Archive | December 2013

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13)

images 4

Hello! How is everyone? Are you feeling melancholy as 2013 comes to an end?  Are you prepared for 2014?  I know-too many questions, but there are so many changes that are coming our way (especially in the United States) that I believe it needs to be addressed.  I am one of those people who ponder things (sometimes to a fault); however, I try my best to be prepared and make the best decisions possible when the situation calls for it.

I must admit-I don’t always succeed with my plans or decisions…so, that is when I give it over to God. 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 your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) Another translation of this scripture is written this way: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; don’t rely on your own intelligence. Know him in all your paths, and he will keep your ways straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6, Common English Bible) I like that-don’t rely on your own intelligence. Do you realize how much trouble we get in to when we rely solely on our own intelligence?  When I walk in humility that notion gives me the chills.  When I walk in arrogance, God’s will is not even a thought in my head. Thank God, His mercies are new every morning! He gives me yet another opportunity to get things right with Him.

I know as I enter this new year, I want to know what God’s thoughts are towards me. I want to know when and where He will make my paths straight so that when I pray and seek Him, He will say to me (and you) “this is the way, walk in it.” I believe the keys to this type of relationship to God are surrender, trust, faith and obedience. That is to say, I willingly want to surrender my plans and exchange them for His. I need to trust to believe His Word is true and that His timing to any and all of my situations is perfect, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24); knowing that God will still act on my behalf if I only have the strength of faith of that of a mustard seed; “So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20); and most importantly, obedience to God-whatever the cost-it is only for our benefit. “But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel15:22) “And this is love: that we walk in obedience to His commands. As you have heard from the beginning, His command is that you walk in love. I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.” (2 John 1:6-7)

Believe it or not, God has a plan for your life. I don’t know what the future brings, but, I do know that God is in control of the future regardless of what it brings. Hopefully, there will be good things, but as life has proven repeatedly, unfortunate things happen as well and believe it or not, God will not be caught off guard by any of it.  The Bible says: “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” (Proverbs 27:1) That’s why Jesus said: “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] (John 16:33-Amplified) “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John14:27) You see, all one has to do, call upon the name of Jesus and He is there for us. “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” (Proverbs 18:10)

As you enter 2014, I ask that you join me in seeking God’s will for our lives and surrender everything (family, job, housing, finances, education, health, etc…) all provision to God and trust that He will take care of us.

As you walk Every Day With Grace, I would like to leave the following promises of God for encouragement as we choose to receive the plans that God has for our the future:

“I call on the LORD in my distress, and He answers me.” (Psalm 120:1)

“Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you.” (1 Peter5:7)

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

” I have set the LORD always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” (Psalm 16:8)

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3)

‘You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.  Away from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commands of my God!” (Psalm 119:114-115)

“It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn Your decrees.” (Psalm 119:71)

“My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.” (Psalm 119:50)

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, whois against us?  He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:28-39)

I wish you a Happy, Healthy, Blessed New Year with Jesus!

In His Love,

Melody

 

 

 

 

 

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this. “(Isaiah (9:6-7)

 

 

iPhoto LibraryHello! How is everyone doing this Christmas Season?  I hope you survived your holiday shopping and preparation for this Christmas. I know the pressure can be unbearable, yet we somehow manage to get everything done.

As you celebrate Christmas, know that God loves you; and has presented the gift of eternal life through His Son, Jesus to you.  God has a purpose and a plan for your life, so why not accept salvation through Jesus today?  The Bible says “For He says: In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2).  Over two thousand years ago, GOD made the announcement to the world that a Savior, His Son, was born in a manger. He could have chosen a royal palace for Jesus’ birth; but, instead God chose to identify with His creation through a humbleway of life.  It is through Jesus Christ alone that we have peace with God and can have peace with mankind.

Below is the message of the birth of Jesus which is found in the Bible, the Gospel of Luke 2:1-20:

Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.  And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

“In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;  for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds begansaying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.”  So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.  The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.” (Luke 2:1-20)

God does not go back on His Word.  His promises are true and forever-that’s why He put it all down in His book for us to read, apply and to hope in. Jesus is the Reason for the Season. “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)  “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.”(Philippians 2:8-10)

As you walk Every Day With Grace, it is my prayer that you have a Blessed Christmas and that you reflect on the good gifts God has given you through His love in His Son, Jesus.

In His Love,

Melody

I leave you with one of the most cherished Christmas songs proclaiming the good news of Jesus:

Hark the Herald Angels Sing  (Text: Charles Wesley, 1707-1788; alt. by George Whitefield and others)

        Hark! the herald angels sing, 
	"Glory to the new born King, 
	peace on earth, and mercy mild, 
	God and sinners reconciled!" 
	Joyful, all ye nations rise, 
	join the triumph of the skies; 
	with th' angelic host proclaim, 
	"Christ is born in Bethlehem!" 
	Hark! the herald angels sing, 
	"Glory to the new born King!" 

2.	Christ, by highest heaven adored; 
	Christ, the everlasting Lord; 
	late in time behold him come, 
	offspring of a virgin's womb. 
	Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; 
	hail th' incarnate Deity, 
	pleased with us in flesh to dwell, 
	Jesus, our Emmanuel. 
	Hark! the herald angels sing, 
	"Glory to the new born King!" 

3.	Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace! 
	Hail the Sun of Righteousness! 
	Light and life to all he brings, 
	risen with healing in his wings. 
	Mild he lays his glory by, 
	born that we no more may die, 
	born to raise us from the earth, 
	born to give us second birth. 
	Hark! the herald angels sing, 
	"Glory to the new born King!" 

 


 

“Every good and perfect gift comes from above, from the Father who made the sun, moon and stars.” (James 1:17)

 

image01

Hello! How is everyone? Is everyone surviving the hustle & bustle of the holidays?  I bet many people are getting ready to wrap their gifts (if they have not done so already) and put them strategically under the tree in anticipation of Christmas.  Or, for those like myself who did not put up a tree, I have all of my gifts wrapped and neatly placed to one side of my living room waiting to be given out to family and friends.

I am sure that most of the time when one thinks about gifts, it is a happy, notion filled with wonderful anticipation. But, what about those who do not like to open their gifts right away? Or, worse…what about those who do not like to receive gifts at all? You may think “What?! Who doesn’t like to receive gifts?” Believe it or not, there are people who don’t like to receive anything-gifts, compliments, love, etc….  Now, there could be various reasons as to why one would feel that way.  It could be a self-image issue; meaning that one may think or feel they are not worth much of anything to deserve any form of a gift. Or, someone may feel obligated to give something back once they received their gift -whether or not they have the finances or even like the person-they do not want to feel indebted to anyone. And yet, another reason for someone to be this way could be a prideful attitude: “I don’t need anyone; I can take care of myself! “I’ll do it myself.” “I’ll buy it myself, etc…” The sad part about that attitude is that you rob yourself and that other person of a blessing because God uses people to show His love to one another.

You may ask, “What gift has God given me? What has God done for me?” The answer: His Son, Jesus. “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)  Through God’s love and mercy, He imparted the gift of eternal salvation through His Son, Jesus.  “Jesus said: “I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest” (John 10:10). “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17) You may think :“God can’t identify with me!” “He’s too big and I’m not important enough.” His response would be: “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11) “You may ask, How?” His Word to you is: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7)

You see, our sin is what separates us from God and everything He has to offer. “Adam sinned, and that sin brought death into the world. Now everyone has sinned, and so everyone must die.” (Romans 5:12)  If we compare ourselves one to another, we probably think we don’t sin…but we do. “All of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s holiness (Romans 3:23).  “As it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.  All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” (Romans 3:10-12)  “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23).  You are probably thinking that this is a message thing to say to everyone, but I tell you in God’s love, it is the truth and the only truth that matters is God’s truth.

That’s why God gave salvation as a free gift. We can’t earn and in reality, we don’t deserve it. But once we receive it through the acceptance of Jesus Christ into our hearts and lives, it is ours forever!  “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) “For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.) (Romans 11:29 Amplified)

This why God’s redeemable gift is so special. The Bible says There is only one God, and Christ Jesus is the only one who can bring us to God. (1Timothy 2:5). This Christmas, accept God’s free gift of salvation if you have not done so already. All you need to do is: 1) admit you are a sinner and need forgiveness; 2) believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the Cross and rose from the grave; and 3) through prayer (talking to God) confess that Jesus Christ is the only way to God and commit to live for Him for the rest of your life.

I pray that you accept the gift God has waiting for you. It’s your choice to accept His gift of love and salvation. This is a gift that need not to be returned.

In His Love,

Melody

Joy to the World

Text: Isaac Watts, 1674-1748
Music: Arr. from G.F. Handel by Lowell Mason, 1792-1872
Tune: ANTIOCH, Meter: CM with Repeat

 

Joy to the world, the Lord is come! 
	Let earth receive her King; 
	let every heart prepare him room, 
	and heaven and nature sing, 
	and heaven and nature sing, 
	and heaven and nature sing. 

2.	Joy to the world, the Savior reigns! 
	Let all their songs employ; 
	while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains 
	repeat the sounding joy, 
	repeat the sounding joy, 
	repeat the sounding joy. 

3.	No more let sins and sorrows grow, 
	nor thorns infest the ground; 
	he comes to make his blessings flow 
	far as the curse is found, 
	far as the curse is found, 
	far as the curse is found. 

4.	He rules the world with truth and grace, 
	and makes the nations prove 
	the glories of his righteousness, 
	and wonders of his love, 
	and wonders of his love, 
	and wonders of his love. 

 

 


“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:23)

imagesHello!  How is everybody? How was your Thanksgiving and/or Hanukkah? I hope it was blessed with lots of love from family and friends.  It’s crazy how quickly Christmas is coming!  For those who are getting their best buys, please be mindful of your surroundings as well as your spending.  Sometimes I think bills catch up to us before the holidays even begin.”More importantly to the shopping and running around  and all the craziness that comes with this season is the real reason for this holiday specifically.  I’m sure many of you have heard “Jesus is the reason for the season”.  We celebrate a holiday called Christmas. Sometimes people forget that Jesus is in fact, the Christ in the meaning of Christmas.  He is Messiah-Savior to all of mankind. It was His birth that was foretold way before He made His appearance on this earth.  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was  God. He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.  In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:1-4) His name is God With Us! How awesome is that? The God of this universe left his throne in heaven to be with His creation.  GOD WITH US!  “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (1 John 1:14) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)  

GOD is with us! That is what we are truly celebrating-God’s communion with mankind. God chose to be with us! How awesome is that?  And just so we wouldn’t miss it, He even announced to us. “the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11) The fact that God is with us is is His present to all of us. “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift”                           (2 Corinthians 9:15)  “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17)

 As we enter into this Christmas season, know that all one has to do is to receive and embrace the gift of God With Us. His eternal love is available for all those who knowingly will accept His gift. 

As you walk Every Day With Grace, know that God is With Us because Jesus is the Reason for the season.  “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:21-23)

In His Love,

Melody