Rejoice in Deliverance 

July 12, 2017
Rejoice in Deliverance 
Genesis 21:6 And Sarah said, God hath made me laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.
Sarah was no stranger to heartache, she had wanted a baby so bad that she gave her handmaid to Abraham to conceive a child, (Genesis 16:2) but that plan only back fired on her, (Genesis 16:5). Even when God promised her that she would bare a child in old age, she laugh at the thought of being a grandmother mom, (Genesis 18:12). But when the Lord delivered His precious promise, the only thing she could do was rejoice with laughter, and this rejoicing sparked a fire that cause others to laugh with joy along side her. 

God will deliver His promises in our lives and like Sarah His deliverance always causes for a standing ovation. I too experience my own rejoicing in the Lord last fall. What I had thought was a normal hysterectomy procedure, was actually God delivering me from cervical cancer, that not even my doctor had known was hidden inside my endometriosis. This deliverance caused my family, friends and church to stop and rejoice in the Lord with a loud uplifting praise of His healing touch. God’s deliverance comes in different shapes, forms and sizes. Some cry to remind us of His promise of deliverance, (Genesis 17:16) and others are silent reminding us that God is always in control and He will deliver and heal us in His timing, (Proverbs 3:5-6). 
Lord, I lift my eyes up to You, for You are my help in every season. I rejoice in Your grand deliverance over my health, life and salvation. Thank You, Lord for Your perfect timing. I pray to continue rejoicing over Your healing touch, so that others may know, I serve a mighty God that can part waters, bring dry bones to life and prepare a table for us before our enemies, in Jesus name I praise and pray, Amen. 

He Knows My Name 

July 10, 2017
He Knows My Name 
Isaiah 43:1 But now this 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. 
Throughout the Bible, God gives His people names that offer an understanding of their worth to Him. 

As you read throughout Scripture, you will find your name written in His Word of who you are in His kingdom. We are His “treasured possessions,” (Exodus 19:5). We are the “people of His inheritance,” (Deuteronomy 4:20). We are the “sons of the living God,” (Hosea 1:10). We are His “friends,” (John 15:15). No matter what your given name is, God knows your name, and He calls you to Him by your name and you belong to Him, (Isaiah 43:1). 

The greatest weapon we have against the kingdom of darkness is knowing who we are in Christ. As children of God, we are not who Satan and the world says we are. We can stand firm in Christ identity under every attack of the enemy. As a child of God we are not our past and our failures. We are the redeemed of the Lord. His chosen generation a royal priesthood, (1 Peter 2:9). We are so loved by God, Who will never abandon nor forsake His beloved children, (Hebrews 13:5). We are blessed and favored! 
Father, as I read Your names for me I agree with your Word. I receive Your truth of who I am in the Lord. I pray to deepen my understanding, I pray for Your help to learn and discover who I am in Christ. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Fit Into The Armor

July 9, 1017 
Fit Into The Armor 
Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 
I have read the armor of God verses in Ephesians 6:11-18 so many times and I have even acted out placing each piece of this holy armor on me in the morning as I have prayed for protection for the day. Then as my day gets going, I allow pieces of my armor to fall off at times only to lose my security against Satan’s attacks. I would then question my faith and faithfulness, thinking I am not good enough to wear this sacred family heirloom. That is not the truth, God’s armor is a one size fits all. This holy armor fits the smallest to the largest, the youngest to the oldest. There is no requirement of how good or even the amount of work you do in order to have the permission to wear God’s armor. The only requirement that He does ask of us, is that we fit into the armor and not make the armor fit us. Often times when we have prayed for protection against our enemy, we place the armor on, only long enough to wear it past the enemy’s line and then take it off when we think we can defeat him ourselves. God’s armor is not to be worn as a disguise. His sacred armor is to be worn as a symbol that we are covered in the blood of the lamb, guarded by the seal of the Holy Spirit and loved by God, who will still protect His fully armored child, because the battle truly does belong to Him. 
Lord, I have tried many times to make Your armor fit my needs, instead of fitting my heart into Your armor. Thank You for laying this devotion on my heart tonight, and guiding me through Ephesians 6 to better understand Your plans of protection over my heart, mind and spirit, in Jesus name I pray, Amen. 

Water For A Thirsty Soul

July 4, 2017 
Water For A Thirsty Soul 
John 7:37 If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. 
I believe everyone has a touch of green thumb, it is just finding the right plants that can survive your growth into your thumb. I have discovered that I am better with foliage then flowers. My favorite plant to grow is the sweet potato vine, I love the lushes purple vine that grows endless throughout the Texas summer heat. This year makes my third year to grow sweet potato vines and every year I have notice something unique about these plants. When they are in dire need of a drink, the leaves on this particular plant folds over and droops revealing the back side of their leaves, indicating they are in need of water. What is even more interesting about this plant, is that within minutes of watering them, they unfold their leaves and stand to their fullest potential of purple beauty. 

How true is this for us believers! We too have our dog days of summer, where the heat has cause us to thirst for a drink of the endless water. Often times we get so busy we don’t take time to drink from the well or time to pray for relief. When this happens, like the sweet potato vine, we begin to fold and lose our beauty. The minute we take a drink from the well and pray for relief, we too bounce back up and our beauty shines bright as does the sweet potato vine. I believe God created this beautiful plant to remind us of how important time with Him is for our thirsty soul to be watered. 
Lord I am grateful that You have help me discover my ability to care for such a beautiful plant, as the purple sweet potato vine. Each day I watch this amazing plant flourish, I am reminded of how You see me as Your child. Thank You, for using this plant to remind me of how important time spent in the garden of prayer and worship is for my soul, in Jesus name I pray, Amen. 

Restoration Starts Where Grace Begin

Restoration Starts Where Grace Begin 
Genesis 3:23-24 Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. 
Since my hysterectomy I have been praying a certain prayer every day, for these past seven months. “Lord restore my strength, desire, motivation, determination and abilities I once had, to move forward on my spiritual and fitness journey.” Every day after this prayer I wait for this magical moment to take place in my life, that will restore me back to where I once was. 

I started reading my Bible from the beginning a few days ago and when I came to chapter three of Genesis, I was enlighten on why I had the desire to start from the beginning of the Bible. When I reached the last three verses of chapter three, God stopped me there and showed me His purpose of why I was reading from the beginning of His Word. God ensured me that I was praying the right prayer, but that I was looking in the wrong direction. Genesis 3:15 is the first account of the promise of our Savior to come. Genesis 3:21 is the first account of God’s mercy toward men and Genesis 3:24 is the first account of God’s grace to send men forward toward His plan of salvation. As I read each of these verses, the one thing God brought to my attention is all three of these events took place one right after another in the direction of forward. Jesus was first promised as their coming Messiah to look forward to for salvation, (Genesis 3:15). The sacrifice of the lamb for covering Adam and Eve’s nakedness “sin,” which brought them to being separated from God and being sent forth out of the garden, (Genesis 3:21,24). 

God’s message here for us is of hope for salvation and to move forward to a great purpose for what God has in store for our lives. It is clear in this chapter that our God is a God of moving forward and not backwards. I pictured Adam and Eve wishing they could go back and redo their mistake of eating from the forbidden fruit in order to stay in the garden of Eden. I can almost hear them asking God for a second chance, but it was too late and now God has to move forward with His plan of salvation for all mankind. 

As I have prayed daily for restoration, I have looked back at where I use to be on my spiritual and fitness journey. God wants me to see in His Word like Adam and Eve I can’t go back, I can only move forward in His grace as He leads me along the path of righteousness toward my calling ahead of me. The journey we are on with God can only be traveled by moving forward through faith and not backward by lessons of regrets. 
Lord, You know the weary journey I have been on these last seven months, the tears I have cried, the prayers I have spoken and the heartaches I have carried as burdens. I am thankful that You are faithful, and that You have never left my side, but have carried me through many long and hard days of spiritual and emotional pain. God I have spent many days feeling like I was separated from You, straining to hear Your still small voice, but all along You have been with me, I was just looking in the wrong direction. Thank You, Lord for never leaving my side and for redirecting my sight, in Jesus name I pray, Amen.

The Change of Perceptive 

A Change of Perceptive 
Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
A few months ago, my almost sixteen year old daughter had her first boy come ask her dad and me if he could date our daughter. I will admit when I first looked upon this 6’3 giant, asking to date my daughter I seen him as one of my greatest threats. I was made aware of his temporary living situation, his mom had moved and he stayed behind to finish school here and was living with some friends. After a month of them dating his living arrangement was altered, he was now living with his ex-step dad. No more then a week after moving in with him, he had to move out and move in with another friend.

Suddenly this Goliath I once seen as my opponent became an opportunity for me to share God’s love. Monday morning as I sat across the table from him, I tried mustering up the words to speak life over him, tears ran down my face. I could not help but think how this could be my kid, and I would want someone to show them love. We talked about salvation, and I was thankful to find out he is saved. I talked to him about his current living situation and what we were going to do to help him. We opened our home to him outside of staying with his friend to hangout, catch a ride to and from school, take a shower, wash his clothes and eat a hot meal, because this is what God would want us to do. He has been a great help around the house and does not take us for granted. 

Just days before I seen this kid as a nuisance but now when I look at him, I see a kid that God purposely placed on my path. I no longer look at this kid as a threat, I look at him as a mission, a mission to help him succeed and remind him daily of what a great kid he is and that God has a purpose for him. 

Sometimes we believers want to pick and choose who we minister to and when we minster to them. God does not work on our agenda or time table. My eyes have been open, that every person, whether a kid, teen or adult walks through my door, I am serving them as a least of these. 
Lord, thank You for opening my eyes and breaking my heart for what breaks Yours. How easy is it to go to church and drop missionary funds in the offering plate without ever lifting a hand to help someone who lives in my same town. I am grateful for the blessing of this young man, that You have placed in my life to help and guide through the Word, in Jesus name I pray, Amen. 

Jouful Noise 

Joyful Noise 
Psalm 98:4 Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.
We can learn so much from birds, how to depend 100% on God for our food source, place of rest and for His mighty hand of protection. It is especially their songs of thankfulness and praises to God, that we could learn from. 

Around 1:30 this morning I was awaken by the loud weather alert horn on my phone, it was warning me of a severe thunderstorm and tornado warning in my area. By keeping a watch over the weather channel I was able to sleep through the rest of the night. This morning when I woke up to start the new day, I stepped outside just as the sun was beginning to rise to see what damage the winds did to my trees. All I could hear was birds singing with a joyful noise, as if to thank God for protecting them through the storm and praising Him for a new day. How different would our lives and mindset be if we woke everyday lifting our voices to the Lord and praising Him for His sovereign hand of protection and provision. 
Heavenly Father, I thank You for the birds and their joyful noise that reminds me daily, of how Your creation praises You. Lord I pray to rejoice with a grateful song of praise daily. Thank You for reminding me this morning how beautiful praise sounds, in Jesus name, Amen. 

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.