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She Believes 3 Devotion

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Honor God With Your Best

Colossians 3:23
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,

Colossians 3:17
17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Galatians 1:10
10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Honor God With Your Best

There are times when we are called to do things that we may not particularly care to do, or feel like doing, but we have to do them.   During those times our attitudes may not be the best, simply because our heart is not in it.

I remember several years ago attending a Women’s Bible Study, where each Tuesday evening they had a different speaker come in and speak.  On Tuesday night a lady who owned a Cookware store came and spoke to
our class.  Her presentation made me totally re-evaluate the way I considered meal preparation for my family.  It was as though she had been peeking through my windows.  You see I had become very tired of the same old routine, of working all day and then having to figure out what I was going to prepare for dinner.  Knowing that I would have to go through the same thing again the next day, and the day after that didn’t help the situation.  It had become a boring routine for me.

After hearing her speak, I realized that I had the wrong attitude.  I was not honoring God in the way that I was handling this situation.    The speaker explained what a blessing it is to have an opportunity, first of all, to serve our families. Secondly, she explained the opportunity we have to nourish our families physically, as well as to nourish them spiritually over a meal.   My eyes were opened to the importance of this daily intimate gathering.

She explained that when we prepare each meal with thoughtful planning and love, we are truly serving our families, and most importantly we are serving God…  Even though this may seem routine, when we do our very best, we are bringing honor to God.  God simply wants us to work wholeheartedly at whatever we do.  Yes, even cooking!  Remember, as the scripture says we are doing it unto Him not unto humans.

I must say that it is amazing how things change when we see them from a different perspective.  That evening I went home with a different attitude about preparing meals for my family, I got my excitement back, and I take joy in knowing that my family truly enjoys and appreciates every meal that I prepare for them.

Whether we are on our jobs, or home cooking or cleaning, or even doing work for our church, we are to do it wholeheartedly.   When we do things wholeheartedly, it means that we care. It means that those who will benefit from
it will receive our best.

There are times when we may not want to do something for someone for whatever reason.  If we can just remember during those times, to do it as unto God, because we desire to please Him, it will help us to align our will with His. This will also help us to quickly adjust our attitude, and to our surprise, we will be blessed with great joy, because honoring God, and knowing that we are pleasing Him brings us not only peace of mind but joy.

My prayer for you today is that as you continue to serve Him by serving others you will experience a joy-filled life!

Beautiful Fall

Beautiful Fall

 Daniel 2:21
21 He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.

Jeremiah 5:24
24 They do not say to themselves, ‘Let us fear the Lord our God,
who gives autumn and spring rains in season, who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.’

Psalm 104:19
19 He made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down.

September 22nd was the first day of Fall this year.  Fall is absolutely my favorite season of the year. Although it hasn’t arrived just yet, I love the crisp Fall air and all that comes with Fall.

However, this year most of the things that come with Fall may have some restrictions due to COVID, and the need for social distancing.   Football games, Fall Festivals and even some family gatherings will look
different this year.

How wonderful that even though we may still have to stay inside for a bit longer,  we can enjoy some of the great foods that come with Fall, such as a slice of warm pumpkin bread straight from the oven,  or a slice of pumpkin pie. Let’s not forget that hot apple cider and hot chocolate are also considered real treats this time of year as well.  I am sure we all have special memories as far back as our childhood of these wonderful treats that make this season special to us.

The other thing that is very special to me about this time of year, is looking at all of the beautiful Fall decorations that people adorn their porches with.  The door wreaths are colorful and there are pumpkins, colorful mums, and bales of hay and the resemblance of Fall and Harvest season is everywhere.

My favorite thing of all is taking a drive to look at the trees as the leaves start to change colors.  The vibrant hues of oranges, reds, and burgundy’s are just another testament to just how wonderful God is to give us so much beauty to admire as the seasons change.  His power, His versatility, and His artistry are reflected in all that we see as the seasons change.

I hope that as this beautiful time of year lingers for a few more weeks, that you will take a minute and fully take in its beauty, and just stand in awe of God.  He has given us so much to richly enjoy through nature, that it would be a shame to allow the busyness of life to cause us to miss the beauty of this season.  Just look around at all that He has created for our enjoyment.  Don’t you feel blessed?  I know that I do, and I plan to enjoy every minute of it, and I hope that you will too.

 Happy Fall!

Ecclesiastes 3:1
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

 

Your Time of Waiting Is A “Preparation”

Your Time of Waiting Is A Preparation

Psalm 27:13-14
13 I remain confident of this:   I will see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Isaiah 40:31
31 but those who hope in the Lord  will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Micah 7:7
But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord,
    I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.

In April of next year, if God says the same, I will be with the company that I currently work for, for twenty-five years.  I remember thinking when I first went to work for this company, that I did not just want to sell the products, but that I wanted to go into management and become a Sales Director.  In order to become a Sales Director, I had to go through a qualification process.   The qualification process had to be completed within a four-month time period.  I tried several times and did not make it.  I was determined that I would not give up, no matter what.  This was my goal and I was going to make it happen.  In my mind, giving up was not an option.  I even wrote on my bathroom mirror in bright red lipstick, Quitting Is Not an Option!  I was serious about this, but what I didn’t take into consideration, was that God had a purpose in delaying my victory.

I know now that God was preparing me through this process for leadership.  He was building my character in the areas that I needed to grow in.  I wanted the position, but I didn’t realize that I hadn’t been fully willing to pay the price.  It was in the trying, failing, praying, and waiting, that God revealed more and more to me about myself and my character.  During the waiting period, and after much prayer, God revealed my weaknesses to me. He also revealed the areas that I needed to grow in if I wanted to become a leader.

Many times we want what we want, and we want it now!  If we will patiently wait and spend time with God, in time He will reveal the things that we need to know or the things that we need to change so that our blessing won’t be a short-lived one.  How many times do we see things happen quickly for someone, but it’s not sustainable, because of how it was achieved?

There are times when it seems like God is not listening, because we don’t see His hand moving, but I can assure you from my past experience that He hears every prayer.   Some things that we ask for simply require a period of preparation, and we will not receive them until we are prepared to receive them.  Also, not everything that we ask for is good for us at the time that we ask.  We must trust God’s timing, His will, and His divine purposes.   We must trust that no matter how bad we want something, He still sees further down the road than we can see.  He sees the big picture and he will only allow what is best for us.

I am happy to say that after praying and asking God to bless me with the position of Sales Director for six years, He finally said yes.  By God’s grace, eighteen years later I am still holding the position of Sales Director and I get to lead an incredible team.  I can honestly say, that I don’t know if that would be the case if He had given it to me when I initially asked.  God knew that even though I thought I was ready for leadership, I was not.  He protected me from myself and I am grateful for that.  He prepared me for the position and then He said yes.

What have you been praying or pleading with God for, that maybe you are not ready for just yet?  Are you willing to trust God’s timing and His reasons for asking you to wait a little longer?   Remember, your waiting period is a time of preparation.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.[a]

Psalm 37:7
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
    when they carry out their wicked schemes.

Psalm 130:5
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.

Seek Ye First The Kingdom Of God

Matthew 6:33
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Proverbs 8:17
17 I love those who love me,  and those who seek me find me.
Psalm 9:10
10 Those who know your name trust in you,   for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.
Psalm 34:10
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
Lamentations 3:25
25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;
Psalm 14:2
The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.

Life gets so busy and demanding at times that we forget to seek the kingdom of God first.  We set out to accomplish things under our own power and in our own way,  and in our own self-designated time frame.
Many times completely forget to seek God’s will or His counsel in the matter.  It’s not surprising that when things go awry we are confused and sometimes even upset.

Today I want to encourage you in the ways that you can seek God first, and trust Him to add the things that you are striving and stressing for your life.  Remember,  they will only be added if He determines that they are what is
best for you.  If they are not added it may be for your protection, or because it’s not best for you at the time.

The following questions will help you determine where you may need to improve as you strive to seek the Kingdom of God first.

1.   To seek God first means, what matters to Him is important to you and you live your life accordingly.  You value first and foremost the principles and guidelines that He has left in His word for us to abide by.

2.   You go to Him first for council before anyone else.

3.   Your prayer life is consistent and frequent.

4.   He is the first person you spend time with each morning.  I suggest that you make a plan to start and end each day with Him.  You will be so blessed by doing so.

5.   He is the authority and the standard that you make your decisions by.

6.   Pleasing Him is a priority in your life, and as a result, you are blessed with joy.

7.  You share your testimony with others of how God has worked in your life so that they are encouraged to give their lives to Christ. This aide in kingdom building.

8.   You take time to study and meditate on His word daily.

9.  You honor Him by doing for those who are less fortunate.  You find time to make yourself available to be there for those who are in need.  You desire to be God’s servant.

10.  Your monetary gifts reveal your commitment to God’s kingdom as well.  To see if you are on the right track, take a look at your bank account. Where are your dollars going?  Are you tithing?   Our giving is a true sign of our trust in God’s ability to provide for us.

Trust that God’s words are true.  Seek Him first and you will be taken care of. You will have all that you need.   The question is, will you trust Him?

Psalm 119:2
Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart—
1 Chronicle 16:11
11 Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

 

WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Proverbs 23:7
for he is the kind of person who is always thinking about the cost.[a]
“Eat and drink,” he says to you,  but his heart is not with you.

Romans 12:2
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

We live in a world that is bombarded with negativity.  It requires a conscious effort, and sometimes a mental fight just to remain positive.  If you are not careful you can easily get pulled into the deep dark hole of fear, doubt, and despair and this is exactly where the enemy would love for us to reside.  This is why what we are thinking is so important.  We must choose our thoughts wisely.

When my daughter was away attending her second year of college, my husband and I decided to surprise her with a new car.  We made the long eight-hour drive to her campus.  When she saw her new car, she was over the moon excited and we were excited for her. This was her first time having her very own car, so you can imagine just how excited she was.

It wasn’t until she had to make her first trip home through 5 PM Dallas traffic,  that I started to think maybe her having a car was not such a good idea. The very thought of her driving through Dallas traffic at the height of rush hour made my heart race.  She had only had experience driving in our small town.  I was paralyzed with fear!  I was as close as I could possibly be,  to having an anxiety attack without actually having one.  My mind was going crazy with the What If’s.  I prayed every two minutes.  I am telling you, I was a nervous wreck!   She is a great driver, but all I could see was my baby out there with all of those fast driving maniacs.

Finally, the Holy Spirit whispered to me, I knew her before you ever knew her.  I love her more than you are capable of, and I will take care of her.   At just the perfect time, God responded to my prayers with those comforting words.
Everything shifted for me at that very moment.  I was reminded that I was not the only one that loved her so very much.  God loved her too, and He would protect her.  My soul was flooded with peace in that very moment, and it was all because I went to our Father in prayer.  He knew that I was a mother in anguish over my baby girl, and He showed compassion towards me.

Just as my thoughts were running away with me, I am sure you have experienced this also from time to time.  We start to think, what if this or what if that.  It is amazing how in those times,  our minds always go to the worst-case scenario, instead of thinking of all of the great things that could possibly happen from the situation.

I am learning that before I go crazy trying to mentally resolve things on my own, that maybe I should just whisper a prayer.

The battlefield truly is the mind.  We have to constantly protect our thoughts, and replace the negative thoughts with positive thoughts immediately when they pop up.  Lots of self-talk is key.  It helps to refute those ugly negative thoughts out loud,  so you can hear yourself shut them down.  It is the only way to have a life of freedom.  Your thoughts control your life.  Negative lies from the enemy hold us in bondage.   There is only liberty and freedom in the truths and promises that God has given us.

Don’t fall victim to Satan’s traps of doubt and fear or false accusations against you and your character.  You are a child of the Most High God, and He has given you the power to walk with faith and courage, and He says to us all through His word: Do Not Be Afraid or discouraged.  He says this because as long as we have Him on our side, we don’t have to live in fear or be discouraged.  He is our protector and our provider.

So stay positive and remain hopeful, because it truly is the only way to live a peaceful, stress-free life.  Ask yourself from time to time, What Am I Thinking?  It will help you to understand why you are feeling, what you are feeling during that time.  Remember your thoughts and feelings are definitely connected.

Remember to choose your thoughts wisely, you have the power to change the way you think.  Choose to think and believe all that is good, true, and pure. Be Blessed and remain hopeful with the promises of God’s word.

2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

Ephesians 4:22-24
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

GOD IS BIGGER THAN …….

Numbers 13:27-33
27 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. 28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.” 30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

Numbers 14:1-9
14 That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.” Then Moses and Aaron fell face down in front of the whole Israelite assembly gathered there. Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”

GOD IS BIGGER THAN …….

So many times we choose to look at the size of our problem instead of looking at the size of our God.  At the sight of disaster or disappointment, we cower and resort to feelings of helplessness, discouragement, depression, and some even become physically ill.  As Christians we should be confident enough in our God, to stand tall in our shoes, and stare our trials down. The power we have been blessed with through Christ can overcome any obstacle.
We sometimes forget that the scripture; 1 John 4:4 says:  Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world.

I want to encourage you today, that no matter what you are currently facing, or will ever face in the future, God is Bigger than it could ever possibly be, no matter the size!  God is bigger than any illness, including cancer.  He is bigger than relationship problems, financial problems, or any other problem that you could possibly have.  He and He alone is our only hope always because He is the only one that can handle anything no matter the size or threat that it presents to us.   He is almighty and all-knowing. He sees and knows our future and He holds the keys to it all. He will only allow what will draw us closer to Him and what is best for us.

Today as you consider the set of unpredictable sets of circumstances that you may find yourself in, know that if God is your Lord and Savior, you will be OK.  He works all things out for our good, and if He allows us to walk through a fiery trial, there’s a purpose in it.  No need to worry or fret, because there is no problem bigger than your God and that is truly something that we all should take comfort in knowing.

Jeremiah 23: 23-24
Am I a God near at hand,” says the Lord, “And not a God afar off?
24 Can anyone hide himself in secret places, So I shall not see him?” says the Lord;
“Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the Lord.

Jeremiah 32:17
17 ‘Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too [a]hard for You.

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.

Isaiah 40: 28
Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.

Psalm 147: 5
Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.

Jeremiah 32:27
27 “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?

2nd Chronicles 6:18
18 “But will God indeed dwell with men on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this [a]temple which I have built!

Deuteronomy 31:8
And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”

Zephaniah 3:17
The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”

Genesis 18:14
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.”

Jeremiah 10:12
He has made the earth by His power, He has established the world by His wisdom,
And has stretched out the heavens at His discretion.

Job 42: 2
“I know that You can do everything,  And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.

Job 11:17
And your life would be brighter than noonday. Though you were dark, you would be like the morning.

Psalm 90: 2
Before the mountains were brought forth,
Or ever You [a]had formed the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.

Job 26:14
Indeed these are the mere edges of His ways,
And how small a whisper we hear of Him!
But the thunder of His power who can understand?”

Job 9:4
God is wise in heart and mighty in strength. Who has hardened himself against Him and prospered?

Jeremiah 10: 12
He has made the earth by His power, He has established the world by His wisdom,
And has stretched out the heavens at His discretion.

Isaiah 14:27
For the Lord of hosts has purposed, And who will annul it?
His hand is stretched out, And who will turn it back?”

 

45 Reasons That It Will Be OK    Part 2 

45 Reasons That It Will Be OK    Part 2    

My prayer is that as you continue reading the scriptures below in Part 2 of,  45 Reasons That It Will Be OK, that you are even more convinced that God is with you every step of the way.   No matter the challenge, or adversity it will be OK and you will be OK too.  Just continue to trust that His words are true.

God Bless!
Isaiah 12: 2
Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For (B)Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’ ”

Psalm 86:5
For (A)You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.

Hebrews 13: 6
So we may boldly say:(A)“The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”
Psalm 55: 22
Cast your burden on the Lord, And (B)He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be [a]moved.

Romans 5: 2-5
2 (A)through whom also we have access by faith into this grace (B)in which we stand, and (C)rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but (D)we also glory in tribulations, (E)knowing that tribulation produces [a]perseverance; 4 (F)and perseverance, [b]character; and character, hope. 5 (G)Now hope does not disappoint, (H)because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Isaiah 40: 29
29 He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength.

Psalm 56:3
Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You

Jeremiah 15:20
20 And I will make you to this people a fortified bronze (A)wall;
And they will fight against you, But (B)they shall not prevail against you;
For I am with you to save you And deliver you,” says the Lord.

Nahum 1: 7
The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And (B)He knows those who trust in Him.

Luke 11: 9-13
9 (B)“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; (C)seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 (D)If a son asks for [a]bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give (E)good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

Psalm 102:17
17 (A)He shall regard the prayer of the destitute, And shall not despise their prayer.

Psalm 145:18
18 (A)The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him (B)in truth.

1 John 1: 9
If we (A)confess our sins, He is (B)faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to (C)cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Zephaniah 3:17
The Lord your God (A)in your midst, The Mighty One, will save;
(B)He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”

2 Corinthians 9: 8
8 (A)And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

Romans 8:28
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those (A)who are the called according to His purpose.

Matthew 6: 31-33
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But (A)seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Joshua 1: 9
9 (A)Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; (B)do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Mark 11: 24
Therefore I say to you, (A)whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

Matthew 28:20
 (A)teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am (B)with you always, even to the end of the age.” [a]Amen.

45 Reasons That It Will Be Ok  Part 1   

45 Reasons That It Will Be Ok Part 1   

So many of us are going through a season of adversity, or we know someone who is dealing with adversity at this time.  Today I would like to share a few scriptures with you, that will strengthen you and give you hope.   God has blessed us with so many promises to stand on. Promises that will anchor us during our times of trials. I hope that these scriptures do just that for you today.  Trust that God cannot lie and that if He says it, you can stand firm on it, because it’s true.

May God bless you as you forge ahead on your journey, knowing that God has your back no matter what it looks like, or how dark it gets? He’s got you!  Be blessed and be restored by believing the truth of God’s Word.

Isaiah 43: 2
When you pass through the waters,(A) I will be with you;(B)and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,(C) you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.(D)

Romans 8: 37-39
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors(A) through him who loved us.(B)38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future,(C) nor any powers,(D)39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God(E) that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.(F)

Psalm 27: 1
The Lord is my light(A) and my salvation(B)— whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold(C) of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?(D)

Jeremiah 29:11
11 For I know the plans(A) I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper(B) you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.(C)

Deuteronomy 31: 8
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you;(A) he will never leave you nor forsake you.(B) Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Psalm 139: 7-10
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee(A) from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens,(B) you are there; if I make my bed(C) in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,(D)  your right hand(E) will hold me fast.

Philippians 4:13
13 I can do all things (A)through [a]Christ who strengthens me.

Psalm 23
The Lord is (A)my shepherd; I shall not [a]want.
2 (C)He makes me to lie down in [b]green pastures;
(D)He leads me beside the [c]still waters.
He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.Yea, though I walk through the valley of (F)the shadow of death,
(G)I will fear no evil;
(H)For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You (I)prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You (J)anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me  All the days of my life;
And I will [d]dwell in the house of the Lord
[e]Forever.

John 14: 27
27 (A)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.

Matthew 17: 20
20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your [a]unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, (A)if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.

I Corinthians 10:13
13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but (A)God is faithful, (B)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 [a]bear it.

Ephesians 2:4-7
But God, (A)who is rich in mercy, because of His (B)great love with which He loved us, 5 (C)even when we were dead in trespasses, (D)made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together (E)in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in (F)His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

2 Thessalonians 3:3
But (A)the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and (B)guard you from the evil one.

Isaiah 41:10
Fear not, (B)for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

Psalm 91
He (A)who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide (B)under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 (C)I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”Surely (D)He shall deliver you from the snare of the [a]fowler And from the perilous pestilence. 4 (E)He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and [b]buckler. 5 (F)You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
Only (G)with your eyes shall you look, And see the reward of the wicked.
Because you have made the Lord, who is (H)my refuge,
Even the Most High, (I)your dwelling place, 10 (J)No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
11 (K)For He shall give His angels charge over you,To keep you in all your ways.
12 In their hands they shall [c]bear you up, Lest you [d]dash your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will [e]set him on high, because he has (M)known My name.
15 He shall (N)call upon Me, and I will answer him;I will be (O)with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With [f]long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.”

Philippians 4: 6-7
6 (A)Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with (B)thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and (C)the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Luke 1: 37
For (A)with God nothing will be impossible.”

Psalm 18: 30
As for God, (A)His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is [a]proven;
He is a shield (C)to all who trust in Him.

Proverbs 3: 5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall [a]direct your paths.

Matthew 11:28-30
28 Come to (A)Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you (B)and learn from Me, for I am [a]gentle and (C)lowly in heart, (D)and you will find rest for your souls. 30 (E)For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

John 8: 36
36 (A)Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
2 Chronicles 7:14
if My people who are (A)called by My name will (B)humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, (C)then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

A TRIBUTE TO DAD’S

A TRIBUTE TO DAD’S

 Psalm 127:3(NKJV)
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth.
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

Proverbs 17:6 (NKJV)
Children’s children are the crown of old men, And the glory of children is their father.

Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (NKJV)
“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Just as God loved us so much that He sacrificed His Son, and His Son willingly sacrificed His life for us, so our dads express their love for us through sacrifice each and every day.

Just as God protects us and provides for us, dads are to do the same for their children.  Our dads should be to us the earthly example of our heavenly Father.  When our earthly fathers are the fathers that God desires for them to be, their examples of fatherhood makes it easier for their children to understand God’s role as their heavenly Father and what their relationship to Him should be like.

Unfortunately, we live in a society where many dads are missing in action, also, unfortunately, we live in a society that does not respect and honor our good dads as frequently as we should.  As we approach Father’s Day, I would like to encourage you to joyfully and gratefully honor the men in your life.

Whether it is your father, your husband, brother, or nephew, if they are dads who are present and active in their children’s lives they should be honored.

I cannot imagine the load that is appointed to them as the providers, protectors, and the spiritual leaders of our families. This is an awesome responsibility that comes with a lot of weight. Men many times do not have nearly the support system that we as women have.

I realize that there are many men who have walked off and left the responsibility of raising and providing for their children to their wives, who are then left behind to endure a life of struggle. That is not who I am talking about. I am talking about the men like my wonderful dad and my husband and brothers who have been present and active, not perfect, but present and active, who have sacrificed and given every day of their lives willingly to make sure that meals were on the table. That shoes were on everyone’s feet, clothes on their backs, and a roof over their heads.

Men who did not tell their children where the church was or drop them off at the church door but who led them by example and got up on Sunday mornings, and led their families to church.
Men who have done without many things they would like to have had so that their families could have what they needed.
Men who taught their sons how to respect women by the example they saw in the way they loved and respected their moms.
Men who no matter how tired they were, mustered up the energy at the end of a workday to play with their children or to go to one more ball game or to teach them to ride a bike for the first time.
Men who led prayer over each meal and taught their children to thank God for providing it and to thank mom for preparing it.
Men who help those outsides of their own families that were in need, whether cutting the grass for someone who was unable to do so for themselves or sharing words of wisdom with a young man who had no clue of how to be a great husband and father.

Dads who were watchful of the words they expressed before their children with full understanding that their words could build up or tear down.

I also want to celebrate the single fathers who by no choice of their own find themselves with the daunting task of raising their children alone and they are brave enough and love them enough to do so, trusting God each day for wisdom and guidance. Stay strong brothers, stay strong.  God will see you through.

Dads where would we be without you?

 God knew you would be vital to the family, so much so that he made you head of the family. I respect your role and I honor you for your dedication to being obedient to the call of providing for, protecting and leading your families to God’s Pearly Gates.

Many men will never allow anyone to see them in a vulnerable state.  I am convinced that we may never know how many tears they have secretly shed as they went before our heavenly Father for wisdom and guidance to know how to lead and direct their families in those dark and stressful moments that we are all faced with at some point.

Dads, my prayer is that you will always cherish the gift God has given you,  in that of being responsible for and taking care of your family, and that you will hear him say “well done my good and faithful servant” someday. However, until then know this, that we need your presence in our lives and the lives of our children.

Thank you for your life of love and sacrifice and may you always look to our heavenly Father for
STRENGTH, WISDOM, COURAGE, AND GUIDANCE.

Happy Father’s Day!

Luke 11:11-13 (NKJV)
11 If a son asks for bread[a] from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

God’s Plan for Living in Racial Harmony

A few weeks ago I spoke at a Women’s Conference at a University here in my home state. My topic was “God’s Plan For Racial Harmony”. Initially, I was excited to do this, and then at some point in my time of preparation, God made it very clear to me, that even though I was passionate about doing this, I had an awesome responsibility to get this right. It was by no means to be a political speech but a Biblical one.

I was also excited that this was going to be discussed on a college campus. With all of the divisiveness going on in our country these days, I thought having this conversation would be healing for some and informative for others.
Though excited it saddened me, that we are still needing to have this conversation in our country.   The reality is that we have definitely made progress In this area,  but our hearts still need to be pricked and opened more to see and accept others as God does.  The reality also, is that we are on a journey to be more like Him and God is love. We are to love everyone, not just those that look like us, or that we are comfortable being around, but everyone.  Maybe it’s time to give yourself a heart check. Only God can give us the ability to love as He does, and that is totally unconditional.  With His help and His help alone, we really can achieve this capacity to love others as He does.
To help you start your journey of living a life in Racial Harmony and loving others as Christ does, I have I shared a few of my notes from this speech.  I hope that they will enlighten some of you and remind others of you what God’s word says about how we should treat one another, no matter the color of our skin.  You may know individuals that struggle with this terrible sin called racism, and if so, I would love for you to encourage them to read this also.

I.  What Does Living In Racial Harmony Mean?
To live in harmony is to live, working peacefully together.  It means we are living peacefully, instead of living at odds or in conflict with one another.
Colossians 3:14
14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.
Psalm 133:1
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity!
Hebrews 12:14
14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.
Romans 12:16
 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
2.  To Live In Racial Harmony We Have To Recognize That There Is Only One Race.

Genesis 1:26-27 (NLT)
26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings[a] in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth,[b] and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”27 So God created human beings[c] in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Acts 17: 26-28
26 From one man[a] he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries.27 “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. 28 For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your[b] own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

There is only one race, however, there are several ethnicities within this one race, such as Africans, Asians,   Caucasians, Latinos, Indians, Arabs, Jews, etc.
Ethnicity is generally made up of cultural traditions and behaviors as well as beliefs that are common to a specific group.

3.  God Does Not Show Partiality, So Neither Should We
God’s plan for racial harmony was revealed through His sacrificial death on the cross.  God desires unity among His children.
 Ephesians 2:14-22 (NLT)
14 For Christ, himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. 15 He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. 16 Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.
17 He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. 18 Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.19 So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. 20 Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. 21 We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. 22 Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.
Deuteronomy 10:17-19
17 “For the Lord, your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, the mighty and awesome God, who shows no partiality and cannot be bribed. 18 He ensures that orphans and widows receive justice. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing. 19 So you, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.
Acts 10:34-36
34 Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. 35 In every nation, he accepts those who fear him and do what is right. 36 This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. As children of God we all share the same DNA, therefore spiritually speaking we are all saved by one bloodline and that’s the blood of Jesus Christ.  Physically speaking we are all connected through one bloodline also and that’s the bloodline of Adam and Eve.  We are connected physically and spiritually.

  1.  10 Things We Must Do to Live In Racial Harmony With One Another
    1).  We must acknowledge that racism is a sin. The reason racism is a sin is that showing partiality is a sin.
    James 2:1
    My dear brothers and sisters,[a] how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?
    James 2: 9
    But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law.
    James 2:12-13
    12 So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free. 13 There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.
    2). Our hearts and minds must change.
    Romans 12:2
    Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
    Psalm 51:10
    10 Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. If you have been programmed to think stereotypical thoughts of others or to think biased towards others, you must transform your thoughts with the word of God, and then your heart will change also. Ask God to create in you a clean heart and He will.
    3). We must exemplify Golden Rule Living
    Matthew 7:12
     12 “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.
    Simply treat others the way you would want them to treat you if the situation or circumstance were reversed.
    4). We must see others through the eyes of Christ.  God sees value in every human life and we must do the same.
    Romans 5:8
    But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners remember that in God’s eyes we all have value. The same blood that was shed for your redemption was shed for mine. We all have purpose, gifts, and talents. Let’s also see the value in our differences and celebrate how God has uniquely created each of us.
    5). We must respect everyone no matter their race or color.
    1st Peter 2:16-17 (NLT)
    16 For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. 17 Respect everyone, and love the family of believers.[a] Fear God, and respect the king.
    Every human being on the planet desires to be loved first, and secondly to be respected. When we respect someone we are saying that they matter. It is a validation of their worth.
    6). We must show compassion to all humanity not just to those who look like you.
    Luke 10:30-37
    30 Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.31 “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. 32 A Temple assistant[a] walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.33 “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. 34 Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. 35 The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins,[b] telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’36 “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.37 The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy. ”Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.
    7). We should share each other’s burdens. By willing to help by giving to, and sharing with those in need, no matter who they are.
    Galatians 6:2
    2. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.
    8). Communication is key! — Start the conversation, learn about other cultures.  Educate yourself.  Validate and affirm those who need it.  Be just as willing to listen and consider another point of view.
    James 1:19
    19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.
     Ephesians 4:29
     29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. We must listen to start the process of understanding each other as well as to start the healing process in our country.  One of the reasons that our country is still so racially divided is because everyone is talking and giving their point of view, yet no one is listening.
    “People fail to get along because they fear each other, they fear each other because they don’t know each other, and they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”
    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr
    9). Women, you have the power to change the world right at your kitchen table, with the conversation you have with your husbands and children. When you hear things that are racially biased or outright wrong Speak Up!   Teach your family what is right, don’t just turn your head as though you don’t hear the conversation. Many of the issues that are causing societal problems can be resolved right at home. Remember, when you know what to do and you don’t do it, you will be held accountable before God. “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetuate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”
    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Proverbs 31: 11
    Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.
    Proverbs 31:26
    26 When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.
    10). Love the way Christ loved.
    Psalm 86:15
    15 But you, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.
    1st Corinthians 13:4-84
    Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages[a] and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Christ was compassionate, loving, gentle, patient, merciful, forgiving, generous, and gracious.  Most importantly He was obedient to the will of His Father.

“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”  “ I have decided to stick with love-hate is too great a burden to bear.”
 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Definitions Of Key Words Regarding Racism

Justice- Just behavior or treatment. The quality of being fair and reasonable in treatment to others.
Isaiah 1:17
17 Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans.
Fight for the rights of widows.
Proverbs 31: 8-9
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.
Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.
Injustice – Lack of fairness or justice in the way we treat others.
Leviticus 19: 15
15 “Do not twist justice in legal matters by favoring the poor or being partial to the rich and powerful. Always judge people fairly.
Racism- Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior. The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.
Racist– A person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another.
Systemic Racism or Institutional Racism– is a form of racism expressed in the practice of social and political institutions.  It is reflected in disparities regarding wealth, income, criminal justice, employment, housing, health care, political power, and education, among other factors. (Wikipedia)
Bigotry– intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.
Discrimination– The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.
Segregation– The action or state of setting someone or something apart from other people or things or being set apart.
Oppression– Prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or control.
Slavery- a condition compared to that of a slave in respect of exhausting labor or restricted freedom. A system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. A slave is unable to withdraw unilaterally from such an arrangement and works without remuneration.
Supremacist– An advocate of the supremacy of a particular group, especially one determined by race or sex.
White Privilege– is the social privilege that benefits people whom society identifies as white in some countries, beyond what is commonly experienced by non-white people under the same social, political, or economic circumstances.
Hate Crimes- A crime, typically one involving violence that is motivated by prejudice on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, or other grounds.

References:
The Bible

Oxford Dictionary
Wikipedia
 Knowledge

Recommend Reading:
Holy Bible
Bloodline by John Piper