Watch Your Step

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Devotion:  Job 31:4

I meet up with my college roommate a couple of times a year.  We met our freshman year while crying in the “ironing room,” at Western Carolina University. (Can you believe there was a room for ironing our clothes?)  We were both so very homesick.

Neither of us was happy with our assigned roommates.  We ended up declaring the same major, speech pathology.  We both went home more than we stayed on campus for the weekends.  We weren’t really the partying type.

Sheila has a great sense of humor and I love to laugh so when we are together a good time is to be had by the both of us.  She says I’m the only one who laughs at her jokes.  She is truly a gold friend.

On a Wednesday we had our bi-annual meetup to celebrate her July birthday.  We enjoyed a salad at a local restaurant in Gastonia and then proceeded to Eastridge Mall.  We had just arrived inside Belks, looked at a few things and was moving toward the escalator to go to the second level.

I stepped on first and then Sheila followed.  I turned around to see her sprawled out face downward with the escalator still moving.  I began to loudly cry out to Jesus for someone to help us.  My husband informed me later that there is an emergency stop button at the top and the bottom.

Someone did come.  I believe we may have encountered an angel.  He helped dear Sheila to get up.  By then several Belk people had come to assist.  Apart from the few words this good Samaritan spoke while assisting her to get up; I heard him say, “It looks like you are in good hands and then he disappeared.”

Sheila obtained quite a few superficial wounds on her toes, her ankles, her knees, her belly and her arms.  It looked like a tiger had scratched her deeply, all marks from the moving escalator.  After we calmed down from the trauma, we began to do what we do best, laugh.

We had to fill out a report of exactly what happened.  We honestly don’t know what made her fall, possibly her sandal hit the escalator in a weird sort of way.

You see many times Christians don’t know what makes them fall.  I recently heard of a man who has written many books on prayer who is accused by several women of sexual harassment.  What? God says in His word: “Take heed where you stand lest you fall.”

It made me so sad to see my dear friend laying there and I could not help her except to cry out to Jesus.  He’s the best help at all times.  My dear reader; we need to cry out to Jesus for one another to watch our step, to take heed where we stand lest we fall.

Prayer in Motion:

Jesus, today I cry out to you on ________________’s behalf.  May he/she take heed where they stand lest he/she would fall.  May I pray right prayers for him/her.  May I build him/her up in his/her most holy faith.  Thank You Jesus for hearing my prayer on his/her behalf.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

 

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A Tribute to Teresa Brown

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Devotion:  2 Timothy 4:7

My sweet friend Teresa Brown is not long for this world.  What an amazing legacy she will be leaving behind.  Beautiful from head to toe; this Proverbs 31 woman has served her people well all the days of her life.  Diligent to love, to pray, to encourage and equip, to teach, to speak and to live out her strong faith in Christ; she has fought the good fight,.  Teresa Martin Brown has kept the faith and will soon be winning the race she has run.

This dear sister in Christ knew how to love people well, from her family to all those God put in her life.   She opened her mouth before thousands of women and men.  God filled her with wisdom in her teaching, her writing and her performances at Narroway Productions as well as Big Mama’s Attic.  She traveled all over America encouraging those God gave her.

For all of us who were privileged to know her and call her friend; we are better people for having known this precious woman. Heaven is about to gain one of God’s most precious saints.  Can you imagine her seeing her Savior for the very first time?  I truly can only imagine!

This woman is known and loved by countless women and men all over the world.  Fifteen years ago when she was first diagnosed with cancer; many people prayed for her the scripture from Psalm 119, “I shall not die but I shall live and declare the mercies of the Lord.”

Back then; doctors had declared she only had about six months to live.  They did not know God’s plan for her life. I recently told her when we prayed the prayer of King Hezekiah; to add fifteen years to her life; it felt like ions compared to six months.  Now we realize how fleeting those fifteen years have actually been.

I have vacationed with this lady.  I’ve been with her at conferences she was leading and I can honestly say her life has been consistent with her teaching and leading.  She leaves behind one of the strongest legacies of any woman I’ve ever known.

She would always say, “I choose joy,”  and she did.  Now she will soon behold the joy of the Lord that has always been her strength.

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His children.  It’s a birthing process she is going through, a birthing into heaven.  It’s with great travail but what a day that will be when her Jesus she shall see, when she looks upon His face, the One who saved her by His grace.  When He takes her by the hand and leads her through the promised land.  What a day, glorious day that will be.”

She will hear the precious words of her Savior, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.  Enter into the joy of your Master.”

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus, be with Dr. Joe Brown, Teresa, her mom and sister, her brother, as well as their children and grandchildren and her Narroway family.  So many will feel the great loss of this woman. Would You please comfort all these hurting people? Pour out Your love and mercy on this dear family.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

 

 

Concession

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Devotion:  Romans 12:2-4

The following is Webster’s definition of concession:

a the act or an instance of conceding (as by granting something as a right, accepting something as true, or acknowledging defeat)

b the admitting of a point claimed in argument
The majority of people have a hard time accepting something that goes against their human way of thinking.  Christians have a hard time accepting the will of God when it goes against the direction our flesh wants to take.
Sometimes God will ask us to do something that goes against our human thoughts.  We want to keep doing things the way we’ve always done them when God has another plan.
God’s ways are higher than ours.  In order to have the mind of Christ; we must heed His voice.  If we want to truly have that peace that surpasses all understanding; we must watch over our hearts with all diligence.
It’s better to obey God than man.  Our God will supply all of our needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus.
Can you agree to concede to God’s perfect plan and release your own desires and wishes?  The only way you will ever be able to do that is to set your mind on what He wants for you.  If you listen for His still small voice;  He will reveal what He has planned for you.
It’s easier to concede to the Father’s will when you are seeking to please Him versus your own flesh.  Praise His Holy Name!
Prayer in Motion:
Lord, I praise Your Holy Name.  I want to always concede to Your greater plan versus my own.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

Being Kind to Animals

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Devotion: Numbers 22:22-34

I had just gone a short distance on Ramah Church Road when I approached a car with his flashers on.  I looked over to see a small goat with its horns stuck in the wire fence.  A young man had gotten out of his truck to help this baby goat get his horns unstuck.  He was trying to get to the greener grass. I asked the Lord to bless him for his kindness to an animal in distress.

I don’t own an animal but it isn’t because I don’t love them.  Would I have stopped if I had seen the situation first?  A question to ponder.  God created animals for us to enjoy, the wild and the tame.  That’s why He created them and put two of each kind on the ark.

There are commercials on television of animals that have been abused and mistreated.  I can hardly stand to watch them.  I always wonder if people can treat animals this way; how do they treat the people God has placed in their lives?

You see in our passage today; God used a donkey to speak truth to his master.  Obviously, his master had turned on the one who had served him faithfully for many years.  Tamed animals depend upon their owners to care for them and give them unconditional love and service in return.

Ill-treatment of animals is so unnecessary, especially when their masters are just taking their anger out on them.  Although I do not believe animals have a soul created for eternity, I do believe they are given to us to enjoy while we are here on earth.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, teach us to be kind to animals and to entreat others to do the same.  Thank You for the gift of them to us and may we be responsible with our caregiving of them.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

Fully Charged

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Devotions:  Isaiah 40:31

My grandsons Luke and Zachary love riding in their power wheel.  This has been Luke’s car since he was four years old.  He is now eight.  He has to straddle the seat and the car door to drive his brother Zachary around their neighborhood.

We went on a stroll around 3:00 on a Thursday.  It was full-blown summertime hot and humid.  I was pushing baby Jacob in a stroller behind the two older kids.  We were still within sight of their house when I asked Luke if he was certain the battery was charged.  He did not reply.  That should have been our clue.

There are a couple of pretty steep hills on this walk.  We had just begun the trek back when all of a sudden the battery in the power wheel died.  The power wheel had lost its power.

By this time, all three boys plus this grandma were sweating.  So Luke had three-year-old Zachary to get out of the power wheel and he began to push this not so light car.  He then stopped to take out the battery.  (anything to lighten the load!)

The wheels were not cooperating.  Luke tried pulling it by lifting the front and walking backward.  That didn’t work out too well. Then he moved to the back, lifted up the wheels and pushed it all the way home.  He had to stop a few times to wipe the sweat dripping from his forehead.

By the time he directed this power wheel into the garage, Luke was sopping wet.  I got him some water and a freeze pop, had him take off his wet shirt and after cooling down with a cold wet rag on his neck, I retrieved him a dry shirt.  Let’s just say it was a lesson learned.  Make sure the battery is fully charged!

Many times we try to keep going on a spiritually half charged battery.  We go to church, however, we never take the time to read God’s Word or pray and talk to Him.  Yet we expect to victoriously speed ahead through all that life brings.  We wonder why we are so depressed and stymied in our faith walk.   Our joy wanes and our faith falters.  That’s because we have not recharged with the Power Source made available to us.

If we will just take the time to read His Word, pray and talk to our Savior; I think we will be amazed at how God will keep us going even when we are on the most treacherous of hills.  He longs to renew the faith of His children.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus, help me to stay plugged into Your power source.  I don’t want to falter on the steep hills that life brings.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

 

 

Overcoming

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Devotion:  Joshua 6: 1-20

I love the story of Joshua fighting the battle at Jericho.  The Israelites had to decide.  They would either follow Joshua and the Lord their God or once again retreat into safety.

Many of us arrive at this crossroad in our spiritual walk.  When we seek to follow God’s leading; there will be difficulties that confront us. Joshua teaches us how to overcome the obstacles that would try and prohibit us from following the will of God.

God told Joshua, in vs. 1-2, “See I have delivered Jericho into your hands along with its king and its fighting men.”  There was the obstacle of the huge wall surrounding the city.  It appeared to be impenetrable.  How in the world could they scale the wall that tightly shut up this city and its people?

They were to follow God’s directive.  In our logical minds, it sounds silly.  I wonder if anyone questioned Joshua’s charge to walk around the city without saying a word once a day for six days?  The priests were to lead the way in front of the ark of the covenant each carrying the horn of a ram.

Isn’t it interesting that on the seventh day they would march around the city seven times?  (Seven is the number of completion.) Then the priests would blow those horns with long blasts.  I get chills every time I hear a ram’s horn blown just thinking of the time the trumpet of the Lord shall sound on the last day.

Have you been to any ball game?  What does the crowd do when their team scores!  They stand up and shout a victory shout.  God told them after the ram’s horn was blown; to shout a victory shout!  And guess what?  When Joshua said shout; he told them why to shout.  “For the Lord has given you this city” and the walls came tumbling down.

If you read the whole chapter you will see God gave them detailed instructions, who to kill, what possessions to take and what not to take.  God is a God of detail.  He is also a God who helps His people to overcome.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord God of heaven and earth; I thank You for being a God who overcame death, hell, and the grave.  You help me to overcome obstacles the enemy would use to destroy me.  Thank You for tearing down impossible walls so that I may go in and take back what the enemy has stolen.  Help me to live like I serve a God who overcomes.  I love You Lord.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

 

 

Missing

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Devotion:  Luke 15:8-9

I got in line at the grocery store to pay for my groceries and began to look for my bank card.  I opened every zipper in my small purse and no card was to be found.  It was missing.  I told my pounding heart to be still.   I had to eat humble pie and ask if they would pull my cart over to the side until I went home to retrieve it.

I prayed all the way home that it was in another purse I had carried to church.  I no longer carry a billfold because my doctor said I needed to lighten my load.  Thank the good Lord it was right where I thought it would be.  It was in the pink purse, not the blue one I had mistakenly swung across my shoulder.

About twenty minutes later, I arrived back at the grocery store to find my groceries close to where I had left them.

There are many things that can go missing.  I love the story of the lost coin because I am always losing things.   Lost coin, bank card.  Both were important to the one who lost them.

I was so thankful to find this all-important card.  I’m certain the woman who lost the coin was ever so thankful to find her missing coin.  God, Himself helps us when we lose things.

Most importantly; how earnestly are we looking for those who are lost and need Jesus?  We need to be searching for them with the same fervency the woman looked for her lost coin.  My heart should pound at the thought of someone missing Jesus, way more than a lost bank card.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus, thank You for Your help to find all things lost.  May I look for lost people with the same fervency that I searched for my bank card or anything lost.