Saturday, August 22, 2015

You Are Not Going To Take What's Mine!

Yesterday I captured this image. I LOVED it! The way the little boy stared down this hungry pelican looking for a free meal. It was as if the boy was letting him know, "You are not going to take what is mine."

I'm thankful for this reminder... when the enemy threatens to attack, flooding me with worry, fear and discouragement I can say, "You are not going to steal what is mine in CHRIST today." 

He is already defeated. Don't grow weary friends for in due season you will reap a reward. We know how this story ends. Stand on the strength, hope, faith, trust and love of JESUS today. HE'S got this!

"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."~Galatians 6:9

"And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen."~Romans 16:20

Friday, August 14, 2015

Just A Little Farther...

The water splashed all around as the board gracefully glided through. The kids frolicked, water at the center of their fun. But just a few feet in front of them was the clean ocean water. They stopped too soon. They were sitting in the middle of the drainage/run off water. Unbeknownst to them, it wasn't the best place for them to stop. They needed to continue to walk forward, out of the dirty water and into the crashing, clean waves in front of them where the tide disperses any contamination into hundreds and thousands of miles of ocean, cleaning it. 
I'm always puzzled by this. I want to run down and say, "Get out of there! Don't let your kids play in that water."

Isn't that just what our Heavenly Father thinks as we sit in the "contaminated" things in our life? Isn't HE calling us to come out of it? Why do we all too often sit in the very places that is toxic to our souls?
The enemy's deception is slow and steady. One step here, a little step there until one day you're frolicking in a mess of destructive behavior and choices.

Here's some truth friends...
You NEVER have to stay there and continue to "sit" in it. JESUS is right in front of you. Do you not hear HIM tugging at your heart? One right decision at a time, prompting you to take a step in HIS direction as HE grabs hold of you hand. You do not have to walk alone.

Today, stop. PRAY. Ask JESUS to help you move towards HIM. Ask HIM to pull you out of the muck and the mire of wrong choices. You're never too far. Your never beyond HIS reach. Let the Redeeming Blood of JESUS clean you up and set you free!

Lord, I ask YOU to come into my heart and life. Remove anything that is not of YOU. Set me free from the chains and bondage of sin that has held me captive for far too long. I ask you to come into my life JESUS, making all things new. Forgive me and help me to forgive myself. 
I say these things in YOUR Mighty and Powerful Name JESUS, Amen.

"This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin." 1 John 1:5-7 

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."~John 14:6

Thursday, July 30, 2015

I Called To Him...

I kneeled, softening my voice I coaxed him near to me. He responded. No hesitation. He sensed my hope. He stood right next to me, standing at attention...waiting. Suddenly fear took over. Unsure. Did I do the right thing calling him to me? Did I really think he would come? 
He just waited. Still. Motionless. 
I had his full attention, and yet *I* began to waiver. 

How similar this situation is to our walk with JESUS? We call HIM near to us in hopeful expectation and then we waiver. Doubt. Fear. Uncertainty. 
Is HE really going to answer?  
Is HE going to draw near to me in this moment? 

Often times we slowly back away, while HE waits attentively, patiently, lovingly, for the next moment you seek HIM hoping you'll *still* long enough, to allow HIM to fill you, guide you, give you peace, love, comfort and direction. 

Today, do not move away but call JESUS closer. Give HIM access to *every* area that "so easily entangles." For it is in the letting go, putting all faith and trust in The LORD that HE is able to move. 

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on JESUS, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)

Monday, July 6, 2015

Are You In The Middle Of Life's Steep Climb?


On my bike ride home from the gym today I had several hills to climb. I felt weak having just lifted weights and my muscles were screaming. 

As I approached a particularly steep one, a favorite song began to play over my bike speaker (the hubby got me a good loud one that plays from my iPhone). The words poured over everything I've been carrying around lately during what seems to be a time of transition in my life. 

"GREAT PLANS I HAVE FOR YOU!"

As I struggled up the hill, the words propelled me. I reached the top and was overcome with relief as I coasted down the steep hill. 

I'm thankful that during steep climbs, The LORD is ever present. HE encourages me as I spend time in prayer. HIS written Word propels me to the top of whatever difficulty is in front of me each day. HE helps me to reach the top and find relief as I coast in HIS Love and Peace. 

This journey is not a sprint, it's a marathon. I need to stay connected to my Savior JESUS CHRIST, allowing HIM to give me strength along the way. 


“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 55:8-9


"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."~Hebrews 12:1-2

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart."~Jeremiah 29:11-13

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

THE FIGHT

I sat in front of the pier, a group of homeless men of varying ages...early 20's to late 60's sat to my left. I silently prayed over them as my worship music loudly played. Another older homeless man with long gray, straggly hair pulled up on his bike, a worn cart attached to the back with a dog inside. He began screaming at a one of the younger homeless men...who in turn responded by yelling and charging towards him. They seemed to know each other and have some kind of long standing rift. Their anger began to escalate as they stood face to face just a few inches apart, taunting each other to throw the first punch while name calling.

I've never been one to just sit back and let things happen around me without trying to intervene. I quickly turned my bike around and pulled up next to them and shouted, " Stop it! Knock it off!" I repeated it several times, my music continue to blare, as I prayed that it would not escalate. They were oblivious to me or anything I was saying to them. But I continued to try, "Stop it! Calm down...don't do this!"

Finally a friend of the younger homeless man stepped in and pulled him away before either man threw a punch.

ANGER.

It can grip so hard and drag us in past the point of reason.

As I road away I thought about all the times in my life I've let anger get me to a point of really hurting people. I've said terrible things. I've lashed out trying to hurt people who I felt wronged me or my family. But then JESUS stepped into my life and filled my heart.

Don't get me wrong, I still get angry, but my reactions are much more controlled than before. I know how to diffuse it by running to The LORD. The enemy can use anger to control people. He hardens hearts and blinds eyes. He breaks up families and friendships.

Today if you find yourself held in angers grip, steal away to a quiet place, pray, ask The LORD to reveal truth, peace and His love over the situation. Never forget that JESUS makes ALL things new. Don't be deceived, don't stay captive in anger. JESUS has called you and I for more. Let His love seep into those hardened, hurting places. Let go. 
"Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry,
for anger rests in the bosom of fools."~Ecclesiastes 7:9


"So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God."~James 1:19-20

"For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith." Romans 12:3

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Meet Mo...A Man Searching For Inspiration

I captured the above shot after "Mo" (in the turquoise shirt) had walked away & met up w/his friends.
I hope he's sharing JESUS w/them now!
Yesterday I met a man named "Mo" on the pier. He approached me and asked what I was writing? I told him, "An inspirational Christian story for my blog." He said he was a writer, (historical history) and it peaked his interest to know what I was writing about. Then he said, "Inspire me!"

Woah, that caught me off guard...spur of the moment inspiration?

The first thing that came to mind is how JESUS changed, softened, guided and directed our hearts to bring lil' Josh (our foster son/soon to be adopted son) into our family. So I shared our story...which all started with a simple decision to spend time with THE LORD *daily* in prayer and scripture study. It changed everything about our old selfish lives...replacing it with HIS Heart, Love, and Will. A transformation that only happened as we *chose* to seek JESUS daily. 

He listened intently. And at the end said, "Thank you for inspiring me today! What parting words would you leave me with? 

I said, "SEEK JESUS."

He smiled, leaned in to give me a hug and said, "Thank you!"

Today I'm thankful for *appointments* GOD has for us. Each day is a new adventure. We need to make sure we're always available and ready to make time for HIS plans in our day!

Behold, I send an Angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared."~Exodus 23:20

"Seek the Lord while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near."~Isaiah 55:6

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."~John 15:1-5

Monday, June 22, 2015

Help...I'm Stuck!

I went outside to take my picture for my morning devotional post and thought the cactus shot was perfect. But truly, one small detail was even better...a single tree fruit had fallen from above. It landed directly onto a cactus prong poking right through while other fruit made it safely to the ground below.

Somedays I can feel like this...landing in the wrong place at the wrong time. But here's what I've learned. Every seemingly "wrong" place in my life has a purpose. Whether it's a lesson/learning experience/growth opportunity, a chance to ask/receive forgiveness, a detour because there's people I need to meet down this path, or just a difficult road teaching me perseverance, faith and trust...I'm never alone in the midst of it. The Lord is right there with me when I *choose* to stop feeling sorry for myself and say, "Okay, I don't understand what You're doing here right now Lord, but Thank You for what YOU ARE doing. Help me to seek You in the midst of this. 

That one small thankful prayer re-adjusts everything. I'm flooded with a feeling of love and peace...EVERY SINGLE TIME! Now the trick is to pray before I complain!
I'm a work in progress but I'm thankful the key word is *progress*! Today I'm thankful for difficulties that produce growth! Thank You JESUS!

"Show me Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day."~Psalm 25:4-5

"Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate."~Hebrews 13:12

"Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name."~Hebrews 13:15