Month: September 2019
Site members and guests,
I would like to introduce you to a new ministry located originally in Oklahoma City and now has a branch in Yazoo City, MS. It is called My Brother’s Keeper of Yazoo City and is a ministry to the homeless, particularly those suffering from addiction. It is a one year program that gives clients housing, food, and whatever else they may need to get back on their feet, including spiritual support through Bible study.
The website for this ministry is
(If you leave off the “yazoo”, it takes you to the home page of the ministry in Oklahoma City.)
A root that we should never allow, and one to replace it
When you are trying to dig up an old plant or dig around a tree, you will find lots of roots. Some of them can be thick and deep, and you wonder where it will ever end.
Hebrews 12:15 talks about roots too. It says, “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” Another translation puts that as “root of bitterness.” That kind of root, caused by dwelling on the events of the past, is hard, bitter, and tough. Unforgiveness causes the heart to harden. It is not good.
With the Lord’s help, we can and must lay that aside, but what do we replace it with? I think Eph. 3:17 gives some insight into that question. It says: “Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.”
The more we focus on, dig into, and cling to the Lord Jesus and the love He has for us, the more we can release the hurt that feeds that root of bitterness. Eph. 3:17 says “Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.”
May God help us to become deeply rooted in Jesus’ love for us, and may God touch our hearts with His peace, mercy, and grace.
God bless you in your journey of grace today.
Sometimes we get into a mess and we don’t know how we got there. All we know is that we somehow got into our own private battle and we have to figure out a way to cope with the battle scars and escape the flaming arrows of the enemy. The enemy? Yes, the enemy of our souls loves to lead us into trouble, and he is really good at it. As I have been reflecting on this strategy, I notice (and I know from personal experience) that there are tricks he likes to pull on us that keep us going the wrong direction.
One of the things that we (and the lamb above) need to be aware of is isolation. If you ever watch any shows on the Animal Planet or other networks, you will notice that when a predator is after a herd of animals, it will look for the one that is separated from the pack. It is alone and it is vulnerable. Do you know anybody like that? Reach out to them. Are you in that vulnerable position? I urge you to reach out for support. Contact me. Call a prayer line. Write a prayer request on DAB friends or other support group. Stop and pray. Pour your heart out to God. I double dog gone guarantee that He will listen. You will not be alone. You may feel alone, but I promise you on the authority of the Word that God will we with you in the middle of your mess. If you are alone, isolated, vulnerable, tell someone. Please don’t let yourself be a lone ranger Christian that cuts himself or herself off from all support, both human and divine.
Secondly, the enemy will look for those that are weak. I am not talking about physical weakness. I am talking about those who are weak in faith, or weak in the Lord. Dear Reader, you and I need to prevent this weakness by stepping outside our comfort zone and doing things that will help us get stronger in the Lord. We need to eat (take in, absorb) His word. We need to drink of His love. We need to exercise our faith in Him and seek His leading and favor. And sometimes we just need to rest in His arms and let Him carry us and guard our souls.
I am here for you and I will listen. Others in this community are here for you as well. And I know God is there for you, even right now. Don’t let yourself crawl into your own hidden world. That is very dangerous!
You and I need to keep looking to Jesus, the Good Shepherd. We need to keep following Him, and keep walking with Him, one day at a time. And sometimes we just need to rest as Jesus watches over our soul.
Thank you, Jesus, for being the Shepherd of our soul that keeps us safe from the attack of the enemy. Jesus, you have the last word on this. I believe that last word may very well be … “not this one, devil. This one belongs to me!”
The story of two old batteries, a storage room, and a 36 year old water heater
My mother-in-law certainly lives an adventurous life, and I bet she wishes she didn’t! She is 82 years old and has lived in her house for over 50 years. God has protected her and it for all those years. They are both still in good shape.
She also has a storage room at the side of the house. It has been a catch all for many years. Today we cleaned it out and found old floor tiles, a box of nails, several flower pots, some old shingles, a few old paint cans, and two very old car batteries – and yes, an old but still working water heater that is 36 years old and still works great!
Now you need to understand that when that old water heater was put in 36 years ago, the code was a lot more relaxed than it is now. That means that it can be close to the ground. We were made aware of that when the gas company came to shut off the gas so the old pipes could be replaced. He also pointed out that in fairly close proximity to the water heater were two old batteries. We realized that they had to go. They shouldn’t have been in there in the first place, at least not that close to the water heater. We just didn’t realize.
So what do you do with two old car batteries? I had rememembered that in the past I could take them to Wal-Mart and get paid a “core fee”. To make a long story short, we stopped at four different places – Auto-Zone, Wal-mart, Big 10 Tire, and Exide Batteries. At Auto-Zone, they said they could issue a store credit for the batteries. That wasn’t going to help us, since we don’t shop there, so we went on down the road.
The next step was at a tire place, thinking maybe they also dealt with batteries. (We had already been to Wal-Mart, and they said they needed the receipt to show that the batteries had been bought there.) The tire place didn’t take them, but they did say there was a battery place across the road. That was the key piece of information that we needed. After a short jaunt across the road, we were able to turn in these two old batteries and got $8.00 a piece. That $16.00 will go a long way to help with groceries and maybe other needs.
Only God could have put all this together – two very old car batteries, a storage room that needed to be cleaned out, an old water heater that was well built and still works great, and some much needed cash. The batteries had been there for years, but the time for them to be “redeemed” was now.
God promised in Ezek. 36:26 that “ I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
So let’s tie this together. At just the right time, God reached down and took out a heart that was used up and broken and replaced it with a brand new heart, a heart filled that is now filled with the love and the blood of Jesus, who died for you. The world may say that we are used up, finished, and unfruitful. The world is lying and doesn’t know what it is talking about.
You are a Spirit filled child of the Most High God, totally transformed (and being transformed) in heart, well loved, and useful to the Kingdom of God. As Ps. 92:14 says, “they will still bear fruit in old age.”
Thank you, Jesus, for buying us back and making us new and alive in You.
The three steps to renewal. What step are you on?
The first step is hard but necessary. It is called “repentance”, which is a change of mind, heart, or direction. It is a realization that there is something in your life that needs to change, something that just isn’t working. Something is off, and you know you need to turn away from it, reject it, push back against it. It could be a thought, an unhealthy lifestyle, an attitude, or an action. Whatever it is, it has to go. Right now.
The second step in this process of restoration and renewal is “return.” You’ve already turned around (repentance). Now return to where you belong. Return to God. Return to your family, your good habits, your healthy way of thinking and living. As the song says “get back to where you once belonged.”
The third step, and the result of the first two, is to “rest”. Jesus said “Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Mat. 11:28) Rest in the presence of Christ. Rest in the peace of God. Rest in the assurance of God’s unconditional love. Rest in knowing you are on the right path. You may have failed in the past, but now you are in good fellowship with the Father, who loves you unconditionally and will always welcome you back. Rest in the assurance of His love
Repent. Return. Rest.
One big pile of limbs and what it means for us
What debris is in our lives?
Just yesterday a tree trimmer took a huge crane and cut off a big bunch of limbs … I mean a BIG bunch of limbs. They very carefully cut them up into smaller pieces and placed them on the road, ready for the next crew to pick up the huge load.
As I looked at that huge pile of limbs, I thought about the things we sometimes let into our lives, the stuff that just keeps accumulating for days and weeks and years. What limbs? What debris? What excess?
Self is probably at the core of it – fear, selfishness, greed, pride, control, looking to things to comfort us instead of God. We (I) pile up the approval of others to sustain me instead of seeking God’s approval. I also look to food for comfort, which caused me to gain three pounds this week. Not good. Some of that I had no control over, but some of it … Of course, I could also put all the focus on that and get my mind off of walking with the Lord, one day at a time, by faith, walking in His grace and love.
We can accumulate things, people, control, feelings, positions of power and leadership, pride, knowledge, or any number of things that we just don’t need … but to what end? No, instead we need to just settle in to a deep, quiet relationship with Jesus – one where we sit down at His feet. I don’t think we can get too much of that.
If you are in the trimming / pruning stage of life, rest assured that the end of the pruning is a vessel thats fit for growth and for bearing fruit. May that be true for all of us.
Is it time for a trim?
Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you.” (What that means to you and me.)
In John 14:2-4, Jesus is talking to His disciples. He tells them
“In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going away to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and welcome you into My presence, so that you also may be where I am. 4You know the way to the place where I am going.”
If you are reading this, then you are not at that place yet, but if you are a believer, you will be. You are included in this promise. If you belong to Jesus, then eternal life in Heaven belongs to you. It is God’s gift to you in Jesus.
In Heaven, there will be no east and west, there will be no north or south.
No mean words will be heard when we are there, no bitterness or sin from the mouth.
Surrounded by love that will never end; that is the life we will be know.
In God’s kingdom of Heaven all sorrows will end as onward through glory we go.
What do we do when we are waiting for something to happen at some future time? Maybe it will happen? When will it happen? What will it look like? Will it be the way we think it will be? What do you do when you don’t know? Sometimes we just don’t have access to the playbook.
Here are some scriptures that talk about waiting:
Psalms 130:5-6 “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.”
Psalms 27:13-14 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!
Psalms 37:34 Wait for the LORD and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on when the wicked are cut off.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.