Friday, April 29, 2011

Your my brother, your my sister!

Now that the tornado and wicked thunderstorms have come and gone, we are left with nothing but the debris and damage to clean up. It never ceases to amaze me how people come together in times of distress.

Our neighbor across the street had his big tree in the front yard ripped up and tossed into the street. Since it lay straight across the road, no traffic could come or go. Not only did that big tree lay across our street blocking it, but it lay right on top of our neighbors sons sports car. The evening after the storm left our town, our city was left in a blackout.

No power.

But that did not stop our neighborhood from coming to the aid of our neighbor in distress. Vehicles parked in front of the fallen tree to bring light and men from all directions came with their chainsaws. Together, they worked to free the car and to get the tree removed from the road.

Needless to say, even though we are not blood related, we are all brothers and sisters! When we come to the Lord, we are adopted into a new family. A family of believers. When one rejoices, we all rejoice. When one is troubled, we all feel their pain. God has made us a family so we can love one another and encourage one another. And in times of distress, He has made us family so we can help one another, just like our neighborhood helped in a time of need.

16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."

Whether you know this or not...we are brothers and sisters. And just like my blood family, even though we may disagree or fight, when the rubber meets the road, when my siblings are in trouble, I am there for them. I have their back. I stand alongside of them. And that may mean I need to show up with my chainsaw and take care of some business.

The enemy is much like that fallen tree. It likes to keep us from where we need to be going. His vile antics keeps us from going where God is leading us. His snare and trap is like a roadblock. But together, hand in hand, Christian brothers and sisters can work together to remove the rubble and debris that the sneaky little devil thrusts on us. All we have to do is show up with our chainsaws.

Is your chainsaw gassed up and ready to go?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

THANKFUL THURSDAY...Master of the wind

"Rain, rain go away...we would like to live another day!"

Here in the south, we have been blasted with torrential rain and wicked storms. Last night was the worst storm I have seen. We watched the tornado path all day on the weather channel and it hit us about 6:30 last night. As soon as the tornado sirens went off, we hightailed it into the bathroom. The tornado was headed right towards our little town. I knew the severity of it as just earlier an entire small town was wiped out by it.

We could hear the rain pounding on our little house, then we heard the hail. The high winds could be heard as it seared all around us. In our small bathroom, my husband listened to the local news on his iPhone for minute to minute updates, I was texting the information to our son and his wife who lived across town. They do not have a television and had no power and had no other way of knowing what was going on. And then everything went quiet. We lost power. And then my husband lost his connection on his iPhone and my cellphone went dead because I could not charge it up. The only thing that we could hear was the wicked wind.

For a moment, a feeling of great fear came over me. We were in the middle of a wicked storm and I had no way to reach my loved ones. I didn't know if they were alright. I didn't know if we were going to be alright. My other sons, who live in different cities were checking on us every 5 minutes or so, but now they had no way to reach us. About that time, the words of Candy Christmas from the Gaither praise show came to me:

"I know the Master of the wind.
I know the Maker of the rain.
He can calm a storm, make the sun shine again.
I know the Master of the wind."
No matter what kind of storm you find yourself in, you can rest in knowing that the One Who created the wind is also the same One Who can calm the wind. There is no reason to fear and no reason to worry about your loved ones, for the Master of the wind will calm our storm.
I am happy to report that we survived that tornado that came thru our town. As I look around our town today I see roofs torn off buildings, trees down everywhere, fences tore up, and street after street flooded. I realize that even in moments of disaster, God is with us.

the funnel cloud

trees uprooted

yards and streets flooded
Thank You God for Your protection and thank You for calming the wind! Today is THANKFUL THURSDAY, Lynn is hosting this month, please link up with us over HERE!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

LACED WITH GRACE... a new look at Easter!

Today I shared a devo with the readers over at LACED WITH GRACE, entitled "A New Look at Easter!"

This was the first Easter since the children were small that we have not had a huge Easter egg hunt in our yard. The kids are grown now and live in different states. We traded hiding eggs and filling baskets for a packed suitcase and traveled 6 hours to visit with our son and daughter in law.

Even though I missed our past Easter traditions this year, God showed me something new about Easter. I have always known the real reason for Easter, it isn’t the candy or the eggs or even buying a new dress. Easter is about death, burial and resurrection. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for us. Not only did He die, but He arose again 3 days later. Jesus was laid in that tomb as a crucified Man but He came out in a whole different way.

It is almost unfathomable for me to comprehend such great love, but ....

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

Friday, April 22, 2011

It's Friday...but Sunday is coming!

Good Friday is a day to reflect on the greatest sacrifice ever given for mankind. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ is the greatest gift one could ever receive. Today is Friday, but the hope is that Sunday is coming - CELEBRATION SUNDAY that is! Have a blessed Resurrection weekend!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

THANKFUL THURSDAY...Power that survives any storm

Here in the south, we have been having all kinds of thunderstorms and tornadoes. In fact, this past Tuesday evening we had a wicked storm rush in that knocked down tree limbs and tore roofs off of barns. Our lights flickered for awhile until finally it was too much ... and then we lost power. Luckily our power came back on, not everyone was so lucky though.

In Memphis, thousands and thousands of folks were without power. In fact, this morning on the news, I heard that there are still 20,000 people without power and that it looks like it will be Sunday before they have power again. That is 5 days without power!

I can't imagine going 5 days without power. Oh, we would survive without lights and electricity, I'm talking about going 5 days without His Power! The Holy Spirit lifts me up when I am down. He gives me hope when I feel defeated. He replenishes my strength when I feel weak. He heals my body when I am sick. He forgives when I feel unforgivable. He cleanses me when I mess up. He is my hope, my love, my strength and indeed He is the Power on which I can stand during any kind of storm of life.

MARK 4:39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace, be still!" And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.

Are you in the midst of a storm today?

 God rebukes it and His Power will sustain you while you wait out the waves of turmoil. You don't have to wait for His Power to come on ...It is always available to us. All we have to do is receive it and His peace will calm our storm.

Today on THANKFUL THURSDAY, I am thankful for the Power that I can run to in the midst of any storm and even in the calm. What are you grateful for today? Link up with us over at Lynn's, she is hosting TT this week!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Blessed Assurance!

I can't seem to get the hymn Blessed Assurance out of my head. It keeps playing over and over in my head. Having assurance in my life is certainly something that I need. Gas prices are going up and up. Jobs are limited. The strength of our economy is shaky. It gets more and more difficult to stretch the American dollar.

Where is my assurance when I can't trust what lies ahead in my future?

I wish that I could trust and have assurance in what lies ahead. But honestly, without blessed assurance, nothing will make sense to me. Having blessed assurance means that I place my trust in the promises of God and His inspired Word. When we have blessed assurance we place our focus not on the size of our faith but on Whom we have faith in.

"Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith...Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He Who promised is faithful." HEBREWS 10:22,23

I don't know what my tomorrow is going to bring. But this I know...that having the assurance that God has it all in the palm of His hand is very blessed to me.

Have you found Blessed Assurance?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A PIECE OF MY HEART...two sides to every story!

I have always heard the saying, "There are two sides to every story." That statement came alive to me several years ago when I had to serve on a jury. For 6 consecutive days, I sat in that jury bench and listened to people share their account of what they saw or heard the night that 3 children were killed in a fire. Some of the witnesses were testifying for the victims. While others testified for the one charged setting the fire. It was our job as the jury to cipher through what we heard and figure out what was the truth.

I am reminded of another jury that was set to find out the truth. Except their idea of finding truth was alittle twisted and their corruptness led to the unfolding drama that led to the death of Jesus. Pilate, Herod, along with Judas and the entire Supreme Court of Israel served on the jury that felt that they had the power to determine the destiny of Jesus. They listened to the voices of those accusing Jesus. But they didn't listen to both sides of the story. If they had, they would have heard the voice of God!

When we hear about the injustice of that day that Jesus was accused and condemned to die, we think about how Jesus was the victim. But He was not a victim of human decisions. He wasn't the victim of a corrupt disciple that betrayed Him. He wasn't the victim of a couple of corrupt high priests that arraigned Him. He wasn't the victim of Pilate and Herod who ultimately executed Him. Jesus was chosen by God, He was God's chosen lamb.

So, if it was already determined by God that Jesus would die, I guess you could say on that day, their corruptness is not what determined the destiny of Jesus, rather, it determined their own destiny.

In Matthew 27:22, Pilate asks this question..."What shall I do with Jesus Who is called the Christ?" Even though Pilate is over-assuming his power, for there was really nothing he could with Jesus that God could not overrule. But his question is a legitimate one and one that we all need to ask ourselves..."What are we going to do with Jesus Who is called Christ?"

Our answer to that question will not have an effect on Jesus, but it will have a eternal effect on us. There are two sides to the story of Jesus. Accept Him ... and live. Reject Him ... and die. Light or darkness. Life or death. Heaven or hell. Which side of the story will you believe and accept?

Don't forget there is always two sides to every story!

and this has been a piece of my heart today;

Friday, April 15, 2011

Live a long and fullfilled life!

I read in the news this morning about the World's oldest man who had passed away. Walter Bruening, from Great Falls, Montana died at the age of 114 yesterday.
When I read about this, I thought to myself what a wonderful life he must of had. The things that he must have seen. The things he must have done. The people who came and went in his life.

The joy. The sadness. The laughter. The disappointments that he must of had.

Prior to his passing, Mr. Bruening passed on some advice on how to live a long and fulfilled life...
  •  Embrace change, even when the change slaps you in the face. ("Every change is good.")
  • Eat two meals a day ("That's all you need.")
  • Work as long as you can ("That money's going to come in handy.")
  • Help others ("The more you do for others, the better shape you're in.")
  • Accept death."We're going to die. Some people are scared of dying. Never be afraid to die. Because you're born to die," he said.
I don't know about you, but sometimes I feel so old and like the "good" days are all behind me. But if I were to live a long life like Mr. Bruening, I would have to say that it seems like life for me has just begun. So I have to ask myself..."What am I going to do with the rest of my life?" I hope that I can do some of those things that Mr. Bruening suggested.

MATTHEW 9:37 Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few."

Serving God, Worshipping Him and not becoming weary of laboring for Him would probably be at the top of my "Living a long and fulfilled life" list. I don't know if any of us will live to be a ripe old age of 114, but whatever time we have left here on earth, it is my prayer that we will all be fruitful and continue to labor diligently for His Kingdom.

Live today, worship today, pray today like it could be your last. It just might be.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

THANKFUL THURSDAY...mud slinging

When it rains, and in the south it rains ALOT, the water does not drain properly in our front yard. Our driveway and front sidewalk seem to collect the water, and because our sidewalk is sloped, the rainwater drains into our yard which causes the grass to die. When we have several days of rain, our yard becomes nothing but a big mud pile.

Mud is nasty. When you step in mud, it gets on everything! If its on the bottom of your shoe, when you walk, it splatters up on your pant leg. When you walk into the house, the mud now becomes part of your carpet.

Not only is the mud in our yards difficult to clean up but so is the mud that our mouth and our actions seem to create. You know exactly what I am talking about. Mud slinging. Backstabbing. Gossip. Mean girls. Name calling. Call it what you's all the same - dirty, filthy and a stench to God.

What can you do if you are a victim of mudslinging? Two things. First: ask God to raise you up. Second thing: as God raises you up, be better than the person slinging mud and don't retaliate.

"He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand." ~ Psalm 40:2 (NIV)

God sees everything. He hears everything. He is keeping a record. It is His power and grace that will clean up the slime that is left by those mudslinging people in our lives. He has His hand outstretched to pull us out of that mud and mire, His love and sacrifice is the cleansing power that makes all things new. And clean.

Today is THANKFUL THURSDAY and I am so grateful for His hand that is outstretched, offering me His cleansing power! What are you grateful for? Please share your grateful heart with us over at . Lynn is a gracious host this month.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Clear focus!

Several years ago, my husband and I went to Paris. While there we visited the Louvre. One of the pieces of art that we wanted to be sure to see was the painting of the Mona Lisa. As we waited in the line to see the display, I kept trying to get a glimpse of the painting but too many people stood in the way for me to get a clear visual.

How could I appreciate the beauty and value of this masterpiece when I could not even see it clearly?

Sometimes in our walk with God, seeing His hand is difficult because we cannot see His masterpiece clearly yet. It is easy to put our focus on troubles and trials, instead of His power. Whenever we spend our time getting caught up in all the pressures and stress of life, it is difficult to see the beauty of life. Just like the people standing in that line at the Louvre, we have things (people sometimes) that are standing in the way of seeing clearly what God has in store.

We tend to fail because of a broken focus. We have alot of things that take our eyes off of  focusing on what is important. We have family. Church. Jobs. Friends. Sports. None of these things are bad by itself, but what happens when these things become our primary focus?

I believe that the things that we think upon, will become our focus. When I finally got up close to the painting of Mona Lisa, display lights were positioned on the painting so that light radiated across this marvelous piece of art. In the same way, when we focus on God, His light will radiate on every thought and action that we have.

The things that we focus on is exactly what we will pursue. Many times when our focus is out of whack, we cannot see the power and the blessing that God has for us. His light seems dim to us. It isn't because His light is not shining...but it is because we have lost our focus of Him, our spiritual vision is blurred.

JOHN 1:5 " And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."

How clear is your spiritual focus? Can you see the Light from where you are standing?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Have you ever doubted anything or anyone? I am sure we all have. Sometimes I hear things so absurd on the news that I often wonder, "did that REALLY happen?" Sometimes, in life, it is difficult to believe things. Several years ago, a good friend of mine dropped dead of a heart attack. He was in perfect health, there were no signs of any problems that should have led to his untimely death. I could not believe the news when I heard it, I doubted that it could be true, until I went to his house and saw his grieving spouse. Sometimes seeing is believing!

"He that knows nothing doubts nothing."   - French proverb

Sometimes doubt can be the opposite of faith. Doubting can mean that we are thinking something through.  We are trying to process and understand it. Sometimes we have to go through alittle bit of doubt to grasp the realm of certainty.

I don't think that doubting is necessarily sinful. Doubt is really a matter of the mind, while unbelief is a matter of the will. Doubt says, "I don't get it. Help me understand this." But unbelief says, "I get it. I don't like it. And I refuse to accept it."

If you have moments of doubt, you are not alone. Even great men and women of God have their moments of despair. Moses was ready to quit after listening to the Israelites complain for the umpteenth time.

Even the great apostle Paul was discouraged. He wrote about it in 2 Corinthians 1:8: "For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life."

Do you have some doubt in your life? Give it to God and see what He can do with it.

And this has been a piece of my heart today!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

THANKFUL a blink of an eye

For some people, their lifes can change in just a blink of an eye. They wake up in the morning, and everything seems normal as usual. But as the day goes on, something happens that changes their life, usually it happens in a blink of an eye, it comes unexpectedly. A job is lost, a loved one dies, a child gets sick, your car tire goes flat. For me last Thursday, life was going as normal when all of a sudden, in just a blink of an eye, things changed....

I was on my way home from picking my daughter up from school. It is pretty routine. Everyday at 3:10 pm, I arrive to her school the same way, the same time. We drive down the same road everyday. But this particular day, something was different. As I was stopped at a yield sign waiting for oncoming traffic, the woman behind me looked away and in a blink of an eye...she slammed into us. The impact of her high speed plunged our car forward 30 feet, right dab in the middle of the merging lane that cars merge onto the highway. It happened so quickly. It caught both my daughter and I off guard because it happened in merely a blink of an eye.

After a ambulance ride to the hospital, my daughter checked out fine. We both just had alittle whip lash and aches and pains of the sudden jolt. God was certainly with us that day. There is another day coming, that will change us forever, it will also happen in just a blink of an eye. Many of us will not be ready. Some of us will be caught up and some of us will be left behind.

1 THESSALONIANS 4:16, 17 "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord."

I love that last part of this passage..."And thus we shall always be with the Lord." That is so comforting to me to know what my future holds. Things could have turned out differently for me last week, the car accident could have taken my life. Today, I could be in the presence of the Lord, but He had a different plan. It wasn't my time. There is still work here for me to do, and I must remain busy with His work until the day He does call me home. Since none of us know the day or the hour of His return, we must be ready. Ready at all times. For it will come in just a blink of an eye...are you ready?

LYNN is hosting THANKFUL THURSDAY today, please link your grateful heart up with ours over there today!