God Gives #Blessing THROUGH the Valley –

Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. (Acts 2:26-28)~ To have experienced what I have seen, to have had those experiences and been in those situations, I can’t help but rejoice in the joy of the salvation God has given me. I have gone through many valleys but my hope is always fostered in knowing that I have come through those valleys. I have learned in being in life that “man born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble” (Job 14:1)- in other words, as surely as I have been through the Valley, I will see it again. But as a child of God I know I won’t be in there longer than it takes for Him to chisel off of me that which I don’t need in my life to have His life! I have also come to understand that being in the valley we realize just how much God really has us because we get to a point where nothing we do, none of our vast knowledge or education and no amount of money we spend can sustain us in or emerge us from that valley. But God by His very being sustains and provides for us and at the point we realize just that, we learn that in Him we live, move and have our being and that His grace is so sufficient that He doesn’t have to even bring us out of the Valley to bless us by it! When the road is dark and tough, God will guide and protect you. When you feel overwhelmed with loneliness, the Lord is close beside you. When your heart is asking hard questions and you feel beaten down, God will sustain you. You don’t need to live in fear, for God is always with you. He is willing to comfort and protect you. He guides you through every mountain and valley of life. He is your true Leader and Good Shepherd. And the more you trust Him as Lord, the more you will experience the wonder of having a Shepherd. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. (Ps 23:4). 

#GodIs … all by himself! 

“….I am God, and there is no other; I am God and there is no one like me” – (Isaiah 46:9)~~God is very clear and deliberate. HE is God, the one and only! There is no other god than Him; no one else can be Him, not even us. How often do we act as if our world revolves around only us? How often do we stick our heads in the sand and pretend that we are god, ruling over our own life? Remember the first commandment,  “I am the Lord your God….you shall have no other gods before me,” (Ex 20:2-3). When we set ourselves up , pretending we are god, ruling over our own life, we become our own idol – something God abhors and detests. You can’t trust God for your salvation and not trust him to control your life. How can you trust God to save you from eternal condemnation but refuse to let Him work in your earthly life?  If this is what you are doing, repent today and take the step to give the control to God.

 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths (Prov 3:5-6)

You Say “Why Me Lord?” – God Says “Why NOT You?” #Chosen –

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And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? (Ex 3:11)~ There are many reasons why God shouldn’t have called you, but don’t worry, you’re in good company. Moses stuttered. David’s armor didn’t fit. John and Mark were rejected by Paul. Timothy had ulcers. Hosea’s wife was a prostitute. Amos’ only training was in the school of fig-tree pruning. Jacob was a liar. David had an affair. Solomon was too rich. Jesus was too poor. Abraham was too old. David was too young. Peter was afraid of death. Lazarus was dead. John was self-righteous. Naomi was a widow. Paul was a murderer. So was Moses. Jonah ran from God. Miriam was a gossip. Gideon and Thomas both doubted. Jeremiah was depressed and suicidal. Elijah was burned out. John the Baptist was a loudmouth. Martha was a worry-wart. Mary was lazy. Samson had long hair. Noah got drunk. Did I mention that Moses had a short fuse?

But God doesn’t require a job interview. He doesn’t hire and fire like most bosses, because He’s more our Father than our Boss. He doesn’t look at financial gain or loss. He’s not prejudiced or partial, not judging, grudging, sassy, or brassy, not deaf to our cry, not blind to our need.

The enemy says, “You’re not worthy.” Jesus says, “So what? I AM.” The adversary looks back and sees our mistakes. God looks back and sees the cross. He doesn’t calculate what you did in ’78. It’s not even on the record.

Like vine branches, we are not continually laden with fruit. That would be unnatural. For a significant portion of its life, a grapevine is nothing but a dry, twisted stick; fruitless, useless for shade, worthless as timber; to all appearances fit only to be ripped from the ground and reduced to ashes. Yet those barren times are as vital in the life of the vine, as the seasons of fruit.

Sure, there are lots of reasons why God shouldn’t have called us. But if we are in love with Him, if we hunger for Him more than our next breath, He’ll use us in spite of who we are, where we’ve been, or what we look like. And If He thought enough of you to call you to something, don’t you worry about being right for it. God has made sure that you are qualified and justified, that in all this His name will be magnified and glorified! “Why Me?” you ask. “Why NOT You?” God replies. He sees you as perfect for His purpose!  Many are called, few are chosen! He chose you and God has never had to regret a choice! You may be full of problems for some people but you are fearfully and wonderfully made and you’re perfect for God!

Without God It’s Pretty Cold Out There – Stay Under The #Covering-

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting (Rom 1:28)~ When we abdicate our management role in God’s kingdom and start acting like the owner, we bring a lot of challenges on ourselves. The kingdom agenda does not include our ownership. If you have ever rented somewhere and then owned a home, you know the difference between being a manager and an owner. When you rent a home or an apartment, your landlord takes responsibility for most of the building’s upkeep because you don’t own it. But if you own the house, when the roof goes bad, you get to fix it. When the water heater goes out, you buy a new one. There are responsibilities that come with ownership. That’s also true in life. If you want to be the owner of your life and live as though God has no say over you, He is going to respond, “You want to own your life? Okay, when it breaks down, you get to deal with it.”  The great sin of the Bible is to live independently of God, to try to live as if God does not exist. Satan wants you to become like him—in rebellion against God. Satan wants you to stop thinking like a manager and start thinking like an owner. Yet God wants you to faithfully steward that which He has placed in your care by looking to Him as the owner of all. 

I think I’ll just stay under the Covering! 

Is It Really Worth the Stress? #LifeIsTooShort –

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And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? (Luke 12:25)~ What someone said;  what someone did. How they make us feel… how they upset,  disrespect or annoy us. What didn’t go our way…what was a challenge for us. We have so much more to worry about than these little distractions. What benefit is there to focus on all of that negativity?? If you expect to be happy and enjoy your life you must master not allowing small stuff to bother you when it occurs. So many of us get so bent out of shape over the small stupid things that when you think about it mean absolutely nothing. Stop allowing words, gossip and negativity to bring you down. Stop worrying about what other people say, think and do. People say and do mean things to you because they are subconsciously casting the feelings of themselves onto you. When things occur and you have no control over them, just keep it moving; rather than expend energy on those things you couldn’t even change if you wanted to. God has called you BLESSED. No weapon formed against you shall prosper!! That doesn’t mean there won’t be weapons; it means that things that come against you will fail because you are in Christ! But it’s all on you…the more you focus on negativity, the more it impacts you. Life is way too short and hard enough on its own. Don’t make it worse by being so reactive to every little thing that goes on! The less mess you allow to trickle through your life, the more blessed your life will be! Resist the devil and he will flee!

Oh Give #Thanks Unto the Lord! –

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Ths 5:18)~~ God has given us reasons time and time again to give Him thanks, and this is what we must do. We are living in a time of great anxiety, but He has offered us a way out of anxiety. We may know His loving care. There is no one so good, so high, so holy, and so merciful as God. We are thankful that He has invited us to bring our petitions and our requests to Him. Who else can we go to for wisdom, or for hope, or for guidance? We are thankful for peace that proceeds from His forgiveness, the wholeness that comes from His restorative touch. We are thankful His for creating a world He called “good.” We thank Him that despite the evil that has entered the world and still wages war in our own souls, His goodness is undiminished. We thank Him that we have seen honor that is bolder than shame…mercy that is wider than cruelty…truth that is straighter than deception…faith that is stronger than treachery…hope that is deeper than desperation. We thank Him for the ordinary things: the bread we receive, the breath by which we live. And we thank Him for the extraordinary things: the strength we didn’t know was possible, and the discovery of truths we didn’t know. We thank Him for the immeasurable grace shown to us in the coming of Jesus Christ, the hope of the world. Be thankful today for each other and the blessings you have… In all things today, give thanks In His Name.

Why Are We Thankful? – #Thanksgiving2016 –

O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good: for His mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy (Ps 107:1-2)~~ As we focus on what we’re thankful for this week, let us not forget to be thankful that God is all about our good. We should be thankful that where people may have wrath on us and prefer our suffering and demise, HIS will upon us is mercy for our good. Be thankful that in His grace, the rules toward our infractions are pre-empted… He holds back what we deserve. Be thankful that rather than imposing the consequences of what we do, in His MERCY renders us righteous. Let us be thankful that when we are being ridiculous and only concerned about ourselves, focused on what we have, what we do and what we want.. even when we are turning our back to Him and committing our atrocities, His grace and mercy ENDURES our iniquities; yet “while” we were sinners, Christ died for us. Let us be thankful because although we are all “prodigal sons”, God allows to return to Him regardless of our state of affairs when we left or how long it’s been since we left or how we are when we come back. ..yes, His mercy endures FOREVER. Be thankful that It’s never too late to call upon Him! We are all redeemed in Him and by Him! As we celebrate Thanksgiving today and are in a mindset of gratitude, let us remain mindful of God’s grace and His desire for our good…and for that, He is worthy of and due our praise! As you reflect on why you should be thankful, remember that you are God’s treasure, fearfully and wonderfully made and He adores you! Now! Let us Give Thanks to the Lord for He is good and HIS mercy ENDURES FOREVER. Happy Thanksgiving!

Are You Grateful or Ingrate-ful.. #Thanksgiving~

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name (Ps 100:4)~ Have you ever secretly coveted “The Joneses” who seem to be living the good life when all you have is a mountain of overdue bills? Do you feel overwhelmed about your troubles and find little time to be grateful for what you do have? Do you have a critical spirit; a heart of discontent and un-thankfulness; a griping, complaining disposition; never feeling like you’re satisfied? Don’t be an ingrate. When you feel these things, you naturally lash out in frustration and go off on a tangent asking why God allows you to be where you are….all the while not realizing the BLESSING of God allowing you to be where you are!!  As that reality hits you, stop and give God thanks for what IS in your life! And it’s a promise…Yours will change! Want what you have and you’ll always have what you want! In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1Ths 5:18-23).

Whether Subtle or Outright – #Racism Stinks! –

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Unfortunately, Racism will not go away anytime soon– despite all the efforts from people to proclaim our society as post-racial. We keep seeing examples Of racism and the more people speak against it the more supporters of racist views rear their heads …ugliness… right in our own neighborhoods… It shows you just how disrespectful people are today and how low a value is placed on human life just because the race is different! 

 

A sad truth is that the more people start to realize the power of their ugly, bigoted words and actions… The more they just keep USING them; No matter what the extreme, from laughing at or posting a stereotypical joke on social media to committing a hate crime because we have that nagging urge to dislike someone that’s not like us. Racism is more prevalent today than it ever was and if not for the laws protecting the human rights of the targets of this ugly cancer of society, things would be much worse. The only reason the crimes aren’t any worse is because the fear of retaliation or punitive recourse holds force… for now!

 

People, we need to go above our horrible base instincts of ignorance and lay off the acts steeped in belittling a culture other than our own. There is NOT ONE justifiable reason for racism to exist!!! There is NO EXCUSE for the ugliness that happens: If “whoever” is good enough for God then they have to be good enough for the “people” of God! Jesus is not looking at the color of someone’s skin but the condition of their heart. Why would God bring the nations and races and souls together in Heaven but keep them separate on Earth? Being “unequally yoked” isn’t about race, it’s about religion. Jesus has interracial marriages in his lineage. Are you better than Him? It doesn’t matter that your ancestors have been this way for generations…. we love to bring up what happened hundreds of years ago as our reason for not liking someone. Half of us don’t understand or even TRY to understand why, we just do it because it’s the way our families or our communities have been all of our lives…no wonder things are so backwards!!! When your family values are rooted in sin, it’s time to change your family values. Nobody’s born a bigot; it’s a learned behavior. This behavior always leads to us treating people how Jesus would never treat people. Hatred, Unforgiveness, Anger, Arrogance, Racism… not liking the person because their skin is a different color, their beliefs and heritages are different, their likes and dislikes don’t match ours… these things are always rooted in ignorance. We need to Stop defending the ignorance…. we really aren’t any better than the next person! Just END IT NOW!!! For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to EVERY man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another (Rom 12:3-5).

No Matter How TIMES #Change – God IS… 

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron (1 Tim 4:1-2)~ Increasingly mankind is buying in to a ‘new’ mindset that interprets the truth of God in a very different (and misguided) way… politically correct and adjusted as seen fit to compensate for the “way things are” today; taking into considerations man’s feelings and desires; in step with trending popularity; re-defining the intent of God’s word! We have changed the truth of God into a lie; following and even worshipping the created (our own ideals) rather than the Creator (God)! This interpretation suggests that it’s okay to exist in a way other than God’s word; because what God expects from us is unrealistic and we can’t do it anyway! People now attach ‘language’ to sin to soften the blow of sin…to make it more acceptable and its consequence less punitive..like the lies the devil told in the Garden of Eden. Because society has propagated the belief that it’s unrealistic to live by the guidelines of God’s Word, today’s culture says that to follow the Word of God is out of step and out of date with ‘reality’. Now what used to be up is down, what used to be this way is now that way. God’s doctrines are now viewed as to be intended for those in ‘Biblical’ times. Here’s the reality check: As much as it may disturb some to take it in, the truth of the matter is this: God is God alone and He does not change (Mal 3:6); He is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34) – He didn’t ask for nor does He desire our opinion, feedback or interpretation. Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct Him? He that reproveth God, let him answer it (Job 40:2). He is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6) and His way IS the way…Acceptance by Him cannot be obtained on any other ground than that of the covenant of mercy, through the atonement of Christ. Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices (2 Cor 2:11)..we can’t shape things around political campaigns, public outcry and opinion or even organized rebellion. These are all areas that the enemy will use to get us to justify our rebellion. Satan has many plans to deceive, and knows how to make a bad use of our mistakes. We have the Word, that many of us have knowledge and understanding of. We must also stand under that Word! Wisdom is to be used, that we take great care in the decisions we make and the doctrines we follow. We scream that we have ‘free will’ to do as we choose..but that doesn’t mean that what we choose will be right. From the choices of Adam and Eve going aside of the Word of God in the Garden that set the course of a curse to all of mankind…to the choice of Abraham to trust God that brought the promise of abundant blessings to all that came behind him…and the choice of Jesus to do the Will of God that restored all of mankind… His Word is and must always be our foundation. No matter what is said, created as a new law or trending in popularity, God’s Word is still the ultimate truth and we must not depart from it!