Friday, July 31, 2009

LACED WITH GRACE...special blue box


"As a young teen, I remember visiting my friend and finding her sitting on the floor of her bedroom. The closet was empty. Tracy’s bedroom had the look of a war zone. Boxes, papers, photographs, old CD’s were strewn all over the floor. The shrapnel of her memory was almost overwhelming to her. As she reached across the mess, she came upon a photograph of her..."

CLICK HERE to read the rest of today's devotion!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Lynn is hosting THANKFUL THURSDAY this week and if you stop over at her place, you will find her giving praise for summer blessings.

I also love the season of summer. It brings alot of things that I love...

Fresh vegetables from our garden
going to the beach
hot, sunny days
cool breezy mornings after a night of rain
spending extra time with my daughter
sleeping in late
staying up late
fresh lemon-aid
did I mention the beach?

Each season in our year brings many blessings, just as do the seasons of life that we find ourselves in. Enjoy each moment and take time today to give God praise for His Heavenly touch in your world!

Find more thankful hearts today over at Spiritually Unequal Marriage by clicking HERE!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD ...what enslaves you today?

Many of us have no idea what it would be like to be enslaved. Even though, if I asked each of you, you might say your place of employment may seem like enslavement. But nothing compares to the kind of enslavement that people like Corrie Ten Boom experienced.

Corrie Ten Boom was imprisoned by the Nazi's during World War II for sheltering Jews. Her experience was, as you can imagine, traumatic. When she was finally released from her imprisonment, she had a hard time seeing it all as real...

"I could not believe it. Perhaps we were only going to the Siemans factory; tonight we would march back to camp. But at the top of the hill we turned left, toward the center of the small town. I could feel my feet swelling in the tight new shoes, but I bit my lip and made myself stride along. I imagined the guard turning around, pointing a scornful finger: 'Edema! Send her back to camp."-CORRIE TEN BOOM
After Corrie Ten Boom and the other captives were released, it must have been difficult for them to live in joy and peace. Certainly doubt and denial became a part of their every day living. This part of history reminds me of the returned exiles that returned from Babylon when they rebuilt their temple and rebuilt their culture. At first, the people shed tears, but then Nehemiah told them to do something...

"Go and eat what is rich, drink what is sweet and send portions to those who have nothing prepared, since today is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, because your strength comes from rejoicing in the Lord." -NEHEMIAH 8:10

How many times do we want to do exactly what the exiles did here in Nehemiah!

In last week's YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I polled the readers the following question: "When you suffer an injustice, how much are you likely to talk about it?" The top 3 responses are...

1. 42% of those voting said that they would only talk to God about it.
2. 28% of the readers voted and said that they would vent about it to one or two close friends.
3. 14% voted and said that they would spout off a few times and then drop it.

Sounds to me like some of us ARE much like the exiles ... we whine and we cry! I love what Nehemiah instructed the people to do, the same instruction is good for you and me today:
"Do not grieve because your strength comes from rejoicing in the Lord!"

Why not trust God and rejoice in His freedom!

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD is a weekly post where I share a personal study I have done that week. Today I have shared some thoughts of a study that I am currently doing on being enslaved by things that chain us. It is my prayer that you will find freedom from the things that keep you from being all you can be in Christ!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A PIECE OF MY HEART ... everything is ruined

Have you ever put something red with a load of white clothes in the washing machine? I have had perfectly good clothes ruined because of colors bleeding onto other colors in the laundry.

As you pull the clothes out of the washer, you discover everything is just ruined. Everything has been tainted with red splotches!

Reminds me of what happened when the darkness of sin entered the pureness of the Garden of Eden. When sin entered the world ... many things were changed.

humans became hateful
creation was cursed
the animal kingdom no longer was tame
the ground became full of thorns and weeds

Sin ruined everything! and everything was changed!

Today, we still see the effects of that curse of the first sin. Death, disease and destruction are realities of our world that lives under a curse.

As bleak as this all sounds. There is hope.

Romans 8:22 says "all creation has been groaning under this curse. But the day is coming when the groaning will end."

If we could ... we would restore that load of clothes in the washer that was ruined. But the truth is the kind of restoration that this world needs is the kind that only God can give.


and that is a piece of my heart today;

Monday, July 27, 2009

TRUTH...or dare

TRUTH...what is truth?

In today's society, it is hard to be able to know what is true and what is not true. The news proves this to us each day.
The weather report says sunshine but it rains.
The Dow Jones reports a decline in what your broker promised to be good.
Politicians breaking pre-election promises.

If truth be told, it is not only hard to find truth on our news channel, but in our workplaces, in our homes and sometimes, sadly enough, in our churches.

broken promises
people not keeping their word
teaching against God's Word

I am blessed to be part of an awesome church that DOES teach God's Word, but I was reminded this week that not everybody has this freedom. All you have to do is turn on the TV and see some TV preachers teaching that the way to heaven is thru works or to guarantee your salvation just send them a hundred bucks!

TRUTH must know the Truth in order for it to set you free!

The TRUTH is that salvation is not any thing that you can earn! In fact the debt has already been paid. Salvation is free and it is as easy as BELIEVING, ASKING and RECEIVING. That's right Believe on Jesus Christ and that He died on a cross for you, so that you can have eternal life. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins, repent and then receive His promise of eternal love, forgiveness and peace.

TRUTH ... you may not recognize it in your world today but the Truth is not found in our world but found in Jesus Christ!

Have you opened up the book of Truth today? .... go ahead, I dare you!

Friday, July 24, 2009

CIRCLE OF LOVE... meet Lauren


Lauren is a new friend to me here in blogger world. Believe me, just one visit to her page will leave you feeling pretty blessed. She has a very eye catching blog but the one thing that caught my eye the first few visits were the statements of faith and encouragement found on her side bar.

Lauren is married and mother of two precious sons living in Heaven & two foster sons who are no longer with them physically but always in their hearts. After reading this about Lauren ... I immediately realized that this is one incredible woman of faith!

Lauren's statement of faith continues on and she shares with her readers that she strives to be a Proverbs 31 woman - which can be pretty tough some days! But she is convinced that "He who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ." Phil 1:6
Lauren makes a statement that she wants to live her life by faith and take it one stepping stone at a time. Though she cannot see ahead to the next stone, she knows the One who does. As she puts her hand in His, He faithfully is guiding her through all the rivers, valleys, and mountains of life.

Haven't you already fallen in love with Lauren's spirit? One of Lauren's most recent posts on her blog shared a few of her favorite things. I couldn't think of a more marvelous way to see a little piece of her heart than to share with you this recent post. (the first thing on her list linked our hearts forever because the beach is also one of MY favorite things!!) Read on and get better acquainted:

A Few of my Favorite things....

The beach! I love soaking up the sun, salt water, and sand!

Unpacking! We loaded up the moving van last weekend and put
all of our things in storage. We move into our new home in mid August… I can’t
wait! I love unpacking and setting up our home – it’s like Christmas for

A really awesome sermon… like the one I heard Sunday night. WOW – it was about being filled with the Holy Spirit. How there is no such thing as being 95% full of the Spirit … it’s ALL or NOTHING! If there is 5% of your life that you just can’t surrender to God, then you are living in 100% rebellion. He doesn’t ask for a piece of us – He commands our WHOLE hearts! The word picture that came to my mind is this:You have a cup of water and a vial of red food coloring. The water is the Spirit … the coloring is that thing in your life you can’t let go and give to God; Sin, idolatry, ANYTHING that is not bowed to Him. If your cup is nearly full of pure water, but you put even one drop of coloring in it – the whole cup is tainted. The whole cup turns pink. There is no pure water left. The same is true for our souls. If we have even one thing that we refuse to surrender to the will of God, then our whole heart is

“Throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.” Joshua 24: 23 Praise God for His mercy and grace … for without it we would all perish.

Let our hearts be like those who said, “We will serve the Lord our God and obey him.” Joshua 24:24

And these verses: “Speak to one another with psalms hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 5:19-20

WOW. What a great list of favorites! RELAXING (at the beach), MAKING HER HOUSE A HAVEN (preparing a home for her family) and THE WORD! Sounds to me like Lauren is making strides towards that goal of striving to be a Proverbs 31 woman!

Recently, Lauren shared her heart with me online and answered some questions that will help us see exactly what makes her heart beat in her ministry of writing. Come along with me and get better acquainted.


Lauren Casper ~You can find me at my blog "Walking by Faith" ---

I have been blogging since January 2009. My favorite thing about blogging is that it allows me to be creative. I can get my thoughts and feelings out where I can see them. I also love that it opens up the door to a whole group of people I wouldn't otherwise know. It's a wonderful tool for spreading the gospel and encouraging sisters in faith.

I mainly blog about Jesus - what He's doing in my life, what He's been teaching me, what I've seen Him do in others lives. I also occasionally give little updates on what's going on in my world.

4. TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF...if you work ~where? ...have a family ~ tell us about them?
As of right now, I am a stay at home wife. I'm 25 and have been married for 4 years. We live in the mountains, but all of that is about to change! We're moving to the beach sometime this summer for my husband to attend seminary. At this time I will **hopefully** be working full time to help support hubby in his time at school. I am the mother of 4 precious boys. I have 2 sons (Asher and Cyrus) living in heaven. Alex and Avery are our twin foster boys who we love with all our hearts. They were returned to their "real parents" last year... but they'll always be my boys. Other than that, I love: music, quilting, painting, scrap-booking, violin, guitar, reading, and old musicals!

I've been serving God for 5 years. I came to Christ when I was 20 years old and have been running after him with all my heart ever since!

Just one?? haha Well, foster parenting is a great example of God's faithfulness. He was definitely calling us to do foster care, so we started the paper work. Social services said we probably wouldn't get a child for 6 months to a year after everything was complete. We signed up to start out with just 1 child, in the age range of infant - 2yrs. We were advised not to go out and buy anything until all the paper work was complete. Well, the day our social worker called to tell us it was complete she also said "can you take a set of twins in 2 hours?" !!!!! So, we prayed (already knowing the answer) then asked for an extra hour to run to walmart, and said yes. Alex and Avery came to us with nothing but the filthy clothes on their back. They were just dropped off in our foyer and then we were left to figure it all out from there! We were at a loss. We hadn't ever been parents before. So we begged God to help us ... and He did. We took it one day at a time, and sometimes one hour at a time! I have never been so tired in my life!! But, while I was completely empty, I watched God come in and provide time after time. He was totally faithful to us for the months we cared for the twins. Then, when it was time for them to go, God was faithful once again to pour out His grace and let us say goodbye. It still hurts, but God is always there with me every step I take.

"Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:33

As we move forward with our plans for seminary we're experiencing a lot of struggles. Our house isn't selling, we're having trouble finding new jobs, and time is running out as August quickly approaches! But, God has promised that if we seek Him first, above all, He will provide. It may not look like what we desired ... but He will always provide "all these things..."

oh wow - I don't know, seeing as I am fairly new to the blogging world. I guess... pray and read scripture before you blog. Let your heart and mind be totally saturated with Jesus before you let your fingers hit the keys.

WOW! What wonderful advice Lauren! I love the thought of being saturated
TOTALLY with Jesus before even sitting down to the computer. I believe that we
would never have writers block if we adhered to that advice. Thank you so much
for sharing your heart and sharing the love of Christ with your readers. You are
a great encouragement to me and to all of those TAKING A STAND! -

Please visit Lauren today over at WALKING BY FAITH! (click here)

Thursday, July 23, 2009



Whenever I think about victory I immediately think about the Israelites and Gideon. When the Israelites called out to God for deliverance from their enemies, the Lord called upon Gideon to lead the people and Gideon was promised a victory.

DEUT. 20:4 "It is the Lord ... Who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to give you victory."

Gideon raised a mighty army and felt comfortable that the Israelites would succeed. However, God didn't want any doubt about Who would be providing the victory. It was clear who had provided the victory when God had Gideon send 70% of his men home, defeating the enemy with only a mere 300 men.

Just like the Israelites, God wants us to trust in the power of His grace for our victories. Victory in life comes thru walking with God on a daily basis. Trusting in Him will give each of us the confidence and hope that we need to overcome any situation. Thus making us victorious Christians!

Aren't you thankful for the victory we have in Jesus?

Lynn is hosting TT this week. Stop by her place today and share your grateful heart with us.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD... singing the blues

I am really late in posting my WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD today but I did want to share with you what my study revealed to me this week.

Have you ever just felt like singing the blues? You know when you have a flat tire, the cat throws up on your new carpet and the baby has the flu. Sometimes we have a bad day and just feel like singing the blues.

So what do we do when that bad day turns into a bad week or worse yet, a bad year?

In last week's YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I polled the readers the following question: "What is most likely to cause you to "sing the blues"? The top 3 answers this week were...

1. 60% of those voting said that financial stresses would cause them to sing the blues.
2. 40% of those polled said that they would sing the blues over family issues.
3. 20% of the readers voted and said that frustrations at work have them singing the blues.

Wow. What an incredible result from this weeks poll. Sounds to me like some of us are having not only bad days, but simply bad situations in our life that got us down.

Have you ever had someone say to you, "I know what you are going thru!" Maybe someone has gone thru the same illness that you are struggling with right now. Possibly you have just lost your job and someone comes along that had been laid off and can relate to the stresses you are experiencing. Whatever your situation, when we hear the phrase "I know what you are going thru", probably mixed feelings run thru our mind.

On one hand, it is great to know others have also experienced what you are going thru but sometimes when people say they know what we are going thru ... we wonder "do they, do they really?" Even though no two people can experience the same exact thing, we often place ourselves in a pity party and feel like our pain is isolated and NO-ONE can know how we feel.

PSALM 22:1 "My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Why are You so far from My deliverance and from My words of groaning?"

FORSAKEN. Sometimes in our moment of singing the blues ~ we feel forsaken. We feel like nobody cares. Nobody understands. But Jesus knew exactly what the feeling of abandonment felt like, He can empathize with us when we have these similar feelings.

I once heard a story of a tightrope artist who had strung a rope across Niagara Falls and he then took a wheelbarrow back and forth over the falls on the rope. Those watching cheered and cheered. Then the tightrope artist asked a bystander if he thought he could do it again. The bystander said, "Of course I believe that you can! I have seen you do it many times!" Then the tightrope artist told the bystander.."Then get in the wheelbarrow!" The man quickly changed his mind about what he believed.


The question today is not "When you cry out singing the blues ... do you wonder if God is there", instead I ask you "When the times comes, do you have enough trust to put yourself in the wheelbarrow?"

LACED WITH GRACE ... diamonds are forever?


"A couple of years ago, while on a family vacation, we went to a diamond mine in Arkansas. We went to dig for diamonds. Upon arriving at the mine, I was not at all impressed with what I saw. Once we purchased our pails, our strainers and our shovels, we were ready to dig and recover some treasure! But all I could see was a big field of dirt and mud. Real impressive!

It was a little hard for me to believe that under all of that dirt, mud and grime laid something as precious and beautiful as diamonds.

It felt to me like we were sitting out in our backyard and digging around in our sandbox. To our disappointment, our adventure at the diamond mine gave the same result as..."
CLICK HERE to read the rest of todays devotion!

CHECK BACK LATER for WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD, my weekly post on a personal study that I am doing. God's Word will always inspire us! :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A PIECE OF MY HEART...traveling without a map

No matter where the road may take you...whether it is a long trip or just across town, from time to time we all need help in finding our way. Today's world is full of easy access for finding directions.

Before I go on a road trip, I always go to Map quest and map out my way. It simplifies my travel experience so much. Some of you even have it easier than that if you have a GPS in your vehicle. These gadgets are great ... it tells you where to turn and if you have gone too far, it tells you to turn around!

I cannot imagine heading out on a trip without some kind of help in steering me in the right direction of where I am headed to.

GENESIS 12:1 "The Lord said to Abram, 'Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father's family, and go to the land that I will show you' "

When Abraham heard God telling him to leave his family and go to another country that God would show him later ... Abraham did just that! He didn't know where God was leading him, but he went simply because God told him to go.

Now that is faith!

Living by faith is being willing to go when God tells you to go, even when you don't know where or what or when or how. When we allow God to be our road map in life, we must give up control and ease and familiarity.

Living by faith rarely is comfortable. If you were to go on a long road trip and you got lost in a bad part of town...most likely you would feel a little bit uncomfortable. When we take a step of obedience and follow God's route, we will not rely upon our confidence but the confidence in Who is leading and guiding us.

Without a map ....
you are bound to get lost.

Don't find yourself traveling this life without a map. Without God's leading, that is.

HOW CONFIDENT ARE YOU IN FOLLOWING GOD TO A PLACE YOU ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH? I hope you are living by faith and trusting Him to show you the way!

and that is a piece of my heart today;

Monday, July 20, 2009

AT THE WELL... enough is enough

Today, over AT THE WELL, our friend AMY has stepped out and brought forth a topic that many of us seem to be hush-hush about these days. It seems to be a subject that many of us just want to ignore or whisper about.

"Lust and Sex in today's culture"

There, now I have said it. The "L" word and the "S" word. Now that I have said it, why not talk about it....

First of all, I would like to say that when we speak about lust and sex, we are not just talking about the men in this world. Even though the men are the ones who get hit the hardest when it comes to this in our culture today, I would like to inform you that women also struggle with lust and sex in today's culture.

To see how our society is programmed by the "L" word and the "S" word, all you have to do is visit your local supermarket or go to a nearby movie theatre. Even the sitcoms on television have resorted to slapping all of this lust and sexual innuendo's in our face.

Can you remember back when a couple kissing was risky business? Boy wouldn't we love to have those days back again.

Amy has posed to us today a question ...
"In what ways can you help the men in your life fight this battle?"

I would like to alter the question a bit and ask
"In what ways can you help fight this battle in YOUR life".

One of the greatest things missing in our society today is having BOUNDARIES! We get on to the teens of America today because they don't seem to have any boundaries. Look at the way they dress. The way they talk. They way they disrespect authority. But really whose fault is it that our teens are this way, whose fault is it that our teens have no boundaries?

The answer will be found as you look around at the adult figures in society. The movie producers. The magazine editors. The pop singers on the radio. The divorced parents that have moved onto spouse # 4 or 5.

That is the answer to the question put before us today.

Let me ask you, as a Christian woman, what boundaries do you have in place?
  • do you watch TV shows (soap opera's) that are filled with lust, sex and infidelity?

  • do you watch TV talk shows that rip apart families, and promote adulterous affairs.

  • do you dress inappropriately to lure the eye of another woman's man?

  • do you have lunch or coffee with a co-worker that is the opposite sex and is not your husband?

  • do you secretly go to websites that you shouldn't?

  • do you have private conversations with other men on facebook, myspace, texting or email?
(Laurie's side note)
~No woman should be dressing seductive except for her own man, in the privacy of their home.

~No woman should be going to lunch, dinner or coffee alone with another man. I don't care if you have been friends for 32 years. It is inappropriate.

In order to overcome the temptation of lust, we must all have boundaries put in place. I have raised 3 sons and a very long time ago I said "enough is enough" and we, as parents set boundaries in our home.

One boundary that we had was NO R RATED MOVIES. Not just for our sons ... but we applied this boundary to our own lives.


Boundaries are for everyone, you want kids to have boundaries? Then it has to start with us ... the adults.


JOHN 10:10 "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."

Please join AMY and other friends over AT THE WELL today to hear more on this topic of "Lust and Sex in today's culture". CLICK HERE

Friday, July 17, 2009

CIRCLE OF LOVE...may the circle never be broken

Hey friends....I have been having so much fun getting to know each of you better thru this CIRCLE OF LOVE segment! One of the greatest things that I love about blogging is all of the different kinds of godly people I have met thru this thing we call "blogging".

I have this little meter reader on my blog that allows me to read where the readers are coming from and how often they come by my site. To my amazement, the majority of the readers are not my real life fact, the highest percentage of my readers are from parts of the world that I have never ventured.

That is absolutely cool to me!

Our paths are brought together thru blogging but I believe that our hearts are stitched together thru the love of Christ. This is a circle of love that seems to just keep going and going!

If you have not been featured here on CIRCLE OF LOVE or if you are new reader...I would love to share your blog and your ministry with others. I know each of you has a story to tell!! and I want to share it with my readers.

So, please CLICK HERE to find the simple questions to answer and email your response to me at . I want to stitch you into my circle of love so that the circle will never be broken!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Today I shared a devo over at the AT THE WELL homepage for the To Have and To Hold segment. It has to do with "SNAGS IN OUR LIFE"...more specifically snags in our marriage.

I wanted to share the same thoughts with you here on THANKFUL THURSDAY. I think that we are living in days of turmoil, distress, fear and uncertainty. Certainly many of us feel like we have come across many snags in our life.

I am so thankful for all of those snags...aren't you?

Without snags, difficulties and distress ~ we would not depend on the power of Jesus Christ. Today, what I am thankful for is the knowledge that in Christ, ANYTHING is possible and when there seems to be no way ... He will make a way!

Give God thanks and then expect miracles in your life!

LYNN is hosting TT this week....please visit her and share your grateful heart with us!


Mary was a young woman engaged to be married to a man named Joseph. What excitement must have filled her heart as she prepared and waited for her wedding day. Of course little snags might occur, as they do in any plans for a big event. But when that angel showed up...his news presented more than just a snag.

Do you remember your wedding day? Was it full of snags or did everything go smoothly? If your special day was full of snags, try to think of how crazy your day would be if an angel appeared in front of you!

For Mary, an angel appearing in front of her was not an everyday occurrence. And this angel was not just ANY was Gabriel, the angel sent by God specifically to address Mary, who lived in Nazareth, a city of Galilee. Gabriel wasn't sent to just any girl named Mary, but the one who was a virgin and engaged to Joseph.

Gabriel addressed Mary with honor, and he told her that she was highly favored and blessed and that the Lord was with her. What wonderful words for Mary to hear right before marrying Joseph...but don't you think she must have wondered what in the world was up?

Certainly, you and I would be like Mary and we would become startled by the appearance of an angel and even more so, we would be perplexed with his greeting. The angel Gabriel calmed Mary right before he broke the totally crazy news to her...she would become pregnant and give birth to a son whom she would name Jesus. He would be great, and He would reign over the house of Jacob and His kingdom will never end.
How totally amazing this must have sounded to Mary. But the assurance of Gabriel's voice that nothing is impossible with God calmed her fears and disbelief that very day.

Maybe the snags of your wedding day has only been the beginning for you. Perhaps you have found that life in general has been full of surprises, disappointments, and difficulty.

Life certainly can throw us some wicked curves at time. But no doubt God has a special blessing for you and I know that there has not been one day of your marriage, or even one day of your life that God has not been with you.

LUKE 1:37-38 MSG "Nothing, you see, is impossible with God." And Mary said, "Yes, I see it all now: I'm the Lord's maid, ready to serve. Let it be with me just as you say." Then the angel left her.

The Bible is full of God's assurances, and even in the challenging days of your marriage, God will meet you right dab in the middle of your impossible circumstances!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Today is my son's 24th birthday!


Hope South Korea honored you with cake and ice cream today.

I love you very much!!


Several years ago, I was honored to be selected for jury duty. (ahem) Some of you have also been honored to do that as well ... what a very interesting experience. If you have not been selected yet, you just don't know what you are missing!

To my surprise, in an over crowded room of potential jurors, my number was just the 2nd one to be picked. What luck was that!

As all of the potential jurors were called forward, we then listened to the charges. Certainly, a family dispute or possibly a drug bust would be our case to hear. I remember how all of our mouths dropped when the charges were read... a triple murder case.

Sitting on that jury for a week was really interesting and enlightening for me. The entire aspect of the courtroom just fascinated me. From the jury to the judge to the lawyers. It all reminded me of one of my favorite shows growing up...Perry Mason.

I loved Perry Mason. Not only did he always win his cases, but he also always seemed to line up clients who really were innocent! He also had this ability to be tricky ... he was always able to get the guilty party to break down on the stand and confess to everything!!

Some people just need to have an intercessor like Perry Mason or more modern day ...Matlock. It is always good to have someone like this in our corner, fighting for justice and interceding on our behalf.

In last week's YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I polled the readers the following question: "Where in your life do you most need an intercessor right now?" The top 3 responses were:

1. 66% of those voting said they need an intercessor with their children.
2. 16% voted and said they need an intercessor in their marriage.
3. Another 16% said they need an intercessor with the law.

No matter who we are, we all come to a point in our life where we will need an intercessor. Someone to intercede on our behalf. Great lawyers and attorneys such as Mason or Matlock are only around for a short while. In fact, all we have left of those two great intercessors are re-runs!

Jesus, however, is a priest, an intercessor that will be around not just for a short time but He will be around for eternity!

HEBREWS 7:23-25 "Now many have become (Levitical) priests, since they are prevented by death from remaining in office. But because He remains forever, He holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore He is always able to save those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to intercede for them."

Any intercessor or mediator needs to be able to connect with both parties with whom they are interceding. To negotiate for example between business and labor, one must know how a business needs to be run but also they must understand the needs of the employees.

Jesus is the perfect intercessor between God and us because He was both the Son of God and man. His eternal and divine character makes Him the perfect intercessor for us with God.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A PIECE OF MY HEART...leave the light on for me

This morning, a pretty wicked storm brewed up around here. The heavy rains and wind knocked some power out for some people. I happened to be already at work. The power went out for about 2 hours where I was working.

With a lantern in hand, I went about my business, doing what I could in the dark.

Have you ever noticed what a big difference a bright light can make in the dark verses a bright light during the daytime? In the darkness, the flame of a lit match is bright and it will pierce thru the shadows.

I was reading in a book this week about the Festival of Shelters, where for six nights, candles in the Temple Court were set aflame. These candles lit up the entire night sky all around Jerusalem. People danced and sang while holding torches in their hands. Celebrating how God led His people throughout history.

Many times God would make an astounding claim by using light. Remember how God gave the Israelites a pillar of fire by night? This light guided the Israelites through the darkness of the desert but what a great reminder to us that God's light guides each of us out of darkness as well.

JOHN 8:12 Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, "I am the light of the world. If you follow Me, you won't have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life."

When the lights were out today, even with a lantern in my hand, I found myself stumbling and having a hard time seeing in the darkness. God has made a way so that we do not have to live in darkness. We don't have to stumble thru life. His light will shine upon us, for He is the light of the world.

Jesus has left the light on for you!

Monday, July 13, 2009


Recently when my family and I went to six flags in St Louis, I noticed a sign that many of you have seen at other amusement parks.


This is a special entrance for those that have paid an extra price to by-pass the long lines for the rides and can receive immediate access to the ride because of their special pass.

Something similar to this, is at a big concert or event and you see people who have special name tags that say "All Access" - this means they have free access to go wherever they want to, including behind the stage or curtain.

Usually to receive such a pass, you have to know someone or you have to pay an extra admittance fee.

Likewise, to gain access into the presence of God, you have to know somebody. Not everybody has access - but only those with connections to Jesus. Those that have accepted Him. Unfortunately, not everyone who are connected to Jesus take full advantage of the access He has given them.

HEBREWS 4:16 "Let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most."

God has granted us access and He invites us in. He wants to know us and He has extended the all-access pass to come into the presence of God. All you have to do is accept it and come boldly to His throne.

There is no extra charge for it. The price has already been paid.


Friday, July 10, 2009


Today's feature on CIRCLE OF LOVE is

Meet Shirley, she pens a great blog. If you have not gotten acquainted with Shirley yet, I know a quick visit to her blog will leave you encouraged, lifted up and feeling loved.

I am not sure where Shirley and my paths crossed here on blogger land. It was either thru AG blog ring or Thankful Thursday. One of the first things that I noticed about Shirley is how she loves the Word of God. This is evident in all of her posts. She usually starts out with a passage and then shares her heart with us about God's Word. She obviously is very passionate about living for Christ.

This passion is found on her side bar of her blog...look at what her welcome! message says on her blog:
I am honored that you stopped by! I pray you will be encouraged and
blessed. I believe when we share our heartaches and victories, it helps others to know they are not alone. Knowing God is with us, and our steps are ordered by Him, gives us hope for the future!
Another thing that I noticed that she is passionate about is her family. Shirley has been married 25 years and she has 4 daughters, 3 stepsons and 12 grandchildren. Now if that's not plenty to blog about ... I don't know what is! lol

On a recent visit to FAITH, FAMILY and FRIENDS, Shirley shared the following with her readers on the subject of faith and trusting in God:

Psalm 50:10 (New International Version)10 for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.

God owns everything, even the cattle on a thousand hills, He created everything on this earth with His words. "And God Said".Over and over again we are told how He made everything including us, in His image, He created us. He is our Father and we are His children. He loves us and has a plan for our lives. It is mind boggling to think about all that He did, and the reason why. All He ever wanted was a relationship with us, because He loves us so much. How do you have a relationship with someone? By spending time with them of course! God is pleased when we come to Him; whether it is praising, praying for a need we have, or just to sit in His presence. Now if He owns everything, and we are His children, and He tells us we can ask whatever we will in His name, He would give it to us; what is the problem? We need to get this in our spirit that He will make provisions for us to do what He has assigned to us. We have to step out in faith, believing what He said will surely come to pass. We all have a job to do, a plan has been laid out for us, today will you just ask Jesus what is His will for your life, what do you need to be doing; ask for direction, then you will experience that peace that passes all understanding. Reach out and touch Him, I promise you, He is waiting! ~Posted by Shirley

WOW! Shirley, that is awesome. What a great encouragement to us to know that all we have to do is reach out and touch Him. He desires to meet our needs. Recently, Shirley shared with me online a little closer of a look at her heart and desire. Please read with me what is on Shirley's heart...


for about 3 months
Encouragement and Hope

4. TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF...if you work ~where? ...have a family ~ tell us about them?
wife of a minister, mother of 4 daughters, 3 stepsons, 12 grandchildren. teach preteen Sunday school, involved in women's ministry
Since I was 13 years old

6. CAN YOU GIVE US A TESTIMONY OF HOW GOD HAS PROVEN HIMSELF FAITHFUL TO YOU? In sickness, through a divorce, raising children and stepchildren, and each day of my life. God is and always been faithful to me.

Jeremiah 29: 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope .

8. HOW HAS THAT SCRIPTURE MINISTERED TO YOU RECENTLY?By reassuring me He is in control of my life, and he does have a master plan for me

9. WHAT ADVICE ABOUT BLOGGING WOULD YOU OFFER TO YOUR CIRCLE OF BLOGGING FRIENDS? I believe to be effective for the Kingdom, we must write with our heart. We must be able to portray the love of God to everyone that reads our blog.

Thank you Shirley for that great advice. Certainly, you are being the example of exactly what you said ... portraying the love of God thru your writings. Certainly anybody who visits you can see your heart and your passion. Thank you for sharing with us and for being an encouragement to me and to all who are TAKING A STAND! -blessings, Laurie


I WANT TO SHARE YOUR BLOG WITH OTHERS! If you would like to be featured in an upcoming CIRCLE OF LOVE feature right here on Fridays...CLICK HERE and you will find information on how your ministry of writing can be featured. -God Bless!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

THANKFUL THURSDAY...sweet memories

It seems these days lately, I am savoring each moment and each memory I can with my kids. This summer is bringing yet another chapter into my life as a mother.

My son #3 will be leaving for college next month. In another state.

My son #2 will be returning from his service over in South Korea, but will be moving with his bride. To another state.

Lately, wherever I go and I see a young mother with her young children, memories of my own children when they were young flood into my mind and my heart. What sweet memories.

This past weekend, we as a family tried to make some final memories as we took a 3 day weekend and visited St Louis. One of our final trips with our son before he goes off to college. We went to this park called Grants Farm. Many of you have probably been there. I have to tell you that I laughed so hard and had so much fun on this trip.

Feeding the goats milk from baby bottles was a huge hoot for me. We all laughed, screeched and laughed some more. What sweet memories.

Later, we found the camels. As the kids were lined up against the fence ready to feed the camel, the camel came up and stuck its big (I mean HUGE) mouth around the fence post. Alyssa (my son's girlfriend) was the closest to the big mouth and jumped back. We laughed and laughed. What sweet memories.

Pleasant memories can give us an immediate smile to our face, or an instant cheer-producing mind switch. We don't have to wait until we are seventy to enjoy sweet memories. Memories can be from 30 years ago or 30 minutes ago, what makes memories so sweet is how it makes you feel.

Did you know that remembering things is a biblical concept? God was continually urging His people to remember what He had done for them as a means of an encouragement.

MALACHI 3:16 "A book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His name."

Remember that God is the source of our cheer. And He wants to encourage you with your sweet memories. Memories should be cherished, for a lifetime.

Aren't you thankful for good times and the sweet memories that your heart will never forget.

What are you thankful for today on THANKFUL THURSDAY? Lynn is hosting TT this month, go by and share with us your grateful heart. Y

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Sometimes we just need to start over.

While putting up wallpaper or laying tile, no matter what you do, things just don't seem to line up correctly. Little fixes and mends don't help. The only thing to do is start over.

While playing a difficult piece on the piano and you start to stumble, sometimes the best thing to do is just start the whole piece over.

In last weeks YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I polled the readers the following question, "Which contract would you like to re-negotiate?" The top 3 answers were...

1. 60% of those voting said that they wish that they could re-negotiate some kind of contract.
2. 20% of the readers said they wish they could re-negotiate the interest rate on their credit card.
3. Another 20% voted and said re-negotiating their job description would be nice.

At some point, we all wish we could re-negotiate something. Sometimes we just need a fresh start or we need to start over.

At some point in time, God decided that things weren't going well under the Old Covenant. People, powerless to fight their own tendency to sin, repeatedly broke the laws He had carefully laid down. God decided that what people really needed was a new start ... a new agreement by which reconcilation could be found.

Through Jeremiah, God specifically tells us how this covenant will be new:

*The new covenant will be a covenant of the heart (Jeremiah 31:33b)
"I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God"

*The new covenant will be one that we can all understand and abide by (Jeremiah 31:34)
"No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord."

*The new covenant will have built-in forgiveness (Jeremiah 31:34b)
"For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."

God has given each of us an opportunity to start over. Writing God's law on our hearts is a matter of openness to the Holy Spirit, who teaches us all things. The Holy Spirit helps us to take what we know in our minds and let it truly touch our hearts.

YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL...Please vote in this weeks poll. You can find it on the side bar of this blog. Your opinion really does matter!!

Make sure you follow the right "King"!

Today was the day that another "king" was buried and told farewell to. Alot of media attention has been on the "king of pop" Michael Jackson, as the world learned of his sudden death.

I have always been interested in why people, not one or two, but thousands and thousands of people, will come out and mourn somebody that they did not even know?

We see it all of the time, when a celebrity dies, fans will weep, cry and lay flowers upon flowers on their lawn as if they were the closest of friends. But yet they had never met.

Am I the only person who thinks this is "out of the ordinary" behaviour?

It is said that 8,750 people today obtained tickets to go to the Staples Center in LA for Michael Jackson's final performance. Over 1.5 million people registered to try to obtain one of those admission tickets, in addition to the 8,750 people inside Staples Center, it is estimated that 250,000 people will be mourning and paying their last respects on the streets.

What makes so many people wail and mourn for someone they did not even know but yet denounce a King that shed blood for them?

Why do we hail a "king" that sang a song, but reject the King who gave His all for mankind?

No matter what you may think of Michael Jackson, the "king of pop" ~ whether you listened to his music or not, or watched his videos. It really doesn't matter if you thought he was a loony or if you thought he was the greatest. The most important thing to remember is what God thought of Michael Jackson and what does God think about you and me!

We will all have to face God one day just as Michael has had to do. "Well done My good and faithful servant" - that is what I want to hear. God help us if the sound we hear is "beat it".

What king are you following
and being faithful to?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Set Free!

Today, I am enjoying a long holiday weekend with my family. But I wanted to ask each of you a very important question today...

"Did you reflect on your FREEDOM this weekend?"
"What have you been set "free" from?"
As you stand firm in your faith, may the chains that bind you be broken and may you be set free in Jesus Christ.
FREEDOM - it was bought with a price!