Time to Refocus

13 Nov

(Matthew 14:30 ESV) But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.”

My favorite disciple is Peter. I can really identify with Peter. Throughout the gospels, Peter was always getting himself into a mess; which is what I do pretty often myself.

I’m sure most of us know this story (Matthew 14:22-33). The disciples were out on the water in their fishing boat. The disciples saw Jesus walking on the sea. I’m sure they were amazed and astonished at such a feat. I know my mouth would have been wide open.

Anyway, the disciples thought that Jesus was a ghost. They were frightened about the figure that was fast approaching them. Jesus tells them, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

Well, Peter decides that he was go out and walk on the water with Jesus. I’m not sure I would have passed up that opportunity either; to walk beside Jesus on the water. WOW!!

Jesus tells Peter to come out on to the water. Peter gets out of the boat and walks on the water and goes to Jesus. The wind started blowing, and Peter realized the wind was blowing. Once Peter took his focus off of Jesus, he began to sink.

Like Peter, I recently took my focus off of Jesus. I started looking at all that was going on around me. There have been a lot of things that have transpired the last few months. It seems it has been one thing after the other. I spiritually and emotionally shut down.

I do take up my responsibility for taking my eyes off of Jesus. My relationship with Jesus is just like the relationship with my husband. It has to be cultivated on a daily basis. I have to do what it takes to keep the intimacy in the relationship.

I quit being intimate with Jesus. First, I quit reading my Bible. Eventually, I quit praying. I got depressed. I lost my joy. Everything about my relationship with Jesus was zapped. I know it was Jesus that moved; it was me. There was no one to blame but myself.

Now, I am trying to refocus on my relationship with Jesus. I am doing everything I can to produce the intimacy I had a few months ago. I am reading my Bible. I am praying.

Here recently, in Celebrate Recovery, we are being encouraged to keep a journal. The purpose of the journal is to a daily inventory. It is to helped me to see what I did wrong, where I went wrong, and if I need to make any amends. I am also using this journal for my prayer time, also. The people in the Bible wrote their prayers. That’s one reason why we have the Bible. Psalm is one of the books that has the most prayers. Like always, God loves nothing more than to hear his word prayed back to him.

Are you like Peter? Are you looking at the wind of your circumstances? Have you taken your eyes off of Jesus? Take time to refocus. Get away with Jesus. Have a date with Jesus every day. Set some time aside to talk to him and to listen to him. Love on Him and He will love on you. It has to be a priority. There’s no set amount of time to do it. Just take the time to do it. If you don’t, you’ll be like me, not having that personal, intimate relationship with Jesus. It takes a lot of time and effort to get that intimacy back. Refocus on Jesus.

Proverbs 11

12 Nov

I am not sure how long I am going to do this. I am just trying to follow God’s leading. Several years ago, a lady told me that God loves nothing more than to hear His word prayed back to Him. So, I am hoping this can help all of us; including myself.

This is also out of my comfort zone. I usually do devotional type blogs. Every now and then, I may do something different. Now, this is the 2nd day in a row I am doing something different. I am not complaining because there’s nothing I want more than to do the will of God and use what He has given me.

*I would suggest you read Proverbs 11 prior to reading this prayer. I pray this encourages you along your spiritual journey.*

Proverbs 11

LORD; God I pray, that you will help me to be just in everything that I do. So, I may glorify You and not be an abomination to You (v.1). I pray that I will stay humble since it is considered wisdom.(v.2) Father, may Your integrity guide me in Your righteousness.(v.3) Lord, Your word promises that my righteousness will deliver me from death.(v.4) I know that it will deliver me from a spiritual eternal death. May I stay upright and righteous so that my way will stay straight.(v.5) Father, Your word promises that my righteousness will deliver me.(v.6) Lord, God, I know that You will ALWAYS deliver me from trouble.(v.8) God, Your knowledge delivers me.(v.9) God, You and all the angels rejoice in heaven when it goes well with me.(v.10) I believe that consists of keeping that intimate daily relationship with You. Your city will be exhalted by Your blessings.(v.11) Lord, You know that I need a mouth of understanding. Help me to bite my tongue and stay silent.(v.12) God, You know a lot of times that I open up my mouth before I think. Jesus, help me to be trustworthy by keeping things in confidence.(v.13) Once again, I need to keep my mouth shut. I pray that I will be sure to listen to You, my counselor, and my Godly friends.(v.14). I know that You can use all of these avenues to speak truth into my life. Jesus, I pray that I can be an honorable and gracious woman for You.(v.16) Father, I know that if I am kind that it will benefit me.(v.17) Jesus, I desire to do Your will by sowing righteousness. So, I may receive a just reward in my eternal life.(v.18) I pray that everyday I am steadfast in Your love and faith so I may live.(v.20) God, You promise that my offspring will be delivered.(v.21) I know that we don’t have any physical children, but we have spiritual children. I pray that will deliver each and every one of them out of their wicked and hurtful ways.(v.21) LORD, God, may I always walk in sexual integrity so that I may be spiritually beautiful.(v.22) God, I know that one day that You will reward my righteousness.(v.23) Father, help me to give freely so that I may glorify Your great name.(v.24) Help me to bring blessings instead of curses so I will be enriched. I know that I am like a tree planted by the watered witch is watered (v.25). Lord, I know that I diligently seek good so I can receive Your favor upon my life.(v.27) Father, I desire that my righteousness will be fruit on the tree of life.(v.30) Lord, I know that once You establish the new heaven upon this earth that is when I will be repaid.(v.31) Until that day, may I praise and glorify Your great name.

Proverbs 10

11 Nov

Well, hello everyone. I know that it has been awhile since you all have heard anything out of me.I know that it has been awhile since I have written anything encouraging or uplifting. I am going to be truthful. I have been down spiritually and emotionally. There have been a lot of different things that have transpired in the last few months. Let’s just say that I took my eyes off of Jesus and just saw my circumstances. I pray that I am on the mend.

Wednesday, I had a Godly woman encourage me to read a proverb a day. As my pastor says, “There’s a reason why there are 31 proverbs in the Bible.”  A proverb for each day of each month. I never thought about it until he pointed it out. I thank God for my pastor and his Biblical teachings.

Since yesterday was the 10th of November, I read Proverbs 10. Boy, God was all over me as I read it. As I read each verse, I felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit. I realized some things that I definitely need to change. I would recommend that your read Proverbs 10 before you read the prayer.

God IS so sovereign. When I got back home, I started writing in my journal. I felt the leading of the Holy Spirit. So, I listened and sat down and wrote a prayer for Proverbs 10. A lot of it is for me. I hope it can help one of you also.

Prayer:

Lord, help me to be wise. I know that Your blessings are upon me. (v.6) God, may my memory be a blessing to others.(v.7) May my heart be wise so I can receive Your commandments.(v.8) God, help me to walk in integrity so I may walk securely.(v.9) Jesus, I also pray that my mouth will be a fountain of life.(v.11) Lord, God, give me the type of love that covers ALL offenses.(v.12) May my lips have understanding so that wisdom can be found when I speak.(v.13) I desire to have knowledge so I can be wise.(v.14) God, You are my wealth; which is a strong city.(v.15) Jesus, may my righteousness lead to life.(v.16) Lord, may I ALWAYS heed to Your instruction which is the path to eternal life.(v.17) Father, PLEASE help me to restrain my lips so I may show care to others.(v.19) May my righteous lips be a source of spiritual food for others.(v.21) LORD, only Your blessings can make me spiritually rich.(v.22) Rich in love, spirit and truth. May my wisdom be a pleasure of understanding.(v.23) God, I know that my desires, according to YOUR will will be granted.(v.24) Father, I know that You will establish the righteous forever.(v.25) Lord, God, may I ALWAYS fear You so that You will prolong my life.(v.27) I desire for my hope; which is in You, bring joy to me and others.(v.28) LORD, I want Your way to be my stronghold; so I may be considered blameless.(v.29) God, You promise that I will NEVER be removed.(v.30) I pray that my mouth will bring forth wisdom.(v.31) Help me to think before I speak. Father, may my lips ALWAYS know what is acceptable in my speech.(v.32) For the glory of Your great name, amen.

Count it All Joy

10 Sep

Count is ALL joy my brothers when you meet trials of various kinds.” James 1:2 ESV


What is joy? Biblestudytools.com defines joy as happiness over an unanticipated or present good. It also states that on the spiritual level, joy is defined as extreme happiness. Merriam-Webster defines joy as a feeling of great happiness. 

Here is a quote by John Piper

“Christian joy is a good feeling in the soul, produced by the Holy Spirit, as He causes us to see the best of Christ in the Word and in the world.” 

Joy is also a fruit of the Spirit. 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness; self-control…”

I’m going to paraphrase James 1:2. This is what it says to me. “I need to count ALL things as joy-even in the midst of trials. In fact, it states “various trials.” We will encounter different trials throughout our lives. 

This is a quote from me, “If Satan can’t get at us one way, he will certainly try another way.” Satan doesn’t want the ones he already has. He wants the ones that he doesn’t have. “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 NLT

Do we count the death of a loved one as joy? Loss of a job? Diagnosis of a life threatening disease? Not enough money for the necessities? Failing marriage? 

I know that I have NEVER thought about counting any of those things as joy. It’s hard to count these things as joy. The Bible tells us to give a sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15). It also states to be thankful in ALL things (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Evidentially, the Bible is trying to tell us something. All of these verses correlate with each other.

We; including myself, need to remember Jesus will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). Jesus is ALWAYS there. Even when it feels like everything that can go wrong is going wrong. JESUS IS THERE!!

Here are some examples of people in the Bible that showed joy…even in the midst of their circumstances. Job lost everything and everyone in his life. Yet, he never waivered from God. Joseph knew that what his brothers meant for bad, God meant it for good. Paul and Silas praying and singing while they were bound in prison. Of course, there is always Jesus. He never said a word while being abused every way possible known to man. 

We complain every day. We shout obscenities at erratic drivers. We complain standing in line at the store. We are supposed to count it ALL joy. 

With God’s strength and the written word of the Bible, I AM going to learn to count ALL things as joy. Trials produce spiritual maturity. “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings,  knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” (Romans 5:3)

Are you like me? Have you forgotten to count various trials as joy? Have you forgotten to seek God in the midst of it all? Have you forgotten to look for God’s provision and protection? I know I have!!!!

It would do us all good to remember that Jesus has loved us…even when we were unlovable. He has NEVER given up on us or turned His backs on us. So, we don’t need to turn our backs on Him. Jesus IS in the good AND the bad. So, we need to count it ALL joy!!!!

True Beauty

28 Aug

“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭3:3-4‬ ‭ESV

We need to remember not to compare ourselves to Hollywood’s or the world’s version of “beauty.” God sets us apart. We are foreigners in this strange land. We need to remember Who our creator is. We don’t have to look like a Kardashian to be beautiful. Are they really that beautiful?! Something is missing. They are constantly seeking attention. That’s just one example. They are seeking what we have…JESUS.

Dear Lord,

I pray that each of us remember that our beauty isn’t only on the outside but on the inside too. May we desire to be more like You and not the world. Set us apart, Jesus. Help our inward beauty of you shine through our outward beauty to lead others to You. For Your glory

In Jesus’ name, amen.
Listen to this song by Mandisa

A Way of Escape

22 Aug

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭10:13‬ ‭ESV‬‬
When it comes to temptation, there is always a way out. First of all, I have to listen to what the Holy Spirit is telling me. That’s why it’s important to have intimate time with Jesus on a daily basis. 

I believe the next step is asking myself some questions. “How do I feel about the situation? Do I feel guilty, ashamed, dirty? What are the consequences if I give into the temptation?”

As always, pray and seek God’s word. I can guarantee if I want to do something that is outside of God’s character, He will remind me in prayer and His word. God’s word will tell me what will cause me to be disobedient. 

The rest is left up to me. It is my choice what I do next. God will NOT force me to make the right decision. THERE IS ALWAYS A WAY OF ESCAPE. I have to be willing to take that way of escape.

Dear Jesus,

I pray that You will help me take my way of escape when temptation comes my way. God, I want to be obedient and follow You and Your ways. Help me to be aware of Satan and his weapons. Keep my eyes on You.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

Sacrifice of Praise

21 Aug

“Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise toGod…”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭13:15‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Lately, this scripture has been on my mind. I was asking myself, “What does it mean to give a sacrifice of praise?” “How do I praise God in spite of my circumstances?”

See, when you sacrifice, you have to give up something. In the OT, it was the best of their flock or the best of their crops. Abraham offered a sacrifice of praise when he willing led Issac to be an actual sacrifice. David offered up a sacrifice of praise when he was being hunted by Saul and even when he was suffering consequences of his adultery and murder. Jesus offered up a sacrifice of praise. The night before His arrest He was in prayer.

These are just a few examples. It’s easy for me to praise God when things are going great. Yet, I fail to praise Him even if I don’t feel like it. Even if it seems like there are a lot of things going on at once, I am supposed to give a sacrifice of praise.

In Acts 16, Paul and Silas are put into prison for spreading the gospel. They were arrested and beaten. Afterwards, they were put in prison. Around midnight, they started singing hymns of God. Talk about a sacrifice of praise.

I don’t know about you, but I want God to teach me to give a sacrifice of praise. I want to learn to praise Him in spite of my circumstances. All of us need to learn to give God a sacrifice of praise.
Dear God,

Teach me to give a sacrifice of praise. May Your name always be on my lips. Help me to sing hymns of thanksgiving daily. May my sacrifice be sweet and pleasing to You.

In Jesus name, amen.