Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Tell Me All About It

"Let your reasonableness b ex own to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let our requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:5-7

Other translation focal verses: Do not worry about anything. But pray and ask God for everything you need. And when you pray, always give thanks. And God's peace will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. The peace that God gives is so great that we cannot understand it. - Philippians 4:6-7

"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." - John 16:33

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

Other translation focal verse: [God] raised us up with Christ and gave us a seat with him in the heavens. He did this for those of us who are in Christ Jesus. - Ephesians 2:6

Dear God, 

It is a tough time right now. And it seems like it is only getting tougher by the day. Everything I had said would happen if Trump got elected is happening. Our country is being ripped to shreds and people are losing the essential human rights that we all fought so hard to get. Wrap me with Your love. Soothe me with Your peace and love. We need You so much more now than ever before. 

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen 

Monday, January 30, 2017

I Can Take Care of That

"Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved." - Psalm 55:22

"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." - Matthew 11:28-30

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

Dear God,

I am giving You my worries because I really need You to take care of me right now. I need You to carry me through them. The discord in this country has become quite unbearable. I am giving You the Trump disaster. And I am going to struggle to survive it, but I will hope that You will indeed keep Your promises to see me through it all. You say You work everything out for the good of those who believe in You. So here You go God. I am giving it over to You as best as I can and I am hoping in You as best as I can. Healthcare, housing, food, finances, all these things. I am trusting You to continue with Your provision.

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name,

Amen

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Love Broke Thru TobyMac

Love Broke Thru by TobyMac

I just have to put this here today. So many protests and riots have erupted over the past several years. Cops killing innocent people. Trump being elected and his dangerous policies that so many smart people warned people about but they still ignored us. TobyMac's "Love Broke Thru" has always been one with a powerful message to it, but the relevance and the timing of his video release has made the song all the more powerful. I challenge anyone to not end up in tears watching and listening to the song. I challenge anyone who sees the video to do what the man in the video did in the end. Let us all put down our differences long enough to actually listen without judging and to come together to make sure that EVERY single last citizen is taken care and not punished by harmful politics.

Here are the lyrics which you can follow along with on the video.

I was feelin' that, feelin' that breeze
Singin' like a song thru the tall oak trees
It was just another summer night
Had to be the last  thing on my mind
Yeah, I was all but lost in the moment
I was young and runnin' wide open
It was just another summer night
Had to be the last thing on my mind

When love broke thru
You found me in the darkness
Wanderin' thru the desert
I was a hopeless fool
Now I'm hopelessly devoted
My chains are broken
And it all began with You
When love broke thru
And it all began with You
When love broke thru

I did all that I could to undo me
But You love me enough to pursue me
Yeah, You drew me out of the shadows
Made me believe that I mattered, to You (You)
You were there, You heard my prayer in that broke down dusty room
It was the first time I said, "I'm Yours"
The first time I called You Lord

When love broke thru
You found me in the darkness
Wanderin' thru the desert
I was a hopeless fool
Now I'm hopelessly devoted
My chains are broken
And it all began with You
When love broke thru
And it all began with You
When love broke thru

Yeah, it was late in the summer when the northeast breeze
Sang like a song thru the oak trees
Pennsylvania
She kind of caught my soul
Which had me a little more open than closed
Walls I built
Opinions I learned
Covered in the ashes of bridges I burned
Blind to the arrow that headed to my heart
But You hit the mark

When love broke thru
You found me in the darkness
Wanderin' thru the desert
I was a hopeless fool
Now I'm hopelessly devoted
My chains are broken
And it all began with You
When love broke thru

When love broke thru
You found me in the darkness
Wanderin' thru the desert
I was a hopeless fool
Now I'm hopelessly devoted
My chains are broken
And it all began with You
When love broke thru
And it all began with You
When love broke thru

I did all that I could to undo me
But You loved me enough to pursue me

Written by: Bart Millard, Bryan Christopher Fowler, Chris Stevens, Toby Mckeehan

Billboard Magazine's review


The Great Mystery

"In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you." - John 14:20

"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." - Colossians 1:27

Other translation: God decided to let his people know this rich and glorious truth which he has for all people. This truth is Christ himself, who is in you. He is our only hope for glory. - Colossians 1:27

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

Focal verses other version: I pray that your life will be strong in love and be built on love....Christ's love is greater than any person can ever know. But I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with the fullness of God. - Ephesians 3:17, 19

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.'" - Acts 17:26-28

Focal verse other translation: "By his power we live and move and exist." Some of your own poets have said: "For we are his children." - Acts 17:28

Dear God,

I am in You and You are in me. You are Lord of all for all time. Your power allows me to live and move and exist. I am a human and I am also Your precious child. We live life with each other. But You also live in me. Your presence fills me. You know everything about me. Everything I do is in Your presence. Help me to become even more aware of You. God, today I want to ask You to help the refugees and those who have been hurt by Trump again. He has become an out of control dictator and lies constantly. And his ban that he wrote doesn't even do anything to protect America from terrorism when you consider most of the acts of terrorism on our soil have been domestic and white men. I pray for the families who have been impacted and I pray that if we really want to put a stop to potential incoming terrorists that Trump put Afghanistan on the ban list because they were behind the attacks on 9/11. God, we truly never know if we may be entertaining angels. And some of those refugees might be angels. Jesus was a refugee Himself. I feel very broken.

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name,

Amen




Saturday, January 28, 2017

I Am Bigger

"Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me." - Psalm 138:7

"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." - Zephaniah 3:17

"Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world." - I Peter 5:9

Other translation: Refuse to give in to the devil. Stand strong in your faith. You know that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are having the same sufferings you have. - I Peter 5:9

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

Dear God,

Save me, save us all, from the troubles that are brewing here in America. You are the Mighty One and You are with me. You are bigger and stronger than any problem in this world. Your power will save me. Don't let go of me right now. I feel so tired and weak. Help me to remember that You are ALWAYS with me.

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name,

Amen

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Joy of Hope

"Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer." - Romans 12:12 

"For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, Renee ring you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jeuss Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance I. The saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come." Ephesians 1:15-21

Other translation focal verses: I always pray to the God of our Lord Jesus Christ—to the glorious Father. I pray that he will give you a spirit that will make you wise in the knowledge of God—the knowledge that he has shown you. I pray that you will have greater understanding in your heart. Then you will know the hope that God has chosen to give us. I pray that you will know that the blessings God has promised his holy people are rich and glorious. - Ephesians 1:17-18 

"Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off." - Proverbs 23:18 

Dear God, 

Right now it is not easy to be joyful and sometimes I feel like I am losing all hope. I see a women's march that brings me hope knowing there are women from all walks of life who care about the least of these when it comes to access to healthcare and food and basic needs. Then I see a march in which women claim to be prolife that are merely probirth and support cutting off access to healthcare for the disabled and food for the hungry. The difference in their attitudes and their tones. I used to be what they called prolife until I realized that they were not truly prolife at all. Your hope promises that I am not alone and that I have Your help. But God, why does it seem so slow? The hope You have given me is rich and glorious. But why does it feel it is being dashed with each new day of this republican regime? God, I need You to show up in a huge way. More now than ever. 

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Trust Me...Always

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

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

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

Dear God,

Help me to always trust You no matter what is happening. Right now is a very uncertain time in our country, especially for the least of these. Help me to trust You even during this time.

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name,

Amen

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Only Peek at Your Problems

"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." - Hebrews 12:1-2

"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 14:16-17

"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." - II Corinthians 4:17-18

Dear God,

Help me to focus more on You and what You can do than on my problems.

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name,

Amen

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

I Turn Darkness Into Light

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

Other translation focal verse: The Lord God has put his Spirit in me. This is because he has appointed me to tell the good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort those whose hearts are broken. - Isaiah 61:1

"For you are my lamp, O Lord, and my God lightens my darkness." - II Samuel 22:29

"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." - II Corinthians 5:6-7

"But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day." - Proverbs 4:18

Dear God, 

It feels like we have entered a very long and dark time. I am struggling to find any good in what is going on. I'm struggling not to just throw the towel in. You say You are always with me. Please shed some light into things. Help me God. Don't let go of me. Fix things. Fix the broken we are about to have with the republicans being so grossly absorbed on hurting the least of these. I thank You for the help that You will send. 

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen

Monday, January 23, 2017

Like Sunshine to a Flower

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." - Romans 15:13

Then he said to them, "Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength." - Nehemiah 8:10

"In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also." - John 14:2-3

Dear God,

I am struggling with trusting You right now. The media and Trump disaster that has surfaced is making my head spin! It is hard to hold hope and see joy and peace in what is happening right now. Please show Yourself in a huge way! 

Thank You!

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Putting the Puzzle Together

"I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness." - Proverbs 4:11

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

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

Dear God, 

You are guiding me in wisdom and leading me to do what is right. God, this morning we awake to the Trump mouthpiece trying to call lies "alternate facts." No such thing. What is the right thing right now? Why does the right thing seem to go so wrong? I am beyond frustrated and beyond simply puzzled. I am befuddled. You are able to do something good out of anything that happens. God, please do. Nothing good comes out of throwing people out of their insurance coverage. Nothing good comes out of being ugly to the poor and throwing them off resources they need just to survive. God, the storms are bad, both literally and figuratively. Please bring light and good. 

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Washed Away

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." - I John 1:9

"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." - Isaiah 61:10

"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 rights are exalted." - Psalm 89:15-16

Dear God, 

I come to You today with the fears of many regarding our healthcare situation in America and the wreckless abandon that republicans have with regard to the least of these. Today I come to You unable to respect and pray for Trump or for leadership due to serious conflict of interest centered around their policies and ideologies regarding the least of these. As such, I lay these at Your feet and pray for Your will to be done even if Your will is that we are entering the end times today. If my heart attitude in this is wrong, please forgive me. And even if my heart attitude is not wrong, I still ask for forgiveness. Thank You for washing over me with Your goodness.

Thank You. 

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen

Friday, January 20, 2017

Two Wonderful Truths

"He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken." - Isaiah 25:8 

"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." - I John 1:5 

"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 18:30 

Dear God, 

You are in control and You are good. Today, God, many of us mourn for what was our great nation. We mourn because with today's inauguration, a liar who is against the least of these and whose party is hellbent on killing off the least of these takes control. A soulless man who thinks he does not need forgiveness from You and thinks it is okay to just grab women. Soulless men who think it's acceptable to cut off access to healthcare, food, shelter, etc. from the least of these. Soulless men who wish to destroy all the press and freedoms of the press and who want to kill the arts and sciences. God, through all these things I cannot understand how You can possibly be in control. There is no darkness in You. That being said please destroy the darkness before it takes over this country and destroys every single one of us. I pray that You give us strength and courage to stand for what is right and that You empower us to stay strong in the face of adversity and to never fall asleep to what is going on. Keep us alert for what is about to come. 

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Safe and Secure

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

Other translation: Being afraid of people can get you into trouble. But if you trust the Lord, you will be safe. - Proverbs 29:25

Then the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this that you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." - Genesis 3:13

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

Other translation: Jesus answered, "I am the way. And I am the truth and the life. The only way to the Father is through me." - John 14:6 

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." - John 8:31-32 

Focal verse in other translation: "Then you will know the truth. And the truth will make you free." - John 8:32

Dear God, 

You ARE the only one who can keep me safe and secure for all time. So I ask this day, this hour, that You do just that. Keep me safe no secure against the harm the republicans are trying to bring upon those of us who have complex medical needs. I trust You to do that. Because You said You will. God, the devil says we don't You. And that's what worries me about someone like Trump. He says He doesn't need You or forgiveness. He goes around with hate messages. His party acts with such vile hatred. His supporters also act with vile hatred. They bully people like me for standing up for our convictions and the truth. The truth WILL set me free! The truth will keep me from becoming blinded by someone that seems to know how to appeal to the dumb and misguided. Please continue to speak nuggets of truth into my heart and into my mind. 

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

While You Wait

"The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him." - Lamentations 3:25 

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

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." - Jeremiah 29:11 

Dear God, 

Where are You right now? We have people hurting and people who are terrified of the immediate future ahead in light of the Trump-tastrophe that is about to take off full speed ahead. What the heck have the republicans done to our country? What happened to the compassion for others, the empathy? Why do they take such glee in the fact that because of their stupidity people will die from losing insurance access to healthcare or that they will become homeless and bankrupt? Why do they just not care? What has happened that they dare call themselves Christians yet act with such hatred and ignorance and selfishness? Your plans are to give me hope and a good future, but I am really struggling to see how that is possible right now. God, reveal Yourself. Please. 

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Enough

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." - II Corinthians 12:9

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

"For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed," says the Lord, who has compassion on you. - Isaiah 54:10

Dear God, 

Your grace is enough for me to get me through my toughest times, but can I have some extra measure of grace going into these troubled days and weeks ahead? We have long battles ahead of us to do the right thing by the least of these and to make sure they have what they need in the way of care and food and shelter and basic essentials that so many take for granted. I need You more now than ever before. 

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen

Monday, January 16, 2017

Sing to Me

"Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord! I have fled to you for refuge!" - Psalm 143:9 

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

"Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel." - Psalm 22:3 

"In the cover of your presence you hide them from the plots of men; you store them in your shelter from the strife of tongues." - Psalm 31:20 

Dear God, 

I need Your protection and Your shield right now. Fill me with Your songs. Please shelter me.

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Too Many to Count

"When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul." - Psalm 94:19 

Other translation: "I was very worried. But you comforted me and made me happy." - Psalm 94:19

"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 16:22 

"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." - Matthew 11:28-29 

Dear God, 

This world has given us many worries this past week, particularly for those of us with complex medical needs that now fear losing insurance access to healthcare again. We need universal care now is what we need. I see problem and troubles everywhere I look, especially in light of the liar-elect coming around the corner. God, I really need Your comfort right now. Help me to remember that You are with me! Help me to remember that You are bigger than all the problems and the worries of this world! Comfort me and bring me joy. Remind me of Your presence, Your peace, and Your love even as I am faced with the worries. Replace my worries with blessings. 

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen

Friday, January 13, 2017

Trust Me

"Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us." - Psalm 62:8 

"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 14:16-17 

"Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts the Lord." - Psalm 32:10 

Dear God, 

Help me to always remember Your presence. Help me to trust You more. I am so weak right now. I need Your strength for the battle ahead. Surround me with Your love. 

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen

Put Me First

"In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." - Proverbs 3:6 

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

"Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart." - Psalm 37:4 

"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." - I John 1:7 

Dear God, 

Help me to always remember to put You first above all things. And thank You for the success that You and only You will give me as I live more in Your light.

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Lord of Peace

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

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

"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." - John 14:27 

Dear God, 

You are the Lord of Peace. You give me peace at all times and in every way. Please fill me with Your peace. Help me to always remember that I need You. Help me to believe that You will provide. God, I accept Your peace. 

You said You provide yet the republican idiots in DC have just killed me. I will lose insurance and die as a result of lack of care I need because I can no longer get my medications I need. What kind of God are You to allow that? What purpose does this serve? What about the least of these! Why are You NOT helping them? 

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen!


The Power of Prayer

"Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies." - Psalm 27:11

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

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

"Hear my prayer, O Lord; give ear to my pleas for mercy! In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness!" - Psalm 143:1

Dear God, 

Worries and troubles are not fun, but teach me how to use them for good. Help me to use them to grow closer to You. Today I am worried because of the republicans who are back with full force threatening to take away insurance for millions upon millions of people who need access to healthcare without having to worry about being denied or dropped or going bankrupt over getting care. Today I am worried about millions of elderly, disabled, and veterans who rely upon the Social Security Administration programs so they can have shelter and food and healthcare they need. Today I am worried about the evil that the republicans have unleashed upon America. I need You God. I need Your shelter. I need Your provision. I need Your peace. I need Your comfort. Show me what to do. Satan, get thee behind me! I bind you Satan in the name of Jesus! 

Thank You God.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Adventure

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

"Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the voice of his servant? Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God." - Isaiah 50:10

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

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

Dear God, 

Be my guide during my training for the biggest adventure of my life. My adventure is my adventure and no one else has my adventure. Hold me as I face the jungle and the shadows. Lead me. Hold my hand and do not let go. You promise to take care of me and provide. I trust You to do just that no matter what the greedy, heartless republicans keep trying to do or hurt us.

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen

Look the Right Way

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." - Philippians 4:8 

Other translation: Continue to think about the things that are good and worthy of praise. Think about the things that are true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected. - Philippians 4:8

"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." - John 10:27 

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

Focal verse, other translation: "May the Lord show you his kindness. May he have mercy on you." - Numbers 6:25

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

Other translation: You will teach me God's way to live, being with you will fill me with joy. At your right hand I will find pleasure forever. - Pslam 16:11

Dear God, 

I choose not to focus on the Trump catastrophe because Trump is not good or worthy of praise nor is he true or honorable or right or pure or beautiful or respected. He mocked people. He still mocks people. And he lies all the time. I would much rather enjoy beautiful and good things, like my precious kitten, Evie, and the sweet song of a bird. By focusing on the good things, I am encouraged and I will be made stronger in my faith. I will indeed have to deal with those things that are ugly, like the bullies who call people all kinds of horrid names when they have a different opinion and try to shit us up when we stand up against their bullying. But I definitely do not have to keep thinking about those things. I choose to focus on the kind words, the people who are helping others (kudos to Meryl Streep), and Your beautiful creation. You are with me throughout my day through these small things. 

Thank You for retraining my focus.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Build Wisely

"Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fel, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it." - Matthew 7:24-27

"Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity." - Ecclesiastes 1:2 

Other translation: The Teacher says, "Useless! Useless! Completely useless! All things are useless." - Ecclesiastes 1:2

"He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure." - Psalm 40:2 

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

Other translation: I keep the Lord before me always. Because he is close by my side I will not be hurt. - Psalm 16:8

Dear God,

I need a strong foundation in my life. God please be my foundation. With You as my foundation, I will not be shaken. Popularity, things, and talents are not forever and are not a good foundation. Like politicians who try to snatch away the safety nets that help the least of these, they have built their houses on sand because they have chosen to not heed Your words. They will crash and burn. You never change and You never leave me. Help me to always keep You before me. 

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Listening and Loving

"I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them." - Deuteronomy 30:19-20

Other translation of focal verse: "Love the Lord your God. Obey him. Stay close to him. He is your life. And he will let you live many years in the land. This is the land he promised to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." - Deuteronomy 30:20

"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." - Zephaniah 3:17

"Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us." - Psalm 62:8

Dear God,

Help me to listen better to You. Help me to be closer to You. Help me to hear Your song over me. Help me to let You love me more. Help me through the troubled times. Guide me. Hold me close.

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name,

Amen

Quiet You With My Love by Rebecca St. James

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Prince of Peace

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." - Isaiah 9:6

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

"The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe." - Proverbs 18:10

Dear God,

Help me to keep You in the center of my thoughts and help me to feel more peace even in the difficult times ahead. You are in control. Please help. It's not easy to remember Your presence. The storms of life seem out of control. But please calm them.

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name,

Amen

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Evie

Oh precious Evie. Your inquisitive nature and expressive eyes and face! Yesterday you went for your weight check. Because the veterinarian no longer can tell us what your normal weight should be. You are barely even at 8 months based on your marked birth date yet you already 8.3 pounds! You love the old bears from Katie and you love your cat tree that we had to buy because somehow in less than one week in the house, you managed to get into a window that was 40 inches from the floor! You are trying to get to the light switch. You keep throwing your favorite toys in the water which has led to the window sill in my room being affectionately named the infirmary. You have a tortitude. Sweet one minute and mean the next. You are learning patience. You are in your first diet to maintain your weight. You are tall. Tall enough that we either need to get a bigger carrier or work hard to train you with a walking harness. When we out the harness on you now, you look at it and plop over. 

Evie, you are named after Evie from Disney Descendants because I love all things Disney and love that film. And boy are you living up to your name! Evie, daughter of the evil queen in the film. Evie, devil in disguise of cute kitten. Haha. 

You love the fish game on the iPad. You bite when you're tired. And you are the first cat I have had that will eat fish. So I no longer have to sit there and read every ingredient of the food to make sure there is no fish in it. You also are allergic to your vaccines and have to get Benadryl shot when you get your vaccines. You can only get two instead of four at a time. But you are not my first cat to go through that. You are a healthy little kitten. 

And you are greatly loved! 



Molly Jean

We had to let my dear sweet Molly Jean cross the Rainbow Bridge Monday. What a way to start the year. This is my second fur baby to cross since July when Katie passed from that brain aneurysm so suddenly. My heart is so broken over the loss. 

Molly Jean was 18. She was born profoundly deaf. She started having issues with cataracts. She started falling a lot because her hips ended up with arthritis and dysplasia. She apparently lost all of the vision in one eye and was about to lose the vision in her other eye. 

In the weekend prior to having to let her go, she did stop eating. I had to hand feed her. She just lost all interest in food. She did try though. For me. 

She faded. And by that, I mean she had basically left her body and she was just a shell. 

Sunday night I cupped her chin and forced her to face me. And I told her that I love her and will miss her. As best as I could. And during that moment, she touched her name to my nose and I knew that she understood me. 

I fought with the decision most of Monday morning. But when my mom got back from a quick errand, I said it was time. I apologized to my mom and helped her load Molly Jean into what would be her last car ride. 

Mom said Molly Jean wanted to leave the vet's office with her when she left to return home. This was probably the saddest thing to hear. 

As much as it pains me, Molly Jean did cross peacefully. And she will no longer be in any pain. And I hope that she finally gets to hear the birds singing. But I know Molly Jean passed peacefully because there was no middle of the night visit from her like there was with Peaches and then with Katie. 

So to my dear Molly Jean, you will be missed. And you left a huge imprint on my heart. You were loved in a huge way. Oh, and don't worry. We will give the new dog Buddy Glow Ball when we have the new dog. It just might not be for a few months. 

Keep Asking

"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." - Ephesians 3:20-21

Other translation, focal verse: "With God's power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or think of." - Ephesians 3:20

He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him saying, 'Give me justice against my adversary.' For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, 'Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.'" And the Lord said, "Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith in earth?" - Luke 18:2-8

"For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened." - Luke 11:10

Dear God, 

You are with me and within me. You are doing good things in my life. I may not always be aware that You are with me, but still You are there. I need to ask great things of You because You are great. Nothing is impossible for You. I need to pray boldly in Your name. I need to persevere in my prayers. I will keep praying right now that the people who have benefited from the protections of the ACA will not find themselves back where we were before the ACA. They do not deserve this. No matter who they voted for. I will ask that You empower me and other advocates to do the right thing and stand against the republicans attempting to screw us all up in this one area. I will ask that You intervene in a huge way. 

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

amen!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A Safe Place

"Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." - I Peter 5:8

"Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by." - Psalm 57:1

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

Dear God,

Be my refuge when the storms ahead of us hit. They have already begun. Please take my worries God. Be with me. Take care of me. Shelter me. Today I choose You. Not my worries. Oh sweet joy in the refuge!

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name,

Amen

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

My Plan

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." - Jeremiah 29:11

"Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord." - Psalm 32:10

"Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer." - Romans 12:12

"Humber 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." - I Peter 5:6-7

Dear God,

You have a perfect plan for my life. I just wish I knew some more about it than I do. Sometimes Your plan is different than mine. Boy, don't I know that more now than ever. I didn't expect to lose Katie before I lost Molly Jean. The order of which defied logic and reasoning of nature where older things die before younger things. And I certainly did not plan to lose them both within months of each other.  Sometimes Your plan will involve doing something hard or uncomfortable. That might be fine God, but I need to understand Your plan with regard to a bunch of hypocritical men who hate the least of these and are bent on taking away access to healthcare for all of the citizens of this country. What purpose does this fill when so many could die as a result? Surely that is not Your plan? Your plan could include troubles and problems. I see that. I struggle to see Your love through our current events. God, I am struggling to trust You in this moment right now. God, I do need You more than ever. I am not angry with You anymore, but I am exasperated with You. I want to trust that You only want what is best for me. That You have something HUGE in mind that will be a positive thing for me, for everyone. Take all of my worries God. Take them, keep them, work through them on my behalf. I am throwing my hands up in the air and saying pffffftttttt.....

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name,

Amen

Monday, January 2, 2017

Not One Single Thing

"For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." - Romans 8:38-39

Focus verse: Romans 8:39 - Nothing above us, nothing below us, or anything else in the whole world will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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

"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." - John 16:33

Other translation: "I have told you these things so that you can have peace in me. In this world you will have trouble. But be brave! I have defeated the world!" - John 16:33

Dear God,

Nothing can separate me from Your love. Nothing. Nothing I say. Nothing I think. Nothing I do. Nothing someone else does or says to me. Nothing can separate me from You. I am not perfect. Nor do You ask me to be right now. I will make mistakes. But mistakes cannot separate me from Your love. Help me to sit back and relish what good there is in life. Help me to be brave when things are rough.

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name,

Amen

That Where I Am There You May Also Be by Rich Mullins




Sunday, January 1, 2017

My Kind of Hope

Hope is expecting God to keep His promises and knowing that He will.

"God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?" - Numbers 23:19

"Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you." - Psalm 33:20-22

Other translation: "So our hope is in the Lord. He is our help, our shield to protect us. We rejoice in him. We trust his holy name. Lord, show your love to us as we put our hope in you." - Psalm 33:20-22

"Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God's elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior; To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior." - Titus 1:1-4

Focal verse: "That faith and that knowledge come from our hope for life forever. God promised that life to us before time began, and God does not lie." - Titus 1:2

Dear God,

I want to put my hope in You. Because unlike man, You do not lie. You say You want to give me a happy ending to my story. My story has been anything but happy and I am now in a long battle ahead with the changing of the tides back over to a political party that would be happier if the disabled and the poor did not exist at all. I expect You to keep Your promises to me though. Your promises of continued provision and love and forgiveness. And that is what hoping in You is about - expectation. God, I want to fully let go of myself and fall into Your guiding arms. And I need Your help to do that. I have fallen but I can get back up again with You beside me if You will have me. God, strengthen me. Help me to stand strong in the face of adversity. Give me strength and wisdom when the bullies come at me. Give me peace knowing that at the end of the day I have done all I can do. Don't let me give up.

Thank You God for everything.

In Jesus' Name,

Amen!









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