Friday, November 30, 2012

Put away double minded thinking

I had someone this week ask me if I thought it was wrong for them to think about themselves. In this particular situation, they were talking about making a decision that would make them feel good while at the same time, hurting someone else.

It is difficult for me to tell anyone else what they should do in their own circumstances. What I would do and what they would do may be two different things. But I can always steer them to what God's Word says and His Word says that the double minded will be unstable in all of their ways. (James 1:8)

How can a person say that they love God and want to mold their thoughts, their actions, their life after Him but at the same time think only of themselves and not others?

I admit, sometimes it is hard to not think of ourselves. The world tells us to watch our back, go after all we can get because no one takes care of you like you. But if I am a follower of Christ, I know that that is not true. God has our back and when everything (and everyone) has failed us, He does not. He said that He would NEVER leave us nor forsake us. And He doesn't.

So if He loves us so unconditionally, why is it difficult for us to place others first? After all, Jesus, hanging on the cross, was not thinking of Himself.  If He was, He would have done what most of us would have done, spit on His accusers face and not cared one bit about the thieves also hanging there. But no, instead, He had one thing on His mind...US!

When we place more value on ourselves than others, we are indeed double minded. For no man can serve two masters...

Matthew 6:24 " No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."

Whom are you serving today?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

THANKFUL THURSDAY...conditioned to be grateful

It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving has come and gone. The family has all returned home. The leftovers have all been eaten. The fall decorations have been put up and the Christmas holly has been drug out. It is almost time to close out this month of giving thanks.

A message has been ringing over and over as I have visited some of your Thanksgiving posts, that giving thanks is a matter of the heart. Not only is it a matter of the heart, giving thanks is a command given to us by God.

“As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.” - Colossians 2:6-7

In addition to being a command, being thankful is a spiritual gift. It grows within us like faith and charity. Being grateful for the goodness of God is portable, it can go with us thru everything, if our heart is conditioned for it.

When I think of having a conditioned heart for thanks, I think of Jesus. I think of His wonderful expressions of thanks He so eagerly offered up to his Heavenly Father. I can only imagine the great anticipation that Jesus must have had as He prepared to raise a dear friend from the dead. As the disciples took away the stone where Lazarus had laid dead for four days, He did not move forward until He expressed His gratefulness. The scripture says that He "lifted up His eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard Me." (John 11:41) He then declared those powerful words, "Lazarus, come forth," and Lazarus arose from the dead.

As we condition our heart and accept the spiritual gift of gratitude, we will see and feel His goodness all around us. It won't be a day once a year designated for it, it won't even be a month of giving thanks, instead it will become a that will be rooted deep in our spirit and overflowing with every word we speak.

I am thankful for each of you who have joined in with us this month for THANKFUL THURSDAY. Iris is hosting TT next week for the month of December. I pray we will continue with our grateful hearts as we become conditioned to give thanks in EVERYTHING! Blessings to you and yours.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Check your blind spot

Driving home from our Thanksgiving holiday, we had a 6 hour drive ahead of us. While driving on the highway, a lady in the lane next to me decided to make a lane change. The only problem is she was so busy doing other things in her car that she did not check her blind spot and she ended up running me off of the road. (thankfully God protected us and we were unharmed).

When driving, it is always a good idea to check our blind spots to avoid a collision. On the journey of faith, we also have spiritual blind spots to check.

Many times we get heavily involved in church work and spending time in fellowship with fellow believers that we think our spiritual level is safe. But our busy lives often times distract us from hearing the small still voice of God. Sometimes we get so blinded by the issues of life that we do not take time to listen to God. Just like drivers who get distracted by multi-tasking at the wheel, we can also get side tracked by our long agenda that we neglect the basic checkpoints of our faith.

A quick glance before changing lanes is not safe. We need to be aware of what may be a hindrance to our spiritual growth. We must look to God for His direction and His protection as we drive along on this road of faith that we are on.

1 Corinthians 10:12 "Therefore, let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall."

Have you checked your spiritual blind spot today?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

THANKFUL THURSDAY...A unified Thanksgiving

"Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples. Sing to Him, Sing praises to Him; speak of all His wonders." -1 Chronicles 16:8,9

It is commonly believed that the first Thanksgiving celebration took place in 1621. This feast was attended by both Pilgrims and Indians who joined together to thank God for their bountiful harvest of the previous year.

What I love about the first Thanksgiving feast is how both the Pilgrims and Indians put aside their differences and sat together, unified, recognizing where their plenty came from.

Of course, that was just the beginning. It wasn't until 1863 when Abraham Lincoln declared the first Thanksgiving holiday to be official. The last Thursday in November, a day that was set aside for Americans to give thanks to God for the blessings He has bestowed upon America.

And since then, Presidents and leaders have continued in the quest to adopt what the Pilgrims and Indians tried to set before us. Be unified and thankful on at least this one day of the year.

“Now, therefore, I, George Bush, president of the United States of America, do hereby call upon the American people to observe Thursday, November 22, 1990, as a National Day of Thanksgiving and to gather together in homes and places of worship on that day of thanks to affirm by their prayers and their gratitude the many blessings God has bestowed upon us.” - George Bush Thanksgiving Day proclamation of 1990

There is no doubt in my mind that historically, Thanksgiving is a day set aside to give thanks to God for His blessings. I don't know if the younger generation is being reminded of the history behind this great holiday, but as I gather around the table with my family this Thanksgiving, I want to remember not only the blessings of God this past year, but His blessings that have come down generation after generation.

Today is THANKFUL THURSDAY and today of all days, I am truly thankful to God for His blessings. I hope you enjoy this day with your family and that His blessings will not go unrecognized ...not only today, but from generation to generation, until He comes again.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

LACED WITH GRACE...prep work for Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving Eve which means only one thing...Prep day! Today you can find me over at LACED WITH GRACE, where I have shared a devo with the readers entitled, "Prep work for Thanksgiving."

Turkey, dressing and pumpkin pie isn't the only thing we need to get prepped...CLICK THE LINK to read this post!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A PIECE OF MY HEART...I can do ALL things!

From time to time I am overcome with the feeling that I have nothing to give. Nothing to give to my family. Nothing to give to my friends. Nothing to give to my church. Nothing to give to my Lord. Even in times of feeling unworthy, God always seems to remind me of the gifts and talents that He has placed within me and with His help, I am able to do anything.

Moses didn't think he had anything to give. He felt unworthy as well sometimes. Moses said he was a man slow of speech. He felt that God could not use him. We must move past this thought pattern and realize that God can use anyone. We all have gifts and talents and God wants to use them for His glory. God is going to bring a mighty breakthrough to his people who are hungry for Him.

We CAN do the things we need to do for God no matter what they are. God is with us! God is for us!
Jacob tells us in Genesis 35:3 of God's faithfulness to us no matter what we have done wrong or where we go. We can trust God to be with us in times of troubles, blessings, or even during our day to day things.
"We are now going to Bethel, where I will build an altar to the God who answered my prayers when I was in distress. He has stayed with me wherever I have gone" (Gen. 35:3 NLT)
Let me encourage you today to stop saying "I can't" and begin saying "I CAN!" God will lead us and guide us to the places specifically designed for us to minister. The first step is trusting Him and believing!
"For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need ." (Philippians 4:13 NLT).

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Here we go again...another Thanksgiving season is upon us. The time of year that we gather with our loved ones around a table full of food and take a moment to reflect on God's goodness by giving thanks.

It is pretty easy to sit around the feast table and conjure up warm feelings of thanks, after all, isn't that what Thanksgiving is all about? Certainly it is not about turkey, dressing and pumpkin pie! But is giving thanks a once a year concept or is it a lifestyle?

Some people put on praise and thanks like they wear their snowman sweater...only once a year. But I like what 1 Thessalonians says about giving thanks...

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

We are to give thanks in EVERYTHING! Not some things. Not just the good things. But in everything! What about when your car breaks down? Yes, everything! What about when your child gets sick? Yes, everything! What about when you lose your job? Yes, everything.

God did not say that EVERYTHING would be good, but He did say to give thanks and when we have an attitude of praise, He will surely bring something good out of our situation.

What is resounding in your heart today...Is it good or is it bad or is it just something you are thankful for? May your rejoicing become a daily habit and not a yearly gathering.

Join us today for THANKFUL THURSDAY, link up below as we join our grateful hearts together and give God praise for EVERYTHING!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What have I done now?

We are all familiar with the courage and strength of David. But have you ever considered what it must have been like for his older brothers to be shown up by their little brother?

1 Samuel 17:26-29 Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, "What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?" And the people answered him in this manner, saying, "So shall it be done for the man who kills him." Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab's anger was aroused against David, and he said, "Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle." And David said, "What have I done now? Is there not a cause?"

Could it be that David's faith and courage in volunteering to fight Goliath was an embarrassment to his big brother Eliab,who was an officer in King Saul's army?

I can only imagine that his thinking went something like this...

If my little brother wins everybody will ask, 'How come you didn't go out and fight him?

The above mentioned passage shows us that Davids brother was burned with anger towards David and he asks, "why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is…”

What devastating words from an older brother. Before David could defeat Goliath, he first had to overcome the attitudes, accusations and words, of those close around him.

Whenever we make the decision to step out and follow God, it will surely put pressure on others to  come against you. You will be attacked, belittled and criticized. Just like David, this opposition will surely come from among those closest to you.

David's brother Eliab tried to hinder David, but David was empowered by God to slay Goliath. Nothing could stand in the way. When you feel such opposition, stand your ground, and ask the question that David asked...

"What have I done now? Isn't there a job to be done?"

Then go ahead and get 'er done!

The writing on the wall

Have you ever prayed for something, something really important to you, but the answer still has not come?

I have. In times like this, I wait and wait and wait, but nothing seems to change. At first, I am enthusiastic, thinking God will answer my prayer with a resounding YES! But then life just goes on as if I never had prayed about it. Nothing changes. I haven't even heard that still, small voice assuring me that everything is going to be ok and help is on the way. As time goes on, and no answer has been seen, my confidence fades and my faith wavers.

Perhaps you have experienced this as well. Perhaps you have prayed and prayed but didn't see the answer. Perhaps your faith wavered in the waiting period. Waiting is often a very difficult thing for us to do. But we must always remember that God promised to hear our prayer and we must not waver in our hope and faith...

Hebrews 10:25 "Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to keep His promise."

It may not come the way we expect it, or when we expect it, but God is always an on time God. Not only that, but He is a reasonable God...He has a reason for everything! Waiting is never to punish us, in fact, many times when God has us to wait on an answer it is to strengthen our faith and stretch our hope.

I have been praying about something for the past year and half. Every day I have prayed over a situation, over certain relationships and everyday it remained the same. Throughout this time frame, I just did not see the purpose of the pain I was enduring, but God did. While I wasn't looking, He was working things out. He was working on the situation. He was working on the relationships. He was working on me. And then just like the blink of an eye, my situation that I was praying about seemed to turn around, and seemingly overnight, I saw the answer I had been praying for.

But was it in a blink of an eye? Was it overnight that the answer came?

Perhaps God was working on it the entire time, but my eyes were so focused on my problem that I couldn't see Him working on the answer.

Whatever you may be waiting on, you can be assured that God knows best, He will not let you down and even as you read this, He is already working on your situation. You just haven't been able to see the writing on the wall yet.

Keep trusting. Keep watching. Keep praying. Your answer is on the way!

Friday, November 9, 2012


Have you ever messed up?

I have and I really did this month. Quite awhile ago, Iris and I planned a schedule change in hosting THANKFUL THURSDAY and apparently my age is showing through as I wrote it down wrong. Unfortunately, I not only messed up by MISSING doing TT on this most important give thanks month but I really let alot of you down.

I am truly sorry.

Please forgive me. And if you searched everywhere for TT this week, I know you didn't find it, but PLEASE come back next week and I will have my top ten list of what I am grateful for. Hope to see you then!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

No Trespassers Allowed!

Our backyard is enclosed with a big wooden fence. It provides more than just privacy for us, it also serves as protection. My husband has built an airtight gate, it remains locked and is impossible to open unless you are on the inside. And if for some reason, someone would get through that gate, our 3 dogs are waiting on the other side to further protect what they deem as their territory.

Spiritually speaking, Satan is always looking for ways to invade our territory and what we need more of is airtight gates that will protect us from the enemy. However, many times we are like my neighbor who keeps his gate wide open at all times...

Seems to me, this open gate is just an open invitation for trespassers to come on in. We can build a brick wall all around us, setting boundaries with people, but what good is it if we leave the gate wide open or allow just anyone to come thru. I see this happening all of the time. We set boundaries, but then allow things to escape thru. It could be little things like what we watch on TV, or listen to on the radio, or the conversations or jokes we listen to at work. The wider we open that gate, the bigger invitation we give to such things that corrupt our mind and spirit.

We must guard our mind, our thoughts, our actions and yes even our reactions! We live in a day that everything is permissible and there seemingly are no boundaries set. We not only need to set boundaries, but we must put into place fences and sturdy gates and be leary of what we allow in and what we allow out.

We must keep the gate closed, even put a guard at the gate if we have to and hang a sign that says: "No trespassers allowed!"
PROVERBS 4:23 "Above all else, guard your heart, it is the wellspring of life."

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A PIECE OF MY HEART...the vote is in

The vote is in and many Americans are shocked, disappointed and worried. All throughout my news feed on face book tonight I read comments such as "we are doomed", "Who wants to move to New Zealand with me?" "Heart is heavy!" "How dumb are we to vote him in again." Sadly enough, most of the comments I read were from the christian community.

As much as I believe that it is the Christians responsibility to get out and vote, I believe even more than that, that we have a responsibility to pray for our nation and our President and his team. It doesn't really matter if we voted for him or even if we like him, it is our responsibility to pray.

"Blessed is the nation Whose God is Lord, the people He chose for His inheritance. Blessed are the people whose God is Lord." -Psalm 33:12

Every time we sing "God bless America", we are singing a blessing on our country. How can we ask God to bless this nation in its present state of heart and soul?

How we do that is by praying that we can be a nation that is blessable by God. We can pray that God will do what only He can do...change the hearts of kings that they will follow after Him and obey His Word.

Like never before, we truly need God to bless the USA...but we have to place our trust and hope in Him, not a man, not a party but in God. We have to return to what this nation was founded on...IN GOD WE TRUST!

Instead of complaining, lets get to praying.

Monday, November 5, 2012

LACED WITH GRACE...taking missions to the uttermost

Today I have shared a devotion entitled "Taking missions to the uttermost" with the readers of LACED WITH GRACE. Please join me over there today...

Missions abroad is important. But the command is not to go just overseas. We are to be witnesses EVERYWHERE, even the uttermost part of the earth. I don’t know where “uttermost” is on the map, but I believe it probably starts wherever we may live.
 CLICK HERE to read this entire post! 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Is my vote enough?

With the upcoming Presidential election fast approaching, I have been mulling over the recent debates. Whom is the best candidate to receive my vote?

Is voting enough or does my christian responsibility go further than the voting booth?

Paul addresses this very question in 1 Timothy...

"Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of  God our Savior, Who desires all men to be saved to come to the knowledge of the Truth." (1 Timothy 2:1-4)

In short, Paul commands us to pray instead of griping about our nation and our political leaders. Praying even for those that we do not like. We shouldn't ever complain if we don't cast our vote and we shouldn't ever voice our opinion unless we have prayed first.

Before we can get alone in the voting booth, make sure we have gotten alone in our prayer closet first. Voting without prayer is like sunbathing without lotion...we will get burned every time.

Exercise your American! Demonstrate your christian responsibility...pray!

See ya at the polls!