Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Years Resolution

Over the next couple of weeks we will be bombarded with ideas for New Years Resolutions.  Join the gym, start a diet, read more, eat more vegetables, etc.

Do you usually make one of these resolutions?  Are you ever successful?  I make them every year and I just can’t seem to follow through.  I guess I just don’t have the discipline.

Perhaps our resolutions should be to change from the inside out.  Take a look at things Peter says we should work on …

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.”  2 Peter 1:5-7

Think about your life as you read these seven qualities.  What happens to your character if you ignore even one of these qualities.  It starts to unravel.  All these things are related. 

Be honest, are you doing all you can to add to your faith goodness?

Are you seeking knowledge?

Are you practicing self-control?

So you persevere in times of trouble?

Do you seek godliness?

Do you show kindness to the people around you?

Do you love others?

That sounds like quite a list to work on over the next year.  These kinds of resolutions will yield eternal benefits.  They are the only kind of New Years Resolutions I am choosing to think about over the next year.

What are your resolutions?


Monday, December 28, 2009

Are you wasting your life?

“Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.”  C.T. Studd

What would it mean to waste my life? 

What is the opposite of wasting my life?  To be successful in my career?  To accomplish something great?  To find great meaning in life?  To help other people?  To serve Christ?  To glorify God in all I do? 

“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.”  Matthew 16:25

Or, in other words, it is better to lose your life than to waste it. 

The Christian may “burn out”, but he must not rust out.  Never give up.  Never quit.

“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”  Romans 12:11

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24

“God created us to live with a single passion: to joyfully display his supreme excellence in all spheres of life.  The wasted life is the life without passion.  God calls us to pray and think and dream and plan and work not to be made much of, but to make much of him in every part of our lives.”  John Piper

Many people let their lives go by without a passion for God.  They spend their lives on trivial things.  They live for comfort and pleasure.  They try to avoid sin but never really serve God.  Don’t get caught up in a life that counts for nothing.  If you really believe that to live is Christ and to die is gain, then do it.  Start now and find a way to do it. 

Don’t just go through the motions.

Play the song “Going Through the Motions” by Matthew West.

Are you wasting your life?  Are you just going through the motions?  Are you using your life to make a difference? 


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Hope, Peace, Joy, & Love

How do Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love relate to the Christmas story?


We have hope because of the birth of Christ.  He being fully God and fully man was born with the purpose of dying for our sins.  If he wasn’t not fully man, then he couldn’t take our place.  If he wasn’t fully God then he wouldn’t have been sinless.  The perfect sacrificial lamb without blemish.  He died to pay for our sins so we could have the hope of eternal life.

Hope is not wishful thinking.  Christian hope is when God has promised something is going to happen.  You can put your trust in that promise.  Christian hope is a confidence that something will come to pass because God has promised it would.


"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6).

Jesus told his disciples before His crucifixion, "Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).

Without the birth of Christ, there is no peace.  Real peace comes from the Holy Spirit.  He dwells in the hearts of Christians.  That peace allows a Christian to have that quiet confidence that no matter what happens, everything is going to be Ok. 


“Joy to the World, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King.”

As long as we are human and live on this earth, we will have problems and difficulties.  As a Christian we are saved through faith in Christ.  Because of our faith in Christ, we know where we are going.  We know “the end of the story.”  We know that Jesus has won.  We know that he will be victorious.  We know that Jesus conquered death on the cross.  We know that He rose again.  We know that He gives us eternal life.  That should be enough to give joy to anyone!

For more on Joy, see my previous post “What is Joy"?”


Jesus is the greatest gift that God has given us. 

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

“Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.”  (Matthew 22:37-39)

Christmas is the perfect time to demonstrate our love for God and others.  Think of those who are less fortunate than you are.  Thank God for your blessings and share those blessings with others.

Celebrate God’s love for you by sharing that love with others.


Christmas 2009


Here is what the roads looked like that we drove on in South Carolina on 12/19.  20 mph was the top speed.  The road was so rough we thought the van was going to shake apart.


The roads in Virginia weren’t bad on Saturday 12/20 but we were still stranded.  This is I-81. There were so many accidents on Friday that they shut down the highway to clear the accidents.  Beth and I had a snowball fight while we were parked on I-81.


Mom and Dad got a foot of snow and the farm was beautiful!


The farm is for sale.  While I will miss going “home” to the farm, it is time for Mom and Dad to get a smaller place.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Leaving PA for VA

We are leaving PA today and headed for Lynchburg, Virginia.  I am taking a class at Liberty University next week.  I should have time and computer access to resume regular postings. 

I went to a Christmas Eve church service and heard a message on the Christmas candles.  He said they stood for Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love.  I've been gathering some thoughts and those will come in a day or so when I have time to get them down.

We have had a great Christmas with my parents.  My daughter enjoyed the snow and the sled riding.  It has been relaxing but the time went by way too quickly.

So for now ............  Rejoice for "Unto you a child is born."  And he is Jesus, the Savior!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Patience and Thanksgiving

We learned a lot about patience and thanksgiving over the last couple of days. We left our house in Lawrenceville, Georgia at 4:00 on Friday and started to drive to my parents' home in Pennsylvania. This trip usually takes about 12 hours. Our plan was to drive about 6 or 7 hours and then stop for the night and finish the trip on Saturday morning.

When we left GA, it was raining and traffic was heavy. We commented that it may take us a little longer. We had looked at the weather forecast and they were calling for snow in Virginia. As we drove north, the rain changed to freezing rain and ice in South Carolina. When we got around Charlotte, the roads on I-77 really got bad. After 10 hours of driving, we made it to exit 82 on I-77. (We should have made it that far in 5 hours.) The road that had slush on them had droven over and they were so rough that you couldn't drive faster than about 15 mph. We looked for a motel and were unsuccessful. We were told that there weren't any motels available until you got into Virginia BUT they had also closed I-77 at Fancy Gap and everyone on I-77 was now stranded. We parked in the Waffle House parking lot and slept in our car. We stayed warm by turning our engine on and off each hour. We were thankful we had gotten off the interstate when we did. We were thankful we had a restroom we could use. We were thankful we were safe.

We got up Saturday morning and hit the road about 7:00. We were waiting for daybreak so we could see the roads we were driving on. There was no change in the road conditions from the night before but they had reopened the hwy. When we crossed the Virginia state line the roads got better. We were moving pretty good for about 20 miles. Then everything came to a halt. We sat for over an hour when we saw a state trooper walking by. We asked him what was going on and how much longer we'd be sitting. We also asked about road conditions on I-81. He told us that parts of I-81 were closed. We didn't know what to do. We continued on. We were thankful for cell phones. I talked to my parents several times and let them know what was going on. We tried calling for a motel in Christiansburg, Virginia. Six motels - no vacancies. Mom had checked out the Hampton Inn online and they showed a vacancy - they had told me over the phone that they were full. Mom was able to book the room for us -- now we just had to make it that far.

We made it there about 4:00. Nine hours and we had driven 90 miles! We were tired - we didn't sleep well in the car the night before. We were thankful that we made it. We were thankful that it was warm. We were thankful for a shower! We were thankful for a good meal at Cracker Barrel. (We'd been snacking on our Christmas cookies in the car.)

We took off at 7:00 Sunday morning and tried again. We drove the speed limit on bare roads for about 50 miles and then - everything came to a dead stop. We sat for 2 hours. The road was shut down again because of accidents. We crawled up the interstate for about 2 miles and came to an exit. We got off and started hunting back roads. We went about 30 - 40 miles north on hwy 76 and then hwy 11. Finally we could see that the traffic on I-81 was moving again and we went back over and got back on it. (hwy 11 was now snow covered and treacherous) We moved at a good speed from there home. That was another 9-hour day in the car.  Total time on the road - 28 hours. 

We are so thankful to be with our family for Christmas. We are thankful we weren't one of the 7000 accidents that happened in the state of Virginia this weekend. We were thankful that we were safe. We were thankful that we have food and water in our car. We had a lot of time to spend together in our car and we talked a lot about a lot of things. We enjoyed each other. At one point a friend called me on my cell phone to see where we were. She couldn't believe we were laughing about the situation. When you can't change your circumstances, what does it help to get upset or mad. Staying upbeat was good for all of us.

Enjoy your Christmas and look for little things to be thankful for. They are all around us and we often take them for granted.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Keep Christ in Christmas

I’ve hear the statement “keep Christ in Christmas” a lot of times.  Have you ever stopped to wonder – How do I do that?

Perhaps it means allowing the character and love of Christ to shine through you to others each and every day. Think about some practical applications that you can do during the weeks preceding Christmas.  Here’s some ideas I came up with …

Give God a gift – something personal.  Perhaps let it be a sacrifice. It could be as simple as to forgive someone.  Maybe it is a commitment to spend time with God daily. 

Take some time this Christmas to read the Christmas story.  Think through the real meaning. Think about the story from different perspectives.  How did Joseph feel?  How did Mary feel?  There’s a great movie out - “The Nativity Story”.  Get a copy and watch it.  It will make you think of things you never thought of before.

Set a nativity scene up in your home  and give it a place of prominence.  Put it somewhere that you will see it daily and remember what it stands for.

Think about someone who needs help this time of year and reach out to them.  Perhaps donate a toy to Toys for Tots.  Donate food to a food pantry.  Is there an elderly person who you could volunteer to do some home repairs, snow shoveling, leaf raking, etc.  Is there someone who is ill and could use a home cooked meal? How about going caroling at a nursing home or children’s hospital?

“It is more blessed to give than to receive.”  (Acts 20:35)  Give an unexpected gift to someone you work with.  Demonstrate to them the love of Christ. 

Send Christmas cards to friends and family BUT choose your cards carefully and make sure they have a Christian message.  Make sure they say “Merry Christmas.”  If all you can get is Happy Holidays then write your own message in it. 

Find a church service to attend.  A lot of churches have special Christmas eve services. 

I’d welcome some ideas from you….


Monday, December 14, 2009

What if Christmas means a little bit more ….

"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?"  Dr. Seuss

There’s some truth in this section from How the Grinch Stole Christmas. 

There really is more to Christmas than stores, shopping, and gifts.  The most important part of Christmas is the birth of Jesus.

The historic record of the birth of Christ can be found in Matthew 1:18-25 or Luke 2:1-20.

Jesus was unlike any other baby ever born.  He was not created by a human father or mother.  He had a heavenly pre-existence.   (John 1:1-3)  He is God, the Son.  He is the creator of the universe (Philippians 2:5-11).  Christmas is called the incarnation.  That means “in the flesh”.  Jesus became flesh and dwelt among us.

Why did God do this.  Why did he send his son Jesus to the world as a baby.  Why did he become a man?  He knew He would be rejected and killed and yet, he did it anyway.

Why – because he loves us.  (John 3:16)

There really is more to Christmas than we often stop to think about.  It is the day the Savior was born.  Celebrate and be thankful.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tiger Woods

Who is Tiger Woods?

An idol
A hero
Famous person
Rich and powerful
Sports Star

How about a golfer?

That’s about all he is. He’s a man who can hit a little white ball into a small cup.

He’s not a hero.  He’s not an idol.  He’s not a role model.  He’s not someone our kids should look up to.  He makes very bad choices and has a very nasty mouth.

Our society has a bad habit of overpaying and worshipping professional athletes.  Tiger’s priorities are out of line but guess what – ours are too. 

Pick out someone who has changed the world by his faith and obedience to God.  These men and women are heroes. 

A missionary is a hero – he or she takes the love of God to others around the world. Read the story of Jim Elliot.  He’s worthy of hero status.

Look at evangelists like Billy Graham – he’s a hero.  His life is worth studying and admiring.  His impact on society over the years can’t be measured.

Kids pick up their values from the adults in their lives. Take a look at what you value.  Who are the heroes in your life? Be sure to pick someone whose moral character is one you wouldn’t mind your child imitating. There are some sports stars who are also Christians.  Pick those out and encourage your children to follow them.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Disappointed and Discouraged

I’m still in recovery mode from my surgery. I felt really good on Wednesday.  I was feeling so good that I thought perhaps I should go back to work.  I was feeling a little guilty about staying home and feeling good.  Then yesterday happened.  I definitely knew that I was not ready to go back to work.  I had a bad day and barely got out of bed.  I was frustrated, disappointed, and discouraged.

I selected Hebrews 11 and 12 to read this morning.  It contains some of my favorite verses.  Hebrews chapter 11 is the great chapter on faith.  The word faith appears 27 times in chapter 11.  The chapter ends by talking about the sufferings of the Jewish people.  Some of those things were mockings, scourgings, chains, imprisonments, stonings, being sawn in two, temptations, death by the sword, and homelessness.

Now look at chapter 12.  Chapter 12 is to give discouraged Christians hope.  It talks about being surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.  Those who have gone before us who despite their struggles remained true to their faith.     

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Try to picture what this says.  First we are told to “throw off everything that hinders.”  This makes me think of a big load that I am supposed to put down.  What am I carrying around every day that I really don’t need?  Am shouldering burdens that I need to trust God with? 

Next, I am to get rid of “the sin that so easily entangles.” The word entangles makes me think that the devil is trying to confuse me, catch me, and ruin my walk with Christ.  The devil would do anything to trip me up and get me off on the wrong path.  Remember to stick to the narrow path.  (“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.”  Matthew 7:13)

Then we are to “run with perseverance the race.” The word endurance implies patience and consistency. 

So then, I am picturing a runner in a race.  He has gotten rid of everything that could possibly weigh him down.  He is watching every step, so as to avoid any sinful traps.  He runs with hope, patience, and consistency.  How does he do all this?

The next verse gives the answer.  The way to accomplish this is by focusing on Jesus.  Keep your eyes on Christ.

If I am focusing all my attention on Christ then I should know three things.  The first is – Who is Christ?  “the author and perfecter of our faith”  He will stick with you through thick and thin.  (Hebrews 10:23 says “He who promised is faithful.”)

The second thing to know is – What did Christ do?  “endured the cross, scorning its shame”  He suffered more than we ever will.  He knows what it is like to be mocked, scorned, beaten, forgotten, deserted, etc..  There is no frustration I can go through that will ever compare to what He has already endured.

The third thing is – Where is Christ now? - “sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Jesus is sitting next to God in a position of power.

Hebrews 7:25 “Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” 

This means that I can keep on keeping on because Jesus is in the presence of God constantly and always interceding for me. Thank God that when I am frustrated, disappointed, and discouraged that He is there praying for me and carrying me through it.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

God gives good gifts

This is the season where everyone starts thinking about gifts.  I was reminded of a verse from James.

James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

I see two main thoughts.

#1 God gives good gifts to His children

#2 God never changes.

James is contrasting God’s nature with our nature.  We are fickle people.  We change our minds all the time.  We change our loyalties.  We cannot be depended upon.   God never changes.  God’s love for us never changes.  God can be counted on.  God keeps His promises.

God never tempts us to sin.  If we are feeling tempted then it is coming from our own sinful nature.  We are responsible for our actions.  We choose our actions.  (Saying that the devil made me do it is not accurate.)

2 Peter 1:3 “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”

Difficulties in our lives are to develop our Christian walk and testimony.  They are to point us to Him.  Remember Romans 8:28 that tells us that God causes all things to work together for good.  He uses everything to try to make us more like Christ.  To make us a people that will change the world we live in.

Recognize that God sees all things from the beginning of time to the end of time.  He does what He does because He loves us.

So what are some of the good gifts that God gives us?   salvation, peace, hope, truth, love for others, the Holy Spirit.  Can you add to this list? 

Santa Claus can’t give any gift that can compare with the greatest gift God gave and that is His son, Jesus.  So as we are in the gift giving season, remember to thank God for the best gift of all.





Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Psalm 121

Psalm 121

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
       where does my help come from?

2 My help comes from the LORD,
       the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
       he who watches over you will not slumber;

4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
       will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The LORD watches over you—
       the LORD is your shade at your right hand;

6 the sun will not harm you by day,
       nor the moon by night.

7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
       he will watch over your life;

8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
       both now and forevermore.


I had a better day today.  I think I will soon be back to normal.  I actually stayed awake a little longer today.  Thoughts are starting to flow.  Maybe a thoughtful post tomorrow.  It is hard for me to stay down and do nothing.  I get bored really quickly. 


Sunday, December 6, 2009

My Mind is Mush

I changed my mind about one thing since my last post.  I said my mind seemed to be working OK - it is not!  I'm going to be working hard to get off these meds the next couple of days.  When I'm not sleeping, I can't read or think.  I can't even concentrate enough to play solitaire.  I really can't stand not being able to think.  My mind feels like mush.

Even when feeling as confused as I am, I remember this:

"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; his love endures forever." Psalm 118:1

Saturday, December 5, 2009


If none of this makes sense, blame it on the medication I’ve been on since my surgery on Thursday.  By the way, everything went well and I should be back to work in a week or so.  I am sleeping a lot and am unsteady on my feet yet.  However, when I can stay awake, my mind seems to be working OK.

I’ve been thinking a lot about pain lately.  (I wonder why)  Pain is an uncomfortable feeling that tells you that something is wrong in your body. Pain is your body’s way of sending a warning message to your brain. 

In the same way that physical pain tells me that I need to see a doctor, emotional or spiritual pain tends to push me towards Christ.  It causes me to readjust my priorities and perspective. 

As we face painful times in our lives, one thing that we can be sure of is that the Lord will be faithful to us. That doesn’t mean we won’t experience difficult times but that we won’t face them alone.  As we face difficult times we can do it with a peace in our hearts.  We may also see that God uses some of the hard times in our lives to be a blessing to others. People watch how Christians deal with difficult times.  Hopefully, they will see our faith and it will inspire them to believe.

When times are tough we need to focus on God and stand firm on his promises.  He is our rock and salvation.  The only way we can truly do this is by knowing the Word. I need to study the Word and have it in my heart so when hard times come, I can draw my strength from it. 

God doesn’t promise that we won’t go through hard times.  However, He does promise that we won’t go through them alone.

So, where are you focused?  Ask God to help you focus your energies so you can look beyond your circumstances.  Ask God to help you feel his presence near you. He loves you and He is always there for you.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

God is Everywhere

God is omnipresent – meaning God is everywhere.

"Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there" (Psalm 139:7–8)

God is with me all the time. His presence is always near.

"God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being…" (Acts 17:27-28)

He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:17)

The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good. (Proverbs 15:3)

Sometimes it seems like God is a million miles away. It is in those times that we simply need to turn our focus back on Him. When we do, we are immediately comforted by His grace and His peace.

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." (Psalm 34:18)

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." (Psalm 46:1)

"You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." (Psalm 16:11)


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Be Who You Are

I’m having a hard time sleeping so I thought I would get up and write.  I’m not sure why I can’t sleep.  I’m not really worried about anything.  I’m not really stressed about anything.  My surgery is coming up on Thursday morning but I’m really not thinking about that very much – other than trying to take care of all the details.  The following are some things I was thinking about while I wasn’t sleeping …

Your Christian faith is a personal faith. While there is only one true God, each of us has to come to Him in our own way. The similarity is that we each have to lay down our lives, our burdens, our sin, our securities, and trust Christ. We trust Him to save us. We trust Him to take care of us. And we trust Him to lead and direct us through this life.

My path to experiencing God and His presence will not be like yours. What I am called to do will not be what you are called to do. We are individually called and we individually have to make the decision to follow and to obey.

God uses each of us differently and we are not to try to be like someone else. God didn't call me to preach. He called me to teach. In this current time of my life, He has laid things on my heart to write. I have never felt I was a good writer and yet here I am writing a blog.  It’s the idea of being the best you can be for God.  You are not called to imitate someone else.  God wants to use you, just as He created you, with all your unique gifts and abilities.

What He has called you to do, He will enable you to do.  Just be who you are and allow God to work through you.

It’s late.  I hope this all makes sense.  Perhaps now I’ll get some sleep.

“The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10


Sunday, November 29, 2009


I haven’t written in almost a week.  It’s been crazy busy here,  My parents arrived last Tuesday.  We have enjoyed a nice visit.  They leave tomorrow.  Mom and I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for 16.  We enjoyed having family here for dinner.  We did some shopping.  We wrapped the Christmas presents.  We decorated the house for Christmas yesterday. 

While the last week was lots of fun, I wouldn’t want my life to be like that all the time.  I need some time for myself.  I need some time to think, read, and write.  Busyness is something the Christian has to be careful of. 

I have to make rest a priority in my life – true Christian rest.  I have to manage my busyness.  i have to not let the world’s hustle and bustle get to me – something that happens during the Christmas season. 

I need to make a deliberate choice to prioritize relationships and life over busyness.  I need to pay attention to my time management.  I need to watch my schedule.  I need to feel OK about telling people “no”.

Think about the rest described in  Psalm 23.  There's no busyness described there. 

As you proceed into the Christmas season, take time to remember what the season is about.  Don’t get caught up in the busyness of everything and miss the meaning.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving is more than turkey

Thanksgiving is a time we have set aside to think about the things we have to be thankful for.  Examining our lives and seeing all the our blessings is a good practice.  One we really need to do daily not annually.

The Bible has a lot to say about giving thanks.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” I Thessalonians 5:16-18

“Oh give thanks for the God of heaven! For His mercy endures forever.” Psalm 136:26

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God”  Philippians 4:6

"And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him" Colossians 3:17

“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. ” Psalm 100 4:5

"Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever!"  I Chronicles 16:34

Thanksgiving is fun.  I get to spend time with my family.  We have great food.  However, if all I do is eat and give some lip service to being thankful, then I’ve missed the whole meaning of Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving should be about God and His steadfast love.  It’s about having a thankful heart for all the blessings I have received through the years and the promise of eternal life. 

It’s also about being content in our circumstances.  I should recognize that nothing takes God by surprise and that He knows what is best for me.  I may not see a situation as being good for me but God uses those situations to grow me in my faith and I still need to thank Him for those.

I wish you a happy and blessed Thanksgiving.  I pray you will focus on God and give Him the thanks that he so richly deserves.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Christmas With a Capital “C”

Listen to the words of this song as we get ready to enter the Christmas season.



Saturday, November 21, 2009

Who Am I

It’s a quiet morning.  My husband is off running errands and my daughter is still in bed.  She got in late after the school football game last night.  I’ve been up off and on since 4:00 am.  I’ve been having a lot of trouble sleeping lately.  I’ve got the laundry started, picked up some stuff around the house, and so I thought I would take advantage of the quiet and take a break.  I really didn’t have a topic in mind when I opened the software and started to write but now I think I will focus on the idea of “Who Am I".

I am a new creation

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”  2 Corinthians 5:17

I am a temple of the Holy Spirit

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”  
1  Corinthians 6:19-20

I am rescued, redeemed, and forgiven

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”  Colossians 1:13-14

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree."” Galatians 3:13

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace”  Ephesians 1:7

I am blessed

“So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.”  Galatians 3:9

I am chosen, adopted, and loved

“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.”  Ephesians 1:4-6

“Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12

I am healed

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”  1 Peter 2:24

I am more than a conqueror

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”  Romans 8:37

I am an heir (co-heir with Christ)

“Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”  Romans 8:17

I am in Christ and Christ is in me

“It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.”  1 Corinthians 1:30

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”   Galatians 2:20

I am alive with Christ

“made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”  Ephesians 2:5


Wow – what an encouragement.  I’m ready to take on the day.  What about you?


Thursday, November 19, 2009

I know Whom I have believèd,

I had to have an MRI today.  I am claustrophobic and so this was not a very pleasant experience.  I had to lay still for about 45 minutes.  I went in feet first and my entire body was in the scanner to my forehead.  I could tilt my head back and see a little bit of the room.  My arms were both back behind my head.  They had to run an IV and contrast dye into my system.

I was very uncomfortable and I couldn’t think straight.  I had to do something to get my mind off my circumstances.  I began to pray.  I prayed for the team of people I supervise, I prayed for my family, I prayed for all my daughter’s teachers, I prayed for our pastors, I started to pray for the students in my class and before I could get through them all, they were done with the scan.  The time had flown by.  I had taken my mind off myself as I prayed for others and God had allowed the discomfort to be taken away.  It ended up being a wonderful prayer time.

The MRI did confirm the doctor’s findings.  I am going to be having some minor surgery in December.  Nothing life threatening and nothing to worry about.  The recovery, however, is supposed to be very painful. We’ll see …

Here are some verses I meditated on tonight.

Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Colossians 3:15 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be
thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.”

2 Thessalonians 3:5 (ESV) “May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.”

Ephesians 3:16-19 “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

This chorus from an old hymn went through my mind.

I know Whom I have believèd,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.  (Whittle)


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Psalm 1

I chose Psalm 1 to look at tonight.  I memorized this passage years ago.  It contrasts the righteous man with the wicked.

Psalm 1

1 Blessed is the man
       who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
       or stand in the way of sinners
       or sit in the seat of mockers.

2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
       and on his law he meditates day and night.

3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
       which yields its fruit in season
       and whose leaf does not wither.
       Whatever he does prospers.

4 Not so the wicked!
       They are like chaff
       that the wind blows away.

5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
       nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
       but the way of the wicked will perish.”


Thoughts on this passage … 

The pursuit of God will bring you blessings.  

In the midst of problems, how can we have a stable life?  This psalm shows blessings that await the person who pursues God.

What does the word “blessed” mean?  The dictionary defines blessed as favored.  It refers to a state of happiness.  It can also mean enjoying God’s favor.

Pursuing God means you don’t allow the wicked to influence you.  You shouldn’t follow after the world’s ways.  You shouldn’t seek advice from non-Christians.  You should go to the Bible and to your Christian friends for godly council. 

A scoffer is one who mocks God.   Don’t associate with such people.

There is more to the Christian life than avoiding evil.  Don’t just run from evil, run towards God.

Verse 2 – refers to meditating on the Word – read it, study it, memorize it

Verse 3 – God promises prosperity.  Don’t misunderstand this part.  This prosperity is not the same as the world’s definition.  Real prosperity is not money or possessions.  Real prosperity is the result of God working in my life.  The results may not be what we are expecting but God will not leave us down.

Verse 4 – the chaff is the part of the wheat that is worthless.  II was once explained to me this way  -- When grain was harvested in Israel, they would pour it out on a threshing floor.  The wind would blow away the chaff and leave the the kernels of the wheat behind.  The wicked are like the chaff  - they blow around in the wind – following whatever the latest ideas and philosophies are. 

Verse 6 – The wicked will perish.  Sometimes it seems like they are getting exactly what they want but remember any prosperity they see now is temporary.  They will perish. 

Ideas to take away from this …

1. Examine your life.  Who are you going to for advice?  Are you seeking godly advice and direction or are you following the crowd? 

2. Accountability – find a godly person who can hold you accountable in your walk with God.  Someone who you can share your struggles with.  Someone who will pray for you and encourage you.

3. Bible Study – make it a consistent part of your life.  You can’t base your life on the Scriptures if you don’t know what God’s Word says. 


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Honesty is best policy

I went to Kroger and picked up a couple of prescriptions.  I got home and started filling out my paperwork for my flexible spending account and I discovered that the pharmacist had only charged me for 3 prescriptions and I had picked up 4.  The one I had not been charged for was $10.  I set it aside and thought about what to do.  The $10 was not a big deal for me.  I just hated to think about the hassle of going back, waiting in line, and then trying to explain to them that I owed them money.

I put it off for a couple of days.  It’s not that I didn’t want to be honest.  It was the time it was going to take to go back and straighten it out that I wasn’t sure I wanted to give up.  Finally, I got to thinking that their drug records wouldn’t match and I needed to make this right.  I went back and I was right.  I had to wait in line.  Then I had to explain everything to the clerk.  Then she had to call over the pharmacist.  They had to do some things in the computer and finally I paid them the extra $10.

They were very grateful that I had returned.  I was correct in my thoughts that their records wouldn’t come out right and that someone most likely would have gotten into trouble.

They were grateful and couldn’t believe that I would come back to pay them money that they didn’t even know that I owed them.  I felt better having taken care of it.  It was a small thing and yet it had been nagging on my conscience until I took care of it.

These situations happen to all of us.  The best thing for us is honesty.  The best thing for the other party is our being honest.  It still amazes people and blesses them when we are.


Honesty is a reflection of your character and your integrity. Your actions are a reflection on your faith.  Not being honest gives Christians a bad reputation. 

Honesty is a characteristic that needs practiced as a way of life.  It is a characteristic that employers look for.  It is something that is valued in friendships.  Once you mislead or lie to someone, it is hard to gain their trust back.  Make being honest your habit.


Luke 16:10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.

Proverbs 16”11 “Honest scales and balances are from the LORD; all the weights in the bag are of his making.”

Proverbs 11:3 “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.”



Monday, November 16, 2009

Are you fully committed?

Are you passionate about your relationship with Christ?  Are you living a life that is “filled-up” with love for God. 

II Chronicles16:9 “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”

God is searching for people who love him.  He is not searching for capable or qualified people.  He only wants your love and availability.

Will you answer His call the same way Isaiah did?

Isaiah 6:8 “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"”

Humble yourself before God.  Humility is necessary in order to be used by God.  Seek His face and His will. 

James 4:6 “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble”

John 3:30 “He must become greater; I must become less.”

God desires for you to trust him wholeheartedly.  Hebrews 11:6 “Without faith it is impossible to please God.”

Prayer is vital in a pursuit of God.  We must earnestly seek Him.  We must desire God to work in us.  Romans 12:12 says that we are to be faithful in prayer.  Philippians 4:6 and 1 Thessalonians 5:17 talk about our need to pray about everything and to pray without ceasing.  Our life should be centered around and guided by prayer. 

Many Christians today are living a comfortable Christian life.  We need to be shaken out of our complacency.  We need a swift kick in the pants to get us moving.  We need to get serious about our faith.  We need to hunger and thirst for the Word of God. 

Acts 3:19 “turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord"

How do we practically proceed …

1. Deuteronomy 6:5 “Love God with all of your heart, soul, and mind.”

2. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any unconfessed sin in your life.        1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

3. Seek forgiveness from anyone you have offended.  Forgive others who have offended you.  Make restitution as necessary.

4. Examine you heart.  Take a look at your motives.  Pray that you would please the Lord with every word and deed.  Pray, pray, pray.  (Psalm 19:14)

5. Count your blessings daily.

6. Read, study, and memorize Scripture. Determine to live a life of obedience and faith.  Matthew 5:6 “Hunger and thirst after righteousness.”

7. Find a good church and be actively involved.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lessons from Jonah

Quick summary of the book of Jonah:

Jonah’s fear and pride caused him to run away from God.  Jonah didn’t want to go to Ninevah.  He didn’t want to preach to the people there.  They were a very wicked group of people and Jonah didn’t want them to repent. He didn’t want God to save them.  They were his enemies and he wanted God to wipe them out. 

So, when God called him to go preach to them, Jonah went the opposite direction.  He boarded a boat and sailed away.  Soon a bad storm hit and the people on the boat were terrified.  They determined that Jonah was the problem and they threw him overboard.  Then Jonah is swallowed by a great fish.  He spends 3 days and 3 nights there.  Jonah repents of his sin. (who wouldn’t be praying if swallowed alive by a fish!)  The fish throws him up onto the beach.  Imagine what he looked like – bleached by the acids in the fish’s stomach.  How bad do you think he smelled! 

Jonah starts his trip to Ninevah.  When he gets there, he leads the city into a revival.  The people repent and get right with God – and Jonah gets mad.  He pouts.  He should be thankful but he isn’t. 

Then Jonah sat down outside the city.  God causes a gourd to grow and give him shade.  Jonah is happy.  The next day God sends wind and heat and the gourd dies.  God uses these things to teach Jonah about his mercy.

What can we learn form Jonah?

1. We can’t hide from God and we can’t run from him.  If God chooses to use us to accomplish a purpose – it will happen whether we like it or not. 

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

This verse reminds us that God has plans for us and He will prepare us for those plans.  We need to submit our will to His and allow ourselves to be used by God.

2.  God chooses to love everyone.  His love is not limited to a few chosen people.  John 3:16 says that “For God so loved the world …”  The gift of eternal life is for all people in all times.  My task as a Christian is to allow God to use me to reach others. 

3.  I am not to be resentful of those who come to Christ in “last-minute” conversions.  Remember the thief on the cross.  He was in his last hour when he acknowledged his need for Jesus.  None of us deserve forgiveness or eternal life.  Yet that free gift is offered to all of us. All we have to do is receive it. 

Ephesians 2:8-9 “ For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”


Friday, November 13, 2009

God’s plans are better than ours

Often times we are in the midst of troubles and we can’t see what possible good God can bring from it. Yet, the Bible says that all things work together for good for those that love the Lord.  (Romans 8:28) 

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

I was recently contacted on Facebook by a former student.  I taught this young lady in the late 1980s and I was also her basketball coach.  I knew her and her family really well.  She was a challenge as a youth.  She tested the system and had a rebellious streak in her.  And yet I really liked her.  She had a fiery spirit and she was a real competitor. 

In 1989, at age 16, she was in a nearly fatal car accident.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  I was a young teacher and this really tore me up.  Many of us gathered to pray for her.  We prayed that God would spare her life.  God had more in mind than that. 

The doctors didn’t expect her to live – she did.

Then the doctors said she’d never walk again – she did.

Then the doctors said she’d never be able to have children – she did.

Our plans are not His plans and our ways are not His ways.  He is able to do above and beyond what we can dream of.  Take a couple of minutes and watch her testimony video below.


Ephesians 3:20 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,”



Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ramblings of a tired person

I wanted something different tonight and so I was reading Romans in the Amplified Bible.  I really liked the beginning of Ch 5.

“1Therefore, since we are justified (acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right standing with God) through faith, let us [grasp the fact that we] have [the peace of reconciliation to hold and to enjoy] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

2Through Him also we have [our] access (entrance, introduction) by faith into this grace (state of God's favor) in which we [firmly and safely] stand. And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God.

3Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.

4And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.

5Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.”


No incredible ideas tonight.

Verse 1 – justification by faith – see also Hebrews 11

justification takes away guilt and makes a way for peace

Verse 2 – reminds me of Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace you have been saved through faith…

Verses 3 -5 – reminds me of 1 Thessalonians 5:18 – give thanks in all circumstances…  and 1 Peter 1:6-7 and James 1:2-4 testing of your faith produces perseverance …

I”m tired tonight and thoughts aren’t flowing well but I am encouraged by this passage of scripture. 

It is the hard times in my life that cause my faith to grow.  When things are going well, I need to remember to give thanks, to count my blessings, and to know that God is the one in charge of everything.  It is he who works in me for his good purpose. 

(Philippians 2:13 “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”)

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The right thing

So yesterday I wrote about doing the right thing.  How do you know what the right thing is?  It seems like our culture tends to think right is dependent on the person.

Having character is said to be doing what is right because it is right.

D.L.Moody said “Character is what a man is in the dark.”

As a Christian, I believe there is an absolute standard to determine right and wrong.  Right is not a relative thing.  You can’t make up the rules as you go.  We are accountable to God’s standards.  God has predetermined what is right, fair, legal, moral.  His code of conduct never changes.

Men and women of character choose to do what is right.  It is not forced on them.  The difference in their lives is focus and priorities.  They have their focus on Christ. 

No one would tell you they were against being a person of character and yet many people do not make that a priority.  They will compromise their character to achieve some goal in their life – that could be business or personal.

In today’s culture, what a person is on the inside is not as important as what they can do for you.  That is backwards from Scripture.

So as a Christian – focus on Christ, do the right thing because it is the right thing, don’t worry about outcomes.  God will honor you as you keep his standards.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Description of a true believer


General description of a true believer - He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous  (Psalm 15)

How do you do that? What does that mean?

Tell the truth

Do not insult others

Do not do evil to your neighbor

Do not disgrace your friends

Stay away from wicked people

Fear the Lord

Keep your word no matter what

Does not charge interest on a loan

Does not take a bribe against the innocent


That’s a lot to think about.

Try this –

Do the right thing for the right reasons – all the time.

Treat others the way they deserve to be treated – all the time.

Be consistent with your behavior.


Psalm 15 “ 1. Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill?

2.He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart

3.and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman,

4.who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the Lord, who keeps his oath even when it hurts,

5.who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.”


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Thoughts about God’s love for me

God loves me so much that He sent Jesus to die for me.  God loves me with his whole heart.  It is an unconditional love.  There is nothing I can do to earn it and He can never love me more or less than He does today.  No matter how much He loves everyone else, He still loves me completely and fully.  I don’t compete with others for His love.

I may not always feel that love but it is always there.  Sometimes circumstance or situations get in the way of my realizing God’s love but it is always there. 

No one is too old, too poor, too stupid, too sick, too bad, etc to be loved by God.  God meets us where we are and loves us.  He stands by us through everything. 

Philippians 1:6 “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Isaiah 43:1 “But now, this is what the LORD says--he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”

God's not just some mighty being who looks down at earth and sees a bunch of nameless people running around. He knows each one of us by name.

God knows our troubles and our happiness. He made me special and unique.  He seeks a relationship with me.  The God of the universe seeks a relationship with me.  Understanding that simple truth should be enough to blow your socks off!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Peace of Mind

Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”

There are several stories that come to my mind.  The first is Matthew 8 – the story of the disciples worrying while Jesus was sleeping.  Remember, they were on a boat in the middle of the lake when a bad storm came up.  They ran to look for Jesus and found that He was sleeping through the storm.  They shouted at Him, “We are all going to drown!”  Can you imagine Jesus waking up to all that screaming and panic?  Then he asked them why they were so afraid and scolded them for their lack of faith.  He then proceeded to calm the storm.  

The next story I thought of is found in John 14.  Jesus is preparing his disciples for his death.  He told them that he was giving them His peace.  The “peace of Christ” is different than any peace we can imagine on our own.  Jesus told them to not let their hearts be troubled, to not be afraid.  The peace He was offering is lasting and strong.

Finally, I am reminded of the verse I often quote from Philippians 4 that says we shouldn’t worry about anything.  That we should take everything need to God, in prayer and with thanksgiving.  The peace that comes from Jesus will guard my heart and my mind.

So my action plan is:

1. Keep my mind on Jesus.

2. Trust Him by giving Him control of every situation

3. Take my worries to God all the time, every day.

4. Be thankful for all things.  (Count my blessings)  Be thankful that He is always there for me – every minute of every day.

5. Expect the peace of God to fill my heart and mind.


Matthew 8:24-26 “Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!" He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.”

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Need for alone time

I took some time this weekend to try to de-stress.  My husband worked late Friday night and didn’t get home until about 11:00.  My daughter was at the school’s football game.  I was home alone – and it was great!  I had quiet.  No one was asking me for anything for a couple of hours.  I was able to play some music, read some, and take a nap.  It was exactly what I needed.

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body," (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) 

A lot of times this verse is used to say that you shouldn’t drink or do drugs.  The verse is also used when people talk about watching what you eat and exercising.  While I can agree with all those applications, I also think you can apply it to the need to de-stress or simplify your life.  When your life is so stressed and full of activities and work that you don’t have time to think, then stop and ask yourself, “How am I honoring God right now with my body?” 

If you are so stressed that you can’t think straight then that isn’t honoring to God.  If you are “on the go” so much that you can’t relax, then that is not honoring to God.

So when I feel stressed, I need to shift the focus to God.  I need to think about how important things are in light of eternity.  

I think I’ll check the calendar and see when I can get some alone time again.  It was needed, it was good for me, and it was fun!


Friday, October 30, 2009

There will be a day …

The day will come when all the stress, problems, and burdens of this life are gone.  Then I will see Jesus face to face.  But for now, I’ll hold on to Him with both hands and run the race that is set before me.

There Will Be A Day lyrics

I try to hold on to this world with everything I have
But I feel the weight of what it brings, and the hurt that tries to grab
The many trials that seem to never end, His word declares this truth,
that we will enter in this rest with wonders anew

But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings
That there will be a place with no more suffering

There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more
There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more,
we'll see Jesus face to face
But until that day, we'll hold on to you always

I know the journey seems so long
You feel you’re walking on your own
But there has never been a step
Where you’ve walked out all alone

Troubled soul don’t lose your heart
Cause joy and peace he brings
And the beauty that’s in store
Outweighs the hurt of life’s sting

But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings
That there will be a place with no more suffering

I can’t wait until that day where the very one I’ve lived for always will
wipe away the sorrow that I’ve faced
To touch the scars that rescued me from a life of shame and misery
this is why this is why I sing

There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more
There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more,
we'll see Jesus face to face

There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more
There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more,
we'll see Jesus face to face

There will be a day, he will wipe away the tears,
He will wipe away the tears,
He will wipe away the tears,
There will be a day.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Living by faith – by choice

My thoughts are not flowing well tonight.  I’m tired.  I’m stressed.  And that has very little to do with what I’m writing about …

Thinking about what it is to live for Christ and to live by faith.

Philippians 1:21 “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

I live only to serve Him.  I have nothing apart from Him.

No desires for anyone or anything but Christ – who, other than Paul, could say that - honestly?

Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

I must crucify my sinful nature.  It has to die so that I can really live.  I must still make proper choices.  However, I do these things by making the choice to allow Christ to live in me. I do this by allowing His Word to dwell in me.  That can only happen as I constantly read His Word. 

This faith that we have will lead us to walk by faith.

Habakkuk 2:4 “The just shall live by faith.”

The just man trusts, not in himself, but in God. His faith is directed upward, not inward.

He knows that God does all things right and all things well. Running the universe is God's business, but the righteous man will live by his faithfulness. He will trust and obey, even if he doesn’t understand all of God's ways.

Faith is not a singular event, confined to a distinct point in time and space; rather, it is a way of living.

How do you live?  Living by faith is a choice - a daily choice.  Are you willing to make it?


Monday, October 26, 2009

God has your back!

I read Romans 8 today and this really stood out to me ……

I usually use the NIV but today I was in the New Living Translation, just reading this in a different version made some new things stand out to me.

Romans 8

31b. If God is for us, who can ever be against us?

32. Since God did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won't God, who gave us Christ, also give us everything else?

33. Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? Will God? No! He is the one who has given us right standing with himself.

34. Who then will condemn us? Will Christ Jesus? No, for he is the one who died for us and was raised to life for us and is sitting at the place of highest honor next to God, pleading for us.

35. Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death?

36. (Even the Scriptures say, "For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep." )

37. No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

38. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can't, and life can't. The angels can't, and the demons can't. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can't keep God's love away.

39. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

So what …

Where does all of this leave me? It means that God is on my side, and it doesn't matter who or what might be on the other side.

God will hold nothing back when it comes to his love for me. After all, if He gave his son for me, isn't that enough?

There is no higher authority than God. There is no need to fear anything of this earth. Jesus has the Father's attention and He loves me and He is pleading my case. Nothing can stop that love. Even in the midst of suffering and pain, never doubt the outcome. God loves me now and forever. Nothing can come between me and God's love for me.

You know how good it feels to know that “a friend has your back.”  Well – God has your back in all things – what a great truth!


Sunday, October 25, 2009

God’s Will

Have you ever wondered what God’s will was for your life?

There are two key ideas when thinking about God’s will.  The first is what does God’s Word have to say about the situation.  If God’s Word forbids it, then you can be sure it isn’t God’s will for you.  The second thing to ask yourself is - will doing this thing glorify God or help you grow spiritually?

If it isn’t forbidden in God’s Word and it would bring glory to God, then proceed and see how things go.  If it isn’t what God wants, he’ll put obstacles in your path.

Knowing God’s will is sometimes difficult. People want God to tell them specifically what to do — what job to take, where to live, who to marry, etc. God rarely gives people these kinds of specific answers.

God allows us to make choices regarding those things.  Romans 12:2
tells us, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.”

The only decision God does not want us to make is the decision to sin or resist His will. God wants us to make choices that are in agreement with His will.

So, how do you know what God’s will is for you? If you are walking with the Lord and truly desiring His will for your life, God will place His desires on your heart.

The key is wanting God’s will, not your own. “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart”  Psalm 37:4.  

If the Bible does not speak against it and it can genuinely benefit you spiritually, then follow your heart. If you truly seek God’s will with a humble spirit and an open mind, He will reveal His will to you.


Saturday, October 24, 2009


Are you tired?  Do you feel worn out? Are you exhausted?  Are you stuck on a rut and feel like you are going nowhere?  Have you ever thought where is God?

Not only does God know of our struggles, but God also offers strength.

“But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

When you trust in the Lord, then your strength is eternal.  That’s because it isn’t yours, it’s the Lord’s.  Even in difficulty or trouble, your walk will continue because the Lord is guiding your feet.  When you get tired, the Lord will carry you.

There will be moments in your life when it all seems overwhelming.  That’s when you have to trust God to get you through it.  Don’t try to go it alone.  Trust in the Lord with all your heart.  Trust Him to give you strength and hope.

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26)

“The Lord is my shepherd; I have everything I need.“  (Psalm 23:1)

“The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Be Still

“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

This is an imperative.  A command.  What does it mean?

I think it means to be still in our heart.  To recognize God is in control and let Him run the show.  To let go of everything that is troubling you and let God handle it.  That doesn’t mean you do nothing but it does imply that you seek His will. 

Know and acknowledge that He is God.  Reflect on His character.  Be still and think about what you know about God.  Really know that He is God – not just intellectually but practically, spiritually, emotionally.

He is in charge.  He is the Creator of the Universe.  He is the beginning and the end.  He is all powerful and all knowing.  He is above all created thing.  He was, and is, and is to come. 

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,”  (Psalm 46: 1-2)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I had this song running through my mind today.  It is from an old hymn.

Stayed upon Jehovah,
Hearts are fully blest,
Finding, as he promised,
Perfect peace and rest.

What is this rest that Jesus has promised?

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest .” (Matt 11:28)

If we come and submit ourselves to Christ, then we get rest.  We choose to go to Christ and give Him our burdens. Coming to Christ is suppose to be easy.  Just bring whatever burden you’re carrying and come the way you are.

We are his workmanship.  Our lives are not our own.  It is God who works in me to will and to do according to His good pleasure. 

The biggest struggle I have in the Christian life is to rest.  Hebrews 4:11 says that it takes effort to rest.  (“Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest,”)  It means letting go of things that stress me.  It means letting God take control and responsibility for my life.  It means walking by faith and not by sight. 

I can do it.  I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”  (Philippians 4:13)  I can and will work at resting.  Will you?


“For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

“for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Philippians 2:13

“We live by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hakuna Matata

Can’t sleep …….. thought I’d journal for awhile…

I start using Microsoft Live Write to write these.  If you haven’t seen it, and you blog – you need to check it out. 

Hakuna Matata …..

It’s my problem-free philosophy …. (remember the song from the Lion King.)

Does that really exist?  I read that Hakuna Matata translated from the original Swahili means “there are no worries here.” 

Philippians 4:6-7 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God...shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus"

So what do you think …… should a Christian’s motto be Hakuna Matata …..

"And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life's span?  If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why are you anxious about other matters?  (Luke 12:25-26, NASB).

We worry because we are trying to take God's business into our own hands. We are worried about results, timing, jobs, finances, acceptance, etc., but God has made Himself responsible for all of these things and lots more.

God has his fingers on the very details on my life.  He cares about everything I am going through.  I need His perspective on life.  I need my focus on Him.  I need to leave worries in His hands.

So, for now, Hakuna Matata ……. (and good night)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Thinking about thinking

Just thinking about thinking tonight ….

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."  (Proverbs 4:23)

I think the heart in this verse includes the mind.  I remember someone saying one time that we commit a sin first in our thoughts and then with our actions.  You have to control your mind and what it thinks on. 

Fill you mind with good input.   What goes in comes out.  Train your mind to think on godly thoughts.  Train your mind to come up with godly solutions.  Train your mind to take your problems to Christ first.

“take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5

“Don't worry about anything: instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. ....Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and heard from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you.”  (Philippians 4:6-9)

“Let heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth. For you died when Christ died, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your real life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all His glory.” (Colossians 3:2-4)

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)

So what are you thinking ……..


Saturday, October 17, 2009


Ideas and thoughts on trust ….

God is God.  Because He is God, He is worthy of my trust and obedience.  I will not rest anywhere but in the center of His will for my life.  His will is beyond my wildest notions of what my life is to be like.  He knows the beginning and the end.  He knows what He has planned for me.  I can trust Him.

There will always be uncertainties in my life, but there is one certainty – God loves me and His will for me is perfect.

I desire to wholly follow the Lord.  I believe that His promises are true and trustworthy. 

Trust is a firm belief.  It is a conscious act.   It is a choice.

He will never leave me or forsake me. 

1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

Psalm 103:11 “For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him”

There is no circumstance, no trouble, no testing, that can ever touch me without God knowing about it first.  If God knows about it, then why should I panic.  After all, God doesn’t make mistakes.  Therefore, he won’t let anything happen to me that isn’t part of His plan for me.

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Lamentations 3:22-23 “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning …”

Jeremiah 17:7 “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.”


Friday, October 16, 2009


Fear is an emotion that can cripple a person.  Fear can be displayed as worry, guilt, stress, depression, confusion, etc..  The main kinds of fear are the fear of death, sickness, failure, and rejection.  There are hundreds of other fears but I won’t go into all the “phobias” that exist. 

Should a Christian be fearful?  John 10:10 says that the devil loves to operate through fear.  Is fear really a lack of trust?

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7)

You can’t be fearful and trusting God at the same time.  "You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You." (Isaiah 26:3).

Fear anticipates the worst and not the best.  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Faith is the opposite of fear.  "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for." (Hebrews 11:1)  So fear is what we don’t hope for.

Fear doesn’t come from God.  "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7)

Fear is a sin.  “Whatever is not of faith is sin." (Romans 14:23)   Jesus spoke of worry. He said six times, "Do not worry." (Matthew 6:25-34).

"Fear always springs from ignorance." (Emmerson) Get hold of the best advisers, get good counsel. Don't try and handle it yourself.  “The godly offer good counsel; they teach right from wrong.” (Psalm 37:30)   “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harms.” (Proverbs 13:20)

Take control over your thoughts.  Don’t let them control you.  “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Recognize that you are in a spiritual battle and the devil would love to distract you and render you powerless by simply causing you to spend your time in fear rather than in prayer or praise.
"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." (Ephesians 6:12)

Fight the good fight by putting on the whole armor of God.  “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”  (Ephesians 6:14–17)

Remember Philippians 4:6-8
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things." (Philippians

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


What is Christian humility? It has to do with being totally honest with myself about who I am. I need to recognize my shortcomings and my dependence on God. I am dependent on God’s grace, mercy, strength, wisdom, etc… It is admitting to myself that I can’t do it alone. I am not in control.

Pride is the opposite of humility. Pride is wicked and destructive. It causes me to be self-centered. It causes me to think that I can do it myself and that I don’t need anyone. It hurts other people and it destroys my character. (It is easier to see in others than myself – ouch!)

Humility goes against the philosophy of the world. The world tells me that I must sell myself if I want to get ahead. I must learn to be assertive so I am not walked on by others. While a certain amount of self confidence is a good thing, be sure to remember that everything I have comes to me by the grace of God.

How do you “get” humility? I have to have a right attitude toward God. Remember who He is. See God in his majesty, power, and holiness. (That should be enough to humble me.) Recognize that all I have comes from the hand of God.

The main thing is to come before God and just be honest about who I am. Admit how much I need His love and His grace.

1 Corinthians 15:10a “But by the grace of God I am what I am.”

1 Peter 5:5b-7 “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

Ephesians 4:2 “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”

Micah 6:8 “And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Scripture Memory

I struggle memorizing Scripture. I know it would be good for me. I have seen people who can just pull verse after verse from their memory and I wish I could do that. I know a lot of the basic Bible verses. I know where to find lots of verses – in my Bible. I have trouble finding things in someone else’s Bible. I remember things like what color I highlighted it and where it is on the page. Memorizing more Scripture needs to be a goal for me and I believe it needs to be a goal for most Christians.

Chuck Swindoll wrote, “I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture…No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! Your prayer life will be strengthened. Your witnessing will be sharper and much more effective. Your attitudes and outlook will begin to change. Your mind will become alert and observant. Your confidence and assurance will be enhanced. Your faith will be solidified.”

There are a few reasons why Scripture memory is essential to the Christian life.

Scripture will help conform you to the image of Christ. As we go through our lives, situations happen and we need our first thoughts to be what does Scripture say about this.

Scripture will help us with our daily victory over sin. Psalm 119:9, 11 “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. … I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." Paul said that we must put to death the deeds of the body.(Romans 8:13) In Ephesians 6, Paul talks about the armor of God. The only offensive weapon we have is the sword of the Spirit – which is the Word of God. Remember when Jesus was tempted by Satan. He recited Scripture from memory and Satan fled from him. (Matthew 4)

Scripture will help you comfort and council others. There are times when people you know and love need you to counsel and comfort them. A lot of these times either a Bible isn’t handy or bringing out your Bible would “scare” them off. Yet they would sit there and listen to you recite verses from the Bible. Isaiah 5:11 says that God’s word will not return empty but will achieve the God’s purposes.

Scripture will help you communicate the gospel to unbelievers. Opportunities to share the gospel come when we do not have a Bible in our hands. Never forget the power that the Word has. We should be able to sum up the plan of salvation into a couple of verses. Remember to include verses on God’s love, man’s sin, Christ’s death, the free gift of life through faith.

By memorizing Scripture, you can let the Lord talk to you all day. Everywhere you go and in everything you do, the Word is a part of you. Memorize verses like “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) These will help you through tough times. When my husband lost his job just over a year ago, the first thing I thought was “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) This helped immediately put me in the right frame of mind to deal with the situation.

So, pick out a verse that you think will help you get through the day. Write it down and begin to memorize it. Perhaps write it on an index card and carry it with you every day until you learn it. Post it on your mirror so you see it first thing in the morning. Think of ways to keep it in front of you until you’ve mastered that one. Then choose another verse.

Don’t make your goals too tough. Memorize one verse every 2 weeks and you will learn 26 verses in a year. Look for long term gains. I usually start a project like this and want to do it fast. This is not a sprint, it is a life-long marathon. Make goals you can achieve and enjoy the process. Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you don’t make a goal, just try again.

A lot of this post was influenced by some things I've read by John Piper.