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. 

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.