Is Your Monkey Hot?

Is Your Monkey Hot.jpg

 

 

 

IS YOUR MONKEY HOT?

Hebrews 4:12

While visiting my son’s family, I was enjoying the company of my 7 year old grandson, Quinlan. Suddenly, Quinlan started singing a song:  “Don’t you wish your monkey was hot like me?”  (WHAT?)

When I asked, “What’s up with THAT?” he told me that he heard a song on the radio that said, “Don’t you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?”  He went on to inform me that he didn’t have a girlfriend because he was too little, but, he would really like to have a monkey.

He continued about how his mama kept telling him to put his coat on but he never does because he’s always HOT and doesn’t need it.  The two unrelated events had inspired his personalized version of the popular song.  I laughed till I hurt!

Sometimes, Christians struggle with the Word of God. Our life doesn’t really line up so we try to change the original intent to fit our attitude or activities.  The Word can seem difficult when we apply it to our own life; particularly when we “want what we want and we want it now.”

We usually know when we are out of God’s will, but we choose to ignore God’s input. We try to rationalize the circumstances and convince ourselves, “That’s not REALLY what the scripture means.” When we do this, we set aside the power of the Word to convict our hearts.

We do what we want; convincing ourselves we’re not REALLY out of God’s will.  But, the truth is, God’s Word brings conviction for a reason; to mold us into the image of Christ.  We can deafen our ears to the quiet conviction, ignoring the gentle leading of the Holy Spirit. However, the Word of God stands strong, regardless of what we “think.”

The next time the Holy Spirit convicts our heart of something that isn’t “quite right” in our life, we need to step back and seek God’s direction to bring change to our heart. We need to stop seeking ways to change God’s Word to fit what we’re doing and start letting God’s Word change us.

Hebrews 4:12 The Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double edged sword, it penetrates even to the dividing of soul and spirit; joints and marrow, it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Prayer:  Father, please help me to read your word with discernment. Give me your Holy Spirit to reveal Biblical truth and how to apply it to my life. Thank you for your Word and thank you for the Holy Spirit. Amen. (click to return to table of contents)

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Hot Lemon Prayer

lemons

Hot Lemon Prayer

Hebrews 4:9-11

 

Did you know that a lemon explodes when it gets hot?  Neither did I, until today. Since I’d forgotten to put the lemons for a pie out to warm to room temperature, I decided to put the fruit in the microwave. If the lemon is at room temp, the juice is released more readily.

In my haste to get the pie started, I must have set the microwave on three minutes instead of three seconds—and walked away. The lemons exploded like citrus hand grenades; blowing the door on the appliance open and spraying hot lemon juice all over my kitchen!  Instead of hastening the pie prep, I’d prolonged it. What an AWFUL mess.

Sometimes, I have the same attitude about answers to prayer as I had about the pie, fast is better. God has all the time in eternity. He doesn’t have a list on his fridge headed, “Things I MUST do today.”  God is much more concerned about our relationship with Him than He is with our immediate pleasure and comfort.

Sometimes, when we pray, we demand things to start (or stop) RIGHT NOW! We fail to understand that when we let God be in control of our lives, everything happens under His loving supervision. (Proverbs 3:5-6) Both the good and the bad in our lives work for the long term goal of making us into the image of Christ.

When we take matters into our own hands and start trying to “be God” instead of wait for God, like the lemons in the microwave, we can make a mess.  In Hebrews, God’s Word says that we know we have entered into His rest when we have ceased from our labors.

This does not mean that we put aside ministry and just sit down. Nor does it mean we turn a blind eyeball toward sin. It means that we give our problems, plans and ambitions to God and wait for His direction while doing the things that are “my part;” like preparing, planning and when in the case of sin, prayerful intervention.

God doesn’t forget us, sometimes, it takes time to get us ready and time for the circumstances to be just right for God’s plan to unfold. When we enter into God’s rest, we trust that He knows what He is doing and simply follow His directions; even when it takes longer than what we thought it would. (Isaiah 40:31)

Hebrews 4:9-11  

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.

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Prayer:  Father God, help me to be patient with myself and with your plan for my life. Encourage me through Bible study and fellowship. Confirm in my heart that your ways are not my ways but your ways always work out for the best in my life. I want your perfect will for my life. Amen.

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Scriptural References:

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your path straight.

Isaiah 40:31

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as an eagle. They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

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GOT FOG?

GOT FOG? fog

Psalms 3:8

This morning, as I was driving through the heavy fog, everything familiar was concealed. The houses alongside the road, the landmarks of trees and buildings were all hidden in the fuzzy mist.

Sometimes, in our Christian walk, we find ourselves in a spiritual fog. We haven’t done anything bad; we haven’t been negligent in our Bible study or prayer. Of course, it is always good to end every day with a prayer of forgiveness so as not to give satan any devices! But sometimes, for no obvious reason, we feel like we are caught in a spiritual fog.

One of the peculiar things about fog is that it is eerily quiet. Landmarks are fuzzy or totally obscured and the silence can almost be felt on your skin.  When I find myself caught in a spiritual fog, I draw close to my Lord. Spending time reading Psalms as an ‘extra’ part of my daily devotions helps me to remember God’s power and presence.

When King David was being pursued by the enemy He would pause and think about Gods presence, His provision and direction. David included the word, Selah, in thirty-one of the thirty-nine Psalms with the caption “To the choir-master.”

Selah is found in the Psalms 71 times and in Habakkuk 3 it appears three times. It is a music term that means, “To pause or reflect.” “Selah” can also mean an instrumental prelude, you know, “background music” while you “think about it.”

As David wrote the Psalms, out of his own past experience, he remembered God’s power.  Because he had an intimate relationship with God, he could recall the Lord’s majesty when he was frightened or lonely. Praise made God’s presence come alive again, right then, “now,” and he was encouraged and comforted.

When I feel surrounded by fog, I read Psalms and pause to remember the last time God delivered, protected or glorified His presence in my own life. God inhabits (comes alive, has substance in) our praise, even when we feel surrounded by fog, God’s presence can be real.   (Selah)

Psalms 3:8 From the LORD comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.  Selah

 

Prayer: Father, help me to keep my eyes focused on you. Make my heart sensitive to the Holy Spirit so that even when my direction seems uncertain, I know that you guide my every step.  Thank you for directing me in your perfect will. Amen.

 

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New Book Release!

GREAT addition to your kitchen bookshelf and a great gift for friends who love to cook!   Not just a motivational thought at the bottom of the page, not just a recipe now and then. 38 Christian devotions with 70 favorite home recipes! Available at Amazon.  Food for Body and Soul (also available without recipes, devotions only titled, “Food for the Soul” on Amazon)

38 recipe cover for rubber

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whatcha got coverThe newest book has been published and is available in BOTH Kindle version and paperback!

“Whatcha Got? GOD Has Answers” brings you 42 devotions that are presented in two parts.

The devotions in Part One address every day life issues, like anger, temptation, bitterness and failure.

The devotions in Part Two explores “stuff” we just GOT to have to live the Christ life in a hard and dirty world. No matter WHAT you got OR need, God has answers.  Get your copy on Amazon.com today; follow the link below. http://www.amazon.com/Whatcha-Got-GOD-Has-Answers/dp/148396325X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1365806479&sr=1-1&keywords=whatcha+got+god+has+answers

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Devotion Book released on Amazon.com

The first in a series of Rubber on the Road devotion books has been released for sale on Amazon.com.  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008Z86G48

Life is Like Buffalo Breath is a devotion book with 32 devotions illustrated by animal and pet photographs.  It is available for $4.99 and can be found as an introductory promotion for free on August 19-20, 2012.

If you download the devotional, please take the time to go back to Amazon later and post a comment about how you liked the book.  Book rankings on Amazon are determined by the number of “stars” readers give the book. Thanks.

The skit book, “Got Mouth”, a humorous skit about being responsible for what ‘we’ say is also available on Amazon.com for $2.99  A great skit for Children’s Church groups, Youth Ministry and Sunday School class.  Check it out.  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008NN40N4

 

 

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WATCH FOR THIS!

Rubber on the Road is very happy to annouce the upcoming publish of  “Whatcha Got? GOD Has Answers” in paperback. Already an active Kindle publish, Whatcha Got is the second in a series of Devotional books to be published.  The first book in the series was “Life Is Like Buffalo Breath,” published in August of last year.

Both devotional books are now available as a Kindle puplish and will soon be available as a softcover.  Also published as a Kindle is “Sick Is An Attitude, Living Well With Diabetes.”  A common sense book on living an active, healthy life as a type I Diabetic. Soon to be available as a soft cover.

Check on Amazon.com for books by Author, Annie Keys.

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When Is It Real?

crossThe week before Easter, my six year old grandson was riding in the car with me.  On every street corner, there was a church with the “cross of Calvary” newly erected on their front lawn. 

Knowing what Easter is about, my grandson asked me if all the crosses were for Jesus.  I told him, “Yes.” 

 After we rode for a few moments, passing more churches with crosses, he said, “Mamaw, how many times does Jesus have to die on the cross for it to be real?” An innocent, yet stunningly profound question that each of us should ask ourselves. 

If I could be perfect on my own, there would have been no need for a savior. Scripture says that Jesus died once for all sins. (I Peter 3:18)  After accepting the blood of Christ; the decision to lead a Godly life is a choice I make moment by moment. (Romans 6:1-2) 

When I make a decision to follow Christ, I’m a new person; the old ways have been set aside. (II Corinthians 5:17)  However, when I commit my heart to Jesus, God does not MAKE me behave nor does He make me do good works. 

He does offer me the awareness of sin and the strength to resist temptation. (I Corinthians 10:13)  God knows my flesh is weak, so He sent His Holy Spirit to convict me of sin. (John 16:7-10) 

Reading the Bible also makes me aware of sin; explaining in detail how to recognize AND avoid it. (I Corinthians 6:9-11). People can not judge me, the Word of God, however, does judge me.  

I don’t have to wonder what being a Christian means; the Word of God provides instruction, direction and help for when I do ‘slip.’ The book of I John teaches how to live a life that represents Christ. 

The scripture says if I ignore the sacrifice for my sins by continuing in sin, after accepting the blood shed at Calvary; I have no part in Christ. To continue in sin while acknowledging the grace given us at Calvary is heresy.

How many times does Jesus have to die for my sins? Once.  How many times do my rebellion and self will nail him to the cross again? Every time that I choose to go my way instead of living the Christ life.

Hebrews 6:4-6 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.

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But God

My grandson is at that age where everything is a question. Every answer I give in response to his question he counters with, “But—“. 

Our lives are full of ‘buts’.  Every thing we do has consequences, whether good or evil. 

Thankfully, God also has “buts”, because sometimes I can mess up pretty bad! About the time satan thinks he has taken me down, God interrupts with “but”.  

As benign as they seem, “But God” are two of the most important words in the scripture. The next time you think you can’t make it, can’t get over it, can’t work with it, can’t do without it, remember “but God”.   

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) 

“But God is rich in mercy” (Eph. 2:4) 

“You meant evil against me but God meant it for good.” (Genesis 50:20) 

“–The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.” (I Samuel 16:7b)

God created us for relationship, sin entered the picture BUT God sent His only son to die for our sins (John 3:16) so we can once again, have relationship. 

The next time you find yourself in an impossible situation, pause for a moment, God has a “but” to change things around in your favor.  It sometimes takes awhile for us to realize it, BUT God has made a way.

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Identity Theft? ME?

We have a dear friend who had their identity stolen. The thief used our friend’s name to make a lot of unauthorized purchases.  Sadly, the friend’s reputation was soiled because of somebody who did stuff in ‘their name’.  

When we claim to be Christians, using the ‘identity’ of Christ but not living by the principals He set forth; we misrepresent Jesus to the world.  The scripture instructs us to live a life that is Holy.  (I Peter 1:15-16 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”) 

It is often easy to set aside that standard and choose to take on the identity of the world in our attitudes, language and entertainment choices.  An independent Barna survey taken in 2003 found that 8 out of 10 protestant Christians, by their OWN admission, did not apply the standards of the scripture to their personal lives.   

The world watches us and judges Christ by our actions. In a 2005 article in Christianity Today (The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience; Why don’t Christians live what they preach?)  George Barna was quoted as having concluded, “because Jesus’ modern-day disciples do not act like Jesus; this scandalous behavior mocks Christ, undermines evangelism, and destroys Christian credibility.” 

We wonder why we don’t see more healing and miracles; yet we have no conviction to clean up our personal lives so a Holy God can be manifested through us. The lives of God’s people must line up with the holiness the scripture demands or we are an ineffective witness! 

It’s not enough to say, ‘the church needs to be more Christ like’ because I’m the church.  When I say, “I’m a Christian”, I can not continue to behave like the world while taking on the identity of Christ. The most influential witness is Jesus living through ME 

Romans 12:1-2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.  

Do not conform any longer 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.

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