will bring repercussions.  As long as you are a child of God, He will always be with you to help you and hold you up and His Spirit in you will help you to lead the holy life He desires for you.  (Joshua 1:5) “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  When you go through a problem that you just can’t see a way through, remember that God has already been there ahead of you and will guide you, but you have to ask.  (Isaiah 43:1-3) “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.  For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”

The trials you go through are to mold you and help you grow as a Christian, but your Heavenly Father will always protect you.  (Psalm 23:4) “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.”  The sooner you “let go and let God” mold you through trials and stop fighting to feed your own self-will, the sooner you will get through them.  But if you are constantly letting your anger get the best of you then your flesh is still controlling you.  (James 1:19-21) “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.  Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the Word planted in you, which can save you.”

When you are led by the Spirit you will know how to be content and keep your peace. Peace is ours through Jesus Christ.  (John 16:33) “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”  God gives wisdom to handle every situation and you just need to ask and rely on Him.  (James 1:5) “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”  You can overcome the trials of life and still be content and keep your peace.  Paul learned and the hardships he went through were a lot harder than we have it today.  (Philippians 4:11-13) “For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”

Who is controlling you?  Are you led by the Spirit or by your flesh?  Your actions will tell on you.  Examine your ways and then take them to God; ask Him for the strength and wisdom to see what the root behind your anger really is and to help you overcome and be able to go forth in peace in all situations and He will gladly supply!  (James 4:2) “You do not have because you do no ask God.”

 

 

Devotion

God Loves You In Spite of Yourself!

(II Samuel 9:11-13) “So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table like one of the king’s sons.   Mephibosheth had a young son named Mica, and all the members of Ziba’s household were servants of Mephibosheth. And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table, and he was crippled in both feet.”

 

David wanted to bless Mephibosheth and he searched him out just as we did not ask Jesus to die for us; He did it of His own free will and love for us.  (John 10:18) “No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from My Father.”

 

Mephibosheth was lame, crippled in both feet but he did not let that stop him from eating at the kings table everyday.  Has your spiritual growth, your walk in Christ been crippled?  Have you sinned and fallen short and do not know how to get back?  It is easier than you make it, just come!  Repent and He will receive you!  (I John 1:7-9) “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.  If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives.”

 

Don’t let your sins, imperfections and self doubt stop you from dining at the Lord’s table!  Just come!  David did not look down on Mephibosheth because of his imperfections but chose to love him and show kindness in spite of them!  That is the way the Lord is with us, He loves us just the way we are and we do not have to do anything to get Him to love us and to show kindness to us.  We just have to believe and accept Him and His gift of love and blessings!

 

Forget yourself and accept God’s gift of love to you!  (John 1:12-16) “Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.  The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John testifies concerning Him. He cries out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because He was before me.’”  From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another.”

 

 

Devotion, Interview

Discovering Your Passion

  Trials, no one likes them, but they can be a blessing!  What? How is that when at times everything can hit you all at once.  You may have family issues, health issues, relationship issues, job issues, and financial issues.  You may ask how will that be a blessing?

It is in the trials that we learn where our weaknesses are and grow stronger.  This is much like weight training.  You gradually work up to heavier and heavier weights, the more weights you can lift, the stronger you become.  Trials will also bring out what you are passionate about.

I had a troubled marriage and through it, at times I did not feel loved.  This led me to desperately seek the Lord and His love.  I was saved and born again as a result.  A passion grew in me to help others understand the love of God as I learned.  Another passion grew in me to help hurting women discover the princess in Christ they really are and how they deserve to be loved.

From there a desire grew in me to write.  However, your passion grows and what inspires you, follow it!  It does not matter if you make loads of money.   The only thing that does matter, is that it fulfills you and gives you joy!  You have a long life to live, you might as well enjoy it.  I began writing in 2000, the year my youngest son died and God healed my heart in the process because the first book He gave me is called God’s Love.  It deals with the many facets of God’s love.  I truly needed it at that time.  I am now writing my 25th book.

Follow your passion, you don’t know where it will take you!

 

Below are two fellow authors to give you examples of what inspired them and keep watching for more author information!


Your Name: Mary Joslin

Author Joslin Fitzgerald

When were you first published: 2011

What is the title of your latest release: A Cookie and Cake Holiday

a cookie and cake holiday
What is it about:

A Cookie and Cake Holiday is about life, happiness, also love…. and losing all of the above.  Saying that, this teaching, learning book took me two years to write. Needless to say it was a hard story to bring to life.  Because this original fairy tale is teaching a valuable life lesson about how children should deal with loss.

So, knowing that we all loose people who we love. And we all loose things that are important to us . Everybody must find a way to deal with their sorrow, or they will ruin their tomorrows!  That’s why, wanting to make this book TONS OF FUN yet important for children, I blended the hard part of life, with the happiest times!

And writing about all of the happy Holidays where my Happy Campers, actually change colors every month. This book is a delightful fun story that will make every child laugh out loud! And they will all wish they could move to Happy Town! But also seeing things turned Upside down

this story will teach young also old, that the best way to dry your tears and end your fears… is to remember time…. will always be so much better when you find the best things in life!  And that’s true day and night!  Because finding the best things in life, as you stop crying…  that’s when you will begin SMILING!

 

What inspired you to write:

I wanted to help everybody find the best things in life even when things don’t go right!

Do you have an author website, if so list it?

Joslinf.com

List the links below where your book can be published:

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, major distributors, and my web site

 


Name: Christina Dronen

When were you published: June 21, 2017

 What is the title of your latest release: Parenting in Christ: Training in the Disciplines of Jesus

parenting

 

What is it about:
Parenting in Christ: Training In The Disciplines Of Jesus explores some of the disciplines and instructions of Jesus, helping parents to understand and implement them in their lives and their children’s lives.

The disciplines in this book include:

Surrender, Self-Control, Service, Prayer, Solitude, Peacemaking, Simplicity, Generosity, Mercy, and Celebration

Each chapter starts with an ice breaker, followed by the lesson, questions and a challenge. Scripture is weaved throughout each lesson and each topic is wrapped up with something you and your family can easily practice at home. This book lends itself well to a book club, study group, or even a devotional.

What inspired you to write:

I was searching for parenting books that were gospel-centered and encouraged parents to be Christ-like and couldn’t find any. It seemed like all the Christian parenting books took a few pieces of scripture & then followed the methodology of the writer. Some even went so far to say that the author’s way was the only right and true way and anything else would be sin.

As I sat in church over the course of a while, it seemed like sermons were coming alive in terms of their applicability to parenting. So I started taking notes – for myself, to help me become the kind of parent I thought would reflect Jesus. Then I figured other people might be searching for the same thing, so I rewrote for others.

Do you have an author website, if so list it?

http://ChristinaDronen.com

 List the links below where your book can be published:  (Do you mean purchased?)
Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/Christina-Dronen/e/B07344Z7ZB/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Barnes & Noble
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/%22Christina%20Dronen%22?Ntk=P_key_Contributor_List&Ns=P_Sales_Rank&Ntx=mode+matchall

 

Links for the Audiobook – Parenting in Christ: Lessons from the Parables
http://www.christinadronen.com/blog/category/audiobook

 

Please check out their books and their author websites!

I hope you enjoyed this and check back for more authors!

 

Devotion

When Praise Sets In Your Heart: Evil Has to Flee!

 

(I Samuel 16:23) “David would take his harp and play.  Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.”

  

Attacks can come out of nowhere and they will as long as you live here on earth.  Satan will not stop at trying to destroy you walk in Christ.  (I Peter 5:8-9) “Be self-controlled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”  But fear not!!  Jesus suffered and He overcame!  (John 16:33) “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”

When trouble hits, when it seems to invade your life and come out of nowhere, remember that Jesus overcame and He lives within your heart; all you have to do is look within your heart, call on His name and He will be there!  (I John 4:4) “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

King Saul was overcome by pride and jealousy of David; he was at total unrest, but whenever David played his harp, Saul was soothed.  (Psalm 16:11) “You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.”

Satan wants to fill you with fear, worry and anxiety; stealing your joy.  Jesus fills you with joy and abundance of life.  (John 10:10) “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

When Satan invades and starts to bombard your mind with thoughts of worry and fear, put on some praise music or just start singing out to the Lord!!  Those thoughts will just disappear!  (Psalm 22:3) “But You are holy, O You that inhabit the praises of Israel.”

Satan will not stay around and praise God with you!  Start praising and soon your peace will return; it is a peace from God that tells you He is there and will “never leave you nor forsake you.”   (Isaiah 26:3) “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You.”

 

God is love and peace and wherever His Spirit is, there is freedom, peace and joy.  (Galatians 5:22-23) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”  Sing praises to Him, love Him and appreciate Him, He will not let you fall and He will see you through to victory.  (Psalm 60:12) “With God we will gain the victory, and He will trample down our enemies.”

God is true to His Word and if He says He will not forsake you then, coming from the One who died for you, you can count on His Word to be true; He is faithful to it.  (Psalm 145:13) “God is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made.”

Stand on His promises keep an attitude of worship; sing praises to Him and your spirit will continually feel His presence and His peace.  (Psalm 132:13-18) “For the Lord has chosen Zion, He has desired it for His dwelling: “This is My resting place for ever and ever; here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it–I will bless her with abundant provisions; her poor will I satisfy with food.  I will clothe here priests with salvation, and her saints will ever sing for joy.  Here I will make a horn grow for David and set up a lamp for My anointed One.  I will clothe His enemies with shame, but the crown on His head will be resplendent.”

Raise your hands in worship, open your mouth and start praising Him, so your heart will hear and be glad!

 

Raise and praise, it keeps the devil away!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Devotion

Take Your Life Back

(Isaiah 42:6-7) “I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand.  I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.”

 

It is time to take your life and your heart back!  Throw off the weight of bitterness, offense and unforgiveness and give it all to God!!  Let Him take care of it and bear the weight.  “Praise the Lord who daily bears our burdens.” (Psalm 68:19)

Bitterness, anger, resentment, offense, not forgiving, holds you captive!  It steals your life and your joy by keeping you bound. Your heart is bound to the past and boxed in by the anger and bitterness, it is time to be set free.  “But if people are bound in chains, held fast by cords of affliction, He tells them what they have done—that they have sinned arrogantly.  He makes them listen to correction and commands them to repent of their evil.  If they obey and serve Him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment.  But if they do not listen, they will perish by the sword and die without knowledge.  “The godless in heart harbor resentment; even when he fetters them, they do not cry for help.  They die in their youth, among male prostitutes of the shrines.  But those who suffer He delivers in their suffering; He speaks to them in their affliction.” (Job 36:8-15)

It stole your life when it happened and your present because you will not let go of it.  It keeps you bound up in anger, heartache, bitterness and unforgiveness, and in that it keeps you living in the past.  “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:1-3) It is time to get your life back!

Holding on to the anger and resentment only hurts you!  You are allowing the one to hurt you to still hurt you.  They may be out of your life at present, but they are still hurting you by keeping you heart heavy with the weight of bitterness.  It is controlling your joy, stealing it! “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)

When Jesus sent the disciples out two by two, He gave them instructions.  He told them that if people in a town does not receive them, that they are to shake the dust off their feet.  “If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” (Luke 9:5) This is representative of any offense, any resentment etc.  He is telling them to not take that into their future with them.  Leave it in the past where it belongs and move on!

 

You will get upset, your feelings will get hurt.  We live in a fallen world and God gave all men free will.  Some use that free will to the disadvantage of others.  We can with God’s help, throw it off, give it over to Him, allowing Him to heal our hearts while dealing with them, and He will!  Why allow that one to continue to hurt you by staying angry?  That is what you are allowing them to do as long as you carry the weight of bitterness, anger and resentment around with you.  It opens the door to the enemy to poison your heart and steal your joy and your testimony.  Stop it!  “Be angry, yet do not sin.”  Do not let the sun set upon your anger, and do not give the devil a foothold.” (Ephesians 4:26-27)

So get rid of it, give it over to God, He will replace it with His healing love.  “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, outcry and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and tender-hearted to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32)

 Throw it off, get rid of the anger!  Don’t allow the enemy to steal your joy!  “Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.   For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.”  (Psalm 37:8-9)

Keep moving forward and God will take care of the rest.   “Brothers, I do not count myself to have attained, but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.”  (Philippians 3:13)  

 

God forgave us, who then are we to NOT forgive!  That is idolatry, it is placing ourselves above Him.  Your act in not forgiving, but willing to receive His forgiveness is in essence saying, He can forgive me, and I want and expect it, but I DON’T have to forgive that one who hurt me.  Repent for the idolatry and ask for His help to forgive. It is His will to forgive, that is the whole reason He sent Jesus, so He WILL help you to forgive that one who hurt you.

 “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” (Matthew 18:21-22)  

 It is time to take your life back, throw off the anger, bitterness and resentment.  Ask for God’s help to forgive and let go. Ask for His help to heal your heart and help you to move on.  Ask Him to replace that anger with His love and peace.  He says, “ask and you shall receive.”

You are not letting that one off the hook for the hurt they caused.  You are letting yourself off the hook as being judge and jury and giving that back to the One whose job it is to do so, and Who can do a much much better job of discipling that we can.  Everyone will reap what they so, so let go of the anger and choose to be happy!

It is time to take your life back!

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. Whatever a man sows, he will reap in return. The one who sows to please his flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; but the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.  Let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due time we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to the family of faith.” (Galatians 6:7-10)

 

Devotion

Do You Need a Miracle

Do You Need a Miracle?  I wrote this as part of a previous blog, but I strongly felt the Lord leading me to post this again.  Someone needs a miracle, whether it is financial, health, family, relational or a wayward child or life and death issues, God has heard your cry.

 

A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE

                             

     Is there a miracle in store for you?  Just take a look around and see the beauty of the world.  It’s there for all to see.  There are trees big and small and flowers of every color.  There are mountains standing high; some are rocky with a beauty all their own and some are covered with a diversity of trees, with leaves of different sizes and just as beautiful when blowing in the breeze.  There are springs of water everywhere, some flow into rivers, some into lakes and still others into the sea which flows into the oceans wide and deep.

    Is there a miracle in store for you?  The beauty of the world in which God created is a miracle in itself.  But if that is not enough; take a breath.  The air that you breathe and the ability to breathe in itself is a miracle from God.  Look into the eyes of a newborn baby and you will see the miracle of birth and life in which God has given to you and me.

   Is there a miracle in store for you?  From the creation of the world to the breath of life given to each of us, God gives a miracle every day.

   Yet, He gave us another miracle in the birth of Jesus Christ.

  The miracle He gave us in Him is the gift of eternal life.  This gift is for free and it is for all who will believe and receive.  This is the greatest miracle of all!

 

God has heard your cry and all you need to do is:

1. Pray: “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” John 16:24

2. Believe that He heard you and will answer your prayers.  “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:24

3. Receive it and give thanks in advance.

“Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God, and we will receive from Him whatever we ask, because we keep His commandments and do what is pleasing in His sight. ” I John 3:22-23

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.” Psalm 100:4


“Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.” Matthew 15:28

4. Wait on Him:  Things take time!  Be patient and allow God to be God and answer your prayers in His time and His way.  His is the best way and He may be positioning other to use in your miracle.  So wait in faith and patience and He will fullfil the answer to your prayers.

“Still I am certain to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.  Wait patiently for the LORD; be strong and courageous. Wait paitiently for the Lord.” Psalm 27:13-14

“The Lord is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made.” Psalm 145:13

Devotion

In the Garden

  As darkness settled in, His heart grew sorrowful and troubled.  The weight of His mission was weighing heavy on His heart.  Only He knew the depths of what He was about to do.  His friends, more like brothers, although they had spent much time with Him and grew to love, respect and adore Him, could not truly understand the full meaning of His task until it was completed.  His Father would give them true understanding when He finally returned home.

 

Still, as He needed to withdraw into a solitary place to converse with His Father, He did not want to go alone.  Just knowing His friends were there waiting for Him, even if they were not right by His side, would be comforting.   He asked them to wait while He went deeper into the Garden to talk to His Father.

 

As He knelt by a tree in the woods, the heaviness seemed to be almost more than He could stand.  The thought of His Father turning His back on Him even for a moment was more than He could bear.  He knew when His mission was complete, He would not see His friends for a long while, oh yes His Spirit would be with them always but He would not be able to talk to them face to face until it was their time to come to His Father’s house.  This saddened Him as well.

 

He poured out His heart to His Father and sorrow overwhelmed Him.  He felt all alone; He knew He could not express His true emotions of this time to His friends.  Although they had learned a great deal and had grown a lot; He was proud of them, He knew they would not be able to comprehend the vastness of His mission.  As He started to pray, He began to sweat and so overwhelmed it was as drops of blood.  He looked over at His friends and they were asleep.  They could not even stay awake; which proved they could not understand His mission until it was complete.  Although His friends were there, Jesus was all alone.  His sweat was as drops of blood it was so heavy.   He prayed “Father if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”  He prayed through, which means He prayed until “an angel from heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him.” (Luke 22:43)

 

Even Jesus, who was made flesh, understands weakness, sorrow and the overwhelming heartache of being alone.  Dear child of God when you feel as if no one understands you, remember Jesus alone in the Garden the night He was betrayed.  He felt alone that night long ago and He understands.  (Hebrews 2:14-18) “Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels He helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason, He had to be made like His brothers in every way, in order that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that He might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.”

 

As an angel from heaven strengthened Him, His Holy Spirit will strengthen you.  (Psalm 29:11) “The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace.”

 

Go to the Lord in prayer and He will lead and guide you, give you wisdom and peace and make all your crooked paths straight.

 

 

Jesus went through a lot of suffering that we might be saved.  He was beaten beyond human recognition; He was hung on a cross and died at the very hands of those He came to save“Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends.”  But all of our sins put Him there.  Have you received His free gift of salvation?  As long as you still have breath it is not too late; “today is the day of salvation.”  Why don’t you receive Him today?  It is free, what are you waiting for?

 

 

(Proverbs 3:5-6) “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; with all your heart acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

 

In this Christmas season we celebrate the birth of our Risen Lord and Savior.  He went to the cross for all of us.  He took our punishment, He died in our place and He rose from the dead for our justification.  The overwhelming pain He endured, was for us and the salvation of our souls we receive for what He went through, is free!

 

(Luke 18:31-33) Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things which are written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished. “For He will be handed over to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and mistreated and spit upon, and after they have scourged Him, they will kill Him; and the third day He will rise again.”

 

Have you received Jesus as Lord and Savior? Has He risen in your heart?  While you still have breath, it is not too late; afterward, it will be.  Invite Him in today!

Boook excerpt, Devotion

The Day Hope Was Born

Mary walked out of the doctor’s office and just stood there a moment.  The sky was blue, the sun was shining brightly and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.  She smiled as she listened to the birds chirping in the trees in the park across the street.  It was such a beautiful day and after all, she did have the rest of the day off—so she decided to walk across the street to the park and enjoy the beautiful day.  Mary sat on a bench underneath a big oak tree.   She didn’t realize, but she had a smile that radiated a look of wonder and pure joy on her face.  Denise, another patient from the same doctor’s office sure noticed as she sat down beside her.

Denise had just received some bad news; her test results were in and the doctor said that the cancer had spread.  He gave her 6 to 8 months at the most.  She had been receiving radiation treatments on and off for the past few years and just could not beat the cancer.  It look like it won and she felt as if the wind had just been knocked out of her.  She knew she would have to face it one day but until today it never seemed real.  Denise knew Mary had been receiving the same treatments and wondered how she could look so peaceful and full of joy.  Denise just did not understand; how could she be so happy?  It really bothered her so she had to ask.

The two women just sat there a while before Denise finally spoke up, “I saw you at the doctor’s office today; how did your visit go?”  Mary, taking her eyes off the birds in the tree that seemed to have captured her thoughts said, “About the same.  I have to keep going through radiation but the outlook does not look good.  He is going to take some more tests next week.  I had a mastectomy last year and it looks like it is back and has spread.  I guess I will know one way or another in the next week or two if before long I will be making my journey home soon.”

Denise, still in a lot of confusion asked, “Home, what do you mean and how can you look so happy and peaceful after receiving news like that?  The doctor just told me that I have less than a year to live.  My heart is shattered and I don’t know what I am supposed to do now.”

Mary looked at her and smiled.  “My true home is in heaven.  We are all here temporarily.  Life is preparation for eternity in heaven.  Don’t you believe in that?”  Denise looked at her with tears in her eyes and said, “No I don’t.  My parents always told me that life evolved and when we die that is it.  I can’t imagine being here and living one day and then gone the next.”

Mary looked at Denise with a soft look of compassion and gently hugged her.  She looked at her and asked “tell me which of these has the better outlook.  There are 2 boys and one parent told the 1st boy that if he got good grades all year long they would go on a vacation in the summer.  They would go to a place where there would be swimming, boating and fishing, all the things he loved to do.  The other boy’s parents told him that he needed to get good grades, period end of story with no exceptions and he would be in trouble if he didn’t get them.  The school year passed by and the 2nd boy struggled all year long with the pressure that was on him. He looked worried and not as happy as he used to be, he couldn’t wait for the year to get over with and in the end he made 2 D’s.    The 1st boy went through the year, studied hard and there were a few times when he had a rough time and thought he would fail but he was not worried.  He enjoyed the teachers he had this year; school actually seemed kind of fun and at the end of the year he made A’s and B’s.  Which boy went through the year easier due to the hope of a wonderful summer to look forward to?”  Denise looked back at her and said, “that is easy, the 1st boy.”  Mary said, “You are right.  That is what hope does for you.  You have something to look forward to and it gives you strength and encouragement to make it through even the most difficult times.  When you have hope you are happier and a lot more peaceful.  So, looking back at this story which boy would you rather be?”  “The first one,” Denise said.

Mary asked her, “Have you ever heard of Jesus?”   Denise embarrassingly looked at Mary and said, “I have heard a little here and there but whenever I asked my parents about Him they always told me it was nonsense.  They said I had to be logical and there was no way possible that anything I may have heard about Jesus was true.”  Mary asked her, “Since the outlook that you have right now from the doctor’s report is very grim at best and in knowing what hope does for you, do you want to hear about Him now?  Do you want to believe?  Isn’t better to have something to look forward to then to have nothing at all?  Isn’t it better to believe that death is just traveling through a door from one life to another rather than thinking you are hear one day and gone the next?  Even if I am not right, I have hope, joy and peace instead of sadness; which one would you rather have?  Denise sat there a moment.  There was a long pause between them as she dwelled on everything Mary had just told her.  Mary made sense and she did always seem to be happy every time she saw her at the doctor’s office.  With that in mind she looked back at Mary and said, “I want to believe.”

Mary told her to sit back and listen to a story, a story about the day Hope was born.   Long, long ago just as a watch has to have a creator, a watchmaker, it just does not all of a sudden appear, God created the world.  God is spirit, He is love and truth.  There is no flesh in Him.  He wanted someone to love; just like all of us.  So, He created man.  Knowing that we are flesh and the flesh is weak, it causes us to be tempted, so God gave man laws to follow.  Although, He knew we would never be able to follow them.   Just like the 2nd boy in the story.  Having rules to follow puts pressure on you and under pressure, most people do fall.  The laws were only put in place to show us that we needed Him; after all everyone wants to be needed.  He had a plan all along; but God is a God of covenant and there were consequences to breaking the law, consequences that would keep us from Him.  He did not want that because the reason He created us in the first place was to be with Him in eternity as one family forever and ever; to be with Him in heaven.  Heaven is a place where there is no sadness or death or sickness or evil, only love. God is love.  The sin and evil of mankind grew but God being love, still loved us and wanted us with Him.  Most people will only love when loved back.  God loved us when He created us and He loves even when we sin against Him.  Love cannot deny itself.

God knew He had to put His plan into action or all of mankind would end up in hell and away from Him.  Since the flesh is weak and “all fall short of the glory of God” He knew He would have to work out salvation Himself.  In order to take on the sentence of death that the law brought and to understand the weaknesses of the flesh God knew He had to come down in the form of a man, but He still had to be God so here is where Mary the Virgin Mother of God comes in; as told in the Old Testament from the line of David comes a Savior.  The Holy Spirit visited Mary who was from the line of David and she became pregnant with Jesus.  She had not been with Joseph in any way yet; so the birth of Jesus was strictly by the power of the Holy Spirit.  This way Jesus was all man and all God.

It was time for her to give birth and there was no room for her at the inn so Joseph made a bed for her and the baby Jesus in a nearby manger.  The stars were out in the sky and the animals were all around.  Even the animals knew.  An angel appeared to some shepherds keeping watch over their flocks nearby and told them of the Messiah that was about to be born.  3 kings far away even heard of His birth and they took off at once to see this awesome sight.    A bright shining star led them directly to Him.  They brought Him gifts of gold, incense and myrrh.  The gold represents His deity and the incense and myrrh represent the sweet smelling aroma of our love and praises.  The moment was there and Jesus was born.   There was a bright light shining all around Him.  He radiated the love and the glory of God.  All who saw Him knew that this was indeed the Son of God.  That night Hope and Love was born.  Hope that life does not end here on earth, hope for a Savior, hope for when no one else is there to love you, help you and give you victory over every situation God is there to do just that and His love never ends.  Over 2000 years ago Hope and Love was born to mankind.  God came to earth to save us. Jesus suffered at the hand of mankind and was hung on a cross and died and was buried.  All by the mankind He came to save.  He knew we would do that to Him and did it anyway.  He rose on the third day and ascended into heaven, but He left His Holy Spirit with us to dwell in all who will receive Him.  His Spirit gives us His love, hope, peace, joy, strength and ability to endure all situations.    All who believe in Him, receive Him as Lord and ask Him into their heart have this same hope and are given the right to be children of God.

(John 1:12) “Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.”

Mankind needed a Savior and looked in all the wrong places.  God wants our love and He wants us to be with Him.  He wants it freely; He does not manipulate.  The Bible tells of God and His love, it tells of who God is; it is His story.   Satan lies, tempts and deceives.  Satan came to earth to destroy Gods beloved creation. So when Satan came down to destroy us, Jesus came down to save us.  He promises us that we will live with Him in eternity forever.

(John 3:16-17) “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”

 

God knew that in order for us to have His love and joy He needed to give it to us to live within us through His Holy Spirit.

(Romans 15:13) “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

(Galatians 2:19-20) “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God.  I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”

 

Since God is Spirit, through Jesus born into the world and after His resurrection we were able to receive His Spirit.  All you have to do is believe and ask for forgiveness.  We “all fall short of the glory of God,” since we are flesh and the flesh is weak and in the light of a Holy God not one of us could live up to the conditions of the law.  So, we all sin; you must believe in His unselfish act of love, ask for forgiveness and receive Him; ask Him into your heart.  Then you can have the same hope that I have; the hope of going home.

(I Peter 1:3-5) “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”

 

Denise had been listening so intently with tears rolling down her face.  She wiped the tears from her cheeks and said, “You make it seem so clear.  Especially after explaining what it really means to have hope.  It is like I won’t really be dying, but moving to a new home, a better one.  Tell me again how I can have this hope, how I can have this promise of a new home.  Tell me how to be saved?

Mary reached over with overwhelming joy at the prospect of having a new sister in Christ and hugged her!  She told her,

(Romans 10:9-10) “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

Denise prayed with Mary and the light of God’s love and joy filled her heart and her face.  She glowed with the love of God.  She finally understood the peace that Mary had because she had it too.  She also had the same hope.  Today Hope was born in Denise’s heart.  She may have only 6-8 months here on earth but she now knew she had an eternity in heaven to look forward too.

 

This is  one of the short stories you can find in my book: The Day Hope was Born: God’s Gift of Love.

hope

You can find this on sale at:

Penitpublications.com

and at:     Amazon.com

Devotion

Keeping Christmas in Perspective

    Christmas has become very commercialized; it has become about buying presents instead of giving.  The malls are crowed with people trying to buy their family members and friends the most expensive gifts.  That is ok as long as in the center of the season is Christ.  You can live on the streets or in the largest mansion and still have the spirit of Christmas in your heart.  Christmas is not about gifts; it is about the Giver and His ultimate gift of love.  (Isaiah 9:6) “For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders.  And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

As long as you have Him in your heart you can celebrate Christmas wherever you are and whenever you want.  Christmas is about the ultimate gift of love born into a spiritually dying world to bring us peace, love and salvation.    (John 3:16) “For God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

You can speak about everything else and even the devil and every other religion but mention Christ at Christmas!!  Some stores in becoming politically correct are now calling the Christmas tree a holiday tree.  Do you want to please man, or the One who died for you?  Are you going to be politically correct and draw tears from the Savior’s eyes, or put a smile in His heart?

We need to go back to the beginning when love was first born into the world.  God saw that there was no one to atone for the sins of the world, so He sent Himself in the form of Jesus.  (Isaiah 59:16-17) “He saw that there was no one, He was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so His own arm worked salvation for Him, and His own righteousness sustained Him.  He put on the righteousness as His breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped Himself in zeal as in a cloak.”

There is no greater show of love that to lay down your life for someone else.  (John 15:13) “Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends.”  Jesus is that love and that is how we know what love is, (I John 3:16) “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us.  And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”

Let us remember Jesus in this season; the time that God’s never-ending, always abounding love, grace, truth and forgiveness was birthed into the world.   When you ask if maybe He has a miracle in store for you, ask yourself, have you received the best miracle of all?  Have you received Him and His free gift of salvation?  It is not too late.

 

 

  A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE

                             

     Is there a miracle in store for you?  Just take a look around and see the beauty of the world.  It’s there for all to see.  There are trees big and small and flowers of every color.  There are mountains standing high; some are rocky with a beauty all their own and some are covered with a diversity of trees, with leaves of different sizes and just as beautiful when blowing in the breeze.  There are springs of water everywhere, some flow into rivers, some into lakes and still others into the sea which flows into the oceans wide and deep.

    Is there a miracle in store for you?  The beauty of the world in which God created is a miracle in itself.  But if that is not enough; take a breath.  The air that you breathe and the ability to breathe in itself is a miracle from God.  Look into the eyes of a newborn baby and you will see the miracle of birth and life in which God has given to you and me.

   Is there a miracle in store for you?  From the creation of the world to the breath of life given to each of us, God gives a miracle every day.

   Yet, He gave us another miracle in the birth of Jesus Christ.

  The miracle He gave us in Him is the gift of eternal life.  This gift is for free and it is for all who will believe and receive.  This is the greatest miracle of all!

 

 

Examine your life and how you have been celebrating Christmas.  Have you been keeping Christ in Christmas or have you gone commercial as well?  Have you ever invited Him into your heart?  If, not He is just a prayer away and it will be the best Christmas present you will ever receive!  This gift does not expire and does not go bad, the Lord’s free gift of salvation lasts for all eternity!