Thursday, August 17, 2017

24 hr Challenge - Thankful ALL DAY

“They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD. They were to do the same in the evening”
‭‭1 Chronicles‬ ‭23:30‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I was challenged in my new devotional to be Thankful for the entire day today. No complaining, just thanksgiving. I'm going to give it a try. I was challenged to be outrageously thankful. Oh boy, I'm not sure about that one. No! It's not thanksgiving day. Hopefully, we have a couple more months of riding weather before we celebrate that day! And these verses don't designate a single day to giving thanks. We should give thanks daily, every day. But, ONE DAY IS A START. Praise God! For those that have noticed my grumpiness, this is NOT a cure. My attitude toward some of my enemies probably won't change. But, I will be THANKFUL God is protecting me from them. I might still harbor some bad feelings, but I PRAISE GOD he has brought me through the attacks and praise him I can overcome the challenges.

So here's my plan. I will be thankful and not complain to anyone and every time I hear a negative thought resound in my head, I will substitute a word of praise for my loving Heavenly Father. One day? Really if I can't do this one day, I'm worse off than I thought.

Dear Lord, you are amazing. I feel your presence every day. I am humbled by your love for me with all my flaws, sins, and stubbornness. Forgive me for not praising your name more and more. The energy I have to walk through a valley of evil every single day, only comes through you. I promise Lord to honor you throughout my day. My love is yours. Amen!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Battle Rages On

“for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:16‬ ‭NIV‬‬

This was a great two week devotional by Joyce Meyer, "the Battlefield of the Mind." I really love the theme. I think all of us struggle with our thoughts. I am no different. Lately, I have struggled more than ever before with my own thoughts. Even  when I feel broken, I need to continue to focus on the Lord.

I'll be honest. I have been battling with some depression. This fight has been off and on for a few months. I have rarely felt closer to the Lord through this entire process. I believe the changes happening in my life are from him. So, I'm not fighting them. I feel his presence when my patience wears thin. With his power I've been able to control the urge to lash out. I feel his presence when I have felt rage welling up inside me, it passes quickly and then I am filled with peace. I feel the Lord is preparing me for greater things to come. He is making me a better person. I'm excited about that. But I still feel a great loss in my life like I've lost a dear friend. When you lose someone, or in this case something, it takes a while to heal.  I can wait. The Lord knows what he's doing. He loves me. His shield of protection is over me. I feel his love and his presence. Praise God he loves EVEN a sinner like me.

The battlefield in my mind is raging, but I feel the army of the Lord is on the front lines just for me. Victory is imminent!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Love with NO Boundaries!

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:6-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬.

There is so much evil in this world. The recent events in Charlottesville is a perfect example. Evil thrives on lies. It is the fuel that sustains hate in this terribly lost world. The lies blind us. How you can logically hate someone because of the color of their skin is WAY beyond me. It is utterly ridiculous. Satan wants to tie that kind of hate to Jesus and his followers. We need to stand up and fight this with our lives. Christians can not sit in silence, our passiveness can not be construed as endorsement. We must protect the innocent, the persecuted, and the lost. We must provide truth and hope for a world that is close to giving up.

We can't condemn hate from one group and not all! Jesus wants us, more than ever in these historical times, to love our neighbor. We love with absolutely no boundaries. If you can't do that, don't follow Jesus! It's that simple!

Monday, August 14, 2017

A moment in time.

“How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.””
‭‭James‬ ‭4:14-15‬ ‭NLT‬‬

It was foggy yesterday morning. As a teacher, I have a completely different view of fog than the normal person. Fog in the morning usually means a delay for school and an extra two hours of sleep. I love sleep! When I got up to go to church, the fog was gone. Fog never lasts very long.

Stephanie and I are nearing retirement. We have plans. We will be downsizing. We will be stripping away the stuff we own and moving to a smaller place. We would love to continue traveling but our main goal is to simplify our lives and continue to serve the Lord. I think this is the will of God. We will find out.  We have placed our faith in the Lord. If he has different plans, we're ok with it. Our life on this earth is fleeting, here today and gone tomorrow. We welcome his plan. It's perfect. It always has been. It always will be. Praise God or his love.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

People sent by God

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:8-9‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I was reminded this morning in my devotion that sometimes we put too much emphasis on the battle or the enemy in our life. We make Satan bigger than he is. I also noticed something these verses do not say. The verse says he is looking for someone to devour. It does NOT say he finds anyone. Be strong. We are not going to lose.   God wins! It's not even a fight. The faithful are protected. Praise God! There really isn't even a battle. God wins! We are saved!

It has been several months that I have felt under attack. I really feel the battle. Satan is trying to destroy my faith. Yet, here I am praising God. While I feel under attack and in many ways battling the world, I can feel his presence and his wonderful protection. Much of the challenges I have been facing are dealing with people. Its not been friends, it's not been family, it's been from people that, frankly, could care less about me. Those people just don't matter. Through it all I have received overwhelming support from those that really care. God has placed those people in my life to show HIS POWER AND GRACE. While I am still dealing with my feelings towards the attackers, my day is hopeful because of former students,  close, dear colleagues, family, and friends. God is amazing. Just at the right time, he knows what I need. Praise God!