Seeds, Trees, and Growth /January 3, 2017

This small grapefruit tree was grown from a seed that came from a grapefruit given to me from a person who had a tree in their garden in Florida. The the original tree was in Florida this new tree is here in Bridgeport Texas. The fruit did not make it here own its own. A person took the fruit from the tree in their garden and brought it here a few years back. They then shared the fruit from their tree and that is how I received the fruit. I ate the fruit and took the seed and then planted it. I did not know that it would grow but God blessed the seed and it did grow and it continues to grow. It has not grown large enough to produce fruit yet but it is still growing. Now think about the seeds and fruits written in the Bible. For a seed to to grow it must be planted and then cared for. You do not just toss it on the ground and expect it to do anything. You first take the seed from the fruit, then you prepare the soil it will be planted in. You then make sure it is watered and that it gets the sunlight it needs so that it may grow. Then as it grows you prune off any dead leaves or branches. It does not grow over night and will need for you to continue to care for it so that it may continue to grow. Now think of the seeds that have been planted in you, the scriptures you have taken in, and the ones you have planted. You have to care for these seeds to see them grow in you and in the ones you have planted. If you neglect these seed they will not grow and if you do not care for them once they have begun to grow they will wither and die.
So what are you doing with the seeds God has given to you?
Food to grow on.
God bless.IMG_0004

Get Knocked Down, Get back Up Again / January 2, 2018

Who has never been knocked down? We all have. We do our best and still get knocked down from time to time. Do we stay down? Some of us do spend sometime wallowing in the pit we fell in, but we don’t stay down. Sometimes to get back up we need the help of another. Yet we get up wipe the dirt or mud off and keep pressing forward. Yet it is so easy when you get knocked off track to go back or to get lost. We forget we are not alone, and that God will never leave or forsake us. This I am grateful for today. I took a good hit this morning when my work hours took a serious cut without any notice. I went to work and in less than an hour I am notified that I have lost a client and no new client is lined up for me. Anger and fear took over me. Panicking about bills that would not be paid, I lost sight that God is my provider, He is Jehovah Jireh the Lord who supplies all of my needs. My attitude went downhill, but thankfully as I began to vent His Word gave me the encouragement that I so needed. ‘Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding’ , came to me. I had to be reminded that no matter what the world may throw at me, God has me. ‘No weapon formed against me will prosper’.

I was disappointed in myself because God had blessed me the week before and the money I was short on rent was given to me anonymously. I was so grateful that God knew my needs and had blessed me through a person who did not want to claim any credit. I ended one year and began a new one with such hope and praise, and now only two days into the new year I stumble. my emotions began to take control and the negative feelings and thoughts came pouring in like a flood. I am so grateful that I did not wallow for long because His Words started filling my mind, but I was still upset that I had complained and spoke negatively. Thankfully the Lord is merciful and forgiving. He picked me up and reminded me I am His and that this was an attack meant to make me fall and stay down. That the enemy wanted me to forget that the Lord is always watching over me. God however did not have to yell to get my attention. He was right beside me and gave me His Helper, and Comforter, the Holy Spirit. His Word spoke softly and clearly. I am not happy that I let myself even for a moment forget this, but He thankfully is not holding it against me. So here I confess that I stumbled and give thanks that He kept me from being harmed.

If you fall of your bike get back up and get back on it and ride. The same goes for falling off a horse, and if your way of traveling is on just your feet, then get back up and walk on.

Philippians 3:13-14(ESV)  Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Proverbs 3:6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Proverbs 24:16 for though a righteous man falls seven times, he will rise again, but the wicked stumble into calamity.

Psalm 37:23-24 The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand.

Psalm 145:14-16 The LORD helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads. The eyes of all look to you in hope; you give them their food as they need it. When you open your hand, you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.

Psalm 63:7-8 for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

Isaiah 41:13 For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

Why a wedding? December 28,2017

Some have asked why did Jesus perform His first miracle at the wedding in Cana.(John 2:1-11)  Yes His mother asked Him to because they  had run out of wine, but this is not the reason. Some ask why Cana? I am not sure about that, and my answer to why a wedding is not fact but as I was studying on baptism and the mikvah/miqveh and the Jewish traditions related to baptism, I saw some similarities with what Jesus has done for us. This reminded me that His first miracle was at a wedding. He turned water into wine, and even this has it symbolic meaning.

First let us look at baptism. Christians are baptized as a public proclamation that we believe that Jesus, lived, died upon a cross and was buried, and then rose from the grave on the third day to pay the price for our sins. Now look at the Jewish practice of the mikvah. If you research Jewish laws and customs you will find that the priests had a ritual cleansing before they could enter the temple. Then a woman who was betrothed would have to do a ritual cleansing as well. There were a few other reasons for a mikvah that I had found but it was these two purposes that stood out to me. A mikvah is used for restoration and purification.

Now look at the betrothal process. A man traveled to the home of the father of the woman he wanted to marry. His father would pay the mohar/dowry if an agreement was made. The payment was usually cash but sometimes a service could be rendered and would suffice to pay the price for his bride. Remember the story of Abraham sending out a servant to find a a bride for his son Isaac or the story of Jacob and Rachel? Both paid the price in different way for the bride. We are the Bride of Jesus Christ and He redeemed us with His blood. Remember the last supper Matthew 26:28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

So a man would pay the price for bride, legally binding the woman to being his bride. At this time she is legally married and no other man could claim her. The mikvah is performed, symbolizing the washing away of the past in preparation for their new life together as one. The man returns home to prepare a place for his bride. He then returns for his bride and the wedding ceremony is performed and then he takes his wife to her new home.

I could go more into detail and maybe I will at a later time, but do you see the similarities?

Water= cleansing / the blood of Jesus cleanses us of our sins/mikvah/baptism

Mohar/dowry = a payment to redeem the bride / the Blood of Jesus

Wine at the wedding = wine at the last supper

The groom goes to prepare a place for his bride / Jesus has gone to the Father to prepare a place for us.(John 14:3)

We are the church, that is the people are His Bride, and He has gone to prepare a place for us, and He will return to take us home.

God bless you and keep you safe from harm, in Jesus name, Amen.

 

 

A Date With God / December 25, 2017

Good morning and Merry Christmas. As you are spending time with you family this morning opening the presents under the tree I pray your time is filled with joy and happiness. When I woke up this morning I really did not want to get out of my warm bed. Then I heard His voice calling me, asking to spend time with me. How could I say no? I had a morning date with God and this is what He gave me to share. I hope it inspires you.

A Date With God / Julie A. Sheppard

Time with God can be compared to going on a date. You see He has loved you all your life. He has pursued and shown you His love each and every day. Then the day comes when you say yes to Jesus and let Him in, but it does not end there. This is only the beginning of the relationship.

Now most of us have dated, and even if you are married now, I am sure you still have a date night with your spouse. During this time you share what is happening in your life, you try to get to know each other better. You talk and listen. Hopefully you laugh and dance, maybe even sing. You enjoy your time together and hopefully you grow closer.

A good date takes effort. You need to open yourself up to the other and in the world you risk being rejected. This however is the good part about being on a date with God, because He will never reject you. He is patient and kind. He always listens and cares about you. He loves you so much that He sacrificed His One and only Son Jesus to die for your sins and not just some of your sins all of them, and Jesus loving you willing gave His life for you. He has given to you the keys to life and victory over the grave. He has many gifts for you to receive. He is Jehovah Jireh ‘The Lord who supplies all of my needs.’

There is so much more to God and even in a life time you will never learn everything about who He is and how deep His love is for you. But don’t you want to spend the time getting closer to Him. Spend special time with Him. You can make it that special one on one time, or that fun group date.  Make the time and put in the effort to get to know Him better. Just because He already knows everything about you, He would like you to get to know Him better. He is the lover of your soul.

Think about the effort you have put into going on a date. The clothes, your hair, the right perfume or cologne, and for you ladies make up. You take the time to prepare yourself. You want to make a good impression. You are hoping it will be worth it and that the date will go well. Here is the great news about your date with God, ‘It is always going to be wonderful!’ No matter when or where you spend time with God, He always has the best planned for you. Sometimes we miss out on some of the things He has for us because we are too busy looking at the clock or thinking about the problems we are having. We can also let our fear interrupt our date. We can put the blame on God even though we know it is a lie and say that He didn’t accept you for who you are, when it is actually you He was afraid f the love He has for you and you don’t see yourself as worthy(good enough/ you have done things you believe no one can forgive, etc…) Don’t let the things of this world, or even yourself, keep you from this quality time. He loves and wants to be with you. The time you spend with Him is special to Him and brings Him joy.

Your date is knocking at the door. Go enjoy yourself and let yourself fall in love with Him.

Your meal for this date;

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”

John 17:24 Father, I want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am, that they may see the glory You gave Me because You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

Leviticus 26:11 ‘Moreover, I will make My dwelling among you, and My soul will not reject you.

Psalm 94:14 For the LORD will not abandon His people, Nor will He forsake His inheritance.

Psalm 9:10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.

Matthew 6:25-33   “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26“Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27“And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28“And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30“But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32“For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

John 10:28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them out of My hand.

John 4:10 Jesus answered, “If you knew the gift of God and who is asking you for a drink, you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

Isaiah 43:1-3 “…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.  For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;…”

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him, and he with Me.

Kay Warren Choose Joy Day 30

I hope you have enjoyed these devotionals focused on joy. You can find her study on choose joy on Kay warrens website or on Amazon. Joy does not come easy for most of us we have to seek it and true joy comes only from the Lord.

http://kaywarren.com

https://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=kay+warren+choose+joy&tag=geminimobiles-20&index=aps&hvadid=30594213703&hvqmt=e&hvbmt=e&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_6xqjgyum8q_e

CHOOSE JOY BECAUSE HAPPINESS ISN’T ENOUGH Audio book download can be found on this website

http://christianaudio.com/choose-joy-kay-warren-audiobook-download