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Follow after God

Psalms 1:3

They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.

The first chapter of Psalms defines the stark contrast between sinner and saint. There are severe consequences for the wicked resulting in destruction. However, we are reminded of God’s watchfulness for those who follow Him.

“[For the righteous] are like trees planted along the riverbank….” The river contains what we need for life; and not just any life, but a fruitful life! I love that the passage proclaims we can bear fruit each season! Each season means continuously!

Imagine the lush greens and ample fruits found in a rain forest. The conditions are perfect for producing year round. There is always harvest.

We can live life this way! Even in our troubled, wintry season, we can still be fruitful.

Find your delight in the Lord today, meditate upon His word, and be willing to give of yourself to others. Remember fruit is for others, not for the tree. The river provides for the tree. (Revelations 22:1)

Summary:

God will provide for you, if you serve Him.

My why…

Page 45 of my soon to be released book:

John 21:25

Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.

Can you imagine? There are so many unanswered questions, and so much I want to know about Jesus’s life. The disciples recorded a few snippets of his life, but writing was not as accessible 2000 years ago. I am grateful for the words we have.

One reason I am writing this book is to encourage you to read for yourself. The stories we do have document the love, grace, and mercy Jesus offers.

The Bible is no ordinary book but has withstood the test of time. Scrolls were protected and hidden so the Words of Life would be preserved for future generations. Copies were hand-crafted by men dedicated to God. Authenticity of the Gospel has been provided by eyewitness accounts of the life and miracles of Jesus.

Even the Jews and Muslims regard Jesus as a prophet. His works and existence cannot be refuted. Sadly, they still seek another Messiah. As Christians, we must strive to show Jesus to others through our daily lives and everyday actions.

Live a life of love.

Contingencies

Deuteronomy 30:19

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.

We live a life of conditions, a series of if…then statements. If I work 40 hours on my job, then my paycheck will be a certain amount. If I honor my curfew, then I won’t be grounded. If I drive too fast, then I might receive a ticket. If I brush my teeth, then I will have fresh breath. If I only eat candy, then I will have cavities. The list is endless!

The Lord grants mankind free choice. This makes us different from all other created beings. We must choose to follow Him. He lays out in his word the consequences that follow our choices. Read all of Deuteronomy chapter 28. He lists blessings of obedience and curses of disobedience.

Even the free gift of salvation depends upon us. Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, then you shall be saved.”

God spoke to King Solomon when he dedicated the temple: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

The pattern is clear. We have a responsibility to choose good and refuse evil. Many times people want to blame God when they suffer consequences due to their own choices. God is true to His word. We must be true to ourselves as we examine our circumstances and alter our choices in order to receive God’s blessings.

Eternal life is contingent upon your choice today!

Choose life!

The Goodbye Letters

2 Timothy 1:4 (The Message)

I miss you a lot, especially when I remember that last tearful good-bye, and I look forward to a joy-packed reunion.

I had an unusual dream last night. I was walking somewhere with someone (details of some dreams are fuzzy), and we happened upon this underground tunnel. The tunnel was a large open space with many rooms carved out along the way. The people who had created the tunnel discovered a valuable substance. I don’t recall if it was gold or diamonds or what. It was unfortunate that the few of us had stumbled upon the find. In an effort to conceal the location, people decided to blow up the tunnel with us trapped inside.
I pleaded with the main lady to at least allow me to write goodbye letters to my husband and children. She agreed. Interestingly, in my mind, I felt perhaps writing letters would buy enough time for us to be discovered before she destroyed us. But, as my dream morphed, it became more about writing these letters then survival. I had so many people that I wanted to know I was thinking of them. I didn’t want to leave anyone out. I needed to tell each person what they meant to me, and how I wished we had more time.
My writing tablet morphed into a Bible, and I would flip through page after page and write short notes to each person, or groups of people for lack of time: my husband, my children, my parents, my sister, my sisters in law, my nieces and nephews, my dear long-distance friends, my church ladies, my gym partners, my church as a whole. It seemed the more I wrote, the more the Lord would drop someone else in my mind to leave an encouraging word. The funny thing is at the end of my letter writing, I wrote “My only regret is that I never learned to dance.” Thank you Dancing with the Stars. Lol 😂

I woke up today thankful for the reminder of how fortunate I am to have friends and loved ones. I’m not ready to leave this wworld in a diabolical tunnel explosion because there are people with whom I want to spend quality time. There are special occasions I don’t want to miss. I want to write my letters of appreciation while I’m still thriving!

Tell those special to you that you love them today!!

No Problem, Man!

2 Corinthians 6:10b

We own nothing, and yet we have everything.

We recently had a vacation day in Jamaica. We rode a tour bus for an hour to reach our destination. Along the way, our guide instructed us with how to speak some local phrases.

“Ya man,” (pronounced môn) lets another know you are in agreement or have understanding.

“Irie man,” means you are feeling good and things couldn’t be better.

“No problem, man,” means the situation is under control. I specifically use the word “situation” because our guide also told us, “In Jamaica, there are no problems, only situations, and situations can be resolved.”

The laid-back atmosphere is perfect for vacation. Would it be possible to adopt that same attitude towards our problems in every day real life? I believe the Lord would encourage us to, as well.

Jonathan Cahn writes in his book, The Book of Mysteries,

In the Hebrew of scripture, there’s no true verb for ‘to have’.

We can get so caught up in our earthly possessions and the cares of this life that we forget how temporary all this is. The apostle Paul tells the young Timothy that we brought nothing into this world, and we can take nothing out. (1 Timothy 6:7)

When we consider physical items that we can touch and see, we understand the simplicity of it temporal state. However, when we are faced with health issues, financial crisis, or family heart ache, we must recognize these are temporary, as well.

Jonathan Cahn continues,

… and if you don’t have, then you can’t have any problems…or worries. They may be out there, but you don’t have them. They’re not yours. You can’t be burdened down by the weight of your own life…because you don’t have life… or it’s burdens.

(Day 30, The Book of Mysteries)

God is in control. He knows all things, and he is a way maker in impossible situations. With God there are no problems.

Seek Him today. Recognize He alone is all we need. Let the Lord into your life and see Him lighten your burdens. The only thing you can truly have in this life is a relationship with Jesus.

YOU + JESUS = ETERNITY

Before & After

Revelations 21:5

And he that sat upon the throne said, behold, I make all things new….

Encourage you to make time to get alone with God today. Read revelations chapter 21 and 22! Get excited about heaven and the wondrous eternity God has planned for us.

Have you ever had something new?A new outfit? A new car? A new home? There really isn’t anything quite like new. I’ve only ever live in a new home twice in my lifetime (as far as I can remember). My parents built a new house when I was eight years old. I was excited to observe the building process! We actually lived in an RV in the front yard as the house was being built. Sharing a room with my little sister was not a problem. Our room seemed gigantic compared to the RV.

My husband and I have lived in seven houses and moved eight times in our 29 years (we lived in one house twice). Only one of those homes was brand new! I remember the pride we felt creating our own blueprints, designing each space, and selecting colors and elements that were specifically our taste. One special memory, as we were wallpapering a nook in our son’s room, our two-year-old daughter walked in and said, “where is my some of that?” Of course, we went out and bought her a beautiful, extra-wide border with bunny rabbits on it. I loved every detail of that house because I had created it!

Older homes are a bit more difficult to tackle. Regardless of how many new coats of paint, sometimes it still does it feel new. However, we recently stripped our master bathroom down to the plywood floor and re-created a masterpiece. As I look around the room, I scarcely can remember the outdated wallpaper, broken fixtures, and dirty carpet that was once there. Through the skilled laborers of many, behold, I have a new room.

Lately, I’ve been thinking of a song that my husband used to sing called My Heart is Like a House. The lyrics referred to our hearts having many rooms, in particular, a secret, dirty room where we won’t let anyone enter.

When I have guests over, I never would invite them to use my old bathroom. Now, I need to work on keeping my bedroom clean, so everyone can walk through to see my new place!

The song lyrics continue, “…one day I let the Savior in… And when I think of that room now, I’m not ashamed anymore because I know that hidden sin no longer hides behind that door….”

Jesus is the master craftsman. He was there when you were created, and if you open up the door to your heart, He will come in and re-create you. He has the power to make all things new, especially you!

When others look at you they’ll scarcely remember the one you were before and they will only see the masterpiece that you are after the Savior has visited.

Them bones, them bones 🎶

Ezekiel 37:4 (NLT)

Dry bones listen to the word of the Lord!

Last night in church, I took prayer requests and prayed, as is my Wednesday night custom, but during my prayer this Bible story came to my remembrance: the valley of the dry bones. I feel like the Lord told me, “This is how powerful I am! These requests are answerable. Cancer is no match for My power.” I specifically felt like this was a call of faith for anyone facing cancer! My God is able to heal cancer. My God will re-create your cells and rebuild what was once dead!

I believe God wants you to speak to your infirmity and command it to go just as Ezekiel spoke to the dry bones. Please take time to read Ezekiel 37: 1-14. Receive this message and apply it to whatever life circumstance you are currently facing.

(1) Take time today in the presence of the Lord.

Vs. 1 Ezekiel was carried away by the spirit of the Lord…

Ezekiel had to be in God’s presence. Can you find a few minutes alone with God today? Yes, you can. Get creative if you have to: a bathroom stall, your parked car, the corner of your closet, etc. Get alone and invite God to meet you.

(2) Listen for his direction.

Vs. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones become living people again?”

God spoke to Ezekiel, and He will speak to you. Are you listening? I always laugh at Ezekiel’s reply, “Lord, only knows!” (I paraphrase.) We do not know the answers, but God does, and it’s OK to be honest with Him.

(3) Do whatever He tells you even if it seems ridiculous.

Vs. 4 Speak a prophetic message to these bones….

I’m sure Ezekial thought this is fruitless. Why waste a prophecy on something dead? Because we serve a God of the impossible!!! Oh! I am excited, now! Read verse seven:

Suddenly as I spoke, there was a rattling noise all across the valley….

(4) Look for the results.

Vs. 10 …They all came to life and stood upon their feet- a great army.

Wow, y’all! This is the stuff mummy movies are made of! Those bones came together, grew muscles, covered in skin, and breathed a breath of life again! Verse 11 tells us that the people of Israel said, “…all hope is gone….”

…The Sovereign Lord says, O my people, I will…cause you to rise again….”

If you are feeling defeated today and lost all hope, it’s not too late! Call upon the Lord, hear His voice, obey Him, and see your life renewed!