Friday, September 30, 2016

Keep Your Eyes Fixed On Your Vision

Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. (Proverbs 4:25 NIV)

Eyes Fixed on the Vision
Last night I let the parakeets out to play. They climbed on the top of the cage and the male bird had his eyes fixed on the shelf in front of him. I watched him and knew he wanted to fly over. Their wings have been clipped so they can't fly too high. He moved left to right in an effort to position himself before taking off. He attempted to fly over but missed the shelf. He climbed back up and did the same thing two more times. When he got ready to try once more, the female bird became a distraction to him and he stopped trying.

When we have our eyes fixed on a vision and are getting into position to move forward, there are distractions. Many of us get distracted and fail to keep moving towards our goals. You may not get it right the first time and the distractions may come but keep your eyes fixed on the things you want to accomplish in life.

Do not give up. There are so many wonderful things ahead! —Ayana Elon

Friday, September 23, 2016

Keep the Devil Under Your Feet

I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13 NLT)

Keep the Devil Under Your Feet
Every day of my Christian walk, I meet some type of opposition from the enemy. The closer that I want to get to Christ, the bigger the obstacles are to overcome. I long to see the Lord's face and to feel His presence. This infuriates the devil. So, the devil retaliates to "try" and beat me down in every way possible. Why? If I am distracted by his tricks, I take my eyes off of the Lord. I am concentrating on the situation, the problem, and not the One who can cancel the assignments of the enemy. We look at how big our problems are and forget momentarily how much greater our God is. Peter was walking on the water and allowed the enemy to deceive him and he took his eyes off of Christ. Immediately he began to sink. If we take our focus off of Christ, we are weakened. Our faith is weakened. When we are weak, the enemy is more apt to attack! He definitely likes to kick us when we are down.

I am tired of giving the devil any foothold. If you give an inch, he will take a mile. He can only take what we are willing to give. I am fed up and fired up! Satan is on the losing side-read Revelation. His destiny is nearing and he is unleashing every attack possible to kill, steal, and destroy.

The devil loves manipulating our thoughts. In 1 Peter 5:8, we are told to be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. One minute, he is trying to confuse my thoughts, the next minute he is trying to overwhelm me with fear or doubt of some sort. Satan is the father of all lies and deception. He does his job well. As Christians, we need to make his job tougher, not easier. Why do we listen and believe his untruths for even a moment? We must learn to recognize when our thoughts are shifting into a negative or unpleasing state. Satan wants us to be brokenhearted, angry, and bitter. Satan wants us to be discouraged, confused, and defeated. He loves to make us doubt God. He loves to take our focus off of the Lord. Well, guess what? I am sick of the devil. I hate him and every thing he stands for. It is time to take a stand against satan. I refuse to allow that despicable devil to cloud my judgment any further. I am part of the Lord's winning team.

As for me, I will call upon God, and the Lord shall save me. Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice. He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me, for there were many against me. Psalm 55:16-18.

Christians have the power to overcome the tricks and plans of satan, through the Lord God Almighty. The Bible explains to resist the devil and he will flee from you. Christians are not wimps but warriors. Romans 8:37 reminds us that we are more than conquerors through Christ. Be bold and courageous. We must follow Christ’s example and rebuke the devil. If God be for us, who can be against us? Greater is He who that is within me than he who is in the world. We must fight the devil with all of our might and keep him under our feet! Cindie York

Friday, September 16, 2016

Keep Chewing

Keep Chewing
I grew up in the land of dairy farmers; and the view of cattle grazing or following each other in straight lines back to the barn were common sights. The dairy cow is generally pretty mild, unless riled; and then they can kick or run at a pretty fast speed.

We can gain knowledge from one of their traits, chewing their cud. This is no fast food experience; they chew, chew and chew some more! Do you remember your mother’s advice, telling you to slow down while eating? She likely reminded you over and over to chew your food well before swallowing. Sometimes I think my husband swallows it whole; because he eats so fast!

Our Bible reading may follow the same patterns. That time should not be part of a speed reading event. To get the benefits of each morsel passage we need to take our time; and chew it up well for the digestion process. Maybe you did not realize that meditation is that simple!

If we get one simple truth or promise and work through it well, we’ll be strengthened and encouraged.I am not a big meat eater; but do enjoy a good steak occasionally, medium to well done. The chewing may take a while; but the pleasure of the flavor on our taste buds makes that time a pleasurable experience.

Set aside some extra time to read Psalm 119, which is filled with the psalmists instructions on meditating on God’s commands, law, and precepts, all descriptions of God’s word.

God spoke to His servant Joshua when he took up the role as spiritual leader, following the death of Moses. Imagine trying to fill his shoes! “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success (Joshua 1:8 NAS).”Joshua had spent over forty years in the wilderness; he had his eyes fixed on his final destination of the Promised Land.

God promised he would be successful; he’d see his dreams become reality if he would keep chewing! PamFord Davis

Friday, September 9, 2016

Justifying Ourselves

Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him. And He said to them, ‘You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God. (Luke 16:14-15 NAS - Mac Arthur Study Bible)

Justifying Ourselves
How silly we are to reason in our minds that we can justify whatever we say and do by our “goodness” or our “reputation” as a good person in the place where we live. The truth is, God looks upon our hearts and our lives and our motives and He knows what is behind everything we say and so. Many people are so caught up in the “look at me game” that they are able to conceal the “real” person nobody but them sees. But God sees us as we are and we need to be honest about who we are.

Try this, turn off all the distracting things in your life, music, radio, TV, Ipod, Blackberry, computer, telephone, cell phone, anything that makes a sound and distracts you and sit in silence for 15 minutes. Alone, no family, no kids, nothing to distract you and say, “Lord, show me myself as you see me.” Now wait ...

Bet it didn’t take you long until you got distracted or changed your focus did it? We aren’t through yet … get up and go to the largest mirror you have available and look in that mirror. Again ask, “Lord, show me myself as you see me.” Stare yourself down in the mirror and look inside yourself. Look into your eyes and ask yourself if you are pleased with the person who lives inside your shell? God wants more of you and He wants you to become focused on HIS character not yours.

We find a lot of ways to tell ourselves a lot of wrong things about ourselves. We justify how we are, the decisions we make, how we live, what we do, how we think and react to life by a system we have deemed as acceptable by the world. The problem is, we shouldn’t live for the world’s view of us if we are a Christian. We live for God. We realize that what we are, what He wants us to be, where He wants us to go and what HE wants for us is for us to follow His ways. We can’t justify the accumulation of “stuff” and “things” to be our priority and goal in life. Stuff doesn’t matter, God does! What we have to do is say to the Lord, “Show me your ways O Lord and give me the courage to follow them today and everyday.” Frances Loftiss Carroll

Friday, September 2, 2016

Just Scream

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2 NAS)

Just Scream
I can still hear Kate Winslet's character 'Rose' in the Titanic movie saying, “It was everything. It was my whole world and all the people in it, and the inertia of my life. Plunging ahead and me powerless to stop it.”

Have you ever felt powerless and just wanted to scream? I did today. There are times when you feel like you are screaming your lungs out and nobody's listening. There could be no less frustrating feeling than feeling that way about God. Does he hear me? Is he listening? Does he know how I feel?

God does! Though we don't see it or recognize the signs, every word we speak, every cry we make, God hears. Then one day when we least expect it, the answer comes and we are amazed. How did God do all that? Then as we examine closer we see every decision, every turn, every failure, every success that lead us to this point in time, and it all makes sense.

Moments of clarity from the mountain top are rare and precious. They last but a moment, but in that moment we are able to see clearly and know what path to take. With renewed faith in God's control in our lives we can have the courage to once again leave the mountain top and head back to the valley where the hard work lies.

Believe! Your mountain top is coming soon! Ronwyn Hughes