Monday, December 14, 2009

God with us


“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:18-23

God with us, what a powerful truth! Sometimes it is so hard to comprehend that God Almighty, the Creator of the Universe, would care enough about us that He would come to this earth, this sin-sick world to endure pain, rejection and heart-ache, just so we could have forgiveness.
I suppose, I’m really thinking about this now after conversing with a young person that converted to be a Muslim. The question was basically why do we celebrate Christmas in December when it has been documented that Jesus was born in June? My answer was and is, “the fact that He WAS born is enough for me to celebrate everyday!”
I don’t like to get in arguments and heated discussions about religion. To me it’s embarrassing and such a waste of precious time. Now if you want to share with me about what you believe and then give me equal time to share what I believe, I’m all for that! But a former pastor once said “A man with an experience is far better than a man with an argument”. And I have experienced the awesome gift of God’s sacrificial love. I KNOW that He came (Whenever He came) as a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, born in a manger to a virgin. I KNOW that the angels sang and the wise men and shepherds came and it was a Holy night (and day for that matter). I know that He grew up to teach us about love and forgiveness, and I know that He died, willingly for all of mankind, because we could not pay the debt we owed for our sins. I also KNOW that His gift of salvation is free and all we have to do is receive it and walk in it each day.
If you have that kind of experience, it really does not matter when Jesus was born, because the celebration should be every time we remember what He did for us!
To me the 25th of December is the whole world celebrating Jesus’ birth. Some of us KNOW why we are celebrating and some…well they think otherwise. But in MY heart I celebrate the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords this day and everyday because He is God with Us!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Giving Thanks...


For every beast of the forest are Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.I know all the birds of the mountains, and the wild beasts of the field are Mine.
If I were hungry, I would not tell you; for the world is Mine, and all its fullness.
Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High.Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”
Psalms 50:10-15

How many times have I heard the words quoted “The cattle on a thousand hills are God’s” when referring to someone believing that a financial blessing is coming their way? I think the meaning of it has somehow morphed to “When my ship comes in”.
It’s a shame because when this scripture is read in its context it is so much deeper than believing for your (ahem) “ship to come in.”

Most or all of the psalms were actually songs under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and this one was sung if you will by Asaph who declares basically that God owns everything and though He appreciates the sacrifices that people were making to Him, what He wants most is their thanks. “People, people, your giving of sacrifices are great but they’ve turned into rituals rather than acts of love, I don’t need your sacrifices, it’s all mine anyway, but some thanksgiving would be nice and appreciated”. Forgive me I have a vivid imagination. (smile)

Do you see some correlation to us today? Running hither and yon, doing good things yes, but a lot of it has turned into a ritual rather than an act of love. Even when we work or minister in the church, are we doing it out of love or has it become a thing we sometime grudgingly do because if we don’t do who will? Hmmmm. Are we showing real love, warmth and kindness to those that we are suppose to be ministering to or are we just filling a spot so the Pastor will think we are “serving” like we should? Hello!

Are we going to our jobs and doing the very best that we can or are we constantly complaining about the situations that occur? Have our jobs become a ritual that we drag ourselves to every day? OUCH!

What about our families? Do we take them for granted? Do we treat them as if they will be with us forever, has loving and caring for them become a ritual instead of an act of unconditional love?

Everything belongs to God, whether we want to admit it or not; our jobs, our ministries, our families and our very lives. We get so caught up in doing what we think is the right thing to do, instead of asking God what does He want us to do. And He’s asking “Can you take time out to just give me some thanks?” Because when you spend time thanking God, He will give you a clearer path, He will guide you, He will show you how to minister, how to do well on your job, how to love your family and how to live your life with joy.


Don’t let thanksgiving just be for this Thursday coming. Let’s give God Thanks starting now, it’s what He wants.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Don't be anxious!


Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7


Anxiety, pressure, stress, and worry! We’ve all experienced these emotions and with them come a loss of peace and well being. Many of my friends and loved ones have lost a lot in the past years. In fact the world as a whole has been going through turmoil, loss of jobs, finances, homes and more importantly loved ones. There are more situations than I can mention that people are going through right now that is causing them to be anxious about their future, pressure to come up with an answer to the problem, stress under the grief of having lost someone or something very precious and worry about how this is all going to turn out.
I like the way the Apostle Paul wrote it above, he said don’t be anxious about it, just pray about it and throw in some thanksgiving too. But you may ask “How can I be thankful at a time like this?” And my humble answer is “It ain’t easy, but what other solution do YOU have?” Thank Him through the tears? Yes. Through the pain? Yes. Through the uncertainty? Yes.

Do we want Peace that passes all human understanding? So much peace that when people look at us they marvel at how we are able to be sustained through what we are going through? Well the scripture makes it clear, pray, give it to God (He can handle it) and then thank Him. It’s too much for us to try and carry anyway.

Don’t wait to be at a dinner table with a turkey before we give thanks. Thank Him today, sure it’s rough, sure it hurts, sure you want to give up and throw in the towel. Through the tears thank Him and He has promised to give us Peace, sweet peace. Peace to face another day He has blessed us with.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


"The LORD All-Powerful will destroy the power of death and wipe away all tears..." Isaiah 25:8a

“Are you watching one of those crying movies again?” that was my late husband teasing me. He had walked in again and caught me sniffin’ and snottin’ while watching, what is called a“Chick flick”. I love old classic movies, the ones that move me to tears, either happy or sad. I mean you have to be made of stone if it did not move you to tears when Bette Davis in “Dark Victory” is being brave even though she knows she is losing her sight and soon to leave this earth. And what about her in “Mr. Skeffington” when she loses her beauty but the husband she had ridiculed and mocked their whole marriage is there to take her back just as she is. (sigh) That’s a 2 box of tissues movie.

My husband, knowing how I like these kinds of movies, even suggested one for me one time…go figure. He was home for a rare few days of R and R, and when I came in from work he said “There’s a movie coming on later that you might like.” Lo and behold it was Disney’s series remake of “Anne of Green Gables”. It was really a set up for more teasing because while we sat in the family room watching it together, out of the corner of my eye I could see him smiling when I went for the piece of paper towel in my pocket. “I knew it! I knew it!” he said. “I KNEW you couldn’t watch it with out crying!” Now THAT made me angry. “You mean you were waiting for me to cry?” I said wiping my eyes while watching Anne declare to Marilla and Matthew how she never had a family until they took her in. But my husband just chuckled at the fact that I could be so moved by a movie!

Now before you think that my husband was a cold, unfeeling man, he was not. He was sometimes quiet around others, a “deep” thinker, sometimes solemn and serious looking. But for those that really knew him, he had a fierce passion about certain issues. When the topic was about church unity, integrity and character, he was ablaze and spoke with earnest authority. We were total opposites, because I was a definite people person wanting everyone to be happy. But we balanced each other out so much. He taught me among many things how to be strong and a good decision maker and I’d like to believe I taught him about being... “fuzzy.” (smile)

Growing up in a 3 room house with 10 living children, having gone through the deaths of a mother in childbirth, 2 stepmothers, a father and then an older brother in Vietnam by the time he was 14 years old, was a lot to handle emotionally. If he was going to make it in this world, he knew he had to buck up and make it himself and that he did. There were no time for tears, no time to be fuzzy, to think about sad things. He had to survive.

So he thought it was so amusing when he would see me cry over something that was not even real…just a movie until…

One Christmas season we were both home on vacation. It was a cold night and we were in our favorite spots, him on the sofa with the big afghan and me on the love seat with an afghan. It was cozy in our family room with the fireplace on, sending out not only warmth but a nice glow to the room. We were looking at the TMC channel and one of his “manly” movies had just gone off, something about war, people fighting and stuff, absolutely of no interest to me. But then the announcer says "Next... “All Mine to Give”... a warm Christmas movie.” I knew what the movie was about, I had seen it before and it was my mom’s favorite. So I nonchalantly laid there on the couch hoping he would not ask me what the movie was about. He didn’t and we ended up watching this tale of a Scottish immigrant family with 10 children, the parents die, first the father in a logging accident, then the mother through illness and the children are left on their own with the mother making a last request of the oldest son before she dies, to make sure all of the children get a good home. With out giving away the entire story (in case you want to watch it) needless to say the story took you on an emotional roller coaster. Happy one minute, sad the next, I must have gone through an entire box of Kleenex, plus the sleeve of my robe, I know that's gross but, it is what it is.

As the movie was ending (I won’t give away the ending either), I realized I was so caught up on my own emotional roller coaster I had not even noticed how my husband was taking this “chick flick”. So I sheepishly turned my swollen red eyes over to him on the couch and guess what??? He was crying too! Tears were pooled, then running down his face and then tears were running again out of my eyes and before we could stop ourselves we started laughing and could not stop! It was darn right funny! Macho man… always teasing ME about being a cry baby over a movie, here he was …CRYING! We laughed until my sides were sore. And I did not have the heart to tease him, we just dried our eyes and enjoyed the rest of the evening…there’s was really no words to say.

Perhaps the movie reminded him if his own childhood, I don’t know. But it showed me that my husband could have his “fuzzy” moments too. Oh and by the way, he did not tease me about being a crybaby over movies after that. (smile)

Ever wonder why God gave us tears? Well they cleanse the eye and they relieve you emotionally. I’ve sure had my share of them, some happy and some very sad. But isn’t it good to know that one day God will wipe away all tears from our eyes. No matter what you may be going through right now, remember that God knows all about your tears, He is so touched by our feelings. Our tears do not go unnoticed by Him. And one day He will wipe them all away, no more sadness, and no more grief.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hidden Treasures

"Lord, all my desire is before You; and my sighing is not hidden from You."
Psalms 38:9

"Look Dad!" my grandson said to his father as we were sight-seeing in the city. My grandson had found under a tree, almost blending in with the dirt and grass, a piece of Lego! Now grant it there were hundreds of people passing by this very spot (as it was some kind of festival going on in the park), but his eyes somehow zeroed in on this small piece of plastic just lying there. He grabbed it up and as he and his father were inspecting it, I was wondering what kind of germs were on it! After inspection it was decided, he had indeed found a treasure...something of value to him, something that he could use in his collection of many, many, many pieces of Lego.

To me, not a Lego enthusiast, and to others passing by that very spot that day, it seemed to be an insignificant piece of plastic , if they even saw it at all. But to him, a very smart and bright kid with engineer tendencies (Am I bragging or what?), he had found something that he could use with his talent.

For the last few years, my heart has been yearning to really find my purpose in life. Like the scripture says above, I have laid my desire before the Lord and He is probably tired of hearing me sighing in my discontent. I'm not discontent with life, I am very grateful, but I do not want to miss God's Purpose. I have been blessed to have experienced some awesome things in this life, things that I loved doing; working with inmates, the elderly, children and music, which I did for years. But there comes a time when you just know there is something else you have to do...for Him.

Part of my answer came one morning several years back when the Lord impressed on me that it is not all about how many things you are involved in, but it is about "being" what He has called us to be. Each of us have our own personality and in the rough we're not much to speak of, but when we surrender ourselves to Him, He has a way of knocking off the rough edges and still using our personalities in this world to help other people.

It annoys me sometimes when I hear people go on and on about what organizations they belong to and how busy they are going here and there with this group or that; but when I look at their lives I wonder do they have love and true concern for people. Do they take the time to really listen and care for the hurting, which is what Jesus did.

In me, in you, there are hidden treasures, hidden talents that God wants to use for His glory. Then why are they hidden you may ask. I believe because He wants us to seek His desires for our lives and the delight when we find them! You should have seen the look on my grandson's face when he found that piece of Lego!

We have some clues as to what our talents are; our interests and natural abilities, but we must totally seek God's will and direction as to what our true purpose is...you may be suprised!

Last night my grandson came to me with some of his Lego "creations". I am always amazed at how he can even build these things! But as I was inspecting and oooohing and aahing over them, I saw it! The piece of Lego that he had found was the base for a super deluxe Space vehicle! Wow!
I would have never...! But to him it was of great use and value!

Today may we seek God to show us our true purpose, we all have hidden treasures within us that are of great value and use to the Master.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Our Father's Eyes...


But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love. Psalms 33:18

Yesterday after being stuck at home waiting for a repairman, I clicked on the TV. It was rare for me to be at home that time of day so to pass the time I decided to take a look at what daytime TV had to offer. Flipping down the TV guide my eyes spotted “The Baby Story”. Hmmm I have not seen that in a while and I love watching those sweet little babies coming into the world. A sure pick me up on a sort of “down in the dumps” day.

As I watched the show and listened to the interviews with the mother and father about the pregnancy, it gave background on both sides of the family (I love that kind of stuff). They also introduced their first born son who is as cute as a button and already knew that a new baby brother was sleeping in mommy’s tummy. What a nice family and what joy I began to feel just watching them prepare for the baby to come.

As the show moves to the delivery scene I always get a little teary eyed and nervous (I know, I know, it’s all pre –recorded) but I can’t help it if I get so into it. The Doctor is so cool, he’s Jewish and wears his yarmulke proudly and even uses words like God and blessing! Wow what a great doctor they have! He is very patient and comforting as he delivers a healthy, 8 pound baby boy!

Now here comes the point I’m trying to get to…when the nurse lay the baby on the table, the father comes over to get a closer look at his son. Amid all the hustle and bustle in the delivery room, it seems like it is just that daddy and his newborn son. He looks over the baby, who is sprawled out in all his nakedness, freshly born with some of the muck still on him and he’s crying at the top of his little lungs. And the daddy just looks at him with such love in his eyes. He looks at that helpless little baby with such tenderness and deep love and his eyes say it all. His eyes, to best of his human capacity were saying “Son, I love you and I’m here to be for you all that you need.”

Through the tears in my eyes I watched this and the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart, “That is how I look at you”.

And all at once I could comprehend it, God our Father looks at us through Jesus’ eyes with such love and compassion. Even when we are naked before him, in all our muck and gunk, He looks at us with such love and compassion. Even in our helplessness, His eyes look at us with the yearning to be all that we need.

Thank you Lord for your compassion and love, thank you for loving us beyond even what we in our finite minds can only comprehend. Thank you for your eyes of love that are watching over us…Amen

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Change...


But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image.
Corinthians 3:16-18

Change…is a good thing. But why do so many of us fight and resist it? You can hear it in the grumbles and murmurs of people when you change something as simple as the aisles in the grocery store. “Aisle 2 has ALWAYS been soups and snacks, now why in heaven’s name did they change it?” And God forbid don’t change the parking spaces at work, it’s an all out war. “I’ve been parking in that space for 10 years grrrrr…” Never mind that the CHANGE is so that there can be better parking spaces for everyone. Human nature is crazy and at times nuts! And if I wasn’t a human I’d…
Okay, here’s another one, at the gym where I’m a member, about once a week the machines are repositioned in the circle. Now all the members know this, but that does not stop them from complaining. “Why do they keep moving these dang machines? Just when I was getting used to that hard one being the fifth one (insert lots of whining here). The whole while they are complaining the reason that was explained to us is totally forgotten. The reason being that, now get this, if you continue to do the same routine every day, your body gets accustomed to the process and the exercise will become ineffective. So the routine has to be CHANGED often to stimulate the body to react to the exercise! Got it?
The Spirit whispered the word “Change” to me one morning as I was waiting in His presence. One thing I have learned over the past years; God is a Big God, but He also works in small things. What do I mean by that? So many times we hear messages about how a great move is coming and how these great big revivals are going to break loose…well guess what? God is more interested in little ‘ol YOU. He works in individuals. He knows that if He can get you and I straightened out, all the other stuff will come. He wants to change us to be more like Him. If we can become more like Him, then the revival will come. If we will allow Him to change us to be more like Him then the “Breakthrough” will come.
In 2 Corinthians 3 Paul talks about how Moses covered his face so the people could not see the glory, after he had been with God on the Mount, but Paul says that when we come to Christ we must take off the veil and reflect the Glory of Christ. And the more we reflect Him, the more He wants to change us to be more and more like Him. Because the more we are like Him, the more we can CHANGE the world!
Change is good, but not always easy. God may allow or bring some things in your life that may be uncomfortable and you may not understand right away. You may be misunderstood and you may have to come out of your comfort zone. You may even lose some friends. But if you have a heart to follow wholly and solely after Him, He has promised to lead and guide you into all truth.
What has the Lord been speaking to you lately? Has He been leading you to get out of your comfort zone? Has He been leading you to let go of some things that have been with you for years? Has He been whispering to you that it is time for CHANGE?
Remember “if you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.” If you let go in obedience to the Lord’s direction, He WILL be there to take your hand.
Follow HIM…

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Angels watchin' over me


"For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways..." Psalms 91:11


How can I forget? It was August 1994 and I was just finishing up the song "My Tribute" at a small church in Philadelphia. I had visited there many times to sing, but that particular weekend was a very busy one. I remember, my late husband and I rushing to get there on time for the early morning service.


After singing the song and going back to my seat, I had a sudden excruciating headache, this was followed my an immediate profusion of sweat. An usher that tried to assist me later told my husband that there were huge rivets of sweat dripping off my face. I of course don't remember this, because upon trying to make an exit from the church pew I collapsed. When I awoke I was on the floor surrounded by paramedics, my memory after that is in bits and pieces. From that point on everything was a blur as I was sent by ambulance to the first hospital where I was submitted to numerous tests; that finally through the results of a spinal tap my diagnosis was given. I had a rupture brain anuerysm. There was blood in the fluid extracted from the spinal tap, which meant a vessel had ruptured in the brain and the blood had leaked into the spinal fluid. The doctors determined that the rupture had clotted but had to be repaired immediately!


I was then sent to a second hospital in Center City Philadelphia that was better equipped to do the surgery. A fleet of doctors it seemed from every nationality surrounded my bed as they told me the effects of my condition. The news was grim, chances of death with or without the surgery, along with terrible side effects even if I did survive the surgery.


I was lucid enough to ask the nurse in NCU (Neurologial Critical Unit) for a Gideon Bible (God bless the Gideons). I asked her to turn to Psalms 91 and I read God precious promises. The verse about Angels stood out to me, because I knew that if I was to go through this surgery I needed as much protection as I could get.


There are many "miracles" that lead up to the surgery; a world renown surgeon just happened to be in the hospital and asked to do the surgery, a woman went up to my husband and recited the 91st Psalms, unbeknownst to her that I was holding onto that Word; the blood vessel remained clotted until the surgery, and more. But after they had rolled me into the pre-surgical room and the nurse stepped away for a moment, I prayed for God to send His angels to watch over me and it was in that moment that I saw four very large angels surrounding the gurney upon which I laid. Their wings extended to totally encompass me, their heads bowed, their bodies kneeling. It was a very Holy moment as I saw as if I was outside of myself looking at the picture of me being encamped around about with Gods glorious angels!


A moment later they wheeled me into surgery which lasted four hours; and it has just dawned on me, maybe I had an angel to watch and stand vigel for each hour that I was in surgery!


I could go on and on, but after 10 days in the hospital I walked out totally restored by the mercy and power of Jesus Christ. No medications, no rehabiltation, no after effects. My surgeon said go and live like it never happened! But how can I? How can I forget? How can I be the same after being shown first hand the Love and protection God has for us?


Angels watching over me...angels watching you!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Why Worry?


Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:25-34

I love watching the creatures in my backyard. Birds of all kinds manage to co exist together (with the exception of an occasional irate Blue Jay or Catbird that swoops down and tries to attack). But mostly the birds along with the squirrels live together in harmony; each of them going about their ways eating worms or berries, the squirrels gathering nuts. As I observe them they don’t seem worried about the gathering of their food; they act as if the next worm will just be there when they feel the vibration in the earth and begin to pick and pull. The Squirrels aren’t wringing their hands and pacing back and forth on the tree branches chattering “Oh dear, oh my, where am I going to find nuts this time of year!” No they just go along with their little pea-sized brains that the Lord has given them and they TRUST that the food will be there for them.

This morning I saw a bird, just sitting in the grass chillin’, every now and then it would pick it’s beak into the ground pull out a morsel eat and then just sit there looking around. Not a care in the world. I guess it was at a sort of “bird retreat”; it was taking time out from its normal routine and just sitting and soaking up the goodness of the Lord! We can take some lessons from these creatures!

There is an old saying “Worry is like a Rocking Chair, it keeps you busy, but it does not take you anywhere!” How true that saying is; however Jesus took it further and said that by worrying we cannot add one inch to our stature. In other words worry has no power; but the power that we give it.

Worrying can make you age and even make you sick. And it can also make some people not want to be around you. I mean who wants to be around someone that is always looking on the negative side of things. To be cautious is one thing, to worry is a whole other ballpark. And it takes so much of your energy! When you worry, it starts off with a thought, and if you allow it to simmer, you’ll even get a “vision” of what you’re worrying about, then the whole thing gets exaggerated and before long you’re just plain worn out!

Jesus says, your worrying is not going to change a situation anyway , take a tip from the birds and the flowers, you don’t see them worrying and guess what? Your heavenly Father loves you so much more than He loves these things that He created. How much more is He going to provide for you!

I have spent so much of my lifetime worrying about stuff, it is time to take a “chill pill” and be like that little bird I saw sitting in the grass, just sitting there basking in the God’s presence, trusting that He is my provider, Jehovah Jireh.

In the words of one of my favorite songs:

Why should I feel discouraged?
Why should the shadows come?
Why should my heart feel lonely?
And long for heaven and home?
When Jesus is my portion, a constant friend is He.
His Eye is on the sparrow and I know He’s watching me.

You KNOW the chorus!

Sunday, June 28, 2009


“Being confident of this very thing, that he who hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

“Lord don’t give up on me” that was my prayer this morning. I thought about David who wrote most of the book of Psalms and how so many times he cried out the very same thing to God, “Don’t pass me by”, “Don’t forget me”, “Don’t turn me over to my enemies”, etc, etc.. I understand him now. He knew that God His Father would never turn His back on him and only wanted the best for him. But David saw himself for what he really was, a mere man, with a heart to do good, but fell really short of ever being perfect. That’s what I like about David, he was transparent and what I call a REAL person. I think that’s maybe why God called him a man “after My Own heart”. David knew that he was nothing without God’s mercy and because of that he knew that he could come to God anytime he wanted, shortcomings and all.

In today’s “church” world, you don’t see much of that kind of humility. There are teachings of how we are royalty and how we somehow deserve to receive what we think are the “blessings” of God. While I believe that we are, according to the Word, heirs of Christ and that God does blesses us monetarily (every good and perfect gift comes from above); He does not owe us anything. I believe that God is more interested in our character and integrity. David and Solomon were royalty according to the world’s standard and had anything this world had to offer, but their real blessing came only when God’s approval was on them. When they failed they were miserable and desperately sought to get back to Him. They were works in progress and God never gave up on them.

I’m so glad that the Lord will never give up on me, I’m so thankful that when I have failed Him, He doesn’t put me aside to go work on something else. I have a co-worker that really has a hard time finishing projects. This person will start in their office and then will go to the conference room and have papers all spread out there too. At that point when another project pops up this person will go to someone’s desk that may be out for the day and proceed to spread out more papers. Three areas cluttered with unfinished projects! Nothing complete, just a whole lot of mess!

I am so thankful that God does not do us like that, what He begins, He finishes. That’s why I think we go through some of the same scenarios over and over again, because He’s trying to get us to “see” and learn so that He can move us to the next level of our lives. I am convinced that God is interested in us as individuals and yes He desires to bless us and wants us to have our needs and some of our wants met. But most of all He wants us to be whole, to be the individual that He desires us to be. So no, He won’t give up on me and neither will He give up on you. As we trust and submit to Him, He will complete us, He will perform the good work until that day of Jesus Christ.

Knowing that He is faithful I now pray, “Lord help me not to give up on myself”…Amen!

Sunday, June 14, 2009




You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah Psalms 32:7

One of the many things that I miss about my husband was his desire to always protect me. Always the protector, he would give me advice on how to be watchful when going places alone and would ask that I call if I would be running late. Even during his illness, one night as I was leaving his bedside at the hospital, as he was hooked up to all sorts of tubes and oxygen, he whispered, “Be very careful, do you have enough gas in the car?” Even in his weakness he was being strong for me.

This morning as I was sitting on the porch, I began to reminisce how many years ago before his illness; he insisted that we have the porch enclosed. I argued that I could not see the need to have it done because I liked going out on the patio and being in the openness of nature. But he wanted to protect me from not only the elements of nature but also in case ever there was an unwelcome visitor during my 5:00AM appointments to spend time with God there. Always the protector…”I want you to be safe” he said.

I finally gave in and we had the back porch walled and glassed in. Through all the glass I can still see nature that I so much enjoy and can even hear and feel it when I open the windows. But I am safe within the walls that surround me. It is there where I sit most mornings, sometimes before the sun comes up (the birds are up though). It is there where I meet with my King and Master and He speaks to my heart to forgive, to love, to heal and to restore. I feel protected and safe.

When my husband passed over 7 years ago, I may have lost my earthly protector, but God has been my protector from the beginning of my times. He reminds me of that…often. God protects me in this world and though I can look out and see it and hear the troublesome times we are living in, HIS walls protect me for “I am in this world but not of it…”
He is our refuge, and a very present help in times of trouble. Selah

Sunday, June 7, 2009


For the LORD will be your confidence; and will keep your foot from being snared. Proverbs 3:26

Ah! Such is life! LOL. I’m laughing because of how quickly I allow myself to be affected by words. It’s not a laughing matter, but better to laugh than to cry I always say (besides laughing makes you feel better).

I consider myself a strong woman that has been walking with God for quite a few years now (never you mind how old am). Back to the point, after all these years you would think that I would not let something that someone says make my whole “world change in a second.” But it did and this is what happened…

It’s a beautiful day, the sun is shining and I am outside enjoying my task at hand. My project is to trim the bushes that are against my house. While I’m working I am having a wonderful conversation with the Lord and reminiscing about how faithful He is to me. I even asked Him for a cool breeze and He obliged, we were on a roll my Father and I; I was working but having a great time. Now enters the villain (no, just kidding) enters a well meaning person that has observed my task at hand and this is what this person says:
“You’re doing a better job, even though that is an awful lot of work for you to do alone.” Then they proceeded to bring to my attention the condition of my lawn and how it could be so much better. Now grant it, my yard is one of the neatest on my street, but at the time it did not matter to me that this person is in the lawn care business and probably has an ulterior motive. No, I felt that dart and OUCH! Took it as a personal insult.

Immediately the enemy began to crowd my mind with thoughts and questions.
“I’m a foolish old woman out here working in the hot sun”. “Am I stupid for working so hard to keep this yard looking nice when others see it as a ridiculous waste of time?” “Do people feel sorry for me because I’m a widow?” I could feel my physical countenance begin to droop and what started as a beautiful, wonderful day, began to dissolve quicker than a snail sprinkled with salt (that’s disgusting, but I want you to get a visual here.) :)

But thanks be to God, I remembered His Word, He is my confidence! It does not matter, what it looks like or what anyone thinks. God has given me the health and strength to be able to get out there and work and for THAT I am grateful!
I love it when the Lord sends me a little reminder and He did that later that day at the mall. As I was holding the door for this cute little lady with a walker, she turned to me and said “When you get to be 88 years old like me, it’s not fun when you can’t do little things like go up and down the stairs anymore.” After we chuckled together I told her, “But look at you, you’re still able to come to the mall and do some shopping.” To that she looked off as if thinking about what I said and turned back to me and smiled and said “Thank you, you’re right”.

I can still hear my Mom singing in the St. John Methodist church choir on a Sunday morning this song:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

Refrain:
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

HE is our confidence, it on Him that we stand…no other.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Lead me...Guide me...


The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Psalms 32:8

I can still hear me singing in my little girl voice the song “Lead me guide me along the way. For if you lead me I will not stray. Lord let walk each day with thee, lead me oh Lord lead me.” Attending summer Bible school was one of my favorite things to do as I child. It was a welcome distraction from the hot summer days. As much as I was happy to be out of school, I still looked forward to sitting outside under a large shade tree to hear Bible stories. How exciting it was to hear about David killing the Giant, Daniel in the Lion’s Den and Jonah in the belly of a Whale.

I am so grateful to my now deceased parent for insisting that me and my siblings have a good foundation of the Word of God. They exposed us to God and the Bible at an early age, by taking us to Church and making sure we were involved in Bible based activities. So that even as a teen and young adult when I did not walk with the Lord, I STILL had the Word in my heart and it was forever convicting me every time I strayed. Ultimately that same Word was brought alive by the Holy Spirit, by someone praying for me, and it was then that I surrendered to Christ.

What troubles me is when I ask a teenager in the school where I work, “Who is Jonah?” or “Do you know the story of David and Goliath”; they give me this blank stare as if I’ve asked them to explain an Einstein theory. We have a whole generation that has no knowledge of the basic Bible truths. So my question is “How will they be lead?” “And who will be their leader?” Scary huh?

If we have never been properly introduced to God as our leader, then we will follow anything or anyone that makes us “feel” okay. That sort of explains some of today's news headlines.

My prayer is that the Lord will direct my path, because NO one cares for me like Jesus, He has my very best interests at heart and He will never fail me. As for this generation, my prayer is that God in His mercy will reveal Himself to them as the Leader that we all need now and forever more. Amen

Tuesday, May 26, 2009




“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
Matthew 6:25-27

When I awaken this morning at about 4:45 am, outside my bedroom window I heard a bird singing its little heart out. I said to myself “Come on now, it’s not even 5:00 am; you can’t be THAT happy this time of morning!” As I dragged myself out of bed and made my way to the bathroom, I could hear it still singing. I have to admit the bird was giving it it’s all and all. And though I could not interpret what it was saying, I just knew that it was doing what God had created it to do. The bird was singing with such gusto that after a period of time I began to enjoy it.

When I went downstairs to put on the coffee, I decided to open up my windows and back door to let in some fresh air. And don’t you know it? I could hear more birds singing their hearts out! The sun was just coming up and it was a bit on the cool side, but they did not let that hinder them. After the coffee was ready I went out on the back porch with a cup and sat down to enjoy the early morning. There I was sitting in what sounded like birds singing in surround sound and it made me smile.

In this early morning sanctuary amongst the serenade of birds, my spirit was quiet and at peace. As I allowed myself to relax and sit in this gift that God had given me, I was comforted to be reminded that these creations of God, these birds, their first agenda of the day was to give God, their creator, the Glory. They did not worry about where their next meal was coming from, nor did they care if it was before sun rise and it was cool outside. All they knew was first thing: we’re going to praise God!

God has done so much more for me than He has for those birds…so what is my excuse? The first thing on my agenda for the day, is not to worry nor fret but I should give God the Glory! Amen and Amen.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


However, as it is written: No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”
I Corinthians 2:9


A couple of weeks ago I took my car for an oil change. This was my first time back to the dealer since purchasing the car last November. When I purchased the car, I noticed that the sales men and staff were very cordial and accommodating, but I chalked this up as them wanting to make a sale. I mean after all they didn’t know me and probably did not care other than making that money.
So upon returning to get the oil change, I expected the regular treatment you get at most dealerships and service stations. Not service with a smile but instead the usual treatment is with a bad attitude and little or no patience. And don’t ask the mechanic any questions! First they look at you like you’re nuts, then the smirk and the response is usually full of sarcasm as if to say “I’m the specialist here!!”
But when I arrived at this dealership that happen to be in a very upscale township, not only did I get service with a smile but one of the many customer service persons met me dressed in clean khaki pants that were belted (No grease spots) nice polo shirt tucked inside with the Dealer’s Logo. His white teeth sparkled as he gave me an easy smile and directed me to “Drive right in.” I have to tell you, it threw me for a loop, and it gets better. After he took my keys and information at his counter, he then…now get this, directed me to the LOUNGE! I was like “Wha?” (while taking my hand to close my mouth).
Upon entering the LOUNGE I was greeted by another smiling person that showed me there were 3 sections, the TV area, the Quiet area (if I wanted to read), and the Computer area where there were several computer stations set up and internet ready, all for our convenience. Again I said “Wha?” Oh! And of course what LOUNGE would be without a coffee and tea bar stocked with fresh coffee (honestly the guy said “If the coffee is not fresh I’ll be glad to put on a new pot for you.” And there were fresh Danish and muffins. And don’t forget the stack of CLEAN paper cups and napkins. Now you KNOW in most service stations, the coffee pot is usually empty or questionable, like “and HOW long has that been sitting there?” There are usually no cups to be found and forget about the napkins.
I tell you this visit was getting better and better. Even the 2 people at the Parts counter were very nice when I stopped over to get a tube of touchup paint (Yes I need touch up paint after just 6 months owning the car) (sigh) But with all this Royal treatment I was beginning to feel like I was in “Stepford Land”.
After spending some time at the computer station and making a trip to the clean, well decorated bathroom, another smiling customer service person greeted me with a clip board to go over point by point the status of my car condition and maintenance schedule. As he accompanied me to the check out counter, he asked with a sparkling smile “Are there any questions?” Again I said “Wha?” and it threw me so much I could not think of a thing, because they had covered it all.
After paying my bill and given my keys, I was directed to where my car was parked and as I exited I could hear “Thank you”, “Hope you come back” and “Nice meeting you m’am”. Wow what a pleasant experience that was! It made my whole day seem better. It even restores some of my belief that there really are good business people out there. All the excellent treatment that I received was really a reflection of the owner of that Dealership. In conversation with my son, we both said that we would love to be a fly on the wall in one of those staff meetings. The owner must really put a high premium on treating the customer right.
Now I’ve said all this to say that even though that was a highlight in my day, it still cannot compare with what God has stored up for those of us that will live with Him. I mean we cannot fathom what it will be like. Going to that dealership that day I had no idea I would be treated so well. Guess what? It has not entered our minds what it will be like in heaven, it will be totally beyond what we can conceive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Don’t you miss it!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the praise of Israel. In You our fathers put their trust; they trusted and You delivered them. They cried to You and were saved; in You they trusted and were not disappointed.
Psalms 22:3-5

“You’ll never be disappointed”. That’s what I heard in my heart today as I talked to the Lord.

Rejection and disappointment are two awful emotional feelings. Rejection can have long lasting effects on a person’s life. And if there is no healing there, the person can continuously carry that feeling of not being accepted or wanted. Then comes the disappointment, and feelings of not ever being able to “fit in”. The enemy of our souls can have a heyday with this weakness…if he is allow to.

I have had my share of rejection and disappointments. Note* as I share this please know that I am not whining, but being transparent. So don't try to play "Dr. Phil"...I'm just being real. :)


As far back as my early childhood, growing up a middle child (not the oldest and not the youngest), I did not know where exactly I fit in. Even in school, because I liked to “dress up” and did not hang with the rowdy group, I was an outcast with the popular kids, called teacher’s pet and often threatened by the school bullies. And as an adult ,I knew that my parents loved me,but I often thought that I was a disappointment to them, because of some choices that I made along the way.

After becoming a Christian, the Lord healed me of a lot of emotional hurts, but it is an ongoing process. This morning as I was worshipping the Lord and thanking Him for bringing me through so many things I was reminded of a particular disappointment that I had. The feelings of rejection came rushing back in like a tsunami. The tears flowed as I remembered the hurt and disappointment and I even wondered if God had forgotten me during that time. It was then that I heard His still small voice speaking to me in the depths of that pain as only He can do. You see, no one else in this ole world knows how or what you feel like our God, He knows every hurt, every rejection, and Jesus came to prove it. He spoke to me in the quietness of my spirit and said “ I will NEVER disappoint you…man will…but I will NEVER disappoint you...trust me”.

What more can I say? I must trust Him with my pain, my hurts, and my rejection. I can no longer strive to “fit in”. I must keep my hand in His as I walk this journey. I must be whom He created me to be, even if no one else understands…He does. To God be the Glory!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Simply...


But whatever former things I had that might have been gains to me, I have come to consider as loss for Christ's sake.
Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One),
Philippians 3:7-8

Simply said, I am nothing without Christ. It really is very simple, I mean without Him, I am absolutely nothing…NUTHIN’ HONEY!

With all my so called accomplishments, they really aren’t worth a hill of beans in the light of what Christ has done for me. In the early morning hour before I dress for work, I get down on my face and declare before Him simply that “Lord, if you don’t go with me today, if You don’t be with me, I might as well stay down here on my face because none of what I may do will amount to anything!”

I don’t have low esteem, or a bad complex about myself. In fact there was a time that I thought I was “All that and a bag of chips”. But, since I have met the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords and over time learning the sacrifice He gave for me; I now see, I am nothing without Him!

With Him I can do great things, but I must always remember that it is for His purpose, not mine. The more I “lay down” my agenda before Him, the more I see how wonderful it is to let Him carry it.

I am nothing without you Lord, what I have accomplished is worth nothing without you. You alone give me worth; I would have no righteousness if you did not give it to me. To You alone deserve the Glory, Honor and Praise…Amen

Friday, April 24, 2009

My Light! My Salvation!

The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?
For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.
Psalms 27:1 and 5


In my Junior and Senior high school years, I was the "darling" of the regional sororities. For some reason these classy ladies felt that I had enough talent to compete in the Talent shows and perform at the Cotillions they sponsored.
My music teacher, Mrs. Streater, was a lover of all types of music and her choices to teach me for the competitions were classical pieces. It was this wonderful woman that taught me the classical arrangement of "The Lord is my light".

Even though I could hit every note and stay on perfect pitch, I did not know the power in the words I was singing at the time. Though the awards and accolades came, I still did not know what a declaration of faith I was singing. Oh if I knew then like I know now!
It says in God's Word that His Words will not return to Him void, so I hope that even though I did not understand the magnitude of what I was singing, perhaps God in His Mercy allowed those Words to fall on hearts that needed the encouragement.
Years later, these very words have helped me so many times. "The Lord IS my light", when darkness tries to over take me; "My salvation", when I needed to be rescued; "Whom shall I fear" when I about to undergo a test or trial. Time after time, this Psalm has done away with the fear and brought "light" to my situation.
I believe that it was a part of God's plan for my life that I learn the words at an early age, for they are forever planted in my heart. Thank you Mrs. Streater for insisting that a teenager learn a classical song that would live in her heart and be the source of encouragement for all eternity!







Tuesday, April 21, 2009




"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. " Psalms 51:10




With all the rain that we've had here in the past week, I would say that the earth has had a good washin'! I traveled south over the Easter break from school to visit relatives. And all down the east coast I was met with rain, in some cases torrential downpourings. Everything has a purpose, so I know that the rain is good for many things. I may not like the clouds, dark skies and muddy puddles that accompany it, but I am sure that the benefits of rain far exceed the complaints.


Sometimes our hearts need a good washin'. No matter how many years that I have submitted my life to the Lord, there are still times that I need to take the time and really look into my heart to see if there are things that should not be there. I must admit most of the time that I check I always find something that has creeped in that I know would not be pleasing to God. Whether it be unforgiveness, gossip, not showing love, or pride, these things and more, should not take root in my heart.


I ask the Lord to wash me clean so that I can stand in His presence without shame, without regret. I NEVER want to be in a state where I no longer can sense God's presence in my life. I NEVER want to lose the confidence that He is always with me. Can this happen? I believe it can. God will never change, He will always remain the same, but I believe that we can allow so many things that are not pleasing to Him to enter into our hearts that WE can feel removed from His presence.


When David , the psalmist, wrote the 51st Psalm, he was in a place of regret for the sins he had commited and his earnest desire was to have a clean heart and he goes on to ask that God not take His presence, His Holy Spirit from him. that was his greatest concern...and it is my prayer and desire as well. Give me a clean heart Lord, forgive me and may I always stay in your presence. Help me to be mindful of the price You paid for me to have a clean heart.

Amen

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Trust in His Mercy


But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever. I will praise You forever, because You have done it;And in the presence of Your saints I will wait on Your name, for it is good.
Psalms 52:8-9

The Olive tree is mentioned so many times in the Bible, besides it growing in abundance in the Middle East, it has so many helpful uses. In some cultures the Olive leaf represents glory and peace. And then the fruit of the tree is good to eat and we know about all the healthful benefits of the oil. The Olive tree also has a long life span. It is reported that in Crete there is an Olive tree that is at least 2,000 years old.

So to be like an Olive tree is a good thing; it means to me that I am useful, have many good benefits and longevity. This can also mean that I am stable and reliable. I am sure that if a tree can stand the test of time for 2,000 years, it has seen some storms; but the Olive tree has proven that it can persevere.

With all the dreadful news going on now, it can be very disheartening. Bad news about the economy, families falling apart and violence on a rampage, it can make you fearful; even afraid to venture out of your front door. But this scripture says that “I trust in the mercy of God”. Is that how the Olive tree withstood the test of time?

God’s mercy endures forever, so even in these dangerous times we must trust in that mercy and wait on Him. To whom else can we turn? He alone is our refuge and strength. He has proven Himself over and over again…as the scripture says “…He has done it” and “His name is good”

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hosanna in the Highest

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Hosanna in the highest!"
When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, "Who is this?"
The crowds answered, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee."
Matthew 21:6-11


Today we recognize what we call "Palm Sunday". It was a day of Celebration when the people honored Jesus. Even though less than a week later some of those same people yelled "Crucify Him".
We know that His crucifixtion was all for a reason, but still as I reflect on the series of events as written in the Bible, it is a somber time. A time when I remember how yes, they cheered Him and laid down thier cloaks and branches for His entrance into town, but also how they turned on Him. How later they beat Him, spat on Him and called Him names.
My Savior, their Savior never pointed an accusing finger at them and cursed them to eternal damnation for treating Him that way. But He humbly endured the shame and the pain so they we could have eternal life with Him.
Lord I pray today as we honor you on this "Palm Sunday" that I will not be like the crowd back then that turned on You later. That I will not deny You before men when I am uncorfortable about sharing my faith. That I will not allow the enemy of my soul to draw me away from You. That I will always have praise in my heart for You crying "Hosanna, Hosanna!" Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Rainy Day

"Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make music to our God on the harp.
He covers the sky with clouds; He supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills." Psalms 147:7-8


Today started off as a dreary, rainy day. Yuk! Now don't get me wrong I like the rain...sorta...I mean we need it for the flowers, grass and to replenish the rivers etc, etc. But getting wet by cold rain and a gray sky are not my most favorite things.
I won't let the weather dictate my attitude today though. I will try my best to be bright and cheery. There was a song (Now I'm telling my age) that the group the Fifth Dimension used to sing back during the 70's called "Let the Sunshine In" and it went like this: "Let the sunshine, let the sunshine, the sunshine in." Now that tune will be going around and around in my head ALL DAY!

It's going to be a great day!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A sign of the times...

I very seldom listen to the news on TV or read the newspaper, but with everything being on the Internet it's hard to miss it! Headlines about whole families being murdered, churches and nursing homes being invaded by crazed gunman...it's heart breaking!
Am I the only one feeling like these incidents have escalated over the last couple of years or what? Just this morning as I traveled my regular route to work, I saw flashing blue and red lights and as I got closer I saw where the police had pulled someone over and it appeared they were in the process of handcuffing him!
I mean I'm not a novice to seeing all this kind of stuff and am not ignorant to the fact that in this world "things happen", but it seems to me that it is happening more often than it used to.
The Word of God tells us not to fear, that the Lord is with us. Psalms 22 talks about how our ancestors trusted in God and were NEVER disappointed. This is what I must keep in my mind and heart during these troubled times.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Forgiven!

Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little." Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."
Luke 7:44-48


Many sermons have been preached about the woman in the Bible that bathe the feet of Jesus with her tears, anointed them with the contents of an alabaster box and dried them with her hair. A beautiful song has even been written about it. But it was this morning that I really understood the depth of her worship.

You see I believe that this woman had been forgiven much because of her former lifestyle (it is taught that she was a former prostitute) but greater still; she was forgiven of the things that people could not see. The fact that Jesus could look beyond all her exterior and even see her inner most thoughts and still love and forgive her was an astonishing revelation! Jesus could look into her eyes and into her heart and see all the times that she had been hurt, the times that she was rejected, the ugly words that were spoken to her and about her. He saw her distrust of mankind, her fear of not being willing to take a chance to love again, her unwillingness to live again.

It would have been so easy for her to receive her forgiveness and salvation from Jesus and then lead a life of seclusion, never venturing out in public again. But it was her desire to worship the King of kings and the Lord of lords that brought her into this public, unseemly place to show her gratitude.

When she began to think about what the Lord had done for her, not only had He forgiven her, but also He had accepted her from where she was. She didn’t have to clean up first for Him to receive her, she came as she as was. And she knew that He could see EVERYTHING about her and He STILL received her into the beloved. Oh how grateful she was as she washed and kissed His feet. Oh how she worshipped her blessed Redeemer and Savior.

And that is how I feel this morning! The Lord has not only forgiven me, but He has looked beyond all faults to see my need! He knows my hurts, my rejections, and my fears, even my most ugly thoughts and He STILL loves me! When I come to Him as I am asking for forgiveness, for acceptance, He NEVER turns me away. I am His beloved and He is mine!

Thank You Lord for receiving me, for loving me, and for helping me to fulfill my purpose in this life. It is with great humility and in the legacy of the woman that went before me; to bathe your feet in my tears and to kiss your feet as I worship You! I worship You…

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sunrise


"From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD's name is to be praised. "
Psalms 113:3

I LOVE music and it is how I start my day. Christian artist Alvin Slaughter's new CD "Overcomer" is in my CD player in the car and I worship with him as I travel on my way to work. One of the songs he sings has the lyrics of the psalms above; and it has been going over and over in my mind.

I'm a morning person and no matter how tired I am or how many hours of sleep I've had (or NOT had), I am the most energetic in the morning. So seeing the sunrise is a celebration for me. If I knew that I would not get arrested, I would stand in the middle of a field and do a fancy dance when the sun comes up! I rejoice at seeing a new day AND that God has allowed me the opportunity to be His instrument to be His light in this world.

I've seen the sun burst through the clouds causing them to shimmer like silver. This morning however it was cloudy and a light rain drizzled; but the sun still shone through the clouds in rays as if to say, "I'm still here!"

Psalms 113:3 says that we should praise God from sun up to sun down...why? Because He is worthy to be praised. When I think of all He's done for me (now don't get me started) I want to do the Electric Slide! LOL Im a crazy person in the morning, I get lots of sideways looks when I bounce down the halls smiling and cheerfully saying "GOOOOOOOOOD Mornin'" to the sleepyeyed staf f and students. But I honestly am enjoying the new day and the "Son Rise" in my spirit! Thank you Lord!

But by 6:00PM I begin to wind down. And all that dancing in the fields stuff...I'm still praising God but I'm thinking more in the lines of doing it in my comfy chair by the fireplace...so glad He understands me. (smile)

In your lifetime, if you haven't already, catch a sunrise and relish in it's beauty. it promises a new day .. a new day to worship Him!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Letting go

"You are only responsible for the choices that you make", these are the gentle words I heard in my heart several years ago as I laid prostrate on my living room floor. The weeks preceeding this gentle message from the Lord were filled with worry and concern over some decisions that a family member had made. In my desire to see them have what I felt was God's best, I panicked when I saw them making decisions that would not have positive consequences...or at least in my perspective. I cried out to God day by day asking Him to change their minds, put up a roadblock, open their eyes, etc, etc. I was allowing myself to get so worked up over the situation until I actually began to feel physically ill.

You may read this and say, "Boy this chick has some real issues!" but for the sake of clarity and before you label me a lunatic or a manic depressant, let me explain. In a rapid sucession, I had lost one of my closest friends, my daughter-in-law's parents, both my parents, my closest cousin and then my beloved husband. The passing of these people was preceeded by their illnesses, in some cases, long term. It was like the rug was pulled out from under me and I was left standing in the midst of uncertainty. Now don't get me wrong, I knew God was with me, and that He loved me very, very much, but let's just say that I felt "whupped". (smile)

It was not long after this and during the process of my emotional healing journey that the situation that I mentioned above came into play. I had worked myself into such a worry about my family member until I could not see straight...until the Lord spoke to me that "you are only responsible for the choices that you make". simple yet so powerful to me.

I was worrying about something that I had nothing to do with. When we make decisions (right or wrong)then we become responsible for whatever consequences come from it. But we cannot take that responsibilty from another adult. If they decide to do something, even after they have been warned, then they are saying I accept whatever may come of this.

A good example of this is I Samuel 8 and 9. The people wanted a king, God warned them, but they insisted on getting a king; so bascially God gave them what they wanted. And we know the rest of the story about King Saul.

I had to learn through those simple words spoken to me that day that God will allow us to make wrong decisions. So I have to allow those that I love to do the same. God in His love and mercy is always there waiting to "pick up the pieces" of our bad consequences. And so instead of worrying about other people's choices, I should pray that God will give them wisdom and leave the rest to Him. Letting go can be so very hard but aaahh I feel so much better now...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Attitude

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Colossian 3:17

Whew! What a weekend this has been. Spring has sprung and my yard needed some TLC. I take full advantage of the mild sunny days here in the Northeast. A couple of weeks ago we were blessed with 60 degree weather and I pruned shrubbery. This past weekend the temperature skimmed the 60 degree mark and I worked on the grass. Boy! little did I know what hard work it would be! But once it was done I relished in knowing that my lawn was prepared for seeding and fertilizer.
I had read in my devotional about having the right attitude. And how if you have the right attitude, no matter the situation, you can "bloom where you're planted". I thought of this while I was "planted" raking my front lawn. It was a tedious and tiring job, but as I began to turn my thoughts toward God and remember how far He has brought me, my attitude toward my work began to change. Even when my neighbors stopped by to ask if I was going to have a backache after doing all that work, I still managed to smile.
Because I am a widow, there are tasks and decisions that I now must do and make alone. To be honest I still have times ( though not as often) when I have a pity party and wonder "Why me?". But as I meditated on the Lord while I did my work, I realized how truly blessed I am. He has helped me so much these last 7 years in my journey. Helping me to see that as I keep my eyes on Him, I can accomplish things I once thought I could not.
So the task that I dreaded doing ended up being a wonderful time spent with the Lord! And I'm going to have the best looking lawn on the block!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Choose you this day!

You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalms 16:11

In the Bible there are 242 scriptures with a reference to the word JOY. What that means to me is that JOY is very important to God. At the end of last year I felt like the Lord gave me a word (s) in my heart. “Restored Joy” is what resonated in my soul. My spiritual ears perked up like an eager puppy that hears its master calling. I so much need my joy restored. I know that I will never be the carefree young social butterfly that I was years ago, but my spirit had become weak and tattered from the trials of life. My smile was still intact but many times I passed a mirror and caught a glimpse of my face and saw that the smile was no longer there. My eyes that once were bright with enthusiasm now looked dull and tired and anyone could look into them to see that I saw the world and people in a different light. I understand better now why God was trying to save Adam and Eve from the tree of Knowledge. He did not want to keep anything good from them, He was just trying to save them from seeing and having a knowledge of evil.

I guess I have always been a kind of idealist, looking on the bright side, seeing the world through rose colored glasses, always expecting the best from people ( which is not bad, but really isn’t the way the world works). When I began to “grow up” so to speak, the “bright side” that I was always looking for sometimes didn’t come, the rose colored glasses slowly came off and I began to expect less and less of people. I began to “see” that maybe I’ve been trying to live something that really wasn’t and it drained the enthusiasm for life that I once had. I’ll admit it, I wanted to give up, throw in the towel, throw up my hands and say “what the heck”. BUT you know what? God would not let me.

Bit by bit He began to show me things in nature. He wooed me back by speaking to me in a way that He knew I would listen. I became acutely aware of things like birds and flowers. I just didn’t ‘see” a bird or flower; I looked at it with how remarkable it was and how only God could create it. He began to give me life lessons from watching the red cardinal that appears in my backyard every winter. He spoke to me when I saw how butterflies come from caterpillars and how they dance with each other in the air. He spoke to me how each flower is different and if He cares that much to take the time to create those, how much more He cares for me. In the Winter He spoke in the quietness of the first snowfall, in the Spring He spoke in the newness of life all around me, in the Summer I could hear His voice in the oceans and the power of the waves and in the Fall I could hear Him in the wind that blew the falling leaves from the trees. He gave me wisdom and understanding.

He wooed me like a child that was hurt from falling off a bicycle and He was the Father teaching her to ride again. He allowed me to get in position to receive the joy that He is going to restore to me. I had to be in a place where I could realistically live in this world and see it for what it is and yet look beyond that to God the author and finisher of my faith. Like I was as a child peeking from behind the curtain at the school play to look beyond to see my mom and dad in the audience, knowing that no matter what was ahead they were there for me and it would be alright. Isn’t it funny how even though God wants us to “grow up,” the road back to Him is when you come to Him as a child?
.
Now about joy…I’m learning that it is a choice! In my quest to have joy, I must get up each day choosing to receive it and to walk in it. Today I have chosen JOY! What about you???

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Not to Worry!

Be still and know that I am God !
It is hard for me to listen to the news on TV/radio or read the newspaper without getting a feeling of fear or dread. Reports of the lives being lost both here in the domestic world as well as overseas, the economy steadily falling along with reports of global warming leave me feeling scared. I know that God does not want us to feel fear, but to be honest (and He knows that we are mere humans) it can be scary.

Towards the end of last year I asked the Lord in my prayers to show me what was His “word” for me this coming year. Last year I felt that He whispered “Wisdom and Understanding” and indeed it was a year to gain wisdom AND understanding about a lot of things in my life. Though I know that I have not made the mark by any means and am ALWAYS learning with His gentle help; after prayer I felt that for this year the word for me is “Restoration of Joy.” Joy doesn’t mean being happy all the time, but it is an ever-abiding sense that God is in control and that assured confidence makes you at peace in this world. I admit I had lost some of that because of life’s trials, thus the need for God to restore it. How will He do it? Bit by bit, day by day. For instance the scriptures that I “just happened” to read this morning when I was feeling anxious about the conditions of this world. It gave great comfort to me and I pray that it will do the same for you:

1 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; 3 Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah 4 There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. 5 God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. 6 The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted. 7 The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah 8 Come, behold the works of the LORD, Who has made desolations in the earth. 9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire. 10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! 11 The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
Psalms 46



Monday, January 12, 2009

Restored Joy!

“Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice;”…
“Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”
Psalms 51: 8, 13

David, the “apple of God’s eye” had sinned. He had allowed the cares of this life to distract him from his first love…God. After praying and fasting for his illegitimate child not to succumb to sickness, the child dies. David realizes from the words of a visiting prophet and from the conviction of his own heart that he had sinned against the God that he once worshipped and loved above all else. He cries out for forgiveness and restoration, because having once had intimacy with God, he knows that nothing else will satisfy his empty, vulnerable and bruised soul.

To have something restored means to have something put back that was there before. David knew what joy felt like. The times when he was given victory over the enemy while watching the sheep of his earthly father as well as later while on the King’s battlefield. He also knew the times of joy of simply serenading his heavenly Father with psalms, hymns and instrument. So when he cried out he was asking for something he had before and wanted it back!

At the beginning of this year I found myself crying out for the same joy that David was asking for. God has been extremely faithful to me and I have no doubt that He will continue to be. But I found myself at times looking into the mirror and seeing sadness behind my eyes…weariness. Through circumstances of life, things and events have happened that I admit have affected me in a negative way. I used to be called “bubbly” and “social butterfly,” now by choice I seldom socialize. This quiet time has allowed me to draw closer to the Lord, but the “joy unspeakable” that He promises has somehow seeped out and I don’t know where it has gone.

While doing a “Google” on “Restored Joy” I came across a blog where a person was asking the same question, “Where is my joy” and in her writings two words spoke to me “surrender” and “submission.” I must surrender the cares of life totally to Him and submit my life daily; with all its consequences to Him…then I can get my joy back.
That’s what David did, he realized that he could not change the sin he had done nor could he save his child from death. He had to confess his sins and shortcomings, recognize that God is sovereign and put his life with all the consequences back into the hands of God.

To have the joy of your salvation restored we must realize where the salvation comes from in the first place. In order to have something restored we have to go to the (in the words of Myles Munroe) “originator of the thing”. God is the “originator” of our joy; let us return to Him this year to restore it.