GOD’S SURPRISES – Who loves surprises? Ummm…like everyone! Leo once told me, “I think God is going to really surprise you.” We all love to surprise our kids. We love to see the look on their faces when we hand them something that they were not expecting. We treat them because we love them! God is the same way – He treats us because He loves us. James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.(NKJ) Thank Jesus for the gifts that He has given you – Surprise!
TICK – TOCK – Can you hear it? It’s time ticking; time goes by, and that’s a fact. Time is a strange thing. When we are waiting for something, time goes by so S-L-O-W, and when we finally get to do what we have been waiting for, time goes by so fast. The Lord has been teaching me just how precious ‘time’ really is. We need to make the most of our time, all of the time! Every second of our lives is precious. Every moment that we get to spend with our family is a gift from God. Every moment that we get to spend in the presence of Jesus is totally amazing. Take advantage of TODAY! Tick-tock, tick-tock…Eccl 3:1 To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.
TODAY – “Don’t count the days. Make the days count.” So many times in life we are looking at the road ‘up ahead’ and we are missing out on what is right in front of us – and what is right in front of us is – TODAY! Each and everyday is a precious gift from the Lord that we often take for granted. We humans are very impatient, but God, on the other hand, has complete patience – He has all the time in the world ‘literally’. He wants to speak to you TODAY. He longs to do a work in you TODAY. He has things to show you TODAY. Don’t miss out on what Jesus has for you TODAY because you are anxiously waiting for tomorrow. Open up His Word and see His sweet promises to you. Open up your eyes today and see God’s rainbow that is surrounding your life! Psalms 96:1-2 Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! Sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, bless His name; proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.
FISH FOOD – Have you ever given much thought to ‘fish food’? Let me rephrase that question – Have you ever given much thought to Jonah? Jonah knew for a fact that God spoke to him. Jonah knew for a fact what the Lord called him to do. And Jonah knew for a fact that he did not want to do it. So, Jonah ran from a specific calling that the Lord placed on his life. Have you ever done that? Has the Lord ever told you something very specifically but it was actually the last thing on earth that you wanted to do? Maybe it doesn’t even make sense to you but you know that Almighty God spoke it. It can happen, and it did happen. Jonah ran and Jonah became fish food. There is no running from God’s plan; even if you run for a thousand miles (I’ve tried it). It will happen, one way or another, in His perfect timing. God will intervene in your life when you run. Instead, place yourself into His hand. Place yourself into obedience unto Him. Stay on the path that He has set before you, or else…or else what? Or else you will become fish food! Jonah 1:3, 4, 17 – V.3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD…V.4 But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea…V.17 Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. (NKJ) Read all of Chapter 2 to see how Jonah handled being fish food!
BE AN OVERCOMER – Have you ever felt like a ton of bricks has fallen on top of you; whether mentally, physically, or spiritually? We have all watched the shows where a brick wall actually falls on top of a super hero. You sit there waiting, because you know what’s about to happen, and then all of a sudden, you see their arm pushing through the bricks! Super heroes always overcome the odds that are against them. Well, those shows are for fun, but we have a real super friend, Jesus Christ, that actually gives us real super-natural power, that enables us to always overcome. We can always push through those bricks that we are facing. Maybe you need to push through a job situation, a financial difficulty, problems in a relationship, or health issues. Maybe you need to even push through an ordained God-situation that He has specifically made to fit who you are in Him, in your time of testing. Push Through – You are an overcomer! What are a few bricks anyway? I John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world– our faith. (NKJ)
DON’T CRUMBLE – What happens when you crush a cookie? Pressure is applied and the cookie crumbles. It’s so easy for us to crumble under the pressures of life sometimes. It’s so easy for us to walk in our flesh, curl up in a corner, and just give up, but don’t! Don’t crumble under the pressure. Whether you are facing pressures on the job, in your home, in your relationships, i.e., wherever the pressure is coming from, walk in the confidence of Christ. Your identity is in Christ and He will hold you together. We can all be one tough cookie because Jesus Christ is our special ingredient – He keeps us from crumbling! Isaiah 40:29 He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. (NKJ)
THE APPOINTMENT MAKER – Have you ever had to break an appointment? Maybe something just came up in your life and you had to cancel. Do you realize that God never cancels and breaks His appointments? God has specific things appointed for each one of us. Maybe you feel like you should be working at a different job. Maybe you feel like you should be living somewhere else. Maybe you know the Lord has spoken a promise to you and it has been years in the waiting. The Lord could not fulfill His promise to Sarah until it was the ‘Appointed Time’. The Appointments that God has for you have already been set; the dates and the times have already been prepared. It’s a done deal – according to the time of life! Genesis 18:14 “Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.” (NKJ) Now that’s worth taking a deep breath…. and relaxing!
THE DRIVE – “Are we there yet Daddy?” How many times have we heard that coming from the backseat of our car? We say that as children, but then we continue to say that as adults to our Heavenly Father. The Lord is taking each one of us somewhere – His Destination – and we often become antsy during the drive. We need to enjoy the scenery of what is right in front of us, instead of trying to see what’s way ahead. The Lord is taking us on the trip of a lifetime, so take full advantage of the road that you are on right now. The drive itself is a great adventure! Stop asking, “Are we there yet ABBA?” As long as ABBA is with you – You are already there!!! Galatians 4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” (NKJ)
YOU ARE MORE – Have any problems in your life? Have any financial strain? Have any pain of any kind, whether mental or physical? Whatever you are facing, you are so much more! We have to stay positive, even in the midst of the negative. We have to rise above because – because we can! In Christ we can take a down in the dumps moment, and turn it right side up. We are so much more than what we are facing. Choose to be more! Romans 8:37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
POISON – What comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘poison’? Is it – Danger! Is it – Don’t touch that! Is it – Stay Away! If I tried to hand you a spoon of rat poison you would not touch it and you sure wouldn’t taste it. So why do we put our hands on sin? Why do we taste sin? Why do we look at sin and think about sin? Sin is poison, and until we look at it with those eyes we might just play around with it, thinking that it is harmless. You can’t play with poison – you wouldn’t play with poison. Yes, we do have God’s grace that covers our sin, and I think that a lot of Christians walk around with this mentality – “If I sin, God will just forgive me.” Don’t try to dress up your sin – it is Poison! The poison of sin put the Son of God on the Cross because of God’s love for you. What do you think the poison of sin will do to you because of God’s love for you? Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? (NKJ)
LOOK BEYOND – Isn’t it amazing what binoculars can do? You can’t see it with your human eyes but as soon as you look into those binoculars – it’s right in front of you! We have a tendency to look at things in life with just our human eyes, and in thus doing, we put limits on God. Do you think that you can walk around not believing something and expect to actually achieve it? You must first truly believe it in order to see it. Then once you see it you can then achieve it! Look beyond the problems to the solutions. Look beyond the obstacles to the opportunities. Look beyond the impossible to the possibilities! Put on your Spiritual Binoculars – It’s right in front of you!!! Numbers 24:4 The utterance of him who hears the words of God, who sees the vision of the Almighty, who falls down, with eyes wide open (NKJ)
MAKE IT PERSONAL – How personal do you get when it comes to the relationships in your life? Do you keep most people an arm’s distance away, so to speak? The more personal you become with someone, the closer the connection that you will have with them. Jesus got as personal as it can get – He gave His life for you, in order that you could truly live. Everything about Him is personal! Make it personal – Every time you open up The Word, it’s just for you! When you feel His Spirit during worship, it’s just for you! He hung on the cross just for you! He rose from the dead just for you!He made His relationship with you very personal. You have to get to know Him personally, in order for your life to be changed permanently. Romans 10:8-11 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” (NKJ)
FULL CIRCLE – Think about Joseph – It took years and years for his life to come full circle. Should he have not spoken of his dream to his brothers? Think about what Joseph’s brothers did – They judged him for the future, in the present….chew on that one for awhile. But because Joseph spoke, it began a chain of events in his life that would bring him to the place that he needed to be in order for the prophecy to come to pass. Joseph was also judged for the way things appeared to the human eye. He did not lust for his master’s wife but the king listened to the interpretation of one woman and cast Joseph into prison. God knew the truth concerning Joseph’s heart, in both of these incidences. And Joseph knew the truth of his God! It may take years, and you may travel down a difficult path, but trust God to bring things full circle in your life. God always does what He says! Num 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (NKJ)
A DIFFERENT FIRE – Would you strike a match and place it in your mouth?….oh, but we all have! James 3:5-6 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. (NKJ) When people speak things that should not be spoken, a fire is lit, and depending on what ears are listening, great damage could be caused. Do your best, in Christ, to put that fire out immediately. We should only speak things that uplift other people. Put out fires when you know someone is stirring things up.
WALKING TOWARDS DEATH – Do you realize that we should be walking towards death every single day? We, our flesh, must die completely in order for Christ to fully arise within us. He is ready, and willing, to give us as much of His power as we want, but we must first die in order to receive it. Yes, by His grace we are saved; by faith and not of works, least anyone should boast. But there is a whole lot of grace-filled flesh walking around this earth that is powerless because God’s children are unwilling to walk towards death. On this day, Good Friday, ponder Christ Himself walking towards death – He did this every day of His life, and even more so on this here day. The Walk to Calvary – Our walk with Christ! Luke 9:23 – “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Walking towards death is painful, but Jesus is not asking you to do something that He did not do first. Death died when Christ arose! Your flesh dies when Christ arises within you!
MEANINGFUL MESS – Is there really such a thing? Every morning for 2 1/2 years I was the privileged individual that got to clean up after two hundred teenagers. And you thought cleaning up after your couple of kids was a challenge?! Every piece of paper crumbled up on the floor, all the dirt scattered around the floor, and even plastic colored eggs placed in certain places in the restroom…ALL of that mess was meaningful. Why? Because every teenager that walks the hallways of Harper I.S.D. has a heart. A heart this is happy at times and a heart that is sad at times. They didn’t usually mean to make a mess of things – it just happened. Have you ever made a mess of things with Jesus? You probably didn’t mean to. Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together,” says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”(NKJ)
NO FEAR – Sometimes in life Jesus will come to you and ask you to do something that sounds totally crazy. In fact, you may even think that Jesus is a ghost! Jesus came walking on water…crazy to us humans! Peter stepped out in faith and began walking on water too….and then he started to sink. When you know that God has called you out for a specific purpose, keep your eyes fixed on Him, and you will be able to walk on top of the impossible. Don’t think about the depth of the problem that lies beneath you; sometimes it can be very, very deep. Think about Jesus and the promise that is out in front of you! Trust God – He is not a ghost – Believe Him! Matt 14:26-27 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” (NKJ) Do not sink into the depth of your problem – Walk on top of the impossible!
KNOW THE LOVE – Have you ever faced difficult times? Possibly financial, health, relationships…you name it….we have all faced times of difficulty. That is what you call LIFE. So, how do we stand strong through difficult times? I believe it is only by ‘Knowing’. We never stand strong by ‘Feeling’. Ephesians 3:19 To KNOW THE LOVE of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (NKJ) No one ever has to walk around feeling empty, no matter what they are facing. When we know the love of Christ, truly know His Love, we are then filled with the fullness of God. Heard of the saying – “Feelin’ the love”? My saying is – KNOWIN’ THE LOVE!!!
PREPARE – Are you preparing for anything in your life? 1) To make ready beforehand for some purpose, use, or activity. 2) To put in a proper state of mind. We all prepare for things – prepare our home for guest, prepare our vehicles for a long trip, prepare materials for business meetings. Are you preparing anything for the LORD? Isaiah 40:3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”
NEW EVERY DAY – How can something be ‘new’ every single day and yet never ever change? This is called God! He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, but yet Jesus has something exciting and new for you every single day. We serve a very interesting God. He is not boring – He wants to blow your mind! Christianity should never be ‘same ole, same ole’. You want to know why? Because Jesus Christ wants to TOUCH YOU and when Jesus Christ touches you, it is never ‘same ole, same ole’! He truly is fresh and new every single day because in this moment, right now at this very second, Jesus is breathing life into your life – and every single breath from the mouth of God is different than His last breath. Ezekiel 37:5 ‘Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. (NKJ) Isaiah 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. (NKJ)
FILL UP THE BOWL – Think about how many items you place in a bowl. You probably place things in a bowl on a daily basis. Whether its cereal, fruit, ice cream, oatmeal, beans, rice…you get the picture. Did you realize that something very important of yours is being placed in a bowl for all of eternity? I just love things like this – God’s word excites me like no other! Okay, are you ready for this? Your very own prayers are being placed in a bowl. Check this out: Revelation 5:8 Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. (NKJ) You are a saint. Your prayers are as incense unto the Lord and they are placed in a golden bowl. The next time you get a bowl out of the cabinet, think about that. Think about your prayers. Your prayers have power in the name of Jesus. Your prayers are important to the Lord. They are so important to Him that He has places them in a golden bowl! Fill up the bowl TODAY!!!
CHILD LIKE FAITH – Has anyone ever told you that you have child-like faith? If so, huge compliment! Believe like a child – even when others may think it silly! When all 4 of our daughters still lived at home (years & years ago) they would pray every night for a conversion van. We had absolutely no money and the vehicle we owned was totally falling apart. Leo and I would just look at each other as our girls prayed this prayer EVERY NIGHT. We knew that God had to do it because we sure couldn’t. One morning cops were banging on our front door at 6.am. A truck from the top of the hill slipped out gear (with no one in it), rolled down the hill and smashed our vehicle all up! The next day we held in our hands an insurance check for $5,500. Guess what we bought? A conversion van! Luke 18:16 But Jesus called them to Him and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.” (NKJ)
APRIL 5 – IN CHARGE – Who’s the boss? There’s always someone in charge; that is just a fact of life. But the main person in charge, in all of life, is Jesus Christ. God will never do any thing in your life that goes against His Word (Holy Scriptures) and God will ALWAYS do what He has spoken – whether your ‘human mind’ understands it or not. So, get ready, because He is in charge! Isaiah 45:9-11 Woe to him who strives with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth! Shall the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’ Or shall your handiwork say, ‘He has no hands’?Woe to him who says to his father, ‘What are you begetting?’ Or to the woman, ‘What have you brought forth? Thus says the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker: Ask Me of things to come concerning My sons; and concerning the work of My hands, you command Me. (NKJ)
APRIL 2 – ORDAINED SUFFERING – No one likes to have a broken heart, but many times in life when our heart is broken, it is the will of God. 1 Peter 4:19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator. (NKJ) Walk with the Lord every day. Trust Him every day, and come what may, you will make it through the days of suffering. God is faithful. He has already gone ahead of you and conquered your pain. Suffering does not mean you are out of God’s will – It might just mean you are exactly where He wants you. Trust God – He knows what He is doing!
MARCH 31 – BEAUTY IN WILTING – Have you ever seen a wilted flower? I bought flowers several weeks ago and I planted all of them. For five days they were all absolutely beautiful but then wilting took place! Two of them totally and completely wilted..and I mean totally collapsed. They were laying flat on the ground, and they were both originally around eight inches in height. Yep, they were goners! I even talked to the Lord about them. “Lord Your word says that you take care of the lilies. What about these?” I was half-heartily joking with the Lord (Him and I do that….we laugh together) and I wasn’t ‘really’ praying for my flowers. You are never going to believe this one – two days later they totally and completely sprang back up; they were filled with life again! Have you ever felt wilted in life? We may feel totally and completely collapsed by the circumstances of our lives but don’t lose hope – You will spring back up to life and you will be more beautiful than ever! Matthew 6:28 “Consider the lilies of the filed, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin”…God does it – And God will do it in you!
MARCH 29 – ADVENTURES IN CHRIST – Do you realize how exciting Jesus is? This morning I went to the beach to watch the sun rise, but there was one little issue – it was sprinkling very heavily. A man walked by and said,“You are crazier than most; sitting out here in the rain!” I said, “What are you talking about? You are out here in the rain too!” He said, “Yea, but I am out here for profit.” He had a metal detector and was scanning the sand for coins. Guess what I said then, “I am out here for profit too! I am praying to God.” He looked at me very puzzled, and then he smiled. He proceeded to say, “Well, my profit is a little different from your profit. The whole God thing really makes you wonder, with all of the cruelty in the world. Don’t you think?” I saId, “That’s why it’s called ‘Faith’! You trust and believe no matter what you see.” He walked off, but then five minutes later he came back and our conversation continued! God is wooing this man unto Himself! Be Excited Today – There are many adventures in Christ awaiting you! Joshua 1:3 “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon (even the sandy places) I have given you, as I said to Moses.”…I added the sandy places – Oh, Smile – It is a glorious day!!!
MARCH 26 – WALK IN THE LAND – Have you ever gone on a walk with someone? As you are walking, you are talking. You can really get to know someone by taking walks with them. Each and everyday we are given the incredible opportunity of walking with Jesus Christ. And as you are walking with Him, He will make His presence known to you…and to those around you. I have recently been in contact with teen girls involved in Human Trafficking and they each were open to hear about my walk with the Lord. Walk in ‘Your Land’ with Jesus, and He will take you on incredible journeys! Genesis 13:17 “Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you.” (NKJ)
MARCH 24 – RECOGNIZE JESUS – Have you ever put much thought into this: God’s chosen people did not recognize Him! They had been worshipping Him for thousands of years. They had studied the scriptures, and still, when He stood right in front of their face, they did not recognize Him. Because Jesus came to them in a different manner, than their preconceived ideas, they missed seeing Him. If His own chosen people missed seeing Him, you might also miss seeing Him. Is Jesus standing right in front of your face too, coming to you in a different manner than your preconceived ideas? An elder once told me, “God can do whatever He wants to do – Just read the stories in His Word!” The “religious” did not recognize Jesus – Make sure that you do! Luke 15:1-2 Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” (NKJ)
NUMB – PAST FEELING – Have you ever been so hurt in life that you reach a point of becoming numb? A lot of us have, but that is not a good place to be – I learned that 20 years ago. Numb means being devoid of sensation but it can also mean being devoid of emotion. It’s better to feel extreme pain, than to allow a person, or a situation, to take you to that place of numbness. The Lord has given us human feelings for a reason. When we take ourselves to a place of “Past Feeling” we will enter into a very dark place. Ephesians 4:19-20 ‘who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ.’ (NKJ) God has a purpose in your pain. Allow yourself to feel the pain. Do not grow numb. Do not go ‘past feeling’, in your pain. Learn From Him!
MARCH 18 – SWALLOW IT – Bite your tongue – Speak not a word – Walk in complete humility – Why do these things? Because you are not doing these things for ‘men’ you are doing these things for the Lord! James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. (NKJ) When you do everything for El Roi – The God who sees – nothing else matters because ‘”He Sees!” God sees exactly what is going on in your situation. Half of the time, when we attempt to explain the motives of our heart, people do not understand; no need to try and defend yourself with human words to humans. Rather, humble yourself before the Lord. God will step in on your behalf, in His timing. God will lift you up!
MARCH 17 – ENCOURAGE YOURSELF – Do you ever feel down in the dumps? Have I got some great news for you – there is a solution! 1 Samuel 30:6 But David encouraged himself in the LORD his God. (KJV) David was greatly distressed and he did exactly what he needed to do in that situation – He encouraged himself in the Lord! The Lord is always there for you, in a very personal, individual way. He will see you through, no matter what you are facing. It’s all going to be OK. It’s all going to work out. Be Encouraged Today – Encourage Yourself In The Lord Your God!
MARCH 14 – MORE THAN EVER – Has anyone ever told you, “I love you more than ever!”? Leo tells me this often. He says the more he knows me, the more he loves me. It’s the same with my relationship with the Lord – the more I get to know Jesus, the more I love Him. On the other hand, do you realize that Jesus will never love you more? There’s nothing that you can do or say that will increase His love for you or decrease His love for you. Jesus Christ has already loved you more than ever – Past, Present, and Future! John 15:12-13 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. (NKJ)
MARCH 13 – A BURNING – Has the Lord ever placed a burning inside of you, concerning a specific calling on your life? The burning of this calling will never leave you because the Lord has placed a fire in you by His Holy Spirit. ‘The Call’ may seem overwhelming, but step out in faith, because Jesus is in the midst of you! Once He places His fire inside of you, there is no running from it, no matter how hard you try. Trust God and Burn for His Plan and His Purpose – Even When Things Heat Up! Exodus 3:2 And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. (NKJ)
MARCH 12 – YOUR TREE – Have you ever given much thought to “a tree”? I mean, after all, a tree is a tree, right? The LORD appeared to Abraham by the terebinth trees of Mamre (Gen 18) and spoke these words – “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” We also see Elijah being touched by the angel of the LORD while spending time under a broom tree in I Kings 19. Elijah was running for his life and the Lord strengthened him with food which enabled him to journey to the mountain of God, in Horeb. It was on this mountain where Elijah heard the still small voice of the Lord. I have my own personal tree where I worship and pray – its a palm tree by the pond where I run, and the Lord ministers to me under that tree. Spend time under “Your Tree” and listen, because you will hear the still small voice of the Lord when you are truly seeking Him!
MARCH 10 – BROKEN – Have you ever knocked over a glass before and it broke into a hundred pieces? Of course, we all have. It breaks all over the place, and then we have to carefully clean it up. Our lives can be the same way – Something happens in our life, it knocks us over, and then we ‘feel’ like our heart/our spirit has been broken into a hundred pieces. Thank goodness we do not have to clean up the broken pieces of our own lives. Jesus, very carefully, takes our broken pieces and turns them into beautiful gems that reflect His love, grace, and mercy. Brokenness shines in the hand of Almighty God! Psalms 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart– these, O God, You will not despise. (NKJ) Shine Through The Broken!
MARCH 9 – YOUR ANSWER – Do you realize that God has an answer “Just For You”? Our Lord is into details, and He is into the specific details of your life. We often “feel” like God is not giving us our answer, when all along our answer from God is the very moment that we are actually walking through right now. In Jeremiah 32 God tells Jeremiah to buy a field which is presently owned by someone else. The field is in Anathoth. Anathoth means “Answer”. Jeremiah 32:7 “Buy my field which is in Anathoth, for the right of redemption is yours to buy it.”‘ (NKJ) You may feel like you are walking aimlessly through a field right now, when all along, God’s answer for you is in that field. Take hold of your Anathoth – God is answering you right now, at this very moment!
MARCH 5 – A HUMMING HEART – How often do you hum? Think about it. Our hearts should be bursting with so much joy that humming should be a natural overflow from within us! We are the children of the Most High God and nothing should take a smile off of our face and the hum out of our heart! Think about it – So unbelievable! He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is The Christ! He is The Savior of the whole entire world! Fall to your knees today in awe of the Great I AM…..and do some hummin’ too! Rev 19:16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. Psalms 33:8-9
MARCH 4 – THE CALL TO SUFFER – Who wants to be “Called by God” to suffer? Anyone? None of us ‘want’ to suffer but many of us are called to suffer. Suffering is necessary to complete you; to complete the course that the Lord has orchestrated in your life. Acts 9:15-16 “But the Lord said to him, Go for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” Do Not Run From Suffering – Embrace It!
MARCH 3 – PASSION – Have you ever been so passionate about something that when you speak about it you can feel an intense fire rising up inside of you? As I continue to take steps of faith speaking about the realities of our modern sexualized culture, I am becoming even more passionate to the Lord’s calling. The world is seeking passion. People are looking for a fire to be lit inside of them. Let’s lead them to the most passionate person that they will ever encounter – Jesus Christ – who in turn will set them on fire! Romans 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. (NKJ)
MARCH 2 – BOXES – Have you ever put God in a box? I believe that many times we do that, as humans. We set up our perimeters and say “God will only do this, and God would never do that.” One thing that we know for sure – God will never do anything that goes against scripture – other than that, who’s to say….God! God gave us this verse for a reason: Isaiah 55:8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. (NKJ) God is outside of time and God is outside of the human mind. If God has never done anything in your life that totally blows your human mind – see if you have any boxes in your life – you may have placed God in it. Heb 11:1
FEBRUARY 28 – IN THE MIDST – Do you want to know how strong you really are? Just walk through a storm in your life and you will find out real fast! “Your Midst” will be tested. Definition for ‘Midst’ – interior or central part or point. What’s in the midst of you? Psalms 46:5 God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. (NKJ) Stand strong – don’t move! Do not allow circumstances or people to move you from your faith. Keep Standing – because just at the break of dawn – The Son shall rise up on your behalf in your life – God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
FEBRUARY 23 – A LITTLE FARTHER – Have you ever wanted to throw in the towel and just quit? Well, I am here to challenge you today to keep hanging on to that towel and take it a little farther! Jesus is always our example, pertaining to all things in life….even pertaining to holding onto that towel! We learn from Him. He has the power to push you beyond what you ever thought was even possible. He has wisdom to give you that does not pertain to the things of this world but that pertain to His will for His Kingdom. Jesus always went ‘a little farther’ and He never quit – He always did His Father’s will. Stay on God’s path always, because in time, God is going to bring to completion His will in your life – keep going ‘a little farther’ – Matt 26:39 He went “a little farther” and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (NKJ)
FEBRUARY 22 – ONLY WORDS – Has anyone ever made accusations against you that were just not true? Has anyone ever cursed your actions and judged you harshly? If so, what did that do to you? Let me rephrase that question – what did you ‘allow’ that to do to you? My pastor taught me this last night – Proverbs 26:2 “Like a flitting sparrow, like a flying swallow, so a curse without cause shall not alight.” An undeserved curse is not going to rest on you! If you have done nothing wrong don’t allow words of another to steal your joy. They are only words! When you know who you are in Christ, you are able to move forward with confidence and move forward in the strength of the Lord!
No Worries – Do you think ducks worry? Yesterday afternoon I ran down to the pond. As I was watching the incredible water fountains, I was also watching the ducks. They were chilling out with me; just enjoying the view! They fluffed their feathers and got back into the water. They swam around the fountains and would disappear under the water for several seconds at a time. I started smiling and I immediately thought of this verse – Matthew 6:26-27 “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? (NKJ) Don’t worry about your circumstance – God’s got it covered! He is in control at all times and you are of value to Him! Today, fluff your feathers and chill out….and SMILE!
FEBRUARY 17 – GODS PLAN – Have you ever thought ‘No Way’ until God told you ‘Yes Way’? When I first ‘unofficially’ met Leo I had these exact thoughts, “No way buddy. Not in a million years. It will NEVER happen.” Then one year later when I ‘officially’ met Leo at the picnic every thing changed. Why? How? Because then it was God’s timing and it was God’s plan! A year earlier it was not yet time for me to know that particular calling of God in my life. The Lord had not yet revealed those plans to me. God will do what He wills, when He wills, no matter what man thinks! And I praise God for that because Leo loves me with the love of the Father! Acts 5:38-39 “And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing;”but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it– lest you even be found to fight against God.”
FEBRUARY 16 – THE FIRE OF HIS WORD – Has the Lord ever spoke something to you and it heated up your life? When God speaks, listen. God will never speak anything against His Word and what God speaks will always line up to His Word. Other than that, get ready, because our God speaks amazing things that will heat up your life! When God speaks He will put a fire in you that cannot be extinguished! A fire that cannot be put out by others, or by circumstances. Do not be afraid when things heat up, according to God’s plan! Deut 4:35-36 “To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD Himself is God; there is none other besides Him. “Out of heaven He let you hear His voice, that He might instruct you; on earth He showed you His great fire, and you heard His words out of the midst of the fire. (NKJ)
FEBRUARY 15 – CLIMBING TO GLORY – Have you done any mountain climbing lately? Of course you have! You got out of bed, didn’t you? Exodus 24:17-18 “The sight of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel. So Moses went into the midst of the cloud and went up into the mountain.” Moses walked through the clouds, in order to get “up into the mountain”. Maybe you are facing clouds in your life – The mountain is in them! Keep climbing to Glory, through the clouds!
FEBRUARY 14 – IN THE STILLNESS – Do you know what happens when you spend a lot of time in stillness? You learn to hear. Notice the word ‘stillness’ – take out “ST”, and then you have the word “ILLNESS”. When you are walking through an illness with someone, your life is filled with stillness. You work (if you have to), go to church, and that’s basically it, because you must get home to take care of the illness. Leo spends a lot of time in bed because of his illness. Therefore, I spend a lot of time in the stillness of the day/night. In the stillness, there is intimacy. In the stillness, there is truth. In the stillness, you can hear things that others cannot hear. Because in the stillness, God is the only one speaking – Be Still – He has something to say that just might blow you away! Psalms 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God!
FEBRUARY 12 – Your Desire – How does a person ALWAYS stay fulfilled in life? Secret – Psalms 37:4 Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. (NKJ) As you delight yourself in the Lord the only desire of your heart is to – Delight in Him! And then when the desire of your heart is only to ‘delight yourself in the Lord’…then…your desires are ALWAYS being fulfilled! Make life simple. Make life fulfilling. Make everything about Him and make nothing about you! Fall more in love with Jesus TODAY – He is a delight!!!
FEBRUARY 11 – The Character of God – Have you ever really thought long, and hard, about the character of God? God allowed for all of Job’s family and servants to die, all of his possessions to be lost, and for Job’s own health to be stricken…why? Job 1:8 Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” (NKJ) This is the character of God. God allowed for everyone on the face of the earth to die, except for Noah’s family…why? Genesis 6:8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. (NKJ) This is the character of God. Joseph shared with his brothers what God had shown him and they threw him in a pit…why? Genesis 50:20 “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.(NKJ) This is the character of God. God’s ways are not man’s ways and we need to always remember that. The Bible is filled with crazy, real life stories – God stories! Just maybe, your life might be a crazy God story! Can your character handle it?
FEBRUARY 9 – HOPE HAPPENS – What are you hoping for in your life? Next question – Why are you hoping for it? To ‘hope’ means desire accompanied by expectation. Many desire for many things but how many truly expect that desire to come to fruition; to fulfillment? Yesterday while I was running the Lord and I were conversing….now you know why I love to run! He spoke these words to me “Hope Happens’! When we are hoping for something that means that we are in a time of waiting. Many hope for many things and many will often never see their hope fulfilled because they are hoping for the things of this world. But when all of our hope is in the Lord – Hope Happens BECAUSE Jesus Happens! He is a happening man! Jeremiah 17:7 (NKJV) “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord.
DECEMBER 23, 2013 – IN YOUR STABLE – Do you realize that in a very cold, dark, uncomfortable, and lonely place God poured out His magnificence? In a stable is where Father God sent His one and only Son. Our Abba did not bring forth His Son in a palace. Ponder that. Everything changed in that stable – what a beautiful place to be! Maybe you are facing a cold, dark, uncomfortable, lonely place in your life right now. Please realize that the magnificence of God is being poured out upon you. Jesus came to this world in a stable and Jesus is coming to you in your stable. His comfort and His peace are with you! John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (NKJ)
DECEMBER 22, 2013 – A MOMENT WITH GOD – Do you think that Mary realized that those few moments with God were going to strengthen her for the weeks, months, and years ahead – for the rest of her life? I truly believe that Mary went back to that ‘moment with God’ time and time again, as she faced rejection and persecution, time and time again, throughout her life. Mary obeying God and being available to His plan and His purpose forever changed her. Imagine the whispers that she faced; not just for months but years. God knew what was ahead of Mary’s obedience and God gave her a moment that she would never forget! A moment with God will forever strengthen you – Don’t miss out on the moment that He has just for you! Luke 1:38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.(NKJ) Also read Luke 2:19 and 2:51.
DECEMBER 21, 2013 – TO BE CONTINUED – Do you realize that walking with the Lord is never-ending? It is continual! I will be driving out of Harper one week from today, but it is not as if the curtain is going to draw to a close and it will be ‘The End’. No, my story, our story, is ‘To Be Continued’! The Lord always has so much for us; from one season to another. The family of God is never-ending! My family in Harper is not getting rid of me that easily – We are stuck with each other for all of eternity! Relationships in Christ are continual! The blood of Christ turned ‘The End’ into ‘To Be Continued’! Be excited as Jesus continues to move in your life. Revelation 3:8 “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. (NKJ)
DECEMBER 10, 2013 – HELPLESS BUT NOT HOPELESS – Have you ever had to sit back and watch a loved one suffer? I believe that is one of the most painful things to have to walk through. Last night I could not hold back the tears as I watched the pain taking place in my husband’s body. I was completely helpless. There was nothing that “I” could do for him to help him. In and of myself “I” was helpless but in the midst of that moment I had hope, because there is someone who is not helpless; the Helper! . John 16:7 “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. (NKJ) Even if you feel helpless, always have hope in The Helper!
DECEMBER 9, 2013 – HOUR BY HOUR – Are you always looking ahead, waiting for something to happen? Leo and I put our home up for sale over five years ago. Our plan was that the house would sell and we would then move to Florida. Now here we are, five years later, and the Lord is finally fulfilling this dream. In these past five years, the Lord has given me hours upon hours of ministry here in Harper. He placed my family here for very specific reasons. He always has a purpose in every single hour of our lives. Its great to look ahead at a future vision, to have a future dream, but don’t miss out on the ‘Hour by Hour’ plan that he Lord has for you right now. Jesus ministers to us hour by hour and that is what He has called each one of us to do too! 1Thes 5:11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. (NKJ) What are you doing in an hour?!
DECEMBER 8, 2013 – IT IS FINISHED – Do you truly, one hundred percent, realize that ‘It’ is finished? You don’t have to deal with ‘It’ any longer! My ‘It’ may not be your ‘It’, but whatever ‘It’ is, ‘It’ is finished! Done with! Abolished! Cast out! No longer exist! So, what is ‘It’ that I am talking about? ‘It’ is sin and ‘It’ was nailed to the cross. Jesus said ‘It’ is finished for a reason. The sins of the whole entire world were placed on Jesus, while He was hanging on that cross. When Jesus was put to death, sin was also put to death! You do not have to walk in sin. You do not have to deal with ‘It’ because ‘It’ is finished in your life. Stop struggling, acting like ‘you’ have to beat the sin that is in your life. Jesus already beat it to death for you! Don’t give the sin in your life CPR. Don’t breathe life into something that has already been put to death – It Is Finished! Walk in the power that Jesus has already given you! Romans 6:1-3 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? (NKJ)
DECEMBER 1, 2013 – BEAUTIFUL THORNS – Have you ever had to face things in life that make you say, “Ouch!”? Here’s just one of the many amazing things about our precious Lord, He turns our “ouch” into a beautiful thorn! As you travel up a long stem red rose, you are going to pass thorns along the way, before you reach the beautiful red rose petals. As we walk through this life we are going to face thorns – ouch – but if we can realize how beautiful that thorn can actually be, our ouch can actually produce beauty in our life. Here are some beautiful thorn verses in The Word of God: 2 Cor 12:7-10 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (NKJ)
OCTOBER 6, 2013 – AN ORDAINED WILDERNESS – Do you realize that the Holy Spirit will actually lead you into a wilderness time? Luke 4:1 Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, (NKJ) Jesus was led straight into the wilderness by the Spirit. He was not led into one of the toughest times of His life by not being close to His Father; in fact it was the complete opposite. Not only that, but Jesus was fasting. And it gets even more amazing than that – On the day that He ended His fast the enemy came straight to Him and spoke to Him (Luke 4:1-3). That to me is so incredible! Jesus was led into a wilderness time by the Spirit for forty days, He was tempted in the wilderness, and when He ended His fast the enemy tempted Him in very great ways. Maybe you have been walking really close to the Lord, maybe you have even just ended a long fast, and it seems that all of a sudden your whole world seems to have come crashing down. Do not let this time lead you in to a time of doubting God. Your faith is strong! God knows that and He has personally led you to this wilderness time. Use God’s word to get you through this time, just like Jesus did! (Luke 4:4-12)
OCTOBER 5, 2013 – GOD CHANGES THINGS – Do you realize that if something is set in stone, God can change even that? He is the final authority! There was an order to things, back in the days of Jacob and Joseph, concerning the older brother being placed over the younger brother. Genesis 48 is such an interesting event – Joseph takes his two sons to receive ‘The Blessing’ from his dad Jacob (Israel). Jacob gives the main blessing to the younger son, instead of the older one. Look at what Joseph says: Genesis 48:18 And Joseph said to his father, “Not so, my father, for this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.” Look what happens next: V. 19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he…” I get a kick out of this event concerning Joseph. Why? Because when he was younger he had a vision of his older brothers bowing down to him, he told his brothers about it, they threw him in a pit and sold him into slavery! Years later his brothers bowed down to him! Joseph, of all people, knows that God changes things! Things in life may seem to be set in stone, but know that God changes things. Our Father says – I know, my son, I know (V.19) God has the final authority!
OCTOBER 4, 2013 – GOING THROUGH – Have you ever had to go through a tough time? Tough times are a given in this life. There’s no way around them, and I have learned the key to going through them. It’s summed up in part of verse 11, in Psalms 16. It says this – “In Your presence is fullness of joy.” No matter what we are going through in this life, as long as we stay in the presence of the Lord, we will have joy. And not just any joy, but the ‘Fullness of joy’! You can’t ask for anything better than that. I can have tears streaming down my face, my heart totally crushed, and also in that very moment I can have the fullness of joy. Sound crazy? It is crazy and I call that ‘Crazy God’! His word is true. His word is always true. You just have to get into His presence! He will be with you, as you are going through. OCTOBER 3, 2013 – MAKE THE TIME – Is there enough time in the day for you to get all the things done that you need to do? A lot of times the answer to that question, for most of us, would be ‘no’. Our schedules become very hectic, very quickly, and before we know it, the day is done! Today at work there was a small group of us huddled in an office (for only 4 minutes….we were not slackin’. I just had morning break.) We were looking at my daily devotionals on my web site. These women were not aware that I do these. They saw weeks upon weeks of writing. One woman asked me, “How in the world do you have the time to do this?” I told her, “I make the time!” This devotional is something that I have committed to the Lord to do, for this time in my life. There are several other things in my life that I have to make the time to do on a daily basis. Set priorities. Set goals. Set time-frames. Make the time to do the things that you know must be done. It’s actually quite surprising how much we can do in just one day. I believe that Jesus was a very productive man. He made every minute count and so should we. Psalms 62:12 Also to You, O Lord, belongs mercy; for You render to each one according to his work. (NKJ) OCTOBER 2, 2013 – LIVING IN WONDER – LAND – Have you seen any wonders lately that left you awe-struck? Life is not always a bowl full of cherries but life is always full of wonders. I have become friends with a woman that works in the cafeteria at school. The other day she asked me how my time was at the park, during my morning break. I told her, “It was so amazing! There was fog all around the park and it was as if steam was rising up from the pond. I felt like I was in the Garden of Gethsemane with Jesus! He was there!” She said, “Stacey it’s like you live in this wonderland!” I loved that because we serve a God that is full of wonders! Every thing about Him is wonderful. Life can get tough, very tough in fact, but that never stops His wonders from touching our lives. When we walk daily with the Lord we walk daily in a wonderland – The God of Wonders Land! Daniel 4:2-3 I thought it good to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me. How great are His signs, and how mighty His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion is from generation to generation. (NKJ) OCTOBER 1, 2013 – TEMPORARILY CLOSED – Are there any areas in your life that seem closed off? Do you have a particular desire in your heart but it seems like nothing is happening? Hannah was faced with this dilemma. She had a desire to have children but nothing was happening. Why? Check this out: 1 Samuel 1:5b ‘Although the LORD had closed her womb.’ And it says it again in verse 6b ‘Because the LORD had closed her womb.’(NKJ) What seemed dead to her was in fact, not dead at all. The Lord closed her womb for a time. Hannah was walking through a barren time. There may be an area in your life that seems barren. You have a particular desire for something to take place in your life but it seems that the Lord has closed it off. Pour out your soul before the Lord just like Hannah did (I Samuel 1:15-16). This area may just be “temporarily closed” – Life is right around the corner! 1 Sam 1:19b-20 “And the LORD remembered her. So it came to pass in the process of time that Hannah conceived….” (NKJ) It came to pass in the process of time! SEPTEMBER 30, 2013 – TRUST GOD – In what ways do you ‘show’ the Lord your trust in Him? He already knows the level of trust that you have for Him but do you actually do things that ‘show’ Him your trust? I am a big believer that your relationship with the Lord should be very personal, very individualized…..because you are an individual! I am a very visual person and we serve a visual God. Some of God’s visuals are: The Burning Bush, the Flood/a Rainbow, His Whole Creation of Life, Jesus drew in the sand, Jesus filled the nets with fish…just to name a few! The Lord has blessed my personal life with many visuals, directly from Him to me, and I do the same for Him. I believe that our visuals that we give to the Lord bless Him! One thing that I love to do is this – I write “TRUST GOD” in the dirt. I write “TRUST” on the top and then I write “GOD” underneath that, leaving some space between the two words. Then I stand in between these two words “TRUST GOD” and I lift my hands and worship Him. Doing this builds my faith. Doing this builds my trust. Doing this visual connects me to my God in a very individual way! I encourage you – TRUST GOD – and find your own individual way to show Him! Psalms 33:15 He fashions their hearts individually; he considers all their works. (NKJ) Psalms 62:8 Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah (NKJ) SEPTEMBER 29, 2013 – DEAD OR ALIVE – If the tree that I pray at, on top of the hill, looks 1/3 dead and 2/3 alive, is it dead or alive? It’s alive! Why would I pick such a tree to pray at? The Lord actually led me to that tree earlier this year and I am so thankful that He did. He has used that little tree to teach me so many things about Him; about this life. No matter how we may ‘feel’ inside, no matter how tough things may seem, no matter how desolate life may become, we are still alive! This little tree stands alone, by itself. It is seated on the top of a hill. And even though parts of it look dead, it is alive, and its roots are planted deep in the ground. This life, your flesh, the enemy, will do whatever they can to steal life from you – but don’t allow it! You are alive in Christ! You are already seated in heaven with your Savior, through your gift of salvation! Your roots go deep! Things may look dead, but you are alive! Jeremiah 17:7-8 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.” (NKJ) SEPTEMBER 28, 2013 – CONCENTRATE – What is your mind concentrating on these days? Truly ‘think’ about that! Our minds tend to go a hundred miles an hour, but where exactly is your mind going? Our tendency is to concentrate on a particular situation in our life, and many times, in doing so, we can become stressed out! Something that I have learned in this life is that the more I concentrate on Jesus Christ, on Him and Him alone, the less that the issues of life concern me. You see, by solely concentrating on worshipping my Lord, I have come to realize just how Big He really is and just how small I really am. Many things in this life are impossible, as far as I am concerned, but nothing in this life is impossible as far as HE is concerned! We need to just concentrate on Him because He is already concentrating on your particular situation. That situation is impossible for you to solve, so stop concentrating on it. Concentrate on this – Luke 1:37 “For with God nothing will be impossible.” (NKJ) Colossians 3:1-3 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (NKJ) SEPTEMBER 27, 2013 – THE LIP – STICK ATTITUDE – Do you realize that what you say with your ‘lips’, and what you ‘stick’ deep within your heart, determines your attitude? I actually have started something new this year at work. As you know, I am a janitor – better known as “The Janitor for Jesus” at Harper I.S.D. Well, I have made it a point to wear lipstick this year, while doing my janitorial duties. I told myself, “By wearing this lipstick I will make sure that I always speak joy, and I will make sure that I stick joy deep within my heart!” Well, guess what happened the other day…. A teacher said this to me, “Stacey I saw you putting on lipstick and I thought: Wow! You put on lipstick with the job that you have. You always make it a point to have a good attitude and shine for Jesus, even though I know your life is hard and you are waiting on the Lord to move you to Florida.” The ‘Lip – Stick’ works! Do it for yourself, and do it for those around you! Psalms 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer. (NKJ) Matthew 12:34 For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. (NKJ) SEPTEMBER 26, 2013 – GRACE COVERS EVERYTHING – Have you had to cover anything up lately? God has covered us up with His GRACE! A new co-worker started reading my book and she asked me this question “Is this book about your life or is it about God? You speak of your life but then you speak of God all throughout it, and you give so many scriptures. So, I am trying to figure out which one the book is about.” I loved her feedback because the first part of my book is all about my back-sliding years and she saw God throughout everything! It’s the grace of God! His grace covers everything! John 1:15-17 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.'” And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (NKJ) His grace covers you! SEPTEMBER 25, 2013 – KNOCK KNOCK – WHO’S THERE? – Do you realize that no matter where you go in life, no matter what door that you may be walking through, there is one person who is always there? This morning when I was at the park I was having a very intense conversation with my Lord. I was saying to Him, “I am here at this place, Lord, and You are right here with me. You are always with me, in all of my places.” I love that about Him! No matter what we are facing, no matter what we are feeling, no matter what we have to walk through in this life – He is there! Whether you are happy or sad, whether you are healthy or sick, whether you are up or you are down, He is there! Knock Knock! Who’s there? It’s JESUS! He is always there! Hebrews 13:5 For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (NKJ) SEPTEMBER 24, 2013 – THE SIN SOLUTION – Have ya done any sinning lately? Hmmm, lets see – I woke up today in my flesh, and I am still in it, so unfortunately – I am a sinner. Jesus Christ is the ultimate sin solution. His blood washes us as white as snow! Jesus takes away our sin! I also learned something almost twenty years ago that I could actually do that is another sin solution, and that is to see sin for what it really is! Our flesh glamorizes sin. Our flesh thinks this: “I wish that I could do that but I know I can’t because it’s sin.” Wrong thinking! That is what the enemy wants you to think about sin and that is fleshly thinking. It was not until I saw my sin for what it really is that I gained great victory. This is how I have looked at sin for almost twenty years now and it changed everything about me – Sin is from the pit of hell. Sin is evil. Sin is gross. Sin is demonic. Sin kills. Sin destroys. Sin is ugly. Sin is nauseating. Sin steals my life from me. Sin steals my heart from me. Sin steals my joy. Sin steals fulfillment in my life. Sin brings sorrow. Sin brings destruction. Sin shatters all that is good. Get the picture? See sin for what it is! 1 Peter 4:1-2 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. (NKJ) SEPTEMBER 23, 2013 – THE COST – How much does a gallon of milk cost you? What about a dozen eggs? What are you willing to spend for a juicy T-bone steak? How much time does it cost you to stay in shape? I bet you know the cost of these items. Salvation is totally and completely free; Jesus died for us and gave us the free gift of salvation. But have you given any personal offerings to the Lord lately that cost you something? 2 Samuel 24:24 “Then the king (David) said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God with that which costs me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.” You see, Araunah was going to give David the things he needed for a burnt offering but David refused them. Why? David stated that he would not offer something to the Lord that cost him nothing. How great of a cost are you willing to give to the Lord? Our walk with Him should cost us something. Make your own personal burnt offering to the Lord – burn something that cost you personally, on the altar before your God and King! 2 Samuel 24:25 And David built there an altar to the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. (NKJ) SEPTEMBER 22, 2013 – YOUR ‘IT’ – Do you have an ‘it’ in your life? Let me explain by first sharing this verse: James 1:2 My brethren, count ‘IT’ all joy when you fall into various trials, (NKJ) Your trial is your ‘it’. So, let me ask you once again – Facing any ‘its’ in your life? Who isn’t? Trials come and go, and we will have to face many ‘its’ in our lives. It’s what we do with ‘it’ that counts. God has allowed this trial in your life for a reason. God has allowed this trial in your life for a season. You can either mope around about ‘it’ and be all bummed out, or you can pick yourself up by your boot straps, and allow ‘it’ to bring glory to God! You see, this is what life is all about – Being perfected into the image of Christ. See it for what it is – ‘IT’ is completing you! James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (NKJ) SEPTEMBER 21, 2013 – THE MAN OF GOD – When God speaks do you heed His words? I was at the park yesterday morning during my break, watching the flood waters rise, and reading the Word. The Lord took me to I Kings 13. The sub-heading in my bible says ‘The Man of God’. This is a very interesting real-life story! This man, this prophet, knew what the Lord told him to do but he allowed another man to sway him into doing something different. (this other man, is another whole story, in and of itself) The man of God knew exactly what the Lord told him, but he did not heed the Lord’s instructions. He stepped out in disobedience and his life was taken from him. It’s a very sad story, a very true story, and it is a very powerful story! When you know, without a doubt, what the Lord has spoken, then you must remain obedient. Do not allow someone else to take you off of God’s path. Disobedience takes life from you – Obedience breeds life into you! Exodus 24:7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the LORD has said we will do, and be obedient.” (NKJ) SEPTEMBER 20, 2013 – A PLACE OF QUESTIONING – Have you ever said these words to the Lord, “How can this be” concerning a certain situation in your life? If so, you are in good company. Mary, the mother of Jesus, said this. Luke 1:34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” (NKJ) Mary was told God’s plan for her life, which brought her immediately to a place of questioning – How can this be? And she immediately received her answer! Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you;” (NKJ) Mary was about to face great controversy in her life because of God’s plan. Joseph was not pleased at all when she told him, and just imagine what her family and the people in her church must have thought of her. But the Holy Spirit came upon her and the power of the Highest overshadowed her, therefore, Mary accepted God’s plan. Luke 1:37-38 “For with God nothing will be impossible.” Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. (NKJ) Maybe you are at a place of questioning, concerning God’s plan – How can this be Lord – By His Holy Spirit coming upon you and by the power of the Highest! Accept God’s Plan! SEPTEMBER 19, 2013 – KNOW THE LOVE – Can you truly grasp the amount of love that the Lord has for you personally? I told Leo goodbye this morning, gave him a kiss, and headed for the front door. He called me back into the room and said, “Stacey, I am in so much pain. Know how much I love you.” As I was driving to work, these words kept going through my mind, over and over again. (When your husband is very ill, words like these are never taken lightly.) The words “Know how much I love you” permeated my being. As my thoughts were towards My Groom, My Heavenly Groom placed a picture in my mind’s eye, and this is what I saw – The Lord nailed to the cross saying, “Stacey, I am in so much pain. Know how much I love you.” That was an incredible moment and it’s so true! As our Lord hung on the cross, He was in the most incredible amount of pain, and He was saying to each one of us, “(Your Name) I am in so much pain. Know how much I love you.” Picture Him in your mind’s eye saying those exact words to you. Ephesians 3:19 To know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (NKJ) I John 3:16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. (NKJ) Your Groom Loves You! SEPTEMBER 18, 2013 – LOOK BEYOND – Don’t you just love to look through binoculars? You are able to look and see far beyond what your human eyes are capable of seeing. A woman was speaking with me the other day and said these words to me, “I know that your life has to be hard too. How do you keep going?” I immediately said this, “For the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus had joy facing the cross because He saw what was beyond the cross. That’s how I make it through this time. I see beyond the cross that I have to face in my life right now.” She thought that I was talking about arriving in heaven but I shared this – Psalms 27:13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.(NKJ) Look beyond the cross that you are carrying in your life right now and see what is on the other side in the land of the living! Look beyond your pain and see your healing. Look beyond your tears and see your laughter. Look beyond your poverty and see your prosperity. Look beyond the promise that the Lord has given you and see the fulfillment of that promise! Look Beyond – It’s There – Right On The Other Side! SEPTEMBER 17, 2013 – CHARGE YOURSELF UP – How many devices have you charged up this week? What about a cell phone, an MP3 Player, or a laptop? We charge devices up in order that they will have energy and not die. How about you – do you feel charged up? This morning as I was driving to work a slow, worshipful song came on K-Love. It was nice but I thought, “I need something to charge me up!” So, I put in a CD and listened to ‘Today is the Day’ by Lincoln Brewster. By the time I drove up to the school, I had my groove on! You see, when I clock in at 5:30 a.m. I have to hit the floor running. In a two hour time span I clean fourteen classrooms and five restrooms, which add up to twenty toilets! If I choose to walk into work draggin’, it’s going to make for a long, boring morning. But if I choose to walk into work all charged up, then I can’t help but to smile! Jesus is always the One that will charge us up but we have to take responsibility too. Charge yourself up – You have every reason to! Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. (NKJ) SEPTEMBER 16, 2013 – REMEMBER THAT MOMENT – Do you realize that something could happen in your life today that you will remember for the rest of your life? So many times we get up out of bed and just think, “Today’s another day.” Last week I had a day that began as just another day but ‘in a moment’, everything changed! I saw something that I have never seen in my whole life – The very beginning of a rainbow! I was so excited (started jumping up and down, literally) and Leo took a picture of it. I will always remember that moment. The Lord blesses us with amazing moments, so make sure you remember them. Write those moments down because in the future you may need to remember them, to help you get through a difficult time. Psalms 77:6-11 I call to remembrance my song in the night; I meditate within my heart, and my spirit makes diligent search. Will the Lord cast off forever? And will He be favorable no more? Has His mercy ceased forever? Has His promise failed forevermore? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies? Selah. And I said, “This is my anguish; but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.”I will remember the works of the LORD; surely I will remember Your wonders of old.(NKJ) SEPTEMBER 15, 2013 – KNOW THE TI ME – This past week did you ask anyone this question – What time is it? In life, we need to know the time. On my job I have to clock in at 5:30 a.m. This morning I will keep an eye on the time because I have to be at Wild Ride at 10:30. At that specific time I will be ushered into the throne room of Almighty God through an amazing time of worship! Yesterday afternoon Leo and I watched the Harvest Crusade. Pastor Greg Laurie spoke to thousands upon thousands of people at Angel Stadium in California. He presented the gospel and then thousands of people came forward! Young and old alike came forward. Women were crying, tough-looking men were crying, and teenagers were crying. Leo then asked me, “Stacey, why are you crying?” I was crying because I know the time! The time is now – TODAY is the day of salvation! Maybe you are not quite bold enough yet to talk to someone straight up about Jesus Christ, and that’s okay, but pray for that boldness. Realize the time is now! People are ready to receive. We live in a lost and dying world and people are searching for the answer. Are you willing to tell them? John 4:35 “Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! (NKJ) It’s Harvest Time!!! SEPTEMBER 14, 2013 – THE PAIN CONTINUES – What do you do when the pain continues? Do you curl up and die, do you fight for your life, or do you bend your knee and cry your eyes out? May I suggest that you do all three? The Lord desires all three of these things, as you walk through the pains of this world. He wants you to curl up, like a newborn babe into His arms, and He wants you to completely die to your ‘self’ in order that He can truly shine through you. Through this pain that you are experiencing, He is turning you into a real fighter; someone that will never give up. And through this pain, He is breaking you and teaching you to bow down to His Sovereignty. It’s okay to experience the pain. Life is a bed of roses, and as you look closely, you will see the thorns and you will feel the thorns. A crown of thorns was crushed down upon our Savior’s brow, and He was in the center of His Father’s will. The Son of God had to experience the pain, in order for God’s will to be perfected. Sometimes, my friend, we have to experience the pain too, in order for God’s will to be perfected! Matthew 26:39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (NKJ) It’s going to be okay – It’s God’s will! SEPTEMBER 13, 2013 – STRONGHOLD SIN – Is there a specific sin in your life that you keep committing over and over again, but you really want to stop doing this sin? Examples may be – smoking, drinking, anger, jealousy, lust, foul language, gossiping, self sex, gluttony. This sin has a very strong hold on you! This type of sin actually becomes a little god to you. I was trapped in a stronghold sin almost twenty years ago and it was the worst thing that I have ever experienced in my whole life. Why? Because I wanted out, I wanted to walk in obedience, and no matter how hard “I” tried to get out of this sin, to get away from this god, I could not. The LORD Himself had to break my chains! My whole focus was on my stronghold sin; how I could escape it. When I finally took my focus off of trying to stop my sin, and put all of my focus on The Person of Jesus Christ, then, and only then, did my chains break into a million pieces. He, Jesus Christ, reduced to nothing the foreign god that was in my life! Zephaniah 2:11 The LORD will be awesome to them, for He will reduce to nothing all the gods of the earth; people shall worship Him, each one from his place, indeed all the shores of the nations. (NKJ) I have not looked back since then! John 8:36 “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. SEPTEMBER 12, 2013 – ALWAYS PRAY – How many times should you pray for something specific? Would a thousand times be too many? Leo just asked me to lay hands on him and pray for him again because he is in so much pain. We have done this for sixteen and a half years. And do you think that we are going to stop now? Never! Luke 18:1 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart (NKJ) We are to go before the Lord again and again and again. Someone a long time ago told me that I only need to pray for something once and that I also should never beg my Father in heaven for anything. I say – Read Luke 18:1-8. I have told this to many people in my life, “I am just like the widow going before the judge.” Do you know what that means? That means that I never give up! I will continually go before my Father with my request. Luke 18:6-7 Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. “And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? (NKJ) Always Pray – Do Not Lose Heart – God Will Avenge! SEPTEMBER 11, 2013 – GOD’S SPEED BUMPS – What happens when you drive over a speed bump really fast? To me, it feels like that you could actually damage your car. Speed bumps are there for a reason – Slow Down! The Word of God expresses, over and over again, that the Lord will actually fill us in ‘on things to come’. Here are just a few places that we see this in scripture: Isaiah 42:9, John 16:13, Daniel 8:26-27, Amos 3:7. The Lord will reveal to us things to come, so what do we do with that right now, in the present? We need to drive very slowly. I have learned to call this ‘God’s Speed Bumps’. God is outside of time but we are not. I have also learned that waiting on God is much easier than getting ahead of God. When we drive too fast over God’s Speed Bumps we could possibly bring damage to our present surroundings. God’s timing is perfect and God’s plan is perfect! Eccl 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. (NKJ) Psalms 130:5-6 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning– yes, more than those who watch for the morning. (NKJ) God’s speed bumps are there for a reason. SEPTEMBER 10, 2013 – HIDE AND SEEK – Do you remember your favorite place to hide when you played hide and seek as a child? We would run and hide, knowing that someone was going to be looking for us. Hiding was a childhood game but as adults sometimes we feel the need to hideout too. We just want to hide from our current circumstances. Maybe you are going through a financial strain. Maybe you are tired of your job. Maybe health issues surround you. Maybe people are speaking against you. Whatever the case may be, you need a good hideout and you need it now! Do you know where my favorite place to hideout is? I hideout in a pavilion, but not just any pavilion, God’s pavilion! The LORD covers me there. The LORD protects me there. The LORD makes everything okay when I am there! Psalms 27:5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle he shall hide me; he shall set me high upon a rock. (NKJ) Here’s another verse that speaks of a ‘pavilion’ Psalms 31:20 You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of man; you shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. (NKJ) Hide in God’s pavilion and Seek Him – and guess what – He will find you! SEPTEMBER 9, 2013 – THE SHOW MUST GO ON – Have you ever had to push yourself beyond what you thought that you were capable of doing? My daughter Ashly is in a band called REVELY. They had a show Saturday night and she had the stomach virus. It started the afternoon of the show and she became very ill for two hours, prior to the show. She called me on the phone and we prayed. She then texted me after the first set and told me that she told the Lord, “Lord you have to do this for me. I am so sick”. She then got sick again, stepped back on stage, and did the second set! The Lord carried her through in a way that she had never experienced before.(That’s my little Rock Star for Jesus!) Sometimes we do feel sick, very sick – whether mentally, physically, or even spiritually – but The Show Must Go On! It may seem totally impossible but the Lord will show up and carry you through. Step out in faith believing that He will show up for you. I am going to be a little blunt here – As Ashly was throwing up, the Lord was showing up for her “Big Time” on that stage. Don’t walk off your stage – The Show Must Go On! Psalms 41:3 The LORD will strengthen him on his bed of illness; you will sustain him on his sickbed. (NKJ) SEPTEMBER 8, 2013 – WILDERNESS WALKING – What is the longest walk that you have ever taken? Spiritually speaking, Moses took a forty year wilderness walk, and to the human eye it looked all messed up. He killed a man and fled to the hills! Then we have Joseph who spoke of things to come and he was cast into a pit by those closest to him (his brothers, the tribes of Israel). He was sold into slavery and was later sentenced to prison. These things look messed up to the human eye and they took place in about a twenty year span. Here’s what the human eye does not see – the intimate relationship that these two men had with their God! I guarantee you incredible moments happened to these men while they were alone with their God, as they each walked through their own wilderness. No one knows what is taking place in your wilderness, as you are walking with your God. It’s so important in this life that you listen to God.. If Joseph would have listened to his brothers he would have just lay down and died in that prison cell, but Joseph knew something that his brothers did not understand – his own intimate relationship with his LORD! Jeremiah 1:5 ”Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”(NKJ) SEPTEMBER 7, 2013 – HIS GREAT ARMY – Do you know this verse? Romans 8:31b If God is for us, who can be against us? (NKJ) Most of us probably do. We know that God is for us and that He is on our side but sometimes He is going to lead you into a very hard training ground that He has prepared just for you. You are in God’s military and He is training you with real life hardships. Joel 2:25 “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust, my great army which I sent among you. (NKJ) This is a biblical truth that you must know! My close friend’s husband just graduated from Special Forces; his training was as hard as it gets. In the same way that the U.S. Military trains soldiers, putting them through extreme, hard training, the Lord will do the same for you. Why? Because He loves you and He is molding you into a soldier for Christ. If things ‘seem’ to be going bad in your life right now, it does not mean that God is not on your side. Keep holding onto His hand – God is pushing you through His Special Forces! And look what happens next – Joel 2:26 You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, who has dealt wondrously with you; and My people shall never be put to shame. (NKJ) God’s soldier will never be put to shame! SEPTEMBER 6, 2013 – ALL THINGS – Do you realize how different the words “some” and “all” really are? It does not rain ‘all’ the time around here, but it does rain ‘some’. Very different! Where’s the ‘ALL’ when we need it? I will tell you where – in God’s Word! Romans 8:28 And we know that ALL THINGS work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (NKJ) Not ‘some’ things but ALL things in your life are working for good if you love God. Here’s another place we see ‘ALL’ Ephesians 1:11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works ALL THINGS according to the counsel of His will,(NKJ) He is working ‘ALL’ things in your life according to the counsel of His will, even if your human mind cannot comprehend it. Don’t stress – Take a deep breath – Trust! Trust God’s will – will happen! And Trust God’s will – is happening – In ‘ALL’ things! SEPTEMBER 5, 2013 – A LITTLE HERE, A LITTLE THERE – So, what exactly is ‘clean’ to you? This morning I went into the library and asked, “Why is this table here? Are we having a meeting?” I was then informed that we were having a UIL Meeting with lots of schools coming to attend, in less than two hours. I then said, “Why didn’t you tell me? I need to clean.” I was then informed that everything looked great! And just taking a quick look with the human eye, it did look great. As I walked slowly around the room I picked up a little piece of paper here, and a paper clip there. I picked up a little rock here, and a string there. When I finished I had a hand full of trash! Going slow and really scoping out the place I found trash. Do you think your heart is clean? Taking a quick look, many of us would say yes but what about the small, detailed parts. A little sin here and a little sin there can add up! Psalms 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (NKJ) SEPTEMBER 4, 2013 – THE DELIGHTFUL WHEEL – As I walked into work this morning the Lord gave me an answer to something that I been pondering. I was pondering this – “I can’t quite put my finger on how I am feeling Lord. I don’t even know how to describe it.” Meaning, I was walking into work, once again, and I am still here in Harper, TX. You see, I thought that the Lord would have moved us to Florida by now. The Lord immediately showed me a picture in my mind, gave me reasoning behind it, and even gave me a scripture to go with it. This is a little unusual, but the Lord knows how I tick because He created me. This is what I saw – a hamster running on a wheel. The wheel is spinning and spinning and the hamster seems to really enjoy this event. The Lord immediately gave me this verse: Psalms 37:4 Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.(NKJ) I am on that wheel. I am delighting in Jesus every single day, over and over again …and…. the desires of my heart will come in time. He impressed upon my heart, “Keep Delighting!” We are to delight in Him first, before He gives us the desires of our heart. We are to delight in Him for more than a day, more than a week, more than a month, and sometimes we may delight in Him for years and years before we actually see the desires of our heart come to pass. Keep Delighting – First things first! SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 – JUST A WHILE – If you knew ahead of time that you had to do something that you did not really enjoy, for just a short amount of time, would you be able to do it? In other words, if you were shown the finish line, just up the road a piece, wouldn’t you most likely finish that race? We, as humans, are so ‘time’ oriented, and along with that we also don’t enjoy hurting; mentally, physically, or spiritually. I mean, who wants to hurt? None of us do but suffering is a part of life. I praise God a million times over that throughout life He shows us different finish lines. When I was younger I was on the track team and I didn’t run in just one race. I ran in hundreds of races throughout my years on the team. We face a lot of short races in life as we walk hand in hand with the Lord. We face suffering in life but these times of suffering are just for a while. “See” the finish line, to the specific race that you are in right now, and know that it is just for a while. Win this race and resist the temptation to walk in your flesh. You can do anything for a while – it will be over soon! 1 Peter 5:10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. (NKJ) SPETEMBER 1, 2013 – YOUR “SUDDENLY” – Do you know that the word ‘suddenly’ is in The Word of God 72 times? (NKJV) The first time that we see this word ‘suddenly’ is in Genesis 41:2 (Many bible scholars call this ‘The rule of first mention’; the first time we see a word in scripture) So, what is going on in Genesis 41? Pharaoh had a dream and he is standing by a river where seven fat, fine looking cows ‘suddenly’ come up out of the water. God gave Pharaoh this dream, which Joseph later interrupted. God was giving them a heads-up on what was about to happen! God will ‘suddenly’ do things in your life too! Are you ready? Are you paying attention? One definition for suddenly: changing angle or character all at once. God will change things up in your life quicker than a March hare! (Isn’t that an expression??) God can also change your character in the snap of a finger! By the power of His Holy Spirit, He will suddenly break the chains that may be wrapped around you. He will suddenly set you free! He will also suddenly change the course of your life; in a split second. Get Ready – Your Suddenly Is Coming – Very Suddenly! Daniel 10:10 Suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands. (NKJ) AUGUST 31, 2013 – WRESTLING MATCH – Have you wrestled anyone lately? Have you wrestled God lately? Believe it or not, but The Word of God takes us to the front row seat of a wrestling match: In Corner #1 we have God and in Corner #2 we have Jacob. The bell dings and God and Jacob go head to head, for quite awhile. Genesis 32:24 Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. (NKJ) This was a very crucial time in Jacob’s life. Check out the story in Genesis 32:24-32. Jacob needed a blessing from God. Jacob realized his weaknesses, he knew what he was about to face up the road a piece (Esau), and he realized how much he needed God’s strength and blessings upon his life. Jacob was alone with God and Jacob refused to give up. I cannot stress this enough in life – Do not give up! Do you want to know how to never give up? Get alone with God and tell Him exactly what you think. He already knows it anyway, and guess what? He will tell you exactly what He thinks! Fight for the blessing!!! Genesis 32:26 And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.” But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!” (NKJ) AUGUST 30, 2013 – MAKE IT PERSONAL – How personal do you get when it comes to the relationships in your life? Do you keep most people an arm’s distance away, so to speak? The more personal you become with someone, the closer the connection that you will have with them. Jesus got as personal as it can get – He gave His life for you, in order that you could truly live. Everything about Him is personal! Make it personal – Every time you open up The Word, it’s just for you! When you feel His Spirit during worship, it’s just for you! He hung on the cross just for you! He rose from the dead just for you!He made His relationship with you very personal. You have to get to know Him personally, in order for your life to be changed permanently. Romans 10:8-11 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” (NKJ) AUGUST 29, 2013 – JUST ONE THING – Do you realize that if you do just one thing it can change everything? I promise you, that if you do just this one thing, your whole life will change! Your marriage relationship will strengthen! Your relationship with your children will improve! Your friendships will grow deeper! Your work environment will change for the better! Your whole outlook on life will change! So, what is this one thing? It’s very simple, but it does take time; it takes commitment. You have to do it every single day, in order to get the greatest results. Drum roll please……This One Thing Is – Fall more in love with Jesus TODAY! And in saying that, realize, tomorrow is going to be ‘today’ too! Every day fall more in love with Him, and in doing so, EVERYTHING will change! Song of Solomon 7:10-12 I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me. Come, my beloved, let us go forth to the field; let us lodge in the villages. Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine has budded, whether the grape blossoms are open, and the pomegranates are in bloom. There I will give you my love. (NKJ) AUGUST 28, 2013 – PRESSURE COOKER– Do you know what happens when the Lord desires to do some sudden, hard changes in your life? You feel like you are in a pressure cooker! A pressure cooker is an airtight utensil for quick cooking or preserving of foods by means of high-temperature steam under pressure. Sometimes the Lord will heat things up in your life and you can feel the pressure all around you! My advice – Stay in that place! Stay exactly where the Lord has placed you. He is doing something – something that your human eyes cannot see or your human mind even comprehend! Don’t run from the pressure; stay in it. Here’s one definition for cooking: to perform, do, or proceed well. The Lord is cooking you up! Facing this pressure, and staying in it, will enable you to perform what God has planned and it will equip you to proceed well, further down His path! Proverbs 16:9 A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps. (NKJ) AUGUST 27, 2013 – STUDY FOR YOURSELF – Done any studying lately? School has started back up for many people and just because you may no longer be “attending a school” does not mean that you should no longer be studying. We actually should continue to study many things in life, throughout our lives. I just finished watching a YouTube video on Plantar Fasciitis. I have been studying on that condition to get all of the facts. I also study The Word of God on a regular basis – To get all of the facts! Lately, I have been studying Psalm 34 very intently. Do you study the Word of God or do you just go to church on Sunday and listen to the pastor? We are to study for ourselves, along with the study that we each receive from our pastor. 2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (KJV) AUGUST 26, 2013 – THE GREAT PHYSICIAN – Been to any doctors lately? If so, did you do what the doctor said? I went to the physician’s office today and he cut out a cyst that had formed in my lower leg. He stitched it all up and wrapped it in a bandage. I left his office with very specific instructions, in order for my leg to heal. Do you think that I am going to listen to him? If I want to be healed properly, I will do what he said. If I want to make sure that no infection will take place in my body, I will do what he said. Jesus Christ is The Great Physician and He has given us specific instructions that we are to follow each day of our lives. His instructions bring healing to our mind, body, and spirit. His instructions keep me safe from the infections of this world. Please listen to The Great Physician! Do as He says! Matthew 9:11-13 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.”But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (NKJ) AUGUST 25, 2013 – DO YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW – Remember being a kid and you wanted in on all the secrets? You would say, “I promise I won’t tell.” As I was studying the holy scriptures yesterday I came across these verses and I can’t get them out of my mind: Daniel 8:26-27 “And the vision of the evenings and mornings which was told is true; therefore seal up the vision, for it refers to many days in the future.” And I, Daniel, fainted and was sick for days; afterward I arose and went about the king’s business. I was astonished by the vision, but no one understood it. (NKJ) The Lord revealed future things to Daniel and he actually became sick because of the future knowledge that he was given. We think we want to know everything that is going to happen in the future, but do we really want to know? Sometimes the future plans of God do not make sense in our human mind, in the present. If God wants you to know, He will move by His Holy Spirit and tell you; it even might make you sick. But here’s the thing – Seal up the future knowledge, rise back up, and be about the King’s business in this present time! AUGUST 24, 2013 – TAKE OWNERSHIP – Do you realize that you are either a Prince or a Princess? Do you realize that you are covered in royalty? You are either a son or a daughter of the King! Those who know me well know that five days out of the week I eat my breakfast in a castle; it’s great! Yes, it may just be a Playscape in a playground but I climb up the ladder, place myself under the covered tower, and then I take ownership of my castle and talk to The King! Sound childish to you? Many have said that I have a child like faith and I say, “I am not ashamed!” To me, I just take ownership of what is rightfully mine in Christ Jesus! When you take ownership of your inheritance then the cares of this world will diminish in comparison. I am a princess and my King will take care of all my needs! In my personal opinion, it’s important to take a spiritual truth and attach it to a visual. Example: My Castle! Am I acting like a child? Yes! I would prefer to act like a care-free child than to walk around in this life acting like a stressed-out adult! Eph 1:11-12 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. (NKJ) AUGUST 23, 2013 – GO AFTER HIM – How far would you go to get to Jesus? How far will you go to get to the place where you know Jesus is calling you to? One of my favorite songs is by Phil Wickham and here are some of the words:….My beating heart is bursting out my skin; to go further up and further in. Whatever it takes to bring me somewhere higher; be it rain or be it fire. I’m climbing the fences. I’m crossing the sea. I’ll cover the distance; I just want You to shine on me. I’m laying down my life cause I know what You are worth. I’m crossing the grapevine between Heaven and Earth. I hear you calling me and I’ll come running. I’m falling into love and nothing will stop it!….Love this song! Will you climb fences for Him? Will you cross the sea for Him? Will you cover the distance? When you are falling in love with Him – Nothing will stop you from going after Him! John 12:19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, “You see that you are accomplishing nothing. Look, the world has gone after Him!” (NKJ) Fall more in love with Jesus TODAY – Go After Him – and don’t allow anyone or anything to stop you! AUGUST 22, 2013 – CRY OUT – Is there anything in your life that might be troubling you right now? I was working on my scriptures early this morning with Leo and this was my verse for today: Psalms 34:6 This poor man cried out, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. (NKJ) Notice how it says ‘saved him OUT OF all his troubles’. To get out of it means that you are in it! Troubles will come and go, as we walk through this life; that’s a given. We will each face troubles, and as we face these troubles we must know and believe that the Lord will save us out of them! But here’s the key – ‘This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him’. Are you crying out to the Lord concerning the troubles that are in your life? Please do! He’s listening and He will save you out of them! AUGUST 21, 2013 – AT ALL TIMES – Those three words speak for themselves, basically meaning to never stop; ALWAYS! Is there anything that you do in your life ALL of the time? Last week I did my yearly mammogram, except that I skipped last year for the first time ever. So, it had been two years. My grandma had breast cancer so I am usually on the ball when it comes to testing. I called a day later to get the results and they ‘found something different from my past scans’. I went back in four days later for more detailed testing. As I was waiting for the results I found a bible in the waiting room and the Lord took me directly to Psalm 34:1 I will bless the LORD at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth. (KJV) The tech came out with two thumbs up and said that everything was completely normal. I hugged her and started talking to her about the Lord again (as soon as we went into the exam room Jesus was flowing out of my mouth). I explained that whatever the results would have been, I was going to shine for Jesus. Life is not always easy but we are to “bless the Lord at all times”! Bless the Lord today, even if it’s a hard day. Even if you have to make it an effort – make His praise continually be in your mouth. And I promised the tech that I would tell you – women make sure you get routinely checked! AUGUST 20, 2013 – A TIME OF TESTING – Have you ever felt like you have been put through a test? So you should! Life is full of testing – Whether it’s mental, physical, or spiritual test. Someone once told me, “God would never test us.” Scripture shows us much differently. God does test us. Take a look: John 6:5-6 Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.(NKJ) The Lord does not put me through a test in order for Him to find out what I will do. The Lord puts me through a test in order for me to find out what I will do. God is omniscient; He already knows what I am going to do! I, on the other hand, may think I know what I will do in a certain situation, but until I am actually put into that situation, I really don’t know. Eight years ago I was told, “We need to run some test to rule out Lou Garretts Disease.” I learned real fast where I was spiritually. I believe God tested me – tested my faith. In my eyes, it seemed that I failed that test, but in God’s eyes I did not fail it at all. He used that time of testing in my life to build my faith – to show me who I really was and to show me who He really is! Realize – It’s just a test! And you are an A+ to JESUS! Give Him the pencil; He will pass the test for you! AUGUST 19, 2013 – FISH FOOD – Have you ever given much thought to ‘fish food’? Let me rephrase that question – Have you ever given much thought to Jonah? Jonah knew for a fact that God spoke to him. Jonah knew for a fact what the Lord called him to do. And Jonah knew for a fact that he did not want to do it. So, Jonah ran from a specific calling that the Lord placed on his life. Have you ever done that? Has the Lord ever told you something very specifically but it was actually the last thing on earth that you wanted to do? Maybe it doesn’t even make sense to you but you know that Almighty God spoke it. It can happen, and it did happen. Jonah ran and Jonah became fish food. There is no running from God’s plan; even if you run for a thousand miles (I’ve tried it). It will happen, one way or another, in His perfect timing. God will intervene in your life when you run. Instead, place yourself into His hand. Place yourself into obedience unto Him. Stay on the path that He has set before you, or else…or else what? Or else you will become fish food! Jonah 1:3, 4, 17 – V.3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD…V.4 But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea…V.17 Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. (NKJ) Read all of Chapter 2 to see how Jonah handled being fish food! AUGUST 18, 2013 – DEFENSIVE TOOLS – Have you ever taken a self-defense class? Have you ever been trained on what to do if you are suddenly attacked? My daughter Krystal and I are taking a self-defense class tonight. We are going to learn very specific moves to defend ourselves if ever under personal attack. Do you realize a great majority of people are attacked when they are alone and when they are in the dark? The Lord has given you specific spiritual tools that you can use when the enemy attempts to personally attack you. Here are some very specific defensive tools that you can use to defend yourself: The Word of God. Prayer. Fasting. Fellowship with other believers/Attending church. Sharing the Gospel. You can stand strong – The Lord is your defense! 1 Peter 5:8-10 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. (NKJ) AUGUST 17, 2013 – BE ENERGIZED – We are all too familiar with the ‘Energizer Bunny’. He keeps going and going and going and going! Would you like to be able to do that? Would you like to be able to face anything in life and still be filled with energy? Would you like to be able to keep going and going, no matter what? Believe it or not, but the Lord has taught me the secret to an abundance of energy – it is in memorizing! I am serious! I challenge you to memorize a whole chapter of God’s Word. Do this, and upon the completion, you will feel the most incredible amount of energy bursting from your soul! It’s not an easy task. It takes daily discipline. Memorize one verse every single day and then add to it the next day. Write down the verses. Take them with you. Keep repeating the verses over and over again in your mind throughout the day and in twenty-four days you will know twenty-four verses! Seem too difficult? The Lord Himself will help you. Memorizing chapters forever changed my life. Please take the challenge! Memorize to Energize!!! Psalms 1:1-3 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers. (NAS) AUGUST 16, 2013 – LIGHTEN THE LOAD – Do you ever just stop and laugh for awhile? A very interesting comment was made to me yesterday but first let me set the stage for you. I hit/cut my forehead at work. I had to go to the nurse’s office and was given a butterfly-stitch. My boss took our whole department out to eat for lunch, we were sitting at the restaurant and I was explaining to my co-workers what happened. I told them that when I hit my head a knot instantly appeared, like in a cartoon. One of my co-workers said, “Stacey, you are a cartoon!” I said, “I can’t help it that I like to smile and laugh! Believe me, I can be very serious.” He said, “You are right. Life is serious enough. We need to laugh.” Laughter lightens the load. Smiling sweetens the soul. I am very serious when I say – Laugh in life! It is so important for your overall health. Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones. (NKJ) Psalms 126:1-3 When the LORD brought back the captivity of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing. Then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” The LORD has done great things for us, and we are glad. (NKJ) AUGUST 15, 2013 – BUT A FEW DAYS – Have you ever had to wait for something? All of us have! Have you ever had to wait for a promise of God? Check this out: Genesis 29:20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel and they seemed to him but a few days because of his love for her. (NAS) Jacob’s love was so big that the sacrifices he made were small. To him, seven years was “but a few days”. When you know the Lord has spoken, when you know a promise has been made, then time is really irrelevant. Oh, when you walk in the flesh time is relevant, but when you walk in the spirit time is irrelevant! When your eyes are focused on Christ, when your eyes are focused on a pursued purpose then it will be “but a few days”. When you give your all for the glory of God then all sacrifices are small! AUGUST 14, 2013 – STIRRED UP – Have you ever put much thought into stirring something? Probably not, but for a moment, please do. I just stirred some sugar into my coffee and it changed the taste of everything. We stir different sauces/foods in pots that are placed on top of heat, in order that they will not be burned. This morning in my devo time with the Lord, He took me to some interesting places in His Word. He started me in Psalm 88. I said to Him, “Oh that’s just great Lord. That was sure a comforting chapter.” ….I was meaning the complete opposite and He knew it. Then He took me to Lamentations 3, and to top it off He continued to lead me to Psalm 35! One main thing that He was continually showing me throughout these chapters can be summed up in these verses – Psalms 35:22-24a This You have seen, O LORD; do not keep silence. O Lord, do not be far from me. STIR UP YOURSELF, and awake to my vindication, to my cause, my God and my Lord. Vindicate me, O LORD my God, according to Your righteousness (NKJ) The Lord sees everything that is taking place in your life. The Lord gets stirred up on your behalf (v. 23)! He changes everything! He will not allow you to get burned! According to His righteousness we are vindicated! AUGUST 13, 2013 – YOU HAVE TO – Has anyone ever gotten on your nerves? Has a friend ever broken a promise to you and hurt you deeply? Has anyone ever talked about you behind your back? Guess what you have to do – You Have To Love Them! We do not have a choice in this matter, if we are children of God. I am not saying that you have to be best buds with them but you have to love them with the love of God. Father God loved the ‘world’ so much that He gave His only Son. We must love because God is love.(I John 4:8) It does not matter what they have done to you. Jesus is our example. Jesus was betrayed. Jesus was misunderstood. Jesus was laughed at and ridiculed. Jesus continued to love. I John 4:20-21 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also. (NKJ) You have to – It is a command! AUGUST 12, 2013 – THE GREAT ESCAPE – Did you know that Jesus has made your way of escape concerning the traps of this world? I love it when great truths from God’s word are revealed to me. I was so screwed up eighteen years ago, but when I came back to the Lord and rededicated, He immediately caused me to escape the corruption of lust…everything was about His divine nature! Because of His divine nature, our eyes are the eyes of Christ, not the eyes of the world. We see everything differently, and by seeing things differently, we escape the corruption of lust! I knew that He did this in my life all those years ago but I couldn’t quite figure out how, and 2 Peter 1:2-4 explains it perfectly! 2 Peter 1:2-4 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (NKJ) AUGUST 11, 2013 – DON’T BE SPIT OUT– Have you ever tasted something and you had to spit it out of your mouth? That is not a good moment but it happens. Do you realize that God actually talks about spit in His Word? Revelation 3:15-16 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. (NAS) The Lord is into extremes! One definition for extreme: ‘going to great or exaggerated lengths – radical.’ Some people are afraid to go to the extreme for God. They are fearful of what others might say about them. I say, “Be Radical!” I have a baseball cap that says, ‘Crazy For Christ’. Some may think, “That’s not appropriate.” But I say, “I will never be spit out of God’s mouth.” I love going all out for the Lord, and being as hot as fire in the Hands of Almighty God! He is looking for fireballs! He is looking for those who will be radical and for those who will do the radical for the glory of His Kingdom! Will you be a hot fireball or would you rather be spit out of God’s mouth? AUGUST 10, 2013 – FILL UP THE BOWL – Think about how many items you place in a bowl. You probably place things in a bowl on a daily basis. Whether its cereal, fruit, ice cream, oatmeal, beans, rice…you get the picture. Did you realize that something very important of yours is being placed in a bowl for all of eternity? I just love things like this – God’s word excites me like no other!!! Okay, are you ready for this? Your very own prayers are being placed in a bowl. Check this out: Revelation 5:8 Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. (NKJ) You are a saint. Your prayers are as incense unto the Lord and they are placed in a golden bowl. The next time you get a bowl out of the cabinet, think about that. Think about your prayers. Your prayers have power in the name of Jesus. Your prayers are important to the Lord. They are so important to Him that He has places them in a golden bowl! Fill up the bowl!!! AUGUST 9, 2013 – PEACEFUL PIECES – Have you ever put together a Jig-Saw Puzzle? There are a thousand pieces, but you put that puzzle together one piece at a time. Sometimes the puzzle does not quite make sense, but as the crooked pieces come together, a beautiful picture is formed! To me, my life is a big God-Saw puzzle! He is putting all the pieces together, one piece at a time. Sometimes what I am seeing does not quite make sense and may even look crooked but the LORD has given me such an amazing peace because I know He alone holds all of the pieces and I know He alone will put every single piece in its perfect place! I am praying for the LORD to pick up that “Florida piece” and place it in the puzzle of my life, but He has yet to do so, and that is okay, because I have peace in all the pieces! Don’t rush life and don’t rush God – He is putting all things together in your life, one piece at a time. Have peace in your pieces! Isaiah 45:2-3 I will go before you and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the LORD, who call you by your name, am the God of Israel. (NKJ) AUGUST 7, 2013 – BEYOND EXHAUSTED – Have you ever been so tired that you can feel it in your face? Your face is tired! I have been feeling that way for well over a month but I have had to continue to exist in this state. I am so physically exhausted that it’s really beyond my wildest imagination. (School starts soon and this type of exhaustion will end!)Do you realize that the Lord will exhaust you spiritually? Let me explain. First, take a look at one of the definitions for ‘exhaust’ – to consider or discuss (a subject) thoroughly or completely. The Lord will take you to a place spiritually where He wants to thoroughly and completely discuss something with you. He will exhaust you, concerning that subject in your life. Jesus says – Let us discuss this completely! Is there something in your life that the Lord desires to discuss with you? Allow Him to exhaust you concerning that subject. Listen to His instruction! Proverbs 4:11-13 I have taught you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in right paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hindered, and when you run, you will not stumble. Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; keep her, for she is your life.(NKJ ) AUGUST 6, 2013 – GETTING THINGS IN ORDER – What do you do when you know someone is coming to your home? Krystal is coming home Thursday night and she has not been home since Christmas. Anyone that knows me well knows that I will get everything in order for her arrival. The house must be clean. She will have special soaps in her bathtub. There will be a scented candle in her room, plus a Glade Plug-In that will make her room smell like heaven. Actually, it will smell like ‘Sunny Days’ if I can find that scent; her favorite one! I just groomed Sparky, her poodle, so that she can give him lots of hugs. And her favorite foods will be at her fingertips. Guess who is coming to your home soon? JESUS CHRIST is coming back and we must get things in order for His arrival. What needs to get in order? Our life! Since I rededicated my life to the Lord eighteen years ago I have been getting things in order for Him in my life. It’s not about obeying rules but it’s about falling passionately in love with Him, and having a deep desire to please Him. The first order of business must be loving Him! Because it is in love, and through love, that we wholly follow Him! Matthew 22:37-38 Jesus said to him,” ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. (NKJ) August 5, 2013 – THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY – Are you a determined person? Do you refuse to give up? If this is your mentality, then you will accomplish a lot of things in your life, where others would just quit. I took down my trampoline on Friday morning by myself. It was a little difficult to do but I was determined. Friday afternoon in Waco I put together the trampoline all by myself; extremely difficult. It seemed that I should have just given up – over 30 aluminum pipes that needed to be fitted together very tightly using a hammer, and the balancing of the 4 base sections, all seemed totally impossible for a person to do all alone. Plus the over 100 degree heat! My mind kept telling me, “This is impossible Stacey!” But where there is a will, there is a way! As the sweat was pouring down my face, burning my eyes, I was thinking this – When God puts His hands to something, when God has an ordained will, God always has a way to accomplish His will. And the great thing about God, He’s not sweating at all; not physically, or even mentally. He’s not thinking, “I hope I can do this.” No, He knows He can do it, because whenever it’s God’s will, there’s always a way! Isaiah 55:11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. (NKJ) AUGUST 2, 2013 – SURPRISE PARTY – Have you ever been invited to a surprise party? You know what is going to happen ahead of time and you have access to this party because you were invited. In a spiritual sense, God invites us to surprise parties, concerning our very own lives, and He will even tell us these things ahead of time. Check out Jeremiah 33:3 – “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (NKJ) In this verse the word “mighty” also means “inaccessible”. So, the Lord will show us things that we do not have access to otherwise. That is, it’s only by Him and through Him that we are shown these things; He is our access. He is the only way that certain things can happen in our lives, and He tells us to call on Him for these things; to show us these things. By His Spirit, He leads us to the inaccessible! He has access to all things because His is the One who orchestrates all things! I don’t know about you, but that gets me tremendously excited. We serve a very thrilling God and we should have enthusiasm overflowing from within us! Maybe you believe that the Lord has shown you something, but at this time it seems inaccessible. It probably is inaccessible in your life at this time but the Lord is going to give you the access in His time. He deserves all the glory – that’s why He has shown you great and mighty (inaccessible) things, which you do not know! AUGUST 1, 2013 – NO MORE – When was the last time that you were sick or in pain? Has it been days, weeks, months, or possibly even years? I had a slight sore throat last night, which really surprised me because I am almost never sick. Working at the school I see a lot of sickness. Living in my own home I see a lot of sickness. And today I spoke with a dear friend of mine on the phone that is in the hospital having some test done. All of us are probably dealing with sickness, in some form or fashion; whether in our own home or knowing someone else who is ill. We live in a fallen world and we deal with infirmities. Paul cried out to the Lord three times for the thorn in his flesh to be removed but the Lord permitted it to stay in Paul’s life (2 Cor. 12:7-10). Paul did not lack the faith for his healing. But thanks be to God, there will come a time when all sickness and pain will be No More – God will no longer permit it! Rev 21:4-5 “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” (NKJ) JULY 31, 2013 – THE WORD SHARED – Does it do anything in your spirit when you speak words that Jesus Christ actually spoke? Isn’t that totally amazing? Think about it! The Word of God speaks the words of Christ, and we then, in turn, ‘GET TO’ speak them too. Not only do we get to speak them, but the Lord gives us the power and the authority to use His Words, to bring about His will. How well do you know His Word by memory? How many minutes could you quote scripture, without opening up The Word? Test yourself and see – Just between you and the Lord. I love challenging myself with The Word! It’s so important that we hide God’s Word in our heart, because we then are equipped to face any temptation, any trial, or any test that should come our way, at any moment. We have all power and authority in The Word of God! Digest all of Psalm 119!!! Psalms 119:13-16 With my lips I have declared all the judgments of Your mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word. (NKJ) JULY 30, 2013 – BEFORE THE DAWN – Have you ever given much thought as to what Jesus did before the dawn; the dawn of a new day? I do, all of the time. I personally believe that Jesus was an early riser. This morning around five I was sitting in my backyard on my swing and the wind was very boisterous, as the limbs on the trees were swaying back and forth. The clouds were moving very quickly in the sky and there was a half moon shining brightly. I was thinking about the things that Jesus probably did in the early morning hours. I know that He spent a lot of time alone with His father and I know that He spent a lot of time outside. It’s amazing what takes place when you are outside, all alone, before the dawn, and in the presence of Almighty God! Awaken – Before The Dawn – In Your Life! Psalms 108:1-5 O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory. Awake, lute and harp! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise You, O LORD, among the peoples, and I will sing praises to You among the nations. For Your mercy is great above the heavens, and Your truth reaches to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and Your glory above all the earth. (NKJ) JULY 29, 2013 – YOUR EGYPT & YOUR RED SEA – Thousands of years ago God’s chosen people were slaves in Egypt and they were in bondage, until God set them free. The times in Egypt were never forgotten and the real life stories of slavery and freedom were passed down from generation to generation. We each have our own past Egypt where we were slaves to something/in bondage, and we each have our own parting of the Red Sea where God led us to freedom. Here’s my question for you today – Are you passing your story of freedom down to the next generation? Are you telling the people in your life about the crossing of your Red Sea? Don’t be ashamed to speak of your Egypt to others, and here’s why – Others could cross over into Egypt if you do not warn them and there are still others that are in Egypt right now, and they are crying out for help. They are in Egypt looking for a way of escape; looking for their Red Sea. Tell them about your journey and what the Lord did for you! Exodus 13:8-9 On that day tell your son, “I do this because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.” This observance will be for you like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that the law of the LORD is to be on your lips. For the LORD brought you out of Egypt with his mighty hand.(NIV) JULY 28, 2013 – LITTLE GOAT – Do you realize that not a single detail in your life goes unnoticed by your Abba Father? He cares about you! He cares about every single detail, and nothing is too big for Him to handle and nothing is too small for Him to overlook. The Lord uses animals to minister to me in a very special way. I am a runner, and in a spiritual sense, a cave dweller. Meaning, I love to get away to my own cave by myself – hang out in the country, in the pastures, along the creeks, and run along the highways. Earlier this year, through a set of circumstances, some animals that I used to hang out with were removed from my path. My heart was broken for several weeks, and then, all of a sudden – Little Goat appeared on my path! She was a little baby (at the time) and she lives in a pasture nearby. I now see Little Goat almost every single day. She comes up to the fence and visits with me. I look into her eyes, pet her floppy little ears, and have even had to get her horns out of the fence a few times. Nothing is too small for our Lord, and I love that about Him! He saw a need in my life, that would seem small to the human eye, and He provided. He loves us so much and He is so faithful to us! If you need a Little Goat in your life, meaning you need to be ministered to by Him in a specific way, tell Him – no detail is too small for Him! Psalms 138:8 The LORD will perfect that which concerns me; your mercy, O LORD, endures forever; do not forsake the works of Your hands.(NKJ) JULY 27, 2013 – DISCIPLINE – Do you have to force yourself to do certain things in life? That’s called discipline! When you force yourself to do those things on a regular basis, long term, your daily discipline then turns into your daily life. When I began running, I forced myself. When I began eating healthy on a regular basis, I forced myself. When I began fasting on a regular basis, I forced myself. When I began worshipping my Lord in a very particular, personal way, for a set amount of time, I forced myself. You are probably thinking, “What? Stacey, you had to force yourself to spend time with Jesus?!” Yep, I sure did, because I wanted more of Him, and that meant I had to give Him more of me; more of my time. Here’s what I love about discipline: When you discipline yourself in one area of your life, it then spills over to other areas in your life because you are becoming a person of discipline. When you discipline yourself everyday, and do not give up, what was once forced now becomes the way that you just live life. I now can’t imagine not running. I now can’t imagine eating foods that are filled with fat and grease ON A REGULAR BASIS (Hey, I will eat a good chicken fried steak from time to time!) I now can’t imagine not spending my specific amount of time with my Lord. What I once forced upon me, has now become me! 1 Corinthians 9:24,26-27 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. (NKJ) JULY 26, 2013 – LAUGH IN THE DARK – The other night I was so extremely tired from a hard day’s work, the lights were off, I was about to fall asleep, and Leo and I were winding down a conversation. I knew that if I spoke one sentence he and I would both start cracking up laughing; what to do. I love to laugh, so even though it was dark, and even though I was completely worn down, I seized the moment! And I said, “I was a kindergarten drop-out.” The laughter began, and oh, how he had a field day with that one! He said, “I can picture you with your leather jacket on at age 5, standing next to a juke-box, you little rebellious one!” (There is a good explanation, as to the whys of that one.) In life we go through dark times: financially, physically, emotionally, spiritually, but here’s the thing, when the Joy of the LORD is our strength, we will be able to laugh in the dark. Darkness and light are the same to Him (Psalm 139:11-12), and when Christ is your every breath, darkness and light can be the same to us also. I love that about Him. I love how He gives us that! The LORD has taught me how to laugh in very dark times because He sees past the darkness, and He is leading me through it. Isaiah 42:16 I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, and not forsake them. (NKJ) Seize the moment – Laugh in the dark! It’s all going to work out and it’s going to be OK!!! JULY 25, 2013 – IT’S YOUR WATER – Do you realize that Jesus ask you to walk on water too; not just Peter? Jesus said one word to Peter, “Come”, and then Peter stepped out of the boat and walked on water! The water that Peter walked on was just between him and Jesus; not the other disciples. The Lord has asked you to walk on your very own water. He has asked this from you – Believe the impossible! Do the impossible! It’s not your spouse’s water, it’s not your children’s water, it’s not your neighbor’s water, and it’s not your church’s water, because we each face those moments in life when Jesus bids – COME – to you; personally, individually. It’s your faith that He is building. It’s your water, that’s just between you and Jesus, and He is asking you to “Come”! Will you believe? Will you trust? Will you step out in faith? Matthew 14:29-31 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (NKJ) JULY 24, 2013 – LEAVE OR STAY – What do you do when there is controversy? Do you leave the situation or do you stay in the situation? The crucifixion of Christ was very controversial and many of those closest to Jesus left, and did not stay. Mary Magdalene stayed. All of Jesus’ disciples left, except for one, and Mary, whom seven demons were cast out, stayed. What Mary believed was crucified right in front of her and put to death (Matt 27:55). She stayed. What Mary believed was placed in a grave right in front of her (Matt 27:61). She stayed. Even after what Mary believed was in the ground for days, she continued to stay (Matt 28:1). Mary loved Jesus, she believed in Him, and she believed the words that He spoke to her. Only Mary knew what Jesus did in her life and she refused to leave. His words gave her life and she had to stay, even though there was controversy. If Jesus has spoken to you personally and it seems that His words have been crucified right in front of you, put to death, placed in a grave, and the days have passed….Stay. What’s crucified in Christ, will be resurrected! Mark 16:9 Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons. (NKJ) Mary stayed and Jesus came to her first!!! JULY 22, 2013 – GET LOST – Have you ever been so lost that you don’t have a clue where you are anymore? Do you realize, spiritually speaking, that “You” really need to get lost? You need to get so lost in Jesus Christ that “You” no longer matter. When Jesus consumes our life, living is no longer about self. Living is no longer about what I want or what I even feel that I need. “Stacey” got lost eighteen years ago – when I rededicated my life to the LORD, and since then, everything is all about Him! “I” became so completely lost in His love, and every single day, as I look directly into His eyes, He continues to melt my heart. Loose your ‘Self’ in your LORD! Song of Solomon 7:10 I am my beloved’s, and His desire is toward me. (KJV) Song of Solomon 2:10 My beloved spoke, and said to me: “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. (NKJ) JULY 21, 2013 – SAFETY IN SOVEREIGNTY – Do you like to be in control? Do you realize that there is actually great freedom in knowing that you are not in control? One of the definitions for ‘sovereignty’ is freedom from external control. God is in complete control and I find great safety in that. The other day a friend of mine talked about a vision that the Lord had given me in 1996, three weeks after I met Leo. She told me that at that time she thought that I was just being fearful and she thought that the Lord would not reveal Leo’s future illness to me. In May 1997 Leo became ill and the prophecy was fulfilled. So, the question is, why would the Lord show me that, and the answer is “Safety”. The Lord was not speaking ‘sickness’ to me but instead the Lord was speaking ‘life’ to me, because He knew that was going to happen in my life. The day I said my vows to Leo, I knew that someday he would be very ill. As I said, “In sickness and in health” I had the peace of God; already knowing. God is sovereign; know that! Sometimes He reveals things to us ahead of time, and sometimes He doesn’t, but either way, no matter what you are facing, God is sovereign and there is great safety in knowing that. You are always safe in the Hands of God – He Controls Life! Isaiah 64:8 But now, O LORD, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand. JULY 20, 2013 – DO YOU TREMBLE – When you come before the LORD how do you respond? Can you physically feel anything happening within yourself? Being in the presence of God should not only touch us spiritually but also mentally and physically. Almighty God should touch every aspect of our being! When you open up the Word, realize that it is alive and active, it accomplishes the work for which He has sent it, and it never returns void! When you begin to pray, realize that you are speaking with the great I AM, and that when you seek Him with all of your heart you will find Him. When you worship, realize that you are worshipping The One that was crucified for you, conquered the grave for you, and that He arose for you! If you do not tremble at His presence then you are not understanding this, seeing this, or hearing this, just like The Word says. Jeremiah 5:21-22 “Hear this now, O foolish people, without understanding, who have eyes and see not, and who have ears and hear not: Do you not fear Me? Says the LORD. Will you not tremble at My presence?” Tomorrow when you go to worship at your Abba’s house will you not tremble knowing who He is? JULY 19, 2013 – DIRTY FEET – I have been doing carpets all week, but this morning’s carpet was by far the worst one. This carpet is the one that has the most traffic and it was filthy! My question for you today is “Where do your feet traffic you; take you?” Are your feet taking you places that are getting you dirty? Here is a simple truth – Every morning when we wake up, we are in our flesh, and that alone gets our feet dirty. When then open up our front door and step outside, into the world; once again, dirty feet! We need to assess where our feet are taking us. What places do we frequent? What shows do we watch? What lyrics do we listen to? What web sites do we visit? Where do our thoughts take us? What do we speak? It’s so easy to get dirty in this world, even when we try to stay clean. Feet feelin’ a little dirty? Thanks be to God that we each have our very own foot-washer! John 13:3-5 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. ALLOW HIM TO CLEANSE YOU! JULY 18, 2013 – IT WILL TURN OUT – Have you ever had anyone in your life speak against your faith? Look at what Jesus had to say in Luke 21:16, “You will be betrayed even by your parents and brothers, relatives and friends.” In verse 13 of this same chapter Jesus also said this about those who will come against you , “But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony.” Those closest to you will come against your faith, but don’t get upset. Instead, look at it as “An Occasion”; just like The Word says! It’s an occasion for you to continue to walk by faith. Your testimony is not just the day that you were saved. Your testimony is how you handle every day life; you are testifying to your true beliefs. And those who have spoken against you are watching you. You do not have to figure out what to say to them in your defense (Luke 21:14-15). The Holy Spirit is your defender. He will give you the words to say, and He will give you the strength to look them straight in the eye! It will turn out – For the glory of the Lord! JULY 17, 2013 – MAKE IT A BLESSING – Do you realize that even if you are having a hard day you can make it a blessed day? It’s all in your attitude and what you choose to do during those tough hours. I am doing carpets this whole entire week – 40 hrs of heavy duty work but I am making sure that it’s a blessed week; with the Lord’s help, of course. I listen to worship music for 9 hours a day – that’s a blessing! I go to the park on my break, listen to the doves, and swing – that’s a blessing! I’m getting a full-body workout 9 hours a day – that’s a blessing! But the greatest thing – I am singing praise songs to my Savior in a classroom that is going to be filled with high school students…things are taking place in the spiritual realm, within that classroom! Hey, if a janitor can make it a blessed day, so can you! Tomorrow – Make it a blessing! Psalms 145:2 Every day I will bless You, and I will praise Your name forever and ever. JULY 16, 2013 – OVER AND OVER AGAIN – Those words “over and over again” were crossing my mind all day today because, once again, I was shampooing carpets at work. I have to go over a small area, over and over again, until the water is clear; there are no shortcuts. I cannot move on to another area until that area is completely finished. Do you realize that the Lord will deal with you on a specific thing, over and over again, until you get it? He often will not move on until He has finished the work that needs to be done in that area of your life. Sometimes we just don’t “get it” and by not “getting it” we are prolonging the next step that the Lord would have us take. Maybe your faith is small – Jesus is going to go over that area in your life, over and over again, until your faith grows and you get it! Maybe you do not trust Him completely in a certain area of your life – Jesus is going to make sure that you do, even if He has to deal with you over and over again, before He takes you to the next place in your walk with Him. Psalms 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way. (NAS) JULY 15, 2013 – BUT MY SERVANT – Do you realize that the Lord stands up for you? Everyone could be against you for what you believe that the Lord has shown you, but HE is for you! Caleb gave a report to the people telling them that they could take the land but the children of God did not have enough faith to believe that God would do that. Scriptures tells us four times that Caleb ‘wholly followed’ the Lord. Definition for wholly: 1: to the full or entire extent:COMPLETELY. When Caleb was forty years old he believed that God would give him the land and Caleb had to wait until he was eighty-five years old to be given his mountain, Hebron. (Joshua 14) There was something different about Caleb. Numbers 14:24 “But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it.(NKJ) Wholly Follow the Lord and HE will say this about you – But MY servant – Your Name! Your mountain is coming! JULY 14, 2013 – THE SAME SKIN – Do you realize that 16% of your body weight is skin? Calculate that one! Did you know that your skin is your largest organ? Some may be thinking, “What? Our skin is an organ?” Look at your skin right now – touch it. Have you ever put much thought into this: Jesus Christ walked around in the exact same skin as you; the same skin! In my personal opinion, so many people find it very difficult to truly grasped who “God” is because in their minds they think that He is just the ‘man upstairs’. They visualize God as being way up high in the sky. When we truly comprehend who Jesus was, then we can truly comprehend who Jesus IS! Father God sent Jesus Christ His son to this earth and He placed Him in our skin. His skin would get cut and bruised just like our skin gets cuts and bruises. His skin would get burnt by the sun just like our skin gets sunburns. The skin on His feet would get blistered just like our feet become blistered. Jesus dwelt in the same skin as us. Jesus understands us because He became us! John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (NKJ) JULY 13, 2013 – SUNRISE TO SUNSET – Have you ever really thought about how much can be accomplished in a day? As the sun arose this morning I was running down an ole’ country road in Dimebox, TX listening to worship music; it was so beautiful. Within a few hours my family reunion was taking place. As the afternoon progressed the Lord totally opened up the door for me to talk to my second cousins about my testimony/book. I used to babysit these gals, which are now in their twenties. They listened intently to what I had to say and they eagerly took ‘Fulfilling Love’. As I was driving back home to Harper I witnessed the most beautiful sunset, and at that very moment my thoughts went back to the sunrise that I had seen fourteen hours earlier. God accomplished a lot today! Seeds were planted, between sunrise and sunset! All of us hold very precious seeds within our hands – lets plant them!!! 1 Corinthians 3:6-7 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. (NKJ) JULY 12, 2013 – PRAY IT BACK – Do you realize that The Word of God is not only a tool in our hands for living in this world but the Word of God is also a tool in our hands for talking with our Father? God gave us His Word to give us wisdom, knowledge, and understanding concerning Him, His ways, His will, and His love. We use His Word to grow us up into all things. His Word is truth – ALL TRUTH! Nothing in His Word is false – ALL of His Promises are Yes and Amen in Him! I pray His Word back to Him all of the time. Example: Father God Your Word tells me to trust in You with all of my heart and to lean not on my understanding. I have acknowledged You in all of my ways. So, I know Lord God that You are directing my path. (Proverbs 3:5) Another example: God Your Word tells me that No temptation have overtaken me except what is common to man but that You are faithful and that You will not allow me to be tempted beyond what I am able. And Lord You have promised me to make a way of escape, that I may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13) And yet another example: Father God You have promised that all of Your gifts and callings for me are irrevocable. So, I am standing on Your promises for the callings that You have placed in my life….You will do Your will in my life no matter what has taken place! (Romans 11:29) PRAY HIS WORD BACK TO HIM – He loves that! He honors that! HIS WORD NEVER RETURNS VOID!!! JULY 11, 2013 – YOU ARE WRITTEN – Have you ever heard of this saying, “I can read you like a book”? Well, guess what – God can read you like a book, because He has already written you. Psalms 139:16 All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (NIV) He already knows every single chapter that’s in you. God is sovereign and man is responsible. Therefore, God wrote down what He knew He was going to do in you, and God wrote down what He knew that you were going to do out of your own free will. God knew it all; the good, the bad, and the ugly, so to speak. He wrote you. He knows you. He loves you! The Word of God says “It is written” (in the NKJV) 78 times, and God says to you “You are written” every single moment of your life! It’s a really great thing, because what God starts in you, God finishes in you…..ALWAYS!!! Maybe a chapter has ended in your life, but a new chapter if just a flip of a page away. And let me tell you something, hold onto your hats because it’s going to be a doozy! Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (NIV) JULY 10, 2013 – BE AN OVERCOMER – Have you ever felt like a ton of bricks has fallen on top of you; whether mentally, physically, or spiritually? We have all watched the shows where a brick wall actually falls on top of a super hero. You sit there waiting, because you know what’s about to happen, and then all of a sudden, you see their arm pushing through the bricks! Super heroes always overcome the odds that are against them. Well, those shows are for fun, but we have a real super friend, Jesus Christ, that actually gives us real super-natural power, that enables us to always overcome. We can always push through those bricks that we are facing. Maybe you need to push through a job situation, a financial difficulty, problems in a relationship, or health issues. Maybe you need to even push through an ordained God-situation that He has specifically made to fit who you are in Him, in your time of testing. Push Through – You are an overcomer! What are a few bricks anyway? I John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world– our faith. (NKJ) JULY 9, 2013 – THE GREATEST GIFT – What’s the greatest gift that a person has ever given you? Can you think of it? Mine is actually a chain necklace from Wal-mart that says ‘Best Friends’ on it, and it probably cost about $5.00. Leo gave it to me one year on our anniversary. What’s the greatest gift that God has ever given you? Can you think of it? Do you think it might be something that is ‘yet’ to come? We all need to realize, and I mean truly realize, that we have already been given the greatest spiritual gift ever; nothing given to us from God in the future will ever come close. Our Salvation is the absolute greatest gift – Salvation is as good as it gets – NOTHING can top what the Lord has already given us! So often we ‘long’ for this, that, and the other from God, while all along, the whole time we are already holding the greatest gift! Revelation 12:10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. (NKJ) JULY 8, 2013 – NO CALLOUS – Do you have a callous? If you do, you can actually see how your skin has hardened. I have been a janitor at Harper I.S.D. for almost two years now. Within my first two weeks of work I could see six calluses beginning to form on my hands. I told my co-workers that there was no way that my hands were going to get that way. They just laughed at me and told me that there was no way that I could be a janitor and not get calluses. I came to work the next day wearing work-out gloves; wear them everyday! Two years later, I still have soft hands! Do you realize that the Word of God will actually keep our hearts soft? The Word of God covers our hearts. When our hearts become hard and calloused, sin does not affect us that much, but when our hearts are soft and sensitive, sin hurts us. When you sin does your heart hurt? When you see sin in the world, does it break your heart? Refuse to be calloused – put on the Word of God everyday! Psalms 73:7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity; the evil conceits of their minds know no limits. (NIV) Psalms 119:11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You! (NKJ) JULY 7, 2013 – THE REAL MUSIC – Some people like Christian music, a lot of people around here like country, others rock n’ roll, some hip-hop, and still others like the blues….but the Real Music, in my opinion, is the best music. I was sitting on top of the picnic table yesterday morning. Leo opened up the door and asked, “How are you doing?” I said, “I’m listening to the real music!” He said, “What music?” and I said, “Yea, the real music! Listen, to the birds singing and the wind blowing through the trees. Listen to the rooster crowing. All of this is real music!” He then asked, “Did you hear the real music of the dog in the middle of the night?”….it was funny; had to be there! It’s so easy for us to drown out the real music by the things of this world. So many people get up in the morning and immediately the T.V. is turned on, or the radio, or the computer/facebook. People spend hours upon hours of their time on these things. Take the time to listen to the real music – God’s creation – because in His creation, He speaks volumes! Psalms 65:11-13 You crown the year with Your goodness, and Your paths drip with abundance. They drop on the pastures of the wilderness, and the little hills rejoice on every side. The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered with grain; they shout for joy, they also sing. (NKJ) JULY 6, 2013 – THE LOOK OF FAITH – Do you want to see what faith looks like? Walking by faith may actually look like this: Being laughed at and making others mad. Thrown into a pit. Sold into slavery. Cast into prison for years. (Joseph) Or faith may look like this: Taking care of some animals, while killing other animals. Spending a lot of time alone and worshipping the Lord often. Hiding out in caves, and actually touching the one that would like to destroy you, without bringing any harm to them. (David) Another look of faith: Being completely pure, walking with the Lord, and for a short time, those closest to you think that you are lying about your actions and lying about what you say God said. (Mary) So, what is the look of faith in your life? If it looks a little strange, you are in good company. Trust what God has shown you – He knows what He is doing! Walk by faith, not by sight! Hebrews 11:11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. JULY 5, 2013 – NO PAIN, NO GAIN – We have all heard of that saying, but there is actually a whole lot of truth to that. When Leo and I were dating we walked in complete purity. I can remember one evening we said our goodbyes out on the porch, he left, and I went inside my home and sat in my recliner. I said to the Lord, “This hurts so much. I am doing everything right Lord, and I am in so much pain. I just don’t get this.” The Holy Spirit spoke these words to me, “When something dies there is pain. When something dies there is hurt. Your flesh is dying.” At that moment I completely understood the pain and at that moment I became very spiritually excited. I knew Leo was God’s will for me because the Lord had given me a vision but I was not grasping how something from God could be so painful in my flesh. The Lord used that situation in my life to teach me how spiritual things from Him are used to kill off our flesh. When we walk in obedience we will feel great fleshly pain but at the same time we will have great spiritual gain. Does your obedience hurt? I know I am an odd sort, but I have learned to love that pain – because I gain Christ! Galatians 5:16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. JULY 4, 2013 – PREPARING TO BURN – Think about this: Whenever you burn something, you must first make preparations; whether you are speaking of a burn pile or even a simple fire in your wood stove. Abraham had to prepare for a burn, and Genesis 22:1-18 tells us all about it. The Lord told Abraham to take his promise and make a burnt offering with it; his son Isaac. Once the Lord told Abraham to do this, he had to then prepare for the burn, and even travel three days before he saw the place ‘afar off’ to where the burning was going to take place. The Lord gives each of us promises and then the Lord will ask us to burn that promise. And from what I have learned, the bigger the promise and the longer the years in the making for that promise, the preparation for the burning takes time. In the same way that Abraham prepared and traveled to the place of the burning, we must also prepare and travel to a very specific place. I can’t tell you what preparations you need to make and tell you the specific place for your burnt offering, but the Lord will. I personally have been preparing to burn and the Lord has shown me the exact place that the burning will take place. Genesis 22:4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. JULY 3, 2013 – HAVE FUN – The choice is yours, it really is. How do I know? L-I-F-E has proven it to me, time and time again. Yesterday I wanted to break up the monotony of the day (scrubbing floors) with my co-workers, so I started twirling with the doodle bug (professional cleaners know what this is…and yes, I used to be a twirler). I then proceeded to dance with the doodle bug. I knew they would start cracking up laughing, and the plan worked! It’s so easy to have fun in life and it does not have to take any money. Do you know what it takes? It takes YOU! You have to lighten up and choose not to be a bump on a log. Having fun can be a great adventure – in the spur of a moment – fun happens! You can also have fun with Jesus; just the two of you. Some of the funniest times that I have ever had have been alone with Him. You want to know why? HE is never in a bad mood, and HE loves to smile!!! Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones. (NKJ) JULY 2, 2013 – DON’T CRUMBLE – What happens when you crush a cookie? Pressure is applied and the cookie crumbles. I recently told a very good friend of mine that the Lord has taught me one very particular thing about myself, concerning a certain situation in my life this past year. The Lord has taught/shown me that I am one tough cookie, because of Him! It’s so easy for us to crumble under the pressures of life sometimes. It’s so easy for us to walk in our flesh, curl up in a corner, and just give up, but don’t! Don’t crumble under the pressure. Whether you are facing pressures on the job, in your home, in your relationships, i.e., wherever the pressure is coming from, walk in the confidence of Christ. Your identity is in Christ and He will hold you together. We can all be one tough cookie because Jesus Christ is our special ingredient – He keeps us from crumbling! Isaiah 40:29 He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. (NKJ) JULY 1, 2013 – THE ROAD AHEAD – Has the road ahead of you ever looked difficult? Saturday morning I did my usual stretching at the gate, preparing to run, and then I looked at the road ahead of me, as I always do. But on this day, the road ahead of me looked very difficult. It looked very long. I was tired from my previous work week but I knew that I had to tackle what was in front of me, because beyond the road that I could see, I knew what was ahead – great blessings at the creek! Often times in life the road ahead is a very difficult road, but there are blessings for us from the Lord if we will endure and not give up. The Lord never takes us to a road that leads to no where. The road ahead has purpose. The road ahead has meaning. The road ahead may be difficult for you to travel but keep following after God – there is a beautiful creek that flows from the Hand of Almighty God, where He is going to pour out His blessings upon you. Nehemiah 9:12 Moreover You led them by day with a cloudy pillar, and by night with a pillar of fire, to give them light on the road which they should travel. (NKJ) JUNE 30, 2013 – THE SNAKE IS THERE – Has the fact that there are snakes outside, in the places that you work, or places that you enjoy being at, stopped you from being there? I love running down to the creek and spending time with the Lord, but there is one little complication – the snake is there! It’s almost always there. It hangs out between the exact same rocks, as the water flows through the creek, almost every day. Just because the snake is there does not mean that God is not there, and just because the snake is there does not mean that God does not want me there. Do you realize that the snake was in the Garden of Eden? Adam and Eve were exactly where God wanted them but the snake was there. Do you realize that in the Garden of Gethsemane the Son of Man was betrayed into the hands of sinners? (Matt. 26:45) Christ was exactly where God wanted Him but the snake was there. Just because the snake might be hanging out in a specific place in your life (your spiritual garden) does not mean that it’s not from God. In fact, because the snake is there, could be a very good indication that it is from God! Genesis 2:8 The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.(NKJ) JUNE 29, 2013 – BEAUTIFUL TEARS – When you see ‘tears’, what do you think of? Do you think of words like these: unhappy, sad, depressed, lonely? Tears do not always have to mean that. Infact, tears can be a very beautiful thing. Last night I was on my swing talking to, and worshipping Jesus, and the tears did begin to roll down my face, but they were not out of sadness. They were out of complete surrender. I had a phone conversation earlier with a sweet friend and I was telling her how much I love obedience. We obey the Lord. We walk only on His path. We take our hands off of things, and we know that the only hands moving things in our life is the Lord. I have been praying for over four years that the Lord would move me out of Harper, and I believe with all of my heart that I have been walking on the path of obedience with my Master. So, I am still here, and that’s OK. I love how God is always in control. I love how all things work together for good, no matter what. I have learned to love the tears of obedience. Jesus has kept every single one of our tears! Psalms 56:8 You number my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book? (NKJ) JUNE 28, 2013 – HE SATISFIES – You know how when you are really hungry, so much so that your stomach growls, you then eat, and your tummy is completely satisfied? I know, weird illustration, but it helps explain ‘being satisfied’. You are filled. You no longer hunger. A friend of mine recently shared that they have not been satisfied for years. My heart broke when I heard these words, but we do all go through times of dissatisfaction…in Christ, this should not be so. The Lord brought me to a place years ago where He truly taught me how He, and He alone, completely satisfies. If I could give anything to my friend, it would be the gift of being satisfied, no matter what. The Lord satisfies in loneliness. The Lord satisfies in financial loss. The Lord satisfies in illness. The Lord satisfies in the darkness. The Lord ALWAYS satisfies. And here’s the craziest thing – we learn how the Lord completely satisfies when we are walking in dissatisfaction. I pray that if you are dissatisfied, it will only be for a short time. JESUS fulfills every single longing that our human heart has…I promise, because HE PROMISES! Psalms 145:16-19 You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing. The LORD is righteous in all His ways, gracious in all His works. The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; he also will hear their cry and save them. JUNE 27, 2013 – YOUR MANSION – Have you ever given much thought to your mansion; the mansion that the Lord is preparing just for you? When I was in Virginia last week preparing for my daughter’s wedding we stayed at a very beautiful, very large home. I did my devotions out on the deck, as I watched squirrels eating out of a bird feeder. I watched rabbits pouncing on the squirrels chasing them away. All the while, the birds were looking longingly at their bird feeder! I would then go into the living room and turn on the worship music. Every morning I thought, “I can’t wait! I can’t wait to get my very own mansion; prepared by Jesus, just for me!” It’s for real – If you have given your life to the Lord, you get one too! Leo told me that many Bible scholars believe that ‘mansion’ actually means our new body in heaven. I told him, “That’s good and all, but I am still getting a real mansion!” John 14:2 “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” JUNE 26, 2013 – THE APPOINTMENT MAKER – Have you ever had to break an appointment? Maybe something just came up in your life and you had to cancel. Do you realize that God never cancels and breaks His appointments? As I was shampooing carpets all day I listened to my MP3 player; worship songs and Bible teachings. One of the teachings that I listened to today was about Sarah. She thought that her promised appointment was canceled – she even laughed about it. (Gen 18:12) God has specific things appointed for each one of us. Maybe you feel like you should be working at a different job. Maybe you feel like you should be living somewhere else. Maybe you know the Lord has spoken a promise to you and it has been years in the waiting. The Lord could not fulfill His promise to Sarah until it was the ‘Appointed Time’. The Appointments that God has for you have already been set; the dates and the times have already been prepared. It’s a done deal – according to the time of life!!! Genesis 18:14 “Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.” (NKJ) Now that’s worth taking a deep breath…. and relaxing! JUNE 25, 2013 – RECOGNIZE JESUS – Have you ever put much thought into this: God’s chosen people did not recognize Him! They had been worshipping Him for thousands of years. They had studied the scriptures, and still, when He stood right in front of their face, they did not recognize Him. Because Jesus came to them in a different manner, than their preconceived ideas, they missed seeing Him. If His own chosen people missed seeing Him, you might also miss seeing Him. Is Jesus standing right in front of your face too, coming to you in a different manner than your preconceived ideas? An elder once told me, “God can do whatever He wants to do – Just read the stories in His Word!” The “religious” did not recognize Jesus – Make sure that you do! Luke 15:1-2 Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” (NKJ) JUNE 24, 2013 – THE ALONE PLACE – Have you ever felt like God has called you, alone? I am speaking of two scenarios here for the word ‘alone’: 1) God calls you alone, to a lonely place all by yourself and 2) God calls you alone, no one else, for a specific purpose. I believe when God calls you alone, for a specific purpose, He often leads you to a place where you are all alone. It’s in this Alone Place where He prepares you and perfects you. It’s in this Alone Place where He teaches you and trains you. It’s in this Alone Place where you learn God and fall deeply in love with God. You might be called to the Alone Place for years. The Alone Place is one of the greatest places to be! Isaiah 51:2 Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you; for I called him alone, and blessed him and increased him.” (NKJ) Learn God, in order to live God!!! JUNE 23, 2013 – DO WHATEVER IT TAKES – Last night, as we were driving home from the airport at 1 a.m., I was doing everything in my power to stay awake. Stopped at Boerne to get a coffee, blasted the music, tried a little Christian music, jammed to classic rock, stopped and walked around outside, leaned forward towards the steering wheel, while driving….at this point, Leo says, “What are you doing?” I said, “I am doing whatever it takes to stay awake!” I only had to stay awake for 60 more minutes but I was definitely zoning out. It’s so easy to zone out physically when we get tired. Do you realize that you can zone out in the spiritual too? Have you ever been tired spiritually? Do whatever it takes not to let that happen. Worship more! Pray more! Read The Word more! Fast more! Rest in Christ more! Trust God more! Love Jesus more! Do something – do whatever it takes – Stay awake in your relationship with Jesus! Psalms 119:147-148 I rise before the dawning of the morning, and cry for help; I hope in Your word. My eyes are awake through the night watches, that I may meditate on Your word. (NKJ) JUNE 22, 2013 – BELIEF – Do you realize that you can’t ‘kinda’ believe something? A kinda belief, will kinda do nothing. Belief changes you! You have to believe that Jesus Christ has the power to break the chains of sin in your life – and then the chains will be broken. You have to believe that Jesus Christ will fill you up to overflowing with His love for His people – and then you will be amazed at His love that pours forth from your heart. You have to believe that The Word of God is alive and active – and then you will speak The Word with authority, knowing it has power. Is your belief changing you? Believe Jesus – everything changes!!! 1Thessalonians 2:12-13 Walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe JUNE 20, 2013 – WHATEVER YOU NEED – Have you ever told someone, “I will do whatever you need?” Those were my words to Ashly this week. We are getting ready for the wedding – getting things ready for the Bride and the Groom! We are the Bride of Christ and our Groom is coming soon. Are you getting ready for Him? There are things that need to be done on this earth before our Groom returns. Are you willing to say, “I will do whatever You need Lord”? I was thinking about that yesterday as I was driving from airports, to train stations, to stores and hotels….you get the picture. Jesus is coming back and things need to be done! You can either step up to the plate and step out in faith or you can choose to sit back and do nothing. Things need to be done and HE will find someone to do them. Will you do whatever HE needs? Luke 12:40 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. JUNE 19, 2013 – PREPARE TO ANSWER – Are you prepared to be questioned by Almighty God Himself? In Job 38:3 and Job 40:7 God says, “Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you and you shall answer Me.” In our humanness we often go before God and question Him on this, that, and the other. Do you realize who it is that you are questioning? Really think about the ONE that you dare to question. In Job 38:1 and Job 40:6 The Word tells us that the Lord said this to Job out of the whirlwind. Maybe right now your life feels like a whirlwind is taking place…..It’s going to be OK. Everything is going to work out. You want to know why? Because whenever we prepare ourselves, and we are able to give the same answer as Job gave, everything is always OK! Job 42:2 “I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.” TRUST GOD – He knows what He’s doing – HE is God!!! JUNE 18, 2013 – POSITIVE PERSPECTIVE – Do you realize that your response to a situation in life is dependent upon your perspective? Your point of view dictates your emotions. So, what is your point of view? Is the glass half empty or is the glass half full? I know, sounds silly, but thinking positive can truly change your life in so many ways. We are all faced with hard, trying times but when we face those times with an intentional positive attitude we will view things very differently. Positive mind control does not have to be looked upon as some weird, strange ‘worldly’ practice. I believe that positive mind control is very spiritual. Jesus had positive mind control because His mind was focused on the Father at all times. Jesus did not walk around with a down in the dumps attitude, and since He is living inside of us, neither should we! Colossians 3:2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. JUNE 17, 2013 – A CERTAIN PLACE – How many places have you been to in your life? I know, more places than you can even count. Sometimes we go to a certain place in life and we don’t even realize the significance of that place when we first arrive. Genesis 28:11 “So he (Jacob) came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set.” To me, life is so interesting because God Almighty leads us to a certain place before He reveals Himself to us in that place. Right now you might be in a certain place in your life wondering why you are there, or maybe even wondering how you got there. Genesis 28:16 “Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” The LORD is in your certain place – You just may not know it yet! TRUST GOD! JUNE 16, 2013 – FAITHFUL FATHERS – Today is Father’s Day and I have 4 Fathers in my life to be thankful for: My Heavenly Father, my biological Father, my husband, who has been a Father to my girls, and my Spiritual Father. All of these Fathers have been faithful to me in their calling concerning my life. They each look after me in different ways. One of the greatest gifts that we can give to our children is FAITHFULNESS – to always be there for them and to always do what we promise them. My Father in Heaven has always been faithful to what He has spoken to me. Sometimes it has taken years but He always does what He says! Genesis 21:1 “And the LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had spoken.” TRUST GOD – He is a Faithful Father!!! JUNE 15, 2013 – MAKE THE MOST – Do you realize how precious ‘today’ is? We only have one today; not two of them. We need to make the most of this day; the day that the Lord has given us. Take advantage of what is going on in your life today because once that clock strikes twelve…no, you won’t turn into a pumpkin, but this day will be over and it will never be lived out again. Today Harper is celebrating 150 years of life, so if you are in the area, come out and celebrate! Today I am going to be reunited with two of my daughters that I have not seen for a very long time and we are going to be getting ready for Ashly’s wedding! Whatever your today holds for you, make sure that you make the most of it and make sure that you hold it close to your heart. God has given it to you, so rejoice and make it a good day! Psalms 118:24 This is the day the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. (NKJ) JUNE 14, 2013 – SPEEDING CAUSES WRECKS – What happens when you drive too fast? You will loose control of your car and get into a wreck! Something happened in my past, and I understood ‘what’ happened, but I didn’t understand ‘why’ it had to happen the way that it did. This week in a bible teaching I learned a spiritual truth that explained to me the ‘why’. Whenever we get ahead of God, you could basically say that we are speeding. We are speeding ahead of God, on His plan and His timing, and we are going to be faced with a Spiritual Wreck. And let me tell you something, a Spiritual Wreck can be just as painful as a physical wreck, if not more. Just as we obey the ‘speed zone’ we must also obey the ‘God Zone’. Go at His speed, or else you will end up in the Spiritual Intensive Care Unit, hooked up to The Holy Spirit Life Support for a season. If God shows you the future, wait on Him to get you to the future – Don’t speed – Drive in the God Zone! Habakkuk 2:3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. JUNE 13, 2013 – THE TOUCH OF GOD – I often lay awake in the middle of the night asking the Lord, “Please hold me. Just hold me Jesus. Wrap Yourself all around me.” Tuesday night I was not feeling good at all. I started feeling ill at work around 3:30 and it lasted for over 2 hours. I had already planned on going to church no matter what, even if I was physically exhausted from work, so feeling physically ill was not helping. I went to church because I just knew in my spirit that I had to go, no matter how bad I felt. By the time I lay down for the night I was beat mentally and physically, and in my spirit…..(can’t even put a word to the spiritual). I asked Leo to please hold me as I feel asleep. I felt the strength of his arms around me and I felt his breath on my back. Jesus spoke to my spirit as I laid there in the dark and said, “This is what I do to you every time you ask this of Me. Feel My breath.” Job 33:4-5 The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. If you can answer me, set your words in order before me; take your stand. JUNE 12, 2013 – PERSONAL TRAINER – Do you realize that you have your very own personal trainer and you do not need to pay Him $50 an hour? I was a certified personal trainer for twelve years and there was not a single client that I could not get into shape IF they were willing to work hard, to see change. Jesus is our own personal trainer in all areas of life. He will push you beyond your limits; that’s how you get stronger and see change. Your workout will be different than mine. The Lord will do things to me personally that He will not do to you. He knows what it will take in my life to push me to a higher level. Anyone can get stronger. It just depends on this one thing – How bad do you want it? Want to lose weight and get into shape? Want to keep your mind focused? Want to grow spiritually? God can train you in all these areas but you have to do the workout – no one else can do it for you! Philippians 2:12b Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling (a hard physical workout will actually make you tremble too!) JUNE 11, 2013 – THE DRIVE – “Are we there yet Daddy?” How many times have we heard that coming from the backseat of our car? We say that as children, but then we continue to say that as adults to our Heavenly Father. I was thinking about this all day today at work, while I was shampooing the carpet in one room for 8 hours…yes, it takes that long. The Lord is taking each one of us somewhere – His Destination – and we often become antsy during the drive. We need to enjoy the scenery of what is right in front of us, instead of trying to see what’s way ahead. The Lord is taking us on a trip of a lifetime, so take full advantage of the road that you are on right now. The drive itself is a great adventure! Stop asking, “Are we there yet ABBA?” As long as ABBA is with you – You are already there!!! Galatians 4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” (NKJ) JUNE 10, 2013 – YOU ARE MORE – Have any problems in your life? Have any financial strain? Have any pain of any kind, whether mental or physical? Whatever you are facing, you are so much more! We have to stay positive, even in the midst of the negative. We have to rise above because – because we can! In Christ we can take a down in the dumps moment, and turn it right side up. When I was driving home yesterday from my daughter’s I was at that moment – the moment of choice. I told myself, “You can either cry right now OR you can totally get high on Jesus!” I chose Jesus! And then guess what happened? Right then on the radio a song called ‘Every Good Thing’ by The Afters came on. Just listen to it – Yep, I started dancing right there in the van. We are so much more than what we are facing. Choose to be more! Romans 8:37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. JUNE 9, 2013 – YOUR SYSTEM – Do you actually think that you can get something “Out of your system”? Leo and I were just talking about addictions. A friend of ours had been off drugs for a month but she went on a 24 hr binge, and then sought help again. I told Leo, “She probably thought: Just this one last time; to get it out of my system.” We can’t get anything ‘out of our system’ because a part of our system is our flesh, and we will always live in our flesh until the day that we die. And what we want to ‘get out’ is sin, and we will be sinners until the day that we die. The only way to get out, is to get in – get in to a very powerful relationship! The more that we allow Jesus Christ to get in to us, the more that our lives will reflect Him; instead of reflecting human fleshly desires. Colossians 3:8-10 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds,and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him (NKJ) June 7, 2013 – WALKING THROUGH SHADOWS – I woke up in the middle of the night and I could not fall back to sleep. So, I pondered these words, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death”. We walk through many shadows throughout our lifetime. Death does not just mean ‘physical death’. I personally believe that the Lord means any type of darkness that brings pain to your soul. Your soul is – your mind, your will, and your emotions. (Your Spirit is what lives eternally) A friend of mine is walking through a shadow because her daughter is choosing to use drugs. A family member of mine is facing false accusations and the shadow that he has to deal with is very dark, until he is proven innocent. I am walking through my own personal shadows. We each face shadows, but here’s the thing – we are only walking through them. The rest of Psalm 23:4 says – I will fear no evil; for You are with me; your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. (NKJ) Light creates shadows – Ponder that one! June 6, 2031 – STAND YOUR GROUND – Remember this song: I won’t back down. No I won’t back down. I will stand my ground…(Tom Petty) I heard it the other day and I listened to the words closely. We need to always stand our ground when we know that the Lord has called us to something and we should not back down. Opposition will come, and that’s why you have to know, without a doubt, that the Lord is in it. I heard a bible teaching a few years ago that talked about having a ‘Bull-dog Mentality’ and that teaching stuck with me. So much so, that I have a very dear friend that has said to me, on more than one occasion, “Stace, that’s the bull-dog in you.” Hebrews 10:35-36 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise. (NKJ) JUNE 5, 2013 – POISON – What comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘poison’? Is it – Danger! Is it – Don’t touch that! Is it – Stay Away! If I tried to hand you a spoon of rat poison you would not touch it and you sure wouldn’t taste it. So why do we put our hands on sin? Why do we taste sin? Why do we look at sin and think about sin? Sin is poison, and until we look at it with those eyes we might just play around with it, thinking that it is harmless. You can’t play with poison – you wouldn’t play with poison. Yes, we do have God’s grace that covers our sin, and I think that a lot of Christians walk around with this mentality – “If I sin, God will just forgive me.” Don’t try to dress up your sin – it is Poison! The poison of sin put the Son of God on the Cross because of God’s love for you. What do you think the poison of sin will do to you because of God’s love for you? Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? (NKJ) June 4, 2013 – IT’S JUST HUMAN – Have you ever thought about how human Jesus was? He was totally God, but yet totally human. He would get hungry, just like you and I. He would be concerned over certain circumstances, just like you and I, and He would cry. He would get physically tired, just like you and I. I went non-stop this weekend, took Leo to the doctor yesterday in S.A., and the result of my activities hit me today like a ton of bricks – my first ten hour shift, to top it off! I should be at church right now but I can barely keep my eyes open and I am totally exhausted. Jesus understands the things that we face completely because He was human just like you and I. You can go to Him on anything, and everything; the things that you face in all of life. He understands – it’s just human! John 11:35 Jesus wept. (NKJ) June 3, 2013 – LOOK BEYOND – Isn’t it amazing what binoculars can do? You can’t see it with your human eyes but as soon as you look into those binoculars – it’s right in front of you! We have a tendency to look at things in life with just our human eyes, and in thus doing, we put limits on God. Do you think that you can walk around not believing something and expect to actually achieve it? You must first truly believe it in order to see it. Then once you see it you can then achieve it! Look beyond the problems to the solutions. Look beyond the obstacles to the opportunities. Look beyond the impossible to the possibilities! Put on your Spiritual Binoculars – It’s right in front of you!!! Numbers 24:4 The utterance of him who hears the words of God, who sees the vision of the Almighty, who falls down, with eyes wide open (NKJ) June 2, 2013 – ALWAYS SAFE – Can you imagine being rich enough to hire a full-time bodyguard that would always protect you? If you are in Christ, you are rich enough, and if you are in Christ, HE is your full-time bodyguard! My husband knows that safety and protection mean everything to me, because of my past – I have to feel protected and safe at all times; it is a must! And Jesus knows that about me too! Jesus goes before us, each and every day. He surrounds us; places a hedge of protection about us. All of my days have been ordained for me already, so I have nothing to fear! Read all of Psalm 139! It’s an incredible chapter in The Word! Psalm 139:5 Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. (KJV) June 1, 2013 – ONLY MINE – Did you know that the LORD has something just for you, and no one else? What is it? It is His own personal self, with your own personal self. In other words, Jesus gets personal with Just You! This morning as I was driving to my brother’s house I was thinking about all of the “Only Mines” that I share with the LORD (thousands of them). What happened to me eighteen years ago with My Go…d is only mine, not yours. What happened to me when the Lord gave me my first vision is only mine, not yours. What happened to me each and every time that the Lord spoke great things to Me are only mine, not yours. AND what has happened between you and your precious LORD are only yours, not mine! We serve an up close and personal God!!! Psalm 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and he delights in his way. May 31, 2013 – CONTINUE TO GRADUATE – Graduation is a big deal! We set up 683 chairs in the Harper gym, plus we have all of the seating from the bleachers too. It’s an important day for many individuals and for many families. Graduation is not a once in a lifetime event. Do you realize that you can continually graduate? You can continue to move forward concerning certain degrees in your life. Spiritually speaking, we can continue to graduate from one spiritual degree to another. Don’t stay the same spiritually. Whatever you are happy and content with you will have. Don’t settle for less – Strive for the best! Hebrews 6:1 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God (NKJ) May 30, 2013 – PICTURES OF GOD’S HEART – The Word of God is filled with the heart of God, and one of the most beautiful pictures of the heart of God is The Cross of Christ. God’s love exhibited for the whole entire world to see; what a beautiful picture! One of the most painful paths that Jesus Christ had to walk, and yet it was in perfect alignment with the will of God. Your life is also a picture of God’s heart. Sometimes the Lord has to break your heart, in order for you to see HIS heart. The cross that you have to bare in your life right now might just be one of the most beautiful pictures of God’s heart. Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (NKJ) May 29, 2013 – RUN FOR YOUR LIFE – The other day at work I was unlocking the gym door when all of a sudden my co-worker screamed so loudly! She jumped! I jumped too, because of her scream, and then I started cracking up laughing so hard. There was a cat trapped inside of a trash can. I slowly opened up the lid again and that cat flew out of there so quickly. It ran as fast as it could all the way down the street. Inside of the can there was cat fur all over it. Who knows how long that little cat was trying to escape! It’s so easy for us to get trapped too, before we even realize that we are trapped. Sin has a way of doing that. You think it’s an interesting place to go to, and then all of a sudden – You are trapped in sin! Jesus is your way of escape from sin and you need to run for your life! 1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (NKJ) May 28, 2013 – THE GREATEST ROMANCE – Do you realize that Jesus has romanced you? He came after you; the one that He loves. He left His Father, His home in Heaven, and He sought you out, His Bride! Do you realize that you can romance Jesus? Have you ever gone on an actual date with the Lord? Plan it – Get ready for it – and take Jesus somewhere nice. Sound strange? Why? You go out with your spouse, or you go out with your friends. So, why not go out with Jesus? Have you ever given Jesus a long stem red rose? We buy flowers for those that we love. Why not buy flowers for Jesus? I know what you are thinking, “Well Stacey, Jesus is not really here, right in front of me, to hand the flower to.” Oh, but He is! Make that special place where you and the Lord can spend time together. Light some candles – Put on a worship CD and worship Him – and then lay a rose at His feet. Romance Jesus! He is the most romantic man that I know! Isaiah 54:5 For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is His name; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; he is called the God of the whole earth.(NKJ) May 27, 2013 – SURVIVAL MODE – Have you ever had one of those seasons in your life where it was all that you could do just to survive? Recently I spoke with a dear friend of mine and she said, “I am hanging on by a thread”. I have experienced this, and many other Christians have experienced this. One definition for survive: to continue to function or prosper despite. Despite??? Yes, despite! Despite what has taken place in your life you must continue on and prosper! Do whatever you have to do In Christ to keep pressing forward. Grab hold of all of your faith from your past, and press that faith towards your future! Your own personal faith in Jesus is your foundation. This is why it is so, so important to feed your faith daily. Feed your faith TODAY, because you never know when you will have to go into Survival Mode. Acts 3:16 “And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.(NKJ) MAY 26, 2013 – WHAT IF – What if Noah did not believe the voice of Almighty God that told him to build the ark? (Remember it had never rained) What if Moses did not believe the voice of Almighty God coming from the burning bush that told him to go to Pharaoh? (Remember Moses killed an Egyptian) What if Abraham and Sarah did not believe the voice of Almighty God that told them their descendants would out number the grains of sand by the sea? (Remember Sarah no longer had a menstrual cycle) What if you do not believe the voice of Almighty God that has spoken direct promises into your life? Remember 1Thessalonians 5:24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. (NKJ) WHAT IF GOD is looking for someone to just believe? BELIEVE!!! MAY 25, 2013 – WALK IN THE LAND – Have you ever gone on a walk with someone? As you are walking, you are talking. You can really get to know someone by taking walks with them. Each and everyday we are given the incredible opportunity of walking with Jesus Christ. And as you are walking with Him, He will make His presence known to you…and to those around you. I was at work this week scrapin’ tar off of the tile floor; all the way from the senior lockers to the library doors. Down on my hands and knees, I was approached by two women. They asked me if I would do something for the Kingdom of God. Did you get that? I was scrapin’ tar! But here’s the thing – Jesus was scrapin’ tar with me! Walk in ‘Your Land’ with Jesus, and He will take you on incredible journeys!!! Genesis 13:17 “Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you.” (NKJ) MAY 24, 2013 – EYES OF PURITY – This Truth is one of my favorite verses in the Word: Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (NKJ) When we see God, we then see as God sees; through eyes of purity. What do you see when you see a drunkard or a drug addict? What do you see when you see a homosexual or a sexually promiscuous person? What do you see when you see a person filled with bitterness? Do you just see sin? Eyes of purity see a precious person that has chains wrapped all around them; chains that are wrapped so tightly that their very life is being sucked right out of them. Please see the chains and stop pointing at the sin! Sin leaves when the chains break!!! MAY 23, 2013 – HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT – Anyone remember that song? I heard it today over the sound system while I was in the field house at work. (yes, the coaches rock out) A lot of times we give the enemy too much credit, but on the other hand, we do need to realize that he does exist and he is shooting those fiery darts. When I was a babe in Christ I had to fight off those fiery darts that were trying to lead me into fleshy ways. As I matured in Christ I faced a different type of dart; a dart that attempts to attack my faith. Example – “You didn’t really hear from God.” “Is God really calling you to do this?” The enemy’s best shots are to attack your flesh and to attack your faith; make you doubt God. Eph 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. MAY 22, 2013 – IT’S JUST A HILL – Yesterday on my run I took my jogging partner with me; our poodle Sparky. I was running up a hill and Sparky was lagging behind. I was practically pulling him up the hill. I said, “Seriously Sparky? It’s just a hill! Come on!” As soon as I spoke that I had to laugh. How often does the Lord lead me onto a difficult path and I just drag my feet? It was as if I could hear the Lord saying, “Seriously Stacey? It’s just a hill! Come on!” The hills that we face in life will strengthen us, as long as we are climbing them. If I am being drug up a hill by a rope I will not become any stronger. Don’t fight what the Lord is doing in your life – It’s just a hill!!! 1 Peter 5:10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. (NKJ) MAY 21, 2013 – DO YOUR PART – Are you a ‘yes’ person? Meaning, you say yes every time someone asks you to do something. Or are you a ‘no’ person? You don’t help out even when you have time. There is a happy-medium and that happy-medium is doing ‘YOUR PART’; nothing more and nothing less. It’s so easy for us to become busy for The Good, instead of being busy for The God! God is only asking each one of us to do our own part; not someone else’s. Sometimes yes, sometimes no, but ALWAYS GOD when you are doing your part!!! Luke 2:49 And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (NKJ) MAY 20, 2013 – WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR – When you look upon other’s lives, what are you looking for? Are you looking for mistakes that they might make or are you looking for those unique special traits? Nobody is perfect and that is a definite fact! When we are focused on finding the good in others our minds won’t even have time to try to dig up the bad. God has created each one of us with amazing qualities! Make it a goal to find amazing qualities in every single person that you know – And in doing that – you will know exactly what you are looking for!!! Phil 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy– meditate on these things.(NKJ) MAY 19, 2013 – SEEK WISDOM – We all know that wisdom means knowledge but here are two more dictionary definitions for wisdom: 1) the ability to discern inner qualities and relationships-insight 2) a wise attitude, belief, or course of action. My best friend is one of the wisest persons that I know, and he is also my husband. Leo has always had incredible insight. Yesterday evening I was sitting on the floor leaning up against the open window, as the breeze was flowing in. I was gazing out at the pastures as the sun was setting on the hills and Leo and I were in a very in-depth conversation. He spoke on the wisest things to me and I was so amazed. He told me that some things in life are just between you and the Lord and that you should not tell a single person. Let life play out. Let God do what God is going to do. 2 Chr 1:7 On that night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, “Ask! What shall I give you?” 2 Chr 1:10 “Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this great people of Yours?” (NKJ) MAY 18, 2013 – ALWAYS PAY ATTENTION – I was just sitting out on my swing, sippin’ my coffee, and looking at my home. I was thinking about how I came to visit a friend that used to live at this place over three years ago. On that day, as soon as I walked into this home, the Lord told me that I would be living here someday. At the time, it made no sense at all! Our home was up for sale on Blue Oak, we had perspective buyers, and we were going to move to Florida. I could have ignored the voice of the Lord that day and drove away thinking, “There is no way that the Lord just told me that. I must be wrong.” BUT I was paying very close attention to The Spirit by fasting and praying on a regular basis. I knew I heard the Lord. So, here I am! I have lived in this home for over a year. Don’t doubt Him when you hear Him! God tells us things – Always Pay Attention!!! Daniel 2:47 The king answered Daniel, and said, “Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, since you could reveal this secret.” (NKJ) MAY 17, 2013 – BIBLICAL COUNSELING – Do you realize that when someone asks for advice, and you give them scripture, you are giving them biblical counsel? I took a four month biblical counseling course at my old church and here are a few key points to always remember: 1) Always be prayed up and ready to share God’s Word II Timothy 4:2. 2) Always listen to them; meaning let them tell their story. You have to hear their heart in order to help them and counsel them. Understand exactly where they are at and how they arrived at that place. The Lord says, “Come now, and let us reason together,” Isaiah 1:18. 3) Always point them to the Word of God. Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (NKJ) MAY 16, 2013 – REALIZATION – Do you truly realize who you are? Rom 3:23For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (NKJ) Do you realize what even your goodness looks like? Isaiah 64:6 But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags (NKJ) In the Bible this word ‘filthy’ in the Strong’s dictionary means ‘the menstrual flux’. So, our righteousness is like a woman’s soiled pad. Do you think I am being too graphic? This comes straight from the Word of God! We all need to come to the realization of who we really are, and we all need to come to the realization of exactly who our LORD is. Apart from Him we can do nothing! John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (NIV) MAY 15, 2013 – THE PERFECT STORM – Anyone lovin’ all of the stormy weather that we have been having lately? Storms can be a beautiful thing! Do you realize that you ‘need’ storms in your life? Do you realize that Jesus will send you right into a storm? Matt 14:22 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side (NKJ) Jesus made them get into the boat, and before the disciples reached the other side there was a storm! Jesus obviously knew this storm was going to happen and Jesus knew that the disciples would make it to the other side. The disciples were strengthened through that storm because they witnessed Jesus walking on water! Keep your eyes open during the storm – Your Perfect Storm – because in that storm you will witness your LORD doing the impossible! And….you will make it to the other side!!! MAY 14, 2013 – THE LORD WAITS – Often times we feel like ‘we’ are the ones waiting on something, when in all actuality, the Lord is the one who is waiting. Why would the LORD have to wait on anything? I mean, after all, He is God! All that He has to do is just speak the word, and anything and everything can happen in an instant – but He waits! So why is this? He waits in order to be gracious to us. Whatever it is that you are dealing with, and it seems like it is being prolonged, realize that God Almighty is in complete control. He is the one waiting, not you! He is being very gracious to you during this time – grab hold of that beautiful grace and take full advantage of God’s beautiful wait! Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you; (NKJ) MAY 12, 2013 – THE EYES – TO THE HEART – Have you ever looked at someone in the eyes and saw straight into their heart? I was in line last night at the store to check out and there was a family standing in front of me. There was a little girl, probably around 13, and she had some mental/physical handicaps. She and her little brother were bickering (as siblings do). Her mom went over to handle the situation. The mom began to hug on this little girl. Our eyes connected. We talked about pie shells for a moment but I could not hold back the tears. My heart was breaking with love and compassion. This little girl was around 7 months pregnant. (Someone obviously took full advantage of this little girl.) I said this to the mom, “You are a good mom. You are a really good mom.” She could see my heart through my eyes and I could see her heart through her eyes. Look people in the eyes – it will make all the difference in the world because your hearts will then connect! Psalms 19:8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. MAY 11, 2013 – SHARPENING TOOLS – We have all heard of the expression “Being rubbed the wrong way” but I am here to declare to you today: “Being rubbed the right way!” The other morning at work 2 women from the cafeteria came into the teacher’s workroom to get some coffee (6:30 a.m.) and they informed me that it was almost out and that there was no more to make. I told them, “The early bird gets the worm; too bad for the others!” I was joking, and laughing, but I had no intention to walk all the way across the campus to go and get some more for that morning because we were short handed and I was very busy. One of the women said, “Stacey I am so surprised you said that. That is so unlike you!” She was also joking and laughing. I began to mop a room and CONVICTION set in – I walked across the campus, got more coffee, and walked into the cafeteria work area and said VERY LOUDLY – As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. (Proverbs 27:17) Our friends can sharpen us!!! MAY 9, 2013 – HEAVY HEART – PRAY – Has your heart ever been so heavy about something that you can physically feel it? My heart became so very heavy last week about something very specific and I began to pray hard to the Lord asking Him to do something. I posted about it on May 4 and God is already working in great and mighty ways to solve this problem. If your heart is heavy, pray, pray, pray…and then pray a little more! God has placed this heaviness on you for a reason; don’t ignore it. Sometimes God moves quickly, and other times God may move a little slower, but realize this – He is calling us to pray!!! Psalms 5:1-3 Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. Give heed to the voice of my cry, my King and my God, for to You I will pray. My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up. MAY 8, 2013 – BE THERE – Have you ever had to drop everything and ‘be there’ for someone? That happened to me yesterday afternoon. I was suppose ‘to go’ to church but since we are the church I had ‘to be’ the church for someone. Things happen everyday in this crazy world and we have to be there for one another. We are the hands and feet of Jesus – Now that is crazy God! He desires to use YOU for the work of the ministry. Everyone has a job to do when it comes to the Kingdom of God. Get ready, because believe me He will send you, as long as you will be there!!! 2 Tim 4:2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. (NKJ) May 7, 2013 – METABOLISM – Is yours high or low? One way that you might know is this: Can you eat a lot of food without gaining weight, or do you eat like a bird and still gain weight? I have been told by many that I eat like a horse – my stomach is a bottomless pit! I have not always eaten large amounts but 4 ½ years ago I made some drastic changes! Physically I began to run a lot a regular basis. Therefore, my caloric intake has increased. The same thing happened to me spiritually. I began to worship a lot on my own and I began to fast on a regular basis. My Spiritual Metabolism increased and now it is like a bottomless pit – I cannot get enough of The Word of God, and I cannot worship HIM enough to fill this hunger inside of me. What’s your spiritual metabolism? Psalms 34:8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him! (NKJ) May 6th, 2013 – REMEMBER His Presentation – If you couldn’t see me, but heard my voice, would you know it’s me? If you only saw my handwriting, would you know it’s me? Those close to me know how I present myself – the way I speak, the way I write, and my mannerisms. I told Krystal today to remember how the Lord presented Himself to her when He told her not to get into that vehicle; the vehicle that was in a wreck hours later. We are individuals and the Lord speaks to us in individual ways. When the Lord gave me a vision about ‘butter’ (which came to pass) how did I know that was from Him? I mean, butter is just a weird thing to have a vision about! I knew it was Him because He presented Himself to me in the exact same way before. Remember your history with God – He is presenting Himself to you! Psalms 33:14-15 From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; he considers all their works. (NKJ) May 5th, 2013 – THE DARK ROOM – A real photographer that prints his own film knows how important ‘the dark room’ is. A picture comes to life in a dark room. The photographer has already seen the real picture when he focused his camera on what was right in front of his eyes – but no one else saw it. It is not until the picture is developed in the dark room, that others then can see it. Maybe the Lord has shown you something that no one else can see. You might just have to spend some time in The Dark Room before your picture comes to life. It’s being developed – it just takes time! Psalms 139:11-12 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,” even the night shall be light about me; Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You. (NKJ) May 4th, 2013 – LOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING – What do you see when you look at someone? Bible scholars believe that the Apostle Paul was probably a tent maker. Others would see him making tents, not realizing that he was going to write about ¾ of the New Testament. When others looked onto the life of Jesus they would say that He was just a carpenter and that nothing good could come out of Nazareth. They did not realize that He came to save the world! I clean 15 rooms and 20 toilets everyday (plus a lot more). Is that why I am at Harper High School? We need to realize that when it comes to Jesus – so much more is going on in other people’s lives – Jesus is up to something, HIS SOMETHING!!! 1 Samuel 16:7 For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” May 3rd, 2013 – SCUFF MARKS – This morning in the high school hallways I was telling a substitute teacher how crazy a scuff mark is: “Shoes cause the scuff marks, and then shoes can take off the scuff marks! How much sense does that make?!” I immediately thought about how the Lord causes things to happen in our lives – just so that He can then be the one that takes care of them. A lot of times we want to blame the enemy, when all along the Lord caused it! Or we can have the tendency to look onto someone else’s life and judge them by thinking that they must of done something wrong – WRONG – it just might be that the Lord caused it! Lam 3:2, 10-14 He has led me and made me walk in darkness and not in light. He has been to me a bear lying in wait, like a lion in ambush. He has turned aside my ways and torn me in pieces; he has made me desolate. He has bent His bow and set me up as a target for the arrow. He has caused the arrows of His quiver to pierce my loins. I have become the ridicule of all my people– their taunting song all the day. May 2nd, 2013 – NOT THE NORM – Can you believe this weather? The month of May, and expecting the thirties? This is not the norm for around here! Things that are out of the ordinary have a tendency to be remembered. Jesus came on the scene and He definitely was not the norm. Jesus stirred things up in those days and Jesus is still stirring things up today. Loving our enemies is not the norm. Finding joy in our trials is not the norm. When others see us, they should see something different. We should not be like everyone else – we are not the norm of this world when Jesus is living inside of us! John 17:16-18 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. (NKJ) He has sent you….don’t be normal! May 1st, 2013 – IN BETWEEN – Do you know what I do in between my early morning worship and work? I lay still for approximately 2 minutes (5:09 a.m. to 5:11 a.m.), seriously; the most relaxing 120 seconds all day…can’t even begin to explain it. Do you know what I do in between work and cooking supper? I run a couple of miles; once again, a relaxing, peaceful time. In Between your daily activities it is very important to find those times of relaxation – a time to take a deep breath in, and a time to exhale out any stress that is building up on the inside of you. Think about your ‘In Betweens’ and take that time to relax – we all need it! Psalms 122:7-8 Peace be within your walls, prosperity within your palaces. For the sake of my brethren and companions, I will now say, “Peace be within you.” (NKJ) April 30th, 2013 – CHAIN OF COMMAND – Who ‘likes’ to be told what to do? None of us are too crazy about this word, but here it goes anyway, “submit”. Must we? Yes, we must submit. I have said this to Leo many times, “You do realize that “submit” means that I don’t agree with you, right?” We laugh, but it’s the truth; to submit means that you do not agree. We are called to submit to our husband, our employer, our governing authorities, and don’t forget, our pastor. Whenever we submit to someone that is over us in authority, we are laying our own opinions to the side. I am commanded by God to submit, because when it comes down to it – I am submitting to God, not the person! 1 Peter 2:13 Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake (NKJ) Submitting, and then talking bad about those over us, defeats the whole purpose. Submit with a pure heart, and trust God to take care of the details. If you are right, God will work it out – it’s the Chain of Command!!! April 29th, 2013 – NEW GROWTH – OLD ROOTS – I love all of the new green leaves on the trees; just about four weeks ago they were not even there. Every winter most trees lose their leaves. They often look dead to the eye but beneath the ground we all know that the roots of a tree go deep. Spring is a season of new growth, coming from old roots. Even if you have been a Christian for twenty years, you should be having new growth in your walk with the Lord on a regular basis. Falling more in love with Jesus brings new growth!!! SOS 7:12-13 Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine has budded, whether the grape blossoms are open, and the pomegranates are in bloom. There I will give you my love. The mandrakes give off a fragrance, and at our gates are pleasant fruits, all manner, new and old, which I have laid up for you, my beloved. (NKJ) April 28th, 2013 – OPEN THE WINDOW – Have you ever realized that just a little bit of effort on your part can change things? As I was pouring my cup of coffee this morning I could faintly hear the birds singing. I opened the window and their little tweets became so loud and so sweet. They immediately brought a song to my heart! Yesterday things were beginning to heat up in my home, so I opened up the window and the cool crisp air came flowing through. The wind began to come in with such force that my doors were slamming shut; a little tornado in my own home! We often want things to change in our lives, but it is hard to see any changes taking place when we sit around and do nothing. Jesus is right there to bring that change that your heart is longing for – but here’s the kicker – YOU have to first open the window. SOS 5:2 I sleep, but my heart is awake; it is the voice of my beloved! He knocks, saying, “OPEN for me, my sister, my love, my dove, my perfect one; for my head is covered with dew, my locks with the drops of the night.”(NKJ) April 27th, 2013 – SYMPTOMS – Last night as the sun was setting, I was enjoying the moment on my A-Frame swing conversing with Sarah; one of my daughters. She is in the nursing program at University of Penn. Last semester she was placed on the liver transplant floor for her clinicals. I was asking her, “What are the ‘outward symptoms’ of liver failure? (Leo’s disease)” Whatever is happening on the inside, will appear on the outside. That fact is true physically and that fact is true spiritually. Whatever is taking place on the inside of you with the Lord will present itself outwardly. Do you have the joy of the Lord? Others will see. Do you walk in peace? Others will know. Are you angry and bitter? That will eventually come out. Others know us from what is flowing out of us. What are you symptoms? Ask those around you! Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. (NKJ) April 26th, 2013 – PURITY MAY BRING FALSE ACCUSATIONS – Have you ever been falsely accused? My mind has been very focused on Mary this week, the mother of Jesus. She must have had the purest of hearts for the Lord to call her in the fashion that He did. Imagine all of the false accusations that Mary must have had to deal with. “You say God told you such a thing? You say God did this?” The whispers, the gossip, the attacks on Mary’s spiritual walk with the Lord – and I do not believe that she only faced these during her pregnancy, but most likely her whole life. Even Joseph did not believe her UNTIL God told him otherwise; it just didn’t make sense! Someone called me yesterday and told me that their spiritual walk was being attacked by others. I shared the Word, and prayed with her. Mary knew God, she trusted God, she was a pure woman, and she faced false accusations. 2 Tim 4:16-17 At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me (NKJ) April 25th, 2013 – JUST FOR YOU – When is the last time that you had a really good laugh? Mine was yesterday. I work with these two crazy guys everyday and they are constantly making me laugh. I never know what they are going to do next. Yesterday when I finished cleaning the restroom in the high school cafeteria, I opened up the door and there was a table standing upright, right in front of the door! I laughed so hard! These guys have no idea about the details of my life once I leave work, concerning my husband’s sickness and pain, but the Lord does know. The Lord brought them into my life because they always make me smile! The Lord ministers to us in special ways that are very individualized. The Lord knows that I LOVE to smile and laugh; that’s just me! He will minister to you in a very special way too; JUST FOR YOU! Psalms 57:1-2 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by. I will cry out to God Most High, to God who performs all things for me. (NKJ) April 24th, 2013 – The Sounds of Silence – Have you ever noticed how loud silence can be? This morning I forgot to take my MP3 player to work. I am normally blasting praise music by 5:30 a.m. but not this morning. In the silence, I heard things. My keys rattling to every step, the dust mop making squeaky noises, and to top it off – I could hear the lights in the girl’s high school restroom; seriously, loud lights! Whenever things get really quiet, we can hear things that we normally do not hear. Listen, in the silence, because I promise you, Jesus is speaking ‘sweet somethings’ into your ear! He is speaking them everyday – we just need to be silent, in order to hear. 1 Samuel 3:9 Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, ‘Speak, LORD, for Your servant hears.'” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. (NKJ) One more thing, He also has ‘sweet surprises’ to tell you!!! April 23rd, 2013 – A DIFFERENT DIRTY – I wore a white shirt to work today (I am laughing as I am typing); not the wisest decision for someone that cleans all day. We do certain things and we just get dirty. Sin dirties us but sometimes ‘we think’ some sins are not ‘as dirty’. I was thinking about this early this morning during my worship time, and I even stopped and wrote down these words “A Different Dirty”. I am an extremely positive person; it is something that I have learned to do. I worked with a Christian stockbroker years ago, as his assistant, and he taught me a lot of things concerning positive mind control and The Word of God. When we walk around with negative thinking, we are getting ourselves dirty. It may be a different kind of dirty, but it’s still dirty. Dirt is dirt! The Lord cleanses us from all dirt! The Lord will change the way you think – if you want Him to! Colossians 3:2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. (NKJ) April 22nd, 2013 – THE BREAK OF DAWN – Have you ever had a long night, long day, long week – oh, let’s just go for it – a long year? I was telling a friend this morning that for the past 3 months I felt like a blind fold was tied around my eyes, both hands tied behind my back, and a rag stuffed in my mouth; and on top of that, thrown into a dark room. In other words, you can’t talk, you can’t see, and you can’t do anything….BUT even under these conditions, I knew I was exactly where God wanted me to be. I kept pressing forward, kept pressing forward, kept pressing forward. Nothing can separate me from the love of Christ Jesus. Nothing can bring me down to the ground. I know God and I know my history with Him; press, press, press. And guess what? At just the right time, the break of dawn appeared!!! Keep pressing forward – never quit! Psalms 46:5 God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. (NKJ) April 21st, 2013 – TIME TO HEAL – Having a husband that has been told by doctors, “You have one to three years left”, has given Leo and I the opportunity to seriously discuss things that a lot of couples do not discuss, at such a young age. Leo understands me and he understands my relationship with the Lord; especially these past couple of months. And I understand my husband. I know that getting him back to the ocean will bring healing to him. I know that getting him back to his old church will bring healing to him. What is healing? Yes, physical healing is a type of healing, but spiritual healing is far beyond the greater of these two healings. God will bring healing to Leo. God will take away his pain and we trust Him to do His will, in the way that He so chooses. Eccl 3:2-3 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; (NKJ) April 20th, 2013 – YEARS – Leo’s disease is progressing and his heart’s desire is to get back to the ocean. I have believed for years now that the Lord will make that way for us. The Lord showed me years ago (when our house was up for sale and we were suppose to be moving back to FL) that I would be living at Bonnie’s place – two years later we moved there. The Lord showed me that Leo was going to be sick seventeen years ago – Leo has been sick for 16 years. The Lord showed me years ago a room that I would be worshipping in, back in May 1998, before that room was even built, and He placed me in that exact room in Nov 2008…the point of all of this? Sometimes it takes YEARS. Waiting on God means Living with God! Patience is filled with activity!!! James 1:4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. April 19th, 2013 – FULL CIRCLE – Think about Joseph – It took years and years for his life to come full circle. Should he have not spoken of his dream to his brothers? Think about what Joseph’s brothers did – They judged him for the future, in the present….chew on that one for awhile. But because Joseph spoke, it began a chain of events in his life that would bring him to the place that he needed to be in order for the prophecy to come to pass. Joseph was also judged for the way things appeared to the human eye. He did not lust for his master’s wife but the king listened to the interpretation of one woman and cast Joseph into prison. God knew the truth concerning Joseph’s heart and Joseph knew the truth of his God! It may take years, and you may travel down a difficult path, but trust God to bring things full circle in your life. God always does what He says! Num 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (NKJ) April 18th, 2013 – A DIFFERENT FIRE – We have been hearing about explosions and fires this week, but there is a different kind of fire that is also extremely dangerous – the fire of the tongue. James 3:5-6 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. (NKJ) When people speak things that should not be spoken, a fire is lit, and depending on what ears are listening great damage could be caused. Do your best, in Christ, to put that fire out immediately. We should only speak things that uplift other people. Put out fires when you know someone is stirring things up – I had to defend My Friend today because a fire was lit. Firemen for Christ!!! April 17th, 2013 – MEANINGFUL MESS – Is there really such a thing? Every morning at 5:30 a.m. I am the privileged individual that gets to clean up after two hundred teenagers. And you thought cleaning up after your couple of kids was a challenge?! Every piece of paper crumbled up on the floor, all the dirt scattered around, and even plastic colored eggs stuffed in certain places in the restroom…ALL of this mess is meaningful. Why? Because every teenager that walks those halls has a heart. A heart this is happy at times and a heart that is sad at times. They don’t usually mean to make a mess of things – it just happens. Have you ever made a mess of things with Jesus? You probably didn’t mean to – it just happened. Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together,” says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”(NKJ) April 10th, 2013 – PERFECT PAIN – We have all experienced moments that we will never forget – I had one of those moments today. The Grave Side of Jacob Krebs. The coffin was lowered into the ground, and every one was welcome to shovel the dirt on top of it. I can hear the dirt, even now, hitting the top of the coffin. I told his father, “Now I know why Jacob was such an incredible young man – his parents are incredible!” Mr. Krebs said, “Our God is incredible!” The Lord began to teach me years ago that there is ‘Always A Purpose in the Pain’. Even when God’s Plan is painful, it is purposeful. The Lord walked us through Perfect Pain today. Psalms 18:30 As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is proven; he is a shield to all who trust in Him. April 9th, 2013 – PRECIOUS PEOPLE – As I was walking around Wal-Mart this evening, after our dear Jacob’s viewing, I was observing all the people – all ages. A mom pushed a sleeping toddler by in a basket, and I could just picture that little girl’s heart beating inside of her. Then my eyes were fixed on an older man and I was thinking about his whole life that he has lived; the stories that he could tell. People everywhere – precious people! I don’t need to know them to love them. Jesus came for EVERYONE because He loves EVERYONE! 1 Peter 1:22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart (NKJ) April 2nd, 2013 – MAN OF HONOR – A man of honor walked amongst us. He touched every life that he crossed paths with. He was a true servant. Jacob set an example in his every day life. He ALWAYS said hi to me in the hallways at Harper and he would even offer me a helping hand. I knew he was different from the moment that I met him. Jacob is a true reflection of Jesus Christ. I say ‘IS’ because Jacob lives on – He ‘IS’ in the presence of the Lord, and he is also bringing life right now to individuals in need of organs. This Man of Honor will live on in our hearts – He has set an example for us all – Honor Jacob by living up to his example! 2 Corinthians 5:8-9 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. November 30th, 2012 –God’s timing just blows my mind! He is continually confirming His Will in my life, above and beyond what I would have ever expected. Today my book that the Lord called me to write went “Live”! Today – of all days!!! Today is my 16th wedding anniversary with Leo and today my book went out to the world. The Lord has been doing this on a regular basis in my life; doing things by dates, confirming His will to me in very specific ways. I call this ‘My Spiritual Bucket’. I have a couple of spiritual buckets in my life. Today was another drop in my spiritual bucket concerning Him calling me to write this book – God is so faithful to His Promises! Ephesians 3:20 November 18th, 2012 – EVERY DETAIL – Sleeping late is 6 a.m. for a person that awakes Mon-Fri at 4 a.m. So I took my hot cup of coffee out to my backyard swing, as I nestled up in a blanket. I listened to the birds (probably 60 of them) that nest in these 2 very large bushes back behind my home, bringing in the new day with song. The sun was rising up over the hills, shining on the autumn colored leaves. The roosters were crowing and Sparky, my little country poodle, was running all around the yard with great excitement! But the ‘Cherry on Top’ was the person that was sitting next to me on my swing – none other than Jesus Christ Himself! No better way to start the day!!! Psalms 143:8 Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for in You do I trust; cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You. October 25, 2012 – “Good Morning Sunshine!”, were the first words that were spoken to me this morning, in my high school hallways, by a co-worker; that put a smile on my face! What a way to start off the day! Our words can be so valuable in someone else’s life and I think that we often tend to forget that. Make your words count. Make your words count for the Kingdom! I would like to encourage you to say something uplifting to your family today, to your friends, to your co-workers. Put a smile on there face! Give them a kiss from Jesus, by your words! John 6:63 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. (NKJ)