Sunday, May 31, 2015

God Is involved in Each Moment of Your Life

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. 

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." 

Dear God, guide me step by step through this day that You have already mapped out for me. I may not be able to see the oath ahead of me, and that is okay because You are guiding me. Protect me from those things that are not necessary and equip me for what is necessary. Thank You for Your light and Your peace and Your joy. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

God's Peace Transcends Our Human Intellect

Job 22:21 - "Agree with God, and be at peace; thereby good will come to you."

II Thessalonians 3:16 - Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all. 

Dear God, my mind races with a good many thoughts, some good and some not so good. Please still my mind as I draw closer to You on Your presence. I seek out Your peace. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Time with God Cannot Be Rushed

II Chronicles 16:9 - "...For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. You have done foolishly in this, for from now on you will have wars."

Psalm 119:27 - Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works. 

Hebrews 13:15 - Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. 

Dear God, thank You for wanting to spend as much time with me, or more, as I want to spend with You. Help me to focus on You as I spend time with You like I would focus on anyone else as I spend time with them. Time is a valuable thing and not something that should be wasted. Forgive me when I have distractions trying to disrupt me and forget to come to You. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Friday, May 29, 2015

God Is with You

Matthew 1:23 - "Behild, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us). 

Colossians 2:6-7 - Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so balk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

Dear God, help me to always find You no matter what comes my way. Everything that happens is in Your plan and in Your time. Whether it be reconciliation with Tom, health situations, or even the beautiful rose after a long hard rainstorm. It is easy to believe that every good thing comes from You, but it is harder to believe that anything we perceive as negative also comes as a result of Your hand. It is about having fresh insight that You alone control all things, good and bad. Thank You for insight. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Let God Anoint You with His Presence

Psalm 145:3-6 - Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness.

Acts 17:26-28 - And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for "'In him we live and move and have our being'; as even some of your own poets have said, "'For we are indeed his offspring.'..."

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

James 4:8 - Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 

Dear God, I love how glorious and majestic You are. I could never fathom the immense greatness of You. Oh, how I pale in comparison! Help me to always remain humble enough to not forget You and Your presence. Thank You! In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Seek God's Face at the Beginning of the Day

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

Romans 13:14 - But put on The Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

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 and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. 

Dear God, help me to always remember to put You on first thing when I wake up in the mornings (or at least second thing). Help me to have control over my thoughts and renew me as I prepare for the day ahead of me. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

God Never Changes

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."

Revelation 22:13 - "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."

Dear God, You are the only constant. Even as everything else around me changes, and not necessarily for the better, You remain the same. Help me to remember that so when I feel uneasy, I can come running to You for that constant peace You have for me. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Monday, May 25, 2015

The World Is Too Much with You

Psalm 34:19 - Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

Isaiah 41:10 - ...fear not, for if am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 

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.

Dear God, as long as You are with me, no matter what happens, I will not have to worry about what the day throws at me. You are with me and You deliver me and rejoice over me. You quiet me with Your love. You strengthen me to face the day You have prepared for me. I cannot wrap my human mind around it all. I will not even bother trying right now. God, may I please put in a renewed request for resolution with Tom, though? Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Word Study: Exult versus Exalt

Exult - verb used without object: 1. To show or feel a lovely or triumphant joy; rejoice exceedingly; be highly elated or jubilant. 2. Obsolete, to leap, especially for joy.

Exalt - verb used with object: 1. To raise in rank, honor, power, character, quality, etc.; elevate. 2. To praise; extol. 3. To stimulate, as the imagination. 4. To intensify, as a color. 5. Obsolete, to elate, as with pride or joy.

We will exult over the fact so many seniors graduated with honors this year. 

We exalt God to whom all praise and glory and honor is due. 

God is to be highly exalted for He is above all things. 

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.

Blessed are the people who rejoice exceedingly in Your name and in your righteousness are raised in rank and honor and character. 

Bring Your Mind to God for Rest and Renewal

Genesis 3:8 - And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 

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.

Dear God, I relinquish my mind to You for rest and renewal. My mind never turns off, even when I am sleeping. And I'm always tired as a result. Help me to be more aware of You and Your presence. And thank You for being willing to walk with me through this life. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Desire to Find God Each New Day

Isaiah 33:5-6 - The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high; he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness, and he will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is Zion's treasure.

Colossians 2:1-3 - For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knot together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Dear God, it is hard to think of trials as treasures from You. But I enter this day longing to find the treasures You have for me through the day. Whether it be the cool breeze (I hope), the light rain, the warm sunshine (not too hot), the beautiful flowers, or the song of the birds. Thank You for preparing the path for me ahead of time. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

When Things Don't Go As You Would Like

John 14:6 - Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

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, as long as the AC repair people come out like they are supposed and actually get the AC fixed right this time, I will be okay. Hard to sleep when it is so hot and miserable inside as well as outside. Heat sets up a flurry of symptoms with me that make me very ill. Thank You for caring about me and sending Jesus to allow me to be in relationship with You. Thank You for changing many of my perspectives into those that reflect more of You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

God Is With You and For You

Micah 7:7 - But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.

Romans 8:31-32 - What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 

Dear God, if You are for me, then what can be against me? If You are for me, then who can be against me? You gave Your Son to die for me, so surely You will continue to provide for my family. As much as congress wants to take away from the vulnerable people, You will surely keep it from happening because You are for those vulnerable people. I will look to You in this time of uncertainty. I will wait for You to show up. Surely, You will hear me. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Confess Your Sins

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

John 8:12 - Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkens, but will have the light of life."

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 Sn cleanses us from all sin.

Dear God, for any sins I have committed, I ask for forgiveness. Bring the darkness to the light and permeate every corner of it. Let me not become indignant in self-pity, denial, self-righteousness, blame or hatred. Let me be a light to others just as You are a light to me. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Safe and Secure in the Presence of God

Psalm 29:11 - May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!

I Corinthians 13:12 - For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

Dear God, help me to never forget that You are always with me even in times when I may feel Your presence as strongly. Keep me wrapped in Your loving arms as I walk through some very difficult situations right now. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

There is No Unless

Matthew 25:31-46 - "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels are with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one form 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 his 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 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 of 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.' The. 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."

Romans 13:1-7 - Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant doing good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

II Thessalonians 3:6-12 - Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, NOT BUSY AT WORK, BUT BUSYBODIES. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living (eat their own bread). [Emphasis added; parenthetical information from footnote.]

There is NO unless. 

Many people I have observed have criticized the social safety net programs. Let me define what constitutes a safety net program. 

A safety net program is a program designed to help people who are in need. That means that SNAP, TANF, SSI, SSDI, SS, VA, Pell Grants, Supplemental Grants, scholarships, loans, Medicaid, Medicare, etc. can all be considered safety net programs. Why? Because they help people in need. 

Now let me differentiate from welfare. Welfare is typically that assistance which is not earned. Which now falls to two programs: TANF and SSI for disability. BUT, let me put this forth as well. Do the lawmakers really EARN what they get? 

Let me explain some findings here:

Research has shown that one congressman might get as much as or as little as $2000 per day for food expenses only. This does not even count what they get paid for doing less than the minimum wage worker, housing, free healthcare for life, transportation, etc. If you want to start looking at what they are currently paid, they get $174,000 per year, enough that 41 people in my home state could have BCBS Gold plans! That's absurd! If they spend $2000 per day in food, that is $730,000 a year just in food! 

Now compare this:

One disabled veteran I know gets $2500 per month or $30,000 per year to cover ALL expenses. That veteran EARNED that. 

And for a single and young disabled adult, the breakdown is worse. That person gets a maximum of $733 per month or $8796 per year toward all expenses plus a maximum of $194 per month or $2328 per year for food only. 

In other words, one congressman gets paid what almost 6 disabled veterans might be paid and what almost 20 young disabled adults get for expenses or almost 75 single adults on SNAP get for food. Yet, the same congressmen who get that absurd amount for less work than a full time minimum wage employee works are trying to cut the safety net programs! Tell me how is that even right? 

Here's the clencher: The GOP is wanting to cut these vital programs and they are claiming to do it in the name of Christ. Look up. What does the least of these passage say? Oh, I know the excuses people make. But that says people are to do that, not government. Where? Where does Jesus differentiate that this passage only applies to people and not government! Oh, but, but, but, what if they are just lazy? Does Jesus say that you are to do these things to the least of these UNLESS they are lazy? I don't see an unless. But, but, but, the Bible says that if a man doesn't work, he shouldn't eat. Not what I read. I emphasized the critical point that Paul, not Jesus, was making in that passage, and he was talking about the busybodies, not the poor in general. A person may have a job, but if they are being nosy and getting all up in someone else's personal business, they are being a busybody, which is what Paul was discouraging. Not that a person who doesn't work should not eat, but a busybody should not eat. Ever hear of water cooler gossip? Those are your busybodies. But, but, but, I don't want my taxes paying for other people to eat yada yada yada. Shut up and pay your taxes. Jesus said it at least once as well as the passage I quoted from Romans. 

Another reason I included Romans in this post. Most of the GOP congressmen ran on one main message, "I hate Obama and I will fight him." Now tell me why? Dear Christian, if you hate the president, you need to ask for forgiveness. I see it a lot. People bash the man every post that is made about him. He was a gentleman the other day when it rained. People still bashed him! You do not have to agree with all of his policies. I don't. I support his work toward making sure every American that wants to has access to more affordable healthcare (note it is called the Affordable Care Act, not the affordable insurance act) and that no one can be denied. The law is not perfect, no thanks to the GOP bungling it even though it was originally their idea. I don't support gay marriage and I don't support abortion unless it is endangering the life of the baby or the mother or a case of rape. I don't have to like those things, but what I have to do is be respectful of my elected president who has a authority under God who in His sovereignty decided that for this season Mr. Obama was the appropriate leader for this country, and my duty under that is to pray for him, not bash him. It is appalling the number of people who claim Christianity that are bashing the president. And then they question research that shows Christianity is losing popularity. Well, I have said several things in this post that evidence reasons why. I myself have had to distance myself from it. I have a relationship not a religion. And that relationship has called me to a different direction. 

Church, you have the opportunity to make changes, and hopefully positive changes. I urge you to contact your leadership and to tell them to stop cutting safety net programs that benefit many of your people. I urge you to start encouraging your elected leaders to work with the president rather than against him for the good of humanity in this country. I urge you to not be idle in your work. 

Dear God, our country is in one hot mess right now. It is being torn apart and not in the best of ways. As we approach another fiscal year, I pray that You guide our leaders to make the right decisions and to increase taxes where needed to help those who are most vulnerable in the safety net programs both on the state and federal levels. I pray that You continue to guide our President to do what is necessary by all the people and not just the wealthy. I pray that You select the right candidate for the next president and place that person in office. So far, I am keen on Mr. Sanders, but I pray that You give me wisdom in that as well. I pray that You work in the hearts of those who have sinned against You either in their disrespect of our leaders or in their disrespect and disregard for other people in general. I pray that You lift away the self-centeredness that has taken its place in our society. Let Your will be done in all things. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Come to God with Your Plans in Suspension

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

John 4:24 - "God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."

Dear God, the master plan. Your master plan. My plans mean nothing if they are not in Your plans. Guide me through the day even through the plans I might have. Nothing on this earth happens without it being in Your plan. Whether it is being sick, having autism, being different from others, or having a strain person for president that most people have no real reason to hate except that he is different and proactively fighting for those who are most vulnerable in this country. Thank You for having a master plan though. I submit my plans to You and Your will. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Sitting Quietly in the Presence of God

II Corinthians 5:7 - ...for we walk by faith, not by sight.

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 in poverty financially, but American poverty might not look the same as in other countries. Those in America in poverty though are being criminalized by the GOP right now. They are being called lazy even if they work full time. They are being called lazy even if they are disabled. And all they are asking is for help filling the unmet basic needs. They might have shelter but then might not have enough for food or medical care. You are a provider though, and a mighty good one. You will always provide even if and when it seems the world has become cold and heartless. I pray for Your continued provision for my family. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

God Is Your Lord

Proverbs 19:21 - Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

Luke 1:79 - "...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, thank You for wanting to be my friend and wanting to love me. Thank You for Your sovereignty even though I don't understand the complexities of it. Help me to focus on one task at a time and one plan at a time so I don't get overwhelmed when things for the day don't go quite the way I might have expected. Lead me in the journey as to what my next step needs to be. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Spending Time with God Essential

Ephesians 6:16 - in all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts if the evil one;...

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

Revelation 12:10 - And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God."

Dear God, right now I need You. I need Your love surrounding me. Your power. Your grace. Your mercy. I need You. Mom called an ambulance this morning after a long sleepless night after a trip to the ER. She couldn't sleep because she has been in severe pain. Please give the doctors today wisdom and guidance to find what is really going on and to help ease her pain and discomfort. And help me as I struggle through home living skills in the meantime to make sure I get enough to eat. Guard me if and when I have to go somewhere whether to turn library materials in or go grocery shopping. Help me not set the stove on fire like I did that one time when we lived in Troy. I need Your comfort right now and so does my mom. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

God is a Mighty God

Luke 1:37 - "For nothing will be impossible with God."

II Corinthians 12:9 - But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Dear God, thank You for my weaknesses, for when You choose to work through me in spite of and despite of them, I am able to tell people that it is through Your grace and Your power. Regardless of what any church might try to assume about me, my weaknesses are good. I don't need to be fixed or cured or changed. If a church cannot accept me for me, then it probably is missing You to start with. Thank You for my weaknesses. Thank You for my autism. Thank You for my immune deficiency and my anemia. Thank You for using me. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Thank God in the Middle of Trials

I Thessalonians 5:18 - ...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, a little hard to thank You when I am in the middle of another illness trying to fight it off and my mom is not well and things just are not working out! Still have unresolved conflict, though not for lack of effort on my part. Still have no job, again not for lack of effort, and I love volunteering so I can learn practical skills needed for the job that I want. Still cannot get helo I actually need for my hearing loss or autism. Still struggling to get the group off the ground. Seems a lack of interest may be involved. People are interested yet they are not engaging. I can only do so much in my own power. I need You to help me. So I give all of this to You today. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Learn to Relate to Others Through God's Love

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

Matthew 11:28-30 - "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I 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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Dear God, please keep me under R&R while I work on loving others through Your love. It can be rough! Especially since some people are just so impossible to actually love! And sometimes the love You have is tough love. Thank You for giving me strength to love others though. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Thank God for Your Problems

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

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, okay, take my concerns that belong in the future and put them back in the future. Yes, I am concerned about them and will remain concerned about them, but I am no good if I am concerned about something that You intend to keep in the future. I am choosing instead to trust You for continued provision and care. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Do Not Resist or Run from the Difficulties in Your Life

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."

II Corinthians 1:8-9 - For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 

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

Dear God, thank You for my difficulties that force me to rely on You and Your strength. I cannot do it all and I cannot do it alone. While some may choose to judge me, let them. They don't know me or my journey. You are providing for me and my family and You will continue to do so. My autism, as challenging as it is at times, is in YOUR plan for me. My immune deficiency is in YOUR plan for me. Nothing that challenges me right now is outside of Your plan for me. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Don't Be So Hard on Yourself

Micah 7:7 - But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.

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.

Dear God, everything that happened between Tom and me was over mistakes. Although we cannot undo the mistakes that occurred, I can trust You to bring things together for good. In other words, reconciliation and restoration is still something that can happen when he is ready. It is not a lost cause and it is not a lost hope. Matter of fact, right now, I put the past into Your hands. I will not look back. I will ahead at what You will do to bring about the good. No one can undo the past no matter how hard they try. Thank You for loving me enough to work things together for good. Thank You for hearing me. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Do Not Long for the Absence of Problems

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."

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."

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

Dear God, there will be trouble in this world. But You have overcome it. You strengthen me. I ask today that You strengthen me further as a self-advocate and advocate for others with special needs. We are basically living targets for a political division that is rooted and grounded in hate and greed. I will not be silent as long You give me a voice. No matter how much people wish to shut me up on the issues. I want others to have the hope I didn't really get a chance to have. Today, the challenges I face, guard me and give me peace going I to them. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Nothing Can Separate You from God's Peace

Genesis 50:20 - As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to being it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. 

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

Dear God, right now I would say the GOP means evil against me for being disabled, against my mom for being a veteran, and against the elderly for being old, and against the poor just for being poor no matter what caused them to be poor. God, You are good. Please be with those of us in the groups that are being assaulted by the GOP budgeting flaws. Be with those people and comfort them. Work things out for their good. For You know what they need. We walk through the valley of the shadow of death, be with us. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Do Not Search for Security in the World

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

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

Dear God, oh, yes, if only I could check everything off on my checklist, but perhaps the biggest and most important thing to check off would be to rest secure in You and Your loving kindness. It is frustrating when unexpected things pop up. But if I trust You, maybe it will be less frustrating. Thank You for being with me all the time even during the times I do not feel You there. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Come to God for All You Need

Psalm 95:2 - Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

I John 1:5 - 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.

Dear God, thank You for Your goodness and the security I can have in You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Meet God in the Morning Stillness

Psalm 29:2 - Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.

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, glory be to You this morning. A beautiful morning. The splendor of Your holiness captured in the beauty of Your creation. I am awake. I am alive. Give me strength for the day. Although it appears my day will have to be spent at home rather than volunteering because I have a cold apparently. But even still, I praise You for the day You have given me. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

You Cannot Serve Two Masters

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

Matthew 6:24 - "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money."

Ephesians 3:14-17 - For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 

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

Dear God, as I reflect upon Ypur message through these passages, I have to thank You for opening my eyes to the fact that I was being brainwashed when I was a republican. No one can serve two masters. The GOP class this year claims to be Christian, but they are setting about right now to take away from the disabled, take away from the veterans, take away from the elderly, and take away from the poor in general so they can get their rewards from the greedy CEOs that don't pay what they should be paying. They despise the poor (something You make clear is very wrong to do) and they love money. They have forgotten their first love. God, I ask forgiveness for the fact that I was a republican supporter. My life turned upside down when I couldn't complete grad school because I just kept getting sick. It was a fatal blow to my dreams. I have spent the greater part of the last 7-10 years in the hospitals, doctors' offices, and therapies just to try to get to where I am today only to have the GOP threaten my life with their constant attacks on the ACA, the Social Security, the Medicaid, the SNAP, etc. Why? How can these people claim to be Christians yet so willing to throw the poor under the bus? When will they understand that not everyone is poor by choice or by simple laziness? As I prayed the other day, it is not right for me to wish ill will on others, but right now, I honestly wish these lawmakers would have to suffer the agony that so many of us individuals with special needs and our families have had to go through prior to the ACA. At one point, we were worried that my next illness would cause me to be dropped from my insurance or cause us to be homeless. Even just seeing the amounts submitted to the insurance company are still scary. I have been blessed by You God to be allowed the opportunity to finally have real insurance that works for me. I want to strongly believe that You will work things together for my good, but it is hard because the GOP is so loud with their hate lately. They are so determined to ruin people's lives. And they are doing it in Your name! They not only make You look bad, but they make Christians who genuinely love You and do Your work look bad. I thought I had seen it all until this year when the new GOP came right out of the gate determined to destroy the people most in need. Even Wisconsin makes things evil as they basically want to tell food stamp recipients they cannot buy any food or flavoring for food. God, we are not ready for Jesus to come back yet. There is no way. I can either serve You or I can serve others, but I cannot serve both. I will choose to serve You even if it means my life. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Way to Enjoy Abundant Life is to Live in Dependence on God

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

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

Dear God, help me to remember when I start to grow weary of a task I am doing that You are my strength and my comfort. Sometimes I get distracted from this. I am sorry for that. You give me the strength I need to complete the tasks at hand. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Friday, May 1, 2015

You Are on the Path of God's Choosing

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 of 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."

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?"

Dear God, here and now in this moment is where I am supposed to live. It is hard not to worry about the future. Today I received another message warning about the threats to Medicaid and how it would negatively affect the disabled. More threats to the Affordable Care Act which would also negatively impact the disabled, including myself. The GOP budget of hate is literally going to be the most unChristian thing ever and this time, things are going to be even uglier than ever before. As I evaluate the GOP right now and those who defend their actions, all I can think is how dare you call yourself a Christian while you support a party that wants to cut the disabled off, wants to cut off veterans, and now wants to cut off the elderly! If I will know them by their fruits, the GOP has NO Christians. They are greedy war hungry idiots who care nothing about anyone who is not white or rich. God, while worrying may not help me or extend my life, and while I know I shouldn't wish ill will on anyone, I actually do wish the GOP idiots in D.C. would have to be dealt a serious blow to their bank accounts and wallets such as that which so many families of special needs individuals, including my own, have dealt with. Be it from lack of insurance or lack of proper insruance, or be it from the lack of community services or access to them, every single special needs person and family has suffered the consequences of a very hateful GOP of late. They say they are pro-life yet have no problem cutting the disabled off from the things they need in the way of healthcare and other services. God, please intervene before it is too late. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!
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