THE LORD IS OUR TOUR GUIDE

IMG_3388by Tammy Phillips
May 16, 2020

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Psalm23:3

Have you ever traveled with a tour guide?  We have been blessed to go on a few trips with a navigator.  You do not have to worry about one thing.  When going on long journeys to foreign countries, it is the best way to go.   Below, as you read the benefits of a tour director, think about how God leads us through uncharted territory:

  • Very knowledgeable and up to date about the culture and area traveling to and through.
  • Logistics expert:  Design and provide an itinerary, thus, eliminating the responsibility of planning for the traveler.  Ultimately, the guide is responsible for the trip.
  • Organizes meals and lodging.
  • Schedules transportation and furnishes directions.
  • Experienced in the adventure and provides the proper equipment for the journey.
  • Ensures safety in dangerous locations because of knowledge of terrain, weather, and danger zones.
  • Knows the best way to lead because of prior experience. “Been there done that!”
  • Points out dangers and beauties that an untrained eye could not see.
  • Teaches how not to be conned by the “locals” while traveling through unknown lands.
  • Knows the best places to go. (Knows location of green pastures and still waters!)
  • Welcomes questions and meets the needs of the traveler.

A tour guide can be costly but worth the money.  Our Guide, our Shepherd, has redeemed us and offers all His benefits to us, freely.  His lead is priceless. All we have to do is follow.  He wants us to follow Him out of the desert and into the promises land. He has a great plan for us.

God is our Guide, Director and Navigator.  Look at how He leads: 

RIGHTEOUSNESS:   He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. [Psalm 23:3]

MERCY:  Thou hast led forth in thy mercy the people [which] thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided [them] in thy strength unto thy holy habitation. [Exodus 15:13 KJV]

PLAINLY:  Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path. [Psalm 27:11 KJV]

ROCK & FORTRESS:  For thou [art] my rock and my fortress; therefore, for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me. [Psalm 31:3 KJV]

LIGHT and TRUTH:  O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; [Psalm 43:3 KJV]

COUNSEL:  Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel. [Psalm 73:24 KJV]

SAFELY:  And he led them on safely, so that they feared not: [Psalm 78:53 KJV]

BY HIS HAND:  Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. [Psalm 139:10 KJV]

ALWAYS:  Lead me in the way everlasting. [Psalm 139:24 KJV]

CONTINUALLY:  And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. [Isaiah 58:11 KJV]

I enCOURAGE you to follow His lead.  Let God navigate and direct all of your travels and travails.  He has proved Himself over and over to be the BEST TOUR GUIDE.  He loves His job but loves His customers more.  Follow the Shepherd!

THE LORD IS OUR RESTORER

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By Tammy Phillips
May 15, 2020

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Psalm 23:3

The Lord is our Restorer.  When life is headed in the wrong direction, only the Restorer of our soul can turn things around in the right direction.  When life punches so hard that we become unconscious, only the Lord can revive our breathlessness.

The LORD will…

  • Restore by returning what has been stolen, lost or unjustly detained from us.
  • Reanimate our spirits when dull or languid. He will invigorate. He will infuse us with new life and courage.
  • Recover us from lapse and disease. He heals all our He is our cure.
  • Reestablish; He will establish us anew. He will fix us from a state of neglect.
  • Refresh us and give us new strength. He will relieve us after fatigue.
  • Renew us by making all things new.
  • Renovate us by returning us to a good state, after decay, destruction or depravation.
  • Repair and return us to a sound state after injury, dilapidation or partial destruction.
  • Revive us by returning us to life.

The Lord is our Restorer. He is our Breath.  He restores our soul.

I enCOURAGE you to turn to the ONLY ONE who can turn your life around.  He is the one who will heal your body and mind.  He is the Fixer.  He is Restoration.  He is Life.

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me [with thy] free spirit.  Psalm 51:12 

LOOKING FOR REST?

IMG_3349 2By Tammy Phillips
May 14, 2020

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. – Psalm 23:2

I would love to know exactly where David was when he wrote this Psalm.  I do not envision green nor water. I imagine he was sitting in a rocky, dry, dusty place, like most of the Middle East.  I do not think green pastures were as easy to find as they are here in the good ‘ole USA.  A shepherd would probably have to work pretty hard to find or cultivate a green pasture for the sheep.

Are you sitting in a dry place?  What does your green pasture look like?  What makes you lie down?  Is it sitting in a beach chair resting at the edge of the ocean waves?  Is it a cool, crisp morning on your favorite golf course?  Is it a world where all your debts are paid, and ailments are healed?  Is it the eternal hope of heaven?  Allow the Lord to take you into His rest.  He will provide your green pasture.  It is already prepared for you.

In Phillips Keller’s, “A Shephard Looks at Psalm 23,” he states it is almost impossible to make a sheep lie down unless these four conditions are met:

Sheep must be free from all fear.
Sheep must be free from friction with other sheep in the flock.
Sheep must be free from torment from flies and pests.
Sheep must be free from hunger.

Sound familiar?  If we step out of faith and into fear, rest and sleep are fleeting.  If the house is full of tension and strife, we become agitated and are not interested in resting.  If something is “bugging us,” the cares of life, sickness, lack or just the lies of the enemy, rest escapes us.

Thirsty?  The best thing to do is follow the shepherd’s lead to the still waters.  The Hebrew word for still in this verse is menuwchah which means rest, resting place, quietness, comfort, and ease.  Whenever I am ill at ease, my favorite place to go find peace is by the water, whether, it be a lake, a river, or my favorite, the ocean.  The water is restorative.  The Living Water, the Lord, is the most restorative.  He is our Peace.

I enCOURAGE you to follow the Shepherd into His rest and peace.  Be content in Him.  A good Shepherd provides for every need of His sheep.  You are marked as saved by the Savior.  He makes the way to the green pastures and to the still waters of rest.  Not only does He provide the rest and peace, He is the Rest.

THE LORD IS MY TENDER

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by Tammy Phillips
May 13, 2020

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. (Psalm 23:1 KJV)

I had nothing to say after searching for a couple of hours this morning.  I was wandering around the pasture and bleating for words.  Our Shepherd led me to Psalms 23.  I said, “Lord, everybody knows Psalm 23!  Show me.  Show me what you want to say.”  He revealed more of himself:

If you are a sheep, then the Lord is your Shepherd, right?  Shepherd is the Hebrew word ra`ah, meaning to tend.  Hence, the LORD is my Tender.  After looking up the meaning of tend and tender in Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, I have come to find the treasure in David’s words.  When he said, “The Lord is my Shepherd,” he was implying:

The LORD is my Tender.
The LORD holds me.
The LORD takes care of me.
The LORD is my Care-Taker.
The LORD is my Keeper.
The LORD is my Guard.
The LORD watches over me.
The Lord pays attention to me.
The LORD accompanies me.
The LORD is my Provider.
The LORD is my Preserver.
The LORD is my Director.
The Lord directs me to an end or purpose.

Those five words he spoke were loaded. Stop and think about it. God was all those things to David and he is all those things to us, too.  Jesus said:

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand.  My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father’s hand.” (John 10:27-29 KJV)

Like Jesus, David knew the Lord was greater than all.  He knew the Lord was his Salvation.  David knew exactly who God was to him and he believed that God would do exactly what he said he would do.  Thus, he could boldly say:

“I shall not want.”
I shall not lack.
I shall not be without.
I shall not decrease.
I shall not fail.
I shall not be devoid of anything.

Again, David knew who God was and believed that God would do what he said he would do.  He had full faith in the Lord, his Shepherd.  He knew the Lord would be his Tender and that he would want for nothing.

I enCOURAGE you to follow the Shepherd through the valley, around the mountain and through every obstacle. He has His eyes on you.  He will never leave you alone.  He will not lead you astray and you will not want!  Follow Him.

GOD GIVES US EVERYTHING

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According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: -2Peter 1:3 

By Tammy Phillips
May 12, 2020

When we go to the grocery or order online, we make a long list of what we need so we do not forget anything.  The next week, our list might change according to our needs.  God is the coolest.  God’s list is always the same.  He does not give us a long list of what He needs, instead He gives us a long list of what He freely gives.  What do you need?  (This is just a short list; more can be found in the Bible.)

GOD GIVES US…
His Word (Matthew 4:4)
His Son (John 3:16)
His Holy Spirt (2 Corinthians 5:5)
His Glory (John17:22)
His Life (John 10:11)
New Birth (1 Peter 1:3)
A New Heart (Ezekiel 36:26)
A New Name (Revelation 2:17)
Salvation (1Peter 1:5)
Eternal life (1 John 5;11)
His Angels (Psalm 91:11)
Power to Become sons of God (John 1:12)
A Measure of Faith (Romans 12:3)
Authority to Heal Every Kind of Sickness and Disease in His Name (Matthew 10:1)
Authority Over All the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19)
Security (Job 24:23)
Justice (Job 36:6)
Peace (John 14:27)
Power in Weakness (Isaiah 40:29)
Strength and Power (Psalm 68:5)
Understanding to the Simple (Psalm 119:130)
Wisdom (Proverbs. 2:6)
Grace (Proverbs 3:34, James 4:6)
Food in Abundance. (Job 36:31)
True Bread from Heaven (John 6:32)
Power to get Wealth. (Deuteronomy 8:18)
The Increase (1 Corinthians 3:7)
Breath (Isaiah 42:5)
Sleep (Psalm127:2)
Rest from the Days of Adversity (Psalm 4:13)
Rest from your Sorrow and Fear (Isaiah 14:3)
Life (John 6:33)
Light (Proverbs 29:13)
Power, Love, Sound Mind, Self-Control (2Timothy 1:7)
Victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1Corinthians 15:57)
Freely All Things. (Romans 8:32)
All Things to Enjoy (2 Timothy 6:17)
Life, Breath, and All Things (Acts 17:25)
EVERYTHING WE NEED (2 Peter 1:3)

I enCOURAGE you to grasp all that God has freely given us.  Take hold of what you need. “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19 KJV). Our God is rich, super rich.  Actually, He is the richest.  All He asks  is for us to love Him  and love others.

COURAGE UP

IMG_3301By Tammy Phillips
May 11, 2020

 Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop, but a good word maketh it glad.  -Proverbs 12:25

HEAVINESS
Cares
Fear
Sorrow
Anxiety
Sorrow
IN THE HEART, mind, soul, OF A MAN MAKES IT

STOOP
Bow down
Be depressed
Prostates yourself
Makes you lay up and lay out
Worship

BUT A GOOD, an enCOURAGING WORD MAKES IT GLAD (brighten up, cheer up).

Cheer, tharseo, translated from the Greek means be of good comfort and be of good courage.

Jesus is our ultimate enCOURAGER! Be encouraged by his words:
Son, be of good cheer; your sins are given you. (Matthew 9:2)
Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you whole. (Luke 8:48)
Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.  (Mark 6:50)
Be of good cheer, rise, he is calling you. (Mark 10:49)
Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.   John 16:33

Be enCOURAGED today!
You are loved.
You are beautiful.
You are simply gorgeous.
You are needed.
You are giving.
You are gracious.
You are kind.
You are smart.
You are important.
You are His beloved.

Some of the best advice I every received from a lawyer friend was:
“Gurl, get up every morning!  Look in the mirror and say: ‘I AM LUSCIOUS!’”

I enCOURAGE you to encourage yourself and others with good words.  Do no talk to yourself any different than you would talk to me.  COURAGE UP!  You are luscious! 

YOU ARE GOD’S FAVORITE!

IMG_3286by Tammy Phillps
May 10, 2020

For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; [it is] the gift of God, [Eph 2:8 NKJV]

Y O U   A R E   T H E   MOST.
You are preferred.
You are greatly loved.
Y O U  A R E  G O D ’S  F A V O R I T E !

FOR BY GRACE
Grace is God’s…
Unmerited
Undeserved
Unearned
Unfailing
Extravagant
Outrageous
F A V O R

…YOU ARE SAVED
You are whole.
You are healed.
You are complete.
You are delivered from the penalty of sin.
You are rescued in every situation.

…THROUGH FAITH…
Believing that God is who he says he is and will do what he says he will do

…AND THAT NOT OF YOURSELVES….
You cannot be good enough.
You will never be worthy enough.
You cannot earn it.
You cannot buy it.
You do not deserve.
You have absolutely nothing to do with saving your self .
You can never, ever, even qualify for it, but Jesus did.  He paid for it. He paid for all of your salvation on the cross.

IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD.
It is your present.  You were gifted with this earthly life by your mother.  However, you were gifted with life eternal by your Father God, beginning at the moment you said yes to Jesus.

YOU ARE THE MOST.
You are preferred.
You are greatly loved.
YOU. ARE. GOD’S. FAVORITE!

I enCOURAGE you to embrace the Grace.  Take your priceless gift and say thank you.  You do not owe God anything.  Just love Him.  Jesus is more than he enough for you. He  says , “My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV)

WHAT PARALYZES YOU?

IMG_3276by Tammy Phillips
May 9, 2020

“Arise, take up you bed and go into your own house. ”  -Luke 5:24

What paralyzes you?  Are you experiencing temporary paralysis, or have you always been disabled in certain areas of your life?  I am coming to realize what has paralyzed me and it is not fun to deal with.  I have been at a standstill in areas in my life that I have not completely surrendered to God.  Are you paralyzed by regret, shame, guilt, sin?  Are you stuck in the past, held hostage in your present , and unable to step into the future where Jesus is calling you?

Jesus is calling us.  He is calling us up and out of the bed.  He is calling us into our destiny, but we have to get out of the “bed of our past.”  Jesus, says to us, like he said to the paralyzed man in Luke 5:20, “Man thy sins are forgiven.”   You were wrong.  You have missed the mark.  You made a mistake, BUT your sins have been sent away.  They are not to hinder you anymore.  They are paid for.  Picture guessing the wrong answer on the Wheel of fortune, but still winning the prize.  Think about a game at the fair; make the basket and win a prize.  Jesus loves us so much that he knew we would miss the basket, but still wanted us to have the prize so he paid for it.  Sin is not a game, and neither is forgiveness.  However, if we believe God, we have to simply take Jesus at his word and not complicate forgiveness.  Man, (woman) YOUR SINS ARE FORGIVEN!  Forget the past.  Jesus did.

Jesus calls us like he did the paralytic in Luke 5:24, “ARISE!”  Jesus told the man to awake, to STAND.  He told him to do what he could not do on his own.  He challenged the man to believe Him for the impossible.  The man who could not walk dared to believe Jesus ‘that he could.’  What is Jesus challenging us to believe him for?  Do we dare believe him for the impossible?

Then Jesus told the man, “Make your bed.”  (Beginning in January of 2020, this has been a song repeating in my spirit, over and over.  Cannot make it go away.)  We need to clean up the chaos.  Isn’t that what a messy bed looks like with pillows and sheets in disarray?  We must do our part empowered by God.  We must clean up the disorder in our bodies, minds, and our house (#HealingBeginsWithUs).  Our lives will not change if we are piled up in bed.  We have to take action even when we do not feel like it.  God’s mercies are new every morning.  EVERY DAY, he provides us with the opportunity to arise and make our bed.

“If you want to change your life and maybe the world—start off by making your bed!” Admiral William H. McRaven, Make Your Bed.

Lastly, Jesus instructs us like He did the healed paralytic: “GO!”  Look!  He was not paralyzed anymore!  He was obedient to the words of Jesus and received his healing.  If he had not acted on the words of our Savior, he would have died in the bed.  We cannot let our past kill the hope of our future.  We must follow the example of the man who was made whole, healed and complete.  We must walk into our calling.  We must go glorifying God.

I enCOURAGE you to ARISE, MAKE YOUR BED and GO!  Let go of the past.  Jesus did on the cross.  Do not be held hostage in the present.  Jesus set you free on the cross.  Step into the future.  Jesus is calling you.  Answer the call of Him “who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think!” 

FEELING OVERWHELMED?

IMG_3229by Tammy Phillips
May 8, 2020

Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.           – James 5:8

I awoke at 3:40 AM.  I was not feeling the pressure of stress and worry, but I was overwhelmed this morning to the point of tears.  Questions were running through my head.  What is the truth?  Good is called evil and evil is called good.  Who is telling the truth?  Lies are everywhere. Who do we really trust?   When will this isolating pandemic end?  Is this the beginning of the end?  Have we been duped?  The Holy Spirit did not drop the word duplicitous in my Spirit for no reason on March 21?   If masks really work, then why can’t all businesses open with no restriction.  Is this it?  Is Jesus really returning soon?  Am I ready?   Do my family and friends really know Jesus?  If it comes to it, do they know not to receive the mark?   Are they prepared to resist to death if it comes to it?  Have I done all I can do?

Are you weary from reading my thoughts?  I was overwhelmed. The definition of overwhelmed is to be crushed beneath something violent and weighty, that covers or encompasses the whole; To be immersed and to bear down upon; to overlook gloomily.   The word whelm means To cover with water or other fluid; to cover by immersion in something that envelops on all sides; To cover completely; to immerse deeply; to overburden.  This sounds like drowning to me.

I know my Savior.  I called on Him.  I went looking in His word and he threw me a life preserver.   Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. (James 5:8)   I can guess what you are saying.  “That is not a comforting, saving word to me.”   At first, it was not to me.  Be patient!  Endure.  I get it, Lord.  However, patient here is a different Greek word, makrothymeo.  It means to be long in spirit, not to lose heart, to persevere patiently and bravely in enduring misfortunes and troubles; to be patient in bearing the offences and injuries of others; to be mild and slow in avenging; to be long-suffering, slow to anger.  There is more.  Makrothymeo is a compound word of makros meaning long or far off and thymos meaning, be in a heat, breathe violently, boiling up and subsiding; glow, or flaming.

In four small words, “Be ye also patient,” our Savior says:

  • Do not lose heart!
  • Persevere bravely!
  • Be far off from huffing and puffing!
  • Don’t get heated up and boil over!
  • Do not be overwhelmed!

He also says “stablish your hearts.”  Stablish is the Greek word sterizo, meaning make stable, to turn resolutely in a certain direction, to strengthen, make firm, confirm one’s mind. This word is a derivative of histemi meaning stand, be set in balance, to stand ready and prepared, stand not hesitating or wavering, steadfast in mind.

In these three small words, “Stablish your heart,” our Savior says:

  • “Elevate your mind. Get yourself together. Elevate your mind! Whoo! Get yourself together, alright!”
  • Turn resolutely to Me.
  • Don’t you waver.
  • Don’t be overwhelmed with your thoughts.
  • Stand.

James 5:8 ends with the statement:  “for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.”  Jesus is coming and I cannot wait to see him face to face.  However, our Jesus came to me this morning.  He sat with me and encouraged me.

I enCOURAGE you not to be overwhelmed or drowned with all the chaos that is spinning around in the world today.  Allow our Savior to throw you a life preserver.  He has a word for you.  Seek Him.  Call Him. He will save you every time.

PICK UP THE PHONĒ & CALL GOD

IMG_3220 2By Tammy Phillips
May 7, 2020

“When I cry [unto thee], then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God [is] for me.  When we cry or call out to God, then our enemies turn back. We know this for GOD IS FOR US! “  -Psalm 56:9

Today is the National Day of Prayer.  I encourage you pick up your phonē.  (Phonē is the Greek word for voice.)  Raise your voice and call God.  If you believe God is who He says He is and will do what he says he will do, then call him.  HE IS OUR SAVIOR!!!  Paul tells us to “pray without ceasing.” (1Thessalonians 5:17)

WE HAVE A CHOICE HOW TO USE OUR VOICE.

We can use our voice to moan, gripe and complain about the current condition of our world, nation and life. Or, we can use our voice to pray.  We can use our voice to call God of the universe and say, “We need your help.”

David said in Psalm 56:9: “When I cry [unto thee], then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God [is] for me.  When we cry or call out to God, then our enemies turn back. We know this for GOD IS FOR US! “

Let’s call out or enemies today!
Coronavirus, invisible prison walls, fear, hate, deception, greed, ignorance, lack, pride, murder, joblessness, homelessness, sickness, disease, strife, sexual immorality, suicide, pornography, drug, alcohol and food abuse. The list goes on.  (Name your enemy as you call out to God.)

Let’s call out to our Father without ceasing.
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ:  We join together, lifting up our voices.  We call you Great and Faithful, All Knowing God.  Forgive our land!  We are so sorry that we moved away from our national motto of “in God we trust” to we trust in everything God.  Heal our land.  We have listed our enemies.  You have overcome everyone listed and others not, by the mighty blood of Jesus.  We pray for an end to this virus.  You have set us free.  Free our nation and world from the invisible prison walls that we have been locked in since March.  Father protect each and every person that is fighting this virus head on.  May Truth be revealed.  It is hard to know what to believe.  May the eyes of our understanding be enlightened that we know the hope of your calling!

Father, may we courageously have faith in you to meet all our needs.  Save us. Heal us. Deliver us.  Father, break the chains of addiction to drugs, alcohol, and food in our families and friends.  Unify our nation.  Shed light into the darkest corners of our nation.  Send laborers to bring our families to the saving knowledge of you.  Bring salvation to the boys and girls that have been trafficked as sex slaves.  By Your mighty power make our enemies turn back.   Restore and rebuild what the enemy has tried to still, kill, and destroy.  Heal your people.  Renew hope.  Father, we know you are for us.  May we all who are called by Your Name rise and be the children of God that you have called us to be. We call you the God of our nation. Thank you for your word that says, “Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, [and] he saves them out of their distresses. Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses (Psalm 107:19 & 28). Thank you that every time I pick up my phone, You are always on the other end!

I enCOURAGE you PICK UP THE PHONĒ & CALL GOD!  Raise your voice!  He is waiting for your call.  He is for you. He hears you. He saves you. He will bring you out of your trouble.

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