Archive | March 2014

“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)

proverbs_16_9_inspirational_bible_verse_cards-r684666b363794f4ea1976a597d074489_xvuak_8byvr_512Hello. How is everyone?  Spring is finally here and the weather changes prove it.  I feel change is in the air and a need to “spring clean” not only inside the house, but, inside ourselves as well.  In other words, it may be time to break from some old ways and habits and embrace new ones that God has for us.

It has been a long winter and I think most people (if not all people) are emotionally spent and not sure where or how to break from the winter blues-especially when everything seems so over-whelming. It feels like one is digging oneself out of a pit and is trying to enter the world on a simpler note.  That’s why it is so important to reach out to God and turn to Him. He is the only who can carry us when we are over-whelmed and He is the only one we can count on to carry us through our circumstances.

One constant message in God’s word is that He loves us and cares for us.  That is what we need to hold on to when everyone and everything else seems to be against us, God loves us and cares for us-so much so He died for us so we can spend eternity with Him.  One of the hardest issues I find is trying to convince other people that God loves them.  Everybody seems to be in crisis mode, which means their focus is only on themselves and that makes it harder for them to look towards God. We have to really know that God does love us and has a plan for us. I know it’s hard to concentrate or believe God’s promises when one is going through tough times, but, it is something we really need to strive for.  The enemy of our souls is always out to take our mind and attention off of God. Even though God may be saying “look over here, I have something wonderful for you”, the enemy, (known as Satan and the Devil) may say  “you can’t look over at what God has because of the circumstances you are going through. The enemy comes along to devour and to try take our life. That is constant job-to try to take believers from God and to keep people from meeting God. “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1Peter 5:8)  However, God want us to always CHOOSE LIFE. “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

God promises are true and amen. His Word does not return void. That is His promise. His mercies are new every morning.  That is our hope when we feel we can’t get passed where we are.  Spring brings us a new season. This new season can be filled with hope, change, a new beginning…whatever we choose-but we must always choose LIFE!  We cannot let the enemy win.  He may get us discouraged while we are looking down, but the SON is always shining above us because He is the lifter of our heads!

I pray that as we enter into spring, we will welcome change and also new beginnings, regardless of how different or unfamiliar it can be. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.   And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.  Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God.”  (Ezekiel 36:26-28)

 I pray that as we enter into spring, we will welcome change and new beginnings, regardless of how different or unfamiliar it can be.  The journey with God always continues on and goes forward.  “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.  He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”  (Zephaniah 3:17)

There is no going backwards with God.  I think by looking back, proves we are not putting faith in God for what He has for us as we move forward with Him. When Lot and his family left Sodom, God said don’t look back. Lot’s wife turned to look back and immediately turned into a pillar of salt.  Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. But “Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.” (Genesis 19:25-26) Her disobedience and lack of faith cost her, her life. There is only one way with God and that is upward. When Jesus returns to the earth, the Bible says we will be taken up to meet Him in the air. He is not checking the graves of believers-their spirits will be coming out of the grave and going up with God.

As you Walk Every Day With Grace, I hope you spring into your new life as you enter this new season. Be open for all changes and whatever God has for you because He will never leave you nor forsake you. “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”  “The most important one,” answered Jesus,  “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.  There is no commandment greater than these.”  Mark 12:28:31

In His Love,

Melody

My prayer for you is this: “May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”  Psalm 20:4  

“This is the history of the generations of Noah. Noah was a just and righteous man, blameless in his [evil] generation; Noah walked [in habitual fellowship] with God. (Genesis 6:9)

1-8_noah-arkHello! How is everyone? How did you survive your week?  Spring has officially sprung!  Hooray for spring, However, there is a possibility  of snow again by Monday night into Tuesday here in the Northeast. It is what it is. God is in control of all things-including the weather.

Speaking of weather related matters, I understand a new movie is coming out about Noah. I’m sure most people are aware of the story of Noah, but, for those who do not take the Bible literally, Noah was a real person. His name is first mentioned in Genesis at the end of chapter Genesis 5:32 and his story all the way through chapter 10. Let me give you some info regarding God’s Book, the Bible; there are 66 books in the Bible. It starts at Genesis and ends with Revelation. By chapter 6 God is already grieved by His creation of mankind because of their evil hearts and behavior. The sinfulness of mankind is so rampant that God decides that the only way to cleanse all of His creation is to bring a great flood upon the earth to destroy the wickedness that continually exists before Him. “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.  The Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” (Genesis 6: 5-7)  Again, all of this transpired very quickly since God created the earth, the animals and mankind.  The Bible states that Noah was a righteous man and He walked with God. That means he had an intimate relationship with God and found grace (favor) in God’s sight.   “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” (Genesis 6:8)

“Then God said to Noah,“The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth. Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch.” (Genesis 6:13-14)  “Behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish. But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.” … “And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive.  As for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them. Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did.(Genesis 6:17-22)

This would take Noah and his three sons 120 years to build this ark. God gave Noah specific instructions how to build this. He gave him the measurements and what type of wood to use. I want you to know that at this point in time the people never saw rain. Their water supply was already provided by way of springs and pools from the ground.  As Noah and his sons were building the ark, Noah was telling the people of the coming judgement that God had told him. People must have thought of him as crazy. “Prepare to come in to the ark”  “What’s an ark?” “What’s a flood?” “God wouldn’t do that to me. He loves me!” “Why are you wasting your time building that thing?” “There’s no end coming that we need to prepare for!” God in His mercy warned the people of the judgment  that He was going to bring. All they had to do was agree with Noah and go with him into the ark-but, nobody did.

When Noah completed building the ark, God gave Noah instructions again to now go and get two of every animal and birds to bring them into the ark. Do you see that God was saving them and bringing them into the ark? He wasn’t going to re-invent His creation; rather, He was preserving His creation (including Noah’s family) for their new life after the ark. After this was done, God told Noah and his family to come into the ark. “And the Lord said to Noah, Come with all your household into the ark, for I have seen you to be righteous (upright and in right standing) before Me in this generation.” (Genesis 7:1)  Just for your information, the way God had Noah build the ark, there was only one door to get into the ark -just one way to enter into the salvation of God. After Noah and his family went into ark, the door to the ark was open for seven more days.”For after seven more days, I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights; and I will blot out from the face of the land every living thing that I have made.” Noah did according to all that the Lord had commanded him.” (Genesis 7:4-5) That means even though the people had seen the completion of the ark and the protection it provided, they still refused to enter in even though Noah pleaded with them to come. Then God shuts the door. “On the very same day Noah and Shem and Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark,  they and every beast after its kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, all sorts of birds.  So they went into the ark to Noah, by twos of all flesh in which was the breath of life. Those that entered, male and female of all flesh, entered as God had commanded him; and theLord closed it behind him.”(Genesis 7:13-16) God shuts the door of the ark to keep Noah and his family secure in their salvation in God as well as the door keeps out those who refused to receive God’s promise. In the same way Jesus is the door to our salvation So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. (John 10:7-9) Noah was a type of Christ -he provided and eternal escape for people as well, but, nobody wanted it either.  

It is always the love and mercy of God that is extended to mankind.  However, God does come to a point of grief when we do not learn and follow his ways. That’s  why Jesus must say,  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)

As you walk Every Day With Grace, know that God loves you and has made a way of escape should you choose receive it.

In Hi Love,

Melody

I found some interesting food for thought regarding Noah:

Noah’s Ark Everything I need to know, I learned from Noah’s Ark…
ONE: Don’t miss the boat.
TWO: Remember that we are all in the same boat.
THREE: Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.
FOUR: Stay fit. When you’re 60 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
FIVE: Don’t listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
SIX: Build your future on high ground.
SEVEN: For safety’s sake, travel in pairs.
EIGHT: Speed isn’t always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
NINE: When you’re stressed, float awhile.
TEN: Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.
ELEVEN: No matter the storm, when you are with God, there’s always a rainbow waiting.

 

 

 

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“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5 NIV)

images   Hello! How is everyone? How is your week going?  I hope your relationship with God is growing as times are getting tougher and tougher. I tell you, you can’t even turn on the news without hearing some horrible news that people are doing without any form of conscience. I’m sure you p robably have said or heard someone say  “when I was younger, people never did…or, nobody would never have thought of behaving so….”  Sin is so rampant these days-there’s no hiding it and the sad part is I’m sorry to say is that it’s only going to get worse; not because I’m being negative; not because it’s my opinion, because God has stated it in His word, the Bible.

I had a crazy week (I’m sure, like many of you) and there was such a provoking spirit working through so many people that it made me nuts! The worst part is my reaction to all the bad behavior of others. I know I am a child of God, but, unfortunately I got caught up in it all. It doesn’t seem like many people do not have boundaries towards respecting others. The scripture says I should avoid such people-instead I wind up challenging them  The problem when I do that is, I take matters into my own hands instead of turning over the situation to God. The real issue is spiritual. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (Ephesians 6:12-18 NIV)

 The character of people have steadily moved away from the holiness of God throughout the ages. That is why Jesus spoke of this when He was on the earth the first time. The Bible basically covers every aspect of life and all applicable situations. Some references are not literal for the times we are living in now but, principles are timeless. So even though the Bible was written two thousand years ago, God made His word , warning and applications available to all throughout the ages “Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.  But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.  You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.  For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night.  But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.  For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:1-9)

We are also not exempt from behaving the same way as it says in 2 Timothy. For those of us who are God’s children, it’s an exhortation for us to get back on track with God prior to His second coming. For those who do not belong to Jesus, it is a loving warning to repent and get right with God prior to His return so that they do not wind up in hell.“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking,marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left. (Matthew 24:35-41)

As you walk Every Day With Grace, I ask that you become aware of the times we are living in and draw closer to God “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.  (James 4:7-10)

In His Love,

Melody

God loves you and does not rescind His promises. That why it is written:”For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” (John 3:16-17)

 

 

 

 

“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

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Hello.  How is everyone? How are you progressing forward as we are now officially in March?  The beginning of spring is only days away-which of course brings a new season and a new chapter in our lives! I don’t know about you; but after this very long winter, I want to embrace a new season!   My friend, Amy and I have been praying for months (especially during this winter) that God would cause change in our lives. One thing we learned for certain is that one needs to be as specific as possible in prayer because you may pray in one direction; and God may answer it in a way that seems to come out of left field!.“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)

You may ask, “so, what are you trying to say?” The point is that there are seasons in our lives. Some may be physical (a growth of a child; relocating to a new home…) some may be emotional When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” (1 Corinthians13:11), and many seasons are spiritual “To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-Amplified) I realize that there are various reactions when a season in life comes to an end.  Sometimes we struggle to let go because even though we may not be comfortable in our season, but, we are familiar with it-thus letting go is difficult because we see the season only from our perspective and not from God’s perspective.“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.”  (Jeremiah 29:11) I think the hard part for most of us is believing that God actually does have plans for us and that’s why we don’t let go of our current season.“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”  (Isaiah 43:18-19)

The way I see it, the only choice we really have is to move forward with God. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”  (1 Peter 1:3) God is faithful to His own; He will show us how to move with change. “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”  (Psalm 90:12) I think one of the great things in a new season, is that it gives us the opportunity to re-evaluate and re-organize our lives. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.   And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.   Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God.” (Ezekiel 36:26-28) I am so grateful God gives us new seasons in our lives just as He gives us actual physical seasons as well. For instance-today was a beautiful, sunny, warm day! A day like this, gives us something to really look forward to as we gradually enter a new season. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 3:13-14)

As you walk Every Day With Grace, and as we enter Spring, try to really embrace the season God is bringing you in to. Don’t let the fear of the unknown stand in the way of what God wants to do in your lives. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” (Lamentations 3: 22-24)

I want to leave you with some additional promises of God’s Word for you to hold on to as you enter your new season:

“A blessing for you, because the Lord your God loves you.”  (Deuteronomy 23:5)

 “May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”  (Psalm 20:4)

 “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.  Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,…” (1 Chronicles 16:11-12)

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”  (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.”  (James 1:17-18)

In His Love,

Melody

 

 

 

 

“Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and delight yourself in abundance. Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, according to the faithful mercies shown to David. (Isaiah 55:1-3)

IMG_0482 Hello! How is everyone? Just when we thought we were free and clear from the snowstorms, boom… another one is hitting the Northeast tomorrow night (Sunday)! Seriously, we are all done with this weather! Spring is (3) weeks away-and it cant come soon enough!  As you already know with the rising temperature everything is so expensive and it seems that the colder it gets, prices like food and gas & oil haves gone up in a very short amount of time.

It seems like there is a price for everything and certainly there is no such thing as a free lunch.  However, the only thing that does not cost money is God’s invitation for eternal life. That’s why I choose the above scripture. The invitation to come is not really meant for temporal things. God’s invitation has eternal value. He invites those without money to come and accept something so precious that He does not put a price on it, but, gives it away freely to those who will accept it. “As for me, I shall call upon God, And the Lord will save me. Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur, And He will hear my voice. He will redeem my soul in peace from the battle which is against me, For they are many who strive with me. God will hear and answer them—Even the one who sits enthroned from of old— Selah. With whom there is no change, And who do not fear God.” (Psalm 55:17-19)  Can you understand that the only act of participation we are to have is to trust God because there nothing we can physically, emotionally, or monetarily do?  One cannot earn or buy their eternal life. See how God extends His continual invitation to us? “Seek the Lord while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion on him, and to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6-7) “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12)

Isn’t God so amazing? He doesn’t care what we look like, what we wear, what drive, how much is or is not in bank accounts-all He cares about is sharing eternity with us, but the only way to do it is if we accept His invitation to salvation. Why would we want to pass this up when God is the only who loves us unconditionally? “Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. TheLord executes righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel…” (Psalm 103:1-8) “Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” (Psalm 55:22)

God has a plan for your life! Where you are does not matter, what matters is whether or not you satisfy that longing in your spirit that says ” I believe there is a God, but, why would He want me when I have nothing to give Him?” For those who may feel that way, this what God has to say to you…For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;  It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. For you will go out with joy And be led forth with peace; The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, And all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thorn bush the cypress will come up, and instead of the nettle the myrtle will come up, and it will be a memorial to the Lord, for an everlasting sign which will not be cut off.” (Isaiah 55:8-13)

Please know “for all have sinned  and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.” (Romans 3:23-26)

As you walk Every Day With Grace know that if you are hungering in your spirit, soul, and body for God, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6) “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time.” (1Peter 5;6)

In His Love,

Melody