Thursday, April 28, 2016

A "Can Do" Attitude

Lord God, I thank you for this day. You are my Strong Tower. Oh God arise, let your enemies 
be scattered. I know that trials come to strengthen my faith. Thank you for sufficient grace 
each and every day. Please bless my Pastor and His family, my church family and friends. 
Bless my co-workers and my family, In Jesus' name, Amen. 

A "Can Do" Attitude by Veronica Garrett 
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phillippians 4:13 (NKJV)

There comes a time when every child of God must face a giant. What are giants? They are great challenges, opposition and resistance to achieving our goals.  Many of us can supercede the expectation of those around us in optimal circumstance.  However, the idea of facing a giant is the ability to perservere in the face of adversity. The amazing race that we run does not go to the swift nor the strong but to the one that endures to the end.  When I consider that my talent or abilities will not secure the prize, it is true that having a "can do" attitude will. Any time you are developing endurance you are growing stronger in order to overcome whatever tries to hold you back.
Far too often we fail to press on towards the mark of the high calling. A "Can Do" Attitude gives assurance when my qualifications, temperament, or skills constrain me Christ strengthens me so that I can. My weaknesses are real but when I consider my God He is far greater. Rather than face a giant, we surrender dreams of becoming business owners, artists, doctors, or other careers we greatly desire. In as much as my distrust appears to be toward's myself it really goes deeper than that.  I find it difficult to invest all that I am into believing that I can do all things through Christ. I find it hard to believe He will strengthen my many weaknesses.
In 1Samuel 17, we have the young David coming bring a care package to his three older brothers who are in the Valley of Elah with Saul and all of then men of Israel fighting the Philistine. David's father sent him to see how his brothers were doing. So here Goliath is giving his daily insult toward Israel and David witnesses it. In 1 Samuel 17:26, he asked the men standing near him, "What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?"
The giant Goliath has been making his comments each morning and evening for forty days. So David tells Saul he will fight Goliath. After some resistence Saul  agrees to allow David to fight Goliath. David stated that Lord would deliver him from the giant.  Anytime we are facing a giant we are in need of the miraculous. So with five smooth stones and a sling the young David faced an armored giant named Goliath. David went against the giant in the name of the Lord and he struck Him down. Some of the giants that we run from we should run toward in the name of the Lord. Only then can we have a "can do" attitude.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Seeing Is Believing




  Lord God, Thank you for your tender mercy and unfailing love. Please Lord, give me a clean heart so that I can see you. Give me spiritual wisdom to give godly counsel and to labor today as your representative in the earth. Lead me and guide me by your spirit so that I can cooperate with your work in the earth. Please comfort those who have suffered the tragic loss of a loved one.  Bless our nation, and our government --give them wisdom for the task before them. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Seeing is Believing by Veronica Garrett 

 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 1 Timothy 4:1
We live in a time when people are intrigued with the supernatural. There are many shows that demonstrate signs and wonders.  Some would say, "seeing is believing".  Unfortunately, many Christians fail to discern spirits and assume that any spiritual manifestation has to be God. In contrast, we know that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Believers who are willing to believe what they see can easily be misled. While often searching for the newest move of the spirit as well as some manifestation of spiritual gifts, people can be influenced by deceiving spirits.  What I've learned about spirit led living is my own desires have to give way to God's greatest purpose. A person can have great boldness and fervor to  pronounce and lead in their own way and not be led of the Spirit.  
Learning to listen to the Spirit's leading is a growing process. If we never begin to listen we will fail to hear.  Our own unctions have to be deciphered and as we cooperate with the Holy Spirit he willingly teaches us how to hear and see Him more clearly. While driving to work one day I felt a strong urge to stop at a gas station. I believed I was being led of the Spirit to do so. My car was nearly full of gas and with some relunctance I pull up to the gas pump. No sooner than I could step out of the car a man asked me would I buy him something to eat. I went inside and purchased as much as one can find in a convenience store for breakfast. The man's face was filled with gratitude and he said, "Thank you, God Bless You". It was my great privilege and the joy of the Lord over flooded my heart. Over the years I've been asked for food and money by many but I can never recall that look of appreciation nor the prior unction. God is in the people business--saving the lost, helping the needy and encouraging spiritual growth. 
We should not quench the spirit but always allow Him to freely flow in our lives. We must yield ourselves to God and be used for His glory.  When God promises to exalt, bless and esteem us before men it always has His purpose at heart.  In the last days many false teachings will happen within the church. The people of God must know the truth in order to recognize falsehood. In this case, one great resource that is often overlooked is the word of God.  It brings into balance my understanding of the ways and character of God.  It also restrains from misrepresenting the God we love by violating His divine order and principles. Those who deceiving spirits often prey upon think studying somehow is at odds with their faith so they tend to value an abstract view of faith matters.  In contrast, scripture is the guide to help keep us on track. 
Charisma and animated expression are not true witness of God's presence and the people of God must test the spirit by the spirit.  Seeing is not always believing. Some manifestations are from the pit of hell. They are traps used by the evil one in efforts to deceive the elect. One lesson we learn in this life of faith is that our natural vision is often misaligned with what is happening in the supernatural. When we are poor we are rich. We we are cursed we are blessed. When we are seemingly defeated we stand in victory.  Only when we believe God can we see things as they really are.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Bullet Proof


  Heavenly Father, Thank you for my health and strength. Please forgive me for my sins--those I've committed as well as those that I've omitted. Please help me to use my faith to shield me from the attacks of the evil one.  Prick the hearts of the lost and prepare them to hear the good news. Give me the courage to share the gospel and an earnest desire to see the captives set free. Bless my family, friends, and colleagues.In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Bullet Proof by Veronica Garrett 

  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
The on duty police officer acknowledges that he may come under attack somewhere during the day so he prepares by wearing a bullet proof vest. Due to his line of work, it is quite reasonable that he may come under attack with little or no warning. The vest which may go unnoticed by those in view of him, provides protection to his vital organs. The time for him to dress in this vest is not during an altercation but prior to an occurence.
Like it or not a Christian is on the front line of the Lord's army. He or she must prepare by wearing the full armor of God. Most attacks of the evil one come with little to no warning.  At times it is a series of trivial events that can somehow provide great discouragement.  Very rarely do we hear of one standly boldly while another attempts to cause them bodily harm. However, when we rightly raise our shield of faith we can confidently stand our ground. Our faith will quench all the flaming arrows as each one comes our way. Not one, not two, but all the arrows of the evil one.
When there are holes in our faith, ideas of distrust and doubt arise. When distrust and doubt becomes sizeable fear develops. As fear increases so does a sense of panic and a strong urge to respond. When we respond in fear our actions are just plain unreasonable. It is not because they do not believe in God that most are tossed to and fro. The problem lies, when things are shakey and they cannot see their way out, they don't concentrate their effort to believe God. Focus. If we don't stand firm in faith we wont stand at all.  
Our enemy does not shoot blanks, he fires loaded weapons of flaming arrows. His hope is to coerce you and I to forfeit God's blessings in our moments of weakness. Job is testimony of how real the flaming arrows of the evil one can be. And yet, in the mist of great crisis and distress Job set his heart to trust in God.  When we focus our hearts and our minds on trusting God in the mist of trials we too are shielded by our faith.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Don't Miss the Opportunity




Gracious Father,  O Great and Mighty God of all Creation! We Exalt thee. Thank you for tender mercies day after day. Open my heart that I may offer bold prayers of faith to you. Help me to focus, not on fancy rhetoric or vain repetition but to focus on a prayer offering before You. Give me grace to see the opportunity to pray with and for others and the courage to take it. Bless parents, teachers, as well as administrators who work with children. In Jesus' name, Amen. 

Don't Miss the Opportunity by Veronica Garrett 

 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. 
 Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. (James 5:15-17)

One day I entered an alteration store to be greeted by a middle aged woman of Asian descent. I tried on her dress for alteration and as the dark haired Asian woman bent to her knees she did so in noticeable distress. I witnessed her pain in the mirror as she stood for the alteration. We begin to have conversation and it was true the middle aged Asian woman's back pain was nearly unbearable.  
This bothered me even as she changed into her clothing and returned to the counter to receive her ticket. Seeing that the alteration lady's job required for her to swat with her ailing back bothered me. As I was giving her my name and information at the ticket counter I realized that the radio is playing a Christian station. In a split second decision before I walked out the door I asked the Asian lady, do you mind if I pray to ask God to heal you? 
The look of surprise followed by excitement entered the alteration lady's face as she readily agreed. The two of us humbly stood before the throne of grace petitioning God to heal the alteration lady's back.  A week later when I picked up her altered garment the middle age Asian woman eagerly testified that although God didn't heal her instantly he did heal her from the back pain. A couple of days later while laying on her bed she felt His healing power deliver her completely from the back pain. She had even given testimony at church as to what the Lord had done. 
How many times do people share stories of distress or illness and we miss the opportunity to pray for or with them?  How often do we tell people I will pray for you but fail to remember to do so? Only to remember the next time we see them. There are times that praying with someone at the time may not be the best thing to do, for example in a work environment. Yet far too often we miss the opportunity to used the loaded weapon God has given us called prayer. Scripture teaches us that Elijah was a man just like us and he prayed and it didn't rain for three and a half years!
 I can't begin to tell you how many times I've missed the opportunity to pray with or for someone in great pain or need. Quite recently a woman with surmountable trials approached me while standing at an ATM machine.  She caught me completely off guard because people don't normally talk to you while standing behind you at an ATM! She was full of obscenities toward her soon to be ex-husband. I can definitely say I missed the opportunity.
Young children often believe more in the power of a mother's healing kiss than we do in God's powerful response to the batters and bruises of broken lives. Even more than a mother who bends to kiss a scratch as streaming tears are quieted, is my God's eagerness to answer when His children are in need.  He tells us that we are often lacking because we miss the opportunity, we simply fail to ask. He is leading us to be prayerful, while longing to be lavish to us. Please, don't miss the opportunity to pray. 


Thursday, March 31, 2016

If We Don't Stand, We Will Fall

If We Don't Stand, We Will Fall
 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:13
It has been said if we don’t stand for something we will fall for anything.  I have learned that if we don’t stand for what is right eventually we will bow to what is wrong.  Bowing begins with a process of orchestrated movements.  In order for bowing to take place the entire body cooperates.  What usually happens is that we succumb to the pressures of life and instead of standing with heads held high we begin to lower our heads. 

We cringe due to pressure’s of life, it may be social, political, or cultural. What happens with our head movement is that our neck and our shoulders follow its direction. In time, instead of sitting straight, we cower by simply leaning in and bending when we should stand tall. Do not contort or give in but stand. Stand. Stand still and see the deliverance of God!

When a person is determined to stand they will send commands to the legs to straighten and the feet to stand firmly on the floor. One who is determined to stand sends a command to the hands to grab hold to something and to the arm muscles to strengthen them as well as to lean on something or someone stronger.  Our God is mighty and He is strong.  Trade your weakness for His strength. Cling to Him like a young child does to his father.

When life gets you down and you feel you can’t get up-plop up, prop up, and pull up.  Just stand.  In due season, He will come and not delay.  All we have to do is stand. And after you have done everything, stand!  Standing is hard work!  Standing builds muscle. Standing builds character. Standing is worship.  Don’t bow to any circumstance, pivot yourself and bow before God. Honor Him with your life.  Take a stand.

Believers do not take public stands for Christ before they have made private ones. Our ability to stand is not a fly by night decision.  A man or woman who stands in unfavorable times has already counted the cost and found Jesus Christ to be Worthy of all that he or she has.  Bowing the knee in the secret place leads to standing tall in the public place. 

We move every ounce of our strength and will to agree with the decision that has already been made. How tall would we stand if we could agree with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego as they were entering the fiery furnace? They did not contemplate bowing to king Nebuchadnezzar because they worshiped the one true God.  They bowed to God and Him alone. They were appalled at the thought of bowing before an earthly king.  They faced life threatening circumstances with rock solid faith. The decision had already been made. The trial proved it.  They took a stand and God miraculously delivered them from the furnace.  

What might God do in this generation if you and I decided to follow Jesus?  No matter what the devil sends our way, if we would stand for Jesus. He may send one fiery dart after another and we could stand firm in our faith. And when our faith grows weak, what if our sisters would prop us up and point to hills from which cometh our help. Come what may…I want to be found standing. Help us Lord, help us to stand.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Forgotten One



  Lord God, Thank you for the privilege to serve you on today. Please infuse my life with your Holy Spirit that I may boldly witness to others about you. Allow your spirit to flow through my life as I yield myself to you completely. Bless your people throughout the nations to walk in the boldness and unity of your Spirit so that we may bring glory to your name. In the mighty name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

The Forgotten One by Veronica Garrett 

But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment (John 16:7-8).
At times a very helpful person can be overlooked. I consider how thankful I am for security personnel, cafeteria workers, bank tellers, and grocery checkers. Their function is critical to the daily lives of so many. Quite often we don't know much about them, for example, their names, family status, or background, but their jobs are very important.  
We spend great lengths learning about God the Father and the Son but for many of us the Holy Spirit is the forgotten one. Although we consider Him a person, we don't know much about Him. After many years of him being referred to as the Holy Ghost many of us are spooked by the idea of getting to know Him. 
The early church looked for leaders who were full of faith and of the Holy Spirit.  Living a spirit life is a cooperative work of the believer. The believer's body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.The Apostle Paul uses a comparative of not being filled with wine but being filled with the Spirit. The spirit empowers us for worship, prayer, testimony and service. Every Christian has the capacity to be filled with the spirit but must willingly partake and cooperate with the filling of the spirit.
The Holy Spirit has many attributes that personifies Him. Our life journey proves more successful and spirit filled as we learn to walk in agreement with His guidance.  Through what appears like ordinary life events He divinely guides us from day to day.  He testifies to us that we are God's children (Romans 8:16). He speaks to and through us.  He leads us to truth. When we don't know what we should pray he intercedes for us (Romans 8:26). Anianias and Sapphira lied to him (Acts 5:3). He grieves due to the sin in our lives (Ephesians 4:30). 
In as much as we acknowledge all of the people who assist us in our day to day living let us be all the more thankful for the sometimes forgotten one, the Holy Spirit. Christ told His disciples that it was better for them that that He went away so they would receive the Counselor. He is the deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until redemption of those who are God's possession (Ephesians 1:14). He is known by us a Comforter and Counselor. He encourages and persuades us to walk by faith and not by sight.  He is faithful to our divine journey so may He never be forgotten.  We should consider all that He does on our behalf and be forever grateful. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Lock Down


Everlasting Father, thank you for a new day.  Show me your ways that I may walk in them. Lead and guide me according to your Spirit. Help me to acknowledge you in all my ways and I know you will direct my path. Please give me grace to live a faithful life, not leaning on my own understanding but soleling trusting you. Give the body of Christ wisdom. Help us to live as bold witnesses for you and to walk in unity. Please protect the women and children in Haiti. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Lock Down by Veronica Garrett 
 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Cor 10:5

The apostle Paul spoke of casting down thoughts that came against the excellency and the knowledge of Christ.  More than that he says brings them captive.  What comes to mind when you think of being taken as a captive? Have you ever seen a captive?  Captives are confined, they are treated like fugitives that will likely do us harm given the opportunity.  How about those thoughts that are coming again God working in your life?  Do you greet them with a warm welcome?  Offer them a seat?  Allow them to make themselves comfortable in the dormant of your mind. 

The way we get off track is listening to worldly wisdom.   Worldly wisdom "explains" that doing things God's way doesn't work. In fact, it is based on lies told by the evil one. Sadly, Christians often imply that if I do what God says He won't come through.  They tell singles they will never marry if they live holy. They tell couples they will never get ahead if they depend on God's plan for marriage.  Although these words seem fair they oppose the knowledge of God's word.  This ideology sets itself up against the knowledge of God. He is not a man and He does not lie.

At times I am guilty of allowing my sinful nature which is warring against my spirit to entertain me!  How so you may wonder.  Simple.  I think on those things that are flaming arrows fired to quench my faith.  One by one they sow seeds of doubt and mistrust of God. My immediately response should be no thanks, I’m not interested.  My immediate response should be a faith-filled, I'm not even trying to hear it. 

Picture this, the telephone rings and it’s a salesperson.  You’re not buying, not interested, and not trying to prolong the conversation.  You cast down any hopes of the salesperson on the other end making a sale on this call.  Capture your thought life to bring it into conformity with Christ.  Thoughts that sows seeds of unbelief and distrust must be placed on lockdown.