Thankful February 22, 2018

Yesterday was an interesting day here in the little town of Bridgeport, Texas. First we had an ice storm move in, so I had to leave work after only working 2 hours and as desperately as I need every penny and cannot afford to miss work, I knew if I did not leave when I did I could end up missing a lot more work than a day or two. So I warm up my car and scrape off the ice that was already covering my windshield and head home. I didn’t make it out of the driveway of the apartment complex where my client lives before my windows were icing up, so I stopped and scraped the ice off again. I didn’t make it a block before the ice on my windows would not be moved by my windshield wipers, and unfortunately the road I was on there was no where I could safely pull over and since there were cars behind me I had to slowly trudge along using the lights on the car ahead of me to make sure I was on my side of the roan. A five minute drive turned into a 20 minute one, but thankfully I made it home safely without any incident. Thankful to be home safe and warm a power surge hit. Electricity went out. I was told ice on the power lines were to blame. Thankful to own thermals and sweats I layered up. Reports of accidents and hearing sirens from ambulances I was thankful to be home safe. Hours later still no electricity I was thankful for my little French press. I had decided to see if any work was being done to fix the electric for the apartments I live in and to see how other neighbors were doing. One neighbor said they were dealing without having power but they sure wanted some coffee. I told them I had a French press and could make them coffee. All I needed to do was boil some water and thankfully our stoves are gas. So they brought over some coffee and their coffee pot. So thanks to my little press we had coffee and they could take some home. Just as I finished pouring the coffee into their pot the lights came on. They took their coffee home and I went to blowing out candles. The second I blew out the last candle there was a loud bang. The transformer blew. Once again we were in the dark. It was hours later before it finally got fixed and the electricity came back on.

There are many lessons that can be learned from this day.

1 The true source of power comes from God alone. Jesus told His disciples He had to return home but that He would send us His Helper. This being his Holy Spirit.

John 14:26  (NKJV) But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

2 That even in the darkest hours of our lives when there is little light or none can be seen at all He is with us.

John 8:12  (ESV) Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

There are many more I could share with you but today the one that is important to me is this. Be thankful always. Not only when the sun is shining and you are happy and do not have any worries. James tells us to count it all joy when we face trials and tribulations.

Ephesians 5:20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.


Is it time for a change of your name?

As you read through your Bible you find that names were changed by God. In Genesis 17:5 You read that God change Abram to Abraham and in verse 15 Sarai becomes Sarah. Jacob becomes Israel, Simon becomes Peter, and Saul becomes Paul are just a few names that were changed by God.

So why the name change? When a woman marries a man she then takes on his family name which identifies her as his wife. Think about that we are called the bride of Christ. Who we were before we came into the knowledge and relationship with Jesus is now a part of our past. That is who we used to be, but now we are made new by Jesus.                 2 Corinthians 5:17  (NKJV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.                                       Isaiah 43:18 “Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past.
Ezekiel 36:26″Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

Most of us still identify with the person we were and still hold onto the traits of the person we were before we received Christ Jesus as our Savior and repented of our sins. When we repented, we turned from our sinful way of living and turned to Jesus, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father but through Him.

I can try to change my behavior on my own, but this is nothing more than what is called behavior modification. My actions have changed but the desire to do the things I once did is still there. There are two things that I need, but not limited to, and they are (1) The heart of Christ Jesus.  James 4:8  – Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse [your] hands, [ye] sinners; and purify [your] hearts, [ye] double minded. 1 Samuel 16:7  – But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for [the LORD seeth] not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. (2) I need the mind of Christ. For how I think and see things are not how God sees or thinks. Isaiah 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

I have to make the decision to submit to God and allow Him to transform me into the creation He wants me to be so that I can better share the love of Jesus and testify what God has done for me through His Son Jesus. How He changed my life in ways that I never could on my own.


If God changed your name today, what do you think He would change it to?

What part of the old you are you holding onto? (like an old pair of jeans that do not fit anymore but you hold onto because one day they might fit again)




Would you die for your enemy? Lessons of love /January 8, 2018

It is written, ‘No one has greater love than this—that one lays down his life for his friends.’ John 15:13.

Now think about this; ‘Would you die to save the life of your enemy?’

Many would easily give up their life to save their child, their spouse, family members,  friends, and some would do so for a stranger they see in danger. To give up your life for someone who hates you, who despises you, who wants you to you to feel pain, have your life destroyed and even wants you dead, could you sacrifice your life for these people? Would you want to? If we were to be honest our first response is a big fat ‘NO!’.

Yet as I have meditated on the sacrifice our Heavenly Father gave, when He sent His Son to pay the price for our sins and the fact that Jesus did not have to do this but that He loves us as much as our Father does, He surrendered His life. Before He was crucified, He was mocked, ridiculed,attacked, falsely accused beaten and spit upon.then crucified still being mocked, and what were His words? “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.’ How much mercy and love He had not only for those who loved and followed Him, but He loved those who were His enemy. He died for to save the lives of those who were and are His enemy. We have all sinned. Those of us who have not only acknowledged our sins and repented, we have also received Christ Jesus as our Savior and Lord. Through His sacrifice we have been adopted into His family and have become children of God, but before this we too were His enemy.

Can we love others as He loves us, or do we continue to only those who love us, and that we feel are worthy of our love?

Is there anything you can do today to show love to someone who has made it clear that they hate you?

Love for Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor’ and ‘hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be like your Father in heaven, since he causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Even the tax collectors do the same, don’t they? 47 And if you only greet your brothers, what more do you do? Even the Gentiles do the same, don’t they? 48 So then, be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48 (NET Bible)


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.


December 18, 2017 Monday

The Lord is always good and faithful, so why is it that we who are called His let fear and doubt overcome us. Most days we live bold as lions and our faith does not waiver. Throw the worse at us and we face it without fear. Then there are those days that something as simple as an unpaid bill and fear and worry fills our thoughts. ‘Where is the money going to come from? Is our electric going to be turned off? How will we pay the rent or mortgage?’ Just a few examples of fears we can have. Not that paying our bills are not important because it is, but I am not afraid of someone attacking me or hurting me even when I am alone in a dangerous area. Tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, etc… and I am as calm as can be. Put a a bill in front of me and my mind races to figure out how is it going to get paid. I know the His Word and that He is Jehovah Jireh, the Lord who provides for my needs. He has kept me alive and been there with me in the darkest hours of my life. So why is it when it comes to the things I should trust Him without a second thought, I go into panic mode? I think of this scripture when I struggle with fear or doubt;

Mark 9:24(NKJV) Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

So why do I have fears and doubts when I know God loves me and cares for all of my needs? It is like being an elephant who is huge and strong but is afraid of a little mouse. This is an area I have worked on but still struggle with. I read His Word, pray, and even fast, yet still I struggle. Well tomorrow is another day and I will try again.