Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Come to Me

Isaiah 55:8-9 - For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. 

Matthew 11:28 - "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and it will give you rest."

Matthew 11:28 (ICB) - Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads. I will give you rest.

I Timothy 6:13-16 - I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time–he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.

I Timothy 6:15-16 (CEV) - The glorious God is the only Ruler, the. King of kings and Lord of lords....God will be honored, and his power will last forever.

Revelation 2:4 - "But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had first."

Dear God, please heal my hurts. Please be my hiding place. Please calm my fears and my anxieties. Please guide me. Please give me rest. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

I Already Know

Matthew 6:34 - "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."

Matthew 6:34 (NLT) - So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today.

John 10:10 - "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I cam that they may have life and have it abundantly."

James 4:13-17 - Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit"–yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that." As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do, for him it is sin.

Dear God, thank You for already being in tomorrow so I only need to worry about today. Tomorrow is dental cleaning day and discussing moving forward with the dreaded root canal the dentist said I need. Now that I have dental insurance, there are no more excuses to not move forward with things so my tooth will stop hurting. Though I think it has an inflammation. God, as I was reading the passage in James for today, I read further and I realized that Tom did sin when he treated me the way he did. But I also need to ask myself something. What is Your response to sin and sinners? You hate the sin. You prod the sinner. You lord the sinner so that the sinner understands his or her sin, repents, and can receive Your oerfect grace, love, mercy, and forgiveness. So how can I demonstrate You to Tom? That is my assignment this week. After the dentist tomorrow, my assignment needs to be to initiate demonstrating You to Tom. The fact that he knew that what the church did was wrong and the fact that he did nothing to stop it and then further exacerbated things by doing what he did was a sin. Period. But what You do and what You did for us while we were yet sinners is nothing short of amazing. So I want to follow suit. Because You have demonstrated Yourself to me. So now I need to demonstrate You to others. Thank You for everyday lessons, God. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

My Definition of Wonderful

Psalm 34:4-7 - I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.

Psalm 139:14 - I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

John 17:3 - "And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent."

II Peter 1:16-18 - For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made know on to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory form God the Father, and the voice was borne for him by the Majestic Glory, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased," we ourselves heard this very voice from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain.

Dear God, thank You for making me wonderful in every minute detail about me, from the shape of nose, to the crinkle when I giggle, to the sound of my joy, to my stims from the autism, and yes, even the autism itself. You made me. Shame on anyone who dares judge another person because of how they look or how You designed them. Shame on anyone who dares to try to change the essence of someone just because he or she has autism. They do not appreciate that Your creation is wonderful just as it is. Thank You for creating me. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Unconditionally

John 8:44 - "You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies."

Ephesians 3:14-19 - For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith–that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Hebrews 4:14-16 - Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:15 (CEV) - Jesus understands every weakness of ours, because he was tempted in every way that we are. But he did not sin!

James 4:7-8 - Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Dear God, love no matter what. Unconditional. Does not matter what I do or say. You still love me. Oh, how I wish that people who claim to be Christians would follow Your lead on this one. Sadly, children are abandoned and disowned because the world just does not understand love no matter what. I pray for the hearts of those who bought the lies of the devil. I pray that they will not be lost forever. I pray that fellow Christians will learn to exemplify Your unconditional to others. Not dump them because they have a disability or a handicap. Love no matter what. My heart breaks when I think of Your unconditional love and then see all the many times someone has said they loved me yet then deserted me. Shame on them! I love you no matter what. It does not have conditions. It does not have strings attached. It is always there when you need it. Thank You for perfect love. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Glow of My Presence

Deuteronomy 33:27 - The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms. 

Psalm 27:13-14 - I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

Dear God, thank You, God, for being there on the roughest of days even though I cannot always recognize Your presence during those times. I guess it is like what the author of the poem "Footprints in the Sand" said about not seeing bout one set of footprints when she had the most troubling if days and then You telling them that those were the times when You carried them instead of just walking beside them. When I look back, I wonder just how often I will see one set of footprints in the sand or Your glowing presence? Thank You, God. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Curtain

Isaiah 50:4 - The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.

Isaiah 55:2-3 - Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you and everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.

Matthew 27:50-51 - And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.

John 19:30 - When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, "It is finished," and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Dear God, thank You for allowing me direct access anytime 24/7 to You. I may never meet the president or the queen or the famous celebrity, but I do have access to You. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Trust Keeps You Safe

Psalm 23:4 - Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Proverbs 29:25 - The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.

Proverbs 29:25 (NLT) - Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety.

Matthew 7:1-2 - "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.

Dear God, help me to trust You more. People, being with them, being around all their unwritten social rules, can most definitely be very scary and beyond frightening even! Let me be who I was created to be. Sometimes I want to scream out at the top of my lungs, "Hey! Stop judging me just because I act differently than you or talk differently or look or dress differently. You are no different and no better than me!" I refuse to wear certain types of clothes because they are itchy or scratchy or slippery. I refuse to touch certain things because they confuse the nerves in my fingertips and make feel pain and pleasure at the same time. And I do not like that sensation. Or the tag is in the wrong place (the ones they put at the waistline of shirts? Yeah, just take the metal wire brush and poke me with it a thousand times over. I sometimes wear my sunglasses inside to shield the light or cover my ears to reduce the sound. I put things in my mouth because I need to work on oral defensiveness in a moment that is otherwise troublesome for me. I may not always look at someone when he or she talks to me because it hurts and I need to be able to understand what they are saying. Conversely, I sometimes stare at a person very intently such to the extent that they feel uncomfortable with me because I am not only trying to understand what they are saying but I am also trying to read them and pick up on some of their nonverbal gestures so I can learn what is and is not appropriate. I do not always cry when other people do because I do not understand what they are going through. It does not mean that I do not empathize or sympathize though. It just means I have an emotional disconnect due to lack of experience or exposure and do not have a file to pull from so I know how to respond or what to do. Conversely, I have so many files that I cannot generalize things very well and that causes me to be very detail-oriented. Like with the word glove. "Define glove." I said, "What kind of glove? Do you mean a glove for catching a baseball, a glove for keeping your hands clean and safe from dirty things, or a glove for keeping your hand warm in the winter? Different gloves have different purposes." "So you are saying that a glove is something that covers the hand?" "No. Not exactly, but okay." To this day, I have a mismatch. An oven mitt covers the hand but is not a glove. A mitten covers the hand but is not a glove. My blanket can cover my hand, but it is not a glove. Yes, God, being around other people can be scary! Please help me as I continue to grow in my trust with You so I will not only be safe but not worry about what they think of me. I want to please You, not others. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Compared to Forever

Psalm 16:8 - I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Psalm 16:8 (NLT) - I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.

Psalm 89:15-16 - Blessed are the people who know the festal shout, who walk, O Lord, in the light of your face, who exult in your name all the day and in your righteousness are exalted.

II Peter 1:2 - May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 

Dear God, I look forward to the forever. You definitely are correct that all the worries of this world will mean nothing when compared to an eternity with You. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Be Free

Psalm 68:19 - Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation. Selah

Psalm 68:19 (CEV) - We praise you, Lord God! You treat us with kindness day after day, and you rescue us.

I John 1:7-9 - But if we walk in the light, as he in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

I John 4:15-21 - Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. 

Dear God, just as You have forgiven me, I want, no, I need to forgive a certain person as well. Since he has failed to be the bigger person that I had known him to be, help me to be the bigger person. Help me to blow him away with the same loving kindness You show me every day. Give me strength. The passages in I John are actually really valuable lessons. They are either evidence of his heart or they could be evidence of my growth. I had some of the words I needed for a letter, but not quite all of them. Help me. Guide me. Lead me. Help me find some unpressured time to just write. Help me give him the door to receive forgiveness and final reconciliation. What he did was wrong. How he did it was wrong and unnecessary. But the fact is that he did it. He has one thing he can do to show willingness to receive forgiveness. He knows exactly what that is. And if he truly does believe in You, then he would find a way to do that one thing without worrying what others might think or do. So not only do I ask for You to strengthen me and help guide me, but I ask You to strengthen him and guide him. This will not be an easy thing by no means, but it may the very thing we both need to go through in order to have insurmountable growth. As for fellowship with others, that is hard when most churches seem to actually hate people with special needs, evidenced by the fact that most do not have special needs ministries for children AND adults. They do not embrace people and families with special needs. They try to "fix" or "change" the person with special needs. When they finally get told to cool their jets, they might develop "care teams" that ultimately do MORE harm than good and permanently damage the person. When a person who commits a sin that gets made public to an entire congregation can be fully restored while a person who commits a "smaller" sin that never gets made fully public and then is diagnosed with autism but suddenly gets treated as though autism is the sin and does not get restored fully after going through the same process, something is wrong. It evidences a discrimination that should NEVER exist in a church at any point in time. That church lacks evidence of You, God, and I know it now. I know it and I would imagine he does, too. I would imagine many have awakened to that. While these passage speak to my heart, and his heart, they also speak to the heart of that church. Essentially, You gave a litmus test. You have a few, but they all seem to come back to whether someone says they love You but how do they treat their fellow believer or brother/sister and if they say they love You but act with hate toward their brother/sister, then they cannot possibly love You because You are love. Therein lies the dilemma for me though. I know I need to offer a chance for the offending brother to receive forgiveness and the opportunity to demonstrate forgiveness as well, but yet, should I since based on his actions, he does not even love You, God? Do I offer them an opportunity to receive forgiveness or do I reject them altogether because based on their actions they have evidence that they do not have You? They speak so much about grace yet they failed the real test of grace when it came to the action of grace. Give me wisdom, God, for I am in a conundrum. Thank You, God for forgiveness and for mercy and for grace and for loving kindness. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Your Strength, Your Song

Exodus 15:2 - The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him.

II Corinthians 10:5-6 - We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete. 

Hebrews 10:23 - Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

Dear God, help me not to worry so much about the future and to concentrate more on the strength and song You have for me. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Holy Whispers

I Kings 19:12 - And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.

Psalm 5:3 - O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch. 

Isaiah 66:1 - Thus says the Lord; "Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest?"

Dear God, sometimes I think I need You to shout above all the noise of this world. Please help quiet my mind and help me shut out the noises of this world so I can hear You whisper Your love to me. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Shake It Off

Proverbs 20:24 - A man's steps are from the Lord; how then can mna understand his way?

Proverbs 20:24 (NLT) - The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?

II Corinthians 4:17-18 - For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Dear God, help me as I learn to shake it off and move along. That person who just gave me the weird look because my outfit didn't quite match exactly? Oh well. That person who thinks my megawatt smile is scary? Oh well. That person who just doesn't understand about autism and the need to stim? Oh well. God, help me right now though. I do have a bigger issue on hand. I have been sick with another virus and it is hurting my heart. I keep having palpitations. The fever may have finally broken, but I am still concerned. Give me wisdom, comfort, and healing. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Friday, September 19, 2014

I Am Life

Psalm 27:8 - You have said, "Seek my face." My heart says to you, "Your face, lord, I do seek."

Romans 8:6 - To set the mind on flesh is death, bit to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

Ephesians 2:4-7- But God, being rich in mercy, because if the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-–by grace you have been saved–and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kind sees toward us in Christ Jesus.

I John 2:15-17 - Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world–the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions–is not from the Fatehr but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

Dear God, help me to not allow the things of this world to distract me from You, from life with You. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Working for Me

Matthew 6:33 - But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

John 8:29 - "And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him."

Colossians 3:23-24 - Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

Colossians 3:23 (NLT) - Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.

Dear God, thank You, God, for being with me in everything that I do, whether it is the large things or the seemingly small things. Help me make the right decisions each and every day. Bless my time with You and with others. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Control Equals Peace

Psalm 37:5 - Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.

Psalm 37:5 (ICB) - Depend on the Lord. Trust him, and he will take care of you.

Proverbs 16:9 - The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

I Peter 5:6-7 - Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Dear God, it is so hard to turn over complete control to You. I tend to want to take the steering wheel or the brakes and control things myself. But then others throw curves at me. Things do not always go as planned. Help me sacrifice control to You and give me Your peace in return. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I Make You Complete

Psalm 139:13-16 - For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.

Mark 8:36 - For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?

Mark 8:36 (ICB) - It is worth nothing for a person to have the whole world, if he loses his soul.

II Corinthians 3:17-18 - Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

Dear God, You know every part of me, every single cell and hair and pigment of me. As TobyMac says in his song, I don't want to gain the world and lose my soul. Fill me with Your presence. Fill that hole and that space. Lead me down the path You have for me. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

You Are Good Enough

Numbers 6:24-26 - The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. 

Numbers 6:25 (ICB) - May the Lord show you his kindness. May he have mercy on you.

Zephaniah 3:17 - The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

John 15:13 - Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends.

Dear God, thank You for Your loving kindness. There is nothing more special to me than that. Non-judgmental loving kindness. Wash me with that. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Your Secret Mission

Genesis 2:5-7 - When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up–for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground–then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

Psalm 89:15 - Blessed are the people who know the festal shout, who walk, O Lord, in the light of your face.

Romans 12:1-2 - I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your rational service. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.)

Romans 12:1 (ICB) Since God has shown us great mercy, I beg you to offer your lives as a living sacrifice to him. Your offering must be only for God and pleasing to him. This is the spiritual way for you to worship.

Dear God, help me to be more sacrificial in my love and worship of You. Help me to be more sacrificial with my life to You. I want to be a living sacrifice for You. Thank You, God. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Problem with I Believe...But...

"I believe no child should go hungry, but not if it comes out of tax dollars."

"I believe no one should go hungry, but not if it comes out of tax dollars."

"I believe no one should go hungry, but if they are on food stamps, then I should get to dictate what they can and cannot buy."

"I believe no one should go hungry, but if they are on food stamps, then they should get drug tested."

"I believe...but...." 

Stop right there!

I believe. STOP! No buts allowed. 

What would Jesus do? What does Jesus say?

Feed the hungry. PERIOD.

Take care of the poor. PERIOD.

Take care of the sick. PERIOD.

Take care of the widow. PERIOD.

Visit the imprisoned. PERIOD.

Clothe the naked. PERIOD.

Shelter the homeless. PERIOD.

Yet oddly enough, many so-called Christians try to set conditions to taking care of the least of these (Matthew 25:31-46). 

Why?

When you, a Christian, say, I believe, but, you are saying I do not believe God is capable of doing his will unless I make conditions for how His will should be done. You place limits on God. Stop doing that!

When you die, you will face your judgement. What will you say when you are asked if you believe in Jesus? Will you say, "I believe, but?" 

Let your yes be yes, and let your no be no. There is no BUT allowed. 

You either believe that no child or no person should go hungry or you don't. You cannot place conditions on how that is done. After all Jesus didn't. 

I am still trying to picture Jesus when he handed out the loaves and fish saying go pee in this cup then I will feed you. No. He would have just said, "here is your food. Peace be with you." Or, "here is your food. Now to in peace." 

To all the lawmakers, media reporters, church ministers, or other Christians out there reading this, stop demonizing the least of these. We have a voice just like you do, and we have the right to the same basic dignity and respect that you do. Either be compassionate because you do believe that is what you should do, or don't. No more half-wit attempts. 

What we do and do not eat does not affect you personally. It never has. It never will. 

Stop cutting SNAP because you think that is what God would want. Stop cutting Social Security for the elderly or the poor and the disabled because you think that is what God would want. Stop cutting veterans benefits because you think that is what God would want. Stop trying to repeal the ACA because you think that is what God would want. Just stop. If you are a Christian and involved in politics, then you have one job, and that job is to figure out a way to strengthen the social safety net programs that exist to help the least of these. And THAT is what God demands. 

No strings attached. Take care of the least of these and you will be rewarded. Fail to take care of the least of these and you will be punished. "For how you treat the least of these is how you treat Me." Jesus basically said that twice. That means it is important. 

God, I believe. When I feel tempted to say, "I believe, but," stop me and remind me that my yes is to be yes and my no is to be no. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!




Take a Break from Judging

Matthew 7:1-5 - "Judge not, that you not be judge. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye."

John 17:3 - "And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent."

Romans 9:20-21 - But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its modeler, "Why have you made me like this?" Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use?

I Timothy 6:13-16 - I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontiua Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unsustained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time–he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.

I Timothy 6:17-19 - As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, not to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

Dear God, help me learn not to be so judgmental. It can be very hard to I break the habit of judging when others have often been so judgmental that it is all you know and understand. From the time I was little, I have always been judged. Why does she look funny? Why does talk funny? Why does she act weird? Is she retarded? Her nose is always in a book. She smells different. She doesn't wear a bra yet and she is in fourth grade. She has ADHD. She has autism. Oh wait, she has autism, and we must fix her and try to make her like everyone else. She is too honest. These tapes replay themselves a lot when I am judging myself. And I am the harshest judge of all when it comes to myself. Time to flip the record though. I have to. I cannot keep living on record side A. I need to start living on record side B. You are going to do a great job of shelving books because you are very detail-oriented. I am looking forward to beginning my volunteer position. Someone has seen a positive to my autism! And given me an affirmation. And all I needed was a chance and someone to see even just one positive. That made my whole week. It was not a judgment. It was an affirmation! Instead of judging, we should be in the business of affirmations. Especially as Christians. Oh look, that person is on SNAP. They must be lazy. Oh look, that person is on welfare. They must be lazy. Oh look, that person is on disability. They don't look disabled. They must be lazy. Really? Oh look, that person is rich and goes to the country club! They must be lazy! Turn it around folks unless you want the same judgment passed down on you. Not everyone receiving SNAP is lazy. Some people receiving SNAP are disabled, veterans, retired senior citizens, working parents, and military families. Not everyone on welfare is lazy. Many of them are working parents. Not everyone on disability looks disabled because there are a lot of hidden disabilities like cancer, asthma, allergies, learning disabilities, autism, blood disorders, immune deficiencies, etc. The list goes on. A disability is something that significant impacts a function of daily living. Whether is the ability to learn adequately or the ability to socialize properly to the ability to fight off infections or the ability to use the bathroom or the ability to breathe, etc. Do you want to be judged because you are rich? Because from my experience, most rich people look down on others because they never had to work a day in their lives. They bought their good grades or they bought their way into the college of their choice instead of having to settle for the college that offered them the best financial aid package, or they bought their way into a job because their parents ran in the same circle as someone high up. Even church people are guilty of doing this. Oh this person isn't rich so let us judge them and when something goes wrong we will just hold them back and treat them like poop while this other person is rich so when something goes wrong we will remove them for a little bit but as soon as possible we will restore them to everything no questions asked and no holds barred. Yes, I have experienced that. And mostly because of the autism. Autism taught me something. It taught me that some people who claim to be Christians really are not. Not based on how they act. Matthew 25:31-46. I have started trying to live my life as a Christian following that passage because Jesus was so clear to me on that one after my diagnosis. But then I have met some Christians who will do anything but those. We must take away their money for food or their money for healthcare because we think they are lazy and we think that is what God wants. How does it go? To whom much has been given, much is expected? Is that right? This goes out to Tom, Mikki, Mark, Bob, and any other person out there claiming to be a Christian but sitting there judging the least of these. Stop poo-poo'ing us and start actually doing real ministry with us. After all, you will be judged with the same measure of judgment that you use. After all, does not the Creator have the right to create how He wants to create? You have no right to change how He does His job. So what if the vessel ended up cracked or ridged in the end? Maybe that is exactly what God wanted. He made it the way He designed it. And some of us are not designed flawlessly except that we are because we were created by a perfect Creator. God created me smooth as smooth can be, but right after I came out of the kiln, I got dropped and a chip occurred. God saw that chip and said, you are still just as beautiful to me because I created you. Do you any of you think you are so perfect that you can do the job that is only reserved for God? I hate when I have to call others out in a lesson, but this lesson is a strong lesson. And I have gotten some takeaways from it like no other. I am not judging any of you. I am just reminding you of what you taught me which is exactly what I am now learning today. God, thank You for bringing some lessons back around and for growing me so that I can understand those lessons. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Friday, September 12, 2014

I Am Your Best Defense

Isaiah 30:15-16 - For thus said the Lord God, the Holy. One of Israel, "In returning and rest you will be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength." But you were unwilling, and you said, "No! We will flee upon horses"; therefore you shall flee away; and, "We will ride upon swift steeds"; therefore your pursuers shall be swift.

John 14:27 - "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."

II Corinthians 10:4 - For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.

II Corinthians 10:4 (ICB) - We fight with weapons that are different from those the world uses. Our weapons have power from God. These weapons can destroy the enemy's strong places.

Dear God, it amazes how some people who call themselves Christian are also the biggest advocates for wanting the "right" to carry guns everywhere. Somehow I do not believe that a true Christian would. For one thing, that "right" is not actually even a right. A right is something that can never be taken away no matter what. But the "right" to own a weapon can be taken away if someone gets in trouble for misusing it. That means it is a privilege. Also, that amendment that allows it has been taken out of context. The context under which was written was while our country was at war on its own soil. The context under which it was written was for a well-regulated militia, like the military, the national guard, or police force. Not the general public. Some people say well, God gave me the right. No. Because You said do not kill and a gun is designed to kill. So a person who insists on carrying is looking for a reason to have to use it, which means they are looking for an excuse to kill someone. Some people say, well, when a shooter comes around, you'll be glad I have a gun. No, if anything, when a shooter comes around, first I will praying for Your will to be done, and second, I will be angry enough to want to strangle the idiot carrying the gun for provoking the shooter because of the insistence he had to carry the gun which only aggravated the situation and made it a lot worse because the person carrying the gun is the first person the shooter will go after. But God, I trust You enough that I do not care to ever own a gun. Because like Your Word says, our weapons are not those of the world and they are more powerful than any weapon the world can fashion. Thank You for Your protection. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Secret of Being Happy

Psalm 102:25-27 - Of old you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, but you are the same, and your years have no end.

Philippians 4:4 - Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.

Philippians 4:10-13- I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of ebbing in need, for I have learned that in whatever situation I am in to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:12 (ICB) - I have learned the secret of being happy at any time in everything that happens.

Dear God, help to me to always be happy no matter what may happen. I do not want to wait until my life is "perfect" to be happy. I want to be happy regardless! I guess like Pharrell's song "Happy." And how I long for heaven when life will be problem-free, but until then, just help to be HAPPY! Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

I Promise You

Genesis 28:15 - "Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."

Joshua 1:5 - No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.

Isaiah 54:9-10 - "This is like the days of Noah to me: as I swore that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you, and will not rebuke you. For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed," says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

Isaiah 54:10 (ICB) - "The mountains may disappear and the hills may come to an end. But my love will never disappear. My promise of peace will not come to an end," says the Lord who shows mercy to you.

Matthew 28:18-20 - And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

Dear God, thank You for never leaving me and for always being there until the end of the time and even beyond then. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

From Point A to Point B

Psalm 9:10 - And those who know your name put their trust on you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.

Psalm 25:4-5 - Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.

Psalm 25:4-5 (NLT) - Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.

Proverbs 3:5-6 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Isaiah 26:4 - Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.

Dear God, help me not waver in my trust in You. Help me stay steady on the path from point A to point B. Thank You! In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Weak and Weary

Psalm 42:5-6 - Why are you downcast, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

Jeremiah 31:25 - "For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish."

Jeremiah 31:25 (ICB) - I will give rest and strength to those who are weak and tired.

II Corinthians 13:4 - For he was crucified in weakens, but lives by the power of God. For we are also weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God.

Dear God, my body feels weak and weary. My eyes are still recovering from the virus my body has been fighting. It has been an emotional weekend with Molly Jean. She was really very sick from the heat and we did not know if she would pull through due to her age. We now have to seriously consider end of life plans for her though due to her age. Help me. Strengthen me against the attacks of the evil one. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

I Set You Free

Psalm 103:11-12 - For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

Isaiah 61:10 - I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and a bride adorns herself with jewels.

Romans 8:1-2 - There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

Romans 8:2 (ICB) - I am not judged guilty because in Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit that brings life made me free. It made me free from the law that brings sin and death.

Dear God, thank You for setting me free from the sins of this life that I may have committed. Thank You for forgiving and forgetting them. God, I have a heart ache I need You to help me through. I am losing my fur baby. Molly Jean is 15 now. That is a long time for a dog. She was born profoundly deaf and I worked with her using sign language. Other than a few minor things and a case of heat stroke, she has been relatively perfect in health until her body has taken a turn for the slow in the last couple of years. She is slipping away from me. The thing is, I have to let her go. But she is trying to hold on. Molly Jean doesn't seem to want to eat her food. I have tried a few other things to at least put something in her stomach, but I really need her to pull through until at least Monday. God, is it too hot for her? Can you give us some cool weather for a few hours before we get slammed with the unbearable heat? Is it time for us to say good-bye? Please, God, if it is time for us to say good-bye, please give me a strong sign. I need Your comfort and peace more now than ever. This is my second fur baby going through this in 8 years. Mom and I have decided that after she goes back to You that we will wait until after our long awaited vacation next holiday season to get another dog. One of the reasons is to make sure that we will have the money because the next dog needs to be a service dog and we have to go through all the research, time, and conversations to get things squared away for that. Oh God, please know if it is time for Molly Jean to go home to You that I do not want to be selfish with her. It hurts, but if You need her more now, then tell me, and I will give her to You gladly. Okay? Thank You God for giving me 15 long human years with her. I cannot ask for anything more. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Not Guilty Anymore by Aaron Keyes (YouTube)

It doesn't matter what You've done
It doesn't matter where You're coming from
Doesn't matter where You've been
Hear me tell You I forgive

You're not guilty anymore
You're not guilty anymore
I love You, mercy is Yours
You're not broken anymore

You're not captive anymore
I love you, mercy is Yours

Can You believe this is true? 
Grace abundant I am giving You
Cleansing deeper than You know
All was paid for long ago

There is now
Therefore no condemnation 
For those who are in Jesus 

You're not guilty anymore
You're not filthy anymore
I love You, mercy is Yours
You're not broken anymore

You're not captive anymore
I love you, mercy is Yours

You are spotless
You are holy
You are faultless
You are whole

You are righteous
You are blameless
You are pardoned
You are mine


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Depend on Me

Genesis 1:26-27 - Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

John 15:5 - "I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing."

Ephesians 6:10 - Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.

Dear God, I do not want to do life by myself. It is lonely and terrifying and hard to stay on the right path. Please guide me. I need You to help me. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

No Other Friend Like Me

Isaiah 61:1-3 - The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion– to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, The garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.

John 15:13-15 - Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

II Corinthians 6:1-10 - Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says, "In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you." Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. We put no obstacle in anyone's way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything. 

Dear God, thank You for being a true friend like no other. Thank You for inviting me to come to You. Shame on any church or any person who tries to impede someone coming to You and serving You just because that person might have special needs. Shame on them! Thank You God for choosing to send Your Son to earth and for choosing to allow Him to die for us so that we can have friendship with You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

I Am the Light

Genesis 3:8-9 - And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, "Where are you?"

Psalm 32:7 - You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah

John 8:12 - 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."

John 8:12 (NASB) - I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.

John 8:12 (ICB) - I am the light of the world. The person who follows me will never live in darkness. He will have the light that gives life.

Dear God, please fill the hole in my heart that only You can fill. How right You are that many people try to fill the hole with the things of this world only to find themselves still living in disappointment and darkness. While the things of this world can make us happy, they cannot keep us in a happy state. Money is good, but if you get sick or fall into some other bad debt or some tornado tears apart your house, your money might be gone. Doing good things, while it may help you feel good and help others, doesn't necessarily fill the hole either. Thank You God for the light of life and the joy. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Never Changing

Psalm 46:10 - "Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!"

Luke 10:38-42 - Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me." But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her."

I Corinthians 14:33 - For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.

Dear God, please take away the confusion of this world and of this life and give me Your peace instead. It seems every day brings a new source of confusion with it. But if I am resting in Your peace, then it will not matter what comes my way. Still my heart and still my mind. Thank You God. In Jesus' Name, Amen!
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