Thursday, October 30, 2014

Cheering You On

Romans 8:33-34 - Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died–more than that, who was raised–who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.

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.

Dear God, help me to always treasure the victories of when I can block out distractions while spending time with You. It gets easier over time, but it is still a great challenge. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

While You Listen

Exodus 3:5 - Then he said, "Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground."

John 7:38-39 - "Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'" Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

I Corinthians 6:19-20 - Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Dear God, help me to listen to You while listening to others so that I can share Your love, joy, and peace with them. Thank You for teaching me how to be a better friend to others. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

The Bells of Heaven

Jeremiah 29:12-14 - Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek and find me. When you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.

John 10:14, 27-28 - "I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me. ... My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand."

Dear God, help me learn to be more still so I can always hear that You are with me. Thank You for teaching me how to rest and be in Your presence. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I Love Christmas, But Not This Early

Christmas is not here yet, but the stores have yet again concocted HallowThanksMas. Let me explain. There are two times of year when holidays get jumbled by commercialism. The first is Valentine's Day/St. Patrick's Day/Easter. I still have not forgotten the green stuffed Easter bunny around Valentine's one year. The second is now dubbed HallowThanksMas which is when you see Christmas stuff for sale or on display or hear Christmas music before Halloween. I have a rule. I never listen to Christmas music until after November 15. This satisfies both my birthday and Veteran's Day which is now a seemingly lost holiday as many places are now open. And it still gets me in the mood for handling Black Friday or Black Thanksgiving sales if I need to go to any. I keep praying for the year I don't need to go to any. But I have a snow globe tradition with JCPenney, so no. I love Halloween. An excuse to wear a costume that my mom usually makes or remakes. Why not? And who says Christians cannot celebrate? Use it wisely though. Anyway, the history makes it less offensive than it really sounds. Boy, I do miss that show So Weird! I like Thanksgiving. One turkey and so many meals. Freeze it to make it last. As family has dwindled in size, it has become less nice though. And I LOVE Christmas, though one of its origins is not necessarily so great. Ah, Christmas. But seriously, when stores and radio stations start Christmas before Halloween, I have an issue. On one side of the aisle you find Halloween decorations and on the other side Christmas. Hey, wait, there is a holiday between them, right? Right? Right! At least spare me the sights and sounds of Christmas until after the official tree lighting ceremony. It used to be the Macy's Thanksgiving parade ushered in Christmas. Not any more. And I am now thoroughly pooped out on Christmas before it even gets here. Welcome HallowThanksMas now please go away so we can have out separate holidays again!

Stay with Me

Ephesians 2:10 - For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. 

Hebrews 12:3 - Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

Dear God, prepare me for the day ahead. And thank You for creating me just the way. You wanted and needed me to be, autism and all. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

That's Not Fair

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 as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Romans 5:3-5 - More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Ephesians 1:7-10 - In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and on earth.

Colossians 3:12-13 - Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive.

Colossians 3:13 (ICB) - If someone does wrong to you, then forgive him. Forgive each other because The Lord forgave you.

Dear God, no, God, life is not fair and it is not fair that the disabled people suffer so many injustices in this world. No, God, it is not fair that Tom who knew what was happening was wrong but did nothing. No, it is not fair that he hurt me. But God, you say that he and I need to forgive each other just as you have forgiven each of us if he is a Christian. So help me God. Help me to reach out in trust in writing. I have been afraid to do that. Not through an e-mail. Not through a text message. Not through a phone call. But through a letter. And help him to respond. Thank You God for being more than fair to me with Your grace and love and mercy and peace. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Running the Candidates Through the Litmus Test-Who Has the Best Interest of the Least of These in Mind?

In my area, the two most contested races are Congressional District 6 with Gary Palmer and Mark Lester. The next is the gubernatorial race between Robert Bentley and Parker Griffith. 

Robert Bentley has failed every aspect with regard to the least of these in Alabama. And Gary Palmer has already been out through the test and failed every aspect as well. 

But I will break it down.

Matthew 25:31-46 - "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on the right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you! And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one if the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'
      "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' Then they also will answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?' Then he will answer them, saying, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.' And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

The least of these. When you treat the least of these well, you treat Jesus well. When you hurt the least of these, you hurt Jesus. 

So here is the breakdown. Robert Bentley has avowed that he will refuse to expand Medicaid. And let me set something straight. People on Medicaid are not lazy. Medicaid, as established, is supposed to help the poor and the disabled. In Alabama, Medicaid has an assets test of $2000 maximum. Most of the poor and the disabled tend to have just over $2000. When the Affordable Care Act was passed, it gave states the opportunity to expand the Medicaid program. But Bentley let his hatred of President Obama get in the way. Bentley said healthcare was something that only his Christian brothers deserve. And the thing is, he is wrong. Many of the poor and the disabled are Christians but they still have no access to healthcare because they can neither get private insurance because their income is less than $11,000 and they do not qualify for assistance, but neither can they get Medicaid because of the assets test being one of the worst on the country. If Bentley had expanded Medicaid, just about every single person in Alabama would have access to healthcare. Bentley will continue to refuse access tohealthcare  for the least of these in Alabama as long as he remains in the governor position. Take a look at The Birmingham News from this past Sunday. A nice lengthy article about the disabled on the waiting list. These are the ones who have been blessed enough to actually be out on the Medicaid rolls. However, they are waiting for services because of an outdated and lengthy waiting list which even those who need the help still cannot get on. The state of Alabama will not improve in this regard as long as Bentley is governor. To make Medicaid work, and work well, it has to be expanded. The disabled need the expansion. Also, many of the poor do work. The ones who don't work are often the disabled. 

Parker Griffith has affirmed that he will not only expand Medicaid but reform Medicaid. And I support his position. For a disabled adult who is able to be placed on Medicaid in Alabama, it serves as nothing more than a supplement to private insurance. The coverage is worse than bare bones. It is almost non-existent. Neither private insurance nor Medicaid covers hearing aids for adults. And with the current assets test of $2000, affording hearing aids when state agencies, like Voc Rehab will not even help due to lack of complete understanding of how the hearing loss affects a particular person, is impossible since a good pair, but not necessarily the best pair, costs $3000. 

That is where the ABLE Act waiting for Senate passage in November comes in. The ABLE Act will allow families of the disabled individual to save up to $100,000 in a special 529 type of account tax-free without benefits being lost. This means that a disabled adult who is able to work more than just part time will not lose their benefits. Most of the disabled cannot afford to work right now due to the fact that they need the benefits more than they need the job. And the reason for that is because of the gaps in coverage through insurance companies and Medicaid. 

As you can see, the problem is circular. 

Now compare Gary Palmer and Mark Lester. Gary Palmer has avowed to not only repeal the ACA, but to fight against the president. Why run if you are just going to fight the president? Consider this thought: In a sense, the president is the boss. A senator or a congressman has said they are going to fight him. Essentially, they are planning to fight the boss. Now, if I go to a job interview saying I am going to fight the boss, I am most likely not going to get the job, right? So why should we allow senators and congressmen to be hired if all they are going to do is fight the boss, the president? 

One other problem. Many of these republican candidates tout their Christianity. Yet, they want to destroy programs set aside to help the least of these? Bounce back to what Jesus said in that passage in Matthew. Now think about what I just stated. If we know them by their fruit, and if the republicans claiming to be Christians are willing to destroy programs set aside to help the least of these even though Jesus made it perfectly clear that what they do to the least of these is what they do to Him, do you honestly think that they are truly Christians? I have to question that one big time. To me, this is like a church that abuses and bullies someone for having autism, and having been there, I can tell you that it not only hurts to experience that, but it is unforgivable and it tarnishes one's mindset of what church should be: a SAFE place full of love and grace and mercy and acceptance no matter what the person's walk of life might be, a SAFE place that comes along side of the person through their most difficult of challenges and never discriminates against someone, a Jesus-filled SAFE place. Yet, too many churches have failed people like me. They have failed. Period. This is why churches cannot be expected nor trusted to help the least of these. Not by themselves anyway. The government has established programs to help the least of these for a reason. Programs like SSI, SSDI, VA, SNAP, TANF, etc. Look into the history books of the Bible if you would. There are a lot of passages where kings would have the people who were able to do so go out and harvest the crops before a drought. Then when the drought came, the kings would have designated people who made sure every citizen's family had just enough food to eat for the day. That's right, the government made sure their citizens were cared for and provided for. There are many passages where God says that the rich should be kind to the poor and that the love of money is the root of all evil. Yet the republicans today would prefer to give tax breaks to the wealthiest corporations while taxing the poor through the nose and denying them the help they need. 

Picture this: The republicans in many states have been trying to make the poor pee in cups before they can get help they need for their families. But the courts have said this is illegal and a violation of privacy. Also, did you know pre-employment drug tests are actually illegal? I found that out after one store discriminated against me because I was on prescription ADHD medication at the time. I provided a copy of the prescription and all the information needed to prove it yet I was still discriminated against. I am no longer on the ADHD medication because of it. Also, the argument, well, I have to take tests when I am employed, fails. Why? Because you are employed. Also, you should question what kind of behavior your employer thought warranted the test. And unless you are in a position where public safety or heavy machinery is a factor, you should not need to drug test. But picture this: At the feeding of the thousands where a little boy sacrificed his picnic lunch so Jesus could feed them, imagine if you would each person coming to Jesus for their share and Jesus holding out a cup and saying, "You can eat after you pee in this cup." I can't imagine it because He would not ever do that because He never did. Jesus never made those kind of contingencies.

Jesus was not the one who said that a man shall not eat if he will not work. It was a disciple that said it. And it was not a reference to the disabled or the elderly or children although many people do not understand that these are the people on SNAP. Also, many of the people on SNAP do work. And nowhere does the Bible say anything about teaching a man to fish, though it is a nice proverb that some man after the Bible said. 

Minimum wages. Did you know our current minimum wage level is now below poverty level? In Shelby County, Alabama, it would take $14 per hour to not be below poverty. And yes, the law established minimum wage to be a living wage. If cost of living expenses were truly attached to minimum wage, then why has the cost of everything gone up despite the stagnation of the minimum wage? Well, they should go get an education! Many minimum wage jobs are filled by people with college degrees and years of experience. Even in government sector jobs. Well, then they should look for work elsewhere! Because there is such an abundance of jobs? Stop arguing the point of reality. Stop watching Fox News which admits to lying claiming there is not a law. (There is a code of ethics for journalism though.) 

Hobby Lobby. Suddenly a corporation is a person that can think, feel, breathe, eat, poop, sleep. Hmmm. The First Amendment is about people. Not corporations. But if Hobby Lobby has its way, no woman will be able to get any healthcare. Plan B says right on the box that it is a three day dose of standard birth control and that it does not cause abortion. Plan B is OTC and most insurances don't cover OTC. Hobby Lobby does not exclusively sell Christian merchandise nor does it indicate religion in its name. Hobby Lobby has infringed on the rights of women to have independent decisions about their healthcare. And what I think needs to happen now is that employer based coverage be eradicated. Completely. 

Also, faulty logic going on. A pastor once said that maybe the reason the woman chose an abortion was because it was a choice of being able to feed her existing children or losing one of those children to starvation for having the baby. Afterward, I did some research to see if that kind of thing could happen and was appalled when I discovered that his birth state actually had a law in place that said unless a woman could prove that the pregnancy was due to rape, that she had a choice: She could carry the baby to term but doing so would mean that her SNAP benefits would be cut. Or she could abort. So therein lies the problem.

Pro-life. For life. All life. At all stages of life. Republicans would rather that women carry and birth babies they cannot afford or they do not want but do not want to actually take care of the babies once they arrive. That is not pro-life. That is pro-birth. 

My stance: 

1. I do not like abortion. But I will not judge the woman who chooses abortion. It is not my place to judge anyway.
2. Yes, I do believe that homosexuality, along with adultery, along with pre-marital sex, are all sins. I will not condone them. But neither will I judge someone because it is not my place to judge.
3. Yes, I believe Medicaid should be expanded. Matthew 25:31-46 sort of supports this stance.
4. No, I do not believe that the poor should be drug tested before receiving help. This has failed in other states already nor does Jesus purport that kind of thing.
5. Yes, I believe minimum wage should be slowly raised. Initially to the $10.10 proposed which is still below poverty but not so below poverty that people would need as much as help as they do now.
6. No, I do not believe all the poor are just lazy. That was a horrid lie from Romney, who is not a Christian no matter how much people want to delude themselves into thinking that Mormons are Christians, and yes, I have researched this point as well.
7. No, I do not believe that President Obama has anything to do with the end times. Matter of fact, I do not believe America has anything to do with the end times because America simply did not exist when those prophecies were written about.
8. Yes, I believe churches should do more to help than they already do. They need to be more intentional about reaching out to those in their communities at home and targeting those who have special needs and their families. But, I also feel the government should do more as well. 
9. Yes, I believe the second amendment has been taken out of context. "A well-regulated militia" is not the general public and "arms" did not mean high powered shoot with six bullets at once guns like we have now. 
10. I am a Christian and these thoughts have been shaped through experiences. I took a quiz just for fun that indicated that I am 60% democrat and 40% republican. The thing was, a lot of the questions were about social issues. And if that makes me a liberal or a socialist, then I am very proud because I have based many of my positions on the words that Jesus spoke in Matthew 25. 

I have never forgotten that sermon about the least of these. And I have never forgotten that the pastor said that any Christian who held the same attitude that Romney expressed about the least of these needed to repent. That sermon inspired me to utilize Matthew 25 as a sort of litmus test and a prayer guide when approaching any and all elections. And then I add simply, "Lord, may Your will be done in light of this passage." 

Story: After the presidential elections in 2012, I had a nightmare. Romney had won and I lost my insurance. Then my mom, a DAV, and I lost our home. I woke with a start and prayed, "Lord, you know my heart and You know my needs. Let Your will be done." The next morning, it was with great relief when I learned that Obama had won the election. I now have better insurance as a result. Stubborn doctors who seem too afraid to actually act in my benefit and move toward life-saving IVIG infusions that could help me get well enough to work and live and thrive, but better insurance nontheless. I will repeat the same prayer this year as well. For me. For others like me. And the thing is, God's will will be done. It sickens me when I see people praying so specifically and then claiming that God is not answering prayers. That they pray everyday for Obama to be impeached but it never happens. Well, maybe consider that you are asking God to do something that is not His will. Stop praying for Obama to be impeached and stop praying so specifically. Simply pray, "Lord, let Your will be done." 

I get hurt when someone says, pray for this person that they no longer have cancer. Or pray for this person that they no longer have depression or autism or whatever. Why? Because when I was still a teenager a friend of mine had a son with a brain tumor that just would not truly go away. And for some time after he passed, I questioned everything about God. Why did God not heal him? That is what everyone prayed for. Only now when I reflect back, I see that God did heal him. God gave him ultimate healing. It was not the healing we wanted, but it was healing. Robin Williams may or may not have been a Christian, and suicide is not the unforgivable sin and Christians do commit suicide just as much as any other people do, but God did heal him of his depression. Not in the manner we would have preferred, but healed him nonetheless. And please, stop praying for autism to go away. It is not a disease that needs a cure or that kills. Matter of fact, God Himself may have autistic traits. 

Lord, we have elections next week. And You know the needs of the people more than even we do ourselves. Let Your will be done.



It All Starts with Me

Genesis 1:1 - In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Psalm 32:8 - I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. 

Dear God, thank You for Your guidance on the path in life. Thank You for allowing me to see fresh, new things along the way. Help me to never sleepwalk through life missing all the fresh, new things You have in store for me. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Let Me Be Your Everything

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."

Philippians 4:19 - And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

James 1:4 - And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Dear God, thank You for being all that I truly need. I cannot go it alone. I cannot do it alone. I need You. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Who I Am

Matthew 1:21 - She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he save his people from their sins."

Matthew 1:23 - "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel."

Acts 2:28 - You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence."

Dear God, the Lord saves, God with us. The Lord saves, God with me. The Lord saves. God is with me. The Lord saves because God is with me. God is with me because the Lord saves. Thank You, God, for being Who You are. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Wired

Genesis 2:2-3 - And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. 

Psalm 23:1-3 - The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Luke 1:76-79 - "And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because if the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."

Dear God, I need rest. Not just spiritually but also physically. I no longer get restful sleep. Please give me rest. Thank You. In Jesus's Name, Amen!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Do You Feel It?

Psalm 16:11 - You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. 

John 17:20-23 - "I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and love them even as you love me."

Dear God, thank You for drawing close to me and drawing me closer to You. I want more of You each day. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Joy in Your Hardest Day

Psalm 21:6 - He asked life of you; you gave it to him, length of days forever and ever.

Proverbs 2:1-5 - My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find knowledge of God.

Dear God, thank You for the treasure of You. I am in awe of the daily treasure hunt to spend time with You and talk to You. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Tell It to Me

Job 1:21 - And he said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."

Psalm 139:23-24 - Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!

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, I really do not like when You take things away from me. My grandparents, my pets, anything or anyone. But I thank You for giving me who I have and what I have. I appreciate them all. And yes, sometimes I want to throw a fit when You change things up on me. Did Job have autism like me? Maybe so. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

My Wonderful Works

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

Colossians 1:29 - For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

I John 1:7 - But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 

Dear God, thank You for creating me just the way You wanted me. Crooked teeth, freckles, red hair, short legs, long torso, tubby, autism, ADHD, happy, emotional, loving, caring, passionate, compassionate, and talented. I am sure there are other things as well. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Be Real

Exodus 33:14 - And he said, "My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."

Philippians 4:8-9 - Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me–practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

I John 1:5-7 - This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

Dear God, thank You for helping me to tear down the walls I had up all these years. Sadly, most churches seem to love having the walls to hide behind and when someone comes in who is not afraid to tear down the walls, they seem to suddenly forget what their mission is which is usually to share You with the whole world. That is what I experienced at Oak Mountain. As soon as they found out I have autism, they tried to hide me from everyone. It not only hurt me, but it hurt those closest to me as they saw me hurting. I still pray that Tom and I will be able to reconcile one day soon. But at this point, there is no reconciling with Oak Mountain. The damage they inflicted runs too deep. They made it clear that no person with special needs will ever be welcome there let alone safe there. I do not hide behind walls because it is scarier to do that than to just be open. Help me continue to be real with others. Help me to continue to love others with the love You have loved me with. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Good Shepherd

Isaiah 26:7 - The path of the righteous is level; you make level the way of the righteous.

John 10:14-15 - "I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep."

Dear God, thank You for being the Good Shepherd who does protect me from harm and refuses to allow me to go astray and leave the flock. When Tom claimed he was a shepherd when he hurt me and yet also acknowledged that what his church had done to me was wrong but still allowed it to happen, I honestly do not believe that he fully grasped the fact that a shepherd does not harm any sheep either. But he evidenced that he would rather forget the injured sheep and leave it behind instead of trying to rescue it from danger. Grace? Not there. The evil one? Was in that church. They made it clear that autistic people and other people with special needs are not welcome there. A good shepherd cares for all the sheep that enter his fold, whether they are sick or injured or whole. They never let them fall off a cliff. So thank You, God, that You are not just a good shepherd but that You are the Good Shepherd. You care about all Your sheep. And You never exclude them or throw them under a bus. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Friday, October 17, 2014

You Are Valuable

Luke 12:22-26- And he said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?"

Ephesians 3:20-21 - Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Dear God, I am glad I am valuable to You, but sometimes I feel like I am not valuable to anyone, especially when the news keeps saying the republicans are back at their old game of hate for the sick who need insurance the most. They are still threatening to repeal the ACA because they hate the color of the president's skin. I finally have a chance at truly getting better so I can work at some point and the republicans want to destroy it before I even get it. It is not fair and it is not what YOU would desire at all. It goes against what You said in Matthew 25:31-46 when Jesus spoke about how to treat the least of these and how the way that they are treated is the way He is treated. I guess that means the republicans would even deny Jesus affordable acces to healthcare too. Scary. But they also don't understand that it is illegal under another law. Many people who have pre-existing are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the ACA, with the pre-existing conditions clause, further extends the rights under the ADA that have always been there but that insurers refused to allow until the ACA extended the extra protection to them. People like me who have private insurance and finally have more comprehensive plans finally have a chance of getting better and some of us may even finally have a chance to work at some point, even if just part time. But the republicans do not want to hear the truth, they cannot stand the truth. They do not care how many people they hurt. They just hate the president and have hated him ever since he took their plan and ran with it to still get it passed. Now, we see the plan the republicans have and it is nothing but repeal and screw the people who are disabled because of their pre-existing conditions. They apparently want us to die so we are no longer a burden to them. Well, I didn't fight all these years for nothing. I will fight against every single one of them. And if they cause me to lose my insurance, I will show up on their doorsteps and insist they must allow my family to move in with them because they caused a veteran and a disabled person to end up going bankrupt to medical costs caused by their disruption and if they refuse that they are committing treason against this country because they caused a veteran to become homeless. As long as the current president is in office, the ACA is protected territory, and like he said, we don't negotiate with terrorists. The republicans are already to shut down the government again if they can't repeal the ACA. Well, that is a breach of contract with the veterans and the disabled. And I think it is time that Americans enter into class action lawsuit against them for the damages they keep inflicting. Yes, I will know them by their fruit, and although they say they are Christians, their actions don't show it. Matthew 25:31-46. Which candidates in my area are for the least of these? Mark Lester and Parker Griffith and seems to be anyone but a republican this year. God, I am glad you value me though. That does make me feel better in light of all the negativity out there. Help me value myself more. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

I Am Your Comfort

Psalm 34:4-6 - 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.

Psalm 105:4 - Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!

II Corinthians 1:3-4 - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

Dear God, thank You not only for comforting me but for giving me the ability to comfort others who need comforting. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Powerful Protection

Matthew 28:19-20 - "Go therefore and make disciples of all the 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."

Hebrews 12:1-2 - Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Dear God, please help me focus on Your path and not on all the voice trying to lead me astray. Help me deal with the potholes of the day. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Tough It Out

Psalm 107:21-22 - Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of men! And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!

James 1:2-4 - Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 

Dear God, please help me to tough it out with regard to the troubles this life brings. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Treasure

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.

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!"

Dear God, here are my worries again. Please grant me peace. Financial worries. My mom is still looking for a job. I am as well. We both need part time jobs. They are hard to find in areas where we have expertise and which are safe environments. I have major dental work coming up. Sedation dentistry. I am scared to go under for this one because of all the recent events where people have gone through what seemed to be a simple dental procedure and ended up brain dead. Ebola is now spreading in America due to some missteps that occurred recently. Will my doctor be willing to start me on IVIG? So I present to You my current worries. Thank You for Your peace. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

People-Pleasers

John 4:23-24 - "But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."

Hebrews 11:6 - And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

Dear God, thank You for loving me deeply and perfectly. Help me to not forget that YOU are the only one who needs to be pleased with me. Not some people from some church that cannot even accept me for who I am just because I have autism and want to try to force me to change to suit how they think I should be because apparently my autism is too weird for them. Not the people who think I should look a certain way, talk a certain way, or act a certain way and will reject me if I don't fit their little mold. Just You and only You. Thank You for that security and confidence booster. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Friday, October 10, 2014

The One Thing

Psalm 62:5-8 - For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah

James 1:17 - Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.  

I Peter 2:9 - But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Revelation 1:8 - "I am the Alpha and Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."

Dear God, I appreciate all the gifts You give me. And most of all, I appreciate the gift of You. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Don't Divide Up Your Life

Psalm 37:3-6 - Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.

Philippians 4:19 - And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Dear God, I am sorry if I am guilty if sometimes dividing things up into what I need. You to handle and what I think I can handle. That is not fair to You nor to me. Please forgive me and help me to trust You in all things no matter what. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Tell Me All About It

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

Philippians 2:14-16 - Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.

Dear God, I am glad You listen to any complaining I might have. It can be hard not to complain about things when faced with trying situations, and I do know a lot of people that complain about everything. I also know that they also tend to blame others for those things. Like, gas prices are going down right now, but when the prices go up, they blame the president. Okay, if the president is to blame when the gas prices go up, then why isn't anyone thanking him when the gas prices go down? Or instead of complaining about the number of people on safety nets, fight to raise the wage to a living wage? Thank You for listening to my complaints, God. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Unchanging

Exodus 15:13 - "You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode."

Jeremiah 31:2-3 - Thus says the Lord: "The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness; when Israel sought for rest, the Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you."

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

Dear God, thank You for the perfect unchanging, everlasting love You have for me no matter what. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Chasing Away the Fog

Psalm 118:24 - This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

I Thessalonians 5:16-18 - Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

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, please chase away the fog in my life. It is very hard to see through that fog of worry and fear. I want to see clearly. Thank You for Your light. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

The Invisible Shepherd

Psalm 36:9 - For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.

Psalm 96:6 - Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

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."

II Corinthians 5:6-7 - So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at hime in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.

Dear God, help me with my faith. I want to walk more by faith than by sight. Walking by sight can be deceptive. Because the people in this world can be deceptive. Thank You for leading me by faith. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Happiness Versus Joy

I Chronicles 16:27 - Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his place.

Habakkuk 3:17-19 - Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the food and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer's; he makes me tread on my high places. To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.

Dear God, I will trade You one day of happiness for a lifetime of joy. To have joy regardless of circumstances is a great thing. Not that being both joyous and happy is a bad thing. Thank You for the joy You bring. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Friday, October 3, 2014

My Spirit in You

Zechariah 4:6 - Then he said to me, "This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts."

John 14:16-17 - "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you."

John 14:16 (CEV) - Then I will ask the Father to send you the Holy Spirit who will help you and always be with you.

John 16:7 - "Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you."

Dear God, thank You for filling me with the Holy Spirit. Thank You for the guidance and the comfort He provides. Thank You for the protection He provides. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Supernatural

Psalm 13:5 - But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.

Psalm 13:5 (ICB) - I trust in your love. My heart is happy because you saved me. 

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

Dear God, it is so hard to trust you in the supernatural sense right now. My family needs a financial miracle again. We still need to get the $3000 for hearing aids that we are not even allowed to save due to outdated rules. We need them to pass the ABLE Act so we can save for them without penalty. And we just found out that I will have to go through sedation dentistry in order to work on a lot of teeth before I lose them, and that will cost us $1400 out of pocket after dental insurance is applied. We still need to get the garage door repaired so it can open, a new fridge that does not need to be held together by tape, and an outdoor faucet head replace that they said would involve tearing into the wall of the main bathroom to do. Not to mention the other expenses I may be unaware of and mom still needing a job. Volunteering helps me gain experience and references. Okay, God, here we go. I am going to TRUST you in the supernatural sense to help my family right now. I have no other choice. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Every Hair on Your Head

Luke 12:4-7 - "I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear you! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows."

John 1:9-13 - The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of man, but of God.

Romans 10:13 - "For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

Dear God, thank You for knowing all the hairs on my head and for giving me the privilege to be Your child. That is awesome. And if You know the number of hairs on my head, then You know my deepest desires and longings and needs and thoughts. Yet You still love me, even if they sometimes turn a little to the darker side. Worry, fear, anxiety, heartache, pain, distress. You know all those things. You comfort me. Thank You for letting me be Your child. In Jesus' Name, Amen!
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