Season Of Chnage 

Season Of Change 
Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. 
When I read about the seasons in, “Ecclesiastes 3:2-8,” It makes me think about trees and how they endure each new season. 

When the hot summer days arrive the trees have reached their peak of producing lushest green leaves that cover all their branches, even hiding the bare ones that no longer produce leaves. 

As autumn sets in and the days grow shorter giving the trees less sun light, they slowly loose their leaves baring their naked branches for all the world to see. At the tree’s most vulnerable stage it has no choice but to allow God to prune it’s dead branches with the chilly winds that blow in during the winter, in order to make room for growth that will take place in the spring. 

As spring arrives and the days become longer allowing the sun to nourish the tree once again and bring the sleeping beauty back to life. 

We see God’s creation in action as the season of growth blooms to bring forth an abundant of shade, so that we can find rest in the long summer months before a new season of change starts the process of pruning us all over again.

 The thing about seasons is they are meant to bring change and with each season we are changed, God truly does use all for our good “Romans 8:28.” He can take any season we are currently in and use it to bring us growth to our faith. Like the tree, our real beauty is revealed after our branches are exposed to show God which ones are to remain and which are to be cast off into the fire, “Matthew 7:19.” Often God uses our pain in the harsh winter months to bring us beauty during the growth of spring. Each season we endure has a purpose for strengthening us in order to bring new blooms to our strong branches that remain. 
Father I am thankful for seasons of change. Reading all the different seasons in Ecclesiastes 3, has given me hope that I will not remain the same, but with each new season I will grow in my faith. I pray to endure this new season You have bless me with for new growth that will bring forth new beauty of blooms in my life, in Jesus name I pray, Amen. 

The Value of Encouragement 

The Value of Encouragement
Joshua 1:9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. 
If you are familiar with Joshua, you know that he was one of the twelve spies Moses sent out to survey the land of, Canaan and their enemies, “Numbers 13:17-25.” When the spies returned all of them, but Caleb and Joshua, warned against going up to take the land from their enemies, “Numbers 13:26-33, Numbers 14:1-5.” Both Caleb and Joshua encouraged that they take the land, because, God was with them, “Numbers 14:6-9.” 

Now we fast forward to the book of Joshua, where Moses has died and now Joshua is leading the Israelites into the promise land.

The same encouragement that Joshua gave to the congregation back in the book of Numbers, is the same encouragement God is giving Joshua now. 

Here is where these two books tie the knot for me in my current season I am in right now. Back in the summer last year, me and my friend started a bootcamp ministry at our church. We encouraged those who came to the bootcamp, through devotions, prayer and word of encouragement throughout the summer.

 During the fall of last year I had a total hysterectomy, which set me back a lot on my fitness journey. It has not been easy to get back into the swing of things, when it comes to my fitness motivation. I have shut out a lot of my past accomplishments up till my hysterectomy, because of the strength I have lost and the weight I have gained. The other day I went on our bootcamp page to get some photos of us, to put on a flyer for an upcoming bootcamp this spring. As I went through pictures and read some of the encouraging post, I couldn’t help but think about Joshua and his need for encouragement after Moses died. 

How quick are we to encourage others, and forget the words we spoke the moment we face opposition. Like Joshua, we need a heaping of the same encouragement, we once spoke over others, to be given to us. If we open our hearts, God will fill it with His strength, courage, determination and the abilities to face a new season as He has done in times past. 
Lord, I know that no matter how far I run, You will always bring me back to face past accomplishments in order to be encouraged to face my new season. I am grateful for the bootcamp ministry and my sweet sister in Christ who has been a huge support system for me. I pray to regain my strength through You so that I can lead those who are looking for the same encouragement in Christ, in Your name Jesus I pray, Amen. 

Learning To Be Thankful 

Learning To Be Thankful 
1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 
Being grateful is a daily agenda we must strive to reach. Being ungrateful is part of our sin nature that we took on at the moment Adam and Eve took a bite of the forbidden fruit. Since that dreadful day in the garden of Eden, we have been struggling with the bitterness of being ungrateful. Being thankful is something we are taught at an early age or that we learn to apply to our everyday lives. My three year old daughter has taught me the true beauty of being thankful. Since the moment she learn how to say it and what “thank you” means, she never hesitates to use this powerful fruit. Whether I give her a tube of lip gloss, a bowl of macaroni and cheese or buy her a new shirt, she responds with a strong and grateful heart “thank you, thank you thank you, momma.” It blesses my soul to hear her speak such love over the simple and small things, that we adults take for granted daily. God would not have written in His Word to be thankful always, if He did not desire us to be. I think we truly lack gratefulness in our lives, because we don’t speak enough thankfulness. We are more prone to complain about what we don’t have or what has happen to us that we don’t like, then to share a blessing of thankfulness with others. Thankfulness is something we must learn and pass down to each generation, gratefulness is like a cold, in order to catch it, it has to spread. Take time today to thank God for His abundant blessings and show gratefulness toward others today, even for the smallest act of kindness. 
Lord, I am guilty of not showing gratefulness when opportunities are handed to me throughout the day. Father forgive me of my ungrateful heart towards your blessings that You bestow upon me daily. I pray to have a grateful heart, with thankfulness on my lips, in Jesus name I pray, Amen. 

Good For The Soul

Food For The Soul
Proverbs 14:1 Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.
There has been times in my life I have been guilty of being the foolish woman that God speaks of in this verse. I have been that wife that would rather be at war with her husband, then make peace, because of pride. I have been that mom that would rather scream at her kids, then punish them with love and compassion so they could learn to honor and respect me as their mom. 

This verse makes me think about the story of the two wolves. A Indian grandfather told his grandson of how there is a war raging inside us between the good and evil wolf. The boy ask his grandfather which wolf wins the battle, the grandfather replied, the one you feed. How true is this for us, if we feed our foolishness, then we will break down our home. If we feed our wisdom, we will build our home up in the Lord. What we as parents feed ourselves, our children eat too. 

The reality of nature in the wild is the young feed off what their parents catch. What we feed our young, will be what they feed their next generation. Our integrity and godly character comes from what we consume daily, if we want to raise our children up to have these godly morals, we need to clean out the pantry of our hearts and start feeding our family some spiritual fruits, “Galatians 5:22-23.” 
Lord, I am guilty of feeding the wrong foods not just to myself, but to my family too. God I pray, You will help me uproot the weeds from my heart in order to make room for the seeds to take root and produce good fruits I can share with my family, in Your name Jesus, I pray, Amen.

Meeting on the Mountain

Meeting on the Mountain 
Exodus 34:2 And be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me in the top of the mount.
Last Saturday morning while I was running, God laid the message of Moses shining face on my heart, Exodus 34. As my week progressed my thought stayed on the message of the mountain. This morning as I was in my daily devotions, listening to praise and worship music while enjoying this stress free morning, since my kids are out of school today I get the morning to myself, the message God gave me became clear. 

God was showing me how I am to purposely be alone with Him, away from the stresses of this world, the many voices that want to pull me away and the distractions that want to take my attention from Him. 

God was also showing me that in order to reflect Him, I have to first seek Him. Sometimes we think the mountain that is in front of us is to be circled, climbed or even prayed over to be cast into the sea. Instead that mountain maybe the one you are suppose to go up in the morning to meet God daily to renew your strength, hear His voice of direction, where you can absorb His holiness so when you come down off the mountain you will be reflecting God. We can not reflect God, if we have our face turn to the world on our struggles and the many distractions that hinder us daily. Make it a point to meet God on the mount daily for a clearer perception for your day. 
Lord, I am grateful for time spent alone with You, it makes my day better. I know that in order to have a clear path, I must first seek You, for the direction in which my feet are to take. Thank You for always meeting with me daily, even if I am overwhelmed or distracted. I pray to place this message of the mountain into action and make it a point to meet you early, even if that means rising up earlier in the morning, in Jesus name I pray, Amen. 

I Am A Child Of God

I Am A  Child Of God
Isaiah 43:1-3 But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not over flow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Savior: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. 

These past few months I have found myself stuck in discouragement, defeat and doubt, I have question my faith and who I am in Christ. My focus has been more on my struggles, rather then on my sweet Jesus and God’s promise of new beginnings. 
God has had me planted in Isaiah 43 this past week, every morning I wake up and read this chapter and meditate on what God is speaking to me throughout the day. This morning with His Word heavy on my heart, I sat down with pen in hand and wrote out what each verse meant for me:

Isaiah 43:1 

God created me

God formed me

God redeemed me

God called me, by my name 

I am God’s child 

Isaiah 43:2

When I pass through waters God will be with me, the rivers shall not drown me.

When I walk through fire, I will not be burned, I will not come out smelling like smoke. 

Isaiah 43:3

God is my Father, my Holy Spirit that dwells in me and my Savior

God has saved me from many miry pits, mouths of lions, raging storms, fiery furnaces and angry giants. He has helped me climb rocky mountains and scale through treacherous valleys. He will continue to carry me through, because I am His precious child that He delights in. 
I am not sure where you are right now in life, or the oppressions that you have been facing. If you are questioning your faith, or where God is, or who you are in Christ. Let me encourage you, go now to Isaiah 43, with a receptive heart and read verse 1-6 and hear who God says you are, where He is and what He will do in your life. 
After reading verses 1-4 and hearing God speak to my heart about who I am and what He has done and will do in my life, God gave me even more reassurance through verses 5 & 6. I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister and a friend, this means I daily pray for many. “Isaiah 43:5-6 Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth.” 

I am not sure who you have been praying for, or the salvation of those you love, but be assured, God hears and He has plans for all those we daily come to His throne room of grace to pray for. I pray that God’s Word will speak to you and bring you the peace of all understanding. 
Father, I thank You, that daily You renew my focus, strength and love. I am thankful that You lead my heart to Your beautiful promise of restoration that I have been longing for. Thank You, Lord for this reassurance through Your Word, that has restored me, strengthen me and has given me hope for my love ones I have been praying daily for. I pray this devotion will touch the heart of another that has been struggling, in Your precious name I pray, Jesus, Amen. 

God paints beauty, over our rough edges. 

God paints beauty, over our rough edges! 
Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Yesterday was one of those days, that it was just me, God and a sander. 

Our bathroom walls are divide into two different texture. The top is sheet rock with a spongey texture, and the bottom is pre-painted paneling. A few years ago, I had painted the panel, but the paint dried bubbly, because it didn’t have anything to absorb into.

 I told my husband I wanted to change the color and I thought, this new color would be find, since it would have the old paint to cling to. He told me, that would not work, it would do the same thing as the first paint I had put on the panel. He told me I would have to sand down the wall to give it a rough texture in order for it to absorb the new paint. 

As I labored sanding down the walls, God used this experience, to remind me this is how He paints beauty into our lives. He first has to sand down our rough edges, so that we can better absorb what He is placing in our lives.

The struggle of being sanded by God is real, but we have to endure this process in order for our hearts to be prepared to absorb God’s newness in us. 

Like my bathroom walls, if we don’t allow God to sand us down, we can’t receive a fresh coat of beauty. 
Lord I pray to receive Your sanding in my life that is preparing me for what blessing You have for me, to come. Lord create a clean heart in me, make known to me what I need to let go of, in order to have empty hands that will be filled up by You. Thank You, God that daily, You are sanding down my rough edges to make me more like Christ, in Jesus name I praise and pray, Amen. 

Jesus is “where we find it!”

Jesus is “where we find it!” 
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 
Tonight as I got settled in my bed, I pulled out my Bible I had very first used when I started my walk with Jesus 6 years ago. As I carefully turned through the worn pages and read notes I had written and highlighted. One part of my Bible came to my attention, the very first two pages, after the introduction page. The first one was titled “Where To Find It in the Old Testament,” and the second one was titled “Where To Find It in the New Testament.” Each page gave a list of things you can find in The Word of God, like: courage, trust, faith, hope, strength, bitterness, sorrow, pain. Every thing we struggle with has a passage in the Bible for directions to obtain with strength or comfort for our situation. When I don’t understand, I can trust in Jesus that He has all the answers. He is the way, truth and life for all my needs, through each season of my life, He is more then enough. 
Lord, thank You for being my way, truth and life. I praise You for daily guidance and Your powerful Word for direction. Thank You, for Your ultimate sacrifice for my salvation. You are where I find all I need, in Jesus name I pray, Amen. 

Strip yourself of Satan’s lies

Strip yourself of Satan’s lies
Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.
Some of my greatest devotions are written on my heart by God during my Saturday runs on the school track. I missed last week’s training, so I felt a little set back this morning. My first 2 miles were messy! I felt weighed down, stiffed legged and defeated. God laid Hebrews 12:1 on my heart, reminding me to strip that dead weight off me, that is holding me back from running my race. Little at a time I started stripping away each garment that was physically weighing me down and labeling it as the dead weight that was holding me back. I stripped off my jacket of doubt, my gloves of fear and my sunglasses of Satan lies that were blinding me if God’s truth. As soon as these items and feelings were stripped off me, the rest of my run was easier to endure. With Jesus in my view I was able to focus on His promises of finishing what He has started in me. God does not promise us an easy run, physically or spiritually, but if we would rid ourselves of Satan’s lies about us and our performance, we can make it to the finish line, no matter how long it takes. 
Lord, I praise You, for Your Word of wisdom You placed in my heart this morning, to help me stay the course of my physical run. Like my track training, my spiritual walk with Christ is the same, in order to stay focused on the path You have laid out before me, I must strip myself of negative thoughts. Thank You, Lord for the strength to achieve my goal this morning, in Jesus name I pray, Amen. 

Rebuke the seed, before it takes root.

Rebuke the seed, before it takes root. 
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 
Jesus gave us two great examples in the Bible, of how to rebuke the devil, when he starts trying to whisper lies and plant bad seeds in our minds.

When Peter tried stopping Jesus from going to the cross, to save ALL the world from their corrupt sins, (Matthew 16:22.) The Lord knew Peter was not acting on his own, but through the manipulations of Satan. He immediately rebuke the devil, “Matthew 16:23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” 

When Jesus had gone into the desert to fast for 40 days, Satan took this opportunity to try and manipulate Jesus, into turning rocks into bread, casting himself off the temple to be saved by angels and offering Jesus all the kingdoms of the world, if He would just bow down to Satan. Jesus rebuked the devil and answered him each time with, man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeded from the mouth of God; thou shall not tempt the Lord thy God; thou shall worship the Lord thy God and Him only shalt thou serve, (Matthew 4:3-10.) 

Satan will try to plant seeds of bitterness, enviousness, idolatry, gluttony, adultery, gossip, hate, covetousness and anger toward other in our minds. We must recognize the source of where this negativeness is coming from, and immediately rebuke Satan and submit to God. 

Our minds were not made to be a garbage can for the devil to throw his trash into, but rather we are made to be holy vessels of God, “2 Timothy 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.”
Lord, I know that daily I must die to myself and come into You prayerfully to submit my temple to You, for Your plans and purpose. Lord I know Satan has his own plans for me as well, I pray that as he starts to plant those evil seeds of destruction into my mind, I will remember what my Savior did and rebuke him as I submit unto You as my refugee, in Jesus name I pray, Amen