Sunday, October 4, 2015

Faith is Rewarded

We've all been there right? Stuff keeps happening against us. "Why God?, we ask. I'm still waiting for answers to many of those why's I've cried out over the years. And the Bible keeps encouraging us to take joy in our afflictions. What, take joy? I'm hurting to my core.
So is there a reason for all this anguish? What about showing our trust in the Lord? When we trust him, we know he loves us and will not bring anything upon us that we can't endure, with his help. Too often when in pain folks turn to everyone and everything beside the Lord and scripture. Well I found some comfort this morning while studying for BSF in one of the supplementary verses suggested.
" In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."(1 Peter 1:6-7 NIV)

Thursday, September 3, 2015

What is Your Hope?

What do you hope for most? Is it a new house, a vacation, your child finishing school, new job, more income, health, wisdom, peace? Have you ever wondered why Jesus used parables about sight as illustration for what he was teaching? Do you get the meaning? " As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by." He called out, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, "What do you want me to do for you?" "Lord, I want to see," he replied. Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has healed you." Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God." Luke 18:35-43 What have you lost sight of? What do you hope for? Jesus answers prayers through his wisdom. He gives us sight. He is our hope.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Delivered Messages

Scripture is filled with stories of messages from God to chosen people. In the first chapter of Luke, Zechariah and Elizabeth were chosen to be parents of John the Baptist, the forerunner to Christ. It was in their later years when child bearing was considered less than possible by most. Zechariah was a religious man who spent much of his time serving in the Temple. But when Gabriel, God's angel, visited him, he did not believe the message given him about a son, John's birth. As a result of disbelief, he was not allowed to speak until after John was born.

"And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings.  But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.”Luke 1:19-20

When have you not believed a message given you from God? Was it through answered prayer, the Holy Spirit, a dream or other evidence? How did you respond? What happened? Is it important to listen carefully, believe and respond favorably when the Lord asks you to do something?

Sunday, August 30, 2015


How important are words? They can be uplifting or demeaning. They can be positive or negative. They can inspire or they can impede. Our words definitely say something about us that perhaps we have not yet discovered. We are either building ourselves and others up or tearing ourselves and others down.
We are all know what James 1:26 reminds us: "Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive thmselves and their religion is worthless." James 1:26
When we speak are we lifing others up? Are we showing praise to God? What are we telling about ourselves? So before we open our mouths to speak, we can say a short prayer asking the Lord for help"
"Gracious God, place your grappling hook of grace over my tongue so I will only speak words of wisdom, praise, comfort, love and edification. Bring on your power and grace and help me to demonstrate what speaking from you means and the doors it will open in lives needing to be touched by your love and forgiveness."

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Sharing the Peace

Good news for all persons. We are not condemend when we are in Jesus. He assures our freedom. It is through him that we can give up sinning and live according to the Spirit. This is the message we are to give to others so they, too, can live in the peace he brings. Share God's peace.
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,[b] God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.[c] And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." Romans 8:1-4 NIV

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Wisdom is Found by Those Who Seek Her

Where do you go when you seek wisdom? Do you have a Spiritual Advisor, pastor, close friend, book or author that you depend on? Besides prayer, I seek and find wisdom from scripture and inspired writing. The Aprocrypha is composed of books that are inspired writings, but were not accepted for inclusion in the Bible. One of the books, Wisdom of Solomon, includes much of the same discussion of wisdom that we discover in Proverbs and Ecclesiastes..
"Wisdom is radiant and unfading, and she is easily discerned by those who love her, and is found by those who seek her.
One who rises early to seek her will have no difficulty, for she will be found sitting at the gate.
To fix one's thoughts on her is perfect understanding and one who is vigilant on her account will soon be free from care, because she goes about seeking those worthy of her, and she graciously appears to them in their paths, and meets them in every thought." 6:12-16.
It is so comforting to know that when we seek wisdom, it will find us on our path and in our thoughts. Lord, make me worthy of our wisdom and guide my search and understanding through you and your Holy Spirit. Protect me from thoughts that enter through other paths and help me to disregard what the enemy throws in my way.
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Friday, August 7, 2015

Hidden Gifts

Recently I was on a committee to select a property for a confernce. As we met with the various convention planners, they each offered "favors" to gain our business. The oldest property was the one that gave us the most. We really liked the planner and felt we coud work well with her, but in reviewing the property, it seriously lacked options the group had decided were important to them.
When being tempted by generosity intended to sway a decision, we have to rely heavily on the purpose and goals we want to accomplish. It's very hard not to be swayed by gifts and "sweet talk". Have you ever let gifts make decisions that you later regretted? So many temptations can be hidden in generosity.
"Many seek the favor of a generous man,
and everyone is a friend to a man who gives gifts. jAll a poor man's brothers hate him; how much more do his friends go far from him! He pursues them with words, but does not have them." Prov. 19:6-8 ESV

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

What is a Prostitute?

When we think of prostitution, what immediately comes to mind? Evil woman? Impurity or immorality? Homes wrecked? Gentlemen's clubs. Drugs and money? How many people and careers have been destroyed because of prostitution? It's in the national news as well as the tabloids every day. And not all of it becomes public.
The Bible says a lot on the subject. It's been around a long time. Some refer to it as the oldest profession. Yet, there is meaning beyond what we usually consider prostitution. What about the references that take us from one person to the whole church? The Old Testament speaks about prostituting ourselves to other gods? Think about it. Are you ever guilty of prostituting yourself to the gods you serve like having more money, a bigger house, political support, a hobby, a big promotion, a chic wardrobe, social status, risk taking, excitement, financial success, etc. Can we say that lack of discipline is the primary causes of prostitution? Can you relate the following from Proverbs 5 to prostitution other than adultery?
" Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house, lest you give your best strength to others and your years to one who is cruel, lest strangers feast on your wealth and your toil enrich another man's house. At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent. You will say, "How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction! I would not obey my teachers or listen to my instructors. I have come to the brink of utter ruin in the midst of the whole assembly." Proverbs 5:8-14

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Why Listen to Wisdom?

My senior year in college, a friend and I decided to drive home for the Christmas holidays from Texas to Illinois. Weather reports were not favorable with ice and snow predicted from Little Rock north. My mother begged me to take the train or plane home, but I had no fear. We were both good drivers.
We slid on solid ice from Little Rock north. Then about 20 miles from home a semi clipped us. We spun around and headed the wrong way, The front end of my car lying inpieces on the highway.  Everyone was creeping along and fortunately no one was seriously injured. My car was totaled and when I returned to my public health rotation at Baylor College of Nursing, I found myself either walking or bumming rides from classmates.  My assigned area to make home visits was  in the Fair Park area, not considered safe for walking alone. I learned a lesson about respecting the advice of someone wiser than I. When have we not listened to the wisdom of the Holy Spirit and ended up walking in unsafe places?
"Since they would not accept my advice
and spurned my rebuke,
they will eat the fruit of their ways
and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.
For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,
and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
but whoever listens to me will live in safety
and be at ease, without fear of harm.” Proverbs 1:30-31
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Why Wisdom?

Proverbs is so beautifully written and is so filled with wisdom. Every time I read a passage, I learn something new...most of which I wish I'd read and began practicing many years ago. Chapter 3 is one of my favoites because it connects self-confidence with knowing the Lord and praciticing his precepts. Those who find wisdom are truly blessed. But practicing what we know can sometimes be very difficult because of the pull society and peers can put on us to do the opposite. So how do we find wisdom and what are the results? Is it worth more than popularity and going the other way? Is it a road less travelled?
"Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,
and the one who gets understanding,
for the gain from her is better than gain from silver
and her profit better than gold.
She is more precious than jewels,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.
Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who dlay hold of her;
those who hold her fast are called blessed." Proverbs 3:13-18
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Monday, July 27, 2015

Who to Follow

We got thru the "terrible twos" then moved into the quiet early childhood years. With the entrance into school, temptations loom. As the hormones begin to rage, announcing the beginning of the teen years, peer pressure begins to take over. Who will be the winner when parents, society and friends begin the struggle for who has the most influence? Even God fearing youth struggle with which way to go. The Book of Proverbs has some answers.

" Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.  My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them." Proverbs 1:8-10

"These men lie in wait for their own blood, they ambush only themselves. Such are the paths of all who go after ill begotten gain. It takes away the life of those who go after it." Proverbs 1:18-19

How have you shared this message? By being a living example or just preaching it? Temptations lie in wait for them and are usually introduced subtlely.

Sunday, July 26, 2015


I love to watch toddlers explore their environment.  The " terrible two's" is probably their major learning time. It is also a very tryng time for parents and those who care for them. Many books are written to help parents in child rearing. It's a time to exercise loving discipline. It's not to stop their inquisitivty, but a time to teach them safety, what is acceptable behavior and what is not. This is only the beginning and it takes a lot of understanding and patience, but pays off when they become self disciplined adults who are discovering where their beliefs, accomplishments and goals lead them. The wisdom found in the Book of Proverbs is our best guide to child rearing.

"The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:  for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight;  for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair;  for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young--  let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance--  for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise.  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline." Proverbs 1:1-7

Monday, July 13, 2015

What Holds You Back?

Has God called you to a ministry or to perform some service? Did you lift your hands and say, "here I am Lord." Why not? What are you afraid of? Look at all the examples in the Bible and in more modern times at the stories of men and women, like you, who answered the call and did amazing things....things they could never have done by themselves.
So what holds you back? What are you afraid of? Don't you trust God's promises? One thing for sure, he will never abandon you. If you follow his call, he will be right there with you. You can trust him. But can he trust you? Is it you who will abandon him? He will stick by you and you will succeed, even though you may experience some doubts and struggles. Remember who causes you to doubt. With God, all things are possible.
" Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6

Sunday, July 12, 2015


The US campaign trail is certainly active. It seems a lot of folks would like to be President of the United States. But is wanting the job the best qualification? How many voters look carefully at a candidates qualifications? Are the qualificarions listed in the Constitution sufficient in today's world or should it be amended? How many voters have actually read what that document says? How many voters vote based on qualificationS, How many vote for the party? How many vote because someone told them to? Before you go to the polls in this next national election, how about taking time to seriously research the candidates backgound for the job. What flaws would you consider a disqualification?
Remember Moses and his leadership bringing the Israelites from Egypt to the Promised Land? When it became time for new leadership to be formed, qualifications were given. Could these also be appropriate for the greatest country in today's world?
"Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens." Exodus 18:21

Saturday, July 11, 2015


 Do you consider yourself a devoted mother, father, teacher, business person, coach, doctor, homemaker or child? What does it mean to be devoted? Does it mean serving? How do you defend your devotion? How does your devotion affect your attitude and behavior? Of all the things you feel you are devoted to, which one is most important to you? Why?

What about Jesus?  Why would you feel a devotion to him? How is your attitude and behavior affected by your devoton to him?Would you agree with the following?

"Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want." I Peter 4:1-2 (Message)

Friday, July 10, 2015

Idle Hands

"Idle hands are the devil's workshop." Can you think of why this can be true? Can you cite examples? Just look around you. What about the grapheti along roads? If the hands that painted them were used to paint murals, think how interesting our drive would be. What about the hands that shop lift or the ones that rob cash registers? All around us we see the results and who pays for this idleness?
Look though your Bible concordance and see all the references to idleness and sluggardry in scripture. Apparently God does not intend for us to be idle. But how can idleness be stamped out? How about creating more jobs? How about a day's work for a day's pay? Wake up America. Look around you. Something isn't right here.
"The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied." Proverbs 13:4

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Betrayed, But Not Broken

“Everyone suffers at least one bad betrayal in their lifetime. It’s what unites us. The trick is not to let it destroy your trust in others when that happens. Don’t let them take that from you.”
― Sherrilyn Kenyon

If you haven't experienced betrayal, you have lived a very sheltered life. With openess and trust comes the chance for betrayal. It can be from a loved one, a boss, a friend....any one we allow ourselves to be vulnerable with. It is very painful and leaves us with very bad, even hostile feelings toward the betrayer.  Often the feelings build up and hurt us more than the one who betrayed us when it leaves us suspicious and fearful of trusting others.

Remember, Jesus experienced the ultimate betrayal by Judas. He knows what this feels like. We can take our disappointment and anger to him for help in recovering our trust and positive feelings. Don't give the enemy the chance to use this against us by unwillingness to forgive and the negtive that goes along with hanging on to the pain.

"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn and you will not be condemed. Forgive and you will be forgiven."LK 6:37
"Forgiveness doesn't excuse their behavior. Forgiveness prevents their behavior from destroying you heart."

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Finding Favor

Remember the story of Queen Esther. What was her sign to remind the king she had found favor with him? Because of this favor, she saved her people from extinction. Is there someone you would like to find favor with? Your Boss? A Parent? A friend? A publisher? A teacher? A Child? Yes, we all seek favors. Is your reason as noble as Esther's? Like Esther, can we receive favor without manipulation or deceit? Her story reveals the way some seek favor for destructive means and what can happen. But the Bible tells us a way that is forthright, honest and usually results in receiving what we want;
" My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. "Proverbs 3:1-4
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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

How Clean are You?

My grandmother was one of the cleanest women I've ever known. As a child, regarless of when I'd bathed or where I had been, she washed my feet at the door and again before I got into bed. She even washed the dog's feet before they could come in the house. Sometimes I thought this was a waste of time and energy, but that washing before getting into bed was calming and relaxing.

Jesus washed his disciples feet at the last supper. They were reluctant to let the "Master" wash their feet. Of course, wearing sandals in the desert meant their feet stayed dirty, even though they bathed. Can you imagine what you would do today if your boss came to your office and began washing your feet?

Jesus' point is that bathing alone doesn't keep our whole body clean. Our feet walk through dirty paths.  Baptism has cleansed us of our sins, but every day we walk back down those paths of filth and sin. Therefore need a way to cleanse that newly formed dirt  from us. Jesus gave us the way. It's called confession. We confess our sins and our bodies are make clean again. But it isn't just for one time, is it? How often do you need a foot washing? When you feel your sin being lifted and you heart and sould cleansed again, don't you feel calm and relaxed, just like I did when Granny put me to bed with clean feet?

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." I John 1:9

Monday, July 6, 2015

Are They Drunk?

Are they drunk? What is going on? Everyone was speaking different languages, yet, they were understanding in their own language. What awesome signs! Was the world ending? Not at all. In fact  the power of the creative spirit....the 3rd person of the Holy Trinity...had come as Jesus has predicted. Besides it's function of creating and re-creating God's will, it works intimately within each of us praying when we are unsure or can't find words and guiding and directing our steps and thoughts. This is definitely a day of celebration for the whole church and each individual Christian.

"When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.

5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,[b] 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
Acts 2:1-12

Freedom Means?

For the past few days our focus has been on celebrating freedom, the freedom from British domination that our forefathers fought and died for, the freedom our founding fathers created in such documents as the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and later the American Constitution, and the freedom that has been maintained on our shores by the bravery and dedication of men and women who fought to keep this nation free, those who stand firm.
Freedom in Christ is older than our country. It has been offered to us since the beginning of this world. Our greatest threat is our slavery to sin....something of our own making and what largely controls our individual thoughts, behaviors, attitudes and actions. We can not point a finger beyond ourselves even when we declare "the devil made me do it." It is our choice to become a slave to sin. It will not be solved by a war or declaration by a group of politicians. But it is a war within ourselves and sometimes a very bloody battle. It destroys individuals, families and even countries. Yet, freedom is offered to each of us and, like the sin itself, is our own choice. So, what's it going to be? When and how will we celebrate our freedom from sin or at least our struggle to defeat it?
"For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery" Galatians 5:1. Keep on reading and find the best choice.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Prayer time

Remember the hymn, "Sweet Hour of Prayer?" Do  you have a designated time for prayer each day? Some of us like to begin our day in prayer and possibly end it in prayer as well. So what happens the rest of the day?

Have you heard that we are to pray constantly? Do you know the Holy Spirit prays for us when we don't know how or what to pray?  In my life "stuff" happens all day long and even through the night. For me prayer time is any time, all the time, because I need the Lord's help 24/7 365.

"I bow down toward your holy temple
    and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
    for you have exalted above all things
    your name and your word.
 On the day I called, you answered me;
    my strength of soul you increased." Psalm 138:2-3

Sunday, June 21, 2015

And The Rains Came Down

Wow, we woke up to a surprise rain this morning. Yesterday, the weather was showing dry. I'm sure the folks whose homes are on the edge of over flowing creeks and lakes are ready for dry. Who can correctly forcast the weather?
Seems to me it's up to God. So I've taken the attitude the weather its what I see and feel at the time and that we don't know why God sends us weather that causes damage and makes us uncomfortable. We often try to figure out why and blame it on a message we are receiving because of world events or man's sin. We are wasting our time trying to figure out why. It's just one of those thngs we can not control and must just accept. God will let us know in his time. And in his great mercy, we know that "all things work together and this,too, shall pass."
"He loads the clouds with moisture;
he scatters his lightning through them.
At his direction they swirl around
over the face of the whole earth
to do whatever he commands them.
He brings the clouds to punish people,
or to water his earth and show his love.
Job 37:ll-13

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Choosing a Leader

What do you all think about the NAACP leader who is actually Anglo? She has certainly had her "day in court", as they say. I find the various opinions quite interesting in their different viewpoints. I actually like what 1 Samuel says when he was tasked with annointing a new king after Saul and chose David.
" 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.” I Samuel 16:7
Isn't this controversy about looking at this woman's heart and not her color? David had some flaws, but is remembered for his love, more than his flaws. I pray this current controversy will do just that, FOCUS ON LOVE AND NOT COLOR OR ETHNICITY OR RACE. Hopefully the result will be greater unity and understanding.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Obedience brings Joy

As Chrstians we are expected to be joy filled. But do you sometimes feel someone or something has stolen your joy. What do you do to bring it back?

Well, today Susie Jennings, the famous "blanket lady" shared her secret at a Chritian Women's cub luncheon here in Irving, Tx. Joy turned a ministry of deivering blankets to the homeless of Dallas into an international ministry, Operation Care, that has reached thousands of children in 9 countries and over 130,000 men, women and children in the Dallas metropolitan area. She attributes this to listening to God and giving him unconditional obedience. What follows is JOY that comes from Jesus, others and yourself.

"Every time your name comes up in my prayers, I say, “Oh, thank you, God!” I keep hearing of the love and faith you have for the Master Jesus, which brims over to other believers. And I keep praying that this faith we hold in common keeps showing up in the good things we do, and that people recognize Christ in all of it. Friend, you have no idea how good your love makes me feel, doubly so when I see your hospitality to fellow believers." Philemon 1:4-7 (Message)

Monday, May 18, 2015


Summer is often a season of reunions for families and other groups or organizations. We spent several days in San Antonio with the reunion coordinator for Jim's destroyer group looking at multiple possibilities to bring a group of 60 or more from across the countty to reminisce about their naval experiences and enjoy a fun time together. What kind of reunion are you attending this summer? A family reunion, a college or high school reunion, a friend or previous employment or former church? Who do you hope will be there and what do you hope the outcome will be?
Psalm 60 is a beautiful passage reminding us what a Godly reunion can be. Have you ever considered planning a reunion witih God? Who do you expect will come? What do you expect the outcome will be?
"I’ll give you only the best—no more hand-me-downs!
Gold instead of bronze, silver instead of iron,
bronze instead of wood, iron instead of stones.
I’ll install Peace to run your country,
make Righteousness your boss.
There’ll be no more stories of crime in your land,
no more robberies, no more vandalism.
You’ll name your main street Salvation Way,
and install Praise Park at the center of town.
You’ll have no more need of the sun by day
nor the brightness of the moon at night.
God will be your eternal light,
your God will bathe you in splendor.
Your sun will never go down,
your moon will never fade.
I will be your eternal light.
Your days of grieving are over.
Psalm 60: 17-19 (Message)

Monday, May 4, 2015

First Priority

"Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law
    and obey it with all my heart.
Direct me in the path of your commands,
    for there I find delight.
 Turn my heart toward your statutes
    and not toward selfish gain." Psalm 119

Ever have difficulty figuring out God's plan for you? Seems that from this passage understanding comes through our hearts, not our heads. It would also seem that we need to turn out hearts toward his statutes. And where do we find these statutes that helps us to know and obey what he wants from us? Must be from scripture...God's Holy Word.

So, where do we go to find our God's plan for us? Reading his word and turning our hearts to him and away from thoughts of worldly gain, praying for understanding and guidance and seeking his heart...his love. Not impossible, is it? Let go of worldly thinking and desires and instead open your mind and heart to God's love for understanding and direction. Make that your priority every day, all day. It's how to begin and spend your day.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Wipe Out

Some days I just wish I could just start life over. How about you? Begin again from the beginning with the slate wiped clean. So many things I would do differently. For sure, I would spend more time with those loved ones that I miss so much now. There are messages I would have shared with others, both spoken and written. I would have trusted God more and many who influenced me less. Most of my pain was not caused by illness, but by relationships. But I can't go back and do over. I can make amends now. I can ask for forgiveness. I can  be more obedient to God's Word. I can look forward to the following promise from God and live in peace instead of regret.
"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."

Friday, April 24, 2015

In Grief, You Can Trust Me

Have you recognized events when the Lord just places you where you need to be? It happens to me all the time, especially when I am struggling with a situation, especially what to write. Ever since my son, Steve, was killed, he has placed me with bereaved parents. Even when I lived in Vienna, my neighbors has just buried a son in Jordon and were transfered to Vienna.

It happened again. Last week I was having lunch with a group after a BSF study and  the lady, who I had just met and sat next to me was a bereaved parent. Then on Monday I learned the woman on the other side of me at this luncheon had lost her son over the weekend. This week another ladyin this group mentioned she, too was a bereaved parent. Then last night at the viewing, we parked next to a couple and walked into the chapel with them. As we waited to go in we got into conversation and learned that we, too, shared the same grief. Together we approached our friend. God was giving her the message he gave me when a bereaved parent approached me before my son's funeral, "I am with you and I will take care of you. Trust me."

" Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God,   the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint,   and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary,and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;   they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary;   they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:28-31

Thursday, April 23, 2015

A Song in my Heart

A song tells a story. It can be a story about love, loss or suffering.  It could be patriotic, praise a person or idea, religious, controversial or any subject that stirs the heart or moves us to action. Some lyrics remain for a very long time, becoming the theme for other art forms and others are lost shortly after we hear them. They can have a wide variety of beats from jazz to classical. Songs express feelings from sadness to great joy.

A lot of songs are featured in scripture. Some we are very familiar with like those in the Psalms. In a recent study of Deuteronomy, we discover Moses song in chapter 32. Someone described it as a Biblical Country Western song. It is one we need to read at this time, as it is descriptive of what is going on today as we loose the meaning of following one God in love and obedience. Many have slowly replaced the God of the Bible with idols representing power and prosperity. What kind of song are you singing today? How are you influencing future generations? Which God are you serving? Do you recognize the deficiencies? What do you need to do?

" He’s the Rock, and His work is perfect; everything He does is right.
    He’s the God who can be trusted, who never does wrong
        because He’s righteous and upright.    But a perverse and crooked generation has broken its word to Him.
        They are not counted as His children—not with such deficiencies."  Deut. 32:5-6

Monday, April 20, 2015

Take In The Message With Enthusiasm

Sitting in church on Sunday mornings, my mind sometimes wanders to what I'm going to do when I leave or what plans I have for next week. To get back on track, I ask the lord to help me focus and to open my heart to hear the message and to know how He wants me to apply it.

My Biblical Heroine, Lydia knew what to do with the message she heard from Paul when he visited the Bible Study she attended at the riverside in Philipi. She was a mother, wife and business woman. I'm sure she had a lot on her mind. Did her mind wander? Did she go home and promptly forget what she had heard?

Lydia invited the visiting Apostles to her home where she and her family were baptized. She was a leader in her church,  encouraged others in this international city she lived in and shared her belief with merchants who came to her business from throughout the world. So lets not just ask the Lord to help us hear the words said in church, but to take the next step and let him guide us in what to do with this information. Like, Lydia, lets do it with vigor and enthusiasm.

 "One of them, Lydia, was a business woman originally from Thyatira. She made a living buying and selling fine purple fabric. She was a true worshiper of God and listened to Paul with special interest. The Lord opened her heart to take in the message with enthusiasm." Acts 16:14

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Run From Idolatry (in any form)

" Any temptation you face will be nothing new. But God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can handle. But He always provides a way of escape so that you will be able to endure and keep moving forward.  So then, my beloved friends, run from idolatry in any form." 1 Cor 10-13-14 The Voice

What are your idols? Have you made a list? What keeps you from worshipping and obeying God's word? Are we not commanded to "Love the Lord will all our heart, mind and soul?" What keeps us from doing this?

We live in a world of constant temptation...stuff that slips in to our hearts, souls and minds and places a barrier between us and God. It can be people, places,or  things. It can be attitudes, behaviors, thoughts. What are some of the idols that have slipped into your life that are intererring with your walk with the Lord? When are you going to do something about them? What are you going to do about them?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Ambassador for Joy and abundance.

" The thief approaches with malicious intent, looking to steal, slaughter, and destroy; I came to give life with joy and abundance." John 10:10
It hasn't even been a week since we celebrated the resurrection of our Lord and yet the beautiful music of the season, lily decked altars, kids in their new outfits and cheerful greetings are almost forgotten as we return to our work places and usual lifestyles. Why can't we keep that special feeling of closeness to our Lord, remembering the ultimate sacrifice he made for us? He seems far away again.
Does your life lack zeal? You are "born again" in the Spirit, but you still feel discouragement and sometimes abandoned. Is God real? How can I return to that feeling of safety and protection in His love? What is the meaning we just learned from the Resurrection Story? Do you think FORGIVENESS might be the mighty word needed, followed by Love?
Love is not possible without forgiveness. Don't allow your life to be chained in unforgiveness. Don't live a life of slavery to sin and negativity. Experience God's promises of living a life of joy and abundance through forgiveness. Communion with him in all ways and at all times is the key to releasing the bonds that keep you tied to the pain of the cross instead of freedom through Christ's resurrection. Become an ambassador for living in a Christlike manner and experience his joy and peace,

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Predictions! How true are man's predictions? The weatherman has predicted rain chances for a couple of days and yet my ground remains dry and my plants are begging for water. How many predictions have you believed but they never came to pass?
But there is one whose predictions we can believe. Jesus predicted his death, burial and ressurection. He promised us that he would be with us always in The Spririt. His love for us is eternal and we are indeed eternally blessed. Believe and Rejoice!
" On that day people will say to the faithful in Jerusalem,
“Do not be afraid, Zion;
Hold your head and hands high,
and take courage.”
The Eternal your God is standing right here among you,
and He is the champion who will rescue you.
He will joyfully celebrate over you;
He will rest in His love for you; He will joyfully sing because of you like a new husband."Zephaniah 3:16-17 The Voice

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Get Rid of the Rags

For three years Jesus taught and walked along beside his disciples. Now he was predicting his death. What were they to do? How can they possibly live without his steady and constant guidance? But wait a minute. He promised to be with them, even after his death. How can that be? Well, his father would provide us with the Holy Spirit, the Teacher, our Counselor, our guide.
So we are never alone. The Spirit is always beside or behind us. Just listen for his voice and see what he does for us. No need for crystals, symbols or other physical reminders that are important to non-Christians who worship other spirits. Get rid of them all from your head, your heart and your lives. Embrace the One True Spirit sent by God to stand in for Jesus in our time. We are so blessed with our 3 in 1. He is waiting to take our hand while we wait for the Lord's return.
" Even though the Lord has fed you the bitter food of adversity and offered you the water of oppression, your great Teacher will reveal Himself to you; your eyes will see Him. Your ears will hear sweet words behind you: “Go this way. There is your path; this is how you should go” whenever you must decide whether to turn to the right or the left. Then you’ll get rid of all your worthless idols clad in silver and your despicable images plated with gold. You will destroy these idols and discard them as you do filthy rags, saying, “Get out of here.” Isaiah 30:20-22 The Voice
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Friday, March 27, 2015

Our Needs

When you don't get what you want, what do you do? Pout or shout? Cry or try harder? Is what you want what you  truly need? Do  you ask for help or stubbornly try to work it out by yourself? When you get what you want do you chalk up another win for yourself or do you show gratitude by helping others? Have you ever prayed for something and it came to you with God's help? Haven't you heard? He will provide all our needs.

I would be overdrawn if I paid the utility bills. My husband was at MD Anderson in Houston receiving cancer treatment. I had come home to check on my son, pay my bills and head back to Houston. My son was staying with friends and I needed to give them some money. I broke into tears as I left the bank. I got home and prayed all night for our situation. I asked friends to pray. In the mail the next day was a check from MD Anderson for the exact amount I needed until next month. I called them and they explained it was an insurance refund. I couldn't figure it out, but God had come through for us again, one of many times and in many different ways. My praying friends also rejoiced as we praised God for this blessing.

"And now I have it all—and keep getting more! The gifts you sent with Epaphroditus were more than enough, like a sweet-smelling sacrifice roasting on the altar, filling the air with fragrance, pleasing God no end. You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus. Our God and Father abounds in glory that just pours out into eternity. Yes."
Philippians 4: 18-20 Message.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


I adore Karol Ladd's messages in her books and Bible Studies. She brings to light God's love in so many events that we often overlook. Yesterday we looked a Bathsheeba throught God's eyes instead of through assumptions. Do we blame her for David's behavior? How closely have we looked at their "love" storyand their lives? How often have you erred in judgement because you acted on assumptions rather than discovering what was real? Have you misjudged people based on their looks or one comment they have made? What about based on the assumptions of others? What about forgiveness? Do you still hold grudges from way back in your life history based on immature behavior?
"Let go of your complaints, forgive those who loved you poorly, step over your feelings of being rejected, and have the courage to trust that you won't fall into an abyss of nothingness but into the safe embrace of a God whose love will heal all your wounds." Henri J.M. Nouwen
Thanks, Karol

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Have You Got It, Yet?

"Do you still not get it?" How many Bible Studies and how many sermons and how many best selling religion books will it take you to get it? Get what?
"Meanwhile, the disciples were finding fault with each other because they had forgotten to bring bread. Jesus overheard and said, “Why are you fussing because you forgot bread? Don’t you see the point of all this? Don’t you get it at all? Remember the five loaves I broke for the five thousand? How many baskets of leftovers did you pick up?”
They said, “Twelve.”
“And the seven loaves for the four thousand—how many bags full of leftovers did you get?”
He said, “Do you still not get it?” Mark 8:16-21 Message
As we move closer to reliving Christ's passion, have you gotten it yet? Do your ears hear and your eyes see?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Celebrate Spring Blessings

We are basking in sunshine today. The rain clouds have disappeared. But we must remember that it takes both the rain and the sun to produce the spring flowers, green trees and grass that color our world and make spring such a colorful time of year.It is cause for celebration!
But we have another cause for celebration. It's remembering God's grace and the reminder of what the season brings as we approach Easter, blessed by Jesus death and resurrection and the hope for his return. Because of his love, we are freed from the slavery perpetuated by sin. But It's up to us to abandon the lusts of the world and abide in self control, doing the right thing and living a holy life.
"We have cause to celebrate because the grace of God has appeared, offering the gift of salvation to all people. Grace arrives with its own instruction: run away from anything that leads us away from God; abandon the lusts and passions of this world; live life now in this age with awareness and self-control, doing the right thing and keeping yourselves holy. Watch for His return; expect the blessed hope we all will share when our great God and Savior, Jesus the Anointed, appears again. He gave His body for our sakes and will not only break us free from the chains of wickedness, but He will also prepare a community uncorrupted by the world that He would call His own—people who are passionate about doing the right thing." Titus 2:11-14 The Voice

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Intercessory Prayer Needed

A few years back, I had the privilege of teaching a trauma healing workshop in Bangladesh where I met men and women who lived according to those 1st Century Christians described in  the book of Acts. Although they lived in a Muslim country, they were at peace with their neighbors. I got a different story yesterday from one that I have kept in touch with. He was pleading for intercessory prayer and asking me to pass the request along to friends.

It seems times are changing. The fundamentalists are taking over and persecuting the Christians. We are hearing stories from Iraq and Syria about beheadings. He sent me a picture of a child being crucified. Please pray for Christian Martyrs around the world. Keep Christians in Southeast Asia in your prayers. They need a strong prayer covering and this is something we can all do. And it doesn't cost us a penny. Please be a prayer warrior for fellow Christians around the world, especially those falling into the hands of the fundamentalist Muslims. Children are not exempt from their wrath and are in serious danger. Your intercessory prayers are powerful weapons.

From 2 Corinthians 1:9-14New American Standard Bible (NASB)

"]indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us,  you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many."

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Prize

"I've had enough of this, Lord. When I signed up to follow you, I thought the road would get easier. So why is it so hard?  Ever had these thoughts? Life was so much easier when I was in control of it myself. I've had more challenges and difficulties under your control. I give up.

Wait a minutel Ever start up a mountain  and stop before you saw what was on the other side? Ever start a race and quit, without realizing the end was just around the bend? Too many of us give up just before we reach the goal and miss out on the gold. Perseverance will get you to the end. Hang on for the prize. And what is the prize when we hang on with the Lord? Is it worth it? You bet it is.

"Jesus leads us into a place of radical grace where we are able to celebrate the hope of experiencing God’s glory.  And that’s not all. We also celebrate in seasons of suffering because we know that when we suffer we develop endurance,  which shapes our characters. When our characters are refined, we learn what it means to hope and anticipate God’s goodness.  And hope will never fail to satisfy our deepest need because the Holy Spirit that was given to us has flooded our hearts with God’s love."  Romans 5:2-5 (The Voice)

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Who Says?

Do you remember playing "Simon Says" or "Follow the Leader" as a child? What happened when you were following a clown or someone who tried to make you stumble? Does this still happen sometimes? You find yourself following a leader who isn't exactly honest or doesn't have your best interest at heart? You begin to question their sincerety and knowledge. What about false prophets? Even attend a church filled with them? Run like the devil himself is after you. He probably is. When we know scripture and follow those who know it, we will not be fooled. So how do we know?

"But as for the wicked and the imposters, they will keep leading and following each other further and further away from the truth. So surely you ought to stick to what you know is certain. All you have learned comes from people you know and trust  because since childhood you have known the holy Scriptures, which enable you to be wise and lead to salvation through faith in Jesus the Anointed. All of Scripture is God-breathed; in its inspired voice, we hear useful teaching, rebuke, correction, instruction, and training for a life that is right  so that God’s people may be up to the task ahead and have all they need to accomplish every good work." 2 Timothy 3: 13-17 The Voice

So then, how do we know? Read scripture. Go to His Word for answers. Talk with fellow Christians who also read and depend on Scripture. Go to your pastor or spiritual adviser. Pray for Divine Guidance.

Friday, March 13, 2015

God's Job

Someties it seems the Message is twisting God's Word, but the author uses language today's world understands. Have you even experienced a situation where you feel abandoned by God and on our own to solve the problem? There are those who forget about Christ's suffereing on the cross and what it means for us today. As we review the passion of the cross and recall the suffering he went through from the time of his betrayal by his own disciple, Judas, and the treatment he received by the Jewish and Roman leaders, we get a taste of how deep his love is for us. When we concentrate on his last words on the cross, we feel his momentary sense of abanconment by God, then his intense love as he asks the Father to forgive those who took part in the actions. Thankfully God does not make us endure this for our refinement. Christ did it for us, once and for all. Keep the faith. Through Christ, glory is just around the corner.
" Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner." 1 Peter 4:12-13

Monday, March 9, 2015

California Dreaming

"California Dreaming" was the theme of movies and hit songs. What was that California dream that motivated so many to fill up their cars and head west? Was it for fame or fortune or both. For some it was to get a job when eastern companies were moving west and jobs were fading. Even some went for welfare benefits because California's welfare system was so generous. California seemed to have something for everyone.
A lot of folks found their California Dream and prospered. Some found an active drug scene and succumbed to all sorts of evil as a result. Some decided the grass just looked greener and headed back east. A lot gave up affordable housing and lower tax bases to join a mass of folks struggling to make ends meet even though their salaries were excellent.
Times change. Others prospered and built a star studded life for themselves. What was desireable 30 years ago, may not be so desirable today.
So if you know someone who is seeking fame and happiness through financial resources, you may want to have this discussion with them:
"Tell those rich in this world’s wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they’ll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life." 1 Tim 6:17-19 MSG

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Right Door

Have you ever felt that you have one hand on one door pulling you into a conflict and the other hand on another door pulling you to peace? Both doors hold a reward, depending on what your idea of reward is. How do you make the decision when you want some of what each holds for you?
Sometimes you just throw your hands up in hopelessness.

"You may think that the situation is hopeless, but God gives us more grace when we turn away from our own interests. That’s why Scripture says,

God opposes the proud,
    but He pours out grace on the humble.
 So submit yourselves to the one true God and fight against the devil and his schemes. If you do, he will run away in failure.  Come close to the one true God, and He will draw close to you. Wash your hands; you have dirtied them in sin. Cleanse your heart, because your mind is split down the middle, your love for God on one side and selfish pursuits on the other.

Since the beginning, our loving Creator has been pursuing us, drawing us closer to Him. He invites us to move closer to Him so we can be fully His." James 4:6-9 Message

There is your answer and your way to peace. Humble yourself before God and follow his ways, not your own. Step through his door completely and leave the other (worldly) door completely, finally and forever.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Read Me the Story

I remember how much my boys loved to be read to. They would climb up next to me or their father with a favorite book in hand. After a hard and frustrating day, reading a child's book was the last thing I wanted to do, but because of their persistence, I would relent and soon I had my second wind and began enjoying the task. It was a time of bonding and learninging as well as expressing that unconditional love.
Remember the story about Jesus trying to leave the crowd so he could get rest? When he saw their hunger for his message, he relented and welomed them to him. Like a child, do you hunger for him and his message. Do you run in search for him? When you pursue him, does he tell you he's too tired or does he welcome you with open arms, gentleness and patience? Do you treat the lost and those hungry to hear his Word the same way?
"The apostles then rendezvoused with Jesus and reported on all that they had done and taught. Jesus said, “Come off by yourselves; let’s take a break and get a little rest.” For there was constant coming and going. They didn’t even have time to eat.
So they got in the boat and went off to a remote place by themselves. Someone saw them going and the word got around. From the surrounding towns people went out on foot, running, and got there ahead of them. When Jesus arrived, he saw this huge crowd. At the sight of them, his heart broke—like sheep with no shepherd they were. He went right to work teaching them." Mark 6:31-43
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