Are you in bondage?

Do you recognize you are in bondage?

The book of Exodus tells the story of the how God delivered the Israelites from slavery at the hand of Pharaoh.

Exodus tells a story about a God who loves His people so much that He reaches down into their bondage and frees them.

The thing about bondage is that it can become a comfortable place, so comfortable that one is often loath to leave. Present surroundings, even when less than perfect, are preferable to a new set of surroundings that can seem foreign, scary and uncertain.

Whatever our bondage, we can find freedom. We can stop sinning and escape the chains that bind us.

Delve into God’s word and pull down the strongholds which bind you. Get a clear picture of who God is and who you are in Christ. Take Jesus words at face value, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. God has accepted you just as you are, do you understand what that means? It is the law of grace that is worked out through God’s love for you.

Look closely at any strongholds the enemy is using to hold you in bondage.

• Un-forgiveness (ouch, I am dealing with this right now and it is a biggie)

• Un-repented, uncontested and often repeated sins (for me it is overeating or eating unhealthy food)

• Un-holy ties to the past. For me anyway, this is certainly tied to in-forgiveness also.

• Negative self talk. These words have the power of life or death. Renounce the words that only serve to bind your soul.

• You put your particular stronghold here.

Learn about your authority. You are a child of God and as such you have been given authority over the powers of the enemy. Stand firm. When you want to cut and run back to that from which you have been delivered. Call up your authority and stand firm.

Remember the story of Exodus. God was with Moses as he mobilized and led this mass of humanity out of Egypt. It took fortitude, courage and more than just a little trust as God led them out of Egypt. He wants to lead us to.

Become independent from the lies that bind you. Receive the love that your Father has for you.

Dottie

…………..and so I ride

The election. God is still in control, hang onto that.

The election. Just saying the word makes me feel desperate and disjointed.

We are all feeling it, there is hate spewed everywhere from both sides. Try as we might to stay out of the hatred and not be a contributing factor in the rising anger in this country, it is almost impossible.

It really doesn’t matter which side of the political fence your find yourself on, the country is experiencing significant stress and that is being brought forth into our everyday lives in very damaging ways.

 We as humans are often quick to jump in and defend our side of the fence.

We are blaming each other, especially if we are on opposing sides.

A county united has been replaced by a country divided.

It feels as if we have lost our power. We have two political parties vying for the highest political office in the land. If you have not noticed, those two parties do not get along very well, not only that but they do not follow even the most basic of playground rules. The thing about disobedience is that it is contagious and easily caught.

So what do we do and how do we get through this?

The most proactive thing we can do is to get out and vote. It does matter, it is our responsibility, our votes do count. .

“Let each citizen remember, at the moment he is offering his vote, that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual—or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society, for which he is accountable to God and his country.” Samuel Adams

On Nov 9th life will continue and no matter our political views, we are going to have to decide how our lives progress from that day forward.

No matter who is our President, God is still in charge. Our hope does not lie in who resides in the white house. Our hope is not with the Republican or the Democratic Party.

 Our hope lies with Christ alone.

God is sovereign and God is still in control. If we see the government (both sides) as evil and corrupt, try to remember that the evil goings on of the humans in the white house(no matter who they are) are never outside God’s control and in His time and His way, His purpose will be accomplished. We may have to live through some tough stuff but in the end, God is in control.

I have been looking past personalities and looking at the issues. It has been hard because the ongoing personality battles are blasted every single day, all day long. However each candidate does have a platform for which they stand. For me the issues are as follows.

Religious freedom

Biblical sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman

The lives of unborn children

Radical Islamic terrorism

Do I want to continue down the road of irresponsible socialism?

Do I want our nation to return to Biblical hard and honest work, entrepreneurship and industry?

Do I want a Supreme Court and federal judges who respect and uphold the safeguards of the US Constitution?

Look at the candidates platforms and place your informed vote. After that is done, step back, take the gloves off and let God do His job. I promise you, He has not forgotten what He has promised us, His people.

Dottie

………..and so I ride

Why I will never give up!

It is very easy to lose hope in the world we live in and when hope fades our faith that things will get better soon slips away too.

Depression and hopelessness abound and at times you can feel the despair pressing down.

If only we could find a light bright enough to shine through the darkness so we could find our way.

Jobs are lost, marriages fail, people we love die, lack of finances derail all our plans, life doesn’t feel like a friendly place to be anymore.

If only we could sense the light despite all the darkness that surrounds us.

We need some faith and hope.

Let’s start here.

Hebrews 11:1– Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see…….

Perhaps Corrie Ten Boom says it best. Faith is like radar that sees through the fog.

In 2 Corinthians we are told we walk by faith and not by sight.

Two words describe faith, sure and certain.

Faith is the opposite of doubt. Faith is the very strongest conviction that God is who He says He is. Faith is believing that God will do what He says He will do.

Finally, faith is the basis of our redemption and the way in which we are justified by God.

Faith is trusting Him and Him alone for all that we need.

Faith is the foundation of God’s message to us, faith gives us reason to hope.

Isaiah 40:31 -But those who hope in the Lord

will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not be faint.

We all know that living in this world means there will be ups and downs. We will have to walk through tough times. It is a given.

Hoping in the Lord gives us a lifeline.He will renew our strength.

To hope is to expect that His strength will get us through those tough times. Through Him, we will soar on wings like eagles, run and not grow weary.

To hope in our Lord is to trust in Him, to wait for His answers, and to expect Him to bring something beneficial to our future. We can walk forward in hope and not grow weary.

When hope and faith are lined up, we are free to love completely and we are free to accept completely the perfect love of our Father.

1 Corinthians 13:13 – and now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Defeated Christians? Is that really our problem?

 
Christian life is so difficult to live. The question of the day revolves around “How do we live the Christian life when most days we feel frustrated and defeated? Cynicism, disappointment and hopelessness are very present companions.

Paul, in Romans 7:15 says it well. For that which I am doing, I do not understand for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.

Well if that doesn’t sum up life in a nutshell I don’t know what does. It seems we have a problem that is keeping us from experiencing the serenity and freedom that we read about so often in the Bible.

We state our problems as any one of a number of things. My spouse, my family, my job, my friends, an addiction, you get the picture and you can fill in with your own list of problems that are robbing you of your life.

I think however, that we are deceiving ourselves if we settle on blaming external factors for our dissatisfaction with life.

I love this quote.

“Your problem is that you don’t know what your problem is. You think your problem is your problem, but that’s not the problem at all. Your problem is not your problem and THAT’S YOUR MAIN PROBLEM.”

Say what??

The real problem is that we must come to the understanding that the Christian life is not difficult to live, it is downright impossible. There is only one way to live the Christian life and that is to trust Jesus to be your life and live His life through you.

We cannot get our needs met apart from Jesus. I know it may seem that we do………..for awhile. But Jesus is our Provider of life,

 IN EVERYTHING.

Even God’s name Jehovah Jireh means “the Lord our provider, or the Lord will provide. He is our source for whatever it is that we need.

Can you trust your life and your problems to someone who is all knowing, who is everywhere all at once and who is all powerful? Can you say the same of anyone you are trusting now?

You can trust God with your problem, he is your shelter, refuge and hiding place. He is the one who comforts and heals. He is our source of wisdom. There is not one single thing you need that God cannot provide. He can do it all!

More than that, He wants to do it all. He has a plan for you.

Meditate on this verse today.

“And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4: 19

Dottie

…………and so I ride

Seeking, Finding, Accepting

My devotions started in one place this morning but ended up in quite another. Bear with me.We live in a world filled with people who say they are seeking God but yet scuff and bristle at words of instruction or advice. I am not picking on anyone in particular here but am betting that more than a few people fit the category. It is you, it is me, it is the world we live in.

 Lets make sure that we do not fall back on human nature as our excuse to live out what we know is wrong. It may be easy to say that “it is just who I am and how I am”, but the bottom line is we all make our own choices as to how we are and who we are.

I ran across Proverbs 14:6 and 18:1 today. They are started with the following phrases, “A scoffer seeks wisdom and finds none” and “ He who separates himself seeks his own desire” .

Could it be those who are seeking wisdom from God and not finding it are in themselves their biggest roadblock? Just asking, if it hit a nerve maybe that deserves a bit more prayer? If we are setting ourselves apart from God then we are certainly seeking that which pleases us and not God.

Those same verses end this way, “He quarrels against all sound wisdom”. It is the old I know what I want, I am going to get what I will argue against sound wisdom with every excuse in the book, no matter what stands in my way. The truth is offered and often glaring right in front of us, but so is evil.

However, scripture also says that knowledge comes easily to one who is in the presence of God. Understanding and knowledge will increase in a wise person who seeks knowledge in the presence of God. That is truth and what will get you the kind of knowledge that is profitable.

Oh but here comes the part that gets me every time. What if the knowledge I am seeking comes in the form of another human? You know that God sometimes sends those more experienced in Godly living than we are? Yes He does, is it comfortable, no it is not. Does it bring anger, at times, yes it does, that is simply human nature. But scripture says that a wise and understanding man WILL find the knowledge he seeks if he stays close to God.

It is when we step outside the presence of God and scurry back to our human (flesh) nature that we find ourselves being offended and even angry at words of truth being directed at us. Make no mistake, that instruction and wisdom that makes us uncomfortable can come from reading scripture that goes against our human nature, it can come from God pressing down on you (the voice over your shoulder) it can come from Godly counsel from a more mature Christian. We are human, our first instinct is to say how dare you…..blah, blah, blah.

Step back into the presence of God and see what He has to say, He does not mean to provoke anger, that comes directly from the foothold Satan has found to cling to. God gives us instruction so that we may live in harmony with Him. He gives us wisdom so that we may know and accept our inheritance and live in full blown color with Him.

Perhaps Ecclesiastes 1: 13 says it best…..and I set my mind to seek and explore by wisdom and concerning all that has been done under heaven. ……….

Or how about this one, Ecclesiastes 7:25, I directed my mind to know, to investigate and to seek wisdom and an explanation, and to know the evil of folly and the foolishness of madness. Notice the very first statement, “I set my mind and I directed my mind”, it seems that the ball is in our court!

Try it, see how it works for you.

Dottie

…………….and so I ride

I choose life

 Deuteronomy 30:19-20
“…I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days”
A few things in these scriptures strike me this morning. He has set before us life and death. He wants us to choose life. The Lord God is our life. Sounds like He has a plan for us and is laying the game our plainly for us to see. 
He gives us free will to choose what He has set before us, life or death. God does spell it out pretty plainly doesn’t He, life or death, you are free to choose. It is as simple as that. Choose me and you choose life. Chose another road and eventually you will find death.
This is a daily choice we make, to walk with God or not.
 The same can be said of our choices for every day living. We make many choices every single day.  Good or bad choices that can impact every area of our lives.  The choice is ours. Ultimately, we are the only ones responsible for making a good choice or a bad choice. 
The good thing that we are reminded in this scripture is God is available, He is there for us to cling to as we are making our choices. I love the last sentence, cling to Him for He is your life and the length of your days. That is beautiful.
Look to God for the wisdom to make good choices. Look to God to help you walk through any  issues that may be hindering you in life. Look to God to beat down the walls of self sabotage that we are so good at building. He and He alone can give the power, strength, stamina and courage to take those walls down and make good choices.
Godly living is a good choice but not an easy one. Decide that you will choose daily to walk the Godly walk and decide that you will let Him help you with each decision you are making. A few points to remember as you go through your day. 
 Make God your focus

 Take advantage of the many chances we have every day to make good choices.

 Realize that even small choices have lasting impact

 Ultimately only you are responsible for good or bad choices

 You are your best chance of living a life of few regrets

 Be consistent, a heart change can only come with daily renewing of your mind

 Lean on God, He is faithful to meet your every need.

 CHOOSE LIFE
Dottie

……………….and so I ride