Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What does a vacuum cleaner have to do with a dead guy?

What helps a person to recover or bounce back from a tragedy? The answer to this question is going to vary depending on the spiritual level of one's life.

In last weeks YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I asked the following question, "what helps you to recover when you are tense?" The top 3 answers were:

81% of those polled, said that what helps them is spending time in prayer.
45% voted and said that spending time in God's Word helps them recover from tension.
36% of those voting said that listening to an uplifting song helps them.

I am glad to see that what or Who we turn to to release our tension is the One who holds the answer to all of our problems. Not only does God hold the key but we even see in His Word where He went to great lengths to demonstrate this to us.

Many times before people buy a product, they want to see it demonstrated. They want to be sure they are getting their "moneys worth". That is why carpet cleaners offer specials to come and demonstrate their fantastic new carpet vacuum or shampooer for "free" - they want to demonstrate how awesome of a product they have for sale. Television has caught onto this great sales pitch - that is why "infomercial" is so popular these days.

The principle of demonstrating what you have to offer is a good idea, but RAINBOW vaccums did not come up with it. Actually, isn't what Jesus did through Lazarus long ago, a way that His love and His power over the grave was demonstrated to those who may not believe?

JOHN 11:17 "On His arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days."

JOHN 17: 39 "Take away the stone," He said. "But, Lord," said Martha, the sister of the dead man, "by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days." (40) Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"

What Jesus was about to do for Lazarus was something much more than just a special favor for a special friend. It was a demonstration of God's power over death and certainly an illustration of what is to come for each of us who believes in Christ.

JOHN 11:43, 44 Jesus called out in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" (44) The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go."

We are much like Lazarus clothed in his grave clothes when we doubt the power of God. But when we respond to the calling of God and believe on Him, like Lazarus, we step out of the grave clothes to start a new beginning.

God has demonstrated His love over and over for us....
now that is something we just shouldn't pass up!

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD is a reflection of a recent personal study I have done. This past week I was reading and studying the story of Lazarus. I am overwhelmed with the power of God. Aren't you?


Today, I have shared the following devotion over at AT THE WELL, where you can find daily devotional readings...

I recently returned from a long and exhausting trip to Texas. It was not only exhausting physically but emotionally as well. We traveled 8 hours to bring our youngest son to college in Texas. It was much harder for me to do than I thought.

On the long and sad ride home (without him), flashbacks of sweet memories of our children as they were growing up flooded my mind and I found myself wondering what I had taught my children. What were the lasting things that will stay with them now that they have flown to conquer their world? Was it enough to sustain them?

When I think about what I learned from my own mother and other female role models in my life...I can think of some really great things that still remain with me. Things like learning to bake a cake, how to balance my checkbook, and how to write thank you notes.

Actually, when you think about it ... there isn't a lot that we do, that at one point in time, we didn't have to learn. Even when our kids are babies, we still have to teach them to eat, to walk, and to talk. We as parents, have a huge responsibility when it comes to teaching our kids and every single day we are teaching them whether we realize it or not. We teach through our example, with counseling and guiding, by explaining, and we even teach through our discipline.

It is funny to watch my older children interact with the younger ones. Often times, we have overheard the oldest telling the younger ones the same kind of advice I can recall my husband and myself giving him at a younger, more tender age. Whether you realize it or not ... our kids are watching, they are listening and they are learning.

The Bible says that the most important thing that parents should teach their children is the lesson of fearing God! It is our job to show our kids what it is like to treat God with reverence, what it sounds like to talk to Him in prayer, what it means to give our worship to Him, and what it is like to trust Him in not only the good times but the bad.

PROV. 1:7 "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction."

So, I ask you ... the things that you are teaching your children ~ is it enough? Is it enough that they will stand firm in their faith and be all that they can be in Christ? It is my prayer that it is enough!

Chcck back later to see this weeks post on  WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A PIECE OF MY HEART...roll with the punches

I really do not know much about the rodeo or cowboys. But one thing that I do know is that when a cowboy is thrown from the saddle, he can do one of two things: he can either tense his muscles, stiffen his arms and resist the fall or he can relax his body and hit the ground rolling.

Think about it ... if he should tense up, he risks further injury like a possible torn ligament or broken bones. But if he rolls with the impact, the chance is greater that he will just spring right back up and be able to remount and keep riding.

I am reminded of a man named Saul, who was a devout Jew. He took a fall because he was resisting. Saul was fighting Christianity will all of his might, he hunted down Christians so they could be impisioned, tried and put to death. On his way to Damascus. Saul saw a great light. He fell to the ground and he heard the voice of Jesus:

"Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads". (Acts 26:14)

Eventually Saul stopped opposing the church, he accepted God's will for his life and proclaimed the gospel. Saul learned to roll with the punches. While the enemy wanted him to continue down the wrong road of destruction, God had a different plan for his life. Saul didn't give up, he sprung back and got back in the saddle and rode towards the prize.

When we face adversity, we need to pray for wisdom so we will know how to stand firm and roll with the punches. It is not God's design for you and for me to resist His plan and get banged and bruised up from the fall. God's plans include ciccumstances that will take us to places totally unimaginable...if we would only saddle up and let God take the reins.

and that is a piece of my heart today;

Monday, September 28, 2009

AT THE WELL... your styrofoam cup

HAVE YOU EVER DRUNK OUT OF A STYROFOAM CUP? If you have, you know how very careful you have to be, because if you accidently poke a hole in the cup, all of the liquid inside of it will come spewing out!

Our lives are alot like a styrofoam cup!

When problems or frustrations "poke a hole" in our plans, whatever is inside of us is what comes spilling out! As humans, we just can't help it. It just comes out. Sometimes it might be words of frustration. Sometimes it is just aggravation.

Reality is that ALL of us deal with frustration. We deal with difficult people. We deal with things that can really put us in a bad mood. So I have to ask this today...."what comes spilling out when these things happen ~ do we respond in anger or defense or do we "spill out" love, joy and kindness?"

I believe that we can "help it" ... that is ...what comes spilling out of us.

When the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us when we become believers, the picture pops in my head of when we pour coffee into our styrofoam cup...when that cup spills...what is INSIDE is what will pour out (and often times leave a stain!)

 When we submit to the Holy Spirit, He will change our attitudes, our perspectives and He will order our steps. What resides inside of us is what will pour out of our spirit (and our mouths)!

So next time frustration and trouble comes, remember that your styrofoam cup is leaking exactly what is in your heart. Allow God's joy to spew out of you today!

PSALM 28:7 "The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving."

Today's discussion over AT THE WELL is about here to read more about it!

Friday, September 25, 2009


This weekend, my husband and I are celebrating 28 years of marriage. Time sure does have a way of passing by quickly. I was a young bride 28 years ago, just 2 months shy of my 18th much yet to learn. What a marvelous adventure, this thing we call life and marriage. I wouldn't trade one day or one moment!

This week I had a precious note from my aunt, who just recently lost her precious husband. She wrote and said, "Laurie, I hope you make it to 52 years like we did!" I do too!

Now that our children are grown and we only have one left in the house ... it almost feels like we are starting over. A fresh new start. A new adventure seems to begin after raising kids. As marvelous as the first round was, I am looking forward to round two of this spectacular adventure!

and many more!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


SIMPLICITY... now there's a word that you don't hear too much anymore these days. Everything that we do seems to cost alot of money, alot of energy and alot of time.

Right now, my husband and I are "de-cluttering" our house. You know getting rid of some things that we have hung onto for quite some time. It is amazing to me how much a room can change when you remove the clutter, strip it down to just the simple, basic neccessities.

Once in a while, in our lives that is what we need to do ... "de-clutter it!" We just need to get back to the basics of life, look beyond the clutter and clamor of this bewildering, complicated and evil world. Step back and just see what really matters. Some days we just have to take time, step outside and look upward! This is the basics of life ... His creation. So marvelous but yet simple.

PSALM 113:3 "From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised."

Whenever you can de-clutter your mind of the things that bog you down and meditate upon God, you will be reminded that your primary purpose in living, the basic fundamental reason why the Lord created you is to worship Him!

Isn't it time we get back to the basics?

I am thankful that God really does make it simple to have a relationship with Him. Why on earth do we make it so hard? I know you have a grateful heart today, please write about it and link up with us here at THANKFUL THURSDAY by signing in below with Mr. Linky!

~I have enjoyed hosting this sure to visit LYNN of Spiritually Unequal Marriage next week. She will be our host for the month of October!~

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


What a hunger for forgiveness there is in our world! So many people are searching for forgiveness not only from others, but forgiveness from themselves. Unfortunetly, searching for forgiveness is sought in the wrong places, the emptiness and void people feel in their hearts is because the forgiveness they are searching for is the ultimate forgiving power found only in Jesus Christ.

Ernest Hemingway, a great author, wrote a story about a spanish father and his son. The story unfolds that the father wanted to reconcile with his son who had run away to Madrid. So the father took out an ad in a Madrid paper..."Paco, meet me at Hotel Montana - noon Tuesday - all is forgiven!" In Madrid the name "Paco" is very common, so when the father went to the hotel to meet his son, he found 800 young men named Paco waiting for their fathers!

Wow. I wonder if God placed such an ad in your local paper, how many would show up at the meeting place? You might not read such an ad in your paper, but there is another place that He has placed an ad, and that is in His Word! God's Word declares that we are ALL sinners but we can be forgiven.What an awesome promise!

 In last week's YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL,  I polled the readers the following question..."If you could return to your childhood, what period would you most like to re-experience?" The top 3 answers were:

1. 45% of those voting said that they would like to have a fresher, more innocent view of the world.
2. 27% voted and said that they would like to get more hugs and comfort as an adult.
3. 18% of those polled said that they would like to be without adult responsibilities.

Often times I hear people say, "I wish I could do it over!" Well from time to time, I think we all wish we could erase our mistakes, go back in time, maybe even wish we could start over from birth. If that was possible, oh how we would change some things.

Going back into our mother's womb is impossible, but being born again, having a rebirth or second birth is not impossible. In our first birth (physically) we are born to sin and death, but our second birth (spiritually) we die to self and gain forgiveness and freedom in Jesus Christ. The forgiveness of Christ is what brings us new life.

Confused? So was Nicodemus...

JOHN 3:4 "How can a man be born when is old? Nicodemus asked, Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born?"

Jesus answered...

JOHN 3:5-8 "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. (6) Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. (7) You should not be surprised at My saying 'You must be born again.' (8) The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

Is there someone in your world that needs your forgiveness today? How about the ultimate forgiveness of God? Today is the day of salvation ... why not place your ad today by sharing Gods love and forgiveness with someone who desperately is searching for it.

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD is a post designated for a weekly review of a personal study I am doing. This week I started a study on forgiveness. Incredible the power there is in forgiveness ... it is my prayer that you will experience that power today. -God bless!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A PIECE OF MY HEART ...married for life!

This week, my husband and I will be celebrating 28 years of marriage. Wow. What an incredible adventure it has been thus far. Two houses, four children, one daughter in law, numerous dogs and never ending memories keep us going! We are like the energizer bunny ... we keep going and going and going.

We have finally arrived at the point in our lives (and our marriage) where people ask us for advice on longevity of marriage. Who would have thought we would have arrived at this point so quickly. But here we are.

So what is the key to live a long
and happy married life?
Keep your love and your faith in God strong!

It takes alot of work to keep the flames of romance burning brightly. Kind words, helpful deeds, a listening ear, the willingness to share, thoughtful gifts, and time together. All of these things are like placing logs on the fire, ever so tenderly, and carefully placing the logs at just the right time and in the right way. Have you ever noticed that a fire requires skillful stoking or it will slowly die?

In order to keep your love for your mate alive and your faith in God strong, you must be attentive, steadfast and willing to keep the fire ablazing.

Is it time to put another log on your fire?


Monday, September 21, 2009

AT THE WELL ... stressed to the max

Have you ever had one of those days, weeks or even years that you feel totally stressed to the max. You know ... everything that COULD go wrong - does! Seems like you just can't get a break from the overdue bills, the sick kids, the grouchy husband and the car breaking down.

So what happens to our faith when "life happens"?

Lately, around our household, it seems like we have been running through an obstacle course. I have to admit, I have been alittle bit stressed about some things. Just when I think I have made it through one obstacle event, a barrel seems to jump up at me that needs to be jumped over, and here we go again jumping through the hoops just to try to crawl across the finish line.

Some days I just don't want to keep the stride. It would be so much easier if I could just stay in bed, pull the covers over my head and declare a forfeit in the game of life. But that would be the easy way out now wouldn't it? God never promised us that it would be easy...but He did promise us that He would  never leave us nor forsake us.

So if God is going to keep His end going, shouldn't we at least try to do our part?

Having faith, when things are tough and stressful is much like an obstacle course. We try to do things in our own power, we think that when it comes to faith - we have something to prove to God. We wonder just how much faith does it take to be an overcomer?

MATTHEW 17:20 "I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it would move. Nothing would be impossible."

When the disciples asked Jesus how to get more faith, He did not give them a special formula for increasing their amount of faith. Jesus told them it wasn't about the amount of faith but the object of faith. In other words, the only thing that matters is who you are putting your faith in!

A mustard seed is a seed no bigger than a freckle on our have faith the size of a mustard seed is having faith in God, knowing that He is bigger than any problem that we may incur.

Most of the time when I am stressed to the max, a good warm bubble bath or a pedicure at a local nail salon soothes and calms my nerves. As nice as that sounds, really all I need is to spend time with my Father, have faith that He is working on me and that because He is in control ...nothing is impossible!

Today our hearts are gathered AT THE WELL. Stop by and see
what others are saying about this week's topic ..."stress".

Friday, September 18, 2009

LACED WITH GRACE...everything is changing

Today I have a devotion posted over at LACED WITH GRACE,
it is entitled "Everything is changing"...

"I have reached a point in my life where everything seems to be changing. I have stepped over into a whole new stage of life …. mother of grown kids! Recently, we drove our youngest son to college 6 hours from home. Certainly, I was prepared for this change in our life, as we had already moved 2 of our 3 boys out of the house. Part of me was very excited about spending the next four years with our daughter, (the youngest and only daughter) but at the same time such a sadness came over me that our 3 boys were all on their own. Upon arriving back home from our weekend trip of moving son #3 into college, a sudden change seemed to have taken over our house..." (continue reading)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

THANKFUL THURSDAY...His masterpiece

"We are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago." - EPHESIANS 2:10

Often times we struggle with the way God made us ... you know, the shape or size of our body, or the personality that we have and even the abilities that we have been given. It is so easy for us to define ourselves by the way we look at ourselves in the mirror.

When a masterpiece is created, the artist envisions the complete potential and beauty that their artwork contains. I was reminded of this when my husband and I visited Europe a few years ago. We toured the Louvre, the famous art museum where famous masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa are on display. The Mona Lisa, as beautiful as it is, hangs in a museum, displayed behind thick glass, and guarded heavily by guards. Even the museum visitors cannot get very close to it. Mona Lisa is indeed a masterpiece, but what use does it have?

Another masterpiece I learned about while in Europe was artwork created by Antonio Stradivari. Antonio created more than one thousand violins, harps, guitars, viola's and cellos during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Each "Stradivari's" is a treasured masterpiece - no other instrument can compare.

The difference between the Mona Lisa and this masterpiece is that these instruments were not made to sit on a shelf, or be on display in a museum. Instead, they were created to be placed in the hands of a master musician to create beautiful music.
We are masterpieces, created by the ultimate Creator!

Created to be like the Stradivarius violin, our beauty and value can be seen as we are useful in the Kingdom of God. What joy it brings our Master when our lives become a masterpiece that He can use.

I am thankful today on THANKFUL THURSDAY for the Master and for the beauty and usefulness He has created in me. I am His masterpiece! How about you...what are you thankful for today? Please share your grateful heart with us by linking your Thankful Thursday post below in Mr. Linky....

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD ... How well do you know Him?

HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW PEOPLE? It is one thing to say "I know them", and a whole different thing to really know a person. What does it mean when we say we "know someone?"

There are two levels of knowing people ... the first level is just knowing who a person is. For instance, I know who Diane Sawyer is. I know who she is because of what I have seen on the news or read in the paper. But I don't really know who she is. I don't know what kind of person she is once she comes from behind the camera, I don't know what she believes in or what her convictions are. I don't even know if she does her own hair!

Anybody can match her name with her face. But if I really, REALLY knew Diane Sawyer, then I would know important things about her character, I would know what I could trust her with and how much I could confide in her.

It is really difficult to find someone that we truly can know. Recently, I had an encounter with someone that I thought I really knew, but some things about their character came to light and I quickly realized I didn't know this person as well as I thought I did.

I wish I could magically hold a key that would unlock what a person truly is like. If I possessed such a key, then I would know ahead of time exactly the time and the hour that someone was going to be genuine and when someone was going to be fake. A "key of knowledge" would also show me if someone had a gentle spirit or an angry one.

Last week in the YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I polled the readers the following question about keys..."What would you most like to have a key to?" The response was:

1. 20% of the voters said that they would like a key to the locker room of a favorite sports team.
2. Another 20% voted and said a key to the vault at Fort Knox would be incredible to have.
3. 20% of those polled said that they would want a key to the Oval Office.

It would be pretty cool to have a key to one of these places, but how much more would it benefit us if we could hold a key to really knowing someone?

When I studied scripture this week, I realized that there is only one person Who we can truly know. He is not like any other that you will find.

MATTHEW 16:13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples. "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"

This may seem strange that Jesus was asking what others were saying about who He was. But how many times do we often wonder what others are thinking of us. When a couple is courting and is ready to take the next step, do they not ask each other..."Where is this relationship going?" or when you go in for your annual employment review, do you not ask "Do you think I am ready for a promotion?"

We want to know what others think or are saying.
Jesus wanted to know what others were saying.

But when it came right down to it, Jesus wanted to know what His disciples thought, the men that He spent time with everyday ... Who did they think Jesus was?

MATTHEW 16:16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Do you know Jesus? Really know Him? His hand is outstretched and all we have to do is accept it, by doing so we can truly get to know Who Christ is.

The Disciples knew Him in such a way,
how about you ... who do you say He is?

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD is a weekly blog post dedicated to my personal reflections of a personal study that I am currently doing. This week, I meditated upon "Who do you say I am?" and I was challenged to live my life not by word alone but that my actions would tell people that I am a believer in Christ. I hope it challenges you as well to be all you can be for Christ in your world!

NEW POLL... be sure to vote in this weeks poll in the YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A PIECE OF MY HEART...gathering nuts

Lately, I have noticed squirrels in my yard. Not just one or two, but lots of squirrels. Yesterday, as I came into the house, I noticed two of them in my front garden. They both had a nut in their mouth and they were scrambling to get it into the ground.

It made me think back to what the latest conversations have been among my friends. Instead of talking about the latest fashion, or the big sale at JC Penny's - we have been talking about Obama, his proposed changes, and the economy. All of us have come to a conclusion that now is the time to get some things in order. Financially speaking.

Even if our jobs seem to be intact and not in any danger, making some changes in our spending habits just seems like a good idea right now. Personally, my husband and I are going thru a christian financial book and looking at ways that we can cutback. Stretching the American dollar these days just seems like the smart thing to do.

In a nutshell (no pun intended!) it is a smart move for us to become like those squirrels and start putting back, saving, and storing up for winter. I am not talking about living in fear of our future, because the Bible specifically talks against that. Fear is not from the Lord...

"When you focus on the world, you lose perspective. When you focus on God's promises, you gain clearer perspective."
However, I do believe that God has called us to be responsible Christians. And that includes being responsible with our finances. No matter what Obama and his administration implements in our future...we must remember that God has a plan not only for our lives but for this world that we live in. He is in control and we must rely upon Him.

"Preparation time is not wasted time" - how pleased would our Father be to see us making wise choices with the blessings He has bestowed upon us.

I CORINTHIANS 4:2 "Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful."

Gathering nuts may not be such a bad idea after all!

and that is a piece of my heart today;

Monday, September 14, 2009

AT THE WELL ... technology christianity

"With the world of Technology growing by leaps and bounds, a majority of our communication takes place via email, blogging, twittering, face booking etc... How can we make sure that we are living out Titus 2 in the cyber world so that the Word of God is not disgraced? How do we keep a balance between grace and hard Truth?"

I am joining the discussion this week over AT THE WELL as we discuss how technology affects the Titus 2 woman in today's world. Are you a techno savvy woman?

I have to admit, I am not really all that techno savvy. Sure, I have all of the techno stuff that seemingly we cannot live without these days. You know, a cell phone with the ability to text and a laptop computer with access to the web, face book, twitter, etc. But if truth be told, I usually have to ask my 14 year old to show me how to operate and maneuver with all of this communication technology.

Kind of scary, if you ask me.

But what is even more scary to me, is that these days, if you want the world to know all about you...all you have to do is create a website with a profile. Profiles can tell the whole world about your likes, yours dislikes, interests and abilities.

Today's technology has taken communication to a whole new level. It can reveal anything and everything about you to a world that does not even know you. It also takes the "person" out of communicating with those people that do know you. Why on earth do we need to have a face to face conversation with someone when we can just twitter, update our face book or my space account, text them, email them or send them a fax!

Now don't get me wrong ... there are good things that go on with this new technology. In fact in the 2 years that I have been blogging, I have seen how God is using the Internet to spread His Word and Truth among the cyber world. But I also have seen how very easily it is to blog, twitter, text or update a status and someone surely will misunderstand what you are saying.

It is so easy to mistakenly leave one word out in a message and the entire context will be changed. When this happens, people misunderstand, they get confused and sometimes even get hurt. "Choose your words carefully" is not just a saying that moms like to say ... truly in the world of cyber ...our words must be chosen carefully!

While we are trying to establish a connection with people online, I can't help but think about how Jesus established His status with others. When God wanted others to know about Him, He did not express Himself on a web page but He established Who He was in history! His status was known by how He dealt with people.

Look at the Israelites...we may wonder why God poured out ten plagues on Egypt and then delivered His people through the incredible act of dividing the Red Sea. And more significantly, why did He allow His people to become slaves in the first place?

The awesome power of God was established through an amazing series of events - from spectacular miracles to devastating tragedies. We can see God's character and purpose all throughout the Bible. We can see how He related to people, and how He had an understanding for people thru His relationship with them.

I can't help but think that sometimes we have removed the face of God from our relationships because we are too busy to truly get to know others. We have fallen into the trap of "technology Christianity" - we would rather text or email someone than to take time to have lunch or dinner or even take time to talk to them on the phone.

Sometimes we just have to have relationship with others to truly show what our status is.
"How will they know we are Christians ... by our love!"

CLICK HERE to read other posts on today's topic over AT THE WELL!

Friday, September 11, 2009


I have to admit, it seems like this week the enemy has been working overtime!! My heart has been so heavy and burdened for people close to me that are struggling and hurting. More than one time today, I hung up the phone with someone I loved and literally wept tears for them.
Why does my friend have to struggle like this?
Why does my loved one have to be so heartbroken?
Why do people have to be so insensitive and unforgiving?
Why God? ... it's just not fair!

Sometimes, we can get so downtrodden and frustrated and hurt and weary that we just simply lose our focus! Everything can be going along good and then WHAM! someone says or does something that offends us. It feels like life has just given us lemons.
How easily we can become angry, mad, and ungodly.

Even though I still hurt for my loved ones who are going thru a difficult time right now, I realize that we are living in a battlefield ... Satan will stop at nothing to get into our thoughts and our minds. The mind is a battlefield!

Losing our focus will throw us off guard. It will lower our attack ability and it will keep us from keeping our tank full of God's love!

No matter what comes your way today
... keep focused by renewing your mind!
(Life does not have to be a bowl of lemons!)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

THANKFUL THURSDAY...undeserved kindness

There are acts of kindness and then there are acts of kindness!!! You know... things that people do that are simply undeserved.
I remember this one time, my husband and I were eating at a local Chinese restaurant. We were enjoying our lunch, chatting with one another and from time to time we would wave to someone that we recognized from church or from the community.

After we were through eating, we waited and waited for the waitress to bring us our check. Finally, we asked her for it and she informed us that it had already been paid.

Someone had already paid for our lunch?
How could that be?

We quickly looked around to catch site of someone who might have done that ... but we didn't recognize anybody that we knew.

Why would someone do that? I stood a bit baffled and surprised at the generous kindness of someone. Something for nothing - Isn't God the only One Who does stuff like that? What a beautiful thing for someone to do, we left that restaurant feeling so blessed!

The next time I was out at that same restaurant, I recalled the undeserved kindness of that day and it was very easy for me to pick up the ticket of a friend that was also eating there. Blessings are undeserved, yet God showers us with them every single day.

PSALM 37:4 "Delight yourself also in the Lord, and
He shall give you the desires of your heart."

On this THANKFUL THURSDAY, I rejoice in the acts of kindness bestowed upon me daily and I wonder, "How can I pass such joy onto others today?"

"Be kind: everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

Thank you for joining us this week for THANKFUL THURSDAY, this is the place to meet as we join our grateful hearts together. What is on your heart today that you want to give God thanks for? Share your post with us by linking up below in Mr. Linky! -I am so thankful for each of you, Laurie

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be stranded on an island? When I was younger, a day did not pass by without me watching the ever popular TV show, "Gilligan's Island". It was one of my favorite shows to watch as a younger person, I was fascinated about some of the characters: The Skipper, Gilligan, Mary Ann, Ginger, The Professor and the Howells and how they all were able to function day to day while being stranded on an island.

Most of us, if we got stranded on an island or in the desert today, it would be purely by accident, possibly because we ran out of gas or the car got overheated. None of us would deliberately choose to be stranded on an island or in the desert.

But Jesus did.

I wonder, if we were to be stranded in the desert and we knew about it ahead of time - what would be the one thing we would take with us? Hmmm ... I'm thinking it would be hot, so a fan or air conditioner would be good. Or I'm thinking that a desert is dry and humid, a vast supply of water would also be a good idea.

Jesus thought His knowledge of Scripture was a good idea!

MATTHEW 4:1 "Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil."
The knowledge of Scripture was the most crucial survival tool that Jesus could have with Him as He faced a time of temptation right there in the desert.

Each and every day we are faced with temptations. In fact, last week I polled the readers the following question in the YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, "What area do you feel tempted?" The top answers were:

1. 66% voted and said that they feel tempted in the area of "eating".
2. 33% of those voting said that they are tempted with "habits."

I found the results of this week's poll very interesting. First of all, it proves that we are all faced with temptation of one sort or another. Secondly, that the top answers falls right into place of what I studied this week...

Scripture tells us that Jesus went into the desert. While there, He fasted for 40 days and nights. Why do you suppose Jesus went into the desert to fast? First, I believe it indicated a sincerity in fasting, (it is pretty hard to show off your fasting if you are alone in the desert) and secondly, going into the desert to pray showed that Jesus was earnestly seeking God's will.

While there in the desert, the tempter came and tempted Jesus. It is in this hour that Jesus depended upon that one thing that He brought with Him to the desert. It wasn't water, and it wasn't a fan, but it was the Word of God. He didn't bring with him a bunch of scrolls ... no the Word of God was in His head and in His heart. No matter where He stood or sat or laid in that desert ... His survival tool was with Him at all times!

In Deuteronomy 8:4, it says that "Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." Jesus was in the habit of meditating upon the Word of God - the food that gave Jesus strength during His temptation was God's Word.

If you were stranded on an island or in the desert ... would His Word be enough for you to feast on? Could the Word that you have hidden in your heart be enough for you to survive?


Wednesday Weekly Word is a post devoted each Wednesday to a personal study I am doing. These are my thoughts as I dig into God's Word and study about the time Jesus spent in the desert fasting and praying. It is my prayer that we will all seek after Him earnestly and with a sincere heart!

YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL: take time this week to vote in the new poll. On this blog ... your opinion really does matter!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A PIECE OF MY HEART ... do not become entangled

Last night, my husband and I went to see a baseball game (The Memphis Redbirds), following the game there was a celebration of fireworks! It was really an awesome night. Right before the fireworks, the Army 101st Airborne dropped 3 men in parachutes down onto the field. It was really incredible!

We all sat there in awe as we watched the 3 men on their decline...they twisted and turned and at one moment it almost looked like they were going to land on top of a wire or a building. But the closer they got in view, I could see that there was nothing to worry about - they were not going to become entangled with any live wires in the sky or even with each other. They each had their point of landing and they did not miss their mark!

We, as Christians, are somewhat like these 3 men falling from the sky. We are called to be soldiers in the army of God. Paul told Timothy that no soldier gets entangled with civilian affairs, but that "his aim is to satisfy and please the One who enlisted him". (2 Timothy 2:4) In other words, we are to serve the Lord, keeping our focus on His work and not on our agenda.

It can be easy to allow things of the world to entangle our thinking and even our "doing". It is my desire to be like those men with their parachute's and have a clear direction in my life - a point of landing! With God's help I know that He will lead and guide me so I do not miss the mark!

and that is a piece of my heart today;

Friday, September 4, 2009


HAVE YOU EVER had someone say something to you or one of your kids and the only thing you could think is "did they even think before they said that?"

It amazes me how some people can say just about anything to anyone and not even realize the damage that comes with their words. Our words need to be lifting up and edifying. Just because someone does something wrong in your eyes does not give anyone full authority to slam them. It is not our place to put judgement on anyone ...that honor belongs to God!

I am married to a pastor, and it seems like my kids are held under a microscope just because they are pk's. I have a huge secret to tell ... my kids are no different than yours: they are ALL sinners saved by grace! Pk's are no better nor worse than yours!

(ok ... I'm coming down off of my soapbox now ....)

Let's remember to encourage one another and when our brother or sister gets down ... let's not kick them, instead lets reach out a hand to lift them back up! and remember that none of us is perfect, so be careful before you cast a stone.

(whew I feel about you?) Some things just need to be said!

Thursday, September 3, 2009


HAS LIFE GOT YOU RUNNING RAGGED? Hurry, hurry, hurry...that seems to be the speed that America is in today. Whether you are running to the store, running to a child's ballgame or running late to a staff meeting ... life has us all running!!

Did you know that the state of "hurrying" affects our spiritual life? When there are too many things on the "to do" list, what is the one thing that usually does NOT get crossed off? Prayer and spending time with the Father, most likely.

Jesus was not in a hurry. Can you imagine Jesus jumping up and down, saying to His disciples, "Come on boys, get up! Get up, up, up! Get this camp cleaned up! Come on, we have to get going ... we have some preaching to do. Get those camels packed up boys! Come on ... Let's go, let's go!"

No that isn't the picture of Jesus at all! In fact, when I think about Jesus, I picture nothing but peace. He slowed His pace enough that He could hear from God all day long! Now isn't that a pace that we could strive after?

JOHN 14:27 "Peace I leave with you; My own peace I now give and bequeth you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."

Today I am thankful that it is alright for me to SLOW DOWN and spend time in His presence. How about you ... what are you thankful for today? Why not share your grateful heart with us today, share your post below in Mr Linky.

(you will find THANKFUL THURSDAY here for the month of September... I look forward to being your host once again!)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


EXPECTATIONS. We all have them. Not only do we have expectations of others, but others have expectations of us. And the expectations can change depending on the person, the situation and even the stage you are in life.

The expectations that a parent has for a child will be different when the child is an adult vs. when they were a child.

Same goes for expectations that others have of us when we, as Christians, are more mature in our walk with God than when we were just babes in Christ.

What one is expected to do or not do can very well be debated in homes across your community. In last weeks YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I polled the readers the following question: "Which is most likely to be debated in your household?" The top 3 answers were...

1. 28% of those voting said that "what to watch on television" is most debated.
2. 14% voted and said "whose turn it is to do chores" is most debated.
3. Another 14% polled said that they debate over "how money is spent."

Obviously, in some of our households, the area of expectations may be blurred alittle bit. Did you know that God has expectations of us? Thankfully, His Word gives us clear direction of what those expectations are and nothing about His Word is blurred.

God's expectations of us is summed up in one word ....
L O V E !!

Yes, that's right. God expects His children to love. In the book of Mark, Jesus was asked which commandment was the most important. His response?
MARK 12:30,31 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. (31) The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these."

Loving God with all of our hearts, souls, minds and strength is an expectation that we should all have if we call ourselves a follower of Christ. We should love Him with ALL that we have! This means going beyond lip service ... putting our love into action.

What about that second expectation? Love our neighbor as myself? Now that is an expectation that could possibly be debated. After all ... do YOU KNOW my neighbor? Well, no matter what you may think of your neighbor, they are made in God's image and they are God's creation. We must respect and love them.

If a young child came up to you and brought you a piece of art they drew ... you would not crumple it up and throw it away. You would not verbally say what a terrible piece of art they created ~ certainly you would treasure the art as an act of treasuring the child. In the same way, we show love to God by showing love and appreciation for His works of art (our neighbors!)

LOVE...God gives it, He desires it, and He expects it!

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD is a weekly post that I reserve for review of a current personal study I am doing. We all have expectations in life, but none is more important than the two expectations that God has for us to Him and love others.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A PIECE OF MY HEART ...what can wash away my stain?

I just love those products that can erase a stain off of your clothes. Shout it out! Now they even have these purse sized stain removers, so when you spill on yourself at the restaurant, all you have to do is roll this stuff over your stain and KAZAM! the spot is gone!

Getting your clothes clean is as easy as using spot removers or pouring bleach into your washing machine water. But how easy is it to clean up your conscience? How do you wash away regret and shame? Is it easy to remove the stains of inappropriate thoughts, bad attitudes, jealousy or fear?

The Bible says that "The blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin." (1 John 1:7) Isn't it strange...that if we were to spill blood on our clothing, we would instantly reach for that stain remover I talked about. When we think of blood, we think of it as something that causes stains rather than what is used to wash stains.

But the blood of Jesus is the only thing that can clean a guilty conscience. When the blood of Christ covers our hearts, it washes away our sin and makes us completely clean before God. His forgiveness is the only spot remover we is exactly what we need to become clean and white as snow.
and that is a piece of my heart today!