Scripture As Prayer

When I was going into the sixth grade, my parents sent me to a private Christian school. I think it was probably to make the transition of to going to school in another town easier. The learning would be comparable to the Florida Virtual School, where you need self-motivation to achieve a goal. I was not a self-motivated child, so I didn't do very well there. However, I was pushed to learn the 23rd Psalm, which has now become an important part of my prayer life. I find it quite amazing how God will give your life a detour just to set in stone something for Him. When I feel anxious or fearful, I turn to that Psalm for comfort and let God's own words settle me. We must remember that the Bible is a compilation of God's words written by many men, imparted by one Holy Spirit. I know that I'm thrilled when my kids have remembered something I've taught them. Imagine how God must feel hearing His own words being quoted back to him.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

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A Clean Cup

Sitting down with a good cup of coffee is tasty and delightful. The aroma fills the air and invites you to enjoy. Then suddenly as soon as you take a sip, your mouth is filled with a lump of something! So, you run as quickly as possible to spit it out. That was me, I had forgotten to check the inside of the cup, and there were lumps of old coffee left inside of it. That cup came straight from the dishwasher and should have been clean. The outside looked perfect, but the inside was full of filth! Are you like that filthy cup? Are you hiding filth in your heart? Do people see a perfect picture of you not knowing what's going on inside of you? Imagine having Jesus point you out and embarrass you in public, calling you a white washed tomb like He did the Pharisees, beautiful on the outside but full of bones and rotting flesh on the inside. Examine your life. Ask the Holy Spirit if there is anything you need to rid yourself of so that no one can call you a hypocrite.

You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean. Matthew 23:26

Deadly Perfection

The beautiful Roseate Spoonbills nearly became extinct when Florida was settled because of their beautiful plumage. I can't blame the tourist for wanting their share of those pink feathers, I long to find one that has been shed. The spoonbill population has since become reestablished and are seen quite often feeding in the shallows. It's now illegal to destroy them. Isn't that just like humans? We tend to want to kill the most beautiful things so we can hold them close to us. Jesus is the greatest example of this. He was so amazing that the Pharisees and Sadducees were very jealous. They couldn't wait to find a reason to kill Him, but He was perfect, and He never did anything that would give them a lawful reason. Nevertheless, they trumped up charges to make themselves feel better about what they were doing. It was all part of God's plan, and now we have our salvation because of it. Imagine their surprise when he came back to life!

Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Hebrews 9:22

Mushrooms, A Tasty Snack

We got a call in the middle of the night about someone creeping around my father-in-law's pasture. After a quick change, my husband bolted out the door, and the next thing I hear is him shouting "get down!" He had caught the trespassers! For this night, the drug of choice for these men was the mushrooms that grow on cow dung! If that doesn't give you a clue, I don't know what will! Law enforcement showed up, and their fun was over. I know what you're thinking, "how's she going to make this into a God story?" Easy! When you go after the things covered in darkness, you will eventually have to pay the price and sometimes it's with your life! Other times, you will escape unharmed only to pay for it later. Sin never goes unpunished, but thankfully we have a merciful God who has given us a "get out of hell free card" through Jesus. These guys got to live another day, and just maybe they will find Jesus before they meet their end.

I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. Romans 6:19

Unrealistic Expectations

How do you deal with disappointment? We all expect things to happen in a certain way and when they don't, our hopes are dashed, and our heart is broken. The problem is that we put our trust where it doesn't belong, in people. We may also have unrealistic expectations. A girl may expect her man to bring her extravagant gifts for her birthday, but when she receives a simple card, she's disappointed. A boy may expect that he will meet and fall in love with a cover girl, but his hopes are dashed when he finds out that most of what he loves, is just makeup. We take power out of the hands of the world when we put our trust, hopes, and expectations in the hands of God, the power of the world is then diminished. We can become disillusioned with God too, but remember, He has impeccable timing. Relax and enjoy your life moment by moment and don't get discouraged when things don't go just as you had planned. It's all about God's plan anyway.

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

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Frog or Foe

Chances are that if I'm writing about it, I'm dealing with it. One of my messages dealt with spiritual warfare because I was under attack. We have all kinds of critters that make their way into our presence. Some of them seem cute and cuddly while others appear to be slimy and slithery. I prefer the cute and cuddly ones! So, as I'm enjoying the view, I heard a thud on my window, and there it was, a sticky, slimy four inch Cuban Tree Frog! Those things are nasty! They are also an invasive species here in Florida. They will take over and decimate the population of our native species of frogs and lizards. Thankfully, my window protected me from getting jumped on by that creature, just like the invisible shield of protection we get by praying. Sometimes we are under attack by simply doing God's work, but after praying heaven down, you feel a sense of relief that God has you covered. That frog outside my window reminded me that I'm protected.

Consider how many are my foes, and with what violent hatred they hate me. Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me! Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. Psalms 25:19-20

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Gain Strength From The Lord

How do you move on after the enemy threatens you? Now and then you have a few zingers thrown at you from the devil, and you wonder how you will ever recover, but there is a solution. You begin by remembering the truth of who you are. You are a child of the Most High God! Stand strong in your faith, knowing that your salvation comes through Jesus! The enemy's plan has already been thwarted, but nevertheless, he will continue to try and sift you like wheat. You must seek the Lord in prayer, call out to Him for help. In doing this, you will gain His strength, He is the one who will be your backbone, and you will prevail because of Him! Open up the Psalms, read a few out loud! Do you think the enemy will stick around while you're reading God's Word within his hearing? I doubt it. Let the words that you read be your encouragement, and the Holy Spirit comfort you, and you will find that His peace will rest upon you.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:10-11

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Make Room For The Helper

We are very spoiled! Imagine living in the Old Testament times when the things of God were not so easily understood, and our belief could be snatched away in a moment of weakness. But thankfully, before Jesus left, He gave us the wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit! He is our precious companion that dwells within us to teach us and bring to light the things of God. In the Old Testament days, God would send His Spirit to rest on certain people, and once the task was accomplished, He would leave. Today, because of our belief in Jesus, we are given the Holy Spirit, and He stays with us continuously. I can't imagine my life without Him. How boring would my writings be if I didn't have Him prompting me along the way? Because of Him, people are touched at just the right moment, and when they need a word of encouragement the most. Spend some time today to speak to the Holy Spirit and thank Him for His help. It's okay; it's Biblical, He's part of the Godhead.

"If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. John 14:15-17

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Devotional Thought

I get up and have coffee with the Father every morning. It starts off pretty good, but then my mind wanders onto other things. I think He just looks at me and smiles, He understands, He's the one who gave me my mind. As I was contemplating the next phase of my life and what I will be leaving behind, I'm reminded of the banana tree my grandmother gave me long before she got sick and passed. The original tree is long gone, but before it died, it reproduced. I'll be able to take one of those with me when I move! I could even share it with others, and it wouldn't even put a dent in the crop of trees it has produced. Unlike trees that are reproduced by seeds, a banana tree sends out new plants while it's still alive but, once it produces a crop of bananas, that particular tree will die. It stays alive until it has done what God called it to do! So, be like a banana tree, be fruitful and multiply!

By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. John 15:8

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19

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Devotional Thought

I'm not saying that I know the mind of God, but, sometimes I think He lets us get away with quite a bit before we start feeling the effects of our disobedience. I believe wholeheartedly in giving, but we should go beyond the tithe. Years ago I had set it up so that the church could automatically draft our giving from our account. I noticed that things started going a little wacky. Our income is from residential rentals and anything that could go wrong did go wrong. Air conditioners began to break, vacancies increased, and plumbing issues were non-stop! Something, the Holy Spirit, told me to check our account. It had been almost six months since we had given to the church! You think it's hard to write out a monthly or weekly check, try writing out one for six months! Was this a coincidence? Maybe, but, everything we have, has been given to us by God and He expects us to give back to Him.

You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 2 Corinthians 9:11

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Time and Teaching

My grandson Lucas stayed with me for the day. He came in his pajamas and requested to stay in them. I, being a wonderful grandma, allowed him to wear them all day! We even went to The Home Depot! He's only five, so who cares! Our grandchildren are very special, they are the future of our country and will probably have a lot of say in our care as we reach the conclusion of our days. I think it's important that we spend quality time with them and impart to them some of the knowledge God has given us. These are the good things in life. It's not how much money you leave them; it's the wisdom you give them that will help them achieve the desires that God has given them. They might just ignore you at the time, but one day that information will become useful and a part of their fond memories of you. But, the most important thing you can teach them is about Jesus! He is the wisdom from above, without Him, no other wisdom matters.

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. James 3:17