Fruit Basket

October 2 Week 2 Day 4 Fruit Basket
Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
Galatians 5:16


Funny, when I first typed this I typed "list of the flesh."
Yuck, the list of the flesh is not a becoming list!

The list of the gifts of the Spirit is much more appealing.
(Ha, a PEELING, like a banana, apple, orange, pear, etc.)
Blackaby makes several encouraging statements in this chapter:

1. The Spirit will make you aware of the enormous riches God
has at your disposal.
2. The Spirit qualifies you to receive what the Father wants to give you.
3. When the Spirit of God enters the life of a new Christian,
His assignment is to produce spiritual fruit in that life.


What's in your basket?

Love
Joy
Peace
Longsuffering
Kindness
Goodness
Faithfulness
Gentleness
Self-control


Let's Pray: Heavenly Father, the Giver of Good Gifts,
we love you and thank You for providing us with the
Holy Spirit as a personal trainer! Use this reminder today
of what You wish for us to spur us on to growth in the Spirit.
There is room for improvement in all categories, but speak
to us today specifically of the ones we need to pump up
through the Spirit's power. In Jesus Name, Amen

BAYL or Bail

Week 2 Day 3 When God Speaks
What does God say he wants of us?

Love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your strength.

"How can we be filled with the Holy Spirit?

"BELIEVE that what God says about the Spirit it true.
ASK God to work in you in all the ways He promised and purposed.
Yield all your life to God and His work
Live your life in obedience to God's working in you daily."

Boo thought: (B.A.Y.L.)Believe, Ask, Yield, Live....Bail Out...
if you fail in your own strength or the strength of others. The market's jitters and jaunts have most of our minds wandering to and fro with "what ifs". I began thinking...at least I have a well stocked pantry that could hold us for some time, putting confidence in what I had.

Coming home from school yesterday I encountered ants everywhere, especially in our pantry. Cleaning things out, I also realized many products had expired and ants or no ants, they needed to be tossed. Meticulously I scoured every can, box, nook and cranny squishing the invaders in the process. During the process I remembered...
Colossians 3:2
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
And
Psalm 143:8
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.

Psalm 146:3
Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save.

The incident was a simple reminder that I am not in control and
need to trust in the One who is and offers the best "Bail Out."
So for now, this side of heaven I will keep believing, asking,
yielding and living for Him.

Let's Pray: Lord, Jesus, You are our greatest security.
We will put our trust in You, loving one another through the tough times
and the triumphs in obedience to Your command. Whatever comes along
we know that You provide a "Bail Out" and will never leave us or forsake us.
It is in You we find our peace. In Your Name, we pray, Amen

Names of the Spirit

Week 2 Day 2 When God Speaks

Blackaby teaches that there is no one who can more effectively address the deep needs of your life than the Spirit of God. He says the Spirit will not always tell you what you want to hear, but He will tell you the truth concerning your life and church.

Try this matching game on all the roles the Spirit plays in our lives.
_1. Guide _2. Helper _3.Glorify Christ __4. Spirit of Truth

_5. Teacher _6. Reminder _7. Spirit of Conviction


a. works in your life to exalt Christ to the world around you
b. reveals spiritual truth to you
c. confronts the sin in your life & convinces you Jesus is Lord
d. brings to mind things God said to you in His word
e. reveals God's perspective of your situation to you
f. helps you to do things impossible on your own
g. leads your life into His activity around you


Boo Thought:

Whew, we need truth, teaching, guiding, helping, reminding, convicting and glorifying Christ to come out of the mess we are in as a nation. When I pulled out some papers from my school bag, the laminated word "tomorrow" fell out. Our nation is on edge about our tomorrows. I decided to pray this for our tomorrow:

Tomorrow may we each...
...love Jesus a little bit more
...be stronger physically and spiritually
...be wiser and more discerning
...love and respect others with a passion
...realize as believers we are one day closer to heaven
...have no regrets for how we lived yesterday
...remember there are people who love us and are praying for us
...be joyful and pray without ceasing
...give thanks to God for all He has provided, especially for His Son

Let's Pray: Father, when tomorrow comes may we rejoice that another day has begun and face it confidently knowing You are at the controls. In Jesus Name, Amen

Come Holy Spirit Come

Week 2 Day 1 Blackaby's When God Speaks

"Jesus told His disciples not to go anywhere until
they had received the Holy Spirit...

"The Spirit of God enabled people to do things that were impossible apart from His help. He guided them to lead the people of God; to defeat enemies; to construct a tabernacle; to prophesy; to understand truth; to preach boldly; to understand Scripture and many other things. God's Spirit can lead you to do anything He assigns you to do." Blackaby

All weekend "set apart" has been on my mind, probably from doing this study on the Spirit for this week. I went to the concordance this morning and there are many varying references on those "set" apart...Jesus, priests, animals for sacrifice and us!

What has God set each of us apart to do?

Lately I have also had a huge burden for marriages, so Deke and I have agreed to host a small group study for six weeks using Andy Stanley's "Imarriage." For six weeks we will gather and fellowship with couples of all ages here at the Lake at 4:30 and listen to a short video, go over some discussion questions, and then share a Souper Supper (bowl of soup and bread).
Please pray about joining us and inviting friends to come along who want to set their marriages apart, sanctify them to the Lord.

Here is the "set apart" passage I have chosen to share may it encourage you!
But even if you should suffer for what if right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened." But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
1 Peter 3:14-16

Let's Pray: Father, thank you for setting us apart, and marking us as your children. May we step into each day, dedicating whatever we are called to do to Your service. In Jesus Name, Amen

Soil Check

Soil Check-Week One, Day 5
"Jesus said the way you respond to the word of God reveals the condition of your heart, and will determine what God will do in your life."
1)Trampled, hardened soil-"When you allow your heart to become hardened and desensitized by the things of the world, God's word does not penetrate your heart in order to change your life.
2)Rocky, shallow soil-"We can attend a church service and even be an active participant, yet never let the word of God penetrate our lives." Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and not do the things which I say? Luke 6:46
3)Thorny soil, full of weeds-"These people hear the word from God but the cares, riches, and pleasures of life are so important to them that God's word is choked out.
4)Fertile, receptive soil-Blackaby says, "I have desired in my life always to have a heart so open and unobstructed that any word coming to me from God can multiply in me as God desires. I regularly take inventory of the soil in my life."

What is the last thing God clearly said to you?

Let's Pray:Father, to know you is to love you and to love you is to obey you. Forgive us when we let the soil of our lives get out of control and unproductive to Your purposes. Forgive us when we listen to the wrong voices and are easily deceived as to what is fruitful! The more time we spend in the Word the more clearly we recognize Your voice and rapidly respond. This world is a mess Lord and we need our Shepherd guiding us more than ever before. In Your precious Name, Amen

A Mission to Redeem the Lost

A Mission to Redeem the Lost Week One, Day 4

"Perhaps the most significant times that God speaks to you are when He wants you to understand a new dimension of who He is. You will never attempt the impossible until you believe that the God who commands you to do so is an all-powerful God. You will never be able to forgive others genuinely until you understand the incredible price God was willing to pay to forgive you. All of your activity with God is based on your understanding of who He is. God reveals himself to us progressively. God is on a mission to redeem a lost world. God expects people to adjust their lives to Him so that He can work through them to bring others to Himself."


For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.
Luke 19:10

God's purpose is clear...He wants as many of his children headed to heaven as possible. It makes sense that His purpose for each of our lives will be related to that same end. Chuck Colson said, "It is not what we do that matters, but what a sovereign God chooses to do through us." God's thoughts are not our thoughts, nor His ways our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9) so it is necessary that we ask Him as David did...
"Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths." (Ps. 25:4)

Today I made the 5th person in line at the only check out open at Kroger. They had a girl on duty at the 4 empty check yourself out counters. I asked her if I could just do that even thought I had a cart full and not the 20 item or less limit. She was very agreeable and stood and watched as scanned and bagged every item. By the time I got to looking up the produce, which was quite difficult for me to see some of the code numbers on some items, she did offer to help do that. When I finished she said "You are a very patient person." Hmm, would God say that?

What efforts do we go to when we find something or someone lost to return them to their rightful owner? (Items, children, pets, etc). I bet you know someone who is separated from their heavenly Father. What efforts are we making to return them to the fellowship they were created to enjoy?

Let's Pray: Lord, we thank You for your patience with us. Of course, You know the outcome in advance! Help us to exhibit a longing to hear from You, no matter the time frame, because of who we know You to be. All powerful, all knowing, ever present, up to only good! Father, may we spend so much time with You that your thoughts do become our thoughts and that would include making us mission minded...yep on a mission to reach the lost! In Jesus Name, Amen

Speak Up...WeAre Listening

Week One, Day 3


"Jesus spoke in various ways: seminars, individual contact, miracles, His personal example, the forces of nature, and the presence of children. The longer and more intimately we relate to God...the more we come to know His presence and activity in our life.


No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing, but I have called you friends, for all things I heard from My Father I have made known to you."
John 15:15


What is God wanting to tell you, his friend, today?


Let's Pray: We are all ears Father, making time, yes taking time to be with You. In Jesus Name, Amen

Discern, Discipline, & Deceive

From Blackaby's When God Speaks, Wk 1 Day 2

Man shall not live by bread alone;
but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.
Deuteronomy 8:3

"God does not speak to us merely so we can have a warm, devotional thought.
God's words are essential to our lives.
God's words bring life!
God's word never leaves someone or something the same.
God's Word is far too important for us not to take it seriously.
We should encourage each other to testify to what we are hearing from God."

I had a rough encounter Sunday. For moments I felt like I was being battered by a rough tide...being thrown into shore and safe on the sand, then flung back out into the depths of the sea again. It began when I picked up my husband's travel mug from the car to take inside. I didn't realize there was still coffee in it. My arms were loaded down with groceries and a knitting project I had been working on for a couple months and almost had completed. The project was a beautiful powder blue shawl to wear to my son's wedding in January. While I was walking to the front door, I was jostling coffee all over the shawl.

My familiar "it is not of eternal value" phrase eventually came out of my mouth, but my heart was aching. Then the Lord revealed some pride problems.
Why had I invested so much time and money into this knitting project,
that was all about me? As I continued to listen, some of the thoughts were harsh and I began to wonder if God was punishing me for something by allowing this to happen. It took discernment to sort the thoughts from God and the ones from the enemy.

Three words jumped out at me:
Discernment-the quality of being able to grasp & comprehend what is obscure.
Discipline - training that corrects, molds, or perfects
the mental faculties or moral character.
Deceive - to ensnare, to take

When God disciplines us, He does so with love!

Let's pray: God, you are holy and just; you are loving, compassionate and merciful...even in Your disciplinary movements. Forgive us when we falter and allow us to give thanks when You take time to correct us. You are amazing God! We love You. In Jesus' Name, Amen


Adjustments

September 22
Adjustments
From Henry Blackaby's Study-When God Speaks"
Sin disorients us to God and causes us to stop seeking Him.
Wordly things dull our senses to receiving a word from God.
God's word is never for our entertainment, information, or observation,
but obedience.
God's word never allows us to remain the same.
Like all forms of communication,
your relationship with God needs to be cultivated.
You may need to make adjustments in your life to experience fully
God speaking to you."

Question: When is a time God spoke to you while you were reading His Word?

The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying, 'Surely as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, and as I have purposed, so it shall stand...For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back? Isaiah 4:24, 27

Let's Pray: Lord, please pour your living Word upon us today and reshape our hearts and minds making us more like Christ. In whose name we pray, Amen

Reevaluate

September 20
Why are you downcast...Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.
Psalm 42:11
"God's power and love are a million times greater than our weakness."
Alicia Britt Chole

September 21
Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you. Isaiah 41:10

" When we are frightened, God wants us to draw near, into His arms of safety and love."
Lisa Bevere

Boo thought: The eyelids opened and the realization it was Saturday brought refreshment. Then the thought..."Why I am taking time to write this devotional?" popped into my head. By my bed, lay open Henry Blackaby's When God Speaks study, which I a doing for the 3rd time this year and finding to once again be powerful. My eyes fell upon the pink highlighted text and the scribble in the margins:
God reveals Himself to us progressively. Jesus indicated there was much that God wanted to reveal to the disciples, but He would not disclose more than they could handle. If God is not revealing deep truths to you it is not that He does not want to, but that you are not yet capable of responding to more than God has already shown you. Only time and experience with God will bring you to a mature relationship with Him.
Ah, the daily devotional is my accountability partner, it keeps me digging in the Word daily!
Reading on Blackaby says: God is on a mission to redeem a lost world. God expects people to adjust their lives to Him so that He can work through them to bring others to Himself.
In the margin I have written: "I am too comfortable growing and need to get out and get going for His good."
Every so often we need to reevaluate why we pursuing/investing in the things we are. Is God in the picture? Do we crave being with Him? Are we giving Him the time to reveal things to us?
For me, being in When God Speaks again has given me a passion for the lost that I had laid to rest along the way. If you have never done this study, consider calling your Christian Book Store today or ordering it online (it is old, but still available). In my reevaluation of why I am doing what I do, God has impressed upon my heart to take you all on this journey with me for the next couple months.

Let's Pray: Lord, there is none like You. Forgive us when we elevate others or ourselves to the position only You should hold. Speak to us afresh in the days ahead. Reveal Yourself to us in depths we have never experienced before! Change our lives. In Jesus' Name, Amen

Our Ultimate Treasure

September 19
God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalm 73:26


"During the cold and rainy times of life, God is a safe, warm, dry shelter."
Peter Wallace


Boo thought: Stopping by to visit my eighty-eight year old father the other day, I found him in his basement going through old boxes. It was like a treasure hunt for him. We found his pilot's license, a picture of his grandmother I had never seen, his hospital bracelet from when he was a baby, a box of Indian head pennies, a newspaper article on him being an outstanding college leader at VA Tech, old Christmas ornaments and some pillow cases that had never been opened, which he was looking forward to using. These treasures were filled with fond memories.
I think God treasures us in a similar way. I am sure in His enormity he does not need trinkets to trigger his memory of fond thoughts of us.
God has given us an amazing Treasure in his Word. It covers every emotion and every emergency we may encounter. It reminds us God is the strength of our hearts and our portion forever making him the Ultimate Treasure!

Let's Pray: You are the Treasure that we keep...YOU are our ALL in ALL! In Jesus Name, Amen

Laugh, think, thank

September 18
God is my salvation and my glory, the rock of my strength.
Psalm 62:7


"God will meet extraordinary needs with extraordinary resources."
Kathy Troccoli


Boo Thought: Today I will give a reading assignment in which the students have to read (and bring in to share) something that makes them do the following:
Makes them laugh
Makes them think
Makes them thankful
Sets them in motion to act upon a situation
They could just open up the Bibles on their desks and complete that assignment. Ok, you may be saying, "What in the Bible makes you laugh?" The thought of Noah getting all those animals on that ark makes me smile and chuckle and I bet quite a few people laughed when Zacchias climbed that tree! I bet there was plenty of laughter at the wedding feast when the best wine (which Jesus had made from water) came out towards the end of the wedding reception.
I asked my husband if there was anything in the Bible about laughing...he chuckled, "Well, Sampson brought the house down. Donkeys talking are pretty funny!"
Psalm 62 certainly is food for thought and thanksgiving...God providing us salvation, glory and strength!

Let's Pray: May our motion today be manifested in a very simple way, as we take time to pray and tell You we love you Lord. Even in our darkest moments may we be overcome with joy because we feel You next to us. Help our minds to focus and think about Your Word and be thankful for the promises within. Then use all of those factors to set us in motion to complete the assignments You have for us today, for we know Your character and that there will be enormous blessings along the way! In Jesus Name, Amen

Just Call His Name

September 17
The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble,
and He knows those who trust in Him. Nahum 1:7


"If God says He will do something, He does it." John Bisagno


Boo thought: I think I may have my oldies mixed up....I am trying to find the song (I don't think it was Michael Jackson) Just call my name, I'll be there. It is such a great example of our Lord.
Last night we were attending Back to School night. (My husband figured it was his 100th "Back to School Night" from all his teaching and our children causing us to go to 3 a year at times at the three different grade levels.) While we were out someone from the local hospital called our home number and my cell number, but left no message. When I tried to return the call, it stated it was an out going hospital number, but could not be traced. We called our parents to check on them and then called on the Lord to take care of whomever was in need!
Praise His name he takes our distress calls! Sometimes we just have to throw out a distress flag!


Let's Pray: Father thank You for how you care...you are always there. You never tire of us calling Your name. May we never tire of telling how amazing YOU are. In Jesus Name, Amen

Discipline

September 16
Do not cast away your confidence. Hebrews 10:35


"If all the answers to prayer came overnight, we would not be called a people of faith."
John Hull and Tim Elmore


Boo thought: Praying this morning, the word "discipline" kept rolling over and over in my mind. Breaking it down I was reminded that discipline in Christ often requires..."dis"ing our own plan and stepping forward in faith and following God's plan.
The anonymous writer of Hebrews writes on persevering in God's will in this tenth chapter.
Check out these passages referring to those who walked the walk long before us with a confidence in Christ that is a radiant witness to us.
Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were treated so. You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be greatly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. Hebrews. 10:32-36

Let's Pray: Lord God, you are worthy of our confidence! Your faithfulness has been real to generation after generation. Your precepts are for real! Your discipline is for our good, so today if we are walking the wrong way....walking in our own wills and not Yours....help us to "dis" our plan and follow yours. In Jesus Name, Amen

Predicaments

September 15
He will deliver the needy who cry out,
the afflicted who have no one to help. Psalm 72:12

"There is no predicament in which you cannot pray.
Prayer is always an open door." C.H. Spurgeon

Boo thought: "Predicament"-a difficult, perplexing, or trying situation.
Hmmm, how we handle predicaments can be predicated on God's role
in our personal lives.
Situations present themselves and people are left standing saying....
"What can we do, what can we do?" The first thing we can do is pray!

Let's Pray: Father this Psalm reminds us to praise You for it is You alone who does marvelous deeds! We will praise Your glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with Your glory! When predicaments pop up in our lives, may our prayers prevail! Praise You Lord for making the process of prayer free. We don't even have to pay shipping costs! We just have to believe in Your Son as the Deliverer! Our Deliverer from sin and the mailman of our prayers to You. In His Name we send these prayers to You, Amen

About His Business

September 14
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord.
Jeremiah 17:7

"Sprinkle a seasoning of short prayers on your daily living." Francis De Sales

Boo thought: Do we believe? Do we trust? Do we hope.....in the Lord? I have a tale of two young brothers who have encountered me. One told his mother he didn't think it was right with all the dying people in the world and those struggling with cancer that I would pray over nonsense things like my vacuum cleaner starting. The other's quote was "she is the prayingest woman I've ever seen"...but it works!
When Jesus is your best friend and you know He has turned water into wine, fed five thousand, healed the blind and raised the dead it is just a no brainer for me to ask him to help me find my car keys when I have misplaced them or to start my vacuum cleaner or computer when they are being ornery! The sooner those things can get taken care of the sooner I can be about His business!

Let's Pray: Our hope is in you Lord, our trust is in you Lord, our faith is in you Lord, in you, it's in you! Whatever today brings find us quick to turn to You for solutions Lord. May the world see that we put our confidence in Christ, not ourselves. May they be attracted to what they see. In Jesus' Name, Amen

I Don't Get It

September 13
Call upon His name, make known His deeds among the peoples!
1 Chronicles 16:8


"Do not be afraid to lean too much on Jesus." C.H. Spurgeon

Boo Thought: Chapter 16 of 1 Chronicles contains David's Psalm of Thanks...if you need a change of attitude...read this. For over eight years of "evotional" writing I have had a hands off to political situations policy. Today I want to touch the tip of it related to our faith and make an interesting analogy from 1 Chronicles 15. David and a horde of people were bringing the ark of the covenant to the place they had prepared for it in Jerusalem. The scene was pure elation...shouts, the sounding of the ram's horns and trumpets, and of cymbals, and the playing of lyres and harps. There was one watching, David's wife Michal, who didn't get it. She had become bitter towards him. The Word says...when she saw King David dancing and celebrating, she despised him in her heart. 1 Chronicles 15:29
Presently we have citizens, politicians, and particularly media personnel who do not get Sarah Palin's relationship with Christ. Because they do not share her mindset and comprehend the confidence, peace and joy placing her faith in Christ brings to her, their offense is often to ridicule. Most of us have been guilty of applying a similar protective covering to ourselves at one time or another when we "just didn't get it!"

Let's Pray: Lord, we just shout a mighty Amen to David's Psalm of Thanks. You are our all in all and we do need to proclaim that to the nations. Forgive us when we falter and fall short of who You have created us to be. Lord, we want to pray now for all those on this earth who don't know the joy that comes from an intimate relationship with You. For those who have never heard Your voice, sensed Your love and compassion or fallen before You with cries of a confidence of faith. Father, we long for so many to know what we know, but our hearts' desires cannot compare to Your longing for your children to know You as you are. In Jesus Name, Your Will be done, Amen

Fellow Sheep and the Shepherd

September 12
Truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His son Jesus Christ.
1 John 1:3


"It takes time to commune with Christ as friend.
W. Phillip Keller


Boo thought: Hanging out with our fellow Christian Sheep is key to us having that little jump in our daily walk! I think of my students at The Academy and how they are enjoying one another and of many women in our area who will fellowship together this weekend attending The Extraordinary Women's Conference. There is a second level of fellowship that we often pass by in these settings. Examples....students engaging a relationship with their teachers/professors, conference attendees having the opportunity to converse with the speakers, and church members establishing relationships with their pastors. Often we assume the "key note speaker" in these situations doesn't have time or doesn't care about fellowshipping with those of us below them. (We really aren't below at all.)
How does that play into the Head of the Body of Believers? We have our Sunday School classes, small groups, Bible study groups where we can grow close and intimate....do we spend as much time getting personal with our Savior. Let's pencil Him in on our calendars today.

Let's Pray: Lord, You are worthy of our praise and certainly of our time. Today we commit to sit at your feet and listen. In Jesus Name, Amen

Tidbit! John wrote 1 John for five reasons.
What great reasons for us to share Jesus with those we care about.
That we might have fellowship (1:3)
That we might have joy (1:4)
That we might not sin (2:1),
That we might be victorious over deceivers (2:26)
That we might know that we are saved. (5:13)

Looking Out

September 11
Every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
Romans 14:11

"The primary focus of meaningful worship is God, God's presence and grace."
Don Postema

Boo thought: Reading the Roman's verse I thought of the song, Head and Shoulders, Knees and TONGUES! Last night we were at a Life Group training and the leader asked us to circle up and hold hands. Instinctively we all did that facing inward. He said, "Why is it none of us circled up with our backs to the circle looking out? The point he was making is that so many small group gatherings look into themselves and not out to those who might like to come in and be a part of the circle. Even in our Christian fellowship we can become very cliquish.
Back to the song...we should be using our heads to think of the needs of others, we ought to take those arms attached to our shoulders and wrap them around some hurting people, we might consider getting down on our knees and lending a helping hand or praying alongside someone and we certainly need to keep a check on our tongues and be sure they are being used for edification, encouragement and telling of God's wonderful acts.

Let's Pray: Lord, You are the Mighty One, Ruler of Creation and steadfast in character! We need you today. Forgive us when we stray and draw us back to You before we get too banged up out on our own. Help us to have the eyes of Christ...eyes that can look back and remember where we have come from and give thanks for how we were drawn into Your fellowship. Give us eyes that look out and see people who need to be welcomed into Your family and hearts that react to that reality! In Jesus Name, Amen

If You're Happy & You Know It

September 10

The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and trust in Him.
Psalm 64:10

Living in complete joy requires living in complete confidence in God."
Dee Brestin

Boo thought: If you're happy and you know it, shout "Amen!" If you're not, then you need a large scoop of Jesus to start your day!
I just turned on a light and this computer in total confidence that the power lines have provided electricity to my home, way out in the countryside. In moments I will stand in a shower never doubting that water will spew from a shower head and even be warm! Then I will flick the switch on a hair dryer totally expecting it to blow warm air and dry my hair. Proceeding to my kitchen I anticipate that the refrigerator has kept my milk cold all night, our coffee maker will automatically have my husband's coffee ready for him at 6:00 and the microwave is waiting to warm up whatever we stick in it! Then we will sit ourselves in a vehicle that we have assurance we can drive us to school. All these things created by humans beings, I put my trust in.



Do I once think about the fact my fingers are functioning (and thus my brain) in a magnificient way to be able to type on these keys, that my body will thrill to the sensation of the water in the shower and that God knows every hair on my head I will dry this morning (and some will fall out, but He will keep an exact count)? How about the reality God created my tastebuds in a way they will delight and tingle when they taste the fresh granola and yogurt I will consume? And don't even get me started on the way I feel when my husband kisses me good morning or I hear the laughter from the children's voices at school! My God is amazing and my ultimate source of confidence and joy! He may call me home today, but because I know Jesus as The Way...it is well with my soul, whether here on earth or in heaven.

Let's Pray: We love You, Father and put our trust in You today, thus being able to step out into today confident and joyful because we are in your care and we know how much you care about us. May the smiles on our faces lead others to ask.....Just what are you up to?" May our response be..."Just loving my Savior all the day long!" In Jesus Name, Amen

Needing Shelter from the Storm

September 9
The Lord will be a shelter for His people.
Joel 3:16

"The object of our faith is God-not our feelings, not faith itself, but almighty God."
Warren W.Wiersbe

Boo thought: What is the last thing you took shelter from? Recently thousands would say...a hurricane. Just as many would say...turmoil in their hearts.

Listen to the honesty from Psalms Now #83. This may be your heart today or you may sense a yearning to be the hand of Jesus to someone else who feels this way.

I am so depressed tonight, O God. I feel like I am the sole target, of an enemy barrage-
like all the demons of hell are bent on damning my soul for eternity.
I remember Your precious promises, but I do not witness their fulfillment. I talk to people about Your love, and they drown my zeal with scorn. I step forth to carry out Your will, but I feel no sense of accomplishment. I mouth words, wave my arms, and beat the air in fruitless endeavor. Then I fall like a wounded warrior, bone-weary, defeated, and lonely. And I wonder if You are truly my God and if I am really Your child.

Consume, O God, these demons that depress, these enemies that plague my soul. May the whirlwind of Your Spirit sweep them out of my life forever. May I awaken with a heart full of joy and with the strength and courage to walk straight and secure in the dangerous and difficult paths before me.

Let's Pray: Father, Psalm 105, begins like an instruction manual for us and we want to follow along, so we "thank You" for loving us and providing us with such an amazing creation. We "call to You today" for the desires of our hearts and many and we need directions and wisdom for so many choices that confront us. We also want to ask for protection for all those in the path of the latest hurricane, please calm the storm Lord and protect the oil rigs as well. We will open our mouths, pick up or pens or type away and "make known among the nations what You have done." Then whether in the car, the shower or the city streets or with friends we meet we will "sing praise to You today and tell of Your wonders!" And the world will be a better place...because You live! In Jesus Name, Amen

Snakes and woodpeckers

September 8
He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might
He increases strength. Isaiah 40:29


Boo thought: Yesterday was quite the day. Moments before heading off to church, Moses and I heard a loud thud against the dining room window. He barked frantically. Looking down into the driveway below the dining room window, sat a very, large, redheaded, woodpecker with an enormously long beak.

Now remember, I am not a bird fan and this critter or one of his relatives has been pecking away at our trees all summer. My husband emerged from the shower, ready to head out to church when I asked him to come to the dining room. From his assessment the bird looked to be in shock or paralyzed. Approaching the scene, with a broom in hand, he was amazed at the size of that beak and recognized the possibility of the damage it could do to him should this bird be able to fly. The wise choice was to add a trashcan to his paraphernalia. Placing the trashcan over the bird, it began to cry the most pathetic sound.
My dislike for this creature turned to empathy and a desire to take it to a wildlife refuge when we returned from church. Frustrated and ready to proceed to church, my husband agreed to put the bird in a dog crate, so that no other creatures would get it while we were gone. Some how in the process when my husband walked away for a moment, the bird escaped!

My thoughts turned to several situations where I have been disgusted with the behavior of human beings (who have caused damage, like this woodpecker). I realized should harm befall them and they cry out, I would likewise have compassion on them!

WOW, that is the way Jesus sees us!

The day ended with me heading to the dock for a quiet time. With my Bible and journal in hand, I was reading about Christ's transfiguration in Luke 9. I reflected on my week and told the Lord I wished He would show up and speak to me. He did and had some specific instructions for me. My husband had joined me and we had a sweet time of prayer and praising the Lord. Walking from the dock into the yard, a yellow striped snake, slithered between my feet onto the dock where Deke and Moses were. I screamed, neither of them saw the snake. It went right between my husband's feet. He asked what was wrong and I said, "Snake!" Looking onto the shoreline, there it was. He thrust a large rock onto it, worried that Moses would go after it. He knew he needed to dispose of it so the dog would not eat it. Taking a pole he carried it up to the driveway where it began to wiggle and squirm, still alive.

Whew....we can be assured, when Jesus shows up, the devil is lurking near by in disgust!
Praise the Lord for his protection, any of the three of us could have been bitten tonight.

Let's Pray: Father, your Word is true and it is powerful. We need not be afraid, but trust in You and be willing to follow you even when snakes slither and slide or woodpeckers chip away with destructive motives. We will sing out with gladness in our hearts. In Jesus Name, Amen

Stagnant

September 6
The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
the plans of His heart to all generations.
Psalm 33:11
"The Lord is always on a pursuit to get to the heart of the matter."
Kathy Troccoli
September 7
O Lord God, You are God, and Your words are true.

2 Samuel 7:28
"I could no more doubt the power of prayer
than I could disbelieve the law of gravity." C.H. Spurgeon


Boo thought: Tropical storm Hannah has graciously bestowed some much needed rain upon our area and the trees outside my window are dancing in delight. The Weeping Willows are swaying vibrantly, while the Crape Myrtles, who carry a heavier load appear to have more of a Bebop step going on. The large leaves of the Oaks and Poplars seem to be applauding all the action down below their loftiness!

Bless its' heart...in the corner of my bedroom is an artificial willow tree which stands stagnant. Wait! There is one tiny limb, hanging down very low that is moving! Ah, the air conditioning unit is trying to bring it alive!

Which tree are we most like? Are we alive with the Spirit, dancing through our days, applauding God for all he is doing or are we stagnant and need a little help from someone to bring us to life?

Tomorrow is Sunday...invite someone to join you for church and allow the love of the Lord to bring you to life!


Let's Pray: Lord of all Creation, of heaven, earth and sky...we lift Your name on high and praise You for how richly You bless our lives. Forgive us for the times we become stagnant and set in our ways. Open our eyes to all the ways You are at work and allow us to be a part of making a difference for Your kingdom that is to come and the reality that Your will, will be done!
In Jesus Name, we shout...We love you Lord, Amen!

Scurry to Pray

September 5
Be still and know that I am God...I will be exalted in the earth!
Psalm 46:10

"There is not one place in the entire universe, visible or invisible,
where God is not!" Anne Graham Lotz


Boo thought: This morning our kindergarten teacher walked in my room to see if I had time to pray for the school with her. I had 8 minutes until the students were to come and the day's board work to get on the board, as well as all our books, computers and furniture to get into place. (The area of a local church we are renting uses the same space on Wedneday nights and Sundays, so we have to set up the classrooms twice a week.) My first reaction was, you've got to be kidding me, how will I ever get ready. Then I realized in the time I could spend explaining why I didn't have time, I could pray with her! So we did. It calmed my restlessness and set the stage for one of the best days I have had this year. I needed to be still and exalt God remembering with Him all things are possible!
Later in the day another student asked me to pray with him over a letter he had written requesting money for our school. Ah, humbled again. Then while teaching knitting this afternoon, one of the young ladies said, "Don't you just feel like singing all day long?"
WOW! Thank you God for where I am privileged to work.
After that young lady left, I went deep into our woods with our bull dog and sang my heart out to the Lord!

Let's Pray: Oh Father, when we get our scurry on today, remind us the most important thing that we can do is stop to pray. We will lift Your name on high, we will love to sing Your praises...we are so glad You are in our lives and that You came to save us. In Jesus' Name, we pray, Amen

Knitting together

September 4
Look down from heaven, and see from Your habitation, holy and glorious.
Isaish 63:15

"God is the beginning and the end of all that we are and ever will be."
Peter Wallace

Boo thought: I have three knitting projects going on and am getting ready to start a knitting class for a couple of The Academy students this afternoon. One of my projects requires using 15 balls of yarn at the same time. Looking for the "beginning and the end" of the yarns (which all have different lengths in their skeins) is a big challenge. The project is nothing compared with God keeping an eye on the beginning and ending of all of our lives!

The KOOL thing is...God is constantly weaving master pieces!


Let's Pray: Father, praise You that your eyes are always open and looking down upon us. Forgive us when we have mangled messes for You to see and call upon you to help us sort those out. Thank You for loving us despite some of our entanglements! Today we turn to You, relinguishing control and asking You to weave today together in the way YOU had planned for we know that will be beautiful. In Jesus' Name, Amen

Yarp

September 3
I will hear what God the lord will speak for He will speak peace.
Psalm 85:8

"Prayer is a way for us to connect with God's plan."
Suzanne Dale Ezell

Boo thought:Yarp is close to yap! A dear friend asked me last night if I knew what "pray" spelled backwards meant...I confessed I didn't. He confessed it didn't mean anything, but knew it would be food for thought for me!

How about this...You ARe Peace!
Today's Psalm's Now is too good to pass up.
As many a waitress says after setting down a dish..."Enjoy!"

Let's Pray this:
O God, You indeed have been good to us. You have prospered our land. You have opened Your heart to us in love. You have forgiven our sins and adopted us as Your sons and daughters.

But our country is in turmoil. We no longer have confidence in our leaders. Some segments of society feel disenfranchised and display their displeasure in open revolt. Our young people spill blood in turf wars and over drugs. People are turning away from You only to be ensnared by false doctrines and godless philosophies.

We know that You have not turned away from us. You touch with joy and peace the hearts that belong to You. You stand ready to show Your salvation to all who will trust in You. As we speak to You in faith, You respond with loving concern. You will give us what is good and will prosper us with gifts from Your hand.

You are holy and just. You love Your children and will guide them in Your course for their lives. Renew our faith, O God. Forgive our many failures and infidelities. May our land continue to be a place where we are free to love and serve You.

In Jesus Name, Amen




Let's Pray:

Clean Up

September 2

Not that we are sufficient of ourselves...
but our sufficiency is from God.
2 Corinthians 3:5

"No matter what our journeys lead us through, we always end up in God."
Leslie Williams

Boo thought: Bulldogs are high maintenance. Their eyelashes roll in towards their eyes, so they don't drain and gook builds up requiring them to be wiped. Something else has to be wiped and that is their pig like curly tail. We keep a box of wet ones at the doors on both levels of the house for that job!
This morning during my quiet time, I realized with all the needs of the school my prayers have been quite the laundry list. I recognized the need for listening prayer and that time with the Lord, led to a much needed time of confession and Jesus being my "wet one". Praise His holy name that he is willing to clean up the gook in my life!

Let's Pray: Father, we cannot hide anything from You and when we try to we start to stink! Thank You for loving us enough to not want us to stay all messy. Jesus is so gracious wash us white as snow. Right now in front of this computer show us where we have gathered gook!
While we sit here and confess our sins may we see the process as a benefit and not a burden. Help us Lord to be more like Jesus and actually have some sin free days! May we only put into our lives today those things that are pleasing in Your sight. In Jesus Name, Amen