I Belong

Very encouraging!!

Morning Story and Dilbert

Bishop John Reed of Sydney, Australia, was preaching in Christ Church Cathedral one Sunday when a 75-year-old woman named Ethel Hatfield got saved. Mrs. Hatfield had attended that Anglican church for decades, but the message had never gotten through to her until that day. The following day she came to see Bishop Reed and said, “I could hardly sleep last night I was so excited about what happened. I want to do something to serve God with the few years I have left. I was wondering if I could teach Sunday School.”

Bishop Reed looked at this 75-year-old, white-haired lady and just couldn’t picture her controlling the rambunctious third or fourth grade kids. So he said, “I’m sorry, but we don’t have an opening in our Sunday School.” Her face fell. Bishop Reed said, “You mean business, don’t you? I don’t know what kind of service God may have for…

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Chapter of the Day-Psalm 34…The Lord Delivers the Righteous

PSALM 34

Chapter of the Day

Psalm 34

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Psalm 34

The Lord Delivers the Righteous

Concerning David, when he pretended to be insane in the presence of Abimelech,[a] who drove him out, and he departed.

1 I[b] will praise the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips. 2 I will boast in the Lord; the humble will hear and be glad. 3 Proclaim Yahweh’s greatness with me; let us exalt His name together.

4 I sought the Lord, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears. 5 Those who look to Him are[c] radiant with joy; their faces will never be ashamed. 6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him from all his troubles. 7 The Angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them.

8 Taste and see that the Lord is good. How happy is the man who takes refuge in Him! 9 You who are His holy ones, fear Yahweh, for those who fear Him lack nothing. 10 Young lions[d] lack food and go hungry, but those who seek the Lord will not lack any good thing.

11 Come, children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. 12 Who is the man who delights in life, loving a long life to enjoy what is good? 13 Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from deceitful speech. 14 Turn away from evil and do what is good; seek peace and pursue it.

15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry for help. 16 The face of the Lord is set against those who do what is evil, to erase[e] all memory of them from the earth. 17 The righteous[f] cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them from all their troubles. 18 The Lord is near the brokenhearted; He saves those crushed in spirit.

19 Many adversities come to the one who is righteous, but the Lord delivers him from them all. 20 He protects all his bones; not one of them is broken. 21 Evil brings death to the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be punished. 22 The Lord redeems the life of His servants, and all who take refuge in Him will not be punished.

A Reminder of Just How Blessed I Am

how blessed i am

Bible Devotions

Psalm 37:1-11

King James Version (KJV)

37 Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.

3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

4 Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

5 Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.

9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.

10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.

11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

Last night hubby turned on a show I will never watch again.  It was called  “American Gangsters”.  I normally don’t like or watch shows like this, but this one particular episode caught my attention.  I have never seen such evil in my life and I never want to see it again!  Sadly, many don’t have that choice.  Chaos and horror have been their lives since their childhood.

People live on streets that are plagued with drugs, drug dealers, con artists, and violence of such propensity and horror I cannot even write it.  Children are born into this nightmare of destruction!  Women and children are victims to this nightmare of destruction! 

 As I sat and watched, horrified, I told my husband, “We literally live in a Mayberry!”  I thanked God I was born in “Mayberry” and that my life had been kept safe.  But not all have had this life I know as normal. 

I began to think of the children so coldly murdered as though their lives held no value.  The destruction due to greed I saw made me literally weep!  I wondered if those children had anyone who prayed for them and how any of them made it out either alive or without being caught up in a world of addiction and drugs.  I wondered if some of the nights God had awakened me to pray in the Spirit, along with intercessors all over this world, He had me praying for the safety and escape of innocent people who were about to be victimized.  I know from now on when I intercede, they will definitely be included!

I thought of David Wilkerson, who fearlessly took to the streets and ministered to gangs and drug dealers and won Nicky Cruze to the Lord!  What boldness from the Holy Spirit that took and what a miracle of God he survived to tell about it.

As I thought of these things and wept with feelings of helplessness to aid in this cold, hard reality of so many people’s lives God spoke to me.  I was a bit surprised at what He said, but it gave me a reality check in the Spirit!

God said, “Stop crying!  Pick up your sword of truth and your shield of faith and fight!  Nothing is too hard for me, and through prayer My hand can and will move!”  Now I would have thought God would have been proud of me for feeling such compassion and empathy!  I would have thought this would be a “Bless your sweet darlin’ heart” time!  But I am not the victim here!  Yes, He is pleased when we are moved with compassion, but when we begin to feel depression, helpless, and hopeless we are useless to God and anyone else!  He HAD to get me out of that so I could DO what WOULD make a difference!

Scriptures began to rise up in me when I wasn’t a shrinking daisy anymore.  The first one was “Fret not yourself over evildoers…”  Psalm 37.  Then He spoke the verse of the day to me   1 Corinthians 10:13…He has provided “a way of escape”!  Let me tell you that got me fired up! 

No, I can’t fight crime, greed, or any other evil thing on the streets of New York or anyplace else, but God can!  He will not, cannot ever be defeated!! 

This is a true story.  There was a town many years ago that was basically a “beer joint” town.  There was a small church there where just a few attended and they were women.  Their husbands were in the bars.  They began to pray and brought in an evangelist to hold a revival.  As the revival was taking place the Holy Spirit and the glory of God fell on that church and people who were headed to the bars began to walk through the door.  Many said it felt as if the church were a magnet and they couldn’t help but be drawn in.  The altars began to fill with people wanting to be saved and delivered from ungodly lifestyles.  These very people went on to evangelize this town.

As the revival continued, the bars literally became desolate of any customers!  The former customers were at the revival that lasted several months!   Even the owners and employees of the bar began to attend the revival and soon the bars were shut down and the ENTIRE town was saved and on fire for Jesus!

Who cleaned that town up?  Who brought life long changes to ones who had made fun of this small group of women for going to church and being Christians?  Who turned cold and hardened drunkards into sober deacons and elders?  GOD DID!  How did He do it?  Through the prayers of those women and the pastor!  Prayer unties the hands of God to act on your behalf and on the behalf of others!

No matter how great the obstacle you may face, dear reader, the Bible says God will give us feet that can run through a troop and leap over walls!  Our strength and help comes from the Lord!  He can do what you could never do!  All we have to do is ask in faith, stand on the Word, and praise because we know He is good for it!  Never, never, never underestimate the power of simple believing prayer!  It “avails” much and is “dynamic in its making”! 

Blessings to you as you take your shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit today!  Weild the Word of God and stand in faith and see your world change for the better!!  Blessings in abundance to you, precious reader!!   Juliana

 

Bible Verse of the Day-1 Corinthians 10:13…God Has Made a Way of Escape

God has made a way of escape

BIBLE VERSE OF THE DAY

1 Corinthians 10:13

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.

Smile Awhile and Give Your Face a Rest

I have found the neatest author and just cannot get enough of her articles! Today she has tickled my funny bone! Go ahead and have a good laugh!! It is good for you and you will surely get one with this post!

Proverbs Way

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A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Proverbs 17:22

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Recipes-Quick and Easy Ten Minute Butterfinger Pie

butterfinger_pie_266x200

RECIPE/QUICK AND EASY DESSERT

6 (2 1/8 ounce) butterfinger candy bars, crushed

1 (8  ounce) package cream cheese

1 (12  ounce) carton Cool Whip

1 graham cracker crust

Directions:

  1.  Mix crushed Butterfingers, cream cheese, and Cool Whip together.
  2.  Put it in pie crust.
  3.  Chill.

Enjoy!!

 

Source: food.com

Beyond Frustrated And How I Got Here

frustration

James 4:13-15  Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. 15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

Well, today is “fess up” day, and it is vent day!  What should have been an enjoyable, barbecue, playing “Shang-Hi” (a card game my family loves) weekend was one of utter and total frustration and upset for me.

I decided I wanted to go from wordpress.com to wordpress.org…that was my first ridiculous thought.  We all know with ridiculous thoughts come ridiculous actions…that means I TRIED to do it!  I am a dinosaur when it comes to computer stuff.  There is a learning curve to this thing and that is one “curve” I do not seem to have!  If my whole body looked like the learning curve I have for wordpress, I would be “Twiggy” and a very happy woman!  Why is it all the curves are in the wrong places??

I didn’t stop with thinking I needed to do this, I went on to “try” to do it.  One night I was up until 4 a.m. with a particular company that said I was definitely in the right place and they could help me make this happen!  I found out the hard way they don’t have the “curves”  for it either!  Google became my best friend/enemy that night.  We have a love/hate relationship.  If it gives me what I want and can use, I love it…if I can’t find what I am looking for then we have “issues”! 

This all started to take on my, “I will NOT be defeated!” attitude Sunday.  Once I decide on something and set my mind to it, NOTHING will stop me…except ignorance of computers!  As I trudged through page after page of one “experts” advice after another (I wrote everything they said down because it was too complicated for me to remember) it seemed the further from my goal I was getting.  One “expert’s” advice caused a problem another expert had to fix, and so on!  Eventually the experts became frustrated with the problem and readily refunded my money!  Now, it is pretty bad when a company gives up and practically begs you to take your money back! 

About 2:30 that morning the thought hit me, “Maybe God doesn’t want me to do this.”  I looked for the reason, and to be honest, I could not come up with one conceivable reason it SHOULDN’T be done!  “No, that couldn’t be it” I decided and plunged into it again!  Finally, at 4 a.m., after being up for almost 24 hours and working on this thing for about 12 hours of that 24, I hear the Lord say, “Go to bed and end this.  You will have a new perspective on it tomorrow.” 

I got a full four hours of sleep after that and up I got to dive in again.  I was sharp with hubby (y’all know I tell you everything, almost!) and Gracie had to wait for her morning “love fest”.  I was a woman with a mission and I would not give up!  Hubby kissed me, which made me feel horrible for my sharpness, and went out to do yard work.  The scripture that says, “A soft answer turneth away wrath…” is so on target!  It wasn’t five minutes until hubby was standing in the doorway and said, “You know, Baby, if you can’t get it to work and all you are getting is frustrated maybe God is stopping it for some reason.”  WOW!  I had thought the same thing, but dismissed it!  Yeah, I am shaking my head right now, too.

I don’t know why I didn’t snap to this before my entire weekend was consumed with frustration, tears, and the fact it is the hardest thing in the world for me to give up on something that I THINK is a good idea!  It is hard beyond words for me to say, “I can’t.” but, sometimes the “I can’ts” let you know YOU are the one pushing it, and you did it all by yourself.  You never even thought about asking God what He thought!

“I” is a very telling word!  “I” means you have struck out on your own, you are independent of anyone or anything else in what “I” am doing!  I had left the grace of God in this thing somewhere along the way and instead of listening to what God’s will was (it looked like a great idea to me) and I saw nothing negative about it, there must be nothing wrong with it!  How many times have I done this?  Without ever even considering something in prayer, I go ahead with a “great” idea and then cry out to God in disappointment because it failed.  How many times have I put the “cart before the horse” and then wonder why I am getting nowhere and nothing but upset?

I can’t blame God for MY actions apart from Him.  If I had kept MY thoughts in line with His thoughts, my actions would have been much different and I wouldn’t be frustrated and regretting I wasted precious time during the weekend with my family!!  I find it perturbing when people blame God for everything under the sun.  THEIR plans don’t work out and, somehow,  it is God’s fault (according to them).  Something bad happens and it is God’s fault He didn’t stop it (according to them)!  It amazes me, so many times WE are the ones responsible for right where we are!

God DOES try to intervene, but we don’t listen.  God told you not to marry that man/woman, through good counsel of your family and friends, but you got mad at them and stopped speaking to them for doing it and plunged right in!  Is it God’s fault when you end up in a disaster of a marriage full of abuse and heartache?  Is it God’s fault when we fail to listen?  Or when something out of our control happens in our lives and we blame God.  Why is it we never hear anyone taking responsibility for what they have done or blame the devil for the bad things we couldn’t control?  It is like the devil ceases to exist to some people and God gets all the blame…how ludicrous! 

So much happens because we act on our own accord instead of the wisdom of the Word.  So much happens because we fail to pray first and act secondly, as I did!  So much happens because we leave things up to “chance”, instead of taking our God given authority in Jesus’ Name to stop something and then we want to point our fingers at the very one we should be raising our hands to in surrender!! 

I have learned a lot from this past weekend.  Now I have to be sure I don’t let the enemy bombard me with time wasted in regret!  When a door shuts, it isn’t a good idea to force it open.  When a door shuts, it is a good idea to stop and ask God if I should even put my hand on the knob to turn it to see if it will open!  It may mean there is a better door to walk through ahead,  and I can’t be in two places at once.  If I walk through “good enough” I forfeit the “greater” thing!  Sometimes “failing to act” is actually a “successful wait”!  We just need to be sure that “wait” is in the presence of the Lord, where He is waiting with exactly what we need at exactly the right time.

Thank you for sticking with my frustrated rant, dear reader!  I feel better, and I learned even more as I wrote.  I hope it has helped you, too!  Blessings in abundance to you!  Juliana

In Case You Were Wondering…

in case you were wondering

You may have thought when you saw the site today, you were seeing double!  You aren’t!  For some unknown reason to me, I decided to play with some of my dashboard gadgets.  When I did, I hit something that copied my pictures twice.  Now if I try to get rid of the second one, it throws the entire article away! 

I appreciate your patience, precious reader.  It is just going to take a little bit of time to get it back to “normal”, until then I didn’t want you to think you had something wrong with your vision!   Only me, right??  Oh, and feel free to let me know how to correct it if you know how!  I would greatly appreciate it!!!  Blessings!  Juliana

Chapter of the Day-Psalm 33…Praise to the Creator

psalm 33

Chapter of the Day

Psalm 33

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Psalm 33

Praise to the Creator

1 Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous ones; praise from the upright is beautiful. 2 Praise the Lord with the lyre; make music to Him with a ten-stringed harp. 3 Sing a new song to Him; play skillfully on the strings, with a joyful shout.

4 For the word of the Lord is right, and all His work is trustworthy. 5 He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the Lord’s unfailing love.

6 The heavens were made by the word of the Lord, and all the stars, by the breath of His mouth. 7 He gathers the waters of the sea into a heap;[a] He puts the depths into storehouses. 8 Let the whole earth tremble before the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. 9 For He spoke, and it came into being; He commanded, and it came into existence.

10 The Lord frustrates the counsel of the nations; He thwarts the plans of the peoples. 11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart from generation to generation. 12 Happy is the nation whose God is Yahweh— the people He has chosen to be His own possession!

13 The Lord looks down from heaven; He observes everyone. 14 He gazes on all the inhabitants of the earth from His dwelling place. 15 He alone shapes their hearts; He considers all their works. 16 A king is not saved by a large army; a warrior will not be delivered by great strength. 17 The horse is a false hope for safety; it provides no escape by its great power.

18 Now the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him— those who depend on His faithful love 19 to deliver them from death and to keep them alive in famine.

20 We wait for Yahweh; He is our help and shield. 21 For our hearts rejoice in Him because we trust in His holy name. 22 May Your faithful love rest on us, Yahweh, for we put our hope in You.