Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Other Half of the World

{The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.}
~2nd Peter 2:9

Do you ever struggle with thoughts like "Why does that person have a nice house and they don't know God?" "They have to be the worst sinners ever and yet they have everything nice." "It's not fair, I go to church and believe in God and love Him and yet I don't have near as much as they do and the despise God!"

Well besides the obvious "Sorry Honey, life isn't fair." Why is life like this? Sometimes I've struggled with thoughts like this. In my devotions I read this verse and I realized maybe for some people God is just waiting to give His punishment. I may never see it while they are here on earth but someday they'll get it.

We can't be judgmental of others...I don't know what's in their heart, do you? God is probably either working or trying to work, and maybe He is simply trying to knock.

Thinking about all this brought my thoughts back to a movie I had seen, God's Not Dead. (Its a wonderful movie and I really recommend you see it by the way). The scene was that of a son visiting his aged mother dying of dementia. By the tone of his voice and look on his face you could easily guess he was living a life displeasing to God. The conversation goes as follows.

Son: "You prayed and believed your whole life. Never done anything wrong. And here you are. You're the nicest person I know. I am the meanest. You have dementia. My life is perfect. Explain that to me!"

Mother: "Sometimes the devil allows people to live a life free of trouble because he doesn't want them turning to God. Their sin is like a jail cell, except it is all nice and comfy and there doesn't seem to be any reason to leave. The door's wide open. Till one day, time runs out, and the cell door slams shut, and suddenly it's too late."

Do those last words shock you? "Time runs out...suddenly it's too late." Has Satan allowed your life to be perfect? Are you successful? But perhaps far from God because you have no need for Him? It's easy to call on God when we are in trouble, but when everything goes well for us, does God still receive the glory?

We don't know how God is working in everyone's lives. The only thing we can do is know that God has a seat for them and one for me and if I'm not saved or right with God in my heart then they may take the seat I have and I'll be the one to burn. Or maybe they will join me in the seat next to mine! What a glorious thought.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Power Through God

I received this encouragement from a friend and I want to share it with you!
Blessings~ Savannah

In Psalm 51 David cries out to God to cleanse him from all his dirty wash away all his guilt and to make him pure. David felt the dirtiness that we feel when we as humans sin against God. For me personally when I commit a sin against God, the whole day becomes drear and I feel in hopeless despair. This is when Satan attacks. "You sinned today already, why don't you just make the best of it And do all the sinful things you want. Tomorrow will be a new day then you may begin fighting to be pure before God again." And when I hear those temptations I feel all hope is lost. I just want to give up! But let me tell you something for encouragement. By being tempted, that means you have a stronghold in Christ. Satan may feel like he is losing his grip on a certain area of your life. Whether it be anger towards people, being judgmental of others, or the most powerful one that has torn down our nation today, sexual sin. If you are facing fierce strong temptations then I encourage you to look up at God with tears in your eyes and a glorious smile on your face and say, God thank you so much for giving me this struggle! When I overcome I know I will be stronger then ever before. And I also know that the very fact that I am struggling means u r still in my life. I want to win God but I need your help. Will you please help me to escape this temptation right now before I sin?" If you sincerely ask God to help you, He WILL be faithful as he promises in His word. I by no means have authority to tell you all these things. I get knocked flat often, but I have a Great Big Powerful God who is well able to help me conquer any battles I may face. It is all a matter of building a relationship with Him. So often we set all kinds of rules for ourselves and we can't figure out why they don't work. Its because nothing will work without a better relationship with Jesus Christ! If we pursue that, He will give us the strength to abide by our own rules to overcome struggles. We can't do this on our own. God designed us to look to HIM as our creator and lover to live a life of holiness!

Do Your Leaves Change Color?

Another lesson from nature!

In church, for a devotional, our brother talked about trees! He talked on how they change their leaves in the fall. If you don't know or have forgotten, when leaves receive less sunlight the chlorophyll breaks down. Chlorophyll is what gives the leaf its green color. So without chlorophyll the leaf starts to show the color underneath and that is how we get beautiful fall colors. The point of the devotional was, are we always focused on God that we stay green and don't die. I loved what he said and he then went on to give ways that we can stay green, it was a good life application. But I want to take it in a different direction. 

As Christians we need the Sonlight to be able to live. We need constant communion with God to be able to shine for Him and to show others His glory. Here's just some of my thoughts. When we don't have that communion with God, we don't have personal devotions with Him, we skip Weds night service, we don't guard our hearts and minds of impure thoughts or words, we start to let the "chlorophyll" break down. We begin to let our colors change. 

I know some people who put facades on and lived their life looking like a beautiful green tree. When they started to walk away their 'leaves' began to lose their color. When I began to see their true heart, their 'leaves' or outside appearance began to change and become ugly. Eventually these people become dead, bare trees with nothing to shine forth. If we are true and our hearts are pure then there will never be a time where our leaves begin to change. When we love God and focus on Him our bright green leaves shine out for people to see. When you go down the road what do you notice? A beautiful green tree or a dead tree?

How do you stay green? For me it's those daily devotions, prayer at anytime of the day, guarding my eyes and ears of profanity (a hard one to do in this society). Having your focus completely on God is not always an easy task. I fail every day with trying to keep myself pure and right with God. There are days that some of my leaves change color and I have to take care of that and fix that area in my heart so that I can shine forth again. Sometimes in my Spiritual walk I die. I go all out to do anything but what God wants. But thank Jesus, He is able to forgive and restore dead trees when they come back and ask Him to. He gives me new life that I am eternally grateful for.

We are all human, at one point or another our "leaves" will change color. I pray that you will have the strength and courage to go to God and ask for forgiveness and get that area and those problems fixed and that God would restore your soul unto Him.
Blessings~ Savannah

Growing in your Jungle

Something I have observed, I don't think there is any life truth we learn that cannot be learned through nature.

A brother in our church had devotions and he said that he and his son went hunting on a new property. He said there was a tree that was on one side of a fence that ran along the property. It grew up the height of the fence and then curved over top of the fence, ran parallel to the ground only a few feet off the ground and then at a 90* angle and shot straight up towards the sun. He asked "What are we willing to do to reach the light of God?" How far are we willing to go to reach God's love and grace? Are we willing to bend and and twist and go in any direction to grow and stretch? Do we climb over 'fences' so that we can hear what God has to say to us through His Word and others? 

I am guilty of not doing all I can to receive what God has for me. I need to be willing to do whatever I can to get to the light. Hard times, valleys, struggles, they aren't easy. It's just like that tree going along the ground to get to the light. Sometimes I have to go down and I struggle that it makes the light so much more enjoyable. Struggling through something is not easy at all. It is hard and difficult. We look ahead and see a steep mountain, stress, headache, financial crunching, whatever it is and we don't want to face it. But if you look behind you, you will see a row of mountains. That's where you've came from. Those are the things God has helped you through to overcome. He WILL get you through this and back again in the light!

Seeds fall in a jungle, they land in the dirt and they begin to grow. It's how we get new trees and bushes. Sometimes the already mature trees and plants are so big and overpowering that they block the sunlight and all the factors that the seed needs to be able to grow. When this happens that seed will either die, or it will struggle to survive. That is how we get cool and neat looking trees that grow at weird angles because they need to get to the light. Are you going to die or live in your current jungle? Stretch, reach and make it to the top and see what all you've overcome to get here or wither and die without even trying? God wants us to live, to stretch and to grow for Him. Prayer, Bible reading, fellowship with other believers, these are the keys to having that life for God. 

I pray that whatever you are struggling with, you would look to God and reach and stretch to find His grace and love!
Blessings~ Savannah

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Always Being Hungry

I contemplated what to read for my devotions and Philippians came to mind, so I turned to it and chapter 4 caught my attention. I read along and came upon verse 12: I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all thinks I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

The phrase "Every where and in all things I am instructed to be full and to be hungry," really caught my attention. I thought about it in our Christian walk. We are to be full of the Word so we can teach and tell others, yet we are to be hungry that we keep searching the Scriptures and keep learning. We have to stay hungry or else we can become cocky that "We know it all and don't need to learn."

I was struck by this verse tucked in Philippians that I had never noticed before. I hope it provokes your thoughts as it did mine!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

More Than A Name

  Sometimes I struggle with my past. I think people are judging me, not for who I am, but for where I come from or who my family is. I think "They think nothing good can come from a one-parent family. My dad left and there's no way I can be better than him. I won't measure up to my friends who have a "normal" family."

  I was having my devotions and I read John 1 as part of the study. I've read this before or at least heard it, but verse 46 jumped out at me...

  {And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. ~John 1:46}

It hit me...Jesus was judged not for himself but for where he came from. Nathanael didn't know who Jesus was, Jesus's personality, Jesus's background. All he knew was the One called Christ was from Nazareth and he didn't believe good could come from there.

I have often heard the expression "Whatever you go through remember Jesus has gone through it too and understands." Yeah right....Jesus doesn't know EXACTLY what I'm going though because... Jesus didn't this and Jesus didn't that. No, too often I'm proved wrong. And tonight that has happened again. Jesus was judged like a book by its cover.  Just like I've felt I am sometimes. Good came out of Nazareth and I hope and pray that good comes from a Wray.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Shower Time

Some children hate bath or shower time. I don't remember being that way when I was little but sometimes now as an adult I find taking shower takes time and sometimes I don't really want to! I'm content in my filth and dirt.

Sometimes I can be this way with God. I want to keep Him in His corner because if I bring Him out and fully look at Him, He will convict me of the dirt in my life. Sometimes I don't want to be clean! I want to stay dirty and nasty.

God calls us to a higher standard. We are to be pure and clean. If we truly are following Him we will have a desire for Spiritual cleanliness.
I guess the old saying "Cleanliness is next to Godliness" is true.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Every Storm Runs Out of Rain

  Lately we've had lots of rain. Have you ever noticed how beautiful the sky is after a good rain? When the sun is covered by a cloud but its bright rays reach out and touch the dark clouds in the distance. Some of the most beautiful pictures have been captured just after a rainstorm. Have you also noticed how there's a peace and a calm feeling in the air?

The same is like when we have trials in life. The storm is ugly, it may last for a really long time, you may feel like you will never have peace again. And then it breaks. The thunder stops, the clouds start to disappear, Christ starts to shine through and the picture is perfect. We feel peace and a new calmness. We know we can face the next storm because we are stronger from the last one.

I love the beauty of a rainstorm. I also love the beauty brought forth from trials and hardships in life.

Every storm runs, runs out of rain.
Just like every dark night turns into day.
Every heartache will fade away.
Just like every storm runs, runs out of rain.

It's gonna run out of pain
It's gonna run out of sting
It's gonna leave you alone
It's gonna set you free
{Every Storm Runs Out of Rain}

One of my favorite songs sums it all up. Just like one of my favorite verses sums up what Jesus does in our life... give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
{Isaiah 61:3}

Sunday, August 31, 2014


Commitment to God. My thoughts are turned to the people in Iraq and Israel where terrorist are shooting, beheading, and killing is horrible ways. They aren't just killing adults, they are killing children. How can one stay committed to God through a time like this? Today in church our Sunday school lesson was on difficulties. The opening for the sermon was on how willing/happy are we to be here in church today? How do we stand against the evils of the world? I had to realize that the end times are so much nearer than they have ever been.

Here in America we are not being beheaded. But there is so much more unrest then ever. We as Christians are faced with gays having rights like all the rest of us. Abortions being so much more common. Stores having to add abortions into their health insurances. Drugs, shootings, smoking, gays, promotion of sex, language, rudeness, these are a few of the things that are so much more prominent in this world then they ever have been before. This is what Christians are facing. Are we standing against it? Are we defending God and what His Word says? Are we keeping His standards and laws for all of these things like we should be? I will admit, in some of these things, I fail.

Prayer, continual Bible study, communication with other Christians, these are some good ways to help to stay committed and focused on God. But don't go through the motions and the act of it. It is a heart commitment that keeps you in focus with God. Let us stand strong against these issues that face us and have a heart that stays after God's heart.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Sorrows We Bare

I was reading my devotional in Psalm 126 and came upon verse 5, "Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy." (NIV)

This reminded me of Psalm 56:8 "You've kept track of every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, each tear entered in Your ledger, each ache written in your book." (The Message) and I love how the good old King James states the verse, "Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears in thy bottle, are they not in thy book?"

There have been nights where all I can do to pray is kneel and bawl! God says that He knows every thought and He knows every language. The old hymn that says "Tears are a language that God understands" is so true. I'm sure we've all cried our fair share of tears. Whether we have shed the tears, endured the pain, and stayed in the fight because of the passing of a loved one, struggles with your significant other, or whatever it may be, we have the promise that it is not in vain when we believe in God.

I picture God storing up every tear, sorrow, and ache, and placing them in a big jar. As we go through life He takes each one and he adds it to this beautiful sculpture that He is creatively designing. Yet, this is our life, each tear, sorrow, and ache shapes and molds us into who we become and are, good and bad. It can be something beautiful the God wants to give u when you stand before Him receiving your crown. And He will say "Remember this situation? Here is what I created with it. And here, here is that time you..." And He points out some of the most significant points in your life of great pain and sorrow and all you see is beauty.

Whatever you are going through God will help you through it. You may not see the beauty now, you may not see it till you reach Glory land. By following God through the hardest time in your life, you may be creating the most beautiful part of your statue!

The Sermon That Spoke

I must confess, lately my spirit has not been one of happiness. Today it would have been very easy for me to stay home. I was sore from basketball/volleyball and then work. Mom and my sister were watering. Why should I go to church? Well, I had to take care of the bulletin, so I went. I went with a battle in my spirit. I got to church and began to lighten up. After Sunday school and the opening I felt better. Then our newly elected minister preached his first sermon as a minister. And as he talked I felt the burden rise from my shoulders. I felt lighter.

We all have days/weeks/months where we are on top of the mountain. We are so close to God we should be His right hand man (or woman). But then we all have those valleys were God is up there but we can't see Him through our rain cloud. This has been me the last little while. No matter what I try it just rains harder.

Then today God through Rodney spoke to my heart. He read from 2 Kings 2. The passage where Elisha is with Elijah just before he is caught up in the whirlwind and taken by God. They journey to 4 different places. Gilgal. Bethel. Jericho. Jordan. Rodney then compared to these 4 places with our spiritual walk.

Gilgal, conversion. We are convicted and brought to Christ, but we can't stay at conviction. We must begin to grow and be nourished by the Word, fellowship with other believers, and teachings on Sunday and Bible studies. Paul talks about being babes and needing to grow and eat meat. We have to move on.

Bethel, house of God. Part of growing is learning about God's promises for you, then resting in those promises. I think we all find a promise that is personal just to us from God. One of my absolute favorites is 2 Corinthians 4:8-9. It promises me that NO MATTER WHAT I go through....with God I will OVERCOME it!

Jericho, strongholds. We all have strongholds in our lives, but do we have them in our spiritual lives and walk with God that we need to break down? Something blocking full communication with the Father?

Jordan, new beginnings. We all come to valleys, areas in our walk where God is "far away". Jordan isn't new though, and crossing your Jordan isn't a one time thing. You will cross your Jordan several times and have to begin again. Your Jordan may also change when you have to recross it. Trusting in God will get you through your Jordan and back to your mountain.

I was truly blessed with the challenge of meeting these places in my walk head on and hopefully you have been too!

Blessings~ Savannah

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Prevailing Plans of God

Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.
                {Proverbs 19:21 NIV}
How true this verse is. We make plans for today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year! We plan it out and with luck those plans will be played out correct? Yes, most times, but when God wants to shake up your plans, there's nothing that's going to stop Him!
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
                 {Matthew 6:34 NIV}
The day we left started as any other day. Then our day changed. God's plan prevailed against our daily plan, and I am not at all bitter about that day.
It changed my life in a good way.
I have friends and family in both states that love me, support me, and will be there for me.
Most of all I have an {AMAZING} God who proves {His love}, {His power}, {His grace}, and {His peace} over and over again!!
I have no doubt in Him. And all because His plan prevailed that one fateful day.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Subtleness of Satan

A while back I was thinking about what I would wear for the day. I had decided on a skirt. As I looked through my shirts I saw youth retreat shirt which has a verse on the back of it.
I though "Maybe someone will ask me about the verse and I can witness to them!"
This did happen once on the train when I went to WA and I wore last year's shirt, though the man was already a believer he asked to read my shirt and we got to talk to him a little bit about his own ministry.

I was getting ready to leave and as I looked outside I noticed it looked overcast and cold, so I put my jean jacket on.
I stepped outside and here it was rather warm, but I thought taking off my jacket sounded like too much work and I was ready to go.

I went to the library and some other stops and never once took my jacket off. It wasn't till I was on the way home that I truly realized that Satan had just won. No one saw the back and barely the front of my shirt. No one asked because they did not see.

Satan wins too much in little things. I think he tires our minds so we want to go to bed instead of stay up for devotions. He gives us thoughts that go against what God would want us to think about. He gives us thoughts like put on your jacket so that we cover up God's word written on our shirt. He's too good at what he does and we need to constantly be on our guard for little battles that go on everyday.

All God's Children

What is beauty? Is it having the perfect hair, spotless make-up, a body that makes the guys drop their jaws and the wardrobe to help with that? Is it a lifestyle that portrays all this, smoking, and drinking as good? Who defines what beauty is? Who was the first to say she is beautiful and you are not? Who started the fashions and created the high expectations men and women try to live up to each day?

I am guilty of judging people by their looks far too often. Thinking thoughts like "They really chose to go out in public like that?" "Wow how did those to end up together he/she is not attractive and the other isn't bad looking?!" Unfortunately thoughts like this are way to common in my head. Yet sometimes I will see someone and the person I'm with will say they don't look pretty or handsome but I see beauty in them. We are to have a God-given love for every person we see and meet. Whether we think they are beautiful or not, we don't know their heart. How can we judge when we don't know what that tattoo means to them, what that scar is from, or why that beautiful person has their head hanging low.

God created us all special. Some He just created extra special. Down Syndrome, and Autism are just two of many special needs that God allows some people to have. The children and then adults that have these needs are far to often abandoned by the people who should be loving them. But no, they are weird, not normal, not right, I only want children who are perfect. No, they are created by God with love and grace just like you and me. Don't abandon or push away these precious souls, they want love and care just like you and me!

What about the "normal" kid next door? Down syndrome and autism are more noticeable needs but what about ADHD, asthma, or a simple malfunction in the brain that causes one's face to not corporate correctly? Right next to you could be someone who doesn't act quite "normal" but they aren't quite weird (If that makes sense!). God made us all special, with different talents and gifts ready to be used to glorify God. We shouldn't criticize or down the gifts and talents God has given others. Nor should we make fun of the special needs or differences God has given to them. We are all God's children.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Be a weed...WHAT?

We hear sermons on pulling the weeds in our spiritual garden and from our mind.  But as I pull weeds in my physical garden I have to wonder if we shouldn't be like the weeds. I tried to think of a flower that would illustrate this point and I came up with morning glories, but to some people they are weeds. So I shall just stick with the word weed and you may use another word if you can find one better than weed!

So why be like a weed? Well when you go to your garden, your flowers may not be growing properly but 9 times out of 10 the weeds are growing just fine. Flowers can take a lot of care, having the proper soil, water level, sunlight, those are just a few of examples of things flowers need. Weeds will grow in almost any environment. We as Christians should grow wherever we are planted. Like the weed we need to survive any kind of weather and not worry if the soil is right or if we get enough water. Missionaries in poor countries don't make sure they have all the trimmings of life they want before they go to that country, they go in faith that what they need, besides what they've taken, will be provided by God. Grow and thrive where God has placed you.

You may be thinking "Be a weed? Right, weeds are hated and they get pulled out of the garden." Your right, they do. I thought about this in parallel with a non-Christian. You to them may be a weed. They don't want to hear what you have to say about Christ, so they "pull" you out of their life. Now by "pull" I'm thinking they ignore what you say but they may still hang out with you and be your friend, or you may lose contact for a few years. But you either bring the subject back up or you make contact again after those few years and try again. That's being a weed, coming back and sharing Christ even though they've tried to "pull" that subject out.

You may have had to use your imagination to see the points I've tried to make, and hopefully it's made some sort of sense. If what I've said is completely off or you have another view point on being a weed, please comment below and let me know! Thanks and God Bless!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Happy Heritage

Last week my brother, sister and I went to my Grandparent's house and helped Grandma in her yard. She mentioned that she was moving away from flowers to more garden art, due to being older and not being able to take care of the plants as she should. It makes me sad because I have always enjoyed Nana's full bushy, colorful, vibrant flower beds. But even though she is getting out of flowers she has left with me a love for them and a want to have big, full bushy, colorful, and vibrant flower beds. And after dead heading quite a bit of Lamb's Ear, I now have no desire to plant any Lamb' Ear.

We worked in a flower bed in the front of the house, taking out dirt and leveling it. Years ago she had put plastic in the bottom of the bed thinking this would help with weeds, it actually drowned the plants because it held the water. But what really got me was when she said, "Who would have thought all those years ago when I put that plastic in that my grandchildren would be helping me dig it out?!" Isn't it amazing how she had no idea she would have 11 grandchildren by the time she was ready to take the flower bed out? Time flies and moments go so fast but God is good and following Him I believe we will all leave a good Godly Happy Heritage!

Healing Through the Tears

I would like to share this to show God's grace. I had a job that I really wanted. I found out tonight that I didn't get it. I had been talking to God for a couple of weeks and told Him that I knew He knows best and His will be done. My hopes were up quite high tho I tried not to let them get there. When I realized I would not have the job I really wanted I was sorely disappointed. I got home and kneeled down to talk to God about it. I cried and told Him my heart, I began to feel peace and much better about not receiving the job. I told Him His will still be done and He obviously had something much better for me. I got up from prayer and felt peace! I realized once again the amazing healing in crying out your heart and then feeling the peace of God. I thought about how many times throughout my past that this has happened to me and all I can say is God is good!! Thank you Father for Your will, Your peace, and Your healing hand!

Green Bean Moment!

This afternoon as I went out to pick green beans I looked down at the endless looking row and thot about all the picking, snapping, washing, and canning we would be doing. All that work to simply put a bowl of green beans on the table. My thots turned to the verse in Proverbs where Soloman says "Go to the ant, see how she prepares for winter" (not word for word). And I realized I was being the ant, preparing for the winter. I pulled some weeds around the plants and was reminded of Brandons opening about how we need to weed our Spiritual gardens. Then I started thinking about how the green bean plants compared to Christians. We all grow in Christ, as all the plants grow in soil. We all produce some kind of fruit, as the plants produce beans. Some Christians get really big and strong and bring many souls to Christ, as some plants get big and bushy and produce many beans. Some Christians live in the shadows of the stronger Christians and only do what necessary, likewise some plants grow in the shadows of the big ones and dont produce many beans at all. Some Christians come from a sinful, hurtful, and painful past but are the most radiant and touch the most ppl, same as some plants have bug-bitten leaves and holes throughout, yet they have produced the most beautiful beans. I then thot about the actual green bean and how they compare to the ppl in our life. Some beans were ready to be picked, some werent and some I accidently picked early when they could have been left to grow more. I compared the ready beans to those who know God or weve witnessed to and helped grow, God is ready to use and have them. The not ready ones I compared to the non-believers I know or young believers. We (with Gods help) are still nourishing them and allowing them to grow and be fed. Then I thot about the ones I accidently picked. I compared those to the babies and the young ppl God chooses to call home. We wonder what they would have grown up to become and what they would have done, but God always has a plan and purpose. And someday He will come back for His harvest and we will all be together!! ...All this because I went and picked green beans!! ;)