Give Me an S


Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.
Psalm 95:2

November 29-30
Sing, sing a song; sing out loud, sing out strong. 
Sing of good things, not bad.  Sing of happy, not sad.
(What are those lyrics from?)

Taking time out to lift my arms and sing praise, I've tweaked the words.

Oh, for the lost, may today be the day, 
where they all bow and say…
Lord, you are mine, have your way.
Total surrender now. Waiting for you to say how.
I'll live this life with the purpose to…
bring glory to You.


Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, 
let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.
Hebrews 12:28 

Give Me a K

Wild turkeys!

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion,
kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Colossians 3:12
November 28
We don't know what a day has held or what is on its way.  The kindness we show to another may turn out to be a life preserver, a ray of hope, or a thread to hold on to.
Over and over again God supplies our needs. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 9:10-12 of how the enriching of our lives should spill out as generosity on every occasion, and thus be an act of thanksgiving to God.

Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of see and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.  You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.  This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 

Give Me an "N"

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:
The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17

November 27
Happy Thanksgiving!
Praise the Lord, for he makes all things new!  Now there's a reason to give thanks!




Give Me an A


And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:17 
November 26
An "A" for our actions!
Oh, no, here comes the song. It's from Gypsy and called Together.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvZc_XHezL8

Yup, Wherever we go, whatever we do, we can go through it with Jesus!
Can we go through it giving thanks though?

As we approach our nation's day of Thanksgiving may we affirm others, looking at each individual as God's design whom he dearly loves.  Our actions are more lovely when we are affirming.

Give me an H

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
Psalm 100:4
November 25
Do with lift our voices daily to tell Christ we are so thankful for Him? No matter how crummy the day may be going, no matter how much our hearts long for a different path, when there are no "happy" thoughts captivating our thought process, we can always revert our focus to Him.  Him, God in the flesh...our Example, Redeemer,  our Hope and Joy.

Standing in a church service recently, I didn't feel like singing praise for my feelings had just been hurt by a person I admire greatly.  Joy had been sucked out of me.  I was also in physical pain from a back injury and after sitting through the sermon, I really just wanted to make an exit.  Toying with that idea, I felt the Lord say, "You did not come here today to worship that man, you came to worship me. Now worship!"  Yes, I had entered His church that day with thanksgiving for Him and no matter the surrounding circumstances it was time to lift my voice in praise to the One who made me and sent Christ to save me.

He is our Redeemer!
He is our Hope!
He is our joy!

Today, Jesus, we give thanks for you and worship you with gladness!

Give me a "T"

Give THANKS to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
1 Chronicles 16:34 

November 24

Today let us thank God for The Body of Believers.  First thank God for the people he has placed in your path to spur you on in the faith.  Then let's find a simple way to say thank you to some of those people who serve God faithfully.  Maybe it's your pastor, the church secretary, a friend who is always quick to actually pray for you.  Maybe it's a Christian TV or radio station or the author of a devotional you like to pick up and read.
Recently, I heard a message on how much more welcoming and accepting gangs are, compared to church members on Sunday morning. Think back to yesterday, did we welcome someone into the body at church yesterday?  Today, as we are thankful for those in the faith who have loved us well, may we allow that to spur us on to love others.

We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters,
and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more,
and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.
2 Thessalonians 1:3

Another look back to a Thanksgiving with our six.
It was just plain easier to dress them to match.

Get Your Thanks On

I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness,
and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.
Psalm 7:17
November 22-23 
Isn't there an old song, whose key lyric rings out…"Get your groove on. Get your groove on?"
Let's switch it up a bit this week and sing praise to the Lord: "Get our thanks on. Get our thanks on."

Each day next week let's find a unique way to give thanks to the Lord for the things he has done.
Despite our worldly circumstances, there is always a reason to be thankful in our soul.

Give me a    T
Give me a    H
Give me an  A
Give me a    N
Give me a    K
Give me a    S

Here's an old picture, when we were obviously teaching our children to be thankful for the Native American Indians and all they taught the early pilgrims about survival in this great land.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.
And be thankful.
Colossians 3:15 

Martha, Martha


November 21 
But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, 
you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary."  
Luke 10:41-42

Tis' the season to be anxious and troubled about many things….the travel, the menus, the gifts, the dress, the money, maybe even the dreaded confrontations of seeing people you'd rather not.  When people come to your birthday party, you want it to be a time of celebration, not one of dread.  Jesus invites us to his birthday celebration each year.  He wants us to come to the festivities, even if they are a quiet visit to a friend in a nursing home, with a spirit of celebrating His life.  Sitting with one another and sharing the love of Christ.  Oh, and we must remember, the birthday boy is the focus…let's not leave a day of this party season without spending time alone with him.

Fully Committed


November 20
The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see 
if there are any who understand, any who seek God.
Psalm 14:2

For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth 
to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.  
2 Chronicles 16:9

Today's verses speak of two kings, David and Asa, who knew the Lord.  Both had grand moments of success because of their trust in the Lord and both, being human, fell into sin and lived out the heart wrenching consequences of those sins.  God has given us such incredible life lessons in His Word, but we have to choose to go there and learn.

God is still looking, his eyes spanning over the earth. What do those eyes see when He looks at our hearts?Are we fully committed?

Restoration Power

November 19


Restoration Power…what does that mean Lord? In the days ahead He showed me…
The friend, who is separated from her husband, knows only God's restoration power will bring them back together.
The friend with the Stage 4 cancer diagnosis is praying for God to restore her health.
The widow neighbor, whose septic pipes burst and backed up into the lower level of her home, where she graciously houses 4 others and 8 dogs, needs her home restored.
The friend's young daughter in law, back in the hospital fighting fever and side effects from chemo, wants her life restored.
The four friends awaiting a response from job interviews have called for prayer that God would restore them to a place of employment.
The families dreading Christmas, because right now they see no way to have a present under the tree for their children, need their financial situation restored or a miracle of generosity.

God is in the restoration business.  Believe in His Word!

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13  (The power of restoration.)

Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.      2 Corinthians 13:11

...then the Lord your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you. Deuteronomy 30:3

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit.    Psalm 51:12

Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.  Psalm 71:20

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.  1 Peter 5:10 

Amen?  Amen!

It's a Pray Day

November 18
I've been called away for a pray day.  Be back in touch tomorrow.

But when you pray, 
go away by yourself and shut the door behind you 
and pray to your Father in private.  
Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
Matthew 6:6

Cover Ups

Our grand dogs all covered up.

November 17
It was 23 degrees outside Saturday and I was not wanting to come out from under the covers!  Our grand dogs were feeling the same way with the drop in the temperatures.  The other day I read this quote by Boyd Bailey,
"Christ uncovers cover-ups."

He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart.
1 Corinthians 4:5b 

A mighty group of prayer warriors were sitting in my living room last Monday and one woman, filled with wisdom, emphasized the importance of us confessing our sins and "coming clean" with the Lord, before our prayer time.  She chuckled, "He knows about them already."  I replied, "When you ask Jesus to "uncover our sins…expose them to us" he is quick to reply!

Dumping sin is freeing and refreshing!  It's in there, we just may have allowed it to be covered up.

Light in Me

November 16
Brandon Heath is a delightful young man, who lives in Nashville and has made his mark in the Christian Music Industry.  Our daughter is blessed to call him a friend.  This music video is one we all need to use as a tool to teach our children and grandchildren that we have choices to make.  It has a powerful message. Everyone who watches it is going to relate, no matter which side of the "rock" you stand upon.

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=FFB901NU&utm_source=GodTube%20Today&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=08/23/2011

Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.
Psalm 119:18

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.
Matthew 5:14


Psalm 15

November 14-15
Accepting an assignment to spend time daily in the Psalms for a week, I've found my spiritual challenge.  Memorize Psalm 15 and keep it as a personal checklist.

A psalm of David
Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
Who may live on your holy mountain?
The one whose walk is blameless,
who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from their heart;
whose tongue utters no slander.
who does no wrong to a neighbor.
and casts no slur on others;
who despises a vile person,
but honors those who fear the Lord;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
and does not change their mind;
who lends money to the poor without interest;
who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
Whoever does these things will never be shaken.
  

Eva


Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
Exodus 20:8 
November 13
"GOT YA!" That is what it felt like this lady said, as she apprehended me in the Christmas section of Marshall's department store last Sunday.  "You should not be shopping on the Sabbath, " eighty-six year old Eva exclaimed to me, a total stranger, using a boisterous voice.  Heads turned all around me and my girlfriend who was with me. was no where to be found. I stared at this woman with questioning eyes. Before I spoke, she continued, "I'm only here because I do not drive and this is the only day I could get a ride."
My turn.  "Well, I'm here because I just received a phone call from my son, whose wife has been very ill.  He asked if I would come to visit and do some decorating for Christmas. Neither he, nor I,  live near a Marshall's and I was passing this one on my way.  Our daughter-in-law loves snowflakes, aren't these lovely?  Would you pray for our daughter-in-law?"
Instead, Eva began to unload all her woes upon me.  I asked if I could pray for her.  She lay her sweet grey head upon my chest. I placed my arms around her and one hand on her lower back, which has been giving her so much trouble.  As I prayed, Eva sobbed.  After the "Amen" she looked at me and said, "I almost sat in the car and didn't come in because it was Sunday.  Look what I would have missed."


For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.
Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God's slaves.
1 Peter 2:15-16

Is Anyone Here?

 I snuck off to NC right after prayer time for some sweet baby love!
I took Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the angels with me!

November 12
Lavishing in the feeling of my own bed, I overslept on Monday morning.  Jumping out, I got going in my morning routine; but it was 9:15 AM by the time I stepped in the shower and prayer warriors were scheduled to show up at 9:30.  Stepping out of the shower at 9:25 I hollered…"Is anyone here?"
No sound, so I slipped out onto the screened porch off our bedroom, thinking some people might be at the side door and locked out.  The question rang out again, probably clear across the water to our neighbors…."Is anyone here?"
In my mind the angels said, "We are here."  Next the Holy Spirit echoed in, "I'm here."  Finally, Jesus spoke up and said, "I'm right here in your heart."  A smile crossed my face and I laughed out loud, as I thanked those three entities for the wonderful reminders that I am never alone!

Moving Bill Boards

November 11
Cruising along the interstate, returning home from Nashville, I said to my girlfriend in the car "Look there's Jesus."  Attempting to edged up beside this truck, so she could take a photo with her phone, I panicked thinking the driver was taking an exit and hollered "Don't' leave us Jesus!"

On the back of the truck was Psalm 31:24  Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. 

My girlfriend exclaimed, "It a moving bill board for Jesus!"  Ah that we might all be seen as moving bill boards!




Believing Lies


November 10
   "Beware, as evil tries to estrange you from the eternal truths of God’s word."
Boyd Bailey
What lies are being tossed your way by the devil that you are believing?  Without God's Word and his truths we set ourselves up for a tumbling down fall, which can devastate our lives and keep us from living within the boundaries of blessings God intends for us.  Daily dying to self and choosing to put on the helmet of salvation, so the lies the enemy has been tossing at people since the Garden of Eden don't permeate our brains takes discipline.

Today, I believe we are cherished children of God, never tossed from his presence and created for  divine purposes.  I remember God knows every hair on our head and every weakness in our minds and has given us the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us, as well as He has stationed angels to watch over us.
I choose to accept the discipline of God and hardships which come our way, as training tools designed by God to strengthen us for this earthly journey and spruce us up in the much needed areas for our lives to reflect Christ before we enter our heavenly home.  I rejoice in all the provisions of God, from physical comforts, to the warmth the Word brings, to the establishment of the Body of Believers who walk this earthly walk with us and offer prayer support and encouragement along the way.  I acknowledge that because of who God is and the equipping his Word and prayer provide, no weapon formed against me will prosper.  Our God is a a great God and the name of Jesus will cause the devil to flee and take his lies with him!

Because  you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
1 John 2:14b 
     

I Thank God For Paul

November 8-9
One day last week I was seeking the Lord's guidance on what to write, He spoke to my mind…."Check your heart?"

God loves the pure-hearted and well-spoken;
good leaders also delight in their friendship.
Proverbs 22:11

Somehow Paul's advice in 1 Timothy crossed my path and it was worth typing the passage up to put deep in  my heart.  I thank God for Paul!
I, Paul, am an apostle on special assignment for Christ, our living hope.  (That alone is filled with great wisdom for us to recall, when we reflect on our worth.)  Under God our Savior's command, I'm writing this to you, Timothy, my son in the faith.  (Another challenge, are we mentoring anyone in the faith.)
All the best from our God and Christ be yours!
Self-Appointed Experts on Life
On my way to the province of Macedonia, I advised you to stay in Ephesus Well, I haven't changed my mind. Stay right there on top of things so that the teaching stays on track.  Apparently some people have been introducing fantasy stores and fanciful family trees that digress into silliness instead of pulling the people back into the center, deepening faith and obedience.

The whole point of what we're urging is simply love- love uncontaminated by self-interest and counterfeit faith, a life open to God.  Those who fail to keep to this point soon wander off into cup-de-sacs of gossip.  They set themselves up as experts on religious issues, but haven't the remotest idea of what they're holding forth with such imposing eloquence.  It's true that moral guidance and counsel need to be given, but the way you say it and to whom you say it are as important as what you say.  It's obvious, isn't it, that the law code isn't primarily for people who live responsibly, but for the irresponsible, who defy all authority, riding roughshod over God, life, sex, truth, whatever!  They are contemptuous of this great Message I've been put in charge of by this great God.
I'ms so grateful to Christ Jesus for making me adequate to do this work. He went out on a limb, you know, in trusting me with this ministry.  The only credentials I brought to it were invective and witch hunts with arrogance.  But I was treated mercifully because I did't know what  I was doing-didn't know Who I was doing it against!  Grace mixed with faith and love poured over me and into me.  And all because of Jesus.
Here's a word you can take to heart and depend on: Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. I'm proof-Public Sinner Number One-of someone who cold never have made it apart from sheer mercy. And now he shows me off-evidence of his endless patience-to those who are right on the edge of trusting him forever. 

Great Treasure



I rejoice at Your word as one who finds great treasure.
Psalm 119:162

November 7
I'm snuggled in bed with a three year old, who rolled over at 5:47AM and said, "Mama Boo, tell me all the things God made."  An hour later, I'm just getting to writing to you.  We played a new game…man made or God made!

I do pray that even with our busy schedules today we we find great treasure in God's Word.  I pray also that no matter what the day brings, it will bring prayer!

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people-for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
1 Timothy 2:1-2 

Tested Faith


November 6
I must have been in the car when I heard this quote, because I found this note scribbled on a piece of paper stuffed down in my purse.  Forgive me, as I have no clue whose radio show I was listening to when I wrote this quote:
"A faith that can't be tested is a faith that can't be trusted."
Read that again.
"A faith that can't be tested is a faith that can't be trusted."


Test me, Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind…
Psalm 26:2

Search me, God, and know my heat; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Psalm 139:23

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart!  I have overcome the world."
John 16:33

Can't you just hear Jesus saying, "Hang with me.  There will be some rough roads, you are going to encounter storms, but I will make a way."

in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:6 

What Love Does





Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
1 John 4:8 
November 5

One of the best messages I've ever read on Love, related to 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, came in an email devotional by James MacDonald. His radio program is called Walk in the Word.  
God has been doing a big work in me lately related to loving others well and this particular writing really spurred me on.

Here are some tasty tie-bits I pulled from this message.  Thanks James MacDonald!

"Love waits for people to change."

"Love accepts people as they are, not as we want them to be."


"Love actively accepts people.  It doesn’t just stand on the other side of the room thinking, She drives me nuts-I’m going to steer clear of her, but it actually goes across the room and finds ways to engage or embrace that person.  Love looks for ways to express acceptance to people whom we might otherwise target with our harsh criticism."

"Loves says I have always been for you, and I will always be for you."  

"Love bears the weight of the misunderstanding and defends the heart of the other. Love gives the other benefit of the doubt and regularly says, "That's not what she meant."  It believes the best about the other person and defends him: "That's not why he did that. There must be more to the story."

"Love sees people not as they are, but as they will be someday, by God's grace."

"Love will never fail to accomplish God's highest and best purposes.  If a relationship unravels, it wasn't because of love.  Love always takes things to a better place."

  

Take Someone to Vote

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, 
for there is no authority except that which God has established. 
The authorities that exist have been established by God.
Romans 13:1
November 4
How blessed we are to live in America, the land of the free and home of the brave.
What a privilege we have to be educated and to vote.
Our pastor shared Sunday that 60% of Americans do not vote.  Now that's apathy, but that is also just ignorant.
We may not be able to choose our parents, but we have the opportunity to choose to whom we will be subject as the authority figures in our government. Yes, God can do whatever he wants when it comes to placing our leaders over us, but as children of God we have a responsibility to cast our vote for godly leaders, who are pleasing in the sight of the Lord.  If we are doing this, than the outcome should reflect the morality of our nation and in turn if God will still bless America.
 Not the queen of Sheba, but for sure a royal princess!

November 3
Seeing God's daily provision, related to writing this devotional, is enough to keep me keeping on.  I never have a clue where He is leading with these messages.  This morning I asked, "What do you have for me, God?"  The words alert and wisdom came quickly to mind.  Opening up Biblegateway I saw what would be a good verse for tomorrow,  but I typed in wisdom for now and up popped 216 verse!
Scrolling partially down I stopped at 1 Kings 10:1-9 and was blown away by how appropriate the message is for our nation.  The Queen of Sheba was exercising alertness in checking out what she had heard about King Solomon for herself!  Of that we would be a nation of voters filled with wisdom and that we would elect wise leaders who are respected for their leadership throughout the world!

The Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon

When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relationship to the Lord, she came to test Solomon with hard questions.  Arriving at Jerusalem with a very great caravan-with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones-she came to Solomon and talked with him about all that she had on her mind.  Solomon answered all her questions: nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her.  When the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon and the palace he had built, the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings he made at the temple of the Lord, she was overwhelmed.

She said to the king, "The report I heard in your own county about your achievements and your wisdom is true.  But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes.  Indeed, not even half  was told me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard.  How happy your people must be!  How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and  hear your wisdom.  Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on the throne of Israel.  Because of the Lord's eternal love for Israel, he has made you king to maintain justice and righteousness."
  

Pleasing to God

November 1-2
One of my girlfriends, challenges me to think deep and back up my thoughts with scripture. When she asks me what I think, I know she really wants to hear what God thinks and I hope if I ever give my personal opinion, she will set me back on the right track to digging in the Word. A couple weeks ago, we had one of our going deep conversations related to moral issues and sin. We had already agreed, sin is sin, not on a point scale in God's eyes.  God hates all sin.
Pertaining to one specific situation, where several people she loves deeply are struggling, the thought came to me…"Would you say they are living a life pleasing to God?"

Last Sunday our pastor preached a powerful sermon on Matthew 7:13-14
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

The sermon outline, listed three areas where we falter and fall short of living a life pleasing to God.
#1 I have fallen into the trap of being a PEOPLE PLEASER.
#2 I spend my life pursuing PERSONAL HAPPINESS
#3 I live like this LIFE is all I have.

If you want to tune into a great message chocked full of thought provoking statements go to:
http://www.franklinheights.org/sermons
Unfortunately, it appears to take a few weeks for past sermons to appear, so 10/26/2014 is not available  yet.