Shut Your Mouth 

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue. And those who love it will eat its fruit.”  ~Proverbs 18:21

When things are not going well in my life, out of fear, I have the tendency to complain, gossip and resort to a negative mindset. It’s like I already know the terrible outcome based upon “evidence”- the very antithesis of faith. 

 It took me a while to realize that this behavior is merely a display of faithlessness. It shows that I don’t believe in the omnipotence of God. If I did, I would “be still.” I quickly forget that His promise is that ALL things will work for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. I surely love Him and believe that I have been called by Him. So what’s my problem?!

I’ve concluded that sometimes we just need to shut our mouths. The Lord has everything under control. He has already told us that the battle belongs to Him. All we have to do is hold our peace in the midst of it. 

And when we don’t shut our mouths, He will shut it for us. The angel Gabriel tells Zachariah the priest he’s going to have a son. But the priest needs proof.  

“How can I be certain? My wife and I are well passed childbearing years.”  
The angel responds “Your mouth will be shut because you did not believe the good news.” Luke 1:5-23

This week I plan to be quiet. I want to hear every message that God has for me. I AM going to trust Him to guide me through the challenging situation I am currently navigating. I need His guidance and I can’t afford to let my mouth get me in trouble. It can’t be done without HIM. I’m leaning on Him for what He promised. 

My lips are sealed! 

Note to Self

“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” ~Lamentations 3:22-23
The Lord is faithful even we are not. How do I know this to be true? Simple-our lack of faith does not nullify His. So I continue to praise Him for His goodness, love, mercy, favor, grace and faithfulness! Though He slay me, yet  I will trust in Him!” Job 13:15

Makes Me Wanna Holler

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God…” ~2 Timothy 3:2-4

“See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” ~Matthew 24: 4-8

So disturbed I am by the things going on in this world. However, I know God is still good and still God. Jesus warned us these types of things would have to pass and instructed us not to be afraid. Lord, I trust You. 

Tea Talks 

“God, pick up the pieces of my life. Put me back together again. I give you my praise.” ~Jeremiah 17:14

My cup of tea gave me a much needed reminder: “He takes the broken pieces and makes them beautiful.” ~Ecclesiastes 3:11

From Saul to Paul

“Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him.” ~Acts 13:9


Saint Paul by Bartolomeo Montagna

God is in the transformation business. Your beginning does not have to be your end. We see this made manifest in the life of Paul. Paul began his life as a persecutor of Christians. He was known as Saul of Tarsus before he was handpicked by God to be His apostle. At this time in his life, he had no regard, reverence or love for Christians. Saul watched the stoning death of the martyr Stephen and held the garments of the ones hurling stones. 

He was a devout Jew who had permission from the High Priest to persecute anyone professing that Jesus was the Chosen One. Saul says:

“I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the strictness of our fathers’ law, and was zealous toward God as you all are today. I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women, as also the high priest bears me witness, and all the council of the elders, from whom I also received letters to the brethren, and went to Damascus to bring in chains even those who were there to Jerusalem to be punished.”Acts 22:3-5

It wasn’t until that faithful day on Damascus Road that Saul encountered the Prince of peace in a personal way. The bright light and the voice of the Savior caused him to fall to his feet, “Saul, Saul why do you persecute me? ~Acts 9:4 

Persecution of His people was persecution of Him. Saul answered humbly and submitted himself and asked what he should do. He was told to rise and go into the city. This act of obedience left him blind. There he met Ananais who was rightfully afraid as Saul’s reputation preceded him. Also instructed by the Lord, he too obeyed and healed Saul of his temporary blindness. 

Although Saul was well versed in the Bible, he did not believe that Jesus was the anointed Messiah. After the fateful encounter, he dedicated his life to the Great Commission and  traveled to synagogues all across the region to deliver the Good News. Because he was a Hebrew who held Roman citizenship, he was able to speak  with confidence to both the Jews and Greeks and therefore was able to reach more people.  

Throughout his life Paul suffered many trials but continued to press on and fight the good fight of faith despite being imprisoned, beaten, shipwrecked, flogged, stoned, faced death a myriad of times, battled his own flesh, was often hungry, thirsty and cold-yet he never allowed any of it to prevent him from serving the Lord. Even when the Lord elected not to remove the thorn from his side, he continued on. He felt it an honor to be weak as it showed the strength of the Lord. “So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” 1 Corinthians 12:9

At the end of his life Paul was content knowing his reward. He spent the remainder of his life working tirelessly for the Kingdom. He had written 14 of the 27 epistles in the New Testsment, lead an innumerable amount of people to Christ, enlisted others to teach about Christ, created the theological framework of justification by faith and lead an exemplary life of faith. He had done all he was called to do and knew his time of death was at hand. “I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”~2 Timothy 4-6 

Through his life we learn that God can use anyone. Each and every one of us matter to God. We are never beyond redemption. We also learn that anyone can be a witness for Christ if they are willing to be transformed and made anew. 

Paul was willing and even counted his sufferings all joy. “I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.” ~Philippians 1:12-14). His transformation was complete. Can you say the same? 

The Missing Pieces

“I will put My trust in Him.” ~Hebrews 2:13

It feels so good to trust in the Lord and lean not to my own understanding. 

I often liken life to a billion piece jiggle saw puzzle. Each event, experience, trial, blessing, etc. in our life represents one piece-thus it rarely makes sense to us. 

But God…literally and figuratively speaking, the Creator of the puzzle, has already put it together and can see the big picture. Trust Him my friends. 

  

The Blood Still Works

“You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” (1 Peter 1:18-19)

On Good Friday, I had my fourth surgery. I’m so thankful to serve a God who keeps His word and answers prayers. 

He didn’t have to spare my life but for some reason, He did. In Romans 9: 15-17 the Lord tells Moses “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I have compassion. So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.” I give God all the glory for this victory as it was not won by my hand. 

The theme of blood runs like a  literal red thread throughout the Bible. Songs have been written about the mighty blood of Jesus. Through His bloodshed we are cleansed and made whole. Even the enemy Satan has been conquered through His precious blood! 

There is so much power, protection, and promise in the Blood of the sacrificial Lamb that is not known to many people.  Although I did go through the fire, but because of this holy covering, I was able to come out of it without even smelling of smoke, hallelujah! 

This is nothing new as he did the same for Daniel’s friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego “…and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.” Daniel 3: 27

I hope whoever is reading this today finds hope in my message. He saved me and can do the same for you! Try the Blood-it still works! 

The Milk Man

“Be not therefore like them: for your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask him.” ~Matthew 6:8

God has a way of letting us know that He is aware of the things plaguing our hearts. 

I have been recovering from my third surgery in less than six months and the fatigue of it all has overwhelmed me. Tired of being tired, I felt very discouraged today. 

Various friends told me to try B12. I did some research and tried the liquid which only worked intermittently. I had planned to ask my doctor for the shot which I heard works much better than the supplements, however, I would have to wait until the end of February to do so. 

After dinner I decided to try one of the chocolate cupcakes my five year old made along with a glass of milk. I grabbed the container of coconut milk and read the sides while I warmed up my treat. 

  
I was astonished to read that coconut milk is an excellent source of B12. 

  
Just 8 ounces provides 50% of the daily amount needed. I could do nothing but thank God. At that moment I knew He knew what I had been going through. My heart filled with gratitude. 

 
 I’m sure most people will label this a “coincidence,” but not I. I know that God communicates with us in a myriad of ways. He provided an immediate answer to something that I needed. It gave me so much hope.  

The moral of the story is that God is everything. The Beginning. The End. The Alpha. The Omega. The Great Physician. Lord of Lords. King of Kings. Jehovah Jireh. And yes, the Milk Man, too! 

Fear Not

“You shall not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flies by day.” Psalm 91:5

There have been some heinous recent world events. The senseless violence has left many shaken. When I first heard about the attacks in Paris, I felt breathless. Helpless. Hopeless. Devastated. Terrorism is a growing problem all over the world. 

But I quickly encouraged myself by remembering that the Bible says “Do not be afraid of sudden terror, Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes” Proverbs 3:25-26. We are also cautioned that we will face “perilous times hard to deal with.” That’s why it is important that we walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” Ephesians 5:15-16. 

So how do we count it all joy? Especially when it seems that the terrorists are winning? The answer is more obvious than it appears. As Christians we know that we can’t look at how things are. We have the hope of Christ which in turn gives us the faith we need to believe for what we can’t see. 

Even with everything going on around us we can still be of good cheer as the Prince of Peace instructs. ISIS may be winning battles, but the Lord will win the war because He has overcome the world. He is the Great I Am. 

But what we can do is pray. And pray. And pray some more. We can pray for the kingdom of God to come. For His will to be done. On earth as it is in heaven. We can pray for those preying on the innocent. We must pray for their forgiveness from the Father for they clearly know not what they do. Woe to them. They have no idea of the magnitude of the repercussions they will shortly face. To borrow the title of a Tolstoy short story, God sees the truth, but waits. That I have no doubt of. 

I pray they we are all able to take heart, brace ourselves, and seek comfort in the Lord. He sees. He knows. He will deliver us in His perfect timing saints! 

Faith Full

“O Lord my God, I cried out to You, And You healed me.” ~Psalm 30:2

I had my second surgery two days ago. I entered this one with confidence and unwavering faith. God has been so good to me and  I felt no reason to be afraid. He replaced my fear with peace. My faith tank was full. 

Father, I thank You for the myriad ways that You’ve blessed and loved me even before I was placed in my mother’s womb. You have always been by my side, in both the dark and light of my life.  I thank You for Your presence, patience, peace, parenting, and power. I will praise You continuously until my test turned testimony leads someone to You. Lord, You have been a rock in my most unstable world. You’ve made broken places straight. You have calmed the storm that came without warning. Because of Your strength, my weakness was made perfect. From this pain, You have birthed promise. I will forever worship Your holy name. You are great and greatly to be praised. It is true, there is NO ONE like Jehovah. The great I AM, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the Author and Finisher of our faith. How grateful I am to be Your humble servant. Thank You Father for renewing my hope and my life. In the mighty name of Jesus, Amen!