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Apr 30, 2011

"Your Bible & His Purpose"

DAY #120 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
VERSE: "The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver tried in a furnace..." Psalm 12:6
In yesterday's devotion found HERE, we spoke of 'Give us this day our daily bread', 'bread' being that which we need to go through each day, not just the actual food itself. In Matthew 4:4, it says, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God", meaning that we are not to live on just 'bread', but also by the 'bread of life' which is God's Word. God's Word as in the Bible is important for us, but just as in yesterday's devotional, 'Prayer Changes Things & You', God's words in prayer are just as important. When we pray to Him, He may come and speak to us. Now it is not audible everytime, but I guess for some it could be. I usually feel His voice in my spirit or my heart. He reveals things to me like that. If He has spoken audibly, I have obviously missed out because I haven't heard & listened to it. There are times when I think I hear an 'audible' voice, but I'm not sure it's not just someone around me. I know that we all, but I myself have to pray and get deeper into the Word more so that I can discern better, so that I may grow more intimate with Him.

In my teaching classes, I always tell the children/youth how important God's Word is to them, for we are soooooo blessed to be able to have more than one in our homes, where people around the world may only have one page of it, or not be able to have it at all or they will be killed. We need to treat it as a rare treasure, not just another book on our shelf or coffee table... or in our hotel room bedside drawer. His Word reveals His purposes, but His Word becomes 'my' Bible, that brings life, truth and hope to me. Do you want to know what to do with your life? He can reveal that to you through His Word. Are you struggling with pain of the past, or health issues? God can minister to you through His Word. Are you seeking Him for more blessings, whether it be spiritual, financial, physical, emotional, social, mental... for you and/or your family, your friends, your co-workers, your clientelle & their families, or even just those around you who are hurting? It's all in the Word, God can and will do great & mighty things for us, but there are also some things that we need to be doing here on earth for Him to move in great power. He doesn't need us,  but He wants us. Sometimes we think we don't want Him, but we always do truly need Him. We need to fulfill our mission or calling here on the earth, and be the hands and feet of Jesus, completing His mission of bringing everyone into the kingdom. But we cannot find out our mission, if we do not humble ourselves & pray, and submit to Him and read his Word daily.

"Finding one's mission, and then fulfilling it, is perhaps the most vital activity in which a person can engage." ~ Laurie Beth Jones

Maybe you have never heard the GOSPEL MESSAGE, or you don't have that 'relationship' with Christ. That's what it's all about it's not religion, it's a relationship. Here is the GOSPEL MESSAGE simplicity - -



We are ALL sinners - Sin results in Death - God loved the world so much, He sent us His Son Jesus - Jesus came to earth to teach, train, equip, and mentor - Jesus did the work of the Father, praying, healing, performing miracles, teaching of His Father's love - Jesus died ONCE & FOR ALL for our sins, so that we didn't have to die - He rose again, to live with His Father in Heaven - Jesus intercedes for us to the Father - We are commissioned to do the work of the Father, trainging, teaching, equipping, praying, healing, performing miracles, but most importantly sharing His story, 'History' not fiction (the gospel) - Jesus will come back for believers - We as believers get to live eternally in Heaven with Him. (If we do not believe, then we will have eternal death, as we haven't accepted the FREE gift of Salvation).

**If you have never prayed the 'salvation prayer' before (or maybe you did long ago and have drifted away)& haven't experienced the joy of the relationship that is spoken of above, then here's your chance today. The only thing you are giving up is things that aren't going to last long anyway -- which if you don't give up, will only make your own life not last as long as it could (which is eternally). --- You've already made the first step known - admit to God that you are a sinner, because after all - all of us are sinners. (Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God") After that you need to believe that God is God, and that Jesus is His Son. He sent His Son to die for us, so that we as sinners didn't need to be condemned to death. (Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, bu the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus.") Then do something a little difficult, and Confess your sins to Him and ask for forgiveness -- and then confess aloud that JESUS IS LORD. (Romans 10:9-10 "If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.") We need to daily ask for forgiveness (sometimes more than once a day), because we are human and we will always mess up in some way or another. God is willing and able to forgive us, and welcome YOU into His family. I don't like to write out a prayer anymore to say word for word, as this important step is something that you need to tell God in your own words. (But if you need someone to help you or to chat with, just comment below.) Just tell Him what's in your heart - you're a sinner, you want to believe in Him but it may be hard, you want Him to forgive you of what you've done, and you want to choose life with Him through His Son Jesus. Then find a local SPIRIT-FILLED, Bible believing, covered by the BLOOD church to be a part of, to encourage you along the way. It's as simple as that. ** GOD BLESS YOU!

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!

Apr 29, 2011

"Prayer Changes Things & You"

DAY #119 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
VERSE: "And everything -- whatever you ask in prayer, believing -- you will receive." Matthew 21:22 HCSB

'Could you not tarry one hour?' is a question Jesus asked of his disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane. He asked them to pray with Him and for Him, and the disciples fell asleep. Jesus was in the most deepest prayer, and darkest time of His life, and He desired that His disciples intercede, and maybe they did for a short time, yet they fell asleep waiting for Him to return to them. God desires us to pray, as this is our main form of communication with Him. Sometimes we tend to make 'prayer' something bigger than it really is. Prayer is just simply talking to God. Somehow, we also tend to 'scare' other Christians (and maybe non-believers) by using the terms 'prayer meeting' or 'intercessory team'. Some Christians may not have the FULL gift of 'Intercession', but we are all called to intercede for someone, and of course for ourselves. Jesus then intercedes for all of us at the throne of God. Praying daily, and even throughout the day (not just at dinner, or at bedtime prayers) is what God desires of us. When we pray to Him (even just our 'Give me, Give me' prayers), He desires to speak back to us. Sometimes we just rush in to prayer, tell Him our wants & needs, and then rush out... He desires us to worship & praise Him; confess our sins so He may clothe us with righteousness & He may manifest his presence; thank Him for the many things that He has done, because He wants to pour out more and more; and, then we may ask Him for things that we NEED and desire according to His will.

It's been said that the quality of our spiritual life can be compared to the quality of our prayer life. When we are in prayer, God can communicate with us as well as through His word. Prayer CHANGES the atmosphere & things around you, same as worship, yet it also changes YOU, and what is going on in the Heavens -- there is an old hymn/song that the Gaither's have on their videos, 'Prayer is the Key to Heaven', and in that song it says 'Prayer is the key to Heaven, but FAITH unlocks the door'. We want to pray, but we also want to pray believing in faith that God will show up #1, but also that He will do what He says He will do.

The verse today says, '...whatever you ask for in prayer, BELIEVING -- you will receive.' This is not saying that 'whatever' we ask for we get, it is according to the will of the Father. Most times we think of the blessing side of this verse, and that we get what we want if we just believe we should have it. But there is also the flip-side to this... what about those prayers we pray in frustration or even just a simple prayer that we really didn't mean-- God can and will answer those too. I have learned that we need to be 'specific' in what we are asking for.

I have also learned through revelation of Holy Spirit, that we really should get back to 'The Lord's Prayer'. We shouldn't have to ask for money for example, or a new home, or money for a new home... or a new job, or a new car, or a new... whatever. 'Give us this day our daily bread' is what Jesus prayed. Yes God does like to hear us ask for things specifically, but He also does know our heart. Our problem is that we don't always know His heart. Saying 'Give us this day our daily bread', is basically saying, 'Hey God, you know that I would like _______, but give me what You know that I need today.'

...to be continued!

"Our prayers must not be efforts to bend God to our will but to yield ourselves to His." ~ Catherine Marshall

"Real Prosperity"

DAY #118 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
VERSE: "Serving God does make us very rich, if we are satisfied with what we have. We brought nothing into the world, so we can take nothing out. But, if we have food and clothes we will be satisfied with that." 1 Timothy 6:6-8 NCV

"Our ultimate aim in life is not to be healthy, wealthy, prosperous, or problem free. Our ultimate aim in life is to bring glory to God." ~ Anne Graham Lotz

...to be continued!

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!

"Pleasing God"

DAY #117 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
VERSE: "But neither exile nor homecoming is the main thing. Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that's what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions." 2 Corinthians 5:9 MSG

"Get ready for God to show you not only His pleasure but His approval." ~Joni Eareckson Tada

...to be continued!

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!

Apr 27, 2011

"Passion for Life"

Day #116 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord." Romans 12:11 NIV

...to be continued!

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!

"Looking For Miracles"

Day # 115 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "Depend on the Lord and His strength; always go to Him for help. Remember the miracles he has done; remember His wonders and His decisions." Psalm 105:4-5 NCV

...to be continued!

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!

Apr 24, 2011

"Look for the Joy"

Day #114 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of Your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever." Psalm 16:11 NLT

"Among the most joyful people I have know have been some who seem to have had no human reason for joy. The sweet fragrance of Christ has shown through their lives." ~ Elisabeth Elliot

... to be continued!

Have a blessed EASTER weekend! Remember that EASTER is the reason for CHRISTMAS!

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!

Apr 23, 2011

"Beyond Guilt"

Day #113 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "Your beliefs about these things should be kept secret between you and God. People are happy if they can do what they think is right, without feeling guilty." Romans 14:22 NCV

"Cultivate your own relationship with God, but don't impose it on others. You're fortunate if your behavior and your belief are coherent. But if you're not sure, if you notice that you are acting in ways inconsistent with what you believe—some days trying to impose your opinions on others, other days just trying to please them—then you know that you're out of line. If the way you live isn't consistent with what you believe, then it's wrong." (Romans 14:22-23 MSG)

"You may believe there’s nothing wrong with what you are doing, but keep it between yourself and God. Blessed are those who don’t feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right. But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning." (Romans 14:22-23 NLT)
 
Checking out the same verse in different translations is always a good thing... because sometimes translations change word meanings around, or the intent of what is being said is changed as well. Judging others is a huge topic of discussion in the world and in the church unfortunately. There are absolute truths about 'sin', yet there are also those things which we may deem 'bad' or 'sinful' for our own selves, or our family. We cannot force those beliefs onto others. We should not make ourselves feel guilty, nor should we make others feel guilty about their choices. Guilt is not of the Father. We do need to follow our own convictions regarding the absolute truth given from the Father through His Word -- but we still cannot judge nor apply guilt to those who aren't following the truths from His Word. God's answer to sin and guilt is FORGIVENESS. We need to apply the same forgiveness to those around us. But our worldly forgiveness is not at all like the forgiveness of the Father. He loves and forgives us unconditionally, without reservation and totally completely -- we in the world hold grudges and our natural carnal self enjoys throwing 'guilt' in people's faces. We don't truly 'forgive and forget'. Being a part of the 'Facebook' social thing allows you to see the status' and comments from others, which include those that wish to imply guilt and the likes. A status line from one of my 'friends' says this today, "it is best to forgive and forget then to live with regret so I'll forgive you and forget you so I won"t have to regret falling for your bs..." and it got me thinking regarding this 'Beyond Guilt' devotional. We are not meant to live with regret, nor with guilt. Forgiveness is forgiveness... what we forgive, who we forgive, how many times we forgive, all affect the Father's forgiveness for us. He is a God of love and forgiveness, mercy and grace -- yet if we choose to leave others with regret, guilt and shame, it's hard for the Father to show His grace, mercy, love and forgiveness towards us. Sin cannot be in the same presence as the Father -- Feelings of guilt and shame cause us to 'miss the mark', so they infact cause us to sin. Sin is not just 'doing or being involved in the bad things', it is also 'not doing the good things' that He has called us to do.
 
If you have feelings of guilt or shame (or other sinful thoughts & feelings), lay them down at the foot of the cross this Easter weekend. God sent His Son Jesus to die for those 'sinful' feelings & more --  Just allow the power of God the Father to work through you, through the precious blood of His Son Jesus, and the overwhelming presence, power and love of Holy Spirit. Let Him overtake your body, mind, soul and spirit cleansing you throughout, so that you may RISE AGAIN (just as Jesus did) in the newness of life.
 
 
"One of satan's most effective ploys is to make us believe that we are small, insignificant and worthless" (Susan Lenzkes) -- But remember God's best gift (His Son Jesus) proves that we are indeed worth more than that, and that he himself (satan) is under our feet, which makes him small, insignificant and worthless. We need to stop giving satan more power and strength than he has.
 
Enjoy this blessed EASTER weekend, remembering ALL that God has done for you, and think of all the great things that He can and will continue to do for you!
 
BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!

"His Will Be Done"

Day #112 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven." Matthew 6:9-10 KJV

A piece of the most familiar prayer in the Bible, the Lord's prayer, where He is teaching His disciples how to pray. Prayer is important, but also what you pray for is important. We want the Will of the Father to come forth on earth, so we need to pray that His will be done. Prayer itself isn't just selfishly asking for things you want from the Father. He desires prayer to be a daily, even moment by moment conversation with Him... where we can intimately share our hearts with Him.

God does indeed have BIG plans for our lives, but if we continue to choose our own desires and ways ahead of His, then His plans are altered a little bit... sometimes a lot. He makes His plans clear to those who diligently and intimately seek Him, and His ways. We need to humble ourselves, pray and seek His face, which means we need to turn from our wicked ways. (2 Chronicles 7:14 -- "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 I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.") When we can do these things, God will hear us, and will answer our requests according to His will. He desires us to be free of sin, and to walk in COMPLETE healing. He does indeed have BIG plans, as it says in Jeremiah 29:11-14, "I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I'll listen. When you come looking for me, you'll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I'll make sure you won't be disappointed. God's Decree. I'll turn things around for you. I'll bring you back from all the countries into which I drove you— God's Decree — bring you home to the place from which I sent you off into exile. You can count on it." (The MESSAGE)

So seek Him today, and find out what BIG plans He has for you!!

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!

Apr 21, 2011

"He Is Love"

DAY #111 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him." 1 John 4:16 HCSB


God is indeed love -- He has loved us so much, and we don't even deserve that which He has given. We all know or at least have heard, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." John 3:16-17 NKJV Because of God's love for us, He sent His one and only Son Jesus, so that through His death, we may live. All because he is a compassionate and merciful God. "But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus." Ephesians 2:4-7

God's love is not like our worldly love -- it is unconditional. No matter who we are, what we've done, how we treat Him... He still loves us beyond all measure! No one knows or can measure how deep, how wide, how great the love the Father has for us. Check out this song, AMAZED. Each day, each moment, we should not take the love of God for granted, we should stand, bow, kneel, work, play, pray, dance, worship, praise, go through trials, AMAZED. Never let it get boring, or just another tradition or thing to you. God's love is amazing, and He is amazing! Let him amaze you today!

'AMAZED' sung by Lincoln Brewster


Why does He & How does He love us so much? He is love -- that's all that He is made up of, so that is what overflows to us. We should be so full of the love of God that we overflow to the world too. Check out HOW HE LOVES US, because even He is jealous for you... and it's a sweet, sweet love. Let him embrace you today!

'HOW HE LOVES US' sung by Kim Walker & JesusCulture


After all is said and done, one thing remains, the love of God. It is never-failing, never giving up, never-ending, it never runs out, it goes on and on and on and on and on... much longer than even the Energizer bunny. :)  Check out ONE THING REMAINS, and remind yourself that His love never fails! Let Him love you, and love Him back today!

'ONE THING REMAINS' sung by Chris Quilala & JesusCulture


"We cannot protect ourselves from trouble, but we can dance through the puddles of life with a rainbow smile, twirling the only umbrella we need -- the umbrella of God's love." ~Barbara Johnson

Now once you have experienced the love of God, pass it on to a friend! Continue the love circle, and it will always come back to you!

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!

Apr 20, 2011

"His Comforting Hand"

Day #110 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "When I am filled with cares, Your comfort brings me joy." Psalm 94:19 HCSB

Well today is a day of NEW BEGINNINGS, and I am excited, yet anxious about entering into the joys & challenges of the day. But knowing that God is on my side, and His comforting hand is upon my life I can take on any challenges the world has to offer. For I do remember that "...we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[c] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places" and "therefore [I will] take up the whole armor of God, that [I] may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." (Ephesians 6:12-13 NKJV)


Looking at the whole chapter of Psalm 94, and not just the 19th verse, God is reminding us that He is there. He sees what the evil of the world are doing, those who are led astray by the wiles of the enemy. They brag and boast because it seems as they are not receiving the punishment so deserved, but God sees & hears the truth. Even in cases where we are tested or challenged, and in times of discipline or correction, trouble or misruled. He is there to comfort us amidst our storm, 'providing a circle of quiet within the clamor of evil' for us. He will see that justice is brought forth, He protects His innocent & precious people. 'Can Troublemaker pretend to be on [His] side'?? The truth will be made known, and the truth will set us free! “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31b & 32) Jesus is the TRUTH, and He shall be made known to the world through the gospel and our lives as an example.

Here's Psalm 94 (below)... read and remember that the Lord is on your side if you are a true believer and 'real' follower of Christ. Be blessed & thank Him today as you walk through the clamor of evil, and remember that He will place you in a circle of quiet, as He gives peace that passes all understanding. "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)




"Psalm 94 - God, put an end to evil; avenging God, show your colors! Judge of the earth, take your stand; throw the book at the arrogant. God, the wicked get away with murder— how long will you let this go on? They brag and boast and crow about their crimes! They walk all over your people, God, exploit and abuse your precious people. They take out anyone who gets in their way; if they can't use them, they kill them. They think, 'God isn't looking, Jacob's God is out to lunch.' Well, think again, you idiots, fools—how long before you get smart? Do you think Ear-Maker doesn't hear, Eye-Shaper doesn't see? Do you think the trainer of nations doesn't correct, the teacher of Adam doesn't know? God knows, all right— knows your stupidity, sees your shallowness. How blessed the man you train, God, the woman you instruct in your Word, Providing a circle of quiet within the clamor of evil, while a jail is being built for the wicked. God will never walk away from his people, never desert his precious people.
Rest assured that justice is on its way and every good heart put right. Who stood up for me against the wicked? Who took my side against evil workers? If God hadn't been there for me, I never would have made it. The minute I said, "I'm slipping, I'm falling,"

your love, God, took hold and held me fast. When I was upset and beside myself,

you calmed me down and cheered me up.  Can Misrule have anything in common with you? Can Troublemaker pretend to be on your side? They ganged up on good people,

plotted behind the backs of the innocent. But God became my hideout, God was my high mountain retreat, Then boomeranged their evil back on them: for their evil ways he wiped them out, our God cleaned them out for good. "
The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things." Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!






Apr 19, 2011

"Freely Give"

Day #109 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving -- large or small -- it will be used to measure what is given back to you." Luke 6:38 NLT

Matthew 10:8 also says, '...Give as freely as you have received!'(NLT) or 'You have been treated generously, so live generously' (Message) --and as Christians or followers of Christ we need to exhibit the art of stewardship and giving. (Not just in finances either!)

When you say 'giving' to anyone... the first thing they think of has to do with money, or finances. But God is also calling us to be good stewards of our giftings & talents, and of our time -- not just with our finances. But obviously our giving financially is giving us great blessings in return as well. We are to be 'cheerful' givers, not just giving because we have to, or because we are told to -- we should be seeking to give from the depths of our heart. Giving should be a natural response when we hear about situations or circumstances that others are going through. We may not all have the $100 bills in our pockets to donate, but even $5 is $5 more than the person had. (Even a loonie or a toonie given in faith can and will be blessed in return.)

We may not all be prophets, evangelists, missionaries, teachers and/or preachers, but each of us has the ability inside to do parts of all those ministries. Only a small percentage of people in the church body as a unit (your own church), or even the universal church body as a whole (world) are actually moving and flowing in their giftings. Some things can be taught, but other things must be caught. We need to be living by example, sharing the gospel and our testimony of how God has moved in our lives through the simple act of giving. If there is an 'easy' way to receive something, people want to take hold. (If you are Canadian) Think of 'Roll up the Rim to Win' promotions at Tim Horton's -- obviously Tim Horton's is using it so that more people will buy their 'hot drinks' than usual, as they have a chance of winning great prizes. They are spending close to $2 for one drink (which will soon be gone -perishable), to TRY TO WIN a grand prize. Most of the cups say 'Please play again' (which of course is a temptation to continue to buy more.) Some 'few' have actually won some of the prizes ranging from a donut or a coffee, to Tim Horton's Gift Cards, all the way to bigger prizes like BBQ's, TV's or even cars (which are still in a sense perishable). Now most people (even Christians who go to Timmy's after service or even on the way to service) get excited for Spring, and the 'Roll Up the Rim' contest == but why can't we be as excited for the 'grand prizes' from God?? A small cost (actually it is small in comparison to the benefits) of using our time, talents or finances can reward us with great non-perishable benefits from the KING OF KINGS and the LORD OF LORDS. He calls us to 'please play again', but sometimes we allow ourselves to settle into frustration or a rut of unanswered prayers, or unseen blessings and we think 'what's the point?'... But unfortunately our physical body can keep going out for another 'cup' time and time again with even just a hint of a chance to win a perishable prize at Timmy's. God wants to bless us... He wants to give to us time and time again, but we just don't receive the blessings for showing up -- we actually need to sacrifice something, or it needs to cost us something, so that we may receive the FULL benefits of the Father.

*Please don't think I am putting down Tim Horton's in any way, it was just a prime example of the thoughts & frivolous contests of the world today. I like Tim Horton's and participated in the Roll Up the Rim contest - not for the sole purpose of trying to win, but because that's where we went for coffee (or tea for me, as I don't like coffee), or parents gifted us with coffee/hot chocolate at work. I'm told that McDonald's coffee is much better anyway, and there you can get a coffee & a muffin for $1.39 (plus tax) -- way better deal!!*

So step out today, and start 'giving freely', so that you can 'receive freely' as well... but the point of us receiving, is so that we may freely give & receive again and again!

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!

Apr 18, 2011

"God Protects"

Day #108 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day." 2 Timothy 1:12 NIV

...to be continued!

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!

"Meeting the Obligations"

Day #107 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "In all the work you are doing, work the best you can. Work as if you were doing it for the Lord, not for people." Colossians 3:23 NCV

...to be continued!

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!

Apr 17, 2011

"Making the Right Choices"

DAY #106 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
VERSE: "The Lord says, 'I will make you wise and show you where to go. I will guide you and watch over you'." Psalm 32:8 NCV

...to be continued!

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!

Apr 15, 2011

"A Clear Conscience"

Day #105 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "I will maintain my righteousness and never let go of it; my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live." Job 27:6 NIV
Whenever I hear the word 'conscience', my first thought is of the movie Pinocchio, where lil' Jiminy Cricket is Pinocchio's conscience. When Pinocchio chose to do wrong, Jiminy was upset, but had to let Pinocchio undergo the consequences because of his choice. Jiminy Cricket was there for Pinocchio, yet the temptations of the characters Lampwick and Honest John led him to follow evil desires, which led him to captivity with Stromboli, and life as a 'donkey boy' at Pleasure Island, instead of freedom and great living with his creator Geppetto.

WOW! It isn't until you think about things, and allow 'revelation from the Spirit' to become part of your thinking. Obviously your first thought is Pinocchio is like Jonah, who gets swallowed by a fish and lives to tell about it... but really it pertains to every person today. Pinocchio of course is the easiest to compare with, as he is just like us. Every man, woman, boy and girl has been created, and has choices to make. Geppetto of course is like God, he is the creator and loves his little Pinocchio no matter what. Jiminy Cricket & the Blue Fairy are a bit of the Holy Spirit, and the Son. Holy Spirit has been given to us to keep us making the correct choices in life, when we follow the will of the Father, we are making correct choices -- however when we make wrong choices and follow evil desires, we then have a guilty conscience, as Jiminy felt guilty for leaving him in his time of need. (Holy Spirit never leaves us -- same as Jiminy tried to search everywhere for him, and stuck beside him in the end) Stromboli is similar in sorts to the devil, and of course 'Pleasure Island' is like hell. Lampy and Honest John and the sort are just evil temptations that come our way from the devil himself. We will be held captive in our sin, and eventually fall into life in 'Pleasure Island' -- what seems pleasureable to the world, yet is a place of gnashing teeth and no pleasure at all.


Super cool thoughts eh? Obviously I do believe that Disney put alliterations into his movies, and one can pull different spiritual ideas into even things that are not so nice. Disney movies are a great 'fight' for the Christian and Non-Christian alike. People are always heard complaining about the 'evil' and the 'darkness', etc in the movies -- but its the truth of what is in the world, shown in a way to get even a young child to understand. Watching the movie Pinocchio for example, would make a young child today say, 'Well duh don't talk to strangers!', but our teens  & adults today are led by evil desires that drag them away and entice them, and they laugh at movies like Pinocchio, 'well that wouldn't happen in real life'... but in fact it is!


There's a Scripture in the Bible that says, "When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death." (James 1:13-15) 


When your conscience/righteousness/integrity is questioned because of choices you have made, you need to try to make it right. We need to try to maintain our conscience/righteousness/integrity throughout whatever circumstances may befall us. Even when in cases where we are 'disciplined' for our actions, thoughts or words, we need to maintain our thoughts, words and actions and do not continue to choose 'wrong' thoughts, words or deeds. We need to walk in forgiveness and repentance, not bitterness. In everything we do, we need to choose to be 'better', not 'bitter'. (A saying that has come and gone and come around again in the Christian sphere, so I don't know who to give credit to, except I know it was 'Holy Spirit inspired' -- how come we don't write that, why do we always have to give credit to 'man'? ~~ another thought, another devotional.)

To keep a clear conscience we need to study the Word of God, and keep right relationship with the Creator, our Father in Heaven. Pinocchio had a great relationship with his father, but because of the relationships he had with Lampwick, Honest John, and Stromboli the feelings of guilt and unworthiness come up -- his integrity and character is now in question. He thinks his father won't love him anymore -- he lies to make himself feel better, and that makes his nose grow, and others can see that one lie leads to another, which leads further into sin. But one touch of the truth changes the circumstances, which leads him back into his father's loving arms, and then the Blue Fairy comes to make him a 'real boy'. When we allow God to love us for who we are and not what we've done, we become 'real' with God -- He clothes us in His robes of salvation and righteousness, and we again can have a truly unique relationship with the Father. Which brings us into another parable from the Bible - the Prodigal Son. No matter what the one son chose to do, or what kind of trouble he was in, he returned to the father, and the father ran to him with open arms accepting him back into the relationship that was once (and always will be) his. In the case of Pinocchio, I guess 'Figaro' could be seen as the other brother. LOL!

So no matter what we've done, or what we are tempted by - sin is sin and we have to figure out what our own temptations are, or where our own 'boiling points' are, what 'buttons' can be pushed to make us choose the wrong choices our of frustration. "Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or removes your relish for spiritual things -- that is sin to you." ~ Susanna Wesley


So allow God to cleanse and restore you, if you are on the road to 'Pleasure Island', or in the captivity of 'Stromboli'... and even if you are just walking with 'Lampy' or 'Honest John'... or tempted to walk with them -- Let God and His Holy Spirit lead, guide, direct and comfort you. Sometimes we feel discouraged in times of discipline or correction, but in the end we know it is done out of love, and that God our Father has BIG plans for us, and He can't wait until we choose His way and walk those out!


"God desires that we become spiritually healthy enough through faith to have a conscience that rightly interprets the work of the Holy Spirit." ~ Beth Moore

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!

"Integrity: It's Always the Right Way"

Day #104 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "People with integrity have firm footing, but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall." Proverbs 10:9 NLT

People with integrity have firm footing, yet others who walk on crooked paths, may slip and fall... God will lead, guide and direct us through the power of His Holy Spirit. God always promises in His Word, and to us as Christians that He will protect and not allow us to slip or fall even on a stone... but when we choose to sin, God cannot live in the face of sin, so his hands are basically tied until we make the repentance call, and acknowledge His Name once again. He does give us a choice -- although He would like us to walk in His paths. His paths are straight and narrow, and because He is there with us, He will not allow us to slip, and we can rest in the shadow of His wings.

To maintain our integrity, we need to walk in uprightness of character. But sometimes our integrity is questioned, because of our thoughts, words or actions. Sometimes we may choose to think, say or do thingsout of character & in question because we are frustrated or already not in the right state of mind. But sometimes it may seem like we are doing something, which we really aren't, but can be 'perceived' by others as not right. The perceptions of men... they can lead to disappointment and feelings of guilt, especially if because of them, we need be disciplined for our so-called thoughts, words or actions. Because then it seems as if your 'accusers' are praised for their views, and your 'discipliners' also have a new perception of you. In watching 'America's Next Top Model' the last couple weeks (not sure if it was just last week's, because we watch it 'on demand') one of the 'models/contestants' chose to speak some words out of frustration, because in her eyes this other person was not 'worthy' of being a spokesperson (because of her 'stinky' attitude). Her words, which were then used against her, because she said them in the presence of the photographer (who is a judge) and also the client (whom they were taking the pictures for) changed the view of her judges and the client, and even the other photographer sitting in as a guest judge. Her character and integrity was just lessened in the eyes of those around her. She was now being judged... and her 'stinky' words and actions made her just as bad as the one with the 'stinky' attitude. But the one with the 'stinky' attitude was in fact praised for her handling of the situation.

Now you may be saying, well that's a silly reality show, and a little drama makes the show more popular, it doesn't happen in real life. Well welcome to the real world... that happens to all of us. Perceptions and views of others can be used against you, even if you are a Christian trying to live by honesty, integrity and discipline. Now agreeably, we do slip up sometimes... but there are times when what we say or do are perceived wrongly, and we must be corrected or disciplined for it. However, in reality the perception of men are nothing in comparison to the perception of God. God knows our thoughts, words, actions, and the motives behind them. Thankfully He sees and knows everything, and because He is everywhere can also touch the hearts, minds and spirits of those around us too. (God knows your accusers heart, spirit, mind, and motives too, and will take complete control of the situation.) We need to walk out the discipline/correction with integrity, and we need to show the love of God to those who have accused us in forgiveness. We need to rise above the 'accusations' and show that we have the integrity and a clear conscience to move on. As Christians we truly need to be 'set apart', and through Him we will overcome, and our integrity and character can be raised back up to the standard in the eyes of God and man.

In the case of 'America's Next Top Model', the one model doesn't realize her bad attitude affects the others (which is the funny part, but we do know its in there for the 'drama' of it all) -- the others have stepped up to talk to her, and she attacks them with words like, well why did you ask how I'm feeling if you don't really like me, if you don't care. (Paraphrased of course) -- well it is because of their 'character' and integrity. Each of us have a heart, and we still can and will care about others, even when they are 'stinky' in their thoughts, words, attitudes, or actions. However, the one model, now has to 'rise above' and show the judges her true character and try to 'get back in Tyra's good books'. She mentioned in the show that she was frustrated because the 'stinky' model was making her feel this way. Sometimes others will make us want to make wrong choices, but we need to release those all at Jesus' feet, and He will help us and make us new. (Obviously as a Christian I would want ALL those Top Model contestants, judges, photographers & clients to reach out to God in times of need -- as Hollywood glamour is not what it's all about.)

So step out and live a life of integrity... it's not always the easiest, but it's the best choice! Perceptions of others will always be there, and attacks from the devil will always be there, but with the help of the Lord we will have the victory! Remember, "Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse." Romans 12:14 NIV

When you 'dwell in the shelter of the Most High' He will send his angels concerning you so that you will not even trip on a stone. READ PSALM 91, and start CLAIMING IT over YOUR life today...

"Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.' Surely He will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you say, 'The LORD is my refuge,' and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. 'Because he loves me,' says the LORD, 'I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation'." AMEN & AMEN! Thank You Lord!!
"God never called us to naivete. He called us to integrity... The Biblical concept of integrity emphasizes mature innocence not childlike ignorance." ~ Beth Moore

Step out and say, "I will have the moral courage to make my actions consistent with my knowledge of right and wrong." (Taken from a picture on the world wide web.)

Check out this continuing devotional, "A Clear Conscience"... and let God help you live a life of integrity!

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!

Apr 13, 2011

"A Book Unlike Any Other"

DAY #103 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "Your Word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path." Psalm 119:105 HCSB

Out of all the books in the libraries around the world, and even just my own home library, or even just the books that I have read, there is no other book like the Bible. Each time you read it, God can and will give you new revelation into the words. It is alive and the living word of God. Every other story book in the library is the same. There may be some parts that you never caught in reading it the first time, but the words will always remain with the same meaning. The same beginning and end. The Bible's words have the same beginning and same ending... yet the words in between can take on a whole new meaning each time you read them. Sometimes the Words of the Lord are just what we need, and someone else can read the same scripture, and receive a different revelation of the word of God, through the power of Holy Spirit. God's Word is truly a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. In His word is the answer to every problem, circumstance, trial or discouragement, etc... that we may face. We just have to 'look for it'. Problem is for most of us, we don't want to 'do the work', we want God to just give the answer, or tell us ASAP.

His Word is our 'Sword of the Spirit' in battling the enemy and his lil' demonic powers. We must have the Word hidden in our hearts as well as having it in our hands. (Psalm 119:11 -"I have hidden Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.) God's Word however can be used in 'good' and in 'bad' times in our journey of faith. There are words of affirmation, yet also of love & discipline. There are words of encouragement reminding us that God will never leave us or forsake us, or that God gives. Yet there are also those words reminding us that He also takes away. There is a time for everything. (See Ecclesiastes)

His Word gives us direction and instruction in the path we are to take. If we TRUST in Him, He will lead, guide and direct us, and we will grow and learn according to His Word. He doesn't light our WHOLE path, He shows us where to go one step at a time. We need to step forward in faith.

As we were reminded tonight, the 'red' words are the MOST important as they are the words of Christ. We need to have a 'red-letter day'... check out the song by Newsong.


So get into the word, and let it get into you!"The balance of affirmation and discipline, freedom & restraint, encouragement and warning is different for each child and season and generation, yet the absolutes of God's Word are necessary and trustworthy no matter how mercuric the time." ~ Gloria Gaither

Deep Cries Out... Bethel Worship!



"DEEP CRIES OUT" -- A GREAT song that I am playing over and over again... Thank GOD for what you desire... stop asking and pleading! Thank you Lord for Your open heavens, where we will never be denied (the things we need according to Your will)!!

ENJOY!

C'mon & JUMP in the RIVER with me!
"If it goes to the left, then we'll go to the left. If it goes to the right, then we'll go to the right. We're gonna jump, jump... dance, dance... shout, shout in the river!!"

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!

"The Tapestry of Life"

Day #102 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "Let not your hearts be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also." John 14:1-3 NKJV

Here is a picture I found online (click here to read more about the site) and it shows a beautiful tapestry with many colours of wool, and formed together in many little pieces, make a beautiful final product. Just like our lives, each piece is important, and makes us who we are. God is the weaver, same as he is the potter.

Here is a picture of the 'backside' of the same tapestry. From that angle, it looks like a bunch of strings, not forming anything. A story that has be told over and over in different settings, using our lives as a tapestry. From this angle, it looks like a big mess, but God takes the messes in our lives and makes a message to share with the world about His Son and the gospel.






Life is a woven tapestry, full of the beautiful and the not-so-beautiful... the good and the bad, the encouraging days and the discouraging days. But knowing that we are in the hands of the great Creator helps us face those not-so-beautiful days, and we are reminded that in the end, we will have the victory, and we will be a beautiful bride wearing the robes of righteousness with our Brother Jesus!

Sometimes during the 'good days' we tend to overlook the many blessings that God has given to us, and we start to take God for granted. But during the 'bad days', we find out what we are truly made of. Eleanor Roosevelt (& later Nancy Reagan) made a statement, "A woman is like a teabag. You never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water" & a quote by an unknown, "You don't know how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have."

As I write and share my viewpoint (& more Holy Spirit inspired words) on the devotionals found in the book I am reading, 'A Woman of Faith Devotional' I pray that the words spoken/written are touching the hearts of those who read them. However, I do realize that my life is actually going in ways which Holy Spirit knows I need these words as well. This devotional for example was just for me, today (actually yesterday when I am writing this, as I didn't get to write yesterday). I thank God for the 'times of testing', for each 'test' turns into a 'testimony' and He turns our 'mess' into a 'message'. (Thanks Brother Miller for those two statements). Same as the tapestry above, the backside is a 'mess', but the front side is a beautiful tapestry with a 'message'. We need to share the 'message' of God's love with the world.

In reading "Little Keys Open Big Doors" by Rachel Hickson (©2007 by Rachel Hickson, Published by Chosen Books, Grand Rapids MI) she writes, "In the famous Bayeaux tapestry, there is a section entitled 'King Harold comforted his troops.' When you look more closely at the picture in this section, you see King Harold on his horse with a strong lance in his hand, and he is driving this lance into the backside of one of his soldiers! Over this picture hangs the phrase, 'King Harold comforts his men'. This is more like the picture of biblical comfort! We need to take courage from the Word of God and use it to inspire one another to press in and keep walking through difficult times."

Funny thing is most of us haven't reached the 'darkest days', or difficult trials & tragedies where our faith will be truly tested... but when those days come, we know that God will prove faithful and give us the strength we need, if we trust in Him. We can rest assured in His peace, that passes all understanding!

...so get out there and let God weave your masterpiece, turning your 'mess' into a 'message'!

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!

"The Abundant Life"

Day #101 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "A thief comes to steal, and kill and destroy, but I came to give life -- life in all it's fullness." John 10:10 NCV

"It would be wrong to have a 'poverty complex', for to think ourselves paupers is to deny either the King's riches or to deny our being His children." ~ Catherine Marshall

...to be continued!

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!

"When We Lose Hope"

DAY #100 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional **WEHOO!**
Verse: "Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord." Psalm 31:24 NKJV

"Are you a Christian? If you are, how can you be hopeless? Are you depressed by the greatness of your problems that you have given up all hope? Instead of giving up, would you patiently endure? Would you focus on Christ until you are so preoccupied with Him alone that you fall prostrate before Him?" ~ Anne Graham Lotz

...to be continued!

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!

"Peace & His Word"

DAY #99 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "Great peace have they which love thy law." Psalm 119:165 KJV

"God has revealed to us a new reality that the world does not understand: In His eternal kingdom, what matters is being like our Father. That is the way to success and peace." ~ Mary Morrison Suggs

...to be continued!

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!

"The Treasure Hunt"

DAY #98 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "For where you treasure is, there will your heart be also." Luke 12:34 KJV

"I have a divided heart, trying to love God and the world at the same time. God says, 'You can't love me as you should if you love this world too'." ~ Mary Morrison Suggs

...to be continued!

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!

Apr 10, 2011

"Bearing Witness to the Truth"

Day #97 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "But the natural man does not welcome what comes from God's Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to know it since it is evaluated spiritually. The spiritual person, however can evaluate everything, yet he himself cannot be evaluated by anyone." 1 Corinthians 2:14-15 HCSB



"When you don't witness, you just did." ~ Anonymous

...to be continued!

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!

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