Monthly Archives: November 2012
Thanksgiving Miami Style
Welcome To Miami
Port Of Miami
Crandon Park Beach ~ Key Biscayne, FL
Venetian Pool ~ Coral Gables, FL
American Airlines Arena ~ Home of Miami Heat
The “U” & Miami Orange Bowl Stadium
Sun Life Stadium ~ Home of Miami Dolphins
Shake Shack ~ Miami, FL
Ordered: Double ShackBurger, Shack Stack Burger, Fries,
Key Lime Pie Oh My! Concrete & Vice Crispy Treat Concrete =)
Joe’s Stone Crab ~ Miami, FL
Ordered: Stone Crabs, Lobster Roll, Conch Fritters & Key Lime Pie =)
Sarussi Cafe’ ~ Miami, FL
Ordered: Sarussi Man Vs. Food Cubano Sandwich w/ Extra Sauce =)
Love Does Not Rejoice at Injustice
by Joyce Meyer – posted November 09, 2012
We should care about others and their pain, pray for them, and do what we can to relieve their suffering. Love is not unfeeling; it cannot look at unjust situations and just simply not care or do nothing. The worldly mentality of “don’t bother me with it, that is your problem” has no place in the lives of Christians.
Obviously, we cannot physically or financially fix everyone’s problem, but we can care. We can work with the Holy Spirit to make sure we don’t allow our hearts to become hardened by all the violence and injustice all around us.
God is love, and He loves righteousness (knowing you are right with God—acting right, talking right, etc.)—therefore, those who walk in love must also love righteousness. Psalm 97:10 states that if we love the Lord, we must hate evil. Those who love righteousness are often persecuted for it—Jesus was, and we are not above our Master (see Matthew 10:24). Don’t hate evil people, just their evil ways. God hates sin, but He loves sinners.
Keep walking in love, hating injustice and unrighteousness, and the favor of God will come upon your life in an astounding way.
From the book New Day, New You by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2006 by Joyce Meyer. Published by InProv. All rights reserved.
Our Daily Bread – A Fragrance
Read: 1 John 4:7-11
Katie nervously walked into the church youth group party that Linda had invited her to attend. She hadn’t been to a church since she was a little girl and didn’t know what to expect at a Valentine dinner with mostly strangers. But her heart started to calm when she found valentines at her plate that had been written for her from everyone there. They had cards for each other too, but it touched Katie’s heart that they would think to do that for her, a visitor to their group.
Katie felt so welcomed that she accepted Linda’s invitation to a church service. There she heard about God’s love for her in spite of her sinfulness, and she embraced Jesus’ forgiveness. The youth group had given her a fragrance of God’s love, and God opened her heart to trust Him.
“If God so loved us, we also ought to love one another,” the apostle John said (1 John 4:11). That’s a love for our brothers and sisters in Christ as well as for those who don’t yet know Him. Ray Stedman wrote, “As God’s love shines into our hearts, we become more open to others, allowing the fragrance of love to drift out and attract those around us.” The youth group did that for Katie.
God can spread the fragrance of His love through us today.
I am able to love others. Please spread the sweet
fragrance of Your love through me to everyone
I interact with today. Amen.
Closer Than You Think
Do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. – Hebrews 10:35, NKJV.
Have you been praying and believing for something that seems like it’s taking a lot longer than you thought? Many times, people can miss God’s best simply because they give up before they see their “due season” come. Don’t let that be you! Be encouraged today, your answer is closer than you think. If it seems like things are getting more difficult, remember, when the intensity heats up, that means you are closer to your victory. It always seems darkest just before the dawn arrives.
We serve a faithful God, and He’s working behind the scenes on your behalf. Don’t cast away your confidence today because your reward is coming. And just like a new mother forgets about her labor pain once she is finally holding her newborn, you’ll forget about your struggle when you are holding on to your promise. While you are waiting, keep an attitude of faith and expectancy. Wake up every morning and say out loud, “I’ve come too far to give up now. My due season is coming. I will reap my harvest.” Stay in faith and look for His hand of blessing because He has promised you victory, and it’s closer than you think!
Prayer for Today:
Father in heaven, today I stand believing that You are working behind the scenes on my behalf. Give me Your strength to stand in faith until I see every promise fulfilled in my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Praying For Our Leaders
Posted by Victoria Osteen on 11/6/2012
Today is Election Day in America. It’s a day we get to exercise our privilege to vote for the leaders of this country. Scripture tells us in Romans 13 that government and authority is established by God and we should honor those who are in authority over us. No matter what happens at the end of the day, we are called to pray for our leaders and respect those who are in authority over us even if we don’t necessarily agree with everything they do.
Second Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” (NLT) Today and every day, let’s remember to pray for our leaders. As we do, God promises to hear us and restore our land. Join us today and make this the prayer of your heart:
Father in heaven, today we come to You on behalf of our leaders and those who are in authority over us. We pray first that they would know You, honor You, and seek Your ways. We pray that they would have wisdom and discernment to make good decisions. We pray for safety over them and their families and for peace in their hearts and minds. We pray for unity in this country, and may we always remember that we are one nation under God. Thank You, Father, for hearing our prayers and healing our land in Jesus’ name. Amen!
Copyright © 2012 Joel Osteen Ministries
Our Daily Bread – The Legacy
Read: Colossians 3:8-17
One day my wife called me at work and said, “Something’s going on next door. Lots of cars are there.” Because of my neighbor’s occupation, I feared the worst, and soon those fears were realized. Our neighbor, policeman Trevor Slot, had just been killed in the line of duty, trying to stop the escape of two bank robbers. Our community was stunned.
Trevor had no time to prepare for his death. Yet he was ready. His faith in Christ was secure, and his reputation as a remarkable man was intact. At his funeral, attended by hundreds of fellow officers, his colleague Detective Brandyn Heugel said, “He was a dedicated police officer, but first and foremost he was a loving husband to Kim and a doting father to Kaitlyn and Abbie.” Indeed the theme of Trevor’s tributes all centered on his great personality and his love and care for his family.
Trevor’s life exemplified the words of Colossians 3:12-13, “Put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, bearing with one another, and forgiving one another.” Those traits leave an inspiring legacy.
We don’t know when God will call us home, but we do know this: Each day is an opportunity to leave a testimony worthy of our faith.
May the fire of our devotion light their way;
May the footprints that we leave lead them to believe,
And the lives we live inspire them to obey. —Mohr
The Devil’s Lies
by Joyce Meyer – posted November 08, 2012
You are of your father, the devil, and it is your will to practice the lusts and gratify the desires [which are characteristic] of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a falsehood, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar [himself] and the father of lies and of all that is false. —John 8:44
The devil lies. In fact, the devil doesn’t know how to speak the truth.
Most Christians know that—and yet they still listen to his evil words. Sometimes the lies seem to just pop into our minds for no apparent reason; sometimes Satan even speaks to us through other people. He puts something critical or hurtful into their minds about us, and they speak it out for us to hear. If we listen and accept what we hear, our enemy rejoices. If we listen long enough to the deceptive information we have taken in, we will find ourselves facing serious problems. Instead of listening and absorbing the untruths and satanic deceptions, you can look at what Jesus did and follow His example.
After fasting for forty days in the wilderness, Satan tempted Him three times. Each time He defeated the devil by declaring, “It is written,” and quoting the Word of God. No wonder the devil fled from Him (see Matthew 4:1–11). Learn the truth of God’s Word, and every time Satan lies to you, quote a scripture back to him. Learn to talk back to the devil!
Too many people don’t know how to use the Word to defeat Satan’s lies. Many people—even Christians—don’t seem to realize that they can refuse to listen to that voice. Too many people don’t realize that the devil attacks their minds with negative or wrong thoughts. It’s his nature to lie; he is out to enslave everyone.
I encourage people to realize that they are not alone in their spiritual battles—their minds are not the only ones under attack. Satan comes against everyone. His entire goal is to kill, steal, and destroy, but Jesus came that we might have and enjoy our lives abundantly (see John 10:10). By becoming more conscious of the spiritual weapons the Lord has made available to us and learning how to use them, we can gain victory. We can break the strongholds the devil has built in our minds. The Bible tells us that when we know the truth, that truth will free us from Satan’s strongholds (see John 8:32).
In the illustration of Mary, I mentioned that the devil had whispered to her for years that all men were alike and wanted to hurt women and take advantage of them. As Mary read the Bible and prayed more effectively, she learned that it was the devil who had pushed her around. Now she knows she can be free.
As Mary develops in her relationship with God, she is equipping herself to win the battle for her mind. She’s learning more about God and more about how to pray effectively.
“Jesus has become my friend,” Mary said. She had known Him as her Savior and worshiped Him as God, but this was a new revelation to her. One day she read Hebrews 2:18 in a totally new light. It says of Jesus, “Because He Himself [in His humanity] has suffered in being tempted (tested and tried), He is able . . . to run to the cry of (assist, relieve) those who are being tempted.”
That passage came alive to Mary because she saw Jesus not only as God, but as her friend—one who knows what it’s like to be tempted and who knows what it is like to suffer. “I knew He died on the cross, but I had not thought of all the pain He went through for me. To realize that He understands my pain and problems was a new thought to me.”
Mary also says that when negative, mean, or ugly thoughts come into her head, she is learning to stop those thoughts. “Jesus wouldn’t talk that way. Jesus wouldn’t be critical and judgmental, so that’s the devil fighting for my mind.”
Mary hasn’t won all the battles, but she has learned to fight the great deceiver. Every time she wins one battle, the next one becomes easier.
God of all power, thank You for giving me the weapons to defeat the lies of the devil. Help me to always make good use of them. Thank You, Jesus, for being my friend and for being with me in my difficulties and struggles. Amen.
From the book Battlefield of the Mind Devotional by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2006 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.
Our Daily Bread – The Romance
Read: Ruth 3:1-11
Widows in biblical times often faced a life of poverty. That’s the situation Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi, were in after each woman lost her husband. But God had a plan to provide security for them while involving Ruth as an integral part of a much bigger plan.
Boaz, a wealthy landowner, knew of and admired Ruth (Ruth 2:5-12), but he was surprised when he awoke one night to see her lying at his feet (3:8). She asked him to “spread the corner” of his garment over her to indicate that as a close relative he was willing to be her “kinsman-redeemer” (v.9 NIV). This was more than a request for protection; she was requesting marriage. Boaz agreed to marry her (vv.11-13; 4:13).
Not exactly your typical romantic tale. But Ruth’s choice to follow Naomi’s instructions (3:3-6) set up a series of events that placed her in God’s plan of redemption! From Ruth’s marriage to Boaz came a son (Obed), the eventual grandfather of King David (4:17). Generations later, Joseph was born to the family, and he became the “legal father” of Mary’s child (Matt. 1:16-17; Luke 2:4-5)—ourKinsman-Redeemer, Jesus.
Ruth trusted God and followed Naomi’s instructions even though the ending was uncertain. We too can count on God to provide for us when life is unsure.
to advice from loved ones who know You well.
Show us the right thing to do in our uncertain
times and to trust You for the results. Amen.
Opinions and the Pit
Posted by Joel Osteen on 11/2/2012
There’s a story about a man who fell into a pit. Different people came along to voice their opinions. The Pharisee said, “You deserve to be in the pit.” The Catholic said, “You need to suffer while you’re in the pit.” The Baptist said, “If you’d get saved, you wouldn’t have fallen into the pit.” The Charismatic said, “Just confess, ‘I’m not in the pit.'” The mathematician said, “Let me calculate how you fell into the pit.” The IRS agent said, “Have you paid taxes on that pit?” The optimist said, “Things could be worse.” The pessimist said, “Things will get worse.”
Everyone has an opinion. If you try to please every person, the one person that will not be happy is you. And it’s funny; sometimes the people who are trying to run your life can’t even run their own. It’s good to get advice. It’s good to listen to opinions, but you’ve got to be confident enough in who God made you to be that when something doesn’t bear witness with your spirit, you have a boldness to say, “Thanks, but no thanks. I love you. I appreciate your advice, but this time, it’s not for me.”
I have a friend who’s on staff here with us. Several years ago, a man came up to him and said, “I feel very strongly that you’re supposed to go out and start your own church. You’re a great minister. You’re anointed. I know it would be a success.”
And while my friend appreciated his encouragement, that didn’t bear witness with him at all. He knows he is called to be here. This is exactly where God wants him to be. Month after month, this man kept coming up to him saying, “When are you going to start your church? When are you going to take that step of faith?” It went from being encouraging to pressuring him, trying to squeeze him into a mold.
My friend finally said to him, “Let me ask you, will you rent me an auditorium? Will you buy me a sound system? Will you pay my staff? Will you pay the utilities? Will you pay all the advertising costs?”
That man looked at him like he had lost his mind. He said, “No, I can’t do that. I can’t afford it.”
My friend said, “Well, if God calls me, He will take care of me. He will pay my bills. He will bring the right people. He will line up the auditorium. But if I do it because you called me, I’m going to have to rely on you, and I can tell I’d be very disappointed.”
Proverbs 29 tells us that “the fear of man brings a snare.” In other words, when you rely on the opinions of others, instead of leading you out of the pit, it will lead you into the pit! Today, learn to separate yourself from the opinions of others and consecrate yourself to God. After all, His opinion is the only one that matters, and He will lead you into life, freedom and victory all the days
Copyright © 2012 Joel Osteen Ministries