Saturday, January 30, 2016

I Am With You Always

"When My Presence is the focal point of your consciousness, all the pieces of your life fall into place."  (Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, January 28)

So true! I am experiencing this as I adjust to my move back east.  I've only been back 3 days now and I have continued to say my prayers and read the Word  whether I am feeling distressed and defeated or happy and hopeful.   Jesus said, "I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS" (Jesus Calling referencing Matthew 28:20)

"A few people center their lives around this glorious promise and find themselves blessed beyond all expectations."  (Jesus Calling)

I too want to be among those who do and pray that a few becomes many!  Already I am receiving good news and feeling blessed by God during this transition in my life.  And I praise Him for it!

"The fact that I Am with you makes every moment of your life meaningful."  (Jesus Calling)

Ever so true as I think back on even the little moments growing up here with my mother, who is now with Jesus, and with all my family and friends.

So I close in praying Psalm 143:8  "Remind me each morning of Your Constant Love, for I put my trust in You.  My prayers go up to You; show me the way I should go."

Friday, January 29, 2016

My God Shall Supply All of Your Needs

19 And with all His abundant wealth through Christ Jesus, my God will supply all your needs. (Philippians 4:19 GNT)

This is the scripture I was looking for but couldn't find! And God found it for me in a way that truly showed me how much in control He really is over my life.

I am now 2 days back home in Maryland after living 18 years years in Los Angeles pursuing a life-long dream of acting and film making, feeling like I once did caught in a cross current in the ocean twirling around and around "like a cat in a tumble dryer",  not knowing which way is up.  Before I moved home, in the morning service at church, a very devout teenage boy showed me this scripture to give me hope and comfort. Though I remembered the message, I forgot the scripture and did my best to try to find him in our network to ask him what that scripture was again.  It brought me such hope and comfort! 

Just this morning, I get an email from a dear friend of mine, from the same church, telling me that yesterday she prayed this scripture over me...and there it was! The exact scripture I had been looking for but couldn't found. It found me, thanks to God who used this whole scenario to show me just how much I am cared for by Him and that everything is in His hands. So, relax, Michele! Thank you, Jesus!

Monday, January 25, 2016

As We Lie Dormant, God Is Planting Seeds

The other day a friend and I were discussing the growth of Isis and the complacency it seems that America has taken in its position and a thought came to me:  (Please forgive me for getting political, but it's the idea that came to me that I want to get across)  that God is using this dormant time to plant seeds.

I had been told before that people living in the middle east are coming to Christ in droves! They are tired of their suffering inflicted there and tired of hiding, living in rooms with other families, and have lost faith in what they've been taught.  They are now seeking out Christ.   Bibles are in demand there.  God is planting seeds there!  He is using the opportunity brought by the suffering that mankind has caused, by use of our own free will, to bring people to Him.  Praise God!  

At a time when the super powers of the world appear dormant and evil runs rampant, seeds are being planted.  They are fermenting and growing.    

Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place."  John 18:36 (NIV)

Is Jesus' Kingdom not the Kingdom of Heaven that God wants to grow? Yes, of course!  So perhaps while He is allowing free will, He is also planting seeds.  But we also can be rest assured that God will always heed the cry of help from anyone who seeks Him.

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble."  Psalm 46:1 (NIV)

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28 (NIV)

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Letting God Lighten Your Path

Two thoughts in Scripture and devotions that stood out to me this morning:

"God you are my rock and refuge. When I experience highs and lows, You are steady and constant" (He Fights For You by Max Lucado and Andrew Lucado)

"Instead of running away from these challenges, embrace them, eager to gain all the blessings I have hidden in the difficulties.  If you believe that I am sovereign over aspect of your life, it is possible to trust Me in all situations.,,,search for My way..."  (Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, for day January 22)

This I'm applying to my own life and struggles now as I prepare to move back home, penniless and unemployed.  The photo is where I live now on church property having rented from my pastors.

Sarah Young goes on to write  "Trust is like a staff you can lean on, as you journey uphill with Me (Jesus). If your trusting in Me consistently, the staff will bea as much of your weight as needed.  Lean on, trust, and be confident in Me with all your heart and mind." (referencing Proverbs 3:5-6)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

A Cup of Promises

Thankful for God's Promises

This morning a spectrum shined in my coffee cup while I read my devotionals.  It made me recall how God used the rainbow as a promise sign to Noah, after the flood, that He would never flood the earth again. Today's scriptures I read were about God's love for us! They say it all!

"God has always been your defense; His eternal arms are your support."  Deuteronomy 33:27 (GNT)

"For I am certain that nothing can separate us from His love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, neither the world above nor the world below - there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the Love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord."  Romans 8:38-39 (GNT)

I thank God for His eternal Love and I thank Jesus Christ for giving that Love to us all.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The World Is Perfect!

The world is perfect! All God created is perfect because He is perfect. It is only what God has given us to create that is not perfect, including our own nature He gave us free reign over. Wiithout Him, there is no perfection in our life. So, should we not, as Jesus said, 'Put God first! And everything else will follow.' ... Why rely on ourselves, the imperfect, when we can rely on Him - the Perfect?
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you." (Matthew 6:33 NAS)
"In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success." (Proverbs 3:6 TLB)

Glacier National Park in Montana

Thursday, January 14, 2016

When voting for your President...

When voting for your PRESIDENT please primarily consider:
Above and beyond all other counselors they may consult while in office, does the candidate honor, serve and worship God? Do they know His Word and Know His Son: the Way, the Truth and the Life? Is HE the candidate's TOP ADVISER whom is consulted first and foremost on every matter?
If they don't, how can they perfectly honor, serve, protect and lead YOU? (Then you just have one human being, on their own strength and wisdom, leading another human being: the blind leading the blind.)

Sunday, January 10, 2016

How Important You Are To God

This topic came to mind reading this side note in January 7, 2016 of Haven Ministries' "Anchor Devotional":  "God's glory is above all His creation. Yet the Creator of the Universe thinks about you."

Scripture says much about how much we mean to God individually, each and every one of us.  I think just looking at the intricacies of our whole being: mind, body and soul in itself shows this!  God could have made us just a mindless blob of a thing that just sits there and been done with us - but no! Look at all the details in even a single cell of our bodies and all that it does!  He really gave special attention to making us who we are.  Our complexities go far beyond our comprehension, even today.

I love that scripture that says, "Indeed, even the hairs on your head have all been counted!" (Matthew 10:30 ISV International Standard Version)

And if you're bald, no matter.  Every cell in your scalp is counted.  Oh, how He loves us!

Jesus, in Matthew 18:10 (GNT) speaks about the importance of every child... "See that you don't despise any of these little ones. Their angels in heaven, I tell you, are always in the presence of my Father in heaven.  What do you think a man does who has one hundred sheep and one of them gets lost? He will leave the other ninety-nine grazing on the hillside and go and look for the lost sheep.  When he finds it, I tell you, he feels far happier over this one sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not get lost. In just the same way your Father in heaven does not want any of these little ones to be lost." 

 (Note how it says that children's angels in heaven are always in God's presence. Interesting! At first I thought it meant that children are angels in heaven.. Read carefully scripture and you'll find all kinds of interesting insights.)

Also, think about God allowing His Holy Spirit to dwell in us.  In the Books of Exodus and Ezekiel in the Old Testament it talks about how people and items in God's presence could not afterwards be in the presence of people without killing them because God's power is so great and so pure that anything less cannot survive in His pure presence. Even the priests garments worn in God's presence in His Holy Temple (mentioned in Ezekiel) had to be removed before the priests went out amongst the people. That is why God sent His Son to live among us and, when He rose to heaven, God gave us His Holy Spirit to dwell within us. We cannot exist in the presence of God, Himself in His pure state, as I understand it. But, back to this topic, for God to allow His Son and His Holy Spirit to live with and within us - We must be pretty darn important!

As Dr. Marcus Brody in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" tells Indiana Jones about the Ark of the Covenant, "It's not something to be taken lightly." Amen!

My little sheep, Feliz, now in heaven with Jesus.  Photo by Tommy Troudeaux

Thursday, January 7, 2016

God Is In Control

"It's raining. It's pouring. The old man is snoring."  Remember that song?  Boy, yesterday, it did pour torrential rain here in Southern California. Was this the "El Nino" they said was coming?  I watched the mud begin to slide down the mountain.  Rain here means floods and mudslides that take houses down.  Isn't that silly in a sense for a place that is experiencing a big drought?  And never hardly sees rain?

But great rains shows me God's power over everything.  We go about our busy lives, yet God controls the rain. Remember the Great Flood that covered the Earth (yes, I know, you weren't there). Only Noah, his family, and the paired animals survived in his arc so God could then rebuild humanity on Earth.  Did you know that the Chumash Indians, who have lived in Southern California for thousands of years, have an ancient account of a great flood that covered the earth making it necessary to remake mankind?  And I hear that many other cultures have the great flood story told in their history too.  Makes you think, doesn't it? For everyone to know this story (however they interpret it) tells me that as man repopulated the world from Noah's generations of offsprings, they all told about it.  Perhaps?

But fear not. God is in control and He is also All Loving.  I like that rain tells me Who is in control.  Jesus said that "not one sparrow falls without to the ground without your Father's consent". (Matthew 10:29 GNT) I'm glad God is in control. I sure wouldn't want anyone else to be! (Including me).  It's the reason I can sleep at night, knowing God is in control.  It's because of Him that I exist. That I live each day and that my heart beats. That I have land to walk on and gravity to hold me safely on it. That I have food, water and all kinds of good things to live on. 

Wow! When the wind the blew sometimes, it almost appeared to blow the brush away.  One giant tree, in fact, did fall yesterday.

But rest assured, God loves us! And He does what He does for our ultimate protection from sin and death.  I once felt God tell me regarding His love for us, "I love you more than love itself."

A pastor I once knew said the overwhelming love he felt when he first saw his newborn, twin sons was the moment he also heard God tell Him, "Feel how much you love them? I love you even more than that."

The Bible has many verses on God's great love for us.  Here are just a few:

"For God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not die but have eternal Life." (John 3:16 GNT)

"...understand how broad and long, how high and deep, is Christ's love." (Ephesians 3:18 GNT)

"As far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our sins from us." (Psalm 103:12 GNT)

So, my friends, "Leave all your worries with Him because He cares for you."  (1 Peter 5:7 GNT)   

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Do you know who I Am?

Living in southern California, I've heard lots of stories of celebrities, in moments of confrontations, saying "Do you know who I am?". I even once heard from a woman whose child attended school with children of celebrities who was also challenged by them with, "Don't you know who I am?"

But it's not who we are that matters, it's who He Is: God Almighty alone is the Great I Am.  The one and only Great I Am.  The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is He.

"God said (to Moses), 'I am who I am, You must tell them: 'The one who is called I AM has sent me to you.' "  Exodus 3:14 (GNT)

Jesus, the Son of God, said to the Isrealites, "I am telling you the truth, Jesus replied, "Before Abraham was born, 'I Am'."

(This was in response to someone questioning Him, "You are not even fifty years old - and you have seen Abraham?")

In these scriptures, God calls Himself  "I AM".   We call Him the "Great I Am" - but God's greatness goes infinitely beyond any words.

What brought me to this whole thought was reading in Sarah Young's book Jesus Calling for January 5 about relying on Jesus instead of trying to do anything alone.  "But those who are successful in their own strength tend to go their own way, forgetting about Me.  It is through problems and failure, weakness and neediness that you learn to rely on Me."

I love this song "Great I AM" performed by New Life Worship...WOW! 
Powerful!  Lifts the Soul!  Soul therapy.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

A Sweet Song (Just HOW MUCH Jesus Loves Us)

When we see just HOW MUCH Jesus loves us, it changes us forever.

Haven Today Ministries ( shared this message last night with a sweet story about a woman who was so depressed one morning, sitting at her kitchen table.  She often fed the mockingbirds who would come to her window.   

While she was sitting there, a mockingbird flew up to her window and started tapping on it to get her attention. 

Then he flew up into a tree just outside her window and began singing his little heart out, song after  song, as only a mockingbird can.

What a wonderful way Jesus showed His love for her in that moment.