Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Mid-Week Message - Decisions, Decisions

I'm confused.  I have some life choices to make soon and I have been trying to sort out all the possibilities now even though I really don't have to yet.  As I look at all of my options, and there are many, my mind becomes more and more muddled.  I have been attempting to think beyond whatever choice I make to anticipate the ramifications of one selection over another.  At this point, I want to grab my head and scream for someone to make the decisions for me.  

I am an analyzer.  It is important to me to be as thorough as possible in considering every step I make. I am not always successful in avoiding difficulties, but it isn't for lack of trying. It is frustrating to run into snags after I have tried to be so careful. Perfection would be wonderful but I found out long ago that I am not perfect.  Still, I hold myself to a high level and am very disappointed if I fail to notice a flaw in my decision making.  

Scripture addresses how we should make plans.  James 4:13-17 has this to say, "Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin."  

In light of this teaching, I can see why I get myself so worked up.  I am trying to make the decisions on my own with my limited vision. God alone knows what will happen in the future.  No amount of analyzing or thinking things through can give me His vision. Proverbs 15:22 states, "Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed."  One thing I can do to alleviate stress is to seek wise, godly counsel.  This eliminates my dependence upon my own thinking and opens my heart and mind to new ways of looking at the decision.  The phrase, "been there, done that" is powerful.  If someone that I seek counsel from has already experienced what I am, they will be able to help avoid pitfalls that I possibly had not considered.  

Instead of spending so much time analyzing, I should be spending more time in prayer.  Because only the Lord knows for sure how my decisions will impact my life, He is the one that I need to ask for help.  Even in seeking counsel I need to follow His lead.  He has plans for me that I know not of.  He sees the full picture. Proverbs 3:5-6 is so encouraging!  "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."  What a wonderful promise!  Trust in the Lord and He will make straight my path.  He is ultimately the One who will lead me in the way I need to go.  My energy is always better spent in time with Him.  

Daily Word of God - Psalm 42:5-6

Psalm 42:5-6 New Living Translation (NLT)

5 Why am I discouraged?
    Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
    I will praise him again—
    my Savior and 6 my God!
Now I am deeply discouraged,
    but I will remember you—
even from distant Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan,
    from the land of Mount Mizar.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Daily Word of God - John 10:10

John 10:10 New Living Translation (NLT)

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Remember Those Who Served and Sacrificed

Let us remember those who served this great nation and sacrificed so much for us so that we can live in peace and enjoy the freedoms that they protected and defended.

Do not let their sacrifice and the sacrifices of their families fade from your memory.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13 KJV

Daily Word of God - Romans 10:9

Romans 10:9 New Living Translation (NLT)

If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sunday Message - Though I am Surrounded

As we remember those brave souls that laid down their lives for a grateful nation, Chaplain Jesse will be delivering his Memorial Day message, "Though I am Surrounded". He will be examining a vision that George Washington had at Valley Forge. Our nation has a destiny to fulfill as a light in the darkness. Our faith as a nation will be tried daily, but we must continue to fight the good fight.

Prayer Request - Mississippi Shootings

A Mississippi deputy sheriff was among eight people shot and killed Saturday and a suspect in the murders is in custody, The Daily Leader reports.

Mississippi Bureau of Investigation spokesman Warren Strain said the shootings occurred at three separate homes Saturday night in rural Lincoln County. Two of the homes are in Brookhaven and one is in Bogue Chitto. The area is about 68 miles south of Jackson, the capital.

Please keep the families of the dead and those injured in your prayers.

Daily Word of God - Deuteronomy 6:5

Deuteronomy 6:5 New Living Translation (NLT)

And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Daily Word of God - Proverbs 3:6

Proverbs 3:6 New Living Translation (NLT)

6 Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Daily Word of God - Hosea 4:19

Hosea 4:19 New Living Translation (NLT)

So a mighty wind will sweep them away.
    Their sacrifices to idols will bring them shame.

Prayer Request - Coptic Christians Attacked in Egypt

Please pray for the families of those killed and for the injured.

Gunmen opened fire on a bus carrying Coptic Christians traveling just south of Cairo Friday, killing 23 and injuring 25, Egyptian state TV reported.

1 Peter 4:12-14 New Living Translation (NLT)

12 Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. 13 Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.

14 If you are insulted because you bear the name of Christ, you will be blessed, for the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Daily Word of God - Psalm 23:5

Psalm 23:5 New Living Translation (NLT)

You prepare a feast for me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
    My cup overflows with blessings.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Mid-Week Message - God is Love

There was a tragedy in Manchester last night.  A terrorist attack at a concert killed over twenty people and wounded over fifty more. This senseless act of evil has forever altered the lives of people who wanted nothing more than to enjoy an evening out listening to the music of one of their favorite artists.  And it is a reminder to all of us of the ugliness that walks among us. 

Satan's joy comes from destruction.  His goal is to steal us away from our Lord, to plant doubts about the love of God so that we no longer listen to His holy Word or follow the path that leads to Heaven. Evil stems from hearts that are hardened to the sacrifice of Jesus.  As darkness sets in we become pawns of the enemy.  It is very simple, either we share the light of our Father or we are instruments of darkness and we saw a result of that darkness last night.

Does this sound too simplistic?  It shouldn't.  We have one Creator. Scripture is very clear that there is only one Almighty God.  Like I mentioned last week, there are many "gods" that we can worship but there is only One Lord.  One Father.  One that is worthy of praise.  One that is worthy of worship. One that offers salvation. One Way. One Truth.  One Life.  However, He created us with free will which means we are free to choose whether to align our lives with Him or not.  These evil ones who committed this heinous act have chosen not to. 

1 John 4:16 tells us, "And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them."  God is love.  He loves you.  He loves me.  He even loves the perpetrators of this horrible act.  The world needs to see the people of the one true God in action.  We need to be actively loving people.  Actively sharing the gospel.  Actively helping as the Lord gives us the ability to.  We need to abhor evil and speak the truth in boldness.  There is nothing mightier than the Word of God. Nothing greater than His Love.  And nothing more purifying than the blood of Christ.  

Brothers and sisters, stand up and speak up!  Pray for each other. Pray for this world.  And pray, especially, for those who are trapped in the clutches of the enemy that they might turn from their wicked ways and seek God's face. 

Daily Word of God - Isaiah 40:8

Isaiah 40:8 New Living Translation (NLT)

The grass withers and the flowers fade,
    but the word of our God stands forever.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Daily Word of God - Jeremiah 29:13-14

Jeremiah 29:13-14 New Living Translation (NLT)

13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 14 I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”

Monday, May 22, 2017

Daily Word of God - Psalm 100:1-2

Psalm 100:1-2 New Living Translation (NLT)

1 Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
2     Worship the Lord with gladness.
    Come before him, singing with joy.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday Message - Passing the Baton

In today's message, Chaplain Jesse will be looking to a conversation between Moses and Joshua in Deuteronomy 31. As Moses grows too old to lead the Children of Israel, Moses passes that responsibility to Joshua. It is a big, big responsibility. Needless to say, Joshua may have some second thoughts about being a leader, but God, through Moses, provides the words of encouragement that he needs.

Daily Word of God - Deuteronomy 31:8

Deuteronomy 31:8 New Living Translation (NLT)

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Honoring Those Who Serve - Armed Forces Day, 2017

President Harry S. Truman led the effort to establish a single holiday for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country.

On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Days.

The single day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under the Department of Defense.

As we reflect on the freedoms we enjoy today as a nation of the people, by the people and for the people, let us remember those who protect and defend our nation.

Psalm 33:12-22 New Living Translation (NLT)

12 What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord,
    whose people he has chosen as his inheritance.
13 The Lord looks down from heaven
    and sees the whole human race.
14 From his throne he observes
    all who live on the earth.
15 He made their hearts,
    so he understands everything they do.
16 The best-equipped army cannot save a king,
    nor is great strength enough to save a warrior.
17 Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory—
    for all its strength, it cannot save you.
18 But the Lord watches over those who fear him,
    those who rely on his unfailing love.
19 He rescues them from death
    and keeps them alive in times of famine.
20 We put our hope in the Lord.
    He is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
    for we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord,

    for our hope is in you alone.

Daily Word of God - 2 Timothy 1:7

2 Timothy 1:7 New Living Translation (NLT)

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Daily Word of God - 1 Corinthians 13:3

1 Corinthians 13:3 New Living Translation (NLT)

If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Daily Word of God - John 16:33

John 16:33 New Living Translation (NLT)

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Mid-Week Message - No Other Gods

When I was a little girl and had a problem, all I had to do was go to my Daddy and he would either fix what was broken or have the solution for my predicament.  I thought my father could do anything. He could make anything better.  Once when I was about five or six years old, I got in a fight with the little girl across the street because she said the appendages on my hands were "fingers" but my father said they were "fangers."  He told me later that he had been playing by calling them that, but I was willing to do anything to defend him because I believed he could never be wrong. Oh, what a Daddy's girl I was!  And even though he has been in Heaven almost 10 years now, I am still a Daddy's girl.  

After his death in 2007, prayer was difficult for me for awhile.  When I would say the Lord's Prayer , "Our Father who art in Heaven", I would see my Daddy's face rather than concentrating on my Creator.  It was something that I had to work on and ask the Lord to help me with.  As much as I loved my Daddy, he was definitely human and did not deserve to be equated with God.  

Exodus 20:3 says quite clearly, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me."  No other gods. Nothing and no one is to be bowed down to in worship other than Jehovah.  I wasn't bowing to my father but I had elevated him in my mind and heart.  I don't believe it was intentional.  I loved him so much and in my grief I was attempting to hold on to him any way I could.  However, once I realized what I was doing I knew I had to take steps to correct it.  

It is incredibly easy to take God off the throne of our hearts and replace Him with something or someone else.  We have to be diligent to keep track of what is influencing our lives.  Money, food, drugs, spouses, parents, children, friends, alcohol, gaming, cars, gambling, beauty, clothing, jewelry, lifestyles, etc., can all take up that space that should be reserved for our heavenly Father.  And the sad thing is that it happens almost without us knowing it.  The only way to keep that from happening is stay vigilant, to be actively in prayer and spending time in scripture.  What we spend the most time on is what will generally try to take the throne.  God alone is to be worshiped.  He is the One that deserves our adoration.  

I will always love my Daddy.  And one day in Heaven, when my time comes, I will see him again.  And then together we will bow before the Most High, sing praises to Him and adore Him as He deserves to be adored.

Daily Word of God - Deuteronomy 14:2

Deuteronomy 14:2 New Living Translation (NLT)

You have been set apart as holy to the Lord your God, and he has chosen you from all the nations of the earth to be his own special treasure.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Daily Word of God - 1 Corinthians 4:6

1 Corinthians 4:6 New Living Translation (NLT)

Dear brothers and sisters, I have used Apollos and myself to illustrate what I’ve been saying. If you pay attention to what I have quoted from the Scriptures, you won’t be proud of one of your leaders at the expense of another.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Daily Word of God - Acts 2:21

Acts 2:21 New Living Translation (NLT)

But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord
  will be saved.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunday Message - Virtuous and Capable

In today's praise and worship message, Chaplain Jesse will be examining the virtuous and capable Mothers in our lives. All mothers were created by God to provide wisdom and God's commands to their children. By doing those things, children begin their walk with the Lord on a righteous path. 
No matter what life has in store for them, children, because of their Mothers' love and words of wisdom, can stand firm in their faith.

Happy Mother's Day

Proverbs 31:28-31 New Living Translation (NLT)

28 Her children stand and bless her.
    Her husband praises her:
29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
    but you surpass them all!”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
    but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
31 Reward her for all she has done.
    Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.

Daily Word of God - Ephesians 1:11-12

Ephesians 1:11-12 New Living Translation (NLT)

11 Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.

12 God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Daily Word of God - Jeremiah 17:7

Jeremiah 17:7 New Living Translation (NLT)

But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
    and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Daily Word of God - Joshua 1:9

Joshua 1:9 New Living Translation (NLT)

This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Daily Word of God - Ephesians 4:11-13

Ephesians 4:11-13 New Living Translation (NLT)

11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Mid-Week Message - A Parent's Desire

This past weekend was heartbreaking.  Our daughter moved out on her own for the first time.  I know that is normal, a rite of passage.  It is a sign that we have done our job as parents and prepared her to take care of herself.  She is an adult now.  She is capable.  We are proud of her.  And I, her mother, have cried every single day since she has been gone.  Today, however, sees me smiling.  She is coming to visit.  Yes, I know she has only been gone four full days but this mama needs to lay her eyes on her baby.  I need to see that she is doing well as opposed to being told so through a text message.  

As have most things in parenting, this event has taught me more about our relationship with our heavenly Father.  I expect my daughter will do well living on her own and will flourish because she has been taught responsibility and knows how to reach out for help if she needs it.  We are, for a time, separated physically from our eternal home but our Father has provided us with teachers and His instruction manual, the Bible.  And, just as she can call on us, so we can call on our Lord.  Just like earthly parents, He longs to hear from His children.  

Jeremiah 33:3 -"Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."

Psalm 91:15 - "He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him."

Isaiah 55:6 - "Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near."

The time I miss the most with my daughter is our late night chats.  She and I were generally the last ones in the house to go to bed at night.  It became our time share about our day, to open our hearts, to bond with one another.  Those hours seem the emptiest to me right now.  It makes me wonder how the Lord feels when we don't take time out of our day to talk with Him.  His love for us is even greater than our love for our children incredibly. That desire that we have for our children to remain close comes from our Creator who has the same desire about us.  Have you spoken to your Father today?

Daily Word of God - Psalm 119:2

Psalm 119:2 New Living Translation (NLT)

Joyful are those who obey his laws
    and search for him with all their hearts.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Daily Word of God - Proverbs 17:17

Proverbs 17:17 New Living Translation (NLT)

A friend is always loyal,
    and a brother is born to help in time of need.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Daily Word of God - Matthew 21:22

You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.
Matthew 21:22 New Living Translation (NLT)

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Sunday Message - "Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus"

Chaplain Jesse examines our responsibility in the kingdom to stand up for Jesus and to share the gospel and our testimonies with others.

Daily Word of God - John 1:29

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
John 1:29 New Living Translation (NLT)

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Friday, May 5, 2017

Daily Word of God - Ephesians 2:8

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.

Daily Word of God - 1 Corinthians 8:6

But for us,

There is one God, the Father,
    by whom all things were created,
    and for whom we live.
And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ,
    through whom all things were created,
    and through whom we live.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

National Day of Prayer - 2 Chronicles 7:14

2 Chronicles 7:14 New Living Translation (NLT)

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.

Daily Word of God - Psalm 116:9

And so I walk in the Lord’s presence
    as I live here on earth!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Mid-Week Message - Something to Ponder

Returning from a trip into town this morning, Jesse and I passed the scene of a horrible accident.  On one side of the road sat what remained of a small silver car.  I later found out that it was the only vehicle involved and must have been traveling at a high rate of speed.  I have yet to hear whether the driver and any possible passengers survived but, from what I saw, it would have been a miracle.  

Each day that we are fortunate enough to wake up is a gift.  We never know if we will make it through that day alive.  I'm sure this driver had a typical morning that involved all the usual aspects of getting ready for the day.  He or she may have children who needed to get to school and/or a job to get to.  Whatever their plans for the day I'm sure they expected to be home tonight.  No, I don't know for sure that a death occurred.  I do know that this event altered the plans of the day and possibly much, much more.  

This all has me thinking of last moments.  Jesus's last moments were filled with forgiveness for those who were putting Him to death, and for us.  His words, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do" referred to his tormentors at the cross because they did not understand that He was the Son of God, the long-awaited Savior.  I think they also apply to each of us as well because we often wander through our days with no thought whatsoever about how our actions or reactions are effecting ourselves or others.  

God's Word gives us guidance regarding how we should conduct ourselves.  Colossians 4:6 says, "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." Grace is an attribute of the Lord that He wants us to extend to others.  If we think before we speak then we stand a better chance of using kindness and encouragement rather than saying something that we might regret later.  As far as our actions are concerned, Colossians 3:23 says, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters." This speaks to the work we do for others, but because we represent Jesus it also applies to every action in our lives.  If we do all things as if He is right beside us (He is!) then we will be much more mindful of what we do and how we do it.  

I spend time each day on a social media site.  One thing that has always bothered me deeply is seeing one posting by a friend referencing their love and gratitude to the Lord then down the page finding another posting from the same person with pictures or words that abase Him or others.  And I find myself wondering what image they would like to be remembered for.  Because we cannot see past the moment we are currently in, each word or action could be our last.  Just something to ponder. 

Daily Word of God - 2 Samuel 7:22

How great you are, O Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you. We have never even heard of another God like you!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Daily Word of God - Isaiah 26:3

You will keep in perfect peace
    all who trust in you,
    all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Daily Word of God - Psalm 37:23

The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
    He delights in every detail of their lives.