It’s a poetry day:) This poem is about how uncertain our future is. Only God knows what He has in store for us. We can guess, but we will not know for sure, so faith, not fear should be our “weapon” of choice.
The future, a foggy distance that beckons meager mortals to explore. murky fate that curtains off whatever lies beyond, whether potential joy or sure danger. Hey dreamers, Hey, you dooms-dayers, So what do you say? Choose your weapon, faith or fear, and put an end to your prophecies and begin your victorious freedom. The key to the future is opportunity; it turns to the present. Now, you mortals, be free and walk. Beyond fog and more time lies your future , but remember… Your future is God’s to plan, yours to desire, yours to request, but God’s to grant.
Have a great Wednesday! Love from our Father to you,
Because Saul was on mission to persecute Christians, believers of the Jerusalem church had to scatter out to safety. They also spoke out, about Jesus. Philip was no exception. He traveled to Samaria and preached to multitudes, healing and drawing out unclean spirits from the possessed. He was on a mission for God and the results were amazing! Acts 8:8 says, “There was great joy in that city.”
But…could Philip help a sorcerer? Simon the sorcerer was well know among the Samarians and his sorcery was so convincing that they actually believed he had God’s power. Philip changed their minds about that, by proclaiming God’s Word and kingdom and Jesus Christ. Not only did they heed his words, but so did Simon! God’s truth changed him! He was soon baptized and continued with Philip.
Simon went from impressing others, to being amazed at what God did through Philip. What a change! Sometimes we try to impress others or even ourselves. We may be amazed at talent or success that comes from hard work and dedication. But there is nothing more amazing than what the Lord can do…He transforms souls!
“Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.” Acts 8:13
Have a blessed Tuesday. With love from the Father, Christina
Because Saul was on mission to persecute Christians, believers of the Jerusalem church had to scatter out to safety. They alsospokeout, about Jesus. Philip was no exception. He traveled to Samaria and preached to multitudes, healing and drawing out unclean spirits from the possessed. He was on a mission for God and the results were amazing! Acts 8:8 says, “There was great joy in that city.”
But…could Philip help a sorcerer? Simon astonished the Samarians with his sorcery, so they believed he had God’s power. Philip changed their minds by proclaiming God’s Word and kingdom and Jesus Christ. Not only did they heed his words, but so did Simon! God’s truth changed him! He was soon baptized and continued with Philip.
Simon went from impressing others, to being amazed at what God did through Philip. Sometimes we feel impressed with others or ourselves. We are amazed at talent or success that comes from hard work and dedication. But there is nothing more amazing than how the Lord can transform a soul.
“Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.” Acts 8:13
Have a blessed Tuesday. With love from the Father,
Jerusalem was chaotic. Saul was searching homes for believers and dragging them off to prison. He even allowed the Israelites to stone Stephen because his words about the Holy Spirit convicted and incensed them. As Stephen was being killed, his last words were a prayer. He asked the Lord not to charge them with his death. The story of Jesus’ love and forgiveness would not end with Stephen. He made sure of it.
All of this persecution of the Jerusalem church made believers, except the apostles, flee to other parts of Judea and Samaria. But they scattered with a purpose! They went and preached everywhere! The story of Jesus and His plan to redeem them did not end with them. They made sure of it.
As I read this touching story of Stephen and the church’s desire to continue the gospel, I realize that it was the Holy Spirit in them that enabled them to carry on His story. As believers, we are story tellers and preachers. No matter the circumstances, we can tell The Story so it will not end with us.
Therefore, those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word. Acts 8:4
Have a wonderful Monday! Love and prayers, always,
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give
to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be
troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 NIV
I woke up this morning to pouring rain; it had rained most of the night, so I was disappointed that God gave us even more. Then I remembered a beautiful song my momma used to sing when it rained, “It’s Beginning to Rain.” I joined in with the memory of her singing. More meaningful than the memory of her singing is the beautiful meaning of the words. God is raining down His abundance of all we need and asking us to drink it in. He is there for us in the rain.
Though it is not raining outside now and the sun has come out, someone, somewhere, is getting rained on. Figuratively, they may also be getting rained on with problems with no sun. We, who are having sunlight, can remind them that there is hope; trials do not last forever. We can hand them an umbrella, in the form of friendship and a dose of God’s Word. We can stand with them in the rain like God does for us.
When I first got my driver’s license, I was so excited to run errands for my family. Any excuse to do something my father wanted me to do, was an excuse to drive the car by myself! Ezekiel was asked to do a job for God, but I don’t think he was all that excited. God told Him to go to a rebellious people, the children of Israel. They had transgressed against God and would stubbornly refuse to listen.
So how did Ezekiel get himself ready for this task? It wasn’t Him, but God that prepared Ezekiel. God instructed him, sent him, fed Him words, set him on his feet, then warned, lifted up, compelled and inspired Him. (Ezekiel 2:1-3:27) The one thing Ezekiel did that made all the difference is, HE WENT.
The Spirit then lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness and in the anger of my spirit, with the strong hand of the Lord on me. Ezekiel 3:14 NIV
We may be excited to do something for God, but when He actually tells us to do something, it may be difficult, scary or dangerous. We may be bitter or angry about it. Compelled to obey by His Spirit, we will find that God equips us with everything we need to do the job. We have reason to praise Him!
Dear Father God…We want to do Your will. By Your holy Spirit, please compel and equip us for the job You designed for us. Thank You for using us in Your plan to draw more people to You. We love You! Amen
Did you ever hear the song about Ezekiel, from the Bible? Some of us sang it in school, back when things like that could be done. Ezekiel saw something that inspired Woody Guthrie to write the song, “Ezekiel Saw the Wheel.”
Ezekiel saw that wheel Way up in the middle of the air Ezekiel saw that wheel whirling Way up in the middle of the air Now the little wheel runs by faith And the big wheel runs by the grace of God And a wheel in a wheel whirling Way up in the middle of the air
He really did see a wheel, well, actually FOUR of them! Can you imagine Ezekiel’s surprise at seeing wheel’s whirling in the air?? He saw FOUR wheels, belonging to four creatures! Before he saw the wheels or the creatures, though, He saw a whirlwind cloud with,
…”raging fire engulfing itself; and brightness was all around it and radiating out of its midst like the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire. Also from within it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had the likeness of a man. “ Ezekiel 1:4-5 NKJV
You know what I am thinking as I read this? Why didn’t he look away? Why didn’t he run? Would I have done that, or would I have shook my head to clear the vision and not tell anyone, lest they thought I was crazy? Not only did Ezekiel NOT run or NOT keep his vision to himself, he described it, in specific, lengthy detail! What made him stand still and take it all in and write about it?
I found my answer at the end of chapter one of Ezekiel. After Ezekiel describes the four creatures, their wings, their movements and their wheels that contained their spirit, he hears what sounds like God!
When they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of many waters, like the voice of the Almighty, a tumult like the noise of an army; and when they stood still, they let down their wings. A voice came from above the firmament that was over their heads; whenever they stood, they let down their wings. Ezekiel 24-25 NKJV
Ezekiel heard the noise. Those four words tell me that he knew he was hearing and seeing something from God. He stood still. He watched. He heard. He gave his full attention to the vision. He stood still, as I see it, because he could not look away if He wanted to.
The very last two verses of Ezekiel are ones you have to read! He saw the glory of the Lord! Look how beautiful!
I saw, as it were, the color of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it; and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around. Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.” Ezekiel 1:27-28 NKJV
Wow. He saw the beautiful, bright, glory of God! Ezekiel did not just see a wheel. That brings to mind some questions worth thinking about…
Do you ever feel God showing you something or do you feel a still small voice urging you to do something? God still inspires and shows and leads. It was not just in the Bible days that God gave people visions.
Do we stand still when we see or hear God at work? Do we stand transfixed when He shows us something? Do we follow through with what He wants us to do?
Thank you for reading. Tomorrow, we will dive into Ezekiel chapter two. I can’t wait to see what happens and what God does next!
Today we have a simple request. Open our eyes and ears so they work like You want them to. Help us to stand still and take in all that You say. Like Ezekiel, make us transfixed and not able to look away from You. You are beautiful and glorious and we love You. Thank You for listening and answering our prayers. Amen
A memory just came to me that reminded me of our Father’s love for us. When I was five, I stole a pack of gum while in the checkout line with my mother. I remember I was so mad that she told me “no”, that I took it anyway.Then, as I tried to walk out of the store slowly so the gum would not fall out of the cuffed waistband of my jumper, I was sure I had a “bad girl” sign stamped on me.
What had I done?! I couldn’t put it back now. Everyone would see! All I could do was wallow in my “bad girl” situation that I created.
Later that evening, at bedtime, my mom called me down to talk about the gum. I do not remember getting a spanking, though I expected one. What I do remember…she gently told me…
“This is not something Jesus approves of so we can never do it again. We do not steal in this family.” The next morning, I had to go back to the cashier and apologize and ask her to forgive me.
She looked at me and said, That’s okay.” Her being so gentle with me when I did something wrong, made me feel worse. How could she be that way? I deserved punishment! How could my momma love me still and be gentle with me when I had gone against her rules?
The same way God does. He knows we are human and have a tendency to be selfish and sinful. But, like a loving Father, He made a plan to teach His, much better, way! He cares more about teaching us and having a good relationship with Him, than condemning us for our sin. He sent Jesus to die for the whole world. Let that sink in. That means He did it for you, me, all of us!
For God so loved the world, that He gave us His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16 KJV
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 NIV
Thank You for Your plan to forgive me of my sins and teaching me the way to be with You forever. Even as an adult, I mess up when my selfishness takes over my heart. Please forgive me. I will do my best to learn from You, because You are my heavenly Father that I want to please. Give me opportunity today to tell someone else about You. I love You so much, Father God! Amen
This morning, I am both elated and a bit sad. The writer’s conference I have been attending ends today. The women of God I have met, have over-blessed me with their time, care and experience. My heart is full. I didn’t know what being in a group of Christian women felt like, mostly because I have always been too afraid to find out. See, I have always shied away from others, especially groups of women. I didn’t have the self-confidence to be with them and be myself, knowing that I was worthy of their friendship. Due in a large part to an abusive marriage I was shy and insecure and expected to be rejected. How silly I feel telling you this. The Lord showed me in His Word this morning, that we are all worthy,no matter the experiences or trials we have had and no matter what others have told us. He loves you and me! He thinks we are worthy! So much so, that He is making a home for us in heaven! We should not believe anything that goes against what He says in the Bible, like this!
My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? John 14:2 NIV
Thank You for loving us so much that You want us to be with You forever. I am so sorry I believed lies from the enemy all these years. In Your goodness, You somehow led me to this conference and in goodness I know You will guide me and my new friends all the way to Heaven. You are so wonderful that all we want to do is write about You every single day! Thank You for being with me and especially the leaders of this conference. Do not let them believe lies of the enemy either. Send them loads of Your peace and confidence as they boldly lead us in our journey to proclaim how great You are with the passion You give us. I ask this in Your most precious and holiest of names that makes me smile every time I say it, Jesus! I love You so much! Amen
Did you ever have Play Doh as a kid? Did you ever eat it? I have a couple friends, who shall remain nameless, that liked to eat it although that was not the purpose! For those who did not play with this “magical dough,” it was so fun! You pick your color of Play Doh, then pick a plastic shape you want the dough to become. When you press the plastic cookie-cutter shape into the dough, the dough is no longer a blob, it is the shape you intended it to be.
This process is much like our relationship to God because we get “pressed on” to become what He desires. We are the blob of dough! God chooses the plan for our life and presses us into what He wants us to be. He will use whatever tool or experience He deems necessary that will allow us to become something that pleases Him. Play Doh makes me think about God’s plans for us!
God makes us on purpose. We are not random creations. There is no one else like you. There is no one else like me. The One God made us uniquely one of a kind. Yesterday, in my She Writes For Him conference, our writing instructor, Cynthia Cavanaugh, made a simple statement. “There is noone else like you with your story.” Doesn’t that make you feel a little more important as a part of God’s plan? And doesn’t it make that thought more reverent, holy and special that God, our creator loves us enough to make us unique and different from each other?
Know ye that the Lord is God; it is He that has made us, and not we ourselves. We are his people, and the sheep of his flock. Psalm 99:3
God presses into us but sometimes we pull back. Yes, us, the dough, the blob! We try to pull back from what God may have for us. I have done it many times myself because it was too scary. I thought I could see what God was doing and I pulled back because I did not want to be what He seemed to be making me. I was too afraid to totally let Him have control. I mean, shouldn’t I approve His plan first? What if I don’t feel capable of doing a ministry that takes my time every single day? Oh, wait, that is what I am doing now and He is carrying me! He does that! I feel sometimes I am just along for a willing ride and He is taking me places I did not know I would like! Have you ever felt that way? Sometimes He allows life trials that threaten to make us lose our way. Even then, we can let Him have control. There is great peace in accepting His plan!
…In the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by. I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me. Psalm 57:1-2
We do not know God’s purpose all the time. Play Doh sure does not know, nor can it make itself into what I plan for it to be. When God presses into us and allows things to shape us, when the Holy Spirit nudges us one way or another and when we see that God is impressing us for His purposes, we see that He is making us into what He wants us to become. Just as Play Doh is not nearly intelligent enough to know what we can may make of it…we are not intelligent or wise enough to know what God can make of us if we will just let Him do His work. But, we can ask Him for His wisdom!
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5
How can we do that, actively let God do His work? We can willingly go and do what He is impressing us to do. The Bible says God made man in His own image, so we are like God already. Wow! (But there is a BUT…) But if we want to be more like God, we need His character. Jesus set the perfect example for us. He was a copy of God in human form. We see the shape we are meant to be by reading in the Bible what Jesus said and did. We can see His heart, the heart of God. So now, we can either decide to try and make ourselves into what we are determined to make of ourselves or we can put our trust in our Creator. The way that David does this is to take action! Notice the bolded words below as he delights and meditates and fixes His eyes on God’s ways!
In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches.I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. Psalm 119:14-15
Have you, like me, determined that God’s ways and plans are scary at times? It is an “Adventure of Trust.” (Thank you, Lord for that wonderful thought, btw…) Do you have all things figured out or do you, like me, have some serious delighting and meditating and fixing of my eyes to do? As a fellow blob of dough to another, let’s allow ourselves to be shaped!
Dear Father God,
You are such a great Father! Where do we begin, to tell You how much we love You and why? You just have everything in control and are working in our own individual lives for Your own wonderful purposes. That makes us all feel so special to You! Thank You for making us uniquely qualified to do Your will for us. Forgive us, please, when we get scared of what You are asking us to do. We want to be more like willing dough. As You press into us, help us to remember You are making us that way for a reason. When our trials are too hard to understand, shine Your light into our hearts and give us hope. We will press into You too, so we walk away imprinted with the likeness of You. You are almost too wonderful to comprehend, yet we love trying to do so! A personal request… Please bless my conference mentors and friends with an amazing day of glorifying You through words that you give them and us. May we become what You intend. We love you so much! Amen
Love and prayers to all. Have a blessed day of being a piece of beautiful dough for God!