Show me the one, show me the way, help me to know just how to share the love You gave.

Look around you! There is probably someone who could use some love! All too often, we find ourselves surrounded by people who are going through some difficult times. Perhaps you are! Whether it's unemployment, family problems, health problems, depression, loneliness, or whatever, all of us would like some relief from what we are going through. We need to see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

And there is! The Light of Lights, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, is willing and more than able to lift us from our darkness, into His pure and safe haven of light. He promises His love and presence to heal and deliver, to strengthen and help, all those who call on Him.

Like the beam from the mighty lighthouse, that directs ships safely back to harbor, His Light is there to show us the way to Him, for Jesus is truly the Way, the Truth and the Life.

It is my prayer that this site encourages you to reflect His light to those around you who need to know Him. Let Him use you to share His love. And as you embark on this remarkable journey, please share your experiences so that all of us can grow together in our quest to reach all the world, lest anyone should perish.

May God richly bless you!

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

Monday, December 31, 2012

Last Year's Resolutions - How Did You Do?

Today is the last day of 2012, and for alot of us, so much has happened in these past twelve months. It's hard to believe that tomorrow begins a brand new year. Are you ready?

Some of you like to make resolutions each year. You are determined to become a better person, and set out to make a list of things that you would like to accomplish. In fact, we see alot of commercials this time of year on television telling us how we can lose those extra pounds we put on over the holidays. There are advertisements telling us how we can make more money, or find that perfect person on that popular site to meet people, etc, etc. Well... if you were that someone who made resolutions last year, how did you do? We feel we need to make improvements and make an effort. But... do we stick it out?

God isn't like us! The Bible tells us that when He creates us, He has plans for us. Plans that will prosper us, and not harm us. Plans that give us a hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) This applies to people who are walking according to His Word, who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior and are making an effort to please Him. 

But...what if you do know Him as Savior, but you don't feel like you have prospered this year. Maybe you have been hurt by others, or have come across hard times. Maybe you aren't feeling very hopeful right now. Maybe all your efforts to live "the good life" have let you down and you are disappointed and discouraged.

We are never to forget God's goodness or promises. In the midst of us living our lives, God is working behind the scenes, to accomplish His purposes. 

 He who began a good work in you will
carry it on to completion
until the day of Christ Jesus.
- Philippians 1:6

We may think we have failed in certain areas of our lives, but He has a way of turning our failures into successes! His resolution for us is that we become more Christ-like, and there is nothing that can stop Him from completing His plans. The world may offer solutions, but they are temporary in comparison to His solution.

Therefore, do not lose heart.
We are being renewed day by day.
For our light and momentary troubles
are achieving for us an eternal glory
that far outweighs them all.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen,
but on what is unseen.
For what is seen is temporary,
but what is unseen is eternal.
- 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

So, take heart. Even if you weren't able to accomplish last year's resolutions, there is always another year to make new ones. And when you trust in the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, you will always succeed! Happy New Year! And God Bless!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Are You Ready For The Storm?

For the past week, we have heard on the news of the incoming tropical storm, named Sandy. We were told it would travel up along the East coast, then swing inland over New York City, towards Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Sandy has brought lots of trouble. Massive flooding, wind damage, power outages, property damage, not to mention loss of lives. Airports are closed as is the stock market. The news reported that the subway is under four feet of water. I prayed for the homeless and pets, who could be forgotten about in the chaos while people were evacuating. It's interesting that a couple of nights ago, my husband and I watched the movie 2012. If you have seen it, you would think it was a prediction of this storm!

Mankind has always had strong storms to endure, and it has survived, one way or another. America has certainly had its share of violent storms in recent years. Katrina still leaves scars in the Gulf as people haven't been able to rebuild. FEMA was established to help in the recovery after such devestation, but we have found that Mother Nature is a strong lady!

The Bible talks about storms. The storms of life. You know, the things that bring us worry, and stress, and grief. They are inevitable. And just because a person has a personal relationship with his Savior, doesn't mean he is exempt from these storms.

God causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good,
and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
- Jesus - Matthew 5:45

How do you survive these storms in life? Do you have an infallible plan? Are you in a storm right now? What are you hanging onto?

I am reminded of another passage in the Bible that talks about the wise and foolish builders.

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine
and puts them into practice
is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
The rain came down, the streams rose,
and the winds blew and beat against that house.
Yet it did not fall,
because it had its foundation on the rock.
But everyone who hears these words of mine
and does not put them into practice
is like a foolish man
who built his house on sand.
The rain came down, the streams rose,
and the winds blew and beat against that house,
and it fell with a great crash.

- Jesus - Matthew 7:24-27

Think about this. What is the foundation of your life? Are you trusting in earthly things, or have you put your trust in heavenly things, that is in Jesus Christ? 

 I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer.
My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation,
my stronghold.
I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and I am saved from my enemies.

Psalm 18:1-3

Allow me to encourage you to personally pray the above scripture. Make a declaration that you will allow God to be the rock of your life. By having an intimacy with Him, you will be able to endure the storms that come along your way.

Are you ready for the next storm?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

There Is Hope

There is a saying going around that there are two things that cannot be avoided...taxes....and death. I don't know where I have heard this statement, but there seems to be some truth to it! Taxes annoy us while we're trying to enjoy life, and death annoys us at the end of life. Though we can't do much about the taxes, we can do something about facing death. No one escapes it, and every person has to deal with it one time or another.

Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him. According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God,  and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.

Paul - 1 Thessalonians 4:18

These words do give me hope! I recently lost my Dad, and it was very difficult to have him go. But he had accepted Jesus as his Savior on Father's Day in 2011, so our family knew where he was going. We know where he is now. And someday we will be with him, and my Mom again. With Jesus. Forever.

I recently finished a new song and am happy to be able to share it with everyone. Welcome Home was written to give people hope when death approaches. Having faith in Jesus Christ as a personal Savior reassures us that when life as we know it is over, we have a new home in heaven. A home that has been prepared for us by Jesus Himself.

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in Me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am.

Jesus - John 14:1-4

My friend, Jim Dunmire, sings this song with a passionate love for His Savior, and reminds us that someday we will be reunited with our loved ones who have gone on before us.

A grand reunion's coming...we'll finally be at home!

May our Lord give you peace.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Monuments Of Our Lives

Recently I set out on a foggy morning to a local cemetery with the purpose of taking pictures of gravestones for an upcoming ministry project. It was an interesting trip! After several pictures, the batteries in my camera died, so I had to go back into town to buy more, and then headed back to the cemetery to resume.

Cemeteries can be very interesting. Each gravestone was chosen by people with the intention of representing the loved one who passed away. There were all shapes, sizes, and colors. One particular grouping was of a family, where the parents had the largest stone, and it was surrounded by smaller stones of their children. Some lived long; others didn't. Some symbolized their interests. Log-style crosses, and slanted crosses over Bibles. Hearts for a couple who loved each other. On my parents' stone in another cemetery is a colored picture of the family farm my Dad built. At least it used to be colorful. After a short while, the colors faded. Guess that wasn't anticipated when they bought the stone when my Mother passed away back in 1987.

On this morning I found one particular stone to be massive. There was a life-sized angel standing in front of the cross. The size made me imagine how important these people must have thought of themselves!

And then there was a mausolium, where vaults were hidden inside. I looked through the glass doors, and found bugs, and leaves, and other things lying on the marble floor. Apparently, no one had gone in to check on this in a long time. Perhaps no one is even alive now who knew these people! This must have cost the family alot of money...did they realize that many years later, no one would care?

All of this reminds me how foolish we can be. We want to be remembered after we are gone, but how are we building our legacy? Are we building up treasures on earth, to impress people, who after all, aren't really impressed? Or are we building up treasures in heaven, to make an eternal difference?

This reminds me of a song I wrote a couple of years ago, called 'What Really Matters'. My husband called it a morbid song, but our Praise Band did it in church, and one of the guys still mentions it! "Let's do the morbid song", he says! Here are the lyrics:

I read in the paper just the other day
another passed away
I didn't know him very well
only vaguely by his name
It said he had a family
was involved in many things
It seems he was a happy man
and life was good to him

But I wonder if he really knew
that life was passing by
Did he know he had a purpose
There was a reason why?

Lord, help me to do what really matters
Help me to live my life for You
Let my heart be filled with passion
To do the things I do
Lord, help me to follow after Jesus
And to walk in love and truth
To share the love You gave me
Each day a gift from You
To live my life with purpose
so others can know You

Someday my name will be there too
For everyone to see
The family that I leave behind
The things that I achieve
And when I reach the Glory Land
and bow before His feet
I hope to hear my Savior's voice
speak these words to me

Well done,my faithful servant
for you have heard my call
You lived your life for My Name's sake
and shared my love with all

Lord, help me to do what really matters
Help me to live my life for You
Let my heart be filled with passion
to do the things I do
Lord, help me to follow after Jesus
To walk in love and truth
To live my life with purpose
Each day a gift from You
To share the love You gave me
So others can know You

What will your gravestone say about you?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

No Ordinary Meeting

Several weeks ago I happened to meet a person who had a much different past than I have. He was raised in a big city and, like alot of young people, found himself involved in sex, drugs, and other things. He is now a young father of a baby, has been in prison, and has had many short term jobs. I believe he told me his mother is raising the child, and the young mother of the child is in prison on drug charges. He had found himself immersed in the culture where he lived, with no tools to resist its lure. At his young age he already had a record. And the chances of it continuing on in his life were great. 

But God already had His eye on him. This guy told me that he was searching for some meaning and while wandering downtown, he happened to walk past an inner city church. The doors were opened, and to satisfy his curiosity, he looked in. I don't believe he had ever been in a church. But he told me the pastor noticed him, and invited him in to talk. As a result of many encounters and a relationship being formed between the two, this young man found Jesus. Now he was on the road, with one of the ministry leaders and other young men, promoting this Christian Academy, which is a ministry to help boys find Christ. I was told the program lasts only 9 months, and then the boys can go home, while being encouraged to continue on in ministry.

At first I wasn't sure if this young man was telling me the truth, but the more I talked to him, the more convinced I was that he actually had found Jesus, and that Jesus had changed him. He was a baby Christian, with a huge challenge ahead of him, to keep walking in the faith. He was vulnerable to return to his old lifestyle if he went back to his neighborhood and hung around his old friends. But with Christ, he knew he wouldn't be alone wherever he would go.

I felt priviledged to meet this young man. He was a brave person. Uncertain about his future, he had some anxiety. We prayed before I left, and I told him I was excited about what God was going to do in his life. That we didn't meet by accident. And that I would be praying for him.

This whole experience has reminded me that God is working in all places at all times. He has his eye on each one of us. Not one single person is a mistake! Nor is one single person unusable by God!

For You created my innermost being,
You knit me together in my mother's womb,
I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made,
Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from You
when I was made in the hidden place.
When I was woven together...
Your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in Your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God!
- Psalm 139:13-17

There is a plan and a purpose for us. His great and perfect love desires us to come to Him, and He uses people, like you and me, to reach out and touch others with His Good News of salvation. There are too many people out there who need to know that Jesus loves them and gave His life for them on the cross. In a big a small your your you!

If you already know Christ. are you reaching out to others? Are you sharing the love of Jesus to those you meet?

O Father God,
I thank You first for Your gift of salvation
through Your Son, Jesus.
I come to You now to ask You to touch my heart
in a way that leads to a compassionate love for others.
Enable me to look around,
to be aware of anyone who needs You.
Use me for Your glory
to shine Your light in this dark world.
Let no opportunity escape me.
Let no one be an inconvenience to me.
I am Yours. They are Yours.
Help me in building Your Kingdom.
In Jesus' Name.

If you don't have a personal relationship with Jesus now, then please know that He is calling you to come to Him! He has known you from the beginning, and He has a plan and a purpose for your life. You are precious in His sight! I ask you to walk in the doors of a nearby Christian church, to talk to a pastor about Jesus' love for you. This will be the beginning of the most important relationship you can ever have. 

O Lord,
I need You in my life.
I want a relationship with You.
Please lead me to someone
who can help me find You.
I know You have loved me from the beginning
and I am not a mistake.
I want to know more about You
and what Jesus did for me on the cross.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

There Is Still Time....

This morning when I was taking my walk, I noticed an increasing number of colored leaves on the pavement. They weren't very colorful, but it is still early in the season. As I looked up into the trees, they were still very covered with their leaves, and most of them are still green. I look forward to the trees becoming more colorful and beautiful as the weeks go by. Unfortunately, too soon they will all be void of their leaves, and winter will be upon us.

This reminds me of my life, and maybe yours. Having recently lost my Dad, I have come to the realization that life can be too short. Now that both of my parents are gone, I have the feeling that I am next! I hear that this is common with others who don't have their parents with them anymore, so I'm not alone.

But, then I wonder, am I making the most of the days that God is giving me? Am I doing what really matters? What is my legacy? Is there still time to make a difference and imprint on this world?

Have I reached out to others? Have I shown them love? Have I given up my time to give to someone else who needed me? Or have I lived my life to meet my own desires?

There is still time. There is still time to love others with the love that Jesus has shown me. There is still time to share the hope that I have of an eternal life with Him. There is still time to love Him. With all my heart. And all my being. There is still time to know more about the One who loved me first.

I pray that in the days that God gives me, that I will glorify Him. That others will be able to see the outpouring of His Spirit in me. That even though the days may get troubling, I will still exhibit His supernatural peace, for He will always be with me.

There is still time...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

He Is All You Need

The following message was inspired by a devotional
I received from Rod Parsley. 
It is very encouraging and I want to share his thoughts with you.

Do you ever experience circumstances in your life that seem uncontrollable and overwhelming? As a result, fear can overtake you, robbing you of the peace and joy you need. Fear can consume you, making you useless. And to some of you, you feel like giving up!

At times like these, perhaps you need to be reminded of the presence of our loving and merciful Lord. As our gentle Shepherd, He already knows what you are facing, and is ready to place His everlasting arms underneath you. You need not fear; you are going to make it!

I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
and delivered me from all my fears.

                                           -  Psalm 34:4

Seek the Lord!! You do not need a healing - you need Him. You do not need deliverance - you need Him.  You do not need joy or victory - you need Him. He has already given you the answer to every prayer you will ever pray. Because of what He did on the cross for you, you can walk in victory! As God becomes your passion, everything else will fall into place.

Everything is in the Lord. Every victory, need, longing, desire, plan, possibility, and dream is in Him. Don't give up. He is your all in all. Just seek Him!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Are You Really Going To Heaven?

I recently had a conversation with a person about God. This person feels she has a connection with Him and has heard His voice. Sounded good to me. But then, as the conversation continued, she acknowledged that her belief is that God is love and everyone He has created goes to heaven. I asked her if she believed that there is Satan, and that we sin. She wasn't sure she did. Then I asked her why Jesus died on the cross. She was alittle vague as she tried to come up with an answer. My phone rang, so our conversation ended.

This person truly believes that she is on her way to heaven. I am so grieved for her, and for countless others who are mistaken. They are ignorant to what the Bible clearly says about God, Jesus, heaven, hell and sin. They don't make an effort to find out the truth, and therefore continue on to their death, never realizing that they are on their way to an eternal separation from God. To the never-ending fire of hell.

God absolutely hates sin! Because of Adam's first sin in the Garden of Eden, we are born in sin, and the debt of our sin had to be paid for by Jesus' death on the cross, and His resurrection. We have to confess our sin, realize we need a Savior, and choose to believe in Him. Sure, God is love. And His love for us is everlasting. But...and this is a big BUT... there are consequences to sin, and He will not allow those in heaven who haven't acknowledged their sin, and who haven't asked to be saved from their sin.

Unfortunately, there are too many people who profess to be Christians, but don't have their beliefs right. Instead of reading the Bible, they make up their own theology. And there are even some churches who aren't teaching them the truth! In the end times, there will be many false teachers, influenced by Satan, to entice people away from God's truths.

What about you? Are your beliefs based on what the Bible says? Now is the time to be very sure of what you believe. You don't know when your life will end. Eternity is forever. Please be sure that you are really going to heaven!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

I Have Him Now

This week my dear Dad passed on to be with Jesus. You may remember a blog last August that I shared with you called "Leaning On The Everlasting Arms". He became very sick last summer and we thought we were going to lose him then. On Father's Day of last year he met Jesus, and God allowed him to live another year. My brother and his family took care of him, and we were blessed with many more happy times with him. And he was blessed with being able to be cared for at home by his family. There were good days. And not so good days. As anyone knows who cares for a loved one, it can be an exhausting task. But they endured right to the end.

As my husband and I were driving up from Pennsylvania to New York to attend the funeral, I looked up into the sky above. I could almost see an outline of Jesus holding out His arms and saying to me "Don't worry. I have him now." That comforted me.

When we lose a precious loved one, we are left behind, trying to grasp what happened. We still want to have a connection with that person. But when we look at that lifeless body, and later have nothing to look at that was him, we are left with the desire to know where that person went to.

As a Christian who believes in the after life with Jesus in heaven, I know where a person goes after he dies. That is, if that person also knew Jesus as his Savior. But what if he didn't make that decision.... I don't like to think about the awful place that also exists for those who didn't choose Jesus.

Why can't we see heaven? And why do we have to wait until we die to go there? God wants us to believe. Just believe. Have faith. 

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen,
but on what is unseen.
For what is seen is temporary,
but what is unseen is eternal.
                                              - 2 Corinthians 4:18

Everything that we see, breathe, and feel here during our lives is temporary! Houses last longer than the people who live in them! We are temporary! For some people, more temporary than for others. But what we cannot see, the spiritual realm, is eternal. This is hard to grasp. Especially for those who don't know Jesus. But this is true!

The good news in all of this is this: that soon Jesus will be coming  to reunite us born-again believers with our saved loved ones who have gone on before us. There will be a grand reunion, filled with joy and happiness, as we stand before our Savior. Beautiful songs will be sung, all giving glory to our Lord. Now that is something to look forward to!

I encourage you to seek Him if you haven't already done so. My loving and merciful Savior wants to be your Savior too. Just ask Him this:

Jesus, I know I need a Savior.
I confess my sins and ask you to save me.
I thank you for giving up
Your life on the cross
so I can have eternal life with You.
Jesus, come into my heart
and be my Lord.
Take my heart, mind, and will
and let them be Yours.
Thank You Jesus!

If you have prayed this prayer and meant it, then you are now saved and your name is written in the Holy Lamb's Book Of Life. When your life is over, you will be in heaven for all eternity. And I will see you there.

I will miss my Dad. But I know that Jesus has him now.

Monday, July 30, 2012

How Can I Praise God In This Storm?

Our area was recently hit by a very strong tornado-like storm, taking down countless trees, and leaving a war-zone in its path. Passing through Lewis Run, PA on Thursday evening, we saw the devastation the winds left behind. Houses lost their roofs, sheds were shattered, and trees were down. Not to mention no electrical power. When we reached home, an hour later, we saw the same thing. It was dark when we got there, but we could see parts of our huge tree lying over our neighbor's driveway, disconnecting the electric lines. Our lawn was completely covered with branches from other trees, and our roof had branches on it too. We were very fortunate, though, that none of the windows were broken by the flying branches, and our roof remained intact. Others were not so fortunate. The following days brought electrical crews from numerous states, reconnecting electrical power. These men were exhausted, in trying to restore normalcy. I'm sure they witnessed some very irritable people along the way, complaining that they were taking too long to reconnect their electricity.

There are many storms in life. Storms from nature. Storms in family relationships, like marriages, and teenagers. Financial storms. Health storms. And other storms. How can we weather these storms and survive?

If you are like me, I have put my faith and trust in God, and have accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. Because I know He is in total control of what happens to me, I have a different perspective on things than those who don't have a god like mine.

The Bible tells us alot about how to weather the storms we have to face. By placing your trust in Jesus, you have His help to conquer them.

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
He delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
A righteous man may have many troubles,
but the Lord delivers him from them all.
                                             -  Psalm 34:15-19

Another favorite verse that comforts me is from 1 Peter 5:7, which tells us to cast all of our cares upom Him, for He cares for us. And from Psalm 55:22:

Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you.

Because we know of  His love for us, we can rest assured that He is the master of all the storms in our lives. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. And Jesus displayed His power when he calmed the storms during His time here on earth. Peter wanted to walk on water to Jesus. He was doing well, until he took his eyes off of Jesus and put them on the monstrous waves around him. Then he began to sink, until he called on Jesus to save him, which He did. Jesus still displays His power over the storms we face now. Are your eyes on Him? Or on the storms?

What should our response to this be? We are to praise Him! Yes, praise Him! Being able to look up and praise God in spite of the storms around us displays our trust in Him to provide all of our needs. The material things around us are insignificant compared to the riches of His glory through Christ Jesus!

So when the storms brew around you, don't look at the devastation. Look up to Jesus! And praise Him!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Salad Sistas

I can't wait to get together with one of my best friends. We call each other Salad Sistas because when we do get together, it's usually over salads. I remember when we met at a local restaurant recently around 5PM, and the next thing we knew, the restaurant was closing up and it had gotten dark outside! We looked at each other in disbelief that we had talked that long. Needless to say, our husbands were wondering if we were having an affair!

I laugh over that, because to have someone so special in your life that it takes no effort at all to talk and share thoughts is a true blessing. We trust each other, have a similar view on life, both love Jesus, and enjoy our talks. Our husbands like it too because then we're not bombarding them with all this girl-talk.

Are you as blessed as I am to have such a true friend? To have someone who understands you, who will lift you up when you are down, who will keep your secrets, and who will be there for you.

There is such a friend. For all of us. His Name is Jesus. I know it sounds trivial because He isn't flesh and bones to us, and we can't see His face, or hear His voice, or feel His touch. But in a very real, spiritual way, we can!

When you seek Him, you will find Him. He is there waiting for you. And the more time you spend with Him, the closer you are to Him. Trust me....this works! He already knows everything about you, and He still loves you.

 O LORD, You have searched me
and You know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
You perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
You are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
You know it completely, O LORD.

                                   - Psalm 139:1-4

His love for you exceeds everything. It is compassionate, merciful, and everlasting. There is nothing you can do to keep Him from loving you. But for you to experience this incredible love, you need to spend time with Him. On a regular basis. As you get to know Him, you will find your love for Him deepening, and you will be drawn into His presence. You will find yourself thinking about Him throughout the day. And deep inside you, will be visions of His face, inaudible sounds of His voice, and the comfort of His arms wrapped around you. You will truly be a Friend of God!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Coming To A Movie House Near You

Last week we all learned of the massacre in a movie theatre in Colorado. The shooting at the midnight screening of the latest Batman film 'The Dark Knight Rises', resulted in twelve people killed and fifty-nine wounded. Police say that the suspect, James Holmes, acted alone and had no prior criminal record or ties to terrorism.

People are asking 'Why?' If we could just find the answer, then maybe another incident like this can be prevented, right? Then, we could relax, knowing our towns would be safer, and that we wouldn't have to go through a metal detector the next time we want to go see a movie...or a ball game....or fly........

As long as Satan is roaming the earth, with his huge army of demons that have a way of influencing people, then this type of crime will continue, and with intensity as the end times grow nearer. Which we are already in. At the present time, the efforts of Satan on earth are somewhat restrained and frustrated by the operation of the divine Restrainer (God). But with the removal of the restraint, which will occur when the true believers who have the Holy Spirit in them, are raptured into the presence of Christ, Satan will be able to achieve the full outburst of evil in the manifestation of the man of lawlessness, the Antichrist. (2 Thessalonians 2:7-8) Then all hell will break loose. Our streets will be unsafe. Unthinkable things will be forced upon us. Satan and his demons will have their heyday and wreak havoc on the innocent.

Is there anything that can be done to protect us from this doom? Yes. Believe in Jesus. Trust in Him. He, being the Son of God, shed His innocent blood on the cross to restore us from the damage that Satan caused on mankind. God, being Holy, hates sin. Jesus' death on the cross was necessary to pay the price of our sin. We were redeemed.

For God so loved the world
that He gave His one and only Son,
that whoever believes in Him
shall not perish but have
eternal life.
                                           - John 3:16

When you put your trust in Jesus as your Savior, you are given the Holy Spirit to be your helper. You are never alone to live your life of following Him.

For the Lord Himself goes before you
and will be with you;
He will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
                                 - Deuteronomy 31:8

We are in the end times, and are witnessing countless forms of evil things in our culture. Families are being stricken, government officials are being corrupt and making laws that contradict God's, and even our Churches are being attacked. But we, as followers of Christ, are told to stand firm to the end.

You, dear children,
are from God and overcome ...,
because the one who is in you
is greater than
the one who is in the world.
                            - 1 John 4:4

Jesus tells us He is coming soon. (Revelation 3:11) And because we are assured of our eternal destiny by placing our trust in Him, then we can be comforted knowing He is always beside us. Through anything.

Even a movie....

Friday, July 13, 2012

Who Is Your Daddy?

I have people tell me I look like my Dad. To be honest with you, I'm not sure I think this is a compliment, but I am proud to be his daughter. He has always been a hardworking, wise, sensible person who always took care of our family. He was extremely creative, as I am, and built all the buildings on our farm, including our home. He was innovative and enjoyed challenges. He seemed to be ahead of his time in many things. He also came from a family where the Zittel name in Western New York is well respected. And my brother carries on this legacy. Yes, I am proud to be born a Zittel! My Dad is now up in age and  not in the best of health, but we know he has accomplished alot in his lifetime.

Besides being born a Zittel, I am also a born-again Christian. Years ago, I asked Jesus Christ to be my Lord and Savior, and to take control of my mind, my body and my soul. Now, I have to ask myself if I am living up to Jesus Christ's reputation. Allow me to explain.

The Bible is filled with descriptions of who Jesus was. He was the Son of God. The Alpha and Omega. The Messiah, our Shepherd, and our Redeemer. He healed the sick, taught the people, and performed miracles. He spoke of love... and is Love. He spoke of the way to heaven, and is the Way. He spoke the truth... and is the Truth. He spoke of life, and is Life.

I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
                                                          - John 14:6

He loved the children and appreciated their simple faith. He despised the proud, and like His Father, hated sin. He came to save us from the penalties of our sin by becoming the perfect Lamb of God. And He was victorious over death by His resurrection and ascension. His return for His saints is imminent...just on the horizon. Yes, the Bible is packed with who Jesus was, what He did, and why He came. But, how does this define who I am as a Christian? I'm not God. How can I act like Him?

So true! Jesus knew that, and when He left this earth to return to His Father in heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in us, in all those who believe in Him. Without His Helper, we are unable to even come close to living a righteous life that symbolizes who Christ is. He calls us to follow Him. To imitate Him. What a tall order! But by the help of the Holy Spirit, and our acceptance of Christ as our Shepherd who leads us through our crazy lives, through the good times and the bad, He enables us to take on the fruits of the Spirit.

The fruit of the Spirit is
love,  joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness and self-control.
                         - Galatians 5:22

Scripture also tells us to live like Jesus did -

Be imitators of dearly loved children
and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us
and gave Himself up for us as a
fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
                                         - Ephesians 5:1-2

Let me ask you: If you say you are a Christian, are you living up to Christ's legacy? When people see you living your life, can they actually say "Oh, I know he's a Christian! He is the spittin' image of Jesus!"? Or are you a child of this world? Even yet, you may be a person who has both of your feet planted in both Christ and this world. Easy to do. But we can't have both, as sooner or later, we will have to make a decision of whether to fully follow Christ, or reject Him. Your decision determines your destiny. How you live your life is a strong indicator of where your heart is. A recent statistic says that though 85% of American adults claim they are Christians, only 20% regularly attend church. How do you act when you are around others? Do people see a different you during the week, than on Sundays? Hmmm...something to think about!

Yes, I am proud to be a Zittel, and try to live a life that exemplifies who the Zittels are. And, most importantly, I am proud to be a follower of Jesus Christ.  With His help, I will be able to live my life in such a way that imitates Him! And pleases Abba Daddy!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Where Did YOU Come From?

Lately when I've logged on to the internet, I've noticed a story that is in the headlines. It's about the new GOD Particle that has been found, in other words, the Higgs Boson. The article is alittle too technical for my understanding, but to sum it up, I believe it is saying that after years and years of long, very expensive scientific research, they have finally located the answer for how all of creation, including we, were made. Duh!!! As if the Bible isn't a reliable source?
This article goes on to say " 'The God Particle: If The Universe Is The Answer, What Is The Question?', where Leon Lederman explains humankind's 'final understanding of the structure of matter' ...'Why the God particle...there is a connection, of sorts to another book, a much older one.' ".....Wait a minute....are they talking about the Bible?
Why is it, that repeatedly, people are searching for their origin? Over and over again, scientists attempt to unveil the 'truth of the matter', while ignoring what the Bible has said all along. I can't help but notice that down deep inside, they do believe God is the Creator of all things. Because God put that inside of them. But they are trying to deny that and want more proof. The Enemy has done a good job with placing doubt in people, hasn't he?
Here is what the Bible says about our origin:

In the beginning God
created the heavens and the earth...
God created man in His own image,
in the image of God He created him,
male and female He created them...
God saw all that He had made, and it was very good.
                                                         -Genesis 1:1,27,31

If this is what the Bible has been telling us all along, that everything was made by God, with deliberation and purpose, and that nothing was made by accident, then why all the fuss to prove it? Is the Bible reliable?

All Scripture is inspired by God,
and is profitable for teaching, rebuking,
correcting and training in righteousness
                                        -2 Timothy 3:16

Lastly, there is a powerful verse in the Bible that sums this up, and is important for us to think about.

The wrath of God is being  
revealed from heaven against
all the godlessness and wickedness of men who
suppress the truth...
since what may be known about God
is plain to them,
because God has made it plain to them.
For since the creation of the world,
God's invisible qualities -
His eternal power and divine nature -
have been clearly seen,
being understood from what has been made,
so that men are without excuse.
                                                -Romans 1:18-20

When I read the beginning of this verse, I can't help but think about all the terrible things that have been affecting our country...the Colorado fires, the flooding in Florida because of the tropical storms, the droughts, and now the heat wave that is causing power outages and deaths. All acts of Mother Nature?  I doubt it. Never before have we seen such moral decay in our grand United States of America. But that is a whole other story!

The fact is: God created you and me in His image. He has placed deep inside of us the knowledge of who He is, and if we take the time to examine ourselves, we can find Him.

Faith is being sure of
what we hope for
and certain of what we do not see.
Without faith, it is
impossible to please God,
because anyone who comes to Him
must believe that He exists,
and that He rewards those who
earnestly seek Him.
                           - Hebrews 11:1,6

Just believe!!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Bible Billboard

It is exciting to see something that has been in the planning stages actually come into fruition, especially when it is meant to glorify God. In an effort to share the love of Jesus with people everywhere, this new idea came into being.

My husband and I travel alot, especially from Pennsylvania up into New York, and we see lots and lots of billboards. Recently, we noticed an available billboard, and we thought it would be a wonderful way to share God's Word with people who travel along this particular route. Knowing that there are too many of these travelers who don't worship in church or even have a church they call home, we wanted to take advantage of the excellent opportunity to remind them how much they are loved by God. 

The Bible tells us that God's Word is living and active: 

Sharper than any double-edged sword,
it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit...
It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight.
Everything is uncovered and laid bare
before the eyes of Him
to whom we must give account.
                                                            Hebrews 4:12-13

God is all knowing and is fully aware of all we go through. Everything. Nothing escapes Him. And His love for us is greater than anything. That is why He sent His only Son to die on that cross for the payment of our sins. His purpose: to redeem us so we can become His children.

He calls each one of us to get the word out!! Share the wonderful gospel of Jesus Christ! In any way, shape or form! Time is running out, as my song "Who Needs To Know?" says. Is there anyone in your life who needs to know?

It is our prayer that God will use this billboard to penetrate into the heart of the people who drive by and read it. May His precious Word touch their hearts where they need to be touched, draw them closer to Him, and change their lives!

To God Be The Glory!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Do You Worship My God, or Your God?

This morning I noticed a post on Facebook. It was from a spiritual website and had 21 Bible verses to encourage people. I clicked on it, and found the site to be attractive and indeed inspirational. Because I am usually looking for such items to share on my own website and Facebook posts, I decided I would subscribe, thereby receiving daily items through my email address.

However, as I scrolled down, I noticed an alarming fact. This site was also offering inspirational items for those practicing Hinduism, Buddahism and Islam, among others! This troubled me and I immediately withdrew my subscription.  This is exactly what our world is encouraging now. To tolerate all religions and all gods.

I worship the one and only true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. My Bible, which I believe is God's word to us and was inspired by Him for us to live by, says this:

And God spoke all these words:
'I am the Lord your God...
You shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself an idol.
You shall not bow down to them or worship them,
for I, the Lord your God,
am a jealous God,
punishing the children for the sin of the fathers...
but showing love to thousands
who love me and keep my commandments.'
                                              Exodus 20:1-6
If we truly desire to please our Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, then we need to be more discerning, especially in this time that we live in. The enemy, Satan, roams the earth, seeking who he may devour. He is trying to distract us from worshipping the one and only true God. It is NOT okay to tolerate other religions. It is NOT okay to look the other way. We need to refuse to endorse anything that promotes other gods.
Do you worship my God, or your god?


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Staying Focused Above the Stormy Waters

On Friday, June 15, 2012, US tightrope walker Nik Wallenda, made a new record by walking successfully on a cable suspended around 200 feet over the roaring Niagara Falls. His feat was televised, to be witnessed by countless people all around the world. He braved strong winds and heavy spray, and his venture took him 25 minutes. He came from a family of tight rope walkers, and was accustomed to attempting the impossible. At least the impossible for you and me!

He was wearing a sleek water proof suit and special shoes designed by his mother. He was also equipped with a two-way radio and a small earpiece, enabling viewers to listen to his conversations with his father. What I found was extraordinary was that we were also able to listen in on his conversations with his Heavenly Father! With each step, he continually praised God for His goodness and protection. He was able to block out the roar of the threatening waters below him, and in spite of the heavy mist, he was able to stay focused on his walk before him, because he knew he was guided by his Heavenly Father above him!

What a lesson for us! From time to time, we also find ourselves maneuvering through the storms of our lives. We become so preoccupied with our circumstances that we are unable to see clearly what is before us, and we tend to lose our confidence that things will turn out okay. We wonder if we'll ever get to the other side.

Like Nik Wallenda, we aren't alone while walking the tightrope of life. Our Heavenly Father is with us. There are many verses in the Bible about paths, and I encourage you to look them up. The Lord  desires that we seek Him and stay in His perfect will. He offers His guidance and protection to get us through those storms in life. Psalm 121 is a beautiful one to meditate on -

I lift up my eyes to the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
The Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip-
He who watches you will not slumber...
The Lord watches over you...
The Lord will keep you from all harm-
He will watch over your life;
The Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

So remember the next time you find yourself in the midst of a mighty storm. Where all you hear is the loud roar of the waters, and the heavy mist keeps you from seeing ahead. Trust in Him who will direct your steps. The One who is above You will help you to stay focused on what is before you, so you can block out what is below you. You WILL get to the other side!! While praising Him all the way!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Bloom Where You Are Planted

On my morning walk recently, I noticed some beautiful pink roses growing alongside the road. And they are very fragrant! They have been there ever since I can remember, and it seems that every June there are more of them. What amazes me is that they can grow and flourish in spite of the location they are in. The soil is terrible and never amended. During the winter snows, there's salt, wind and storms. And they don't receive any tender loving care, like fertilizer or bug spray. All they receive is the light from the sun, and rain. That's all. And still they return every year, full of new buds, blooming abundantly. Even though they are covered in thorns, their beautiful flowers stand out, to be appreciated by others.
This reminds me of people, like you and me. Are we blooming where we are planted? The roses didn't choose to be planted by the road, yet they make the best of their situation and bloom anyway. They look up and receive the glorious sunshine, and are replenished by the rain. As a result, they bloom and are beautiful. Therefore, blessing anyone who happens to walk by, like I have.
 You, too, may be planted in a terrible situation, and wonder how you ever got there. You don't feel like "blooming" and the thorns in your life are creeping up. You are beaten by the storms around you, and wonder how you can survive.
There is a "Son" who is available to give you the needed "Light", and the rain (the Holy Spirit) to replenish you. Jesus Christ came to give life abundantly to those who seek Him. He is the Light of the world, which is clothed in darkness because of the evil that is around us. You were created in the image of God, and when you look up to receive His Light, you are receiving life itself. You are then able to be beautiful, and to bloom, as you were created to do. The Holy Spirit, which dwells in anyone who receives Jesus as Lord, replenishes our spirit, and enables us to endure hardships. We are strengthened, and enabled, to bring blessings to others, in spite of our circumstances.
Are you blooming where you are planted?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Look Up...You Are Being Watched!!

I just returned home from a vacation at Myrtle Beach. Our room faced the ocean and we were on the 13th floor. It was funny....the list of floors on the elevator said we were on the PH Floor. Thinking we were staying in a penthouse suite, we felt pretty special! On one of our rides in the elevator, a maintenance man was with us, so my husband asked him if our room was any different from the others. He told us "No, they're all the same. They just didn't want to have a 13th floor!" Our bubble was popped! That was it for feeling special...we were being treated the same as all the others.
We had a fabulous view from our balcony. Since we were so high up, we could look out and see miles of beach expanding both ways. Below us was the hotel's property, which included two beautiful pools, colorful umbrellas with chairs, and lovely landscaping by the cabanna. We also could see lots and lots of people. They weren't aware of us watching them, and they really enjoyed the beach and all it had to offer. From very early in the morning to nighttime, there was always someone walking on the beach or swimming. Everyone was busy doing their own thing.

This reminds me of how God can look down and watch us doing our own thing. I wonder if we are fully aware of this? Proverbs 15:3 says "The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good." He sees all, and nothing is hidden from him. While we try to keep others from knowing the 'bad' things we do, we sometimes forget that God is aware of them. Others would be shocked, but He already knows. Yet, He still loves us!
He loves us so much that His Son, Jesus, offered His life on the cross, giving us the free gift of salvation. Not because we deserve this. But because He wants us to be able to spend eternity with Him. Simply by accepting Him as Lord and Savior, confessing your need of Him in your life, and making Him Lord of your life is all that you need to do. No one is perfect. Ecclesiastes 7:20 tells us "There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins." But we are forgiven, because God is merciful and just. He does discipline His children, because he hates sin. But when we turn to Him for deliverance, He promises to help us. His eyes are always on us.
So the next time you are busy doing your own thing, remember that you are being watched. By a loving, merciful and just God who loves you more than you realize!!
Look up!! 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Wash The Window of Your Mind!!

All of us, from time to time, have dirty windows. And when you want to look outside, all you see are the spots on the glass. They grab your attention, especially when the sun is shining through the glass. This irritates me! So, I get out the cleaning solution and get to work. And when I'm finished, the glass is clean and the outside looks beautiful! No more spots or streaks. Nothing to distract me from what I want to see.
This reminds me of our lives when we are dealing with issues and problems. They seem to remain on the surface of our minds, and as we try to go about our daily business, our outlook can be distorted. Our relationships can be affected because our perception of others can become unbalanced. If we are focusing on the negative things, then we become unable to properly rationalize the issues we are dealing with. The solutions become overwhelming, hindering our progress.
What we need to remember is that Jesus is the perfect cleaning solution to clean the windows of our minds! Reaching for Him affectively removes all the spots and stains that hinders our view of the world. His Word is all that we need and His Spirit provides all the power that is necessary to remove the stains that pop up.

"Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness"
Psalm 51:7-8          
       "Whatever is true, whatever is noble,
      whatever is right, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable,
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy,
think about such things. 
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me,
or seen in me, put it into practice.
And the God of peace will be with you. 
Philippians 4:8-9   
Reach for Jesus the next time you have a stain on the window of your mind! He will wash you so clean you will be able to see all the beauty He has for you!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How Beautiful Is A Mother's Love

I was blessed to have a wonderful mother! My memories of Mom are filled with her unending love for me and my brother, and for our father. She was always available for us, and was exceedingly generous with not only her time, but her resources. I always knew that when I needed her, she was there. I appreciated her wisdom and view on things, and unlike my peers, I didn't have one of those generation gaps. She was indeed my best friend! Unfortunately, the Lord took her home too early, when she was only 59 years old. Cancer took her life in three months after the diagnosis. Our family was devestated and in shock, not knowing how we would ever survive her absence. But...we did. And she is etched in our hearts and our memories forever. I find myself, as a mother now, attempting to imitate her mothering style, the best way I can. I know I fall short, and she did also, but there is nothing like a mother's love! It is the most beautiful thing a person can receive while growing up, and this treasure enables one to love others. When one is loved, one can give love freely!
In honor of Mother's Day and all those mothers who give of themselves for their families, I would like to share a video that I just finished, called "How Beautiful Is A Mother's Love". I wrote the lyrics, and the melody is from a Twila Paris song. My friend, Renee Wilson, sings it here. It was recorded at church, and unfortunately the volume wasn't high enough. Still, I hope you are able to enjoy this! Happy Mother's Day!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Who Needs To Know II Video Debut

Today I had the opportunity to complete another video of a song
that I wrote. It has a similar title to the original Christmas song,
"Who Needs To Know" but this one is for any time of the year.
I pray that the Lord will use this song in His mighty way to enlarge
His Kingdom. That at least one person will hear it and make the 
most important decision he can make in his life:
a decision to accept Jesus Christ as his Savior!
To God Be The Glory!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

No Greater Love Than His

Easter. What does it mean to you? To alot of people, it stands for the Easter bunny, colored eggs, and springtime. To others, it stands for the cross, the tomb and the empty grave. Quite a contrast, isn't it?
Even though I have included the Easter bunny, colored eggs and thoughts of spring in my Easter celebrations, I have always embraced the truth of knowing that my Jesus loved me enough to shed His blood on the cross for my sins, spent three days in the tomb, and rose again to bring victory to the war on sin! God, being Holy and Righteous, cannot look at sin, and we people are born in sin because of Adam's disobedience. In order for us to be reconciled to Him and spend eternity in heaven, Jesus, God's only precious Son, had to come down from His heavenly throne room, live a human life, and even though He was without sin, He bore our sins on that ugly cross. All because of His great love for us. For you and for me.

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.
Now remain in my love. 
Greater love has no one than this,
that one lay down His life for His friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command.
This is my command. Love each other."
John 15:9,13-14,17

All you have to do in response to His love is to accept it! Realize that you are a sinner, confess that you need a Savior to cleanse you of your sins, and accept Him into your heart. Let Him be Lord of your life. He will do the rest! And your life will never be the same!
There is a song that we will be singing this Easter in church called "Christ Is Risen" by Matt Maher. Let me share some of the lyrics with you:
Let no one caught in sin remain
inside the lie of inward shame
But fix our eyes upon the cross
and run to Him who showed great love
and bled for us, freely You bled for us

Christ is risen from the dead
trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake,
come and rise up from the grave
Christ is risen from the dead
we are one with Him again
Come awake, come awake
come and rise up from the grave

O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light,
the glory of God has defeated the night singing
O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light,
Our God is not dead, He's alive, He's alive!

Hallelujah!! My Savior is alive! And He's waiting for me! This is an Easter worth celebrating!! Will you join me?