Prayer Challenge


I want to ask you to say this prayer out loud, if possible.

“I belong to God. I am a holy vessel, because I have the Holy Spirit of the Living God. The Lord of Heaven and earth has said over me; “I declare you holy!”. I commit to start believing what He says. I AM HOLY! Remind me daily, Spirit of the Living God, to treat myself as holy, open my eyes to every scheme of The Enemy to treat me as if I'm not. You God, are Holy. Your word is truth. This day Father, I chose to believe you! I ask this in the mighty name of your son Jesus Christ, who died on a cross for me so that I could be a coheir to the kingdom of God. Amen”



Thursday, August 29, 2013

Trusting God for Monetary Solutions

Trouble Staying Serene


Finances are an area where I have trouble staying serene and trusting in God. I really had no idea how much my mind dwells on the "I can't do .....because I can't afford it." until recently. The Lord has provided low cost, economical solutions to my career wardrobe and many other areas of daily living. However, I just keep grabbing ahold of money issues and clasping them tightly to my chest, again and again.

Happiness is God's Goal

I want to be an obedient, mature Christian. Confident that the Lord overshadows every area in my life. He is in control and I am going to let him be in control. Sound good doesn't it? Scripture tells me over and over that God takes care of his people. He provided manna for the Israelites, and meat when they complained about the manna. Happiness is God's goal for me and you. He doesn't want me to be mentally wrestling with money problems. That is his job.

Turning to the Bible - Again

Shrinking income isn't just my problem. I know everyone is facing this issue as gas prices and food prices continue to increase. Worrying over things like a dog with a bone isn't going to help me. So, I am going to reread Matthew 6:25-34 again. The scripture encourages me to trust God to provide for my needs. My plan is to read verses 25-34 until the words are imprinted upon my heart. God knows what I need and he will give them to me as long as I continue to seek his kingdom first and his righteousness.

Do Not Worry

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:25-34 NIV

 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Excited About Women of Faith Conference

 

A May Invitation

Way back in May, I received a Face Book message from my friend Michal, in Mississippi about going to the Women of Faith Conference in Kansas City, MO. The conference is in September 2013, but for advanced tickets and seating together Michal's sister,in South Dakota, had called and gotten a group number. The moment I read the message, I knew I wanted to go AND I wanted to go on my motorcycle. Today's social media is amazing. Michal is in Mississippi, her sister is in South Dakota, and I'm in Missouri. Women in three states planning a weekend together at a women's conference in Kansas City, MO. Sounds like a good time to me!

August Planning

Now its August 22 and the conference is next month. I am already packing my bags. (in my mind...lol) However, the final details aren't in place yet. Michal and her group will be traveling from Mississippi. Her sister will be traveling from South Dakota. I will be joining Michal in MO for the final leg of the journey to Kansas City, MO (I think..remember, the final details aren't in place yet.) However, I am mentally ready to go.

Expecting a Revelation

I will not be seeing any new scenery or new places on this trip, but I am completely certain that the conference is going to be a blessing. The conference theme is "God Can Do Anything".  Oh yes, I know how true this is. He has shown me miracle after miracle in my own life. My thoughts continue to excitedly dwell on this meeting of godly women. I am fully expecting to receive a revelation while I'm attending the conference. Maybe the revelation will be a scripture, or a testimony that sounds like it's aimed at me, or a feeling of unitedness with my faith filled sisters. Whatever it is, I'm ready for it!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Satan's Battle Plan

The Tempter Uses Scripture
Satan knows the Word of God. He used scripture during Jesus's temptation in the wilderness (Matthew 4), quoting Psalms 91:11-12. However, Satan conveniently left out the phrase,"to guard you in all your ways. The master of half-truth didn't want to remind Jesus that the Lord had angels watching over him even at that moment. Jesus met Satan's attack by defending himself with another scripture, Deuteronomy 6:16. Jesus used his knowledge of scripture to deflect each temptational attack from his foe. Each time Satan advanced toward him, Jesus began,"It is written..."

Arm Yourself for Battle
Doesn't this verbal sparring remind you of a sword fight? 
Satan uttered a scripture directed at Jesus, and Jesus deflected the partial truth with another complete scripture. Jesus used the Sword of the Spirit, or the Word of God, to defend himself from the temptations of despair and distrust of God, presumption of God's power and safety, and idolatry through the power and glory of earthly kingdoms. (Matthew Henry Commentary)

You Can Win This Battle!
All the coheirs to the kingdom of God can win every battle with temptation, if we use the same tool that Jesus did, the Sword of the Spirit, the scriptures. We can deflect the partial truths of Satan in the same way that Jesus did; he used the Sword of the Spirit. Satan knows the Word of God and so should we. Arm yourself for battle by studying, memorizing, and meditating on God's instruction manual for spiritual battle, the Holy Bible.






Saturday, August 17, 2013

Overcoming Spiritual Dryness

Spiritually Dry


I am feeling dry. Spiritually dry. My life has had a lot of ups and downs all packed into seven days. My seven month old grandson's shunt isn't operating correctly, so he underwent surgery. My sister and her hubby were in a wreck. Sounds bad doesn't it? It's not.

 Praises

God cupped my sister's truck in his hand as is hydroplaned, at fifty miles an hour, and began spinning. The spinning truck went airborne, impacted hard enough to break an axle, and finally came to rest against an earthen embankment, upright. You know God was involved because the truck didn't roll upside down, or tumble. The damages: stiff necks, cracked rib, bruised forearm, and overall stiff muscles.

My grandson was diagnosed with spina bifida during the first trimester of pregnancy. He had neurosurgery and spinal surgery when he was twenty-four hours old. Two weeks later, he was home with his momma. No complications, swift healing, and lots of examinations from a team of specialists. Every specialist has used the word "miracle" in connection with Ashton's recovery process. This surgery was no different.

Streams of Prayer

A flood of prayer has been lifted for my sister and grandson. Prayers of healing, thanks,and strength have streamed to heaven from the lips of many prayer warriors, including myself. Now, in spite of all the thankfulness, I feel spiritually dry. I'm not sure why.

The Lord Hasn't Moved

The Lord is right where He has always been. I know he is with me. This feeling will pass. Feelings are temporary if I take the right action.  The right action for spiritual dryness is to bury myself in the word and renew my spirit. Everyone has a period of spiritual dryness that must be treated with meditation on the word of God.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

What is Right is not Always Popular, What is Popular is not Always Right

Discovering the Slogan


The title to today's post is a slogan I read on a bumper sticker, in a bookstore. The moment I read the words,"What is popular is not always right; What is right is not always popular", the truth of the slogan sank into my mind and heart. That particular bumper sticker never adorned the bumper of a car or truck, it proclaimed its message from the side of our refrigerator.

Teaching My Daughters

Cassie and Ashley, are fond of saying,"But Mom, all the other kids get to________________." (Place your own words in the blank.) Enter the bumper sticker. In the beginning, when my teen or preteen said this in the kitchen, I directed their attention to the bumper sticker and asked them to read the slogan to me. After some sighing and eye rolling, the reading would begin. My response was then," What does that mean?" More sighing and eye rolling followed my question, but I patiently looked at them, not saying a word. Clearly, Mom wasn't talking until she received an answer. Finally, I heard," Just because others do it, doesn't mean it is right for me." or a similar variation. The routine changed after Cassie and Ashley became familiar with the posted saying. All I had to do was point to the refrigerator after hearing the initial," But Mom, all the other kids get to____________." Either daughter would say," I know! I know! What's popular isn't always right, and what's right isn't always popular. I KNOW what it means, too. It means..."

My persistent message wasn't popular with my girls, but I knew it was one that they both needed to learn. God, the Father, had an unpopular message for his prophet Jeremiah to deliver to Israel. Jeremiah faithfully and persistently followed God's instructions. Whether they were popular, or not.

 Jeremiah, a Faithful Follower

Jeremiah faithfully followed God,(what's right isn't always popular.) even when confronted by popular worship practices that included idols (what's popular isn't always right). Jeremiah's people lived in a world that believed it was OK to worship more than one god. The Judeans felt it would be politically correct to include the gods of their powerful neighbors Babylon, Canaan, and Egypt,  into their worship service. No one wanted to offend the sophisticated, educated neighbors by excluding their gods, so compromise was the wisest thing to do. Very few of the Judeans remained faithful to the God of their forefathers. The God who commanded,"You shall not have any gods before me. You shall not make for yourselves an idol..." (Exodus 20:3-4) Yes, it wasn't popular to follow the one God, Jehovah anymore.

Jeremiah, a Politically Incorrect Prophet

 God called Jeremiah to be his prophet, equipping him to deliver a message to his fellow Judeans that was seen as politically incorrect to blasphemous. (You could be killed for blasphemy) However, Jeremiah was willing to be bold and and delivered an unpopular, politically incorrect message: unfaithfulness has consequences.

The house of Israel and the house of Judah have been utterly unfaithful to me,: declares the LORD. They have lied about the LORD; they said, "He will do nothing! No harm will come to us; we will never see sword or famine. The prophets are but wind and the word is not in them; so let what they say be done to them."

Jeremiah 5:11-13

Are You Willing?

Are you willing to be bold and deliver a politically incorrect, biblical message that isn't popular? Let's learn a lesson from the prophet Jeremiah. Popular beliefs and standards are incorrect if they do not align with the Bible. Christians cannot allow political correctness, or popularity, to lead them into a life that is not aligned with the Bible, God's Holy Word.  The Bible is the inspired Word of God. The Bible says we are to be Christ-like as we faithfully and obediently follow what Jesus taught during his ministry. (Galatians 3:26-29)

Sallee's Six: Jeremiah's Unpopular Message

Jeremiah was a messenger with a very unwelcome message. However, he remained faithful to God and preached a message that brought him nothing but trouble from his fellow Judeans! Political power and the desire to "fit in" with the surrounding countries led Judah to compromise their faith and break their covenant with God. The compromise involved worshiping other gods, in addition to, their one God. God commanded Jeremiah to remind his people that :
1. He (God)demanded faithfulness and obedience
2.  A new covenant was coming (Jesus).

Jeremiah 11:4

...the terms I commanded your forefathers when I brought them out of Egypt, out of the iron smelting furnace. I said,"Obey me and do everything I command you, and you will be my people, and I will be your God.

Jeremiah 31: 31-34

31  "The time is coming," declares the Lord, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.

32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt,because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them, declares the LORD.

33 "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the LORD. "I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."

Jeremiah 33:3

'Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.'
 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Joyfully Teaching Vacation Bible School: The Last Day

The Fifth - Sixth Grade Movie

 Wednesday evening I returned home with more pictures for the Fifth-Sixth grade movie. I giggled and smiled as I added captions to Flat Paul pictures. Finally, about 11:00 P.M., I had the movie completed and burned onto a DVD-R disc. Bill opened up the Blu-Ray player, I popped the DVD in, and we settled back to watch the four minute and forty-eight second masterpiece. The movie had a few tiny glitches, but I was satisfied with my amateur production. Five more DVD-R disks were burned, labeled, and packaged; the movie disks were ready for the students.

The Last Lesson

My goal for today was to have the students reflect upon the VBS activities, their personal relationship with Jesus, and to share three to five minutes of personal testimony.

Reflecting on VBS Activities

Using a scale of 1-5 to rate a personal experience is what I use to help a class reflect on the VBS activities, 1 equals "I hated it" and 5 equals "I love it". After I asked them to rate the activities, the middle schoolers thought about the activities and the bolder ones started the discussion. ( I am amazed at how a group always has a leader or two whom others look to for answers.) The class consensus was a 3-4, or liked it to really liked it. My next two questions were about "best liked and least liked activities". The Unseen Force activity was the most popular and least popular was the signing with the songs. (In my opinion, the signing - dancing - singing required the same level of physical exertion as an aerobics workout.)

Reflecting on a Personal Relationship with Jesus

Now that the students were relaxed and engaged, I asked them to rate their relationship with Jesus using  a 1 to 10 scale; I don't have a relationship with Jesus to I have a great relationship with Jesus. Most of the numbers given by the students were in the 7-8 range, but one honest student answered with "honestly, my relationship is about a 5or 6." At this point, I repeated a silent appeal to the Holy Spirit; I asked the Holy Spirit to work through me as "the wise counselor" that Jesus promised the disciples they would receive.

The Holy Spirit responded as I opened my mouth and found myself talking to the group about how to deepen their relationship with Jesus using their smart phones, ipads, and tablets. Installing a free bible application, listening to contemporary Christian music on Pandora, or having an app to download Christian videos were some of the suggestions that I found myself offering to the boys and girls. Oh Jesus, thank you for using me to reach these young ones that you love!

Christian youth can form their own peer group, or clique, for support at school. Walking together in faith, at school, requires the formation of a support system. Unfortunately, many children go to church together, but they fail to be friends outside of church. Outside of church is where they need peers who walk with Jesus to support them(adults need this too.). This is a point that I focus on with young people and adults.  
 

Personal Testimony  - How VBS Brought Me Back to Jesus

My oldest daughter was five when she attended vacation bible school for the first time. At the end of VBS, at High Gate Baptist Church, Cassie came home with some great news. She couldn't wait to tell me about the school she could keep going to. I thought a minute and then said," Cassie do you mean Sunday School?" Cassie's little face lit up and she said," Yes, Momma. That's IT! Can I go? Please, Can I go?" How could I resist that appeal? Cassie, Ashley, and I began going to Sunday School and church. Before Cassie went to vacation bible school, I had been inside a church five or six times over a sixteen year period. Today, I firmly believe the Lord used my child and my desire to be a good parent to help get me back on a path that led toward Him, not away from Him.
 
I shared this testimony with the class to illustrate the point that a child can make a difference by sharing what they learn about the Lord.
 
VBS is over for another year, but I am already looking forward to next time! Thank-you Lord Jesus, for setting me to the task of teaching vacation bible school. Thank-you for equipping me to share the Good News. Amen.
 
 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Sallee's Six: Favorite Verses from the Book of Matthew

 It's Thursday again! Last week I posted Sallee's Six: Favorite Verses from Joshua, Psalms, and Isaiah. This week's focus will be in the New Testament book of Matthew. Enjoy the verses and feel free to share your own favorite verses from Matthew. God bless you brothers and sisters.

Matthew 6:31- 33
So do not worry, saying, : What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father know that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matthew 7:1-2
Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Matthew 11:28-29
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Matthew 15:11
What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.' "

Matthew 22:37-38
Jesus replies: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.

Matthew 22:39-40
And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."