Posted in Devotionals

But If Not….

Shedrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful  to answer thee in this matter.

If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.

But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. Daniel 3:16-18

So a little back story to the above scriptures. King Nebuchadnezzar erected a statue that at what time the instruments played the people where to bow down and worship the image. Shedrach, Meshach, and Abednego, being Hebrew men, refused to bow down and worship the image. It was told to the king that they refused to bow.  King Nebuchadnezzar asked if it were true that they refused to worship his golden image. He instructed them that when the instruments were played to bow down and worship the image or be thrown in the fiery furnace. He asked them “who is that God that will deliver you out of my hands?”

As I was reading this particular scripture, I got to verses 16-18 of the 3rd chapter of Daniel and thought what faith. I’ve read this story before, but it hit me a little different this time around. Three little words opened my eyes to the amount of faith that those three Hebrew boys had. But if not.

They told the king that the God whom they serve is able to deliver them, but if not, they still will not bow down and worship your gods. They had faith that God was able to deliver them, but if He didn’t He was still in control. They knew that they could trust God even when things don’t turn out the way they hoped.

How many times do we go through things if it be sickness, financial struggles, or difficulties on the job that contradict our relationship with God, and how many times do we hand it over to God completely. We know that He is able to get us through. But do we ever say, God I know the situation looks bleak to me, but I know that you are in control and can make a way even when there seems to be no way to be made. But if not, Lord I trust you.

If you don’t heal my family member, I trust you. If you don’t send that financial blessing, I trust you. If you don’t fix that situation on my job and I am fired or have to quit so I won’t go against your word, I trust you.

When we are faced with situations where we have to trust God to deliver us even if it means you may lose your job, family, or friends, will you stand by righteousness? Is your faith as strong as those three Hebrew boys?

Can you say, can I say, with as much faith, no matter the test, trial or sickness that comes my way, I know that my God, whom I serve, is able to deliver me, but if not, I will not bow down to fear, panic, worry, or this world and face the fire like Shedrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

KY Sunflower

Posted in Devotionals

God’s Promises

We go through things in this life that is hard to understand; loss, pain, and trials that will test our faith.

While going through these things, we want to question God, but we can’t, we just have to trust that He knows best. His ways are not our ways.

Yesterday was a very trying day for my family. It was so hard. And I just didn’t understand why this was happening. I had a moment of weakness.

But on the way home, I saw the rainbow in the sky and was reminded of God’s promises.

I know the rainbow is a covenant from God that He would not destroy the earth by flood again. Genesis 9:11-17. But yesterday in that moment when I saw it, it was a reminder of His peace, His comfort, and His love.

KY Sunflower

Posted in Devotionals

Broken Seashells

Last week I was able to walk along the beach taking in God’s beautiful creation. No matter how many times I visit the beach, I will always marvel at the mass body of water in front of me.

Last month while swimming in the ocean, I shared with my husband one of the wonders of the ocean. I looked at the waves pounding the shore and then recede. Isn’t it a wonder that although there isn’t a retaining wall to keep it from continuing on shore, it knows to recede. It knows the boundary from ocean to shore. I know that there is probably a “scientific” explanation for it. But to me it’s just God. We’ll it looks like I veered off course.

I collect shells from the beaches I visit. These particular times as I walked on the beach I was looking for the “perfect shells”. What is the perfect shell anyway? One without blemish, no cracks, not broken but whole, the right color, shape, or size etc.

As I walked and looked at the many shells (this particular beach was full of them), I would pick up, examine, and discard the shell if it didn’t fit my definition of perfect. Then a thought came to me, “What about the broken shells?” Why are they less desirable? And it hit me, what if when God sought me out, He passed me by because he was only looking for the perfect person? The one who had it all together.

But we know that God didn’t sit with the saints but the sinners. He sought those that were broken. Many times we tend to veer to the people who appear to have it altogether. While those that are struggling, hurt, and broken are cast aside.

Everyone needs to know about salvation: rich, poor, young, old, the whole and broken. Some of us, our appearance aren’t as beautiful as others. But we have a story, a place in this world. We may not be perfect, but don’t devalue our purpose.

The broken shells were once whole. But they have been tossed against the rocks, weathered the storm and although they don’t look like it they have a story; a purpose. Their beauty can still be seen if you look pass the imperfections.

That truth stands for every person you come across to share the gospel of Jesus that you don’t think fit the “perfect” mold. So what if the outfit is dirty, a hair is out of place? Look pass the perceived imperfections and learn their story.

KY Sunflower

Posted in Devotionals

Lot’s Wife: A Product of Her Environment

Genesis 19:  15And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.16 And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city. 17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed. 18 And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord: 19 Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die: 20 Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live. 21 And he said unto him, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken. 22 Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do anything till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar. 23 The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar. 24 Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; 25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. 26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

There isn’t much written about Lot’s wife in the Bible. Just that the angels told Lot to get his wife and daughters and leave Sodom and that she looked back and became a pillar of salt. We don’t know her name or her history. Was Lot married to her prior to going to Sodom or did he meet her in Sodom? There was no mention of a wife when Lot sojourned with Abraham. So I’m going to go two ways with this blog.

First Scenario…. Lot met his wife in Sodom. She grew up there, had family there. She married Lot and raised their children in Sodom. Sodom is what she knew. She knew of nothing outside of Sodom. Sodom was her home. She was accustomed to the lifestyle of Sodom. Did she partake in the activities that were taking place, or condone the behavior…probably not. But do we condone in the behaviors and activities that goes on in our home town. I can safely say, no. Just being from Sodom she was a product of her environment. She was used to the way of life Sodom provided.

Second Scenario….She was married to lot prior to going to Sodom. Again, women we are the weaker vessel. Satan knows who to attack in the family. Now there are times when a woman is more grounded in her walk with God than her husband, but often times it’s the man leading the family. Satan didn’t attack all at once. He planted little seeds here or there there, putting holes in Lot’s wife’s armor. She didn’t notice she was slowly becoming a product of her environment until she was told to leave and not look back. She eventually began to accept the things that was going on around her, it wasn’t as offensive as before. It was the way things were in Sodom. She allowed Lot to take her hand and lead her and their children away from Sodom, but she allowed what she was losing to make her look back. What was she losing, possibly family, especially if she was from Sodom, friends, material things….we don’t know. She may have thought just one more look and I’ll go, but doing so she went against the very command of God.

So many times we seek a move of God. Seek His direction, but are we really ready to take that step. Have we become a product of our environment? If God tells us to go, will we get up and leave what we know for the unknown? That is what Lot’s wife was doing. She knew Sodom (either by being raised there or adapting to the lifestyle), she didn’t know what was in store for her or her family outside of Sodom. Can we keep our eyes on what lies before us rather than what we are leaving behind?

29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. 31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. 34 I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. 35 Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together. Luke 17: 29-37 KJV

The above passage of scriptures talks about the the coming of the Lord. What greater promise than His coming can lay before us? Many people will be distracted with the things of this world, looking back at what they are leaving behind. What about our family, friends, what about the things we hold dear?

Even in our walk with God, He will direct us to leave what we know for the unknown. When that happens, and we find ourselves walking away from all we know and that urge to look back over take us, stop, breath and remember Lot’s wife.

Posted in Me, Myself, & Sunflowers

The Beach is Calling…..

April can’t come soon enough. This right here explains why I go to the beach to recharge. Not to say I’m not happy where I am, happiness is fleeting. But the Joy of the Lord is my strength. I have joy in my life because God gives me that joy. I’m not unhappy with where I am in life, but there is a happiness that comes from being at the beach that my soul craves. Carry on and have a Blessed day!!!! The photo was taking off Facebook.

Posted in Devotionals

My Will vs God’s Will

There are times in our lives we are faced with this dilemma. We are so self-driven that we want to do things our way on our time. But our ways often contradicts God’s ways.

Many times in the Bible we see where the children of God went against God’s will and saw the outcome. This blog is a continuation of “Get out of the Boat” as I am going to talk about Jonah again.

Like Jonah, God is calling us to a place. A place that may seem scary, hard and not a road we want to go down. We must chose will we obey the will of God or will we do our own thing. If you are faced with things coming at you from every side, your version of the storm Jonah and the crew members faced, maybe just maybe you are running from God.

God called Jonah to go to Nineveh, a city full of wickedness. That had to be scary for Jonah. How can one man cry out against a city of great wickedness? Jonah didn’t realize that God was going with him. He thought to go to Tarshish. God called him to go to Nineveh, but he said I’m going to Tarshish. If God called us to go somewhere, He will not use us if we choose to go somewhere else or stay where we are. We must take action and go when and where God calls us.

Eventually Jonah made his way to Nineveh and he was used to turn Nineveh from their wickedness. 

We have to make difficult decisions in this life and what should be the easiest is sometimes the most difficult decision of all. Setting our flesh aside and saying as Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane. Nevertheless not mine will but thine.

When we come to the fork in the road where it’s our will or God’s, when we choose our will, we are in for a bumpy ride. We are faced with a curvy road, with many dead ends, caution signs and warnings to turn around. Where God’s road is straight. Even when we choose our own will over God’s, there is still an expected end. If we head the warnings, we will in fact turn around, cry out to God for forgiveness and find our way back in His will.

Why must we think we know better than God? Why not choose His will in the first place. I’m not saying choosing His will won’t come with any trials or roadblocks, because let’s face it, the devil wants us out of the will of God, but the difference is God is guiding us through and over the roadblocks.

My thoughts on this Monday morning, Be Blessed

KY Sunflower

Posted in Devotionals

Grateful & Greatful

I was listening to Grateful by Hezekiah Walker the other day. You know in the spirit of Thanksgiving. We have a lot to be thankful for especially this year. If 2020 didn’t do anything else for me, it taught me to appreciate things more. The freedom to go out and eat, to go to the store without a mask, the freedom to go to church, and relationships with friends and family. I’m grateful for this season, because a new season is coming and I will cherish the things I’ve taken for granted in the past.

With that said, listening to this song, looking at the word Grateful, got me to thinking that swapping the “a”, “e” and the “t”, you get greatful. I know that is not a word, but it is for the purpose of this post.

We are grateful to a Great God. He is full of love, kindness, mercy, grace, power and forgiveness to name a few things. So yes I’m throwing all my grammar and spelling lessons out the window, because I am indeed Grateful to a Greatful God.

I hope everyone had a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Still giving thanks

KY Sunflower

Posted in Me, Myself, & Sunflowers

Still Painting

So back in August I took up a new hobby as told in Let’s Paint post

Just a few of my creations….

My happy place
I saw a scene in a tv show of a sunset over mountains. My attempt at painting it
Sunflower…inspired by well, sunflowers of course
The mountains…inspired from my vacation in Gatlinburg
Fall leaves
More fall inspiration…that looks more like Mickey Mouse, lol. Supposed to be leaves in the road fallen from from the trees
A leaf in a grass
My inspiration for the previous painting
Where it all started

Who knows where my next inspiration will come from.

Happy painting

KY Sunflower

Posted in Devotionals

Job’s Wife: A Broken Woman

I had the privilege of giving the devotional last month at Ladies meeting. I want to share what I spoke on. Job’s wife is a touchy subject to speak on, because everyone has an opinion about her. Here is what was placed in my heart concerning Job’s wife.

We’ve all read the book of Job. We all know about Job’s loss and suffering. And we all know about Job’s wife. A nameless woman who as Misti’s (president of Ladies auxiliary) devotion states gives love a bad name. She got a bad reputation.  But, I believe she was misunderstood.

So let’s start by taking a refresher course on just who Job was. I will be reading Job 1:1-3

There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.

And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters.

His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.

We see that Job was a perfect and upright man before God. He was the greatest in all the East. To put it in laymen’s terms, He was wealthy. He was very blessed by God. Job’s wife had grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle. Whatever she wanted was in her reach. She had 10 children she loved dearly. She didn’t have to worry about a thing. All her needs were met as well as those of her family. She had servants. Probably didn’t have to lift a finger to clean or cook. Ladies, she had it made.

Now imagine for a moment this was your life. Your husband feared God and was the greatest in all the land. You have riches, children you love, servants. You wanted that outfit, lobster dinner or fancy car, you got it. You don’t have to worry about a thing. You have servants to cook, clean, even do your errands. How sweet it is to know that God has blessed your husband and because of his faithfulness to God your family is taken care of.

Now imagine, in a moment all of it was taken away: Your livelihood, food or at least the high quality food you are used to and your fancy cars. Now how are you going to maintain your lifestyle? No more servants to keep house for you, no transportation; your life of luxury wiped away in an instance. And to make matters worse, your children are killed, not one, but all of them at once. You’re trying to make sense of it, when your husband is stricken with illness. Imagine this is your reality, because it was Job’s wife reality.

In all of this, Job never sinned or charged God foolishly. His wife, was a different story.

Let’s look at Job 2:9-Then said his wife, “Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God and die”

Job’s wife is known for these 10 words. She is not mentioned prior or after these words. Just 10 words, but those words are how people form an opinion about her. (Be careful how you speak, because people are listening and forming an opinion about you) Most of us (and I’m guilty as well) question her faith. Give her bad rep. How can she tell Job to curse God and die? Why didn’t she support her husband? The devil must be in her. It’s easy for us to judge standing on the outside looking in. We don’t know the depth of her pain.

That’s why I asked you to imagine living the lifestyle as this nameless woman did. Going to church every Sunday, giving in tithes, general and special offerings, being obedient to God. Following your husband as he follows Christ. The Bible doesn’t give any indication of Job’s wife’s relationship with God, but it stands to reason she had one.

1St Peter 3:5-7-

For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

If they weren’t living this model, Job’s prayers would be hindered. He wouldn’t have the status he had. They knew their roles in their marriage. Women are meant to be the weaker vessel. I know we don’t like to hear it. But thank God for the strength of our husbands. For the single women, there is strength in your man of God.

(I am reading between the lines. As I picture the dialogue plays out between Job and his wife in verses 9-10)

Job’s wife being the weaker vessel, she watched as one by one the things she loved being taken away. She had to endure the deaths of all her children. She didn’t understand why it was happening, but with each thing being stripped from her, she broke. She was barely holding on by a thread, because she had Job. Then he is stricken with boils. She can only think, “Is he going to die next?” How much loss can one woman take before it’s too much to bear? She was hurt, broken and afraid and so she went to her husband with tears in her eyes and asked, “Job, look around you. Don’t you see what we’ve lost? Look what is happening to you. In all of this, do you still retain your integrity? She was confused and questioning how he could hold on to his principles. Inside she was pleading for him to help her. Then she looked at him, saw the boils on his body, moments before she saw him scraping them, she gave up and instructed him Curse God and die. She was expecting Job to be taken from her like everything else. She was broken, she couldn’t make sense of it. That’s all she could say. Note: she did not say “I curse God”, just that Job should. Job was the perfect and upright man and if God could do this to you, Job, just curse him. Now I know that isn’t the right attitude to have, but can we judge her not being in her shoes. We can say we won’t do that. There’s no way that I will ever allow myself to fall that low. I’m sure she may have thought the same thing….until her substance was gone, until her children were killed and until she feared she may lose her husband as well. She was saying if you’re going to die, do it now. Don’t give me hope you may live.

Job being the man of God he was understood her plight. He didn’t yell at her or chastise her angrily as some would have you believe.

Job 2:10- But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.

He probably took her in his arms to offer what comfort he could and rebuked her lovingly. “Thou speakest as one of the foolish women do. Shall God bless us with good and not evil?” He never called her a fool. He was saying “Dear, don’t be foolish. I know it’s hard but as we received the blessings of God, we must also endure the evil.” He was being the strength she needed. I can imagine that being salve to her broken spirit.

At the end of Job, his fortune is restored and his children. It doesn’t say he received a new wife to bear these children. Why, because Job didn’t leave his wife for what she said and God didn’t take her from Job. This nameless woman was there dealing with the same losses as her husband the best she could. God knew that they were strong enough together to get through their ordeal. God knows what we need. God knew what Job’s wife response would be. He also knew what she would need to get through the loss.

I believe some would say, Satan didn’t touch Job’s wife, because he thought he had her where he wanted.  To be Job’s undoing. I would venture to say, God kept her to help her husband to endure. We don’t know what happened before or after she spoke those ten little words. But they got through it together as a husband and wife should.

On a side note. One can wonder why Job’s wife responded the way she did. Where was her faith, her focus. My revelation to that is this….

During this time in her life, Job’s wife responded the way she did, because her focus was on the things of this world, not God. She got caught up with what she lost, she forgot to trust God in what He would restore. It’s important that we keep our focus on God in all things. 

Thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts with you!

KY Sunflower