Friday, December 26, 2008

Renewing of the Spirit

"Therefore we do not lose heart, though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day."  2 Corinthians 4:16 (NIV)
I have roses growing in my garden and I get excited when I see a new rose bud on my rose bush. It all begins with a small bud that does not even have any color and then it develops into a full blooming flower in just a few days. Then, it will eventually begin to wither and eventually it will die. That is really no different from the seasons in our own human lives. We were just babies once, like those buds on the plant and slowly we begin to bloom and when we are in the fullest of the blooming process, the petals are wide open and the fragrance from the center is sweet and pleasant. But the times comes when the entire process will end. That is like the life span of a person. Eventually our bodies will begin to ache and we have little groans and pains. But what is exciting is that the Spirit inside us continues to bloom and grow and never wilts or fades. No matter how old we get, we continue to grow rich in the Lord and continue to be a sweet fragrance to God. Everyday, though my physical self gets older, the more I read God's Word everyday, I get more and more refreshed in my spirit. I read everyday and I learn more about God and how to live my life and live it to the fullest for Him. As I write this, I see my wilting rose on the table but I know it is nothing like my spirit for I am charged and being renewed daily by reading His Word and coming to Him in prayer everyday for repentance and filling.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Scripture is God-breathed

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training the righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17

I honestly can say that I cannot go through a day without reading God's Word and writing in my journal. I think it is in my blood. When I read this verse in Timothy, the words "God-breathed" seemed to jump out at me. I have often heard the term, "the Breath of God" and so I did a little research. God breathed into man at the beginning in Genesis and man became alive. Breath gave life. In Ezekiel, in the Valley of the dry bones, God again breathed on the dry bones and they became alive. As my thoughts seem to go further, it also could be interpreted as not only giving life to something that is dead but it could also inspire action. To go from being dead, to living, is something when God breathes and here in this verse, it says that "Scripture" is that for us. God took words and breathed on them and now they are alive. How many times I have done what I did this morning? I opened the bible and when my eyes hit upon a verse, something very profound resounded in my soul. The Holy Spirit convicts and guides us to truth. This is exactly what I mean, a verse will become illuminated or magnified and it will almost jump off the page at you, then you receive the deep and God inspired meaning. That is the breath. In Hawaii, we have the word, Aloha. The "ha" part of the word is breath. In old Hawaii, when a person would greet another, they would breathe on them a warm love and caring breath.  Not only does God breathe into His Word, but He shows us how to use it in our live through the  application of His Word. We can read, but if there is no action, then it is for no purpose to us at all. That is why I like to journal. It takes me through the reading of God's Word, then I need to use that verse and think how it applies to my own life. Then, if I stop there, only part of the process is completed. The last step, and most important step, is looking at what I need to do with God's Word. What changes or correction do I need to make? What is God telling me to do? that is exactly what 2 Timothy 3:16 is telling me. I need to apply this to my life. This application is how God will breathe into my life and what is the fruit of this? I will find that it will help equip me to do His Kingdom work, here on earth. Question: When was the last time that God's Word was illuminated and you took action? What can you do today to apply God's Word in your life?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Pollution in our Lives

"Therefore, give the people of Israel this message from the Sovereign Lord: Do you plan to pollute yourselves just as your ancestors did? Do you intend to keep prostituting yourselves by worshiping vile images?" Ezekiel 20:30
In my devotions this morning in Ezekiel 20, the words "pollute yourselves" was magnified to me by the Spirit. The word "pollute", sparked my interest and the more research I did on the internet, I saw images that were vile and disgusting. I saw God's beautiful creation of land, water and sky, all being polluted by things that man put into the environment. It amazed me that we are doing it to ourselves! Without even thinking, man is throwing toxins out there and in turn it comes back to harm us! I think that is how I can get off tract too if I am not in God's Word daily or in prayer. There are many earthly vices that are all around me and I need to be grounded and solid in my faith, to be able to make good choices, or I too will be polluting my life. Pollution can enter my life  through my thoughts, what I view, what I hear and what I experience. I need to guard and protect what enters my mind by filtering it through God's Word. God's Word is the way of stopping pollution before it enters our lives, for it sifts through all the stuff that is out there in this world and compares it with God's Truth. I think of the television shows that people turn on nightly and the messages that they contain. Often, they give subtle messages of what is "acceptable", according to the world's standards and yet, it is not acceptable according to God's standard, as found in His Word. When I read Ezekiel 20 today and the verses of worshiping vile images, I think of worldly magazines, books and television where we read or view and then absorb the content into our minds. As a Christian, I need to always be filtering what I see, hear, do and experience for it does not take long to pollute. A stream was not polluted in a day, but it took small amounts of toxins released day after day and in time, the stream became completely polluted. That is where reading God's Word daily and also praying daily, is essential. Praying is the way i can release any toxins/poisons that I have allowed to enter into my life. All I need to do is get on my knees and ask God to cleanse me and restore me. Like in Psalm 51:10 says, "Create in me a clean heart and renew a right Spirit within me."  May I be more aware of those pollutants around me before I allow them to enter into my life.
Question: How has this journal spoken to you today? When was the last time you read God's Word? Prayed? What pollutants have you allowed to enter into your life?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hole in the Wall

"Dig a hole through the wall while they are watching and go out through it. As they watch, lift your pack to your shoulders and walk away into the night. Cover your face so you cannot see the land you are leaving. For I have made you a sign for the people of Israel." Ezekiel 12:3
During my devotions in Ezekiel 12 this morning, I had this scripture illuminate in my soul. God told Ezekiel to dig a hole through the city wall and as he would walk away, he was to cover his face so he could not see where he came from. I thought about how God will often use the wall to get us to a "Hole nother level" in our spiritual walk. A "Hole in the Wall Experience" are those times when we may feel trapped in the circumstances of our lives and we are pushed to desperate measures. Ever been at that point in your life when you are faced with a wall? Ever been at that place that there seems to be no way out? You cannot climb over the wall for it is too high, you cannot go around it because it surrounds you, so you have to use what you can and dig through it. God will provide just what you need to dig through that experience. It will be a means of escape and it is God inspired. I sense that when we come against the wall, we could think of so many options but that is the problem. The problem is that WE try to find the solution on our own. We may try to climb the wall and then we fall. Then we may search for an opening in the wall and there is none to be found. That is when we come face to face against the wall, fall to our knees and the only place to look is up. When you look up in surrender to your "wall", that is when you will find your answer. You will find your answers in God. God will provide a way out and it may be in a way that we would least expect. He may ask us to dig a hole through the wall! God promises in His Word that He will never give us anything that is too hard for us to bear and that He will always show us a way out. (1 Cor. 10:13).  I remember hearing a speaker give a great illustration of this. He said that we are like a piece of cloth on the ironing board of life. We are all made from different textures. Some are cotton, linen, silk, rayon and polyester. God is the iron and only He knows when He is straightening out our wrinkles in life, exactly how much heat to put on us. He will never put a linen setting on the iron and press it on silk, for it would burn. God knows just the limit we can endure in order to get us to the place where he wants us to be - perfectly wrinkle free!
Question: Are you facing a wall today? Will you get to your knees today and look up? God promises to you a way out but it starts by seeking Him with all your heart. God then will take you to the next Hole Nother Level.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Rosebud

"All I want is for you to be able to develop a way of life in which you can spend plenty of time together with the Master without a lot of distractions: 1 Cor. 7:35 (MSG)

It is only a tiny rosebud
A flower of God's design
But I cannot unfold the petals
With these clumsy hands of mine

The secret of unfolding flowers
Is not known to such as I
GOD opens this flower so easily
But in my hands they die

If I cannot unfold a rosebud
This flower of God's design
Then how can I have the wisdom
To unfold this life of mine

So I'll trust in God for leading
Each moment of my day
I will look to God for guidance
In each step along the way

The path that lies before me
Only my Lord and Savoir knows
I'll trust God to unfold the moments
Just as He unfolds the rose.

What a great lesson for you and me. If I were to give you a rosebud and ask you to open it without tearing off any petals, could you do it? It is an impossible task. But the importance in knowing that we cannot possibly open a rosebud by our own human effort, helps us to understand the will of God for us. What I learned was to WAIT on God and watch HIS power develop in our lives.
Question: Are you trying to open the rosebud of life by your own efforts? What have you learned from this illustration?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Answered Prayer, God's Way

"The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord after Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard had released him at Ramah. He had found Jeremiah bound in chains among all the captives from Jerusalem and Judah who were being carried into exile to Babylon. "When the commander of the guard found Jeremiah, he said to him, "The Lord your god decreed this disaster for this place. And now the Lord has brought it about; he has done just as he said he would. All this happened because you people sinned against the Lord and did not obey him. But today I am freeing you from the chains on your wrists. Come with me to Babylon, if you like, and I will look after you, but if you do not want to, then don't come. Look, the Whole country lies before you; go wherever you please." However, before Jeremiah turned to go, Nebuzaradan added, "Go back to Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has appointed over the towns of Judah, and live with him among the people, or go anywhere else you please." Jeremiah 40:1-5
My devotions today led me to Jeremiah 40 and God's Word really spoke to me. I found this to be an interesting chapter for it all begins with Jeremiah in chains and headed to a foreign land. Jeremiah was restricted by chains which translate to me to be like the things of this world. But look who rescued him. It was the commander of the imperial guard! I may be wrong, but God used this unlikely person to give Jeremiah his freedom. But what gets me is the possible motives of Nebuzaradan. I don't think he really got it, but he did the right thing. Why do I say that he didn't get it? He was boastful to Jeremiah that HE was the one saving him, He was the one that was to bring the rescue. Look at verse 4, "But today, I am freeing you from the chains on your wrists." He takes the credit, but not only that, he says at the end of the verse that HE would look after Jeremiah. I catch a little bit of pride in him. Although it seems that he is caught up in his own pride, he does see that the Lord did bring judgement upon the people and his actions of releasing Jeremiah was honorable. Whatever the true motives of the imperial guard was, Jeremiah was freed from chains. I think that we all have some chains on us that come from the world, chains that may impeded our freedom to live a good life for God. Those chains can come in many forms. Those chains can be pride, fear, worthlessness, lust, discouragement, depression and the list goes on. God wants to free us from those oppressions and He may do it in many ways. In this case, he used the commander of the imperial guard. I remember I was reading the book, "Experiencing God" and it mentioned that when we pray to God, we can hear from Him in many different ways. We can get answers from: God's Word, circumstances, people and even nature. There is no one way that God answers prayer and when we begin to look for God to answer it one way, He is so amazing, He always seems to bring it to us in a different way that we had expected. God wants us to just depend on Him and not see how the answer is delivered, or in what form it comes. This is part of releasing everything to Him and to wait patiently for His answer, in His way. God WILL answer prayer. He will answer in three ways: He will answer "yes", "no" or "not now". How He expresses His answers is again, up to Him. When I ask, I just need to rest in Him and see what He does. Just like Jeremiah, I think he waited and then saw the mighty hand of God use the commander of the imperial to give him freedom. God is amazing, it is wonderful to see how many different ways He will use to answer our prayers.
Question: Are you currently in chains? Are you willing to ask Him and just wait for God to answer? Believe that God will answer you, so wait and see how He will speak to you, for it may not be in the way you expect.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Good Figs Vs. Bad Figs

"Then the Lord gave me this message: 'This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: The good figs represent the exiles I sent from Judah to the land of the Babylonians. I will watch over and care for them, and I will bring them back here again. I will build them up and not tear them down. I will plant them and not uproot them." Jeremiah 24:4-7
This morning I was reading my devotions in Jeremiah. This was an interesting chapter for me, because all through Jeremiah, the Lord would speak to Jeremiah and use concrete examples. Previously, God used the potter and clay to represent the relationship between God and His people. Then God used the example of the shattered jar. Now, God is using just one more concrete example so we can better understand what He is saying, and this time he uses the example of good figs vs. bad figs.  The bad figs represented the King and those that did not follow God in obedience. The good figs were the godly people that were exiled and their hearts were for God. God promised them that He would watch over and care for them, as well as bring them back. I understood something very special about God's visual of the figs. You see, last Christmas, we received fruit from family members in the mail. It was sent UPS in a one day delivery from Harry and David. Most of the other fruit was in excellent condition, with exception of the pears. When we looked into the box, there was one pear that was partially rotted and it seemed to have "spread" to the other pears. It was interesting that one fruit can infect and spoil the others. I think about this situation in Jeremiah and how God had to remove His people from Judah and Jerusalem, even though it was through captivity by the Babylonians. God had to purposely separate His people from the bad. the concept is quite interesting to me, because God can see and know how to get the good ones away from the spoiled ones, just like the figs, in order to keep them from getting contaminated. I think about them being uprooted from Judah and Jerusalem and planted in a foreign land and under captivity of their enemies. What would life have been like? What I think happened, was that God's people banded together, worshiped, prayed and in the middle of this difficult time, they held on to God's promise that was delivered by Jeremiah and they ended up digging deeper in their faith because of their circumstances. They just had to wait and God was going to complete His plan. God wanted to make their hearts recognize Him as Lord and their hearts would be with Him "wholeheartedly". The verse, "all things work together for good" can be used here, for what the people thought of as a disaster, really was for their own good. They needed to be removed, away from the bad figs, in order to be protected from contamination. I think of a lady at my church that just got laid off from her job. She is thinking that this is a disaster. Yes, it is a financial hardship for her right now, but she is being sustained by her family and eventually unemployment checks. I just know, from the bottom of my heart, that she is being removed from her previous job and is now being "planted" just as scripture said and that she will find herself closer to God than she ever was. God will provide a better job for her, for one of God's names is "Jehovah-Jireh" (God will provide).  It is like God is moving the furniture around in her life, to the very position God wants it to be. She needs to embrace the uprooting, the moving of her furniture, and to know that it is that greater plan that God has for her! I learned today that God may need to move people,  for His greater purpose. I also learned that even though things may not seem to go my way in life, I trust God that He is moving me for His reason, even thought I may not understand the why.
Question: Are you being moved to a new location in your life right now? Is God moving the furniture around in your life? Can you trust that God has a greater purpose for you that you may not see right now? Trust in Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. He will never let you down.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Jehovah-Rophe, "The Lord Who Heals"

"As these men watch you, Jeremiah, smash the jar you brought, then say to them, 'This is what the Lord of Heaven's Armies says: As this jar lies shattered, so I will shatter the people of Judah and Jerusalem beyond all hope of repair." Jeremiah 19:10-11
This vision of a shattered jar is an important image to me. It represents to me, how our lives can be shattered. Oh yes, our lives can be pulled apart and broken into pieces. My own life was a shattered jar, and the God of Healing as put me back together again. One of the names of God is Jehovah-Rophe, "The Lord Who Heals". Rophe means to heal which implies spiritual, emotional as well as physical healing. God heals body, soul and spirit; all levels of man's being. Now think about about it, a jar that lays shattered on the ground can be restored. God can pick up all the broken pieces and can take one piece at a time, and glue each piece to make the jar whole again. Just as this picture shows, the jar has been restored, but not to the same condition as it was before it was broken. Notice, something has been added. God adds the glue and each piece can now be mended. The restored jar still has the small cracks that are still visable to the eye, but the cracks are now mended. This is just like us. We are mended by God and God has added something to us, for God has added character to us. We will never be the same again, but we are now new creations in Christ. We are whole again, but different, for God has added something very special to us. God has added His grace and mercy to our seams. Think about it, God can heal and restore us like the loving Father He is. He can pick up each and every piece, glue us back together, and through this process, God will add something to us! We will never be the same again, but we will be now seen as a new creation because of the great Jehovah-Rophe, "The Lord Who Heals".
Question: What stage are you in right now? Being broken? Being mended? Being a restored broken jar? Wherever you are in this process, know that our God is a God that heals.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lessons From the Eagle


"but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31
I have always been fascinated with the eagle. There are so many amazing facts about the eagles. Let me share a few with you.
1. The eagle nests in high places that are inaccessible . There, in a nest which the eagle makes larger each year.
2. An eagle has keen eyesight. He can spot his prey while soaring hundreds of feet in the air. 3. A mother eagle carries her eaglet on her back until it masters the art of flying. 
4. An eagle renews its strength and youthful appearance after shedding its feathers.
We have a God that, no matter what circumstances that may surround us, will renew our strength like an eagle. The interesting thing about the molting of the eagle, the bird needs to rid itself of the old to get ready for the new. As I remember this process with my pet lovebird, Millie. Molting season was a difficult time, for it is painful when the new "pin feathers" come up. It is like little needles on the skin of the bird, any kind of pressure is painful. But what occurs is the final process of new feathers and it does renew the bird.  We too go through the molting process in life. God will take us to heights that we have never been before, and they may be quite challenging. We may be asked to step out of our comfort zones to do things that we had never done before, and just like the little eaglet, God will hold us up on His back like the mother eagle. We are not in this growth process alone. He gives us vision, strength in the midst of our season of molting. Molting is the season of growth and we can look forward to where God is taking us. Let us take great comfort in His Word, that our God will renew us and allow us to soar. Did you know that eagles do not flap their wings, but they wait for the updraft from the heights and when the wind is just right, they set off into flight. We too can just lean into the wind that God provides and know that He will lift us up, just as the updraft for the eagle. We need not flap our wings, but we can soar with His Spirit under our wings.
Question: Are you in a season of molting? What lessons can you learn from the eagle? Are you ready to soar? Want to live like the eagle in nests that are inaccessible to the world and safe in the heights with God? Do you want to grow your nest larger every year? Are you willing to molt for God to take you to the heights with Him?

Friday, August 1, 2008

Self vs. Selflessness

"You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly Stay away from people like that!"  2 Timothy 3:1-4
In the last days, Paul describes what some people will be like. When I looked at the description of who they love, it is not about loving God but it is about loving SELF.
I have recently been in a profound journey in search of "selflessness" and have been trying to understand my selfish ways. Scripture defines it as our "flesh". I have realized that there are many areas that I focus on self and honestly, when I focus on self it is defined as sin. What can I do? I need to be broken daily, to realize that I am nothing and that the only thing that really matters is God. I read recently that we are to "be a worm and not a snake" and I need to look at the qualities of the quiet humbleness of the worm vs. the aggressive and venamous snake. Last night I reviewed a book by Cindy Jacobs, "Posessing the Gates of the Enemy". I was amazed, because it also hit upon the topic of self in terms of when you do spiritual warfare. She states that we need to get out of the way and allow the Spirit to work in us. This is what Cindy Jacobs writes:
Another stronghold on a personal level is that of SELF. Any right that we try to hold onto will be played upon by the enemy of our souls in time of battle. Some of the rights we have to give up in order to tear down strongholds are:
  • the right to be offended
  • the right to our time
  • the right to do what we want with our posessions
  • the right to self-pity
  • the right to self-justification
  • the right to be understood
  • the right to criticize
Dealing with these issues will "shut the door and keep out the devil." These strongholds are not all going to be overcome overnight, but just because you are in the process does not mean you cannot go to war. The Holy Spirit will convict you of any issues in your life He is not pleased with."
Wow, did that hit home! I want to slide the scale in my life from SELF to SELFLESSNESS. I am committed to prayer to ask the Holy Spirit to show me those areas that I am still holding onto as my rights! I now know, that sin=self and that I need to be working on this area in my life. How about you?
Question: How are you doing on the "self scale"? What rights are you holding onto? What goals can you set to achieve selflessness in your life today?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wait on the Lord



You must be wondering, why a fly swatter? It is one of those amazing stories that I love to share with others. It all started one day in my kitchen. I see a fly that somehow got indoors and he is right in my sight. "It is time", I tell myself, "to get rid of this pesky fly!". So I immediately get out the fly swatter and start going after him. I see him land then I swat and he flies away. Again I see him land and I swat and he flies away. This goes on and on. I am literally chasing this guy around my kitchen. Then I sense the Lord telling me, "stand still and wait". "Okay, God I can just stand here." I am obedient and just as I think that this has been long enough, I see the fly land right in front of me on the counter. I then sense the Lord telling me, "Now!". I swat and got the fly. I am so excited and as I go to clean up the dead fly off the counter, I sense the Lord teaching me a valuable lesson. He tells me, "That is what I want you to do in life. I want you wait and when I tell you to move, then you move." I was dumbfounded! It made so much sense to me. I had been chasing flies in my life and not allowing God to lead me. I was so humbled by this experience and realized that all God wants me to do is wait for Him and He will tell me when he wants me to take action. Just like in Psalm 27:14 "Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord." What a wonderful life lesson that God showed me through the fly swatter.
Question: Have you swatted flies in your spiritual journey? What lesson can you apply to your life from this story.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Shipwrecked

"Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked." 1 Timothy 1:19
Paul writes that there are some people that are no longer walking in faith, and he called it being "shipwrecked". This made me think about the conditions that happen when being shipwrecked. The first condition that would be necessary for a shipwreck,  is a storm or conditions in life that we would consider challenging. Just like the "Perfect Storm" when three major weather conditions collide over the Atlantic. The second condition that would need to happen is to have the weather overcome the ship and it lose control. Now, all sense of safety is now gone and one would need to face the elements and try to find safety elsewhere.  To have my faith be shipwrecked is to be out of safety and be lost. Faith is my ship that keeps me safe on the waters of life. Sometimes the waters are calm and sailing is smooth. But it is certain  that the storms will eventually come. During those storm conditions, it is important to stay in the ship of faith. When we try to do things our way, and we take things under our own hands, then you face the elements by yourself and may find yourself shipwrecked. How can we stay in our ship? We need to use the compass of our own conscience. We know right from wrong and the Holy Spirit that is within us, will give us those warning signals that tells us that we need to be careful, that we are drifting off course and there may be a dangerous reef ahead. Let us all watch ourselves and listen to our conscience and keep the faith under all circumstances. But if we do drift off God's course, we may find ourselves stranded and so far away from truth and God.
Question: Are you currently in storm conditions right now? How can you handle the next perfect storm in your life? Are you in need of a course correction today? How does this apply to you right now?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Spiritual Training

"Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come. " 1 Timothy 4:8
As I got up this morning and did my devotions in 1 Timothy, I was shown this passage. I meditated on the phrase "physical training and thought about how much effort goes into the PT in the military. The men and women get up early in the morning before their day starts and they begin to exercise. It doesn't matter how they feel, they just do it because it is part of their training. It is like the Nike phrase, "Just Do It!". These soldiers go for endurance, strength and self discipline. Physical training does not happen in one day or when ever the soldiers feel like doing it, but it occurs day after day in commitment to the effort of training. What one does in the military for physical training is what we need to be doing to train ourselves in "godliness". I think about getting up in the morning for devotions and sometimes, I just don't feel like it. Sometimes I want to sleep in and I am just plain tired. But what could happen is that I could get complacent and skip a day or two. But training takes commitment day after day. It means that I need the self discipline to do my devotions and pray, even thought I don't really feel like it. I think it is like going to the gym. I have a hard time getting from my home to the fitness center, but once I get there and work out, I feel great afterwards and with a sense of accomplishment. I cannot base my relationship to God on how I feel, for all I need to do is to go to Him in study and prayer and God will do the rest. What is important, is that I have to do my part by seeking Him and God will do the rest. So, I think about physical training and know that I do the same for my spiritual training. I need commitment, I need to be consistent and I need to put out a lot of energy to run this race. Sometimes I think it that spiritual training is hard work and I struggle with it, but I know that is is just what the Lord wants me to do. When I study and pray in my devotion time and find myself in the presence of the Living God, I never want to leave! I love being in His presence and He fills me so much with His love. It is about the relationship with Him and the process I have to go through to get there may be tough, like physical training in the military, but it is so worth it.
Question: Are you struggling with your spiritual training and trying to stay on course? What can you do better, to help you be more disciplined that will help you run this race? Are you willing to do your part, so God can do His part?

Friday, July 4, 2008

Fourth of July


May God Bless America! I am so grateful on the Fourth of July, for the men and women that are serving or have served in the Armed Forces. I am grateful that so many have served our country to  give us the freedom that I enjoy today. I am grateful to those brave men and women whom gave their lives for freedom, and those that suffered some type of physical or mental disabilities due to their serving their country. May the Lord comfort and support all those in the military, those that are retired military and all the families that have given so much of their family time to give to our great nation. We are truly blessed to live in a country where we have religious freedom and so many that are living in foreign countries,  are being persecuted because of their faith. We are truly blessed to live in the United States of America and I thank God for the freedom that we have. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Water Lilies and You

"So we have been greatly encouraged in the midst of our troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith." 1 Thessalonians 3:7

How much do you know about the beautiful water lilies? They are one of the flowers that are so breathtaking, that not a single one is ever the same. They vary in color, shape and size. The Lord has made each lily his perfect creation. Most water lilies are hardy and withstand most conditions. The flowers bloom on the surface of the water. The blossoms are fragrant. There is a water lily that grows only in the swamps. The most unique thing about the water lily is that the root of the lily is located in the mud at the bottom of the pond. 
As I meditate on these characteristics, I think, that is just like people! I reflect upon how God can take each one of us, and have us be uniquely and wonderfully different. He has us bloom in the most difficult of situations and helps us withstand the difficult circumstances in which we find ourselves. I know of how God can take a person that has had so much suffering in their lives, and yet be like that water lily and still bloom. We too can bloom with our roots in the mud, and we can do that by being like the aquatic plant, the water lily. We can arise from the mud at the bottom of our experiences in life and float upon the living water of God. We don't have to have our circumstances define our hearts, and we can bloom right where the Lord has us planted, even though it may be in a swamp. Seek the Word of God to hold onto those promises he has for you.
Question: Can you relate to the water lily and some of the elements the flower has to overcome to bloom? Are you in a swamp and think you cannot bloom there? Seek God's Word and He will speak to you today.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Dawn of Our Lives

"Your name will no longer be Jacob," the man told him. "From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won." Genesis 32:28
Have you ever wrestled with God? Sometimes in our lives, we may be faced with circumstances that are so challenging, that it may seem that we are in a wrestling match. We may be up most of the night, thinking and trying to process information to make the right choices. It may be wrestling with emotions and feelings that seem so overwhelming. Jacob was going through the same situation in his life with the estrangement between he and his brother Essau. Jacob goes out to the desert by himself at night and there he gets into a wrestling match, which lasted all night long. This story is significant for us because it is an example of how Jacob overcame the emotions that faced him and  we may find ourselves in the same kind of situation. It is significant to me, that the struggle was all night long. How often the struggles are in dark times but there is a period of time when the struggle will end and this is always at the dawn of a new day. That is the beginning of a new day filled with hope.  No matter what we face, there is always a new day on the horizon. Notice in this story, there had to be a struggle, a struggle between the human will and with the will of God. Don't you think that at any time during the night, the Angel of the Lord could have overpowered Jacob? Of course he could, but it is like when you play checkers with a child, you give the child just enough challenge during the game to get them thinking but at the end, you let them win. I think that this struggle had to take place and it had to be challenging for Jacob, to the point where he had to put out his maximum effort, just to realize that there is no possible way he could have won on his own earthly strength. So at dawn, he asked for a blessing, he wanted to finally let go of the struggle and to let the Angel of the Lord to take control. We may need to struggle, and to wrestle with situations in our lives, but in the end, we need to give it all to God and let Him take control. During this fleshly wrestling match, many issues came up to Jacob, and I believe that he finally realized the error in his ways, for what he did to his brother. In those emotional struggles, God may take you to a place where you begin to take the focus off the other person and what they have done to you, and begin to look inside yourself to what YOU have done wrong. That is the wrestling or shift that needs to be done. Then God will show us what is not right within ourselves and we can finally get to the place of repentance and surrender. We have a loving and compassionate God and He will allow us to wrestle in order to get us to the place where He wants us to be, and that is at the Dawn of our Lives.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

El Shaddai

"Then Abraham bowed down to the ground, but he laughed to himself in disbelief. How could I become a father at the age of 100? he thought. And how can Sarah have a baby when she is ninety years old?" Genesis 17:17
In verse one of Genesis 17,  God appeared before Abraham and told him of his name, "El Shaddai" - God Almighty who is sufficient. I pondered about the reaction of Abraham when God told him he was going to be a father. It was disbelief and not really having faith. Here we have, the God of the Universe, that had told Abraham earlier, that his name was El Shaddai, which is God Almighty who is sufficient. When I ponder this one name of God, for He has a few, I come to realized that His name tells me that He is so powerful and He is all I really need. To be sufficient, means to me that God fills me to the brim, even when I may think it is impossible! How many times I have felt like my back was against a wall, and God opened doors that I thought impossible. This chapter is about trusting in God, knowing that He can do the impossible, even though we may feel otherwise.
Question: Are you in a situation now, where it seems hopeless? Can you use this verse to build your trust in El Shaddai?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Unveiled

"But whenever he (Moses) went into the Tent of Meeting to speak with the Lord, he would remove the veil until he came out again. Then he would give the people whatever instructions the Lord had given him, and the people of Israel would see the radiant glow of his face. So he would put the veil over his face until he returned to speak with the Lord." Exodus 34:34-35
Can you imagine having your face glowing and radiant from being in the presence of the Lord? This is what happened to Moses when he had an encounter with the Lord. Moses would go into the Tent of Meeting without a veil over his face until he came out to speak to the people. After he spoke to the people he veiled his face again. I think of many women today whom wear veils. This is not the veil that the women of the far east wear because of their faith. I am speaking of the mask that women use to cover up who they really are. I think of the veil as a mask that shows others only what they want you to see. It is a mask that they wear and when someone asks, "How are you?" they smile and say "Okay". In reality, they are not okay. I recently went to a store in Hawaii that specializes in koa wood. They have what you call koa veneer. When I asked what that was, it was explained to me that the veneer is a thin top layer that lays over another wood. The koa  that I was viewing was koa wood only on the surface, but underneath it was a piece of  wood that was not of the same high quality as koa. This concept resonated in my soul, for I realized that many people may have a veneer to cover up who they really are.  That veneer covering is like a mask or veil. What God wants for us is to be unveiled, to be authentic and to be 100% of who we really are. As we go into prayer, do we approach God with a veil like everything is okay or do we take away that veil and show him everything in our hearts that is deep down, underneath the surface. That is what the Lord wants us to do, and that is to unveil ourselves before him. Are you ready? Let's get real!
Question: Are you being real or do you have a veil? What can you do to get unveiled?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

God is our Refuge

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.  So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea.  Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge." Psalm 46:1-3
When I saw this image, I had to gasp! Look at the man that is standing at the door and the waves are crashing around him. I wanted to know more about this one picture so I had to google the topic. What I came up with was a series of pictures of this situation. What really happened? This man was waiting to be rescued and a helicopter was hovering above. The man had come out to check on the helicopter and a huge monster wave began to engulf him. What happened? Did he live or die? The series of photos from U-Tube showed that the wave closed in on him but on the very last frame, he closed the door and retreated to the safety inside the lighthuse. He was saved. I think about the storms in life that may come against us and it may seem impossible to ever survive. We have a God that says that all we have to do is knock on the door and the door will be opened. That is exactly what we need to do, and that is to run to the safety of the Lord and shut the door. May you find comfort in the Lord today, amidst the storms of life.
Question: Have you ever felt like this man on the lighthouse and the seas are closing in on you? If you are in this spot today, seek the Lord with all you heart and you will find the one that is our refuge and strength in times of need.
Reference:  "Oceans Fury Unleashed"

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Angels Among Us

"See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I prepared. Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion, since my Name is in him." Exodus 23:2021
Do you believe in Angels? They are mentioned in God's Word and one of the passages that mentions an Angel is in Exodus 23. I have come to realize that angels have assignments that have been given to them from God. The specific task that was given to this Angel in Exodus, was to guard, lead and communicate with the Israelites so that they were protected in their journey to the Promised Land. When does God send his messengers? I think that God sends his Angels to minister to us in those times when He sees that we need that guidance and support. Just as this picture shows, at the times when you are just worn out and not able to do anything more in your own efforts but to take one breath at a time, the Lord may send Angels to surround you and to minister to you! In Exodus, the Lord sent an Angel to guard and to bring the people to the place where God wanted them to go. I looked at the words that showed the task for the Angel and that word was to "guard". We have those Angels that are able to take their mighty swords and to fight for us and guard us! The other task that scripture identified in Exodus was to "bring you" and that phrase means that the Angel was to lead and direct our paths to a place where God needs us to be. Another task the Angel was assigned and that was to communicate to the people because the people had to "listen" to what he said. It is interesting here, that scripture used the word "him", which reflects a male gender. There are Angels that are sent by God to do God's purpose in our lives! I think about how comforting those thoughts are to me. To know that God watches over me, cares enough about me to send His messengers down to earth to do His will on this planet. If I think of all the tasks that this Angel did in Exodus, I can honestly say that this is an Angel that is here to guard us and therefore the word "guardian angel" really does have meaning to me. There are Angels directed by the Lord to guard and protect us.
Question: Do you believe in Angels? Can you think of a time when an Angel had ministered to you?  Psalm 91:10-11 "no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For He will command His Angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone."

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Incredible Healings


"And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they willd rive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt then at all; they will place their hands on sick people and they will get well." Mark 16:17-18
I have read many books about healings that occur in this day and age. There are many authors that write about healings, but one that stands out to me, is Dr. Francis MacNutt. He wrote the classic book called, "Healing". God will use ordinary people like you and me to lay hands on the sick and with the authority that was given to us and in the name of Jesus, people will be healed. There also needs to be an element of faith. After you watch this video, you will see a young man that heard the Holy Spirit tell him to lay hands on a lady and her hearing was restored. The lady was standing in front of him in the check out aisle in Safeway. After he laid hands on her, another lady came up to him in a wheelchair and there was another healing in Safeway. Then the young man, stood out in faith and announced over the loud speaker, that anyone that needed healing was to come to the check out counter! What an amazing God we have!
Question: Do you have the faith, that we can lay hands on the sick and they will be healed? Have you ever stepped out in faith and prayed for healing for others? If not, what is stopping you? Go for it! 

Sunday, March 30, 2008

92 Year Old Witnesses to Robber


May we all learn a wonderful lesson from this 92 year old woman. We can witness to anyone, no matter what the circumstances, or who they are. She is one of the greatest evangelists of our time! She represents a true Christian and following the command of Jesus, to love one another.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Idols in Your Life

"I have given them your Word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I'm not asking you to take them out of the world but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do." John 17:14-16
This is a picture of the tallest inhabited building in the world. It is located in Taiwan and it reaches 1,671 feet. I was doing a google search for "not of this world" after I read John 17, and this image came up. This building was constructed in 2004 but soon will out matched by an even taller building in Dubai. Man keeps building higher and higher to get the biggest and tallest. What does it really matter? This striving for being bigger, better and taller all is part of being in this world. It is trying to be the best, the wealthiest, fittest, best looking and all through competition of man vs. man. I think it is so sad, because those that strive to be the best, really do miss the point. The point is that it really does not matter, for when all said and done in this life, everything goes back into the box, just like the game of monopoly. Jesus knew as he knelt and prayed to the Father for the last time, that the believers of this world were no longer part of this world. The believers had new eyes and new vision, that the things of this world really do not matter anymore. Look at society today, everything we see in media is about competition. I remember reading an article recently by Francis Fragpaigne and he said that God' s other name was "Jealous". God commanded for us not to have any other God or idols. God wants to be number one in our lives and not have our hearts on things of this world. So Francis talked about the idol "Mammon" which is wealth and that people strive for it and want more. People build sturctures that are big and beautiful and they are places for this idol worship. I have thought this one through lately and know that the Lord wants me not to be of this world. It is hard for me because many times, I just do not fit. Other Christians are in the same situation, that they do not fit into the conversations at work, nor the parties where people drink and tell crude jokes. I remember a friend telling me recently, "this is hard, being a Christian, cause I am losing all my friends. They don't include me any more in social events because they say I am so church-like and not fun anymore." This can be the reality of Christians, we don't fit, and I told her not to worry, that she was in a good place because as the "old" friends fade away, God will replace them with "new" Christian friends that will fit perfectly.
     So, I need to guard my heart, to not worship the idol of Mammon and to be worshiping only the one true God. I pray that I may see the truth that money and material wealth can be an idol if it replaces God. I want God to help me let go of anything that may be taking the place of Him in my life.
Question: Are there any idols in your life? Is there anything that is taking the place of God? What can you do to change your priorities to put God first in your life?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Empty Tomb

"Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdaline came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance."  John 20:1
Last night, I went to a play called "The Witness", which was a musical production of the life and death of  Jesus. How powerful to see actors recreate the story of  Jesus. At the end of the production, there was the empty tomb and then there was a light that came from the tomb and Jesus walked out. Everyone in the audience shouted with joy and clapped their hands. What excitement we all shared, and that was the end of the play. But then the actor that played Simon Peter exclaimed, "This is not the end, but just the beginning".  Oh yes, the empty tomb was the beginning and not the end, for now the door is open and it starts the beginning of a new journey for many. The empty tomb not only signifies victory over death, but it signifies  new beginnings. Just as Mary Magdalene had a new beginning in her own life, we too have the promise of the "Empty Tomb". The Empty Tomb is the open door for many of us to leave the place of death and walk into life. Look carefully at the perspective of the picture above. We usually think of an empty tomb from the perspective of standing on the outside looking in. If we were doing that, we would be standing in our current life and we could only see a dark and empty place of death. But stand where Jesus stood from INSIDE the tomb. Here we are, living in this world, in the place of death. But we do have hope and since the stone was rolled away and now we can look outside to the place of life and there is hope. If we die to ourselves and accept the free gift of eternal life that only Jesus can give us, then we will be able to see the magnificence and the promise of eternal life. What a difference it makes as to where to stand in life. Are you standing outside the tomb and looking in? Or are you inside the tomb and looking out? Let us tell as many people as we can today, that Easter is all about the promise that the empty tomb brings. The tomb is empty because there is life through Jesus! 
God's Promise:" For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him."(John 3:16-17)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Sour Wine on the Cross

"Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, "I am thirsty". A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. When Jesus had tasted it, he said, "it is finished!" Then he bowed his head and released his spirit." John 19:28-29
    I cannot begin to comprehend the agony that Jesus endured on the cross for me. Today is Good Friday, the actual day that Jesus died. I weep this morning for my Jesus, that precious lamb of God, that sacrificed his life for my sins. I am filled with the sorrow that I just cannot comprehend. 
    As I meditated on the scripture today, I thought of Jesus on the cross and when he said, "I am thirsty", it rang a familiar chord within me. Since I have been reading the book of John I remember having read about the Samaritan woman that met Jesus at the well. She went to the well thirsty and Jesus gave her what she did not expect, he gave her the living water in which she would never thirst again. Then, remember the first miracle Jesus performed at the wedding celebration? Jesus took ordinary water and changed it to wine of the greatest quality. Here are examples of what Jesus gave humanity, the best water and wine that Heaven could offer us. But when Jesus was thirsty on the cross what was he given? He was given bitter/sour wine. What did humanity give Jesus? Humanity gave him sour wine, mockery, whippings, crucifixion and even death. How symbolic this wine was! I go through this day, just meditating on what he did for you and me and what we did to him. He gave love and we gave him death. Oh, the agony of this, but the beauty of this all, was that he did this out of the greatest love and devotion for you and me. He went to that cross for us and took our sins upon himself as the ultimate sacrificial lamb. My prayer today is that there be a grater awareness of what happened this day almost 2000 years ago. May hearts be opened to this truth, and may many be led to Jesus this Easter. Please join me in prayer this day for those that don't know Jesus, that they will come to know him and understand that Jesus died for them.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that that doesn't produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more." John 15:1-2
When I read this scripture it reminded me of the book I had read, "The Secret of the Vine" by Wilkinson. He took this same verse and explained how we are the vine and God is the gardener. God needs to prune us sometimes and it is not out of punishment, but we get pruned because He wants us to produce more. Look at the picture carefully, and see that the saw is sharp and the process can be painful. Pruning in a person's life can be difficult but it is important to focus on the end result, more fruit for the Lord.
This is so true in my life, the times when I was overwhelmed with business and too many things on my plate. I was tired and had overcommitted to too many activities. I remember sitting on my lanai and I saw my vine that was in a nearby pot. There it stood, it was long and leggy and the leaves were sickly looking. I heard so clearly on that day, "You are like that vine, in order for optimum health there needs to be cutting back (pruning)". I got up and started pruning back to where there were only a few of the primary stalks left. It was quite pitiful but I knew it needed to be done. Then it was so very clear to me, I needed to prune in my own life, to cut away all those activities that were not a priority. It was the beginning of saying "No" to people and to start realizing that I needed to focus on those things that were important in my life. What happened to the vine? A few months later, I got the most beautiful green and healthy leaves. It was magnificent. This was one of those lessons that God needed to take me through. Pruning is not easy and at times it can be painful. Keep focused because God is taking you to where you need to be - producing more fruit for the Kingdom.
Question: Is God taking you through a pruning process in your life right now? What do you think is the end result?
Think of a time when you needed pruning and God did it for you?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Life is But a Breath

"Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered-how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath, even those who seem secure." Psalm 39:4-5
I just got off the telephone with a dear friend. She called to let me know that her husband passed away quite unexpectedly. She had gone out to work on the yard on Sunday afternoon around 1:00 and her husband was on the computer. She worked outside for a few hours and when she came inside around 2:30 he had passed away from a heart attack. How quickly life can be taken from us. One minute our loved ones are here and the next they are gone! This reminded me of a little sparrow I found at school. I took little Charlie home with me and I fed him every few hours and he began to get strong. Soon he was getting feathers and he was bonding to me like I was his mother. I would make a little sweatshirt nest for him at night and put him to bed. One night, I had fed him and put him down in his little nest in my room. I went to the livingroom and I heard the flutter of wings. I thought, "Oh Charlie, you are up!" I went to his bed and he was not there. I went around the house looking and calling, "Charlie, Charlie" and no Charlie. Now I am getting worried and I went to the bathroom and turned on the light. There on the floor I found little Charlie. He was lying dead on the floor. I picked him up and his neck was broken. You see, he was using his new wings to find me and he must have flown right into the door and broke his neck. I was devastated! I sat on the floor and cried for a very long time for the loss of Charlie. I realized how precious life really is. Life can be here at one moment and gone the next. I learned a lesson that day, not to take life for granted, for at any moment, the Lord can decide to bring someone home. I will always remember Charlie and the valuable life lesson he showed me. It was that same day that I realized he lived a good life and his life was to guide me to Psalm 39 and to realize that people can be here for a short period of time but they will leave their mark on the ones left behind. God creates life for specific periods of time and with that gift of life, each person has somehow, touched the lives of others. It is a question that I leave with you today. Are you investing in others, so to leave a legacy? Are you making the most out of this life for God so that when you face Him one day, He will say, "Well done, good and faithful servant".  What life correction can you do right at this moment that can make the most with the life that God has given you? 

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bloom Where You are Planted

"I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will set junipers in the wasteland, the fir and the cypress together, so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it." Isaiah 41:19-20
Recently I have been asking the question, "Lord, is this where you want me to be in ministry?" I have been questioning the place where I am, and is this the place where I am called? I have been praying about this and I know that I want to follow God's will in my life but I really need to get confirmation. I began reading a book, "God's Armor Bearer" by Terry Nance. Terry says that in his office there is a plaque which reads: "Bloom where you are planted." At the moment I read that,  I realized that I am exactly where God wants me to be. This place may be like a desert and I may feel like that flower that is planted in that vast wasteland but I know now that God wants me to bloom! I want to remain faithful, no matter what pressure that I am facing for it is no fun to be out of the will of God. I know that I must be willing to stay in it for the rest of  my life, if that is what God wants! It is a time to rejoice in all that He has given me, and to do the very best I can with what He have given me. I will bloom, and do this in whatever environment I am placed. I know that I am exactly where God has divinely appointed me.  This goes even further than accepting where God has planted me in ministry, but it is accepting all the circumstances that surround me in life. Think about where you are planted right now? Are you in a desert? Are you surrounded by cactus in the dry wasteland? If you are, let me remind you that the Lord wants you to BLOOM, bloom to the best of your abilities so to glorify Him. Rejoice this day with me, in what the Lord has given you! Rejoice that we have a God that cares enough about us to sustain us in the toughest environment!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Surefooted as a Deer

"The Sovereign Lord is my strength! he makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights." Habakkuk 3:19
Recently, I traveled to Tucson, Arizona and visited the International Wildlife Museum. As I walked from exhibit to exhibit, I entered the main exhibit area. There in the center of the floor, there was a man-made mountain that went up to the ceiling. There were large rocks and boulders that were on all sides. Perched upon the ledges and rocks were mountain goats. I was amazed and stood in awe. I focused on their feet and how they were able to keep their balance in those high places. These superb animals had the keen ability to moved around in this rocky and barren place. As I focused more on what abilities God had given them, the scripture came to my mind from Habakkuk. I had remembered reading the book, "Hinds Feet on High Places" and how that analogy refers to us. I thought about what those high places were like and they were rocky, barren and difficult to maneuver. Then I realized that those tough and difficult circumstances that we may face in our lives, God will help us get through them, just as He has provided those steady feet on the mountain goats! God may not take away the challenges, but He will provide for us the way to get around those dangerous and tough rocky places. If we just lean on the Lord as our strength, He will make you "surefooted" in all rocky places.
Question: Reflect upon a time when the Lord gave you the feet of a deer to get through those rocky places? Did the Lord give you the strength that you needed? Share with one person today, your rocky mountain experience and the Lord made you surefooted.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Light of the World

"But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been through God." John 3:21
Jesus brought light into the world and some do not recognize that light. We can do our part as believers of Jesus, to bring that light into the darkness of this world so that others can see the light of Christ within us. We can be a witness for Jesus.
   Yesterday I was a substitute teacher in a Kindergarten class. What precious ones are in Kindergarten! It is like a little mini society of the world. There were so many different personalities and they all brought into the classroom their perspectives of life that came from their life experiences. So here we were in this little mini society and so many of them are learning about the world around them. What a place to learn, in the classroom! What a responsibility for teachers! it is true that a classroom makes a difference in a child's life. The average age of the Kindergarten child is five years old and they are learning all about living with others. There were so many teachable moments and I felt a blessing to be able to come in and give a little bit of Jesus in that class. Although it was for only one day, there were times when I could talk to the students about sportsmanship, sharing, disappointments, frustrations, anger and getting along with one another. So many of the lessons were not about the curriculum but about those important life lessons. I was so grateful that the Lord put me there so I could bring the perspective of Jesus into the class. At one point, we had to all stop and repeat, "we are a family and we help each other". We talked about the responsibility of taking care of one another and to show kindness. They were so cute...they cry, whine and express their feelings without abandon. They are so innocent in all their ways. It is such a big responsibility of a teacher, at this young age, to demonstrate appropriate behavior through gentle correction. That is the key, "gentle correction". I was tired and exhausted at the end of the day, but upon reflection, I thought that I had given some important perspectives on how to deal with some of life's challenges. May the Lord touch each one of those little hearts and help them to learn about loving one another, in a non-loving world. I thank the Lord that I was able to bring some light of Jesus into the classroom yesterday.
Question: In your daily life, how can you bring some light into the darkness? Do you believe that you are showing Christ's love to others?

Monday, March 3, 2008

Perfect Peace

"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you." Isaiah 26:3
No matter what the circumstances are in your life, God can give you perfect peace. As I reflect upon this scripture, I think of the time that I had memorized this verse because of the chaos that was happening in my life at the time. My doctor had told me that I needed to go for an MRI to see why I was having migraine headaches. I have always had a fear of being in confined places and when I heard that I would be strapped down on a bed and sent into a very small tube, I was filled with fear. So many of my friends had told me not to worry but I still have so much doubt that I could complete this MRI successfully. I realized I could not do this on my own and needed help from God. So I took this power verse, Isaiah 26:3, which I had memorized into the room. As I was lying on my back and being put into the tube, I used this verse to give me peace of mind. I repeated it over and over again. It was one of God's promises to me, that all I had to do was to trust in him and he was going to get me through it. I knew that it would not be easy but I would need to be steadfast in my trusting in Him. It was going to be a battle in my mind, but the Lord brought me through it. I knew that when I was in that MRI tube, I was not alone. I stayed focused on each and every word of my power verse and God gave me the peace that I so needed. I learned that all things are possible with Him. No matter how much I may think that the situation may be impossible, I have been reassured by this verse that God can grow flowers among rocks. God can bring peace among chaos. Just trust in Him and keep your mind on all of His promises in the Word, and He will bring that perfect peace that only He can provide.
Question: What is stealing your peace of mind today? How can you find "power verses" in His Word, that will get you through it? Will you fully trust that God will get you through all fearful situations?