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May 20, 2024

The Lord is good to those who hope in Him, to those who seek Him.  It is good to wait quietly for the Lord to save.  (Lamentations 3: 25-26)

How often do we rush ahead and do something before asking God what He wants us to do?  Must we admit that at times we don’t get God involved because we know He will lead us in a direction we don’t want to travel?

We are faced with huge life-changing decisions more often than we like.  What should I do after high school graduation?  Go to college, join the workforce, or perhaps enlist in the military?  Maybe you just began a new relationship.  Outwardly, they may seem to be your perfect match until you begin to see a side of ungodliness in them that does match up your Christian beliefs.  Do you part ways or take the risk that you can change them?  You found your dream home and you so desperately want to procure it.  Unfortunately, it is above your budget.  Do you buy it anyway with the hope of a promotion?  

In our quick moving world where we often find ourselves in the fast lane, we may find that trusting in God’s timing just seems too hard.  Therefore, we need to take the time to seek God for the answer. He has the best answer. He loves you, and He has blessings in store for you when you listen to Him and know His Will.   

Heavenly Father, thank You, Lord, for knowing what I need in my life even when my desires may not be what’s best for me.  Only You know my future.  Strengthen my faith every day and give me the courage to quietly and patiently wait for Your voice to guide me.  

In Jesus’ Name I pray,

Amen.

Inspired by Miriam Drennan

May 13, 2024

“Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means “rock”), and upon this rock I will build my Church and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.”           (Matthew 16:18)

Some define “Church” as “the community of God’s people”, “an assembly of believers”, or “a universal group of people throughout history who trust Christ”.

While this is true, God created and chose the Church, He loves the Church, He is faithful to the Church, and as children of God, we make up the Church.  God has called us with a Holy calling to a Holy work for His Glory.  That work is to go, make disciples, and scatter into our culture the truth of who Jesus is and the love He came to share with us.

For whatever reason, some may choose to distant themselves from Church but when we do, we miss out on all the reminders of who Jesus is and the strength He left in each one of us through fellowship, prayer, worship, teaching, and encouragement from the Church family.

Remember, the House of God is never closed.  There is always a seat waiting for you to fill.  The joy you will find in Church will sustain you, give you peace, and make life easier to live.

Heavenly Father, help me to always see the importance of Church in my life.  Thank You, Lord, for the strength, peace, joy, fellowship, and Love that can be found in no other place than Your Church.

In Christ’s Holy Name, I pray,

Amen. 

May 6, 2024

The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn which shines brighter and brighter until full day.  (Proverbs 4:18)

Sometimes trepidation concerning the upcoming day may cause you to have a sleepless night.  Perhaps you just sit looking out your window.  As time goes by, you begin to see a gradual change in the sky.  As the sun begins to appear on the horizon, you may see a display of beautiful colors like pink and orange begin to move the darkness away and usher in the light.  As you look upon this splendor, a taken for granted miracle, you seem to forget about the sleep you lost.  Hopefully, you will experience a renewed energy that only a new day can bring.  

Even if you have a restful sleep, take the time to look at the horizon.  You will be reminded that every new day is a new beginning.  God, through His Creation and His Power, will give you hope that your dreams can come true.  So don’t get discouraged.  Ask God for guidance, stay committed and stay hopeful.  

Heavenly Father, thank You, Lord, for Your faithfulness in completing the plans You have for my life.  Only You know what my future holds.  Give me patience when I think things are going too slow.  Let the sunrises remind me to never give up but to keep my hope alive and my faith strong.

In Christ’s Holy Name, I pray,

Amen.

May 6, 2024 

April 29, 2024

Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.  (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Sometimes life throws us a curve and we find ourselves in an uncomfortable or perhaps even a frightening situation.  We wake up and expect our day to be just another typical day but, in an instant, something out of our ordinary can change.  Perhaps you or someone you know becomes ill or injured; you may receive news that your company is closing and you are faced with unemployment; the relationship you have with someone special may come to an end.  In times like these, it is so easy to panic and allow fear to enter into our lives.  We lose focus and feel all alone. 

But, as believers, we know we aren’t alone.  God is always with us, walking with us, even carrying us when our burdens become too heavy.  And, the Good News, God doesn’t ever become bothered, upset, or even get tired of helping us when we feel weak, helpless, or hopeless.  We may ask others but sometimes they don’t have the answers.  But God does.  He knows our needs and will always be there even when our circumstances are so overwhelming.

Heavenly Father, thank You, Lord, for Your faithfulness.  We all go through different situations in our lives when we couldn’t take a single step without You.  Thank You for Your patience, the fact that You never grow weary, and for Your constant Presence in our lives.  You are an awesome God!

In Jesus’ Name I pray,

Amen.

Inspired by Stacy Edwards

April 22, 2024

ENCOURAGEMENT & A PRAYER

Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy, and eat!  (Isaiah 55:1)

In our busy and demanding world, we constantly search for entertainment.  Sometimes, we even follow sinful distractions to fuel our energy.  We assumed that things we wanted were synonymous with what would satisfy our longings.  But, one day, we find ourselves on empty.  We look back over the years and realize our souls are starving for God’s spiritual nourishment to fill us and craving His pure living water to quench our thirst.  Unfortunately, we find that in our spiritual starvation, we have begun worshipping false gods like money, careers, and success.

But there is Good News!  If you are starving for Spiritual food, simply open your Bible and listen to God’s words found in the pages of Scripture. Pay attention to what He says and follow His instructions.  If you have strayed and your soul is thirsty, come back to Jesus.  He has so much compassion for you and He longs to forgive you of all your sins.

Heavenly Father, thank You, Lord, for Your pure living water that quenches our thirst and for Your Word that fills our souls.  I pray that everyone who may be parched and hungry will seek Your Presence so they may be refreshed. 

In Jesus’ Loving Name, I pray,

Amen. 

Inspired by Kelly Minter

April 15, 2024

That’s also why you pay taxes – so that an orderly way of life can be maintained.  Fulfill your obligations as a citizen.  Pay your taxes, pay your bills, respect your leaders.  (Romans 13:6-7) 

Tax Day! Many people enjoy tax refunds so if you do, congratulations.  However, others are required to pay more taxes on this dreaded day.

Tax collection dates back to ancient Egypt when Pharoah collected 20% of all grain harvests.  In Matthew 17: 24-25, Peter says that even Jesus paid temple taxes.  As much as we may dislike paying taxes, the Bible commands us to do so.  We can freely take tax deductions, enjoy tax breaks allowed by the government, and even shelter money if done legally.  However, illegal or dishonest methods of evading taxes must be rejected or you may find yourself with a new, but not so desirable, different address!

The most frequent objection:  Money is being misused by our government or even used for evil purposes.  However, in Matthew 22:21, Jesus said to pay Caesar the things that belonged to him.  And we all know that he was by no means a righteous governor.  Paul even instructed people to pay taxes to Nero, one of the evilest Roman emperors in history.

Bottom line:  Like it or not, paying taxes is the duty of a citizen.  Christians are called to be good citizens in this world but we are ultimately citizens of Heaven.  By following our Earthly laws, we should feel that paying our tax burden in this life should have as its goal an investment in God’s Heavenly Kingdom because we are following His commands. 

Heavenly Father, there are times when we find Your commands a little hard to follow with a cheerful heart.  But, Lord, please help us to keep our sights on the rewards You have promised if we live in obedience to Your Word, even if we walk away from this Tax Day with our pockets a little lighter.

In Christ’s Holy Name, I pray,

Amen.

April 8, 2024

Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will come to you in a thick cloud.”  (Exodus 19:9)

In Exodus, we find the Israelites wandering in the wilderness.  Many times, they called out to God, seeking His help and His Mercy.  But, in Exodus 33:20, we find God speaking to Moses saying that if anyone looked upon His face, they would surely die.  So, God said He would speak to Moses in a thick cloud.

Clouds are so interesting and amazing.  On a clear day, we see white fluffy clouds resembling huge cotton balls against the vastness of the beautiful blue skies.  Sometimes, we may even be able to distinguish a silhouette of a face floating by, especially after the loss of a loved one.  

However, there are times when we will have experiences that bring dark clouds into our lives.  We may become discouraged or depressed.  This is an opportunity to look up to the clouds and remember that God is always present to get us through.  He just may send rain to wash away those bad times and water your soul with an unexpected blessing.  

Heavenly Father, thank You, Lord, for the majesty of the sky You gave to us on the second day of Your Creation.  When dark clouds loom over our lives, remind us that the silver lining of Your Glory will appear.  We know that Your presence will put the pieces of our lives back together into an extraordinary tapestry of Your beauty.  You alone are such an awesome God!

In Christ’s Comforting Name, I pray,

Amen.

Inspired by Dr. Billy Graham

April 1, 2024

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.  (Hebrews 13:8)                                                                                                   

Isn’t this Scripture comforting?  Most people enjoy the order, the normalcy, the consistency of everyday life.   You know, business as usual.  But we live in a world that is constantly changing.  What seems to be acceptable in today’s world is vastly different from the values and pace of yesteryear.  In the blink of an eye, everything can change. 

But the Good News…Jesus never changes.  For those who are lost, Jesus is always just a breath away, waiting for you to ask Him to come into your heart.  His love for you will never fade and His ability to save will never cease. Jesus is always faithful, always forgiving us of our sins, and He will always be by your side.  Jesus knows our every need and comforts us.  He can move the mountains that cause us to struggle and has demonstrated over and over that He is trustworthy.  

So, let’s think about it.  Jesus is the same He has been since the very beginning.  He is with us today and He will be with us forever more into Eternity if we will believe in Him and accept Him as our Lord and Savior.  

Aren’t you glad that Jesus never changes?  

Heavenly Father, thank You, Lord, for Your Consistency.  In this fast pace, constantly changing world, You are our Rock and we know that we can find comfort in Your Arms.  May we find peace in knowing that Jesus is the same as He was yesterday, today, in future days, and forever into Eternity with Him. 

In Jesus’ Unchanging Name I pray,

Amen.

Inspired by Stacy Edwards

March 25, 2024

Then the soldiers nailed Him to the Cross.  (Mark 15:24)                                    

He isn’t here!  He is risen from the dead.  (Matthew 28:6)

Even when I wish not to and no matter how hard I try,

When I look to the Cross of Jesus Christ, I cry.

His Arms were spread open for me to receive,

If only I will humbly come to Him and believe.

 

Thankfully, for you and for me

Jesus gave His Life upon that tree.

As a sacrifice for all my sins, His Blood was shed

And after so much suffering, my beloved Jesus was dead.

 

He was laid in a tomb, a grave so to speak

With all of His loved ones now seeing life empty and bleak.

But Jesus rose on the third day, defeating death

Giving to all a new life, a refreshing new breath.

 

So now when I think of the glorious Resurrection,

My tears are replaced with a smile and I feel a sense of protection.

I know my Savior came in love

And now He guides me from above.

 

Jesus gave me His Holy Spirit to share

And to show others how much I care.

I will love Him until the day I die

When I go to Heaven and live with Him on High.

 

Heavenly Father, thank You, Lord, for Your sacrifice.  My sadness of the Cross has now turned into gladness with Your Resurrection.  Please give me he appropriate words as I share this wonderful story of salvation with others.  May all of their struggles and tears turn into smiles of joy.

 

In Christ’s Name, I pray,

Amen.

March 18, 2024

The man’s face clouded over.  This was the last thing he expected to hear and he walked off with a heavy heart.  He was holding on tight to a lot of things and not about to let go.  (Mark 10:22) 

Tomorrow is the first day of spring and some have the desire to do spring cleaning.  We clean our closets, drawers, cabinets, attics, garages, and even those hidden nooks and crannies.  You see, it is so easy to accumulate “stuff” and we sometimes allow that “stuff” to be considered as our treasures.  But, if we aren’t careful, these things may begin to take up too much space or time in our hearts and lives.  Without realizing it, this “stuff” somehow becomes our idols.

We find in today’s Scripture Jesus speaking to a rich young ruler.  He showed Jesus respect, he took pride in following God’s commandments (even though he was breaking the first and most important one), and he had the outward appearance of being a Christ follower.  But Jesus knew his heart and knew that he loved riches more than he loved God.  This young ruler asked Jesus what he must do to inherit Eternal Life.  Jesus told him to sell all of his possessions, give his money to the poor, follow Him, and only then he would have Eternal Life.  The young ruler was shocked with Jesus’ answer because he considered himself worthy.  Unfortunately, he was unwilling to give up his possessions, his idols, and, sadly, he walked away from Jesus.

If you have something that stands in the way of putting God first in your life, now is the time for a spiritual cleaning.  Simply ask God to show you the idols in your life and pray that He will strengthen you to love Him more.

Spring is a time for a refreshing new start.  Declutter your home, but more important, declutter your heart.  You will never have complete peace and joy if you allow something or someone to come between you and God and giving your all to Him.

Heavenly Father, thank You, Lord, for all You have given us.  My heart’s desire is that, with Your Wisdom and Guidance, You will be my one and only true treasure.  Teach me to hold loosely to the material things of this world for I know they are temporary.  Only through Jesus Christ will we have an Eternity with You Lord in Heaven where our treasures will be permanent.

In Christ’s Gracious Name, I pray,

Amen.

Inspired by Stacy Edwards

March 11, 2024

Look, the winter is past, and the rains are over and gone.  The flowers are springing up, the season of singing birds has come, and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air.  (Song of Songs 2:11-12) 

The beginning of Spring is quickly approaching.  It is such a glorious and refreshing time of year and is often associated with re-birth and a sense of hope.  The cold days of winter begin to subside, days become longer, Earth seems to come to life, seedlings begin to sprout then bloom into beautiful flowers, birds begin to sing, animals awake from hibernation, and finally we can store away our bulky winter coats!  

Springtime can also be a powerful time to draw closer to God as we are presented with the possibilities of new beginnings.  Many people feel rejuvenated both in their lives and in their faith during this new season.  Spring is also a perfect opportunity to dive into God’s Word.  Re-read and study your favorite Scripture.  God will open your eyes and heart to something new that you many have not seen before or wonders you may have never even imagined.  And, you will be blessed with God’s Goodness.

Whether it’s a long walk on a sunny day or splashing through puddles during an unexpected shower, soak up the blessings of spring.  Let the sights, sounds, and the smells of this new spring season bring to life something new within you.

Heavenly Father, Creator of all things, thank You, Lord, for Springtime and the beauty of renewal You bring to our Earth and to our spirits.  Grow us to be strong.  Nourish and protect us with Your Truth as we radiate Your love, compassion, and Your Glory to all.

In Christ’s name, I pray,

Amen.

March 4, 2024

Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found.  (Psalm 119:35) 

True happiness:  A state of contentment, confidence, and hope found in Jesus Christ, produced by the Holy Spirit, and cultivated by intimacy with God.

In today’s society, we often hear, “God just wants me to be happy.”  Yes, God does want us to know happiness but He does not mean for anyone to use this narrow focus on happiness as a means to excuse sin.  God clearly teaches that our happiness is to be found only by following His commands.  

But let us not be fooled by the devil.  He will produce short term feelings of happiness.  However, the brief satisfaction of sin in our lives will never reap God’s rewards nor give us Eternal Life with our Heavenly Father.

Instead of going along with the crowd or thinking you can find happiness by following the culture of our sinful world, we must be willing to stand up for God’s truths even when it’s not popular.  We must love God more than the world.  Don’t seek approval from the world but only from God.

Just always remember, in Jesus and in His teachings, we will find true happiness.

Heavenly Father, thank You, Lord, for the precious gift of happiness.  May we insert happiness into the lives of others as share the Good News of our Lord and Savior.  

In Jesus’ delightful Name, I pray,

Amen.

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