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”

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Be a Believer AND a Receiver

A New Person
Today, I know and understand that I am a new person whose entire life changed once I told Jesus I would do anything he wanted me to do if he would just take away the pain of living life my way. 

I gave my life back to Jesus, but I didn't let go of the guilt, shame, and remorse that were caused by my alcoholic actions and attitudes. I believed it was my job to make myself into a "good" person. 

In early sobriety and the resumption of my childhood faith, I didn't truly understand that I didn't have to try and fix myself, or turn myself into a good believer. I couldn't grasp the simplicity of God giving me what I needed, in return for living a new life of faith. Instead, I strove to make myself a better person by fixing my own faults. That didn't turn out well because all I was truly doing was mentally beating myself up over past behavior that I couldn't change. This misconception caused me trouble for over 15 years. 

Freed from Misconception
Finally, the scriptures that I studied began to make sense. What changed? I started praying for the wisdom and discernment that I needed to understand the Bible. Slowly, I came to understand that as a believer in Jesus, I was freed from the baggage of my past. The alcoholic fueled life that I led for 33 years was washed clean by the blood of Jesus and all I had to do was try to be the best Sallee I could be today. God would fix me himself.

Equip Me and Fix Me
First, I came to believe that God would equip me and fix me as I walked down the path that best served him. That's right. I learned that my life isn't mine to live. My life belongs to Jesus Christ and Father God. 

I began to ask God to shape me and mold me into his will for me. I repeated this over and over to myself in order to let go of the urge to control my own life. I'm stubborn and change is difficult. 

My heart's desire became to be a good servant and do the will of God. As a new person through Christ, I choose to be a servant of Jesus Christ and God. Everything I have in my life, is through, from, and for Jesus Christ. 

I am a Receiver of Blessings 
Today, I am a receiver of blessings because, "the commandments of him we keep, and the things pleasing  before him, we practice." I believe the Bible and I keep the Word of God in my life, and do what is pleasing before him. Therefore, I know I will receive his blessings when I ask. 

Honestly, you just have to make up your mind that you belong to Jesus Christ from the top of your head to the tip of your toes. Make your heart's desire to be a servant. Give your life to him daily if necessary. Every day, look into the bathroom mirror and say,"I can't, He can, and I think I'll let Him." 

Live in Joy Daily! 
The only life any of us truly has is the moment in which we are alive right now. Life can change in the blink of an eye. Be joyful in your faith. You are beloved by Jesus and he wants to take care of you. Live his way and you will be equipped in everything good. 

Hebrews 9:14 NASB
how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Hebrews 10:10 NASB
but He (Jesus), having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD,

Hebrews 13: 21 NASB
equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

1 John 3:22 NASB
and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.

Romans 11:36 NASB
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Verse of the Week - 2 Timothy 3:15 - April 23, 2017

Those who would learn the things of God, and be assured of them, must know the Holy Scriptures, for they are the Divine revelation. 
Those who would get true learning, must get it out of the Scriptures. 

The Holy Scriptures must not lie by us neglected, seldom,  or never looked into. 

The Bible is a sure guide to eternal life. The prophets and apostles did not speak from themselves, but delivered what they received of God.
The Bible is profitable for all purposes of the Christian life.
It is of use to all, for all need to be taught, corrected, and reproved. There is something in the Scriptures suitable for every case. 

Wouldn't it be amazing if all the children of God were to love our Bibles more, and keep closer to them? 
All would at last gain the happiness that is promised within and by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the main subject of the New Testament and prophesied about in the Old Testament.

We can best oppose error by promoting a solid knowledge of the word of truth; and the greatest kindness we can do to children, is to make them early to know the Bible.

adapted from Matthew Henry's Bible Commentary

Psalm of the Week - April 23, 2017

My parents and their 2007 Road King.
My mom and dad love Jesus Christ.
Mom taught my siblings and I to sing "Jesus Loves Me" as soon as we could talk. In fact, I don't remember ever NOT knowing this song.

Jesus has been there for me my whole childhood thanks to my mom sharing her faith with us. 

Every marvelous sight I see, I thank God for creating it and share the experience with others.
I also thank God for sending Jesus to us to take sin upon himself as a permanent sin offering. Peace with God is indeed a marvelous deed. God is my teacher through Jesus' teachings and the inspired Word of God.

A Baptism and a Baby Dedication

Today, God blessed us with a beautiful, sunshine-filled, Sunday morning. 
We were given a Sabbath Day full of sunshine outside and spiritual sunshine inside the church building as the family of God gathered to worship him this morning. Inside the church, we had the opportunity to watch one of our youth get baptized and a young couple dedicate the life of their new daughter to God's family.

My mother did her best to raise me to follow her faith. I loved Jesus and was very religious as a preteen and teen. Then, I left home at seventeen to go into the military.

My mom prayed hard for me after I left home and went into the military.
In Navy boot camp, I continued to go to church on Sunday morning. However, that changed after I reported to my first duty station. I became a member of the world, rather than a church-going child of God. Like many young adults from a strict family, once I was out from under parental supervision I chose to dedicate myself to worldly activities. My momma never quit praying for me.

I didn't forget about Jesus and God.
Guilty feelings accompanied some of my activities, but not enough to stop me until I was thirty-three years old. At this point in my life, I returned to Jesus and the way in which I had been trained because I had proven to myself that I was an alcoholic. My life choices hadn't worked and were not working. Each day brought some joy, but the shame, guilt, and remorse that I felt outweighed the joy.

Today, I am filled with gratitude that my mother dedicated me to Jesus as a child.
I am thankful that she trained me up as a child of God. I never felt hopeless, no matter how bad the life situation I was in felt. Trouble always caused me to turn to Jesus and God, and not hopelessness.

Proverbs 22:6
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

Matthew 18:2-3
And calling to him (Jesus) a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."

1 Peter 2:2
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Witnessing for Jesus In a Dream

I tend to have full color, vivid dreams when I dream.
Last night, for the first time, I dreamed of witnessing to a woman about Jesus.It was a particularly vivid and clear dream. 

The Dream
I was seated at a restaurant table. On the floor, lying face down, was a scantily clad woman. She had on black, fishnet stockings, a black bikini-style top, and a g-string. Everyone was walking around her, or stepping over her. I got down on my knees beside her and carefully rolled her over. 

She mumbled," Who are you?" 

"Someone who cares." I replied. 

Then, I was driving a car and taking her to a hospital. I stopped the car in front of a hospital with a flight of stairs going to the main entrance. I noticed a crowd of people standing on the stairs. The woman moved stiffly as she got out of the car. Slowly she turned around to face me. 

As I looked into her eyes, I felt compelled to ask,"Do you know how much Jesus loves you?" 

" No." Even in the dream, I was conscious of being saddened by this answer from her.  

"Oh honey, he loves you so much that he died for you." I started telling her about Jesus and the crowd behind her became still and quiet. Finally, I watched her walk slowly up the steps. End of dream.

Personally, I don't believe my dream meant anything. 
However, I do feel as if I have studied and absorbed the Word of God until it is appearing in my dreams. I love Jesus with all my heart and want to be his servant whether I am awake or asleep. Amen? 

Psalm 1:1-2
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.

Psalm 119:33-36
Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees, that I may follow it to the end.
Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart.
Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.
Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.

Psalm 119:43-45
Never take your word of truth from my mouth, for I have put my hope in your laws.
I will always obey your law, for ever and ever.
I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Feeling Sad at Easter

Judas followed Jesus and still missed the message of grace that Jesus taught
The sadness started a couple of days ago after reading Matthew 27:3-4.
 Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,saying,"I have sinned by betraying innocent blood."
 The words seemed to sink into my heart as I thought about the remorse that Judas felt. 
A remorse that completely overwhelmed Judas. He tried to return the thirty pieces of silver. Maybe he thought that would help to remove some of the guilt he felt. However, the chief priests and elders didn't want the money either, but Judas threw the silver pieces onto the ground and left. Judas focused on the sin he had committed and let it overcome him. Guilt, remorse, and hopelessness overcame Judas and he hanged himself. 
John 6:64
But there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him.
Judas completely missed Jesus' message of grace and being reborn as a new man. Jesus knew this about Judas;Judas was among the unbelievers. 

John 6:40 - 41
And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day." The Jews then complained about Him, because He said," I am the bread which came down from heaven."
Many of the disciples did not understand the message that Jesus was trying to teach them in John 6
Many quit following Jesus after Jesus told them he was the bread which came down from heaven. Judas was among the unbelievers. Is this when Judas decided to betray Jesus? 

How many people reject Jesus because they don't understand the intent of Jesus' words?
The kingdom of Jesus is in heaven. It is a spiritual kingdom. Jesus is spiritual bread for those who believe in Him and follow Him. 

God has always sought His sheep and he sent a spiritual shepard to reconcile his sheep to himself. In truth, God himself seeks the sheep who follow Jesus Christ. 
Ezekiel 34:11-12
"For thus says the Lord God:"Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day.
Romans 3:21-26
 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
 The bolded section is mine to emphasize the message of what God has done through Jesus Christ. 

All of us have sinned. 
We are freely given his grace and redeemed through faith in Jesus. God passed over our previous sins and is the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. How amazing is that? Sadly, like Judas, many people don't get this message. 

I have sinned. 
God gives me grace through the redemption of Jesus. God is my justifier because I have faith in Jesus. My life is not my own, it belongs to Jesus. I am His. Yes, this makes me smile and joy once again fills my heart and chases out the sadness out of my heart. Amen? 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Psalm of the Week - 101:2 - April 9, 2017

I will be careful to lead a blameless life.
So David did before he came to the throne, which made Saul fear him, and the people love him. David resolved to lead a blameless life.

It becomes all followers of Jesus Christ, in every station of life, to behave wisely. Not as fools, but as wise. 
The followers of Jesus should: 
  • Make the word of God, the Holy Bible,  the rule of their faith. 
  • Consider Christ 's conduct and life as the pattern and example to follow.
  • The Holy Spirit is their guide. 
  • Seek the glory of God
  • behave inoffensively to all
  • live as disciples and strangers here; attending closely to their duty, walking in all the ways of the Lord blameless. 

It is certain that no man lives without sin, or does or can behave wisely in so "perfect a way" and manner as to have no fault. 

Only one man has lived without sin, in a perfect way and manner. This is true of Jesus Christ, he lived without sin throughout the whole of his life.
  • in his infancy
  • when but twelve years of age
  •  in his public ministry
  • in his conduct towards all men
  • in his answers to the ensnaring questions of his enemies
  • in his behaviour at his apprehension, arraignment, condemnation and crucifixion
  • and this to perfection, so that the least fault could not be found in him
With the grace of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit
Without the grace of God, strength of Christ, and the assistance of the Spirit, nothing is to be done that is wise and good. 

If it is applied to Christ, it respects the time of his sufferings and death, when he was without the divine Presence and help.
As a child of God I will:
  • walk within my house with a perfect heart; or "in the integrity of my heart" 
  • behave in a sincere and upright manner
  • rule my own house well
  • set a good example to all in the family
  • perform all duties of a spiritual leader in the family
  • be a pattern of good works
  • bring up my children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord
  • neglect nothing that may contribute to their real good 
The house of Christ is his church and people: here he walks and manifests himself, giving proofs of his sincere love and affection.

Adapted from Gill's Exposition of the Bible by Sallee Bonham 2017

Verse of the Week - Romans 16:19 - April 9, 2017

The blessing the apostle Paul expects from God is victory over Satan. 
Paul expects a victory that includes:
  • all designs and devices of Satan against souls - to defile, disturb, and destroy them
  • all his attempts to keep us from the peace of heaven here and the possession of heaven hereafter. 
When Satan seems to prevail and we are ready to give up all as lost, then will the God of peace get involved in our behalf. We just have to hold out  with faith and patience for a little while. 
If the grace of Christ is with us, who can prevail against us?

Adapted from Matthew Henry's Bible Commentary by Sallee Bonham 2017

Bombings have killed many Christians. My heart is saddened at this type of persecution. However, my brothers and sisters were set free to go home to Jesus. 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Psalm of the Week - 62:8 - April 2, 2017

During my twenties and thirties, I did not trust in God at all times. 
My way of life was to be stubbornly independent until my life was in a huge mess. By this time, I was physically and emotionally exhausted from trying to fix everything with my best solutions. The end result was a lot of emotional pain. At this point, I would finally turn to God and pour out my heart to him. God was my refuge when life was too tough to control by myself. 

Yes, being in control of my own life was very important. 
If I wasn't in charge, then everything would fall apart. Strangely enough, I didn't see that everything was falling apart anyway. I was so focused on troubleshooting what was wrong, that I didn't see what the fundamental problem was - I was not trusting God with my life because I hadn't given him my life. 

Today, my life belongs to Jesus and God. 
Everywhere I go, God is in charge of the outcome. He is a refuge that I seek constantly throughout the day. My life is no longer a huge mess because I am not in control of it any longer, God is. 

An Additional Verse
And Jesus answering said to them, Have faith in God.   Mark 11:22

Verse of the Week - Mark 11:22-23 - April 2, 2017

The day before, Jesus cursed a fig tree. 
The next day, the disciples saw that the fig tree had died and withered away overnight. Then, they called Jesus' attention to the withered tree.

Jesus did not actually address what he had done to the fig tree, but he did address the power of faith in God and the miracles which can be obtained by faith in God. God is all powerful. He can do what we consider to be impossible.

With the faith of God, we can remove mountains from our lives. 
Why? Because as a child of God and coheir to the kingdom, we are related to God and Christ. Additionally, we were given the Holy Spirit when we became followers of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit of God lives inside us. When we remove doubt from our hearts and truly believe in God's power and divinity, we will be given what we ask for. 

Faith that the impossible is possible.  
A woman in the bible had a mountain in her life. Her mountain was an issue of the blood for 12 years, but she had faith that the impossible could be possible. Here is her story:
And, behold, a woman...touched the hem of his garment:For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. 22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; your faith has made you whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour. Matt. 9:20-22
She had no doubt in her heart and Jesus told her it was her faith that made her whole. Her mountain was gone. 

I am a child of god and a coheir to the kingdom of God. 
I believe I can remove mountains from my life by speaking to each mountain and through absolute faith in Jesus, the mountain I spoke to will be removed. 

Remove Doubt from Your Life
Kick doubt out of your life. Doubt will keep you from removing the mountains in your life. Doubt separates you from Jesus and God. Plus, doubt stops your power to be a mountain mover. One way to remove doubt from your life is to simplify how you look at life. Condense everything down to this: Good God - Bad Satan. Yes, that's right. All good in your life is God and all bad in your life is Satan. Doubt is bad, therefore it is Satan and you need to kick him out of your life.

Finally, be a mountain mover through faith in Jesus Christ and Almighty God. God wants you to cast out doubt, have faith in Him, and believe you will be given what you ask for. 

Additional Verses

Matthew 21:21
Jesus answered and said to them, Truly I say to you, If you have faith, and doubt not, you shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if you shall say to this mountain, Be you removed, and be you cast into the sea; it shall be done.

Romans 8:17

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Acts 15:8
And God, which knows the hearts, bore them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did to us;

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Mountain Mover or Mountain Builder?

Bill's Note
My retired husband Bill occasionally leaves me notes from his own bible studies. Usually it is a bible verse or a quote. Yesterday, I arrived home from work and found this note on my computer:
God gives you faith to move mountains and only faith can move them. Fear is what builds mountains. Are you a mountain mover or a mountain builder? 
My answer to this question is "I am a mountain mover!"
Which One?
Today, I  want you to consider the same question that was on my note from Bill "Are you a mountain mover or a mountain builder?"

Mountain Mover
The mountains in your Christian life can be removed through faith and belief in Jesus Christ. You were given the Holy Spirit when you asked Jesus to come into your life and be Lord of your life. Speak to the mountain in your life and tell it to to be removed from you. Believe it with all of your heart, mind and soul! Jesus himself said if you have faith the size of a mustard seed nothing shall be impossible to you.

Mountain Builder
Fear is a tool that Satan uses to keep the children of God defeated and joyless. One of my favorite acronyms for fear is, False Evidence Appearing Real. Fear will keep you from stepping out in faith and moving your mountain.

Mountain Moving Testimony
My youngest grandchild was diagnosed with spina bifida in the fourth month of his mom's pregnancy. Ashley was sent to a high risk obstetrician. Bill and I drove her to the first appointment. The specialty obstetrician told her that, "100% of babies with spina bifida have mental retardation." Bill told the obstetrician that this baby was going to be the exception. This same obstetrician also said that he didn't know what the white spot in the exact center of the baby's little heart was, but that he had seen it before and it was nothing to worry about.

Bill and I know spina bifida is a mountain to be moved through faith and belief.
We told Ashley and continue to tell Ashley that doctors don't know everything when it comes to the power of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. On that day we chose to believe that the white spot in the exact center of our unborn grandson's heart is the Holy Spirit because in Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

After the doctor left, Bill asked Ashley if he could pray for her and the baby. She agreed and he spoke to the mountains of unbelief and spina bifida. He claimed a healing through the power of Jesus Christ.

Surgery at Birth
Ashton had surgery within hours of his birth. He had a VP shunt put in place to drain fluid from his brain and the open area on his lower spine was closed. I prayed over him in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit  and spoke to the mountain of spina bifida in the name of Jesus Christ.
Two weeks later, my grandson went home. The nurses said they had NEVER seen a baby heal and recover as quickly as Ashton. The word "never" occurs regularly when Ashton's progress is discussed.
Today, Ashton is a vocal and happy four year old who attends Head Start.
Ashton has no sign of mental retardation. His healing continues to appear in conjuction with his therapy. Also, he doesn't have seizures and has never taken medicine of any type for spina bifida issues. Additonally, at birth Ashton had no feeling from the waist down. Now he has feeling to his knees. The severe clubbed feet are no longer evident. He wears braces on his lower legs, but we are continuing to speak to the mountain of spina bifida and telling it to move!

Satan is still trying to move in and place doubt into the situation.
Doubt and false evidence are the number one mountain builders in the lives of believers.  I refuse to build a mountain in my life.

Make a choice today to become a mountain mover.
Believe in the unbelievable. Jesus showed that miracles are possible. Believe in the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit and stop listening to the false evidence of the enemy. Yes, the evidence looks real, but it doesn't take into account the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit, God and Jesus Christ.

Mountain Moving Bible Verses
The following bible verses emphasize that followers of Jesus Christ are mountain movers, not mountain builders.

Matthew 17:20
If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you.

Matthew 21:21-22
Jesus answered and said to them, Truly I say to you, If you have faith, and doubt not, you shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if you shall say to this mountain, Be you removed, and be you cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.

Mark 11:22-24
And Jesus answering said to them, Have faith in God. For truly I say to you, That whoever shall say to this mountain, Be you removed, and be you cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he said shall come to pass; he shall have whatever he said. Therefore I say to you, What things soever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them.