God Always Provides

Then the Lord said to Elijah, Go to the east and hide by Kerith Brook, near where it enters the Jordan River. Drink from the brook and eat what the ravens bring you, for I have commanded them to bring you food. But after a while the brook dried up, for there was no rainfall anywhere in the land. 1 Kings 17:2-4, 7 NLT

Read 1 Kings 17

There are times when we will have an abundance and times when we will have little resources; even so, God has promised to always provide when we place our faith and trust in him. Yes, it is disappointing when our plans fail or when change occurs and we are faced with insurmountable problems. We may experience fear and even feel that God is not aware of what we are going through.

Just know that you are never forgotten! God is still the same God that sent birds to bring food for the prophet Elijah.

Our heartfelt prayers to God must be honest. God is already aware of your wavering faith, your fears, and your level of trust in Him. If you are afraid, then confess your fears to God in prayer. When we approach God with our brokenness, it is then that He unleashes his power and proves that He is faithful and just.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 ESV

In the midst of constant change, we can be assured that Jehovah-jireh, our provider, is steadfast in His promises to always take care of us.

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour…Isaiah 43:2-3 NLT

Prayer for today: Dear God, I know that you are aware of the challenges that I am facing in my life. I realize that I never should have relied on myself. I come to you confessing that I am afraid. Please forgive me for my doubt and unbelief. I desire for my faith and trust in you to grow and reach the level of steadfast and immovable. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Sonya Johnson Ruiz

Today is the Day!

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 ESV

So often we focus on the disappointments of yesterday or the uncertainties of tomorrow and miss God’s matchless gift to us: TODAY !!!!

Welcome each day as a gift from God.

*Dana Johnson Puller

Prayer for today: Dear God, I have been thinking about the challenges in my life instead of your wonderful blessings. I want to thank you for the breath in my body and allowing me to be alive, yet another day. You are great and I thank you for loving me, just as I am. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Sonya Johnson Ruiz

*Introducing our newest Contributing Writer: Dana Johnson Puller, a Prayer Warrior, and devout Woman of God who faithfully studies the Word of God. She is not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as she witnesses to others about God’s love and the plan of salvation. Dana loves to laugh; her hobbies include photography, crocheting, embroidery, and traveling.

Harper’s Ferry, West Va. Rail Station

Building Trust

Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am in distress. Tears blur my eyes. My body and soul are withering away. But I am trusting You, O Lord, saying, “You are my God! My future is in your hands. Psalm 31:9,14-15 NLT

At some point, we reach a crossroads in our lives where we are faced with a life-changing event. Whatever the challenge, we have the same opportunity as King David had; we are able to connect with God through our tears and heartfelt prayers.

At any point, we can begin to build a trusting relationship with our loving God. It is usually at the time of struggle that we finally realize that we are unable to solve our challenges without God. Even so, God patiently and lovingly waits for us to come to him.

Hear me as I pray, O Lord. Be merciful and answer me! My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord I am coming.” Psalm 27:7-8 NLT

Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD. Psalm 27:14 NLT

Challenge for today: Take a moment to reflect on the victories in your life. Acknowledge God’s favor on your life even though you may have failed to thank him for his grace and mercy.

Prayer for today: Dear God, we have reached the crossroads and must make the decision to trust in you or to continue to trust in our efforts. It is our desire to begin a steadfast and trusting relationship with you. We need you in the good times as well as the challenging times. Please hear our prayers and extend your mercies. We will obediently wait for your divine intervention. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Sonya Johnson Ruiz

New and Improved

Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Proverbs 4:6-7 NIV

The price of cocoa in making products has rapidly increased in the past few years. Candy makers were forced to make a decision in order to maintain their profit margin. The dilemma remained: What could they do to prevent the many consumer complaints that candy bars were getting smaller?

1. They could charge more for the same size candy bar.

2. They could reduce the size of the present candy bar and increase the price.

But wait, there are third and fourth options that have increased the profits of the candy makers:

3. Use less product and add air as a filler under the guise of “less calories,” which translates into a smaller candy bar; previous size: 2.07 oz; current size: 1.65 oz that represents a 26% price increase. Also utilize the marketing tactic to promote a healthier bar that only contains “250 calories and 11 grams of saturated fat.”

4. Produce “fun size or snack size” candy sold in bags which are usually 5 times the price of the original size bar.

The third and fourth options which involve the art of deception appear to benefit the consumer; however, we are paying the highest prices in the history of the candy bar which have less product and we are content to do so for the enjoyment of empty calories.

For most individuals, our daily lives involve a rapid and stressful pace. We crave the convenience of someone else already figuring out the problem so we can just move on to the next issue, and we are willing to pay for that convenience.

Last week, I used two store coupons, 40% and 50% off for two separate products. Because I was in a hurry, at checkout, I used the option to email the receipt. When I started my car, I had the nagging feeling to check the receipt. When I reviewed the receipt via my cellphone, I realized the 40% coupon was not applied to my purchase. As I sat in my car, I had a decision to make: either turn the car off, re-enter the store, question the transaction, and obtain my refund or forget about it and leave to perform my next errand.

I am still unable to comprehend why I had an internal conflict over a situation which involved seeking a refund for overpayment because the register failed to apply the discount that I was entitled to. I have come to realize that I am unable to pursue a life of convenience where the expectation is that someone else has already resolved the problem, or I simply choose to ignore my responsibilities.

God instructs us to seek wisdom and understanding as we face our daily challenges. When we ask for wisdom and to be filled with the Holy Spirit, the feeling that things are not what they appear to be, is actually the leading and guidance from God.

Our relationship with God is strengthened when we apply His instructions to every aspect of our daily lives.

Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of Truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 NLT

Challenge for today: Study the Word of God; Pray for wisdom; and change your mindset and behaviors to reflect alignment with truth.

Prayer for today: Dear God, Please grant us wisdom and understanding as we approach the challenges of our daily lives. Help us to always be motivated to choose and do what is right, even if it means taking additional steps to achieve resolution. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Sonya Johnson Ruiz

Natural occurrence of a rock sculpted by nature…Camel Rock…in the desert of New Mexico.

What must I do?

“Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only one who is good. But to answer your question– if you want to receive eternal life, keep the Commandments.” Matthew 19:17 NLT

The true test of our faith and trust in God is not when we have obstacles to face; the challenge is when our storehouse is full–when our monies extend beyond our necessities–and our bank accounts are overflowing.

Money is not evil in itself; however, it brings a level of comfort that opens the door to separate us from God. Matthew 19:17-22 tells us of the rich young man who was interested in eternal life, if he could keep his tangible goods. In fact, when Jesus told him to sell his possessions, and give to the poor, he walked away sad.

How many of us give our tithes and offerings, but never think about helping others? It is not a natural thought process to sit down, designate monies to give away, and contemplate on “who can I help today?”

I was in the store last week and overheard a young woman telling her co-worker that she and three of her friends were in a restaurant and the waitstaff informed them that their bill was paid in full by an anonymous benefactor. She relayed that she had read stories of people who gave to others, but she never really believed that it would happen in her life. As I continued to listen, she expressed that she now has the desire to help others.

We must constantly remind ourselves that it is God who provides. Are we able to sell all that we have and give it away to the poor? If not, then your faith and trust is in yourself. Do not let the abundance of money separate you from God. We are instructed to help those in need on a continuous basis.

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. James 2:14-17 ESV

God instructs us to give beyond our charitable contributions. Our time is also a valuable and precious commodity. If we are truly trusting in God then we will give, give, give of ourselves and from our storehouse.

Verses for today: 1 Kings 17:7-24 Elijah and the Widow at Zarephath.

Prayer for today: Dear God, Thank you for the many blessings that you have bestowed upon us. Please help us to have the desire to go beyond our charitable contributions, and seek out those who are poor and in need. It is only by your grace and mercy that we are in the position to help others. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen!

Sonya Johnson Ruiz

Santa Fe, New Mexico