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711

Seeing 711 is a sign of good fortune, some say it is from angels. I am not going there, but I will say that it was my good fortune to grow up at 711 Locust Place.

When I was born, I was in a 3 bedroom house that was tiny, with 5 older siblings living there as well. What a crazy house that must have been. Bringing home a baby from the hospital into a busy home with one bathroom. The craziness part is that 11 months later they did it again by bringing my sister home from the hospital. Wow that was lucky.

My mother was a loving mother, her love language was doing things for you. She was not a verbal “I love you” person. She would sew our clothes and even spend hours ironing and cleaning. It became easier with my older siblings moving out. We grew up pretty normally. As my sisters and brothers moved out it gave my sister and me our own bedrooms. For many years, we slept with the step hall light on. I was always a little frightened by being alone upstairs or in my own room alone. I also didn’t like going downstairs to the bathroom at night. Funny I must have missed them being there.

Every time I see 711, I pray for my siblings in heaven and my earthly siblings. I pray for God’s wisdom and I guess their good fortune too. As a Christian, I know that God placed me in this family for his purpose. Crazy as it was, growing up in this tiny 3 bedroom home, we were happy.  

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Faith Without Action is Dead


Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
James 2:12-17

James now transitions from his discussion of favoritism into putting our love into action. Verses 12 and 13 accomplish this transition by reminding us that we cannot operate behind God’s back or in secret. If we speak and act in ways that are not demonstrative of God’s love in us, we will have a problem with God. This takes us to verses 14-17 where the old arguments take place; quite the battlefield with casualties littering the field.


“Faith versus Works”: Oh my, here we go again!

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve written this, but this argument is a complete non-starter and entirely invalid; they are not mutually exclusive. As I have written time and again, salvation is by grace through faith. Salvation, however, is not the end of the story, it is the beginning. Deeds are part of our response to this grace, they come after salvation. They are not the way we earn it, for salvation cannot be earned. The real difficulty comes when we receive our salvation by grace through faith and then boldly declare that all is done and we never need to “do” anything; this is a contradiction of Scripture, no matter how many verses you cite out of context!

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? James drops a rhetorical question here and then continues with a hypothetical. This hypothetical gives us a fairly obvious situation where action is required, in which any sane person would agree that action is required, and then points out that the kind of faith that would just wish the destitute person well but do nothing to help them is dead.

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Whose Side Are You On?

 

Acts 9:20-31

After Saul regained his strength, he began to move about Damascus; he started preaching the Gospel in the synagogues there, to the amazement of everyone. His preaching became more and more powerful, and he taught that Jesus was the Son of God fearlessly, yet people were confused because it was common knowledge that he was the number-one persecutor of Christ’s followers.

His message was effective, Luke tells us that Saul proved “that Jesus is the Messiah”; the Jews in Damascus began to plot his murder.

Saul also seemed to have his problems with the believers, who feared him, yet he had gained enough confidence in the believing community for some of them to secrete him out of the city to escape the Jewish plots against him, and he traveled back to Jerusalem. Upon his arrival in that city, Saul attempted to join with the believers who remained, but they were having none of it, since they knew exactly who he was and what he had done to their brethren there; who can blame them?

Yet Barnabas stood up for Saul, telling the church what had happened on the Damascus road, how Saul had been converted by Jesus Himself, and how he had preached so boldly the name of Jesus in Damascus, and how he had come to be in Jerusalem. Apparently, the believers in Jerusalem more or less accepted Saul after that, but I can’t help wondering if some them might still have harbored their suspicions. In any case, Saul moved about town preaching about Jesus, debating with his colleagues, and getting into a bit of a tiff with the Hellenistic Jews, who hatched a murderous plot against him; again murder for righteousness sake!

When the disciples heard of the plot, they once again secrete Saul out of town, and send him off to Tarsus, no doubt relieved to have him gone. It is at this point in his narrative that Luke says something wonderful:

Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers. (9:31)

Saul, now a Christian, was gone from the region; the persecution had ended, at least for now, and peace reigned once again. The people no longer lived in fear of persecution, they no longer lived in fear of Saul; they lived in the “fear of the Lord” instead. Thus rather than fleeing for their lives, they lived in humble submission to God and the church was strengthened and the numbers of the redeemed increased. As I read these verses, I can’t help reflecting upon the fact that when Stephen addressed the Sanhedrin back in chapter seven, they went berserk, but it was Saul who took up the persecution, and now that Saul is no longer leading it, it dies out and peace returns to the region. Stephen seems to have been the catalyst, and Saul the instrument for God to spread the Gospel out of Jerusalem and into the surrounding region, just as Jesus had said that they would preach the Gospel first in Jerusalem and then in “all Judea and Samaria”. In the next passage, Luke tells us about the kinds of things that went on during this period, about some of the amazing things Peter was up to, and about some of the amazing people he encounters…

 

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Faith or Deeds

But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”


Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
James 2:18-19


If we are followers of Jesus Christ, then we will do as He did. If we love one another, our love must be active as His love was active. If we are servants of Jesus Christ, then we must serve Him by serving others and putting their interests ahead of our own. If we would share the love of God with others, then we must actually share it, and that involves much more than mere empty words. Having His love and compassion for others means more than preaching sermons and then saying we want higher taxes (on someone else) and then letting the government handle the problem, for the pagans and atheists do that much: We are different from the world! As His followers, we are called to actually share His love in an active way with those around us.


Yes, this requires that we DO something!

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Micah 5:7-11

A few of Jacob’s descendants survived and are scattered among the nations (v. 7). But the Lord will let them cover the earth like dew and rain that refreshes the soil. At present they are scattered, but later they will attack, the Gentiles who resist Messiah’s universal reign, as though they were fierce lions pouncing on sheep (v. 8). Their enemies will be torn to shreds, with no one to save them; they will be helpless, completely destroyed (v. 9). This verse sets forth the victory that Israel will enjoy, and every adversary will be defeated.The Lord said: At that time I will wipe out your cavalry and chariots, as well as your cities and your fortresses (vv. 10-11). When God rules, our strength and deliverance will not be found in military might but in God’s almighty power. Carved images were all part of heathen worship. He says, I will stop you from telling fortunes and practicing witchcraft (v. 12). You will no longer worship the idols or stone images you have made (v. 13). I will destroy them, together with the sacred poles and even your towns (v. 14). I will become furious and take revenge on the nations that refuse to obey me (v. 15). Not only will the evil fruit be destroyed, but all the evil root also.

What do these verses say to us today? God will destroy all the weapons that people use. Instead of being overwhelmed by what is going on in the world today and fear of elections and polarized country I should have confidence in the Lord.

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Introduction to Micah


Much of the book revolves around the destruction of Israel and Judah and secondly the restoration of God’s people.

Welcome to a rich, challenging, and wonderful study of The Book of Micah—one of the books of the Lord’s Word. This book makes clear from its opening verse to its closing verse that everything that is shared in this prophecy is from the Lord. “The word of the Lord… came to Micah…” The Lord indeed came to Micah. Micah did not have a retreat time to study, meditate, or write out insights he had while thinking about the Lord. He was not part of a special group called “the sons of the prophets.”

The seven chapters are not about Micah, nor are they personal words arising from Micah’s deep concern about or sorrowful reflections on current or pending national events. Micah was a faithful servant who listened carefully to the Lord and then reported, without editing or altering, what was revealed to him


Today I ask that you read chapter 1 and pray over the chapter and verses so you may have discernment over them. Ask the Lord to open your heart and mind to the words of the Lord.

Here is what we do know about Micah. The name “Micah” means “Who is like the Lord?” Indeed, we must have awe and love for the Lord. The Word informs us that Micah came from a town called Moresheth. Scholars are not sure where that town was, but they believe that it was about 25 miles southwest of Jerusalem. Nothing more is known of his family. Did he have brothers or sisters? Did his family experience a “rustic” rural life on a farm? Let us state it again: Nothing is known about Micah except for his name, his hometown, and the kings ruling during his lifetime. Theses kings were mentioned in the passages of Micah. Micah prophesied during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. Jotham is thought to have reigned from 739-734 BC, Ahaz 734-728 BC, and Hezekiah 716-687 BC. Jotham and Hezekiah were “good kings,” but Ahaz was a bad king.

Tomorrow I’ll share my commentary and a few things to ask yourself after reading Chapter 1.

Today I start my praying blog for not just people but countries, regions , and continents.

Next 25 days we will intentionally pray for our world. You can pray for the nations by praying the Lord’s Prayer and scripture over unreached people groups. You can ask the Holy Spirit for guidance in your prayers. You can pray that God would send out workers or missionaries to these countries for the believers who are being persecuted, and even for their persecutors.

Today we pray for all nations that begin with B.

Baden
Bahamas, The
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Barbados
Bavaria
Belarus
Belgium
Belize
Benin (Dahomey)
Bolivia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Botswana
Brazil
Brunei
Brunswick and Lüneburg
Bulgaria
Burkina Faso (Upper Volta)
Burma
Burundi

Spend time today praying for these places and people within those areas.

Pray For these places by reading over the list and praying reading Nehemiah1:11

I am

Greatest of Pronouns

I am

God – no worry about anyone being offended. Even in early biblical times people could not say Yahweh. 

When the people of Israel were enslaved in Egypt, they cried out to God for deliverance. Then God answered their cry, using the expression “I am who I am” (Exod 3:14) to introduce himself as their deliverer. In English, that sounds like a philosophical statement about God’s existence. In Hebrew, the passage uses the verb ehyeh(a form of the word hayah), normally translated “I am.”

This became the event of Passover. Then some 2000 years later God the great I am – sent his son. During the Passover meal Jesus broke bread and drank wine to show us they presented his broken body and what was to happen on good Friday. 

As I take the bread representing Your life that was broken for me, I remember and celebrate Your faithfulness to me and to all who will receive You. I can’t begin to fathom the agonizing suffering of Your crucifixion. Yet You took that pain for me. You died for me! Thank You, Jesus. Thank You for Your extravagant love and unmerited favor. Thank You that Your death gave me life—abundant life now, and eternal life forever. As You instructed Your disciples, I, too, receive this bread in remembrance of You.

And in the same way, as I take this cup representing Your blood poured out from a splintered cross, I realize that You were the supreme sacrifice for all my sin: past, present, and future. Because of Your blood shed for me, and Your body broken for me, I can be free from the power and penalty of sin. Thank You for Your victory over death. You took the death that I deserved. You took my punishment. Your pain was indeed my gain. And today I remember and celebrate the precious gift of life You gave me through the blood that You spilled.

The great I am gave us gift of Jesus. Happy days and more to come with the resurrection.

Chapter 1 – Pray That YourAdult Children Will – See God Pour Out His Spirit Upon Them

Once you release your adult children to God’s hands, you are not going to stop praying, you are going to ask God to pour His Spirit upon them.  We have to begin with that prayer – because without the Holy Spirit – it is like Stormie describes – going against the stream in a strong current.

As Christians we should ask God to  have the Holy Spirit come upon us and carry us where we need to go.

We want God to open our eyes to the truth and help us to discern where we can do things to help our adult children, but God is in charge.  It would be ideal with our adult children were seeking the outpouring of the Holy Spirit themselves, but many of them may not understand or know what that really means in their lives.

So one of the prayers we can pray is hat they will welcome an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  Part of giving themselves up to God is to become selfless and that I would agree is tough for people in today’s society.  Stormie believes these are the ends times, but we have been in the end times waiting Jesus return since he left.  Children have been exposed to the world and it’s fleshy desires forever, nothing new under the sun, but I would agree that today – it is in their face with instant news on internet. Ever generation of children has been exposed to desires of the world and the evil one – what makes this one different is the fact their are our children and we have to deal with todays problems.

Today – Pray the prayer that Stormie has at the end of the chapter.  Read the scriptures in the Word Power:

Luke 11:13

Acts  1:8

Matthew 12:32

2 Peter 1:21

Acts 2:38

Bottom line to chapter one – pray for the Holy Spirit to be poured out upon you and your Adult Children.  Let the Spirit of Praise arise in his/her heart and teach them to worship You in Spirit and in truth.  In Jesus’ name we pray.

Amen.

No Fixing

No fixing Them

You cannot fix yourAdult children.

Having dealt with many problems having children especially adult children. They come back to live with you or they have done something reckless or done something illegal and even have to pay the consequences for their actions. We as parents we cannot fix these things but we still care. It is tough. You want to believe that you prepared your children to be adults to be able to stand on their own 2 feet and to pay their own bills and to be able to be productive adults. Sometimes that works out perfectly other times we have to bring them in and bring them back even into our own homes because of some mistakes they have made.


All of my adult children right now live in their own homes they all are paying there own bills most of the time, but then there is a few times they asked for money because they made a mistake or paid something or bought something they didn’t need.


My husband sometimes says that children are overrated!!! They can bring you great joy they can bring you a sense of satisfaction. You can be proud of our children’s accomplishments. Children can also bring you depression and sadness. They can make you feel guilty make you think that you failed as a parent. You sometimes think where did I go wrong, maybe I should’ve put them in private school or maybe I should’ve sent them away to a boarding school until they were 18.


But you cannot fix your children they have to stand on their own 2 feet, they have to make their mistakes just like you made your mistakes.

You can guide them and you can give them good advice if they ask you for it. But you cannot shove them back into the Nest and teach them how to fly all over again.


We need to ask the Lord for clarity and discernment to know when to just pray and let Him work in their lives without any other help from us. Only God knows the right thing to do. And only when you have released your adult child completely into God’s hands and put the Lord in charge of his/her life can you ever have true peace.
We all need to understand that we can’t “fix” or “change” our adult children. Only God can make changes that last in anyone. Our job is to release our adult children into God’s hands and then pray for the Lord to make changes in them and their lives according to His will.

You Need to Know You Can Wholeheartedly Say, “For This Adult Child I Prayed”

Five of the words in quotes were spoke by Hannah in the Bible.

Hannah is a perfect example of a mother who prayed fervently for a child.  She also vowed she would give him up to the Lord, and she kept that promise.  When Samuel was three she took him to the temple and presented him to the Lord.

This fervent prayer – this intense and burning feelings go into her prayers and we should do the same when we pray for our Children.  You never know what amazing things can happen with our fervent prayers.

We need to mark our children as God’s child, so if you have never done that, you can do it now.  Say, “Lord, I present (your adult child’s name) to You.  I dedicate him/her to you for Your glory.    Now we should have been doing this from the time they were infants, but never too late.  If you already dedicated your child to God, you can rededicate them.  “Lord I rededicate (adult child’s name)  to You.  I pray he/she will serve You all the days of her/his life and that he/she will glorify You in everyway.  As long as he/she lives, I pray she/he will be under Your watchful eye.  I again release him/her into Your hands, In Jesus’ name I pray.”

Covering your adult children in prayer will give you peace knowing you have put them into our heavenly Father’s hands.

Loving them and supporting them in prayer is a privilege and that each of us hi precious to God.  He does not want anyone to be lost, destroyed or lured off the path and away from the blessings He has for us.

Tomorrow we’ll begin the first chapter of Praying for our Adult Children.  I hope this first session/introduction frees you from sorrow or pain.  You can be free of guilt, free of sadness – God is there for you and your adult children as well.

Amen

Craving Comfort Food

Researchers at the University of Illinois suggest that most of us crave comfort food when we want to reward ourselves for a job well done.

We might turn to comfort foods for other reasons—a fight with someone close to us, a bad day, even an exceptionally good day—but the psychology behind comfort food is consistent: we seek out foods we link with warm memories of the past in exchange for an emotional boost.

Why do we crave certain comfort foods?

In the past, it was often assumed that cravings resulted from the body’s awareness of its own deficiencies. For example, we thought that if we craved a candy bar, we must be running low on sugar.

Although foods do have the ability to affect us physiologically, altering levels of different brain chemicals and changing our mood, our cravings are not a barometer of our bodies’ particular needs. Though, if we are accustomed to eating a large amount of sugar, we may naturally crave a higher amount, for example, until we balance our bodies nutritionally.

You never stop being a Parent

You NEVER Stop Being A Parent

You know that being a parent means it never ends. You may not be the care giver 24/7 but you still think of your children and want the best for them.

I remember when my kids were little and how tired I was and how I thought this was never going to end.
Then that part ended for me and my kids grew up and my step kids came into my life as well and I never stop worrying about any of them. It was just a different phase of my life.

Our youngest was the hardest for us because we had to have Toughlove with her.

As Stormie puts it you never let your heart or mind go away from your children no matter how far away they are from you. The ages range from 35-24 but they are always on my mind and in my prayers.

When we have adult child that live outside our homes we have no control over them , but God allows us to pray. He hears our prayers and each and everyone of our children have been taught the word of God and what it meant to be a Christian, now each and everyone of them has chosen their own path. My only help to have influence over them is to show my walk with Jesus and pray for each and everyone of them.

Praying to God somehow gives us strength to continue to not worry about our adult children. As we go through each day we can influence them in some ways but our prayers that we sent to the Lord will be heard and God can make changes in their lives.

I don’t think my sister would mind me sharing a story or at least a little bit of a story.

She has prayed for her adult son for many years and God has slowly worked on him.

He how is working on his relationship with Christ. Praise God, but I am sure she has never stopped praying for him.

Today I close with this prayer – Father God I hold my adult children up to you today from the oldest to the youngest, I pray for you to put your loving arms around them and to give them strength and give them knowledge of You. I pray that they realize you Lord are there for them. I pray this in the previous blood of Jesus.

Trusting God

The key to trusting God is to know him.
To know his character and his heart.
To know he is competent and that he has your best in mind ALWAYS! Wow real trust seek God and the intimate relations he wishes to have with us.

How do you do that?

The first way to get to know God is to stick your nose in his big book – the Bible.

Read the accounts of God’s faithfulness to his people. They trusted him in the greatest challenges. Then you will begin to see that what was provided for some is possible for you.

Unanswered Prayers

What are you praying for? When you pray to God for that person, thing, or experience, are you focused on getting something out of God…or are you allowing the Holy Spirit to connect with God on your behalf? Figuring out your expectations of God and your motivation for praying will help you learn how to trust Him despite your unanswered prayers. If you expect God to answer all your prayers with a “yes dear” and grant all your wishes like a fairy godmother, then you need to rethink your relationship with Him.

“I must often be glad that certain past prayers of my own were not granted,” wrote CS Lewis in Christian Reflections: Petitionary Prayer. Sometimes we don’t know how lucky we are when our prayers aren’t granted or answered.

Be honest about your motivation for your prayer

Notice how many “I’s” are in your list of reasons for wanting what you want. It’s all about me. My unanswered prayers are based on what I want and think I need in life. But the truth is that I don’t even really know what I want and need….God does.

Be patient with unanswered prayers

One of my best tips on how to deal with unanswered prayers is to allow God to work in His own time. I’d love to have everything I need and want. God is not a fairytale, he does have a bigger picture to see and deal with.

Start seeing how you can serve God instead of how he can serve you. Take a chance that God has a much better plan then you could ever dream of! Trust and obey.

When we are deep in the muck – look to God to pull you out. Just maybe you are in the muck to save someone else. Think of others and not yourself alone. God really knows what is best.

Lord lead us to rely on you in all things and look past our own problems. See the bigger picture. We pray for your will be done and we pray this in the name of your precious son, Jesus.

Jesus Resurrection

The message of Jesus Resurrection. The world views death so differently, how did believing in resurrection make you see death. How has it changed you?

Think how world views death and then read these encouraging words from 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18

For we believe that Jesus died and rose again,and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven,with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first After that, we who are still alive and are left(I) will be caught up together with them in the clouds(J) to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.