Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Taste and See That God Is Good

Genesis 16:13-14 - So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, "You are a. God of seeing," for she said, "Truly here I have seen him who looks after me." Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; it lies between Kadesh and Bered.

Psalm 34:8 - Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

John 20:19 - On the evening do that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you."

Colossians 3:15 - And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which you were called in one body. And be thankful. 

Dear God, peace. Goodness. God, You are not the God of the GOP which gave everyone a bitter pill. You are a God who loves every single person because every single person was created just as You wanted him or her to be. In Your loving goodness, You chose some of us to be less rich than others, and in Your loving goodness, You instilled on some good people in our history to design programs to help those less fortunate than others. You spoke clearly in Matthew 25 about how we are to treat those less fortunate. You instilled in governments all the way back to kings and kingdoms the value of humanity, a nation, a leadership, takes care of its citizens. I apologize for the GOP which misrepresents You. I ask for their eyes and their hearts to be opened to the error of their ways. And in the meantime, I ask for Your continued provision for my family. After all, You are a God of love and of peace, and You are good. Thank You for wisdom and goodness and peace. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

God Is Taking Care of You

Deuteronomy 33:27 - The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms. And he thrust out the enemy before you and said, Destroy. 

Proverbs 3:5 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 

Jeremiah 29:13-14 - You will seek me 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.

Dear God, I trust You, God. I trust You, Jesus. Take control of my day and the events that it holds for me. Show me the way. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Accept the Limitations of One Day at a Time

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 - For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. 

John 16:33 - "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."

Dear God, for everything there is a season and a time for everything under heaven. As I reflect on these beautiful words which I believe a 70s song delved into, I see so many things. You see, God, I know some people are quick to judge women who get abortions, but the thing that troubles me the most about those people who do that is that they claim to be Christians and pro-life. However, here is the truth: THOSE people are not pro-life because they oppose everyone being able to have access to healthcare when they are sick or access to food when they are poor for whatever the reason, and it is not laziness that causes poverty, but they don't seem to understand that no matter how many times they are proven wrong. According to this passage, there is a time to be born, and a time to die. While most of us might prefer that one's cycle of life be from the point of conception to the point of natural death, the truth is that some women have high risk pregnancies that end up either killing the baby or her. And the other truth is that YOU have a master plan and a purpose for everything that happens. YOUR providential plan may have been for that woman to get an abortion because YOUR providential plan might not have been for that baby to be born. Yes, You created that baby, or began creating that baby, but for whatever the reason, You allowed that woman to choose abortion. Today, I ask forgiveness for all the women who have ever before chosen to have an abortion or might ever choose to have an abortion. I ask forgiveness for those who condemn them for their decisions. Because according to this passage, YOU are the master mind and You decided the time for everything. The other thing in that passage that speaks to me right now is the time to love and the time to hate. God, I apply that to Tom and myself. Right now, we are going through the time to hate. But in due time, we shall hopefully be restored to the time to love as friends. I am still growing. He is still growing. When we can both move to the same point, then we might have a reconciliation. But in Your time. Not mine. Not his. Yours. In the world, there will be trouble. But You have overcome that trouble. As You know God, America is in trouble. The primary reason for that trouble is the GOP hatred and racism that is very much alive and well. And no, there is no logic beyond what it is: racism. I am now regretting the day I ever voted for the republicans because that shift has been beyond what I am able to handle. I had never known that party to be so hateful until Mr. Obama got elected the first time. After his election, I saw something that I didn't like and I had to separate myself from it. Things in my own life took a turn as well, so I definitely had to pull away from that party. I cannot tolerate the hate they evidence. Hate for the president which is against Your word. Hate for the poor, also against Your word. Hate for the disabled, also against Your word. Hate for anyone that is not rich or white, which is also against Your word. The more I study Your word, the more I see that my decision to defect from the republicans is the best one I could ever have made second only to choosing to following You and third only to accepting my autism as part of who I am and fourth only to deciding to love and defend people no matter the personal cost. Will I lose friends over it? Yes! And that is their loss and only shows me their true values. You will know them by their fruit. Well, I can tell You now that there are no Christians in the GOP. Their fruit has been against the people, especially the least of these. There can be NO REAL Christians in the GOP as long as any of them thinks that it is okay to cut off the resources for the least of these. Even theology, at its core, is about helping the least of these and that being one of the three functions of government. Oh, God, I long for peace. You have overcome this world. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The God Who Gives and Gives and Gives

Isaiah 26:3 - You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

Mark 10:15 - "Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it."

Philippians 2:17 - Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.

Dear God, even as I am bitter about what the GOP did which would negate everything that I, and other advocates, have been fighting for if things went their way, I am staying my mind on You because I have no other choice but to rely on You right now for direction and guidance. I may lose some "friends" in the process, but You never promised an easy journey. And if I lose some "friends," then they were never really my friends to start with. I am opening up to what. You are going to do to keep us all protected and safe and insured and fed. I am looking for You and toward You right now. Thank You for letting me have my meltdowns so I can refocus. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Be Still in the Presence of God

Romans 12:2 - 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 go God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Colossians 1:27 - To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 

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

Dear God, oh how I grieve today as the GOP budget of hate passed. The economic burden now lies with states that are already broke to make the decisions about who deserves life or death. The disabled are the ones who will suffer the most from this. God, I thought I had gotten to know about. You in the Scripture I read each day, but I feel like I have been misled. How can be still in Your presence when I am now in a state of mismatch? One thing is for sure, those GOP idiots are not Christians nor are they pro-life. They are liars. They are destructive. And they are murderers. They have brainwashed people too ignorant of the truth and the reality. I posted about the messed up priorities, and someone who had claimed to be a Christian actually unfriended me when I called him out for his attack. He evidenced who he really was, a person who lacks human compassion. The only thing I will miss about that person are his complaints about the airlines he uses. God, I have to beg of You that if what I read about in the scriptures is true, then You have to intervene. I am literally at the bottom of the pit riddled with worry about the near future. I mean, I finally had hope that doctors would be able to find out what was wrong with me, be able to address it, and be able to get me healthy enough to have a paid job, and now my hope has been shattered. Realistically, I may not make it to my 40th birthday. Realistically, depending on the GOP damages, I may not even make it to the end of the year. And my mom and I may be homeless. All because I was born with disabilities and my mom is a disabled veteran. Oh how vile the stench the GOP has! Thank You for whatever blessings You have allowed me to have. Help keep us provided for in whatever the number of days I have left on this earth. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Waiting on God

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. 

Isaiah 40:30-31 - Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Lamentations 3:24-26 - "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him." The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. 

Dear God, as much as I long to be able to fully wait on You, right now, I feel led to speak up and speak out against the atrocities of the evil GOP budget which is only going to add more burden to already broken states when it comes to making sure that the most vulnerable people in our country are taken care of. It has been appalling to see so many Christians who have expressed attitudes that are contrary to Your word on this matter. They would sooner starve and let the disabled die along with the elderly and the veterans because they think bloating the military budget and letting the rich pay less taxes is good. But in reality, even dating back to when Your Son walked the earth, that is not how government was supposed to work. To whom much has been given, much is asked. Whatsoever you do to the least of these, you do to me. Oh God, intervene today as the senate looks at that GOP budget filled with hate for the least of these. As MSNBC put it, that budget reflects their moral compass and the saddest part is that that budget is unChristian and antipatriotic, two things the GOP claims to be. God, all of our families that are struggling need Your intervention. We are people too. We deserve healthcare and food just as much as anyone else. And what did we ever do to them except be born? They call themselves pro-life yet they would rather strip us of our dignity and force us to go bankrupt and homeless without food or healthcare. If we have no access to affordable healthcare, we cannot work because we are dying. If we have no access to food, we are not productive. It's easy for them to sit there and think that the poor have it so easy because they get help while they sit in one of the fourteen rooms in one of their multi-million dollar house planning when they will next take another trip on one of their four yachts or helicopters. The reality is that the poor bust their butts only to be criticized by these arrogant fools. Some of them are poor because they are disabled and cannot work full time because their health causes them to have to be sitting through infusions every week or every month and in three or four different doctor's offices and waiting rooms. Some of them are poor because greedy employers making billions of dollars in a year don't pay them what they are actually worth. The reality is that the congress people are the real moochers. An article revealed that they get as much as $2000+ per day in food allowance. Now let's be real: a poor person on SNAP gets $189 per month! A DAV gets at most around $2500 per month! Yet the poor are the problem? Really? God, intervene and keep us provided for financially. The ACA has been a life saver for me. It has given me the opportunity to have real insurance for once on my life. And I did not fight for 6 years to have that right only to be sent backwards again. Thank You for the provisions I currently have. Thank You for opening my eyes to reality. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Let Thankfulness Moderate Your Thoughts

I Corinthians 10:9-10 - We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer.

Hebrews 12:28-29 - Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.

Dear God, when I am tempted to grumble and complain, help remind me to be thankful for the things You have done and the things you a hve given me. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Learn to Let Go

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.

Isaiah 41:13 - For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, "Fear not, I am the one who helps you."

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

Dear God, I really wish right now that I could rest secure in Your presence, but as You already know the republicans are out the trying to financially hurt the elderly, the poor, the disabled, and the veterans again threatening to strip away at the programs that are designed to help them. They are also yet again threatening to take away their healthcare. And the worst part is that they are doing this and claiming to be Christians. Please remind them about the least of these. God, it is scary really. Because if how they treat the least is how they treat Jesus, then Jesus is being condemned to starve to death, die of cancer or whatever illness befuddles him, be thrown out on the streets, and just keep silent because if he fights back, they will just get uglier. I know because that is what my representative that I did not vote for is willing to do to me. He is serving his rich buddies that can line his fat pocket and claiming that he is doing it because he is a Christian and condemning the rest of us to our deaths just because our circumstances are not of wealth. Their budget plan is so unChristian and so unpatriotic, it is no longer funny. The worst part is somehow they will still survive because they have money, but all the rest of us will be screwed. Oh God, right now, my prized possession is not a person or an animal or anything I can actually hold onto. And yes, I still desire reconciliation but it is up to You to bring that about in due time as You continue to work through me and through that person. Right now my prized possession is the need for security, even if just short term. God, hold my hand and don't let go. Please keep financial provision in my family. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The God of Intricate Detail and Overflowing Abundance

Psalm 36:7-9 - How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.

Psalm 132:15 - I will abundantly bless her provisions; I will satisfy her poor with bread. 

John 6:1-14 - After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he say with his disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, "Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?" He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, "Two hundred denari would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little." One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him, "There is a boy here who has five loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many." Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." Now there was grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. And when they eaten their fill, he told his disciples, "Gather up their leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost." So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, "This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!"

Dear God, You are a God of abundance. May I always remember to come You with an expectant heart and an open mind so that You may bless me abundantly. Right now, I come to You just like that. I trust You with the intricate details of the petitions of my heart which I may not even know in entirety. I come so that You may work in and through me. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Rejoice and Be Thankful

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

Psalm 95:1-2 - Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! 

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

Dear God, sometimes I want to just plan and evaluate everything in my life. It makes me feel like I have control which makes me feel more secure. But when I am tempted to do that, help me to remember that instead of doing that, I should just sit back and trust and thank You so You can do Your best work through me. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Trust God and Don't Be Afraid

Psalm 21:6 - For you make him most blessed forever; you make him glad with the joy of your presence.

Isaiah 12:2-3 - "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation." With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

Dear God, help me to trust You in the moment in which I am afraid. I want to have Your strength in facing my fears. I don't want to become overwhelmed by the fears to the point that You cannot get through to me. Thank You for singing over me, for rejoicing over me with song. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Thank God for the Glorious Gift of His Spirit

Psalm 50:14-15 - "Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me."

II Corinthians 3:17 - Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

II Corinthians 5:5 - He who had prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. 

Dear God, may I always find reason to thank You even when I feel no reason to thank You. Because in all honesty, even though I may feel there is no reason to thank You on a given day or in a given moment, there is ONE reason to always thank You, and that is the fact that I am alive and breathing that day. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

God Speaks From the Innermost Depths

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.

I Corinthians 6:19-21 - 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.

Colossians 1:27 - To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Dear God, help me to always glorify You in my body, whether it be in the things I do, the words I say or write, or the thoughts I think. Help me to decipher Your words from those of others and the devil. The devil is trying to condemn me and to belittle me and make me feel inadequate. You are speaking words of love, patience, care, peace, joy, affirmation. I have been set free through the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Trust God One Day at a Time

Psalm 84:12 - O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!

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."

Dear God, I have a lot to worry about, but yet I want to trust You more with each and every new day, new hour, new minute. Oh, trust is definitely very hard. I have been wounded by those I have come to trust and been taught are trustworthy: Pastors, parents, teachers, authority figures. And it is not easy to heal from such deep wounds. But today, I choose to trust You. Even as the republicans are doing the very thing I predicted before the elections and working to HURT the least of these with threats to cut disability, food programs, healthcare, etc., I am TRUSTING YOU to intervene. Even as I have to be knocked out some tomorrow so I can get my iron infusion again, I am trusting You to help the infusion man find a good vein that will not reject the IV. Even as I will have a meeting Monday to discuss one of my disabling conditions and the needs for that, I am going to TRUST You. Tomorrow has its own worries. It can keep them. In Jesus' Name, Amen! 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Cinderella

I had the privilege of seeing Cinderella Saturday as a part of a new movement in the Birmingham area to bring more sensory friendly films to families with special needs. First, what is a sensory film? A sensory film is one in which the sound is a little softer and the lights are not turned all the way off. It allows for us sensory seekers to get up and move and engage more as needed. Now, why Cinderella on a post about my journey through theology which has its ups and downs? Because Cinderella is what some may call redemptive. Be brave and stay strong and courageous. God tells His people this a lot in the scriptures. He tells us to be brave and fight for justice in this world. What is justice when it comes to human relations? Justice is standing up against any and all oppression, whether it is someone who is abused because they are different or because their life circumstances are worse than someone else's. Justice stands up and advocates for the least of these, many of whom do not have the voice to do so themselves. One of our moments to stand up for justice is when we see that someone is being mistreated. Do we turn our backs on them for fear of what might happen to us or do we say, "hey, that's not right! Now stop!" And stand with the one being oppressed? One of my favorite news stories that has recirculated this past week is about the cheerleader with Down syndrome, who when bullied, had the entire team quit playing and rally around her. 

Another lesson presented in Cinderella is that of hardship. Here, we have a young girl who faced hardship. First, the death of her mother, then her father, then an abusive stepmother. I love the presentation of the stepmother in this presentation of Cinderella though. She was essentially misunderstood because she faced her own hardships as well. Although I still hate that Cinderella was mistreated while the daughters were treated like queens in the home. But in the face of hardship, what did Conderella do? This is what stands out a lot as well.

Fairy godmothers. Oh, how I wish! There is not a fairy godmother in real life nor is God is some "sky fairy." God allows us to go through hard things in life and sometimes it is to strengthen us and prepare us for bigger things. Like when He totally breaks us and then speaks to us in scriptures in order for us to turn around and teach others through what we have learned. Some people will not take too kindly to this, but others will have AHA! moments. I am now an advocate for others, who like me, face hardships because of their differences. And one of my opportunities is this week as I travel to meet with some state leaders to discuss issues that we face, especially in adulthood. 

The most beautiful element to me in the whole Cinderella film? Not the blue ball gown which was stunning, but the moment when as she was walking out the door of the home she had grown up in, she turned around to face her stepmother who was on the staircase to say, "I forgive you" and the stepmother then basically collapses on the stairs. That was also the most powerful moment. It was the moment that defined whether Cinderella would live in bitterness as she moved to the next chapter in her life or whether she would be able to put everything behind her. It is a moment I long for with each and every person and circumstance in life and it is one that I have not arrived at just yet. I expect there will be remnants that will creep back up and stab me in my heart. And as I work through those remnants, I will be faced with bittersweet choices and opportunities. I will find during those moments that either people will be supportive or they will be spiteful. But in that scene, I saw God as He relates to His children. God turning to us and saying, "I forgive you dear child. Now what will you do with that?" 

Oh, God, as I, and many others, have our Cinderella moments in life, work through us and help us, strengthen us, help us overcome, no, not overcome, help us rose above the hardships that life presents us. For only through You and Your love and. Your tender mercy, do we even stand a chance at standing up against the injustices that keep being tossed in our directions. Thank You for using a film to help teach a hard lesson. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Go to God for Understanding

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 or forsake you."

Psalm 139:1-4 - O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.

II Corinthians 1:21-22 - And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. 

Dear God, thank You for caring enough about me to want to seach me and know me. Thank You for sealing me with Your Spirit. Thank you for always being there even when I have felt alone. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Recognize Your Weakness

Proverbs 17:22 - A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up bones. 

Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Dear God, if the world's definition of abundant life is for health and wealth, then I do not want an abundant life. Because those things can easily go away. One sickness can destroy health and one sickness can also destroy wealth. I want the abundant life You have for me. So I will rest in You today and trust in You to I provide. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Listen to God's Love Song

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.

Matthew 7:7 - "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." 

Dear God, thank You for singing over me. Thank You for thinking of me high enough that Ylu would want to sing over me and quiet me with Your love. Oh, may I truly learn to block our the cacophony of this world to solely focus on Your love song. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Receive Abundant Joy From God

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!"

II Corinthians 3:18 - And we all, with unveiled face, be holding 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.

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, 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.

Dear God, I am tempted to earn Your love and joy yet I can do nothing to earn it except spend time with You in Your presence. The world is about earning things: earn love, earn trust, earn joy, earn peace, but these things are hard to earn. I rest secure in Your presence and joy and love and peace right now. I don't have to earn it. It is there for me to relish in. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Learn to Live Above Your Circumstances

John 16:22 - "So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you."

John 16:33 - "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." 

Dear God, You have overcome this world through Your Son, You have overcome the problems of this world. Help me to never forget that even when I am faced with what may seem to be some of the worst problems ever. As long as I focus on You, I will not feel troubled but will actually feel empowered to rise above. Thank You for empowerment. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Braid of Waiting, Trusting, and Hoping

Psalm 27:14 - Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

John 14:1 - "Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me."

Hebrews 6:17-20 - So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

Dear God, trusting You is what You desire the most from me. Waiting on You to move evidences that I trust You. Hoping connects me with the future hope in the here and now. Help to trust in You, wait on You and for You, and remain hopeful for the future as I do. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Walk By Faith, Not By Sight

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

Galatians 5:25 - If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

Dear God, help me to trust You enough to let go in faith so I do not become as exhausted on this journey through life. What I see ahead looks treacherous and scary. If I go by what I see, I may find that I do not want to do anything. But by walking in faith in You knowing You are right there with me along the way, I might find that what I see is not so bad after all. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

You Are Always God's

Psalm 18:30 - This God--his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.

Psalm 37:23-24 - The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand.

Dear God, help me as I shift from always wanting to fill my day with activity to allowing You to help me go with the flow of the day. It is tempting to always want to live on a schedule, knowing what is supposed to happen when and where, but sometimes it is also very exhausting! Thank You for always holding my hand even when I stumble and fall. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Rest in God's Radiant Presence

Galatians 5:22-23 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peaces, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

I John 4:12 - No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

Dear God, I want to stand firm in the eye of the hurricane that life presents. The calm, the peace, YOUR presence is at the eye. Help me never to forget when my life feels like it is out of control that all I have to do is focus my thoughts on You. Use me to help others without becoming needy of them. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Seek God's Face

I Chronicles 16:11 - Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!

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

Dear God, seek You first. If my goals fall into Your plan, You will help me reach them. That is what I want to do God. I want to seek You first, seek You continually, and know and trust that whatever I desire that is within Your plan for me will occur. Thank You for caring enough about me to be willing to work on my behalf. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Let God Help You

Psalm 63:5-8 - My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

James 1:2-3 - Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

Dear God, as hard as it is to count trials as joy, I am appreciating all the more that You are there leading me through them. I would rather walk with You than be alone. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Continue on the Path with God

Psalm 37:3-4 - 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. 

Hebrews 7:25 - Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. 

Hebrews 7:25 (NIV) - Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. 

Dear God, thank You for constantly being with me and for going ahead of me on the path I am following You upon. Help me to never falter in trusting You and living close to You. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Make Friends With the Problems in Your Life

Romans 8:28 - And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

I Corinthians 1:22-24 - For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

Dear God, some people say that autism is a burden, but I say it is a blessing with challenges. Why? Because I have come to accept it as something that You chose to allow me to have for a reason. And even though I may not know or understand all the reasons why You chose me to have autism, I embrace it. Thank You for letting me experience autism and help to never let anyone tell me that I have no business sharing my thoughts about autism based on my experiences. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Your Love Never Fails by Newsboys

Nothing can separate
Even if I run away
Your love never fails
I know I still make mistakes
You have new mercy for me everyday
'Cause Your love never fails

You stay the same through the ages
Your love never changes
There may be pain in the night
But joy comes in the morning
And when the oceans rage
I don't have to be afraid
Because I know that You love me
Your love never fails

The wind is strong and the water's deep
But I'm not alone here in these open seas
'Cause Your love never fails
The chasm is far too wide
I never thought I'd reach the other side
But Your love never fails

You make all things work together for my good
You make all things work together for my good

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Refuse to Worry

Luke 12:25-26 - "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?"

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.

Dear God, today I am not worried but angry. Angry because when I had to call tech support because of internet problems last night, they actually made things WORSE! Now I have NO internet and I have a library account that I need to make sure doesn't end up with fines. To make matters worse, even though they said my mom's account qualifies for a FREE upgrade, now because THEY broke things, they want to charge us for the resulting equipment upgrade! Really? They broke it, why should we be paying anything? For the first time in my life, tech support actually made things worse! God, please get the tech here promptly in the first half of the allotted time period. Mom has to work this afternoon and be able to leave promptly so she can get me for tonight if I am well enough to attend or they don't cancel for the pending weather threat that is going to cause me to have to reschedule my infusion to next week (hopefully they will still have an opening so they can do that since they have ended up with backlog from the past two weeks of weather). God, forgive me where I have sinned in anger. Thank You for Your love and Your presence. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

God Loves You for Who You Are

John 10:4 - "When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice." 

Ephesians 4:1-6 - I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit–just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call–one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 

Dear God, I want to thank You for when Ginny had me read You Are Special by Max Lucado. Although at the time I did not see it, this event ties into the message presented in today's devotional passage. You love me for who I am, not for what I do. In the silences, many voices try to fight to control my mind. I am to fight to discern Your voice from that of others. When Mikki and Mark kept trying to force me to change into something I am not, it really hurt and made me question who I am. Am I supposed to change because someone else demands it in order to fit their idea of perfect or am I to change because You want it and have brought me into the change? In today's passage You said we are to be humble and gentle and patient and bear with one another in love. Did Tom do that? No. When the moment required it, he failed to do that. I am saddened by what he did. I am still hopeful that You will allow restoration or reconciliation. And I am trusting that You will when the time is right. Why? Because Tom, like Ginny, did see the real me. And like Ginny, he did accept it. He just gave in to negative peer pressure. But I also know now that Ginny was right. She was tired of fighting the others to get them to see where they were hurting me more than helping me. And I was tired of her having to fight that fight for me. She has her own daughter she will have to fight for because of their own journey with special needs. I pray Ginny and I will be able to reunite sometime because if we ever do, I will have to say a huge thank you to her for teaching me that You really do love me for me just the way I am. Thank You God for perfect love! In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Resurrection and the Life

Matthew 11:28-29 - "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and it will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."

John 11:25-26 - Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?

I Peter 1:8-9 - Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 

Dear God, thank You for rest and comfort in Your presence. Thank You for life. Thank You for glory and salvation. Help me not chase after the wrong things, but focus on chasing after You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Cast Your Anxieties on God

Isaiah 26:3 - "...You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you." 

Philippians 4:5-6 - Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Dear God, I am anxious about tomorrow's testing. Please help things go well. The anesthesia, the process, the financial aspect. Everything about it that has me anxious, please calm me. You will provide. You will bless me richly as a result of what I am going through and despite of what I am going through. You already have. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!
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