Answer to the Riddle

May 31
What do you get when you mix 5 Army men and 10 frat boys
in your house for 4 nights?
You get an empty refrigerator, a lot of dirty sheets and towels, and tons of laughter and respect for one another!


Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13

Riddle

May 28-30
Riddle:
What do you get when you cross 5 army men with 10 frat boys?
Answer:
I don't know but I will tell you Monday.

"But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another." 1 John 1:7a

Once again we have a houseful of strangers. If things go as before, by Monday we will be experiencing a tearful departure with friends.

I need you to knock on the doors of heaven tomorrow with an unspoken request for one of our children. Simply ask God to work a miracle in the life of one of The Andrews children. Thank you so much.

Even in the midst of disappointment and surprise you will discover how very secure you are in God's hands. Charles Swindoll

2 Corinthians

May 27th
A stack of four novels await my indulgence this summer, but none of them will compare with the thrill of reading God's word. Paul authored so many books and was passionate about his faith and first hand experiences. Why do we shy away from sharing the things we experience with the Lord? Someone gives us a bouquet and we display it proudly or when given a gift of clothing or jewelry we prance into public affirmed by our new adornment. Now there were times where Jesus performed a miracle and ask the recipient not to tell anyone, but some of the most encompassing conversions came from the testimony of what Jesus had just done in an individual's life.

Life is purposely cyclical. There are seasons..praise God! After the winter we had this year, we were all ready for spring! 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 contains a verse that makes so much sense to me. Paul writes from the personal experience of one who has suffered much.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
For some reason, when there is purpose in the pain it is more tolerable.

Let's Pray:
Lord when it comes to compassion, there is none like You! Right now we can think of a handful of people to lift up to You who need Your tender touch.......Forgive us for sometimes focusing on self and not taking time to just sit with another and give ourselves up as a love offering sent by You. Who can we go to today and say I sympathize with your pain? Lord, a bird sitting on a post is pretty to look upon, but when it takes flight and glides through the sky on currents of air it is truly amazing. May our faith take flight today and not be known just as a faith that sits in a pew on Sunday mornings. In Jesus' name, Amen

1 Corinthians

May 26
Paul is writing to believers who lived in the influential trading, port city of Corinth. This city, like our world today, was filled with vile practices and loose living. Paul's letter was written with sincerity of heart to instruct Christians then and us today on how we are to maintain a Christian lifestyle in a sinful society. It covers so many important issues we face...division in the church, sexual immorality, spiritual gifts and the wonderful Love chapter which is heard in so many weddings...And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Do you ever stop to think about how the Bible which was written so long ago, by so many different people, has stayed so relevant, so full of truth and insight pertaining to human needs, and so powerful that it has pierced souls and transformed lives without ceasing since its initial origination?
In chapter 2 Paul is differentiating between Godly wisdom and the wisdom of man.
The foolishness of the world tries to masquerade as great wisdom. I think about the arrogant attitude of so many of our government leaders who think they have what is best for us as a nation all figured out and see no need for us to humble ourselves before Almighty God. People can't actually comprehend God and need to cry out for discernment and ask the Spirit to guide them.
Verse 9 states: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him", but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.

Without Christ, we are without the Spirit. So if we want to be in the know, to have wisdom, we must have the Spirit and He only comes to us when we come to Christ.

Does it sound like one of those infomercials? In order to get the free cutting board you must by the knife. :)

A HUGE encounter, an eye opening experience complete with impact and magnetism transformed Paul, the killer of Christians, into a sold out soldier for the Lord. Paul knew what he believed and felt their was no more important calling than to try to convince others of the truth that one day we will behold Him face to face.

Lord, we lift Your name on high and love to sing your praises. We're so glad You're in our lives and amazed You came to save us! Help us to get over ourselves today and turn to You. Like a community coming together to search for an abducted child, may we sense the urgency to seek out the lost and tell them about You. In Your name we pray, Amen.

From a hole to a heart.

May 25
Today I am ready to dig into the Word refreshed by what God showed me out my window this morning. Yesterday was a tough day as I received news that exploratory surgery showed a precious prayer partner of mine, who has battle cancer for six years, now has cancer in her bones.
I shared with her that as I sat on my screened porch praying for her yesterday morning I looked out towards the lake to where three very tall trees stood clambering together and there in the midst of their green foliage was a circular hole where I could see right through to the sky. My heart sank and I said, "Lord, is that to remind me there is a hole being cut into Kaye right now, or does it mean there is cancer eating holes in her body?" Stopping to listen for God's response He gently placed this on my mind, "No, my child. That hole is there as a window to heaven to remind you the best is yet to come for all of you who love the Lord." This morning as I look out at the hole, it looks more like a heart shape than a circle. God's love is amazing! He shows up all the time! I will post this picture.

We will get back to the Bible tomorrow, but I had to share this God moment with you.

Romans

May 24th
Roaming through Paul's letter to the Romans we see God as a righteous judge, who will not tolerate sin, but in the same book we are able to shout hallelujah that God is so merciful, patient and forgiving and has a plan for repentance.
The Roman Road, which I have written on before, lays out a step by step understanding of how the Christian faith works.
Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Romans 10:9

Nothing could feel much better than my bed covering ensemble. Silk, satin and velvet combine to not only look beautiful, but feel wonderful. Romans 8:28 is what I consider, along with Philippians 4:13, a feel good verse which is full of hope.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,
who have been called according to his purpose.


Do you ever stop and wonder what God is working on in your life? Most of us are trying to improve ourselves in some fashion, but God has one goal...to conform us to the image of His Son. The scene in the Wizard of Oz has come to mind when they reach the castle and are getting spruced up. Snip, snip, here and a snip, snip there (I Googled to find the rest of the lyrics, but laughed out loud when instead an article on "Understanding a Vasectomy" appeared. Not what I was looking for.)
Father, we do ask that You snip away that which is not beneficial to our lives as representatives of Your Kingdom. Make us have a sweet aroma, like yeast bread on the rise! Help us remember You have a plan and a purpose for each of our lives which is to bring You Glory. This earthly juncture is simply a stop on the way to Eternity.
In Jesus' name, Amen

On my calendar this weekend was this quote by Herbert Vander Lugt
God always gives us what we ask for-or something better.

Acts

May 21-23

Dr. Luke puts together a prescription on how the church is to act in the Book of Acts. :) I pray you can wade into Acts today and get excited about those who have gone before us and realize the Holy Spirit is still on the move today and God wants us to be part of the action.
Two powerful stories impart important insight for us. In chapter 8 we find a eunuch with an open, seeking heart sitting in his chariot. Cross his path with an obedient, spiritually discerning, new disciple named Phillip and you see angels in action! An angel tells Philip..."Go south on the road-the desert road-that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza....Go to that chariot and stay near it." It ends with the eunuch being baptized and the Spirit of the Lord taking Philip away right before the eunuch!
God still works this way today. The Spirit prompts us to place ourselves in position to be used. We just need to be prepared to ACT!

The other character couple I want to zoom in on would be the husband-wife team of Priscilla and Aquila. These two were willing available vessels ready to welcome others into their home and walk alongside them. One commentary described them as "a couple who was willing to open their home, open their hearts, and open their mouths and speak the truth." Learning to live like the Lord is a life long process and we need to help one another along the way.

A friend stopped in the other day with a couple nutrition books in hand. Having breast cancer 15 years ago brought her to totally changed her diet and what she feeds her entire family. Admitting she did not want to be pushy or offend me, her sincere passion for her belief in this lifestyle change was well received. I responded by telling her that as I friend, I should be offended if she didn't explain what she had experienced. Likewise, I told her that is how I feel about my faith. It has worked in my life and I want others to experience the exhilarating benefits.

This book has an amazing "jail break" in chapter 16! At one point the jailer asks the escapees..."Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" Paul and Silas were ready to go into action and answered..."Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved-you and your household."

Lord, Your "acts" are just plain amazing. Creating, forgiving, restoring, redeeming..whoa...a class act! Forgive us when our actions are less than Christlike. May a day not go by when we do not A-acknowledge, C-confess, T-thank You, S-surrender to Your ways. May our actions be attractive and not atrocious. Always acknowleding the Almighty in Jesus' name, Amen

Trust

May 20th
Sorry the post didn't come up yesterday. It is on now.
Don't miss out on a glimpse of Luke and how real Jesus and I got with one another yesterday.

John is such a special book of the Bible. If we could only read one book to get a look at who Jesus is this would be my pick for it is written by "the disciple whom Jesus loved". John shows God's power in Christ. Changing water into wine, seeing through the woman at the well,healing at the pool called Bethesda, feeding 5,000, walking on water, raising Lazarus from the dead, right down to predicting Peter's denial and Christ's own betrayal and death. But the grand finale is coming back from the dead and appearing to His beloved disciples.

Choosing what to focus on in this amazing book is easy for me today.
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. John 14:1

My heart is troubled and hurting. I am having to pray without ceasing and continually take the painful issues in front of me and place them at the feet of Jesus and say..."I trust You with these Lord. I can't fix them."

My friend and I discussed the difference in "distrust" and "discouragement".
She feared because she was discouraged that meant she was distrusting God.
I think not.

Distrust- lacking trust which is the assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.

Discouragement-to deprive of courage or confidence.

I believe we can totally trust in who God is, be assured that He is still on his throne and still in our humanness become discouraged by the evil which swirls around us. Hope and comfort come in to play when we remember the end of the story!
(Do you ever flip to the end when you are reading a novel because the suspense is just killing you? God in his graciousness has written out the ending for us all to read!)

So take courage today in your heartache and keep praying until you are praising.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

Father, please hear our cries and help us learn from life's lessons, teaching us to be like Jesus and help lighten the load for another. In Jesus' name, Amen

Don't Cry

May 19th

Very interesting to me that today, a day when I have enormous medical concerns on my heart for four people very close to me, I would be camping out in the book of Luke who was a physician with a deep connection to the need for healing. His writing is not only skilled, but also filled with insight into the love and compassion Jesus has for all mankind. A healing touch, a caring word, and a sincere look that changed lives are all characteristics which come to life in this book written by a man who probably never met Jesus in the flesh, but accepted him because of the first hand accounts he heard from others. Whew, Lord help us to live lives that impact others in the same manner.

One of the most moving stories is that of the poor widow in chapter seven whose only son dies. Jesus comes on the scene as the man's body is being carried out and the town's people are mourning with this distraught mother. She doesn't even know Jesus or call to him, yet the Bible says he saw her and his heart went out to her and he said, "Don't cry" Hmm, do you think he was reflecting on what his own precious mother would go through. Jesus tells the man to get up and he comes back to life!

Not being able to sleep last night, I decided at one point to pray over my husband who was snoring away. I asked God to to bless his mind and give him wisdom and knowledge for decisions he needs to make, for only word of truth and exaltation to come from his mouth and for his ears to hear words of encouragement and some good Bible teaching. I prayed that all which would come before his eyes would be pure and uplifting. Moving onto his heart I asked for it to be healthy, but also protected from the evil one who would desire to bring harm and discouragement. He has a meniscus tear in his knee which is acting up, so I asked for healing for that particular ailment and then for his feet to lead him on paths of righteousness.
Just as God saw the needs of that woman, He sees each of us.

Here is where a bit of a rub came in for me..."Lord, if you help this woman out by bringing her son back to life, why won't You just heal everyone?" Ah, the honest questions...when we go before Him with them He does answer. Yesterday, I forgot to post this entry...I spent the afternoon with a friend who has battled cancer for six years and is in terrible pain. We did some honest chatting with God and shed some tears. Towards the end of our prayer time God revealed to me that without this pain the two of us would not be sharing the intimate moments in His presence which have woven us together in a way not many get to experience. We thanked Him and praised Him for that and then I said, "But in the mighty name of Jesus, please take away this pain now!"

Spread the Joy

May 18th

Today we look at Mark, the shortest of the four Gospels which recount the life of our Savior. Stuck in the middle is a call to our servant attitudes. This attitude is a far cry from those of American Politicians. This response from Jesus is triggered by James and John requesting to be the ones who sit on the left and right of Jesus in glory.

When the other ten heard of this conversation, they lost their tempers with James and John. Jesus got them together to settle things down. "You've observed how godless rulers throw their weight around," he said, "and when people get a little power how quickly it goes to their heads. It's not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not to be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for many who are held hostage. Mark 10:41-45

Jockeying for position expends much more energy and emotion than serving!
The most joyous occasions are when we are spreading joy by serving others!

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.- Hebrews 6:10

Treasure

May 17

The next couple weeks I am taking a New Testament journey by stopping in each book. Today I begin at the beginning in Matthew, a tax collector, who forgoes everything to follow Jesus and then writes to tell about the long-awaited King of glory!

My eyes immediately fell onto chapter 6 and the title Treasures in Heaven.
I've been working hard to get our home in ship shape. Cleaning, painting, sewing, and sorting. There are many things I do treasure in this house. Pictures and items passed down from generations which are full of memories and meaning. How quickly they can vanish. Just ask the people of Haiti or Nashville. Also, I have it so clean and neat and worked so hard to get it that way I don't want people to come in and mess it up. That is just wrong and the opposite of how I have lived my life. Our Army son said he was going to bring some soldier buddies home Memorial Day weekend...I cringed envisioning them coming in wearing muddy boots and camo! :)

Matthew's book is full of the wisdom of Jesus' teachings. Chapter 6:19-21 says:
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Flipping ahead to chapter 26 a woman, thought to be Martha's sister Mary, gets the blood pressures of the disciples up when she pours a very expensive bottle of perfume over the head of Jesus. The disciples see it as waste. Mary's love for Jesus is extravagant..I hope Christ sees my love for Him that way as well.

Let's Pray:
Lord, you are our King and we come today to worship You. Forgive us when we treasure opinions, things or people more than we treasure who You are in our lives. Teach us to live simply and simply love YOU before all else. When we see You face to face may You be quick to recognize us because of the time we have spent with You. In Jesus' name Amen

The last part of that prayer took me back a few days when I was in my hometown with a new friend. I told her, "If I do not introduce you to someone, it is because I have forgotten their name." When Jesus sees us, may he not struggle to remember our names because of how distant we have been.

The Weight of the Wait

May 15-16

Heading to my son's graduation I realized my camera battery was about to die. Running back to the car for a new battery I fell behind in the processional to the coliseum, so I took off my shoes to be able to walk faster and catch up. Ugh...the balls of my feet are one huge blister now. Last night I had to stick a pin in them and drain off the pressure of the fluid building up.

Pressure build up in life is a reality. The weight of waiting can cause weariness. Whether it is for: medical answers or healing to take place, a pregnancy test to finally be positive, for relationship resolutions, homes to sell or be ready to move into, jobs to be found or colleges to accept you, or maybe a military unit to come home, the things we have no control over can wear us down. We search for various ways to relieve the pressure...some beneficial, some not. Turning to the Word of God has always worked for me. It hasn't always solved the scenario I am in, but it has assured me God is aware of what I am going through.

How often have you heard someone say:
"Why doesn't God answer my prayers?"

William L. Watkinson wrote: Hell works the hardest on God's saints. The most worthy souls will be tested with the most pressure and the highest heat, but heaven will not desert them.

Don't give up. Dream big! Trust in the Lord with all your heart! Remember His timing is perfect! He is on our side and is always up to good!

I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.
Psalm 116:1-2

Gardening Plan

May 13 & 14

Pruning our rose bushes the other day left me with thorn punctured hands and a pink petaled sidewalk. Moses (our bulldog) came barreling through the petals. It would have made an amazing video...the big burly guy with his jowls flapping and the pretty petite petals prancing around his paws.

Clipping away the dead blooms to make room for the new growth, while getting slightly wounded along the way, made me think about our faith walks. Sometimes God cuts one thing out of our life to make room for what He has next. Sacrifice of our time (like taking time to do the chores of gardening) and making Bible study a priority are necessary ingredients for our faith to fully bloom. God's pruning process can be painful and often involves not only clipping away the dead parts, but cleaning up some relationship messes along the way. The end result though is a faith which flourishes when we allow the Holy Spirit to do his job. God has had a good gardening plan from the beginning. He knows our lives will encounter storms, draughts and floods, but if we are planted in the fertile soil of Jesus Christ there will be times of abundant productivity and a hearty harvest that is worth it all.

Psalm 107:37
They sowed fields and planted vineyards that yielded a fruitful harvest.

Hey There My Pretty.

May 12

The bird outside my window is calling out a phrase which sounds like...
Hey there, my pretty. Hmm, didn't the wicked witch in The Wizard of Oz say something similar to that? Or possibly it was the witch peddling apples in Sleeping Beauty.

On the flip side of devious deceivers like those two witches, there is the Lord our God who looks at each of us and says, "Hey there my pretty, I have plans for us today! Stand tall my child and face the world which I have placed you in knowing you are the child of the King. Spread joy with your smile and portray the love of Christ as you take time to look deeply into the eyes of another. Hey there my pretty, your tender touch may be the only touch another receives today...give of yourself today!"

As believers we are blessed to be equipped with the Holy Spirit and we can call on him for discernment. God's voice is one which always speaks loving correction and encouragement. We must train our ears to recognize the Shepherd's calling.


A truthful witness does not deceive, but a false witness pours out lies.
The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none, but knowledge comes easily to the discerning. Stay away from a foolish man, for you will not find knowledge on his lips.
Proverbs 14:5-7

The world is whispering so many lies right now. To not become discouraged. Trust in the Lord.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Psalm 51:10

He Walks with me and talks with me!

May 11

The overcast sky appears to have blanketed creation. Not a chirp is being heard outside right now, the blustery winds which have been blowing the past few days are still and not a leaf is wiggling. The lake waters are even calm, neither appearing to be flowing in or out and there are no boats out and about. Eerie. Maybe I better turn on the tube and see if I am missing something.

For my fifty and something friends, I don't want you to miss out on an amazing Psalms Now that I read this morning. #71 It is lengthy, but I know I will benefit from putting it into my brain by typing.
Some people like to hoard the good things they find. Thinking back on my early dating days with my husband, he was not one to share what was on his plate and he didn't like you adding things you didn't want to his! Now we eat out of the same salad bowl! Ah, the beauty of growing old together! It has been a blessing growing with you through this devotional all these years, so I want to take the time to let you nibble off what God served me this morning. :)
#71 Psalms Now
"Good Lord, You have kept me within the secure embrace of Your love these many years.
My life is one long list of divine deliverances. I have come running to You again and again when the forces of evil set themselves against me.
From the moment of my birth, I was dedicated to Your will, given life by You only to yield it back to You. And since that time, the days and hours of my life have been filled with praise for You.
But the enemies that plagued me in my youth still lay siege to my soul, looking for chinks in my armor, for loopholes in my defenses, through which to enter and lay waste.
Now, as I near the late afternoon and evening of my life, I continue to seek Your love and mercy. Even while I shout Your praises and proclaim Your salvation, I reach for the assurance of Your love and concern.
You have guided me through my precarious youth, now I need Your grace for my senior years. Fill my heart with purpose and my mouth with praises so I may continue to proclaim Your name and Your salvation to all who will listen.

You are, O God, the Creator and Performer of great and glorious things. There is no on like You. You have kept me safe throughout life's conflicts, led me through its crucible of experiences, drawn me back from its pitfalls and precipices, healed all my wounds, and comforted me in my afflictions. Thus I know that You will continue to love and care for me.

I will dedicate my remaining days to praising You, espousing Your faithfulness, and proclaiming Your love and concern for all who will turn to You. May every fiber of my being and every activity of my life resound with praises to my God."

Just as I have finished typing, spring showers have begun being poured out upon the earth providing a cleansing and refreshment. Ah, that is just another gift from the God I love!

Father, Your love is amazing. Cause each of us to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; to trust in You and be willing to walk in the way which You show us and to know Your voice. In Jesus' name, Amen

Apathy

May 10

Apathy-lack of feeling or emotion; a lack of interest or concern; indifference.

Last week the Lord put this word on my heart, but I really didn't care. (Smile)
Yesterday, listening to Michael Youssef online his sermon was on his greatest fear for the church...apathy. For too long we have let too much go and we have not stood strong for our faith. Seldom are we heard proclaiming who Christ is in our lives.

A joy of Mother's Day is receiving cards and calls from children who affirm that you have meant something to their lives. How often do we do that for Jesus? Christmas and Easter? Even those times His personal sacrifice gets lost in the celebrating.

Lord, we stop right now and bow before You, the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last. You are sovereign over all, yet we strut around at times as if in total control. Forgive us for our selfish pride. We put You in your rightful place..on the throne of our lives and we come before You saying..."Have your way today Lord, be glorified in each of our lives." As we look at the wonder of spring, may our hearts connect with You, our Creator. May our love for You, the peace that comes from knowing nothing catches You by surprise, and the joy of communion with You as your children be written across our faces so that others are drawn to You through our lives. In Jesus' name, Amen

A Bundle of Bridesmaids

May 8-9

Yesterday afternoon I received a call from a friend asking if we could possibly house some bridesmaids this weekend. They arrived late last night and are nestled snug in their beds. This morning I was praying for wisdom to share with these young women. Opening a devotional book called More Joy for the Journey was the perfect entry by Stormie Omartian. She writes:

"God requires the husband to love his wife, but the wife is required to have respect for her husband. I assume no woman would marry a man she didn't love, but too often a wife loses respect for her husband after they've been married awhile. Loss of respect seems to precede loss of love and is more hurtful to a man than we realize."

Being Mother's Day weekend, for many of us that means being not just a mother, but a wife.

While we bask in the luxury of Mother's Day weekend (I know ha,ha), for those of us who still have husbands may we reflect on that key element of motherhood...being an excellent wife!

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband. Proverbs 12:4

While we sit back on our holiday (smile...it isn't like mothering stops) may we reflect on the responsibility we carry as role models for others.

Let older women...be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things-that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children. Titus 2:3-4

While some of us may have expectations as to what we would like Mother's Day to look like, not all husbands are clued in. Lord, help us think more like Jesus and find joy in being servants and remember...

He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord.
Proverbs 18:22

For some of you reading this you are neither a wife, nor a mother, but you are God's precious child and if you have accepted the gift of the sacrifice of His Son, God calls you his beloved.

Cover Up

May 7

Painting our boathouse last weekend I exclaimed to my daughter ad husband who were helping, "It is amazing what a fresh coat of paint will do for a place." My husband replied that is how he feels about fresh mulch in the yard. Make-up and hair dying have visual benefits as well! :)

In the case of our boat house some faulty nails keep rusting through and as long as they are there their stain will eventually pop back through the paint. Likewise, the weeds beneath the mulch will surface once again if they are not destroyed. The gray hairs, wrinkles and age spots will continue to show their stuff as well, so these processes are cover ups which will have to be repeated.

Sin has a way of resurfacing again and again in our lives. Take the sins of anxiety, doubt, fear and worry for instance...how many times will we pick one of them up today! Cover ups come in the form of substance abuse, shopping, addictive behaviors from exercise to anorexia or the subtle second sin of lying about the reality of the other sinful behavior. Just plain busyness can keep us from much needed confession and laying our burdens down.


He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13

Confession is a great form of weight loss! It certainly lightens our load!

Yield

May 6th

I'm soooo confused! This English language can be such a challenge. Still in sleepy mode or possible even just coming out of a dream I knew the word the Lord was giving me today was yield. I feel as if He even gave me a great devotional, but I can't remember a lick of it!
Flipping, I guess that would actually be "clicking", through BibleGateway none of the verses seemed to speak to where I thought God was taking me. They all pertained to the definition of yield which relates to bear, bring forth, and produce.

These are the definitions to which I felt God was leading me:
: to surrender or relinquish to the physical control of another; hand over possession of; to surrender or submit (oneself) to another; to give (oneself) up to an inclination, temptation, or habit; to relinquish one's possession of (as a position of advantage or point of superiority).

We need to yield to the work the Lord is "trying" to do in our lives. Often that means enduring uncomfortable situations, trial and heartache to learn the lessons He has for us. Learning to yield to the Holy Spirit is a great benefit, but it is difficult for us to loosen our grip of self-control.

Read back over those definition and ask God to show you the area which pertains to your life. I need to yield my priorities to the Lord today and put Him before household projects. It is the National Day of prayer and I need to spend more time praying, than playing!

Typing away I realized the word humble correlated well with yield.

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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14

Guilty as Charged

May 5

My prayer list is loaded and heavy. One friend is at Duke awaiting a stem cell transplant, another battling excruciating pain and facing the reality cancer may have returned, a son heads to a neurologist today trying to find answers to debilitating back pain, while one is in airborne training jumping out of airplanes. Add that to some personal unknowns and I found myself only able to cry out to the Lord..."Help!"
Fortunately, I was able to open several devotionals beside my bed and as He so faithfully does when we are willing...God spoke wisdom.

"Oh, if only we would worry less about our problems and sing and praise more! There are thousands of things that shackle us that could be turned into instruments of music, if we just know how to do it. Think of the people who ponder, meditate, and weigh the affairs of life, and who continually study the mysterious inner workings of God's providence, wondering why they suffer burdens and are opposed and battled on every front. How different their lives would be, and how much more joyful, if they would stop indulging in self-centered and inward thinking and instead would daily lift their experiences to God, praising Him for them. It is easier to sing your worries away than to reason them away. Why not sing in the morning? Think of the birds-they are the first to sing each day, and they have fewer worries than anything else in creation! And don't forget to sing in the evening, which is what the robins do when they have finished their daily work." Streams in the Desert

Then I turned to Psalms Now and read #66:
"It is high time we start making happy noises about God, that we boldly proclaim His name and shout His praises....I proclaim God's praises because I know He will love me forever."

I ended with reading some Lloyd John Ogilvie:
"I lift up my voice confessing my total dependence on You."

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

Criticism

May 4
Criticize is a word with a negative connotation for it often carries a "put down" in its pocket. We would much rather be evaluated or critiqued than criticised.
Jesus underwent a boat load of criticism and much of that was from the religious leaders of his day. If he healed on the wrong day they blasted him. His dinner guests didn't always meet their standards and when He shared who he was they point blank called him a liar. So the next time we are getting hammered we can remember the company we keep.

Sometimes we are very critical of ourselves. There are enough others to beat us up in this world, so when the debilitating thoughts come let's listen to see if the accusations are out of love or resentment. One is from a loving Father; the other from the Father of lies!

My dear children, let's not just talk about love; let's practice real love. This is the only way we'll know we're living truly, living in God's reality. It's also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.
1 John 3:18

A Quiet Priority

May 3

Moses and I are cozied up on our screened porch with the rain whistling around us. The tree branches are adorned with their new green leaves and the wind has them looking like Spanish flamenco dancers..shaking their tail feathers. The birds are trying to out chirp one another. It sounds like the busiest morning out and about in nature, but here on the inside God has allowed me to be still with my bulldog and dig into the Word.
A smile crossed my face while reading a devotional this AM in which the writer said she felt cheated for living in a country which does not embrace afternoon siestas!
We cheat ourselves of amazing fellowship when we do not get alone with the Lord each day. Make our meeting with Him a priority!

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.
Mark 6:30-32