Saturday, December 17, 2016

When Does Life Matter?

The last couple of weeks I have been in a pondering mood…maybe it is just that time of year but my soul has been deeply troubled.  The summer and fall were filled with stress and conflict with the upcoming election.  I think it began then.  You see the main issue of the election for me was that of life.   It wasn’t a political issue because it is personal to me. I was to be aborted…for the health of my mother.   My mother had spent a great deal of her young life in a sanatorium for those infected with TB.  She had lost a husband and a baby to this dreaded disease but it was “arrested” [their term since it is never cured] and could now enter life again.  She married my father and was told to not get pregnant. She did, however, not long after she married.  After having lost one child she was being told she would have to abort the second one for her own health.  She refused and I was born.  (My mother lived for another 40 years after my birth.)  So, this abortion thing is personal to me.  But this writing is not so much about abortion but to consider when life begins to matter.

January 22, 1973 is a day that changed our country forever. Thanks to women like Betty Freidan and Gloria Steinem, children were relabeled as distractions rather than blessings.  Children after all were the reason women were not achieving all they could. If we could get rid of this distraction, life would be wonderful.  So in 1973, the Supreme Court decided that not allowing the aborting of a baby for any reason was unconstitutional. The ruling was termed Roe vs. Wade. Women were now free to be all that they could be!  No longer would they have back ally abortions…it was legal now to rid yourself of this distraction.  Fast forward several years…women were beginning to feel guilt from these actions.  It wasn’t as easy as they thought.  Depression grew and the freedom they were promised was fleeting by the knowledge of what they had done.  We had to do something to abate these feelings so what we did is redefine when life begins.

When I was in college no one ever questioned when life began.  We had studied basic biology and knew when it began. But now, to soothe the consciences of those who choose to rid themselves of a baby, many tried to justify the act by questioning the beginning of life.  They did this by declaring “It wasn’t really a baby yet…it was a fetus.” Somehow making it clinical would help and we could justify our guilt.

But this issue goes much further than aborting babies in the womb. Since that day in January 1973… murders have increased in our country.  There is seldom a day that goes by that my news app doesn’t mention yet another murder in the capital city!  Unthinkably, we see mothers and fathers killing their own children. Recently, one of the most heinous instances was a mother killing her child to get back at the father for an indiscretion.  She filmed the murder to show him and felt justified.  We are seeing teens as young as 12 killing other teens without remorse.  Why? I have pondered this and came to this conclusion: Could it be that if life doesn’t matter at the start it never really matters?

You see that is the way sin goes…it never takes you where you thought you were going to end up.  Society thought, out of sight (or womb) out of mind but the reality is that if life doesn’t matter in the womb, when does it matter?  At one?  At twelve? At 93?  If it doesn’t matter at the start, sub-consciously, does it ever matter?

It happens on the ending side, as well as our elderly are thrown aside instead of being honored because they are no longer useful to society. They are also considered distractions and it costs too much to maintain a distraction.

Recently, I visited two graveyards.  One was from a town that doesn’t exist any more and the other was the graveyard at my husband’s childhood church. The first was on a hike with my children. We walked around this neglected graveyard of a town long since gone and I was stunned as I read the headstones.  One hit me especially hard:  Emily Rose born June 18, 1883, died June 22, 1883.  Forever, memorialized even though her life lasted only 2 days.  The stone stared up at me screaming out…Emily Rose was alive and her life was important to someone.  She existed.  I looked at all the other grave markers and realized even though I never knew these people, there was a connection with them, I couldn’t deny.  They had lived.  They were.  The grave markers are there to prove it.

The other graveyard was a showing of family heritage. It showed that there were those who came before us with their stories and their trials.  They mattered. Their lives were important. We learned valuable lessons from them.

We lost so much when life became disposable. Life means something to God…heritage means so much to God.  Any bible student will tell you that.  Read Matthew 1. Read the numerous “begats” throughout the Bible and we clearly see it matters.  God knows us while we are in our mother’s wombs.  He created each of us for a purpose and not a single one of us is a distraction to Him!

So as we argue whether black lives matter, white lives matter, blue lives matter…let’s go back to the beginning…when life begins determines what lives matter.  

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Small Stuff Matters!

Our world says, "Go big or go home!" If what we do isn't large or before thousands we tend to think it is not worth much! Last week I went to the funeral of a great lady. I sat and listened to her accolades and left feeling worthless in my own spiritual life wondering if I would ever do as much for the kingdom as she did! I saw our pastor at the grocery store that week and told him what a wonderful job he did and I added, "boy, do I feel guilty because I will never measure up!" He looked at me and with great wisdom said something like this, "She did small things consistently for a very long time." Wow! He was right! She was in her mid-eighties. She never spoke to a stadium of people or did any of the things the world says you must do to be valuable...she was consistent in doing daily what God led her to do and it added up! Believer, are you not doing what God wants because you are comparing yourself to someone with a bigger stage? Stop! I found a scripture this morning that puts things in perspective: "Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin!" Zech. 4:10 We each have a purpose or as Hebrews says, our own race to run...don't think the small stuff doesn't it consistently and for a long time and others will notice!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Follow up on massage!

You might remember I spoke about a deep tissue massage I had a couple of weeks ago.  Today I went back for my 2nd and it wasn't as bad as the first...I had done all the things she said and my muscles were much less tense...I still have some issues but it is better.  When I left I made another appointment because I know if I don't, I am going to get back into the same shape I was in before.  It is that way with our Christian is not a "one time fixes everything" life! If we treat it like that then we will be faced with deep pain that was not necessary.  If I keep a regular schedule of taking care of my body my body will work better.  If I take care of my spiritual life, that also will work better.

It might have been a long time since you met with God...He loves you and wants you to be healthy.  If meeting with Him cause you some personal pain then it is what He needs to work out of your life so you can be better...but it is not a one time thing.  Continue to meet with Him, daily.  Pray, read His word and depend on Him.  It will keep you strong and feeling great.  Thanks, Kristen for reminding me of what I need to do!

Monday, September 19, 2016


Here is a verse that goes against contemporary thinking: "Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" Job 2:10b As I read that this morning, I think often of how many times I rejoice in the blessings that God gives me yet wonder where He is when things go wrong. The biggest misconception we have in the church is that if you are a Christian everything will always go "your way" and you will not have trouble. The fact is, nothing could be farther from the truth. We have an enemy who wants to destroy us and times of testing our faith will come. Jesus said while He still walked the earth, "In this world, you will have trouble...but be of good cheer I have overcome the world." John 16:33 Today, believer, perhaps it seems like your world is falling apart and that God has deserted you...He has not. He will never leave you or forsake you. Our good blessings are not an indication of God's presence...His peace in the middle of trouble is. In all things give thanks and you will be surprised at the calm that will come over you.

Saturday, September 17, 2016


Yesterday I redeemed a gift certificate for a deep tissue massage. Do not imagine the relaxing wonderful massage that you see on commercials. This was brutal. I had not had one in a couple of years and my muscles were like concrete. I am not a violent person, but if my face had not been secured in a tiny round hole on the massage table, I think I would have slapped the sweet girl doing what I asked her to do! At one point she asked me if it hurt too much and I said yes but keep it going because I know I will feel better she did! You know it is the same way with God's Word...we tell Him we want to get better and that He can break us but then the pain comes and we want to slap somebody! We want to justify why we don't need that and often we just want the pain to stop. The result is: We don't get better! Our hearts are still like concrete! Today, I am deep in writing for a series I will be doing in October on "How to Prepare Ourselves for Prayer." These lessons are wrecking me in every conceivable place! When that happens, I know it is from God. I know when this is finished, I will be stronger, more passionate, more in tune with His will but boy it is painful right now. After my massage (first of two because I was so bad off!) the therapist told me to drink lots of water, which will help my muscles to relax. Jesus is our living water and drinking deeply from His well will help the lessons God is teaching, to sink in deeply so we can relax in His truth. Today consider when was the last time you were wrecked by God's Word? Don't wait too long.

Friday, September 9, 2016

The B-I-B-L-E That's the Book for Me!

In Nehemiah 8, the wall was built and all the people in Jerusalem came together to worship the Lord. The priest Ezra read from the Book of the Law of Moses. (The Torah) They stood from daybreak until noon as Ezra read and listened attentively. That in itself is amazing but what happens next is what is missing today. As the people heard the Word of God they began weeping over their sin... In our country there has been a controversy the past two weeks about using the Bible with unbelievers...some pastors are saying that it might turn the lost away from God and might not be understandable to them. I cannot say how very wrong this kind of thinking is. If we don't have the Word of God to guide us, then what we have is merely man's opinion of what is right. These people in Jerusalem merely heard God's word read and repented...then Nehemiah said, "Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." 8:10 A verse later says, "Then all the people went to eat and drink...because they now understood the words that had been made known to them." 12 When we try to find a "better way" to reach the lost rather than what God has said, we are making disciples of ourselves not disciples of Jesus. Are there parts of the Bible that at first are hard to understand...yes! But when the Holy Spirit comes, He gives us understanding. Today, believer, don't fall for the pop culture that says the Bible is not necessary...the words within it have the only defensive weapon against the enemy we have. Jesus Himself used scripture to fight with satan in the desert. If we listen long enough, we will understand and have joy!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Get it Done!

I find it cool that on Labor Day I would start the book of Nehemiah in my reading. There was a job that needed to be done and Nehemiah's heart was set on doing it but he couldn't do it alone. He asked God for direction and for God's favor first and foremost! After receiving God's wisdom, there were 8 questions in chapter 2 that Nehemiah needed to answer to get the task done. I believe these questions can help us accomplish our tasks, as well. 
1. What is it that you want?  
2. Why do you want it? 
3. When? Set a time to get it done. 
4. What will you need? 
5. What needs to be done...survey the situation. 
6. Who will help you? 
7. Do you believe it can be done? 
8. Will you give the glory to God? 
Of course there are elaborations on these but if we apply these principles in whatever God has called us to do, we will find that the work will progress and be successful. Happy Labor Day, friends.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Beauty from Ashes

There is one scripture that breaks my heart each time I read it. It is found in Ezra 3:11-13. The people of God were being released from Babylon to return to Jerusalem. There had been 70+/- years since there had been worship there so one of the first things they tried to do was rebuild the temple which had been destroyed. They started with the foundation. The younger ones shouted for joy as they looked upon the new foundation then we read, "But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid." (12) Solomon's great temple would never again be the same and it was sad to those who remembered. The rebellion that eventually caused the captivity had left it in shambles. This tenders my heart because those of us who have allowed the enemy to "destroy" our temple by sin can still remember what it was like "before." Yes, and hallelujah Christ comes and rebuilds us and makes us whole, but sometimes in our minds, we wonder what it would have been like had I just listened and obeyed. Our lives will never be the same either but God will take our shambles and our destruction to remind others that God does indeed have a plan for us...and if that plan gets side-tracked He is ready and willing to start again. Some of you need to build the foundation again but this time upon solid obedience and dependence upon Him.It is not too it. Today, don't get bogged down by what might have been but trust God to use what you offer Him as a sweet fragrance of repentance and commitment.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Remnant

My reading today reminded me that God is loving and patient but there comes a time when He will no longer be patient and will bring judgement. He doesn't do this without first providing a way out and through young King Josiah there was an opportunity to return to God, find the Book of the Law and restore the Passover in Judah. However, in the middle of the good stuff going on we read from a prophetess that God was going to bring judgement upon this people who consistently rejected Him. Josiah died very young but had finished what God desired and that was establishing a remnant of believers. There were only three kings after Josiah's death and then Babylon took the people captive and burned the city including the Temple. Believer, God is patient but He is just. He will not always allow people to mock and reject Him. He again provided a way out of this judgement through Jesus and He gives every one time to follow but one day there will be no more time. Personally, I believe we are coming to a time of God's judgement on our country and like Judah God is establishing a remnant who will continue to follow. No "king" will be able to save us except the King of Kings! This is a heavy post today but necessary because it is time we as Believers need to become strong in our faith. He is giving us more time...will you take advantage of it?

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Water or Gasoline

Each one of us has a very powerful tool at our disposal...a tool that can change a situation on a dime...words! Hezekiah knew how to use this weapon in the best way. We read in II Chron. 32:7-8 "He...encouraged them with these words: 'Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles.' And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah, the king of Judah, said." There is no doubt that we live in uncertain times. Fear is running rampant. This was the situation in Judah for a strong enemy was bearing down upon them. What they didn't know was that their fear was the greatest enemy they had! However, their king, in just a couple of sentences, encouraged them to believe God. God was faithful. The enemy was defeated and left in shame! Today, what are your words? Are they gasoline being thrown upon the fire of fear, discontent, hatred, or anger? How does that encourage others? How does that encourage you? Change your words to water words...waters puts out the fires of fear and discontent and gives relief and refreshment to you and those around you. There is power in our words...let yours be encouraging!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Shelter in the Storm

Have you ever been over-whelmed? I think all of us have at some point and if you haven't, you need to get out more! When we are in this state of mind there is a desire to just throw up our hands and run away from it all. (I have been there more times than I can count.) This is often a call from God to run to Him. In Psalm 55:6-8 we read these words, "Oh, that I would have wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest---I would flee far away and stay in the desert. I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm." There are times that we do need to get our shelter; not to escape but to refresh and readjust our thinking. In our busy world we often do not take the time for rest and reflection and therefore we continue to be stressed and over-whelmed. You cannot not do this! It is imperative for victory over your trials. These escape times might be for days, hours or even little mini-mind retreats throughout your day. It is a time to refocus. Today, if you are in that mind-set, escape for awhile to the shelter of the Almighty. Let Him hold you in quiet until you are once again ready for the storm.

Thursday, August 25, 2016


In my reading through the Chronicles of the Kings, today a very familiar name emerged: Uzziah in chapter 26 of II Chronicles. Many of us know that name because of Isaiah 6..."in the year that King Uzziah died." I was wrecked as I read of his reign for he DID follow God, and God gave him great success. His military was great and he invented new ways to protect Jerusalem. A great guy BUT he began to believe his own press! He became prideful of the success he had and decided he didn't have to follow the statues in the temple because he was so great. God's law stated that only priests from the line of Aaron could burn incense on the altar, but Uzziah thought he was above God's plan and went in and began doing the priest's job. The priests warned him but he became angry while in the temple...the result? Leprosy...until the day he died. He became angry while "serving" in the church! Good thing that never happens today, huh? (insert uncomfortable grunt!) Pride will cause us to do things we should never do, and often when we are confronted with our "sin" we become angry. The angry outbursts while doing "God's work" in our churches never serve the kingdom. As a matter of fact, they will cause the church to have a type of leprosy that keeps people away. Pride does that and is why we need to be constantly aware of it in our own lives. When God gives success, He gets the glory! Oh, and we NEVER get to take the reins! Today, realize that perhaps like me, your pet sin is pride. Believe me, it will be your downfall if you don't give it over to God. While we know He loves us and we are precious in His sight, we are not equal and we must keep that in perspective. Remember, "Pride goes before a fall!" Proverbs 16:18

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Who Are You Worshiping?

It is wonderful that God places people in our lives to help us in our Christian journey but there is a temptation to rely too heavily on people...let me explain. Young king Joash (in II Chronicles 24) had a priest named Jehoiada who guided him in the ways of the LORD. Things were going very well for Judah and then Jehoidada died. After his death, Joash and the leaders abandoned the ways of the LORD even to the point of killing Jehoiada's son when he tried to warn them. Believer, today's lesson is serious because many times I have seen people follow a pastor or church leader and then when that pastor is gone, they quit going to church. We cannot make people our object of worship! If we do, then when they leave they take our growth with them. We need to have a growing personal relationship with where HE teaches us through His word. Pastors and church leaders are merely servants of God...they get us going in the right direction but it is God who we are to focus on. Today be aware that you might be worshiping another person if you talk more about what he/she said rather than what God taught you as you sought Him in the quiet times. We are to only lift up the Name of Jesus who said, "If I be lifted up, I will draw all men to me!" John 12:32 Don't let your pastor or another become an idol in your life.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Great Jehoshaphat!

Those of you who know me, know that whatever scripture I am reading becomes my favorite but today is truly one of my favorite recollections of God's faithfulness. The king is Jehoshaphat who is a strong follower of the LORD. The events are in I Chronicles 20. There was a great army coming against the armies of Judah and Jehoshaphat was alarmed! Duh! So what did he do? He called the people together and said they would fast and seek help from the LORD. My favorite verse is this: "We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You! [LORD]" 20:12 The next day when the battle ensued God said," Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours but God's"(15). Strangely instead of gathering fighting men they called the choir to sing praises to God. The "vast armies" began to fight among themselves until there was not one enemy left alive. The battle was won without lifting a single sword from Judah. This is NOT a fairy tale, believer. The principles found in this scripture are applicable for us today: 1. We see a vast army coming against us and get alarmed! 2. We don't know what to do. 3.We keep our eyes on Him! 4. We sing His praises even before there is victory. 5. God wins! I don't know what you are going through today...I have some very good friends facing uncertain futures right now...they have a vast army coming against them. I would say to do what Jehoshaphat did...don't wait to sing His praises until after the battle...let your praises actually fight your battle. Great Jehoshaphat, thanks for leading us the right way!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

But It's Not Fair!

We all have been in a situation where we feel like things are unfair...and if you haven't, you will.  What are we to do?  My reading this morning, Psalm 37: 3-8  gave 5 steps to take: 

1.Trust in the LORD and do good!  
2.Delight yourself in the LORD. 
3.Commit your way to the LORD. 
4.Be still before the LORD.  
5.Refrain from anger!  

Wow!  a 5-step program to get over the wrongs done to us.  It is hard to trust that God knows what is happening, isn't it.  But if we delight in Him, then the wrongs from others fade away.  I guess the hardest of the 5 is the last.  Don't get angry over this. That verse goes on to say that that will lead to evil.  Believer, this is a huge lesson for all of us and I want to challenge myself and you to write these down and when the hurt comes, to read this list and follow the steps.  I believe we will see an outpouring of God's blessing in our lives if we do.   

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Bad Rulers Are Not an Excuse

My scripture today was not one I wanted to read. It reminds me that I am rebellious wanting only to do what I think is right. It was written during one of the most dangerous times for a Christian...the Roman rule. Believers were being martyred for their beliefs and used for sport in the Coliseum. In all of this Paul writes these words, "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God." Romans 13:1 Wait, that can't be right? That goes against everything within my sense of right and wrong. The authorities Paul was speaking of were cruel and pagan and eventually took Paul's life yet he preached obedience. Obedience is a hard thing for us when things do not go the way we think they ought to but that is where faith comes in. Remember, God sees it all in the tapestry that is being woven. In the persecution, the church grew...God knew. Today, make an effort to be obedient to all the authorities that are in your life...bosses, police, government officials ... remember God knew you would be in this are not alone. If we do, perhaps His kingdom will spread.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Be Careful of the No Seeum's!

We first met David in I Samuel as a young boy with a passion for God. He made a huge mark on history when he faced Goliath and killed him with a sling and a stone. Most of us learned this story in preschool, acted it out and even sang about it. Goliath was a Philistine...a great enemy of the Hebrew people. It would appear that they had been defeated...once and for all! However, fast forward to I Chronicles 14. David is fully appointed as king and it seemed that all the enemies were subdued. Smooth sailing from here on out, right? We read, "When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel, they went up in full force to search for him..." I Chronicles 14:8 His old enemy was rising up again. Believer, we often have great victories in our lives but we have an enemy that will never give up! Just about the time things are going great, that old temptation comes again and attacks with a vengeance! What do we do? We do what David did, "so, David inquired of God..." verse 10 Once the enemy knows our weak spots, that is where he attacks. There might be a time of rest but he will come back and try to break you down again. It could be in an area of a sinful lifestyle you thought was defeated. It could be in forgiving...the old feeling rising up again. It could be in insecurity. Whatever you had faced and defeated often will come back to try and break you down. When that happens, immediately inquire of the Lord! Pray. Speak truth from the Word. The enemy will run, but be aware that he will wait for just the right moment to pounce again. Today, pray the words from the Model Prayer, "lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil!" He will!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Sit still?

Pascal, the great French philosopher and Christian, once said; “Nearly all the ills of life spring from this simple source: that we are not able to sit still in a room.” What did he mean? In our hurry-up, busy existence we never sit to consider what is around us? We speak the first thing that comes to our minds without considering the repercussions. We do what our flesh tells us without considering where these actions will take us. We never sit still in a room. Powerful words. Let them fall on you today. To sit still in a room is to let your life come into focus…to see what is real…to allow yourself to understand that you are not in control. To sit still in a room is to allow yourself to see the wonder and power of the One who created you and breathed His own breath into your lungs. For the Believer, it is to know and understand that we are in the palm of His hand. But we must sit still. What would happen if we thought before we spoke? What would happen if we counted the cost before we acted? What would happen if we began to sit still in a room? Today, nothing is more important than sitting with Him…stay there until you sense His peace. “Be still and know that I am God!” Psalm 46:10

Sunday, July 31, 2016

You Don't Get to Choose!

In reading II Kings, I can't help but see our nation.  The land had been divided: Israel and Judah.  Israel decided to follow the world and never repented and God allowed them to be taken over by the Assyrians.  They lost it all because they refused to obey God.  Judah was not far behind.  

Believer, obedience to God is not an option.  We don't get to choose what is right and wrong.  We in our minds think we can decide what God meant.  He doesn't need explaining!  If there is anything I know, it is that God was clear about the way we are to live and He didn't stutter!  

Today, are you being sanctified? Are you more like Jesus today than yesterday or are you more like the world around you?  It is a slippery slope. God has given us power to live rightly.  Romans 1:16-17 "I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes...For in the Gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last."  

We don't get to choose what we think is righteousness...God does!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Are You a Wise Guy?

There is a big difference between knowledge and wisdom. There is no doubt that our world today has more "book learning" than ever before yet we don't seem to know what to do with it. We lack wisdom. Wisdom is also being able to see a situation from an objective view point! In the prophetic book of Daniel, I read these words, "Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand but those who are wise will understand." Daniel 12: 9-10 We are seeing played out before our eyes what Daniel said thousands of years before. The wicked will continue to be wicked! They will not understand. Believers however, will have wisdom and see things as they really are...not with fear but with an understanding of God's purpose. Today, understand the things that are going on in our world are not a surprise to God. He knew all along what was going to happen...rejoice that you are among the redeemed.


One of the essentials for life to survive is water. Jesus spoke often of water and called Himself the living water. "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within Him." John 7: 37-38 Sometimes we get to a dry place in life and we wonder where is that water? If you have ever been in the desert you know how dry it is. Yet even there God provides water, one just has to search for it...inside the plants. I have read stories of people who survived by cutting open a cactus and receiving its life-saving moisture. If you are in that dry place right now, it is not the end. Yes, it is dry, arid, and you are very thirsty. But if you spend time really looking around you will find places within this desert where you will find life-saving blessings. They might be disguised by thorns but within there is water. Instead of despair you will find bits of hope and you will be refreshed. Today, look for God in the hidden will find the sweetest water.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Camp musings

Today is the 2nd day of Camp Nonahdeia! We are learning about the true vine and the branches. (John 15) Even though this scripture is familiar, I am reminded once again that I can do nothing good on my own! Jesus said twice in the first 4 verses: Remain in me! That word remain can also be, Abide. Stay. Attach. It is a strong word which means hold on tightly. Listen, you are going to hold on to something...let it be the True Vine! Today in your prayer, ask God to reveal to you what you are holding on to more than Him then have the courage to let it go while you attach once again to Him. It will change your life.

Monday, July 18, 2016

July 19 Diary entry

Charles Spurgeon once said that when a jeweler shows his best diamonds, he sets then against a black velvet backdrop. The contrast of the jewels against the dark velvet brings out the luster. In the same way, God does His most stunning work where things seem hopeless. Whereever there is pain, suffering and desperation, Jesus is. We must not give up. We must show Christ as our hope against a backdrop of darkness Today, view this darkness as a place where you can shine His light and when you do what better place is there for the brilliance of Christ to shine?

July 18th

I have a confession to make. I love to sew but since high school I have only bought patterns that did not require a zipper. In home ec. I could never put in a zipper and somehow in my mind, I thought I would never ever be able to. Yesterday, because of my grandson wanting a Ninja costume, (which required a zipper) I put one in. It was easy. My point? Often after a failure we tend to avoid things thinking we will never be able to do the task. What I had forgotten was that I had learned from my former mistake and had grown because of it. Don't miss out on the great things in life because of your past. God is there to move you forward into His purposes. My sewing world has opened to wonderful zippered outfits...oh what I have been missing. Does your world need opening up? Try something you fear and see what God will do!!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

July 17

Lots of things going on in the world! Have you noticed? It is easy to get distracted and even discouraged---maybe even afraid! My son reminds me often that this is not even close to how bad the world has been in the past. When I read OT history I know he is right. BUT the thing is, it is happening to ME and my time! What I need to do is do what others in those dangerous times did: Remember the LORD Your God! I was drawn to 2 verses from Psalm 9 this morning: 10 "Those who know Your name will trust in You, for You, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you." and then 15 "The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug; their feet are caught in the net they have hidden." In the same Psalm, David acknowledged that even when things are really bad, God is there and he will NEVER forsake those who seek Him. Today, what are you seeking? What are you focusing on? Write the words in verse 10 on a notecard and put them in your heart today. Our God is in control.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Diary entry July 16

Believers, my reading today was clear and convicting. I started not to write anything but God wouldn't let me ignore this Word: "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him, but if Baal is God, follow him. But the people said nothing." 
I Kings 18:21 (Baal represents following the world's way of doing things.) John wrote something similar in the book of The Revelation to the church at Laodicea when God said that they were neither hot nor cold but lukewarm. God then said He would spew them from His mouth...this lukewarmness made Him sick. We are at a crossroad...either we follow the LORD or we don't. The telling part of the I Kings verse was, "and the people said nothing!" They did not want to commit either way. Today, make your decision. Joshua, when faced with this same situation said, "As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:15

New Idea!

Each day on Facebook, I post a short devotional.  I am, starting today, going to post that same devotional thought on my blog so those who are not on Facebook can read it if they like.  I am starting with my post from yesterday.  Please post comments!

Sometimes the grief is over-whelming. Sometimes evil seems to be winning. What should we do? This is where the message of the Gospel gets hard folks. We have for so long basically have lived in ease and our faith has not been tested. We put on the Armor of God as Paul says in Ephesians 6...but then we don't do what he says in verse 18,"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." Believer, be honest, are you talking to others about the situation in the world more than you are talking to God? Are you posting more on social media or writing in a journal your heart felt prayers? There is more to prayer than just saying, "we need to pray!" Jim Cymbala in his book, "Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire" says, "Am I the only one who gets embarrassed when religious leaders in America talk about having prayer in public schools? We don't have even that much prayer in many churches!" May I add, in our homes or in our personal lives. Today, quit talking about prayer to each alert and keep on actually praying!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

There Is a Time and Place!

Let me start this post by saying you will not find a more patriotic person than me anywhere.  I grew up as an Air Force brat! I still get a lump in my throat when I see our flag and hear our national anthem.  I am proud of the men and women who have served or are serving our country to protect it from our enemies.  My own daddy fought against Mussolini in WWII and fought again in the Korean conflict.  I understand the bravery needed. I have high school and college friends who served in Viet Nam, Desert Storm and now in the Middle East.  I honor each one and appreciate greatly what each has done for freedom. I also have been to other countries where the freedoms we enjoy are absent.  I understand what a great country we have BUT I serve Someone much higher and more powerful than our country.  He is the One who set me free and asks only that I give Him the praise and worship that He deserves. 

This morning, Sunday, July 3rd, there were celebrations of America all over this land. Many sang with gusto America the Beautiful and the Star Spangled Banner.  Many pledged allegiance to our flag.   I too sat in a service like this and while the love for my country tried to come forth  I suddenly felt a conviction that in this place, God and God alone should be honored.  He was being usurped by an allegiance to the gift of freedom (the USA) but not the Giver of freedom.  There were tears in people’s eyes as patriotic songs were sung and much applause for what we have accomplished as a nation.  My spirit grieved that He seldom gets this kind of reaction when we sing of Him and what He has done. 

Please understand, I did not grieve because we were doing these things…they are appropriate things to do, but not during the time and place devoted to worshiping God and God alone.  We offer Him very little of our time as it is, and this should have been a time to fall before Him thanking Him for His freedom.  Fall before Him repenting for how we have forgotten Him.  Fall before Him trembling for the judgment that seems to be coming.   

Yes, celebrate our heritage. But do it on a Saturday night or even a Sunday night.  But the one morning a week we have to corporately show our Father how much He means to us should not be taken over by patting each other on the back.  After all, it was God who gave us the victories.  It was God who gave us liberty.  And it is He who should be honored first and foremost. 

Yes, I love our country.  I also love the Saints and Mississippi State football!  I will cheer for all of these things at the right and appropriate times…but on a Sunday morning, in corporate worship, every cheer, every tear, every passion should be given to the One who made all things possible.  Tomorrow, July 4th, I will wave my flag but today, it should have been His banner…the banner of the cross…