Thursday, April 30, 2015

Are You Approachable?

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (‭1 John‬ ‭4‬:‭18‬ NIV)

A friend of mine had made a costly mistake. Yet none the less it was just that, a mistake. It wasn't sinful. It harmed no one but it was a mistake. She was so worried about how her husband would respond. My heart ached for her fear of telling him what she had done. It was then that I thought of this verse. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (‭1 John‬ ‭4‬:‭18‬ NIV)

God is a God of love. He disciplines us, yes. But his discipline draws us in to love him more deeply.  It never sends us running in fear or with our tail tucked between our legs. God doesn't shout at us, call us names or shake his head in disgust at the poor choice we made. He gently draws us in and slowly lets us unravel our mistakes with his tender love and guidance.

My friend's situation made me really pause and think about my approachability.  Does my husband know that I will listen to his mistakes and not be angry with him. Do my kids know that if they fail a test or strike out in the ballgame I will not be disappointed in them but rather will encourage and lead them to do better the next time. I wonder if my friends feel safe to tell me their mistakes so we can pray together and seek God's guidance and grace. How will I know how others feel about my acceptance and approachability? I'll have to ask. This will be tough. It will surely take a humble heart and a willingness to be changed.

How about you? Are you approachable?

Dear Lord,
Give me a heart that is humble. Help me to change where I am not approachable. Show me how to love more like you!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Take Them To Jesus

Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus.  Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, "We have found the Messiah" (which means "Christ").  Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus.  Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said, "Your name is Simon, son of John - but you will be called Cephas" (which means "Peter").
John 1:40-42

Andrew was first a disciple of John the baptist.  He was drawn in by John's wild teaching and his declaration of this Messiah who was to come and save everyone from sin.  One day as he was standing with some others, John declared, "Look! There is the Lamb of God!  When Andrew heard this he followed Jesus. (John 1:36-37)  John didn't have to do things to convince Andrew, he only spoke what was on his heart.  Andrew was drawn in by John's sincerity and his passion for this Messiah.  He wasn't forced to believe in the Messiah he chose to believe, and his belief came from one man who took the time to take him to Jesus.  In fact, Andrew was so convinced that he rushed to find his brother and brought him back to meet Jesus.  As Simon stood in front of Jesus he was immediately bonded with Him.  Jesus spoke to his heart and the rest was history.  

So often we get caught up in thinking it is our job to convince other's of Jesus Christ's existence.  We hold ourselves personally responsible to change people's hearts and we actually believe if we don't get them to change their ways that they will be lost.  This scripture is a reminder that we only need to live our lives out loud so that other's can see, giving them free choice to follow.  It isn't our responsibility to make people believe in God, or start up a relationship with Jesus.  Our task is to bring them to Jesus, just like the scriptures above.  Jesus will do the rest.  He will speak to their heart and He will perform His divine work in their lives.  

Friend, today if there is someone in your life that you are working over time with, trying to force God into his or her life, stop.  You are taking on a huge burden not meant for you.  You are just asked to live your life with God.  Share your God moments and your Jesus stories.  Live boldly with Jesus!  But remember, you can't make your friend choose what is right.  You can't force them to walk with Jesus, you can only bring them to Jesus, if they are willing, and then from there Jesus will take over.  

Dear God I hand over ___________________.  Help me to live my relationship with you out loud.  Give me boldness and confidence to stick you your commands and live like Jesus loving my friend who has difficulty believing in you.  Remind me that I can't, nor is it my job to, change my friend's heart.  Take this burden from me today and let me rest in Jesus' amazing power to touch his/her heart.  In Jesus' Name  Amen  

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Don't Let Busyness Keep You Away!

Spring is such a busy time of year, for me, almost worse than the holiday season. I want to clean out my house, freshen it up, and reorganize. Ballgames and practices consume evenings and Saturdays. End of the year papers and processes need to be completed at work. Summer plans need finalized. Gardens and the yard need cleaning, pruning, and preparation. It's just so busy!

Busyness is a tool of distraction by our enemy. Busyness keeps us from God as I recently realized. In all my busyness I've recently spent less time each day alone with God. Then, a sudden life storm blew in without warning. God felt so far away. At the end of the day, I was exhausted. I had spent so much energy trying to find my way back to God. I was scouring scripture, asking, and worrying. When I could have been safely resting in his arms to begin with that morning. 

For this reason, we must, especially on the busy days, take time to draw near to God. We are to remain in him, and we do that by reading his word, taking time out to listen to what he's telling us, and remembering his faithfulness. When we know a busy season, day, or even portion of a day is approaching, we must plan ahead. Not only in the events and tasks that need to be completed, but plan to make time for quiet moments with the Lord. 

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. John 15:4

Monday, April 27, 2015

Spring Cleaning

Spring calls for clean up.  In Indiana we have to take advantage of the warmer, sunny days to get our outside work caught up.  There is fertilizer to be laid down, edging, trimming, mowing, planting, mulching, and pruning.  As I was cleaning up my flower bed yesterday I was brought to the place in scripture were Jesus describes the body of Christ as a big grape vine.  In John 15 He states, 

"I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardner.  He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn't produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 
John 15:1-2

We all know why we cut off the branches that are dead.  It isn't hard to see that a branch is no longer producing fruit, it sticks out and is easily noticed, especially when there are no leaves flourishing.  If left unattended eventually the whole tree can be infected.  Those branches that do not produce must be removed.  This describes the people who aren't producing fruit for God.  The people who try to thwart God's plans and work against Him must be removed so as to not infect the whole body of believers.  They are "cut off" from God's life-giving power.  

The branches that do produce are cut back also.  This is where I have always had trouble in my garden.  I hate cutting off live parts of my bushes, especially those that flower.  I know that they will grow back, and that the purpose of doing so will allow them to grow bigger and produce more flowers, but I often have a hard time cutting back something that looks so good and that has been producing such wonderful results.  I believe God feels the same way when it is time to prune us back.  It isn't easy disciplining those we love, to see them sad, struggling, and suffering.  Sometimes we must be disciplined or undergo trials but always remember, God isn't pleased with the pain we endure but He is more concerned with the growth that comes from the pain.  He knows we will have difficult times during our personal pruning but the results will bring bigger faith, larger fruit and stronger branches.  He knows what is best for us, just like we know what is best for our garden.  But unlike me, God is willing to take risks, He is bold and confident in His plan to succeed.  He isn't afraid we won't bounce back from our pruning, He knows we will endure and grow bigger and better than before.  I think it's about time I trust in Him with not only my personal pruning but with my flower beds as well.

Dear God, thank you for spring.  Your promise of renewal and starting over and your reminder of how we fit into your life-giving vine.  As hard as it can be sometimes, please continue to prune me into who you dream for me to be.  Give me the strength to let you shape me and the ability for my faith to grow back even bigger than it was.  I want to please you by loving and obeying.  Give me opportunities to grow and serve produce much fruit on the vine of Life.
  In Jesus' Name  Amen  

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday Scripture

Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me. (‭Psalm‬ ‭30‬:‭2‬ NIV)

Friday, April 24, 2015


"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

For many this verse is familiar, and sometimes when something is familiar to us it loses its value, and we take it for granted. What I love is that God's word is alive and active. (Hebrews 4:12) His word can speak to us in different ways, though never changing the core of the message. 
Yesterday we had a speaker at school. The essence of his message was a challenge to do something everyday to make someone's life better.  I thought on this a lot throughout the day. What can I do to help others? What can I do to make someone else smile?  As the day ended, John 3:16 came to my heart. God's son was sacrificed for each of us when we didn't deserve it. We can do nothing to earn this gift. It was freely given for each of us. As I mulled the verse through my mind asking God to reveal what he wanted me to learn, the word "gave" just popped up in big letters!
The essence of love is 'giving'. God gave and he continues to give us good things. It doesn't matter so much what I give, but rather that I give! Serving one another is the gift of love... giving. Giving a smile, giving a hug, giving a gift of a service, giving a meal. Giving! Giving! Giving!
Our joy comes in giving! So, what can you give from your heart today? 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Get Out Of Bed!

But make sure that you don't get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God.  The night is about over, dawn is about to break.  Be up and awake to what God is doing!  God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed.  We can't afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight.  Get out of bed and get dressed!  Don't loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute.  Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about! 
Romans 13:11-14 Msg.

This scripture spoke loudly to me today.  Ever since we returned home from vacation about a month ago I have been struggling to wake up early for my quiet time.  Instead I wait for my kids to get on the bus and then I sit down with Him.  The problem with that is my dedication to waking up early for God had diminished.  I was slowly taking steps away from Him because my commitment was fading.  I felt horrible about it and every day my intentions were good but I couldn't overcome the temptation of my snooze button!  While I'm not proud of this, I am very thankful that God answers my prayers.  I have been asking Him to help me wake up and the last couple days He has, wide eyed before my alarm even goes off.  But this version of this scripture was perfect, and straight from Him.......' Be up and awake to what God is doing!'.......'Get out of bed and get dressed!'.......'be up and about'......yes He was loud and clear for me today :)  It's those little things that sometimes make me smile.  I'm just sorry I am sometimes too busy to notice.  Too tempted to sleep in and I miss out on some good stuff!  

Another thing I love is you will get something totally different from this scripture.  God can use it to speak something way different to you.  Share with us!  What is God speaking to your heart through this very descriptive warning?  Read it over and over, let it sink in and meditate on it throughout your day.  Chances are He has something very important for you ;)  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Who Am I?

It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭1‬:‭11-12‬ MSG)

Have you ever felt as though you've lost yourself? Have you questioned your identity and what you were to do and why you were placed on this earth? I have. About 3 years ago I looked in the mirror one day to see empty eyes looking back at me. The look scared me. It was hollow and lifeless. In the bustle of life, I had lost my life. I looked in the mirror and asked myself some tough questions. "What's your favorite color?" "Where would you go eat if you could choose a place to eat?" I know what you're thinking as you chuckle," Wow! Those were really tough questions," And I know that they seem simple, but to someone who's lost their identity they were extremely hard to answer. I knew my children's favorites, my husband' preferences, but I knew nothing of myself. And thus began a search to find myself. 
As I was reading scripture one day I read today's verse and realized that my identity wasn't in being a wife, a mom, an employee, or any task I did. My identity is rooted in Christ. He is my identity. I am a Christian, And in Him I find who I am. He pre-planned my life. He has a purpose for me and  best of all, He loves me relentlessly. 
So, if today you are feeling lost within your own skin, pick up your Bible and ask God to reveal himself and His purpose for your life. As you learn to walk and talk with Jesus you will find out who you are and what you are living for. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Pay No Attention!

"Listen now, you who know right from wrong, you who hold my teaching inside you: Pay no attention to insults, and when mocked don't let it get you down.  Those insults and mockeries are moth-eaten, from brains that are termite-ridden, But my setting-things-right lasts, my salvation goes on and on and on.
Isaiah 51:7-8 Msg.

Is there someone in your life who is just not nice?  Do you often deal with people who regularly put you down, insult you and mock you?  Let's face it there are mean people in this world!  Most of them are just out to make you miserable because they themselves are miserable.  I bet most of the time there isn't anything you have done to deserve their harsh ridicule.  We have talked often about how hurt people, hurt people, but today I want to remind you that the things people say, no matter how mean and hurtful they are, are just words.  Yes words sting, they can cause death and in many cases words destroy people's self esteem.  This scripture is reminding all who know God's character and hold His promises deep in their heart, that they should pay no attention to mean people.  Their words come from brains that are termite ridden, damaged and with missing pieces.  The people who are insulting you and mocking you don't understand how much they are really loved.  They most likely haven't excepted God's unconditional love and mercy in their own life and therefore cannot offer it to others. They haven't got God's word on their heart, or they have let the world in to destroy the things they once knew as truth.  And most importantly they don't realize that their fight is not with flesh but against the dark rulers of this world.  They direct their hurt and anger on people instead of directing it towards satan, the one who is always to blame.  Instead of armoring up for God's army they choose to join the enemy and begin using his tactics and weapons of war, mean words, lying, cheating, stealing, coercion, blaming, and the list goes on.  The next time you are hit with some unkind words remember that God doesn't want you fretting about those lies.  Instead, remember where they come from and stand tall against them.  Trust what you know about God's love for you and His promises of hope, forgiveness, and provision in your life.  God is there and will always have the last say.  He will defend you and set things right in His perfect time.  Don't give satan the satisfaction of disrupting your day.     

Monday, April 20, 2015

Be Prepared With God's Word!

Preach the word of God.  Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not.  Patiently correct, rebuke and encourage your people with good teaching.
2 Timothy 4:2

What do you do when a friend calls you up and tells you she needs prayer?  She may continue the conversation telling you her circumstance, complaining about this thing or crying over that.  The things she shares may be very serious and it is very important to listen patiently and take the time to be there for her.  Your heart may break for her and the hurt she is experiencing and at that moment you have a very big decision to make.  Do you join in and start badmouthing the person who hurt her?  Do you agree with her fears and join in with her insecurities.  Are you negative about any good that can come from her problems?  Do you get angry along with her?  Or do you blow it all off because you don't have time to listen or go the extra mile to help her in her distress?

Paul says in 2 Timothy to "Preach the word of God.  Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not.  Patiently correct, rebuke and encourage your people with good teaching."  The decision you have to make in this moment is, 'do I pray and ask God what to say, or do I just begin to speak'.  I admit and you can even ask my good friends, I'm definitely known to speak before I should or join in when I should be the one keeping thoughts and words on track.  But as the friend being called on it is our job to first listen with compassion and in all seriousness to our friend's needs.  Then we pray.  We search God's Words and let them take over before we say too much.  We know God's Word, hold it in in our heart and on our mind so that when opportunities arise we have the right Words to say.  We read the bible to understand God's view on these situations and we share that when the time is right.  Know God's word so that we can live God's word with others!! 

How much do you rely on God's word to help out a friend in need?  Do you send her scripture on a day you know she is struggling?  It is so easy to join in, and I do believe there are times to do so, but more often than not, God's word, straight from the bible is exactly what your friend needs in her moment of hurt and despair.  Count on God's word and His teachings to guide your conversations and your letters of encouragement.         

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday Scripture

Though the rain comes in torrents and the flood waters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won't collapse because it is built on bedrock.
Matthew 7:25

Saturday, April 18, 2015

God Sees the Heart!

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (‭1 Samuel‬ ‭16‬:‭7‬ NIV)

This is one of my GFF's, Cheryl. Our husbands have a passion for motorcycle riding. She and I own the leather, the chaps, boots. bandanas and all the Harley garb! It's so much fun to get dressed up and hit the road. There is s freedom in riding as we take in God's handiwork. At the same time, something changes when we get all dressed to ride. The change isn't in us, it's in others who see us. For some reason the leather gives off a persona of a hard, ungodly life. We often catch others sneaking a double-take as we walk or ride by. Smiles from others don't readily come as we enter restaurants. This saddens my heart a bit but also presents a challenge at the same time... It challenges me to let my light shine more brightly than ever! It also reminds me not to judge by the outer appearance. There's always a story behind the scenes. For example, leather is warm and protective.  Black draws warmth. Both things you learn after riding awhile! 

Cheryl and I both know whose we are so we don't change when the leather goes on. We still strive to abide in our Lord. We choose to speak kindly and smile a lot! Our clothes don't define us. 
Do you ever decide a person's heart or worth based on their appearance? 

What about the guy at your workplace that is sleeved out in tattoos? Do you know his story or did you make a decision about him without asking? The kid who's all dressed in black or the lady whose clothes are tattered, do you give them a chance to show you their heart? 

Dear Lord,
Thank you that you see into our hearts to the real us. Help us to offer this same love and grace to others despite their outside appearance. Amen

Friday, April 17, 2015

For The Good Of Others

Each one, as a good manager of God's different gifts, must use for the good of others the special gift he has received from God.
1 Peter 4:10

What special gift has God given you?  Be very honest, don't say you don't have a gift, don't pretend you don't know what you are good at or what you like to do.  God has given everyone special gifts for  building up His church.  I am not asking what gifts your best friend, spouse, or children have, I want to know what you have been given.  Yes it is easy to see everyone around us and assume we know why God put them on this earth, but why are you here?  What role do you play in God's family?  This is not the time to be humble and shy away, instead, this is your chance to stand up proudly and share something about yourself without being a show off ;) 

Friends, it's time we claim the role we have been given, and use that position to better the community, especially the family of God.  Be bold!  Don't be afraid to shout out your gifts confidently.  Share with others what you are here to do and claim your rightful place in the body of Christ!  Are you a good cook?  Then cook for the good of others!  Are you a good teacher?  Then teach for the good of others!  Are you an encourager like me?  Then get out there and start encouraging for the good of others!  Are you compassionate and good at listening?  Then be there, loving and listening, for the good of others!  

All of our gifts have been handed out specifically for us.  God has us where He wants us to get the most use out of those gifts.  We all need each other to accomplish this life on earth and we need to share our gifts boldly for the good of all of our brothers and sisters in Christ as well as the rest of the world.  Stop being shy or pretending you don't know what you are here to do!  Thank God for the gifts you have and start using them today!

Dear God, 
thank you for the gifts you have given me.  
Please help me to use them for the good of others.....Amen 

We would love to hear from you!  Please leave a comment or email us your special gifts that God has given you.  Don't be shy!  Be confident in who you are in Christ.  Proudly proclaim your role in this big, beautiful body of Christ!

Thursday, April 16, 2015


"For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland." Isaiah 43:19

One day last week I was so pleasantly surprised to see my daffodils blooming! I had been watching them and the day prior the buds were so tight! I expected the blooms to arrive in a few days, but to my surprise, the beautiful yellow blooms showed up the very next day. Although I was surprised, God wasn't. He'd been watching those flowers, working through the sun, the soil, and the rain in preparation for the blossoming of those beauties! 

I began thinking about how God works.... continually. He's doing things even when we don't see it. Seeds are germinating and taking root below the soil. Though we can't see it, it's happening. In comparison, God is also working within us and also within the hearts and minds of our loved ones. We can't always see what's going on, but things are changing, being prepared, and rising to the surface ready to blossom at any moment. 

Storms above the surface don't always reflect what's happening below the soil. Isn't it the rains of the storm that bring new life? So why, when storms brew in our lives do we feel that things are falling apart rather than falling in place?

Though we feel that situations aren't moving quickly enough, trials are lingering too long, hard hearts aren't changing yet, or the right job hasn't been revealed, we must trust that God is working. Today's scripture says, "For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland." Keep your eyes open. Watch for God's hand in your life. Get to know him through scripture so that you recognize his workmanship. Don't be surprised when God answers your prayer! It may come in a totally different way than you expected, but it will come because He is already making the preparations. 

Dear Lord,
We are so thankful that you are faithful to finish what you've started. We are thankful that you have a greater plan and know details we can't even perceive. We lay our hearts before you in expectation that you are working for our good. Praise to your name! Amen

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Don't Judge!

So don't make judgements about anyone ahead of time - before the Lord returns.  For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives.  Then God will give each one whatever praise is due.
1 Corinthians 4:5

It is so tempting to judge others!  So often we are doing it without saying a word, the way we look at someone, or avoid someone.  The way we talk about this or that person like we are above them or how we just can't understand how he or she could do something like that.  On thing I have learned through fostering is that I am no doubt going to run into a parent who I just don't understand.  It breaks my heart to hear the stories from friends and see with my own eyes the hurt and destruction parents can cause.  But judging them is not my job.  Heartbroken...yes, playing as if I am better than them and treating them without the same love I would offer my best friend...God says no.  I want to say no and I try my hardest to follow but inevitably judgement will slip out from time to time.  It isn't easy holding back our thoughts about a person who is not acting as they should, but one thing I have learned in this long process is that when someone is doing something I don't think is right it is most likely because he or she is sick or lost.  Judging this is wrong because most likely they are so lost they don't know right from wrong and it is never our job to decide.  We have our own problems, although they may be invisible to us or seem small compared to many, God says sin is sin and the gossip I just spewed from my mouth or the negative thoughts I had about the lady in the checkout line, those are all no different than a big sin like abandon my children or getting drunk every night.  

We can all have too much confidence in ourselves and hold private motives that we may not even recognize.  But be sure that God will bring those to the surface someday soon.  So today I challenge you all to think God before you think or act on your own.  Stop and remember the mercies that have been handed to you over the years.  The things you have been forgiven for and the hurt you have caused.  Think about the the mistakes you have made yourselves, and in your moment of wanting to judge, instead thank God for being your only judge.  Praise God for the forgiveness He offers you and and the unconditional love that you are given, and rely on Him to take those judgmental thoughts from you.  We will never be perfect but we can always strive to be.  And remember no-one will ever be perfect not the waitress in the restaurant, not the pastor in your church, not the parent down the road, not the teacher in your school, not the police officer in your community, not the friend sitting next to you.........No-one!  

Dear God, help me with this topic today.  It is usually never my intention to judge someone, but in talking with someone, or in my thoughts, I sometimes end up doing so.  I don't want to think I am better than others and I don't want to hurt you by hurting your children.  Show me how to confront sin without judging the person who is sinning.  Show me how to love like you, unconditionally.  Show me where I fault in this area, expose my darkest secrets and private motives so that I can work on myself instead of standing back judging where everyone else has gone wrong.   I thank you for your forgiveness and mercy!!  Let your Spirit dwell in me and offer that same forgiveness and mercy and patience to others.  In Jesus' Name   Amen  

Monday, April 13, 2015

Get To It!

God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self discipline.
Timothy 1:7

As yesterday's scripture was aimed at encouraging your dreams, today's is a continuation of that encouragement.  I know that many, if not all of you, have one dream or another that lies in the back of your mind just itching for the right time to develop and mature.  I myself have a dream that I continuously think of, wishing for the right time to begin, or waiting on the confidence to get moving.  I won't sit here and tell you to start today but I want you to evaluate why you haven't begun.  It may just be God's timing and we all know that waiting on Him is so very important.  But if God has already spoken to you time and again.  If He has given you encouragement and opened doors of opportunity, but you are still dreaming, maybe it is fear holding you back.    

God didn't make us to be scared to try new things.  He gives us confidence and strength to be extraordinary in an ordinary world.  His love should be enough to send us to the highest mountains and the craziest places because in Him we are strong and confident.  We shouldn't worry what others will say.  In Him we don't fear rejection or failure, but we embrace His power that surges through our body.  If our dreams never take flight, if we never get them off the ground, then how will we ever experience how great God's work in us can truly be?  That power gives us confidence and brings wisdom and self discipline in an unfamiliar place, but a freedom and newfound faith that you don't want to miss out on!  We are able to do the impossible with God's help, but so many of us are too scared to step out, scared to fail and scared of the big task and work at hand.   Stand in awe of the power of Jesus Christ and of the things possible through Him!  Stop fearing the unknown and step out to pursue the dreams that He has laid on your heart.  Stop talking and wishing but make your dreams reality!  We will be praying for you ;) 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Have a Dream?

“Dreaming instead of doing is foolishness, and there is ruin in a flood of empty words.” (Ecclesiastes 5:7b TLB)

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Out Of Sight Out Of Mind

For the Lord God is our sun and our shield.  He gives us grace and glory.  The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.
Psalm 84:11

The other day as I was driving through the wet, rainy weather I looked up at the sky and remembered that above all those clouds the sun was still shining.  You may think I'm crazy for getting such a big kick out of this fact but not too long ago, as I was flying, we broke through the clouds and for the first time realized that the sun still shines even when it is cloudy.  I know a first grader probably knows this fact, and it's not necessarily that I didn't know it, I just never thought about it long enough.  So often if something is out of my sight it is out of my mind ;)  Of course all of this thinking of the sun that was just a cloud cover away got me thinking of God.  I took note of a few things.  

1.)  God is never not there!  Even when things are looking cloudy in our life He is always right there with us.  His beauty and power are still shining all around us even when we feel like the darkness is closing in on us.  God is always doing His best for us even when it doesn't always feel like it.  He is working...........shining for us, because He loves us.  

2.)  When God is not in my visual He is often not on my mind.......and admitting that makes me sad.  If I am not seeing God's work in my day through the beauty of nature, the blessings of children, birds, friends, a job, a warm house and the million other things He provides then I am most likely not thinking of Him.  I am going through my day, doing my thing, and forgetting to let Him lead.  And I'm gonna take a wild guess and say that it's the same with you too.  Out of sight, out of mind.......if we don't acknowledge God in our everyday then chances are we aren't thinking of Him throughout our day.  Which is why it is so important that we surround ourselves with God.  We have to train our brains to notice the details in life.  Put God in our visual so He will be on our mind.

Friends, even when it is cloudy we need to be able to find God.  We have to trust that He is there, still working on our behalf.  We have to look for Him on purpose, find Him in our everyday activities and keep Him on our minds.  It is the only way we can cope on those really cloudy days.  

Friday, April 10, 2015

His Word is Enough

Today is simply a chapter from Psalms. The Here is nothing to add or explain. His word is enough!

 Praise the Lord. I will extol the Lord with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly. Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them. Glorious and majestic are his deeds, and his righteousness endures forever. He has caused his wonders to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and compassionate. He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever. He has shown his people the power of his works, giving them the lands of other nations. The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy. They are established for ever and ever, enacted in faithfulness and uprightness. He provided redemption for his people; he ordained his covenant forever— holy and awesome is his name. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise. (‭Psalm‬ ‭111‬:‭1-10‬ NIV)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Season's Of Change

If you carefully obey all the commands I am giving you today, and if you love the Lord your God and serve him with all your heart and soul, then he will send the rains in their proper seasons - the early and late rains - so you can bring in your harvests of grain, new wine, and olive oil.
Deuteronomy 11:13-14

I am transitioning out of one season to the next, and although this is true in nature as I see signs of spring all around me, I also see a big change in my family and personal life, as well.  We all have these moments, some call them the empty nest stage, the honeymoon phase, or the sow your wild oats phase, just to name a few.  Let's face it, our lives are filled with different stages as the things around us and within us start to change.  Nothing in this world is unchanging, accept for our God.  

This week I started noticing change within my family and home.  The changes have left me with more time alone, something a stay at home mom does not least this one!!  So as you can imagine I began feeling a little down, and somewhat sorry for myself, missing what used to be and feeling sure that this new normal was going to be a bad thing.  My kids are growing way too fast and the foster children I began to get so used to having around have all left.  Instead of embracing my new season of life I immediately started to fight it.  I was getting a bad attitude and thankfully I saw my God First Friends last night!!  To me my issue was real and it bothered me and of course I thought my world was crashing, I couldn't handle what I imagined was change I didn't need in my life.  As I described this change that I was struggling with I looked at one of the girls and saw the words season come from her lips, I can't even tell you it I heard the word or anything else anyone said accept for that 6 letter word.  Honestly, she probably doesn't even know who she was or even remember saying anything it was that was God.  She was right, God was right!  This too was just a change in an ever changing world that I needed to embrace because if I am trusting God then I would know that He knows what I need and when I need it.  

The scripture above, although talking about God providing wet and dry seasons for crops, spoke to my heart.  "He will send the rains in their proper seasons", the rain being the change in my life, God will send me change at just the right time.  He knows what I need when I need it and if it's quiet at home, and I am alone, then it's my job to find out what He wants from me during this time.  It is my job to draw closer to Him in this new season and make the best of it.  What I see as nothing but loneliness could be Him calling me to Him or providing me more time to write or reach out to others.  Whatever His plan, although I may never know it exactly, I can be sure that it is for the best, and if all I do is complain about it and see the things I don't like about it then I will never be able to see the good in it.  

Dear God, thank you for providing the change I need to live in Your will.  I may never understand how You work or what Your plan is for me but You have proven Yourself time and again that You can be trusted.  I know that you are what's best for my life and I love You so much!  Help me to obey Your will for me and to acknowledge when change is from You.  Speak to me, lead me, show me where to go from here.  What are you asking of this new season of my life?  Amen            

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


I don't know how it happens, but I can put a pair of earbuds in my drawer or on the nightstand and the next time I look they are tangled. Not just a small knot, mind you, but tangled, one twist and turn after another. As I start untwisting the knots and un-messing the mess,  find yet another small knot in the cord. One mess intersects with another and another. Sometimes I wonder is it worth it to keep untangling the mess or should I just throw the whole balled up mess out and start over. Then, I untangle a knot and I'm encouraged and plod on! Until at last, the earbuds are totally untangled! Yes!

I'm finding life to be much the same. It takes us a long time to get so bent out of shape, relational knots intertwined, and lies woven into the mess. And we didn't even see it coming! Until we realize we are one knotted, messed up mess. Then we find God at a deeper level or maybe for the first time. He begins unwinding the knots and we feel free! Only to take a small reprieve and have him begin on the next set of knots and tangles. He is always working for our benefit. He is always seeking to dispel the lies of the enemy. He yearns to make our relationships healthy and give our hearts freedom. It takes time and it gets tiresome, but he never gives up, therefore, we never give up!

Today this verse spurs me on to allow God to continue "unmessing" my life. Let it spur you to carry on too! Let him untangle your life to total freedom- one knot at a time!

"May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance." 2 Thess. 3:5

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Everyone Benefits!

The rain pours down from the clouds and everyone benefits.
Job 36:28

In context this scripture is found in Job where his friend, Elihu, is speaking to him about God's mighty power.  At first glance, of this scripture, it means nothing more than express God's amazing ability to provide rain when we need it and therefore implies that God is the source of all things.  Simple and clear as that may be, my mind went deeper on one particular evening, which brings me to this blog.  

So many christian songs these days speak of rain or storms being a part of our life.  In these songs the rain implies something bad, or a difficulty that one is experiencing.  For example, Mercy Me has a song called Bring the Rain.  In this song the singer expresses that through all of life's hard times he has found God to be faithful and trusts that whatever it takes to draw him nearer to Jesus, he is willing to undergo........"Bring me anything that brings You glory".  Casting Crowns has a song titled, Praise You In This Storm that bravely states no matter what this singer goes through He will praise God and trust Him with his life and problems............"But once again I say amen and it's still raining".  Sing In The Rain by Moriah Peters is one you will find on my playlist and she sings of not letting life's distractions and tough situations bring her down but instead dancing through those rough times trusting God to pull her through.........."So when the storm doesn't go away, I have decided to sing in the rain".  

So where am I going with all of this?  Job 36:28 states that the rain pours down from the clouds and everyone benefits..........did you catch that?..........EVERYONE BENEFITS.  Let's stop thinking of this rain as just nourishment and water for the fields and instead think of it in terms of our everyday problems, big or small........EVERYONE BENEFITS!  Are you following me yet?  When we go through hard times, it is possible that everyone can benefit.  No, you may never see this good news in the middle of a storm, but look back at storms past, do you see where many benefited from life's trial?  Chances are you can list one or several times when you yourself have come out of a "light rain" or even a "storm" in better shape than when it appeared in your life.  Talk to many people who have gone through something tragic and life altering and if they put their trust in Jesus they can tell you with a smile on their face that good came from their suffering.  THE RAIN POURS DOWN AND EVERYONE BENEFITS!  It certainly puts a smile on my face :) 

Dear friend if you are going through a storm take comfort in these words found in Job.  God is with you and He loves you.  He wants nothing more than the best for you and sometimes to make the best happen we have to endure some pruning and suffering.  Don't let your storms hold you hostage, don't stop moving forward and instead dance in the rain, praise in the rain and if the rain is what it takes to complete you then ask God to bring the rain!                

Monday, April 6, 2015

Few Words

Today I have few words on my heart- something that doesn't happen very often. I woke up without a care or endless list of tasks running through my mind. I had no sense of urgency to get up and join the busy world around me. I just woke up to thoughts of Christ crucified and risen. As I thought about what I might blog, all that came to my mind was the words to Phillip's Craig and Dean's song- Let My Words Be Few. I love that my heart can speak with few words. That I don't have to be polished and poised before God, but that I can simply sit in his presence. I can stand in awe of His gift of love and say absolutely nothing!

You are God in Heaven
And here am I on earth
So I'll let my words be few
Jesus, I am so in love with You
And I'll stand in awe of You, Jesus
Yes, I'll stand in awe of You
And I'll let my words be few
Jesus, I am so in love with You
The simplest of all love songs
I want to bring to You
So I'll let my words be few
Jesus, I am so in love with You

Saturday, April 4, 2015

My Easter Prayer

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.
Psalm 51:12

Dear Father, as I celebrate your love for me, this weekend, I can't praise you enough for giving me this second chance through Your Son, Jesus Christ.  I can live forever in Your paradise because Jesus died a horrible death for me!  I selfishly forget this fact from time to time when I am consumed by my own problems and sin.  There are days I try to manage on my own and fix things in my own strength. Forgive me for these days when I ignore the salvation I was selflessly given.  In my ugliness you sent Your only Son to die for me!  It was me who sent Jesus along that painful path of mockery, physical abuse and embarrassing pain!  All because You love me in a way that I will never totally understand this side of heaven.  Father, don't ever let me forget the real meaning of Easter weekend.  Don't let me get carried away with the commercialization of this holiday, the bunnies, egg hunts and the candy, but to feel the deep joy that comes from knowing what Easter is really about.  Restore to me the joy that comes from your power to raise Jesus from the dead.  My salvation is mine for eternity, something I did not earn and I cannot lose!  I am safe and loved by You.  Oh how I wish I could repay You for all You have done for me.  Our relationship is all You ask of me and so I freely give my life to You as a living sacrifice for the great and wonderful things You have done and are still to do for me.  Give me the strength to recognize the days when I try to go alone and never let me brush aside the miracle of Easter.  Make me willing to obey you in every aspect of my life.  Amen and Amen! 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

A Weak Grip

But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip.
Acts 2:24

As Good Friday quickly approaches we are reminded of the great miracle of Easter.  I try to imagine being Jesus' follower and close friend, watching Him suffer in a manner so unimaginable.  Knowing what I knew about Him, his abundant kindness, power and gentleness, how could anyone treat him as a criminal?  And not just any criminal, the worst of the worst.......he was flogged, mocked, spit on and tortured!  This beautiful, loving man was misunderstood!  I would cry out for my friend and fall to my knees in hurt and despair, almost feeling His pain all while grieving the loss of my friend.  But, praise God the story does not end in death and sadness because God 'released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life' and my favorite part..........."FOR DEATH COULD NOT KEEP HIM IN ITS GRIP!!

I imagine this picture........satan and a fiery hell trying to hold on to Jesus with all its strength but one word from God is all it would take to release Jesus.  The power in One word, One look, One command.  Our God, our Father, is this Almighty Power.  He is the author of this master plan to save all humans.  He devised a plan so great and mysterious so without a doubt we would know that we are saved from sin.  Had Jesus stayed dead there would be nothing to celebrate, no proof of God's power over the world.  Nothing would separate our God from the other gods accept this one truth,  Jesus Lives!!  Everything Jesus said came true and He can be trusted!  He is alive and with us at all times!  We too will conquer death and satan has no power over us, his grip on us is weak!  

If you feel right now as though you are being held down tightly by satan declare this scripture in your life.  Jesus died so that you could live!  Satan has no power over you when you trust in Jesus.  Believe Good Friday happened just for you so that you could overcome satan's grip!!  Friend, you are free and powerful today!!  Celebrate Jesus!  He is alive!!   

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Press On To Know Him

Oh, that we would know the Lord!  Let us press on to know him.  He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.
Hosea 6:3

As spring approaches we see signs of new life.  We anticipate the warm sunshine on our face and the light breeze blowing in fresh scents of spring.  The ground stays soggy as rain is only but a day away.  Let's face it, if you are a "normal" person living in Indiana, by this time every year, you are itching for spring.  From the first signs of perennials peeping out of the ground to the rainfall that seems never ending at times......spring is a season of change, getting the ground ready for planting and making things brighter after a long, gloomy winter.  Just like we can count on this shift in seasons we can count on God to respond to our every need.  In fact, this change in weather is His response to our needs!  God can be counted on.  Getting to know God is the best choice anyone can make for him or herself.  But making that initial decision can be scary and uncomfortable.  Making new choices based on your new beliefs can leave you vulnerable to other's attacks.  Let's face it, it isn't a comfortable place to be in, but the scripture above reminds us that our relationship with Jesus Christ, and knowing God on a personal level will bring security in an unsafe world.  As surely as we know that rain is coming in the spring or that the sun is rising at dawn, we can count on God being there for us and with us.  We can put all our eggs in this one basket........our relationship, knowing will bring us the response we are looking for!  

Dear God, as sure as I am of the coming of spring, I trust you to be my best friend and provider of all my needs.  Thank you for the beautiful spring that is heading my way and for being my never changing hope.  Keep me grounded in your ways and lead me to be better today than I was yesterday.  Teach me all about you so that I can know you and obey all your commands.  
In Jesus' Name, I love you....Amen