Rise and Shine

When I was growing up I would stay at my Nanny and Paw Paw’s house in the Summer months while visiting my dad. The smell of bacon or sausage cooking and homemade biscuits every morning is what I woke up to around 7 a.m. and the roosters crowing in the back ground. My grandfather was a diabetic and had to have his meals on time every day around the same hour. They had a little farm house they lived in that was filled with love and laughter as well as prayer around the table. I don’t get up and make home made biscuits every morning, but I try and have them for my family on the weekends as much as possible. I get up early and make sure my son has a good breakfast before he heads out to work. I enjoy a good meal and prayer with my husband and it’s something so simple in our home that I hope my son will remember. We live in such an instantanous world and seem to always be in a hurry, so it is nice to slow down, enjoy a good meal together and come together in prayer. In the book of Proverbs 31 it is written: “She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.” I don’t consider myself a Proverbs 31 woman, but I try and do the best I can when I am able. I hope my son finds a wife that knows how to cook and loves Jesus. I want him to remember me on my knees praying for our family, seeing me in the Word, and having prayer around our table. Getting up early is a discipline but well worth it when you put God first. You have time while your house is still sleeping to start the day in prayer, reading scripture or devotions, and doing what you can to be there for your family. You set the tone for your home which should be a safe haven and a soft place to land. Sharing a good meal together in fellowship and prayers is a good start! Jesus set the example when He had the last supper with His disciples on the night He was to be arrested. When He broke the bread and drank the wine He said, “Do this in rememberance of Me.” He was waiting for Peter on the shore line with breakfast after He had been raised from the dead. Having a meal together is important and the benefits will be so rewarding. Especially when the Lord is present. So get up! Rise and Shine! Be a blessing to your family and leave a legacy for your children to pass on to their children. Just make sure whatever you do you do it as if for the Lord and He will bless it.

Prayer for today:

Heavenly Father, I pray today that you would give me the strength and ability to set a good example for my family. I pray that you would fill me to over flowing with the Holy Spirit to do well in Your sight. Thank you for this day and thank you for our daily bread. In Jesus Name, Amen.

I Thirst…

My husband and I went fishing yesterday afternoon and I always love looking at this tree. When I look at it I see it dipping down trying to get a drink. The water is so close and it cannot touch it. Have you ever been so thirsty for something in your life but you couldn’t get a hold of it? Through the years I have longed for the one God would send to me. I have made so many wrong choices in men in my life by rushing ahead of God and not waiting. Finally last year I threw my hands up and said, “Ok God take over.” He did. He sent me the one I am to finish out my journey with until He calls me home. I asked God for confirmation in writing because I have been so wrong before so many times. He gave me confirmation unbeliveably with the writing on the wall so to speak. I had met him previously two other times through his dad introducing us, but it was just not the right timing. Last September his dad introduced us again and something was different. Our eyes locked and it was as if God collided our hearts at the same time. He had to fly back to Michagan the next morning. We talked on the phone, video chatted, and texted every chance we got. Then one day I sent him a bible verse, 1 Corinthians 13. The same Sunday morning the Pastor of the church I went to preached the entire sermon on that very verse. Later that afternoon while up in Michagan he opened his bible and out fell a picture of his son’s wedding photo with a note wrapped around it. Guess what was on the note? You guessed it, 1 Corinthians 13. I no longer needed confirmation. That was totally from God. We got married on New Years Day earlier this year. The woman at the well found Jesus when she was thirsty for years and longing for fulfillment. Lazarus is still begging for that drop of water. Elijah prayed for rain. The woman thought if she could only touch the hem of His garment she would be healed. This year I will be 54 years old and it has taken me this long to go through so many storms to finally feel peace and contentment. I don’t have a seminary degree but I do have the Holy Spirit within me to lead and guide me and lean on. I have battled cancer not once but twice and beat it. I have been through raising a son with liver failure and having had two liver transplants. I have taken care of my father with Alzheimer’s before he passed away. I have been through broken relationships more than I care to mention with disappointment and failure hanging over my head. This year though, I have been granted my heart’s desire with a husband who loves the Lord as much as I do, treats me with respect, and I am so grateful. I am no longer thirsty for a husband from God. I am thirsty for Jesus’s return. Whatever you are going through in this life God will not leave you thirsty and without. He will supply all your needs. He will fill your cup to running over. He will not leave you begging for bread. God told me to get back to writing this morning and not to promote anything with my book, “Daybreak Devotions” but allow Him to send it out to where they need to go. When I look at the tree trying it’s best to get a sip of water I see me. Thank you Lord for the drink. I am no longer thirsty, I just long for you.

Making Room for God

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I don’t know about you, but I have let the world in my mind so much that I can’t hear God speak to me when I desperately need to hear from Him.  The world is so accessible to us and can consume us if we let it.  This morning like many times before I deleted my social media accounts.  I have heard God tell me to do so before, and I almost always am tempted to sign back on and fall into the trap again.  I pray this time I am able to be strong and shift my focus to new things in my life and back to the cross where it should be.  I asked the Lord this morning about it and the first thing that came to mind was this verse: Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” In the book of 1 Samuel God called him in the middle of the night and Samuel thought it was Eli calling him because he didn’t recognize the voice of God. Eli recognized that it was God and so he told Samuel to answer him the next time he heard him call and say, “Speak Lord your servant is listening.” In Samuels time the priest were the mediator between the people and God.  Then when Jesus came on the scene He became our mediator.  He left His Holy Spirit behind as a deposit to lead us, and direct our paths.  He lives inside of us to help us through this crazy world. Billy Graham one of the greatest evangelist preached on the battlefield of the mind.  He said, “If we are a christian we are engaged in a war field.”  Thoughts are powerful to harm us and powerful to help us. How do you think when you are alone? Who is going to control our minds? Billy Graham said: “One of the joys of heaven will be discovering the hidden ways that God in His soverignty acted in our lives on earth to protect and guide us. I know that soon my life will be over. I thank God for it, and for all He has given me in this life but I look forward to heaven.” God is guiding us while we are here by speaking to us in our conscience with His Spirit, through His Word, through prayer and by sending someone else to speak to us with a Word of truth.  We have to be attentive and our mind has to be clear of the clutter of this world to hear Him speak.  The battlefield of the mind is huge and the more junk we put in from the world the less we are going to hear from God.  The more of God we put in our heads the less we will have room for the attacks of negative emotions from the enemy with doubt, worry, fear and depression.  I’ll be the first to say I am guilty of putting things and people before Him.  We all do it because we are human.  Forgive us Lord for putting other idols before You and may You fill us to overflowing with Your Holy Spirit to help us! I want to hear Your voice, and I want to sit at your feet and be Your servant.  You above all are my everything.

Prayer for today: Heavenly Father, I pray Lord God that you will protect my mind from the enemy and help me to retain Your Word and Truth so that I can hear You Speak. Forgive me for putting this world above You.  Help me to balance out my schedule so that I put you first above everything so that You can lead and guide me in this fallen world. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Final Resting Place

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Today is Memorial Day and so many people are having a great time with family and friends. Some people are having cook outs and enjoying their time off of work. However, there are many who are mourning the loss of their fellow soldiers who died in active duty protecting our borders. At a sweet early chapel service yesterday a veteran and neighbor spoke about how his best friend died in an airplane. He said that his friend asked him if he wanted to fly that day with him and for whatever reason he said no. His friend never made it home. I was looking at some of the memorial day videos last night and ran across some of the unknown soldiers tributes. I can’t imagine what the families of the ones who never made it home must have felt and are possibly still reflecting on. We don’t know when our time on earth is done we are just supposed to be prepared for Heaven our final resting place which is to be our home. In God’s Word it is written in Hebrews 6:19 “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.” One of the greatest evangelist ever known, Billy Graham, talked about his final resting place. His last words were as follows: “I’ll be in heaven for one reason: Many years ago I put my faith and trust in Jesus Christ, who died on the cross to make our forgiveness possible and rose again from the dead to give us eternal life. Do you know you will go to heaven when you die? You can by committing your life to Jesus Christ today.” I was reminded of the quote going around facebook often and I don’t know who said it or I would give them credit but it reads: “There are two people who laid down their life for you and that is the soldier and Jesus Christ.” One we may or may not know and the other we can know through His Word and how He can change your life for His Glory. Do you know where your final resting place will be? Heaven or Hell? On this day as we remember those who died and laid down their life to give us freedom and peace may we also must never forget what was done at Calvary. My neighbor will hopefully see his best friend again in Heaven if he was a believer. There is a final resting place for us that offers peace to all if we come to know Christ. It is at the feet of Jesus. Do you know Him?

Running on “Empty”

Have you ever been so drained that you just have nothing it seems left in you to go another mile? I looked down at my gas gage the other day and it was literally in the yellow. I had been going so much that I didn’t even realize how low it was. Then it dawned on me about my spiritual tank. Yes it is running on empty and I have to fill it up. Since Covid hit this year has been a complete uncertainty for most, including myself. If I neglect my soul then I’m up for attack from the enemy. I’ll be the first to admit I need to be more in the Word of God than I am. Forgive me Lord! If the devil gets wind that you are emotionally drained then believe me that is when he is going to attack the most. John 15:4-5 says: “Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” In the greek the word abide means to stay and remain. If we are to remain in close fellowship or relationship with the Lord we have to spend time with Him. More than just a few minutes He wants more of our twenty-four hours that we have. The world and satan is ready to steal kill and destroy our joy by taking away our time that God deserves. In the book of Mark Jesus is telling the disciples to come away with Him and rest. It is written in Mark 6:31 ” And He said unto them, come ye yourselves apart into a desert place and rest a while for there were many coming and going and they had no leisure so as much to eat.” Charles Spurgeon once wrote: “If you want that splendid power in prayer, you must remain in loving, living, lasting, conscious, practical, abiding union with the Lord Jesus Christ.” For me running on empty comes quick so I have to be ready in season and out of season and fill up my spiritual tank often. To do that I need rest and that means abiding in Him.

Sweet Hour

clockI can’t tell you for how many years and how often, but the Lord wakes me up from time to time to pray in the middle of the night and it is usually around the three o’clock hour. I wake up and lay there and think I am too tired at times, or my mind wanders easily to something else. However, the Lord will not let me rest or go back to sleep until I pray. Sometimes I will grab my pillow, hit the floor and just bow and spend a sweet moment with our Savior. I used to not know how to pray and felt intimidated when others would. If I was at church or a small group I would sweat at the idea of even being called on to pray.  Around 2010 I joined a ladies non profit as a grace girl to help her with her mission of loving and serving others.  This woman was remarkable and on fire for the Lord. She was mentoring me. I talked to her about praying and for the next several months we met on Saturday mornings in her basement on her floor at six am praying. One of the most profound things she did and shared with me was getting the image of God in my head before I pray and why am I praying. She said, “Read and picture Isaiah chapter six and it will come.” Then she said, “Start acknowledging God for who He is, thanking him, praising him, then let him know what is on your heart and then end it with where you started out praising Him again.” The more I did that the easier prayer got. I then started praying for God to place people in my pathway to pray for and use me as a vessel for Him. Since 2010 God amazes me with people who need prayer and I try to never miss an opportunity to pray whom He places in my world at that moment.  All throughout the bible it is mentioned of prayer from Jacob, to Jonah, to Jesus  praying before being crucified and several others in-between. Why? Because it is powerful. Jesus is now our intercessor just waiting to hear from us to turn over our prayers to God. Sometimes He may say Yes, sometimes No, and sometimes wait He has something better planned. In God’s Word there are several verses mentioned about prayer. In Jeremiah 29:12 it is written: “Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will hear you.” If you believe in God’s Word then why aren’t we praying more? In Philippians 4:6 it is written: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Billy Graham once quoted: “The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes and say O God forgive me or help me.”  We all do don’t we? We are to encourage and lift one another up along this journey and I can’t think of a better way to do it than by prayer. It’s a sweet hour.

Are you still enough?

hummingbirdYesterday I was working on some crafts out on my deck. I kept hearing this buzzing noise, but didn’t see any bees around. I glanced up and to my surprise it was a hummingbird at the feeder. When I looked up,  I spooked it and it flew away. This went on for a while. I tried to get a picture of him, but every time I moved he would fly away. I thought to myself I am just going to be as still as possible, not move,  be ready with my phone and simply wait for him. A few minutes went by and he came back. You guessed it I was finally able to catch the perfect shot! This made me wonder how many times are we so busy that we miss out on what God has in store for us. I am so guilty of jumping ahead of God over and over to the point that it almost destroyed me. Time and time again I have jumped ahead of the best God intended for me with poor choices in my life and it has cost me.  I had to learn the hard way that in doing so I missed out on the best He had for me. Being still and knowing that He is God takes a lot of practice! Job in the bible could do nothing but wait. Satan was like a hound on his heels at every turn taking away all he worked so hard for to the point of his wife even told him to curse God and die. However, Job still waited on God and was faithful no matter what. In the end God restored everything to him that he had lost. He was still enough to trust that God was not going to leave him. Psalm 33:20 says: “Our soul waits for the Lord. He is our help and our shield.” The words of Isaiah 40:31 says: “Those that wait  upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary and they shall walk and not faint.” Billy Graham once quoted: ” Patience in our lives springs from God’s power based upon our willingness to learn it.” Lord God please forgive me for jumping ahead of You!  Slow me down enough that I can be still enough and rest in the absolute best you have in store for me.

Celebration in Heaven

dadbeachpicToday is June 9th and if my Daddy was still alive we would be celebrating his 83rd birthday. I know he is in Heaven without a doubt and celebrating with Jesus every day now. Life is a day to celebrate. He has a new body with no more pain or sickness and I definitely wouldn’t want him to come back to this world we live in and relive his last hours.  I saw a picture once of a banquet table that was set so eloquently for a dinner party. At the end of the table was a picture of God’s Hands as if to say, “Come let’s celebrate.” I’ve never gotten that picure out of my head. So what does the bible say about Heaven and celebrating? Psalms 16:11 says this: “You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”  In Revelation 19:6-9 it is written: “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready. It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, These are true words of God.” The church is waiting for the day the groom comes back for His bride so to speak. We as believers have communion in our churches today to remind us of Christ’ blood that was shed  for us at calvary.  It is just a taste or a morsel if you will of what is to come that we will do in heaven as we celebrate. So many have wondered if we will recognize our loved ones in heaven. In 1 Corinthians 13:12 it is written: “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.” In Billy Grahams last article written before his death he stated the following: “I’m convinced that heaven is far more glorious than anything we can possibly imagine right now, and I look forward not only to it’s wonder and peace, but also to the joy of being reunited with those who have gone there before me, especially my dear wife, Ruth.” The invitation to celebrate with our loved ones is always open. Jesus made the way with arms extended. All you have to do is believe and accept the invitation. The time is drawing near for when He will return for us. Are you ready? John 3:16 says this: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” That’s worth celebrating!

Are you sure?

OIPNDD2TDZ8This morning like many here and there over the years before my feet hit the floor a hymn came to mind. It is entitled, “Blessed Assurance”.  I came downstairs and got my coffee and started wondering about the history of the song I have heard through the years. What an amazing woman of God I found in the composer of the song! Her name was Frances “Fanny” Crosby from New York.   She was blind after an eye infection as an infant yet she was a poet, lyricist and composer of over 9000 hymns and gospel songs. She was a missionary in her own back yard so to speak and helped the homeless, and a teacher. She considered herself to be a rescue missionary in helping those in need. It is said that she had a accomplished so much in her life and around the age of 30 she started to question if she was truly saved. She visited several different denominations and Wesleyn Holiness Camp Meetings until one day in church she felt the unction of the Holy Spirit and began to shout and came to the altar. Shortly after that she visited her friend Phoebe Palmer Knapp and she played a melody on the piano for Frances. She asked her, “What do you think the melody is saying to you?” Frances stated, “Blessed Assurance Jesus is mine.” She wrote down the lyrics to the song and it was published in 1873.  Once a preacher asked her if she wished she was not born blind. She stated, ” Do you know that if at birth I had been able to make one petiton it would have been that I should be born blind? He asked, “Why?” She said, “Because when I get to heaven the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Savior!” After years of serving God when she passed they wrote on her tombstone at her request the following: “I did what I could.” What a wonderful example of someone dedicated to Jesus in being a light to others. She was unsure of her salvation and sought after it until she found it. Then she used her gifts to reach many through the years with her poems and hymns to allow the Holy Spirit of God to draw them to salvation. First thought when reading the lyrics was wondering how many have sang this song in church so many times yet go home unsure of their salvation if they were to die that day. The lyrics go something like this: “Blessed Assurance Jesus is mine, O what a foretaste of glory divine, heir of salvation, purchase of God, Born of His Spirit, washed in His Blood. Perfect submission, all is at rest, I in my Savior am happy and blessed. Watching and waiting, looking above, filled with His goodness, lost in His love… This is my story, this is my song, praising my savior all the day long, this is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long, Oh what a Savior, wonderful Jesus”….How beautiful she wrote this after she was recently saved  and without a doubt she knew Jesus was her Savior. What about you? Do you know without a doubt Jesus is your Savior? Are you sure?

Soap & Water

125052I was talking to a very good friend of mine yesterday morning who happens to have a doctorate in Nursing.  We have been friends now for over 30 years. She teaches nursing in South Ga and is very dear to me. This year the Covid 19 virus has run rampid and the numbers of people dying have escalated and not gotten any better. She lives in a hot spot where the virus to this date in April of 2020 has hit 967 cases according to Johns Hopkins University researchers. It’s a number dwarfed in size in comparison to New York and New Orleans but on a per capita basis the outbreak makes Albany, GA the 4th worst hit in the country with 659 cases for every 100,000 people. It all started in Albany with two funerals and people not washing their hands. My mom lives near Albany and I would love to just pile up in the car and go see her. Cindy advised differently and said for me to stay where I am. It’s just too risky. Cindy said, “Dawn how could something so deadly be easily destroyed with soap and water but wreak havoc inside the body. It’s almost like it was made.” Well, you know me and immediately I thought something biblical so today this conversation made me thing about how we in the flesh look so prettied up on the outside yet on the inside we are dying. No matter how much make up we put on, or smile and fake it on the outside, if we are tormented by the enemy on the inside he can destroy our very lively hood to the core. We have to be on guard and be sober and vigilent because the enemy comes around like a roaring lion the Word tells us seeking whom he may devour. We have to stay in the Word, in prayer, and in close relationship with God to hear His still small voice lead and guide us in this lost and dying world. In the book of Matthew 23:26 it is written: “Thou blind pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. ” Ezekiel 7:15 says: “The sword is outside and the plague and the famine are within. He who is in the field will die by the sword; famine and the plague will also consume those in the city.” Just like this virus can easily be contained if we stay contained, and wash our hands we can also fight the enemy with “It is Written.” How do I know this? Jesus was in the wilderness being tempted by satan himself and every single time he tried to tempt Him, Jesus fought back with the Word and said, “It is Written.” We have to be aware of our surroundings and we have to know how to fight. With this virus we can only be cautious until there is a cure and be smart about whom and where we go to get our essentials. With every day life we have to not only clean up with soap and water on the outside, we have to work on the inside. Beauty comes from within and is where the Holy Spirit resides if you are a believer. Soap can clean up the outside and the living water can clean up the inside.