Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tear Down to Rebuild- Part 2

I know that as a parent I repeat myself often if it’s something I feel strongly about or if it its something I want my children to carry into the future with them. In an attempt to see just how strongly God feels about idolatry, I did a search of the King James version for the following words:
                Idols………………..……...95 times
                Idol…………………………..12 times
                Idolatry…………………     5 times
                Carved Image………..   2 times
                Graven Image………. 26 times
       The NIV references ‘idols’ 164 times.

These passages run throughout the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. God knows us in our humanness. He knows that idols will be one of our greatest downfalls, but he is a jealous God, and he will not tolerate our worship of these idols! As he did in the times of Josiah, he gave the people over to their desires. He allowed them to worship other gods because their hearts were hard. That did not mean however that it was done without consequence.

This is still the way God allows us to live our life here today. Our idolatry is killing our families. It is setting a path of destruction for our children and grandchildren.

Sure our idols don't take the form of a huge golden calf or an Asherah pole. But look around you… what is your focus? Your spouse, your children, your material possessions, sex, people pleasing, a job, or perhaps the subtle god of self. 

God’s word clearly says that the greatest commandment is to
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment." Matt. 22:37-38

We can’t love Him like that if our worship is divided among other gods! He must be our main focus, our reason for being, our mainstay! 

Dear Lord,
We confess that idolatry is a problem in our lives. It keeps us from being in right relationship with you. Tender our hearts to hear your voice above all others that vie for our attention. Teach us to keep our focus on you and to allow you to have your way in us. 
In Jesus' name we pray,
Amen & Amen

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tear Down to Rebuild- Part 1

This lesson comes from a rude awakening that started one sleepless night. As I lay awake, I asked God to show me my sin so that I could be healed. Well, I meant that in the singular… sin! God took it in the plural  “sins” and began to expose my many sins through what has become a week of sleepless nights.

As I began searching scripture, I was taken to Ezekiel 36. Ezekiel is prophesying to the nation. He is telling them that that the hand of the Lord will be upon them. God’s anger will burn against them for their sins. As I read, these words spoke to my heart…

I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.

My initial thought was, “What? Me? Idols? No way!” Then God went on to lead me to the book of 2 Kings 23. 

Josiah, began his 31 year reign at age 8. He lived the way the Lord wanted him to live. As the temple was being rebuilt, the Book of God's Revelation (2 Kings 22:8) was found. Josiah knew that God’s anger was burning against the people because they did not obey the words of the law. They had not acted in accordance with all that was written in it. Josiah had it read to the people, and they agreed that it was time to return to the Lord. Josiah required that all pagan priests be removed, all the Asherah poles be torn down and burned to the ground. The high places were desecrated. No one was to sacrifice to any other god. The chariots that were dedicated to the sun were burned. The temple prostitutes were removed and the shrines torn down. The list goes on and on. Josiah did not stop until all the idols and the lifestyles that supported those idols were destroyed. He even slaughtered the pagan priests! He left no stone unturned! Josiah began a revival! 

Can you imagine, they didn’t even know the scrolls were in the temple? Makes me wonder what was read on the Sabbath and who wasn’t listening! They didn’t even know the truth of God’s word! As I read this passage, I clearly heard God say, “Today is no different!” This changed the way I read for the rest of the night. Every time I read the word Israel, I thought of my family, of Monroe, of my community. Do we also have the Bible in our homes, neatly placed on a shelf, stored in a cabinet, or better yet… a fixture on the end table for all to see? But truly, is it all but forgotten? We as a people are living as they did during the time of Kings. Our idols sit right next to the alter where we worship God. We have allowed pagan gods to hold the throne in our lives and in our homes or at least have equal position next to the alter of God. We must do as Josiah did… tear down the idols! Josiah didn’t just ‘reprioritize’. He could have just torn down the Asherah poles. But he didn’t. He had them burned so that no one would return to that place of worship. He destroyed the idols completely. We must do the same. It is time for revival!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

ALL For The Glory Of God

Let the word of Christ - The Message - have the run of the house.  Give it plenty of room in your lives.  Instruct one another using good common sense.  And sing, sing your hearts out to God.  Let every detail in your lives - words, actions, whatever - be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way. 
Colossians 3:16,17

I have a list a mile long of all the things that need done around my house.  I have dusting, sweeping, laundry, grocery shopping, dirty bathrooms, homework and supper to prepare.......and I am supposed to do this with a smile on my face!  I am supposed to sing my heart out to God and do all this in the name of Jesus Christ?  How do I wash a window for God?   

I have been pondering this scripture for the last couple days. I tend to forget the importance of being a stay at home mom.  I also tend to compare myself to mothers who work.  I think they are so amazing for being able to work full time and take care of their home and their family......I could never ever do it!  I admire these women so much for their energy and time management.  I also tend to feel like this scripture applies to them and not me, after all, how do I fold clothes for God and sweep my floor to His Glory?  At least people who work get to communicate with others.  They are in contact with people all day and are put into many situations where they can share God and take part in His divine appointments.  I don’t think that toilet down the hall is in need of an encouraging word or a divine conversation.  No, I am just here, cleaning all day and this scripture doesn’t really apply to me....... 

Oh but it does!!  God’s word is for all and He commands us all the same.  Does Jesus need his room swept or His dishes washed?  Not necessarily, but He does want my focus on Him and if those are the activities that I am participating in, then by golly, I better be involving Him. Whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, you must do all for the Glory of God.  1 Corinthians 10:31

So all weekend I have been trying to get a picture of what that looks like in my do I commit every action to God?  He may not need the things I am doing and my mopping the floors may not be all that important when it comes to my eternity.  I may be alone all day doing these things and I can’t Glorify Him for people to see, so how does this apply to me?  I can simply Honor God through my actions!  The most important thing I should be doing is thanking Him for His provision!  I am in need of nothing!  I have a beautiful home, money to buy clothes and cleaning supplies and time alone during the day to get things done!  Yes, I should wake up every day thanking God for the opportunity I am given to get my work done during the day and then my evenings are free with my family.  I could be praising God while I clean......there is nothing better than praise music cranked throughout the house.....I can sing my heart out while I sweep the floor or dust furniture, and praise God I am alone so it doesn’t matter how bad I sound!  I can work my hardest to show God how thankful I am.  My intentions should be towards loving the One who loves me.  No matter what I am doing He should be first on my mind and I need to be praising Him in all things.  He is the reason for my existence!  

What have I just done here?  I have changed my perspective and this is how all of my sayings and doings, when I am alone, will impact others.  When our perspective changes and we focus on God and doing everything for Him we are much happier people.  We smile more because we are happy.......followed by more patience, followed by more compassion and the list continues.  When we do everything for God and we commit to honoring Him in all that we do, we see things differently......we become more thankful and more aware of the people and needs around us.  Yes, we begin to look like Christ!  God doesn’t just want us to praise Him and glorify Him.  No, it’s much deeper than that..........He knows the change that happens in our hearts when we put Him first.  He knows that when we commit our lives to Him......when we do everything to honor Him, we are first thinking of Him, and that is ultimately how we glorify Him.  

So put God first on your minds by doing everything for Him whether your a teacher, a doctor, retired or a stay at home mom.  Throughout your day, be sure to thank God and ask yourself how you can honor Him through your words, actions and whatever!  Change your perspective and sing, sing your hearts out to God!  Yes, this is gonna be a hard one for me.....I tend to think of the things I have to do instead of praising God for the things I get to do!  
Please God show us all the importance of a changed perspective and putting you first in our thoughts.  Help us make the transition from complaining and going through the motions to praising you and committing our every word and action to you.  We wish to share your light with the world and Glorify You in everything we do. 
Amen and Amen    

Monday, October 28, 2013

He Makes Me Smile!

Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God- soon I’ll be smiling again. He puts a smile on my face. He’s my God! Ps 42:11

God makes me smile! He is not only loving and compassionate, but he is funny! Let me explain. I was having a pretty good week. I’d really been clinging to God. I felt him meeting my every need. His peace abounded in the deepest parts of my heart and obeying came easier than most times. And then it happened... I let the pain in my heart take over. I took control of my own life. Well, what I mean is I spewed venom, I spoke out of turn, let loose with my thoughts, and wham! I feel right back into the old me. Sadness took over my heart. I shamed His name again. I hurt feelings, let anger run me, and I couldn’t take it back. I apologized to God, but for a few moments I had a hard time receiving his grace. 

That’s when God made me laugh. I picked up my purse and saw my phone was lit up so  I assumed I had a missed call or text. As I pulled the phone closer I noticed that it was open to my notes and a passage was showing. It said: 

Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God- soon I’ll be smiling again. He puts a smile on my face. He’s my God! Ps 42:11

I read the scripture and chuckled. I hadn’t been in my “notes” all day. The fact that my phone was open to this scripture was what I call a “God thing!” He reminded me that I’m human. I will make mistakes. It’s why He died and why I need a savior! He gave everything because he knows I’m not perfect. He knows I’ll make mistakes, and it’s ok. He knows how hard I am on myself when I fall, and He loves me anyway. He reminded me that I must rely on HIm for everything, all the time. 

As I pondered these things, I laughed out loud again. He met me right where I was! And he reminded me to refocus, to keep my eyes on the real reason I'm living this life- HIM!

Thank you Lord for your timing, your grace, and your love of my soul!
Amen & Amen!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

He Directs

But mightier than the violent raging of the seas, mightier than the breakers on the shore - The Lord above is mightier than these.
Psalm 93:4

I am amazed that the whole ocean can change direction!  Yesterday the waves were coming in towards the north and today they are heading south!  That is a lot of water, heavy weight, getting shifted overnight!  It baffles my mind!  You all know that a current can be strong and very heard to swim against.  Imagine trying to change direction of that current.  It wouldn't be an easy task.  We would have to calm the water first in order to get it going in another direction.  If we didn't calm it first we would use up a lot of energy fighting against that strong current.  But God rules the ocean.  His power to move the wind and cause a whole body of water, as far as the eye can see, to change direction in one simple command, is just awesome.

He spoke, and the winds rose, stirring up the waves.
Psalm 107:25

Picture your life as an ocean.  You can be moving along in one direction and overnight that direction can change.  In one instant something can happen to change the course of your day, your marriage, your finances, your family or your health.  If God has power over the wind and the ocean then of course He has power over you and your direction!  If you allow and are willing, God can be in complete charge of your life and the direction it is going.  There may be times when you get off course or there is a detour.  You may even find yourself lost at times but He is always just a whisper away, ready to control your storm.  Ready to direct your path and get you back moving in the direction He has planned for you.  Yes, sometimes the direction seems wrong for that moment and sometimes it seems unfair but never forget that He is in control, therefore you are right where He wants you.  Never forget that the power He has to control your direction is the same power used to calm your stormy seas and get you set towards your next destination.  

He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves.
Psalm 107:29

God isn't always in control of the direction we get thrown into but, if we allow, He is always in control of the direction we end up in.  Different things such as people, sin and unfortunate circumstances occur and we are thrown off course but if we stay there, instead of fighting against the current, God will rescue us and get us going in the right direction.  Stop trying to change your direction on your own and stop running from the direction you have been facing.  Let go and let God calm your seas and change your path.  Trust God to get you going in the right direction.  After all, if He can calm the sea and change the direction of the waves why on earth wouldn't He want what's best for His son or daughter?   

 You are the one who rules the oceans.  When their waves rise in fearful storms, You subdue them.
Psalm 89:9


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Be Accountable

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. 
James 5:16 

I am so very thankful for my GFF (God First Friends) Group. With these girls I can tell my temptations and sins without judgement. I can tell my frustrations and not be rebuked for being human. Through these Godly women I can be corrected without insult and condemnation. They are safe, honest, and loving. They believe that I am worth the hassle that it takes to lovingly guide, direct, and correct me when I am discouraged, wandering or worn out. I can be honest with them, and they hear the Truth when I share it with them. We hold each other accountable, and it makes all the difference!

Too many times Christians have the misconception that we need to appear "put together". We wear masks and say all the right things when in reality we are really an absolute mess. We meet to study God’s word, but we never really put our hearts out there for the relational intimacy that God created us to share. We fellowship and share meals, but we never really share ourselves. 

This is an area I struggled with greatly in the past and at times it still wants to creep up on me. God has taught me a lot about being real with both him and others over the last few years. I remember the first time I asked for prayer about a very personal issue. Everyone wrote it on their prayer list, smiled, nodded, and we went on to the next request. I left feeling humiliated that I’d put myself out there and felt that no one even cared. I felt ashamed that I was the only one who had issues. I was discouraged because obviously I was the only one who was a mess. It amazed me though that over the next several months others began to ask for prayer for specific things in their own lives. We no longer just prayed for others, but we began to share our need for prayer because of our own hurts, fears and struggles. Matthew 5:16 (MSG) has become very dear to my heart. “By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

My GFF’s and I were brought together because we all had one thing in common... Each  one in our own way was a mess! We needed God, and we were not afraid to admit it to one another. Though accountability can be scary because of our vulnerability,  it is the sweetest blessing you can share with a fellow Christian. If you are not in a small group and if you do not have one Christian friend with whom you can be gut level honest, begin praying for these things. They will change your life!

Don't forget we are here for you too. You can share your story through email at and we will welcome the chance to share God's word with you and pray together!

Friday, October 25, 2013

We Are His Treasure

As I walk the beach this week, I am first off so thankful for God's provision.  As I watch my children play in the waves I am reminded of the many things God has blessed me with.  I thank God for my healthy children.  I thank God for my husband's job.  I praise God for the miles of sand and ocean, for footballs, and sandcastles and body boards.  He blesses us with dolphins, and sunshine, and the sound of waves!  I am ashamed of the times I take my blessings for granted, and I praise His Holy Name for loving me anyway!

Another thing I notice, as I walk the beach looking for shells and sharks teeth, is I am so thankful that God doesn't choose me like I choose shells.  I try and pick out the most beautiful, perfectly shaped shells.  I don't want the shells that are broken or ugly in color.  (Yes, I also tend to pick a book by its cover.)

I picture God looking down on us.  We are the many shells spread out on the beach, but unlike me, He is picking us all up one by one.  He brushes us off and puts us into His bucket for safe keeping.  He sees past the holes and jagged edges.  He ignores the barnacles stuck to our surface and sees the beauty under all the sand that covers our body.  In fact, God prefers that we have some broken edges and discolored spots.........when we are broken we are much easier to shape and mold into something new and beautiful.

You have been set apart as Holy to the Lord your God and He has chosen you to be His own special treasure from all the nations of the earth.
Deuteronomy 14:2    

Praise and thanksgiving!  We have a God who will take the time to brush us off and love us through our ugly stages.  He loves us before we are polished and renewed.  He is even willing to get His hands dirty digging us out of the deep, wet sand.  Today lay helpless in the sand, let the waves wash over you and wait for Him to pick you up.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Teach them to Love!

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Proverbs 22:6

Our little granddaughter, Emma, was tucking in her dolly the other night. She had the pacifier, the blanket, and the bottle. Everything was perfect! As I looked at her,  I thought she was just standing over the edge of the doll bed looking at her baby. It was then that I felt a tug at my heart as I noticed her little hands folded. She was praying with her baby doll. Precious? Yes! The delight of a grandma's heart? Yes! But more importantly, I know that Emma's heavenly father was delighted beyond all words. At 22 months, this little one is learning behaviors and attitudes that will be with her throughout her entire life. She may wander, face various trials, and miss the mark at times in her life, but she is being taught the way of the Lord. These things will always be in her heart and mind and are tools by which God will call her unto himself. 

When we are raising our own children the demands of life can overwhelm us. We can easily get distracted and forget that our children really aren't ours, but rather they are a gift entrusted to us by God. They are created for his glory, and we are to raise them to know, honor, and obey Him.  

I'm seeing now from a grandma's perspective the value and absolute importance of training our children to walk in relationship to the Lord. Scripture tells us to talk to our children about God, to raise them to love and obey Him. It begins with our own walk with Jesus. We need to talk about who God is and his ultimate love and sacrifice for us. We need to share the lessons we've learned as well as the joy and peace our savior gives us. It is our privilege to introduce these children and grandchildren to their heavenly father. 

Pray for and pray with your children. I know life gets busy and times can be frustrating, but when something has to be taken off your plate, don't let it be your own relationship with Jesus or the conversations about your God! 

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 
                                                                                                              Deut. 11:19
Children's children are a crown to the aged
                                                       Prov. 17:6

Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. 
                                                                                Ps 127:3     

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Higher Than Your Thougts

Trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5

Once again, this morning, I found myself flirting with disaster.  I was scheming and planning something that I knew wasn't in God's will.  I shut it down as soon as I recognized it was wrong.  God wouldn't let me go back to sleep so I went to my quiet spot and started my devotions.

"My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the Lord.  "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.  For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts."
Issaiah 55:8-9

Thank you God for directing me!  Thank you for this confirmation on a morning when I could have easily chosen my way of handling a situation.  I hate to think of the problems my way could have caused and I am renewed with trust that You're ways are the best!

How often do we make plans to manipulate a situation as we are trying to "fix" a problem in our life?  Through this scripture God is clearly telling us to stop.  He his saying the things on our human minds will come up with nothing compared to His plans.  His ways far exceed what our minds can comprehend and imagine.  

Take, for example, a story in 2 Kings 7.  The City of Samaria was  trapped within its walls because the Aramean Army was camped outside waiting to attack anyone who exited.  The whole city was experiencing a horrible famine.  It was so bad that mothers were eating their children!  People were desperate and the king of the city was blaming God.  He sent his officer to kill the prophet Elisha.  Elisha met him at the door and proclaimed that by the next morning the marketplace would be overflowing.  Of course the officer was in disbelief and he shouted, "That couldn't happen if the Lord opened the windows of heaven."

Now think about this scenario.....The city was completely out of food and resources.  They were so desperate that they turned to cannibalism.  How on earth would they find food overnight, and in abundance to be overflowing from their wagons and markets?

Smart scholars could have put their heads together and made a plan to save the city.  The king could have sent an army out to fight for food and supplies.  Individuals could have come up with ideas similar to the mothers who were eating their children but none of them would have worked.  They needed creativity and miracles.  They needed something that only God could provide.

One morning two lepers decided to head out of the city looking for food.  They realized that if they stayed they would die so they took their chance with the army.  When they approached the Aramean camp they found a miracle.  The entire army was gone leaving behind everything.....clothes, animals, gold, food.....Yes there were enough supplies to feed all of Samaria and have plenty left over.  How in the world did that happen?

Here was God's plan to save Samaria: 
For the Lord had caused the whole army of Aram to hear the clatter of speeding chariots and galloping of horses and sounds of a great army approaching.  "The king of Israel has hired the Hittites and Egyptians to attack us!" they cried out.  So they panicked and fled into the night, abandoning their tents, horses, donkeys, and everything else, and they fled for their lives.
2 Kings 7:6

Father God, You are absolutely amazing!  Thank you for the stories in the bible that teach us Your magnificence, and power.  Remind us of this story the next time we want to manipulate a situation, make our own plans, or when we get impatient waiting on you.  Your way is the most efficient and successful way we could choose!  Please don't ever let us make any decisions without first consulting you!  

Dig into your bible and find more stories of God's wonderful ways of helping people out of their distress.  Please share with us!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

In the Waiting!

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27:14

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Good things come to those who wait.” But I challenge you to rewrite that saying to say, “Good things come in the waiting.” Yes, we keep pressing on because we look forward to the final outcome, but there’s much to be done in the waiting. 

When Jesus talked to the followers he often talked about farming. His followers were familiar with the processes and practices of farming, so they could understand his analogies. Today anyone who is familiar with farming, or even gardening, knows that after seeds are planted waiting must take place. But waiting isn’t an idle term. It’s an action. While farmers wait there must be weeding, fertilizing, pest control, watering, and nurturing of the plants. Waiting does not mean idly sitting by until something happens. Waiting is action!

What have you been waiting on...a report from a doctor, the salvation of a loved one, financial relief, to be removed from the fire of refinement, a pregnancy, the return of a prodigal? Whatever it is that your waiting on is the end product, but there is much to be done and learned while you wait. 

Weeding may need to take place. Do you need to slow down and weed out activities that are keeping you from drawing closer to the Lord? Are there sins that God is trying to remove from your life during this time of waiting? Weeds of fear and doubt will try to creep into your life. Be alert. Weeds grow overnight. Learn to become aware of what’s coming up in the garden so you can remove it while it’s at the early stages! 

Have you learned how to fertilize during the wait? Are you filling up on the word of God? Do you spend time praising and learning to love God for who he is and not just what he does for you? Are you fellowshipping with other Christians? Do you have someone to hold you accountable? 

Never forget the pest control! Get on your knees, learn to pray for God’s protection, provision,  and the binding of satan from your life and the lives of others. Memorize scripture and use it as your gardening tool of choice.

Water is essential to growth. Drink deeply from the well of God’s word. Go directly to the source... Jesus is waiting to fill you from the well that will never run dry! Learn to depend on Him for all your needs!

Nurture yourself and others as you wait. Send cards, make meals, go for walks or have a time of visiting. Pray for one another and pray together. Taking our mind off our own issues and focusing on the needs of others is a great remedy to self-pity and anxiety.

God’s timing is perfect. He is never early, and he is never late! As you wait, spend time with the gardener!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Be A Blessing

Whenever you enter a home, give it your blessing.  If those who live there are worthy, the blessing will stand; if they are not the blessing will return to you.
Luke 10:5-6

I couldn’t help notice this scripture and think of the times I have held off giving someone my blessing, of course I had to get to know them better.  We have all done it.  We meet someone for the first time who is, let’s say, not so clean or not so friendly.  We give them a guarded smile and a generic hello and move on our way.  Or maybe we can’t get away soon enough so we are forced to make cheep small talk all the while keeping our guard up and not getting too personal.  On occasion we may even shake the persons hand or give a hug but even then we still aren’t willing to give ourselves away.  

This scripture is a continuation from the other day when Jesus sent out the 72 other disciples to gather people for the harvest and to spread His good news.  I have to believe He is telling us the same thing. We aren’t to judge people, we are to love unconditionally like Jesus so that would include accepting people right away.  It would include loving and caring right off the bat.  Jesus doesn’t want us waiting until we get to know the person.  We shouldn’t have to take the time to decide whether the person is worthy of being our friend or worthy of being cared for.  Jesus calls us to be a blessing to those around us and who we meet.  He asks us to share His make Him known.  We can't do this very important task by going around picking and choosing who we want to bless, and who we want to share with.   

We leave the judging to God.  We shower the person with kindness and compassion.  We pour on God’s love and acceptance.  We do all this and make the person feel accepted all the while blessing him or her with God’s real love.  It doesn’t even matter if the person says thank you.  It doesn’t matter if she is rude or’s not our job to decide who gets blessed, it’s just our job to bless.  Either way we win in the end!

* Love your enemies! Do good to them!  Lend to them! And don't be concerned that they might not repay.  Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for He is kind to the unthankful and to those who are wicked.  You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.  Luke 6:35-36

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Comfort & Encouragement

A few days ago I posted about not growing weary on this journey as Christians. Today I just want to share some of my favorite verses of comfort and encouragement. 

Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day he carries us in his arms. Ps 68:19

The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.   Zephaniah 3: 

But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer. Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me. Ps 66:19-20

Say this, "God you're my refuge. I trust in you, and I'm safe. Ps 91:2

We're depending on God; he's everything we need. What's more, our hearts brim with joy since we've taken for our own his holy name. Love us God with all you've got- that's what we're depending on!    Ps 33:20-22

You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly. Prov. 3:24

See God has come to save me. I will trust in him and not be afraid. The Lord God is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. Isaiah 12:2

The Lord himself with fight for you. Just stay calm. Exodus 14:14

Just thinking of my troubles and my lonely wandering makes me miserable... Then I remember something that fills me with hope. The LORD's kindness never fails! If he had not been merciful, we would have been destroyed. The LORD can always be trusted to show mercy each morning. Lamentations 3:19-22

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Go Now!

“Go now and remember I am sending you out as lambs among wolves.  Don’t take along any money, or a traveler’s bag, or even an extra pair of sandals.  And don’t stop to greet anyone on the road.  
Luke 10:3-4

Oh the faith of these 72!  The fear that must have rushed over them as they heard their master telling them to head out into the world where they would be like lambs among wolves.  Just imagine the conversation in their heads.  Wolves hunt lambs don’t they?  Wolves are wild, scary animals who are always looking for their next meal.  And what was that.........I can’t take anything with me?  How will I defend myself?  How will I eat, how will I survive?  He won’t even let me stop along the way.  Well, that shoots down my procrastinating and taking my sweet time.    

There were 36 teams of two sent out that day, to reach the multitudes.  They were people just like you and me.  They most likely had families they were leaving behind.  Some were leaving good jobs and their financial security.  They all had one goal in mind and that was to find more workers for the harvest and share the Good News.  

We too are asked to go out into the world filled with wolves.  God wants us to share His word with the world.  He delights when we share His stories and promises.  He calls us His lambs.........He is our shepherd watching over us keeping us safe and providing our every need.  When wolves approach we are to trust in Him.  We aren’t to take items to protect us, we aren’t supposed to fight back.  Jesus commands us to approach the wolves with the humility, love and gentleness of a lamb.  Oh and there is that issue about not stopping.  God doesn’t want us waisting any time.

The time is now to leave what you are doing and listen to our Shepherd's command.  Go now and share His stories!  Go now and tell someone about His love and promises!    

Friday, October 18, 2013

Hang On!

Do not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest if you do not give up. Galatians 6:9

This scripture is dear to my heart for many reasons, but mostly because God brings it to me about every other week in one form or another. Through devotionals, through friends, through the radio! I love how He works to meet me where I am! And I love that he knows the desire of my heart is to serve him, but sometimes I just get tired!

Have you ever ridden the spiritual roller coaster? Here’s what the ride looks like in my life...  One moment up, rising to the highest peak. As I’m teeter on the edge of the hilltop hands held high, praising comes so easy. Then wham! I’m plummeting downhill holding on for dear life begging for the ride to be over.  It’s then that I’m literally on my knees crying out for deliverance and to feel the peace and protection of my God! All at once I’m thrown into a loop-the-loop of doubt.   Thoughts enter my mind like these:  
“If I love and trust Jesus, then why am I a puddle on the floor?” 
“What in the world am I doing writing a devotional for others when I just picked myself up and wiped tears from my 
            snotty face."
“God, I just can’t do it anymore!” 
And the ride continues...

I am contemplating this roller coaster issue a lot these days. I wonder: Shouldn’t a Christian always be upbeat? Shouldn’t I always have the right words of encouragement and praise? If I’m trusting Jesus then when I break down something must be wrong with me, right?

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! I too often forget that though I am a spiritual person, I am also fully human. Emotions come and go throughout moments. Break downs happen. Times of laughter and ease ebb and flow. These moments do not define my relationship with Christ, they simply show that I am human! John 11:35 tells us that even Jesus wept. Mark 3:7 shows us that Jesus withdrew from the crowds. He was tired. 

Galatians 6:9 is direct from God’s word. It’s in the Bible because God knows that we too will grow faint. Our journey as Christians is difficult. Trials can wear us out. Our bodies get fatigued. Our minds just need rest. Tears flow from the deepest parts of our hearts. Weariness is a human issue. And long ago God gave us the perfect encouragement to stay the course: Do not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest if you do not give up.

In other words, when you want to unstrap the seatbelt, eject yourself from the ride, and call it quits, God says, “Hang on! I’ve got something great for you just up over the next loop-the-loop and highest hill! Rider, remain seated until this ride has come to a complete stop!”  At which point you will look back over the adventure and say, “It was so worth it!”

There are 2 songs that I just love. They encourage me to hang on and keep doing what God has called me to do. Give them a listen and they'll give you a lift!
     *You Deliver Me by Selah
     *Overcomer by Mandesa

Thursday, October 17, 2013

"I Never Knew You"

“Not all people who sound religious are really godly.  They may refer to me as ‘Lord,’ but they still won’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  The decisive issue is whether they obey my Father in heaven.  On judgment day many will tell me, ‘Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’  But, I will reply, ‘I never knew you.  Go away; the things you did were unauthorized.”
Matthew 7:21-23

Ugh!  I had this conversation with God about 4 years ago.  I kept arguing my case that I had been in several bible studies.  That I went to church most every Sunday.  We tithed with every paycheck.  I put my time in volunteering at church.  I loved helping and sharing His love with people.  We just kept going back to the same thing..........He would whisper in my ear, “Yes, but I never really knew you, you never spend time getting to know me, you haven’t given me full access to your life and through that you don’t really trusted me.”  That was a hard pill to swallow but the best thing that ever happened to me.  

To know about someone or something is to be aware through observation, or information.  I was always aware of God and I absolutely believed in Jesus Christ but that is pretty much where we ended.  I never knew God in the terms of having a relationship with Him.  This scripture clearly brought this to my attention.  If people could know all the facts about God but still not get into Heaven where did that leave me?  I was far from knowing a lot about God. I knew He created the world and did wonderful and marvelous things.  I understood that His love for me involved Him sacrificing His only son for me.  I knew that my sins were forgiven as soon as I asked and I knew that one day I would share eternity with Him......or would I?  Growing up I never was taught to know God on a personal level.  Yes, I was taught to pray but I was never shown a clear picture of what that even looked like. 

To develop a relationship with someone you have to meet with him or her regularly, whether in person, on the phone or through email, there is regular and consistent contact.  You have to spend time sharing and getting to know all about the person.  All of this makes you familiar with him or her.  I have a few close friends whom I know a lot about.  We have many inside jokes and stories that we share.  It took time developing these friendships.  We know what makes each other happy and we know what disappoints.  I have spent so much time with a few friends whom I recognize just by hearing her laugh, seeing her hand writing or smelling her “smell” (I know you know what I am talking about).  Better yet, my eyes could be closed, my nose pinched, and I would still know my best friend by the sound of her voice.  Yes, that is the meaning of knowing in the terms of a relationship........the way God wants to know us and the way we need to know God in order to share eternity with Him one day.  

How do we have a relationship with God?  A person who is not in the flesh, someone who we cannot touch or even hear audibly.  I believe everyone has a different way of getting to know God on a personal level.  I don’t think that my way is the only way......God is very creative and will help you find a way that works, you just have to be willing.  For me it took effort.  I chose to spend time in His word every day and sometimes that meant waking up at very early hours.  I knew I wanted a different life and I was willing to die to myself in order to live in His will.  I also had an amazing accountability partner, thanks Mary, you are truly a blessing from God.

There are many ways to get to know God but one thing I know for sure is we have to open the door.  He is knocking on the door of our hearts and until we agree to let him in there is nothing He can do.  We have to make a decision to give ourselves to God.  We have to be willing to face vulnerability as we hand over control and let God mold us and shape us and teach us and change us.  

How do we spend time with or talk to someone who isn’t there?  Yes, it may seem like an impossible task but I have learned through my relationship with Him that He is more reliable than any friend I have ever had and He is always accessible.  I don’t have to wait for God to get off work to talk to him or ask His advice.  He is always there.  His word is always available and my prayers can be spoken in one easy word, or through many, where ever I am in my day.   As I have spent time with God reading His word and studying His commands I have learned to recognize His voice.  Oh there are still those days when I question Him and there are even days that I don’t hear Him at all but that doesn’t keep me from going back for more.  He is always generous to share a word of confirmation and He is faithful to provide my needs.  Yes, I know God now.  Four years ago, I didn’t know His voice, I didn’t have any inside jokes with Him, I only knew He existed.  Today, I can confidently say I know God.......can you?

This post was in no way meant for anyone to question his or her faith......Oh who am I kidding.  Yes, this scripture is meant to make us all question our faith and our eternal security.  God gave us His word so that we would look at our lives and make sure we are where we should be (2 Tim 33:16-17).  No, He is not condemning us, God is giving us a chance to make things right.  He is patient and He knows our struggles and He understands the difficulty we face everyday.  So think of this scripture as a second chance to know your Lord.  If you already know him, that’s great!  If you aren’t sure, talk to Him about it, you will know His answer by hearing His voice.  If  you do not know God, make a decision to know Him today.  Find an accountability partner who feels the same yearning as you and help each other along.  Together, hear Him knock, and open the door to your heart.  It will change your life!!

If you do not know how or where to begin please share with us and if you don’t want it to be public email us at:  We love each and every one of you and it is our prayer that you make a decision to know God and we are committed to help in any way. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I Stand at the Door and Knock

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. 
Revelation 3:20

“Hi! How was your day?” (Silence)  “I love you!” (Silence)  “Can I help you?” (Silence) “I can see you’re hurting, and I want to help you.” (Silence and walks away) 

Are you starting to see a pattern here? It’s called the silent treatment. I don’t know if you’ve ever been the recipient of the silent treatment, but let me tell you that it is the most emotionally abusive thing one can do to another human being. It is basically saying, “I hear you, but you are are of absolutely no value to me. In my eyes you are as good as dead.” The silent treatment is a form of control. It is selfish, prideful, and oh so damaging. The silent treatment is given in order to shut off all growth in a relationship, no eye contact, no verbal response, no affection, no communication. The one initiating the silence wants what they want, and they will do anything to make you hurt enough to do things their way, right or wrong. The crazy thing is, in shutting someone out we only hurt ourselves. 

For the one who is receiving the silent treatment it is pure pain. They long to heal the situation. They want to love and open lines of communication and affection. 

As I contemplated the silent treatment, I envisioned Christ standing at the door to our hearts. He knocks and says, “I love you.” Then he waits. “I can see you’re hurting, and I want to help you.” Again he waits. “How was your day? I’m here to make it better.” Again he waits. 

Since the beginning of your life, Christ has been knocking on the door to your heart. He is the balm for your pain. He is the eraser to your past. He is the perfect love for your broken and lonely heart. He is Love and he is waiting to lavish himself upon you! He will continue knocking and waiting every day to be invited into your heart and given permission to change your life.

Are you giving him the silent treatment? Do you ignore his call because he will ask you to change and do things a better way? Are you turning from him because you’re still to prideful and want to handle things yourself? Are you ignoring him because you’d have to let someone in who would find out who you really are- and then love you anyway? Are you too selfish to actually take your eyes off yourself and see what he’s already done for you? Do you look at the Bible and then turn away as daily tasks call? 

Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your heart! If you have not given your life to Christ today is the day. He longs to love you! If you are already walking with him, he’s still knocking. He wants the relationship to go deeper. He wants your total heart surrendered. He’s longing to open communication directly to your soul. 

I would so cherish the time to pray with you about opening the door of your heart for the first time. Or perhaps we could pray about an area that Jesus longs to have access to in your life. Don’t give him the silent treatment any longer. He has already paid the price for your sin. We need not punish him any longer by ignoring his call. We no longer need to hurt ourselves by keeping him at bay. Turn, face him, and allow him to have relationship with you! Please share with us what God has put on your heart today!