Praying for this nation; How to pray during times of trouble.

Everywhere we turn we hear of some horrible event taking place lately. Shootings, natural disasters, and so much more. We can ask where is God? What is going on? I say we need to pray! Pray for our nation, pray for our town, our families – pray. And another thing to add to prayer is remembering that Jesus instructed us to love one another. {1 John 3:23}.

As Christians we must also remember we have weapons to combat the enemy, one is  – The Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Jesus used this spiritual weapon when tempted by Satan in the desert. Each time Satan attempted to deliver a blow, Jesus blocked the attack with the Word of God by quoting scripture. We are to do what Jesus did, so we should be combating the enemy with God’s word just as Jesus did.

Praying the Word is using your Sword and defeating the enemy! Today I am giving an example of a prayer to pray over this nation. Let’s take up our Sword and wield it over our nation and over one another…

1 Timothy 2:1…………Heavenly Father, I give thanks for our government and this nation.

1 Timothy 2:2………..I pray for all men and women having authority over us in any way.
Proverbs 1:23……….Pour out Your Spirit upon them and make Your Word known to them.
Psalm 25:21………..Cause them to be men and women of integrity, obedient concerning us,
1 Timothy 2:2………..that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty.
Proverbs 2:10……….Let wisdom enter their hearts, and let knowledge be pleasant to them.
Proverbs 2:11……….Let discretion preserve them and understanding keep them,
Proverbs 2:12……….to deliver them from the way of evil and from evil men.
Psalm 1:1……….Make their hearts and ears attentive to godly counsel,
2 Chronicles 20:32………doing what is right in your sight.
Proverbs 2:21……….Let the upright dwell in our government.
Hebrews 12:27……….Cause there to be a shaking in all areas.
Proverbs 2:21……….Let those complete and blameless before You stay.
Proverbs 2:22……….and cut off the wicked. Let the unfaithful be rooted out.
1 Corinthians 4:5…………Bring to light what is hidden in darkness,
1 Corinthians 4:5…………and expose the secret aims of the hearts.
Revelation 2:5………….Let this nation remember from where they have fallen,
Revelation 2:5………….repenting, and returning to doing their first works,
1 Chronicles 22:19……..setting their hearts and their souls to seek the Lord,
2 Chronicles 7:14……….humbling themselves, praying, and turning from their wicked ways.
2 Chronicles 7:14……….Then hear them, O Lord, and forgive their sins and heal our land.
Acts 26:18……..Open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light.
Hebrews 3:13………..Soften the hearts that are hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
Psalm 107:20……….Deliver them from their destructions.
2 Peter 3:9…………Father, You have been longsuffering toward us,
2 Peter 3:9…………not willing that any should perish,
2 Peter 3:9…………but that all should come to repentance.
Isaiah 49:22………..Raise up a standard in this nation.
Zechariah 10:1……….Cause the rains of Your Spirit to flood this land
Habakuk 3:2………….and revive Your work in the midst of us.
Isaiah 59:16………..Raise up intercessors for this nation
2 Corinthians 10:4……….to pull down strongholds over this land.
Isaiah 40:5…………And let the glory of the Lord be revealed!

Holy Father, we thank You for blessing our country. Thank You for honoring our prayers as a nation and extending Your mercy toward us. Thank You for protecting our borders. Your Word is true and we can trust everything that You do. You lavish it on those who come to You for protection, blessing them before the watching world.

In Jesus Name we pray. Amen!

{Learn how to pray the Word of God and use the Sword of the Spirit in my book “I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer! Declaring the Word of God and Taking Back What the Devil Has Stolen From Me!”

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If A Dog Were Your Teacher

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There is a National Dog Day in August each year, I am a dog lover as you can see my honey and I with our beloved Kiki. She came to me as the result of being an empty nester. I just could not stand not having someone to take care of each day. I must confess I have not always been a dog lover, I liked them, just not for me. Then our beautiful Havanese came into our lives and I understand what being a dog lover is. I found this poem and it speaks such true life lessons we can learn as people. So today lets allow our dogs be our teacher and we the student:

If a dog was your teacher we be taught:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face
to be pure ecstasy.

When it’s in your best interest practice obedience.
Let others know when they’ve invaded your territory.
Take naps and stretch before rising.
Run romp and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
Avoid biting, when a simple growl will do. {love this one!}
On warm days stop to lie on your back on the grass.
On hot days drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree.
When you’re happy dance around and wag your entire body.

No matter how often you’re scolded don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout
run right back and make friends.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.
Stop when you have had enough.
Be loyal.
Never pretend to be something you’re not.

If what you want lies buried dig until you find it.
When someone is having a bad day
be silent …..
…sit close by….and nuzzle them gently.

-Author Unknown

{Want more devotions? I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer; Declaring the Word of God and Taking Back What the Devil Stole from Me!}

Are You Too Busy To Sharpen?

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Once upon a time a very strong woodcutter asks for a job in a timber merchant, and he got it. The pay was really good and so were the work conditions. For that reason, the woodcutter was determined to do his best.

His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he was supposed to work.

The first day, the woodcutter brought 18 trees

“Congratulations,” the boss said. “Go on that way!”

Very motivated for the boss’ words, the woodcutter try harder the next day, but he only could bring 15 trees. The third day he try even harder, but he only could bring 10 trees. Day after day he was bringing less and less trees.

“I must be losing my strength”, the woodcutter thought. He went to the boss and apologized, saying that he could not understand what was going on.

“When was the last time you sharpened your axe?” the boss asked.

“Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy trying to cut trees…”

By: Stephen Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

{Want more devotions? I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer; Declaring the Word of God and Taking Back What the Devil Stole from Me!}

This is Only A Test!

j0255382I wish I had the beep sound which comes on the TV and Radio when there is an emergency which alerts “Beeeep this is only a test.”

Today I want you to hear that familiar beep and know that whatever you are going through this is only a test!

When we become children of God some feel as if there should not be any problems in their lives. But we have never been promised that. What we must know is that we have already been given all the power and authority we need by Jesus to overcome whatever trials we are facing.

Testing is a normal part of life; nearly every moment of our life–is a test. Tests are common to all of us; we all go through what we call “seasons of testing.” And just like when we were in school – we had tests to take to pass to the next school level – we also have tests to take so we can move up in our so called levels in life and in our spiritual walk.

We can pass the tests in life if we know what the Word of God says. Just as we studied for a test in school, we must study the Word of God in order to pass the tests we are enduring in our lives.

Nothing and no one is exempt from testing in life, think about it – even our cars, our appliances and even our computers go through testing in order to prove they are ready for use! The testing you endure is what proves you for God’s use!!!

And as you endure the test, you must realize you are being prepared for promotion! Your test is proving your potential, your maturity in Christ, your willingness to do His will, and thus resulting in a higher level of promotion!

In Genesis 22 we all have read the story of Abraham’s test of faith. God was using his promised son Isaac to test Abraham on his obedience and his trust in God. (Where is your obedience and trust during your test?)

The Bible gives us examples on testing:
Psalm 17:3, Psalm 26:2, Psalm 139:23-24

The Apostle Paul wrote in his final letter to the Corinthians with some very specific instructions 2 Corinthians 13:5

Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves!

The Amplified translations says: “Examine and test and evaluate your own selves to see whether you are holding to your faith and showing the proper fruits of it.”

Did you see that, we are to examine ourselves to see if we are holding to our faith – are we holding to what the Word of God says AND are we showing proper fruit! Proper fruits- so while we are being tested what is our fruit showing?

Your fruit would be your actions and your words.
What actions are you doing in this testing? Does it line up with the Word of God?

What words are you declaring in your testing? Do your words line up with the Word of God, or do they speak of defeat, lack, failure, doubt and worry!

What is your fruit showing and is it proper fruit for your test!!!

James 1:2-4
Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations.

Do you feel enveloped in your test right now, does it seem like you can’t get out?
Well James goes on to say:
Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects],…

(Listen to this)
James finishes by saying –
lacking in nothing!

So when you endure your test, joyfully as James says, or as Paul said, showing proper fruits, as you let endurance and steadfastness do a through work in you – in the end you will be lacking in nothing!

Again here is- promotion for the test- lacking nothing in the end sounds like a promotion to me!

Here are some truths about testing:
1. WE ALL EXPERIENCE TESTS AT EACH STAGE OF OUR GROWTH NO ONE IS EXEMPT! We ask the Father, “oh use me Lord, I want to be a vessel for you,” then when some testing comes up we are rebuking every devil and crying out to God, when He is doing exactly what we asked – testing us and preparing us for His use – to be a vessel used of him.

If you had a huge company and someone came in and said make me the president- you would not, you would first test this individual. You would research them and see what they have done.

So why do we think we in our humanness we should not be tested when we want God to use us. We have a lot of messed up stuff in us which has to be removed. We have to get harder to be the vessel God needs in order to do the job He needs. A clay pot stays as soft clay but must go through the fire, the testing, to be a harden pot to be used properly.

2. TESTING ALWAYS PRECEDES PROMOTION (SAY THAT OVER AND OVER AS YOU ARE GOING THROUGH YOUR TEST, I AM BEING PROMOTED!)

3. OUR GOAL IS TO PASS THE TEST (TELL YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER: “FATHER IN JESUS NAME I ASK YOU TO HELP ME TO PASS THIS TEST, TO COME OUT WHERE YOU WANT ME TO BE WHEN THIS IS OVER. TO BE THAT VESSEL YOU CAN USE!”)

4. KNOW THIS: SELF PROMOTION AND THE PROMOTION OF OTHERS CAN NEVER REPLACE GOD’S DIVINE PROMOTION. HE KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING. HE KNOWS THE PLANS AND PURPOSES OF EVERY PERSON ON THIS EARTH; HE CREATED THEM. SO KNOW THAT WHEN YOU WAIT FOR GOD TO DO THE PROMOTING IT WILL BE LASTING PROMOTION!

Stay tuned for part 2 next week!

{Know someone who is facing hard times? The Drying Pot; And The Refining Fires Necessary To Become A Vessel Used By God}

Mental Assent

God said go but I like it here, so now what? Author Sandra HerseyWhen I taught in Bible Colleges, I  taught what John Wesley called “Mental Assent.” Wesley said “people mentally agree that the Bible is true, but they don’t believe it in their heart.” We must believe it with our heart and not our minds. We can’t just say, yes I know the Word of God is true but don’t believe what it says you can have is for you.

How do you know if you are believing with your head and not your heart? Matthew 12:34 says “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” What is coming out of your mouth? Are you saying I hope God will, or He will sometime, or God is going to, are you talking about lack when the word tells us in 3 John 2 “beloved above all things I desire you prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers.” Are you hoping Jesus will heal you or thinking in the future He will when 1 Peter 2:24 tells us “by whose stripes you were healed.” That word were is past tense so we have already been given healing by Jesus.

Are you believing with your head or your heart? What are you saying. What are you declaring into your life right now by the words you speak.

Jesus told us we can have what we desire when we believe. Our part is to ask, believe it has been done, and allow Jesus to manifest it for us!

Let’s look at one last scripture today 1 John 5:4 “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: ( we are born or God right so we overcome the world) and this is the victory that overcometh the world, ( here is the answer to your situation pay attention) even our faith.” Your victory according to this promise of God is you ARE to overcome the world and you get victory by your faith!

The message Bible says “The conquering power that brings the world to its knees is our faith.” YOUR faith is the conquering power that brings the world to its knees! You can bring sickness, diseases, lack, debt, poverty, relationship problems, whatever your circumstance the Word of God says YOUR faith is the conquering power to bring it to its knees!
Our job is to be like the royal official and take Jesus at His Word.

{Want more devotions? I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer; Declaring the Word of God and Taking Back What the Devil Stole from Me!}

The Sparrow at Starbucks

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It was chilly in Manhattan but warm inside the Starbucks shop on 51st Street and Broadway, just a skip up from Times Square. Early November weather in New York City holds only the slightest hint of the bitter chill of late December and January, but it’s enough to send the masses crowding indoors to vie for available space and warmth.

For a musician, it’s the most lucrative Starbucks location in the world, I’m told, and consequently, the tips can be substantial if you play your tunes right. Apparently, we were striking all the right chords that night, because our basket was almost overflowing.

It was a fun, low-pressure gig—I was playing keyboard and singing backup for my friend who also added rhythm with an arsenal of percussion instruments. We mostly did pop songs from the ’40s to the ’90s with a few original tunes thrown in. During our emotional rendition of the classic, “If You Don’t Know Me by Now,” I noticed a lady sitting in one of the lounge chairs across from me. She was swaying to the beat and singing along.

After the tune was over, she approached me. “I apologize for singing along on that song. Did it bother you?” she asked.

“No,” I replied. “We love it when the audience joins in. Would you like to sing up front on the next selection?”

To my delight, she accepted my invitation.

“You choose,” I said. “What are you in the mood to sing?”

“Well…. do you know any hymns?”

Hymns? This woman didn’t know who she was dealing with. I cut my teeth on hymns. Before I was even born, I was going to church. I gave our guest singer a knowing look. “Name one.”

“Oh, I don’t know. There are so many good ones. You pick one.”

“Okay,” I replied. “How about ‘His Eye is on the Sparrow’?”

My new friend was silent, her eyes averted. Then she fixed her eyes on mine again and said, “Yeah. Let’s do that one.”

She slowly nodded her head, put down her purse, straightened her jacket and faced the center of the shop. With my two-bar setup, she began to sing.

Why should I be discouraged?

Why should the shadows come?

The audience of coffee drinkers was transfixed. Even the gurgling noises of the cappuccino machine ceased as the employees stopped what they were doing to listen. The song rose to its conclusion.

I sing because I’m happy;

I sing because I’m free.

For His eye is on the sparrow

And I know He watches me.

Holy moment

When the last note was sung, the applause crescendoed to a deafening roar that would have rivaled a sold-out crowd at Carnegie Hall. Embarrassed, the woman tried to shout over the din, “Oh, y’all go back to your coffee! I didn’t come in here to do a concert! I just came in here to get something’ to drink, just like you!”

But the ovation continued. I embraced my new friend. “You, my dear, have made my whole year! That was beautiful!”

“Well, it’s funny that you picked that particular hymn,” she said.

“Why is that?”

“Well….” she hesitated again, “that was my daughter’s favorite song.”

“Really!” I exclaimed.

“Yes,” she said, and then grabbed my hands. By this time, the applause had subsided and it was business as usual. “She was 16. She died of a brain tumor last week.”

I said the first thing that found its way through my stunned silence.

“Are you going to be okay?”

She smiled through tear-filled eyes and squeezed my hands. “I’m gonna be okay. I’ve just got to keep trusting the Lord and singing his songs, and everything’s gonna be just fine.”

She picked up her bag, gave me her card, and then she was gone.

Was it just a coincidence that we happened to be singing in that particular coffee shop on that particular November night? Coincidence that this wonderful lady just happened to walk into that particular shop? Coincidence that of all the hymns to choose from, I just happened to pick the very hymn that was the favorite of her daughter, who had died just the week before? I refuse to believe it.

God has been arranging encounters in human history since the beginning of time, and it’s no stretch for me to imagine that he could reach into a coffee shop in midtown Manhattan and turn an ordinary gig into a revival. It was a great reminder that if we keep trusting him and singing his songs, everything’s gonna be okay. ~ John Thomas Oaks

{Know someone who is facing hard times? The Drying Pot; And The Refining Fires Necessary To Become A Vessel Used By God}

Love Installation

Yellow love

A step by step guide to installing love on the human machine.

Customer: I can do that. I’m not very technical, but I think I am ready to install now. What do I do first?

Tech Support: The first step is to open your HEART. Have you located your HEART ma’am?

Customer: Yes I have, but there are several programs running right now. Is it okay to install while they are running?

Tech Support: What programs are running ma’am?

Customer: Let me see… I have PASTHURT.EXE, LOWESTEEM.EXE, GRUDGE.EXE, and RESENTMENT.COM running right now.

Tech Support: No problem. LOVE will automatically erase PASTHURT.EXE from your current operating system. It may remain in your permanent memory, but it will no longer disrupt other programs. LOVE will eventually overwrite LOWESTEEM.EXE with a module of its own called HIGHESTEEM.EXE However; you have to completely turn off GRUDGE.EXE and RESENTMENT.COM. Those programs prevent LOVE from being properly installed. Can you turn those off ma’am?

Customer: I don’t know how to turn them off. Can you tell me how?

Tech Support: My pleasure. Go to your Start menu and invoke FORGIVENESS.EXE. Do this as many times as necessary until GRUDGE.EXE and RESENTMENT.COM have been completely erased.

Customer: Okay, I’m done. LOVE has started installing itself automatically. Is that normal?

Tech Support: Yes it is. You should receive a message that says it will reinstall for the life of your HEART. Do you see that message?

Customer: Yes I do. Is it completely installed?

Tech Support: Yes, but remember that you have only the base program. You need to begin connecting to other HEARTS in order to get the upgrades.

Customer: Oops…I have an error message already. What should I do?

Tech Support: What does the message say?

Customer: It says “ERROR 412 – PROGRAM NOT RUN ON INTERNAL COMPONENTS”. What does that mean?

Tech Support: Don’t worry ma’am, that’s a common problem. It means that the LOVE program is set up to run on external HEARTS but has not yet been run on your HEART. It is one of those complicated programming things, but in non-technical terms it means – “you have to ‘LOVE’ your own machine before it can “LOVE” others.”

Customer: So what should I do?

Tech Support: Can you find the directory called “SELF-ACCEPTANCE”?

Customer: Yes, I have it.

Tech Support: Excellent, you are getting good at this.

Customer: Thank you.

Tech Support: You’re welcome. Click on the following files and then copy them to the “MYHEART” directory: FORGIVESELF.DOC, SELFESTEEM.TXT, REALIZEWORTH.TXT, and GOODNESS.DOC. The system will overwrite any conflicting files and begin patching any faulty programming. Also, you need to delete SELFCRITIC.EXE from all directories, and then empty your recycle bin afterwards to make sure it is completely gone and never comes back.

Customer: Got it. Hey! My HEART is filling up with really neat files. SMILE.MPG is playing on my monitor right now and it shows that WARMTH.COM, PEACE.EXE, and CONTENTMENT.COM are copying themselves all over my HEART!

Tech Support: Then LOVE is installed and running. You should be able to handle it from here. One more thing before I go

Customer: Yes?

Tech Support: LOVE is freeware. Be sure to give it and its various modules to everybody you meet. They will in turn share it with other people and they will return some really neat modules back to you.

Customer: I will. Thank you for your help
by: Author Unknown

{Want more devotions? I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer; Declaring the Word of God and Taking Back What the Devil Stole from Me!}