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Oct. 13 - Our world, as we know it, as Cardinals fans has been shaken and worst of all to the Cubbies!!! What happened to the team with the best record in all of baseball? What happened to the team that works best under pressure? Will things change? How will things change?
Who will be here next year? Who will possibly be gone? All these questions can be asked in this ever changing business of baseball.
Although it is American’s favorite summer pass time, I'm already looking forward to Spring Training 2016, because as the saying goes the sun will still come up tomorrow and it's a new day!!.
Another thing we can be sure for tomorrow is that God will give us another chance. He will never change His mind in regards to forgiving us when we make the wrong decisions. He will never trade us. He will never give up on us. He will continue to dedicate His time to us and will continue to love us.
Our Savior is the greatest manager, and coach we as Christians could ever have. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. – Hebrews 13:8. There is nothing else in this world that remains that constant and never changing.
In a world where things oftentimes seems to be falling apart, we as Christians have something stable, something that is completely secure and unshakeable.
O give praise to the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy is unchanging forever. – Psalm 136:1
Oct. 10 - You may have had a bad start in life, but you can have an awesome finish in Jesus!
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. – 2 Peter 3:9.
We all go through times of bad decisions in our lives and need someone we can look up to for help. It can be a best friend’s inspirational words, music, but most importantly, God. We are human with sins galore, so there are many times in our lives when we are just a big mess, but no matter what the circumstance we can always rest in the fact that God will always be faithful. Call upon God and in an instant God forgives us and our big messes!!
“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near.” - Isaiah 55:6
“When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.”- Psalm 34:17
There may be times in our lives when we feel we’ve screwed up big time and why & how in the world would God forgive us. Well, that’s what God does…He will shine his light on us and when we ask, He will help us get through the hard times. If you happen to be struggling today, or if you know someone who may be struggling, then this is the beginning of your healing.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” - Proverbs 3:5-6
God Lord, I know you are the only one with the big picture of my life. I’m thankful I don’t know exactly what’s in store, because I’m sure I’d think mess things up. I rely on You to surprise me with what you have in store for me. Please help me to trust in You each day and give me the patience, to just wait for it!!
Times are tough for people in this world today, but help instill in those that don’t have faith, to know that taking their life is not the answer. Help me to continue to shine my light of your love where ever I go. I pray this all in your name, Amen
Oct. 9 - Do you ever find yourself comparing what someone else is doing to what you have accomplished? The ironic thing is, they are probably doing the same thing. We can find ourselves wanting what someone else has or what they’ve accomplished, and in reality attempting to compare is sure to fail.
Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. – Galatians 6:4-5
We aren’t called to be like other Christians, but we are called to be like Christ. – unknown
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. – Romans 12:2
"The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday." – John O’Leary
Whatever happens, give thanks, because it is God’s will in Christ Jesus that you do this. - 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Dear Lord, Please help to me accept what I do and what I am. Help me to know that God’s plan for each of us is so different. Sometimes it’s hard for me to see that where You have me is where You need me, since in my mind I’m always wanting to accomplish more. I realize that most of the time we are our own worst critics. Give me the patience to practice what I preach, from Your words in Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God”… Thank you for all that I am and what I’ve been blessed with. In Your precious name, Amen.
Sept. 28 - John O’Leary shared this quote on his Facebook page this morning…
"The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” - Mark Twain
I found out my WHY in May of 2013. I asked the question why God would spare me the agony and pain of cancer. It has been obvious to me for quite some time now that He has chosen me to do His work.
In addition to Mark Twain’s quote I’d like to add death as an important day in our lives. Heaven will be the most beautiful, miraculous place we can imagine. Our bodies will be whole, free from all earthly sorrows. We all have a purpose on earth and when God reveals it to you, you will be over joyed!!! That purpose is preparing us for our eternal home!!
Pope Francis …“The whole journey of life is a journey of preparation for Heaven.” No matter what denomination you practice, I believe we can all be in agreement. If we live our lives properly, they are a preparation, a kind of getting in shape, for the life to come
You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. – James 2:24
Sept. 24 - This morning’s devotion is from Jesus Calling…
WALK WITH ME in the freedom of forgiveness. The path we follow together is sometimes steep and slippery. If you carry a burden of guilt on your back, you are more likely to stumble and fall. At your request, I will remove the heavy load from you and bury it at the foot of the cross.
When I unburden you, you are undeniably free! Stand up straight and tall in My Presence, so that no one can place more burdens on your back. Look into My Face and feel the warmth of My Love-Light shining upon you. It is this unconditional Love that frees you from both fears and sins. Spend time basking in the Light of My Presence. As you come to know Me more and more intimately, you grow increasingly free.
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. But if we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. .” – 1 John 1:7-9
My thoughts…There are times when we try to conquer the world on our own. As independent and persistent as we can be it just doesn’t work to go it alone. If you stop and listen God is probably whispering to you, “Ask me, wait for me. I’ll walk with you.” He’s our rock and is there to carry us over that last hurdle. We all have some burden of guilt we carry. God’s wants us to know that forgiveness and comfort of knowing we are forgiven is just a pray away. The more we rely on Him the more peace we will find and His beacon of light will shine through.
“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.” - Psalm 68:19.
Sept. 20 - I know I’ve been writing a lot lately about experiencing troubles and people dealing with hardships, sickness, family problem, financial issues, job loss, etc. But as soon as I open my daily devotions it seems that all of them are focused in some way or another on the same issue. I feel it’s God’s way of trying to pound into our heads to come to Him for comfort and knowledge.
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6
This morning Joel O’Steen has given me something to think about. I will be using this as a calming prayer, knowing God does everything for my good and that I don’t have to understand in order to benefit from it in the long run.
Joel O’steen…When you experience hard times, declare: “God, there’s trouble all around me, and it doesn’t make sense, but I’m not going to let it get in me. I know You’ll make my wrongs right, and in the end, it will work for my good. I know that no weapon formed against me will prosper.”
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27.
Sept. 19 - I was going to take a little time off at the lake, but God has other plans. I saw this and realized God never takes time off. There are many things going on around us that need prayer and the reminder of God’s constant love and comfort.
You may be facing a situation you never thought you’d have to follow, but please never give up and keep up the fight. God has chosen YOU, because He knows what you’re made of. When my life changing two years ago I wondered for months what the plan was, now I reflect back on how God had, unknowingly to me, little by little with each challenge in my life, was preparing me for my biggest challenge, and yet my greatest privilege. Now I realize every obstacle along the way He had me in mind for a bigger purpose.
How are you CHOOSING to walk your path today? You can’t always choose the path you walk in life, but you can always choose the manner in which you walk it.It may not be easy, it may be a struggle, it may be painful, but it will absolutely worth it.
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” - 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
Whatever battle you are fighting today, this is your day to look in the mirror and to decide both to don't quit and just “do it”.
The best is yet to come in knowing that with our trust and faith in God that every battle of now will be a glorious victory in our eternal life.
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13
Sept. 18 - Throughout our lives we may change our plans and ideas millions of times. When one thing doesn’t work out, we try something else. There is nothing wrong with that as long as we invite God to be part of our plans and that we realize our plans may not be His plans for us.
For the plans He has for us when we are sick, He will see us through. When we are suffering in any way, He will see us through. He doesn’t say “Ooops, I guess I was wrong!!” And just change His mind and the plan He has given us. Those sufferings and hardships are for our good and are meant to draw us closer to Him.
How many times have you heard a parent say, “If I could take that suffering my child is experiencing.” It doesn’t matter the age 10, 30, even 50. A parent feels the responsibility of carrying that burden…but that’s what our Savior does, carries that burden!
In Psalm 55:22 we reminded that our Lord is there to free us of our worries and burdens…“Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.”
One of the many glorious things about our God is that “He is eternal – He has no beginning or end. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. If we are to honor Him, we should know Him as He really is – eternal and unchanging.”
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” – Hebrew 13:8
Dear Lord, we continue to pray for all who are sick, those we are aware of and those which have not been revealed to us. Each of your children has a special place in your heart and in the world.
I pray that Alec continues to make progress with his recovery. This tough guy has been such a beacon of light for your Word. I know Alec and his family know You will be using Him in way they would never have imagined. Be with all you are experiencing other stressful situations right now. Bring them to know you are truly the only way to a happy content life. I pray all this in Your name, Amen.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” – Philippians 4:6
Sept. 16 - Words from John O’Leary, he wrote these words to a friend a few years ago that was contemplating suicide…"I'm not telling you it will be easy. I'm telling you it will be worth it."
But those who trust in the Lord for help will find their strength renewed. They will rise on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow weak. – Isaiah 41:10
My friends, apparently September the month for the awareness many illnesses, Childhood Cancer, Suicide, Blood Cancer (Leukemia), Healthy Aging, and there’s recognition for Fruits and veggies- More Matter, there are too many to mention.
Kind of an interested website..some of the awareness made me giggle a bit!!
John’s reminder to his friend is something we should think about daily. Life in general is never as easy we want it to be, but we can know that with trust and faith in our Lord He will never forsake us or leaving us hanging.
Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. – Psalm 9:1
Sept. 10 - You will be rewarded for your kindness. When you are kind to someone, you set in motion a chain of events that makes each life it touches a little bit better. One by one, that act of kindness is paid forward ... till one day it comes back to you multiplied.
“As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” – Galatians 6:10.
I have seen God work in mysterious ways and continues to work in my life. I am just thankful to have made it through some difficulties. During those difficult times I prayed a lot and also am very thankful for all who prayed for me. Showing people kindness is FREE. Find it in your heart to be kind, treat people the way you want to be treated. You reap what you sow, what comes around goes around.
Of course we all use the word, karma from time to time…Karma means action, work or deed, it also refers to the spiritual principle of cause and effect where intent and actions of an individual influence the future of that individual. Good intent and good deed contribute to good karma and future happiness, while bad intent and bad deed contribute to bad karma and future suffering.
I know I more often hear people use “Karma” when they are upset with someone’s behavior towards them…. “Well karma will come around and get them.” Seriously is that really what we should be saying? Forgive and forget!!!
Truly only God knows and hold the holds the key to our future and karma!! I choose to be kind to those who need a little help. I remind myself to look for the people God puts in my path and along the way, and if the kindness is reciprocated, my life is good!! That kindness I received helps me to know that God sees what I do and encourages me to know that He always cares.
Share with God’s people, (that means all people) who are in need. Practice hospitality and love. – Romans 12:13
Sept. 7 - I wrote this before church this morning. Something was telling me to leave it until after church, I didn’t feel confident it was complete or that it was saying what I wanted it to. Well, God never fails…this morning’s message at church was geared around
“God’s Grace”. So here it is and I know now it was enough. God’s grace is always enough and all we need, even when we aren’t at our best and are lukewarm crazy messy...I added a few words, but here it is…
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. – Romans 5:1-2
Even at our messiest we can be reassured in Revelations 3:15-7 that we still receive God’s forgiveness and grace, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot.
I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘But I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” Point blank, yes we are!
We as God’s children receive grace, which is poured on us by our Heavenly Father. The grace and blessings we receive are so undeserved and unearned, nothing about us ever obligated God to save us. He acted purely out of His goodness and love for us, sacrificing His precious Son Jesus.
Jesus’ death was the price paid for our constant sin. But when we trust and have faith in Him, God’s given grace is enough, even when we are messy and screw things up. That GRACE is our golden ticket to eternal, everlasting life.
Dear Lord, Please humble me to know that this message is a reminder from you. You never cease to amaze me when I have doubt in myself, because I know this is not a Brenda thing, but only and always a God thing. Being lukewarm and in the middle when it comes to You should never be enough. When it comes to our love and passion for your Word we need to be on FIRE!! Thank you for all my daily blessings. In Your name oh Lord, Amen
Sept 4 - Ok, so I’m admitting I usually dread getting out and walking in the mornings, especially in muggy weather, and I refuse to get up before the crack of dawn and walk.
I always say a little prayer that God will get me through the 2 miles without me thinking that 1 mile is good enough, and I could be doing something better with my time. He does guide me to push through knowing that it is for the benefit of my body and good health.
There is a time for everything…God reminds us in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”
The old saying, “Older and Wiser” comes to mind. I think back to when I was younger and my girls were in school. I was always saying YES to every opportunity that came along.
I became completely worn down without even recognizing it. My devotion today talks about trying to put 1 ½ cups of liquid in a 1 cup container or 36 hours in a 24 hour day. I know many of us do this to ourselves, which ultimately leaves no quality time for our God. The key to balancing our lives is to seek God’s will us for us, in order to spend time with Him.
Overcommitting ourselves is always a temptation from the devil…He wants us to fail in our marriages, our parenting obligations, our daily lives in general and even me completing my measly 2 mile morning walk.
If nothing else this now is motivation for me to graciously complete two or maybe even three to the Glory of God. Duh, maybe that’s what God was trying to teach me with this devotion!!
I’m not sure how many of you have seen or are planning on seeing War Room, a Christian based movie showing now in Washington.
The movie focuses on many types of trouble we may have in our lives and how difficult or nearly possible they are for us to change until we surrender them to God and remove the devil from our lives. I highly recommend for all members of your family.
Dear Lord, You have uniquely and wonderfully made me and equipped me for the service You’ve determined as my life plan. And yet there are so many times when I tend to take on more things than I can handle, taking time away from You.
Help me to be content with my assignment and to work diligently at everything you put in front of me with joy, giving you all the Glory!! I pray that you, take the devil with his challenges, away from Alec and his family so they can focus on your love and comfort for them. I pray this all in Your name, Amen.
Sept 3 - I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Does it seem to you that faithful Christians and those who are good people seem to suffer more? Today I was reading a devotion that talks about
“Developing Faith Through Adversity”. It talks about, why would God let one of His most faithful servants go through so much pain and suffering? It’s a questions which many of us may ask. In our minds, the Lord should protect His loyal followers from hardships, but He doesn’t necessarily do so… by picking favorites!!
We may think faithful Christians don’t deserve to suffer, but from God’s perspective, suffering is what makes faithful Christians. If we had lives of ease, no pain or trials, we’d think we really didn’t need God. Completely untrue!! I’ve always been a Christian and was always proud to claim it when in a discussion with others.
But I think about my situation, maybe God felt I was getting to comfortable being in my day in, day out routine. On my own I never really over-extended by Christian life. Yes, I was involved in church and lead a moral life, but never went out of my way to really preach what I knew. You know a little adversity actually teaches us much more about the Lord than simply reading the Bible ever will.
If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. – Proverbs 24:10
I’m not saying that we should stop reading the Bible and learning scripture; that’s our foundation for our faith. But if we’re never tested by adversity of what we know, it remains just that, what we know and we will question, does it really work? People around us see our troubles. But with God in our lives we can lead by example.
That shining light can grow dim from time to time, but with God by our sides and our belief that what scripture says is true, we can live it. Your trust in the Lord with no doubt will grow stronger and with a stronger faith you will be able to conquer even the toughest adversity.
Dear Lord, I know you are with them, but right now the Ingram family is going through one of these struggles. Last weekend I witness their strength and faithfulness alongside their faith family at the Experience Church. I pray that you continue to give them strength and help them to feel the love from all around them.
Especially your love and comfort O Lord. We focus on them because we know them, but there are way too many children, as well as adults, suffering from this horrible disease called, CANCER!! Please guide those who are working on a cure to end the pain and suffering. I also thank you for seeing me through my battle, it was the least I could do for You. Thank you for making me a stronger, tougher, more vocal Christian. I will continue to watch for your signs of how You want me to do Your work. I pray in Your name, Amen.
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. – 1 Peter 5:1.
Sept. 2 - Dear God, I pray you bless Alec and his family today and always!!
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:12-13
Have you ever had a tragic situation or even just been running late and you can’t find you keys…You may ask God, “Why me? Nothing ever goes right!!” Well, there are some people when a tragedy hits that give up on God.
I remember when I first starting writing my thoughts of the day, I wrote something on this subject. So many people said to me, “It must be scary and horrible to have to go through this cancer. Do you ever just ask God, “Why me?” I admit I did, but maybe in a different tone of voice or maybe I should say I found myself asking God, “What do you want of me?” Today I count each situation as a hidden blessing from God, I know what He wants of me.
Wallowing in the “WHY?” may be what a person who doesn’t know God may do. We as Christians need to refocus from the WHY? to the WHAT? We know God loves us and we need to trust Him…He has a plan for us to prosper. Pretty quickly you will see things turn around and you’ll recognize God’s purpose for you.
Remember this verse when refocusing, in Philippians 4:8 it says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Dear Lord, help me to think beyond the WHY?. Guide me to ask the WHAT? What are you asking me to do for you? Teach me to be grateful in all situations. Surrendering and accepting things that we don’t understand is very hard, but as we’re reminded in Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” I ask this in your name of Lord, Amen.