Friday, December 30, 2016

Daily Proverb

TODAY'S DAILY PROVERB finds us in one of the last chapters of Proverbs. I hope you have followed along with me this month as we looked at a proverb each day and found some wisdom daily to apply to our life!

Today's Daily Proverb is found in Verse 33 of chapter 30, but it is abit odd...

"churned milk turns into butter; riled emotions turn into fist fights".

However, reading the scripture before this will make it make more sense...

"If you’re dumb enough to call attention to yourself by offending people and making rude gestures, Don’t be surprised if someone bloodies your nose."

I love how plain and simple the Proverb writings are! Basically, it is telling us that whatever we keep spinning, something will come from it. The things that we churn will produce something!

If we keep churning milk, butter will be the by product. If we churn conflict with others, a bruised face ur bloody nose may be the by product. (Ouch)

If this is true for spinning anguish with others, imagine what the by product could be of the opposite; if we churned goodness, Grace, joy or love towards one another. I would love to be on the receiving end of what THAT produced ~ how about you?


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Daily Proverb...evil will get trapped

TODAY'S DAILY PROVERB is from Proverbs 29:6...

"Evildoers are snared by their own sin, but the righteous shout for joy and are glad."

There's nothing worse than feeling trapped or suffocated at the hands of someone else. Nothing worse, EXCEPT, being trapped by our own doing.

You may wonder why do bad things happen to good people while good things happen to bad people?

Sin may go free for awhile but it is only a matter of time before things catch up with evil people. In fact, the evil ones who have come against you, will one day fall right into their own trap.

Ensnared by their evil thoughts and actions while those of us who are good, who have lived a righteous life, will be free.

Stay clear of those traps set and live a free life in Jesus! Let God take care of those who have sinned against you. And He will.


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Daily Proverb

TODAY'S DAILY PROVERB is found in Proverbs 28:18...

"The one whose walk is blameless is kept safe, but the one whose ways are perverse will fall into the pit."

Have you ever gone for a walk and come up on some busted up concrete or a big dip in the walk? If you are watchful, you will see it ahead of time and walk around it or perhaps there will be a barricade around  the destruction to keep you safe.

Taking a walk with the Lord is like this visual. As you continue walking, there may be some pitfalls that stand in your way. However, when you keep your eyes on God, He will ensure your path to be straight and He will keep you safe. If you take your eyes off God, you will not see what's coming, and surely you will trip and fall on the busted up mess under your feet.

Keep walking straight.


Tuesday, December 27, 2016


TODAY'S DAILY PROVERB is found in Proverbs 27:17...

"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another."

This scripture is often quoted at mens retreats but this nugget of wisdom is for all of us to consider.

Whenever you rub iron against fire, sparks are going to fly. I have to ask, what happens when you rub shoulders with people? Are the sparks the kind that make others stronger or are they sparks that cause a fire of destruction?

Surround yourself with those who will build you up, those who want the best for you and certainly those that will sharpen you to become stronger Christians.

According to "Facts about Iron", making steel is the number one use of iron. A plate of steel is almost impossible to break through.

It is my prayer today that we all become as strong in the Lord as a sheet of steel, so strong that no amount of discouragement, sin or attack will be able to get thru.

Let the iron in you rub off and ignite something powerful and strong.


Monday, December 26, 2016


TODAY'S DAILY PROVERB is found in Proverbs chapter 26 and just like God's Word does, It was right on time for me...

"Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him." (Verse 4)

I don't know if you have any pot stirrers in your life, I do and Christmas morning took no exception.

Some people not only want to pull the joy out of Christmas but they want others to not have joy at all. Perhaps, the saying is true, "misery loves company".

Despite the efforts made to stir up strife and drama on my Christmas morning, I did what may seem shocking; I didn't respond. Not every action needs a reaction.

Our joy cannot be stolen unless we let it. Joy comes from the Lord, not people and certainly not pot stirrers. You gotta love the Proverbs~ It hits us where we are at! Have a JOYFUL day!



The Monday after Christmas is not like any other Monday. Perhaps today is one of the worst Mondays that you have had in awhile, perhaps it is the best. I suppose it all depends on how your Christmas went yesterday and whether or not you are left with a mess today.

So many times, we build up and build up to the magical moment of Christmas morning and then just like the twinkle in Santa’s eye; dash away, dash away, it is gone. The presents have been opened. The friends and family have gone home. The cookies have been eaten. The wrapping paper has been drug outside. Nothing is left of Christmas.

Or is there?

This year I have had a different perspective about Christmas, one I have not had in quite some time. My focus hasn’t been about the gifts, or the singing or the baking. To be honest, my focus has just been about Jesus. Why He came, why He died and what am I doing about it? You see, Jesus IS the reason for the season but He is also the reason for today!
“Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever!” (Hebrews 13:8)
Christmas doesn’t have to be over. Oh sure, you might need to pack those ornaments and tree away until next time, but the spirit of Christmas can live on. I think about Mary and Joseph and I wonder what kind of Monday after the first Christmas that they had? Did they rush around with cleaning up? Was there post Christmas blues? Did Mary fuss about the mess left by the animals in the stable? I really don’t think their Monday after Christmas was like any other Monday, matter of fact, I don’t think any of their Mondays were the same after Jesus was born.

The baby is no longer in the stable. However, the stable leads us to the cross and the cross leads us to the reason for the season … love, joy, forgiveness and salvation. Once we accept this free gift from God ALL of our Mondays will never be the same and He will become the reason for our EVERYTHING!


@copyright Laurie Adams

Thursday, December 22, 2016


TODAY'S DAILY PROVERB is found in chapter 22. I hope you have been following along with me this month by reading a chapter a day in the book of Proverbs.

"Train up a child in the way they should go and even when they are old they will not depart from it." (verse 6)

This particular verse is one that is quoted often by people, but have you ever really looked at the promise that it gives?

Children are certainly a joy, a gift the Bible says but as many of you who are parents know, children can also bring heartache and worry.

During my own times of worry and heartache over my own children, I cling to the hope, the promise that God gives me.

This verse not only brings hope but first a requirement for you and me. "Train up a child in the way they should go" is the requirement God gives us, but it doesn't stop there. The hope (the promise) is, IF we do our part, God will do the rest.

If you are a hurting parent over a lost child, remember the promise given here: "they will not depart from it".

Lost children are like lost sheep; they find their way home because of the leading of the Shepherd.

You've done your part, now let the Shepherd do His.


Wednesday, December 21, 2016


TODAY'S DAILY PROVERB is found in chapter 21, verse 13...

"Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered."

This particular verse stuck out to me today, I suppose because it is the season for giving and that is where my heart is right now.

It is easy to think of caring for those in need at Christmas, but what about the other 364 days of the year? Do we see the needs of the hungry, the poor and the shut ins as clearly then or do we walk on by?

Today's Proverb reminds me of how each one of us is just one day, one choice, one lost job, one crisis away from being the very one in need. Today you may have plenty but tomorrow it may be gone. Tomorrow it may be you who is hungry, or cold or in need.

The saying Is "what goes around, comes around." I pray hard times won't come around to you or me but in case it does keep in mind that the measure we give may be returned to us. 

When you give, give generously.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


TODAY'S DAILY PROVERB is found in chapter 20...

 "Do not say, 'I’ll pay you back for this wrong!' Wait for the Lord, and He will avenge you." (Verse 22)

This is a hard one because we all know it feels better to have the last word. However, I have learned along this journey of life that "my last word" probably would not be the same last words God would choose. 

 Two things that I know for sure:

1. Hurting people hurt people!
2. Nothing escapes Gods view and He WILL have the last Word!

As I get older, I am learning to be still more and let God deal with my enemies. After all, He's a much better score keeper than me.

Hope you have been reading along in Proverbs with me this month and today if someone has fighting words with you (or about you) still and know that God has your back!


Friday, December 16, 2016

Finding the joy that was stolen

I was reminded this week that not everyone has joy this Christmas. For some, they just wish it would come and go already. The laughter, the singing, the bells chiming, the whole spirit of love and giving has been stolen and replaced with heartache, gloom and despair.
It came to me first by way of a text message from my beloved daughter. It read, “He’s dead.” My heart stopped for a minute and then I quickly picked the phone up to call her. Thru her broken heart and tears, I heard the words as she told me about her friend who had been missing for a couple of days but had been found dead. Just 25 years old, such a tragedy. The joy of Christmas stolen.
Another reminder came to me during a visit from a lady who stopped by the church this week. They have been out of work and have no food or running water; “is there any way we could help them give their child a Christmas gift?” she asks. The joy of Christmas has been stolen from them.
Soon after this visit, a phone call was received. Cancer has spread and the doctors give no hope. Hospice has been called in. The joy of Christmas has been stolen yet once again.
My heart is more keenly aware this Christmas than any other that for many people the “merry” has been taken out of their Christmas and the “joy” to their world has been snuffed out by sickness, death and tragedy. Many will sit around a Christmas tree this year all alone, while others will not even have a Christmas tree or a present or a meal. I wish I could give to every single one of these that are hurting. I wish I could put my arms around each lonely person and tell them that someone loves them. I wish that I could give a toy to each wanting child. I truly wish I could restore the joy that has been stolen from so many people this Christmas.
While I am just one person, I may touch one or two with my giving but there is only One Who can touch the entire world. Jesus. And isn’t that exactly what happened on that night all those years ago in that stable? Joy was brought to the world. Not for one, not for two – Joy through our Savior was brought for ALL to have and to hold.
“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you, He is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10,11)
The same words spoken then are the same words that can bring joy to your world. Even in those moments when your world is shaken up, torn apart and feels like it has been stolen from you, yes even in those moments, joy can be found. None of us enjoy difficulties, or sickness or facing death, but joy my friend, true joy, is not about our enjoyment. Anyone can give you a Christmas treat but that doesn’t mean that you will enjoy it. True joy is not found in Christmas gifts rather it is found in the arms of Jesus.
It is my prayer that this Christmas CAN be different for those hurting, may we all be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and share the joy of Christ and give back to those who have had their joy stolen. After all, that is where we will find CHRISTmas.


Tuesday, December 6, 2016


This month I am studying the book of Proverbs. I invite you to read along with me, reading one chapter a day. Instead of sharing devotions this month, I will share a daily scripture picture from our daily reading. Today I'm in chapter 6 for the 6th day of the month.

"There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community." (Proverbs 6:16-19)


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Remove the Distractions

When I look around, I see so many distractions. It's so easy to be pulled in one direction or another just from the distractions around us.

I'm not just talking about flashing lights and loud noises, distractions come in various sizes. From our phone to the blaring tv to friendships that we have no business keeping.

When it comes to our relationship with God, we can be so easily distracted. Things (and people) stand in our way of getting closer to Him. The noises (the distractions) keep us from hearing Him.

Jesus told His followers that spiritual distraction begins with hearts that have "grown dull, ears that are hard of hearing, and eyes that are closed". (Matt. 13:15).

Jesus, using the visual of a farmer scattering seed, compares the seed that falls among thorns to that of a person who hears Gods Word but is distracted.

"The cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful” (Matthew 13:22).

Be careful of the distractions that you allow in your life, some may choke the life (eternally speaking) out of you.


Monday, November 28, 2016

Feeling Full

I don't know about you, but ever since Thursday, I've been saying how full I am and how I'm never going to eat again!

Ha ha, but each day since, the leftover dressing and pumpkin torte has been staring at me until I cave in and eat just alittle bit more.

I have read the book of Philippians many times over the years, but just this week I noticed a word that kept jumping out at me, "full". Perhaps it was because I was feeling so miserable in my state of overeating that I just noticed such an important word.

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether full or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." (Philippians 4:12)

Paul is reminding the people of Philippi that no matter the state that they find themselves, they can learn to be content. So often, I have considered this verse in the times of my need. When I was lacking, I asked God to teach me to become content.

But what about when I am full - is there contentment when I have much? (Apparently not if I had one more piece of pie!)

It may seem like we can never take another nibble again because we feel so satisfied but then a new day comes and the hunger pains attack us stronger than before. When those spiritual hunger pains come, do what any starving Christian would do...pull up a chair and feast some more.

You might over indulge with those sweet potatoes but with God, you can never get enough. So, Bon appetit!


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Finding A Calm in Your Storm

As many of you know, over 5 months ago I had hand reconstruction done on my dominate hand. So many of you have prayed and come along the journey with me and I thank you for that.

I wish I could say that it has been easy, but it hasn't. After 4 months of therapy every week, I have finally come to the end of that part of this journey. I'm walking away from handy therapy with only 50% of strength regained. My work is not done yet, I had really hoped to be further along the recovery road than this.

I don't know why things have to be so hard.

Recently, I was thinking about the disciples who found themselves in the midst of a storm while on the Sea of Galilee. The winds and waves rocked their boat all night long. I have no doubt that these men prayed fervently for the storm to cease or at least to make it safely to the other side where land was.

Everyone, in their time of need, probably asks the same question that the disciples probably asked, "Lord, why don't you calm this storm?"

I have always found it interesting that in this story Jesus did not bring the boat to safe land, but instead, He walked out to the boat in the middle of the storm.

In the past 5 months, I can't say that I have understood all that I've had to endure but I can assure you that I never doubted God's plan. Instead of looking for a way out of my storm, I've sought strength to withstand the storm.

In my quest for finding that dry land in my situation, I've come to realize it is better to stay in the boat to ride out the storm and wait for God to come to me.

"He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed." (Psalm 107:29)

Whatever storm you face today, trust God because He will not let you sink or drown. Instead of looking for a way to escape, look for His purpose in your pain and then watch for your rainbow...It is coming, just like He promised.


Monday, November 21, 2016

Finding God's Timing

It seems that much of our life is spent waiting. We will wait in line for the small things like a vanilla latte or we wait to fill our car up. The big things in life even keep us waiting; we wait for our prince to show up, or wait for a promotion at work or we can't wait to grow up to be an adult.

Everyone will wait for something or someone in their life. But how often do we wait upon the Lord?

When looking at my own life, I've considered just how much time I have spent in waiting. In some things, the wait has been too long. The time to change sometimes is not for later but for now.

Recently, I was facing a situation that seemed impossible. The "change" that needed to take place seemed long past due and it seemed time had run out.

But then my husband told me a story about a tunnel.

He said life sometimes is like a tunnel and the only way to get to the other side is to dig our way out. Along the way we get tired and weary and we may even want to give up. We can't see the "light at the end of the tunnel" because we think our time has run out.

But all the while, while we were digging on our end, we couldn't see that God was on the other end digging too.

"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles." (Isaiah 40:31) 

I've always heard the saying, "It's not over until the fat lady sings". Well, I'm not planning to sing today, so, it's not over until God stops digging.

Whatever change you need to make, just keep digging. It may seem like it's taking awhile but with God, everything is right on time!


Thursday, November 17, 2016


As I listened to the words being spoken, I could hardly wrap my mind (and heart) around what I was hearing. How could anyone not spot the truth that is right in front of them?

How easily we become deceived.

Sometimes, I think we trade truth for a lie. We believe the words that friends, family, coworkers, and even strangers put on us. Words have power, people can easily convince us of our identity by constantly reminding us of who they think we should be. Or words become twisted and what was meant to be kind and loving is now something ugly that was never meant to be.

You can speak truth but truth placed in the wrong hands can become a twisted lie. So what will you believe? Who will you believe?

At the root of sin; lies and deceit can be found. We must not lose sight of what is true. The truth can set us free, even Jesus said that...

"Then you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free." (John 8:32)

The freedom that Jesus speaks about is a spiritual freedom, a freedom that breaks the bonds of sin. A freedom that releases us from believing a lie from the enemy and accepting God's Truth.

I can't stop people from telling lies; as long as there is sin in the world, there will be deceit. But that doesn't mean that we can't discern what is true and what is not.

Jesus is THE Truth (see John 14:6). Knowing His Truth will set you free; free from condemnation, free from sin, free from lies.

Know what Truth looks like, then you will be able to spot a lie a mile away.


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Choose Grace

The thing about grace is that everyone thinks grace is a great thing until they themselves are faced with a situation where grace is needed to be extended.

What is grace, you ask? Grace is simply that gift that is freely given but totally undeserving. Grace is receiving what you do not deserve and not getting what you do deserve.

When it comes to our relationships with others; grace is a choice. When faced with opposition or difficulty in our relationships, we have two options: offer grace or judge harshly.

Grace has nothing to do with the other person, but everything to do with us and the condition of our heart.

"Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." (Hebrews 4:16)

Choosing to extend grace never excuses bad behavior or sin, however, what it does do is look past the sin and see Jesus.

Isn't that what God did for you and me?

While everyone else saw a greedy taxpayer, Jesus saw someone who could bring order to a corrupt system. When everyone else saw a adulterous woman, Jesus saw someone who could evangelize a city. And while everyone else saw you and me full of our sin and shame, Jesus saw an anointed, cherished son or daughter of the King!

Grace chose us! Now, try choosing grace for others.


Monday, November 14, 2016

Going The Right Way

The other night we were driving home, traveling on highway 64, a stretch of road where many accidents occur. On this particular night, we found out why.

A big semi truck was headed right towards us, traveling at full speed in OUR lane!

I don't know why this truck was traveling in the wrong lane but in the nick of time, we got his attention and he swerved back to where he belonged. Thinking back on this and giving thanks for God's hand of protection, I was also reminded of what is written in Proverbs...

"There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death" (Proverbs 14:12).

Have you ever felt like you were doing the right thing but in fact you were headed the wrong way? How can we know if we are in the right lane or not?

When Jesus left this earth and ascended to heaven, He didn't leave us alone to figure it out. He sent His Holy Spirit to be our Guide.  

"But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come" (John 16:13)

God has a way to get our attention. We must stay alert and keep in the right lane so we can continue going the right way; which is God's way!

Watch where you are going, my friend, the wrong way could be deadly.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Life is a test

Everyone has a test of one kind or another. I guess you could say that life is nothing but a test. This has been true ever since the great saints first experienced it and still remains true today.

Abraham and Sarah were told by God to leave their home and travel to a land that God hadn't even revealed to them. Surely, this was a test of their faith. I live in Arkansas and I don't know if God told me to uproot and follow Him to an unknown place, how easy it would be. Sure, moving to Florida or some other sunny place would be doable, but what if He led me to a foreign place like Thailand or Ethiopia? I can only imagine the stories to share of how God led me by faith to move the mountains (and oceans) out of the way to reach my destination.

The Bible is full of testimonies. Daniel had a testimony that involved the lions den, Kind David's testimony came from the hands of Goliath, Joseph's testimony took him from the pit to the palace. The Bible, as I see it, is nothing but testimony after testimony; divided into two books.

Tests (trials, tribulations, problems) or whatever you want to call them, are very normal. Most people view them as interruptions or a bother but people have been enduring tests for all time. If the saints of the Bible experienced them, why should we be any different?

The tests of life is what stretches us. I am who I am today because of the difficulties I have overcome. I know some people who do all they can to avoid the tests (the bumps) along the way, but life is all about the tests and the rewards for enduring them ... our life is our testimony.

Testimonies in a courtroom can give a life or death sentence. Likewise, what we do with our testimony can do the same. The Bible says in the book of Revelation that we conquer Satan "by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony." (Revelation 12:11) The word of our testimony can transform doubt into faith. Our testimony can literally turn someone towards Christ or away from Him. It's really up to us how we use the tests in our life.

When you have a testimony from God, it will be hard to keep it quiet. You will want to tell everyone what the Lord has done. A testimony from God will make sleeping in a lions den easy;  it will make walking thru the fiery furnace a breeze and a testimony from God will never be kept to yourself.

I don't know what kind of test you are enduring right now, but I do know from experience, that God is giving you a tremendous testimony that will speak life to someone one day. Just remember, a "testimony" without a test is just "imony".

Life is nothing but a big test, how are you doing with yours?


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The God Who Sees Me

I don't know why we tend to do this, but we often take on a view of ourselves as others see us. We totally miss out on the view that God has, we miss out on seeing ourselves as He sees us.

I have struggled with this. The reflection in my mirror hasn't always been the reflection of God but the reflection of others. God recently showed me that people see what they want to see. If they choose to be unforgiving, that is what they will see in others. If they choose to be accepting, then acceptance is what they will see. Unfortunately, most people don't (or won't or cant) accept others as God does.

We tend to think that we really know people. But this knowledge often comes from our emotion; how we feel about that person, how much we have interacted with them, what others have said about them. No one truly knows a person. Not like God does.

Some of the closest people in my life, whom I would have thought I knew intimately, have surprised me with things I never would have imagined about themselves or our relationship. When things are going great and you feel on top of the mountain, in the blink of an eye it can all change. The feelings that you thought you had, the person that you thought you knew, the secrets that you thought were safe, can change oh so quickly; leaving you to wonder, "who were they?" or even "who am I?"

I suppose Hagar might have felt this way. The Egyptian slave, who labored for Abram and Sarai (later to be called Abraham and Sarah) did them a great favor. After many years of not being able to conceive a child, Sarai sent Hagar to be with her husband so he might have a child with her.

Hagar did become pregnant and later bore Abram a son. But Sarai became jealous and spiteful to her slave because it wasn't herself pregnant with Abram's child. So Hagar did what most of us would do. She heard the names Sarai called her and she looked in the mirror and saw herself thru Sarai's eyes and she fled.

Hagar needed to see herself as God saw her and while in the desert, Hagar encountered God. She addressed Him as "El Rio" - "the God Who sees me"...

"She gave this name to the Lord Who spoke to her, 'You are the God Who sees me,' for she said, 'I have now seen the One Who sees me.' " (Genesis 16:13,14)

Hagar's God is the same God Who sees exactly who you and I are. He knows the exact numbers of hair on our head, He knows when our heart breaks and when we cry all alone, He knows about today, yesterday and tomorrow and He knows the things that we hold secret in the depths of our soul. He knows us like no other because He sees us exactly as we are.

When you look in the mirror today, what do you see? Is your image that of how others see you or how God sees you? Turn around and look again, look at the reflection in the mirror now and ask, "El Rio, how do You see me?"

Please join me today and declare that no one knows us like God and when He sees us, He really sees us!


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Our Responsibility Continues

Now that our vote is cast, what now?

The candidates have campaigned hard and we have hopefully cast our vote or intend to before the day is over. So now what do we do?

Despite who you supported or who comes out on top, our Christian responsibility does not end at the voting booth. Our responsibility continues with our prayers for those placed in authority over us. We are not to complain, but pray.

Interceding for those in authority is not an option. It is a biblical command that we are to obey...

"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (1 Timothy 2:2)

God can use our voice, our prayers, to turn the hearts of those in authority. In Proverbs, we read that the Kings heart is in the hand of the Lord. (Proverbs 21:1) Whenever there are policies and platforms that don’t conform to biblical ethics, the intercession of Christians can be used in a powerful and transforming way.

May we reflect today that there is no King, no President, or no mayor that trumps (no pun intended) our God.

God is still on the throne and nothing escapes Him; including the cries of His people.

Exercise your right and responsibility...pray for our newly elected President and trust God.


Friday, November 4, 2016

Find Your Burning Bush

I early voted the other day. I don't tell you so that you should ask me "who" I voted for, I tell you that to encourage you to exercise your American right and responsibility and get out and vote. Who you vote for is your business, not mine.

When I voted, I got a sticker saying "I voted" and in the short time that I wore it, I had 5 people stop me and ask me who I had voted for. When I told one person that I couldn't tell them, they asked me "why". My response was, "because that is between me and God."

I know some people have no problem saying whom they stand behind and support. Many people have debated it on Facebook and some have even gotten ugly if you don't agree with them. Even Christians. My daughter had one Christian woman delete her on Facebook because she was for "the other opponent".

I don't know, maybe it is just me, but I just think some things need to be left between you and God.

I, for one, keep my political views to myself. I lean upon the direction and leading of God not the pressure and cursing of other Americans (or other Christians).

Likewise, there are some very intimate places of my heart that is just reserved for God. Words cannot describe the love, mercy and grace that God has bestowed upon me. Even though I share my testimony with others (and we should), there are some places that I've been with God that are beyond words.

"Whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself what he approves." (Romans 14:22)

Jacob found himself all alone when he and God wrestled, (see Genesis 32). Jacob had cheated his brother out of his birthright, God could have dealt with Jacob right then or at any time but He waited until Jacob was alone. I've always found it curious that God waited until the middle of the night when Jacob was all alone.

I've had a few of those life changing "Jacob" moments. It is nearly impossible for me to describe the mercy I have felt from my God, but some of the depth of His love extended to me isn't for your ears. It is something to be held tightly between me and God, He completely understands my "thank you" and "amen" because He has walked me through some burning bushes.

May you find some of those Jacob life changing moments yourself and savor His grace in your own heart.


Thursday, November 3, 2016

Having a Jonah moment

Have you ever had a Jonah moment? That moment when you hear about someone who has gotten into a little trouble but you are not surprised by it. Maybe you even spoke it out loud, “I’ve seen that coming a mile away.” To be honest, I have done that.

But the other day I was reading about Jonah and it hit me, I myself, am not too far off from where Jonah found himself. I’m sure you remember the Bible story from elementary school where God told Jonah to go and preach to the people of Ninevah, but Jonah disliked Ninevah, so he tried to go to Tarshish instead.

But God meant what He said, so He sent a big fish to swallow Jonah up and deliver him to the city. This infuriated Jonah and he said…

“O Lord, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God Who relents from sending calamity. Now, O Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” (Jonah 4:2O)

But God answered and asked, “have you any right to be angry?”

Jonah might get alot of grief from us for not following God’s commands, but we aren’t much different than him. Many times, I don’t want to go where God tells me and more times than I can remember, I haven’t liked what God has asked me to do, especially if it involves someone I don’t get along with or go somewhere where I dislike. However, the question God asked Jonah is the same for you and me…

“what right do we have to be angry?”

Pride and our past feelings sometimes get in our way of obeying God. Jonah had to put his prideful feelings down, he had to forgive some people and he had to accept that even people from Ninevah needed Jesus.

God desires for us to minister to everyone, bear one anothers burdens, and to live in harmony with our Christian brothers and sisters. His message is for everyone, especially those that might not surprise us by their sinful nature. He is asking us to go and find our Ninevites and tell them the good news.

You may have to take the highway, or walk across the street or click on Facebook to do it, but however you do it, don’t go by way of the fishes belly to get there.

“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” -Mark 11:25


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Time To Let Go and Fly

Have you ever seen two birds fight? I did the other day. I don't know what they were so mad about but in my driveway there they were; beak on leg, not letting go, dancing around each other while still holding on.

It didn't appear that either one was going to let in and fly away. As I started to pull out of the driveway and my car became near to them, they finally broke their grip and flew away in different directions.

Driving down the road, I couldn't help but think how we are like those squabbling birds. How many times do we keep a grip hold on that thing or that person that seems to be a threat to us.

It could be a relational difference, a health crisis, financial troubles or just a built up offense with someone. Whatever has a hold on you and your heart, God wants to break it up.

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful." (Hebrews 10:23)

God is faithful, even when our hope seems lost. When the birds of life come pecking at your ear (and heart), don't listen. Instead, let go of your tight grip and let God fight your battles.

When we loosen those white knuckles from the troubles of life, the flight with Jesus becomes much smoother and the other birds around us become less bothersome.

Spread your wings and fly.


Monday, October 31, 2016

Will You Stand?

There is no better time than today to decide where you stand. I'm afraid that after next weeks election results, no matter which way it goes, our beliefs and freedoms will be shaken.

I wonder how many will stand up for what they believe?

Last night, we took about 20 from our church to see the movie, "I am not ashamed", a movie about Rachel who was killed in the Columbine High shooting for being a Christian.

After watching this tear jerker, I couldn't help but reflect on what kind of a stand I would take in such a moment. I was reminded of Ephesians 6:13...

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

No matter how many times I read it, the word "Stand" keeps jumping out to me.

You may ask, "how can I stand up for what I believe in this evil world that I live?"

"The peace of God transcends all understanding." (Philippians 4:7)

When we come to understand that we have been placed right where we are for a purpose, we will see that we each have the power to impact others. The things that we stand for not only affect us but it greatly affects those standing by.

Stand up for God, not only in how you live your life but Stand even if it means your faith will cost you your life.

Know what you believe and STAND!


Thursday, October 27, 2016

God has the answers!

Last night I taught one of the hardest lessons to our youth group that I've ever taught, "What suicide is and what it is not." While suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 10-24, it is still the most silent topic for many. People don't know what to say or how to answer the unknown questions that arise from suicide.

Depression and Suicide, like many other difficult things in life, are one of those things you want to ask God, "why?" Perhaps you are staring at a "why God?" situation right now, looking for answers but running into a dead end.

I didn't have all of the answers for the youth class last night, but I was able to direct them to the source that does.... the Bible. The Bible is the inspired Word of God and a lamp unto our feet, It has a way of illuminating the answers to our questions.

In Genesis chapter 21, we read a story of a woman and a child who desperately needed some illumination (some insight) on their current situation. It all started with Abraham and Sarah. You see they had been promised a son in their old age, but Abraham was 90 years old and STILL no son! So Sarah decides to take things in her own hands and she came up with a plan; instead of waiting upon the Lord, she suggests to Abraham that he have a child with their servant, Hagar.

That was Sarah's plan, not God's. Eventually, God's plan comes to pass and Sarah does have a son, just like He promised. However, Sarah began to resent her servant, Hagar and the son she had with Abraham. So, Sarah banished them.

What was Hagar to do? She was fearful that her and her son, Ishmael would surely die of starvation. In her moment of searching, she cried out to God and the Bible says He answered...

"Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink." (Genesis 22:19)

What a perfect example of what we need today. Like Hagar, we desperately need the Lord. The answer was right in front of her, all she had to do was open her eyes. I don't know what questions you may have for God, but I do know that He will answer if you call out to Him, and He will illuminate your way if you just open your eyes.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

There is Cedar in all of us!

I have been watching the house up the street from us being transformed. It is currently under a major remodeling and makeover. The entire house has been gutted and each day as I drive by, I can see the transformation happening right before my eyes. This week, the house got some beautiful cedar wood siding put in place. It is gorgeous mixed in with the stone front.

As the workers labored the other day, I noticed the pile of lumber stacked by the house. I also noticed that each piece of lumber was selected carefully before being hung. I couldn't stop thinking about that beautiful cedar wood; how each piece was delicately and carefully selected for this remodel job. Lumberjacks would tell you that the strongest wood usually comes from the trees that have weathered the roughest storms and conditions.

I suppose you could say the same about people. The strongest people that I know are that way because of the strong winds and battles they have endured. Look at Moses; if you could ask him how he became the great man that he was, assuredly, he would remind you of his trials with Pharaoh and the testing that the wilderness days brought him. How about Joseph? Surely his great power and position did not come easy, Joseph had to go thru the pit and slavery first before he saw great things.

Just like that cedar wood, that passed thru all of the inspections to be considered the best and just like Moses and Joseph, God is using the the bumps and the rough edges in us to perfect us to be used for something great!

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10)

I don't know what kind of remodeling or transforming that God is doing in you, but I guarantee you that the rough stuff, the hurts and the troubles that you feel, are the very things that will give you strength for where you are headed.


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Should Christians watch scary movies ?

With Halloween just around the corner, my husband and I have noticed there is not much to watch on TV. All of the blood, guts and scary movies are playing. I use to, back in the day, enjoy watching scary movies. The kind that had you at the edge of your seat. I remember when I was a teenager, going to the theatre to watch the horror shows with my friends, the scarier the better, because we knew going into it, that it was all fake.

But is it?

Now that I am older and a Believer in Christ, I have since changed my mind. The evil depicted in these horror movies may be fake on the screen, but evil in real life lurks around us and believe me, it is very real!

So how do we deal with these movies (and TV shows) that depict the use of magic, witchcraft and glorified violence? If you are a Christian, I believe that God wants you to use wisdom and be smart about the choices you make. I had to make a choice myself, was I willing to allow the evil thoughts and images to dance in my head from watching a movie or could I make a better choice?

"The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly." (Proverbs 15:14)

If you are still intrigued with the scary shows and wonder if it is ok for a Christian to watch, ask yourself this question, "should I watch this at all?" God said for us to have a pure heart and a clean mind. If the show you are about to watch will keep you from maintaining this, it may not be worth your time.

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." (Psalm 51:10) 

I can't tell you if watching the scary Halloween movies are wrong for you, but what I can do is suggest that you apply God's rating to the rating of the movie or show. Paul writes in Philippians that we should think on things that are excellent and praiseworthy; things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable. If you can spend 90 minutes watching ghosts, evil, mass killings, vampires, witchcraft and zombies and walk away feeling all those kind of things found in Philippians, more power to you. But I doubt that you can, I know I cannot.

I have come to know that there is a real enemy who lurks around to steal, kill and destroy. And he uses our mind and what we allow in our hearts and what we allow to be seen by our eyes to haunt and destroy us. I learned a long time ago in elementary school a very important logo, "garbage in, garbage out."

Keep the garbage out by keeping what's on the inside pure and clean. To do this, you may need to change the channel or switch theatres. Evil is not something to play around with.


Monday, October 24, 2016

What are we teaching?

Yesterday, during my husband's Sunday sermon, he reminded me of the startling fact that 80% of our children in church will leave their faith when they turn 18. 80%? That is 8 out of 10! That leads me to the question today, "What are we teaching?"

My husband also gave wise counsel to the congregation to be careful what we teach our little ones. If sports events, sleeping in or hanging with friends takes precedent over being in God's House on Sunday, could it be that we are teaching our kids that God is not important? Could we be contributing to that 80% statistic?

I've seen too many parents pour their heart and soul into the social and the athletic aspect of their child's life, while the spiritual investment takes back seat. I'm not saying that your child can't have fun, after all, my children all were involved in the school clubs, drama team, volleyball, baseball and football when they were young. But God and church commitments always came first.

I believe that we live in a day and age now that we MUST choose which side we live. Do we live for God or the world? Do we have a foot in or out? Are we hot or cold?

" Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (Matthew 6:33)

God said that "no man can serve two masters", (Matthew 6:24) . I fear that we allow things to stand between us and our faith. When we allow other things to be more valued than our relationship with Christ, that "thing" becomes our master. We no longer serve God, but we serve those things that come before God. If we allow people or activities to take the place of serving God; then that something or someone has taken the place of who we serve. Whatever excuse we use, the bottom dollar is that when we choose to not be faithful to God, we just taught someone watching us that God is not as important to us as they thought.

The Bible says that our God is a jealous God, (see Exodus 34:14).  For this reason He will not stand to be placed second to anything. Growing up in church and raising my own family in church, I have learned that there is a balance and that by placing God at the top of my list, it not only makes my life seem smoother but my families lives as well. We must stand back and look at what we are teaching our children, not just at what we say but what they see us do.

Here are 4 reasons why it is imperative that we place God first in our busy schedules and lives and not as a back up plan:

1. It will teach compassion. As early as when kids learn to talk, they learn to reach out to people. Take a hurting parent and watch what a child will do; they will either try to solve the problem or they will come alongside and offer kindness or comfort to their parent. Children will follow your lead when they see you caring for those hurting in your church.

2. It will teach a godly work ethic. Everyone knows that we should have a good work ethic, but what about a godly work ethic? Our children need to see us demonstrating what faithfulness and obedience looks like thru how we work for God.

3. It will teach servanthood. The word "giving" isn't just about money. When we are faithful to God, that doesn't just mean with our time, but our talents and treasures too. When we put God first, that means in everything. We teach others by giving back to God what is His, not what is leftover, or a small portion, but what God deserves. He deserves our very best!

4. It will teach discernment. No one knows if someone is being genuine more then a child. They can spot a phony a mile away. When we put God first and seek His wisdom, we are teaching discernment. Even when our motives are pure, kids must learn that not everyone else's are, but the importance is to have the wisdom to know the difference. This comes from spiritual guidance.

There are so many other lessons to be learned from choosing to be faithful to God. These 4 basic teachings may be difficult to spot if we are not putting God first. Yes, I know God is everywhere, He can be with us at a Razorback game, or at a birthday party or in our recliner at home. But today, I am asking the question, "What are you teaching?"

The most effective life lessons are taught when we don't even realize we are teaching. I want to change that crazy statistic, I don't know about you, but 80% is too great of a number to lose our kids to. I want to place God #1 in all that I do and I don't want it to just be something I say, but something I do ...and something that I teach someone who is watching me.

"I say what I mean and I mean what I say". (Dr. Seuss)


Friday, October 21, 2016

Built on Solid Ground

What would your dream house look like? I always imagined mine to be a beach house overlooking the ocean with an all around, floor to ceiling, glass windows. No matter where you stood in the house, you could take in the beauty of the sunrise or listen to the sounds of the crashing waves.

Beautiful, but, how realistic and smart would that be? Not much privacy from the beach walkers, not to mention the risk of violent storms crashing in all of those windows. What a mess all that shattered glass would be. Its a good thing that not all houses are limited to our imagination.

I guess that's why there are seldom two houses built the same. Even if the same contractor builds them, no two people have the same "imaginations" or plans. "Different strokes for different folks" is the saying and variety is usually well played out. Not just in house building but in the kingdom of God as well.

Look at what 1 Corinthians says that having a variety can accomplish...

"Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. If the foot says, 'I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,' that does not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear says, 'I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,' would that make it any less part of the body? If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell? But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where He wants it." (1 Corinthians 12:14-18)

You see, God does not give everyone the same gifts. If He did, everyone would be doing the same thing and something would be left undone. Not everyone can live in glass beach houses while the white picket farmhouses are forgotten. After all, what would we eat if the farmhouses were neglected while we all soaked up the sun and sea?

The point is that God never intended all of us to do the same thing. He has a specific thing for each of us to do, not just where we live or where we work but God has a specific thing that He has equipped each of us to do in the church and His Kingdom.

Not everyone is called to be the preacher. If God calls you to preach, then preach. Not everyone is called to be a teacher. If God calls you to teach, then teach. Not everyone is called to sing in the choir. If God calls you to sing, then sing. Not everyone is called to work with children. If God has called you to work with kids, work with kids. If the teacher is trying to sing while the singers are trying to work with kids, isn't that like trying to use your ear to smell with or opening your eye to listen with?

The body works better when everyone is doing their part, not someone else's part. Maybe you are still back on the beach, thinking that the glass beach house still sounds appealing but you are not quite sure. Not sure what your part is in the Kingdom of God, perhaps.

Take a minute to examine yourself. Usually that means examine your heart, but today I want you to examine yourself, literally. Look at your hands. Now look at your feet. Look at your eyes, your nose, your ears. Think about all of the things that you are able to do with these parts... now how can you offer these gifts, talents and abilities that God has given you to further God's kingdom?

Can you sing? Can you cook? Can you build something? Can you clean? Can you tell others about what God has done for you? Do you like to encourage people? Can you bake, can you fish, can you sew?

 What CAN you do? Do it! And watch God build His House on solid ground, not sinking sand.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

What to do if you dont understand

When we are faced with real life hurts, disappointments and tragedy, trusting God isn't always easy, especially when you don't understand. It is much easier to say, "trust God" when things are going well, but what if your world gets turned upside down and you don't  understand why?

I've had to ask myself that question, in the midst of asking God "why", I've had to make that choice of Whom will I trust for those things that don't seem clear or seem reasonable to me... my own
understanding or God's all knowing wisdom?

God doesn't mind us asking why; He fully understands that we will have questions. He is more concerned with what will we do with His answer, than He is with us questioning Him. I have some friends today asking God the "why" question. Tragedy has hit hard some family and friends near me and even though I cannot offer an answer to the "why" questions, I can encourage you today with 4 things to remember about trusting God when you don't understand...

1. Consider Who God is

"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last." (Revelation 22:13)

Man is fallible, but with God, nothing escapes His eye. If He can hold the whole world in His Hands, what is your concern or mine to Him? Consider the source and how trustworthy and powerful the Alpha and Omega is. There is no other like Him.

2. You can trust Him

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding." (Proverbs 3:5)

No matter how scary things may seem, we must decide Who or what we will lean upon for strength. Trusting God does not mean you will not find yourself in uncomfortable circumstances, however, trusting God is saying you trust His ways more than your own. God's ways are much higher than ours and He will make a way. But we have to let God have His way; that means take our hands off and walk in obedience, no matter how uncomfortable it feels.

3. Simply obey

"Obedience is better than sacrifice." (1 Samuel 15:22)

God places so much emphasis on our obedience that He places it higher than offering up sacrificial praise. Even in times of confusion, God is calling us to trust and obey Him. God pours out blessings on those who choose to obey Him.

4. God will lead you

"The Lord said to Abram, 'Leave your native country, your relatives, and your family and go to the land that I will show you." (Genesis 12:1)

Sometimes, God places us in a situation that seems foreign but in a place that we must trust Him for everything. It is during these times that we learn to walk by faith not by sight.

Trusting God even when we don't understand His plan is simply a step of faith. What do you need faith for today? Whatever it is, I want you to know that you can trust God. You may not understand the "why" but you can trust the "Who!"


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Let's Dance

One of the worst feelings anyone could ever feel has to be that of not feeling like they are enough. Not feeling worthy. Not feeling like they belong.
This thought took me down memory lane to elementary school; gym class to be exact. It was my sixth grade year and for some crazy reason my gym teacher thought it would be sensational to have her less than coordinated, clumsy, 6th grade students learn to square dance. Of course, the only sensible and logical way to pair off the dance teams would be to line up boys on one wall and girls on the other wall, and count off. Once the count off was completed, all the ones with the same number would line up on the square dance square, picking their partner.
There was always that one that no one seemed to want to pick. Perhaps it was the uncoordinated one. Or the unpopular one. Sometimes it was someone I felt sorry for and sometimes I was the one.
Whoever was the last to be picked, it surely left a mark; a feeling of not being wanted or not feeling good enough.
The enemy uses that same feeling, that same emotion, that same lie, to torment us as we go thru the rest of our lives after gym class. Throughout scripture, It is clear that God loves us. God is passionate about us and wants good things for us; if not, He would never have sent His Son to die for us.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” (John 3:16)
The enemy knows all about this and he doesn’t want us to know about this kind of love, he would rather we look around and see how others see us and take that “gym class” let down mentality and let it become who we are. But God wants us to know that He sees us and even if no one else chooses us, He does. And He did!
This kind of acceptance cannot be found anywhere else. No man will ever find us good enough or worthy. There will always be something to measure up to, or to earn or to prove. We can thank Adam and Eve for this, for it was their weakness that allowed satan to convince them that God’s love was not enough for them.
“‘You will not surely die,’ the serpent said to the woman. ‘For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good from evil.’ When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband and he ate it.” (Genesis 3:4-6)
Imagine how God must have felt when Adam and Eve decided that God’s love was not enough for them. I can only imagine that same feeling is felt when you and I ask, “Is it enough?” How disappointing it must be for God to not be chosen, especially when all options are lined up and He is clearly the best choice.
Sixth grade gym class was a long time ago and those feelings of not being chosen surface from time to time when I feel rejected by my family, my friends, my peers; but because of the great love of Christ, I am guaranteed to never dance alone. God has chosen me and He has chosen you.
Let’s dance.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

No Turning Back

One of my favorite old songs we use to sing in church is, "I have decided to follow Jesus". This song takes me back to the little white church I grew up in on Cherry Street in Green Bay, WI.

I thought about those great hymn sings in that little church today as I was reading in the book of Luke. I came across this one passage that leaped out at me and instantly the words of that song played in my head..."The world behind me, the cross before me. No turning back, no turning back."

Luke 9:62 says, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God."

When I look at the words of this scripture and the words of that song, I can't help but see a profound biblical truth for us today: a Christians life must keep going forward to reach the prize.

Many great military leaders in history have gone to war and fought the fight. Some have relented and thrown up their hands in defeat. Some have even retreated.

For the Christian, we must not give up. We must not get discouraged to the point of quitting. We must not retreat.

As the sun was setting on Paul's ministry, he wrote...

 "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." (2 Timothy 4:7)

Paul was "struck down, but not destroyed" (2 Corinthians 4:9). After being stoned and left to die, Paul got up and moved forward.  "But one thing I do," Paul said, " forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize." (Philippians 3:13,14)

I don't know what kind of battle you face today, but I do know that God doesn't want you to give up. He has brought you this far for a reason and like Paul, you may feel struck down but friend, you are NOT destroyed.

Keep your eye on the prize, and when things get tough, don't turn back...thats not where Jesus is, He is in front of you.

Decide to follow Jesus. No turning back!


Monday, October 17, 2016

Got questions? God has the answer.

How do you deal with bossy people? Everyday I am surrounded by people who want to tell me what to do, what to think, what to wear and how to act. So are you. If you don't get it from those you work with or go to school with, all you have to do is turn on the television and be bombarded by social pressure to drive a certain car, wear a certain brand of shoe or become more like a certain superstar.

People not only like to tell us what to do but they like to tell us how things are. "If you don't follow my diet plan, you cannot be lean and mean." Diet and fashion are not the only things people pressure us about. People via social media have no qualms to tell people their opinion or if they think YOU are wrong.

Face it, no one likes to be told what to do or what to be. God included. But yet we find ourselves doing this very thing to God, telling Him how it is. How many times have you prayed and poured your heart out to God about your problems or moment of crisis and then follow it up with a plan of action of how God can fix your problems (or fix someone who is a problem). We tend to give God our "blessing" checklist as if God can't come up with ways to shower blessings upon us.

Here we are, doing to God what we dislike others doing to us. Here we are, telling God how things are or ought to be. Here we are, questioning God when things don't go as we see. Just like Job, we question God. But the same answer given to Job is the same answer that applies to you and me today...

"Who are you to question Me?" Where were you when I formed the mountains and told the water you can go this far and no further?" "Have you commanded the mornings?" "Can you make it rain?"

How easily it is for us to forget about the awesome Hand of God. How He created all things and sustains all things, He sees all, knows all, and IS all! Not everything is for our knowledge, not everything is for our understanding and God doesn't always do things according to our plan.

"God's voice thunders in marvelous ways; He does great things beyond our understanding." (Job 37:5)

God doesn't mind our questions, but whose voice of reason will you bend an ear to? May we all humble ourselves before God and trust Him for the answers and the blessings that He chooses to extend. Even if it is not in our understanding, God's ways are always higher (and better) than ours.

God isn't trying to be bossy, but with all respect, when is the last time you created a heaven and earth and all that is in it? Trust the great Creator for everything that you are in need of, even those things that you completely do not understand. God has a plan and He has an answer for every one of our questions.


Friday, October 14, 2016

Please Pray Before You Vote: my only political post you will see

In just a little over 3 weeks we will usher in a new President of the United States. I am sure you have your doubts, concerns and turmoil like many do over this change of arms. I will never use this platform of where I pen my thoughts for political gain or political attack like so many others do. It is not my business whom you vote for and it is not your business who I cast my vote for. Who we stand behind in the political race really isn't the issue at hand, rather, Who do we stand with.

The headline news, the bickering debates, the heated Facebook posts all lead me to wonder where can we even begin. I am not sure of any of the candidates brought before us, all that I am sure of is that America has a deep ache in their hearts for a land that needs God's mercy.

I'm not sure where all of this fear comes from; because the God that I serve never leaves us to fend for ourselves. He said He would never leave us or forsake us, so why are we wretched with this worry and fear? The last time I read the last book of the Bible, God still rules, He hasn't lost control, He has a plan and His divine purpose WILL prevail.

Everyone is trying to decide who is the more evil one, Clinton or Trump? All the while forgetting that God Himself has had plenty of experience dealing with evil leaders. In 2 Kings, Elijah, whom was a great prophet of God during a time of great evil leaders, was spared by God. Elijah was brought to heaven via a chariot without ever facing death. But even at this merciful hand of God, evil still went on...

King Hosea, the last king of Israel, was attacked by the Assyrian nation and destroyed. The king of Assyrian gave the land to other people of different countries. (2 Kings 17)

King Hezekiah of Judah was a good king whom trusted God but made some mistakes. He had a son, Manasseh who was very evil and killed alot of people. This angered God so He decided to destroy the nation of Judah. (2 Kings 21:1-18)

But Josiah, the grandson of Manasseh became king and he was a good king who served God and led his people to serve God. This caused God to turn His heart back for the nation of Judah. But after Josiah's death, all the kings of Judah were evil. Take king Nebuchadnezzar, he destroyed Jerusalem. (2 Kings, chapters 2 &3)

So, what do these kings of the Old Testament have to do with us today? Alot. Take some time to dig into the Word and see for yourself that when the kings served God, God helped them. However, the kings who did not and did evil things, God opposed them. The lesson for us today is who are we going to serve?

We must follow God and trust Him. No hidden emails, secret meetings and discolored locker room talks come as a surprise to God. He knows it all and He is no less powerful than when He rose Elijah into the heavens riding on a chariot.

I can't tell you who to vote for, but I do urge you to pray. Three things that we, as Christians, need to bombard heaven for:

1. Pray that our nation will return to God.

"If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14)

2. Pray for our leaders and those in authority. Even if it is not your supported candidate, pray for our next President.

"I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people; for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness." (1 Timothy 2:1-2)

3. Pray for our hope to be steadfast in the Lord.

"Look at the nations and watch; and be utterly amazed for I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told." (Habakkuk 1:5)

I love that last verse. Yes, God is on the case. No worries, because He is not biting His nails or pacing the heaven floors about this election. We can rest assured that He has a plan and evil will not overpower the King of kings! (read the book of Revelation)

Now, I've got to ask you a question... about this upcoming election... have you prayed about it as much as you've fretted about it? If not, please pray before you cast your vote. And please vote, its your responsibility and privilege.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Cast your Cares

The saying is true … “when it rains, it pours.” And for some people, it has been raining hard. Today, as I was going over my prayer journal and calling out names that I had written down, I couldn’t help notice that so many families right now are going thru some heavy torrential storms: prayer requests for adult children addicted to drugs, for marriages that are broken, for constant conflict and drama in families and for serious physical ailments. All of these families I mention from my journal come from strong Christian homes.
I hurt for these godly moms who are hurting for their families. They all love God, serve Him and trust Him but yet they find themselves in this time of difficulty, with winds so strong they barely can hold on.
Sometimes what makes sense on paper or even in our mind never settles in our heart. No one wants turmoil for their children and just like these mom’s on my prayer list, God feels the pain and He doesn’t want any of it for His children either.
I heard a preacher once preach a sermon about coping and he said, “It is difficult to wrap your heart around trouble when it pierces your soul.” So what can we do when our heart breaks in half? How do we pray for our sisters that are barely holding on because of their pierced souls?
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you; casting all your cares on Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6,7)

God does not want us to “cope” with our troubles, He said give it all to Him. The thing that I see happening whenever we try to cope is that we end up trying to accept things as they are or we try to hang on for as long as we can. Coping is like a rope; given enough weight or pressure, it WILL break or unravel. Coping is nothing but a rope, just waiting for things (or us) to come unraveled.
God said give it to Him so that way we no longer have to hold it. That is the beauty of casting our cares upon Him, we no longer have to struggle with the load because He’s got it. And when God calms the storm, every single time there is a rainbow, indicating that He is greater and stronger and nothing is too great for Him.
Cast your cares and see if your storm doesn’t settle down. Exchange your rope for a beautiful rainbow.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Appreciate your Pastor

Typically in the month of October, across the states, local churches honor their Pastors with appreciation for Pastor Appreciation month. This week is designated "Pastor Appreciation week", so with all of that said, I thought I would designate todays blog post with some thoughts from scripture on how to honor your Pastor.

Before I begin, let me say that I have been on both sides of the fence; I have served under many Pastors and for the past 17+ years, I have served with my husband as we have labored as Pastor's . In both roles, it has been an honor and privilege to serve my Pastor.

Let's understand what the word "serving" means, or rather, what it doesn't mean. Serving your Pastor does not mean that you will always agree or see eye to eye. I have not always been on the same page as my Pastor and certainly not the one I am married to at all times. God never said to agree always but He did urge us to honor them and be at peace with one another:

"And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their works sake." (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13)

The role of "Pastor" is one of the five gifts of church leadership office as outlined in Ephesians (4:11-13) and it is considered a gift that God has bestowed upon the church. Serving in such a capacity is truly an awesome blessing while at the same time overwhelming as God raises the bar for accountability.

I am sure that each of you love and appreciate your Pastor as I do mine. As someone who gets to go home with her Pastor, I can tell you that the hat your Pastor wears on Sunday morning doesn't come off when they leave the building. A Pastor is on call 24/7, and will be at your hospital bedside, your loved ones funeral or your child's school function as often as they can be. Many times putting their needs and their families needs aside. A Pastor not only loves their congregation but they pray for them and serves them endlessly and selflessly. I guess this is why we take this time out to appreciate our Pastors efforts, because many times we have no idea what all these dedicated men and women do behind the scenes and we take it for granted.

We always appreciate the lunches and dinners this time of the year, not to mention the pies and cakes, but can I give you 3 simple things from God's Word that will encourage your Pastor more than anything and not even cost a dime?

1. Serve with your Pastor.  No Pastor can do it alone and shouldn't do it alone. Be an armor bearer.

"Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins," (James 5:19-20)

2. Submit to your Pastor. Even in differences, God says we are to submit to the authority that He places over us. Always seek peace in all that you do, not only with your Pastor present but also when he/she is not around.

"Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy, not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you." (Hebrews 13:17)

3. Stand with your Pastor. Just like you get discouraged, so do Pastors. They carry a heavy load and they need not only the first two things I mentioned, but they need your support too. When things are going great and when things are alittle rocky - support your Pastor! Pastors need to know that you are on their team.

"Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine." (1 Timothy 5:17)

There are so many other things I could write on this topic, but for the sake of space today, I would urge you, if it is hard for you to do any of the above 3 things, then first and foremost, please saturate yourself in prayer. Pray for your Pastor, pray for your church and pray that God would use you to be the encouragement that not only your Pastor needs, but that God needs you to be.

I hope your Pastor has a great Pastor Appreciation week; bake a cake or something sweet if you want, but don't forget to let your spiritual leader know that you love them and are praying for them. Prayer is the best gift any Pastor could receive.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

God is with you...always!

God is with us everywhere we go.

That statement right there should not only give us assurance but it should also scare us straight. I am so glad that wherever I go, I am not alone. God told Joshua to be strong and to have courage. Then He told him this...

"The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)

Sometimes when we go thru things, other people just don't get us, they don't understand how we feel. It can leave us feeling alone and like no one cares but look around when this happens and see Gods presence. He never leaves us. He is always present.

Even when we find ourselves in places that we know we shouldn't be. When we hang out with the wrong people or do things in secret that we think no one sees; God is there with us. He sees us. He knows us. He is present even when we are not aware of it.

"Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you." (Isaiah 43:1-3)

I love how God says we are His. He walks with us everywhere we go and He is leading us, guiding us and believing in us. Even when we take a wrong turn, He never leaves our side.

I think of my own kids, when they were growing up it was impossible for me to watch them at all times. It never failed, the one moment I took my eyes off of them is when something would happen. They would slip or they would wander off or they would get into mischief. No doubt, if they knew momma was watching, they would never have put their hand in the cookie jar!

While a parent can never see everything, God does. He always has His eye on us and even when we get our hand caught in the cookie jar, He saw it coming a mile away but yet He never once took His eye off of us.

I don't know where life finds you today. Maybe in a place with some cookie crumbs on your hands, if so, remember that God is with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He will just love you and guide you, if you will let Him.


Monday, October 10, 2016


Have you ever said to yourself, "I am finished!" I have. In fact, just this past week I had to deal with a situation that did not end very favorably. After much soul searching, I came up with one solution: "I'm over it!"

That's right. I said it..."I'm done", "I'm over it", "It is finished"! But is it? Is it ever finished when a relationship goes bad? or a conversation turns heated? or a friend turns on you or a worse yet, a family member? Can it be done and over with if there is no resolve to the difficulty or confusion? If a "I'm sorry" is never verbalized, can it truly be finished?

There are a lot of things in life that go unfinished. Like our daily chores. How many times are we truly caught up on the laundry and there is no more to tend to? Very rarely. But Jesus serves as the prime example that when the end is near, we can all look back and see that the difficulties and hardships were not all for nothing. That the end is the end and there is no more to come. Even when there are no apologies, true forgiveness can be extended. Isn't that what Jesus did for you and me?

"When He had received the drink, Jesus said, 'It is finished.' " (John 19:30)

Often as adults, we go through life battling with regret. We wish we had more time, we wish we had done things differently, we wish that the clock could be turned back. People can literally be crippled in life with these feelings of regret and remorse and "If only". Today I am not talking about the "what ifs", but what do we do when life struggles set us back, can we truly say to ourselves and to God, "it IS finished!"?

Jesus, the Son of God completed the task set before Him. Even though some did not believe. Some ridiculed Him. Some spat at Him. And some turned their back on Him. Even so, He fought the fight to the very end and when the end came, with love in His heart even for those who betrayed Him, He was able to say to God...IT IS FINISHED.

As you look to your circumstances today and you declare that you are done with it or done with someone; think about the cross. Think about the sacrifice. Think about the love. And then when you declare you are finished ... give it to God and let it be done and let the glory be His.

To God be the Glory for the things that HE has done!