Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Something Wonderful is Going to Happen to Me Today


This is what Joyce Meyer tells herself every morning so a couple of years ago I decided to give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised that something wonderful happens each time I profess it aloud, most often within the half hour.

Sometimes the "wonderful" is an event or something physical. Other times, it is a prayer answered, or the realization of a blessing received and not noticed, or a prayer answered that you thought wasn't, or to experience a feeling of love inside that is so powerful that it wants to explode. This is why it is so exciting wondering what the "wonderful" will be that day. It surprises you each time it happens.

Yesterday, I said it aloud again in the morning and kept waiting all day long for the “wonderful” to appear. Granted, blessing upon blessing happened but no “wow” moments like I’m accustomed to when saying this phrase. I must admit that I’m sure God answered that request almost immediately but my mind was focused on something else and didn’t realize it.

Last night in the darkened bedroom as I was waiting to drift off to sleep speaking to the Lord, I was overcome by the realization that God has given me the desires of my heart and all I had to do was to delight myself in the Lord. I practically cried myself to sleep, not from sorrow but from happiness. That was my “wow” moment.

Psalm 37:4
Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

When we get so caught up in earthly desires we fail to experience the best things in life. The things that bring true happiness... the things that bring everlasting happiness... the happiness that the cares of this world cannot destroy or take away.

For over two years now I have drenched myself in the Word of God. I have listened to hundreds and hundreds of Christian messages from a half dozen or so Bible teachers that God has brought into my life in the pursuit of happiness.

I just wanted to be happy. Isn’t that what we all desire?

We are constantly on the search for happiness instead of going to the source of all happiness… the Lord.

The world will tell you differently but I’m here to ask you… have you found it out in the world? In worldly possessions... in worldly pursuits... in worldly beliefs? I don’t think so. You can find happiness there but without God being in the center of it, the happiness you experience will only be temporary. Then you will be off pursuing something else. Searching and searching for something you will never find. Happiness is internal, not in external things.

True happiness is when you understand how this world operates and conform to it. The only way to do that is to go to the Creator. He created this earth for us to enjoy but there are laws that govern how it operates. If we don’t know those laws they bring death or unhappiness. Just like the law of gravity. When we cooperate with it, we can use it to our advantage. When we don’t believe in it or disregard it, then it will kill us or hurt us.

There are also truths that you will only find in God's Word. Once you understand these truths you know why things are the way they are.

This morning I was faced with my last tweet from last night.

Psalm 119:50b
Your word has given me life.

God’s Word has given me life, the life I always have desired. God has given me the desires of my heart and continues to each and every day.

All it took was me to surrender my life to Him and meditate on His Word. It was the best decision I have ever made. And it is available to you as well.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Hope

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

I’ve heard this verse from every minister. I have read it a hundred times, but a few weeks ago this verse jumped out at me and spoke to my heart causing me to meditate on each word.

The Bible scriptures are powerful and are meant for our advantage. We are to use them to navigate this life.

2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

Each word is not randomly placed. Each word is important. Each word in the scriptures is powerful in of themselves. To really understand the Bible we need to “know” the Bible. We need to break down the scripture then meditate on it allowing God to speak truth to us. We are to mull over them throughout the day. That way we get a deep understanding what they mean. The more we meditate on them the greater the revelation. That's when we can grab hold of them and use them. They become as seeds when planted in good soil that produce a great harvest (Mark 4:9).

Joshua 1:8
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Success and prosperity aren’t restricted to our career or to wealth. It applies to our emotional well-being, our spiritual well-being, our health and so much more.

Psalm 1:2
But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.

We find delight when meditating on the Word of God. It keeps us in harmony with the way God created us to live in this land.

Now back to the verse in question:

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Many of us have become accustomed to just throwing the word “hope” out there myself included. But to really have hope in something requires faith to back it up. Faith is the “substance” of hope. To have faith we have to see it coming to pass before it does. We need to imagine it happening and we need to expect that our hope will be fulfilled. If not then it is just wishful thinking with no back-bone behind it.

James 1:6-8
But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

When we hope for something it is a form of asking. It should be something that we believe will happen. If we are always wavering how will our mind know that it is really something that we want?

The definition of hope is: noun: a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen; a feeling of trust; verb: want something to happen or be the case.

If we hope for something it should a desire. The good news is that God is in the “desire” business.

Psalm 37:4
Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

However, we have to play by His rules.

Jesus said in John 10:10
The thief (Satan) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

God wants us to have an abundant life; an abundance of peace, joy, contentment and more.

The next time you hope for something make sure it is something God wills for you then put some faith behind your hope. Give your hope some substance. Imagine your desire coming true then hang on tight believing that it will come true without wavering until you see it come to pass.

Remember, the prayers we pray, the things we ask of God, our hopes and desires He fulfills if we ask and believe in faith without doubting. When we don’t see them answered it is because it was against the word of God, we stopped believing for them or we were so focused on something else we didn’t recognize they came true.

Our prayers, hopes, and desires aren’t always answered exactly how we expect but they are always answered as we prayed. God must work through people. Our prayers, hopes and desires mostly come through us acting on what God instructs us to do or through other people hearing God and obeying Him. They aren’t always instantaneously answered. They can take time.

This is my new goal. I will give substance to my hopes. My imagination and thoughts will give evidence to my hope and I will start seeing better results. I don’t want my hopes just to be thrown out into the world to be blown away. I want my hopes for other people and myself to come true. There is great joy witnessing a hope for someone else being fulfilled.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Who Is Weeping Over You Today?

Jesus wept. — John 11:35

This is the shortest verse in the Bible and one of the saddest verses. Each time I read this verse I cry as well.

Jesus wept because those whom He loved didn’t have faith in Him. They knew He had performed miracles but didn’t trust that He would do it for them since He wasn't there in person at the moment they thought they needed Him. They gave up on Him. They didn't believe He was who He said He was.

It’s sad to think that Jesus weeps over me each time I don’t honor Him by putting my trust in Him. He died for me. He came to earth, took on human form, conquered the devil and brought peace between God and man. He took on all of my sins so that I can live with Him for eternity. Eternity which began the day I accept Him as my Lord and Savior.

The Bible is the most intriguing, fantastic and satisfying book that I have ever read. The words are alive and each day when I read it something pops out that seems new or a new revelation is obtained. It never gets boring no matter how many times it’s read.

The more I read the Bible, I see how much God loves us and wants to take care of us.

My father loved me so much and wanted my life to go well. He provided for me, comforted me when I was sick and taught right from wrong. I now see that God loves me more than my earthy father ever could. God is the ultimate Father. The Father we all have ever dreamed a father could be. He wants to do what my earthy father did but in a perfect and complete way.

I don’t have to wait until dad comes home now to talk to him or for him to give me guidance. God is always there the instant I need to speak to Him. He has put His Spirit inside of me that brings to remembrance all the guidance I need to tackle anything that comes my way and if that isn’t enough all I have to do is ask for His help. God wants to provide for my every need. I just need to believe, trust in Him and have patience.

He wants to do the same for you as well. God’s love for us is more than we can even imagine since we have never received that from another human being.

Jesus weeps for you as well. You were created for one purpose, to have a personal relationship with Him. Once you do, you will start receiving the love that you’ve always desired and so much more.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

I Survived

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of the final airing of Burn Notice and I continue to marvel how God has created this world for us to survive when faced with challenges we never thought we could get through without being adversely affected.

What amazes me is that not only did I survive, but I thrived this past year. In my wildest imagination I would have never guessed this past year would have brought more happiness than I’ve ever experienced before and not just happiness but unbelievable peace, contentment and a deeper love for family, God and life.

Granted I miss the excitement of the anticipation of the show returning each season and the new episodes. However, it has been replaced with excitement each morning wondering what blessing God has in store for me for the day.

God has been answering prayers I have had for years leaving me awestruck by the end of the day.

It truly has been an incredible year.

It actually started about eighteen months ago or so after I first faced the possibility of the show ending. I had become so obsessed with the show that I was deeply concerned that when it ended it would send me into a bout of depression and possibly make my illness unbearable again and I didn’t want to lose the happiness that the show had brought since its beginning.

Never did I realize that making one decision would have turned my world one hundred eighty degrees to the better. That one decision led me from one revelation to another about life and one change to another leaving me now in a position to handle anything that comes my way. That one decision fulfilled my ultimate goals in life.

I have God and Burn Notice to thank for it. If the show hadn’t ended and God hadn’t taken my hand, I might never have made that decision.

I have so much to look forward to wondering where this wonderful life will take me.

Thank you Burn Notice. I will continually be blessed because of you.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

We All Have Dreams



Today I was sent a message "We all have dreams. But in order 2 make dreams into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, & discipline. -Jesse Owens".

Many months ago I committed my life to God as a living sacrifice as in Romans 12:1-2 to be used by Him.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
[Romans 12:1-2]

As a result, my dreams are now God's dreams for my life. I no longer want to be in control but rather be lead by God.

He created me so He knows what plans He has for my life. He knows me better than I know myself. He knows what will make me happy and what will make me sad. I am tired of trying to do it my way. I want to live my life as Jesus would want me to.

As a result I am often overwhelmed by the favors and blessings that God is giving me. To most they would seem insignificant but to me they are tremendous. I am awestruck by God's mercy and grace.

The Scriptures says "Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart."
[Psalm 37:4]

God is changing my heart giving me His desires and supplying what I need to reach His goals. I have been blessed with things I never knew existed and received blessings I never expected. He is making it happen for me.

It is no longer a struggle making my dreams come true. I have put my trust in Him and He will guide me. It won't always be easy but it will be simple as long as I let Him lead.

I will let God promote me when the time is right. I will let God get the glory and as a result He will be the one who gives me recognition.

Even though I live in this world I no longer want what the world wants. My desire is to be a part of God's world.

I don't want what the world has: anger, strife, bitterness, resentment, sadness, pain, anxiety, worry, anguish. I want what is in God's world.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. [Galatians 5:22-23]

When I live in the fruits of the spirit I know I am on the right track. When I don't it is just an invitation for Satan to come into my life and make me miserable.

So dear friend, I don't desire to take "an awful lot of determination, dedication, and discipline." to accomplish my dreams. That is how the world operates. It's a struggle when we try to do it our way. I will let God clear the path as I take one step at a time to reach the goal He has for me.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. [Jeremiah 29:11 KJV]

The NKJV says "a future and a hope." God has an expected end for me. Therefore, I don't have to worry about the future. God will give me the vision, strength and ability to accomplish what He has planned for me. The only dedication I have to make is to God and that is no longer difficult as long as I keep my eyes on Him and not on the world.

God has been leading me to the point where I finally turned my life over to Him without any reservation. Each day is exciting waiting to see what God has in store for me. I still have problems, just not as many. The Scriptures I have planted and continue to plant rise to the surface to assist me in dealing with whatever comes my way. I have put my entire trust in God and now do as He wishes. The Bible is my guide.

I am constantly surprised with the change in my life. I was so foolish not to realize that God created this world and me. He knows how it works. I no longer try to swim upstream when all I have to do is float and rise to the top when a wave goes by.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Battle

 

38 "I have pursued my enemies and destroyed them;
Neither did I turn back again till they were destroyed.
39 And I have destroyed them and wounded them,
So that they could not rise;
They have fallen under my feet.
40 For You have armed me with strength for the battle;
You have subdued under me those who rose against me.
[2 Samuel 22:38-40]

What enemy are you battling against today: depression, anxiety, fear, hatred, anger, pain, sickness, grief, job loss, weight gain, addictions? These words from David are powerful and inspired by God. They are the key to success. The Bible is full of Scriptures to use to battle against all our enemies so we can lead healthy, successful lives.

The majority, if not all, of our enemies are within us; in our minds. Often we are our own worst enemy. We accept thoughts to enter our mind that we should be rejecting.

Our minds are powerful. The words we speak are powerful. More than we can ever imagine.

One sentence or one thought can literally destroy a person. They will mediate on those words until they become larger than life. They will blow an event or words spoken over them out of proportion instead of rejecting them and moving on.

One thought can change a person. Just one though has brought enormous success to millions and millions of people. If you think back, you probably can recall one thought that changed your world. An idea that came to mind that you acted upon that turned a situation around to your benefit.

Our biggest battles in life can be won by getting our mind in agreement with God. God created this world and He knows how it works. He created us so He knows what it takes for us to lead healthy, successful, happy lives. When we turn our backs on God we turn our faces to Satan.

Evil is real. Evil is in the world to kill, steal and destroy us. [John 10:10] When we are suffering from something that is hurting, whether it is physical or mental, it is the result of evil entering our life. We opened a door for it to enter, either through ignorance, immaturity, or disobedience. We may not have intentionally known that's what we were doing, but the truth is that's what we did.

How many times have you told yourself, "I'm coming down with a cold." then you do. Those thoughts become a self professing prophecy. At one time I was bombarded by severe colds. One day I said enough. I never want another cold. Now when I feel the first 'symptoms' of a cold, I chase away any thoughts about the symptoms or the possibility of a cold coming on. I keep my mind active on anything but that. As a result I rarely experience a cold, and the colds I do get are the result of me not talking my mind off from the symptoms.

The same applies to headaches. For years I suffered from chronic headaches 24/7. They started in the 7th grade. After suffering with this condition for years taking aspirin every three hours, I finally had enough. I told the headache to go away. And guess what? They went away. I just change my thoughts. The minute I felt a headache starting I told it to go away then went on with my day and it left. It was so simple.

I do the same with insect bites. They no longer itch or swell. I leave them alone and don't think about them and forget I was even bit. I change my thoughts and focus on anything but that.

What I've been doing was turning my back to my enemy and no longer giving him power to destroy my life.

Jesus came into the world to make peace between God and man. His death removed the wrath that God once had against us because of the sin that was in the world. Jesus came to bring us salvation. Salvation is healing. He healed the wrath between God and man, but Jesus also came to heal the sick and the lame. He came to heal our broken hearts, our sadness, our loneliness, our despair, our relationship with God.

When man was created there was no sickness, disease only gladness of heart and communion with God. There was no evil in the world at that time until Eve ushered it in because of her disobedience to God. They didn't even know evil existed. With the first bite they received the knowledge of evil.

Sickness is of the devil. Sickness is evil. Jesus gave us power over evil with His death. This is something that those before Jesus came didn't have. God gave us power over sickness, over disease, over all the ills of society. But we have to believe without doubt and have faith. Evil rules only when we give it power to do so. We give the power that God gave us to the devil to use to destroy us.

Again the question arises. What battle are you facing today? Are you resisting it or have you allowed yourself to become a slave by allowing the enemy to hold you captive, preventing you the freedom to enjoy life.

Today, I am fighting the biggest battle of my life so far and I will win. I will take the advice of Samuel and destroy my enemy with the help from God. I have allowed my enemy to have too much power over me but that will end with each thought I chase away that is harmful and replace it with powerful, positive thoughts from God's Word that will heal me and make me whole once again.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Miracle of the Ice


We have been dealing with an ice situation like we do each year because our home faces north. The sun during the winter cannot reach our sidewalk or the top part of our driveway. Also the downspouts are situated where they run off onto the driveway and a portion of the sidewalk. We recently replaced a large portion of the front sidewalk causing the ice to build up thick in the sections we didn’t replace. It’s a winter nightmare.

Even though this situation is frustrating, most winters we just throw a bunch of salt on the icy areas and they eventually disappear.

But this winter has been different. Last winter we had the majority of 30 pound bag of salt left over from the previous year. With the lack of snow and ice the salt turned hard, rock hard. I decided instead of us hammering the block of salt to make it usable I would just throw it away and buy new salt.

I was extremely happy when I found a 10-pound bag, so I purchased only one after asking the manager if they would continue to carry that size all winter. He assured me they would. The previous year I saw a very large display of 10-pound bags towards the end of winter in this same store so I believed him. I didn’t want us to have to deal with hardened salt next winter if I could avoid it.

Never did I expect this would be the winter of all winters with an unusually heavy amount of snow and extremely cold temperatures. Our 10-pound bag was rarely used due to the extremely cold temperatures since the snow didn’t melt off from the roof or surrounding areas of the sidewalks and driveway. Until… twice we had an inch or two of snow followed by a downpour of rain followed immediately by more snow and extremely cold temperatures.

Our 10-pound bag of salt quickly vanished trying to remove the ice from steps and a portion of the sidewalk never realizing that due to the large amount of snow salt was scare. With spring approaching the large chain stores weren’t expecting additional winter salt to arrive. Various stores kept telling me call back on Tuesday, call back on Thursday. I called everywhere I thought they just might happen to have salt without any luck.

In the meantime, we spent over two hours with garden shovels breaking up the ice on a warm day which allowed water to form underneath the ice dislodging it enough for us to chip it away. The snow alongside the sidewalk and roof continued to melt throughout the night collecting on a few areas which we were so excited to be rid of ice. Before morning the temperatures dropped below freezing and the ice returned.

Desperately I searched for salt again without any luck. Before the ice was crunchy with only a few slick spots, but now the ice was like a skating rink… smooth and extremely slippery.

Of course, I was the only one worried about this because of my health condition and for the delivery guys that bring me presents from online ordering.

I prayed to find salt, but my prayers were not serious and therefore I didn’t find any. Now I needed help that only God could provide.

I turned the situation over to God and He reminded me that we still had two containers of cat litter stored away in the event we decided to adopt another cat since our last little one had passed away. I retrieved the cat litter and sparsely sprinkled it onto the ice. It just sat on top making it still slick maybe even slicker. I thought at least I would have some traction, but not so.

I never lost faith that God would get us through the remainder of February and March with the melting and freezing that lie ahead.

I had to run an errand three days after turning the situation over to God. Each day I kept my eye on the ice which never changed.

I was pleasantly ecstatic after bundling up to face the extremely cold temperatures when I saw the ice was gone. The icy patch was approximately nine to ten feet long and thick. We had temperatures below zero with highs in the teens since I turned the situation over to God. There is no way it could have melted on its own. It was God. He performed a miracle because I put my trust in Him.

God loves us. God created us just to love Him and fellowship with Him. He wants to be part of our daily life. He wants to go to work with us, spend the day with us, He wants to go shopping with us. Every place we go, He goes with us.

Sadly, we often ignore Him, when all He desires is to give us the best that life has to offer. But in order to receive we must put our life in His hands. We need to allow Him to take care of us. That’s all He asks of us.

He is a good Dad. He is a great Dad. He is an awesome Dad.

God doesn’t always perform miracles in our lives, but He had equipped us to handle each situation that comes our way. He has given us the Bible with the answers to leading to a healthy, prosperous life full of peace, joy, love, happiness and contentment. But unless we know His Word we will never experience all that He desires for us.

This is not the first time I put a situation into His hands with miraculous results. I have put large problems in His hands trusting Him and He came through at the moment it was needed. Just like with the Miracle of the Ice.