Saturday, May 18, 2013

Fruit Producer

This year, I'm sharing my "Treasures" of my study of my "Ponder the Morsels" book. I've picked 31 Psalms to study throughout 2013. Today I studied Psalm 1. Here is what I learned.

He is like a tree planted beside streams— a tree that produces fruit in season and whose leaves do not wither. He succeeds in everything he does. Psalm 1:3 (GW)

And he shall be like a tree planted by the streams of water, That bringeth forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also doth not wither; And whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Psalm 1:3 (ASV)

He is "like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season;" not unseasonable graces, like untimely figs, which are never full-flavoured. But the man who delights in God's Word, being taught by it, bringeth forth patience in the time of suffering, faith in the day of trial, and holy joy in the hour of prosperity. Fruitfulness is an essential quality of: a gracious man, and that fruitfulness should be seasonable.
But to the eye of faith this word is sure, and by it we perceive that our works are prospered, even when everything seems to go against us. It is not outward prosperity which the Christian most desires and values; it is soul prosperity which he longs for.  The trials of the saint are a divine husbandry, by which he grows and brings forth abundant fruit. The Treasury of David

As I read Psalm 1:3 this morning, the phrase, “produces fruit”, I had to stop and think... Am I producing fruit? If so, what kind? As I asked myself these questions, Galatians 5:22, 23 came to mind. 

The Holy Spirit produces a different kind of fruit: unconditional love, joy, peace, patience, kindheartedness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. You won’t find any law opposed to fruit like this. Galatians 5:22, 23 (VOICE)

But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. Galatians 5:22, 23 (MSG)

So, am I a fruit producer? Am I allowing the Holy Spirit to work in my life, so that I can produce fruit? Or am I just a tree that grows leaves and “looks pretty”? 

The only way to be a fruit producer is to study God’s Word and allow it to impact my life. To create a positive day, I need to be a fruit producer. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

His Generosity!

This year, I'm sharing my "Treasures" of my study of my "Ponder the Morsels" book. I've picked 31 Psalms to study throughout 2013. Today I studied Psalm 13. Here is what I learned.

I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me. Psalm 13:6 (KJV)

I will sing to the Eternal, for He is always generous with me. Psalm 13:6 (VOICE)

I sing to the Lord because he has taken care of me. Psalm 13:6 (NCV)

I do sing to Jehovah, For He hath conferred benefits upon me! Psalm 13:6 (YLT)

I will sing unto the Lord,.... In prayer faith is encouraged, through believing the heart is filled with joy; and this joy is expressed by the lips, in songs of praise to the Lord, ascribing the glory of salvation to him, and giving him thanks for every mercy and blessing of life;
because he hath dealt bountifully with me; both in a way of providence and grace, granting life and preserving it, and supporting with the comforts of it; blessing with spiritual blessings, and crowning with loving kindness and tender mercies; all which is generous and bountiful dealing, and affords a just occasion of praise and thanksgiving. Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Dealt bountifully, always generous, taken care of, conferred benefits upon me...... so often, when we hear those words, our minds toward the things we don’t have, rather than what we do have. 
If God is so generous, why don’t I have more... money, nicer things, etc? If God is so generous, why am I in pain, or sick, or ......? The lists continue. 

But I think that often we forget that God does not owe us anything. God in His mercy and grace first gave us the greatest gift, and that was His Son, Jesus, who died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins. God gave us the gift of salvation, we only have to accept it. 

Secondly, God does give us many blessings, but with a specific purpose and plan in mind. He created us that we would bring Him glory and honor. And we each do that in different ways. Some sing, some preach, some through friendships, some.... yes, even because of their pain and illness. 

I know that in my own life, God has used my pain to introduce me to people I never would have met otherwise. And I have met many because I use crutches. God in His goodness, has provided me with a ministry to encourage others who live with chronic pain or illness. Now, I would not have chosen this ministry on my own...but God chose it for me. He knew that for me to serve Him best, I’d need to be in pain. Now, just because I am in pain, doesn’t mean that God has forgotten me, for He continues to bless me beyond measure! I am amazed daily at God’s generosity and love. 

To create a positive day, I only need to start counting the blessings God has generously given me, for in counting the blessings, I praise God for His generosity!

Thursday, May 16, 2013


This year, I'm sharing my "Treasures" of my study of my "Ponder the Morsels" book. I've picked 31 Psalms to study throughout 2013. Today I studied Psalm 11. Here is what I learned.

The Lord ·does what is right [is righteous], and he loves ·justice [righteousness], so ·honest people [the upright/virtuous] will see his face. Psalm 11:7 (EXB)

The Eternal is right in all His ways; He cherishes all that is upright. Those who do what is right in His eyes will see His face. Psalm 11:7 (VOICE)

For righteous [is] Jehovah, Righteousness He hath loved, The upright doth His countenance see!' Psalm 11:7 (YLT)

For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness - This would be more correctly rendered, "For Jehovah is righteous; he loves righteousness." The idea is, that God is himself righteous, and, consequently, he loves those who are righteous. He may be confided in, therefore, by the righteous as their friend, and being under his protection they have nothing to fear. Barnes' Notes on the Bible

If you look at my twitter account, you can see some of my interests. I have followers and follow racing fans; Military and First Responders and Organizations and companies helping our Heroes;  football teams and players, and fans of football; and Christian organizations, bloggers. Those are people/organizations that are “like-minded”. 

As I read Psalm 11:7 this morning, I had to stop and consider the concept that God is Himself righteous and He loves those who are righteous. Now, on my own, I can nor could I ever reach God’s righteousness. But because of His grace and mercy, I am made righteous.

Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ.[a] For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death. Philippians 3:8-10 (NLT)

I can’t reach righteousness on my own, but I can choose righteousness. If I love God, I want to be like-minded and love what He loves, I need to make sure that each and every day, I’m making the choice to obey God. If God had a twitter account, would He want to “follow” me? Because He is righteous, He loves those who are righteous. 

To create a positive day, I need to be “like-minded” with God, and choose righteousness.

Be Aware

This year, I'm sharing my "Treasures" of my study of my "Ponder the Morsels" book. I've picked 31 Psalms to study throughout 2013. Today I studied Psalm 8. Here is what I learned.

Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! Psalm 8:9 (NIV)

O Lord, our Lord, how excellent (majestic and glorious) is Your name in all the earth! Psalm 8:9 (AMP)

Lord: Jehovah, the Lord, self-Existent or Eternal; of deity Yahweh.

His name will be ·Wonderful Counselor [or Wonderful! Counselor!; or Extraordinary Advisor], ·Powerful [Mighty] God, ·Father Who Lives Forever [Eternal Father], Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 (EXB)

Lord, our Lord. Wonderful Counselor. Powerful Mighty God. Eternal Father. Prince of Peace.

As I thought about the name of God today, I was in awe and filled with praise. And then I noticed that as I thought about God, I saw Him working details out in my life. The more I meditated on Him, the more aware I was of His presence and His goodness. 

For example: God provided a beautiful day to take care of some errands. I went to my chiropractor to see how things are progressing since surgery. The back needs to heal more before any adjustments, but he was able to work on my neck and the tendon in my hand.
On the way home, I had to stop at the grocery store. I knew I needed to stop at one in particular, since they carry the bread which I can eat, but usually their other foods are more expensive. But I wasn't up to shopping at 2 stores today, so figured since I needed bread, I'd stop there, and get a few things. Well..... God had some great surprises waiting for me!
The bread I needed was 25% off! The meat I wanted was BOGOF and the eggs were on sale! The banana price was lowered since last time I was there, and I was able to get some veggies at good prices too.  Even though the outing was tough physically, it was a very good "spirit" day!

As I was shopping, I couldn’t help but say, “Lord, our (my) Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” 

To create a positive day, I need be aware of God’s presence, for as I become more aware, I see God’s amazing goodness! 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Little Things and the Big Things

This year, I'm sharing my "Treasures" of my study of my "Ponder the Morsels" book. I've picked 31 Psalms to study throughout 2013. Today I studied Psalm 150. Here is what I learned.

Praise him for his strength; praise him for his [abundant] greatness. Psalm 150:2 (EXB)

Praise Him for His great works! Praise Him for all His greatness! Psalm 150:2 (NLV)

"Praise him for his mighty acts." Here is a reason for praise. In these deeds of power we see himself. These doings of his omnipotence are always on behalf of truth and righteousness. His works of creation, providence, and redemption all call for praise; they are his acts, and his acts of might, therefore let him be praised for them. "Praise him according to his excellent greatness." His being is unlimited, and his praise should correspond therewith. He possesses a multitude or a plenitude of greatness, and therefore he should be greatly praised. There is nothing little about God, and there is nothing great apart from him. If we were always careful to make our worship fit and appropriate for our great Lord how much better should we sing! How much more reverently should we adore! Such excellent deeds should have excellent praise. The Treasury of David

“There is nothing little about God, and there is nothing great apart from him.” I like that. Nothing little about God.... and nothing great apart from Him. Wow. 

When I think of the “little” things that God has done and continues to do in my life, I’m overwhelmed with praise and awe. He is a God of details. Nothing is too small for Him to take care of... but He, Himself is not small. 

Then when I think of the “big” things God has done and continues to do in my life, I’m overwhelmed at God’s generosity and goodness towards me. And once again, I’m filled with praise and awe. 

God is great, magnificent, powerful..... but He’s also loving, kind, and shows great attention to the “little things” in my life. That’s why I praise God!  

Taking notice of the little things and the big things that God does, produces praise and that in turn creates a positive day!  

Monday, May 13, 2013

Right in Front of Me

This year, I'm sharing my "Treasures" of my study of my "Ponder the Morsels" book. I've picked 31 Psalms to study throughout 2013. Today I studied Psalm 146. Here is what I learned.

He makes the blind see. He lifts up those whose backs are bent in labor; He cherishes those who do what is right. Psalm 146:8 (VOICE)

The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord raises up those who are brought down. The Lord loves those who are right and good. Psalm 146:8 (NLV)

"The Lord openeth the eyes of the blind." Jesus did this very frequently, and hereby proved himself to be Jehovah. He who made the eye can open it, and when he does so it is to his glory. How often is the mental eye closed in moral night! And who can remove this dreary effect of the fall but the Almighty God? This miracle of grace he has performed in myriads of cases, and it is in each case a theme for loftiest praise.  The Treasury of David

So, often I feel as though I’m in the dark about what is happening in my life. Yet, as God opened the eyes of the literal blind, He can open my eyes to see His way very clearly. 

I remember driving home from work in my first IL snowstorm/blizzard. The cars were traveling at a snails pace. I found that when I tried to look too far ahead, I was “blinded”. I couldn't see the road, or landmarks, just blowing snow. However, when I focused on the road RIGHT IN FRONT of me, I could see very clearly. In fact, I could see the tracks of the cars that went before me, making a clear path for me to follow. 

Just as I needed to look at the road directly in front of me, the same is true in life. I need to only focus on what God has for me right now. I don’t need to look into the far future... God has that under control. When I follow the path God has clearly marked for me, I’ll arrive at the destination God has chosen and will enjoy the wonderful blessing along the way. 

To create a positive day, I need to stop trying to see the future, and simply follow the path God has placed right in front of me. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Strength to My Soul

This year, I'm sharing my "Treasures" of my study of my "Ponder the Morsels" book. I've picked 31 Psalms to study throughout 2013. Today I studied Psalm 138. Here is what I learned.

When I called, you answered me. You made me bold by strengthening my soul. Psalm 138:3 (GW) 

On the day I ·called [prayed] to you, you answered me. You ·made me strong and brave [have emboldened/encouraged my soul with strength]. Psalm 138:3 (EXB)

On the day I needed You, I called, and You responded and infused my soul with strength. Psalm 138:3 (VOICE)

"And strengthenedst me with strength in my soul." This was a true answer to his prayer. If the burden was not removed, yet strength was given wherewith to bear it, and this is an equally effective method of help. It may not be best for us that the trial should come to an end; it may be far more to our advantage that by its pressure we should learn patience. Sweet are the uses of adversity, and our prudent Father in heaven will not deprive us of those benefits. Strength imparted to the soul is an inestimable boon; it means courage, fortitude, assurance, heroism. By his word and Spirit the Lord can make the trembler brave, the sick whole, the weary bright. This soul-might will continue: the man having been strengthened for one emergency remains vigorous for life, and is prepared for all future labours and sufferings; unless, indeed, he throw away his force by unbelief, or pride, or some other sin. When God strengthens, none can weaken. Then is our soul strong indeed when the Lord infuses might into us. The Treasury of David

Today, I had a great example of this truth. When I got up this morning, I was discouraged. My pain level has been “too high” since surgery, and it was taking its toll on my spirit. When I got up this morning and checked Twitter, I saw that Patsy Clairmont was going to be speaking and the church was showing it online, live! God knew that the joy that Patsy would share would not only lift my spirits, but the truth she’d share would be just what “God ordered” for my soul. 

I think one of the points that stood out to me the most was the concept of “hearing aids for the heart”. So often we don’t hear what God is saying because we aren’t listening and we allow so much noise to block God’s voice. Listening to Patsy Clairmont this morning, strengthened my soul and God knew exactly what I needed, so He made sure I saw the tweet, so I could enjoy His message send via Patsy.

To create a positive day, I only have to ask God and He will answer me giving strength to my soul!  

Let the Momentum Build

This year, I'm sharing my "Treasures" of my study of my "Ponder the Morsels" book. I've picked 31 Psalms to study throughout 2013. Today I studied Psalm 117. Here is what I learned.

Praise the Lord, all you nations! Praise him, all you people of the world! Psalm 117:1 (GW)

Praise God, everybody! Applaud God, all people! Psalm 117:1 (MSG)

"Praise him, all ye people." Having done it once, do it again, and do it still more fervently, daily increasing in the reverence and zeal with which you extol the Most High. The Treasury of David

As I recover from my most recent surgery, I have found that I don’t much FEEL like praising God. The pain is high... I’d rather complain. However, this verse doesn’t say “Praise the Lord when you FEEL like it.” Rather is says, “Praise the Lord”---PERIOD. 

Praise is not based on me, rather I am to honor and acknowledge God... who He is and what He has done and what He is doing. Praise is not based upon feelings, circumstances, situations, or really anything to do with Me. Praise is to be about God. And since He doesn’t change, He is a constant, faithful, merciful and loving God... my praise to Him should also be constant. 

If I praise God, only when I feel like it, I’d have to say that I don’t think I’d praise God very often. But, when I praise God, I find that how I feel changes. For praising God has an effect on me and my feelings. Praising God changes my focus from me to God. Praising God changes my attention to how I feel to Who God is and what He is doing. Praising God changes my perspective from my viewpoint to God’s viewpoint. Praising God produces more praise! For when I praise God, I want to praise Him more.... it’s a momentum builder! Praise produces more praise and it continues to build... and as my praise to God builds, I find that my feelings change too! 

I only have to begin to praise God and let the momentum build..... for that will create a positive and praise-filled day!