“Don’t lie to each other,
“Huddle together, you nations, and be terrified. Listen, all you distant lands. Prepare for battle, but you will be crushed! Yes, prepare for battle, but you will be crushed! Call your councils of war, but they will be worthless. Develop your strategies, but they will not succeed. For God is with us!” -Isaiah 8:9-10
Your enemies can devise all the schemes and plans they want to try to take you down. They have one major problem; they have to get through the blood of Christ in order to get to you. They can come up with clever word games and other manipulative tactics, but they can never thwart the plans of God for your life. The Word of God is not chained, and when the Word of God goes out, the Word of God will accomplish the purposes for which it was sent. The Lord of Heaven’s Armies cannot be stopped by any mortal. Immanuel (God With Us) is a declarative name, and because God is with you, you are made victorious. The Lord Your God is your Immanuel, and God being with you rescues you from the clutches of the enemy. “What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” Keep standing on the promises of God and obeying His commandments as He is fighting your battles and as He is taking care of your enemies. Always remember the battle belongs to the Lord.
REFLECTION: “If you love me, obey my commandments,” (John 14:15). Christ said, “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you.” In dealing with your enemies, you do not deal with them as the world does. You don’t pray for their demise or for something bad to happen to them. Vengeance belongs to God alone. As a child of the Most High God, you are to continue walking in obedience to the teaching of Christ and to know, as well as to keep at the front of your mind, that your responsibility is to love your enemies and do good to those that hate you. If you love the Lord, you will obey Him and His teachings and keep trusting in Him to take care of those who are against you. Let God be God, and you remain blessed by loving your enemies, praying for them, and doing good to those who hate you.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, to You be all the glory. You alone are God, and You said vengeance belongs to You. Bless my enemies by meeting their deepest need to know You and who You are. Lord, teach me how to do good to my enemies and show me ways to bless them. Forgive me for the times, I have desired revenge, and help me to remember Your ways are not my ways. Help me to remember you work all things out for good. Father, fill me with your Holy Spirit and strengthen me as I continue to do Your will and obey Your teachings. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Linda A. Knowles
Every Halloween, it’s a mad dash to get out of the house as fast as possible by exactly 4:30 p.m. to avoid Trick or Treaters. I am one who absolutely loathes Halloween as does my husband. We don’t celebrate Halloween, and the idea of passing out candy every two minutes for four and a half hours doesn’t sound appealing at all… EVER.
The first year we were at our current residence, we were leaving the house, and I caught a glimpse of a parent with his child in his arms. Something about seeing a child dressed as a vampire was highly disturbing, and the fake blood on the fangs just made it worse until I saw a newborn dressed as an ax murderer and found myself shuddering.
Figuratively speaking, people wear masks and costumes all the time. The masks conceal what the person’s face actually looks like versus how the person shows him/herself to others. For instance, when someone is wearing a mask/costume, he can portray himself as if he is an angel. When in actuality, he lacks compassion, has the intrusive nature of a cockroach, and has the character of a shark and alligator combined. If someone is shy, she may not be shy when wearing a mask. She can feel free to be outgoing and speak her mind because no one knows it’s her, allowing her not to fear rejection, and being able to share her thoughts and ideas without anyone trying to stop her from talking, and there’s no one to stop her from meeting other people who are wearing masks and costumes just like her.
HOWEVER, THE PROBLEM WITH MASKS AND COSTUMES is eventually they have to be taken off. When masks and costumes are stripped off, be careful because you may find the person was a wolf for the entire time you knew them. At that point, you have to decide what you will do. You will either stick around and be devoured by the wolf until there is nothing left of you except a skeleton, or you will run and get away from the ravenous wolf who is staring at you like you are dinner with its fangs exposed and ready to pounce on you.
If you choose the second option, you, at least, have a chance of survival.
Linda A. Knowles
That’s right: Let GOD fight your battles for you. Our GOD is THE GOD of JUSTICE, and it is difficult to let go of whatever is going on around us that we’re facing. However, letting go and letting GOD do what HE has to do is something we won’t regret. I learned many years ago, never to repay evil with evil because the WORD OF GOD states, “And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile,” (1 Peter 1:17 ESV). We conduct ourselves as GOD would have us to conduct ourselves. GOD has set the standards of morality and ethics. GOD has set the standard of holiness, and therefore, we need to conduct ourselves knowing GOD sees all we do and hears all we say. Eventually, we will have to give an account to HIM for every idle word spoken (Matthew 12:36) and everything we have done (2 Corinthians 5:10). “And he said, ‘Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the Lord to you, Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.'” (2 Chronicles 20:15 ESV)
We simply need to take our position and stand our ground, fix our eyes on GOD, giving HIM glory and honor and obeying whatever command HE gives us.
DO NOT DEBATE your enemies and DO NOT ENGAGE your enemies. The WORD OF GOD states clearly, “Not defending yourselves, dearly beloved; but rather give place unto the wrath of God, for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord,” (Jubilee Bible 2000). The wicked will perish, and GOD scoffs at the wicked (Proverbs 1:26); and “However, the one who receives instruction in the word must share in all good things with his instructor. Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. Whatever a man sows, he will reap in return. The one who sows to please his flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; but the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life,” (Galatians 6:6-8 BSB)
ALWAYS REMEMBER: THE LORD is your SHIELD and your DEFENSE, and He is the GOD WHO UPHOLDS YOU. It is better to be a friend of GOD than to be HIS enemy (James 4:4), and GOD always takes care of HIS own children (Psalm 16:5).
“The LORD is my strength and my shield, In Him hath my heart trusted, And I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth, And with my song will I praise Him,” (Psalm 28:7 JPS Tanakh 1917). “I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust,” (Psalm 91:2 KJV).
Much Love To You All,
Remember This: Your story is just that -your story. Tell your UNTOLD Story -the story you have kept silent for months or even years, the other side of the story that has made those you once respected separate themselves from you.
Let their jaws drop open to the floor, and let them realize they were wrong about you. Let them realize you have a mind of your own, that you know more than you say, that you observe more than you let on, that you don’t need their approval, and that they cannot imprison you by what they say about you or by what actions they take against you. Let them realize they are not the reason for your success or for the better choices you have made for you and for your life.
If no one is encouraging you, then let me encourage you today; Free yourself up, and let it all hang out.
Much Love To You All, L.A. Knowles
“Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.” -King David
It was that moment I knew I would be standing alone, but I didn’t see where I had a choice if I wanted a deeper walk with the Lord, if I was to do the task He called me to do. So with every ounce of strength He gave to me, I stepped out in faith and obeyed. It was like jumping off a cliff, but when it was done, when it was finally done, I felt like I was able to breathe for the first time in a long time, and freedom came rushing in.
It didn’t matter if those around me understood what I was doing. The only thing that mattered was doing what God wanted me to do, what He told me to do, and simply following the leading of the Holy Spirit. It didn’t matter if the words I spoke would be received or not. I simply had to let go and let God, and then I had to get out of the way in full surrender and say, “It’s all yours, God. I did what you wanted. You take care of the rest, and I’ll stay out of the way.”
…because at the end of the day the only thing that matters is GOD’S APPROVAL, not man’s …because when all has been said and done, it is knowing and understanding GOD’S GRACE IS MORE THAN ENOUGH to sustain us …because His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts …because of what Christ did on the cross and because of His resurrection, we are able to live a life of victory.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” -Hebrews 12:1-2
You do NOT have to explain your relationship with God to anyone nor do you have to explain how God speaks to you. Just keep following God, leaning on Him, and relying on Him alone for strength. His grace is more than enough.
Whatever God has told you to do, just obey. Yes, it’s worth it all. It may not be easy and the road may be rocky, but it’s worth it all. What influences you? What is stopping you from obeying God? Who are you listening to? What are you allowing your eyes to take in? What do you have to lay down in order to have a deeper walk with God, for Him to take you where He wants to take you? What will you give up? Do you care more about the approval of God or the approval of man? Where does your heart lie?
Lay it all down before the Lord.
Nothing short of full surrender will do
Let Him break the chains.
Much love to all,
I grew up in an Italian/Sicilian family, and as far as my family knew, they could trace our ethnicity to Italy and Sicily; however, thanks to my parents’ genetic makeup and my receiving whatever they had, I found out my ethnicity, my family’s ethnicity is not just Italian/Sicilian.
Back a few months ago, my husband and I received two Ethnicity DNA kits as a gift. I made sure I followed the instructions to the letter with the help of my husband so I didn’t miss a beat, and he completed his kit; we sent both DNA kits off to the center.
It took awhile, but in the last two weeks, I FINALLY got my results. And while it was not surprising based on Italy’s history, it was most definitely an eye opener.
HERE ARE THE RESULTS OF MY ETHNICITY DNA TEST
61% SOUTHERN EUROPEAN
39% MIDDLE EASTERN (Breakdown):
19% Asia Minor
16% Eastern Middle East
4% North African
DNA is absolutely amazing!
“Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter.”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.” –Matthew 7:15-20
Much Love To You All,
Do you have a roof over your head? Do you have clothes on your back? Food on the table? Do you have family… friends? Did you wake up this morning?
IF YOU HAVE ANSWERED YES TO ANY OR ALL OF THOSE QUESTIONS, YOU ARE BLESSED.
Put a smile on your face. Count your blessings. You have been given another day, a fresh start, another chance. Rather than focusing on yourself or all things negative, DO SOMETHING nice for someone else. Look for opportunities to commit random acts of KINDNESS. Believe it or not, those opportunities to commit random acts of KINDNESS happen quite frequently. Extending yourself to help someone else will help begin the mending of a broken heart or a crushed spirit.
The most miserable people are those who have not learned to be content with what they have and not learned to be grateful. Develop an attitude of gratitude; it will carry you through good and bad times
Much love to you all,
“Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.” -1 Timothy 6:6
MAY YOU ALL HAVE A BLESSED
& HAPPY NEW YEAR!
PLEASE BE SAFE DRIVING
AND IN ALL YOUR CELEBRATING!
MUCH LOVE TO YOU ALL,
TO ALL MY FAMILY,
& BLOG VISITORS:
May your holidays be filled with
the blessing of family and friends,
and may your days of celebration
be filled with joy.
Much Love To You All,
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays
IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR!
Black Friday shoppers mobbed the stores, filling carriages, and others making preparations as Christmas is fast approaching. Some are trimming trees already as others are just bringing out their decorations from storage to get them ready for the family tree trimming day. Some have their trees already trimmed and decorated. Houses are being decked with boughs of holly. Long held traditions are being put into action. People making sure they got all the gifts for each child as well as for family and friends on their list as they rack up credit card debt or maxing those credit cards out. Children are looking forward to Christmas vacation from school and opening all their presents. And then there is the flash forward, smiling as they think of Christmas day being with family and friends and gathering around the Christmas tree and possibly eating all day.
Let’s look at the other side of this: Little Matty wants the latest toy and Mommy has to get to the store early to pick up the latest toy while trying not to get trampled by the other parents who are also trying to get their sons and daughters the latest toy. People get stressed out as they watch the dollar amount accumulate on their credit cards. Some dude is stuck in line as he mutters something about the commercialization of Christmas while he has been waiting in line for ten plus minutes. Then there is the concern if Uncle Lou or Aunt Clara will jump over the dinner table to try to clobber Uncle Clyde or Aunt Rose. Who’s going to sit next to Aunt Hilda at the Christmas meal because she won’t let anyone get a word in edgewise? The stress runs high, blood pressure boiling, and tempers ready to hit the fan when a tray of cookies get burned or someone knocks the gravy onto the floor… I could go on and on.
SO HERE IS WHAT I HOPE FOR
EVERYONE THIS CHRISTMAS SEASON
(1) I hope you will be filled with the peace
that comes from God alone.
“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.'” -Matthew 11:28-30
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:6-7
(2) I hope you remember the real season for this season:
Jesus Christ, Son of God, Our Lord and Savior
sent by God to this Earth.
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” -John 3:16
“Then Jesus told her, ‘I am the Messiah!'” -John 4:26
(3) I hope you remember how blessed you are as there are
those who have little to nothing or
are without family and friends.
“Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.” -James 1:17
MAY ALL MY FAMILY & FRIENDS,
ACQAINTANCES & BLOG READERS,
NEIGHBORS & THOSE I HAVE YET TO MEET
BE BLESSED ABUNDANTLY
THROUGH THIS SEASON AND ALWAYS!
Much Love To All,
“For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.” -Ephesians 2:14