Living Water

John 4:14 “…whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

As a gentle rain falls on the ground it is soaked up like water being consumed by a sponge.  Our souls need to be like a sponge willing and able to soak up all that Chirst has for us.  We are told to come to the alter and drink the Living Water.

When we sit in God’s presence, no matter the length of time, Chirst is filling you with His living water.  Our souls are seeking a connection with our creator.  When we take time out of our days to seek our Heavely Father suddenly the storms of life don’t seem so overwhelming.  There can be peace in the midst of our storms when we spend time with our Father.  Come to His altar as sit…..

Heavenly Father, Thank you for always being ready to hear me, no matter what I am facing,  you are ready to listen, comfort, guide, rescue, and bring peace to a weary soul.  Help me to seek you with all that I am because You created me for a purpose.  Give me the strength to live that purpose with You leading the way.  In Jesus Name, Amen

Find the Good

1 Thessalonians 5:8-9 “But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.  For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation throught our Lord Jesus Christ.”

We are bombarded everyday with negativity.  Whenever we turn on the news there seems to be negative things everywhere.  In the midst of all the negativity there is usually one news story that is a bright light.  It seems sad to me that there really is so much good in the world that all we hear about is the bad stuff.  I heard once that positivity does not sell.  How dad that statement is to me.  What would our world be like is we focused on the good in people and included splash of bad?

Even in my own life I have noticed my self talk is negitive and not helpful. God tells us to build one another up, encourage one another, and to love one another.  How can we do this if all we speak is negative?  This starts with looking inward and knowing that you are loved, cherished, and special.  It seems to me that if we are thinking positively we will begin to spread positivity.   After all, God created us.  God loves us so much that He is willing to let us choose to walk  with Him or turn from Him.  There is a saying, “If you love something set it free if it comes back it was meant to be.”  I wonder if God feels this way about us.  He loves us so much that He is willing to let us choose.

In the mist of all the negativity I want to be a light to shine for God.  I know that I cannot do this on my own, I am in need of a savior, Jesus Christ, to walk with me and help me hold my thoughts captive.

Father You sis not appoint me to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through You.  Whether I am awake or asleep, I want to live for you and bring positivity into the lives of those around me.  This is not always easy for me because my selftalk it not focused on you but on the things I have done wrong or have been done to me.  Help me to focus on the good in my life and not the hurtful and “bad” things.  Help me to received Your love and salvation every moment of everyday.  In Jesus Name, Amen

God is my shield

Psalm 3:2-3 “But you are a shield around me, O Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.  To the Lord I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill.”

Lately there seems to be pain and heartache everywhere. Death and destructions for what? God did not intend for us to live with such heartache and anger.

I imagine walking in the garden of Eden. Adam and Eve walking with God. Everywhere they look is beauty. They don’t have to work for food, shelter, there’s no pain or anger, no heartache, no sickness. This is what God intended. At the same time He never wanted us to be puppets. We are free to choose and it seems as if evil will win, but God promises that He will win over evil. So, I will continue to hope, pray, grow, and follow Christ because He cannot break a promise it is not in His nature.

God is not human and we often want to humanize him so we can understand. There are so many things about God that we are not meant to understand. These things are mysteries for a reason. No matter what you are facing hold tight to God He is with you. He will use people around you to bring hope, peace, love, and truth. Pain and heartache can become overwhelming, go to God in the midst of your pain and cry out to Him He cares for you.

Father, there is so much hurt and anger in our wold today. Help me be a bright light to all those around me. Lord, I know that I am not perfect, you did not create me that way, but I do want to be your hands and feet to a hurting world. Help me to turn my negativity in to love, joy, and compassion for those around me.  In Jesus Name, Amen

Open my eyes

Proverbs 28:13 “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”

“..for all have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”  Romans 3:23-24

As we walk this earth we will do and say sinful things.  These sinful things cause pain for ourselves as well as others.   The key is to seek forgivness not only from the person(s) we have hurt but, also ourselves.   Forgivness was given to us even though we don’t deserve it.  If God can stand with open arm ready to forgive us for our deepest sins what right do we have to be angry and bitter at others.  Forgiveness does not free us, or others,  from the consequences of our sin.  It does, however free us form the bitterness and shame that comes with unforgiveness and sin.

I want to encourage you by asking you to think about the fact that we often judge others by their actions yet we judge ourselves by our intentions.  Remember that your actions do not always reflect your intentions therefore, this is true of the ones who have hurt you.  So, I know that you have been hurt, and it is not always easy to forgive the words or actions of another person for this reasons seek God because there is healing in His arms.

Father, Please forgive me for hurting others.  I seek your wisdom in knowing areas where I need forgivenss.  If there is bitterness in my heart, opening my eyes to see and help me forgive myself as well as those who have hurt me.  I don’t want to live with bitterness in my heart.  Lord replace any bitterness with love and compassion that is found in You and You alone.  In Jesus Name, Amen

When Life Hands You Lemons

Psalm 51:10 “(Msg) “God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.” (NIV) “Crest in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade, is a proverbial saying that many of us have heard in our lifetime.  Lemons are sour and difficcult to consume.  Just like life can sometimes be sour and difficult to manage.  Lemons suggest difficulties and sourness, while the opposite is true for lemonade.  The Bible refers to this type of attitude as bitterness.

Lemonade, however, is sweet, suggesting that when life is difficult we need to focus our attention on what is good and pleasing.  When we face difficulties and strife finding encouragement is not always easy.  Let’s face it there are times when being optimistic is down right difficult.

So when you face difficulties and life seems to be nothing but sour, find something sweet, sit back and rest with the One who sees you in the midst of trials.  He is the God of the hills and vallies.   Trust Him because He made the lemons but, He also made the sugar that brings sweetness to our lives.

Father, thank you for words that encourage me and teach me to look for the positive in the midst of difficulties.  Lord, there are times in my life when I  find it difficult to see the beauty and sweetness around me.  In these times, I need You to help me.  Help me to see what is good in my life instead of the seeing the sourness.  Change me Lord and make me who You want me to be.  In Jesus Name, Amen

Peace in the midst of hostility

Ephesians 2:14 “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,”

‘We have all been part of a team or in a relationship where there is division at one time or another.  During these times we face many challenges.  When people are divided it causes hostility, war, hatred, and bitterness.  When these things are present no one can find peace.  Peace comes when barriers are torn down.

Division in any relationship brings destruction.  We see it all the time in our world, in our relationships, and in schools.  These divisions happen because of a variety of factors race, language, sex, religious preference, etc.  God did not intend for us to be divided.  Christ died to bring us together and teach us to love one another.  When love is present we can work through our differences and come to a peaceful resting place.

When there is a division, there is usually something going on behind what is seen. Division is created when we feel lost, alone, angry, unaccepted, or unsure.  The fact is, we all want to belong.  We long to be accepted and loved.  God place in our DNA the need to be accepted and loved.  So, when there it strife, hostility, or division seek the ONE who can bring peace.

Father, thank you for giving your life to teach me that my peace is found in You and You alone.  I come seeking peace, a peace that surpasses all understanding.  Where there is hostility in my heart I ask You to replace it with love and gentleness.  As I begin a new journey, teach me to bring peace and understanding to new situations.  In Jesus Name, Amen

Do not be afraid

Isaiah 12:2 “Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid.  The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.”

Humans struggle with fear and anxiety everyday, yet God tells us throughout scripture “do not fear” or “do not be afraid.” As a matter of fact, He uses these phrases 365 time in scripture. That means that everyday of the year there is a verse we can turn to that tells us to not fear and to trust God.

There are times in life when it seems as if everywhere we turn there is something to fear. When you seem to be living in a vallley look up for God is with you, He sees you. When you make it out of the valley know that you made it out because of the One who gives strength.

Our God is the God of the hills but, more importantly, He is the God of the vallies. He sees us, walks with us, and gives us strength to go on when we feel as if we have nothing left to give. No matter how far you have wondered away He is waiting for you to turn to Him. He stands with His arms wide open ready to hold you and guide you. Allow God to comfort you. Seek His presence. Be still and know that He is God.

Father, thank you for your word. I can find encouragement, healing, and guidance when I seek You. Open my eyes, my heart, and my ears to Your voice. When I am walking through a valley remind me to look to You for encouragement and hope. When I am standing on the mountain top remind me that I found strength to climb because of Your strength and not my own. Help me not to be ashamed of my story because I know that the trials I have gone and will go through, will bring You glory. In Jesus Name, Amen

Belief or Faith

Romans 8:5 “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what Spirit desires.”

Do you walk through your days with faith or belief?

When I think of faith and belief I thought they were the same, but I am learning that they are very different according to scripture. Belief is less complicated than Faith. For example, I believe China exists yet it does not affect my day to day life. The same is true for a plane, I believe a plane can take me from point A to point B, but if I never step foot on a plane I do not have faith that the plane will get me there.

Faith goes much deeper and relays on trust. When we put our faith in Christ we do more than believe in Him. We trust Him with everything. We can believe God exists yet not put our faith in Him. If I simply believe God exists I am missing out on so much more. Faith is trust in God in the good, the bad, and everything in between.

Over the past 7 days I drove 38 hours. I believed in the car, but my faith was in God for protection and wisdom as I drove. No matter what you are facing put your faith in God, He cannot leave you or forsake you like humans can. It is against His nature. Step beyond belief to a deeper relationship and with Him that will come Spiritual desire.

Father, thank you for all the little ways you protect me. I don’t often say thank you for the small things you do for me. Draw me into a closer faithful relationship with you. I want what the Spirit desires, not my flesh. Father, forgive me for the times I have put you in the back of my heart and mind. I don’t what what nature desires; I want what You desire. Change me from the inside out. In Jesus Name, Amen

What do you treasure?

Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

When I look around at all the “things” I have I  become overwhelmed.  God has blessed me with so much; however I don’t think I have often appreciated what He has done for me.  What matters most is not the home I live in, what my furniture looks like, or even how clean my home is.  What matters most are the relationships that I have and the way that I treat people.

God gives and God takes away, but my soul is forever His.  If I am truly living the way God wants me to live I would be more concerned about how I treat people instead of playing the comparison game.

I, like a lot of people,  lived by trying to keep up with everyone else.  I would spend money I did not have, buy things I did not need, and be stressed out over all the “stuff”.  I realize that by doing that I missed out on so much.  I am not living with regret just new prospective.  The relationships that I have built and continue to build are what matter most in life.  When I am dead and gone my “stuff” will disappear, but I will continue to live because of the lives that I have touched.  So, when I am feeling overwhelmed by the clutter in my life I need to remember that the stuff will disappear, but my heart remains.

Father God, thank you for all the blessings you give me everyday.  I thank you for all the little things like a pillow to lay my head on, blankets to cover with, and a bed to sleep on.  I praise and thank you for the people you have placed in my life; without them I would not be the person I am today.  You have blessed me with an amazing family who have given me the courage and strength to be who I am.  You continue to amaze me with every passing day.  Help me Lord on days when I feel overwhelmed by life or my feelings get hurt to remember that it is not about the “things” but instead about relationship: love, grace, kindness, and forgiveness.  Strengthen me today to walk the path less taken and find strength in the little things.  In Jesus Name, Amen

Heart of Stone becomes….

Ezekiel 11:19 “I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.”

Imagine if you will, a piece of petrified wood.  Petrified wood happens when trees are covered with sediment and groundwater rich in minerals seeps into the tree.  These minerals harden over time causing the tree to become a fossil instead of decaying and returning to the earth as nutrients.

As we live life often times we allow the negative words and actions of others to seep into our hearts causing them to become hardened or calcified.  When a heart becomes hardened it is difficult to see anything good in life; we look at life through the lens of negativity.  Just like the wood becoming a fossil takes years, our hearts too take years to become hardened.  It starts small then over time grows until all we can see is negativity, no matter what is going on in our lives.

God knows that we are prone to this type of thinking and that our hearts have the ability to become hardened by life.  When we seek God, moment by moment, we allow Him to replace our hearts with a new spirit.  This new spirit allows God to remove the negativity from our hearts and replace it with a heart of flesh.  This heart of flesh is open, honest, loving, and most importantly, forgiving.

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for opening my eyes to the pain I hold in my heart.  I seek your peace and ask that you soften my heart where it has become hard from life.  Open my eyes to see the blessings in my life and not focus on the past, but allow you to mold and guide my future.  Put in me a new spirit that replaces my heart of stone into a heart of flesh.  In Jesus Name, Amen