“This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.” (Psalm 34:6)

Hello! How arimagese you? Happy New Year! I hope all is well with you as you sprint into the New Year. Its almost the middle of January….how crazy is that?

I would like to give glory to God for the new opportunities He has brought to me in this New Year! The one theme that always surprises me with the LORD (although it should’t) is that we pray for an answer and He provides it. Why do we act shocked when the answers to prayer come? “A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure.” (Proverbs 16:9)

Why do I say I pray in faith and doubt that He hears me? That attitude is wrong and more importantly, it reflects a heart of disbelief. And disbelief is sin. Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” (Hebrews 3:12-15) God is good and never lies, so, why not believe that He hears us and delivers us from our trouble and into new areas that are according to His will and filled with New Beginnings?

My encouragement to all of you is to trust God and know that He does hear when you cry out to Him and share your heart with Him.“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

As you Walk Every Day with Grace, I wish you a Happy New Year filled with newness of life that can only come from God. Be open and be ready for when God answers! He doesn’t have to think about your further.  He already knows it and has directed your steps towards. Just know that in order to receive it, you have to say yes to God and walk with Him.

In His Love,

Melody

“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)

Isaiah43v19.jpg.w560h396Hello! How are you? Can you believe it is New Year’s Eve already? I don’t know where 2014 went! It seems the older one becomes, the faster the clock turns.

The good news is that with the New Year one has the opportunity to do new things-which means New Beginnings.  I know many people make new resolutions for their new year. I now prefer to look at my new year as looking at new opportunities. Believe me, I wasn’t always like this. If anything, I tend to over-think and over analyze everything. So, what do you think God wanted me to learn?  “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)

As my friend Amy reminded me-reflection isn’t a bad thing, but, we need to be aware the about the amount of time we spend on the things that have passed and can no longer be changed. “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9) It can be very self-absorbing-which means self focused rather than God focused. The truth of the matter is that we walk through seasons within our lives. “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

As you Walk Every Day with Grace, know that God has everything new waiting for you should you want His will for your life. “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 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)

Know that with God comes newness of life but, we need to commune with Him and we do that through prayer…which is basically talking to God. “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) “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” (Mark 11:25-26). Also realize that in order to move forward, we can not keep looking at one was-whether it is past glories, or past regrets.  We need to have continual progression forward. “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, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)

In His Love,

Melody

I wish all of you a Happy, Healthy, Blessed New Year in Jesus! “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). “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)

 

“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

i9-baby Hello! How are you? Can you believe Christmas is here already? I’m sure many people will be celebrating with friends and family; and many will be attending church whether it’s an evening service, Midnight service on Christmas Eve; or an early service on Christmas morning-maybe for the very first time hearing about the birth of the One and Only Savior, Jesus Christ. Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.” (Luke 1:26-31) “The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)

Some people may not realize that our Creator chose to humble Himself to be born (by a virgin) as a baby so that He can identify what His creation would experience in this world. This means He went through a literal, physical birth. His mother conceived Him by the Holy Spirit and his earthly father, (not natural father), Joseph was hand-picked by God Himself. His supernatural birth was foretold as well as His Resurrection Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been eonceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 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 1:18-23)

As you celebrate the Miracle of Christmas, I hope you begin to understand that it is because of the birth of Jesus we have reconciliation with God. He bridged the gap so we can commune with God because God is with us. He is the one and only true authority over mankind and He is the only God who can guarantee eternal life-therefore, rejoice! For our Savior has come to save the whole world.

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 began saying 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. And when eight days had passed, before His circumcision, His name was then called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.” (Luke 2:1-21)

As you Walk Every Day With Grace, I wish a very Blesses, Merry Christmas and  leave you with one of my favorite Christmas songs, “O Holy Night”:

O Holy Night Lyrics
Christmas Carol Lyrics

Pause Music !

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O’er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friends.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

O Holy Night Lyrics
Christmas Carol Lyrics

In His Love,

Melody 

“Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, the young woman who is unmarried and a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel [God with us].” (Isaiah 7:14)

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 Hello. How are you? Last night was the first night of Hanukkah and it is (7) days to Christmas Eve-which means (8) days to Christmas? Can you believe it? This year seemed to have moved at such an incredible speed that it’s seems like a blur. It’s crazy that it went by so fast-especially once next week is over with, people might be thinking about new resolutions for their upcoming year-while leaving some old ones behind.

One of the issues we contend with during the Holidays is the false sense of “urgency” to shop and buy gifts NOW! Oh, it may seem to start slowly and subtly- then it steam rolls us like a train flying off the tracks! Then we become overwhelmed and possibly depressed because it doesn’t seem like we have enough time to get it all done. We act this way in the “name of Christmas”. But, do we truly stop to grasp who the Christ is in Christmas? Do we honestly realize the meaning for what we are celebrating? Do we really believe that “Jesus is the reason for the season?” Or, do we just accept Him as part of the “Holiday décor? Think about it. Do we actually comprehend that God is with us?” “Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted; propose your plan, but it will not stand, for God is with us. (Isaiah 8:10)

For Christians everywhere, the Christmas season is celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the One and Only intercessor between God and mankind; and He was aptly named “God with us”. He is with us even though He physically resides in the heavens. He inhabits the hearts (and lives) of those who already has received Him as LORD and Savior. Moreover, He is here with us and available to those who will call upon His name to accept Him. Immanuel, is with us. He was with us when we were in sin and He is with us when we repented and turned from our sin so He can continually lead us to everlasting life.  We will most likely stumble and fall when life throws it’s curve at us; but, He will still be with us. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

As you look upon the Manger scene during this Holiday season, notice how the God of this universe chose to be born into humanity so He could identify with us. He is omnipresent. He was, is and always be with us.  Just look for the sign and He will reveal Himself to youBEHOLD, 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)

As you walk Every Day With Grace, I would like to leave you with the lyrics from Michael Card’s song, “Immanuel”. It beautifully depicts God’s relationship with us this Christmas season and always.

Immanuel By Artist: Michael Card

A sign shall be given a virgin will conceive
A human baby bearing undiminished deity
The glory of the nations a light for all to see
That hope for all who will embrace His warm reality

Immanuel our God is with us
And if God is with us who could stand against us
Our God is with us
Immanuel

For all those who live in the shadow of death
A glorious light has dawned
For all those who stumble in the darkness
Behold your light has come

Immanuel our God is with us
And if God is with us who could stand against us
Our God is with us
Immanuel

So what will be Your answer? Will You hear the call?
Of Him who did not spare His son but gave Him for us all
On earth there is no power there is no depth or height
That could ever separate us from the love of God in Christ

Immanuel our God is with us
And if God is with us who could stand against us
Our God is with us
Immanuel

Immanuel our God is with us
And if God is with us who could stand against us
Our God is with us
Immanuel

 

“The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm—He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” (Psalm 121:5-8)

Psalm 121  Hello! How is everyone? I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! It is already December! How crazy is that? It feels as if someone is ripping pages off the calendar and I can’t keep up with it.  It definitely feels like it’s speeding up the aging process too.  (Oh no!! 🙂 )

I like this picture that I found online because we have a full moon tonight as well and it always makes me think about how God looks down and watches over His creation.  “The earth is the LORD’s and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein.” (Psalm 24:1) I always wonder what He’s thinking…alas, He doesn’t tell me. I know for myself I will go about my business and make plans about various things and I do not always take into account that I am not alone and that in fact, God is watching over me.  I can’t even imagine what circumstances I have avoided because of His protection.

Do you ever stop and realize that God is watching over you? He sees all and there is nothing hidden from His sight.  For instance, I just saw on the news a crime that involved an innocent pedestrian. It was very cold and rainy this week and this young woman was just walking quickly with her cell phone in hand and her head down (probably because of the rain) when this young, urban kid ran after her-jumped and kicked her in the back making her fall face down as he stole her cell phone.  You’re probably thinking “why is she telling this story?” I’m telling you this because I want to illustrate how God watches over His creation.  What the robber did not know was that this woman had an infant (3 or 4) month old baby strapped to the front of her like a papoose. So when she fell-she fell directly (and hard) right on top of her baby!.  The miracle is that the baby was completely unharmed from the fall and his mother falling on top of him. That, my friend, is the loving mercy and protection that only God could bring. Could God have had this situation avoided? Absolutely! Sadly, there is much evil in this world and God allows things for reasons we may never know and/or understand. Truthfully, He is God-He doesn’t have to share anything with us.  Do you tell your children everything? My guess is you probably don’t.  Yet, I know when people heard this story, the first thing out of there mouths were “Thank God the baby was unharmed and Okay as well as the mother. You see, God does not just get the acknowledgment, He gets the glory of who He is and His loving care even in a situation like this. “The LORD is my light and salvation; whom shall I fear?”  (Psalm 27:1) “God is our refuge and strength ; a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)

Even when I travel, I know my life is in God’s hand. I will for traveling mercies and a hedge of protection around me as I go to and from places in my every day life.  Even if I am not traveling and I am home alone-God still is watching over me and protecting me as a loving Father. I didn’t ask for it. I can’t buy it; and I certainly didn’t earn His love. It is His free gift to all who will partake of it.  “I sought the LORD and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried out, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. ”  (Psalm 34: 4-6)

As you walk Every Day With Grace, take heart and have peace knowing that you are never alone and God is always watching out for you. The second you cry out to Him and for Him-He is right there to stand by you and to guide you; and to love you.

In His Love,

Melody

 

 

“I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will show forth (recount and tell aloud) all Your marvelous works and wonderful deeds.” (Psalm 9:1 Amplified Bible)”

images

Hello! How are you? Getting ready for Thanksgiving? Will you be breaking out the usual traditional recipes? Will you be trying new ones? I just tried a new one for stuffing-it was just ok. I will not be using towards my meal.  Anyway, are you still able to focus on the important things for the holidays even though people start making themselves crazy…which in turn makes those around them  crazy? Has your focus become food any company driven? Is your upcoming Thanksgiving about being thankful or, is it completely stressful?

As a believer in Jesus, I truly appreciate Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, this holiday gets passed 0ver too quickly. It doesn’t get the acknowledgment it deserves. I guess for many people it starts the Christmas shopping rush extravaganza. Media has put the pressure on for shopping-not the holiday. Thanksgiving is a celebration of freedom and being thankful for all things bestowed on us from God. It should really have on reflect on their life and thank God for His provision. Believe me, I am certainly not naive to the hardships that are out there. Some are definitely worse than others.  But, believe it or not, God has a purpose for that in your life. “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

If you say “what do I have to be thankful for this year (or, at all)?” Start really thinking about your life.  Believe me, not everything is ideal all the time, but if you truly search your heart and look at your life, I bet you can up with at least (1) thing to be thankful for. God promises to provide our needs and many times He uses others to meet those needs. “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) He can do it supernaturally He chooses to. I remember a time I needed $500.00 to get my care fixed and I received (5) one hundred dollars bills in the mail-anonymously. God provided and I was able to get my car fix and I was able to share with others at my job the next day regarding the wonder of God and how He provided for me just when I needed it.

God is so good-especially when I know I don’t deserve His love or Mercy. Truth be told, according to scripture, the only thing I really deserve is hell and death-because the sinful nature I was born with would keep me separated from God because He is a Holy God. However, because of my acceptance of His Son, Jesus, into my heart and life, I no longer am separated from God. Jesus bridged the gap between God and me and for that I am forever grateful. “I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus”. (1 Corinthians 1:4)

As you Walk Every Day With Grace this Thanksgiving, it is my hope and prayer that you realize how blesses you are and give God (and maybe someone in your life) thanks. To be thankful is a choice. One can stay bitter and ungrateful-that is a choice as well. However the Bible says to choose life. Maybe you cannot give thanks for everything, but, I’m sure you can at least give God thanks for the breath you have and that you have lived to see another day because He lives in you.

In honor of Thanksgiving, I would like to give you the lyrics of the song “Give Thanks”, by Don Moen

Give Thanks

Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son

Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son

And now let the weak say, “I am strong”
Let the poor say, “I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us”

And now let the weak say, “I am strong”
Let the poor say, “I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us”

Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son

Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son

And now let the weak say, “I am strong”
Let the poor say, “I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us”

And now let the weak say, “I am strong”
Let the poor say, “I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us”
Give thanks

We give thanks to You oh Lord
We give thanks

In His Love,

Melody

“O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever!” (Psalm 107:1)

imagesHello! How are you? Can you believe that Thanksgiving  is (2) weeks away? I say it all the time-where does the time go? I think this holiday gets passed 0ver way too easily. For many people it’s about family, football, parades and lots of food. Oh, and Black Friday and the beginning of the mad rush to shop for Christmas.

Do you think people actually stop and evaluate their lives and give thanks for their lives; or, one another and more importantly…to God? Think about it. You woke up this morning-because God allowed it. Aren’t you thankful for that? “A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.” (Job 14:5)  When the holidays come upon us, we get caught up in the hustle and the bustle and the drama of everything and when that happens…we lose our peace. We lose our peace with God and we lose our peace within ourselves and each other. We forget our gratitude towards God; for everything He has done for us and for everything He has provided to us. He has given us our abilities, our strength, our vision and purpose; and because of that we MUST give Him thanks. For no other reason than He deserves at least that from His creation. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. “(James 1:17 )

 One of the reasons I like Thanksgiving is because it really does make one take a look at their lives. Unfortunately, it is easier to see the negative things in life, so it may take a little more effort to really examine the blessings one may actually have in one’s life.  But, when you do take that look, you can honestly say that life is not that bad. I remember hearing someone who was a Holocaust surviver say “every day above ground is a good day!” It puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?  Many people think they don’t have much to be thankful because we sometimes compare it to those who have more and have what we want.  We rarely compare it to those who are less fortunate and say “Thank you, God!” Some of us have been less fortunate and can appreciate an increase of God’s bounty of goodness; still, there others who cannot appreciate or, handle their blessings of increase because the focus is on self. One may think like King Nebachanezar and think “look what MY hands have built. (or increased). There’s no humility with that type of thinking.  There is no gratitude towards God.   Yet, in spite of all of that, God is still good and still  loves us and patiently waits for us to say “Thank You, Lord for loving me and providing what l need. You may not have given me everything I may want, but you are always faithful to provide for my needs!”  “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”                (1 Thessalonians 5:18) 

As we enter into our Thanksgiving season, it is my prayer that you take a look at your life and start thanking God for your life and everything He has done for you. I know some things are not easy. But I do know that God has a purpose and a plan for your life and the circumstances  that surround your life. “I will praise you, Lord, Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me. Surely God is my salvation;I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.” (Isaiah 12:1-2)

As you walk Every Day with Grace, start with just one thing to be thankful for and see how your thankfulness will become a way of life for you.

In His Love,

Melody

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6)