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 8, 2014

Can't See Where You're Going?

We recently were on a road trip and came across some thick fog. We could only see a little ahead of us, but nothing more. The scenery around us became invisible. Fortunately for us, it was daytime, the roads were marked well, and there was no traffic on the road. If it had been nighttime, we would have been in trouble and the chances would have been high for an accident. We would have felt fearful, especially if traffic was heavy and the roads weren't clearly marked. An hour or two later, the fog lifted and we were happily on our way.
Life can be like that, can't it? We have the strong desire to map out our plans. We want to see what's ahead of us, as we want to control our destiny. But every now and then, something happens and our plans are interrupted. We have no idea what's up ahead. And sometimes fear creeps in. A job loss, severe sickness and hospitalization, a divorce, whatever. Life isn't always a smooth, well marked road where the sunshine lights our way ahead. Sometimes, and I think we have all experienced this, we run into some really debilitating situations and we just want to stop. And for some of us, it is only then that we cry out to God.
If you are a Christian, then you know who really controls the atmosphere around you. Remember the time when Jesus was sleeping in the boat during the storm, and His disciples were scared? They woke Him up, and He rebuked the storm. They saw with their own eyes who was really in control. (Luke 8:22-25) I feel that God allows these seasons of fog to come across our path to force us to slow down. To stop and think. To stop and look up to Him. Too many times we get so focused on what WE want that we neglect our time with HIM. We want to be in control of OUR destinies. We want OUR plans to succeed. And we can find ourselves going down the wrong road because we get so distracted and lured by the beautiful scenery off the road. Off the path we're supposed to be on.
God loves you, and He is in control of the storms around you. When you can't see where you are headed, when the fog seems to be lasting forever, and when you feel like stopping, remember that He is with you. There is a purpose in this, and He has given you His Word that He will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6) You have His manual, the Bible, to direct you on your road in life. He knows how long the fog will last, for He can see ahead.
Do not fear, for I am with you.
Do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
....... Isaiah 41:10
Yes, it is hard when you can't see ahead of you. This is where your faith is tested. Trust in Him. He will take care of You.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

How Is Your Love Life?

I was thinking about love. We know there are many types of love: God's love, romantic love, kindred love and more. The love that I was chewing on was the love that people have for each other, and looking at today's cultural climate, it is looking like it is dysfunctional, to say the least! But the Bible did warn us about that, didn't it? In the last days, Jesus said the love of many will grow cold. (Matthew 24:12) People will be lovers of their own selves, becoming the motivation for everything they do! If things (and people) don't benefit themselves, then out the door they go!
I believe we all know the Bible has so much to say about love. From the very beginning, He gave us His love. For He demonstrated His own love for us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) And He tells us to love one another as He has loved us. So... why is this hard for some of us to do?
As a born-again Christian, I know that the love I am to give to others is not the love I can manufacture myself. I can not make myself love someone, especially if that person has hurt me. I may think I can, and I can try. But it still falls short of the deep love God calls me to have for others. Let's face it: some people are just difficult to love! But...
Jesus told us to abide in Him, and He will abide in us. Maintaining an intimate, close relationship with Him is vital for our love life. It is only through being filled with the Holy Spirit can we exhibit its fruit: love. We cannot imitate His love without Him loving through us. It is only through Jesus that we can love others the way we are called to do.
So... stop trying to love others on your own strength. And start relying on the Holy Spirit to allow that love to flow out. It will be a much purer, sweeter love that will change the world! 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Wings Of God's Love

I love to watch eagles fly, and this past winter was fortunate enough to be one of thousands of viewers to watch a pair of eagles from the Hayes, near Pittsburgh area, raise their three eaglets. The cam was installed on a tree about thirty feet away from the massive nest, allowing us to observe all that went on. I will always remember the night when an icy blizzard came, and the Dad eagle flew into the nest to cuddle with the Mom eagle and their small eaglets. What love! What an inspiration for us humans on how to be loving, responsible parents to our children. God had instilled that in them. Through all the storms they all survived. And now, they are preparing for another brood.
I have read somewhere that when eagles fly, they like to fly very high where the wind currents are strong. This way, they can just ride the wind, hardly needing to flap their wings. They just soar effortlessly. A storm may be brewing below, but by flying above it, they aren't affected. There is calmness above a storm.
Years ago, I wrote a song about this, relating it to the storms we have to face in our lives.
The Wings of Your Love
Feel the wind blow, I can feel the wind blow.
Changing the landscape of my soul.
I will not fear, though the mountains be moved.
You are my refuge and I trust in You.
I will rise like an eagle on the wings of Your love.
With power You'll take me to places above.
I will soar through the tempest and pass through the storms.
I will rise like an eagle... on the wings of Your love.
The stronger the wind, the higher I'll fly.
You are the Master of the wide open sky.
You'll guide me and take me through life's many turns.
With peace I will follow on the wings of Your love.
I will rise like an eagle on the wings of Your love.
With power You'll take me to places above.
I will soar through the tempest and pass through the storms.
I will rise like an eagle... on the wings of Your love. 
God is truly the Master of it all, and when we place our trust in Him, He will help us to maneuver through all that we face, both good and bad. When we desire to be in His will, when we seek Him and when we truly believe that "in all things God works for the good of those who love Him" (Romans 8:28) then we need not fear where life will take us. He provides the wings of His love for us to soar in the wind of  the Holy Spirit. Fly high above the storms!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Living The Impossible

Today I was thinking about the story in the Bible of Jesus asking Peter to walk on the water. Remember this? Peter and the disciples were in a boat on the sea, when they spotted Jesus a ways off, standing on top of the water. Peter, being the personality he was, got excited and asked Jesus if he could go to Him. Jesus told him to come. As Peter stepped out of the boat and placed his foot on the water, he realized his foot didn't sink. So, he put his other foot on the water, let go of the boat, and proceeded to Jesus. After a little bit, he looked around and down, realizing he was doing the impossible, and started to sink. As he cried out to Jesus for help, Jesus reached down and pulled him up, asking him why he doubted. Quite a story, isn't it?
Sometimes God asks us to do the impossible too. Sometimes we find ourselves in circumstances that defy the odds, that no one else has ever done. Maybe He has called you to do something that you don't feel equipped to do. Perhaps, your family, friends, etc. have already sized you up and told you that you wouldn't be good at something. Remember when Jesus first started out in His ministry, that his brothers didn't even believe in Him. But He did what His Father told Him to do anyway.
I hear of so many people who were told "No" to a dream they had. Not once, not twice, but more... way more. No one believed in them, but they felt a passion and true conviction that what they believed in was important and the right thing to do.

God is a god of impossibles, and He can very well call you to do what seems the impossible. Why? Because, knowing that what we accomplish wouldn't be possible without God's intervention and help, it gives Him glory. We are limited in what we can do, but God can do anything. He is our strength in the midst of weakness.

Remember that it was only when Peter took his eyes off Jesus and placed them on his surroundings and circumstances, that he began to sink. Likewise, when we try to over analyze our abilities, perhaps giving ourselves too much credit, resulting from pride, that we too can fall. If you are feeling that God has called you to do the impossible, keep your focus on Him. Remember, He can make the impossibles possible!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Listening For That Quiet Voice

Have you ever gone through a hearing test where they place earphones over your ears, and when they send a beep in different frequencies and volume, you are to raise your hand to acknowledge you heard it? And then, sometimes, you think you are still hearing it as it kind of echoes afterwards, so you raise your hand again!
Or you may have played a game where you were blindfolded, and had to go through an obstacle course, while listening to someone telling you to turn left or right, or to stop. You were completely dependent on this person's directions, to keep you from bumping into something.
Our lives are similar to this. In my morning's devotional, was this verse from Psalm 25:14-15:
The LORD confides in those who fear Him;
He makes His covenant known to Him.
My eyes are ever on the LORD,
for only He will release my feet from the snare.
Our life journey brings unexpected experiences and none of us know what our tomorrows will bring. We only have today. Today to make decisions and plans. Today to dream about tomorrow. Today to decide your strategy for tomorrow's goals. So, how can we best plan for our tomorrows so we can have success?
If we have received Jesus Christ as our LORD and Savior, then we believe that what the Bible tells us is true (2 Timothy 3:16). That God made us in His image (Genesis 1:27). That He loves us (John 3:16). And that He has great plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11). God knows us inside and out (Psalm 139), and even better than we know ourselves! He wants us to obey Him and not to wander off His designated path for us (Joshua 1:7)
How do we know we are hearing His voice, and not our own, or the world's? If we spend a significant amount of time with Him in prayer, meditation and studying His Word, then we become very familiar with who God is, and what He expects from us. Jesus is our Gentle Shepherd, and we are His sheep who recognize His voice (John 10:3). The Holy Spirit inside of us brings us His wisdom in discerning what we are hearing (John 16). Staying focused on Him is necessary to living a life that honors Him and blesses us. So many people make countless mistakes in their lives and experience troubles that could have been avoided if only they had heeded God's Word.
Fortunately for those wandering sheep, Jesus goes after each one, to bring them back. I can imagine how a lost one must feel when he had been listening to the wrong voice, and as a result, experiences troubles. Then, he finally hears God's voice and is brought back through repentance, into the Kingdom. God's grace is sufficient, isn't it? (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Let us all seek to hear the voice of our LORD. Let us never take it for granted, but to yearn for it. There is a tremendous amount of noise in our world, but staying focused on Him will keep ourselves from falling in the snares of the enemy.
Are you hearing that quiet voice?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Diamond In Progress

Who doesn't admire a beautiful, sparkling diamond? All the facets reveal brilliant flashes of light, especially under the overhead lighting in a jewelry store. But these gorgeous gems didn't start out that way. When they were harvested in a diamond mine, they looked like ordinary rocks and stones, with perhaps some shimmer. It took the expertise of a professional to chip away and carve each piece into the precious stone it was meant to be. A diamond is the hardest of gems, so it wasn't an easy task. When one purchases an expensive diamond, he is making an investment into a work of art that will last. It has much value. And will hold its value for generations to come.
I came across this verse tonight and found that we are like diamonds in progress. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 says:
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.
When I read this, I was reminded of how we look at our own outer appearance. We compare ourselves with others, and see our own imperfections. Some of us feel we aren't measuring up to the expectations we place ourselves on, leading to a feeling of insignificance. But God looks at our heart. And He sees our real value. He sees our potential. He has made us in His own image, and with His expertise in carving away all the unnecessary things we hold on to, He is able to reveal in us what He had intended all along. Sometimes it hurts when He is in the process of making us into His gem. But if we truly trust Him to do His perfect work in us, we can be assured that even in the midst of our trials and tribulations, there is a purpose. In His eyes, He sees us as a beautiful, valuable gem, ready to shine brightly in the realms of His heavenly kingdom.  
Remember: you are a diamond in progress!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hyper Grace

Lately I have heard a lot of messages on hyper grace, where only the aspects of God's love and grace are emphasized, and nothing else. Everyone loves to know that God extends grace on them, and then they don't think about anything more. They feel that they can do anything they choose to do, and God will still love them and give them grace. That there are no consequences. But is this the message God gives us in His Word?
God is holy and hates sin. He created us to be in His image. He knows we deal with sinful issues, and to restore our relationship as His children, He gave His Son Jesus as the Lamb of God, suffering and dying a brutal death. Christians are aware of this, as every year they are reminded through Good Friday and Easter. Yes, Jesus paid the price for our sins. But does this mean we can go on and willingly practice the very things God forbids in His Word? Are there any consequences to this, especially if a person is unrepentant? Yes, we all sin. But are we prayerfully and honestly asking God to help us not to sin? Do we feel any conviction?
Let us not give up meeting together,
as some are in the habit of doing,
but let us encourage one another -
and all the more as you see
the Day approaching.
If we deliberately keep on sinning
after we have received
the knowledge of the truth,
no sacrifice for sins is left,
but only a fearful expectation of judgment
and of raging fire that will
consume the enemies of God.
- Hebrews 10:25-27
God has given us His standards in His Word, and when we ignore them, to the reasoning that we can't help it because we all sin, it's foolishness. We are rewriting the Scriptures, whether we realize it or not. And the Bible warns against this. We are waging war now between our flesh and the spirit, thanks to Satan and his demons. The ways of the world are filtering in to our churches and it seems as if Christians aren't any different than nonChristians! This should not be! This reminds me of when God told Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Satan arrived on the scene and convinced Eve that God didn't really mean what He said. In other words, he told her to go would be okay. I see this happening now!
Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and we should not defile them. We are to be the salt and light of the world, and if we are truly born again, our lives will reflect this. If we struggle with certain sins, then we should know that by bringing them to our Lord in prayer and on our knees, He will help us to overcome them. Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world. Does your life reflect this?
God wants so much more from us, as Christians. And when we commit our lives to Him, giving Him the glory He deserves, then we are truly blessed.
Heavenly Father-
With humility, we come before you now,
knowing that all of us struggle
to obey you completely.
But because of Your infinite love for us,
we know that by coming to You for help,
we can overcome these things.
Reveal to us our hidden sins
as well as known sins
so that we can confess them to You
and repent of them.
There is nothing impossible for You.
In our weakness, You are our strength.
We want to be Your obedient children,
and holy as You are holy.
We thank you, Dear Lord,
for hearing our prayers,
and for Your redeeming work in us.
In Jesus' Name we pray.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What Are You Sowing Today?

I happen to love the summer season with all the fresh fruits and vegetables that are now available. And it's so much easier to eat in a healthy way. We don't have a garden because our soil is so terrible, but we do have blueberry bushes, and they are now ripening! When I cut into my cantaloupe this morning, I couldn't help but notice all those seeds! I wonder if they would grow more cantaloupes if I planted them? Not having that green of a gardening thumb, I kind of doubt it. But, those seeds are cantaloupe seeds. Not apple seeds. Not tomato seeds. God put those seeds in there to grow more cantaloupes. To keep that fruit alive. I could throw those seeds and peel into our compost pile in the woods, but it's not convenient, and instead, they go in the garbage along with the peel, as I'm only interested in eating the fruit itself.
As I was thinking about this on my walk this morning, it occurred to me that God has done the same thing to us! In my Bible is a section entitled 'Life By The Spirit', and in it is Galatians 5:22-23 ~
The fruit of the Spirit is
love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness and self-control.
When we love the Lord and aim to abide in Him, He gives us the fruit of the Holy Spirit, with the purpose of displaying these "seeds" and spreading them to others. If we sow love to others, that love will continue on and grow more love. If we sow joy, likewise, more joy will result in others, and ourselves. Think about it. When we sow the fruit of the Spirit, we are spreading God's fruit to others, and as a result, more fruit will be sowed. Beyond measure! What a better world we would be in.
All to often, due to our negligence, we waste those seeds and throw them away, not allowing them to spread to others. We receive God's love, but don't share it with others. We hoard and feast on the fruits of His joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control that He gives to us, but we allow them to end there. I know, at times, I tend to waste the seeds of His fruit, and allow them to be swallowed up in the garbage of life. I need to be reminded of the value of them. His Kingdom needs the nourishment of these precious seeds, and we are called to plant them. Don't allow them to be thrown away, as the enemy would like you to do. Get out there, and sow!



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Fearing God - Does Anyone Do that Anymore?

Fear is an emotion that drives people to action. Kind of like an escape mechanism from pain and discomfort. Deep inside all of us, we have that built in, and when we are threatened with something that can hurt us, we immediately react... out of fear. Fear of danger or punishment can also cause a person to act accordingly to prevent it from happening. Someone has said that the fear of the Lord causes a man to hate evil. But is it really the fear of the Lord? What does it mean to fear the Lord?
The Bible talks a lot about the fear of the Lord. To give Him reverence and respect. To elevate Him above oneself. For He is Holy, and there is no one above Him.
Fear the Lord your God, serve Him only,
and take your oaths in His Name.
Do not follow other gods,
the gods of peoples around you,
for the Lord your God,
who is among you, is a jealous God and
His anger will burn against you,
and He will destroy you from
the face of the land.
Do not test the Lord, your God...
be sure to keep the commands of the Lord your God...
do what is right and good in the Lord's sight,
so that it may go well with you.
- Deuteronomy 6:13-8 (portions)
What does the Lord your God ask of you
but to fear the Lord your God,
to walk in all His ways, to love Him,
to serve the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul,
and to observe the Lord's commands.
- Deuteronomy 10:12-13
These verses clearly explain what it means to fear the Lord. God loves us and wants us to obey Him. We aren't to be afraid of Him, but to love Him and respect Him, knowing that His great love for us will keep us from harm. Because He wants the best for us, when we tend to wander, like sheep, He will reach down and discipline us... sometimes gently, and other times more harshly depending on what He sees is necessary to lead us back to Him. Fearing God is the impetus to living our lives for Him. Not because we are afraid of what He will do to us if we disobey Him, but because of our love back to Him. We love Him because He first loved us. When we have a Father in heaven like this, we should be all the more rushing to do things that please Him! Out of our reverent fear for Him. Fearing Him draws us closer to Him. As a result, we love what He loves, and hate what He hates. We love His Word, and hate evil.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
But fools despise wisdom and discipline.
- Proverbs 1:7
What we are seeing in our culture today is a refusal to fear the Lord. People are disregarding anything that pertains to obeying and respecting the Lord. Some people call Him "the Man upstairs". Others are lazy in their ways, feeling that God loves everybody and will look the other way when they disobey Him. After all, He won't condemn them, but give them second... and third... and how many are necessary chances to obey again. They ignore Him when times are good, then cry out to Him when disaster strikes. As a result, we are seeing the consequences of disobedience being displayed. Acts of sin are rampant! The Bible also talks about the wrath of God... something no one should take lightly.
How are we faring as the body of Christ? Are we properly fearing Him? Is the world able to witness our obedience and reverent fear of Him? Are we setting an example?
Let us examine our hearts, and humbly turn to God. He has given us His Son to redeem us, and the Holy Spirit to help us.
My son, if you accept My Words,
and store up My commands within you,
turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding...
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom,
and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He holds victory in store for the upright,
He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
for He guards the course of the just
and protects the way of His faithful ones.

- Proverbs 2:1-2,5-8



Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Facing the Unknown

I have been thinking lately about a decision that I need to make. Circumstances have come up in my situation, and wanting God's blessings in it, I've been asking Him what to do. I know my destiny is determined by the choices I make, so I need to tread carefully. A lot of times, we make those decisions hastily, and later regret them. I've tried writing down the pros and cons. I've talked to people for their opinions. I've prayed about it. The Bible doesn't deal specifically with my situation, but I know God hears my prayers and wants me to follow Him.
Follow Him. That is really hard sometimes! In order to follow someone, you need to know where he is taking you. You need to see him, hear him, and know where he is. And most importantly, when you follow someone, you need to trust that person to lead you in the right direction with a good destination. With following God, it is a real challenge! A guessing game. I've asked Him to lead me, to close the doors He doesn't want me to walk through, and to open the ones He does. He knows my heart, and I know He won't lead me astray. But how come, until I reach that decision, I feel like I'm in the middle of nowhere?
I can't trust my feelings, though there are plenty of them to influence me! And sometimes I can't trust what others advise, as they aren't walking in my shoes. The only One I can trust is God. As I look back at my past, I can see that God has led me through many situations, and at the time, they were difficult. But now I see they were necessary for growing my relationship with Him. Each trial led me to a dependency on Him. Without the changes, I may have gotten too comfortable with my life and given myself too much credit for how things would turn out. Not knowing the next step leads me to seeking Him more. Isn't that what He desires?
One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 3:5-6:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding.
Acknowledge Him in all your ways,
and He will lead you in a straight path.

This is a promise from God. He is saying that if I trust Him totally and not try to rationalize or analyze the situation, that He will lead me successfully. I am to give Him all the glory and trust Him to take me where He wants me.
Oh my precious Lord,
I confess that I am trying to
be in the driver's seat of my life
instead of allowing You to take full control.
Help me to let go and let You lead me
to where You desire.
I love You and want to follow You
all the days of my life.
For Your glory.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Do You Need Encouragement?

I was thinking about encouragement today, and thought I'd share some thoughts on this. When was the last time someone encouraged you?
What is encouragement? More than a pat on the back, it is meant to spur an individual on to continue his task, or to reach his goal. I think we have all been in situations that may have seemed overwhelming to us, and we have felt doubts as to whether the energy used for them was worth it. Maybe we felt incapable. Or perhaps we became discouraged, and wanted to give up. With no one by our side, we may have wondered if our intentions were useless and invaluable. Or we didn't see the results we thought we would. Have you ever experienced this?
The Bible tells us in Hebrews 10:24-25:
And let us consider how we  may spur one another
on toward love and good deeds.
Let us not give up meeting together,
as some are in the habit of doing,
but let us encourage one another -
and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
During marathons, we see people cheering at the side lines, to encourage the runners to persevere. At ball games, and especially at children's ball games, there are spectators clapping and cheering for their favorite player or team. All of this encourages the players to do their best. It has a powerful effect.
Shouldn't we do the same to others? If we see someone doing something nice, we should let them know we appreciate it. If someone is trying to make our world a better place, we need to let them know we acknowledge their efforts. And as the above Scripture states, all of us in the family of God need to encourage each other in following Christ. We live in a hostile world and being a Christian and living a righteous life is becoming more and more difficult. We need each other. And we need to encourage and pray for each other. For the Day is rapidly approaching!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

All It Took Was A Bowl Left Behind

It really doesn't take much to leave a legacy. It doesn't even have to be a grand thing. It can be anything, really. But what matters is the thought that goes into it.
In the Welcome Home video, there is a scene where a prisoner in a Korean cell is carving something onto his food bowl. At first, we're not aware of what he is writing. But it becomes clear later on. After he is killed, his guard comes into the cell and picks up the bowl. He reads it.

It is in the Korean language, and we see him writing it on his arm, secretly. Then we see him reading it in a room, and he gets emotional. It is John 3:16 in the Bible.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son,
that whoever believes in Him will not perish,
but have eternal life.
This passage went straight to his heart and soul, and weeping, he gave himself to Jesus. He realized what he had done, in killing the prisoner, and he suddenly realized that Jesus was killed too, for us. As our Savior, Jesus gave His own life so we can have eternal life.
Later, we see him in heaven, with his head on Jesus' shoulder, weeping. Images of Jesus being crucified flashes before him, and he realizes how much Jesus suffered for him.
All it took was that Christian prisoner leaving behind a carved food bowl with Scripture on it. He planted the seed. It was his intention to share God's Word of salvation, even through death. If he hadn't, then the guard would not have been saved, and gone to heaven at the rapture.
What about you and me? Are we intentional in leaving behind the Word of God for others to read? Is it our desire that others be saved? It doesn't have to be much. The giving of ourselves by loving others gives a strong message of God's love for all of us. And sharing His Word, through the Holy Spirit's guidance, is powerful. You won't know until later if your efforts helped in leading a person to the saving grace of Jesus. A grand reunion is awaiting us in heaven! Let's get busy and plant those seeds! 


Thursday, June 12, 2014

What Now, Lord?

I can remember many years ago, sitting on my picnic table feeling restless. I felt like I had unspent energy that was being wasted. Looking into the sky, I asked, "Lord, what do You want me to do?"
He answered my prayer soon after. We found ourselves involved in a small church, where there was no children's ministry. Since my children were small at the time, I volunteered to start one, and God blessed that ministry. We had ten committed leaders who were as excited about this as I was. And the kids poured into that little church! Half of them were unchurched kids who were friends of the kids in our church. It was a great outreach. And we had a ball with singing, lessons, snacks and games each week.
That first year, I wanted to present a Christmas play for the congregation, as a thank you for supporting us. I came up with the script, and chose the songs. Since I was one of those people who get extreme stage fright, I gave a list of the songs to the worship leader. He told me he couldn't do it! I don't remember why, but his answer was no. I had no one else to play those songs.... except me. Even though I had taken piano lessons for seven years as a child, I was very nervous playing in front of people. So, almost every day from that point to the December play, I went to the church, and played the old upright piano that was stored in a back room. It was there because there was no one in the church who could play it. When some ladies would come to clean the church, they could hear the music coming from behind the closed door of that small room. And they would laugh.
The evening of the Christmas play came, and it went well! The kids remembered their lines, and they looked so cute in their costumes. It was a success. The parents of the children, along with the congregation, really enjoyed the program, and we had a party afterwards. I was thankful to God for enabling me to take on such a huge task. Little did I know this was the beginning of my music ministry.
In the months to follow, I also took a crash course in playing the small organ after the lady no longer could play the hymns due to eye problems. Then the worship leader left the small band, so I was asked to take his place in the lead instrument. I took on that upright piano, which now was dusted off, taken out of that small room, and placed in the sanctuary. Through all of that, I was slowly getting rid of my stage fright.
To make a long story short, I bought an electronic keyboard, and soon after that we changed churches. In order for me to play in their worship team, I had to play by chords instead of sheet music. I was able to teach myself that, and joined their worship team soon after. God gave me the opportunity to increase my musical skills in that church. Years later, another church change led me to write songs, which I always wanted to do but didn't know how. Like the chicken and the egg question, I had the lyrics and melody question. Which comes first? In this particular church, God had a singer lined up for me to sing my songs, since his voice is way better than mine. We had that song, which was 'Who Needs To Know?', professionally recorded at a studio in Nashville, and I had my first CD. It had radio air play, and was even given television time at a Christian network in Pittsburgh! I was thrilled beyond words! I never ever imagined that I would be hearing my own song on the radio, which had a listening audience of over a million people! After that, I had a video done for the song, as suggested from the music producer of the radio station. Over 120 people from my congregation participated, and I wrote the script, line by line. The videographer and I put it together, and it turned out wonderful! That is on You Tube. 
Songs continue to come to me, and it has become a fun hobby. My most recent one is Welcome Home. Again, it was sung and recorded the same way, and I made several videos for You Tube.  I wanted it to bring people comfort when they lose loved ones, and it talks about the rapture. I was asked to have a professional video made for it, so I found a Christian producer on the Internet! He lives in Florida, and for six months we communicated via email and phone. It is now finished and I have it also on You Tube. At the current time I am busy sharing it and praying that people will be led to a closer relationship with the Savior.
Now... I am looking ahead, and wondering what the Lord is going to have me do next! I have experienced  so much excitement serving Him, it is unbelievable! Being the unmusical one in my family, He has had me accomplish much more than I ever thought possible. As a worship music coordinator, playing the lead instrument, God is using me to help the congregation worship and be in His presence. But is there something else in addition to this, that He has planned for me?
Behold, the plans I have for you, says the Lord.
Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.
Plans to give you a hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11
Having had this experience, I look forward to my future with enthusiasm. He has gifted me and given me a passion to do the tasks He assigns to me. All to give Him glory!
No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love Him.
1 Corinthians 2:9
What now, Lord? The best is yet to be!!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

One Step At A Time

Spring is here, and with the weather finally being nice, I am able to go to the park near where I live and do some serious walking. A nice park; it has open areas, wooded areas, and some bridges over streams. I have learned that one complete circle through it all takes me fifteen minutes, so it's easy to know how far I am going by counting my laps.
I know what I want to accomplish through doing this, and the added benefits are fresh air and nature, which I have always enjoyed being in. Even though I have allergies, I've been able to endure it. Sometimes, though, I will have days where I don't have a lot of energy, and the trek is tedious and long. Looking down on the ground, each step seems to take forever, and I forget how far I've gone. Instead of concentrating on my goal, which in the short run is getting back to my car, and the long run is losing my winter weight, I am thinking about my steps. Without looking up and enjoying the scenery as I pass by, I am missing out on everything by looking down.
Isn't it that way when we are going through a trial in life? It can take longer than you want, and you get weary. Each day you dwell on your feelings and circumstances instead of looking ahead to the final goal, the finish line where the trial will be over. Trials don't last forever, but some are longer and harder than others. And do you ever wonder why God lets you go through trials? Are there lessons to be learned through them? Are you going through a trial at this moment?
God has a purpose for allowing us to go through trials.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers,
whenever you face trials of many kinds,
because you know that the testing of your faith
develops perseverance.
Perseverance must finish its work
so that you may be mature and complete,
not lacking anything.
-James 1:2-4
When you are in the midst of a trial, it can test your faith, and endurance. But knowing that God is watching you from the finish line, can reassure you that He will help you get through it. You will be a stronger person from it. Though there may be days where it seems like your journey is going on forever, instead of looking down on those days, look up and ahead towards your goal. And what is your goal? To grow closer to God, to become more mature in your faith, and to receive all that He has waiting for you!
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial,
because when he has stood the test,
he will receive the crown of life
that God has promised
to those who love Him.
-James 1:12
There is a saying out there: After the rain comes a rainbow! Look just may be seeing it soon!



Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Stranger At the Empty Tomb

Of the four gospels that talk about the resurrection of Jesus, my favorite one is John, chapter 20. Jesus' body had been in the tomb for several days, with a huge stone rolled in front of the opening. Mary Magdala decided to visit the tomb, and found the stone rolled away. Disturbed, she ran to Simon Peter and John, telling them what she saw. They ran to the tomb, looked in, and found only the burial cloths, neatly folded. Jesus' body was gone!
While they went back to their homes, Mary remained. While she was crying, she looked into the tomb opening and this time she saw two angels. They asked her why she was crying, and she explained that her Lord was missing, and wondered where he had been taken.
At that same time, she turned around to see a man standing by her. It was Jesus but she didn't recognize him. When he asked her the same question, she told him that if he had taken the body of her Jesus, she would like to know where he put him, so she could get him.
Then, and this is what means so much to me: He said, "Mary."
Can you imagine what she must have felt? Days of intense grief over witnessing the brutal crucifixion of her beloved  One was replaced by this! Jesus was back! Alive! He said her name! Instantly, then, she knew this man was Jesus. She wanted to hug him, but had to wait until later.
You know, Jesus does say your name! When He tries to get your attention, and you are listening, really listening, you can hear that inaudible voice, quietly calling your name. The closer your relationship is with Him, the clearer His voice is to you. And so sweet it is!
Just listen... do you hear Him calling your name?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Why Didn't Thomas Recognize Jesus? Would You?

This morning I was thinking about something that I had shared in church last Sunday. That it took Thomas placing his hand in Jesus' side to convince him that Jesus was actually standing there in front of him. Then I wondered why didn't Thomas recognize Him? Was there something about the appearance of Jesus that caused a mistaken identity? After all, they had spent lots of time together before He was crucified. He should have recognized Jesus' voice. And His face. And all of that. Wouldn't we recognize our loved ones if they came back from the dead? I know there have been times that I have longed to see my precious parents again. But if I could, would I recognize them?
Jesus was tortured and beaten through the crucifixion process. We know that. Bearing all of mankind's sins made His suffering grueling. No other human being ever, has suffered to the magnitude that Jesus had to. And Satan, knowing that this was going to change the course of history forever, that sin and death would be defeated, and that he would be cast into the lake of fire, was surely going to make sure Jesus paid for it. And God wasn't going to stop it either. In fact, when Jesus cried out, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?", and the sky turned black, I believe that He sensed that His Father had turned His back on Him at that moment. For two reasons. One is that all of our sins were on Jesus and because our Heavenly Father is Holy, He will not look at sin. Another reason is that the Father knew how much His Son was suffering, and He couldn't bear to see it. Nevertheless, nothing was going to stop God's love for us, and even allowing His only Son to suffer on that cross showed that God is in control. As we approach the end times, we need to be reminded of this.
For Thomas, maybe the last time he saw Jesus was on that cross. Maybe the image of His broken body was etched in his mind, and the former Jesus was a distant memory. If Thomas was able to see the scars in Jesus' hands and side, would he have also been able to see the marks of the whipping and lashing, and the holes on His head because of that cruel crown of thorns? To what extent was Jesus' image restored, to the point of being recognizable? The Bible doesn't say. We are only left to our imagination.
This brings me to a deeper question: Would you recognize Jesus if He came into your room? How well do you know Him? As I ask myself this question, I almost think that I would be like Thomas. I have developed for myself an image of Jesus, as everyone has. I think I know what He would look like, based on artists' renditions. I would see love in His eyes, and His mannerisms would reveal a tenderness of mercy and grace. I have formulated an image based on the collection of Scripture verses I have read and messages I have heard. But, how accurate can this be?
We exist in a physical realm, and our flesh rules. This is all we have ever known, and we base our thoughts and opinions on it. If we see it, it exists. That kind of thing. Thomas was using his physical senses to be convinced that Jesus was there. But there was more to Jesus than he realized. God is Spirit, and we find that hard to define. Being born again, allowing the Holy Spirit to take control of our heart, mind, soul and will, is the only way we can truly know Jesus. Our physical world is temporary. The spiritual, heavenly kingdom, is forever. The Bible tells us to worship God in spirit and in truth.
In essence, the only way we can truly recognize Jesus as our Lord and Savior is through the Holy Spirit.  The only way we can honestly know Him is through the Holy Spirit. And the only way we can acknowledge that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life is through the Holy Spirit.
Precious Jesus, we want to know You.
We know that we need You.
And we ask You to reveal Yourself
to us through the Holy Spirit.
Open the eyes of our hearts to see you.
And to experience an intimacy with You
that will carry us into Your Kingdom.
We love You and thank You
for all that You went through,
 to redeem us from our sins.
Let us be for Your Glory!


Monday, March 24, 2014

The Bible That Wouldn't Burn

A couple of days ago, a man shared a story with us. He had a camper in a remote location that he used for fishing and hunting. While he was out, it started on fire, and he didn't know it until it was fully engulfed in flames, which he said reached way up high into the pines. It was awful. All he could see through the broken glass of the windows was bright red. The heat was so intense that he was unable to go in and save anything. After a couple of days, he went in to see if there was anything he could salvage. But there wasn't. Everything was black and charred, almost beyond recognition. Except for one thing. There was a small area in the middle of the floor that wasn't burned as badly. He poked down through the hole, and found a book. Pulling it up, he could see that the cover was singed around the edges. He opened it and found it was the Bible! Its pages weren't burned. Apparently, it had fallen off a bookcase and landed in the hole in the floor! He said shivers went down his spine.
When I heard this, immediately I thought of how powerful the Word of God is in being able to save a person from the fire in hell! When a person studies it, believes it and practices it, he becomes a changed person inside. Accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is all that is needed to avoid hell and all its fury. Like the charred cover of the book, we can suffer the heat of our trials and tribulations that we have to endure through life. But also, like the inside pages that weren't touched by the flames or heat, God can preserve our souls, and give us peace through our storms. God doesn't want anyone to perish, but all to come to Him. Everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved. Most of us know this verse:
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
How familiar are you with the Bible? Have you spent time reading and studying it? It is a living book, inspired by God, to save. It is the most important book we could ever read. So very accessible and available, but unfortunately, too many people keep it closed. Like the story above, it's like a fire extinguisher that can keep us from burning! In closing, I will share this:
I am not ashamed of the gospel,
because it is the power of God
for the salvation of everyone who believes.
For in the gospel, a righteousness is revealed,
a righteousness that is by faith...
as it is written,
the righteous will live by faith.
- Romans 1:16-17

Monday, February 10, 2014

God Knows.

This morning, I came across a verse from the Bible that I had written down awhile ago, and it led me to this post. I know I need to be reminded of it, and probably you do too.
There is no one holy like the Lord;
there is no one besides You;
there is no Rock like our God.
Do not keep talking so proudly
or let your mouth speak of arrogance,
for the Lord is a God who knows,
and by Him deeds are weighed.
 - 1 Samuel 2:2-3
FOR THE LORD IS A GOD WHO KNOWS. That really spoke to me. For the past few weeks, I've been in the decluttering mode, and have been cleaning out cupboards, drawers, closets, etc. of things that I've hung onto for years and years, thinking that I would use them again. But now I no longer have a purpose for them since life has moved on. As it turned out, I had forgotten that I even had these things. They were only taking up much needed space, which kept me from storing other things that I need to use often.
It makes me wonder how much "stuff" we have hidden in our hearts and minds that are cluttering up our lives. Some people call it "baggage". Old thoughts and attitudes. Old grudges. Old assumptions that are no longer relevant. Unforgiveness. Old grievances and hurts.
These things can hinder us from fulfilling the purpose God has for us. It can slow us down and distract us from our focus of following Christ. We can purposely strive to serve God and have good intentions. But things that we have hidden and buried from our past can negatively affect our efforts, and they resurface from time to time. How can we counter this?
God already knows what lies deep inside of us. He sees what others are unable to. He knows what we try to hide from others, and sometimes even ourselves. The enemy, Satan, loves to tell us that we don't have perfect lives, and tries to convince us that we are incapable of being the strong Christians we desire to be. He wants to bring up our weaknesses, to discourage us.
Fortunately, God is greater and stronger and fully able to cleanse us from these things. After all, He created us in His image and calls each one of us to do awesome things for Him. All we have to do is acknowledge that we need Him. When we come to Him and ask Him to cleanse us, He is able to remove all these strongholds and replace them with His own holiness. By asking Him to cleanse our hearts and renew our minds, we receive His Power to equip us to do all that He calls us to do, for His glory! He promises to always be with us and to help us.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your unfailing love;
according to Your great compassion blot out all my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
Cleanse me with hyssop,  and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness.
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
- Psalm 51:1-2,7-8,10,12
We need to meditate on His Word and His promises. Allow Him to replace the old, negative thoughts and attitudes with His Truth.
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.
And the God of peace will be with you.
- Philippians 4:8-9
Yes, God knows what we have stored inside of us. Let Him clean out all the old, useless stuff, and replace it with His stuff. Then your journey with Him will be fulfilling and successful! The way God intends it to be!


Friday, January 31, 2014

Memories In A Calendar

The past few days I have been cleaning out my kitchen drawers. During the time we have lived here, for over 23 years, we raised two children. Now both of them are on their own, leaving my husband and me, with our miniature Schnauzer, a black cat and a velveteen rabbit. The cat and rabbit, by the way, came to us through our animal loving daughter. But as I said, she is on her own, so I inherited her pets. That's not a problem as they keep us company and liven up our home.
Today I was going through a stack of calendars that were on my counter top near my stovetop. I have always used large ones that lay flat, so I could write things in. Things like appointments, birthdays, vacations, etc. And underneath December I would store important papers, like report cards, SAT paperwork, warranty papers, and the such. In this particular pile were calendars going back to 2006! Why I never got around to throwing them out, I don't know. But because the pile has been getting too tall, I decided to weed them out today, as part of my quest to declutter my kitchen!
It ended up being a walk down memory lane. I had forgotten most of them, and reading these things brought them back to me. Copies of letters my kids wrote to get into college. School award letters. Driver's license application booklets, emails I needed to keep concerning issues that were going on at the time. Now, all of these things are history. No longer issues. It kind of left me sad.
I didn't realize during those years of being busy with raising a family and being involved with church ministries that all those things that were big things would no longer be big later on in the future. But they were big at the time! When you are young, you tend to treat life with gusto. When you get older, you are more reflective, and experience has taught you lots of things. And what are those things? Did I learn anything about life?

I know I am more appreciative of the people in my life. I have lost both my parents and a father-in-law, a sister-in-law and a niece. I can't take anything for granted. I can't predict my future. And in a lot of things, I have no control. Only God does.

I am so thankful that I have a personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus. Because of that, I have learned to trust Him in all things. The big things and the small things. His Word reminds me that He loves me and has wonderful plans for me. He promises to be with me, no matter what I go through. He knows the future and holds it in His hands. And someday when I meet Him face to face, my life history will flash before me, revealing all that He saw in me. Will I be ashamed? Or will I be pleased? I am so grateful that He is a forgiving God full of mercy and grace. Not that I deserve any of that, but that He willingly grants me those things because of His everlasting love for me.

Now I have a 2014 calendar that has room for lots and lots of new memories. What will this year reveal?  I pray all good things! But one thing I do know. I will get through anything, with Jesus by my side!


Friday, January 24, 2014

Time of Soaking

Hear my voice, when I call, O Lord.
Be merciful to me and answer me.
My heart says of you, 'Seek his face!'
Your face, Lord, I will seek.
- Psalm 27:7-8
This morning as I was beginning to start another day of painting my kitchen, a thought came to me. I haven't spent enough time with God like I should. Yes, I listen to lots of Christian preachers on television, I read the devotionals that come to me via email. I read a couple of Bible verses, in a hurried way. And I talk to Him throughout the day. But I was realizing that God hasn't been sought by me as He should be! By that, I mean, I haven't been truly seeking His face.
So, I went to my keyboard and recorded, in a soothing Bell Pad which I love, the chords for Revelation Song. I recorded about a minute of it, then finished. My keyboard has a loop function that restarts automatically what I have recorded until I stop it. I grabbed the talit that I have folded near the piano and headed to the couch, covering myself in it. As the music played, I just sat there, allowing my heart and mind to focus on Him. My purpose wasn't to ask Him anything, or to thank Him. I was wanting to just sit, like Mary did, and soak up His presence.
What resulted was a gentle peace. A calming of my spirit. I wanted to adore Him, and thought of how glorious and holy He is. And who He is to me. Holy. Glorious. Awesome. Powerful. Loving. Merciful. Compassionate. Lover of My Soul. Horn of my salvation. Comforter. Redeemer. Alpha and Omega. The list goes on. Joy sprang up in my whole being. I wonder why I have put this off!
I wanted to share this with you because I pray that you can experience this same thing with Him. We all live very busy lives and our plates are full. So many demands. Stress and problems. Yes, we are faithful to go to Him in prayer, asking Him to deliver us from these things and to help us. But how faithful are we in going to Him just to spend quiet time with Him? Do we make Him our highest priority?
God has us as the apple of His eye, and He desires us more than we realize! He is so patient with us, and I think we can take Him for granted! I feel like we are disappointing Him when we ignore Him day after day. Spending time with Him is so crucial to our well being and sound mind. We can fill our minds with the knowledge of who He is, and there is plenty of information and studies about that. But, are we filling our hearts with HIM? Do we truly know HIM intimately, as He desires us to?
Give thanks to the Lord, call on His Name.
Sing praise to Him, sing praise to Him.
Glory in His Holy Name.
Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Look to the Lord and His strength.
Seek His face always.
- Parts of Psalm 105:1-4
Perhaps you already have a soaking time with the Lord on a regular basis. But if you don't or haven't had one yet, I'd like to suggest that you find a quiet place and an uninterrupted segment of time in your day. Play some soft worship music, not to distract you but to enhance your time with Him. I am sharing here a video from You Tube to get you started. There are a lot out there, to suit your choice in music. You may also want to light a small candle. Allow your mind to quiet down, ask Him to reveal His Holy Presence to you, and spend that precious time with Him. Think about who He is to you. Tell Him how much He means to you. Adore Him. Show Him your love. And He will take it from there!
God bless you as you seek His Face!!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Open That Door...Now!

Do you know of someone that desperately needs Jesus, but is stubborn? Any attempt made to share the Gospel, or any Scripture for that matter, results in disregard. You become desperate. You pray. And pray. You try again. And you get the same results. Nothing. So you back off for awhile. Then you feel guilty in not trying again. So everything repeats itself.
I have a dear loved one who is on my heart... has been for awhile. She knows what the Bible has to say. She's heard it all. But there is something about her that is waving a red flag.... big time. I have been praying for her, and she knows that. Any attempt I make to talk to her about her relationship with Jesus fails. I sense that He is not foremost in her life now, and that concerns me. 
Yes, I have given her to the Lord. I know He loves her more than I do, and sees all that is in her heart. I know I shouldn't assume, by her actions, how much Jesus means to her, but what else can I glean from her? I'm not seeing in her the fruit of the Spirit... you know what they, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Being sensitive to the Holy Spirit, I'm not able to recognize any of these when we communicate...  which is now very little. What I am seeing is unforgiveness and hatred. So very sad. 
I am so very thankful that there is a loving God who can take care of these situations. He is mighty to save, and more powerful than the enemy who seeks to destroy. We do not only live in a physical world, but there is very much a spiritual realm that is livid now. Satan knows his timing is coming to an end, and he is roaming around like a lion, messing with people... especially those who were brought up in the Lord. It's called a spiritual war, and a lot of people are oblivious to it. He can cause confusion and doubt, depression and hopelessness, which is contrary to what a relationship with God provides. People can forget what they formally believed!
God knew this would happen, so He sent His Son, Jesus, to pay for our sins on the cross. Though He was perfect and did not sin, He bore ours in our place, once and for all. His resurrection completed the task, and no longer are we held under bondage! Through faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are now free to live for Him and experience all that He has for us.
'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord,
'plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.' - Jeremiah 29:11
I love the story of Saul, who on the road to Damascus, had a personal encounter with Jesus. Now, Saul was the one who hated Jesus and who persecuted Him. But God had big plans for him, and even though Saul's heart was hard like a rock, that didn't stop God! Saul became Paul, and his life and ministry glorified the One who he had hated before. What a tremendous transformation! This shows to us that absolutely NOTHING is impossible with God! He hears our prayers. He knows our heart. He is able to heal and deliver those who find themselves in deep despair. It isn't over until God says it's over!
I will continue to pray for her. And love her. And believe that God is working behind the scenes. He does not wish for anyone to perish, but to have everlasting life. Praying for her reconciliation to Jesus, resulting in a reconciled relationship with me, is in God's will.
This is the assurance we have in approaching God:
that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
And if we know that He hears us - whatever we ask -
we know that we have what we asked of Him. - 1 John 5:14-15
Yes, I believe that God can open the doors of even the most hardened of hearts. He opened Saul's, and He can open anyone's! Nothing is impossible with Him! Thank you, Jesus!



Saturday, January 11, 2014

Remembering To Pray

I'd like to ask you something: How often do you pray?
The other day I was talking to someone about a challenging situation she was having. She shared with me some of the details, and was at wit's end as to what to do. I asked her if she prayed about it. The answer was "No."
How often do you and I find ourselves immersed in a difficult thing, trying to come up with a solution. We analyze it, dwell on it, lose sleep over it, all with the attempt to solve our dilemma. I'm convinced that's why we get gray hairs! And ulcers! We try to control our monstrous problems in our own strength and our own reasoning. But a lot of the times, if not most of the time, we fail. I can't count the number of times I failed at something because I tried to handle it on my own instead of relying on God.
I think some of us go on with our everyday lives, forgetting that we have a loving, mighty God who wants to help us. He knows what we are going through, and waits for us to call on Him.
Come to me, all who are burdened,
and I will give you rest. - Jesus - Matthew 11:28
He wants us to talk to Him in an ongoing basis, not just when we have needs, but in a desire to know Him better. Our Heavenly Father is the God of the universe, and has the resources to take care of all our needs. We limit our potential for greatness by trying to take care of things ourselves. He loves you and me so very much, and wonders why we don't call on Him more. He is ready to bless us and give us favor. All we have to do is reach out for Him.
Remembering to pray about everything is not easy, but possible. Start out with talking to God when you wake up. Give Him thanks for all He is doing in your life. Praise Him for who He is. Thank Him for your meals. When you have a decision to make, stop and ask Him for guidance and wisdom. Make a prayer list so you will remember what to pray about. And when you go to bed, talk to Him about your day. You will find yourself spending more of your time talking to Him, and it will be as natural as talking to a friend who is with you. And in the process, you will feel His presence closer to you than ever before. And just knowing that He is with you will bring you the peace you need to face those challenging situations.
Submit yourselves to God.
Come near to God
and He will come near to you. - James 4:7-8

Thursday, January 2, 2014

It Is All Up To Him

Picture this: Near the great Throne of God in heaven is a huge golden bell. It is on a majestic stand within reach of His mighty hand. The angels are lined up, fixing their gaze on Him. Jesus is beside Him, on His right side, and He is watching His Father also. At any moment, God will raise His hand and let it fall on the bell...
In the book of Matthew, chapter 13, Peter, James, John and Andrew are with Jesus in the Mount of Olives, across from the temple. Jesus tells them that the temple will be destroyed. They ask Him, "Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?" Jesus goes on to explain the things that will happen in the last days. Terrible and awful things which we have never witnessed, but He said we will in the end times.
Verse 32 says, "No one knows about that day or hour, and even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."  I find this interesting that even Jesus didn't know! Only the heavenly Father does.
Friends, we are in the last days, and events that were prophecized in the Scriptures are being fulfilled. We are getting very close to the Father making the decision to put an end to this evil world by sending His Son to gather His Saints. When He does, in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye...
Jesus said "Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. What I say to you, I say to everyone, 'Watch!'" - Matthew 13:33-37