Under Attack

Ephesians 6:10–12
 
While spending a few days at my daughters house to help out after she had surgery my grand daughter ask to sleep with me in the guest room. Of course I quickly agreed. I still find it exciting when any of the g-kids want to hang out with me.
 
As we walked towards the bedroom my daughter warned me not to let Carlee’s cat sleep with us. “But Charlie sleeps with me every night mom and he will be lonely” Carlee whined. Being the good grandmother, I said it was ok for him to sleep with us, which made my grand daughter very happy. I heard my daughter muttering under her breath, “Well you won’t get any sleep with that cat in the room.”
 
Carlee and I snuggled in the bed for the night, the cat between us. The sound of contentment in Charlie’s purr warmed my heart. Soon I was lulled to sleep by the sound and vibrations of his purrs. In what seemed like minutes of going to sleep, I was awakened by a strange sound and weird sensation close to my face. Charlie had gone from sleeping and purring to jumping from the bed to the nightstand scattering all the things sitting on it to the floor, then back to the bed. Charlie was frightened by the loud banging so he attempted to get back to the safety of the bed however, he did not quite make it. His claws were digging into the sheets and mattress as he was quickly falling to the floor. I could hear the claws scratching in a furry to hold on. His dissent was quick but began ever so close to my face.
 
Once I was awake and aware of what had happened, my daughters words came back to me. “You won’t get any sleep with that cat in the room”. I tried to catch him to get him out of the bedroom but to no avail. He seemed to settle down under the bed so I decided to try to go back to bed get some sleep. I moved my items from the nightstand in case he tried that trick again. I fell asleep quickly and my dream picked up where it had left off.
 
“Bang”, “crash”, “meow” was what woke me the second time. Charlie had jumped on the dresser, where I had relocated my items, and once again everything was on the floor. I was determined to catch the cat this time and remove him or I my daughters statement was going to come true “You will not get any sleep with that cat in your room.” Of course he knew I was going to remove him so he quickly hid. I moved my items to a much higher place, confident that he could not get to them and headed back to bed.
 
The next time I woke up was on my own. YES! SUCCESS! I began to fumble my way through what seemed like a maze, in the darkened strange bedroom to go to the bathroom. Out of no where paws began to swat at each foot as soon as it hit the floor. This barrage of attacks continued until I cleared the bed, almost falling multiple times.
 
I finally made my way to the bathroom while plotting how I was going to get that cat out of the bedroom. I saw movement in the dark and in walked Charlie acting like he was my best friend. I kept a watchful eye on him as I made a sprint to the bedroom to shut and lock the door. I swear that cat was screeching at me because he knew I had won. He continued to meow in an angry way for about an hour before it subsided.
 
As I recounted my night with the devil cat, I thought of the real devil. Do you ever feel like he is trying to rattle you, catch you unaware? Maybe you feel like he is attaching you at every turn and you don’t know how to get away from him. Do you feel like you too are stumbling in the dark not able to see a way out of the attacks? I know I have been there too, not even that long ago so I know how you feel.
 
Christ tells us that in this world we will have troubles. Our God loves us so much that he won’t let us go through these troubled times alone. First of all He is always with us and helping us fight these battles. That means we can call on Him and ask Him to help us. The second thing to keep in mind is that He has given us the armor needed to fight these battles successfully. If you read the scripture for today, He tells us how to win the battle and to be prepared before we the leave the house or begin our day. If you wait until the battle begins and you try to put the armor on, you are already under attack. It will still work but you will suffer some damage for sure.
 
I want to encourage you to get your armor on each day. Before you leave the house be ready. The devil is prowling around like a lion watching to see who comes out vulnerable and he is ready to attack those who are. Charlie really is not a devil cat, he is was doing what cats do. The devil is real and he too, is doing what the devil does. Part of winning is knowing your enemy and being ready to fight him. Let’s go win the battle today.

One Step At A Time

Genesis 12:1 The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
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I feel like Abraham in Genesis 12 right now. God told him to go but did not give him specific instructions on where he was going, what route to take nor advise on what to avoid on the trip. God has given me my “Go”. In a previous post I shared that I believe the Lord is leading me to write a book and to begin public speaking.
 
Many of you know me and can attest that I don’t sit around and wait to do something that I think needs to be done. I will pray, read the word, seek wise counsel and then MOVE IT towards the end goal.
 
This “GO” has been a new adventure for me. One of the things that I was worried about was what would I write about and would I have the words to say. There are some days that the thoughts and words come flowing and other times where I have nothing to say. I have notes on my phone, on napkins, scratch pieces of paper and even on important documents that I found laying around. The funny thing is that sometimes I just write down a quick thought and then when I see my notes later I laugh out loud, because I have no idea what they mean.
 
I have been listening to webinars, reading books and articles and talking to others who are where I want to be. It would be so much easier if I could flip to the back of my life book and see how it all ends. It would be even better if every day God would send me a to do list for that day. But you know what? Neither of those things are going to happen. Every day, I get up, pray and seek wisdom from the greatest life coach I know, God, and trust that He will lead my steps on the path He wants me to take for that day.
 
Todays devotion is really to challenge you to follow what God is asking you to do. You may be scared. You may be excited. You may be unsure. I was all of these things too and some of them right now. All I know is that if God has ask you to “GO” then he will get you to it. I believe that there will be growing pains along the way and every day will not be a successful day in itself ,however it will lead to exactly where God wants you to be.
 
I am not a patient person and to be honest I want to be in churches and venues speaking right now. I want my daily post to reach thousands and to write and sell millions of my books. I want lives to be transformed and people to be encouraged through my words. I want to take all my experiences and wisdom that I have acquired over the years to benefit, motivate and challenge others. These are some my wants but most of all I want to bring Glory and Honor to God.
 
The story ended perfectly in the end for Abraham. He had a lot of bumps and bruises along the way. Some were of his own doing and God allowed others to happen to help make him a better man. I don’t know how my story will end but I do know that I trust the Lord, will follow Him and because of that it will end exactly the way God intends it too.
 
Continue to pray for me as I follow His lead on this new adventure. Let me and my followers know what “GO” adventure God is asking you to go on. We will pray for you and follow you along the path to your success.
 
Give me your suggestions for future post, comments on current or future post, contacts you can introduce me to who can give me advise or share their wisdom? Your help, prayers, feedback, likes, shares and contacts are encouraged. Thank you for following me on my journey!

You Aren’t From Around Here Are You?

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Ephesians 4:29 ESV  Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

I was watching a show on Amazon Video the other day that was filmed in a small town in Kentucky. In the series, the people on the show were portraying Kentucky mountain folks.  The southern accent was very prominent, and actually pretty accurate of the south.  In one of the series there was a man from up north that came into town on business with the locals, both bad guys.  I had to laugh as I watched this episode.   In the first series the northerner starred in, he would say over and over again how he could not understand the local man.  In the second series he starred in, the northerner said he needed google translate to help him understand what the local man was saying.

It reminded me of how we should speak as Christians.  Our language should change after we are saved.  People who are not saved should not understand what we say because we don’t talk like them.  John 8:47 says “Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”  Non-Christians may not understand the things of God but that doesn’t mean we should not talk about God.  We should talk about Him so much that they want to know what we are saying.  In the show, even though the man did not understand what the locals were saying, he really wanted to understand them.  His frustration made him work harder to figure out what they were saying.

When we are Christians the way we talk to others is different.  Those who are not saved may not understand the way we talk to each other.  Colossians 4:6 ESV Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.  We should not loose our cool with other people, christian or not.

Matthew 15:11 ESV says “It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”  What words are coming out of your  mouth?  I heard a sermon by Joel Osteen and he was talking about the different sins people struggled with.  He specifically mentioned people in his life who struggled with swearing.  I hear so many christians swearing.  I have watched the faces of lost people when they hear a christian swear.  It is a look of confusion.  Even they do not understand how a christian can so freely swear.  

Ephesians 5:4 ESV says “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.”  The bible is full of scripture that tells us how we should talk once we become saved.  Maybe you don’t know “churchy talk” but we all need to learn God talk.  How do we do that?  By reading His read.  Churchy talk is man talk.  God talk is His language and there are blessings for His children who use God talk.

I am not sure if there is google translate for the bible, however there are many tools available to you to make reading the bible easier.  There are many different versions of the bible.  Check them out online before you buy one.  Here are a few online resources where you can read a verse in many different versions.  If you keep going to a particular version then maybe that is the one you should buy.

http://biblehub.com/

https://www.biblestudytools.com/

https://www.bible.com/

https://www.youversion.com/

Each of these sites also have a commentaries by several people.  If you read something and you don’t understand it, no matter which version you read, then you can read the commentary, which explains the text you just read.

In Joels sermon he stated that we all deal with our own sin.  For him, it was impatience while for someone else it was their words, swearing.  This isn’t a devotional to make you feel bad about swearing.  The bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”  Maybe you are saying that you can’t change your language.  Those old ways just won’t go away so how do you change?  Philippians 4:13  (GW) I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.  With God’s help thats how.  YOU CAN DO.  Don’t stop trying.

Just in case no one has told you this today….God loves you, wherever you are in your walk with Him!

Words Are Powerful

Proverbs 18:21 (NIV) says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

Words are extremely powerful. Gossip is destructive and it hurts. Hateful words travel to the heart and pierce the soul. Sometimes it hits the brain like shrapnel and can take a lifetime to dislodge. I know firsthand how hurtful gossip can be, how fast gossip travels and how it can destroy one’s self-confidence. I have been the target—by both family and those I’ve held in the high esteem of ‘friend.’

When I was young my mother would say, “If you can’t say nothing good about a person then you should say nothing at all”. I think women are more guilty of gossip than men, however some men like juicy gossip as much as the next woman. I saw a sign once that read, “No Gossiping Allowed. If You Want to Talk About Someone, Talk About Jesus.” Ask yourself, “What good may come of what I am about to say?” If the answer is ‘nothing,’ it probably shouldn’t be said.

As Christians, we have a responsibility to build each other up not tear each other down. Ephesians 4:29: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” I think it is more hurtful to have someone who worships the same God as you do hurting another sister or brother in Christ with words and actions than someone who is lost.

Instead of surrounding yourself with people who talk about others and other people’s business, surround yourself with those who talk about ideas and who are interested in solving problems. Ignite rich conversations that illuminate and enlighten rather than tear people down. My mother also said “Any dog that brings a bone, will carry one. ” So be clear that anyone who is gossiping to you is also gossiping about you. Proverbs 20:19 ESV tells us to stay away from someone who is a gossip “Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.”

The Bible teaches us that we are accountable for every single word that comes out of our mouths! Matthew 12:36-37 (NIV) “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words, you will be condemned.”

If you are one who gossips you should stop it. God is listening and he does not approve of your speech. Titus 3:2 says, “To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” Proverbs 16:28 ESV says “A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.” Gossip causes strife and separates people. Even if what you are saying is true. Stop justifying why you are talking about someone else negatively. It is wrong no matter how you try to justify it to yourself.

The next time you begin to speak someone’s name, ask yourself if what you are going to say after their name is building that person up or not. No in-between answer. It is either yes or no. If no, STOP and don’t say it. Instead, ask the Lord to remove the gossip from your mind and your speech. James 3:8 says “Yet, no one can tame the tongue. It is an uncontrollable evil filled with deadly poison.” Gossip is something that the flesh can not control alone. We MUST rely on God to help us tame our tongue.

If you listening to gossip, stop it. Proverbs 26:20 “For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.” If you listen to it then it keeps the fire (gossip burning) If you stop listening, then the fire will go out. Proverbs 26:22 says, “The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body. It may feel good to listen and be in the know, but sin often feels good, when it is actually bad.

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Maybe this scripture speaks to where you are right now. Psalm 109:2 “For wicked and deceitful mouths are opened against me, speaking against me with lying tongues.” So how can you be encouraged? I love Spurgeon’s metaphor: “A great lie, if unnoticed, is like a big fish out of the water—it dashes and plunges and beats itself to death in a short time.” When (not if) your reputation suffers an undeserved injury, your quiet integrity over time will say all that needs to be said. Pray for the one talking about you and choose to forgive them.

I will close with this wise quote by George Whitefield:

Let the name of Whitefield perish, but Christ be glorified. Let my name die everywhere, let even my friends forget me if by that means the cause of the blessed Jesus may be promoted. . . . I am content to wait till the judgment day for the clearing up of my reputation; and after I am dead I desire no other epitaph than this, “Here lies G. W. What sort of man he was the great day will discover.”

Amen. May the Lord who sees and judges everything give us such a spirit.