Thursday, May 31, 2012


Recently, I was looking over some travel brochures trying to plan our family vacation. I came across some information about Eureka Springs which is well known not only for camping but also for the passion play that they offer. Many people travel from afar just to visit this passion play production.

What I love about this tourist attraction is that the passion play is not just something they offer at Easter time, but year round. Isn't that the way it should be? I wonder what kind of impact we could have if our passion for Christ was not seasonal but a daily intention.

I have alot of things in my life that I am passionate about. Writing and my family would be at the top of my list. But just how passionate am I about Christ and sharing His love with others? Do I ever feel inconvenienced with needy people? Or do I respond like Jesus would respond?

These are loaded questions and certainly challenging ones to us today. I am reminded of a quote that I recently read from D.L. Moody. Evangelist Henry Varley said to  him, "Moody, the world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to Him." Moody responded, "I aim to be that man."

That right there is having an intention to pursue a purpose that will shake the world. That kind of drive, or passion cannot exist as a Easter Sunday only Christian. It takes dedication. Faithfulness. And Passion!

"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." -Acts 1:8 NKJV

Having a passionate heart for the lost is awesome for those across the seas, but the same kind of passion needs to be seen right here in our own land, in our own towns. I have been on numerous missions trips and I am all for supporting missions, but my passion for the lost cannot stop with a 5 day trip overseas or dropping a check in the offering plate for the visiting missionary. My hearts passion must be like D.L. Moody and I must choose to be the one that can make a difference for the cause of Christ.

Today is THANKFUL THURSDAY and I do not take for granted the freedoms that we have here in the US of A to freely worship God and read His Word. I do not take my salvation for granted or His sacrifice. It is my prayer that a passion for the lost will be churning inside each of us and each of us will rise up and be witnesses for Christ in such a manner that it will shake our world!

I am so thankful for the passion of Christ. A passion that is not seasonal, but if invited, can live in each of us day to day.

What are you thankful for today? Please share your grateful heart with us by linking up below. I have enjoyed hosting TT this month, next week we will hop over to Iris's for the month of June. Hope to see all of you there! :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

LWG ... loving the unchurched

Today I have shared my heart with the readers of LACED WITH GRACE with a devo entitled "Loving the unchurched"....

"A year ago, my husband and I left our fulltime pastoring position. For nearly 20 years we served the same congregation, first as laypeople and then for the past ten years as one of their pastors. It was one of the most difficult things we have ever had to do, to leave.

I wish I could say that everything since then has been peachy, but to be quite honest the change has not come easy. It is difficult to leave the family that you love and try to find a new family..."

CLICK HERE to read this entire post!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day remembrance

Today is the day set aside that we remember those who fought for our freedom. Many have gone, fought and died. Today is a day that we remember their sacrifice, but instead of mourning those who have died, I encourage you today to give thanks for these men and women who lived.

Without their lives, their committments and their sacrifice we may not be enjoying the freedoms that we have. Lets not forgot the sacrifice, may we remember the lives given so that we may live freely.


May God bless America!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

THANKFUL THURSDAY...fragrance of God

Yesterday, I came home from work, and found these beautiful flowers on my desk in my home office...

My husband had clipped some flowers from our front bush and surprised me with them on my desk. They are so lovely to look at while I sit here and write. Not only are they beautiful to look at but the lovely fragrance also lingers.

The presence of these flowers reminds me that not only can we smell physical fragrances but there are also spiritual fragrances that can impact us spiritually.

I will always remember my grandmother, but one of the things that I will never forget is her allergy to perfumes. I can remember going to the big department stores with her, you know the ones with the cosmetic ladies waiting for you to walk by so they can squirt you with their latest fragrance. As they would go towards my grandmother, she would quickly stop them and say "NO, do not spray that on me!"

Truth is, some people have fragrances that squirt for miles that some of us need to say, "NO, do not spray that on me!" Just as a woman's perfume scent can be smelled from afar, the fragrance of Christ can be noticed by many, not just those near by, but the scent goes from those we rub shoulders with to even others that others in turn rub shoulders with.

Having the fragrance of Christ is not something packaged that can be purchased. The only way that we can truly give off the heavenly scent is by learning what the scent smells like. We must become closer in tune with God and His Word. We must obtain the fragrance of knowledge by studying it...

"Now thanks be to God Who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge...For we are to God the fragrance of Christ." 2 Corinthians 2:14,15

Looking down, God desires to see the fragrance of Christ working thru us. Wouldn't it be something if we all could squirt alittle Jesus perfume every where we went? May today be a day of fragrance way or another, we all ooze of a certain fragrance, may ours be the kind that is a sweet smell to His nostrils. And a sweet smell to others.

Today is THANKFUL THURSDAY and I am so thankful for the beautiful flowers my husband gave me, but more than that, I am very grateful that thru God's Word and spending time with Him, I can offer up a sweet aroma to Him of praise and thanksgiving and hopefully something sweet will ooze out of me towards others.

What are you giving God thanks for today? Link your TT post us with us in Mr. Linky. Be sure to check back next week over at IRIS'S PLACE...she will be hosting THANKFUL THURSDAY for the month of June! ((blessings))

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

THANKFUL THURSDAY...don't worry, be happy!

This afternoon my husband and I sat out in the front yard after returning from a long walk. As we sat there, we observed a couple birds in our yard doing what birds do. They would quickly take a few steps and just like that their head bobbed down and up in their mouth was a bug or a worm that only their eye could see. We watched for a minute as they bobbed up and down, getting all they could get. It was intriguing to us how they could see or sense things that were hidden down under the ground that our human eye did not see.

For instance, I never imagined that such a long dirt worm was down under my grass. Even though I didn't see it, the bird did and up from the ground came that worm. All of this reminded me of what Jesus said in the book of Matthew...

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" (Matthew 6:25-26)

How confident those birds were today that food would be available to them with each bend of their beak. I wonder, if God can provide food for the birds, why is it so difficult for us to trust Him for our own nourishment?

So many times my pocketbook has been empty but yet, I have been in need. Every time I have asked, God has provided. It may not be steak and lobster, but not one day of my 48 years have I gone hungry. The clothes on my back may have been worn and tattered, but He always has provided, maybe not Ann Taylor design, but in 48 years I have always had clothes to wear and shoes on my feet.

Oh how I wish we could be like the bird, and have so much confidence in God that every time we bob our head, we could recognize His blessings. Today, I learned something from the birds in my front yard ... with confidence, I can trust God for all that I am in need of.

Today is THANKFUL THURSDAY and I am so thankful that God has provided every single thing that I am in need of. When we finally realize this truth, we can sing the old song that goes like this...

"Don't happy!"
No need to worry about the worms in our life...God sees the things that we are in need of that our own human eye cannot see.

Join your grateful heart with ours today, and link up your TT post!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Passion vs. Paycheck

Recently I read a survey in BusinessWeek that said 80% of people hate their job. The article that I was reading was entitled "Passion or Paycheck". The title caught my eye and after reading on I found it quite strange that the writer was implying that we had to choose one over the other.

Even though I believe there are many people working in a vocation that they really have grown to dislike, perhaps because it has just become mundane for them or possibly their gifts and passions have shifted, I also believe that choosing a paycheck over passion is not necessary.

When I think of someone who does something that they really love, I think of a musician. Many times to get their start, these artists must stand on a corner, sometimes for hours with absolutely no pay or low pay. But despite the pay, they play with all of their soul and might with hopes that one day they will be noticed and get their BIG break!

After reading the article in BusinessWeek it bothered me to think that there are so many people who serve me that according to the survey hate to! Waiters at a restaurant dislike waiting on me. Daycare workers dislike my children. Nurses dislike nursing me. Mailmen dislike delivering my mail. On and on the list could go...Doing something that you don't like is foreign to me because I LOVE what I do. No wonder so many people are stressed to the max! If they are doing something they HATE for 40+ hours a week, they cannot be very happy in other areas of their life. Because stress often times doesn't just remain where the stress trickles down in all other areas of our life.

I have found that when you love what you do and have a passion and heart to do it well, the stress that comes with the job doesn't seem so stressful at all. Loving what you do gives you some control in your life, instead of your job controlling you.

I guess this is what Paul speaks about in the book of Philippians...

"Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am." (Philippians 4:11)

The problem with the discontent that is found in our work places is that discontent or lack of passion also permeates in other areas of our life including giving service to our Lord. Many times if things are not exactly as we think it should be in our church ministries, we tend to look at our "paycheck" instead of our "passion."

"The pastor wants me to come to a organizing meeting on Tuesday night? Is it not enough that I give my time Sunday morning teaching Sunday School, Sunday night singing in the choir and Wednesday night helping with the he wants me on a Tuesday too?"

The passion of serving Christ, serving your church and serving others is not keeping a time sheet of your work. The passion of a servants heart is loving what you do and doing it no matter what. Never looking to be noticed and "discovered" but simply serving because it is what God has called you to do.

If you have found yourself to be discontent in serving God or serving others, it may be time to go to the head of the class...and allow the Teacher (God) to revive your heart and spirit.

Passion vs. Paycheck? You may find yourself to be like a musician, full of passion, but with the help of God the rewards of your labor will certainly pay off.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

THANKFUL THURSDAY...Mothers Day tribute

"Mother" - just the name evokes such memories and thoughts. Childhood memories of your Mom may send you back to a kiss over your skinned knee, or a big hug when a friend hurt your feelings, or a swift lash on your backseat when you disobeyed. The memories may also take you back to the sweet smell of chocolate chip cookies in the oven, or the animated bedtime stories or the bible stories that led you to know about Jesus and His love.

As I write this, I am fully aware that not all children have experienced such fond memories of their Mothers. Some children have no recollection of their Mother perhaps because of death at an early age, or because of some other reason for separation such as divorce, drug addiction or imprisonment.

In the past few years I have come across some young people that fall into this category, having no maternal influence in their life. How sad this makes me, to think that a young girl would not have a Mother to talk to about boys and shopping or a teen boy not having a Mother to tell him "good job" on the A on his history test or his winning home run. I guess that is why I have taken a few of these orphans (kids with no mommy) into my home and into my heart.

Earlier this evening, I was thinking about how sad it is that this weekend will be Mothers Day and these kids (and so many others) will not have anyone to send a card to, or say "Happy Mother's Day" to. But then I realized that being a Mother is so much more than just giving birth. To better understand the role of a Mother, I asked my children what they think a good Mother is...

"Having unconditional love, having patience, knowing how to make things better, loving your child more than yourself, showing love and expressing how proud you are of them every day. Having a piercing love that goes beyond even the bad stuff, gives good advice,advocates for her children, works hard, having the right balance of nurturing, gentle kindness and a firm hand when needed."

When I think of Mothers, my first thought goes back to my own Mother and her Mother (my Grandmother). My thoughts then go to the privilege it has been for me to be a Mother to my wonderful 4 kids and now their mates, my bonus children. I see the example of being godly Mothers being passed down from generation to generation and now even my grand baby is experiencing this from her own Mother.

PROVERBS 31:2 "Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her."

My thoughts after reading that passage go to the Mother of all Mothers...Mary. She was so unique and precious that God chose her to be the mother of His begotten Son. Even though she was poor, inexperienced and young, God put trust in her to be the mother of Jesus. She certainly was a blessed woman.

Likewise, He has entrusted in us some of His precious children. Not all are born to us. On this Mothers day, I can't help but think of those who desire to be a Mother but for whatever reason have not been able to bear a child. If I could add to my children's list of "What a good Mother is", I would add that a good Mother does not have to carry a baby in her womb for nine months. I could not put it any better than how my bonus daughter, Rachel did...

"A Mother is not always biological, it comes from the heart and soul of one person who cares deeply for another."

This weekend take time to remember your heritage and the love of your Mother, and then look around and see if there might be an orphan, someone without a Mother's love that you could embrace and carry on the Mother of Mother's tradition...loving someone unconditionally, no matter what cross they may bear.

Today is THANKFUL THURSDAY and I am truly thankful for motherhood. I am blessed to have a godly mother and I am even more blessed to be called "Mom" by some pretty awesome kids. My birth kids and my adopted kids. May the family circle never be broken!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Shake the dust from your feet

I have a rug in the front room that seems to attract everything, from dog hair to dirt and grass from every ones shoes as they walk by. It almost seems impossible to keep it clean.

Isn't that also true of the company that we keep?

Often times we think that we will be able to "clean up" our lost friends, so we walk down the same road with them, but invariably all that happens is that we get their dust on us. Instead of changing them, they change us. It is true what I have heard..

"It is easier to pull someone down to your level than pull them up."

I guess this is why Jesus warned us to not be unequally yoked together..

2 Corinthians 6:17,18 "Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you."  18"I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."

To be unequally yoked is to be mismatched. Many people think this is in reference to marriage...for believers to not marry unbelievers. But to be unequally yoked or mismatched crosses over into all of our relationships from marriage (and dating) to our friendships and even our business associates.

A yoke is a wooden frame that would be placed upon two animals to plow. The yoke was designed to cause the two animals to work together as one. We may not understand what the problem being unequally yoked could be but Paul understood, he is remembering the law that was found in Deuteronomy...

"Do not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together." (Deuteronomy 22:10)

Wouldn't that be strange to see a strong, burly ox tied up with a stubborn, kicking, small sized donkey? I'm not sure which one would be the dominant one...the strong one or the stubborn one? It would be difficult for the two to blend together and work as one.

In order to work as one, we may need to step back and review who and what we may be yoked to. Is it possible that our vision and purpose have become dusty because of who we are tied with? If you are not sure if your relationship is unyoked, ask yourself this:

1. Is your relationship easily broken?
A yoke is not easily broken. It is a permanent relationship, once the animals are yoked, they are bound together. They must do things together, no matter how uncomfortable it is.

2. Is your relationship constraining?
Does it permit independent action or are you bound to what your friend, spouse or business partner believes. Is there freedom to serve God or do you have to do it privately? Any relationship that does not permit a believer to follow God in all things is a yoke.

Recognize the signs early in the relationship, and if needed, break that yoke. It may be time to shake the rugs in your life....get rid of the dust that is clouding your righteous path.

"Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?: 2 Corinthians 6:14

Monday, May 7, 2012


It isn't always easy to follow in someones footsteps. Sometimes the bar is high and reaching it is far beyond our grasp. There are some good things to follow and then there are some bad ones. Godly character and integrity, honesty, faithfulness and genuine love are some things that I wouldn't mind others to follow me for, especially my children. Hopefully, what I am passing down is of great eternal value and something worthy to follow.

Unfortunately, I have seen firsthand, that in family relationships, what we pass on is not always the best. Not only spiritually but physically as well. Possibly you have a family history of something like heart disease or cancer. Such illnesses may strike generation after generation in your family tree. This evening I got word that my step brother had passed away. I haven't seen him in many years as he was much older than me and never lived with us, but hearing of his death caused me to think about the things that we pass down, the things we have control over and even those things that we have no control over. Mike, my step brother, died at the same age as my step-dad and from the same thing. It may be coincidence but it could also be something that just runs in the family history.

When I think about what I may be handing down to my own children and grandchildren, I am hoping it is not anything that will be detrimental to their health....either physically or spiritually.

It is my prayer that the path I lead them and others down is one that leads to God. Peter reminds us in 2 Peter that Jesus left us a path to follow...

21 "It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them." (2 Peter 2:21)

However, we make it difficult to walk in His footsteps. Jesus said, "Follow me!" But instead of following Him, we question Him and choose a different path to take. Forgetting all too soon that He has already blazed the trail ahead of us.

When I think of footsteps that I want to follow, I cannot think of any better steps than His. May the history in my family change from passing down illness and diseases to passing down life...eternal life, that is!

Every person's steps are ordered by God, but we have to follow the right path! Who are you following and where is it leading you?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

THANKFUL THURSDAY...the waiting room

Several years ago God spoke to me during a late night visit to a hospital waiting room. My dear friend's husband had a heart attack in the middle of the night. In the rushed effort to get him to the hospital, my friend found herself in a hospital waiting room totally unprepared. The sudden emergency found her with no snacks, no reading material and no change for the vending machines.

Upon my arrival I found my friend hungry, thirsty and extremely tired. I rummaged through my purse to find whatever I could to leave with her, a few quarters, 2 sticks of gum, a piece of paper and a pen to jot down information from the doctor. Even though this was by far no emergency kit, it would have to suffice until I could return with the goods needed to survive a long wait at the hospital.

From this experience, my husband and I later formed a new ministry in our church. One that would minister to those whose loved ones were in the hospital. A survival bag that included snacks, coins for the vending machine, a calling card, toothpaste and toothbrush and reading material.

I don't know about you, but waiting really tires me out. All that sitting around and waiting for the doctor to come out with a report is physically and emotionally draining. Maybe what you are waiting for is something different than a doctors report...perhaps you have a loved one overseas and you long to hear those words, "I'm coming home!" Waiting for news of a new promotion or a new grandchild being born can also keep us biting our nails in anticipation. The waiting process is difficult, that is why a survival bag is important to have for such times.

"I am worn out waiting for Your rescue, but I have put my hope in Your Word. My eyes are straining to see Your promises come true. When will You comfort me?" Psalm 119:81-82 (NLT)

Without proper preparation we cannot survive the hard times that come and go out of our lives. A bottle of water, a bag of snacks and a magazine may help ease the pain of waiting in the hospital room, but in the spiritual waiting room, those things will not be enough. We need prayer and His Word to strengthen us and give us hope. During these moments of waiting on the Lord, I find myself ready for God to come to my rescue, but I am not always ready to encounter Him.

The readiness comes in waiting. And waiting may require a deeper faith in God.

Are you prepared to wait upon Him?

Today is THANKFUL THURSDAY and I will be hosting your thankful posts here this month. Today I am thankful that He is with me even in the long waiting periods of my life. What are you thankful for? Link up with us below and share with us what you are grateful for this week!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

How are your feet dressed?

It is true that a girl just cannot have enough shoes. I have to admit, loving shoes is a trait that I have passed down to my daughter. She is all about some shoes. Whether they are boots, heels, or sandals, she loves getting new shoes. I thought it funny that this past Christmas the only thing she really wanted from her boyfriend was a pair of TOMS. An unusual request from your girlfriend...but not if she loves shoes!

Guys just don't get this fetish that us ladies have about shoes. They can have one pair of brown shoes, one pair of black shoes and one pair of running shoes and they are set for life. But think about that...would you wear the same black pair of shoes with a suit that you would with your jeans? I think not!

What good is it to dress up and look your finest but your shoes are worn out and shabby? Whether you know this or not, what we wear on our feet is very important.

Not just physically, but spiritually...

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and he delighteth in his way." PSALM 37:23

How we walk and where we walk are very important. In fact, the steps that we take in this life will not only affect us but those around us. That is why it is imperative that we follow the steps of Christ, but in order to do that we must have the proper shoes on.

How are your feet dressed?

As a Christian, do you find yourself not using the gifts God has given you for Him? Are you burnt out on doing ministry and just sitting on the sidelines? We all have a job to do for the Kingdom and now is not the time to sit down and be lazy. "But be doers of the Word, not just hearers only..." (James 1:22)

Sometimes it is difficult to get ourselves motivated and get moving. Has God placed something on your heart but you haven't acted upon it yet? If you have gotten flat in your excitement for God, it may be that you just need a revamping of your spirit, a renewed joy. "Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit." (Psalm 51:12)

Do you tend to run away from your problems or face them head on? Nobody likes to go thru the fire, but just remember, it is the heat of the flame that sharpens the iron. Instead of running, trust in God. "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct they paths." (Proverbs 3:5,6)

This is the favorite thing to wear for those who like to walk all over people. You know, its your way or the highway type of thinking. Sometimes all it takes is alittle bit of compassion and sensitivity to deal with people, but we gotta take our boots off in order to do that. "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." (Ephesians 4:32)

We are a reflection of God if we call ourselves a Christian, however, some of us need to go ahead and get out of our slippers because the things that we associate ourselves with are causing others to slip and slide away from God. Lets be careful to not take the judging power out of Gods hands and keep it in ours. "Let us not therefore judge one another anymore, but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brothers way." (Romans 14:13)

Are you working as hard as you can for God? If you are, then no doubt you will have a need for some steel toe shoes, because a persecuted Christian is usually a working Christian. Never tire of your labor for Him, you will be blessed for the fruit that you are producing. "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit, so shall ye be My disciples." (John 15:8)

So how are your feet dressed? Before we can go out into our world, we must have the proper shoes on. What we wear on our feet completes the outfit, and we never want to be under dressed for God.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Today you can find me over at LACED WITH GRACE, where I have shared a devotion with the readers entitled "Holy Hunger" please come visit me over there.