Saturday, December 29, 2012

Resolving to find God's will

It’s that time of the year again. End of one year and the beginning of another. It always strikes me funny that people try to make resolutions at this time of the year. Things that they want to change, or quit or become better at …they resolve that THIS is the year to do it. No matter if it is eating better, or exercising more, or quitting a bad habit, seems like New Year’s Resolutions only last but a few days before they are easily forgotten.
When it comes to changing something in my life, I don’t want to just write it down on paper, I want to write it in my heart and spirit. It is there that change will take place. Often times we try to make changes in our life before consulting God. No resolution will stick unless we seek God’s will for our life.

 Look at Habakkuk…he was complaining to God about his situation. He was tired of not knowing God’s will for His people. But the Lord said to Habakkuk:

 “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.” (Habakkuk 2:2)

Wouldn’t it be great if God would write His will for our lives on a tablet and just present it to us. Things would be so much easier. We wouldn’t need to make resolutions, we could just refer back to the tablet. Unfortunately, this isn’t how it works. He does have a wonderful plan for each of us, just as Jeremiah 29:11 points out, but He wants us to seek Him to find out what that plan is.

So many people get in a panic if they do not know what God’s will is for their lives. Recently, someone I know went into a frenzy because they did not know what they were suppose to do five years down the road. They felt a need to know all of the answers for tomorrow TODAY. But that isn’t walking in faith. Sometimes we have to just walk in faith to find His will.

All of us would love to see how life is going to turn out, but instead of worrying about 5 or ten years from now or even our entire life span, perhaps, we should concentrate on finding and doing God’s will for today.

Scripture gives us clear guidelines on seeking Gods will…let’s start here today and leave the rest of our life up to Him:

1.      Give thanks in ALL things
( 1 Thessalonians 5:18)

2.      SEEK the counsel of others
(Proverbs 11:14)

3.      GLORIFY GOD in our bodies
(1 Corinthians 6:19,20)

 4.      DO GOOD!
(1 Peter 2:15)

5.      ACCEPT CHRIST and have eternal life
(John 6:40)

Are you seeking God’s will for your life? Start with these clear instructions and see if God doesn’t direct your path.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight.” PROVERBS 3:5,6

Friday, December 28, 2012

LACED WITH GRACE...Where does GRACE abound?

Today I have shared a devotion with the readers of LACED WITH GRACE....

"None of us are perfect. In fact, all of us mess up, even AFTER we pray the sinner’s prayer and accept Jesus in our heart. Too many people forget that no one is capable of being perfect, except God. Too often, we say we love people, but yet, have no grace for their shortcomings.
If you don’t agree with that, just think back to your recent family Christmas. Who got on your nerves this year?

CLICK THE LINK to read this entire post!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Copycat Christian

One of the things that I hate about tragedy that is aired on the news is the copycat crimes that seem to happen afterwards. We see it over and over again and it happened today, just a few days following the horrific shooting and deaths of those first graders in CT.

I got a text from my teen daughter today, saying that there were police all over her campus at her high school. She was told that there was going to be a shooting at her high school. I immediately called the school office and was told that they heightened their security because of a "text message" some of the kids were forwarding saying that guns would be brought to the school.

Nothing resulted from the threat. Except for scaring people unnecessarily. It was nothing but copycats. Someone getting a kick out of imitating someone elses bad behavior. It saddens my heart to know that someone would make light of such a very sad, traumatic situation.

All of this news media has alot of people asking one question..."What has this world come to?"

Are we nothing but a society of copycats? This question has me wondering, what, if anything, am I copying? Is it something of worth and value or is it something destructive? Whom am I copying and imitating?

You might remember a few years ago, everyone was throwing around the WWJD question..."What would Jesus do?" Such a question thrust us in the thinking that in all that we speak or do, we should be following the behaviour of Christ.

When we consider "imitation", "copying" or "emulating", we are clearly not talking about having the same hairdo or eating in the same restaurants. We are not even talking about saying the exact same things as others. However, we are talking about modeling our behavior after a role model. After all, don't children learn behaviour by observing those around them? If they are surrounded with positive influence, they will learn positive things. Negative behavior will be learned just as quickly.

The same is true for a Christian. When we are babes in Christ, it is imperative that we surround ourselves with positive influences. Finding a strong Christian to follow, or look up to, or even copy will encourage our walk with the Lord. Learning to be a good Christian can be learned by spending time with good Christians.

If this is true, and you are looking for someone to copy, I would suggest we need to be a copycat of Jesus Christ. His ways are higher than our ways, therefore He is worthy to be looked up to. As much as it is important to be someone worthy for others to follow, it is just as important, if not more, to follow someone who is worthy. Jesus Christ is such a person. To be more like Him, we MUST get to know Him, spend time with Him and follow His ways.

"Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children." Ephesians 5:1

Too many people are copying the wrong people. What we need more of in this world is some copycat Christians....the kind that follow, emulate and copy Christ. Imagine if the news media got a hold of this concept, what change would happen in our world! What kind of copycats would we see?

Take note of who you are copying...make sure you are following the right people, with the right attitudes. Make sure who and what you follow will lead you to Christ.


Friday, December 14, 2012

It is better to give than receive

This Christmas season, my family and I have decided to make it about others and not about ourselves. Some time ago, one of our grown sons and his wife asked us what we would like for Christmas, and we said, take the money you would spend on us and give to someone in need.

After all, what could we possibly need this Christmas that we don’t already have? We have good health, we have love, we have joy, we have a roof over our head, plenty of food to eat, and a warm bed to sleep on.

I have always thought of Christmas as the “giving” season, not the “getting” season. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE giving people gifts. Whether it is store bought, or a craft made or some goodies baked from my kitchen. Giving is MUCH more rewarding than receiving.

Often times though we forget about this concept. We forget about it when someone shows up at the door with a gift for us and we instantly feel bad because we did not get them a gift in return. We can blame our culture that we live in for this I guess because society tells us giving is really about trading…”I get you something, you get me something.” I use to feel guilty if someone gave me a Christmas gift and I had none for them. In fact, I had a friend that once told me that she would pick up things on clearance and keep on hand for such a time, so when she was caught off guard and had no gift to give back, she would reach into her closet and grab something.

Seems like an organized plan, but where is the thought, where is the heart in that kind of giving?

Can you imagine what it would have been like if the wise men had this kind of thinking? “I wonder what Mary and Joseph will give us in return for these great gifts we are bringing?” And do you think Mary wondered about the gifts that the wise men brought? “Gold works for me…but spices? That is something used for burials, what a strange gift for a baby!”

I doubt that was the way it was. I also doubt that Mary and Joseph felt bad that they had no gift to give back to the wise men. And the wise men were not looking for anything in return for their gifts. It was enough for them to have found the King and to worship Him.

As I reflect on this season of giving, I remember the saying, “It is better to give than to receive.” If I could put a “Laurie” twist on that saying, I would say, “We give because we have received.”

There is nothing that we could give that would compare in value to the ultimate Christmas gift…Jesus.

Matthew 2:10-11 “When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with His mother, Mary and they bowed down and worshipped Him. Then they open their treasure chests and gave Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”

But we can share the love of Christ with others in our giving spirit and by doing so, we all will receive. May we have a Christmas like the wise men did…giving to others because our hearts are full of worship, adoration and love for our Savior.

May your Christmas be about His PRESENCE and not so much about presents!






Wednesday, December 12, 2012

LACED WITH GRACE...simplicity of Christmas

Today you can find me over at LACED WITH GRACE where I have shared a devotion with the readers entitled, " Simplicity of Christmas"...

"It is no wonder with the rush, and long to-do lists and the big crowds and long checkout lines, that some of us become good ole holiday Grinch’s. The joy is quickly stolen as we rush around, running here and there. It is easy to become “Grinchie” when traffic is backed up or there is no parking spot in sight for miles..."
CLICK THE LINK to read this post! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

How meek are you?

One of my favorite Christmas songs is by Mariah Carey…”Jesus, Oh What a Wonderful Child”. ..

Jesus, Jesus
Oh what a wonderful child
Jesus, Jesus
So lowly meek and mild
Oh new life,new hope,new joy He brings
Won't you listen to the angels sing
To the new born King”

Often, Jesus is referred to as being meek and lowly, like in Matthew 11:29:
"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls." - Jesus

What did Jesus mean when he said this?

“Meek” is often translated as gentle in other versions. When we look at Jesus in the Scriptures is He always mild?

I recall reading how He cleansed the temple with a whip. What about how He denounced the hypocritical Pharisees as being corrupt like “whitewashed tombs-beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones”  (Mt 23:27 NLT).

What I love about Jesus is that He had the ability to communicate in a way which was best for each person at the time. He could do this because He knew their hearts. So perhaps meekness is not equated to weakness or mildness.

Having meekness like Jesus, is not something we as Christians can learn on our own. Such gentleness or meekness with others can only come from the aid of the Holy Spirit. I like how Blue Letter Bible explains meekness…
Gentleness or meekness is the opposite to self-assertiveness and self-interest. It stems from trust in God's goodness and control over the situation. The gentle person is not occupied with self at all. This is a work of the Holy Spirit, not the human will. (Gal, 5:23) -Blue Letter Bible

If we are to sincerely pursue meekness in this life, we must put down the self help books and pick up the only Book that will truly lead us down the road of sincere gentleness with mankind.

It is easy for me to show meekness when everything is going great in my life. When there is enough money for the month, when my family all loves me, when my boss is happy with me, when my children are obeying me …. In times such as these, it is easy to be gentle, kind and meek in spirit.

But what about when things aren’t going so smoothly?

When the bank is repossessing the car, when a family member is mad, when you lose your job, when the kids become defiant… how does your meekness register during these times?

We all experience tough times, but even so, Jesus is the ultimate example of grace and having calm strength even under extreme pressure. It was in His sufferings that He learned and showed us obedience.
...though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him. (Hebrews 5:8,9)

The song Mariah Carey sings resonates in my heart what meekness/gentleness offers. New life. New hope. New joy. May we all seek Christ-like meekness this Christmas season and even the days following. No matter what our circumstances may be, God wants to renew our hope and joy..
Will you allow Him?

Friday, November 30, 2012

Put away double minded thinking

I had someone this week ask me if I thought it was wrong for them to think about themselves. In this particular situation, they were talking about making a decision that would make them feel good while at the same time, hurting someone else.

It is difficult for me to tell anyone else what they should do in their own circumstances. What I would do and what they would do may be two different things. But I can always steer them to what God's Word says and His Word says that the double minded will be unstable in all of their ways. (James 1:8)

How can a person say that they love God and want to mold their thoughts, their actions, their life after Him but at the same time think only of themselves and not others?

I admit, sometimes it is hard to not think of ourselves. The world tells us to watch our back, go after all we can get because no one takes care of you like you. But if I am a follower of Christ, I know that that is not true. God has our back and when everything (and everyone) has failed us, He does not. He said that He would NEVER leave us nor forsake us. And He doesn't.

So if He loves us so unconditionally, why is it difficult for us to place others first? After all, Jesus, hanging on the cross, was not thinking of Himself.  If He was, He would have done what most of us would have done, spit on His accusers face and not cared one bit about the thieves also hanging there. But no, instead, He had one thing on His mind...US!

When we place more value on ourselves than others, we are indeed double minded. For no man can serve two masters...

Matthew 6:24 " No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."

Whom are you serving today?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

THANKFUL THURSDAY...conditioned to be grateful

It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving has come and gone. The family has all returned home. The leftovers have all been eaten. The fall decorations have been put up and the Christmas holly has been drug out. It is almost time to close out this month of giving thanks.

A message has been ringing over and over as I have visited some of your Thanksgiving posts, that giving thanks is a matter of the heart. Not only is it a matter of the heart, giving thanks is a command given to us by God.

“As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.” - Colossians 2:6-7

In addition to being a command, being thankful is a spiritual gift. It grows within us like faith and charity. Being grateful for the goodness of God is portable, it can go with us thru everything, if our heart is conditioned for it.

When I think of having a conditioned heart for thanks, I think of Jesus. I think of His wonderful expressions of thanks He so eagerly offered up to his Heavenly Father. I can only imagine the great anticipation that Jesus must have had as He prepared to raise a dear friend from the dead. As the disciples took away the stone where Lazarus had laid dead for four days, He did not move forward until He expressed His gratefulness. The scripture says that He "lifted up His eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard Me." (John 11:41) He then declared those powerful words, "Lazarus, come forth," and Lazarus arose from the dead.

As we condition our heart and accept the spiritual gift of gratitude, we will see and feel His goodness all around us. It won't be a day once a year designated for it, it won't even be a month of giving thanks, instead it will become a that will be rooted deep in our spirit and overflowing with every word we speak.

I am thankful for each of you who have joined in with us this month for THANKFUL THURSDAY. Iris is hosting TT next week for the month of December. I pray we will continue with our grateful hearts as we become conditioned to give thanks in EVERYTHING! Blessings to you and yours.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Check your blind spot

Driving home from our Thanksgiving holiday, we had a 6 hour drive ahead of us. While driving on the highway, a lady in the lane next to me decided to make a lane change. The only problem is she was so busy doing other things in her car that she did not check her blind spot and she ended up running me off of the road. (thankfully God protected us and we were unharmed).

When driving, it is always a good idea to check our blind spots to avoid a collision. On the journey of faith, we also have spiritual blind spots to check.

Many times we get heavily involved in church work and spending time in fellowship with fellow believers that we think our spiritual level is safe. But our busy lives often times distract us from hearing the small still voice of God. Sometimes we get so blinded by the issues of life that we do not take time to listen to God. Just like drivers who get distracted by multi-tasking at the wheel, we can also get side tracked by our long agenda that we neglect the basic checkpoints of our faith.

A quick glance before changing lanes is not safe. We need to be aware of what may be a hindrance to our spiritual growth. We must look to God for His direction and His protection as we drive along on this road of faith that we are on.

1 Corinthians 10:12 "Therefore, let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall."

Have you checked your spiritual blind spot today?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

THANKFUL THURSDAY...A unified Thanksgiving

"Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples. Sing to Him, Sing praises to Him; speak of all His wonders." -1 Chronicles 16:8,9

It is commonly believed that the first Thanksgiving celebration took place in 1621. This feast was attended by both Pilgrims and Indians who joined together to thank God for their bountiful harvest of the previous year.

What I love about the first Thanksgiving feast is how both the Pilgrims and Indians put aside their differences and sat together, unified, recognizing where their plenty came from.

Of course, that was just the beginning. It wasn't until 1863 when Abraham Lincoln declared the first Thanksgiving holiday to be official. The last Thursday in November, a day that was set aside for Americans to give thanks to God for the blessings He has bestowed upon America.

And since then, Presidents and leaders have continued in the quest to adopt what the Pilgrims and Indians tried to set before us. Be unified and thankful on at least this one day of the year.

“Now, therefore, I, George Bush, president of the United States of America, do hereby call upon the American people to observe Thursday, November 22, 1990, as a National Day of Thanksgiving and to gather together in homes and places of worship on that day of thanks to affirm by their prayers and their gratitude the many blessings God has bestowed upon us.” - George Bush Thanksgiving Day proclamation of 1990

There is no doubt in my mind that historically, Thanksgiving is a day set aside to give thanks to God for His blessings. I don't know if the younger generation is being reminded of the history behind this great holiday, but as I gather around the table with my family this Thanksgiving, I want to remember not only the blessings of God this past year, but His blessings that have come down generation after generation.

Today is THANKFUL THURSDAY and today of all days, I am truly thankful to God for His blessings. I hope you enjoy this day with your family and that His blessings will not go unrecognized ...not only today, but from generation to generation, until He comes again.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

LACED WITH GRACE...prep work for Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving Eve which means only one thing...Prep day! Today you can find me over at LACED WITH GRACE, where I have shared a devo with the readers entitled, "Prep work for Thanksgiving."

Turkey, dressing and pumpkin pie isn't the only thing we need to get prepped...CLICK THE LINK to read this post!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A PIECE OF MY HEART...I can do ALL things!

From time to time I am overcome with the feeling that I have nothing to give. Nothing to give to my family. Nothing to give to my friends. Nothing to give to my church. Nothing to give to my Lord. Even in times of feeling unworthy, God always seems to remind me of the gifts and talents that He has placed within me and with His help, I am able to do anything.

Moses didn't think he had anything to give. He felt unworthy as well sometimes. Moses said he was a man slow of speech. He felt that God could not use him. We must move past this thought pattern and realize that God can use anyone. We all have gifts and talents and God wants to use them for His glory. God is going to bring a mighty breakthrough to his people who are hungry for Him.

We CAN do the things we need to do for God no matter what they are. God is with us! God is for us!
Jacob tells us in Genesis 35:3 of God's faithfulness to us no matter what we have done wrong or where we go. We can trust God to be with us in times of troubles, blessings, or even during our day to day things.
"We are now going to Bethel, where I will build an altar to the God who answered my prayers when I was in distress. He has stayed with me wherever I have gone" (Gen. 35:3 NLT)
Let me encourage you today to stop saying "I can't" and begin saying "I CAN!" God will lead us and guide us to the places specifically designed for us to minister. The first step is trusting Him and believing!
"For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need ." (Philippians 4:13 NLT).

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Here we go again...another Thanksgiving season is upon us. The time of year that we gather with our loved ones around a table full of food and take a moment to reflect on God's goodness by giving thanks.

It is pretty easy to sit around the feast table and conjure up warm feelings of thanks, after all, isn't that what Thanksgiving is all about? Certainly it is not about turkey, dressing and pumpkin pie! But is giving thanks a once a year concept or is it a lifestyle?

Some people put on praise and thanks like they wear their snowman sweater...only once a year. But I like what 1 Thessalonians says about giving thanks...

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

We are to give thanks in EVERYTHING! Not some things. Not just the good things. But in everything! What about when your car breaks down? Yes, everything! What about when your child gets sick? Yes, everything! What about when you lose your job? Yes, everything.

God did not say that EVERYTHING would be good, but He did say to give thanks and when we have an attitude of praise, He will surely bring something good out of our situation.

What is resounding in your heart today...Is it good or is it bad or is it just something you are thankful for? May your rejoicing become a daily habit and not a yearly gathering.

Join us today for THANKFUL THURSDAY, link up below as we join our grateful hearts together and give God praise for EVERYTHING!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What have I done now?

We are all familiar with the courage and strength of David. But have you ever considered what it must have been like for his older brothers to be shown up by their little brother?

1 Samuel 17:26-29 Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, "What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?" And the people answered him in this manner, saying, "So shall it be done for the man who kills him." Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab's anger was aroused against David, and he said, "Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle." And David said, "What have I done now? Is there not a cause?"

Could it be that David's faith and courage in volunteering to fight Goliath was an embarrassment to his big brother Eliab,who was an officer in King Saul's army?

I can only imagine that his thinking went something like this...

If my little brother wins everybody will ask, 'How come you didn't go out and fight him?

The above mentioned passage shows us that Davids brother was burned with anger towards David and he asks, "why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is…”

What devastating words from an older brother. Before David could defeat Goliath, he first had to overcome the attitudes, accusations and words, of those close around him.

Whenever we make the decision to step out and follow God, it will surely put pressure on others to  come against you. You will be attacked, belittled and criticized. Just like David, this opposition will surely come from among those closest to you.

David's brother Eliab tried to hinder David, but David was empowered by God to slay Goliath. Nothing could stand in the way. When you feel such opposition, stand your ground, and ask the question that David asked...

"What have I done now? Isn't there a job to be done?"

Then go ahead and get 'er done!

The writing on the wall

Have you ever prayed for something, something really important to you, but the answer still has not come?

I have. In times like this, I wait and wait and wait, but nothing seems to change. At first, I am enthusiastic, thinking God will answer my prayer with a resounding YES! But then life just goes on as if I never had prayed about it. Nothing changes. I haven't even heard that still, small voice assuring me that everything is going to be ok and help is on the way. As time goes on, and no answer has been seen, my confidence fades and my faith wavers.

Perhaps you have experienced this as well. Perhaps you have prayed and prayed but didn't see the answer. Perhaps your faith wavered in the waiting period. Waiting is often a very difficult thing for us to do. But we must always remember that God promised to hear our prayer and we must not waver in our hope and faith...

Hebrews 10:25 "Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to keep His promise."

It may not come the way we expect it, or when we expect it, but God is always an on time God. Not only that, but He is a reasonable God...He has a reason for everything! Waiting is never to punish us, in fact, many times when God has us to wait on an answer it is to strengthen our faith and stretch our hope.

I have been praying about something for the past year and half. Every day I have prayed over a situation, over certain relationships and everyday it remained the same. Throughout this time frame, I just did not see the purpose of the pain I was enduring, but God did. While I wasn't looking, He was working things out. He was working on the situation. He was working on the relationships. He was working on me. And then just like the blink of an eye, my situation that I was praying about seemed to turn around, and seemingly overnight, I saw the answer I had been praying for.

But was it in a blink of an eye? Was it overnight that the answer came?

Perhaps God was working on it the entire time, but my eyes were so focused on my problem that I couldn't see Him working on the answer.

Whatever you may be waiting on, you can be assured that God knows best, He will not let you down and even as you read this, He is already working on your situation. You just haven't been able to see the writing on the wall yet.

Keep trusting. Keep watching. Keep praying. Your answer is on the way!

Friday, November 9, 2012


Have you ever messed up?

I have and I really did this month. Quite awhile ago, Iris and I planned a schedule change in hosting THANKFUL THURSDAY and apparently my age is showing through as I wrote it down wrong. Unfortunately, I not only messed up by MISSING doing TT on this most important give thanks month but I really let alot of you down.

I am truly sorry.

Please forgive me. And if you searched everywhere for TT this week, I know you didn't find it, but PLEASE come back next week and I will have my top ten list of what I am grateful for. Hope to see you then!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

No Trespassers Allowed!

Our backyard is enclosed with a big wooden fence. It provides more than just privacy for us, it also serves as protection. My husband has built an airtight gate, it remains locked and is impossible to open unless you are on the inside. And if for some reason, someone would get through that gate, our 3 dogs are waiting on the other side to further protect what they deem as their territory.

Spiritually speaking, Satan is always looking for ways to invade our territory and what we need more of is airtight gates that will protect us from the enemy. However, many times we are like my neighbor who keeps his gate wide open at all times...

Seems to me, this open gate is just an open invitation for trespassers to come on in. We can build a brick wall all around us, setting boundaries with people, but what good is it if we leave the gate wide open or allow just anyone to come thru. I see this happening all of the time. We set boundaries, but then allow things to escape thru. It could be little things like what we watch on TV, or listen to on the radio, or the conversations or jokes we listen to at work. The wider we open that gate, the bigger invitation we give to such things that corrupt our mind and spirit.

We must guard our mind, our thoughts, our actions and yes even our reactions! We live in a day that everything is permissible and there seemingly are no boundaries set. We not only need to set boundaries, but we must put into place fences and sturdy gates and be leary of what we allow in and what we allow out.

We must keep the gate closed, even put a guard at the gate if we have to and hang a sign that says: "No trespassers allowed!"
PROVERBS 4:23 "Above all else, guard your heart, it is the wellspring of life."

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A PIECE OF MY HEART...the vote is in

The vote is in and many Americans are shocked, disappointed and worried. All throughout my news feed on face book tonight I read comments such as "we are doomed", "Who wants to move to New Zealand with me?" "Heart is heavy!" "How dumb are we to vote him in again." Sadly enough, most of the comments I read were from the christian community.

As much as I believe that it is the Christians responsibility to get out and vote, I believe even more than that, that we have a responsibility to pray for our nation and our President and his team. It doesn't really matter if we voted for him or even if we like him, it is our responsibility to pray.

"Blessed is the nation Whose God is Lord, the people He chose for His inheritance. Blessed are the people whose God is Lord." -Psalm 33:12

Every time we sing "God bless America", we are singing a blessing on our country. How can we ask God to bless this nation in its present state of heart and soul?

How we do that is by praying that we can be a nation that is blessable by God. We can pray that God will do what only He can do...change the hearts of kings that they will follow after Him and obey His Word.

Like never before, we truly need God to bless the USA...but we have to place our trust and hope in Him, not a man, not a party but in God. We have to return to what this nation was founded on...IN GOD WE TRUST!

Instead of complaining, lets get to praying.

Monday, November 5, 2012

LACED WITH GRACE...taking missions to the uttermost

Today I have shared a devotion entitled "Taking missions to the uttermost" with the readers of LACED WITH GRACE. Please join me over there today...

Missions abroad is important. But the command is not to go just overseas. We are to be witnesses EVERYWHERE, even the uttermost part of the earth. I don’t know where “uttermost” is on the map, but I believe it probably starts wherever we may live.
 CLICK HERE to read this entire post! 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Is my vote enough?

With the upcoming Presidential election fast approaching, I have been mulling over the recent debates. Whom is the best candidate to receive my vote?

Is voting enough or does my christian responsibility go further than the voting booth?

Paul addresses this very question in 1 Timothy...

"Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of  God our Savior, Who desires all men to be saved to come to the knowledge of the Truth." (1 Timothy 2:1-4)

In short, Paul commands us to pray instead of griping about our nation and our political leaders. Praying even for those that we do not like. We shouldn't ever complain if we don't cast our vote and we shouldn't ever voice our opinion unless we have prayed first.

Before we can get alone in the voting booth, make sure we have gotten alone in our prayer closet first. Voting without prayer is like sunbathing without lotion...we will get burned every time.

Exercise your American! Demonstrate your christian responsibility...pray!

See ya at the polls!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

LACED WITH GRACE...What is shaking our world?

Today you can find me over at LACED WITH GRACE where I have shared a devo entitled "What is shaking our world?" with the readers.

Yesterday,we had a earthquake that registered 4.4 on the Richter scale. When we felt our floor and walls shake, it made me wonder what is shaking our world?

CLICK HERE to read this post over at LWG!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

THANKFUL THURSDAY...our rear guard

I have been driving kids to school now for years. Not much has changed. You pull up in the drop off line, and quickly your kids jump out of the vehicle, and you carefully pull away.

This is my final year to drop kids off at school, and today was like all of the other days. I pull up, my daughter gets her backpack out of the backseat, I look in the rear view mirror to see if the traffic is clear, we say our quick goodbyes and I love yous, and off she goes. But something was different today.

I noticed a van pulled over to the side of the road. Out from the backseat emerged a tall girl, who stood at the side of the car as if waiting for something or someone. It only took a few moments for not one, but two more slightly smaller and younger girls to tumble out of the van. As the younger girls scurried onto the crosswalk, I noticed what the first girl did. She walked behind the two younger girls, keeping her hand upon their backpacks as if to steer them. Obviously, being the older and more responsible sibling, she felt the need to be the rear guard.

What a perfect picture of how God also protects us...

"But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard." Isaiah 52:12

Just as the older girl kept her hand on her younger sisters as they crossed the walkway, God's hand remains on us at all times. Not just in the crosswalk of life, but when the enemy lurks at our door, and when we encounter things we just simply do not understand.

God's hand not only guides us, but He protects our rear and enables us to be victorious. Today, I am thankful that He guides and protects me as I cross the streets of life.

What are you grateful for? Today I am hosting THANKFUL THURSDAY and would love to hear your grateful heart. Please link up with us below. Iris will be hosting TT next week for the month of November, see you there next week!

Monday, October 22, 2012

A PIECE OF MY HEART...Memory lane

How good is your memory?

The older I get, the more forgetful I become. But it seems to be the little things that I can't remember. Names, dates, where I put my glasses. Memories such as things in my childhood are still clear as day.

I can still remember playing on the playground in elementary school, and the first time I went to a school dance. I remember the first boy I had a crush on and I can remember the one Christmas that I got a mood ring.

Memories are made up of all the little things we do all throughout our life. Some are good, some are bad, some are disappointing, sad and some make us smile.

Just think of all of the memories that people all throughout the Bible must have made for themselves. I think of David, as a child stepping up to slay the giant...what memories he must have had! I am sure the adrenaline that built up in him as he drew back that sling must have been a lasting memory for him. I can only imagine the memories that Jonah must have had of the time he spent in that whales stomach! No doubt, something he never wanted to relive again.

We shouldn't underestimate the power of our memory. Every time we hear the gospel preached, it goes down in our memory. This is why it is important to bring our children to the House of the Lord, even at a young age, they may not grasp the entire message, but God's Word is being sunk into their mind, spirit and heart. Same is true for God's adult children.

That Word that we hear will be stored up in our memory bank and when the time is right, God will bring it back to our remembrance and He will begin to work in our heart, convict us of our wrong doing and urge us to turn to Him for salvation.

John 14:26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My Name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you."

Of all memories that you will have, remembering the day of your salvation is one of the most treasured. May the memories of your walk with God be a sweet aroma to Him. And to you.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

THANKFUL THURSDAY...what is perfect?

Just once I would like to have a perfect day. Whatever that is. Perhaps the sun shining, no traffic jams, enough money in the bank, the children cleaning their rooms without being told, the house cleaned and dinner on the table before I arrive home from work. Such pleasant thoughts.

What comes to your mind when you think of perfect? Some of the same things, or perhaps a perfect job, or a perfect spouse? Do you envision all the hassles and inconveniences melting away? Samuel talks about God making his way perfect but somehow I don't think he was talking about the cleanliness of his home or the stability of his finances...

"God is my strength and power, and He makes my way perfect." 2 Samuel 22:33

God's view of "perfect" is different than my view. Perfect doesn't always come in a nice, clean, organized package. In fact, God's "perfect" way may actually be what I consider hard and painful. After all, if everything was silk and lace in our life, how often would we reach out and cling to God's strong arms? Often times, it is in the difficulties that God forms us, thus perfecting us along the way, as we trust Him and lean upon His understanding, not ours.

I don't always understand why bad things happen to good people or why good people have bad days. I can't always see the path that I have chosen clearly, but in hindsight, I can look back over my day, my life and see that God has been pulling me and leading me in a very different direction, all so that He can make my way "perfect".

Today is THANKFUL THURSDAY and today as I share my grateful heart with you, I reflect on all of the ups, the downs, the joys, and the disappointments of my life...each one having a plan and purpose as ordained by God, so that His way can be perfected in me.

What are you grateful for today? We would love to have you join us this week for THANKFUL THURSDAY, please link up below.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

THANKFUL THURSDAY...we are chosen

A few years ago when my husband and I walked the halls of the Louvre Museum in Paris, our breath was taken away as we took in the beauty of amazing works of art. Artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci, with each stroke, created masterpieces.

There are alot of people who have an eye for art, and there is none like the Master of all Masterpieces, God can spot a masterpiece even before the first stroke of paint is applied. Unfortunately, few of us comprehend that we have value far greater than any masterpiece that can be housed at such great art museums like the Louvre where the famous Mona Lisa resides. Most of us instead see our value more like one that could be found at the corner garage sale, marked down for a quick sale. Most of us see ourselves as something just ordinary and not worth much.

I guess, most of us, at some point in our lives have experienced some sense of feeling thrown away like a rummage sale special, either by divorce, a friends rejection, criticism from others or even rebellion of a teen child. No matter who we are or what social position we hold in society, we all long to hear the words, "I love you" and feel like we have value.  Such words are like drops of water on our love starved souls. There is no monetary value that can be placed upon such a feeling.

One of the greatest values that I have stumbled across is found in the book of Isaiah...

"I have chosen you and have not rejected you." Isaiah 41:9

We have been chosen?

Absolutely! Today is THANKFUL THURSDAY and I am ever so grateful that heavenly treasures are never thrown away. We are not garage sale throw aways....we are God's treasured masterpieces.

What are you grateful for today? Please join us this week by linking up your TT post below.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Is there a good samaritan in the house?

Every day I drive by an intersection where someone is begging for help. Alittle money, a cup of coffee to stay warm or a small bag from McDonald's would all be helpful to these that stand on the corner, seemingly in need.

Often times, as I drive by, I try to look in the faces of these that are considered beggars. I wonder about their story. How is it that they have come to stand on this corner, being in such dire need? Was life so tough that they found themselves in an impossible situation or did they make choices that brought them to this corner?

No matter what their story is, we hold the power in our hand to either help or drive by. I have to admit, most days I just drive by, not just those on the corner of the street but I drive by those I rub shoulders with day in and day out.

Face it, we are surrounded by the poor and needy. Not just those who have little food, but the wealthy executive who seems to have things together but inside has a impoverished soul. So many needs represent themselves daily to us, we may feel overwhelmed, like there is no difference we can make. After all, who can feed an entire community or house all those who are homeless and have nowhere to go?

Proverbs 31:8 "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute."

Helping those in need does not require us to do for them what they can do for themselves. We cannot live their lives for them. We cannot make their choices. But what helping the needy requires is that we show them that we care.

Whether it be the homeless on the corner or the one at the office that feels hopeless...the best way we can help them is to genuinely care about them and care about what they are in need of.

My question to you today is: "Is there a good Samaritan in the house?"

Would the REAL good Samaritan please stand up.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Many of you probably sat down and watched the Presidential debate tonight. I asked my husband who he thought won, he didn't really have an answer to that question. I don't know if there are really any winners of debates, after all election time only means that candidates try their best to identify what our problems are and then they try to convince us that they hold the key to the solution.

Debates can't really identify how good candidates can solve problems, debates only determine who can talk the smoothest. Truth be told, most candidates don't really know what the real issues are or even how to resolve them.

Only One Person can do that. God has already identified what the real issue is. And He has also given us the solution.

The issue? Mankind is lost. The solution? Accepting God's love and forgiveness

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so WHOSOEVER believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life." -John 3:16

There's no debate about it...God desires for ALL to come to know Him and that my friend is the REAL issue at hand. Let's pray for our politicians. For our country. And for the lost.

May God surely BLESS the good ole USA!

Today is THANKFUL THURSDAY and I am glad that you joined us. I will be hosting TT this month and I am looking forward to hearing what is on your grateful heart! Join us by linking up below.

Monday, October 1, 2012

LACED WITH GRACE...The central core of our being

Today you can find me over at LACED WITH GRACE, where I have shared a devo with the readers entitled, "The Central Core of our Being"...


One of the greatest things about apple slices is that no matter how you slice it, the apple core always remains. No matter if you cut it in half or in fourths, you cannot get around the core. Just as the core is what keeps the apple intact, we also have a core that keeps us intact. Our heart is the central core of our being, or at least it should be....

CLICK THE LINK to read this entire post!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

THANKFUL a godparent

Many of us were given a "godparent" when we were born. My Aunt and Uncle were my godparents. I can remember when I was a child, how much more they lavished on me than they did my brothers. I guess it was because they felt more of a responsibility for me.

I can remember the summers that I went with them to their summer place. It is here that I most recall lessons being taught to me by my godparents. During these summertime visits, I learned how to pick blackberries, I learned how to fish...not only how to fish but what kind of lure to put on your hook, I learned how to appreciate nature, and I learned how to play shuffleboard.

In all of these lessons passed down to me by my godparents, I learned one crucial element...CHARACTER! When I think of good character, I automatically think of my Uncle. In all of the years that I spent with him, I cannot recall ever a time that I saw him mad. Oh, I'm sure he got mad, but I never saw it. When I think of my Uncle, I see a giving, tender hearted, hard working, sincere and loving man. A man of good character.

It has been said that "Character is what you do when nobody is watching" and "Character is how you treat people when they can do nothing for you". Character is how you act when the pressure is on. Character is deciding beforehand that doing the right thing IS the right thing.

Having a godly character is really important. My godfather taught me alot of things, but most importantly he taught me what having good character looks like. This week my godfather went to be with the Lord and I thought how sad that the lessons he taught has come to an end. But then I realized that he is still teaching me...thru his legacy.

Proverbs 11:3 "The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them."

It is my prayer that you and I can have the heart of a "godparent", one that is loving, nurturing and displaying godly character to those around us. Whether we are legally a godparent to a child or not, realistically we are all godparents, as we pave the way, leading others to Christ.

Who are you influencing today and what is your character saying about you? May we all leave a spirit filled legacy behind.

Today is THANKFUL THURSDAY and IRIS is hosting. Next week we will meet here where you will find TT for the month of October. I am looking forward to visiting with each of you and it is my prayer that each of us will have thanks in our heart not just today but everyday until He calls us home.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Excessive baggage

If you have traveled recently, you know that the rules and regulations for traveling with baggage has changed drastically. How many bags allowed per traveler and the weights of the bags are much less now than ever. If you are traveling for any length of time, this could pose problems.

But having baggage problems is surely not a new problem to most of us, we have been dealing with baggage issues for years!

Imagine going to the airport to check your luggage, but your bag is just too heavy, so someone comes along and picks up your bag and handles it for you. Now, you and I both know that this is against the rules. To have someone else handle your baggage is a definite no-no.

I do not know why we do not heed to the same rules and regulations with the personal baggage that we carry. I am not talking about your Samsonite bag, I am talking about all of the stuff from our past that we cannot let go of.

Imagine what it would be like if the same penalties were applied to us for having overweight baggage or if the same punishment was implemented if we passed our baggage off to someone else. I would imagine that if this happened, we would be quicker to relinquish those things that we hang onto.

This is perhaps what Paul is referring to in his letter to the church at Corinth:

"Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold , all things become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17

Old things are forgiven, cleansed and forgotten. This is what God does. But unfortunately, we do not do it. We hang onto the hurts, the disappointments and the failures, thus, becoming baggage. We not only hang onto it, but often times, we pass our baggage unto others. It isn't enough that we condemn ourselves and keep ourselves bogged down with this weight, but those close to us get the excess weight thrust upon them.

When we ask God to empower us, it is possible to leave old baggage behind. All we have to do is open up to the Holy Spirit and name each piece one by one, and before you know it, your bag will be unpacked.

Isn't it time for you to be set free? Go ahead and unpack your bags today!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I love writing devotions, but...

I just love writing devotions.

And more than writing them, I love reading them. To me, whenever I write a devo here on my personal blog, or share one with the readers of other Christian sites, or post some spiritual thoughts over on my ministry page on facebook, its like offering a short shot of spiritual wisdom.

Daily devotions are a great way to start your day or if you are having trouble finding time to spend with God, it is a great way to get you started. Each day has 1,440 minutes in it, but sometimes it is difficult to find just 5 to give to God! That's why I love writing devotionals...5 minutes can propel you into 10 or 20 minutes and then before long, you are contemplating on what you read and want to dig deeper into Gods Word and find out more.

No matter what you are going thru, God's Word is so full of love, peace and wisdom. And every question that you ever have can be found within the pages of Gods Word. Reading daily devotions is good, and I hope you take time to read mine, but it cannot compare, and should not be a substitute for spending time with God. Hopefully, what I pen here will spur you on to dig deeper and find out for yourself the truth and peace that is found in spending time with God.

"Listen carefully to wisdom; set your mind on understanding." Proverbs 2:2

Thursday, September 13, 2012


I know all of you have heard of Dr. Laura and even Dear Abby, but have you ever heard of Dr. Paul?

Each of these are known for giving advice. Whether in marriage or in life, all of them have made it their life goal to help other people. Dr. Paul, however, has an edge up on any other columnist because he is led by the Holy Spirit. Paul isn't really a doctor, but he was an apostle and his advice is really good, something that we all could stop and listen to.

If Paul wrote an advice column on the subject of how to use our words, I think it would go something like this:

DO speak the truth. Be honest and real. Authenticity is the ticket.

DON'T deceive others. Do not pretend to be something or someone that you are not.

DO get rid of all slander. "If you can't say something nice, don't say it all!"

DON'T use obscenity. If you are not sure what falls under this, use the rule of thumb that if you can't say it in front of everyone, like your pastor or your parents, then you shouldn't say it.

DO speak about the good stuff in your life. Talk about God and all the things He has done for you.

DON'T let unwholesome talk come out of your mouth. It should never be "fun" to tear others down. Never follow up a statement with "They know I'm just kidding"....they probably don't know.

DO say things that will build people up. Go out of your way to find someone to encourage. Not just today, but make it a habit and seek out someone everyday.

EPHESIANS 4:29 "Do not let unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

If you want to read more of Dr. Paul's advice...check out Ephesians 4:22-5:20

Today is THANKFUL THURSDAY, and I am thankful that God gave us such sound advice thru people like Paul and so many others that we can be inspired by. May we heed to such good advice and watch what we say to others. Iris is hosting TT, please join your grateful heart with ours over HERE!