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 to 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 the 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”

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Meth the Destroyer

Our local TV news featured the mug shots of four young people, two women and two men,  from my hometown who have been arrested on meth charges.  Personally, I have known three of the young people as school children when I worked for the school district. My heart is so sad. Methamphetamine abuse is a pestilence in central Missouri.

My first awareness of how rampant meth production is began a few years ago.
I was riding my motorcycle down a rural county road. As the road dipped down into a small valley, an acrid aroma hit my nose. I had never in all my life smelled such an awful stench. The only smell that even halfway describes what I smelt that day is to take a completely urine soaked cat box and multiply that odor until it will fill an entire valley.

I am a country girl. My grandparents all owned large farms and raised a variety of animals.  I am  completely familiar with the aromas of country living. That smell was nothing like anything I had ever smelt before.Now I know, that in all probability, I had come across a meth lab cooking up their destructive product. Several weeks later there was a meth lab found in that area by a local law enforcement task force.

Meth hooks some people the first time they try it. It fills up all of their insecurities and makes them feel like they are super alive.The chemicals in meth create a euphoria that is akin to the beautiful songs the mythical Greek sirens sang to lure passing sailors to their death. Stopping is a difficult struggle.

Because I work with children, I see the impact of meth on them. 
My prayers include a plethora of children, whom I have known, or know personally, whose lives have been broken apart because of the effects of meth abuse. Toddlers found in homes with meth pipes and crystal meth within their reach. Kindergarten children whose parents, grandparents, or siblings became burglars to get money for meth. Fourth and fifth grade students whose parents were arrested and sent to prison for manufacturing meth. High school students who were stopped by a law enforcement task force for approaching a known meth dealer's house that they were watching, and the list goes on...and on...and on.

In my imagination, I see the angels in heaven weeping every time a child of God turns to drugs like meth. Jesus himself sits weeping on his throne over the destruction and chaos that is in the lives of his innocent, little children. How Jesus feels about babies and children is made clear in the following verses from Luke 16. 
15 People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
Jesus also said in Luke 16:
26 “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

I am praying for the Pestilence of Meth to be removed from the lives of children everywhere. Pray this prayer with me:

Father God, Jesus,  please remove the pestilence of meth from the lives of innocent babies and children. Heal the babies born to addicted mothers. Soften the hearts of their parents so that they will be receptive to hearing about a different way to feel super alive. Let them hear about Jesus and let them desire to be born again and feel super alive in Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit. Father, I am weeping before you because of the meth born destruction that I see in the lives of children all around me. 
Open the eyes, ears, and hearts of your faithful ones to reach out to families and bring the Good News of Jesus into their live. I know the workers are few, but the harvest is bountiful and needs to be brought in. Instill the need for community outreach in the spirit-led, leaders in your worldwide church.
I ask these things through the mighty name of Jesus Christ, who obediently died on a cross to save your children in all generations. 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

My Pastor Introduced Us to the Tater Family Today

My pastor is preaching a series of sermons from the book of Nehemiah. He used the Tater family anecdote below as his lead-in to the sermon today. Every church has this family. 

Some people never seem motivated to participate, but are just content to watch while others do the work. They are called Speck Taters.

Some people never do anything to help, but are gifted at finding fault with the way others work. They are called Commen Taters.

Some people are very bossy and like to tell others what to do, but don't want to soil their own hands. They are called Dick Taters,

Some people are always looking to cause problems by asking others to agree with them. They are called Agie Taters.

There are those who say they will help, but somehow just never get around to actually doing anything. They are called Hezzie Taters.

Some people can put up a front and pretend to be someone they are not They are called Emma Taters.

Then there are those who love others and do what they say they will. They are always prepared to stop whatever they are doing and lend a helping hand. They bring real sunshine into the lives of others. They are called Sweet Taters.

By love serve one another. - Galatians 5:13

I cannot find an original author for the Tater family, but there are several versions available on the internet. SalleeB

Verse of the Week - John 15:13 - September 28, 2015

Twenty-two states have declared September 27th to be First Responder Appreciation Day. I want to thank all of the men and women in law enforcement, fire fighting, and EMT/EMS for all that you day every day on the job. 

John 15:13 is an appropriate verse for all the first responders who have lost their lives in the line of duty. Say thank-you to a first responder today. I would like to challenge you to pray for first responders daily for a week. Keep them blanketed in love for all that they day. 

Psalm of the Week - 82:3-4 - September 28, 2015

Twenty-two states have declared September 27th to be First Responder Appreciation Day. I want to thank all of the men and women in law enforcement, fire fighting, and EMT/EMS for all that you day every day on the job. 

My daughter Ashley was on a small, over-powered motorcycle on a private gravel road by the Gasconade River in Osage County. She hit an SUV . Ashley was life-flighted from D Hwy. in Osage County, MO to St. John's Mercy in St. Louis, MO. 

Thank-you to all of the EMT's, Life Flight crew,  and law enforcement officers who were on the scene that day. You saved my daughter's life and now she is the mom of a two and a half year old with another baby on the way. 

My daughter Ashley is alive today because of the dedicated work of first responders. Thank-you!!!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Balance: "Life is a See-Saw" a Half-Day Women's Conference

Recently, I attended a half-day women's conference. The topic was balance in your family, career, marriage, church, finances, friendships, trust, and faith. The Missouri Baptist Women's Ministry speaker, Valerie Howe, shared a model that she uses to help her stay in balance. I took notes on the information that she shared about her model and am sharing it with you.

  1. Be aware of how you feel
  2. Accept responsibility for how you feel
  3. Allow God into your heart through scripture and prayer
  4. Act to keep your heart taken care of.
My personal favorites from the conference are:

  • Jesus cared for his heart in solitude and allowed God into his heart through prayer and scripture.  Valerie's model is not new, she pointed out that it is following Jesus' model. 
  • "Secrets always manifest."  a Beth Moore bible study quote that applies to accepting responsibility for how you feel. Quit hiding from how you really feel and accept it.  
  • "God, will you hone my words?" a Kathy C. Miller quote that Valerie used made an impact on me. I am familiar with honing, or sharpening a blade. However, hone also means to refine, or perfect over time. An "ah ha!" moment happened to me. Normally, I just ask God to keep my mouth shut. Are you with me? Now, I can ask the Lord to refine, or perfect my words. Wow. I am sitting here filled with happiness that the Lord is still teaching me his ways. 
  • Repentance is a process.
  • Interruptions can be an appointment from the Lord. Jesus was interrupted in his teaching. (Luke 5:17-20)
Conference Scriptures
  • Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2 NIV was the conference scripture.
  • John 4 NIV - Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman  Click Here for the scripture.
  • Luke 8:43-48 NIV Jesus heals a woman with a bleeding illness   Click Here for the scripture 
  • Luke 5:17-20 NIV  Jesus' teaching is interrupted  Click Here for the scripture

Monday, September 21, 2015

Psalm of the Week - 23:1-6 - September 21, 2015

David spent a lot of time shepherding his father's sheep. When David wrote this metaphor saying God is a shepherd, he knew from personal experience how much care a shepherd gives to a flock of sheep.
Sheep will die without a shepherd taking them to water, good grass, and the safety of a sheepfold at night. Wolves would circle the flock and the shepherd would  cast stones from a sling to drive them off, or kill them. 
David expressed his complete trust in the Lord and his knowledge that the LORD would always accompany him. David stated that goodness and mercy would follow him all the days of his life and he would dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
This scripture prayer can be prayed by all believers in Jesus. What a powerful message is contained in this psalm of David.  

Verse of the Week - John 10:11 - 21 September, 2015

In John 10, Jesus was explaining to the Pharisees who he was. He also stated that the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. Jesus gave his life for us, the sheep. This  verse reminds me of the African-American spiritual, "Were You There?"
Were You There

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?
Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?
Can you hear the Roman soldier hammering in the spikes? Can you hear Jesus groan as the cross is slid into a hole and lifted upright? Can you hear the weeping of Jesus' followers? The good shepherd gave his life for the sheep. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Do You Believe? Yes! I Do!

September 20, 2015

Bill and I went to watch the movie,Do You Believe?, at our church. We are still filled with the joy and connectedness at being children of God. The twelve lives in the movie were inextricably intertwined around small wooden crosses that the pastor gave his congregation after having to examine his own faith when he was asked by a street preacher if he believed Jesus had died on the cross for him. 

Twelve people each had an encounter that changed their lives.The EMT who couldn't apologize for sharing Jesus with a scared, dying man. The EMT's wife, a nurse, who hadn't given her whole life to Jesus, just part of it. The homeless mom who didn't believe God was there because her Christian husband died and left her alone with their small daughter. The older couple who were stuck in the grief and sadness of losing their daughter. The pastor's wife who didn't want to take in a pregnant teenager because she couldn't have children. The pregnant teenager who ran away when her family took her to an abortion clinic instead of an ob-gyn appointment. Two brothers who were gang members. A veteran who went to a bridge to jump off, but saw a lonely woman on the other side of the bridge who was there for the same reason. A female lawyer who was raised around the church, but had left faith far, far behind. The doctor who had no faith in anything except his own ability to heal. And the dying ex-con who befriended the homeless mom and her daughter.

The scene I loved best was when Joe, the ex-con, died in the hospital from an infection and Stage 4 Leukemia. The nurse who was on duty was the EMT's wife. On the bedside table was one of the small wooden crosses. The doctor signed the death certificate and left the room. Then, a miracle occurred. Joe woke up and said he felt amazing! The nurse ran to get the doctor, but even in the face of this miracle, the doctor would not believe in the power of God. 

Several people in the movie face death. The Christians with a deep and abiding faith are not afraid to go home to Jesus because they know with all their heart that Jesus died on the cross for them. They know they are taking their place in the kingdom of God. 

I am aware that many reviewers feel this movie is too overtly Christian. In my opinion, the purpose of this movie is to cause Christians to look at the depth of their own personal walk with the Lord before they have to face death. Isn't the point of being a Christian to fulfill Jesus' Great Commission?
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”                                                    Matthew 28:18-20 NIV

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Coincidence or God's Plan?

Poet and Blogger Sallee Bonham with her 2009 PT Cruiser.
Coincidence or God's plan? You decide.
Today, 9/15/15, at 3:35 PM, I (SalleeB) was driving home from work in Vienna, MO on Hwy. 42E. As I approached the Gasconade River bridge, a large doe bounded up the right hand slope toward the highway. I veered toward the left, but for no apparent reason the large doe spun around and ran back down the embankment. I said,"Thank-you Jesus!" Due to the incident, I began driving about 10 miles an hour slower than normal.
Five minutes later, as I was driving down a steep hill toward a sharp, 35 mph curve, a man on a Harley Davidson motorcycle, going west, rode into the sharp curve. Halfway through the curve, the motorcycle crossed the center line and entered my lane. Quickly I stepped on the brakes of my PT Cruiser and dropped 10 mph of my speed. The motorcycle rider regained control and got his bike back into his lane. I again said,"Thank-you Jesus!"
Is it coincidence that these two incidents happened 5 minutes apart? I think not. I believe God has a plan for the rider of that Harley Davidson motorcycle. If I had not encountered the deer, I would have been driving at my normal speed, I would not have been able to avoid hitting the motorcycle. I am convinced of this.
I already belong to Jesus and am his servant. I know I am going home to Jesus when I die. However, what about the rider of the HD motorcycle? Or, does God still have an important task for me to do? No matter what the answer to either question, I believe God was at work today.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Verse of the Week - 1 John 3:6 - September 14, 2015

  • Renouncing sin is the great proof of spiritual union with, continuance in, and saving knowledge of the Lord Christ.
  • Beware of self-deceit. He that doeth righteousness is righteous, and to be a follower of Christ, shows an interest by faith in his obedience and sufferings. 
  • But a man cannot act like the devil, and at the same time be a disciple of Christ Jesus. Let us not serve or indulge what the Son of God came to destroy. 
  • To be born of God is to be inwardly renewed by the power of the Spirit of God. Renewing grace is an abiding principle.  
  • And the regenerate person cannot sin as he did before he was born of God, and as others do who are not born again. There is that light in his mind, which shows him the evil and malignity of sin. There is that bias upon his heart, which disposes him to loathe and hate sin. There is the spiritual principle that opposes sinful acts. And there is repentance for sin, if committed. It goes against him to sin with forethought. 
  • The children of God and the children of the devil have their distinct characters. The seed of the serpent are known by neglect of religion, and by their hating real Christians. 
  • He only is righteous before God, as a justified believer, who is taught and disposed to righteousness by the Holy Spirit. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil. 
  • May all professors of the gospel lay these truths to heart, and try themselves by them.

Matthew Henry's Bible Commentary

Matthew Henry was a Nonconformist Pastor in England. His commentary on the bible is a great help to me in learning to apply scripture to everyday life and devotions. I find it as pertinent in 2015 as it was when he wrote it in 1714. SalleeB

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Psalm of the Week - 89:1 - September 14, 2014

"...And faith in the boundless mercy and everlasting truth of God, may bring comfort even in the deepest trials."      Matthew Henry's Concise Bible Commentary

No matter what we are going through we should continue to sing of God's loving kindness because he is faithful in all circumstances. SalleeB