Wednesday, March 17, 2021

'All God's Saints' A St Patrick's Day Devotional

As you know, today is St. Patrick’s Day. It is not about the shamrocks, leprechauns, and wearing green. That’s the world’s version. Today is really about the people of Ireland and others around the world remembering and celebrating the life of a man who brought Christianity to the country of Ireland. Some of you may not be aware of St. Patrick’s life story and how he was called to bring the gospel to this hostile frontier.

St. Patrick was born in Britain to a Roman Catholic family near the 4th century. His grandfather was a priest back when priest could marry and his father was a deacon as well as an official in the government. St. Patrick was raised in a wealthy religious family but St Patrick himself didn’t take any interest in God or the church. 

Suddenly at the age of 16, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and carried back to Ireland as a slave. The conditions and behavior of the people there were barbaric. Patrick was thrust into the countryside to be a shepherd and threatened if he lost a sheep. Patrick had no idea about sheep or what to do if a wolf attacked. In addition, his captors nearly starved him to death in the process. This experience became eye opening for Patrick when he realized there was no escape. I’m sure he was devastated and questioned everything from why is this happening to him to wishing he had listened and developed his relationship with God when his family tried to train me. Nevertheless, at his greatest time of need, Patrick did cry out to God with an open repentant heart in his time of need and God answered him with mercy, grace, and strength to survive and overcome all the obstacles Patrick faced. In time, even though Patrick was still a slave, he and the Lord had become truly one in thought, word and deed. Blame was gone and peace with God had come.

Then, just as suddenly, after six years, of servitude, God spoke to Patrick in a dream and told him to get up and go. There would be a boat waiting on him. Although fearful, Patrick got up and obeyed God. He made the two hundred mile journey not knowing if he would be captured again. And when he got to the water, there was a boat waiting on him as God had promised. In time, Patrick made it back home safely. Even though he loved his family and time of rest, Patrick was not the same person as when he left. God was calling him to the priesthood. Once again Patrick trusted and obeyed the call of God. He spent the next 20 or so years being spiritually trained and ended up becoming a bishop.

Then another suddenly happened. Now that Patrick had been thoroughly trained in the word of God and spiritual matters, God asked Patrick to go back to Ireland to bring the Gospel to his former captors, the barbarians of Ireland. He was advised not to go but Patrick never forgot his captors. He knew that he had found God in Ireland through the things that he had suffered and wanted desperately for them to know and experience God‘s love and truth too. Patrick knew in his heart that God had trained him for this missionary journey from the beginning of His captivity at 16 until now, and he would choose to be obedient to God’s call. And because of Patrick’s obedience and the obedience of countless others, God’s salvation and miraculous power spread through out all of Ireland. 

Now, St. Patrick’s life story is quite inspiring. However, late Sunday night, God began to reveal His desires for the devotional as well. After all, I had prayed for His input days before.

As I just said, God’s first inspiration came late Sunday night. I was relaxing before bed watching the latest Brenda Gantt’s video. Yes the biscuit queen herself had made and shared her video of her St Patrick’s Day meal from earlier that morning. In the mist of chopping onions of all things she said:

If you are a believer, you are a saint. We are called the saints of God. So St. Patrick wasn’t the only saint. I don’t feel like a saint but that is what scripture says...we are saints of God.”

Soon after, the second inspiration came when I heard God ask:

So then, when did St. Patrick actually become a saint? When man declare him so or when I declare him so?

So obediently, I went looking for the definition of what a saint is.

In Christianity, the word "saint" refers to any person who is "in Christ", and in whom Christ dwells, whether in Heaven or in earth. It is a person who is set apart or separated unto God for holy service. 

So in other words, a saint is someone who has received Christ as their Savior and been cleansed of all their sins. Afterwards, a saint seeks to do the will of the Heavenly Father throughout their life. It is not about what we do but whose we have become. 

So Brenda Gantt was right about all believers being saints. But like Miss Brenda, many may say they are saints but they don’t feel like it because many think the definition of a saint is someone who is a lot closer to perfect then they could ever hope to be. Some believers will not even admit to being a saint at all. In all of this, what we need to remember is that just because we may not ‘feel like a saint’ doesn’t mean we aren’t one. God’s Word is Truth. Being a saint is not based on ‘a feeling’ but on our position in Christ. It is not about how sinful we may or may not ‘feel’ on a daily basis. It is about what Christ has done for us to rid us of all our sin even our daily pesky sins through HIs blood and sacrifice on the cross. 


The scripture in 2 Corinthians 5:17 says:

If any man be in Christ, 

he is a new creation: old things are passed away; 

behold, all things are become new.” 


When God looks at you, he see you as holy and perfect because of the blood of Jesus. He sees that whatever you have done wrong in your life before you were born again has now passed away forever. When God looks at you, He sees you as a saint.

And God’s question about when Patrick became a saint? 

Patrick received his salvation and became a saint somewhere in the pastures of Ireland after he was kidnapped at the age of 16. Because of what he suffered, Patrick’s crusty heart softened and became new with the love and care of Christ. After his conversion, St. Patrick followed Christ with virtue and faithfulness the rest of his life.

 

We all have a calling as the saints of God to be ministers of reconciliation in our own sphere of influence too. When we received Christ and were sealed by the Holy Spirit, we then received the power of the Holy Spirit to do the work of the ministry. We may not suffer as St. Patrick did but we will all see suffering if we proclaim the Gospel of Christ in its fullness as Christ desires.

In closing, I challenge each of you today to remember those saints like St Patrick and others you have known personally who have gone before you to proclaim the faith. Learn from their example and cherish their contribution. Then, my friends...go out into the sphere of influence God has assigned you. As St. Patrick, continue to do your part with virtue and faithfulness too!

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Welcome to the Family (Part 2)


Who Am I ?

This is who God made you to be when you became His child but you have to 

study, meditate,

and know for yourself that they are true.


I am God’s child (John 1:12).


I belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:20).


I have been justified (Romans 5:1).


I am Christ’s friend (John 15:15).


I am a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20).


I am chosen before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4, 11).


I am holy and blameless (Ephesians 1:4).


I am adopted as his child (Ephesians 1:5).


I am victorious (1Corinthians 15:57).


I am born again (1Peter 1:23).


I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).


I am delivered (Colossians 1:13).


I am set free (Romans 8:2; John 8:32).


I have been brought near to God through Christ’s blood (Ephesians 2:13).


I have peace (Ephesians 2:14).


I have access to the Father (Ephesians 2:18).


I am a member of God’s household (Ephesians 2:19).


I am secure (Ephesians 2:20).


I can approach God with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12).

I am complete in Him Who is the Head of all principality and power (Colossians 2:10).


I am alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5).


I am free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).


I am far from oppression, and fear does not come near me (Isaiah 54:14).


I am born of God, and the evil one does not touch me (1 John 5:18).


I am holy and without blame before Him in love (Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:16).


I have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 2:5).


I have the peace of God that passes all understanding (Philippines 4:7).


I have the Greater One living in me; greater is He Who is in me than he who is in the world 

(1 John 4:4).


I have received the gift of righteousness and reign as a king in life by Jesus Christ 

(Romans 7:17).


I have received the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus, the eyes of my understanding being enlightened (Ephesians 1:17,18).


I have received the power of the Holy Spirit to lay hands on the sick and see them recover, to cast out demons, to speak with new tongues. I have power over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means harm me. (Mark 16: 7,18; Luke 10:17,19).


I have put off the old man and have put on the new man which is renewed in the knowledge after the image of Him Who created me (Colossians 3:9, 10).


I have given, and it is given to me; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over men give into my bosom (Luke 6:38).


I have no lack for my God supplies all of my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus 

(Philippines 4:19).


I can quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one with my shield of faith (Ephesians 6:16).


I can do all thing through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:13).


I show forth the praises of God Who has called me out of darkness into His marvelous light 

(1 Peter 2:9).


I am God’s child---for I am born again of the incorruptible seed of the Words of God, which lives and abides forever (1 Peter 1:23).


I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ unto good works (Ephesians 2:10).

I am a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).


I am a spirit being---alive to God (Romans 6:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:23).


I am a believer, and the light of the Gospel shines in my mind (2 Corinthians 4:4).


I am a doer of the Word and blessed in my actions (James 1:22, 25).


I am a joint-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17).


I am more than a conqueror through Him Who loves me (Romans 8:37).


I am an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb, the word of my testimony and I do not love my life more or will I renounce my faith even if I am faced with death (Revelations 12:11).


I am a partaker of His divine nature (2 Peter1: 3, 4).


I am an ambassador for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).


I am part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people (1 Peter 2:9).


I am the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).


I am the temple of the Holy Spirit; I am not my own (1 Corinthians 6:19). 


I am the head and not the tail; I am above only and not beneath (Deuteronomy 28:13).


I am the light of the world (Matthew 5:14).


I am His elect, full of mercy, kindness, humility, and long suffering (Romans 8:33; Colossians 3:12).


I am forgiven all my sins and washed in the Blood (Ephesians 1:7).


I am delivered from the power of darkness and translated into God’s kingdom (Colossians 1:13).


I am redeemed from the curse of sin, sickness, and poverty (Deuteronomy 28:15-68; Galatians 3:13).


I am firmly rooted, built up, established in my faith and overflowing with gratitude (Colossians 2:7).


I am called of God to be the voice of His praise (Psalm 66:8; 2 Timothy 1:9).


I am healed by the stripes of Jesus (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24).


I am raised up with Christ and seated in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 2:12).


I am greatly love by God (Romans1:7; Ephesians 2:4; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians1:4).


I am strengthened with all might according to His glorious power (Colossians 1:11).


I am submitted to God, and the devil flees from me because I resist him in the Name of Jesus 

(James 4:7).


I press on toward the goal to win the prize to which god in christ esus is call ing us upward

(Philippines 3:14).


For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).


It is not I who lives, but Christ lives in me (Galatians 2:20).


For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ for it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone that believes, first the Jew, then the Gentile (Romans 1:16).




Sunday, February 28, 2021

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD (Part 1)


Enjoy, mark, and remember the day you received Christ as your savior because it is where you and your Savior began a new path together. It will be a path of many ups and downs but the outcome will always draw you closer to Christ if you seek Him above all. I have been a believer since I was 8 years old and now I am 65. I can say with confidence that the Lord has never ever forsaken me but has loved me even when I couldn’t love myself. He has pulled me out of trying times many of which were of my own making and put me back onto solid ground without condemnation. (Ps 37:25) I could never thank Him enough or love and cherish Him more for His faithfulness then I do right now. We all have to find our own way through this Christian life. However, I have prayed that you will remain strong in Him no matter what the cost and that at the end your walk with Him you will stand before His throne a strong and mighty warrior.


As I prayed about what to say, the more I felt the Lord tell me to give you some practical wisdom from my years of service. This is wisdom I wished I had learned earlier in my walk with Christ. Much of it I had to learn the hard way because I was stubborn. Now  with experienced, I am less argumentative and more obedient when the Lord ‘comes a calling’. We never stop growing. Even with the many years of experience, I still feel as though I’ve only just begun to learn how to walk this glorious walk. And...that’s ok. 


I will list some of these special nuggets here and pray that you will be able to grasp the depth of their meaning. They are in no special order.  Please don’t feel overwhelmed by the number or that you have to achieve anyone of them quickly because most may take a while to master.  This is just the heart of one sister helping the walk of another succeed and avoid suffering through as much as I did. (Titus 2:3-5)


  • Always be honest with God because he already knows anyway. He is Omniscient. A big word that simply means He knows everything inside and out. Nothing is hidden from Him no matter how hard we try. He knows you better than you know yourself. That is why He is the best one to help you through life. We may not understand or agree with His choices for us but we will grow to understand He always has our best interest at heart. I have learned after each experience His ways were much better and thank Him for not doing it my way.


  • It is important to memorize scripture. I wish I were better at it. However, even when I don’t have an exact verse memorized, I have memorized the principle, it is living in my heart and I can still follow its direction at anytime.


  • Give God at least 15 minutes of time each day to be just with God. It doesn’t matter what time of day so much as just being consistent. Read a passage of scripture, a meaningful devotional, affirm who and whose you are, and so on. You can talk to Him and He will talk to you if you calm your mind and take time to listen. I highly recommend you journal what you hear, what you are learning, how you are doing so when the enemy attacks you, you will have something to go back to to affirm your walk and relationship with Him. Your memory of His Presence may fail you when the enemy attacks your mind.


  • To maintain and thrive, let him become ‘a bestie’ that you talk to throughout your day. Nothing is too big or too small to ask or talk to Him about. If it is important to you, it is important to Him. You will be surprised at how helpful He can be as you open up and talk to Him and ask His opinion about all kinds of things. Then ask the Holy Spirit to open up your eyes and ears to His answers when they come. Sometimes God answers quickly, sometimes He says wait a moment, and sometimes He says persevere in faith until the appointed time. Just remember, it takes time and effort to learn to communicate so what may seem silly at first will become your greatest asset. (Hebrews 11:6)


  • Let forgiveness always always always be your goal. Forgiveness is a choice we make to free ourselves, heal our heart and move forward. Some things are easy to forgive and others take effort and time. Remember unforgiveness in your heart can steal the place where your faith should be if you allow the offenses to stay. A wise old lady once told me, “Take no offense (from others actions) and God will defend you.” (make things turn for your good)(Romans 8:28) Believe me that remembering this one statement has kept me from allowing unforgiveness to build a fortress in my heart and mind many times. God has forgive us of all and He asks us to do the same for others. It’s hard but always doable.


  • Rarely is God early according to our standards but never is He late according to His. Trust His timing. He is faithful. This is a walk of faith and courage and it is rarely easy. God will push our faith to the limits to help us grow. However, the growth is worth the pressure in the long run if we persist.


  • We all make mistakes. Some have more costly consequences then others. In any case...Don’t beat yourself up with guilt and shame after you have sought and received God’s forgiveness. God loves you more then you will ever realize even when you blow it. But...DO evaluate and learn from each of them. If you don’t, you will face that mountain (problem) again and again. There is something about each mountain God wants you to learn to make your life better and make you more like Him. God never allows storms/problems to surface with the intent to destroy you but to show you how faithful He is. He will give you the wisdom you need to come through as an overcomer. The enemy on the other hand wants you to be destroyed piece by piece. (John 10:10) God wants to bring you abundant life and turn everything around for good if you seek Him and his guidance instead of your own. (Romans 8:28) Doesn’t matter who was at fault originally. God is always willing to turn it for your good. Again, God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6) That is one of the characteristics I love most about my Savior.


  • When you walk with Christ and seek Him, you walk as a victor not as a victim.


  • Always remember ‘the best is yet to come’ and that you are not strong enough to screw up His plans and destiny for your life. (Jeremiah 29:11)


  • Always remember your salvation is secure in Christ. Satan will try to steal your peace about it anytime he can. This usually happens when you have made one of those big mistakes I talked about earlier. At least, that is when he always tried to do it with me. He goal is to move you away from God and the knowledge of His love in order to isolate you from God. The isolation makes you ‘feel like’ you are not saved anymore. We can’t base what we believe on ‘our feelings’ but only on faith in what the word of God says. (2 Corinthians 5:7) So...don’t let him overcome you with his lies. This is when knowing, memorizing and believing scripture is so important. The Holy Spirit seals you until the day of salvation. (Ephesians 4:30) Studying these scriptures and asking Holy Spirit’s guidance will prove very valuable in the days ahead. Securing and maintaining this assurance of your salvation in the good times is much easier then trying to catch up in the bad.


  • God will never ask you to do something He has not already given you the ability to do. However, sometimes you will have to 'step out in faith' and start the job/journey first before you come to realize this. Those times for me were scary and that is when fear became my greatest hinderance. When you are in fear, you are believing the enemy's lies instead of God's Truth. But God can help you work through your fears when you turn to trust Him. Just keep searching and believing He can help you and it will happen. My case was bad so if it can turn around for me, it can turn around for you.


  • Grace is the power you will need to make the necessary changes. God says He has more than enough grace to see you through each needed change...and without condemnation. (2 Corinthians 12:9, Romans 8:1) Oh how I still clung to these two promises.


  • Surround yourself with godly people. Ultimately you become like those you hang around. And don’t allow bad influences in because you think you can witness to them. Satan can take your hand and lead you astray quickly before you realize what he is doing. Go for the godly advice from people you have learned to trust and allow those same godly people to speak correction into your life as well. It can save you a lot of heartache. It isn’t easy for them to speak up so give them a break. It isn’t easy for anyone to receive correction either but listen anyway. Remember...Pride comes right before a fall. 


  • Renewing your mind/thought life with God’s word/principles is one of the most important things you will ever do as a Christian. (Romans12:2) I cannot stress this enough. It was my downfall for years because it allowed satan to trap my mind with his lies and bring me down. It can mean the difference between defeat and victory with your mental battles in life. You have to know and trust God’s word!!


  • What you tell yourself or think about yourself or ‘self talk’ can either build you up and strengthen you for what God is doing in your life or it can tear everything He is doing down and you may wonder why you can’t ever get ahead. I caution you from criticizing yourself, concentrating on what you can’t do instead of what you can, or rehearsing past failures. Stay positive about yourself! 


  • Knowing and believing who you are in Christ is also vital to your walk. If you don’t know who you are in Christ and the authority you carry as a child of God then satan will be able to overcome you quickly.  I don’t just read each attribute but I ask the Holy Spirit to impart the wisdom He wants me to see through them. I make notes on them. Over time and meditation about their meaning, they have become apart of who I am. They have gone from my head to my heart through the power of the Holy Spirit. And now...I believe what they say about me is true. It didn’t happen over night so it is not a quick fix but a daily determination to overcome a worldly mindset and become more like Christ with His kingdom values. (My list of who we are in Christ will be posted soon.)


  • And last but not least is...Develop attitudes of thankfulness, gratitude, and praise in all things. This will not only bring you closer and closer to God Himself, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit but it will also ultimately bring love, peace, joy, and contentment into your life as well. This is another part of renewing your mind to reflect Christ’s character. 



Again these nuggets of wisdom are not here to overwhelm you but to give you a sense of direction as you begin your new life with Christ. I have never regretted my decision to follow Jesus even when it got quite hard. Once you get the hang of it, I know you will not look back either. One last scripture which is one of my favorites. Luke 12:32:


Do not be afraid, little flock, 

for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”



Thursday, July 9, 2020

God Used A Sunset

Having a daily quiet time is essential for me. I chat with God through out, sing a hymn, read a couple of thought-provoking devotionals, a chapter in Proverbs and a chapter or two in whatever book of the Bible I am studying, and then I spend time earnestly praying. Being in the presence of Jesus in the morning makes my day start out peaceful and purposeful. So much of the time, God seems silent but I know He is there just the same. It is like two old friends sitting on the sofa not having to say a thing. They have a knowing between them while enjoying each other’s company.

This particular Saturday morning, June 20, I was reading Jesus Calling Morning & Evening by Sarah Young. There were several sentences on the morning and evening parts that caught my eye so I underlined this year in pencil. It amazes mehow different years will inspire different underlinings. When I finished, I wrote out the suggested prayer command I wanted to remember at the end of the devotional page.

What caught my eye were these sentences:

  • Ask My Spirit to sharpen your spiritual eyesight and hearing.
  • Practice looking and listening for Me during quiet intervals. Gradually you will find Me in more and more of your moments.
  • You will see Me and find Me, when you seek Me above all else. (Jeremiah 29:13)
Above these, I notice a line about glorious sunsets but didn’t underline it even though I thought in the moment how wonderful it would be to see one.

Later in the day, after meeting up with two other ladies we drove about 45 minutes away for our monthly share group at a member’s home we had not been to before. While riding, I reassured one of the two that I would escort her back at the church so she could make it home before dark as she had requested before agreeing to come. It was an awesome time of food, fellowship and intercessory prayer but as promised, we left in time to fulfill my promise.

After hugs and good-byes, I left the church to drive the short distance home. As I turned the corner onto Main Street, I was suddenly put directly in front of a gorgeous sunset that filled the whole sky in front of me. It captured my heart with awe and I whispered “Oh Lord, how beautiful!” I quickly pulled over and snapped a picture with my cell phone before the moment was gone. Later, I posted it on Facebook to bless others. Then, I was through or so I thought.




The next morning, Sunday, at my church’s intercessory prayer meeting, God inspired me to post the picture to my blog. Little did I know there was a reason for revisiting the photo again. That was not all He wanted me to see. 

When I got home from church, God reminded me of yesterday’s devotional so I went to look it up again. First, I saw the sentence about the glorious sunsets and my heart smiled...but then I noticed the sunset portion had been faintly underlined. Only God could have set this up to underline those exact words! There were three pages involved and the underling had to line up perfectly. The sunset sentence was on page one (left side), not underline originally. Page two (right side), I had underlined a sentence. When I underlined a sentence from page three (back side of page two), it transferred the pencil from page two to underline the sunset sentence on page one. God wanted the sunset sentence highlighted. I began to realize yesterday was a total setup by God to communicate His great sovereignty. If I would be willing to develop the eyes to see, He wanted to show me Himself through His beautiful creation. 



The devotion itself, the time of the party and my friend having to be home before dark was all apart of His timing to have me back to see that gorgeous sunset. I felt so special to Him in that moment! He IS always working on our behalf behind the scenes to show us His kingdom. My heart began to thank and praise Him for His wonderful works! 

God communicates with us all the time. But... 
have we developed the eyes and ears to notice? 

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Sometimes God Answers Quickly

An unexpected call lead me on a trip high up into the mountains of NC to visit a friend at her family’s cabin. The cabin has been a vacation home since 1968 and she only travels up from Charleston, SC three times a year for a stay. I have known this friend since childhood and have visited her family cabin several times over the years. Her family had lived across the street from my grandparents years ago and I loved to go visit them when my family came for Christmas or a visit in the summer. Now, we are both on the other side of life and I had not seen her in over 12 years. This was truly a treat.

Of course, we did the normal catching up on what our relatives in both families had been up to. I didn’t realize that her brother had died last year. I told her of my brother’s death too. I talked about how I loved her parents home as a child, baking poundcake with her mom and how in my mind’s eye I still occasionally ventured from room to room to reminisce. My grandparents home is like that for me too. The vivid memories are much more precious now that I am older. I have dreamed about the places I have lived and the people I have known and that has brought me so much comfort and joy. 

Then my friend said, “Someone has torn down your grandparents house and the lot is vacant.” She didn’t know why, didn’t know who owned it now and didn’t know of any plans for rebuilding. My heart sank low. So much of what I knew as a child has already been demolished because of progress. So many of the relatives I grew up with have gone too. Nothing stays the same and I get that. However, when those things which one uses to remember and reminisce with are lost, it can be disheartening. I couldn’t shake it off my mind.

When I left the mountains, I prayed that God would protect my friend and her family. She is battling cancer so I prayed for her health and healing and time for another visit together. Again, it is true. The realities of aging are not always pleasant.

The following morning, when I had my quiet time with the Lord, I explained how I felt about my grandparents home and that I didn’t want to continue to mourn the pasting of an era. I admitted life must go on and change is apart of that life. However, I would require some help from Him to get me back into the life I now enjoy. 

As I finished up my prayer and readings, it happened! First, a friend texted and asked me to have an early lunch with her at her home. She had fixed pigs in a blanket, baked beans, and cantaloupe. Her husband had unexpectedly been invited to go shooting and now she didn’t want to eat all that food alone. Although I didn’t really want to get up and out of my comfortable pajamas at first, I felt a nudge to accept so I did. When God begins to send the answer, I need to be willing to get up and receive it. Then another friend texted. She asked if I would fix supper that night because she had time for a visit. I had asked her to do that whenever she found space in her busy schedule. Perfect! My day was set. Then, it really dawned on me. God WAS answering my request! My heart leaped for joy as I left my room of prayer.

As my day progressed to the end, I realized those feelings of sadness had departed because I had concentrated on being with those I cherish now. God knew exactly what it would take to lift me up. And in the place of sadness came praise, thanksgiving and joy! So many times it seems we have to wait in faith and patience for an answer to our prayers. But today...today was not one of them.



Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Pruning Is Hard To Do


I like to plant things in my flowerbeds that require very little maintenance. My plan was to plant a couple of varieties of African daisies to finish out the look in my front beds. Their care consist of watering and pinching off the dead blooms. Not bad. However, as I praised my finished work, God raised my eyes to view the over grown nandina bushes just behind. They looked unruly and overgrown. Nandina bushes are basically maintenance free too except they require major pruning every couple of years. It was like God was reminding me this was the year. 

Reluctantly, I found the pruning shears and started to work. Of course, I wanted to give up after the second bush because my back was hurting from bending over. With each cut, I kept thinking I’ll finish this tomorrow. Yet, God was not ready for me to quit and told me to sit down, relax, and continue on. Just so you know, it was amusing scooting around on my hind parts from bush to bush and the times I had to get up...well that was pretty amusing too.

I should have known when I heard ‘sit down, relax, and continue on’ that there was more on God’s mind then just my immediate trimming need. The more I pruned the more He talked to me about the process of pruning. Now, I was pruning in the natural but He was explaining pruning in the spiritual. I finally had to get my journal and start writing. Below are the highlights of what I heard.


  • If we are God’s child (accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord), then we will be pruned from time to time. Those whom He loves He corrects.
  • Even though God prunes out of love and always has our best interest at heart, there will always be those who will question and blame God, refusing to change and thus never receiving the blessing of revelation and restoration that pruning provides.

  • Trust God and His progress. Come humble before Him. He will turn everything to our good when we allow Him to finish His work. He is preparing us for the desires of our hearts which usually originate from Him.

  • God desires more fruitfulness. Each trimmed limb often produces a double or more portion.

  • Sometimes just a small snip gets our attention and realigns us but other times it’s a major undertaking. Major pruning is a step by step process. Each lesson has to be completed before advancement is allowed because each lesson is valuable. Stubbornness, willfulness, and the like will prolong the prune.

  • Some of the reasons God prunes us are among the following: pride, ungodly mind-sets, undesirable attitudes and actions, unproductive dead parts, or lack of balance. The focus is to put us back on the right track again.
  • Pruning does not mean we have lost your position in Him or His love. On the contrary, it is out of His love that He takes the time to refine. Then afterwards, who knows...it could bring an unexpected promotion.

  • Our pruning is tailored to what is necessary at that time. And...We are not all pruned at the same time. God continually searches our hearts individually and not our deceptive outward appearance for inconsistencies.

  • Hopefully because of our experiences, when we see the pruning of another, we will be compassionate, encouraging and not a gossip.

  • We do not want to be 'in need of pruning' because of pride and possible embarrassment but God is not concerns about our reputation or our feelings when it comes to needed course corrections. He will comfort us doing the process but our feelings are not a deterrent. If it gets messy, He can restore anything lost when needed.

  • God remains near us at all times to instruct and encourage. God always helps us clean up the repentant mess around us by taking away any sin, shame, guilt or regret. God is after the hope of glory He desires in us through expanding our faith and character.

  • When God prunes us, He doesn’t look down on us in condemnation at all. He desires to reveal wisdom and solutions on a level we can understand. However, it is our responsibility to actively seek Him for the needed changes when things go south.

  • Joy can be achieved throughout this process when we become grateful for/in the journey.

  • When a plant is trimmed on the surface, its initial response is to go underground to develop stronger roots. In spiritual pruning, a stronger root is a teachable heart, a listening ear, time in His presence, prayer, bible study, fellowship, counsel and support from godly people to name a few.

  • God’s grace is sufficient to help us find and eliminate any and all sinful roots especially the root of bitterness. Unless we intensionally root out the causes of these ungodly attitudes and actions, they will keep cropping up.

  • God’s purpose in pruning is not to harm us but to guide us and give us a future and a hope by reestablishing His promises and commands then reaffirming His faithfulness to fulfill those promises and realign us in His cammands. In the end, we feel lighter and freer and we treasure the wisdom revealed because we have become more Christlikeness.

Afterwards, when I came into the bathroom to get cleaned up, I walked in front of the mirror and my T-shirt caught my eye. Rooted In Christ! That put a smile on my face. What a great ending to a great time with the Lord.

I don’t know where you are in your life today. You may be living the life of God’s joy, peace and abundance. However, if you find yourself in a season of God’s purposeful pruning, I hope this post will encourage you in your difficult season. It may not seem like it now but this too shall pass in God’s way and timing. Learn all you can and allow Him to love you through it.


Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.
I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.