Wednesday, October 12, 2016

October 12, 2016

Philippians 1:27  "Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel."  (ESV)  In this scripture Paul was reminding the community to always behave in a way that would show others that they were Christians.   He reminded the faithful that they were to set good examples all the time; not just when they were among the other believers.   We would do well to follow this advice ourselves.    No matter if we are at church in at our jobs on a week day we must hold ourselves to a high standard of living.   We must let others see our Christian values even when we are not in a religious setting.   Further, it is important to stand with others and support and encourage them.   Christians should look different to the world.   Let's work hard to make that happen.    

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

October 11, 2016

Romans 7:25 "Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!  So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin."  (ESV)  What do you serve my friend?  Paul is talking to his fellow believers and says that he serves the law of God and the law of sin.  Paul's statement rocked me and made me take a good look at myself.   I do have the assurance that Jesus Christ is my Lord.   I do spend time studying the Word and filling my mind with knowledge of scripture and application.   Many of you do as well.  We know the truth and work hard to live lives that are pleasing to God.  But sometimes our world gets in the way and we falter and turn away from God.   However, God, in his infinite wisdom, has given us the gift of discernment and choice and he gives us the ability to serve His law so that we might prepare ourselves to enter heaven.  Help us, Lord to have the courage to follow that law.      

Monday, October 10, 2016

October 10, 2016

Our church is doing an entire month focusing on service to our community.   I am very proud of the efforts of our congregation.   Many of us have stepped way outside of our comfort zones to serve God's people in so many ways.  We are just people.   We don't have to have a fancy title or a ton of knowledge to serve.    We just have to love the Lord and have a desire to take care of His flock.   Acts 4:30 reads, "Stretch out your hand and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant, Jesus."  These words of Peter and John clearly call all believers to action.  These men did not have formal religious education but they did have a deep belief in the power of Jesus.  Jesus gave these men the gift to serve and He has given us that gift as well.   These men prayed that the Lord would give them opportunity to serve.  We should follow their lead and fervently ask God to provide the way for us to serve Him.  Hold on to your hat though!   You never know what Jesus will do with you when you offer Him a willing heart!      

Saturday, October 8, 2016

October 7, 2016

With the change in the seasons, comes early evenings.   A month ago we had at least one hour more of daylight in the evenings.  Now darkness creeps in before I am ready for it.   Trying to do "outside" things after school is now a race with the clock.   I can't get all the mowing done now between the end of my work day and dark.  I can't get my horse rode and everything fed and tended to in that time frame either.  The dark makes outside chores more difficult because I  can't see things clearly without carrying around a flashlight.  II Samuel 22:29 reads, "For You are my lamp, O Lord, and my God lightens my darkness."  This scripture is a very practical one to me.   Essentially it tells us that when that darkness creeps in and we still have work to do, we need to call upon the Lord.  He will light the deep dark shadows of our lives.    He alone will provide the "light at the end of the tunnel,    We need to continue going about the business of doing His work even when the darkness of our broken world threatens to make things difficult.    Lord show us how to do that.   Show us, Father,  how to light our lamps off the eternal Light of Jesus.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

October 6, 2016

Luke 6:37  "Judge not, and you will not judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven."  (ESV)   Sounds logical.   Sounds practical.   Sound like good advice.   Sounds really hard!!  Friends this means - everybody-  we don't get to pick who we forgive.  We don't get to pick who we will not judge or condemn.  This scripture calls us to give grace to everybody!  Yep, even the one at work who cheated you out of that promotion.   Yep, even the one who told everyone your secret.   Yep, even the one who hurt your child.   All inclusive.   Everybody.   And we can't do this at all without Jesus.   Jesus, the one who came to show us all love and grace by humble example.   Jesus, the one who gave everything that he had to take the judgement  away from each of us.   Only Jesus.  

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

October 5, 2016

Psalm 128:1  "Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways!"  What a wonderful promise we have in this scripture.  Those of us who are faithful to our Lord will be blessed by our Lord.   Wow!   This scripture does not promise that we will have fancy cars and swimming pools in our backyards.   It does not say that we deserve special things or that our life will be easy.   It simply states that those who are faithful and desire to follow God will receive blessing.   God will in turn walk with us.   He so desires to have relationship with us and is pleased when we turn to Him and trust that His path is the right one for us.  God show me how to walk in your way!  

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

October 4, 2016

As I was taking time today to look back and count my blessings (a little habit I started several years ago after my sweet sister gave me a book about being blessed) I couldn't help but see the smiling face of my dear friend and prayer partner.    She is the one who I always turn to when I need prayer NOW because I know she will drop whatever she is doing and petition for me.   She knows me - all of me.   She knows the dirt, as well as the lovely, and she still walks by my side.  She is very much a blessing to me!   I am grateful to God that He saw fit to mesh our two worlds together and bond us as friends.   My friend and I are so very much different but somehow we are together in Christ, and that is all that matters.   Thank you God for giving me such a wonderful friend.   Proverbs 18:24 "A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."  (ESV)

Monday, October 3, 2016

October 3, 2016

Colossians 3:2  "Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth".  (ESV)  I found this little gem this evening as I was reading the scriptures.   I pondered on this for a bit and decided that God gave me these words because he wants me to start my new week on the right foot.   You see, last week I was a bit of a mess.    I was very much focused on earthly issues and failed to recognize that I am a daughter of the King.   Yes, we still have to live on this earth, and yes we still have to deal with a lot of stress and aggravation on this earth.   But all falls into perspective when I realize that my focus should be on God above rather than Satan on this earth.   too often I give Satan way too much attention, at the expense of my relationship with our Father in heaven,    Too often I let Satan usurp the love and adoration that should be directed to God because I am too busy trying to dance with life and the tricky ways if the evil one.   Scripture says "set your mind on things that are above and that is exactly what I intend to do!  

Sunday, October 2, 2016

October 2, 2016

Sometimes at the end of the day all I can do is rejoice.   My life is pretty special.   Our God is on the throne and at this moment all seems about right.   Sure I have had disappointments today.    Sure I have had disagreements with others today.    Sure things have not been exactly the way that I had planned today.   But as my day winds down I realize that everything is ok and my day was so very blessed.   I spent the entire day with our daughters and three of our grandchildren and we had a great day!   Thank you, Father.   We had a wonderful dinner in our warm home.   Thank you, Father. I spent some time in the barn riding horses with my daughter.   Thank you, Father.   I am truly blessed!   I will praise the Lord for His goodness and His grace poured out for me.   Psalm 21:1-2 describes how I feel right now.  "O Lord in your strength the king rejoices, and in your salvation how greatly he exults!  You have given him his hearts desire and have not withheld the requests of his lips".   (ESV)  Thank you, Father!  

Saturday, October 1, 2016

October 1, 2016

Psalm 105:3  "Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice."  I love this scripture.   Shouldn't we all be rejoicing in the name of our Father God?   How much we should desire to lift Him up in praise and thanksgiving.    He has given me so much.  He has provided me with physical material things.  He has provided me with good health and a job.    He has provided me with a great husband and daughters.   He has provided me with a wonderful extended family and special friends.   He has provided for me, and you too, a way for eternal salvation and a book full of His words to get us all there.  Praise God in the heavens!   My heart is so full of thanksgiving to the Lord that I am overwhelmed by His goodness.  Rejoice with me!

Friday, September 30, 2016

September 30, 2016

The last several days I have allowed myself to be in, and stay in, a very uncomfortable place.   It is a place where I have not even invited my God to join me.   I have been grumpy and emotional and have kind of  just rested there.   Yikes!   Did I just admit that?   It is not pretty for me to sit in this place and wallow in grouch.   I even struggled a bit to pray.   Yikes again!   What kind of a Christian gal admits to that?    Well, friend.   I bet that you have been where I was too at some point.  I found it difficult to pray because I was kind of ashamed of myself and felt that I needed to get my act together before I could approach God and ask for His help.   Wow....was that dumb!   After some study this week I have begun to see things more clearly and have come to realize that God is like our sweet daddy.    He desires for us to come to Him when we are needy.   I see myself climbing onto His lap as He wraps His arms around me and asks me to tell Him what troubles me.  Our Father in heaven loves us deeply and wants us to come to Him in trust and expectation when we are in that grumpy, emotional mess.  Psalm 103:13 reminds us that "As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him."    I have crawled out of my frump, and given all to my Abba and I know that He has forgiven me for avoiding Him earlier this week.    Thank you God for loving us unconditionally.  Thank you for reminding me that you desire for us to turn to you and rely on your strength and love.    

Thursday, September 29, 2016

September 29, 2016

It seems I have had a lot on my mind lately.  Work, extended family relationships, business.   Not to mention the crazy place where we are as a nation and in the political arena right now.  At times I can allow myself to be overwhelmed and a bit discouraged.   My sweet sister reminded me today that I need to give it to God and just trust in the Lord.    In her quiet way, she turned my face to remember that much of what I worry about I can not change or control anyway.  I can only make a difference with the stuff I can alter.   The rest I need to trust that God will handle it in his way and in his time.    Proverbs 26:4 says, "Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock."    Thanks Sis for the reminder!    

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

September 28, 2016

Fall is in the air!  The evenings are getting a bit chilly and by 8:30pm it is dark outside.   My flower garden is turning brown and the grass is growing much more slowly.  Fall is in the air!  Small towns are having festivals complete with mums and pumpkins.   Fall is in the air!   My farmer husband is gearing up for harvest and grain trailers are running up and down the roads.   Fall is in the air!   As I sit on my patio enjoying the late afternoon sunshine, I watch tiny squirrels scurrying to pack away food for the long winter.   The horses in the barn are already beginning to grow winter coats and the barn is full of sweet hay to be fed when the winter winds whip through the barn.  Fall is in the air!   I love how God has given His creatures some inner sense that they need to prepare for winter. It is amazing to me that every year we have season changes and every year the critters know just want to do to get ready.  God is so very good!   Friends, God leads us through changes as well.   When we have big life changing events, God is holding our hand all the way.   As we move through season changes, God instructs us about what we need to do.  Thank you, God.  Thank you for having a plan that is well developed and well orchestrated.  Thank you God for loving us so much that you are willing to lead us through this plan.   You are amazing and we love you!  

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

September 27, 2016

As I sit at my desk this evening and look around my rather messy office, I am a bit overwhelmed by the stacks of books I have sitting around waiting to be read and studied. Really good stuff about how to pray more effectively and hear the voice of God daily.    I have a stack that is just scripture studies and another for topical study like heaven and financial security.  Close at hand, but still unread, are my inspirational books that should make me want to support missions and give to charity.   I probably would feel compelled to do that if I would read the book!  I sit here wishing for more time and feeling guilty that I have not made these a priority.  Then I realized that all these books, although they promise to be great reads, are written by mere people.   People just like me who love the Lord and have put words on paper to encourage others in their faith.   The one book that I need to focus on and find time to read regularly is the Bible.   I must admit I do a pretty good job of keeping my nose in the Word, but still I could and should read so much more.    Do you have a regular Bible reading time?   Do you set aside time every single day to connect with scripture?   Friends, this is the single most important way we can spend our time and it needs to be every day!  You can buy one at the book store.   You can borrow one form the library.   You can download it onto your phone!   Friends, get your hand on a Bible and start reading it today.  1 John 2:5 reminds us that "whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected.  By this we may know that we are in him."  (ESV)            

Monday, September 26, 2016

September 26, 2016

Acts 5:38-39 reads "If this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of god, you cannot overthrow it."  (NKJV)   I have been pondering this verse the last few days as we have been having committee meetings regarding adult spiritual enrichment for our church.   We have a wonderful plan in place for the next several months and have started going about getting volunteers to fill the many spots open on the calendar.    So far we are excited and volunteer facilitators have been easy to get.   This must be God's plan! We have tried very diligently to keep God in the center of all our planning but sometimes it is too easy to run ahead without consulting the man in charge.  Scripture says if we don't follow the will of God, all the best laid plans will never work out.   I need to keep that focus when I open my personal calendar as well as our church calendar.   Thank you God for reminding us that you go first.      

Sunday, September 25, 2016

September 25, 2016

Psalm 46:1-3 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, thought the mountains tremble at its swelling."  Oh friends, this scripture promises us that the people of God are secure - even in the midst of terrible upheaval.  What a blessing!   Our everyday lives feel like they are full of problems sometimes.    We have bills to pay, illness to content with, relationship stuff, depression, and addictions.    Our world can be full of moving mountains and roaring waters.   But we only have to turn to God to find refuge and strength!  These words remind us that he is only a distress call away and He longs to save us from ourselves and our world.   Thank you, God, for your promises and your goodness.   Lift us out of this earthly trouble and show us your strength!  

Saturday, September 24, 2016

September 24, 2016

John 5:35  He was the burning and shining lamp and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his lamp.  (NKJV)  In this gospel message, Jesus is talking about John the Baptist as a witness who bears testimony to Jesus himself.  Jesus calls John a lamp; a lamp that many were willing to listen to and believe.  But the bright, strobe light comes from Jesus himself.    We often are lead to Christ by the witness of others.   Or maybe we are that light for someone else and we do the leading. God uses us to do His will on earth and calls us to shine the light so that we all may follow that clear path.   How wonderful to be allowed to play such a role for our Father!   We must, however, keep our prideful selves in check so that the real light of Jesus Christ shines brightest.    We need to always remember that this is never about us and the glory and the focus must be on our Savior!  Just as John the Baptist took a back seat to Jesus, we too must shine for our Lord and not for our own agendas.   Jesus show us how to light the paths of others so that You can be fully illuminated!


Thursday, September 22, 2016

September 22, 2016

Have you ever had that "bad day at the office"?  You know the one.   Everything is off kilter.   You start the day by misplacing the car keys, then because you are running late, the dog slips past you and out the door as you hurry out.   Urgh.    Now you have to drag him back inside and you're already behind on time.   As he comes busting past you, he rubs against your white pants which are now a dingy, dog smelly, mess.    Urgh #2.    Gotta run back and change. Dashing back to get in the car your phone rings.    Don't answer it!   Don't answer it!    But it's the have to answer it.   One off your little darlings left his trombone at home and he has to have it this morning. Back in the house to find the horn and call the office.   And the stress level rises!   The receptionist at work reminds you that you have an 8:30 appointment and they are a bit early and are in fact waiting for you at the office.     Yikes!   How can this day get any worse?    From my experience, it is never good to ask that question because you might just find out. It is not even 9:00 and you find yourself wishing that the day was over.     We have all had some version of this day.   Even mom's that have the privilege of staying home to raise babies have "this" day  at some point.   But we have a friend in Jesus who wants to take our stress and our anxiety and restore calmness into our lives.   Matthew 11:28 gives us these words:  "Come to me all who labor and are weary and I will give you rest."  What sweet words!    How much comfort I find in knowing that Jesus wants to grant me rest.   Thank you Jesus.    Wrap your arms around me and grant me peace and calm.    Friend, sleep well tonight in Jesus' arms.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

September 21, 2016

Faith is a funny thing.   Of course I have faith!  I believe in God.   I believe that Jesus is my personal Savior.   I believe that there is a heaven and a hell.   But is my faith strong enough to trust Jesus?   Am I willing to hand over every aspect of my life to the will of God?   Hmmm.....  I think I am.   I say I am.   But too often I find myself making plans and hoping that Jesus will bless them.   Sometimes I cheat our God by assuming that He does not know my business as well as I do.   Sometimes I get in His way.  Scripture tells us to have faith!  "The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!" And the Lord said, "if you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, be uprooted and planted in the sea, and it would obey you."  (Luke 17:5-6)   Oh to have that kind of faith!   But it seems I am in good company as even the apostles asked for more faith.    I too pray, Lord give me faith, and lots of it!      

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

September 20, 2016

I just got home from an interesting discussion at our church book club.   We meet once a month to discuss a particular title; sometimes fiction, sometimes non-fiction.   This month we read a particularly provocative book that made me really need to delve into scripture to find some answers.   I love it when I am challenged in that way.   I like to dig deep into God's word to find His treasures.  Sadly, I am not disciplined enough to just read the Bible for the sake of reading it.    However, I know this about myself so I am constantly finding reasons to do Bible study.   Attending small group is one way I encourage myself to stay in the Word.   Teaching Sunday school is another, as well as our book club meetings.   There are a million other ways to motivate yourself to read and study the Word of God.     The Bible is the most important book we will ever read so find a reason to do so!   In Psalm 119:18 we read "Open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of your law."   Friend we can't behold those wondrous things if we never open the book!        

Monday, September 19, 2016

September 19, 2016

Colossians 3:1-2  "If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth."  This is wonderful advice, albeit a bit difficult to sometimes to do.  Christ is calling us to turn our face to Him but we are knee deep in the reality in our fallen world.  Friends, we must look to, and move toward, the things of God and move away from the things of he who is on the earth.  Satan would love nothing more than to get our full attention.    He would love to see us turn from God and straight towards him and he gives us so many opportunities to do just that!   Be strong!  Focus!  Find God on His throne!

September 18, 2016

Once again I turn to the Psalms in my moments of distress.   I am wallowing in a season of stress and emotional unrest.    I feel as if I have way too much to do and so little time to get it all done.   I feel tired and grumpy.   I feel very far away from God.   Then this evening I opened my Bible and God said to me through scripture, "I am the only One you need right now.  Rest in me".   What a great comfort!  My Father in heaven clearly saw my anguish and He provided me with the perfect words to calm and restore me.   Psalms 121:  "I lift up my eyes to the hills.   From where does my help come?  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.  He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.  Behold, he who keeps Israel will  neither slumber or sleep.  The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.  The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.  The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.  The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore."      Thank you, Father, for loving me even when I am a bit unlovable.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

September 17, 2016

Indulge me a moment, if you will, as I take a little stroll down memory lane.  You see, today is our eldest daughter's birthday.  Thirty six years ago today sweet baby Amanda Sue entered our world.   She was so tiny and so adorable and I was so ill prepared to be a mommy!   By the grace of God, Mandy Sue, as we affectionately call her, made it through those trial and error years and has grown into a godly women, a fabulous mother and wife, and a really great daughter and friend.   Thank you God!   He took her in his arms at a very young age and molded her into who she is today.    God graced me as well with enough wisdom and tons of patience as I muddled through my well meaning attempts at motherhood.   You see, no matter what season we are in on this earth, God has our back.   He knows what we will need and where we will stumble and He always comes through for us.    God loves Mandy even more that I do and He has, and will continue, to raise her up.   Come to think of it, God is still teaching me how to be a mommy and now a grammy as well.   He has never given up on me!   Friend He has never given up on you either!  Isn't it amazing that God continues to see us as His children?   Isn't it amazing that He graces us with His presence and His unending love even in our later years?   God is so very, very,  good!   Happy Birthday, Mandy Sue.   May God grace you with many, many more!    

Friday, September 16, 2016

September 16, 2-

"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light."  1Peter 2:9 (NKJV)
God chose me and God chose you!  Doesn't that make you want to stand a little straighter and put a smile on your face?  We all want to be chosen; to be singled out as special and important.  It is kind of  like back in elementary school when you were chosen to be on the dodge ball team.  Yes!  Somebody wants me to stand along side them because they think I will help the cause. Guess what!   God chose us just because we are His.   He did not pick us on our own merits.   He picked us just because He loves us!    Wow.    I love being on this team!!    

Thursday, September 15, 2016

September 15, 2016

Deuteronomy 13:4 "You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him, and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and cleave to him."

Moses wrote this passage to the Israelites to remind them they should serve only the one true God.  They were directed to walk after Him, fear Him, be obedient to Him, hold fast to Him, and serve Him.  These Old Testament words still ring true for us today.  Christians need to hear and heed Moses' words above the noise of our culture that clangs in our ears.  If we have a heart for service and choose to use that service to improve the lot of others who are downtrodden in our world, we will be in line with the truth delivered by Moses. Dear Father show me where and how you want me to serve.    

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

September 14, 2016

Matthew 11:28-30.   "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."   What a wonderful promise to those of us who feel weary from the burdens of this earthly existence.  Jesus tells us to just come and sit with Him for awhile.   He assures us that with Him we can find peace and rest.   He invites us to lay down our burdens and just be with Him.  Oh Lord, show me the way!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

September 13, 2016

Do you ever wonder what your purpose is for this life?  Do you ever wonder if you are really making a difference?  Maybe you work hard to do the right Christian thing.  Is it really worth it?  Life is hard and being a Christian in this world is even harder.   Have you ever been tempted to let someone else carry the torch for just a little while?   Have you ever thought about stepping into the dark - just a little step - just to rest a bit?  Friends, God wants us to be His "bright light" in this world.    He knows that our walk is tough.   He knows that our lights flicker a bit sometimes.    Our God knows that we falter in the dusk and are tempted to move toward the dark.   But He still calls us to take up our light and shine it on the darkness in our world.    He desires for us to share His light with those that need it most.   And you know what?    God will walk with us every step of the way.   He is holding up our arms as we carry His torch and shine His light!   Philippians 2:15 tells it this way.  "That you may show yourselves to be blameless, innocent children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and wicked generation, among whom you are seen as bright lights in the world".  Remind me Father that my job is to be your torch bearer.    Thank you for trusting me with such an important task!  

Monday, September 12, 2016

September 12,2016

Our family is such a wonderful gift from God.   My husband and I have two great daughters who have given us son-in-laws and wonderful grandchildren.  We are very blessed!   Today we had the opportunity to host a Sunday afternoon cookout with our girls and their families, as well as some extended family on my husband's side.  God gifted us with a perfect September day.   Sunny and blue skies with mid seventies temperatures.  Mike's 97 year old aunt was here and had the best time of anyone.   His nephew's little girl who has been very ill for over a year was able to come and even sit on the pony!   Food was good.   Company was better.   And when they all left and the dust settled a bit, I thanked God from the bottom of my heart for the blessing of this day and these people whom I love so much!  It made me stop to think about how much pride I take in my earthly family and how much more so I should lift up my Christian heritage.    You see, we are children of God; spiritual descendants of Jacob!   Wow!   That is a family name that we all should cherish and feel blessed by!   Isaiah 2:5 reads "Now descendants of Jacob.  Let us walk in the light which the Lord gives us!"  We would all do well to uphold the name of Jacob.   Let's invite him to our next get together!        

Saturday, September 10, 2016

September 10, 2016

Sometimes all you can do is trust the Lord.  Romans 15:13.  "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."   I turn to you now, Jesus.  

Friday, September 9, 2016

September 9, 2016

I have a confession to make.   For the past two or three weeks I have been totally distracted by the busyness of life.   Shame on me!   I have been very busy at work.   I have been very busy helping my aging mom.   I have been very busy being "Grammy".   I have been very busy studying for Bible study and facilitating small groups.   I have been very busy being a farm wife and finding time to ride my horse.    I have been very busy!  It seems that I have been so busy I have missed some really big blessings that God sent my way.  Ouch!   How do I allow myself to get on that merry-go-round of life?   Have you ever taken that ride?    It is so easy to get sucked into the "fill every moment" mindset.   Sometimes that busy schedule can't be helped.    For example, when we have date deadlines at work we have to push through that busy time.    When illness or accident strike we may have to pick up the pieces for someone else as they recuperate, and busyness sets in.   But too often we make choices that create a full calendar.   I am terrible at saying no to anyone so find myself overextended from time to time. Other days I just do not plan my time very efficiently then find that they day is over but my list is not.  What about procrastination?  Do you ever put things off until the last minutes?    That often creates a hardship for me when a deadline suddenly becomes a crisis.  But the very worst thing about this whole nonsense is that my busyness takes my away from my relationship with our Lord and Savior.  When I can't find a moment to squeeze in a scripture lesson or my prayers are on the fly as I blow past vehicles on the interstate, I am TOO BUSY!   Just this evening I was reminded of the story of Mary and Martha as I read my Bible.   I am certain that God gave me this scripture because he knows I need to settle down and change my focus to look him straight in the face,   Luke 10:40-42 reads, "But Martha was distracted with much serving.  And she went up to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?  Tell her to help me."  But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.   Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her."    Beloved, I want to be like Mary.   I want to sit at the feet of Jesus and focus totally on His face.   Lord, help me to make that happen!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

September 8, 2016

"God is not unfair.  He will not forget the work you did or the love you showed for him in the help you gave and are still giving to your fellow Christians."    Hebrews 6:10 (TEV)  This scripture should give us reason to smile as we are promised that God knows and will remember what we are doing on this earth to serve Him.  Hebrews reminds us that as we are serving our fellow man on his earth, we are serving God.  He sees us doing His work and He is pleased with His servants.   If we ever needed a reason to work at serving others this would be it!  The scripture states that God is not unfair.  Therefore, I am certain that just as He is pleased and will reward us when we serve His people, He also must be sad and discipline us when we fall short of that role of servant.  Find a way to do God's work for someone this week.    

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

September 7, 2016

Micah 6:8 reads "He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God."  This verse is rich in truth about how we ought to behave as followers of Christ but right not I am focusing on the "walk humbly with your God" piece.   I feel like I have strayed a bit in my communion with our Father and I desire to make that right with Him right now.    I have certainly been giving God my attention and my prayers but I have not WALKED with Him; at least not the way one walks with someone that they care about and want to enjoy.  Have you ever just enjoyed the company of a friend or loved one during a quiet walk?   That can be a time when you draw closer to one another; a time for real meaningful discussion, or maybe a bit of soul searching.    Friends, that is what God desires from us as we are called to "walk humbly with our God".   It is a time to admit our failures and seek forgiveness.   It is a time to ask for direction and daydream about possibilities.   It is a time to worship our King and praise Him for all.  I desire that!   I so need that!   My goal for the next week is to carve out time to humbly and deliberately walk on the presence of Father God and renew my relationship with him.   Want to come along?

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

September 6, 2016

Today I spent much of my day cleaning out my flower beds getting things ready for fall.   Everything  was so beautiful all summer.   I had something blooming from early May through August but much of the flower bed is now looking tired and brown.   It is time to cut everything back and wait till spring when God will work His magic once again.   Do you ever feel like you are faded and wilted?   Do you ever need to be pruned back to wait for God's hand to bring you back to life?   I have felt that way - probably more often than I would like to admit!  But I know that our God is so much bigger than my season of "brown".     If God desires to revive the flowers every spring so that we can enjoy their beauty, how much more will He revive us so that we might praise and worship Him.   God gives us so many promises in His word.    He has an answer for everything we could possibly experience and He promises unconditional love to us.  Isaiah 40:8 reminds us that "the grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever."    Thank you, God!    

Monday, September 5, 2016

September 5, 2016

Jeremiah 29:12-13 "Then you will call upon me and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."  (NIV)  This is one treasure that I have found this weekend while studying the scriptures.  I love that our Father knows that we will call upon His name.   I love that He knows that we will pray to Him and He promises to listen.   There is much comfort in knowing that we do not have to do this alone!   Might God build a safety net for us and set up a network that we can use anytime, anyplace.   We only have to turn our faces to Him and pray and He will hear and respond.   Thank you Father!   But there is more.    God knows that we will seek Him and He wants to be found.   He has filled us with the desire to seek Him and He is making himself available to us.   It is so clear to me that our Father loves us and wants to be in our company.    I feel like I have been placed on a very special guest list.    This is one invitation I do not want to miss!  

Friday, September 2, 2016

September 2, 2016

I just got home from a spiritual growth planning meeting at our church, and boy am I excited!   It is so much fun to brainstorm with others about how we can support spiritual growth in our church while we work hard to glorify God.    I love hearing "out of the box", creative ideas about ways that we can be more intentional about learning scripture and nurturing youth and new believers.  I love that even "seasoned Christians" have so much to learn and experience, and we can all learn from each other by the grace of our Lord and Savior.   What great things we have coming up!   But in the midst of all this hype and discussion we must be so careful to stay mindful of what God wants for our church and our people.   Proverb 19:21 reads, "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand."   Father God, show us how to move forward.   Slow us down and give us the knowledge to know what to do and how to do it in your name.  Thank you God for giving us purpose and direction.        

Thursday, September 1, 2016

September 1, 2016

Just recently I heard someone discussing that he could not go to church because it was so full of righteous, judgemental, Christians.  At first I was a bit rankled about that statement, until I  relaxed a little bit and began to wonder why this gentleman believed such a thing.   I came to realize, as I peered into some of the churches I have attended over the years, that it sure appeared that the folks sitting primly in the pews did have it all together.    Friends, I think sometimes we put on face fronts that give people the idea that we are, or we think we are, without strife and sin in our lives.  We go to church all dressed up and sing pretty songs and smile and tell everyone we are fine.  We tsk tsk when a sister in Christ reveals how her "counsin on her mother's side really made a mess of things".  Then we promise to pray for those who are making bad choices and drop a few dollars in the special collection plate to support some mission or another.   Seldom do we reveal our hurts, diappointments, and shortcomings.    No wonder when an outsider looks in they don't want any part of us.   We don't share with folks that we are sinners in a fallen world,just like them!   We don't want to put ourselves on the same plain as one who has a police record or an addiciton.   Boy aare we fakes!    Jesus said we are all sinners in need of His grace and He loves us anyway!   Our churches are full of those who are messed up ion any number of ways and we need to be transparent to those looking in from outside the doors of our church.   Luke 5:31-32 records "And Jesus anwsered them , "Those we are well have no need of a physician but those we are sick.   I have not come to call the righteous but the sinners to repentance." (ESV)    Let's accept and acknowledge our sin and lean into Jesus for his healing.  Then, let's invite others to join us!      

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

August 30, 2016

I have been asked to give the devotional at the local Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting this week.   I was asked to bring a show and tell item that represented my spiritual treasure.   I pondered this for several days before I realized that the my entire spiritual background points back to my dear Granny.   She is gone now - and I am certain she is leading Bible study somewhere near the pearly gates - but when she still graced this earth she never missed an opportunity to challenge me about some Bible gem.  I remember as a little child Granny would sing Sunday school songs to me and read Bible stories all the time.   As I grew a bit older, Granny was the one who bought me a Good News Bible so tthat I could read it for myself and begin to understand.   My teenage years gave sweet Granny a chance to remind me that I was a daughter of God and should read His word so I would know how to behave.   But the real gift was all the years that I sat at Granny's feet as an adult while we discussed the word of God.    Granny had a quiet way of getting me to see scripture in a very deep and revealing manner, and for that I am forever grateful to her.   Granny nurtured in me a desire to dig deep into the Bible to find every treasure.   But she didn't stop there.   Granny challenged me to live what I studied and to share the Word of God with others.    One day I know that I will enter the gates of heaven and I can't wait to find Granny and tell her thank you for the best earthly gift I ever received.  Psalms 1:2  "but his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night."          

Monday, August 29, 2016

August 29, 2016

Mark 14:10-11 "Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray Him to them.  And when they heard it, they were glad and promised to give him money.   And he sought an opportunity to betray Him."  (ESV)  How we shudder when we read this scripture. Judas has become the biggest bad guy in the Bible to us.   We really hate (yep, that's a strong word.)  him for what he did to our Savior, Jesus.   We conjure up horrible images of who Judas was and why he did what he did.  But, we need to remember that first Jesus chose him to be one of those in the inner circle.   Judas must have had some good qualities to be asked by Jesus to "follow Him".  Can you see any of yourself in Judas?    I sure can!   But I don't think I like it!   Jesus loves me and asks me to follow Him and I do so willingly.    Except when I forget!   Except when it is not convenient!   Except when others around me are not!  I've never equated myself with Judas before, but friends, when I turn my back on Jesus, that IS betrayal!   Ouch!  In this crazy world we live in, we must all sand firm in the promises of Jesus and give Him all of us, every moment, every day.   When we turn away we are jepordizing ourselves and piercing the heart of Jesus as well.   Let's never be a judas again!   Let's proudly walk the walk and talk the talk and give Jesus the glory!  

Sunday, August 28, 2016

August 28, 2016

Colossians 4:2  "Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving."  This little scripture spoke volumes to me today.  I have been in earnest prayer about some pretty big issues over the past several days.   Finally today, I really took this verse to heart and gave it all to God.  I so believe that He is bigger than all this and I believe He will intervene for me and give me peace.   I am going to watch for that promise and wait upon the Lord.   Thank you Jesus for your unconditional love and promises.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

August 27, 2016

I am in a season of anxiety right now.    I have two big struggles that I am dealing with and I am beginning to feel a bit weary.   It seems that both of these things are encompassing most of my energy and my emotional state is a bit fragile.   Have you ever found yourself in that place?   It is difficult to find joy in the shadows of turmoil.    It is difficult to spread joy in the shadow of turmoil.   This is a place where I do not want to be!  So what is a girl to do?    My best advice is to go to scripture and lean on God's word to get back on track.   Just now in Psalms I found a gem that I can claim as my own. Psalms 13:2,5 reads, "How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day?  How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?  But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation."  Our God is so good!    He loves me even when I don't feel very lovable.    He loves me even when I am so self absorbed that I am only looking at me and my pain.  Our God is bigger than anything that you and I could ever deal with on this earth.    I will choose to focus on Him and His steadfast love.   Thank you God for changing my focus and reminding me that I am a daughter of the King!    

Friday, August 26, 2016

August 26, 2016

I had a discussion this week with a friend regarding why it is not popular in our present cultue to admit to fearing the Lord.  Americans pride themselves in being their own person and not answering to anyone.   We are so full of ourselves that we believe we can handle anything and we have the right to behave in any manner we wish.  We do not like to bow to any authority and often go so far as to avoid any situation that might put us in a submissive position.  We don't even take God seriously in this regard!   It seems that we don't trust Him enough to believe that He will do what He says He will do.  Friends, we must stop this right now and allow ourselves to be immersed in God's word and His will so that we might find eternity by His side.  True wisdom is found when we willingly submit our will and agenda to the One who loves us unconditionally.   Proverbs 1:7 reads, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction."Let's not be fools!    Let's fear the Lord!            

Thursday, August 25, 2016

August 25, 2016

As I was reading the gospels the past few days I have run across Matthew 13:16-17.   "But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears for they hear.  For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and hear what you hear, and did not hear it."  I so want to be one of those that hears and sees that which the Lord desires that I see and hear.  I so want my heart to be open to that message.   Sometimes I think that I am so hardened by the world that I have become blind to the spiritual realm that surrounds me.    I wonder what I have missed that God would have had me see and hear.  Are your eyes open?    Do you ears hear?   Father, I ask that you bless me with good hearing and sound vision that I may be counted as one that does see and hear all that you intend.    I don't want to miss one single thing!      

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

August 23, 2016

2 Chronicles 20:17b  "Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed.  Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you."  Have you ever felt attacked because of your faith?   Have you ever been misunderstood because of your faith?   Do you have family members who do not understand your desire to study the word of God?  Do you have friends who have moved on in the realtionship because you have clearly represented your beleifs?   Friend, scripture tells us that we have the Lord on our side and we do not have to be discouraged when we are ridiculed.   Scripture tells us that we can stand firm against the ignorance because we are on the side of the Lord.   Don't you love having God in your corner?    How can we possibly fear anything knowing that the Lord is with us?   Move forward bodly so that all can see that we are Christians.    After all, we never stand alone!    

Monday, August 22, 2016

August 22, 2016

In Sunday school yesterday we were discussing the idea of meditation as a means to listen to God.    Some of our class members were very disturbed by the word meditation, and it came to my attention that many see this as a kind of eastern pattern of behavior that does not line up with Christianity.  As we worked through the discussion it became apparent that we all reflect on God's word at different times and in different ways.  This reflection is what I see as meditation.   When we are quiet before the Lord and reflect on Him and His glory, we are in a place of meditation, and God encourages that from us.   For some of us just sitting before the Lord and waiting for Him to move is very difficult indeed.   For some of us that wait is excrutiating - but oh so worth it in the end.   Focusing on the Lord - yes, meditating if you will,  is what helps us build relationship with Him and that is what He created us for.   Let's give it a try this week.    Call it whatever you want, but get on your knees and focus totally on God.   Start with just a few minutes and gradullly add a few more each day.    I suggest you keep a prayer journal close by too so you will have a written account of all the ways that the Lord is good to you!  Meditate on His goodness and life up praises to Him.  God is so very good!  

Sunday, August 21, 2016

August 21, 2016

In my study today I have been blessed with this scripture from Psalms 1:2:  "but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night."  This position is where I want to be.  I deeply want to delight in the law of the Lord!  I deeply want to meditate on that law night and day!   So, why don't I?   Well friends, I hate to admit this but real life creeps into my life in a big and crazy busy way.   I find myself on my knees but checking my watch to make sure I have enough time to be on my knees.   What is that?    That, in a very real essence, is Satan.   I allow earthly stuff to get in my way.  I say I want to focus on the Lord and then I take more time reading my novel than I do reading my Bible.    I say I want to have relationship with the Lord and then I sit in front of the tv instead of quietly talking to my God.   Right now I ask God to convict me of the need to really delight in His presence.    Right now I ask God to fill me up with the desire to  reflect on Him and His promises.    Satan can not have my attention when I turn my face totally to our Father in heaven.   Where do you put your attention?

Saturday, August 20, 2016

August 20, 2016

I was driving to work this morning enjoying contemprary Christian music and singing along with the radio when I turned the corner and lost everything.    Instead of "How Great is our God" all I heard was scratchy, white noise.   Then suddenly a different voice barged through my speakers as some loud, obnoxious rap fought with Mercy Me to control my radio.  You know how it goes.    Snatches of two very different frequencies bounced back and forth, each trying to gain control of the radio waves.    Isn't our life like that sometimes?    We are going along pretty well.   We have the Christian thing working for us and all seems to be good.   Then, out of nowhere comes a void.    Life gets really noisy and drowns out all the sprituality and we struggle between the hard reality of life and the sweet promises of our King.   We fiddle with the dial but can't seem to get the right station fully tuned in.   Finally, God's voice comes through loud and clear and we are reminded that we are His daughters and we must be quiet and listen to Him.  Beloved, we have to shut out the noise that threatens to overtake His quiet voice and just tune in to Him.   Psalm 46:10 reads, "Be still and know that I am God".  Thank you Lord!  

Friday, August 19, 2016

August 19, 2016

Jeremiah 29:12  "Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you."   What a fabulous promise from God.   He tells us that He will hear us.    We can take anything to Him and He will listen.   But there is more to this than just expecting God to hear.   The scripture says that God tells us we must do something too.   Did you see it?    God says "call upon me".   He desires for us to rely on Him.   God is just waiting for us to turn to Him, and call out His name.   But friends there is still more.   It is not enough to just call upon Him; God wants us to pray to Him as well.   When we are face down, humbled before our God and pouring out our souls to Him through prayer, He will hear us.   When we are driving down the road and praising God in prayer with music from the radio, He will hear us.    When we sit with our babies at day end and pray "Now I lay me down to sleep", He hears our prayer.   Every time we cry out; every time we sing His praise; every time we need direction, God hears when we call upon Him.  Let's get bsuy and pray!      

Thursday, August 18, 2016

August 18, 2016

This week I was at Bible study with my church sisters and was stopped in my tracks by something that Beth Moore said in the video study.  Beth was discussing the need for Christian sisters to encourage and support one another and she said, "we are too busy because we are so important."  The context of her statement was that we don't have many true, deep, friendships these days.    We have lots of facebook friends and phone contacts but we are missing out on real genuine friendships.   I so agree with her as recently I was frustrated with myself because I neglected to find time all summer to visit with a dear friend  and now I am back in school and missed the opportunity.  Am I so important doing my agenda that I can't find time to reach out to another?   That is not the way that God created us.   God created us to be social.  We should make our sisters and brothers in Christ our focus and priority.  This old world we live in is difficult.   We deal with health issues, and financial issues, and relationship issues, just to name a few.    Let's work hard to encourage and lift up one another in the name of Jesus.   Romans 1:11-12 says, "For I long to see you that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you - that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine."  (ESV)  Girls, find a moment today to reach out to a sister and rebuild those powerful relationships.  It will be a blessing to both of you!    


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

August 17, 2016

Matthew 6:14-15  "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."  (ESV)  Ouch!   This is a very convicting scripture.  My head reads it and understands that we simply need to forgive and not hold grudges.    My heart says ...but sometimes I just want to be mad.  Have you ever been faced with the need to forgive someone but can't seem to let go of the offense?   Boy I have until I realized that forgiving someone is not at all about them.   It is about me and my relationship with my Lord.    Forgiving someone frees me to be the Christian person that God expects me to be and allows Him to then grant me grace when I fall short.   And boy do I often fall short!    We all need to be forgiven.    Thankfully God shows us the way to do that.    Thank you Father!    

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

August 16, 2016

I am sitting here at my kitchen bar feeling really frustrated because I have been trying to prepare something for school tomorrow and the internet connection is poor, at best, this evening. I have been working for well over an hour on a project that should have taken 15 minutes.   I am frustrated because my "to do" list is way longer than the time I have to devote to it.   I am frustrated because I have spent all this time and did not get anything done but still have so much to do.    URGH!    Have you ever been in this place?   We are busy.   We are stressed.    We are so self centered.     I realized that everything I was whining about was me, me, me.   Yes, it has been a trying few hours but I could have redirected my thoughts in a more positive direction.   I know that when I get in this grouchy place, I need to stop and have a chat with my Lord.    I need to be reminded that I am worthy of His love.   I need to be reminded that His love is not conditional on what I get done or if my list is long.    Girls, we are daughters of the King and that makes us His princesses.  2 Corinthians 6:18 "And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."  Really, with that perspective what do I have to be frustrated about?  

Monday, August 15, 2016

August 15, 2016

In Sunday School we have been studying how to listen to the voice of God and we sure have had some lively discussions.  It is difficult to sit and wait for the Lord to speak.   Then what happens if He does speak and we mistake His voice for someone else's like Eli did in the Old Testament.   Or what if He speaks to use and we don't want to hear the message?   There is so much to consider when we begin to realize that hearing the voice of God is a gift but also a responsibility.   We must listen for the voice of God as if our very life depends upon it.    In 1 Samuel we read that God spoke to Samuel and Samuel replied "Speak for your servant hears."  (1Samuel 3:10)  I want to be like that.    I want to be the servant that hears.    

Sunday, August 14, 2016

August 14, 2016

! John 1:8.  "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."  Have you ever felt a little righteous and judgmental regarding a sister or brother in Christ?   Have you ever been tempted to bring up someone else's sin and measure it against your own?   God says we all have fallen short and sinned against Him in some way.   God does not qualify our sins or stack them by severity.   God says a sin is a sin, and we are all sinners.    Hmmm.  Maybe I better quit judging my neighbor and worry about the plank in my own eye!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

August 13, 2016

I love it when God just reaches down and turns my Bible pages to the perfect scripture for me at a given  moment.   I love that He knows exactly what I need to read and when I need to read it.   Has that  ever happened to you?   God is so very smart!    I think that he totally enjoys giving us the words that we need.   I think He is probably thinking, "of course I do that for you beloved!"  For me this evening, God graced my reading with 1Peter 3:10.  "For whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit."  You see I have been struggling for several days with a tongue that wants to talk ugly about a situation I am involved in.   I keep needing reminders to speak only truth and to speak that truth in love.    I keep needing reminders that my words will get me in trouble if I allow ugliness to flow and they will only hurt myself and others.    I need to guard my tongue carefully right now as I am vulnerable to talking before I think.    God knows my struggle and He quietly reminded me tonight that He knows me and will minister to Me.    Thank you God!     Thank you for seeing my need even when  I don't and for providing me with the answers!    

Friday, August 12, 2016

August 12, 2016

I ran across Psalm 145:8 in my study today.  It reads "The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love."  This verse really resonated with me as I have been working hard to be more gracious with people.   That is so very difficult for me some of the time!  The last few weeks it seems I have had a very short fuse and get angry way too quickly.    Clearly God knows my struggle and He provided the right instruction for me on this hour.   If He can be gracious to me in my ungliness, shouldn't I pass that mercy on to the ones in my life situations.  Hmm.   And the love part.   Doesn't our Lord call on us to love our enemies?  All these things we can do, but only through our Father's grace.   I'll keep trying!  

Thursday, August 11, 2016

August 11, 2016

Matthew 4:10  "Then Jesus said to him, "Be gone Satan!  For it is written you shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve."  Do you ever need to order Satan out of your life?   Have you ever put aside our Lord and Savior to take up the darkness of our contemporary world?  Jesus ordered that Satan be gone and He wants us to do the same.  I have struggled a bit this week with neglecting my time with Bible study and building relationship with God.   I have had a million and one things that needed to be done.  I have had many demands on my time from many different directions.   Guess what has suffered?   I have completed things for work, given my recuperating mom lots of time,  seen my gandbabies, cooked and done laundry, spent time with my husband.   Whew!    Sadly, though, I have not given God much time.  I am very disappointed with myself as I have put the single most important relationship in my life on the back burner to take care of all these worldly issues.   Yes, they are important people and activities - but more important than God?    Satam wants us to think so but God directs us to send Satan away.   Scripture tells us to worship only God.  What have you worshipped this week?              

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

August 10, 2016

"We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to dispair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed."  2 Corinthians 4:8-9  (ESV).  Thank you Jesus!   Friend have you found yourself in that place?   Have you felt so broken and discouraged that you  can't find any joy in anything?  This world is a rough place.   Satan moves about us with cunning skill waiting to pierce our weak spots.  But, we don't have to stay in that pit!   We have the promise of Jesus!   We know that by the love and grace of Jesus we are free of all that weariness!   We will not be crushed!  We will not be made to dispair!   We will not be destroyed!  We will not be forsaken!   Glory be to God!!    

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

August 9, 2016

Psalm 116:1-2  "I will love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my plea for mercy.  Because He inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call on Him as long as I live."   This psalm is dear to me right now because I am in a season when I have been dilligently praying about a couple of people that I love who are experiencing some serious health issues.  I know that God has heard and answer my prayer in the last several days.    Both situations are improving and all I can say is God is so very good! Thank you Lord for knowing what I need even when I somtimes do not.    Thank you for touching those I love with your healing hand and extending your grace when I have cried out to you.    

Monday, August 8, 2016

August 8, 2016

As many teachers and students are heading back to school, I feel compelled to pray that those of us in the classrooms that are Christians have many opportunities to shower God's abundant love on our students.   Some of us in public schools have a bit of a challenge as God is not always welcome in our schools.   We can, however, be ambassadors of God's word in our actions and reactions.   Many people watch us closely and I pray that we can hold our heads up at the end of the day when we say good night to our Lord.   We need to pray for each other as we work hard at our jobs, teaching and influencing our young people.   Ephesians 6:16-19 finds Paul asking for prayer as he moved about his business of teaching Jesus' way.   "In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.  To that end, keep alert with perservence, making supplication for all the saints and also for me that words may be given to me in opening my mouth to boldly proclaim the mystery of the gospel.".    If Paul needed this prayer, how much more do we need it?   Father, keep us true to you!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

August 7, 2016

Just this week I was having a friendly discussion with someone about the diversity of Christians and the large number of different denominations in our country.   The party I was visiting with was pretty sure that her "home church" was right on with their doctrine.  In fact, she stopped just short of  challenging that all other churches that are not in line with her denomination are wrong.   I was working hard to maintain polite conversation with this woman who I was beginning to have very un-Christian judgements about.   I so wanted to remind her of the scripture in Romans that reminds Christians to avoid division.   You know the one:  Romans 16:17-18  "I appeal to you brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught;  avoid them.  For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive."  (ESV)   With this in mind, I politely ( and maybe a bit shortly) excused myself from the conversation and headed to the car where I  thanked God for giving me the grace and wisdom to hold my tongue so as not to be dragged into her smooth talk.   I know that God moved me and kept me silent as I am not one to be still by myself.    Thank you God!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

August 4, 2016

Psalm 66:1-4 "Shout for joy to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise!  Say to God, "How awesome are your deeds!  So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you.  All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name."  Sometimes praising the Lord is enough!  

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

August 3, 2016

Having recently spent several days at the hospital as my mother had surgery, I am reminded yet again about how wonderful God is.  Everyone provided my mother with great care, which one would expect at an accredited hospital.   However, a large majority of the caregivers tended to my mother with good humor and a gentle manner as well.    These angels had to be extensions of God!   Much of what goes on in a hospital is not funny; and many of their tasks are down right nasty.   But these folks moved forward as if my mother was a queen.  God certainly gifted these medical caregivers and my mother, and so many other patients, benefit from their expertise.  I Corinthians 16:15-16 reads, "Now I urge you brothers, you know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achia and that they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints, be subject to such as these and to every fellow worker and laborer."    I am so grateful that God has called some to service in this medical field.   I, in turn, will praise God for their labor and ask a special belssing on them.   Thank you God!      

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

August 2, 2016

Lamentations 3:22-23  "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithgulness."  (ESV)  Don't you just love that promise?   Isn't it comforting to know that even though tomorrow we may wake up with some of the same issues that we went to bed with tonight, the Lord is still in the picture.   He does not get tired of helping.   He does not get weary of our complaining.   He does not get bored with us.   Our Lord is the same every day, every moment, every praise and every prayer.   And, he is full of love for me and for you always.    Wow!  

Monday, August 1, 2016

August 1, 2016

I am atruggling a bit to understand God's timing during this season of my life.   It seems that I am praying about situations and have friends praying about other situations and things are not rolling forward.    I am certain that God has heard our prayers!   Why then have we not seen His action?   Have you ever wondered about God's timing in your life?  Acts 1:7 (ESV) reads "He said to them,  It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority."   God knows the plan and the timing and will lead us along the path, even when we feel that He is not answering prayer.    God knows the timeline and his timing is always perfect!   This is sometimes difficult to accept when we are in the middle of a rough time, but God will never turn His back on us.    We only have to trust in His perfect timing and be ready to patiently accept His blessing.   Thank you God for your promises!  

Sunday, July 31, 2016

July 31, 2016

Sometimes in our journey through this life we find ourselves in a place where we feel that God is not listening or at least not answering.   We cry out to Him in our distress but do not seem to get a response.   Been there?   Well, we are in really good company because even King David feared a quiet God.   In Psalm 143 David pleads for a response from God.  "Answer me quickly, O Lord!  My spirit fails!  Hide not your face from me, lest I be like those who go down to the pit.  Let me hear you in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust.  Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul."    (143:7-8 ESV)   When we find ourselves in that pit, we would do well to remember David's words and take them as our own.  

Saturday, July 30, 2016

July 30, 2016

We are called as Christians to give God thanks for everything.   Psalm 118:28-29 reads, "You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you.  O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever."  (ESV)  It's easy to be thankful and praise God when things are good:  when you get that raise or when you are celebrating an event with your family.  It gets a little harder to give thanks to God during more difficult times:  when the family car needs new tires and there is no money left or when two kids and the dog all have the stomach bug.  And how to we find a grateful spirit when things are just down right bad?  A bad heath diagnosis or getting fired from your job can put some of us over the edge.   I Thessalonians 5:18 directs us to "give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."  If we look fully into the face of Jesus we can feel the peace and love in all situations and we should be earnestly grateful.  Thank you Jesus.        


Friday, July 29, 2016

July 29, 2016

Colossians 4:2  "Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving."  Today was a full day of prayer for me.   My mother had some pretty serious surgery today and I have a friend with a really big need right now so most of my day was in conversation with our Lord.   Mom came through her ordeal pretty well and is resting comfortably tonight.   Thank you God.   My friend's situation is slowly improving so I say thank you God again!   How incredibly lucky we are to have a God who listens to our prayers and always has an answer for us.    There is so much power in prayer and in handing over our concerns to our Father in heaven.   Thank you God!  

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

July 27, 2016

Psalm 55:1  "Give ear to my prayer O god, and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy."  Whenever we find ourselves in that place where we so need God's mercy and love, all we have to do is ask for it. Prayer is so powerful.   In times of pain, pray to our Lord.   In times of burden, pray to our Lord.   In times of repentence, pray to the Lord.   God will hear our cries!  

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

July 26, 2016

I have spent a huge amount of time this week at the Boone County Fair.  I love the fair!   I enjoy reconnecting with old friends.   I enjoy eating elephant ears and ice cream from the Shake Stand.   I enjoy the exhibits in the community building and I really enjoy watching kiddos participate in the livestock shows.   Today as I sat in the stands in the show arena and watched my grandson, and several others, show their animals I felt a pang of sadness for the ones that did not get the blue ribbon.   All the 4-Hers worked so hard to get to the fair and the day was so hot, I wished I could give them all an award!   Sometimes the reality of competition is a hard one.   Clearly there can only be one winner.   Someone gets the blue and many others get red or green or nothing at all.   As I was feeling the pain of those who left the arena with nothing except disappointment, it occured to me that with our Lord we all win!   Jesus wants all of us to be the winners!    He does not want to leave anyone behind.  Our victory comes from Jesus and for that we all should be shouting AMEN!  Thank you, Jesus!  Jude 24-25 reads, "Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time, and now and forever, Amen."  Jesus will give each of us a blue ribbon as we stand before God!    

Monday, July 25, 2016

July 25, 2016

I have just been reflecting on our last few days as we have been enjoying the county fair with our daughters and their kiddos.  It has been incredibly hot!   We have had late nights and early mornings!   There has been some stress but very few harsh words or grouchy children.   God has just blessed my little heart so fully this weekend!   I am so grateful for my family.   I am so grateful that we live in this particular community.   I am so grateful that our grandkids are involved in good, wholesome activities and have good friends.   I am so grateful that I am healthy and able to climb bleachers and tote coolers. God is very good indeed!   What are you grateful for?    How has God blessed you?   Think about big blessings and tiny blessings....they all are from God!   Today why don't you begin a blessing journal.    Every day find and record one thing that was a blessing for that day and write it in your journal.   Then pray to the Lord thanking Him for that blessing.   You will be amazed at the end on one week how many wonderful things the Lord has provided for you.   Ephesians 5:20 says to "Give thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ."      

Sunday, July 24, 2016

July 24, 2016

"My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him".  (Psalms 62:5)   The Lord gave me another scripture about waiting today.   I guess maybe this is a lesson that is important and He knows I have not mastered it yet!   Isn't it funny how that happens so often?    God just knows what I am lacking and He speaks directly to my heart.  This verse says to wait only for God and to wait expectantly.   I love that!   We are told to expect that God will give us direction and lead us down the path.   When I move ahead without God I am really only cheating Him.    I am saying that I do not think He is big enough or strong enough to take care of my needs.   Ouch!    I am telling God that I can do things on my own.   Oh goodness!    When I put it that way it reminds me of our three year old grand daughter who always thinks she can move ahead without a hand from an adult but often that ends in bruises and tears.   Just like me when I fail to wait upon the Lord.  I am bruised and tearful when I fail to wait.   I am bruised and tearful when my expectations are for earthly things rather than God in heaven.    Lord, thank you for your Word and your message!      

Saturday, July 23, 2016

July 23, 2016

Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart.  (Psalms 27:14)  Oh how I hate to wait!    Wait at the doctor's office.   Wait for the train.   Wait for someone to pick up the phone.   Wait for the dryer to finish the load.   Wait, Wait, Wait!    It seems my day is full of wait.   But when I read this scripture it indicates that wait might be a good thing.   Hmmmm?   Wait on the Lord.   What does that look like?   Wait for Him to lead me?   Wait for Him to answer prayer?   Wait for Him to speak to me?   But look further into the Word and we read that He will reward my wait by strengthening me.   Thank you Jesus for showing me that wait can be a good thing and that I need to wait for You.  Whilel I am waiting could you throw in a little patience?    

Friday, July 22, 2016

July 22, 2016

Have you done something good for someone in need this summer?   Have you supported a charity or worked on a mission project?   Have you made a financial contribution to a good cause?   I Thessalonians 3:13 reminds us to continue doing charity.  "As for you brothers, do not grow weary in doing good."   There is so much need in our world today.   One does not have to look very far to see folks that are in a bad way.    Yes, there is much to do in third world countries, but there is also much to do in our very own communities.   If you think there are not homeless and hungry people within ten miles of where you live then you need to take a closer look.   The need is great and often we think that our little bit of support will not make any difference in the big picture.    You know what, you may be right.    But a tiny bit of love shared with one other person will be a big difference in that one person.   Friends, let's don't ever get tired of doing good!  

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

July 19, 2016

Have you ever been the subject of someone's gossip?   Maybe it was not even a really big deal.   Maybe it was half true.   Maybe not!  Maybe it was not even a teeny bit true and caused you a great deal of hurt.  Maybe it was totally true but not something that you wanted everyone to know. No matter what - gossip is hurtful.   Let's think about this in a different way.   Have you ever shared something about someone that you did not know was absolutely true? Have you ever blabbed a tidbit that you were told in confidence?   Have you ever started a conversation with "I should not be telling you this but..."?  Friends, gossip is hurtful!    God instructs us to stay away from people who are gossips, and I think that also means that we should not be that gossip.  Proverbs 20:19 reads "A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much."  (NIV)
Good advice!

July 20, 2016

John 12:42-43  "Nethertheless, many even of the authorities believed in Him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God."  (ESV)  When I first read this scripture I felt so bad for the folks that did not acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God. Initially I thought that these folks should be pitied because they clearly did not get it!  What good is beleiving in our Savior if we only hide it in our hearts?    Then suddenly I had a completely different thought cross my mind.    I was blindsided with the realization that I am not so much unlike these people in my own personal walk with Jesus.   Yes, of course I believe in Jesus!  But then, I hang my head as I think about so many times that I was in a situation where it was not "politically correct" to confess that Jesus saved me from certain death so I did not!  Sweet Jesus help me to thirst for the glory that comes from You!        

Monday, July 18, 2016

July 18, 2016

Luke 10:23-24  "Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, "Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.  For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you saw but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it."  Jesus was a bit perturbed with his disciples because even though they walked and lived with him and witnessed many life changing events at his hand, they did not really get it.  What a huge priviledge they had to rub elbows with our Lord, Jesus.    But still they seemed to misunderstand.   As Christians, we too are priviledged by knowing our Lord.    We have God's Word to lead us and encourage us, but sometimes, like the disciples, we also fall short.   Being a Christian brings great benefits but also great responsibilities.   We need to be certain that we do get it!    We need to be certain that we also live it so that we can share it.   We have to live like we know and love Jesus so that we are not like the prophets and kings.    Help me Jesus to draw closer to you!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

July 17, 2016

Have you ever wondered about the scripture in Luke where Jesus asks Peter "who the crowds say He is"?  I find it to be very interesting that Jesus waits for an answer and then questions Peter further about who Peter thinks He is.   The scripture reads,"Once when Jesus was praying in private and His disciples were with Him, he asked them, "who do the crowds say I am?"  Luke 9:18.  This is important to understand because wherever the crowds that surround you go, there is always a temptation to follow.      The popular version of who God is may reflect an illustration of God that is faulty.  Jesus wants us to know and claim who he is for ourselves.   Jesus wants us to be certain that He is our personal Lord and Savior.  Luke 9:20 finishes with Jesus saying "But what about you, he asked.   Who do you say I am?  Peter answered, The Christ of God."  Amen!    

Saturday, July 16, 2016

July 16, 2016

I so enjoy summer for so many different reasons.   But one of my favorite things about July is the abundant goodies that come from everyone's gardens and orchards.    I love a warm ripe tomato right out of the garden.   And hot, buttery, corn on the cob.   And fresh green beans with onion and ham.   Yummy!   And peaches!   Oh how I enjoy a drippy, sweet,  fresh peach.  God has blessed us with so many delicious garden treats!   God has filled us up with fruits of the spirit as well.   You know the scripture:  Galations 5:22-23 (ESV)  "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control; against such things there is no law."  That sweet peach is dull and bitter next to these fruits.  Why, then, do we not crave them in the same way?   Friends, let's find that Holy Spirit in our souls and allow Him to bring out the fruits of the Spirit in each of us so that others will see God shining through our lives and want what we have!    The master Gardener has filled us with the best produce of all.    Let's fill our baskets and then start sharing!    

Friday, July 15, 2016

July 15, 2016

I have been on a dead run this week.   I have had lots of obligations and little time for myself or my God.  I have gotten up early and gone to bed late to try to get everything accomplished and still I find that I do not have everything marked off my list.   Have you ever been there?  This evening, I was reminded that God wants me to lean on Him so that He can provide rest to me, and to you too!  It was beginning to get dark when I finally settled down and opened my Bible.   It fell open to Matthew 11:18-30.  "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."    Almost immediately I felt myself relax and felt the peace of Jesus take away all my anxiety and rush.  No, my list is still not all completed.    Yes, I still have people counting on me to do things tomorrow.   But, through scritpture and the mighty message of God, I have come to realize that I need to give my burden to God to help me work through.    Thank you Father for showing me a better way to get through my day!    


Thursday, July 14, 2016

July 14, 2016

Lord I just want to take a minute and thank you for coming up with the idea for your children to have fellowship with one another.   What a fabulous idea!   Yesterday evening our small group met in the home of one couple in our group and we had a blast!  We meet weekly to study God's Word but this week was just to do life together and we did it well!  I am so blessed to have wonderful Christian friends who I can laugh with and cry with and count on to always have my back.    I thank you Lord for each one in the group and for the unique gifts each of us bring to our fellowship.    Thank you for coming along as well!   Even on the "social" nights, everything is all about you and I am grateful that you honor our time together.   Thank you Father!   Zechariah 3:10 reads "In that day, declares the Lord of hosts, every one of you will invite his neighbor to come under his vine and his fig tree."  I can not wait for that eternal fellowship!   As much fun as we are having here on this earth, I can hardly imagine what the fellowship spoken about in this scripture will be like.   Now that is something to whoop up about!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

July 13, 2016

"Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!"  Psalm 31:24  (ESV)  I love the Psalms.   They are so full of rich, everyday, wisdom.   I love that the Psalms praise and glorify God and I love that the Psalms speak so strongly to my emotions.   This one, 31:24, speaks to me so clearly on this day.    I am struggling with an aging parent and all the ramifications of that.   I am struggling with the desire to be a good and compassionate daughter but still be the wife and mom that I need to be.   Whew!   It is a difficult position to be in and some of you may recognize yourself in my life.   I was feeling a bit beat up until God gave me this scripture today.   Thank you Lord for ministering to me!   These brief words reminded me that all is in God's time and I can be strong because my Lord loves me and will handle all this stuff for me.   My heart is full because God has filled it up with His strength.   Amen!  

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

July 12, 2016

I just sat down at my desk to post and as I was looking over the stacks of books and binders I have near my work space it suddenly ocurred to me that everything points to the same direction.   You see, I currently am teaching a Sunday school class about listening to God.  I also have been preparing to facilitate book club at church for July regarding a book about praying and have been doing a personal Bible study moving me to not just listen but to act as well.  Hmm.    Interesting how all three different disciplines are so closely linked.   I am pretty sure I will not hear God if I am not in a prayerful relationship with Him and I certainly won't know that proper way to move forward in a manner that is pleasing to Him if I am not listening!    Right now I bet that God is just chuckling at me!   He's probably thinking, "oh sweetness you are so slow in coming to realization!  I love you and I want all of you!"   Remember what Paul wrote to the followers at Philippi?  Philippians 4:6-7:  "Do not be anxious about anything but in everything in prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  Pray and listen and act.   Pretty simple!      

Monday, July 11, 2016

July 11, 2016

I have been running in fast mode for the last several weeks.   Many things have been taking up much of my time and attention recently. Because I am a teacher I am not working full time outside of the home right now but my days seem to be fuller than when I am working during the school year.   Maybe some of you can recognize yourself in my busyness.  It seems that I am trying to fill up every moment with something, but I am not sure that I am doing much of it very well.   And at what price is my full calendar costing me?   Not long ago I discussed that if something is important to us we will schedule time for it.    I believe I was referring to prayer at the time.   Well, guess what.  One of the things that suffers when I am so crazy busy is my prayer time with my Lord.    Another thing I must admit is that I am behind on my daily Bible study.  Urgh!    The one thing that should be my uppermost priority in my day is my relationship with my Father.   Why is it that this is what most often suffers when I get a full calendar?  Sometimes I think  it is because God patiently waits for me to come to Him.   Others in my life demand my time or my attention and you know what they say, "the squeeky wheel gets the grease."  Friend, God wants our attention all the time, and I have found that when things are busy, that is one time that I need Him most.   Busyness takes my focus away from God and points only to me and what I need.     That is very much a condition of vanity when my agenda is more important than God's.    So much so that He does not get any of my time and attention.   Ecclesiates 2:22-23 admonishes us in our neglect of God because of busyness.  "What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun?  For all his days are full of sorrow and his work is a vexation.  Even in the heart his mind does not rest.  This also is a vanity."  Keeping in mind that God calls us to find rest in Him, lets try to eliminate some busyness from our days so we can replace that with God.   Thank you God for the reminder!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

July 10, 2016

I have been doing a lot of study and personal reflection regarding prayer and hearing God's voice for several weeks now.  I wish I could say that I have gotten better at my prayer life and personal time with God.   The truth is that I am still not nearly where I should be in this area, but I do believe that God is encouraging me to move toward Him.   And, friends, when God encourages us to do something I have found that we better listen!  One thing that struck me just today was that God expects that we will pray.   Hmmm.   He does not ask us to or strongly suggest that we pray.   God EXPECTS us to pray!   Wow!   Sister, we better get on our knees!   Matthew 6:5 starts out "and when you pray".   Sounds like expectation to me and I think we better get serious about doing prayer!  

Saturday, July 9, 2016

July 9, 2016

Do you know anyone who seems to have all the bad luck?   The one who gets all the bad breaks?   The one who it seems always has a problem to deal with?   Maybe you are that person.  Maybe everything you touch falls to pieces.   Friend, give it all to God.   Psalm 34:6-7 reminds us that God will hear our cries and He will act!   "This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.  The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them."  (ESV)   Don't you  just love that!   God is waiting for us to cry out to Him and He will hear those cries.   But even better, God will deliver us from the despair.   Praise God right now for His unending compassion for us!  

Friday, July 8, 2016

July 8, 2016

Romans 2:1  "Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges.   For in passing judgement on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things."  (ESV)  Paul wrote this letter primarily to point out the sins of the people at that time.   I find, however, that those of us who call ourselves Christians today fall into many of the same sinful patterns.  This particular passage from Romans hits us with a double whammy because Paul tells us that  we should not play judge but especially we should not pass judgement on others when we do the very same sin.  Does this sound familiar?   As I was reading this passage today I was totally convicted as I tend to be very hard on others but sometimes miss recognizing that same sin in my own actions.    I have been praying daily that God will soften my heart toward others  but also open my eyes to my own shortcomings.   Guess what?   Today He gave me this scripture to claim as my own.    God is so good!          

Thursday, July 7, 2016

July 7, 2016

This morning I was reminded of a passage of scripture in Psalm 27:14.   Do you know it?  "Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the lord!"  This short little verse tells us so much about the characteristic of the Lord and about what our relationship with Him should be.  Wait for the Lord indicates that we trust that He will move in our lives.    Wait for the Lord indicates that we believe that His time is the right time.    Wait for the Lord indicates that we know the Lord!   When we wait for the Lord we will always be on the correct time table and will have the power, through our Lord, to move forward standing tall.   Thank you Jesus!  This scripture also tells us that ourt Lord is strong enough to conquer all!   It indicates that the Lord knows us and will move on our behalf at just the right time.   Thank you Jesus!   With our Lord on our side, what do we have to worry about?   Calm down and wait!          

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

July 6, 2016

I have been reading a book about praying in preparation for a book club discussion next week at our church.   I have had some real "ouchy" moments during my quiet time with this particular text.   One of the more difficult lessons I have learned about prayer is that I do not take prayer seriously enough, 100% of the time.   Yes, I pray.  Yes, I pray everyday.  The problem is that some days my prayers are "worked in" while I am driving to work or  folding laundry.   That points to the idea that I do make prayer a priority in my day.  When I look at my calendar I have scheduled in medical appointments and hair appointments.   I have lunch dates penciled in and book club and Bible study.  Special play days and  overnights with grandbabies are written in my calendar in bold letters.   But where is prayer?  Admittedly, prayer is something that I make happen at meal time and bedtime on a regular basis.  Those what I call "snatch prayers"  are said through out the day on an "as needed" basis, but setting aside intentional, unterrupted time to chat with God does not happen very often in my weekly calendar.  How about your schedule?    Do you carve out time to pray to God?   Matthew 6:6  "But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret.  And you Father who sees in secret will reward you."  Friends, we need to schedule prayer into our everyday lives in order to make sure we make time to go to our room and shut the door and be with our Father.    Let's try it for one week and see what kind of amazing things God will do with us as we reach out to Him.          

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

July 5, 2016

What a fabulous life we live in.    I live in a great community with wonderful neighbors.   I have the best kids and grandkids that anyone could ask for, and a nearly perfect husband.   I am a part of an effective and growing church family.  I have wonderful sisters and extended family.    God has blessed me abundantly!      That is not to say that we do not have any hardships or grumblings.    In fact, by some standards, we might even be considered a bit dysfunctional.   We fuss with each other from time to time.   We have had health issues and financial issues.   We have had death and dispair.   But through it all, by the grace of God, we just keep moving on.  How?   Well, frankly, some days we do much better than others, but in the end, we have only God to thank for where we are and who we are.     God has opened a door for all of us to communicate and have relationship with them.    He created this really neat thing called PRAYER.   Prayer is the way that God wants us to reach out to Him.   He wants us to give Him our troubles and our pain and trust that He can and will carry us through the turmoil.    Prayer is the way that we can show God our praise and thanksgiving.    Prayer is the single thread that holds me all together and helps me maintain order in my life.    Yep, I live in a pretty fabulous life but it is all because of Jesus!   Philippians 4:6 reads, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God"   Today is a perfect day to start a new prayer life and give it all to God.    Try it and see what happens!  .