Sunday, September 24, 2017

Daily Dose 9-24-17

Psalm 67:6-7 The land yields its harvest; God, our God, blesses us. May God bless us still, so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.

What is our motive for requesting blessings from the LORD? Most of us request blessings for our comfort or healing. This Psalmist paints a beautiful picture of a pure motive for blessings. Through his harvest, or financial blessings, he wants to impact the world for God. Carrying the message of God’s love and the redemption available to us through Christ should be our motivator and driving force for all that we do. When you put your requests before the LORD today, consider your motive. Will the request you are making impact the Kingdom?

Father, I love You so much and am so grateful or a relationship with You. I want others to know that same blessing. Touch my heart. Provide the blessings I need to follow Your will. My greatest blessings come when I am an effective tool in Your hands. Use me. I love You! Amen

Friday, September 22, 2017

Loss of Potential Life

Working on a community health project for the past couple of years, I’ve read lots of national studies and health statistics. One chart that strikes a chord is the Loss of Potential life. It’s a way to view a community’s health by studying the number of deaths prior to the average life expectancy. It tracks if preventable health issues are improving or declining to measure the effectiveness of community health programs. For my friends who eat, live and breathe these stats, I may have butchered the definition, but it’s how I understand it. Loss of Potential Life, it’s a phrase we need to think about daily.

Yesterday, an aneurysm sniffed away the potential life of Carmen Roberson Greiner. She was my potential friend. We had just been introduced over the past few months as part of our mutual dear friend Allison Campbell’s newly-formed Lunch With Friends group. Last month, I was blessed to sit next to Carmen and begin those conversations that take you a bit below the surface of acquaintance and  on the way to a friendship. That was sniffed out yesterday. For me, it is the loss of the unknown but for so many people I love in this community, her loss brings them a bit of their own Potential Life Lost. My heart breaks for her family and friends who have cherished memories and will miss her smile in their familiar places.

As I mourn with and for those who have lost the potential of sharing their lives with Carmen, I’m reminded of a phrase, “Life is too short...”. This is part of the reason Allison started our lunch group. “How often do we say, “Let’s do lunch, and never do?” Allison put it on the calendar, invited a few who invited a few. Our group is growing. We are enjoying our lives together even if it’s a brief bit of time each month – it’s on purpose. That is the way to battle Loss of Potential Life. Yes, healthy lifestyles play a role in how long we will live, but purposeful relationships determine how well we will live those years.

Ironically, Carmen missed our Lunch With Friends the day before her sudden death, why? She chose to volunteer at her daughter’s school...she prioritized. I missed her. I had looked forward to continuing our conversation from last month. My life went on after that fleeting thought. But how sweet the memory was for Grayson!

Let the loss of Carmen lead us to live life on purpose. Prioritize those most important while still being open and available for those potential friends. Live with joy by bringing joy to others. Remember, each conversation with someone you care about may be the last. We are not promised tomorrow. At the beginning of each day, plan for living that day to its fullest potential. It’s the only way to truly beat the death statistic we will all be a part of one day. Today, do not allow any of your potential life be lost, make it count!

Daily Dose 9-22-17

Isaiah 40:29-31 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. 
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Has life left you weak and weary? Do the struggles seem to overpower you? Remember the hope to which you have been called! You are not alone. Life may be tough, but this life is temporary. No struggle we have can compare to how Christ struggled on this earth. He lived each day knowing He would make the ultimate sacrifice for people who would ridicule and reject Him. He had no security such as a house, savings, or a steady income. Even His closest friends let Him down when He was most vulnerable. Whatever your struggle, lay it at the foot of the cross. Put it in perspective knowing God can relate to whatever has you feeling paralyzed with fear, overwhelmed with challenges or overcome by grief. We worship a God who promises the struggles of this life, although temporary, are not for us to endure alone. Turn to Him. He will give you the strength you need to carry on – and SOAR!

Precious Father, You know I am weak and weary! Remind me of the hope I have in You. Remind me that no struggle I have compares to what Your son endured, or what You endured allowing Him to go through it all. Thank You for being with me in my darkest days and cheering me on to brighter tomorrows. I love You! Amen

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Daily Dose 9-21-17

Galatians 6:7-10 (MSG) Don't be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he'll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God's Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life. So let's not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don't give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.

This analogy paints a beautiful picture of what our lives should look like when we follow Christ. If we think only of ourselves in this life, we will be overcome by our own self-centeredness. The I, Me and My mentality begins to choke away our joy and contentment in life. When we live generous lives, life still may not be perfect, but if we keep on keeping on, the sprouts will come. Do you keep sowing seeds of generosity and goodness into the lives of others and see little return? Don’t give up! Some seeds take longer to germinate. Do you still see weeds that require constant tending even though you plant good seeds? Stay in the Word and in prayer. Time with God is the best nutrient for the soil of the soul and the best chemical to fight the weeds in your life.

Father, I do grow weary at times. I often wonder if I am tending the wrong garden. Help me know where to plant to receive the greatest harvest for You. I love You! Amen

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Daily Dose 9-20-17

Galatians 5:22-26 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

How much fruit do you have in your spiritual basket each day? It’s a good practice to do a fruit check each night. Look at how well you produced the fruit of the Spirit throughout the day. Did you show love? Did you walk in joy? Did you bring peace? Were you patient with others? Did you show kindness? Did your life exhibit goodness? Were you faithful to God’s commands? Were you gentle instead of harsh or bitter? Did you practice self-control? Before you begin to feel defeated, remember that we don’t strive for perfection in life, it’s impossible. However, as Christ followers, we should be looking for progress on the journey. The most productive fruit trees endure some pruning. Take the time each day to check your Spiritual fruit tree. Snip away the sin that prevents your branches from blooming. Add nutrients to its soil by spending time in the Word and prayer. Grow a little each day toward the person Christ calls you to be. Your life will begin to produce fruit that will refresh and encourage others to taste what a relationship with Christ can bring!

Father, I confess to You my basket seems very light at the end of each day. Please help me to be a more fruitful tree in Your orchard. Increase Your Spirit in me to prick my heart throughout the day to exhibit the fruit You desire for me. May I begin to have an over-flowing basket each day! I love You! Amen

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Daily Dose 9-19-17

Isaiah 30:18 Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.

For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!

There are times when our impatience could thwart God’s greater blessing. He has compassion on us when we are hurt and struggling. There could be an instance where He is willing to forgo a greater plan for you just because you insist on a plan being implemented now. We live in a fast food, on demand, get-it-quick society. In His infinite wisdom, God sees the big picture. Allow Him to work His plan for your life in His time. Seek God’s BEST in all things. Ask where HE wants You to be and what He wants You to do. Lay your needs before Him, then praise, trust and wait!

Father, You know I am not the most patient of Your children. However, the longer I have walked with You, the more I’ve realized that Your timing is perfect. Please protect my heart while I wait for You. Keep me from insisting on my way when You have a greater plan. Calm my spirit to wait for Your timing. I love You! Amen

Monday, September 18, 2017

Daily Dose 9-18-17

Isaiah 29:13 The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth 
and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 
Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.”

Worship is not just singing songs of praise. Worship is a life living the glory of God to illicit praise of Him in our lives everyday. We have become so programmed to formal worship in church settings, that we tend to think that those periods of praise alone are our worship time. Be sincere as you walk before God each day. Worship Him, not only with lifted songs of praise, but also with a heart tuned to live a Godly life throughout your day. Your life should be a worship leader to those who are in your midst each day. Lead others to His throne to worship Him!

Father, My life is often a song of praise led in the wrong key. Tune my heart to sing Your song in my life everyday. I love You! Amen!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Daily Dose 9-10-17

Psalm 52:8b-9 I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever. For what you have done I will always praise you in the presence of your faithful people. 
And I will hope in your name, for your name is good.

Praising and recognizing the majesty of God is our key to hope. When times are tough and you don’t know what to do, praise. Don’t pray over and over asking the same things, God knows what you need. He knows the desires of your heart. Learn to put your specific requests and concerns before the LORD, not as a child begging, but as a child approaching the loving Father with arms lifted to be picked up and comforted in His embrace. When you don’t know what to do, remember who you know!

Abba, You know my struggles. You know my hurts. You know my needs better than I do. I turn it all over to You in complete trust. You have power and dominion over all things ~ You ARE in control. Because Your Son died for me, I have access to that power and I know because I am HIS, You take care of me and fight for me. I have hope and comfort in Your mighty power and unfailing love. Amen

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Daily Dose 9-9-17

Isaiah 3:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

God longs for us to live in wisdom and truth. A big part of that entails knowing Him and knowing His Word. God’s Word is like an instruction manual for life. It gives us definitive answers to guide our way. Dig deeper to seek wisdom and know truth! Satan will do whatever He can to tempt us into believing His snares will lead to our freedom. The only way to defend ourselves is to know what God says and use it, with the Holy Spirit, as a measuring stick to discern which path we should take. Don’t be deceived. Learn truth!

Father, Satan is able to make his traps seem so appealing. He even makes things look like they could be from You. Give me Your wisdom to know truth, and Your conviction to walk wisely with You! I love You! Amen

Friday, September 8, 2017

Daily Dose 9-8-17

Isaiah 1:16-18 Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. 
“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; 
though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

God is serious about sin! Yes, He loves us unconditionally. Yes, He is kind and gentle. Yes, He is full of mercy. However, He is just. He expects us to be obedient. He knows we are not perfect. Yet, He knows we can be better than we are and He wants to see us working toward that. Whatever sin you are playing around with, lay it down. Wash your hands of it, remembering Christ’s sacrifice. If you are sinning by being so absorbed by the schedules of life that you don’t have time to be the hands and feet of Jesus,  stop and look around. God always has a job for you in the lives of those less fortunate…get to work! Don’t wallow in what was, get up for what will be! God offers each new day as a clean slate…let Him write His message to the world through you!

Father, Thank You for forgiving my sin through Your Son’s sacrifice. Give me the strength and awareness I need today to stay away from sin, no matter how cleverly it’s disguised, and get to work on Your assignments! I love You! Amen

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Daily Dose 9-7-17

Psalm 51:17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.

If we truly want to be like David, the man after God’s own heart, we need to be truly repentant of our sins. It seems so many of us do the pat, “Forgive me for all my sins,” section in our prayers. We treat so casually the transgressions that brought calamity to the Son of God. When we pray for forgiveness, we must realize the cost of that opportunity. Christ endured the horror of the cross and separation from God so that we could have salvation through Him and an intimate relationship with His Father. The next time you ask for forgiveness, take your mind to the ridicule He tolerated, the beatings He endured, and the cross He was willing to bear. Remember! If you were the only one separated from God by sin, He still would have gone to the cross. Big sins, little sins – it doesn’t matter – sin is sin, and sin put Him on the cross. Acknowledge your sin. Let it break your heart enough to turn away from it. Watch in Your mind as His blood covers it and washes you pure and clean before our Father. Remember!

Father, I do not deserve to approach You. My sins, little and big, sent Your Son to the cross. There may not have been broken bones in His body that day, but His heart was broken over MY sin. I come to You with a broken heart over sins I have committed against You and that sacrifice. I remember what He did for me and I am overwhelmed. Thank You, Jesus! I love You!  Amen

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Daily Dose 9-6-17

2 Corinthians 8: 21 For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.

Sometimes, doing the right thing is painful. It may not seem fair. It may sting your pride, or break your heart. We know we need to do what is right to please God, but what about other people? There are times when we can stand on principle and say, “God doesn’t require this of me,” and that could be true. However, there could be things in life that you do for people, not because you are commanded to, but because you are loved to. Is there something in your life that God has left open for you? He’s not requiring you to take the other step. It’s not a “do or die” issue, just something that you could do because it could have an impact on how someone else sees you. If you didn’t do it, would they even notice? Take a chance today! Step out of the comfort zone a bit. Do something, not because law requires it, just because it’s the right thing to do!

Father, Show me steps You put in front of me to take. Help me to see options You may not require, but things I could do to bring an extra blessing for others, even if it’s hard for me. I love You! Amen

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Daily Dose 9-5-17

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.

With all the wisdom King Solomon had at his disposal, he sought out to find all the answers to life. After exploring every possible option to find happiness and contentment in life, he saw that only two things could bring us to a good life here and eternal rewards afterward – fearing God and obeying Him. We talk about the loving side of God, which is beyond measure. However, to acknowledge the just side of God, leads us to obedience. Eventually, obedience that comes from fear of judgment, leads to obedience that comes from the love of salvation. God never set laws to make us miserable or restrict our joy. The laws God set are intended to protect us from hazards and struggles in this life. Know that God is love, but also remember He is just. Fear Him and find obedience. Obey Him and find life. Live with Him and find love!

Father, Soften my heart to complete obedience. Show me Your path. I know in obedience to You is where I find the life You intend for me to lead. Show me Your way. I love You! Amen

Monday, September 4, 2017

Daily Dose 9-4-17

Ecclesiastes 7:13-14 Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked? When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: 
God has made the one as well as the other. 
Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.

By nature, we are people who want to have everything figured out. We want God to deliver the plan for our lives in a beautifully wrapped package with a bow. We want all the answers to who, what, when, where, and most importantly – why. Solomon’s advice in this scripture tells us to stop and live each day for the day it is. The Message translation interprets verse 14 as: “On a good day, enjoy yourself; on a bad day, examine your conscience. God arranges for both kinds of days so that we won't take anything for granted.” Enjoy your blessings. Endure your trials in faith. But, most importantly, seize each opportunity to love more, laugh often, learn lessons, and cherish the moments you have. Life is too short to live in turmoil and too precious to take for granted.

Father, You know me. You know I like to have the plan. I want the answers. There is so much I miss in life waiting to have it all figured out. Restore my joy. Strengthen my faith to know You are in control and, despite all my sin and shortcomings, You adore me and will not let me fall. I love You! Amen

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Daily Dose 9-3-17

2 Corinthians 7:1 Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

God has promised to dwell within us. He no longer chooses an ornate temple. His temple is among us, within us, through us. How should the knowledge that God lives in us change our behavior? What will we expose ourselves to, or limit from our sight because He is a part of us? Sadly, may of us continue in life as though we are just like someone who has no part in God’s daily routine. We don’t acknowledge He is there. We have become desensitized to sin before us that should make us shudder. Holy seems like an unwelcome description to us. What if, through marriage or a roommate situation, you ignored the other person’s presence? What if you never included them in the small parts of your day or huge milestones of your life? What if you forced them to listen to, watch, or be around people that were offensive to them? How long would that relationship last? How long would they live in peace with you? Chances are, not long. Why are we then so disrespectful with the Holy God of the Universe living with us? Act today as though God is in the flesh beside you. Enjoy life with Him!

Father, I am so thankful You are living with me! Help me clean my “house and yard” to make You more comfortable! I love You! Amen

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Daily Dose 9-2-17

Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.

Life is too short; begin to truly LIVE it! We tend to complain about the mundane routines of the day and whether or not our lives have great meaning or purpose. However, when we approach the minutia and monotony of life as if we are doing it for God and to His glory, our perspective changes. It is possible the ordinary things of our lives may be the things that last the longest. Stop waiting for your circumstances to change to bring happiness. Find happiness despite your circumstances and no matter what they are – your circumstances will change. Waiting and wishing for the “next thing” is the greatest thief of joy. Faith in God as provider, sustainer, and the One who guides your life will enable you to find meaning in the meaningless, joy in sorrow, patience through trials, contentment with less, companionship in loneliness, and true wealth in poverty. Life is not a mere existence; it is a gift intended to be opened each day and lived to the fullest!

Father, Teach me to live each day finding Your purpose in all I do. I love You! Amen

Friday, September 1, 2017

Daily Dose 9-1-17

2 Corinthians 5:17-20 (MSG) Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We're Christ's representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God's work of making things right between them. We're speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he's already a friend with you.

This Message translation makes this beautiful scripture hit home a bit more. We like to read about the new creation and how God made us new through Christ. However, reading this version, which changes the word reconcile to settle, takes a more practical ~ and not always easy ~ approach to what that “new creation” should look like. It’s all about relationships. Because of what Christ endured on the cross for us, He enabled us to have a relationship with God, but He also calls us to settle our relationships with one another. Settling doesn’t mean avoiding. Settling doesn’t mean pretending nothing happened. Settling requires love and sacrifice. Settling requires acknowledging, repentance and forgiveness. Are there people in your life you avoid, thinking you are keeping the peace? As a new creation you should go beyond avoidance to settling whatever caused relationship separations. It’s not always easy – but neither was dying on a cross!

Father, Make me new again. I remember what You and Your son did for me. Help me to know what I need to do for others! I love You! Amen

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Daily Dose 8-31-17

Job 38:8-11 Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’?

Job wanted to know why he was suffering. He had done all he could to be obedient and faithful. He remained resolute in his love for God, but wanted God to explain why he was enduring such loss. The message God sent to Job was not only for him. The story of his suffering and faithfulness would encourage, comfort and inspire us thousands of years later. God wanted Job ~ and us ~ to know that no matter how things may look at times, He IS in control. Why is not necessary for us at all times. God is God; we are not. If you are suffering, remember Job. Know that what you are enduring may have untold implications woven in its fabric. God wants us to move from “Why” to “How.” We don’t need to waste time questioning why God allows hardship. We need to move toward asking Him how we should respond in the midst of suffering. Ask for His direction to respond in such a way that makes His glory as visible through You as the waves knowing their boundaries during high tide.

Majestic Creator, You are more beautiful, powerful and sovereign than my mind can comprehend. If You tried to explain all the whys, I still would not be able to grasp the entirety of Your plan. Comfort me in my hard times and give me Your wisdom, strength, and courage to live in such a way that Your glory is revealed through me. I love You! Amen

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Daily Dose 8-30-17

2 Corinthians 4:7-9 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

The battles of life are tough. During challenging times, it is easy to feel as though God has deserted us. We wonder how a loving God could allow His children to suffer. However, it is often during the tough times God is probably closest to us. It is then that His power and might can show through us, rather than others assuming we handle things in our own strength. If you are burdened, take heart. God is hovering closely! He may be allowing this time in your life to grow you into something better, or to show His glory through you!

Father, There is so much I don’t understand in this life. Yet, no matter how perplexed I can be during tough times, nothing compares to my lack of fully understanding Your love for me. How could You allow Jesus, perfect as God and man, to suffer such a cruel death for me? No struggle I face will ever be that great. Prick my heart to keep my faith strong in trials. Use me however You choose. I love You! Amen

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Daily Dose 8-29-17

2 Corinthians 3:16-18 (MSG) Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We're free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.

The older translations of this scripture are beautiful, but something about The Message version makes it real and exciting. When Moses used to go to the mountain to visit God, he had to veil his face upon his return for two reasons: one, the people were blinded by the glory of God, and, two, they lost interest as they saw the glory from his face begin to fade. Because of the freedom Christ gives us, we can go to the mountain with God as often as we like. We don’t have to wait for an appointed time like Moses did. Our lives should be reflecting His glory on all those we deal with each day. It should become progressively brighter as we grow in Christ and deeper in our relationship with God. Strip your veil away! If there is anything that hinders you from getting that radiant glow from God’s glory, get rid of it! If your glow has begun to fade, recharge it! Fall before the LORD with a repentant heart and ask Him to show you His glory anew!

Father, Too often, I veil Your glory with my own thoughts, desires and sins. Help me to strip all that away so that others see You in me! I love You! Amen

Monday, August 28, 2017

Daily Dose 8-28-17

2 Corinthians 2:14-15 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.

So, what’s your scent? Are those whose hearts are being drawn to Christ attracted to you? Do they find in you something of what they seek in Christ? From the other perspective, are those who are offended by Christ or warrior against Him comfortable with you? As Christians, we should bring extreme reactions from the extreme people of faith. Too often, Christians may try to water down their Christ scent to those in the world in order to fit in and not face rejection. That attempt does two things: our aroma becomes as offensive to God as those who initially denied His son and put Him on the cross; and, we lose our influence to those among the world who may be trying to find Christ in us. How do we strengthen our Christ scent? Spending time with God in His Word and through Christ in prayer is like bathing in expensive perfume that leaves us with a presence that can’t be ignored!

Father, When I read about lives recorded in scripture, they were polarizing. People were either drawn to and encouraged by them because of their stance for You or Jesus, or they were hostile and offended. I am fearful I have become too accommodating at times. Prick my heart to take stand for You that emits the aroma of Christ. May I never water down that sweet scent of hope and salvation for others to follow! I love You! Amen

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Daily Dose 8-27-17

2 Corinthians 2:9-11 Another reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

Forgiveness is an act of obedience, plain and simple. It is not something we do for the one we are forgiving. It’s not even something we do for us. It is something we do because the sacrifice of Christ requires it. Anytime we obey, there are blessings to follow. This scripture points out a hazard of not forgiving that is not often discussed. Satan uses unforgiveness – especially among Christians – as an open door to havoc. He convinces us that we are justified in our withholding of forgiveness. It is that point where we welcome in his plan to our lives. Satan is strategic, calculating and patient. He does not always expect immediate results with his snares. Often, we don’t realize he has caught us until years, or even decades later. Forgiveness is not always easy. However, each time we struggle to forgive, we must visualize Christ on the cross begging forgiveness for his accusers – and us who would follow. No matter how grievously someone has wronged us, it cannot compare to how Christ suffered – unjustified, so that we may stand before God, justified and pure. Beware of satan’s trap of unforgivness – don’t allow him victory to surpass the victory Christ offers to you!

Father, Thank You for helping me to overcome unforgivness. It is a continual process and I pray You will make it easier for me each time I am required to forgive. I can’t imagine my life without the forgiveness afforded to me by Jesus. I remember His sacrifice and sacrifice my own justification to those who have hurt me. I love You! Amen

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Daily Dose 8-26-17

2 Corinthians 1:3-6 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.

We often talk about the lessons we learn during suffering. Some of our challenges could be consequences of our sin that lead to repentance. It’s through trials that we draw closer to God. We acknowledge things during tough times that He may not have been able to get us to see otherwise. However, there could also be times when your suffering has nothing to do with you at all. You may be the only one who will be able to minister to another who will walk the same rough road one day. During your trials, look inward. See if repentance or lessons are needed for you to grow closer to God. But also, take the time to remember how God carries you through the trial. Journal so you don’t forget the details. Who knows what your experience may do for another one day!

Father, During my struggles, keep me cognizant of Your presence and provision. Help me to focus on how You carry me through each challenge and heartache. Use me as a testimony to share Your faithfulness to bring comfort to others. I love You! Amen

Friday, August 25, 2017

Daily Dose 8-25-17

Job 19:25-27 I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!

We talk about hardships and sufferings, but very few can relate to the devastation of Job. He lost all his wealth, all his children were killed, his friends and family turned away from him. He felt as though God for some reason had inflicted his misery, yet his faithfulness to God was resolute. How do you pursue God in your suffering? Do you turn your back because He allows hard times to fall upon you? Or, do you stand firm and declare His greatness and long to see Him face to face? Take your hardships boldly before the LORD. Know that He IS alive and in control. However, know that God does not always make everything “just right” for us just because we ask. Stand firm in your faith and love despite your circumstances. You can be assured, no matter how it may seem, He is standing with you through it all!

Father, I am overwhelmed by Your blessings and love. Forgive me when I question instead of praise. Change my thinking to stand firm in Your faithfulness and rejoice in Your willingness to stand with me. I love you! Amen

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Daily Dose 8-22-17

Psalm 37:39-40 The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.

Are you in a time of trouble? Do you need to be rescued? The LORD is a strong tower and a safe place for tough times. However, God does not force His protection on anyone. Taking refuge IN Him means going TO Him. In the pursuit of God is where you find peace and protection from the scary times that come in life.

LORD, I remain in the shelter of Your tower. You are my strength and sustainer. Thank You for all my past rescues and I thank You in advance for my rescues in the future. I love You! Amen

Monday, August 21, 2017

Daily Dose 8-21-17

Job 1:20-22 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.

The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.

Satan assumed Job’s faithfulness was a product of God’s protection and blessing. He thought that by destroying all God had provided Job – even the blessing of his children – that Job would turn his back on God and die in misery. One less person proclaiming God’s power is a huge victory for satan. However, Job surprised satan and stood firm in His proclamation of his faith in and praise of his Almighty God. What would satan remove from your life to entice you to surrender your faith? If there is anything or anyone, give them up to the LORD now. Let God – and satan - know that nothing supersedes your faith in and praise for your provider. It is when we hold so tightly to our blessings that satan is convinced that we worship our gifts more than the Giver and he sees a crack in our spiritual armor. By giving all we have been given back to the LORD in faith, we set satan on notice that our hearts are off limits. Maybe then he will continue his roaming and leave you alone!

Father, You have blessed me beyond measure. I commit all I am, all I have and all I love to You. Blessed be Your name in my heart! Amen

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Daily Dose 8-19-17

Esther 4:12-14 When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

For such a long time, Esther’s life probably made no sense. Despite having the loving support of her uncle, the orphan girl probably felt alone and as if there was no purpose for her. Esther probably faced a lot of trials, shed a lot of tears and wondered if she would ever really fit in. All that she had endured came to a critical point of purpose when she and she alone was able to thwart Haman’s plot to destroy the Jewish people. She saved the lineage of Christ, who eventually saved the world. The courage it took for her to go to the King unannounced was great. However, she did not amass that courage and the wisdom she needed alone. She fasted, prayed and called on others to pray for her. She was at a crossroads and she knew she needed God’s counsel and support. Are you at a crossroad? Think of Esther. Look not to your own pros and cons list, or what your heart desires. Turn to Him with a clean slate of praise and worship. Ask God to write HIS plan on your heart.

Father, There is so much I don’t know, but I know You…that’s all I need. I love You. Amen

Friday, August 18, 2017

Daily Dose 8-18-17

Psalm 35:26-28 May all who gloat over my distress be put to shame and confusion; 
may all who exalt themselves over me be clothed with shame and disgrace. May those who delight in my vindication shout for joy and gladness; may they always say, “The LORD be exalted, who delights in the well-being of his servant.” My tongue will proclaim your righteousness, your praises all day long.

David often found himself in distress, being hunted down by Saul. He had a physical enemy that sought to destroy him. David knew who to call for his rescue and vindication. However, David, the man after God’s heart, did not seek security and vindication for his own comfort. He was looking for God’s glory in his rescue. He wanted his blessing to show how great his God was – not how great he was. From what do you need to be rescued? Examine your heart. Do you seek rescue for your own purposes, or to bring glory to God? Often people promise to give God the glory if or when they have victory. David was a man of constant praise despite his circumstances. Try praising in the midst of your distress instead of a promise of praise in the victory!

Father, You are well aware of my needs. You know more than I how much I need Your hand of rescue. I turn my concerns to You and praise You – for who You are, not for what You will do. I love You! Amen

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Daily Dose 8-17-17

1 Corinthians 11:1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

Who are you following, and who’s following you? Our natural instinct is to follow. Even the natural-born leaders follow someone or some view. Be on guard to find Godly role models – not to put them on a pedestal or worship them – but to see faith walked out in action. Study the Word to learn more about our ultimate role model, Jesus Christ. It is important to remember that no matter how insignificant you may feel, someone is always following you whether you realize it or not. Your life may be the only glimpse of Christ some co-workers, friends or associates have seen. Follow Christ and others who follow Him – you never know how long the line is of those who are following you!

Father, Reveal to me in each circumstance of my day how Jesus would respond in the same situation. Keep me on His path so that I don’t cause others to wander away from Him. I love You! Amen

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Daily Dose 8-16-17

Psalm 34:18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

When we are overcome by struggles in life, it is easy to feel as if God has deserted us. However, our loving Father is never closer than when we feel all alone. When you are hurting and afraid, when you feel your heart breaking, visualize God picking you up as a parent caresses a crying child. Know that although He holds the world in His Hands, He is still available to stitch the seams of your broken heart. Give all your brokenness, worries and concerns completely to Him and let Him begin gently putting the pieces together.

Loving Father, I am overwhelmed with life at times, but more overwhelmed by Your concern for me. Help me to see what I keep trying to fix on my own and completely surrender it all to You. I trust You with my broken pieces. I love You. Amen

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Daily Dose 8-15-17

1 Corinthians 9:12-13 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

God is into our protection, but He does not eliminate our temptations or struggles. Our temptations, while personal to us individually are not unique. The greatest temptation of one could be something another would never consider. That helps us when we need someone strong to hold us accountable. However, there’s nothing like being accountable to someone who truly shares your desires and understands the temptations – and has overcome. Sometimes, God allows people to endure so they can came been victorious and walk others through the path of escape He provides. If you are frustrated because of temptations, realize God may be preparing you to win your race to be able to coach someone else through. Watch for His signals of escape. He reveals them through the Word, in your prayer time, as you feel the Holy Spirit nudging you, and often through people who have overcome your temptation. God never wastes a struggle. Whatever you are enduring will be the perfect testimony someone else needs to hear to overcome!

Father, Help me to be victorious each day with temptations satan places before me. Show me how You need me to guide others who may need encouragement. You are my rock. As long as I firmly stand in faith and on Your Word, I will be victorious. I love You! Amen

Monday, August 14, 2017

Daily Dose 8-14-17

Psalm 33:12-15 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance. From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth—he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.

What could God be seeing when He examines the individual hearts across our nation? There’s no doubt He will be greatly pleased with many. Despite how far our nation collectively seems to be straying from God and His Will, there are many who still fear the LORD and love Him with great passion. However, it seems some hearts, in their pursuit of restoring us to a Godly nation, have acted in very ungodly ways. The bitter discourse and disrespectful banter is just as displeasing to God as those who choose to shake or destroy the Godly foundations upon which our Country was founded. Christians should be active in the political process, bold in their stance for God, but respectful and Godly with their presentation of the facts.

Guiding Father, Lead our nation to repentance! Prick the hearts of the Godly to pursue leadership roles in the running of our nation, states and communities – and protect their hearts when they get there. Guide me to do my part in proclaiming Your will boldly without acting disrespectfully which discredits Your authority. Bless America and soften American hearts to be the people You call us to be. I Love You! Amen

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Daily Dose 8-12-17

Nehemiah 4:15-20 When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to our own work. From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me. Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!”

God’s people were passionate about rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. Their enemies were just as passionate about stopping them. They worked with all their hearts to rebuild, but were also prepared to fight. Do you ever feel paralyzed from progress because you feel threatened? Know that God understands your fears. However, He wants you to move forward in a positive attitude while being prepared for the worst. Join with others to fight with you and for you in prayer. But know you are not fighting the enemies in life alone. Build your section of God’s wall!

Father, Sometimes when I look at the section of the wall You have called me to rebuild, I am overwhelmed. Help me remember You are with me and will fight for me. I love You! Amen

Friday, August 11, 2017

Daily Dose 8-11-17

Psalm 31:21-22 Praise be to the LORD, for he showed me the wonders of his love when I was in a city under siege. In my alarm I said, “I am cut off from your sight!”

Yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help.

Do you ever feel like God has abandoned you? Life is tough; struggles are great; and you feel defeated? The times when God may feel the farthest away are the times when He is hovering so closely – probably carrying you through. Often, God quietly waits for His children to call. Cry out to God in praise – not because He needs it – but because He needs you to know Him. Praise is where we acknowledge who God is and He reveals more of Himself to us. Cry out to God in the Pursuit of His Word. Read through scriptures of God’s faithfulness and ask Him to fulfill those promises in You. Cry out to God in prayer. Allow the Holy Spirit to intercede for you and change your prayers from what you need God to do – to asking God to help you be who He needs you to be. How do You call on God? Praise – Pursuit – Prayer!

Father, I know You are the Great and Holy One, worthy of all my praise. I thank You that You have promised Your protection over me. I ask you to prick my heart to guide me in the direction of Your will. I love You! Amen

Monday, August 7, 2017

Daily Dose 8-7-17

Proverbs 20:27 The Lord’s light penetrates the human spirit, exposing every hidden motive. (NLT)

The closer we become to God, the more we give up trying to put our best face forward. The further our relationship deepens, the more our true heart and intentions are exposed. Revealing our true motives is not a “Gotcha” opportunity to God. It is His way of molding us into the version of us He intended. When God reveals an impure motive, we have options. We can deny truth and continue on our own path. We can argue with God, trying to convince Him He has misunderstood. Or, we can boldly confess it to God and ask for His power to enable us to change or hearts. When our motives are lined up to fulfill God’s will instead of our own, our end result is better than our selfish motives hoped to accomplish!

Father, Show me what You see. Allow me to know what motives are not in line with Your will. Keep my heart pure, looking for where the path leads to Your glory revealed in me. I love You! Amen

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Daily Dose 8-3-17

Romans 16:17-18 I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.

The last prayer of Jesus while on earth was for unity. Christians who cause divisions in the Church break the heart of Christ. Divisions can come in many forms. The most obvious is prideful bickering. However, the deepest divisions may come when no words are spoken at all. When Christians fail to restore broken relationships and continue to live in avoidance as opposed to acceptance, the obstacle of alienation is thrown in the pathway of love. Hearts have been broken and spirits crushed when brothers and sisters move on from broken relationships under the guise of maintaining peace. We must learn to repair and restore the broken hearts in our midst before we can be truly successful in healing the hearts of the lost.

Father, Show me what You would have me do to restore broken relationships among Your people. Help me to be an instrument of Your reconciling love. Amen

Monday, July 31, 2017

Daily Dose 7-31-17

Romans 14:13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.

Freedom in Christ should never override respect for those whose convicted beliefs give them less freedom. On the other hand, those who condemn or judge others harshly over disputable matters are in jeopardy of elevating their positions to that of God. When it comes to the minutia of our walk as Christians, we can borrow a line from secular music – R-E-S-P-E-C-T ! We need to be in close relationship with others and practice accountability with one another. The line between accountability and judgment is usually found in the prayerful time with Christ and loving respect for others. Flaunting freedoms or binding laws can each cause others to become exasperated with their faith. Becoming so focused on loving like Christ often dissolves the minutia away. Judge less – love more!

Father, Give me Your wisdom to discern between matters of dispute and areas where You call me to be bold and stand for Your truth. Keep me far away from the pursuit of Your judgment seat and closer to the cross of Your Son, Jesus. I love You! Amen

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Daily Dose 7-30-17

Romans 13:8-10 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

The Ten Commandments and the Old Law were foundational principles God gave us to prepare us for the fulfillment of the law through Christ. Christ calls us to a higher level of obedience. We don’t steal – not just because it’s wrong – but because we love those we would be stealing from. Love is not always easy. There are people who are not appealing to us, may annoy us, treat us badly, or care less if we exist or not. Christ didn’t come to do what was easy; and he doesn’t expect us to look for easy. He expects us to see people through His eyes and through the sacrifice He made for them. Notice how you view people today – love more!

Father, Love is tough sometimes. I will try to live today as You have challenged me before. To love the unlovely and those who reject or disregard my love for them is how Christ is seen through me. I love You! Amen

Friday, July 28, 2017

Daily Dose 7-28-17

Romans 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!

Do we truly have a clue of the power of God? Do we realize that because of the sacrifice of Jesus we have immediate access to all of Him? Apparently not! If all the Christians truly sought after the fullness of God at our disposal, wouldn’t this world be a different place? Wouldn’t we be more transformed and transform the lives of others? He has told us to ask for His wisdom and He will grant that request. Do enough of us ask? Or, if we ask, do we then rebel against His wisdom? Make today different. Begin pursuing His wisdom through His Word and in prayer. Embrace His teachings and accept His wisdom.

Holy One, Transform me! I beg for Your wisdom. I embrace Your Word. Mold my heart to accept Your ways and never rebel. I love You! Amen

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Fall Therapy 7-27-17

2 Chronicles 19:15 He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.“

How many more victories could we have in life if we trusted God for the battles instead of our own abilities? How much more peace could we have if we viewed struggles through His perspective? Trust is not always easy and satan is not pleased when we turn our battle over to God. The great deceiver wants us to blame God for our struggle and turn away, living in defeat. God wants us to face our struggles, armed with His strength, support and peace. The choice is yours! How will you face what concerns you today?

Father, I do not always understand the big picture of life’s struggles, but I understand Your faithfulness to get me through them. I turn my battles over to you – completely! May the victory be Yours! I love You. Amen

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Daily Dose 7-25-17

2 Chronicles 14:7-9 At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. Were not the Cushites and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen? Yet when you relied on the LORD, he delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.”

For 35 years King Asa sought the LORD as he ruled Judah. They defeated enemies and enjoyed living in peace as Asa removed idols and sought God. Then, something changed. When confronted with opposition, Asa took treasures from the LORD’s temple and made a treaty with men. The rest of Asa’s reign was spent in war, turmoil and his own physical distress. We can learn a lot from Asa. God did great things through him and He wanted to continue. Yet, Asa chose to look to men instead of God and he made his own plans. What in your life does God want to help you overcome, yet you continue looking to people for help? Turn to His Word, spend time in prayer, seek HIM. Be so committed to the LORD that His eyes must stop on you as He seeks those to strengthen. God wants to increase your faith by helping you overcome. Allow Him to show off through you!

LORD, I seek You and You alone for guidance. Show me Your way and Your plans. I need Your strength, and I cherish Your love. Amen

Monday, July 24, 2017

Daily Dose 7-24-17

Romans 8:26-28 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

There are certainly times when our prayers need to be specific. God needs to see our faith exercised in bold belief that He can and will answer. However, there are also times that we need to be less concerned about what we are praying for than who we are praying through. The sacrifice of Jesus gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit living inside us. He even told His apostles it was better for Him to leave so the Spirit could come...What? There’s something better than Jesus in flesh? Apparently so, yet we don’t live that way. We continually push our wants, desires and needs and quench the Spirit’s ability to show us what our wants, desires and needs should be. Try spending some time in prayer truly allowing the Spirit to intercede for you. Step back, and submit to God’s will, whatever it may be. He probably has better plans than you could ever imagine!

Whatever LORD! I kneel behind Your Spirit submitted to Your will. I love You! Amen

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Daily Dose 7-20-17

Psalm 16:7-8 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

There’s a lot in life that can shake us. Sickness, loss of loved ones, financial struggles, rejection and loneliness are just a few. However, when we live in a mode of praise and gratitude to God, our trials become bearable and possible to overcome. Maximize His counsel for you by increasing your praise of Him. Love Him boldly. Trust Him courageously. Take His hand and walk securely down whatever path you may face. He’s got you covered.

Father, I am overcome when I think of doing life without You. How do those who don't have you manage? I am so grateful to Know You have my right hand and will pick me up when I fall and pull me up the hills and mountains I face. I praise You for who You are and Your unfailing love and support to me – one who is so unworthy. I love You. Amen

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Daily Dose 7-19-17

I Chronicles 28:19-20 “All this,” David said, “I have in writing as a result of the LORD’s hand on me, and he enabled me to understand all the details of the plan.” David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished."

David wanted desperately to build the temple. God had given him the plans, he visualized it, he was passionate about it – but God said no. As a warrior, David’s hands would not be the one to construct the temple. God told him it would be his son Solomon who would be the chosen one. David was accustomed to getting his way. He could have pleaded with God. He could have mourned over the loss of his dream. He could have turned his back. Instead, David saw his role in God’s plan as a supporter, encourager and a philanthroper. He gave Solomon the plans and blessed and encouraged him. He gave of his own wealth to fund the construction and encouraged others to do the same. Is there something you want to do for God, but He has said no? Look deeper. He may have a role for you that you did not expect. Humble yourself to be willing to do whatever job God presents…you will find blessings and peace!

Father, I dream big dreams and make big plans, but I am not sure they are always Your plans. I will submit to whatever role You have for me. Show me what You will have me do. I love You. Amen

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Daily Dose 7-18-17

Romans 5:3-5 … but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Every trial comes with a choice. We can face it with peaceful hope in Christ, or we can turn our backs on His peace and endure it alone. It is tough to live up to this scripture and rejoice in suffering, but each trial faced with hope brings us closer to that standard. If we look toward the end of the trial and know the rewards God has in store, we endure with hope. If we turn from Him in bitterness and anger, the results are bitterness and anger multiplied. These results often give birth to more trials. Attitude is everything; and hope in Christ forms a positive attitude – no matter what the trial.

Father, Remind me when trials come that You hold it all in Your Hands. I know You love me and will walk with me down the roughest roads of life. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit that gives me the strength, courage and companionship to carry on in Your hope. I love You! Amen

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Daily Dose 7-16-17

Romans 3:22-24 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

It doesn’t matter who we are or where we come from, Christ’s sacrifice is for all. This free gift comes to us and asks that we accept and believe. Through that belief, we are drawn to a close relationship with Jesus that changes our lives. Look to Him in faith. Believe His loving forgiveness; and walk in His ways. He doesn’t expect perfection, but His sacrifice should lead us to long for progress on our journey with Him.

Father, I lift up to You those who have not accepted the gift of Your Son’s sacrifice. I pray You will soften hearts and lead them to the cross for salvation. Use me however You can and will to join in Your work. I love You! Amen.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Daily Dose 7-15-17

Proverbs 19:11 A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.

We are so quick to rush to judgment of someone – especially if their offense is against us. We assume we know their hearts and all the facts; connect the dots and take it personally. This Proverb encourages us to be patient with people and not assume you know all the details. God is pleased when we believe the best in others without quickly assuming the worst.

Father, I struggle at times with connecting too many dots. Teach me to patiently trust You and patiently believe the best in others. I love You! Amen

Friday, July 14, 2017

Daily Dose 7-14-17

Romans 2:1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

It seems to be so easy to look at someone else’s life and declare right and wrong. However, we must remember the old adage, “When you point your finger at someone, three more are pointing back at you.” We tend to confuse holding someone accountable and standing for truth with judgment. The difference is the heart behind the action. We are called to encourage one other to live pure and holy lives. When we speak against sin to a brother or sister, remember this verse. Instead of judgment and accusation, prayerfully practice conviction and adoration. Judging someone to condemn may lead to your own imprisonment one day. Convicting someone through loving support can lead to healing and freedom for both.

Father, Guide my heart away from judgment and into more love. Help me remember to lovingly convict to correct when I must stand for Your truth, instead of pridefully judging to condemn. Thank You for the grace the blood of Your Son purchased for me. I love you! Amen

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Daily Dose 7-13-17

Psalm 10:14 But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. 
The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.

There are times we see our hardships or struggles others are going through and we just want to fix it. We are trained to pull ourselves up from our bootstraps and go on. We want to be the champion to those in pain and go in and remedy situations to make everything all better. But sometimes, the only One to pull those bootstraps or champion the cause is the LORD God Almighty. We have to learn that He knows the hurts more than we feel or see them. He understands the root cause of struggles and has the power to fix it. Sometimes, all we can do is trust. If you are struggling or hurting for those who do, stop spinning in circles trying to make things right. Spend time before the LORD in prayer, praise, and in His Word. TRUST. His mercies are new every morning and He is close to the hurting. He WILL handle it with His justice. In His hands, all WILL be made right

Father, I am a fixer. I see the pain and oppression of so many and I want to go in with an action plan, execute the strategies and celebrate the victory. But there are things so much bigger than my meager scope or vision. I turn to You and beg You to handle it. Soften hearts that inflict cruelty on others, mend wounded relationships, comfort those enduring unspeakable grief, befriend the lonely and strengthen the weary. I am trusting You, and You alone. I love You. Amen

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Daily Dose 7-12-17

Romans 1:11-12 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong—that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.

God did not provide our Spiritual gifts for our own use. Our gifts are to be used to reach the lost and encourage others in the faith to stand strong. Paul longed to see the church in Rome to lift them up and encourage them. By doing so, he would also be encouraged. Reach out to lift someone else up today. By doing so, you may bring a new perspective to your own struggles.

Father, I need encouragement. Show me who needs me today so that I can be encouraged by being an instrument in Your Hands. I love You. Amen

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Daily Dose 7-11-17

Psalm 9:9-10 The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. 
Those who know Your name trust in You, for You, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek You.

If you are feeling oppressed and overcome by the struggles of life, know there is a place of reprieve. In the intimate relationship with God, He can mend your broken heart, bandage your wounds, dry your tears and provide shelter until the storms of life have passed. He never promises our lives will be without struggle, but He is always faithful to us when we turn to Him.

My Stronghold, Thank You for Your faithfulness to me throughout my darkest days.I have felt Your calming presence in trials and know Your resolve to care for me. Thank You seems inadequate. I cling to You now more than ever. I love You. Amen

Monday, July 10, 2017

Daily Dose 7-10-17

Psalm 8:3-4 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?

The massive structures and tiny details we witness in creation show us God’s amazing power and supremacy. He holds time and space in His Hand, yet cares enough to collect our tears in a bottle. Take the time today to observe flowers, trees, mountains or seas. Know that the same God who gives the oceans their borders and the flowers their delicate petals is the same God who is mindful of you. Your cries to Him are not mute. He is aware of your needs. He invests in your life through blessings and discipline. He carries you through struggles and lifts you up in celebrations. As you notice the beauty and details of creation, know that the same attention to detail is spent on you. Repay Him for the good He has done with your praise!

Majestic Creator God, My words seem so inadequate to share my love for You. Yet, I know You long to hear from me. That’s tough to comprehend at times. You – the creator of heaven and earth – WANT to hear from ME, a sinner who constantly falls short of who You intended me to be. Thank You for knowing me, loving me, and being mindful of me. It is a gift beyond measure. I love You Amen

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Daily Dose 7-8-17

Psalm 7:17 I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the LORD Most High.

Life throws curveballs and sometimes things don’t make sense. But in the midst of pain, struggles and confusion, there is always one constant – the righteousness of God. Since He is who He says He is, He is worthy of praise. Before the anxieties of the day have time to wear you down, praise Him who is worthy and He will lift you up. Any day that starts with the LORD Most High is bound to be better than one started with worries.

Father, Your righteousness, grace and loving mercy allow me to start each day with a clean slate. Make this one good for Your Kingdom. Allow me to be an instrument in Your hands. I love You. Amen

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Daily Dose 7-8-17

1 Chronicles 5:20 They were helped in fighting them, and God delivered the Hagrites and all their allies into their hands, because they cried out to him during the battle. He answered their prayers, because they trusted in him.

The children of Israel were accustomed to physical wars and battles in life. They had the stories passed through generations accounting God’s faithfulness in battle and they experienced His protection and provision firsthand. This verse recounts another victory. At first blush you can assume God gave them the victory because they cried out to Him. But at the end, you see it wasn’t their cry but their trust that brought His favorable response. It’s easy to cry out – what we do after is what matters to God. We can cry out in anger, confusion, hurt and fear; but, if we end in trust, He is pleased and wants to honor our requests. Does that mean if we trust we win every battle in life? Jesus would tell us no. He begged for the cross to be removed from His path, yet He trusted. Christ did endure the cross with all its suffering and shame, which seemed like defeat. Yet, the victory God brought from it was not only Christ’s victory over death, it became our victory over the chains of sin and a life separated from God. Are you enduring a tough battle? Are you facing a cruel cross? TRUST Him! He may not remove the obstacle or pain, but He will see you though it. Your victory may not look like what you wanted, but it may lead to salvation victories for generations to come when they tell of your great trust during trials.

Father, It’s so easy for me to cry out to You when life is tough. The trust part tends to be more challenging. My heart KNOWS to trust You, yet my brain doesn’t always get the message. Turn off the part of my mind that causes doubt and prick my heart to live a life of complete trust – no matter the circumstances. I love You; and may I show that love through my trust! Amen

Friday, July 7, 2017

Daily Dose 7-7-17

Psalm 5:3 In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.

So many of us are ready to put our requests before the LORD, but how do we do at listening? Prayer is not a one-way conversation. We may not have burning bush moments where we audibly hear God’s response; but the more we practice listening the more we recognize His voice. God reveals His answers to us through His Word, circumstances and confirmation of others. When you spend time in the Word after prayer, you will often see a scripture in a new light that pricks your heart. If it is a stronghold you are praying to overcome, studying scripture on the subject puts satan on notice. There are times when God reveals His answers through circumstances by having doors open or shut to guide you. God also uses His people to answer your prayers. Having a prayer partner you trust to truly lift up your requests and seek wise counsel on your behalf is priceless. Cherish and protect those relationships. The hardest answer to hear sometimes is, “Wait.” Waiting on the LORD’s timing is not easy, but its rewards are great. Learning to trust Him increases your love for Him. God ever fails to answer your prayers, just be sure you’re ready to listen!

Father, I love talking with You through prayer. Thank You for helping me recognize Your voice more clearly each day. Attune my heart to hear in ways my ears could not comprehend. I love You! Amen

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Daily Dose 7-6-17

Psalm 4:6 Many, LORD, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?” Let the light of your face shine on us.

As Americans, we look at our struggling economy and wonder what happened. Could it be we are experiencing the consequences of our nation’s shift from the Godly foundation it was built upon? Are we looking for the blessings from God as we tip toe through political correctness and avoid acknowledging Him? Do we expect His provision when we hold back our praise? Take time today to pray for our nation. Lift up the Godly servants who are in office to ask God to increase their courage, influence and protect them from the snares of satan. Pray those who seek to turn our country into one nation under itself will soften their hearts and be touched by God to know of Him and His Son and be led by the Holy Spirit. Ask God to raise up Godly leaders to seek office to return our country to its foundation – under God.

Father, I am so thankful for the freedoms and blessings of living in this great nation. I love America and those who fought to build it, protect it, and continue to defend it. Father, I lift our leaders to You and ask You to touch hearts. Rise up leaders You know will bring us back to Your principles. I love You. Amen

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Daily Dose 7-5-17

Proverbs 18:14 The human spirit can endure in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?

There are some pains worse than physical suffering. Rejection, failure, betrayals, loss of a loved one, disappointment and loneliness are a few of the things that can crush the human spirit. No matter what hurt may be crushing you right now, know that God is near to the brokenhearted and He wants to lift Your burdens. He sent His son to endure the same struggles we face so we have a Savior who can relate to our emotions. Turn to Him who is able to relieve your stress, console your grief and comfort you in your pain.

Comforting Father, There are many things I don’t understand, but I do understand Your love for me and those around me. Intervene today and lift the burdens that are crushing spirits. Comfort the way only You can. I love You! Amen

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Daily Dose 7-4-17

Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.

Millions of dollars have been spent on self-help and how-to-succeed books. People desperately seek the answers to how to be the best and get the most out of life. Sadly, most search for things away from God and His Word when He desires to give them all they need. To truly delight in the law of the LORD and meditate on it will change your perspective in all aspects of life. If you live in step with His Word, your walk will bring contentment and peace. God doesn’t promise us a Midas touch or that life will always be easy; but He des promise to be with us all the way. That constant companionship and support is where we are able to find joy amidst suffering, peace among trials, and strength in adversity – that is a most successful life!

Father, Thank You for getting me through the tough times and showering me with Your blessings. Life is hard sometimes, but with You by my side and Your Word in my heart, I know I can persevere. Thank You for the peace that only You can provide! I love You! Amen

Monday, July 3, 2017

Daily Dose 7-3-17

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

Life can be painful and scary at times. Suffering, hardships, loss and disappointment are all around us. The constant hope and security we have as Christians is the access we have to our Father, the LORD of all, the Great Physician, our Rescuer, our Comforter. Whatever your need may be, He is more than able to provide and eager to hear your call.

Father, My heart runs to Your strong tower. There are so many needs surrounding me; not just my own, but people I love are in immense struggles. Use me to guide them to Your tower of protection. Father, I know You do not always remove the source of our pain or struggle, but You empower us to make it through them. Thank You for Your strength and protection. I love You! Amen

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Daily Dose 7-2-17

2 Kings 22:1-2 (MSG) Josiah was eight years old when he became king. He ruled for thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jedidah daughter of Adaiah; she was from Bozkath. He lived the way God wanted. He kept straight on the path blazed by his ancestor David, not one step to either left or right.

It’s hard for us to imagine a child becoming the leader of our country. Josiah was next in line for the throne. Despite his age, it was his time. What he did with his time as king was remarkable. He is praised in scripture as one of the greatest kings ever because He stood strong for God’s Word and remained obedient without question We often hear generational slurs as older discounts younger as being irresponsible; younger scoffs at older for being out of touch. One thing we learn through scripture is age is irrelevant to God. He uses the young like Josiah to lead and He chooses the old like Sarah to bear a child who will be a leader. No matter where you are on your life timeline, God has a purpose for you in His time. Don’t think you’re too young to make a difference or you’ve missed your time because of your increasing age.  Remember that as you view those of another generation. Be an encourager to the young and a cheerleader to the old. Help others fulfill their purpose and plan that God created them to achieve – encouraging someone to do great things may be your great thing!

Father, Open my eyes to what you are doing through those around me. Remove the filters that tell me it doesn’t look like it’s supposed to look. Help me see with Your eyes and respond with Your heart! Don’t let me miss a thing! I love You! Amen

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Daily Dose 7-1-17

Psalm 149:4-5 the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory. Let his faithful people rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds.

Sometimes, it’s hard to imagine the Holy God of the universe delighting in us as individuals. We tend to feel like God loves everyone and we are lumped in that group. However, God’s love for us is very personal. He knows our worst and best qualities and completely adores us anyway. That thought is humbling – which makes Him adore us more! The Psalmist references the honor we have because of this and it leads the faithful to sing for joy on their beds. This reference probably means praises to God are the last thoughts as we fall asleep and the first thoughts as we arise in the morning. Wake up each day knowing your loving Father, the Holy creator of heaven and earth sang over you as you drifted to sleep and gently nudges You as your eyes are opening! He absolutely adores you!

Father, I am overwhelmed when I think of all You know about me and You still adore me. You know each flaw, each weakness, each shortcoming, yet You choose to focus on each quality that is good or has potential to be good. I’m overcome with praise when I think of Your delight over me…undeserved, but so appreciated! I love You! Amen

Friday, June 30, 2017

Daily Dose 6-30-17

Acts 20:22-24 And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

Paul faced as many hardships for the cause of Christ as others endured at his hand as he tried to prevent the spread of Christ’s message. He persevered despite shipwrecks, beatings and imprisonment. He was close enough to God to discern what seemed to be conflicting messages from the Holy Spirit. The Spirit compelled him to go to Jerusalem, yet warned him that he would face many hardships including the possible loss of his life. Have you felt compelled by the Spirit to do something for the cause of Christ that was later dismissed because of the risk? Think of Paul, pray for the same discernment he had, and be bold! Paul faced beating, imprisonment and death. Often, the biggest obstacle we face is tripping over our pride as we face rejection or ridicule.

Father, I want to do what You intend for me to do to further Your Kingdom. Give me discernment to know how to be most effective and back it up by giving me the courage to follow through. I love you! Amen

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Daily Dose 6-8-17

Psalm 126:5 Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.

The soil of God’s heart is fertile ground for a harvest of joy. He is full of compassion and loves to have His children come to Him when life’s burdens are too much to bear. Take your weary, broken heart before the LORD. Sow the seeds of your tears with Him. He will gently cover them with His love and water them with the sweat and blood of His Son’s sacrifice for you. Waiting obediently on Him, you will begin to see sprouts of peace. The situation causing your heartbreak may never change, but the Great Gardener will produce a crop of peace, joy, and victory from the anguish.

Loving Father, I can’t fully comprehend Your love for me, but I know I am hopeless without the ability to come to You when my heart is broken. Thank You for growing my tears into joy. I love You. Amen

Monday, June 5, 2017

Daily Dose 6-5-17

2 Samuel 24:24 But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”

What kind of offerings do we make to the LORD today? Do we throw a few dollars in the plate out of habit or to relieve some guilt, or do we truly sacrifice in order to please Him? There are times God asks us to sacrifice time; that is when we become financially generous. We would rather throw money at a problem than get our hands dirty in service. There are times when God asks us to sacrifice our pride and concede on an argument of preference; it’s then that we become vigilant for the cause. When God asks for our vigilance, to take a stand; we claim peace and humility, becoming politically correct. When will we rise above giving God what we want Him to have versus what He requires of us?

Father, I know my sacrifices often fall into convenient giving. Give me Your eyes to see what You require of me beyond what I currently give. Prick my heart to know what is Your desire versus what I am comfortable giving. I love You Amen

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Daily Dose 6-1-17

2 Samuel 18:32-33 The king asked the Cushite, “Is the young man Absalom safe?” The Cushite replied, “May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up to harm you be like that young man.” The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said: “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you—O Absalom, my son, my son!”

We see a glimpse of the heart of God through the man who constantly pursued it. David loved his son Absalom just as God loves us. Absalom was prideful and rebellious just as we can be. Even though King David ordered thousands to bring Absalom in safely, his son was killed in an accident pursuing David’s men. Ironically, his hair – the source of his good looks that formed his great pride – caught in the low hanging branches of an oak tree. Does your pride put you in conflict against the One who loves you most? Is it a snare for you? Do you find yourself in conflict with the people (fellow Christians) He sends to bring you back? Just as King David was just, he knew his son must be held accountable and brought in, yet he still loved. Just as God is just, by the grace of Christ’s blood, He forgives, but knows there will still be consequences for our sin. Absalom wanted to be king of the kingdom and push his father from the throne. Are you trying to be the LORD of your life and push your Father from the throne of your soul? If so, God’s heart is breaking just like David’s did.

Father, Forgive my prideful heart and mold it to pursue Yours as David did. Protect me from consequences and restore fractured relationships. I love You.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Daily Dose 5-31-17

Psalm 119:144 Your statutes are always righteous; give me understanding that I may live.

So often, we settle for mediocrity in life. A life lived in righteousness is an abundant life! We allow satan to infiltrate our lives with conflict, busyness or confusion. Righteousness and living Spirit-filled lives comes through the meditation on and understanding of God’s Word. It is through the understanding and application of scripture in our lives that we switch from existing to truly living.

Father, I long to live in your righteousness and resist satan’s plan to rob my peace and joy. Soften my heart to apply Your Words so I may live righteously. Protect my heart from satan’s schemes and give me Your wisdom and understanding. I want to live, not just exist! I love You! Amen

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Daily Dose 5-18-17

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

The salvation Jesus brings is not just eternal life; it is for abundant life here as well. He doesn’t promise everything will always be easy, but He promises to be with us through it all and protect us from the thievery of satan. Life with Jesus is peace – satan tries to rob that peace during trials. Life with Jesus is love and unity – satan tries to steal that by stirring up conflict and discord. Life with Jesus is confidence – satan tries to steal that through insecurity. Life with Jesus is contentment – satan tries to steal that by convincing us more is better and we deserve it. What is satan poised to steal from you today? Turn to the gate of your Shepherd in God’s Word and pray for His protection. Turn your eyes to Him and know that, despite any circumstances, you can have full life. He grants peace through trials, dispels discord through love, brings confidence from insecurity, and sends contentment to the needy. If you’re thinking you are under attack, run to the Shepherd’s gate!

Father, Your Son made it possible to have a great life in this not so perfect world. Take my eyes away from the lures of satan as he tries to steal what only you can provide. I love You! Amen

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Daily Dose 5-17-17

John 9:39 Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

The judgment of Jesus lies in our ability to see. Physical sight is not necessary to follow Christ, but spiritual sight is imperative. It is our spiritual sight that allows us to see Jesus, His sacrifice and open our hearts to His truth. What we do with that truth determines the judgment. There are many Christians who claim to know truth, just like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day, yet they live as if they are blinded to Him. If our lives revolve around discord and turmoil, yet we claim to see and know Christ, maybe we are actually blind. The blurred spiritual vision is a tool in satan’s battle against us. If He can skew how we look at others instead of seeing them through the vision of Christ, he can break the unity of the saints and weaken the kingdom. When all those around you seem to be wrong, put the spiritual glasses of the Holy Spirit on and get in the Word. Allow God to open our eyes, and in turn, open your heart. Are you living your life with 20/20 spiritual vision?

Father, I need physical glasses, but they are cumbersome and inconvenient, yet without them my vision is compromised. May I never compromise my spiritual vision! Open my eyes to Your truth, even when it is hard to see. Give me the insight and wisdom to correct my view so that others may see You in me. I love You! Amen

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Daily Dose 5-16-17

John 8:42-46 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”

To whom are you listening? It’s pretty black and white. Satan is a whisperer of lies to deceive, entrap and belittle us. His words tear us down and magnify any insecurities. He is the reason we doubt, fear and manipulate. God whispers truth, hope, love and encouragement. Isn’t that what we all need? Yet, when it comes down to it, who’s voice do we turn the volume up to hear? If we are unsettled, fearful, anxious, insecure, self-justifying and divisive, chances are we have not only turned up satan’s volume, we have given him surround sound. If we have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, most likely we are spending time in His Word, tuning in and turning up the volume of the Holy Spirit. We will never achieve all of the attributes of the Spirit every day, and again, that’s where satan’s voice will convince us we are failures and encourage us to give up. It’s clear. You make a choice. Listen to one voice or the other. Who’s voice will you choose to hear?

Father, I choose to listen to You and I want to be Yours and Yours alone. Yet, satan does come through loud and clear. PLEASE tear his speakers from my head! Tune me in to hear You and only You. Give me discernment and courage to recognize the lies and take a stand against satan’s schemes. I love you! Amen

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Daily Dose 5-11-17

Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

We are not programmed for gentle in our society. We are programmed to defend and pursue. How differently would the people around us react if all our actions were executed with the gentleness of Christ? We so often want to defend our thoughts, actions and plans that we forget who we are at times. When you sense the “perfect” reaction or zinger to belittle someone who may have provoked you, take a breath and let the reaction go through a gentleness filter and choose the Godly response.

Father, Change my heart so the words that come from my lips will be pleasing to You and have a kingdom impact on those who hear. Forgive my prideful responses and prick my heart to be gentle with Your children. I love You! Amen

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Daily Dose 5-10-17

1 Samuel 8:6-9 But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. And the LORD told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day,forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.”

Sometimes, God gives us exactly what we ask! Israel did have some good kings, but also suffered at the hand of many of them. God knew this was not what was best, but He granted them the desire of their hearts – even if it broke His. God had powerfully rescued His people over and over. And, over and over, they rejected Him to disobedience or idol worship. It’s easy to sit in judgment of these people as we read scripture and see the heart of God’s reaction. What if we could see the heart of God’s reaction to our behavior and requests today? Would He be full of joy and pride over our choices? Or, would He accept our rejection of His wisdom and love and grant what we request over what He wants for us?

Abba Father, I love You and want Your love above all! I am weary of asking requests of You that are based upon my own thoughts or desires. I want what You want for me and how You need me to be for Your Kingdom! Please help me have Your wisdom and insight to determine what is Your way. Prick my heart to know when I am pursuing my path that is not what You choose and give me the courage to flee! Thank You for never giving up on me! Amen

Friday, May 5, 2017

Daily Dose 5-5-17

John 4:21-24 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

The test of whether or not we worship in spirit and in truth is not just how we praise, but how we live. The days of animal sacrifices and celebrating commanded feasts may be gone, but the intentional reflection God sought by instituting those commands remains. He wants the focus of our everyday lives to have His will at the core. He wants our hearts to be receptive to the work He is doing around us. He wants our eyes to be open to join Him in His constant invitations to join Him in His work. Worship is not just singing to God, it’s living Godly lives.

Father, Keep me ever mindful of where You are working around me. Give me the awareness to know and the strength and courage to act. I want my life to be worship to You. Amen

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Daily Dose 5-3-17

Psalm 103:1-5 Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The way God loves is hard for us to truly comprehend. We think we know love based on our earthly relationships, but that love can’t compare to the love God has for us. The benefits of earthly love bring companionship, support and encouragement. The benefits of God’s love lead to our eternal salvation. While He loves unconditionally, He does not force us to accept it. The full benefits of His love come with our full acceptance.

Loving Father, I want to completely accept and remember Your love so I may fully know all Your benefits. Soften my heart to love You even more! Amen

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Daily Dose 4-30-17

John 1:9-13 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

It’s hard to truly fathom the sacrifice Jesus made for us. He watched and worked with God to create heaven and earth. He was completely pure, dwelling beside the Father. He was intimately communing with God. Was that why He was willing to come? In such an intimate relationship with God, could He see how the sins of the people He created and loved were breaking the heart of God? Was it at that point He said, “Let me fix it for You and them! Use me to bring them back to You!” Jesus was so concerned and grieved for the breaking heart of God, He was willing to be rejected, tortured, and ultimately separated from God Himself so that we could return to God. Are you willing to make sacrifices for the things that break the heart of God? We aren’t called to be crucified too often, yet we are called to step outside of our busyness and self-absorbed lives to minister to those God loves. We are called to let others know how to turn to Him. We are called to comfort the weary, feed the hungry and show compassion and mercy to the fallen. Does your heart break for the things that break the heart of God…or do you even notice?

God, Give me Your eyes to see what breaks Your heart. Give me the heart of Jesus to know how to respond. I love You! Amen

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Daily Dose 4-27-17

Luke 23:39-43 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

What was it like for the thief on the cross with Jesus to be greeted by Him in paradise? We can only imagine! A man that led such a harsh and unscrupulous life, turned his eternity upside down when he professed his belief in Jesus. What an example he left for us! No matter how our lives have been before, when we come to the cross, we are on the level ground of salvation. Take your broken and messed up life to Jesus – let Him cleanse you. Take your self-righteous heart that has “been good” and remember your sins put Jesus on the cross just like the sins of the thief. Praise Him for the salvation that can come to us all because of the sacrifice He made.

Dear Jesus, Thank You for looking beyond what I deserve and loving me enough to endure the cross. How can I ever thank You enough? I love You!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Daily Dose 4-24-17

Luke 22:31-32 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

The walk of a Christ follower is one who desires consistency, but will inevitably trip along the way. Some of those incidences will be slight, and others will leave us flat on our faces. Sin is sin whether it is categorized as a minor indiscretion or blatant rebellion. In either case and for those in between – Jesus went to the cross to make it possible for you to get back up and on His path again. This scripture of His words to Peter should give us great insight to the kind of Savior we have. The next time you trip in life, remember His words to Peter – He speaks them to you as well, “I have prayed for you.” That’s right, Jesus prays over you and cheers you on when you are walking tall, steadies you in your little slips, pulls you up the rough hills in life with His outstretched hand, and picks you up when you fall flat on your face! Remember, in this life it’s not a matter of if you will fall – it’s a matter of when. How you go down and get back up makes all the difference in your walk. Go down GRACEfully, rise triumphantly! Jesus will never waste a hurt or failure. Get back up to help others along the way!

Father, Thank You for sending Your son to provide a way for me to get up when I fall. Thank You for His support that brings balance to my unsteady gate in this life walk. Empower Your Spirit to keep me on path and close to my guiding Savior. Amen