Tuesday, November 24, 2015

I'm Thankful

Thanksgiving is a time that we express to God our thanks for all that He has provided for us. Today I would like to express my thanks for the following things.  Please note that these are not all the things for which I am thankful.

1.  I am thankful for hair color. I am so thankful that at 45 years of age I don't have to show the world I have a head full of grey hair.
2.  I am thankful for being able to drive to and from work in my car by myself. This is precious quite time for me. Sometimes you just have to be alone for life to be sweet.
3.  I am thankful for coffee. It is one cup of coffee and a few Bible verses each morning that make me a delightful person most days. (I said MOST days for those that see me everyday. I realize that some days I should have had more than 1 cup and more scripture, but I usually figure that out a little too late.)
4.  I am thankful for my family. Even when I do not like them I always love them. AND THEY LOVE ME BACK! Go figure!
5.  I am thankful for my church. I've been a member there for 17 years and as far as I know they have never considered kicking me out. AND, they actually gave me a job.
6.  I am thankful for my home state of Mississippi. It is because of Mississippi that I know the finer things in life like country music, grits, sweet tea, and cornbread dressing.
7.  I am also thankful for Texas. I wasn't born here, but I got here as quick as I could. God Bless Texas!
8.  I am thankful for God's grace to me. There is not enough room on the internet for me to list all the reasons I need God's grace.  Trust me.  I need a bunch of it!
9.  I am thankful for animals. Isn't life more fun with animals! (And more costly - life is more costly with animals - said the mom that has a horse lover in her household. Pray for me!) But I'm thankful!
10.  I am thankful for my Bible. Tell me that the stories of Jesus don't blow your hair back.
11.  I am thankful for the friends I study the Bible with. Those women laugh and cry with me all the time.
12.  I am thankful for school teachers. I do not home school my children and, for the love of Pete, that is the best thing for my children.

What will you thank God for this week?

Lord, saying thanks doesn't truly express my heartfelt gratitude. You are an amazing God and I love you. With a thankful heart ~ Amen.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving

    and His courts with praise;
    give thanks to Him and praise His name.

Psalm 100:4 (NIV)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Warriors, Rise Up!!!

These are scary days we live in. Unless you've been hiding under a rock then you are aware that terrorism is once again on the front pages of the news. Actually, I'm not sure it's left the front pages in quite some time. The events in Paris this past weekend are horrendous to say the very least. It was confirmation that evil is real and it exists in this broken world. In my humanness I want to gather my family together and live with them in a remote place to stay away from the world. While that thought comes to mind when I look at the news, the next thought that comes to mind is spurred by the Holy Spirit within me. "Do not fear!"

As a Christian, I do NOT have to live in fear. My Daddy made the world and is still in control. Even when things seem discombobulated to me they are not to My Father in Heaven. Think about what Jesus said in Matthew 25: 53-54 to the Disciples that were trying to protect Him after he was betrayed and arrested:

"Don't you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and He would send them instantly? But if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that describe what must happen now?"

God is in control.  And, He is trustworthy! Now, trust can be hard, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't trust. My trust in God grows each day as I live life. I actually trust God more after walking through some battles in life with Him by my side.

So what do we do as we are sitting around and trusting God? Well, we pray. When my kids are fearful of the unknown I want them to talk to me about it.  Prayer is talking to God. The Bible says we can cast all our fears on God because He cares for us. And, through our conversation with God we can make petitions to Him for our country's leaders. That's called intercessory prayer when you pray on the behalf of someone else. Whether you agree with our leaders right now or not, you can agree with me that all of our leaders need prayer!

I recently saw the movie "War Room". If you haven't seen it I strongly suggest you do. It was a great reminder of the power of prayer. We need a mighty army of prayer warriors to rise up in our country. We need to pray for each other and for our leaders. Oh, and we should definitely be praying for our military! 

  • How's your prayer life?
  • What keeps you from praying?
  • How can you remind yourself to pray?

Lord, I pray that a mighty army of prayer warriors would rise up in our country for Your glory. To You be all the glory and honor and praise. Trusting You fully ~ Amen.

For a deeper study read and highlight the following verses. Discuss or journal what God teaches you through these verses:

  • Isaiah 65:24
  • Philippians 4:6
  • Ephesians 6: 10-20

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Love - It's Greater than Faith and Hope

1 Corinthians 1(New International Version) 

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror;then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

How are you loving others?
Are you patient with others?
Are you boastful or proud?
Do you keep a record of how you've been wronged, or do you forgive quickly?
Do you seek truth in a conflict, or do you seek to win in the conflict?
I have to constantly remind myself how to love others. Love can be hard, but when I use this truth from 1 Corinthians it reminds me of where I fall short and where I can improve. We will never be perfect in how we love until we get to Glory, but I think we should all keep on striving for perfect love.

Lord, thank you for Your perfect love. Thank you that you love me enough to die for me on The Cross. Please forgive me when I haven't loved others the way I should. and help me to follow Your guidelines for loving others. - In Jesus' Name ~ Amen.
For a deeper study:
Use your Bible Concordance or the web site biblegateway.com to look up verses on LOVE. Journal or discuss what God reveals to you in those verses.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Don't Give Up

I'm so glad my parents didn't give up on me. There were days I'm sure they wanted to throw in the towel and give up on trying to help me live a good life, but they didn't. 

I'm so glad my mentor hasn't given up on me. I know I've driven her crazy a time or two, or three, or four thousand, but that sweet woman puts up with me and loves me in spite of me.

I'm most certain that Jesus has not and will not give up on me. He's seen me at my worst and died for me even though I'm a sinner. That's a concept that I still struggle getting my head around, but yet I'm so thankful for his unconditional love.

Is there someone you are thinking you want to throw in the towel on? Is there someone you've been trying to reach for Christ and you feel like you're just losing the battle? DON'T GIVE UP! Hang in there. Fight back with love and grace. Here's some scriptures to encourage you:

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time
we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. 
James 1:12

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against
 the devil's schemes. Ephesians 6:11

Jesus - we're all imperfect, broken humans with hurts, habits and hangups, but You love us anyway. Thank you. Help us to love others the way you love us, and help us not to give up the fight for good. In your precious name we pray, Amen.

For a deeper study:

  • Read the following verses and journal or discuss what God teaches you through these verses:  Romans 10:9-15, Philippians 4:13, Romans 8:28, and James 1:2-4.