Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Ticket Please

     They were upset. An usher walked down the stairs to a row of people sitting in front of us. “May I see your tickets?” After he looked at their tickets he declared:      “Your tickets are for the last performance.”
      They asked to stay since no one occupied their seats. He nodded toward the top of the stairs where others waited. “I’m sorry, you need to leave to make room for those who came for the present performance.”
       It was the start of a new year and I realized God was speaking to me through their story. Their dilemma applied to my thought life. The pain, shame and fame of my past liked to sneak into my mind and take up space. I remembered the good old days and glorified them. I also glorified the “bad old days” by dwelling on them. Both occupied space.
       Today I would unseat my past thoughts and plan my future. I’d control who sits in the space reserved for today’s performance. I am the usher for my mind. Ticket please.

Will I be present as each day unfolds? 
January 1 Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up...” (Isaiah 43:18-19).
January 2 The LORD has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad” (Ps. 118:24).
January 3 “But I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead” (Phil 3:13b NLT).
January 4 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Cor. 5:17).
January 5 “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).
January 6 “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Ps. 37:4).
January 7 So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34)
                                            From: Devotional Journal book "Okay, God I Hear You"
                                                                                                     Daisy E Bailey

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Mary had a little Lamb

🎶Mary had a little lamb...
     Little lamb... little lamb🎶

At Christmas Mary had a little lamb “who took away the sins of the world” John 7:14

 “A virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
Jesus’ mother Mary is described in Isaiah 7:14.

Gabriel announced to Mary, “the Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the most high will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God….” Luke 1:35-37 Did Mary know Isaiah’s prophesy when she responded, “be it unto me as you have said”?

Everywhere that Mary went
The lamb was sure to go.

Jesus, the lamb, didn’t follow Mary everywhere. Mary often had to seek her lamb. When Jesus was twelve he stayed in Jerusalem when his family left. After three days they found him in the temple listening and asking questions. When Mary scolded her son, he replied. “Don’t you know I must be in my Father’s house?” Mary kept all these things in her heart. She was fully aware that she was the mother, but God was his Father.

Mary followed her little lamb. Mary was everywhere in her son’s life. She was a good Mother to her son, four other sons and an undisclosed amount of daughters. Mark 6:3, Matt 13:5
She was an obedient servant to her God.

Mary followed her son to his:

First miracle
Trips to Jerusalem
Resurrection: In the Upper room she receive the Holy Spirit  

Yes, Mary had a little lamb that she mothered, followed and loved all the days of His earthly life.

“Mary, we’re so glad you were willing to care for God’s little lamb.

Monday, December 2, 2019

The Tiny Dash

Some people think it’s weird.  I go to cemeteries to read my Bible, pray, and ask for help with life’s problems. No one distracts you there.
At the last graveyard I was still seeking an answer. I decided to walk in the warm sun and read the gravestones. One small thin tombstone had a lamb on it, and I read the baby’s name and October 25, 1909 – November 2, 1909.

I continued to walk and read names and dates of births and deaths. One thing jumped out at me as I walked. Their entire life was represented by a tiny dash. No matter how many or how few years they lived, it became a small dash when they died. Or as James records in chapter four, “You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” Life is short.

I continued to walk and read mammoth size stones, and tiny stones. They all had a dash.

When I drove out of the cemetery I still was not positive which decision to make. But the dashes brought a verse to my mind. “Lord teach us how short our life is, so that we may become wise” (Psalms 90: 12 GNT). I decided it was time to be wise, trust the Holy Spirit, make a decision, and live.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Practice makes Perfect

Does practice make perfect? My young son Stephen would hear his Dad and I say, 
“Practice makes perfect,” when we tried to encourage him. He began to say in his 
five year old voice, “PRAC-tice makes BET-ter.” At first I tried to correct him. 
But then I thought about the two statements, and I realized he was correct. 
We never arrive at perfection on earth.

But we can get better, and better, and better. Hebrews five talks about how a child
who lives on just the milk of the Word is unskilled. But solid food is for the mature 
who by constant use (practice) have trained themselves to distinguish good and evil.

Apply this to the Christian life. We will hear him more clearly as we continue to practice.
We can't stop when we don't hear or obey Him completely at first.

How did we learn to drive a car? We read the instruction manual and practiced driving. 
Did you think about quitting, and calling a taxi or Uber driver for the rest of your life? 
NO. You wanted to learn to drive a car.

So if we want to be a better Christian we continue to read His manual (the Bible) and 
come into His presence (pray).  Okay, we will not be perfect, but we don’t quit. 
Others may not even notice improvements, but He will notice.

Or as my five year old said, “PRAC-tice makes BET-ter.”

“… desire the sincere Milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby.” I Peter 2:2

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Grab the Brass Ring

Do you ever feel like the prize in life is just outside your reach?  No matter how hard you strain?
When I was little I loved the merry-go-round. Just the sound of the music in the distance made my small heart pound. I didn’t like going around in circles on wooden horses. Actually it made me sick. But I climbed up excitedly, chose the outside row of horses and hoped.
Young riders on the outside row of the MERRY-GO-ROUND horses were given a challenge. The ride started moving, a metal arm swung out that held many iron rings and a single brass ring, which riders could try to grab as they passed. The brass ring guaranteed a prize. I had short arms and long hope, but I always strained to reach for that brass ring and failed.
I learned something from that. Failure can condition us to quit trying. But while my hope was fading from failure, my arms were growing. Whatever God has told me to do I can do. Sometimes it just takes time for my arm to grow and catch up with His plan for my life and my desires.
I’ve recently grabbed my brass ring. I published my first book. Check your arms, and go for your dream. You’ll find it is no longer out of reach if you won’t quit trying.
 "But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward that goal to win the prize for which God has called me..."(Philippians 3:13NIV).