"Because of the LORD'S great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23

Monday, October 1, 2012


Good Morning!

Ephesians 1:7  ""In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding."

Last night at church in our contemporary service we had a layperson, this is someone who by profession is not a minister but awesome Bible teacher, share from Ephesians 1. He talked about many things but the one thing that resonated with my own heart was "redemption".  We have redemption.  Redemption.  What is redemption?  Redemption, in keeping with the context of Ephesians and when it was written, was used because the Ephesians were familiar with the Greco-Roman practice of redemption.  Slaves were freed by the payment of a ransom. 

Paul was telling the Ephesians that we are all slaves.  We are all slaves to sin.  It was the redemption of Christ that set us free.  Jesus was the ransom that was necessary to free us sinners from the bondage of sin and the curse.  Christ redeemed us from sin; from sin and the curse.  He didn't redeem us so that we could go on sinning and doing what we want to do.  He redeemed us because He loves us, in accordance with his pleasure and will.

As a believer in Jesus Christ we are free from sin.  We. Are. Free. Hallelujah.  We are free in Christ Jesus and only Christ Jesus.  We no longer have to be held in bondage to sin.  We have the power of the Holy Spirit to say NO to sin.  If we follow Christ we cannot follow a life of sin.  Jesus told his disciples that you cannot serve two masters.  You will love one and hate the other.

So, I ask the question today; what do you love?  Do you love Christ?  Do you love your sin?  Who are You serving today? 

In you profess to be a Christian, you are not bound by sin.  It's a choice.  It's a deliberate choice you make every morning.

After Jesus shed His own blood for you, His precious blood, how will you show Him that you love Him today? 

I love the words to this song.  I pray that today Jesus will be the theme of the song in your heart.

"Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it! Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed thro his infinite mercy, His child and forever I am.

Redeemed, and so happy in Jesus, No language my rapture can tell;
I know that the light of His presence with me doth continually dwell.

I think of my blessed Redeemer, I think of him all the day long;
I sing for I cannot be silent; His love is the theme of my song.

Redeemed, Redeemed, Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed, How I love to proclaim it! His child and forever I am.

Fanny J. Crosby (Words)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What Have You Done?

Good Morning,

1 Samuel 13:11, 14  "What have you done?" asked Samuel.  ...the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the Lord's command."

"What have you done?!"  How many times have those words spilled out of our mouths?  These are the words of the prophet Samuel to Saul, Israel's new king.  Saul was preparing to go into battle with the Philistines and was waiting for Samuel to come and offer the burnt offerings.  He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel, but Samuel didn't come and the men started to scatter.   So, Saul offered up the burnt offering.  Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived and asked, "What have you done?"

Saul's excuses were that Samuel was late getting there and the men were getting antsy.  He had to do something.  Right?  Somebody has to be in charge.  Samuel flat out told him that he had acted foolishly.  Saul had not kept the command the Lord had given him and because of this he would not be established as king and the Lord had found someone after His own heart to lead His people because he had not kept the Lord's command.

Saul got impatient waiting and he took matters into his own hands and disregarded everything the Lord told him to do; WAIT!

That really hit home with me today.  I'm Saul.  I get impatient when I don't get answers immediately. I start thinking, wondering, planning what can I do.  How can I take care of this problem.  And, little do I realize that when I do take matters into my own hands, I am totally disregarding what God has told me to do: WAIT. 

I just finished a bible study on the Lord's prayer, "The Prayer of Jesus" by Ken Hemphill.  Some of you may have, too.  The one thing that has really stuck with me is that Jesus' disciples asked him to teach them how to pray.  But, remember this, these were Jewish men who knew how to pray.  They probably prayed several times a day.  But, they saw something different in the way Jesus prayed and they wanted what He had. 

"Our Father in heaven, hallow be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.  And, lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.  For Yours is the Kingdom, and the power and the glory forever." 

"Your will be done".  When we pray, "Your will be done" we must trust that our waiting is part of His will, it is part of His sovereign plan.  God is sovereign and He knows what is best for us.  Who am I to disregard the commands of the Lord and take matters into my own hands. 

I want to be the (wo)man after God's own heart.  I want His favor and His blessings to be on me and with me.  I want to obey. 

Waiting is hard.  If it was easy, we wouldn't need God.  And, oh, how we need Him. 

I realized this morning that I've been trying really hard to be patient this week with some unpleasant circumstances.  I've been trying.  Me.  I can't.  But, I know that when I am weak, He is strong.  I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength.  I know it will be worth the wait.

Thank you, Lord, for reminding me today through the prophet Samuel to wait on You. 


Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Litmus Test

Good Morning!

I Samuel 10:6 "The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.  9) As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul's heart."

Today when we place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ the Holy Spirit comes to live in us.  The same power that Christ use to raise the dead is also available to us to empower us to change.   It's only by God's power that we can change.  We cannot do it on our own.  As new believers in Christ, as His followers we are to no longer conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of our mind. (Romans 12:2). 

We are to be transformed; a change in our nature and character.  Our lives should tell the story of how we were before Christ came into our lives.  How we lived for our own sinful pleasures; doing whatever we wanted without regard to anyone else and how that could affect others.  Then our story should tell how Christ changed us.  How did the Holy Spirit come and show us our sin and our guilt.  How were we changed!  And, then our story should be one that tells others how God changed us from a life of sin, guilt, death and destruction to a life of joy, gratitude, service and praise to the One True God.

What is your litmus test for change?  How do you measure the change in your heart?  When you accepted Christ as Savior did you put away those things in your life that you know would not honor Christ?  Do you WANT to live and work for Christ?  Do you faithfully read your Bible discovering new truths.  Do you study the scripture to know God.  Are you burdened to pray for the lost and then go and win the lost?  Do you willingly serve for Jesus? 

Maybe you've really never trusted in Jesus.  The Holy Spirit of the Lord has the power to change us and to make us more like Christ.  All we have to do is ask Christ to come into our lives.  Ask God for forgiveness of your sins and REPENT, turn from a life of selfish desires and sin to a life that follows Christ.  Let "Jesus take the wheel" and lead you to be the person God intended you to be.

May God bless you today.

In Christ,

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Ebenezer

Good Morning!

I Samuel 7:1 "...and all the people of Israel mourned and sought after the Lord. And, Samuel said, "If you are returning to the Lord with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of foreign gods...and commit yourselves to the Lord and serve him only...So, the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only."

Verse 12 "Then Samuel took a stone and set in up between Mizpah and Shen.  He named it Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far the Lord has helped us."

It's officially here, SPRING!  Across the street I get to enjoy a beautiful forest of dogwoods in my neighbor's yard and her white azaleas.  In my backyard is a blanket of pink azaleas.  Everything is so beautiful!! I also have in my backyard, a hydrangea bush that is starting to green again and I hope will soon have some beautiful blue blooms.  It's not just any hydrangea bush.  This hydrangea is my "Ebenezer".  This is one of my reminders that "thus far the Lord has helped us."  This hydrangea was a gift from my four sisters when we learned that my younger son, Daniel, had a chronic liver disease in 2004.  Daniel had Wilson's disease, a condition where your body  doesn't get rid of copper.  The copper had pretty much eaten up his liver and he had to have a liver transplant.  As difficult and horrific as they may sound it was still one of the most awesome times of our lives.  We saw firsthand the mighty hand of God and truly felt His presence with us each and every step of the way...from beginning to end.  God performed a miracle in Daniel's life and I am so very thankful I got to watch!!!! 

So, when I see that hydrangea bush starting to bloom, it's just one of many reminders of God's faithfulness and how He helped us through that difficult time.  Just having the privilege of looking at my son everyday is another reminder.  Thank you, Lord God, for your goodness to us!!

Here's something to think about today.  Do you have an Ebenezer?  It doesn't necessarily have to be something tangible.  It can be a time you remember God's faithfulness to help you through a difficult situation.  The point is to REMEMBER!  Maybe you've forgotten and you need a reminder today that God is faithful and that God is good.  If you're facing a difficult situation and feel like God is far, far away then you may need to do as the children of God did and mourn your sin and seek His face and repent and ask God to help you through.

"Come, thou Fount of every blessing, Tune my heart to sing thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing, Call for songs of loudest praise;
Teach me some melodious sonnet, Sung by flaming tongues above;
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it, Mount of thy redeeming love.

Here I raise mine EBENEZER; Hither by thy help I'm come;
And, I hope, by thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home;
Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger, Interposed his precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy grace, Lord, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee;
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, Lord, take and seal it, Seal it for thy courts above."
Robert Robinson
1 Samuel 7:12

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lesson learned from Joshua

Good Morning!

I've finished Joshua!!  What an amazing book.  There are so many great truths and practical application to learn and apply to my own life right now.  I just want to share what I learned from Joshua and the Israelites and how God used what I learned in my own life.

One of the first truths that I read over and over again was "be strong and courageous".  Over and over again God reminded His people to be brave.  You know you don't tell someone to be brave unless you know that the future is going to be scary.  God had promised the Israelites Canaan, the promised land.  There was only one small catch....it was already occupied.  The people had to go in and fight for the land God promised.  They had to fight.  That thought keeps coming to my mind even days after I've read it.  They had to fight.  Do you see the similarity?  We, God's children, have been promised eternal life with him.  God in Jesus Christ has given us victory over sin and death and promised us a home in heaven with him.  BUT, in the meantime, we still have to fight the enemy of this world.

God told the Israelites that if they obeyed Him and keep His commandments that He would go before them and that He would be with them and that they would CONQUER their enemies.  God will do the same for us IF we obey Him and do what is right and pleasing to Him.  Some battles are going to be harder than others.  Some battles are going to leave us feeling every bit of the battle.  We're going to know that it was a battle and we'll have the scars to show for it.  Last week was such a battle for me.  It was a hard battle and an even harder lesson to learn.  I knew that during and even after that I had been whipped.  I didn't obey and I fell.  Humility is a very hard lesson to learn.  I asked God for forgiveness, and to give me the strength and wisdom not to make the same mistake twice.  I learned that I need to TRUST him and rely on His power to overcome the temptation to do things my way.

Another lesson I learned from Joshua had to do with an Israelite named Achan.  When the Israelites conquered Jericho God said that ALL the spoils belong to ME.  These were to be the firstfruits given to God for the victory.  Achan decided that didn't include him.  He took a robe along with some silver and gold and hid them under his tent. 

So, in the meantime, Joshua goes into battle with the city of Ai and is chased back and looses 36 men in the process.  WHAT? Defeated? Why?  First, Joshua didn't ask God what to do.  He sent a convoy to spy out the land.  They reported to Joshua that he didn't need to send all of his troops just a few thousand would do.  Joshua listened to the spies.  He didn't ask God what to do.  They were chased back.  Joshua started to wail against God and said why did you bring us here?  Why didn't you just leave us on the other side of the Jordon?  God told Joshua, "Israel has sinned, they have violated my covenant which I commanded them to keep."  They (Achan) had kept the things devoted for God.

ONE man's sin ruined a whole nation.  It was so easy for me to jump right in and say, "YES!" That's the problem with our family.  That's why we've had so much bad stuff happen lately.  This is all so and so's fault.  BUT, before I could even get up from the table God knocked me upside the head and said, "NO, it's not someone else's fault, it's your own heart you need to be looking". 

You know I do believe that God is capable of taking care of sin.  Why do I continually want to help him out?  I had to look at my own heart and yes God showed me the unconfessed sin in my own heart.  I needed to repent and ask forgiveness and be restored. 

Another lesson learned from Achan was what Warren Weirsbe said in his commentary.  "If Achan had just WAITED a few more days he could have had ALL the spoils of war he wanted.  You see after Achan was called out by God he was stoned and burned to death.  The people and Joshua attached Ai again and defeated them and took the spoils of war for themselves.

In our day and time waiting is not often a choice.  Decisions need to be made yesterday and everything is due NOW!!  Last week while I was discussing a decision that needed to be made with Bruce those words came immediately to my mind, "If Achan had just waited...."  So, I decided to wait and not act immediately.  Praying that God will honor my decision to wait and bless it.  "God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him"  Warren Weirsbe.

One other lesson that really stood out involved Joshua.  Joshua, a faithful, steadfast believer in the One True God.  Joshua made a mistake and he didn't ask God about attacking Ai.  He was defeated.  But, I think Joshua learned a valuable lesson that day.  God went on give him the victory over Ai.  He actually used his mistake to His advantage.  It ALWAYS so encouraging to me that God showed us not only the great strengths of men like Joshua but He also showed us his weaknesses and how he STILL used Joshua to accomplish great things for Him.

The key here is OBEDIENCE and keeping God's commands to LOVE Him with ALL our heart and soul and strength and mind.  God wants to bless us and all He wants us to do is to LOVE Him so much that we're willing to pay the cost.

I shared with my son how God used His Word to help me in making a decision.  My son is not real clear about how God speaks to us through His word.  I showed him that while I was making that decision those words came to mind immediately and it helped make my decision.  We NEED desperately to be teaching our children how God works in our lives.  We need to share with them these precious moments of revelation.  We'll find as we go on to the book of Judges that the next generation of Israelites has forgotten God.  They will learn that a life without the Lord on your side is a life of bondage and despair.

"God delights "to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect (wholly devoted) toward Him"  2 Chronicles 16:9

May the grace and peace of God be with you today.


Monday, February 13, 2012

The Victory is Yours

Good Morning!

"You are but a poor soldier of Christ if you think you can overcome without fighting, and suppose you can have the crown without the conflict." - John Chrysostom.

In Joshua Chapter 6 we read about the fall of Jericho.  God tells Joshua and the people what they must do to take Jericho.  God had promised the Israelites the land but they still had to fight to take it.  They probably thought it was pretty silly to walk around the city once a day for six days and then seven times on the seventh day.  God's plan may have seemed foolish but God's wisdom is far greater than ours.

The Christian life is not an easy life and I'm learning that truth more and more everyday.  Becoming more like Christ and being santified is a battle. It's a hard battle!  It's a battle against the enemies in the spiritual relm (Eph. 6:10-18)  We are going to face challenges.  We are going to face situations that we wish we didn't have to face.  Our faith is going to be tested because God wants to know our heart.  He wants to know and He wants us to see that we trust Him even when we don't understand what He's doing.

When we face the battles we must be prepared.  First, we must remember that we already have victory.  We are fighting from victory, not just for victory.  Joshua was victorious because he feared the Lord.  Warren Weirsbe says, "The Christian soldier stands in a position of guaranteed victory because Jesus Christ has already defeated every spiritual enemy.  Jesus defeated Satan not only in the wilderness but also during His earthly ministry, on the cross, and in His resurrection and ascension."

Joshua also had victory because he had the promises of the Lord.  Victorious Christians know the promises of God.  We can know God's promises by reading the Bible, memorizing scriptures and then burning the truths of these promises to our hearts. We should think about them all day long.

We are going to have hard times in our life.  There will be times when we don't understand why this is happening to us.  We'll be unsure of our future.  It's times like these that God is saying I want you to trust me and I want you to know that I can take care of you. 

When the battle is over and it will be.  It may be a long, hard battle but when it's over and you've praise God for His faithfulness and His goodness, you'll see how he changed you to be more like Him.  And, that dear friends, is what this journey is all about....becoming more like Christ.

To God Be the Glory forever and forever.

The victory is yours today.  Rejoice and be glad.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Be Strong and Courageous

Good Morning!

Yeah!! I'm so excited!  I've started the book of Joshua.  It was long getting through Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy but interesting.  Brother Allan read scripture from Romans this past Sunday that I had just read in Deuteronomy.  I love how God does that; how he gets my attention to notice His word.

I started Genesis in July so I'm hoping that now the pace will pick up as I start the history of the Jewish nation.  So far, it's great and I'm looking forward to all God wants to show me.

The theme of Joshua 1 is "Be Strong and Courageous".  God tells Joshua to be strong, be courageous in verses 6, 7, 8 and 18.  In verse seven God says, be strong and very courageous.  In verse eight God says, "be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

How reassuring is that?  Joshua is taking the Israelites into a new place.  This is a place, a land where he hasn't been before.  He doesn't know what to expect, what challenges are ahead, how the people will react and how this will all end.  God knows that.  God knows Joshua's heart.  He knows Joshua's fears, his doubts.  So, God tells him over and over "be strong and courageous". 

As I read that yesterday, and I came to the part that said, "do not be terrified", it resonnated with my own heart and I could hear God speak to my heart and say, "do not be terrified".  Don't be afraid, Kelly.  You can trust Me with this.

My sister, Stephanie, posted yesterday that "God is attracted to weakness.  He cannot resist those who humbly and honestly admit how desperately they need Him.

It's in our weakness that we are the most afraid.  We scream "Lord, I can't do this".  And, He says, no, you can't do this in your own strength you need Me to help you."  God doesn't want those that can do it on their own without His help and direction.  God wants those of us who are afraid so that we will totally depend on Him and trust Him to do all things through us for His glory and not our own.

Yes, sometimes, a lot of the time, the things that God wants me to do scare me to death.  Thousands of excuses come to mind quickly as to why I cannot do them.  But, I hear the words He spoke to Joshua, "be strong and courageous" and I am reminded today that it is my God, the One True God, who goes before me and prepares the way if I just ask.  He will go with me and stay by my side teaching me to follow Him and obey.  Just like he told Joshua, "do not turn from it (the law) to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go." 

Don't turn away from following God and His teachings.  The blessings are in obedience.  Go and don't be afraid. 

"The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy."  Psalm 126:3

May the grace of God be with you all!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Good Morning!

"I will proclaim the name of the Lord.  Oh, praise the greatness of our God!  He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all His ways are just.  A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he."  Deuteronomy 32:3-4 

These verses are from the Song of Moses.  God knew the Israelites would turn away from Him and break their covenant with Him.  So, he, told Moses to write down this song so that it could be a witness against them when they did turn away.  The Israelites were to learn this song.

I think they are good words for us to learn today as well.  I challenge you to write them down and carry them with you today, read them often and just praise the Lord! 

Praise the Lord because He is GREAT!  He is PERFECT.  He is FAITHFUL.  He does NO WRONG.  Think on these things today and be blessed.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Blessings or Curses?

Good Morning!

Deuteronomy 30:19 says, "This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.  Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.  For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."

God is giving the children of Israel a choice; life or death? blessing or curse?  God is giving them a choice, they get to pick!  You would think that it would be an easy choice for them; blessing? curse?  Really, who would choose to be cursed?  But, we know that they did choose to be cursed.  They chose to follow the ways of the other gods and they turned away from the One True God.  The God of blessings and life.

God has always given his children a choice.  Even in the very beginning Adam and Eve had a choice; to choose to obey God or listen to the serpent.  They had the choice to enjoy all the good things God had for them right there before them.  Or, they could listen to the lies of the devil and choose death.  We all know how that story ended.  Why?  Why is it so easy to turn away from God and His blessings?  We know that His ways are so much better than anything we can imagine yet, we still want to go our own way.  We want to live our own lives the way we want to.

The children of Israel had a choice.  It was very clear and simple; obey God, follow His commands and be blessed or worship the foreign gods, live like you want and be cursed.  God said I will not bless you if you go into Canaan and worship the foreign gods and live like you want and forget all about me and my commands.  God told them that they would be cursed.  He said that they would dry up like the dust of desert and be scattered.

This weekend my sisters and I, along with our mom, got together.  We try to do this once a month.  I have one sister that lives close by but the others live an hour and half away.   It's sometimes hard with our busy schedules but I hope they feel like I do that it's worth the effort. 

Saturday, for some unknown reason I can't remember, we watched my wedding video.  I can't remember how that came up but we thought we get some good laughs out of it.  This February Bruce and I will have been married 26 years.  So, seeing the dresses and hairstyles alone was enough to give us a few laughs.  On the other hand, it was sad to see those that have already gone on to heaven and are no longer with us.  Yet, it ignited some very sweet memories.  For me, one of the sweetest was seeing and hearing my former pastor, Paul W. Martin, who is now preaching in heaven, prayer over Bruce and me.  When I listened to his prayer I was so moved at the "prophecy" in it. 

Bro. Paul very clearly prayed that God would bless us, bless our home, watch over us, keep us, give us health, give us a full measure of this world's blessings in the unseen road of life.  He prayed that the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ would always be in our hearts and home and that we would know that having Him in our home would be a blessing.  But, if we didn't have Him in our hearts that He was under no obligation to bless us or our home.

Those words have come to fruition. God has indeed blessed my home.  He has blessed our life with good health, our marriage, and our children.  Bruce and I had a choice 26 years ago.  We chose life.  We chose to commit our hearts and home to Him and to try to follow Him and obey Him.   It hasn't been easy.  It's been very hard at times.  We listen to His voice and we hold fast to Him.  Never, ever has God failed us or let us down.  He is our Faithful God. 

We are still a work in progress and learning more and more everyday about how to obey Him and follow Him wherever He leads. 

You have a choice, too.  Will you choose life or death?  Blessings or curses? 

May God's grace be with you all.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Do You Remember

Good Morning!

In Deutronomy 26 Moses tells the people, the Israelites, that when they go in and take possession of the land that God is giving them they are to take some of the first fruits and give as a sacrifice before the Lord.  When they go in before the Lord they are to recount to the Lord their journey from slavery to freedom; all that the Lord God had done for them to bring them to this place He promised.  They are to rejoice in all the good things the Lord has given to them.  They are to celebrate!

The Israelites were slaves to the Egyptians.  They were oppressed and beaten down.  We, too, are slaves to sin.  Sin can oppress us and beat us down till we think that death would be better than living.  God heard the cries of the Israelite people.  He freed them from the bondage of slavery and set them free to live in a beautiful land with all that they needed. Now they were to come before him and celebrate!

God has provided a way out of the oppression of slavery for us, too.  We do not have to be a slave to sin bound under the enemies control.  God sent His only loved Son to die for us that we would be free.  All we have to do is follow Christ to be free. 

Do you remember when Jesus set you free?  Every year the Jewish community celebrates Passover.  They remember very reverently what God did for them; how he freed them from Egyptian slavery and brought them to the land He promised. 

Do you remember the day Jesus saved you from slavery?  Do you remember how he came into your life to give you freedom?  Do you remember how Jesus changed your life?  I know He has blessed you.  How are you celebrating your freedom?  Share what Jesus has done for you with someone today.

"The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy"  Psalm 126:3

Be filled with JOY today!

May God's grace be with you all.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Are You Ready?

Good Morning!

Severe storms raged through Alabama last night and many people woke up this morning to much devastation and lost.  PLEASE pray for those today that are facing loss.  Pray for everyone involved in search and rescue and clean-up and repair. 

It's so hard to believe we had tornado in January.  I believe it's a sign of the end of times.  The birth pangs are beginning. (Matthew 24:8)  There will more and more disasters that will continue to remind us that God is still in control and this world will not last forever.

It's times like these, when disaster strikes, that we need to ask ourselves the question, "Am I ready?"  Are you ready to go to heaven?  If you can't answer that question with a definite "yes", then listen carefully.  The Bible says that anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.  If you're not sure about going to heaven, asking God to save you is as easy as ABC - Ask God to forgive your sins, all your sins B - Believe in Jesus Christ who was born of a virgin, lived and performed miracles, died and rose again the third day. C - Confess that Jesus is Lord and live for Him according to His commands and His ways.  The Bible says you can KNOW for sure.  You don't have to wonder about it or doubt.

Dueteronomy 10:12 says, "And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear (revere) 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 and decrees that I (Moses) am giving you today."

Ask Jesus to come into your heart and then love Him and obey Him.

This world will not last forever.  Heaven is forever.  Hell is forever.  Today you have a choice. 

If you made the choice to follow Christ, share it with me today.

In the words of the Apostle Paul, may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Patience Please

Good Morning!

Happy Friday!  Friday is always a good day to look back on our week and evaluate what we did so we can start all over again next week.  I hope you're able to check off a few things on that "to-do" list.  It always give me great satisfaction and happiness to know that I've accomplished something.  More important than checking things off our to-do list, I hope that you've grown more initimate and closer to Christ this week.  I hope that you're starting your day with Him and are following Him through the rest of it.  I hope that you've seen His glory this week in your life and that God gave you an opportunity to share. 

This morning I'm preparing my Sunday school lesson.  I've mentioned before that we're studying "Love as a Way of Life" by Gary Chapman.  Dr. Chapman characterizes a loving person by exhibiting seven characteristics: kindness, patience, forgiveness, courtesy, humility, generosity, and honesty.  Sounds very similar to the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians.  This is certainly true that if we're filled with the Spirit, as followers of Christ, that we will live out these characteristics.

If you're like me, though, you are always in need of reminders and some good hands-on strategies that help in the process.  I am not a patience person!!  That was very evident to me as I just tried to pay a bill on-line and it won't let me.  I also discovered this week that I am not very patient with receptionists on the other end of the phone in the doctors office.  "Will you hold, please?"  I've been holding......   and the list goes on and on.......

I did though learn something this week.  Patience is not a passive activity.  It's not listening to someone rant and rave and then doing nothing.  Patience is first of all, a deliberate choice.  It's a deliberate thought that we are going to do something and react in a positive way.  When we choose to be patient we listen empathetically with a desire to understand what's going on inside the other person.  We need to calmly enter into a dialogue to understand the other person's thoughts, feelings and behavior.  Get to the root of the problem without flying off the handle. 

Case in point:  Yesterday, well probably today, too,  Ben has a cold and he's really stopped up but his nose is running like a rabbit.  I said something to him about getting snot all over his shirt and he snapped back real quick, "I didn't".  Where the tissue remmants on his shirt came from, we'll never know.  Using the tools I learned this week I very calmly replied, "I know you don't feel good today but you don't have to snap."  I smiled and very loving asked if he wanted another tissue.  What could have added to his already rotten disposition was hopefully thwarted by my understanding how he felt.  He didn't want an argument, he wanted me to show some TLC.  And, really, isn't that what everybody really wants?

In the book of James, he says,
"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow."

Yes, dear sisters, consider it joy when you are faced today with challenges and troubles because God wants you to show others that love covers a multitude of sins.  And, He wants us to grow, grow to be more like Him, grow to be kinder and more patient.  Again, we may be the only Bible some people ever read.

Have a great and awesome weekend.

Love in Christ,

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Got Giants?

Good Morning!

Let's face it, we've all got giants.  You know, those things in our lives that loom over us and rob us of our peace of mind and cast a shadow on our faith.  Giant things like chronic illness, our jobs, our children and our own insecurities that constantly plague us. 

This morning I read in Deuteronomy 9 Moses saying to the people, "Who can stand against the Anakites?  But, be assured today that the Lord your God is the one who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire." 

The Anakites, remember, were the giants that Caleb, Joshua and the other ten saw when they went to scout out the promised land.  The ten were afraid of the giants and their size and didn't think they could go in and take them even though God promised them the land.  Caleb and Joshua on the other hand focused on God and His promises and tried to tell the people that God would take care of the giants and give the land over to them. 

When I was younger and I didn't want to face something I would ignore it and hoped that it would go away.  It never did.  In fact, the problem usually got bigger!  We can't ignore the giants in our life.  We must face them.  Max Lacado says in his book, "Facing Your Giants", "focus first, and most, on God.  The times (King) David did, giants fell.  The days he didn't David did.  Have you fallen and can't get up?

Moses is telling the Israelites to focus on God, not the giants.  God is the one who goes across AHEAD of you.  The same truth is for you and me.  God is the one who goes AHEAD of us.  God will not lead us to a place that He has not already gone ahead of and prepared for us.  Yes, there may be giants in the way but, God promises to devour them like a raging fire.  God is faithful and keeps His promises.

You and I must focus on God and his might.  Today, take your eyes off your problem and focus them on God.  Today, focus on His word and His truth. 

In the words of Helen Lemmel, "Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace."

May you see the glory of God today.

Love in Christ,

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Love the Lord Your God

Good Morning!

Do you remember your first love? Maybe you were in elementary school, Jr. High, High school or even college when that first "crush" appeared. Did your heart beat a little faster when you saw him? Did you hang on his every word? Did it seem like an eternity before you saw him again? Do you remember how he consumed your every thought and that was all you could think about? I remember mine and I'm sure I'll be doing some explaining tonight!

I was reminded of this feeling this morning when I read Deuteronomy 6:5-9 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates"

God says love me with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul and with ALL your strength. Does your heart beat a little faster as your prepare to have your quiet time with Him in anticipation of learning something new about Him? Do you hang on His every word and memorize them? Does God consume all of your thoughts throughout the day? Do you continually think of ways to please Him and make Him happy?

Robert Boyd Munger wrote a very short book called, "My Heart - Christ's Home". He says, "without question one of the most remarkable Christian doctrines is that Jesus Christ himself through the Holy Spirit will actually enter a heart, settle down and be at home there."

We are to love God with ALL our heart because as a follower of Christ that's where Christ lives. What a privilege it is for Christ to make a home in our hearts. What joy we experience when Christ is at home in our heart.

Moses went on to warn the Israelites to "be careful that you do not forget the Lord who brought you out of Egypt". Sometimes the novelty turns into the mundane and I am quick to forget!!! The flames of passion turn to smoldering ashes if we don't fan the flame and tend to it. It's my responsibility to talk about Christ and what He's doing in my life to everyone I meet. It's my responsibility to write down His word and share it. It's my responsibility to obey Him and follow His commands. I must be careful NOT to forget but to remember.

It's not easy to give Christ my whole heart. I know there are some things I think I can handle and I forget to ask God for help. But it's those very things that He wants me to turn over to Him. He wants my whole heart, all of my heart.

Verse 18 says, "do what is right and good in the Lord's sight."

Do what is right and good and LOVE the Lord your God with ALL your HEART. And, as an added bonus you'll find loving others is a whole lot easier!!! :)

Love in Christ,

Monday, January 16, 2012

Be Kind

Good Morning!

I'm so glad it's Monday. I am so ready to get back into my routine. I am a terrible creature of habit. Ask anyone close to me what day I wash my sheets and they can probably tell you. I know this isn't the best way of life. I should always be open to change and the leading of the Holy Spirit. I AM a work in progress; thankful for GRACE.

So, today is Monday, the beginning of the week, the beginning of a NEW week. The beginning of new glorious opportunities to put into practice what God has been showing me and teaching me the last few weeks and days. I'm so thankful that His mercies are new every morning. Every day is an opportunity to start fresh and new and to put the past and all it's mistakes behind us.

In Deuteronomy 4 Moses tells the Israelites to "listen up...listen to the laws I'm about to teach you, keep the commands of the Lord your God, observe them for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the other nations." When I keep God's laws and obey His commands I'm telling others that I'm a follower of Christ and God is honored.

Being a good student isn't always easy. In fact, I don't think it's easy at all. It's hard work and it requires thought and discipline. We have to study. We must do our homework and be prepared because God will test us. God will not waste His time teaching us and then not put it to the test.

That's why I'm always a little leary and a little anxious when I begin studying something new. I know that there will be a test!!! And, again, I'm reminded His mercies are new every morning for me and for you!

Speaking of studying something new, my Sunday school class is doing "Love as a Way of Life" by Gary Chapman. Last week, I learned that kindness is a simple thing to do and very powerful. As obvious as it seems to be kind I discovered that I need to be more "kind". Kindness involves noticing someone else and recognizing their need. It means seeing the value of every person we meet during the day. Kindness also reflects a desire to serve others. This means serving others even when it means sacrifice.

I'm challenging myself this week to notice the needs of others and DO something about it. I'm asking God to open my heart and help me see others as He sees them. I'm reminded of the song, "People Need the Lord". People need us to see the Lord, His grace, His mercy and His love for them by helping them. Sometimes, we are the only bible that people see.

I hope that you'll join me in this challenge. Pray that God will use you to be His hands and feet this week to someone who needs Him.

Love in Christ,

Friday, January 6, 2012

Don't Settle!

In the Old Testament book of Numbers God is getting his people, the Israelites, ready to go to the promise land. Joshua has been commissioned as the new leader and God has given Moses one last assignment; take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites. They fought against Midian, as the Lord commanded Moses and killed every man.
After the victory, the leaders from two of the twelve tribes, Ruben and Gad, came to Moses and said, "if we have found favor in your eyes let this land be given to your servants as our possession. Do not make us cross the Jordan. The Rubenites and Gadites want to stay in Jazer and Gilead. They want to build cities to protect their families and build pens to put their animals in. It was a fertile place. Moses agreed to this only if they would first help the Israelites fight and conquer the land of Canaan.
My first thought after reading these verses is that the Rubenites and Gadites were willing to "settle", no pun intended, for less than what God wanted to give them. God wanted to give them a place filled with blessings overflowing. But instead, they opted for what they could see and what they knew to be safe.
I know sometimes, maybe most times, I'm like the Rubenites and Gadites willing to settle for less than the best God has for me. I'm afraid. I'm afraid that I might fail and someone would see the failure instead of the effort. I'm learning it doesn't matter who sees and what they might think. I am a follower of Christ not other people. It only matters to Jesus. He knows my heart.
I want the promised land, the blessings, the best that God has for me. This only comes when I obey Christ and follow Him. Doing what I know He wants me to do. Doing what I know is right in my heart. Doing what the Bible says to do. It will be hard. It will be difficult. It will be painful. It can be confusing. But, this is where I have to TRUST God and follow Him, stay in His word, pray without ceasing and take one day at a time.
This year is my journey to the Promised Land. I hope that you'll come along with me and sees what mighty things God will do for His kingdom.
I'm trusting Him that it won't be boring.
God Bless you today,

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Rise and Stand

Good Morning!
Yesterday I read a devotional by Christine Wyrtzen and it pretty much summed up what I want to do this year. She used Acts 26:16-18, God's calling on the apostle Paul. "Rise and stand on your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you. I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to
This is my prayer that God will work mightly in my life so that others will see HIM, not me, and turn from the darkness of sin to the light of Christ. I know that this is no easy task. In fact, it will be very hard. In my past fifty years I've finally learned that life is hard especially for a follower of Christ. And, to expect it to be any other way is foolish.
James McDonald encourages us this week in our lesson to "be the salt of the earth". He says, "when you're around, people should taste the difference!"
God gave me an opportunity yesterday to share a little bit about Daniel's transplant. I was able to say that God did indeed give us a miracle. There was no doubt about it. I hope that something I might have said stuck with them.
So, add a little flavor to everything you do today and let God use you to turn someone from darkness to light.
Many blessings,

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Beginning

Good Morning!
2012 is the Year! The title of my blog is based on Lamentations 3:22 "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness."
One of God's greatest attributes is his faithfulness. Even when we are not faithful to Him, He is always faithful to us; His children. In His word, He promises that He will never leave us or forsake us. He is always working everything out for our good even when the circumstances are painful and discouraging.
I want to share what God is doing in my life and the life of my family. My prayer is that this blog will inspire, encourage and motivate others to want a deeper relationship with God and to see for themselves what God is doing in their own life.
Many blessings,