Affirm the WORD

Imagine, Inspire, Believe...

A Walk through the Word

An ongoing series of things I learned in the Word

Prayer Based on Solomon's Prayer of Dedication

August 8 2020

*Keep in mind these prayers are personal they are not what is written I am not quoting Scripture I am basing my prayers on Scripture. To read what is written turn in Your Word to 1 Kings 8:23-53. This is my prayer based on what was said and what I know has already been done.

Father, O LORD, the God of Israel, there is no God like You in all of heaven above or on the earth below. You have kept Your promise to show unfailing love to all who walk before You in wholehearted devotion. You kept Your promise to King David to give him a dynasty of Kings as is evident today. You made that promise with Your own mouth and with Your own hands You have fulfilled.

And now, O LORD, the God of everything I believe is real, carry out the additional promises You made to my ancestors. For You said ‘If Your descendants guard their behavior and faithfully follow You as I have done, one of them will always sit on the throne.’ Help me to always exercise self-control. Give me the wisdom and ability to choose to live my life by the fruits of Your Spirit not the sinful nature of my flesh. I know that my brother Jesus sits on the throne pleading for me daily because You have fulfilled this promise.

Like Solomon sometimes I find it hard to believe that You are really with us. Why, even the highest heavens cannot contain You. How much more can a temple made of stone or a body made of flesh. I look up at the sky in all its vastness as far as my eye can see and even that doesn’t come close to Your greatness in me.

Nevertheless, listen to my prayer and plea, Father. Bend down from on high and bend your ear to me. May You watch over me night and day, this place where your son said “I will always be with you till the end of age”. May You always hear the prayers I make where no one but You can hear the sound of my voice.

May You hear my humble and earnest request when I pray for myself and people alike. Yes, hear from heaven where You live, and when You hear me cry, forgive. If I have wronged anyone then hear from heaven and judge between me and my accuser. You sent your son to bear the punishment I so deserved and you acquitted me not because I was innocent but because he is innocent in me.

Before turning my life to You I was always defeated by my enemies because I continually sinned against You until the day I turned to You and acknowledged what Jesus did. I know You heard me from heaven and forgave my sin and returned me to a state of peace with You again.

When the skies shut up and there was no rain in this barren land of drought because I lived my life like the unwise and sinned against you I once again confessed and repented of my sins and acknowledged that You sent Jesus to be my saving grace I know that You heard from heaven and forgave. Father I have no sense, teach me to follow the right path and send rain on Your land that You have given to us as our special possession.

When You allowed there to be lack in my life or I suffered from illness, a plague or disease or attacks of any kind I know that whatever disaster or disease that fell upon me I took my eyes off my infirmity and fixed them on You. I pray about the fears I had, the things that worried or distressed me and I left them at the foot of the cross because of what he went through on the earth there is nothing so hard I can’t go through with him. For You gave me what my actions deserved, for only You alone know my human heart.

The greatest fear I have on earth is missing out on the life You promised me not a life this world could give me. I lived for so long apart from You and now I know what it is to be with You. To live my life putting You first. Trusting in You alone. To have peace of mind and heart no longer do I live in the pit of anger, resentment, bitterness or distress there is no peace found in the things you set apart for destruction.

For all across the world people of every nation have heard of Your name, they know Your power and Your strength. When they prayed to You, You heard them and granted them what they asked so that everyone would know You just as we do. That we were all created to give honor to Your name not by what we don’t do but by the good things you created us to do.

When I went out and fought against my enemies and prayed that You would uphold me, You did. You did not fail or forsake me. I thought to myself I would rather live this life free in You than to live it afraid of what might people might say or think or do. Jesus taught me there is no life in living to please people. They all have opinions that constantly change I ran myself ragged trying to be what everyone wanted of me.

Like Solomon said if I sin against you- and who has never sinned? While living on the earth I am being perfected, if I was perfect I would be dead to this world and with You. But when I sinned and You allowed me to be captured and conquered by my enemies in the land of exile I humbled myself, repented and prayed ‘I have sinned, done what was evil in Your sight, and acted wickedly.’ When I turned to You with my whole heart and soul You heard my prayer and petition from heaven and You upheld my case. You forgave me of my sins and all of my offenses and You made my captors merciful toward me for I am Your people whom You 

brought our of slavery from the things that kept me from knowing You.

Your eyes were open to my request, You heard and answered me whenever I cried out to You. For when You brought me out of my slavery to the people and things of this world, You said to Your servant Moses that You had set me apart to be Your special possession.

If I am going to cling to anything I would rather it be to You. For You have taught me not to cling to people this world or the things of this world that are quickly fading and turning to dust. For this world feels nothing for me because it does not love You. When the last enemy to be conquered is death the wicked will certainly not rise up to save me, only You have the power to do that because You already did it once. All glory to God my Father, the Father of my Lord and brother Jesus Christ! Amen   

Prayer Based on the LORD's Covenant of Peace

August 7 2020

*Prayer based on Ezekiel 34:25-31

Father, thank You for making this promise of peace with me. Thank you for driving away the dangerous animals from the land. Thank You that I can sleep safely in the wildest places without fear for You watch over me. Thank You for blessing me, my family and my home around Your holy hill. Thank You that in the proper season You help to meet our needs. Thank You for Your blessings of abundance.

Thank You that You are my Provider, that my job and my finances prosperous and blessed and I can live in safety. Thank You for breaking the chains of the things that enslaved me. Thank You for rescuing me from the things of this world and that people of this world that enslaved me in this way I know that You are my LORD.

I am no longer prey for other people, like wild animals they no longer devour me. I live in safety and nothing frightens me for You are with me. Thank You for making my land famous for its bounty. Thank You that I never have to suffer again from famine or the insults of those that don't know me.

In this way I know that You, the LORD, my Father, my God are with me. And I know that You have chosen me to be Your people for You have said “You are My flock the sheep of My pasture. You are My people and I am your God.” Thank You Father for speaking these blessings over me! All glory to God my Father, the Father of my Lord and brother Jesus Christ! Amen

Prayer Based on Jonah's Prayer

August 6 2020

*Prayer based on Jonah 2:2-9

I cried out to You Father in my great trouble, and You answered me. I called to You from the land of the dead, and LORD, You heard me!

You threw me in the ocean depths, and I sank down to the heart of the sea. The mighty waters engulfed me; I was buried beneath Your wild and stormy waves. O LORD, You had driven me from Your presence.

Yet still I looked to You for You are my only hope. Once more I lifted my hands toward Your holy Temple. I sank beneath the waves and the waters closed over me. Seaweed wrapped itself around my head. I sank down to the very roots of the mountains. I was imprisoned in the earth, whose gates lock shut forever.

But at just the right time You, O LORD my God, snatched me from the jaws of death! As my life was slipping away, I remembered the LORD. And my earnest prayer went out to You in Your holy Temple.

Those who worship false gods turn their backs on all God’s mercies. But I will offer sacrifices to You with songs of praise, and I will fulfill all my vows. For my salvation come from the LORD alone. All Glory to God the Father of my Savior and my Lord Jesus Christ! Amen

Prayer Based on Prayer of Praise  found in Jude 24-25 

August 5 2020

Now all glory to You God my Father for in all Your wisdom You were able to keep me from falling away from You and giving in to the temptation of my sinful nature. Thank You for sending Your son to present me with great joy into our Fathers’ glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to You God my Father who alone is my God who sent my Savior Jesus Christ to be my Lord and free me of sin and bring me into Your glorious presence. Father, all glory, majesty, power and authority are Yours Father before all time and in the present and beyond all time! All glory to God the Father of my brother, my Lord Jesus Christ! Amen

Prayer Based on Prayer for Spiritual Wisdom found in Ephesians 1:18-23

August 4 2020

Father, I pray that my heart be flooded with light so that I can understand the confident hope You have given to those You called Your holy people. I know that we are Your rich and glorious inheritance. I also pray for the understanding of Your incredible greatness that is seen in Your power for all who believe You. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at Your right hand in the heavenly realms. Now my brother is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else- not only in this world but also in the world to come. Father You have put all things under the authority of Christ and have made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by the Spirit of Christ holiness, who fills all things everywhere with himself. All glory to God the Father of my Lord Jesus Christ! Amen

Prayer Based on Prayer for Spiritual Growth found in Ephesians 3:14-21

August 3 2020

Father, when I take the time to think of all that You have done, I fall to my knees and pray to You the Father, the Creator of everything on heaven and on earth. I pray that from Your glorious, unlimited resources You will empower me with inner strength through Your Spirit. Then the Spirit of Christ will make his home in my heart as I trust in him. May my roots will grow down into God’s love and keep me strong. And may I have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high and how deep Your love is for me.

May I experience the same love You had for Christ, though it is too great for me to understand fully. Then I will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from You God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within me, to accomplish infinitely more than I might ask or think. All glory to God in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen

Prayer Based on David's Prayer of Praise 1 Chronicles 29:10

August 1 2020

In order to make this prayer personal I had to take into account it was written before Jesus came. As the saying goes you can't unscramble scrambled eggs so with that in mind I changed the ending to reflect what I knew not what was for David's time. 

Father, the God of our ancestor Israel, may You be praised forever and ever! Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is Yours, O LORD, and this is Your kingdom. We adore You as the One who is over all things. I know that wealth and honor come from You alone, for You rule over everything. Power and might are in Your hand, and at Your discretion people are made great and given strength.

O Father, we thank You and praise Your glorious name! But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to You? Everything we have comes from You and we give You only what You first gave us! We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace.

O Father my LORD my God, Jesus taught me that this true temple was his body, not a building made of stone but a heart of flesh so I know that even this body You call a temple that honors Your holy name comes from You! You formed me, I belong to You! I know, my God, that You examine my heart and rejoice when You find integrity there. You know that I have sought after You with good motives and I have offered my time, talents, resources willingly and joyously.

O LORD, the God of our ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, make me want to always be obedient to You, to listen to the instructions you give to me and apply them in my life. See to it that my love for You never changes. And Father give my children the wholehearted desire to obey all Your commands, laws, and decrees and to do everything necessary to build up their own temples that serve You, for I have watched over them the best I could but it is You that raises them up. All glory to God the Father forever and ever who raised my brother, my Lord Jesus so that he would have many brothers and sisters! Amen   

Prayer Based on David's Prayer of Thanks 2 Samuel 7:18

July 31 2020

Father, when I think of all that You have given to me I think who am I, O Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that You have brought us this far? And now, Sovereign LORD, in addition to everything You have already given to us, You speak of giving us Your servants a lasting dynasty! Do You deal with everyone this way, O Sovereign LORD?

What more can I say to You? Father only You know what Your servant is really like, You are a Sovereign LORD who knows my every deed, thought and word. Because of Your promise and according to Your will, You have done all these great things and have made them known to me Your servant. I am humbled before You. Your grace overwhelms me.

How great You are, O Sovereign LORD! There is no one like You. We have never even heard of another God like You! What other people on earth is like those who believe in You? What other people, O God, have You redeemed from slavery to be Your own people? You made a great name for Yourself when You redeemed us from that which kept us apart from knowing You from things that were too strong for us to overcome alone. You performed awesome miracles and drove out the people and gods that stood in our way. You made us Your very own people by our faith in what Jesus did for us forever, and You, O LORD, became our God, my God.

And now, O LORD God, I am Your servant. Like my brother Jesus I came to serve not be served. Do the things You have promised concerning me and my family. Confirm it as a promise that will last forever. And may Your name be honored forever so that everyone will say, “The LORD of Heaven’s Armies is God over everyone who believes in His name!” And may my house serve the LORD forever.

O LORD of Heaven’s Armies, God of Israel, I have been bold enough to pray this prayer to You because You have revealed all this to Your servant, saying, “I will build a house for You- a dynasty of kings!” For You are God, O Sovereign LORD. I know that Your words are truth and You have promised these good things to Your servant. And now, may it please You Father to bless the house of Your servant, so that it may continue forever before You. For You have spoken, and when You grant a blessing to Your servant, O Sovereign LORD, I believe it is an eternal blessing! All glory to God forever and ever the Father of my Lord and brother Jesus! Amen

Prayer Based on Hannah's Prayer of Praise 1 Samuel 2

July 30 2020

Father, my heart rejoices in the LORD! The LORD has made me strong. Now I have an answer for my enemies. I rejoice because You rescued me. No one is holy like the LORD! There is no one besides You. There is no Rock like our God.

When I observe those who don’t know You I want to say “Stop acting so proud and haughty! Don’t speak with such arrogance! For the LORD is God who knows what you have done. He will judge your actions.” But like my brother once said "forgive them, they know not what they do."

I have seen the bow of the mighty broken and those who stumbled are now strong. Those who were once well fed are now starving, and those who were starving are now full. The childless woman now has seven children, and the woman with many children wastes away.

I know that the LORD gives both death and life. He brings some down to the grave but raises others up. The LORD makes some poor and others rich. He brings some down and lift others up. He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump. He sets them among princes, placing them in seats of honor. For all the earth is the LORD’s, and He has set the world in order.

I know that He will protect His faithful ones, but the wicked will disappear in darkness. I have seen that no one succeeds by strength alone. Those who fight against the LORD will be shattered. He thunders against them from heaven. The LORD judges throughout the earth. He gives power to His king. He increases the strength of His anointed one. All glory to God the Father of my Lord and brother Jesus Christ! Amen

Not Just One Prayer

July 29 2020

When I began to read the Word for myself the only words I ever spoke to God in 30 plus years was the our Father prayer found in Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11 I didn't realize that praying to God was more than just repeating these words over and over again. My prayer life changed when I learned through the reading of His Word that people prayed to God usuing many words just as you would speak to anyone you had or were in relaiontship with.

So when I found other prayers  based on His Word, His promises I made sure to take note. I talk to my Father alot more these days and I am certain to declare His Words over my life not just the one prayer any more. The prayer below is found in Deuteronomy 7 it is titled "The Privelege of Holiness" in my NLT version of the Word. I figured after a month of sharing how I pray through Psalms you might want to see how the same format can be used for any prayers you make personal in your own life.


Father, You said in Your Word that when you have brought me into the place You promised me that You would clear away my enemies before me. Things that took the place of You like my struggle with addictions, depression, fears, doubt, distractions, discouragement things far to great for me to overcome on my own. That one by one You would take them down and hand them over to me to deal with. You instructed me to conquer and completely destroy these strongholds that kept me from knowing You. To make no compromises for or show them no mercy I had to completely extinguish, be rid of these things that have held my family back from taking hold of the promises You made to me or my children would have to struggle with the same enemies too.

So one by one I broke these negative pattterns of thinking down, I shattered them by Your Word when they appeared, I cut them down and burned them to the ground every time they tried to take the throne of the my thoughts captive and hold me down into a stronghold of weakness I overcame them by Your Word. I told them where they could go and I imagined my brother tying them up and taking the keys back to His kingdom and putting himself back on the throne of my thoughts.

For I am a holy people chosen by You there is no place in my mind for immoral thoughts. Of all the people on the earth You chose me to believe in You and I became Your own special treasure by drawing near in relationship to You.

You did not set Your heart on me because I was so rich, so popular, so wise or so strong. I was the youngest in my family and I had seen the enemy of this world take my father, mother, sister and brother and I was not going to let him take me and my family too. You chose me not to walk a different path. You instilled in me a greater strength, a greater courage, a greater chance to overcome the things of this world that held them down would not hold me down too. Simply because I believed that You loved me and would keep the oath You had sworn to my ancestors long ago though for as many generations as I can look back none of them honored You as I do.

That is why with Your strong hand You pulled me out of the slavery to the people of this world I was bound to. You took me out of the things that were keeping me oppressed and freed me from the prison of bondage to show me that You are indeed God. That there is a power greater in me that helps me to overcome the things in this world. You are a faithful God who keeps His covenant for thousands of generations and lavishes Your unfailing love on those who love You alone and choose to walk in the ways you set before them, using Your son as my example on how to live on the earth and not be of the earth for this is not our home we  Satan might have made hell look good but it's still hell, the place you threw him down to is the same place Jesus called him the ruler of. I am simply a foreigner passing through like my ancestors before me this is not my home my home is with You.

Before coming to know You and the promises You made to me You did not hesitate to punish, destroy and reject me for doing what was wicked in Your sight. I always reaped the weeds I had sown in life and now for the first time my life is fruitful only because the commands I follow come from You.

Since You have taught me to fix my eyes on You and Your Word You have kept Your promise to love me with unfailing love more than I deserve. Thank You for loving and blessing me and my children. Thank You for making us prosperous. Thank You for giving us large harvest, the new life You stored up for me to live is nothing like the way I lived before. You have blessed me far above those who put their trust in this world. Thank You for protecting me from illness and terrible diseases that my ancestors suffered before me. Thank You for helping me to conquer my enemies.

I do not take for granted all that You have allowed me to do. For You have given me plenty examples throughout my life of Your greatness, Your favor, Your provision and I know this way of life would be impossible without You. I remember the times You saved me from death, famine, even people whose purpose was to cause me harm. I saw the great terrors you sent them. I witnessed their downfall when You gave them a life of hardship, illness, frustration and struggle till they lost their minds. I remember the miraculous signs and wonders and your strong hand of power that took me out of living in darkness for the only thing I fear now is missing out on the life You promised. I had already wasted half my life thinking I could find life in the darkness. You even protected me from things I had no idea were trying to destroy me.

As a result I no longer fear the things of this world for I know that something greater than this world is with me and You are a great and awesome God. You drove out all my enemies one by one You didn’t take them out all at once though You had the power to. You taught me what it means to be powerful and excercise that power to do what is good. You threw them in complete confusion till they destroyed themselves for the schemes they plotted against Your people. You erased their memories so they didn’t even have the sense to stand up against me and You destroyed them I didn't have to if you wait long enough the wicked fall into their own traps.

I do not make idols of things in this world, I do not worship statues and charms that have no power, I do not pray to any saints the only one that has my complete devotion is You. For if I did I know that You would destroy me just as You destroyed those who worship emptiness a life of emptiness is their only reward. You have taught me to utterly detest things set apart for destruction lest I be carried away with them. For this I give glory to the LORD of my Lord who taught me to only keep my heart fixed on You! Amen   

Prayer Based on Deuteronomy 28 Entitled Blessings for Obedience

July 28 2020

Father thank you for helping me to obey the commands You give to me each day. I couldn’t live this way of life without You. You said in Your Word that if I live in this way You would set my thoughts higher than those who live in this world. I would experience so many wonderful blessings by putting my trust in You and following the commands You give to me each day. As a result my house is blessed, my children are blessed, my job is blessed, my food is blessed, wherever I go and whatever I do it is my firm belief that I am blessed by You.

Thank You for conquering my enemies when they attacked me. Thank You for guaranteeing a blessing on everything I do. Thank You for the provision You have given to me. Thank You for blessing me in the place You have placed me.

Thank You for helping me to walk in Your ways. Thank You for choosing me to believe in You and be a witness to all that You do. And sharing my testimony with the world that I am someone claimed by You. Thank You for making me to be prosperous in the land you swore to my ancestors that You would give to me. Thank You for blessing my son and everything we put our hands to do.

Thank You for sending provision to meet our needs with plenty leftover to share with those in need. Thank You for blessing all the work we do, thank You for teaching us that You are our provider. As a result we lend to many but have never needed to borrow from them. By listening each day to the commands You give to us and following through with the things You commanded us to do You have made us the head and no longer the tail. We are always on top of things and not falling behind. For this we will live each day to serve You. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen 

Prayer Based on Leviticus 27 entitled Blessings for Obedience

July 27 2020

Father, thank You for providing me with my daily provision to meet my needs. Because of You I am prosperous not just in wealth but I am fruitful in the gifts of the Spirit that come from You. A harvest money can’t buy- love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Your Word has taught me that I will reap what I sow. In the past I sowed everything opposite of the fruit and reaped that way of life but now my seasons of planting also have harvest in them, and my harvest overlaps with the season I am sowing so I am never lacking in any good thing You give to me. I am blessed to be a blessing. Thank you that there is no lack of the fruit of the Spirit or famine in my life, it overflows and I live securely in the land You gave to me.

Apart from You the one thing I sought most in this life was peace of mind and heart and now there is peace in me because it comes from You. I am now able to sleep soundly with no cause for fear or worry or stress of what tomorrow might hold for I know that whatever may come You are holding me.

I no longer live in fear of the unexpected for You taught me that every day of my life was written before a day had passed. What is a surprise to me is no surprise to You and You have equipped me to handle all the days of my life. You have kept the enemy of doubt, dread, discouragement, distraction, defeated mentality out of my mind with Your truth. In fact, I chased down my fears and revealed them with the Sword of Your Word. When I am gathered with my friends of faith we can take down ten thousand lies the enemy told us that kept us from knowing You. Iron sharpens iron. All my enemies have fallen beneath Your sword. I can live in this world and not be of it for I fear less in this world and believe even more in the power of Your Word.

Thank You Father for looking favorably on me, my life is living proof of that. You made my life an example to many and brought Your people back to You. Thank You for fulfilling Your covenant with me. You said in Your Word that I would have everything I need and that is completely true. I even have plenty left over to share with others as You said I would. It is obvious that You live among us and You do not despise me for my sinful nature before knowing You. That is why You sent Your son to reconcile me to You. I know I gave You plenty of reasons to despise me but Your love for me was relentless. You walk life with me now. You are my God and I am Your people. For You have said I am the LORD your God. You declared it. You proved that You were greater than my captives so that I would no longer be a slave to people. You broke my yoke of slavery from my neck of always trying to pleasing this world and instead turned my eyes toward You so that I could walk with my head held high always looking up to You. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen

Prayer Based on Psalm 33

July 26 2020

Father, I sing for joy to the LORD; I know that it is fitting for those You have made pure to praise You. I praise the LORD with melodies that I sing to Him daily. I make music for Him with instruments I know to play. I sing a new song of praise to Him. I play an instrument skillfully and sing with joy to my God.

For His Words have held true to me, through them He has taught me to trust everything He does. My Father loves whatever is just and good in this world. His unfailing love fills the earth daily, continually, constantly for those who would take time to look up and notice it.

The LORD merely spoke and the sky, the clouds, the moon and sun were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born. He assigned the sea its boundaries and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs. Let the whole world fear the LORD whom all was created and let everyone stand in awe of His majesty. For when He spoke, the world began! It appeared at His command.

Throughout my life the LORD frustrated my plans and thwarted all my schemes when they were not part of His plans for me. For the LORD’s plans stand firm forever; His intentions for me can never be shaken. What joy for people whose God is the LORD, the people He has chosen as His inheritance. For even Jesus said “You did not choose me I chose you.” Thank You Father for choosing me to know You.

The LORD looked down from heaven and saw the whole human race. From His throne He observed all who lived on the earth. He made their hearts, so He understands everything they do which hearts have been hardened by this world and which ones are still malleable like the clay they were created from.

Even the best-equipped army cannot save a king. Nor is great strength enough to save a warrior. I don’t count on my efforts to give me victory- for all the strength of this world could not save me the only One who was able to save me was the LORD Himself.

But the LORD watched over me because I feared what He could do not what man could do to me, I relied on His unfailing love to see me through. He rescued me from death and kept me alive in times of famine. I put my hope in the LORD. He is my help and my shield. In Him my heart rejoices, for I trust in His holy name. Let Your unfailing love surround me, LORD, for my hope is in You alone. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen 

Prayer Based on Psalm 32

July 25 2020 

Father, oh what joy you have given me for forgiving my disobedience. I know that by Your son my sins are put out of sight! Yes, what joy I have because the LORD has cleared my record of guilt. He has cleared me of my sins. My life is now lived in complete honesty open for anyone to see.

When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away. I was sick with aches and pains all the time and the pain of my illness made me tired and weary all day long. When I woke up I was tired when I went to bed I was exhausted. It takes a toll on the body to keep sin hidden.

Day and night my Father’s hand of discipline was heavy on me because He knew what I had done even if I hid it from the world. My strength evaporated like water on concrete in the summer heat because I know now that my strength comes from God.

I finally, confessed all my sins to God and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.” And I did one by one. I said I was sorry for all the times I backstabbed people to get ahead, for all the times I blamed God for reaping the evil I sowed. When I was disrespectful, proud and boastful, filled with lust and the evil desire to do what was wrong. When I was greedy and didn’t care about anyone but what was good for me. When I put money, jobs, things and the people of this world before God. The big ten weren’t enough sins for me to break I had do even more.

I was disobedient to God and the wisdom He tried to teach me refusing to understand. Stubbornly following my own path. I broke promises with no intent in keeping my word because there was no truth in me. I was heartless and showed no mercy. I practiced sexual immorality, I was impure with lustful pleasures, I practiced sorcery by wishing ill will on many and I had a bad attitude toward anyone that got in my way. I was so jealous of others who had a better life than me. I had outburst of anger. I was self ambitious. I divided people with gossip, I was envious. I drank myself senseless to numb the rage, bitterness, anger, harsh words people said of me and I said of others. I slandered them with foul and abusive language. I had nothing good to say of people. I was a deceitful, hypocrite.

My Father gave me a vision as I wept on my back porch He brought me to the foot of the cross and showed me a man whipped to the bone, beaten unrecognizable and left with nothing but a loin cloth to cover himself. Blood dripped from head to toes from the thorns and nails this world said that he deserved for believing God could love a defiled in sin human being. My brother was sinless. 

For every sin I committed he took my place, my shame, my guilt, my disgrace. He looked at me and said I will take her place so that she can take my life on the earth. To him an even exchange, his life for my life… and just like that my Father forgave me of every single sin! In that moment all my guilt was gone.

Therefore, I pray to You Father for the years I remain on this earth. That I may not drown in the floodwaters of judgement for this world has already been judged for not believing in Your son. For You are my hiding place; You protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. And every day I am given I praise my God.

The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise and watch over You. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”

I have seen that many sorrows come to the wicked I know because my own life was filled with many sorrows once before returning to God, but His unfailing love surrounded me when I learned to put my trust in the LORD not in anything in this world. So I rejoice in the LORD and I am glad. My brother said that in obedience there is love, by being obedient we remain in His love. It isn’t enough just to listen what He says but to also do what He taught for when we do what He says we show that we trust in God. Now I shout for joy, for He has made my heart pure something the world could never do. All glory to You my Father, my God, who sent my brother, my Lord to save me from this life of darkness and bring me into his life of light! Amen

Prayer Based on Psalm 31

July 24 2020

Father, When I am worried or distressed by my circumstances I am thankful that I can come to You for protection. You will not let me be disgraced. You have saved me many times before through out my life I wouldn’t be standing here today had You not come through for me in the past, for I know that You do what is right all the time every day of my life. Many times You have turned Your ear to listen to me so I know that You are listening even now. You have rescued me quickly. You are my rock of protection. A fortress where I can find safety. Yes, You are my rock and my fortress. For the honor of Your name, You have lead me out of danger, You will continue to lead me out of danger. For You are the same God that saved my ancestors yesterday, saves me today, will save me tomorrow.

You pulled me from the trap that my enemies set for me. I find protection in You alone, I cry out to only You. As my brother Jesus did, I entrust my spirit into Your hand. You have rescued me in the past Father thank You for proving to me that You are a faithful God. Glory to God!

I hate those who turn to the things of this world to save them. I trust in the LORD. I am glad and I rejoice in Your unfailing love, for You have seen my troubles and You care about the anguish of my soul. You did not hand me over to my enemies but set me in a safe place beside You while You dealt with my enemies.

You gave me mercy the moment You sent Your son. LORD, for you saw how the distress of the world weighed heavy on me. You saw the tears that blurred my vision from all the heartache and mistreatment that surrounded me. My body and soul were withering away. I was dying from grief; my years were shortened by my sadness. Sin had drained my strength; I was wasting away from within. And You sent Your son to bend down to the earth and save me.

I was scorned by all my enemies and despised by those close to me- even my friends were afraid to comfort me. When they saw me on the street, they walked the opposite way hoping not to have to talk to me. My pain was ignored as if I were dead. As if I was a broken pot in the gutter. I heard the many rumors about me and I was surrounded by terror. My enemies conspired against me, plotting to take my life. But You reached down and saved me.

And now I am trusting you, O LORD, saying, “You are my God!” My future is in Your hands. For Your rescued me from those who hunted me down relentlessly You were even more relentless in Your pursuit of me. Your favor shined on my Your servant as You said before I didn’t choose You, You chose me. In Your unfailing love, You rescued me. You did not let me be disgraced, O LORD, when I called out to You for help You responded to me. When asked why I was afraid to believe and I said honestly what if You’re not real and You said What if I Am? My life changed the day I heard You call my name. Since then I have seen the wicked be disgraced. I have seen them lie silent in the grave never to rise again for You silenced their lying lips- the proud and arrogant lips of those that accused me of being anything less than godly. Shame no longer has a hold of me. Condemnation no longer tears me down. I know what my brother did and said when he said it was finished I was done with these things.

How great is the goodness You stored up for me because now the only person I fear is missing out on the goodness You have for me. You lavish it on me because I came to You for protection. You blessed them before the watching world. You hid me in the shelter of Your presence, safe from those who would conspire against me. You sheltered me in Your presence, far from people who accuse me of wrong.

I praise You Father, for You have shown me the wonders of Your unfailing love. You kept me safe when my city was under attack. In panic I cried out, “I am cut off from the LORD!” But immediately You heard my cry for mercy and answered my call for help. You are with me.

I love the LORD, more than my life on this earth I gladly lay it down and give it up to be closer to God! For the LORD protected me from the things of this world because of my loyalty to Him. I know that my Father deals harsh punishment to those who believe they are gods and don’t need God to save them. They are forced to live life in confusion and frustration with everything they do until they are completely destroyed for doing what was evil and abandoning God. I know because that is how I lived for 30 plus years of my life. He has taught me to be strong and courageous, to put my hope in the LORD! Not in this world or people of it or even myself and because of His strength, His perseverance and endurance I have been able to walk in this world and no longer be fearful of it. 

For this I give glory to God forever and ever for sending me a Savior of His flesh and blood. Not someone who never experienced what life was like on earth, but someone who lived it and could show me how to overcome this world by the power of His Word! Amen 

Prayer Based on Psalm 30

July 23 2020

Father I exalt You as my LORD, for You have rescued me. You refused to let my enemies conquer me. O LORD my God, I cried to You for help and You restored my health. You brought me up from the grave, O LORD. You kept me from falling into the pit of death. I praise You Father for all these wonderful things.

I sing praise to the LORD. Now I know why all Your godly ones sing praises Your holy name. For Your anger lasts only a moment, but Your favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning. Thank You Father for saving me.

When I depended on my wealth to save me I said in arrogance “Nothing can stop me now!” I thought Your favor, O LORD, made me as secure as a mountain. But I was wrong. When I didn’t honor You with my resources and acknowledge my blessing came because of You. You turned away from me and in an instant the wealth I counted on completely disappeared. Because I counted on my wealth to give me joy when the money was gone I was shattered with it.

I cried out to You in my despair, O LORD. Like my ancestor Job prayed for Your mercy I begged You for mercy too, saying, “What will You gain if I die, if I sink to the grave? Can my dust praise You? Can it tell of Your faithfulness? Hear me, Father, and have mercy on me. Help me, O LORD.”

And just like that You turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You took away my clothes of morning and clothed me with Your joy, that I might sing praises to You and not be silent. So I sing daily to You Father, even in the storms. O LORD my God, I will give You thanks forever and ever with every breathe I have I give glory to You! Amen     

Prayer Based on Psalm 29

July 22 2020

Father hear my prayer as I lift my voice to give honor to You. I honor the LORD for His glory and strength. I honor the LORD for the glory of His name. I worship You Father in the splendor of Your holiness.

I have heard the voice of the LORD echoes above the seas. The God of glory thunders when He speaks. The LORD thunders over the mighty seas. The voice of the LORD is powerful and majestic beyond anything I have heard. The voice of the LORD can split a mighty cedar tree. The LORD splinters the cedar as though it was a toothpick. My Father made people who thought they were mountains skip like a calf; He made Mount Hermon leap like a young wild ox.

Father, the sound of Your voice strikes with bolts of lightning. Your voice makes the barren wilderness shake. The LORD make the wilderness of Kadesh tremble with fear. The voice of the LORD can even twist a mighty oak. When He commands it He can cause the deer to writhe in labor bringing an animal to its knees if He wanted it to be so. His voice can strip a forest bare. And everyone who worships the LORD in His Temple rejoices with shouts of “Glory!” to see the new things be born.

Yes, the LORD rules over the floodwaters. The LORD reigns as King forever. It is the LORD that gives people strength and blesses them with peace each and every day. As my brother Jesus taught me, I praise You Father, giving glory to my God, my LORD forever and ever! Amen

Prayer Based on Psalm 28

July 21 2020

Father, I pray to You, O LORD, my rock. You have not turned a deaf ear to my prayers so I continue to lift my voice to You. For if You were silent, I would have given up and died at my enemies hands. But time and time again You listened to my prayers for mercy as I cried out to You for help, I lifted my hands toward Your holy sanctuary and You answered every prayer I spoke.

You did not drag me away with the wicked- with those who do evil deed- those who speak kind words to their neighbors while plotting evil in their hearts. You gave them the punishment they so richly deserved! You measured it out in proportion to their wickedness. You paid them back for all their evil deeds! You gave them a taste of what they had done to others. They reaped what they sowed for they mocked Your justice. They cared nothing for what the LORD had done or for what His hands had made. So You tore them down, so that they could never be rebuilt! I praise You for this LORD! For You heard my cry for mercy. You did not ignore my prayers.

Father you are my strength and shield. I trust in You with all my heart. You help me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving, lifting up Your holy name. Father I know that any strength I have comes from You because I was so weak when I came to You. You are a safe fortress for Your anointed king who lives in me. I know that You will save Your people! As You have done so many times before. Bless those who believe that You are real. I am your special possession, I am Your inheritance, the seed of fruit that comes from You. You lead them like a shepherd, and carry me in Your arms forever. For this I glorify Your name forever! Amen 

Prayer Based on Psalm 27

July 20 2020

Father, You are my light and my salvation- so why should be afraid of the things that happen in this world? You are my fortress protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble at the news or people? When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me, I know they will stumble and fall for You are with me. Though a mighty army surrounds me, I will remind my heart not to be afraid. I may feel fear but I will fight anyway. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident that You will save me. For You have shown me to live in on the earth to be Christ like and if I die it is to be with him so either way this is a victorious day.

The one thing I ask daily for Father- the thing I seek the most- is to live in Your house to be with my LORD every day of my remaining time on earth. I enjoy the time we spend together seeing the example of Your perfections and meditating in Your Temple. For You will conceal me in Your Word when there is trouble. You hide me in Your sanctuary so I need not fear. You have placed me out of reach on a high rock. I am seated and at rest beside You observing from afar.

I can hold my head up high above my enemies who surround me. In Your sanctuary I offer the sacrifices of thanksgiving with shouts of joy, singing and praising the LORD with music. You have heard me when I prayed O LORD. You have been merciful and answered me!

My heart heard You say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Father, I am returning to You.” You did not turn Your back on me. You did not reject me Your servant in anger by pushing me away instead You drew closer to me. For You have always been my helper even when I didn’t acknowledge You, You were there for me, watching and waiting for me to turn to You. You did not leave me here to live alone. You did not abandon me, O God for You are my salvation the One I turn to!

Even when my father abandoned me and You called my mother home, Father I know now it was so that You could hold me close. Raising me, teaching me how to live in this world and not be of it, O LORD, thank You for leading me along the right path. For You saw ahead and knew my enemies were waiting for me waiting to devour me thinking I was alone. You did not let me fall into their hands. For they accused me of things I’ve never done. They tried to convince I was good for nothing. With every breath they tried to tear me down not a single word they said built me up, encouraged me or counseled me in my distraught.

Yet I was confident it would be over soon that I would the LORD’s goodness see You come through for me while I am here in the land of the living. And You did Father, You came to my rescue as I waited patiently for the LORD. I will be brave and courageous like all my ancestors before and my brother Jesus taught me to. Yes, I will wait patiently for the LORD for He never fails or forsakes me. All glory to God, my Father and LORD forever and ever! Amen  

Prayer Based on Psalm 26

July 19 2020

Father, You have declared me innocent the moment I truly believed that You sent your son to intercede on my behalf, O LORD, You know that since then I have acted with integrity. I have trusted in You alone without wavering. You have put my faith on trial many times since, LORD, and cross-examine my ways to see if my faith is true. You tested my motives and saw my heart of intention. For I am constantly aware of Your unfailing love for me and I have vowed to live according to Your truth.

Since following You I no longer spend my time with liars or go along with hypocrites. I hate the gatherings of those who plot to do evil and I have refused to join them in their wickedness. I have been washed of all guilt and condemnation by keeping my eyes fixed on what Jesus did for me. So that by his wounds I can be made innocent before You. I come to Your altar, Father, singing songs of gratitude and telling anyone who would listen of all the wonders You have performed for me. I love Your sanctuary, LORD, the place where Your glorious presence dwells.

Because of my faith in Jesus I do not believe the devils lies that You will make me suffer the same fate of sinners. That You will not condemn me along with murderers. For Jesus already that price, he paid the penalty for my sins in full. Their hands have been made dirty with their evil schemes and they constantly sway their opinion based on popular belief. But I am no longer like that, I have been set apart to believe in You. I have been washed clean by the sacrifice Your precious son gave to me. I look to Your truth to show me what it means to live a life of integrity. No longer do I look to this world to show me how to live. For You have redeemed me and shown me great mercy. Now I stand on the solid ground of Your Word which is the firm foundation I stand on now and it never changes or shifts by popular opinion. I publicly praise You, My Father, My LORD. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen 

Prayer Based on Psalm 25

July 18 2020

Father, I give my life to You. I trust in You, my God! You have taught me that grace comes from you. Not this world. I do not rely on my enemies to give me grace so they can’t disgrace me or rejoice in my defeat. I fight from a place of victory not for it. Because I put my trust in You I cannot be disgraced because I know where my grace comes from. Disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others, who don’t know You. Who trick people into believing the lies that grace comes from men not You.

Show me the right path to take Father. Point out the road and make it clear for me to follow. Lead me by Your truth and teach me Father. For You are the only God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in You. I remember that You are the God of compassion and unfailing love. You have shown me and my ancestors this truth for more years than I can count. I beg you not to remember the rebellious sins I did before I knew You. Please remember me in the light of Your unfailing love. For You are merciful God, O LORD.

Father, You are good and do what is right. You showed me the proper path to go when I went astray. You lead in doing what was right when I humbled myself and made You the LORD of my life. You taught me Your ways. You lead me with unfailing love and faithfulness and showed me that all who you’re Your covenant obey what You tell them to do. Your Word was not just meant to be read but applied.

For the honor of Your name, Father, forgive my many, many sins. Because I have chosen to fear only You, You have shown me the path I should choose. I live in prosperity and my children will inherit the land. I am no longer Your enemy separated from You by my evil actions, You treat me as a friend. You have taught me the countless promises You made to mankind things to look for and expect from those who serve You. My eyes are always in Your Word for You have rescued me from this world and the traps that my enemies meant for me to stumble on.

You have turned to me and had mercy on me. You saw me when I was alone and in deep distress. And You reached out and comforted me. When my problems went from bad to worse You were there protecting me. You saved me from all of my struggles! You felt my pain and saw my troubles. You forgave all my sins. You saw how many enemies I had and how viciously they hated me! But through it all You protected me! You rescued my life from them! You did not let me be disgraced, for in You I took refuge. Now integrity and honesty protect me. For I put my hope in You, Father. You ransomed me because I believed You could and You did not fail me. All glory to God my Father who showed me grace by sending His son for me. All glory to God for being my refuge in trouble, my protector in times of weakness and sorrow. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen   

Prayer Based on Psalm 24

July 17 2020

Father, the earth is Yours and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to You. For You laid the earth’s foundation on the seas and built it on the ocean depths. When I step outside and look at my surroundings all I see is Your hand in everything You made.

Who may climb to the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in Your holy place? Is it only those whose hands and hearts have been pure since birth. I used to think that way that’s why I never came to You. Is it only those who never worshipped the things in this world and never told a single lie? Are they the only ones allowed to stand in Your presence? I used to think they were the only ones that were blessed by You. Who had a right relationship with God their savior. I didn’t see You sent a savior for me.

But You said in Your Word that no one is sin less in Your eyes and if they are they are lying because that would mean they don’t need You. If merit alone could save us why would we need saving? Faith is what is required as for everyone else thank God for Jesus! Because without him I dare not come to this mountain. I dare not stand beside You if my brother isn’t standing with me.

His blood made my hands pure, his sacrifice warmed my cold heart and breathed his life into me to make me pure. He gave me his strength to turn away from the weak and useless things of this world and follow in His steps by turning to You. He opened my eyes to see Your truth so that I could stand in Your presence. Because of him I am blessed beyond anything I could have imagined. Because of him I have a right relationship with You and for that I thank You Father, for sending my savior so that I could be near You. Because of Jesus I am free to seek You and worship in Your presence without a single fault not because I don’t have any but because He bore them for me. If I am alive on earth it is proof that I have not reached perfection, I am being perfected just like everyone else too. This is not our home because the ruler of this world is not You.

I love that You are the God of Jacob. My ancestor whose Hebrew name means deceiver. I know this well because before coming to Jesus I was a deceiver too. Yet You were His God too not the God of a perfect sinless man but the God of a man whose heart was right with You. He fought all night for a blessing from You. And just before dawn You changed His name to Israel because He fought with both men and even struggled to believe in You and You said he won. His faith was made true. If he didn’t believe it he would have given up but he kept holding on to You no matter what.

You renamed him Israel because it means God fights. There was a time You fought against me too because my evil actions separated me from You but now You fight for me. So when I see that “You are the God of Jacob”. It serves to remind me that You are the God of imperfect people like my ancestor was. You are my God because like Jacob I too once fought against You and now You fight for me, with me.

Open up, this heart of stone! Open up, reveal to me anything that keeps me from trusting in You, and let the King of glory enter in my life, make Your presence known to me. Who is the King of glory? The LORD, who is both strong and mighty. The LORD who is invincible in battle as my brother said For who is powerful enough to enter the house of a strong man like Satan and plunder his goods? Only someone even strong- someone who could tie him up and then plunder his house…someone greater than the one that lives in this world. Yes break open this heart of mine to receive You! Open this my closed mind to believe You and let the King of glory enter in me. Who is the King of glory? The LORD of Heaven’s Armies the God who created the sun, the moon, the stars, the sky, the clouds, the earth, everything and everyone in it - He is my King of glory who sent his son so that I might know who He was too. All glory to You Oh God, my Father, the LORD of my Lord, the King of my king forever and ever! Amen  

Prayer Based on Psalm 23

July 16 2020

Father, You are my shepherd, You watch over me. You have given me everything I need to live a godly life in an ungodly world among a majority of those who don’t follow You. I need nothing this world can offer me that doesn’t come from You. I find my rest in peaceful place that You lead me to. My day begins and ends with You and I take peaceful paths untroubled by fear, stress, worry. My faith is firmly on You. Your Words renew my strength daily. You know how weak I was without You. The shell of a person I was that this world had left me. I completely rely on You to refresh me daily. You guide me along the right paths to walk. My victory over each day fills me with praise to give honor to Your name.

Even at times in my life when You allow me to walk through a human experience that I have never been through before a time of uncertainty this I am certain that each hour that ticks by I do not walk in fear of the unknown because You have made Yourself known to me. It fills me with courage to know that You are close beside me I do not walk alone.

Your rod keeps my eyes fixed steady on the straight path. I am not a tree where I am planted and have no choice but to be where I am I can easily get up and move or if I am in a bed or a cell I can easily fix my thoughts on You and Your Word so that I do not waver from left to right I am not easily swayed by the things this world says trying to instill fear on me the only one I should fear is You. I do not veer off the lane You have assigned to run distracted by worldly things this human race is between you and I not the person I run beside.

Your staff protects and comforts me when I struggle to take another step I use to say life can be so hard to live, I used to pray that You would draw my breath but then I looked to Jesus who took every pain staking step for me and I know that Your staff is there to help me to know that this is the way of life for every living soul.

You prepare a feast for me with all my enemies present to watch. You bless me, protect me, provide for me and comfort me what more could anyone want from this life. I am sure it fills my enemies with jealousy and rage to see me get up and still take my place to stand with You, still take my seat at the table and sit beside You, feasting on the good gifts You have given to me for all the struggles I have had to endure that this world plotted for me to fail. Double is my portion You said for every trial this world puts me through to get me to believe in it not in You. My brother taught me the enemy comes only to steal my hope, kill my faith, and destroy my love for You but You sent him to prove and to be my example that I am well able to live a rich and satisfying life apart from the things of this world.

You honor me by pouring out Your Spirit and anointing my head with the oil so that it covers me from head to toe. When I look more closely the cup of my life has overflowed with blessings everywhere I go. Thank You Father for every good and perfect thing that has come from Your hand to mine. You did not leave me alone to rot in this world. I know that Your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life on this earth even on days I can’t see it clearly, I wake and watch for it. I wait for You to do the miraculous and wonderous things only You can do. I live to study Your Word draw near to You, to hear Your truth speaking encouragement, comfort and counsel and to remind me of every promise You have spoken over me, to worship You LORD forever. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen 

Prayer Based on Psalm 22

July 15 2020

Father, there have been times in my life that I have felt like You had abandoned me for the wicked I had done. Like You were far away when I groaned for help from the consequences of my evil actions. Every day I called out to You, my God, but I do not hear You answer. I knew that every night You heard my voice, but still I found no relief from my worry, my stress, my struggle whatever it was that I was dealing with that I could not endure.

Yet still I know that You are holy. That You reside in the praises of those who believe You are with us. My ancestors trusted in You and You rescued them. They cried out to You and You saved them. They trusted in You and were never disgraced. Like them I put my trust in You, I cry out to You and I know that You will come to my rescue. I will not be disgraced because You have taught me that my grace comes from You not from what human think of me or say or do to me. Humans have no power to take away what they did not give they cannot take grace away. Grace comes from Your son.

I am reminded in the story of his crucifixion that the enemy mistreated my brother as though he was a worm not even human so why should I expect to be treated any less being from the same family. He was scorned and despised by all! Everyone who saw him mocked him for believing that You were His Father that He came from You. I consider myself blessed to be counted in the same company as him it just serves to confirm that I am of You.

The enemy sneered and shook their heads, saying, “Is this the one who relies on the LORD? Then let the LORD save him! If the LORD loves him so much, let the LORD rescue him!” and You did Father and they shook no longer from disbelief they trembled with fear because he spoke truth, You rescued him from death. I know that You are the same God yesterday, today and tomorrow. You are the same God that saves His children from that which is meant to destroy them. They can have this body but the soul will go to the One who gave it.

You sent me safely through my mother’s womb. You led me to trust in You in the way that You watched over me, provided for and protected me all my life even when I choose not to turn to You. I was thrust into Your arms at birth when I was abandoned by my father on the earth. You became my Father at birth. You did not stay so far from me, for when trouble was near and there was no one else to help me You appeared throughout my life. I know that I wouldn’t be here today had it not been for Your presence in my life.

The world was against me from the start, it surrounded me like vultures eager to tear me apart; fiercely ripping away at my confidence and dignity! I call my enemy lions because in a world that continually speak lies and hates the truth it roared and teared away at my self-esteem apart till I believed the biggest lie that I was not Yours. How could someone steeped in sin be worthy enough to claim to be Your child.

My life was nothing when I came to You. I wept from sorrow and self-pity at the way of life I was given. Illness made me ache to the bone. Bitterness, hatred and rage melted any goodness in my heart if there was any to be found. I had no strength to stand up for myself. My tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth so I couldn’t even defend myself. I laid in the dust, left for dead waiting for this wretched way of life to end.

My enemies surrounded me like a pack of dogs; evil closed in on me eager to use me. And that is when You brought me to the foot of the cross, you made me to see how the people of this world pierced my brothers’ hands and feet. How they starved him till you could see his bones. And his enemies just stared and gloated at this spectacle of a man that called You his Father. They divided up his garments among themselves and threw dice to decide who would take his royal robe. Yet still to the very end He cried out to You and so do I. I know that I am nothing without You God. You are the only reason I am alive today. If I take a single breathe the God who has the power to withdraw it is the same God who has the Sovereignty to allow it.

As my own brother thought on the cross, “O Father, do not stay so far away! You are my strength; come quickly to my aid! Save me from the sword; spare my precious life from these dogs. Snatch me from the lion’s jaws and from the horns of theses wild oxen.”

My brother taught me to proclaim Your name to all who follow his footsteps, the path he laid. And like him I praise You among anyone who would has the ears to hear and the eyes to see. I give praise to the LORD, He is the only one whom I fear. Fear that I might miss out on the life my brother died to give, fear that I will die to this life and never had the courage to live it. I honor Him with the very life He gives to me. Just like my ancestor Jacob. I show Him reverence, just like my ancestors whom He fought for. For He has not ignored or thought little of my suffering when I was in need He helped me to endure. He has not turned His back on me. He has heard my cries for help just as He did for them He will do for me.

I praise You Father in front of everyone I know. Like my brother taught me I will fulfill the vow I made to You to those who also call on You. The poor in Spirit will eat of Your Word and be satisfied. All who seek the LORD will praise Him as I do. Their hearts will rejoice with a joy that cannot be taken because they will come to know that You are indeed with us. The whole earth will acknowledge the LORD and return to Him. All His chosen ones will bow down before Him. For royal power does not come from humans it comes from the LORD. He rules over all people.

Let those whose Spirit comes from the LORD feast on His good gifts and give thanks to the LORD, by bowing before Him and acknowledging that every good and perfect thing we have comes from You Father. May every mortal, whose physical life will end in dust, even our children serve You alone. It is an honor to tell future generations about the wonders of the LORD, the miracles He performed for us and it begins with the first son He sent to be our example of how to be a human being in this world and not be of it. His righteous acts will be told to those not yet born. And when they hear about everything his son did for them so that they might have a rich and satisfying life they will remember who their true Creator is, who their true Father is and like their brother they will know they were sent from heaven, not thrown out of it. All glory to God, my Father, My LORD who poured out His Spirit to us through Jesus forever and ever! Amen    

Prayer based on Psalm 21

July 14 2020

Father, how I rejoice in Your strength, O LORD! I shout with joy because You give me victory. For you have given me my heart’s desire. You have withheld nothing I requested. You welcomed me back with success and prosperity. You have placed a crown of knowledge, wisdom and understanding on my head.

I asked you to preserve my life, and You granted my request. The days of my life stretch forever because my life is found in Your Word. Your victory brings me great honor, and You have clothed me with splendor and majesty. You have endowed me with eternal blessings and have given me the joy of living in Your presence. Thank You, Father!

For I trust in the LORD. The unfailing love of the Most High has kept me from stumbling. You captured all Your enemies. Your strong right hand seized all who hated You. You threw them in the flaming furnace when You appeared. The LORD consumed them in His anger, Your fire devoured them. You wiped their children from the face of the earth so that they would never have descendants. Although they plot against You, Father their evil schemes will never succeed. For they will turn and run when they see Your arrows aimed at them.

Rise up, Father, in all Your power. Each day with music and singing I celebrate the mighty things You have done for me. All glory to You God forever and ever! Amen

Prayer based on Psalm 20

July 13 2020

Father when I go through times of trouble, I know that You answer my cry because You have done so many times before. Because You have answered in my past I cry out to You still now. I still hold onto the hope that You will answer me again. So that even when I am not in trouble I will take my eyes off my needs for You know every one and I will say a pray for those I love.

May the name of the God of my ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob keep my loved ones safe from all harm. May God send them help from His sanctuary and strengthen them by giving them His peace in their minds and peace in their hearts. May He remember all their gifts and look favorably on the things they have freely given up.

May He grant their heart’s desires and make all their plans succeed as He has been so faithful to me. I will shout for joy when I hear of their victory and together we will raise up a victory banner in the name of our God. May the LORD answer all their prayers each single one.

I know that the LORD rescues for He rescued Jesus, His anointed king. He answered him from his holy heaven and rescued him by His great power. That is why I pray to our Father who rescued my brother from the grave, surely He will rescue us from anything for He has shown me that even death has no power over Him. Some people boast of their armies and weapons, but I boast in the name of the LORD my God. Those people will fall down and collapse, but I will rise up and stand firm. For my God gave victory to Jesus so that I could be victorious in His name! Our God is faithful to answer our cries for help. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen

Prayer Based on Psalm 19

July 12 2020

Father, each day when I wake to the sunrise or go outside at night to notice the moon and stars they remind me of how great and awesome You are. When I draw a deep breathe from the vast blue sky and white clouds high above it reminds me that You called them into existence just as You called me. Day after day these forces of nature speak loud and clear. Night after night they serve to make You known. They speak without a sound or word, yet their voice is heard throughout the world and seen by every human being who lifts their eyes to look up. I never bothered to notice them before until the day I noticed You working in my life.

You have made a home in the heavens for Your bright morning star. It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after His wedding welcoming the new day dawning. It can’t wait to get this day started, like a great athlete eager to run the race. The sun rises at one end of the heavens and follows its course to the other end. Just as our lives are lived from our first to our last breath. If I should be blessed to live 75 years it is already past noon according to my clock the sun in my life is now making its way down from the heat of the day. I know that no single day in my life shall pass without Your preapproval the sun reminds me of that.

Father, Your instructions are perfect they are meant to revive my soul. Your decrees are trustworthy, You made them simple for me to follow. Your commandments are right, they bring joy to my heart to know that You never wanted anything from me You only wanted what was good for me.

Your commands are clear, they gave me insight daily for how to live in this world and not be of it. My utmost respect for You is pure and as lasting as I am. Your laws are true, each one is fair. They are not too much to ask of me or too hard for me to follow. It is possible to live without feeling the need to lie, steal, cheat or cause harm to others when I live for You. This way of life is more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. Because no one can buy what you offer a life of live, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control. These fruits of the Spirit lived life are sweeter than honey, even fresh honey dripping from the comb. It is greater to give these fruits than to receive them. Blessed is the giver of these things.

How can I know the darkness that lurks in my heart? Father by the blood of Your son You have cleansed me from my hidden faults and shined a light so that I would know what my sins are. You keep me from deliberate sin knowing that You are with me, I am not alone! Sin no longer has control me with Your help I have self-control. I live free of guilt and condemnation, innocent of great sins against You. I can now enjoy Your companionship once again rather than live apart from You in shame. May the words I say and the things I think about be pleasing to You Father and the spirit of Your son who lives in me now, You are my rock and my redeemer it is because of both of You that I can live for today. All glory to God my Father who sent His Son to be my Savior! Amen    

Prayer Based on Psalm 18

July 11 2020

Father, I love You. You are the only reason I have strength to keep getting up each day. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my savior; my God is the rock I look to for protection. He is my shield, the power that save me, and my place of safety. I called on the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and He saved me from the negative thoughts and people who confirmed my thoughts I see now those things had the sole purpose of destroying me.

Many times in my life I felt like ropes of death were choking me. Floods of destruction swept over me trying to extinguish me. The grave wanted nothing more than to welcome me. Death laid a trap so that I would stumble and fall into it. But when I thought I was finished when I thought I couldn’t go I cried out to the LORD. Yes, I lifted my hands and voice and prayed to my God for help. He heard me from His sanctuary. My cry to Him reached His ears.

I imagine the earth quaked and trembled knowing that my Father was coming. It was as if the foundations of the mountains shook. For they knew they were in trouble they had experienced His anger before and knew He would not be pleased that the place He created for me was nothing less than welcoming.

If my Father were a dragon I would imagine that smoke would pour from His nostrils at the cry of His child. Fierce flames would leap from His mouth to destroy anything that treated me with contempt. His eyes would look like glowing coals blazed forth from Him. He opened the sky like a curtain and came down to earth; dark storm clouds were beneath His feet. I used to be afraid of the rain but now I know it is my Father visiting checking to see that His children are well in the place He created for them.

I imagine my Father appearing mounted on a bird with great wings. He soars on the wings of the wind He created. My Father shrouds Himself in darkness, veiling His approach with dark rain clouds. Thick clouds shield the brightness that surrounds Him and He rains down hail and lightning to clear the path for His approach.

The LORD thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded amid the hail and lightening. He shot His arrows and scattered His enemies, those who oppose Him and His children; His lightning flashed, and they were greatly confused. Then at Your command, Father, at the blast of Your breath, all my emotions the fear, the dread, the stress, the worry disappeared like ocean waves revealing the bottom of sea and foundations of the earth were laid bare. My mind became clear and I remembered who I was and why I am here.

You reached down from heaven and rescued me; You pulled me out of deep waters with Your mighty hand. You rescued me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me.

They attacked me at a moment when I was weak. But the LORD supported me. He led me to a firm foundation where I need not be shaken. He rescued me because He delights in me. The LORD rewarded me for doing what was right. He restored me because of my innocence.

For I have kept the ways of the LORD; I have not turned from God to follow what is evil. I have followed all His regulations. Since coming to know Him I have not abandoned His decrees. Through the blood of Jesus I am blameless before God. I have kept myself from intentional sin. The LORD rewarded me for doing right. He has seen my innocence.

Father, to the faithful You show Yourself faithful. To those with integrity You show integrity. To the pure You show Yourself pure, but to the wicked You show Yourself hostile. Before knowing You I was fearful of punishment for the things I had done I didn’t want to know You because I was afraid because I didn’t know what You would do to me, surely nothing short of death is what I deserve but You revealed to me Your son.

You rescued me when I fell at Your feet, but when I acted as though I was my own god You humiliated me. You light a lamp for me. The LORD, my God, lights up my darkness this light helps me to see that I am not as good as it gets there still is work to be done in me.

In Your strength I can overcome my weakness. With my God I can face the things I thought I could never do. Your way is perfect Father I was foolish for doubting You. I know that all the LORD’s promises prove true because He has proven them to me. He is my shield when I finally looked to Him for protection. For who is God except the LORD? Who but God is a solid rock? God arms me with strength, and He makes my way perfect. He creates a path for my life so that I can walk with confidence knowing my God is with me. He helps me climb out of the valley and reach mountain tops so that I can see how great my God is. He trains my hands for battle. Gives me the words to speak. He strengthens my internally to defeat my external enemies. Father, You have given me Your shield of victory. Your right hand supports me. It is Your help that has made me great. You have made a wide path for my feet to keep them from slipping.

I stopped running from things that scared me and turned around and chased my enemies. I was relentless and did not stop until they were all conquered. I struck them down so they could not get up. They fell beneath my feet. For my Father has given me His strength He has armed me with strength for the battle of getting up every day. He has subdued my enemies under my feet so that I can easily defeat them. He has placed my foot on their necks and I have destroyed all who hated me.

They called for help, but no one came to their rescue. They even thought they could cry to the LORD, but He refused to answer because He knew their hearts did not believe He would come. I ground them up as fine as dust in the wind. They no longer mattered to me. No longer existed. I swept them into the gutter like the dirt they were created from. My Father has given me victory over my accusers. He has appointed me ruler over many; people I didn’t know before now serve me. As soon as they hear of all that God has done for me, they submit; cringe before me. My enemies have lost their courage and come trembling because their weakness has been exposed and I am not afraid of them anymore. What can mere people do.

I will shout “The LORD lives! Praise to my Rock! May the God of my salvation be exalted! He is the God who pays back those who harm me. He subdues the people under me and rescues me from my enemies.” Father, You hold me safe beyond the reach of my enemies. You save me from violent opponents so that no one raises their hand to me.

This is why I praise the LORD. I praise God among many people. I sing praises to His name. He gives great victories to His chosen king. He kept His promise to show unfailing love to His anointed one, to David and to all his descendants forever. All Glory to God forever and ever! Amen

Prayer Based on Psalm 17

July 10 2020

Father, hear my plea for justice. Listen to my cry for help. Pay attention to my prayer, for it comes from honest lips. Declare me innocent, for You see those who do right.

You have tested the thoughts that keep me up at night and examined my heart while I slept. You have scrutinized me and found nothing wrong. I am determined not to sin in what I say like my ancestors who complained in the desert for 40 years. Even complaints about my situation could keep You from bringing me out of this. I will not sin by what I say. I have followed Your commands, which keep me from following cruel and evil people. My steps have stayed on Your path, the path You set before me. I have not wavered from following You. Each day I wake trusting in your Word and seeking You.

I am praying to You because I know You will answer, Father. In the past I spoke to myself but now that I know You live in me, I bring my request to You and make them known. Bend down and listen as I pray. Show me Your unfailing love in wonderful ways.

I know that by Your power You rescue those who seek refuge from their enemies. Guard me as You would guard Your own eye because You live in me You see what I see. Hide me Father in the shadow of Your wings.

Protect me from wicked people who attack me, from enemies that try to destroy me who surround me day and night. They are without pity without mercy. Because you live in me I know that Your hear the things they tell me. Listen to their boasting! They track me down and surround me, watching for the chance to throw me to the ground. To defeat me with doubt, discouragement and lies. They don’t seek to encourage or build me up only to tear me down. You called the enemy a lion looking to devour anyone whose thoughts aren’t set on You. They are like hungry lions, eager to tear me apart- like young lions hiding in ambush waiting for my faith to fail, my hope to falter.

But I cry out to You “Arise, O LORD! Stand against them and bring them to their knees! Rescue me from the wicked with Your sword which is the Word of God as You have taught me!” By the power of Your hand, O LORD, destroy those who look to this world for their reward. Father in the past Your have satisfied me and I know that even now You will satisfy the hunger of Your treasured ones. May my children have plenty because I will leave them an inheritance to be passed down from generation to generation unlike the emptiness that was handed down to me. Because You are the righteousness in me, I know that I will see You in this place. When I awake, I will see You face to face and be satisfied that You are with me. All Glory to God the Father who sent his son of heaven to the earth! Amen   

Prayer Based on Psalm 16

July 9 2020

Father, keep me safe, O God, for I have come to You alone for refuge. I said to the LORD, “You are my Master! I know that every good thing I have comes from You.” For You have said every good and perfect things come from You Father. I trust in You. It is the godly people in this land that are the real heroes! I take pleasure in the things they do!

Troubles multiply for those who chase after other gods. I know because trouble chased after me for thirty plus years when You were not my God. But not anymore, now I refuse to take part by giving of my breathe, my body, my work, my time, my resources to those empty things or even speak the names of their gods.

Father, You alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine. I look around and see that this land You have given to me is indeed a pleasant land. Thank You Father for this wonderful inheritance! I bless the LORD who guides my every move; even at night my heart instructs me to follow Your will. I know the LORD is always with me. I am not shaken by my circumstances for God is right beside me.

No wonder my heart is glad, and I shout continual praise to You. My body rests in safety for You have given me the peace of mind and heart this world cannot give. For no matter what happens to this body on the earth You will not leave my soul among the dead for You gave it to me and it will return to the One who gave it. You will not allow Your holy one to rot in the grave. The flesh will turn from the dust it came but the Spirit will rise. Through Your son You have shown how to live the way of life by Your truth and because I live for You, You fill me with a joy that doesn’t come from this world. The joy I have comes from knowing that I live in Your presence. All glory to God my Father forever and ever! Amen

Prayer Based on Psalm 15

July 8 2020

Father, these words were written before Your son came and tore the curtain to Your sanctuary in two. I used to think the only way I could be allowed to speak to You was if I was perfect. And we both know I was far from it when You called. I used to believe that the only people You wanted in Your presence was the ones who had been saved since birth. I thought I had to lead a blameless life and always do what was right. Or maybe it is only people who spoke the truth from sincere hearts and because You already know everything about me than You also know how often I have lied. I thought that if I refused to gossip or harm my neighbors or speak evil of my friends then maybe I would be allowed to speak to You. If I hated flagrant sinners and honored Your faithful followers perhaps maybe you could love me too. If I kept my promises even the ones I didn’t feel like keeping because it was inconvenient or cost more than what I was willing to give maybe then I could have a word with You. If ever in my own life I lent money without charging interest or did not take a bribe to lie about the innocent maybe, then I could have a seat with You. I thought, surely my Father only loves people who live this way they will stand firm forever. Sadly, I looked over my life and the first thing I thought was that I wasn’t good enough. I am guilty of all these things and the only saving grace I have on earth is that You sent Your son for not just me but everyone who fell short of Your glory. Even still I am not always perfect, but I am willing to be perfected. When I finally returned to You and humbled myself to ask for the help to be like Your son not the person I was. You said in Your Word that nothing I could ever do or not do reconcile me to You the only way was to believe that Your son did that for me. Because of his experience he made it possible for me to even believe that I could counted myself as righteous not because I am but because he is. If there is any righteousness in me now it is because the LORD is my righteousness. Not by anything I have done or did not do. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen

Prayer Based on Psalm 14

July 7 2020

Father when I think of about who I was before You gave me an awareness of You, before I made up my mind to return to You. When I thought I was the god of my life, I was in control better said out of control of my life. When I used my free will to see what my life was like apart from You I was such a fool to think for a moment to believe for a second in my heart that “There is no God.”

You are right to say I was corrupt, and all my actions were evil. You speak truth when You say I didn’t do a single good thing for others unless it was to serve myself. Unless the people I was being good to could pay me back. In a world that taught me if I scratch your back you’ll scratch mine. I learned that even when I was good to people, even when I did good to people who didn’t know You or acknowledge You who had the ability to choose to be good to me they always chose the lower path.

They back stabbed me at every opportunity they got. They cheated and lied if they knew they couldn’t get caught. There was no integrity, no morality, no self-control in people who are their own gods because the truth is there is no good to be found in them. Goodness is a fruit of the Spirit that comes from God, when it comes from what this world has taught it is not good, good is a weapon used to manipulate it is self-serving not selfless.

Father I know that when You look down from heaven on the entire human race, You search the hearts of everyone to see if there is anyone whose heart is true, a heart that is wise is a heart that seeks after You. And I know that You are looking. I know that You hear and see every deed we do whether hidden or in broad daylight.

But what You find instead of good is many who have used their free will to turn away from You, live apart from You. And in doing like myself, they have corrupted their eyes, ears, mind and hardened their hearts and have made themselves useless to doing what is good.

I thank God You pulled me out of my darkness into the awareness of Your presence that You shook me up when just moments after committing sin You said to me “What are you doing?” I knew well and good what I just did when I lived my life apart from You. My rule was if it felt good it was good, if it tasted good it was good and I had my fill of it. I deliberately woke each day to see what I could get away with. When You saw me I only confirmed Your truth “No one does good, not a single one!” Not even me and to think before Your truth I thought I was a pretty good person.

You must have thought when will those who do evil ever learn? They devour my good people like they are feasting at a buffet thinking if I take what is good from people it might give me the ability to do good myself. They don’t know that goodness comes from Me because they don’t know Me or would even think of praying to Me. Asking me what is good, how they can do good things.

Instead they read self help books and watch worthless people who say I know how to make you good. Even my son said “Only God is truly good.” My son knew that even if he was good it wasn’t because humans are good it was because I was The Good in him. So now fear will grip these humans. Fearful of getting caught, fearful of losing everything they built, everything they worked for because it wasn’t acquired from a good heart.

I know that God is only with those who obey Him. Darkness and light can’t co exist. You either have good in you that comes from God or you do not. It took me a long time to learn that if I was doing good it had to be with people I knew couldn’t even begin to repay my kindness because it wouldn’t be in their hearts to do so. I knew that a goodness that was from God did not just happen in order to get from people it came from an overflow of what God had given to me.

I see in this world how those with wickedness in their hearts wake up each day to frustrate the plans of the oppressed those that are already weak. Thinking to themselves how can I do bad things to good people and get away with it. How can I steal their hope, crush their faith, take what goodness remains, to teach them not to trust anyone let alone me. But I also know that the LORD will protect His people. Evil things may happen to God’s people but God will always bring good from them. He will use what was meant for harm for their good. And what was meant to harm will only cause God’s people to believe in Him even more. Their faith will abound.

I know this because He sent His son to rescue those who sought after God who sought to believe that He is real and we are His creation not people of this world. The LORD sent Jesus to restore His people to Him. To give us a living example of someone who lived to do good, who was good, and who did good things for people who could never pay him back for the things he did and like many of us experience in this world. The world took that goodness and kindness and devoured it thinking by killing him they could kill the message of hope that it is possible for a human being to Be good, Be kind, Be loving, Be gentle, Be peaceful, Be joyful, and wait patiently for God to act in a world that is none of these things.

Both our ancestors and descendants of Jacob shouted with joy at his arrival and every single person who believed that God is real and He did not abandon His people to be governed by the wicked alone rejoiced because even death did not destroy the light. It made it brighter and there was good to be found in this world because God is good in me. All glory, honor, praise and power are Yours forever and ever Father! Amen   

Prayer Based on Psalm 13

July 6 2020

In case You haven’t noticed the pattern, I have started to pray through Psalms because I feel like I have been speaking the same prayer every single day. To be honest I got bored with my prayer life. I just completed a bible study a few weeks ago that challenged to pray using Scripture. Speak the Word back to God. And I have to say it has made me think, made me to remember a time when I didn’t have God in my life.

So each day I take a Psalm and recall the things God has pulled me out from. I enjoy how David prays. He tells God from a human perspective how he feels in not so many words before he ends each prayer with what he knows- the hope and remembrance that God is greater than these things.

My enemy isn’t the people of this world. I am my own worst enemy. The enemy is in me. I set the boundaries in myself that prevent me from rising higher. What I forbid is forbidden and if I tell myself I can’t do something the odds are pretty high I won’t. I am the only one who can smooth talk myself into sin just as quickly as I can talk myself out of it.

I learned that the words I speak to myself are greater than any words people have spoken over me. When I take and repeat to myself what people have said to me I believe the worst of me but when I take what God has said over me and repeat that I can conquer giants, scale walls, overcome anything and everything.

Daily I fight the enemies of defeat, doubt, discouragement, depression, denial, deceit, distraction from my purpose. Daily I do battle and take captive my thoughts. I train them to keep my eyes fixed on His Word. John said the Word became flesh well guess what I bleed red too.

Jesus is the living breathing example of what a life could look like if we fixed our eyes not on our outward circumstance but on God. So I wake with gratitude when I want to complain. When I want to dwell on a past I no longer live in anymore, when I want to lay in bed and groan and moan about how I feel I fix my eyes on His Word through devotionals.

When I look in the mirror and feel as bad as I look I turn to the reminder of every single good thing I can think of to be grateful for. My book of remembrance is long my monument is covered with many stones. Each one representing a time when God did for me, what God gave to me, What God is doing in my life.

When there are things in my day that need to be done but I don’t “feel” like doing, I do them anyway and I sing praises to God that I am well able to do them. I celebrate my strength. I celebrate this gift of life God has given to me.

And when I could sit and think about all that is missing in my life how I wish it could be different I stop thinking of myself and I think of every person God has put in my life who doesn’t know Him. I think of family members who are cursed to walk this earth alone apart from God. I think of friends of faith who easily forget Him. I think of neighbors who live close and far. I even think of my sons’ friends. I pray blessings and coverings of protection, I pray for wisdom and favor and healing and wholeness.

And when all is said and done I pray to God for myself and for now it is through the book of Psalms. Because prayer is the most powerful thing I have. Words have power. Whether spoken to yourself or aloud and the most important voice I want to hear is nothing that this world would say to me I want to know what God has to say. Matthew 22:29, Mark 12:24

O Father, when I cannot feel Your presence with me it feels as though You have forgotten about me. But then I think this can’t be true, because I would never forget I have a son no matter what he has done or is doing my son he still is, he will always be.

A day without the awareness of Your presence feels like eternity. When I can’t hear Your Words I think where have You gone You said You are with me but I don’t’ feel You. When what I am dealing with requires a strength, endurance and perseverance that I know I don’t have. It is as though my soul is crying out in anguish like I am giving birth but not to a child to something new in my life.

When the sorrow for a loss makes me to believe my heart will stop beating, when it is too great I want it to stop. I look to You. Yet without Your Word to console me I hear nothing. Without Your Word to encourage me I see nothing. And every day I wake up it’s the same thing different day without Your Word because Your Word speaks life over me.

When I let myself believe the lies the enemy has spoken over me convinced me of that what the enemy has said is greater than Gods Word. That there is no God. That He will not save me. Father I turn to Your Word and I answer these lies with Your truth, for You are my Creator, my Maker, my LORD, my God! The clay is not greater than the Potter.

Restore the sparkle to my eyes I once knew when I lived to please You not people, to know You not this world. When I walked beside You on smooth paths near quite streams, where nothing and no one mattered to me but You. I know this flesh will die to this world that this dust will return to the dust it came from but my soul is Yours, You created it, You breathed life into it when I returned to You. I was dead to You once but now I am alive.

Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying “We have defeated him!” That last enemy I face is death but my life has already been won and if the worst that can happen to me is physical death well Your son proved it has no power or victory over me. I live for You in death or in life, this side of heaven or that side, my only will is Your will for me so if You want to pull me from this place that your son said Satan is the ruler of I say Let’s go!

There is nothing I cling to in this life that is more important than You. Don’t’ let my enemies rejoice at my downfall. For I put my trust in Your unfailing love for me. I rejoice as I have done so many times over in this life because You have rescued me, You will continue to rescue me because I have placed my confidence in Your truth not the enemies lies. I will respond to my enemies by singing praises to the LORD because You have been, You are and You will be so good to me. All Glory to God forever and ever! Amen

Prayer Based on Psalm 12

July 5 2020

Father, Help! I look around and see everyone I knew who claimed to live by faith in You quickly disappearing! Your faithful ones are living in hiding as though they have vanished from the earth! I see people lie to each other without remorse, they speak compliments to gain confidence yet lie with deceit in their hearts I know they care nothing for me. May the LORD quiet their lips and silence their boasting. They foolishly think to themselves “I can lie to my hearts’ content. My lips are my own I can say anything I want - who can stop me?” Their words are weapons they use to tear down not build up.

Father I know You are the same God yesterday, today and tomorrow I have heard You respond and reply to those who love to live a lie “I have seen the violence done to the helpless, and I have heard the groans of the poor. Now I will rise up to rescue them, as they have longed for Me to do.”

Father, throughout You Word you have given countless examples and throughout my own life I know that when You speak a promise it comes from a heart that is pure with Words that speak truth. You are not human, You cannot, You do not lie as humans do. Like silver is refined in a furnace Your Words are clear. Your truth never changes. It has been purified over the ages of time to prove their value and worth over and over again to each new generation and it has not failed.

Therefore, LORD, I know that You will protect the oppressed, preserving them from generation to generation from each lying generation that is raised by the ruler of this world, the father of lies. Even though we have been sent to live in a land filled with the wicked who strut about as though they own the land. Praised for the evil things they do as though they are gods. We know there is only One God.

You have taught us we are not of this land. You saw to it to send each of us at such a time as this, to save the lost, to free the captives and remind those who have forgotten who their true Maker is and where they come from. Jesus called Satan the ruler of this world. He said I am not of this world and neither are we. Our Kingdom is not of this world our ruler is God alone who created the land. We may live in it but we are certainly not of it and for that we can be grateful. All glory to God our Father forever and ever! Who sent His son to shine the light of truth in our minds and in our hearts and know that we serve a God who sees and hears and has acted on our behalf. Amen! 

Prayer Based on Psalm 11

July 4 2020

Father I trust in You for protection, so why do unbelievers try to frighten me by saying things like “Run for your safety and hide! The wicked are strategizing ways to attack you. They will come without warning after those whose hearts are turned toward You. I should be afraid because the foundations of law and order have collapsed. What can you do?” Unmoved by threats I know that the LORD, my God lives in this holy Temple; the LORD is still in complete control of my life and if He allows things to happen like the story of Joseph and Job things that are meant for my harm God will cause for my good. He is the One whose law I follow whose order rules over me and that has not collapsed. My Father is the God of justice who has said over and over I need not fear anyone only God Himself. For He watches everyone closely, examining every single person on earth. I know this because there is no denying You have watched over me all my life. Father You are Sovereign, You examine both the righteous and the wicked. There is no one hidden from Your sight. You hate those who do violent things against Your beloved. Your Word warns for people who live this way will find themselves weeping and gnashing their teeth in confusion and frustration that You would send a curse on everything they do until they are completely destroyed for doing what is evil in Your sight. There is no peace, no joy, for people like this. For You are a righteous and just God and I know that no matter what I can see Your face in all the good things that come to pass in my life. Because even in the darkest days of my life there has always been light. All Glory to God, my Father, my LORD forever and ever! Amen

Prayer Based on Psalm 10

July 3 2020

O Father, why does it seem at times that You stand so far away from me? Why does it feel like You hide Your face from me when I am in trouble? I heard once that the Teacher is always silent during a test. Is that why it feels like I can’t feel Your presence? Is my faith being tested? Are You exercising my faith to show me that You have equipped me to endure? I look around and I see the wicked arrogantly hunt down those poor in Spirit. Those who have forgotten You are still Sovereign. Father, let them be caught in the evil they plan for others. For they live to brag about their evil desires; they praise the greedy and curse the LORD. You have shown me this is not wise to mock Your truth, to be so bold as to even mock You.

I know that when I was wicked I was too proud to seek You. I thought to myself there has to be no God because I didn’t want to believe that a Father like You would allow His children to be subject to this way of life, to experience all the things this world does to destroy them the sorrow, the insults, rejection, pain, abandonment, a world of people that seek to torment them with physical, mental, emotional abuse till their minds don’t know what is real anymore, not even You.

Yet you allow the wicked to succeed in everything they do. I know because I was wicked once. I thought I got away with my deeds. I did not see Your punishment awaiting for me. I bragged about my sins with those who sinned with me. Thinking “Nothing bad will ever happen to me! I will be trouble free forever!” How foolish I was.

My mouth was vulgar filled with every kind of curse, bitterness and anger. I had nothing good to say because my thoughts weren’t good. Trouble and evil were on the tip of my tongue. I did not counsel or encourage anyone. I hid in ambush waiting to steal what wasn’t mine, waiting to do things that should never be done because it had been done to me. If my life was cared so little for what did life matter to anyone. All humans are not so different, nothing good lives in us without God.

When I was done with my sin it was never enough, like a lion I was always searching for my next victim to devour. Waiting to pounce on my next helpless victim because there was no God in me, I was god. Like a hunter that captures the helpless and takes advantage of the weak I drug them away in nets for their foolishness in believing I could be trusted. I crushed too many to count; they fell beneath the strength of my wickedness. And to think I thought “God isn’t watching me! He has closed His eyes and won’t even see what I do!” He only looks after good people and I was far from being good.

Till the day You rose up and revealed Yourself to me. In fear I cried O MY GOD! There is a GOD and you punished my wicked deeds. O God! You did not ignore the things I did to innocent people. You did not allow me to get away with despising You. I thought “God will never call me to account.” But You did. You saw the trouble and grief I caused others. You took note of everything I did and I lived a life of punishment for my disobedience.

I knew nothing of this blessed life You had to offer because I never paid attention to You. How could I be angry, feel anything toward something I didn’t believe was real or had the power to change my life or give to me a better life. But the truth is You were watching. You saw everything… even the things that were done to me that made me who I became. The way I lived didn’t justify my sins it perpetuated a sin that began long before I was created.

I came to the realization that I could try to live every single remaining day of my life paying back, making up for what I did wrong but it would never be enough. I see now why the helpless put their trust in You. I can’t live my life to justify my wickedness. Two wrongs don’t make a right. I can’t be wicked because people are wicked toward me. That kind of life results in one thing emptiness. That kind of life results in fighting a fruitless fight because You already won.

When I was at Your mercy when people of this world continued to devalue and mistreat me I thought for a moment what the Accuser wanted me to believe that I deserved this kind of life for the wicked I had done, I deserve nothing less than to be treated this, taken advantage of.

But then You showed me Your Son. You showed me that he took the punishment this world thought he should have for believing that You were his Father. This world thought that he deserved nothing short of a brutal, horrific, slow and painful death because he didn’t want this world to raise him, He wanted You to raise Him. I died with him. I died to this world with my brother. I let this world mistreat and abuse and insult and reject and abandon and leave me for dead so that You could raise me up and You did, because if there is one thing I know for sure, You defend the orphans. You defend human beings this world abandons, thinks so less of, You defend me.

You break the grip of wickedness in me! You go after every darkness in me and You shine Your light on it, You expose it for what it is until every last ounce of wickedness is destroyed in me and all that is left is You. The LORD is my King forever and ever! Godless people will vanish from the earth one by one my Father created this place for me, for all His children. LORD, you know the hopes of the helpless, You know my hope. Surely You will hear my cry and comfort me.

You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so that mere people can no longer terrify them. You have shown me something greater than their wickedness You have shown me love. Not a love for people but the love You have for me who sent His Son to put an end to the wickedness of this world. To put an end to the darkness in me. For that I glorify Your holy name forever and ever! Amen

Prayer Based on Psalm 9

July 2 2020

I praise You, Father, with all my heart; I will tell the people of this world all the marvelous things You have done for me. Watching over me when I was abandoned by my father at birth, keeping me safe when I was orphaned by my mother in adolescence. Ensuring I always had a roof over my head and food to eat even when I thought it wasn’t nearly enough. You sustained and saved me from hunger and thirst. You opened doors for me no man could shut. You made my path clear so that I could find my way to You. Year over year you patiently waited for me to look up. You lead me by Your promise even when I refused to believe in You.

I thought that all the good that happened in my life was by chance, by luck, by my own doing, my own hard work and efforts. Still You made sure the sun rose over me every day and the stars sparkled brightly for me beckoning me every night. Till the day I was ready to hear Your voice. Steeped in sin till my heart was black as night You pulled me out of my darkness and revealed Your precious light. You declared that I was Yours and no others. You called me “mine” and imprinted the name You gave to me on my hand even before I was born.

I need not seek love and acceptance from this world or the men of it to provide what only God can. You made me to remember that everything good and perfect thing that has happened in my life came directly from You and no one can take credit for the good they do not even Your own son did when he said “Only God is truly good.” You may use people for those good things to come through but even I know from personal experience that humans on their own without You are not good, nor can they be trusted to do good. If they do good it is because You move in them as You move and live and breathe in me. The only reason I have joy in my life is because You give it. Every day I sing praises to Your name, O Most High. Waiting expectantly for You. Knowing that You hear me.

My enemies have retreated one by one; I saw them stagger and die when You appeared in my life. “This far and no farther will You come” You commanded them. Even the wind and waves obey You. For when I believed that Christ laid down his life for my sins You judged in my favor; from Your throne You judged me with fairness. A line in the sand was drawn.

You have rebuked all the wicked people in my life who tried to cause me harm and destroy me; You have erased their names from my memory so that I don’t even think of my past and pain that was caused. My enemies are finished, in endless ruins; cities of people You uprooted are now forgotten never to be remembered again. For You O LORD are all that reigns in my life and You are greater than any enemy I have faced.

I can rest because You execute judgement from Your throne. You judge the world with justice and rule people with fairness. You are my shelter when I feel oppressed by man, You are my refuge in times of trouble. I know who You are and the things You have done so that I could put my trust in You alone. You hold my unconditional attention now not this world. For You O LORD did not abandoned me when I searched for You unlike everyone in this life. You showed up.

I sing praises to You Father who reigns from a place of peace. I live to tell about Your unforgettable deeds. For You have avenged me. You cared for me when I was helpless from those who sought to destroy me with their lies, belittle, mistreat me as though my life was worthless. The people of this world tried so hard all my life to convince me of my insignificance only because it knew how valuable I am to You. You would not have sent me if this world did not need me. You would not have placed Your Words in my heart if this world did not need to know them. You did not ignore my cries when I suffered through this life. You lifted me out of the mud and gave me the strength to stand and endure, to persevere past the lies so that I knew the truth of who I was and how precious I am to You.

I cried out in my pain Father, have mercy on me, my enemies won’t let up! See how my enemies torment me. Snatch me back from the jaws of death. Save me so that I can praise You publicly at Your gates, so that I can acknowledge that You alone saved me. So that I can rejoice because I know that it was You who rescued me. And You did.

The people that mistreated me once have fallen into the pit they dug for me to fall into. Their own feet were caught in the traps they set out for me. Yes I know the LORD by His justice for me. The wicked people He trapped by their own deeds to set me free.

The wicked have gone down to the grave. For this is the fate of all who ignore God. But as for me when He saw His children in need He sent them a Savior, and He showed up beside me. He did not ignore my cry. When my spirit was crushed and my heart was weak He did let my hope in Him fail He showed me I would not always live this way that when I put my hope in Him not in this world that I would be able to overcome anything even death itself.

My LORD rose up! He did not let mere mortals defy Him! He judged everyone for every deed they had done! Even myself. I did not suffer the penalty for my sins caused for this world said I deserved death and Jesus said “I got this” but I did suffer the consequences for my wrongs so that I would learn to turn away from them. He made my enemies to tremble with fear when He showed up and His presence was a reminder to all that they are mere humans, not gods. All glory to my God forever and ever! Amen   

Prayer Based on Psalm 8

July 1 2020

Father O LORD, my Lord, Your majestic name fills the earth! When I look at nature it bears Your fingerprint. Your glory reaches beyond than the heavens. You taught me from childhood to give You praise, you showed me that through my praise I could silence the enemy and anyone who opposed You, by not believing in Your holy name.

When I look up at the night sky and see the work of Your fingers- the moon and stars You set in place- who am I that You should think of me, a simple human being that You should care for me? And my heart responds I am Yours. I know that You made me in Your image, a reflection of You, making me only a little lower than You and you crowned me with Your glory and honor. Like a single ray of sunlight, My source of light comes from You and it is my honor to use it to honor You with.

I have learned these things do not come from this world. No one can strip me of the light you placed in me even before I was born. No one can take away my ability to give love and feel loved, to feel joy and spread joy, to know peace and be peaceful, to be patient, good, kind and speak gently to mankind, no one on the earth can take away my ability to be trustworthy and loyal and faithful. These are all things I can choose to give or choose to withhold but my light was never meant to be contained. Like a lampstand you don’t put it in under a basket it goes into the center of the room so that by it everyone can see.

And even more so no one can dishonor me because the truth is my honor comes from the LORD not this world and certainly not from mere men. My honor comes from the self-discipline God has given to me to shine this light on anyone I choose. For 30 plus years I can attest that this isn’t in my human nature to do this, it is the Spirit in me that directs the light. And this light within me produces only what is good and right and true. Man cannot give what comes from the LORD and man cannot possess what God does not give. They can certainly try to fake it- but when tested by the fires of trial and adversity what is not from God will burn in flames like straw proving it was never real to begin with.

Father, You gave me charge over everything You made, putting all things under my authority- the flocks and the herds and all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea, and everything that swims the ocean currents even the insects. You placed every living thing under my authority and then You placed me under Your authority.

O LORD, my Lord, when I forget where my glory and honor and authority come from I need only to go outside, look up at the sky and lookout onto the earth you made before I became and see that indeed Your majestic name fills the earth! The clouds that cover the earth are there because You placed them there, if I am shaded it’s because You gave me shade, if the rain falls it is where You position it if I have water it’s because You did not withhold it from me. The sun rises and falls at Your command, the earth turns in the palm of Your hand. The breeze that cools my skin blows only because You whispered it can. Yes, everything, every.. single… thing You have granted in my life and all that I am is because You gave it to me or allowed it to happen for Your purposes for me. As my brother said to Pilate, a mere man “You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above.” All glory to God my Father over all the heavens and the earth and even man forever and ever. Amen

Prayer Based on Psalm 7

June 30 2020

Father, when I am afraid of what the enemy might do to me I run to You and Your Words for protection to remind me, O LORD my God. Save me from the Accuser, who accuses me night and day- rescue me from his grip on my mind! If You don’t place the helmet of my salvation over my mind, my enemy is like a lion looking to devour me, I have no doubt he will maul me with his words, tear me to pieces till I have no self confidence or self worth. No one on earth but You has the power and strength to make me believe I can be more than I am. You are strong when I am weak. You are my strength, my victory. If You don’t rescue me I will live in fear the rest of the days of my life on earth in self-pity without Your Words to remind me I am Yours.

O LORD my God, if I have sinned against You, if I have done something wrong or I am guilty of injustice then I deserve nothing less than to live this way of life. If I have betrayed a friend or plundered my enemy without cause, then remove Your hand of protection on me and let my enemies capture me. Let them trample me into the ground and drag my honor in the dust for without You I have no honor. Let me be disgraced if this is the kind of human I have become who cares less for no one, if this is the type of character I possess I agree with You, my wickedness deserves nothing short of death.

Arise, O LORD, in anger at the way I turned out! Stand up against the fury of my enemies! Wake up, my God and bring justice! I was once scattered when I lived apart from You but now you have chosen to gather me back into Your flock. Where You rule over Your sheep on high. And I have learned this truth that The LORD judges everyone for every deed they have done.

Declare me righteous holy One not because I am self-righteous but because Your son is the righteousness in me, O LORD, for the blood of Christ has made me innocent and pure and white as snow when my old self died and a new me was born, O Most High! Put an end to the evil in me and help me to stand up for nothing less than the righteousness You have placed in me. For You look deep within my mind and heart, O righteous God, You see everything I do and whether my intentions are honorable and good.

God is my shield, saving me only because He finds a heart that is true and right. God is an honest judge. He hates it when he finds wickedness in my character because that is not of Him that is the enemy trying to take captive of me.

If I did not repent, turn from my wicked ways, change the downward direction I was headed in God would have sharpened His sword to convict me even more. I would live in guilt and shame. Sorry would only be an automatic response something I said for getting caught not because I intended to change. If I continued in my wickedness I would still be an enemy of the LORD and My God would have no choice but to bend and string His bow and shoot His fiery arrows at me. He would have to prepare and shoot His flaming arrows at me because being both evil and good cannot coexist in the end only one can rule over me.

When I lived a wicked way of life I conceived evil schemes that benefited no one but myself because the justice of God says you reap what you sow; I was pregnant with trouble and gave birth to lies. There was nothing true or righteous in me because I didn’t believe in the One that was true and righteous. I dug a deep pit to trap others, then was surprised when I fell into the pit myself. Tripping over the trouble I caused, trouble didn’t have to come find me I sought it out. But every time I gained some ground it backfired and I got knocked down pulling me further back then where I began. The violence I planned for others fell on my own head and I wondered why I could never get ahead in life.

But now that God has shown me a new way to live. I live to thank the LORD all the days of my life because He is truly a just; I sing praises to the name of the LORD Most High. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen 

Prayer Based on Psalm 6

June 29 2020

Father, have pity on me, don’t rebuke me in Your anger for I know it is fierce or even discipline me in Your rage for I know I would be utterly destroyed if You so much as looked at me with a darkness greater than the light You have shown to me. Have compassion on me, Father, for you know that I am weak. Heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony. I suffer physically from emotional wounds inflicted on my heart.

How long, O LORD, until You help me to remember Your Words of truth? Return to me the memories of a life lived with You, waited on You daily to return for me, O LORD, don’t leave me on this earth alone, rescue me from this empty way of life, give to me the purpose and passion I once knew when I woke each day to serve and worship You. Save me Father because of Your unfailing love for Your child. For the dead do not remember You. If I were dead I wouldn’t so much as lift my words to You. Seek and wait on You to save me from this way of life I have lived. Who can praise You from the grave? Only the living praise You.

I am worn out from crying so much. All night I flood my bed with tears of remorse for the things I have thought, said, and done apart from you. Drenching it with sorrow. My vision is blurred by a grief so great I can hardly lift my eyes, my voice, my eyes to You because of the sin I committed against You. Your son once said the world’s sin is that it refuses to believe… to believe in You, to believe that you sent your son, to believe that there is mercy, forgiveness and grace, to believe in Your Words of truth. But I do Father, I do.

My eyes are worn out because the truth is in my weakness I let myself believe all the lies my enemies told me that I am not good enough for You, I am not worthy of being called Yours, I am not enough, God could never love a sinner like me, He only loves perfect children like His son. How can I be Your child? God’s children wouldn’t dishonor Him the way I have. A child like me would not act as I did. Think the things I thought, say the things I said, acted out the way I did if I truly knew You were watching over me. Believed that You were with me I wouldn’t not but I did and now I question Your existence I question my own. Who do I think I am? I ask myself and my enemy responds you are certainly not a child of God.

Go away, all who speak these evil, negative, wayward thoughts to me, I know who my Father is and who I am to Him. For my Father has heard my weeping. My LORD has heard His child’s plea and He will answer my prayers. He will not stand by silently. May all my enemies that tried to defeat me with lies be disgraced and terrified. May they suddenly turn back in shame for speaking so disrespectfully, defying a child of God. I know who I am I don’t need them to tell me who I am not.

All glory to God who saved me from these negative thoughts. My God who lifted me out of the pit of depression and sorrow. Who wiped the dust from my knees and wiped every tear. You lifted my chin up and smiled on me. You covered me with great mercy and forgiveness and placed Your red robe of righteousness on me and said “Get up, you are still my child. I am still Your Father, nothing you can do, nothing people say can separate You from my Love. That will never change.” With grace my Father says “Rise up”. All glory to You God, My Creator, My Father, My LORD You are the only voice I listen to, I believe in, I follow, I know thank You for helping me to remember You alone. Amen! 

Prayer Based on Psalm 5

June 28 2020

O Father, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groans and sighs that speak of my frustrations and disappointments in this fallen world. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to You alone. Listen to my voice in the morning, Father. Like a child I rise each morning and bring my requests to You and wait expectantly for Your response.

O God I know that You take no pleasure in wickedness; You cannot tolerate the sins of the wicked and neither can I. Therefore, the proud may not stand in Your presence as I do. Those who rely on no one but themselves have set themselves against You. I know that You hate evil things done because of the harm it does to Your children, Your creation. You destroy lies by revealing the truth. Light shines in the darkness because nothing is hidden from You. The LORD detest murderers and deceivers, people who live to destroy others and then turn around and lie about it as if they did nothing they have nothing to hide.

But I know that You sent Your son to show me Your unfailing love for me, I know that I can enter into Your presence and speak directly, truthfully, honestly to You. I need not hide anything from you not my feelings not my thoughts for You already know what I think before I say it and You are greater than my feelings. I worship you in Spirit and in truth in this body, this Temple that holds Your Spirit. Lead me in the right path, Father, or my enemies will conquer me because I have chosen to walk with them instead of You. Make Your way plain for me to follow. Plain for me to see so that I can live by walking in Your ways, in Your truth.

I shake my head to think my enemies cannot speak a single truthful word. Because their father is the father of lies. All I hear is lies when they speak to me. Like You asked my ancestor Eve in the garden “Who told you…?” who spoke a word over me that didn’t come directly from You. Their words are meant to tear down not satisfy, comfort, encourage or give wise counsel. Like the serpent their deepest desire is to destroy me by tearing me down, bury me with lie upon lie. Their talk is foul it doesn’t give life. It is like the stench of an open grave. Like the smell of rotting meat. The only fruit their words bear is maggots. They try to cover up their truth with flattery hoping to hide their deception.

But I have taken refuge in the truth of Your Words Father and it make me rejoice to know the truth; each day I lift my voice to You and sing joyful songs of praises forever to honor You. For You have called me out of the darkness into the light. Your truth sets me free so that I can glorify You. You have spread Your covering of protection over my mind so that I can see the truth clearly now and given me the authority like Your Son to dismiss the lies. I love You Father, You fill me with a joy I have never known in this world. For You bless the godly, O LORD; You surround me with Your shield of love so that I would no longer seek it in this world. All Glory to You my God, my Father, my LORD forever and ever. Amen

Prayer Based on Psalm 4

June 27 2020

Father, please answer me when I call to You, O God who sent Your Son to declare me innocent with Your mercy, forgiveness and grace. Free me from the thought of my troubles each day. Have mercy on me and hear my prayer. How long must people of this world speak ill will of each other, pass judgement as though they are gods and have the authority to judge how each of us is to look like, to act, to be? Only you are my Judge only you have that authority. How long will they make groundless accusations based on their assumptions and comparisons of each other? How foolish are they to think their ways are the right ways for everyone? Your way is the only way. How long will they continue to lie to themselves and others? How long can they go on living a lie instead of in Your truth? (deep sigh of surrender to the will of God) I know this for certain: That You my Father have set apart the godly for Yourself. The LORD will answer me when I call to Him as He has been faithful to answer so many times before. I will not sin by letting anger control me. I am not controlled by my sinful nature I am controlled by Spirit inside of me. Instead I will think on it overnight and remain silent so that God can work in me. (deep sigh surrender to the will of God) Instead of grumbling and complaining as my ancestors did before me I will offer to God the sacrifice of thanksgiving. Because I know that even when there is nothing I can think to be thankful for You have instructed me to be thankful “in” all circumstance not thankful for them. In this moment I will choose to think on things You have already done for me and remind myself of Your greatness and power in my life. Thanksgiving is a sacrifice when I would rather complain and vent I will take my thoughts captive and train them to think on You. Making you bigger than my frustrations as You have taught me to. I will put my trust in You in the name of the LORD. Many people think to themselves “Who will show us better times?” But I know the answer is You Father, for you have let your face smile on me too many times to count. For You have been the One to give me greater joy than those who have abundant wealth. I use to think that my joy was found in having more money, making more money so that I could buy more things, have more things, a bigger house, newer car but the truth is my joy comes from You. I have peace now when I lay down and sleep for You alone keep me safe what greater joy is there than knowing that You are with me. Your presence gives me a peace of mind and heart I could never buy in this world. So that I don’t have to worry about worthless things for You are Sovereign and in control. All glory to You God the Creator of my heaven on earth forever and ever. Amen 

Prayer Based on Psalm 3

June 26 2020

Father, I have so many enemies; so many things that come against me. My enemies of fear, doubt, discouragement, depression, dread, distraction and disappointment attack my thinking every day. They taunt me by saying “God will never rescue you!” But You Father are my shield around me; You are my glory, the One who lifts my head by my chin and says to me “You need not be afraid, I am with You, My Words are truth, be encouraged by them, find comfort in them not the lies the enemy tells you. Your joy comes from one place. That is knowing that I am with you always. I have saved you and rescued you. The thought of that should overwhelm you with gratitude, I have said that you have a future and a hope greater than anything you could imagine for yourself believe that, hold onto that promise, the enemy can’t change that. Fix your eyes on Me by listening to My Word not the storm or the wind and waves this will calm the waves. Your hope will not lead to disappointment so tell the enemy to shut up, you have authority over the enemy each day.” I cried out to You Father and You answered me from Your holy mountain. You reminded me of everything Your Son taught me so that I could put these thoughts, worries and fears to rest and lay in peace knowing that I will wake in safety because You, Father are watching over me. I need not be afraid of the enemies that surround me on every side daily because greater is He that is in me, beside me, all around me than he that is in this world. Arise, O LORD! Rescue me, my God! Slap these enemies in the face for speaking lies to me! Shatter their teeth with trembling at Your awesome power and might. My victory comes from You, Father, not by my own strength. Thank You for blessing me with victory even before the battle that each day brings begins. So that I can give You glory forever and ever! Amen.

Prayer Based on Psalm 2

June 25 2020

Father, I don’t understand why people are so angry all the time. Why they waste their time serving themselves instead of living their lives to serve You. Surely the benefits of serving You are far better. People who act like their own god seem like kings and rulers of their own domain who wake up each day and plot against You by making up their minds that You do not exist. That You never sent your son. They find it so impossible to believe that a man walked the earth who was tempted by the same things that tempt us today and lived in this world without the need to sin. They believe that all their power comes from them that they can do all things on their own without You. Their strength is their own. Their prosperity is their own. Their wisdom is their own. Can’t they see it all comes from You? “Let us break the chains” they cry, “and free ourselves from slavery to God.” But I know that You see all things, hear their foolish cries and it makes You laugh to see your creation think itself more powerful than its’ Creator. You find it amusing really. You know that if You pulled back your breath, snapped a finger, spoke a single Word, these mere humans who think they are god would cease to exist. It is no wonder in anger You rebuke them, terrifying them with Your fierce fury to put them in their place, under your feet. For You have declared, “I have placed my chosen king on the throne in Jerusalem on my holy mountain.” I believe that when we believe in Jesus, that You sent Your son as a living example for us to be like that we submit to his life and allow him to rules over us. When You have made peace with us through our belief in what he did on the cross for our sins. Peace rules over us. We are the holy mountain you speak of. His throne is right in the center of our minds. He has complete control. I imagine him sitting between the two halves of my brain one hand on each side controlling my thoughts and actions like a video game. And the moment I believe that he is indeed the Son of God. The moment I accept that as my truth. That You are my Father and I am your children he proclaims Your decree over us just as You said to him “You are my child. Today I have become your Father.” I may have come through my parents but I know I was created by You, formed by Your hands, sent by You, I came from You my Father, my LORD and my God. And if that weren’t enough You say to me “Only ask and I will give you the people as Your inheritance, the whole earth as Your possession. You will break them with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots.” Father, the people you have given to me belong to You, the only reason they are mine is because You have sent them to me. Like Solomon I pray that you would give me an understanding heart to govern, watch over and tend to Your chosen people, Your children. Father help me to know the difference between what is right and wrong. So that I can teach Your Word with complete authority to free Your people from the strongholds that they have been trained to believe in this world. With Your undeniable truth, Father help me to smash the lies the enemy speaks and demolish fears like clay pots so they can see how worthless they really are compared to You. Nothing can stand up against what You have declared. Now then people of this world, know that you have a King that watches over each of you. So Act wisely! Live no more like fools! Be warned, you rulers of the earth for I serve the LORD with reverent fear and I rejoice with trembling because I have submitted my will to God’s royal son. He is always with me just as God is and he will be the one you must answer to. Though he is slow to anger as our Father is when he does become angry he will destroy you in the midst of your activities for just like me his anger will flare up in an instant like a raging fire and all will be consumed. But what joy for those who take refuge in him! Acknowledging that he is the Son of God and we are the brothers and sisters he has been sent to watch over. All glory to you God for sending us our Savior Amen!

Prayer Based on Psalm 1

June 24 2020

Father, thank you helping me to know that I was living wrong when I followed the advice of the wicked, stood around with sinners and joined in mockers. I now know the joy of what it means to fellowship with the wise, stand around with righteous men and woman of honor who live to please you and speak of your glory. I take delight in your laws Father, meditating on Your Word day and night. I am like a tree planted along the riverbank, bearing the fruits of the spirit, focusing on a fruit for each season of my life. My leaves never wither and because of Your presence in me I can prosper in all that I do. But not the wicked. Their lives serve as a constant reminder to me that I too can be in their shoes if I do not remain alert because I was once in the same position they were in when I lived in darkness. I was as worthless as chaff to You and You scattered my life like the wind. I was constantly condemned for the evil I had done. I felt the judgement of Your hand heavy on me. I had no place among the godly because I was my only god. Father thank you for watching over my path. When my path was filled with darkness it lead to destruction. But now that my life is built on the firm foundation of Your Word I can walk safely in Your light. All glory to God my Father forever and ever Amen!

Conclusion with COVID

May 1 2020

*If you are seeking Get Well entry or Sleeping with the Enemy entry scroll down Spolier Alert this is the conclusion to those entries

It was by faith that the people of Israel marched around Jericho for seven days, and the walls came crashing down. Hebrews 11:30

I wish I could share with you that my sister was healed on the seventh day of her battle with COVID and that her fever broke and she was on her way to recovery. That her mostly liquid diet helped but the truth is I took her to the hospital Tuesday (day six of her fight) not because she was deathly ill but because she lost her will to keep fighting.

Listen to me, all who hope for deliverance- all who seek the LORD! Consider the rock from which you were mined. Isaiah 51:1

“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” Matthew 17:20

On the early morning of Sunday April 26 (day four) at 330am to be exact she woke with 102.7 I gave her meds and fever dropped quickly like within 10 minutes. When I say meds I had been giving her liquid acetaminophen as a fever reducer. She went to bed and was able to sleep till 920am. When she woke she was certain she broke her fever. She asked what day it was I said Monday (day five).

I touched her forehead and she was cool to the touch. I even believed it for a minute almost overwhelmed to tears when my neighbor came over and asked how she was. I had borrowed her thermometer the night before wondering if mine was broken. But I wanted to be certain. I had her get up before taking her temp, drink juice and then I took her temp 15 minutes later, 101. The wheat for the day was that she was hungry so I made her toast and oatmeal. The most food she had since this all began April 22 she ate a few bites of oatmeal and a slice of toast. The meds I had given her the night before had worn off and her fever reached 102 by 11:15am another day of liquids ahead.

At 630pm I gave her medicine again for her temp of 101.9 per her usual she took a shower to try to reduce it further but when she came out it reached 102.2. I was certain it should have gone down by now. Like I said it usually only takes 15minutes. By 7:50pm it was up to 102.5.

By the wisdom of God He made me to remember a time when my husband was in the ICU with a temp that wouldn’t go down. The nurses called it a mucus plug. They say it acts like a radiator cap. After a while he coughed up mucus and it dropped instantly. I asked her if she had coughed lately she said no. I said take a deep breathe in through your mouth to force a cough. She did so and sure enough it was productive, she even blew her nose. Her temp dropped instantly to 101.7 and by 9pm it was 100.5 she opted not to take the nighttime cold and flu medicine till she needed it later at night so I set it on her bookshelf. I set my alarm for 3am to check on her and when I went in her rooms she informed me she took the medicine at 230am. So we lived to fight another day.

On the morning of Tuesday (day six) more wisdom of God brought to mind that she had been sitting this whole time. She didn’t experience shortness of breath because she had very little movement going from the bed to the recliner chair to the restroom. She only needed as much breathe as it took to sit and be still. So I had her move around a little more to shake things up if mucus was in fact accumulating I knew she needed to cough it up. Newton’s first law of motion a body at rest stays at rest a body in motion stays in motion.

Nothing too strenuous just 5 minutes of activity and then she could sit for 45 minutes to an hour or more in between. Her activities were things like vacuum her room, gather her laundry and hangers from closet, take sheets off the bed, walk around the yard, put clothes away and make the bed. She accomplished each task at her pace in the 5 minutes allotted and was grateful for the rest.

I had been giving her a bottle of water with a mixture she purchased online called Liquid IV so I could cut back on the amount of liquid she had to drink to flush this virus out, 108oz is a lot to keep up with. So she was able to nap between drinks. At 5 her temp was 101.8 by 530 it reached 102.8 I gave her meds, she took a shower and it came down to 101.6 by 630pm and an hour later 100.9. We took communion that night for strength for the battle and because I wanted to ensure that if I had to take her to the hospital that she was at peace.

This daily process had made me physically and emotionally weary so at 815pm the night of day 6 I checked her temp it was 101.3, I told her I was going to bed early. I gave her 2 doses of nighttime medicine and told her since her temp looks to be rising to take one before bed and one in the middle of the night when she woke up so that I could get a solid nights’ rest.

On Wednesday April 29 her seventh day of COVID at just past 7am I heard my sister go to the bathroom. I though it odd because the medicine usually wore off closer to 9am. When she came out I asked her how she felt. She grunted. I asked if she took the medicine. She said no. I went into her room she was already lying in bed under the covers, my first thought she has a fever.

And sitting on her bookshelf was the two full dosage cups I left her the night before. I asked if she had taken her temp she said no. I took her temp 102.6 it was obvious she had given up the fight to bring down this Jericho wall Joshua 6. That like Saul she couldn’t wait for Samuel to come any longer 1 Samuel 10:7-8. She couldn’t even muster the inner strength of a mustard seed to lift the prefilled dosage cup to her mouth to save herself. My faith can’t save her nor can it make her stand. I said call your doctor I am taking you to the hospital she said ok. In the time it took me to get ready she was still in bed. Even when I told her temp was 102.6 there was no sense of urgency, or alarm, no will to live. Even then she had every opportunity to simply get up and take the medicine she refused.

I was reminded of the bronze snake God instructed Moses to make when he unleashed snakes on the Israelites after they sinned against him by grumbling and complaining about the long journey in Numbers 21:4-9. I said do you want me to call an ambulance she said no. I said then call your doctor and find out what hospital I need to take you to. I said I was ready to go when she was and went outside to sit in the morning sun.

But for you who fear my name, The Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture. Malachi 4:2

I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this message for the churches. I am both the source of David and the heir to his throne. I am the bright morning star. Revelation 22:16

On the drive there she said in a feeble voice that she was sorry but I could not accept her apology. A righteous anger rose in me because it was my belief that this was not of God. I can hear Jesus saying “Anyone who does the will of my Father is my sister!” Matthew 12:50 and I knew this was not God’s will for her to use this illness to care so little for her life. I felt an evil presence in the car with me.

But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to sin that is still within me. Romans 7:23

The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. Galatians 5:17

I asked if she brought her thyroid medicine with her and she said yes. I said I don’t understand how you can be so faithful to take your thyroid medicine and not faithful to take the medicine that would have reduced your fever. Your thyroid is not what is going to kill you but COVID can. She said nothing. I told her I have made peace with her decision not to take the medicine and if I didn’t see her after this that I know I did everything I could to help her. She said nothing.

When we arrived to the entrance of the emergency drop off lane she tried to lean over to hug me. It was as if Judah was leaning over for a kiss. I turned away and said don’t touch me I couldn’t even look at her. As soon as I heard the backdoor close I left. I do not believe it was my sister I drove to the emergency room that day it was something demonic. I say this because when she made the decision not to take the medicine it was based on pure selfishness. She knew her fever would only go up from 101.3 overnight and she deliberately put herself at risk of having a heart attack or a stroke overnight. When we don’t do what we know we should do that is wrong. As I mentioned we had just taken communion mere hours before she intently made that decision.

Remember, it is a sin to know what you ought to do then not do it. James 4:17

For…selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual and demonic. James 3:15

She was faithful to take her cell phone and charger. I didn’t hear from her that day or the next or even today. I think I made it clear to her that I was upset by the decision she made. By the third day I woke thinking I need to get over this bitterness before it consumes me. And with the help of God he reminded me this was not of Him.

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. John 10:10

We had only recently begun our relationship so of course the enemy was using this illness as a way to tear us apart. He also reminded me division is the enemy’s way not His.

A kingdom divided by civil war will collapse. Similarly, a family splintered by feuding will fall apart. Mark 3:24-25

And if that weren’t enough as I waited in line at the post office my neighbor called with the same dilemma I was faced with. I said to her, she is not testing you. The enemy is testing you. The enemy knows you just got into relationship with her and he doesn’t want that. The enemy knows what upsets you and he will use even the people we love to test us. Our love for them is not based on condition because God’s love for us is unconditional. If we only love those who love us, what reward is there for that? Matthew 5:46 Luke 6:32 Give her grace and love her anyway.

When I went back to my car a song called Love Moved first was on the radio and it reminded me of what my sister must be thinking the lyrics said “you didn’t wait for me to find my way to you. I couldn’t cross that distance even if I wanted to. You came running after me when anybody else would’ve turned and left me at my worst love moved first.” I knew I had to be the one to make the first move. So I did and she still has not responded. A half hour after I tried to reach her she was kind enough to let her followers on Facebook know how she was doing. She posted that her fever broke. So it turns out she won the battle with COVID19 in 9 days not the 7 I had thought. Keep in mind COVID19 is a virus that damages the lungs so she will need the help of oxygen (not a ventilator) until her lungs are restored back to health in about 1 to 3 weeks.

I have to admit the love I have for my sister is conditional, it is based on her Spirit of life not the spirit of death that overcame her on day five. If we never speak again because of this it will not be because I didn’t try. I will choose not to remember her this way. My sister was in a physically, emotionally and mentally abusive marriage for 25 years. She didn’t stay down after their fights, she got up every single time. She never gave up hoping or believing in their relationship even when I did. She was the longest prayer I ever prayed that God would give her the courage and strength to leave her abuser. She was as persistent as a bulldog. It finally took the cops escorting her out to finally walk away because that is how relentless she is. That is the sister I know, that is the sister I will remember, that is the sister I love. 

Get Well

April 27 2020

“Would you like to get well?” John 5:6

ONCE AGAIN LET ME PREFACE THIS BY SAYING I AM NOT A DOCTOR.  My brother, Jesus asked this of the man by the pool of Bethesda and I ask this of my sister every day for these last six days. As I shared with you in my previous entry my sister tested positive for COVID-19 Wednesday April 22, 2020. I gave her a set of specific instructions to follow in order to heal and left her to heal before stepping in to help her on April 24, 2020.

The CDC said in a nutshell to leave her in isolation to fend for herself like a rabid animal. If I must speak to her wear a mask and gloves don’t go near her. Leave her drinks and food on a tray by her door, knock and walk away. Stay 6 feet away from her. I tried that method for a day and woke with a righteous anger on Friday morning. I had been exposed to my husband and son the week before so I deduced if I was infected it was too late, she could not infect me anymore than I already was. God brought the following verse to mind.

And so dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice- the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:1-2

Even she was afraid to infect me. So that Friday I offered my body as a living sacrifice because for the past week I had witnessed her sleeping all day because the fever wore her out. Having no appetite and not drinking. She barely came out of her room to use the bathroom and it wasn’t nearly enough as she should have had she followed my instructions. This I know there is no cure for this virus. Just like there is no cure for a cold or a flu. You can take medicine to ease the symptoms but you cannot cure it. It needs to be flushed out of your body, literally.

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous- how well I know it. Psalm 139:13-14

God made her immune system. He made every cell, every organ in her body just as He made every living thing the only way to heal from this is to get rid of it. And the only way she was going to get rid of it is through her pee, poop or sweat and the only time she was sweating is when she was breaking a fever.

So when she woke at 830am on Friday morning I went into her room ungloved, unmasked and I closed the distance between us. I reasoned you cannot kill what is already dead and I died to this world to live for Christ. If I get infected I believe in a God that would strengthen me in my weakness to help her and if that weren’t enough this I know.

These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed. Mark 16:17-18

I gave her an 8oz glass of water because who knows when the last time she had something to drink. I told her to change out of her clothes everyday and get ready for the day. Every time she sweats she is shedding the virus if she stayed in the same clothes she was literally sitting in the virus. We had a fight ahead if this was anything compared to the way my husband fought it she had 6 to seven days of fever ahead of her and today would not be the worst.

Half her weight in liquids is 14 glasses and we were going to get them in her over the course of the day. Her only job was to sit and drink and use the restroom. Her schedule went like this: 830am Water 8oz, 9am juice 8oz, 930am coffee 8oz temp check 101.3, 10am flavored water 8oz temp 101.8, 1030am flavored water 8oz temp 101.8, 11am water 8oz temp 101.8, 1130am water 8oz temp 101.8, 12pm Tea 8oz temp 102.0 Acetaminophen, 1230pm soup 8oz, 1pm juice 8oz temp 100.2, 130pm water 8oz, 2pm water 8oz temp 99.9, 230pm flavored water 8oz, 3pm flavored water 8oz temp 99.2, 330pm Tea 8oz from 4 to 8pm I checked her temp every hour 99.7, 100.3, 101.2, 101.7, 101.6 I suggested she shower to wash off the virus that was on her skin when she broke a fever that day. I gave her a night time cold and flu medicine to help her sleep. If memory served me correct my husband had two bad days of temps near 102 that had to be monitored closely and this was a good day for her.

On Saturday she woke at 830am I make it a point not to check her temp until after she has gotten out of bed, changed, had something to drink at 9am her temp was 102.4 she said she woke at 330am with body aches I wish she had waken me. Remember anything above 102 I give her medicine. On Saturday we followed the same pattern of beverages and temperature checks on the hour if she was nearing 102 I checked her temp every 10 to 15 minutes she lasted till 430pm when her temp hit 102 again the medicine brought it down quickly. Shower and nighttime cold and flu medicine for bed.

Sunday she said she woke at 5am with body aches again. Her temp was 103 at 930am. The medicine was not working as quickly as I wanted so I forced liquids pretty early and every 15 minutes till I saw a change in the temp. I had her take a shower to reduce her body temp. She was bundled up with a robe, winter pajamas, fleece blanket, heated blanket on her back and socks. I stripped them off and she put on shorts and a tee with blanket loosely covering her. I force fed her an egg, applesauce and crackers throughout the day even if she didn’t have an appetite to put something in her stomach besides liquids for virus to cling to. I had her soak in an Epson salt bath to ease the body aches and keep her temp down. Her lowest temp was 99.9 when she felt better and walked outside for 10 minutes fresh air and sunshine God's natural remedy. By 515 it went back to 102.6 and only came down a degree over a 2.5 hour period so I gave her nighttime medicine early.

I wanted to be awake when she woke with body aches to check her temp so I was up by 1245am and checked on her she had covers kicked off so that meant she was breaking a fever not having a high temp and I waited for her to get up. She rose at 330am to use the restroom I took her temp it was 102.7 I gave her medicine. It helped her to sleep in till 920am. I was hopeful when I woke her she had the covers kicked off she thought she broke her fever she asked me to feel her and she was cool to the touch. At 945am we checked her temp it was 101 but she had an appetite. She had a slice of toast and a few bites of oatmeal before climbing back up to 102.3 at so I gave her meds again. This day I am letting her take personal responsibility for her health. As my brother said “Do you want to get well? Pick up you mat and walk.” I can give her water and soup and tea and juice but I can’t force her to eat or drink these at the end of the day she needs to make the decision to fight for her life by simply bringing the cup to her mouth.

Why was I able to go into her presence unharmed because Jesus said I could. My brother touched lepers the most infectious disease at that time and he did not get harmed. He did not stand six feet apart from them he got up close and personal with them. If this was going to take my sister from me I didn’t want me treating her like a prisoner to be the last thing I remembered of her.

What Jesus says I can do has more weight to me than what the CDC says I should do because the truth is I listened to this world for thirty something years and the only thing that resulted in was my sin that resulted in my death to this world. I die freely to this world daily. I lay my body down willingly. I believe my Father reminded me of the Romans verses so that I had the courage to stand up to what this world says I should do. So I broke every rule of what I was supposed to do because that is what Jesus did for me.

The last time I recorded being sick I noted in my journal December 5 2019 Cough December 6 fever and cough on December 7 I have a cold, rested December 8 still not feeling well December 9 still sick, took cough medicine during the day and nighttime sleep medicine at night December 10 rested, cough kept me up at night December 11 Still on the mend, headache from cough December 13 better each day December 14 my husband got sick. That was the last mention of illness on my part for a total of 6 to 7 days. For all I know I already had COVID which is why when my husband got sick two weeks ago I only had diarrhea. This body God so wonderfully made was familiar with it and knew how to defeat it by flushing it out.

Sleeping with the Enemy

April 24 2020

Then David continued, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the LORD is finished correctly.”1 Chronicles 28:20

Let me preface this by saying I AM NOT A DOCTOR. I do believe in the wisdom of God. I do believe there is no such thing as coincidences that every experience we have in life serves His good purposes not ours and that even if the things we go through are not good they will make sense to us eventually because the truth is He works all things out for good there is no darkness in Him at all. With that said this is my personal witness account with COVID-19:

April 15 I get a late night call from a friend who suspects she has COVID because she woke with what she thought might be a fever.  She lives with someone who is high risk so I can see how this can be alarming. In the 40 minutes we spoke I didn’t hear her cough. So I suspected the virus she had was fear but I could be wrong I reminded her to have faith over her fears and get some rest because even if she did have it rest is what she needs. On April 17 her test results were negative. Little did I know the fight I was in was much closer to home.

Easter weekend was the first weekend my husband had been given off in the 25 years he has worked for his company. He was able to have it off because of a reduction of hours due to COVID-19. His days off were Saturday April 11th to Monday April 13th. With more time than he is used to having he decided it would be the perfect weekend to clean out both the shed and the garage. He organized and threw away things he hadn’t touched in years. Swept out areas that hadn’t seen the light of day in a season or two.

 If there were errands to be run he ran them for me. I sent him to the grocery store and the post office that weekend. I remember when he asked if I wanted to come I said “No I think I will sit this one out besides when you are working during the week I am the one that has to go to the front lines for us. So you go ahead and go.”

On Tuesday morning April 14th at exactly 440 AM it wasn’t the sound of trumpets that woke me it was the sound of his cough. He was sitting at the kitchen table getting ready to leave for work. On Monday he mentioned his allergies had been acting up from the cleaning he had done that weekend. He assured me his cough was due to his nasal drip. He didn’t have a fever so we had no reason to believe otherwise. Each day he seemed to be more and more wiped out then the day before when he returned from work. But still no signs of fever. When he came home from work Friday April 17th I took his temp as we had done the previous days before and there it was 99.5. A low grade temp, nothing rest won’t heal.

We thought perhaps his allergies became a nasal infection that resulted in a cold. He maintained a 99/100 degree temperature for the most part except for twice when it was near 102 at the height of his battles. A low grade temp, fatigue, a cough from the nasal drainage and diarrhea were his symptoms. We kept reading that COVID is a “dry” cough but his was due to a thin nasal drainage. 

No nasal congestion. Just a tickle in his throat is how he describes it. He doesn’t work in the healthcare system nor is he at high risk so the CDC checker said in a nutshell it might be, feel better, stay at home. So we didn’t see cause for alarm because of his fever he did call out of work.

My sister works for a nursing home, so she drove his car to work Saturday April 18 through Monday April 19. She was feeling drained each day but thought it was just from being a caregiver. Each day she would beeline it from the garage to her room and go straight to bed. When she walked into the house on Monday she had a “dry” cough. She thought since what my husband had was allergy related that perhaps hers was from dehydration. As a caregiver you don’t get many drink breaks or bathroom breaks. You are always on the go till you stop for lunch and then get up and keep going till you leave for the day. Caring for others means putting yourself second. She was off from work Tuesday April 21st and Wednesday April 22nd so she thought she would just catch up on some much needed rest. She hardly came out of her room on Tuesday.

On Tuesday evening I remember looking out my kitchen window when I noticed these homing doves circling the nearby intersection and when they flew high up I went outside to get a better look. That is when I found two piles of white feathers in my yard. My first thought was my dogs attacked a bird in the yard and I searched in the grass for a carcass, there was none, thank God. So my second thought was my guardian angel must have put up a good fight.

When I began my walk of faith we installed a bird feeder so that I could see it from my kitchen window. Doves would often frequent it and they would leave their feathers behind for me to find. Every time I looked out my window I had this verse posted on the sill.

Look at the birds in the sky. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to Him than they are? Matthew 6:26

When this pandemic began and the stay at home orders were put into place people in my area began hoarding food. This verse kept me from hoarding. I went out each day as I did the days before and gathered our food for the day sometimes that food was take out. My Father taught me through Exodus 16:4 to go out and pick up as much food as I needed each day, gathering anything more wasn’t necessary. I share my fridge and cupboard space with my sister and roommate so with the limited space it just made sense to only get what I needed each day not more than I need even during this time.

Back to the birds, I began collecting the feathers I found in a vase because they reminded me of Psalm 91:4 He will cover you with His feather. He will shelter you with His wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. This verse has seen me through some of the most trying times in this walk of faith and this was no exception.

Tuesday I gathered all the large feathers I could find and put them in a shot glass. And once again the reminder of His protection came but this time with further insight.

He will cover you with His feathers He will shelter you with His wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. Psalm 91:4-7

On top of caring for my husband that Friday April 17th unbeknownst to us my son had vomiting and diarrhea. He is self-sufficient so when he doesn’t feel good he wants to be left alone. He announced Friday morning that he wanted to stay in bed all day and since I was caring for my husband I didn’t think anything of it.

On Saturday morning when I went to wake him he had a trash can by his bed and said he threw up several times. His pants were on the floor in the bathroom. Dried vomit on the rug, in the shower and flakes in the toilet. His room smelled of bad bodily fluid. I sent my husband to take his temp deducting if he is sick then the sick can’t make the sick even more sick. He came up and said he had a temperature of 102.8 and he gave him acetaminophen. Sunday it was a low grade 99.5 and by Monday he was back to normal temperature range. I had my own bouts of diarrhea for several days but being a mother and wife and a sister I didn’t have time to be sick when everyone else was in much worse shape than me. Staying hydrated and eating a steady diet of veggies I finally had a regular movement by day four.

Since I didn’t hear from my sister all day Tuesday I decided to check in on her Wednesday afternoon. I took her temp and there it was again 99.5. Because she is a caregiver I immediately told her to get tested since her cough was dry, a symptom I knew was part of virus. 

Within an hour she was at a drive thru testing site and within an hour and half we received notice that her test came back negative for all upper respiratory illnesses. A two page report with things listed as medical terms for coronaviruses and colds and flus. So we thought she was in the clear. I announced it to all my prayer warriors far and wide and we praised God because that also meant that whatever H and C had was not what we thought it might be.

But then a few hours later we get a second report that read COVID19 Abnormal, Respiratory Viral Panel Normal. It turns out they test for everything else before they test for COVID19. Why waste a test if it isn’t and because she tested negative for everything else they tested her for COVID19 and the results were Abnormal. A second form read Value Detected and Standard Range Not Detected. Detected or Not Detected which is it. After several minutes from recovering from the confusion it occurred to me that the Value was written in bold black letters lie a death sentence. Before we got the official letter the following morning I knew my sister was positive for Coronavirus and chances are high that the “cold” we thought my husband had was also the virus.

That night my thoughts consumed me so I turned to His promises to remind me that I was not in this fight alone. For the last 8 days what I thought was allergies or a simple nasal infection I was actually sleeping less than six feet beside the enemy this entire world is fighting against. As I said my husband was not tested so I cannot confirm or deny that he was positive what I can say is Thursday April 24th was a different day for me. My prayer warriors were back in the battlefield fighting alongside me with prayer against an enemy no one saw coming.

For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12

By the grace of God my husband’s low grade fever broke when he awoke Thursday morning and he has remained normal all through today. My son is going on day three of normal temp range. As for my sister she is just beginning her fight. Once again she laid in her room all day. No appetite. Only left room to go to the bathroom which was few and far between naps. All she wanted to do was sleep this illness away and I don’t blame her.

My sister is considered high risk. She has a low immune system because of drugs she takes for her thyroid and she also has a BMI greater than 40. I don’t consider her elderly but you wouldn’t be able to tell by the gray on her hair from the life she has lived being in a physically, emotionally and mentally abusive marriage for 25 years of her life.

She is the longest prayer I ever prayed. That someday she would have the courage and strength to leave him. She finally did two years ago and almost a year ago moved in with me. He has since passed away this year and only in death was she able to completely free herself from him.

Again I repeat I AM NOT A DOCTOR. Yesterday when we were certain of the enemy trying to steal my sisters’ health I advised her of the following having experienced the same exact symptoms with my husband the week before…You need to drink half your body weight in liquids to flush this out. She said okay but I don’t think she understood the importance of what I was saying. My uncle asked if my husband had headaches or shortness of breath and I am grateful to report he did not. By the wisdom of God I was reminded that headaches come from dehydration and since he was not, he did not experience this symptom. The shortness of breath is the result of mucus build up in the lungs. He did not lie down all day. When he got out of bed in the morning he was in a reclined position till it was time for bed. His mucus never had a chance to thicken because he was staying hydrated expelling the virus through his cough or bathroom breaks.

This morning in my devotionals I was reminded that my mother went to the hospital for a pneumonia and never came out. She died several months later. I always lived with the guilt that even at 13 I didn’t do more to help her. When she got sick I allowed her to sleep all day. I believed that rest was all she needed to heal. She stayed in a laying down position all day allowing for the fluid to build up in her lungs. She hardly drank anything because you don’t drink when you are asleep. The virus invaded her body and had the ability to overcome her while she slept. So it got me thinking perhaps with this illness people are suffering needlessly because although they are getting the much needed rest they need they are not getting the hydration needed to flush this virus out of their system. That is why I am sharing this with anyone who will listen.

The dis comfort people feel are symptoms related to dehydration. In life we are taught that we need water to live. In this case liquid has been the answer for my family. It didn’t even need to be just water it could come in the form of tea, coffee, soup, juice but a majority came from water. Like I said I AM NOT A DOCTOR I just needed the wisdom of God to remind me of this and I believe it was because of that wisdom we were able and are able to overcome this season.

The Spirit and the bride say “Come.” Let anyone who hears this say “Come. Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life.” Revelation 22:17

Here are the instructions I gave her maybe it might help you: Check temperature every hour take medicine if it gets above 101.9 the GOAL is to drink half your weight. She needed to drink 108oz = about 14 cups so her routine looks like this

Rise 830am 8oz water       1130 8oz water                                   230 8oz water

900 8oz juice check temp   12PM 8oz hot beverage check temp 3 8oz hot beverage check temp

930 8oz coffee                    1230 8oz soup                                  *Sip only when thirsty till bedtime

10 8oz water check temp    1 8oz water check temp                     and don't forget to monitor temperature every hour

1030 8oz water                   130 8oz water

11 8oz water check temp     2 8oz water check temp    

Forget Everything And Run!

April 6 2020

Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. Romans 4:20

I was reminded earlier today in a teaching that a ship doesn’t sink in the water, it sinks when the water gets in the ship. In 2 Corinthians 4:7 I was taught that this body I inhabit is called a vessel, a fragile clay jars that contain this great treasure. I think to myself if I am a ship and this world is the water I walk, float on. I don’t sink into despair or depression or become overwhelmed by the waves of destruction, I am simply tossed about by these waves but I don’t allow the water to get in me.

Like my ancestor Abraham my anchor in turbulent times is the promises of God. In the beginning He gave my ancestors a few promises and one of the first was that He would never leave until He had given them everything He promised in Genesis 28:15. Jacob remembered God’s promise to treat him kindly and multiply his descendants in Genesis 32:9 and 12 Even near death Joseph remembered that God promised to help him and lead His people out of Egypt in Genesis 50:24.

God reminds Moses in Exodus 3:17 the He promised to rescue, to lead and to give in Exodus 6:4. God has kept His promises but have I kept mine to God. The promise to hold on to His truth even when the waters of the world are ready to consume did I remember what God promised me. Like my ancestor Abraham did I have unwavering faith in spite of what the odds against me looked like?

God is not a man, so He does not lie. He is not human, so He does not change His mind. Has He ever spoken and failed to act? Has He ever promised and not carried it through? Numbers 23:19

I have faced many enemies in my forty something years of life that God has subdued. Not so that I would not have to face or fight them but so that I could have the strength to fight against them and quickly conquer them. So that I could drive them out of my life as God promised He would do in Deuteronomy 9:3. Overcome many obstacles because as I look around at this life I know that nothing I have was just given to me. There have been times I had to hang on to the promises of God and let go of the things I thought I wanted most in order to keep the things I had.

If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it. Matthew 10:39, 16:25, Mark 8:35, Luke 9:24, 17:33

When fear says to me “forget everything and run!” I stand up against my fears the way my brother, Jesus taught me to respond with “I am not afraid! Do what you are going to do. You can’t take a life I am willing to give up.” Because the truth is if fear is what life is about, I don’t want any part of this life. I choose to live my life with the courage God gives me. Courage is what I hold onto more than the fear of death I am well aware that death will come, that is a fight we will all face one day. Like a ship at sea when the waves of fear surround me I don’t let the fear get in me.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

As my Aunt Esther said in Esther 4:16 “If I must die, then I must die.” and as my Uncle Paul said in Philippians1:23-25 “I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live. Knowing this, I am convinced that I will remain alive so that I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith. Because there is more to life than being afraid of dying last I checked my brother, Jesus died so that I would no longer be a slave to that fear Hebrews 2:15.

Please Stand By

March 27 2020

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:2-4

Yesterday while listening to my CD teachings my player wouldn’t play the disc. It just so happened earlier I had read a devotional about when God disrupts your plan for His so I patiently replaced the disc with another teaching I had in line to play. Saying to myself “My guess is You didn’t want me to hear that message you had another one in mind.” As the disc began to play it was teaching on patience through the James verse above. I thought it came at a good time because yesterday was day one of a stay at home order. Basically we are not to leave our homes unless it is for food, gas, to seek medical attention or if we work at an essential work environment.

I don’t know about you but much like my ancestors Adam and Eve when you tell me there is one thing I can’t do everything in me wants to do it. I thought to myself I don’t “need” food but if it means I get to leave my house I can venture out to get something I don’t have. Shake that thought off my Spirit tells me. Be at peace with where you are. I put people in places of authority to govern. No one has power over you that I did not give them. Be at peace to stay where you are. With a deep sigh of resignation I listened. There is nothing I absolutely need. I am content to be where I am because where I am, You are.

I just happen to be in a third week of a bible study on the book of James. So to be reminded of this verse that I learned in more detail just a few weeks earlier before our lives were turned upside down I thought to myself “You must really need me to get this.” So I listened.

Trouble has come to us in the form of a microbial virus. How can I consider joy at a time like this? Well I get to spend some additional unplanned time with my son who is now home a few more weeks than one after his spring break. I take control of my mind and not let it imagine more than what I have been told in 21 days.

In the meantime he is having a taste of online school. Something we have actually talked about several times throughout his life is now his reality. Consider it joy I repeat, perhaps he will find that he learns better rather than being distracted by every sound. School violence is something he has prepared his whole life for. Every sound distracts him from the teaching and makes him wonder “What is that? Who is that? Why is that person not in class? Why is that person in the hall?” It saddens me that he can’t relax and feel safe at school. Something I never had to deal with except for an occasional fist fight, one on one, hand to hand combat old school style. Having a weapon was almost unheard of maybe a knife but never a gun. Consider it joy he is safe at home.

I thank God we have shelter, the utilities are paid for and operable, we have plenty of clothing fro warmth and enough food in the home that even if we don’t have what we want to eat when we want it, at the very least I have something to eat and for that I am grateful for. If we can’t find it at the store due to a shortage I can consider it joy that even if I can’t gather all the fixings at a supermarket to make say a hamburger I can always drive thru or have curbside pickup - it is not the end of the world.

We began this season a few weeks ago by making up our minds not to spend money on anything but food and gas so this is kind of a forced way of continuing that fast. I find it amusing that in all His great wisdom God had already been preparing us for something like this a while ago. Consider it joy that I have found my contentment in things money cannot buy.

My faith has been through far worse than this. I can look back and remember the numerous times God carried me through. Seasons I never thought I would make it out of yet like winter gives way to spring I am still breathing, still waiting for Him to come and take me home. I am ready to go when He is ready to take me.

I tell my family I feel like Lieutenant Dan in Forrest Gump standing at the top of his shrimp boat shaking his fist except I am not screaming into the storm I am screaming at this virus that might give me a fever and dry cough. Had symptoms like that a few months ago. Get that at least once a year. Is that all you got?! Because if you really want me gone you are going to do a whole lot more than scare me with a less than a percent chance of death. A point zero six percent chance to be exact. Come on now, I die to the fear of one hundred percent chance of death every single day. Okay endurance I am going to need you to take a breath and handle this.

My endurance has had a chance to grow. I will stay at home only because today is no different than most days I have lived before. I have been given the most precious gift of all about six years ago. A gift people spend their whole lives working for. A gift my mother died to have. The gift I was given was the gift of time. Not just any time to do with what I want but the time to spend with God, to serve Him, to work for Him, to lean on Him. And that means I spend a lot of time with Him. I don’t need to leave my house to do that.

I wake up to praise music in my mind. The first thing my eyes read is Scripture. I spend several hours reading and sharing my thoughts on Scripture. Then I get ready but not in silence when I am most susceptible to attack. Before my mind has time to think on its own I train it to listen to His teachings. Like Mary did in Luke 10:39 nothing is more important for me to know than about God. Because I have learned that when I actively seek His Kingdom above all else He gives to me everything I need for my day.

I endure during these times of trouble by hiding myself in the shadow of His wing, in His Word in His faithful promises. The news can wait, the world can wait, the Scriptures say wherever your heart is there your treasure will be. Well this heart has been sealed with God. I am not shaken by the things going on this world. How can I be when I have been taught to believe I am not of it. Like my brother Jesus, I boldly declare I know where I came from and where I am returning to so I need not be afraid. If this is the way He wants me to go I don’t want to cling to this life so much that I miss my chance to go home. When it is His time I trust a stay at home order cannot stop Him from taking me. No one can snatch me from my Father’s hand not even those who govern me.

While on this earth the reality is that I am being perfected not perfect yet. And when I am finally made perfect His work in me will be complete because I will have learned that there is nothing I need more than I need God and He is wherever I am. He is with me. He is everything and so much more. As David wrote in Psalm 139 I could never escape from His Spirit I can never get away from His presence. If I go up there He is, if I go down He is there. If I ride the wings of the wind, if I dwell to the depths below even there His hand guides me and His strength supports me. So whether I leave or stay at home God is with me. This I know. And He must have known I needed that reminder.        

Book of Obadiah

March 14, 2020

But Jerusalem will become a refuge for those who escape; it will be a holy place. And the people of Israel will come back to reclaim their inheritance. Obadiah 17

When I read the word Jerusalem I think of it not as a specific location, a place on a map, a city but my belief is that it is a state of mind. A place of peace, this is the kind of peace that comes from knowing who my Father is and what my brother Jesus gave me. It did not come from this world. I spent thirty plus years looking to this world for my peace and it was always out of reach. Thoughts like I will be at peace when I graduate, when I get married, when I have a house, when I have a car, when I get that promotion, when I get that raise. I was never content to be at peace just where I was. It was always somewhere in front of me a place I had not yet arrived.

The truth of His Word says that God has already given me the gift of peace of mind and heart no matter what the circumstance. Peace is something you receive not something out of reach. I could believe I had or I could believe I didn’t. It wasn’t so far out of reach it was a made up mind that I did. He said in that this peace does not come from this world. It is a peace this world could not give. John 14:27 He is the source of peace Micah 5:5 so why not seek it in Him. I turned off the TV, put away the things of this world that would distract me. Like my Uncle Paul said I lost interest in the things of this world and the world lost interest in me Galatians 6:14 and there it was waiting in the quiet, in the stillness, patiently without complaint or demand for my attention, peace.

As Obadiah declared peace is my refuge when I want to escape this world’s corruption. I turn my eyes to His Word. To remind me of God’s power and majesty and Sovereignty in this world. That no matter what is going on in the world I am not of it. As my brother taught there would be troubles. To believe I could live a trouble free life in this world is the biggest lie I ever believed. There was no I will be happy when, I will be peaceful when, I will be, I will be when. I had to learn to be happy now, be peaceful now. Being a part of this world you don’t have to look very far for trouble it surrounds me, there is always something going on that is meant to steal my peace, destroy my joy, kill my faith. These gifts must be important to obtain otherwise why would the world try and try so hard each day to take them.

There are things I am going through this very day that could steal my peace and trouble me but he also taught me to set my sights on the realities of heaven. I am instructed to think of the things of heaven, not the things of earth in Colossians 3:1-2. Because the truth is Spoiler Alert: this is not heaven. This place we live is the same place Satan was thrown down from heaven Revelation 12:9. My brother called Satan, the ruler of this world in John 12:31, 14:30 and 16:11. So why would I look for my peace in a place whose rulers main purpose is to take peace from me Revelation 6:4.

I am from above and I do not belong to this world my brother taught me John 8:23 Whatever my fears for tomorrow, my worries about today, my what ifs, my distress over things I cannot change, all my anxieties this world freely gave to me are all illusions my mind has created to make sense of the chaos around me. There is no making sense of why things are the way they are. I am smart enough to know I haven’t been alive long enough to figure out that it has been this way since time began I am just a traveler passing through this land like everyone else before me Psalm 39:12.

So I come back to reality, the real life I live in this moment, what is happening this moment and that life is just me in a room typing on a keyboard, while the sound of a vacuum is whirring outside my door and the laundry is agitating and the kids are sleeping. Hidden securely in the Word of God, that is my life. Colossians 3:3-4 what I have built my life on.

When I am in peace it is my refuge, my escape, my holy place. I am where my brother is, where he pleaded with our Father for me to be John 17:24 I am seated right beside him witnessing everything and testifying that His Word is truth Ephesians 2:6 and everything will go as God has planned for my life Job 23:14. My inheritance is arranged and guaranteed in every detail. He will ensure my safety and success. 2 Samuel 23:5 For His plans for me are good. To give me a hope and future Jeremiah 29:11 greater than anything I could ask or imagine as translated in 1 Corinthians 2:9 about Isaiah 64:4 and 55:8. A future I look forward to, a place I am not yet but hope to be and I can’t help but smile at all that God is because of what Obadiah taught and my brother reminds me of each day inspite of what each day brings. 

Book of Amos

March 9, 2020

Words worth repeating, this is what the book of Amos taught me. It opens up with the LORD repeating this verse eight different times “The people…have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished!” I could read this and like the enemy who is also called the Accuser, I could point my finger at the sins of everyone else and ignore the plank in my own eye but when I read this all I thought was the same could be said of me. Thank God for Jesus!

I sinned against the virtuous boundaries the LORD had established long ago for me again and again. The truth was He had every right to punish me but instead the punishment I received was the burden of guilt and shame I carried for the things I had done. I believed in the lie that no good thing could come from someone like me till I read the seventh and eighth people who sinned against God again and again, the people of Judah and Israel.

The people of Judah were guilty of rejecting the LORD’s instructions and refusing to obey God. A sin I was all too familiar with. They were led astray by the same lies that deceived their ancestors as Amos mentions in 2:4. If I look back over my own brief lineage I can’t remember one virtuous relative who lived their lives worshiping God alone.

And if that weren’t enough the people of Israel sold honorable people into slavery to increase their own prosperity. They trampled the helpless from the same dust they were formed as though they were better than the least of these. They practiced sexual immorality. Paid for things with money they didn’t have, credit isn’t a new thing it has been used since days of old. Being in debt to the world just so that they could give the appearance of being prosperous. Forgetting everything they had, even their prosperity came from the LORD who took them out of the same slavery they put others in.

From among all the families on the earth, I have been intimate with you alone. That is why I must punish you for all your sins. Amos 3:2

I never truly understood why Jesus had to be the sacrifice. Why I had to come to the acceptance that he gave his life in exchange for mine. Why he had to be punished for my sins. In my studies I read in Hebrews 9:22 that according to the laws of Moses “without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.” And even before this God explains in Leviticus 17:11 that the life of the body is in its blood. And He has given us the blood that purifies us and makes us right with Him because it is blood, given in exchange for a life that makes purification possible. A life for a life, his life for my life.

When Adam and Eve sinned and tried to hide their shame with brittle fig leaves that would fall and fade in Genesis 3:7 God made clothing from animal skins to cover their shame in Genesis 3:21. The animals, lets imagine sheep, didn’t do anything, they were just minding their own business in the garden yet their lives were taken so that Adam and Eve could be spared the shame and guilt.

Caiaphas, who was the high priest at that time, said “You don’t know that you’re talking about! You don’t realize that it’s better for you that one man should die for the people than for the whole nation to be destroyed.” He did not say this on his own; as high priest at the time he was led to prophesy that Jesus would die for the entire nation. And not only for that nation, but to bring together and unite all the children of God scattered around the world. John 11:49-52

And so it is that Jesus is the one man that died for me and everyone who would believe in him. The truth is I wasn’t able to endure the penalty of punishment for the sins I committed. And God knew that long ago. How much are all the lies I told worth to this world? Blood. How much did my sexual promiscuity cost? Blood. I could go on and on naming each sin and the price this world puts on it is always the same for each one. Blood. Jesus poured out his blood till his physical form was taken from the earth for mine. And when he emptied himself his Spirit rose and said All done, no more! The cost was paid in full. It was not with the skin of animals that covered my shameful deeds it is with the precious blood of my brother that covered me. 1 Peter 18-20 And I wear each day like a silk robe.

So when I read Amos, it reminds me that perfection is not the way to the throne. Even the lineage my brother came from was not spotless and without blemish but he was. That even from this family God created something good and that is good enough for me.

Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction? Amos 3:3

“My people have forgotten how to do right,” says the LORD. Amos 3:10

Another verse God repeats in Amos is when He lists the long line of punishment He sent on his people to get their attention He repeats five times “But still you would not return to me.” In Amos 4:6,8,9,10 and 11. I remember when the Israelites first started living life with God they grumbled and complained in the desert and God sent snakes to end the lives they showed contempt for in Numbers 21:4-7 right away they admit “We have sinned” but not in Amos it took them awhile to figure out that punishment comes in many forms.

Over thirty years what Christ did for me wasn’t enough. I walked on my own downward path and couldn’t figure out why time and time again I kept stumbling and failing my way through life. I didn’t even know how to do what was right because I certainly wasn’t taught by God. I didn’t know His ways because I didn’t believe in the one he sent that walked them out first to show me the way of life. They sounded incredulous to me. Conquer evil by doing what is good? Who ever heard of such a thing? Pray for your enemies? I prayed that I wouldn’t get my hands on them. Forgive the unforgiveable when I couldn’t even receive forgiveness for myself? I think not. But the more I followed in obedience rather than human reasoning the more I saw the goodness of God. The more my faith was built up not by the ways of this world but by the truth of His words even if I didn’t understand I did what He instructed me to do. Reminds me of my son who always breathes a heavy sigh when I ask him to practice personal hygiene or do his chores yet complies.

“Come back to me and live!” “Come back to the LORD and live!” Amos 5:4;6 repeats. That is what I was looking for when I returned to God, life, a life ,when I took a look around at all that I had built in this world it wasn’t much of a life. At least it wasn’t one that I would be proud to pass down to my only son. Any life was better than the one I had created for myself so God gave me “a life for a life”.

Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living. Amos 5:24

Who is able to advise the Spirit of the LORD? Who knows enough to give Him advice or teach Him? Has the LORD ever needed anyone’s advice? Does He need instruction about what is good? Did someone teach Him what is right or show Him the path of justice? Isaiah 40:13-14

If there is one thing I know for sure I am not just. I am not a judge who can tell others their right from their wrong. I have only one judge and He has the final say. He is the only one in recorded history who is able to produce the flood that drowns my enemies. The only one who is able to hold the river back so that I can cross over safely. Not by my own strength but by His Spirit are the way things are done. I don’t understand it I just know that I need not go around paying people back or vindicating myself for the sins committed against me, I have a righteous judge for that and He sees everything I see.

When righteous living is my pursuit it is a daily decision I make to do what is good rather than what would feel good for me. It is a daily decision I make to hate evil actions and love the good people do because that goodness doesn’t come from people it comes from God who is still on the throne. Even a hint of goodness on this earth isn’t manmade it is God who softens the hardest of hearts.

Good and evil are not a label I put on people it is a what they do. God asked Adam and Eve “what have you done” in Genesis 3:13 not who are you. And the truth is even now my actions may not always be good but even the wisest man said being too good could destroy you in Ecclesiastes 7:16 maybe it was because then I would take pride in my good deeds not in what Jesus did to save me and I would rather let him take the credit for what I could not do. I train myself to look for the good that people do and run from taking part in the Accusers job it seems he does fine to work alone and doesn’t need my help Zechariah 3:1 Revelation 12:10. I have one judge I trust in His judgement and He has judged to set me free from my Accusers accusations Zechariah 3:2 James 2:12 and I thank God for that.

Another repeating verse in Amos is his visions of destruction in chapter 7 when Amos intercedes on our behalf and asks the LORD to forgive us. I would like to believe that it is not because I deserve God’s forgiveness or I am so good that I have done so many good things in my life to make up for my wrongs. That I somehow managed to give God reason to forgive me. No, the truth is like Amos confession I realize how small I truly am, that I am not God. Only God has the power to forgive so when I forgive it isn’t me, it’s God in me because even God knows the kind of servant I am I tend to hold a grudge until God reminds me to let go. Only He had the divine wisdom to send His son long before I thought I needed him even Jesus said only God is truly good in Mark 10:18 and Luke 18:19 not taking credit for his own goodness.

So the LORD relented from this plan. “I will not do it,” He said. Amos 7:3; and repeated in verse 6

My life could have been so much different from the way I had lived. Had I not looked up to follow the path He laid and returned to Him. I am glad He relented from the punishment I deserved. I am grateful He gave me the gift of faith not to just listen but follow even when I didn’t understand. I know that forgiveness is a powerful thing. When received completely it has the power to change a person’s life because it changed mine.

And like any good book in the end of Amos we find a happily ever after not just gloom and doom. A promise God makes to restore the broken down walls, to repair the damage my sins had done, to rebuild the ruins and restore the glory God intended me to have. A promise he fulfilled in Christ. The LORD said let there be light long ago and it has been coming ever since the world began so when the LORD speaks and repeats, Amos taught me to pay attention because He will indeed do these things. He has sent. He has planted. And nothing and no one has been able to separate and uproot mankind from the land the LORD has given them long ago.

I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you-Joshua 1:3 (also mentioned in Deuteronomy 11:24)

Book of Joel

March 4, 2020

I will pardon my people’s crimes, which I have not yet pardoned; and I, the LORD, will make my home in Jerusalem with my people. Joel 3:21

Imagine with me that the mention of the name Jerusalem is translated to the place of peace. That God makes His home in the place of peace. When I came to know God I didn’t have peace in my life. I had war. I had chaos. I had strife. I had bitterness, anger and rage swirling in my mind. Peace was always a distant place out of reach much like Jerusalem is to me.

I had heard of peace but never experienced it, truly experienced it for myself. I thought it was quietness and stillness. It was when the TV was off, the phone was silent. When I could hear my dog sleeping and the chime outside clang as a breeze blew. If I closed my eyes the rustling of the leaves in the trees sounded like ocean waves clapping against the shore. A memory I had tucked away in a past I no longer lived. In the place that I was silence was peace. I never thought of peace as a state of mind. A place I could be even when everything around me was not peaceful.

For God in all His fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to Himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross. Colossians 1:19-20

The life of Jesus was the way that God made peace with me. How He pardoned all my crimes. Nothing I could ever do till the end of my life could ever make up for the last thirty plus years in my life. I only had this moment I couldn’t change my past but what I did in this moment could change my future. It did not have to be like my past. I had to believe that every crime I had committed before believing in him Jesus paid the penalty for as was taught in Romans 3:24. A weight was lifted from my shoulders that said I didn’t have to carry the burden of guilt and shame that was placed on me. For the first time in my life I didn’t have the feeling that I wasn’t good enough because God already knew I wasn’t and by his life he had already said I was.

Peace entered my heart from that day on. It didn’t matter what I would become or what became of my life because I was no longer who I was. Like a butterfly that emerges from a cocoon I was something new entirely. I may have looked the same on the outside but something had changed on the inside, the way I saw life it was no longer my own. I live with the excitement of what each day might bring, a hope that today might be better than the one before but even if it isn’t I still find reasons to confirm the hope I have in God.

And I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good for them. I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me. I will find joy doing good for them and will faithfully and wholeheartedly replant them in this land. Jeremiah 32:40-41

I send my brain into each day like a trained dog playing fetch for the good things God promised, to remind me what it is I am grateful for. From the first conscious deep breath I breathe to the warmth of sun reminding me of His radiant glory. There are too many things to count, my gratefulness overflows into thanksgiving where the presence of God is found as taught in Psalm 100:4.

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Joel reminds me of what my life was before knowing God. Before I believed that a man walked the earth and was everything God created man to be- virtuous in every sense of the word, but we all turn to follow our own downward path when we aren't looking up as Solomon explains in Ecclesiastes 7:29. In the middle of Joel after acknowledging that I need a greater standard than myself to live by, to be saved by, it gives me hope that God is able to restore the brokenness. Not into what my life was before but into something better.

In three brief chapters Joel gives me a hope I never had before. Like the Samaritan woman at the well I exclaim “Come and see a man who told me everything I did!” in John 4:29. The human experience hasn’t changed much only the circumstance in which we find ourselves in but the answer remains the same as it was then is the same as it is now. The promises of God  still stand in wait for those who will receive them. That the goodness of God is still yet to be found by those who are willing to seek after it.

Don’t be afraid, my people. Be glad now and rejoice, for the LORD has done great things. Joel 2:21

The Book of Hosea

February 23  2020

The LORD says, “I will heal you of your faithlessness; my love will know no bounds, for my anger will be gone forever.” Hosea 14:4

I was faithless well into my late thirties. If I went to church it was because I was told to not because I wanted to and I hated every moment I was there thinking of other places I would rather be. I didn’t really believe in a God that was able to do all these wonderful things He spoke of in His Word because the truth was my life was far from being described as wonderful.

Like my ancestor Jacob in Genesis 32:22-32 I wrestled with the faith to believe. In the fight He asked me “What are you so afraid of?” in tears I held onto my disbelief like my precious (for all you Lord of the Ring fans) and responded “What if you're not real? What if this voice in my head is actually me going crazy?!” and He replied with tears in His own eyes I imagine “What if I am?” the two simple words that broke my spirit of unbelief were “I am” because long before this fight He had already said these words to me “Be still and know that I am” and I was determined to know who He was when I opened His Word for the first time. I realized that belief was something I didn't have because if I was being honest I didn't even have enough belief to believe in myself much less a God I could not see.

God replied to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM.* (footnote reads Or I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE.) Say to the people of Israel: I AM has sent me to you." Exodus 3:14

I had to accept that everything that made me who I was in that moment that God was able to work out for His good. Because even while, even though I was a sinner I had to believe He sent His son for me. He had opened my mind to remember all that He had done for me in those thirty plus years. All the times He had saved me from my own destructive self. Every time I should have…there He was faithfully protecting me even if I had no belief in Him, He never stopped believing in me. There was no denying He was there for me. What if He is who He says He is. What if every Word He spoke was truth. What if as Moses said I am who I am or I will be who I will be. All I know is I am not the same person I was because I know me all too well and I can't take credit for who He has created me to be.

What if the LORD had not been on our side when people attacked us? Psalm 124:2

The book of Hosea gave me an example of what love looks like when it knows no bounds. As my Uncle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:10 I am what I am because God poured out His favor of grace on me. I hadn’t always sought God for everything even though He was everything good in my life James 1:17. I am grateful that the Word says God imprisoned everyone in disobedience (not just me) so that He could have mercy on us all. Romans 11:32 Hosea showed me that God was willing to forgive no matter how far away I had fallen away from Him.

Bring your confessions, and return to the LORD. Say to Him, “Forgive all my sins and graciously receive me, so that I may offer You praises.” Personal Hosea 14:2

The answer to that plea was yes when My Father sent His Son born of flesh and blood to be the answer for me 2 Corinthians 1:20. Because that is what real love does. It covers a multitude of sins, even the ones between you and Him. Love believes in the best when there is no reason to believe I won’t fail Him again. Love hopes like an anchor in a storm tossed boat never giving up, never letting me go. Love wants what is best for me, even when I don’t want the same thing. Love refuses to cause me harm and promises to work everything out for good even when it crushes me, because the truth is there is no darkness in love. In real love that is, not the kind of love found in this world.

All my life that is the kind of love I sought but my mistake was I was looking for it in the wrong place. I measured God’s love for me by the standards of this world. If this world was bad, then the Creator must be bad. But that would be like saying if my sons room is a mess then my son is a mess. The world was good when God created it for us, the people He created to inhabit the world are the ones who messed their room up. I never once looked up, looked up His Word to read all the love letters He left behind for all His children to find. Right there in plain sight, written in black and white. The world had me convinced God was angry with me. That God could never love someone like me. There was no way God could have created someone as imperfect as me. Yet here I was kicking and screaming my way through life well into my late thirties refusing to grow up, refusing to mature and take responsibility for cleaning up my room, my life.

Hosea 11 describes the LORD’s love for me in the way I parent my own child. As my son was growing up I have pictures of him being caught pulling all the tape out of a brand new roll in the office or all our movies piled high on the floor while his building blocks were neatly stacked in his toy box or the time he strategically placed the laundry basket upside down to reach the door handle that lead into the yard.

Adventurous my son is, even now never pleased to be still. When I found my son in places he should not be I would simply say his name and quickly he would return to me. But as he grew older the further he drifted away unable to hear me say his name. These days I am lucky to get a text or phone call asking for a ride or to meet a need. He is adamant about his privacy behind closed doors to keep me out, fortunately there is no lock to keep me out. His adventures now take place in a digital realm making it harder to keep him from things meant for his harm. Words have power I repeat. Emotions are a response to the things we think I warn.

It was my love for him that taught him to walk, leading him along by my hand till he had the confidence to let go and take himself places he wanted to go not where I would lead him. Most recently I even tried to teach him to drive, force driving on him actually so that he could enjoy even more freedom sooner than I got mine. But then I decided that driving is a responsibility that he must have the maturity to pursue on his own and for now he seems to be content to be driven, I don’t complain anymore.

As he grew up I took care of his every need and now it seems his need for me is less and less. There will come a day when he will need me no more. Everything I did for my son came from a heart of kindness and to show him my love. To show him that he doesn’t need to seek the things of this world for the things I gave to him freely. I know he will spend his time in the wilderness, time in the unknown. This world will try to put a yoke of slavery on him, want more of him, more from him to prove himself but today he is satisfied being my son in the same way I am a child of God.

My brother once taught that you must receive the Kingdom of God like a child in Mark 10:15 and Luke 18:17. I came to God with a need I sought in this world and concluded only God could meet it. I came to my Father with a trust the way my son depends on me. I know I don’t deserve His love if I had to earn it. If my actions are any measure of how much I should be loved by Him I would not be worthy of it but I come to Him as His child, His daughter the way my brother taught me. I am counting on a Father’s love to see me through this life so that I can close my eyes here and open them in His presence. After being gone so long I don’t want to leave my Father’s side, I cling to Him as He created me to, I embrace Him as He always wanted me to because the truth is it took me a long time to figure out that this world has nothing to offer me that is greater than my Fathers’ love.

…I am the One who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me. Hosea 14:8

Book of Daniel

February 10 2020

…you will receive your kingdom back again when you have learned that heaven rules. Daniel 4:26

The book of Daniel didn’t just tell me, it showed me that wisdom comes from God much like Solomon mentions in Ecclesiastes 2:26. No amount of my public or private schooling, no formal education I paid for can compete with the wisdom and understanding that God gave. I paid thousands of dollars to be wise only to learn I was a fool in the end. I wasn’t wise in doing what was right that’s for sure. I have a brother who dropped out of high school and was given the wisdom to start his own company before the age of 18 and then the foolishness to lose it all again and again.

It is evident that worldly wisdom is honored in this world and those without it are looked down upon, yet it is the wisdom of God that we all seek. I used to believe money would give me the financial peace I needed live with peace in spite of the sorrows and trials I faced. I sought love and approval in this world when I didn’t know God’s love for me. I wanted to feel joy even if for a fleeting moment by my accomplishments, possessions, power over people. But I was never content it was never enough I always wanted more.

I wanted to have the patience to wait for things I couldn’t have this very moment. Learning quickly that life is not a drive thru and no amount of repeated prayer works at the speed of the internet. I longed for others to treat me good, be kind and gentle toward me but then admittedly I was not quick to give others that treatment if it didn’t benefit me. I wanted to know there were things I could depend on, people I could trust. That their word meant something, that a promise could be kept in a world that continually let me down and deceived me into believing I could trust in it. I wanted to have the self-control and self-discipline it took to live a successful life so that I could overcome the fear of facing my giants and tearing down my Jericho walls. Of all the books in the bible Daniel taught me that when you are wise often times you will be required to be courageous even in the face of death.

Daniels first act of courage and wisdom was refusing to eat the food and wine provided by the king to those that were held captive. Daniel told the attendant that had been appointed to watch over him and his friends to test them for ten days on a diet of vegetables and water rather than that of meat and wine. I imagine back then people thought strength came from the food they ate (a truth that probably still holds true today) if you had a diet of meat from animals you would be as strong as the animal you were consuming. As for the wine well I would think that if your mind wasn’t clear perhaps it made you forget the sorrow that you were a captive slave.

He told the attendant if after ten days he looked pale and thin then the attendant could make a decision to continue feeding him this way or with the king’s allotment. At the end of ten days Daniel and his friends looked healthier and better nourished then those who had eaten what the king gave. I wonder if our own health would change if we adopted the same diet. I am reminded food is to feed the flesh 1 Corinthians 6:13 not to feed the Spirit as my brother, Jesus taught in John 4:32; 34.

So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your strength comes from God’s grace, not from rules about food, which don’t help those who follow them. Hebrews 13:9

A little truth about myself, before learning these things I thought it was normal to use the bathroom once a week what I didn’t know is that I was constipated all my life. After reading this I felt convicted to drink more water, about half my weight to be exact for ten days. Thinking to myself if in ten days I feel the same I will go back to drinking as I had before which was 2-3 glasses a day usually a coffee, a soda and some other sweetened beverage like tea or flavored drink. Plain water was never my beverage of choice.

When I started to use the bathroom once a day I thought I was sick. Something must be wrong with me. I have never gone to the bathroom this much. It must have been something I ate. But as my body remained properly hydrated I was rewarded with more energy. My skin was brighter and I didn’t have that hungry feeling all the time. That insatiable need to snack all day. For the first time in my life I felt content. Whether I had eaten little or much perhaps there was some truth to this Word.

Daniel’s next act of noted courage is when the king made a gold statue and commanded that all the people bow to the statue. Whoever did not bow to it, would be thrown into a blazing furnace. Daniel and his friends refused. The king asked if this was true and Daniel said in 3:16-18 “…we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if He doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” So into the fire they went and out of the fire God brought them.

“Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn’t even smell of smoke!” Daniel 3:27

There was a time in my life when I went on maternity leave and the store I managed had been robbed in my absence. It was an inside job. So with no proof of who robbed the place they fired everyone without reason. This is a work at will state. You can be released from employment at any time without reason, even reason of suspicion.

I returned to an entirely new crew that I had not hired. Their intention was to “fire” me upon return. I went in prepared for the furnace but when they gave me the reason for letting me go much like Daniel I pointed out that I had not break any breach of contract rule they accused me of and that I would not accept their line of reasoning. I argued my points and was sent home so they could verify my facts were correct and I was allowed to return to work with a three day paid vacation.

Once again Daniel proved himself to be capable and reliable for another king. And jealousy in the ranks rose and another decree was issued so that they could find fault with Daniel based on “the rules of his religious practices”. But this king favored Daniel. When he was caught bowing before God to pray they told the king and insisted he be thrown into the lions’ den as was the penalty for his crime of bowing before anyone besides the king. Hearing this, the king was deeply troubled, and he tried to think of a way to save Daniel. He spent the rest of the day looking for a way to get Daniel out of this predicament as told in verse 6:14. I believe God did give him the wisdom he sought. But that is something I will have to ask when I get back home.

At last the king gave orders to put Daniel in the lions’ den, seal it with a rock so that no one can rescue him he said and then he said to Daniel “May your God, whom you serve so faithfully, rescue you.” The king fasted, and refused his usual entertainment and couldn’t even sleep at all that night. Early the next morning he hurried to the den and called out to Daniel “Daniel, servant of the living God! Was your God, whom you serve faithfully, able to rescue you from the lions?” and Daniel answered “Long live the king!”

Like my ancestor Daniel I remember a time I too was left to the lions in order to stand up for what I believed. It took me 15 years to be thrown into the lions’ den but with the help of God I survived the ordeal. In short it was my fear of asking my husband to leave the home for his repeated crimes of infidelity against our marriage. I was so afraid because he is the sole bread winner in the home believing if he goes so do the finances to sustain the household. But much like the king I sought God for wisdom and it came in the form of this statement to him.

“I need you to leave for an indefinite amount of time. Keep in mind nothing is in my name, everything is in your name so I expect you to continue to honor your obligations by continuing to pay for everything as you have already been doing in exchange for the care of our son and the keeping of the household.”

He agreed. We were separated for almost five months and though he placed absolutely no value in our marriage certificate he did keep his word and his financial obligation during that entire time. I was not overwhelmed by the threat of loss. I did not get consumed by financial stress. We used the time apart to mourn for what was lost and draw nearer to God 1 Corinthians 7:32 and sought the wisdom of God of how to rebuild our family based not on paper or stone but on a relationship with God first. We are still a work in progress. The way I see it, is it took 15 years to destroy our marriage if takes 15 years to rebuild it into something neither of us have ever known than time is all we have, I am not in a rush.

In the ending chapters Daniel has many dreams and visions of the coming destruction which I am not an expert on but for me it serves as a picture of what it looks like when humanity comes to the end of itself and learns to rely on God, put their trust in God alone as Paul mentions in 2 Corinthians 1:8-10.

When it was time for me to put my selfish needs to rest so that I could come under the control of the Spirit, from personal experience, they did go down without a fight. My own ways and desires devour and claw for their own way like an animal trapped to remain alive. But it doesn’t last forever nothing ever does only His Word. I endured the good fight of faith and a fight it was, I clung to the hope that God would save even when there was no reason to hope I would survive. A part of me had to die in order for this new way of life to rise. And all that was wrong with the way I had been raised and taught was made right.

I am reminded through his visions, though terrifying, much like life can be at times, that all these visions of trials and sorrows come to an end. They have been given an expiration date. That none of the things we suffer for last forever. No wound so deep God cannot heal. In verse 9:2 Daniel says “he learned from reading the Word of the LORD”… an example I too learned to follow. It wasn’t till I came to know God that I began to know my true self. Who I was, the things I did, were all man made ideas that held absolutely no truth. I was deceived by the people of this world into believing I had no worth, no value unless I was just like the people of this world. I traded the truth for a lie as Paul says in Romans 1:25. But Jesus called me out of this world John 17:16. 

Daniel makes a plea for His people in chapter nine that I practically have all highlighted because at the time I read it, it was a cry for myself.

For all that I have suffered, for all the wrong that I did the Lord was always in the right to abandon me to my sins and the consequence there of. But Daniel reminded me that the God I serve is a merciful and forgiving God in spite of all I had done. Every curse and judgement written against me in Deuteronomy 28:15-68 was written long before I committed sin. God kept His word and did exactly what He had warned.

There is a verse in Romans 8:32 that says since God did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for all of us, won’t He also give us everything else? Of course many read it and think of all the good that God will give to them but I read it and think God did not spare his son from all the trials, sorrow and hurt that was brought upon him what makes me to believe I am immune from suffering much less? God was right not to spare me from the consequence of my own actions otherwise how would I learn there is a better way to live. As Daniels pleads so do I.

In view of all Your faithful mercies, Lord, please turn Your furious anger away from me…O my God, hear Your servant’s prayer! Listen as I plead. For Your own sake, Father, smile again on Your desolate sanctuary. O my God, lean down and listen to me. Open Your eyes and see my despair. See how Your city- the city that bears Your name- lies in ruins. I make this plea not because I deserve Your help, but because of Your mercy. O Lord, hear. O Lord, forgive. O Lord, listen and act! For Your own sake, do not delay, O my God, for Your people and Your city bear Your name. Personal Daniel 9:16-19

I heard the other day life can be summed up in two words “wait and hope”. I waited on God and hoped that these words were truth. I waited on Him and while I waited I read every verse He spoke. I wanted more of Him than I wanted of this world. Presidents rose and fell in my wait. Economies rose and collapsed while I waited. Birthdays were celebrated, deaths were mourned and still I waited and hoped. In the wait He transformed my thinking Romans 12:2. He rebuilt the way I thought. I started to see life through the lens of His Word not through the eyes of this world. Many tears have been shed, they never stop, they are part of the refining process, a sword needs both water and fire to be strengthened. I weep for those who don’t know. I weep for those who still hang on to the ways of this world knowing for myself that it all will come to an end but still I wait and hope.

Prayers take time to be fulfilled but I have seen many answered, many miracles performed since giving my life to God. It doesn’t matter how my life goes, who comes in or out of it I am not so attached to the things of this world as I was before. What matters is the end result that God works all things, even the not so good things, out for good. Even in these visions of terror and trial and sorrow and strife God still rules.

Many will be purified, cleansed and refined by these trials. But the wicked will continue in their wickedness and none of them will understand. Only those who are wise will know what it means…And blessed are those who wait and remain…As for you, go your way until the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days, you will rise again to receive the inheritance set aside for you. Daniel 12:10; 12-13

Book of Ezekiel

January 29 2020

The voice said to me, “Son of man, eat what I am giving you- eat this scroll! Then go and give its message to the people of Israel.” Ezekiel 3:1

It was down to the last two in the spelling bee out of 100 kids it was down to me and one other. The word was “scroll” I heard “squirrel” and with foolish pride thought I had this, it was in the bag, with the confidence of a fool I said with confidence squirrel, s-q-u-i-r-r-e-l, squirrel and the sound of sighs of those cheering me on dropping like a wave across the auditorium fell at the sound of “q” knowing I had already misspelled the word. “That is incorrect” the judge announced. In my confusion I thought I added an extra “r” switched the “e” and “l” till I heard my competitor speak it with a mocking smile scroll s-c-r-o-l-l. Of all the words I have misspelled “scroll” remains forever burned in my mind.

When I made up my mind to know Him I started with the disciples account Matthew, Mark, Luke and John then before reading the epistles I jumped into the Old Testament by the time I made my way to the prophets I had about 60 percent of the Word read. My love for dragonflies began with Ezekiel’s Vision of the Living Beings found in the beginning. Words like four wings, moved straight forward without turning around, like lightening sounds like a dragonfly to me.

The second time I heard His voice was when I sat on my porch watching the dragonflies dance in my yard. Faced with the same dilemma... how to move forward without turning around. I felt the hand of God on my right shoulder speaking in a still calm voice “Be still and know that I am.”My walk of faith then was simply going to church once a week. Before I even knew who He was I knew what other people taught but I had never eaten the scroll for myself. Never tasted His Words on my tongue, never digested the Word in my mind. Savoring the wisdom it gave. Yet somehow in all those teachings the only words that came to mind when my world was falling apart was “Be still and know that I am.” From that day on I made it my mission to know who He was.

After eating several books I shared some insight with friends I knew well, like the movie I refer to them as my “Three Amigos” not because of likeness only because there are three and it makes it easier to say than to mention each by name. One has known of me since their birth, the other since grade school when friendship would be my refuge when I was orphaned in middle school, the other since I gave birth to my son, she held my hand as I entered motherhood.

All have been a witness to my life so if I thought I was going crazy, if my insight sounded insane I ran it by them to double check does this sound right to you? They each confirmed the message was truth. Even if it was something they hadn’t heard before my explanation didn’t sound completely off course. “Then go and give its message to the people”, my people were my three amigos.

Standing in my office laying my life before God “Share my Word” was the next message I heard. I argued who would listen, why would they listen to someone like me. As my ancestor David once said “You know what your servant is really like” but when the voice that saved your own life asks you to do something it doesn’t take much convincing. My life was the least I could give for the life He had given me. Good thing He made me as stubborn and hardhearted for Him as the people that would be against Him (verse 3:8-9).

Then He added, “Son of man, let all My Words sink deep into your own heart first. Listen carefully to them for yourself. Ezekiel 3:10

So that is what I did before I started to share my walk of faith through this blog I read the Word for myself. I categorized verses in a notebook before I wrote them down, I posted them on my walls, window seals, I even framed some because words are art for me. If I wasn’t working for the world I was reading His Word. If I wasn’t in the world I was writing out His Word. I was literally going to school in the Word and the Spirit was my teacher.

Life situations would arise to distract me from my course but much like Nehemiah I worked with greater determination and allowed them to rise up and fall. I allowed them to be as they are and give them to God to deal with. For the first time I didn’t need to understand why things happened. I didn’t need an explanation to accept what was. I simply cast-ed my cares on God and laid them at the foot of the cross he didn’t just die for me he died for every human being.

I trust in my Father who works all things out for His good even if it is for my own good. The truth can hurt for someone who always likes to think my way is the right way it hurt my pride to know I too was wrong. If the Potter chooses to destroy His work and start over who am I to argue with Him I am merely the clay made from dust.

Ezekiel taught me that in spite of all my sins that God still loves and wants what is best for me but that is something I need 

to want for myself. My sins came to a painful end they didn’t go down without a fight, if not by my hand by His. I know now that I didn’t get away with anything, I reaped what I sowed for my actions, good or bad. I lived my life the way I wanted to live whether I was with Him or apart from Him. He was still my judge whether I acknowledged it or not. He still sentenced me people like to call it karma. I came to know Him because He made Himself known to me. He showed me He is a merciful God. If He had destroyed me for my sins allowed death to have its way with me then what good could my death do for Him, how could He use a dead body?

When all was said and done I got up and looked back on my ways the way I lived apart from Him and realized the error I had made. That I should have done better. Made better choices. Lived by His truth not the lies I was told. Lived by His ways not my own. Lived by the countless examples He left for me to follow. In detail He described what would happen if I choose not. What had happened to those that came before me. They don’t call it the Book of Instruction for nothing. He made it simple in one line.

If wicked people turn from their wickedness and do what is just and right, they will live. Ezekiel 33:19

In the life I built I wanted so much to fight and hurt and blame others for the way that I turned out. I wanted people to hurt with the same hurt I had been given. I wanted them to pay for my loss. I wanted them to suffer as I did. I wanted to take their life, the way mine was taken from me. So much anger, bitterness, hatred, resentment lived in me. With clenched fist and eyes I wanted, I wanted, I wanted so much to take matters into my own hands as I had always done. But if Ezekiel taught me anything it is that kind of wickedness results in one thing, death.

Beating flesh unrecognizable isn’t enough to satisfy the wicked. Whipping flesh to expose bone still not good enough to pay for living the way flesh did. Cursing, spouting out insults, spitting on open wounds that carried shame, the weight of sin still not good enough wickedness said. Nail flesh to a cross while it bled to death, nope not enough evil said. In order to keep flesh shut stab it for good measure to make sure that flesh is good and gone. That’s what wickedness does. That is what hatred says. Hostility can never get enough. Bitterness will never be satisfied. This was the person I had become and it would take an act of God to put an end to my wickedness.

I myself will search and find my sheep. I will be like a shepherd looking for the lost. I will find and rescue them. I will bring them back to me. I will feed them. I will give them good pasture. I myself will tend my sheep and give them a place to lay in peace. I will bandage the injured and strengthen the weak. I will feed them. I will judge them. I will rescue my flock and they will no longer be abused. I will bless them. I will send them the showers they need. They will live in safety. I will break their chains of slavery. They will live in safety and no one will frighten them. They will not suffer from famine or insults. In this way they will know that I am with them and I am their LORD.

You are my flock, the sheep of my pasture. You are my people and I am your God. I the Sovereign LORD have spoken! Ezekiel 34:31

Dry bones came to life. This flesh, muscle and skin became a transport for the Spirit in me. It was no longer I that lived but He that lived in me. I am alive because He lived. No other reason to exist. No other purpose but His own. God didn’t come down in a cloud of light as He appeared to my ancestors long ago He appeared in the Spirit of flesh and bone. He speaks in Words that I have read and heard before. In deeds that show His love, kindness and goodness. I gave too much credit to people but now I know it is God that works through them. He displays His holiness among people. Sometimes in the familiar a family member or friend but my favorite is when He displays Himself in someone I have never known.

The last line of Ezekiel reminds me that it doesn’t take a plot of land, a border to define God or even a building to contain Him, a city can even be found in a person where “The LORD is There”. As long as life exist, as long as there is a human race there is God in all of us whether we choose to relate to our Father or not He waits patiently for His children to come to know Him, to be raised by Him, one by one as Jesus said in John 14:23.

Book of Lamentations

January 24, 2020

The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. Lamentations 3:19-23

A verse I repeat daily “His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness. His mercies begin afresh each morning.” Satan is quick to remind each morning before I even open my eyes to the light of a new day of my past offenses and those who have sinned against me.

It seems like every time I am going to discuss a book and the reason it is dear to me I relive it in my personal life. Even now still weeping. The book of Lamentations is no different. I spent most of last week and this week weeping. My tears fell daily not for myself but for my son. Watching him destroy himself with the decisions that are harmful to his body and his brain. I weep over the loss of his innocence. I weep unable to trust, to even look at the man he is becoming apart from God. My family is not immune to the tragedies of addiction each of us have been knocked down by the enemy from it. Eleven years sober myself from my life apart from God.

Helpless to protect my own son from things no parent should fear. Being a parent often makes me see my son as God sees me. How foolish and blind I had been all those years. There are rules not to prevent me from good but so that I will not harm myself or others. The wake of my destruction too high to count. There are disciplines that I needed to learn and relearn and enforce in my life daily not through bodily harm but repeated in word and deed daily till I didn’t need to be told or reminded of what was right but I did what was necessary to survive in this haunted house we call life.

So what happened when I read the Word and came to Lamentations, I wept. I wept for my past sins. Till I could weep no more. Words like “She sobs through the night” resonated with me. The betrayal of friends that became my enemies. I was led into captivity by my own sins. There was no place of rest. It was all there in black and white. The result of all my sins a punishment I thought from God but the truth was His son already took the punishment this world would give, I was merely facing the consequence for my sins.

People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the LORD. Proverbs 19:3

I deserved worse than I got out of the life I lived. My sins woven into a rope that hitched me to the yoke of my captivity as Lamentations 1:14 wrote. I don’t want to believe that my ancestors sinned against the LORD as I did over and over again for over 30 plus years and I could never forget that the way I was living was the cause of my own distress. I was clinging to a way of life that was meant to lead me to death. So why was I surprised when death came like I deserved better than this. I wept for the sins I committed and for those who sinned against me.

For all these things I weep; tears flow down my cheeks. No one is here to comfort me; any who might encourage me are far away. My children have no future, for the enemy has conquered us. Lamentations 1:16

All of us, like sheep, have strayed. We have left God’s path to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all. Isaiah 53:6

At my bottom, the darkest, furthest I had been from God, I was alone. Completely alone in the darkness I created for myself. He made me to realize this grave I had dug with my own shovel of deed and hands of decision was not a place for the living, only those who are dead. My story so I thought, began and ended with me. I was my own god there was no one greater in my life than me. I had spent thirty plus years writing out this book of life that consisted of me. No one had forced me down this path I was on, I went on it ever so willing.

The things I had turned to, to numb the pain, to prevent the guilt from my past shame to seep in and remind me of the kind of person I truly was to say liar and swindler and cheat was not enough. I didn’t realize it prevented me from feeling the gifts of God. Babies don’t arrive with bitterness and hate. They don’t come into this world angry. These are things they are taught over time. Any resemblance of love, joy and peace replaced with greed, envy and worry. Compassion was not a word I would use to describe myself, if it could be bought I was quick to trade it away if it meant I would have more for myself. I held back goodness, kindness, gentleness even from those of blood. And faithfulness was not something found on a piece of paper, created by law.

I wanted to believe in the Santa Claus kind of God the one that gave and never expected anything in return. The One that did everything for me and I would never have to lift a finger. The One I could make a wish on and never pursue. Lamentations proved I didn’t know my Father at all.

But it is the LORD who did just as He planned. He has fulfilled the promises of disaster He made long ago...Lamentations 2:17

The people refused to enter the pleasant land, for they wouldn’t believe His promise to care for them. Psalm 106:24

Wait, what?! Everything I was experiencing was not without cause. There was a reason for it all. Just like the laws that govern this world there are laws in the spiritual realm that the world has no power over. Lessons like treat others like you would want them to treat you. Love your neighbor as yourself. Conquer evil by doing what is good. Do what is just and right, love mercy, walk humbly in truth. Stop your violent and oppressive ways of trying to get right with God yourself, a price you can never repay. Otherwise what is faith really for? It’s not about laws I couldn’t keep myself each one broken multiple times over, as worthless to me as toilet paper, the cheap kind. Quit robbing and cheating people not just money but time. Be honest with yourself. Let your deeds be seen in the light so that when God stops by unannounced He will be find integrity He planted in me, working for God not for anyone else. Waiting with expectancy all the days of your life as my ancestor David waited.

Yet I am confident I will see the LORD’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13

When I cried my heart out what I thought would surely happen, did not. I did not die from my sorrow. I did not die from a broken heart. I was not crushed from my sadness. Overwhelmed by my grief. My heart kept pumping faithfully. And a still small voice said like a Father over a child throwing a fit “Are you done yet?” Because the truth was there was work that needed to be done to rebuild this Temple from the ground up. Ways that needed to be changed. Things that needed to be taught. After I poured my heart out it was empty and ready to receive His forgiveness, His mercy and His love.

For no one is abandoned by the Lord forever. Though He brings grief, He also shows compassion because of the greatness of His unfailing love. For He does not enjoy hurting people or causing them sorrow. Lamentations 3:31-33

The waters rose over my head...I woke up drowning in 12inches of water in the tub. I had passed out in my hotel room with the warm water as my blanket. This was the end of myself as was written in 3:54. For reasons I will not know He heard my cry for help. He helped me to get up in my drunken stupor, unable to balance, unable to walk and allowed me the wisdom to pull the plug.

Yes, you came when I called; you told me, “Do not fear.” Lamentations 3:57

This experience was not without cost. From that day on I have sought that voice. The One that serves to remind me I am not alone. The voice that comforts me even still in the sorrows I would face after that day. There would be so much more to come. More than I thought I could come back from, Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 1: 8-9…we were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely on God, who raises the dead. He raised me that day, I should have died been another sad statistics of an addiction to numb pain but He lifted me up, said He wasn’t done.

I have learned there is no sin so great that I have done that could separate me from His love. No sorrow so deep that could engulf me that He could not pull me out from. His son covered it all with a single deed I remind myself of when I feel like life gets overwhelming He covered that too. He made me as white as snow with crimson blood like a reverse Oxy Clean commercial. Like the woman who broke the alabaster box in Mark 14:3 I poured my heart out to God just so that I could see how great my need for Him was.

Sorrow is a good thing I do not fear anymore because it leads to acceptance. Weeping that last through the night brings joy in the morning for having survived the suffering I thought for sure would take me out this time. Grief speaks in groans my aching heart cannot express. Tears like the flood in Noah’s day, give way to the promise. They water the seeds that have been planted in my heart. When my mind is racing, trying to make sense, find an explanation for the foolishness of those I hold dear “forgiveness” is often a word I hear come out of communion from the One who forgave me in all my foolishness it reminds me to wait on God.

So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the LORD. Lamentations 3:26

Dear Readers, I was made aware late 2 22 2020 that my website had undergone a transformation I have spent as much time as I can reformtatting and re posting some previous blogs. I am still in the process so come back later to view missing books I shared in previous months. I have added a Scripture Affirmation page as the elements of my previous format are no longer supported. Sorry for the confusion. Still learning this ever changing digital environment. Good the thing His Word never changes!

Book of Jeremiah

March 15, 2020

Book of Isaiah

February 14, 2020

Song of Solomon

January 15, 2020

Book of Ecclesiastes

March 15, 2020

Book of Proverbs

February 14, 2020

Book of Psalms

January 15, 2020

Book of Job

March 15, 2020

Book of Esther

February 14, 2020

Book of Nehemiah

January 15, 2020

Book of Ezra

March 15, 2020

Book of 2 Chronicles

February 14, 2020

Book of 1 Chronicles

January 15, 2020

Book of 2 Kings

March 15, 2020

Book of 1 Kings

February 14, 2020

Book of 2 Samuel

January 15, 2020

Book of 1 Samuel

March 15, 2020

Book of Ruth

February 14, 2020

Book of Judges

December 11 2019

In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes. Judges 17:6

This is repeated throughout the book of Judges in 18:1, 19:1 and the very last line 21:25 to serve like an excuse for the reason my ancestors did things that would make a reader ask “What were they thinking?” and the truth would be they weren’t thinking because as my brother, Jesus said they are “like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:36 and Mark 6:34

This verse reminds me of my own time doing what seemed right rather than what was right the truth was even when I knew better I didn’t really care to do better because as my ancestor Solomon warned in Ecclesiastes 8:11 when my crime went unpunished quickly I felt it was safe to do wrong. I lived a life of 30 plus years without a King, a Lord or a judge, and about 20 plus years without even the guidance of a parent figure over me. I was my own god and my carnal law was based solely on how I felt, if it felt good, if it looked good, if it was good to me, for me, than it was good and it didn’t matter what moral law was broken to get what I thought was good.

I have thought deeply about all that goes on here under the sun, where people have the power to hurt each other. Ecclesiastes 8:9

You can guess how this kind of power can be harmful to the way I lived my life. How it warped my way of thinking. The harm I caused to the countless people left in the wake of the destructive life I lived without even a fleeting thought to the damage I had done against others or myself. My only regret is that it took me as long as it did to realize that my way was not a way of life at all.

You felt secure in your wickedness. ‘No one sees me,’ you said. But your ‘wisdom’ and ‘knowledge’ have led you astray, and you said ‘I am the only one, and there is no other.’ So disaster will overtake you, and you won’t be able to charm it away. Calamity will fall upon you, and you won’t be able to buy your way out. A catastrophe will strike suddenly, one for which you are not prepared. Isaiah 47:10-11

My life was a walking disaster; I affectionately called one hot mess. I never even put together that I was reaping the consequences for the evil I had sown in the life I had built with my own two hands day in and day out because I was my own god. It never even occurred to me that when calamity fell I saw myself as the innocent person involved that everyone but me was to blame. And when catastrophe came that was just the price of life on earth the only way to make it stop was to end my life and I was never successful at that I think I loved the darkness too much.

And judgement is based on this fact: God’s light came in the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. John 3:19

The day the light literally shined on me. It came from the glare of the sun shining in my eyes, so bold as to commit sin in broad daylight. My instinct was to put the visor down driving away from a place I should never have been, doing a thing I should have never done all in the name of personal vindication. I must have given me one last look before I went in because when I put my visor down my mirror was exposed revealing someone I couldn’t even stand to look at in the mirror so I drove with the sunlight in my eyes. Exposing my life, to what I had become. A voice in my head which I now know was God said in the calmest tone as He asked my ancestor long ago in Genesis 3:9 He asked me “What are you doing?” I couldn’t even bring myself to admit what I had done. 

Without a single word I began to weep knowing that what seemed right to me in a moment was not the right thing to do at all.

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groaning’s that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. Romans 8:26-27

From that encounter on I stopped living like I was the only one because the truth was I wasn’t, I was on my way to get my son from school. It would take the help of God for him not live the way I did, the way his father did, the way my father did, and the way my grandfather did. He would grow up knowing from the start that he was set apart to be unlike everyone else in our family that did what seemed right in their own eyes.

Book of Joshua

December 10 2019

This is my command- be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

The goal on earth is not to live a trouble free, trial free, sorrow free life. Realistically that is just not the way the world. As my brother, Jesus said in John 16:33 “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.” And in John 15:19 “The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.” And he mentioned yet again in John 17:14. The goal is that when I go through these things I am able to get through them with God on my side. Because it is not a matter of if I go through it is when I go through.

Dear friends, Don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. 1 Peter 4:12

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not get burned up; the flames will not consume you. Isaiah 43:2

When you go out to fight your enemies and you face horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, do not be afraid. The LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, is with you! Deuteronomy 20:1

God commanded two things in the way I live my life to be strong and courageous not because once I became a follower of Christ I would have no troubles, no trials and no sorrows. He said this because He knew I would. There would be times in my life when I felt like I was too weak, too small, unequipped or even unqualified to handle what I was faced with but in those times I wasn’t to go by what I felt I was to live by what I knew, that God is strong in me. I remember when my ancestor Moses felt unqualified to speak to Pharaoh and God kept saying I will be speaking for you. He said in Exodus 7:1 “I will make you seem like God to Pharaoh”. I know how weak I am so when I seem strong to anyone that is all God.

He had to repeatedly say to His people “Do not be afraid” He said it to Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David, Solomon, the Israelite army, to Gideon who thought himself the least, to people known for their strength and peace, the people of Judah and Jerusalem. Those who felt fear but did the courageous thing anyway. Why would He have to say it if they weren’t fearful. It isn’t courage if you aren’t afraid. I know I am afraid of many things but my God commanded me to be courageous not because I am but again because He is the courage in my heart.

I mean honestly who or what in this world is greater than God Himself? “I know that the LORD is greater than all other gods”…Exodus 18:11…“our God is greater than all other gods.” 2 Chronicles 2:5 …”For our God is greater than any human being.” Job 33:12…I know the greatness of the LORD- that out Lord is greater than any other god. Psalm 135:5 Even the enemy whom “the LORD God had made” in Genesis 3:1 answers to God Job 1:6-12, 2:1-6 and I find it hard to believe that God would allow any of these troubles, trials, sorrows, deep waters, rivers of difficulty, fires of oppression to happen in my life if He couldn’t outsmart the one who caused it and allow it to work out not just for my good but as part of His plan for my life. Psalm 138:8 and Romans 8:28

But the LORD’s plans stand firm forever; His intentions can never be shaken. Psalm 33:11

There is a peace that surpasses all my human understanding as Paul explained to the Philippians in 4:6-7, a peace of mind and heart as Jesus promised me I would have in John 14:2 that reminds me when I am faced with the loss of something dear, the death of something great in my life that even something that feels as painful as a crucifixion in my life that it will result in a resurrected way of life. In a glory I could not imagine. In a strength I didn’t have before it happened and in something that this world can never take away from me. It is the knowing that His Word is truth, God is with me wherever I go.

When I am going through deep waters He is right beside me whispering keep going, when I am swimming in rivers of difficulty God is also swimming alongside me saying we are almost to the other side, and when the fires of oppression surround me I need not fear for He is surrounding them.

Then Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes and let him see!” the LORD opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire. 2 Kings 6:17

“Look!” Nebuchadnezzar shouted. “I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god!” Daniel 3:25

Don’t be intimated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. Philippians 1:28

I do not fear because I know that whatever I face is temporary it will not always be this way. There will be single days here and there maybe even single moments in each day when there is not a single worry or fear on my mind and it is in those times of my life I am overflowing with gratitude that in this moment I was given relief from the things of this world that were intended to cause me grief because the truth is I do not belong this world when I am in the LORD. John 17:21

Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world. Revelation 3:10

Book of Deuteronomy

December 9 2019

Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the LORD your God, obeying Him, and committing yourself firmly to Him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the LORD, you will live long in the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Deuteronomy 30:19-20

I remember the first time my eyes read this passage, they were like saying wedding vows before the LORD. I had a choice. Each and every day I rise to another day I have a choice. Between death and life, between blessings and curses. I can live this day as my brother Jesus lived each day on the earth by seeking ways to give my life away or I can allow Satan to steal the precious time that remains, kill time with distraction, destroy it by allowing it to waste away. I have a choice.

Oh that I would choose life my ancestors plead, oh that I would live out each day to the fullest not allowing it to be spent on things that add no value to it. I came across the parable of the Three Servants found in Matthew 25:14-30 and I thought to myself if money were time as is often said in this world “time is money” and I was only given so much would I invest it wisely to earn more or squander it away. Even the servant who had less time was faithful to make the most with the time he was given and he too was granted even more. But the servant who did nothing with his resources even what little time he had was taken away. He lived out the rest of his days weeping in frustration with nothing to show for his life but emptiness.

Whether it is money, time, talents they must be invested because like water dripping down a drain I can never get it back. What did I exchange for it? Did I use my money in a way that at the end of my life I have many things and no relationships not even with God? Did I use my time watching programs that didn’t enrich my life, playing games, using the internet in ways that cost me more than just my time? Were my talents wasted because I refused to use them to serve others, refused to share them like everything else in my life?

The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display His craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make Him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth and their words to all the world. God has made a home in the heavens for the sun. It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding. It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race. The sun rises at one end of the heavens and follows its course to the other end. Nothing can hide from its heat. Psalm 19:1-6

What I do each day of my life is witnessed by both heaven and earth no hiding from that, they silently stand by watching, waiting for me. As 2 Chronicles 16:9 said “The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.” And Psalm 34:15 The eyes of the LORD watch over those who do right; His ears are open to their cries for help. I hope that when He sees me He finds a heart fully committed to walking in His ways, doing what pleases Him. Not by my own strength but the things that I knew I couldn’t do without the help of God. See the truth is I know me all too well, if I dared to be so bold and ask myself how I felt or wanted to do the answer would be sit around all day and wait to see what life has for me instead of getting up and making it happen.

The key to my life is not found in the waiting for it to be handed to me, it is not found in the sitting around allowing the time to pass as though it was endless, it is found in the doing. It is found in the learning. It is found in the days I spent sifting through His Word digging up treasure as if my life depended on it because the truth is it does.

What I learn today may save me from the worries, fears, troubles and stresses of my tomorrow. What I invest in today may reap rewards tomorrow. As the wisest man on earth said in Ecclesiastes 11:6 “Plant your seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for you don’t know if profit will come from one activity or another or maybe both.” Profit comes when we invest what we have been given, a single day is all any of us ever gets as Jesus said in John 11:9 "we all get 12 hours of daylight" and how we spend it makes all the difference in our lives. This gift of time is like a river that can cut through stone. The time God gives to me has the power to make the impossible, possible. And if spent wisely it has the power to make for an amazing life.    

Book of Numbers

December 7 2019

And the LORD said to Moses, “How long will these people treat Me with contempt? Will they never believe me, even after all the miraculous signs I have done among them?” Numbers 14:11

I have a list of most of the miracles God has done in my life as David said in Psalm 40:5 “O LORD my God, you have performed many wonders for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list. You have no equal. If I tried to recite all Your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them.” When I am faced with what seems to be the impossible for me I read that list and remember all the ways God has shown me His favor. His wonders. His miraculous signs. Things that can’t be explained but with God. Things that should not have happened but did. That list is the fuel for my faith. When I am blinded by the giants height, the mountains climb, the walls mass I face I look at that list and think I may not be able to do this by my own strength but God can and if it is His will to get this done in my life it will get done but not by my hand.

You are my King and my God. You command victories for Israel. Only by Your power can we push back our enemies; only in Your name can we trample our foes. I do not trust in my bow; I do not count on my sword to save me. You are the one who gives us victory over our enemies; You disgrace those who hate us. O God, we give glory to You all day long and constantly praise Your name. Psalm 44:4-8

…It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. Zechariah 4:6

In the beginning every time my ancestors had an encounter with God they built an altar. When God called Abram and gave him the promise in Genesis 12:7 he built an altar. When He appeared before Isaac and told him do not be afraid in Genesis 26:25 he built an altar. After Jacob wrestled with God for the blessing and made peace with his brother Esau and settled his family in Genesis 33:20 he built an altar having survived all of that. And When Jacob went to Bethel he said “I will build an altar to God who answered my prayers when I was in distress. He has been with me wherever I have gone.” in Genesis 35:7 he built an altar. Moses built and altar, Aaron built an altar, Joshua built an altar, Gideon built an altar, Samuel, Saul, David. Every time God’s name came to mind of something that was accomplished of something He did an altar was built to remember Him.

…Build My altar wherever I cause my name to be remembered, and I will come to you and bless you. Exodus 20:24

I don’t build altars but I do make a point to remember to write down every time God came through for me. I look at that list and think Wow! God is so amazing, so gracious, so kind. The enemy would love for me to forget but this list helps me to remember when. I think remembering all that God has done for me is one of the most important things I can do in my walk of faith.

Perhaps you will think to yourselves, ‘How can I conquer these nations that are so much more powerful than we are?’ But don’t be afraid of them! Just remember what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all the land of Egypt. Remember the great terrors the LORD your God sent against them. You saw it all with your own eyes! And remember the miraculous signs and wonders, and the strong hand and powerful arm with which He brought you out of Egypt. The LORD your God will use this same power against all the people you fear. Deuteronomy 7:17-19

Remember how He led you through the wilderness…He is the one who gives you the power to be successful…remember the LORD has redeemed you as His very own possession…remember what the LORD your God did…remember the mighty things He has done…remember the wonders He has performed, His miracles, the rulings He has given…as David taught me through Psalms 42:6 when I am discouraged I will remember my God. And through Psalm 143:5 I remember the things He has done in the past. I ponder all His great works in my life and think about everything He has done and whatever it is I am facing seems small compared to what my God has already done.     

Book of Leviticus

December 6 2019 

I will live among you, and I will not despise you. I will walk among you; I will be your God, and you will be my people. Leviticus 26:11-12

What keeps me on the path I am on is the constant reminder that I do not walk on it alone. When I thought I was alone that God was too high in the sky to see me here below like Eliphaz said in Job 22:12-14 said “God is great higher than the heavens, higher than the farthest stars. That’s why God can’t see what I am doing! How can He judge through the thick darkness? For thick clouds swirl about Him, and He cannot see us. He is is way up there, walking on the vault of heaven.” I did unspeakable things that make me nauseous to think of now had I known I would have never even thought to do, but even in the beginning He said He was with me.

…This I know: GOD IS ON MY SIDE! Psalm 56:9

I am not alone nor have I ever been alone. Just because I didn’t believe in Him didn’t cease Him from existing. Like a sentry who watches over He kept the faithful promise He made to my ancestors in Genesis 28:15 that He would not leave me until He finished giving me everything He promised me. Jesus reiterated that promise in Matthew 28:20 when he said “I am with you always till the end of age.” I look at “end of age” and my Spirit translates till the end of my time on earth and then I will be with him on the other side of heaven. Man, I can’t wait. I find comfort in knowing that it doesn’t matter what I am doing, it doesn’t matter where I am, who I am with. My Father and brother are not very far, they are always with me.

You know when I sit down and stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD. You go before me and follow me. You place Your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! Psalm 139:2-6

Often times in my life even in a single day when things don’t go as planned or I get hit with something unexpected my first thought is God is not with me. The enemy whisper deceit that if He was with me this wouldn’t have happened but the truth is for whatever reason God allows I’ll have to ask when I stand before the throne all things happen for a purpose not to serve my purpose but the Potters purpose. There is never a single moment of my life that comes as a surprise to God. It is then I need to remember He is with me. He is walking this valley with me. There is no hurt I have had that He didn’t feel too.

In all their suffering He also suffered, and He personally rescued them. In His love and mercy He redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them through all the years. Isaiah 63:9

With a single word He shouted “Enough!” In other words “It is finished!” no more living like I was alone. He called me mine before I even knew the quote in Isaiah 43:1 I can look down on my palm and see this name ingrained in my hand. The very hand that held me up and all of the sudden there he was His hand on my shoulder, His robe over my back. Nothing can take that memory I have.

Every day of my life was written in this Book, every moment of it laid out before I took my first breath. How precious were His thoughts of me before my thoughts were upon Him. He took delight in every detail of my life making sure I would find what I had been searching for all my life, belonging to God is more precious than any knowledge I have come to know on earth.

That every happenstance was really just a shepherd staff leading me home. With His unfailing love for me He drew me near, His kindness keeps me close. I understand that orchestrating a symphony takes time. Building a temple requires hard work and sacrifice. Creating a Masterpiece cannot be rushed. Making silver and gold shine to brilliance is a refinement process and I am certain the jewel chosen was first a stone that needed to be gently polished. That the process to the prize may not be pleasant but worth every step taken to completion and now I know I don’t do it alone.

I know, LORD, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our course. So correct me, LORD, but please be gentle…Jeremiah 10:23

Book of Exodus

December 5, 2019

But Moses protested again, “What if they won’t believe me or listen to me? What if they say, ‘The LORD never appeared to you’?” Exodus 4:1

When something happens in my life that makes me question my current reality “what if” questions run rampant in my mind. God was commanding Moses to do something he had never done and the whole way Moses protested. I am about to do something I have never done and it seems like I am confronted with every reason not to do it. But still I persist because of what the LORD said to Moses in response.

Then the LORD asked him, “What is that in your hand?” “A shepherd’s staff,” Moses replied. Exodus 4:2

Usually my “what if” questions pertain to a future based on a past experience they are never about “what is” happening right now in this current state of reality. It takes “capturing my rebellious thoughts” as taught in 2 Corinthians 10:5 and reminding myself of “what is”. Because when I do or do not do things based on “what ifs” then I am doing or not doing them based on how I feel, what I want and how I feel and what I want has nothing to do with God or His ways.

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher you’re your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9

Moses just saw a shepherd’s staff, he saw a man with clumsy speech, he saw someone no one would have reason to believe or listen to God saw a man that would lead his people to freedom from slavery and none of what Moses that “what if” deterred God from seeing who Moses is. The “what is” in my life is far greater than the “what if’s” my thoughts can think of. Whenever I set forth to do something great, something good my thoughts will give me reasons what I shouldn’t why I can’t. As Paul once said in 1 Corinthians 4:3 “I don’t even trust my own judgement” that’s how it is for me.

I am reminded that the enemy has always made mankind question God’s authority from the beginning. In Genesis 3:1 when he asked Eve “Did God really say” before that point there was just commands from God no questions, He said and it was, end of story. But since that first moment when the enemy began to question we all question the “what is” with “what if’s”. When Job was being tested and murmured and complained and grumbled God’s response was not to even answer his question but to ask him “Who is this that questions my wisdom?” to which Job’s response was “I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me (to understand)” To make it easy I think to myself where God puts a period the enemy puts a question mark. When God gives a command my job is not question it because if I allow myself the question I allow myself the reasons not to do what God commanded me to do. It’s not about my “what if’s” it is about the “what is”.

To answer His questions to Moses in Exodus 4:11 It is God that made this mouth. It is God that decides whether I speak or do not speak, what I hear or do not hear, what I see or do not see. It is God. Remember what I said yesterday “In the beginning God” well when God is the reason I do anything it doesn’t matter if I can, it doesn’t matter when, it doesn’t matter what, what matter is God and when He says “Now Go!” I don’t question that. I get up and go just like my ancestors did.

Book of Genesis

December 4, 2019

In the beginning God…Genesis 1:1

I just got back from visiting my nephew and friend in prison over the weekend. I have made this same drive last year when my head and heart were in an entirely different place. The two day journey there and the two day journey back gave me much time to reflect and think about what this day would bring. I awoke with the song Good Life in my head by the Young Escape “And now I know that this is the good life, wouldn’t look back wouldn’t trade it for a day of my old life. Never look back cause I know that you are always with me I got you, I know you got me This is the good life, You gave me the good life.”

I got out of bed and began the day with Thanksgiving. I didn’t want to give my mind time to think about what needs to be done, what is on the agenda for today. I just wanted to stay in this present moment above all thanking God for it. Which made me think in the beginning God. As 2 Corinthians 5:17 says “The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” No day like to today to make up my mind that this will be a good day because I serve a good God who has laid out this day for me. He had plenty of opportunities when I was unconscious to this world overnight to take me back home but He chose for me to stay. My job is to determine why.

For this light within you produces what is good and right and true. Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. Ephesians 5:9-10

I know that Thanksgiving pleases the Lord as David said in Psalms 116:17 “I will offer you a sacrifice of Thanksgiving” something so simple that can be done at any moment yet so few times do I often think to do it. I set aside a time for thanksgiving each day and maybe not as consistently as I would like to think. I know that when I am thankful I am not thinking of the past, of what was or fearing about the future, what will be or what needs to be. I am here in this present moment with the presence of God. I am aware that in this moment I have all that I need. Even if I stop to think about my basic needs they have all been met by my King.

Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the LORD our maker, for he is our God. We are the people He watches over, the flock under His care. If only you would listen to His voice today! Psalm 95:6-7

Listening requires me not talking but hearing what He would say to me. Giving the space in my thoughts for stillness, for quietness, for His Spirit to remind me as my brother, Jesus said in John 14:26 of all that He has said to me before. In this day I may not need all 33,000 verses to come to mind but I just need the one that will get me through this day. So I sit under His teaching, His Word, I sit and read what God would have to say through my devotionals, they act as a simple reminder or may be exactly what I am going through that day.

Today’s verses for thought were Luke 12:15 to remind me not to overspend as I go shopping this season, 1 Corinthians 13:4 to have patience in the wait, Ephesians 5:21 to be grateful for my silent partner who allows me to minister, Malachi 3:10 the importance of giving what I have to bless and be blessed by it, John 18:37 that when Truth is spoken I recognize it comes from God because I know what God has said not what people thought, Luke 11:8 that even the longest prayer I ever prayed, 25 years to be exact, was answered when I was finally in a place for God to work through me, Isaiah 58:11 God is in control, my life is like a river directed by Him, He will get me to where I need to go and then I wrapped up my morning with Isaiah 55:8-9, Colossians 4:2 and Psalm 116:17 reminding me that no matter what this day brings my trust is beside Him that keeps watch over me. What better way to start each day, and God willing another year in the life of me.