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”



Sunday, October 30, 2016

Psalm of the Week - 119:45 - October 30, 2016

I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts. Psalm 119:45

The Service of God is Liberty
We need to pray that we may never be afraid or ashamed to own God's truths and ways before men. There is no full happiness, or perfect liberty, but in keeping God's law. We must never be ashamed or afraid to own our religion. The more delight we take in the service of God, the nearer we come to perfection. Not only consent to his law as good, but take pleasure in it as good for us.     Matthew Henry's Bible Commentary

Verse of the Week - Romans 8:26 - October 30, 2016

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. Romans 8:26

How happy I am that the Holy Spirit dwells in me! 
The Holy Spirit intercedes for me  with God. I may not know what to pray, but the Holy Spirit does.
Sometimes, the only words that I pray is, "Help me, Father." 
In times like this, the Spirit is interceding for me, too. After all, who knows my mind and heart better than the living Spirit of God that dwells within me? 
My Heart is Sad
Additionally, my heart is sad for my brothers and sisters who are living in persecution around the world and the growing immorality all around me. The Holy Spirit takes this sadness I bear and intercedes for me in unspoken groaning to our Heavenly Father and his son Jesus.

Honestly if you are a spirit-filled and a spirit-led child of God, sadness for the state of this world should be in your heart too. This doesn't mean you should be visibly sad, just aware of the inroads the Enemy has made in society around the world.


Can you picture the Holy Spirit groaning our sadness to God in heaven for the state of his creation?  

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Verse of the Week - Romans 8:26 - October 23, 2016

How happy I am that the Holy Spirit dwells in me! 
The Holy Spirit intercedes for me  with God. I may not know what to pray, but the Holy Spirit does.
Sometimes, the only words that I pray is, "Help me, Father." 
In times like this, the Spirit is interceding for me, too. After all, who knows my mind and heart better than the living Spirit of God that dwells within me? 
My Heart is Sad
Additionally, my heart is sad for my brothers and sisters who are living in persecution around the world and the growing immorality all around me. The Holy Spirit takes this sadness I bear and intercedes for me in unspoken groaning to our Heavenly Father and his son Jesus.

Honestly if you are a spirit-filled and a spirit-led child of God, sadness for the state of this world should be in your heart too. This doesn't mean you should be visibly sad, just aware of the inroads the Enemy has made in society around the world.
Can you picture the Holy Spirit groaning our sadness to God in heaven for the state of his creation?  




Psalm of the Week - 119:44 - October 23, 2016

Alley Springs, Eminence MO
Author Sallee Bonham on bottom left of picture. 
Picture taken by Jamie Roberts 2016 

Bill and I went on a fall ride a week ago. 
We knew it would probably be our last outing before the weather turned. It was chilly as we rode our bikes to the meet up in Houston, MO. Eleven of us arrived at the gas station that is located at the crossroads of Hwy. 63S and Hwy. 17 in Houston. We topped off our gas tanks and then the group rode the smaller highways through Summersville and on to Alley Springs. 
Fall in the Ozarks
As we road down one of  the smaller roads that was bordered by trees, the wind kept brown leaves swirling around  in the air like leaf airplanes circling an airfield. The leaves would tip left and right while floating downward like a graceful airplane landing on the runway. Yes, fall has arrived in the Ozarks and ride season is at an end for those of us who can't, or don't ride in cold weather all bundled up like a mummy. 
Lunch and Fellowship
Lunch was a happy affair and Jesus was a topic of our conversation. Being with a group of fellow believers who always want to obey the Word of God and share the Good News of Jesus Christ is uplifting. It is a spiritual refueling so to speak. The Holy Spirit in each of us was smiling as we enjoyed the day that the Lord had made and were glad in it.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Forgiven and Trying to Reflect Jesus

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13

Forgiven, so forgive others
As I read this verse, the last phrase caught my attention, "Forgive as the Lord forgave you." Now I KNOW that I was forgiven for all of my wrongdoing before I made a commitment  to follow the teachings of Jesus.
My before Jesus motto: Life in the fast lane. That was the 1970's - 1980's lifestyle I practiced.
I left Jesus behind me when I left home at seventeen years old to go to Navy boot camp in Orlando, Florida. The old saying, sewing some wild oats, is one way to describe how I lived for about sixteen years. 
My life with Jesus motto is: Jesus is Lord of my life.
When I came to Jesus, he forgave me and my life changed forever. Today, I read the Bible, stay sober, and have become a completely new woman. I was forgiven all of my wrongdoing by the blood of Jesus Christ. The Lord forgave me and  I have to forgive others. 
Reflecting Jesus can be tough, but I am trying my best to do this, one day at a time with Jesus Christ. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

A Joyful Dog Mom, OR Not

Being a dog mom is a lot like being a toddler mom.
The Accident
Nugget missed a step on the back deck stairs and fell down the stairs. I felt sorry for him and carried him up the steps. BIG mistake. 
My Mistake
He won't come up the stairs by himself anymore and I carried him up the stairs several times a day for two days.That got old fast! I decided to let him out front with Thumper, who isn't confined to the fenced in yard because she always does her business and comes right back in. I should have known better.
Disappearing Dog
Yesterday morning Nugget went out with her and disappeared for an hour. I saw him in the trailer park, but he came home when I called him. BUSTED! I told him he was NEVER going out the front door again.
Stubborn Mom Takes On Stubborn Dog
After church, Nugget goes down the back deck steps with the other two dogs and won't come back up. I put a bucket of water along the fence and left him outside by himself. Every time the other two dogs came back in the house, I would call Nugget and offer a treat, but he would stand at the bottom of the stairs wagging his tail at me. Finally at 10 o'clock last night, 10 hours after he went down the back deck steps, he finally decides to bound up the back deck steps like a deer and come in the house.
The Winner is...
Mom won that round and learned a lesson with the stubborn little dog.  
He may look innocent with those big brown eyes and wagging tail, but inside is a crafty, little manipulator ready to take full advantage of a situation.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Psalm of the Week - 119:43 - October 16, 2016

As I read this bible verse, one word comes to mind  - faith. The word of truth is the Holy Bible. I speak that truth and have put my hope in that truth.

I have no doubt that Jesus lived as man and god, died on a cross for my sins, arose three days later, taught the disciples before ascending to heaven, and the Holy Spirit was given as promised.

I know that the Holy Spirit dwells inside me and has sealed me as a child of God. I never want the word of truth taken from me. It is what grounds me and sustains me. 

Verse of the Week - Ephesians 1:13 - October 16, 2016

Having believed is the key here. I believe the gospel of my salvation, the Holy Bible. I believe the truth that it contains. My life is lived according to the Bible and because I believe, I am marked with a seal, the Holy Spirit. 

I don't know about you, but I am in awe of the fact that I am sealed as a child of God by the Holy Spirit. 

Using wax seals on stationary, or important documents, has gone out of fashion. However, we still mark important documents with a watermark that reads important, confidential, or even top secret. These watermarks are incorporated as part of the documents. 

Think about this, the Holy Spirit is like an invisible watermark that is imprinted upon each bible-believing, child of God. The Holy Spirit isn't visible, but our actions should reflect his presence. Do my actions let others see that I am sealed with the Holy Spirit? I surely hope so. 


Sunday, October 9, 2016

Verse of the Week - 2 Timothy 2:8 - October 9, 2016

Photo by Cindy Hicks-Butler at the Cruising for Christmas Toy Ride in Belle, MO 10/8/2016

Athletes train, practise, and compete according to the rules of their sport. 
Training requires a commitment to practicing daily, pleasing their coach, and learning the techniques of their sport so that they may win in competition and receive a medal.

Training Daily
Training daily requires an athlete to leave their old life behind. They make a decision to live a committed life devoted to their sport. The next requirement is to listen to their coach.

Coach is the Boss
Athletes who do not listen to their coach don't make it very far in their sport. A coach isn't going to put up with an athlete who isn't willing to follow their instructions. The instructions are meant to help the athlete develop into a stronger, more proficient competitor through learning the techniques of their sport.

Follow the Rules
Once an athlete becomes a proficient competitor, they are still not going to win and receive a medal unless they follow the individual rules of their sport. Athletes are expected to be familiar with the rules of each competition they compete in. 

Similarly, Christians train too. 
Christian training requires a commitment to practise living in a new way daily, pleasing their coach, Jesus,  and learning the techniques set out in the New Testament.

Leave the Old Life Behind
Daily life requires Christians to leave their old life behind. they make a decision to live a committed life devoted to their sport, Christianity. The next requirement is to listen to their coach.

Jesus left clear instructions for every Christian to follow in the New Testament. 
These instructions are meant to help each Christian to develop a deeper faith and a closer relationship with Jesus. Christians who follow the instructions of their coach stop being a new Christian and develop into a mature Christian who handles the demands of life more proficiently. Our coach wants us to live in a way that reflects that fact that we are living in accordance to the Biblical teachings. 

Christians must stay focused and become more familiar with the teachings of Jesus. 
The teachings from our Heavenly Coach will enable us to receive our crown when we arrive at the finish line in Heaven. That is the goal - victoriously arriving in Heaven and being with Jesus for eternity. 

Psalm of the Week - 121:8 - October 9, 2016

God watches over his children in the same manner that a pet owner takes care of a beloved pet. 
I watch over the coming and going of my dog Beast every day.
Why do I do this? Because I love him and want to make sure he has everything that he needs to be happy and healthy. In the same way that I watch over Beast, the Heavenly Father, the Maker of Heaven and Earth, watches over me. I have absolutely no doubt about this.

Do you have a beloved pet that you ensure is happy, healthy, and wants for nothing? 
If you do, then you need to realize that God watches over you in the same manner that you see to the needs of your pet, or pets. God loves you. Yes, he wants to make sure that your needs are met, now and forevermore.

No Spoiling
I tend to over-pamper my pet. That is where God differs from me. He takes care of me and makes sure my needs are provided. However, he isn't going to spoil me. At least, that has been my experience. 

Spiritual and Physical Needs
God meets my spiritual needs and provides my must-have physical needs like food, a place to live, and clothing. I trust Him to do this in the same way that my pets don't doubt that I am going to provide their needs. I know they are dogs, but I can better understand my relationship with God in this context. 

The Analogy
I hope this analogy between the way we watch the comings and goings of our pets and how God watches our comings and goings helps you to find a closer relationship with God. He loves us. Trust Him to be watchful today and forevermore. 





Monday, October 3, 2016

The Ordinary, But Faithful Conference

What does ordinary, but faithful mean to you? 
This was the theme of the conference that I attended and the first small group discussion question at the conference. Good question isn't it? 

Conference Focus
The conference focused on Mrs. Noah, Ms. Anna, and Mrs. Eunice/Mrs. Lois. The attendees listened to and discussed the lives of these four ordinary, but faithful women in the three part, large group session. Each part of the large group session began with ladies in robes who addressed us as if they were Mrs. Noah, Ms. Anna, and Mrs. Lois. 

Personally, I was surprised that I didn't know who the last three were and that I had somehow skipped over the verse or two that mentions these ladies without stopping to think about them. 

Mrs. Noah
Mrs. Noah had to take a faith walk when her husband told her God had instructed him to build a boat in the yard. Think about how you would react to that. How would the neighbors act during the 75-100 years it took to build the ark? Mrs. Noah had to leave her parents and family behind to a terrible end. I'm sure Noah and Mrs. Noah tried to get them on board with God. Then, she had to adapt to life on the ark for a year. Her "ordinary" days certainly required her to be faithful. 

"God has a purpose for each ordinary day...In our ordinary days and our ordinary ways...Remember we serve an extra-ordinary God."

Ms. Anna
Ms. Anna was a prophetess who lived at the temple in Jerusalem after her husband of seven years died. If she married at fourteen, which was the normal age to marry, she was only twenty-one when her husband died. She met Jesus when Mary and Joseph brought him to the temple. You find this information in Luke 2:36-38.

Fasting isn't necessarily from food. You can fast from social media, TV viewing, or busyness. Yes, fasting isn't just fasting from food. This was a reminder that I needed to hear. 

"Anna gave thanks...all those years of ordinary days in the temple worshiping, serving, praying, and fasting allowed her to witness the newborn Christ and proclaim Him to others. This proclaiming Him to others makes any ordinary day Special!"

Mrs. Eunice and Mrs. Lois
Mrs. Eunice and Mrs. Lois are Timothy's mother and grandmother. Paul mentions them in 2 Timothy 1:5. Wow! These ladies had to let go of Timothy and let him leave to preach with Barnabas and Paul. Timothy was with Paul when he was in chains. This was a sobering thought because I am a mom and a grandmother. It is easy for me to identify with these ladies' feelings and emotions. 

"Mom and grandmother had a role in the life of their loved one. In our ordinary days, using our limited time left to influence the next generation! We walk each ordinary day serving our extra-ordinary God with purpose."

Small Group Session
Each small group had the same 5 questions and readings to discuss:
  1. What does "Ordinary, but Faithful" mean to you?
  2. Which woman could you identify with the most? Why?
  3. What is the world's view of "success"? How does this world view affect you sense of worth? Would this world view have an impact on how you view your ordinary days?
  4. Read 2 Corinthians 5:7 and discuss practical ways you can continue to grow in your faith walk.
  5. Read Luke 25:21 and discuss the meaning of the verse. Are hearing the words of Jesus your heart's desire?
The Conference Impact On Myself
I believe this conference impacted my life by causing me to look more closely at the lives of these biblical ladies and relate what happened to them to myself. These ladies may only be mentioned briefly in the Bible, but they had a huge impact on the lives of their loved ones and church family. 

No matter how insignificant I may feel in God's plan, my life and how I live it does matter. 
The impact of my faith may not be seen by me now, but in the future I may be blessed to see how the ripples of my faith have spread outwardly from me and have touched the lives of those around me like the ripples from a stone tossed into the still waters of a pond. 




Sunday, October 2, 2016

Verse of the Week - John 3:29 - October 2, 2016

My wedding day was full of love and joy. When we walked down the church aisle as Mr. and Mrs. Bonham, our hearts were overflowing with joy and love for each other. Our friends and family flanked us and we were the center of attention.

This is how I imagine it will be when I hear my spiritual bridegroom's voice as he greets me and welcomes me home. On that day, I will know a completeness that I cannot even imagine. Amen? 


Psalm of the Week - 121:7 - October 2, 2016

Lake of the Ozarks photograph by Cassie Pilger 
In the same way that I can stand on a hilltop and survey the landscape, the Lord will keep watch over my life. The Lord is over all, through all, and in all of my life. (Ephesians 4:6) He doesn't want harm to befall me, or any of his children. He is an ever-vigilant God who loves me.