Wednesday, January 18, 2017

James 1:2-4 - "Live It Well"

"Life is short...I wanna live it well..." This song was going through my mind when the alarm went off this morning. Then on the way into town it came on the radio. Alrighty God, I get the message! I dropped Doc off for his 8:30 appointment and went to the store before going for my treatment. While in the store I received a call that treatment was cancelled due to the server being down. I was bummed at first but then thought I would just do some shopping to take care of the time until time to pick Doc up. I also started to grumble because I would not have had to get up so early if I would have known. The Lord checked me on that! Short time later another call came in to come in for treatment. Thank You Jesus! Little did I know I was on an emotional roller coaster this morning that was just starting. I rushed to get out of the store and get to the Cancer Center only to find out they were so far behind that I wouldn't be able to get my treatment, pick up Doc on-time and get him to his next appointment. Urgh! I left with a smile and told God that I didn't understand what was going on with this day but it was in His hands. I thought I had a half hour to wait on Doc only to have him walk out when I pulled in. I quickly called the Cancer Center to see if I could still get treatment and she said if I came right away. Back I went, Doc dropped me off so he could go to his next appointment and they took me right away. Afterward I had a hour and a half wait for Doc to get back. As I sat there, I thought God must have someone here for me to share Him with but no opportunity came about. So I started praying for workers, patients and family members who came and went. I don't know what His point was of this morning but I do know I am thankful that I can say I am living out my life in His will. I am thankful I did not get angry with this morning but instead was at peace in knowing He was in control. I think back on James 1:2-4 as I reflect on the morning. I chose joy instead of anger. Everyone has that choice to make when things don't go 'right'! No matter what, when you are living in His will things will go the way He desires. When obstacles come into my path, He takes care of them. For that, I am grateful.

Dear Jesus,
Thank You for being My Peace throughout this hectic morning. Thank You for giving me the privilege to pray for so many. Lord, this morning wore me out and today is Wednesday so there is still church tonight. I need an abundance of Your supernatural strength to come down upon me. I pray for more of You so people will see/hear You through me. I pray for a blessing upon the rest of this day. Thank You Jesus for being My Peace. Amen.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

James 4:7-10 - "Thy Will"

This morning the Lord took me to chapter 4 of James and stopped me at verses seven through ten. He reminded me of how my journey with C is easier because I have submitted to Him. He also reminded me that as the days get harder I need to draw closer to Him. I need to trust Him in a whole new way. Verse ten in the NIV says to "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will life you up." Yes! That is the key. As I draw near to Him and allow Him to be greater than me, He will give me the strength for days like today. When I made the decision to get serious in my life of holiness, my relationship with Him went to a whole new level. I trust Him deeper today than in the past. I love Him more today than any other time in my life. I seek Him in a greater way than before. I know He is with me each and every moment and I praise His Holy Name for that knowledge. Can I 'do' today? Nope, not on my own strength. But praise God I don't live in my own strength! He lives in and through me! He is in control of every word that comes out of my mouth, every thought that goes through my mind and everything I do. He also is with me in my attitude. Oh how I desire to please Him in all I say and do. The only way to accomplish that is to be Kingdom Living. C will be dealt with and conquered through Kingdom Living. People may not understand the way I live and that's OK. The Lord is the only One I aim to please. He will deal with their attitudes and actions. I am not responsible for them. I am only responsible for myself and making sure I am living in His will.

Dear Jesus,
Thank You for waking me to "Thy Will" this morning. Thank You for the strength You continue to provide in this journey of C. Father, I thought MS was hard but oh my it is a piece of cake compared to these days. Lord, I ask that the cream come today and that it relieves some of this pain. That is a selfish prayer and I am sorry for that. I just don't want this pain to be a distraction that will take my focus off of You. Lord, strengthen my focus. Give me more of Your Spirit today. Bless me with more of You so people will see and hear You instead of me today. Thank You for being My Focus. Amen.

Monday, January 16, 2017

James 1:19-21 - "Washed By The Water"

I woke up this morning to these words in "Washed By The Water"....

Even when the rain falls
Even when the flood starts rising
Even when the storm comes
I am washed by the water

This song was written after a pastor (who is the father of brothers in the band) went through a tough time with someone in the church verbally tearing him down. One of the brothers said this about his father, "I just thought it was a cool thing that my dad kept his integrity throughout that whole situation." In this particular situation it was a father's own children looking at the response he gave to a nasty situation. But we must remember people are watching to see how we respond to words or situations. They want to see how we will react to adversity. Reactions say a lot for a person's faith. Will we depend upon the Lord or will we strike out with ways and words of the enemy. We live in an atmosphere of evil. We have to make the choice of either Kingdom living or not. It all comes down to that choice. We must remember as we go through trials on this earth that it is not the trial we must focus on but instead it is our faith in going through the trial. If we choose to react to a trial in a way that is not Christ-like, the enemy will win. Instead we need to go deeper in our faith and trust God. We cannot give into sin as a reaction. Instead we must realize we can grow in our faith through the trial. God does not give all the trials we go through but He will use them to make our faith stronger. In James 1:19-21 we are given instruction on how to deal with anger. Anger can lead to sin. Sin leads to death. Earlier in the chapter we are given instruction on how to deal with all trials. Trials lead to tests. The manner in which we react to those tests needs to be perseverance. Perseverance leads to maturity in Christ which leads to eternal life. In order to live eternally with our Heavenly Father we must...
  • live out our faith during the trials of life
  • say 'no' to sin and allow our Heavenly Father to work in and through us
  • die to self
Many believers have accepted Him yet continue to hold onto the notion that sin is a part of life. It does not have to be. In I Peter 1:16 and different verses of Leviticus the Lord tells us, "Be holy, for I am holy." Christ did not sin while on this earth. He is the example we need to follow. Jesus didn't hang on the cross and blame His Father for the trial He was in. Instead He drew strength from His Father. We need to do the same thing as we go through trials on this earth. Instead of sinning in our thoughts and actions we need to embrace the trial and seek what He wants us to learn from it. I like how Matthew Henry describes it...

Verses 19-21 Instead of blaming God under our trials, let us open our ears and hearts to learn what he teaches by them. And if men would govern their tongues, they must govern their passions. The worst thing we can bring to any dispute, is anger. Here is an exhortation to lay apart, and to cast off as a filthy garment, all sinful practices. This must reach to sins of thought and affection, as well as of speech and practice; to every thing corrupt and sinful. We must yield ourselves to the word of God, with humble and teachable minds. Being willing to hear of our faults, taking it not only patiently, but thankfully. It is the design of the word of God to make us wise to salvation; and those who propose any mean or low ends in attending upon it, dishonour the gospel, and disappoint their own souls.

Dear Jesus,
Thank You for this song and study this morning. Father, I pray for more of You in me so that I can live a life pleasing to You. I pray for Your words, action and attitude to show through me today. Whatever is ahead, I pray I will react in Your way. Lord, sometimes words tear us down but we must always remember that Your love covers us. I love the words to this song that "Even when the rain falls...the flood starts rising...the storm comes, I am washed by the water." Woo hoo! Yes! I live these words out each and every day and am so grateful for that knowledge. Lord, take my faith deeper! Thank You Father for being My Water. Amen.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Philippians 4:13 - "Thy Will"

What a night! I guess I shouldn't be surprised since it was a Saturday night but oh my. My conversation this morning with the Lord when it was time to get up...

ME: I can't do this...

GOD: Yes you can, Daughter. In my strength.

ME: Urgh...I can't...

GOD: Daughter!

ME: Sorry, God. I know...I know...Philippians 4:13...I can do all things through Your strength. But Father why did I have to be awake so much last night?

GOD: Just look at all of the ones you prayed for. Your prayers were heard and will be blessed.

ME: But Father couldn't You have heard those prayers during the day?

GOD: Daughter!

So this morning I will lean on His strength and bask in the knowledge that I prayed for many during the night...
  • my husband...strength in every aspect of his life
  • my boys and their love each other unconditionally
  • my grand babies to know I love them and miss them dearly
  • my Momma for strength
  • my brother who is suffering with cancer...I prayed for mercy and for his new wife
  • my siblings to draw close to the Lord
  • our church family...some who have been missing...some who are dealing with physical issues...some who are dealing with emotional baggage...some who are dealing with conviction
  • the church building rehab costs we will receive tomorrow
  • people in our area who don't have a church home
  • my new neighbor who needs a good dose of Jesus...I pray he saw Him in me when I took him breakfast yesterday
  • the sweet little one I snuggled with yesterday...I pray her and her brother will see Jesus through my love for them
  • the family who are temporarily separated due to a new job for the husband
  • the family who are adjusting to having Daddy back from deployment
  • the Momma and her two babies who are adjusting to Daddy being deployed
  • the young Momma who is dealing with her little guy's father who is not being a Daddy
  • the newly engaged couple
  • one awaiting MRI results
  • the couple who are having issues with trusting one another
  • the little guy recently diagnosed with leukemia as he started chemo; his family
  • the one seeking God's will yet not letting go of blatant sin
  • these next seven cream to come in the pain to lessen
Dear Jesus,
As I go back over all who You had me pray for I realize there are many needs, especially spiritual ones. Father, I am sorry I was crabby. I am physically so drained this morning. But I will rely on Your strength. I ask that You not only just 'get me through this morning' but that You bless me in abundance through it. I pray for people to be in Sunday School and Church. I pray they aren't just there but that they are blessed through what they see or hear. I pray for people to leave their misconceived notions at home of what they want out of church and instead be open to You. Lord, I am not just praying this for our church but for all churches. I am praying there will be people wake up today and for the very first time seek out a church to attend. I also am praying for all my pastor friends to have boldness from the pulpit. Lord, take away distractions the enemy tries to put in their way by using people with issues/problems. Protect all pastors this morning and fill them to overflowing with more of You. Thank You Jesus for being My Strength. Amen.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

James 5:16 - "Magnify"

As I read James 5 this morning the Lord stopped me at verse sixteen. I thought about one I have been praying for that seems to not have her prayers being answered. She believes and has faith in God yet for some reason her prayers don't seem to be answered. God always answers our prayers but the answers are not always what we desire. The thing we must remember is His answers are always a part of His plan. In these verses it points out that we must be "living right with God" in order for our prayers "to be reckoned with." This is where the idea of living a life of holiness comes into play. When we live a life in the manner He desires, it still does not mean our prayers will always be answered in the way we expect them to be. But it does mean whenever He answers our prayers we will be content. He will give us the desires of His heart the closer we draw near to Him. We will understand the way He answers our prayers as we live out a life for Him. I did not choose to have C yet I am being blessed through the opportunities He is giving me through it. This is hard to comprehend unless one is living sold out to Him. One cannot be "whole and healed" unless they are living a life of holiness. People think they are 'ok' with just being saved but everyone needs to take the next step before they are truly living the life the Lord desires of them. It actually is plain and simple. Sin separates us from God. When we are living out a life based upon our own decisions desires, we are not living as He desires. Instead He wants us to allow Him to give us the desires of His heart to live out. Our prayers will change drastically when He is in control of every aspect of our life. Instead of praying for healing of a specific disease we will pray for Him to be glorified in the outcome. That doesn't mean we won't pray for a healing. It just means we will pray for a healing if it is a part of His plan. We ultimately will be healed in His time. That may mean on this earth or it may mean when we are given new bodies in heaven. 

Dear Jesus,
Thank You for all of the blessings of yesterday. Thank You for the blessings ahead in this day. The day has already changed from what I thought it would look like and I am OK with that. I know Your plan is the best plan of all. I pray You will be glorified in my words, actions and attitude throughout this day. I pray You will fill me to overflowing with more of You so people see and hear You today through me. Lord, I do pray against this pain but as You already know my ultimate goal is for You to be glorified through me. Whatever it takes to win one to You or to open someones eyes to something You have for them...that is my prayer. Lord, I pray for my brother who is dealing with C in some nasty ways. May You be glorified in his situation. I also pray for others who are dealing with physical issues. May You become so real to them that there is no doubt they need to live a life of surrender to You. Thank You Jesus for being My Holiness. Amen.

Friday, January 13, 2017

James 1:2-4 - "Put Your Hand In The Hand"

Last night Doc started singing "Put Your Hand In The Hand" and I asked him where he heard it. I had the same song going through my head all day yesterday. He said he had no idea. When I told him I also had it, he asked if I had been humming it but I had not. We were not together much yesterday and didn't go anywhere together so it wasn't as if we had heard it somewhere. We knew then the Lord had given it to us but not sure why. We live a life for Christ. We follow His will as best as we can. I think the line, "Take a look at yourself and you can look at the others differently" is key to what happens when you strive to live a life of holiness. Jesus takes away the desire to be critical of others. He gives new eyes to those who strive to be Christ-like. Instead of questioning people's actions one only questions the Lord on how to deal with such actions. I pray if we have slipped somewhere the Lord will reveal it to us. If He is preparing us for something ahead, I pray we will be ready. No matter what, I know there was a reason for this song. When I woke up in pain during the night, I started praying. I wondered who the Lord would wake up to pray for me as He wakes me up often to pray for others. Then I thought to myself, "Well duh woman He woke you up!" So I started praying for myself even though I would prefer to pray for others. As I prayed, I cried out for Him to take the pain away. Once again He gave me James 1:2-4. Once again I was blessed in knowing He will be glorified through my pain. The pain I am experiencing is nothing compared to His pain while on this earth. I have been reminded of that so many times over these last two and a half months. His pain was for a purpose. My pain is for a purpose. God was glorified through His pain and I pray He will be glorified through mine. After praying for over an hour I woke Doc up and asked Him to pray that I could go back to sleep. The rest of the night was spent in and out of sleep but I was grateful for every bit I had. I know He will give me the strength for the day ahead and for that I am so grateful. I know I will have my hand in His as we walk the journey before me today and the days ahead.

Dear Jesus,
Thank You for yesterday which was filled with so many blessings. Thank You for the time by the waterfront, coffee with a friend, rest time, time with the boys and Grammy and a walk with my honey. Father, today is a new day. I pray for opportunities to be You to all I meet. I pray for more of You so people will see and hear You instead of me today. Fill me to overflowing with You in my words, actions and attitude. Father, I also pray for many who are going through tough times with breast cancer. I pray for those who are undergoing tests for the possibility of it. I pray for those awaiting surgery to rid of it. I pray for those undergoing treatment for it. Lord, may You be their peace and their strength. May You be with those who hear the words, "We found cancer." Thank You Jesus for being My Peace and My Strength. Amen.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

James 1:2-4 - "Oceans"

Yesterday as we were leaving for my treatment and then going on to the neurologist I said to Doc, "Wouldn't it be cool if the MRI showed no MS?!?!" That didn't happen but at least there are no new lesions. As I heard the report my first thought was of disappointment but then I thought about how blessed I am through the MS. I thought about how the oncologist told me I was 'lined up' with my treatments which means they are doing exactly what they are suppose to be doing. God is blessing me through these diseases in so many ways. These last few days have been very painful and yet He continues to bless me with...

  • opportunities to be a beacon of light at the Cancer Center
  • prayer warriors who pray for me continually and never tire of me asking for prayer
  • a husband who even when he doesn't know what to do he continues to support me
  • the reminder of James 1:2-4
When I was going through the MS diagnosis, He gave me Philippians 4:13 to hold onto. With C it has been James 1:2-4. It was interesting how He gave me II Timothy 1:7 to give different people yesterday. One going in for an elective surgery that was postponed, one going in for a MRI and one whose church burned to the ground all received that verse.  God gave me "Be still and know that I am God" to give another one. I wonder if these will be verses they will hold onto through their situations. I love when He gives me scripture to tell people. We all go through storms in life and we all have a choice to make on how we ride out the storms. We can choose God or we can choose the lies of the enemy. God will uphold where the enemy tears down. God will give eternal strength where the enemy gives only temporal strength. God is the answer. This morning He woke me to....

When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with You above the storm
Father you are King over the flood
I will be still, know You are God

Oh how I know these words to be true. The storms of life can be accomplished so much easier with God in control. Some question why God allows storms to happen. If they didn't, we wouldn't need Him. If it were not for C, I wouldn't have the opportunities that have come my way. I am not going to miss a lot of the aspects of these treatments but I am going to miss my new friends I have met there. I am blessed with a great doctor, a wonderful nurse and awesome technicians! Life will definitely be different after they are completed. God has blessed me in abundance over the course of these treatments and I know He will continue to bless me as I complete the last nine. 

Dear Jesus,
Thank You for yesterday and all of the blessings You poured out on me. Thank You for knowing exactly what I need and providing. Thank You for the strength You provided for me not only physically but most importantly spiritually. Thank You for the day ahead and for all of the opportunities You will give me to be You to others. Fill me to overflowing so people will see and hear You and not me in my words, action and attitude. Father, thank You so much for being My God. Amen.