Thursday, August 29, 2013

MARY, MARY, QUITE CONTRARY! How does your garden grow?

Oh, if only our garden could grow as easily as saying a nursery rhyme. But we all know that’s not reality. It takes a lot of hard work to plant a successful garden. There have been times when I planted my garden and the ground wasn’t plowed sufficiently before planting the seeds and I didn’t take the time to pull all the weeds that were in the way either. I just sort of mulched it all together and pretended the weeds didn’t exist. After all, it was way too much work and I found every angle to cut corners just so I could get my garden planted. I counted on the rain to water my garden and simply forgot to check the moisture on the soil when it was scorching hot outside. Yet, I couldn’t wait for the “fruit of my labor” to start paying off. What a big, big, mistake! It wasn’t long before the weeds took over and choked most of my beautiful tomato plants; and what wasn’t choked out by weeds was all dried up from lack of water. Needless to say, my garden barely produced any fruit that year. At the end of harvest time I reaped what I sowed, which was very little, simply because I chose to be lazy and take the easy way out.

Sounds a lot like the parable Jesus shares in Mark 4:3-8 (NKJV)  where He says, “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow.  And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it. Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty and some a hundred.”

And so it leaves the question in my mind, what happens with the seed (the Word of God) when I hear it preached? Do I allow it to go in one ear and out the other; allowing the birds of the air (Satan) to come and steal it away before it even has a chance to take root in my spirit man? Or does the Word appear to get into my spirit man only until an issue or crisis comes up; causing me to forget the scriptures when I need them the most? Has my life been so consumed with worldly things to the point that when God's Word attempts to take root, it quickly gets choked out by the weeds & thorns I have inside of me because of existing sin?

It’s so easy to take God’s Word for granted and twist it around to fit our own situations. I know; because I’m guilty of doing it myself; especially when I first decided to follow The Lord, over 30 years ago. Truth is; I was trying to find ways to justify my actions. But just because I twisted scripture in order to validate my choices didn’t change what God’s Word was saying to me. His Word remained the same; regardless of how I choose to apply it to my life. Hebrews 13:8 (NIV)Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

Take a moment now; search your heart and ask yourself, “How does my garden grow? Am I applying God’s Word in my life? Are the seeds that have been planted in my spirit man being watered so that they can grow, or have they been choked out by the choices I’ve made along the way?" Don’t’ lose hope in what the Holy Spirit reveals.  Simply start pulling the weeds and get rid of them completely.

Trust the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to you along the way and be open to His direction. There may be thistles that need to be uprooted; something that appears to be ok; but has jagged edges that could ultimately destroy your crops. When the good seed (God's Word) starts to grow in you, you will reap a harvest in due season.  Be patient and trust the Lord! Don’t let the birds of the air (Satan), to steal your harvest!

And remember –
If you find it’s necessary to twist a scripture and maneuver it around your particular situation in hopes it justifies you, a loved one or friend, you are most likely heading towards sin if not already in the midst of it. I can’t suggest strong enough that you stop and consider maneuvering your situation around until it lines up with the Word of God instead! It's important you understand you can’t expect God's total peace, blessings & favor if you don’t heed to the voice & direction of the Holy Spirit.
It’s that simple folks!

Be blessed my family & friends. Lifting you up in prayer and standing in agreement that as you seek His perfect will for your life, the Lord will pour out His favor to overflowing!
Love you all!


Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Remember Job and the horrendous trials he faced? Here is an extremely wealthy man who feared and honored God and yet we are told that in a short matter of time, he lost everything he owned. If you ask me, this story is a bit overwhelming and wild to comprehend to say the least.

And so we are told that one day the Lord was sitting on His heavenly throne watching the angels come in when all of a sudden Satan rears his ugly head and let his presence be known. And when the Lord saw Satan, He asked him where He came from and Satan replied,“From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”

Ok, so first thing we need to grab a hold of is clearly Satan roams the earth. But what totally blows me away was the Lord’s answer where He asked Satan, for no apparent reason I might add, “Have you considered my servant Job? Job 1:6-12 NIV  

Seriously? Have you considered my servant Job? Now.....I know most folks wouldn’t question the Lord, but yes, I need to admit, my first thought was, “Lord, really? Why would you allow such a thing?” I mean it's almost as if the Lord was dangling Job in front of Satan’s eyes; tempting Satan to snatch Job from the Lord’s hands.  I tend to believe since the Lord knew Job and his character; He already knew Job would remain faithful; no matter what. Satan’s response is almost comical because he understood the Power of God as he pointed out, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? Clearly Satan was admitting that he was limited since the Lord placed a hedge around Job.  

Grab ahold of this.... 
If the Lord has a hedge around you and your household, Satan IS limited.

Yet he continued by saying, “You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Job 1:9-12 NIV And the bible tells us that soon after, Job lost everything he possessed; including his servants, cattle and even his 7 sons and 3 daughters. We are told as one messenger would barely get done, the next messenger would bring Job more bad news. Yet, although Job was distraught, he still fell to the ground and worshipped the Lord saying, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrong doing. Job 1:20-22 NIV

Yet once again the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? However, this time Satan challenged the Lord, saying, “Skin for skin! A man will give all he has for his own life. But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.” And so Satan afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. Job’s wife tried to get him to curse God so he could die. However, Job said, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said. Job 2:4-10 NIV

Job was in such bad shape that his friends didn’t recognize him. And yet he still found strength to proclaim, “I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” Job 19:25-27 NIV

Was he distraught & upset? Absolutely! Did he curse the day he was born and wish God would just take him home? Yes! But he still remained faithful and didn’t blame God for what had happened. Wow! Talk about faith! Yet the story doesn’t end there, because we are also told that when the testing was done, the Lord restored Job with twice as much as he had; blessing his later years more than the past.

So you see my friends, in all this, God remained faithful!

Does it ever seem like you barely get done with one obstacle life throws your way and soon find yourself battling another one? Ever sit back and wonder what just happened or what may have caused the situation you’re experiencing? Regardless of your circumstance, did you know it didn’t come as a surprise to the Lord? If anything, I am convinced whatever you may be experiencing at this moment, didn’t come to light to you before passing by the Lord’s throne. And although there are times we bring calamity & destruction on ourselves simply because of the choices we make, I am equally convinced that we are no different than Job and there are times we are simply being tested.
I mean, picture it for a moment. Can’t you just see Satan lurking around the Lord, taunting Him about your faithfulness and desire to serve Him? Now can’t you just see the Lord saying, “Have you considered my servant (add your name here)?

I am convinced that we are not any different than Job? And I have no doubt that regardless of what you or I have been thru or what may be up ahead, it cannot come near us or our household unless the Lord allows it to happen. And I choose to beleive no matter what, THE LORD IS IN CONTROL.

And like the Lord was for Job, there is no doubt in my mind that the Lord will remain faithful to you & me as well; regardless of our circumstance. But just like Job, we need need to remain faithful and believe Job 42:1-2 NIV, where it says, "I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”

And most of all, we need to remember - God will remain faithful no matter what; even when we are too weak to stand!

Be blessed my family & friends. Lifting you up in prayer and standing in unity & agreement with you; that the Holy Spirit will move in your situation this very hour! Praying His favor will shine over you as bright as the morning sun!
Love you all!

"After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation.And so Job died, an old man and full of years." Job 42:16-17 NIV

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


We can hide our sins from others; pretend our lives are going well. 
But it won't change a thing on judgment day if lost souls are sent to hell.
We can close our eyes and look elsewhere; wear blinders like a shield. 
Close our ears to those around us; even though we’re told to yield.

Yield to My Holy Spirit! Water fields and pull the weeds!
Hear the cry of the forgotten! Help the lost and take the lead!
And on the Day of Judgment, as believers give account;
Rest assured we’ll be accountable; even if we choose to doubt.

God has called us to do something; He has a purpose and a plan.
He gave His One and Only Son for all; in hopes to rescue every man. 
So heed to the Lord as He calls you; Trust Him as He shows the way.
Stop running from the Holy One! Choose today to just obey!
                                 (Cynthia E. Bagaglia-Wood © August 14, 2013)

“But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 NLT

Blessings my family & friends!  Continuing to pray the Lord's total favor over you as you continue to seek Him diligently!

Love you all!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


1 Samuel 17:4-7 NLT is a good example of how The Lord sees things so differently....and only proves....His ways are not our ways. 

Goliath was a Philistine champion from Gath who the bible describes as being over nine feet tall.   He wore a bronze helmet & coat that weighed 125 pounds by itself, along with bronze leg armor and a bronze javelin he carried on his shoulder.  The shaft of his spear was as heavy and thick as a weaver’s beam (approximately 2 – 2 ½ inches thick) and just the iron spearhead by itself weighed about 15 pounds.  There is no doubt that he was intimidating to say the least.  Yet, I had to laugh at the fact that even though Goliath was covered in armor and ready for battle, he still felt the need to have his armor bearer walk ahead of him carrying a shield.

Seriously folks!  Goliath may have been a big man in stature, but certainly not brave; at least not in my eyes.   

Now think about David.  He was just a young shepherd boy who spent his days tending to his father’s sheep.  And yet the Lord decided to use him to fight against Goliath.  (Not only do we see the Lord’s hand in this situation, but He also gives us a glimpse of His sense of humor.)

When David faced Goliath, he said to him, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel!”  1 Samuel 17:45-46 NLT

And with the flick of David’s wrist and one stone, the bible tells us David killed Goliath, smack dab in the center of his forehead. Talk about an aim! 

So I ask you.....

Are you face to face with Goliath today; maybe a sickness, financial difficulty, stressed or maybe depressed?  Feeling abandoned or alone?  Has discouragement taken root in your heart?  Each one of us has something in our lives we are struggling with at this moment. If you deny it, then, chances are pride may be your Goliath!

Have you ever considered just how big God is?  Take a moment and “try” to picture it.  Bit difficult, isn’t it?

The bible tells us in Isaiah 40:12  NLT, "Who else has held the oceans in his hand?  Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers?  Who else knows the weight of the earth or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale?"  

We serve a God with hands big enough to hold the ocean.


If we serve a God of this there really anything too difficult for Him to handle?  The bible tells us Luke 1:37 NLT “For nothing is impossible with God.” 

No matter what language you say it in – Nothing, niente, nada, τίποτα, nichts) still means NOTHING!!!!!

So be encouraged today and know without doubt –

There is NOTHING - NOT ONE THING impossible with God!!!!

Be blessed my family & friends!  I pray that as you continue to seek the Lord, His favor would shine over you completely!

Love you all!

Friday, August 2, 2013

“Oh God, Help me! I can’t do this alone!”

Ever have one of those days where you want to just throw your hands up in the air and scream? This past week I had one of those days.  It started out being a pretty quiet morning; until about 8:30 – 9 am. Now mind you, I actually love my job and enjoy it about 99% of the time.  But there are days where the pressure gets to be a bit much, and well, Friday was just one of those days.  It seemed like all the demands hit at one time.  Everything was urgent and everyone needed an answer “now”.   And if that wasn’t enough; some folks pushed the right buttons that would soon cause my flesh to war against my spirit man as I fought the resistance in responding back in a negative way.  Instead, I found myself with an inward war; one that no one else could see, except the good Lord, Himself.  It took everything I had not to burst into tears and all I kept hearing is “Don’t respond.” 

Oh Lord, seriously?  Don’t respond?  But didn’t you hear what was said just now?  Didn’t you see, Lord? 

And still nothing but, “Don’t respond.”

 I fought my flesh and forced my thoughts to dwell on hearing the Lord’s voice as He continued to speak softly “Don’t respond”.   Talk about a challenge.  Anyone that knows me knows it is indeed a challenge at times.  As the morning went by, things did not seem to get any better.  As lunch time drew near, I went to the fridge, warmed up my lunch and sat at my desk eating as I continued to fight back the tears.

 I wanted to scream!!!!  “Oh God, Help me!  I can’t do this alone!”  And yet, I knew without doubt that I wasn’t alone.  The Holy Spirit reminded me that He was there and that it was nothing more than spiritual warfare.  Satan was doing his best to pull my attention away from the Lord in hopes he could tempt me to fall into a situation where I would respond in a negative manner to those around me.  Satan knows that if I allowed him to persuade me into something contrary to God’s word, it would damage my character as a servant of God, make me lose credibility with those around me and ultimately bring separation between me & my Lord.

I felt compelled to finish my lunch and go find a quiet place where it could be just me & God; no one else!  As I stood up to leave, I grabbed my water and some tissues and then went to grab my cell phone; just in case something urgent came up.  The Lord spoke softly again, “Don’t take it.  Leave it there.”  And I did.  Without any further hesitation, I went outside, found my favorite spot and sat quietly in His presence.   As I looked up, my tears became my silent prayer.  The sun gently pierced thru the clouds that gloomed over it, covering me with gentle warmth of God’s presence.  I noticed the clouds kept trying to cover over the sun again, leaving me feeling cold and alienated.  But then the sun would find its way to pierce thru the clouds as if the clouds didn’t exist.  (I know this is a normal thing, but this particular day it actually captivated my attention.)

As I could see the sun vaguely thru the clouds, the Holy Spirit showed me that no matter what may try to come between us, He is still there.   Nothing but His peace flooded my soul.  I knew God was at work and I was assured that this would somehow bring glory to Him, for He has a plan greater than what I can see.

Later that afternoon, some of the people I had a run in with earlier kept coming around acting as if they knew they hurt or offended me.  It was obvious they were trying to make things right between us and yet, unsure of what to say as they grabbed thru straws to hold a conversation.  At that moment, I was able to respond with true compassion and genuineness of heart; only because I heeded to the voice of the Holy Spirit.  Apart from Him, I would not have had the strength to do so otherwise.

What about you?  Are you in the middle of an inward war other’s can’t see?  Wondering where God is at in the midst of your circumstance?  You’re not alone.   Trust me when I tell you; there are others just like you & me.  Let me encourage you to find a quiet place; a place where you can be alone with God.  No need to say anything.  Your submission in His presence will say it all.  He knows what you’re going thru and has already prepared a plan to see you thru.  Allow His peace to flood your mind and be open to His direction. 

Remember, He has promised us in Hebrews 13:5 NIV  “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Be blessed my family & friends. 
I pray as you continue to seek the Lord with all your heart, that His total favor will pour over you like a tsunami! 
Love you all,

Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty; listen to me, God of Jacob. Look on our shield, O God; look with favor on your anointed one. Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you. Psalm 84:8-12 NIV