“Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:21-25)

30290Hello. How are you? How is life going in your day to day? Can you believe it is the middle of October? For me, this year has been a blur. On the one hand it seems like someone is ripping pages off the calendar; and on the other hand, it feel like time is standing still. 

In any event…for those who are believers and know God’s Word, should know that once they receive Jesus and begin reading and memorizing scripture, the Word becomes part of their innermost being. That is God’s way of keeping us alive-physically and spiritually speaking. When we go through life’s struggles-severe or not, the temptation of the world; desperately tries to pull us away from God.  Sadly, there are times when the flesh wins and we give in. But, we can always have God’s forgiveness if we ask. (“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.) (1 John 1:9)

So what is God saying in the above scripture? A couple of things; first, we need to choose to lay aside the filthiness and wickedness that surrounds us constantly and not let in or succumb to it. How? By receiving,   believing, and applying God’s Word that lives planted within us. Putting ourselves aside and letting God be first is humbling. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2: 8-9)

Another point is application-so there is no hypocrisy. You may be thinking “hypocritical to who?” Well, when we say we are believers, but, don’t behave as Christians, then we seem to “forget” whom we believe in.” This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far away from me.” (Matthew 15:8) “Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,” (Isaiah 29:13) God knows we only fool ourselves. We need to be consistent with our faith and relationship with God. We need to remember the gift of the Word and not forget the new life God has given to us,

We need to keep looking at God’s Word and remembering His promises that are there available for us whenever we need and want the Holy Spirit to be there for us whenever we ask That is the faithfulness of God.

As you continue Every Day with Grace, I hope you hold on to the promises of God that lives inside you and that you apply them so that you will not want to deceive yourself , your fellow man, or God. Be true and accept the gift God has for you. He loves you and wants you to have truth of His Word always inside you without the hypocrisy. God’s word is our true mirror which reflects what is going on in our lives. We just need to not forget His Mirror of His Word for our refections into our lives

In His Love,

Melody

 

 

 

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)

daily-image-112012

Hello. How are you? I hope all is well with your soul(s). I’m sorry that I have been MIA- (missing in action), but life happens and we all respond to it in our own way.

Anyway…the point is that as a believer, our focus should continually be on Jesus Christ especially since He is the author and finisher of our faith. fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2).  When we take our eyes off God, we keep them on ourselves.  What does that normally mean? It means we start making plans for ourselves regardless of God’s plan or will for us. How many times have we made plans and couldn’t get out of our own way?  Isn’t that ironic? Truly our vision is extremely limited when it is focused solely on self. 

Jesus must increase in our daily lives which means HE becomes the true focus of our existence and the only way that can happen is if we die to ourselves. So, what does that mean? That means that we need to seek the LORD for His Will for our lives and surrender what thoughts, ideas, or plans we had for ourselves. “For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13) Believers should want to decrease in order for Jesus to increase-that should exist in our inner most being and hearts. It’s when we surrender to God, we can objectively begin to see our inadequaticies before God. We are unable to serve God and walk in the holiness we are called to do when we do not allow God to increase in our lives.

This is when our faith has to be put in action. Please know this can be a struggle, but our faith is about Jesus and not us. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? (Romans 6:1-2)  We are sinners, but Jesus Christ is sinless. We were separated from God by sin, but Jesus Christ bridged the gap between God and man. We could not atone for our sin, but Jesus Christ paid the price in full when he died on the cross.  

God’s word is true and that is what we must solely stand on. When we put our focus on Christ instead of on ourselves, our whole perspective changes. By ourselves, we are slaves of sin… but in Christ, we have victory over sin. By ourselves, we are children of wrath bound for destruction… but in Christ, we have the hope of eternal life. By ourselves, we are separated from God by sin… but in Christ, we can come boldly before the presence of God, being cleansed of all sin not by our own works but by his holiness.

I know I want Jesus to increase in my life and for me to decrease. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20).  If I ask God to help me decrease, I know He will give me the grace to do so. However, I must obey Him just as much as I ask Him to help me. The time is growing short and I know I want my life to reflect more of Jesus so I can please Him and be a witness to others.  “Jesus says “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Our faith must be centered on Jesus Christ alone. Apart from him, we can do nothing.”

As you Walk Every Day with Grace and you know Jesus, join with me and allow Jesus to increase in our lives as we daily decrease in ourselves and our own ambitions. It’s like what my friend Amy says, “There are good things and there are Godly things”. Let’s always strive to increase Jesus in our lives so, that our lives and choices reflect more of Him and less of us.

In His Love,

Melody

To Be Like Jesus

To be like Jesus
To be like Jesus
All I ask – to be like Him
All through life’s journey
From earth to glory
All I ask – to be like Him.

 

 

 

 

 

“Blessed is the Nation whose God is the LORD.” (Psalm 33:12)


BOF09

Hello! How are you? I hope all is well since I have last spoken with you. Life has way of continuing on no matter what goes on in one’s life.  What’s the saying? “Life happens while you’re making plans”. Many people in many countries make plans but do not necessarily have the freedom to carry out their plans or wishes because they simply are not allowed.

Tomorrow is July 4th-our Independence Day in the United States. American citizens  will celebrate and honor their freedoms by attending barbecues, parades, togetherness with family, friends and, by the end of the day-fireworks.  The Declaration of Independence was written specifically for the CITIZENS of the  United States…not for the “guests” that stay in our country.  The men who wrote the Declaration were all God fearing, God honoring men. “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17).

These men held the Bible, and its’ principles as the highest Authority to govern a nation and the future of that nation.  These men prayed separately and corporately as they sought the counsel of God to write our Declaration of Independence.  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” (Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776). images

These visionary men knew that this nation could not survive without God governing it. So I will keep Your law continually, forever and ever. And I will walk at liberty, for I seek Your precepts” (Psalm 119:44-45).  As long as the Unites States continue to acknowledge their Creator in their lives, laws and government, it will be a Blessed and Free Nation under God. So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free”. (John 8:31-32) One might say “what truth?” The truth that because of God and His Son Jesus, we have freedom-in various ways in our lives and in this country. These truths are also the promise of God to His children and to His Creation; and He cannot deny Himself. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bonds laves of God” (1 Peter 2:15-16).So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). The freedom God offers us exceeds the physical and crosses directly into the spiritual. “But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life” (Romans 6:17-18, 22).
“For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:19-21).

As you Walk Every Day With Grace, I wish you a sobering reflection into our Country’s history and that you will see God in your celebration of our Freedom.

Star-spangled-banner-poster-george-delany

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Star Spangled Banner Lyrics
By Francis Scott Key 1814
Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early lighT What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight, O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep, Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep, As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,

In full glory reflected now shines in the stream: ‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more! Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave. From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!

Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven rescued land. Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.                                             Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”                                                                                          And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave. O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Download a printable PDF – The Star Spangled Banner lyricsUSA Flag Site © 2012 – 2015 | All Rights Reserved | Website Design by To the Top WSD&P |

“Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.” (2 Timothy 2:3-4)

slide1-n Hello! How are you? I hope all is well as we are sprinting into summer. This weekend we are celebrating Memorial Day-which means we, celebrate those who fought for the freedoms many of us take for granted.

It is a privilege to live in the United States-that’s why many people still immigrate to this land to take advantage of, or engage in the voice and freedoms of America.  Our History is young in comparison to other countries, but look at what was accomplished.  Our country has had its share of war and bloodshed and God has seen it every bit of it and we are to honor those who chose to lay down their lives for their country and fellow man. “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13). “Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.” (Romans 13:7).“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18).

God is very aware of who His creation is and who belongs to Him as His children. Death grieves His heart when any of His creation passes away, but, He is there to receive those who belong to Him. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones.” (Psalm 116:15). However, there are those who purposely did not chose God for their life. “The memory of the righteous is blessed, but the name of the wicked will rot.” (Proverbs 10:7).

As believers, we are to have the same loyalty, devotion and steadfastness as a soldier. God views His own as children and soldiers because our lives are always in a spiritual battle and we need to know for whom we are fighting-and more importantly, knowing who are enemy is. “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”(1 Peter 5:8). “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” (1 Corinthians 16:13). That is why the scriptures says for us to: “Take [with me] your share of the hardships and suffering [which you are called to endure] as a good (first-class) soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier when in service gets entangled in the enterprises of [civilian] life; his aim is to satisfy and please the one who enlisted him.” (2 Timothy 2:3-4)

I thank God that His mercies are new every morning and I am so grateful for the men, women, fathers, mothers, brothers and sister who chose to serve and protect their lives on for me and my country.  I’m thankful for our police as well as our soldiers. That is why they are continually in my prayers.

As you walk Every Day With Grace, please pray for your military and say thank you when you see a  soldier. You remain free because they are here to protect us from various enemies.

I do want to say THANK YOU to all of our Military Personnel. I salute you and have so much appreciation for your dedication.

I like to leave you with

“THE BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC”
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.

Refrain:
Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah! His truth is marching on.
I have seen Him in the watch fires of a hundred circling camps
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps;
His day is marching on. (Refrain …)

I have read a fiery Gospel writ in burnished rows of steel;
“As ye deal with My contemners, so with you My grace shall deal”;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with His heel,
Since God is marching on. (Refrain …)

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet;
Our God is marching on. (Refrain …)

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free;
While God is marching on. (Refrain …)

He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
He is wisdom to the mighty, He is honor to the brave;
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of Time His slave,
Our God is marching on. (Refrain …)

Footnote:
One of the major poetic products of the American Civil War, the Battle Hymn of the Republic was written by Unitarian laywoman Julia Ward Howe to supply a more uplifting set of lyrics for the stirring tune of “John Brown’s body” which she had heard Union soldiers singing as they marched southward. It was first published in February, 1862, issue of The Atlantic Monthly, though the version printed there lacks the refrain as well as the sixth verse.

Battle Hymn of the Republic is the common title of the text, and commonly used also as a tune name. The original title was The Battle Hymn of the Republic. (1819-1910)

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)

comfortHello! How are you? How is life moving along for you? Are you enjoying the springtime? I can’t believe it’s near the end of April. Time marches on-as expected.

I was thinking about the comfort that God gives to us freely. Sometimes I truly cannot comprehend the depth of God’s comfort towards His children and creation. When it comes to one’s mourning, it is very personal. “Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy. (Proverbs 14:10)

God provides His comfort through His Word, through some very good friends, family and in spending time with Him.  I chose this picture because I love the thought of Jesus carrying a child and holding them tightly and closely to Himself. I also like how the child is surrendered and peaceful as she rests in the arms of Jesus. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 )  Since Jesus is our ultimate Father, it wouldn’t matter how old His children are to show them how much He would love them enough to carry and comfort them.

One’s mourning probably runs deep throughout their body and soul; so people tend to withdraw and deal with or come to terms of their own emotions.  The truth of the matter is that one must hold on to hope and the knowledge that their sorrow will lesson in time. “ Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5 ) We are not exempt from hardship or sorrow on this side of the grave. However, when we place our hope and lives in Jesus, He really does gives us inner peace that surpasses understanding. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7) The promise God has for us is that one day when we leave this life and we go to be with Him, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4) God cares for us so much that He even collects our tears and saves them. That’s how special we are to Him.“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” (Psalm 56:8)

As you walk Every Day With Grace, it is my hope that you find comfort in Jesus whether you just met Him for the first time, or if you have an ongoing relationship with Him since you were a child-Jesus will never leave you. You many feel lonely at times, but, you are not alone. “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” (John 14:18) Even in sorrow, God has a purpose for it in our lives-even when that seems impossible…and for some-unbearable. But God always has a plan for the issues in our lives.

In His Love,

Melody

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

 

“…the men said to them, Why do you look for the living among [those who are] dead? He is not here, but has risen!” (Luke 24:5-6)

images

Hello. How are you? How have you been? Are you glad the snow has finally stopped and spring is on its way?  I know I am. I’m looking forward to everything that spring has to offer with new beginnings.

Tomorrow is Easter and will be celebrated in many cultures. For those who are believers, we like to call it Resurrection Sunday because Jesus was resurrected on the third day of His death as prophecy (and He) had foretold after He was nailed to a cross so He would take away the sins of mankind,

Jesus does not want mankind to die in its sin and go to hell.  Some people think they could do whatever they want because they think “when you’re dead, you’re dead.” Not so; there is an afterlife and everyone will meet their Creator- or as some say…their maker. When one does not know Christ, though they live (physically) they are dead in their sins and this will cause eternal separation from God without asking Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins. For those who do believe and have asked Jesus to forgive their sins while on this side of the grave, though they die, they will live eternally with God and Jesus forever.

My blog will be very short today. I wish you all a Blessed Resurrection Sunday and hope that you meet Jesus on this side while you still can ask for the forgivenss and have eternity to sit with your King of Kings and dine at His table.  It’s just a matter of confession and faith. Do you believe God loves you and wants to spend eternity with you? Or, do you think you want to take a chance because you think you can outsmart God?

As you Walk Every Day With Grace, know that the past is gone and we are not promised tomorrow.  But, we do have right now…the present to choose life.  “Jesus said to her: “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”(John 11:25-27)

In His Love,

Melody

 

 

 

“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.” (Psalm 116:15)

psalm_116-15 Hello! How are you? I say it all the time…I can’t believe how fast time is moving. It is a New Year and for some-new things are happening! We go about our business implementing our plans and hoping that it comes out the way it’s supposed to. That’s how we think-like we have all the time in the world. But, is it like that with God? Who is in control of our lives anyway? Ourselves? Or God? “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’” (James 4:13-15)

As believers, we are to make wise decisions about how we live and ultimately, we should learn to trust God and understand that He truly is sovereign and in control of all things. You may be asking “what does this have to do with anything?” I’ll tell you. I think many of us go through our lives without much thought as to how we are livens g and what we are doing; and mostly thinking we have more time then we may know.A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his” (Proverbs 16:9)

This week I heard of the sudden passing of a Pastor from my friend’s church. He was a good family man. He was known as a very good Bible teacher and caring Pastor of his congregation.  He was returning home from his trip from upstate New York during inclement weather and spun out on black ice and hit a tree. He is now home with the LORD. He was going about His business-and most likely the Lord’s business when his accident occurred and in an instant, the LORD called him home. For those who believe in Christ, they will have the a surety to live with God forever. “
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” (Psalm 23:6)  Some people may not even realize that Jesus cares for His own in the afterlife. For us it may “afterlife” but, with Jesus it is eternal life that just continues. Jesus prepares a special place for believers in heaven. 
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”  (John 14:1-3)

But what happens for those who don’t believe? Some people think that when you die-that’s it. They may not realize that they are body, soul and spirit and that when they die they instantaneously are in the presence of God. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.(Hebrews 9:27-28) There are some who may not realize that they will in fact be judged for how they lived their lives whether they knew Jesus or not. No one escapes judgement from God. “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done.  Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:11-15)

When one has Jesus in their life on this side of the grave, it bridges the relationship between God and man. Physical death is one thing, but, spiritual death is another.Being Born Again continues our relationship with God-which gives us eternal life with God versus not knowing Jesus and being eternally separated from God. “Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:
 Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
 O death, where is your sting?”
For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:54-57)

Remember, we are not guaranteed tomorrow for we do not know when we will meet the LORD; therefore, as God provides the invitation to meet His Son, Jesus, we should receive Jesus into our lives and have eternal fellowship with God. God is a gentleman. He does not force His way into our lives-that’s why we must invite Him in to our hearts. He even helps us repent from sin by knowing our hearts and revealing what’s in it. “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Psalm 139:23-24)

In His Love,

Melody